Roasted honey red stretch

Friday, February 27, 2009

Today's Gospel


Today's gospel reading is short but very interesting, this one never struck me before. It is the first Friday of Lent, for Catholics it is a day of abstinence from meat. This past Wednesday was a day of fasting and abstinence. We have already had psalm 51 on both days as the psalm reading, calling us to repentance and reconciliation with God. So in that light here is the reading for today:

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said,
"Why do we and the Pharisees fast much,
but your disciples do not fast?"
Jesus answered them, "Can the wedding guests mourn
as long as the bridegroom is with them?
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast." ~Matthew 9:14-15

What struck me here is that Jesus disciples never fasted! I never thought about that before. But it occurs to me that they had the power of God with them at all times. He could overcome anything that came up, He raised the dead, cast out difficult demons and with a word calmed a storm.

We however, need to set ourselves aside, away from our physical wants and to connect in a stronger way with God to see miricles in our lives. Come Lord Jesus.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Who said..

"No parent should ever have to choose between
work and family; between earning a decent wage and
caring for a child.”~Bill Clinton(you were thinking Mother Theresa weren't you?)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

More on Faith


It is interesting, after going through that entire blog entry with my musings on faith, today's readings are about faith! The first reading is the great faith chapter Hebrews 11. I love this chapter. I listen to the scripture readings in the NIV when I stream them in my devotions. But the one verse i memorized from the KJV, From memory: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." In the NIV it is rendered thus: 1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.(ibs.org).

This chapter is an excellent summary for me. It recounts various patriarchs and how their faith in the promises of God sustained them or inspired them. Near the end of the passage there is mention of Barak. I did not remember reading about Barak. So i looked him up. He was the commander of the Israeli army under the judge Deborah. Since he was listed as a man of faith, i read the account. It seems that Barak had to trust that Deborah was truly hearing from God, and upon her word of the surety of his victory went out and attacked the army of Sisera and they were routed by God. They inexplicably fled before his troops.

All this is to say that I know that God is powerful, and that He raised Jesus from the dead and did many powerful miracles. But do I truly believe all that Jesus said? Jesus told us that we would do greater miracles than He did. And yet I am continually held back by the whisperings of the evil one in my ear "you are not good enough, God could not care for you..." In believing this am I any different than Eve? I think that God's love is not big enough to cover my faults and sins. How arrogant of me! God made the heavens and the earth. He owns all the cattle on a thousand hills. He made the stars and the whirlpool nebula!

I am reminded of a children's bible school song i learned somewhere:

He's still workin' on me
Makin' me what i outta be
It took Him just a week
To make the moon and stars
The sun and the earth and
Jupiter and Mars
How loving and patient
He must be
'Cause He's still workin' on me.

The psalm today is the clincher--it is psalm 145, here are some excerpts to close this entry:

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

9 The LORD is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.

14 The LORD upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.

15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.

16 You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways
and loving toward all he has made.

18 The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.

19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.

Thank you Jesus.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thoughts on healing


In the Gospel readings this past couple weeks we are going through the book of Mark. I have really been struck in a different way about Jesus teachings on faith. I sense that God wants His people to have faith for healing and deliverence in a greater way. I have had a growing sense that as this time of great evangelism is upon us, those of us that God has spent the last ten, twenty and thirty years preparing in the Spirit are going to be called upon to stretch in the wisdom and gifts that we have been given. We are going to have to learn to rely on God's voice, not methods or formulas, and have greater faith in Him to touch lives.

Here in Mark 1, obviously very early in Jesus ministry, He proves that He has great power, there is a demon cast out of a man and then they leave the synagogue:

29As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30Simon's mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her. 31So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.

32That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33The whole town gathered at the door, 34and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.

This is the God we rely on. Who heals with a touch and the voice of command.

Those who had simple faith are healed like this man: " 40A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, "If you are willing, you can make me clean."
41Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" 42Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured." This man surely had faith in Jesus and Jesus immediately responded to that faith.

Then, of course there is the man who was healed NOT because of his own faith but because of the faith of his friends!:

Mark 2~ 3Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. 4Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. 5When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."... He said to the paralytic, 11"I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." 12He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"

Then in Mark 4 Jesus rebukes his disciples for their lack of faith(and the light perhaps starts to dawn for them that he is the Messiah!)

35That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." 36Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

39He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

41They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"

In chapter 5 of Mark, Jesus tackles tougher problems, the demon possessed man who had a legion of demons and then He raises Jiarus daughter from the dead.

In Chapter 6, Jesus again encounters a lack of faith: 4Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor." 5He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6And he was amazed at their lack of faith." notice that even though He is God incarnate, He cannot heal when there is a lack of faith!

