SHE PONDERED THESE THINGS IN HER HEART, FRI. 6/13

SEEING ALL THINGS MADE NEW by Melinda Knight:  “You should come to the hospital now!”

These words might have been an ominous warning of bad news or tragedy.  But this time, our son’s voice was happy, breathless, bursting with the anticipation of becoming a father for the first time.  Their new baby, our first grandchild, was on the way, and soon.  the miraculous mystery of our marriage and our struggles to abandon ourselves to God’s inscrutable plan had led us to this moment of wonder and surprise.

In the next few hours of waiting, my mind and heart silently recalled another hospital scene of two years prior.  It was the evening of my father’s death from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, and our son and his wife, newlyweds then, were keeping vigil with the family.  They clung to one another, watching the scene before them unfold, helpless to prevent what they now knew to be inevitable.  They saw their grandmother, sixty years married, kiss their grandfather on the lips goodbye, and he kissing her back one last time.  They saw her touch his forehead with such tenderness, calm and resigned.  This most precious lesson in love, a lesson of the profound gift of self given in marriage, and the truth of the INCARNATION AND THE RESURRECTION, was playing out before their young eyes, although they are years from recognizing it…

But now, the long-awaited text message appears on our cell phones as we all jump to our feet in the maternity waiting room.  The new baby is here! A little boy, born just two days after his great-grandfather’s birthday! A new life, a new immortal soul, a new saint from our Gather’s most generous and loving hand. (Melinda Knight is recently retired as director of Respect Life/Family Life for the Diocese of Youngstown, OH, and a new grandmother.)

PRAYER:  God our Father, we give you thanks for the gift of marriage: the bond of life and love, and the font of the family.  The love of husband and wife enriches your Church with children, fills the world with a multitude of spiritual fruitfulness and service, and is the sign of the love of your Son, Jesus Christ, for his Church.  The grace of Jesus flowed forth at Cana at the request of the Blessed Mother. May your Son, through the intercession of Mary, pour out upon us a new measure of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit as we join with all people of good will to promote and protect the unique beauty of marriage.  May your Holy Spirit enlighten our society to treasure the heroic love of husband and wife, and guide  our leaders to sustain and protect the singular place of mothers and fathers in the lives of their children.

     Father, we ask that our prayers be joined to those of the Virgin Mary, that your Word may transform our service so as to safeguard the incomparable splendor of marriage.  We ask all these things through Christ our Lord, Amen.   

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us. (Mary’s mother and father)

Between the above article and the Preservation of Marriage prayers, I believe everything is covered. 

THE HAND OF GOD HAS DONE THIS? THURS. 6/12

NOW ASK the beasts to teach you, and the birds of the air to tell you; Or the reptiles on earth to instruct you, and the fish of the sea to inform you.  Which of all these does not know that the hand of God has done this?  In His hand is the soul of every living thing, and the life breath of all mankind.  (Job 12:7-10)

INTERCESSIONS:  All times and all seasons are in God’s hand; all times and all seasons are fulfilled in Christ.  Let us pray:

R. YOU ARE OUR LIFE AND OUR SALVATION!

Yours is the night and yours the day:-enlighten us with your wisdom at every hour of our lives.  R

Yours are the years and yours the seasons: – teach us to trust in your provident designs.  R

Yours is the fullness of life: – bring us to dwell in your presence for ever.  R

THE LORD BY WISDOM FOUNDED THE EARTH, ESTABLISHED THE HEAVENS BY UNDERSTANDING. Prv 3:19

THE WISDOM OF THE CROSS- WED. 6/11

1 Corinthians 1:18-25:  . A letter from Paul to the Corinthians.  THE PARADOX OF THE CROSS

The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:  “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the learning of the learned I will set aside.” Where is the wise one?  Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age?  Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish? For since in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom, it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who have faith.  For Jews demand signs  and the Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

COMMENTARY:  The gospel Paul preaches is Christ crucified, God’s wisdom and power. God’s cross-revealed wisdom defies human wisdom and divides humanity into two groups:  the perishing, who reject this message as foolishness, and those being saved, for whom it is the power of God.  The divine overthrow of human wisdom foretold by Isaiah (Isa 20:14_ was taking place in the cross.  Even the wise man, scholar, and philosopher, representatives of the sharpest thinkers of this age, are incapable of fathoming God’s wisdom and power revealed in Christ crucified because theirs is human wisdom, originating in this age, which God has made foolish(1:21) According to human categories, crucifixion, epitomizing weakness and suffering, simply cannot cash out as any kind of wisdom or power , let alone divine wisdom and power!

