God is enough…

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Symbol of Christianity, white version.

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Gift:  Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

Reading:  Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”  (Luke 6:38)

Observation:  Although the first reading speaks more to my own experience of faith up to this point in my life, I still felt more called to journal about this verse from the Gospel today.  I attended Mass this morning, and although Father Jaspers gave the homily in Spanish, I heard him re-read this verse, as well as the rest of the Gospel again today, I am pretty sure these verses moved him as well.  It is the simple fact that I am not ashamed of the Gospel that allows me to take this Gospel reading to heart, and I can expect that God will continue to reveal more truth to me, if I continue to proclaim the Good News for his eternal purposes.

Personification:   Generosity  It is difficult to for me to understand other people, and for that reason I think I should not try to understand them and leave that to the God who created them.  My job is to speak the truth in love, and that is what I am going to do.  I don’t know if anyone will understand this as generosity, but I am hearing the call to display the fruit of generosity by being unashamed to deliver the Good News to whoever comes in my path to hear it.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to bring your Good News to more people and especially to my family.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance. (Romans 8:25)

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It contains fragments of the "Epistle to ...
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Gift:  Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

Reading:  I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that sees for itself is not hope. For who hopes for what one sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.  (Romans 8:18,22-25)

Observation:  After reading through the readings this morning, I realized that it is not necessary to comment on them all the time.  Today, especially the first reading from the eighth chapter of the letter to the Romans.  All of what we read the last week in the same letter to the Romans, was leading up to this week’s revelations of truth that Saint Paul is laying down for us.  To me, it is not that last week’s readings were not truth, it was just hard to hear them in the snippets that we got from the readings each day.

Personification:  Faithfulness  It is my hope that I can see through all the things of this world to the truth that comes not only from the Word of God, but also from the sacred tradition that is the church.  It is those two things that sustain my faith in a God that truly wants to have a relationship with me.  Not only as a Father, but also as a friend.

Prayer:  Lord, please help me to remember to be in relationship with you in the good times as well as the bad.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

God only gives gifts to those who ask for them…

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Holy Spirit

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Gift: Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

Reading:  “If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the holy Spirit* to those who ask him?”  (Luke 11:13) 

Observation:  I didn’t choose the title for my blog post today because I want to point out that God is giving me gifts because I asked for them.  Rather, it is my hope to grab the attention of people who come across my blog today and relay the message that I hear in today’s gospel reading.  That is, that in order for a gift to be given, it must first be asked for.  The God of the universe will see how to best grant our request and we, with his grace, will be able to see that we have received what we were asking for.

Personification:  Joy  It is funny that I chose to focus on displaying the fruit of joy as I have to remind my older son for the fifth time to get out the shower and my middle son for the third time to get dressed.  It is difficult to see sometimes how I could be able to be joyful when I have to discipline my children, but it sure does give me some insight into how the God of the universe feels when he has to discipline me.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to be full of joy that comes from following your will today.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

Lifting up holy hands…

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Gentleness (1861), by Jean Marcellin (1821-188...

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Gift: Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

Reading:  * It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.  (1 Timothy 2:8)

Observation:  As I read the readings this morning, I had not said my normal morning prayers due to a break in my normal morning schedule.  After I read the first reading, I realized that I shouldn’t miss my morning routine.  I normally pray with my hands positioned in a way that reflects the posture that identifies the way I feel that I should be addressing God, which is why this verse was such a resounding call to get back to my routine.

Personification: Gentleness  I will try to display the fruit of gentleness to everyone today.  This includes my family.  I know that it is difficult to display gentleness sometimes, but with the grace of God it will be possible to display the fruit of gentleness even in the midst of disciplining my children.

Prayer:  (Saint Francis Prayer)

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen


Jesus, exorcise our demons…Since I guess we don’t have an exorcist here :(

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the Stainned Gless of depicting the Holy Spirit.
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Gift:  Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

Reading:  At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him. He laid his hands on each of them and cured them.  And demons also came out from many, shouting, “You are the Son of God.” But he rebuked them and did not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Messiah.  (Luke 4:40-41)

Observation:  It is clear to me today that the gospel is saying that the people cured from disease are separate from the people who were possessed by demons.  Therefore, the old explanation of  the people of God during the time of Jesus’ incarnation, would have assumed that people with certain diseases were possessed and when he cured them they would assume he exorcised their demon, is rendered a lie by this gospel.  The truth is, the gospel reveals that their were people who were possessed by evil spirits and these demons knew Jesus, and called him by name when he kicked them out of their host.

Personification:  Self-Control  It will be my focus today to continue to pray without ceasing to make sure that I am focus on God’s will today and not my own.  Today, displaying the fruit of self-control will consist of my keeping my thoughts to myself about our Mass this morning and allowing the holy Spirit to reveal the truth to those who need to hear it.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to be faithful to you at all times.  Please keep your praises ever on my lips and keep me from being selfish today.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

The point of all the discipline…At least for me!

