Are you decent? That is a question we usually ask if we want to know if someone is dressed before entering a room. I’m asking the same question, but with a slightly different slant. Is your soul decent? By that I mean, are you of the caliber of virtue where you exhibit restraint over your actions, dress and language because you value your own self-worth? Do you value what God thinks of you and your behavior more than the prescribed cultural norms? Or do you try to “fit in” by being lewd, scantily dressed and/or use colorful language, because… Read more…
Be still and know God! Easier said than done! Yet, to truly come to know God, we must become good listeners capable of discerning what He has in mind for us. Think about it: Do you ever really hear what another person has to say, if you are talking over them? Why should it be any different with God? We need to be still, silent, and listen for God’s guidance.
Here’s an exercise to get you started on the right path:
- Find a quiet place where you will be undisturbed for 15 minutes.
- Get comfortable.
- Mentally, tune out the chatter…Read more…
The saints are the true interpreters of holy Scripture The meaning of a given passage of the Bible becomes most intelligible in those human beings who have been totally transfixed by it and have lived it out.
Pope Benedict XVI
The organ for seeing God is the heart. The intellect alone is not enough. In order for man to become capable of perceiving God, the energies of his existence have to work in harmony.
Pope Benedict XVI
The Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI can accurately be described as an intellectual or, at any rate, an academic. Anyone who reads his books (and you really should) can have no doubt that he has a formidable mind which he feeds by wide reading and nourishes by deep reflection upon what he has read. He is then better placed than most of us to know that by the intellect alone we cannot see God. His life and work also stands as an eloquent and elegant refutation of the lie that Christians must abandon their intelligence in order to embrace their faith. Our discursive, cogitative, enquiring mind forms part of our God given personal apparatus as it were and so must play its part in our search for and encounter with Him but the part must not be substituted for the whole….click here to read more
Very few people become heretics or schismatics by thinking, “I know I am in error, but I don’t care.” They are convinced that their views are correct, but they have encountered opposition from the teaching authority of the Church which tells them that their belief or behavior is not in keeping with the Catholic faith. When a person runs into this situation, they have two choices:
- Accept the authority of the Church and reject the behavior/belief which goes against it.
- Reject the authority of the Church and accept the behavior/belief which goes against it.
If the person chooses the first possibility, they remain with their relationship with God and the Church intact. But if the person chooses the second possibility, their relationship with God and the Church is damaged.
Many times a person who goes ahead with this damaged relationship does not want to admit that their choice is the cause of it. So they claim that the fault of the break is somewhere else, and their position is on the right side of the break. Someone else must be found then to be in the wrong. Of course, most people don’t want to say that God is to blame for this break (those that do seem to be suffering from some great hurt and despair). So they try to redefine things so God is portrayed as being on their side. Therefore if the Church goes against what they want, then they conclude that the Church teaching must be against God—otherwise the Church would be siding with them.
Listen to God as He speaks to you. He has your best interests at heart. God wants only what is best for you. He is omnipotent (all-powerful), omnipresent (everywhere at one time) and omniscient (all-knowing); three very good adjectives to describe why we should be silent and listen to Him and not to the questionable, noisy, broken chatter of this world! God knows what He is doing. We, as humans, certainly do not have the full picture regarding anything, but He does. God is there to guide us on our journey. If we would be silent and listen, we would… Read more…
Jesus: The Son of the Living God, Begotten not made, one if being with the Father. Agreeing submitting His Will to the Father, Jesus suffered an horrific death for the sake of all humankind. “Not my Will,” He said, “But Your Will be done.”
Holy Spirit: The Third Person of the Trinity. The Comforter. The Guide. The Paraclete
The Resurrection of the Body: Jesus defeated death when He rose from the dead. By His death we were saved. By His Resurrection, we, too, will rise, one day.
The Truth – The Catholic Church speaks the truth, even if it’s not a popular truth to speak. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Article 1: Section 1950: The Moral Law.
