"Walking in the way and the love of the Lord"
First, may Our Most Risen Christ be upon all of you my Brothers and Sisters in Christ in reading this:
Let's reflect a second.............. Suffering is "A lot" like this..........Let's say a mother takes her young child to the doctors office and then the nurse escorts the mother and her young child to the exam room. As the young child sits on the exam table she starts to cry and panic. The child's fear is confirmed when the mother tells her that she must get a "Shot!" This "Shot" is going to prevent any illness that may be around later in life and will make you stronger. The mother goes onto say to her young child
"Whom she Loves with her whole heart and soul", that "Yes, the shot is going to hurt and there will be some pain, but my child, I Love you! You must understand that by getting this shot, it is only going to make you stronger. So, please my child, know that I LOVE YOU and once you get through the pain, you will be a much stronger person."
Holy Scripture (The Word of GOD), is very clear and it is through out the Bible that suffering is a "Grace" and it will make us STRONGER!!
"For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am Strong." -2 Corinthians 12:10
Then Jesus said to them "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." -Matthew 16:24
I have said for years and I do mean I HAVE SAID THIS for years, that satan "Is" going to get at you to make you suffer in your marriage, job, finances, your children, the health of a loved one or your health, trying to pay the bills and the list goes on. There are so many ways we ALL suffer and carry our Crosses in this life. But these ARE our Crosses and through them, Our Most Risen Christ has PROMISED us that the eternal reward that awaits us is "Unfathomable" to us to even try to understand the: PEACE, JOY, LOVE THAT AWAITS US!!! AND "Yes" the pain of our Cross is like getting the shot but it "Will" make us Stronger and the suffering is only "Temporary." BUT the PEACE, JOY, LOVE IS FOREVER!!!
~Arrow your brother in Christ
The Miracle of the Image – Ugo Festa
Ugo Festa was born in Vicenza, Italy in 1951. He was struck down at an early age with multiple sclerosis. Gradually his health deteriorated. This led to many other problems in his young life. By the age of 39, he was suffering from multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and epilepsy. Early in 1990, his spine was becoming distorted and he was having seizures daily. He had been continually attending doctors since he first contracted the disease, but they could do nothing for him. He decided there was nothing left to try but prayer.
On the 28th April 1990, Ugo went with a pilgrimage to Rome. In his unfortunate situation, he was introduced to Mother Teresa who was in Rome at the time with a group whom he also became acquainted with. Ugo was invited along with this group to a retreat at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Trent, but he refused. On leaving, one of the group, a nun, gave him five copies of the Divine Image Picture and a Divine Mercy medal. The following day the 29th April 1990, Ugo wore the medal and carried in his arms the Images to be blessed to the papal audience at the Vatican. At the bottom of the steps to St. Peters the Holy Father passed by. Ugo asked him to bless his Divine Mercy pictures. After blessing the pictures the Pope asked him how he was.
Ugo told him he felt very despondent and was at a crisis in his life. The Holy Father said “How could you have a crisis with Jesus the Divine Mercy in your arms? Entrust yourself to him and pray to my Sr. Faustina to intercede.” With this advice Ugo changed his mind and decided that he would go to the the Divine Mercy Shrine in Trent.
At the side altar in the Villa O’Santissima Villazzano, Trent, there is a shrine to the Divine Mercy with a life size icon of the Divine Image. On the fourth day of praying in front of this icon Ugo suddenly noticed the arms of the Image stretched out to him and tremendous warmth flowed through his body. He found himself standing on his feet with his arms outstretched to the Lord and he heard himself loudly praising Jesus the Divine Mercy. He saw Jesus coming down to him, his white garment blowing as if in a breeze, he thought, “My God, this is the man from Galilee coming towards me”. He heard Jesus say in a clear voice, “Rise up and walk”. He began to walk. All his ailments were at that instant cured and he was more physically perfect than he had ever been in his life.
On August 19th, 1990, Ugo returned to the Vatican and during a Papal Audience at Paul VI Hall, was taken to meet Pope John Paul II again. He told him about the great grace he had received and thanked him for the words of inspiration which led him to Trent, and resulted in this great miracle of Divine Mercy. He gave Pope John Paul II a copy of the Divine Image, with the signatures on the back of the many people who witnessed the miracle on that day.
Ugo Festa thereafter devoted his life to Jesus, voluntarily working with disabled people and spreading the Message of Divine Mercy throughout Italy.
