Posts Tagged ‘hope’

Morning Prayer for Sunday, January 13, 2019 — I pray that I may always call on God’s strength

January 13, 2019

Before we came to the fellowship, we were living an unnatural life physically and mentally. We were punishing our bodies by loading them with alcohol. We didn’t eat enough and we ate the wrong things. We didn’t get enough sleep or the right kind of rest. We were ruining ourselves physically. We had an alcoholic obsession and we couldn’t imagine life without alcohol. We kept imagining all kinds of crazy things about ourselves and about other people. We were ruining ourselves mentally. Since I came into the fellowship, am I getting better physically and mentally?

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Meditation for the Day

I believe that my life is being refined like gold in a crucible. Gold does not stay in the crucible, only until it is refined. I will never despair or be despondent. I now have friends who long for me to conquer. If I should err or fail, it would cause pain and disappointment to them. I will keep trying to live a better life.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may always call on God’s strength, while the gold of my life is being refined. I pray that I may see it through, with God’s help.

From Twenty Four Hours a Day

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There are our “top overnight reads” at Peace and Freedom:

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What Drives This Alcoholic: A Life Mission

After 16 years of sobriety, my friend relapsed and started to drink again.

When I asked him how it happened, he said, “The alcohol just jumped into my mouth.”

When I asked him what was it that made him get out of bed in the morning, what was his mission, and what gave his life meaning, there was a long, uncomfortable silence.

I need to thank God continuously for the great gift of sobriety.

For me, a Christian in Alcoholics Anonymous, AA and my faith are in complete and perfect symmetry. I cannot imagine one without the other. I need both to sustain me.

I need meaning in my life. And I need interior peace — because that’s where I’ll hear God. I need to meditate.

A.A. is the beginning and not the end. Without true meaning in life, without a real mission, this particular alcoholic would be forever adrift and in danger.

I need friends, family, community and support. I need my sponsor and my wife sometimes equally and sometimes one more than the other.

But as a Christian, I also need Jesus. I need to seek him out and find him. I need to knock.

I need the hope of eternal life.

Nothing in this world can fill my need anymore. Once sober in A.A., we discover our spirituality — our spiritual nature and our spiritual life.

Truly now I am a spiritual being having what I hope is a temporary physical experience. I am no longer wedded only to this world. I am pointed toward the next.

For me, this is the goal of A.A. To give us a greater meaning, and greater goals. Selfless service to others is one of the best ways to stay sober and stay spiritually fit. So I must do that.

“Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps” is the goal. I must stay sober to keep my future shot of eternal life alive. If I don’t my spiritual life will end. I must live by the principles of the program and the teachings of the Christian life to have a shot.

All this is why many in A.A. with long-term sobriety are much better people than they were before. Now that we have tools, principles, fellowship and mission, we do better.  With real life tools and goals, we have a chance at eternal life.

And the joy of life and giving back every day.

John Francis Carey
Peace and Freedom

  • Honesty. We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
  • Hope. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  • Faith. …
  • Courage. …
  • Integrity. …
  • Willingness. …
  • Humility. …
  • Brotherly Love.
Here’s the pathway to a better life:
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Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic by Matthew Kelly
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The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic
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  • Prayer and Meditation Description: Specifically, Kelly notes that this consists of a daily routine of prayer. “Am I saying the other 93 percent of Catholics don’t pray? No. Their prayer tends to be spontaneous but inconsistent. The 7% have a daily commitment to prayer, a routine” (p. 8).
  • Study Description: “[Dynamic Catholics] see themselves as students of Jesus and his Church, and proactively make an effort to allow his teaching to form them” (p. 14). Kelly also notes that on average they spend 14 minutes each day learning about the faith.
  • Generosity Description: Generosity covers not only time and money, but also generosity in all things. This generosity is a way of life.
  • Evangelization Description: While many Dynamic Catholics don’t consider themselves to be evangelists, they “regularly do and say things to share a Catholic perspective with the people who cross their paths.”

Interestingly, Alcoholics Anonymous teaches the same four characteristics:

— Prayer and Meditation
— Study
— Service to others
— Twelve Step Work (Evangelization)

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Third Step Prayer (Alcoholics Anonymous)

God, I offer myself to Thee-
To build with me
and to do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self,
that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties,
that victory over them may bear witness
to those I would help of Thy Power,
Thy Love, and Thy Way of life.
May I do Thy will always!
Thank you, God, Amen!

