“Jesus LOVES You! With an intense thirst” Re-blogged

 

BLOGS  |  MAR. 10, 2017

Jesus Loves You With an Intense Thirst

“No matter what you have done, I love you for your own sake. Come to me with your misery and sins, with your troubles and needs, and with all of your longing to be loved.”

BY Amanda Evinger

“Jesus is God, therefore His love, His Thirst, is infinite. He, the creator of the universe, asked for the love of His creatures. He thirsts for our love… These words: ‘I Thirst’ – do they echo in our souls?” —St. Teresa of Calcutta

During the years I spent living with the Missionaries of Charity, St. Teresa of Calcutta’s spirituality felt like anything from the most gorgeous spiritual revelation to the most biting poke in the spine of my soul – it was, clearly, a spirituality born from the deepest, most entangled roots of Catholicism. To this magnanimous Saint and her followers, serving Christ meant answering His cry of Thirst from the Cross – even if it meant laying down one’s very life in the most grueling fashion. In honor of this message, Mother Teresa made sure that in every one of her convent chapels, the words “I THIRST” would be posted next to a bloody crucifix, in bold black, serving to remind all of God’s most extraordinary love. Years after her death, these words continue to show her religious Sisters and co-workers, as well as the poor they serve, that God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, is parched with thirst, longing for the simplest acts of love.

As I witnessed, each day the Sisters would seek to quench the parched thirst of Christ as they visited the bottomed-out homes of the poorest of the poor, cared for them in their emergency night shelters and soup kitchens, and befriended them when they were in the lock-down section of the prison. And, fascinatingly, they would turn to the poor to ask them to quench the thirst of Christ as well. Often when they would encounter a suffering person – whether it be because they were behind bars, or because they were breathing their last in a hospital bed – they would beg them not to waste their suffering, but to offer it to quench Christ Crucified’s infinite thirst. Suffering, to them, was as gold. The one who suffered and made at least some attempt to offer it to God was laden with spiritual jewels that freed their soul and drew it towards eternal life. I remember watching the faces of the suffering and poor – most often fallen-away Protestants who had never even heard of “redemptive suffering” – as they told them this. Their words would often give them a sense of dignity and purpose, helping them to understand their part in God’s mission to bring hope to the world.

“I Thirst,” a meditation attributed to St. Teresa of Calcutta in which Jesus speaks to the human heart, includes these powerful words:

I thirst for You. Yes, that is the only way to begin to describe my love for you… I thirst to love you and to be loved by you — that is how precious you are to Me. I thirst for you. Come to Me, and I will fill your heart and heal your wounds. I will make you a new creation, and give you peace, even in all your trials I thirst for you. You must never doubt my mercy, my acceptance of you, my desire to forgive, my longing to bless you and live my life in you… If you feel unimportant in the eyes of the world, that matters not at all. For Me, there is no one any more important in the entire world than you.

This phenomenal meditation, which in many poignant ways holds within it the lifeblood of the Saint’s spirituality and mission, is something worth contemplating deeply. For Mother Teresa, sharing with others about the thirsting love of Christ was at the root of evangelization. To her, practicing authentic charity meant answering His cry from the Cross. “We are not social workers, we are contemplatives in the heart of the world,” she was known to say.

Years ago, a friend who had been in one of Mother Teresa’s convents for a few years told me that now, as a layperson and a mother, she had grown so out of touch with God’s love. “In the convent, we heard about God’s love all the time, and we were continually reminded of how much God loves us,” she said. After having lived in a convent for five years, and now being a wife and mother outside of the convent for nearly nine years, I know exactly what she means. This is troubling to me – we lay people, so burdened by the assaults of our post-Christian society and the culture of death, so weighed down by the trials and daily grind of life – why do we not hear of God’s love daily? What keeps us from letting His thirsting love penetrate our innermost selves? Is it the clang and clamor of the world’s ways, the demands of lay life, or is it just that we aren’t taking the time to listen? Perhaps it is all of the above. Or perhaps it is because His love is so divine it is hard to speak of and to grasp. When someone tells you that God loves you, you may feel they are stating the obvious, and go about your way. But there is far more in these words – there is the deep river of His Precious Blood, waiting to submerge your heart, and the shimmering rays of His mercy, just waiting to wash your soul and heal it of brokenness and sin.

This Lent, as we go about our daily business, let’s take time to contemplate the thirsting love of Christ with St. Teresa. As her meditation continues:

Whenever you do open the door of your heart, whenever you come close enough, you will hear Me say to you again and again, not in mere human words but in spirit. ‘No matter what you have done, I love you for your own sake. Come to me with your misery and sins, with your troubles and needs, and with all of your longing to be loved. I stand at the door of your heart and knock. Open to Me, for I THIRST FOR YOU.’ END QUOTES

“With Relativism, There is No Right or Wrong: re-blogged

 

With Relativism, There Is No Right or Wrong

COMMENTARY: The modern notion of freedom supporting the relativistic outlook is simply the ability to make choices.

