Sunday, February 26, 2012

Jesus in the Wilderness

The lectionary reading for today's Gospel is taken from Mark 1:9-15. It speak of Jesus being driven (thrust, thrown or cast) into the wilderness by the Spirit. There He would fast and pray for forty days and forty nights and face great temptations before entering into His public ministry. It is here Jesus truly begins His journey to the cross, the purpose for which he came.

This nicely done little video depicts Jesus time in His wilderness experience. A great video for this, the first Sunday in Lent.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Acts of Contemplation

The acts of contemplation are four:
  • to seek after God
  • to find Him
  • to feel His sacred touch in the soul
  • to be united with Him and to enjoy Him
----- Archbishop William Bernard Ullathorne (1806-1889)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Worthy Fruits

John the Baptist came preaching a message of repentance. Part of that message was that the repentant was to “bear fruits worthy of repentance.” (Luke 3:8) Some may refer to these fruits as “penance.” Penance doesn't produce repentance, penance should be the fruit – the evidence - that shows repentance has taken place or is in the process of taking place. Penance doesn't pay a debt of sin, the Cross took care of that. Acts of penance express a desire to “walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work.” (Colossians 1:10)

Thomas Aquinas (1225-1275 a.d.) said there were conditions necessary for true penance:

  • Contrition, which is sorrow for sin, together with a purpose of amendment

  • Confession of sins without omissions

  • Satisfaction by means of good works

With that in mind, may you have a very fruitful Lenten season.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pleasing or Displeasing God

Celtic saint, Ita, was once asked what were the three things that most pleased God, and the three things that most displeased Him.

She answered, "Three things that most please God are:
  • true faith in God with a pure heart,
  • a simple life with a grateful spirit,
  • and generosity inspired by charity.

The three things that most displease God are:
  • a mouth that hates people,
  • a heart harboring resentments,
  • and confidence in wealth."
May we seek to please God in all we do.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Interesting Reading From The Apocrypha

Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 15:14-20
(My paraphrase based on readings from the following: 1568 Bishops' Bible, 1587 Geneva Bible, 1899 Douay-Rheims Bible and the 1611 King James Bible)

14) He made man from the beginning, and placed in his hand the freedom to make his own choices, and gave him His commandments and precepts.
15) If you will observe the commandments and live an acceptable life of faithfulness forever, they shall preserve you.
16) He has set water and fire before you, reach out your hand to the one of your choosing.
17) Before man is life and death, good and evil, which ever he desires will be given him.
18) For the wisdom of God is great and mighty in power, and continually beholds all things.
19) The eyes of the Lord are upon them that fear Him, and He knows all the works of man.
20) He has commanded no man to act wickedly, nor has He given any man permission to sin.