Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Disclaimer

Disclaimer

“My God will fully supply whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:19


     Have you ever seen those advertisements either on tv or magazines about this incredible weight loss or saved from an enormous debt?  Now, what comes right after it? A disclaimer. The disclaimer will say results will vary or not a guarantee you will get these same results. I think that when we give our testimonies about the life we have in God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Mary or the Saints or how They have helped us over come something, a disclaimer should also appear. Now before you get upset by that hear me out as the reason it should be. 

      First let me say what the disclaimer should be: " Each of us will be touched, healed, moved, tested, given graces, shown the way, given answers, and prayers answered all differently. No relationship is the same, no one is loved more or less, no one is heard clearer in prayers or thoughts, no one is put ahead of another, and we are all the same in the eyes of God." 

      There are two reasons I feel this way. The first is : To many times we, and I include myself in this as well, see how God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Mary or the Saints move, act and appear to those around us and compare how they are in our lives. The second is : When people hear what has been done in others lives it can have both a positive and negative result. The positive gives them hope and that is what sharing our testimonies should be doing. The negative can make people lose that hope as well. The reason is that they may turn away because they feel less, that God doesn't love them, that He cares for others and not them. For example if someone is ill and they hear how someone was given a miracle it can make them feel why not them. There is also a part  where people say that they were healed by going to a place, being prayed over by, or went through a program. Those events are a personal one and is not a guarantee.  Yes, this is where faith and hope come into it but when someone is holding out and feel that if they follow that persons way, they too shall be healed. It is not the way of the person but the way God has acted in them and through them. People when they are desperate do not see things as clearly as others. We need to keep that in mind when we speak about our lives. It is in the turning to God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Mary and the Saints that we are touched, healed and shown the way. It is not in a program, a person, or a group. Yes, each of them can be used by all those in Heaven but it is not on them ( program, person, group) alone. 

    When we speak we need to be clear on how these events in our spiritual lives truly take place. We can not give false or questionable hope to those who are seeking that connection, healing, or answers.  Yes, God will use us to glorify Him and give hope to those who are in need but it is in His name that all things were made possible. 

    This does not mean that we pull back and do not share our journey or our testimony but be aware that people are listening and we are never sure what they are holding onto from what we are saying. Our lives should be giving people hope that there is a God and that He loves them just as much as us and that He will and can do great things in them and through them as well. The disclaimer is not to take away hope but to direct that hope to the Heavens and not to man or women or place or group or object. 

    The disclaimer is for both the person hearing the testimony and the one giving it as we'll. We are the ones who are speaking and we must allow the Heavens to be glorified and not those people or things of the world. Yes, say who helped you, what program helped, what prayers helped but remind them that is how God used those things to help,  heal and connect with YOU and how it may be different for others. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and remember the disclaimer of this world so the Heavens can be glorified. 


Monday, April 29, 2013

Quote of St. Augustine


Quote of St. Augustine


"If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself."
 ~ St. Augustine


   I read this quote the other day and I must say it has been playing over and over in my head. I must say that I know at time I have down played some messages of the Gospels because they did not fit the life that I was looking to live or those that made me feel less justified in my actions. In that sense I was rejecting some of the messages of Jesus and making my opinions greater then His messages.

    In the world we live in today we are taught to question, demand proof, take what you want and leave the rest. When we adhere to the voices of the world and allow them to make us question what is true, then we risk our faith. Now, I am not saying that questioning is wrong because it is in questioning we can go further but those questions should come from our soul and not those of the world. 

   Saint Augustine’s quote calls us into question wether we are believing in ourselves more then the gospels. Every so often I feel we do need this kind of check in our lives. Who are we believing in ? and who is it that our trust is in? I am not saying that we can not believe in ourselves or that we can not have faith in ourselves but when our own beliefs start to cast  shadows on those of Jesus then we are heading down a dark area. 

   Think about this quote and reflect on it for a while today and see if the messages of the Gospels ,as a whole,are what you believe in or just what you want to believe in them.

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may the Gospels Message increase your faith in Jesus. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Impossible Possible

Impossible Possible


   I heard this song the other night at a concert and besides its great message of hope when you think there is none, but it is upbeat and gets the spirit within you to start to burn stronger. We all need at times those songs that just inspire us to go forth and make the Impossible Possible. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and all things are Possible with God by our side. 



