Friday, October 29, 2010

Love Knowledge Wisdom

My prayer is that your love for each other may increase more and more and never stop improving your knowledge and deepening your perception so that you can always recognise what is best. This will help you to become pure and blameless...

Saint Paul is writing a letter of encouragement to the Church of Phillipi, a church that has been true to the message he first gave them.  He encourages them on in their Christian walk with doctrinal teaching.  From the start Saint Paul calls them to deeper love, knowledge and perception (wisdom).  Why? to becoming pure and blameless on the day of Christ's return.

Knowledge and perception are usually such fleshly things, full of pride to be avoided or at least used with caution. However, Paul harnesses them with love and then encourages us to use them willingly.  Motivated by love, knowledge and perception will indeed, says Saint Paul, help me become pure and blameless.

Lord Jesus, thank you for the gifts of knowledge and wisdom.  I lay them before you Lord, asking that You imbue them with love before returning them to me.
Saint Paul, please pray for me.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sinners into Saints

Jesus went out into the hills to pray; and he spent the whole night in prayer to God. When day came he summoned his disciples and picked out twelve of them; he called them ‘apostles’...

After a whole night spent in prayer, Jesus selects the twelve who are to be His right-hand men in His ministry.  He works with what He has got; unlettered, rough and imperfect men.  But in all but one, He turns sinners into saints.

I find this so encouraging, that Jesus can and does turn mud into gold.  He is the God of transformation. The Gospels are made up of him turning peoples lives around; from sorrow to joy, from sickness to health, indeed from death to life.  I am another of His transformation projects. Yes, a work in progress, but a transformation none the less.  What an exciting way to live!

Thank you Lord Jesus that you have chosen me and are transforming me.  Holy Spirit, help me be maliable in the Lord's hands that I may become the new man He has in mind for me.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Saint Mary of the Cross, please pray for me.
Saint Catherine, please pray for me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Small and Narrow

He said to them, ‘Try your best to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed.

Jesus is warning that the period of grace we now live in will come to an end with some at "the feast in the kingdom of God", but many will not succeed in getting there.  This is also recorded in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 7:

13"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

The image Jesus places before me is of two destinations, one with a narrow and difficult entrance, the other being wide and easy to access.  The destination I should be striving for is the one that is difficult to attain. The message is that heaven is not going to simply drop into my lap by default. It will take effort and discipline to get there.

Thank God for His Word and His Church to help me in this journey.

Lord Jesus, you know how lazy I can be.  Drifting is my natural state.  Help my super-natural state become my norm so that I may find and pass through the narrow door into eternal life with You.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Saint Catherine, please pray for me.
Saint Mary of the Cross, please pray for me.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Share of Grace

Each one of us has been given his own share of grace, given as Christ allotted it.... so that the saints together make a unity in the work of service, building up the body of Christ.

Paul is describing the unity in the Body of Christ, the Church and the role of the individual in that body. I have been given a "share of grace", a giftedness that is specifically given not for my edification but for building up the Church.

So what is my "share of grace"? I lead in praise and worship.  I sense I have other leadership "gifts" but I'm not sure where to apply them.  Certainly in my family, maybe somewhere and sometime in the Church.  The temptation is to sit on the gifts and not use them as they were intended.  Jesus' parable in today's Gospel is clear where that leads; " ...then you can cut it down”.

Lord Jesus, You give gifts according to Your perfect purpose.  Help me identify when and where I should be using my gifts that I may bear You much fruit.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Clean Hands and Pure Heart

Who may ascend the hill of the LORD ?
       Who may stand in his holy place?
 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
       who does not lift up his soul to an idol
       or swear by what is false. 

 5 He will receive blessing from the LORD
       and vindication from God his Savior.

Ps.24: 3-5

Psalm 24 is a psalm of David, a psalm that praises the "King of Glory".  David opens this psalm by defining what state it takes to be worthy to stand in God's presence... clean hands, pure heart, true worship.  This definition of holiness covers both the external and the internal; the two are always linked.

