Out Upon the Waters

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How very true this is.  Many times that all I can say is “Jesus.  Sweet Jesus.  Jesus” and I know He hears. 

In time like this evening when I have things weighing on my mind, heart and soul I find the need to pull away and spend some quiet time in thought and prayer.  As I began to end my evening I found myself reading some of tonight’s readings which many nights will bring me to look up more of the readings and learning more.  Which is good. . . . but… this tends to bring me to read and do more research when I should be turning toward evening prayer and sleep.

This evening I found myself listening to some contemporary Christian music.  The is a song I have heard before and recently saved.  The lyrics to this song and melody worship our God and pull me closer to Him.  I can feel the safety of His embrace. 

I find the lyrics resonate with me this evening.  “You call me out upon the waters” which indeed He has done and what was one situation seems to have grown – taken on a life of it’s own.   Though – I know He is in control,   relaxing into this music reminds me of this fact and that I am safe, as are those in my heart.  This brings me closer to Him in prayer, conversation with Him.

Enjoy . . .

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)

Hillsong United

You call me out upon the waters

The great unknown where feet may fail

And there I find You in the mystery

In oceans deep

My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name

And keep my eyes above the waves

When oceans rise

My soul will rest in Your embrace

For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters

Your sovereign hand

Will be my guide

Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me

You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name

And keep my eyes above the waves

When oceans rise

My soul will rest in Your embrace

For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever You would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever You would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever You would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever You would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever You would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever You would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior

Yeah

Oh Jesus yeah, my God

I will call upon Your Name

Keep my eyes above the waves

My soul will rest in Your embrace

I am Yours and You are mine

Songwriters: Joel Houston / Matt Crocker / Salomon Ligthelm

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

A Spiritual Reflection of the Crucifixion

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I really enjoy this portrayal of Jesus. Just a regular guy. A man of flesh and blood. He was born in a time long, long ago to loving parents here on earth, that nurtured and raised Him into the man who Loved God with all of His heart and Soul. Who was chosen by our Lord, God to save literally billions of human beings from themselves.

Jesus at the age of twelve, in Jerusalem with Joseph and Mary for the Passover festival, as an adolescent traveling with a large group was not missed for two or three days, when His parents realized Jesus was missing from the group they returned to Jerusalem. He stayed behind to be found in the temple studying with teachers.

Luke 2: 48When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” 49And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”*

Our Lord, God brought Jesus to us.  With Him, a new way of life, a new way of thinking. Jesus – brought our Loving Heavenly Father to us, and through Our Father we are  gifted with  the Holy Spirit.

Perhaps you can take a few minutes to visualize what the life of Jesus may have been like, the parts we don’t read about. Regardless of your relationship status, you can relate. A young man? An older gentleman? Woman, teenage girl. Wife, grandparent, husband, single person. We all know children, young men, teenagers – men. Jesus was human. What was His unwritten/unseen life like? These details of His life on earth don’t seem necessary to His overall mission, which is in essence, to bring peace and goodness to the world, to bring others to our Heavenly Father. I think though, it is critical to realize Jesus was a man. His lessons are those we can all live by.

This may sound like an oversimplification, and religiously speaking, it really is, but that is the synopsis or perhaps Spark-note version.

I readily admit, I am reading, studying and learning more about the Holy Bible and Catholic teachings which do conflict (at times). I suppose that’s where the “Cafeteria Catholic” comes in. I read other (Catholic) religious and spiritual writings and I encourage everyone to take some time doing the same. Just as living through life physically is a journey, so must our spiritual self travel to learn and grow.

The following reading is from today’s Divine Office Reading 3/23/16.

Mid-morning reading 1 Timothy 2:4-6
God our saviour wants everyone to be saved and reach full knowledge of the truth. For there is only one God, and there is only one mediator between God and mankind, himself a man, Christ Jesus, who sacrificed himself as a ransom for them all. He is the evidence of this, sent at the appointed time.

I do put a lot of thought into what I write. I do practice Lectio Divena. Roman Catholic Priest do act as mediators – which is against God? I had to return to this verse this morning.

His belief in our Lord, God the Father was so strong, He was so deeply filled with the Holy Spirit that He gave His life to bring us to Him. Matthew 22: 37 Jesus replied: greatestcommandment“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

The price he paid for the sin, of billions of humans – was His life. I think, in a way as a mother considering the man child Jesus, the child, teenager, man – Jesus Christ and understanding that He really was just like you or I in human flesh, with wants, needs, desires. He had human relationships, but He was chosen by God; “John 3:1616For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.

I will note, this is the first bible verse I memorized as a child. This version “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, so that he who believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life” The background reading I have done on this reading/translation, has deeper meaning and value (to me) today than it did as a child. I have found this translations to mean spiritually more than the Catholic Bible translation, and more than the face value written in this paragraph.

I will reference this link What does it mean that Jesus is God’s only begotten son? (not Catholic, but I was researching something from my childhood), which in truth gives a much deeper meaning to the Jesus we all know and hear about. We know He was chosen, but having a better understanding of the original wording/translation puts so much more meaning (and “common sense”) into this phrase. No longer is Jesus, God’s only son, or only a son of God. He is the chosen one, chosen by God, and as we know we are all children of God.

Jesus was God‘s begotten one. His unique human child with Holy Spirit on earth, brought forward for the purpose to bring us to Him. Upon the Crucifixion and resurrection we see the Trinity in full, God the Father, God the Son together in the Holy Spirit.

(4/29/16) In a recent Mass, an elderly Priest was rather upset. He insisted that Jesus WAS God. There are various readings in the bible too that refer to Jesus as human in form on earth prior to the resurrection.

(5/9/17) 1Peter 3:18  “18For Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God. Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the spirit.g”

* [3:18] Suffered: very many ancient manuscripts and versions read “died.” Put to death in the flesh: affirms that Jesus truly died as a human being. Brought to life in the spirit: that is, in the new and transformed existence freed from the limitations and weaknesses of natural human life (cf. 1 Cor 15:45).  NAB (USCCB)

Today (4.29.16) DO Readings include:


Mid-morning reading (Terce)Acts 2:32,36

God raised this man Jesus to life, and all of us are witnesses to that. For this reason the whole House of Israel can be certain that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ.

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No longer concealed in the tomb

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Easter Sunday, the resurrection brought Jesus Christ back to the world. There are different versions of this event. In this DO reading, offer the version the girl in me holds most dear. I know there are other women who feel the same way. Many I have “met” on the pages of Catholic periodical’s online.

Gospel  John 20:11-18

Mary stayed outside near the tomb, weeping. Then, still weeping, she stooped to look inside, and saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head, the other at the feet. They said, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ ‘They have taken my Lord away’ she replied ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’ As she said this she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, though she did not recognize him. Jesus said, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and remove him.’ Jesus said, ‘Mary!’ She knew him then and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbuni!’ – which means Master. Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go and find the brothers, and tell them: I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ So Mary of Magdala went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord and that he had said these things to her.”

This particular reading shows us a side of Jesus and Mary M. in a context many choose to overlook, not acknowledge. The human Jesus that I hold as dear to my heart as the resurrected Christ. Mary M. ran to the disciples to tell that Jesus was gone, they investigated, saw he was gone – and walked away, back home they went.

Mary M. who had traveled with Jesus, followed him, was at the cross when He was nailed to it, remaining at the foot of the cross as His body died away. How can you not read these verses and not picture Mary, laying in heap, mourning the loss of Jesus? Further heartbroken by His missing body. He chose to appear to dear Mary first. A faithful woman, she remained where she last saw Him. Imagine her shock and surprise when he appeared?

Her vision blurred by her tears, not recognizing Him. “Rabbuni” she called out. The translations of this vary; Rabbi, Knowledgeable Rabbi, My Master” according to the US Bishops website (a term also used for husband repeatedly in the Bible). I know, I know. So many dislike thinking Jesus so human but He was, He lived and walked the earth. We don’t know and will likely never know the truth according to scriptures, because there are so many missing years. For myself, the importance of Jesus appearing first to Mary M. shows His respect and love for her. Respect and love I know women often do not feel in the church. The Apostles went off on their own way. Mary M. loved him so that she stayed and wept.  He came – to her. Before completing His earthly mission and ascending to be with God, the Father.

On a personal note, when I began researching “Rabboni” and seeing Master and Lord were also terms for husbands, I came across scriptures where wives are to submit to husbands.  That led me to write Wives Submit to your husbands…

Unfit for the Kingdom of God???   ~   Reflections of St. Luke 9:51-62

Jesus taught in parables. His manner of teaching is taught as fact, and then ignored – or perhaps only understood by a few ? can be distracting at times. I sat listening to a talk in which this reading was explained in the literal sense. I found my lips moving (thankful the voice box was off!) saying “oh, no – that is not what Jesus said”.

