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Share the Wealth


There are a few things on my mind that I thought I would talk about today, its been sometime between my posting, but I though I would give it a shot today. Why the break? I really don’t know, I always have something to say about what’s going on in our world.

obamaHeck, Obama gives me fresh ideas daily, but the problem is, they all relate to the same topic with him, Socialism, and his attempts to “fundamentally Change America” into a socialistic country. By the way, he is doing a good job at it, with ObamaCare as law and his repeated attacks on the Constitution of the United States, one could make the argument that he already has achieved his goal. An America where he is king, the ruler of all… Scary thought if you ask me… Not just because he is Obama, but scary thought for any U.S. President to think they are King or Queen… The Founding Fathers must be turning over in their graves, they fought a King and a nation who thought they had the right to govern our lives. We declared our independence from a nation of Tyranny, only to vote in a new King, a new order of Tyranny. Americans are sleeping, they are being lulled into a false sense of security and the current administration and liberal mindset is perfectly content with that.

I wish I could place all the blame on the liberals within congress and the white house, but I cannot, I must also bring the current republican party in the mix. The party of liberty and conservative values as seem to lost its way. We have more RINOs in the party than in all of Africa. They have lost sight of what the part was founded on. The simple ideals that people are free and able to govern themselves. The party that ended slavery is not part of the slave trade, in bed with the liberal political machine that we call Washington. George Washington must be ashamed of the city named after him, a city that was to be, as Ronald Reagan once said, “We Will Be a City Upon a Hill”, sadly, the City upon the hill is no longer shinning its light of freedom, as she once did. She is now shining a light of dependence, one that does not call forth all of humanity to work and strive for greatness, but one that calls forth people to cling to the fringes of greatness, one that depends upon the benevolent mercy of their master, one that forces her subjects to plead and degrade themselves in an attempt to obtain that which is already theirs, Liberty and Justice, Freedom and the God-given right of the Pursuit of Happiness.

But we cannot leave the blame in Washington, no, we must spread the wealth of blame around (see, I am being media-biasa good socialist and sharing the wealth). The media needs to eat of the cake of Americas down fall. They, who are to champion the American people, they, the media, who are to investigate and report the facts, they too share in the decline of a nation that use to the Shinning Light upon the hill, the nation that use to be the beacon of Freedom, the destination of all who dreamed of a life built upon the sweat of the brow, Now the media is the propaganda arm of the Washington Liberals. Integrity in the media is a thing of the past, there are very few in the national media who truly believe in fact based reporting. It is sad, we have the freedom of the press, yet they choose not to exercise that right, we have freedom of speech, yet they choose to stifle it. Please note, I am talking about all media outlets, yes even Fox News. And YES, I love Fox News, I find them to be the best of the bunch, but when the bunch includes MSNBC, well really, it don’t take much to rise to the top. But even Fox News falls into the trap of propaganda, maybe not liberal propaganda, but still, sometimes Facts are far and few between the talking points of the day. They feel their mission is to inform the poorly educated masses, the poor people who cannot think for themselves, how to think, vote and react to every aspect of our lives. We are not allowed to form our own opinion on any given topic, unless, of course, it aligns to their current position. Any deviation is a sign of free-thinking and they will not tolerate this. So the weapons of words are open upon us, Racist, Bigot, Intolerant, and more are slung upon us as a way to keep us inline, to force us to be good little sheep and follow the Great Leader into the promised land of rainbows and unicorns. And sadly many follow, many were taught to do so by our state-run mind bending institutions.

The Public School System also is to blame, and I use the word public in a very loose way. There is nothing public about them, they are own and controlled by the federal government, they are managed by the local unions and are in bed with the liberal mindset that controls the curriculum, if one can call it that! The current system of education, or should I say indoctrination, is a system that was established to do just that. To take the young and turn them into good, law-abiding, rule following, non thinking citizens. It was not created to give birth to free thinking rational beings. This is not my personal take on public education, this is a historical fact, here are a few links:

Prussian education system

Compulsory education

History of education in the United States

Public School IndoctrinationWe are using and outdated form of education, one based on the need for the uneducated masses to be educated to perform manual tasks. Our world no longer lives in such a state, yet our education system still runs on and believes in such a system. So called reforms are nothing but Band-Aids to fix a system that is no longer relevant to the world around us. The current union sees no need to change the system, for it benefits them and there members. Now please, before teachers start sending me messages of hate, understand that I truly believe that MOST teachers are of good hearts and truly believe they are serving the students and communities they teach in, but also know that I truly believe the current system is broken beyond repair! To me, it is like trying to retro fit a Model A car with a Mustang engine, it may work, but the Model A will eventually fall apart, it was not made for such speed and our current infrastructure. Just as the automobile has changed over the years, evolved into the current class of vehicles, so must our educational system. But that is only part of the problem, the other part, the liberal take over of our education system, a system that teaches not facts but propaganda, one that pushed the theory of global warming as a fact, as our current president, Mr. Obama, did in his Stat of the Union address. Theory and fact are not of the same cloth, and they should not be lumped together as one-in-the-same. But the agenda of the liberals uses the young minds to mold into a new generation of sheep that follow the dogma of liberal thinking. They are mass-producing generation after generation of Americans that no longer reason. We have generations of youth that cannot think outside of the liberal box, generations of youth that see the government as the answer to all our problems a generation of youth that take no responsibility for their own actions or lives. Basically a generation of cloned storm troupers that follow orders given by the imperial leaders.

