“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?

 

 

Motherhood and God News August 14, 2014

The Spirituality Of The Verse

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering – these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love – these are what we stay alive for.

To quote from Whitman,
“O me, O life of the questions of these recurring. Of the endless trains of the faithless. Of cities filled with the foolish. What good amid these, O me, O life? Answer: that you are here. That life exists and identity. That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”

“That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”

What will your verse be? ~Lines of dialogue from the movie Dead Poets Society

St. Ignatius of Loyola, dressed as a knight
St. Ignatius of Loyola, dressed as a knight (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If Saint Ignatius had been an actor I think he would have played the character John Keating, the unorthodox teacher, in the movie Dead Poets Society, who brings his students to a greater understanding of themselves and their world through his teaching of poetry.

There are two lines from the quote about that sounds so Ignatian, the first is this line: And the human race is filled with passion.  Ignatius certainly thought that passion was needed to live life: Passion for Christ, passion for our fellow man, passion in general in that order.  Without passion we can not show our love for God, our neighbour and ourselves.  For Ignatius when he came to understand how much God loved him and as such with how much passion God’s love was, Saint Ignatius knew that it was with the same passion, giving up of yourself to others, that he HAD to live his life.  He would argue that God’s giving us talent and keenness for our vocation of life should be lived with great passion..”And medicine, law, business, engineering – these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life“, had to be done with as much passion as God’s love for us.

For to live without passion a life is not worth living.

And the second Ignatian line is: “That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”  I can see Ignatius saying just that very line to his students.  What line; what good in the world will you contribute. The play, of course, is life, and it is wonderful to think of life that way.  We are “writing” our story, our poem, with all the colours in the box.  Sometimes our choice of colour is a little dark, but when it is placed next to the brighter colours, the darkness makes the bright, brighter. God gives us these colours and as we live we learn how to use those colours effectively.

Ignatius created the spiritual exercises and examen as ways to help us learn how God is calling us to use our colours, write our story.  We go deeply into our lives looking at all of it: good, bad and ugly; not to shame us but to show us where God was during every time of our lives.  It also shows us where we were in relations to God.  Where we close to him or did we move further away?  We can see patterns in our lives, patterns of strength and patterns of shortcomings.  God wants us to see our strengths as our go to and our shortcomings as things that will teach us lessons and provide us with tools that will become strengths.

For Ignatius God was not punitive, but compassionate, forgiving and greatly in love with us.

 

 

Post Your Questions Here

Feel free to ask me what is on your mind

Every Wednesday I blog the questions that moms might have on such topics as motherhood and spirituality, children’s spiritual development, finding time for yourself, or just to learn more about Spiritual Direction. Use the form to leave yours

“Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Mommy Mantra August 4, 2014: MT 14: 27 “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
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Need I say more. This is for all moms with prayers that need answering, and for prayers that have been answered. For moms who need the courage to stay strong.

Let’s pray that encouragement is always truly genuine.

1491721_634242926660698_2695856782635256221_nI have many friends who are alternative healers and many of them do a wonderful job at helping others, but I have found, and here I am also speaking for myself as a Catholic Spiritual Director, that we, healers of all stripes, can get a little myopic, meaning we have difficulty seeing clearly.   What this means is we imagine that everyone MUST see the world the way we DO!  After all aren’t we helping bring a more positive attitude to the world?!

If we are not careful to remember that there are very wounded people in the world our attempts to encourage will come off as being pompous and elitist.  We throw out these bonne bouche as if everyone will be totally enlighten by them.  Many will.  But it is the others that I worry about, and here is my response to this picture:

“Dear X this kind of statement is great, (meaning the picture above which was on her timeline), but it speaks to adults who have worked to create a more positive attitude for themselves. It speaks more to how we should raise our children [so they are more positive in their outlook], and if we are struggling to have that sort of attitude we should seek help from therapist, spiritual directors, counselors. I work with people who view these types of thing, (the picture above), while very positive, [is]as also quite depressing because they feel inadequate because they are, as they perceive the world around, the ONLY ones who are[n't] doing it right, being positive, being right, not good enough to be positive, or can’t get it right, because they don’t know how to be positive or life situations has sucked the positive out of them.”

What I did not post was something I think is very important, something I myself must remember to do to always include in the post, if you need any help in creating the life you feel God has called you, please seek out a spiritual director, counselor, religious, or therapist.

Let’s pray that encouragement is always truly genuine.

From one moment to the next

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Really Jesus????!!!! That Guy??!!!

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We can’t fall into the pain.

Mommy Mantra July 10, 2014: Hosea 11:1-4, 8c-9
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“Thus says the LORD: When Israel was a child I loved him, out of Egypt I called my son.” After listening to the readings at Mass this morning I couldn’t stop thinking how much God sounds like every hurting parent.
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No family is untouched by problems, troubles. No mother hasn’t had heartache. It is an experience we all will share and it doesn’t matter how slight or significant; pain is pain.
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We can’t fall into the pain. We must know that when we mourn God mourns. There will be times when our children will do something to turn away from the lives we tried to create, the values we tried to convey, the future we had hoped for them. Even in this pain we should try to continue to trust in a God who is control and to trust in our power of prayer.
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This is not easy. When in pain we can draw away from God, from friends because of a shame, please don’t, fight the urge and try to continue to pray. We can assume too much responsibility from the troubles and problems, but we are not the only influence on our children. They have their own thoughts and beliefs which may be very different from ours. Maturity plays a huge part and we, while still dealing with our situation, should still try to pray for guidance when to step in and teach or to step out.
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As God did not destroy Ephraim we can’t stop trusting and working toward healing of our hearts and theirs. No matter what is happening we must trust that God is in his heaven and all will become right in our world.
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Today let’s pray for each other.

Video: I’m a spiritual director

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This the first video for Spiritual Lives Of Women.  I am using these animations to bring an other aspect to the ministry.  It is my hope that I can begin to broadcast an every Wednesday a Q &  A video.