++++++++++++++++++++God's timing is not our timing, but He is never late.++++++++++++++++++++

Layers - in the knowledge of God and the path to holiness

Learning about God is like unwrapping a head of lettuce, pealing back one leaf at a time. Always there is another leaf below. We will eventually reach the center of the head of lettuce; but we will never unwrap everthing there is to know about God.

The path to holiness is like pealing an onion. God shows us what is sinful and convicts us that we have sinned. No matter how sweet the onion, there are always tears in the peeling. No matter how sweet the grace of repentence, there are always the pain of letting go of the sin. As the peeling of the onion reveals another layer, so God shows us what we lack in holiness, drawing us ever closer to "be(ing) perfect even just as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:48




What I Believe

Why I am and always will be a Catholic. "So Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. Tthe living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever." John 6:53-58 The words and actions of man cannot sanctify. Only the priest, empowered by his ordination, can invoke the Holy Spirit to transform the bread and wine into Jesus so we can receive Him - Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity into our bodies and souls. This is the core of the Catholic Church; without this there is no purpose or meaning to the Catholic Church. There are other ways to holiness, to grow in grace; there is no better way than union with Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

Visitation Catholic Church

Visitation Catholic Church

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Union

"God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him." 1 John 4:16b

Is what John said possible? How can a person have such a relationship with God? When one is baptized, one becomes a member of God's family, an adopted child of God (since original sin separated us from God). Jesus died to make this possible; to make right what Adam and Eve had destroyed in disobedience. So, in baptism we become a children of God. But is that all? We read the Scripture and learn of God's love for us and learn to celebrate the new life God has made possible for us. But is that all? We learn to pray, to communicate with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We know about God through the Scripture, and we begin to know God through prayer - to have a relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But is that all? No, Jesus made it possible to have union with God, something much deeper. Jesus said, "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him." John 6:56 Jesus made this possible in the Last Supper and through His sacrifice on the cross and with His command to do it; a celebration of the New Covenant sealed with His Blood. In eating the Lamb of the New Covenant, we are able to have the union Jesus spoke of in John 6 - much more than a relationship - union with the Word, Jesus, Himself.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Take My Hand

Take my hand - come walk with me
Along life's winding way.
Take my hand - come stand with me
Together we will say:

It's you that I have chosen;
It's you with whom I'll stay.
It's you with whom I'll share my Life,
I want no other way.

I want you always my by side
Through laughter and through tears.
The good - the bad - we'll share it all
Through all the coming years.

Because I want this union
To continue to be blessed,
I pray we both will care enough
to always give our best.

I know that if we do our best,
Then when our journey ends,
We'll find that we've come through it all
Still lovers...ever friends.

Dick Johnson, 1980
Rhymes for Reasons

Monday, November 2, 2009

This Is My Body youtube video

Every time I have seen this I am so moved.

From the video site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCmLmZDpB4I


"This is My Body" was inspired through a conversation that Fr. Pavone had with Dana about the comparison between the words "This is My Body" as used by Jesus to give us eternal life, and as used by abortion supporters to defend the taking of life. Fr. Pavone gave Dana the brochure that he had written about this comparison, and suggested that a song should be written to convey this powerful message. Within a few hours, Dana called him back and said that she had the song basically written! After subsequent meetings and sitting together at the piano, Fr. Frank and Dana were satisfied that the finished product would inspire pro-life people worldwide.

In the song, Dana plays the role of a woman who has had an abortion. Gretchen (
Harris) sings as a woman who believes in the "right to choose." And Mark (Girardin) plays the role of Jesus, who teaches us to sacrifice ourselves for others. They each do this using the same words, "This is My Body."

Friday, August 7, 2009

Growth

I see myself as an integrated person not as a fractured being of false selves and true self hidden deep within. What I am today is not what I’ll be tomorrow. As a person grows physically from conception, so I grow spiritually from the time of my baptism. A person can have setbacks in physical growth because of accident, illness or maltreatment. So, too, I have had setbacks in my spiritual growth due to sin, fear, ego and rejection of God. With each infusion of God’s grace I accept, I am changed from the person I was before. God is nurturing my soul with His love until that love dominates. “Perfect love cast out all fear.” 1 John 4:18 I am not casting off false personas as much as I am growing into the person God intended for me to be when He created me. The clay that I am is sometimes kneaded, sometimes formed, sometimes punched and, yes, sometimes pinched off. A child, as he grows, learns to do things physically that me once thought impossible. So, too, as I grow in God’s love, God is teaching me to be in way I thought no possible. “All things are possible for God.” Mark10:27