America is lost, she is wandering in the desert looking for the promised land, we exiled ourselves to the land of liberal utopia, a land with no responsibility, a land of the free handouts, ObamaCare, ObamaPhones, Welfare, a Nanny State that will “care” for your from birth,if your lucky enough to be born, to natural death, if you are chosen to live that long. We have given our freedoms over in the name of equality and offered up our liberty as a sacrifice on the alter of government programs. Safety Nets, as we are told to call them, because no one would be willing to trade liberty and freedom over to a program called “Government Control” yet, that is exactly what we are doing.

221Look at New York, salt is not allowed on tables in restaurants, you must ask for the privileged to use it, California has determined that big screen TV’s are not allowed, for your own good, and smokers have been banished to the wastelands of society.  Yes, too much salt is bad for you, yes large screen TVs use more energy and yes smoking kills… But it is not for the government to decide if I like salt or not, if I want a 70 inch TV or not and if I would like to smoke or not. In a free society, it is up to me to decide. Yet the Nanny State has decided that I am not smart enough to make my own decisions, they have decided that I, an adult, must be told what is best for me. My life is not my own, it is a gift from the government, one that can be taken from me at the will of the powers that be. This thought should scare every American, yet many do not see it that way, many see the government as their primary care taker, the source and summit of their being. A sad state of affairs, if you ask me.

A once great nation, a nation of responsible and industrious people, is now a nation of takers, a nation of dependents. A nation that controls the masses, a nation that has abandoned the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United Stated of America.

sleeping_giant_awakes

It was once said about America, We have awoken the sleeping giant, it seems to me that we once again are sleeping, that once again we need to be awoken… God willing the national alarm clock will wake us yet again.

God Bless

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight

Vital 4 Health

 

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Did Jesus set us up for Failure?


 

Jesus H. Christ

Jesus H. Christ (Photo credit: angelofsweetbitter2009)

“I give you a new commandment: Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34)

Jesus, after washing the feet of His friends, gave the commandment to love one another as he has loved us, that, my friends, is a hard commandment. The love of Jesus is the love of God, for Jesus is God, therefor Jesus’ love is Gods love, and we are commanded to love as Jesus loved. WOW…. Talk about asking a lot of someone.

The love that Jesus gives us is a love that knows no boundaries, has no conditions placed upon it and is given freely and without expectation. I don’t know to many people like that. At best our parents, but even they have limits, there Jesus like love is reserved for their children. Yet reading the news, we know that not all parents love as Jesus loves. But that’s the closest I can get to a love that even comes close to the commandment that Jesus gives us at the last supper.

So why would Jesus command us to do something that we seem unable to do, that seems so hard and unreachable? Why would the all-knowing and loving Jesus have us try and fail at such a task? Is is so He can sit back and laugh at our meager attempts to love as He loved? Did Jesus set us up for failure?

It’s kind of hard to imagine Jesus devising a grand plan to watch us fail, I just don’t see Him that way. So, why would He command something so hard…

Because it is hard, loving others in a perfect way, the way Jesus calls us to love, is hard, no way around it. But is it impossible, that is the next question. Did Jesus give us an impossible task? Would He, the all loving, really give His creation a commandment that was impossible to uphold?

I don’t think so…

Live all the teachings of Jesus, the command to love as He loves is a command to better ourselves, to grow and deepen our relationship with Christ. It is through Him that we can achieve anything.

22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:22-24 (NIV)

The key to the commandment to Love one another as Jesus has loved you, is to have faith in God, to love God with all your heart mind and soul:

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ ; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
Luke 10:26-28

The answer is love… Love of God and love of self…

So are we set up for failure? Nope, not at all, Jesus understands that the command is not easy, but He also knows that we are capable of achieving it. Jesus knows that we will need His help, that we will need to lean on His love. that without love of Him, we are incapable of love of self or others. Jesus’ command causes us to have to call on Jesus, to love Jesus. Jesus wants us to rely on Him, to depend upon His love, and to use His love to help us love others. So no, Jesus does not expect us to fail, but He does expect us to call upon Him, to depend upon Him and to love Him.

We are capable to love others as Jesus has loved us, but only to the extent that we are able to love Jesus and our self. Use this Holy day deepen your love of Christ, and pray for the strength to learn how to love yourself. Call upon Jesus to teach you how to love, call upon the mercy of God to show you true love and call upon Mary, the mother of our Lord, to show you how to love her Son. Use Holy Thursday as a day of love.

God Bless & Blessed Holy Thursday

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

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Posted by on April 5, 2012 in Death, Easter, Faith, Friendship, Life, Love, Prayer, Religon

 

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What is your Focus this Lent?


Česky: Kříže - symbol utrpení Ježíše Krista a ...

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Were is your focus this Lent? On you or on Jesus. Lent is not about us, it is not about self-improvement, it is about Jesus, it’s about New Birth, it’s about New Life, it’s about New Perseverance and New Death.

New Birth

[ Praise to God for a Living Hope ] Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1 Peter 1:2-4

As a Christian we are a new creation, but more importantly as a Christian we believe that God became man and was born of woman into our humanity. His birth is the source of our New Birth. Because of a Childs Birth, we now have the opportunity to experience our Birth, our New Birth into Christ’s Church, into His Mystical Body.

Lent is a time for us to reflect upon the New Birth, a time to renew our own vigor and a time to dig deeper into our Birthright.  With out the Birth of Christ, we would have no Resurrection, and without our New Birth into the Mystical Body, we would have no hope or joy, no resurrection of our own.

