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
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.
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
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!
“To acquire and preserve the virtue of chastity, we have need of a good and experienced confessor.”
- St Philip Neri
Do you have a confessor, or spiritual director? If not, who could you ask today to be yours? I have found that a good spiritual director is one of the most helpful and encouraging things in my spiritual journey.
Jesus paid a debt He didn’t owe,
Because I owed a debt I could not pay.
This is the Devine example of love. Willing the good of another. Putting others first. Doing all you can for the better of someone else, even if it costs you greatly.
Jesus sets the example. We must follow it for He is the Way, He is the Truth, and He is life. And He says ‘come, follow me’.
Everyday you get the opportunity to die to yourself for the Good of someone around you. Wither it be as small as offering a smile to someone who frustrates you or as big as laying down your life, it must be done.
Start small, start by saying yes I will chose to love today. Be conscious of the need for love around you.
Jesus, thank you for opening my eyes to my vocation of love. Please help me to live it as honestly as you did
Bless The Lord oh my soul
Precious Blood of Jesus, shed in the circumcision, make me pure of mind, heart and body.
Precious Blood, oozing from every pore of Jesus in the Agony, enable me to love God’s holy Will above all.
Precious Blood, flowing from the scourging at the pillar, inspire me with a sorrow for my sins, and a tolerance for suffering.
Precious Blood, falling in profusion from the crown of thorns, grant me a ready acceptance of humiliations.
Precious Blood, shed profusely in the crucifixion of Our Lord, make me die entirely to self love.
Precious Blood, shed to the very last drop by the opening of Christ’s Sacred Heart, give me that generous love which sacrifices all for God.
Precious Blood, sacred price for my redemption, apply to me your infinite merits.
Precious Blood, I adore You from the depths of my heart, I invoke You ardently, for You are my salvation, and by You I hope to obtain the joys of heaven.
p.s remember to pray for the holy souls in purgatory :)