St. Michael Prayer

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do, thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, cast into hell satan and all of the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Glory to God in the Highest!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

If you knew...

Christo_Salvacion public domain Wikimedia
What would You do if you knew that in two days You would celebrate Your last Passover with your family and friends?

What would You do if You knew that soon after Your Passover meal, you would be abandoned and deserted by those you loved, as You prayed to Your Father to "let this cup pass."?

What would You do if You knew that one of those whom You loved would betray You and hand You over to be crucified on a cross?

What would You do if, in spite of their promises to be with You to the end, even if it meant death,
the man You chose to lead Your church would betray You not once, not twice, but three times, denying that he even knew You.  

What would you do if you knew that the others would run and hide in great shame and fear?

What would You do if You knew that the Father had asked You to endure a death so painful and excruciating, that in the end, Your heart would burst within Your chest, and other than Your Mother, her friends, and one disciple, You would be mocked, beaten, hated, tortured, and killed?

What would You do if You beheld Your Mother at the foot of Your cross, knowing that they shamed You with Your nakedness, enduring great pain, and knowing that 
she, in her love, bore the same pain for love of You?

What would You do if You knew that Your Beloved Mother, 
ached for love of You and all humankind?

What would You do if You knew that over 2000 years later, 
You would still be mocked, denied, and ignored by those for whom You died.

What would You do if those in 
"The Land of the Cross"
were persecuted and beheaded for love of You?

What would You do?   They are all Your children?
What would You do?


Monday, March 30, 2015

Lent is almost over...I failed at all of my Lenten practices...

In the past,
I would have been so stressed. 
I would have beaten myself up
because
I failed.

I did not give to God
what I had hoped to give Him, 
and 
that was a Lent of 
adoration, prayer, almsgiving
and
sacrifice.

But God is good.

He knew I needed to learn some things,
and,
trust me,
He taught me.




One of the first lessons I learned was that,
this was not about me.
Yes, I had good intentions.
Yes, I wanted to succeed, 
but the problem was that there simply was too much
ME
and not enough
God.

What I had chosen to do was not for 
HIM 
but all for me.

I also learned that the root cause of my sinful life has been a 
stronghold.
That stronghold is my 
PAST.
I have embraced the hurt and pain I felt, 
and used it as a reason to sin.

Yes,
I did hurt greatly at one time in my life,
but my sins stem from that.
Not letting go of the pain and grief has hurt me far more than it ever helped.

I also learned,
and this amazed me,
that
I REALLY DO LOVE GOD!
I didn't think I did,
but now I know,
I DO!

I also learned,
and this amazed me, again,
NO MATTER WHAT,
NO MATTER WHERE,
GOD 
LOVES 
ME
AND HE IS WITH ME UNTIL THE END OF TIME.


The most important thing I learned this season is that life is about 
LOVE.
GOD IS LOVE!


 "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."
John 15:13

And at the Easter Vigil, we will be reminded of this again.

Praise to You Lord, Jesus Christ, King of Endless Glory!




Saturday, March 28, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

I'ts Near the End of Lent and it is the end of the week! How about a little humor!

I am also assuming that my 
guardian angel will also have
white hair.
I have not been an easy one to guard!


























I really do like this song!





















Did I say I love
Pope Francis?
If not,
I really love
Pope Francis!


















Found on Buzzfeed.com























Found on Buzzfeed.com



























Found on Buzzfeed.com

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Praise to the Lord! Praise Him forever each day!

I will extol you, my God and King,
    and bless your name forever and ever. 
Every day I will bless you,
    and praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
    his greatness is unsearchable.
Psalm 145: 1-3



Praise the LORD, for he is good;
for his mercy endures forever;
Praise the God of gods;
for his mercy endures forever;
Praise the Lord of lords;
for his mercy endures forever;
Psalm 136: 1-3



It was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard in unison in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord, and when the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the Lord,
“For he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever,”
the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, 
Chronicles 5: 13


For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 100: 5

Praise the Lord!
    O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
Psalm106:1


Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty firmament
Psalm 150: 1
   

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Early Spring Prayer Walk Through the Cemetery

"By the sweat of your face
    you shall eat bread
until you return to the ground,
    for out of it you were taken;
you are dust,
    and to dust you shall return.”
Genesis 3: 19


 Oh, My Jesus,
forgive us our sins.
Save us from the 
fires of hell.
Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are in most need of your mercy.
 