Now I’m not saying that we, like Christ, will rise from the dead, but we will, with Gods grace upon us, experience a sort of resurrection, one of a New life being born within us. 

New Life

Though we are slaves, our God has not forsaken us in our bondage. He has shown us kindness in the sight of the kings of Persia: He has granted us new life to rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins, and he has given us a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem.
Ezra 9:8-10

We are slaves, slaves of our flesh, slaves of our world and slaves of our sin. Yet we have been promised a New Life, a Life of Milk and Honey, a life of Love and Understanding. Yet we still suffer as Christians, we suffer because we are Christians, because we proclaim our Christianity to all. We suffer more for our convictions than we would if we would denounce or hide them. Or, so we think. Our suffering for the sake of Jesus is our joy, our suffering is our cross.

The Cross of Jesus is the symbol of His suffering and death for our sins, but it is so much more. The Cross is not a sign of defeat, of the end of Death, but a sign of Victory, of the New Life, the Resurrection, the Empty Tomb.The surging’s He suffered, the humiliation and abandonment he endured was not for his sake, but for ours. The Cross is the peace sign of the Christian movement, it is the battle cry of our army and the symbol of our nation. The Cross of Christ is our model, our example our map to the New Life.

Lent offers us the time to examine the Cross of Christ, to feel the wood grain and to touch the blood that drips and runs down its hued sided. Lent offers us the Cross not as a symbol but as a reality.

New Perseverance

Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.
2 Thessalonians 1:3-5

We understand perseverance, most of us live it. The Church understands perseverance, she is live proof of it. But we only know of earthly perseverance, Jesus knew of Heavenly perseverance. A perseverance the He taught us on the night He was betrayed. He endured for us and triumphed over for us Death. His perseverance was paramount and divine in nature.

Lent offers us a time to experience perseverance of the Heavenly sort. All we need to do is ask our Heavenly Father for the Grace to preserver and to come through this Lenten session a New Creation. TO allow us to shun temptations and linger in the shadow of the Cross. Heavenly Perseverance is attainable for the asking.

New Death

Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death— they are like the new grass of the morning:
Psalm 90:4-6

Death, for Christians, is not the end, in-fact, for Christians it is only the beginning. Yet our human nature, our fallen understandings define death as an end. Death, of the flesh is such a death, but death of the spirit, there is no such death, to a Christian. For Christ secured for us, upon that Cross, a New Death, a Death in to New Life. A glorious Death, a welcomed Death a Death of everlasting Life.

Look upon the Cross, see with in it the doorway to eternity. Look into the Cross and see beyond it into the glory of Heaven. The Master calling to his own, the Shepard retrieving His sheep. The Cross is our Doorway and the empty tomb is our passage way, Christ as laid out the plan, the road to eternity has been carved out of Calvary and He awaits our arrival.

Lent is a time to explore that road a little bit closer, a time to enter into the Death of our Lord a little deeper and a time to experience a New Death, a Death of the old ways, the way of Sin, a time to be born again, into Christ.

Focus

So, what is your focus for Lent, is it to stop eating candy or to start walking the road to Calvary?

God Bless & Happy Lent

Paul Sposite

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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Catholic, church, Faith, Lent, Prayer, Religon

 

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Attitude, you got one?


The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.

~William James (1842 – 1910)

Attitude…. What a powerful word.

manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation, especially of the mind: a negative attitude; group attitudes. (Source)

Notice the one little section that states “Especially of the mind” our attitude is just that, ours. We control it, it does not (or at least should not) control us. Yet all too often, we allow it to just that, our attitude all too often becomes a commentary on outside forces. We allow forces that we cannot control, friends, work, and weather, to control us. Attitude is not beyond our control, it is within our control, if we would only take control.

I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.

~Martha Washington (1732 – 1802)

Martha Washington, the wife of George Washington lived a hard life. A life of service to her country, a life of war and peace a life that called upon her many times to sacrifice. You will not read it in the history books, but she did. She had to be a woman of great courage and one of positive attitude. She had to be selfless in all she did, for she allowed her husband to go off to war and lead a revolution that, by all accounts, could not be won. She left to take care of the farm. She again offered her husband to our new and struggling nation to attend the constitutional conventions, a thankless and long task, leaving Martha to tend to the family farm, once again. Still more was asked of her, as she and George we honored with the task of becoming the first leader of this Great Nation, no simple task. No, hers was not a life of leisure and pleasure; hers was a life of service and attitude. Yep, Attitude… Martha, based on what I have read of her, was a remarkable woman, one of strong opinions and full of positive attitude. We all can learn a lot from not only George Washington, but his wife Martha as well.

Jesus has something to say about our attitudes as well, He provides us with the Beatitudes as a guide to follow.

(Source)

Reading the Beatitudes can be a hard task, if you do not understand how to read them. If you do not understand the meaning behind them. However, put simply, Jesus is telling us, we are in control or our outlook, our attitudes towards life and self. To the poor He promises the Kingdom, to those that mourn, comfort and so on. But what is He saying? Is Jesus saying that the poor are the only ones to see the Kingdom and the mournful the only ones to receive comfort? Nope, not at all. The poor is not referring to the lack of money, but rather the lack of faith, yet in this lack I should not despair, for Jesus states I will see the Kingdom. So rejoice and be glad, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.