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Lord, I ask your pardon, I have sinned again

Lord, I ask your pardon, I have sinned again. This, alas, is what I am capable of doing on my own! But I abandon myself with confidence to your mercy and your pardon, I thank you for not allowing me to sin even more grievously. I abandon myself to You with confidence because I know that one day you will heal me completely and, in the meantime, I ask you that the experience of my misery would cause me to be more humble, more considerate of others, more conscious that I can do nothing by myself, but that I must rely solely on your love and your mercy. Amen.

By Jacques Philippe

Book: Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence

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What is unique about Christianity?  Faith in the incarnation or the resurrection is not peculiar to the Christian Faith.  Other religions also believe in some form of incarnation of gods, and even resurrection.   Perhaps, what makes Christianity different from other religions is that we believe in the doctrine of grace.   In other words, salvation is purely the grace of God; not the work of man.  Grace is given to us irrespective of what we have done in life.  We cannot earn merits before God but we are called to receive His love, mercy and salvation graciously.

In most religions, there is always a belief in some form of Karma, the effects of what we do in life, good or evil.  If we do evil, we will be punished.  If we do good, we will be rewarded.  In other words, what we sow is what we reap.  Even St Paul appeared to affirm this principle.  “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”  (Gal 6:7f)  However, the context of St Paul’s saying is that bad consequences will happen to us when we reject the grace of God.

This grace is given to us through Jesus Christ.  It is said that the word, “GRACE” is the acronym for “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.”  Through Christ, we are given the grace of salvation freely and without reservation.  This is what the second reading from Titus tells us.  “When the kindness and love of God our saviour for mankind were revealed, it was not because he was concerned with any righteous actions we might have done ourselves; it was for no reason except his own compassion that he saved us, by means of the cleansing water of rebirth and by renewing us with the Holy Spirit which he has so generously poured over us through Jesus Christ our saviour. He did this so that we should be justified by his grace, to become heirs looking forward to inheriting eternal life.”

Baptism, therefore, is the expression of this grace of God given to us freely for our salvation.  There are no conditions for baptism except faith in His grace alone.  We are justified through faith in Jesus Christ who wrought for us the grace of reconciliation. St Paul in his letter to the Romans wrote, “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood – to be received by faith.”  (Rom 3:22-25)

The baptism of children is a clear example of grace, when they are made sons and daughters of God, heirs of Christ without any merit of their own to show.   St Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  (Eph 2:8-10)  They are given a new life in Christ and assured of eternal life.  All who are baptized are given a new dignity as adopted sons and daughters of God through the forgiveness of sins and the bestowing of the Holy Spirit.  Our sins are what cause us to lose our sonship and daughtership.  With our sins taken away by Christ and the bestowing of the Holy Spirit, we are now able to live out our sonship and daughtership in the power of the Holy Spirit.   Only in the Holy Spirit, can we live out our sonship.  From now on, even if we do good, it is not something that we can boast about except that the grace of God enables us to do good.  St Paul wrote, “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  (2 Cor 12:9f)

We can do good also because of the example that Christ has set for us to follow.  He has taught us how to love and how to be good.  “God’s grace has been revealed, and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race and taught us that what we have to do is to give up everything that does not lead to God, and all our worldly ambitions.  He sacrificed himself for us in order to set us free from all wickedness and to purify a people so that it could be his very own and would have no ambition except to do good.”  Indeed, Christ has revealed to us our destiny in life, which is to share in the fullness of life with God.  We are called to die to ourselves with Him in baptism so that our lives will be reflective of our sonship in Him.

Hence, today as we celebrate the Baptism of our Lord, we are reminded to be grateful for our own baptism.  Being baptized is not just for our own salvation but baptism also means that we are given a mission as well to bring others to Christ.  The baptism of Jesus was the beginning of His mission.  Whereas the feasts of Christmas and Epiphany celebrate the human face of God in Jesus, the feast of baptism reveals the divine face of man by showing our real identity as God’s sons and daughters.   This is who we are.  Necessarily, baptism obliges us to live out our sonship and daughtership seriously so that others will come to see the human face of God in us and the divine face in man.  St Paul urges us, “we must be self restrained and live good and religious lives here in this present world, while we are waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the Appearing of the glory of our great God and saviour Christ Jesus.”

