Monday, January 30, 2017
Friends of Faith:
There is so much talk about what is fact or fiction. It has become increasingly difficult to know what is the truth and what is a lie. The passage of unnatural and self-serving laws and the influence of popular media have blurred the lines so much between right and wrong that this difficulty has multiplied exponentially (one lie building upon another) in the last few years. So what is fact, what is fiction and what and who should we believe?
Monday, January 23, 2017
Friends of Faith:
The first of the 100 confirmation questions I was required to memorize when I was just 9 years old was from the very first paragraph of the Catechism: “What does God want from us?” The answer: “To seek Him, to know Him, and to love Him.” CCC1
And although I was baptized when I was just a few days old, have gone to mass at least once a week forever, attended Catholic school, have taken part in several retreats and more recently have attended diaconate formation classes with Stan for the past 4 years, I continue to be constantly in awe of the miracles God has performed and the prayers that I see answered.
that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd. Jn 10: 9-17
And, I am constantly reminded of the many things about God I do not know.
Unfortunately I am also reminded of that first question and answer when I am asked why more don’t come to church, attend date nights, retreats or other faith sharing groups.
Is it because we are afraid to “know him;” afraid of what we might learn, or afraid of what we might have to change in our lives? Or is it because we are apathetic to anything beyond today, not caring what eternal life might look like and preferring instead to be unchallenged, avoid suffering, and to serve mostly ourselves?
One of the greatest gifts we have received in diaconate formation is the opportunity to meet very wise and well educated theologians and to be blessed with bookshelves full of resources. But if we don’t use these resources to deepen our faith in some way, and if all we do is put the books on a shelf and file away our notes, never praying to have the strength to do God’s will and never seeking to love others as He loved us then we too will have gained nothing.
So the even greater gift I have been given is the wisdom to KNOW that in order to KNOW God I must constantly strive to know Him by taking every opportunity possible: by taking time to pray (personal relationship), by reading Scripture and early Church writings (history), by making time to attend days of reflection and retreat (heart growth), and by attending faith sharing groups (such as date night) to share this journey with others (growing a community of support and love).
In order to grow, and in order to keep up with the times I am reminded by the questions I am asked that I, too, still have much to learn, about God, about the history of the Church, about how the Church has evolved, about Scripture, the Saints, and even the sinners and especially about God’s design and purpose for my life.
So, I seek Him and I yearn to Know and love Him – because in Him all things are possible, today, tomorrow and forever.
Be blessed in your journey to seek, to know and to love, because Learning to Know God never ends.
Seeking God never ends. Loving God never ends.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Friends of Faith:
In Saint Mother Theresa’s words: “Everything starts from prayer. Without asking God for love, we cannot possess love and still less are we able to give it to others. Just as people today are speaking so much about the poor, we too cannot talk too much about prayer and yet not know how to pray.”
We can’t be close to God without prayer, because although God knows us, we can’t know him without listening to him once in a while (we talk a lot, but since God already knows what we are thinking, it’s much more important that we “tune-in” to him and listen than the other way around.)
But he still wants us to tell him that we need him, that we love him, that we want his forgiveness and that we appreciate all that he has given to us. He is waiting patiently for our prayers, both those we speak aloud and those in the silence of our hearts.
First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone. 1Tim 2:1
God is love, and without prayer we cannot truly KNOW His love. And without knowing God’s love it is difficult, if not impossible to give love to others.
Saint Mother Theresa also says: “Once in a while we should ask ourselves several questions in order to guide our actions. We should ask questions like: Do I know the poor? Do I know, in the first place, the poor in my family, those who are closest to me—people who are poor, but not because they lack bread? There are other types of poverty just as painful because they are more intrinsic. Perhaps, what my husband or wife lacks, what my children lack, what my parents lack, is not clothes or food. Perhaps they lack love, because I do not give it to them!”
Are those closest to us one of God’s poor? It is something to ponder.
Do we love enough? Do we pray for and love those closest to us so that they too will know God, or are they poor in Spirit and poor in love?
Do we pray? Do we pray enough? Do we pray for those we love? Do we truly know God? Do we ACT on what God is asking of us?
Give your spouse and children a hug; give them love and pray for them today.