Pope’s Prayer Intentions for February, 2017

Posted February 1, 2017 by pussywillowpress
Categories: Uncategorized

JMJ

Blessed February !

Here are our Holy Father’s prayer intentions (as found here)
for this month dedicated to the Holy Family or the Passion of Our Lord:

FEBRUARY
Comfort for the Afflicted.
That all those who are afflicted,
especially the poor, refugees, and marginalized,
may find welcome and comfort in our communities.

May God bless your prayer!

Son, You Are Loved!

Posted January 25, 2017 by pussywillowpress
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , ,

My Beloved Son
(I John 3:1),

Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you (Jeremiah 1:5).
I know when you sit and when you stand.
I am familiar with all your ways.
I understand your thoughts–before ever a word is on your tongue,
I know the whole of it (Psalm 139:2-4).

You are a stranger and alien no longer.
No, you are a fellow citizen of the saints
and a member of My household (Ephesians 2:19).

You are precious in My eyes, and I love you (Isaiah 43:4).
I have called you by name:
you are Mine (Isaiah 43:1).
I delight in you! (Isaiah 63:4).
You are truly My handiwork,
created in Christ Jesus to lead the life of good deeds
that I prepared for you in advance. (Ephesians 2:10).

When you call to Me, when you pray to Me,
I will listen to you.
When you look for Me, you will find Me.
Yes, when you seek Me with all your heart,
you will find Me with you (Jeremiah 29:12-13).

Commit your way to Me.
Trust in Me and I will act.
I will make justice dawn for you like the light;
bright as the noonday shall be your vindication (Psalm 37:5-6).
To you I give the wild-ox’s strength.
You will flourish like a palm tree planted in My house,
still full of sap, still green (Psalm 92:11, 13).

Look to Me that you may be radiant with joy,
and your face not blush with shame.
Taste and see how good I Am (Psalm 34:6, 9).
Rejoice in the shadow of My wings (Psalm 63:7).
Rejoice in Me always! (Philippians 4:4)
Rejoicing in Me must be your strength (Nehemiah 8:10),
and when I Am your strength, you have strength for everything
(Philippians 4:13).

I know well the plans I have in mind for you,
plans for your welfare, not for woe!
plans to give you a future full of hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
When you pass through the water, I will be with you;
in the rivers you shall not drown.
When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned;
the flames shall not consume you (Isaiah 43:2-3).
No matter where you go, I Am there.
My hand will always guide you;
My right hand hold you fast (Psalm 139:7-10).
My angel encamps around about you to deliver you (Psalm 34:8).

And if I Am for you, who can be against you?
Be certain that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor principalities,
neither the present nor the future, nor powers,
neither height nor depth nor any other creature
can separate you from My love,
which comes to you through Christ Jesus (Romans 8:31, 38-39),
My beloved Son (Matthew3:17).

Dismiss all anxiety from your mind
and present your needs to Me in every form of prayer
and in petitions full of gratitude.
Set your mind on all that is true, all that deserves respect,
all that is honest, pure, admirable, decent, virtuous and worthy of praise.
Live by what I’ve taught you.
Then My own peace, which is beyond all understanding,
will stand guard over your heart and mind in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-8).

Though you may for a time have to suffer the distress of many trials,
this is so that your faith,
which is more precious than the passing splendor of fire-tried gold,
may by its genuineness lead to praise, glory and honor
when Jesus Christ appears (I Peter 1:6-7).
Hold fast to what you have,
lest someone rob you of your crown (Revelation 3:11).
Draw your strength from Me and My mighty power.
Put on My armor so that you may be able to stand firm
against the tactics of the devil.
Your battle is not against flesh and blood
but against the principalities and powers, the rulers of this world of darkness,
the evil spirits in regions above.

You must put on My whole armor if you are to resist in the evil day;
do all that your duty requires, and hold your ground.
Stand fast, with the truth as a belt around your waist,
justice as your breastplate,
and zeal to spread the Gospel of peace as your footgear.
In all circumstances hold faith up before you as your shield;
it will help you extinguish the fiery darts of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, My Word.
At every opportunity, pray in the Spirit,
using prayers and petitions of every sort (Ephesians 6:10-18).
Do not be overcome by evil,
but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).

The sufferings of the present are as nothing
compared with the glory to be revealed in you (Romans 8:18).
I will make the victor a pillar in the temple of my God
and he shall never leave it (Revelation 3:11).

My son, give me your heart,
and let your eyes observe My ways
(Proverbs 23:26).

Your loving Father,
God

When I was in college, someone left a letter similar to this in my mailbox
I never did discover the identity of my earthly benefactor,
but I decided to use the idea for our RCIA candidates on retreat,
putting together one for the men & another for the women
(respecting the differences between the masculine & feminine genius),
and personalizing each with the recipients’ name.