What is Jesus talking about in these readings? It sounds scary (what is it about some readings that cause people to tense, become fearful and say… um no???”). Presentation. So, lets take a look at  our master teacher Jesus, and His parables.

Gospel Lk 9:51-62

“When the days for Jesus’ being taken up were fulfilled,

he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem,

and he sent messengers ahead of him.

On the way they entered a Samaritan village

to prepare for his reception there,

but they would not welcome him

because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.

When the disciples James and John saw this they asked,

“Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven

to consume them?”

Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village”.

If we look back to Luke 9:2-5 which I have discussed in my post The Mission of the Twelve we read; 2and he sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal [the sick]. 3He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. 5 And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.” So, it would be natural for Jesus not to be surprised that they were turned away from any location and to chastise His disciples – their reaction was out of line with His teachings.

As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him,

“I will follow you wherever you go.”

Jesus answered him,

“Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,

but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”

Parable? Right. Traveling along on this mission, it’s clear they were turned away from lodgings. We already know He did have a Home as did the rest of the Disciples. In this case – they were traveling.

And to another he said, “Follow me.”

But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”

But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead.

But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

And another said, “I will follow you, Lord,

but first let me say farewell to my family at home.”

To him Jesus said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow

and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Here, Jesus in His normal teaching style is saying “Follow me”, I can almost picture Him standing among a group of people or sitting on a boulder, getting off His feet for a bit and having a refreshment. Right? Casual discussion, important lessons. We know He is the fisher of men. He knows not all will follow. Here, we see a frank exchange, a discussion. “Lord, let me first go and bury my father” Christs reply? “Let the dead bury the dead”. Another states “let me first say farewell to my family at home” Christs reply? “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom.”

Say … what? Jesus is pulling in His net, let’s see which fish He has caught. “Let the dead bury the dead” is stated in translations as let the spiritually dead bury the dead. Now while that is quite possible, I tend to see this more as a case of “don’t use your aging father as an excuse to not spread the “word”. We really are not give a lot to work with here so it is purely speculation. However, when we consider the next sentence “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom.” It is clear, Jesus is saying “Look here folks, if you really are going to follow me to our Father then stay on task (on the path), you’ve put your hand to the plough – don’t back down now. Carry forward. You are called to be a disciple”

We are not being told we have to give up our families. We are not being told we are to give up our friends or home. In fact, what we are being told – clearly is; If you say you will follow me you will spread the word of God. In those times (as even today) it can be dangerous to travel to certain area’s to spread the word but we can do so and we can go with our families too.

Jesus – did not leave His human family and friends until He physically died.   Why would He expect a human being to live life on earth without intimate lifelong loving relationships???  Nonsensical – mixed up by humans unable to see the difference of parable – and *living the blessed life God gifted each and everyone of us with*. 

In truth, we really do not know that Jesus the human was not married.  There are indications that He may have been.  Mary M. was the first person He appeared to upon resurrection.  She was financially self sufficient if indications that she financially supported Him and the ministry – she did not need to be taken  in when He passed.  Being without sin certainly does not indicate He was not married . . .  His mission is what we learn of, His lesson.  He had loving relationships that very well may have included a wife and children (remember – Rabbi’s were married).  We could go back and forth on this but in the end it is not worth a real argument.  It ends with “we do not know the truth in this”.  We do know – God made us for Love as human beings, designed for human relationships, emotionally, physically and spiritually.  We do know for a fact Jesus both lived at home and traveled with – and died in view of those people who were His loving human family, friends and beloved.

In the Church of Latter Day Saints, young adults “How long is a mission for a Mormon? Many missionaries learn a new language at a missionary training center as part of their assignment. Missions typically last two years for males, 18 months for females, and 6 to 18 months for older couples. The LDS Church strongly encourages, but does not require, missionary service for young men.” I remember reading about this when I was younger, and it came to mind again when I came across an article on Elizabeth Smart and that she and her husband met abroad, on “mission”. – My Christian (Protestant) grandparents used to offer financial and emotional support to missionaries. They assisted several couples over the years (some whom I had met).

It is I think a sad thing, that the simple words of Jesus, taught in parables are too often taken literally. In reality, our loving Father did not create His children only to directly serve Him. Love (God) created love. He who created us, did so in a manner that we would be drawn to loving and helping each other, in peaceful and loving relationships. Yes, that parable of Adam and Eve does explain free will (which is not all bad) but we also have the Holy Spirit within to guide us and help us grow through life with each other, in God, toward our Heavenly Father.

In what ways do you serve as a Disciple of Christ?

It’s all about ~ Love

Before I get out of bed in the morning, I read the bible. I like to read the daily Mass readings whether I am headed out the door to church or if I am home. After reading the Mass readings this morning, I skipped over to another section of the Divine Office readings “about today”. The below readings were part of what was written in that area. Favorites of mine.

Mid-morning reading (Terce) 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.

Noon reading (Sext) 1 Corinthians 13:8-9,13

Love does not come to an end. But if there are gifts of prophecy, the time will come when they must fail; or the gift of languages, it will not continue for ever; and knowledge – for this, too, the time will come when it must fail. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect. In short, there are three things that last: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love.

Afternoon reading (None) Colossians 3:14-15

Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body. Always be thankful.

We are blessed people to have our God. We are gifted both with His love and with the abilities to give and receive love. I have learned not to underestimate the power of love and what it can do in our lives if we are are able to be open to it. Something that sounds simple, but for many of us it is a painful struggle. Experience may have taught that love hurts. Love does not hurt, only people who don’t know how to love hurt.

In truly loving others, giving of self, we do this in practice by treating everyone we encounter in a loving way. From the delivery man, grocery employee, bank vice president, people we work with or for and our friends and family. There are no limits in truly loving and sharing God..

Are you open to giving and receiving love?

True Love ~ 1 Corinthians

Love as Found in;  1 Corinthians 12:13-13

The chapter title reads “The Supremacy of Charity”.

“Be ambitious for the higher gifts. And I am going to show you a way that is better than any of them

If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. If I have the gift of prophecy, understanding all the mysteries there are, and knowing everything, and if I have faith in all its fullness, to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all. If I give away all that I possess, piece by piece, and if I even let them take my body to burn it, but am without love, it will do me no good whatever.

Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offense, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.

Love does not come to an end. But if there are gifts of prophecy, the time will come when they must fail; or the gift of languages, it will not continue for ever; and knowledge – for this, too, the time will come when it must fail. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect; but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will disappear. When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and think like a child, and argue like a child, but now I am a man, all childish ways are put behind me. Now we are seeing a dim reflection in a mirror; but then we shall be seeing face to face. The knowledge that I have now is imperfect; but then I shall know as fully as I am known.

In short, there are three things that last: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love.”

As pointed out during the homily, several of these verses are often requested to be used in a marriage ceremony. Reading and listening to it at Mass, spending time with my Bible – and reading in full context it is all right there for me to see.

What stands out to me most is this:   Now we are seeing a dim reflection in a mirror; but then we shall be seeing face to face. The knowledge that I have now is imperfect; but then I shall know as fully as I am known. Stay with me here, I will backtrack to the beginning shortly.

The truth of Love is right in this passage. Today I see in my reflection but a dim light of you, my Lord, God. I know I have so much to learn and that you will guide me. I know, one day I shall fully be in you as you are in me today.

This entire reading is about understanding the gifts that God graces us with. The first two sentences above: “Be ambitious for the higher gifts. And I am going to show you a way that is better than any of them. these, are the final two sentences in the previous chapter, which discusses Spiritual gifts and what is being taught next rises far above any of those gifts. If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. If I have the gift of prophecy, understanding all the mysteries there are, and knowing everything, and if I have faith in all its fullness, to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all. If I give away all that I possess, piece by piece, and if I even let them take my body to burn it, but am without love, it will do me no good whatever.

There are people, and we all know someone that is charismatic, simply knew how to turn the charm – and off at a moments notice. I am not referring to someone who has a bad day or an event that has thrown them for a “loop”. Maybe that fair weather friend who extends a hand, only to show their true colors are not about friendship and love. You realize their motives were based on selfishness. Those are actions feigning love, but empty. The words and actions fall in a loud crash to the floor.

Or Prophecy – an intuitive knowledge, vision – even with having “faith in all its fullness” means nothing without love, A prophet must have a deep loving relationship with God in order to serve Him. True prophecy is a serious responsibility, which may be able to “move mountains” but without that bond of love with God, may veer off course of what He is asking or directing. Proper discernment is needed.

If I give away all that I possess and even let them take me and kill me in the name of God, but I do not truly Love God, I am nothing. I know a man who once gave all of his belongings away and kept only a minimal amount of clothing, looked like a beggar and claimed to do this for God, he was without love. Lost, lonely unable to love or receive love – closed off.

Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offense, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.

