RSS

Tag Archives: spirit

A Head spinning Catholic teaching


eucharistThe doctrine of the Real Presence asserts that in the Holy Eucharist, Jesus is literally and wholly present—body and blood, soul and divinity—under the appearances of bread and wine. Evangelicals and Fundamentalists often attack this doctrine as “umbilical,” but the Bible is forthright in declaring it (cf. 1 Cor. 10:16–17, 11:23–29; and, most forcefully, John 6:32–71). (Read more here)

As a Catholic, a lifelong Catholic, this has to be one of the most difficult concepts of the faith. The Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Just the thought of it makes my head spin!

Last night I was watching a documentary on Parable TV, Apostle Peter and the Last Supper, and it made me think about the Eucharist, what it is and what it means. It made me ask myself why I believe that it is truly the Body and Blood of my Savior, why it is just a fact of my faith, and yet others find this so hard to grasp. Now please understand that I have questioned it, I have and still do struggle with it and am overwhelmed with the idea of it, but I do believe it, I do have faith in it. Not understanding is no reason not to believe…

But why do some Christians and Catholics find the truth so hard to see? Not picking on anyone here, but lets look at the Christians (by the way, yes I know Catholics are Christians), they take the bible literally, down to the last word, yet they fail to believe in the True Presence, they see it as symbolic. Jesus clearly states,

53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 (The Bible)

jesus-break-breadAfter Jesus states this some of his followers walk away, leaving Jesus because they understood what Jesus was saying, that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood. Now, reason would stat that if Jesus was misunderstood, that if what He truly meant to say was that it was only a parable or a symbolic act, He would have called after them, He would have told them a new parable to clear it all up. But He did not, he let them go, and then asked his friends what they thought:

60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit[b] and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”

66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” (The Bible)

To me, this is very clear, we are to eat His flesh and drink His blood… And Jesus provides that for us in the form of the Holy Eucharist. There are many other passages in the bible that back this up, but my post is not about proving out the Catholic understanding, but more about the mind boggleingness of it all.

The simple yet profound fact that Jesus, my Lord and Savior came down from Heaven, became man, lowered himself to be one of his creations, took upon himself the humiliation of humanity, suffered, died and was buried, raised up again in glory to defeat sin and the punishment of sin, death. this, in-and-of-it-self was more than enough for a fallen people, a creation that condemned its creator, yet He, the creator of all, the giver of life, leaves us more, oh, so much more. He leaves us HIMSELF! He gives us the gift of His body, blood, soul and divinity… He gives us salvation in the form of His sacrificed body. This is mind-blowing! Yet it is also humbling.

But once again Jesus tells us:

56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. (The Bible)

So each week I do as I am commanded, to eat His flesh and drink His blood, do I understand it, no, not really, but I also don’t understand how God would choose to make himself human, or how He could be dead for 3 days then rise up and walk among his friends, this is called faith. For me, the simple fact that I know in my soul, in my heart of hearts that it is true, that Jesus did do all that is claimed, the God does love me, that He did create all and send His son down to save me, that I know in a very basic way, deep within me. I know that the Good News is truly the word of God and meant for me and all of humanity. And I know that the bread and wine is Jesus in the flesh, that it is His to give, to offer, and mine to take or reject.

1126_mass

I may not understand, but I do have faith… And in a very spiritual way, I do understand, because God has created me to.. And that, to me is A Head spinning Catholic teaching, one that is key to my salvation.

God Bless

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

Vital 4 Health

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mother, Daughter and John 15:13


A friend of mine was texting me the other night with issues she was having with her daughter, Mothers Day had come and passed and all she received from her daughter was a text stating Happy Mothers Day. Shallow and cold, I will admit, but not unexpected. The relationship between them has always been a bit strained. Even as a young child, the daughter is now in her 20’s, she was a self-centered child. Looking to always serve her own interest. The blame, as always, lies between the parents and the personality of the child.

Her parents are divorced, I do not know the father, but know the mother well. She holds on to the divorce live a badge, she will not let it go, never have and most likely never will. She is bitter and hurt. For what I do not know, for I only know one side of the story. And as we all know, one side of a two-sided story is never enough. What I do know is the deep roots this divorce has caused. I have known the mother for over 15 years, at one time we dated, and we have remained friends after the break-up. Her lack of ability to let it go causes much pain in her and those around her, this, of course, cause issues with-in the family unit. From what I can tell, based on what I have been told by the mother and the kids, she has two, a boy and girl, the father is not very concerned with rules. He is laid back and not very concerned with structure. Is that the case, I do not know, like I said I have never had the change to meet him. But it is the narrative played out in the kids and mother.

