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Lamentations 3:25: Seeking God

Friday, August 16, 2019

Good is the Lord to one who waits for God, to the soul that seeks God.

If we might persevere long enough, if we might encourage one another often enough, if we might remain constant beyond the required time . . . then will our enemies shrink into darkness and our troubles slither away.

God says: I know how hard you work at remaining faithful to me.  I understand how difficult it is to hold out hope in the darkest of times.  I know that others will tug at you to pull you down and away from me.  None of this matters because my healing love for you endures forever.  You are a pearl of great price and I am willing to pay a great ransom to have you with me.  This is a truth you can rely on; it is a reality you can believe.  Seek me before all else.  I will wait for you for an eternity. 

God calls us to his side . . . so let us go.

God looks for us fervently . . . so let us seek.

God loves us forever . . . so let us love.

Amen.

For more encouraging words that bring us comfort and hope, go to: http://www.comfortingwords.com/verse_of_the_week.htm


A re-post from July 26, 2012.

Image from: http://www.comfortingwords.com/verseLamentations3_25.htm


Jeremiah 42:3: Paralysis

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Jeremiah 42:3: Let the Lord God show us what way we should take and what we should do.

Several options lie before us; we cannot decide what to do.

Our opponents attack us: we cannot decide what to say.

We become blinded by our quickly paced life; we are deafened by too many voices that clamor for our attention.

God says: Let me show you which way to go; let me give you the words you are to speak.  Even if you are afraid to go where I call or to give voice to my love . . . you need not fear.  I will never abandon you.  All you need do is listen.  All you need do is be still.  And a voice from behind shall sound in your ears telling you when to turn to the right or to the left as my prophet Isaiah has said (30:21).

When we are too confused and too paralyzed to react let us be still . . . to listen.  Let us put our trust in God . . . to speak.  Let us believe that God lives in us . . . and act.  For in this way the paralysis we see as curse . . . becomes a transforming gift.

To Change The Way You See Fear, click on the image above or go to: http://www.jasonkonopinski.com/2012/06/14/change-the-way-you-see-fear/

Enter the words Be Still or Isaiah 30:21 in the blog search box and reflect on how God speaks to us today.

A re-post from July 25, 2012.


Psalm 121:3: The Dangerous Path

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Psalm 121:3: God will not let your foot slip and he who watches over you will not fall asleep.

Málaga, Spain: The World’s Most Dangerous Footpath

We panic too quickly.  We lack trust. We believe in our own futile powers more than God’s.  We forget that God has and is all.

God says: I do not mind that you are afraid to trust me.  I do not worry that you believe in yourself more than you believe in me.  I will always be waiting for you.  I will always be guarding you.  I will always be guiding and calling you.  There is nothing you can do or say that will cause me to turn away. I am with you always.  If you are exhausted, put down your head and sleep awhile.  If you are hungry, dine with me this evening.  If you are lonely, spend some time with me.  If you are sad or fearful, come to me. 

Let us be mindful that God does not break the promises he makes . . . and let us aim to keep our own promises.

Let us remember that God abides by the covenants into which he enters . . . and let us endeavor to remain faithful to our own vows.

Let us consider that God is the eternal shepherd and sentinel . . . and let us aspire to the same constancy and abiding love in our own relationships.

As we travel along today’s portion of our journey, let us consider that even the most treacherous path becomes an easy passage . . .  when we walk with God.


A re-post from July 24, 2012.

To learn more about the Caminito del Rey, or the world’s most dangerous footpath, click on the image above or go to: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/6055150/The-worlds-most-dangerous-footpath.html 

To reflect on becoming a good shepherd, click on the image of the forest path or go to: http://skyranchskymoms.blogspot.com/2011/12/teach-intentionallygod-is-good-shepherd.html 

Enter the word fidelity into the search box on this blog and spend some time reflecting today.


Romans 12:9-13: A Recipe

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Romans 12:9-13: Let love be without any pretense.  Avoid what is evil; stick to what is good.  In brotherly love let your feelings of deep affection for one another come to expression and regard others as more important than yourself.  In the service of the Lord, work not half-heartedly, but with conscientiousness and an eager spirit.  Be joyful in hope, persevere in hardship; keep praying regularly; share with any of God’s holy people who are in need; look for opportunities to be hospitable.