In chapter 7 Jesus encounters a woman who will not take "no" for an answer. He even calls her a dog and she is not deterred " 27"First let the children eat all they want," he told her, "for it is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."28"Yes, Lord," she replied, "but even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."29Then he told her, "For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter." 30She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

This last one struck me for many reasons. First because I often fall for the lie that i am not good enough for God to bless. This woman told Jesus that she was at least good enough for the Crumbs from his table and that would be enough for her.

Next,it hit me for the first time,that Jesus drove out THIS demon without being present with the patient,or even speaking a word of command. He just told her, that her child was free. I believe that God wants us to learn to trust Him more and learn to tap into His power in greater ways.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ponderings on the Sorrowful Mysteries

Image: The Polish Pieta-note the size of Jesus wounds




I had these thoughts today as I prayed through the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary.

The First Sorrowful Mystery The Agony in the Garden: The Agony in the garden represents the loneliness of separation from God that Jesus accepted in order to take on our sins. Sin separates us from God, this was probably the first time that Jesus ever felt that separation and he begged his disciples to stay awake with him, because he felt such profound loneliness.

The Second Sorrowful Mystery The Scourging at the Pillar:
The scourging of Jesus in the outer court of Pilate's palace represents bodily suffering, Jesus took on the pain that we feel from sickness, disease, cancer, leprosy, Multiple sclerosis, beatings, abuse and all the other pains known to humankind. He took it all upon his body.

The Third Sorrowful Mystery The Crowning with thorns.
I believe that the crowning with thorns represents mental anguish. Both from mental illness and also from temptation and disappointment and all other agonies of the mind.

The FOurth Sorrowful Mystery The Carrying of the Cross. I believe that this represents the drudgery of bearing our day to day life. The boredom the waiting, the persevering in all things for the sake of God and family and friends. Though we at times seek a better life in the hereafter with God, we must take up our cross each day and bear it with the help of the Holy Spirit our Comforter.

The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery The Crucifixion.
This represents the final triumph of Jesus. He passed through death for our sakes in order to accept the sting of death and brave hell for us. He conquered both so that those who die in Christ will suffer neither. Praise be to Him! The Sacrifice Lamb!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A legacy

Michael Dubruiel was a Catholic Author and wife of the famous Blogger Amy Wellborn of Charlotte Was Both Blog. It is very poignient to read the last column that he was preparing for his Diocesan newspaper, just before he collapsed and died suddenly at age 50 right after his workout at the local Gym. Here is his column.




The Last Column

February 4, 2009 by Amy

{(Michael had been writing a column for the Diocesan newspaper called “Some Seed Fell” and posting them after publication on his blog. His sweet secretary Allison just sent me the last column he wrote, being published this week, that he wrote Monday night.)~Amy Wellborn's comments on her blog http://amywelborn.wordpress.com/ }

While in Washington, D.C. several weeks ago, I ran into an old friend, Father Benedict Groeschel, CFR, with whom I have collaborated on several books. We met after a Mass for pro-life leaders at Trinity College. It was exactly five years and 10 days from that night in Orlando, FL when Father Benedict nearly lost his life in a tragic accident, and almost four years to the day that I spent a week with him in New York, assisting him in putting the finishing touches on a book that he co-authored with Bishop Baker.

Working with a very frail Father Benedict at the time, I was reminded of an interview that he had given some years earlier at EWTN with Doug Keck on Booknotes. During that interview, when Father Benedict’s book Arise From Darkness was first published, Doug asked Father Benedict to elaborate on something that Father had called the “big lie” in his book. The “big lie,” Father Benedict said, (and I’m paraphrasing him at this point), is to think that if we say all the right prayers and live correctly, then nothing bad will ever happen to us. Sadly, there are many good people who have lost their faith by believing such a lie, and that makes it a big one indeed!

One only has to think of Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, and how much He suffered on the cross, to correct one’s view on this matter. In our own day, there are many whom we know have lived saintly lives, many who have prayed much, and yet have suffered too.

This brings me to another incident that I learned from Father Benedict while working with him four years ago in New York. I was waiting for him to make some corrections on a text when I noticed what looked like a wedding program. I asked him if it was for a relative or a couple he had married. He replied that it was neither, but told me the story of the person behind it.

Diana was a young Puerto Rican woman who grew up in a very faith filled home. Even though they were poor, her mother taught her at an early age to trust God above everything. By the time she was old enough to go to college, Diana found a way to pursue her education - again something that she credited to her strong faith - and became the first member of her large family to graduate from college. She then married and was hired by a large investment firm in New York.

Even though her job kept her busy, she found time to attend Mass everyday. When her friends threw parties, Diana made up goodie bags for them that included candy and make-up, but also a prayer book and holy water. When a member of her family couldn’t pay their bills, Diana secretly paid them. When someone in the family got into trouble she bailed them out of jail.