Ted Sri

Relativism isn’t just a bad idea. It’s ruining people’s lives. And if we’re going to be successful in motivating others to rise above the relativistic culture, we need to help them see what Pope Francis has observed: “Relativism wounds people.”

The ideas at the center of a relativistic outlook are dangerous. Just as bad math can lead to faulty engineering and unsafe buildings and bridges, moral relativism can cause harmful effects in people’s lives, encouraging people to do things that will hurt themselves and others.

We can see this especially in the relativistic culture’s view of freedom.

Authentic freedom is the ability to perform actions of high quality. It’s for something. If I possess the skills of violin playing, I’m free to play the violin with excellence. If I possess the skills of race-car driving, I’m free to race the car around the track at high speeds.

And if I possess the life skills known as the virtues, I am free to give the best of myself in my relationships and thus find happiness. Virtue gives me the freedom to love other people.

But the modern notion of freedom supporting the relativistic outlook is self-centered. It’s simply the ability to make choices. It’s merely about being free from anyone controlling me. How one chooses to use his freedom, however, doesn’t matter. There are no good or bad choices. It doesn’t matter what one chooses; all that matters is that one chooses: “It’s my life. I’m free to do whatever I want to do with my life. Don’t tell me what to do.”

 

A Tale of Two Marriages

A true story about two married couples who lived in the same neighborhood at the same time can highlight the world of difference between these two views of freedom. One young couple had been happily married for several years with two children when the wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She quickly lost the ability to walk and knew she’d be in a wheelchair for the remainder of her life. This wasn’t what her husband was expecting when they got married. The emotional and financial pressure was too much.

He wanted a different kind of life. So, in the middle of her battle with cancer, he left his wife and kids for another woman.

According to the modern view of freedom, we can’t say what he did was wrong because that’s his choice. There are no right or wrong choices, this mindset says. Maybe you wouldn’t do that, but we all should celebrate his freedom: He’s free to do whatever he wants. And if he wants to leave his dying wife and kids, that’s his free choice.

Just blocks away was another couple. The wife was diagnosed with an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis. She also quickly lost mobility and had to be pushed in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. But her situation was more incapacitating. She couldn’t bathe herself, clothe herself or feed herself. She couldn’t even speak.

Her husband was just hitting his stride in his business, but decided to retire early so that he could take care of his slowly dying wife. He went through practically all of his savings, fully realizing that he would not have much left for himself in his golden years. But that didn’t matter. He lovingly poured his life out for her in her remaining years, serving her, feeding her, bathing her and dressing her. Every day he’d take his wife outside for walks in the neighborhood. He constantly read to her and talked to her, telling her about the weather, their friends and family, what was happening in the world and her favorite baseball team — even though she could not say a single word back.

For years, he never had even one conversation with the love of his life. But he was always by her side, all the way to the end.

 

Hero of Your Life

The tale of these two couples encapsulates the main contrasts between the classical and relativistic worldviews. Both husbands saw their life story take an unanticipated turn. And at that pivotal moment, one revealed himself to be a hero, while the other walked away from love and his responsibility to his family. One lived a kind of life we might expect an individualistic, relativistic culture to produce. The other rose above the mainstream and reminds us of what true greatness is all about.

His life was not about him — it was about giving himself to others, most especially his wife.

Relativism allows people to justify selfish acts that hurt other people. If there is no right or wrong, then I am free to do whatever I want with my life — no matter what consequences there might be for the poor, the unborn and the people God has placed in my life, whether friends, co-workers, family or, in this case, a dying wife and the kids who will be left behind.

But when we fail to give people a moral compass for their lives and instead train them in the relativistic view of freedom, we shouldn’t be surprised when selfish acts like this occur and people get hurt in our culture. For relativism isn’t just a bad idea. It wounds people.

Edward Sri is professor of theology at the Augustine Institute.

This article is based on his latest book and video study program, 

Who Am I to Judge?: Responding to Relativism With Logic and Love

(Ignatius Press)END QUOTES Part #2

 

{Catholic} “Dogma In the Age of Anxiety” Re-blogged

 

Dogma and the Age of Anxiety

Rev. Jerry J. Pokorsky

It’s quite common these days to hear disparaging comments about Catholic dogma and doctrine. But the complaints about dogma are harder to accept when they come from within, from Catholics themselves.

When the Archbishop of Dublin ordained Jesuit deacons in 2015 he warned, “We will not heal those whose lives have drifted from Jesus Christ by throwing books of dogma at them.”

And the new General of the Jesuits recently said, “Doctrine is a word that I don’t like very much, it brings with it the image of the hardness of stone. Instead, the human reality is much more nuanced, it is never black or white, it is in continual development.”

Ironically, it’s precisely because human reality is not black and white that we need the rock-hard reality of dogma. Aside from the fact that the “controversial” doctrines usually have to do with the 6th Commandment (many would welcome its repeal for obvious reasons), we would do well to consider some of the “difficult” and “rigid” doctrines of Jesus.

