Monday, June 30, 2008
The earthly things I think will last just crumble and decay.
They break and cease to function as they slowly rot away.
Relationships that seem so strong and destined to endure,
Soon fade away to nothingness, without a hope of cure.
But only God’s great mercy will withstand the test of time.
It guides me and upholds me as I feel His love sublime.
I sin and need forgiveness, and I go to Him in prayer.
He gives me strength and comfort, and His mercy’s always there.
When life seems overwhelming, and I don’t know where to turn,
His mercy calms my fears, and gives the peace for which I yearn.
When each day is a struggle, filled with sickness and despair,
I’m strengthened by His mercy, as I cast on Him my care.
I praise Him for His mercy that comes fresh and new each day,
Surrounding and sustaining me as close by Him I stay.
Friday, June 27, 2008
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows. Consider it pure joy, my dear ones, whenever you face trials of many kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance and perseverance must finish its work, so that you may be complete not lacking anything, If you lack wisdom, ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault.
James 1: 17, 2-5
Lord, I wish for roses,
Perfuming my day.
For, walking on a petal strewn path
Would be such a happy way.
But, I find I don't have all I wish;
At least not, yet, awhile.
For, would You be desiring something better,
Found through a deeper trial?
Do you keep me from knowing all,
For, too much I'm unable to contain?
Are You showing me there's greater joy,
In learning faith through pain?
Are You letting me know a darkness,
So I will seek Your light;
To search until I find You, as the door,
To escape the gloom of night?
Will You allow me these limitations,
So I can learn the more,
Just as a jewel will shine
When tumbled to remove a flaw?
In new challenges that descend,
Shall I find You of a truth?
Will I learn, then, how to trust Your love,
Rather than all I can and cannot do?
Would You let me struggle,
To find the answers You can give?
And, if I ask, will You bestow the wisdom
That I will need to live?
For, if things don't come my way,
Will I learn a grateful heart;
To enter into a real joy,
For contentment that will last?
Is this key of gratitude,
What turns the bad things into good,
So that troubles become a blessing;
To grow just as I should?
For, life is such a journey
Where I may feel betrayed.
But, what understanding will I learn for others,
That are crying in the shade?
If it wasn't for the times
I learn my God is near,
I wouldn't know where to find the strength;
With faith to persevere.
For, everything I cannot know
Gives me so much to learn
And all the things I don't have, yet,
Become an expectant hope to yearn.
So, take me on Your path, dear Lord,
With Your roses, all the way.
Shower me with the loving gifts
That You have planned, today.
Give me, from Your heart of love,
All that You say to give away.
Shall I, then, thank You
For the heartaches, Lord?
For, they are really Your bouquet.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
"It may be true that you know the Word of God, but do you really know the God of the Word?"
"Our peace is destroyed by focusing on what is wrong around us, rather than HE who is right within us."
"Prayer pulls the rope below and the great bell rings above in the ears of God. Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly; others give but an occasional pluck at the rope; but he who wins with heaven is the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continuously, with all his might."
"Sometimes when we ask God our "Why?" questions, instead of giving us answers He gives us Himself."
"We have been created to love and to be loved."
"If you can see, what others can't find; then either you are mad, or they are blind."
"All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions."
"There are some defeats more triumphant than victories."
Words can never show
What's really down inside
Our actions show our truer 'selves'
The 'me' we try to hide.
We fight to stuff it all within,
The guilt and shame we feel.
It's not until we start to "let go"
That we begin to really heal.
Tears come welling up, I'm scared!
Of the demon that's within.
I want to change but feel so weak
To fight what some call Sin.
Again, it's "letting go" I need,
To acknowledge I have NO power.
Then, and only then I'll see,
That this is my finest hour!
In now, my greatest weakness,
I finally fall to my knees.
In humble broken powerlessness
I now see my "Sin disease".
Tears, they come as floods
I think I won't survive.
But in the midst of the death I feel,
Perhaps I am for the first time "alive".
Can it be? That all this pain,
Was not a waste of my life?
But rather I had valuable lessons to learn
Through disappointment and strife?
I see more clearly with each day
That the "hell" that I've been in,
Is really my "dying to self"
So that a new life could begin.
Could God not help me??
In the chaos I was in?
Yes, I suppose He was,
But I had to let Him in.
In past times, I would not really let go
And let God enter in.
I wanted life to be as I prescribed it
Which was my greatest Sin.
With devastation all around me
And my life hopelessly out of my control.
