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Do not be afraid. Just have faith. Mark 5:36

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October 31, 2010


The Miracle Prayer

Lord Jesus, I come before you,

just as I am.

I am sorry for my sins,

I repent of my sins, please forgive me.

In your name,

I forgive all others for what they have done against me.

I renounce Satan,

the evil spirits and all their works.

I give you my entire self.

Lord Jesus, now and Forever,

I invite you into my life Jesus.

I accept you as my Lord and Savior.

Heal me, change me,

strengthen me in body, soul and spirit.

Come Lord Jesus,

cover me with your precious blood,

and fill me with your Holy Spirit,

I love you Jesus.

I praise you Jesus.

I thank you Jesus.

I shall follow you every day of my life.

Amen.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA!

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OCTOBER 30TH, 2010


I would have you know this, that from the moment you placed all in My Hands, and sought no other aid, from that moment I have taken the quickest way possible to work out your salvation, and to free you. There is so much you have had to be taught -- to avoid future disaster. But the Friend with whom you stand by the grave of failure, of dead ambitions, of relinquished desires, that Friend is a Friend for all time. God Calling

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, listservs…is your head spinning like mine does with all of it? What are we looking for when we involve ourselves with all of this?

Friends come and go. They join Facebook or Twitter to stay connected and then realize they are spending more time keeping up with it than doing anything else. So, what happens? They drop off the Facebook/ Twitter map for a while.

It’s a shame our Lord doesn’t have a Facebook page. Think how much easier it would be to ensure we’re spending enough time with Him. Thankfully, we don’t need to rely on Facebook or Twitter to keep up with our Lord. We do, however, need to make sure we are spending at least as much time in prayer with Him as we do tweeting with our friends. How great could our prayer life be if we could become as addicted to it as we are to finding out what someone ate for breakfast on Facebook!

Even so, if our Lord did have a Facebook page, I doubt He would ever drop off the map. That’s the great thing about Him. He is always ready to connect with us at a moment’s notice. He is always standing right there beside us. He already knows what we ate for breakfast, how we spent our time at work or school, whether we succeeded or failed at something we attempted, whether we are happy, sad, heartbroken, or elated. All we have to do is look to Him and say, “Lord take it and do with it what you will.” Done. And the best part about it is that we can stay logged in to Him all day long. We don’t need a computer, a smart phone or even a password.

lgboyd

Psalm 42:2

As the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God.

My mother turned 87 today. An accomplishment reserved for those mostly who think young and act younger. That would be her.

And that is how she has kept herself young at heart, young in mind and youthful in all of her faith that she shares with us. God has blessed us for all the years of her life and all the years of ours. Even though her years of living have been more than three of her children, more than her husband of over fifty years, it is not the numbers of years as people have said but the amount of life in the years. Add to that the love and faith she has shown and sown (and even sewn!) along those years and you would come close to understanding the impact on the lives over the past several years, raising a family and engaging the life and love of friends the world over.

Happy birthday, Mom. I love you. We love you.

Most importantly, God Loves You.



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OCTOBER 29th, 2010


Philippians 1:4-5

I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you, praying always with joy in my every prayer for all of you, because of your partnership for the gospel from the first day until now.

Friendship with anyone is such a gift from God, but even more so when we can share our thoughts and struggles to grow in our faith. What better way to form a partnership than to hold such friends up in prayer and encouragement every time we think of them. When we pray with thankfulness and joyful thoughts for each other, I can only imagine the pleasure and joy our Lord feels to hear it.

Philippians 1:6-7a

I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right that I should think this way about all of you, because I hold you in my heart, you who are all partners with me in grace…

Sometimes, when I think of a friend in need, my prayer becomes a plea. There is nothing wrong with a plea for healing or resolution to a problem, but what if we were to pray in a more positive way? What if we were to pray first that God would continue the good work He is doing in that person? What if we were to pray that God would answer the prayer in such a way that His good work will be completed? It seems to me that doing so would place that prayer even more so within God’s will; allowing Him to answer it His way.

Philippians 1:9-11

And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

How can we NOT want to pray for more love, more perception to discern the truth, more perception to understand how our values might not match up with God’s? How can we NOT want this for our friends and loved ones? This is our roadmap to be filled with His righteousness. This is how we can one day stand before Him and praise Him for making us as pure and blameless as we allowed Him to.


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OCTOBER 28TH, 2010


Romans 8:28

We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.

How do we know when to act? How do we know when to give, to love, to empty ourselves for the sake of another? How do we do that without feeling like a doormat in the end?

It was posed to me by a friend that we do so when it is for the better of others. It was posed to me that we consider how Jesus acted and gave and loved and emptied Himself for us while here on earth. After doing that I realized, I cannot begin to imagine what Jesus felt or thought about his mission and choices here on earth.

My feelings, thoughts, or circumstances do not even begin to match His because He is perfect and I am not. I believe He acted as the Father instructed Him to act. He came here knowing what His mission and purpose was and in spite of being confronted with the same things we are confronted with on a daily basis, He stayed the course and accomplished what He came here to do. And He did it with the purest form of love that exists. He did not withhold, but I don’t believe He went around trying to force His will on those that were not open to His ability to save and heal. He didn’t ignore them. He talked to them and gave them food for thought. But, He knew and knows a person’s heart before they even come to Him for healing or restoration.