Come all you weary ones 
Come all you thirsty sons 
Come to the water 
The water that never runs dry 

Come all you crooked thieves 
Cast your cares and believe 
He is the water 
The water that never runs dry 

Jesus makes the impossible possible 
Jesus makes the incapable more than able 
If you call He will answer 
If you seek you will find 
He is the water 
The water that never runs dry 

Come all you tattered saints 
Double-mined and afraid 
Come to the water 
The water that never runs dry 

Come all you broken down 
Put your feet on His solid ground 
Receive the water 
The water that never runs dry 

Taste and see, come and drink of the water 
He is all that we need (2X) 
He is all that we need


Saturday, April 27, 2013

"Decline or Accept"

"Decline or Accept"


    I saw this picture and I had to smile. Just imagine for a bit that God called you on your phone.... How would you react when you looked down at the phone and saw that it was God calling? Would you answer right away or let it go to voice mail? Would you decline the call right from the start? I must say that I think I would freeze for a second and let it sink in.  Here is the reality of it, God calls each of us every day. There is not a day that goes by that God doesn’t call us. 

     A call from God is not just to the religious life as many think of when they hear someone say “God’s Calling .......” There are many reasons why God calls us. Maybe it is for us to have a deeper relationship? Maybe it is for us to return to Him? Maybe it is for us to serve? Maybe it is to a mission? There can be a hundred more reasons that He would be calling You! 

     Yes, That’s right YOU! You are being called to do something more with this life that has been given to you. We are all asked to give more in this life. There is no exception to this rule. For each of us there are different calls to answer but the same goal in the end. To bring others to know the God that lives and reigns in us and for us. You may be asking yourself should I answer this? Why is He calling me? What does He want me to do? 

      Ok... So you hit accept and now you say “ummmm Hello...”  You hear God’s voice speak to you and it goes to your core and resides in your soul. There are times that His voice is very clear to you and you understand and then others where you strain to hear Him. In your head you may be thinking. “ Did God call the right number”, Is He sure about this? I don’t think I can do this? Sounds good to me. Where do I go from here”. We may ask all of these or just say “Ok, Let Your will be done”. God doesn’t call the wrong number. Believe me I have tried that excuse many times with Him. I would say “ That was meant for someone else”, and then I would even go as far as say who I thought it was for. God knows our gifts, talents, and what we have inside of us. He knows what we able to do and not do way before we do. That call. That message, That conversation, was meant for you and only you. 

    Now what? You are done talking and you exhale finally that breath that you held as you listened to God. Now, pray on what you heard and ask for clarity on what you didn’t hear or understand. Just because it is not clear, doesn’t mean that you get to ignore the call. You have to act on whatever you have been asked. It may be just a personal internal change or a change that takes you out into the world. Either way there are steps that need to be taken. The first step is always on your knees and pray. Pray for understanding, Pray for Guidance, Pray for the talents and the knowledge, Pray for the equipment you will need. You will receive all that you need to do and work. 

     Up until now this has been about you accepting the call, but what if you ignore and God leaves that message. You can ignore the call and even delete the message that is left. That is the gift of your free will. He will not force you to listen. But, I will say this and I speak with experience, God will keep calling you. He will not give up on you ever. No matter how many times you hit ignore. What if, you let the calls go to voice mail and He leaves a message for you? Well, very simple. He knows you will listen to it when you are ready. Again it is not forced. You have the power to listen when you are ready to hear the message.  I must say that I am still going through some of the messages He left for me. It is a good feeling to know that He never stop trying, caring or loving me. God will do the same for you as well. 

    Sometimes the call is not what we thought it would be about. It is not always a call to do or work on something but just that call to say Hello and I am thinking about you. He wants to talk to us each day to remind us that He loves and cares for each of us. That means YOU as well. I know for myself that was a hard concept at times and that He does want to just say Hello and talk and not require anything else but that. 

    God is calling You! He calls us all, all the time. Answer the call and see where it takes you. See what God has to offer you today and each new day that follows. 

Until tomorrow. God Bless, and answer the call, God is calling. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

St. Gerard Majella


St. Gerard Majella


Feast day: October 16
Patron of expectant mothers
Died: 1755

St. Gerard Majella, religious, is the patron of expectant mothers. He was born at Muro, Italy, in 1726 and joined the Redemptorists at the age of 23, becoming a professed lay brother in 1752. He served as sacristan, gardener, porter, infirmarian, and tailor. However, because of his great piety, extraordinary wisdom, and his gift of reading consciences, he was permitted to counsel communities of religious women.
This humble servant of God also had the faculties of levitation and bi-location associated with certain mystics. His charity, obedience, and selfless service as well as his ceaseless mortification for Christ, made him the perfect model of lay brothers. He was afflicted with tuberculosis and died in 1755 at the age of twenty-nine.
This great saint is invoked as a patron of expectant mothers as a result of a miracle effected through his prayers for a woman in labor.
Prayer: O Great Saint Gerard, beloved servant of Jesus Christ, perfect imitator of your meek and humble Savior, and devoted Child of the Mother of God: enkindle within my heart one spark of that heavenly fire of charity which glowed in your heart and made you an angel of love. O glorious Saint Gerard, because when falsely accused of crime, you did bear, like your Divine master, without murmur or complaint, the calumnies of wicked men, you have been raised up by God as the Patron and Protector of expectant mothers. Preserve me from danger and from the excessive pains accompanying childbirth, and shield the child which I now carry, that it may see the light of day and receive the lustral waters of baptism through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Worn by Tenth Avenue North

