Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The time has come. It is now.

When does God give His grace?

Right now.

Sometimes we shoot our own spiritual foot by staying stuck in the regrets of the past or or anticipating too much the future scenarios that may or may not ever come.  While God is eternal and is present in all space and time we are not.  We are not in eternity (not *yet* at least) but are confined to the prison sacrament of the present moment.

If you have ever felt frustrated by the limits imposed on you by being in time then you may be a fallen human being.  Not to worry though.  God comes to meet us fallen human beings in a particular meeting "place."  He entered time and space in the Incarnation of His Word made flesh.  That same God accompanies us every.single.moment.

Do you need to reread that last sentence?

Every single moment God pours out the abundance of His very self upon you.  He does this in every present moment and every present moment is precisely where you are.  

So don't miss out on what God is offering you right *now* just because it feels easier to let your mind wander away into the past or the future unnecessarily.  Don't miss out on the gift being offered right now for the sake of entertaining unhelpful thoughts or negative feelings which aren't helping you receive God's love where it's being offered (i.e. right now.)

The present moment is called by spiritual authors a "sacrament" because it, being a physical reality, conveys something spiritual.  Your present moment, located in time and space, mediates God to you.  He called Himself "I AM" to Moses and says the same to you.  "Be still and know that I am..."  

He Who Is is all you need and all you need is right here right now.  Open your heart to God and to what He is offering you (His own Son, Jesus, and His Holy Spirit.)  

Remain in the silence with Him.  Let Him speak His Word to you and fill you with His Spirit.  In the now He comes to meet you.  Will you meet Him there, too?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Prepare to Prepare

I read recently that Byzantine Catholics (fully Catholic like Roman Catholics except they have different liturgical traditions, spiritual expressions, and ways of explaining doctrine often times) have something that we could rightly call "Pre-Lent."  In fact, a bit back in our own Roman Catholic tradition there was this practice in the pre-Vatican II liturgy (today called the "extraordinary form of the Mass.)  It started on "Septuagesima Sunday."  Septuagesima is a Greek term which indicates 70 days before Easter.  So, even before the 40 days of Lent there is this notion of intentional preparation for the preparation that is Lent!

Phew! That's a lot.  So... what's the point?

Here is is.  Lent is sneaking up upon us very soon (March 1st is Ash Wednesday.)

Have you prayed about what your Lenten practices ought to look like?  Is God inviting you to fast from something like a particular social media feed or your favorite beverage?  Does God want you to incorporate daily Scripture reading or meditation on the daily Mass readings?  How about praying the Rosary more frequently?  Confession more often?  Have you started thinking about the type of preparation you ought to have during your Lenten preparation for Easter?

It's not too early to invite the Holy Spirit to enlighten you as to the next right moves.  Prepare to make this your best Lent ever.  Spend some time today with your prayer journal and ask God what He wants your Lent to look like.  Otherwise, it may just end up looking like nothing special.  Don't miss the opportunity!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

A history of St Michael and the Devil

Here is the short version of how St Michael came to be the prince of all the angels and how the Devin rebelled against God. This is from the Church's ancient Tradition and is attested to by many of the Fathers of the Church and other Saints and is also biblically sound. This is the Catholic view.

So Michael was the Angel that opposed Lucifer when he rebelled. Michael defensed God's honor by glorifying God hence Michael means "Who is like God?" Since Lucifer wanted to be like God and take His throne. "I will ascend to the throne of the almighty."  (Isaiah 14:14) This was before the creation of the material universe. The Angels were the first creations of God and are purely spiritual beings (not material in nature; personal beings with an intellect and will.) When they were created God offered them a choice (since they have a will able to choose) to accept or reject Him. Lucifer, one of the most intelligent of the angels, chose to reject God and in his pride and vanity actually thought himself to be able to overcome the Almighty. Lucifer means Bearer of Light which highlights his intellect. Michael chose the path of true freedom and chose to love His Creator and stood up for His honor. He and the angels who chose to love God were awarded with the eternal vision of seeing God face to face. Hence, Michael led the Angels in a victory of intellect and will against the rebellious Angels (whom we now call demons because of their twisted nature though still highly intelligent and powerful in will) for God's honor. Michael was then given the particular grace/blessing of being raised as the highest of the angels because of his haste in choosing to love God and defend Him glory against the insult of Lucifer and the rebellious Angels.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Speaking Words of Wisdom Let it Be

It's one of the most iconic Beatles songs; Let it Be.

Whisper words of wisdom... let it be...

You know, in the beginning there wasn't anything *to* be. There was not dirt, no birds, no water, not even space for those things to exist in and not even time for those to exist when.  No matter.  There was He Who Is.  

Praise God that God didn't decide to simply let things be only as He.  He did not desire to be the only one to exist (though He was perfectly happy being Who He Was and Is and Always Will Be.)  God made a choice.  He chose to create things - He created beings who specialize in be-ing.  All of the universe - visible and invisible (angels be real ya know) - is being in He Who Is.  All of creation is held in existence by the One Who exists for all eternity; the One Whose very nature it is *to be.*  

God is really good at being.

He is also good at letting things be.

You see, God has a hand in all things even if some of His creation (namely us) don't want to take Him by the hand.  We fallen (by choice) humans are good at *not* being because we're experts at sinning - making choices away from He Who Is.  We choose evil (an absence of good) and each time we move one step closer to the edge (and I'm about to break!... Linkin' Park anyone? Ok moving on...)

True.  Our sinful choices can never annihilate us out of existence; out be-ing.  Even Satan himself, as radically evil as he is, is still good insofar as he exists; he cannot stop existing because God continues to say "Let it be."  

God created beings who could choose to *be* at rest or *be* in a state of unrest.  Our choices bring us peace (i.e. closer to God in Christ) or greater and greater turmoil.  God honors our choices.

So what will you choose?  The secret to reaching eternal happiness is to say to God's plan and love (with all of our heart intact) "Let it be! Your Will be done because Your Will is the best way to *be*."

May Heaven forbid that we reject God and, in the end, hear Him ratify our rejection, "Let it be... your will be done, My child."  

May we imitate Mary, the greatest receiver of God's Being in all of history, "Let it be done to me according to Your Word." (Luke 1:38)