Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Praying for Prayer

While I try to pray all throughout the day it is nice to have some quality devoted time to pray, to read the bible and to speak to the Lord.  I can do this best when I am either in a quiet place outdoors or in a quiet church.  This is hard to do.  I need to have the will to pray.  I need to have the time to pray.  I need to have access a suitable environment for this type of prayer.  But I know this time of prayer is amazing and fruitful.  Because of this I always say a special prayer.
I pray for prayer.
When ever I sit down to pray I first thank the Lord for bringing me there.  I thank the Lord for getting me off the couch to come and nurture my relationship with him.

"Dear Lord, Thank you for bringing me here today to spend time in front of your Blessed Eucharist."

"Dear Lord, Thank you for giving me some quiet time out of my hectic day today."

"Dear Lord, Thank you for giving me the will and the want to come talk with you today."

Then when I am finishing up my time of prayer I always ask to Lord to help me return to this time quickly.

Dear Lord, Thank you for this time together.  Please help me to come back to talk with you tomorrow."

Dear Lord, Please help me to find time tomorrow to spend time with you.

Dear Lord, Help me to stay in prayer with you through my hectic day tomorrow and give me the time to return to your Blessed Eucharist soon.

(This can also be a nice time that I think about my scheduled for the next day or so and when I will pray)

I have found this to be extremely beneficial to my prayer time and to my relationship with the Lord.  Spending any time in prayer is a hard thing thing to do and I know I can take all the prayers I can get.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Give him glory through science and exploration

"The exploration of both the micro and the macro cosmos, is a song to God's glory, which is reflected in everything in the universe.
                                                          -Pope John Paul II (2000)

As someone involved in (and loves) science this single line sums it all up.  Not only is it alright to study science.  Not only are there no conflicts between science and Catholicism.  Not only is it acceptable and tolerated but it is giving glory to God.  Just as studying a piece of artwork gives glory and honor to the artist who created it, studying God's creation gives glory to God, who created it.
When we study the intricate workings and structure of molecules, we are giving glory to God for he is the one who designed then to work just so.  When we explore the far reaches of the universe, we are giving glory to God who created such a vast and amazing structure.  All  of this was created and designed by Him.  All of the wonder and astonishing feats that are discovered through science were all put there by the creator of all, God.
I feel that exploring his creation is one way to grow closer to him and give him his deserved honor and glory.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Unbelievable Gift

Think back to those people who followed in the path of the apostles and passed their faith onto you.  For a lot of people (myself included) this includes their parents but also think about all the friends, family, and coworkers who witnessed their faith to you.  Those people who encouraged you with their words and actions.  Those people who kept you strong in your faith or directed you back to your faith through their friendship and fellowship.
We owe these people an huge amount of gratitude.  They gave us an unbelievable gift and is worth more than any monetary gift that they could have given us.
Now think about the other side.  Who have you given this gift to?  For all the parents an obvious answer should be your children but the list should not end there.  Who have you directed towards the Lord?  Who did you influence with your words and actions?  Who did you support and encourage by your example?

This is something that we are called to do.  Something that we need to do.  This is our job.

We have the opportunity to give this unbelievably valuable gift and we are called to do so.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Persistence Genesis 32:25-27

We all go through times of struggle.  Times of illness. Times of chaos.  Times of loneliness.  Times that are prayer life is non existent.  Times that we feel hopeless and lost.  What are we to do in these times?
This passage from genesis might give us some help with that question.  

Genesis 32: 25-27Jacob was left there alone.Then some man wrestled with him until the break of dawn.When the man saw that he could not prevail over him,he struck Jacob’s hip at its socket,so that the hip socket was wrenched as they wrestled.The man then said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”But Jacob said, “I will not let you go until you bless me.”

Jacob struggles in the night.  He is hurt but he still does not give up.  He is persistent and the Lord rewards him.

We will always have struggles in our life.  We may fail and fail again but we need to keep at it and stay faithful to the Lord and he will guide us through.  It might be tough getting through.  It may be painful.  But the Lord asks us to persevere and he will be with us.  

This brings to mind the country music song by Rodnew Atkins.
If you're going through hellKeep on going, don't slow downIf you're scared, don't show itYou might get outBefore the devil even knows you're there

I think we can all use this advice.  Just keep working through it.  It will get better.  You will find a way out. And most importantly God is always with you just don't give up on him. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

You must put aside any fear

I was a 9 year old little girl.  Waiting in lines, moving through crowds and being lifted up by my father to catch a tiny glimpse of the man who we made this journey to see: Pope John Paul II.  That is really all I remember from that day but I knew something important was going on.  He must have been someone quite special to gather that much of a crowd.  I can't say that I remember or even heard anything that he said but it is still an event that I will never forget.  

This morning I was reading some of the words of Blessed Pope John Paul II and I came across this.

"Like Mary, you must put aside any fear, in order to take Christ to the world in whatever you do - in marriage, as single people in the world, as students, as workers, as professional people.  Christ wants to go to many places in the world, and to enter many hearts, through you."                 - Blesses Pope John Paul II, Homily at Central Park, New York, 1995

This was from the mass that I was at!  Even though I didn't hear it, this is what the Pope spoke to me at the mass that I was part of! So I went back and read the passage again.

"you must put aside any fear, in order to take Christ to the world in whatever you do"


That is what is stopping us.  Fear. I want to share Christ's teachings with everyone I meet.  I want to tell the world of the truth and love of the Lord.  I want to stand up for my faith and my beliefs no matter what the price.  But I am afraid.  I'm afraid of what people will think of me.  I'm afraid of what my family and friends will think.  I'm afraid of loosing my comfortable lifestyle and easy friendships.  I'm afraid of offending someone.  I'm afraid.  This is what is keeping me from bringing Christ to the world.  He sure knew what he was talking about.  

We need to put aside our fear.  We need to remember what Blessed Pope John Paul II has told us many times: "Be not afraid!"  We need to put our trust in the Lord, put aside our fears and bring Christ to the world.  I'm sure Mary had fears beyond our understandings but she pushed them aside and said yes to the Lord and brought us all Christ.  Now it is our turn to push our fears aside and bring Christ to our world.  All we need to do is push the fear aside.

Hear is the full text of his Homily that day.  I will be reading it soon.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Talking to God

One line in Tim McGraw's song "Highway Don't Care" has stuck with me the past few days.
I bet you got a dead cell phone in your shotgun seat
Yeah, I bet you're bending God's ear talking 'bout me.

There are so many people that I wish I kept in better contact with; friends from college, cousins, neighbors.  But there is only so many hours in a day and it always seems that when I do find the time something else gets in the way.  Like a dead cell phone, or they are busy, or dinner is burning or you only have a few minutes (the list could go on for days).  Things come up.  You lose touch.  

This doesn't need to happen with God.  He is always waiting for you, ready to talk.  You can talk to him while you are trying to save dinner from becoming ash.  You can talk to him when you are out of breath on a run.  Even if you just say hi for a few minutes as you wait in line at the grocery store, he will be glad to talk to you.  And even if you cell phone is dead and you are completely cut off from everyone else you can still talk to God.  

I know that I need to remember this.  Even if I don't dedicate an entire holy hour at adoration each day I can still talk to God throughout the day.  We should be in a constant conversation with God.  We don't need much to have this conversation.  All we really need is an open heart but it will give us so much more that we could imagine.