Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Walking the Walk, A Call to Witness

For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ ........Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25 35-40

The greatest lessons I ever learned were the lessons I witnessed first hand.
I learned to share, because I was taught compassion for those less fortunate.
I learned hospitality, because the door of our home was always open and an extra bed or plate was always available.
I learned prayer, because I was taught that prayer was a conversation of love with God himself.
And I learned love, because I was taught acceptance of myself and others.

 The greatest teachers I ever had were my parents. They were my first educators in the ways of the faith and they taught me by walking the walk and not just talking the talk.They understood that their job was not to be my buddy, but lead me toward the Lord.

In this month’s message from our Blessed Virgin Mary,  she asks us to walk the walk, to lead others the Lord, to be a witness of our faith to all we meet.This is not always an easy things to do, but as St. Therese of Lisieux  said herself, "seek out always the most perfect thing to do, and forget self". Through her "little ways" she committed herself to the tasks and people God sent her way. She was a joyful witness to the faith.
Message of September 25, 2011 "Dear children! I call you, for this time to be for all of you, a time of witnessing. You, who live in the love of God and have experienced His gifts, witness them with your words and life that they may be for the joy and encouragement to others in faith. I am with you and incessantly intercede before God for all of you that your faith may always be alive and joyful, and in the love of God. Thank you for having responded to my call." 09/25/2011

Prayer: Blessed Mother, through your love and intercession, pray that I, in my unworthiness , might still be a joyful witness for the Lord and that I might find great pleasure in serving Him in "little ways".

Monday, September 26, 2011

Noticing God....

 Colleen Spiro at Thoughts On Grace has such a beautiful post for today that I could not help but  re-post it here.   

Thank you Colleen!

Notice. This seems to be the word of the week. It keeps popping up in my mind. Over and over.
Wake up and take notice. Notice God’s presence and action in my life.
Anthony de Mello was fond of saying that we need to wake up. We need to stop sleeping through our lives. Grace is always with us, but we are not always aware.
We are often sleeping.
We are responsible for most of our own blindness and deafness. Yet the Spirit of God goes on renewing the gift. (Bishop John V. Taylor)
I write about God and God’s presence in my life so I need to stay awake. I need to take notice. But there are many times when I am not paying attention.
There are moments and more than moments, when my focus is elsewhere or when I miss God’s presence or his whisper.
Let’s face it. Sometimes God is hard to miss. I mean it is pretty easy to spot God’s presence in a beautiful rainbow that is plastered on the sky in front of you as you drive home from work. Or the birth of a new baby.
But those little moments. Do I notice?
The dew on the roses outside my window.
My husband cooking dinner for me.
The way my grandbaby’s eyes light up when his mother comes into view.
The way the air smells after a spring shower.
A kind face showing years of smiles and joy.
A hug when I least expect it.
A child’s belly-laugh.
How many God moments do I miss? How many do I not notice?
Open your eyes and see. (Thomas Merton)
Originally published in my ezine, Prayerful Morsels, September 2011
Copyright 2011 Colleen Spiro

Please post any comments to Thoughts on Grace


Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Medjugorje Web - Apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje

September 25, 2011 Message to Marija

"Dear children! I call you, for this time to be for all of you, a time of witnessing. You, who live in the love of God and have experienced His gifts, witness them with your words and life that they may be for the joy and encouragement to others in faith. I am with you and incessantly intercede before God for all of you that your faith may always be alive and joyful, and in the love of God. Thank you for having responded to my call."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Patiently you wait for me....

They suppressed their consciences; they would not allow their eyes to look to heaven, and did not keep in mind just judgments. Daniel 13:9

How many times have I suppressed my conscience, O Lord;
how many times have I looked the other way?

My pride is strong and I try to deceive myself, but I cannot fool you,
and my transgressions are always before me,
so I look the other way.

Yet, in spite of my sin, you stand before me,
patiently you wait, you wait for me.....

He does not call those who are worthy but those whom He pleases....
St. Therese of Lisieux

 "Dear children! I am with you even if you are not
conscious of it. I want to protect you from everything that Satan
offers you and through which he wants to destroy you. As I bore
Jesus in my womb, so also, dear children, do I wish to bear you
into holiness. God wants to save you and sends you messages
through men, nature, and so many things which can only help you
to understand that you must change the direction of your life.
Therefore, little children, understand also the greatness of the
gift which God is giving you through me, so that I may protect
you with my mantle and lead you to the joy of life. Thank you for
having responded to my call."
BVM, March 25, 1990

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Let Love Be Contagious

There is one ONLY THING to do here below: to love Jesus, to win souls for Him so that He may be loved.

-St. Therese

How can I look at the brilliant stars in the sky,
Watch the ocean waves crash on the shore,
admire rolling hills and mountains high
And not think of your majesty?

How can I see the young family playing all the while
hear their laughter,
watch their smiles,
and not think of you?

How can I look at the elderly couple walking hand and hand
And not think of what their years together might have to offer me;
The wisdom of age is also hope for the future.

The gift of life is so precious and your love is all around me.

Yet, I easily get distracted and caught up in my own now.
Sometimes I become the center of my own world.
In my constant busyness I become
Indifferent to the needs of others, sometimes indifferent to you.

Scripture tells me " So because you are lukewarm,and neither hot not cold, I will spit you out of my mouth" Revelations 3:16

Let that never be!

Help me to live everyday in the presence of your son, Jesus Christ,
And may the joy of your love in me be contagious to all I meet.