If we are looking for a formula for happiness . . . here it is.

If we are wondering what yardsticks we might use to measure ourselves . . . here we have them.

If we are asking ourselves how we might experience peace . . . here is the answer.

Focus on what is good, seek wisdom, be persistent, pray in all circumstances, welcome others, share God’s mercy, live a life of authentic love.  Paul gives us a recipe for joy that may seem difficult; yet it is simple.

Serve God by serving others . . . love God by loving others.  We have been granted the ingredients . . . now we must use them well.

For some quotes that will give us food for thought about Happiness, click on the image above or go to: http://thoughtsandlife-tanya.blogspot.com/2011/05/happiness-quotes.html?showComment=1342547093116#c3590733024654491761


Mark 16: The Magdalene

Monday, August 12, 2019

Van der Weyden: Mary Magdalene

A Favorite from July 22, 2008.

The Evangelists tell us that Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene.  July 22 is her feast day. When we pause to reflect on this singular woman, we wonder . . . What must she have been truly like?  What was she thinking as she stooped to look into the tomb as John tells us in his Gospel?  What is her real story?

St. Gregory the Great tells us something of her character.  From MAGNIFICAT: It is true that she had already seen that the sepulcher was empty, and had already reported that the Lord had been taken away.  Why did she stoop down again, why did she long again to see?  It is not enough for a lover to have looked once, because the force of love intensifies the effort of the search.  She sought a first time and found nothing; she persevered in seeking, and so it happened that she found him.  It came about that her unfulfilled desires increased, and as they increased they took possession of what they found.

From the Mass readings:  The Bride says: on my bed at night I sought him whom my heart loves – I sought him but I did not find him.  I will rise then and go about the city; in the streets and crossings I will seek him whom my heart loves.  I sought him but I did not find him.  The watchmen came upon me, as they made their rounds of the city: Have you seen him whom my heart loves?  I had hardly left them when I found him whom my heart loves.  (Song of Songs 3:1-4b)

O God, you are my God whom I seek; for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.  ( Psalm 63)

What is the Magdalene’s story?  Why does she come with the other women, worrying about who will move away the stone, carrying the spices for embalming?  Why does she return, bending to look another time when she knows the tomb to be empty?

Henryk Siemiradzki: The First Meeting of Christ and Mary Magdalene

The Magdalene believes.  She trusts.  She hopes.  She endures.  She perseveres.  She will not be turned away.  She loves.

Any one of us who has truly loved understands this force of love about which St. Gregory writes.

Any one of us who has sought that which has been lost has felt this sorrow.

Any one of us who has persisted in our search has found this joy.

And so we wonder . . . what is the Magdalene’s real story?


Images from: https://thenoontimes.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/henryk_siemiradzki-_christ_and_sinner-_the_first_meeting_of_christ_and_mary_magdalene-_18731.jpg and http://www.bible-topten.com/MaryMagdalene.htm

Cameron, Peter John. “Meditation.” MAGNIFICAT. 7.23 (2008). Print.  

For more on some of the many portraits and statues of Mary Magdalene, click on the images above or go to: http://www.bible-topten.com/MaryMagdalene.htm


1 Kings 5: Preparations

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Building the Jerusalem Temple

From time to time as we reflect at noontime, we have read about the Jerusalem temple, the holy of holies, the wisdom and power of Solomon, and relations between peoples of the Middle Eastern region.  Today, as we read this chapter, we might think ahead to what we know happens to this temple, this man, and these peoples.  Our thinking will bring to us many questions.

How is that measurements are scrutinized, forests are felled and then bound into rafts and ferried to the construction site, masons, carpenters, goldsmiths and sculptors are employed, splendor rises from the earth . . . yet we manage to forget the covenant which gives birth to the plan in the first place?

How is it that we take so much care with our time and resources to plan, prepare and produce something so worthy of so much praise from so many . . . yet we fail to tend to the principles that make this construction or this plan worthy to begin with?

How is it that we enter into so many relationships, make so many plans, see them through . . . and then walk away from, or worse – we defile, the beauty and serenity that has coalesced around these relationships?  What is it about human beings that can ignore the taste of the manna, the smell of the cedar, the sight of the gold, the touch of the friezes, the sound of so many kneeling in prayer?