I cannot fix others whom I love
Much less, myself console.
God help me learn to love
The way you want me to.
Grant me the serenity to accept
The love that comes from You.
I am a new creation
And learning how to truly "live"
Taking each day as a gift from God
A truer love I now receive and give.
Monday, June 23, 2008
It's amazing and incredible, But it's as true as it can be.
God loves and understands us all, And that means you and me.
His grace is all-sufficient, For both the young and old.
For the lonely and the timid, For the brash and for the bold.
His love knows no exceptions, So never feel excluded.
No matter who or what you are, Your name has been included.
And no matter what your past has been, Trust God to understand.
And no matter what your problem is, Just place it in His Hand.
For in all of our unloveliness, This great God loves us still.
He loved us since the world began, And what's more,
God always will!
I am your friend and my love for you goes deep.
There is nothing I can give you which you have not
got, but there is much, very much, that, while I
cannot give it, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find
rest in today. Take heaven!
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in
this present little instant. Take peace!
The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it,
yet within our reach is joy. There is radiance and
glory in the darkness could we but see - and to see
we have only to look. I beseech you to look!
Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its
gifts by the covering, cast them away as ugly,
or heavy or hard. Remove the covering and you
will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of
love, by wisdom, with power.
Welcome it, grasp it, touch the angel's hand that
brings it to you. Everything we call a trial, a
sorrow, or a duty, believe me, that angel's hand
is there, the gift is there, and the wonder of an
overshadowing presence. Our joys, too, be not
content with them as joys. They, too, conceal
Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of
beauty - beneath its covering - that you will find
earth but cloaks your heaven.
Courage, then, to claim it, that is all. But courage
you have, and the knowledge that we are all pilgrims
together, wending through unknown country, home.
And so, at this time, I greet you. Not quite as the
world sends greetings, but with profound esteem
and with the prayer that for you now and forever,
the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
“For a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
(I Peter 1:6-7)
With a strong forearm, the apron-clad blacksmith puts his tongs into the fire, grasps the heated metal, and places it on the anvil. His keen eye examines the glowing piece. He sees what the tool is now and envisions what he wants it to be—sharper, flatter, wider, longer. With a clear picture in his mind, he begins to pound. His left hand still clutching the hot mass with the tongs, his right hand slams the two-pound sledge upon the moldable metal.
On the solid anvil, the smoldering iron is remolded.
The smith knows the type of instrument he wants. He knows the size. He knows the shape. He knows the strength.
Whang! Whang! The hammer slams. The shop rings with the noise, the air fills with smoke, and the softened metal responds.
But the response doesn’t come easily. It doesn’t come without discomfort. To melt down the old and recast it as new is a disrupting process. Yet the metal remains on the anvil, allowing the toolmaker to remove the scars, repair the cracks, refill the voids, and purge the impurities.
And with time, a change occurs: What was dull becomes sharpened, what was crooked becomes straight, what was weak becomes strong, and what was useless becomes valuable.
Then the blacksmith stops. He ceases his pounding and sets down his hammer. With a strong left arm, he lifts the tongs until the freshly molded metal is at eye level. In the still silence, he examines the smoking tool. The incandescent implement is rotated and examined for any mars or cracks.
There are none.
Now the smith enters the final stage of his task. He plunges the smoldering instrument into a nearby bucket of water. With a hiss and a rush of steam, the metal immediately begins to harden. The heat surrenders to the onslaught of cool water, and the pliable, soft mineral becomes an unbending useful tool.
Friday, June 20, 2008
I give all that I have, all that I am-no matter how empty and sad that I am. I give and I give, never counting the cost-but lord I'm lonely tonight.
I've travelled some distance and chanced a few things. Broken some hearts and been broken instead but I give and I give never counting the cost-but Lord, oh Lord I'm lonely tonight.
The tears that I've shed in silence and pain, never showing another my heart's not to blame. But I give and I give, never counting the cost-but Lord, oh Lord, I'm lonely tonight.
The days I can hide through a smile and a wave, the dread of the night when my life seems in vain. Yet I give and I give, never counting the cost-but Lord, oh Lord, I'm lonely tonight.
The years they have passed as if in a daze, I danced and I loved like a moth to a flame. It scorched me, it tore me, my heart bore the pain. Yet, I give and I give, never counting the cost-but Lord, yes Lord I'm lonely tonight.
