Is God’s Love Enough?

Has God ever punched you in the face? Not in the literal sense, of course, but in the way that you hear something and it just changes everything for you?

Is God's Love Enough?

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Well, He “punched” me about a month ago. I went to confession and when I was done telling my sins the priest says (among other things), “When we sin we are, in effect, telling God that His love isn’t enough for us.”

BOOM!

For some reason, those words rocked me to the core. “Of course, God’s love is enough! I go to Mass, I pray, I go to Confession regularly. I profess Jesus as my Lord and Savior and try to do right by him. Heck, I even have a blog to encourage other women with their walk with the Lord! Of course, His love is enough!”

BUT, is it? Really?

By definition, sin is a rejection of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states,

Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it. Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become “like gods,”123 knowing and determining good and evil. Sin is thus “love of oneself even to contempt of God.”124 In this proud self-exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus, which achieves our salvation.125 (1850)

Thus, when I sin, I choose self-love, self-wants, and self-desires over God’s love. So, yes, when I sin I am telling God that His love isn’t enough. I am telling Him that my immediate self-gratification and my self-will is more important than His Holy and loving Will for me.

Thankfully, God’s love and mercy is bigger than my self-love. He knows my hearts, all of our hearts. He knows that we are small and petty and foolish and yet He loves anyway. He knows that we will reject Him – are sins nailed Jesus to the Cross! – and He continues to choose us anyway.

Since that confession, I’ve tried to remember those words. When I am tempted to impatience, anger or other sin, I try to remind myself that God’s love is enough. I don’t have to choose impatience or bitterness, or whatever. It hasn’t been perfect. I’ve failed more than I’ve succeeded. But, guess what? That’s okay! His love is even enough for my failures!

God’s love is enough for you, too.

Whatever you are going through right now, try to think of those words. Are you suffering or in pain? God’s love is enough. Are you struggling with bitterness, anger or hatred? God’s love is enough. Are you lonely? God’s love is enough. Are you out of work or facing financial problems? God’s love is enough. I promise, no matter what you are going through, God’s love is enough.

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P.S. Know that I pray for my blog readers daily! If you have a specific intention you want me to pray for, don’t hesitate to let me know.

ALL Lives Matter

The senseless tragedies of last week are weighing on my heart. It feels like our world is going crazier by the second. When will we realize that every person is created in the image and likeness of God and should be treated with respect? When will we start to “judge” people by their character and not by the color of their skin, or race, or how they walk, talk, or dress or any other external attribute?

All Lives Matter

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And where is God in all this? Honestly, I have no easy answer. I wish there was no evil. Heck, there are times when I wish there wasn’t free will so a person could never choose to harm another person. However, I choose to trust. I choose to believe that God will bring good out of these horrible events.

Of course, it is easy for me to do that. I’m not the one directly affected by the shootings. I’m not mourning the loss of a loved  one. I’m not the one who was shot and killed. So, I’m praying. I’m praying for the repose of the souls of all who died last week. I am praying for the families who are mourning and demanding answers (rightly so). And yes, I am praying for the shooters and their families. I am praying for all who are affected by harmful actions of others.

Will you pray with me?

Have Courage

We must always remember that no matter what happens in our lives, God has already won the victory in Christ Jesus. Our job is to take heart and to bear our trials with patience, even when it is not easy. Check out this encouraging quote by St. John of the Cross:

CourageandPersJohnofCross

There will be trials ahead, both personally and as a society, but if we remain fast, persevere with courage, and trust in the Lord, all will work out according to HIS plan, and for our greater good! God bless!

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Quote found at Catholicbible101

Thank You for the Prayers and an Update

Well, I didn’t plan on having a mini blogging break, especially so soon after Easter but I guess it was God’s will. It has certainly been a crazy couple of weeks! First of all, thank you for the prayers while my husband was in the hospital. He is home and doing much better, thankfully. He has to change his diet and get more exercise (don’t we all!) and follow up with a specialist.

With him out of the hospital, I was able to enjoy a trip to Virginia that was planned a long time ago. I went two of my friends and it was wonderful. However, with all that was going on, blogging fell by the wayside, but I think I can now get back on track. I will be posting the saints and feasts for May early next week, as well as the bible study. I also have lots of ideas for posts and I am hoping to start a Periscope series soon! Of course, all of this will be according to God’s will.

Jesus, I trust in you! So thank you again for the prayers, they mean so much!

You Always Have a Choice

You Always Have a ChoiceI have a confession to make: I can be pretty impatient at times. I pride myself (therein lies the real problem!) as being very efficient, which can be a definite plus  until I take it too far. That’s why I call myself a recovering perfectionist. {wry smile} It’s very easy for me to get caught up in making everything “just so” that I sometimes forget the purpose behind what I am doing. This often leads me to becoming impatient when I have to wait for someone/something or if things don’t go the way I expect.

