Monday, March 24, 2014

Peace of Soul

Right now I'm reading a book by Archbishop Fulton J Sheen called, "Peace of Soul".  I'm only on page 69 and I'm already astonished by the depth and beauty of this book.   The chapter title that I've gone through so far are: Frustration, The Philosophy of Anxiety, The Origin of Conflicts and Their Redemption and Is God Hard to Find? And the chapter I'm just starting is called Morbidity and the Denial of Guilt. 
So far the Archbishop has walked through topics on man's desire for happiness, and happiness in God, the revolt of our flesh, and how God is not hiding from us. I can't wait to finish the book and be able to post more about it, I'm just really excited about it.

Peace of Soul is one of those books on God that tells you mostly things you already knew, but it presents it in such a new light, that you can't help but feel you've learned something new.  It's basically just a book on the Good News, but that is why it's so exciting.  What could be more exciting than God's Good News?

I also have a prayer request. This weekend I am going on a retreat, please pray for myself and all those who are going on it, and those leading it, that the Lord will work profound miracles.

God bless!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Lauds Reading & Responsory

Isaiah 1: 16-18

Wash yourselves clean!
Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes;
cease doing evil; learn to do good.
Make justice your aim; redress the wronged,
hear the orphan's plea, defend the widow.
Come now, let us set things right,
says the Lord:
Though your sins be like scarlet,
they may become white as snow;
Though they be crimson red,
they may become white as wool.


God himself will set me free, from the hunter's snare.
-God himself will set me free, from the hunter's snare.

From those who would trap me with lying words
-and from the hunter's snare.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit
-God himself will set me free, from the hunter's snare.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The L Word part 1

What does it mean to be in love with God? What is love?  When I said at the beginning of Lent that I wanted to fall in love again, did I realize the statement I was making?  These are questions I have been musing over for a couple of days.
I think I'll take the answers slowly.

First of all I think the answer to the third question: When I said at the beginning of Lent that I wanted to fall in love again, did I realize the statement I was making?  is yes and no.  People who know me, know that I've encountered the love of God in a powerful way.  For those that don't know...Well the short version is I was lost and then I was found.  The summer of 2010 I fell in love with God for the first time. Since then it's been a journey, with good times and bad times. Which is why I wanted to make the commitment to love again.  Again I can't remember the exact Bible verse, but it says something about remembering your first love.  And that's what I want to do.  Go back to my first love, and go deeper.
One of the missionaries was giving an example of the love of God, and our love for him. She talked about God's love (and our love for him) being like a mighty river.  And first you just dip your toes in His river. Then he calls you out a little deeper, and then a little deeper. Each time we go deeper, we learn something new, something more, something deeper about Him.

I think the first and second question go to together: What is love?  In the world today hear all about love.  Love is fuzzy feelings, butterflies, sex, pleasure, the want of someone.  But what is true love?  Catholic and Christians tell us that love is sacrificing what I want for what someone else wants.  Okay, well that makes sense for people. But how does this apply to me and God?  As I sat thinking about this it hit that the answer is really scary.
Giving up what I want for what God wants. If I really mean that I want to love God in that way, that means I have to be willing to change everything for Him.  Everything that I want, everything I would like to do. The college I want to go to, the person I want to marry, everything.

This brings me to the second question: What does it mean to be in love with God?
There's another great song that I love that talks about this like climbing a mountain with hands wide open.
Isaiah 2:3 talks about climbing the Lord's mountain, to receive teaching from the Lord.  And if we think about climbing a mountain, you need your hands!  In this song we have a striking image of not using our hands to climb the mountain.  Our relationship with God is complex.  On one hand we have to climb the mountain ourselves, because of free will God will not force us.  And then on the other hand we have to let God be in control of our climbing, He must help our hands.
This is true love of God, that in serving and worshiping Him we let him guide us.  And the only way to do this is through constant prayer.

I would like to continue to talk about these questions, and the answers, throughout Lent.  As always I pray for you, as I hope you pray for me.

To Be Continued.

Lauds Reading for March 13

1st Kings 8:51-53a

We are your people and your inheritance. Thus may your eyes be open to the petition of your servant and to the petition of your people Israel. Hear us whenever we call upon you, because you have set us apart among all the peoples of the earth for your inheritance. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Real Meaning of Lent

I think I am a like to almost all Catholics kids when it comes to Lent.  Growing up I practically hated Lent. I mean, what's fun about having to stop eating chocolate for 40 days? Or not getting to watch movies during the week?
Growing up I missed the point of Lent, and it's just now really hitting me.   In our morning prayers this week my dad said something to the effect of: "Lent is a time to clean up the clutter in your soul."  That blew my mind.  Maybe it was the way it was worded, or maybe I haven't really been listening at mass till now, but...Wow.  That is what Lent is supposed to be.

Focusing on this new definition all we have to do is rethink our past ideas of Lent, and we...I begin to realize that Lent should really be one of the best times of the year.
All the fasting, the ashes, the long holy week, all of this has a point!   St. Ambrose says that "All men are slaves to sin."   Just looking at my life day to day I can see where I have sinned in thought, word and deed. Each day we sin!  It's no wonder that God chose to have a special season in our Church to help us get right with them.

Praying that you all have an amazing lent.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

This Lent I'm Falling in LOVE Again

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

This has always been one of my favorite passages in the old testament, and I'm not sure if I can put it into words why.
There is obvious joy in the writer's heart. The one who wrote this was excited.
"Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."   Don't stop talking about Him!
I'm a fan of quite a few British TV shows, I have no problem talking about one or the other, whenever. Sure some people think I'm obsessed and really geeky, but I don't care. I like the TV show. 
Am I the same when I talk/think about my saviour?

Wednesday started the season of Lent in the Catholic Church.   For about a week before my family and I spent time trying to decide what to give up for Lent.  And although I do have things I am giving up, I think this Lent, for me, is going to be a time of my obsession with God.
There is a psalm, what number it is I can't remember, but it says "He is my love, my fortress."
He is my love.

One of my favorite songs is by United Pursuit and it's called "Help Me Find My Own Flame."
I love this song because it's about taking the love of God for our own, and not letting it be "dry bones."

This Lent I'm falling in love again.  Please pray for me as I do so.

This is a long post I know, but I want to leave you with the link to the song.