Walk in the Garden – Part V

July 20, 2019

“ I did great things : built myself palaces, planted vineyards; made myself gardens and orchards, planting every kind of fruit tree in them. I had pools made for watering the plantations; bout men slaves, women slaves; had home-born slaves as well; herds and flocks I had too, more than anyone in Jerusalem before me.”

( Ecclesiastes 2:4-7 )

In this passage of scripture, we have Qoheleth. The scripture tells us is the son of David, King of Jerusalem. The word “ Quoheleth” is not an actual person but a title. Depending on which scholar you ask, will mean either – one who is a preacher in an assembly, or a gatherer of students (teacher) or of wisdom. Either way, the point is that this book of scripture is meant for the reader to be a reflective work upon which we are to gather a little wisdom or insight.

In the course of the writing of this book one is forced to confront what it is that one might believe will provide them their happiness in this life, and how it is that we might spend our days, in efforts that yield nothing new under the sun and pass from this life after we are gone.

For those of you who garden you know how much work it takes. Sometimes the harvest is good. Sometimes the harvest is not so good. You can do the same amount of work, and that does not change that fact. You plan, and like the scripture you make plans to insure that your plants are weeded and watered. You might have family who help you or people that you hire if you have a larger amount of land to work. It matters not. There will still be good years and not so good years in harvesting. At the end of that year, you must begin again to work the land. You must make changes, you must grow in knowledge and wisdom if you want to be successful.

Faced with the wisdom of the this scripture we learn that all this effort, toiling in the dirt, weeding and watering , feeding, caring , tending, and worrying about the garden ends at the end of the season. Once the harvesting is done, and all the work to preserve the harvest in canning or drying or fermenting what ever needs to be done in order to preserve all that has been produced it is time to consider the idea that in the end you will still have to do the same kinds of things in the following year and the cycle will continue until there is no more strength, or life, or something else that causes that cycle to end.

So what then is the point ? The garden is a reflection of our spiritual lives. If we work on our garden, we will gain insight and hopefully wisdom in how it works. The more we learn, the more we know and can make improvements. What does it profit us then as that work will be gone as soon as we have left our earthly life, if we keep this to ourselves.

Just like the garden, our harvest is our “first fruits” and our “talents” that are graces from God. If we consume our own harvest, then sure, it will sustain us for a time, however it does nothing for us in our spiritual lives. Like the Qoheleth, who created pools for the watering of the plants, storing up the water does no good unless it is shared with the plants.

God gives us brothers and sisters for our own spiritual growth. Gave us each a particular set of talents, in order that we share those, and in the sharing of our talents and our gifts, we too can grow our spiritual gardens.

“ For it is in giving that we receive…”

May God give you the gift of His peace !

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Walk in the Garden IV

July 14, 2019

“ For the land which you are to enter and make your own is not like the land of Egypt from which you came , where you sowed your seed and watered it by tread like a vegetable garden. No, the land into which you are to cross to make it your own is a land of hills and valleys watered by the rain from Heaven “

( Deuteronomy 11:10 )

In the garden we are challenged greatly by all sorts of things that seek to destroy all that we work so very hard to create. In my corner of the world , the soil is poor, sandy, and water runs through it. In order to have a garden you must first work on the soil. It needs to have compost , peat moss, top soil , and a whole host of other amendments you could add in order to create an environment from which to make your garden a place where the seeds that you plant can grow and be abundant.

It’s not easy. You need to prepare the soil using one of several methods.. digging , tilling, mulching, etc. There is a great deal of planning, ( at least if its done well ). It is a vast amount of work, getting rid of stones and tree roots and weeds each one when you finish you can fool yourself into believing that the work you did for preparations are complete. You set about to sew your seeds using one of a dozen different methods and afterward you sit anxiously awaiting the abundance you are sure that is to come. The hard work is over ! Wait for the harvest to enjoy the fruit of your labor. In doing so yo quickly learn that this is not quite true and you begin to see your hard work parish , your plants die.

It would be easy to stop here and give up. However, if we do that, then we will not learn anything about gardening at all except that of failure. In my own little garden, I have experienced joy ( small and short lived as it was) and a great deal of failure.

