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

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offer it up! sunday, september 30, 2012

We have time for ___________.

Time. A commodity we take for granted most of the… time.

Time. How easily we can waste it.

And in time, we will finally realize there is a finite quality to time. We will live in time only so long. We really don't know how long, do we?

For some, the years grow long. For others, their time is short even as brief as a breath and they are released for time on earth to eternity where God has them go.


Can one even in their wildest imaginings grasp eternity?

Take the thought in… God’s eternal presence.

In the 14th century we have the example of Brother Lawrence, practicing the presence of God. He and other spiritual stalwarts offer us examples of learning to live in the present and discovering how to grow in awareness of the presence of God at all times and in all circumstances. I suspect it requires more humility, and learning to die more to self than most realize. To come to an ability to pray without ceasing. To experience God's presence always and in all events of life.

How can I live as Paul says, I live not I, but Christ lives in and through me?

In the scheme of God's Kingdom in process, who am I and who are we? The vastness of the universe, the vastness even of this little planet earth in my imaginings reduces me to an atom, even to tinier than an atom in the scheme of God's creation. Yet, somehow in God's tremendous, unfathomable love for each of us, we become the apple of His eye. Wonder of wonder, these tiny creatures, endowed with life from their creator, are loved beyond their wildest dreams. Loved so passionately that their Creator became one with them in time. And in our human likeness, willingly suffered and died at their hands that they may have life and have it abundantly and eternally.

How do I respond to such love if not to learn to live as the beloved and in return, passionately loving my lover with every breath He has given me?


offer it up! saturday, september 29, 2012

Saturday, 29 September: The Feast of the Archangels Gabriel, Michael and Raphael. Gabriel, God's Strength; Raphael, God's Remedy; Michael, who is like God.

The Archangels bring us important messages. We see Gabriel announcing to Mary the coming of the Savior, and we are made aware of the healing presence of God as Raphael brings healing to Tobit's blindness. Michael we see as the great warrior of God as Satan is cast into the darkness.

Perhaps today we take time to offer up some of our leisure by spending some time reflecting on God's creation, the wonder of His love in creating the Angels to watch over us and protect us. We can praise with them the Glory of God and give thanks for all that is, and all that will be. May our prayers this day obtain for each of us the grace we need to be models of faith as Our Father intends.


offer it up! friday, september 28, 2012

Ecclesiastes 3:1

There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.

There is a time for everything, and that time is all in His time.

As clay we are molded by our Creator. And as Jesus said, He will suffer and be laughed at but He will resurrect in three days!

We always get up—He is our rock.

He trained our hands. He will give us what is ours at the proper time.

At His time and not ours.

He is our shepherd and we listen to His voice.

Luke 9:22

He said, "The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised."


offer it up! thursday, september 27, 2012

Ecclesiastes 1:2-11

Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities! All things are vanity! What profit has man from all the labor which he toils at under the sun? One generation passes and another comes, but the world forever stays. The sun rises and the sun goes down; then it presses on to the place where it rises. Blowing now toward the south, then toward the north, the wind turns again and again, resuming its rounds.
All rivers go to the sea, yet never does the sea become full. To the place where they go, the rivers keep on going. All speech is labored; there is nothing one can say. The eye is not satisfied with seeing nor is the ear satisfied with hearing. What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done.

Nothing is new under the sun.
Even the thing of which we say, "See, this is new!" has already existed in the ages that preceded us. There is no remembrance of the men of old; nor of those to come will there be any remembrance among those who come after them.

Maybe the writer was a bit frustrated by it all, just like we get with life from time to time. Through the Hebrew translation, the term ‘vanity of vanities’ expresses a great, if the utmost, degree of futility and emptiness. And to further assure us of his intent, he later lets us know that there is ‘nothing new under the sun.’ Taken in the context of this frustration, he could be relating to the mundane world, giving in to the worldliness about him and his surroundings. Regardless of the efforts we make, the world pretty much stays the same.

However, all is not lost. The changing of the tides, the rising and the setting of the sun, the flowing of the rivers are all guided and directed by God. Though it seems a bit lost in the translation, what has been said and what has been heard and what has been seen can in fact be taken as new. New as in gifts from God as we find all gifts from Him.

Further on Ecclesiastes one could read the popular verses from Chapter Three and find that indeed there is a time for everything, for everything under the heavens. But that’s for a different day’s writing. For now, the meaning comes back to us that unless we do separate ourselves from the emptiness and the uselessness of the staples of the world, then we will find out the hard way about the nothingness that surrounds those that do not follow the will and way that God has for them. For all that we do, see, say and hear will lead us no closer to Him unless we do, see, say and hear as He would have us.

offer it up! wednesday, september 26, 2012

Proverbs 30:5-9

Every word of God is tested; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Add nothing to his words, lest he reprove you, and you will be exposed as a deceiver.
Two things I ask of you, deny them not to me before I die: put falsehood and lying far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; provide me only with the food I need; lest, being full, I deny you, saying, "Who is the LORD?" Or, being in want, I steal, and profane the name of my God.

There you have it.

As if we needed any additional proof: every word of God is tested. What more then can we add or take from them? We can only do our best to live as they have instructed us to do. The Proverb goes on to allow that God—The Word—is our shield for any of us who choose to find refuge in Him.

We don’t have to make stuff up from this world to give Scripture any additional meaning. Being inspired by God as they were written, that’s why they were given to us to begin with—so we don’t have to rely on what to make of the world but to make more out of our faith in Him.