God is Love. Love is God. He is in me, the Holy Spirit resides within my body His temple. I walk with Jesus, I pray/speak to God. God is patient and kind, God is never jealous, boastful or conceited. He is never rude or selfish and does not take offense, he is not resentful. God takes no pleasure in our human sin – but delights upon our truths. He will always excuse, trust, offer hope and He endures all that comes our way with us. He is our Loving Father.

Love does not come to an end. But if there are gifts of prophecy, the time will come when they must fail; or the gift of languages, it will not continue for ever; and knowledge – for this, too, the time will come when it must fail. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect; but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will disappear.

Love does not come to an end because God is infinite.  He is the Alpha and the Omega. Gifts of Prophecy will fail (to err is human). How many times has it been said the world would end? The gift of languages will not continue forever (languages are dying off). knowledge is ever changing, as more things are learned and taught. Even in cases of religions – right? Only God is perfect, when He comes at the end all imperfect things fall away and only Love – only God is left.

Because our Father is so loving, He graces us with these gifts and it is for us to practice, improve on- celebrate with each other. Love is an action word that we practice & celebrate with others, God is living – our love must be living.

Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offense, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.

(Our) Love does not come to an end, because our hope, when we die is to have our eternal rest with God, as God lives forever- so will the love we carry in our hearts. Our love for our spouse, children, family, friends – everyone.

In short, there are three things that last: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is… love.

Originally published: 02 Feb 2016

 

Christian Reformation

 

Rumblings have begun.  Throughout various Christian churches people are calling for reformation.  Acceptance among some denominations to allow for female 15823431_1056573637798238_7958033138514324021_nPriests and Deacons that in years past were not allowed.  Acceptance among some denominations for same sex relationships.  Attention paid to the hows and why they Bible was written and what God really hopes we glean from it.  Sifting through facts – and fiction.  Droves of people seeking (Christian) Spiritual Enlightenment.

Below I have posted (with links) the first of this years series of Daily Meditations by Ftr Richard Rorh I am excited to see these current writings (this is past due!) on rebuilding the Christianity from the bottom up.  Here I will admit, I have not yet read volumes of his writings. I haven’t known about him all that long.  I looked him up after hearing his name in a homily.  I realized I knew what he spoke about and hadn’t realized there were other people who thought this way, who understood a Spiritual (vs. Reglious) Path.  Though for sure he is a Franciscan Priest, he is open to and accepting of other Christian denominations as well as other Religions.  We are all one.  Please – be sure to look him up.  If you’re interested in Spiritual growth – he is a Spiritual Master.

The teachings I am familiar with in his writings are spot on and respect persons of the 21st century.  There is a call to return to the very basic teachings of Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the reason for Christianity.  Too many well meaning people over the centuries have twisted and turned His very simple teachings.  The church is shrinking. These twists and turns are responsible for this loss of belief.  

I know the Roman Catholic Church must oil their wheels and make shifts far more quickly than they are used in order to properly grow in Christ.  This trend of  closing parishes and “speak” of a smaller but stronger church is not going to please our Father.  It shows a lack of growth from within the walls.  Most of the men of the church are glued to very old fashioned ways, and have confused ways of man that  not are what the direct teachings of Jesus Christ were. Said with love. 

Accepting we must return back to the teachings of Jesus –  His roots.  Simple, Basic Truths.  Love.  God is Love, Love is God.  However, considering the work of Jesus with the many disciples we know his intention was to teach of our loving God, simple commandments and living in love and respect for one another.

The Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church hold power.  They know they do. I pray the Holy Spirit touches them deeply within, in ways they have never felt before.  They hold the power of change. They hold the power of growth.  Power has been  known to be dangerous. Blessed, divine power is to be used for the good of all.  As painful as it may be to study, learn  accept and make changes – it must be.  For the good of the people – who are “the church”.

In upcoming articles I will be sharing more thoughts on the shrinking church, outdated rules, laws and traditions and how they affect the current slump in attendance.  Idea’s of how change may really be for the overall good and growth of God’s children and our (my) Christian faith.  – I teach 8th & 9th grade faith formation (part of the Confirmation classes).  Tuesday night three kids showed up – none attend Mass (church).  Last night five kids showed up, two never attend mass, one skips past the question and the other two – on rare occasion, even though mom goes every week.  The future of the church.  Foreboding?  Changes need to be made, WD-40 for the squeaky wheels.  The time has come.


From the Bottom Up: Introduction

Making Christianity Relevant Again
Sunday, January 1, 2017

“Our religion is not working well. Christianity is now seen as “irrelevant” by many and 15740804_1760626520615983_1025981791997870865_noften as part of the problem more than any kind of solution. . . . It would seem Jesus’ teaching about the reign of God has had little impact, except among people who surrendered to great love and great suffering. It’s time to rediscover the Gospel and rebuild from the bottom up.” —Richard Rohr  

From the bottom up: Introduction {Richard Rorh}

“What will make a difference to the future is awakening to a faith that fully communicates God’s love—a love that transforms how we believe, what we do, and who we are in the world. —Diana Butler Bass [1]

Our religion is not working well. Another year has ended—a new year begins—in which suffering, fear, violence, injustice, greed, and meaninglessness still abound. This is not even close to the reign of God that Jesus taught. And we must be frank: in their behavior and impact upon the world, Christians are not much different than other people.

The majority of Christians are not highly transformed people, but tend to reflect their own culture more than they operate as any kind of leaven within it. I speak especially of American Christians, because I am one. But if you are from another country, look at the Christians where you live and see if the same is true there.

Let’s be honest: religion has probably never had such a bad name. Christianity is now seen as “irrelevant” by many and often as part of the problem more than any kind of solution. Some of us are almost embarrassed to say we are Christian because of the negative images that word conjures in others’ minds. Young people especially are turned off by how judgmental, exclusionary, impractical, and ineffective Christian culture seems to be. The church seems hostile toward most science (the objective outer world) and thus unable to talk about its inner dimensions with any authority. As we saw in the recent U.S. election, Christians overall showed little prophetic or compassionate presence.

Most Christians have not been taught how to plug into the “mind of Christ;” thus they often reflect the common mind of power, greed, and war instead. The dualistic mind reads reality in simple binaries—good and bad, right and wrong—and thinks itself smart because it chooses one side. This is getting us nowhere.

Throughout the history of Christianity, it would seem Jesus’ teaching has had little impact, except among people who surrendered to great love and great suffering. Could this be the real core of the Gospel? Such people experience God rather than merely having disconnected ideas about God. We need the mind of mystics now to offer any kind of alternative—contemplative or nondual—consciousness. We need practice-based religion that teaches us how to connect with the Infinite in ways that actually change us from our finite perspectives.

We must rediscover what St. Francis called the “marrow of the Gospel.” It’s time to rebuild from the bottom up. If the foundation is not solid and sure, everything we try to build on top of it is weak and ineffective. Perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise that so much is tumbling down around us. It’s time to begin again. This will be our new Daily Meditation theme: rebuilding from the bottom up. Auspiciously, this year is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s important attempts at reform.

In the year 1205, Jesus spoke to Francis through the San Damiano cross: “Francis, rebuild my church, for you see it is falling into ruin.” If Jesus himself says the church is falling into ruin, I guess we can admit it also without being accused of being negative or unbelieving. Maybe we have to admit it for anything new and good to happen.

Through these daily reflections I will delve into the meaning of Christianity’s powerful “first principles,” or essential elements, in this order: God as Trinity, the Cosmic Christ, the life and teaching of Jesus, and other teachings of Incarnational and Mystical Christianity. Even if you aren’t Christian, I hope you will find universal principles here that you can apply to your own spiritual journey.” R. Rorh

His gifts (lessons from Jesus)

The gifts (lessons) Jesus brought to us, are often told in parables.  In my essay Discipleship I shared verse from the book of Mark, which is where Jesus explains He taught with parables.

Jesus did not teach in literal terms in order to help the peoples of that time learn, He taught in a manner that all listening could understand, despite where they fall upon a learning curve.  It is so important to understand the written word, is taught by Jesus, in parables.

Recent mornings reading of the Gospel:

Gospel of St. John 6:52-59

The Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ they said.

Jesus replied:

‘I tell you most solemnly,

if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,

you will not have life in you.

Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood

has eternal life,

and I shall raise him up on the last day.

For my flesh is real food

and my blood is real drink.

He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood

lives in me

and I live in him.

As I, who am sent by the living Father,

myself draw life from the Father,

so whoever eats me will draw life from me.

This is the bread come down from heaven;

not like the bread our ancestors ate:

they are dead,

but anyone who eats this bread will live forever.’

He taught this doctrine at Capernaum, in the synagogue.

Reading the footnotes on these readings on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, they tell us “Spirit flesh: probably not a reference to the Eucharistic body of Jesus but to the supernatural and the natural, as in.   Spirit and life: all Jesus said about the bread of life is the revelation of the Spirit.”

