O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me forget myself entirely so to establish myself in you, unmovable and peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be able to trouble my peace or make me leave you, O my unchanging God, but may each minute bring me more deeply into your mystery! Grant my soul peace. Make it your heaven, your beloved dwelling and the place of your rest. May I never abandon you there, but may I be there, whole and entire, completely vigilant in my faith, entirely adoring, and wholly given over to your creative action.
Some would say that faith is a personal thing. True, faith is very personal. I would suggest that it is that plus so much more. Faith is meant to be alive; meant to be lived. To keep it alive we must feed, or nurture, our faith through prayer, the sacraments, as well as spending time learning about the Church’s teachings. Living it is accomplished by daily choosing to live a faith filled life of good deeds, kindness, and forgiveness to one another. Faith is a journey that contains all these elements and more. As the journey is different for each one of us, the destination, encountering God, is the same.
Question, if faith was meant to only be a personal thing, where would we be if Jesus had kept everything to himself? The truth is Jesus is a perfect example of what it means to have faith. He said “Anyone who has faith will do what I have been doing” (John 14:12). Christ cautioned us not to hide our faith under a bushel basket (Matthew 5:5) rather spread the faith. Each Sunday, at the end of mass, we are called to go out and share that faith lovingly with one another; especially to those who lack or have never been given a faith. By us living and sharing our faith we may be the only encounter with Christ that someone has in their lives. Given that faith is alive, it goes without saying that it gets tested, even challenged, at times. Some would say that and one faith is not better than another. Instead of saying which faith is the better or best, maybe it would be wise to say whichever faith more closely resembles the truth is better than the others. Thankfully, Catholicism is historically based on a solid foundation of truth which is protected by the Holy Spirit
I am always looking for ways to live and deepen my faith. What are some ways or thoughts that you have?
How many times do we say “I have done my best”, “Look what I have done”, “I have achieved much” or “I just can’t do it”, I, I, I, I….. This thinking limits what Christ can do through us with the gifts He has given us. When we say things like “I have done the best I could” that limits God. There is no limit to what He can do through us and for us if we trust him instead of ourselves and our limitations. The reality is we can do absolutely no good on our own if it was not Christ working through us. Let’s give him the credit instead of ourselves. Lets stop saying "Self Confidence" and start saying "God Confidence" Because we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Phil 4:13
Ultimately God does not send anyone to hell. If we go there it is because in this life we don't want Him. We don't trust him and we avoid him. We don't want to listen to Him, or obey His commandments. We are willingly disobedient. We don't want anything to do with His church and we don't want Him to guide our conscious. All of this behavior is a rejection of God. When we die like this we take ourselves to the same place that has nothing to do with God and that is Hell. I have heard it said that the gates of hell are locked from the inside because they want to keep God out just as they did in life, so in death.
If we seek God in this life and want him to be part of our life. If we believe in His teachings and follow them, if our will is to do God's will then when we die just as in life we sought to be with Him, surly we will be.
_"The principal events of the life of Jesus Christ pass before the eyes of the soul. They take shape in the complete series of the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries, and they put us in living communion with Jesus
To recite the Rosary is nothing other than to contemplate with Mary the face of Christ" Pope Paul II
_Why do I grumble and complain when I am not feeling well and suffering. Why do I seek human consolation and understanding from those that do not understand. Why do I forget to just simply use the act of my own will and accept it and believe that this is God will for me to undergo. Why do I not trust God. If can simply say "yes" and will to accept it then I can unite my suffering with Christ's suffering on the cross. Only He can understand and His Grace console me. Lord, help me not only accept your will and just endure, but help me want the same thing. Lord I believe, help my unbelief. Help me to believe that you call me "Beloved".
_ What if someone said to you “I have been going to church a long time and never get much out of it” I would say that is similar to someone going to the gym every week and just standing there watching everyone else. You might be able to explain a lot of what goes on but you sure won’t get strong. In fact you will get weak and just stop going. Church, like the gym, takes preparation and participation. Our soul is like our bodies, it needs to be fed and exercised. If you want to be really strong not only do you have to prepare and participate once a week, you have to go more often than that.
If you want to be successful at anything you have to prepare and participate and learn. No one on a winning team just shows up and sits there. Feed your soul, exercise your will:
- Don’t go to be entertained, that is what the movies are for. Go to worship God and fulfill two of His commandments, Love God above all else and worship Him by keeping Holy the Sabbath Day.
- Prepare by reading and reflecting upon the readings during the week.
- Educated yourself in the faith, on exactly what is going on during the liturgy of the mass
- Read scripture and the Catechism during the week.
- If you have the opportunity go to mass during the week.
- Use the sacrament of reconciliation often to strengthen your will, spirit and mind.
- Don’t go to get something out of it, go to give something, yourself, to God and His community.
We were created to praise, worship, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save our soul.
The other things on the face of the earth are created for us to help in attaining the end for which we are created.
Hence, we are to make use of them in as far as they help us in the attainment of his end, and we must rid our self of them in as far as they prove a hindrance to us.
Our desires and choices should be what will bring us to the end for which we are created.
What if I told you there was this treasure of a book that contained all the teachings and doctrines of the Catholic Church and where they are referenced in scripture. There is and it is called the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Catechism just means to echo. That is exactly what this treasure does. It echoes the true teaching of Jesus Christ.
The first Christians
Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers. This scripture verse contains 4 parts of what it means to be Christian. Teaching, Communal Life, The breaking of the bread and Prayers. The Catechism is broken down into these 4 parts. The common thread of the Trinity, Christ, His paschal mystery, Man and the Church are all key themes that run throughout.
In 1986 Pope John Paul II created a commission of Bishops and Theologians to prepare a draft of the Catechism which would contain the teachings that Christ left us with His church. Each draft was sent out around the world to all the church leaders for input and editing. Those changes were sent back to the commission for further editing. This occurred 9 times. Each time the draft was sent around the world for input and back again. It took over 6 years.
Nearly 2/3 of the document comes straight from the Bible scriptures as well as some writings from the early church leaders. The other 1/3 is the Churches response. You can look up any topic in the index and find what the church teaches and all the references in scripture to the teaching. Click here to see an example of what is on a page.
When it was finished it was sent out to the entire Church around the world to unite and renew the whole life of the Church. It is offered to all the faithful who wish to deepen their knowledge of the unfathomable riches of salvation Jn 8:32 You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.
The Catechism helps to fill the desires of Christ by uniting the Catholic Churches teaching.
Jn 10:16 - there shall be one fold and one shepherd
Eph 4:3-6- one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God &Father
Rom 16:17- avoid those who create dissensions
1 Cor 1:10 - I urge that there he no divisions among you
Phil 2:2 - be of same mind, united in heart, thinking one thing
Rom 15:5- God grant you to think in harmony w/ one another
Jn 17:17-23 - I pray that they may be one, as we are one
How often to we think of or even realize that God has given each one of us and Angel. In Matthew 18:4 He reminds us "Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven... (10) for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.
In Psams 91:11 "For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways" and the angels are his "ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation" (Hebrews 1:14)
"From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their (the angels) watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life. Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united to God." - from the Catechism of the Catholic Church; 336.
My mother taught me this prayer. Remember this:
Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom His love commits me here, ever this day (or night) be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
Prayer - Lord give me strength of will and courage to refuse what is evil and to choose what is good. Amen