If it came down to being asked of your ‘two things’, or that you would ask yours before you left this world, what would they be?

Would you want more of what you are now?

Would you want more of what you have now in this world?

Would you want to be more of who you are now?

Would you want to be more of who you could yet become as a child of God? Empty of everything only to be filled with the Love of God.

offer it up! tuesday, september 25, 2012

As we begin each day it is a good practice to offer it up! By offering up our day, we place ourselves at the service of our Creator and God and humbly seek to be obedient to His will. If we are in the habit of reading the daily scriptures offered to us by our Church, that is those included in the liturgy, we are given food for the journey.

For instance, today we read several pithy adages from the book of Proverbs and depending on our current status, we may have plenty of food for thought to guide us on the path to a solid life of service. In the Gospel, we get to sit in the crowd and be present when Jesus is told about his Mother and brothers wanting to see Him. We spend some moments reflecting on His answer "Those who listen to the Word of God and follow it are my mother and brothers and sisters."

We look to Mary and realize she truly is the model of faithful follower, obedient to all God wills in her life. We can continue our meditation and wonder at the faith of our own mothers who nurtured us and modeled a life of faith for us. In the course of our daily life we encounter activities and situations that challenge our own faith and ability to life according to God's word. How do we respond to brothers and sisters in need when their needs conflict with our desires and wants? We find that of our own wills and capabilities we are needy. Needy especially with regard to grace.

Without a growing awareness of God being always present, we can falter and fall into selfish ways that are too often unloving. We are in need of repentance and the constant work to learn to pray unceasingly. Having an awareness of God, practicing the presence of God, leads us to discover ways of praying always while fulfilling our responsibility to be the best person we can be.

We live in a time when religiosity is looked at often, unfavorably. Many folks find going to Church, being part of an institutional Church not very acceptable. Their mantra is that they are not religious but that they are spiritual. Have we lost sight of the history, the story of how we got to where we are? Jesus, Son of God, when he ascended to the Father left us the Church. He sent the Holy Spirit to be with this Church always and to guide it. Despite human stumbling and sinfulness, the Church remains Holy, and guided by the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes what we want to happen seems so difficult, and we are to walk obediently and humbly in the truth. Sometimes it is important to recognize that sin exists and the Church in at its mission to guide us to holiness must combat evil and sin. This often places us in hard to accept situations. It is time to Offer It UP! Pick up the cross of our making and follow in the footsteps of the Lord. Always, always seeking to love unconditionally.


offer it up! monday, september 24, 2012

Proverbs 3:27-34

Refuse no one the good on which he has a claim when it is in your power to do it for him. Say not to your neighbor, "Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give," when you can give at once. Plot no evil against your neighbor, against one who lives at peace with you. Quarrel not with a man without cause, with one who has done you no harm.
Envy not the lawless man and choose none of his ways: To the LORD the perverse one is an abomination, but with the upright is his friendship. The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, but the dwelling of the just he blesses; when dealing with the arrogant, he is stern, but to the humble he shows kindness.

Today, what shall we offer up but ourselves with all that is part of our life.

The reading from Proverbs today offers us much food for thought. It challenges me deeply as I recognize my own few successes and many failures in treating brothers and sisters with compassion. Too often I have found ways to delay helping another in need because it seemed inconvenient at the time. For the few times I responded as I hope God would have expected me to, I thank Him for the grace of that moment, and I pray I may always see clearly to respond as He would direct me to respond to those who become even a moment in my journey of life.

The light we are given at baptism is to be held high to light our lives and the lives of those who share our little acre of world. Imagine the light when we are all united solidly working to build the kingdom of God. Marked by the cross of Christ we are to illumine our world, we are those who are called to proclaim in season and out of season the very word of God. There are so many who are off the path, lost in the proverbial jungle of confusion and sin, sometimes with no intent of finding their way, waiting in a sense for someone to love them and lead them back on the path of love.

For what shall we pray today? Grace. May the God of mercy hear us and fill us that we may grow in awareness of His eternal presence, and live in holiness. Amen.


offer it up! sunday, september 23, 2012

If, Lord, Thy Love is Strong

If, Lord, Thy love for me is strong

As this which binds me unto thee,

What holds me from thee Lord so long,

What holds thee Lord so long from me?

O soul, what then desirest thou?

Lord I would see thee, who thus choose thee.

What fears can yet assail thee now?

All that I fear is but lose thee.

Love’s whole possession I entreat,

Lord make my soul thine own abode,

And I will build a nest so sweet

It may not be too poor for God.

A soul in God hidden from sin,

What more desires for thee remain,

Save but to love again,

And all on flame with love within,

Love on, and turn to love again.

St Teresa of Avila

offer it up! saturday, september 22, 2012

Luke 7:44-50

Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet, but she has bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she anointed my feet with ointment. So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little."
He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."
The others at table said to themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"
But he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

'Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others.'

Maybe Jesus could have started out by reminding those present about their own sins as well, with His prayer to His Father. Yet He did it in another way. He made friends with those who don’t have a lot of ‘friends’. He made it clear to Simon that the Father’s love was for everyone and that forgiveness was also for them all. Sinners and friends alike.

We too often look beyond the skin of our own noses and see others and their misery and their mistakes and sins without giving a second thought to ours… somewhat like Simon did with the woman who washed Jesus’ feet. He was more concerned about her past than the love she was giving to Jesus. Simon, as generous as he was with the dinner, was missing the generosity of what Jesus brought to the table.