There is actually quite a bit to be found on the history and celebration of the Eucharist – in the Roman Catholic Church.  There was a day when it was a very simple (but deep) reminder of the love of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and God the Father. 

The Church has changed teachings on this as well as other sacraments over the years.   I have enjoyed reading some of the things various Saints have said about the Holy Eucharist and do plan on reading more about this sacrament. 

Transubstantiation was not taught until the Council of Trent in 1551 and so it has been taught for the past 500 years or so.  Other things have evolved with the Eucharist that when reading does show the doctrine has been changed over the years, more recently to allow for Eucharistic ministers, bread without wine, I was taught not to chew the host, now people do, etc. 

There are obvious reasons for people questioning teachings, from what I read and hear.

There really is a lot of history in this sacrament, teaching show clearly there was a day when there was universal church that taught “do this in memory of me”, no transubstantiation taking place, formalities in the simplest of sense – per St. Paul:

1 Corinthians 11:23-26   “For this is what I received from the Lord, and in turn passed on to you: that on the same night that he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread, and thanked God for it and broke it, and he said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this as a memorial of me.’ In the same way he took the cup after supper, and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me.’ Until the Lord comes, therefore, every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are proclaiming his death, So to sum up, my dear brothers, when you meet for the Meal, wait for one another”. (Universalis)

St. Mathew 26:26   The Lord’s Supper. 26  While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” 27Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, 28l for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. 29* I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father.” 30 Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. (usccb)

What this all points back to is our lord, Jesus Christ.  He is to be a true focal point in our lives, as part of the Holy Trinity.  What is He telling us in this reading today?

Jesus was sent by our Lord, God the Father to bring us to Him.  We are not reading about literally drinking His blood or eating of his body in this text.    He is teaching us;  -cling to my words and my actions and I will lead you to Our Father-Our Lord God is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, in Him we shall live forever.  Jesus perhaps refers to coming down from Heaven because we look up to our Lord, God.

Jesus was God’s gift to us, to teach us how to live lives of love and peace with one another through God our Father who gifts us with all.  We are all, each and every one of us part of this – together.  Our lives are not about dying in body, but dying in spirit to be reborn to a new way of life, living, giving, sharing – loving. In God.

I will encourage you once again to read your bible thoughtfully, prayerfully.  Listen.  There is much to be learned about life and love within those pages.  There is much to be learned about life and love through our prayer life too.

What can you do today, that will bring heaven into your midst?  Love.  Love as Jesus has taught us, love with heart mind and soul.  Everyone.

 

“You have turned it into a robbers’ den!”

As Christians, we are called to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Noon reading 2 Corinthians 13:4

“He was crucified through weakness, but still he lives now through the power of God. So then, we are weak, as he was, but we shall live with him, through the power of God, for your benefit.”

Through the weakness of man, He was crucified, died and buried.  By the Power of our loving Father – He was raised from the dead as a means to save through bringing us to His Father.

Sometimes people confuse this verse to mean Jesus died due to His human weakness, but this refers to the choice of others not to accept His teachings.  His teachings in the Gospel are really radical, full of love and compassion for others.

The Law that Jesus teaches us to follow are these:

greatestcommandment

He followed the Ten Commandments and we are expected to.  He also taught through beatitudes11.jpg

Over the centuries many other teachings, rules and laws have been put in place by people both within and outside of religions.  These are the Christian teachings – of Jesus Christ.  My heart was warmed this past Monday morning, I attended Mass.  An elderly Priest was there to serve Mass.  He spoke of God and faith, religion – and – made up laws.  Truly, I could see and hear a  change and know the Holy Spirit must have touched him deeply. In the past he towed a very hard, harsh line.

~

There are times I picture Him  (Jesus) in our churches (note the plural tense – not in relation to any “one denomination”) Raising His voice, turning over table and saying “not in my Fathers house!”.   I can see why others have moved on to do their good works for our Father.

Gospel St. Luke 19:45-48    (Today’s Gospel Reading)

“Jesus went into the Temple and began driving out those who were selling. ‘According to scripture,’ he said ‘my house will be a house of prayer. But you have turned it into a robbers’ den.’

 He taught in the Temple every day. The chief priests and the scribes, with the support of the leading citizens, tried to do away with him, but they did not see how they could carry this out because the people as a whole hung on his words.”

Indeed.  A robbers’ den.  Thing is – when most people read this they are thinking this reading is all about money.  Of coarse in part it is.  However, let’s be real here – what do you really think Jesus is talking about? 

What I see is a man (God the Son) filled to the brim fed up,  watching those in power, steal and destroy human beings at their core. 

We know that God chose His only Begotten son, Jesus to teach the err of our ways, instruct us how to live – loving lives.  To bring us to our Father who has gifted us with so much.  While there is some financial greed in churches, inflated ego –  the real theft is of person.  

Destroying the Divine Love (light within) in humans that only God can give!!!

When one considers we are all born in His image;

Genesis 1:27 “27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” 

Psalm 139:13-14″For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

How many times have people been ostracized for not fitting the mold of man made laws and rules?  Millions of times?  Billions? 

Of course we need some type of structure to our lives and the very word organization – means organize.  That does not mean we should be stepping on – and removing, human rights from individuals as a people, religion – or denomination. 

If we are brutally honest, we will see the err of ways. See and accept the simple teachings of Jesus Christ, and, bring others to God the Father. 

With love, kindness and the help of the Holy Spirit, may we all consider these words and make what  choices or changes can be made to correct the lack of real, true love that has been tossed aside – and not embraced by all who claim to love and follow His teachings. 

May there be an awakening of those in power, through the Holy Spirit, love of Jesus Christ and with the Holy Spirit.

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Consider too – God is not in a box.  His works are outside of a bubble, and found living in the world.  Just as Jesus taught in the temple, lived life and did the majority of His work in living life.  That’s how people find Jesus. That’s how people find God.

 

Those that don’t know God – won’t enter a church.  We are called to bring God to people , and to him throughout our lives.  Make sense?

 

Thoughts worth contemplating.

 

Blessings ~

 

Closed minds are not Godly

With news of the election results here in the United States a division can be seen among Americans in a way I have not seen before. While there has been division before, this seems larger than that.

I see ignorance and taunting.  Educated human beings, lacking the emotional capacity to truly empathize, and love others as Jesus Christ would do. Even among my own religion I see this, having just read a letter from a local religious leader, there is continuation of an inability to grasp the intellectual and emotional growth outside of their walls, not by all but by those in power.

In all cases I am seeing a tendency  for some overblown egos … who don’t even realize that they have one.

People in powerful positions who fail to have the knowledge, experience and ability to truly empathize with other human beings is a misuse of power.  When one closes off their mind, heart – and soul they are unable to truly lead anyone in a positive manner.

With all of the gifts we have been given in Trinity there is so much abundance.  There is room for everyone in the United States ,and there is room for everyone in the Kingdom of God, both here in our physical life, and after our passing from this life.

It frightens me honestly to seen this inability in leaders because situations are going to implode upon them and they don’t see it coming.  We can’t build a fence along the entire southern border of the US.  We cannot fill up buses or planes and just send people who have established lives “away”.  I don’t care if you’re gay, straight, muslim, jew, christian, or buddhist, I love youwe’re all in this life together

A unity could be seen, in some area’s still in infancy, some on toddler or preteen stages.  We cannot allow this growth to regress.

We need to pray for all of our leaders.  Government and Religious who are removed from real life experience, they cannot see the forest through the trees.  Sadder yet, is to see them make jokes of God’s gifts and too often I hear that gong banging…

A portion of today’s readings from the Divine Office;

Mid-morning reading:
Romans 12:17,19-20,21
Never repay evil with evil. As scripture says: Vengeance is mine – I will pay them back, says the Lord. But there is more: If your enemy is hungry, you should give him food, and if he is thirsty, let him drink. Resist evil and conquer it with good.

Noon reading:
1 John 3:16
This has taught us love – that he gave up his life for us; and we, too, ought to give up our lives for our brothers.

Afternoon reading:
1 John 4:9-11
God’s love for us was revealed when God sent into the world his only Son so that we could have life through him; this is the love I mean: not our love for God, but God’s love for us when he sent his Son to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away. My dear people, since God has loved us so much, we too should love one another.

~I’m going to share a little story of my life.  Some of you who know me, or those of you who have read my blog from the beginning,  have heard part of this.  I was born without hip sockets in 1962.  Medical technology wasn’t the same then as it is now, combine that with having parents who were not well-educated and lived a bit of a gypsy lifestyle – I was almost four years old before I was diagnosed and what I refer to as guinea-pig surgery became part of my life. 

One time I was in the hospital for over 7 months straight, sent home only because the measles were going around the hospital and had not yet hit my ward.  The surgeries failed and in truth ended up causing me a lot more problems (and pain) than I had prior to.  Good intentions though and what they learned with me enabled them to help other kids.  I do find solace in that . 

