Should Christians be Using this Scripture to Justify Their Cruelty?

One thing which really bothers me is when “Christians” use the story of the “Cleansing of the Temple,” to justify their cruelty.   For some reason, I feel the Lord has placed this on my heart to write about.

In this story, “Jesus made a whip of cords and drove the money changers out.”  He also, “Poured out the coins and overturned the tables.”

Many times in my life, (especially with those who think they have it “all” right) when I pointed out, “You are being less than kind here,”  I am told, “Was Jesus kind when He whipped those in the temple?”  (I have been told this by Catholics and Protestants alike)

The only thing I could really ever reply with was, “We are not Jesus.”

Today, at the Lord’s urging, I decided to go and read the complete story, and actually see what was going on.  Again, this is something I have missed all of my life.

After all of this happened, the Jews then said to Jesus, “What sign have you to show us for doing this?”

Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”  

Jesus was speaking here of course about His Body being destroyed and  raised from the dead. 

Scripture also says, “His disciples remembered that He had said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.”

Jesus was “mad because of the business dealings in the Temple.”

Something else happened here when He said, “Destroy This Temple,” and in three days I will raise it up.”

Jesus, at that moment challenged the Jews to “destroy Him.”  To “kill Him.”

He also said this, so the “disciples could remember it on the Day of the Cross.”

In reading these things, the “whip” is not what we take away from this story???  It is not a “reason” for Christians to say “hurtful/cruel” things to one another???

What I take away from it is, “Jesus, though angry, was offering Himself for the salvation of these Jews, challenging them to “destroy Him.”  He was offering “His very life.”

To me, this comes together with, “resisting sin to the point of shedding blood.”  How many have done that?  Only One, that I know of.

These Scripture’s should never be used to justify saying or doing something cruel and mean to anyone.  

I mean, have any of us ever “challenged someone to kill us?”  Have any of us, “ever asked someone else to destroy us?”  Have any of us, “ever offered to be beaten, tortured, and crucified while, “trying to make our point?”  Don’t think so.

I have read of some Saints who have done this.   They are very far and few between.

Jesus was angry, but He still even with a “whip,” showed love and compassion.   He still offered Himself as a “Human Sacrifice,” for their very soul’s.

That was the “sign” He gave to the Jews, when they asked for one.  That was “the sign” they missed, and so do we.

We cannot get out here and use this Scripture to hurt someone.  Especially for the point of our “glory” and being “right.”  Being a “know it all” to “end it all.” 

For those who like to do this, all I have to say to you is, “Keep that whip in your hand./Keep that whip on your tongue./But from now on, when you say this to me, I am going to ask you, “When did you offer to sacrifice your very existence for my salvation and soul?/When did you offer to die for me?/When did you challenge me to destroy you?/Before you continue, would you please give me “this sign” for saying and doing, the things you are saying and doing?/As that is the point you are missing, in trying to justify yourself, in this story.”

God Bless, SR    

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Bible, Catholic, Catholic Church, Catholicism, Christian, Christianity, evangelicals, Gospels, Protestant, Religion, Uncategorized | 17 Comments

Balancing Prayer in our Lives (part 2)

Before I combine all of this with the Gospels I would like to talk about a few things here.   Two are quotes from St. Faustina, and the other is about “conviction and guilt.”

St. Faustina said, “O life so dull and monotonous, how many treasures you contain!/When I look at everything with the eyes of faith, no two hours are alike, and the dullness and monotony disappear./The grace which is given me in this hour will not be repeated in the next./It may be given me again, but it will not be the same grace./Time goes on never to return again./Whatever is enclosed in it will never change; it seals with a seal for eternity.”  #62

Another thing she said was, “Between the radiance and the earth I saw Jesus, nailed to the Cross in such a way that when God wanted to look at the earth, He had to look through the wounds of Jesus./And I understood that it was for the sake of Jesus that God blesses the earth.”  #60

First I am going to begin with grace.  (This also reminded me of something one of my followers Pete said, when I was doing my post on salvation.  “When it boils down to it, it is God’s grace that saves us.)  Which I did agree with.  (Please combine that statement with the rest of these writings.)

God’s grace to me, (which I know there are other definitions) anyways, outside of the love of His grace, it has always meant something else to me.  “The ability to get me through.”

What I mean by that if I am needing strength, to work, have mercy/ love, being able to contemplate, pray etc… I am going to have a different type of grace, for every situation in my life.  

Why is this?

Almost every hour of the day, my circumstances are going to change.  I am going to need a different kind of grace to handle them.  I will not need the “same grace” in the hour I am in, which I had in my “previous” hour/circumstance.

One thing God is going to require of me though, is to “cooperate” with whatever kind of grace He is giving me.  

One of my first prayers in the morning now is, “Lord, give me the grace to cooperate with your grace, throughout this day.”

If I am needing “strength” then I need to get up and get what I need done, while God gives me the strength to do it.  If I am needing to “contemplate” then I need to get myself in the stillness and quietness that I need, so that God can speak to my soul during these times.  If it is “prayer,” one thing I need to do is ask God, what He wants me to pray for and then listen for His answer.  Another is, I need to make the time to do it, even if it means getting up an hour earlier.

Whatever it is I need, God is going to give to me a “different grace”  to acccomplish it but….I am going to have to get in there and work with it. 

As Scott Hahn said, “Grace is free, but it is not cheap.”

Now “guilt” verses “conviction.”

I am going to admit, I have suffered from a lot of guilt trying to get all of this straight.  God did not place “guilt” upon me, I did it myself.  

That is not to say, “God did not “convict” me that something needed to change.”  It did.  I took it in an entirely different direction.  

You know the “unworthy” guilt.  The kind which keeps you absolutely so confused and down trodden, it is hard to breathe.

St. Faustina said, “God looks at the earth/us through the wounds of Jesus./God blesses the earth/us because of Jesus.”

So each time I fail, God goes to the “wounds” of Christ.  He sees mercy, love, and grace in those.  Because of those wounds, God is going to continue to love me, regardless of my failings.

“Conviction” is not about me, feeling “guilty” all the time.  It is about me repenting and making a change if I need to, with God’s grace, which will enable me to do it.

Jesus, carried my “guilt” to the Cross.  It has no place in my life for days and months on end.

I need to take God’s “conviction” for what it is.  Recognize what He is convicting me of, do something about it, and going on.

Next week, I am going to tie last week’s post and this one, in with the Gospels.

God Bless, SR

Excerpts taken from “Divine Mercy in my Soul, Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Balancing Prayer in our Lives (Part 1)

First off let me say, I am so glad these post regarding “balance” is helping so  many.  Though this “out of balance thing” as brought me some sad moments, I am realizing I am not the only one going through this.

I have received wonderful advice as well, and I thank you all.  I pray when all of this is over, we are “all” at a better place in our lives with God, as well as in our personal lives.

Okay, prayer.  As Catholics we have some of the most beautiful prayers I have ever heard.  Some are long, medium, and short.  I wish I could just get every one of them out, all day long, as well as the Psalms.

How realistic is that?  Not very.  

St. Benedict’s approach on prayer is, “Approaching God with reverence and humility, be free from distraction, and they should normally be short, even though there are the times we may need to pray a little longer, and to praise God seven times a day.” 

Another thing which really caught me is, “Prayer is also about listening.”  Oops, I kind of fell short on that one!

I am going to hit on these with some changes I had to make, involving the Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, along with my other prayers.  (I might have to do this in more than one post.)

Okay, I start my day with the Liturgy of the Hours.  Have for years.  Then I try to fit in the entire Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  Then I try to get my noon, afternoon, evening and night prayers.  How was all of this working for me?  It wasn’t.

All of it truly became words coming out of my mouth, instead of my heart.  To make things worse, I have the attention span of an overactive gnat!  So contemplation was more or less, not there, one might say!

Changes had to be made.

So, I still do my morning and evening prayers using the Liturgy of the Hours.  The Rosary I say one decade of the Rosary with contemplation a day, and one Chaplet of Divine Mercy a day. (This is usually done in my first hour in the morning before my day starts.)

At night, I say the Magnificat of our Blessed Mother, as I love ending the day with that prayer.  It just says it all to me.  I also repent of my sins and ask forgiveness.

This still left me with hours and a lot of them throughout the day.  Now how was I going to combine all I wanted to say to God and get it all done?  

St. Benedict gave to me the answer.  Each time I started a task he said to say, “Lord, come to my assistance, Lord make haste to help me.”  At the conclusion of each task he said to say, “Blessed are you my Lord, my God, for you have helped and strengthened me.”

There it was.  I was working with God, and He was helping me.  At the end, I blessed and thanked Him for being there for me, and giving me the ability to finish.

Throughout my day, I will say two or three Hail Mary’s and/or two or three Chaplet of Divine Mercy, or both at the same time.  Washing dishes, folding clothes I might say,  “The Angelus.”  

I find myself throughout the day telling God a whole lot, “I love You.”  I as well try to be aware to praise God, seven times a day.  (I mean how hard can that be?)

Then comes the time for me to shut up and listen.  In doing so, I am offering my silence to God.  The silence of my mind, heart, and soul.  This to me is why “listening” is as much of a prayer as a verbal prayer is.  When I shut up, God begins to speak.  

He has heard my prayers.  Rote prayers as well as personal ones.  We have performed my duties together, and spent the entire day with one another.  Now it is time for me to give God, His space and voice.  

I just need to take a “chill pill” and let it happen.  Be it morning, afternoon, or night.

I wish I had hours up on end to get it all said and done, but I do not.  I am not a “religious,” but I can try and live like one, if I use the “right” tools to do so.  

The right tools for me, are the tools of balance.

This is going to be continued, next week.

God Bless, SR

Excerpts taken from the Benedictine Handbook

 

 

 

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Realizing “Work” is Holy

This is a continuation of getting my “pendulum” in balance.

I am a busy person, as this world is truly becoming.  Too busy.  At times I feel because of this “busyness” I absolutely lose any “holiness” which I need.  

St. Benedict said something in Chapter 48, of the “Rule,”  “Idleness is the enemy of the soul.”  He laid aside rules for the monks regarding their works stating, “Let them not be distressed….For when they live by the labor of their hands, as our fathers, the apostles did, then they are really monks.”

Laurence McTaggart, (a contributor to the book) wrote, “We have to get the right view of work./As Christians we have two ways of seeing work.”

One is, “God worked for six days.”  Another, “Because of the consequence of the fall, work is a curse.”

So I have to ask myself, “Which way am I going to view work?”  

As Laurence explains, “Christ worked, at the carpenter’s bench./Whatever is to do with God is holy.”

Bingo!  There it is for me.  I can either view work as a “curse,” or something which is “holy,” because God and Jesus Themselves, did it.  I can offer the work’s of my hands as a prayer, and unite it with Their works.  

In doing so, my “works” not only become holy, but I am walking/working in the “holiness of God.”  

God does not want me to be “idle.”  He said, “Idleness” is our “enemy.”  

I give an example of this.  Sit down for an hour and see where your mind goes.  If there is anything bad going on, it will consume your mind and thoughts for that hour.  

Therefore; even though I am busy and I am not sitting down to pray, I am still producing the image of God and Jesus in my life.  My idleness only brings reflections I really do not need.

A person who is working, is still in the “spiritual realm,” of a very Holy God and His Son.

Okay, now being an artist, as I mentioned in my last post.

All I have to do is walk outside and see the artistry of God.  Colors, shapes, forms, different species of animals, and the list goes on and on.

St. Benedict, expected everyone to use their talents.  Be it for growing food, reading, working in the kitchen, or whatever talent one had.

When I realized this, I realized, my art work, is the same as my labor.  When I am drawing, I am creating.  Which once again places me into, the “spiritual realm” with God.  He created.  

So whether or not, if I am working, praying, or drawing, it is God Who is coming forth, through it all.  

It dawned on me, every single thing I do like this, is the “Image of God” in my life.  Jesus, prayed.

I may not be spending hours in prayer or in Mass, but that does not mean I am separated from God.  That is how I was feeling.  

If I was not saying “enough” prayers, going to Mass/Adoration “enough,” God and I were becoming separated.  I was placing work and the like before Him, in my mind. To me, that was truly a lie, the devil was telling me, to stress me out.

So…fitting all of this in with the Gospels, (as St. Benedict did everything) Jesus worked, I am to work.  Jesus rested, I am to rest.  Jesus went to the Temple, I am to go to Mass.  Jesus prayed, I am to pray.   

But….Jesus did it all in balance.  The Father was always with Him, no matter what He was doing, as Jesus always did the “Father’s will.”

I realize now, “work” and “my talents” are as much of God’s will, as everything else is in my life.  Doing these things does not mean, I am not giving the time I need to give to Him.  In fact, it is almost being with Him 24/7.

The next post is going to be about prayer.

God Bless, SR

Excerpts taken from: The Benedictine Handbook

 

 

 

 

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Making My Pendulum Swing in the Middle

First I would like to say I hope everyone had wonderful holidays.   As some of you know I have been away due to “Texas Flu Bug,”  that did not let go until last week from Thanksgiving.   

Having spent many days being sick, it gave me some time to reflect on myself and God.  Some of what I reflected on I did not like.  One of them being “my pendulum.”   It is continuously swinging too far to the left or too far to the right. 

In doing so I am neither serving God, others, or myself.   To be honest, I do not like this person very much.  She is way too stressed and feels bad most of the time because she is not accomplishing in life who God created her to be.  

So I have decided to get that balance back, during 2018.  (I will be doing some post on this journey.)

I am a Catholic, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and grandmother.   I am a child of God. I am an artist who only draws, Indians, mountain men, and wildlife.  A wolf being my favorite.

Somehow, I have to get this all in sync with one another.   

Being a child of God through the years, I have consecrated myself to the Blessed Mother, gone to Mass, attended Holy Days of Obligation, prayed, attended RCIA,  studied Catholic teachings, the Saints, the Bible, tried to be there for others, and have gone to Adoration.

As a wife, mother, sister, daughter, and grandmother, I have tried to do all that entails.

As an artist, I do it when I have the time.

Now, what am I going to do with all of this?

Through the years all of this has gotten out of “balance.”  So I had only one place to go, and that was to the “Rule of St. Benedict.”  I know the only way I can live in this world,  work and be a child of God, is to follow the “Rule,” and combine them with Gospels.

“Work,” “life,” and “prayer” have to go hand in hand.   I have become a person who has one or the other.   I lost having them simultaneously.

The first thing St. Benedict taught me to look for was, “What kind of worker am I?” ” Am I one who groans and moans through it?/  Am I one who does it because it is expected of me?/Am I one who works because I enjoy it?/Am I a workaholic?”  

I “work” because I enjoy it, but….”I am a workaholic!”  That is my answer.