It is our attitude we control, we have the power to see the glass as half full or half-empty, and the Beatitudes are lessons in seeing the glass as half full. What a valuable lesson. A lesson that has been taught over the centuries by many a great teacher, none greater than Jesus, but still many a great teachers. Yet it is a lesson we still need to learn. Knowing that I am poor in Spirit, yet will still see the Kingdom of God does not mean I stop trying to deepen my faith, sit back and just wait, rather it means I double down and study, learn and grow in my spirit, knowing that it will always fall short, but also knowing that Jesus understands, and the Kingdom will still be at hand. That is the power…

Dr. Wayne Dyer states, “Change the way you look at things, and the things you are looking at will change”, so true and so powerful, yet most of us refuse to do so. Changing our outlook, our attitude, is not easy, we have been programmed to accept that this is the way it is, outside forces determine our attitude, and we have no control over it. Such a false understanding, yet it is the understanding the majority of people have. How often I have heard “They can’t help it, that just how they are, that’s who they are”… To state it directly and simply, that’s just bull crap, a cop-out, we all have control of our lives, we all can change out attitudes, our outlook, and determine for ourselves what our future will be. We just have to work at it…

The task is hard, the journey long and the pitfalls will be many, your drive will wane and your ego will protest, but it can be done, you can change your attitude, you can see the glass as half full, if you only work at it. Yes, sometimes I do see that 1/2 empty glass, but in moments like this I know it is my ego driving my attitude and not my soul, not my being. At times like this I step back and breathe deeply, re-focus my thoughts and realign my attitude, and re-image the glass as 1/2 full yet again. It is a mammoth task at times, but the pay-off is always worth the effort. The feeling of control over the ego, the knowledge that I am in control on myself are well worth the effort.

Attitude, you got one. I am sure you do, but the bigger question is, Attitude, you like the one you got? Is it a healthy attitude? Does it contribute to your overall happiness or is it a source of depression and discontentment? Try this, try taking an attitude assessment, simple write down your attitude towards things, family, work, life, politics, religion, faith, money and so on, rate them based on a 1 to 10 scale, 1 being extremely bad attitude and 10 being extremely positive attitude. Once you have completed this, look at your list, anything with a 6 or more score, consider good for now. Everything with a five or below score consider as areas that need improvement. Start with the 5’s, pick one, let us say its Job, and create an action plan to help you change your attitude. What can you do to create a new and better attitude concerning your current job? To help with this, write down all the aspects of your job that seems to be the source of your bad attitude. Look at each one and determine what action you can take to rectify this. It may be as simple as having a conversation with your boss or as complex as having to try and be transfers to a new department. Nevertheless, whatever the solution, whatever the problem, remembers you are in control of your attitude, no one else is!

Once you have fixed the first on your list continue through the rest of the list, and before you know it, your attitude will be better. However, your work is not done yet, nope… Because you know that, your coworker or whatever the source off your discontentment was will not just roll over and play dead. So now, you need to learn tools to help you cope with issues that will pop up. Best advice, find a saying or prayer that you like, one that reminds of your ultimate goal, a more positive and productive attitude, make a copies of it, place on all your office wall, put one in your purse or wallet, tape one to your bathroom mirror and one on your car visor. Frame one to hang in your hall, in other words place this reminder all over the place, so when the need arrives, just look at, read it and take a step back to contemplate it. Refocus your thoughts and realign your attitude. It takes practice, but it can be done.

 

Good luck and God Bless

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

(Something to read, and help you with your attitude)

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Questions of Force and Faith


fad4155b84be7200030f6a7067009831The death of 15-year-old Jaime Gonzalez has shaken this neighborhood along the U.S.-Mexico border, where parents already burdened by economic woes and street gangs are now faced with explaining the tragedy to their children.

Making it especially hard: It remains unclear to his parents and investigators why Jaime — a drum major who danced in his church’s annual religious festival, stayed out of gangs and had two parents who closely watched him — could swerve off course and bring a weapon to school. The weapon, police later determined, was a pellet gun. (link)

Reading this article makes me think about many things. The sadness the parents and friends must feel, the questions it opens and the wounds that will never heal. It makes me think about the questioning and second guessing the officers must be going thru, did we have to shoot to kill, did we do the right thing. It makes me wounded what was going on in the head of this young man, whom, by all reports I have read, seems like a normal 15 year old, staying clean and out of trouble.

It’s a sad story, and I truly feel for the parents and all involved, I pray for the young mans soul, and that God will have mercy on him.  But I feel that there is more to the story, that we are missing something…. I’m not say he was not a good boy, or that that parents were not good parents, but there is something missing…

I would have to say that most likely what was missing was community, safety and security with in the community. we all have hear that is take a village to raise a child, and its true. Think about it, we spend more time outside of the family than we do in it, as a school aged young man, he spent more hours away from home than in the home. Be it at the school or hanging out with friends. And that is as it should be, that is how a young man becomes a man. But the dynamics of that “village” plays a roll, a very big roll…

The village is not a physical location as much as it is a concept. The boundaries of the village grow and the youth grows, as a 8 year old, his village most likely was school and home, maybe daycare. His friends were local and his parents had more control over who he played with and not. As he grew, so did his village, as a 15 year old his village would now include more physical space, able to go more places and hang with more types of people. His school becomes just one of many places with in the village. And his parents influence is, to some degree, less than the influence of his friends. And all this is as it should be, the process of growing up, and becoming a young man.

