HE IS RISEN!

“What is it to die, but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?  And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?”  Those words from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran lend me the vision of my spirit melting into the sun and becoming part of the freedom of finding God. 

I believe in life after death because of Jesus Christ.  It has been revealed to us in the words of those who went before us.  Jesus Christ died and is risen!  He is the First Born of the Dead.  Our death is a doorway to eternal life.  We have a supernatural end – not just a natural end.  The supernatural end is life with God.

I want to see His face.  If purgation is the necessary means for the Beatific end, then my soul will be happy being made ready.  I love God for the gift of life, but I love Him even more for the gift of eternal life.  I pray God I will be found worthy of this Divine gift.  I say today with Saint Augustine…my heart is restless until it rests with You.  Alleluia!  Jesus Christ is risen from the dead!

Happy Easter!  Happy Life serving the one, true God!

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DISCOURAGEMENT

I lived a life of discouragement.  I never seemed to be able to succeed at anything I tried.  Most of my life I thought of myself as handicapped either mentally or physically.  In truth, I know today, I was handicapped spiritually.  I thought I had to depend on my own strength.  My pride always deceived me.  And, I didn’t think to rely on God in times of trouble or in times of opportunity.  In other words, I tried to succeed alone, I failed alone, and I reviewed my actions alone.  I was always discouraged to try again.   How could I expect to garner strength when it was my own lack of strength that made me fail?

St. Theresa of Jesus said:  “The soul must sometime emerge from self-knowledge and soar aloft in meditation upon the greatness and the majesty of its God.”  

The greatest acknowledgement of self I ever made is that I have been wrong about almost everything.  I am wrong so often, I wonder how I ever had an ego.  Today I realize that I am merely a mortal being.  I will be here for a while and then I will not exist.  I realize I know only a little…and what I think I know is based on my logic – which is often skewed.  I have lost my opinion about things in this world.  Political figures come and go, national problems come and go, wars and enemies come and go.  We are passing through this world at lightening speed.  What was cool one day is considered weird another day.  One only has to look at hairstyles and clothing styles to have a good laugh.  However, in their hayday they were considered the latest, the greatest of all time.  

With St. Theresa I pray:  “Yes, oh my God, I am happy to feel little and weak in Your presence, and my heart remains in peace.” 

Today I am encouraged by God’s mercy and grace on His people.

FEAR OF THE LORD

We all have a natural fear.  If we saw a wild animal coming at us, we’d run in the house as fast as we could.  We have three kinds of fear – one is servile fear (fear of God’s punishment),  but we have to move beyond that to mixed fear (where fear of God’s punishment and not wanting to offend Him) and then, ultimately, through the love of the Holy Spirit and His grace, we come to not wanting to offend God…this is called Fear of the Lord.  The Holy Spirit is the giver of this virtue.  We have great sorrow that we ever offended God in our life.  As we say in confession, “but most of all, because they offend You…”  This gift fills us with a great desire to never be separated from God.

Of late, I felt separated from God and locked into my own selfish desires.  My daily attendance at Mass drifted off (I blamed the weather) and my prayer life only a small percentage of what it has been in the past.  I fall into despair when I think about this slippage and get filled with scrupulosity (which takes away from my memory the gift of God’s mercy).  According to Saint Louis Marie de Montfort in Preparation for Total Consecration, the saint says Our Blessed Mother can help us remove these scruples that make us forget His mercy.  We have to ask the Mary and the Holy Spirit to help us with this scrupulousity.

Today as I write this, I have made a decision, thanks to a dear religious friend of mine, to begin again.  And to stay away from near occasions to sin as I refill my soul with knowledge of God’s mercy.  I wish the same for you!

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.