Now, I am going to skip past years and many details of my life, I’ll add in the short sentence:  I was married for 20 years to a man who was physically, emotionally and spiritually abusive.  It was a lonely sad life, during which I did undergo three surgeries in which I had hip sockets constructed (and I “grew” 4″ taller! – in my 30’s).  I wouldn’t wish any of these experiences on anyone.

The first reading above, never repay evil with evil is what brings this part of my life to my writing this evening.  Several months ago my former husband  was in a very bad motorcycle accident.  His pelvis was crushed (he lost a testicle, almost both…).  Very traumatic, painful.  I still remember the phone call from my son and how I felt.  My very first thoughts were to God to protect and save him.  That surprises people who don’t know me, those that know me were not surprised.  What did surprise me is in recent weeks all three of our sons have commented on how they had felt it was deserved and now he knows what I have endured my lifetime.  He apparently walks with a bit of a limp, is having a difficult time maneuvering which makes his work difficult – and he is in pain. 

While it is good my sons felt able to confide their feelings to me, it made me sad that they would consider retribution of this sort being just, because that is not what God teaches us.  So, I had some good discussions with the boys  (separately).

The next two verses tell us of God’s love for us and His desire for us to truly love one another.  I try to live this in my every day life and I pray to grow in this. 

I have to consider what I have said about people in powerful places, leaders above and pray for them – and I will add as a survivor of domestic violence this very real truth;

There are things in life we learn as we grow.  Some of these truths are realizations of those powerful folks using methods of emotional, physical and spiritual – abuse.  These things may be laying below the surface and not visible, but, to the persons being abused.  Our loving Father does not look lightly upon anything that hurts his children.  We are committed to Him directly not the government of a country, employer or religious institution.   I have read judgemental comments stating recently, in reference I believe to things I have spoken of – things like “not wanting that on my conscience”. 

I’ll take that and raise you one

I would not be able to live with myself, seeing truths, not to voice them, at times in very painstaking ways because I fear the hurt it may cause . . . not because of “my conscience” – but because I answer to my Triune God.  The Father, The Son & The Holy Spirit. 

~Blessings & Prayers for all of the courageous people who work hard to have an open mind and accepting heart.   f-john8_-31-32

Spiritual Seeds

Recent readings from a morning  Mass are good reading and for me show interesting aspects of Spiritual growth.  Spirituality can mean different things to different people.  For myself, this is my relationship with our Triune God. 

The three readings are helpful for me show interesting aspects of Spiritual growth.  Spirituality can mean different things to different people.  For myself, this is my relationship with God, Jesus & the Holy Spirit.1

The first reading this morning was from the book of Jeremiah which I am not going to quote in the entirety, realizing this was written at a time when the nations were at war. Here we have another reminder in the Bible that God created each and every one of us and he did so with a purpose in mind Jeremiah is told his purpose is to be a prophet to the nations, to tear down – and build up.  This I am going to look at in the spiritual sense.

 

As we go through life in order to grow spiritually strong, we will go through many challenges.  If we look at events as challenges – not obstacles in our growth, they become more of an ally – a friend, than a fear or foe.  dYes, it’s putting the positive spin on situations, finding whatever good we can in them in order to push through and out the other side to be able to grow in our spiritual strength.  When we are spiritually strong, we are better able to serve God and others.  Far easier to type or read than it is to go through, it is hard work at times.  As we grow through life experiences there is a tearing away of who we were and a then the building or planting of the new, wiser, stronger self – who is able to offer more to others, which is pleasing to God. 

 

The next reading at Mass are excerpts from Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4a, 5-6ab, 15 and 17

 

Here praise is given to our Lord for all that He is and has done for us, from the moment of conception. 3

In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, and deliver me;
incline your ear to me, and save me.

 

Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked.

 

For you are my hope, O Lord;
my trust, O God, from my youth.
On you I depend from birth;
from my mother’s womb you are my strength.

 

My mouth shall declare your justice,
day by day your salvation.
O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.

                                                   I will sing of your salvation.

 

A very important aspect of a prayerful life is to remember to honor and share our gratitude with God for all He is and all He has given.  5This too is a way of growing spiritually, as we sit before our Lord – to put Him first, before our cares and worries (which He already knows about).  Just like seeing a friend “Hello, how are you?  So good to spend time with you, thank you dear God, thank you for . . .”  God before self.

 

 

 

Lastly, the third reading, the Gospel of St. Mathew 13:1-9

 

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In this story Jesus explains very clearly how we may begin our faith journey with the intention of following Him to God.  Some start off on a path, trampled into hard ground by those walking to and for.  The ground has not been worked or fertilized, the seeds fall and roll – a bird comes by and finds some dinner.  The seed never taking hold.6

Next, we have some seeds that fall on rocky soil.  They take root but there are not many plants hardy enough to survive in the shallow soil, where rocks block the ability for roots to take a deep hold.  With strong sunlight, the leaves burn and the plants die – having no roots deep in the soil to provide moisture for sustenance and growth.

 Walking off the beaten path, we lose some seeds from our pocket – they fall among weeds and having so many so close together they choke out the little seedlings trying to grow, offering little crop.

Lastly, we plant our seeds in loose, fertile soil – full of nutrients, few stones or pebbles to block the way of the roots ability to grow deep allowing the plants themselves to flourish and produce a large number of strong plants.

In our humanness, there will be those that start off in their faith journey like our first seeds, snatched away by the birds.  We have people that struggle to grow among the rocks in their surroundings, not able or ready to move on to more fertile land, some survive their journey but are not able to grow strong roots. 

Those folks who are surrounded by the weeds, or perhaps more easily explained as others who do not believe, will may be smothered by the sinfulness around them and here we will find few able to flourish and grow to a great depth. 

The final planting is in fertile ground, people who are nurtured and cared for who will be able to grow and continue to grow their roots of faith and spirituality deep in the love of God.

I heard an interesting scenario, which can serve as a good reminder.  If care isn’t taken the good soil may wash away to less fertile ground, or a rocky path.  I found this interesting for a couple of reasons.  First – it is a great reminder to stay focused on God in our faith journey.  The example given interested me because it mentioned change in person’s demeanor that could lead: sic: to less fertile ground.  This is true, however one must also carefully consider the full context of a given scenario.  What is really a danger to the soil or – a new fertilizer that will enable the plants to grow and flourish, care must be given in that consideration.  Also, those birds may have dropped some of those seeds from that first part of our story, on fertile ground where in time they took root and grew to be strong and solid.  This too happens with humans.

Serious care must be given to all of God’s children – embrace the final words of Jesus in this story “Whoever has ears ought to hear”.  Just as we must take care to remain in fertile ground, stay close to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit – any one of us, may begin our lives in a thorny patch of weeds –  and find ourselves transplanted with life changes to strong and fertile soil with our roots growing to a great depth with God, Jesus & the Holy Spirit.

 

Choice, Chance, Change & God

I was talking with a friend recently.  We found ourselves thinking about our lives, the paths we chose,  the knowledge that we have been graced with the ability and options to make choices and decisions to travel different roads.

We are all gifted with the ability to make choices in our lives.  Often, we put a lot of time and thought into decisions that are going to affect not only ourselves but other people.  While we have to look at how it will affect others, the truth is we have to discern what is really best for ourselves because God is within.  I add caution to say not best for ourselves in a selfish way, rather – in a true honest and loving way.  Too often people put their unhappiness on God, but God is such an awesome loving being – all we have is from His abundant love.

Earlier today I read this reading from today’s DO.

Mid-morning reading   1 John 4:16

“We ourselves have known and put our faith in God’s love towards ourselves. God is love and anyone who lives in love lives in God, and God lives in him.”

I have read through this a few times today, each time my eyes read this a little differently from the way it is written.  What I read is more like this;We know and trust God loves us.  He is love.  He loves us.  We know He knows us intimately, inside and out.  Our thoughts, desires and our human needs.  Our needs to be truly cared for and truly loved.  Our need to have and participate in loving relationships.  He created us this way, this is why it is written all throughout the bible that he created pairs of humans and pairs of animals to live and share life with.  This is natural, this is His gift to us.
Needs are not to be confused with. . .

Noon reading  Galatians 6:7-8

“What a man sows, he reaps. If he sows in the field of self-indulgence he will get a harvest of corruption out of it; if he sows in the field of the Spirit he will get from it a harvest of eternal life.”

. . . Needs are not to be confused with self-indulgence.  There are times, particularly within strict religious teachings that teachers will confuse the two and suggest that the true gift of desire that God gifts us with is not a true gift but something self-indulgent.  It is not the same at all. 

True Godly desire of caring, loving, intimate relationships is pure and both self emptying and filling back up by those we love.  Like that power exchange we hear about and that I wrote a bit about in my article on marriage.  Our weakness may be found in our love and our strength may be found in the same love – we exchange.

