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Monthly Archives: March 2012

My thoughts on Trayvon


Trayvon Martin Protest - Sanford

Trayvon Martin Protest – Sanford (Photo credit: werthmedia)

Up until now I have not posted about the Trayvon Martin case. I was waiting on facts to come out and hoping for civility. But it seems civility is lost and facts are slow to come. The murder of Trayvon is sad, the murder of any young life is sad, but that does not mean the life of George Zimmerman’s is fair game. We have a nation of laws, and we must follow the laws and allow the laws to work. We cannot and must not allow vigilantly style justice prevail in the case. The American justice system, all-be-it imperfect, is the best system there is. And the death of Trayvon will have its day.

But the rhetoric of many of the left has to stop! We cannot allow the media to create a polarizing political social situation out of Trayvon. MSNBC knowingly edited the 911 tape to make Zimmerman sound racist:

What MSNBC reported:

“This guy looks like he’s up to no good … he looks black,” Zimmerman told a police dispatcher from his car.

 

What Zimmerman said:

ZIMMERMAN: This guy looks like he’s up to no good, [begin ellipsis] or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.

911 DISPATCHER: Okay, is this guy, is he white, black, or Hispanic? [end ellipsis]

ZIMMERMAN: He looks black.

Big difference, don’t you think. Look, I don’t know if Zimmerman is a racist or not, but what I do know is that MSNBC went out of there way to portray him as such. And that is wrong! The news is suppose to deliver factual reporting, not make it up to fit there narrative.

We have the New Black Panthers offering a bounty on Zimmerman’s head, dead or alive, we have Spike Lee tweeting an address to what he thought was Zimmerman’s house and others with in the black community adding there own fuel to the fire. How can any of this be helpful? How can any of this be in any way, shape or form, a good thing? We had students ransacking a Walgreens drug store, to show there support and solidarity with Trayvon, really, that’s how we want to keep his memory alive? That is how we want to honor this young mans life, by offering bounty and ransacking drug stores.

To me, a simple white man, I would have to argue that no, that is not the way to honor Trayvon, to me the best way to honor him, let justice prevail, and as a nation, let us look at how we can better understand violence. Let us set up the Trayvon center for understanding. Let us look into how we can help youth let us research ways to stop the youth on youth violence, Let us use Trayvon as a lesson in understanding.

I am not, in anyway suggesting that Trayvon was doing anything wrong on that night, nor am I suggesting that Trayvon was an angel. He was a 17 year old youth who, as it seems, was involved in drugs and as it seems, had issues in school. Does this mean he was a gangster no, but it does me he was not the angel either. Trayvon was a teenager, and like most he was discovering himself, but to show him as this pure and innocent youth is just wrong. Show him as he was, who he was.

Trayvon was 12 in this photo

 

Trayvon is 16 or 17 in this photo

In both photos he is Trayvon, he is a young man who’s life was cut short, and it is sad and I pray for him and his family. But to show the 12 year old Trayvon is miss leading, and it was used to make the narrative stronger. In the day and age of internet searches, it was only a matter of time before other photos of Trayvon show up.

This case will either divide America or unite her. We will either be a black vs. white America or we will be America. I hope and pray that Trayvon will heal America, bring us together and allow his memory to be used as a unifier and not a divider. But I fear it is already to late, I fear that the media and the activist have already created an atmosphere of hatred and revenge. I fear the nation will become more divided as this case moves along, that the eyes and ears of the people have already been tainted and our hearts and souls have been assaulted.

But this is America, and we can learn from this, we can grow and become a better nation, a better people, if we allow it. But the rhetoric, speculation and hatred has to stop! We cannot achieve justice if we close our eyes to facts, what ever they may be.

This is a defining moment in American history, will we move forward or will we move backwards? Will American justice be allowed to work, or will vigilant justice prevail?

