“Get over yourself, God Needs You!”

Sunday was the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, and the Gospel reading was of the Canaanite 397459_191907174296663_142689242_nwoman with an ill daughter.  Now, what was so interesting about this Sunday, was that I was at a church that is far more conservative than I am. I seldom go to this church for Mass because I find that the spiritual conservationism can make me quite upset, and I hate being upset in Mass.

I remember expressing this opinion to my eldest son, and he said something insightful, he said: “Mom, the priest isn’t here to make you happy, he is here to make you think.”  Fair enough. This Sunday what the pastor was saying sounded about as far away from good thinking as anyone can get, it was fire and brimstone which, as far as I am concerned, does not nothing but set up a vicious cycle of spiritual condemnation and worthlessness.

Father equated the “evil one” with the Gospel, for me it was a huge leap, but he forced it to work.  Now here is where I have a problem with what he said.

First off, why are we calling the devil the “evil one“? Why give the devil more power by making the use of his name a talisman.  If we begin to the fear the name we increase the fear and therefore the power of the devil, we give power to the devil.  We have in essence, by increasing our fear, opened ourselves to the devil.  Doesn’t the devil work through fear?

Secondly, isn’t it true that Christ rebuked the devil and therefore gave us the same power? After all in an exorcism this very power is used to rebuke and turn away the devil.  We can not rebuke and turn away Christ, we can reject him but not rebuke him.  If this  is true, who has the greater power: Christ or the devil; Christ of course.

Thirdly, the devil is a rebellious angel, who thrives on crisis of faith, deals in death of soul, mind and spirit,  corrupts positive individualism, (God’s creation of us as individuals with gifts and talents which we use in our mission with Christ-Baptism), distorts free will,  and brings destruction to life, spirituality and emotion.

The devil works through man, is invited by man, creates in man a nature of hate; so why does Father seem to be saying that we have no power over the devil?   Does it make sense that we throw our hands up in the air and say: “Well, we can’t do anything about it the devil is too powerful!”  That can be what you take away from what Father was saying.  Evil in the middle east, Ferguson, Mo, nothing we can do about it all the devil’s fault!  Really, Father, really!

All Christians have the authority to bind evil spirits in Christ’s name (Mk, 16:17)

I for one  believe in Christ and put on the full armor of Christ!  There is a great article by Maximilian “Catholic Tools” Kolbe on the very subject of binding spirits/the devil.  Here is an excerpt:

This may sound outlandish or even like you might not have any authority to say these words.  But these simple words are extremely powerful.

For example how many times have you received communion and never felt like anything happened.  If we truly knew what we are receiving than how much greater would we prepare for Mass and how much more would that Mass effect our life.  In the same sense just because these words might not elicit a big theatrical scene, they still wage war against the Devil.

All Christians have the authority to bind evil spirits in Christ’s name (Mk, 16:17).  Binding an evil spirit is using the Authority of Jesus Christ and His power to make the evil spirit stop what ever it is doing and not to make any further progress.  It is silencing the spirit.  Rebuking is taking authority over the evil spirit and stopping it, too.

When you command in the name of Jesus Christ you are telling the spirit to be disposed of by Jesus.  One is not doing any of this with their own power, but the power of Jesus Christ. More of the article here 

So, now we come to evil in the world. If you have the attitude of oh well can’t do anything the devil is in the world; than what’s going to stop you from giving up spiritually?  Don’t/aren’t we seeing that everyday when people say things like: “Oh it’s too big a problem for me.”  “The world is going to hell in a hand-basket.” “What can I do, I’m only one person!”

As our pastor always tells us when we think the same things, he reminds us of what his spiritual director tells him: “Get over yourself, God Needs You!”

What can you do? Pray.  Work toward a righteous cause.  Educate yourself on the problem.  Write your congress person.  We want change right now, ain’t  gonna happen.  We have to work for change and when the change comes work to keep it.

It’s too big for you, maybe but how ’bout a group of you?

Hand-basket and hell, only if we give up.

So, here’s the question: You going to give up?

 

 

Jeremiah preaches to Israel that their bad habits, sinful ways, have left them wounded, but God puts it all right.

