Are you Free?

I have a “to do” list, on it are many things. Some more enjoyable than others. On this list is a movie category and the movie “12 Years a slave” is perched near the top. Ever since seeing the trailer I have been pondering on some of the words from a short conversation between to slaves in the film, they hit home pretty hard….

Man #1    “If you want to survive, do and say as little as possible.”

Man #2    “Well I don’t wanna survive…… I wanna Live”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrDg_6rxCzs&safe=active

What does this make you think of?

Oppression?

I love that there is fire in this mans soul, fire for life, fire for freedom. He knows there is more to life. He has a desire to seek it. He knows what he wants.

I see a fear in the first man, I see a loss of hope. I see despair and I hear brokenness in his voice.

Sometimes I feel that as Catholics in the world today, there is a sense of the message from the first man going around “If you want to survive, as a Catholic, do and say as little as possible”

Ask yourself- is this how you want to be living?

In my heart there is a fire to Love, a fire to Serve. A desire not just to survive but a passion and THIRST to LIVE!!!

The slavery is here, it is holding many souls captive. The slavery is SIN.

Sometimes I allow myself to be chained up, hand cuffed. But Jesus is freedom. He has the key for every lock and every strong hold of sin.

He came so that we may have life, and have it to the full!

He sends us to tell prisoners that they are prisoners no more! 

My fav line in a song named “farther along” by Josh Garrels -There’s so much more to life than we’ve been told, its full of beauty that will unfold, and shine like you struck gold my wayward son….

 

There is! There is so much more to life than we are told by the world, it sells us only a distorted image.

Let the beauty of a life filled with the saving love and compassion of my dear friend Jesus unfold in your life.

And when you live this life you will KNOW you have struck gold!

 

Claim your freedom in the name of Jesus. Amen

 

 

 

Bless the Lord oh my soul

 

Do I?

Alleluia! Because of the Resurrection of Jesus, now we (you and I!) can rise with him through Baptism! Baptism is a Sacrament especially of conversion, and true conversion is active and continual. So we renew our Baptismal promises at Easter Mass. I asked myself, when I say “I do”, am I being honest? Am I actually only meaning “I want to”? Or “It’s good for people to do”? If ‘I do’, how do I? In what ways do I actually actively and continually do these promises?

Do you renounce sin, so as to live in the freedom of the children of God? I do.

Dou renounce the lure of evil, so that sin may have no mastery over you? I do.

Do you renounce Satan, the author and prince of sin? I do.

Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth? I do.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered death and was buried, rose again from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father? I do.

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting? I do.

 

‘Good’ Friday

A question that always plagued me when I was younger: why do we call this Friday in Holy Week ‘good’? I mean, this is the day that our God died! This is when we remember that we killed God, and that He suffered greatly because of our sinfulness! How can a day like this be a ‘good’ day?

grunewaldchrist1

This question came to me again during Palm Sunday Mass this year. There we were, rejoicing, singing, waving palms, welcoming our Lord – and knowing that in five days He will be dead. I thought to myself: what would someone who has never encountered the Catholic faith, think about what we were doing? We celebrate our Lord’s arrival in Jerusalem, knowing that he’s going to die soon! It’s foolishness! Madness!

“Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.”
1 Corinthians 3:18-19

Those crowds in Jerusalem were praising Jesus because they hoped in Him as their Messiah, who was prophesied to redeem them from their enemies. We now praise Jesus on His entry into Jerusalem because we have a ‘sure hope’, a faith which cannot fail us, that He will redeem us from our greatest enemy: death itself.
The crowds in Jerusalem had an uncertain hope in Jesus; we have a certain hope, an unshakeable faith in Him, because He has proved Himself to us. They expected Him to overthrow their worldly enemies; we know that He has completely conquered our spiritual enemies. They thought He would set them up in a worldly kingdom; we know that He has gained us entry to the Heavenly Kingdom, God’s very dwelling place.

This is why Good Friday is so good. In the midst of this most terrible event, there is the greatest good: the salvation of creation and every human soul. So even as we mourn and fast today, let us do it with a veiled joy, looking forward to the glory of Easter.

“We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered…”
Hebrews 6:19-20

 

God bless,
lukechapter12

Donkeys and disciples

I have moments in my life when I see myself and am ashamed and saddened at how, as Jesus puts it, ‘the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak’.
I have been blessed with plenty of consolation in my prayer and a feeling of closeness to Jesus throughout my days. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with joy that comes from no where, that’s how I know it’s The joy from my Heavenly Father. But even so I still shame myself and as peter also did-I deny my greatest friend.
This denial I often find comes in the form of embarrassment. I don’t verbally deny that I am a beloved son of God, a Christian, a follower of the way. But in my heart, when in certain situations or around different people, I feel scared about my faith. I feel I am being judged. Trialled. I become afraid.
This is a time in my faith journey where I am like the disciples in the garden at the arrest, I feel the guilt they must have felt as the fled from the side of our Lord.