One comment I heard that really struck me was this:

“You tell our justice department and Eric Holder and our President Obama to get off up their ass and do the work and the rest is done!” Muhammad went on to say. When pressed by Cooper on the legality, he responded that he could make a citizen’s arrest of Zimmerman, who has not yet been charged for anything, because the New Black Panther Party member doesn’t “obey the white man’s law,” but rather the “street people’s law.” (source)

White mans law? Street people’s law? What is this, I only know of American Law. This kind of statement is made for one reason only, to create hate to make people see red and to insight violence. This has to stop!

I will state here and now, if George Zimmerman is guilty of murder or hate crimes, than he should pay the price, but if not, than he should be left along. Time will tell, and we have to allow the system to work, we can not arrest Zimmerman just because Trayvon happen to be a young black boy, and Zimmerman white. By the way, when did the term white-Hispanic come it to our vocabulary? Oh ya, when it fit the narrative. If the politically correct term for black Americans is African-American, then should it not be  Hispanic-Americans for Hispanics, and not white-Hispanic? See how silly and dangerous this all is. We all allowing the media to create a new group of Americans, the dreaded white-Hispanics, who of course, because they are white first, must hate all blacks, and must be racist. SICK! Just Sick!

I, as a white male, do not hate anyone because of there skin color, in fact I really don’t think I hate at all. I do  very strongly,dislike some people, but not because they are black or yellow but because the are ass’s, they are evil  and hateful. Nothing to do with skin color, everything to do with character.

We need to stop this hatred now, we need to grow up and move on. All the hate talk going on concerning Trayvon is a disgrace to Americans, all Americans regardless of skin color. God willing it will soon end and justice will prevail.

God Bless and Happy Lent

Paul

Guided Insight Life Coach

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So, tell me about yourself (How I hate that)


Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever sat down and plotted out a course of action for your current work position? I am sure many of you have and think nothing of it. But for me its one of the hardest things to do. There are two things I hate, one is having to write or talk about myself. In every ministry class or self-improvement class I have ever taken, that is almost always one of the first tasks. Call it what you like “selling yourself” “listing your gifts” or just bragging, what ever you want to call it, to me its hard and to tell the truth, some what silly. But, I know of many people who thrive on that, create the list even when they don’t have to, drop it into what ever they are saying or writing. Any chance to shine and they will.

I remember once, when I was part owner of a store, the three partners all happen to be at the store at the same time, and a salesman walked it. He was, as expected, extremely friendly and knew how to sell. He didn’t start off with”would you like to buy this” but rather with “So tell me a little about yourselves”. Very smart move, great way to open up a sales pitch. So I started with the basics, I was a youth minister and part owner of the store, partner number two, same thing, partner number three, had to mention every church they worked at, every school they even considered going to and every degree they might have even given a thought to. Her introduction, 10 min, mine and the other partner, maybe 2 minutes max.  The salesman, he really didn’t care, he was just hoping for an opening, and he found it, in partner number 3.

Why partner number 3, because he know that she would also be open to flattery. And with the power of flattery, her ego would be stroked and with her ego stroked, all reason and defenses would be out the window. Our only saving grace, I was the person in charger of purchasing all gift items, partner number 3 was in charge of the money and partner number 3, book. So we were safe, ego stroked or no stroke.

What does that have to do with stating your gifts or talents or what ever. To me its all about ego, and for anyone who has read my blogs over the years knows what I think about the ego, I have no use for it. Ego is Edging God Out, and is the root of all evil. I find no value in stroking your own ego, nor in having others stroke it for you. This has caused me many issues in the past, I have a hard time “selling’ myself, because I find it hard to talk about what I am capable to do, were my strengths lies, I am much more at ease talking about my deficits and what I lack.

My action plan for work is similar to this, I am being asked to define what I want, were I want to be and how I need to get there. This is a hard task for me. The issue is, I love what I do, but I am extremely unhappy in how it is done.

I am a technical instructor for a major PLM software, I write and deliver the course. I have been doing this for over 15 years, and must say I have gotten very good at it. Am I the best, depends on who you ask, am I the worst, same thing, depends on who you ask. I know I am good at what I do, and I also know I love what I do. But… Doing the same thing over and over and over can get to you. Fighting the same battles day in and day out gets old and feeling that you have no control over it, well that, to me, is the kicker. So this current task my company is asking for, my development plan, is suppose to help me achieve my goals. But what are my goals, were do I want to be in 6 month, one year or five years from now? Hard to say.