The mother, she is controlling and likes structure, she is deeply emotional and likes lots of affirmations, one could say she is needy.  Is she a bad person, no, I think she has a big heart and means well, but I do think she has a difficult time defining love, to me it seems she places a tangible value on love and fails to see love as intangible. She needs to “see” love, the feeling is not enough.

Sure, I will be the first to admit Love is many things, tangible and intangible, but I will also be the first to admit that Love is not one thing, it’s not seeing over feeling, and Love does not always show it self in the ways we would expect. Sometimes the smallest of acts, a smile at just the right moment, says Love more than the words could ever do, Sometimes, but not Always…

Sometimes that same smile can be spiteful and hurtful… Love is…. What is it?

The bible offers us many passages about love, but the one that came to mind when I was talking to my friend, trying to help her through the latest issue with her daughter was this…

John 15:13

13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

 

Why this passage of all passages… The Holy Spirit works in odd ways, let me tell you….

Some back ground of the conversations:

As I said, the daughter text her “Happy Mothers Day” her son, who is in Mexico as part of his seminarian training, called her and talked for 2 hours. A drastic difference, but the two kids are as different as night and day, so not unexpected. But back to the issue at hand.

She asked me what I thought of it all, my response, What did you expect from her. Her response, Love. This conversation went on for about 45 minutes (by the way, I hate texting).

She asked for my advice on what she should do, my advice, same as it has been for a few years now, Stop expecting what she will not provide you. Her response, What, I should not expect my daughters love.

Not exactly what I was talking about, I explained that she loves you, but you will never get the response you want, and if you keep setting yourself up for disappointment, that’s what you will always get.

Still no go, her questions, Is it so wrong for a mother to want her child’s love. My response, No, it’s not wrong, but you cannot force anyone to love you in the way you want or need. Love does not force, it does not control and it is not needy. She did not really like that response from me. Sometimes the truth hurts.

But she knows me well, and she knows I always speak my mind and tell it as I see it. No harm was intended and I am sure no harm was done. So she asked for clarification.

My clarifications, We have to learn to accept the love that is offered, not try to change the love to be what we want. This did not help. She still felt that love was a tangible thing.

Her plan of action

The daughter’s birthday is next month, so her plan is to give her daughter a photo of the three of them, the mother and the two kids. Sounds nice, unless you know the daughter, and I do… She will reject this, not because she hates her brother and not because she hates her mother, but she will reject it out of spite. Just to retain the control over her mother. The more she rejects her mom, the more control she has over her. Her mothers need for tangible love is strong, and her mothers need to control is strong (she is a passive aggressive controller).So the rejection of the photo would only lead to the mother feeling hurt and trying to figure out what she can do to earn her daughters love. This, of course, gives the daughter all the power, and the mother none.

My response to the planed gift, Not a good idea. Do not play into her hands. So what than should I do, was her next question.. Text her, Happy Birthday, and offer her a dinner. Leave it at that… She was not happy with that recommendation. Her concern, if the daughter rejects the dinner invite, that would hurt more, and she really wants to give the photo and birthday card.

The real concern, she wants to gain the upper hand, to have control, to tug at her daughter’s heart-strings, and she thinks the family photo will do the trick.

But she is missing the point, the text and dinner offer gives her the control, the daughter would not expect the same treatment she gives her mother. Now some would say I was being childish, but I beg to differ. The response is not meant to hurt, but to level the playing field, to stop setting oneself up for one disappointment after another, to start to accept the kind of love the daughter was offering and to learn that sometimes we must let go.

So this is the point where I offered my bible verse:

13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

The point of the passage was missed on her. But it was too late at night for me to get in to is, so I told her to think on it. She asked me to send her an email explaining it to her, so this post is my response (I will only send her the part concerning the passage, all the above back ground information is for us only…Unless she reads this blog…)

Why did that passage pop into me head as a good passage to use? What was the Holy Spirit leading me to? And how do I explain it? Well here I will try:

When most people read that passage, the first think that comes to mind is Jesus upon the cross, offering up His life for our sins. Offering it up freely… WOW, that is true love and friendship. So most of us think of it as the ultimate act of sacrifice for love and friendship, to offer ones life, and it is, if it is not takes to lightly. We read stories and see it on the news, people placing themselves in danger for a child or a loved one, we even see it being done for total strangers (think Boston Marathon bombing).

The gift of life should never be taken lightly and should never be given lightly. But is that the only way one can lay down ones life for a friend? I think not!