It is this force that helps shape the boy into a man, and by all accounts it seemed to be doing a fine job. So what happen, what made this young man bring a gun, all-be-it a harmless gun, but still a gun, to school. What possessed him to run thru the halls, refusing to put it down? All questions we will never know the answer to. Sad… Very sad…

But now this is were faith comes in, the parents must have faith that they did the best they could, that they did not let there son down, and faith that God, in HIs own way, will make it all clear to them. But we must also examine the village, and see were, if any, safety nets may have failed. Was there a sign that was over looked, was he crying for help, but know one noticed, or cared to take action. Just questions…

God Bless

Paul W Sposite

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Forgiveness… Can you do it?


Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven, as in the r...

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The only survivor of white supremacist Mark Stroman’s bloody rampage after Sept 11, 2001 is asking that his attacker be spared the death penalty Wednesday for his crimes….

…I forgave Mark Stroman many years ago," he writes on his blog. "I believe he was ignorant, and not capable of distinguishing between right and wrong, otherwise he wouldn’t have done what he did." (You must read this)

How many of us could say this? How easy is it to forgive? Look around you, examine your own life, have you forgiven people who have hurt you, wronged you? Have you forgiven your parents that abused you or the priest that took advantage of you? Have you been able to let go and let God? Have you found the place in your heart were forgiveness lives? Or is it just a dark spot?

Forgiveness is not easy, yet it is something we all must learn to do. Jesus, on his cross, forgave:

And Jesus said: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. But they, dividing his garments, cast lots. (Luke 23:34)

In the New Testament, Jesus speaks of the importance of Christians forgiving or showing mercy towards others. The Parable of the Prodigal Son is perhaps the best known instance of such teaching and practice of forgiveness.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus repeatedly spoke of forgiveness, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7 (NIV) “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24 (NIV) “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25 (NIV) “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also.” Luke 6:27-29 (NIV) “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:36 (NIV) “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37 (NIV)

Elsewhere, it is said, "Then Peter came and said to Him, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy-seven times.’" Matthew 18:21-22 (NAS)

Jesus asked for God’s forgiveness of those who crucified him. "And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’" Luke 23: 34 (ESV)

In his time, Jesus created controversy among the Pharisees, when he told people their sins were forgiven. "The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, ‘Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’" Luke 5:21 (NIV) (Read this)

Pope John Paul II also forgave his would be killer (read this), But can we, me and you, forgive? I know I have a hard time with this concept, I hold grudges for a long long time… It is one of my many human traits that I must work on, daily. It is some thing I have prayed about, seek guidance for and something that I am aware of. It is, in a nut shell, something that is holding be back from being the creation that God wishes me to be. Forgiveness… We all say it, but do we all truly mean it, do we truly understand it. I know I don’t, but I also know that once a crack that nut, I will be in a much better place than I am now…

God Bless

Paul

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Posted by on July 20, 2011 in Death, Faith, Forgiveness, Life, Love, Religon

 

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Can Humans ever be perfect?


Adam, Eve, and the (female) serpent at the ent...

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Change Your Life

 

I think it is ok to allow yourself to make mistakes. Making them often helps teach us what is right. Trying to be perfect leads to perfectionism which most people agree is not healthy. Leading a narrow existence also leaves our experience of life emptier then if we were to experiment and broaden our horizons. Also when we are not trying to be perfect we don’t have overly high expectations in others and we become more tolerant and accepting of others. We can’t know everything and we should be somewhat curious about what we don’t know, at least for the sake of our mental health. We also learn forgiveness in the process and also might find out just how wrong we were all along.

Morgan Green ©

 

The above passage touches on a few topics that I love to talk about, one being perfection. A few years back, like 20 years or so, there as a question asked by a Talking Head on a radio show. The question, “Can humans ever be perfect?”

Well, I just had to call in, because I knew my answer would be different from the rest. My view of perfection is not the normal view, yet I do believe it is the correct view. When people ask me if I think I am perfect I always respond “Yes”.. The look on their face is worth it alone, but I truly mean it. Yes, I do think of myself as perfect. But once again, it comes down to my understanding of perfection.

Perfection, to me, has many different meanings. Perfection in art is not the same for you as it is for me, but perfection in engineering of a rocket had to have some concrete value. Perfection as a human, well that is a whole other level of meanings.

Human perfection was achieved once, Adam and Eve held on to it until they ate of the apple, from that point on we are a fallen being, never again to achieve that level of perfection in our humanly life.

But….

The Perfection of the original Adam and Eve is not the perfection of todays Adam and Eve. Thanks to the new Adam, Jesus Christ, we can now hope to obtain our own level of perfection. The sacrifice made by Jesus, to forgive our sins and all sins, also forgave the original sin of Adam and Eve. Allowing us, the descendants of Adam and Eve, to achieve a new perfection.

What is this new perfection, and who can achieve it? Taking the second part first, we all can achieve this new perfection. Each and everyone one of us, thanks to the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jest the Christ.

But what is it and how do I achieve it…

The new perfection is achieved in our understanding that we, as a fallen being, can never be perfect. Yep you got it, we are perfect in our understanding that we can never be perfect….

But its not that easy…

Our understanding of our imperfections is just the start, it is also our humility as a fallen being. We must be humble, we must be meek and in this we will be perfect.

Don’t believe me, well it is Jesus  tells us so:

Matthew
Chapter 5

1 1 When he saw the crowds, 2 he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
2 He began to teach them, saying:
3 3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, 4 for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 5 Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 6 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
6 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 7 for they will be satisfied.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 8 Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, 9 for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me.
12 10 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
………………….
48 So be perfect, 30 just as your heavenly Father is perfect.