I love to be on my feet.  Sitting bores the heck out of me.   I love a clean house, yard, and automobile.  I love taking care of animals.

St. Benedict also grounded me in a few other things, one is the computer world interest me very little.  “Facebook” what is that?  (I went on it for five minutes one time and had a 100 people who wanted to “be my friend.”  I never went back.)  🙂

I do what I want to do on the computer, but outside of the blog, email, and checking my bank balance that is about it.  

I am not saying this is a “bad thing,” but for this day and age it sort of sets me “apart” from the world.  I have very little in common with those in the world today. (Give me a horse or animal and I am in “hog heaven.”)  “Pun” intended!  🙂

To tell you the truth if a “computer” is my “common thread” with God and others in the world, I do not want it.

My home phone stays off more than it is on.  I still have a flip phone as I care nothing about going out to dinner and that thing coming out as “I have to look “it” up!”  Two friends have my cell phone number, and that is for emergencies.  Outside of that, only my family has it.  

So realizing these things about myself, gave me a “starting place.”

Yes, I am a hermit, but I do enjoy others.  I like to work.  Now I have to get it in “sync” with the Gospels.

I will be explaining how St. Benedict, is teaching me how to do this.  

Pray for me, and would love to hear your stories of how you live in today’s world, and get it all done.  Thank you. 

God Bless, SR

 

 

 

Posted in Catholic, Catholic Church, Catholicism, Christian, Christianity, evangelicals, Gospels, Protestant, Religion, St. Benedict, Uncategorized | 41 Comments

Living in Alzheimer’s World

This is the Christmas season, so instead of my St. Faustina post this week, I would like to share my experience with Alzheimer’s.  Hopefully this will help those going through it and help you if it ever happens to someone in your family.

People with Alzheimer’s can no longer live in your world.  You must live in theirs.  This for the most part includes living in and discussing the past. 

Mama could always remember things when I was a baby, and could remember the same for my siblings.  She told me stories which I had never heard when we were kids, and Daddy confirmed they were true.  I always said, “She became the mother I did not remember.”  That right there, will help you to deal with it more than anything.

She could remember every movie from the 1940’s on.  Every actor and actress and what movie they were in.  So these are the things we discussed with her most of the time.  We would laugh and talk.  So never think you cannot communicate with a person with Alzheimer’s.  You can, it just has to be in their world and not yours.

The sundowners are awful.  When the sun goes down, people with Alzheimer’s react for some strange reason.  They can become belligerent, afraid, pace the floor, and arguing during these hours is their most favorite thing to do.

What we did with Mom was put her in the car and ride her around.  She loved malts and we would take her to Sonic and get her one.  We would ride her around town as it is small, and discuss who lived where.  See, she could remember who lived in those houses years ago.  Actually, I enjoyed all of those stories as I had never heard them before.  Diversion is key during these hours.

Locks on the doors.  People with Alzheimer’s will get up at any time and leave the house.  You must install locks which are too high for them to reach on the door.  We put those which slid down over the door.  We also had those which took a key to open the door from the inside and the outside.  Of course we hid the key.

During the start and middle of this disease jigsaw puzzles and hunt and find games were our saving source.  For one it kept her mind active, for another it kept her occupied.  They lose focus quickly with television and the like, but we could keep her focused on the games and puzzles.  Of course as the disease progresses nothing holds their attention long.

Holidays, we always brought Mom home.  She might not of known who was there, but she loved the babies and the grandkids.  We also brought Mom home during the week for a few hours at a time, when she was in the nursing home.  Please do not just stick them in there and leave them.  Though they will not remember those visits you will, and they enjoy them so much.

Be careful with the medications.  Some of those medications made Mama go absolutely crazy.  So we put her in the hospital for about two weeks and they tried different ones and monitored her.  I would recommend this before putting them on any medication.  They need to be in a safe and secure place where they can be watched 24/7.

You know it is time for a nursing home when they become a danger to themselves or to others.  Fire was our biggest concern.  She continually left the stove on, with things on top of it.  Also, she begin to hear people telling her they were going to blow the house up and at 4:00 in the morning she would be trying to get out of the house.  DO NOT ARGUE WITH THEM ABOUT THIS!  Again, divert them to something else.  With Mom, she was easily diverted.

Any Christian who wants to help someone, if you know someone who has this going on in their family, please give the caregiver a break, at least once a month.  Go visit these people in the nursing home for them, or stay with them for a few hours if the patient is at home. 

A caregiver for Alzheimer’s is on call 24/7 for years! 

If anyone is going through this, if you have any questions, I will help you all I can.  Please feel free to ask!  God Bless, SR

 

 

 

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A Tribute to My Mom

As I said yesterday, today is my birthday and Mom is on my mind.  I would like to share a story about what we used to do to her as kids, and she let us.

We danced, and I do mean danced.  In fact dancing is one of the first things I remember doing, on top of my brother’s feet.

Anyways, when we became teenagers we always had a house full of kids.  15-20 was never an unlikely number.

We would move Mom’s furniture all over the place, and dance ourselves to death on her newly waxed floors.  Then all of us would go and take our baths, and leave her with a stack of towels over her head.  (She had no dryer.)

Never put her furniture back, and walked out the door to actually go to a dance.  Often times, we would take Mom and Dad with us, and it would be me, Brother, all our friends, and Mom and Dad.  I really mean, Brother and I wanted them to go.  We never minded our parents going with us to anything or anywhere.

I remember one time Daddy came home from Canada from a bull haul and we were all sitting there waiting on him to get dressed and go with us.

I heard Mom ask him, “Do you feel like going?”  Reply:  “No, but they want us to, so we are going.”

Either way, if they went or stayed home, Mom’s house was less than the immaculate way she always kept it.

When I became an adult, I thought about this.  This happened almost every weekend.  So I asked her,  “Mama why did you let us do that to you?”  Reply: 

“Because I knew where mine were.”

So if you want to know where your kids are, open your door to their friends.

Thanks Mom!

I sure do love and miss you.

Sis

 

 

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Remembering My Birthday Miracle of My Mother’s Life

Tomorrow is my birthday and it always brings back a miracle which happened on it, two years ago.

My Mom had Alzheimer’s and had to be placed in a nursing home because of it.  It became where we were afraid she would burn her and Daddy up in the house.  She was sitting pans on the stove and forgetting them.

Anyways, on the 11th of December, they called us and she had so much fluid on her body it was unbelievable.  Her head looked like a basketball. 

She had bronchitis and over night it was unbelievable what happened.  The fluid on her body begin to collect.  Truly, I cannot describe it.

We rushed her to the ER, and they told me, “Call the family in, she is not going to make it.”

I called my brother and my sister, and told them, “You need to come in, they are saying she will not survive the night.”

They came in and took care of Daddy, as Daddy loved Mama, more than life itself.  He thought she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.  Many times I have heard him in my life say, “Isn’t she pretty?”

She was, as she looked just like Elizabeth Taylor.  I mean, exactly.

Anyways, they took Daddy, and I stayed through the night with Mom.  This is on the 11th, and the 12th was my birthday. 

I did not want Mama to die, but it was inconceivable to me, that she would die on my birthday!

The day she gave me life!  I knew for the rest of my life, every single birthday I had from that day on, I would remember Mama’s death.  Really, I did not know if I could do that or not?

So as I watched her in her comatose state, and that head as big as a basketball I begin to pray, “Lord, I do not want Mama to die any day, but please do not take her on my birthday?”  Tears and this prayer, all night long.  

At 8:00 a.m. the next morning, I was rolled over in my “cot like bed,” and I heard, “Sis, what am I doing in here?”   Most beautiful words I had ever heard!

I jumped up and her head was back to normal, and she had not one bit of swelling in her. 

The doctor came in and said, “This is a miracle./I do not know who was praying, but she should have been dead by all medical terms./Her entire body was full of fluid.”

I went in the bathroom, looked up at God, and said, “Thank you,” in the most softest of whispers.

Though it pleased Him to take her three months later, when I wake up tomorrow, on my birthday, instead of her “death,” I will remember her “miracle.”

God Bless, SR 

 

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If We want God to Show Up, We Need to Show Up for Others (Advent Reflection)

I was a horse rider, from I think the moment of my birth.  I cut cattle on them, rode all day, even went around a few barrels.  Trust me, when you climb off that saddle, your rear to say the least, feels as if the flesh has totally left your tail bone, on both sides.  

I could not of even imagined doing all of this while I was pregnant???  Especially during the months my head was hanging over a toilet! 

We do not see this with the Blessed Mother, though do we?

She and Elizabeth are pregnant. Of course Elizabeth is older and needs help.  Pregnancy does not stop our Blessed Mother.  She hops on a donkey and away she goes. 

From what I gather it was between 80-100 miles she traveled.  On a horse 20 miles a day, is doing good.  A donkey?  Only God knows?

Because of her willingness to sacrifice herself to “help her neighbor/kinswoman,” let us look at the miracles which truly took place.

“John the Baptist leapt in Elizabeth’s womb./Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit./Elizabeth exclaimed to Mary, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”/Elizabeth blessed Mary saying, “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord./Then Mary begin the Magnificat glorifying God, rejoicing in God, saying, “All generations would call her blessed. (Hence the Rosary)/From there she went on to explain who God is, His many attributes, and what He does and why.”

What was the underlying foundation of all of this?

A pregnant Mother getting on a donkey, with no saddle, traveling with no convenient store to stop at to go to the bathroom, get a snack and something to drink.  Yards of material from her head to her feet, surrounding her as she rode. I cannot even imagine the twisting of all of that as she rode.  I mean it was hard enough for me in jeans and a pair of boots.  Still is!  

No hotel to stop at when she became tired, so she could rest on a nice soft mattress.  Did Joseph go with her?  Scripture does not say. 

Was it raining?  Was it hot?  What kind of weather did she endure, while making a journey which at best would have taken almost a week?

Day after day, riding a donkey over no telling what kind of earth?  Rocks, hills, and valleys, I am sure.

I have to admit, I would have had to think about this trip at least, two to three times!  I cannot even imagine, her back pain!

Either way, this was a pregnant woman on a donkey and all that entails.

The greeting between these two women was no less than opening a door for God to go through.  So many things happened and were said. Why?

For three, the love God bore for both of them, the love they bore for God, and the love they bore for one another.

Out of their goodness and love towards everyone, God moved.  The Holy Spirit was there in both wombs, at the same time. 

The Blessed Mother, was not even concerned about the hardships this journey and months with Elizabeth, were going to cause her.

Think about it, taking care of Elizabeth, would have meant for some, drawing water from a well, washing clothes probably with a rock, cooking over an open fire, sweeping a dirt floor with a homemade broom, and going to bed on what?  Straw?  Some material?  Trust me it was not a “featherbed.”

The Blessed Mother shows us in this, to be selfless.  To put our own discomforts and sufferings down for the needs of others.  To rejoice in each and every circumstance, which presents itself in our lives.  To recognize God in all of it, humble ourselves because of it, and give to Him all the praise and glory, for it.

What we do, so often decides what God is going to do. 

If we want Him to show up, we need to show up for others.

God Bless, SR

Image by James Tissot
Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth

 

 

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When “Opinions” Become our god

Tonight at Church we had our penance service. I came away feeling so free. 

I went into Confession and told the Priest, “I was having some issues with the Church.”

That “some leaders” were making me angry and at times had thought about leaving the Church.  I also told him that the Scripture came to my mind where Jesus asked Peter if he was going to leave Him, too?  Peter replied, “Where would I go Lord?”

I told the Priest, “At that moment I realized I would be leaving Jesus, not the Church, and I could not do that.”

His reply to me was wonderful!  I want to share it with you.

“There is a story when Peter was in Rome and he was leaving Rome./He ran into our Lord and asked our Lord, “Where are You going.”/Jesus said, “I am going to Rome because you will not die for Me.”/At that moment Peter turned and followed Jesus back to Rome, where He was crucified upside down./Forget everyone’s opinion and follow Jesus./Ask St. Peter to intercede for you.”

At that moment, tears begin to stream down my face.  I felt so ashamed of myself, that I even considered leaving the Church because of “someone’s opinion??” 

The thought came to me what Jesus told St. Faustina,

“I hold myself prisoner here in the Tabernacle, and no one ever comes to visit Me.”

When we become disheartened because of the “opinions of others,” it can truly take our mind’s in many directions.  It can do the same to our heart’s.

When we dwell upon these opinions, all of a sudden we find ourselves like Peter.  Running away from what the Lord wants and desires from us, instead of to Him.

I had already decided I could not leave Jesus, but… when I thought about what He said to St. Faustina it made it even worse.

We as Catholics believe all of Jesus is in the Eucharist.  We also believe when He died He gave us this very Thing, so He could always stay united to us.

In essence when we think about leaving the Church or do leave the Church, we are leaving Jesus.

I can hear Him in the Tabernacle saying, “Please stay with Me?/Please do not turn your back on Me?/I stay here just for you.”

I know the Church is going through many things now.  I know it is making many divided on these things.

Jesus is enough for us all, or He is not?  That is the answer we are going to have to find within ourselves.

We can do as Peter did, turning around and following Jesus, or go in another direction, and Crucify Him all over again.  Making what He has already done in vain. 

We need to think about this when “opinions” become our god and we follow them.

God Bless, SR

 

 

 

 

 

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To All of You! With All of My Love! SR

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The Day My Grandfather Killed My Uncle

I am telling this story, because it is one of what God can do with poverty, abuse, prison, and death in a family.

First some background on my Grandpa.  You never touched “his.”  His being brothers, sisters, kids and grandkids.

My great-aunt told me, “His mother died when he was about 10.  My great-grandfather remarried and my grandfather never accepted his step-mother.  If she ever looked at his younger brothers/sisters in the wrong way, game on! 

She said, “They whipped him until blood ran out of his back, and at the age of 14, he left home./They never could get him to stop.”

Anyways, he and my grandmother met, had six kids my Dad being the youngest. 

In the late 1930’s, my dad about 4, my uncle slapped my aunt, my grandfather’s daughter.  I think my uncle knew he was a walking dead man, and went and got his gun.

My grandfather found him, and walked him to the barn where my aunt was.  He walked behind my uncle and kept telling him, “Pull that gun on me and I will break your back.”

When they reached my aunt in the barn, my grandfather made my uncle get on his knees and apologize to my aunt.

When my uncle came up he tried to shoot my grandfather.  My grandfather always kept a gun in the barn, and he grabbed it and killed my uncle.

Of course they went and got the sheriff, and the sheriff told him, “W. I am not going to take you in./Get cleaned up and come on in.” 

My Dad said, “I don’t remember a whole lot about this, but I do remember him bathing and telling me, “Son, it will be a long time before I see you again./Bye.”

This left my grandmother with six kids, the youngest being four.  Poverty hit, and they had to sell their cattle and the like.