*Parents lay down their life for their children on a daily basis. Not always by risking death, sometimes it is by stand by their child through a sickness or by supporting a child through hard times. The love of a parent knows no bounds. The parent knows that rejection of the love is always a possibility, but it is offered anyway, parents know a child my do something that may go beyond anything they may have ever dreamed their child was capable of (think school shootings), but even than a parent will stand by their child. They may not approve of the child’s actions, they may even be the ones to turn them in to the authorities, but there love for that child does not falter. They are willing to take the mean words offered to them by others who do not understand, that will defend their child even if it means they to are persecuted. This is a death they are willing to undertake for their child. Not a physical death, but yet, it is still a death.

Consider a parent of an addict, they offer help and forgiveness to their child, they take them in and support them, only to have the addiction take over their child, yet again. But they continue to support and make excuse for the child, to shelter them from the crudeness of the world. Thinking that they are helping the child, suffering with the child, only to see the child falter again. This is not laying down ones life, it is protection of ones own life. The child needs to learn how to fail, so they can learn how not to fail. For the parent this means to let the child fail, and in doing so, they to will feel the failures the disappointments and resentment of and from the child. This is a death, but like the death of Jesus, there is a resurrection, a new life.

The new life comes from the child’s understanding that actions have consequences, that the addiction causes pain. But if the parent kept sheltering the child, the pain is always shifted to the parent, the child takes no responsibility for their actions. But by the parent allowing the child to feel the failure the parent is also allowing the child to grow to learn and to experience a new life. And the parent is also allowed to grow, to learn and to experience a new life. This most likely will not happen in tandem with each other, the parent may experience the new life before the child even realizes what has just happened, or the parent may take years to come to terms with the fact that they allowed their child to fail. But in the end, Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends… And a life can be laid down in many ways.

God Bless

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

* The examples are given to illustrate a point, I am not implying that this is always the case. And before anyone starts yelling at me about the addiction example, yes I do understand additions, yes, I know what I am talking about… But remember, it was an example, not a real life situation, so deal with it…

 

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Most Important Result is Still To Come


The Most Important Result is Still To Come.

via The Most Important Result is Still To Come.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Road to Redemption: How to Overcome Feeling Sorry for Yourself


Feeling sorry for yourself, and you present condition, is not only a waste of energy but the worst habit you could possibly have.

-Dale Carnegie

What can we do about this, how can we change our own outlook on our own life? How do we stop feeling sorry for ourselves, stopping the self-pity and self loathing?  What can we do to save ourselves from ourselves?

Some points to consider:

  • Only you can make you feel bad
  • Only you are in control of you
  • Only you can fix you
  • Only you can do it

We are in control of our own lives, this is a basic and true fact, nothing can change this basic fact. However, being human, being of a fallen nature, we are prone to failure, we are prone to self-doubt we are prone to self-destruction. So how do we change this, how do we get past our fallen human nature? What can we do to become a better person, a person of confidence a person of integrity and person of character?

We can teach ourselves to over come our fallen nature, we can grow above and beyond that, it is achievable, it is with-in our grasps, all we need to do is trust, trust in God, trust that He will provides the graces we need to archive our perfection.

Trust in God does not mean we sit back and do nothing, quit the contrary, trust in God means we buckle down, place our nose to the grind stone, work our fingers to the bones, what ever cleaver little saying you choose. Trust is God is not the easy road, but it is the road less traveled. It is the road to perfection and happiness, it is the road to freedom and salvation, it is the only road to our own personal redemption.

God is our ticket to liberation, liberation from self-doubt, liberation from self-hatred, the two self-defeating attitudes that create the conditions necessary for self-loathing and just plain old feeling sorry for yourself. God and His graces, His love for you and all your imperfections, our ability to accept His love, to use His graces, that’s the way to freedom, the road to liberation.

Sounds easy, who would not want Gods love, who does not want the graces God bestows upon us? Ask almost anyone, and they would tell you, Yep, I want Gods love, I want His grace, not many would out-and-out refuse it. Some do, but most would be more than happy to accept the freely given gifts. So why that do we have so much pain and suffering, why do we have so many people who are full of self-pity and self-hatred?

Because the gifts and love are given freely, but we must be open to and willing to accept them, and simply saying yes, simply using words, dead words, is not enough. Action is required, God wants us to fully participate in His divine plan for ourselves, He wants us to be active, not just a vessel to poor His love and graces into, but an active participant in His love and grace.