As He forgave the woman, He would forgive Simon and the rest. As He would forgive them, He would come to forgive us. To help us leave behind the sinful ways of our past and move forward to the renewal of our minds and hearts in His love. There is so much to celebrate in that, in each Eucharist. In each sacrament of reconciliation. In each act of kindness, in each act of forgiveness, in each act of love. As Jesus gave it to us, so should we share and give it to others.

offer it up! friday, september 21, 2012

Feast of St. Matthew

From a homily by Saint Bede the Venerable, Priest

Jesus saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him

Jesus saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office, and he said to him: Follow me.

Jesus saw Matthew, not merely in the usual sense, but more significantly with his merciful understanding of men.

He saw the tax collector and, because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him, he said to him: Follow me. This following meant imitating the pattern of his life—not just walking after him. Saint John tells us: Whoever says he abides in Christ ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

And he rose and followed him. There is no reason for surprise that the tax collector abandoned earthly wealth as soon as the Lord commanded him. Nor should one be amazed that neglecting his wealth, he joined a band of men whose leader had, on Matthew’s assessment, no riches at all. Our Lord summoned Matthew by speaking to him in words. By an invisible, interior impulse flooding his mind with the light of grace, he instructed him to walk in his footsteps. In this way Matthew could understand that Christ, who was summoning him away from earthly possessions, had incorruptible treasures of heaven in his gift.

As he sat at table in the house, behold many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples.

This conversion of one tax collector gave many men, those from his own profession and other sinners, an example of repentance and pardon. Notice also the happy and true anticipation of his future status as apostle and teacher of the nations. No sooner was he converted than Matthew drew after him a whole crowd of sinners along the same road to salvation. He took up his appointed duties while still taking his first steps in the faith, and from that hour he fulfilled his obligation and thus grew in merit.

To see a deeper understanding of the great celebration Matthew held at his house, we must realize that he not only gave a banquet for the Lord at his earthly residence, but far more pleasing was the banquet set in his own heart which he provided through faith and love. Our Savior attests to this: Behold I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

On hearing Christ’s voice, we open the door to receive him, as it were, when we freely assent to his promptings and when we give ourselves over to doing what must be done. Christ, since he dwells in the hearts of his chosen ones through the grace of his love, enters so that he might eat with us and we with him. He ever refreshes us by the light of his presence insofar as we progress in our devotion to and longing for the things of heaven. He himself is delighted by such a pleasing banquet.

offer it up! thursday, september 20, 2012

Luke 7:36-50

A certain Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him, and he entered the Pharisee's house and reclined at table. Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee. Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself,
"If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner."
Jesus said to him in reply, "Simon, I have something to say to you."
"Tell me, teacher," he said.

"Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one owed five hundred days' wages and the other owed fifty. Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both. Which of them will love him more?"
Simon said in reply, "The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven."
He said to him, "You have judged rightly." Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet, but she has bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she anointed my feet with ointment. So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little."
He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." The others at table said to themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"
But he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

Each day begins with a sort of newness. We awaken from sleep having been in the hands of God, hopefully having entered the darkness that sleep becomes by placing ourselves in the hands of God.

As morning breaks, we arise by the grace of God to a new day in a very real sense. Do we acknowledge that rising? How wonderful it is to awaken with thoughts of gratitude that God has given us another day. Yet, how quickly even in that awareness we drift into the busyness that is ego driven. How quickly we become distracted and even absorbed by our own created needs to achieve, to accomplish what we have decided must be done or what must be planned. Have we really placed ourselves in the presence of the Creator, God, and listened to Him passionately desiring to do His will?

It was love that gave us life, and this morning renews that life. How do I respond in love and live out my prayer to Our Father? How can I love all I encounter today in a way that casts light, in a way that illuminates the very presence of the Lord Jesus in all circumstances?

The woman took an alabaster jar of precious ointment, knelt at the feet of Jesus, and anointed his feet. She bathed his feet with her tears, wiped them with her hair...her actions and the accounting of this scene give me pause to reflect on how I meet others in the course of this day. I must give thanks for those whom God has placed in my life each day.

Everyone, who, in some way presents me with a glimpse of Jesus.

The bright and cheerful good morning that greets me. The news that a brother or sister is suffering can draw me to prayer and remembrance of the suffering of love Himself. The opportunity to touch another soul and to experience the presence of the Christ. It is all part of the present moment the realization that in the now Christ lives in all. In the difficult moments when we are called to reveal the Christ within to shine the light of faith into the darkness, we must pause and seek and allow God's grace to guide our thoughts and actions that we may always act with compassion and love.

As I begin a new day, Lord, take all my faculties and make them Yours. Be a light to my path that is filled with an awareness of Your presence in all of creation, knowing in faith that You are always present, and that You have given us so powerful an intercessory and model in Mary, our Mother. I offer you my entire day and may each breath be a prayer of gratitude. May my thoughts and actions be entirely pleasing to You. And when I stumble Lord, may the angels You keep at my side be a constant reminder to rise and press on to be what you created me to be. Amen.


offer it up! wednesday, september 19, 2012

Luke 7:31-35

Jesus said to the crowds: "To what shall I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another, 'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance. We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.' For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine, and you said, 'He is possessed by a demon.'
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said, 'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.' But wisdom is vindicated by all her children."

Imagine Jesus comparing our generations today.

No wait, let’s not.

Okay, maybe some of them anyway.

At least we would like to think that some of our current generations, in fact, all of our current generations, have something of value to give back in gratitude for what they have been given. From our parent’s generation and to their parent’s. From our children’s generation and to their children’s generation. Contrary to what one might want to believe about any one of them or the entire genealogies for them all, there is good in all.

