++++++++++++++++++++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

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.