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Archive for the ‘07 Observations’ Category

Lovingkindness

In 07 Observations on 2016/06/04 at 12:00 AM

Show lovingkindness to you neighbor, who is whoever happens to be near you. It is God who has put this person in your path and by showing concern you will be another Christ for other Christs. In sharing the other person’s needs you are ministering through Christ to that person. Lovingkindness overcomes obstacles and expands hearts. Demonstrating kindness is another way of being a Good Samaritan.
Our Lord spent His earthly life caring for people’s needs. Look at Jesus in the Gospel, for He is the perfect example of lovingkindness in action. So, when you come across someone who is lonely, tired, worried or ailing, be an encouragement to that person by helping in any way you can. Sometimes all that is needed is a kind word, a smile or a listening ear.
Be on watch for struggling friends who approach you. Be a good listener. Listen to what they are saying (and what they are not saying) about their concerns.Listen to their complains because they often find the solution to their problems by listening to what they share with you. Listen patiently, accepting them as they are despite whatever quirks they have. Never pry. One never knows what is going on inside another person’s head.Treat everyone you encounter in a Christ like manner: with kindness, cheerfulness, patience and respect and above all, show compassion. Your smile can brighten a burdened soul.

 

 

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Praying the Psalms

In 07 Observations on 2016/05/27 at 12:00 AM

While the Gospels narrate facts of Christ’s life, it is in the Psalms that we learn of His feelings. Out of love for us, God has given us the ability to think and to understand the feelings He expresses through the Psalms. In Holy Scripture, you can find God’s point of view on every type of person and every possible situation. If you look at life from God’s point of view, you will know what is right vs what is wrong.”Gain understanding from His precepts” and in them find peace. Ps. 119 It certainly will be different from the pyrite (fool’s gold) which the world treasures, unlike true values that are everlasting.God’s point of view opens wide the horizons of reality.
As in all things, Christ is our model. In the presence of His disciples, after the Last Supper, Christ prayed a psalm of praise and by this He demonstrated to us our need to pray. We can also praising God by using the Psalms in our prayers. We will be praying with Him when we use the Psalms. When He made made Himself one with us, He praised His Father in our name also. Let us pray together with Him.  Actually, when we recite the Psalms, we are praying with God’s own words. In the Psalms, Christ reveals His sorrows ands sufferings as well as His triumph. In the Psalms we also find we can express our feelings and our hearts can soar as we pour out to God of fears and needs.
Pray the Messianic Psalms to unite yourself with the feelings of Christ. Lean on Christ your Savior. Lean on Him for support.  Join yourself to Him and you will never go astray. This will enable you to enter into His thought in a living manner that will unite you intimately with Him in the hope of having the same mind.
Faith is the prerequisite for understanding the Holy Scriptures.By reading the Bible we learn about eternal life and how it can be ours. It is the Holy Spirit who grants us the gift of faith so that we can come to the Father through Jesus Christ. Read the Psalms carefully and listen to their message because which show you the way to eternal happiness
Some examples of psalms paraphrased and/or applied:
Psalm 13  How long, O Lord, will I keep forgetting You? How long, O Lord, will I avoid your face?    How long, O Lord, will you put up with me?  How long, O Lord, will I continue in my stubbornness?   (Answer: As long as you keep rejecting My grace. Response: I ask your forgiveness and trust in Your merciful love.)
Psalm 42  Why should my soul feel dejected? I can have hope in my Savior who is there for me with His lovingkindness. So, I will not let myself get upset when I am disturbed, frazzled or out of sorts.  Instead, I shall ask my Savior for His help with the sure knowledge that He will support me
Psalm 15  Lord, I want to be admitted into Your presence. Grant me the grace to: Behave properly. Act justly.  Speak the truth from my heart. Never to slander anyone. Never to injure anyone. Never to cast slurs on anyone’s reputation.   To stay away from those who say You are unreal.  To respect those who follow You. To keep my promises.To give without expecting return.  To not manipulate others or let myself be manipulated.

