Friday, July 17, 2015

Reflections for the Soul

REFLECTIONS FOR THE SOUL
Victor S E Moubarak 
ISBN-13: 978-1514851210
Paperback and Kindle formats
A selection of readings to help you reflect and meditate when praying or when in need of inspiration.

This book asks pertinent questions such as:
Does God exist? Who is Jesus? What is the Holy Spirit?
Can we really trust God? What happens when we lose all hope and our Faith falters?
Why do some people pray to Saints and the Virgin Mary? Is it idolatry? How does God view such prayers?
Why does God appear to be angry and vengeful in the Old Testament yet we are told He is a loving caring Father in the New Testament? Was it a change of strategy and tactics?
 
These and many other questions are explored and explained in easy to read short chapters. You can read the reflections in chronological order or just open the book at any page and read what is there. Hopefully, it will help you in your prayers.
The author uses humour where appropriate to help deliver a memorable message. You may find a hidden gem in what he writes.

AMAZON LINK HERE

Friday, May 22, 2015

Desperate Prayers

What happens when you have prayed ...
For days, weeks and months even ...
And nothing seems to happen ...
What then?

I hope these thoughts are of some comfort to you.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Remain in Me

"I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing." - John 15:5

Remain in me.
Without me you can do nothing.
We know this. We know this to be true.
We sometimes try to go out on our own and do our own thing. We sometimes try to take control of things and convert people and change the whole world.
We forget. We are not in charge.  We are not in control.
We are the branches. And we can do nothing without Jesus.
We need to remain in Him. We need to stay rooted in Him. We need to be nourished by Him.
Is that not why we go to Mass? Is that not why we receive the Eucharist? Is that not why we pray every day?
How else can we remain in Him?
Sometimes it is a struggle. But it is a struggle that reminds us that without Jesus ... we can do nothing.
Remain in me.

Lord, help me to remember I am not in charge. Help me to let go and surrender everything to you. Help me to trust you totally. Thank you, Lord. - Amen


Sunday, April 12, 2015

my little rant

I love Mary Magdalene. I guess I have a strong devotion to her. I can so relate to her need to be with Jesus to the end. Her need to go see his tomb and her absolute fear and grief at finding it empty.
And then her joy at hearing her name called. Mary.
And she answers, Rabboni.
It is one of my favorite Gospel stories and I cannot get enough of it. Something about Mary Magdalene and her spirit and devotion that just calls out to me. And warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes.
Fr. James Martin, SJ, posted a reflection on Mary Magdalene on Facebook, using this gospel reading (John 20:11-18) and ended it saying that between the time she saw Jesus and told the disciples the good news, Mary Magdalene was the church.
How beautiful. And very moving to me.
Unfortunately, there were people who decided to take this opportunity to make the statement that women should be priests. And going on and on about it. I get so tired of that happening all the time. This was a case of a priest writing a beautiful reflection for us to meditate on and pray about. It was not the time to push our favorite cause or whatever.
I refused to let it ruin my reflection, but still, maybe it did. I was annoyed. Can we just pray and reflect on the Lord, without church politics getting in the way? Without people pushing their favorite “cause”?
Can’t we just praise and honor and thank our Lord?

I love you, Jesus. Please forgive my whining.

posted from my blog. Thoughts on Grace

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Imagine

Imagine a place you’ve never seen before, a place you might not have believed was real.  A place covered in a mist so thick that you cannot see your hands or your feet, yet, it’s solid and real.  Imagine a place of great suffering, filled with the cries of longing, moaning, and groaning, but a place of incredible joy!  Imagine a place where, before you entered,  you had seen the Face of God, and now, your longing for God causes such great pain, you fear your heart will break.  Imagine a place where the pain is so great, you know that if the skin was burned off your body, leaving only raw nerves exposed to the air, you would feel less pain.  Imagine a place where a fire burns so coldly that the pain caused to your body by a hot flame would be a welcome respite.