For example, the Sermon on the Mount presents some particularly difficult teachings.  In the “Lilies of the Field” discourse, Jesus says: “Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”  Without doubting the truth of His words, we may find ourselves struggling to put them into practice. How is it possible to dispel so many of life’s anxieties? Those very difficulties, unfortunately, sometimes lead to rejecting His teaching.

We are said to live in an “Age of Anxiety” – just like every other age, I suppose.  The media makes more money selling anxiety. Facts without anxiety are boring.  When scientists recently determined that a huge swath of molten carbon lies 200 miles beneath the surface in the American West, reporters deftly linked the story to our fears – suggesting that if a massive volcano erupted in Yellowstone National Park, it would mean the end of the world as we know it. There are many such news reports, on subjects from solar flares to low testosterone. So much to worry about, so little time.

Many anxieties, of course, are far more understandable, if not exactly “reasonable.”  Personal health – especially as we grow older – can cause worry.  But when a doctor diagnoses a malady after tests, the certainty of the diagnosis usually brings some sense of relief. The illness can finally be treated, or at least understood, going forward. The certainty of truth is a remedy for anxiety.

The firm certainties of life vary depending on context.  On the one hand, our personal history is certain because events have taken place (even if memory fails) and simply become facts of our life. We were born; we grew up and were educated; we found jobs; we loved; we’ve suffered – the factual certainties are endless.

On the other hand, when we look to the future, humanly speaking, there is only one certainty: death.  No matter how certain we think our day planner is, we may not wake up tomorrow. Consequently, the uncertainties of the future are unlimited and can be very unsettling. As any parent knows.

Yet Jesus teaches us not to be anxious about tomorrow. He wants us to look at the facts of life – the lilies of the field, etc. –trust in God’s loving providence.

We know from our childhood catechisms that the dogmas and doctrines of our faith console us with certainties that we’d never have without God’s revelation. Here’s one:  “Can a woman forget her infant, so as not to have pity on the son of her womb? And if she should forget, yet will I [the Lord God] not forget thee.  Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.” (Is. 49:14-16)

Another dogma needs no comment, and directs us on our way with certainty:  “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jn. 14:6).  If you’re worried about the state of your marriage, Jesus says, again with unequivocal dogmatic certainty:  “Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.” (Mt. 19:6)

Without such dogmas and doctrines of faith, there would be no clarity for the future except the certain prospect of death.  As Flannery O’Connor writes, dogmas are true “windows to the infinite.”  As in: “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” (Rom. 6:8)

But even as we strive, with God’s grace, to believe all that Jesus teaches through His Church, we continue an ongoing struggle against anxiety. We are to live in the moment and that’s difficult to do in a fast-paced world.  God provides grace, if we’re open to Him, and when we need it, moment by moment, day by day.  This is why it is so necessary to repeatedly encounter Christ in prayer, the Sacraments, Sunday Mass, and the certitudes of Catholic dogma – God’s revelation of His plan for us. But God does not grant His grace in advance.

Hence there is sinful hubris in presuming to tinker with the teachings of Christ or to disparage Catholic “dogmas” and “doctrines” by suggesting they are subject to constant change. Those who do so become agents of confusion and anxiety, truly undermining Christ. Members of the hierarchy of the Church are not above the firm teachings of Christ.

Church doctrines – regardless of their perceived “rigidity” – are good because through them we encounter Christ and the providence of God.  The firm certainties of the teachings of Christ not only direct us, they help relieve the anxieties that plague us daily.  After all, “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (Jn. 8:32)  Not a bad dogma to reflect upon. END QUOTES

END QUOTES

Are My sins too Many & too bad for God’s forgiveness? re blogged

Are My Sins Too Many & Too Bad for God’s Forgiveness?

by John Clarke {re-blogged}

John Clark reminds us that our sins are never too many or too bad for the mercy of God and their forgiveness will only cause a greater Heavenly celebration.

“My sins are too many and too bad.”

Sadly and mistakenly, such is the thought process that will keep many people away from the Sacrament of Confession this Lent, just like many years of Lents before it.

We live in a world that often underemphasizes the badness of sin—there’s not much doubt about that. However, it is also possible to overemphasize the badness of sin. How can that be? How could you ever overemphasize the badness of sin? When could that ever happen?

When you claim that your sins are so bad that God cannot forgive them—that’s when.

When you suggest that the badness of your sins is greater than the love of God—that’s when.

When you act as though the Passion of Jesus is not enough to overcome your sins—that’s when.

To that last point: if you think that the passion and death of Jesus was not enough—that it was somehow lacking—you would do yourself a huge favor this Lent by meditating on the Passion of Jesus. We tend to sanitize our conception of the violence that Jesus suffered at the hands of men, but the truth is that Jesus’ scourging, crowning with thorns, carrying of the cross, and death were extraordinarily and shockingly violent.