(whole passage is here)

Each and every Beatitude is a call to humility and perfection. Jesus understands that we can never again obtain the level of perfect granted to Adam and Eve, yet He calls us to an even greater perfect, a perfection of a life shared with Him.

To be perfect, as the world describes it, is to be unsatisfied and miserable. But to be perfect as the heavenly Father is, is to be fulfilled and joyful.  Me, I will take this perfection any day of the week…

But back to my answer to the radio show host, I told him I was perfect, perfect in my understanding that I am imperfect…. I stand by this statement, for as a fallen man, I can never achieve any other perfect here on earth, and I know this, I know my failing and shortcomings, and I humbly acknowledge the only through the grace of God, as His instrument here on earth, do I ever achieve any lever of success.

Do I make mistakes, sure, all the time, am I at times un-humble, yep, happens all the time, do I try to change this, to become more humble, yep, all the time.  That is perfection, understanding that I need to change, to grow and to become a better person, but I also I need to understand that I cannot become perfect on my own, that I need the grace of God to do so, and I have to humbly admit my human failure, to give God his do…

Perfection can be achieved… If you understand what perfection is…

God Bless

 

Paul

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Doctor Death is dead…


Dr. Jack Kevorkian's cropped image

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Over the weekend we had a death of a celebrity in the Detroit area. He is well known through out the country, and I am sure, the world. Dr. Jack Kevorkian, or Doctor Death, as he is known. Although the death of anyone is sad, the loss of human life is always sad, I am not sure I can gander-up any real emotions for the man. Sure, I know he had friends who are sad, and family, but for me, well… I just can’t seem to feel one way or the other. (read here)

On the local news the mood was somber, at best. The accolades were for an important diplomat or humanitarian. Sure, sure, I know, some consider Doctor Death to be a humanitarian, I for one do not. He killed people, plain and simple! I mean no disrespect, and I pray to God to have mercy on his soul. But the fact is, he killed, he was a killer.

As a pro-life conservative Catholic, abortion and euthanasia are one in the same, it is the taking of human life before its natural time. God can only create and take life.  Sure, we humans help out all the time, wars, murder, drugs and all the rest. But the natural end of life is up to God, not Doctor Death, or anyone else.

Yes it is hard to watch someone suffer, I know, I have watched both of my parents suffer until they passed on, but that is part of life. I would not change a thing about it, at each of there bedsides I learned life lessons that I would not have gained anywhere else. Lessons that have helped to shape me into the man I currently am. Sure, I wish they never had cancer, and sure I wish they never suffered. But wishes are only for the fool hearted. I prayed that they did not suffer, but if they had to, that it was all for the glory of God. And in the end, well, in the end they suffered little, and I was granted a miracle. I was able to experience the power and glory of the Holy Spirit at work, both in me and my parents. If they would have taken the easy way out, used Doctor death, they would have never and I would have never had the opportunity to experience God in that moment.

I know some will say that that’s just my imagination at work, trying to deal with a difficult time in my life. Maybe, but I think not. But I do know that I was never closer to my parents than at the time of there suffering, seeing the resolve to not show it, the ever present parenting they held on to. The need to protect us, there children, from the suffering they were dealing with. Never once did they complained or show outward signs that they were in pain. Instead they were smiling and telling jokes until the end. I am thankful for this, and I am blessed. My memories of them will always be  one of fighters and happy. Doctor Jack could never offer me or my parents that.

So Doctor Jack is dead… I hope his family and friends have memories of his last few days that are filled with the grace of God… I know I d0…

God Bless

Paul

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Lent 2011: Are you ready for it?


Christ on the Cross cropped. Crop of old Mass ...

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With Lent here, it’s a good time to ask the question, “Are you ready for it?” or an even better question, “Do you understand it?”

Lent is a complex time in the Church year, we are depriving ourselves, we are reminded of our mortality yet we are to be preparing for the Death and Resurrection of our Lord, a time of celebration….

Talk about emotions running the gamete… The high and lows of life are all put into the 40 days of Lent… We as Catholic/Christians are called to use this time as a time of renewal, a time to prepare for the new life, the new life in Christ.

It’s a time of sacrifice, a time to offer up to God. But many look at it as a time to stop eating candy or drinking pop. Yes they are sacrifice for many, but is that all we need to do?


(Source)

