Jesus did not come to condemn

But Mass Media is ready to do what Jesus won’t do,
and won’t do what Jesus does do

Grateful for the Mercy of God

Today at work I overheard Man A (who sits behind me) say to Man B (who sits across from Man A), “so who is worse, Roy Moore or so and so.” Sorry, I don’t remember the other guy’s name. You have several to choose from. I managed to resist the urge to insert myself into their conversation (until now).

I don’t know these men whom mass media is parading around for ratings, power, and political plays. I don’t know who did what to whom or when. But considering the things I’ve heard males at work say (and do) to me and to those around me, my response to Man A’s question would have been: “who’s worse: Man A or Man B or Man C, in the office over there? And is Woman A (me) worse of a sinner than Woman B (who sits across from me) or Woman C (who sits around the corner)?”

Many in mass media are ready to point the finger. Consumers of mass media are ready to think I must be all right, because I didn’t do what they say that guy did. (Or at least no one knows, and I don’t expect to be on the nightly news or skewered on late night “comedy” shows.)

The problem with all this is that when the people brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus (hoping he would condemn her), no one was able to cast the first stone. (John 8:7) If all the sinners have to resign or get fired from their jobs, there will be no one working and no managers to fire anyone.

We don’t need to say that mass media is not trustworthy. The oxymoron of the year is Hollywood posing as America’s new moral compass.

Who is willing to go home and look in the mirror? Mass media is ready to judge and convict, but who can or will forgive and heal?

What I do know: the One who died for my sins and yours. The One who conquered death and frees us from sin and has gone ahead to prepare a place for us.

If you want the world to be a better place, get to work on being holy yourself and growing in virtue. It’s not enough that you are not Harvey Weinstein or Charlie Rose or Roy Moore or whoever else is being accused in the public square this particular minute.

If you haven’t already, turn off mass media and forego its drama. Open your Bible, and pray. Give God an opening in your life. Forgiveness and healing and grace are available in abundance from the all-merciful God.

Scriptures of the Day

1 John 1:8–10

If we say, “We are without sin,” we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

John 8:42–47

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and am here; I did not come on my own, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? Because you cannot bear to hear my word. You belong to your father the devil and you willingly carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe me. Can any of you charge me with sin? If I am telling the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever belongs to God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not listen, because you do not belong to God.”

John 16:7–11

‘But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: sin, because they do not believe in me; righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

Quotes of the Day
My Judge is also my Savior and my healer

Sin does not allow me to be the son or daughter God wants me to be.

It is a gift of the Holy Spirit that we know our sins.

The evil one condemning us tells us that God won’t forgive. The Spirit convicting us tells us that God always forgives.

Sin is always personal. It’s not a law that we break when we sin, it’s a heart that we break. When we sin we break the heart of the Lord who is madly and passionately in love with us. When we sin we break the relationship that the Father wants to have with us, that the Son and the Spirit want to have with us. Sin severs this relationship and separates us from God who wants to love us and pour out his blessing and his grace and his presence to us.

Truth is a gift of God.

— Father Dave, The Wild Goose segment 11

When God forgives a sinner who humbly confesses his sin, the devil loses his dominion over the heart he had taken. — Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Video of the Day
The Wild Goose is Loose Segment 11: The Spirit Convicts

Questions of the Day

  • What effect has your sin had on your relationships?
  • When convinced of your sin, what do you do next?
  • Do you want to be reconciled to God?

Prayer of the Day
Love and Truth Go Together

Come, Holy Spirit. Come with your Truth.

Spirit of Love, reveal to me to all truth:
truth about the Triune God and about myself.

Holy Spirit, shine your light into my life;
help me to see how I have failed to love,
where and when I’ve misused God’s gifts,
been selfish, prideful, greedy, or lustful;
where I have coveted and been jealous.

Show me the areas of my life where I refuse
your Sprit entry and rightful reign;
where I have been ungrateful, or
given myself credit for what was your grace.

Which neighbor, brother, or sister, did I ignore?
When did I cross the road to go about my own business
rather than assist someone in need?
To whom did I refuse to give my time or talent?