My grandfather went to prison for three years.  He became head of the prison farms in those years.  He also obtained a pocket knife in prison, which he bored a knot in a tree and plugged that pocket knife up.  He only had to use it once, where he cut the shirt off of what in today’s terms would be called a “bully.”

After he got out, (which the prison offered him a job of farm foreman, he declined) he went home.

One of the men who bought between 8-12 head of cattle from my grandmother told my grandfather, “W. I am going to sell these cattle back to you for 365.00./Pay me when you can or do not pay me at all, but they are yours.”  (My grandfather did pay him.)

This would have been about 1940-41.  By the mid sixties my two uncles and my Dad had one of the top ten dairies in the nation.  Started off of 8-12 head of cattle and 365.00.

We are now in the sixth generation which some of us are still living off of what my grandfather did for us.  My cousin’s just tore down the barn he built himself, about a month ago, which broke my heart.  It was sitting on their part, so could do little.

We had some of the best cuttin’ horses I have ever seen.  I can still remember “old Dunn.”  Did not even have to rein him when we cut, you just sit back and he did it.  He had one of the most beautiful saddle gait’s I have ever rode on or heard.  “Clippty-Clop, Clippty-Clop.”

The reason for this story is, there are many families who are suffering the such, if not worse. 

God moved when my grandfather got out of prison, and to the sixth generation, we are still living on the grace of God’s love for my family.  Not only regarding the land and the like, but who we are as a family.

None of us are lovey, huggie, kissie, people, but let something happen to one of us, it happens to all of us. 

This is the legacy my grandfather left, and we live it to this day.

So if your family is going through any type of suffering such as this, illness, or whatever.  Do not give up.  Remember my grandmother and grandfather didn’t.  God is there. 

When He does move, it will not only be for you, but your kids, grandkids, great-grandkids.  Many generations in your family will be okay, because He loves them, that much.

God Bless, SR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Litany of Humility

I thought since I had done a post on “humiliation,” and Hilary (a follower) reminded me of this, I would share it, for those who do not know about it.  Thank you, Hilary!

I used to pray this all the time for my “pride,” truly through the years forgot about it.  I think I am going to start it up again.

The Litany of Humility

by

Cardinal Merry del Val

O Jesus meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the desire of being love, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That in the opinion of the world, others may increase, and I may decrease.  Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may become holier than I, provided that I become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

God Bless, SR

 

 

 

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It is Enough, “If God sees My Humiliation”

Humiliation is something which has never been my forte’.  I have never liked to be embarrassed or put down either in public or private, though I can handle it in private better.

St. Faustina had a different way of looking at humiliation.  This really made me think about it.

“I will thank the Lord Jesus for every humiliation and will pray specially for the person who has given me the chance to be humiliated./I will immolate myself of the benefit of souls./I will not count the cost of any sacrifice, I will cast myself beneath the feet of the sisters, like a carpet on which they can not only tread, but also wipe their feet./My place is under the feet of the sisters./I will make every effort to obtain that place unnoticed by others./It is enough that God sees this.” (243) St. Faustina’s Diary

I don’t know?  How the saints accomplished all of these things, is why there is never going to be a book written about me! 

St. Faustina was always ready to “sacrifice herself for other souls.”

I went and looked up the word “immolate,” it means to “sacrifice for another, especially by burning.”

In life this is what she truly did.  No matter the cost or suffering, she always “laid it down for another.”

To make of myself a “carpet” of not only where one can “tread,” but to “wipe their feet on,” is totally surrendering myself to “humiliation.”  It really does not get much lower than that on “human terms.”

In “spiritual terms,” though, it is the most “Christ-like” thing I can do.  As that is exactly what Jesus did. 

They not only “wiped their feet on Him,” they spit, kicked, punched, beat, tore His flesh, stuck nails in His hands and feet, stuck thorns in His head, and a spear through His heart and side.

If you will ever notice, on the Day of the Cross, Jesus spoke very little.  The Blessed Mother, never said a word.  If she did, it is not recorded.

It was enough, that “God saw it.”

There is always cost to “humiliation.”  To accept it with grace and honor is so difficult. 

I know for myself, it makes me want to lash back!

As St. Faustina, I need to be grateful for those moments, as they give to me choices.

I can become angry, mad and resentful?/I can hold a grudge for the rest of my life?/I can call them dirty names and make them feel as if they are a “dirty carpet” as well?

Or

I can be thankful to God that I have experienced some of what Christ did, so I can relate to His Sacrifice in a more spiritual way./I can offer my humiliation up in union with His, thus participating in His redemptive works./I can pray for them.

I can also, let it be enough for me, to know that God has allowed this to happen for the betterment of my interior self./Producing a regeneration for my soul. 

In doing so, I should let it be enough for me, “God saw it,” and that should give to me the peace I need to handle it.

For every single thing which comes upon us in a suffering manner, we need to realize that is a chance given to us by God, to become humble before Him./To offer our distress for the souls of others, in union with the sufferings of Christ./It is also a chance for us to handle things such as this, in a more dignified way as a Christian.

Much spiritual growth can come out of our moments of humiliation, if we will just let it.

God Bless, SR

 

 

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“Let it be Done unto Me, According to Your Word”

Advent is a very reflective time for me on the Holy Family.  So I have decided on Sunday’s I will share these reflections, through Christmas.

I will be using some Scripture in the Book of Luke, not in a formal sense though.   More of a reflective.  Hope you enjoy.

Here The Blessed Mother was.  A young girl, maybe drawing water from a well, sitting in her room, or washing clothes?  This angel appears to her saying,

“Hail Mary, full of grace the Lord is with you./You have found favor with God./And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus.”

Now Mary was betrothed to St. Joseph at this time.  She was a virgin.  We see she was also greatly troubled by this greeting. 

Who wouldn’t be?

These would be my thoughts on this:

“How am I going to explain this to my parent’s?”  (After all Mary was born in a time when sex outside of marriage could get you killed.)

“How am I going to explain this to my betrothed, Joseph?/Who is going to believe me?/Are they going to kill me?”

Can you imagine going to your parent’s and your future husband and telling them:

“I am pregnant with the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit impregnated me?”

As her parent I would have probably gone to bed with the other and said:

“Our daughter needs help./She is inventing this story./I wonder who the father really is?/We have to help her, they are going to kill her!”

As a future husband I would have probably said,

“Yeah, right?”

The initial reaction for me, as a parent or future husband,  would have been nothing but bewilderment?

Maybe these things happened and maybe they did not.  Scripture only points to the doubt of St. Joseph.

We see something else here, also.  Immediately after the initial shock wore off she tells God, “Yes!”

The most important “yes” ever spoken for mankind and the whole world.

I love the way The Blessed Mother’s “yes” came:

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done unto me according to your word.”

At that point and time, the angel immediately left. 

I can see Gabriel going to God saying,  She said, “yes!”

At that moment, Mary was pregnant with the Son of God.

The only other person Scripture tells us who was “full of grace,” was Jesus.  So this was just not a “fly by night,” title given to her.  God gave her this title.  Gabriel delivered it to her.  She carried the “Word of God” in her womb.

Outside of Christ, Mary, should be our first and foremost example of always saying “yes” to God.  No telling all the fears and bewilderment she encountered, in this conversation with Gabriel?

At the end of it all, she was going to do what God was asking of her. 

Mary shows me, how important it is to be obedient to God.  How when He calls me to do something, regardless of what I might have to suffer, or my confusion, it is always for good.

It may be for the good of my family, my neighbors, the suffering, or even myself.  It may be for the good of all mentioned.

From the moment of her own conception, this was her purpose.  This was her calling, and this was her anointing.

I need to always remember her words, and tell God,

“Be it done unto me, according to Your word.”

I do not think, I can tell God anything else, that has as much meaning to Him.

I am going at the beginning of each day, start with that statement to God.

God Bless, SR

Image by:
James Tissot
The Annunciation

 

 

 

 

 

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My Belief’s on Salvation (The End)

Why does Christ still have to mediate the New Covenant in heaven for me?  This was a question I had to ask myself, considering my “faith alone,” belief.

If my salvation was a done deal, according to my faith only, why is Jesus in heaven interceding for me?  My faith in the Cross should have done it all for me, if this was the case?

This was the answer I found for myself, in a “little word,” which I had missed for years.  Probably 30 years.

“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are “PAST,” through the forbearance of God;/To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”  (Romans 3:25-26) (KJV)

There was my answer, and that “little word,” I had so been missing.  “PAST!”

Jesus died for “past sins.”  When I came to Him, repented, those previous sins were gone.  He died for past sins which had been committed until the time of His death, in Scripture.

Why?

Our past sins are gone, we have repented and confessed, our present, we have to repent, confess, and have contrition for, regardless of our faith, every day.   Our future sins we have not committed yet. 

It does not matter how much faith I have, if I do not confess, repent, and have contrition for my sins, no amount of faith is going to save me.

One might say, “Jesus died for all sins.”  Really?

“Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit,” is an unforgivable sin.  If I do that, there is no amount of repentance, confessing, contrition, or faith I can have that, that sin is ever going to be forgiven.  Per Scripture.  

The Cross made it where I could be forgiven my sins, after a work of repentance from me.

We kind of have to be careful with using the word “all” when it comes to Scripture. 

The Bible tells us, “We are being renewed daily.”  Our inner nature is being changed throughout our whole entire lives.  Salvation does not happen all at once.  Redemption did, on the Cross.

I know the person I was twenty years ago, is not the same person I am today.

All of it is an ongoing process throughout my entire life.  For every amount of faith that I have, some sort of work is going to be required of me, be it for my inner self, or for someone else. 

I am not even supposed to bring a gift to the altar, if I have an argument going on with someone.  I have to go and settle things with my brother/sister before I can go on with my worship of our Lord.

If good works just flowed out of me because of my salvation, then why did I need Scripture to explain and tell me what those good works are?  The “rich man,” believed in Jesus, but yet, the “good works” of “selling all he had and giving it to the poor,”  he could not do?

Most important to me if my “faith alone” does it all.  If there is nothing else I have to do, Jesus would not be in heaven with those wounds, showing them to God, for me? 

For each time I sin, Jesus has to say, “No Father, here are the holes in my “hands and feet,” these are the things which satisfied Your wrath against her./Remember the New Covenant which the Cross I was Crucified on, brought forth.”

By placing this and much more together, I knew my life with God, was going to require much more of me, then my faith.  A lot of things as the “rich man” that He commanded me to do, was not going to just “flow.” 

One of the reasons for that was, there were times in my life, my faith was at a thousand percent.  Then let something happen, and did I really have that thousand percent faith?

The answer to that question was, “No.”  My faith at times in my life has been like a yo-yo.  So how in the world could God use that “alone” to determine my salvation?

At times in my life it has been one of the most fickle things I have had.

I had too many questions which no Church, man, author, or reformer could answer for me.  I had to go to God’s Word to find my answers.

God Bless, SR

 

 

 

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It is Jesus’ Business How He takes Care of Me!

I know I usually do my St. Faustina post once a week, but this one I had to get out here.

This morning I woke and during my prayers opened my heart to God. 

As all of you know I am a Catholic.  Though there have been many who have done wrong in the Church, there are also so many wonderful saints.

I was telling God how I want so to achieve that kind of holiness and dedication in my life with Him.  He told me, “Go read 244 of The Diary.”

This is what St. Faustina said:

“Now a gray, ordinary day has begun./The solemn hours of the perpetual vows have passed, but God’s great grace has remained in my soul./I feel I am all God’s; I feel I am His child, I feel I am wholly God’s property./I experience this in a way that can be physically sensed./I am completely at peace about everything, because I know it is the Spouse’s business to look after me./I have forgotten myself completely./My trust placed in His Most Merciful Heart has no limit./I am continuously united with Him.  It seems to me as though Jesus could not be happy without me, nor could I, without Him./Although I understand that, being God, He is happy in Himself and has absolutely no need of any creature, still, His goodness compels to give Himself to the creature and with generosity which is beyond understanding.” (244 St. Faustina’s Diary)

How many times do I really let Jesus take care of me, without me butting in?  How often do I stay out of His business in doing so?

Answer, “NEVER!”

How many times do I forget about myself completely?  “NEVER!”

How often do I think, “God is not happy without me, because I am His child, though He truly has no need of me?”  “NEVER!”

How often do I think, “It is His goodness which compels Him to give Himself to me, with such generosity? “NEVER!”

It is the business of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit on how they take care of me.  I need to get the heck out of the way!

I need to realize even though I am a sinner, have many faults, God is not happy without me, because I am one of millions in His family.  Just like all of us are.

If I lose a family member, I am not happy.

I need to realize, I am also not happy without Him.  I am not because as I am His daughter, He is my Father.

The focus of my relationship with God honestly, should be one of “give and take.”  To let the rest go, like I do with my “earthly family.”

It is God’s business how He is going to take care of me, and direct my life. 

Like it was my parent’s business of how they were going to raise me.  (Trust me none of us kids ever butted in on that one!)

After reading this, I knew that is what God does with all of us.  He raises us, to become good and functional children, doing His will.  Learning and growing from our mistakes.

More or less, becoming human beings of production in love, and bearing much good fruit, in life.

I need to stay out of the way of His parenting skills!

God Bless, SR

 

 

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My Belief’s on Salvation (Part 2)

I know I said I would do these post once a week, but a follower had some questions so I thought I would continue while everything was fresh from yesterday’s post.

Okay, I had been told countless times that “because I am saved, I am going to get out here and do good works./Good works flow from salvation.”

My problem with that was, I could not find that in Scripture!  I learned Scripture does not teach that.

I found where “others would know me by my fruits.”  In fact I found a lot about “fruits.”  I could never find where “salvation was the stem of those fruits/works.”

So, on thinking about this, I realized my “works” were going to come from the “stem” of my choice to do them or not?  Regardless of my salvation.

I know a lot of times, even though I have “faith” in the Cross and what Jesus did, “good works” have not flowed out of me.  Just did not feel like it, too busy, maybe I was mad at someone, etc… 

I also know people who believe in Jesus and the Cross, and have never done a good thing in their lives.   If they did it was to glorify themselves, not Christ. 

Now some may say, “Well they were not saved.”  Wait a minute!  If one believes one is saved through “faith alone,” they have to be.  Can’t be both ways?

What does Scripture say some of those “works” should be?

Paul said, “I magnify my ministry in order to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them./To the Corinthians he said, I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means, save some of them./To Timothy, Take heed to yourself and to your teaching: hold to that, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers./A wife can save her husband through the graces of the sacrament of marriage./A woman can be saved through childbearing if she continues in faith and love and holiness.”

The Cross opened all of this up, so salvation can be accomplished, through many things, and many people, in union with Christ.

