Put God First and Son of God DVD winner!

Son of God DVD Movie Review by My Pocketful of Thoughts
Photo Credit: http://sonofgodresourcesdvd.com/

“Thank you Father for what you bring us. Don’t worry about daily needs God will provide.  Put God first and everything else will follow.”

Continue reading Put God First and Son of God DVD winner!

[Word of God] Covenant with Abraham

Until then,

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[Word of God] A Vision of God in the Temple

Until then,

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[Palabra de Dios] Corintios 12, 4-11

Until then,

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[Word of God] 1 Cor 12:4-11

1 Cor 12:4-11

Until then,

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We find the defendant …

How are you on this Soulful Sunday?  This week has proven itself to be a trying week.  It has reminded me how lucky I am to have such great people in my life who support me and keep me sane.  I want to take a second to say I am extremely grateful for my boyfriend, Danny for helping me with the renovation of my parent’s rental apartment.  I truly believe that God works through this man.  I hope that we all take a moment to be grateful for the people in our lives.  Please don’t forget to tell them.

This past Friday during Youth Group we watched a video created by Outside Da Box called Evidence.  It reminded me that being a Christian is so much more than going to church on Sundays or wearing a cross around my neck.  Being a true follower of Christ means that we live by his example.  Last week we chatted about what it means to have faith and a small part of what Catholics receive in Who’s watching you?  Today we’ll talk about what we must do.

First we have the Ten Commandments.  In the book of Exodus, in the Bible, Chapter 20 tells of us of Moses’ being given the ten commandments on Mount Sinai by God.

  1. I am the Lord your God; you shall not have strange gods before me.
  2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
  3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
  4. Honor your father and mother.
  5. You shall not kill.
  6. You shall not commit adultery.
  7. You shall not steal.
  8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

Next is the Five commandments of the Church.

  1. You shall attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of obligation and rest from servile labor.
  2. You shall confess your sins at least once a year.
  3. You shall receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season.
  4. You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church.
  5. You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church.

Lastly there are Fourteen works of mercy.

Spiritual:

  1. Counsel the doubtful.
  2. Instruct the ignorant.
  3. Admonish sinners.
  4. Comfort the afflicted.
  5. Forgive offenses.
  6. Bear wrongs patiently.
  7. Pray for the living and the dead.

Corporal:

  1. Feed the hungry.
  2. Give drink to the thirsty.
  3. Clothe the naked.
  4. Shelter the homeless.
  5. Visit the sick.
  6. Visit the imprisoned.
  7. Bury the dead.

Once upon a time, people were crucified and killed if they admitted to being followers of Jesus Christ.  In some countries this still exists.  I am fortunate to live in a country that has freedom of religion.  Regardless of what religion you are, if you were brought into trial for being a believer in your faith, would you be convicted.  This is what the video Evidence is about, a girl being put on trial for her belief.  It is a video to evoke an emotion in you.  To say that I am Catholic is one thing, but if someone observed me would I be found guilty?  Today I am not looking to give convictions.  I am not in charge of judgements.  I only ask that you reflect upon what you say and do, and if you were in a trial what would the verdict be.  We find the defendant __________.

I leave you with one of today’s readings to let it marinate for the rest of the week.

Jer 31: 7-9                                                   [God’s Deliverance]

Jermiah’s hymn opens with joy for God has bestowed salvation on his people.  He has delivered his people and will guide and bless them so none will go astray.

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah

Thus says the Lord:
Shout with joy for Jacob,
exult at the head of the nations;
proclaim your praise and say:

The Lord has delivered his people, the remnant of Israel.
Behold, I will bring them back from the land of the north;
I will gather them from the ends of the world with the blind and the lame in their midst,
the mothers and those with children;
they shall return as an immense throng.

They departed with tears, but I will console them and guide them;
I will lead them to brooks of water,
on a level road, so that none shall stumble.
For I am a father to Israel, Ephraim is my first-born.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Let it marinate!

Until then,

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Who’s watching you?

This week has been an interesting week.  Last week’s topic, that I discussed with the kids in the catechism classes, went over what the Catholic faith believes, who we believe in, why we believe, and where we get our information from.  These are topics that I will discuss in the future.  Today I would like to talk about why we believe.  If you tuned in last week, I also touched upon this topic, but after a week of people asking this question, Why do you believe?; I felt compelled to pose this question, Who’s watching you?

In the year 2012, if one is questioned on their beliefs, a conversation amongst a group can be done peacefully and respectfully.  Everyone has a variation on their belief.  I like and appreciate that we can do this.  We are not persecuted for our beliefs.  We are not ridiculed for our beliefs.  We can believe in whatever we wish for we have Freedom of Religion.

As individuals we support our religion because we have faith.  What is faith?

Definition of FAITH according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary

1
a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty

b (1) : fidelity to one’s promises (2) : sincerity of intentions

2
a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion

b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust

3
: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs

on faith

: without question [took everything he said on faith]

What phrases stand out to you?  The phrases that stand out to me are “firm belief in something for which there is no proof … complete trust and …without question.
The same can be said for someone without faith, or someone who questions their faith.  Does their faith exist?  According to the definition, no.  A person without faith, a person who does not believe, can not be faithful.  
Regardless of whether or not you believe in a religion, it can not be denied that people are watching you.  Our friends reflect upon our actions and our beliefs every day.   Our children look up to us. People watch us.  What are we showing them?

Those closest to me know, that over the last five years, I have embraced my faith.  It is not that my faith was lacking before, but I hadn’t done a good job of walking the Christian path.  I was in a state of being.  Over time I realized that just being was not taking my life in the direction I envisioned or wished for myself.  It was not until I decided to partake in the sacrament of Reconciliation that my path changed course.  

In the Catholic faith, there are seven Sacraments.  The sacrament of Reconciliation is also referred to as Penance.  One reviews their prior actions in reflection against the ten commandments.  If your actions go against God, they are referred to as sins.  This reflection period is a time to acknowledge what you have done to go against God in your actions.  These sins are confessed to a priest.   The priest will offer guidance and direction on your actions.  The priest will then ask if one is sorry for sinning against God.  If you are, then one’s sins are forgiven by absolution which can only be given by an authorized priest.  

In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, one receive God’s unconditional forgiveness.  I found that during this process I have also strengthened my ability to forgive myself.  I had never forgiven myself in the past.  This for me was huge.  In life we are hardest on ourselves.

If I forgive myself and acknowledge my sins and try my hardest to sin no more, I find it much easier and more likely to make choices that keep me in line with God’s law.  I find it easier to want to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.  WWJD?  You might have seen this a number of times, it stands for What would Jesus do?  I find I use this phrase when I am trying to make a decision on something difficult.  I ask this question because my actions are watched by God.

God is watching.  Whether or not you believe in that statement, it does not change the fact that someone is watching you.  Somewhere down the line, your actions may impact someone you know…and someone you might never meet.  How can I impact someone I have never met?  I’m happy that you asked.  The Skit Guys will help us out with this.

 

 
 
Do you know who is watching you?   On this Soulful Sunday, I leave you with this thought to marinate this week along with one of today’s readings.
 
 
Heb 4:14-16                     [Jesus Our High Priest]
 
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the high priest who shares all our weaknesses, except sin.  His mercy comes to all who seek it.
 
A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews
 
Brothers and Sisters,
Since we have a great priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin.  So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.
-The word of the Lord.
-Thanks be to God.
 
 Until then,

photo credit: Lawrence OP via photopin cc