"Walking in the way and the love of the Lord"
BY RICK WARREN — MAY 21, 2014
“Since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” (Romans 5:1 NLT)
If you want to have deep, personal, satisfying peace of mind in heart and soul, you’ve got to surrender control of your life totally to God. How do you know if you’ve done that?
Evidence of a surrendered life is always obedience. When God says, “Do it!” I do it. I don’t care if I don’t understand it, if anybody else is doing it, if it’s possible or not, if it’s hard or easy. I just do it.
When you listen to God’s Word and follow his direction, the result is always the same: peace.
Today, you may be in an uncontrollable circumstance. You may be married to an unchangeable person. You may be experiencing an unexplainable problem. The good news is you can have the peace of God in your life. But first, you have to make peace with God. You can’t have the peace of God until you first make peace with God. How do you do that? By surrendering your entire life in faith to Jesus Christ. “Since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us” (Romans 5:1 NLT).
Aren’t you tired of being at war with God? Don’t you realize that is the single greatest source of stress in your life? What is the result of being in control of your life? Worry, guilt, bitterness, resentment, anxiety, fear, fatigue, depression, and despair. What is the result of putting Jesus Christ first in your life and being fully surrendered to whatever he wants? Peace, power, strength, wisdom, purpose, meaning, eternal life, significance, and joy.
Would you pray this prayer in your heart?
“Dear Father, you know how I have resented the problems in my life, and you know how I have resisted the things that have caused me pain that I can’t change. You know that I’ve asked you many times for an explanation that has never come.
Today, I want to stop fighting you over things I don’t understand. Forgive me. I want to begin the path of personal peace. So I ask you for help. Help me to change the things that I can, and help me to accept the things that cannot be changed. Help me, Jesus, to trust in your loving care when things don’t make sense. Help me to trust that you are a good God and that you have my best interest at heart.
Today, I make an unconditional surrender of all my life to your loving care and control. Please give me your strength and wisdom and peace and purpose. I want to make peace with God by faith so that I can have the peace of God through you, Jesus Christ. Amen.”
Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.
We call it keeping up with the Joneses. They buy a boat and we buy a bigger one. They get a new TV and we get a big screen. They start a business and we start planning our articles of incorporation and the first stock release. And while we’re so busy keeping up, we ignore our soul, the inner voice, that’s telling us that it really wants to teach children to read.
While it helps to identify with each other, we’re not the same. So why compare ourselves on the basis of material things?
Follow your own talent and heart. It may be that you are a talented public speaker, able to sway hundreds of people with your words. Or maybe you have the talent of friendship, and you’ve been sent to quietly, one-on-one, help those close to you walk their own path.
If you must compare yourself to something, compare your daily life to your ideals and dreams. Do they match? If those ideals and dreams bring great material wealth, that’s great. If they mean a life of quiet, anonymous service, that’s great, too. Yes, material goods can be fun. But they can also be a trap.
Are you walking a path with heart in your own life, regardless of what others have?
God, help me let go of the trappings. Teach me to walk my own path.
by: Melody Beattie
A pilgrimage is a ritual journey with a hallowed purpose. Every step along “the way” has meaning. The pilgrim knows that life giving challenges will emerge. A pilgrimage is not a vacation; it is a transformational journey during which significant change takes place. New insights are given. Deeper understanding is attained. New and old places in the heart are visited. Blessings are received and healing takes place. On return from the pilgrimage, life is seen with different eyes. Nothing will ever be quite the same again. ~ Macrina Wiederkehr, Behold Your Life,p. 11
We are inviting you to join us not as a tourist, but as a pilgrim. Our lives are filled with moments of brilliance often overlooked. As we walk “the way” let us acknowledge those moments. Let our journey take us within and just be. Step by step, mile by mile, day by day let us trust in Our Lord and spend this time walking the same path so many have walked before us. Through the exploration of our landscapes may we uncover deep and soulful inner healing and growth.
"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page" ~ St. Augustine of Hippo
There is still room, join us for an adventure of a lifetime! Click here for more info!
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that
I think I am following Your will does not mean that I am
actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please You
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that, if I do this, You will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore I will trust You always though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for You are ever with me,
and You will never leave me to face my perils alone.
By: Kathleen Aparo
Today you and I share something miraculous.
Because today you and I are here, sharing our moment in time.
Is it not a miracle that you and I are together
on this planet, now, this minute, this day?
in the millions of years that have passed
we were yet to be…
And in the millions of years ahead
we will have already been.
But right now, in all of time
throughout the universe
we are together...
Quick, lets join hands,
dance a celebration,
and sing an alleluia.
I am here for you
and you for me.
God has made it so.
This quote is from Thomas Merton. It sums up why we walk the Camino. What we feel as we are walking the Camino,
"When I get out there I am delivered from the feeling that it is important for me to be anything, and thus I am free to be more happy about the one thing that matters, which is not a thing but God."