You must find that quiet place to sit, this is where I will be. This is where I am waiting. Waiting for you my child. I wait for you to come to me. I wait until you are ready. Ready to listen, ready to talk, ready to be with me. My child, I love you. I love you as my child. I love you and want to share this with you. Come to me, let me hold you, let me hug you until you feel my presence. Speak to me, share with me your concerns, your worries and your fears. Then as you leave to go back to the world. Leave with my peace, leave with my love, because you know that I have all your concerns, so that you have all my peace. I love you my child.
This bible verse says it all!! May we turn to scripture to hear the words of comfort and guidance. This scripture helped me as I was going through a difficult time. I would read this scripture daily, I even had it posted on my desk at work. As I would read this every day even two or three times a day, I would feel the peace of Our Lord around me. I would know that Our Lord had me and my situation and I would be okay. Was it easy to read and believe? Yes it was easy to read and believe. Was it easy to read and trust? Yes it was easy to read and trust. Did it make me not worry about my situation? No, the human in me made me worry, the human in me made me scared. My faith in me gave me peace, my faith in me gave me comfort. This faith is what I held onto. Each day got easier, each day became more peaceful. I couldn't have done it without Our Lord and hearing his word in scripture. I couldn't have done it without trusting and knowing that Our Lord is taking care of me. I couldn't have done it without prayer time and quiet time with the Lord. Our Lord was my best friend. He listened to me, He comforted me, He guided me and He gave me words to counsel me. Our Lord is there for each of us, He is there to listen, He is there to comfort, He is there to guide and He is there to counsel.
Turn to Him
Trust in Him.
He Loves You!!!
Labels: bible verse, bible verse reflection, faith, faith in Our Lord, god, Gods comfort,Gods peace, jesus, Roman 15:13, trust in God, trust in Jesus
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
By: Richard Rohr
St. Francis illustrates this stage in many memorable ways. When he hears one day that the people of Assisi are calling him a saint, he invites Brother Juniper to join him in a walk through his old home town. Brother Juniper was the first simpleton (that is a compliment!), the holy fool of the original friars. Francis knew he could always trust him to understand what he was saying. Francis once said, “I wish I had a whole forest of such Junipers!”
Francis told Brother Juniper, “Let’s take off these robes, get down to our underwear, and just walk back and forth through Assisi. Then all these people who are thinking we are saints will know who we really are!” Now that’s a saint: someone who doesn’t need to be considered a saint, who can walk foolishly in his underwear the full length of Assisi.
A few years later, when people were again calling Francis a saint, he said, “Juniper, we’ve got to do it again.” This time they carried a plank into the piazza. They put it over some kind of a stone or maybe the fountain, and there they seesawed all day. They had no need to promote or protect any reputation or pious self-image.
That’s a rather constant spiritual tradition in the Eastern Church and in the Desert Fathers and Mothers, but it pretty much got lost after the 13th century Franciscans. We became more and more serious about this intense salvation thing, or you might say we took ourselves far too seriously. Moralism replaced mysticism. And this only increased after the in-house fighting of the 16th century reformations. We all needed to prove we were right. Have you noticed that people who need to prove they are right cannot laugh or smile?
When you are a “holy fool” you’ve stopped trying to look like something more than you really are. That’s when you know, as you eventually have to know, that we are all naked underneath our clothes, and we don’t need to pretend to be better than we are. I am who I am, who I am, who I am; and that creation, for some unbelievable reason, is who God loves, precisely in its uniqueness. My true identity and my deepest freedom comes from God’s infinite love for me, not from what people think of me or say about me. Both the people who praise me and those who hate me are usually doing it for the wrong reasons.
Adapted from Franciscan Mysticism (an unpublished talk)
Gateway to Silence:
I am who I am in the eyes of God, nothing more and nothing less.
My Utmost for His Highest
Daily devotionals by Oswald Chambers
. . . I am with you to deliver you,’ says the Lord --Jeremiah 1:8
God promised Jeremiah that He would deliver him personally— “. . . your life shall be as a prize to you . . .” (Jeremiah 39:18). That is all God promises His children. Wherever God sends us, He will guard our lives. Our personal property and possessions are to be a matter of indifference to us, and our hold on these things should be very loose. If this is not the case, we will have panic, heartache, and distress. Having the proper outlook is evidence of the deeply rooted belief in the overshadowing of God’s personal deliverance.