  1. Online Lenten ResourcesTake 30 minutes to pray, ask the Holy Spirit’s guidance, look over this activities list for the Season of Lent, and make a few practical Lenten resolutions. Be careful. If you try to do too much, you may not succeed in anything. If you need to get up early or stay up late to get the 30 minutes of quiet, do it. Turn off your phone and computer. Don’t put it off and don’t allow interruptions.
  2. During the Season of Lent, Get up earlier than anyone else in your house and spend your first 15 minutes of the day thanking God for the gift of life and offering your day to Him.
  3. Get to daily Mass.
  4. If you can’t do Mass daily, go to Mass on Fridays in addition to Sunday and thank Him for laying his life down for you. Maybe you can go another time or two as well.
  5. Spend at least 30 minutes in Eucharistic adoration at least one time during the week.
  6. Recover the Catholic tradition of making frequent visits to the Blessed sacrament throughout the week, even if it is only for 5 minutes.
  7. Get to confession at least once during the Season of Lent after making a good examination of conscience. If you are not sure why confession is important, get my CD “Who Needs Confession.
  8. In addition to the penance assigned by the priest, fulfill the conditions necessary for a plenary indulgence. You can learn about plenary indulgences from the official Handbook of Indulgences.
  9. Make a decision to read at least some Scripture every day. Starting with Today’s!
  10. Even if you can’t get to daily Mass during the Lenten Season, get a Daily Roman Missal or go visit the Crossroads Homepage for a link to the Daily Mass readings, and read these readings daily. During special seasons such as Lent, the Mass readings are thematically coordinated and make for a fantastic Bible study!
  11. Pray the Liturgy of the Hours. You can buy a one volume edition or a full four volume edition. Or you can get it day by day online for free at www.universalis.com. Or you can subscribe to a monthly publication called the Magnificat that provides a few things from the liturgy of the hours together with the Mass readings of the day. The Magnificat is a great way to start learning the Liturgy of the Hours.
  12. Get to know the Fathers of the Church and read selections from them along with Scripture. Short selections from the Fathers writing on Lenten themes can be downloaded for free from the Lenten Library of our website at www.crossroadsintiative.com
  13. Make the Stations of the Cross each Friday of the Season of Lent either with a group or by yourself. If you have kids, bring them.
  14. Online Catholic Resources for LentPray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary often during Lent, especially on Friday and Wednesday. The glorious mysteries are especially appropriate on Sundays. Joyful and Luminous mysteries are great on other days.
  15. Purchase the Scriptural Rosary, which supplies you with a scripture verse to recite between each Hail Mary. This makes it easier to meditate on the mysteries. Another resource to deepen your understanding of the Rosary is my CD set “How Mary and the Rosary can Change Your Life.”
  16. If you’ve never done a family rosary, begin doing it. If starting with once a week, try Friday or Sunday. If it’s tough to start with a full five decades, try starting with one. Use the Scriptural Rosary and have a different person read each of the Scriptures between the Hail Mary’s. This gets everyone more involved.
  17. Make it a habit to stop at least five times a day, raise your heart and mind to God, and say a short prayer such as “Jesus, I love you,” or “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner,” or “Lord, I offer it up for you.”
  18. Pray each day for the intentions and health of the Holy Father.
  19. Pray each day for your bishop and all the bishops of the Catholic Church.
  20. Pray for your priests and deacons and for all priests and deacons.
  21. Pray for the millions of Christians suffering under persecution in various Muslim and Communist countries around the world such as the Sudan, Pakistan, Indonesia, China, Viet Nam, and North Korea.
  22. Pray for Christian unity, that there would be one flock and one shepherd.
  23. Pray for the evangelization of all those who have not yet heard and accepted the Good News about Jesus.
  24. Pray for your enemies. In fact, think of the person who has most hurt you or who most annoys you and spend several minutes each day thanking God for that person and asking God to bless him or her.
  25. Pray for an end to abortion on demand in the United States. Pray for pregnant women contemplating abortion.
  26. Pray for a just peace in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Holy Land and elsewhere. Pray for our troops and for others in harm’s way.
  27. Pray for an end to capital punishment. Pray for those on death row, and for the families of murder victims.
  28. Find a form of fasting that is appropriate for you, given your age, state of health, and state of life. Some fast on bread and water on Wednesdays and Fridays. Some fast from sweets or alcohol throughout Lent. Some fast on one or more days per week from breakfast all the way to dinner, spending lunch hour in prayer or at noon Mass. Some cut out all snacks between meals. The money saved from not buying various things should be given to an apostolate or ministry serving the physically or spiritually poor.
  29. Prayer is like breathing – you have to do it continually. But sometimes you need to pause and take a very deep breath. That’s what a retreat is. Plan a retreat this Lent. It could be simply a half day, out in nature, or in a Church. Or it could be a full day. Or an overnight. You can certainly read lots of things during your retreat or listen to lots of talks. But try sticking to Scripture, the liturgy, and quiet as much as you can. During or at the end of the retreat, write down what the Holy Spirit seems to be saying.
  30. Find a written biography of a Saint that particularly appeals to you, and read it during the Season of Lent.
  31. Instead of secular videos for weekend entertainment, try some videos that will enrich your spiritual life. Suggestions: Jesus of Nazareth, by Franco Zeffirelli, The Scarlet and the Black, the Assisi Underground.
  32. While driving, turn off the secular radio for awhile and use commute time to listen to some teaching on audiocassette or CD. Some great resources can be purchased through this site or from other Catholic apostolates and publishers that you can find on our links page.
  33. Find a local homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or crisis pregnancy center, and volunteer some time there throughout Lent. Serve the people there with the understanding that in so doing, you are serving Jesus. Try to see Jesus in each person there.
  34. Visit someone at a nursing home or in the hospital or sick at home. Again, love Jesus in and through the suffering person.
  35. Is there a widow or divorced person living in your neighborhood? If so, invite that person to your home for dinner, coffee, etc.
  36. Catholic Online Resources, The Passion of the ChristView Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ during Lent on VHS or DVD, if you feel you can handle the violence. Get a copy of The Guide to the Passion to help you get the most out of the movie.
  37. Invite folks to view The Passion of the Christ with you, especially people whose faith is rather nominal, or who do not practice their faith, or who do not profess Christian faith at all. Give them a copy of The Guide to the Passion.
  38. Spend some focused time with your spouse, strengthening your marriage. Start praying together, or make praying together a more frequent occurrence.
  39. Spend some focused time together with each of your children. Listen. Pray. Maybe even have fun.
  40. When Easter comes, don’t drop the new practice you’ve begun during the Season Lent! Make a permanent feature of a deeper Christian life!

