A True Friend Loves Without Fail

Marital Love

A true friend loves without fail; that is the foundation of true friendship. True friendship requires mutual love between parties. How does a friendship result? First, you identify common interests. Next you perceive desirable character traits in each other. You are drawn to each other, and want to mutually pursue getting to know each other better. Through the interchange of dialogue, you come to know more about each other, and the friendship blossoms. You build trust with each other. Before you know it, you have mutual love for each other, and call each other friend.

The same can be true for our relationship with God. Read more…

Assumption of Mary in Art : Icons, Modern, Classical

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary by contemporary, Catholic artist Michael O’Brien
The early Christian belief in Mary’s Assumption was proven by the lack of her relics, empty tombs, the existence of Transitus Mariae stories, and quotes from the first Christians. They were very careful to keep the relics of saints and martyrs, even if it involved great risk (like trying to retrieve the remains of those who were eaten by lions). They did this out of great reverence for the body as a member of Christ and temple of the Holy Spirit  ( I Corinthians 6:15, 19).

 

Friendship: It was I Who Chose You

Friend of Jesus

Friendship as defined by Jesus through the writings of the Apostle, Saint John:

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you, and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another. (John 15:13-17).

Let’s unpack this statement, one point at a time. Read more…

Blog Tour Set! I’m Blessed and Humbled!

Blog Tour Ad

I am blessed and humbled to have such great, and talented friends, who have agreed to review my new book available on Tuesday, August 25th. That’s just two weeks from today! Let me introduce you to my friends.

Oh, did you see that box titled, “YOU!” in the picture? Well, you will have many opportunities to join in on the fun! Read more…

Sinking

Reflections on Matthew 14:22

Jesus simply says, “Come.”

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Without hesitation, Peter gets out of the boat and walks on the water.

WOW.

Peter actually walks on the water.

Nobody talks about that shining few seconds of miraculous faith.

No, commentators focus on Peter’s lack of faith.

Would you have even stepped out of that boat while the sea rolled beneath your feet? Could you have walked on water like Peter did, even if it was only for a few moments?

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Do You Accept God in Your Life?

God

Do you accept God in your life?

It’s a very simple question. My guess is the answer is “yes” or you would probably not be wasting your time reading this post. I want for you to give your answer more thought. Go deeper. Would the answer still be yes, after answering the following questions?

  • Do you accept all of Christ’s teachings, as delivered by Him? Or, do you pick and choose what you think is relevant to accept as appropriate for the 21st century?
  • Do you believe and accept that Christ’s moral teachings are unchanging; meaning… Read more…

Accepting the Unacceptable: What to Do?

diversity

Accepting someone else’s reality can be difficult; especially when someone else’s reality does not jive with our own. What are we to do? How are we to behave when we see what we deem to be unacceptable behavior, and/or hear inappropriate speech?

People’s perceptions (realities) and points of origin will differ, resulting in a need for diversity; the accepting of another’s reality. The need for diversity could stem from a myriad of origin points: race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, culture – just to name a few.

We must understand and accept another person’s reality, to practice the virtue of acceptance. No one is asking you to condone sinful behavior. However, we must remember to love our neighbor as Christ loves each of us. As Saint Augustine originally coined in Letter 211 of his writings, we are to have “love for mankind and hatred of sins.” To do so is acting in a Christ-like manner.

Here is a perfect example: Read more…

Acceptance: Unlock the Doors!

keys

Acceptance is a two-fold virtue: accepting yourself and accepting others. How difficult is it for you to acknowledge and accept your own limitations and weaknesses? How difficult is it for you to accept the same in others? Do you hold others to a higher standard than yourself, because you expect more from others than you do of yourself?

Finding acceptance in our lives requires that we first unlock the door to the interior self. It is there that we commune with God. We discover and come to accept who we are, as God has created us to be: in His image and likeness. In looking at the interior self, we assess our strengths and weaknesses; our possibilities and limitations. We acknowledge our sins. Within the depths of the interior self, we come to accept… Read more…

Poverty Alleviated: It’s Up to You!

Munificence 4

Poverty Can Be Eliminated

Poverty can be eliminated if we, to whom much has been given, were to share with those less fortunate. Everything that we have comes from the providence of God. Nothing that we think we own, do we actually own, for it could all be taken away in the blink of an eye. Everything belongs to God, and we are merely the stewards of his benefaction. Saint Francis de Sales says:

…our possessions are not our own; God has given them to us that we may cultivate them, and it is His will that we should render them useful and fruitful. 1

Therefore, what we do with our surplus matters in the eyes of God. Do we use it for the benefit of others, or do we consume it for ourselves? Read more…

Saint Mary: The Beautiful Dove

Annunciation Fra Filippo Lippi Beautiful Dove

But she, not finding where her foot might rest, returned to him into the ark: for the waters were upon the whole earth: and he put forth his hand, and caught her, and brought her into the ark. And having waited yet seven other days, he again sent forth the dove out of the ark. And she came to him in the evening, carrying a bough of an olive tree, with green leaves, in her mouth. Noe therefore understood that the waters were ceased upon the earth. And he stayed yet other seven days: and he sent forth the dove, which returned not any more unto him.
Genesis 8:8-12

The Coptic Christians, whose ancient communities are enduring a prolonged martyrdom in the Middle East, have long given the Blessed Virgin the title of The Beautiful Dove because they see a type or figure of our Lady in this story from Genesis. In common with all of Christendom prior to the time of Luther the Copts find the New Testament present within the Old. In its pages, the stories, the people, the artefacts used, the sacrifices offered and so on everything which Jesus and the Apostles make plain can be seen under a veil as it were. Christians have long delighted in piercing that veil and in unfolding into plain sight the truths which we can now see thanks to the revelation of Christ and the faith passed on through the Apostles. The three journeys of the dove are types of, respectively, the girlhood of Mary, her role as Mother of God and her Assumption into heaven.

The earth covered in waters represents a world drowned in narrow materialism, sin and self-regard. From the moment of her Immaculate Conception our Lady became a pilgrim: in this world but not of it. Noah and his family in the Ark stand for the anawim the humble righteous ones looking with hope for the coming kingdom which would dry up the waters and flood the world instead with the spirit of love and devotion. Mary became in a special way the representative and ambassador of the anawim. She flew forth across the waters filled with love and hope but could find nowhere where here foot might rest. She was sustained only by the wings of faith and the winds of the spirit…click here to read more

The painting is a detail from The Annunciation by Fra Filippo Lippi