Eternal Father,
I offer You the most Precious Blood
of Your dearly Beloved Son,
Jesus,
in union with all of the Masses said throughout the world today,
in reparation for sins,
for the Holy Souls in Purgatory,
for sinners everywhere,
for sinners in the universal church,
 those within my own home
and 
within my family.
Amen.
St. Gertrude Prayer said to release 10,000 souls every time it is prayed.





 "For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."
1Corinthians 1:18

















Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 
Matthew 9:37

Pray for Priests 
daily.













Prayer of St. Therese for Priests
 
O Jesus, eternal Priest, keep your
priests within the shelter of
Your Sacred Heart, where none
may touch them. Keep unstained
their anointed hands, which
daily touch Your Sacred Body.
Keep unsullied their lips, daily purpled with
your Precious Blood. Keep pure and unearthly
their hearts, sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood. 
Let Your holy love surround
them and shield them from the world's contagion
 Bless their labors with abundant fruit and
may the souls to whom they minister be their
joy and consolation here and in heaven their
beautiful and everlasting crown. 
Amen.
 
 
"The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.  I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!”
John 16: 32-33
 
Eternal rest grant unto them, Oh, Lord,
and let Your Perpetual light shine upon them,
and
may the souls of all the faithful departed,
through your loving and infinite mercy,
rest in peace.
Amen
 
 
 Let us pray for Persecuted Christians around the World


Father in Heaven, you make your sun shine
on good and bad alike.
Your Son Jesus Christ died for us all
and in his glorious Resurrection
He still retains the five wounds of his Passion.
With his divine power he now sustains
all those who suffer persecution and martyrdom
for the sake of their fidelity
to the faith of the Church.
Merciful and mighty Father,
do not allow Cain to return again to murder
helpless Abel, innocent Abel.
May persecuted Christians around the world
remain, like Mary, their Mother,
together at the foot of the cross
of Christ the Martyr.
Comfort those menaced by violence
and those oppressed by uncertainty.
May your Holy Spirit of love
make fruitful the witness and the blood
of those who die forgiving.
Amen.

(Found at Aid to the Church in Need)
 
 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Feast of the Annuncation

The Feast of the Annunciation is celebrated on March 25, exactly nine months before Christmas.
It is often celebrated during Lent.  
In both seasons, we are preparing for the coming of Jesus.

It is not a holy day of obligation.  
Rest easy.
You don't HAVE to attend Mass on this day, 
but,
why don't you give it a try anyway?

It is on this day that we celebrate Mary's
fiat
to the Angel Gabriel
to give birth to the Son of God,
the promised Mesiah.

Mary was a faith filled young woman.  
I'm not sure what I would have done if an angel had appeared to me.
I think I would have taken off running out of fear alone.

Mary didn't run when she saw the angel.  She listened to his words to her.

“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David.  He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 
Luke 1: 30-33

St. Gabriel Catholic Church, artist John Colton

 

Mary's faith in God was great.
She only asked one question.

“How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 
Luke 1: 34

Mary's purity is always represented in art by lilies.

I love this picture because she is depicted as a young, gangly girl.

Mary didn't doubt that what the angel said was true, she only wondered how it would come about.



Courtesy of Prayer flowers



 



"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God"
Luke 1: 35 













wikimedia commons
 



The angel finished delivering his message to
 Mary.

"And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren.  For nothing will be impossible with God."
Luke 1: 36-37




 Remember, 
the angel never told Mary that she had to say yes to becoming the Mother of God,
nor 
 did he say that she had to visit Elizabeth.
He only reminded her that
"Nothing is impossible with God."

wikimedia commons

The Holy Spirit waited on Mary's response.