What really hit me in these verses, was when Paul used word, “I,” might by all means save some of them.”  (I read Scripture for years missing so many little words which changed the entire meaning of it.)

Also, where a woman can be saved through childbearing if she continues in “faith, “love” and “holiness.”

Timothy was going to “save himself” as well as others, by holding true to his teachings.

Step back, SR! 

One of the things I have to do is participate with Christ, in the “saving works” of others.  I also have to have the works of “faith,”  “love,” and “holiness.” 

I knew from reading these, to get out here and say, “I am saved through my “faith alone,” was not going to get it! 

It is what Christ did, which gives the value to my “works.”  It is also me coming in union with Him, which gives the value to my “works” for the salvation of others. 

Another thing I had to realize, were the “works of obedience.”  I can get out here and believe in Jesus all I want.  If I am not obedient, so what?  If obedience comes in with my faith, I will inherit eternal life.  I cannot have one without the other. 

One more thing I realized.  Scripture says over and over, I am going to be “judged by my deeds.”   Jesus is going to separate the “sheep from the goats,” according to my “deeds.”

My conclusion on these Scriptures was, “It is my faith along with my deeds which God is going to use to determine my salvation, at my judgment.” 

As in yesterday’s post I want to recap, hope, grace, faith, the power of God, baptism, and much more play into the plan of salvation.

As one of my followers said (Pete) yesterday, “I have to take the salvation I accepted in my heart, and apply it to my life.”

God Bless, SR

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Belief’s on Salvation (Part 1)

I am going to try and do some post once a week on what I believe and why.  I am going to use the words “I,” and “me,” as these beliefs are mine.  It has nothing to do with me being a Catholic nor with anyone being a Protestant.  As all of you know, I could give a flip about that.

I am more concerned, with loving you and enjoying the fellowship I have with each and every one of you.  I want to explain why I believe like I do, and I will use Scripture only.  No Catholic teachings, no Protestant teachings, no Catechism.  Strictly out of the Bible.

These are things I struggled with in my life, and how I came to peace with it all.  So let me begin.

Hebrews 9:12 told me, “I was redeemed by the Blood of Jesus.”  My redemption was free and secure.  Jesus did it all.

Then St. Paul came along and said, “I had to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling.”  UH-OH!  Wait a minute these two do not match up?

Then I begin to realize, salvation and redemption, though intertwined, are different. 

Like my twin grandkids.  They will always be intertwined as “twins,” but are different human beings. 

I begin to realize Jesus, secured my redemption by His death and resurrection, and opened the door of salvation to/for me. 

I was going to have to work out my “own” salvation for myself.   First I was going to have to accept the salvation. Jesus required that of me.  I was going to have to do this through many things, because as I studied, I realized salvation came to me, through many things.

Unlike “redemption” I could “lose” my salvation, or “keep” it?  That was up to me, because my salvation was not “secure” as my “redemption” was.

So what was all entailed on me “working out my salvation?”

I begin to read these Scriptures:

“For in this hope we are saved.” /By grace we have been saved. /For by grace we have been saved through faith. /The power of God saved us./Women bearing children are saved.

So I knew by these Scriptures many things were involved in my salvation.  I also begin to understand that salvation was an ongoing process by the word, “saved.”  That word in these Scriptures, speaks of past events.

Then St. Paul came in and said:

“But to us who are being saved it is the power of God. /For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved. /Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for God is at work in you. /Peter said, As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls.”

When I read these, (and I can give you a lot more) I begin to understand “working out my salvation” is a daily process, again that contains many things.  I am continuously being saved by the power of God, and the outcome of my faith.  I am the aroma of Christ to God among others who are being saved.  God and I are working daily to save me, mainly from myself.  I realized daily, I have to be saved from myself!

Now, how did the “future of my salvation” come into play?

Jesus said, “He who endures to the end will be saved./He who believes and is baptized will be saved./Peter said, But we believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will./Paul said, If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved.”

When I pieced all of these together, I begin to realize my salvation was a past, present, and future event.  My redemption was not, it is totally secured.  I realized this by the words “will be.”

If my salvation required nothing from me, then St. Paul would not have told me to “work it out?”  If my salvation depended only on my faith alone, then why did all of these other Scriptures come into play? 

In my next post, I am going to write what Scripture says “are” those things which come into play. 

Again, not asking you to agree.  Do not mean to offend anyone.  This is my story.

God Bless, SR

 

 

 

 

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God is the One Who, We Can be Honest With

Being honest with God when communing with Him, is sometimes hard.  Yet, we see many places in Scripture where this happened all the time. 

When Moses was tired and worn out, he let God know.  David, well, David let God know everything he was feeling.  So did Job.

In fact, I cannot think of anyone in the Bible, who did not let God know exactly how they felt.

I love what St. Faustina said,

“When a soul loves God sincerely, it ought not fear anything in the spiritual life./Let it subject itself to the action of grace, and let it not impose any restraints on itself in communing with the Lord.” (292)

Sometimes in my life, there are moments when I do fear being “honest” with God.  Do not know really why, as He knows what I am thinking and feeling anyways?

At times I get to this place where I think, “Should I really say this, after all He is God?”

I am not saying we should not “fear” God, but there is the right “fear,” and then there is the wrong “fear.”

God is the only One, Who we can be totally and completely honest with. 

I know in my life, the first thing God would always do, is walk me through the moments, of which I was having a hard time understanding. 

My questions, doubts, fears and anything else which was going on.

A soul which restrains itself with God, will never be in complete union with Him. 

There will always be a part of it, sitting to the side which we are not allowing God to enter into, and deal with.

St. Faustina never held one thing back from God.

As a result, He entrusted much to her. 

Also as a result, she accomplished God’s will, in her daily as well as her spiritual life.

God does not want us to place “restraints” on ourselves in our relationship with Him.  He does not want us to be in fear of conversing with Him.

He wants us to trust that He understands, how we are feeling and why.

He wants it so much, He came in the form of man, so He could understand.

St. Faustina said, “To subject itself (the soul) to the action of grace.”

In doing so, how can there be any “restraints” or “fear” in us, in approaching God?

God wants us in our completeness.  He takes us in our completeness.

God never says, “You cannot come to Me, because you are so sinful.”

God Bless, SR

 

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In Defense of St. Mother Teresa

I am doing this Sunday’s post a little different today, as there is something which is truly bothering me.  That is all the things I am seeing written regarding St. Mother Teresa.

I truly believe today’s Gospel readings says it all, regarding this most wonderful Lady.

Jesus said to His disciples,/”When the Son of Man comes in His glory,/and all the angels with Him,/He will sit upon His glorious throne,/and all the nations will be assembled before Him./And He will separate them one from another,/as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats./He will place the sheep on His right and the goats on His left./Then the King will say to those on His right,/  “Come, you who are blessed by My Father./Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world./For I was hungry and you gave Me food,/I was thirsty and you gave Me drink,/a stranger and you welcomed Me,/naked and you clothed Me/ill and you cared for Me,/in prison and you visited Me.”

I have read some things for several months now, regarding St. Mother Teresa, which has really disturbed me. 

Things such as she was, “lost,”  “is in hell,”  and “did not know Jesus as her Savior.”

Now one may ask, “Why?”

The answer I see coming up over and over, is because she suffered from “dark night of the soul,” for over fifty years.

At times she questioned the “existence of God?”  During these years she did not “feel” nor “see” God.

So according to some, “she did not make it to heaven and is in hell!”

These are my thoughts on St. Mother Teresa.

Let’s see:

Did she wake up in a nice warm bed daily, with a cup of coffee brewing?  Did she take a nice hot shower, and put on a brand new office suit?  Jump in her car, and go to work to a nice office, where the doughnuts were being handed out?

Oh, no!

See, Mother Teresa woke up every morning, dragging maggot infested people out of gutters.  She also took those who were hungry and thirsty and gave to them food and drink.  She took those who were dying, and gave them a bath and clean clothes, trying to give to them , the best of dignity that she could upon their death.

She touched people, many would not dare place their hand’s on, for fear of disease and/or germs!

She was also, a little too busy to try and convert them to Christianity, as they laid there starving and thirsting to death!

She was a little too busy trying to heal festered wounds, and taking care of those who were suffering from diseases, to try and get those people into a Christian Church!

Every single day of her life was spent waking up to this, and going to bed with this.

Yet, she is in “hell!”

Really????

According to what Jesus says in today’s Gospel readings, she is not!  

It is so easy to “judge her” for not “doing the right” thing.  For not “feeling” or “seeing” God. 

How many of us could wake up to what she woke up to, every single day of our lives, and never question the “existence of God?”  Never suffer “the dark night of the soul?” 

Many have done it at some point and time in our lives, and we have carpeted floors, a feather bed, and food on the table!  We also have not fed ONE hungry person that day!

Jesus also said something else in today’s Gospel.

He said, “He would be the One separating the sheep and the goats.”  Got that? 

He also said, “Those like St. Mother Teresa have a place prepared for them from the beginning of time, and they will inherit it./That they are “blessed by the Father.”

You know what He did not say, “It is your faith alone which is going to get you there?”

So, if we think “works” count for nothing, better think again???

They are the very things Jesus is going to use, to distinguish the “sheep” from the “goats.”  “Faith alone,” isn’t even mentioned by Jesus, here.

As someone told these, “Sending St. Mother Teresa, to hell,” people,

“I had rather be in hell with Mother Teresa, then in heaven with you!”

God Bless, SR

 

 

 

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Three Ways to Give Mercy to Others

I ask God a lot for “mercy.”   I trust a lot in “God’s Mercy.”   Without it, I know I would perish.  

How often am I willing to give the same mercy I ask God for, to others?

How do I do it?

Jesus told St. Faustina, “I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me./You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere./You must not shrink from this or try to excuse yourself from it.”

“I am giving you three ways of exercising mercy toward your neighbor:/the first – by deed, the second – by word, the third – by prayer./In these three degrees is contained the fullness of mercy, and it is an unquestionable proof of love for Me./By this means a soul glorifies and pays reverence to My mercy.”

We see a lot in this conversation between Jesus and St. Faustina, don’t we?

One of the things which hit me was the word “demand.”  Jesus does “demand” mercy from us to others. 

I love that He said, “Our deeds of mercy are to arise out of love for Him.” 

All of our deeds of mercy should not come from any other source, but “our love for Him.”

Jesus also told her, “Not to excuse ourselves or shrink away from giving mercy to others.”

I have really been guilty of this in my life, especially when it comes to the mercy of forgiveness, when someone has hurt me.  

I did not so “excuse myself” from it, but boy did I every “shrink” from it.  If I could just hold on to that anger and resentment for a few more days, who was it going to hurt?   At least I would get my point across, by maybe not speaking to them for a week, or doing something nice for them such as a prayer or deed?

Do not even expect a “word” to come out of my mouth to them, much less a “kind” one! 

I never think about in these moments if I would let lose of that pride, anger, and resentment, long enough to just do one of these act’s of mercy, how I would glorify and give reverence to the mercy of Christ?  How it would show Jesus, how much I love Him?

“Deed, “word,” and “prayer.”  Three simple things Jesus asked me to do.  I do not even have to do all three of them at once!  If I would just do one of them???

Let someone hurt me, and they are the hardest three things for me to accomplish.  It is so much easier to be mad and puffed up like a balloon, until a pin is stuck in me, and I pop!

When hurtful emotions begin to govern our lives, the one emotion which is so hard to accomplish is an act of “mercy.”  Especially, when it comes to giving and sharing it to/for the one who has hurt us.

The devil loves to keep us in these “hurtful emotions,” as long as we are willing to stay there.  I know some who have stayed there for a lifetime.

The most “non-hurtful” emotion we can have is our “love for Christ.” 

If we make that our “priority,” then our souls should desire to give glory and reverence to His Mercy, by giving a good “deed,” “word,” or “prayer,” to/for another.

God Bless, SR

Excerpts taken from:

Divine Mercy in My Soul
Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska

 

 

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Is “Catholic Guilt,” the Fault of the Church?

One thing I have read about is “Catholic guilt.”  I must say, during my 13 years as a Catholic I have experienced quite a bit of it.   What did I do about it?  How did I overcome it?  Does the Catholic Church teach this?

When I first became a Catholic all was well and I was gloriously happy.   After a few years past, this “guilt” set in on me.   Why?

I begin to realize almost all of it was due to me reading about the “saints.”   I mean these people were so holy, and had a relationship with God that I desired so much.

Though each and every one of them called themselves a “sinner,” surely they did not sin as badly as myself?

Compared to them I felt as if I were a “whale of a sinner,” compared to a “minnow of a sinner.”

This always kind of gave me, “a hang your head down,” sort of feeling.  Never quite measuring up. 

Was this the fault of the Catholic Church?  Did they ever teach me to feel this way about myself?  Did they have the answer for these “feelings” of mine?

This answers are, “NO,” “NO,” and “YES.”

The Catholic Church has never, ever taught me to stay “guilty,” for my failings nor my sins.   They have never taught me to “compare” myself to anyone, though they have taught me, “If there is a virtue I saw in someone, try and imitate it , as St. Paul said to do.”

The Catholic Church did teach me, to listen to the “conviction” I was having for my sins.  To know when this came about in my life, to “confess” those sins.

They also taught me, through “confession” comes “forgiveness.”  If I continuously wanted to “beat myself up,” for my sins, then I was not trusting in the Mercy and Forgiveness of Christ.

The Church has never taught me to “hang onto guilt,”  because of my sins. 

This was purely no one else’s fault but my own. 

I believe at times, it is so easy for us to blame the Church for us feeling this way.  That to me, is a deception we feed ourselves with.

Why would they want us to carry around “feeling guilty” all the time, when they say, “Wait a minute, we have this Sacrament called, “Confession?” 

I think before we go “blaming” the Church for all the “wrong” things in our lives, we need to do an examination on our selves.

When it comes to “Catholic Guilt,” we need to see exactly where this is indeed coming from.

If we go stand in front of the mirror, I think we will find the answers.

God Bless, SR

 

 

 

 

 

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Lord, Get Me out of My Armchair of Contentment

On my journey with God, He entrust many things to me.  One of them is being a light to others, by my love and giving.  Let us go to Sunday’s Mass readings. (I am posting early due to my family having Thanksgiving this weekend.)

Jesus is speaking regarding the parable of the “talents.”  To one the master gave five/the other two/and the other one.  He gave to each “according to their abilities.” As we know two of them increased the value of their talents, and the other buried his in the ground.

We see the one who buried his in the ground was called a “useless servant,” and was cast into “darkness.”

St. Paul says something interesting in our second readings:

“For all of you are children of light, and children of the day./We are not of the night and darkness.”

The servant who did not do anything with the “talents,” (coins) which was given to him, was a “child of darkness.” 

The other’s who increased their talents were called, “faithful servants and were told, “well done.”

