Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Practices of Nothingness

St. Therese of Lisieux didn’t make acts of penance as was popular in those years. “Alas, I never made any.” She preferred instead, beginning at the age of 15 to:
Not draw any attention to herself
Not seek personal recognition
Have NO personal preferences.

She focused on :
secret inconspicuous acts of service to others
not putting her opinions into conversations
refusing to harbor thoughts and feelings that were about herself.
She would not (in accord with 1 Cor 13) foster any form of self indulgence, self promotion or self pity. That is how she forgot about herself.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Stepping Stones

I believe it is all about the little things. They do make a difference. The path to sanctity and fulfillment of the Gospel life style is filled with minutiae. Each stone along the road could be called something each of us is very familiar with.

1. When I woke up today I was still really tired. Do I give attitude to my family because of that or do I swallow it and make it a better morning for us all?

2. Traffic is a mess. I may be late even though I left in plenty of time.
Do I get angry with everyone behind every steering wheel except mine? Does that anger boil up to name calling or yelling? Do I then speed or drive in an otherwise unsafe manner to make up for the lost time – thereby potentially (if not actually) endangering lives?

3. I arrive at work or school – a little late. When I shut my car door did I leave my attitude and impatience with others on the road or did I just carry it in with me thereby infecting others?
does anyone temporal punishment?~~

4. I begin going about my daily routine Have I talked to God at all yet today? Gotten my marching orders from Him today? Have I prayed for others who may die today, or may experience homelessness, pain or hunger? AS each person approaches me do I recognize God speaking to me thru them? Do I actively look for His will as I make decisions during the day?
God wants me to grow and to be the best person I can be. I need to actively find my opportunities for grace and growth throughout the day.

5. We all make mistakes. Jesus never defended himself. I don’t need to be defensive either. Do I allow my ego to control me? Is my level of patience on a very short leash? Am I transparently honest? Have I asked my family members and/or friends to forgive me when I failed to live up to my potential as a Catholic? Have I asked God for forgiveness?
6. Change is good. Self reflection is always necessary. It shouldn’t turn into self preoccupation or on-going deep introspection. Despair is not of God. Did I make an honest effort to transform my heart today? If the answer is no, what would it take to do that? How will I make tomorrow different from today?

Every second of every day is an opportunity. We’re not all headed for halos, but we can keep trying. To get down about our failures is the devil’s way of distracting us from the path ahead. God’s grace and love abounds and surrounds us. All we need to do is stay on the path and put one foot in front of the other.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

When I say "I'm a Christian"

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not shouting "I'm clean living." I'm whispering "I was lost, now I'm found and forgiven."

When I say... "I am a Christian" I don't speak of this with pride. I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not bragging of success. I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not claiming to be perfect. My flaws are far too visible. But, God believes I am worth it.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I still feel the sting of pain. I have my share of heartaches so I call upon His name.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not holier than thou, I'm just a simple sinner who received God's good grace, somehow .

copied from : Jul 1 2007 6:56A Felicia

Friday, August 10, 2007

I Believe...

I believe that anyone who knew the depth of divine love for them would be filled
with self knowledge, understanding and peace.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Irreplaceable Work of Art Destroyed!

My emotional needs are many, Jesus. I am self centered. I desire emotional and spiritual integrity - to be the person You designed me to be. I want your creation to be pure and uncluttered. It's like destroying a work of art that someone (You!) took great pains to create. Imagine a vandal going into the MOMA or the Louvre and just spray painting over rare pieces. We'd be devastated! It would be in all the papers. "Look what's been destroyed: irreplaceable works of art. Creations lost forever!" we would say. But I do that very thing when I try to love others with my own love which is self centered and tainted. I love when convenient or with conditions, not with my whole heart
selflessly and purely for the sake of the other- all others. If I could love and serve others the way You did then I'd be a person of spiritual integrity. I'd be true to my core self- my soul, and to You, Jesus.
But we have God's free gift of mercy. So unlike those art museum pieces we can change and return to our true spiritual identity.
Confession is like a restoration artist. The priest can grace me back to the original creation God designed. Eucharist strengthens my character. Meeting you in prayer, Jesus, gives me a sense of resolve and fortitude. I am weak and sinful so I need all the daily helps I can get. I need frequent communication and interactions with you, Lord. I desire to offer you pure love and a life of gratitude. I don't want to be a graffiti covered design. I want to reflect you- to be a your work of art.
Praise and thanks be to God!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Why don't people pray?

I’ve always wondered why people don’t pray. They may say they don’t have time or they’re experiencing a dry spell or it doesn’t “do” anything for them. Whatever the reason, lots of people tell me they don’t take time for daily prayer. I’ve figured out why.
You don’t talk to people you don’t know. That’s all it is. They don’t know God. Because in this case, to know Him is to love Him. If you really knew God you’d want to be in his presence more. But you need to know Him in order to want to be in His presence. What’s the answer?