Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Getting Fired for the Glory of God

Another excerpt from another book, I do lectio divina with:

Look at the disciples.  They spent all their time with Jesus.  He did talk, but the disciples never understood a word he said.  That didn't seem to both Jesus, by the way.  They saw Jesus in action, living his faith (healing, praying, losing his temper, agonizing, dying) and running from fame and power.  They witnessed Jesus' relationship with his Father, which was turbulent to say the least  -- everything from gentle prayers to agonizing screams.

They watched Jesus taking time for himself, avoiding crowds, refusing to rush people into the kingdom.  And they noticed that the majority of Jesus' time was spent with them.  Oh, and one other thing:  Jesus talked about all the issues facing the people of his time -- all of them (the future, friendships, prayer, service, dealing with government, community, servanthood, humility, divorce, lust, poverty, the priority of following him over family, and so on.)

What do we conclude?  What's the job description of an effective youth minister?  Effective youth ministers don't talk much; they spend enormous amounts of time with a few students, creating opportunities for students to experience God, to know God intimately, to be with God.  They deal with the whole person, not just hormones (sex), egos (activities), and obvious problems (parents, school, drugs, alcohol).  They also deal with kids' jealousy, insecurity, anger, depression, fear, doubt, guilt, restlessness, self-absorption, loss, confusion, and their concerns about justice, war, poverty, and reconciliation.

Above all, youth ministers have relationships with Jesus characterized by the absence of anxiety, the presence of humility, and a visible intimacy with him.

(Getting Fired for the Glory of God:  Collected Words of Mike Yaconelli for Youth Workers)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Holiness: A guide for beginners

Getting ready for LENT 2010.  Thinking about what to do this year as a sacrifice to bring me closer to Jesus.  Been praying about it for a while now.  This year I'll be getting myself in bed with lights off by midnight and going to 9 am Mass Monday through Friday.  Midnight bedtime is a stretch for me.  And, considering our Spring Retreat is smack in the middle of Lent, should make for an interesting retreat week.

Ok, so to get us started, I'm breaking out the big guns - Dom Hubert Van Zeller.  Every year for the last 8 or so years, I've read Holiness: A guide for beginners

And, here's an excerpt:

The strange thing is that worldly people, quite sinful people, read these words of our Lord and do not deny them.  They know in their hearts that what He said was perfectly true.  They admit the uselessness of luxury when it comes to the question of happiness, and they know that hardship cannot on its own make people miserable.  But they cannot bring themselves to put the gospel teaching into practice.  They are afraid to let go of their pleasures, and they are afraid of the Cross.  Sanctity would be their one solution, but they do not want to think about what might be expected of them if they went all out for it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Psalm 119:10

Jesus is Constant.  He is the ONLY Constant in my Life!  The only ONE.  He remains when no one else is around.

I've been reminiscing.

And, these scripture passages I've found:

Psalm 119:10
Philippians 2:2-4
Song of Songs 3:2-4

Here is a passage from my journal from 2008:

Isn't it a blessing when Jesus takes you somewhere and removes all the variables and all you have left is He who is and she who is not.  And you have to face the storms.  Jesus has been here with me even in the midst of all my "whys?" and especially amidst my pain, suffering, sorrow, and unhappiness.... And my Jesus is giving me strength.

snOMG pictures the day after


Front Yard and view of a neighbor's house



I surrendered to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.  So, thank you for your prayers....but again I am using anonymity (sp?).

But, I promise once things are out in the open, I'll let you in on things.

And, once again keep up those prayers asking St Joseph and the Holy Family to intercede for me.

Ministry is going well.   I have 47 teens receiving Confirmation on Tuesday, March 9th.  They are all so excited and relatively calm in their last weeks of preparation!  And, I am so tied to them, I feel I probably will cry during the Mass in expectation of how the Holy Spirit will manifest Himself!  

And, whoo-hoo, NET Team #5 is coming to Atlanta for the first time ever!  Friday, March 5th through Thursday, March 18th!  And, I'm their Diocesan Contact Person.   I'm in charge of scheduling their time here (retreats and free days).  As well as, also being one of their PCP's (Parish Contact Person).  So, I started to stress a week ago b/c I couldn't find housing for them while they were in our parish!  But, all in God's timing, right?  I now have a few families that WANT to host them!  Hooah!