I as a Christian, cannot just sit in my “armchair,” saying to myself, “I love and have faith in God and that is enough.”

I cannot take God, bury Him in the ground, and go my merry way.

Never taking what He has given to me, and making it increase.

I have a responsibility to God and His Kingdom.

I have a responsibility to give to others, His love and my time.

I have a responsibility to help and share with others, His light.

God does not need me to do these things.

God wants me to do these things.

Prayer:

Lord, it is  not my light I want to give to others, but it is Yours. 

I know Lord, there have been many times in my life, I have been too lazy to do so.

I was content with what you had given to me of Yourself, and rested there.

Lord, that is just not how it works, does it?

You call me Lord, to be a “faithful servant.”  A servant, serves their Master and Lord.

To serve you Lord, is to share Your love with others.

Lord, get me out of my “armchair,” of contentment.  Amen. +

God Bless, SR

“She reaches her hand out to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy./Give her a reward for her labors,/her works praise her at the city gates.”
Image by: James Tissot
Kathleen Newton in an Armchair
Scripture taken from:
Next  Sunday’s Mass Readings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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To All My Followers

As Thanksgiving approaches, I was thinking today, “What am I thankful for?”  One of the things which crossed my mind, was you.  Each and every single one of you.

I have got to have some of the nicest and most loving followers, then any other blog.

I have some who are Catholic, as myself.  I have others who are Protestant, as I used to be.  I have others who are still making up their minds, about Jesus and God.

Most of us go to different Churches, with different beliefs and doctrines. Some do not go to any Church at all. 

It has never made any difference to us.

You are not only kind to me, you are kind to one another. 

I thank you for the time you have taken to help me.  I thank you for the time to answer the many questions I have, due to some of your post.

I thank you for being the wonderful people you are.  Judgment does not even come into play, in any of your hearts.

I am blessed to have you all.  I am thankful to God for bringing you all into my life.

To know all of you, is to love you.

Thank you for letting me, into your lives.

God Bless, SR

 

 

 

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Is There Enough Oil in My Lamp?

Wisdom and knowledge are two things I pray for daily, as to what God is wanting.  How important is it to my afterlife?

We see in today’s Gospel readings, regarding the ten virgins it is very important.

There were ten virgins, five had oil for their lamps, and five did not.  Because Jesus tarried, the five who did not have oil, fell asleep.   Then when He came the light in their lamp did not shine, due to no oil.  The door was locked to them and when they cried to Jesus to open it He said:

“I never knew you.”

Jesus did not know them because they had nothing nor had done anything in their life, which made their “light of faith” shine, before Him.

My lamp is my Christian faith.  My oil in my lamp, is how much I love my neighbor. 

What I am willing to do and sacrifice for them?

Without that oil, my lamp is no more than something sitting on a table, taking up space, collecting dust.

Without my oil, Jesus cannot see the “light of my faith.”

The lamp and oil, must go hand and hand.  One without the other is “dead.”

I must have the wisdom to know, if Jesus is seeing the both, within me. 

This does not only affect my life here, but also affects my life for all eternity.

Prayer:

Jesus, I pray, when you come to get me, you find both a lamp and oil burning in it.  From these two things Lord, I pray, the “light of my faith” shines before You.

Give to me the Lord, the wisdom and knowledge I so desire, to know what it is You are wanting.

Lord, I pray, when we meet in eternity, You do not have to “shut the door” on me, never to be opened again.  Amen +

God Bless, SR

“Resplendent and unfading is wisdom,/and she is readily perceived by those who love her,/and found by those who seek her.”
Image:
James Tissot-“What Jesus Sees From the Cross”
Taken from Today’s Mass Readings

 

 

 

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Wounding the Heart of Jesus

What “wounds” the heart of Jesus, more than anything?   How can we prevent ourselves from doing it?  

This is my weekly post regarding St. Faustina and there is so much in this paragraph I hope I can get it all in without writing a book. (I decided to do it early this week as am preparing for the holidays.)

An elderly Sister had approached St. Faustina after confession, “wondering if Jesus had forgiven her and if her confession had been good or not?”

St. Faustina told her, “Ask Him yourself, Sister, if you do not believe your confessor!”

The Sister wanted an answer and was crying, and St. Faustina begin to see the condition of her soul.  Of course St. Faustina told her, “I will pray for you.”

During her prayers for this Sister the Lord told her:

“Tell her that her disbelief wounds My heart more than the sins she has committed.”

There is a lot happening here, isn’t there?

First, we see a soul in despair.  This soul is in despair, because of its disbelief of the Mercy of Christ, that her sins are forgiven, once confessed and repented for.

Second, we see St. Faustina telling the Sister, “Ask Jesus yourself!”   (She put the exclamation point there. This is her diary.)

She meant it!  St. Faustina always went to Jesus with any doubts she was having, about anything.  She did not move until He answered her.

Third, St. Faustina, begin to see the “condition” of this Sister’s soul.”

How many of us never take the time to look at the condition of someone’s soul?  I do not mean the “look” to send them to hell with.

I mean the look of, “How can I help?/What are they needing?/What is causing them so many wounds in their soul?” 

We can see these things in the soul of another, only, if we take the time to feel their pain and hear their words.

The fourth thing we see, is the “wounding of the heart of Jesus.”  Her disbelief wounded Him worse, then the sins she had committed in her “entire life.”  

Our disbelief in His mercy, “Wounds Him.”  

The only unforgivable sin Scripture tells us is, “blasphemies against the Holy Spirit.”

Outside of that, no sin is greater than His Mercy. 

We have to trust in that, to keep our souls from becoming in the same despair, which this Sister had. 

We have to trust in His Mercy to keep from placing more wounds upon the Heart of Jesus.

Wasn’t our wounds on the Cross which were upon Him, enough?  Do we have to keep adding more and more of them upon Him, because of our disbelief?

I am on the downhill side of life.  I have committed enough sins during these years, to fill an ocean.  

Still, one moment of my distrust in His Mercy hurt Jesus more, than all of those sins, put together.

God Bless, SR

Excerpts taken from:
Divine Mercy in my Soul
Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska (#628)

 

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Are Mystics And Visions, Biblical or of the Devil?

You know the Catholic Church is full of “mystics.”  Catholics “contemplate” when we pray. 

I also know Protestants who had have visions and dreams.  I know Protestants who “contemplate” when they pray.

Is this Biblical or as some believe of the “devil?”  When doing these things do we leave our mind’s open to become a demonic playground?

Can anyone truly pray a “simple prayer, to God?

Let us go to Scripture and see what it has to say about people who experience  such.  Who pray with “contemplation.”

“The word of the Lord came to Abraham in a vision.”  Gn. 15:1

The Lord said, “Hear my words;  If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision.”  (These are just two examples in the Old Testament I can give you pages of them.)

So let us skip ahead to the New Testament.

St. Paul said, “I must boast; there is nothing to be gained by it, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.”   (Paul is speaking about when he was caught up to the third heaven whether in the “body or out of the body.”)   2 Cor. 12:1-2

Last but not least let us not forget the ENTIRE Book of REVELATIONS.  That whole Book is a vision, and John had many of them.  Some of them contained visions of angels presenting our prayers to God, horses, scrolls, Jesus.  You name it, there was one vision after the other for St. John.

As far as contemplative prayer we also see Jesus when in the Garden going and praying three times.  We also see Him asking the apostles, “Why they could not  at least of prayed for one hour with Him?”

Some believe we can go to God in “simple prayer.”  No prayer is “simple” no matter how simple the words or how quickly it is said. 

Some believe when others have visions or are levitated, they have somehow induced themselves into a “trance” by one way or the other.  This has allowed the devil to enter into their minds.

 To contemplate on what one is praying is also, opening ourselves up for the devil.

I had to ask myself these questions.  If this is the case:

Then all that Abraham, Paul, and John saw, was it of “the devil?”  Did they contemplate on these visions?  Did they contemplate on what was given to them by God over a lifetime?  Did they contemplate before they spoke in prayer?  Did they contemplate during prayer, did they contemplate when the answer came?

Did Jesus go to God in “simple prayer?”  Especially, when He knew His death was coming?

We do not understand the way’s of God nor His mind.  

We see throughout the entire Book of Scriptures, many mystics and those who contemplated.  Many visions and one taken up to heaven without a physical death.   Unexplainable, but yet if you believe the Bible, you must believe they are true.

We have to believe God works in these ways.

When we go to God, we never know how or when an answer or instruction is coming to us.  We never know how it is going to come to others.

To believe these things come from the “devil only,” is just false to me.  All one has to do is sit down and read the Bible, to know it.

God Bless, SR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Mercy of Jesus Does Not Come in “Bits and Pieces”

Every year about this time I start reading St. Faustina’s Diary.   I do it until the end of Lent.

I have always read it contemplating on what Jesus told her.  This year I am contemplating on what she said.  Once a week I will begin to share some of her thoughts, prayers, etc… and my take on them as well. 

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

“O my Jesus, nothing can lower my ideals, that is, the love which I have for You.  Although the path is very thorny, I do not fear to go ahead.  Even if a hailstorm of persecutions covers me; even if my friends forsake me, even if all things conspire against me, and the horizon grows dark; even if a raging storm breaks out, and I feel I am quite alone and must brave it all; still, fully at peace, I will trust in Your mercy, O my God, and my hope will not be disappointed.”  (1195)

The the two lines which spoke to me were, “Her feeling alone,” and “Trusting in the Mercy of Christ.”

Many times, and I know I am not the only one, when I am on a “thorny path” and I feel abandoned by others, these are moments which are very difficult for me to get through.

I am very much a hermit by nature anyways, but I can really become one, in times such as these.

As I read this I had to ask myself the question of “Why?”

The answer for myself was, “I do feel alone in these moments.”  By shutting myself off, it compliments my given nature.

This is not what St. Faustina did.

She said she, “braved it” trusting in the “mercy of Christ.”  She had, “no fear” about persevering through it.

I had this thought.

“When sin surrounds me, Mercy abounds me.”

I realized to the Mercy of Christ, is the first place I need to go. 

This is where I am going to find my peace, amid the “storm.”

As St. Faustina said, “The Mercy of Christ knows no bounds.”

He does not give it to us in “bits and pieces.”  It is never-ending nor does it contain any limits.

So the next time my path becomes “thorny,” I think I am going to walk it out, submersed in the Mercy of Jesus.

As I think about it, I know there is no other place to find peace, in the trying moments of my life.

There is no other place to get rid of the “fear” these moments bring.

God Bless, SR

Excerpts taken from:
Divine Mercy in My Soul
Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska

 

 

 

 

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The Best Definition of Faith I Have Ever Heard

Today, as I was doing my morning chores, I had EWTN on Mother Angelica. 

She had a little, sweet, kind elderly lady on and they were talking about “faith.”

The little lady said,

“A mother knows she is the mother of her child, a father trust that he is.”

You know when I heard that, I think I understood for the first time in my life, “simplistic faith.”

A man trust  the child his wife is carrying, is indeed his.  The trust and faith are just there, in that fact. 

There is no one in my life that I know when they found out they were pregnant that asked his wife, “Is it mine?”  I know my husband never did.  (I guess that is why husbands are still alive!) 🙂

I think through this analogy, this is the kind of faith God wants us to have.

A wife goes to her husband and says, “I am pregnant.” From that moment on everything goes into preparation for the awaited child.

It is going to take nine months for that child to be born. 

The anticipation of the baby is nothing more than joy and excitement.

When we are going through something which requires faith from us, the same should hold true.

God speaks His Word to us.  We need to receive it in “simplistic faith,” that it is true.

We need to wait for the answer in “joy and excitement.”

Thank you, all of you husbands that had this kind of faith in your wives. 

Through this faith, thank you for showing me how to have it in God.

God Bless, SR

 

 

 

Posted in Catholic, Catholic Church, Catholicism, Christian, Christianity, faith, Protestant, Religion, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Don’t Tell Me, “You, Didn’t Attack Me Personally!”

One thing which really bothers me is when someone attacks my faith, Church, and belief’s.  Then they justify it by saying, “I didn’t attack you personally.”  WHAT? 

Let’s see??? 

You just called me an “idol worshipper.”  You make “hell” an eternity for me.  You tell me, “Jesus is going to not know me.”   You say, “I do not know Him.”  You say, “I have no faith in Jesus.” 

You say, “My Church is more or less the devil’s playground./That I do not know Scripture.”

You say any vicious thing that comes out of your mouth, and I am not to take it “personally?”

Let us not leave out the phrase:  “Remember I say this to you, because I love you.”

I am sorry, but when you “kick me in my butt,” regarding the very essence of who I am in Christ, I take it, “personally.”

I have many people following my blog, from all different denominations.  I am a Catholic and have Catholic followers, but I also have many Protestant followers.  I also follow their blogs.

We all interact with one another with mutual love, respect, and kindness.  Bringing I hope, all of us to a deeper understanding and relationship to/with our Lord.

When I have needed help, all of them have been there for me.  I as well, try to be there for them.

Our Christian life on earth is the very essence of who we are in Christ.

It is what we live and breathe. 

It is our never-ending work and passion, to which we all try so desperately not to fail in.

We go to bed in prayer, awake doing the same thing in the morning, and throughout our day.

We are tirelessly seeking out someone in need, and praying when we see them we do not miss them.

Our grace, we realize is free, but it did not come cheap.

Being a Christian is our greatest joy, but it also comes with a price of suffering for others.

What makes anyone think, when they attack all of these things in a person, that they did not:

“Attack one personally?”

  Somehow, this is supposed to give “glory and honor” to God???

Just call us the “Jews and the Gentiles.” 

We all know who won out in that battle, neither one. 

As God called “all” of them to Himself.

Proverbs says:

“God ponders the ways of man.”

I often wonder how many times He is saying:

“Another fine mess I am going to have to go get them out of.”

When Isis beheaded those Christians, did they take it,

“personally?”

That is what happens when you set yourself so high above others, doing and saying hurtful and harmful things.   Especially in the Name of  God!

Nothing but evil comes out of it.

You cut one’s head off at the neck, and their legs off at the knees.

They take it “personally,” because you have attacked them “personally.”

Eventually what is going to happen is, the “cat claws” are going to come out.

Bringing more division and harm to others.

At times, even death, as so proven throughout history.

God Bless, SR

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Catholic, Catholic Church, Catholicism, Christian, Christianity, evangelical, Fundamentalist, Protestant, Religion, Uncategorized | 29 Comments

I Must be Careful with My Instructions to Others

Is there a way to bring others to Christ and the Gospel?  Is there a way not to bring others to Christ and the Gospel?  Let us go to today’s Scripture and see what Jesus has to say.

“For they, (the Pharisees) preach but they do not practice./They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry/ and lay them on people’s shoulders/but they will not lift a finger to move them./All their works are performed to be seen.”  (Mt 23:1-12)

Here Jesus is telling me three things.