"Worn" by Tenth Avenue North


     I heard this song today and it reminded of last Monday and the events in Boston. That no matter what we have done or what brings us down that all we need to do is find the strength to look up to the heavens and let the healing begin. When we are all worn, we need our God to remind us and show us that we can be reborn and be renewed. That we need to know that at some point we will have rest and that the struggle will end for us. When we have Faith we are able to pull strength from our souls to help us get by and be strong in all things. This song reminds me to pull that strength and continue on. As usual I have included the song and the lyrics. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may you lift your eyes to heaven when you feel worn. 


I'm tired 
I'm worn 
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes to keep on breathing

I've made mistakes 
I've let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart that's frail and torn

I want to know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that's dead inside can be reborn
Cause I'm worn

I know I need 
To lift my eyes up
But I'm too weak
Life just won't let up
And I know that You can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart that's frail and torn

I want to know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that's dead inside can be reborn
Cause I'm worn

And my prayers are wearing thin
I'm worn even before the day begins
I'm worn I've lost my will to fight
I'm worn so heaven come and flood my eyes 

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart that's frail and torn

I want to know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that's dead inside can be reborn
Yes all that's dead inside will be reborn
Though I'm worn 
Yeah I'm worn

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Merge

Merge

“For through the law I died to the law, that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.” ~Galatians 2:19-20

   The other evening on my way home I was driving and got off my exit. As I drove around the bend I saw that I was lucky to be getting off where I did because just right passed the exit there was traffic. The four lanes of traffic were merging into one lane. It got me to think about how we are to merge all the aspects and areas of our lives into one lane that follows the road that Jesus took each day of His life. 

     All areas of our lives should reflect Jesus in some way. We should be known as a follower of Christ and that of a person of faith. For many of us we may have areas of our lives that may not show Jesus or the faith as clear as other areas of our lives. It is not as easy for some as it is for others. Maybe some have been away from a life that included Jesus or the faith and it is harder to merge all those areas in our lives. Also maybe that some did not have that influence of Jesus or the faith as they grew up and came later to know Jesus or the faith. 

     As we know when we drive and try to merge into one lane, how hard it is at times. It is the same for merging our lives with Jesus and the Faith. As we merge there are different influences that hinder us. Think of the time when someone who would not let you into the lane and you have to wait. This is the same for those who are trying that merge with Jesus. Those around that person may not let them forget who they were and constantly remind them of their past. It can be someone who not only doesn’t live that life but those who are also merging as well. For some its easier to bring down then lift up. When people do this it makes us question if we may even belong on that road to begin with. It can cause us to slow down and feel that we are not ready or worthy to try. When those around do this we have to inch our way into the merge and show that we want this. We need to stand firm and make our way anyway. 

     We also need to remember that just like when driving we are told in advance that we need to merge. We are given notice that we need to start to merge. Same with our lives and Jesus merging. We are given the time to merge because it is not so easy. People are there trying to get in before you and get ahead of others so they may get there quicker. That merging can take time. We have to allow the Spirit to guide us and work in us. If we just merge immediately, we can cause an accident and in this case we can fall from Jesus and the Faith. That accident can keep us from merging fully and just keep us on the side. I am not saying that it always takes time but that for some it may need to be an easing in process. At the same time we can not wait till the last minuet to merge either. If we wait for the last moments in our lives to do this then we missed out on those moments that Jesus wanted us to have. Also like if you wait as you drive to do this, it is not really you making this merge but the fact that the cones on the road are making you merge. It was not your choice but outside influence. It may be that you are ill and know the time is coming and that illness is making you merge. It is still good that you are doing this but you miss those extra miles that you could have had with the faith and Jesus. You have to want to merge your life for it to be real. 

     I am trying to merge all the areas of my life but must admit that there are some areas that are harder then others. People are starting to see more and more how Jesus and the faith is becoming my focus but not everyone is clear with it. It is guiding my choice and decisions but I should be more vocal about it. There are areas of my life that need Jesus to be more present and reflective of the faith. I am trying. It is hard to let go sometimes because it is giving control to Jesus so He may work in me with the Spirit and guide me in this merge. 