I planted watermelon only see it sprout and then die. Same thing happened with my cantaloupe, a number of different crops failed. It is not a personal failure. It is a lack of education, a lack of knowledge of gardening both in general and specifically for what works in my area. This was my first garden and in order to learn, I tried quite a number of things and methods . Most did not work OR did they ?

I had a group of potatoes that I planted. There were about a dozen or so plants I planted. All of those but one were red potatoes. The other one by itself was a russet potato that which I was later informed would not grow in my area. Well time went on and the ONLY potatoe that sprouted in that group were russets So I planted MORE russet potatoes and they sprouted too. The first potato vine grew large and I piled straw all around it to see if we could get it to grow more potatoes.. A bout 2 weeks later it died as well so I dug around it to see if anything had grown… Nothing had.. BUT what I did find was some wonderful soil and earthworms who were living quite happily in the soil I had created.

Our faith lives are like this too. We go along thinking we are doing well in our spiritual lives and we hit a challenge. A “ new land of hills and valleys “ . Our faith lives go along fine until we hit a valley and generally those valleys are not fun. They can bring us pain, they can be suffering through a number of challenges, they can be a huge disruption in our lives that cause us to stop and ponder why it is that we are faced with these things… where we stand in our faith lives. This is actually a good thing ! We need to occasionally stop and take an assessment of where we are in our faith lives so that we can move forward in them.

To be successful in your faith is no different that being successful in the garden. The successful Christian is not one who does not fail or has not failed. The one who is successful is the one who has failed and then tries until they succeed. That does not mean you have to try things that are bad for you, it means you have to work at gaining knowledge , at trying things that might work, and discarding those that do not and trying again all the while keeping God as the focal point in your life.

A virtue is a habit. A good habit is a virtue.. and bad habit is a vice. Work on getting rid of your bad habits..the ones that do not work or feed your spiritual garden. Work on getting better at your virtues to feed your spiritual garden. As you work on these things you will find that God will provide the rains of Heavenly graces, to water your garden and you will not have to water them by hand any more.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Walk in the Garden- Part III

June 29, 2019

“ I mean to restore the fortunes of my people Israel;

they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them,

plant vineyards and drink their wine,

dig gardens and eat their produce.

I will plant them in their own country,

never to be rooted up again

out of the land I have given them,

says Yahweh, your God .“

(Amos 9:14 -15 )

Last week we talked about our friend Amos and how it was that in this part of the scripture he was out there letting Jeraboham know that he really needed to get out of his own head, and do the things he knew to be right before God.

 

I think I shared with you all that I have not historically been a gardener. I always thought I had 2 brown thumbs and pretty much everything I decided to try to care for in the plant kingdom would turn brown and die to spite my loving care.. or maybe because of it.

 

Now that I am a bit older, I got inspired to try to grow things in my yard. Initially it was a purely pragmatic process. I thought well, I have this land, I should make use of it. I will grow food for myself, and hopefully have some abundance that I might share with others who may need it. We do after all have a very busy food pantry at the church where over one thousand families come to receive food as well at see Christ in each face that serves there.

 

I am not a native of the place where I now live, so I had to learn about HOW to grow things here. When to grow things here, and even if some things would grow here at all ! Basically through the process of learning, some of these things I became invested in the process. I studied, and I learned. I watched hundreds of hours of videos of people who grew things near my area, and in other areas. Searched on the internet, and talked to others who grew things in their own gardens. I found communities of others who had the same interests , and they freely shared their information and their seeds or plants to help me on this journey.

 

Our Faith, our church, our children, and our families are very much like this gardening process or at least it very much should be ! There is a world out there hungry for , and starving for faith that we have. People are not so hard to figure out. They have questions ! They need answers. They search everywhere, maybe on the internet, maybe in books and articles. They read the Bible. BUT guess what ? ( Yes Mom, I know I should not begin a sentence with a conjunction … I love you ! ) Eventually they will come to a church, or to a person, or a group, to get the answers they seek. They need to be able to see the face of Christ in you.