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sunday Mass

Why do we need to go to Mass on Sundays (and holy days)? Why can’t it be our own personal choice to go or not to go as we feel? The commandment is to keep holy the Sabbath. In the early Church the Christians went to the synagogue for the reading of Scripture and then gathered on Sunday, the Lord’s Day of Resurrection, for the “breading of the bread.” This was the term they used for what we call the Mass. After 70 A.D. the Christians no longer were allowed in the synagogues and the readings of Scripture were united with the “breaking of the bread.” Early writings describe proceedings which are very similar to what the Mass is today. Why the command to go to Mass? It is a Church command which, under its power to loose and bind, The Church deems necessary for the salvation of our souls. Why necessary? God does not need us to worship Him. He is complete in Himself. Man needs to worship God. To worship God gives acknowledgment that we are not of our own making, that we cannot live on our own, that we need God’s help in all facets of our lives and that we know that god is the One who supplies all that is good to us. Why specifically the Mass? The Mass is the offering of Jesus on Calvary to the Father. What could be better? A prayer in bed? A song of praise in the wilderness? Beyond the worship of God that man as a creature needs to give, the Mass is the primary source of our sanctification. What could sanctify us more than Jesus Himself in the Eucharist? There is usually a place to go to Mass wherever we are. To put our plans first is willfully putting ourselves first, before God, making an idol of ourselves, leading to an eternity without God.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Footprints-another version

Imagine going to heaven and standing by God as He lovingly shows you the calendar of His plan for your earthly life. It begins with the day you were born. Once you received Christ as Savior, every day that follows is outlined in red. You see footprints walking through each day of each week of your life. On many of the days, two sets of footprints appear. You inquire, "Father, are those my footprints on the calendar every day and is the second set of prints when You joined me?"
He answers, "No, My precious child. The consistent footprints on your calendar are Mine. The second set of footprints are when you joined Me."
"Where were You going, Father?"
"To the destiny I planned for you, hoping you'd follow."
"But Father, where were my footprints all those times?"
He answers, "Sometimes you went back to look at old resentments and habits while I was still going forward, hoping you'd join me. Sometimes you departed from My path and chose your own calendar instead. Other times your footprints can even be seen on another person's calendar because you thought you liked their plan better. At other times you simply stopped because you would not let go of something you could not take the next day."
"But Father, we ended up OK even if I didn't walk with You every day, didn't we?"
He holds you close and smiles, "Yes, My child, we ended up OK. But, you see, OK was never what I had in mind for you."
"Father, what are those golden treasure boxes on certain days?"
"Blessings, My child, I had for you along the way. Those that are open are those you received. Those still closed were days you did not walk with Me."

Isolation

I have heard of a couple of people suffering physically and emotionally in the past few days.
I started thinking of what physical or emotional pain does to us. It isolates us. We want to withdraw into ourselves, be left alone. We even tell God to go away, to leave us alone. Yet, the opposite is what we need. When we are with people, the pain IS less. With God the difference is even greater. If it is good for us, God will heal us. However, if it is better for us, God gives us the means to endure the pain. As much as I don't like to think that it is God's will that I suffer, I have to acknowledge that God knows what I need better than I do. Job couldn't understand God; why should I be able to understand? I have to think if maybe something in my life needs correcting. If not that, then what? Something in the future that I may be called to do that God is now preparing me for. Our choice when we suffer is whether to walk with God or to walk alone.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Psalm 23 as interpreted by Leslie Brandt

"The Lord is my constant companion.
There is no need that He cannot fulfill.
Whether His course for me points to the mountaintops
of glorious ecstasy or to the valleys of human suffering,
He is by my side,
He is ever present with me.
He is close beside me when I tread the dark streets of danger,
and even when I flirt with death itself,
He will not leave me.
When the pain is severe,
He is near to comfort.
When the burden is heavy,
He is there to lean upon.
He touches me with eternal joy.
When I feel empty and alone,
He fills the aching vacuum with His power.
My security is in His promise to be near to me always,
and in the knowledge that He will never let me go."

Psalm 23, as interpreted by Leslie Brandt in Psalms/Now (Concordia,
1973), p.38.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Lent

I have always thought of Lent as a time of discipline, a time to give up something to help me resist a later temptation. I have started to think of Lent as a time to also give up thought, attitudes or feelings that are opposed to the will of God. I am thinking of a resentment that has been long for too long of a time. God is asking me thins Lent to give it up. If I give it up every day for 40 days, by the day of Easter, with God’s grace, it will be gone for good and my soul will be healthier for it.

Ash Wednesday

“Remember man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shall return.”

Ash Wednesday is a day when the Church collectively recognizes its condition as a sinful people (for those here on earth) journeying to God. It is a day to remember as a people that material things here on earth have no lasting value. It is a day for the Church as a whole to redirect itself towards God. People can do this as individuals; but we are not solely individuals in our relationship to God. Jesus pointed that out when He spoke of the vine and the branches. Paul spoke of us as members of a body with Jesus as the head. So, collectively the Church worships, the Church ministers, the Church repents. To do something as a group helps to anchor those of us who approach God unsteadily. The prayers of those gathered embrace us and uplift us. They encourage us to follow the right path. ‘Wherever two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there.” Matthew 18:20 Today in the midst of a materialistic culture, we need reminding that our focus ought to be on the spiritual rather than the physical. The body does need as much attention as the soul. It is the indulgence of the body that the Church looks at on Ash Wednesday and the succeeding days of Lent. Its message is to rather indulge the needs of the soul than the needs of the body, for the soul is what binds us to God. All that is physical is naught until our bodily resurrection at the end of time and we do not know what that entails. How filled our soul is with grace will determine the depth of our beatific vision of God, our heavenly reward.

