Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘understanding’


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

John 14:26-27

holy-spirit-dove[1]Prayer for Understanding

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  (John 14:26-27)

We crave to be heard and understood yet all the while God’s counsel is before us. As we continue our Lenten journey with the prophet Amos, let us listen for the wisdom sent to us on the wings of the Spirit.

First Word: Put away black-and-white thinking. May we learn to see both sides of every story, listen to both hearts in every argument. Holy Spirit, bring us your counsel.

Second Word: Step away from corruption and nepotism. May we have the courage grapple with dishonesty in ourselves and others. Holy Spirit, bring us your fortitude.

images[9]Third Word: Be open to transformation and redemption. May we be open to the healing presence of God. Holy Spirit, nurture in us a loving awe of the Lord.

First Woe: Be wary of the ease with which violence creeps into our lives. May we grow to understand how violence insinuates itself into our lives. Holy Spirit, send us deep and lasting wisdom.

Second Woe: Be prepared for deep mourning that threatens to drag us into darkness. May we grow in faithfulness and devotion to God. Holy Spirit, instill in us fidelity and piety.

Third Woe: Turn away from your worship of little gods and turn toward the Living God. May we grow in our awareness of false teachers and preachers. Holy Spirit, engender in us deep knowledge of God’s ways.

holy spirit image[1]We crave to be heard and understood; let us listen for God’s Word . . . and let us ask for understanding of the world’s Woes. Let us give thanks to God’s prophet Amos who speaks to us today.  As we continue our Lenten journey, let us pause to listen . . . to reflect . . . and to pray, in Jesus’s name, and in unity with the Holy Spirit.  Amen.


For more information and images of the Holy Spirit, click on the images above.

For more on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, including a link to a more in-depth discussion, go to: http://catholicism.about.com/od/beliefsteachings/f/FAQ_Gifts_HS.htm  

Read Full Post »


Thursday, February 4, 2021

Psalm 119:129-136

Pe

The revelation of your words sheds light,
gives understanding to the simple. Steady my feet in accord with your promise
. . .

God is revealed to us in the person of Christ, in the written word of
inspired scripture, and in us, God’s creatures fashioned in God’s own image.

God says: You struggle so much to find me and
yet I am with you always. You wear yourselves out seeking my wisdom and yet you
are filled with my Spirit of counsel and understanding. You work so hard at
imitating me yet all you must do is read my word each day to allow it to become
part of your sinew and bone. You ask for stability, predictability and
authenticity yet each of you carries within my promise fulfilled. So plant your
feet on the rock of my promise, armor yourselves with the truth of my word, and
restore yourselves with the renewal found in my promise that I have planted in
each of you.

Once we give ourselves over into God’s capable hands we experience a sense
of relief. Once we surrender to God’s great plan and time we have a sensation
of belonging. Once we allow ourselves to believe in God’s promise we find our
proper role as Children of God  . . . and we find that God has revealed
himself to us most honestly and generously.

Jesus says: I give you praise, Father, Lord
of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise
and learned you have revealed them to the childlike.  Yes, Father, such
has been your gracious will.
  (Luke 10:21)

Tomorrow, Sadhe.


For more on how Pe speaks to us of God’s word to us, go to: http://www.inner.org/hebleter/pei.htm

 

 

Read Full Post »


Saturday, January 30, 2021

imagesCASJ62CEPsalm 119

Message, Promise and Call

How I love your teaching, Lord! I study it all day long.

Last week we reflected on our portion as children of God.  As we examine stanzas nine through thirteen of Psalm 119, we find God’s gift to us: God’s message, promise and call.

Teth: Inversion, the Concealed Good – God’s plan is one of ideas and lives turned on their heads.  Do we see the good concealed in all harm?

Yodh: The Infinite Good – A small suspended point signifies God’s infinite goodness. Can we see this limitless good in the smallest of people and in the smallest places of creation?

