Saturday, November 16, 2013

Are You Ready?

We have an army supply store down the road from us and this is the gigantic sign they have posted on the exterior wall of the building:

In my humble opinion, the guy in the gas mask is slightly terrifying!  That's not the kind of "ready" I want to be.  So, I offer other suggestions:

1) This beautiful confessional is in St. Peter's Basilica.  While all confessionals don't look the same, they do render the same grace; Sanctifying grace, the grace that makes us holy.  In John 20:23 we find the words of Christ: "If you forgive people's sins, they are forgiven." Jesus gave this authority to his disciples (who then passed it onto each ordained priest) precisely because he knew that after baptism we would fall into sin again.  He gives us this Sacrament to help us remain close to him.  

2) The Eucharist:  The source and summit of our faith because It is Christ!  Receive often!!

3) Adoration:

"He said to Peter, "Couldn't you watch with me even one hour?" (Mt. 26:40) The Eucharist does not have to be exposed for you to be in adoration. Just sit before the closed tabernacle, if you are not able to go during formal adoration time.  Jesus is there waiting to bless you.  Give Him an hour; He will give you so much more. 

Are you ready? 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Meek of Heart and Humble

After reading and reposting the blog  Marriage Isn't For You, where the writer makes the distinction between being selfish and selfless for love of your spouse,  I recalled that I had this prayer in my "pile".

I found it in the Meditation of the Day section in one of my summer Magnificats.  It was written by Blosius the Venerable who was the abbot of the Benedictine Abby of Liessies in France.

Every time I read it I realize how far I am from the goal. But, on the up side, I can feel God working on me so I keep trying.

Here is the prayer:

Denying Self and Following

Oh,when shall I perfectly die to myself an be free from all creatures?  Oh, would that I were truly meek of heart and humble; truly poor and naked in spirit.  Grant, O Lord, that by perfect self-denial, perfect mortification of my vices, I may arrive at perfect love of you.  You have commanded that I should love you: give what you command and command what you please.  Grant that I may love you with my whole heart, my whole mind, with all my powers, with my whole soul.  Deign to heal and reform the powers of my soul, broken and corrupted by sin by the powers of your most holy soul.  Free my soul from all distracting cares; strip from it the images and forms of perishable things. Grant me to dwell with you in the sanctuary of my soul; grant that by steadfast thought, clear knowledge, and fervent love, I may always be able to flow into you. Amen.

Have a Sonfilled day! 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lessons From The Dog Trainer

Our daughter, Erin, has a dog.  Not a bad thing except that I'm not really a pet person, and since Erin still lives at home, the dog lives here, too.  So I guess you could say "we" have a dog.

With 11 people in the house, you can imagine the different ways Mayter has been "raised".  We have learned the hard way that most of them are wrong.

Poor pup is a nervous wreck, (lip licking and yawning) because he doesn't know who's boss.  He barks viciously at some people and some dogs (and all squirrels).  He "christens" one particular niece whom he loves, every time she comes over.

Erin knew something had to be done and so she hired a dog trainer.  This woman is an expert in the field of behavioral training for dogs.  She works with dogs who are one step away from being put down because of their aggressive behavior.  The nice part is she has given us hope that Mayter is rehab-able.

What she taught us, first and foremost is that dogs need to trust and respect the individuals in the "pack" before they will be calm and controlled.  Once they trust and respect, then they can give up control and be led and taught.

Isn't that just like a human?  To whom do we pour out our hearts?  With whom are we vulnerable enough to speak freely about anything?  Only with someone we trust and respect.

How much do we trust and respect God?  Are we so close to Him, because we do our part by making Him the center of our lives, that we run to Him with every joy, sorrow, need, want, praise, thanks, hope?

Not there yet?  Give prayer, true quiet-time, open, honest prayer a try.  God knows everything that is in us anyway.  You can't hide your anger, your guilt, your pain, or your joy, your hopes and your dreams from Him so you may as well offer it to Him in prayer, rather than clinging to it selfishly.

You, too, can be transformed by a little behavioral training.  First learn to trust Him, this will lead to deep respect and before you know it, you will be able to lay everything down before Him and allow Him to lead you. Isn't that the way He wants it?  Isn't that really the way we want it?