Some psalms you might want to look up:
Ps.4 Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.  Ps.5 Lead me in your righteousness.  Ps.15 Preserve me, for in you I take refuge.  Ps.25 Make me know your ways.  Ps.43 Send your light and your truth, let them lead me. Ps.51 Have mercy on me, in your kindness…. 51 A pure heart create in me. nPs.69 Make haste to help me.  Ps.71 Be not far from me.   Ps.86 Gladden the soul of your servant.nnPs.102Hear my prayer; let my cry come to you.  Ps.119 Let your steadfast love be ready to comfort me.Ps. 130Let your ear be attentive to the voice of my supplication. Ps. 143 Teach me to do your will

Soul

In 07 Observations on 2016/05/22 at 12:00 AM

Silence…Simplicity…Spirituality…Serenity

 

Service…Satisfaction…Survival…Sacrifice

 

Solitude…Seriousness…Self-Denial…Sensibility

 

Sincerity…Surrender…Submission…Security

 

Sacred…Sacrament…SAVIOR…SALVATION

 

 

 

 

Father’s Day and Trinity Sunday

In 07 Observations on 2016/05/22 at 12:00 AM

I want to say Happy Father’s Day to all of you dads, grandfathers, and god fathers.

I had the good fortune to have a dad that is what you would hope for. He showed me how to be a man of faith, he showed me how to be a good husband, and how to be a good father to my children.

As I was thinking about my dad I thought back to the childhood that he made possible. When I was in grade school I grew up next door to David Spako. He was the biggest kid in school, the fastest, the strongest, and the top student.

Living next to David had a lot of advantages. In sports I was often on David’s team. In football I knew that if I could get a decent block David would run around everyone or over them. In our neighborhood we played a lot of two on two basketball. I would throw the ball to David and he would usually score and we often won.

Playing sports on David’s team gave me a lot of confidence. Because of what he could do I knew that if I did what I could do there was a good chance that we could accomplish what we hoped for.

Have you ever noticed that it’s easier to have confidence with a good team mate. Today we get to see who wants to be our team mate and how confident we can be.

Today is Trinity Sunday when we celebrate the Holy Trinity who is the best team mate we can have and wants to be on our team. So who is this team mate? The Trinity is how we see one God in three persons, the three persons are the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Let’s look at this closer.  God is love.

This seems like a simple statement but it is an amazing statement. This isn’t saying that God is loving like we might say he is merciful. The statement God is love is not describing traits of God but saying what His very nature is. God is love.

Let’s talk about the Trinity and how it affects us as believers. When we talk about the Trinity our language often is inadequate. That is why you’ll hear that the Trinity is a mystery and it is but that doesn’t mean that we can’t gain an understanding of the Trinity.

One God in three persons. That is a difficult concept for us to get our thoughts around but we can see that it had to be this way. Remember that God is love. For love to exist there has to be a relationship. God created all things. Before anything was created God existed and God is love. Who did God love in the beginning before anything was created? If God is love and he always existed in that way there had to be a relationship for love to flow to and from persons.

The Trinity is that community of persons where God as love existed in the beginning and still exists today. We can see that it was so from the beginning. In the story of creation in the beginning of the book of Genesis we read where God was creating all things. He created the heavens and the earth, the light, the sky and the seas, the plants on the earth and all kinds of living creatures.

Finally God was going to create man. The words of God in scripture revealed what man could not know. The scripture says in verse 26 “Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness”.

Notice God uses the plural words, “let us”, “our image”, and “our likeness”. Who is the us? God was more than one person from the very beginning. It had to be because  “God is love”.

If the Trinity is one God and three persons what does that mean and how can it show us how we can be believers.

The Trinity is three Persons who are each completely and wholly God, in an intimate dance loving completely, loving unconditionally, and supporting others.  God is love.

This is who God is and who he has always been. Three Persons who are each completely and wholly God recklessly giving of themself.

How can having God as the best teammate ever be a reality in my life so that I can be confident as a believer. I’d like to share my own example to show that we can be confident because God and any of us is an overwhelming majority.

For most of my life I’ve worked hard to stay out of prison and until recently I was successful. A few years ago I was asked to minister to men in prison. With my lifelong aversion to being in prison this did not seem like something I wanted or would be good at. What could I offer to men whose lives were so different from my own?

Yet I kept thinking that I was supposed to do this. The idea of God as my teammate really did give me the confidence that if I did my part we could be successful but he would have to do the heavy lifting. So I signed up with a measure of confidence but I was counting on God.

