You can tell the future…

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Corcovado jesus

Corcovado jesus (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Gift: Understanding – With the gift of understanding, we comprehend how we need to live as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with understanding is not confused by all the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live.

Reading: Amos answered Amaziah, “I am not a prophet,* nor do I belong to a company of prophets. I am a herdsman and a dresser of sycamores, but the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’  (Amos 7:14-15)

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When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe and glorified God who had given such authority to human beings.  (Matthew 9:8)

Observation:  As it says in the footnotes for the 8th verse of this Gospel reading from the Mass for 7/5/12, Matthew was saying this about man’s authority, because it was being challenged in his time in his church.  It is true that we are still having the authority challenged today in the church.  I submit, after reading the readings yesterday, especially these two verses listed above, and watching the reflection from the bishop’s website, I am the problem.  Not just me, but you as well.  If we are called to imitate Christ in our daily lives, why are we not telling the future like he did.  I am not talking about looking into a crystal ball or anything like that, but rather listening to the holy Spirit and telling people what God has revealed to us after discerning that the message came from him by making sure it aligns with what Jesus said in scripture.
Personification:  Patience  In order to focus on displaying the fruit of patience in my life today, I will remember to be patient with myself first, and patience for others will flow from the fact that I don’t lose it on myself.  The truth is, I am not perfect,  but Jesus is, and he makes up the difference for me when I can’t be perfect.
Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.  Thank you for the free gift of grace that allows me to see the world through your eyes, and help me to continue to see it only through your eyes.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

The devil is the father of lies, even the ones we tell ourselves!

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This is what he wants us to look like...

This is what he wants us to look like…

Gift: Fear of the Lord (Wonder and awe)

Reading: Whoever sins belongs to the Devil,
because the Devil has sinned from the beginning.
Indeed, the Son of God was revealed to destroy the works of the Devil. (1 John 3:8)

Observation: This morning, I woke up to my son telling me about a nightmare that he had last night. I ended our discussion in the same way most nightmare discussions end with my children, and that is with telling him that the only fear he should have while he is awake is a fear of the Lord. I also shared this reading with my two older boys this morning and we prayed the Saint Michael the Archangel prayer together. To me, this reading is a great reminder of who the devil is in our world and that we have to remember that Jesus has destroyed his works before, but he cannot stop us from conspiring with him in the future. It must be our free will choice to decide to not believe his lies, so we can more aligned with the truth that comes from God.

Personification: Self-Control  Why is it that we are afraid to say the name of the devil. The power he has is given to him by our decision to agree with him. The only name that has power on its own is Jesus. I will try to remember the scripture that is referenced in this reading. In John 8:44, Jesus says, “You belong to the father the devil and you willingly carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Prayer:  Lord, thank you for revealing the truth of who the devil is and continue to help me see your truth in our world and not accept the lies that come from the father of lies. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

This is how God see us...

This is how God see us…

Remember the miracles to strengthen your faith in the Word of God…

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My son showing his displeasure at the site of PP building...

Scripture: Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the Scripture and the word Jesus had spoken. (John 2:22)

Observation: In order to believe the scriptures and the Word that Jesus has spoken, God has revealed himself to us through miracles. If not directly interceding in our lives in a way that is unmistakably a miracle, God’s plan of salvation for the world is a miracle that we are watching play out before our eyes. Unlike the disciples, we have over 2000 years of salvation history to help show us the way to the truth. After all this time, it is still Jesus calling us to follow him.

Application: I will try to stand up to all the wrongs that I see in my world today, and try to allow others to see Jesus through me today. I don’t imagine I will see people selling things in front of the temple today, but I won’t be afraid to overturn the tables if I do.

Prayer:Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit. Amen!

Sorry, if yesterday’s post sounded judgmental…

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Groom, Texas

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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:   Therefore, you are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment.* For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the very same things.  (Romans 2:1)

Observation:  It was not my intention to pass judgment on anyone with yesterdays post.  I hope it was not taken that way.  The reading was leading me to post that video and I know that the music would speak directly to someone that I tagged with it, but I did not mean to accuse him of any wrong doing.  At least, not anymore than I would accuse myself of, especially in the light of today’s reading from the continuation of the letter to the Romans.  I am, by no means, free from sin, and therefore not qualified to judge anyone, and I hope no one took my post from yesterday as an indictment against anyone.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.  Amen!

 

Don’t worry…

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I went to Saint Mary Catholic Church for Mass this morning…Father Maro was presiding…It was great, and his homily was perfect for me…He talked about how we should see Jesus saying in the gospel reading for today’s Mass that not only should we not worry, but we should keep working hard.  I know that God will surely see me through whatever temporary difficulty I may be having!

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. Amen.

Who can accept these words? I hope everyone does…

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Gift: Fortitude (Courage) – With the gift of courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risk as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death.

Reading:  I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness.  (John 12:46)

Observation:  It struck me this morning that for many years, I have remained in darkness.  Even though I have seen the light, I have chosen to remain in my own personal darkness.  This verse from the gospel reading for today’s Mass is saying, in the words of our Savior, that he came to deliver us from that darkness.  It has always been hard to hear this verse in the past, because I know I am going to sin again.  How can I accept that Jesus came to be the light that brings me out of darkness, when I always choose to return to it?

Personification: Peace  It is only by displaying the fruit of peace in my life that I can be sure that I am content with the gifts that God has given me.  If I let myself be overcome with anxiety about any particular situation or circumstance, I will be choosing to allow the darkness to come back in to my life.  It is only by choosing to live out the grace that comes from God’s peace that will keep my focus on the light of Christ.