Self-indulgence is when one acts upon a whim with no consideration of others, their needs, it’s not give and take – it becomes “take”.

When we sow our seeds, plant ourselves firmly in Spirit we are reaching God, we walk toward light and goodness with one another.  That caring, loving intimate relationship with another will find eternal love with our creator, our Lord.

Afternoon reading  (Galatians 6:9-10)

“We must never get tired of doing good, and then we shall get our harvest at the proper time. While we have the chance, we must do good to all, and especially to our brothers in the faith.”

What happens when we live our lives bringing good into the lives of those around us?  Good flows back to us.  Gods design – not?  I am not thrilled with the words “especially to our brothers and sisters in faith” because that doesn’t sound Christlike – it sounds Paulish but after all St. Paul was human so I suppose I have to overlook that.  You understand what I mean though – no?  We should always work to do good, not matter who it is for, as we are on this earth are all children of God.  No one better than the next.

 

When we look at our lives at the beginning as young people our eyes are big and we are excited and so very sure our lives will play out in a certain way.  Our parents will be proud of us and God – our Father will be proud of our choices and decisions.  As a mom looking at my sons right now (22 – 28) I realize an innocence they had (as did all of us I suppose).  I also realize looking at my 22 year old who is taking on the responsibility of being a dad (etc.) that he is at the very beginning of a journey.

 

tworoads

While he thinks he sees all that may lay ahead, I know as an older experienced and wiser person that he is in for a heck of a ride.   He has had options thus far and has chosen the path that is right for him right now.  A path I hope will work out well and be the correct one for all concerned.

The truth is there are going to be times that he feels like he is traveling that road alone but for God and – he will be. path-pic Wet, muddy, fog down the road.  Not quite clear on choices.

 

 

Among our choices we really do have more than one path that can take.  The easiest is two-paths-same-destinationusually to remain in the place in which we are most familiar, with  very little chance of change to our lives or growth.  

Sometimes we may make a choice to change our path, merge with change and others on a different path.

 

When we consider and embrace we have the choice, to take a chance to make change in our lives it can be a really scary realization.  When I left my marriage after twenty years, 754fc4071c3255a51244d0cdeb0b371aI made a choice to take a chance to change my life and the lives of those in my life and – I did.  What a growth experience this has been!!!  I realize now how courageous I really am.

d166c6ba2fc430cc9da00131adf9436bPlaces He may want you to be. 

Discern what you want.  Discern what the God you know are or are really beginning to see in a new light may want.  They say there is more than one way to skin a cat – and there is more than one way to arrive at the same destination. 

When we consider changing our lives, we look at those closest to us, and those whose lives we touch but not in the same intimate way.  Remember God created us to be loving human beings with … needs and desires to be with others in caring, loving relationships

Jesus calls us to be disciples.  We can do both within our homes and without and we can very definitely share God, teach, evangelize and most likely reach people in deeper ways when we are able to have true friendships and relationships with them.  Let the walls down.

I have Miss Little in my midst.  How many ways has my faith touched her life?  How many ways will it touch Baby Little?  How many people will God reach throughout them over their own lifetimes.  It is less about the masses of humans and more about the individuals that we touch and reach in life.  Consider the parable of Jesus sending the disciples out into the world.  We will reach who He intends us to and how that works in His plan is His knowing.

34886d5ae6bf24027dcaad738d325b79Always turn to our Father.

Remain open, listen and He will make paths straight.  Change can be scary no matter what it is.  Staying in the same spot can be scarier. 

Jesus Christ did not teach planting seeds and growth for amusement.  It is fully the intention of our Father that we grow in faith – and in truly living life.  No matter what  a choice is He loves us and we are loved by others.  Real love allows our loves to be free to make choices, support them – but we can still say, hey – I am here too.

My choice of allowing Miss Little into our lives and hearts is to become a Nona (with not a drop of Italian blood I must admit) in just a matter of a few weeks.  I’ll be holding a little tiny baby boy – something I have barely ever honestly considered.  Even with all of the shopping and planning and – even making an appointment for the kids to meet with (my sons) Pediatrician in two weeks.  A nona.  Noni.  Hmmm.

What change will your choice bring into your life?  The lives of others?  So many options, so many doorways to step through.  With love, support of others who have walked in your path is there – as is support from a love no matter what.

~Blessings

A new coat

This mornings first reading is one often spoken or referred to.  I think it is one of the most beautiful readings, one that when lived, brings us both closer to God, and He further into our midst.  Humility.  Empathy, Love. Serving each other.

First reading
Philippians 2:1-4
 

“If our life in Christ means anything to you, if love can persuade at all, or the Spirit that we have in common, or any tenderness and sympathy, then be united in your convictions and united in your love, with a common purpose and a common mind. That is the one thing which would make me completely happy. There must be no competition among you, no conceit; but everybody is to be self-effacing. Always consider the other person to be better than yourself, So that nobody thinks of his own interests first but everybody thinks of other people’s interests instead.”

However, it can be challenging to find a healthy balance between serving others, giving of yourself and being true to the person God wants me to be.  Huh?  I know, Right – what did I throw in there?

I have been giving some serious thought to this of late.  I’ve had some conversations with my Father and I am beginning to see that while I give great advice (ahem), I have to step back once in a while and say “Is this right for me?”,  “How do I really feel about this?”,  “Is this what God wants?”, “Spirit – where are you leading me?”.

There have been several times in the past few days that have given me pause.  In truth I feel gratitude for having different experiences.  My formative years were spent in a more formal environment than many of my peers (it seems).  I remember dinning with my fathers business partners and being served a finger bowl and finger tip towel. 

I’ve had the occasion to dine out with a younger mother who, though picked restaurants herself had no idea of the menu prices or etiquette at “finer” establishments. Because of my experience growing up,  I felt confidant.  I totally enjoyed her company and was able to keep her comfortable despite any  faux paus.  At the end of our meal I suggested a pizza place near her home for our next adventure out. 

It was fun to share these new experiences with her – just as much as I will enjoy sharing a pizza at our next monthly moms out.  I was also happy to learn after chatting with her over time (she is the housekeeper for my office) that after our last dinner out, she chose to take the big step and register her son for faith formation.  It’s my understanding he has not been to church since he was baptized so it is a huge step for them in a new direction

I have written bits and pieces here and there about Moma Little, at this point I am trying to write as little as possible.  Being winter time, knowing she had no winter coat (and lost her state assistance until after the baby is born because she did not go to her job training, bus travel paid for…).  I told her to pick out a winter coat and I bought it for her.  Charged it more like.  I’ll be paying bills off until I die at this rate – but she needed a coat so a coat, hat and gloves I bought.  She is twenty one years old and I’ve been told she has never had a new coat of her own.  My grandparents bought us a new winter coat every year!

I remember last year she talked about wishing for a wool pea coat and that’s what she now will own.  If it’s really her first brand new coat, I am not sure but I tend to think it may be.  If not it is the only new one she is old enough to realize she is getting.  Growing up all of her clothes were hand me downs.  During my early teen years mine were too, then I began working.  She has yet to have had a job but that is another story. 

I also have two gently worn, freshly dry cleaned wool coats in my closet.  I am going to pass on  to someone else who can use them.  They no longer fit and were not a size for Miss Little. 

What I am sharing is not anything great or good about me.  It is realizing not everyone has the same advantages in life that others do.  I know, at least I think I know many people in real life don’t know details of my life.  Even the kids I grew up with.  Though I have had challenges in life, I feel very blessed to be able to reflect on experiences that I had growing up. They have helped me grow into the woman that I am.  Life is a journey for sure.  My happiest times have been in giving to others.

I am in the midst of challenges and changes on  two emotional fronts both very deep in my heart.  While I am in this place I see past experience has brought me through to today, today I remember words a gal I used to work with would adamantly state “Laurie, God is preparing us for the right man”.  I smile as I type that (this was ten years ago!) but the lesson in that is – “God is preparing me”.  He is molding me.  I look back and know my own life story and He has blessed me.  I trust he will continue to bless me and know anything is possible in Him.

~ When is the last time you went through your closet?  Did you donate items you can no longer use to someone less fortunate?  How about other things you no longer need? 

~ Love is a gift too   ~ to give, to receive.

Is Jesus all we need? ? ?

There is a continuing trend by some Christians to strongly state  “Jesus is all you need” (or) “God is all I need”.  

There is a problem with making such a statement.  This is one of the things I believe St. Paul refers to in   1 Corinthians 13:1 “If I speak in human and angelic tongues* but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.a

I was recently reminded  of this.  Yesterday, I found myself reflecting on the times I have heard these words spoken in the past.  I found a  very real need to address this. I do this in hopes of others finding perhaps a new understanding of what negative impact such statements may have.  There are those who have yet to find Our Father, new to faith, those who love God (but follow these words rote) and know they are to believe those words but that simple sentence/statement holds  no real depth or meaning, therefore they find themselves struggling for the meaning behind the words.

