Showing posts with label Christ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christ. Show all posts

5 Mar 2017

The Wounds of Love

Wounds on Hands of Married Couple
During our storms of turmoil, our descents into hellishness, we cry but fail to see that everything in a watery drop is distorted and or inverted, subject to our perception; up is down and white is black. Humor me this, picture a mountain behind a pond of water and for some that same mountain is laid before their feet…or not.

We’ve passively learned to trust our eyes, like our hearts trust those we love all the while missing that “love” like God, just “is” and makes no distinction to quantify what it is attached to or by whom.

Our love is never wrong, I’ll repeat that; our love for others is never wrong and I would even dare say it is always right. 
This is a guest post by Poet of the Light. To continue to read his insight and discover the 5 Wounds of Christ and the 5 Stages of Grief in Divorce, please join me at SingleMomSmiling.com. 

Thank you for following, liking, and sharing! God Bless...

2 Mar 2017

How To Win the War Against Sin


Every human being is basically blind to their own faults and sin. There are many reasons we cannot seem to die to self and enjoy communion with God – psychological reasons, inherited sin, pride, the tendency to control and other self-defeating behaviours. However, I think the biggest barrier to receiving the Love of God is egocentricity; we are centred on ourselves, on our own efforts to perfect ourselves instead of admitting defeat, taking our eyes off our own efforts, and allowing Christ to work out His salvation in our hearts.

continue reading

26 Dec 2016

Winter Blessings Bear Much Fruit


We officially entered the winter season last Wednesday, and are now in that time of year when life slows down dramatically, in comparison to the hustle and bustle of the holidays. We welcome the opportunity to come in out of the cold and seek the warmth of a roaring fire. Unlike many people, I love this time of year! I appreciate a good snowfall, especially when I get to stay inside, all cozy and warm. As an avid reader, I love sitting by the fire, curled up with my favorite afghan and a good book. I appreciate the solitude that winter blessings bring!

Even in winter, when all life seems dormant, God is at work, renewing us. The lull of winter is a gracious gift from God, filled with winter blessings. Read more...

26 Oct 2016

Autumn Winds; Hearts Afire - Is Your Heart Afire for Christ?


I love this time of year, when the leaves turn from green to magnificent hues of gold, orange and red; when the air turns crisp; and the holidays beckon. It’s my favorite time of year! For me, this is the last autumn of my life, as I turn 60 in March, and will enter the winter of my life.

Time is short, and every seasonal change reminds me that my time on earth is limited. As the seasons change, I take of stock of what I have accomplished and where I have fallen short; where I have excelled in virtue and where I could have done better.

Autumn Winds; Hearts Afire


As I celebrate this last autumn of my life, my heart is afire for Christ. Having left Corporate America, and the stress that went with it, I now work for Christ. Jesus is the best boss ever! The monetary salary is nothing to write home about, but the serenity, joy, and peace is priceless! My job also comes with increased trust, faith, patience and perseverance! Bottom line is that when... Read more... 

22 Aug 2016

My Heart Beats for Christ! For Whom Does Your Heart Beat?


I was recently at the doctor’s office for my annual visit. While sitting in the examining room, with nothing to do but wait, I read the ad on the door. It showed a picture of an older woman, holding a placard that said, “My heart beats for______.” She filled in the blank with “my grandkids.” She had a huge smile on her face. The ad promoted preventative health exams.

As I sat there looking at the ad, I asked myself, for whom does my heart beat? I hope my husband isn’t too disappointed, but my first instinct was to answer, “My Heart beats for Christ!” Sitting there in awe for a minute, I realized my response, as well as my accompanying relationship with Christ. I love my husband very much. We’ve been together almost 40 years (married more than 37 years). Yet my response was Christ. I live for Christ; to do His will.

My Heart Beats for Christ


I cannot say that Christ would have always been my first response. In my early thirties... Read more...

21 Mar 2016

Jesus, What Were You Thinking?


It was just another day of the week, or was it? Jesus knew, as God, that before the week would end, He will have given His life, for many, to conquer death.

What must Jesus have been thinking?

He arrived in Jerusalem the day before; greeted with fanfare; literally, with palms waving in the springtime breeze. Jesus knew, only too well, how fickle man can be; how in the blink of an eye, they would turn on Him. He would be turned over to the authorities and would be put to death. Jesus only had a few more days to... Read more... 

21 Dec 2015

Peace: Got to Get Me Some


Christ’s Peace

Does it elude you? It seems that during this time of year, everyone wishes each other “Peace on earth” (Luke 2:14). Do you view this sentiment with hope, or do you think it falls flat?

