Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ephesians 4:1-6

4I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.

This was the first reading tonight at our Lenten Mission at Good Shepherd.

We were honored to hear Fr. Paul Henry. He is a gifted speaker, but I think the thing that struck me about his talk, more than anything, is that I was supposed to be there.

Christ was waiting for me this evening, to give me a special gift. He is always waiting, but being in His presence in the Blessed Sacrament is an intimate, personal encounter. He invites us, because He wants to share Himself with us.

This evening the Blessed Sacrament was exposed and we finished with Benediction.
The Homily was about St. Paul and his desire to live only for Christ, after his conversion on the road to Damascus.
Paul never looked back, but he knew he wasn't perfect. He struggled with his temper, his stubbornness and just being human, as we all do. The difference for St. Paul was that once he encountered Christ, he lived for Him, every moment of every day.
He had to deal with difficult people, illness, exhaustion, and persecution.
We all have difficulties, from day to day, that make us stumble, lose heart or feel alone.
I just sat and looked at the Lord on the Altar and thought about how faithful He is to me, and how He is ALWAYS there, whether I call on Him or not.
He loves us with a constancy that we can't comprehend, and He loves us freely.

Father outlined five things we should do for Christ everyday: Morning Prayer, affirmations, Spiritual Retreat, examination of conscience, and evening prayer.

Affirmations are just little prayers that we say like, "Jesus, I trust in you."
The Spiritual Retreat as a time every day that we retreat from the world and spend time in prayer.
Father said that St Francis de Sales described the examination of conscience as simply taking time at the end of each day to look at yourself as God sees you. In what was He pleased and in what was He disappointed? How can I do better?

I have been struggling with some decisions and questions lately. Sometimes the way forward seems so obvious, and sometimes it is less than clear.
I question myself. I often wonder if I am hearing, seeing and understanding the truth, or am I just getting part of the picture?
When I am in the Presence of Christ, I know that, even if nothing else in life is clear, I am in the right place. There is no place I would rather be. At that time and in that place, I am doing His will.
I also know that He will go with me and that as I go through each day, I only have to return to that place when I need to find the Truth. St. Catherine of Siena called it a Tabernacle of the heart, where we can visit Jesus any time.
Decisions and questions will always be with me, in so many ways, but so will Christ.

We have been invited. Like Paul, Christ asks us to serve him.

I love this song, because it puts to music the simple joy of living for Christ.
This song really says what Father Henry said, just in a different form.

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