Monday, August 31, 2015
Sunday, August 30, 2015
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Friday, August 28, 2015
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Thursday, August 27, 2015
“People don’t change because they decide to be better. If that happened, then New Year’s Resolutions would work.
People decide to change because they elevate their loves. And as St. Augustine said, ‘You become what you love.’
But if you can’t talk about the struggle of sin, if you can’t talk about why some loves are higher than other loves, and ordered versus disordered loves, you don’t have the moral vocabulary, the mental tool kit to think about how to be better.
And the Christian tradition gives us that”
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
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Tuesday, August 25, 2015
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Monday, August 24, 2015
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Saturday, August 22, 2015
"Faith is illuminative, not operative; it does not force obedience, though it increases responsibility; it heightens guilt, but it does not prevent sin. The will is the source of action."
~John Henry Newman
Friday, August 21, 2015
~St. Seraphim of Sarov
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
~Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange (The Three Ages of the Interior Life: Prelude of Eternal Life)
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Monday, August 17, 2015
|(Picture by Remo Savisaar - found here)|
Sunday, August 16, 2015
~Words: Maintzich Gesangbuch, 1661 (O Esca viatorum); translated from Latin to English by J. Athelstan Riley, 1906 & Music: O Welt, Ich Muss Dich Lassen, 15th Century German melody; adapted by Heinrich Isaac, 1539; harmony by Johann S. Bach, 1729
Friday, August 14, 2015
Thursday, August 13, 2015
26 Nevertheless they were disobedient and rebelled against you and cast your law behind their backs and killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you, and they committed great blasphemies. 27 Therefore you gave them into the hands of their enemies, who made them suffer. Then in the time of their suffering they cried out to you and you heard them from heaven, and according to your great mercies you gave them saviors who saved them from the hands of their enemies. 28 But after they had rest, they again did evil before you, and you abandoned them to the hands of their enemies, so that they had dominion over them; yet when they turned and cried to you, you heard from heaven, and many times you rescued them according to your mercies. 29 And you warned them in order to turn them back to your law. Yet they acted presumptuously and did not obey your commandments, but sinned against your ordinances, by the observance of which a person shall live. They turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck and would not obey. 30 Many years you were patient with them, and warned them by your spirit through your prophets; yet they would not listen. Therefore you handed them over to the peoples of the lands. 31 Nevertheless, in your great mercies you did not make an end of them or forsake them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.”
I’m reading through the Bible in a year. When I came to this section of Nehemiah where Ezra speaks about Israel’s past, it struck me (as I am sure it has many others) that sin in our individual lives is so much like this corporate/historic example of Israel’s turning away and toward God (and away and toward, etc.). Our ancestors in the faith disobeyed, rebelled, worshipped false gods, turned their backs on His law, etc. Meanwhile, God was gracious, ready to forgive, merciful, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them. God did give them over into the hands of their enemies, who made them suffer and had dominion over them. However, when God’s people humbled themselves, cried out to Him, turned from their ways, and turned back to God’s laws, then He was gracious and merciful. How often does sin, addiction, unforgiveness, putting people/things above God, and so on, bring about our being turned over to our enemy and our being held under dominion? Why do Christians allow even small things to distract us and keep us in slavery—and, we knowingly and daily turn away? Yet, when we humbly turn toward God and follow His laws/ways, He is always there to graciously and mercifully lift us up. He is so worthy of our love and devotion. He has shown us the way to live. I pray that I will continue to do a better job, with God’s help, of staying completely in His will and fully live. – Kevin
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
I came across this poem and these sections of it reminded me so much of how I first discovered my wife in college. Those memories are so wonderful and continue to live on in my soul. I am a very blessed husband... – Kevin
There is a lady sweet and kind,
Was never a face so pleased my mind;
I did but see her passing by,
And yet I'll love her till I die.
Her gesture, motion, and her smiles,
Her wit, her voice my heart beguiles,
Beguiles my heart, I know not why,
And yet I'll love her till I die.
Monday, August 10, 2015
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.
Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you,
so that in all things, always having all you need,
you may have an abundance for every good work.
As it is written:
He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.
The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
will supply and multiply your seed
and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
Sunday, August 9, 2015
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Saturday, August 8, 2015
Friday, August 7, 2015
Thursday, August 6, 2015
~St. John Vianney
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
“Disillusionment means that there are no more false judgments in life. To be undeceived by disillusionment may leave us cynical and unkindly severe in our judgment of others, but the disillusionment which comes from God brings us to the place where we see men and women as they really are, and yet there is no cynicism, we have no stinging, bitter things to say. Many of the cruel things in life spring from the fact that we suffer from illusions. We are not true to one another as facts; we are true only to our ideas of one another. Everything is either delightful and fine, or mean and dastardly, according to our idea.
The refusal to be disillusioned is the cause of much of the suffering in human life. It works in this way – if we love a human being and do not love God, we demand of him every perfection and every rectitude, and when we do not get it we become cruel and vindictive; we are demanding of a human being that which he or she cannot give. There is only one Being Who can satisfy the last aching abyss of the human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. Why Our Lord is apparently so severe regarding every human relationship is because He knows that every relationship not based on loyalty to Himself will end in disaster. Our Lord trusted no man, yet He was never suspicious, never bitter. Our Lord’s confidence in God and in what His grace could do for any man, was so perfect that He despaired of no one. If our trust is placed in human beings, we shall end in despairing of everyone.”
Monday, August 3, 2015
Saturday, August 1, 2015
"When we were not doing up jams and jellies, we were down in the brook, which is deep enough to swim in, and shallow enough, with a good sand bank, for the children to play on, so it was a vacation indeed. I do not know of a happier way to spend an afternoon than sitting in a shallow brook with babies paddling happily around. There were little crawfish on the bottom, little minnows darting between your fingers as you try to catch them, boat flies on the surface, and beautiful blue dragonflies flying just above the water. There were neither mosquitoes nor flies nor gnats. The sun-warmed waters of the brook made up for all the 'pail baths' we had been taking through the heat. We washed the children's clothes before we went back to the house, and we picked Indian pipes and pennyroyal as we went back through the field."