Friday, October 21, 2016

Pray Your Face Off

I don't know any other way to be holy. If you are serving others, let it be a physical prayer. There is no mystery or secret. Prayer is communion with God, and communion with God is detachment from "the world, the flesh, and the devil."

I suppose the post is misnamed a bit, because it doesn't have to be vocal prayer. Though of course your face isn't likely to come off, in any case.

We feel these existential moments of dread at times, and you have to wonder what would happen if we prayed, instead of distracting ourselves.

Let's find out.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

With These Our Hells And Our Heavens

We're not all that strong, you know. The merit in life is in the little cracks of life, the moments you don't notice, until they have passed. I do worry, though. I don't recall that many cups of cold water offered in the name of Jesus. In a sense, I want to laugh. To say this life of mine has been characterized by sacrifice is a stretch.

And yet, I know the way to the fount of mercy.

I know one thing for sure: He is more ready to forgive than we are to ask. As grace gives us the power, then, never let us tire in asking.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Sound Of Silence

I was recently told, "You will come to appreciate the value of silence." Before God, that is. Everything in our culture wants to distract us, and that makes sense. God speaks in the silences. Our enemy wants to keep us from the joy of being in God's presence, if at all possible.

"In the silence of the heart, You speak."


The Spirit Of The Liturgy: Chapter 12 (Part Four, Chapter Two)

The seed-bed of the Church's Sacred Tradition is the prayerful reflection upon the Gospels, and the entirety of God's saving message in Christ. Liturgy is not therefore made; it is obeyed.

The Romans viewed kneeling as a sign of subservience and weakness, but the Christian message has always viewed it as an ennobling humility; that is, man is dignified and empowered when he acknowledges God's kingship.

But neither will the Church abandon the practice of standing, since it is the victorious slain Lamb of God who stands in Heaven, interceding for His brethren. It is through Him that we have access to the Father.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You

I heard a priest say that God is more solicitous for our salvation than we are. And yet, some people will continue to believe that a holy striving is somehow contrary to the gospel. On the contrary; if you get an inspiration to pray more, or to read the Scriptures, do it.

You may be one of those people who believes God is out to get you. If you fearfully say, "Look what good I did! Please don't hate me!" then you might be one of those legalists everyone is going on about.

I don't know many of those, but if you are, you have my sympathy.

For the rest of us, a plan that embodies "I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you" is in order. After a while, the fear of Hell is replaced by the disappointment of broken fellowship. Then we are beginning to love as He loves us.

Monday, October 10, 2016

I Will Arise And Go To My Father

If you're anything like me, you forget the main thing. We're weak, you see, and everybody has that One Thing. We all think that everyone would hate us if they knew. Or, fair enough, you have a whole string of reasons to hate yourself. But the One Thing is the sin that makes you think it's all pointless, and you may as well give up. Not everyone's is the same, but everyone has it.

Despair is the enemy's favorite trick, because it becomes a feedback loop of failure and shame. If the enemy can make you think you are worthless, you'll stop reaching out to God and others. Faith is a great gift, because it illumines the Way, even when we have gone astray.

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. It is fact; it is not conjecture, or sentiment. It has never meant that we have nothing left to reconcile. It does mean that God has taken an unyielding stance of favor toward every single one of us. As we get closer to God, the purity of His fiery love will test our feeble frame. But this time, what consumes does not destroy.

Within the mission logs of the USS Enterprise-D, under the command of gallant Captain Jean-Luc Picard, "Time Squared" was a mission that involved the sudden appearance of a dense singularity that threatened to pull the Enterprise into its center. The crew had the benefit of seeing an alternate future where they were all destroyed. It seemed to all appearances that the wisest course was to continue trying to escape. At certain points, it seemed the only course. Yet the answer was to turn toward the vortex, to stop fighting its pull.

The love of God is like this vortex. We may be convinced by all manner of things that the best move is to run away. But if we do, we invite our own destruction.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

The Most Holy Rosary, With Vin Scully

I went ahead and bought it, and I'm glad I did. The greatest living baseball announcer just retired after 67 years, but I'm almost certain he would say that this is greater than all those games. I couldn't help but think of my father, whose favorite team was the Dodgers. If he needs my prayers, he has them.

Word is that Mr. Scully never misses a Mass at Dodger Stadium. I can believe that. Sometimes the icons are real. Baseball still has heroes, but as with anything else, they may not be the ones you expect.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

The Bible, Outlined: Genesis

I am going to make broad outlines of the books of the Bible, for my use, and to assist a project I am working on. I'm going to try to keep them really simple, but as I go, you may see more detailed outlines if it serves. It is good to get a broad picture, and thereby to become personally familiar with the Sacred Scriptures that God has given us. Note: This overall outline will include the seven books of the Old Testament, rejected by Protestants. With that said, here we go:

Genesis: "In The Beginning"

(Chapter) 1-11: The Primordial History
                12-36: The Patriarchs
                37-50: Joseph
Note: Tamar, Interrupted (38)