What good are gifts, given freely, if we do not use them, what good is love, given unconditionally, if we do not accept it? A gift is only as useful as it is used, otherwise the gift is of no value. We can receive Gods love all daylong, but if we do not open ourselves to this love, if we do not partake in this love, the love is of no value to us. Yes God continues to love us, regardless of our acceptance or not, but the love goes unused, it is not returned nor is it give to others. The love of God is not meant to be buried like a secret love, but to be received and displayed for all to see, and to be given to others as freely as it was given to us.

The act of receiving is not a passive act, it is an act that requires us to participate fully. Consider this, have you ever given a gift to a friend or loved one, a gift that you gave out of no obligation, no requirement, no special occasion. You gave the gift just out of love, given freely, expecting nothing in return. But the recipient was not receptive to your gift, they may have accepted it, they may have even opened it, but they were not receptive. They showed no sign of joy in the act of love, they showed no sign of rejection, they just accepted it. We, the gift bearer, leave feeling rejected, feel that our love was neither accepted nor outright rejected. We think to ourselves, I would rather have them say I reject your gift, I do not want it, than to just accept it with no emotion at all. The act of receiving is active, it requires work on the part of the receiver. It is the same with Gods gifts to us, He freely offers His gifts, He will not force them upon us, we must freely accept them, and just saying yes is like the friend that opened the gift you offered with no emotion, no reaction, just nothingness. The gift, although given was not truly accepted, it was discarded, not with words, but the lack of action.

So what actions, what is required of us, nothing, we are not required to accept Gods graces nor Gods love, just like we are not required to accept gifts on our birthday or at Christmas. We can choose freely to participate in Gods love, just as we choose freely to accept Christmas gifts and attend birthday parties. But once we choose to attend, action is required, input and output are part of the interaction of any social gathering, so is the case with God, He provides the input, and we provide the output. He gives us, freely, His love, the input, and we actively, through our works, provide the output. Notice, God gives freely, and we work actively, it is through the active works we perfect the graces and love of God is fully realized.

So how can God help us get over our self-hate, our feeling sorry for ourselves. What must we do to actively participate in Gods graces and love given freely. How do we perform the work to  fully realize the gifts God has given. For each of us God has given the gifts that we need, the gifts that are unique to us, so for each of us the works are also unique, but here is a list of a few things all of us can do to help us realize the full potential of our gifts.

  • Pray daily, offer up 30 to 60 minuets per day to God, talk to Him, but more importantly, listen, be still, be quiet, and listen to the loving voice of God. And do not worry if you don’t hear Him  the first time or every time you pray, like everything else in our lives, it take practice. So just pray, daily and know and accept that some days will be better than others.
  • Read daily, anyone who has read my blog before knew that this would be one of the point, it almost always is. But reading is important, reading opens our minds to new possibilities. Read the bible, read a good solid spiritual book or read a novel, just read and let your mind go, let your mind enter into the story or passage. Let the author take you along for the ride. Read at least 15 minutes per day. God often times speaks to me through the books I choose to read that day, the passage I decide to look up or the magazine I choose out of the stack on my coffee table. God uses the everyday items about us to communicate to us, God comes to the place we are, He does not wait for us to arrive at the place He desires us to be.
  • Journal daily, write about your day, write about what you see about you, write about your prayer life, write about what ever you choose to write about. This blog is my journal, it allows me the opportunity to clear my mind, to put down on paper (well in this case, electronic paper) what is on my mind, allows me the opportunity to clear it, to visualize it. God uses these opportunities to speak to us, often times I just sit to write, no idea what I want to write about, just feel the need to clear my mind. It is in these moments that I feel God guiding me more that any other. So journal daily, allow the Holy Spirit to guide your hand across the paper, or in my case the keyboard. Use your time journaling as a time of communion with God.
  • Learn daily, learn about your faith, learn about your life, learn about your country learn about wine or basket weaving, just learn, never stop learning. God created our minds to grow, to learn to expand. In the process of learning, we are using one of Gods greatest gifts to us, the gift of knowledge. So learn something new daily, try something new daily. I try to make it a point to learn something new daily, be it a simple fact or a complex idea. Learning about this world, our self, our nation or about basket weaving is learning about God, for through the ordinary we find God.
  • Think one positive thought daily, when you are in the mist of a bad day, stop yourself, and think about one positive event that took place that day. There is always one, no day is completely bad. Even Good Friday, the day our Lord was killed upon a cross had a positive moment, the moment He offered His life for our sins. So stop and think, seek out the shinning spot among the darkness of your day. It is in the moment, that spot that God will be found.
  • Thank someone daily, always give thanks to all around you, but find someone who needs your thanks more than any other, we find God in our fellow-man, and they find God in us, give freely of your Gift of love from God, by returning to others.