Some refuse to see the good when it is staring them in the face. Others find ways to take the good from others and make it not so good. It’s as if they just don’t want good to be around. As painful as the lesson is, we too learn from them just as we learn when we see the goodness in others. God works through us all, the good, the bad and the ugly.

We have to have open hearts, open minds and open ears to hear ourselves what He has for us. ‘Playing flutes’ or ‘singing dirges’, with wounded hearts or with hearts that are full of love, God speaks to them and to us all.

offer it up! tuesday, september 18, 2012

Luke 7:11-17

Jesus journeyed to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him. As he drew near to the gate of the city, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the city was with her.
When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her and said to her, "Do not weep." He stepped forward and touched the coffin; at this the bearers halted, and he said, "Young man, I tell you, arise!" The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.
Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming, "A great prophet has arisen in our midst," and "God has visited his people."
This report about him spread through the whole of Judea and in all the surrounding region.

How often does it happen that we see others in need and we stop to help them out? No, not in life-saving fashion, or in the event as Jesus did, bringing back to life events, but in any sort of way that we can? Or do we go along our way, pray and wish them well and say something along the lines of ‘well, maybe the next guy will help them out.’

With Jesus, one would have to imagine He never let the ‘next guy’ come along. From being in Nain, to the woman at the well, to the cripple man on the mat, to the centurion and his slave to all those He touched and healed, He was there for them as He came to them and, even more importantly, as they came to Him.

And with most, if not all of what He did, He would tell them to not let anyone know of what He did. Of course, the word spread of His Word and works. And many more came to know of Him and His followers. And they would come to believe in Him not because of the miracles but of His promise of new life here on earth and of eternal life beyond. That was the promise of His teaching, of His Word. Even the people in Nain said, ‘God has visited His people.’ upon hearing and seeing Him.

That goes for us too. We are given the same opportunity for ‘new life’ just as the man who was raised. For us to realize just how much life we have in us, not for us but for Jesus Christ and for us to share that life with others. How many others are there waiting for their new life in Christ? And is it time for us to share ours with them? Of course it is. Let us all be in a better place than we were to do more of what we’ve been called to do.

offer it up! monday, september 17, 2012

1 Corinthians 11:23-26, 33

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, "This is my Body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me."
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my Blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.

The last verse is rather important from the family I grew up in. We always got to wait (more like had to really) for everyone to be seated at the table before we could a) pray, b) begin to fill our plates, c) then we could start thinking think about taking a bite of food. And with as many mouths to feed at our home, it took a bit of coordination and planning to get all members present on most evenings.

Passing on the tradition of the Eucharist, Jesus may or may not have had such hassles bringing together His disciples... though the numbers He had were close to what gathered at our dinner table. However it was, there had to be some gathering and waiting involved as the meal was prepared and the table was set. There would also have to be the thanksgiving for what they were to be taking part in: the Eucharist.

The term itself, from the Greek word for giving thanks, eucaristia, still is with us today in our Liturgy as we too give thanks. Jesus broke the bread and gave thanks. Jesus took the wine and as a symbol then of what was to come, offered it as His true blood. Both now His Body and Blood have been offered over to the disciples. Now they are offered to us each time as we embrace the celebration of the Eucharist.

Yes, we wait for one another. Yes, we pray for one another and with one another. Not for necessarily for the sake of being polite... that’s all well and good. But more importantly for the sharing and Love we all find in communion with one another.

offer it up! sunday, september 16, 2012

Mark 8:27-35

Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?"
They said in reply, "John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets."
And he asked them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Peter said to him in reply, "You are the Christ." Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.
He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days. He spoke this openly.
Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do."
He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it."

Like Peter, how often has it happened to us that we’ve gone from the top of the world to the bottom of the dung heap all in a matter of moments? Even in moments of great faithfulness and spirituality, we put out on our journey and seem to have a good idea of what our lives and faith are about and the next thing you know… things do not smell quite as ‘rosy’ as they were when the day started. As a matter of fact, they’ve taken on a rather decidedly foul-smelling aroma. We’ve been there in various stages of our journeys, as we come to find out more Who Jesus Christ is in our lives.

‘You are the Christ.’ And Jesus told them all, as He had warned them and others before, not to tell anyone about Him. Maybe Jesus wanted the others to find out on their own. Maybe it was because of their faith, or lack of it, they needed to figure out who Jesus really was and what He came to do. Maybe they wouldn’t understand what He was telling them. Maybe some were not ready, still ‘thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.’

And it’s that type of thinking that brought us to where we would be—the pits, the bottom of the heap, the cesspool—provided we just gave up and stayed there. Jesus told the disciples and those that were listening then and we can hear the same message today that we must first deny ourselves, even if it means less than desirable conditions. That’s part of taking up our cross and following Christ. That is losing our lives for the sake of His. That is following Christ to our salvation.

offer it up! saturday, september 15, 2012

Today in our Liturgies we turn to Mary Our Sorrowful Mother. Can we even begin to grasp how deeply Mary shared in the agony of Her son, Our Lord Jesus, the Son of God? In our prayer and meditation this day we ask God for the grace to share particularly in the benefits of Jesus dying and rising.

In the middle of the 19th century, Mary appeared to children at LaSalette in France as the Sorrowful Mother. The account of LaSalette portrays Mary in a sitting position with face in her hands weeping, weeping for the sins of mankind for the failures to live as a redeemed people. As she stood at the foot of the Cross, the instrument of suffering and sacrifice, Mary received from Jesus the Motherhood of the Church, "Woman behold your Son, Son behold your mother." John the only apostle present represents the Church as all are given Mary as Mother. Mary has been the most powerful intercessor for all her children since that time and remains Our Mother interceding and bringing her faithful children to their Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ.