These times ARE HARD, but Jesus’ love is greater.
Remember in these moments that Jesus is the only one we need. Truly NEED.

I also have times where I am the opposite. Times where I am proud as punch to be a follower of Christ. For example when I meet another follower, or someone who shows interest. At Christian events and even when enjoying a peaceful breath of prayer. In these times, we can compare ourselves to the donkey, the donkey who carried Christ into Jerusalem. We are proud to be so closely associated with Jesus. We carry him with joy for all to see. And often at these times we reap the benefits-the cloaks under our feet, the palm branches waved before us. It is a beautiful time.

We change, we are fickle, our emotions, and passions can play a huge part in our Journey home.

Christ is consistent, unchanging. He is safe.

I want to remind you that wither we are in a denying struggle or enjoying a joyful outburst of our faith, Christ is always WITH US!

As He says ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you’

Enjoy living life because it is with and through Christ that we are TRUELY alive.

Bless The Lord oh my soul

20140415-201133.jpg

Fiducia

I love finding new blogs. Trawling the internet for interesting ideas or perspectives, or maybe following a link on Facebook – you can discover some really awesome stuff. And lately I’ve been getting into other Kiwi bloggers. Some of them are quite well known, like Brendan Malone’s The Leading Edge, or Fr John O’Connor’s Food for Faith.

But the other day I found a new one. It’s actually run by one of our Diocesan Seminarians, and even though it isn’t often updated, there’s some good stuff on there. It’s titled say Your Prayers well.
Here’s a section of a blog that he put up recently, titled Fiducia:

Have you ever experienced a line of Scripture striking your heart like an arrow? It’s as though that line was shouted, while the rest was barely whispered. It doesn’t happen to me very often, but when it does I try to sit up and take notice – it’s usually because the Man Upstairs is trying to get my attention. That’s what happened today, proving once again that “the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

Psalm 129 is fairly familiar to me – it comes up often in the breviary. So I was surprised when I heard a line with ‘new ears’, as though for the first time.

Let the watchman count on daybreak
and Israel on the Lord.

That one line was like… a mental explosion. Or at least, the catalyst for a mental explosion. (Let’s now hope I can trace the wreckage in an intelligible way!)

Read the full blog here.

20140411-080245.jpg

God bless,
lukechapter12

The church is like a pack of timber…

Jesus seemed to love using parables and analogies to better help us get our human minds around a heavenly concept. I enjoy His style of teaching and thought I may follow suit.

So I’m a builder, and the other day I was sent to one of our jobs that we hadn’t been working on for a few weeks to sort out a few bits and pieces. When I arrived I found a length of timber lying on the floor slab. As the timber must have been sitting out for awhile it had buckled and bowed in the weather. Bent timber is a pain. It needs to be straightened.
I picked it up and took it down the to the back of site where we keep our pack of timber. When timber is packed correctly it keeps itself straight. The weight of the pack and the way it’s stacked limits the effect of the weather and all the timber in the pack helps to keep everything straight.
The the pack of timber is like the Church. If we remain in the church we are supported. The effects of the ‘weather’ can be seen as the ‘world’. A worldly view can bend us and twist us and than we become a useless piece of timber. God will build His kingdom in heaven out of perfectly straight pieces of timber. But don’t worry, yes we are all bent and bowed in one way or another but thankfully Jesus is a carpenter. A master builder. And a good builder knows how to straighten timber. I imagine it could be painful being ‘straightened’. So I guess the straighter we are, the easier and more useful we will be for The Lord to work with.

Lord thank you that you desire the best for us, I pray we will strive to allow you to use us as fully as you can to build up your kingdom.

Bless The Lord oh my soul

Keep going!

Nearly time to especially honour Our Lord’s Passion and Resurrection everyone! Keep up your Lenten prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Remember our focus in these next two weeks is on Jesus, not the fact that soon you can have chocolate again :)

Also remember that when we fast we acknowledge that while we may still want the thing we are fasting from, we recognise that we don’t need it, because all earthly things are passing. We make it possible for our hearts to become entirely united to Jesus, because we renounce the world.

So the point of our fast is not to ‘prove’ that we don’t really want something or that we can give something up. The point is to use the body to help the soul grow closer to God. How cool!

 

With prayer,
thwhih