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Friday, August 31, 2012

To Forgive - 4

     Our Heavenly Father knows exactly how many seeds are in this giant sunflower. According to Holy Scripture, Jesus commands all of His children to forgive seventy times seven.
For = on behalf of/ Give = surrender
     He doesn't ever say to stop after 490. He expects each of His children to start all over again for repeated rounds of 490, as many times as it takes~more than the number of seeds in this sunflower. Isn't His forgiveness unlimited? Suppose He said, "OK , this is the 490th time! That's it. No more chances for you!" Perhaps the numerous times that the soul is confronted with the "opportunity to forgive" is a mystical reflection of how often Christ's forgiveness has been needed. Even more astonishing, are the multitude of times His sweet forgiveness will be needed in the future! Opportunities for forgiveness may present themselves, unexpectedly, in a variety of settings. Don't many of the offenses experienced in life take the mind and heart by surprise?
     Without the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the guidance of the Holy Spirit and holy priests, it is too difficult to overcome the emotional pitfalls that require reciprocal forgiveness.
     Regardless of the hour of the day, each time I forgive is a new dawn of the Lord's glorious grace glowing through my heart. Each offering of forgiveness to my neighbor and brother is a precious seed that will grow into a beautiful spiritual flower.  I can present this sacrificial bouquet to my Almighty Father as a gift of thanksgiving for His eternal love!

MORNING OFFERING
Oh my Jesus, through the Immaculate heart of Mary
I offer Thee my prayers, works, joys
And sufferings of this day
In union with the Holy sacrifice of the Mass said throughout the world
For the intentions of your Sacred Heart:
The salvation of souls, the reparation of sin, and the reunion of all Christians.
I offer them for the intentions of the bishops and the apostles of prayer
and especially for the intentions of the Holy Father this month.

Praises be to Jesus forever!
May the Holy Spirit of our Lord assist me, as, on behalf of the salvation of my soul and the soul of my neighbor, I surrender to our Eternal Father's Holy Will.
May my every motive, thought, word and action glorify our Almighty Father.
May I imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary as I heartily strive to obey our Savior Jesus Christ.



En Los Corazones de Jesús y María 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

To Forgive - 3

 When the soul is suffocated 
by hatred for a brother or neighbor,
the sweet melody of forgiveness 
invites all to rejoice in God's love.
For = on behalf of/Give = surrender
      It is no accident that the same interpersonal conflicts arise repeatedly in life. Our Heavenly Father allows multiple opportunities to practice forgiveness. Who can count the number of times the same is needed from Him? The roots of feelings about the actions of one's neighbor or brother run deep. These roots are so thick they become mangled. Choking roots prevent the waters of our Lord's graces from reaching the heart. Emotions become fragile and brittle. Finally, a blow to the ego splinters the spirit into lifeless fragments. Instead of embracing the ever present love of Jesus, the arms of the spirit collapse. The soul is uprooted and disconnected from our Lord's flowing streams of spiritual refreshment. Stagnation and rotting in a self designed pool of bitterness ensue. 
     To choose not to forgive, is to reject our Almighty Father. To reject our Heavenly Father is to offend Him. This is sin. What a shameful loss it is to reject the spiritual nourishment of His unconditional love!
     The Holy Sacrament of Reconciliation is the miraculous gift of Jesus Christ's healing forgiveness. All thanks to the Almighty for the holy priests who obediently and prayerfully listen, advise and bless the penitent with Christ's sacrament of mercy, compassion and grace.
     Faithfulness in performing penance is an act of loving submission to our Lord. It is a holy gift to experience true sorrow for how deeply sin pains our Eternal Father's heart. Perhaps the heartbreak the soul feels at the offense of another is a minute sample of our Almighty Creator's heartbreak when His children sin against Him!
     Penance heightens the awareness of how to "avoid the near occasions of sin". It also prevents the soul from blindly falling into the trap of "casting pearls to swine". Choosing to be a doormat is neither holy nor humble. Truly charitable Christian behavior can be learned by studying the The Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the Works of Mercy.
      The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
      Praying the Stations of the cross is a profoundly humbling act of gratitude for the sacrifice of Jesus. Jesus surrendered to His Father's Will on behalf of all. Those who choose to follow Him will receive His salvation. He willingly accepted psychological and physical humiliation and torture for the sins of every soul. He was not even guilty!
     As Jesus suffered and died, he mercifully gazed upon the pitiful sinfulness of humanity. How is it possible for me not to forgive my neighbor or brother while gazing upon their reflection in the eyes of Jesus as He carries His Holy Cross?
THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS
1) Jesus is condemned to death
2) Jesus takes up His cross
3) Jesus falls the first time
4) Jesus greets His afflicted Mother
5) Simon helps Jesus to carry His cross
6) Veronica offers her veil to the Holy Face of Jesus
7) Jesus falls the second time
8) Jesus comforts the weeping women of Jerusalem
9) Jesus falls the third time
10) Jesus is stripped of His garments
11) Jesus is nailed to the cross
12) Jesus dies on the cross
13) Jesus is taken down from the cross
14) Jesus is laid in the tomb


Praises be to Jesus forever!
May the Holy Spirit of our Lord assist me, as, on behalf of the salvation of my soul and the soul of my neighbor, I surrender to our Eternal Father's Holy Will.
May my every motive, thought, word and action glorify our Almighty Father.
May I imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary as I heartily strive to obey our Savior Jesus Christ.

En Los Corazones de Jesús y María

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

To Forgive- 2

Years ago, I purchased a plaque at a yard sale.
 Engraved upon it was the following dicho (saying):
"Engullimos de un sorbo
(We gobble in one gulp)
La mentira que nos adula
(The lie that flatters us)
Y bebemos gota a gota
(And we drink drop by drop)
La verdad que nos amarga
(The truth which embitters/offends us)"
For = on behalf of/Give = surrender
     The only way out of the darkness of self deception is to allow the light of Christ to illuminate the soul. It is a matter of urgency not to cloud reality of one's own sinfulness with idle mental dialogues or excuses. 
     The sacrament of Reconciliation is a beautiful, healing gift from The Almighty. Nothing less than complete honesty can prepare the heart to receive this sacrament which was instituted by our Savior Jesus Christ. Praises be to our Heavenly Father for our holy priests/confessors, who serve "in persona Cristi". The graces bestowed upon the penitent are immeasurable.
     Unrestrained willingness to pray and live out the act of contrition, is essential. The heart cannot truly forgive while measuring the actions of others through the haze of one's own sinfulness.  The lies one tells the self are the most virulent. Acknowledging one's own sinfulness is the only path to experiencing the sweet forgiveness of Jesus. Joyfully forgiving one's neighbor is a Holy and sacrificial imitation of Jesus.
     Jesus lovingly suffered and died for all who desire His salvation. The act of forgiveness miraculously opens my neighbor's heart, and mine, to the Divine Love and Mercy of Jesus.
ACT OF CONTRITION
O my God I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee.
And I detest all my sins
because of Thy just punishments:
because I dread the loss of Heaven
and fear the pains of hell.
But most of all, because I have offended Thee, my Lord
Who art all good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace
To sin no more
To confess my sins
To do my penance
To amend my life
And to avoid the near occasions of sin.
AMEN


Praises be to Jesus forever!
May the Holy Spirit of our Lord assist me, as, on behalf of the salvation of my soul and the soul of my neighbor, I surrender to our Eternal Father's Holy Will.
May my every motive, thought, word and action glorify our Almighty Father.
May I imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary as I 
heartily strive to obey our Savior Jesus Christ.


Previous Post~To Forgive 1 and Next Post~To Forgive 3

En Los Corazones de Jesús y María

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

To Forgive- 1

For = on behalf of/Give = surrender
Forgiveness is a necessary and humbling,yet cleansing spiritual exercise.To forgive, it is first necessary to examine my own heart, 
not the heart of the neighbor or brother Jesus requires my soul to forgive. A review of the Ten Commandments, as found in Exodus 20:2-17,  is a beautiful scriptural guide. The good counsel of a holy priest is, as well, a blessed gift. This helps to develop a spiritually sound conscience~or, as we say in Catholic "lingo", a well formed conscience. Without indulging in "scrupulosity", 
which is so often self pity in disguise, thoughts, motives, words and actions must be as clear as the clear water coursing over the river's stones.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
1) I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.
2) Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
3) Thou shalt keep holy the Lord's day.
4) Honor thy father and thy mother.
5) Thou shalt not kill.
6) Thou shalt not commit adultery.
7) Thou shalt not steal.
8) Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
9) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife.
10) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods.


Praises be to Jesus forever! 
May the Holy Spirit of our Lord assist me, as, on behalf of the salvation of my soul and the soul of my neighbor, I surrender to our Eternal Father's Holy Will.
May my every motive, thought, word and action glorify our Almighty Father.
May I imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary as I heartily strive to obey our Savior Jesus Christ.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Balm for Crisis

 A crisis, makes it so easy to forget the vast power of quiet prayer. "Solutions" are not always the answer to a problem...
     Trustingly being still and letting events run their course is more difficult than giving in to the impulse to "do something", or worse yet to "say something".  After all, "Silence is golden!" 
     There's something beautiful and peaceful about praying the Rosary. It is a soothing "balm" for emotional crisis. Meditation on the events of the life of Jesus elevates the soul. The mind is released from the bondage of the fear of events beyond human control. Calling upon the Holy Spirit for help, opens the heart to prayer. The Almighty Father's power to fulfill His will is more immense than the entire blue sky above. Mary and Jesus never stop interceding for their children.

Hail Mary, full of  grace, the Lord is with thee
Blessed art thou among women
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary Mother of God
Pray for us sinners, now,
And at the hour of our death.
AMEN