Living God’s Will

“…I am now once taking this opportunity to exhort you to live in harmony with the mind of God.” Ignatius in his Epistle to the Ephesians c105 A.D.

What a beautiful way to express it. Today we have WWJD - what would Jesus do? Ignatius does not tell us to ask ourselves questions before we take action, but rather to direct our lives so to be in step with God always. His words are peaceful, flowing, continuing. WWJD suggests an existing disharmony, that we would have to ask ourselves in a situation what would be right. If we were ‘living in harmony with the mind of God,’ we wouldn’t need to ask WWJD. We would know; it would be part of our being. The question would become “Why would we not do what Jesus would.” Instead of having to stop and think about what was the right thing to do, our actions would come as natural as taking a breath. Mother Teresa did not ask if it was right to minister to the dying or what the advantages to her would be; she just did it because she ‘lived in harmony with the mind of God.’ We tend to live most of our hours without thinking of God, without considering what God wants us to do, how God wants us to live. Usually we think of God when there is a problem-WWJD. (The image of Gomer Pyle always trying to adjust his step while marching comes to mind.) To live in harmony with the mind of God - a description of sainthood - a description of where we ought to be spiritually.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Imagine the Potential!

Isolation


I started thinking of what physical or emotional pain does to us. It isolates us. We want to withdraw into ourselves, be left alone. We even tell God to go away, to leave us alone. Yet, the opposite is what we need. When we are with people, the pain IS less. With God the difference is even greater. If it is good for us, God will heal us. However, if it is better for us, God gives us the means to endure the pain. As much as I don't like to think that it is God's will that I suffer, I have to acknowledge that God knows what I need better than I do. Job couldn't understand God; why should I be able to understand? I have to think if maybe something in my life needs correcting. If not that, then what? Something in the future that I may be called to do that God is now preparing me for. Our choice when we suffer is whether to walk with God or to walk alone.

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Another version of footprints
Imagine going to heaven and standing by God as He lovingly shows you the calendar of His plan for your earthly life. It begins with the day you were born. Once you received Christ as Savior, every day that follows is outlined in red. You see footprints walking through each day of each week of your life. On many of the days, two sets of footprints appear. You inquire, "Father, are those my footprints on the calendar every day and is the second set of prints when You joined me?"
He answers, "No, My precious child. The consistent footprints on your calendar are Mine. The second set of footprints are when you joined Me."
"Where were You going, Father?"
"To the destiny I planned for you, hoping you'd follow."
"But Father, where were my footprints all those times?"
He answers, "Sometimes you went back to look at old resentments and habits while I was still going forward, hoping you'd join me. Sometimes you departed from My path and chose your own calendar instead. Other times your footprints can even be seen on another person's calendar because you thought you liked their plan better. At other times you simply stopped because you would not let go of something you could not take the next day."
"But Father, we ended up OK even if I didn't walk with You every day, didn't we?"
He holds you close and smiles, "Yes, My child, we ended up OK. But, you see, OK was never what I had in mind for you."
"Father, what are those golden treasure boxes on certain days?"
"Blessings, My child, I had for you along the way. Those that are open are those you received. Those still closed were days you did not walk with Me."

Friday, January 16, 2009

Andies Isle

I am still exploring this beautiful link.

http://www.andiesisle.com/index.html

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Road to Heaven

Imagine life as a highway. Our starting point is at our conception; the ending point at our death is our ultimate destination for eternity. Our goal for our destination is heaven. This road curves and goes over bumps and hills. Sometimes we can see where we are going for miles. Other times the road curves so often that we don’t know from moment to moment where we are. The constant on this road is the white line down the center. That line is Jesus. As long as we stay close to that line we will be okay, and we know that no matter what happens to us on that road we will be okay. Since we are not perfect, though, we do not travel straight. Sometimes, we wander all over the road, and sometimes we leave the road. We can even lose sight of our destination, thinking another destination is better. This is the result when we sin. Our travel becomes erratic, and we may even leave the road. God has provided aides for us. Confession is our steering wheel putting us back next to the center line of Jesus. His laws and commandments are rumble strips telling us we are leaving the road. Even when we leave the road completely to travel in the opposite direction, there are bright lights, the Church and its saints, along the road showing where to head to get back on. Other aides God has provided for us are the Eucharist for nourishment along the way, the Bible for those who need more than to simply trust God to get them there, and sometimes the people who tell us ‘no’ are acting as curbs so we don’t stray off the road. God may even let us go into a ditch, for those of us who need to bottom out first before listening to Him. Whatever we are in need of, God will make it available to us.