As I spend moments with Mary and Jesus this morning I ask for the grace to understand more deeply the wonder of love that gives us so great a redeemer and so loving a Mother. In a world where a culture of death has become so prevalent, Mary weeps still, and many are unaware.

The daily reports of violence, hatred, displayed throughout the world are a reminder of a failure to communicate the gospel and the hardness of heart that refuses to accept the graces poured forth by a loving God.

Today we turn to Our Mother, and in sorrow and solidarity with her we seek to open our lives to God calling us to fulfill our baptismal promises.


offer it up! friday, september 14, 2012

Philippians 2:1-8

If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing. Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but also everyone for those of others.Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.

Throughout much of his writings, it is quite obvious that Paul is encouraging his listeners to be likeminded in Christ. Having the ‘same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus’ is another way he said it. He has already come to know the ‘compassion and mercy’ and the resulting joy of his relationship with Him and now his passion and mission is to bring even more followers to believe in the salvation through Jesus Christ.

As Jesus put the lives of others before His own, we are to do the same. He came so that we could humble ourselves, so that our lives could be easier, so that we could find our salvation in Him. All those ‘coulds’ are our choices. He has given them to us as He ‘emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave’, as He put Himself on the cross. His Love for us held Him there. Our love for Him will be what we give in return.

On these pages we’ve often heard and read about ‘emptying ourselves’ so that we too could be refilled with all that God has for us. Sometimes it’s a painful process. As we do go about it, the emptying and the refilling, let us do so as we serve Jesus Christ and those He has called for us to love and serve in His Name.

Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory

offer it up! thursday, september 13, 2012

Yesterday on the Church calendar we celebrated the Holy Name of Mary. As the Church calendar goes, this seems a new option during the Liturgical year though the feast day has been honored since 17th century. The feast is a counterpart to the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, on January 3rd; both have the possibility of uniting people easily divided on other matters.

The name Mary has been so common in Christianity throughout the ages. ‘All generations shall call me blessed’, Mary proclaimed and so it is. After 2000 years the name Mary remains so prominent on the world stage. How many streets have been named in honor of Mary? Churches, towns and on and on. God chose Mary to be the Mother of Jesus the Christ and her faithful response has remained our model of faith.

We are presently seeing in some areas a resurgence of devotion to Mary the Mother of God. Can we not see that she is intent on evangelization and drawing people to her Son, Jesus...God, Redeemer the fount of Love?

Offer it up. That is, offer up your heart and soul to spend time in the presence of Mary and allow her to take you into the presence of her Son. No matter what we celebrate in terms of remembering Mary, the Saints the models of faith, finally all is a process of our coming to know Jesus Christ intimately and falling in love passionately.

The door of faith opens and we enter to begin the task of becoming perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. A task that we cannot make progress in without God's grace. Too often we begin to think we can do it ourselves and try to become holy by the sheer power of our own wills and we often fail miserably. Then, we offer our failures to the Lord and humbly seek His grace and help heal the wounds of sin and division we have allowed to enter into our live.

Take time today and sit with Mary and with Jesus. They would love to have you visit with them.

Be still and know .... God is love.


offer it up! wednesday, september 12, 2012

The Most Holy Name

of Mary

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.

Even though Paul talks about not being discouraged, we certainly get that way from time to time, if not more often than we would like to. Even with the ‘same spirit of faith’ we do bump our heads and find our faith being brought into question, probably more than we questioned our reasons for the dumb things we did to get us in the predicament where we are now. Yup, that’s what we are… animals with sane reasoning skills. Most of the time.


Instead of prayerful and spiritual guidance, we went with the earthly and it’s-all-about-me guidance. And then what happens? Discouragement, sin—that wasting away of our inner self—spiritual pain and the grief of having to reconcile with yourself, with others and with Jesus Christ. But through that grief comes the renewal and the transformation once again. The rebuilding of what once torn down to something and someone ‘renewed day by day.’

Comparatively, as Paul points out, what we saw and what we did are of small matter or concern with what we will see and experience eternally. Our crosses that we bear will be of small significance in the greater scheme of our life as we come to know more of the greater glory of God—a glory that is truly beyond all comparison. Let us give Him great thanks for all that He has given us in His glory and grace and might.

offer it up! tuesday, september 11, 2012

Luke 6:17-19

And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured.
Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.

It took prayer—all night—for Jesus. For Jesus to ask His Father for the insight to select the men to be His disciples. Ordinary men. Not so much as a single one of them with a PhD., some sort of special ancestry or a distinction that held them higher than another. Yet there they were with Him. On level ground.

Interesting that scripture says they were all on that ‘stretch of level ground.’ Not for me to read too much into this or to interpret Gospel, but how is it that we are all called and we too are on ‘level ground’ when we answer that call? He did not stay on the mountain... He came down to us, to level ground. Among them. Among us.

From all over they came. From all over we are clamoring to be with Him. To hear Him and to be near Him. Those from Judea and Jerusalem, Tyre and Sidon were there because of the power that ‘came forth’ from Jesus. The power from what He spoke and from how He cured them from their illnesses and their unclean spirits. With our faith, our prayer and faith in Jesus Christ, we too can also come to understand more clearly the power that comes forth from the faithfulness of Christ Jesus.