Because we are not perfect as He is perfect and our love is probably not as pure has His love for us, we are at a bit of a disadvantage – that is, until we realize that if we are offering ourselves up to Him first, the rest will follow.

Some of us have developed the capacity to be doormats for all of the wrong reasons. How we view ourselves, our talents, our capacity to do and be all that we are and all that God created us to be impacts our ability to be a doormat for the right reasons. Being a doormat for the Lord does not mean we allow ourselves to be used and emptied in a way that is harmful to our very souls. It means being used and emptied in a way that allows us to praise Him for the outcome. It should energize us. We should feel full and ready to be emptied again.

lgboyd

Psalm 138:8

The Lord will perfect that which concerns me: thy mercy, O Lord, endures forever.


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OCTOBER 27th, 2010


I PRAY

I pray

because I am a Christian,
and to do what a Christian must do,

I need strength.


I pray

because there's confusion in my life,

and to know what is right,

I need light.


I pray

because I have questions,
and to keep growing in the faith,
I need help.

I pray

because I must make decisions,

and the choices are not always clear,

so I need guidance.


I pray

because most of what I have has been given to me,
and I ought to give thanks.


I pray

because Jesus prayed,
and if he considered it important,
so should I.

Mark Link, S.J.


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OCTOBER 26TH, 2010


2 Corinthians 9:10

The person who plants few seeds will have a small crop; the one who plants many seeds will have a large crop.


Maybe you’ve heard the story of a young backpacking traveler, who took taking in the hillsides of French Alps several years ago, happened upon an elderly gentle, man planting acorns. The older man had a rusted pipe that he used to punch and dig the holes every few steps he would climb. The younger traveler asked what brought the man to do such a wonderful deed and the man shared that his wife and son had died and that with what was left of his life, he wanted to do something useful, something that would be here for others after he was gone.

The younger man returned to the same area over twenty years later and saw the beauty of the ‘usefulness’ the gentle man had left—a hillside several miles wide and deep, filled with trees and flowers and wild life. The mark he left on the hillside left an even greater impression on the young man’s life forever.

We may not be planting acorns in the Alps but we do have to ask ourselves, what it is that we are doing to make a difference with the gifts we have been given? You have to start somewhere, even if it that somewhere is in your own life, making a change in the way you use what God has given you. Then, from within, the changes around you will become easier to make. God does not so much call the qualified as He qualifies the called. And here’s the news: we are all called.

Get ready; He’s got something for us all to do.

John 15:16

Jesus said to his disciples, "I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain."


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OCTOBER 25TH, 2010


Luke 13:10-17

Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the Sabbath. And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect. When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, “Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.”
He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God.
But the leader of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured on the Sabbath, said to the crowd in reply, “There are six days when work should be done. Come on those days to be cured, not on the Sabbath day.”
The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger and lead it out for watering? This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the Sabbath day from this bondage?”
When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated; and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.

From the many parables we’ve heard and read, it’s quite obvious there were a couple of crowds or camps that seemed to follow Jesus—those that were for Him and those that were not. They were both looking for Him to do signs of wonder but for different reasons. One group wanted more reason to believe. The other wanted more reason to deny Him and do away with Him. Yet the louder the naysayers became, just like in Luke’s gospel here, the more followers He gained.

He has called us all to be His disciples. He will give us what we need to do what He wants us to do as He calls us. It is up to us to heed His call and believe in Him, every day. Not just on the days that are convenient. Or on the days that everything seems to be going our way. How do you think those things got that way to begin with?

Many of us face similar challenging situations today with our own faith. The Church is attacked. Christianity is attacked. Are we to stand by and do nothing? Do we have enough to stand for what we believe in when we are ‘called out’ for it or because of it? Would we be easily identified as one of His followers if we were with Him then or as we make our journey today? Or are we the hypocrite who leaves his ass tied to the manger on Sundays?

Let us all persevere so that we may all rejoice. Together.


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OCTOBER 24TH, 2010


A Prayer of the Little Flower

St. Therese of Lisieux

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that

You are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the

Infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received,

And pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones,

And allow your soul the freedom to

Sing, dance, praise, and love.


It is there for each and every one of us.


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OCTOBER 23RD, 2010


Philemon 4-6

I give thanks to my God always, remembering you in my prayers, as I hear of the love and the faith you have in the Lord Jesus and for all the holy ones, so that your partnership in the faith may become effective in recognizing every good there is in us that leads to Christ.

St. Ignatius learned about discerning God’s influence from the influence of others during his recovery of a battle wound in 1521. He would dream of doing knightly deeds but afterwards would feel sad and listless. On the other hand, he would dream of imitating the saints and would feel joyful and alive. It was through these daydreams that Ignatius came to see how God draws us toward a new way of life.

Consider the primary thoughts that occupy you mind daily and how you feel afterwards.

William A. Barry, S.J.

How Do I Know It’s God”


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OCTOBER 22ND, 2010


Matthew 5:6

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.

