And this day has the potential of
being just as grand as
I must be open to it!
Sometimes, during my hours of prayer, I picture myself as a piece of stone before a sculpture who intends to make a statue our of it. Presenting myself like this before the Lord, I beg him to form form in my soul his perfect image and make me wholly like Christ. ~Brother Lawrence~
"Love is so powerful that it makes one heart and one will of lover and beloved. Whatever the one loves, so does the other; if it were otherwise, it would not be perfect love." ~Saint Catherine of Siena
"Those who trust in him shall abide with him in love..." Wisdom 3:9.
Love for our neighbor consists of three things: to desire the greater good of everyone; to do what good we can when we can; to bear, excuse, and hide others' faults. ~Saint John Vianney
Preaching the Gospel of Life in Every MomentPrayer
Father of life, from the beginning of each day and into the night, teach me the sacred value of every human life from its very beginning until its end in you.
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans 14: 7-9, 10c-12
No one lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself. For if we live, we live for the Lord and If we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. For this is why Christ died and came to life, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written: "as I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend before me, and every tongue shall give praise to God." So then each of us shall give an accounting of himself to God.
God of all creation, infuse in the minds and hearts of all who serve us in government, the academy and the healing sciences the right of every
human being to the respect of their God-given lives.
A Reflection by Pope John Paul II*
For the Christian, [the commandment "You shall no kill"] involves an absolute imperative to respect, love and promote the life of every brother and sister, in accordance with the requirements of God's bountiful love in Jesus Christ. "He laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren" (1John 3:16)...It resounds in the moral conscience of everyone as an irrepressible echo of the original covenant of God the Creator with mankind. It can be recognized by everyone through the light of reason and it can be observed thanks to the mysterious working of the spirit who, blowing where he wills (cf. John 3:8), comes to and involves every person living in this world. It is therefore a service of love which we are all committed to ensure to our neighbor, that his or her life may be always defended and promoted especially when it is weak or threatened
* Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, no. 77
Resting Only in Your TruthPrayer
Father of life, help me to bring every longing to the infinite fulfillment of every heart's expectations.
A Reading from Saint Paul's Letter to the Romans 2:14-15
For it is not those who hear the law who are just in the sight of God; rather, those who observe the law will be justified. For when the Gentiles who do no have the law by nature observe the prescription of the law, they are a law for themselves even though they do not have the law. They show that the demands of the law are written in their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even defend them on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge people's hidden works through Christ Jesus.
God of all creation, when I am afraid, weak, or uncertain, open my mind to your truth and goodness, that reading your work written on my heart, I might learn to treasure the life of every man.
A Reflection by Pope Benedict XVII*
An "adult" faith is not a faith that follows the trends of fashion and the latest novelty; a mature adult faith is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ. It is this friendship that opens us up to all that is good and gives us a criterion by which to distinguish the true from the false, and deceit from truth...We must develop this adult faith; we must guide the flock of Christ to this faith. And it is this faith-only faith-that creates unity and is fulfilled in love...on this theme, St. Paul offers us some beautiful words as a fundamental formula for Christian existence, in contrast to the continual ups and downs of those who, like children, are tossed about by the waves: make truth in love. Truth and love merge in Christ. To the extent that we draw near to Christ, in our own lives too, Truth and love are blended. Love without truth would be blind; truth without love would be like " a clanging cymbal" (1Cor 13-1).
*Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Homily, Mass for the Election of the Pope, 18 April 2005
Unity, penance, prayer.
In the school of the Apostle of the Gentiles we can gain consciousness that we are all in need of conversion.
There is no Christian without penance.
"There is no true ecumenicism without interior conversion"
"Who are you to pass judgement on another..."(Romans 13:4). Let us rather recognize our faults together. This holds good as well for the grace of unity: "All have sinned." We ought to see and say this in all seriousness and draw our conclusions...
Jesus Christ is the salvation of us all..."We are at peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1) and among ourselves...we believe and together profess all that...
All our gratitude for what remains in common to us and unites us must not blind us to what still divides us...We are called to go forth together, in dialogue of truth and love, to full unity of the faith...We must not leave anything untried. We must do everything to unite ourselves. We owe this to God and to the world...The will of Christ and the signs of the times urges to common testimony of the increasing fullness of truth and love...The tasks awaiting us are great and grave..."The Spirit helps us in
our weakness" (Romans 8:26).
Lisa at Unexpected Journey offered this on her post! It really touched me deeply and thought I would offer it too! This says so much about the way I WANT life for all to be. PEACEFULLY LIVED!
Please start to the video and then when is say Watch Through YouTube click your courser to be routed there and the you will be able to watch the video. It really is very good!
I'm off to morning prayer! Wishing everyone the blessing of this Glorious Day!
Thanks be to God
Peters approached Jesus and asked him,
"Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must
is forgive him, as may as seven times?"
Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times
but seventy-seven times."
(Matthew 18: 21-35)In Scripture, we can track one indication of the gradual movement of the human race (by God's grace) toward the Reign of God. It has to do with the reduction of vengeance.
~~~Genesis (which reaches back to pre-history) tells of Lamech, a son of Cain, who boasted: "I have killed a man for wounding me, a boy for bruising me. If Cain is avenged sevenfold, then Lamech seventy-sevenfold." (Genesis 4:23-24)
~~~Exodus (which treats events that took place in about 1,200 B.C.) tempers this approach: "If injury ensues, you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot..." (Exodus 21:23-24)
~~~Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount, takes the human race to a new level: "You have heard that it is said, 'An eye for and eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you...when someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other to him as well." (Matthew 5:38-39)
~~~Now, 13 chapters later in that same Gospel, Peter asks how many times one has to do this. Jesus says that, to bring about the Reign of God, mercy must be measureless.
Vengeance prevents us from moving forward, for it simply adds evil to evil. Jesus calls us to break the vicious circle of evil for evil, and respond to evil with goodness, this bringing creation closer to its destiny.
Even though you intended to do harm to me
God intended it for good, in order to preserve
a numerous people, as he is doing today.
**+**This ends the story of Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers. The harm they intended him was turned by God into a great good as the people of both Egypt and Israel were rescued from famine by Joseph's gifts.
God's ways among us are mysterious, but one thing we do know is that turning misfortune or weakness into good is just what he does. I've seen it countless times in my own life, and there are probably just as many times i haven't because I wasn't looking.***Loving God, today I'll pay attention to what you
have to show me about the painful parts of my life.
My MakerAs I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls.
Before each of us laid our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles; an angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life.
But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile,
I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in every day life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.
I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened.
My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth
together, threadbare and empty, like binding air.
Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose; each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise.
My gaze dropped to the ground in shame I hadn't had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness, and wealth, and false accusations that took from me my world, as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me.
And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was.
I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light.
An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes.
Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light
flooded the many holes, creating an image, the face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. He said, 'Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles.
Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you.'
May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through!
God determines who walks into your life....it's up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.'
Thanks be to God!