Monday, March 24, 2008
One day, however, the king ventured outdoors. His feet encountered stones, twigs, and gravel. "Ooo! Ow! Ouch!" he cried. "This is terrible"
Then, being a compassionate king, with the welfare of his subjects always at heart, he issued a decree: "No one should suffer this pain. Take cow hides, and lay the leather all over the land, to protect the people feet from sticks and stones!"
Eventually, one of his advisers got enough nerve to suggest an alternative. "Sir, wouldn't it be easier just to cover the peoples feet?"
And thus, says the ancient tale, were shoes invented.
Like that king, we sometimes want to change the entire world, to protect ourselves from pain of one kind or another. Sometimes we need to hear the adviser's alternative: the change might better take place in us.
Jesus Christ, our Savior, true God and true Man, has experienced the absolute depths of human misery.
- When we contemplate his Passion we cannot doubt it.
- Isaiah didn't doubt it: "He was spurned and avoided... a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity, one of those from whom people hide their faces..."
We have all felt like that at some time in our lives, because we live in a fallen world.
- We have all been sick, and betrayed, and hurt.
- And we have all caused pain in others.
- The effects of evil and sin have reached out and touched each one of us, just like ripples in the water reach to the shores when you throw a pebble into the middle of a pond. The pebble was original sin.
Jesus saved us by coming down to our level, by stepping into the middle of our pain and sorrow:" it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings he endured," as we heard from Isaiah.
He saved us not by illuminating suffering, but by suffering with us and for us, and by teaching us through his own example to trust and love God even in the midst of suffering.
Do we fully realize what this truth means?
It means we don't have to become perfect before we can become friends of God. It also means that, in Christ, we can go right into Gods presence just the way we are, with all our miseries and confusions and wounds and sins. We might ask this question.....Jesus' arms are outstretched on the cross, waiting to embrace who? Those that never sinned? Those who are already saints? No...... US. The Letter to the Hebrews understands this.
Listen again to the earth-shaking sentence that can free us from all fear and hesitancy in our relationship with God: "Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
This may be a challenge in itself as we go about our self absorbed daily business.. Have you ever noticed that when we set aside times to pray, we are presented with a great number of excuses why we don't have time. We must be courageous enough to resist the pressures and temptations that send us the messages not to pray. These my come in very subtle forms as in peer pressure, pressure to socialize, pressure to be a consumer and many more ways. We must understand that we cannot live without this reaching out to God.
On this day, this sacred Good Friday, let's join our hearts to those of all Catholics throughout, the world, and lets lift our eye's to this saving cross of Christ. This cross is the "Throne of grace" that God wants us to "approach with boldness" so we can "receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need".
When we approach and venerate the cross, let's do so not just with our feet ,hands and lips, but with our whole selves. In prayer, let's lay our own troubles at the foot of this cross, this throne. Let us lay the troubles of those we love at the foot of this throne. Let us lay the troubles of the world at the foot of this throne. Nothing would please Him more.
Remember the story of the King that tried to fix the world by solving ever ones problems by covering the land in leather. I am here to tell you as an advisor to reserve the idea that you can fix the world your self... but by coming to the cross you can help those around you by being better at approaching the throne yourself and asking God to help those who are in need of a protection and support.
The Celtic knot has no end.
Just as the seasons continually come and go.
We are continually given a new day.
We must learn to role with the seasons.
We must leave the past and go to the future.
Never clinging to the past, nor predicting the future.
We must live in the center of the knot.
Stationary and still.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Psalms Chapter 127
1 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
VATICAN CITY, MARCH 14, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI told youth to be on guard against the possibility of selling or losing their own humanity, and encouraged them instead to stay open to the Holy Spirit.
The Pope spoke with youth Thursday when he presided over a penitential liturgy with young people from Rome in preparation for the 23rd World Youth Day, to be held in Australia this summer. He joined with hundreds of other priests to hear the confessions of the youth.
"At the roots of being Christian," the Holy Father told the young people, "is an encounter with an event, with a Person. This opens a new horizon and, with it, a decisive sense of direction." In order "to favor this encounter, you are preparing to open your hearts to God, confessing your sins and -- by the action of the Holy Spirit and through the ministry of the Church -- receiving forgiveness and peace."
"Thus," he added, "we make room in ourselves for the presence of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Blessed Trinity which is the 'soul' and the 'vital breath' of Christian life. The Spirit helps us to grow 'in an understanding of Jesus that becomes ever deeper and more joyful and, at the same time, to put the Gospel into practice.'"