This impatience very often comes front and center in my relationship with my son. Every evening during night prayer, I have Andrew ask God for forgiveness for anything he may need forgiveness for during the day. Then we ask forgiveness of each other for anything we may have done or said that may have hurt the other person.

So, many times I have to apologize to Andrew for having been impatient with him during the day, especially when I over-react to his normal boyish behavior. One time during our nightly ritual he says to me, “You know, Peter Parker says you always have a choice (a reference to a line in the 3rd Spiderman movie), so you have choice to be nice or a choice not be patient.” (!)

Of course, I took the opportunity to remind him that he, too, always has a choice. He has a choice to be obedient, and do his chores and homeschooling cheerfully, etc.  We then proceeded to have an interesting (and cute!) conversation about what making choices are all about and how the choices we make can shape our lives.

Afterward, our conversation really got me thinking, and I still think about the conversation from time to time. We, as individuals, really do always have a choice – and not just about choosing to be patient or not being patient. We have  choices to make all throughout the day and, often,  NOT choosing is a choice. And I don’t know about you, but I frequently go through the day on autopilot and not always being conscious of the choices I am are making. That is why I have to make a point of being more intentional and focused.

Because each day I have the opportunity to consciously:

  • choose to live for and depend on God
  • choose to take time to pray and delve into The Word of God
  • choose to make my home a haven for my family
  • choose to reach out to a friend or family in need or just to make them smile
  • choose to live in integrity and love
  • choose to take a stand for what I believe in
  • choose to carry out my responsibilities cheerfully (and, yes, choose to be patient!)

Or, I can stay on autopilot:

  • choose to rely on my own self
  • choose to live in selfishness
  • choose to not respond in love toward others
  • choose to shirk my responsibilities
  • choose to not make a choice!

It’s up to me. I can take the steps to change by being more aware of my choices and actions AND when I get impatient to step back, assess the situation, and change my response. It won’t be easy but with God’s grace it is doable!

What about you? Do you struggle with living on autopilot or making conscious choices each day? Or am I alone in this?! 🙂 How do you counteract the autopilot tendency or impatience? Let’s pray for each other so that we all consciously choose what is most important: God and others (especially our families).

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Prayer to Keep the Presence of God

“You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.” Psalm 16:11

Remaining in God’s presence during the day is a very important aspect of the spiritual life. I know for myself, I want – and need – to stay grounded in His presence; but alas, I fail short so many times.

PresenceofGod

Then I started praying this prayer that I found in the book Handbook of Prayer (aff link page 43). I’ve been praying this prayer first thing in the morning for a while now, and I am so pleased that my mind keeps going back to this prayer during the day! In hopes that this prayer will help you remain in God’s presence, I want to share this with you. ( The author is not listed, so I don’t know who the author is):

Prayer to Keep the Presence of God

“Lord God Almighty, You have brought us safely to the beginning of this day. Defend us today by Your mighty power, so that we may not fall into any sin, and that all our words may so proceed and all our thoughts and actions be so directed as to be always just in your sight. through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

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Go here to download a printable version of this prayer. Subscribers can go to their private page to get the printable.

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(This is a repost)

Shhh! We are in Church!

I will never forget the day Andrew “shh-ed” everyone in Church. 🙂 He was four or five-years-old at the time and we were still living in Ohio. We had come back to New Jersey for a visit and we were in Church for a First Holy Communion.

While waiting for Mass to begin, a lot of people, including some family members behind us, were talking. Hearing the chatter, a person would think that there was a party going on, rather than a Church service about to begin. All of a sudden, Andrew stands up, turns around, and says,

“Shhh! We are in Church!”

Then he turned and sat down.

The people sitting around us were quiet for a moment and then because giggling and talking about how cute and funny Andrew was for what he said. It was adorable and cute, however, I think they missed the point.

Don’t get me wrong here. I’m NOT condemning anyone, or saying that it is wrong to talk in Church, or that we should go back to the days of absolute silence in Church. I’m just as guilty as everyone else when it comes to talking in Church.

However, have you noticed just how LOUD our world has become, both physically and metaphorically? We are constantly bombarded with TV, radio, social media, news, and other noises. So much so, in fact that we don’t even take some time before the Sacred Liturgy, to compose ourselves and prepare our hearts. On top of that, we also live very busy lives running here and there, taking care of family, and fulfilling our many obligations. These are all great things but when we talk, talk, talk, and go, go, go, it becomes impossible to listen. More importantly, it becomes almost impossible to hear God speak to us.

Silence

God WANTS to speak to us. He wants to heal us and minister to us but He can’t do that if we don’t take the time to settle down and wait for His voice. More than that, we NEED to spend time in silence in order to recharge our batteries and fill up our souls. We all know the saying, “we can’t give what we don’t have.” If we don’t take the time to fill our souls, listening to God in the silence of our hearts, we will burn out.

