Our Lenten journey is in full swing. I hope you are taking this time to shut out the noise of the world and rest in your Heavenly Father. He loves you completely and knows when you are either in or out of sync with Him. We know that life happens, even in Lent, and sometimes our plans and good intentions can fall to the wayside. If you are struggling on your Lenten journey be encouraged because with God all is possible. He will meet us exactly where we are and help us to begin again. Life is hard, we don’t have all the answers, and we are limited in so many ways. Thanks be to God that as quickly as we recognize our need He rushes in to fill us back up. How wonderful it is to know for a fact that our faith will be renewed when we cry out to Our Father in Heaven.
If your Lenten Journey is moving along nicely and your spirit is filled to the brim then please remember to pray for those who may be struggling. Pray that their minds are stilled and that their hearts remain open to the Holy Spirit. Pray that they are given a double portion of the Lord’s blessing. Pray that they experience the love and hope of Jesus Christ as never before. The time is now to ARISE! Run to God with your whole heart and soul. The love of God will continue to heal our weary hearts and bring us lasting peace.
|Jonah 3: 1 – 10
||Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying,
||“Arise, go to Nin’eveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.”
||So Jonah arose and went to Nin’eveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nin’eveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth.
||Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he cried, “Yet forty days, and Nin’eveh shall be overthrown!”
||And the people of Nin’eveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.
||Then tidings reached the king of Nin’eveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, and covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
||And he made proclamation and published through Nin’eveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; let them not feed, or drink water,
||but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them cry mightily to God; yea, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence which is in his hands.
||Who knows, God may yet repent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we perish not?”
||When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God repented of the evil which he had said he would do to them; and he did not do it.
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Ash Wednesday: Today we begin our 40 day Lenten journey of conversion with the observance of Ash Wednesday.
|Joel 2: 12 – 18
||“Yet even now,” says the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
||and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and repents of evil.
Lent is a time of grace and opportunity; it is a time for us to examine our conscience daily, to admit our shortcomings, and to offer up acts of penance and prayer so that we may find a deeper reliance on our God. It is our desert experience that will allow us the greatest opportunity for change and transformation in Christ; we must empty ourselves and allow God to fill us up so that we can be fully prepared to renew our baptismal promises when Easter arrives. As we receive the sacred and symbolic (blessed) ashes on our heads we are reminded that it is from dust we came and to dust we will return. “By the sweat of your brow, you shall eat bread, until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:19) On our way to our eternal home our earthly bodies will deteriorate into the earth, but it is our soul that will live on and so we must be fully reconciled to God. We have been lovingly created in God’s image and it is now, timely, that we must grow closer in likeness to Christ.
Our Lenten journey is what we make of it. If we are willing to look more closely at what keeps us from God(our sinfulness and selfishness) and realize that we are small and in need, we can experience true change and transformation.
As we humble ourselves in recognition of this need we will be blessed abundantly with God’s grace. Christ will show us the way to the cross and it will be well with our soul to follow Him. Each day you and I can find time to pray, to do acts of charity, to fast and deny ourselves, to contemplate on God’s word, and to create new and lasting spiritual habits.
I pray that this Lent brings you much consolation as you die to self and allow God to live more fully in you.
God Bless You
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||Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you. James 4:10
If you want God to hear your prayers, hear the voice of the poor. If you wish God to anticipate your wants, provide those of the needy without waiting for them to ask you. Especially anticipate the needs of those who are ashamed to beg. To make them ask for alms is to make them buy it.
— St. Thomas of Villanova
We thank you for this life you have given us. We exalt You and give You the proper praise and worship that You deserve as our loving Creator. We thank you for the gift of Your Son, Jesus; who heals our hearts with His love and draws us nearer to You! Thank you for the gift of our families and loved ones. Help us to be an example of Your love to our children and to the world. Grant us your mercy and peace all our days and help us to follow your will always.
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We cannot be sure whether we are loving God, although we may have good reason that we are. But we can know quite well whether we are loving our neighbor.
— St. Teresa of Avila
Sometimes it seems like we are firing on all cylinders and things are finally going in our favor, for once, and just like we planned. Somebody in the Church shout Alleluia!
So what’s wrong with that, you ask?
It is at those times that in humility we must ‘check ourselves before we wreck ourselves!’ 🙂 When we are moving in such a fast paced forward momentum we want to make the ride last as long as it can, right? I mean who knows when we are going to hit the next catastrophic bump in the road. So with a steadfast heart and a positive attitude we keep our focus fixed on our goals and the road ahead.
While our drive to succeed is commendable and in as much as God wants all good things for those He loves, Our Heavenly Father does not want us to be fooled into self-absorption. When we are so focused on who we are and what we do in this passing world (even what we can do for God) we have a much easier time believing our own hype.
We must always check our motivations and stay clear from sinful attitudes and behavior. Pride is one sin that can sneak up on us, judging our brothers and sisters is another. We must remember that all sin leads man further from the Love of God and the Love of Neighbor.
