Matthew 6:16

"When you fast, do not look gloomy..."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Prayer as a Relationship

Last night I had some trouble sleeping, so I decided to get up and read. What I read was the first article on prayer in The Catechism of the Catholic Church.

This article used examples from the Old Testament to show that prayer is not just a conversation with God, but an awareness of living in His presence.  It was a marvelous revelation to me!  I have so often chastised myself for spending ten minutes in conversation with Him, as if that was the limit of our relationship.   But prayer is when I tell Him I can't sleep and He sends me to read.  Prayer is when I reflect on what He would have me understand.  Prayer is sharing that with an awareness that He is right here with me, not off in some distance doing important God things, but hanging out here with His daughter, doing Father things like helping me draw to Him so I can rest.
Which seems to me to mean that prayer isn't something I do,  but a continued relationship with the Father.  

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Jesus now sits near the right hand of God.  He has won.

I know, during lent, we concentrate on His suffering, not His victory.  We need to remember that His victory wasn't easily won, and that we are called to follow after Him.  But it must never leave the back of our minds that He has won.

It seems I was a bit over zealous and read ahead enough so that I am finishing reading the Gospels a week earlier than I intended.    I'm glad I decided to read the Gospels for Lent.  I feel like I have come to love Jesus more than ever.  I am enamored with the strength with which He spoke and lived the truth.  Where as before, I still held on to the notion that He could have cajoled the Pharisees, I see clearly now that cajoling would have made Him less than He is, and He can not do that.  I have come to love Him for that.  It's not that I didn't love Him before, but I have come to love something about Him that I once didn't count as lovable, may God forgive me.

After Easter I intend to go back to reading scripture, starting with Acts and continuing through the New Testament.  I think that now I can deal better with the dates in my Chronological bible not following the date on the calendar now that I have been using it for Lent rather than beginning at New Year.  I'm not worried about "falling behind" and feeling to paralyzed to start.

However, since Holy Week is beginning, I think I need to focus on the cost of salvation to Christ, and not on the early Church, which is why I will be focusing this coming week on the Scriptural Stations of the Cross as prayed by the late Pope John Paul II, and reading about prayer in the Catechism of the Catholic Church in order to use this time of Lent to draw nearer to Christ.  I will continue to write on my reflections of either or both during the coming week.

Thank you, those who are reading my blog, for "keeping me honest".


Friday, April 15, 2011

Proof of the Truth

The Resurrection of Jesus is a physical reality.  He broke bread and ate with Emmaus and his friend.   He ate with the disciples.   He let Thomas touch His wounds.   Jesus proved Himself to have been telling the truth:   He is God.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Compassion, Truth, and Dying

Again, Jesus shows His great compassion.  There He is, dying for the sins of the world, and he promises paradise to a repentant thief, provides for His mother's care by telling a disciple to care for her as his own mother, and asks God to forgive those who are harming Him bodily, and mocking Him cruelly, because they don't know what they are doing.  
I find it hard to be compassionate when I'm feeling under the weather.   Jesus was compassionate as He was dying on the cross.
He Who is truth had to listen to the lies being shouted at Him while He was suffering and dying.  (First, He never said He'd destroy the temple.   They added that themselves.  And indeed, would they believe in Him if He had saved Himself?  Did they belief after His Resurrection?)   Yet, enduring all that, instead of becoming indignant, He acted with compassion.
Praise be to Jesus Christ, now and forever!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What is Truth?

Liars mock and spit at the truth. 
 It used to bother me that when Pontius Pilate asked "What is truth?"  Jesus didn't answer.   I remember preparing for Confirmation, and the priest who came to check on us asked us "What is truth?"   No one answered.  I made Fr. K spit out his Schweppes ginger ale when I raised my hand and said even Jesus couldn't answer that.   Fr. K then told us to read John, and find out.  He'd go over it with us the next week.  I kept looking at the trial scene rather than at chapter 14 to find out, and I was lost.   Unfortunately I was sick for the next class and missed that session.   Even though  I later read John 14:6, I was very much bothered that Jesus didn't defend Himself.
But now I read it and I see that He must've understood that no one was interested in the truth.  Lies were told to convict Him.  Pontius knew that, and still He cared nothing for the truth, and appeased the crowd.   Jesus said in Matthew 7:6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. "  They had made up their minds to  trample the truth.  What more was there to say?