This causes me to look at my hands and ask, have these always been about clean things?  I know my heart has been impure and I have worshiped things of man, not of God. 

Praise be to God for Jesus!  My unclean filthy rags can be exchanged for His pure, white spotless robe without wrinkle or blemish.  Jesus takes on to Himself all my crud,  nails it on the Cross and clothes me in His righteousness.  Then I may ascend the hill of the Lord and stand in His holy place.

Thank you Jesus.  By Your stripes I am healed, by Your blood I have been washed clean.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Inner Strength

...that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;

Saint Paul gives his powerful prayer "kneeling before the Father", interceding for the Ephesian Church. His prayer is also for me.

Paul's prayer is about inner conversion and strength.  He's praying for for things within me that cannot be seen but that have very visible external consequences. A strengthening of my inner self by the power of the Holy Spirit... WOW!  Yes please Lord!

Lord Jesus, thank you for your glorious riches that are mine for the asking. Holy Spirit, I need Your inner strength today, that Jesus may be glorified  in  me.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wise and Faithful Servant

You too must stand ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Jesus is giving a warning to His disciples on watchfulness.  Peter asks who is the warning for.  Jesus replies by telling the parable of the wise and faithful servant.

There is a role model placed before me by Jesus here. The Christian life is one of expectant waiting.  As we say at every Mass, "...we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ".  We are a people of joy and hope who are waiting.  How do we wait?  As wise and faithful servants.

Today I walk into my day with a servant's heart, busy about my master's business.

Lord Jesus, send me Your spirit of faithfulness and wisdom, that I may recognise Your work and be busy about it.  I wait in joyful hope for Your coming.
Little Flower, please pray for me.
Saint Mary of the Cross, pray for me.

Friday, October 15, 2010

No Need to Be Afraid

Can you not buy five sparrows for two pennies? And yet not one is forgotten in God’s sight. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. There is no need to be afraid: you are worth more than hundreds of sparrows.’

Jesus is at the height of His earthly ministry and crowds in their thousands are crushing around Him to listen.  He has just given a stern warning on being fearful of him who has the power to kill and then cast into hell. Jesus then counters this with the soft and loving image of a God who not only loves the common sparrow but loves man so much more.

Yes, there are things for me to fear and hell is one of them.  But Jesus does not want fear to be my motivation in life.  He is telling me every part of my body and soul is intimately know by God who loves me and to whom I am so very precious.  What a wonderful way to walk into this day.

Thank you Father for loving me so tenderly.  Your love for me is my gift I take into this day.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Shout for Joy to the LORD

Sing praise to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and melodious song.  With trumpets and the sound of the horn shout with joy to the King, the LORD.

Psalm 98 is a song glorifying the Judge of the World.  And the spontaneous response to the Judge of the World is not fear but Joy!

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;  Ps.98:4

This joy comes from knowing we have a judge who is head-over-heels in love with us.  His judgement is not based on the law but based on grace, undeserved 
favor.  So, today I step out in spontaneous joy knowing yes I am a sinner, yes I will face judgement and yes my Judge loves me.

Lord Jesus.  Today I exalt you in joyous song.  May your mercy triumph over judgement in my life.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Love Joy Peace and Patience

What the Spirit brings is very different: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control. 

Saint Paul is writing to the church in Galatia, addressing the overly Greek philosophies that were infiltrating that church.  Saint Paul's solution to the humanistic influence is to call on less of man's way of thinking and act more in the Spirit's.

This same tension between fleshly and spiritual passions still exists in the Church today... still exists in me today.  When I look at what Saint Paul lists as gifts of the Spirit I say, "Yes, that is the sort of person I want to be!"  How to I obtain this?  Saint Paul goes on...

"...crucify all self-indulgent passions and desires.  Since the Spirit is our life, let us be directed by the Spirit." Gal.5:25

Today I actively reject those earthly passions and then let myself be directed by the Holy Spirit.