The private revelations given to Venerable Mary of Agreda recounted in The Mystical City of God and given to Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich recounted in The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ attest to that fact.

When you read these revelations, it is worth noting that most Catholic theologians agree that the totality of Jesus’ sufferings were not required for the atonement of all sins, but that the slightest suffering of Jesus would have atoned for all the sins of humanity. Rather than failing to atone for all the sins of the world, the truth is that the passion and death of Jesus amount to what Saint Thomas Aquinas called a “superabundant atonement.” Thomas explains:

“He properly atones for an offense who offers something which the offended one loves equally, or even more than he detested the offense. But by suffering out of love and obedience, Christ gave more to God than was required to compensate for the offense of the whole human race. First of all, because of the exceeding charity from which He suffered; secondly, on account of the dignity of

His life which He laid down in atonement, for it was the life of one who was God and man; thirdly, on account of the extent of the Passion, and the greatness of the grief endured, as stated above.

And therefore Christ’s Passion was not only a sufficient but a superabundant atonement for the sins of the human race; according to 1 John 2:2: “He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”

Sin is an offense against God. Sin is terrible. But when you act as though the Passion of Jesus and the love of God are not enough to forgive those sins for which you seek forgiveness, you are gravely mistaken. What part of the Passion, what part of the love of God is not enough for you?

When Jesus was on the cross, He was thinking of you and me: desiring not to condemn us, but to forgive us. God, The Father of Mercies, wills to forgive us—for original sin,{through Sacramental Baptism} for venial sins, for mortal sins,{Through Sacramental Confession}  for many sins. For all our sins.

Can you commit sins so bad or so many that God cannot forgive them? Of course not. Even if your sins are many and mortal, even if you really are as bad as you think—even if you are one thousand times worse than you think—the merciful God awaits you in Confession.

Jesus revealed to Saint Faustina that even if you had more sins than the grains of sand in all the oceans of the world, you should still approach Jesus with confidence of His forgiveness and mercy.

Why? Because God loves you.

If you have been away from the forgiveness of God, come back home where you belong. This year, this Lent, come to Confession and experience the loving mercy of God. Whatever your sins might be, your sacramental repentance will be the cause of a huge celebration in Heaven.

And they’ll keep that glorious party going until long after you arrive. END QUOTES

{Inserted by PJM}

This then is precisely WHY Jesus Instituted Sacramental Confession for ALL sins; Hid {GODS} way:

1John.1 Verses 8 to 9 “[8] If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. [9] If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1John.5 Verses 16 to 17 “[16] If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal;{unto spiritual DEATH} I do not say that one is to pray for that. [17] All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal.

This is GOD’S Way for HIS sin forgiveness

John.20 Verses 19 to 23 “[19] On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” [20] When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.  [21] Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” [22] And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. [23] If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

QUESTION: If it’s NOT done GOD’S way; can one have confidence that their sins ARE actually forgiven? …..

“The Eight Deadly Sin” reblogged

 

 

The Eighth Deadly Sin

James H. Toner

SATURDAY, MARCH 11, 2017

Many people are confused about what the Church teaches these days. So to get us started down a different path, I’ve compiled just a few points of reference from The Catechism of the Catholic Church, still our most authoritative and comprehensive guide to the Faith.

Adam and Eve were real people and our first parents (CCC, #375)

Human nature is fallen and prone to sin (407)

The devil exists and tempts us (395)

Marriage is a sacrament and is indissoluble (1601)

Regardless of motive, euthanasia is a murder (2277)

Contraception is sinful (2370)

Abortion is a monstrous evil (2271)

In-vitro fertilization is morally unacceptable (2377)

Homosexual practice is intrinsically disordered, and same-sex marriage is morally intolerable (2357)

Women priests are impermissible (1577)

Mortal sin exists (1861)

Hell exists (1033)

These truths (and many more) should be proclaimed by priests from the pulpit and by Catholic professors from the lectern.  But they are routinely regarded as illiberal, unprogressive, and downright embarrassing. Surely, these ancient and inconvenient so-called articles of faith will soon evolve into more socially acceptable forms.

Small wonder, then, that almost all Catholic colleges tolerate – or encourage – faculty members who teach practical anti-Catholicism, repudiating or lampooning many Church doctrines. This takes place under the banner of “critical thinking,” which rather commonly means fervid disavowal of traditional Catholic teaching by self-appointed magistrates of the secular city.

So it’s hardly a surprise that the teachings of the Church are frequently ridiculed in many other places as well: at political conventions, and during ordinary conversations at ballgames, at water coolers, and even at family dinner tables. As the prophet Hosea warned: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

To be sure, many self-professed Catholic politicians, professors, and pundits display appalling, reckless, and obdurate ignorance of the faith which ought to “preserve [them] from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error.” (CCC 890)

There is, though, something else in play here – an eighth deadly sin. (The traditional Seven Deadly Sins are: pride, avarice, lust, envy, gluttony, anger, and sloth.) The eighth deadly sin is eagerness, bordering upon mania, to be seen as avant-garde, progressive, and revolutionary. In a word, modern.

