Speaking the Truth

We don’t like to speak the truth about evil because we’re going to hurt somebody. Let me tell you, you are going to hurt somebody, but that Somebody is God. If you would rather hurt God than your neighbor, there is something wrong with your spirituality. It’s your obligation to speak the truth and everyone can either take it or leave it. But truth must be in us. We live in such poverty of the truth today.
- Mother Angelica

Friday, August 7, 2009

In Memory of Me

St. Cajetan

Ask now of the days of old, before your time.... Deuteronomy 4:32

OK, I totally stole the title to this post. But I decided yesterday that this would be my last devotional that I put on my blog and send out. The computer and the Internet are taking up too much of my time and I'm not putting the important things first, like documenting and taking care of my family's pictures. Our pictures tell our life stories and we have ours on our computer, (I thought on my external hard drive), and on CD's. We are almost caught up with the pictures on CD's. Then two days ago, the hard drive on our laptop went out. And I'm not sure if we will be able to recover all of our photographs. I may have lost 4 months of my children's, and our family's, memories.

It makes me sad to know that I could have done something about this, but didn't make it a priority. The scrapbooks that I make are our life stories. These are books that my kids are going to be able to show to their kids and their kids and their kids.... They will be passed down from generation to generation. And I want to focus more on that.

So I completely embrace this Scripture passage this morning. I am going to make more of an effort to make our memories a priority. I want my kids to know their past. I want my kids to know where they came from. I also want them to know how faith can have an impact on their life. That is why I want to make a Faithbook. I have wanted to make one for a year now and have not even started it. It makes me sad because there are so many things I want to say. There are so many things that happen in my life with God that I want to share with my children. And I want to make the effort to journal that.

So I have a lot of projects I need to work on. And the Internet is too addicting! I'm going to take the rest of August off to re-prioritize and get everything back on track. After that, we will see how things are going and if I will be coming back to the blogging world.

If you want to read a devotional each day, order some from Living Faith. They are wonderful and extremely affordable. They will come to your home in small booklets. Perfect for the pocket or purse or drawer for easy accessibility. God Bless.

Daily Readings:
Deuteronomy 4:32-40 Psalm 77:12-16, 21 Matthew 16:24-28

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Dazzling Revelation

Transfiguration of the Lord

[Jesus] was transfigured before them, and His clothes became dazzling white... Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them. Mark 9:2-3, 7

I'm a little out of sorts this morning. I'm having a hard time getting something together for this Scripture today. First of all, I'm not really sure what this Transfiguration is all about so instead of researching and putting something out there for you, I'm going to give you the devotional from Living Faith. It's a good one. Then I'm going to continue my research into the Transfiguration of our Lord until the kids won't allow me to any longer. :)

This strange event seems to cover the full range of human experience: the ordinary muddle, the crystal clarity and the downright puzzling. Jesus in His divinity is revealed alongside Moses and Elijah, those iconic representations of the Law and the Prophets. But no sooner does that happen than the cloud descends, obscuring what had just been revealed. Just like that, our certainties elude us the moment we think we've figured it all out.

God, the Transfiguration seems to say, is as present in the dazzling Christ as in the obscuring cloud, in the clarity of understanding as in the confusion of mind.

But revealed in the most dramatic moments of our lives, God is no less present in the ordinary awareness of every single day. Jesus goes down the mountain with the disciples, more than ever convinced that in certainty or confusion and everything in between, He is with them.

Lord, reveal Yourself to me today.

- Mark Neilsen

Daily Readings:

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 9 2 Peter 1:16-19 Mark 9:2-10

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Passion for Our Lord

Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome

O woman, great is your faith! Matthew 15:28

Wouldn't you love to have been this woman?! I would! Well, not literally I suppose because I do love my life, but I would love to be the kind of woman she was. She didn't have RCIA, the Internet, or books to teach her about Jesus. She just had faith. She had faith that He could save her daughter from the demons that possessed her. She pursued Him, begging Him for His help. He even ignored her and denied her, but she didn't stop. She knew, in her heart, that He was it. She was not afraid or embarrassed to show it. It was because of this faith that Jesus said this to her and healed her daughter. I wish I had that same passion and humility.

If we all had this kind of faith, I wonder how different our world would be. I wonder how different our country would be. Wouldn't it be awesome if we all had this undying faith in Jesus and His works? He shows us His power each and every day, but we miss it. We miss it because we're not listening. So we lose faith. We think that because we don't have a perfect life that just flows the way we think it should, that God doesn't exist. Or we think that God won't help us.