Life can seem perilous but what can I do? I dont live for me, I live to please You. Why are You so silent? Why don't You speak when my tired heart cries out and reaches for You. But I give and I give, never counting the cost-But Lord, oh Lord, I'm lonely tonight.
It takes all you've got this thing we call life, the pain and the passion is all that we've got. It's not about winning, it's not about loss..It's about giving and giving, until it has cost. So I will give and I'll give, never counting the cost-But Lord, my sweet Lord...I'm lonely tonight.
For a Friend-Who gives and gives, never counting the cost.
Written by Marie
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
God does not renege on His Promises, even when we fail Him with our infidelities and ingratitude. This also applies to the Jewish people, for God, unlike fickle man keeps His Covenant even with an errant and 'stiff necked' people. God does not nor cannot revoke a Covenant, for The Triune Spirit is not capricious nor does God rely on man to feel validated.
Therefore the Promises and Covenants which God made to the Jews, also applies and incorporates the Gentiles. For if God were to break His Covenant with the Jews, what then would save us?
Do we consider ourselves so perfect, so holy that we would stand before God as His equal? Therefore we may disregard God's Promise to the Gentiles because we can now Save ourselves?
For if we go on the premise that God will not keep His Covenant with Israel, because of their infidelities and rejection of the Promised Messiah, what hope then is there for the Gentiles?
Do we not also when we sin, reject the Messiah? Yet we hold as Truth that God will never abandon us. The confusion comes when we think we are loved because we are good. No! We are Loved because God is Good and through God's Mercy and the Sacraments of our Church we are Saved through God's Love.
When God made His Covenant with the Jewish people, He did so in full knowledge that these same people would reject His Beloved Son, Jesus. For unlike man God has Predestination and He knows the outcome before He reveals and establishes His Covenants with the Israelites and also with the Gentiles.
There are some who believe that because God made these Promises in the Old Testament, therefore they have no relevance in the New Testament. In that Jesus, brought a New Law, this is correct, but Jesus also came to fulfill the Old Testament not to break it! Hence this is the reason why Paul asserts in his letter to the Romans that, "God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew"(Rom 11:2). Obviously Paul is referring to Jeremiah 31:34; and Paul continues to say, "As far as the Gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God's gifts and His call are irrevocable."(Rom 11:28-29).
It cannot be stated more plainly than this, God does not break His Covenants, however unfaithful His children will be. For upon Jesus birth, death and Resurrection a Light was shone in the world in which NO power can extinguish.
Written by Marie
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Once it was illegal to murder the unborn, now it is a right. America changed.
Once it was illegal to swear in movies or on TV or show graphic sex scenes, now it is considered art. America changed.
Once modesty was considered a virtue, now people can wear what they choose no matter how inappropriate. America changed.
Once homosexuality was seen as an unnatural act between people of the same sex, now it is a lifestyle choice. America changed.
Once every child prayed in school now it is outlawed. Prayer is gone and guns are in. America changed.
Once having the Ten Commandments in a public building was a sign of respect, now they are removed. America changed.
Once life was held as sacred now it is legal to kill the infirm. America changed.
If the Senator truly wishes to bring about change then do the following.
Make abortion illegal and the rights of the unborn the top priority. That would be change.
Impose laws against the use of profanities in movies and on TV. Impose heavy fines on movies or programmes that include graphic sex scenes. That would be change.
Encourage people to dress appropriately. That would be change.
Reinstate the law against the act of homosexuality. That would be change.
Reinstate prayer and religious instructions into the school room. That would be change.
Guard and protect the right to display the Ten Commandments on Government buildings. That would be change.
Protect the rights of the infirm irrespective of how ill they are. That would be change.
So what change's is Senator Obama referring too? A change for the better or a change for the worse? You decide.
"They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind."(Hosea 8:7)
Monday, June 9, 2008
When we look at history we see that The Holy Roman Empire did not implode because its leaders were morally correct and upright, it imploded as one leader outdid the other in decadent and immoral behaviour.
When there is no moral compass and God is ignored the consequences are a 'godless' society where anarchy, immorality, cruelty and decadence are deemed acceptable. While anything holy is outlawed, as lawlessness runs rampant, and the upright sleep.
Who can stop these outrages?
But, rather than take a stand we look to our Governments. The same Governments which legalised abortion and in some countries euthanasia, where embryonic stem cell research is ongoing and same sex marriages are on the agenda. Why do we do this? Because it is easier to simply either go along with the crowds or stay silent rather than taking a stand.
We are drifting in an ocean of mediocrity.