The time for merit is over when we die.  We know that God is a God of great Mercy.  What we often forget is that God is a God of Justice, too.  Justice must be met by each of us in our judgment.  One of the gifts of God’s Mercy, in the expiation of our sins, is Purgatory.  Purgatory is a place of final cleansing for our souls, so that one day, when we have paid our debt to our merciful and loving God, we will meet Him face to face, never again fearing Hell, but knowing that we are safe and in Paradise.  satan is no longer a threat to our immortal souls.  We rejoice!

Read More at:  His Unending Love

Thursday, March 12, 2015

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS - STILL RELEVANT TODAY

FATHER JONATHAN HILL
A sermon by Father Jonathan Hill.



It was long ago that God gave the Commandments and the Law to Moses and the Children of Israel.   Yet we read elsewhere in Scripture that the Law was incapable of making us righteous.   What then was the purpose of this gift?   The Law was intended to prevent people from doing evil, to turn their hearts towards ways of righteousness so that when Jesus came, in the fullness of time, to bring His teaching which went far beyond the Law, there would be a foundation for Him to build on.   The Commandments might be seen as our Basic Training for living a life acceptable to God.   God gave us Commandments.   Jesus willed that we should not simply be obeying laws but that we should be obeying because we wanted to grow close to God, to grow in righteousness, in faith, in compassion, in devotion.

Yet we find it so hard to follow the teaching of Jesus.   We find it so hard to allow God to make us truly righteous.   In part this may be because we have not yet grown to the stage where we keep the Commandments.   And if we have not completed our Basic Training, how can we expect to grasp the words that come to us from heaven?

When God gave His people the Commandments, He began by stating Who He was.   If someone gives us instructions we might well ask, ‘Why should I listen?’   So God tells us.   ‘I Am the Lord your God, Who brought you out from the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery.’   We might be able to amplify that greeting.   He says to us, ‘I Am the Lord your God, Who left the glory of heaven and came to dwell with you, to share your lives.   I Am the Lord your God, Who suffered and died on the Cross for you to pay the price of human sin.   I Am the Lord, Who by rising from the dead destroyed the ancient enemy that is death so that all people may have life.’   As a preface to His commandments God reminds us of what He has done for us.   That is the reason why we should listen to Him and take heed.   That is why we can confidently look forward to the things He desires to do for us in the future.

But perhaps as individuals and certainly as a society we fail to keep even these basic commandments.   Let’s think about them.  

You shall not utter the Name of the Lord your God to misuse it.   Well, even in schools we find young children routinely using ‘Oh my God!’ as an expression of surprise.   Is this treating the name, the idea of God as something holy, something to be treasured and loved?   And they do it, of course, because they have learned to do so from us.

Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.   How often we hear things like:  ‘I won’t be at Mass next week because my son has a football match’ or ‘…my daughter has a competition’ or ‘I have visitors.’   These things are fine to do on Sundays if we make sure we go to Mass as well – and let’s face it there is a good choice of Masses from Saturday evening to Sunday morning to Sunday evening, if we choose to put ourselves out a little.   How many people neglect the obligation to take part in Sunday Mass and, forgetting it is grave sin, simply come to communion the following week as if nothing untoward had happened.   In such a case we need to make a Sacramental confession with a firm intention of amendment before coming to receive Communion.

And in this grave sin we are also in effect worshiping false Gods.   We are saying that the football, the competition, the visitors are more important than the Mass, the Sacraments, than God.

We’re not doing very well so far.  Let’s see if things get better!

Honour your father and your mother.   As our society moves ever closer towards legislating for euthanasia and assistant suicide can we say we are doing this?   The older generation far from being honoured are to be shunted away out of side and then quietly removed so that we no longer need to care for them?

This brings us to the commandment not to kill.   Well, where is our respect for life as the first, greatest and eternal gift of God?   It has become a commodity as we routinely kill thousands of unwanted babies, as we seek to manipulate the genetic inheritance in an effort to get the child we want.   We are left with no sense of reverence for this most wonderful  of mysteries.

You shall not steal.   Perhaps we don’t as such.   But how easy it is to be tempted to make a slight adjustment in expenses claims.   ‘I know I didn’t actually spend money on such-and-such, but I could have done so I’m entitled to it.   It’s not really stealing.’   Isn’t it?    And how honest are we if someone gives us change for a twenty instead of a tenner.   I comment on it quickly enough if it’s the other way round of course!