The modern defection from the truth may have its root in willful ignorance, but its branch is a desperate yearning for the approval of the crowd. As Charles Péguy (1873-1914) once put it: “We shall never know how many acts of cowardice have been motivated by the fear of not appearing sufficiently progressive.”

Let’s speak bluntly: many “Catholics” who abjectly fail to ground their politics, their lectures, their writing, and – it must be said – their homilies in Catholic truth are sophisticated cowards.

If by sophistication we understand, “having, revealing, or proceeding from a great deal of worldly experience and knowledge of fashion and culture,” we have part of the eighth deadly sin. The rest is the weak refusal to “spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross.” (CCC #1303).

Could Thomas More get tenure on one of our Catholic faculties today? You have to sympathize with orthodox Catholic assistant professors who worry that they’ll lose their jobs if they tell the truth in love. Still, we are warned never to love “the praise of men more than the praise of God.” (John 12:43)

The eighth deadly sin – sophisticated cowardice – derives, on the one hand, from sophistry (fallacious, even foolish, argument) and, on the other, from lack of courage to do the right thing, for the right reason, in the right way, at the right time.

God has warned us that we must make firm our feeble knees (Is 35:3), and that cowards will end up in Hell (Rev 21:8). Of course, if there is no Hell, no Revelation, no Truth, and No Salvation, there need be no concern about the consequences of sophisticated cowardice. Political punditry, water cooler conversation, and ball game banter may proceed with no regard for the annoyance and inconvenience of Catholic Teaching.

How about those of us who too contentedly celebrate our own valiant orthodoxy? What part have we played, and do we play, in the sophisticated cowardice of our day? Gaudium et Spes has this exactly right: “To the extent that [we believers] are careless about [our] instruction in the faith, or present its teaching falsely, or even fail in [our] religious, moral, or social life, [we] must be said to conceal rather than to reveal the true nature of God and of religion.” (19)

When others – and we – are sophisticated cowards, we deny Him, and “if we deny Him, He will also deny us.” (2 Tim 2:12) We are called, always and everywhere, to exalt the Cross. (cf. Rom 1:16)

Running for Parliament in 1906, Hilaire Belloc was reproached for being Catholic. He told a crowd: “Gentlemen, I am a Catholic. As far as possible, I go to Mass every day. This [taking a rosary out of his pocket] is a rosary. As far as possible, I kneel down and tell these beads every day. If you reject me on account of my religion, I shall thank God that He has spared me the indignity of being your representative.”  END QUOTES

Nothing “sophisticated” there; nothing cowardly, either. And Belloc won. END QUOTES

“3 Things Parents Can Do when good kids have problem friends” Reblogged

 

3 things parents can do when good kids have ‘problem friends’

Chloe Mooradian

 

Dr. Gregory Popcak gives advice on how to help children when their friends are bad influences. Plus, how to help our kids become influential leaders in their own peer groups.

http://forher.aleteia.org/articles/3-things-parents-can-good-kids-problem-friends/?utm_campaign=NL_en&utm_source=daily_newsletter&utm_medium=mail&utm_content=NL_en

Your son comes home from school with a new word that his friend taught him. Your little girl’s playmates are teaching her to be a little bit sassier than you’d like. Or maybe your child was caught cheating on a test with his friend, even though you know you’ve taught him better.

MORE TO READ4 brilliant parenting moves you’re already making

As parents well know from living through our own childhoods, the influence of our kids’ friends is pretty powerful, especially when when they’re young (even as young as 3 and 4 years old) and still learning. The knee-jerk might be to yank away time with friends and put restrictions up, but that may be more of a Band aid fix to the real problem. Our children will copy the behaviors of those who they are closest with. However, if we have great, strong connections with them as parents, then the connection and influence of their peers won’t be as influential.

We asked Dr. Gregory Popcak, director of the Pastoral Solutions Institute, author of the parenting guide Discovering God Together,for advice on how to help our children when their friends are bad influences, and how to help our kids become influential leaders in their own peer groups!

Step 1: Schedule meaningful family time

Trouble starts when school, sports, and errands keep us too busy and push family time out of the way. Dr. Popcak suggests that parents “make sure to carve out daily and weekly time to connect with their kids around working together, playing together, talking together, and praying together.” He says family time has to have top priority in the calendar if we want to make any difference in our kids behaviors.

Step 2: Coach children on how to handle tough peer situations before a problem arises

If we find out that our kids are dealing with a hard situation and we can’t just remove them from it, Dr. Popcak recommends introducing role playing into conversations. “Ask your child: ‘What do you wish you could make happen in that situation?’ Parents can then play the role of the friend and coach their child on how to make the result they want happen.” Dr. Popcak also says to make sure to let our kids know when to get an adult for help. When we coach our kids and give them good advice before a situation becomes a problem, we become the experts that our children want to turn towards in tough times.