They need to be able to find people who are willing to share their TIME – The time necessary to answer questions, that may seem simple to you, but mean the world to them. The time to explain how it is that we can help. The time to listen and make them feel like you understand , are concerned, and are willing to invest the time in them, to help them along what ever path they need to be on.

 

They need to find people who are willing to share their TALENTS. People who are willing to take the time out of their day, or their week or month to share some of the abilities they have to make the lives of others who really need those things, and possibly might not even know they need them, or even may know, but may not feel comfortable in asking. We are each given some measure of talents in a few areas that we do really well. We should be willing to share those with those who are both inside and outside of our own communities. There are people who really need help. Sometimes that will be in doing the work, sometimes it will be the willingness to teach someone how to do something, so that they might have dignity in doing what ever it is for themselves, and share with others as well.

 

They need to find people who are willing to share their TREASURE. Your treasure may take different forms. Sometimes that financial, but more than that it is a sharing of oneself. Money is sharing of the time you spent working, for the benefit of others. It does not have to center around money. It is about time too, It is about sharing your heart, or some of your skills. These areas tend to be somewhat intertwined. Remember that Tithing is not the end. It is the beginning. Tithing is what we do in order to support the church and the work done through it. Primarily however, it is the channel through which we sanctify our work.

 

These people come to find information, which they need to do, but they also need COMMUNITY ! They need to be able to find a community of people who are warm , loving , inviting, people who are willing to share their faith, and most importantly people who LIVE their faith , struggle with their faith, want to grow in their faith.

When the church canonizes saints, They don’t ask about what they said… They gather evidence of WHAT THEY DID !

 

If you want a church that is alive, and vibrant and growing… grow the garden , be the gardener, and be the community of your faith !

 

May God give you the gift of His peace !

 

 

A Walk in the Garden -Part II

June 22, 2019

“ I mean to restore the fortunes of my people Israel;

they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them,

plant vineyards and drink their wine,

dig gardens and eat their produce.

I will plant them in their own country,

never to be rooted up again

out of the land I have given them,

says Yahweh, your God .“

(Amos 9:14 -15 )

Amos was a prophet from a time approximately 750 B.C during a time when Israel was split in two parts. Kingdom of Israel had been split in two parts. Judah and Israel, Judah in the south, whose capitol was Jerusalem, and Israel in the north, whose capital was Samaria.

To back-track just a bit. These kingdoms split because Solomon had set up false idols and broke the Davidic covenant. The Prophet Ahijah told Jeroboam that God would grant to him 10 of the 12 tribes because of Solomon’s unfaithfulness. Solomon tried to have Jeraboham killed . Jeraboham fled to Egypt until Solomon had died. Rehoboam became king. To support the life of luxury he wanted he taxed his people heavily and they eventually rebelled. This was the split of the kingdoms.

Jeroboam’s downfall was that he feared the people would leave his kingdom if they went to Jerusalem to pray. He set up false idols and false gods for them to pray to. This was the reason Amos went to Israel to tell them of the end of their dynasty, and how the kingdoms will be reunited under the house of David ( who would have been Rehoboam’s son Abijah (Abijam). This was some 30 years or so before the great Exile. After Israels northern kingdom was conquered by Assyria .

Now the scripture above is part of Amos vision of the restoration of the Kingdom of Israel once the Northern kingdom gets itself straightened out and back on the right track. Gets rid of its idols and restores its proper worship of God and begins living according to the covenant of David.

As I have shared with you all I recently decided that both in order to create some productivity around the house and also to possibly take a small chunk out of the budget I decided I would do something I had never done.. grow a vegetable garden. I consider myself a fairly practical person. It seemed like something that was pretty straight forward, dig a hole.. put the seeds in.. give it water.. and in a few weeks/ months I would get an abundance of bounty for my kitchen.. WRONG !

I quickly learned , that I had much more to learn. There were things I needed to know that I had no clue about. Timing, structure, the stages of growth, protection, planning, and MORE WORK !

I learned a little. And mostly I learned how little I know. Its funny how life will teach you these things if you are humble enough ( or life kicks you around enough ) to see exactly how little we all really know about one thing or another.

I quickly learned that my little vegetable garden, was God’s way of granting me a (very) little bit of wisdom. I developed some insights as to how it is that this little garden was a microcosm of our spiritual journey. I will share more with you next time.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me !