Prayer:  Lord, keep my focus on you and the eternal life that you have planned for me.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

He is the most high God…Amen!

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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 makes known the past and the future, and reveals the deepest secrets.  No understanding does he lack; no single thing escapes him.  All of them differ, one from another, yet none of them has he made in vain, For each in turn, as it comes, is good; can one ever see enough of their splendor?  (Sirach 42:19-20,25)

Observation:  I was reading this morning and I took a break to do the 3 minute retreat on the Loyola Press website.  I got a chance to talk to my sister on the phone just after that and then realized that my son had forgotten his cell phone, so I drove to take it to him.  After I returned, I realized that it was time to get ready, if I was going to make it to Mass at 8:30am.  I dropped off my son, who is in 3rd grade at school and then made it to Mass, just in time for the reading of the gospel at 8:36am.  What I got from the homily this morning was that our pastor recommended that we look at the first reading and decide how it best applies to our experience.  He did mention the healing of the blind Bartimaeus, of course, but my takeaway was the fact that I needed to read the first reading again and decide how this reading applied to my life.

Personification:  Faithfulness  I would hope that I could take to heart the verses that came to me from the first reading today and display the fruit of faithfulness in my life.  The first verse was specifically chosen because of my dream last night, but the other two are more meant for the statement of my belief that God is all-powerful in my life and I have complete faith that the work that he began in me, he will see through to its completion.

Prayer:  Lord, allow me to continue to see the direction that you are taking my life and remind me of your almighty power to work miracles in my life.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

My faith has been so marginalized, have I lost sight of his mission?

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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:  Now since the children share in blood and flesh, he likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life. (Hebrews 2:14-15)

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So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.  (Mark 1:39)

Observation:  After reading the readings for Mass this morning, I was left with a sincere feeling that God is telling me that there is nothing to fear from the power of the devil.  Jesus came down from heaven to take away all of his power.  Whatever happens in the future should not be my concern, because in the moment I know that God has given me the power over evil by sending his Son as an expiation for my sins.  If I could only keep that in mind, I would not allow my faith to be marginalized and I would not lose sight of his mission for me.

Personification:  Self-Control  It will not just be my intention today to act with the fruit of self-control in my life, I will do it with the power of the holy Spirit and the will of the Father backing me up with Jesus being the example of what is possible with complete reliance on God.  Acting with self-control should be like breathing if I remember to rely on the grace that comes from God and nothing that comes from this world.

Prayer:   Lord, help me to see that path to righteousness that follows your Son.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.






A moment with God and Chad this morning…

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Wadi Rum, the "Seven Pillars of Wisdom&qu...

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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: 5 I am writing to you, children, because your sins have been forgiven for his name’s sake. 6

I am writing to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.

I am writing to you, young men,
because you have conquered the Evil One.

I write to you, children,
because you know the Father.

I write to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.

I write to you, young men,
because you are strong and the word of God remains in you,
and you have conquered the Evil One.

Do not love the world or the things of the world.
If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world,
sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life,
is not from the Father but is from the world.
Yet the world and its enticement are passing away.
But whoever does the will of God remains forever.

Observation:  I awoke this morning to my oldest child retelling me a nightmare that he had last night.  It involved him seeing God say “Hi” to him and then he didn’t see him anymore and a lot of test tubes.  I struggled with how I would explain the dream to him and asked him why he was so afraid.  I told him to remember what our Pastor said a couple of weeks ago, which was that his favorite phrase from the Word of God is “Do not be afraid.”  He said he wanted to stay with me as I journaled, so I went and made my coffee, said my morning prayers and then sat down to journal in his room.  I asked him if I could read the first reading to him out loud and he consented.  I don’t know if I need to say this or not, but I was blown away by what the God revealed to us in the first reading today.  After reading the gospel reading to him, he asked how they got the stories from the Bible, and I explained that when something miraculous or important happens in your life, you remember it.  I told him it was like what happened to him this morning, by the Word of God speaking directly to his situation, it would be something he would remember and then tell the story later.  If the story was profound enough, like the stories about Jesus’ life, someone would eventually write them down and they could be retold for centuries to come.  Hmmm!

Personification:  Gentleness  It is only by displaying the fruit of gentleness that I can get through to my children or anyone for that matter.  Thanks be to God that he graces me with the restraint to keep me from reacting to every situation the way that the world would have me react, and for being there to explain things the way that only you can.

Prayer:  Thank you Lord for being there to provide for me and my family, not just your Word but everything we have and everything that you are creating us to be.  In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

How can I be like Saint John?

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Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

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Gift:  Piety (Of course, it is about Saint John!)

Reading:  We are writing this so that our joy may be complete.  (1 John 1:4)

Observation:  The first reading begins with the realization of the fact that the apostles were witnesses to the incarnation.  Rather than lamenting about how I was not there, I chose to fous on how I could enjoy the same relationship Saint John had with Jesus.  If I stay close to Jesus in the Word and continue to receive him in the Eucharist, I can be just as close to him as John was, at least mentally.  I will rely on the grace of God to spiritually bring me close to Him. 

Personification:  Joy  I would hope that my joy is coming through in my writing about the way the word is impacting my life.  It is only by staying faithful to the Word in my journaling and staying connected to my community that I stay close to Jesus.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.  Lord, send down your Spirit to keep me from temptation.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.