Thus, baptism imposes on us the duty of witnessing to the Lord and to be apostles of Christ.  The command of the Lord before He ascended into heaven was this, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  (Mt 28:19f)  Like John the Baptist and the prophet Isaiah, we are to be joyful messengers of the Lord.  “Shout without fear, say to the towns of Judah, ‘Here is your God.’  Here is the Lord coming with power, his arm subduing all things to him. The prize of his victory is with him, his trophies all go before him.  He is like a shepherd feeding his flock, gathering lambs in his arms, holding them against his breast and leading to their rest the mother ewes.”

We are called to clear the path for people to accept the Lord into their lives by helping them to remove all the obstacles that prevent them from coming to the Lord because of pride, fear, selfishness and brokenness.  This is what the Suffering Servant said, “Prepare in the wilderness a way for the Lord. Make a straight highway for our God across the desert. Let every valley be filled in, every mountain and hill be laid low, let every cliff become plain, and the ridges a valley; then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all mankind shall see it; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”  Many people today are too wounded to be able to see the face of God because of the injustices they suffered or their pride of intellect, thinking they can solve all problems of life and find happiness in pleasure, power and success.  To such people, we bring the Good News, words of consolation and encouragement.  “Console my people, console them. Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and call to her that her time of service is ended, that her sin is atoned for.”  Jesus began His mission thus, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Lk 4:18f)

This mission is possible only when we become conscious of the dignity of our sonship and daughtership in Christ.   We read, “While Jesus after his own baptism was at prayer, heaven opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily shape, like a dove.  And a voice came from the heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests with you.’”  To regain our sonship, like Jesus, we need to enter into prayer and intimacy with the Father so that the Spirit of God can rest upon us anew and reinforce our consciousness that we are sons and daughters of God so that we can live accordingly in the power of His Spirit.

Written by The Most Rev William Goh, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Singapore
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Morning Prayer for Tuesday, January 1, 2019 — Preparation for better things ahead — Joyful anticipation of the future

January 1, 2019

Certain in the belief that God will supply the wisdom and the strength that I need, when I need it!

A reveller wears glasses that spell out 2019 during the New Year's Eve party in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, 31 December 2018

In the new year, I will live one day at a time. I will make each day one of preparation for better things ahead. I will not dwell on the past or the future, only on the present. I will bury every fear of the future, all thoughts of unkindness and bitterness, all my dislikes, my resentments, my sense of failure, my disappointments in others and in myself, my gloom and my despondency. I will leave all these things buried and go forward, in this new year, into a new life.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that God will guide me one day at a time in the new year. I pray that for each day, God will supply the wisdom and the strength that I need.

From: Twenty Four Hours a Day

Related:

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In Pictures: New Year 2019 celebrations around the world

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-46723634

Morning Prayer for Monday, December 31, 2018 — Faith, prayer, and hope are the cornerstones

December 31, 2018

I shall be loyal in my attendance, generous in my giving, kind in my criticism, creative in my suggestions, loving in my attitudes. I shall give A.A. my interest, my enthusiasm, my devotion, and most of all, myself. The Lord’s Prayer has become part of my fellowship thoughts for each day: “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not to temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Have I given myself?

Meditation for the Day

As we look back over the year just gone, it has been a good year to the extent that we have put good thoughts, good words, and good deeds into it. None of what we have thought, said, or done need be wasted. Both the good and the bad experiences can be profited by. In a sense, the past is not entirely gone. The result of it, for good or evil, is with us at the present moment. We can only learn by experience and none of our experience is completely wasted. We can humbly thank God for the good things of the year that has gone.

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Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may carry good things into the year ahead. I pray that I may carry on with faith, with prayer, and with hope.

From Twenty Four Hours a day

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Morning Prayer for Thursday, December 27, 2018 — Following Good Guidance

December 27, 2018

I need the principles of the program for the development of the buried life within me, that good life, which I had misplaced, but which I found again in this fellowship. This life within me is developing slowly but surely, with many setbacks, many mistakes, many failures, but still developing. As long as I stick close to the fellowship, my life will go on developing, and I cannot yet know what it will be, but I know that it will be good. That’s all I want to know. It will be good. Am I thanking God for the fellowship?