May God give you the gift of His peace !

A Walk in the Garden – Part I

May 30, 2019

Accursed be the soil because of you,

With suffering shall you get your food from it

everyday of your life.

With sweat on your brow , shall you eat your bread

until you return to the soil as you were taken from it…

for dust you are, and dust you shall return…”

(Genesis 3:17-19 )

So it is that this poor brother, took on the task at hand. With little knowledge and great enthusiasm beginning with prayer and the idea that there would be a harvest at the end of this great work that was to begin.

The soil here is sandy extremely fine, and does not hold water to say the least. I suppose this is the place where confession begins. I really love all of creation. I really have not held a love in my heart for yard work of any sort that would require spending time in the hot sun. So much so that I can promise that in nearing 20 years my yard has never one time been raked . Grass is cut and it stays exactly where it falls. Ditto for weeds. Clippings all the rest of it. Little did I understand that this would actually be beneficial for the soil I was going to use.

I had ZERO idea about what I was doing, and after watching all those gardening videos, I got some ideas. I really had no clue. I knew that in practical terms I needed to plant the things that I would eat. So, for an initial attempt we decided on corn, beans, zucchini and watermelon.

If you ever want to learn something, I mean really learn something well, then there will be a vast amount of trial and error while you are learning what ever it is. If you want to check out the Lord’s sense of humor.. tell Him what your plans are.

I spent the following couple of days digging garden beds in the back yard. I had no tools but a shovel a hoe and my hands. The hoe was not a great deal of help.. so I dug and got into the dirt with my hands being sure the dirt was loose and I had gotten out all those nasty roots from various weeds and trees in the yard. Needless to say I got plenty of sweat on my brow before there was any bread involved.

Everything was successful in getting planted in one manner or other. It might not have been pretty to look at in its current state, but all of the major work was done.

In the end, it felt good to do some physical labor, there was satisfaction in knowing I had done a good days work..

Like many our spiritual lives, we start out like the garden before it is tilled and worked. Things can be a real mess. The weeds like sin, that found their way into our lives, and were initially left unchecked, set out to leave our souls in a state of disarray. God takes the crisis and the turmoil in our lives and sets us to work in the garden of our worlds..

The work is not fun and we may indeed suffer from the neglect initially. Eventually, our hearts become prepared , and seeds of faith planted there. The pains we experience in our lives are like the shovels of dirt, turned over. Like our lives may feel like they are being turned upside down. God works with us in this way. Preparing our hearts planting the seeds with love and tenderness.

There is plenty of work to be done… more digging… more seeds…

If we give ourselves to His Holy will, the Master Gardener, will plant seeds and fill us with every good thing. There is still a lot of work to be done..

Until next time.. May God give you the gift of His peace !

A Walk in the Garden…

May 19, 2019

 

” As the earth brings forth its shoots,

and a garden makes its seeds spring up,

So will the Lord GOD make justice spring up,

and praise before all the nations.”

                                                                   ( Isaiah 61:11 )

 

The Lord is an amazing teacher.   Recently, I have gone through a number of changes in my personal life.  One of these changes has been a change in work.  The office I was working at closed, and I was laid off.  In the duration, I got a wild hair, and decided that , at this ripe old age, and having never attempted doing it before, that I would plant a vegetable garden.

I grew up in a small town, in a mostly agricultural area, but my parents were teachers, not farmers.   This means that we grew up living in a house that was nestled in the woods.   Sure, my mother grew plants but those were mostly flowers, and the one vegetable that seemed to be ever-present the noble tomatoe plants. Just two or three plants nothing grand.

Fast forward another (…) years.. and here I am preparing to plant the garden secure in the thought that surely whatever it is that I am going to grow will take a good chunk out of the grocery budget and life will proceed as planned.

In the planning ( poor planning I might add ) stages, the desire to plant more and eventually turn my back yard into an organic grocery store where not only could we possibly produce an amount of vegetables sufficient to the needs of my own kitchen, but possibly some surplus was in high gear !