“Practice what you preach./Do not make Me and My teachings so hard, that it all becomes a burden too hard for others to carry,/and do not make yourself seem so pious in front of others.”

 

I must remember, if someone comes to me needing guidance to our Lord, first off the Holy Spirit has led them to this place.

The last thing I need to be doing, is sending these people to hell, and drowning them in their own sins. 

They are already drowning in them, my job is to help them out of it.

I cannot do this by making Jesus and His Word, a burden.  A burden so heavy one cannot carry it.

I also do not need to be making myself seem “holier than thou,” in their presence.   

Placing myself so high above them, that the goal which they are trying to accomplish, seems so unobtainable.

Jesus is not “unobtainable.”

So how do I lead others to Christ?

 St. Paul said, in his letter to the Thessalonians:

“We were gentle among you, as a nursing mother cares for her children./With such affection for you, we were determined to share with you,/ not only the Gospel of God, but our very selves as well/so dearly beloved you had become to us.”

St. Paul, instructs me to be “gentle” with others in proclaiming Christ and the Gospel. 

He also instructs me to “share myself.”  To give of my time and love. 

The questions I have to ask myself on this are, “In sharing of myself with others, am I going to be truthful about myself?/Do I remember, I did not get to this place with God because I was so holy, but because I was such a sinner myself?/Do I remember,  I got to this place with God trying to overcome my sins, which took many different directions, paths, and years?/Am I going to present Jesus to them in a gentle way, or do an overload of hell, fire, and brimstone?”

I can actually “scare” someone away from Jesus, before they ever get to know Him.

Jesus, warns me not to do this.

Prayer:

Jesus, help me to always be kind and gentle to others who are seeking You.  

Help me Jesus, not to look down upon others, because of my own “piety.”  A “piety” Lord, which I know myself, is so false.   A “piety” which includes many failures and falls. 

Help me Jesus, when I am before others, not to bring my ways before them, but to always bring to them Yours.  Amen. +

God Bless, SR

God said, “You turned aside from the way,/and have caused many to falter by your instruction.”
Image:
“Abandonment” by James Tissot
Taken from:
Today’s Mass readings

 

 

 

 

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Catholic Church, Catholicism, Christian, Christianity, evangelical, Protestant, Religion, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

A Bruise is a Bruise

  As many of you know I have a Brother, to whom I call “Brother.”  For those of you that like them, “Here is another Brother story.”

Well, when we were small and misbehaved in Church, the store, movie theater, etc… my Mom would “pinch” us.

Not only did she “pinch us,” she would do it under the arm, or inside of the knee, with a small amount of skin.  Then the “twist” would come with the words, “If you do not straighten up, I am going to spank that “holey butt,” of yours when I get you home.” 

When I became an adult I asked her one time, “How come my “butt” always becameholy” in Church?”  (Alas, that is another story.)  🙂

One day my Brother came in from milking with all of these “bruises” on him.  My Mom was saying, “Son, what happened to you?”

His reply, “Mom, this is where you have been pinching me.”  So sad, head hanging down.

My Mom of course went into hysterics saying, “I will NEVER pinch either one of you again!”  Many tears.

At that point my Brother died laughing and said, “Mom, I took the milking machines and put them on me, and they sucked my blood!  🙂

What did that get him?  A “twist pinch!”  🙂  This time it was a big one!

As I was thinking about this today, it made me understand when I read Scripture, what I am reading and understanding it to be, is not at times the reality of it. 

What is there, is really not what I am perceiving it to be.  Though at face value, “a bruise is a bruise.”

Things like Jesus saying, “Lazarus was not dead, ” when he was./  The devil telling Eve, “If she ate of the forbidden fruit, she would not die./  Which she did not at that point and time./God is a loving God, yet He destroyed the entire earth./

My list can go on and on, but you get the point.

Sometimes Scripture seems to contradict itself actually.

I go to the Blessed Mother when the angel Gabriel appeared to her announcing she was going to have the Son of God, and she said, “How can this be, as I have not known man?”/ Then she pondered it all in heart./  In fact we see many times in the Bible where she “pondered” on things told to her.

When reading Scripture, we have to ponder on it.  We have to study it.  We have to take maybe one verse of a Chapter and contemplate on that, before we continue.  If we cannot get to an understanding, ask for help from others.

Scripture to me is never “black and white,” that I automatically have a complete understanding of what I am reading.  It has taken years for me to understand it as well as I do today, and I am still learning.

We cannot give up on it.  We must ask the Holy Spirit to guide us to the truth of it all. 

We also must be very careful about placing our own “twist” on it.  For when we do, we are going to come up with a “bruise”  which is there to “deceive” ourselves with.

God Bless, SR

 

                                                                       

 

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Catholic Church, Catholicism, Christian, Christianity, evangelical, Protestant, Religion, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

I Write This Post Through Tears

Please read this.  I think this is the most heartfelt post I have ever written.

This morning I was doing dishes, and my washing machine already had the laundry going.  Ordinary day?  Not quite.  (I apologize if this is long, but I am going to write until the story is told.)

I was listening to music while doing my chores and one of the verses of one the song’s was:

“On Christ this solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”

All of a sudden tears flooded my face and have been all morning.  Before I knew it I was on the kitchen floor on my knees.  Then the verse came:

“In Christ alone who took on flesh, the fullness of God, in helplessness.”

As I am on my knees under my kitchen sink, all of a sudden I saw the foot of the Cross.  My hands are grabbing it and the Blood is dripping on my hands running up my arms.  It is also covering my head, running down my face.

I am telling you by this time sobs are coming, but did it stop there?

After staying there for moments in sobbing tears and weakness I was able to pull myself up.

When I did, I begin to  “literally” hear the cracking of whips. 

I looked on my floor all I could see was Christ on His Hands and Knees, carrying THAT CROSS!  I cannot describe the Wounds and Blood to which I saw.  

Deep, deep wounds and from them the Blood was flowing down both sides of  His back onto the ground, as He was crawling.   It flowed down His neck and had matted in His Beard and Hair.  All the while carrying the Cross.

I saw and heard the Blessed Mother crying, “MY SON!”/”MY SON!”  I saw their tears meet, while she held His face in her hands, and His Blood filled them.

I saw how distasteful the very sight of Jesus was to God.   So distasteful He had to turn from Him, because of all the sins He was carrying.  So many, that they devoured the very being of Christ.  Your sins and mine.

I shut my eyes because I could not stand to see all of it anymore on my floor.  When I did I saw a Priest in the Mass. 

Holding the Body and Blood of Jesus in his hand.  That was not all.  I saw both sets of my grandparents, my mother, and my two cousins that died all around the hand’s of the Priest, lifting up the Body of Christ and the Chalice. They were all in white robes. 

My mother was motioning her hands calling me up there and saying, “Come Sis, come to your Lord.”  I cannot describe the smile not only on her face, but all of their faces.  I cannot describe their glow.

When I was a young child my parents were Baptist and they joined the Church.  They thought I was too young, and I begin to cry.  When my mother saw I was crying she motioned her hands to me and said, “Come Sis, come on.”

I am not mystic and I have never claimed to be.  Why this happened to me this morning I do not know?  I am no theologian.   I do know this is all I heard and saw this morning.

I am not going to either try to defend nor explain it.

I know today is the anniversary of the Reformation and all of that.  You think I give a flip, about something that happened 500 years ago?  After seeing Christ on my floors all morning, I give a flip about this.

It is what happened over two thousand years ago.  Standing on Him.  Receiving the Eucharist as He so patiently waits for me to do so.  He is not only calling me to It, so is my family.

If I do not, as the song said,

“All other ground is sinking sand.”

God Bless, SR

 

 

 

 

Posted in Catholic, Catholic Church, Catholicism, Christian, Christianity, evangelical, Protestant, Religion, The Virgin Mary, Uncategorized | 55 Comments

Love Without Compassion is not Love

Really, do I need to say anymore?  I think the picture says it all, but I will try to add something to it.  As half-hearted as it is, compared to the “compassion of St. Mother Teresa.”

In our Gospel readings today Jesus says:

“Love God with all of our hearts./To love our neighbor as ourselves.” 

Jesus said something else though:

“The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Everything I do for God, depends on my love for Him, love for myself,  and love for others.

Everything in my living life as a Christian “depends” on these three things alone. 

These things are the very foundation of a Christian heart.

Saint Paul says, “To become imitators of us, (the apostles) and of the Lord./To become a model for others.”

Jesus and the apostles gave to me so many examples in Scripture of how to carry out, what God desires from me, the most.

To simply say, “It is loving God enough, to give all who are suffering or in need, help./It is to put away my own selfish desires long enough to make that phone call, to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, help those in distress, and to pray always for the suffering of the world.”

To sum it up, it is to bring One person to others:

“Jesus.”

Being an example of His love, always.

So I will think today what I can do for someone?

Do they need a blanket because they are cold in the winter?  Do they need a heater?  

Is there a bare cupboard I need to fill up?

Are there diapers and formula I need to buy for a baby?

Does an elderly person need a drive to the doctor, grocery store, church, or hair appointment?

I claim as a Christian to have “love.”  If I do not have the compassion which will drive me to get out here, and “act” on that love, that is not LOVE!

Prayer:

Father I think of myself as having love for You, myself, and others.   As I examine myself I must ask,  “Does the love for myself outweigh, all else?”

When I think of the times I have ignored the needs and hurts of others, I know the true answer to this question is:

“Yes.”

I thought I either did not have the time, finances, I was too tired, or had too many things going on.

At times I have even thought those in this shape were there because of their own choices.

Which in some cases was true, but you did not call me to “debate the situation.”  You called me to “help them out of it.”

How can I say Lord, “I love you with all my heart,” when I give to You excuse after excuse of why I do not follow the “two greatest of all commandments?”

Forgive me Lord, and help me never to turn a blind eye to those in need again.  Place the foundation of a Christian heart, inside of me. Amen. +

God Bless, SR

God said, “You shall not wrong a widow or an orphan./I will surely hear their cry./If he cries out to me (one in need)  I will hear him, for I am compassionate.”
Taken from today’s Mass readings.

Image:

Mother Teresa and the Gutter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Catholic Church, Catholicism, Christian, Christianity, evangelical, Gospels, Protestant, Religion, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

How Many Jeremiah’s Have We Destroyed?

I am reading the Book of Jeremiah, and came across this verse from God to Jeremiah:

Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you; and before thou came forth out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet unto the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

When I read this, it truly broke my heart.  Go back and read that again, and see what was done before and after Jeremiah entered into the womb of his mother.

God knew Jeremiah before he was formed in the womb.  Afterwards, inside of the womb, Jeremiah was “sanctified and ordained a prophet.”

This led me to also think of how God Himself, chose a womb to come forth on earth, in the form of man.

How precious a womb, must be to God?  How precious what is inside of a womb, must be to God? 

I mean, He prepared Jeremiah for his mission on earth, inside of the womb.

What are we doing killing these babies, in the womb?

The place where the Hands of God, actually forms us into what we are to be for Him?

The place God chose for us to develop to who we are to be,  physically and spiritually?

The place where He actually bestows gifts of sanctification and ordination, upon us.

All I could think when I read this was:

How many Jeremiah’s have we killed? 

How many hand’s of evil, have gone in a womb where the very presence of God dwells, and destroyed all the gifts spiritual and physical, which God Himself placed there?

Too many to count, I am afraid.

Then we wonder why this world is in the shape it is in?

We wonder this, why?

What takes place in a womb, is more than just a miracle of human being formed.

Before the moment of conception, God knows each and every one of us.

After the moment of conception, He begins to shape us into who He wants us to be, and what He wants us to do.

We take it all, kill it, and throw it away.

So the next time we begin to wonder, “Why is the world in the shape it is in?”

Here is your answer.

We have taken millions to which God has placed in the womb, and never let them draw their first breath or make their first cry.

If they cannot do that, how are they going to do anything else, for the good of God, or mankind?

God Bless, SR 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Catholic Church, Catholicism, Christian, Christianity, evangelical, Gospels, Protestant, Religion, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

God Keeping us From Being Drug Underneath a Clothes Line

Okay, this is another “Brother” story, God used to teach me something with, some 50 years later.

Again, I had not started school and being from Texas it was time for me to learn how to ride a horse.  Not only ride one, learn how to cut cattle on one, barrel race, and anything else a horse will do.  (I was raised on a dairy.)

Now most of the time I was tied to the saddle because I could not reach the stirrups.  On this occasion, my Brother decided to ride with me.  In the saddle I went, with him on the back.

We rode down to the pasture and Mama and Daddy followed us in their car.  After awhile, it was time to go home.

So my Brother, myself, and “Corky” strolled down the pasture to the road.  Now he had taught this horse to run after he jumped the gully!  (oops he forgot!)  🙂 

Let me explain about this horse.  He was Secretariat on a smaller scale.  No horse ever beat him in our county, and he was raced every weekend.   He loved to run!

He jumped that gully and all I remember are his ears pointed straight back towards me.  I gripped the saddle horn with the reins in my hand, and clinched the saddle with my legs.  

Oh yes, I forgot along with all of this I was screaming to the top of my lungs!  🙂

Now, all my Brother had to hold on to was a little sister who had not even started school.  The only thing that saved him was the saddle flew up and he slid underneath it.

All the while he is screaming at me, “Give me the reins!/Give me the reins!”

Each time I tried I had to let go of the saddle horn, and that was not going to happen!

I remember looking back, and Mama had her head out of the window of the car, as she and Daddy were following us.  She was screaming to the top of her lungs!

See we had a clothes line.   Her fear was Corky would run us under the clothes line and rip our heads off!

Sure enough, that is just where he headed.   One thing saved us.

She had hung sheets on it that morning and when Corky saw the sheets he came to a dead stop!  

I mean that clothes line was his neck length, from my neck!

When I got off the horse, I had clenched the saddle so hard with my legs, they folded underneath me and I could not walk for about thirty minutes. 🙂  That is how tight my muscles were.  Of course I was just bawling!

The other day I as reading Hebrews 12 where it says, “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”

I thought to myself, “I run this race on earth with anything but patience.”

Always in a hurry.  Hurry to pray, hurry to get my work done, hurry to get my shopping done, just in a hurry to get all I need to done, on any given day.  

Hurry for my prayers to be answered.  In a hurry for God to show up at times.

I will even get myself in a hurry to go to Church, and at times when I get there, I am in a hurry for it to be over. 

If I sin I am in a hurry to repent, which I guess isn’t a bad thing, but what does this actually do to me and God? 

It takes away those few moments throughout the day, which I need for quietness and stillness with Him. 

It takes away those restful moments at night, which I need with Him, because I am so tired, all I can do is lay there and fall asleep. 

