Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wisdom

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? (1Co 1:18-20)






The readings of Sunday made me look back to the second reading and a few verses before it.  I've written of the wisdom of the world against the wisdom of God before, and here we see again how following our own wisdom and our own perceived intelligence is a disaster for following God.  God makes the wisdom of this world foolish.

We can debate and discuss and chat about a lot of things, but if the basis of our arguments is not God, then we will go wrong very quickly.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. (Pro 3:5-7)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Third Sunday of Lent and Psalm 54

Today is the Third Sunday of Lent!  Readings are here.

Psalm 54
To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, A Psalm of David, when the Ziphims came and said to Saul, Doth not David hide himself with us? Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength. Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth. For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Selah. Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul. He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth. I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O LORD; for it is good. For he hath delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Strong and of Good Courage

Almost a year ago today, I thought to write on this same subject.  I didn't know that before I decided to write about it this year.  Perhaps March is just a good month for me to review!

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. (Deu 31:6)

Although it is hard some times to remember, especially when we are distressed or anxious, God is with us always.  That's not an always like my friends are with me or like my dad thinks of me, that's an always as in eternity and every moment of every day.  There's not a second that goes by that God is not with me.  God is with me even when I'm not thinking about Him and even when I am sleeping.  God has always known me and always had a plan for me and always wanted me to know and love Him in return.

God is not simply a manager of the universe, He created it.  He created it from absolute nothingness, and He created us as well.  That's no small power.  God is so big, nothing can be added to God to make Him bigger.

And He will not fail us or forsake us.  Isn't that AWESOME?  Not in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle way of awesome, but eternally awesome.

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Rom 8:31-35)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Psalm 5:8

Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face. (Psa 5:8)

This is one of my favorite verses.  I don't have a lot of enemies that are literally trying to kill me like David did, but I think we all have a lot of sins we could call enemies and of course there is the enemy himself and his workers.

The verse reminds me to look at God's righteousness and not my own or my own idea of what it should be, and also reminds me to pray that I might walk on the right path.

My e-sword commentary from Clarke has this:

Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness - When entered into the house, and prostrated before the temple, he knew that, unless God continued to lead and direct, he was not likely to profit even by such great advantages. We need God not only to bring us to his house, but to keep our feet while we are there.
Because of mine enemies - His conduct was marked; his enemies looked upon and watched him with an evil eye. They would have been glad of his halting, that they might have brought a reproach on the good cause which he had espoused. O how cautiously should those walk who make a profession of living to God, of knowing themselves to be in his favor, and of being delivered from all sin in this life!
Make thy way straight - Show me that I must go right on; and let thy light always shine on my path, that I may see how to proceed.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Through Christ

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Php 4:13)


I won't even attempt a thorough discussion of this verse as plenty of other people have spent so much time talking about it.  It is simply wonderful though, and I was thinking about it at Mass on Sunday while the priest was talking about surrender.  I know my blog title implies I think there's a flowchart for that, but I know there isn't.  Surrender isn't something I do on my own, with or without a flowchart.  Without Jesus, it simply isn't possible.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Disgusted, depressed, and scared

Here's a scary post from WDtPRS:  Religious Persecution and Martyrdom.
In 2010, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago outlined the degree to which he believed religious freedoms (in the United States and other Western societies) were endangered. After the passage of legislation that enabled Civil Unions in Illinois, his eminence stated: "I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square."

As scary as that is, I find this forecast of the future from Standing on My Head to be more frightening: The Coming Persecution.

To disobey the Mandate will seem so obstinate and unreasonable, for the State will not seek to close down any churches. Instead it will support the churches. Clergy training will be paid by the state. The church buildings will be maintained by a church tax which will be called the "tithe". Clergy will remain in their posts. Their dignity will be respected. All they will need to do is sign certain documents which ensure their safety and their freedom of worship in return for acknowledging the authority of the State (in civil matters only of course) These documents will be worded in such a way that a conscience clause will be admitted. The State will control the church "insofar as the law of God allows."
I've found several other sites, but they all basically say the same thing.  America has been lulled to sleep and is now allowing the government to do whatever it wants, even when church leaders hop up and down screaming about it.  They're just being extremist, or too excited, or too paranoid. 

We need to wake up.  Whatever one thinks about the Catholic Church, it has managed to survive and thrive for 2000 years.  They probably have some experience.  And when a Cardinal thinks (even before the mandate) that his successor is going to die in prison and his successor's successor will die a martyr on the public square, we need to at least consider the thought he's on to something.

Other church leaders are also crying out, but it seems it is not bringing enough attention in.  We want to focus on the fact Rush called some woman a prostitute.  We want to focus on the fact we want to have sex without babies so this must be about contraception.  Right now on my news reader, Lindsay Lohan is in the third spot.  How is it we are so easily distracted?

We must continue to pray for this, and of course continue to support our legislators who are fighting for the Constitution and the defense of religious liberties.

If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works? (Pro 24:10-12)

Second Sunday of Lent & Ps 53

Today is the Second Sunday of Lent.  Readings are here

The priest today talked about surrender!  I thought about asking him if there was a flow chart for that, but decided against it.  I just loved Mass today, and got to sit with some of my small group from RCIA.  When I signed up to help with RCIA this year, I think I was expecting to sponsor one person.  Instead I was tasked with being a quasi facilitator for a small group.  I say quasi because the only thing I really do is read the discussion questions out loud.  They're such a great group of people, and so diverse!

Psalm 53
To the chief Musician upon Mahalath, Maschil, A Psalm of David. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread: they have not called upon God. There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them. Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Not by Brains Alone

"Not by Brains Alone" is the title of a class I heard about at work.  Sound familiar?  "Not by bread alone" is a Biblical concept having to do with the idea that we need more than physical food for our sustenance.  There's nothing wrong with the class title.  My dad and I were discussing how many concepts and phrases we use now that come from the Bible and I thought if it when I saw the email on the class.

Here's a great link on the Bible's Influence on American Culture.  It is really interesting to note how many words, phrases, and ideas come from the Bible.