Do we raise our voices when we see racial and religious bigotry? Or do we stay silent so as not to cause a scene? Many years ago I walked into a Lutheran shop and picked up a Jack Chit pamphlet which wrote that the Catholic Church was a cult. As I read I became more and more incensed and asked the owner of the religious shop how she could allow such hatred to stay on the shelf? I then told her that if she did not remove such hate filled dribble I would boycott her shop. The shop owner assumed I was Catholic and was shocked to find I was actually a Lutheran, but she removed the offensive 'literature.'
I also remember attending a forum where a Baptist Minister was giving a talk about Spritual Warfare. I had been told that this Minister was 'on fire with the Holy Spirit,' he was on fire alright but it had nothing to do with holiness. His entire speech was an attack on the Catholic Church, he stated that Jesus actually disowned his mother by citing this Biblical passage, ..(Someone told him, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak with you.") But he said in reply to the one who told him, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?" (Matthew 12:47-48). I could stand it no longer and stood and challenged the Minister's opinion and asked him if God can break His own Commandments? For if Jesus were to disown his own mother He was in effect breaking the Fifth Commandment, 'Honour your father and mother.' I then asked the Minister to inform me where in the Bible does Mary promote herself, where does she ask that people worship her? This Minister also assumed that I was a Catholic, No! Back then I was a Lutheran, but I wasn't going to sit and listen to hate silently.
Why are we silent when our brothers and sisters are being defamed?
Throughout the world Christians of various denominations are being persecuted, in countries such as China, Indonesia, Iran, Algeria etc. And all these Christians can hope for is a bullet, because a bullet is preferable than having to face years of torture and imprisonment as the world forgets them.
These courageous Christians do not fear God's Truth. They fear silence.
We raise our voices in protest as the price of oil rises and stay silent when Martyrs die every day for the beliefs we hold dear.
When we take a safer path we dishonour all the Martyrs and Saints who went before us and were prepared to die for the Truths we hold Sacred. When we compromise our Christian Principles and the Truths of the Catholic Church, then how are you different from the athiest?
When you say on one hand I believe in God and yet fail to speak up for your beliefs what does that make you? As St. Thomas Aquinas said, "Hold firmly that our faith is identical with that of the ancients. Deny this, and you dissolve the unity of the Church."
When the virtuous fail to speak up the innocent die.
Freedom is too choose to love God and follow His Commandments through the Teachings of the Catholic Church.We also have the freedom not to obey God or the Church. But in both choices we bear the consquences of our free choices.
As Pope Benedict XVI said he is more concerned for those who "are easily tempted to conform themselves to the spirit of this age.' There is also the prevailing thought that religion is a 'personal matter' which should not be imposed upon others yet once again our Pope states it differently, "Any tendency to treat religion as a private matter must be resisted..Only when their faith permeates every aspect of their lives do Christians become truly open to the transforming power of the Gospel."
Are we Christian Warriors or Wimps?
These are the words of Archbishop Oscar Romero who was assassinated for speaking the Truth, he would be alive today if he had stayed silent.
Archbishop Oscar Romero understood as did our Saints God's Truth is worth dying for. It is compromise that kills the soul.
It is apathy that kills our faith not hatred.
In the end you find yourself and who you are, through adversity, so dont run from it, face it and find your mettle. Be an Overcomer without turning into a victim. Be strong without turning into a bully. Be courageous with the understanding that God has given you the inner strength to overcome life's battles and hardships. Be a failure, while knowing that you can do better. And understand your biggest enemy is within yourself and that is the greatest one you have to overcome.
If speaking up means you stand alone, then stand alone. How many Disciples stood beneath the Cross?
Written by Marie
St. Edith Stein.
Friday, June 6, 2008
Let me walk in patience, Lord,
For you to open a door
To a new way of life, if You please
For what is past is no more.
Help me, Lord, only to see
That You give to me each day
Things you know will make me
Stronger along life's way.
Help me to accept life
And each little event
As blessings for me, Lord,
That you have sent.
Let me look at trouble
As a blessing in disguise.
Help me see in loneliness
Your strength which beneath lies.
Help me see the joys
Intermingled with the tears.
Give me undaunted courage
To face the future years.
Let me know the perfect love
That You so willingly give.
For others and You, Lord,
Help me so to live.
Thank You for the past, Lord,
And let me not forget
That You gave the past to me
To make me stronger yet.
