Thursday, April 25, 2013

Prayer and Love

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"Yes, God alone is our true and unfailing support, just as love and prayer are the only sure spiritual levers with which it is possible to lift up the world."- Pope John Paul II (1994)

I don't think we have any doubt that the world needs to be lifted up.  That is for certain. But how are we supposed to do that?

With Prayer and Love.
John Paul II states it very clearly, with prayer and love.  John Paul II has seen what we are up against, he has experienced our world, he know what we face and he still says that it must be met with prayer and love.  Not worry, anger, arguments, hate, frustration, war, protests or ignorance.  But with prayer and love.
Instead of worrying, say a prayer. Instead of arguing, show them your love.  Instead of letting anger build up inside of you, pray for peace.
For it is with love and prayer that we can lift up the world.
If we want to enact some real change, which we must, we need to pray and love.  
So often I worry about problems in the world today.  Then I get angry about them.  Maybe I will discuss the issues with someone.  Soon I will get frustrated because I feel like I can't do anything to fix the problems anyway.  This is not the way to lift the world.  The world can be lifted through love and prayer.  And this is something that I can do.  I can treat others with love. I can share God's love with others, and I can pray and pray.  Pope John Paul II is giving us a sure response to the world around us.
This is something that we must keep in our minds at all times.

That prayer and love are the secrets to lifting up the world.

This is what we must be focused on if we are going to direct the world to the Lord.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Will he recognize you?

When I sat in mass when I was growing up I probably knew the name of everyone sitting around me. The rare person that I didn't know by name, I knew by sight and would definitely say hi to if I saw them on the street.  They were part of my community.  I was part of that community.  Even now when I go to mass in my hometown I know most of the people around me and will say hi to several people after mass.  

This was just the way it was.  You went to mass with your community.  You said hi to some of them afterwards and you would no doubt see some of them later in the week at school or at the grocery store.  I never really though much about it.

Fast forward to a Sunday morning in 2013.  I am not going to mass in my hometown.  I am going to mass in a town that I have lived in for less than a year.  On the average Sunday morning I would be lucky if I knew by name even one other person in the church besides my husband.  I have gotten involved in the parish but it is not quite feeling like I am part of the parish community yet.  It is something that I miss greatly.  It is something that I have gotten upset about and am continuously working towards.  But in the meantime I sometimes feel very alone even with the church is filled.

But today I saw things differently.  I cannot remember the exact wording but during one of the prayers the priest said something about Jesus recognizing the people in the church today.  That's when it clicked. 

Knowing the person who is sitting next to you is not nearly as important as knowing Jesus.

While having the person sitting next to you recognize you is nice, it is not nearly as important has having Jesus recognize you.  

How are we living?  Are we living our lives in a way that Jesus would recognize us?  Do we talk to him?  Do we spend time with him?  Could we even expect him to recognize us?

I am still working towards becoming part of the community.  But now I recognize that I don't go to mass to be part of a community.  I don't go to mass to say hi to my friends.  I go to mass to see Jesus.