May 3, 2018

“Conscience is only explained as the voice of God in the soul.”  ― Peter Kreeft 


Have you ever been in a noisy restaurant and had a hard time hearing yourself talk? Or had someone talk at the same time you’re talking and lose your own train of thought? We live in a noisy world where someone else is always talking. Every restaurant has a television, every car a radio, and every pedestrian a phone, and it can be hard to hear your own thoughts.
 
A life without your own thoughts is no life at all. Consider the following story:
A husband and wife enter a restaurant where the wife sees a man leaving who was publically known for his disreputable business practices.  When the wife points out the man to her husband, he replies, “He won’t listen to his conscious; he doesn’t want to take advice from a total stranger.”
 
Failure to have an inner life is estrangement from oneself. And perhaps even more importantly, failure to have an inner life is estrangement from God through the conscience. One of the ways God speaks to the Christian on a daily basis is through that soft inner personal voice called your conscience.
 
It is difficult to hear your own voice let alone someone else’s when another is talking. How can we hear God’s voice when we are always listening to another voice? How can God guide us if we cannot hear Him? I would suggest that we set a high priority upon the most import voices in our life; our own conscience and that of God. If you have not heard yourself lately, or God lately; it might be time to turn off the other voices.

Prayer of St. Paul

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. Amen. 

– Philippians 1: 9-10

April 27, 2018

“It is a good man who stands up for his friends, but an honorable man stands up for his enemies”  ~ Violet Haberdasher


How do I know that God is with me? Often we associate God’s presence with blessings that come our way or an inner peace that dwells in our hearts. While these are reasons for thanksgiving, there is an even more important sign that each of us should look for.
 
Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount says, “Your Father in heaven makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). This verse demonstrates that God, in His goodness, sends his blessings upon everyone even the ungodly. While we may hope for God’s good blessings, they are not a sign in life of the difference between the just and the unjust. 

The sign is we treat our enemies the same way our Father does; we stand up for both our friends and our enemies. God’s presence in life is not related to the fact that things go right for me but because Christ is in me, we cause good things to go right in the lives of others, and that includes the ungodly.
 
The blessing that Jesus brought into the world continues through the life of its members, through his indwelling Spirit. Has the world been blessed though me today? A smile, a helping hand, taking time to listen to another’s troubles, these are just a few ways in which God’s blessings extend into the present world through us. When the world is blessed through our lives, especially those who have no regard for God, we can rest assured that God’s presence, the presence of our Father, is with us and in us.  

Prayer of St. Paul

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. Amen.                                                        – Philippians 1: 9-10

 

April 19, 2018

“Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.”      – St. Patrick


How is your prayer life? Is the prayer of St. Patrick above, what you want for your life?

The effect of the fall of humanity is chiefly experienced as a loss of the awareness of Jesus’ presence in daily lives. It is this loss of Christ’s presence which is the root cause of us wandering away from God in our thoughts, words and deeds.

The grace and peace of the Christian life is in an abiding awareness of the presence of Jesus as we walk through life. But this presence of Christ Jesus must actually be practiced and it is a continuous struggle to do so.
 
St. Patrick’s prayer is rooted in the hope that God’s presence is with us in the daily activities of our life. Jesus himself assures us, as He ascends into heaven, “I am with you always, even until the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20)
 
How can we make the prayer of St. Patrick a reality in our lives? Christian discipleship invites prayer to be both the setting aside of time to be with God in a daily prayer “time”, as well as to incorporate a series of short prayers throughout the day. To develop the habit of making many short prayers to Jesus is a way of practicing His presence in our lives. “Jesus, stand beside me … in this situation”,  “Jesus, go before me … in this situation” are great little prayers that can keep ourselves practicing His presence in our lives.
 
Jesus is in fact beside us, before us, and within us, a life of short prayers to our ever present Jesus help us to be near Him. 

Prayer of St. Patrick

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I sit down, Christ when I lie down.
Amen.

 

April 12, 2018

“Technological progress has merely provided us the more efficient means of going backwards” – Aldous Huxley
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Is technological progress, human progress? The constant change of our modern world is evidenced with each passing year’s new iPhone release.  The rapid rate of advancement in technology offers a misleading perception that human progress is actually being made. Consider the following story.

A professor fascinated by modern technology refused to call it progress. True progress he said was “heart progress,” not “brain progress” or “gadget progress.” A reporter asked the professor one day, “What do you think of modern progress?” “I think that would be a very good idea,” was his reply.

What of human progress? If humans were to progress how would that be measured? Philippians 4:8 measures human progress saying “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy”, these are the marks of authentic progress.

Rather than seeing human progress in next year’s iPhone release, each person ought to put on the mind of Christ for themselves; pursuing those attributes that will serve them for eternity.

Prayer of St. Francis

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.  Amen.

April 5, 2018

“The message of Easter is that God’s Kingdom has been launched and you are invited to participate” – N. T. Wright
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Alleluia! Christ is Risen!  This shout of triumph at the Easter Liturgy is a call to a new kind of life. The resurrection of Jesus is the beginning, not the end of God’s program. Jesus has defeated sin, death and all the forces of evil and now we are invited to bring the victory of Jesus into the world.

The risen Christ is living in us. Through us, He is advancing the Kingdom of God onto this earth.