Come Holy Spirit, fall afresh on me.  Fill me with your power, satisfy my needs.  Only You can make me whole, give me strength and make me grow.  Come Holy Spirit, fall afresh on me.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


A woman in the crowd raised her voice and said, ‘Happy the womb that bore you and the breasts you sucked!’ But he replied, ‘Still happier those who hear the word of God and keep it!’

Jesus has been teaching on prayer and spiritual warfare when this rapturous, spontaneous outburst comes from a woman in the crowd.  She is of course referring to the happiness of Mary, the mother of Jesus.  I imagine Jesus in a similar spirit of joy replying, "Yes but there is an even greater happiness to be had. Hear God's word and keep to what it says!"

This statement of Jesus has particular meaning to me in my morning devotions, focusing on the Word of God before I go out into my day.  There is a great happiness that comes over me in this time.  I connect with the One who loves me through His word.  How can I be anything else but joyful in this time?  And it's not just in the hearing but in the keeping that joy comes.  Today joy is mine as I keep the word of God.

Lord Jesus, thank you for inspired sacred scripture that You have entrusted to the Church.  I receive it as Your love-letter to me.  Help me keep it in my day.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Invite the Opposite Spirit

 'But on arrival, finding it swept and tidied, it (the unclean spirit) then goes off and brings seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and set up house there, so that the man ends up by being worse than he was before.’

Jesus is teaching on spiritual warfare after having been crticised for casting out a devil.  He has just explained how he who is the stronger and best armed is the victor.  He now explains that having a spiritually clean interior is not enough.  The interior needs to be home to something, the only question is will it be good or evil?

My interior man gets regularly swept and cleaned through the sacrament of Confession, but what do I then fill it with?  If it remains clean but empty I am open to being reoccupied by the demon I expelled plus its cohorts.

The opposite spirit to what was expelled is a good thing to invite in.  If it was lust, invite in purity.  If it was greed, invite in restraint.  If it was pride, invite in humility.

Holy Spirit of God, prompt me to invite in the opposite spirit to the one I have expelled by your power. Never let me be an empty home but filled with Your holy presence, giving no room for Satan and his demons.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Teach Me How to Pray

Once Jesus was in a certain place praying, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.’

Jesus gives the Church, and me, the method on how I am to pray this morning:

  • Acknowledge God's holiness.
  • Plead for His Kingdom
  • Ask for today's needs
  • Ask for forgiveness
  • Ask for protection from Satan
Father, may your name be held holy,
your kingdom come;
give us each day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive each one who is in debt to us.
And do not put us to the test.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My Guardian Angel

Feast of The Holy Guardian Angels

See, I am sending an angel before you, to guard you on the way and bring you to the place I have prepared.  Be attentive to him and heed his voice. Do not rebel against him, for he will not forgive your sin. My authority resides in him.

All three readings today remind us that we have angels who have been assigned by God to watch over and guard us:

  • See, I am sending an angel before you, to guard you on the way... (Ex.23:20)
  • For God commands the angels to guard you in all your ways.... (Ps.91:11)
  • See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.... (Mt.18:10)

What wonderful promises from God for me.   I walk into my day today knowing I am precious to God and that He has assigned specific angels to guard and guide me. My God would only do that because He loves me.

Angel of God, my guardian dear
to whom whom God's love commits me here
Ever this day be at my side
to light and guard, to rule and guide

Little Flower, please pray for me.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

For you created my inmost being; 
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 

your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

David is worshiping God, the Creator of the Universe and all that is in it, including himself.  David recognises the beauty of who and what he is, not through any conceit, but in the light of who it is that created him.  This is a very wholesome way to consider ones self.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works O God are wonderful.

There is a great sense of dignity that comes when it is acknowledged that all people are created  lovingly by God.  Suddenly, abortion is seen as the arrogant abhorrence that it is.  The weak, elderly and infirm are seen as precious and deserving of special loving treatment.  Even those who are living an evil life-style are seen as a distortion of who they were really created to be and can be pitied.

Today I walk as one who is fearfully and wonderfully made and I see all others as the same.

Father in Heaven, I am Your child, a precious part of Your creation.  I praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Little Flower, please pray for me.