It’s so easy to hunger and thirst for things in this world. It’s so easy to just jump in your car and run out for whatever you want; food, entertainment, sports, pampering. It’s so easy to let the mind wander into territory where it doesn’t belong.

Feeling empty sometimes comes from the desire for these things when they are not readily available. We feel deprived, left out, abandoned, lonely. So, we reach for something to soothe the feelings.

Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that some things have a distinct purpose. For example, food is designed to fill our stomachs, but more so, it is designed to be fuel for our bodies. It is meant to keep us alive. I read a book once that was titled something like ‘Eat to Live.’ The premise behind it is simple; we should eat in order to stay alive, not stay alive so that we can eat; so many of us have that backwards in our lives. God gave us food and other things in life for a purpose, and pleasure can be one of those purposes. It is not wrong to enjoy the food God has given us. But, it’s not a good idea to use it as a way to satisfy some other need.

What if we were to run to the one, true source of comfort instead? Righteousness in our lives has a distinct purpose. It keeps us focused on the right things so that we don’t wander into “Do Not Enter” territory. Righteousness in our lives can bring us pleasure –the kind of pleasure that keeps us content; it keeps us filled. The thing about it is you have to hunger and thirst for it in the same way you would food or entertainment. If you don’t find yourself wanting more, then getting on your knees to pray will not be satisfying at all. It will feel like a nuisance; a chore.

So many of us have that backwards in our lives.

lgboyd

Ephesians 3:14-21

Brothers and sisters: I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine, by the power at work within us, to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.


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OCTOBER 21ST, 2010


Luke 12:49-53

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

“…how I wish it were already blazing.”

What a turn-around that must have been. That really had to set the disciples on their collective heels. What does this mean, setting the world on fire? You’re going do what—burn down the very things you’ve built up? And you already wish it was done? What about the peace that You want us to bring to others—just as you told us? Lord, give us an explanation, please.

If it was confusing for them, I admit it is confusing for me and maybe for some of us here as we read. Not that it can be explained here better than elsewhere, yet Jesus wants to make it clear—perfectly—that we are either with Him or we are not. He has indeed come to set the world ablaze with His love, with a fiery passion burning like no other. And He wants our love for Him to be the same. No one can be before Him—family, friends, work—no one or no thing. No love can be greater than His. No love we have can be greater for anyone or anything other than Him.

We all must continue to believe that more than anything else, the fire of His love—His all-powerful and encompassing love—will fill us and save us. Our love must have that same fire and passion for Him as we have for others, just as He has instructed. The more fire we have for Him, the more we will grow in understanding and trust, giving up of ourselves to do His will. We may not ever fully understand on this earth what He has called us to do, but if we surrender to His will, He will let us know when He is ready for us to come home.


IN MEMORY OF JOHN MAYNOR

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OCTOBER 20TH, 2010


A year ago today, a warrior, a friend, a father, a husband—a true believer in all facets and portions—began his eternal journey. John filled all these roles and more to all he met and served for he was a servant of and to Jesus Christ.

Given an opportunity to make a difference in a life, he never passed it up. Given a difference as an opportunity, he prayed and listened to what God had in store for him and followed His guidance.

In one of those instances, he shared with me that for me to go back to school would only take a few years to get finished. I complained in my reply that I would be at least 45 when I finished. He shrugged, looked up and without a breath of a pause said, ‘If you’re blessed to make it that far, you can be 45 with a degree or 45 without one.’ It was difficult to argue with logic like that.

That was John. Point blank. The truth. In Love. In Faith. Now sharing it in an eternal happiness with God's angels and saints. We miss all that about him and look to live in such a way that we may share in that joy.

For John and the way he lived, and for Sam, his wife will forever love him and will someday share his eternal glory, a prayer that reflects their devotion to their Lord Jesus Christ.

My God, I do not know what must come to me today.

But I am certain that nothing can happen to me

that You have not foreseen, decreed,

and ordained from all eternity.

That is sufficient for me.

I adore Your impenetrable and eternal designs,

to which I submit with all my heart.

I desire, I accept them all, and I unite my sacrifice

to that of Jesus Christ, my divine Savior.

I ask this in His name and through His infinite merits,

patience in my trials, and perfect and entire submission

to all that comes to me by Your good pleasure.

Amen.

St. Joseph Pignatelli


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OCTOBER 19TH, 2010


Ephesians 2:17-22

He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.

So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord; in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

I once was blind but now I see.

Back then, it might be that I was not so much as blind but it may have been that I was too far away to see what I needed to see. Not too unlike the rest of us if we are all to put on our truth goggles.

And today, the path He leads me on is still a narrow one. And sometimes I still go my own way, losing sight of where I should be, with Him being farther away. He is not the one that changed, that moved or re-routed my journey. He didn't make the choices; He gave me free will. (And with that, many 'free wills' should have been 'free won'ts'.) Yet He is always coming back to get me, to welcome me back.

He’s that way with us all. When the pieces don’t fit, when the world is falling down all around us, God is the one to put the parts back together, to help us build His Kingdom back around us. He does hold it all together when we can’t. We have to give it to Him, surrender to His will, and trust that He will. Yes, trust that He will. He did for the disciples then; He will do it for us today. All of us built together in His Holy Spirit as one.