He is among us. He reaches out to us long before we figure out He’s been there all the while. Pray that we stay on our path toward holiness and keep Him with us… on our level.

offer it up! monday, september 10, 2012

1 Corinthians 5:6-8

Your boasting is not appropriate. Do you not know that a little yeast leavens all the dough? Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough,
inasmuch as you are unleavened. For our Paschal Lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.
Therefore, let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Just because our sins are not like another’s does not give us ‘carte blanche’ to chastise, criticize or even compare our sins to theirs. As it has been noted, until we walk along the path they have tread, we cannot presume their pains or even their sins just as they cannot presume ours.

Clear out the old stuff. The more you clear out the more you are likely to find. The more you will find you don’t really need. The more you will see all you really need is the Love and faith of Jesus Christ. Baptized in His spirit, we remain in His spirit with our free will, celebrating His Love for us with each choice we make to stay in His light.

Yes, we often say ‘but for the grace of God’ and we have chosen to do differently with our own lives. Yet Christ did die for us all. Each day we are given that opportunity to regain what He gave us in His sacrifice. A clearing out of the old and bringing in of the new. We all fall. We all sin. We all have the reconciliation of the sincerity and truth that was given us on the Cross. That is our choice. That is our faith. Not a watered-down religion but our time-tested, scripture-based, tradition-laden faith. That is being a new creation in Christ with sincerity and truth.

offer it up! sunday, september 9, 2012

happy birthday jim!

Isaiah 35:4-7a

Thus says the LORD: Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing. Streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. The burning sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water.

Sometimes we need help to not be afraid to face whatever life brings. Sometimes we need reminders that even when something feels uncomfortable or just ‘not right,’ it is still probably part of God’s plan. Thankfully, God gives us our churches and family and friends to help us through those times and remind us that God knows about it and He is in control.

It can be uncomfortable to be the frightened one, but it can also be uncomfortable to be the one to approach the frightened. We don’t know what their circumstances are exactly. We don’t know if they are angry and whether our comments might make them more angry. If they are hurt or lonely, people tend to pull inward and refuse to talk. How do you approach someone in that condition? Sometimes, it feels like every word we say will have already been heard many times over. But, we don’t know that.

What we do know is that God has set someone in our path that needs love and attention. Sometimes just hearing someone else’s voice is all that is needed. The words can matter, but maybe not as much as just being there to respond. Simply hearing “I love you and care about you” will be enough to set that person’s heart in the right place again.

Whether we are the person hurting or the person sent to soothe the hurt, we don’t always know what to say or do – but the good news is, we can be strong and fear not. We can reach out and affect the lives of those around us with a few simple words. And then, knowing that God is God and we are not, we can step back and let Him do the rest. lgboyd

offer it up! saturday, september 8, 2012

This weekend we acknowledge the feast of the birth of Mary. Why we fail to celebrate a little more enthusiastically the special days the Church names during each liturgical year is likely a sign of the depth of faith in the life of our Church.

The words fall trippingly from our lips the Church is the body of Christ. We are the Church. We are the visible symbol of Christ present to the World. Just how effective are we in being Christ to our world today? As I began this day’s morning prayer and office of reading, it drew me into meditative moments on Mary the Mother of God, Mary our mother. Somehow over the years Mary has received less attention. At least as I remember those early years of my life, Mary was prominent in the religious life of the Church, of the family. It was a time when Patrick Peyton was on TV along with Hollywood stars like Bing Crosby, Loretta Young and others leading us in prayer and honor to Mary and praying the rosary.

Then it seems Vatican II, the ecumenical council was convened, pastoral documents were prepared by the successors of the Apostles, printed and distributed (sold). But now some 40 years later one can wonder what did the documents promulgate. At present, there seems to be a resurgence of the rosary according to some in the Church, but we must ask is this really the case?

As the Holy Father proclaims a year of faith, a time of re-evangelization, what will be our response? How well has this opening of a year of faith been communicated?

I suspect the beginning of another football season is receiving more attention. The first Dallas Cowboy game last Wednesday night drew a number of men and women to their TV sets, to choose watching the game over the political convention. The admitted critical need to vote doesn't seem to demand that we learn all we can to vote with solid facts and choose our leaders armed with as much truth as we can uncover.

And, God, the creator of all there is including me and you, how much of our attention does He get? Loving God Who first loved us? How does that affect our living?

Our Loving God - what does that look like?

Chapter 5, of the Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium), a document of Vatican II, reminds us that we are all called to holiness. Do you believe and act on that? Why not take some time during the coming months to some of the Vatican II documents and discuss them with fellow Catholics. Check out the Catechism of the Catholic Church and keep it handy as a reference. Participate in the faith life of the Church. Worship with the Church each and every Sunday. Do all you can to show you children the way, the truth and the life. Religious instruction, attending Sunday Mass with them. Do you part in sharing the faith by participating according to your gifts in proclaiming the Gospel message. What talent is God calling you to share?

By the time anyone reads this the Birth of Mary will have been celebrated.

However, it is never too late to stop and sit with Mary and dialog with her about whatever you need to discuss. Place your deepest longings in her hands and let her lead you to her Son. Listen, as she repeats as she did at Cana, "Do whatever he tells You".


offer it up! friday, september 7, 2012

The Creation

And God stepped out on space,
And he looked around and said:
I'm lonely--
I'll make me a world.

And far as the eye of God could see
Darkness covered everything,
Blacker than a hundred midnights
Down in a cypress swamp.