My interest is not software, I am not a programing nerd, I am a teacher that happens to teach software. I was lucky to walk into this job, allowing me to use what ever skills I may happen to have as a teacher, to teach software. I love the creative process of teaching and developing the courseware. But I would be just as happy teaching paper folding  as I am teaching software. In truth, I love to teach, plane and simple. So were do I go from here.

Do I decide its time to change gears, quit and find a new job teaching, giving up 15 years with the company, leaving my many friends and the comfort of what I know? Or do I find ways to make this work, stick it out and hope for the best? This is the dilemma, and this is why I hate having to do this.

The frustration is with myself and work, but more with myself. I understand and know, internally, that I have the power within me to fix it. I can accept it or not. If I accept it, than I have to stop the bitching about it, move on and keep on keeping on. If I decide to not accept it, than I have to fix it or leave. Either way accept or not, I have to get over it and move on.  And that is what this document represents to me, I have to decide what I want and articulate it in this document. And I don’t want to face it, I don’t want to think about it, but I am being forced to.

 

In away, I am feeling like Charlie Brown, I know I am unhappy, but I just don’t know why. I need my Linus,

Sometimes questions . “So, tell me about yourself”, “where do you see yourself in five years”, are questions you need to hear, even when we don’t like them. I know that this task set before me is driving me nuts, but I also know it is something that I have to face, sooner rather than later.

God Bless and Happy Lent

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in Ego, Life, work

 

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Quality of life


qality of life

Can a few hours with someone really change you quality of life? Can a Life Coach make a difference? I believe so, the ability to sit and talk with someone, be it face to face or over the phone or internet, the ability have someone just listen and help you see yourself in a new light is priceless.

Our quality of life depends mostly on ourselves; how we see life and how we decide to live it determines our quality of life. Many factors are in our direct control, but all-too-often, we feel the sense of a lack of control, that life has gotten out of hand.

Life Coaches use many tools to help you assess your quality of life, to help guide you towards your goal and to achieve the quality you desire. Assessments can be simple, but powerful, if we allow them to work within ourselves, if we are truthful in our responses, as painful as it can be at times, we will learn more about ourselves and how to change what needs to change in our life, too improve our life quality.

I would like to offer anyone who wants, a free Life Quality assessment, and one free session to review the results with you. Just email me at guidedinnsight@gmail.com and request your free assessment. Include your contact information (First and Last name and country and city). I will be happy to send along the Quality of Life assessment, and to set up a time to review it with you, all free of charge.

God Bless & Happy Lent

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

 

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Sowing: A Lenten Reflection


 

English: An etching by Jan Luyken illustrating...

Image via Wikipedia

 

The Parable of the Sower

1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:

“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’[
a]

16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Matthew 13:1-23 (NIV)

A good spring reading, planting the garden, caring for the garden. Jesus used parables to teach very deep and profound messages, he used everyday life situations to teach of eternity. Jesus connected to the common man with stories of the everyday. Yet people had a hard time understanding Him, His stories seemed to go over there heads. Why? What made the parables that hard to understand? It seems to us, a little over two thousand years later that what Jesus said is as plain as day. Your deeds are the seeds, your actions are sown into the soil of your soul and our confession is our weeding of our garden.

Jesus, it seems to us, spoke very clearly, but Jesus also stated:

“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

If that is not a human trait, I don’t know what is. How often we do not see what is before us, the sunset, the bloom of the rose the smile of a child. And how often we do not hear the sounds of the world, the soft wind that blows through the tress, the gentle babble of the brook or the sweet song of the song birds. We miss out on the glories of life, all to often because we are to caught up in life. Or so we think. Life is not to be tossed about, we are to carefully plant our seeds, nurture them and weed our gardens, not just scatter them about and hope for the best. Would you plant your vegetable garden in such a fashion? I think not, it would be a waste of your time, money and effort, so why toss about your soul is such a fashion? Why take such little care for what will bring you eternity?