This is from a letter that Thomas Merton wrote to Jay Laughlin of New Directions Press on January 7, 1950. Here is the full quote:
"I have been running about in the woods quite a bit. It has been raining a lot, but I especially like the woods in the rain. When I get out there I am delivered from the feeling that it is important for me to be anything, and thus I am free to be more happy about the one thing that matters, which is not a thing but God. I am appalled by the structures we build between ourselves and Him — half the time in His honor."
As we walk the Camino or as we walk this pilgrimage of life let us remember these words. Words to meditate on, words to remember what truly is the most important thing… God!
by: Daniel McFeely
“So Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times …” (2 Kings 5)
The woman was weary.
She had journeyed for many miles, herding her children like sheep, keeping them in line as they walked the streets of the city, cutting through alleys to stay out of sight.
This was not a casual evening walk. Far from it.
These children … something had to be done.
She had prayed for them. Prayed with them. Prayed over them when they slept.
Constantly she pleaded with God to watch over them … only to be frustrated when her plea’s seemingly went unanswered.
And yet, she journeyed once again.
Block after block, alley after alley, her eyes fixed on the steeple that seemed so close, but yet was far away.
It was there, under the steeple, that she would surely find the answer to her prayers.
Her children – 7 of them – were scattered around her, moving in a pack, but never orderly.
They wandered off, strayed from the path, often became distracted to the point they were nearly blind.
Their names were Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride.
At one point in their lives, they had been known by other names. But as they grew up and grew away from their Mother, their behaviors changed.
It started with just a little bit of temptation. Wandering eyes, insatiable appetites, jealousy and anger. But left to fend for themselves, each child began to lose their humanity … slowly, but surely becoming something God never intended.
Eventually, Mother found a way to reach out to all seven. With much patience and forgiveness, she hugged them and brought them back into her life. Some came quickly, others hesitated. At least one came kicking and screaming.
And so they walked that day … step by step, block after block.
Finally reaching the steeple, they entered.
One by one, each was welcomed, forgiven.
Not once, but many times.
Then they were sent on their way.
They had been bathed in the waters of a forgiving God.
Transforming waters … capable of so much, if only all were so willing.
Lust left that day with a new name: Chastity.
Gluttony became Temperance.
Greed became Charity.
Sloth became Diligence.
Wrath became Patience.
Envy became Kindness.
And Pride became Humility.
Seven children … seven sinful behaviors … bathed seven times.
Mother was pleased.
© A Catholic Moment 2015
by Daniel P. Horan, OFM
“No one can really embrace the Christian asceticism mapped out in the New Testament unless he [or she] has some idea of the positive, constructive function of self-denial. The Holy Spirit never asks us to renounce anything without offering us something much higher and much more perfect in return … The function of self-denial is to lead to a positive increase of spiritual energy and life. The Christian dies, not merely in order to die but in order to live. And when he [or she] takes up his cross to follow Christ, the Christian realizes, or at least believes, that he is not going to die to anything but death. The Cross is the sign of Christ’s victory over death. The Cross is the sign of life. It is the trellis upon which grows the Mystical Vine whose life is infinite joy and whose branches we are. If we want to share the life of that Vine, we must grow on the same trellis and must suffer the same pruning.” — Thomas Merton
Merton’s call for us to follow the asceticism of Christian evangelical life is not simply an arbitrary practice that is an end in itself, but must always be seen in the broader context of Gospel living. As Merton points out, the penitential practices of lent are not to be self-serving, but should be oriented toward freeing us up to be more focused on the important things in life. “The function of self-denial is to lead to a positive increase of spiritual energy and life.”
There are a few things that I particularly find worth considering in Merton’s reflection here. One thing is the sense of death to self that Merton presents in association with Christian self-denial. It is the Pauline notion of “dying to one’s self” in order to be more focused on living as a member of the Body of Christ, as part of the Vine Merton describes here. St. Paul writes to the Galatians: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20), so too, Merton reminds us, are we called to live not for ourselves but as a member of Christ’s body.
The notion of being part of the Vine along the trellis poetically suggests that we don’t do this alone and in our own, arbitrary way. We have to look to God’s very self-revelation in Christ and in the historical manifestation of God’s disclosure in scripture. Here is the locus of our unity and communal support in living more fully the Christian life. Here is the trellis upon which the whole Body of Christ grows and supports one another as part of the Vine.
During this season of lent, we are challenged to pause and reflect on how we go about our everyday lives. Are we aware of our intimate connection to the rest of the Body of Christ? Do we try to life for ourselves alone, away from the Vine, apart from the branches, off the trellis of community where the Pilgrim People of God strive to flourish together? Perhaps we can follow the example of Merton and Paul, seeking in our daily lives — in big and little ways — to die to our own self-centeredness, our own priorities and concerns, and those things which constitute our own frivolous desires rather than the true and inherent aspiration we have deep within to be at home with one another and the rest of creation in Christ.
Prayerful Path/Mary Maddox
Saint James, pray for us that we may be willing to leave everything to follow Jesus as you did. Help us to become special friends of Jesus as you were. Amen