Humankind’s objections to this message are ethnically and historically particularized in the reactions of Jews and Greeks. Jews wnt signs…..Greeks…want wisdom, that is, the insights and strategies that lead to power, success, and honor. ..these were considered the manifestations of the truly wise person. For such as these, the cross signified everything that was counter to wisdom; cross-wisdom was an oxymoron, sheer foolishness…….

In summarizing his reflections, Paul restates the paradox of the cross. Its very weakness is God’s power, more powerful than human strength.  Its very absurdity is God’s wisdom, wiser than human wisdom.  This is the gospel. It runs counter to the world’s wisdom.  It is fathomed by those willing to see differently and able to live in the tension of this paradox.   (Little Rock Scripture Study)

My note;  In reading this section in my bible study group, it occurred to me that Paul in Corinth was up against the same situation that we Christians are now.  We know what is right and good.  The elite, liberal minded, people in this day and age, think they know more than God. for the same reason’s as the Jews and Gentiles.  They see evil and wrong, and try to convince themselves and us that there is no difference. That there is no right and wrong or good and evil, it’s all about what feels good for themselves, and political correctness and what they want to believe, is all there is.  Instead of realizing that God knows best what is good for us, they choose to make their own rules. “Paul insists, “we” preach Christ crucified, a message that disregards humanly established ways of knowing God’s power and wisdom, which are known in the cross or not at all.  HUMANS MUST EITHER GIVE UP THEIR CATEGORIES AND ACCEPT THE CRUCIFIED CHRIST AS THE MEANS OF SALVATION OR KEEP TO THEIR OWN STANDARDS, REJECTING THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS AND PERISHING.” 

PRAYER: MAY YOUR HEALING WORK, O LORD, FREE US, WE PRAY, FROM DOING EVIL AND LEAD US TO WHAT IS RIGHT. THROUGH CHRIST OUR LORD. AMEN.

IN THE SCRIPTURES, WISDOM PUTS ALL LIFE IN RIGHT ORDER. Tues 6/10

WITH HIM ARE WISDOM AND MIGHT; HIS ARE COUNSEL AND UNDERSTANDING (Jb 12:13)

HYMN: (no author) (To the tune WE GATHER TOGETHER)

THE WORKS OF THE LORD are created in wisdom!
We view the earth’s wonders and call him to mind;
We hear what he says in the world we discover,
And God shows his glory in all that we find.

The sun every morning lights up his creation,
The moon marks the rhythm
of months in their turn;
The glittering stars are arrayed in his honor,
Adorning the years as they ceaselessly burn.

The song is unfinished; how shall we complete it,
And where find the skill to perfect all God’s praise.
At work in all places, he cares for all peoples-
How great is the Lord to the end of all days!

PRAYER: Lord God of time and timelessness, you order all things according to your wise designs. Grant us discerning hearts, that we may know and love and serve your plan, through Christ our Lord. Amen

GOD’S INCREDIBLE LOVE FOR US. MON. 6/9

LISTEN TO MY VOICE; THEN I WILL BE YOUR GOD AND YOU SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. (Jer 7:23)

What God’s voice tells us is the true story of his incredible love for us.  No other storyteller, however gifted, can paint for us the full, living portrait of who we are and have been, and who we are becoming.  Let us listen attentively, lest we forget and try to remake ourselves according to some other image. (Magnificat)

BE DOERS OF THE WORD and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror.  He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets what he looked like.  But the one who peers into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres, and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, such a one shall be blessed in what he does.  (James 1:22-25)

HEAR THE WORD WHICH THE LORD SPEAKS TO YOU, O HOUSE OF ISRAEL. (Jer 10:1)

PRAYER:  O GOD, you have spoken your Word of love, your Son, into our world’s deafness.  Open our ears to hear; open our hearts to heed; open our will to obey, that we may proclaim the good news with our lives, through the same Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen  (Magnificat)

 

PENTECOST SUNDAY- THE DAY WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR

THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD FILLS THE WHOLE WORLD!  (Wisdom 1:7)

At this culmination of the Easter season, let us unite in a great chorus of praise in the Spirit, who is the life-breath of the whole world made new in the Death and Resurrection of Christ.