The world poured out its hatred upon Jesus at the cross that we might with Him overcome hatred pouring back “forgive them”.
Jesus taught the truth of the Gospel that we might speak God’s truth.
Christ overcame death so that fear of death would not rule our lives.
Jesus preached peace that in us we would be people of peace.
Jesus gave away His life at the Last Supper that in Communion with Him we might give away our lives for others.
Jesus set His mind on the will of His Father so that our minds might seek the things eternal.  

Jesus trusted His Father even in His darkest hour that in a dark world we have an unswerving trust in our God.

God’s kingdom is launched by Jesus Christ and His faithful people are invited to participate in advancing it.  Thus we pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as in heaven.” The Lord taught us to pray and called us to action. Alleluia! Christ is Risen! He has risen indeed by His Spirit in each of us.

May His risen life bring heaven to earth even this day, through you and I!

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Easter Prayer

O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by His glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of sin: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may advance your kingdom by your power on earth as it is in Heaven.  Amen.


March 22, 2018

“Forgiveness to the Injured doth Belong”  – John Dryden

No one owes us forgiveness, neither God nor any person. Forgiveness is not a right. Forgiveness is a pure gift given by the offended person. Saying “I’m sorry,” is not a good work which makes things right or puts the scales even or erases what one did. If I ask for forgiveness and the other person declines, that does not make that person wrong. If this point is missed then the real goal of reconciliation will not take place.

Reconciliation is larger than mere forgiveness. Understanding forgiveness is the first step toward reconciliation. Reconciliation is the restoration of a broken relationship and is composed of at least three components:

  • First, forgiveness must be understood as a pure gift.
  • Second, the wrong is acknowledged without excuse.
  • Third, when possible, restitution is made.

The steps of reconciliation are often not observed because the desire to restore a relationship is not of foremost value. Reconciliation means to re-harmonize two people. The desire to be in harmony with another must take priority over:

  • One’s pride – in being willing to ask for the gift of forgiveness and acknowledge one’s guilt, and
  • The value of things – in being willing to make reparations when possible.  

In the end, the desire for reconciliation reveals what one truly values. People want renewed relationships but often at little or no cost to personal self. This is not possible. God reconciled the world to Himself in Christ Jesus at great cost. He calls us to be reconciled one to another because our Lord has set the value of people above all else.  May God help us to do the same.

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Prayer of St. Francis

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.  Amen.


March 15, 2018

Wisdom Minute 3-15-18


March 8, 2018

“We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love” – Mother Teresa

The Nicene Creed is the recognized sufficient statement of belief in the Church. The Creed functions as a theological box which expresses the true faith and out of  which it is dangerous to depart. In a similar way, St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 provides us with a conduct box within which we should live our lives.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth (1 Corinthians 13:4-6).

The Christian life is grounded in a right faith but that will not do without a right behavior which expresses that faith. We show ourselves a part of the Body of Christ not only through a right faith but also by a conduct that conforms to our faith. We are called to confine our choices and actions within the box of virtues of the Gospel of Christ Jesus.  If I can be so bold, I would rephrase Mother Teresa’s quote to say, “Doing small things with great love is the greatest of things!” 

Prayer of St. Paul

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. Amen.                                                  – Philippians 1: 9-10


March 1, 2018

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”  ~Aristotle

There is a psychological tendency in our daily conversations with people to instantly jump to defend our own ideas. But Aristotle wants to give us permission to listen and be able to take in new information.  All we have to remember is that taking the time to listen and consider the ideas of other’s is not that same as having to agree with them. It is too easy in life to simply brush off other’s ideas because we don’t want to have to do the real task of thinking through them.

The essential mark to a mature person is the recognition that one has not arrived at the fullness of knowledge. St. Paul’s reminder that we “only know in part” (1 Cor.13:9) is the very lot of all human existence. Therefore a willingness to listen to perspectives, to seriously ponder them and THEN decide upon its validity is the only path toward growth. While overtly few would admit to having all wisdom, the way actually react toward new information might be saying something else. 

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Prayer of St. Francis

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.  Amen.

February 22, 2018

Our daily life is composed of the many choices. Occasionally however, life bumps us…..  unexpectedly.

Consider the following:
      A clergyman is walking down the street when a business man rushed out of a doorway and the two collided. The business man was beside himself with rage and exploded into abusive language. The clergyman made a little bow, smiled and said, “My friend, I do not know which of us is responsible for this encounter, but I am not inclined to waste time investigating. If I ran into you, I beg your pardon, if you ran into me, don’t mention it.” Then, with another smile be walked away.   
Daily experience brings all kinds of inconveniences, misunderstandings and accidents. Often these events occupy our minds long after they have ceased to be relevant. St. Paul instructs us “to set your mind of things above.”  He calls us to move beyond reacting to life, asking us instead to weigh the actual significance of life’s events.  To overlook the various frustrations of life reflects a Christian maturity. Why? Because most of life’s troubles have no real long term consequences. Keeping a long range perspective frees us to identify what not worthy of our time. It also enables us to live lives focused on things that do matter!

As a follower of Jesus, I dedicate these Wisdom Minutes to “Christ, the Wisdom of God.” (1 Cor. 1:24) that together we may engage ideas worthy of the limited time which God has allotted to each of us.

~ Father Darryl

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  
~Colossians 3 :1-2