Thursday, May 31, 2007

It's the Last Day of May...

...Mary's month. So don't forget to

Monday, May 28, 2007

Prayer is a Hunger

"Ages pass, and still thou pourest,
and still there is room to fill."

I marvel at you Lord God. I hunger for you and you fill me with your Eucharist. I ache for you and you send me your Word in Scripture. I thirst for you and I am sated by your graces and fellowship with others.
You continue to give. But I am living proof Lord, that our hearts will remain restless until they ultimately rest in You.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

AS IS but loved

Did you ever go to IKEA, the furniture store? There's a section marked " AS IS". The store's rejects are brought there. You may see a chair with a stain on it or a table with a wobbly leg. People who visit the AS IS section don't expect to pay full price because they know this furniture isn't first quality. The standards are lower there. The furniture is usable and fixable, but not worth full price.

In the furniture store of life, that's where I belong. I daily tell God how very much I love Him and how I want to live a virtuous life to an heroic degree but I mess up. I'm like the chair with the wobbly leg - good design but imperfect. I'm old enough now to be willing to accept the reality of my weaknesses. I haven't given up by a long shot. I do want to please God with all my heart and soul, but like St. Paul "I do the very things that I hate." (Rms 7:15) It's amazing how easy it is for me to slip into selfishness or laziness no matter how fervent my prayer that morning might have been. I'm disappointing to myself. I'm a great design with imperfections. As Is. Not special enough for the showroom floor.

Unlike the wobbly legged table at the furniture store though, I am worth full price! Jesus Christ thinks I'm really special. He believes in His design. Jesus believes His creation has wonderful potential and He loves me. I celebrate Jesus' unconditional love and mercy. I rejoice in His tender care and protection of me. It's all about Him. I can't get depressed about my own behavior because the focus would be on me. Wouldn't satan love that? I'm not giving him that chance. No way. Instead I offer my praise and thanks to a merciful generous God. Even though I'm AS IS God thought I was worth the death of His only Son. That's full price. Jesus thinks I'm worth His daily graces. He gifts me with His word and with Eucharist. That's Full Price for sure. How blessed I am to be fully and completely loved AS IS.

Praise and thanks to you, God!

Friday, May 18, 2007

God Gifts

God calls the end times the “renewal of all things” in Mathew 19:28
“Repent then and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, that time of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Acts 3:19

What appears to be pain and sorrow has frequently in my life been the predecessor of intimacy with God. The Gospel even calls the end times a renewal. What can I endure with the knowledge of God’s presence within me and his protection surrounding me?

Don’t we get excited when we know we’ve bought or made the perfect gift for someone? We wrap it carefully and well, decorating our emotional wish to please a loved one. We present it with a smile being that sure the recipient will be pleased. If it really is as perfect the gift we thought it to be, that mutual happiness of the moment adds joy and intimacy to the relationship. Wasn’t that the purpose of the gift in the first place?

God’s packages to us aren’t always pleasantly wrapped. His gifts aren’t always fun. But gifts they are. Pain, be it emotional, physical or spiritual can sometimes be a gift depending on the way we see and appreciate it. We must accept gifts gracefully and acknowledge the Giver. Simply being a participant on this globe, of course, can impose pain. Even that pain though, is a gift and can be transformed.

So God gifts us or allows us to experience sorrow. Is it to test us? To prove us? Or like many gifts does it depend on our spirit of understanding and acceptance? Do we rebel asking such questions as “why me?” citing our honest attempts to live a decent life? Reading the lives of the saints helps me in this area the most.

St Joan of Arc
Blessed Mary of Australia
St. Louis Marie De Montfort

They were misunderstood, judged to be insane and persecuted for their Godly lives. What made them saints is their heroic degree of virtue. And Joan, Mary and St. Louis Marie De Montfort were simple human beings like us. Their prayer life, i.e. their intimacy with God in the face of trial gave them strength and courage.

Renewal of all things.
Times of refreshing from the Lord.

It does require time spent in the Lord’s presence to be able to translate pain and sorrow into renewal and refreshing. It’s barely human to be able to do that at all. Spiritual intimacy with the one who was persecuted for our sins is the only way for me.

Prayer: Jesus you know how much I really mean that. I come to you be to repaired and made whole. Re-paired that is, to be paired up with you again. Your example and your love is my strength. Thank you for ALWAYS being there.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

If Sin Had An Odor

St. Bridget of Sweden could SMELL sin as it had an odor to her and caused a bad taste in her mouth. If sin could be smelled~

*Buy stock in Renuzit, personal deodorants and perfume companies
*People would try to pretend the smell was coming from someone else
*What would a reconciliation service smell like before and after
*Would different sins have different odors so that each person’s sin would be recognizable? Pride would smell like onions; a lie would smell like a skunk…
*Saturday afternoon lines in Church would be longer than the lines in the mall stores.

Your ideas?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Spiritual Intimacy

What is spiritual intimacy? (aka Prayer)

  • to share the deep seated fears and anxieties that I don't share with others
  • to admit that I am known and understood more fully by Someone Else
  • to let myself be loved completely and wholly by a Perfect God
  • to offer protestations of undying devotion and complete adherence to His will - then to fall on my face tripping over my own words. At the same time spiritual intimacy has the audacity to look at God right in the eyes after that experience.
  • to be completely and comfortably quiet with nothing to say for long periods of time

It is hunger for more information about Him whom I love. It is the revelation of knowledge and insight He shares with me thru reflection on Scripture and quiet time together. It is the confidence God has in me that encourages and challenges me to grow.