Meditation for the Day

Build your life on the firm foundation of true gratitude to God for all His blessings and true humility because of your unworthiness of these blessings. Build the frame of your life out of self-discipline; never let yourself get selfish or lazy or contented with yourself. Build the walls of your life out of service to others, helping them to find the way to live. Build the roof of your life out of prayer and quiet times, waiting for God’s guidance from above. Build a garden around your life out of peace of mind and serenity and a sure faith.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may build my life on good principles. I pray that it may be a good building when my work is finished.

From Twenty Four Hours a Day

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Step 1 – Honesty

Step 2 – Hope

Step 3 – Faith

Step 4 – Courage

Step 5 – Integrity

Step 6 – Willingness

Step 7 – Humility

Step 8 – Brotherly Love

Step 9 – Justice

Step 10 – Perseverance

Step 11 – Spirituality

Step 12 – Service

Related:

Morning Prayer for Monday, December 17, 2018 — “Look How Great The World Is Doing Without God” — “Maybe We Should Pray”

December 17, 2018

The way of faith is for everybody who really wants to live. But many people can go through life without much of it. Many are doing so, to their own sorrow. The world is full of lack of faith. Many people have lost confidence in any meaning in the universe. Many are wondering if it has any meaning at all. Many are at loose ends. Life has no goal for many. They are strangers in the land. 

Avicenna developed ‘probably the most influential and interesting medieval attempt to show that God exists’, says Prof Peter Adamson. Photograph: Detlev van Ravenswaay/ Getty images

Meditation for the Day

“He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends the rain on the just and the unjust.” God does not interfere with the working of natural laws. The laws of nature are unchangeable; otherwise we could not depend on them. As far as natural laws are concerned, God makes no distinction between good and bad people. Sickness or death may strike anywhere. But spiritual laws are also made to be obeyed. On our choice of good or evil depends whether we go upward to true success and victory in life or downward to loss and defeat.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may choose today the way of the spiritual life. I pray that I may live today with faith and hope and love.

From Twenty Four Hours a Day

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 — (Prayer and Spiritual Practice and service to others help us to this)

Remember: Everything you feed your brain contributes to good mental health or your disorders… This is why quiet daily meditation and even prayer is recommended by many experts….

See also:

The Islamic thinker who ‘proved’ God exists

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/unthinkable-the-islamic-thinker-who-proved-god-exists-1.2931754

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See also:

Aristotle’s argument for the existence of God

http://www.logicmuseum.com/ontological/aristotleontological.htm

We just recently became interested on Aristotle’s “Metaphysics” after a professor we know said, “His is the inconvenient truth. Hundreds of years before Christ, Aristotle believed he proved the existence of God using logic from his teacher Plato. College students today don’t want to think — even though they cast out religion. Therefore, Aristotle is usually overlooked these days….”

Can’t make truth, ideas, monuments or God go away by refusing to accept them!

Pope Francis: Life is a constant call to go forth

November 4, 2018
“In the Lord’s eyes what matters is not appearances but the heart.”
Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the Altar of the Chair in St Peter’s Basilica for those Cardinals and Bishops who have died in the past year, saying that “life is a constant call to go forth”.

We provide here the full text of the homily pronounced by Pope Francis during the Mass celebrated for Deceased Cardinals and Bishops.

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In the parable of today’s Gospel, we heard that the bridesmaids, all ten of them, “went forth to meet the bridegroom” (Mt 25:1).  For all of us, life is a constant call to go forth: from our mother’s womb, from the house where we are born, from infancy to youth, from youth to adulthood, all the way to our going forth from this world.  For ministers of the Gospel too, life is in constant movement, as we go forth from our family home to wherever the Church sends us, from one variety of service to another.  We are always on the move, until we make our final journey.

