"Walking in the way and the love of the Lord"
As I sat in my prayer chair this morning, my eyes were drawn to this picture I have hanging on my wall. This work of art has Jesus in the boat with His disciples during the storm. As I looked at this picture, I realized the eyes of the disciples. They have fear in them and they are all looking at Jesus. They are depending on Him. Yet, He is sleeping.
"Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm." ~ Matthew 8:23-26
Our life’s journey is similar to the sea of Galilee that night. We can all relate to the disciples. We seem to have a strong faith when all is well, but when we see everything turning against us we fail to keep our eyes on Jesus and start to Panic.
You always hear on TV, if you fall into quicksand "don't panic". Now I hope we never fall into quicksand, but our lives can be just like quicksand. The more aimlessly we move around the more we sink. The more we depend on our own resources the more we sink. So keep your eyes on Jesus. Just like when Peter was walking on the water, when Peter took his eyes off Jesus and saw the waves of the oceans around him he started to sink. Stay focused on Jesus and allow Him to calm your storms.
This then brought me to the song by Hillside United called 'Oceans'. If you know it, then listen again, It is always a good one to hear again and again. If you have never heard it, I hope you enjoy.
You call me out upon the waters The great unknown, where feet may fail And there I find You in the mystery In oceans deep, my faith will stand
“What really matters in life is that we are loved by Christ and that we love Him in return. In comparison to the love of Jesus, everything else is secondary. And, without the love of Jesus, everything is useless.” ~Pope Saint John Paul II
Wow, Pope Saint John Paul II said it so well; not sure if there is anything left to say.
But I will try ...
The ultimate purpose of our life is to love.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” ~ Mk 12:30
Love God!! Love God with a pure and humble heart. Empty yourself before Him. When we let go of ourselves and allow Our Lord to use us, His graces will flow! When we empty ourselves, we will discover something beautiful. We will be filled with a joy so abundant and powerful, so natural that our real selves will shine. We will be moving along on our spiritual journey letting our love show...ready to use our gifts for the love of our God.
As it was written by Saint Faustina in her diary, “The Lord answered me, “My daughter, love has brought Me here, and love keeps Me here. My daughter, if you knew what great merit and reward is earned by one act of pure love for Me, you would die of joy. I am saying this that you may constantly unite yourself with Me through love, for this is the goal of the life of your soul. This act is an act of the will. Know that a pure soul is humble. When you lower and empty yourself before My majesty, I then pursue you with My graces and make use of My omnipotence to exalt you.” (Saint Faustina Diary, #576)
Listen to these words again, “Constantly unite yourself with Me through love, for this is the goal of the life of your soul” Love unites us, love binds us together, humble love calls God to pursue us with His graces. We are blessed and made whole by His love.
We hear this verse below all the time, but this time I want you to read it slowly. Reflect upon these words, reflect with humility, reflect with emptying of self.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
We all have that kind of love in our hearts; the choice is to let it out and into the world.
“Truly, every person was created with a desire and need in his or her heart to love God and feel His love. But it is what we choose to do with this desire—act upon it or ignore it—that draws us closer to the Father or away from Him. There are three specific reasons the Lord placed this desire for Him in our hearts. First, when we enter into a loving relationship with God, He is able and willing to offer His wisdom to guide us (James 1:5). Second, when we accept the Father’s love, we will be open to becoming the people He created us to be, living to our fullest potential. And third, when we embrace the Lord’s love, we will begin to see people and circumstances as He sees them—from the vantage point of His love. In light of this, why would anyone choose to refuse God’s love? If you are ready to reap the benefits of God’s perfect love, reach out to Him in prayer today. Ask Him to help you overcome the hindrances so that you may rejoice in His everlasting and tender care.” ~ SOURCE: In Touch Ministries
Let us pray,
Lord, I know my love is not perfect for You. I know you have placed the desire within me. Help me, this day, to open my heart more fully to You. Purify my love for you, allow me to love You above all things. You deserve my total and pure love. I thank you for the joy you have blessed me with, may I share this joy with others. If today, I do not feel your love, allow me to trust in you. Allow me to know Your love is there and is always there for me. Allow me to choose Your love and to accept it with open arms. Allow me to understand and feel Your mercy. Thank you, Jesus. Jesus I trust in You because I know that in my heart and in my soul, Love is all that matters.
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