Mommy Mantra August 5, 2014
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Except for the first reading which is from Jeremiah, 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22, you would think someone had forgotten to turn the page from yesterday.
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Jeremiah preaches to Israel that their bad habits, sinful ways, have left them wounded, but God puts it all right.
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In the alternative Gospel from Matthew, MT 15:1-2, 10-14, Jesus speaks of what comes out of our mouths is unclean not what goes in.
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Something blocks faith, either it’s doubt, or habit, or how we view the world and from that speak our views; what brings us back is faith in our relationship with God.

FHB Family Hold Back

Mommy Mantra August 3, 2014: MT 14:13-21 The five loaves and two fishes.

Ever have an unexpected guest come to your house for dinner, maybe a friend of your children’s, or neighbour, family member? FHB, means family hold back taking as much as you want for dinner so our guest can have enough.

Well, of course Jesus invited the five thousand plus to stay for dinner, so he didn’t hold back. Instead he gave until everyone was satisfied.

Let’s pray in support of those who must hold back, that one day they will have enough to be satisfied.

A Lansing Michigan Organization helping the poor Loaves and Fishes, an overnight shelter

Really Jesus????!!!! That Guy??!!!

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Invisible Mom

invisible-hidden-mother- Look very closely at this picture.

This doleful little girl isn’t standing by a chair but she is in a formal with her mother.  I have no idea how this became the fashion, or what the thought was behind the fashion.

These pictures came to mind when I read the Gospel this morning.  As moms we can become someone invisible, someone so familiar, someone routinely there.

MATTHEW Chapter 13: 58:“A prophet is not without honor except in is native place and in his own house.”  Speaks of how Jesus in his own hometown, just that kid Jesus, no-one quite sees him as the healer, teacher, worker of miracles; he is just Jesus.invisible-hidden-mother-photography 1

In exasperation I know I have said: “OK, no-one ______________, I am JUST a mom.

Maybe we would should flip this on it’s head.  God sees us and what we do for our family, or work, our community.  Maybe it is also a reminder that we should look at the everyday to see God in the invisible.

This is the site where I found this interesting photos.

I hate ___________

Jesus’ hands holding the pearl

Mommy Mantra July 30, 2014: JER 15:10, 16-21, MT 13:44-46
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Jeremiah is lamenting the birth of Israel, but there is also relief if Israel seeks out God and works to better. In the Gospel we hear a shorten version of Sunday’s Gospel.
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I see a link between the two readings. The Gospel speaks of the Kingdom of God and how wonderful it will be, so wonderful that we will want to do anything, pay anything, work in anyway for that Kingdom.
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But flip it on its head and think of it as this: Jesus loves us so much that he will do anything, preach, teach, heal; pay anything, the ultimate price of dying on the cross, and work in anyway to bring us to God, show us how much he loves us and how special we are to him.
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Jeremiah’s first verses: Woe to me, mother, that you gave me birth! A man of strife and contention to all the land! Haven’t we often said something like this at times, especially when things go wrong, when circumstances change drastically, or life “just happens”. “This is so ___________, why I am even here!” “This sucks ___________, why am I always ___________!” I hate ___________, I wish __________________, never happened!”
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In the scripture the Lord answers and says that if there was grace to be had through repentance. The Lord than says: “If you bring forth the precious without the vile, you shall be my mouthpiece.” I hear something mothering here, something that helps us with our own calling and with our role of Priest, Prophet and Queen, something that can give us perspective.
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Do we need to remove the vile to bring out the precious by:

    Repenting for something: unloving acts, thoughts, words and deeds?
    Ask for healing?
    Working toward justice?
    Finding resources that will help us learn, work, or create a better life, better health, better living?
    Letting go and letting God?

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Bringing in the Gospel we can see that Jesus thinks of us as that great pearl, buried treasure, and that is important; because if we stay as we see in Jeremiah: hidden in fear, sorrow, anger; we become buried, yet our great price still shines.
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Today, let’s pray that we find our great price, understand how we are the treasure Jesus will do anything to get.

Saint Martha Novena

Isn’t it easier for us to confront, question, have a deep conversation with someone we know so intimately?