They can be found in printable form here

Daughter, You Are Loved!

Posted January 25, 2017 by pussywillowpress
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , ,

My Beloved Daughter
(I John 3:1),

You are precious in My eyes, and I love you (Isaiah 43:4).
I have called you by name: you are Mine (Isaiah 43:1).
I delight in you! (Isaiah 63:4)

Before I formed you in the womb,
I knew you (Jeremiah 1:5).
I know when you sit and when you stand.
I am familiar with all your ways.
I understand your thoughts–
before ever a word is on your tongue,
I know the whole of it (Psalm 139:2-4).

I rest My hand upon you (Psalm 139:5).
When you call to Me, when you pray to Me, I will listen to you.
When you look for Me, you will find Me.
Yes, when you seek Me with all your heart,
you will find Me with you (Jeremiah 29:12-13).

Look to Me that you may be radiant with joy,
and your face not blush with shame.
Taste and see how good I Am (Psalm 34:6, 9).
Rejoice in the shadow of My wings (Psalm 63:7).
Rejoice in Me always! (Philippians 4:4)
Rejoicing in Me must be your strength (Nehemiah 8:10),
and when I Am your strength,
you have strength for everything (Philippians 4:13).

It is good for you to give thanks to Me, to sing praise to My Name;
to proclaim My kindness at dawn,
and My truth in the watches of the night.
I give you delight in what I do.
My works are great; deep are My thoughts (Psalm 92:2, 3, 5).

Commit your way to Me.
Trust in Me and I will act.
I will make justice dawn for you like the light;
bright as the noonday shall be your vindication (Psalm 37:5-6).
To you I give the wild-ox’s strength.
You will flourish like a palm tree planted in My house,
still full of sap, still green (Psalm 92:11, 13).

You are a stranger and alien no longer.
No, you are a fellow citizen of the saints
and a member of My household.
(Ephesians 2:19)

I know well the plans I have in mind for you,
for your welfare, not for woe!
plans to give you a future full of hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
When you pass through the water, I will be with you;
in the rivers you shall not drown.
When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned;
the flames shall not consume you (Isaiah 43:2-3).
No matter where you go, I Am there.
My hand will always guide you;
My right hand hold you fast (Psalm 139:7-10).
My angel encamps around about you to deliver you (Psalm 34:8).

And if I Am for you, who can be against you?
Be certain that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor principalities,
neither the present nor the future, nor powers,
neither height nor depth nor any other creature
can separate you from My love,
which comes to you through Christ Jesus (Romans 8:31, 38-39),
My beloved Son (Matthew3:17).

Dismiss all anxiety from your mind
and present your needs to Me in every form of prayer
and in petitions full of gratitude.
Set your mind on all that is true, all that deserves respect,
all that is honest, pure, admirable, decent, virtuous
and worthy of praise.
Live by what I’ve taught you.
Then My own peace, which is beyond all understanding,
will stand guard over your heart and mind
in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-8).

Though you may for a time have to suffer the distress of many trials,
this is so that your faith,
which is more precious than the passing splendor of fire-tried gold,
may by its genuineness
lead to praise, glory and honor
when Jesus Christ appears (I Peter 1:6-7).
Do not be overcome by evil,
but overcome evil with good
(Romans 12:21). Hold fast to what you have,
lest someone rob you of your crown (Revelation 3:11).
The sufferings of the present are as nothing
compared with the glory to be revealed in you (Romans 8:18).
I will make the victor a pillar in the temple of my God
and he shall never leave it (Revelation 3:11).

So arise, My beloved, My beautiful one, and come!
O My dove in the clefts of the rock,
in the secret recesses of the cliff,
let Me see you, let Me hear your voice,
for your voice is sweet, and you are lovely
(Song of Songs 2:10, 14).

Your loving Father,
God

When I was in college, someone left a letter similar to this in my mailbox
I never did discover the identity of my earthly benefactor,
but I decided to use the idea for our RCIA candidates on retreat,
putting together one for the men & another for the women
(respecting the differences between the masculine & feminine genius),
and personalizing each with the recipients’ name.

They can be found in printable form here

Pope Francis’ Prayer Intentions for January, 2016

Posted January 1, 2017 by pussywillowpress
Categories: Uncategorized

JMJ

Blessed Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God!

Here is Pope Francis’ prayer intention (as found here)
for this month dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus or Childhood of Jesus:

JANUARY 2017

Christian Unity

That all Christians may be faithful to the Lord’s teaching
by striving with prayer and fraternal charity
to restore ecclesial communion
and by collaborating to meet the challenges facing humanity.

God bless your prayer!