Source Joyfully Catholic

Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
Luke 1:38 

art by Liz Lemon Swindle
 






  The Result:

The Lord was made flesh,
and He dwelt among us!


Mama Mary,
Thank you for your fiat.

(Fiat means YES!)

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Visit to the Blessed Sacrament - Adoration

My Lord and My God!
We praise You!
We Bless You!
We adore You!





















This is holy ground!


















 Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.  She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying.  But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.”  But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things;  there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:41




 

Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour?  Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial;the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Matthew 26: 40-41






Give an hour to God in prayer.

Time spent in adoration is time well spent!


Friday, March 20, 2015

Remember the Souls in Purgatory? They Still Need Your Prayers


You do remember the souls in purgatory, don't you?

They are still there  They still need our prayers and sacrifices on their behalf.  It’s not too late to add to your Lenten practices and include a prayer or a rosary or a chaplet on behalf of the Souls in Purgatory.  The don’t forget you when you help them.  You will, literally, have a friend for eternity when you pray for someone who died and is in Purgatory.  They are so grateful for your help!  They will intercede for you while they are in Purgatory, and they will pray for you when they enter heaven.  When you die, assuming you go to Purgatory, the souls will be praying for you.  They will greet you at the gates of heaven and celebrate your return home. 

Here are a couple of quick prayers you can say:

St. Gertrude Prayer
Said to release 1,000 Souls each time it is said

Eternal Father,
I offer you the most precious blood of your divine Son, Jesus,
in union with all of the Masses said throughout the world today,
in reparation for sin,
for the holy souls in Purgatory,
for sinners everywhere,
for sinners in the Universal Church,
those within my own home, and within my family.
Amen.



Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
I love you.
Save Souls!
(Repeat 10 times)


Pray A Rosary.
Say 10 Hail Marys.

Give up that latte you love to have in the morning.
The souls will benefit from your prayer of self denial.

Have a Mass said at church for the souls in Purgatory
or for
the deceased members of your family.


Pray for the Souls!  Pray for all the deceased members of your family.  You might assume that it’s been so long that by now, they have to be in heaven.  Never make an assumption about  the reparation of sins.  Their time, and yours, might be longer than you think.

Pray!  Pray!  Pray!

Amen.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

St. Joseph, What Should I write about You?

Spouse of Mary,
Foster Father of her Son, Jesus,
God touched your life, 
and 
It was never the same again!

You were kind and loving,
and
God
Chose 
You.

How did you feel?

Did you wonder what it would be like raising the
Son of God? 
 Did you wonder
why you were chosen?
Did you wonder 
as you taught the child
to be a man,
if you were worthy?
Did you wonder 
about God's plan for you?

Did you pray 
asking 
the Father to help you out?
 

Oh, father on earth of the Son of God,
who died in the arms of God and His Mother,
 
Pray for us 
now
and
at the 
hour of our death.
Amen.





 


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I Am Loved

Last week was an interesting week.
I learned many things about myself
including the facts that

1) I do love God.
I didn't think I did.

2) God loves me.
I wasn't sure about that.

I AM BELOVED!

I also learned that

1) I didn't like myself.

2) I didn't love myself.

3) I felt I was unworthy of love.

I AM WORTHY!

I also learned that because 

I am beloved and I am worthy, that I am Truly Loved!

It's amazing when God pours down His graces,
things change.
 

For years, acceptance of myself has been my greatest barrier to God.  I am who I am through His love and graces.  He made me this way because He loved me, not because He wanted me to suffer.  Therefore, if I am rejected I need to remember that He was rejected first.  If I am hated, He was hated first.  I am who I am because of His love.  He loves me as though I were His only child.
He loves me because I am me.  He knows my faults, and He loves me.  He knows my deepest darkest thoughts, and He loves me.  He gives me graces to become more than I am.
He holds me close to His Sacred Heart.  I must open myself to His graces and love.  He does not compare me to others.  I am as beloved to Him as the greatest saint.  He carved me in His palm.  I am loved by God.