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OCTOBER 18TH, 2010


Luke 10:1-5

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit.

He said to them, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.

Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.

Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this household.'

Based on what Jesus was sharing with them, it was not sounding like a very promising send-off to say the least. There was a lot to get done in the way of His work and here they were, all seventy-two of them, being sent out without so much as a backpack or wallet. Maybe there was a bit of uneasiness as they listened to His directions. But they knew their mission. They believed.

He told them it would not be easy. He told them there would be those that would turn them away, when their ‘peace would return to them’ should they not be welcome there. Taken in one context, seeing themselves ‘like lambs among the wolves’, they would have been in danger of being ‘eaten alive’ by the non-believers. Taken in another, being that lamb provides one an opportunity for peace in time of trouble. He laid it all out for them to give them the clear picture that if you were going to be for Him, to be His disciple, this was how it was going to be.

Yet with all they had to do, they were not going to do it alone. They had each other as Jesus was sending them out in pairs. With one another, maybe even in groups, they continued to spread His peace, breaking out into smaller groups or pairs as they travelled. They knew there was strength in numbers. But they also knew where they were given the strength to go and spread His Word: in the love and faith in The One who sent them.

We are not any different today, really. The Truth remains the Truth and the message is still the same: way too few to spread the Good News. But we do not despair. Where there is darkness we can be the light. We also find our strength in The One who has chosen us. We find more ways to do what we can with what we have. Lots more wolves? Sure there are. All the more reason to send out more lambs.

Spread the Gospel everywhere you go. If necessary, use words.

St. Francis of Assisi


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OCTOBER 17TH, 2010


2 Timothy 3:14-4:2

Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it, and that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.

P ray

U ntil

S omething

H appens. (then pray some more.)

What our faith tells us about us is that we believe in the unseen. We have hope in that our prayers are heard. And that God will love us not because of anything we do or say but because He is God and He wants to.

He inspired all Scripture so that we might come closer to Him, so that we might bring others along with us when we do. We don’t have to be theological giants or even scriptural scholars. All He wants from us is to pray and read what He has given us. The more we do, the more He will make clear our journey.

Take time to pray. Take even more time to read His Good News. We already have all the time there is. Well except in a couple of weeks, we get an extra hour but, right now, there are no more hours in the day, days in the week… Find the time. Make the time. Give Him more time.

Convince yourself.

Give yourself permission.

Remember, He has called and chosen us. And in so doing, He will make ready those He has called. The tools are at our ready. What are we waiting for?

R ead the Good News

U ntil

S omething

H appens. (then read some more.)


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OCTOBER 16TH, 2010


Wisdom in Seeking God

Strive to see God in all things without exception, and-acquiesce in His will with absolute submission. Do everything for God, uniting yourself to Him by a mere upward glance, or by the overflowing of your heart towards Him. Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inward peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.

Commend all to God, and then lie still and be at rest in His bosom. Whatever happens, abide steadfast in a determination to cling simply to God, trusting to His eternal love for you; and if you find that you have wandered forth from this shelter, recall your heart quietly and simply.

Maintain a holy simplicity of mind, and do not smother yourself with a host of cares, wishes, or longings, under any pretext.

St. Francis de Sales


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OCTOBER 15TH, 2010


Matthew 6:6-8

But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

It’s hard sometimes not to complain or feel left out or feel that no one cares. Life has a way of throwing everything into the pot all at once, a heartache stew of sorts. The feelings of being overwhelmed and under-cared-for creep in quickly during those times. Some of us are better than others at pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps and moving forward.

Whether you have a tendency to sit in the stew for a while or to brush it aside and move on, the hurt and pain fester until we leave it where it should always go – in God’s hands. The Father knows what we need before we do. The Father knows what’s coming so it will be of no surprise to Him when we take the hurt to Him in prayer and ask Him to replace it with His peace and joy.

The key to all of this is to realize that He knows what we need AND when we need it. If an answer to prayer is given just a little too soon or a little too late, it can change the whole course of our lives. Have you ever had an experience, when looking back on it later, you realize that timing is everything? It could be anything—something someone said to you or did for you. If it had been said or done too soon, you might have acted rashly and run too fast in the wrong direction. If it had been said or done too late, you might have taken action out of impatience rather than wisdom.

God’s timing is perfect. And, if we let Him stay in control, the outcome leads to that quiet, perfect, and lasting moment of love, peace, and joy.

lgboyd

Ephesians 1:11-12

Brothers and sisters: In Christ we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ.


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OCTOBER 14TH, 2010


Ephesians 1:1-10

Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the holy ones who are in Ephesus and faithful in Christ Jesus: grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved.

In Christ we have redemption by his Blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us the mystery of his will in accord with his favor that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times, to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.

Every spiritual blessing in the heavens is ours because He chose us.

Holy and without blemish, we are His, as we place ourselves at His mercy at the foot of the cross. Through His Love—His everlasting and encompassing Love—He has promised us eternal happiness beyond anything we can imagine.

What is it that we do or did to deserve this? How is it that we found ourselves worthy of such honor, in accord with all the richness of His grace? That’s the conundrum. We didn’t do it. He did it for us. He lavished it upon us. As we offer ourselves as living sacrifices according to His will for us, He does as He promised and promises.

