Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Faith in the Child

A most blessed Christmas season to you! Remember Christmas did not end yet, it extends through the 12 days after...until the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, when the wise men followed the star in the East and brought their treasures of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the Christ Child--the Word who became flesh. And they saw his glory.

If we have faith in the child, we will "reign in peace in this life and forever in the life to come." *

"Now take a look now at the manger at Bethlehem. Perhaps we see a tiny arm reaching out at random from the manger. “The Lord has made bare his holy arm.” And this anticipates another baring of that holy arm, when it is stretched out on the wood of the cross, revealed to all nations, just as Isaiah said. God’s power would be revealed in the powerlessness of love unto death. This is what became flesh on Christmas day."    
Bishop Robert Barron

Lord, I pray you will increase our faith in you. You, O Emmanuel, who are with us! Daily in all that we do. May we recognize your presence more clearly this new year. May we see you in ourselves, others and all of your wondrous and glorious creation. Our entire being, our hearts long to reign in peace. Come, O Savior, O royal Prince of Peace! Bestow this great gift of peace that we may be a people of peace and give it unto others. That peace may reign in this entire world. As you humbled yourself coming into this world, we humble ourselves before you asking for true humility--a constant recognition that we need you and are dependent on you. May we, too, have the self-giving love that you have--daily in everything we do, everything we say, everything we think. Reign in us now and forever.


*excerpt taken from a sermon by Saint Quodvultdeus, bishop

Monday, December 26, 2016

Prepare Ye the Way

I lit a candle and sat in the darkness before dawn. Just breathed in the birth of the fresh morning. Quieted myself. Redirected my thoughts as necessary to remain contemplative. Rested in his presence in my prayer chair. Looked out the big picture window in front of me as the sun rose in the east. Eventually light began to fill the room.

And then, as I wrote in my journal, I wished the Lord "Good Morning" and ushered the invitation "Come, O Lord!" Give me the graces, I prayed, to prepare my heart for you. And I sweetly said, "I am yours, and you are mine. You have the words of eternal life so speak to me. I am listening."

Are you (the reader) listening too?

And then in that still small voice, I heard, "Behold, I am coming soon.  With the sound of a trumpet I will return. The earth will tremble and shake. For behold, I come quickly. (Rev 3: 11, 22: 7 & 12)

Are you ready for his coming?

Prepare ye the way. Daily, for we know not the day nor the hour.

Pray for Peace

"May the plea for peace rise up and touch the heart of everyone so that they may lay down their weapons and let themselves be led by the desire for peace."    Pope Francis

Whose voice will raise up this plea for peace? Yours? Mine? His? Let it be all of ours.

Father, give us the grace we need to plea for peace. Not just to You in prayer and petition but where others may hear. Give us fortitude to stand firm. Courage. Anoint our lips that our words may go forth with the power of the Spirit and help lead others to peace. A peace that surpasses understanding. A peace that guards their hearts and minds... Phil 4:7

To lay down our weapons means to surrender any tendencies toward violence, whether it be real weapons or unkind words and actions. To believe that there's something more powerful than weapons. Someone more powerful. And that someone is Jesus Christ, The Prince of Peace. He walked the earth and said, "I am the way, the truth and the life." Jn 14:6 He leads the way to peace and fullness of life. Follow him. Wherever he may go.

"Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me." *

*(J. Jackson & S. Miller)