We must be grounded in humility and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. I think about Mother Teresa and how her life was so pleasing to God. She quietly went about her work in love with God, and in doing so she loved and served her neighbor. I know it is difficult for us to hold ourselves up to the standards of a servant like Mother Teresa, but what a shining example of God’s love she was.
I do believe that God wants us to chase our dreams; after all, He has instilled in each one of us the ability to not only dream but to see that many of them are realized. We each have been given our own set of unique gifts and talents, and with gratitude we should not waste them.
But we can get so caught up in the art of living our big life that we can easily miss our most important work of all: to fall more deeply in love with God and with our neighbor.
I know from experience, you can’t keep your eyes fixed on Jesus when you keep looking at yourself in the mirror all the time. If you are not sure if the path you are on is the ultimate reflection of God’s love then slow down and check your God-O-Meter. You will be given an exact reading in love and truth. May God’s peace be with you.
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Is it only me or do you find it extremely difficult at times to keep your heart and mind-set on things above when things here on earth seem to be going to hell in a handbasket? I just read a tweet from a UK abortion doctor who claimed that he found performing abortions to be quite gratifying. Sometimes I do feel like my brain is going to explode! This week has been tough for many people. From the stupid and insulting Nicki Minaj performance at the Grammys to the incredibly serious fight we are all facing regarding our religious freedoms to everything else in between, I’m worn out! If your feeling anything like me I hope you will join me in the following prayer.
Thank you for this day. Thank you for all the gifts you have given each one of us. You have told us that when we seek you with our whole heart we will find you. Lord, we need you. Grant us your forgiveness for all the times we have gone astray, for the times we have purposly neglected you. You continue to chase after us and we praise you! It is easy for us to fall into discouragement because there is so little that we really have control over. Please heal and strengthen our hearts now and grant us your wisdom so that we may endure these incredibly difficult times. Convict us in our sin and help us to live a life of holiness and dedication to you. Grant us the ability to love and forgive when we do not always understand. Have mercy on our world, our families, and on our souls. Amen
|James 3: 13 – 18
||Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good life let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.
||But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.
||This wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish.
||For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
||But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity.
||And the harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. ————————————————————————
Help yourself during this troubled period by reading holy books. This reading provides excellent food for the soul and conduces to great progress along the path of perfection. By no means is it inferior to what we obtain through prayer and holy meditation. In prayer and meditation it is ourselves who speak to the Lord, while in holy reading it is God who speaks to us. Before beginning to read, raise your mind to the Lord and implore Him to guide your mind Himself, to speak to your heart and move your will.— Saint Pio of Pietrelcina
God Bless You!
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“Jesus said to His disciples:’Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'” The Gospel of the Lord according to Matthew 5:17-19
“And he said to them,”Go into the all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15
The Bible is the living and breathing word of God. From the writings of the prophets of the Old Testament through the Book of Revelation in the New Testament; this sacred scripture will guide you throughout all your days. If you are searching for answers than look no further than God’s word. Open up your Bible and let Him speak love and truth into your heart. If you don’t know where to start, try the Book of Psalms. I am sure that you will see some of yourself in the psalmist’s words. We all need comfort and healing, and God who is goodness and mercy at all times will give us both.
In this world we are told it is good to celebrate ourselves and our accomplishments, but we must remember that apart from God we are nothing. The gifts and talents He has given us are His and they should be used to bring glory back to Him. We spend years of dedication honing our craft and skill set, how much more time should we spend uniting our hearts to the One who gives us everything?
God remains lovingly patient for us to invite Him into our heart on a moment by moment basis. Open your heart, open His word, and with faith wait upon the Lord. He will whisper your name and speak clearly through His word into your heart.
GOD BLESS YOU
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14 But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, And the Lord has forgotten me.” 15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. 16 “Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me. Isaiah 49 14-16
How unfortunate it is for us when we so easily dismiss, neglect, or forget the incredible promises that God has for each and every one of us! God never forgets his beloved creation, even when we feel far from Him, the truth is that we are never forgotten.
How long will it take for us to understand that we are nothing without Him? We try to fill ourselves up with everything but Him and yet we wonder why we are so unfulfilled. He requires only that we love Him above all else with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, and that we love our neighbor as He loves us.
We must remember that it is His love that we extend and offer back to Him and to our neighbor. It is His love that we have been given. It is His love that resides in our heart; without it, we would not know the meaning of love or what to do with it!
Thanks be to God His love is with us always. It is up to each and every one of us to recognize the existence of that love in ourselves and in our fellow human beings, whether or not they recognize it.
We thank you for the love you have given to each and every one of us. Forgive us for the times we do not recognize it or choose to ignore it in ourselves and others. We are frail and stubborn and need your grace to help us choose to love and forgive as you love and forgive us. Bless us Lord and help us to be more understanding, more forgiving, and more loving to one another. Grant us your peace to do your will always and protect us from the evil one while remain on this earth. Amen!
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