Now, I had been composting for years and had what I thought was a sizeable compost stash that filled a 60 gallon trash barrel.   After watching the obligatory ka-zillion hours of gardening videos on the internet and carefully studied a number of the currently espoused gardening techniques,  I came to the conclusion that a few of those should most certainly fit the bill and I would be swimming in lush green gardens before I knew it !

We went out and got seeds and planted corn both in the ground and in containers.  and planted watermellon seeds.. and potatoes.    Now,  due to the fact that I was still searching for work, one of the new things that occured after planting this garden is that each morning I arose, had some coffee ( nothing happens before coffee except prayer) and then go out and take a walk in the garden to check on the plants and see what they have done since the last time I was out there.

 

In the next coming weeks I am going to invite you on these walks with me, and share some insights, and reflections on how this journey is a reflection of our spiritual lives.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

 

 

 

Your Name We Bear…

March 29, 2019

“ You are in our midst , O Lord

your name we bear;

do not forsake us, O Lord, our God ! “

( Jeremiah 14:9a )

In this reading, Jeremiah, is talking to God, lamenting the state of things in Jerusalem.

At this time there is a great drought that has befallen them, and so much so that event the wild animals are abandoning their young because there is not even grass in the fields from which they can get any water or nourishment.

The Lord is saying to Jeremiah that because here again after bringing them into the promised land they again have turned from God. In fact. The good news does not end at the famine.. God tells Jeremiah a bit later on and there will be pillaging and people dying on the sword, and just in case that was not enough there might be some cannibalism going on for lack of food and water..

Jeremiah is doing some heavy duty pleading here. God is not interested. The covenant has been broken and the Almighty is going to try a little righteous indignation and not really interested in what Jeremiah has to say. It is not until (much) later that God relents and reconciles with the Jerusalem again.

So what is it that we can take from this. In this shortened scripture reading, we know that God is in our midst. The question arises though, do we always take note of that fact ?

God is omni present. Everywhere at all times, in all places. In our work, and in our homes, in our churches, in our backyards, at the dinner table, and at the conference table and even when we feel like we are all alone.. We need to take note of the presence of God because in the daily troddings we undertake, it is far too easy to get involved in , or get our heads stuck in the tunnel vision that is our day to day life.

In making a practice of taking in the presence of God in our lives we become aware more and more of the beauty in our world We begin to live in a more deliberate way… in a more loving way.

As a young man I used to go out into a wildlife refuge not far from my house in order to clear my head One day a friend asked to come with me. He began to point out different things.. Birds and plants…

I began to recognize more and more of the diversity and beauty God had created in the woods that previously only held quiet for me. The more I saw.. the more I learned. The more I learned the more I appreciated and loved the beauty in my little corner of the world.

“.. Your name we bear ; “

We bear the name of Jesus Christ…. Christian.. we are part of His family. We need to be conscious of the name of the Most High and how it is that we represent and share that name with our brothers and sisters.. We belong to Him. We have His Sacred Heart..

“ Do not forsake us, O Lord, our God. “ In desperation is this cry made.. Sometimes we get between rock and a hard place, we have an immediate need. For friends, for family or even our own dire situation. Even in the storm, He is there. Do not have fear ! Do not be afraid because God is there. He already has a victory not only for the Kingdom but for you as well. God loves each one and because He loves you, He has planned only your good.. Be still Be at peace. Be in the heart of God.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

May He Preserve You …

March 22, 2019

“May the God of peace make you perfect in holiness. May he preserve you whole and entire, spirit, soul and body , irreproachable at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. “

( 1 Thessalonians 5:23 )

In this passage the apostle Paul is writing to the Thessalonians and in this passage he is writing to both encourage and admonish the brothers and sisters there, to prepare themselves for the coming of the Lord.

There 3 admonitions that Paul was conveying in this letter. First, that we should rejoice in all things , the good and the bad. This is true specifically because even in the bad times and when we struggle, or when we feel tested, it is all for our good, and in fact, some greater good will come out of the bad even if we are not able to see it. Ultimately , we know that God has already won the victory and that given that we lead holy lives, that we will obtain Heaven after this life.