Our works do not purchase Gods love nor are the required, God gives it freely, but our works bring the fullness of Gods love to light. Through Gods love we will learn to love the self, and only through our works will we fully realize that self-love.

 

God Bless

 

Paul W Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

Enhanced by Zemanta
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Overturned: A Lenten Reflection


 

b173134279

12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.”

Matthew 21:11-13 (NIV)

Jesus showed a side of Himself not often portrayed in the bible accounts of His life, a justified anger. Yes, there is such a thing, and yes even Jesus got angry, as we just read. Jesus cleansed the Temple, overturned the tables and set the birds free. Does not sound like a “Jesus loves you just as you are” sort of guy. YES, I know Jesus LOVES YOU! That is not in question, but the idea or theology that goes something like this: Jesus Loves you just as you are, he asks nothing of you, you are fine just as you are… You know what I’m talking about. Well, that just wrong, and not biblical.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (NIV)

We are the Temple of the Lord, the new Temple instituted at that Last Supper when our Lord instituted the Eucharist. We partake His Body into out Temples, the new dwelling place of the Lord. Does the Holy Spirit reside in a den of robbers, or is it fit for the Holy Spirit? Have you overturned your life? Emptied it of the money changes or are you still allowing space with in your temple for them?

This is a hard question, one that causes us to stop and look within, and most of us would rather not look within, we find it much easer to look out and see the other people’s den of robbers.

 41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Luke 6:41-43 (NIV)

We are called to make our Temples fitting for the Lord, to provide a “New Wine Skin”

 

16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

Matthew 9:16-18 (NIV)

Our souls will rebel and pull away from the Lord, sin leads to tears and rips in the wine skin of our souls. The money changes of our life, anger, pride, envy and such, rob of us our ability to commune with the Lord. We need to enter into our temples and overturn the tables of anger, pride and envy, we need to set free the birds of sacrifice and offer up ourselves to the Lord. We need to allow the Lord to dwell within His temple, we need to make room in our souls/life for Him, we need to cleanse our Temples, and Lent offers us the opportunity to do this.

Lent is a time of fasting, of giving up the bad in exchange for the good and Holy.

The Catholic Church observes the discipline of fasting or abstinence at various times each year, especially during Lent. For Catholics, fasting is the reduction of one’s intake of food, which may or may not include abstinence from meat (or another type of food). The Catholic Church teaches that all people are obliged by God to perform some penance for their sins, and that these acts of penance are both personal and corporate. The purpose of fasting is spiritual focus, self discipline, imitation of Christ, and performing penance. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Fasting a way for us to overturn the tables within our Temples, it offers us the opportunity to purge our body/souls of unwanted toxins, sins. Fasting helps us remember what is truly important in our lives, what we can live without and more importantly, what we cannot live without, God.  This Lent I offer up this idea, besides abstaining from meat on Fridays, offer up Wednesdays as a day of Fasting, eat only one small meal all day, no snacking, no grand 18 coarse meal at the end of the day to celebrate your fasting, just fast and tell no one, just offer it up.

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
Matthew 6:15-17 (NIV)

Cleans your temple this Lent, make room for the risen Lord within your soul and rejoice in knowing you His Temple.

God Bless & Happy Lent

Paul Sposite

 

Guided Insight Life Coach

Enhanced by Zemanta
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Are you the Fox: A Lenten Reflection


The Crown of Thorns by Matthias Stom.

Image via Wikipedia

31 At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”

32 He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ 33 In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!

Luke 13:31-33 (NIV)

Are you the Fox; are you the one trying to kill Jesus? Harsh question, but one that must be asked. The answer, I would venture to guess would be the same for all of us, “Yes, at times, I am the fox, yes at times I do try to kill Jesus.” Our actions or even inactions are how; our sins and lost opportunities are what we use as our weapons. When we sin, we are piercing the side of Jesus, pounding the nail into his precious hands and applying the crown of thorns upon His head. No action goes unfelt by Him who gave everything no sin goes unnoticed.

It sounds a little harsh to say that we are trying to kill him, but in truth, we already have, Jesus died for our sins, our sins of yesterday, the day before and the sins of today and what lay ahead. His death upon the cross was not just a moment in time, it was time itself, and it shattered time and placed His suffering, death and resurrection outside of time. His passion is not repeated with each sin, because it is happening now, in the moment and all moments, because no moment exists outside of the passion.