Step 3: Exercise spiritual parenthood towards your kids’ friends

In the early years, parents have quite a bit of influence and control over who their child spends time with. After all, toddlers can’t arrange their own play dates! But as kids continue to grow, they will need their own freedom to create their own friend groups. Dr. Popcak advises that when our kids reach a certain age, there is one factor that makes a huge difference in the types of friends they choose. He says, “Make your home the home where your kids’ friends want to hang out. Don’t be the parent who buys beer, of course, but do be the parent who has the games they like to play and the refreshments they enjoy.”

WE RECOMMEND: 6 fun Lent activities and crafts to do as a family

Dr. Popcak recommends exercising spiritual parenthood towards our kids’ friends since children learn habits from their peers. “When your kids see that their friends respect you, that makes it even more likely that they will see you as a person whom they can turn to for advice on dealing with tough social hangouts.” END QUOTES

 

 

“Do you want to save your marriage?” reblogged

 

Do you want to save your marriage? There is a prayer for that!

Prayer has real power, and if you ask for bread, you will not be given a stone…

 

FROM ALETEIA

Richard Birlew CC

Jesus, here we are, the two of us standing before you, just as on the day we received from each other the sacrament of Matrimony, just as on that day that you blessed our love. But today, Lord, we are cast down, cold, far from you, missing the warmth of your love.

Our love feels dried up. Pour out your Holy Spirit over us, that He might cleanse us, heal us, restore and renew us, so that this love that you blessed on the day of our marriage might rise again, transformed now by your love, as you turned the water into wine for that couple you blessed with your presence in Cana.

Jesus, sever and free us from any attachment either of us has to sin. Separate from us any spirit of infidelity. Come to our family, our home; bless our children, bless our life. You made our hearts for you; make the yearnings of our hearts coincide with your will, and allow me to be the spouse that my husband/wife yearns for, and may he/she be the spouse I yearn for.

Lord, we call upon the graces of this powerful sacrament that has bound us, inseparably on this earth, into one flesh, making two become one. Heal us, Lord.

Jesus, bring your Holy Family to reside in our home, so that we might know how to raise our children in the model set us by Mary and Joseph, and so that our children might embrace the Father’s will as you did. Send us your holy angels, with the Archangels Raphael, Michael and Gabriel, to protect us.

Pour out your precious Blood on this marriage, on this home, on this family. Holy Mother Mary, cover us with your mantle.

Amen.

[Translated and adapted from Oraciones.es through Aleteia Spanish]

In the Western Church’s celebration of the sacrament of Matrimony, the spouses themselves confer the sacrament on each other. The priest or deacon acts as a witness. This is in contrast to other sacraments, wherein it is generally an ordained minister who confers the sacrament — the priest is the one who confers the sacrament of Reconciliation; the bishop confers the sacrament of Holy Orders; etc.

The Catechism notes in #1639: “The consent by which the spouses mutually give and receive one another is sealed by God himself. From their covenant arises ‘an institution, confirmed by the divine law, . . . even in the eyes of society.’ The covenant between the spouses is integrated into God’s covenant with man: ‘Authentic married love is caught up into divine love.’”

You can read the full section on marriage in the Catechism of the Catholic Church here: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c3a7.htm

– See more at: http://aleteia.org/2017/03/08/do-you-want-to-save-your-marriage-there-is-a-prayer-for-that/?utm_campaign=NL_en&utm_source=daily_newsletter&utm_medium=mail&utm_content=NL_en#sthash.RdED1JFu.dpuf   END QUOTES

“Giving Jesus our Misery” reblogged

 

 

Giving Jesus our Misery

JEANNIE EWING

 

From Jesus to St. Faustina: “My daughter, you have not offered Me that which is really yours…Daughter, give Me your misery, because it is your exclusive property.” (Diary, 1318)

During Advent and shortly before Christmas, a friend confided in me that she had a miscarriage.  It was in the early stages, and she was waiting to pass her baby naturally, without a D&C.  As Christmas fast approached, I thought of her and her agony.  I wondered what it must be like to face Jesus as an infant when she had just lost her own baby.  How did she experience any of the wonder and joy in the wake of such tragedy?

Pondering this, I came across a story in which St. Jerome encountered the Christ Child and told Him that he had given Jesus everything he could think of: his life, his work, his possessions, etc.  Jesus responded, “I want still more from you.”  And after St. Jerome exhausted every possibility he could conjure, he said to Jesus, “All that’s left is my misery.”  Jesus replied, “That’s what I want from you – your misery.”

And it seems that’s exactly the same message He told St. Faustina.  Our misery is really the only gift we can give Jesus, because He never takes it from us.  It has to be a free will offering, something we are willing to relinquish to Him – not out of shame or fear, but as a genuine act of humility.  Misery is not something we often consider to be a gift, is it?  But what if it’s truly all we have to give – like my friend during the Christmas season?  What if we are so bereft of the joys, celebrations, and abundance that what remains in our heart is a sort of emptiness we falsely believe is worthless?

