I read this verse today , and it resonates with challenges in my Faith journey.
“Guard your steps when you go to the house of God; to draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven, and you upon earth; therefore let your words be few.”–Ecclesiastes 5:1-2
God Bless each of you as you take one step at a time towards Jesus Christ and grow into a better “you” in your existence before God🙏💕
Finding myself is a theme that shows up in my Daily Examen this Lenten. This is part of stripping away the many layers of me as I draw nearer to God. All the distractions that I have placed upon myself believing they will bring me closer to God, are being peeled off.
A part of my journey in life is seeking happiness, love and saintliness (holiness). These are graces I have prayed for the past few months – graced awareness.
What is graced awareness?
Happiness is not an achievement; love is not an achievement; holiness is not an achievement. They are each a grace—a grace called awareness, a grace called looking, observing, and understanding.
In our daily walk as a Christian/Catholic, it’s so easy to get blogged down by life. Taking the time to be mindful, watchful, alert and awake takes practice and time. In asking God for the grace of awareness, one can see everything in our daily lives reflected back. With the help of His divine grace one can see the authentic self without the distortions of layers upon layers of our world piled upon us.
“Set free from human judgment, we should count as true only what God sees in us, what he knows, and what he judges. God does not judge as man does. Man sees only the countenance, only the exterior. God penetrates to the depths of our hearts. God does not change as man does. His judgment is in no way inconstant. He is the only one upon whom we should rely. How happy we are then, and how peaceful! We are no longer dazzled by appearances, or stirred up by opinions; we are united to the truth and depend upon it alone. I am praised, blamed, treated with indifference, disdained, ignored, or forgotten; none of this can touch me. I will be no less than I am. Men and women want to play at being a creator. They want to give me existence in their opinion, but this existence that they want to give me is nothingness. It is an illusion, a shadow, an appearance, that is, at bottom, nothingness. What is this shadow, always following me, behind me, at my side? Is it me, or something that belongs to me? No. Yet does not this shadow seem to move with me? No matter: it is not me. So it is with the judgements of men: they would follow me everywhere, paint me, sketch me, make me move according to their whim, and, in the end, give me some sort of existence … but I am disabused of this error. I am content with a hidden life. How peaceful it is! Whether I truly live this Christian life of which St. Paul speaks, I do not know, nor can I know with certainty. But I hope that I do, and I trust in God’s goodness to help me.”
—Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, Meditation For Lent, p. 99-101
May God Bless each of us as we journey towards the cross with humbleness and love🙏💕
I feel so lost these days amidst all the rumbles and noise within the Catholic Faith that I somehow lost track of God amidst all the critiques and ongoing dialogue between the moderate left and traditionalist. I see myself like the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus’ days as they debated over different religious practices. In the end it does my soul an injustice because it takes me away from God.
Add to this the social and cultural milieu of my world, FINDING MYSELF is going back to the me before the all the layers upon layers of life buried the authentic me as created by God.
That is a lot to unlearn!
Voice of Reason
In the process of discovering who we are within our journey as a child of God, we can get mentally exhausted and spiritually depressed reading or watching all the ongoing discussion between the modernist and traditionalists on the state of the Catholic Church et al. It’s kind of worrisome when renowned religious in the spirit of the Pharisees and Sadducees all expound a point of view that is troublesome and subtlety negative. On the far left of the Catholic spectrum stand those who welcome adopting, incorporating, and openly embracing the social cultural, sexual and gender ideology of our time.
This can greatly muddled our collective minds and in hindsight isn’t this exactly what the evil one wants? Wolves scatter the flock and create a divide:
12 The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
John 10:12 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition
Ongoing and critical voices within and outside the Catholic Church all fuse with the noise and drama in our world. The result of which, is that they are distractions or “white noise” blocking our communication with God. Our quiet time with God is severed.
This Lent, let each of us turn away from all the Catholic junk (it’s endless) on YouTube and all social media platforms. In the end, we need not worry about the state of the Church. God has his hands on it’s pulse. He knows what is going on within and without her. We just need to trust in God’s victory.
In the end it’s really to simply:
30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:30-31 Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition
God Bless 💕🙏
Aside: Thanks to my Spiritual Director whose guidance in my spiritual Journey is much appreciated 💕
This is one of the realities of living as a Catholic or Christian. “How do I live as a someone walking with Jesus, in a world that glorifies sin?”
SIN is rampant in my world. I need only look around me to see it in my everyday – from subjective truth based on one’s own lived experience to a disregard for rational discourse and the natural law. It is in my work place, in the political climate I live in, in my social milieu, in the media and the mores.
for we walk by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition
As I am also learning how to manoeuvre within and without my world, I share with all the following book and article on this topic.
I hope they will help us walk in the path of Jesus towards God in a world gone dark💕🙏
The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation.
It is Ash Wednesday, and here we have the opportunity to return to God’s family. He waits for us to walk the 40 days with His son Jesus.
A Prayer for Ash Wednesday
“Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Gracious God, today begins a period of inner reflection and examination. The days stretch before me and invite me inward to that silent, holy space that holds your Spirit. This special time beckons me to see my life through Christ’s eyes and the truth and reality of your love incarnate. Give me the grace to enter the space of these days with anticipation of our meeting. And, when I open my soul to your presence, let your loving kindness flow over me and seep into the pockets of my heart. I ask this for the sake of your love.Amen.
How will I practice my journey this Lent? The list of my own sins is long – from gluttony to sinful thoughts, to not loving the unlovable with a deeper heart, and to all those faults I have completed in ignorance. Oh there is my shopping habit! I can only ask for God’s forgiveness and His every giving mercy in acts of penitence.
The list to choose of what to give up with the long term goal to be a better “me” is embarrassingly long. Perhaps, I will cut down to two cups of coffee instead of my daily 5. Or, I can say something positive and thoughtful in the midst of all the rumblings and complaining that’s usually around me – including my own loose tongue – unfiltered.
The point of Lent is to be a better me in my existence and in the process walk more closely in with Jesus. The goal is to be more like him, as he modelled for us while on earth.
Thank you, most merciful God for loving us in completeness in the gift of Your son, Jesus. May the Holy Spirit grace me with a deeper walk with Jesus in his Passion, and in the journey to draw nearer to him, know him more intimately and follow his will more closely.
God Bless all of you during your Lenten journey 🙏💕
I have always taught my kids to think critically and to seek the truth that’s hidden beneath the sludge of popularism. Satan no longer hides in the deep, and is in our faces dominating every facet of our lives. Most visible in the music and entertainment industry, as well as in our social media and mainstream news. Satan has infiltrated all facets of our culture.
I take the time to talk to my children and ask them to look at the whole picture, and to think critically before trusting the main narratives in our world. Asking questions will help them find the truth rather than be seduced by the lies that is now a part of the norm.
The recent UFO sightings (and shooting down) dominating the news is one example. I have been waiting for this harbinger. First the world had the Covid mandates and shutdowns. The closing of church’s and all public religious gathering was the beginning of the great lie: “Getting vaccinated is an act of love.” The UFO narrative is for me another way of mass control – for we who are in Christ know that these are demon and the work of Satan.
The dark and vile no longer hide. Satan is in your face now! It is everywhere – our music, Hollywood, mainstream media – it’s’ nefarious seeds reaping the minds and souls of the venerable.
Please stay focused on Jesus. No institution is perfect, just as Pope Benedict XVI and many Popes before him and Marian Apparitions have warned – Satans seed has permeated and infested many high places.
UFO and alien deception: a diabolical preparation for the anti-Christ (Daniel O’Connor and John Henry Weston).