As Catholics we celebrate the passion at each Holy Mass we attend, the last supper, were Jesus is seated with His friends, the agony of the Garden, were Jesus weeps tears of blood for our inequities and the scourging, were Jesus is beaten and bloodied for our sake. Moreover, the death upon the cross, the cross of humanity, the cross of humility the cross of forgiveness, we witness this at each and every Mass. The resurrection of our Lord and the promise of life everlasting is celebrated at the altar of Love, the altar of Sacrifice, all this is our privilege to witness and partake in. The Holy Eucharist is not a representation or a reenactment; it is the Passion, the one and only Passion of our Lord. Jesus is not re-crucified over and over again, He died for our sins once, and we celebrate it and take part in it at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

So no, I do not think saying we are like the Fox, out to kill Jesus, is too harsh. It is our sins that killed Him, and it is His love for us, in the here and now, that raised Him from the dead and offers us the promise of eternal life. Nevertheless, that eternal life comes with a price, His life and our cooperation.

We are called to cooperate with Jesus, to allow the Holy Spirit to work within us and through us. Our works and our faith are the price we pay for our sins. Yes, I know Jesus paid the price, His death, and yes, I know that our actions can never pay that price. Yes, I know that some do not agree with works as a part of salvation, that faith alone get you into heaven. All I can say to that is, good luck, for faith without works is dead. That is for another blog. This blog is asking you, are you the Fox?

Are not our sins the nails that pierced the Lords skin and held him tight to the cross of iniquity? Is it not our actions, murder, lies and deceits that bloodied His body? Are we not culpable for His persecution? Anyone who says no is either a liar or the devil, the Fox that pursued our Lord, persecuted and Tortured Him and put His innocent life to death. We are the solders that marched him to Pontius Pilate; we are the centurions that delivered Him to Herod for humiliation. We are Simeon, who reluctantly took up His cross, and yes, we are the ones who pounded the nails in to our Lord.

Lent offers us a time to reflect upon that, to look at our lives and see the moments in time when we pounded that hammer of sin upon the nail of humanity, piercing the skin of love. Lent offers us the opportunity to revisit the passion of our Lord is a special way, and look upon His face as he takes His last breath, and offers up His spirit for our sake, the sake of a fallen creation. Spend some time with our Lord as He walks His way through the passion narrative, read Bible stories and let yourself be seen in them, become one of the many that crowded the streets as Jesus walked to His death. Place yourself at Peter’s side when he denies our Lord and recall the times you denied Jesus for your own sake. Be upon that hill and fell the grief of Our Lady as she watches he son, Our Lord, put to death and hear the words of Jesus within your heart, when he says “Forgive them, they know not what they do” for those word were spoken to you. Experience the moment of death, when the sky turned black and the tears of God fell upon the earth. Feel the shame of the Centurion as he came to realize what he has done and feel the joy when his heart is converted.

Lent is a time of reflection, a time to look back over your life and see it through the eyes of Christ. The Church offers us this Holy Session as a time of preparation and purification before the Holy Session of Easter. Use it, allow the graces of Lent to work within you and face your past. See the times that you, like Herod, are the Fox chasing after Jesus to kill him. However, Lent is also the time that you allow Jesus to reach His goal, the goal of driving out demons and healing people. Allow Him to heal you this Lent, allow Him to drive out your demons. He can only do this, if you are open to Him, so open yourself to Jesus this Lent and let His sacred hands to heal your soul, let the blood of Christ wash away your sins and renew your soul.

God Bless & Happy Lent

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

Enhanced by Zemanta
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Into your Arms, A Lenten Reflection


Today many people try to make Jesus out to be this hippy type of person who spoke softly and walked around with a smile on his face and a daisy in his hands. You know they type, the “Jesus Loves You” type. Sure, yes I know that Jesus loves me and I know that Jesus was a kind person, and spoke with compassion. But I also know Jesus overturned the tables in the Temple, I also know he told Peter to get behind him because he was acting like satin and He told the young rich man to go away because he was unable to give up what he had to follow Jesus. So Jesus didn’t always have a smile on His face and he didn’t always carry a daisy in his hands. Sometimes Jesus was upset, sometimes he was happy and at other times, he was passionate.

We often fail to remember that Jesus was fully human, not just partly, not only on some days at certain times, but 100% human 100% of the time. His humanity is important, it is because of his humanity that Calvary has any meaning at all. If Jesus was not 100% human, than offering up his life would have no meaning at all, for how miraculous would it be for a God to offer up His life, but for a man, a human, this is something. Jesus had to be human to take on humanity’s sins; sure, God could have just taken away our sins with a wave of his hands, but what good is in that? The act would have been forced upon us; we would have had no choice in it. That is not love, that is not freedom that is dictatorship that is forced compliance. God is not about force, God is about Choice. Freewill is what God offers us; we are free to say yes or to say no. This is our great Fiat, our chance to say YES to the Lord, Yes to God and to the Holy Spirit. God wants us, but he does not want to force us, he wants us to walk into his open arms under our own freewill.