The first time I went into the prison was a wakeup call. You stand before the iron gates with officers around with guns that I assume were loaded and were not in holsters but looked ready for use

Then I walked in and heard the loud clank of the gates and it is a strange feeling as I am now locked in also. We go through another gate and the same sound and I realize that I am further in. This isn’t an idea anymore it is reality.

I walked into a room with about 30 prisoners in their brown uniforms. You know what I saw? Men who need a savior just like me. These men made mistakes but under different circumstances it could’ve been me. I saw men who wanted God in their lives. When everything is taken away from them they know that true joy and freedom come from love and God is the source of true love.

These men wanted to know about the ways of God. They wanted to know him love him and serve him. I wish that you could see the hunger they have for the sacraments which they might have access to once a month. We prayed, we received communion, we prayed the rosary, we read the scriptures, and we shared our faith.

I met men who helped me to see that faith is what really sets us free and brings joy and hope. Allowing God in my life to do the heavy lifting as my teammate allowed me a holy experience that I would not have been confident enough to tackle on my own. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is an even better teammate than David Spako.

So what is our takeaway from all of this? What can we keep from today and use it this week as we leave this Mass and strive to know, love, and serve God?

Remember the words from Genesis. “Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness”. Yes, we were created to be in the image and likeness of God.

The image of God is in relationship loving totally, loving unconditionally, and supporting others. Brothers and Sisters this is what we are to imitate. This is what we were created for. This week let’s keep this and mind and ask ourselves are we acting in the image of God? Am I loving totally, am I loving unconditionally, am I supporting others?

God is love. We were created to be like him. Let us bring that idea back into our homes, our workplace, and in our neighborhoods. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit will be with you.

 

Deacon Jack Staub

St. Matthew Catholic Church

Charlotte, NC

Mary, Our Spiritual Mother

In 07 Observations on 2016/05/07 at 12:00 AM

Through Mary’s humanity, God gave us His Son as our Redeemer and at the Cross, Jesus Christ, true God and true man, gave us His mother as ours.  We show reverence to her because she is the Mother of God; mother and son cannot be separates for if we ignore her, He becomes difficult to understand and eventually our faith in His divinity will be diminished and lost.

Mary looks upon us, her children, with maternal affection and concern.  Let us show our gratefulness to her by following her example and perform our duties with love and docility. In serving, giving, loving, women acquire a dignity which reveals itself in her personality  and serves to encourage, guide and nurture others. Follow her advice at Cana: “Do what He tells you.”  Keep His word as faithfully as she kept it.

Today, pray to the Blessed Virgin specifically for the reversal of the  world’s greatest woe: the arrogation by women today the “right” to destroy a soul whom God has created.

We women must develop our own mature Christian life for the good of others.  In His earthly life, Our Lord frequently demonstrated the value He placed on women. As custodians of life, we are truly women when we are kind, tender and compassionate.  Shine according to your own nature within your unique personality.  Follow the sample of your heavenly mother to develop your individuality in an wholesome way and your will bear much fruit.

Many a woman who has not had the blessing of knowing the sweetness of her own mother’s love, can always know the sweetness of the love of the Mother God gave us on the Cross.

Best Advice

In 07 Observations on 2016/05/07 at 12:00 AM

At Cana, Mary, the Mother of Jesus, said: “Do whatever He tells you.”

Fix your eyes on Christ and with the ears of your heart listen to the words of truth He spoke while on earth.

In His words you will find all the answers to your questions and dilemmas.

His ears are always attuned to your voice. tune in to His voice, which is clear, direct and life-giving.

Christ will listen, guide, counsel you. So listen to him as He speaks to you in the silence of your heart.

God Is With Us

In 07 Observations on 2016/05/01 at 12:00 AM

Do you realize that there is someone who loves you so much that He was willing to die for you? Jesus Christ is God Incarnate, who by taking on a human nature, He, the only-begotten Son of God, entered our human condition in order to redeem it. Jesus was not pretending to be God; He is God. To rectify our fallen nature, He endured Gethsemane and Golgotha so that we could understand His love for us, and, that as He rose from the dead, so we can rise with Him.In His Incarnation, Life, Passion and Resurrection, Jesus Christ was love giving Himself to us for us and accepting us for Himself because He first loved us. Commit yourself to Him in gratitude. Seek to imitate Him. He models every virtue for you. Turn your mind, heart, will, and soul over to Him, asking Him to lead you with His promised grace.