   Jesus and the Faith should be seen within us at all times, in all circumstance, with all the people and no matter where we are. It is a time for us to stand for what we believe and as we merge our lives with that of Jesus and the Faith, it will become easier. We will gain in power and strength. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and start by putting on your blinker so others know you are ready to merge. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

St. Peter Chanel


St. Peter Chanel


Feastday: April 28
Patron of Oceania
1803 - 1841

In St. Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr (Feast day - April 28) The protomartyr of the South Seas, St. Peter Chanel was born in 1803 at Clet in the diocese of Belley, France. His intelligence and simple piety brought him to the attention of the local priest, Father Trompier, who saw to his elementary education. Entering the diocesan Seminary, Peter won the affection and the esteem of both students and professors. After his ordination he found himself in a rundown country parish and completely revitalized it in the three year span that he remained there. However, his mind was set on missionary work; so, in 1831, he joined the newly formed Society of Mary (Marists) which concentrated on missionary work at home and abroad. To his dismay, he was appointed to teach at the seminary at Belley and remained there for the next five years, diligently performing his duties.
In 1836, the Society was given the New Hebrides in the Pacific as a field for evangelization, and the jubilant St. Peter was appointed Superior of a little band of missionaries sent to proclaim the Faith to its inhabitants. On reaching their destination after an arduous ten month journey, the band split up and St. Peter went to the Island of Futuna accompanied by a laybrother and an English layman, Thomas Boog. They were at first well received by the pagans and their king Niuliki who had only recently forbidden canabalism. However, the kings jealousy and fear were aroused when the missionaries learned the language and gained the people's confidence; he realized the adoption of the Christian Faith would lead to the abolition of some of the prerogatives he enjoyed as both highpriest and sovereign.
Finally, when his own son expressed a desire to be baptized, the king's hatred erupted and he dispatched a group of his warriors to set upon the saintly head of the missionaries. Thus, on April 28, 1841, three years after his arrival, St. Peter was seized and clubbed to death by those he had come to save. And his death brought his work to completion - within five months the entire island was converted to Christianity.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

God's Love Letter

God's Love Letter


    Tonight I was at a seminar that showed a video from YouTube called God’s Love Letter. It was such an amazing video I had to post and share this with you. Enjoy.

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and remember that God’s Love is Unconditional. 




Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Light up the Sky

Light up the Sky


      I heard the song “Light Up the Sky” by the Afters and it seemed to fit the senseless act in Boston earlier this week. For all those who lost someone, who were injured, and those questioning “How this could happen” my prayers and I bet all of your prayers as well are continuing to go out to them. The song speaks to all of us who at times may feel we are along and can not see any sign of God, but yet as we cry out to Him and ask  Him to light up the sky so we may run to Hs arms and feel safe again.  It is an uplifting song that I feel we all need to hear from time to time and especially in the wake of the tragedy in Boston this week.  As always I have included the video and lyrics below.

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may God light up the sky and your life. 


When I'm feeling all alone 
With so far to go 
The signs are no where on this road 
Guiding me home 
When the night is closing in 
Is falling on my skin 
Oh God will You come close? 

(Chorus) 
Light light light up the sky 
You light up the sky 
To show me You are with me 
I I I can't deny 
No I can't deny that You are right here with me 
You've opened my eyes 
So I can see You all around me 
Light light light up the sky 
You light up the sky to show me 
That You are with me 

When stars are hiding in the clouds 
I don't feel them shining 
When I can't see You beyond my doubt 
The silver lining 
When I've almost reached the end 
Like a flood You're rushing in 
Your love is rushing in 

(Chorus) 

So I run straight into Your arms 
You're the bright and morning sun 
To show Your love there's nothing You won't do 

(Chorus) 

That You are with me 
That You are with me

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

"Was It Worth the Wait?"

"Was It Worth the Wait?"

Our soul waits for the LORD, he is our help and shield. For in him our hearts rejoice; in his holy name we trust. May your mercy, LORD, be upon us; as we put our hope in you. ~Psalms 33:20-22

    This past weekend at mass a question was asked of me and still a few days later has me still thinking about it and how true it is. Let me first explain what happened. While standing in line for Communion, the Eucharistic Minister was just about out of Eucharist and asked the Priest for some more as He passed by. I stood in front of her waiting to receive with my hands cupped and waited for what had to be no more the a few seconds but seemed forever. After receiving the Eucharist from the Priest she turned and said “ Body of Christ” and I replied “ Amen”. Then she replied back due to the wait and said to me “ Was it worth the wait?’ and I smiled and said “Always”. I walked back to my seat with a smile on my face. 