Prayer

Acceptance of myself is my greatest barrier to God.  I am who I am through His love and graces.  He made me this way because He loved me, not because He wanted me to suffer.  Therefore, if I am rejected I need to remember that He was rejected first.  If I am hated, He was hated first.  I am who I am because of His love.  He loves me as though I were His only child.
He loves me because I am me.  He knows my faults, and He loves me.  He knows my deepest darkest thoughts, and He loves me.  He gives me graces to become more than I am.
He holds me close to His Sacred Heart.  I must open myself to His graces and love.  He does not compare me to others.  I am as beloved to Him as the greatest saint.  He carved me in His palm.  I am loved by God.
 
I WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN!

Last week was a Spirit Filled week!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Veronica

Artist: Carlo Callari: Jesus Meets Veronica: Public Domain


The day was stifling as Veronica began to walk to the well to bring water home to her husband and children.  The sun was just rising in the east.  The sun was red as it began to rise.  Veronica’s husband would not be happy that she left home this early, but she could not sleep and in order to cook she needed water.  How everyone else could sleep in this heat was something that Veronica could not understand.

When she arrived at the well, there were a few women there already,  They were talking and trying to cool off with a dab of water on their faces.  They were wiping sweat with their veils.
“I heard they arrested Him last night. There was a lot of noise near the temple.”
“The high priests tried to get him to blaspheme, but He wouldn’t.”
“I heard his followers were in the courtyard, and, is it Peter?  I heard he denied His Master three times.”

Veronica had little time or patience with gossip, but this did interest her.”
One of the ladies laughed, “Some Messiah.  He can’t save Himself.”

She smiled, and put her water on her head to help balance it and herself.  She did notice the city was a little busier than normal for this hour.  The sun was past the horizon now.  She could feel sweat seeping down her back.  She didn’t walk past the temple, but many men were headed that way. 

When Veronica returned home, her husband was up.  “If it hadn’t been for the children, I would have left to find you.  It’s just not safe to walk alone through town in the dark.”

“The women were talking about the Prophet.  They said He was arrested last night.  The high priest wants to crucify Him.”

Ishmael responded.  “That’s true.  Not only that, one of His own followers turned Him over to the high priests, then Judas, I think it was, went out of the city and hung himself.”

Tears formed in Veronica’s eyes.  She wept silently as she began to prepare their breakfast.  The children were starting to wake up. “Mother,” said Miriam, “What’s going on?  There’s a lot of people marching through town?”  Miriam was her little monkey.  She could climb any tree.  She was speaking to her parents from one of the top branches.  Ishmael spoke to his daughter lovingly, “Miriam, do I have to climb up there and get you down?”  They all smiled because they knew she could climb down quickly and easily.  “Daddy, what’s going on?  I can see all the way to the main street.  It’s the prophet.  He looks like He was beaten up really badly.”

Veronica and Ishmael looked at each other.  “Little monkey, come down,” said Veronica.  Ishmael stood up.  He had a few bites of his delicious bread that Veronica made for the family.
She gave him some olives and fruit.  Veronica knew that her husband would be on his way.  “Miriam,” he said in a gentle but gruff voice, “Come down now.”  “Papa,” she said, “I can see everything.”  “Now,” he bellowed, and Miriam came down the tree.

“See that she doesn’t climb any more today,” Ishmael told his wife.  He gave both his wife and nimble daughter a hug and kiss.  He was off to his business, but he would go to the Temple before he began his day. 

Veronica and her children did their chores even in the strangling heat.  Veronica kept her eyes on her children.  She did not want them to see things little eyes should not see.  There was so much noise in the city now.  The activity was great.

