Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Be Happy and Prosper

O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!
By the labour of your hands you shall eat.  You will be happy and prosper.

This Psalm is one the Songs of Ascent, believed to have been sung by pilgrims on their climb up to the temple at Jerusalem.  It sings of the blessings that are given to all who love and honour God in their lives.

I have a poster at work that reads: "To love what you do and feel that you make a difference, what could be more fun!"  Psalm 127:1 and 2 is then quoted underneath.  I have days like that.  I love what I am doing and I have a sense that what I am doing matters.  These are days of great contentment and happiness.  They tend to be days when I am "right with God".

I guess each day I have a choice on how I live it, consciously with God or without Him.  Today, I choose to live with God.  By the labour of my hands I shall eat.  I shall be happy and prosper.

Thank you Lord for extending Your invitation to be in relationship with You today.  You are the source of my happiness and prosperity.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Friendship Kindness Forgiveness

Be friends with one another, and kind, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ.  Try, then, to imitate God as children of his that he loves and follow Christ loving as he loved you.
Ephesians 4:32 - 5:1,2

Saint Paucontrasts the Christian life that his readers are to lead, with their pagan life that has been left behind.  The foundations of this new life include the virtues of friendship, kindness and forgiveness.

Friendship, kindness and forgiveness - these are seen as weak in the eyes of the world.  Yet, in my Christian life they are sources of great strength, they are Christian muscles.  Each of them requires that I take my focus off myself and onto others.  This requires an act of my will as my natural inclination is to attend to me, my wants, my needs.  A good starting point to flex these Christian muscles is in my world of today; my family, my work place.

Lord Jesus, Your natural inclination was to look to others needs before Your own.  You know my struggle with self.  Help me exercise my muscles of friendship, kindness and forgiveness with those I meet today.
Saint Paul, please pray of me.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


 ‘Everyone who says a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.'

Huge crowds of many thousands have gathered to hear Jesus teach. He starts by giving His disciples both encouragements and warnings.  A severe warning is given about blaspheming against the Holy Spirit.

Blasphemy is an old word from the english middle ages.  The dictionary defines it as; " to speak impiously or irreverently of (God or sacred things)".   Jesus warns that to blaspheme, speak irreverently, against the Holy Spirit is an unforgivable sin.

This reminds me of a quip given in a teaching from a Bishop on a men's retreat I was at recently.  He said,  "Is God's forgiveness unconditional?  Yes, on one condition".   A clever play on words that refers to the verse in the Lord's Prayer, "Forgive us our tresspasses as we forgive those who trespass against us".

Speaking irreverently against the Holy Spirit is another example of conditions on God's unconditional forgiveness.  In all cases, the limits placed on God's forgiveness are placed by us, placed by me.  It is my unforgiveness, my blasphemy that separates me from God's forgiveness.  And blasphemy against the Holy Spirit has permanent consequences according Jesus.  I can't say I haven't been warned.

Holy Spirit of God, place a guard on my lips and a sentry at the door of my mouth, lest I offend You.
Little Flower, please pray for me.