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Prayer

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My great grandmother is the person who taught me how to pray. She was a very Godly woman and would pray every night before going to sleep. She could no longer kneel beside her bed so she would sit on the edge and say her evening prayers. During the summers when I would stay with her I would lay quietly on my side of the bed listening to her gentle whispering, waiting for her to finish. Continue Reading »

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I live in a farming community and during the early spring, farmers begin to burn their fields. It’s not uncommon to be driving along the highway and see the surrounding fields ablaze with bright flames and dark smoke. It’s an eerie sight at night, like some pagan festival from a forgotten time. The reason that they burn the fields is that it burns away all the stubble from the previous growing season, and the ashes fertilize the soil. After the fields are burned bare, they take their plows and discs and turn over the dirt and get it ready for another planting season.

I like seeing the fields burning – it means that spring is on the way. Soon the weather will be warmer, the ugly brown grass will turn green, trees will fill out their skeletal branches with new leaves. It’s the best time of the year I think. It’s appropriate that Easter falls during this time. I love the feeling of everything being new – the rebirth of nature echoing the resurrection of Christ. I always start feeling happy around this time of year. How can you not – for me, there’s such an anticipation of “newness.” I know Easter is still over two weeks away, but today I’m so eager for Easter to come!

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;

he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;

as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass,  he flourishes like a flower of the field;

the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.

But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children-

with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.

Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.

Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.

Praise the LORD, all his works  everywhere in his dominion.

Praise the LORD, O my soul.

Psalms 103:8-22 

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I’ve been thinking about how I know the Bible was written by men as opposed to women. Now, before anyone throws a burning bra at me, I must explain my anecdotal evidence to prove this statement. This weekend I just happened to be reading through some of the Old Testament. I admittedly don’t know the Old Testament as well as I know the New – which is probably true for the majority of Christians. I guess the Old Testament is more intimidating to me for some reason, like this verse out of Exodus 30:34 – 38:

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Take fragrant spices—gum resin, onycha and galbanum—and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts, and make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer. It is to be salted and pure and sacred. Grind some of it to powder and place it in front of the ark of the covenant law in the tent of meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you. Do not make any incense with this formula for yourselves; consider it holy to the LORD. Whoever makes incense like it to enjoy its fragrance must be cut off from their people.”

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Heavy

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Sometimes the world just feels heavy. Sometimes it seems to me that life just presses down on me like a giant stone, trying to crush all the breath out of me. It feels like I’m the ghost of Jacob Marley dragging around all his chains . . . except sometimes the chains are mine, and sometimes the chains are just the world we live in. There are times when I just feel so tired of it all – the anger and hatred that surrounds us, the wicked deeds that are on the news, the suffering that so many innocent face everyday, the weight of my own sins. There are times when I just feel worn down by it all. I feel that way today, for no particular reason except that we live in an evil world and it just gets tiresome – and it’s true that the devil never takes a holiday. Continue Reading »

Love One Another

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I recently have been thinking about forgiveness, as I’ve said in another post. I found this article about St. Francis who in his early life was repelled by the lepers he encountered, and after praying about this God gave him the grace to change his heart so that he could love the most “unlovable.” During Lent we are trying to focus our mind on God’s love through his sacrifice for us – in a sense trying to understand how God loves us, the unlovable sinners. Continue Reading »

Prayer for Priests

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Almighty God, look upon the face of Him who is the eternal High Priest, and have compassion on Your priests in today’s world. Remember that they are but weak and frail human beings. Stir up in them the grace of their vocation. Keep them close to You lest the enemy prevail against them, so that they may never do anything in the slightest degree unworthy of their sublime vocation.

Oh Jesus, I pray for Your faithful and fervent priests, for the unfaithful and tepid ones, for those laboring at home and abroad in distant mission fields; for those who are tempted; for those who are lonely and desolate; for those who are in purgatory.

But above all, I recommend to You the priests dearest to me; the priest who baptized me; the priest who absolved me from my sins; the priests who instructed me or helped me by their encouragement. I pray devoutly for all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way, in particular for those that have offered me the Blessed Sacrament, Oh Jesus, keep them all close to Your heart and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity. Amen.

Oh Mary, Queen of the clergy, pray for us; obtain for us a number of holy priests. Amen.

I found this prayer at Kansas City Catholic’s Blog and I really love it.

Feet Washing

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Lately, I have been thinking about forgiveness. Mostly how I need to forgive others, which I’ve come to realize I’m not so good at. I mean, I always thought I was very good at it and maybe it’s just getting older and you know how things start to not work as well as they used to . . . well I think my forgiveness muscle was getting out of shape. There are three people I can think of off the top of my head (and there may be others, I’m just not as aware of) that I need to really forgive. These three people are people that I’m not close to and I don’t even really see them on a regular basis anymore. I used to work with them, and when I left my job I felt like they were such hypocrites – claiming to be Christians and acting like such jerks. Being nice to my face and yet being quite unkind behind my back. Of course I’m well above this sort of behavior myself, so you can understand my bitterness about it. What really sealed the deal though, was that this trio was very unfair to my husband, who still works at this place. I thought to myself that it’s fine if you want to be a jerk to me, but don’t do it to my husband who is a nice, humble person and one that would never lower himself to fighting back or being so petty. So, in my heart I decided that being mean to my husband was reason enough to not forgive them and to stay bitter. . . and I did. But something kept nagging me – that little Jimminy Cricket voice that kept telling me something wasn’t right inside of myself. Everytime I thought about these people I would just boil over with indignation at their stupidity and hypocrisy. How Dare They be so . . . so. . . HUMAN. Disgusting.

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