She did it…Purged the sin from my life…At least for today…Remember, tomorrow!

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Русский: Феодоровская икона со сказанием Кострома

Русский: Феодоровская икона со сказанием Кострома (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Gift:  Knowledge – With the gift of knowledge, we understand the meaning of God’s Revelation, especially as expressed in the life and words of Jesus Christ. A person with knowledge is always learning more about the scriptures and Tradition.

 

Reading:  Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,* but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit.  She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.  (Matthew 1:18,21)

 

Observation:  Why do we Catholics make such a big deal about Mary?  For me, after today it will be because she finally purged me from a sin that I was struggling with.  Before today, I did the “33 days to morning-glory” retreat, and read about how the indwelling of the holy Spirit in Mary makes her flesh worthy of honoring.  We know that she intercedes for us as our spiritual Mother, at the right hand of God, alonside her son as the queen in Heaven.

 

Personification:  Gentleness. I will display the fruit of gentleness by remembering the gentleness of our Mother, the Virgin Mary when she intercedes for me in Heaven.  She would not implore God in haste and anger, because she is in union with Him through the incarnation of His Son, Jesus.  I hope to display the same gentleness when imploring God’s people to more closely follow His will in their life, while remembering to pray for the indwelling of the holy Spirit in me, because of the consumption of His Son’s flesh in the Eucharist.

 

Prayer:  Remember, O most compassionate Virgin Mary, that anyone who fled to your protection, or sought your intercession, was left unaided.  Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto you, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother.  To you do I come.  Before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.  O Mother of the Word incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer me…I ask for the continued grace over my family to grow into the family that God intends it to be and to be a beacon for all people displaying the love of God…I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

 

 

The Word is alive…not just words on a page!

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the Stainned Gless of depicting the Holy Spirit.

the Holy Spirit

Gift: Wisdom– With the gift of wisdom, we see God at work in our lives and in the world. For the wise person, the wonders of nature, historical events, and the ups and downs of our lives take on deeper meaning. The matters of judgment about the truth, and being able to see the image of God.

Reading:  But Moses answered the people, “Fear not! Stand your ground, and you will see the victory the LORD will win for you today. These Egyptians whom you see today you will never see again. The LORD himself will fight for you; you have only to keep still.”  (Exodus 14:13-14)

Observation:  While I was deciding on which of the readings to journal on this morning, I read a tweet from Father Mabura in Africa.  It said, “The LORD himself will fight for you; you have only to keep still.”  Exodus 14:14)  Now, this had been the one verse that had stuck out to me in the first reading already, and I was in the process of re-reading the scripture to decide if I was going to add any other verses to it, when I received the tweet.  The reason this is important is, because as we are across the world from each other, the Word of God is speaking to us and through us at the same time.  God is speaking through the Word of God and his power transcends all space and time to come alive for us.  This may have been a story that was passed down through oral tradition by our ancestors in faith, but the words are still living today as a reminder that the Lord is more powerful than anything that opposes his faithful people.  A special note of thanks to Father Jaspers for his homily last week, where he reminded me that the stories were originally passed down by oral tradition for many centuries before they were ever in written form.

Personification:  Gentleness  I will try to display the fruit of gentleness today.  It is important to be gentle when relating the message that I received this morning, in order that it doesn’t sound like boasting about my being plugged into the holy Spirit.  My hope is that if I get a chance to relay this story today, it will come across with all humility and gentleness, to highlight the power of God and not any importance that there may or may not be in my being a part of this story.

Prayer:  LORD, thank you for putting people in my life, like Father Mabura and Father Jaspers, our new Pastor, to shepherd me into being the man who you have created me to be.  I hope that I can live up to the witness that they are giving me, by being faithful to the Word of God and the sacred tradition of our Holy Mother Church.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

A person with a messy desk shouldn’t do a presentation on organization, right?

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Orchid - 1

Image by pcgn7 via Flickr

Gift:  Knowledge – With the gift of knowledge, we understand the meaning of God’s Revelation, especially as expressed in the life and words of Jesus Christ. A person with knowledge is always learning more about the scriptures and Tradition.

Reading:  You hypocrite, 3 remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.  (Matthew 7:5)

Observation:  I didn’t include the rest of the gospel reading today in my choice of verses to reflect on because they are kind of contradicted by this one, in a sense.  Jesus is saying to not judge others at the beginning of the gospel, but he ends by saying that we can help with a splinter, once the wooden beam is removed from our eye.  To me, this is like saying what I said in the title for my journal today.  My title is a little less dramatic, and the point is that both the person with the messy desk and the person listening to the presentation are in need of help.  Even though, I may be very capable to minister to people about many subjects, I should not attempt to help anyone who struggles with the same issues that I do, unless I am just offering support as someone who suffers from the same problem that I do.

Personification:  Gentleness  It is my intention to focus on the fruit of gentleness today in my life.  I will choose to show the gentleness that comes from a sincere understanding of my weaknesses and willingness to share the struggles of others, and help when possible.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to better understand my own weaknesses, so that I can help others in ways that you are calling me to.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

I hope God makes me like a child in total dependence upon and obedience to the gospel…

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Jesus with children, early 1900s Bible illustr...