Hiding an empty life
On this subject, the Pontiff recalled one of his own Pentecost meditations when he was archbishop of Munich and Freising, inspired by the film "Seelenwanderung," in which one of the characters sells his soul in exchange for worldly success: "From the moment he freed himself of his soul, he no longer had any scruples or humanity, providing striking evidence of how the facade of success often hides an empty life.
"A human being cannot throw away his own soul, because it is the soul that makes him human. [...] Yet he does have the frightening possibility of being inhuman, of remaining a person but at the same time selling or losing his own humanity.
"The distance between the human person and the inhuman being is immense, yet it cannot be demonstrated; it is what is truly important, yet it is apparently without importance."
Likewise, Benedict XVI continued, the Holy Spirit "cannot be seen with the eyes. Whether it enters into a person or not, it cannot be seen or demonstrated; but it changes and renews all the perspectives of human life. The Holy Spirit does not change the exterior situations of life, but the interior."
"Let us then," he said, "prepare ourselves, with a sincere examination of conscience, to present ourselves before the people to whom Christ entrusted the ministry of reconciliation. [...] Thus will we experience true joy, the joy that derives from the mercy of God, flows into our hearts and reconciles us to him. [...] Be bearers of this joy, which comes from welcoming the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and witness its fruits in your own lives.
"Always remember that you are 'temples of the Spirit.' Allow him to dwell in you and humbly obey his commands, in order to make your own contribution to the building of the Church and to discern the type of vocation to which the Lord calls you. [...] Be generous, allow yourselves to be helped by using the sacrament of confession and by the practice of spiritual guidance."
Friday, March 14, 2008
Over two thousand years ago these lines were written. This is the truth also today. This the description of many people I have met while attempting to serve to marginalized. There is no help for the person described above. Save for a change of heart brought on by an awareness that they can ask for and receive from God a new heart. I have drawn a line in the sand today. I will no longer be a source of monetary help for these people. They may find that I can direct them to a source of material help but I will no longer be that source. Jesus never healed for the sake of healing, He healed because of the faith of those involved. I will try to do the same. It is very tempting to be the hero and provide for the material needs.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
The Deer's Cry
BLESSED Patrick made this hymn one time he was going to preach the Faith at Teamhuir, and his enemies lay in hiding to make an attack on him as he passed. But all they could see passing as he himself and Benen his servant went by, was a wild deer and a fawn. And the Deer's Cry is the name of the hymn to this day.
I bind myself to-day to a strong strength, to a calling on the Trinity. I believe in a Threeness with confession of a Oneness in the Creator of the World.
In stability of earth, in steadfastness of rock, I bind to myself to-day God's strength to pilot me;
God's power to uphold me; God's wisdom to guide me; God's eye to look before me; God's ear to hear me;
God's word to speak for me; God's hand to guard me; God's path to lie before me; God's shield to protect me; God's host to save me;
Against snares of demons; against the begging of sins; against the asking of nature; against all my ill-wishers near me and far from me; alone and in a crowd.
So I have called on all these strengths to come between me and every fierce and merciless strength that may come between my body and my soul;
Against incantations of false prophets; against black laws of heathens; against false laws of heretics; against craft of idolatry; against spells of women & smiths and druids; against every knowledge forbidden to the souls of men.
Christ for my protection to-day against poison, against burning, against drowning, against wounding; that a multitude of rewards may come to me. Christ with me, Christ before me; Christ behind me, Christ in me; Christ under me, Christ over me; Christ to the right of me, Christ to the left of me; Christ in lying down, Christ in sitting, Christ in rising up;
Christ in the heart of everyone that thinks of me; Christ in the mouth of everyone that speaks to me; Christ in every eye that sees me; Christ in every ear that hears me.
I bind to myself to-day a strong strength to a calling upon the Trinity; I believe in a Threeness with confession of a Oneness in the Creator of the World.Auther: Lady Gregory
To me this speaks of the way post modern secularist insist in analyzing everything. Insisting if it can not be proven it can not happen. In ancient times the people understood the spiritual and embraced it in everyday life (and the influence of good and evil in our surroundings). We too need to do this. Evil is real....and so is Jesus the Nazarene .
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Something like this "On this Fifth Sunday of Lent may God watch over and bless you, and all your friends and family.....in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit + ....Peace"
Blessings from the "Woodcutter"