Gods greatest gift you and me is the gift of freewill, our ability to say yes, to offer up that great Amen, or to say no, to resist the love of our Lord. This gift is the gift of love, the gift of true freedom. It is a gift the challenges our ego daily. Our fallen nature condemns us to our ego, for it was the ego that committed the first sin, the sin of pride. Our first parents, Adam and Eve wanted to be like God, their pride covered their eyes and they could not see that they already were with God, walking in the garden, they already had God with in them, but pride overshadowed this, covered it with vanity and covetousness , and the gift of freewill proved to be our downfall and not our salvation. The freedom to accept God or to reject God is the ultimate gift God gave us. Adam and Eve rejected that gift in the moment they ate the fruit of the Tree. It would not be until Jesus was sacrificed upon a Tree that Humanity would once again be united with God.

Jesus, being both Human and Devine, offers us His life, took upon himself our sins and gave us his Mother, yet that was not all He did. In his life Jesus showed us how to live, how to pray and how to act. Through His parables, teachings and His own actions He has provided for us a road map to His Kingdom. Yet one of the most powerful lessons He gave us came at the end of His earthly life, lifted upon that cross, the new Tree in the center of the garden, he spoke words of love and tenderness, His final words he offers to us as man.

Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”

Gospel of Luke 23:46

Into your hands, I run, into your hands I collapse, into your hands I surrender… It is the Father that we offer ourselves; it is the Father that we seek for our comforts. Jesus, upon the cross, spoke these words, upon the cross He offers them to us. For each and every utterance Jesus spoke upon that cross brought Him one step closer to death, so each and every word, every letter, had a deep and profound meaning. He did not just say words He thought would sound nice, or words He thought would comfort His mother. No the words upon that cross were meant as final instructions. This was Jesus Great Fiat, His final Amen. Yet they are ours as well, for Jesus spoke them not for Himself, nor for God, for God already knows what is on mans mind, how much more He knew his only son. No the words from the cross were spoken for us, for you and me.

Jesus is telling us, that we, to truly be free from sin, must commend our spirits into Gods loving and open hands. That we must, of our own Freewill, offer ourselves to God. This and this alone, offers us our salvation. The Letting go of the ego and the acceptance of the loving arms of God is the true path to salvation. Jesus was stretched out upon that cross, His arms wide open to accept us, but He could not force us, He could not grab us, for his hands have been confined with the nail of sin, He cannot walk to us, for His feet have been bound by the nail of pride and he could not force us, for His earthly body had been scourged by the whip of humanity. Jesus could only offer open arms to receive us, if we chose to come to Him, to His beaten and bloodied body, to His Divine Humanity hung upon that cross.

This Lent reflect upon the words of Jesus from the Tree of salvation, eat of its fruits and look upon its limbs and see the face of salvation, the face of Jesus, the face of God.

Into your Arms I run, Into your Arms I collapse, Into your Arms I offer up my spirit.

God Bless & Happy Lent

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

I am currently updating the website, and accepting new clients

Enhanced by Zemanta
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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)

Enhanced by Zemanta
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Occupy Wall Street and the Founding Fathers


363882969

The new movement, Occupy Wall Street (OWS), is interesting, not because I agree with them, I don’t. I happen to like money and capitalism, I find that working and having money is a good thing, no it’s interesting because of the contrast between them and the Tea Party people…. Now, I have not taken part in any Tea Party Protest, I wanted to, but was unable to do so, but had friends who did attend. The words they used to describe it:

  • Peaceful
  • Clean
  • Respectful
  • Patriotic
  • American
  • Constitutional

With OWS I hear the following:

  • Disorganized
  • Mob
  • Rude
  • Demoralizing
  • Woodstockish (due to the nudity and open sex)

Never once have I heard anyone associated with OWS mention the constitution or be able to talk with out using the F-bomb at least 50 times in a 2 seconded statement.

