Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Have you ever had a dry spell in your faith? I am there. Maybe it is just the dog days of August. Maybe it is back to work time and I don't feel like doing the job. But, it is time to buck up and pray, write blogs, and do God's work. Starting tomorrow?
Nah, as St. Augustine has said, Give me chastity but not yet! I am in that mode now, but with God's help hopefully I can kick things in gear.
Dear Lord, help me out of my funk and into brighter pastures of faith.
I promise to try to get things back on track.
Friday, August 03, 2012
In my demented mind, on of my favorite movies is Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I love the scene of "Bring Out Your Dead" where a man pulls a cart through a village and dead are placed upon it. During the scene a person who is alive is placed on the cart and his lines are:
"I'm not dead yet." "I'm feeling much better" "I think I'll go for a walk"
Unfortunately, this poor soul is whacked on the head and dies.
As you may tell the spirit is moving me to write not much of Catholic substance today but, I ran across an interesting article about the catacombs of Paris.
The remains of over 6 million people are found in the catacombs and peopled labeled as "cataphiles" go into these tunnels and find relaxation. Some party. They find a freedom in this different surrounding to "reinvent" themselves. Perhaps it invigorates as we are reminded of our finite time on Earth. I sent out an email to my co-workers with a story about a teacher who lost her husband and what she told her students:
'So I would like you all to make me a promise. From now on, on your way to school, or on your way home, find something beautiful to notice. *
*It doesn't have to be something you see, it could be a scent, perhaps of freshly baked bread wafting out of someone's house, or it could be the sound of the breeze slightly rustling the leaves in the trees, or the way the morning light catches one autumn leaf as it falls gently to the ground. Please look for these things, and cherish them. For, although it may sound trite to some, these things are the "stuff" of life. The little things we are put here on earth to enjoy. The things we often take for granted.*
Perhaps a trip to the catacombs, cemetery, or mausoleum is a good reminder to find something beautiful to notice everyday. Or maybe these skulls are beautiful?
Prayer: Dear Lord, in your design you make our days on Earth numbered. Let us appreciate the beauty of your creation each day in matter, people and living things.
Promise: I promise to take some time to notice your creations and praise you.
Praise: Glory and Praise to you Lord for our dead and their peaceful resting places.
Thursday, August 02, 2012
Like the potter if there is an imperfection he collapses the clay and starts over again. I think this is the same thing with God. There are ebbs and tides in our formation and times where if we drift off course enough we get stuck in the tide and get beached. But, then the water rushes back in so we can get formed again.
However, if we refuse to get formed then the result is what Jesus explained in Matthew 13:47-53 where the good fish are accepted and the bad fish thrown away. It is hard to believe that God who is loving and good would throw us away since we are his creation. I thing God gives us unlimited chances to be formed. It is a matter of whether we decide to be a good fish in the net or one that is casted away.
Here is a good website that supports the Potter's Wheel. http://www.debwebonline.com/Mercy_in_Jesus/potter.html
Pray: Dear Lord, help us to realize that you are in control of our lives and you are the one who forms us to be ready for our entrance into your kingdom. Please form us and let us accept you as the director of our path in life.
Promise: I promise to pray daily for my formation.
Praise: Thank you Lord for making us like clay, so you can form our souls toward eternal glory.
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
"You have indeed become for me a treacherous brook,
whose waters do not abide! Jeremiah 15:18"
Jeremiah is lamenting here for God has given him his earthly task and all is terrible in his world. Sometimes God gives us tasks we do not like or situations in life we do not understand. But, as Jeremiah is lamenting in this passage it is okay for us to lament as well. However, Jeremiah followed through on his task for it was God's will. We need to do that as well.
Things don't always go as planned. I think that is whey the Olympics are such a popular sporting event. Everyone knows that hard work that is put in by these athletes(especially the swimmers, gymnasts, track and field participants, etc.) In sport their is often injuries, miscalculations or the misjudging of the competition that results in losing in an event. For instance, Michael Phelps, now perhaps the greatest Olympian ever, lost in the 200 Butterfly because he glided to the finish while his opponent took a stroke into the wall. That brief period of time was the difference between Gold and Silver. Jordyn Wieber, the reigning World Champion gymnast did not qualify for the all around as she was outscored by her teammate.