    You see I must admit that as I waited, I was getting a bit impatient. Not because she needed to get more but because she still had some Eucharist and I wished she waited till after me to ask. When she asked “ Was it worth the wait”, it made me realize so much as I walked back to my seat. 

     My first thought was how it really was worth it for me. Even after returning to the church it took me awhile to receive. Not because I did not want to or that I didn’t believe or I was in sin but because I did not want it to be just another part I was just going with the motions with. I wanted to want to receive again with my heart, mind and soul. I needed that desire for Jesus to enter not just my body but enter my mind, heart and soul. I was not ready when I first came back for that to happen. I remember when I felt it was time. I wanted to receive more then ever before at mass on week but needed to wait to go to confession for it to be able to happen. That next week when I was standing on the communion line, I was so excited. It was like receiving Jesus for the first  time again. It is more then just receiving Jesus in our body but with our whole body, mind, heart and soul. Being in communion with the Church for me is such a driving force. We are all united in the Eucharist, both in Heaven and on Earth. 

     I think at time I have taken the Eucharist for granted. The Eucharist has always been there and unlike other places in the world there is not an issue for us here in the U.S. to be able to attend mass and receive. There is a strength to be gained from the Eucharist and it not only feeds our bodies but our spiritual selves as well. Jesus is there in Body and Blood for us to stand and take within each of us. 

     The second idea that crossed my mind as I sat down was “ How long Jesus waited for me to return to Him and here I was getting a bit annoyed I had to wait for Him.” Jesus never left that spot where I left Him, well thats not true. He still followed me even after saying to Him that He was not to follow me. He waited for me to acknowledge Him there by my side. My few seconds of waiting seemed to take forever, I could not even imagine what it is like for Jesus when we all keep Him waiting for us to not only acknowledge Him but also follow Him and let Him enter our Hearts, Minds, and Soul. Jesus will wait for us. 

     It was just a simple statement/question that was asked. I do not believe that she thought it would still be on my mind days later or caused me to stop and think about it as I walked back to my seat. Yet, her words causes me a comfort that I know now how much that wait for Jesus was well worth it. That for me a man who turned from Jesus and sinned over and over is still able to receive Him without Him saying to me I need to wait till He is now ready.  Those moments that we encounter Jesus are always worth the wait. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and ask yourself “Was it worth the wait?’.......

Monday, April 15, 2013

Prayers for Boston

Prayers for Boston


  In light of the days events in Boston, I am asking for us all to unite in prayer for those who lost their lives, were injured, or has suffered today. Also we need to pray that those who acted in this crime to be brought to justice. It is in these trying times where we need to turn to God and send up our prayers for those who are in need. Let us not turn and raise our fists in anger but face and lift up our hands in prayer. May God Bless all of us today and hold close to those who have lost today. It is only through God that we make take some comfort in this tragedy. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

St. Alphege

St. Alphege


Feast day: April 19
Patron of Greenwich; Solihull; kidnap victims
954 - 1012

Archbishop and "the First Martyr of Canterbury." He was born in 953 and became a monk in the Deerhurst Monastery in Gloucester, England, asking after a few years to become a hermit. He received permission for this vocation and retired to a small hut near Somerset, England. In 984 Alphege assumed the role of abbot of the abbey of Bath, founded by St. Dunstan and by his own efforts. Many of his disciples from Somerset joined him at Bath. In that same year, Alphege succeeded Ethelwold as bishop of Winchester. He served there for two decades, famed for his care of the poor and for his own austere life. King Aethelred the Unready used his abilities in 994, sending him to mediate with invading Danes. The Danish chieftain Anlaf converted to Christianity as a result of his meetings with Alphege, although he and the other chief, Swein, demanded tribute from the Anglo-Saxons of the region. Anlaf vowed never to lead his troops against Britain again. In 1005 Alphege became the successor to Aleric as the archbishop of Canterbury, receiving the pallium in Rome from Pope John XVIII. He returned to England in time to be captured by the Danes pillaging the southern regions. The Danes besieged Canterbury and took Alphege captive. The ransom for his release was about three thousand pounds and went unpaid. Alphege refused to give the Danes that much, an act which infuriated them. He was hit with an ax and then beaten to death. Revered as a martyr, Alphege's remains were placed in St. Paul's Church in London. The body, moved to Canterbury in 1023, was discovered to be incorrupt in 1105. Relics of St. Alphege are also in Bath, Glastonbury, Ramsey, Reading, Durham, Yorkminster and in Westminster Abbey. His emblem is an ax, and he is depicted in his pontifical vestments or as a shepherd defending his flock.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Pope Saint Martin I