The stones for this temple were formed at the quarry before taken to the construction site so that the sound of hammer on chisel would not disturb the peace of the house of God.  Yet we know that years later the people, their priests and political leaders would bow to the corruption of ungodly customs.  How did sacrificing babies become a fit practice for the people of God?  What was left out of these careful preparations that this kind of malpractice could not be foreseen and forestalled?

One of today’s Morning Intercessions in MAGNIFICAT catches my eye: For those who delay examining their decisions and habits: let them see how quickly life passes.  O Lord, listen to our prayer.

Perhaps it was not that the plans we read about today left something out.  Perhaps it was that the people and their priests and their political leaders did not continue to examine their collective conscience.  Perhaps the prophets’ words fell on the ears of those who were delaying the examination of their decisions and habits.  Perhaps the people, their priests and their political leaders  did not see how quickly life was passing them by.

This afternoon and this evening as we enter into prayer, we may want to support one another as we examine our decisions . . .  our habits . . . and our preparations.

Do our actions rise from the Gospel story? 

Do our decisions and habits respect human life and nature? 

Do we give light to all? 

Are our decisions and habits worthy of being written about or recorded? 

Do our preparations magnify the Lord?


For more information on Biblical Judaism, click on the image above or go to: http://people.ucalgary.ca/~elsegal/J_Transp/J01_JudaismIntro.html 

Cameron, Peter John. “Prayer for the Morning.” MAGNIFICAT. 7.18 (2008). Print.

Written on July 18, 2008 and posted today as a Favorite.

Image from: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-first-temple-solomon-s-temple


Revelation 3:20: Dining With God

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Da Vinci: The Last Supper

Revelation 3:20: Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.

We often see the Book of Revelation as a bizarre, apocryphal tale that we cannot understand without commentary.  Sadly, we decide that it is too symbolic and too strange to have much impact on our lives.

In the penultimate verse of the Book of Revelation, we hear the words; Yes, I am coming soon.  Regretfully, we decide that since we have not seen Jesus in the last half hour in a form we recognize then these words have little to do with our lives.

We flip through the last pages of the Bible, deciding that the events happened too long ago to matter and we close the door to Scripture before we even look at the Book of Revelation.  Disappointedly, we look elsewhere for hope; we go elsewhere for joy; we search other faces for love. And yet . . . Behold, God stands at the door and knocks.

Let us spend some time this week-end discerning God’s presence in our lives.  And let us decide to dine with God tonight.

To reflect more on how we perceive God’s presence and action in our lives, enter the word Door in the search box above and click on a post that speaks to you.

For further thoughts on Dining With God, go to http://nwbible.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/dining-with-god-what-kind-of-faith/


A re-post from July 20, 2012.

Image from: http://www.backtoclassics.com/gallery/leonardodavinci/thelastsupper/


Proverbs 23:18: Still . . . 

Friday, August 9, 2019

Proverbs 23:18: There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

When days seem futile and nights too long, still there is hope.

When our bodies are weary and our minds can no longer think, still there is hope.

When our souls are so burdened that we begin to believe that there is no place, no person, no way through which we can connect with God, still there is hope . . . for hope is in God . . . and God is eternal.

For information about how an addiction can be a spiritual gift, click on the image above or go to: http://intervene.drugfree.org/tag/hope/

To reflect more on how God is with us still, enter the word Hope in the search box above.


A re-post from July 19, 2012.

Image from: http://intervene.drugfree.org/tag/hope/


Mark 12:30: With All

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Mark 12:30: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul with all your mind and with all your strength.

God does not love us partially but fully and completely.  Why do we love him in bits and pieces?   What is it we fear giving over to God?

God abides with us constantly and always. Why do we come and go in our relationship with him?  What is it that distracts us so much from God?

God defends and protects us in ways both seen and unseen.  Why do we insist on our own plans in our own time?  What is so important to us that we seek to control so vigorously?

God loves us fully even though we love him partially.

God loves us always even though we love him inconstantly.

God loves us dynamically, eternally . . . and with all he has and is.  Let us struggle anew to love God with all that we have . . . and all that we are.

This is what Christ asks of us today and all days.

Read more about The Shema and reflect on it may figure more in our daily activities, thoughts and prayers on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/2012/05/29/woe/


A re-post from July 18, 2012.

Image from: http://www.perfectmemorials.com/the-shema-black-framed-stone-plaque-p-5945.html

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