If you have Christ’s Peace within your own heart, I think you view this sentiment with great aspirations of hope, because you wish for others what you possess for yourself. If it falls flat, then perhaps you do not have the amount of Christ’s Peace within your own heart that you desire.
How would you know if you actually had Christ’s Peace within your own heart? Well, for starters, you... Read more... 

13 Sep 2015

Getting To Know The Saints


St. Cyprian. (Image via Catholic.org)

I decided a few months back to sign up for a service that sends me the biography of each day's "Saint Of The Day". 

Over the last few months since I signed up for the service, I've found that I look forward to seeing the emails in my inbox every morning. Not only have these informative emails helped me to be prepared in advance for daily Mass, but more importantly, I've been able to get to know the saints on a human level. 

It was such a comfort to me, for instance, to learn that St. Cyprian struggled with patience and anger - things I struggle with, also. And I loved reading that St. Thomas of Villanova did not bow to peer pressure "...he wore the same habit that he had received in the novitiate, mending it himself. The canons and domestics were ashamed of him, but they could not convince him to change."

I've been daily inspired (and mentored!) by these human examples of imperfection and their striving to be better, holier, more Christ-like. 



I cannot recommend enough taking the time to get to know our saints on a human level. 
If you don't already, why not begin today to study the life of our saints?

Wishing you and yours a happy and blessed Sunday,
Sabrina 

10 Feb 2015

Five Words That Will Change Your Life

Have you ever really paid attention to your vocabulary?

Does it match your faith life?

Or is your faith life a bit stalled and you wonder how to jumpstart it?

Your vocabulary is the key to it all and understanding these five simple words can drastically change your life.

Word One: Disordered

Our world gets a bit crazier every day. More things take up our time and energy and consequently leave us less time for God. Our dreams, desires and longings get caught up in the ways that we experience the world. So, instead of dreaming God’s dreams for our lives, we live with and pursue disordered dreams and desires. We keep ourselves on Satan’s treadmill where our disordered existence exhausts us and steals our joy.

“Lord, remove the disordered desires from my mind and heart so that I may experience your peace and dream your dreams for my life. Do not allow the illusions of the evil one to infiltrate my heart or mind where I unwittingly allow them to undermine or replace your plans for me and my life.”

23 Jan 2015

Refusing to Play Games


I do not want to die, only to discover I was playing society’s games, games which were dependant on the time and place I was born, rules which changed constantly. 
 I do not want to be so caught up in work, business, squabbles about doctrine and ritual, that I lose sight of Truth.
How devastating to stand before Christ and realize that I could have been His presence on earth, a window of light and joy, radiating His love and mercy but lost my way.
I can be His hands and feet and ears and whisper words I hear the Father speak to his little ones
 I need to allow Love to transform me, so Love flows through me. Period.
I flooded my mind with these verses from scripture today to remind myself everything turns to ash when we die, everything but His Love in us. continue

4 Jan 2015

Small Victories: A Good Way to Celebrate Epiphany

I began reading essayist Anne Lamott's new book, Small Victories,  after  hearing her speak in November  at the Free Library of Philadelphia. My friend Shannon, an author and a  jail chaplain in Tacoma, suggested this would be a great book to read for Advent.

Well, even though it's under 300 pages, I just completed it today. Lamott's  is an authentic voice, one that does not sugar coat reality but which helps me find God in the smallest moments. Finishing the book is a good way to celebrate the Epiphany, that time when Jesus revealed himself to the world beyond his circumstances.

Lamott is a writer  we writers are supposed to love and one whose work I have not taken the time to read fully. While I have read bits and pieces of her illuminating work, this is the first full book of hers I have read from start to finish. She labels herself a "left wing" Christian and I suppose she is, but the label, as any political label does, reduces the value of her insights.

Keep Reading...

28 Jun 2014

Storm The Gates! (Part 1)

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,*and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18.



"...and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.".  What does this mean? How can a gate prevail?  Wouldn't it be demons that would prevail, but that isn't want our Lord said, He said 'gates'.    


A gate is something to keep something in, or to keep something out.  It can also be used as a passageway.  


From the scripture we know there is more than one gate. ('gates' plural).  There are supposedly 12 gates into heaven the same as the number of apostles, the demon loves to mock God, so their must be more than one gate into hell, but how many?

To Find out How Many.. Click HERE!!