The second admonition is that we should pray continuously. To pray without ceasing is not mean we have to spend every hour of every day at church or at home in prayer without doing anything else. If we take time to pray during our day, we find ourselves constantly drawn into the process of constantly becoming more and more aware of God in our daily life. We pray for things that are about to happen, and those things have happened, things we need, or desire. We find that the more we pray, the more it is that God makes it easier to recognize a time for prayer throughout our day. Paying is our giving of our free will towards God and His glory. At all times, even when we are hurt, wanting and needy, we still give God glory in our prayer recognizing that He is God and that He loves us unconditionally.

The third admonition is that we should give thanks to God in all things. This again because all of these things are for our greater good. God’s greatest desire is for mankind to be in Heaven with Him. In the vastness of time and space and all things created, God chose you, to share Heaven with Him. God created you, formed you, and set things in motion specifically so that He could share eternal life with YOU !

It’s almost like going into a family business. You know what you are going to do, and eventually you will run the place with your brothers and sisters. There will be good days, and bad days. There will be customers who come in, like others in our daily lives some need help, others come in for a time and leave. Some don’t know what they want. Some might even become part of the family. In the end the family endures, and can give thanks once again for all that happens and for each other. The boss looks out for you all, since you are family, and he only wants whats best for you and for the rest of the family … The best part is that like all family businesses, he wants everyone to be family !

My prayer for you all, just as Paul’s was for the Thessalonians that God will preserve you in your daily struggles , and give you the strength and the graces necessary, to preserve you in holiness. Give you right faith, and true joy. That in prayer, word, and deed, you orient your life towards God, and in the times when you struggle, when life itself seems like a daily fight. When it is hard to see the good, either in others or even in yourself. God still does ! It at the times when we struggle the most that God is closest , and working with us. We have already won all we have to do is have faith, to walk through the fires of this life, and to love.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

The Sun Must Not Go Down on Your Anger…

March 15, 2019

“ If you are angry, let it be without sin. The sun must not go down on your wrath; do not give the devil a chance to work on you “.

( Ephesians 4:26 )

If you are like a number of our brothers and sisters, anger has to be one of the biggest issues we deal with on a day to day basis. It also is likely one of the more misunderstood things we deal with. Anger is the emotion the at arises out of the perception of an injustice. The problem with anger arises out of the spirit of the 5th Commandment ( Thou shalt not kill ) .

We are called to love our neighbor. It is born out of that love that we it is our commitment not to cause harm to any brother or sister. It is this basis that calls us to work for the good of the other, even when they initially wish to do evil. The point is the desire to the good of the other. Our actions need to conform with our desires to create union and peace with all creation.

In this passage the problem that Paul is trying to address is the anger ( the perception of injustice) when our reaction to that perception causes us to take some form of action, or desire that is harmful to the other party.

” By recalling the commandment, “You shall not kill,”94 our Lord asked for peace of heart and denounced murderous anger and hatred as immoral.

Anger is a desire for revenge. “To desire vengeance in order to do evil to someone who should be punished is illicit,” but it is praiseworthy to impose restitution “to correct vices and maintain justice. If anger reaches the point of a deliberate desire to kill or seriously wound a neighbor, it is gravely against charity; it is a mortal sin. The Lord says, “Everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment.”

( CCC # 2302 )

As Franciscans, it is our desire, and out chrism to be peacemakers, and bridge builders. It is our call as Christians as well to work to maintain the possibility of relationship. To leave open the path of communication where ever possible. In this way that brother or sister has time to engage in the idea of reconciliation and to rebuild what is lost.

The idea that anger becomes sin begins at the point at which we loose control of our passion or emotion and allow ourselves to fall prey to our own fallen nature and cause or desire for harm to happen to another person.

Peace is the work of justice and the effect of charity. “ ( CCC #2304 )

Making peace with our brothers and sisters is the natural abstraction of the commandment to “Love thy neighbor” even when it is difficult, and even when it hurts. To leave open the path of communication and reconciliation is the only way we can truly search for and see the face of Christ in our brothers and sisters… To the glory of God.

“Do not let the sun go down on your anger. Do not give the Devil a chance to work on you “.