All weekend I tended to my gardens, cleaning out the leftover fall leafs and pulling the weed, planting some new seed and doing the basic spring start-up. It was lots of work, not yet finished, and it was hard, but over all satisfying. But I am paying for it today, the pain in places I did not know could even hurt, the thought that I will have to do it all again, to the rest of the gardens and the simple fact that gardening, like life, is never done. There are always weeds to pull, plants to trim, grass to cut and so on. It seems that there is always a reason to care for our gardens. But how often do we neglect our gardens? I know that once summer hits, it is harder to force myself to go out and work in my garden, who wants to work hard on a beautiful summers day? What one of us would rather sit drinking an iced tea and reading a good book, or take a trip to the sandy beach. But I know that if I don’t tear out the weeds, they will over take my garden, and smother out the plants, turning all my hard work into a mess. And when that happens, the cleaning up is many times harder than the up keep. To spend a few hours each week weeding is easier than tearing out the garden and rebuilding from scratch. This past weekend I had to just that, tear everything out of one garden and start all over. I was given wild onions that I planted in a small round garden. The first year, they looked great, I have 6 plants, the second year I had maybe 15 plants, the third year, I have 50 or more. So out it came, each one of them. And it was hard work, digging, and pulling, rebuilding the walls of the garden, turning the soil and replanting new plants. If I would have cared for the wild onions, pulled them up, ate them and thinned them out, the work would not have been so hard. But I allowed nature to takes its course, and the onions over powered the garden, making in look a mess, as if it had not a caretaker. The onions did as they were made to do, they reproduced, but I was to care for my garden, to pull some for food and pull some for the over all health of the garden. But I neglected it, I allowed the onions to crowd out each other, to infringe upon each other, not allowing each other the space to grow. And now I pay the price, I dug them all up, replanted a few in two other gardens and created a new one.

Is that not like our life, we plant seeds of sin, sure they seem simple and harmless enough when we plant them. A little white lie here, are little envy here and we think nothing of it. But that little lie grows and becomes a big lie, it blossoms and turns to seed, planting new lies, that all seem harmless. But before we know it, the lies have overtaken our life, and we are lying about needless things, lying about our lies. The garden of our soul is now overtaken by the one simple lie that started it all. The planting bad seeds is easy, you just toss them to the wind, but the planting of good seeds takes time and care. 

This Lent take the time to tend to your garden, tear out the weeds of your life, and plant new seeds of love, hope and charity.  Use lent as the springtime for the soul, plant new gardens of prayer and reverence, and tend to the care of your garden, making it a place of contemplation and praise.

God Bless & Happy Lent

 

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach 

 


 

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Posted by on March 19, 2012 in Catholic, Faith, Lent, Life, Religon

 

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Frustration, and dealing with it


frustration

Definition

frus·tra·tion

NOUN

1. dissatisfaction: a feeling of disappointment, exasperation, or weariness caused by goals being thwarted or desires unsatisfied

2. frustrating of somebody or something: an act or instance of causing somebody or something to be dissatisfied or unfulfilled

3. something that thwarts: something that blocks, thwarts, and upsets somebody all at the same time

“His lack of ambition was a frustration to his father.”

The feeling of frustration has come upon me, and has decided to stay for bit. This feeling has sat around for the past few weeks, not wanting to go anyplace at all. It it happy just sitting upon me and making me deal with it, and I , for one, am not to happy about it. In fact, its frustrating!

Trying to deal with work, defined as a place you go to daily, bang your head on the wall and return home. At least that has been the norm as of late. Dealing with the customer can be frustrating enough, but when your own company is placing road blocks in your way as well, well that just tips it over the top. Has hard as I try, it is hard to not take it home with me, causing me to be exhausted when I get home, and that hurts my personal life. I have not had the energy to workout, do the house work that needs to be done and as of late, even reading is a takes to me, not an enjoyment. That’s when I know it’s getting to me, reading is what I do, who I am, and when that takes a back seat, that’s when I know I need to do something. But what? What can I do about it? Were do I even start?