One night Diana had a strange dream. In the dream Jesus appeared to her, dressed in a white robe, standing on a cloud of smoke. He was beckoning her to come to him, telling her not to worry, that he was going to take her with him. Then it seemed to her that the whole world disappeared from beneath her and she awoke. She told her husband about the dream the next morning, but he didn’t want to hear about it—it scared him.

The next few nights, the dream repeated itself. She told her mother, who wondered what it could mean.

A month later on September 11, 2001, Diana was at work at her investment firm in the World Trade Center on one of the top floors. She phoned her husband and mother on her cell phone after the second plane struck the tower below her. She reminded them of the dream, just before the tower crumbled.

What is the opposite of the “big lie”? Trust.

When questioned by an English journalist about the future of the Religious Order that he co-founded, Father Benedict gave a simple reply, “We have no plans, except to be led by God.”

None of us knows what the future holds, but hopefully we can embrace what is inscribed in our coinage, “In God we Trust.”

ARRANGEMENTS

Viewing

Sunday, February 8

5-8 pm

7pm Vigil Service

Fr. Brian Flanagan, Diocese of West Palm Beach

Craig Funeral Home

1475 Old Dixie Highway
St. Augustine, FL 32084
Office: (904) 824-1672

MASS OF THE RESURRECTION

Monday, February 9

11am

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine

35 Treasury Street
St. Augustine, Fl
904-824-2806

Most Reverend Robert J. Baker, celebrant

Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., homilist

~Sparks

Friday, February 6, 2009

Cooleration

Is that a word?

Love my new group. Randomly, i ran into an old aquaintance from around the diocese on a Catholic web site, and messaged him hello. We struck up a bit of a conversation and he mentioned that he was doing the music at a local parish on Sunday evenings with a band. I mentioned that i was a strong vocalist looking for a gig. He then asked if i could practice friday nights and I can.

Sometimes my life just does not cooperate with Choir or mass times for Church very well and i am catch as catch can. But lately my boss at my one job has had mercy on my giving me virtually every sunday off. Which is has been pretty much unheard of in my life for the past 12 years except for a period of unemployment in 2006(for about 7 months). And i am free on all the scheduled friday nights coming up.

So i started tonight and love it. The leader of the band is firm but kind--i need that as i can make mistakes but can also be hard on myself. The musicians are awesome and talented and the boss has a way of bringing out the best in everybody. He also is a talented songwriter. We are doing some of his songs and they are very good. And he coordinated all the songs with the scriptures for this week very nicely.

This song is one i have only had rare exposure to but I am starting to love it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Isve04xCYyY&feature=related


Pax Christi Tibi(to quote the most intelligent man i know)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Version of Truckers Stew

1 lb of ground beef (or venison or sausage) browned
1 lb of bacon cooked in 1/2-1 inch chunks
2-3 onions
2 cans pork and beans
1 can each of kidney and black beans
2 cans of green beans
2 cans of butter beans(or 1 can butter and one lima--we just love butter beans)
1 1/2 Cup Ketchup
3 T vinegar
4 T mustard(yellow or brown)
2 C brown sugar
salt to taste

Brown your meats and the onions, drain. Add beans, if you are using a crock pot, drain the beans before adding, if stove top you will need the liquid. Add rest of ingredients and simmer in crock pot for the whole day(6-8 hours) or approx 3 hours stove top stirring occasionally.




Notes: This is not a health nut soup, you may want to limit it to speacial occasions :-)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Fallible Men

Was reading a section in the book "The Biblical Basis for the Catholic Faith" by Salza on how fallible men can have infallible teaching(not all the time but when lead by God's Spirit). It was pointed out that, of course we know David was an adulterer and murderer, and Moses a murderer. Peter made mistakes, and the writers of the Bible were all fallible men with infallible writings.

However I had never really noticed this before, in passing the author mentioned that the high priest Caiaphas, though he was a very corrupt man, made an infallible prophecy. So i set out to find it this morning right after my scripture time.

I found this account of it in John, with John's commentary: "49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, "You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish."

51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life."~John 11.

This explains a lot to me that i have pondered over the years. I have personally been scandalized when a certian extremely prominant Christian Singer left her husband to marry another famous celebrity and had refused to listen to her music, though it was very good, ever since. There was also a very popular priest years ago who had a powerful healing ministry that left the church in disobediance to get married. Then I wondered about all those healings--of course they were real, and his wonderful books on healing.

These are only a couple of people who have caused scandal in the body of Christ that affected me personally. But i remember that Warren H. Carroll pointes out in the Founding of Christendom that God's anointing is real even if the person subsequently turns his back on God.

The Big Mac