Kaph: The Power to Actualize Potential – We are made in God’s image and so we have the potential to embody God’s Word.  This is our message: we are constantly called to fulfill the potential planted in us at our inception.

Lamedh: Aspiration, Contemplation of the Heart – Scholars suggest that this letter serves as a symbol of a loving student who seeks to gain wisdom from the sage or teacher and so we too, contemplate the goodness of God’s own heart.  This is our message: we are constantly drawn to God’s goodness and insight.

Mem: Fountain of Wisdom – All true wisdom that nourishes and lasts is found in God and so we rely on this wisdom as source and foundation of understanding, counsel and guidance.  This is God’s promise: Christ will always be present to us.

When we study God’s word, we encounter God’s message . . . Christ, God Among Us.

When we study God’s word, we are gifted with God’s promise . . . the Spirit, God’s Wisdom Within Us.

When we study God’s word, we give thanks for God’s goodness . . . The Creator, God’s Call to Each of Us.

Tomorrow, A Prayer to Hear God’s Message, Promise and Call.  


For a Bible reading plan, click on the image above or go to: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/12/27/a-bible-reading-plan-for-readers/

Read Full Post »


Friday, January 29, 2021

MemPsalm 119:97-104

Mem

Your command makes me wiser than my foes, for it is always with me . . . I have more understanding than all my teachers, because I ponder your decrees . . . I have more insight than my elders, because I observe your precepts . . . From your edicts I do not turn, for you have taught them to me . . . How sweet to my tongue is your promise . . . through your precepts I gain insight.

God’s commands, decrees, precepts and edicts are often seen as roadblocks because they are too often presented to us by those who think in an either-or, black-white, dual way. In reality God’s law is the Law of Love bringing us wisdom, understanding, insight, sweetness and promise.

God says: If you worship with others who see me full of wrath and revenge, remember that they and I are in a conversation in which I am bringing them to my Law of Love. If you worship with others who see me as a passive force of kindness only, have patience with them as well and remember that they are afraid to see the injustices that surround them. If you find yourself impatient with my plan and its timing, remember that you and I are also in conversation and that you see only a small portion of the universe.  In the end, I make my promise to each of you, I live in union with all of you even when you turn away. Remember that I love you dearly and well. Remember my promise to you. Remember . . .

How do we struggle against our foes? How do we gain wisdom greater than our teachers and insights greater than our elders? How do we taste the sweetness of God’s promise? We rest in God daily, turn to God in every hour, live in God each moment. We read and ponder God’s Word, reflect and meditate on God’s message, enact and carry out God’s Law of Love.

The Lord’s Law of Love is pure, enduring forever.  The statutes of the law are true; all of them just; more desirable than gold, sweeter also than honey or drippings from the comb.  (Psalm 19:10-11)

Tomorrow, Nun.


To learn more about the letter Mem as a fountain of wisdom, go to: http://www.inner.org/hebleter/mem.htm

 

Read Full Post »


Monday, November 23, 2020

images[3]Psalm 92

A Hymn of Thanksgiving for God’s Fidelity

Fidelity: faithfulness, loyalty, patience, understanding, questioning and answering, dialog, forbearance, union, love.

From St. Joseph Edition of The Psalms notes: This is a didactic psalm, that is, both a praise of the Lord and an instruction of the faithful. The psalmist meditates on God’s way of acting.  His love and faithfulness are reflected in everything he does, but they must be comprehended. Ultimately the happiness of the wicked will fade like seasonal grass, whereas the lot of the righteous will be like the great trees whose roots are planted on solid ground. For the latter, new seasons are promised in the courts of God. God’s joy is like a new spring in the life of believers.

Again our theme of renewal. Again the idea that a righteous life is more difficult to live than a wicked one, but that true serenity and joy is found by struggling to live a life of justice.

I like the point in the citation above that God’s acts are a demonstration of his love and fidelity and that we must strive to comprehend this idea . . . an idea which is so difficult for so many humans . . . because fidelity is such a demanding quality . . . and we humans appear to be much too fickle and willful to comprehend its depth and true meaning.