BY THE OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT on the day of Pentecost, Christ’s Paschal Mystery was brought to its completion.  The Holy Spirit prepares us with his grace in order to draw us to Christ.  He manifests the risen Lord to us, opening our minds.  He makes present the mystery of Christ.  And he reconciles us, bringing us into communion with God.  Saint Thomas Aquinas says that the Holy Spirit interiorly perfects our spirit, communicating to it a new dynamism so that it refrains from evil for love.  With the Holy Spirit within us “it is quite natural for people who had been absorbed by the things of this world to become entirely otherworldly in outlook, and for cowards to become people of great courage” (St. Cyril of Alexandria).

Gospel according to John 20:19-23  ON THE EVENING of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”  When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.  The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.  Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT. WHOSE SINS YOU FORGIVE ARE FORGIVEN THEM, AND WHOSE SINS YOU RETAIN ARE RETAINED.”

 

PRAYER: Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hears of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Alleluia, Alleluia.

Just a note or two: The book of Wisdom quoted above, I have been told is not included in the Protestant Bible. I have no idea why because Wisdom, is the only book written in the female gender-SHE. I understand 7 books were removed from the original Bible when the first Protestant Bible was printed. Secondly: Note what Jesus told the disciples that they could forgive sins. This is why Catholics have Confession which is considered a Sacrament. Sacraments give us extra grace. Basically Jesus said that we could tell our sins to the Priest(his disciple) and the Priest has the power to forgive. If anyone wants to know more about Confession or the 7 books of the bible, go to: http://www.catholic.com

EASTER, 7TH WEEK, SAT., 6/7 ) (PRAY FOR COURAGE TO SPEAK THE TRUTH)

DO NOT FEAR THOSE, before whom you are now afraid; do not fear them, says the Lord, for I am with you to save you, to rescue you from their power. (Jer 42:11)

FEAR IS one of the great tactics by which evil tries to prevent the good from speaking out or acting with integrity according  to their Christian commitment.  It was a constant threat to the early Christians, who staunchly resisted.  On the day before Pentecost, we remember especially that Mary strengthened the early Christian community in their courage by praying with them, as she strengthens us today.

PRAYER;  God of mercy and compassion, you strengthen the weak to proclaim the Gospel by fidelity of life.  Through the intercession of the blessed Virgin Mary, strengthen all your people by the power of the Spirit to live what we proclaim, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (Magnificat)

Intercessions:  Through the intercession of Mary, the mother of Jesus, we pray to Him who is the source of our courage:

R.  MY STRENGTH, MAKE HASTE TO HELP ME!

When silence is more attractive than fidelity to the truth:  R

When approval is more desirable than perseverance in good: R

When safety is more appealing than suffering for righteousness’ sake:  R

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I wrote these particular prayers starting with Jeremiah because Pentecost Sunday is tomorrow, 50 days after Easter, the Sunday that the Holy Spirit appeared to the Apostles to give them strength to preach the truth that Jesus Christ taught them.

It seems to me that many Christians, including myself, sometime find it hard to speak the truth because it might make someone angry or hurt someone’s feelings.  It also seems to be very common in politics these days to say what people want to hear, for approval, or to win votes, that what that politician knows is right and the truth.  Abortion comes to mind, gay marriage another, Our freedom of Religion, another.  We need to demand that politicians stand up for the Moral Truth and start demanding that our politicians stand for what is Right and the Truth, instead of what is Evil and a Lie, just to make people happy.  That is the only way to save this Country.