Monday, July 27, 2009
We all have busy lives. We know it is important to make time for God, or you wouldn't be reading this blog. It is difficult, though. Put a check by the one or two that you find the most difficult. Now read the scripture next to what you checked.
_____ Unworthiness (Isaiah 41:9-10; Ephesians 2:13-14)
_____ Sick ( Proverbs 15:30; James 5:14)
_____ Tempted ( 1 Corinthians 10:13; James 4:7)
_____ Too Busy ( Psalm 90:12; Isaiah 40:29-31)
_____ Too Tired ( Matthew 11:28-30)
_____ Death ( John 11:26; 2 Timothy 1:10)
_____ Finances ( Matthew 10:29-31)
_____ Family ( Psalm 127:3-5; Ephesians 6:1-4)
Meditate on the verse(s) that you checked off. How does it speak to you? Scripture speaks to each of us, bringing to each of us, what we need in order to develop our spiritual wholeness. Reading the Bible is not to use a reference book to look up verses. It is a personal contact with what God is saying to you.
Read the verses again. Read them again, slower.
Think about it.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Let's play "hop around the Bible." In these passages you'll see people: Elijah, Martha and the Apostles, ask Jesus "Don't you care? Well, DO SOMETHING!"
Have you ever wondered what God was doing after a discouraging trial? Were you afraid? Were you angry at God for not helping you in the manner you wanted him to? Believe me, you have no right to complain. Read 1 Kings 19: 1-18. You'll see that Elijah, a prophet of God ran and hid to save his life. Wouldn't you think he'd show more trust in God?
Well, remember that when you're afraid.
Read Luke 10: 38-42. Have you ever asked Martha's question, "Lord, don't You care?" Jesus didn't answer Martha's question the way she expected, did He? Our lives are only a tiny picture of God's entire scheme of the world. Trust Him. He'll always answer your questions, it's just that sometimes the answer is "No."
Read Mark: 4: 35-41, where the Apostles ask the same question Martha did, "Don't You care?"
We're human. We get discouraged, frightened, and doubtful. When you do feel like that, read Psalm 102, "Prayer in Time of Distress." I've read it so many times that I've almost got it memorized!
The Lord, Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
The thought that I find encouraging is when Jesus asked "My God, my God, why have You abandoned me?" God gave Jesus what He needed -- the people He loved the most, at the foot of His cross.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Read 1Cor. 14:12
Very short. What do you think it means?
It's talking about creating a vibrant parish community. Some people (not you, dear reader) complain that St. Mary's is cold and unwelcoming. The answer to that is to join, help out, create something. Look around and see what you think St. Mary's needs. What do you hear complaints about the most? What can you do to help fix that situation?
More choir members? A chant group?
Does the Word of God seem lackluster? Use your talent and be a lector!
Do Fr. Brian or Fr. Frank's homilies not touch you? Establish a relationship with them and give them some suggestions. (How else does one know that something is lacking?)
Would you like to help refurbish the downstairs into a little meeting area?
Do you complain about the parish's lack of attention to social justice issues and/or community outreach? Volunteer to start a committed group!
Has another parishioner never introduced him or herself to you? Make the first move.
You're obviously involved with Arise. How about joining the Team, and/or leading a group? (leave a comment)
Use your gifts to build up St. Mary's, i.e., 1Cor. 14:12.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Read Matt 6: 22-23
What do you think the scripture is talking about?
Replace the word "eye" with conscience. Now read the verses.
Ah! We're reading about our consciences. Define "conscience." Try "googling" conscience. Understand that conscience is a judgment of reason. It uses the objective principles of the moral law to judge the morality of acts in specific circumstances. Conscience is not itself the source of the moral law.
What if you can't judge the right or wrong? What if you can't make a decision? What if what you think is against what the Church teaches? What to do!
First, Assume the church is correct. Do you think 2009 years of tradition is wrong? Do you think you are the one person in the world who has the correct answer and everyone else in the Church is wrong? C'mon! Let's be open about it and examine your line of thinking.
Second, learn more about the subject. Read and study. The internet is a plethora of information. Look up a few of the Catholic sites.
Third, need I tell you to pray about it? Be fair. You are open, so ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten you. Pray for Divine Guidance.
Fourth, ask. Ask people in the know. Who is more knowledgeable than you? Ask a catechist? Ask a priest? Ask another priest? Try a parish priest and try a priest that belongs to a religious order. Try a religious sister. Hopefully, all this seeking will lead to discussion.
Unbelievably, after all the praying, reading, and asking, there are times that I still am not sure what is right. You know what I do? I still assume the Church is right and I keep on praying and seeking. Finally, one day, the light will dawn. And you know what? I've always come around to the Church's line of thinking.
A well-formed conscience will never contradict the objective moral law, as taught by Christ and his Church. (Catechism, # 1783-5, 1792, 2039)