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The Gospel shows us the meaning of this constant wayfaring that is life: it is a going forth to meet the Bridegroom.  This is what life is meant to be lived for: the call that resounds in the night, according to the Gospel, and which we will hear at the hour of our death: “Here is the Bridegroom!  Come out to meet him!” (v. 6).  The encounter with Jesus, the Bridegroom who “loved the Church and gave himself up for her” (Eph 5:25), gives meaning and direction to our lives.  That and nothing more.  It is the finale that illuminates everything that preceded it.  Just as the seeding is judged by the harvest, so the journey of life is shaped by its ultimate goal.

If our life is a journey to meet the Bridegroom, it is also the time we have been granted to grow in love.  Every day of our lives is a preparation for the wedding banquet, a great period of betrothal.  Let us ask ourselves: do I live like someone preparing to meet the Bridegroom?  In the ministry, amid all our meetings, activities and paperwork, we must never lose sight of the one thread that holds the entire fabric together: our expectation of the Bridegroom.  The centre of it all can only be a heart in love with the Lord.  Only in this way will the visible body of our ministry be sustained by an invisible soul.

Here we begin to realize what the Apostle tells us in the second reading: “We look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal” (2 Cor 4:18).  Let us not keep our gaze fixed on earthly affairs, but look beyond them.  It is true when they say that the really important things are invisible to our eyes.  The really important thing in life is hearing the voice of the Bridegroom.  That voice asks us daily to catch sight of the Lord who comes, and to make our every activity a means of preparation for his wedding banquet.

We are reminded of this by what the Gospel tells is the one essential thing for the bridesmaids awaiting the wedding banquet.  It is not their gowns, or their lamps, but rather the oil kept in small jars.

Here we see a first feature of oil: it is not impressive.  It remains hidden; it does not appear, yet without it there is no light.  What does this suggest to us?  That in the Lord’s eyes what matters is not appearances but the heart (cf. 1 Sam 16:7).  Everything that the world runs after and then parades – honours, power, appearances, glory – passes away and leaves nothing behind.  Detachment from worldly appearances is essential to our preparation for heaven.  We need to say no to the “cosmetic culture” that tells us to worry about how we look.  Instead of our outward appearance that passes away, we should purify and keep custody of our heart, our inner self, which is precious in the eyes of God.

Along with this first feature – not to be flashy but essential – there is another aspect of oil: it exists in order to be consumed.   Only when it is burned does it spread light.  Our lives are like that: they radiate light only if they are consumed, if they spend themselves in service.  The secret to live is to live to serve.  Service is the ticket to be presented at the door of the eternal wedding banquet.  Whatever will remain of life, at the doorstep of eternity, is not what we gained but what we gave away (cf. Mt 6:19-21; 1 Cor 13:8).  The meaning of life is found in our response to God’s offer of love.  And that response is made up of true love, self-giving and service.  Serving others involved a cost, since it involves spending ourselves, letting ourselves be consumed.  In our ministry, those who do not live to serve do not de-serve to live.  Those who hold on too tightly to their lives will lose them.

A third feature of oil is clearly present in the Gospel: it must be prepared.  Oil has to be stored up ahead of time and carried with one (cf. vv. 4, 7).  Love is certainly spontaneous, but it is not impromptu.  It was precisely by their lack of preparation that the bridesmaids excluded from the wedding banquet showed their foolishness.  Now is the time for preparation: here and now, day by day, love has to be stored up and fostered.  Let us ask for grace to renew daily our first love with the Lord (cf. Rev 2:4), lest its flame die out.  It is a great temptation to sink into a life without love, which ends up being like an empty vase, a snuffed lamp.  If we do not invest in love, life will stifle it.  Those called to God’s wedding feast cannot be content with a sedentary, flat and humdrum life that plods on without enthusiasm, seeking petty satisfactions and pursuing fleeting rewards.  A dreary and predictable life, content to carry out its duties without giving of itself, is unworthy of the Bridegroom.

As we pray for the Cardinals and Bishops who have passed away in this last year, let us beg the intercession of all those who lived unassuming lives, content to prepare daily to meet the Lord.  Following the example of these witnesses, who praise God are all around us in great numbers, let us not be content with a quick glance at this day and nothing else.  Instead, let us desire to look farther ahead, to the wedding banquet that awaits us.  A life burning with desire for God and trained by love will be prepared to enter the chamber of the Bridegroom, for all eternity.

https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2018-11/pope-homily-mass-deceased-cardinals-bishops.html

Jesus cautions us against “the anxieties of daily life”

Jesus says, “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life.” Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

Morning Prayer for Thursday, November 1, 2018 — Faith, hope, prayer keep me sane, sober, useful in service to others

November 1, 2018

Many people today say they have lost their faith and they have lost their hope. The two go together. No faith, no hope. On the challenges of this life and the suffering it brings, Pope John Paul II said, “No cross, no resurrection.”