In joy as in sorrow, God is always there for us. As we focus on Our Lord, His Incarnation, Life, Passion, Death and Resurrection, we identify with Him upon whom we gaze. Christ gave Himself to man completely. He began to do so not only with His Incarnation and life, but specifically with His passion and death.Whenever you believe you are being sorely tried, look at the face of the suffering Christ and He will give you the grace to cope, the courage to hang on and to endure your ordeal.Look at the Crucified for mercy, salvation, understanding and hope. Christ Crucified loves you and you are looking at the proof. The sufferings Christ endured on the Cross for us provide us with an understanding that by uniting our sufferings to His, we can grow spiritually. Look to Him who is calling you to follow Him.

We sometimes wonder why God sent His Son to die. Jesus took on our human nature so that we could regain the lost divine image. Jesus gave us so much out of love, yet He asks only that we return His love by doing the will of His/our Father. This we can do by bearing our trials and tribulations as well as by loving our neighbor for His sake. In taking upon Himself our human nature, Jesus Christ experienced every possible trial man undergoes. The sinless one, having endured our trials, sympathizes with our struggles, knowing our weaknesses. After having paid our debt, and while no longer on earth, He is in heaven where He mercifully intercede for us.

The irrevocable act of love is the Cross of Christ. Sinless, He willingly died for sinners. He died for us, and we are in His debt.It was on the Cross that Christ sacrificed Himself that you might live in Him.The life you live as a Christian must be a life of faith in the Son of God who loves you as no one else can. Be grateful for His gift of perfect love and demonstrate it by seeking Him with all you heart and living as He wishes you to live.

One of the greatest gifts you can offer God is self-donation. Whatever sacrifices self-donation requires will be compensated by the reality of knowing that what is most important to you is serving God.Self-d0nation to God can be done by anyone, anytime, anywhere in every walk of life. The essence of self-donation is trust in God. We self-donate when we decide to act in a Christlike way by changing our life to conform to His values and teachings.

We long to see God’s face. Look at the Crucified for He and the Father are one.Look at Him with the eyes of your heart and see yourself in them as the apple of His eye. Recognize His love for you and how He has created you in His image and endowed you with the dignity of a human person whom He has adopted as His own at cost of His only begotten Son.Uniting our sufferings with His redemptive ordeal, gives meaning and purpose to our trials. It is God who permits such events in our lives for the sole purpose that we might seek Him with love and become the persons we should be.

Views on Prayer

In 07 Observations on 2016/04/24 at 12:00 AM

Instead of seeking human help in difficult situations ask first for divine help.  If done with faith and humility, you will experience an interior transformation. The spiritual life must be founded on prayer.  Go to Christ in prayer. Listen to Him who is the Truth.  He is the infallible Truth. Ask God’s grace in order to grow in Christlikeness. To progress in your love for God necessitates and active life of prayer because  a life of prayer predisposes our soul to receive grace which leads, guides our faith, hope and trust in our God.

After seeking His forgiveness for your failures, then recall all the gifts He has given you and thank Him. Do ask Him for more of His grace with confidence that He will grant this petition and say to Him: “Lord, you know me; let me know You more and more”.  The best kind of prayer is that one which transforms your desire into His desire, His will instead of yours. In order to do that,  humbly ask God to vacuum out your brain of all the irrelevant stuff that hinders you so that you can identify your actions and behavior in the light of God’s will.

It is in the heart that prayer resides. Prayer occurs when the will connects itself to God in complete trust, obeying His will in order to please Him. In prayer we express the trust, affection and love in our hearts.  Seek God with you heart, and you will find Him. Great intensity of love can be conveyed by a single desire of the heart and make this desire become a prayer.  Only when you are in an attitude of resting in God will you begin to understand your real self and know what you need to change in order to grow spiritually. Then, you will want to pray, to let yourself be healed by the transforming power of God’s love.

