Take a break and reflect on some spiritual thoughts.
God sometimes takes us into troubled waters not to drown us but to cleanse us.
You were made by God and for God, and until you understand that, life will never make sense.
The closer you walk with God, the less room for anything to come between.
Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of Christ.
In the morning when I rise, give me Jesus.
Train yourself to find the blessing in everything.
Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash
Go in peace, God be with you.
Go in peace, be at rest with the saints and the angels.
Now you are free. Go in peace.
You may have heard the above verse during the Final Commendation at a Catholic funeral. The words are comforting, not just for the mourning but for all of us as well.
We would do well to repeat these words throughout our days. We can be at peace in our lives with the knowledge that God is with us. "Let go and let God" we often hear. With the Communion of Saints and our Guardian Angel, we ARE free and at peace ... if only we let ourselves be.
Song text copyright 2004, Sarah Hart and Dwight Liles
A collection of thoughts to keep us "looking at little life moments with a spiritual eye".
"I think love is the contrary of chilly." - Dr. Jerome Lejeune
"You need to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable." - The Word Among Us, July/August 2016, p. 96
"The miserable have no medicine but hope." - William Shakespeare
"[Wisdom] is the grace of being able to see everything with the eyes of God." - Pope Francis, General Audience, 9 April 2014
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." - Albert Einstein
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
"Then God said: Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures ... God created the great sea monsters and all kinds of crawling living creatures with which the water teems ... God saw that it was good, and God blessed them, saying: Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas ... " - Genesis 1:20-22
It was a breathtaking sight. Two dolphins swimming in and out of the wake of the boat. They were playing and dancing and just having fun! All of this took place against the backdrop of a beautiful golden sunset mirrored in the calm water of the sea. It was indeed a breathtaking sight.
God saw that it was good.
And so did I.
(Photo taken in the Gulf of Mexico by Fort Myers Beach, Florida)
The Octave of Easter is an eight-day period set aside to celebrate one of the greatest mysteries of the Christian faith: the Resurrection. It is a time of heightened jubilation and exaltation, when the joy within the Christian community is at a fever pitch. The Octave of Easter extends from Easter Sunday until the Second Sunday of Easter.
The Gospel readings during the Octave include some of the most beautiful passages of scripture from the time after Jesus’ Resurrection and his first encounters with his friends and disciples. These readings remind us of the importance of Jesus’ Resurrection and the power of living out his message here on earth.
Easter Sunday: Jesus' tomb is empty (Jn 20:1-9).
Spiritual essence: Death is not the end of the story.
Monday in the Octave of Easter: Jesus’ appearance to a number of women who were returning from the tomb (Mt 28:8-15).
Spiritual essence: Our God is a God of surprises!
Tuesday in the Octave of Easter: Jesus' appearance to Mary Magdalene who was weeping beside the entrance to the tomb (Jn 20:11-18).
Spiritual essence: Walk by faith and not by sight.
Wednesday in the Octave of Easter: Jesus' appearance to Cleopas and another disciple on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24:13-35).
Spiritual essence: Always look for Christ in others.
Thursday in the Octave of Easter: Jesus' appearance to the disciples huddled together in the Upper Room in Jerusalem on Easter Sunday night (Lk 24:35-48).
Spiritual essence: Look for Christ in the midst of the mess.
Friday in the Octave of Easter: Jesus' appearance to his disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee (Jn 21:1-14).
Spiritual essence: Build your hopes on Christ.
Saturday in the Octave of Easter: An account of multiple appearances, first to Mary Magdalene, next to two men on the road to Emmaus, and then to the Eleven who were at table together (Mk 16:9-15).
Spiritual essence: True strength is sharing joy, love, hope, and kindness.
Second Sunday of Easter: Jesus' appearance to the ten in the Upper Room on the first day of the week, and then seven days later, his subsequent appearance, not only to the ten, but also to Thomas (Jn 20:19-13).
Spiritual essence: Doubt is not an enemy of faith, but disengagement is.
"The good leave an inheritance to their children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the just." - Proverbs 13:22
It's enjoyable to look back at days gone by. We're fascinated by watching old movies, listening to golden oldies, reading timeless novels, or hearing a wise man's story.
How will you be known by the next generation? What legacy are you leaving? What will people say about who you are, what you did, what faith you shared?
Dear God, like the classics from long ago, let my life unfold as its own unique classic in your kingdom. Amen.
I am a voice, crying for mercy. I am a voice, crying for mercy. Crying for love, crying for peace, crying for justice and dying in need. I am a voice, crying for mercy.
The lyrics to this song, I Am A Voice (crying for mercy), were inspired by a devotion to the Divine Mercy. The song was written by Trish Short as the result of the simple cry of a nun from Kenya to this Catholic songwriter to "write a song for the poor and suffering." Perhaps you can use this reflection to examine your own conscience during this Lenten journey.
I am a child, starving with nothing to eat. Walk twenty miles, searching for something to drink.
What do I do when I see the pictures of the malnourished children, or the refugees without food?
I'm a prisoner in a cell, here it looks a lot like hell. Isn't anyone listening? Does anyone care? Who will answer me?
Do I listen? Do I care? Do I answer?
A husband, a wife, leaving without making their peace. When out of the sky, hate stole his life like a thief.
Do I make peace with everyone I meet?
In the heart of every man, will the price of freedom stand? In living to love and dying to give, who will lend a hand?
Click here to listen to the song.
Lyrics copyright 2002; Photo by Schalk van Zuydam (AP)
Six prayers to keep on your mind and in your heart for each week of Lent.
WEEK 1: Lord, as we enter Lent help us to draw near to you in praise, stripping away all that distracts us from worship. Amen.
WEEK 2: As Jesus resisted temptation by the devil in the wilderness, help us reflect on his faithfulness to God, his rejection of worldly values, and hold these thoughts in our hearts throughout Lent and beyond. Amen.
WEEK 3: Jesus, you prayed and fasted. As your disciple, teach me about spiritual discipline in my relationship with you. Amen.
WEEK 4: Lord, may Lent be a time of inward searching that makes me more able to look with compassion at the needs of the world. Amen.
WEEK 5: Thank you Lord for desert experiences, when being confronted with myself makes me realize my need of you. Amen.
WEEK 6: Lord, you’ve guided us through the difficult days of Lent, encouraging us along the way. We pray as we move towards the darkest day, that you’ll not forsake us but remind us of our Savior’s ultimate gift and promise of new, abundant, eternal life for all who believe and trust in him, your precious son, Jesus. Amen.
"As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him, 'I will follow you wherever you go.' " - Luke 9:57
Many years ago when I was learning to drive, my dad went with me for a ride through the park. Along the route, he pointed out some nice houses on the right side of the road. I don't remember what happened next, but there was a ditch, and it wasn't pretty! I do, however, remember the lesson learned that day: the steering wheel goes where the eyes lead.
So where are your eyes leading you? What are you steering toward? What corrections do you need to make in order to stay on course?
Holy Spirit, lead me along clear paths and do not let me stray from the plan. Amen.
"Sing praise, play music; proclaim all his wondrous deeds." - 1 Chronicles 16:9
Can you imagine what it's like to listen to the billowing, sweet-sounding tones from a 7000 pipe, majestic Casavant Frères organ? Imagine no longer. Although this fine organ at Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal (Canada) is not one of the largest in its class, it is magnificent nonetheless. Against a backdrop of the Basilica's glorious altarpiece, you can hear a snippet of this splendid musical instrument above.
Sing praise, play music, give glory. Amen.
"Looking at little life moments with a spiritual eye."