Pope Saint Martin I


Feast day: April 13
Died: 655

Martin I lay too sick to fight on a couch in front of the altar when the soldiers burst into the Lateran basilica. He had come to the church when he heard the soldiers had landed. But the thought of kidnapping a sick pope from the house of God didn't stop the soldiers from grabbing him and hustling him down to their ship.
Elected pope in 649, Martin I had gotten in trouble for refusing to condone silence in the face of wrong. At that time there existed a popular heresy that held that Christ didn't have a human will, only a divine will. The emperor had issued an edict that didn't support Monothelitism (as it was known) directly, but simply commanded that no one could discuss Jesus' will at all.
Monothelitism was condemned at a council convened by Martin I. The council affirmed, once again, that since Jesus had two natures, human and divine, he had two wills, human and divine. The council then went further and condemned Constans edict to avoid discussion stating, "The Lord commanded us to shun evil and do good, but not to reject the good with the evil."
In his anger at this slap in the face, the emperor sent his soldiers to Rome to bring the pope to him. When Martin I arrived in Constantinople after a long voyage he was immediately put into prison. There he spent three months in a filthy, freezing cell while he suffered from dysentery. He was not allowed to wash and given the most disgusting food. After he was condemned for treason without being allowed to speak in his defense he was imprisoned for another three months.
From there he was exiled to the Crimea where he suffered from the famine of the land as well as the roughness of the land and its people. But hardest to take was the fact that the pope found himself friendless. His letters tell how his own church had deserted him and his friends had forgotten him. They wouldn't even send him oil or corn to live off of.
He died two years later in exile in the year 656, a martyr who stood up for the right of the Church to establish doctrine even in the face of imperial power.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Say What You Need to Say

"Say What You Need to Say"

Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one. ~ Matthew 5:37

     I have heard John Mayer’s song “ Say ” at least 75 times, but tonight it was like I heard it for the first time in a different way. I guess I never really listened to the words as much as tonight. As I type this blog I am starting to think its not that the words of the song that I really listened to tonight but that I am in a different place the I was and the song had a different meaning to me. As they say you may read a passage of the bible everyday and it may have a different meaning to you each time. 

    The main felling that I got out of the song was “ Say What You Need to Say” or “Pray What You Need to Pray”. Do not hold what is inside, let it out and make it your prayer. Yes, Jesus knows what is in our heart but I think we still need to say it. Whether it be out loud or in our head. We have to acknowledge what is inside of ourselves so we may come to know the truth that is within us. I know for me that at times I need to “say” it out loud so I am hearing it as well and makes me understand its truth within me. I can not ignore what I am hearing from myself out loud as easily as I can push that “ LA LA LA” in my head to ignore what either my mind is thinking or my heart feeling. 

     The beginning of the song, speaks about putting all your problems and frustrations and put them in quotations. This means speak of them, get them out and let Jesus know first hand from your heart what is going on and has gone on. Then it speaks of how in our mind we are fighting with the past and maybe part of the past is the sins and as Catholics we do “Say What You Need to Say” in the confessional so that those shadows  (sins) are left behind. That at times we may be feeling that we are alone and its us battling the world to stay on that path and stay away from sin. We are better off when we are able to confess or say what has weighed us down and kept us away from what we want from this life of Jesus.

    I kept playing over two verses of the song. The verses were the last two from the song.  

Have no fear for givin' in
Have no fear for givin' over
You better know that in the end
It's better to say too much
Than to never to say what you need to say again

Even if your hands are shakin'
And your faith is broken
Even as the eyes are closin'
Do it with a heart wide open
A wide heart

    We should not fear that we are giving in or what we are giving over. Jesus wants us to give our worries and burdens to Him. He wants us to give over so we may be strong. It is not being weak when we do this, but being strong to be able to say “I need Your help. I need You, Jesus”.  It is better to say all of what our needs, desires, prayers, pain, and concerns are because if we do not then the graces of Jesus may be limited. We are not guaranteed another day and if we wait to turn our hearts to Jesus then we may just lose that chance because “we didn’t say what we needed to say”. It is ok if we are nervous and our faith may be broken. Jesus is there in our brokenness. All we need to do is open our hearts to Him and “Pray What You Need to Pray” and “Say What You Need to Say” because He is listening and waiting for you. 

     I can not believe how I never got this message from the song before but I know I will never think of the song the same way again. Below I have posted the song and the lyrics for you to listen to and read. We need to say what is in our hearts and open them so that Jesus may heal our broken heart.

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and remember to say what is on your mind and what is in your heart. 