There is work each of us must do in order to have the faith we need to stay sane, sober and useful to others. Part of this work is prayer. Prayer and service to others keep us sane, sober, useful, loved and in love.

After the horrendous mass killing at the synagogue in Pittsburgh, Rabbi Benjamin Sendrow came forward to offer some reflection on what had happened:

“We will not let the few evil people dominate our society.”

“As a society we are becoming courser, and meaner and cruder.”

“When God is removed from our society, this is the result.”

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Mourning in Pittsburgh

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Below from “Twenty Four Hours a Day” for November 1:

I have hope. That magic thing that I had lost or misplaced. The future looks dark no more. I do not even look at it, except when necessary to make plans. I try to let the future take care of itself. The future will be made up of todays and todays, stretching out as short as now and as long as eternity. Hope is justified by many right nows, by the rightness of the present. Nothing can happen to me that God does not will for me. I can hope for the best, as long as I have what I have and it is good. Have I hope?

Meditation for the Day

Faith is the messenger that bears your prayers to God. Prayer can be like incense, rising ever higher and higher. The prayer of faith is the prayer of trust that feels the presence of God, which it rises to meet. It can be sure of some response from God. We can say a prayer of thanks to God every day for His grace, which has kept us on the right way and allowed us to start living the good life. So we should pray to God with faith and trust and gratitude.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may feel sure of some response to my prayers. I pray that I may be content with whatever form that response takes.

Related:

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Rabbi Benjamin Sendrow — Pittsburgh Synagogue Killings “An Act of Evil”

October 29, 2018

 

A group holds a sign in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh during a memorial vigil for the victims of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue on October 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

A group holds a sign in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh during a memorial vigil for the victims of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue on October 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

“We will not let the few evil people dominate our society.”

“As a society we are becoming courser, and meaner and cruder.”

When God is removed from our society, this is the result.

Video:

https://video.foxnews.com/v/5854525160001/?#sp=show-clips

Related:

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Morning Prayer for Friday, October 12, 2018 — “Fear is not a proper motivator. Hope wins out.”

October 12, 2018

“Fear is not a proper motivator. Hope wins out. If you think about how you want your kids to be raised, how you want to think about life and their opportunities, do you want them afraid of their neighbors? Do you want them angry? Do you want them vengeful?”

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Prayer to Overcome Fear

Lord, You are a good Father. Your love and care is endless. You care more about my wellbeing that even I do, no matter how much I worry over it. And you are all powerful – able to protect me completely and fully from anything that might arise. Lord, I confess I forget these truths. I confess I am prone to believe that I am alone and without any protection. Lord, I know that this is a lie I tell myself, and it only works me up into worry and fear. I repent of that worry and fear now… ultimately, I know it stems from not trusting in Your goodness toward me. Help me believe and live out of the truth that you are always close, always protecting me, always watching over every step of my life. Thank you Lord for your great love for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

A Short Prayer for When You’re Afraid

God, you haven’t given me a spirit of fear. Come and replace my fear with your power and your love so I may have a sound mind to live each day glorifying you. Amen.

https://www.ibelieve.com/faith/a-prayer-for-when-you-re-overwhelmed-by-fear.html

Quote at the top from Michelle Obama

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“Anxiety increases in direct ratio and proportion as man departs from God. Everyone in the world has an anxiety complex because each of us has the capacity to be either a sinner or a saint.”

“Despair and anxiety are possible because there is a rational soul. They presuppose the capacity of self-reflection. Only a being capable of contemplating itself can dread annihilation in the face of the infinite, can despair either of itself or of its destiny.”

— Both quotes from “Peace of Soul,” Chapter 2, By Fulton J. Sheen, first published in 1949.

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The most often repeated instruction to man in the Holy Scripture is: “Do not be afraid.”