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.   Again, how easy it is, isn’t it, to find ourselves drawn into gossip and the making of disparaging remarks about others.   Oh, not out of real malice perhaps but just to feel part of the group – never thinking of what harm we might be doing, never thinking of whether we’re speaking the truth or not.   And more widely in talk how far do we go to insist on the truth?   ‘Oh, well, I tell a few white lies on occasion, but that’s OK.’   Again, is it?   Did Jesus not say ‘I Am the Truth.’   ‘But I tell white lies because sometimes the truth might be hurtful.   I think it was Thumper the rabbit in the film of ‘Bambi’ who said ‘If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say nothing at all!’   

So here we are getting lessons in morality from a cartoon rabbit!

You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. His wife, or anything that is his.  Is the whole advertising business not built around this temptation to covet?    If someone has this thing then you should have it too.   ‘It’s all about you.’   ‘Because you’re worth it.’   Slogans like this are commonplace.   And we learn it very early on in life.   Every parent will know the moment when their child wants such-and-such an item and the parent, mum or dad, says it’s too expensive or it’s not needed or whatever the answer might be.   The child then says ‘but everyone else has one.’   Our covetousness is not far beneath the surface.

In the light of all this sinfulness never affecting our decision, when at Mass, to come forward to receive Communion, often in a state of grave sin, is it surprising that voices are heard even within the Church saying that those in adulterous relationships should receive communion at Mass?

No, we need the Sacraments, we need the Commandments.   They are signs to us of God’s immense love for us and of His helping hand reaching down from Heaven to save us.   But we must receive them on God’s terms not on ours.   He is Lord and Master, we are merely unworthy servants.   We need to take seriously the Commandments, to think about our obedience (or lack of it).   It’s not about being scrupulous but about being honest.   If we truly desire to know the joy that our faith can bring us we need to be trying with our whole being to live lives that are faith-full.   If we complete this Basic Training there are no further limits as we journey on into the wonder of God’s love.   If we neglect the Basic Training we are merely entering an imaginary world of self-deception, a Fool’s Paradise.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Don't STOP it for Lent

WHATEVER YOU DO
DON'T STOP FOR LENT
This is the time when people try to give up something for Lent - which is good. But let's remember first of all that there is nothing we can do which would repay the great sacrifice Christ made for us on the Cross. Not a million prayers, a million candles, or a million flowers ... God does not need any of these "gifts" or sacrifices as repayment for His love for us. He is in no way diminished, lacking in any way, if we stop doing these things.

But we do them all the same. We do them as a sign of reverence, love, and respect. And I repeat - this is good.

Here's a short list of things we could do during Lent.

1 Give up something (chocolates) and give the proceeds to charity.

2 Do someone a good turn or a kindness.

3 Pray for someone without them knowing it. Just anyone, not only your  loved ones. If you see an old person struggling as they shuffle along in the street, or you hear of someone with a problem or difficulty; just pray for them without their knowledge. Prayer is the greatest gift we can give and receive.

4 Give up TV (or music or other entertainment) for ten minutes (or more) and spend the time reading the Bible.

5 Finally a DON'T. Many people decide to give up their Christian Blog or website during Lent. I urge you not to. Whatever we write to spread the Good News on our Blogs is often the only opportunity for someone to read about God. Don't stop God's message during Lent or ever. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

I'm Taking the Veil

Of course, 
that veil has to be pink!
I've decided that during the season of Lent,
I will use a chapel veil in Church.
Believe me,
this takes me back to pre-Vatican 2 years.
It was during this time that all women wore head coverings when at church.

A woman could wear a hat, a veil, or a small chapel veil.
It seems that the older I get, the more I long for the older ways.  


Read More at: His Unending Love

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Formula for Prayer

Praise God.

Adore God.

Acknowledge Him as your Creator.

Thank God.

Love God.

Talk to God.

Rest in the presence of God.

Sing to God.

Love God.


Read More at:  His Unending Love


Celibacy of priests

CELIBACY OF PRIESTS
PLEASE CLICK HERE