"Say"

Take all of your wasted honor
Every little past frustration
Take all of your so-called problems,
Better put 'em in quotations

Say what you need to say [x8]

Walking like a one man army
Fighting with the shadows in your head
Living out the same old moment
Knowing you'd be better off instead,
If you could only . . .

Say what you need to say [x8]

Have no fear for giving in
Have no fear for giving over
You'd better know that in the end
Its better to say too much
Then never say what you need to say again

Even if your hands are shaking
And your faith is broken
Even as the eyes are closing
Do it with a heart wide open

Say what you need to say [x20]



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Prayer of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity

Prayer of Blessed Elizabeth 

of the Trinity

Tonight I was at a Men's prayer group and we read the Prayer of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity.  I must admit this prayer conveys has been what I wanted since the retreat I went on. That peace that I got from being away from and within the “world”. It is easy to get lost in the world and let that focus start to get away from us. I know for myself, that is very true.  I allow myself to get all entangled in the stress and frustration of the day and let it guide my attitude. It is through the comfort of God that unchanging peace can be obtained. Another aspect of the prayer that stood out to me was “completely vigilant in my faith”. It is something that I believe in with my whole heart, mind and soul.We must be vigilant in the faith. The faith gives us the strength to seek that embraced peace of God. 

    I have included the prayer below and hope that you will find some solace as you read it and also when you pray it as well.

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may you rest in the Father’s Peaceful Embrace. 

O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me forget myself entirely so to establish myself in you, unmovable and peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be able to trouble my peace or make me leave you, O my unchanging God, but may each minute bring me more deeply into your mystery! Grant my soul peace. Make it your heaven, your beloved dwelling and the place of your rest. May I never abandon you there, but may I be there, whole and entire, completely vigilant in my faith, entirely adoring, and wholly given over to your creative action.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Prayers for A Child

Prayer Request

  Tonight I am asking for us all to keep in prayer a 6 year old boy who died today. He was shot by a 4 year old last evening and has since passed. Please pray for all those involved and that somehow they find the comfort with each other and Jesus' embrace during this tragic time. Thank You and may God Bless us all who lift up others in prayer. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and to remember we are all connected through prayer. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

My Hope is in You

My Hope is in You 

by Aaron Shust


   I heard this song tonight as I was thinking and praying about what has been going on in my life lately. The first line of the song says “ I meet with You and my soul sings out”. I love that idea of meeting with God. To me it reminds me of when I meet with a friend. We sit down talk, laugh, share and the hours just pass by as it was just minutes. That is how the retreat felt like a few weeks ago. That time that I spent just sitting and meeting with God or Jesus seemed to be just a few minutes. Yet, it left me with peace and a calmness of my soul. 

    That calmness is just about gone as the world has taken more of a toll and I have to turn off the world again just for a little while so I may be refreshed in the light of God and Jesus. I have to learn to turn more to God and use Him as my refuge. It is not enough to just talk and ask for guidance but to just sit in His presence and relax my soul. 

    I have included the video and the lyrics below. I hope that the song will speak to you as it has me.

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may your soul sing out “ Hallelujah, Father, You’re here!”



"My Hope Is In You"

I meet with You and my soul sings out
As your word throws doubt far away
I sing to You and my heart cries
"Holy! Hallelujah, Father, You're near!"

My hope is in You, Lord
All the day long, I won't be shaken by drought or storm
A peace that passes understanding is my song
And I sing my hope is in You, Lord

I wait for You and my soul finds rest
In my selfishness, You show me grace
I worship You and my heart cries "Glory
Hallelujah, Father, You're here!"

My hope is in You, Lord
All the day long I won't be shaken by drought or storm
A peace that passes understanding is my song
And I sing my hope is in You, Lord

I will wait on You
You are my refuge
I will wait on You
You are my refuge

My hope is in You, Lord, all the day long
I won't be shaken by drought or storm
My hope is in You, Lord
All the day long I won't be shaken by drought or storm

A peace that passes understanding is my song
And I sing my hope is in You, Lord
My hope is in You, Lord, yeah
My hope is in You, Lord

Sunday, April 7, 2013

"Where are you"....

"Where are you"....


"When they heard the sound of the LORD God walking about in the garden at the breezy time of the day, the man and his wife hid themselves from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. The LORD God then called to the man and asked him: Where are you? He answered, “I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid.” " ~ Genesis 3: 8-10


   In Genesis God calls out to Adam and asks “ Where are you?”.  Adam is hiding from God because he ate from the Tree that God asked them not to and is ashamed. The sin of Adam and Eve created a space between them and God. When God asks Adam that question I think that today that same question can be asked of us all. Not just as in the physical hiding but also spiritual hiding as well. We hide from God today in both the physical and spiritual aspects of our lives. Some it is more spiritual then physical and others it may be reversed. 