Then God smiled,
And the light broke,
And the darkness rolled up on one side,
And the light stood shining on the other,
And God said: That's good!

Then God reached out and took the light in his hands,
And God rolled the light around in his hands
Until he made the sun;
And he set that sun a-blazing in the heavens.
And the light that was left from making the sun
God gathered it up in a shining ball
And flung it against the darkness,
Spangling the night with the moon and stars.
Then down between
The darkness and the light
He hurled the world;
And God said: That's good!

Then God himself stepped down--
And the sun was on his right hand,
And the moon was on his left;
The stars were clustered about his head,
And the earth was under his feet.
And God walked, and where he trod
His footsteps hollowed the valleys out
And bulged the mountains up.

Then he stopped and looked and saw
That the earth was hot and barren.
So God stepped over to the edge of the world
And he spat out the seven seas--
He batted his eyes, and the lightnings flashed--
He clapped his hands, and the thunders rolled--
And the waters above the earth came down,
The cooling waters came down.

Then the green grass sprouted,
And the little red flowers blossomed,
The pine tree pointed his finger to the sky,
And the oak spread out his arms,
The lakes cuddled down in the hollows of the ground,
And the rivers ran down to the sea;
And God smiled again,
And the rainbow appeared,
And curled itself around his shoulder.

Then God raised his arm and he waved his hand
Over the sea and over the land,
And he said: Bring forth! Bring forth!
And quicker than God could drop his hand,
Fishes and fowls
And beasts and birds
Swam the rivers and the seas,
Roamed the forests and the woods,
And split the air with their wings.
And God said: That's good!

Then God walked around,
And God looked around
On all that he had made.
He looked at his sun,
And he looked at his moon,
And he looked at his little stars;
He looked on his world
With all its living things,
And God said: I'm lonely still.

Then God sat down--
On the side of a hill where he could think;
By a deep, wide river he sat down;
With his head in his hands,
God thought and thought,
Till he thought: I'll make me a man!

Up from the bed of the river
God scooped the clay;
And by the bank of the river
He kneeled him down;
And there the great God Almighty
Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky,
Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,
Who rounded the earth in the middle of his hand;
This great God,
Like a mammy bending over her baby,
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till he shaped it in is his own image;

Then into it he blew the breath of life,
And man became a living soul.

James Weldon Johnson

offer it up! thursday, september 6, 2012

Luke 5:1-11

While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret. He saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch." Simon said in reply, "Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets."
When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that the boats were in danger of sinking. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, "Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man."
For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon. Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men." When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him.

John Buchen once wrote: “The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive, but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.”

We meet people. They meet us.

We get our first impression. They get theirs.

We go one way. They go another.

Yesterday, Jesus healed the mother in law of Simon Peter. Today, He is telling him and his brothers and co-workers how to fish. Imagine that—a carpenter telling a group of fishermen what to do. Guys that have been doing what they have been doing for some time, experienced at their craft.

Yet there He was.

"Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch."

Too many times in our own lives we’ve heard others tell us on their own authority what to do. With or without the experience. With or without the know-how. With or with-out the ability or even inkling of what to do. And of those times, desperate as we might have been, what do we do? What do we say?

If we submit ourselves like Simon Peter did, we go ‘lower our nets’. We go to the deep waters and fish just as Jesus told him to do. For whatever reason, the folks giving us the ‘what-for’ or the ‘sage advice’ or wisdom, may just have the answer we need. They may just be who God sent to help us when we need help the most. Just as Jesus was for Simon and his crew. And just as Simon realized, we will soon become aware of our own sinfulness and those things that have been ‘perpetually elusive’ for us. Once we submit to lowering our nets and trusting in where Christ has us to fish. Who knows? We might be astonished at who we might catch… or who might even catch us.

offer it up! wednesday, september 5, 2012

Luke 4:38-39

After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon. Simon's mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever, and they interceded with him about her. He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up immediately and waited on them.

Jesus had just finished His preaching in the synagogue before He had gone to Peter’s home. He was ‘probably’ aware of Peter’s mother’s condition and knew what was about to take place. Those that were with Him, however, were not so inclined. They had to feel pretty good about themselves, but…

and they interceded with him about her.

This is another example of those verses or lines from scripture that jumps from the page at me, one that has not made its impression on me until now.

Imagine that group of praying hands. Imagine those hearts and minds together praying for the health and recovery of that woman. Imagine Peter and the other disciples and followers sharing their praise and trust in the One with whom they were praying? Jesus was there in their midst.

Would the prayers have been heard even without Jesus there? Well yes. Would she have been healed without Him there? Most likely.

Are our prayers heard even without the physical presence of Jesus Christ with us? Definitely so.

Are we also healed and changed without Him here? As He wills, so shall we be healed and changed.

The woman immediately began to serve as she was healed. In thanksgiving? For sure. She was serving those who helped serve her in her healing. It was the least she could do. As it is the least we can do to serve our Lord and Savior for the healing and transformation He brings to our lives. We are not just changed to stay where we are. We are transformed to move, to grow and to make new again our lives in Him. Every day. Every opportunity we get.

Imagine the difference.

offer it up! tuesday, september 4, 2012

Offer it up! All of my life that phrase has followed me. Beginning many years ago in the days of the Nuns, those wonderful dedicated women who "Offered It Up" for the glory of God. From as far back as I can remember we were reminded to offer it up. Likely in the beginning we wondered what that meant, especially when we didn't feel like offering anything up but rather getting even for some imagined wrong done to us. Slowly over the years, offer it up kept acquiring new meaning as I grew hopefully in understanding what the Lord Himself offered up for me.