Here is my action plan, and a plan that you can use to help fight your frustrations

  1. Keep the Body active: exercise daily for at least 30 minutes. Walk the dog, go to the gym, ride a bike. Just do something, even when you just don’t feel like it, in fact that when you should do it, when you don’t feel like it, because that’s when you need it the most.
  2. Keep the Body healthy: eat right, if your like me, junk food fills the void, I tend to eat candy when I am frustrated, and this is a bad thing for several reason, the weight gain, the sugar buzz, and the over all feeling yucky after the binge. Avoid the bad and seek out the good. But do not deprive yourself the craving, eat one candy bar, not 20. Give your body what it craves, to satisfy it, try to find an alternative to the candy bar, see if an apple dipped in honey will work, or peanut butter and celery will satisfy.
  3. Keep the Soul healthy: Attend Church, meditate, commune with God, do something that will keep your soul active. Like any other part of you, you must exercise your soul, keep it active. So find activities that builds up your soul. The soul is a part of your well-being, a healthy and active soul is directly related to a healthy and active you.
  4. Keep the Mind active: Read, do cross words, go to an art museum, do something, anything, daily, to activate your mind, to fire a few new neurons make a few new connections and build a new memory. Spending 15 minutes each day reading and reflecting is a prescription for a healthy and active mind. We are made to learn to grow and to experience life with all our senses. Learn to stretch yourself, reach outside of your comfort zone and exercise your mind. If you normally read romance novels, pick up a historical novel or if you read only religious books, try a political book, force your mind to rethink its thinking. Its good exercise and a practice that will make you a more rounded individual. We have lost the “Renaissance Man” and its time to get him back.
  5. Keep your heart active: I’m not talking about working out again, that’s point number 1, nope this time I am talking about the poetic heart. Find something to love, a passion, be it a person, a pet or a cause, find your passion and pursue it. Now I’m not talking about stalking the girl down the block, I’m talking about passion. We are all created to be connected with others, be it in a social or personal manner. We need others to feel content, so we seek them out. Some find them at church or by joining clubs or volunteering at the local soup kitchen. Some find contentment in their children others in their spouse or significant others. Were ever it is, put your passion into it, reconnect to that passion, or discover new passions and pursue it with gusto, give it all you got.

The above 5 activates are activities we should be doing regardless of our frustration level. but it’s often helpful to be reminded of them when we are frustrated. I know that for me, just the act of writing tem has reminded me that I need to work on all five activities, that I have allowed them to sit in the back ground, but now I need to bring them to the forefront and concentrate on them and actively pursue them. The activities should not be grouped together, reading why you workout does not count as two activities. Don’t try to short change yourself, each activity must be given your full and undivided attention. It’s like buying a TV DVD combo, sure you save a little space, and maybe even a little money, but if the TV breaks, now your out both a DVD player and a TV. Separate is better…

Something to ponder….

Ecclesiastes 7:2-4 (NIV)

2 It is better to go to a house of mourning
than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of everyone;
the living should take this to heart.
3 Frustration is better than laughter,
because a sad face is good for the heart.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.

“A sad face is good for the heart” hmmm, not sure about that, but I know that sometimes a little rain on one’s life must fall, and frustration is just that, a little rain. The sun will come out again, and if I took care of myself during the time of frustration, than when the sun comes, I will be wiser and healthier that before the rain fell upon my life.

God Bless & Happy Lent

Guided Insight Life Coach

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Naked: A Lenten Reflection


Masaccio, Brancacci Chapel, Adam and Eve, detail.Image via Wikipedia

 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Genesis 3:8-13 (NIV)

The story of Adam and Eve, our first parents, is a story often told and one that we all know. God made Adam, than Eve, Eve ate of the fruit and gave it to Adam. God came for His walk in the garden, with Adam and Eve, and Adam and Eve hid… Why, because they were naked…

Naked, meaning nothing to cover them, yes, but no. Naked has a deeper meaning here, the nakedness they felt was manifested on the outside, but was truly on the inside. The shame they felt was not a shame of the body, but a shame of the soul, for they now understood good and evil, they now knew what it was like to sin, and the soul was shamed.