"Dear children! Today also I am calling you to
live and follow with a special love all the messages which I am
giving you. Dear children, God does not want you lukewarm and
undecided, but that you totally surrender to Him. You know that I
love you and that out of love I long for you. Therefore, dear
children, you also decide for love so that you will long for and
daily experience God's love. Dear children, decide for love so
that love prevails in all of you, but not human love, rather
God's love. Thank you for having responded to my call." BVM, Medjugorge, November 20, 1986

Thursday, September 8, 2011

All Generations Shall Call You Blessed

"Your birth, O Blessed Virgin Mary, fills the whole world with a sweet consolation and a holy joy, because of you was born our Jesus, our God, who has taken away from us the curse in which we were plunged by the sin of our first parents, and filled us with all kinds of blessings." ~ Saint John Vianney

'O Mary, you where chosen by the Father to begin and accomplish His greatest work, for you alone were found worthy of God's grace,the grace to become the God- bearer. Holy is your name, 'O Mother, and all generations shall call you blessed.

The Son of God became man for our salvation in you and through you, 'O Queen of Heaven, and we shall forever sing your praises. 

'O Guiding Light, you continue your part in our salvation journey by constantly leading us to your Son. May our ears and our hearts be open to listen to your motherly call all the days of our lives.

 "Dear children! Today I call you especially now to advance against Satan by means of prayer. Satan wants to work still more now that you know he is at work. Dear children, put on the armor for battle and with the Rosary in your hand defeat him! Thank you for having responded to my call." August 8, 1985 BVM, Medjugorje

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dawn in Suburbia

The alarm clock goes off, the bathroom light goes on, the dog yawns and my husband kisses me goodbye. It’s 4:50 a.m. and I am grateful that I have about twenty more minutes to lie here before I get out of bed.

The weekday morning routine seldom varies. The coffee pot is percolating and this quiet time alone with God is my favorite part of the day. Funny, I never thought of this before, but caffeine and the rosary are an awesome combination! The caffeine stimulates me, while the rosary strengthens me providing the grace I need to start the day.

Today, while praying the Sorrowful Mysteries, I think of Jesus carrying His cross, and wonder what the day will bring. Family and friends come to mind, and I entwine these thoughts of them between each small bead.

Dawn in suburbia brings hope and promise. Today is a gift to be used wisely.

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5: 11).

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fraternal Correction

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fraternal Correction

Today's Gospel (Mt. 18:15-20) emphasizes the importance and necessity of fraternal correction.  Jesus says, "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.  If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.  If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church.  If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector" (18:15-17).  Jesus is making it very clear of our responsibility to call to task those who are living sinful and immoral lives.  It is our responsibility when someone is in serious sin or error to correct them of this.  We do this through an act of love.  The whole purpose of fraternal correction is not to condemn someone for their actions, but to help them turn away from such actions.

This is precisely what Jesus did during His public ministry and why He visited and ate with tax collectors and sinners.  He wasn't condoning their sinful acts.  Rather, through His teachings and love, He was helping them to see the error of their ways in hopes they would change and conform their lives to His.  We too must do the same.  Friends, we have such an opportunity at hand for us.  We are living in desperate and immoral times.  This is not said to instill fear, panic, or depression, but to help us be hopeful--hopeful by being in the Light of Christ!  We have great opportunities to stand up for our faith and to be good witnesses for others.  We are privileged to be Christ's disciples and ought to be motivated to defend the faith that means so much to us.  We have to correct others when they are in error and speak of and support things that violate the Divine Laws of God.  We do this out of our love for Christ and neighbor.  

What we cannot afford to do is despair if our fraternal correction is rejected.  We cannot control the actions of others and are solely responsible for our own actions.  The Truth sometimes hurts and causes division.  Jesus tells us, "I have not come to bring peace but the sword" (Mt. 10:34).  His "sword" is the sword of truth and the truth causes division time-to-time.  We cannot allow the possible outcome of such encounters deter us from teaching the truth.  This is why Jesus tells us to not go it alone.  "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Mt. 18:20).  Together, united in Christ, the Lord will manifest His presence.  Let us trust always in the Lord and be ever mindful that when two or three of us gather together in His name, He will be among us.

To view his video reflection for today's Gospel Click Here!

May God bless you always,

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Only the Glory of God Remains.


Our Lady's Medjugorje Message, given on September 2, 2011 through Mirjana Soldo:

Our Lady's Message, given on September 2, 2011 through Mirjana Soldo:

"Dear children; with all my heart and soul full of faith and love in the Heavenly Father, I gave my Son to you and am giving Him to you anew. My Son has brought you, the people of the entire world, to know the only true God and His love. He has led you on the way of truth and made you brothers. Therefore, my children, do not wander, do not close your heart before that truth, hope and love.
 Everything around you is passing and everything is falling apart, only the glory of God remains. Therefore, renounce everything that distances you from the Lord. Adore Him alone, because He is the only true God. I am with you and I will remain with you. I am especially praying for the shepherds that they may be worthy representatives of my Son and may lead you with love on the way of truth. Thank you."

In recent years, Mirjana has stayed almost completely away from discussing her secrets, as do the other visionaries. In fact, she has stated that a supernatural "block" about them has allowed her to go about life without thinking or even readily recalling most of them. She brushes aside questions about them.

But back in 1985 – when the alleged revelations were fresh – she said about the first secret, “To the people of this world who pray it will be a gift.” Other parts of the interview were even more revealing:

Father Ljubicic: How would you assess the current situation around the world? How would you personally view all these things?

Mirjana: There never was an age such as this one; never before was God honored and respected less than now, never before have so few prayed to Him; everything seems to be more important than God. This is the reason why she cries so much. The number of unbelievers is becoming greater and greater. As they endeavor for a better life, to such people, God Himself is superfluous and dispensable. This is why I feel deeply sorry for them and for the world. They have no idea what awaits them. If they could only take a tiny peek at these secrets, they would convert in time. Certainly, God always forgives all those who genuinely convert.

Posted by Ed Sousa ,  In God's Company 2