Monthly Archives: June 2014

Pray, Believe and Work

The war-time song “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition” parallels a truth revealed in a true story of a war veteran.

Prayer is the language

During WW II an army pilot and his co-pilot and crew were flying a B24. One day its controls jammed as they took off and they skimmed precariously low as they neared the mountains.

The co-pilot folded his arms and said, “Our number is up,” but the pilot, helped by the gunner, feverously worked at the controls and finally cleared the controls.

The pilot reports, “I got a transfer to another plane to get rid of the co-pilot. I want no fatalist at my side.”

Prayer is not a resignation to fate, but true Prayer pis employing the power that God makes available for Christian living.

We sing, praise God and pray, but the ammunition to fight life’s battles must be employed daily. Prayer is God’s channel of power to bless mankind.

We must pray, believe, and work!

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Celtic Night Prayer

Celtic Night Prayer Graphic

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June 27, 2014 · 12:09 pm

Judgments and Assessments

A brother in Scetis committed a fault. A council was called to which Abba Moses was invited, but he refused to go to it. Then the priest sent someone to him, saying, “Come, for everyone is waiting for you”. So he got up and went. He took a leaking jug and filled it with water and carried it with him. The others came out to meet him and said, “what is this, father?” The old man said to them, “My sins run out behind me, and I do not see them, and today I am coming to judge the errors of another.” When they heard that, they said no more to the brother but forgave him.

—Sayings of the Desert

Recently I was attending a function with a clergyperson of another denomination, and we began discussing a mutual acquaintance. Quickly the conversation turned somewhat negative and judgmental. After he made what I thought was a rather harsh judgment, I suggested that I didn’t think we should be passing judgment on the man in that manner. His reply was that he was not judging but making an assessment.

North Africa 2007 262 Wadi el Natrun

North Africa  Wadi el Natrun

It doesn’t matter if we call it an assessment or just plain judgment, the monk gives us some direction about this topic. Our sins are forgiven and run out behind us. They are gone! The world would be a much better place if we refrained from making assessments and followed the path of our Savior who came to heal and forgive.

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I’m Free

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Compassion and Christianity

Malcolm Muggeridge was a great English writer who became a committedMalcolm Muggeridge Christian later in life. He tells the story that he became Christian because of the life, the presence, and the ministry of Mother Teresa. He wrote a book about Mother Teresa entitled Something Beautiful for God. In that book he tells about the time when he first met her and visited Calcutta in the late 1930’s. This is what he said. “I walked through the streets of the poverty of that city, poverty beyond belief. I kept walking, experiencing that until I became physically ill. I ran away, I went back to my comfortable hotel room and took a stiff shot of whiskey to expiate the wretchedness of my experience.”

Later he discovered Mother Teresa walked the same streets and went into the same placesMuggeridge quote he visited some years before. He said, “The difference — I ran away, but Mother Teresa crossed the line. She stayed, and healing took place.” He saw that her compassion for others came from a source that eluded him. To his surprise that source was her faith in Christ and His ability to change the heart of any man. With that realization he came to a transformative experience with Christ.

Many of us are professing Christians who are missing something. The missing link in the walk of many who profess Christ is a true compassion for the unlovable. Our western society is not compassionate by nature, but Jesus is. He sets the bar of compassion by eating with sinners, touching the untouchable, healing the outcast, and most importantly, giving Himself for the sins of all humankind. We can all learn from Muggeridge’ s experience and see life through that lens of compassion. When we do, things become so much more beautiful.

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A Prayer for Today – June 18

Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous,

teach me to serve you as you deserve,

to give and not to count the cost,

to fight and not heed the wounds,

to toil and not to seek for rest,

to labor and not to seek reward,

except that of knowing that I do your will.

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St. Ignatius of Loyola

 

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Keep Your Face to the Light

Don’t you love to be around cheerful people? You know – the kind of person who walks into a room and fills it with a certain light of gladness. The kind of person whose bright disposition chases away the dreariness of the day and lends an infusion of happiness to the room. The kind of person that inevitably makes you stop what you are doing and smile. There is nothing artificial about this person. The pure joy of his soul just bubbles to the surface and infects everyone around him. Cheerfulness is a natural for him!

supreme happiness

I recently saw a TV interview with a man who had been cruelly blinded by a random act of violence. Pure delight with life made his face glow. His statement was this: “When I was blinded, I had a choice to make. I could be bitter, feel cheated, and bring misery into the lives of others; or I could be cheerful, glad to be alive, and bring encouragement into the lives of others. I chose to be cheerful.”

A close friend was struck down over a year ago with a massive stroke that left him without speech or any movement on his right side. When he awoke form the coma, Luke made a decision, too. He chose to be cheerful. The contentment of his soul makes its way to his face. You can see it there in his radiant smile and bright eyes. If you visit Luke, he makes sure you feel better because you came.

Cheerfulness is a state of mind and heart. It is the result of a mind of peace and heart of contentment. It has nothing to do with outward circumstances and is not contingent on any of life’s situations. Cheerfulness is a willingness to choose joy.

People who bring cheer into this world have chosen to look at the light, not at the darkness. Their lives are not free from trouble or pain, they have just decided that darkness will not overcome them.

Today, choose to be cheerful. Dispel the darkness, and set out to bring joy and laughter to all around you. Have a peaceful mind and a truly contented heart, and allow your face to mirror that. Decide that other people and outward circumstances can not take your joy away. Jesus said, “In this world, you will have trouble, but be of good cheer! I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33)

Make sure that seeing you makes the day brighter for others. Leave them better than you found them. Let your smiles be contagious and your happiness be genuine. KEEP YOUR FACE TO THE LIGHT!

“I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD!” – Jesus

PRAYER: Father – Let me be a source of gladness and light to all around me.

Monica Boudreaux

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A Celtic Thanksgiving Prayer

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

celtic-cross
You are the love
of each living creature O God
You are the warmth
of the rising sun
You are the whiteness
of the moon at night
You are the life
of the growing earth
You are the strength
of the waves of the sea.
Speak to me this night O God
Speak to me your truth.
Dwell with me this night O God
Dwell with me in love.

J. Philip Newell

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Augustine and Love of God

Augustine BWWhat do I love when I love God?

—– Augustine of Hippo

What do you think?

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Purpose of Ministry

While I was in trouble with my feet and very weak, some of the brethren came to see me and ask me to tell them something about the cause of my sickness. I think they had a double purpose, first to comfort me by distracting me from my pain and second to set me off talking about something profitable.

—Dorotheos of Gaza

I truly believe the monk’s assertion of the two fold purpose of any visit to those that are in need is very valid and weighty. When we comfort someone that is hurting, we have a tendency to turn them away from Doretheostheir pain, but more significantly we make them feel a sense of value. The monk was sitting in his cell probably thinking of nothing but the gout that caused him so much pain, but his day was interrupted with a joyful distraction. This interruption lifted him away from the routine of the day and gave him value to the brethren even in the midst of his pain.

Dorotheos gives us a very valuable lesson in his words. This lesson reframes the purpose of visiting the sick and lonely. When we comfort someone in need, we not only minister to them, but  give them an opportunity to minister to us. The brothers visited the monk in his time of suffering, and they gave him the chance to feel whole again. Dorotheos teaches us that we should never stop sharing and never stop serving. In this serving and sharing, God allows us to be disciples no matter what our condition may be.

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