30 Dec 2013

The Catholic Prayer of Silence

The words prayer and contemplation intimidate many people but the reality is that prayer is simple, so simple that it eludes many adults.
Rest in God and enjoy God in the silence. Sometimes we need to simply cease our activity, live in the moment and breathe in God. This is reality. When the Spirit flows in and through us we are in sync with everything and everybody. We are part of the Trinity, part of the human community and part of the communion of saints.
How do we relax into this state? In and through prayer. Have you ever noticed that every liturgy begins with a blessing of peace and simultaneously a call to prayer because they are intricately connected.
L: “Peace be with you”
P: “And also with you.”
L: “Let us lift up our hearts to the Lord”
P: “We lift them up to the Lord”
L: Faithful and gracious God, we seek to draw nearer to you in this time of devotion and prayer. Open us to your word that we might be guided in your Spirit toward all truth and love, for we pray in Christ’s nameP: Amen.
Sometimes we need repetition, written prayers because we are in such turmoil that it is impossible to unwind and come to a place of inner silence without the familiar. Sacred music helps shut down crazy thoughts and connect us to God. Of course God initiated moments of grace are the most effective. Slowly I am discovering that I can centre on Him when I simply breathe the Holy Spirit in deeply and relax into reality because I am always connected to God. The reality is simple. I am in God and He is in me. I am just not always aware of that fact.
Relax.
Be Quiet.
Breathe in Deeply.
Connect.
Soak in His Presence.  read more>

25 Dec 2013

An Unexpected Christmas Gift



A religious acquaintance of mine recently told a friend of mine he didn't think I should waste my time trying to alter the direction of our local public schools because even if this latest problem were solved, another problem would crop up. 


The thing is, God calls us to do His work of justice and mercy, places outside church doors. Sometimes, the work we do unexpectedly helps to draw those we encounter back to Christ. That's God's doing, not ours. This was today's Christmas miracle at the 11 a.m. Mass for me.

28 Nov 2013

Illuminating Orthodox Icons of Christ


St. Joseph and the Infant Christ
Christ the Great High Priest icon

 top left-       Christ the Good Shepherd
 bottom left- Byzantine icon of Christ Pantocrator (Savior of the World), “Christ Enthroned,” by Isaac Fanous,                           Holy Virgin Mary Coptic Orthodox Church, Los Angeles
right column The Church is the sacrament of the Kingdom, the Good Shepherd icon by Fadi Mikhail,
                      Jesus with John by Ann Chapman

17 Nov 2013

A Surprise Gift

Today, on Vivificat, Teófilo de Jesús posted a quote by a Carthusian monk. Interestingly enough, when I tried to visit his site, Google told me to stay away because his site was infected by Malware. I don't understand computers but this was all bogus and it was soon fixed. When I got to the site and read the message, it was as if God was speaking just to me.
What a consolation and encouragement. Tears of relief come to my eyes with this quote because my private prayer has been a wordless encounter with Light and Joy for a long time. No effort on my part; I just glance in His direction and Christ takes over.  Praying like this, it is easy to feel  slack, lazy.... .

The Wound of Love By A. Carthusian

 "Solitude is the place of prayer" first published in 1994 by the Carthusian Order in England
Solitude is the place of prayer. The only true prayer which radiates there is that of Jesus: all other prayer is a reflection of the light that shines forth from his face.

Let us, therefore, follow Jesus in solitude, relying only on the power of his call; it is not our competence or our virtues which give us access to the Father, but the invitation of Jesus to follow him up the mountain.

This is our ideal: to enter into the Paschal Mystery with Jesus and to receive from the Father the revelation that his Son has given us and is ours to welcome. We have no other call here below than to bear this mystery, in silence, in our heart.

13 Nov 2013

Spirituality: Child’s Play

A relationship to the living God is child’s play.  Children are open to the Spirit in a simple and natural way; their spirituality is not only taught, it rises from within them as they listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit in their own hearts.
St. Paul assures us that all men have the basic laws of God carved into their hearts. In modern language, we all have an awareness of good and evil or a conscience.The problem is tapping into and living out from my core where God has inscribed a moral code on my heart. It is  hidden in my deepest self. Actually, first we must recognize that our own ego and selfishness are a barrier between us and God. Thank God for Christ because He offers an easy way to love and easy way to live in His Spirit as saints.
Relax. Give up striving in your own strength, self-righteousness and pride and accept that you need Jesus as your Saviour. St. Paul understood that only Christ had the power to deliver him from himself. In Romans 7: 24
…. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! 
Surrender to Christ’s saving love,  and let it saturate every cell of your body.Then simply let His love flow through you. However, it ends up being a long journey to such carefree lifestyle because pride and ego get in the way. It is so simple that it seems complicated to our adult, logical minds. read more>

5 Nov 2013

Being a Fool for Christ


The rich man asked Jesus what was necessary to enjoy eternal life. Apparently the man had been a devout follower of the laws but still questioned what that final“piece” needed to be for his own salvation. I think it is interesting that the guy knew, in his heart, that more was still being asked of him. Unfortunately, the answer saddened the man, for Christ told him that he had to sell all his possessions—and the guy had a lot of stuff!
We don’t know, based upon the reading of the text, if the man did or did not do as Christ instructed. We read that he walked away sad but that doesn’t necessarily translate into disobedience.

I am often sad when I have to “do the right thing” but it doesn’t stop me from doing it.
So let’s give this rich guy the benefit of the doubt and say that he forlornly sold his possessions but then followed Christ. We know, of course, that his sadness would have been fleeting, right? After all, he was now in a position to enjoy eternal rewards with Jesus.

However, in this scenario we are then left with a bigger picture: what did all this rich guy’s friends and family say while he was liquidating?
“Are you crazy? Think how long and hard you worked for all this!”
“Why are you acting so irrational? There must be some other solutions!”
“You are being a fool!”
That, by my estimation, may very well be what Jesus was asking of the rich man—and what He asks of each of us: to be a fool. Which on the face of it sounds ridiculous; but when we contemplate what it means to be a fool for Christ, we can understand the depth of what we have to give up—or how we must be perceived—to be a “fool for Christ.” And then we see that being a fool for Christ takes us to the very heart of humility and selflessness where our ego simply cannot exist. We know in our hearts it is that “something more”—just as the rich man knew that there was something more being asked of him. read more>

1 Nov 2013

All Souls Day: Why We Pray for the Dead


Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin.~2 Maccabees 12:46

November 2nd marks the Commemoration of All Souls; the day in which the earthly faithful are called to pray for the faithful departed in Purgatory.Often considered connected to Pagan or other ritualistic ceremonies, All Souls Day is, in fact, a practice with roots in the early Church where the names of the faithful departed would often be posted so that church members could pray for each soul by name.

All Souls Day follows on the heels of All Saints Day, November 1st; which itself is traced back to origins as early as the fourth century when St. Basil of Caesareainvited neighboring dioceses to share relics of martyrs and to join in celebrating those whose lives had been given for the Church.Eventually Pope Urban IV instituted the practice of using All Saints Day as a way to honor all saints, known and unknown, thus acknowledging our limited knowledge of how each person has responded to God’s call upon his or her life.

While All Saints Day commemorates the lives of saints, known and unknown, All Souls Day commemorates the souls of all the faithful departed.Requiem Masses, or Masses offered for the dead, are celebrated. Following in the Jewish belief that the just, after death, joined their ancestors, it became a common practice to offer prayers and oblations so that their “sleep” with the Father would be one of peace, thus “eternal rest.”St. Paul, himself a Jew who would have understood this belief and practice, referred to this when he spoke of those who are asleep in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:18).Indeed, we read of him praying for the dead when he says of Onesiphorus, who has died, May the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day (2 Timothy 18).

11 Oct 2013

POPE FRANCIS: A MODERNIST HERETIC? RIDICULOUS!


Melanie Jean Juneau - Pope Not Heretic
Why do  Faithful American Catholics Label  Pope Francis: A Modernist Heretic?
Every time Pope Francis speaks, the papers are filled with sensational headlines; he does not emphasize many of the popular, hot issues like abortion and homosexuality, issues which often simply serve to divide voters into an us and them mentality. When did these issues become  the only issue that concerns the Church? Yet when the pope reminds us that our life in Christ is so much more, vocal advocates become extremely angry, denouncing the pope as the anti-pope.
How ridiculous! Why such a strong reaction?
Perhaps many Americans do not like this South American because Catholics in America were taught that God loves capitalism and that Greed is Good. The Pope has made some pretty negative remarks about the freebooter capitalism that has flourished since the 1990′s and that will make him very unpopular with the freebooters in the US. Some of his comments about greed, avarice, and freebooter capitalism have not even shown up in the mainstream media in Canada or the States.
I am baffled by all the negative reactions to Pope Francis. Perhaps it is because this South American pope is not in love with freebooter capitalism. Personally I think that Pope Francis is just too joyful as he lives out his simple, his down-to earth spirituality and humble solidarity with the poor and this irritates many traditionalists. Jesus and St. Francis of Assisi also irritated the Pharisees of their eras; those pure proponents of tradition dislike anyone who challenges their lifestyle.

Finding Virtue in the Mundane: Even Doing Dishes!

So, how is doing the dishes well, or any other mundane task for that matter, virtuous? Well, let’s answer that question by first defining...