He is on our side, working with us, not against us. Though there are times we cannot quite grasp that concept, He is working all for our good.

We may lack the fullness of faith we once had. He will be there to help us restore it.

There will be times of sorrow and even anger. God in His infinite love and wisdom knows what you can carry; the rest He will lift from you and give you peace.

How do we know all of this? We believe and trust in our faith. As we do this, He will continue to make known His plans for us. He keeps His promises for us. We should keep ours for Him, in accord with His favor that He set forth.


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OCTOBER 13th, 2010


Galatians 5:18-25

Brothers and sisters:
If you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.

How do I love thee? O let me count the ways…

What’s that? You really want to know how I show my love for thee? Not just count the ways?

Do you have to ask such hard questions?

If our love is such that it is ‘of the flesh’, the question asked above would be answered with those things that are likewise: materialism, sex, greed, power, what’s in it for me—those things that lead us beyond temptation and into the throes of sin. All those paths which lead us against His will for us. What we or someone is calling love is not love at all but more of an absence of it.

That absence could be fear. It could be self-centeredness. It could even be a lack of respect or trust. This absence could be in us, in others or all of us.

Fear of rejection. Fear of being the real me. Fear of not realizing one’s dreams.

Life is all about me and my needs… I, me, mine.

No trust, no fuss, no rust.

How one gives and lives helps determine how one will be and love. We are all called to be as God has called us, living a life as His disciples. That life is made up of those things—those fruits—of the Spirit. These are the fruits of love. These are the ways of love. As Catholics, as Christians, as believers, let us all choose to follow them so that we all may have a greater passion, a greater desire to live, love and follow Him.


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OCTOBER 12TH, 2010


Luke 11:37-41

After Jesus had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home.
He entered and reclined at table to eat. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal.
The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil.
You fools!
Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.”

If you were to see the insides of the coffee cups I use at work, you could get a better idea of what Jesus was emphasizing with the Pharisees—clean appearance on the outside, not so much inside the rim. Needless to say, there is not a lot of time taken or wasted cleaning the stain rings that are left from weekend three-day old coffee, or a cup that was misplaced for a week or two that has some sort of bacterial culture growing in it. Besides, I can convince myself it adds 'fullness and richness' to the flavor of the coffee.

There are some of us—and maybe even all of us some of the time—who would think that having a somewhat less than clean personal ‘interior’ would also add to the fullness and richness of our own lives. We try to convince ourselves that ‘just a little’ of a bad or even a lot of a not-so-bad thing is okay. Who would know if we took some extra time off at lunch or a longer break here or there when no one else was looking? Who’s going to tell if we were to spend some time at the computer doing and looking at personal stuff, the real personal stuff, when we say we’re doing something else? Spreading gossip or rumors your thing? What if they were about you or your family? Would you feel so good about fanning those flames then?

We are the fools indeed if we think we are fooling anyone. Of course, God did make us, inside and out. And it is from our within that we determine what our outside does. If it is true that we become what we think, it can also be true that we can become what we pray.

We can become spiritual.

We can become holy.

We can be even more loving.

We can become more as God has made us—clean, inside and out.


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OCTOBER 11TH, 2010


Luke 17:17-19

Jesus said in reply, "Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?"

Then he said to him, "Stand up and go; your faith has saved you."

Gratitude.

Ten lepers were healed only one returned in thanksgiving to the Lord Jesus. Was he the only one who recognized what had happened? Were not the others healed also? Isn't that what Jesus intimates with His question about the others? Did they understand when Jesus told them to present themselves to the priest that it was a religious ritual that brought healing? Was there only one to be grateful to the Lord because he recognized HIM?


Is gratitude a part of my living? Each day I have the gift beyond any reckoning filling my life with His presence. Each day I am fed with the body and blood of the risen Lord. Yet too often I feel I come to the table of the Lord with an attitude that belies true gratitude. That I say the light of day this morning should excite my being to wonder at the love of the Creator. Each moment I am gifted with the opportunity to do His will. I too frequently fail to understand this and in some flight of fancy imagine that I must seek deep knowledge of so many things, when rather His will is unfolding before my very eyes in the simplest of tasks that He allows me to fulfill. Each moment of each day countless opportunities are provided to do God's will as I encounter Him in the very mundane activities of life.


Yes, He has revealed Himself and continues to reveal himself fully in Jesus the Christ. He has poured forth His Spirit on His children and each of us have the opportunity each moment to demonstrate by our loving that He is present in our midst. In the stillness, the silence He speaks to my heart. I can hear only when I enter into the silence and quiet the noise of my mind, the noise of the world around me provides a background that sometimes muffles His voice if I become distracted by its allurement.

Lord, listen to the hearts and voices of all who seek You with a sincere heart. Give us wisdom and courage to live holy lives boldly proclaiming Your Good news of salvation. Be our light on the path to holiness and spur us to be generous in loving into faith those You send into our daily lives, into our efforts to share the faith, into our work to renew this parish and the earth.

Let Your healing love flow through as we pray and heal the sick in our midst especially those close to our parish family.

Deacon


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OCTOBER 10TH, 2010


Isaiah 65:24

Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear.

