GOD, THE GIVER

Earth, air, and water are necessary to our survival and God, the Giver, has put them into our world in abundance.  We need to breathe and sleep and eat and we are naturally able to do these things.  They are common and so much a part of our day that we don’t notice.  The Giver gives to almost all of  us the abilities every day to survive.  Most of us don’t ever worry about these gifts.  Yet without them, we would not continue to live.  God, the Giver, not only gives us these things, but gives us these things in abundance.

In the supernatural realm, love and fidelity are necessary…perhaps as necessary as food and water in the natural realm.  If  The Great Giver gives to us in abundance, then it follows that love and fidelity cannot be too difficult to acquire.   To do our part in God’s world (to love and be faithful) we will have abundant help.   

In the book Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence by Father J. P. de Caussade, S.J.,  he says it is easy for us to attain great holiness.  We have only to fulfill the simple duties of the Catholic faith and of our state of life, to accept with submission the crosses that go with those duties and to submit with faith and love to the designs of Providence in everything that is constantly being presented to us to do and to endure without searching for anything ourselves.  

May God , the Giver of all Gifts, in this holy season of Christmas, allow us the clarity of thought to draw us all to holiness.  May He reign in our hearts forever.

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THE HUMBLE BIRTH

The world had no room for its Savior.   Because of their poverty, Joseph and Mary take shelter in a stable .  The Bread of Angels, The Bread of Life is placed in a manger where lowly animals eat.  Our King is not attired in regal finery.  He is wrapped in swaddling clothes.  Only the lowly shepherds who watch over the new lambs are greeted by an angel and told that the Lamb of God, the Savior of the World is born.  God reveals Himself to the humblest in the humblest of circumstances. 

For most of us, we live out the plight of the common person.  Some of us richer; some of us poorer.  Most of us are unimportant in the history of our world.  We have been fortunate in our unimportance.  We are shown the truth that many great people, like King Herod, miss in their worldly pursuits. 

What of the innkeepers who had no room for Him?  What of the King who wanted Him dead?  What are they in our history except missing the most important truth?  They had their chance to be part of  the Word becoming flesh, but are nothing but antagonists in the holy drama.  What of the kindly innkeeper who only had a stable to offer Mary and Joseph?  A part of his land would house the Christ Child!

On this Christmas morning, may we all let the Christ Child enter into our hearts, minds and souls as we celebrate His birth.  May we not miss this important moment by being more concerned with other interests.

AWAKEN! THE SAVIOR IS COMING!

How do we make ourselves ready for Our Savior?   I think we quiet ourselves interiorly, even more so than exteriorly.  The quietness of His humble birth in a lowly stable in the middle of a starlit night seems the prototype for our hearts.  How do we make our hearts humble and penetrate the mystery of God so loving the world that He gave us His Only Son?

I suggest we find time to sit in the presence of God to get in touch with God’s great love for us.  The God of Great Mercy loved us so much that He became flesh and dwelled among us.  Can we contemplate this kind of love?  Can we even fathom it?  Let us try.  To spend some time in meditation on this great love can only enhance our Christmas week.

Let us awaken!  Let us be faithful to this humble Lord.  Let us love Him above all other loves.  Let us be such a loving example of a good Catholic Christian that others want what we have.   Let us pray with a sincere heart after this contemplation that we can continue to serve Him.  Let us pray with St. Catherine of Sienna, “Of eternal Greatness, Oh fathomless Bounty, You lowered Yourself to ennoble mankind!  Wherever I turn, I can see nothing but the abyss and fire of Your charity.”

THE POWER OF THE MOST HIGH

In answer to Mary’s question on how the message of the Annunciation could happen since she had no relations with man, the Angel Gabriel told Mary that the power of the Most High would overshadow her.  At the moment of the young virgin’s yes, the angel’s moment passes.  He must step back because the young woman before him becomes the Mother of God forever.    

I try to imagine the power of the Most High at this sacred moment where we are gifted with God becoming man.  Our Jesus Christ comes to us as a vulnerable baby.  He will show us the Father and, in complete obedience, show us how to live.  What a humble, yet glorious beginning to the most important event in human history! 

How blessed are we Catholics to be present as that same Power available for Our Mother Mary is available for us at the Consecration of the Mass when the priest calls on the Holy Spirit to change the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.   The bells ring and heads bow at the same dynamic moment when Heaven comes to Earth.  We that realize the presence of the Power of the Most High are quieted inwardly and outwardly at the sacredness of the moment. 

For this reason alone, I am a happy Catholic.   There are many, many other reasons, but knowing and appreciating the power of the Most High at the Sacrifice of the Mass is reason indeed.   I feel sorry for some of my friends who left the Church because they are bored at Mass and don’t get anything out of it.  They prefer the warm and fuzzy feeling of a warm and fuzzy Jesus presented with clap-your-hands music and a once-saved-always-saved religion to the sacred moment when we can adore our God  and we can be present in His company.

THE ARTIST GOD

It is an easy morning.  Only the crow complains.  I watch the clouds  reborn in pinks, pale grey, underlined in orange.  Winter’s trees stretch their leaveless limbs like dancers frozen in pose before an audience of one.  They divert me momentarily.  Then, as a child watching a kaleidoscope, I watch the canvas change.  In minutes I have seen a thousand treasures.  With my heart, I applaud God’s morning.  I am in awe of the Creator and His brush strokes.  He is the Artist, God.

A LIFE THAT IS GOD’S

No river flows between us.  God is here on my fingertips; there by the holly bush; within my soul.  He is against my shoulders, under my skin.  God is my life.  I have no life but His.  No separate breath.  He is my mind, my heart, my spirit.  He is everything to me…every part of me.  Where can I go without Him? 

Not all the world knows Him.  Only some.   Many more than I thought before when I didn’t know Him.   Now many souls I meet speak of Him.  My eyes light up and I am most alive when He is the subject and the object of my conversation.  I can see His work throughout my day….my very ordinary day, made extraordinary by His touch.   He speaks to my core.  I tell Him I love Him, not because He doesn’t know, but because I just like to tell Him.   

My life is God’s…

THE QUIET PEACE OF GOD

All peace is God’s!

Knowing the silence, I am warmed.  Knowing the stillness, I am alive.  To be is joy beyond limit.  I breathe a perfect moment, glistening in the quiet morning.  There is no symphony, no melody more haunting than now.  Nothing moves around me while I sit with God and listen.  I am all and yet I am nothing.  Just peace.  And all peace is God’s!

The Happy Catholic (Today The Peaceful Catholic)