“The moral law is the work of divine Wisdom. Its biblical meaning can be defined as fatherly instruction, God’s pedagogy. It prescribes for man the ways, the rules of conduct that lead to the promised beatitude; it proscribes the ways of evil which turn him away from God and his love. It is at once firm in its precepts and, in its promises, worthy of love.”
Read More at:: His Unending Love
When God speaks do you really listen? Read more to learn about my struggles with listening for God’s voice and guidance in this noisy and stimulating world.
A Witness of God’s Faithfulness: Marie struggles to grow in grace and guidance from the Lord while slowly recognizing her own rebellion. She intimately shows us the highs of her aviation, military and automotive careers and the suffering lows of abuse, bankruptcy, and divorce. Her relationship with God grows through it all. Eve’s Apple is a witness of how God gently guides one of His Eves into a slow freeing surrender of a Mary’s trusting yes. This is a journey of hope, faith, and real relationship!
Need motivation to exercise self-control? Perhaps you have tried to quit smoking, drinking, or taking drugs. Perhaps you have tried to lose weight, or not work so many long hours, only to be drawn back in to the temptation. You tell yourself that you can have all the motivation you could want and somehow, you still succumb to the temptation. Great starts, lousy finishes! You try again, only to see the cycle repeat itself.
I’ve been on that hamster wheel with my weight! So, I speak from experience. It wasn’t until this last time of weight loss, when I got…Read more…
Agincourt, Imagination and the Bible
Then he took the twelve apostles aside, and warned them, Now we are going up to Jerusalem, and all that has been written by the prophets about the Son of Man is to be accomplished. He will be given up to the Gentiles, and mocked, and beaten, and spat upon; they will scourge him, and then they will kill him; but on the third day he will rise again. They could make nothing of all this; his meaning was hidden from them, so that they could not understand what he said.
King of France
With pennons painted in the blood of Harfleur:
Rush on his host, as doth the melted snow
Upon the valleys, whose low vassal seat
The Alps doth spit and void his rheum upon:
Go down upon him, you have power enough,
And in a captive chariot into Rouen
Bring him our prisoner.
Constable of France.
This becomes the great.
Sorry am I his numbers are so few,
His soldiers sick and famish’d in their march,
For I am sure, when he shall see our army,
He’ll drop his heart into the sink of fear
And for achievement offer us his ransom
Henry V, Act III, Scene 5
The Apostles do not come well out of the Gospels. They seem to have a near perfect ability to misunderstand or not comprehend Jesus. It is tempting to dismiss them as unusually dense or at least woefully ignorant. It does not help much if we remember that we know the end of the story and they didn’t, that we have the benefit of the reflections on Jesus and His mission in the Epistles and two thousand years of Christian thought and they had to make do with very much less. The reason this is not helpful is because it is a purely intellectual exercise on our part. Most readers of the Gospels, Christian or not, are emotionally invested in Jesus, often to a great degree, and it hurts us when we see Him desperately trying and usually failing to make those closest to Him understand who He is and what He is doing. That emotional wound, that empathy which we feel, cannot really be touched simply by engaging in the mental exercise of adding up the things which the Apostles could have known and could have understood and comparing it with what our Lord was asking them to know and understand. Emotional wounds need to be treated with emotional medicines.
One way of reading Scripture is to immerse oneself in it imaginatively. If we try to see the events unfolding before us not through the eyes and with the feelings of a 21st century person but as near as we can manage it with the feelings of the historical participants then our perspective will change. For most of us it will not be possible really to enter into the thought processes of the Apostles, the holy women or the Pharisees because their thinking was dominated by a framework of assumptions and experiences that only professional historians could really reproduce. Their feelings, however, would be akin to ones that we ourselves are familiar with because the lapse of two thousand years has effected no change in the human emotional range whatever it may have done to the world of ideas. In this context Act III, scene 5 of Henry V becomes a useful tool. Why? to read more click here