That’s why I really want to encourage you to find a way to make time for silence. Believe me, I know you are busy, but if you can get up even 15 minutes earlier to spend in silence and prayer, I guarantee it will make a difference in your life.

A couple of weeks ago, I told you about the Make Over Your Mornings e-course (aff) that I worked through. I have always been a morning person, but still, this course has made a big difference in how I manage my mornings (and my whole day). This BIGGEST difference for me has been in the consistency in which I have been spending my quiet/prayer time.

Since tweaking my evening/morning routines, I haven’t missed my morning prayer time once in two weeks! Every morning, I get up at 5:50am (usually a little before that), do my stretching/exercising, shower/dress, and then grab my prayer-book and bible and settle in for 15 minutes or so of scripture reading and meditation. Even on the days I have overslept, I have made my morning quiet time an absolute, and it has made a difference in my mood and in how I approach the day.

For you, you don’t have to take the e-course (aff) to change your routine (although I suggest you do!). All you have to do is make the commitment to get up just a few minutes earlier than everyone else and commit to using that time for silence and prayer. Easier said than done, I know, but if you work at for a few weeks, and it becomes a habit, I know that you will reap the rewards. I promise you.

By the way, if you do add quiet time and prayer into your morning routine, I’d love to know how it goes. If you are struggling, I’d love to offer my prayer support. And if it is going great, I’d love to hear how it has changed your life and/or outlook. So, leave a comment or email me!

Blessings.

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Your Life is Precious and has Value

No matter what you are going through, no matter how bleak life seems sometimes, please never forget that life is a gift. You are precious, unique, and you are on this earth for a reason.

YouMatter

I write this because last week I read how a 24-year-old healthy woman in Belgium will kill herself this summer via assisted suicide. Her name is Laura.

According to LifeNews,

“Euthanasia for psychological reasons is done when a psychiatrist agrees that the psychological pain that a person is experiencing cannot be relieved in a way that the individual finds acceptable. That means, Laura may be treatable, but Laura has decided that the only acceptable “treatment” is death.”

How unbelievably sad and heartbreaking. Euthanasia should never be an acceptable option, especially for “psychological reasons.” People who suffer from depression or other type of psychological pain need help and support; what they don’t need is to be killed off, even if they “think” that’s what they want.

God has created every human being in HIS image. Life is a gift and God is always with us, whether we realize it or not. Which leads me to the heart of the issue here. Life is hard. It just is, but life without God, can be almost impossible.

Belgium is supposed to be a predominately Catholic country. But where is God in this situation? He has been completely disregarded and ignored. The doctors and government officials have made themselves “god.” God’s existence and active presence has been almost completely eradicated from the minds and hearts of so many of us, it is  not that too surprising that death has become a viable option for some.

Listen, I’m not a Pollyanna. I have struggled (and sometimes still struggle) with depression. In fact, there have been times in my life when I seriously considered suicide. So believe me, depression is real and psychological pain is very real.

However, I also have the love and support of wonderful family and friends. I am also blessed with an uncompromising faith that knows that God is there, even in the dark times. Over many years, I have received healing, grace, and unbounded hope and trust in the Lord. Yes, that trust and faith waivers at times, but it is the foundation of my life.

And, that is what this poor woman Laura needs. It is what every person needs. Until we rediscover our faith and begin a real and living relationship with Jesus Christ, we will never understand the real, amazing gift and value of life.

So I say again, YOU are precious, YOU have value, YOU matter. If you are struggling, get help. Talk to a priest (or other clergy if you aren’t Catholic). Get help from health professionals (preferably faith-based) who will guide you and help you into a better place. Because, things DO get better.

As always, know that I pray for you, my readers, and if you have a special intention never hesitate to contact me. I will add your name to my prayer list that I pray over almost every day.

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You are Marvelous In God’s Eyes

Marvelouspost

 

Recently, my mom sent me a text inviting me to read Psalm 139, and she reminded me that I am marvelous in God’s eyes. It was just what I needed to hear, and I thought maybe you might need this reminder, too.

Verses 13-14 says:

“You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works!”

If you are struggling or depressed or feel like you can’t go on, God knows what you are going through. He is there. He made you in the womb, and He sees you as the marvelous being that you are, even with all your mistakes, foibles, or doubts! Don’t be afraid to go to Him in your time of need, and know that even if you can’t “feel” God’s presence, He will carry you through.

I want to encourage you to take a few minutes to read Psalm 139. It is a beautiful Psalm, and I hope, as you read it, it will fill you with peace.

God bless you.

Happy Fourth of July!

We are truly blessed in our country to have the freedoms that we have. Our country certainly isn’t perfect, and we must continue to fight to keep our freedoms, but still, in many ways we are truly blessed. Let us take a moment to thank God for our freedom, and the grace to use our freedom wisely and for his glory.

Fourth of July

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