There is a misconception when one states “Jesus is all we need”.        
As stated this may confuse (upset) and cause others to lose faith – or not find it!     

This phrase is often said, as a stand alone comment by long-term, well-meaning Christians in an attempt to bring people to God, uplift a person who is in crisis.  It falls flat when there is no attempt to look below the surface and discuss the true gifts we are blessed with by our Father, and how they play into our lives.  How difficult, challenging and even times of sadness and mourning can be brought to see His light.  If evangelizing, if you don’t dig below the surface you short change the person with whom you are speaking – and God the Father.

Jesus brings us to God the Father, God the Father gifts us with Holy Spirit. God the Father is truly who we need, and must remain “in”, in order to receive all three as a oneness. In saying this, we also must acknowledge that God is within us.

The truth is we do need loving human relationships and God does gift us with this love.  It is a matter of truly opening our hearts to understand and feel this. Sadly, there are those that block this out for a variety of reasons, hurts from their past, fear – and religions that say this is something that God requires.  God does not and has never asked us to block any type of love from our heart, soul – being.

God is love, love is God.
We are called to remain open to loving relationships, by the design of God. 
We are called to remain open to the possibility of Love  because God is Love.
God created us with full intention of living our human lives, to experience for ourselves the vast array of experiences and emotions in our lives. 

Our Father, sent Jesus to bring about a new way of life, the Holy Spirit to bring about a new way of thinking, feeling, loving – and hearing Him.

Someone recently stated to me “Jesus is all we need–I am enjoying my “graying” years for the deepening growth and intimacy of my relationship with Him. Like you, I had some “hard knocks”, and the invisible scars are still in the process of healing; I am happily single and solitary–it makes life simpler for me.”

This person states they are happily single and solitary.  While it is not for me to say that is wrong for her – it is wrong for me and most humans.

Happy and simple is not really the life God calls us to, is it? 
Sit in a corner, read and not experience?  No

He called us to Liveand Love and be open to Love.

Our entire lives should be spent in deepening growth and intimacy of our relationships with Him. 

We care called to this very factIt is a fallacy to believe anyone can only be committed to this belief, this growth if they choose singledomGod tells us this! 

Spouses are called to bring each other to God, Parents are called to bring their children to God, Friends are called to bring Friends to God, All of faith are called to bring non-believers or “un-knowers” to GodTo suggest a total focus is on God is not a truth, but a yarn that is spun. 

God never called anyone to forgo the life he gave as an offering to Him. 
Relationships, true Godly, human relationships require true selflessness
as we know we are to see God in each other. 

In having these healthy relationships, we offer witness to the love that God has provided to us.  There are lessons we can only learn in committed, loving human relationships – which is why the bible contains such relationships from the first chapter throughout. 

God’s gifts to His children.  Do we turn our back on His gifts?

The other thought I had in regards to what someone shared is this… single and solitary is not what God asks of us. He challenges us to continue to grow. God designed us to be loving, giving human beings. There may be something within our own being that we are by His design, to impartto share with another.

In healthy, loving relationships there is a continual self-emptying of self. God has designed us this way (biblical) … while it may be easiest to stay single/alone – we really need to discern if that is what God wants of us and/or how to fulfill what His desire for us is. There are *many gray-haired loves and marriages in the bible. From Genesis throughout the new testament, to the Apostles & St. Peter.  Intimate, loving relationships are throughout the bible. 

There are some who know they have had their great human love and experienced Gods gifts and lessons

Though they may no longer be (passed away), that love remains forever in their hearts and they look to the day they are called home to our Father to be once again by their side.  My grandparents had this love, it was beautiful to witness. They grew in God together here on earth and I am sure are happily reunited now. 

This is the true gift of God.
 He is all we need –
God is love, Love is God – God is within Us. 
When we truly share this selfless Love with another, we experience the Love of God.

Dear gray haired lady,

Thank you for reminding me of a very important topic and prompting me to write today. 

Gods gifts are many, Jesus came to bring us to God and in order for us to live abundantly in His gifts, one of those gifts being the Holy Spirit who will guide us in ways to live, here on earth that life of abundance, if so blessed – with another.

Where do I belong?

As a child, I was raised as a Christian by my loving grandparents.  My own parents lacked a desire to instruct their offspring in any formal religious instruction.  My grandparents followed a very simple Christian lifestyle which in all honesty and truth seems to me, to be the closest of how I know Christ himself lived and taught.  Simple,  selfless, compassionate – love.  Completely with love.

I remember attending church with my grandparents as a very small child – and loving it!  The “Gospel Hall”  come one, come all.  “Take your coat off and stay awhile” – yes, really.  A habit I still keep when I attend Mass, even when I am chilly.  I’m in God’s house and settling in for a visit.  No tithing was required (though donations were accepted for overhead).  As long ago as that was, I have a memory of  rather than a basket being passed for “collections” they had a pretty burgundy colored velvet bag with a wooden circle on the top.  You could drop your donation in and no one could see the amount because it dropped to the bottom of the bag, out of view.  No judgement there for the poor or wealthy.  Pot luck suppers and church picnics held in state parks.

When I was seven, I spent the summer with my grandparents out-of-state.  At this point, the church they attended offered Baptism by full immersion.  I remember wanting so badly to go up one night to be Baptized.  I knew then that I loved Jesus Christ with all my heart and I wanted to be baptized in His name.  Sadly, my grandparents did not/could not allow that as my parents did not want us baptized as children.  That choice, my parents stated, was for adults only.

My parents did not attend church with us though I do have a vague recollection of attending a Dutch Reform Church in NY when I was small.  My parents had moved us to upstate New York, away from my grandparents.  I believe they promised my grandparents that they would take us to church. That did not last more than one or two times.   I remember being upset that we were not going to church.  As a very young child I spent a lot of time in the hospital for medical care, weeks/months at a time.  That’s how it was in the 1960’s.  Thankfully, I already knew Jesus at that time and that he loved me.

There were times when visiting overnight Girl Scout camp, or staying with friends that I would attend their church.  Growing up, many of my friends were Roman Catholic.  At such a young age, I had no idea what being Catholic meant (I did know they would not let me have communion and that I felt badly that I could not).  I had watched old black and white movies about St. Bernadette, Our Lady of Fatima.  I have vague memories of a movie about a Nun helping orphans.  At thirteen or so my best friends two Aunts were visiting from Boston.  They were both Nuns.  We visited a local Abbey.

Over the years there are various times I visited a particular location on the Abbey grounds.  Not drawn to a religious life as the nuns, more the peace and quiet and a specific spot there in which I liked to sit and pray.  I visited that spot a year or so ago and wondered in amazement what it was I found there – whatever it was no longer remained.  Perhaps because my faith and relationship with God has changed and evolved over time.  Perhaps because I often find peace and connection with God both sitting in my parish church, alone by the shore, or in prayer at home.  Interestingly, I have recently reconnected with my gal friend of those years.  She is no longer Catholic (Lutheran now), one of her aunts (one of the Nuns) has also left the church after many years . . .

Thankfully, my grandparents had taught me about Jesus Christ and how much He loved me.  I knew God was always with me.  A year or so my parents’ marriage faltered (their failing marriage was the reason we were sent to Tennessee for the summer)  my brother four years older than I, our mother and I were relocated to a small town in Connecticut to be near my mother’s family. 

This time, my grandparents (paternal) were in the state and though “retired”, my grandfather took a position as an estate manager in order to live nearby.  Back to church and loving overnights. My grandparents did not only take us to church.  I was taught to love and and service.  To visit the home bound, write letters, shop thrift, donate, share God.

There were times my brother and I were sent off to church either on our own (walking down the street to the local Congregational Church which when alive, my maternal great grandmother attended.) or with the families of friends, when my grandparents were away, needed a break from taking two kids with two very different personalities and finally, when they retired to Nova Scotia. 

I stayed many Saturday nights with my grandparents who at this time lived out-of-town, so that I could attend church with them on Sunday.  At home I remember around the time of eighth grade being sent to a Baptist church with my brother and the family of his friend.  I didn’t really like it.  I liked going to church not Sunday school (my grandparents church had Sunday school only for little ones).  After a certain age you attended Bible Study before worship on Sunday morning.  Home for a light Sunday lunch, early dinner, then back to church in the evening for more bible study.  We also attended bible study at church one night during the week.

When I was fifteen my grandparents retired to my grandfather’s hometown in Nova Scotia.  Being in my mid-teens it was not long before I was working all weekend (as well as school nights) and my religious life fell by the wayside.  I know God was always with me and kept in prayer in an undisciplined manner for years.

My conversion . . .