Before the blind saw, He knew their belief in Him would help them see.

Before the lame would walk, He knew of their hope they held for Him would help them throw away their mats.

Like the lepers before us, our faith has saved us before we even uttered or thought our prayer.

As He knew then what was good, He knows now.

He is still the same God Eternal.

God does know our needs. There is that one constant, one Truth that we know. It is Him. And as our One True God, we are then the ones who must be variables in the equations.

Sometimes those variables are all over the charts—anxiety, doubt, temptation, fear, sin—and we look for other answers. Answers that go along our way of thinking, not His. And that leads to more pain if not resentment. And that can mean a weaker faith. Not a good thing.

It is our faith that has brought us where we are and it is our faith that will continue to take us where He wills us to go. Not just here on earth, but on to His heavenly kingdom too.

Luke 17: 17-19

Jesus said in reply, "Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine?

Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?"

Then he said to him, "Stand up and go; your faith has saved you."


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OCTOBER 9TH, 2010


Romans 5:1-5

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God.

Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

It is through divine providence that the people that you know are in your life right now. For family, for friendship, for love, for faith, for work—for all of the above, these people have places in your life. It is through that same divine providence that those same people that you know—and like and love and work with—are taken away. For whatever reason, they may leave as quickly as they came in, or so it seems, or may have left far too soon no matter how long they had been around.

Put another way, what if you were that person to someone else? Or to a lot of someone elses? It could be that you are that person in their life, providentially placed, for a reason and you are there to make a difference for them. All of them. You may not see the difference right away. You may not ever see the difference at all. But God has made His call and you are the one He wants to make the changes in the lives He has called You to touch. Just as He has called them to touch yours.

Hope does not disappoint. God answers our prayers. Our time is not His time. Our faith grows stronger as we place our trust in what God has willed for us. He promises it is and will all be okay. Better than okay. We just have to follow His instructions, His will for us. What better way to do that than through His Word, His people and through prayer—the best gifts we could receive?

Give. Give Him praise. Give Him thanks. Give your prayers for forgiveness. Give your prayers for the needs of others and your needs.

Be. Be all He has for you today. Be more than you were yesterday. Be the light for others. Be the peace in their storms.

Love. Love God. Love others more than they love you... anyway. Love your neighbor. Love without end.

Amen.


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OCTOBER 8TH, 2010


Luke 11:15-26

When Jesus had driven out a demon, some of the crowd said: “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons.”
Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven. But he knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house. And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons. If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people drive them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe.
But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

“When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’
But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that man is worse than the first.”

How often is your reply ‘Oh, not much, nothing really,’ when someone asks you what you are thinking or what you have on your mind? Be it your spouse, friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, co-worker, a lot of the time our first response is to brush off the question with an aside remark to deflect the attempt at conversation.

I don’t know of any studies nationally or internationally but I would think that it is pretty much impossible not to have something going on in the complexity of the neurons at any given time. Though we might get ourselves in certain situations where others might look at us and think so, (and this happens way too often for me), the mind is not a vacuum. There are no empty spaces within our hearts, minds or souls. Something has to be filling us up.

In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus has just dispelled some demons and yet the crowds are on Him as if the devil had been the one to do so. They want a sign from heaven so He tells them how off-base they are with their thinking in that he (Satan) would be working against himself by doing good since his job is to wreak evil and sin. Yet they still don’t get it. Just like we don’t get it sometimes, either. God's might and majesty is all for good as much as we sometimes miss that concept.

And missing that concept, and if we fill our empty thought times, those ‘arid regions’, with thoughts other than things that are good, positive, faith-filled or even authentically us, then we are only fooling ourselves into something we are authentically not. We put ourselves in harm’s way when we could have chosen to taken another position, another path, to steer clear of the trouble we put ourselves in. We are either with Him or we are not. We either fill ourselves with Him or what is not of Him.

Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.


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OCTOBER 7TH, 2010


Luke 10:38-42

Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.”
The Lord said to her in reply,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.

Martha was anxious and worried. How many things have you got going on in your life that make you anxious or worried? If you are not a worrier by nature, there have to be a least a few things that roll around in your brain now and again. Even still, if you are not a worrier, I’m sure you have a task list somewhere that causes you to run until everything on the list is checked off.

No one knows why Martha was worried about entertaining her guests and getting the meal served. Perhaps she was a perfectionist and wanted everything perfect for her Lord. Perhaps she saw it as a duty – something that she always does so she better do it now. Perhaps there was some resentment brewing that she was left with all the work. I mean really–here is her Lord in her home and she is running around like a crazy person trying to get the meal served while Mary is just hanging out.

Regardless, Martha’s way of thinking at that moment was not helpful to the Lord, it was harmful. As much as Jesus probably appreciated the meal that Martha prepared, He made it clear that He appreciated Mary’s attention more.

Psalm 121:8

The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

As much as we want to please the Lord with our actions, we have to be careful not to let ‘doing’ get in the way of ‘being.’ Sometimes the Lord wants us to stop–even at the risk of not getting the meal out on time–so that we can refresh and renew ourselves with Him. Sometimes the Lord wants us to stop doing and just take a moment to think about how to respond to someone or to a situation before we act. Sometimes we have to stop to realize that there is a better part of life that’s been missed because we were too busy doing instead of being. lgboyd

Ephesians 1:4

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.