St. Lucy

Posted December 13, 2015 by pussywillowpress
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , ,

JMJ

I started writing on the wrong readings for Draw Near
(lost track of the fact that it’s a Sunday!),
but what came was too good to trash, so I thought I’d post it here!

Readings specific for St. Lucy:
2 Corinthians 10:17-11:2 (I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ)
Psalm 31: 3-4, 6, 8, 16-17 “Into Your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit”
+ Matthew 25:1-13 (Parable of the wise and foolish virgins)

The Bridegroom comes!

His bride
must be awake,
alert!
and swift of foot,
her lamp alight

(not dallying
with denizens
of night)

that she might
enter in
enraptured by
His joy!

They Shall Lift Up Deadly Serpents

Posted December 2, 2015 by pussywillowpress
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

JMJ

Blessed Tuesday!

When I checked this passage in the interlinear Greek

These signs will accompany those who believe:
in My Name they will drive out demons,
they will speak fresh languages.
They will pick up deadly serpents
~Mark 16:17-18

…the word usually translated “pick up” jumped out at me–
the Greek is “lift up”.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
that those who believe in Him may not perish,
but may have life everlasting.
~John 3:14-15

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Esteban_March_-_Moses_and_the_Brazen_Serpent_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

Jesus is referring to Numbers 21:4-9,
when the people God had freed from slavery in Egypt
complained again,
and He permitted fiery serpents to invade the camp
and bite them so that many died.
When the people begged Moses
to ask God to take the serpents away,
God told Moses to make a serpent of bronze and mount it on a pole
so that anyone bitten by a serpent
could look at the bronze serpent and be saved.
He did not take the serpents away!

Now, in the interests of full disclosure,
when Jesus says “lifted up”,
He’s using different Greek words in these two passages,
so the parallel isn’t exact,
but that just allows for a broader range of implications.

The word used when He compares Himself to the bronze serpent
means “to exalt”,
whereas the one referring to believers
carries the implication of “to take away,”
and by Hebraism, “to expiate sin”!

God didn’t take away the serpents in the desert
because the more deadly serpents of rebellion
were still lodged in their hearts.
The physical serpents were needed
to keep the spiritual serpents at bay
(note that all the complaining the Israelites did on that journey
ended with the bronze serpent).

Now that Jesus has been exalted
on the Cross
believers take away deadly serpents
physically and spiritually!

It’s called repentance and conversion–
regretting sin
by a change of heart
and rejecting it
by a change of life.

Then we don’t need
the physical serpents
anymore.

Living In The Upper Room

Posted November 12, 2015 by pussywillowpress
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

JMJ

We should always look to God as in ourselves,
no matter in what manner we meditate upon Him,
so as to accustom ourselves to dwell in His divine presence.
For when we behold Him within our souls,
all our powers and faculties,
and even our senses,
are recollected within us.
If we look at God apart from ourselves
we are easily distracted by exterior objects.
~St. Margaret Mary

That makes intuitive sense…
but it’s always felt as though finding God within
meant looking down,
below, in my body,
which didn’t quite sit right…

I’m sure that could spark a fruitful meditation on humility…
but in the meantime, Archbishop Ullathorne and the Glorious Mysteries
gave me another tack:

The Glorious Mysteries are about rising
–rising from the dead, rising to Heaven–
and Archbishop Ullathorne (following many others before him)
contrasts our lower (animal) nature
with our higher, grace-infused, nature,
in which we are “already seated with Christ at God’s right hand”
(see Ephesians 2:6).
From thence, He lets fall into my lower nature
the flames of love of the Holy Spirit,
that my lower nature might be lifted up too,
as was the Blessed Virgin Mary.

This superior part of the soul
reminds me of the upper room
the Shunammite woman built for the prophet Elisha
so he would have a place to stay when he passed through
(and where he raised her son from the dead, see 2 Kings 4:8ff),

ElishaRaisingShunammitesSon

and of the Upper Room
where Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist,
and where the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles
who had prayed there for nine days.

UpperRoom

It’s a place to build within my soul;
a place above;
a place for God to dwell;
a place to meet Him, to welcome Him,
to abide with Him,
to receive His Life;
a place of power.

Its foundation is in Heaven,
not on earth.

The floods of water may reach high
but him they shall not reach
~Psalm 32:6

Though its waters rage and foam,
though the mountains be shaken by its waves,
the Lord of Hosts is with us
The God of Jacob is our stronghold
~Psalm 46:4

Flood

The passions flood the lower part of the house;
their waters rage and foam.
But when I discipline myself to stay in the “upper room”,
in the superior part of my nature,
with Jesus,
I don’t get swept away.

The Mighty Lord is with me,
he God of Jacob is my stronghold!

It sure doesn’t take much
to get sucked in.


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