He'll help us. He's waiting for our faith. He's waiting for our faith to be like this woman's faith. She may not have known that much in her mind, but she knew in her heart that Jesus could help her. He can help us all. We just have to believe in him with everything we have.

Lord, I believe in you. I have faith. Help me to continue on my path to be closer and closer to You.

Daily Readings:
Numbers 13:1-2, 25-14:1, 26-29, 34-35 Psalm 106:6-7, 13-14, 21-23 Matthew 15:21-28

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Renew My Spirit

St. John Vianney

A clean heart create for me, God;
renew in me a steadfast spirit. Psalm 51:12

This Psalm is the ultimate prayer for repentance. It shows humility and the desire for forgiveness and the ability to do better next time. Isn't that why we go to Confession? We don't go to just get sins off of our chest, feel better about ourselves, and move on with life. No. We go to Confession to seek counseling from the priest. He's not there to make us feel better and tell us, "It's OK, you didn't mean it." He's there to tell us that we are absolved from our sins (because we did, we sinned) and help us to do better next time.

Confession is about God. Going to Confession is about truly feeling sorry for the sin I committed against my God, my God who died for me and my sins so I may spend eternity with Him. I think we look at our sins sometimes and say, "Oh that's not a big deal, God will forgive me." And we move on. Well, to a certain extent that's true. He will forgive us when we express the humility and desire for His forgiveness as the Psalmist did in Psalm 51.

Confession does help me to feel better. Not because I get my sins off my chest, but because I am able to talk to a man of the Church. Being new to all of this, I thought Confession consisted of spilling my guts, a blessing, and that was it. But when I go, the priest always counsels me. He talks to me. He shows me some compassion and helps me to understand what I did, why I might have done it, and how I can do better. Now THAT'S reconciliation! I go there because I truly feel sorry for having offended God, and I have that desire to want to apologize and do better in my life. Granted, this isn't always the case, but I do confess that too. Sometimes I sin but I don't feel sorry about it because I still have anger in my heart. The priest helps me with that too. It's an absolutely wonderful experience.

Today we celebrate the feast day of St. John Mary Vianney. He is the patron saint of priests. Our new pastor wrote an article on him that gave a really good biography on his life. It just so happened that people actually sought him out to be reconciled. Even on his death bed, he reconciled people's sins. They wouldn't let him quit!

So as we examine our consciences today, remember St. John Vianney and ask for his intercession to be with all of our priests to help them remain strong in their faith, just as he did. We need them to tell us the truth when we enter that confessional to receive their blessings and to be able to go out into the world and speak of God's love for us. Our priests have a very big job, and they need our help, as well as the help of all the angels and saints.

God, thank you for your mercy as I repent of my sins.

Daily Readings:
Numbers 12:1-13 Psalm 51:3-7, 12-13 Matthew 14:22-36

Monday, August 3, 2009

Blessings in Disguise

St. Peter Julian Eymard

"Why do You treat your servant so badly?" Moses asked the LORD. Numbers 11:11

Moses is starting to feel the pressure. He has done everything the Lord commanded and is now watching his people suffer. They have been eating manna, for I don't know how long, and they long for melon and onion and cucumbers.... Moses is so desperate for a solution to this problem, that he tells the Lord to take his life because he can't bear to watch it anymore.

Moses was asked to do a lot for our Lord. And he did what was asked and wanted some relief. We all feel like that at times. We have a lot of responsibilities as adults, as moms and dads, as sons and daughters, as brothers and sisters. We all have a different role to play. Sometimes I wish someone else could play my role. There are days when my husband has to work long hours, or even go away for the week, and it's so easy to get into the pity way of thinking. "This stinks. Why is it always my responsibility to take care of our kids?" "Why can't he get a different job?" "I wish this was different." And I know my husband doesn't want to be away from us so much, but that's his job. If it wasn't for his job, we wouldn't have what we have and I wouldn't be able to be here with our children to take care of them.

But really, when I look at the big picture, my life isn't so bad. We have a good home, food on the table, healthy, happy children.... God obviously trusts me with our children for long periods of time. And God obviously wants my husband to be able to take care of us. It's a good partnership. We end up helping each other with our household. If I were really doing this alone, I would not only be trying to take care of the kids, but also work to support all of us. That is a responsibility I'm not so sure I could handle.

So when those feelings of pity want to take over my mind, I look to God in prayer and thank Him for what He has blessed my family and me with. That helps to push the devil out of my mind so I can be a good mom and a good wife, the way God intended.

God, thank you so much for all the blessings in my life. Thank you for always being there to help me through those negative thoughts and feelings.

Daily Readings:
Numbers 11:4-15 Psalm 81:12-17 Matthew 14:13-21