A big difference…

The Tea Party is truly going back to our American roots. The founding Fathers, for the most part, did not want a war with England, they wanted peace and stability. They wanted to remain English subjects not succeed and form a new nation. They just wanted the basic freedoms and rights afforded to every citizen of Britain. War and violence was a last resort, one many did not want nor agreed with the option of war. There were some who were willing to wait a a little longer, thank God the Founding Fathers did not…

Leading up to the American Revolution were a series of actions, protest and other political decent. including but not limited to:

  • Letters to the editors
  • Political books
  • Political pamphlets
  • Peaceful protest
  • Town Hall meetings
  • Letters to the King of England
  • Letters to fellow statesmen
  • Letters to Parliament

Each activity was designed to sway hearts and minds, not force them through violence. The Founding Fathers used logic and history to make there arguments, not utopian feelings and dreams. They were realistic in there views on politics and the world around them. They wrote letters to sway public opinion and denounced violence.

When Alexander Hamilton ordered the burning of a British merchant ship in protest to British Taxation on tea, he first ordered all the cargo and ship hands off and onto dry land, placed the ship out of port and than set her on fire. The message was simple and clear, we oppose taxation with out representation. But we do not wish to harm. When the Boston Tea Party (the original one) took place there was to me no violence, it was to be a peaceful protest. The same can be said about the New Tea Party, but not the OWS crowed, they are calling for violence, they are advocating it and directing it.

Over the past few days I have heard about:

  • Condoms being passed out (what does this have to do with Wall Street?)
  • Sex in the open
  • Anti-Semitic statements
  • Illegal Protesting (no permit)
  • Illegal camping (no permit)
  • Relieving one self in public
  • Trashing protest grounds and not cleaning up after themselves
  • Threating to hack into Wall Street computers

Does not sound like something the Founding Fathers would have advocated. Don’t believe me, read Thomas Pain’s writings or any of the other Founding Fathers. Violence was a last resort, they wanted to use the system to fix the system. The Tea Party of today wishes to do the same, they want to use the power of public opinion and the voice of vote to change they system, not the threat of violence or the rule of the mob.

If the OWS crowd really want to make a difference, go and occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Ave,  pitch you tent there, relieve yourself on Obamas front lawn and have your sex there. Wall Street is not the issue, failed government is. And yes, not just Obamas failed government, but government in general has failed. Bush did a few stupid moved in his tenure as President also. The failure of the Government has been a long time in the works.

"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."

~Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto referring to Pearl Harbor

spiritof76-1The American Spirit is strong and resolute, she is the spirit of Washington and Adams, a spirit that fights for freedoms and liberty and allows for the pursuit of happiness. The Tea Party flows with this spirit swelling and growing and changing the course of America returning Her to he roots. The OWS spirit is spiteful and derogatory in nature, perverting the Founding Fathers into grotesque caricatures of themselves. The sleeping giant has awoken and will be heard, yet he will not speak through the Occupy Wall Street protect, for there is no room for her amongst all the hatred and violence, for the American Giant Admiral Yamamoto was referring to was a reluctant warrior, one dedicated to peace and freedom, one slow to anger yet resolved in her defense.

 

 

God Bless

Paul

Enhanced by Zemanta
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Doctor Death is dead…


Dr. Jack Kevorkian's cropped image

Image via Wikipedia

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

Enhanced by Zemanta
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
The Christian Gazette

Spreading The Gospel

fernOnline blog speaks

fernOnline: Expression of self while looking, listening, learning & laughing

HarsH ReaLiTy

My goal with this blog is to offend everyone in the world at least once with my words… so no one has a reason to have a heightened sense of themselves. We are all ignorant, we are all found wanting, we are all bad people sometimes.

who is the god of heaven

Just another WordPress.com site

BlahDiary

the inside scoop of the BlahDiary team

MesAyah - From Pen To Mouth

Nas meets Peter Gabriel for conversations about life

Career Strategies For Women

COACHING YOU TO SUCCEED | coachme@lionssharecoaching.com | 781-670-7090

VINE AND BRANCH WORLD MINISTRIES.COM

Taking the World one soul at a time

Thisbloghasbeenshutdown

A fine WordPress.com site

Politikon Review

Free speech for a free world

who is the God of heaven ? the jesus I never knew.

life is not a rehersal,so live it...if you cant be the poet, be the poem.

Bob Rice

Catholicism, Culture, Creativity

Justice Musings

A lamp made ready. I would strengthen you with my (words). Job 12:5 & 16:5

Dr Nicholas Jenner PsyD MA

Psychologist, Online Therapist and Counselor

An American Point of View

Just an American that loves his Country and his Faith

carpe diem

vie telle qu'elle est

conservativetickler

Just another WordPress.com site

Voting American

God Bless The United States of America

You Can Be New

Making Changes that will Change your life!

%d bloggers like this: