Posted by: matt25 | November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Prayer

May you be ever aware of the gifts that you have received. May joy rise up in your heart and express itself in thanksgiving, not only today, but every day. May the attitude of gratitude transform the gift of your life, and allow you to meet every circumstance with humility, grace, and wisdom. And may God in his mercy bless you and your loved ones, in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Posted by: matt25 | October 12, 2017

Even In A Storm

Some days it is easy to see God’s blessings, some days it isn’t.  On those harder days I think about how on a cloudy day,  my mind is preoccupied with clouds, in spite of the fact the sun is still shining and giving life to the earth.  With a small effort I can think about the sun and clouds differently and see good coming out of both.  With prayer I can move from seeing life’s challnges as a meaningless curse, to seeing how God continues to bless me and even bring good out of bad cicumstances.  I become able to praise God, even in a storm.

Posted by: matt25 | October 8, 2017

The Doctor Is In

“Is confession a matter of much time or expense?” asks St. John Chrysostom. “Is it a difficult and painful remedy? Without cost or hurt, the medicine is ever ready to restore you to perfect health.”

Posted by: matt25 | October 8, 2017

Joy Is Deeper Than Happiness

Yesterday I shared faith with a man who is grieving the loss of his uncle, and is also under incredible stress over an aunt who they have not heard from since the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico. We prayed together for her safety and spoke about the difference between joy and happiness. Happiness often is a response to favorable circumstances, while joy transforms and carries us through all kinds of circumstances.

We must nourish our joy, understand it, and recall it everyday. By doing so, we find peace, open ourselves to wisdom, and live a gracious life of gratitude and compassion.

Posted by: matt25 | August 20, 2017

Hungry For Something?

Hey, it’s Sunday! No matter if it has been a day, a week, or a lifetime, I know someone who would be thrilled to see you at church today.

What brought me back after I had left? I discovered that pursuit of things we need and want to live in this world, without being put into right relationship with God, are ultimately empty and unfulfilling. But you don’t have to take my word for it. You could look at Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4, Luke 4:4, or many other parts of the Bible for proof.

Posted by: matt25 | June 11, 2017

Holy Holy Holy

As I contemplate the mystery of love as a community of love, creating us in the image and likeness of love, to go out in love, and be the presence of love, I am humbled beyond words.  I must in thanksgiving surrender with joy.

Posted by: matt25 | June 8, 2017

We Are Dawn

“The dawn intimates that the night is over; it does not yet proclaim the full light of day. While it dispels the darkness and welcomes the light, it holds both of them, the one mixed with the other, as it were. Are not all of us who follow the truth in this life daybreak and dawn? While we do some things which already belong to the light, we are not free from the remnants of darkness. In Scripture the Prophet says to God: No living being will be justified in your sight. Scripture also says: In many ways all of us give offense.”

From the Moral Reflections on Job by Saint Gregory the Great, pope

Posted by: matt25 | May 25, 2017

Remembered Reflections

It was thee years ago today that I posted about measuring time with love.  This year, I suffered an arm injury in March which has given me the opportunity to slow down and reflect more deeply upon these measurements of time in my life and in the lives of others.  Sometimes the love is laced with joy, other times with sadness, but the measurements remain unmistakenly and essentially experiences of love.

One year ago today was a day that I took such a measurement, and grappled with my limited ability to glimpse dimly the wisdom of God, which so far exceeds my own.  What I wrote on Facebook that day I needed to remind myself of today, in light of people and situations That are currently in my prayers.  I am tempted to lose my faith that God hears me and answers my prayers, although not always the way I want.  Here is what I wrote:

I prayed for a miracle and a complete healing for Bart. I know that you are still in the miracle business Lord, so why didn’t you do what I wanted? I will never completely understand the mystery of how you actually did, and continue to, answer my prayer in a way more perfectly than I can imagine. I begin to see through my grief that Bart is completely healed indeed and that you have strengthened the bonds of love and faith for those who remain here in the pain of his passing. Help me Lord to hear you and make that hearing my heart’s desire, and never lose faith because your wisdom does not conform to my wishes.

” O Truth, you are present to those who seek your help, and at one and the same time you answer all, though they seek your counsel on different matters. You respond clearly, but not everyone hears clearly. All ask what they wish, but do not always hear the answer they wish. Your best servant is he who is intent not so much on hearing his petition answered, as rather on willing whatever he hears from you.”  -From the Confessions of Saint Augustine

Posted by: matt25 | May 24, 2017

Should I Forgive Them?

A friend of mine once told me, refusing to forgive is like drinking a bottle of poison and expecting the other person to die.

The antidote is to forgive.  But, I know how hard taking that medicine can be.  The greater the wrong the harder the task.  But, we must open that door because only by going through it, will our own healing begin.

Don’t expect it to be like flicking a switch.  If you feel like you cannot forgive what another person has done, you are probably right, at least for today. So ask God to forgive them because you can’t. 

Do this every time you feel anger or bitterness toward that person.  But, do one other thing as well.  You must ask for the grace to be able to forgive them yourself, someday with God’s help.

It took a long time but, it worked for me. There are still days that the old anger resurfaces, and on those days, because of long practice, I immediately turn to prayer for the one who harmed my family and smiled.

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