Its also been snowing here!  That weather system moved thru here today.  Snow started falling about 1:30 pm and stopped about 7:30 pm.  There's about 3 inches outside.  Its so weird having a white blanket outside.

I don't really have any good photos.  I can send you over to Twit Pic to check out the ones I've uploaded.  But thats about it.  When I wake up and it hasn't melted, I will post one on here.

Tata for now.  Off to read and then bed!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

CCC 2710

The choice of the time and duration of the prayer arises from a determined will, revealing the secrets of the heart. One does not undertake contemplative prayer only when one has the time: one makes time for the Lord, with the firm determination not to give up, no matter what trials and dryness one may encounter. The heart is the place of this quest and encounter, in poverty ant in faith. ~ CCC 2710

Catechism on the Real Presence

All these quotes are from St John Vianney

When we are before the Blessed Sacrament, let us open our heart; our good God will open His.  We shall go to Him; He will come to us; the one to ask, the other to receive.  It will be like a breath from one to the other.

Our Lord wishes nothing but our happiness.

What happiness do we not feel in the Presence of Gd, when we are alone at His feet before the Sacred Tabernacle! ... Redouble your fervor; you are alone to adore your God; His eyes rest upon you alone.

To what outrages does Our Lord expose Himself in the Blessed Sacrament that He may remain in the midst of us!  He is there to console us, and therefore we ought often to visit Him.

and last one for today from Catechism on the Priesthood:
The priesthood is the love of the Heart of Jesus.  When you see the priest, think of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Take My Life - Chris Tomlin

This happens to be the song I sing/pray when I need to surrender unto God what is His.  Pray with me.

Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for thee.

Take my voice and let me sing always, only for my king.
Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from thee.
Take my silver and my gold not a might would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use every power as you choose.

Here am I, all of me.
Take my life, it's all for thee.

Take my will and make it Thine it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is thine own; it shall be thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord I pour at your feet its treasure store
Take myself and I will be ever, only all for thee,
Take myself and I will be ever, only all for thee.

Here am I, All of me.
Take my life, It's all for thee.

(Take my life, Lord take my life. take all of me)

Here am I, All of me.
Take my life, It's all for thee

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rosary Mediations

A very close friend asked me to share the Rosary meditations I use.  I told my special friend that I wrote them back when I started Youth Ministry full-time 7 years ago.  But, later today, while in Adoration, I was reminded that they actually came from a variety of sources.  Not from my brain, other than that I re-worded a few of them to make them more personal.  I don't even know how I found these meditations.  But they ROCK.
And so I share them with you!

Joyful Mysteries   Mondays and Saturdays

The Annunciation (Humility)  I ask for the grace to hear You calling me.  Help me to say "yes" to whatever it is You have gifted me for, because You have chosen me to be Your partner in ministry.  Especially help me to say "yes" to following Your will in the situation I'm currently in.

The Visitation (Charity)   I ask for the grace to be a friend and encourager to all those around me.  Help me to share in their joys, as Mary did with Elizabeth, and help me to give them Your Love, as Mary still does today.

Birth of Our Lord (Love of God)   I ask for the grace to receive a new birth of Jesus in all the areas of my life that have not totally been given over to Him.  Help me to identify those areas and turn them over to You.  Right now, I especially ask Jesus to become present in my _________ .

Presentation in the Temple (Purity)   I ask for the grace to present Jesus to the people around me, not so much by talking about Him as by the way I live my life.  Help me to purify my life so that I can be a better reflection of Jesus' goodness and caring love.  Help me to more compassionately let Jesus shine through me.

Find of Our Lord in the Temple (Obedience)   I ask for the grace to seek out and find Jesus whenever my troubles get so distracting that I no longer see Him.  Help me to know that He is always present with me, helping me, guiding me, and compassionately loving me.