    There are many ways that we can physically hide from God. Before I get into the physical aspect I feel the need to state that I believe there is no place where God is not but it is in our desire to avoid or go to where we feel that He is not or is there. When we decide not to attend mass, we are physically removing or keeping ourselves from a place we know He is spoken about and has a noticeable presence.  It is a way for us to keep our minds and hearts from being with Him. We avoid that physical place because it is a reminder of the relationship we have with Him. Another way we can try and hide from God is  when we avoid those people in our lives that have that connection with God. We avoid them because they are also that physical reminder of God in our life. They may ask us that same question of “where are you” or “where have you been” and it makes us think about what was or what has yet to become that relationship with God. For me I must say that I did avoid some people because they were that reminder of God and I kept that distance and hid from them because of it. The physical aspect of hiding  is almost like the quote “ Out of sight, Out of mind”. When those physical aspects of faith are removed it is easier for us who want to stay hidden from God. We do not attend mass, we do not keep in touch with those people, we take the signs of faith in the home and pack them up, avoid shows or movies that have a message of God, etc..  

    When we avoid the places, the people and the things that physically remind ourselves of God then we are going to places that we feel God is not, we are forming relationships that God is not welcomed, and fill our lives with things that do not remind us of God. It makes it easier for us when we want to hide to have these other avenues and paths to take. We avoid that physical world of God and replace it with a complete secular life. No signs of God, becomes a way of life. I remember having a struggle about putting up the crosses I have collected over the years in my new home. I remember saying out loud to God “ Just because these are up does not mean we have a relationship. I just like the way they look and not the message behind them”. Who was I kidding?  I think it was a way for me to hold onto that physical sign without admitting it.  This happens not only to the ones who lead a life with God but those who never have had God in their life before as well. The world makes it very easy for us to avoid God out there. We have plenty of other avenues to take and paths to explore. We have to work to find the paths and avenues to God in the world, but the avenues and paths to sin are easy to find. Those who never had a relationship with God may not realize that they are also hiding from God. If they do not explore those other paths or avenues, they also are hiding. 

     The spiritual hiding from God is more painful and creates that great divide and keeps our souls from being in the light. Our souls naturally want to seek out and embrace God but when we hide it from the light we are slowing killing our soul. When we turn from prayer and conversations with God, that light starts to dim. We are hiding our souls in the dark and making it harder for our soul to cry out and ask us to refresh and restore itself with the graces and promises of God. We are removing what nourishes our souls. When we do not include prayer in our daily lives we are keeping ourselves from God. We may do that because we know that what we should be praying about, will not be the answers we want. That as long as we do not get that feeling of “NO” from God then what we are doing or about to do is ok. It is the hiding behind the statement of “Ignorance is Bliss”.  Just because you hid your soul from a connection with God and did not pray for an answer, does not make it right. Our souls want to do what is right and just. It is only in our hiding from God in prayer that our souls lack the force to guide us in right judgement. We are turning off that GPS in our souls to God. We are not recharging our souls to help guide us. 

      In spiritual hiding we are placing our souls in jeopardy and also our salvation. Our souls will guide us and lead us to God. It is who we choose to be that our soul will tell in the end. God seeks our souls to speak to and get His messages to us. He will not force it  but up to us to freely accept that connection. We may at times hide ourselves because we feel that we are so far from God and that we are not able to come back to Him. The second we open our souls again to Him and start that conversation and prayer our souls start to search for that path back to Him.  

      God asks us all “ Where are you?” each day. Not because He is unclear where we are but we have to answer Him so we remain connected to Him. He wants to hear “Here I am” so He may show us the graces and paths for us. When we say this we are not hiding from Him but actively renewing our commitment to Him and our Faith. God wants to come to where we are and by also asking that question He is showing His care and concern. If He did not care, He would not ask. 

      There is also another way that question may be interpreted as and that is “ Where are you on your journey to Me?” Are you doing everything to keep that connection flowing? Are you on the right path to Him? Sometimes God may ask this so we take stock in our journey to Him. It should make us stop and make sure things are right in those areas in our lives. 

    It is such a simple question that God asks but it has so many ways we can answer it. We do not have to answer at all if we did not want to. We can remain in hiding from Him if we wanted to. Yet, that question will never stop being asked. Think about answers to the question of  “Where are you?” and answer it. Where are you in your Faith? Where are you in your relationships to God, Jesus, Holy Spirit? Where are you in your both physical and spiritual life? God will always ask you because He loves you and He wants to hear “Here I Am, God”.

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and know where you are and where you are going. He is waiting for you.