However, God is good and both of these athletes won Gold in thier team related events last night. Just as Jeremiah won Gold in the kingdom of heaven for all of his dread that he had to experience while being persecuted for prophesizing the fall and exile of Jeruselem.
Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank you for our trials and tribulations in this life. What doesn't kill us does make us stronger and closer to you. The struggle is part of the journey and things often do not go our way. That is not your intention for you love us. But, in the world we need your help to help us through these times. Thank you for being that guiding light of peace. Amen.
Promise: I promise to follow God's will and plan for he created me and it is my job to serve on his behalf on this Earth.
Praise: Thanks to Jeremiah who models to us that it is okay to complain a little to God when we are down and in need of his love.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
"When you turn back to him with all your heart, to do what is right before him, Then he will turn back to you, and no longer hide his face from you. So now consider what he has done for you, and praise him with full voice. Bless the Lord of righteousness, and exalt the King of the ages. In the land of my exile I praise him, and show his power and majesty to a sinful nation. "Turn back, you sinners! do the right before him: perhaps he may look with favor upon you and show you mercy." Tobit 13:6
This was in the Lauds for today in the the second antiphon. It has the preface of "God afflicts but only to heal."
We all put up barriers to God at one point or another and that makes it difficult for him to work through us. Each of us has conversions. Many in our lifetime. Today's Saint is St. Ignatius. His conversions were many and found through intense prayer. His spiritual exercises help us turn back to God with all of our hearts and to do what is right before him.
Prayer: Dear Lord help us all to tear down our walls and barriers and open them up to you so you can do your will upon us and show us the way to your mercy and plan for us in our life.
Promise: I promise to let God form me to do his will.
Praise: I praise all of those involved in ministry for their donation of their time, efforts, and their caring attitude for the betterment of all people.
Monday, July 30, 2012
Today's readings state the challenges of getting into heaven. In Judah the people were misbehaving and not worshipping God, but turning to idols and foul behavior. Jeremiah was given by God a "parable by demonstration" with the loin cloth in terms of the fate of Judah and Jeruselem. The loin cloth Jeremiah was told to hide had rotten just like Judah. In the Gospel from Matthew the parables of faith like a mustard seed and the kingdom of heaven is like yeast are introduced by Jesus. Both are very small items that turn great. Faith is like that as well where a small amount of faith can turn into something great.
Dear Lord, please recognize the faith of your people in it's quality and not it's quanitity. May a person of little faith gain the grace of salvation into your kingdom of heaven. We ask this through Christ Our Lord.
I promise to encourage people to have faith in God through Jesus Christ.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?"
And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said,
"Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father
is my brother, and sister, and mother." Matthew 12:48-50
Is Jesus disowning his mother or just making a point? I think he is definitely making a point on this one. But, once again he is saying that you have to be "all in" to play Texas Hold Em' at God's table. He knew his disciples were all in (except one). Are you all in?
Is seems to be a challenging trait in today's society. That is Loyalty. Marriages are only sustaining at less than 50 percent. People are upward mobile in their jobs and often leave for the greater pay or prestige. People continuously question lawmakers, law providers, etc. It seems that a lot of people are stabbing backs in our world as well. It is greatly a I, Me, Mine, society. Here, Jesus is asking us to be his brother or sister(Mother). To join is to reach out to him and believe. Have faith. It seems practical, it seems easy. But, life gets in the way and brings doubt when bad things happen. I am sure it is hard for people who lost loved ones in Aurora to fully join the Jesus team. But, we hope that all those who are fighting those types of battles will turn to him and ask for the honor to be his brother or Mother.
Dear Lord, Please help me be "all in" for Christ in every situation and help others as well. It is hard sometimes to give it your all but, we know the grace and gifts are more than we can imagine.
I promise to be "all in" for Jesus Christ.