I think of the liturgical season of Lent and how it affords us the time to enter into the desert with Jesus, to encounter the temptations He once did as He faced the devil with alacrity.  Jesus purposefully set aside the luxuries and necessities of life so that He could live out this type of spiritual emptiness, a misery that leaves us with nothing to offer God but the chasm inside.  That space must exist before God can fill us with Himself, and Jesus knew that as he contemplated His mission and ministry during those 40 days in the desert.

We also have 40 days to contemplate our own misery as we deepen our resolve to surrender our desire for control, relinquish the vices that keep us in their tight grasp, and let go of worry and fear and anger and unforgiveness.  There are so many things that fill the space in our hearts that God longs to fill with Himself – so that, as Psalm 23 states, “my cup overflows.”  What if we cast aside everything that we’ve somehow become so accustomed to – the darkness we hide from most of the world – so that we were capable of seeing ourselves as we really are?  Miserable.

This is not misery in a despairing sense.  No, this is a misery that is truth.  It is the reality of the human condition that we are weak and fragile and broken in body and soul.  And, because of this truth, we need God.  Nothing can replace the ache we have for the eternal, certainly not maintaining our brokenness that reveals itself in ugly ways.  Why hold on to our anger?  Why justify our fears and failures?  Instead of keeping them as possessions, it would behoove us to give them to the Lord, to hand them over as He handed Himself over in the Garden of Gethsemane.

When we hand Jesus our misery, we are actually offering Him the gift that He truly seeks for us.  As He told St. Faustina, the more miserable the sinner, the more that person deserves God’s mercy.  How can we drink from that font of mercy if we are still convincing ourselves and others that we are more capable of managing life without God, or at least by scraping by on the bare requirements of Lent?

Lent is about more than rituals and giving a “thing” up.  It’s more than just receiving ashes on our foreheads and abstaining from meat on Fridays.  It’s not merely about fish fry fundraisers and clunking some spare change into the rice bowl.  It’s about radical change, interior transformation.  Lent is about repentance.  And repentance begins with acknowledging and handing over our misery.

When we get to the point of unpretentiously offering Jesus our brokenness, our tears, our wounds and suffering, then we have taken the first step toward true, authentic change.  Our lives will never truly become purposeful until we have given Him all, and that includes – above all else – the gift of our nothingness.

I thought of what an incredible and paradoxical consolation it is to ponder how beautiful and pleasing to God our misery is when we give it to Him in prayer.  Sometimes we erroneously believe we must give something extravagant or come up with creative ways to sacrifice more to God when all He wants is our sorrow, pain, and strife.  It may be so valuable to do this, because we finally come to a place of total dependence on Him for everything, not just the ephemeral wants and needs we tend to take to prayer.  It may also be so that we, at last, understand firsthand that to fully and totally love requires nothing less than a state of helplessness, of our fate being handed over to Him.

In essence, our misery – when given to Jesus as a true gift – is the rarest and most precious gift we can offer.  In and through that offering, Jesus unites our misery to His own, which consoles His heart and heals ours.  Then, and only then, do we become love by suffering for Love.

“I am strong when weak” reblogged

 

[New post] “I am strong when weak”
A Safe Harbor is Jesus

New post on A Safe Harbor is Jesus

“I am strong when weak”

by Jesus is a safe harbor

The passage below is a portion of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians has helped me during any difficulties throughout my walk with the Lord. This isn’t something to read once and simply retain for life as it needs to be reminded of this lesson time and again, and I find much rest once I am redirected back to this passage. I hope it ministers to you the same way.

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-10

Although the whole chapter is a passage I often read, it is the last sentence in verse eight that gets my attention every time. It reminds me that “I am strong when weak”. We often find ourselves asking God for help in our trials and weaknesses, wanting Him to miracle us out of the difficulty we are in. When we do not experience the deliverance in the way or time we want, it is very easy to get frustrated and lose sight of the bigger picture. Even Paul experienced this – in verse eight, he asked the Lord for special deliverance three times, yet it did not come.

Paul finally realized that God’s grace was made strong in his weakness. Don’t miss this… It is within our times of trouble that we must be willing to let go of being in charge, and let God take over. In times of plenty and in times that are bare, we are merely stewards of what God has given us. We need to allow the ownership privilege to remain with Him, and allow God to carry the bulk of our burdens.

When we understand we are merely managers and stewards, we achieve the proper mindset of deferring to the Owner of all things as our ultimate guide on what we should do and how we should manage what is on loan to us. When we do this, our mind and attitude can find a most unusual, but special kind of “delight” as God’s power and grace is able to be displayed in our times of weakness and pain.

I want you to remember that regardless of what you may be going through right now, God can do amazing things not only in your life, but also through your life as you release your need of control and hand the reins over to Him. Whenever we suffer insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties in life, the grace of God will be given to us, so that He can be glorified as He provides us the strength to carry on.

