Have you experienced the unconditional love of a parent? How about from God, the Father? Read more to learn about the connection between the two…
Unconditional Love – I was blessed to have two wonderful parents, who were married for 54 years prior to my father’s passing in 1999. My mother died 28 weeks later. (The photo was taken at my First Communion in 1965, at age 8). For the first 42 years of my life, they were living examples of parental love to me. They loved me unconditionally, as all parents do so well.
I did not come from a wealthy family. My father worked in a printer’s shop, and my mother was a stay-at-home mom, until I turned 10 years of age. Read more…
Want to know the secret to an enduring marital love after 35+ years of marriage? How can you have such a love?
With 35+ years of marriage to the same wonderful man, of this I can speak from experience. Many people ask me, “What’s your secret?” Let’s face the truth – in this day and age, at least in the United States, we don’t see one-time marriages with longevity much anymore. When we do see them, we see a consistent theme: an enduring love that has weathered the storms of life. So, you ask, what is the secret to maintaining that enduring love?
Next morning when Balaam arose, he saddled his donkey, and went off with the princes of Moab…..When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord there, she lay down under Balaam. Balaam’s anger flared up and he beat the donkey with his stick. Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she asked Balaam, “What have I done to you that you beat me these three times?”….the angel of the Lord said to him: “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come as an adversary because this rash journey of yours is against my will. When the donkey saw me, she turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away from me, you are the one I would have killed, though I would have spared her….”
from Numbers 22:21-34
Peter with John fastening his eyes upon him, said: Look upon us. But he looked earnestly upon them, hoping that he should receive something of them. But Peter said: Silver and gold I have none; but what I have, I give thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise, and walk.
Turn my heart to Your decrees and not to material gain. Turn my eyes from looking at what is worthless; give me life in Your ways.
There is a lot of looking going on in these texts. Sight is one of the mechanisms which we use to give our attention to something. Attention is the primary thing and vision is a mere auxiliary to it. What I mean by that is that although no doubt none of us wishes to go blind if it so happened that we did then our integrity as a person would remain intact. Our ability to focus our mind to a point and concentrate upon it would remain unimpaired although it would be discommoded. If however while still possessing sight we lost the ability to pay attention to anything then we would cease to be the person we are now. When considering texts like this then it can be a worthwhile exercise to leave aside consideration of the external events unfolding before the eyes and think about the essential objects upon which the attention of the participants, and by extension we the readers, is centred.
The disabled man whom the Apostles encountered desired to live. He was begging because only thus could he obtain the means necessary to that end. His attention was focussed on Saints Peter and John because he hoped that they could help him to keep body and soul together. His desire was a purely material one. There is a temptation to suppose that the intention of St Peter was equally material, to effect a bodily healing, and that what he gave to the man was good health. We should though bear in mind the words of Jesus ‘Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? (Luke 5:23) The gift which St Peter gave was the name of Jesus, one of the effects of that gift was to heal the man’s disability.
The post-modern mind is often impatient with miracle stories and seeks to discount them. So much the worse for the post-modern mind of course but if, as I suggest, we concentrate on the essence rather than the accidents of this episode is there anything in it which even the post-moderns can profit from?……click here to read more
How can one little gesture of courtesy change your life forever? Read my romantic tale to learn how it changed mine through a Divine moment gifted by God…Read more…
Why should we embrace courtesy? How can we navigate through such an unkind world and survive? Might expressions of courtesy be the answer?
We embrace courtesy to acknowledge dignity towards another, created in the image and likeness of God. In essence, we give the person the respect (courtesy) due to a child of God; we treat the person as we would want to be treated. Father Romano Guardini speaks of this in his book, Learning the Virtues That Lead Us to God:
“…man must be honored in relation to Him who created man in His image and who requires us to honor this image” (p.142).
Yet, how often do we actually embrace courtesy? Read more…
Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace.
….Ruth sets out to glean the ears of corn which the reapers leave behind in order to be able to feed Naomi, her mother-in-law, and herself. When, in the Gospels, Jesus speaks of harvesting He usually means gathering in souls to the kingdom of heaven. Since He speaks through the Old Testament as well as the New it is worth considering the possibility that references to the same subject in the one will have the same purpose as in the other. When to this harvest is added the figure of Ruth following ‘after him in whose sight I shall find grace‘ we are irresistibly reminded of the words of St Gabriel ‘Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.’ (Luke 1:30) It seems then legitimate to read this passage as an allusion to the role played by the Mother of God in bringing into the kingdom those who escape from the hands of the reapers.
What Mary gleans are those who have heard the Good News about Jesus but have not benefited by it. They lie on the earth having missed salvation but not yet consigned to destruction….to read more click here
Melanie Jean Juneau is wife and mother of nine children. The very existence of a joyful mother of nine children seems to confound people. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought provoking with a strong current of spirituality running through it. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life.She blogs at joy of nine9 and mother of nine9
You shall consume all the peoples which the Lord, your God, is giving over to you. You are not to look on them with pity, nor serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.
And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you, shall be as one of yourselves, and thou shalt love him as thyself: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
Those who attack the God of the Abrahamic faiths as a genocidal maniac often quote the text from Deuteronomy but never the one from Leviticus. The reverse is true for those who conceive of Abraham’s God as some kind of ethereal fluffy bunny. Yet both texts belong to the same religious tradition and are considered to form part of the divine revelation of God to man. It is especially difficult for the followers of Jesus to reconcile the smiting hip and thigh which forms such a great part of the Old Testament histories to the peaceful teachings and witness of the Son of Mary. So much so that from the earliest times various heresies have been proposed by figures like Marcion and Mani suggesting that there is an evil God who does bad things (most of the Old Testament) and a good God who does good things (most of the New Testament.) Whilst such heresies are seldom actively advocated nowadays they are, as it were, taught by default by those, mostly liberal, theologians who simply omit to defend the ‘difficult‘ passages of the Old Testament.
Is there a single common thread which unites the command to destroy the Canaanites with the Law demanding that strangers be treated with love? click here to read more