Let the blogging begin

"Only a few hours more---and this year too will come to an end and pass into history. I too finish the year and await the new dawn with joy....I go down on my knees before my God and, recalling his kindnesses to me this year, I humble myself in the dust and thank him with all my heart."                    St. John XXIII

    These words  are profound and worth meditating on. As I was reflecting on these words and on 2018 which is quickly coming to an end, I want to extend God's blessings and grace upon you my dear sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus. My hope is that you stay close to Jesus each and everyday in the new year.

    I would also like to invite you to join with me in creating an gratitude of attitude list to start out the new year with a new dawn filled with hope and joy.

    Before you and I begin the list, I invite you to close your eyes and imagine that suddenly everything and everybody has been taken from you. You are utterly left destitute. Your home, food, water, warm clothes, car, family, money and it seems even God has been removed from your life.

    As I did this, I began to be thankful for a warm house, enough food to eat, a running car, my family, friends, God, the Sacraments of the Church and the gift of my faith.

    Sometimes I take things for granted and end up grumbling about all the things that are not right in the world, in my family and in the Church. I forgot that the God who took care of me and my family yesterday is the same loving, merciful God who is with me today and each and every day in the new year.

    On my gratitude list is also my sufferings and difficulties of this past year. I can say that the crosses that you and I have endured and our enduring, brings us to the Cross where Jesus crucified is sanctifying and purifying us. Through his merciful love, you and I are invited to surrender all of our difficulties to Jesus and in return He pours out his strength and grace to meet the needs of this minute, this hour and this day.

Reflection:

"Let the peace of Christ control your hearts, let the word of Christ dwell in you richly."

Gospel Acclamation for December 30, 2018

 

 

 

 

Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Luke 1: 38

    When the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, she must have been frightened at this heavenly visitor. But Angel Gabriel said, “Do not be afraid, Mary for you have found favor with God.”

    Mary listened to the words of the angel and questioned further as to what this all meant. She accepted what the angel had announced to her that she would be the mother of the long awaited Messiah. Mary said yes even though she did not realize all that her “yes to God meant.” She trusted God one day at a time, not knowing what lay before her.

    I can learn so much from Mary and her simple “yes,” to God. It is so true in my own life that when I am faced with an difficult challenge or problem, I can look to Mary to assist me in surrendering to Jesus and saying yes to the unknown. I too can question and ponder what God is asking me to do.

   Sometimes I just want to say “Give me something easy to do God, you know what a weak person I am.” Yet the words of St. Theresa of Calcutta pierces my doubt, “God has not called me to be successful but faithful.”

    With God's help, I can step out in faith and do what God has asked me to do. I ask the Holy Spirit to guide my steps, fill me with courage and give me the words to speak.

   When I look back on the really hard things God has asked me to do and I have obeyed and completed them, I am amazed at graces of courage that flowed in my heart.

Reflection:

Help me Jesus to stop avoiding the things you have called me to do. I know Jesus that nothing is impossible for you, oh my God. I can do nothing by myself but I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

 

Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked? Says the Lord God. Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil ways that he may live? Ezekiel 18:23

    God never quits inviting us to turn from our sinful lives and run to him. Our God is love and His mercy is endless. I compare a hardened heart to a cemented heart. It seems nothing can break through a heart that is hardened and closed from God's graces to get in.

    Is there any hope for them? Yes there is always hope. Looking back on my life when I was lost in my own mess of my life, there were people praying for me. My mom I know prayed many rosaries for my return to my faith.

   Through the intercession of these powerful prayer warriors who storm the gates of Heaven for those who are lost in their own cesspool of sin, addictions and worldly pleasures comes showers of graces.

    If you exam over time a cement sidewalk, you begin to see a slight crack in the cement and then you see green foliage bursting through the crack in the cement. It is like that with a heart that is hardened. Those who pray, fast and offer up their sufferings for these lost souls, begin also to see the slight crack in this person's heart.

   God only needs a crack and His grace, love and healing come pouring into the person's heart. To see a person turn away from a sinful life and enter into God's army of serving others is so beautiful. God and all the angels and saints rejoice.

    If you've been praying for a long time for those you care about to return to the faith, don't give up. Keep praying and keep storming the gates of Heaven for these lost souls.

   You may never know this side of Heaven how your prayers have helped someone to return to God. I do know that when we see these beautiful souls in Heaven, they will thank you for praying for them.

 Reflection:

Thus says the Lord, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

 

 

For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.”

Psalm 149: 4

    The Lord our God delights in me? There are a number of Scripture verses that indicate that Our God does take delight in us. Its a hard one to take in. The God of the Universe takes delight in me? But God's Word is true.

    God is delighted with His beloved children. Since we are each made in the image and likeness of God, of course God delights in us. He sees the beauty within our souls and is pleased. However, we only see all our sinfulness and shortcomings.

    God draws us to Himself. He is the Healer and Transformer of our hearts. As we surrender more of ourselves to Him and trust in Him, God gives us the desire of our hearts.

   What is the deepest desire of our hearts? It is to delight in God and to do his Will with humility. Really, if we think about it, there is nothing more important than to walk humbly with our God day in and day out on this journey towards Heaven where a crown of victory awaits us.

    When we get feeling discouraged by all our shortcomings, let us reflect often about what God says about us:

Reflection:

The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior. Who will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love. Who will sing joyfully because of you.” Zephaniah 3:17

 

Just say a simple, 'Yes, I will,' or “No, I won't.' Anything beyond this is from the evil one.” Matthew 5:37

    What is the definition of personal boundaries? Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits.

    This definition sounds clear enough but it is quite hard to put into practice when it comes to those who are close to you. For me it has to begin with me knowing who I am. First of all, I am a child of God. As God's child, I am to be treated with dignity and respect. When someone treats me with disrespect and lashes out at me with harsh, mean words, I can simple say to the person. “I do not like the way you just talked to me. This is unacceptable behavior and I will not tolerate it. I am finished talking to you until you treat me with respect.”

    I have found that when I stand up for myself and not put up with unacceptable behavior I feel better about myself regardless of the response of the other person. It also teaches the other person that he or she has crossed the line.

    Jesus set boundaries for himself as well. He spoke truth whether those who heard him liked it or not. Sometimes He was silent but always filled with dignity and grace. I will try to follow Jesus' way with dignity and grace one day at a time.

 

Reflection:

I will remember that knowing my boundaries does not mean forcing other to change, it means that I know my own limits and take care of myself by respecting them.” -Courage to Change-Alanon.

 

 

 

Latest comments

01.05 | 13:00

Very true. We need and get so much

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06.03 | 03:10

A favorite priest friend of mine says the saddest words in the Bible are on the road to Emmaus..."we had hoped..."

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02.03 | 19:36

Beautiful what you write.

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01.01 | 19:51

A very blessrd 2019 to as well

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