Now each time we celebrate Eucharist, ‘offer it up’ is an awesome mystery where the Lord God, Jesus the Son of God is offered as the prefect Lamb of God. In offering this most perfect sacrifice we are privileged to join in offering our very selves united to Him in Holy Communion.

Just writing or saying these truths is to scratch the surface of what is beyond our space and time understanding of a mystery that is revealed only in eternity with the divine. Can we even begin to grasp the wonder of it all, the call to live in holiness, to enter into union with divinity? The God who loves me and you desires us. Wrapping our minds around that is a monumental task. We are often so enamored with creation, with the good things that give us pleasure and we fail to see the hand of the creator behind all of it.

Offer it up! All of it your joys, your sorrows, the good times and the not so good, look carefully and see the presence of God in all of it. Like Job, question, complain, cajole—always remaining faithful to the task of learning to be perfect. I suspect Matthew intended what he reported Jesus said with exactness. "Be perfect as you heavenly Father is perfect."

With God's help with our cooperation with his grace we will achieve the hope of salvation. We shall see God, face to face and know Him as He is. We are being challenged all of us to follow Him. In this coming year of faith it is time to take a long look at who we are, who I am one who follows Jesus the Christ, as one who is a member of His body, the Church.

God, Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, send forth your Spirit to renew us and lead us to the wonder of one body shining as a light to the entire world. Fill us with a spirit of love for all our brothers and sisters and let that love light the world. Amen.


offer it up! monday, september 3, 2012

Archbishop Oscar Romero Prayer:

A Step Along the Way

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,

it is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime

only a tiny fraction of the magnificent
enterprise that is God's work.

Nothing we do is complete,

which is a way of saying

that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the Church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.
This is what we are about.

We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,

knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything,

and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.

It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning,

a step along the way,

an opportunity for the Lord's grace

to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results,

but that is the difference between

the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.

*This prayer was composed by Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw, drafted for a homily by Card. John Dearden in Nov. 1979 for a celebration of departed priests. As a reflection on the anniversary of the martyrdom of Bishop Romero, Bishop Untener included in a reflection book a passage titled "The mystery of the Romero Prayer." The mystery is that the words of the prayer are attributed to Oscar Romero, but they were never spoken by him.

offer it up! sunday, september 2, 2012

Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8

Moses said to the people: "Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees which I am teaching you to observe, that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you. In your observance of the commandments of the LORD, your God, which I enjoin upon you, you shall not add to what I command you nor subtract from it.
Observe them carefully, for thus will you give evidence of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations, who will hear of all these statutes and say, 'This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.'
For what great nation is there that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us whenever we call upon him? Or what great nation has statutes and decrees that are as just as this whole law which I am setting before you today?"

If you’ve ever been given a recipe for a ‘new’ great dish, one that you had just enjoyed and were looking to serve up on your own, you would probably take the steps to follow the directions as noted to get the same tasty results, right? Makes sense that if you follow what had been given you, one would think then that you would get the same type of meal that you were presented.

Put another way, if you’ve been given some instructions on how to put something together-a bicycle, a highchair, hooking up your new electronic sound system, a roll-away basketball goal-to get any of them to work properly and safely you would, (eventually for some of us anyway), follow those instructions. If not, you may spend countless useless hours trying to screw in a pedal on the bicycle clockwise or undoing the poles from the basketball goal after you realized the two most critical pieces were not aligned.

They, those that know such things, put the instructions with the packages so that we, those that do not know such things, can put ourselves in better positions to know what we are doing. Even if we do finally submit to reading them after the fact.

Observe them carefully.

Hmmm. That’s what Moses said. That’s what the recipe says. That’s what the instructions say. We are to do as we have been instructed. For some of us, that is not the easiest thing to do. For others, compliance comes naturally. Yet when we all find our directions that we have chosen to use or follow not working out for us, where do usually find ourselves then? Going back to the instructions… those that God gave us.

You shall not add to what I command you nor subtract from it.

What? I can’t make up my own rules? If it says add a teaspoon of salt, I can’t add a tablespoon because I want it a little saltier? If I want the gears to be on the left handle instead of the right and the brakes to be switched from back to front… that won’t work? And that eighth commandment? White lies don’t count, right?

1.I am the LORD your God. You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.

2.You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

3.Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.

4.Honor your father and your mother.

5.You shall not kill.

6.You shall not commit adultery.

7.You shall not steal.

8.You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

9.You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.

10.You shall not covet your neighbor's goods.

'This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.'

Some may look at that statement and shake their heads with what goes on here. With great cause and reason. We can all move from that and move toward the greater and intelligent, God-fearing nation we are as we stand for what we believe. Who else can stand with us-one nation, under our God, for whenever we call upon Him?

offer it up! saturday, september 1, 2012

Prayer for Those Whose Lives I Have Touched

Beloved Shepherd of Souls!
As I tread into the sunset of my life,
I grow anxious

for the spiritual welfare of souls
who came to know me.

It grieves me to think
of the offenses they may have committed
because of words or deeds of mine.
I have in mind

those who were my close responsibility
as well as those whom I sponsored in Baptism
and whose spiritual condition

is no longer known to me.

In Your Merciful Goodness
I now plead for the pardon of the soul
who because of me

may have lost Your favor.
Humbly I implore You,
let not one of them be lost,
but when they leave this world
may they find glorious entry
into the Kingdom of Heaven!

On behalf of those
who may need to atone for offenses
I may have caused them to commit,
I offer You any infirmities