Image via Wikipedia

Gift:  Knowledge – With the gift of knowledge, we understand the meaning of God’s Revelation, especially as expressed in the life and words of Jesus Christ. A person with knowledge is always learning more about the scriptures and Tradition.

Reading:  When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child 2 will not enter it.”  (Mark 10:14-15)

Observation:  I found part of my title in the footnote for the verses that I chose from Mark’s gospel to journal on today.  It provided for me and my wife a different perspective on the idea of a childlike faith.  To my wife and I, we looked at the childlike faith, as if it were innocent, and not dependent.  These verses and the footnotes helped us to see today that a childlike faith is more about depending on God and being obedient than about being innocent.  Of course, as my wife would more than likely point out after reading this, the innocence of childhood is only true for those children who are obedient and dependent on their parents.

Personification:  Gentleness  I will focus today on displaying the fruit of gentleness in my life.  This is especially difficult when I am trying to discipline my children, but I will rely on the holy Spirit to guide me in this and allow me to discipline them with the gentleness that he disciplines me. 

Prayer:  Lord, allow me to be more like a child in my dependence on you for everything and my complete obedience to your Word.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

So, it was not in the original writing, still important enough to be included…Right?

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A kiss of peace?

Gift:  Wisdom– With the gift of wisdom, we see God at work in our lives and in the world. For the wise person, the wonders of nature, historical events, and the ups and downs of our lives take on deeper meaning. The matters of judgment about the truth, and being able to see the image of God.

 

Reading:  He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages.  (Mark 16:15-17)

Observation:  This morning, as I read this gospel reading I was not thinking about the fact that this is one of three different endings to the gospel of Mark.  I was thinking of how much of this revelation applies to me.  It is my understanding that although there are three different ways that we could choose to end the gospel of Mark, one of which includes the ending with the disciples being bewildered with the fact that Jesus was not in the tomb, the revelation of the gospel story includes the reality that Jesus would have said these words to his disciples, which includes us.

Personification:  Gentleness  It will be my intention today and hopefully for the rest of my time on earth to display the fruit of gentleness when sharing the gospel story with people that I come in contact with.  No matter how important or dire I perceive the need for someone to hear the good news.  The reality is that no one is going to be able to hear it unless it is deliver with the spirit of gentleness that comes from the holy Spirit. 

Prayer:  Lord, if it is your will for me to continue to share the good news, please endow me with the gentleness that comes from the assurance of the faith that you have in me to deliver it properly.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

 






 

I can’t get distracted by etymoligies and definitions…

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Statue "Fear of the Lord" by Karin J...

Image via Wikipedia

Gift:  Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.

Reading:  Give us each day our daily bread  (Luke 11:3)

Observation:  I feel like I should see this verse as speaking directly to me today.  I should be asking the Lord to provide for my needs and the needs of my family.  I should not be looking for an alternate meaning for this verse, which is what I did before I came to the conclusion that I should not be doing it.  The research that I did left me with the feeling that the true meaning could not be seen by looking at the origins of the words.

Personification:  Humility (Gentleness) – An inner strength that permits us to be aware of our own abilities without having to make a show of them.  Once again, I am humbled by the awesome power of the Word of God.  It is my desire to be able to display this humility today and for the rest of my life, by listening to the Word from now on, and not always looking for a convenient meaning behind certain words.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to stay true to your Word.  Please continue to help me to accept the truth that is clearly visible when I do not try to over examine your Word.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

Eternal life and living forever are not the same…

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Gift:  Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe)

Reading:  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.  (John 10:28a)

Observation:  It is interesting to me that I would pick this partial verse to journal on today when there are so many other intriguing verses to choose from in today’s readings.  Even the end of this verse, someone could write on that sentence for a whole novel…No one can take them out of my hand…Anyway, I am seeing a difference that is being pointed out in Jesus’ words today that I believe I have journaled on before.  It is the fact that eternal life is not the same as living forever.  If it was, I don’t believe we would see Jesus saying it two different ways.  When Jesus talks in parables, he is clearly not speaking about a real life situation that we could read about in history, but you are left with an idea of what each character or symbol represents on earth.  In this case, Jesus is clearly making a point about two separate ideas, unless he is assuming that the people he is speaking with are morons, which it doesn’t seem like I remember him speaking in that way before.

Personification:  Humility (Gentleness) – An inner strength that permits us to be aware of our own abilities without having to make a show of them.  Today, I am hearing a call to live this eternal life that was given to me as a gift from Jesus Christ.  Also, I am hearing a call to live this eternal life that is full of the fruit of the holy Spirit with the clear knowledge of the fact that when my life on earth is finished, I will not perish.  I am not hearing a call to go prove that I can jump off a bridge, rather a call to live life as a disciple of Jesus to the fullest extent of the ability that he has given me.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to stay humble in my call to proclaim your Word without having to fall into sin to remind me of how worthless I am.  Please keep me from sin and always about your work of bringing the Good News to your world.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.