We all are naked before the Lord, for He sees everything, there is nothing He does not know, for He created us and loves us. We are all sinners and we all, at some point feel shame for our actions.

Adam and Eve fashioned fig leaves together to cover their shame, they hid themselves from the sight of God, but God could see them and He questioned them. The first reaction, blame others… Eve the snake, Adam the woman. But who truly sinned, who was truly to blame, Adam, the first man, the first priest. His Church, the garden, under his care, all that God has created. Adam was given guardianship over Gods creation. How do I know this, what makes me say this, God had Adam name all the creatures of earth. To name something is to care for it. We, as parents, name our children, and in doing so, take on the responsibility of caring for and nurturing and protecting that child. Adam was given the same responsibility. God created Eve from Adam, flesh of my flesh blood of my blood, as Adam put it. So Eve was of Adam and of God, but Adam was of God only. Adam was the first priest, his church, the garden, his flock, all of Gods creation. As the priest, he was charged with protection all with in his domain, all of Gods creations, and all within the garden. By allowing the devil to enter into the Garden, Adam had failed, he had fallen asleep at the gate and allowed Eve to be tempted. Adam had sinned.

The nakedness of humanity had started, sin has entered our world and all the lies to cover up our nakedness had become part of our humanity. We may not use fig leafs to cover our nakedness anymore, but we still cover up nerveless.

Stories of priest falling asleep on the job is not just a Adam story, we experience it today. The news stories if Priest abusing their powers, embezzling money and of course the sex scandal. But that is only the Priest we identify, in truth, we Catholics, all of us, are priest (lower case p), by our very Baptism we are priest, profit and  king. We are Adams of our own gardens, and we have dominion over all with in it, our children, pets, family’s and communities. Have we fallen asleep at our gates? Have we let the snake into our gardens? As a fallen race, I would venture to guess the answer is yes, we have allowed the snake in, but have we allowed the snake to tempt us? Once again I would have to say yes, we have, we all have because we all are human and being so means we all have failed, we all have sinned. But now comes the next question, what have you done about it? Have you just allowed the snake to take over or have you worked diligently to exterminate the snake?

The garden of Eden was paradise, but man, in his imperfections, allowed evil to enter within its gates. He allowed it because he allowed his ego to control him actions, his desire to be more than what he is became his downfall and we are still dealing with it today. Our ego is the snake and our lies are the fig leafs and our shame the nakedness.

The Cross of Redemption has opened of the gates of Heaven, but the gates of the Garden of Eden are still locked to us, someplace on earth paradise sits, but we are too vain to see it, our eyes are covered over with our own vanity, that we could not see it even if we were standing in the middle of it. Our inequities blind us to the perfection of Eden and keep us in  a state of nakedness.

Christ, the new Adam, has redeemed us and renewed our priesthood with His body and blood. His suffering was the down payment and His death the price, he purchased our salvation and guaranteed its delivery through His resurrection. Adam came into this world naked, than trough sin covered up his nakedness, Christ died upon the cross naked to defeat the sin that Adam introduced.

Lent offers us a time to expose ourselves before God, to remove the fig leafs and stand naked before our God. A time to ask for forgiveness and a time to receive it. Like Adam, we all have allowed sin to enter into our lives, we all have allowed our ego to control our actions,but unlike Adam we have the promise of salvation. Adam, by covering himself in sin, closed the gated of Heaven to us, but Christ, but uncovering the sin, exposing Himself to our sins, has open the gates of Heaven to us. We must work hard in our gardens to eradicate the snake, to remove it from our gardens to till the soil and plant the seeds of forgiveness and love. Use this Lenten session to do a bit of gardening, attend the Sacrament of Confession, make peace with your soul and tend to your garden.

God Bless & Happy Lent

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

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Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Catholic, church, Death, Ego, Faith, Lent, Life, Religon

 

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Overturned: A Lenten Reflection


 

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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

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Are you the Fox: A Lenten Reflection


The Crown of Thorns by Matthias Stom.

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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

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