God has provided you with a magnificent, flawless, guidance system: the Holy Spirit, who leads us gently in the right direction and recalibrates us when we go off in the wrong direction. Simply tell God what concerns you, asking Him for His guidance.  Talk with Him for He is  the greatest friend you could ever have. He listens to you with great interest and attention because He really cares for you. It is the Holy Spirit’s action in the heart that enables the soul to rise above itself. Respond faithfully to the pull of grace and you will pray well. When you turn to God in prayer He will invite you to come close to Him. With  His grace you will learn to love God more because the flame of God’s love enkindles in the human heart a longing that only God Himself can fulfill. Open wide your heart, and God will fill it with His love.

Do not make prayer a self-centered monologue talking to yourself instead of to God.  Tell Him about your concerns, activities, preoccupations, fears – and then listen to Him who speaks to you in the silence of your heart. Remember, He who IS, sees you, hears you, loves you. Contemplating Christ  sanctifies us as we gaze on Him with faith and love. He is our model, hope, strength, and  joy. Gaze on Him keeping the eyes of your heart on Him in order to imitate His virtues.

Don’t beat your brains out trying to figure God out by deduction using your mind or with the ideas you garner from others. The intellect can aid the soul seeking God, but the will’s role is more essential. God is not an object that we can get to know by analysis. Faith in God involves a personal encounter. It is in living with and for Him that we can encounter God as a person.What sets the will in motion is love/commitment. Surrender your heart to God, and He will reveal Himself to you. God is Truth, and Truth bears witness to itself. Our love for God flowers in prayer, giving meaning to the aspirations of our heart. Often, it is the heart rather than the lips that speak to God directly from the inner recesses of the soul  as the  heart surges towards Him.

What do you say to Christ when He knocks on the door of your heart?  You have to open the door to let Him in because He never forces Himself on anyone. God is always inviting us to come and visit Him; to speak to Him, to tell Him our needs, cares, woes and joys. Encounter Him personally in prayer and you will know there is no other friend like Him, no one like Him to whom you can open up your heart.

Merciful Forgiveness

In 07 Observations on 2016/04/15 at 12:00 AM

We are most Christlike when we forgive. Who am we to refuse to forgive someone for whom Jesus Christ died to redeem by His death?  Life is full of little and big discords, but we should not let these annoyances influence or dominate our lives. We do not have a right to hold a grudge against anyone, much less get even. We must not be cold or insensible to others. Deliberate, intentional shunning of anyone will be a serious obstacle to your spiritual growth.

You cannot be open to God’s will if you close your heart to your neighbor’s need. Do not deceive yourself by praying a great deal while closing your heart to another person. Do not think you are accepting God’s will if you are finding dealing with others tiresome, a nuisance or even repugnant. Both good and evil are permitted by God. You will encounter ingratitude from friends who do not understand you and people who hinder you. How you react is what makes the difference.

Humiliations and contradictions purify our souls, detaching them from our ego in order to have us bear more and more fruit. If we wish to have peace and serenity of spirit, we need to conform ourself to His will. This is the only sane way to deal with the weakness of others that impinges on our lives, and to deal with the frustrations or set-backs that are bound to come our way each day. To do this involves respecting the other’s opinions, decisions, likes and dislikes. Look to Jesus as your guide in how to deal with everyone: family, friends, acquaintances, unknowns. Just as mercy is God’s constant attitude towards all, so we too must always be ready to relieve anyone. So we must cultivate a sensitivity of heart so that our eyes and ears will be aware of the daily opportunities we have to show mercy.

Jesus is the most wonderful example of mercy. His mercy springs from His compassion. He  did not shun anyone and felt sorry for those who sought Him with their physical and spiritual ailments. He reached out to them with His grace. He knows we are sinners and He reaches out to us constantly. He is a merciful God who will not abandon us. He offers us the grace to repent and He is there for us in our daily struggles. He wants us to return to Him, to have us near Him, to protect us from straying, to strengthen and fortify us. Call on Him. He will answer you and help you carry your cross withe patience despite the irritations others cause you. God wants to prune away all things that prevent us from being Christlike. Humiliations and contradictions, suffering and illness, purify our souls, detaching them from our ego in order to have us bear more and more fruit.

Just as mercy is God’s constant attitude towards all, so we too must always be ready to relieve anyone. To do this we must first cultivate a sensitivity of heart so that our eyes and ears will be award of the daily opportunities we have to show mercy.
The peace of your soul is determined by your relationship to God. We seek peace and want our sins forgiven. God’s grace is there for us, dependent only on our desire to accept it. Never give up on yourself or any person because God is merciful. Repentance is possible because no one is beyond God’s grace. No matter how bad a situation is, God’s goodness and mercy is there for anyone who seeks Him. Testify to God’s mercy to bewildered or suffering friends, and guide prodigals to their loving and forgiving Father. The closer you get to Christ, the more you will seek to do His will. Avoid anxiousness by maintaining unbroken the bond of love; protect it with your life.

Devotional Poems by Jackie Duick

In 07 Observations on 2016/03/04 at 12:00 AM

Heavenly MOTHER

Our Heavenly Mother gives love to us on earth,

just as She gave Christ birth;

We will always be Her loving child,

She will always treat us tender and mild ;

Angels in Heaven bow to her,

She makes the love within us stir;

As She gathers us to her breast,

unto God She leaves the rest;

Heavenly Mother above I adore thee,

and pray for your love to guide me.

PRAYER

I sit before my Lord in quiet prayer,

there is a gentle stillness in the air;

I talk to Him with my mind,

knowing His presence will be a gentle kind;

I pray I will be led to do His will,

but to find out how I must be still;

He touches my heart with peace and love,

that can only be sent from above;

So put your trust in our Lord in prayer,

and for your sake He will always be there.

 

           THE TONGUE 

The strongest muscle in our body would surprise us all,

the tongue is the thing that can cause anyone to fall;

It can be used for good as in praise or laughter,

or it can create scares for now and ever after;

Our tongue creates gossip good or bad,

and bad gossip makes so many sad;

We don`t realize the damage that can come about,

at times it causes others to sit and pout;

So be kind in your talks about others today,

and omit sordid feelings and send the away.

 

          3 AM HOUR

It`s the 3 AM hour in the middle of the night,

said to be Satan`s hour what a fright;

Why is he angry this evil soul,

because Jesus rose at that hour when He made us all whole;

Satan thought he won when Jesus died on the cross,

but alas at 3 AM Satan`s at a loss;

For Jesus has risen at this timely hour,

and Satan knows he`s lost power;

For Jesus has risen at His chosen time,

to let mankind know you are mine.

Heavenly Love

When I go to sleep at night,

Angels are there to tuck me tight;

Stars are shinning from above,

Angels giving me Heavenly love;

Moon shines bright to guide their way,

leading the Angels here to stay;

In the morning when I awake,

I thank God for His partake;

As the day time moves along,

it brings the night time with a song;

As our Heavenly Mother looks down on us,

love is sprinkled like stardust;

God is deep within my heart,

and I know we`ll never part.

OUTSIDE OF TIME

What if we could rise out of our body and look down from above,

and fly through the air just like a dove;

Would we see history fly by,

as we soar about the sky;

Would we see the future of our life,

and would it cause us great strife;

Would we want to come back and be grounded again,

if we did so would we remember where we`ve been;

Outside of time could be a great adventure,

but is it really worth trying you have to be sure;

Cause to be stuck outside of time,

could disturb your peace of mind.

  • WE SEE DEATH THEY HAVE REBIRTH

What can I say about death that scares us all,

we all at sometime await the dreaded fall;

Whether it be family, friend or me,

we don`t know when the time will be;

Sometimes it`s unexpected this twist of fate,

that will put us in front of St. Peter`s Gate;

We can only pray and morn for the ones who die,

and wipe the tear from our eye;

In our hearts they will always stay,

as we go about our normal way;

What awaits us all we do not know,

but we long for Heaven when we go;

We want to soar on gossamer wings,

as we hear the song the Angel sings.

by

Jackie Duick

 

 

 

PEN IN MY HAND

Pen in my hand to create a line,

and I will try to make it rhyme;

Thoughts come to me and go,

what I may write next I do not know;

So many topics come to mind,

it`s a wonderful way to spend my time;

I can go to a world of make believe,

and with words in and out I can weave;

Some tell a story some do not,

what ever I create it is all my thought;

So sit back and enjoy a poem that is written,

and you just might be smitten.