Help me to embrace and accept my poverty.
Reveal the mercy available to me.
Teach me your ways.
Flood me with your healing presence.
Let me be reconciled with God, my creator,
who loved me into being.

Grant me strength to grow in virtue,
especially humility,
and live as a child of God.

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins,
save us from the fires of hell,
and lead all souls to heaven,
especially those in most need of thy mercy.
Amen. (Saint Faustina)

Advertisements

Led into the desert to encounter God

Desert Seasons

God put a hole in our hearts, a hole which only He can fill, a hole that we continually try to fill with things other than God. When we stop trying to fill the hole, then God can lead us into the desert.

In the desert we are desolate. We feel empty. Resources are scarce. We suffer. Life is foggy, and we lack clarity. We don’t sense God’s presence. Prayer is dry. Maybe we feel like we are going through the motions. The desert exposes our vulnerabilities, and the evil one tries to exploit them.

But the desert is also a place to discover how to move from the natural life (my effort, my strength and capacity, my intellect, my resources [(all of which are gifts of God, of course)] to the supernatural life (enjoying God’s provision).

Quotes of the Day

Don’t you know that I love you? — God, to Father Dave, in the desert

In that moment, I knew God was going to change my life. — Andrew Laubacher, WG#10

Whenever we feel empty, lonely, that is an invitation for God to fill that space. — Father Dave, WG#10

Scriptures of the Day
verses from the Gospel Luke, chapters 3 and 4

After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying,* heaven was opened and the holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

Filled with the holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil.

Video of the Day
Wild Goose is Loose Segment 10: The Spirit and the Desert

Fruit with eternal consequences

Life-giving Fruit
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control

Scripture of the Day: Galatians 5:15–23

But if you go on biting and devouring one another, beware that you are not consumed by one another. I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh. For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want. But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Questions of the Day

  • What is it that animates your life?
  • What type of fruit is your life producing? Fruit of the flesh, or fruit of the Holy Spirit?
  • What does the voice of the Lord sound like?
  • Lord, how do you want to use me?

Video of the Day
The Wild Goose is Loose Segment #9: The Fruits of the Holy Spirit

Prayer for the Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit, eternal Love of the Father rand the Son, kindly bestow on us
the fruit of charity, that we may be united to You by Divine Love;
the fruit of joy, that we may be filled with holy consolation;
the fruit of peace, that we may enjoy tranquility of soul;
the fruit of patience, that we may endure humbly everything that may be opposed to our own desires.

Divine Spirit, be pleased to infuse in us
the fruit of benignity, that we may willingly relieve our neighbor’s necessities;
the fruit of goodness, that we may be benevolent toward all;
the fruit of longanimity, that we may not be discouraged by delay but may persevere in prayer;
and the fruit of mildness, that we may subdue every rising of ill temper, stifle every murmur, and repress the susceptibilities of our nature in all our dealings with our neighbor.

Creator Spirit, graciously impart to us
the fruit of fidelity, that we may rely with assured confidence on the word of God;
the fruit of modesty, that we may order our exterior regularly;
and the fruits of continence and chastity, that we may keep our bodies in such holiness as befits Your temple, so that in having by Your assistance preserved our hearts pure on earth, we may merit in Jesus Christ, according to the words of the Gospel, to see God eternally in the glory of His kingdom. Amen.

— New Saint Joseph People’s Prayer Book #894

Discerning God’s will for your life

National Vocation Awareness Week

Question of the Day

What is my vocation? Along what path does God call me to grow in holiness and love?

What is Jesus doing in my life today? Who is He bringing into my life? How am I called to bless, to be a gift, to be present?

Video of the Day

Quote of the Day

I had no idea that Jesus Christ is alive and well, and that he loved me.

We think holiness is something weird or awkward. Holiness is captivating….We think somehow it’s a truncated version of humanity, but it’s not. It’s the fullness of humanity.

A vocation is a call to love. Every person has a call to love. We are made in love, by love, and for love. However you are called to love, it will bring God the greatest glory, it will bring you the most joy, It will bring the world the most beauty, when you finally find the way that God is calling you to love, because every single person ever created is called to give the gift of the themselves. We are made to be a gift.