Each day as we go through each hour, how do we as God’s creatures express God’s fidelity? How do we express God’s love? Are we faithful when it is convenient or when we have the time or energy? Do we love those who please us most? We recall Paul’s words to Timothy: I remember you constantly in prayers, night and day.  I yearn to see you again, recalling your tears, so that I may be filled with joy, as I recall your sincere faith . . .  (2 Timothy 1:3-4) This is the same letter in which Paul states that he is already poured out like a libation and there are times when we feel this pouring out rather than gratitude. But when we look at verse 3 of this psalm we see again the idea of loving God faithfully by praying day and night. And when we are spent . . . we might at least raise eyes and hands to heaven to thank God, and to ask that God lighten our load.

Prayer and petition are important as we near and enter into Advent, even when we feel spent. When we come to the end of an exhausting day, we can light one small candle in the darkness which comes so quickly at this time of year in our northern hemisphere, and we can repeat the antiphon we find as part of the Liturgy of the Hours Night Prayer: Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace, alleluia.

With this simple act and prayer we might remain faithful . . . even though we are spent. And so we pray . . .

We know that you watch over us, O Lord.  Grace us with the patience and perseverance to keep hopeful watch with you . . . as faithfully as you keep wonder-filled watch with us.  We ask this in Jesus’ name, together with the Holy Spirit. Amen.


THE PSALMS, NEW CATHOLIC VERSION. Saint Joseph Edition. New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Company, 2004. 243. Print.

Image from: http://brotherdismas.blogspot.com/2011/05/saturday-of-4th-week-in-easter.html

Adapted from a reflection written on December 4, 2007.

Read Full Post »


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Prayer[1]Daniel 10:12

Visions

Fear not.  From the first day you made up your mind to acquire understanding and humble yourself before God, your prayer was heard. 

The prophecy of Daniel is full of metaphor, symbolism and mystery and yet it is in this prophecy that we see the coming of the Son of Man predicted. (Daniel 7:13 and 8:17) Today we reprise the mysterious vision that presages so much fear and so much hope.

God says: I see that you are determined to follow me and this brings me joy.  I also see the pitfalls and obstacles in your way and this brings me sorrow.  I abide with you as always.  I accompany you through fire, pain and death.  I raise you up when you are fallen.  I restore you when are spent.  I rescue you when fire consumes you.  Did I not save my servant Daniel?  Are you not as important as he?  Read this story of Daniel and humble yourself as Daniel does.  Trust in me as this young man does.  Acquire knowledge of me as this young prophet does for you are destined to be as significant as any prophet of mine in the days of old.  Each of you is precious in my eyes.  Each of you has the potential to prophesy for me.  Each of you is welcome to take refuge in the limitless safety of my most sacred heart.  When you shelter with me your smallness expands to the boundless horizons of my mind.  When you remain in me your fears and anxieties become the sinews of my protective arms.  When you act in me your tears and sorrows dissolve into mists that nourish the dry nights of the soul.  Read about Daniel’s visions today, bring me requests, and give yourself hope for many tomorrows.  Know that I hear every prayer you utter in the turmoil of the day, in the shadows of night, in the company for friends or in the solitary stillness of your heart. 

To further explore the visions of Daniel, enter his name in the blog search bar and choose another reflection.


Image from: http://impactwithprayer.blogspot.com/2011/04/god-hears-our-prayers.html

Read Full Post »


Wednesday, September 1, 2020

The Lord by wisdom founded the earth . . .

The Lord by wisdom founded the earth . . .

Proverbs 3:19-35

Adornment

The Lord by wisdom founded the earth, established the heavens by understanding; by God’s knowledge the depths break open, and the clouds drop down dew. My child, let not these counsels slip out of your sight: keep advice and counsel in view; so will they be life to your soul, and an adornment for your neck. Then you may securely go your way; your foot never stumble; when you lie down, you need not be afraid; when you rest, your sleep will be sweet. Honor is the possession of wise ones, but fools inherit shame.