Jesus is a safe harbor | March 7, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/p3mVVp-VO

“Re-Presented” NOT “represented” by Patrick Miron

                       “Re-Presented” or “represented”

By Patrick Miron

Today’s topic is the Dogma of the Real Presence; which is the foundation, the heart of and among the most mysterious of all Catholic beliefs.

From the Catholic Catechism:

1324 “The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.” [sacrifice]

1407 “The Eucharist is the heart and the summit of the Church’s life, for in it Christ associates his Church and all her members with his sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving offered once for all on the cross to his Father; by this sacrifice he pours out the graces of salvation on his Body which is the Church”

The multiplicity of understandings, actually misunderstanding, outside of the Catholic & Orthodox churches is wide and profound. And frankly quite amazing as so many Protestant churches claim to be “Sola Scriptura” [bible only] churches.

There are five different Holy Spirit Inspired [2 Tim. 3:16-17] authors of the New Testament that give testimony on the Reality of Catholic Teaching, beliefs and practices on this mystery, and even Christ’s Personal promise; all of which are either ignored, misunderstood, or denied.

So let’s first look at the biblical evidence to see what it claims; what it teaches. Is there actually a lack of clarity; a lack of precise terminology used?

Matthew 26: 26-28

[26] Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”  [27] And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you; [28] for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Mark 14: 21-24

[21] For the Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” [22] And as they were eating, he took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” [23] And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. [24] And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.

Luke 22: 19-20

[19] And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” [20] And likewise the cup after supper, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

John 6:47-58

[47] Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. [48] I am the bread of life. [49] Your fathers ate the manna {& flesh: Exo 16: 6-15} in the wilderness, and they died. [50] This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. [51] I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
[52] The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” [53] So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; [54] he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. [55] For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. [56] He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. {Which describes precisely what DOES take place in Catholic Holy Communion}[57] As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. [58] This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread [CONDITIONALLY] will live forever.”

Paul 1st. Cor. 11: 23-30

[23] For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, [24] and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” [25] In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
[26] For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. [27] Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. [28] Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. [29] For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. [30] That is why many of you are weak {Spiritually}and ill, and some have died. {Self-condemned themselves to Eternal Hell.}

I have highlighted the precisely worded parts that are either ignored, denied, or presumptuously thought to be available in select Protestant faiths, claiming rightly to accept and believe; yet at the same time; unknowingly perhaps; assuming the same essential Powers and authority; of direct Apostolic succession, as is needed to effect this Sacrament; but having forfeited this Power through the schisms of Henry the VIII & Luther. All other faiths are even without a disconnecting – schism, and no lines of Godly Power or Authority can be, or are, in evidence.

Two very common errors of the Protestant community that form the very foundation for their many misunderstandings and “profound ignorance” are not recognizing the critical importance of singular tense terms the Holy Spirit inspired Catholic-Authors of the bible were led to use, and the presumptive Juxtapositioned thoughts that convert what GOD Could have chosen to do, with what GOD actually Did choose to do.

Missing the first clues [singular tense terms] feeds the second error; making it seem logical. Yet we are speaking of Omnipotent God here: Unbelief is the same as denial of GOD, as that is precisely what the Real Presence is: Jesu Christ /God! Are we to assume that GOD cannot do this?

Isaiah 55: 6 to 9  [6] “Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; [7] let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. [8] For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. [9] For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

The sin of presumption is widespread and pervasive within the Protestant communions. Making new; that is giving NEW meanings and understanding, primarily through applied human logic; which itself is illogical as we are speaking of Godly thoughts and choices; often, not understandable by solely applied- logic, and often incomprehensible by human standards; being complex, and often miraculous, and certainly profound manifestations by our God.

Without exception, all good things come from God. Then we ask: “are being fair and just” good things? Of course they are, so we can know that God, in an absolute sense, has to be, can only be “just and fair” Divine Mercy is a part of this necessity.

1Tim.2 Verses 3 to 5 “This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”

It is Divine Mercy, God’s  Love of His “alter-self” [Gen 1:26-27], humanity, who alone in all of the created universe emulates God as is able to actually, choose to know, to love, to serve and to obey God , which then become the very reason for humanities existence. [Isaiah 43: 7 &21.]  And this then explains God’s Justification for His Real Presence in Catholic & Orthodox Holy Communion, Jesus Christ, God is Truly, Really and Substanually present [“the entire God”] in our Midst. Not a mere representation, not a mere sign or symbol; NO! God Himself.

God has chosen to do this to facilitate the salvation of a many souls as is possible in attainment of their personal salvation. No greater love and no greater grace is offered and available conditionally to humanity. There can be, and there is no greater reason to be an Informed and fully practicing Catholic, than our Holy Communion. Truly it is a foretaste of heaven here on earth. Amen!

Unbelief, even wrong-belief are to varying degrees denial of God Himself.

What would Jesus have YOU do?

Pray much about it,

God Bless you,

Patrick