- TODAY I WILL NOT STRIKE BACK:
If someone is rude, if someone is impatient, if someone is unkind... I will not respond in a like manner.
- TODAY I WILL ASK GOD TO BLESS MY "ENEMY:"
If I come across someone who treats me harshly or unfairly, I will quietly ask GOD to bless that individual. I understand the "enemy" could be a family member, neighbor, co-worker or stranger.
- TODAY I WILL BE CAREFUL ABOUT WHAT I SAY:
I will carefully choose and guard my words being certain that I do not spread gossip.
- TODAY I WILL GO THE EXTRA MILE:
I will find ways to help share the burden of another person.
- TODAY I WILL FORGIVE:
I will forgive any hurts or injuries that come my way.
- TODAY I WILL DO SOMETHING NICE FOR SOMEONE, BUT I WILL NOT DO IT SECRETLY:
I will reach out anonymously and bless the life of another.
- TODAY I WILL TREAT OTHERS THE WAY I WISH TO BE TREATED:
I will practice the golden rule - "Do unto others as I would have them do unto me" - with everyone I encounter.
- TODAY I WILL RAISE THE SPIRITS OF SOMEONE WHO IS DISCOURAGED:
My smile, my words, my expression of support, can make the difference to someone who is wrestling with life.
- TODAY I WILL NURTURE MY BODY:
I will eat less; I will eat only healthy foods. I will love my body and thank GOD for it.
- TODAY I WILL GROW SPIRITUALLY:
I will spend a little more time in prayer today: I will begin reading something spiritual or inspirational today; I will find a quiet place (at some point during this day) and listen to GOD's voice!!!
1 Thessalonians 5:8
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
...for giving me life though at times it's been sad
I'm ever so grateful for the things that I've had
You gave me such courage and filled me with love
and compassion for others, You gave me YOUR love
For giving me comfort when my loved ones passed on
For giving me strength when I couldn't carry on
For teaching forgiveness for those who caused pain
For giving me sunshine in the middle of rain
For a heart to love deeply and a shoulder to cry on
And quiet spirit and a name to rely on
For turning my tears into joy for others
for always protecting my sisters and brothers
For all that I am and continue to be
May I always do what you expect of me
Thank you Lord for this chance to bless
and to share you with others...what happiness
Monday, June 2, 2008
To live a peaceful life in this world of turmoil and strife, we need to understand that our enemy is not any one person. The enemy is within our own soul, and at times the Principality of evil will use people to drive a wedge of discontent amongst Gods beloved children. This is why it is essential to keep a strong prayer life and to make use of the Sacraments of the Church as often as possible.
A person that is centred on Christ is not easily moved by the emotionalism of others or by those who prefer to embrace hate rather than love. As that great Doctor of the Church, St. Francis de Sales said, "Do not lose your inward peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset." This is a learning process in that we at times all lose our temper and can become agitated over the actions of others, but this is not an excuse to remain in that condition.
In order to keep our peace we need to recognise that this peace is from Christ and cannot be found anywhere else. It is Gods Gift to those who have put aside their 'old selves' and embraced the 'new self' as they walk with Christ in the Light of His Word and the Teachings of His Church.
Our obligation as God fearing Christians is to speak God's Truth with gentleness and then to stand firm if any find this Truth to be loathsome. It is not up to us to engage in bickering but instead to speak it and then to quietly pray for those who find this Teaching too hard to accept.
To remain quiet in the midst of sin as if it were not happening is not 'peace', that is false peace which leads to false charity when we condone evil as a right. It is never right to do wrong, as if the end justifies the means, we must at all times speak The Truth even to our own peril as Winston Churchill once said, "Truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it, but, in the end, there it is."
When a persons trust has been destroyed by another it takes time for the Divine Physician to heal a soul wound. Real peace lay not in the power of humans but is in the Hands of the Divine from whom we seek our own inner healing from wounds inflicted upon us.
Real peace does not mean an absence of anger, true and sincere peace of heart is maintaining a quiet peaceful heart amidst the raging turmoil of anger, hate and strife. It is the ability not to be swayed this way or that way or allowing others to provoke us or to allow others to manipulate us. This does not mean we must sit quietly and watch wrongs being said or done against another, but it is to speak the truth gently and firmly as it is and to then move on irrespective of how others accept the truth spoken.
We must at all times remember that we are in the company of our Lord and what cannot be spoken in His Presense should not be whispered in dark corners, as St. Teresa of Avila said, "however quietly we speak, God is so near he will hear us."
Written by Marie