For what? 

So my house and yard can be spotless, and the laundry done?  So I can sit back and say, “Job well done, SR!”

I try to “run this race” on earth, as quickly as possible each and every day.  Sometimes to the point of exhaustion.

Trying to make everything fit in.

The Bible tells us to run it in “patience.”

When I was thinking about the story of me and my Brother, if Corky had not of stopped, I would have been injured or dead.  Brother, would have been hurt also.

Christians, we need the “patience” to quit all of this.  Walk with God slowly in our lives, giving to Him the reins. 

Just like my Brother, God wants them.

To slow us down, and guide our “race on earth.”

So we won’t be drug under a clothes line, get hurt, and our legs fold underneath us.

God Bless, SR

 

 

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Catholic Church, Catholicism, Christian, Christianity, evangelical, Protestant, Religion, Uncategorized | 15 Comments

Jesus, “The Opinion of Truth”

We have become a society full of “opinions,” have we not?

Cut on the news there is an “opinion.” 

Have a discussion about Holy Scripture, and you will hear more “opinions” then there is grass in a pasture.

I do not care where we go anymore, what we “turn on,” what we read, someone is going to have an opinion about something or someone.

I am not saying when one needs guidance not to ask for it.  If I am stumped I am going to ask for help. 

To continuously feed on the “opinions” of others for everything in the world today, can only lead us to confusion.  The mind of man at best is so undisciplined.

We see into today’s Gospel readings, the Pharisees were trying to entrap Jesus by His “opinion” on “paying census taxes to Caesar.”  Should they or should they not?

Of course our Lord knew they were trying to entrap Him and His reply was:

“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”

Jesus knew one of the reasons for this taxation was because of Israel’s disobedience to God.  Because of it, they were now under the rule of Rome. 

Due to this, the opinion of Jesus was more or less, “You have no choice./Pay it or else./The answer is obvious!”

 Jesus still did not leave out what was due to God.

I believe He did so, because if they had of been giving to God what they were supposed to, they would not have been in this shape to begin with?

In the subtle way of Jesus, He let them know this, and they knew it was true.  Therefore; turning the whole thing right back on them.

So what is God due?

St. Paul says it best in today’s second reading, in his letter to the Thessalonians.

“We give thanks to God always for all of you,/remembering you in our prayers,/unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love/and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

God wants from us a “work of faith,”  “labor of love,” and “endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Something struck me as I read this.

All of it is going to take love, work, and endurance, on our part.

We are actually going to have to get out here and get it “in gear,”  to give to God what He is due.

He is not going to do it for us.

So how do we do this?

Quit listening to everybody else’s opinions.

Get the balance in our lives, of what we must do to live, and what we must do for God.

The answer is “obvious.”

If we are relying on everyone else’s thoughts as to “what we are to do,” we will fail.

It may take a lot of prayers and patience to get it all in place. 

Faith, love and endurance are so important to God.  Yet, at times they seem so hard to accomplish.

This is because, we get our priorities all out of whack.

It is always the “world is this,”  “the world is that.”

So we need to ask ourselves, “What is our world?”

Disobedience to God, therefore living under Roman rule?

or

Obedience to God, living a life of “unbarred gates?

 

Prayer:

Oh Jesus,  to find two people who agree on anything in this day and age, is almost impossible.  Yet I have placed so much stock in their views on so many things.

When I do Lord, I am leaving out the opinion I need to adhere to the most, and that is Yours.  The “opinion of truth.”

How at moments and times in my life, that is the one which matters least to me.  For that I tell You, “I am sorry.”

Help me Jesus, to carry out in life, only that which You set forth inside of me to do. 

Letting go of what others think and say.

In this way, may I give to God, what He is due?

  Amen. +

God Bless, SR

“Thus says the Lord to his anointed, Cyrus, whose right hand I grasp,/subduing nations before him,/ and making kings run in his service,/opening doors before him/and leaving gates unbarred.”
Image: 
“Woe to you Pharisees” by James Tissot
Scriptures from Today’s Mass Readings

 


 

 

 

 

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What is in $4,700,000.00?

I was channel surfing this afternoon and came across a television evangelist program, who was collecting money.  They were doing so to “spread the Gospel.”

I looked at a board behind them and the goal was $4,700,000.00.  To that point they had collected 1.9 million dollars.

It stunned me, then I just got mad!

Is “spreading the Gospel” important?  Of course it is.

There is more than one way to spread it, at the cost of over four-million dollars??

Christians, one of the best ways to “spread the Gospel” is taking care of the homeless, hungry, suffering, sick and dying.  

Over four-million dollars would build countless homes.  Buy a whole lot of groceries and medicine.  

Over four-million dollars would clothe the naked and buy a lot of blankets for the cold.  This would also pay for medical care for those who cannot afford it.

My list can go on and on. 

My point is:

How can you give that much money for a television evangelist program, when there is a child under a bridge, freezing, while trying to sleep?

When there is a person dying because they do not have the medical care they need, because they cannot afford it?

When children and our elderly are going to bed hungry tonight, and will go hungry tomorrow?

This makes no sense to me???

Maybe I am wrong and maybe you think I am.

I know this within myself.

Before I give that much money to keep something/someone on television:

I will get rid of my television.

I will feed a hungry/sick child. 

I will keep someone warm during the winter, and cool in the summer.

To me this is just the “wrong way” to “spread the Gospel.”

Jesus, nowhere, in any form or fashion ever said, to do something like this.

Our first concern is always, compassion, care, and love for others.

So while you are watching this television program tonight that you supported, please hear the cry of that hungry child, that needed your money more.

God Bless, SR

 

 

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Catholic Church, Catholicism, Christian, Christianity, evangelical, Gospels, Protestant, Religion, Uncategorized | 11 Comments

It All Depends on the R.S.V.P. ?

I read some things which people refer to Scripture regarding, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” 

In their mind’s they have come to the conclusion, (more or less) “That those of us who follow Christ do so because we are the “elect” who were chosen to do so.”

Well, if this is the case, it would clearly stand to reason that, “God has a special love for some, but not for others.”

I say this because those who do not “choose God,” are damned to hell.  I am sorry, but I do not believe God wants any one of His children in hell??? What Father would???

However we see in today’s Gospel reading something which contradicts this, totally.

Jesus said, “The Kingdom of Heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son./He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come.”

Now these were the “Jews,”  to whom a personal invitation had been sent to them, but they did not show up.

So what did the king (God) do?

Then he said to his servants, “The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy./Go therefore to the streets, and invite to the marriage feast as many as you find./And those servants went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good; so the wedding hall was filled with guest.”

It is not that God chooses one over the other, to serve Him.  It is not that God has an “elect” group of believers, who He loves more than the other.

Right here goes to prove, God shows no partiality.  Jews and Gentiles alike, were invited to this “wedding feast.”

The reason this happened was because those He called “refused His invitation.”

God wants no one to perish.  He favors not one soul, more than He does the other.

However, He is not going to force us to “accept” His invitation to choose Him, or to believe in His Son, and what the Cross did for us.

We are as free to walk away from God, as we are to serve Him.

If we so choose to not accept His invitation, then we, not God, deem ourselves “unworthy.” 

God wants us in heaven.  To get there, is not going to be on a “feather bed.”  (St. Thomas More)

St. Paul said, “I know how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance./In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need./I can do all things in “Him who strengthens me.”

If we will only R.S.V.P God, with a “yes” to the “wedding feast” He is inviting us to,  we all will be “chosen.”

In doing so, Jesus will strengthen us throughout all of our ups and downs in life.

 God is inviting us all to Himself. 

We must ask ourselves, “How am I going to reply to His invitation?”

Prayer:

Lord, I humbly come before You, asking forgiveness for all the times and moments, when you were stretching Your Hand of Love out to me, and I refused your invitation.

Maybe it was because of fear Lord, that I did not believe, “I could do all things through Christ who strengthens me?”

Maybe it was because I wanted more for myself in this life on earth, then to be with you for an eternity in heaven?

I realize by refusing this grace of the love You bear for me,  You had no choice but to offer it to someone else.

Strengthen me Lord, to always say “yes” to all you invite me to.  Amen.+

God Bless, SR

“On this mountain the Lord of hosts will provide for all peoples, a feast of rich food, and choice wines, juicy, rich food, and pure, choice wine?/For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain.”
Taken from Today’s Mass readings.
Image:  The Wedding Supper of the Lamb

 

 

 

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Is it “One Journey” or More than “One Journey?”

I hear the word “journey” used a lot with God.  I read the word “journey” a lot concerning God. 

When I hear this word or read it, it always seems one is walking in a “different journey?”

Do we walk many journeys with God, or is it one journey with different paths?

These are some of my thoughts on this:

Moses had one journey, and that was to lead the people out of Egypt, set up a nation of people, but it took many paths.

David had one journey.  To become a king and set up a national kingdom, but again it took many paths.

Mary had one journey with God in life, that was to give birth to His Son, again that went in many different directions.

It was the same for Jesus, and we all know what that consisted of.

The Apostles, it was to spread the Gospel, and that took them all over the place.

Do we walk different journey’s with God, or is it one journey taking many different directions and paths?

Do we keep taking these different directions and paths until God gets us to the place He wants us to be, and we fulfill His plan for our lives?

I would really like your input on this, if you would be so kind.  It is something I am trying to figure out for myself.

Thank you and God Bless, SR 

 

 

 

 

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Mary Knew All Along

How often do we call upon the “mercy of God?”  I know as far as myself these words come out often, in a day.   It sure comes out when I am examining my conscience at night.

What if God’s “mercy,” has already been sent?

Let me explain.

At night I pray the Magnificat of the Blessed Mother.  I mean what other prayer can be said at night for all the blessings God has given to me throughout the day?

I got to the part where Mary said:

“For He has remembered His “Promise of Mercy.”

My mind went to what some say, “That Mary did not understand what was happening as she “pondered things in her heart.”

To an extent, maybe she did not have a complete understanding of it all?  

Here, she knew God was fulfilling “His Promise of Mercy.”

I truly believe she knew this Son who she was about to bring forth, was going to be the fulfilling of God’s promise.

She may not of understood how it was all going to happen, I do not know?  She knew this Child, was going to be “Mercy” for the entire world.

As my thoughts pondered many days on this, I understood, God has sent to us, all the “Mercy” He had to send.

His name is Jesus.

We do not have to “beg” God for mercy.

God made us a promise, He kept it, and He fulfilled it.

This mercy walks with us every single minute, hour, and days of our lives.

It will never end, as long as the earth is revolving and there are people on it.

I have always heard:

“God’s mercy knows no bounds.”

I do not think a more truer statement has ever been made regarding God.  I understand more than I ever have what makes that statement so true.

The mercy of the Cross is limitless. 

It is no respecter of person.

It is no respecter of time. 

The only thing which can place limits and boundaries upon the greatest of all mercies, is our lack of faith and confidence in it.

I do not ask God for mercy anymore. 

Instead, I remember He has already given it to Me. 

Now, it is up to me to believe in it, and thank Him for it.

God cannot give to us, any greater mercy then He did on the Cross.

It fulfilled and accomplished all things.

Sometimes I wonder when we begin this “pleading thing with God,”

if He does not say:

“I gave to you all I have to give./The death of My Son.”

“Through this, I kept every promise I ever made to you.”

“What more do you want?”

Oh Jesus, “Promise of Mercy,”  Your Mother knew all along.

God Bless, SR

 

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A Life of Holiness

Do we ever ask ourselves, “What is coming out of my vineyard?”

Is it good fruit, ripe for the picking, having been tended to and nurtured?

Is it “wild fruit,” which has no discipline at all?  Grows when and where ever it wants to? 

We think of ourselves of always bearing some kind of fruit. 

Maybe these fruits are one’s of good deeds, prayer, helping someone overcome something, or lending a shoulder to cry on.

Do we ever think about the fruit of “holiness?”  True devotion to God?

We see in today’s readings, God planted a vineyard of people.  The Israelites.  He tended and nurtured this vineyard in order for them to “bear the good fruit” of “holiness.”

He watched and waited “for this good crop of fruit to come forth.”

All He got was a bunch of “wild grapes,” that were no more devoted to Him than a man in the moon. 

They grew into a race of people, who had as much discipline in their fruit, as a gnat flying around their faces.

We all want to “bear good fruit” for God.  We are called to do so.

When we lose the most important of all fruits, which is our holiness, all other fruits are going to come and go as they please.

Being devoted to God is so much more, then what we do.

For one, it is complete dependence upon Him.

Another it is allowing God to guide and direct, our lives. 

Following His Commandments in obedience to His will.

Without these things, God doesn’t much care for what our “vineyards” are producing.

We cannot get out here, doing things our way, without God. 

I do not care if what we are doing seems good to us, and seems good to others.

If it does not have the sound foundation of God somewhere in it, it is not going to be “acceptable” to Him. 

If we are not devoted to God, living our lives in holiness, we are just a bunch of “wild grapes.”  Nothing more.

In our second reading it says:

“Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. “

In these things alone, is where our “holiness” truly lies.

Living our lives in these things, is what God really wants to come out of His vineyard.

Being true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and gracious, is a life which God honors. 

It is also the life which will bring forth all God wants from us.

Prayer:

Lord, how many times have I done things not because I was devoted to You, but because they brought me some sort of praise from others? How many times have I born wild fruit, out of my own selfish desire to be loved and admired?  How many times Lord, have I wanted to appear to be living in holiness, when there was absolutely no discipline within myself at all?

Doing things which come from my own will Lord, not Yours?

I pray Lord, You keep your hedge around my vineyard.  In doing so, it will produce only what you want it to produce. 

Let nothing come out of me, that is not in true devotion to You, and not myself.  +

God Bless, SR

Jesus said, “Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.”
Image: James Tissot “Communion of the Apostles”
Taken from Today’s Mass readings

 

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The Fish – Hook in my Britches

Today I was thinking about my older brother.  Now do not get me wrong, I adore him, and always have.

He taught me many things in life, that I am forever grateful for. 

His teaching methods, well……… let us just say, “Were less than to be desired.”  🙂

I do not remember him ever hitting me, as there were five years difference between us.

The only way I can truly explain him is “tough as nails with a heart of gold”

I mean give this man a horse and a pasture, and he is the happiest man on earth. 

Has been a “cowboy” all of his life, and all that entails.

Anyways, when we were young he was teaching me how to fish.  We had a tank (pond) down in our pasture a little ways from the house, but in walking distance.

As we were walking it began:

“You know there are snakes out here./Copperheads, big ones, and they are waiting to bite you./ There are water moccasins in the tank, and you might catch one when you put your hook in the water./Better watch where you step, because one could be waiting for you, and he will bite you when you step on him.”

This from the man who chased me with every grass snake he ever found!