Mommy Mantra July 29, 2014: Memorial of Saint Martha
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If you read the first few verses of Jer 14:17-22: “Let my eyes stream with tears day and night, without rest…” In the first reading Jeremiah laments over the sins of Israel and worries that God has abandoned the nation.
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JN 11:19-27 or Luke 10:38-42 are the options for the Gospel today. Both of them are stories of Martha and Mary. The first relates the death of Lazarus and how Jesus raises his dear friend from the dead, and the second of how Mary gets all the pleasure of spending time with Jesus while Mary has done all the work.
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Doesn’t it sound like life of a mom. We mourn over troubles, situations, and trails of mothering. Haven’t we all lost beloved family members and wish they could be with us on more time? For us as moms, especially those of us who have lost our mothers, we want our greatest supporter, source of wisdom, source of love with us once more to give us the strength we need.
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And the story of Martha missing spending time with Jesus that is in Luke, isn’t that something we have felt ourself: I have kids now and no time for God.
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Today we remember Saint Martha, the sister of Mary and Lazarus, we understand Martha because she, like us, is an “ordinary” woman, maybe a mom we don’t know, seeking God during her life. We can relate to her because she asks Jesus how fair is it that he wasn’t there when her brother died and when Mary gets to enjoy her time when Martha has to do it all.
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She is a fearless woman being able to confront Jesus with questions of personal justice. She is fearless because she has a very intimate personal relationship with Jesus. Isn’t it easier for us to confront, question, have a deep conversation with someone we know so intimately?
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Today let’s pray for such a comfortable intimate relationship with Jesus that we can ask those “what the what” questions and demand satisfaction.

Spiritual Question to Ponder: Valued Reason

Yesterday’s Gospel Jesus speaks for the merchant who sells everything to buy the great pearl, the farmer who finds treasure in a field who also sells everything to buy it, and the fishermen who hauled in every type of fish and works to provide the best, every example of someone who gives up everything they had to obtain the greater prize.

How many of us say: “I would give anything for_____________.”  Often these types of questions are flippant.  I wold give anything for a cool drink, said on a hot day.  I would give anything for you kids to be quiet, said by a mom in desperate need for some quiet time.

In this Sunday’s Gospel that question of “I would give anything for” was said by those who see the great benefit of the pearl, the field, haul of expensive fish, and that value was well known: I would give anything to know Jesus, obtain the Kingdom, be a better a person.

So, what is your: I would give anything.

Leave it in the comments below

Mom Blogs today’s parables-Resource Thursday: Mary Lenaburg’s Passionate Perseverance

Today the readings speak of God’s message being presented to the world through Jesus’ parables and Jeremiah’s 2: 1-2:

The word of the LORD came to me: Go, cry out this message for Jerusalem to hear! I remember the devotion of your youth, how you loved me as a bride, Following me in the wilderness, in a land unsown.

The message of God is still being cried out for all of “Jerusalem” to hear.  Many of these messages are coming in the forms of Tweets, Facebook Pages, Instragram uploads, and so on.  I compile much of this information for myself, for my own edification, but thought why not share what I have with you?

I am sharing a blog I feel is a wonderful example of how mothering can be a vocation that changes us profoundly, but how that profound change is ultimately making us strong, compassionate, wise; more than we ever thought we would ever be.  Here is the blog I wish to share The Passionate Perseverance by Mary Lenaburg
She describes herself as:

“…a Catholic blogger limping along the spiritual road somewhere between Holy Hannah and Snarky Sinner. Married twenty-five years to her first (and only) blind date, Mary has two adult children, one of whom has significant special needs. When not dealing with the crisis du jour, she aims to create Parisian-inspired meals on a Walmart budget in her 1968 cramped cottage kitchen, can sew a mostly-straight seam, and has recently learned her green thumb is actually black.
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As she seeks joy among the dirty dishes and laundry piles, she lives a vocation that is one-hundred percent God-given, grace-filled, and exhausting. She thanks God daily for the caffeine and chocolate which keeps her sanity intact and tries to live by the motto, “Be nice to your kids because one day you may need an alibi”. If she’s not snapping photos of her daily life, she’s writing about faith, family, fashion, fiction and crazy days here at Passionate Perseverance.”