This little “anti-anxiety” prayer was a part of every Catholic Mass for centuries:
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Deliver us, Lord, from every evil,
and grant us peace in our day.
In your mercy keep us free from sin
and protect us from all anxiety
as we wait in joyful hope
for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
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Nada Te Turbe (Let nothing disturb you)
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Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.— St. Teresa of Avila

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What We Can All Learn From The Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford Episode

October 5, 2018

The American political world has been on high alert these last several weeks as everyone, it seemed, became immersed in the ins and outs, highs and lows of the Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford controversy.

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Unfortunately, Americans have no Holy Oracle to go to to resolve such difficulties.  And our media, including social media, which is good at giving us lots of information and view points (often political propaganda), which is good for our animal and herd instincts, often cannot get us to the core problem troubling the intellect.

We offer this as a glimpse of light in an effort to find the potential “core problem.”

Every human being, from every part of earth, and in every era of history, has suffered some dreadful wrong, painful event, disease or hardship.  People on this planet have gone through poverty, drought, cancer, stroke, war, rape, assault, revolution and every other kind of hardship.

In just the last few days, the people of Indonesia experienced earthquake, tsunami and then a volcano eruption.

In each and every hardship, each human being is called to figure out what happened and what to do.

We happen to know many immigrants and refugees. Almost every one of them wants to get on with his or her life. They want jobs, families and the “American Dream.”

Among all the refugees and immigrants we know, not one has elected to return to Cuba, or Venezuela, or Honduras, or Vietnam, or China or Yemen, or Ukraine, or Poland or anywhere else and make a life built upon tearing down the government they hold responsible for their pain and suffering.

The want jobs, good lives, families and the American dream.

It just seems to us that wanting to lash out at a part of the human race is of almost no avail. Human beings cannot run their lives for long on hatred, anger, resentments and rage.

After World War II, even most Holocaust survivors wanted to get on with life, family and whatever prosperity they could muster. Usually, people who survive such ordeals have a deep sense of gratitude, often a sense of some Godly intervention in their unexpected salvation and deliverance.

Man’s Search for Meaning is a 1946 book by Viktor Frankl which explains his personal response to the death camps and his life after.

Although there were Nazi hunters, who made it their duty to find and bring to justice certain people responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity, the mass of society is often ill suited to such work and they “just want to get on with their lives.”

The Nazis were deplorable, but Victor Frankl didn’t write books about the deplorables.

In my own family, after the War Between the States, people wanted to return to their families, to their farms and to their homes. Some were “broken” but they wanted whatever happiness they could find.

One, ancestor, a Catholic Chaplain during the Civil War, wrote a book about his wartime experience that is almost completely devoid of resentment, or anger or the notion to hold others accountable.

But after Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election, a wide mass on the left decided to “resist.”

To me, the very word “Resistance” has a kind of sacred connotation, being the name of the freedom fighters in occupied France under the Nazi government.

But America has no Nazi government — but a lawfully and democratically elected President. To say otherwise does damage to those that unjustly claim it — and to the fabric of the democracy we call America.

By living life in a frenzy of anger, shouting, fear and disruption a segment of our society has made it their mission to go to any length to get what they want. One wonders when and where such a turmoil will result in violence.

We wish both Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford well. In fact, we pray that each will find peace — despite the likelihood of a long-term kind of psychological hangover these kinds of traumatic encounters often-times inflicts.

Every American can consider him and her self at a crossroads. We have all, to some extent, been witness to a gut wrenching event. It isn’t a diagnosis of cancer and death — unless we choose it to be.

As in every case of pain and suffering, we have to choose. To make life, our lives, our families and our nation a place of peace and justice and goodness.

Or Not.

Today, my Grand Daughter, a First Grader, is coming for lunch. I am told she wants to ask me about my Guardian Angel.

My Guardian Angel, is, in fact, her other Grand Father. He survived the war in Vietnam, many years of re-education in a communist run prison camp, and untold suffering and torture.

When he got to America, all he wanted was a job, his freedom and a peaceful life. For many years he had the life he wanted — and every one of his children is now married and has children of their own. A stroke crippled his body and much of his brain, but we could still pray together, in English and Vietnamese. That was what we could do — so that is what we did.

He died with no resentment, no anger and no urge to blame anybody for anything.

We should all be so lucky.