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St John and St Bartholomew

St John and St Bartholomew

Gift: Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

Reading:  Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true Israelite.* There is no duplicity in him.”  (John 1:47)

Observation:  I heard in this Gospel reading for today’s Mass readings that Jesus knew Nathanael’s character and obedience to the will of the Father, before he even met him.  I feel like Jesus knows my character and lack of obedience just as well as he knew Nathanael.  Therefore, instead of being automatically seen for the faithful disciple that he knew that Nathanael would be in Saint Bartholomew, Jesus sees me as a broken vessel, it is up to me to make sure that I am doing everything that I can to discipline my life so he can see that I know what I am and how much I need the grace of God to be his disciple.

Personification: Self-Control  It is up to me to be able to display the fruit of self-control, but I know that there has been duplicity in me in the past.  I know that with the grace of God going before me at all times, I can continue to display the fruit of self-control and give further proof to the saving power of God in his Son.

Prayer:  Lord, keep me focused on you at all times.  Please help me to understand the ways in which I have gone astray in the past and have mercy on me.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

If it is possible to be tormented by a demon, it is possible to be healed!

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Faith, Hope and Charity

Gift: Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

Reading: Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.   (Matthew 15:28)

Observation:  After journaling on this same Gospel reading sometime in the last two weeks, I have added a prayer to my morning prayers.  It struck me when reading this reading again this morning that if by the woman’s great faith, her daughter could be healed.  Then, by my faith in the same God and healing power that he bestows on us through his angels, I must believe that I too am healed of my affliction from the demon.

Personification:  Patience  It will be my intention to act with faithfulness, but to do so with the fruit of patience.  I am waiting on the Lord to show me how to serve him, not waiting on Him to serve me.  I hope that my faith can someday be like the woman’s in the Gospel story today.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to have faith in you alone and allow me to pass this faith to my children.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

“A paradox is a truth standing on it’s head to attract attention to itself.” – GK Chesterton

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Sower - Thorns

Gift:  Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

Reading:  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 21  (Matthew 16:25)

Observation:  Last Friday, I received a flyer about a t-shirt company called “Paradox”.  It was one flyer of about 20 that I received when our group checked in to the Steubenville San Diego Youth Conference.  The quote that I used for my title today was written on this flyer.  It also said, “To live we must die.  For freedom we must surrender.  To receive we must give.  Our faith is a paradox.”  I used this to guide my reflection at our communion service, as well as a reflection from a prayer-book called, “Give us this day”  that talked about how we are chosen.

Personification:  Gentleness  It is my hope that God will provide the grace necessary for me to display the fruit of gentleness to everyone that I meet or talk to on the phone today.

Prayer:  Lord, give me the ability to see your will in every meeting with your children of God today and everyday for the rest of my life.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

What do I have left to sell?

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portrait of Matthew Evangelist and the first p...

Matthew Evangelist and his Gospel

Gift: Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

Reading:  When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.  (Matthew 13:46)

Observation:  Immediately after I wrote the title for my journal this morning, the thought occurred to me that maybe it is not about selling anything anymore for those of us that work for the church.  We have already accepted the servant mentality, so now it is about the final words of this verse that I chose from the Gospel reading for today’s Mass.  I need to not look for ways to sell what I have left, I need to look for ways to completely buy in to the Good News that our holy Mother Church is selling.  I will never see what I have left to give up, until I am completely aware of the cost of what I am buying.

Personification: Patience  I will focus today on the fruit of patience that comes from the grace that I will receive in the Sacrament of the Eucharist today.  I will look for how the Lord is revealing the truth of my path to fully accepting my call to be a servant in the church.  God has shown me time and time again that my family will be taken care of, and now I have to be willing to show him that I will be faithful to his call.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to be the man who you have made me to be and keep me from sin.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

The laborers have been sent…Don’t stop praying…We need more…

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St. Maria Parish Church, Sehnde, Holy Mass

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Gift:  Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

Reading:  Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”  (Matthew 9:37-38)

Observation:  As I read the end of the gospel reading for today’s Mass readings this morning, I was struck by the fact that our church is a recipient of one of the newer laborers.  I’d like to say that it was because of all of our prayers that we said as I led our communion services about sending out laborers for the harvest, but it is more likely because the God of the universe knows that we need a new sense of urgency in our evangelism in our church.  I am sure the prayers did not hurt, and for that reason I am thankful to God for hearing our prayers.

Personification:  Faithfulness  It is for the reason that I stated above about the answer to our prayers, that I will put on display the fruit of faithfulness today.  I will display this fruit by continuing to pray that the master of the harvest continue to send out more laborers for the harvest.

Prayer:  Lord, I ask that you continue to send out more laborers for the harvest and you continue to form me in your ways, so that I can be ready to follow your will for my life, when you call.  Thank you for the answer to my prayer, and I am sorry for not always living up to the potential that you know I can.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.