Posted tagged ‘Scripture’

Son, You Are Loved!

January 25, 2017

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!

January 25, 2017

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

Lord, Make Haste to Help Me!

July 31, 2012

O God, come to my assistance
Lord, make haste to help me
-Psalm 70:1, the opening of the Liturgy of the Hours

Thereupon Mary set out,
proceeding in haste into the hill country
to a town of Judah,
where she entered Zechariah’s house
and greeted Elizabeth
-Luke 1:40

Through Mary, God made haste to assist Elizabeth.
He does the same for us–and through us–today.

Revelation Unveiled: A Whole New Vision!

May 21, 2012

I finally finished reading through the Haydock Bible
about a month ago–
which means I plowed through the book of Revelation again.

Revelation is generally been a book I’ve avoided.
It’s so hard to understand, so symbolic, so confusing…
and it’s about the end of time,
which I can’t predict anyway
& isn’t likely to happen in my lifetime.
People get all sorts of strange ideas from Revelation…

Every other time I’ve read it,
I’ve gotten bogged down in the end-times speculation,
the sensationalism & generally been frustrated.

I just didn’t “get it.”

This time I decided to forget trying to “figure it out”
to take a step back and just look at the big picture.

We have scenes in Heaven & on earth.
Which looks better?
Heaven!
Earth looks pretty bad.

That’s a good start!

We have scenes of good and evil.
Which are more appealing?
Good, of course, although I’m noticing that everybody suffers.
It’s just that the suffering of the good is temporary
& followed by eternal glory,
while the suffering of the evil starts on earth
& continues forever
(more motivation to aim for Heaven!).

Then I put on my prince’s Michael Card cd “Unveiled Hope,”
which is based on Revelation,
and was struck by the drama.

Hm…

All this is reminding me of childrens’ stories:
the villain and hero (so obviously black and white!), the monsters,
the noble struggle and unexpected success (the Lamb wins?!),
the bridegroom and bride, the drama,
the vivid color, the happy ending…
all written by St. John, the apostle
who kept referring to his readers as “little children”
(I John 2:1, 12, 18, 28; 3:7, 18; 4:4; 5:21),
as a message from the One Who said,

Amen I say to you, unless you be converted,
and become as little children,
you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven
-Matthew 18:3

I’ve been coming at this all wrong!

I need to scrap the mind of “the scholar”
and come to this book with the mind of a child…
but that doesn’t mean I stop asking questions!
Children (you parents know this!)
ask LOTS of questions!

And from my study of the Catechism (paragraphs 115-118),
I know some good questions to ask about any verse of Scripture
(after, of course, looking into its literal meaning):

What does this tell me about Jesus?
What does this tell me about how I should live (morality)?
What does this tell me about my destiny?

I’ve already started answering those!

I started to catch a vision of Revelation
as a sort of “spiritual lens”
through which to look at everything that happens here on earth,
to catch God’s celestial vision of salvation history
from beginning to end,
blowing away the darkness that covers the earth (see Isaiah 60:2),
destroying

the veil that veils all peoples;
the web that is woven over all nations
-Isaiah 25:7

revealing

The mystery which hath been hidden
from ages and generations,
but now is made manifest to His saints
-Colossians 1:26

The veil has been torn (Matthew 27:51).

I also noted
(as I never had before!)
that the book opens and closes
with a blessing for the one who reads and obeys it!
(Revelation 1:3, 22:6)
I know of no other book of Sacred Scripture that does that.
And God says He’s sending this message
because time running out–
we need this now.

I’ve been in Revelation ever since
and expect to be absorbing it for a good long time!

Your Purpose In Life

November 7, 2003

I’ve been thinking more about vocations and calling and such, and it got me thinking about Jesus’ & Mary’s vocations. We only hear about the high points, but if you read between the lines, there were an awful lot of ordinary times in their lives. Mary was a wife, mother, widow. At a young age, she was raising a little boy, cooking, cleaning and being a helpmate to her husband, very ordinary things, done for the love of God, done because she knew that’s what God wanted of her.

Jesus Himself spent most of His life in obscurity. Sure, the shepherds and wise men came to see Him as a baby, and Herod wanted to kill Him, but then He was a refugee in Egypt, and then just another little boy growing up in hicksville (“can anything good come from Nazareth?”). Even when He had grown to adulthood He stayed home, working in the family’s carpenter shop. All through His 20’s, He lived a very ordinary, daily sort of life. It was only the last three years we really hear about, when it was time for Him to start His public ministry, to go off preaching and teaching and healing. But God used those 30 years in which Jesus was a “nobody.” They were part of the purpose of His Incarnation too. We can’t relate to teaching multitudes or healing people, but we can relate to doing a hard day’s work and going to bed tired. I think that’s part of the reason we don’t hear much about “the hidden years.” If we knew the details, only those who lived the same sort of life would identify with it. This way we can all think of Jesus living like we do, understanding our pleasures and troubles, feeling like we aren’t really making a difference in the world.

Looked at with vocations in mind, I think there are depths I haven’t explored in the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry too (see Matthew 3:13 & following and Luke 4 & following). First He was Baptized. He committed Himself publicly to God and received God’s blessing. But then the Holy Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. Wouldn’t you think that once Jesus had publicly committed Himself to God’s service that the Spirit would have led Him to the temple to preach? But instead He’s driven into the wilderness to fast and pray and be tempted. And those temptations take on a new significance when thought of in terms of vocations too. Jesus was tempted to use His powers to turn stones into bread to meet His own needs. We’re tempted to use our skills to provide only for ourselves, to just make money and enjoy it. Then the devil took Jesus to the tiptop of the temple and told Him to throw Himself down–after all, God would make sure He didn’t get hurt. We’re tempted to be presumptuous, since God said He’d take care of us–to not work at all or to just wait for our vocation to fall into our laps without our having taken the time and energy to discern and search for it. Or we might jump into an occupation without bothering to prepare for it, expecting God to make up for what we don’t want to be bothered with (there were probably safer, slower ways of getting down from the top of the temple). Finally, the devil told Jesus He could have all the kingdoms in the world in return for obeying evil. Boy does that one hit home today! If you want to “get ahead” in today’s work world (and sometimes, sadly, even in religious circles), it’s just expected that you’ll step on other people on your way up the ladder, cut a few corners here & there, lie to keep the boss from looking bad–you certainly won’t take God or your conscience seriously! On a more subtle level, there are times when we can see a good outcome, but think that the only way to get there is by doing something sinful. When I took an acting class, I was given a part to play in which I was supposed to use foul language. I wanted a good grade. That’s a good end, and there’s nothing wrong with my wanting it. But in order to get one, I’d have to swear (I refused). There was nothing wrong with Jesus’ wanting to rule the kingdoms of the world, either. In the end, He will rule them. But not by honoring the devil.

Only after wandering and suffering and being tempted in this trackless wilderness was Jesus prepared to actually start His public ministry. That reminds me a lot of the process of vocational discernment!

May we follow Jesus’ example by giving God’s answers to these temptations (it helps if we study the Bible, as Jesus did, so we know what God’s answers are–Jesus responded to each of these temptations by quoting Scripture!).


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