Thursday, April 29, 2010

Captives in Anger

St. Thomas Aquinas says that honesty is being open to the truth. This idea was more or less the theme in my Study Group Tonight. We were discussing "forgiveness." We were honing in on what makes it difficult to forgive. And you know what I attribute the difficulty to be?

"Ego." Read Mark 11:25.

Yup. If you personally were hurt by someone, it is nigh near impossible to forgive. You really need the grace of God to forgive.

My brothers related many stories. Someone told one brother, "I hope you rot in hell." Another was told that he would never be forgiven. These victims feel deeply hurt (ego). It's ego that won't let you forgive.

Just try to give up "ourselves," and try to see the other point of view, is a start to forgiveness. Give up our egos and look at the other side. It's not about me, or us.

What if Jesus could never forgive Peter for denying him?

Come Holy Spirit enter the hearts of those hardened in unrighteousness. Mend with mercy those broken in spirit. Free the captives of anger. Awaken the repentance that restores hope. Grant the forgiveness that heals.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Not to be Ignored

God calls each of us to do his work. You might as well listen to him in the beginning, and save yourself a lot of trouble because if you're needed, He'll get you.

Read the Book of Jonah. It's not long; you know the story anyway.

Do you think one of the reasons we don't undertake whatever God's will is for us, is because we are afraid we'd have to sacrifice what we possess? Is it all about money? It could be a job change. It could be a life change. Whatever we cling to obsessively is not going to be easy to give up. Even knowing, as Aquinas said, we can only find real happiness by serving the Lord, we aren't going to let go easily. Jonah learned the hard way. In the end he realizes that if he had done what God asked in the first place, he would have received many blessings. Jonah 2:8

After reading Jonah you'll see that ignoring God and doing things "your" way is not going to work. Obeying God is the only good way.

Francis Thompson is his poem, "Hound of Heaven" compares God to a relentless hound that will pursue you until He gets you. I prefer this verse:

No hound of heaven; rather playful kitten,
Scratching at the door--not to be ignored,
Circling feet, rubbing, caressing, tail high.
Alack! You have always been my Adored.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Love God/Love Your Neighbor

That's it. That's all. So different than what the Pharisees and Sadducees were doing.

Read Matt. 23:4, 13

Wow! Read what Jesus had to say about these people. "Woe to you..." Yikes!

This castigation of teachers and leaders who taught strict adherence to heavy law requirements was because their instructions and examples were devoid of love, mercy and justice.

Just follow the two important commandments: love God, love your neighbor. If we truly love God, we will express it by loving our neighbors, and when we do, we are expressing our love for God. These two rules and combined, meshed, and interconnected.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

St. Sophia

The Musical Presentation, "The Hard But Right Way," was a good and fitting ending for this Arise Session. It was a good and fitting ending for the Octave of Easter. Let us praise God as the main character, Christian did.

Read Sirach 51

Let us also seek the wisdom and understanding necessary to walk closer to God. As Sirach 51 teaches us, wisdom is necessary. Let us pray and seek after it. Always work towards knowing God and He will give you your reward.

Did you know that St. Sophia is the patron saint of wisdom? Her name is synonymous with wisdom. Her story is heroic, along with her martyred daughters: Faith, Hope, and Love.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

An Arise Celebration

St Mary’s Parish Presents… “The Hard But Right Way”
REMINDER …. Saturday night! April 10th at 7:30 pm. Tickets WILL be available at the door! If you already have tickets, please remember to attend! You’ll be glad you did!
If you’re looking for a great night out and something that will capture you with unexpected allure while still being affordable for your whole family, this is it! “The Hard But Right Way” appeals to all age groups. Adults enjoy the contemporary and inspirational message and the youth are captured by the dramatic and musical presentation of this classic story! So all are welcomed to attend on Saturday, April 10th at 7:30 PM in the upper church when Christian Rock artist, Jim Winder performs “The Hard But Right Way” live. This inspirational show has received rave reviews from their many performances from across the country.
Reasons to remember to attend…
Ø It’s an opportunity for my family to enjoy a great show together
Ø The spell binding production delivers an inspiring message that’s important for everyone to hear
Ø We will join together to celebrate as a parish community
Ø It will be a local event that all our friends and neighbors will be talking about
Ø We don’t want to miss it!
Tickets are reasonably priced at $20 per family. Tickets can be purchased at the door! Be sure to bring along the WHOLE family, your teenagers, 20 somethings, and your mom and dad too! You will be glad you did! This is a uniquely inspiring performance and will be a night to remember!