Saturday, May 23, 2015

God is Our Savior

Psalm 107 is a hymn of thanksgiving.  It is a praise to God for being rescued, from physical conditions, imprisonment, situations, etc.  These particular verses spoke to me: Psalm 107: 8-16.

Let them thank the Lord for such kindness,
 such wondrous deeds for mere mortals.
For He satisfied the thirsty,
 filled the hungry with good things.

Some lived in darkness and gloom,
 in prison, bound with chains,
Because they rebelled against God's word,
 scorned the counsel of the Most High,
Who humbled their hearts through hardship;
 they stumbled with no one to help.
In their distress they cried to the Lord,
 who saved them in their peril,
Led them forth from darkness and gloom
 and broke their chains asunder.
Let them thank the Lord for such kindness,
 such wondrous deeds for mere mortals.
For He broke down the gates of bronze
 and snapped the bars of iron.

Wherever God's people were, He rescued them.  This is shown through out Israel's history.  My "cloistered brothers" consider themselves saved, also.  Many think that they would have been dead by now, were it not for being arrested and ending up in prison.  Many call it a blessing, not only for stopping their destructive behavior, but also for finding God.  "Let them thank the Lord..."

Friday, May 22, 2015

Do You Love Me?

Fr. Kevin said he was annoyed by Jesus always asking him if he love Him.  What is Father talking about?  The Gospel was John 21:15-19.  This is where Jesus keeps asking Peter if he loved Him.  Father Kevin was telling us that Jesus asks everyone the same question.  Of course when we answer in the positive, the response is prove it.

How do I love Thee?

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
        from Sonnets from the Portuguese
    How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
    I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
    My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
    For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
    I love thee to the level of everyday's
    Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
    I love thee freely, as men might strive for Right;
    I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
    I love thee with the passion put to use
    In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
    I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
    With my lost saints,–I love thee with the breath,
    Smiles, tears, of all my life!–and, if God choose,
    I shall but love thee better after death.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

God is Not a Genie

"I've tried everything else, why not try prayer?"  What have you got to lose?

My prayer group gets a lot of this type of prayer.  Do people think God is a genie?  He doesn't grant wishes.

When we pray for certain results, we are asking God to join us. He will be with us, listening, holding  You can't make God do anything.  If you are paying attention to God, the Holy Spirit may change your perspective in accordance to God's will. Remember God sees things differently than you do.  He has the whole picture; you see your immediate situation.
our hand.  But don't tell Him what to do.  We should listen.

Thankfully, Our God is generous.  He gives us many many gifts and sometimes those gifts are exactly our size.

I often think when someone prays for someone's conversion to a certain point of view that perhaps God is working on the "prayee". Maybe God is working on their perseverance, patience, and love.  Take praying for the health of someone.  The sick person may not recover, but prayer is never wasted.  Some good will come.  The sick person received a blessing no one but he himself knows.  The person praying receives a blessing.  Just communicating with God is a gift.  We are inviting God into the praying circle.  Of course He wants our happiness, also.  He wants what's good for us.  Trust in Him.

That's what we have learned in prayer group.  Praying for others' intentions have taught us to trust in Him.  Most of the time, people don't come back and say thank you.  God granted my prayer.  And we don't expect that.  It really doesn't matter if you got your wish.  You can't compel God to do anything.  St. Catherine of Siena reminds us, "God is God and you are not."  But He is always waiting to hear from you and be invited into your situation.  He has broad shoulders.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Chaplet for Faith

How about praying different prayers on your rosary beads?

On the large beads:  Lord, increase my faith.

On the small beads:  Thank you Jesus for loving me.

Begin with:  Open my mind, my lips, and my hearts, to hear Your Voice, O Lord, while blessing yourself.

Glory Be.

Three Hail Mary's.

Our Father.

I think I'll call it the Chaplet for Faith.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Grace of Community

I've spoken about community before.  It's extremely important.  It's one of the pillars in my Dominican family.  It's very important in AA.  We see exactly how important it is in my TOPS chapter.  You just can't go it alone.

This was fact was brought home to me, again.  We're reading Sacred Fire by Ronald Rolheiser.  In chapter 5, pp. 137-139, Fr. Rolheiser tells several stories.  They all point to "you can't do it alone."  Community support is needed.

Whether you are trying to quit drinking, lose weight, or just become a better person, you need to join a support group.  Learn to share, to help, and to love.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Few of My Favorite Links

I spend way too much time on the computer, surfing around.  It's my TV and my books.  Anyway, I have a few favorites that I always check out, every day.  Here are a few (just a few).

First is the daily news.

Maybe some opinion on the news.

I need to step back and pray.

Marina's take.

Back to the news.

And what else is happening.

Friday, May 15, 2015

With Pere Lataste

My friend and confrere, Mr. Charles Adams, O.P. died from cancer last week.  I just came back from his wake.  There were many many people there.  He touched so many.  Now he is at rest and at home with the other deceased Dominicans.  St. Dominic welcomed him home and Pere Lataste kissed him like the French do--both cheeks.  I picture Mary introducing him to Jesus and showing him around.
    This picture serves as his holy card.  Our "cloistered brother," MEK drew it.  That's Charlie in the center.  And he was our center.  My chapter will have a difficult time adjusting.