Lord Jesus Christ, whose will all things obey: pardon what I have done and grant that I, a sinner, may sin no more. Lord, I believe that though I do not deserve it, you can cleanse me from all my sins. Lord, I know that man looks upon the face, but you see the heart. Send your spirit into my inmost being, to take possession of my soul and body. Without you I cannot be saved; with you to protect me, I long for your salvation. And now I ask you for your salvation And now I ask you for wisdom, deign of your great goodness to help and defend me. Guide my heart, almighty God, that I may remember your presence day and night.
A man who gives way to his passions is like a man who is shot at by an enemy, catches the arrow in his hands, and then plunges it into his own heart. A man who is resisting his passions is like a man who is shot at by an enemy, and although the arrow hits him, it does not seriously wound him because he is wearing a breastplate. But the man who is uprooting his passions is like a man who is shot at by an enemy, but who strikes the arrow and shatters it or turns it back into his enemy’s heart.
——— Abba Dorotheos
The food for thought from the Abba is the various ways we handle the passions of life. He gives us three scenarios: surrender, self-willed resistance or spiritual release. The first two can have very dire consequences which can do great harm to us. The third allows us to experience the freedom of deliverance, and not just deliverance, but victory. As we travel on the contemplative path, we can achieve great comfort in knowing that we don’t have to fight the fight alone. God’s spirit will allow us to uproot our passions and become resistant to the tricks of the world
- 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.
“Most of us were taught that God would love us if and when we change. In fact, God loves you so that you can change. What empowers change, what makes you desirous of change is the experience of love. It is that inherent experience of love that becomes the engine of change.”
Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
What is life to the full?
- A Knowledge of Grace.
- An ability to give without receiving.
- The ability to give up and move on.
- A life to the full is one that recognizes the constant nature of change in the spiritual journey.
Richard Rhor points out the change is the byproduct of love, and without love we never change or move toward that life. Jesus came that we might experience the fullness of our potential.
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
——-C. S. Lewis
This is always been a favorite of mind.
I first wrote this over four years ago, and wanted to share it with you today. Emma is eight years old now , the Ragin Cajun relic has bitten the dust,the old beach is now closed to visitors, but the message is as clear today as it was then. IB
Most of us who grew up in New Orleans can remember Pontchartrain Beach. It was a place of fun and wonder for kids and adults alike. The Zephyr, Wild Mouse and, of course, the Beach are gone. The “Beach” bit the dust more than two decades ago. There is, however, a small remnant of the fun that still exists, and that’s where the treasure is found.
It is located across Lakeshore Drive from UNO. The small strip of sand and crumbling relic of what’s left of the “Ragin Cajun” still remain. A few days ago my grandaughter, Emma, wanted to go to the beach and collect some treasures- just little pieces of sea shells and even rocks that she considers pretty. It seems that long ago I stopped collecting treasures, but it is amazing what a three year old will motivate you to do. Our adventure called for the finest of supplies, a shovel, bucket, beach towel and some water so we wouldn’t die of thirst. We searched for an hour and excavated many unknown areas and found a jar full of treasures.
It’s real simple.There are people everywhere who need a treasure in their lives . Treasure is time you spend with them,kind words you say to them and small things you do for them. The real key is not what we do, but why we do it ? Jesus said, ”I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. My suggestion for today is to create a treasure for someone.
A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, “You are mad; you are not like us.”
—–sayings of the Desert
What a fascinating statement for our times. The madness of our world is all around us. People are coming at us from all sides with words of discouragement and condemnation. As Christians, we are confused about our direction. What should we believe? Who should we trust? Is the idea of being a person of commitment so out of vogue that we come off mad ? I would say yes. The calling of twenty first followers of Christ is to be mad people in a mad world. Our madness is to proclaim peace, love, and joy to our world, and to offer the grace of God to all.
And thus prayer makes accord betwixt God and man’s soul. For when the soul is tempted, troubled and left to itself by
unrest, then it is time to pray, and make himself simple and obedient to God.
—–Julian of Norwich
This thought takes us straight to our communication with God.
- How often do we pray?
- Why do we pray?
- How do we pray?
- Is prayer a priority in our lives?
In you, Father all-mighty, we have our preservation and our bliss. In you, Christ, we have our restoring and our saving. You are our mother, brother, and savior. In you, our Lord the Holy Spirit, is marvelous and plenteous grace. You are our clothing; for love you wrap us and embrace us. You are our maker, our lover, our keeper. Teach us to believe that by your grace all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well. Amen
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen.
——Saint Augustine of Hippo