The Church does affirm the beauty of women….her feminine genius, her attentiveness to the person. John Paul II said that extensively. He said, as a woman, go into whatever work you want to. But go in as a woman. Bring the gift of yourself. Bring your heart for the person. Bring your reverence for the human person, and bring that back to the world. Because we as woman and our gift, we make the world more human. We are very intuitive. We are very intelligent. We see how things work. We gather people.

The world needs that witness: of what it means to love God, of what it means for God to love us.

— Sister Miriam James, interviewed by Marcus Grodi on The Journey Home

Profile of a Religious Sister
Loved as I am: Sister Miriam James Heidland, SOLT

Prayer of the Day: to know one’s vocation

O great Saint Joseph, you were completely obedient to the guidance of the Holy Spi3rit. Obtain for me the grace to know the state of life that God in His Providence has chosen for me. Since my happiness on earth, and perhaps even my final happiness in heaven, depends on this choice, let me not be deceived in making it.

Obtain for me the light to know God’s Will, to carry it out faithfully, and to choose the vocation that will lead me to a happy eternity.

— New Saint Joseph People’s Prayer Book # 952

Lord, you made me for love. You call me to make a gift of myself to others. What is it you are asking me to do with my life? Give me the grace to hear your voice and the courage to heed your call.

Pray to Jesus about your vocation

Learn more about vocations

 

In a thousand ways I shunned your love

God’s constant activity is visible only to the eyes of faith

Quote of the Day

Now is the time to say to Jesus: “Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with you. I need you. Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into your redeeming embrace”. How good it feels to come back to him whenever we are lost! Let me say this once more: God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy. Christ, who told us to forgive one another “seventy times seven” (Mt 18:22) has given us his example: he has forgiven us seventy times seven. Time and time again he bears us on his shoulders. No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this boundless and unfailing love. With a tenderness which never disappoints, but is always capable of restoring our joy, he makes it possible for us to lift up our heads and to start anew. Let us not flee from the resurrection of Jesus, let us never give up, come what will. May nothing inspire more than his life, which impels us onwards!

— Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel, 3

Prayer of the Day
Outline for Making an Evening Examen
The Examen Prayer: Ignatian Wisdom for Our Lives Today by Fr Timothy M. Gallagher

Transition

I become aware of the love with which God looks upon me as I begin this examen.

Step one: Gratitude

I note the gifts that God’s love has given me this day, and I give thanks to God for them.

Step two: Petition

I ask God for an insight and a strength that will make this examen a work of grace, fruitful beyond my human capacity alone.

Step three: Review

With my God, I review the day. I look for the stirrings in my heart and the thoughts that God has given me this day. I look also for those that have not been of God. I review my choices in response to both, and throughout the day in general.

  • Do I have expectations about the way God will act in my life?
  • Where was God in all of this today? Did I receive any spiritual consolations? Did I experience any spiritual desolation? If yes, did I allow it to change my spiritual proposals?
  • Toward what was God calling me in the day? How did I respond to this call?
  • Did I experience inclinations and thoughts that were not of God? If yes, was I able to resist them?
  • Was the use of my freedom in accord with God’s loving desire for me today?
  • What habits do I need to examine more closely and change?

Step four: Forgiveness

I ask for the healing touch of the forgiving God who, with love and respect for me, removes my heart’s burdens.

Step five: Renewal

I look to the following day and, with God, plan concretely how to live it in accord with God’s loving desire for my life.

Transition

Aware of God’s presence with me, I prayerfully conclude the examen.

Learn How to Respond More Fully to God

Questions of the Day
Living With Spiritual Eyes Open: from grace to grace

  • What gifts did God give me today? Am I thankful?
  • In what ways did the Holy Spirit inspire me or prompt me?
  • How was I faithful to God this day?
  • Where did I fail to be faithful to God’s leading and will this day?
  • When was I discouraged?
  • When did I have spiritual encouragement?
  • How can I be more sensitive to God’s grace tomorrow?