Life is a journey; the choices you make now will determine your eternal destination.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The darkness within

We hear the horror stories from around the world about terrorist attacks, but it seems so distant... until it happens in your country, your city. Recently in Edmonton Alberta, a terrorist struck a police officer with a vehicle, jumped out and stabbed him multiple times, and then used a U Haul van to try to kill more people.  And we all know about the mass murder in Vegas. It brings it all home, doesn't it?

The aim of terrorism is just that- terror. Fear gives them power- at least, they think it does. They want people to cower, to be subservient, so they can continue in their reign. The culture that most of this comes from thrives on a powerful elite and a population stripped of the means to stand up to them; through fear, poverty, oppression and brutality. This is an age old story, and it is the story of evil trying to reign supreme.

How does one stand up to evil when one's life is at stake?

Think back to Auschwitz and the great evil of a race who believed that people who they considered lesser humans, should die. This mentality is still prevalent today. You see it in a person who can callously take up a gun and pull the trigger on hundreds of people, in a person who gets behind the wheel and mows down helpless pedestrians. This mentality is also in each individual person who commits murder through abortion.

How have we let evil hold sway in our own life?
Do we hold on to our prejudices, our selfishness, our me first attitude? Would you run away or turn back and help?

We fight evil through our goodness. We hold on to our faith, and we stand strong in it. We cannot change other people, but we can change ourselves. We can find the darkness within ourselves, and banish it with the Light.

Let the only fear that rules you be the holy fear of God- that is, the fear of losing Him for eternity. Think of all the men and women throughout history who stood firm in their faith and faced the torments of evil. I would rather lose my mortal life than lose God. And that is how you stand up to evil, that is how you find the strength to face death. And yes, I pray that I will never have to do that, I pray that the power of evil in this world will diminish and Satan will be sent howling to be chained in hell for all eternity. It starts with me. It starts with you.

May God always give us the strength we need to put God first, others second, and ourselves last.





Thursday, September 7, 2017

Double Standard

Recently on a Facebook page, someone posted about a certain company making a stand about their faith, that they stood up for traditional marriage, and that if gays didn't like it, they were welcome to buy their products from another company. This of course got the liberals all up in arms, with calls to boycott that company- because it didn't fall in line with their thinking.
I made a comment that I felt the company was within it's rights to stand up for its belief and state it, and made a reference to the lack of freedom of speech that is overtaking society.
That pretty much got me labelled as a hater.... by my own daughter. She quoted Scripture that tells us to love one another. The problem is, I wasn't hating on anyone. I don't hate gays- but I don't support homosexuality. That doesn't make me a "hater" (the latest catch phrase for anyone who disagrees with the liberal mindset). That makes me a person who stands up for what I believe in.
Our freedom to speak of our beliefs is badly eroded in today's society. If you speak out against the current trends, as this company did- you get smeared and  guess what- hated. Apparently, there is a double standard: Agree with everyone else's agenda and don't make waves and you will be tolerated but if you make a stand, you are a viscous hating /racist/ bigot/homophobe/whatever the latest trend is.
I'd like to point out here that I don't boycott companies who make a stand for their beliefs- I think they are all free to speak according to their beliefs. Lots of companies cater to the LGBT crowd- fine. I really don't care who my hamburger is made by, or if I watch a tv show that features a gay person. It isn't the people - God loves all of us and never gives up on us, even to our dying breath. I support traditional families and traditional marriage. I believe in trying to be the best person I can according to the way God made me. I support parents raising their children according to their faith and their beliefs. I refuse to feel guilty for that and I don't care if others think of me as someone who does not love other people because of my beliefs. Because I know in my heart, that even though I find things troubling, I don't harbour hate in my heart.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Distraction

I have prayers that I pray every day. Sometimes they seem to be a burden, sometimes I withdraw wholeheartedly into them. But more often, I am just plain distracted during prayer. I fear that I may never get beyond the first level! But I persevere in hopes of Divine assistance to increase in my ability to pray with my whole heart, mind and soul.
I came across a page on a diocese website that had a lot of references from Saints and other writers on how to deal with distractions; these are some of the quotes that I found resonated with me:


“To set about hunting down distractions would be to fall into their trap, when all that is necessary is to turn back to our heart: for a distraction reveals to us what we are attached to, and this humble awareness before the Lord should awaken our preferential love for Him and lead us resolutely to offer Him our heart to be purified. Therein lies the battle, the choice of which master to serve.” — Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 2729

St. Teresa of Avila: “Never address your words to God while you are thinking of something else.” God is worthy of our full attention. It’s admirable to pray as we work or while we drive or do other things — as long as we make the Lord’s presence central.

St. Francis of Assisi, whenever he was about to enter church for Mass or to pray, would say, “Worldly and frivolous thoughts, stay here at the door until I return.” Then he would go inside and pray with complete devotion.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux stated, “I have many distractions, but as soon as I am aware of them, I pray for those people, the thought of whom is diverting my attention. In this way, they reap the benefit of my distractions.” Talking to Him in a very loving and comfortable way, just as we would with any other friend or loved one, can be a helpful means of overcoming distractions.

Some valuable advice on praying comes from St. Paul of the Cross: “When you want to pray, it doesn’t matter if you can’t meditate. Make little acts of love to God, but gently, without forcing yourself.” St. Paul also says, “Concerning distractions and temptations that occur during holy prayer, you don’t need to be the least bit disturbed. Withdraw completely into the upper part of your spirit to relate to God in spirit and truth..”

Monday, June 19, 2017

Working on the virtues

It's a work in progress, this life. The things I like least about myself, I try to improve, often with very little success. Day to day, things just seem the same, and unless I do something to change that, I keep on in the same rut. Change is difficult.
Inspiration comes in many forms. Sometimes a sermon, sometimes a conversation, and like today, from  a passage in one of my daily reflections prayer books.

Jesus said to St. Catherine of Sienna: "You test the virtue of patience in yourself when your neighbours insult you. Your humility is tested by the proud, your faith by the unfaithful, your hope by the person who has no hope. Your justice is tried by the unjust, your compassion by the cruel, and your gentleness and kindness by the wrathful. Your neighbours are the channel through which all your virtues are tested and come to birth, just as the evil gives birth to all their vices through their neighbours."

I have evidence of this in my life, literally by my next door neighbours, who are a source of vexation to me. I'm finding them a good source of practising the virtues and I dare to say I am making progress, at least in my actions, although my thoughts need a lot more work!
With my ultimate goal in mind (heaven) it becomes easier to decrease my self importance. I think of those virtues as stepping stones on the journey. And hope I don't fall.....

Monday, June 5, 2017

A gift of the Spirit

Sunday was Pentecost Sunday, and I was given a gift. The gift of feeling and understanding, for the first time, that I am a part of the Body Of Christ; His Mystical Body, the Church. It was a feeling of belonging to God unconditionally, a feeling of communion and an understanding of what it means to participate as part of that mystical Body. It was a realisation of what it meant when Jesus said "My peace I give you".
It makes me feel whole.
Thank You, Holy Spirit.

I found an interesting link to something that I have been wondering about- the explanation of what it means to sin against the Holy Spirit.  And another link on the mistaken beliefs people have about the Holy Spirit.