It was mid morning, but Veronica knew that she had to go closer into town.  One of the neighbors came over and said, “They condemned Him to die.  They are going to crucify Him.”  Veronica knew that crucifixion was the most painful way to die.  The Romans were good at this task.  She had loved the Teacher.  She had heard Him preach many times.  His words were all love and prayer.  He was a good man!  Why had they decided to crucify Him?  Something was wrong, terribly wrong.  She knew she must go see the Prophet.

Bayla was the eldest child and soon to be married.  She would be in charge while she was gone.

“Bayla,” I must go into the city now.  “The lunch is prepared for the children.   Please see to it that they eat all they take.  Do not let Miriam climb the tree.”

“Mother,” Bayla said, “What’s the matter?”

I must go and find your father.  It’s busy in the city now.  It might take me a while.  Whatever you do, do not let the children leave the house or climb on to the roof.”

“Mother,” Bayla said, “I’m afraid.” 

“Bayla,” Veronica replied as she hugged her child.  “Don’t worry.  Pray with the children.  I will be back as soon as I can.”

“Yes, Mother,” Bayla replied.  “Be careful.”

Veronica smiled at her beautiful daughter.  She would be a good wife and mother.  She would be the pearl that was found.

Veronica left the courtyard and walked into the streets.  She didn’t see her husband at his place of business, so she walked on.  Veronica didn’t realize that she had left her apron on around her waist.  She didn’t take it off, because to wear it around her shoulders, with her veil, would make her hotter than she was now.

She was going to cross the street when she heard the Roman horses pounding in the distance.  They were coming in her direction.  They didn’t hesitate to knock anyone down as they road.  It didn’t matter if they were children or the elderly.  The Roman soldiers didn’t care.  Ishmael had gone with others to Pilate to remind him that these people should be treated humanely.  Pilate agreed, but his soldiers did not.

She could hear the jeers as the soldiers drew closer. 

“Save yourself, Messiah.”  “If You’re the Son of God, ask for the angels to save You.”

“Oh, My Lord,” Veronica whispered in prayer, “Save us and forgive us.”

The first Roman soldier was walking and shoving people out of the way.  She saw His Mother walking with her arm around one of his disciples.  She was being crushed by the crowd, but the disciple was holding her up.  They weren’t making much progress.  They were headed towards the skull.  Veronica could see that the Lady was weeping.  They walked behind her.  Veronica lowered her eyes and embraced His mother.  They kept walking forward.  The soldier let His Mother pass.  He looked ashamed.

Two men came.  They looked like they had been beaten, too, and they were carrying their crosses.  One was cursing God.  The other was carrying his cross in silence.  Veronica looked away.  She had never seen a prisoner carrying his cross before.  Ishmael would not let her attend a crucifixion.  Why had she come?  She didn’t know.  The Romans were cruel.  Pilate could not control his soldiers. 

Then she saw the Master.  Veronica gasped because He had been beaten and scourged. He was covered in blood.  He was weak.  Flesh hung from his bones, and He was still being made to carry His cross.  He fell.  Veronica did not even think.  In spite of the Roman Army, Veronica raced towards the Messiah.  A soldier stepped up ready to stop her with His shield.  Veronica looked at this soldier in eye.  He seemed surprised that she was not afraid, and he let her go to Jesus.

Jesus was struggling to get up.  Veronica looked at Jesus with kindness and tenderness.  She took off her veil.  “My Lord,” she said, “May I wipe your face.”  Jesus was breathing heavily.  He seemed to be gasping for air.  His clothes were the color of the wine presser’s clothes.  Jesus nodded at Veronica.  A soldier stepped near to grab Veronica and make her move.  Jesus looked at Him, too, and the soldier moved away.  Veronica gently wiped the face of her Master. 

The soldiers were forcing Him to stand.  His legs were weak.  He could barely walk.  The crowd gasped as they saw Him.  Veronica reached out to help Jesus to His feet, and this time, the soldier came up and told her to move back to the crowd.  Veronica’s eyes were filled with tears.
She moved back to the crowd.  The soldiers whipped Jesus again.  One of the them tried to shove Veronica, but he missed her and he fell to the ground.  The crowd laughed and mocked the soldier.  Red faced, the soldier moved forward. 

Veronica began to weep.  Through her tears she could see her Master drag His cross on His shoulders.  The soldiers stopped and pulled a man out from the crowd.  She knew the man, it was Simon.  He was being forced to help Jesus carry His cross.  She wept because she had heard about the crucifixion deaths.  They were horrible beyond imagination, and His Mother would watch Him die.  Her heart broke for them both.

She felt and arm around her shoulders and she jumped.  It was Ishmael.  “My darling,” he said, “Why are you here?  What about the children?”  Veronica, while gasping for breath through her tears whispered, “Bayla is taking care of them.”  Her husband led her through the crowds.  In the distance they could see that the procession had reached the place of the skulls.  “Do not look, Miriam.  Do not look.”

With her veil in her hands, they arrived back home.  The children came running.  “Mother!  Mother!  Why are you crying?” 

Ismael told his children, “Your mother will be fine soon.  Let’s prepare her something to eat and drink.”

“Miriam, bring your mother a cool cloth for her face.  Dip it in the water.”

Ishmael carried his wife to their bed.  She was still holding on to her veil.  He lay her in the bed, and he knelt by her side.  She was sleeping soundly.  The sky grew dark.  

“My darling,” he said to her, “Please wake up.  We must close up the house.  It is going to rain.  There is a bad storm coming.”

Miriam woke up.  She lay the veil on her bed, and she and her husband and children began to close up their house with pieces of canvas from the fisherman’s boats.  There was a loud noise.  The earth shook.  The rain poured down, but they were safe.  They sat in their home waiting for the storm to pass. 

“Ishmael,” she said, “It’s over.  He is dead.”  “I know, My Beloved.  I know.”

The rain stopped and one of the neighbors knocked on their door.  Veronica reached for her veil.  Ishmael opened the door to their neighbor.  “The temple.  It’s just as he said.  It’s been damaged, and in places, beyond repair.”

Veronica knew she should veil, but she stopped when she saw her veil.  She gasped lightly.  Ishmael saw his wife  holding her veil.  On it, was the prophet’s face.  He knelt.  The neighbor knelt.  “He was the Son of God!” 

Veronica took off her apron and used that cloth as her veil.  There would be no  celebration at her home tonight.  The neighbors were gathering outside, but the family of Ishmael had nothing to contribute.  They were asked to join their neighbors for the meal.
One of the women who had met Jesus on the way had seen Veronica wipe the Master's face.  She brought a new veil for Veronica to wear.  She told her to keep it  because she had been so blessed.  The stories began.  Food was eaten.  They knew their lives would never be the same.

Veronica whispered a prayer for His Mother. 





Monday, March 16, 2015

Be Still and Know that I AM God

"Be Still and Know that I AM God."
Psalm 46:10

The equation I used to believe was:  to be still was to be quiet.  To be quiet was to be in silence. 

The act of silence is very difficult for me.  I enjoy good conversation and lively debates, and  the sounds of music, radio, and television.  I have tried to allow silence to envelop me so that through this stillness or quiet, I could come closer to God.  I guess that I am God's squirmy child when it comes to sitting in the stillness.  I find myself sitting, waiting for the sounds of birds chirping outside the Church where we have gathered to pray, and, in desperate times, the sound of the radiator hissing as it heats up the adoration chapel.

The willful act of silence is a virtue on which I am still working. 

Distractions plague me, too.  However, in my distractions, I think.  If I am wise, I also the Holy Spirit to direct my thoughts when in the state of distraction.

Dearest Holy Spirit, I love You and adore You with all my heart and soul.  I ask for the grace of attention to my task.  If that is not to be, then I ask that You direct my thoughts to that which You wish that I may come to know Your love and affection.  Thank You.  Amen.

"Be still and know that I AM God."