Sorrowful Mysteries   Tuesday and Friday

Agony in the Garden (Repentance)  Give me the confidence to ask for what I think I need, the humility to wait for His Will, and the faith to accept a refusal.  Let my suffering be Redemptive, let my will be one with God's and my life a sacrifice of love.

Scourging at the Pillar (Mortification)   I am sorry, dear Jesus.  Cover me with this Precious Blood and heal my many wounds.  Let modesty and purity be my goal and harmony my motto.

Crowning of Thorns (Humility)  Oh, Jesus, let me never forget Your love for me and the reparation You offered the Father for my sake.  Let my soul magnify the Lord by humility of heart, purity of mind, and a gentle spirit.

Carrying of the Cross (Patience)  Help me, my Jesus, to carry my cross with joy, ever keeping my eyes on the Father's Will.  Grant that I may not waste time deciding which cross comes from You and which comes from my neighbor.  Let me accept all from You, realizing that some crosses correct me, some release me, some prevent me from a life of sin, others are redemptive, and still others lead me to repentance.

Crucifixion (Love of Enemies)  Grant that I may forgive my enemies and abandon myself to the Father's Will.  Let me commend my life and my eternity to His care.  Let zeal for the salvation of souls make my soul thirst for sacrifice and let the thought of paradise enlighten my path.

Glorious Mysteries   Sunday and Wednesday

Resurrection (Faith & Hope)   Like Your Five Wounds, my suffering will shine for all to see.  The Wisdom of the Father will be glorified forever as all men see how His plan and will in my life marked out the glory that would be mine for all eternity.

Ascension to Heaven (Desire for Heaven)  I want to rise above the demands of my emotions and have the courage to live in spirit and truth.  Grant me the Faith that is always aware of the invisible reality, the Hope that trusts in Your promises, and the Love that seeks not itself.

Descent of the Holy Spirit (Zeal)   Holy Spirit, give me an increase of Your Gifts and the grace that assures Your Presence in my soul.  Give me an awareness of the Divine Indwelling, a realization of how much the Father loves me, and transform my soul into a perfect image of Jesus.

Assumption (Devotion to Mary)    Teach me, kind Mother, to keep my body pure, my mind undefiled, and my heart detached.  Let your Assumption into Heaven give me the assurance and courage to be a Christian in word and deed.

Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Perseverance)   Obtain for me, dear Mother, the grace I need to one day enter His Kingdom and be crowned with the crown of holiness.

Luminous Mysteries        Thursdays

Baptism of Christ in the Jordan (Sacrament of Baptism)    I obey my Father's designs when I submit to the teachings of the Church and to my lawful superiors when they command me.  How important is the counsel of obedience to me?

Wedding Feast at Cana (Fidelity)    I note how Christ honors His Mother and how Mary points her children to Jesus.  Do I enthusiastically venerate Mary and genuinely encourage others to imitate Him?

Proclamation of the Kingdom (Desire for Holiness)    I attest to His mercy when I receive the Sacrament of Penance.  Is my encounter with the Divine Physician in Confession frequent and profound?

Transfiguration (Spiritual Courage)    I admire the intimacy that Saints Peter, James, and John had with Jesus.  Do I often ask the Savior for a deeper friendship with Him?

Institution of the Eucharist (Love of our Eucharistic Lord)   I thank God for the Most Holy Eucharist.  Do I prepare well for Holy Communion and treasure the Mass as the center of my life?

http://www.tldm.org/news/glorious.htm) ; Sorrowful -- http://www.tldm.org/misc/sorrowful.htm ; Luminous -- http://www.ecrosaries.com/site/601007/page/185521 ; Joyful - http://www.cathedralofmary.org/faith/Rosary/joy1.htm >

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Alive Again

Yes, there is a cause for my joy!  And, no, you can't know what or whom!  At least not yet.  Just ask for intercession from St Joseph and the Holy Family.

Be patient!


This is fun.

But, seriously.  Jesus and I are on cloud nine.  He truly is my One and Only!  And, God the Father's plan is infinite!  I am so richly blessed!  He is amazing!

The way things interconnect and point to Him and bring you back to Him.

I am truly ALIVE AGAIN!

Psalm 63!