Thursday, March 27, 2014

The 5th Joyful Mystery: The finding of the child Jesus in the Temple

The Joyful Mysteries are truly a joy to meditate upon.  These first five significant events can teach us so much, especially about being childlike and receiving God's love.  Today, I'll share with you my thoughts on this morning's meditation on the 5th Joyful Mystery: The Finding of Jesus in the Temple.

Luke 2: 41-51 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him: "Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing". And he said unto them: "How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 

My meditation on this Bible passage brought me to these thoughts this morning.

Of course Jesus was obedient to His parents on earth, Mary and Joseph.  But His Father called Him to share His Wisdom with those around Him, with those that needed it, and Him.  Even though Mary and Joseph know He is God, our Savior, they must have been concerned, if not worried, about Him when they were apart. Jesus knew that He must obey God, and was teaching us to do so, even at the expense of His parents' concern.

The part that I focused on this morning was this: Jesus was not actively disobeying His parents Mary and Joseph, but was obeying His Father, our Father.

It seems like right now, our country is forcing us to choose between obeying our country, or obeying our Father.  Yes, Jesus said:  Matthew 22:21 ...Then he saith to them: Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God, the things that are God's.

Father, I pray to You to help me to remember that I am Yours above all things, above all people, above all nations.  Give me the strength to give to You, and You alone, what is Yours and due You.  All that I have, all that I am, all that I can be, is Yours.  Help me to understand and be strong for Your Desires for me. Give me the wisdom and knowledge needed to explain to others when I seem to be dissenting from my country's popular opinion.  Father, I want to be obedient to You above all else, even when the world around me tells me differently. My heart is Yours; my body is Yours.  I must serve You above all else; not an ant on the ground, or a ruler of any nation, can supersede Your morals and demands that You have put upon us.  Thank you for the nation, Father, in which I live and dwell while on this earth.  I pray that it may become even greater as a servant of You, O Lord.  I pray for You to be in the hearts of our leaders and our fellow citizens, to see the righteous way of Your Path.

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

For more on the Joyful Mysteries:

Friday, March 21, 2014

Stained glass

While at Mass today, I had the opportunity to ponder upon the beautiful stained glass I was surrounded by at a beautiful parish.  I've been very blessed to have visited and seen some beautiful artwork, including stained glass, in the last few months.  Today, and many of the days I've been at Mass, the sun was shining through the windows, creating even a more brilliant piece of art.  These pictures I've shared here are from the internet, and alas, not from seeing them in person.

When you let the sun shine through, it becomes more stunning.

When you let the Son shine through you, you become more brilliant. When His Light shines, you are even more beautiful, starting from the inside out.  Your face becomes a beacon for His Love; your joy is in the warm glow of His Love.

If I do not share His Love, His Light, His Joy in my heart, then I am dim, dull, and muddied, much like stained glass appears to be when it's dark.

Peace be with you and may you be guided by the Holy Spirit on your journey.

Monday, March 17, 2014


I think I make some people uncomfortable, with my renewed faith and spirituality. It's almost more like a 'new' faith and spirituality, because it's nothing like I experienced before when I was a 'faithful' Catholic.

I don't go around saying how great I am because I'm following God, nor do I spend my entire day speaking about how great God is. But if something comes up in conversation, and it feels 'natural' to mention that I prayed for something, or what I did the day before, which happened to be faith-related, I'm not going to hold it back.

Why do I think it makes people uncomfortable?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

For a friend

Why me, God? Why?  I follow You, I pray to You, I honor You, I praise You. I thank You, I glorify You.  My God, why have you forsaken ME?!!!??

Why not me, God? I know You are by my side, even when I can't see or feel You.  Help me to remember that when things are bad, that they could be worse. You are there cradling me, protecting me, from even worse things happening.  Why do you make it so hard, Father? Help me to understand that even when I cannot see the reasons behind what is happening in my life, that YOU, my Lord, are in control.  Every breath I take is sanctioned and given by You, o Lord.

Let my pain and suffering not be for naught; may it teach me to find You in all things. May I bear the pain and disappointment of this world; let my suffering relieve someone else's suffering: for that mother about to say goodbye to her infant; for the child grieving the loss of a parent; for someone who received bad news about his health.  Let my suffering, even for a moment, relieve theirs and give them a moment of peace when they need it most. I know you are there; let the suffering see through their pain to You.

Father, forgive me my sins committed while in this pain and suffering.  I try to be strong, but it's almost more than I can take. Let me find the strength You have given me.

Psalm 22
Plea for Deliverance from Suffering and Hostility
To the leader: according to The Deer of the Dawn. A Psalm of David.

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
    and by night, but find no rest.
3 Yet you are holy,
    enthroned on the praises of Israel.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Forgiveness and anger

One thing that I try to remember is that even when I stumble, I have to forgive myself, and if others hurt me, I have to forgive them as well.  God has forgiven me, and if I withhold my forgiveness from myself, I'm saying that my forgiveness is bigger than His. That's wrong.  No matter how much I've sinned against, or hurt others, it hurts God more than anyone else.

That works for anger, too. It's easy to be angry, isn't it? Especially when we feel wronged, even when our anger is just, righteous.  When you hold onto your anger, you are hurting yourself as much or probably more than whoever you are angry with. You live with and feel that anger 24 hours a day; the subject of that anger does not.

I hurt when my loved ones hurt; when my children hurt, I ache even that much deeper, because the ones I love so much are hurting and suffering. I feel angry at the person that hurt them!  I'm sad to say that I've wanted to wring a few necks over the years; I never did, but I felt like it.  We are God's children; we are His creations.  When someone hurts us, He is angry.

When we are angry, give it to God. Let Him deal with it for us.  If it's right that we should be angry, He will have more righteous, just anger, than we could ever manage.  If we are being angry unjustly, then we need to let it go as well.  He will take care of it, either way, whether it's in our hearts, or serving justice.

I do like the book of James:
James 1:19-21
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)
19 You must understand this, my beloved:[a] let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. 21 Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.

Monday, March 3, 2014

How far have you come?

I have come so far, but I have so far to go!

It's easy to concentrate on how far we have to go to be where we want to be. We generally want to achieve perfection, especially in prayer and in our relationship to the Lord. For me, I tend to look at far I have to go, instead of how far I've made it. I went up this mountain in Colorado; it was gradual and winding until I made it to the top, much like life's journey.