When I met my former husband, and he proposed I knew I wanted a church wedding.  I married for all of the wrong reasons, one bit of the fairy tale I believe was that he being from a “good Catholic” family would ensure the future of the family we would have together.  That too – was not to be.  We discussed where our marriage would take place, he visited the Pastor at the Catholic church he attended with his mother and siblings growing up (his father attended another parish).  I remember him coming home fuming and spouting some rather vulgar language and insisting we would never be married in a Catholic church.  Okay then. . . I had not attended my childhood church for many years but I will call, we will marry there. After being told that was okay, I was then informed –  No, that was not to be either. 

I learned that my former father in-law would not (could not) attend a marriage in a Protestant church because it would not be valid (I had no idea what that meant).  At last this mean a Justice of the Peace, and so – no church wedding.  We were to be the first marriage the Justice of the Peace officiated.  He grudgingly agreed that we could have some bible readings incorporated into the ceremony at my request.  We were married by the Justice of the Peace in an dingy VFW Hall in 1986.

Move ahead to 1988.  I was pregnant with our first child.  I was sure I would be able to bring my children to a Protestant church. My then husband was so adamant about not getting married in a Catholic church.  It wasn’t long before I was informed that was not going to happen either.  He insisted (after pressure from his parents) that the baby would be Baptized and raised Roman Catholic – “or we would attend – no church at all“.

I felt like I had no choice and being Christian was all that mattered. I had to bring my babies up loving Jesus as I did.  Then I learned I had to be Baptized or the baby could not be.  Oh.  Okay, that wasn’t so bad – right?  I had wanted to be Baptized from the time I was seven years old, sitting in that pew in a little church on a hot summer night so long ago, in Tennessee.  So – yes.  “I will be Baptized Catholic “and my babies will have that (I was young and naive) good “Catholic family” that I always dreamed of.

The church was contacted and an appointment with the Pastor was made.  We met with him briefly and were introduced to a deacon who was to instruct me in Catechism.  Sometime around the middle of February we began attending one hour classes for six weeks.  I was then Baptized, received my First Communion, Confirmed and our marriage was con-validated in a senior center on church property (but not in “the church”).  Still – no church wedding.  In retrospect, perhaps that is was a foreshadowing.

A dear one, once commented on my being upset with that Pastor “who did me wrong”.  He did not.  He did his job, I never felt that he was wrong.  I felt the church was wrong in forcing me through an annulment process in which I felt unsafe – knowing I was not married “in” the church.  Physical structure.  I do feel that the six weeks of instruction was nowhere near enough time for someone who was clueless about the Catholic religion to be given so many sacraments.  Given the Sacraments the way I was – it was not until many years later that I received the Sacrament of Confession.

My first confession, I still remember that day.  It was during Lent, the church had three or four Priests available at various areas of the church and you could go up in front of everyone (quietly) and whisper your confession.  My big confession was that it was my first confession.  Epic fail – I know.  Interestingly enough, the older Priest told me he was very happy for me (sincerely) that I had such a close relationship to God, that I felt I could ask our Father directly for his forgiveness.

Over the years all three of my boys were Baptized and raised (by me) as Roman Catholic.  All but the youngest was confirmed in the church.  The older two now say they did so grudgingly.  I remember their dad insisting upon it.  I divorced when my youngest should have gone through the confirmation program.  His father refused to bring him to Mass on his visitation weekends.  He had the boys more Sundays than I did.  For my son it became a real issue when the catechism program had a change in format.  My older boys were taught by Seminarians (not popular with parents, assuming that is why it changed – though I don’t know).  My older two boys did enjoy having them as their teachers.

When my youngest attended, the kids selected “classes” similar to high school, youngest son picked “Why be a Catholic?” first and oddly enough, at thirteen, the director of religious education could not relate to him why he should be a Catholic.  She promised me she’d have the Pastor speak to him, in time I learned that never happened.  So, he stopped going to CCD.

I had been teaching Catechism the year I filed for divorce and though I was encouraged to continue teaching, I felt that it was not the time – fearing a stigma of divorced woman in church (which does exist though it not often acknowledged).  I too ended up taking a long break from church.

A growing faith. . .

A few short years ago an online friend encouraged me to go back to church, to file for an annulment and feel free to begin a new life.   The annulment process was long and difficult.  I almost gave up on more than one occasion.  I had been legally married for twenty years when I petitioned, due to a complicated family background I was lacking in familial witnesses.  I prayed.  I prayed a lot.  My faith in God grew stronger with each day.  I knew, in my heart and soul –  the marriage that I had could not possibly have been blessed by God.  God would never have blessed the hell that had been.  I wanted the annulment to feel that blessing, that I knew in my heart but needed my church to know.  I so wanted to feel understood and hoped to one day have a real, true loving relationship and marriage.  A marriage God could bless.   In my church that meant an annulment.  Finally, approximately eighteen months (and several hundred hard-earned dollars) later – I received the news.  My request had been granted.

Remembering a promise, I had made a few years prior, that I would teach again if the marriage was annulled I stepped forward to take on teaching middle school students Faith Formation the next fall.

In a Sunday church bulletin, I read about an upcoming summer retreat to be held at a local parish.  From 1-5pm every other Sunday the group would meet to view videos on Catholicism, work together as a group and discuss the videos.  Great!  I signed up.  What better way to prepare for taking on a class of middle school kids?  I felt good about this.   I was going to learn more about my religion and grow deeper in my faith.  I did learn.  I watched, read, listened, heard and learned things that in retrospect. . . while I am glad my eyes opened, I often find myself wishing I was still naive and ignorant.  That was not God’s plan, it was not the path He chose for me.

The questions began . . .

It was during this summer retreat that I became a “Cafeteria Catholic”.  As much as I learned about my church and religion – I know that I lost an innocence that I cannot easily relay.  A church that I actively attended for years, volunteered with – summer bible school (when large groups of children attended!), teaching CCD, I even was the first (or so I was told) to bring the Light of Christ and Parvuli Dei Cub Scout emblem programs to my parish.

It was during this retreat that two issues, that as a mother of young men cut me to the quick and honestly, in a very deep way – broke my heart.  The church stance on same sex love came to the forefront one summer day, when a member of the group shared a family story and discussion ensued.

At this retreat, I met a young man a year or two older than my youngest son, he was discerning he had questions on celibacy and the conversations that ensued (more than one Sunday afternoon). The church requires most (but not all) Roman Catholic men seeking to become a Priestly brother of Christ (hoping I worded that properly) – to take a vow, if they are of a religious order.  To become a Diocesan Priest a promise of celibacy is required to be made to their Bishop

There are married Roman Catholic Priests in the United States, they have “converted” to Catholicism.  These men have wives, families – and work side by side with Priests who are required to take a vow or make a promise of Celibacy.  Disconnect.  Particularly when we know that St. Peter, chosen by Jesus Christ as the “rock of the church”, the first Pope – was married.  In fact, all of the original twelve apostles were married.  Love and marriage are God given gifts.   The church should not ask it’s religious to choose between marriage and life in service as Priest.

In future writings I will discuss my thoughts on these topics and more.  I have spent hours researching, discussing, speaking with and listening to….  There is an underlying sadness in my heart and soul now that I have not been able to reconcile. 

Why would our Lord, God – who is love itself, gift His children with Love and then expect them to turn their backs on it?  This is something I have difficulty wrapping my head around.  God is Love.  Love is God.  Love is love – right?


2/1/17  There is a very serious shortage of Catholic Clergy.  This is a disconnect between the church and the children of God.   God did not ask this.  It is a man made rule and does not agree with the Gospel teachings of Jesus or St. Paul.  All clergy should be allowed married as that is the foundation of the church.

Reading through articles posted and upcoming articles, I have – and will tie all of this together.


Some have told me I don’t belong in the church.  Some have wondered why I am still practicing this religion.  I read an article by a Pastor on Cafeteria Catholics, read articles linked off that article and have remained close to God, in prayer and actions. 

“Where do I belong?”  To God. 

Today, this means the Catholic Church.  I am where God asked me to be today, of that I am confidant.

where-do-i-belong


2/1/17  This is an extended portion of my “About me” post.  I know I have certain readers that may find this helpful.  It’s still a “cliff notes” version of me, but explains a bit more about my religious background.  I realize how much I have grown spiritually over the past few years, if not religiously.  The Catholic church is shrinking.  I see reasons why this is happening – a disconnected clergy, particularly at the upper levels is largely the reason.  You cannot live in a box and expect to grow.  I have said recently and will repeat here, I have much respect for our clergy, I say nothing with any intention of causing hurt or pain though I am aware some things I say may cause that.  It is not without great efforts, prayer that I share what I do.  I am where I am supposed to be right now, the reason really is not clear to me.  I hold in my heart the original reason this blog began and that still is.  The additional writings here. . . seem to be something additional.  I know others will relate and understand this comes from my heart and soul.  I will move this back in date to be the original post in a day or two, as that is where it began.