The Sermon on the Mount indicates that when we are on a mission for Jesus Christ, there is no time to stand up for ourselves. Jesus says, in effect, “Don’t worry about whether or not you are being treated justly.” Looking for justice is actually a sign that we have been diverted from our devotion to Him. Never look for justice in this world, but never cease to give it. If we look for justice, we will only begin to complain and to indulge ourselves in the discontent of self-pity, as if to say, “Why should I be treated like this?” If we are devoted to Jesus Christ, we have nothing to do with what we encounter, whether it is just or unjust. In essence, Jesus says, “Continue steadily on with what I have told you to do, and I will guard your life. If you try to guard it yourself, you remove yourself from My deliverance.” Even the most devout among us become atheistic in this regard— we do not believe Him. We put our common sense on the throne and then attach God’s name to it. We do lean to our own understanding, instead of trusting God with all our hearts (see Proverbs 3:5-6).
The First Gaze
Monday, June 30, 2014
I am just like you. My immediate response to most situations is with reactions of attachment, defensiveness, judgment, control, and analysis. I am better at calculating than contemplating.
Let’s admit that we all start there. The False Self seems to have the “first gaze” at almost everything.
The first gaze is seldom compassionate. It is too busy weighing and feeling itself: “How will this affect me?” or “How can I get back in control of this situation?” This leads us to an implosion, a self-preoccupation that cannot enter into communion with the other or the moment. In other words, we first feel our feelings before we can relate to the situation and emotion of the other. Only after God has taught us how to live “undefended,” can we immediately stand with and for the other, and in the present moment. It takes lots of practice.
On my better days, when I am “open, undefended, and immediately present,” as Gerald May says, I can sometimes begin with a contemplative mind and heart. Often I can get there later and even end there, but it is usually a second gaze. The True Self seems to always be ridden and blinded by the defensive needs of the False Self. It is an hour-by-hour battle, at least for me. I can see why all spiritual traditions insist on daily prayer, in fact, morning, midday, evening, and before we go to bed, too! Otherwise, I can assume that I am back in the cruise control of small and personal self-interest, the pitiable and fragile “Richard self.”
Adapted from “Contemplation and Compassion: The Second Gaze”
(article by Fr. Richard available free on CAC website)
Gateway to Silence:
May I see with eyes of compassion.
“Do not be afraid.” We have read these words in the bible many times. We sing it in our songs. We hear our family and friends tell us not to worry. But we go on our fearful way, thinking our worry will solve the problem and then our fears will be gone with the wind.
We know in our hearts that Jesus is taking care of us. But why can't we get our thoughts to go along with our hearts? Why should that be hard? And the answer is in our humanity. Our weakness. We are tempted away from God and fall so easily into being lost in our questions. So we spend our time worrying, wasting our time and days. Worrying doesn't help anything, it just takes us away from Jesus. Worrying takes us out of the presence of God in the now and leads us nowhere.
I want you to remember something. Jesus is holding your hand. Just like Isaiah 41:13 says, 'I am holding you by your right hand – I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, do not be afraid. I am here to help you.'
Those are the words we need to live by. God is with us at all times, holding our hand. When we are worrying, we are letting go of Jesus' hand and saying, “Hold on Jesus. I am going to sit here alone for awhile. I need to figure this out.” Why would we want to make the choice to let go of Jesus' hand? Why would we want to tell Jesus to hang on a minute, while we worry about something we cannot change at that moment. Why would we let go of the loving hand of Jesus.
He has a wonderful plan for us. Part of that plan is allowing our Father to take care of us, allowing Him to hold us by the hand. In our most difficult times, when we do not feel God's presence and feel abandoned, those are the moments we need to hold on fast. Don't let go! Talk with Jesus, pray with Jesus and trust in Jesus. “Do not be afraid.”
By: Mary Maddox
Dear Lord, in this quiet night, guide my way.
Lead my dreaming into Your dreams for me.
Help me to understand that in their mystery
there is healing and divine assistance
waiting to free me,
just a little more from me.
Lord, in this sacred dark,
I invoke the angels to protect me,
to stay close,
spreading their wings over me,
surrounding me, covering me,
whispering their night prayers,
the ones that assure and promise to keep me
and everyone I love safe.
I need their prayers to keep the shadows at bay
and to ready my heart for the blessings
of guidance and grace
that awaits me tomorrow.
Lord, I thank you now, in advance,
just in case in the morning light
I am disoriented and doubtful
about beginning again
my greatest task....
the holy project of finding me,
the one You formed in my mother's womb.