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OCTOBER 6th, 2010


This past Monday, we celebrated the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi. He is one whose footsteps we would do well to walk in for he followed Christ and reflected Christ so well. He loved lady poverty and lived a life of poverty preaching through his life the message of the Gospel.

How do we learn to live the life of love? Francis, Ignatius, Therese, Teresa of Calcutta, and so many other saints blaze a trail that should give us pause as we too strive to live holy lives. To be Holy one saint has written, is easy, just do the will of God. And that is easy because it is taking joy in the mundane everyday moments, doing what needs to be done no matter how seemingly minor or boring.

God's will is seen in getting to know the self He has created and loves and to strive to be fully human in the image of the creator. He created everyone in His image, yet we all have the free will to reject living in His image as well as the freedom to be in His image. How we long for more.

We still want to eat of the tree of knowledge that we may be like God, but, we fail to come to full knowledge of what God is like. God is love... and to be like Him requires that we love, not that we seek power, prestige, honor, or self-gratification.

We have restless hearts but we too often fail to seek to know the answers to quelling the restlessness.

Stop.

Begin right now to enter the quiet. Simply be in His presence which is near you, close within you. Just reflect the last time you received him bodily in Holy Communion. Does your faith speak to you of the wonder of this sacrament? God is your very food for eternity.

Manna for today.

Is Jesus himself longing to be one with you, with me?

Truly if today you hear his voice, let your heart melt.

Deacon


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OCTOBER 5th, 2010

HaPPY 25th

anniversary Linda!


Genesis 1:27, 31

God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.

God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good.

I asked for Strength, and God gave me Difficulties to make me strong.

God also gave me a wife to support me and help build my strengths and be with me through those difficulties. She is testament to faithfulness and devotion. A pillar of strength.

God knows what He is doing to make us stronger in faith.

I asked for Wisdom, and God gave me Problems to solve.

God brought along someone smarter than all the books on wisdom combined and put her in my midst and directed her to solve problems with and for us, not just for her or just for me or the kids.

God fills those with wisdom when others need their wisdom lessons made clearer—as well as those problems solved.

I asked for Prosperity, and God gave me Work.

God saw that there would be those days of not so much prosperity so He gave me a woman who knew perseverance and steadfastness and was and is fully resolute to her faith, family, friends and career.

Yes, God has given me work but He gave me much more in the one who is with me when there was none.

I asked for Courage, and God gave me Danger to overcome.

God knows what we can handle and He knows the journey we are traveling has its pitfalls and its outright life-threatening risks. From illnesses to death, from loss of relationships and friendships to loss of quality of life, God knew someone would need to be there so Linda has been and will be there to instill the confidence to press on and overcome.

God has His plan; with prayer, that is all we have to know.

I asked for Love, and God gave me Troubled People to help.

God is Love. And we abide in Him and in that Love. For all the years of our life together, there is no amount of Love greater than God’s Love for us. Yet our love knows no bounds and we strive to love as God does love. We know this is true as much trouble as we have been through; we are still together and on the climb to at least 25 more.

We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. 1 John 4:16

I asked for Favors, and God gave me Opportunities to do good works.

God does answer prayers with every prayer offered up. The answer is always within God’s time—sometimes that prayer is seen in an instant with His works at hand. Other times, the answer is a gradual acclimation that we realize as our faith responds to our surroundings or situation. Other times, we’ve have the answer all along. To realize the trifecta—all three responses—is way more than I know I deserve.

God often gives us answers to prayers in and through those people in our lives, those ones that are the very closest to us. He is so good that way and we are blessed.

I received nothing I wanted. I received everything I needed.

Thank you God for bringing the love and blessing of my wife, Linda, in my life.

Numbers 6:24-26

The LORD bless you and keep you!

The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!

The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace!

Happy 25th Anniversary!

I love you-

me


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OCTOBER 4, 2010


Luke 10:28, 37

He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”

He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Go and do likewise.

Do this and you will live.

We’ve heard the story countless times from scriptural reference and maybe even more from our own modern perspective when people have stopped to help others out of their Samaritan type compassion. So when it comes to relationships—marital, families, friends or even co-workers—why then the seemingly endless list of ‘druthers’ we hang on ourselves when it comes to helping them?

'My brother is in the hospital, please take ten minutes to go see him. It would mean so much to him.'

I will do that right after I get this paperwork done and go by there on my way home from work.

                        Not.

'There is presentation that needs some tweaking… maybe two or three slides added to it. If you could help out and get it done by the end of the week, I could make my bid to a new company next week.'

            Sure, I will get that done Saturday afternoon sometime.

                        Not, again.

'You are working late again, I know. Please don’t forget to call me when you have another meeting so I will know not to cook dinner.'

            I will, I promise. I know what a hassle that is for you.

                        Not to the third degree.