God Bless and Happy Lent

Paul

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A Community of Friends


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As part of my job, my 9 to 5 job, the one that pays my bills, I get to travel the world. I love that aspect of my job, I love going to new places. Not only do I get to go to new places, I get to make new friends. I now have friends in five countries around the world and have traveled to seven different countries. So on this next trip I get to visit my friends I have not seen in over a year. It will be nice.

Sure, there is work involved, but still I get to visit with good friends. Sometimes its moments like these that make me thankful for all that I have. Not many people can claim to have traveled the world, not once but several times and even fewer can claim to have made very good friends. God has blessed me, of this I am sure.

But what does this have to do with anything about my faith, besides recognizing that God has blessed me? Well, the fact is, if I stopped there, just with the fact that God has blessed me, that would be enough. But I’m not going to stop there….

Sure Gods blessings is sufficient and I could blog about the blessings all day long. But there is something else at play here. I am reminded of St. Paul, and his travels. The book of Act’s is full of stories about Paul and his travels, and his friendships made. The letters of Paul to the other communities are because of his travels and the friendships he has made.

St. Paul was blessed by God, in many ways, but one way was through his friendships he was able to make on his travels. The friendships that lead to conversation. Sure Paul could have just arrived in each town, talked and left, and sure a few would have been converted, but not many. The words would have been the same, but the value behind them would have been lost on many. Friendship, true authentic friendship, is a powerful tool in conversation.

Words spoke without friendship, be they true or not, often fall to the ground. The hearers may be entranced for a time being, but they will fall. Jesus spent three years speaking the truth as only He could, and many were converted, but many more were not. Jesus also spent the three years cultivating His friendships with a few, getting to know each for who and what they were. If Jesus had not done this, upon His death the faith would have disappeared shortly after. It was the friendship of Jesus to the few that kept the faith burning. Mary Magdalene was the first to see her friend after His resurrection.  It was the friendship that made Mary go to see the grave, and it was friendship that made her cry over the missing body. And the same friendship that allowed her to believe what her mind told her not too….

Friendship played an important roll in Jesus ministry, is not John referred to as the one whom Jesus loved? It was friendship that made the rag-tag followers of Jesus in to a community. Jesus understood the purely human need for friendship. He understood the need to make connections and the need for fellowship. The Christian community was founded on this very principle.

As a life long Catholic, I can say that one of the areas we fail in is creating a community, of fostering friendships with in the church and parish life. All to often attending a parish function is an obligation rather than a joy. All to often we have our “church” friends and our regular friends, as if the people we know at church are not regular people who dine out or play cards or other social activities. We, as Catholics, have segregated our lives into two compartments, the parish and the world. Yet are we not called to live in the world? Did not Jesus tell us to go to the ends of the earth and to all the nations? We failed Him…

The Catholic community can be and should be a vibrant one, one full of life. We have many talents hidden with in our community. Yet we fail to use them, we have many gifts, yet we fail to see them. It is a shame and in some sense it is a scandal that we, as Catholics, do not celebrate the community that Jesus gave us. Rather we squander it away, we hide it as if we are ashamed of it. Our faith, our Church, yes even in today’s world with all the scandals, needs to be celebrated. In-fact maybe just because of the current situation on the Church we should all be praising the good she does to the world. We should be joining together in friendship and our commonalities as Catholics and proudly stating our faith for all to hear. I believe that Jesus would be happy if we all would have the courage to do just that.

Yet we Catholics seem to be a scared bunch, we seem to be ashamed of our faith, even before the current scandal. We have always, in my life time, seemed to shy away from proclaiming our faith. We down play it, or totally ignore it when we are in the secular world.

Why? Because we have no community, we have no friendship, with each other but mostly with Christ. Anyone of of you would gladly defend a friend who was in need. And if asked why, you would reply “They are my friend”, and rightly so! Yet we fail to do this on a daily basis for the Catholic Church, the Church the Jesus himself established here on earth.  We seem to forget that Jesus did stand up for His friends and defend them, He defended them, and us, upon the cross of friendship. Yet we are not even willing to defend the attacks upon the Holy Father or the Church.

The media is at war with the Catholic faith and the Holy father, yet we sit back. Sure, some of it is necessary, yet much of it is just plain mean spirited. Designed to harm the Church not help heal her. They attack based on false reports or fail to reveal the whole truth, they design the attacks to inflect the most damage, and we sit back and do nothing. Sure we may say “What a shame” or “That’s unfair” but we do nothing. friends defend friends when that friend is being attacked. Yet we fail to do so.

Judas did the something, he failed his friend. He sat back and allowed the attacks to go on until it was to late. Are we going to allow that to happen to our faith, to our Church, the  one and true Church established by Jesus himself?

“But what can I do?” is the question you most likely have, “I’m just little old me”. Yes you are, but there are millions of “Little old me’s” out there, and if all of us stand up in friendship for the Church the media will take notice. Write letters to the editor, hold Catholic and proud marches boycott the media, money talks, and in this economy it
talks loudly. Form a prayer group to pray for the healing of the Church or blog about it. There are hundreds of actions that can be taken, and each and everyone one of them should be taken. It is time that the world understands that the Catholic faith is not a monster, it is not a predator and her people are a community of friends.

God Bless

Paul

American Catholics: A History of the Roman Catholic Community in the United States (Galaxy Books)
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