By: Kathleen Aparo
“For the vision is yet for an appointed time...though it tarry, wait for it...”(Habakkuk 2:3, KJV)
TODAY’S WORD from Joel and VictoriaGod has an appointed time to fulfill the visions, dreams and desires in your heart. Just because it has taken a long time or because you’ve tried and failed doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. Don’t give up on those dreams! Don’t be complacent about pursuing what God has placed in your heart. Our God is a faithful God. No matter how long it’s been, no matter how impossible things look, if you’ll stay in faith, your set time is coming.
Remember, every dream that’s in your heart, every promise that has taken root, God put it there. Not only that, but He has every intention of bringing it to pass. Hold on to that vision today. Declare by faith, “My time is coming. God is working behind the scenes on my behalf. I will fulfill my destiny!” As you continue to hold on to that vision and speak life over your dreams, it won’t be long before you see them begin to take shape. You’ll see your faith grow, you’ll see your hope strengthen, and you’ll see yourself step into the destiny God has prepared for you!
A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for placing dreams and desires in my heart. I trust that You are at work to bring them to pass even when I can’t see it, even when it’s taking longer than I thought. I know that You are faithful, and I trust You completely in Jesus’ name, Amen.— Joel & Victoria Osteen
by Joyce Meyer - posted June 16, 2014
Why are you cast down, O my inner self? And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, my Help and my God.
O God, why do You cast us off forever? Why does Your anger burn and smoke against the sheep of Your pasture?
As I think about the storms we all face in life, I can understand why people sometimes ask, “Why the storms? Why do we have so many problems and struggles in life? Why do God’s people have to deal with so much suffering?”
As I considered these questions, I began to see that Satan plants these questions in our minds. It is his attempt to keep us focused on our problems instead of focusing on the goodness of God. If we persist in asking these questions, we’re implying that God may be to blame. I don’t think it’s wrong to ask God why things happen. The writers of the psalms certainly didn’t hesitate to ask.
I think of the story of Jesus when He visited the home of Mary and Martha after their brother, Lazarus, died. Jesus waited until Lazarus had been dead for four days before He visited. When He arrived, Martha said to Jesus, “Master, if You had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21). She went on to say, “And even now I know that whatever You ask from God, He will grant it to You” (v. 22).
Did she really believe those words? I wonder, because “Jesus said to her, Your brother shall rise again. Martha replied, I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day” (vs. 23-24). She didn’t get what Jesus was saying.
I don’t want to be unkind to Martha, but she missed it. When Jesus came, she didn’t ask, “Why didn’t You do something?” Instead she said, “If You had been here—if You had been on the job—he’d be alive.”
When Jesus assured her that Lazarus would rise again, she didn’t understand that it was going to happen right then. She could focus only on the resurrection. By looking at an event that was still in the future, she missed the real meaning of Jesus’ words for the present.
But aren’t many of us like Martha? We want our lives to run smoothly, and when they don’t, we ask why? But we really mean, “God, if You truly loved and cared for me, this wouldn’t have happened.”
Let’s think a little more about the “why” question. For example, when someone dies in an accident, one of the first questions family members ask is why? “Why her? Why now? Why this accident?”
For one moment, let’s say God explained the reason. Would that change anything? Probably not. The loved one is still gone, and the pain is just as severe as it was before. What, then, did you learn from the explanation?
In recent years, I’ve begun to think that why isn’t what Christians are really asking God. Is it possible that we’re asking, “God, do You love me? Will You take care of me in my sorrow and pain? You won’t leave me alone in my pain, will You?” Is it possible that, because we’re afraid that God doesn’t truly care about us, we ask for explanations?
Instead, we must learn to say, “Lord God, I believe. I don’t understand, and I could probably never grasp all the reasons why bad things happen, but I can know for certain that You love me and You are with me—always.”
Heavenly Father, instead of asking for answers to the why questions, help me to focus on Your great love for me. When Satan tries to fill my mind with troublesome questions, help me to feel the protection of Your loving, caring arms around me. Help me always to show my gratitude and devotion for all that You do for me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
From the book Battlefield of the Mind Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2006 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.
Because you are God, I can ask what I will
I can bring to you all of those who are ill
I can name everyone whose thoughts bring unease
And all of the many plagued by disease.
Those bodies betrayed by sickness, severe
Those families in crisis who don’t feel you near.
Because you are God, you feel every pain
Because you are God, you know them by name.
I bring them, I leave them, knowing each is a part
Of your sacred, compassionate, all loving heart.
I’ll remind you today; I’ll remind you tomorrow
Please God bless the many with hearts full of sorrow.
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