As the personal musings above indicate, the intentions were there but nothing was carried out. My heart was in the right place, well maybe it was, but without the deed, that was all there was. And we all know which road is paved with good intentions…

Maybe that was the way it was for those that passed by the robber’s victim. They may have looked on him with pity. They may have wished that he was not hurt so bad. They may have said the next person to come along would help. In their faulted reasoning, there was not much they would or could do. Suffice it here that with all that and a shekel or two that may have bought them a jolt of their favorite drink. Regardless of the relationship, we should all do as we have been instructed with this passage and with so many others.

Luke 10:27

He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”


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OCTOBER 3, 2010


The Meaning of Peace

There was once a king who offered a prize to the artist who could paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The king looked at all the pictures, but there were only two that he really liked, and he had to choose between them.
One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for the peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.

The second picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell, and in which lightening played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But when the king looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest.... a perfect picture of peace.

Which of the pictures won the prize? The king chose the second picture. Do you know why?

"Because," explained the king, "peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace."
That is the REAL meaning of peace.

Author Unknown

Submitted by Reno V.


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OCTOBER 2, 2010


Job 42:1-3, 5-6

Job answered the LORD and said:

I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be hindered.
I have dealt with great things that I do not understand; things too wonderful for me, which I cannot know.
I had heard of you by word of mouth, but now my eye has seen you.
Therefore I disown what I have said, and repent in dust and ashes.

It has happened to me more than I would care to put on these pages those times I would have preferred to have to have done as Job had done and ‘disowned’ whatever fell out of my mouth. To take back the words that came from those thoughts or more precisely, unthoughts. Unthoughts because they truly had no substance that would qualify them as being born of a rational, sane and engaged ‘thought’ process. To paraphrase a line my brother uses, what thought did you put back in your brain to use that one?

To put it mildly, Job had his share of tribulation. And for that, God saw to it that he and his family were blessed. Job overcame the things he did not understand—the loss of material things and even more tragically, the loss of family. He could not grasp the blessings God had for him either. Yet he persevered. Through the doubt, through the chastisement, to the point of almost giving up, through it all, he knew God was there. For all that he doubted and did not understand, He repented and asked for His forgiveness. And God said yes.

How is that any different for us? No, we don’t necessarily do the sack cloth, dust and ashes but we must offer our own acts of contrition as we pray and receive and go about our reconciliation. Forgiveness, like love, should last forever. As difficult as it is, once we forgive, we don’t harbor and hold on. God loves us as we are, forever, forgiving us as we forgive ourselves. To be more like Him, we should love and forgive as He does. Job had a bit of tough time with it and got through it. Who’s to say we can’t?


OFFER IT UP! OCTOBER 1, 2010


Psalm 139

O LORD, you have probed me, you know me:

you know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar.

My travels and my rest you mark; with all my ways you are familiar.

Even before a word is on my tongue, LORD, you know it all.

God, there is nothing about me that You do not know, nothing about me that You have never known or will never not know. As with Nathanael under the fig tree, as with Peter and his denials, as with the woman at the well and her sins, You know all there is to know about me. As for them, that must be enough for me.

Behind and before you encircle me and rest your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is beyond me, far too lofty for me to reach.

Where can I hide from your spirit? From your presence, where can I flee?

If I ascend to the heavens, you are there; if I lie down in Sheol, you are there too.

I don’t need to know Your plans for me. I don’t even need to understand them, really. As much as I need to trust and surrender, that is all I need to know and to do. There is no way or light or truth other than Yours.

If I fly with the wings of dawn and alight beyond the sea,

Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand hold me fast.

If I say, "Surely darkness shall hide me, and night shall be my light" --

Darkness is not dark for you, and night shines as the day. Darkness and light are but one.

Morning or night, noon or midnight, sun or moon—there is no light or darkness that can keep me from Your sight, God. Though my thoughts may drift to heights beyond anything I’ve understood about You before or to depths of hell that bloody my soul, You are still there with me.

You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb.

I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works! My very self you knew;

my bones were not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, fashioned as in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes foresaw my actions; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be.

For I am just one of Your creatures, God, and blessed to be chosen. You know my purpose for the days I am here. In all the Creation, in all the Kingdoms of Yours—of Heaven and of Earth, here I am because You are.

How precious to me are your designs, O God; how vast the sum of them! Were I to count, they would outnumber the sands; to finish, I would need eternity.

If only you would destroy the wicked, O God, and the bloodthirsty would depart from me!

Deceitfully they invoke your name; your foes swear faithless oaths.

Looking about and around at all You made, amid the wonder and majesty from Your power, I am humbled. Beyond the stars and moons and through the oceans and continents and below them, You continue to create the universe all for the good of those who choose Your will. Those who choose to do wrong, the indifferent by choice, are even among the faithless, and I pray that I too will not fall prey to their desires.

Do I not hate, LORD, those who hate you? Those who rise against you, do I not loathe?

With fierce hatred I hate them, enemies I count as my own.

Probe me, God, know my heart; try me, know my concerns.

See if my way is crooked, then lead me in the ancient paths.

Hate is such a powerful word—a painful, repulsive word. Yet for those who do not count themselves as Your faithful, how else do I relate to them? Easy answer, hard to do. I am to love them just as Your Son loved His enemies. From there, it is up to me to love all as You Love me. You know where I’ve been and what I’ve done. Keep me on the path to eternal salvation.


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