Well we made it.  Got our rods and reels ready, baited the hooks.  Now I was standing behind him when he got ready to cast.

All of a sudden I felt something grab the seat of my britches.  What did I think it was????

You got it, a snake!!!!

I started running and screaming, “A snake has bit my shorts and he is still hanging on!”  (I had not even started school yet)

All the while I was running I could hear his line going, “zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.”  

Of course he was screaming, “Stop running it is my dat-gum fishing line and the hook is in your britches!”  

When I got to the end of the line I had no choice but to stop.  Of course he was laughing himself to death, while I could hardly breathe.  🙂

He got the fish-hook out of my britches, wiped my tears, and from that moment we had a wonderful day.

As I was remembering this today, it made me think about God. 

A lot of the times in life, we see it so hard.  We begin to wonder, “Why is this happening to me?”

We become afraid and fearful. 

Like I was as a child, I thought a “snake” had me by my “britches,” and all the time it was someone who loved and loves me very much.  He and I are very close.

God is never going to let us go.  When the anxieties of life hit us,

God is always behind us, with His “hook in our britches reeling us back in.”

We just need to quit running.

God Bless, SR

 

 

 

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Placing Limitations on God’s Love and Mercy

 

Jesus Eating With His Enemies

Many times we see someone and in our humanity may think of them so “unworthy of heaven.” 

It may be because of a sin we see them committing?

It may be in our own self-righteousness, we are questioning their salvation?

Maybe in our own thought process we may be thinking, “How can God love that?”

It may be because we have lived a lifetime as a Christian.  Trying to do what is right and good.  Believing in God all of our lives.

Then one who has been evil all of their lives, on Tuesday they come to God, on Wednesday they die and we think, “There is no way he/she is in heaven.  He/she lived a “Godly life” for one day, and there is no way God is going to accept that, after the forty-years of evil they have done?”

“That would just not be fair to me!”

In today’s Gospel readings we see Jesus saying something:

Jesus said to them, (chief priest and elders) “Amen I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you./When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did.”

A lot of the time, we think it kind of unfair that we have walked this road with Christ all of our lives, then all someone has to do is repent of their sins at 70, believe in Christ, and they are going to be in heaven also.

They do this after truly living a life of hell, and making life hell for others.

Of course we never think of all the pit falls we have taken, on our journey with Christ.

We never think about how many chances He has given us, over and over again.

We never think about how many times we have nailed Him back on the Cross, by our own selfish needs and desires.

That is the problem, “we don’t think.”

Jesus loves us all from the worst of sinners to the most righteous one.

All the thief on the cross had to do was desire Jesus, and that very day he was “with Him in Paradise.”

When we view others of being so unworthy of heaven, what we are actually doing is placing limitations on God’s love and mercy, for the very children He created.

Prayer:

Lord, I know I have often thought of those “unworthy of heaven.”  I realize in doing so, I am saying, “They are not worthy of your love, mercy, and forgiveness.”

How can I think this Lord, when it took the torture, murder, and death of Your Son, to make “ME” worthy?

When it took thousands of drops of His most Precious Blood, to cover every sin I have committed in my life.

When to look upon me Father, You have to look at me through the Eyes of the Cross.

Forgive me Lord,  “For I am not worthy that You should enter unto my roof.”

God Bless, SR

The Lord said, “But if he turns from the wickedness he has committed, and does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life; since he has turned away from all the sins that he has committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.”
Taken from Mass readings Today

 

 

 

 

 

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They Make Me Proud I am a Catholic, This is Why?

Much has been happening in the Church, regarding homosexuals.  Do we accept homosexuals in the Church?  Do we accept homosexuality in the Church?

I really have been torn on this, as according to Church teachings, “The acts of homosexuality is a sin.”

I went to a friend who gave to me a couple of videos to watch, regarding this.  This is the conclusion I came to for myself and why.  I did this for myself, because no one can come to any agreement on it whatsoever.  Not even our Church leaders can.

Agree, do not agree.  Everyone knows that really does not matter to me.

Hearing their testimonies made me think a little differently.  

These people growing up knew they were “different.”  Different in a way which they knew would never be accepted by many. 

They all spoke of despair, loneliness, depression, being teased and tormented as a child, (mostly as a teenager) and not knowing what to do with it all?

Could they deny who they were to themselves?  The answer for them was, “No.”

Some turned to alcohol, drugs, sex with the same gender/or not, and many other things.

Something happened to them.  They found the Catholic Church.  They found the truth in the Catholic Church.  

They were accepted, loved, and were helped with the Sacraments, teaching’s of the Church, guidance of the Priest, and the love which came from those in the Church. 

The result of all of this was for them:

Knowing they are still a homosexual, giving up the “act” of homosexuality, and living a chase life for God and the Church.

When I heard them make these statements I knew my views and judgment on this had to change. 

Honestly, they are doing better than I am!

It was the Catholic Church, that allowed these people to experience the love of God in their lives. 

It was the Catholic Church, that gave to them the ability to stop which they themselves considered to be a sin.

It was the Catholic Church, which helped them to overcome their despair, loneliness, depression, and suicidal tendencies. 

It was the Catholic Church, who brought them to the love and mercy of God.

It was the Catholic Church, who let them be who they were, but in a way, that it no longer endangered their souls.

It was the Catholic Church, who brought them to freedom and truth.

I pray, after listening to their testimonies, that I will never take the Catholic Church for granted again.

She has actually become the most beautiful Church on earth to me, because of “these testimonies.”

Do I believe “the act of homosexuality is a sin?” 

Yes, and so do the people I am discussing here.

Do I believe adultery, abortion, sex outside of marriage and many other things are a sin?

Yes.

I found out about myself through all of this, I have an easier time accepting those things in people, then I did of the “acts” of a homosexual.

You know, I did not like myself very much when I realized that.

I am not saying, “That every homosexual that comes into the Church, it is going to turn out this way for them.”

I am saying:

If they feel as if they are in sin.  If they are living a life of despair, loneliness, depression, and suicidal thoughts because of it. 

If they want love, understanding, help and guidance.

Who are we as Catholics, to deny them that?

We certainly do not deny that to those who have had abortions, or those who commit adultery, do we?

To these people in the video, our Church was the last hope they had.

Because they were met with the love of God, the love of those who were in the Church, and receiving the help they so desperately were seeking, everything about their lives changed.

This makes me proud they are a Catholic. 

They make me proud I am a Catholic.

God Bless, SR

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Catholic Church, Catholicism, Christian, Christianity, evangelical, Protestant, Religion, Uncategorized | 8 Comments

“You Got it All Wrong”

Job and His Friends by James Tissot

Many of us as children of God are always searching for wisdom and knowledge.  Be it in Scripture, doctrine, or in trying to enhance ourselves spiritually.

We try to understand all that we are going through.  We try to understand our joys and our sufferings. 

We try to understand others and their joys and sufferings. 

Then, we try to understand the ways of God.  That at times seems almost an impossibility. 

Job and his friends did it.  Job had no clue as to why so much suffering had come into his life.

His friends just knew it had to be something that Job had done against God, to cause all his pain.

His wife told him, “To curse God and die.”

No matter what, everyone had an opinion and thought.

Into today’s readings from the Old Testament we see the Lord saying:

“As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.”  (Is. 55:6-9)

When we try to figure everything out, it really does not work does it? 

True, God does give to us the Holy Spirit to lead and direct our thought process to the right path.

We really in return, have to be willing to follow it, don’t we?

So often we take the wrong fork in the road.

If when we are not sure, what do we do?

We trust, that God already has the why’s, wherefores, and the answers to it all.

Our wisdom, reasoning, and ways will never be superior to God’s.  

We do not have the answers to every question.

What we do have is an all-knowing, loving God, who wants us to let Him lead us through this path we call, “life.”

We can never seem to let go of trying to figure it all out ourselves.

Just about the time we think we have it all figured out, God shows up and says:

“You got it all wrong.”

Prayer:

Lord, I do not have the answers to the questions of the universe.  I do not have the answers to the causes of my joy and suffering.  I do not have the answers to the confusion which at times, imploded itself in my life.

If I would only trust that You do, and through it all, I will only continue to do Your will, as that is all you are truly asking, of me.

In my many curiosities, I lose sight of that very thing. +

God Bless, SR

“Seek the Lord while He may be found, call Him while He is near.  Let the scoundrel forsake his way, and the wicked his thoughts; let him turn to the Lord for mercy; to our God, who is generous in forgiving.”
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor my ways your ways, says the Lord.” 
Taken from Today’s Mass readings 

 

 

 

 

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Friday Thoughts – Repenting for Praying the Rosary

When I first became a Catholic, one of the hardest things for me to do was, “Pray that Rosary!”

It was not the belief in the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  It was not accepting Mary as my Mother.  It was not that the Catholic Church is indeed the Church which Christ started.

It was praying the Rosary!

I mean my thoughts were:

“Am I going to hell, in a hand-basket?”  “Do I pray to anyone else, outside of God?”   “Does God really want me to do this?”  “Is Mary really praying for us?”  “I am praying to a dead person!”

You name it, the thoughts were there!  Trust me, there were a thousand more outside of these, so what to do?

I laid the Rosary on my kitchen table.  Of course it stayed there for two weeks, but I kept looking at it everyday.

After the two weeks, I finally felt drawn to it, and begin to pray.  But…. I did not only begin to pray it, I repented for every single bead I prayed.  Yes, fifty-three repents, every single day!  Fifty-three Hail Mary’s every single day!

It took forever!

This is what I would say to God:

“God, if this is not right, please forgive me?”

Again, “fifty-three times!”

Praying the Rosary, was not a “natural prayer for me to pray.”

All my life, it was only the Blessed Trinity, to Whom I prayed.

As time went on, and I begin to realize that God was answering the prayers, I was asking the Blessed Mother to pray.  I had to ask myself:

“If this is wrong or evil, why would God give me an answer?”

Then the Holy Spirit gave to me an answer:

“People in heaven are not dead.”

We never really think of those who have died, being alive in heaven, but they are.

To think of them in any other form or fashion is to say,

“Jesus never rose.”

The Rosary has since become one of my daily prayers.  Sometimes I make it through the whole thing, and sometimes I do not.

I also learned, the Blessed Mother loves us so much, why would she not pray for her children, as any Mother would?

God Bless, SR

 

 

 

 

Posted in Catholic, Catholic Church, Catholicism, Christian, Christianity, Holy Spirit, Prayer, Protestant, Religion, Rosary, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

The Fullness and Beauty of God in the Catholic Church

I was contemplating on when I first became a Catholic and when for the first time I stepped my foot in the Catholic Church.

My first reaction was, “The fullness and beauty of God is in this Church.”

Now mind you I was still a Protestant at that time.  I did not fully understand why those thoughts came to me, or even what they meant?  I just know they did.

As time went on I begin to understand them a little better, and how God was answering those questions of “why” within myself.

The Church had everything for me.

First I realized it was the only Church which had the “Full Gospel” in it, that I had attended.  From the readings it went from the Old Testament, to the New Testament, to the Gospels. 

All the Churches I had been in read a few Scriptures from a Book in the Bible, and the sermon was held on that.  I am not saying it was not “good preaching,” as I learned a lot. 

How the Catholic Church tied in the OT Scriptures to the New Testament Scriptures, to the Gospels, was amazing to me.  I never knew they correlated so much!

Then the Eucharist.  To just imagine me sitting there in the presence of Christ Himself, was unbelievable and beautiful to me.  To recieve Him…well what can I truly say?  Are there really any words to explain?

To be able to sit with Him in Adoration for an hour, in quiet and peace, lifted my soul to a place, as no such place had it ever seen in its life.

To sit there and talk with Him.  Him talking to me.  At times just sitting in silence with one another, in nothing but love.  How safe I felt in those moments.

Then the Sacraments.  I begin to understand I had every single thing I needed through them, to help me maintain my salvation.  How through the years, they have helped, guided, and directed me, on this path.

The Blessed Mother.  It took awhile for the Rosary with me.  (Another story)  She and I got off to a rather bad start. 

Then all of a sudden one day I picked up the Rosary, and begin to notice my prayers being answered.  They were being answered more quickly then  ever in my entire life. 

How through the years, she has become a Mother to me, of great love, prayers and comfort.

The Saints.  How much they taught me.  How much I longed to be one. 

Then they showed me, I had to be what God created me to be.  I could not be them in any aspect. 

They showed me I was an individual, uniquely made by the Hand’s of God.  Created for His own purpose, to be fulfilled within myself, through Him.

The Reverence for God.  I had never knelt in Church, though I did bow my head to pray.  At first the up and down, was a little hard for me to get used to. 

Then it hit me one day, I needed to do more than bow, God deserved a complete prostrate from me.  I never did it, but at least I understood why the kneel was so important.

The Sign of the Cross.  To bless myself with the Sign of the Cross, became for me, a symbol of what Christ actually did.  That He would even allow me to do the such, showed me how much He loves me.

The Prayers.  Some of the most beautiful prayers I have ever heard or prayed.  Be they in Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, Catholic Prayer Book, or of the Saints.  How much these prayers have gotten me through, and how close they brought me to God.

As years passed, I came to understand the thought which came when I first stepped foot in the Catholic Church.

Everything of God is there in that Church.

 His forgiveness, His Word, His Spirit,

His Son.

Though we have endured many scandals, He is still there in fullness and beauty.

God Bless, SR

 

 

 

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My Grandmother and the “World of Button Pushers”

One time I was complaining to my Grandmother about how busy I was.  This was her reply to me:

“I do not feel sorry for none of ya!   How would you like on Monday to go get your wood to burn to heat your boiling pot to boil your clothes in, after making your soap to clean them in?”

“Then on Tuesday how would you like when it is a hundred degrees, to heat your iron on a wood stove, with no air conditioning?  Then after that how would you like to cook lunch on the same would stove in the same hundred degrees heat?”

“After you got through eating how would you like to go draw your water and again, heat it up on the same wood stove to do your dishes?”

“After you were through with that, then how would you like to grab your cotton sack and go pick cotton?  I never could get up to 100 pounds, 70 was the most I could ever pick.”

“Then how would you like to have to come in cook supper, go get that water and boil it again to wash your dishes in?”

“After that, how would you like to go get some more water, boil it to bathe your kids in, inside a wash tub?”

“Then how would you like to sit for hours fanning them, because it is so hot they cannot go to sleep?”

“I don’t feel sorry for none of ya!” 

“All you do is “push a button” and everything is done for you.”

“All y’all are, are a “bunch of button pushers!”  LOL!!!!

Pretty much says it all, doesn’t it??

Remember this, the next time you think you really have it bad!

God Bless, SR

 

Posted in Catholic, Catholic Church, Catholicism, Christian, Christianity, Family, Protestant, Religion, Uncategorized | 2 Comments