We purchase and wear jewelry. We match the perfect tie with the shirt and suit. We drive automobiles that bespeak our status. We live in neighborhoods that reflect our values. What sort of wisdom adorns our necks? With what activity do we nurture our souls? Where do we store God’s counsel and advice? Nearby . . . or well out of view?

God says: The advice I lend to you ought not weigh you down; my counsel is meant to lift you from your troubles. My knowledge ought not burden you; my understanding is meant to open doors for you. My words ought not frighten or alienate you: My Word comes to rescue you and to make you secure. My Wisdom keeps your foot from stumbling along The Narrow Way. Friendship with me brings you honor. Shame does not touch those who remain faithful to me. Wear me in a place where you can touch me often. Carry me with you everywhere and at all times. Hold me close to you . . . for I hold you ever close to me.  Sleep well this night and all nights . . . for I am with you.

Enter the word fools in the blog search bar and ponder the value of adorning ourselves with God’s Wisdom.


Image from: https://www.pngfind.com/mpng/womJxx_earth-in-our-hands-hd-png-download/

Read Full Post »


Sunday, August 30, 2020

pathways[1]Proverbs 2:9-11

Wisdom’s Companions

Then you will understand rectitude and justice, honesty, every good path; for wisdom will enter your heart, knowledge will please your soul, discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you . . .

We somehow believe that Wisdom travels alone or that she resides in some remote, ivory tower when in fact she journeys with friends and lives with her companions. The names of those in her cohort will not surprise us: Rectitude . . . Honesty . . . Justice . . . Knowledge of the Lord . . . Discretion . . . and Understanding. Can we say that we have the came companions?

pathways-report_img_9[1]God says: There are many good paths you might follow that will bring you to me and while they vary, they all have something in common.These paths are best found when you first put on honesty, discretion, understanding, rectitude, justice, and knowledge of your God. The path that nurtures these qualities will also nourish Wisdom for she eats and drinks of these values. And where you find Wisdom, there also will you find me.

We somehow believe that there is one true path to God’s Wisdom or that there is only one way to know God and yet our experiences tell us that this is not so.  There are many varied passages we humans make as we journey with and to God.  Spend a bit of time today reflecting on the nature of your own journey.  Think about how and where and when you find these companions of Wisdom.  And if this image of your journey and the names of these Wisdom Companions elude you, consider how and where and when you might best encounter them.


The images above from: http://craigspoems.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/pathways/

For a variety of beautiful journey images, click on the image below or go to: http://blog.zeemp.com/wonders-of-nature-enchanted-pathways/  Also see the Journeys of Transformation tab on this blog.

etp15[1]

Read Full Post »


Saturday, August 29, 2020

god_speaks[1]Proverbs 2:6-8

God’s Mouth

For the Lord gives wisdom, from God’s mouth come knowledge and understanding; God has counsel in store for the upright, God is the shield of those who walk honestly, guarding the paths of justice, protecting the way of the faithful.

We are often tempted to go our own way, convincing ourselves that we have enough personal strength, enough contacts, enough resources to protect ourselves. Yet when disaster strikes all of this power is useless.

God says, When I see you placing all of your efforts into temporal storehouses I love you all the more. When days and weeks and months go by without your speaking to me, I call to you. I come to walk among you in the person of Jesus to give you counsel. My Spirit dwells within you to serve as your shield, to guard you each day, to protect you from the disasters that will befall you. Jesus comes to you as My Word. Jesus brings knowledge and understanding from mouth to your heart. Open your heart to me.

God is not remote or detached. God does not watch us from a distance. God is around us in all of creation. God is within us giving knowledge and understanding. God’s wisdom reverberates in the hearts of those who walk with honesty and live faithfully. Although we cannot hear God, God speaks to us each minute of each day, bringing us knowledge and understanding.


Image from: http://christiancrosstalk.blogspot.com/2012/12/how-does-god-speak-to-us.html

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: