The Limit of My Imagination

Scripture brought me

to the gate of Paradise,

and the mind, which is spiritual,

stood in amazement and wonder as it entered,

the intellect grew dizzy and weak

as the senses were no longer able

to contain its treasures –

so magnificent they were –

or to discern its savors

and find any comparison for its colors,

or take in its beauties

so as to describe them in words.

St Ephrem

——-St. Ephrem

Ephrem’s words speak volumes to me when I try to imagine what seeing God in all His splendor would be like. Such an event defies description. The words of scripture lead to the gate of paradise, but we stand there paralyzed by its glory. God is ever preparing us for the day that we will meet Him. When we begin to see or imagine God as He really is we quickly run out of words. As we ponder ourselves and our God in this world let us have great satisfaction that the best is yet to come.

Lord keep me near You as I seek to understand You in all Your glory. Keep my journey faithful and true. Amen

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Joy of Work

There was in the Cells an old man called Apollo.  If someone came to find him about doing a piece of work, he would set out joyfully, saying, ‘I am going to work with Christ today, for the salvation of my soul, for that is the reward he gives.’

—-sayings of the Desert

Our world could be turned upside down if we would really take the words of this monk to heart. Finding joy and salvation in our work make the work worth doing, and worth doing well. The whole concept of working for Christ when we are doing the tasks of the day allows us to see our days through a new lens that gives us joy and meaning beyond our imagination. We must ask ourselves, what would it take for me to see my work as salvation for my soul?

children at workDefinitely it places a new perspective of what it means to work and serve. For most of us, work is a means to an end. The monk leads us to believe work is our end, and we will be incredibly rewarded for doing the tasks of the day. Implicitly, we are being told that God sends our work to us as a means of worship. Imagine the difference it could make in your life if you saw your work as an act of worship and a means of grace.

Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

—-Jesus of Nazareth

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Words for the Journey

the holy books ...

No one can live only on food. People need every word God has spoken.

When you do good deeds, don’t try to show off. If you do, you won’t get a reward from your Father in heaven.

When you give to the poor, don’t let anyone know about it. Then your gift will be given in secret. Your Father knows what is done in secret, and he will reward you.

Don’t store up treasures on earth! Instead, store up your treasures in heaven.

Your heart will always be where your treasure is

Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself.

I tell you not to worry about your life. Can worry make you live longer?

Why do you have such little faith? Put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.

God will be as hard on you as you are on others! He will treat you exactly as you treat them.

Ask, and you will receive. Search and you will find. Knock and the door will be open for you.

Treat others, as you want them to treat you.

You can tell what they are by what they do.

I didn’t come to invite good people to be my followers. I came to invite sinners.

Anyone who gives one of my most humble followers a cup of cool water, just because that person is my follower, will surely be rewarded.

If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest.

Good people bring good things out of their hearts, but evil people bring evil things out of their hearts.

What will you gain, if you own the whole world but destroy yourself? What would you give to get back your soul?

Whenever two or three of you come together in my name, I am there with you.

Everyone who is now first will be last, and everyone who is last will be first.

Love the lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.”

If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honored.

I will be with you always, even until the end of the world.

Reflection – Choose one of these sayings of Christ to become your focus each day as you journey.

Monica Boudreaux

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Everyday Monks and Mystics

Irvin J. Boudreaux:

More about thin places

Originally posted on Green Preacher:

The blow from the humpback whale splashed back down on its backThere is in Celtic spirituality an awareness of ‘thin places’ in the universe, where the visible and the invisible world come into their closest proximity. Monasteries and holy places were meant to be founded at such spots to increase the likelihood of a transcendental communication. These thin places were threshold places, which can mean a border or frontier place where two worlds meet and where one has the possibility of communicating with the other.

Marsha Sinetar in a wonderful little book entitled ‘Ordinary People as Monks and Mystics’, reminds us that the search for ‘thin places’ is not just the purview of those religious types who live in set apart places. Rather, each of us has the ability to discern and experience such sacred places. From my own experience such places sometimes are found in houses of worship, but more often, are found in the everyday. Have you ever been…

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Thursday Prayer — July 17

If There Is Righteousness in Your Heart

If there is righteousness in the heart,CelticCross1
there will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character,
there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home,
there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
there will be peace in the world.
So let it be


—A Scottish Blessing

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Secret Devotion

“A man who receives something from another because of his poverty or his need has therein his reward, and because he is ashamed, when he repays it he does so in secret. But it is the opposite for the Lord God; he receives in secret, but he repays in the presence of the angels, the archangels and the righteous.”

——Sayings of the Desert

Perhaps the monk is thinking of what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount- But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Prayer AloneFather who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” The wonderful thing about God is that He doesn’t expect us to be showy in our worship of Him, he just wants us to be real. Most of us, whether we admit it or not, we like to be recognized for our successes and want our failures to be hidden and forgotten. Taking alms for our poverty is not something most people would brag about. The way God asks for our devotion is completely counter cultural. Our culture expects praise and in response continued favors are given, but God operates differently. He gives quietly and diligently to those who call upon Him.

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Give Me Your Sins

Jerome was a hermit, priest, and father of the church who guided the church as it translated the Bible from Greek to Latin, the language of the people. Jerome wanted the people to read and know the Bible. He lived in Bethlehem for a time to get a feel of how Jesus lived during his earthly journey. Oral tradition tells us that while living in Bethlehem, Jerome had a dream that Jesus visited him. TheJesus Quote 7-15.14 - 1 dream was so real that he rounded up all his material blessings and offered them to Jesus. He heard the Lord declare, “I do not want your possessions.” So being a good church leader, he offered all his money to Jesus. Jesus once again declared, “I do not want your money.” Finally, in desperation, Jerome cried out, “Jesus, what do you want from me?” Jesus simply replied, “Give me your sins. That is what I came for–I came to take away your sin. Give me your sin.”

That’s really what it’s is all about. Jesus wants our sins! He asks us to love and trust Him enough to be able to give all to Him. Our Lord asks us to confess the unforgivable and feel the warmth of His grace. Many of us are far too busy trying to impress God when all He wants is for us to trust in His promise. That promise is: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” As we bring our sins, He offers His rest. Jerome had it right, all Jesus wants is our sins.

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7 Signs You’re Addicted to Social Media

Irvin J. Boudreaux:

I think that this post gives us some things to consider.

Originally posted on Gospel Relevance:

I recently asked a friend if he spends a lot of time on Facebook or not. “I could probably spend less time on there,” was his response. And I think that’s probably a good answer for most of us. Especially for me.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest. The lists goes on and on. And it seems to be growing. It is certainly helpful and fine to use, but I think becoming addicted to it is a trap that we would do well to avoid. So how do we know we’re addicted? Here are seven signs:

Facebook_like_thumb

1) It’s the first thing you check in the morning. The alarm goes off, you crawl out of bed, probably to use the restroom, and hop on Facebook. It’s the first thing you do every morning.

2) You check it at red lights. You’re at a red light, it’s been a whopping four seconds and…

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Our Heart’s Condition

In his heart a man plans his course …..

Proverbs 16:9

THE COURSE OUR LIVES TAKE WILL BE DETERMINED BY THE CONDITION OF OUR HEARTS !

depressedIT’S IN OUR HEARTS THAT WE DETERMINE …..

 

  • WHO WE WILL LIVE FOR ?
  • WHO WE WILL SERVE ?
  • WHO WE WILL LOVE ?
  • WILL IT BE THE GOD OF HEAVEN OR THE GOD OF THIS WORLD ?

 

……….being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart.

Ephesians 4:18

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Passing Through

Jesus went home. After ministering in Galilee he decided to go back to Nazareth, timage_previewo reconnect with those who had known him as a little boy, to visit his mom, to speak at the synagogue that he knew like the back of his hand. At the synagogue, he spoke about his mission. The locals were at first offended and then enraged. They took him to the cliff which marked the edge of town with plans to throw him off. Then the miracle happened. Scripture says, “But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.” One man in an angry mob and “he passed through the midst of them!” He did not call for help or fight his way clear. He just passed through them.

When we think of Jesus’ miracles we consider events like healings, resurrections, calming the sea, walking on water, or turning water into wine. We never see this miracle listed, but I see it as an incredible moment that relates to our journeys so often. How many times have you walked through frightening, dangerous, heartbreaking situations and gone on to live out your life? How many times have you not been able to explain how you did it, how you made it through? How many times have you weathered opposition and hostility and continued to live victoriously? How many times has your broken heart healed? How many times has your mind been calmed by an unexplainable peace? How many times has your soul been restored? How many times have you been at the edge of the cliff sure you were going over, when some Presence led you through the fear and pain and hurt and death? Each of those times was a miracle.

Jesus knows all about standing at the cliff’s edge with other situations or people pushing you over. He knows what it is like to look down at a chasm of hopelessness and despair. He understands the pounding of your heart, the wrenching of your gut, the tears of your hurt. He reaches out his hand and leads you as you pass through the midst of them and go on your way to love and serve Him.

Reflection – What has Christ helped you pass through?

Monica Boudreaux

 

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