Many people give young married couples the advice to never go to bed angry. It is good advice. It also is good advice for others ( if possible). You can rationalize it by the idea that you might not see that person ever again or even just rarely.

If we hold on to anger, it festers within us, Satan plants in doubt and in the mind attempts to get us to think the worst of the other, and fear and anxiety creeps in.

I grew up in a small town, my mother used to say, “You need to nice to everyone, because everyone is related to someone or is friends with someone. “. For the town where I lived that was pretty much true. The world for as big as it is, is getting smaller and smaller through electronic communications, social media , etc. Even if this were not the case, it is not only for the other person that you should do this. It is for your own sake as well. No one acts or receives the effects of an action alone. The other person also carries the imprint of the Most High. The other person is still our brother or sister, the other person is still in need of as much forgiveness as we are ourselves. The other person still needs love. By leaving open the channel of communication, we hold on to hope, we hold on to love.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

The Devil is Prowling Like a Roaring Lion

March 8, 2019

“Stay sober and alert, You opponent the devil is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him solid in your faith. “

( 1 Peter 5:8 )

Many times we come across the readings that are fed to us again and again, they seem to rudimentary, so simple. At the times when we believe that we have no time.. these sound more like directives. Things that are simple commands to be followed.

We as followers of Christ are called into the deep. As with many things in our spiritual lives we begin with things that are rudimentary, and we consume the “milk “ food that given to us. Sure, it is enough to sustain us in our infancy, at the point where our journeys begin. These points of information, the points at which we enter into our faith are the end, as a directive would be. No , indeed it is the beginning ! We are called into the heart of message. We are called into a time when we can take that

“milk” that we are given, and through our own searching, through prayer, and through our discernment seeing of the true face of God , we can get to the root of the deeper meaning, the root of the message we are given..

“ Stay Sober and Alert”..

There is more than one definition of Sober. In recent times it has been solidified to mean that someone is free from the effects of alcohol. It does however have another meaning which is entirely different that its colloquial meaning. Sober means to remain serious, sensible or solemn. As in pragmatic, controlled, measured.

This does not mean that we should be restrained in our faith, in deed we should be joyous in our faith.. We also need to be serious and solemn about it as well. God gave us the gift of an intellect. He gave us free will. He gave us the tools we need to reach out to seek Him in all of creation.

Many times if you talk to a scientist you will find that we as a society know a great deal We have a vast amount of knowledge but even in the vastness of that knowledge.. even in how great we consider that knowledge is, and how much we may know.. it still pales in comparison to what it is that we just don’t know, or cant explain, and in the end we are still left with faith.

I have heard it said that we don’t need to understand the reasons behind our faith, just that we have faith. The truth is that God has blessed each of us with the gift of an intellect. It is sinful not to use that gift to seek out the God who dwells with us.

“ You opponent the devil is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. “

Satan wants to keep you from God. He does not want you to know Him, or seek Him out. He wants you to be lazy and comfortable. That is where he begins to plant things in your mind and tell you lies to bring you astray.

Your mind is busy with things of this world, your job, your chores, your physical trappings, and the chasing the riches of this world. Its easy.. sure. Give in..take the easy way..

Living a life of faith is hard. Its hard for a reason ! The life of faith goes against the path of least resistance. It goes against what the world tells you is good and right.. It is easy to get bogged down in the fight of right and wrong and world does not make it easy for us either ! BUT…..

“ Resist him solid in your faith. “…

The best part of our faith is that we already know that we have won ! The battle is done and over with. All that is left is for us to do our part. We need to do that parts that are left for us to do. God already has the rest in hand. All you need to do is to do your part and have faith… God is in charge !

Go out into the world. Take charge of your faith and use the gifts that God has given you ! Ask the hard questions ! Do not be embarrassed because you think your question is dumb or you don’t want others to know that you don’t know the answer. THAT is Satan trying to keep you from your faith.

Keep asking the questions until you get an answer and don’t be afraid to ask more than one person.

“Seek advice from every wise man, and do not despise any useful counsel. Bless the Lord God on every occasion; ask him that your ways may be made straight and that all your paths and plans may prosper. “

( Tobit 4: 18-19 )

May God give you the gift of His peace !


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