Maybe "be still" does not only mean "be quiet"?  When I was a child, I often heard, "Be still."  That direction to me was not translated as be quiet.  I was not a noisy child.  I was an active, squirmy child.  The command "be still" as it was spoken to me meant, "Stop what you're doing."

My mind wanders further.  In recent months I have been hearing, whether preached from the pulpit or written in books, "Quit trying to control God.  When you ask Him for something in faith,
move over and let God do the work.  You can't change God, but God can change you.  He's the God of miracles.  Move over.  Quit doing what you're doing.  Let God take over.  Be still."

"Be still" takes on an entirely new meaning now.  "Be still.  Let God do the work.  Move over."

Let God be God.  Be still.  God is in control.  Rest easy in Him.  Be still.

I don’t have to be anxious.  I don’t have to worry pray.  I only have to move over and let God in when I pray.

“Be Still and Know that I AM God.”
Psalm 46: 10

Friday, March 13, 2015

John 2: 3-5


Source of Grace

Did you know that graces come from unexpected sources?
Of course,
God is the author of all graces.
What you might not realize is that God pours down His Love on us
in ways we might not expect.

You're sitting in traffic.
You've averaged about 20 mph for the last ten miles.
The car behind you is tailgating.
You are getting upset.
If you were going faster, 
that driver might cause a terrible accident.
You are ready to make an obscene gesture with your hand.
A thought flickers in your mind.
 
 
 
 
 
Pray for that driver.
You pray.
 
The driver doesn't quit tailgating, but when there's an opening, the driver sails past you, using that same obscene gesture you were going to make, but you are safe in your car.
You feel peaceful.
The rest of the drive home is not as stressful.
You get off the interstate and drive home.
 Whether you realize it or not, that driver was a source of grace for you.
You prayed.  You received grace. You did not sin. There was no accident.
 
 Praise God from Whom all Blessings flow!
Thank God.
 
There is someone at church who really cannot sing.
You feel that this person should not sing.
This person's voice is very loud and always off key.
People are uncomfortable around this person because this person truly distracts them from the Mass by singing.
The pastor does not say anything.
When people do say something, they gossip.
 
"Sounded like a chicken coup with a fox in there."
"I'm about ready to loose it!"
"Voice lessons didn't work."
"I heard the spouse say that voice kills rats."
 
People prefer to sit behind and away from  this person, but that voice is loud and distracting.
It cannot even be called a Joyful noise.
 
You pray.
You pray again.
No, there is no laryingitis.
There is only distraction and noise.
You pray again and again and again.
 
One day you realize,
you've been praying more than you've been listening to the voice.
The voice hasn't changed, but you seem more peaceful with the voice.
You've moved to a different part of the church,
and you don't hear the voice as much.
 
"Thank You, Lord," you say.  "Praise to You."
 
Then the person with the voice walks up to you and says,
"I want to thank you for being so kind.  I know my voice is terrible.  I wish it weren't so loud, but
I've tried everything.  Even my voice teacher gave up.  I hear what people say.  I guess I'll just be quiet.  Your kindness has been a wonderful grace for me.
Thank you!"
 
Then you realize what a wonderful grace the voice has been to you.
You are more at peace.
You were kind.
The voice drew you to prayer.
 
Which of you received the greater blessings from the voice?
 
Each of us has many chances to grow in grace daily.
God's graces come from unexpected sources and situations.
 
"There's that cranky checkout person.  I'm not going to her."
(source of grace)
"I will.  Her line is short."
"That's because no one likes her."
(source of grace)
 
You call her by name.
She blinks, but she smiles at you.
You thank her for the great job she did checking you out.
You tell her that you hope you can get into her checkout line on the busiest day.
 
It looks like she blinks a small tear.
 
Source of grace for you.
 
Your prayer was your kindness to her.
 
Will she forget?
 
The next time I went through her line, she reminded me that there was a 40% coupon on my mobile device.  She just needed the number.  She said she didn't mind waiting, after all, there weren't many people in her line.