Gift: the journey of who we are

What are you looking for? — Jesus

Here for a reason

Do you know how awesome you are?

Sister Miriam: A Purpose Beyond Ourselves

But I stand before you here on this stage tonight because a scared 17-year old girl said yes to life, and I was the child in her womb. — a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTVMKbZ2u9I&index=2&list=PLwz9H-zVK86TjV2Uo6U091ys9wQjoA4MD”>Sister Miriam, to Life is VERY Good 2018 attendees

I never fell in love with Jesus Christ. I didn’t know he wanted to get so close to me that he actually wanted to transform my life into a healing power of mercy that would radiate out of my heart. I had no idea. — Sister Miriam to Life is VERY Good 2018 attendees

Catechism: You are willed by God

357 Being in the image of God the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone. He is capable of self-knowledge, of self-possession and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with other persons. And he is called by grace to a covenant with his Creator, to offer him a response of faith and love that no other creature can give in his stead.

362 The human person, created in the image of God, is a being at once corporeal and spiritual. The biblical account expresses this reality in symbolic language when it affirms that “then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Man, whole and entire, is therefore willed by God.

We’re not just talking about some people being a gift. We’re talking about every single person ever conceived, ever created, the most vulnerable, the most dangerous, the person that you love the most, the person that you like the least, the person that’s committed the most heinous crime, the person that’s been innocent their entire life. All lives a complete gift. All lives loved by Christ. — Sister Miriam to Life is VERY Good 2018 attendees

Are we going to choose love? — Sister Miriam

Advertisements

Love is on the Side of Life

Question of the Day

What is more beautiful than a brand new baby?
— Matt Birk

March for Life 2018: Love Saves Lives

Time Lapse Video

Truth is on the Side of Life

The power of God to transform hearts and lives, to dispel darkness with light and to conquer evil with goodness is the faith that unites us today.

— Bishop Michael Burbidge, Arlington Diocese, to 7,300 teens at the Life is VERY Good Rally & Mass, January 18, 2018

Sister Bethany Madonna, Sister’s of Life
we see Jesus’ perfect love cast out all fear

Listen to beautiful story of love saving lives

Metropolitan Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington, Orthodox Church of America

I ask you to join me in the offering of a prayer to the one who died not for the lives of the world but for the life of it.

O Lord Jesus Christ, we know that all things and all people of all times share in kinship and oneness that even surpasses our understanding. They all have one life and one life only, flowing through everything that breathes and everything that exists. When you came into the world, you didn’t just become human, you also took on this one life and clothed yourself in it, making it your seamless tunic. As life is one, all violence of any kind is of the same essence: the tearing of the one tunic.

The tearing of the tunic will take place in many forms: abortion, execution, war, racism, genocide, oppression, slavery, and hatred of any kind, but the essence of all is one in the same: the symptoms of the one and same illness: the sin of the world, of which we are all part, which is self-love.

To be pro-life means to understand that violence is not the sin of some, but of all— that all violence of all time is the sin of all. The truth is that every human being is in your image, and everyone’s life finds infinite value in you, regardless of our sins.

Lord, you show us your life has only one source and only one victory: self-sacrificial love. Help us to be self-sacrificial love for all, and we will conquer death. As the great Syrian saint, Saint Isaac said:

“Be persecuted, but persecute not. Be crucified, but crucify not. Be wrong, but wrong not. Be slandered, but slander not. Have clemency not zeal with respect to evil. Lay hold of goodness, not justice. Justice does not belong to the Christian way of life, and there is not mention of it in Christ’s teaching. Rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Rebuke no man, revile no man, not even those who live very wickedly. Spread your cloak over the man who is falling and cover him.

My brothers and sisters, let us be pro-life, and thus not oppose Christ’s dying for the life of the whole world. Let us be pro-life and be against anything that injures life, against any violence under any circumstances. Let us be pro-life and thus become unable to endure the injury done to any creature. May we be all this to the glory of our Almighty God revealed in Trinity in the River Jordan, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, both now and forever and under the ages of ages. Amen.

Pam Tebow

listen to Pam talk about the birth of her son Tim

Lawmakers on the Side of Life 

House Speaker Paul Ryan
Marching with Joy and Hope, Not Anger and Hate

Rep. Chris Smith (R–NJ)
The greatest human rights struggle on the face of the earth

Every child is a precious gift from God. — President Trump, during his historic address to participants in the March for Life

Science is on the Side of Life 

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R–Washington)
Unborn babies are almost magical

sometimes doctors are wrong

God created us to be free

Scriptures of the Day

Genesis 2:16–17
The LORD God gave the man this order: You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From that tree you shall not eat; when you eat from it you shall die.

John 8:31–37
Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son always remains. So if a son frees you, then you will truly be free.

Galatians 5:1
For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Quote of the Day

God created us to be free. It’s always been his desire, his plan, his hope, his dream, that the human person would be free. So freedom comes first and foremost from a relationship with God, who created us that way. Remarkably, God shares his freedom with you and me. — Father Dave, WG, Segment 12

Video of the Day
The Wild Goose is Loose Segment 12: The Spirit’s Freedom

Questions of the Day

  • What does it mean to be free?
  • What binds you?
  • Does the past bind you? a desire to control? an addiction? comfort?
  • Does fear or anxiety bind you? anger? a drive to obtain or achieve?
  • How would your life be different if you were experiencing greater freedom?

Prayer of the Day

Jesus, free me from ________________________.

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)

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