Mercy Bible Study: Session 5 Reflection

Session five was another long chapter that gave us a lot to think about, didn’t it? And I have to confess, I took my own advice and didn’t finish reading through all the scripture readings. Most of them were related and I was able to get the gist of what Father Pacwa was trying to get across to his readers. Here are my thoughts.

Mercy Bible Study: Session 5 Reflection

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I decided to focus on question two from the discussion questions at the back of the chapter. The question is “Think of the people who were angry at Jesus for having driven out a demon and causing a herd of pigs to be killed. have you ever found yourself feeling like someone didn’t deserve God’s mercy? What about a murderer who repents at the last minute” (pg 107)? This discussion question is the type that goes right for the heart!

The first example of Jesus driving out a demon comes from Matthew 17:14-18 when Jesus heals the boy with epileptic seizures. The second examples comes from Mark 5:1-20 when Jesus casts out the demon named “Legion” and into the pigs. In both cases, the reactions are different than one would expect. With the boy, Jesus is criticized, and with the pigs, the people are frightened. In both cases, they don’t think the persons Jesus healed were worthy.

And the end question really hits home, sadly. I have felt at times that someone didn’t deserve God’s mercy but it isn’t the “murderer who repents at the last minute.” That person is “out there” and it isn’t hard to imagine God having mercy on him/her. It is the person that has hurt me personally that I sometimes have difficulty wishing for God’s mercy on him/her. How about you?

During much of my school years I was bullied. I have cerebral palsy that affected the way I walked, I was quiet and shy, and it was hard for me to fit in with other kids. During my high school years, there were times when I was picked on (especially by one person in particular) and I can guarantee you that I did not wish mercy for that person (from God or anyone else!). I have since forgiven everyone who has bullied me and have moved on; however, in the past, I probably would have criticized Jesus myself if He had mercy on that person!

Even as an adult, when I am wronged – be it real or imagined – I struggle with not having negative, almost revengeful thoughts. Is it pride? Probably. I know in my heart we are to love everyone even our “enemies.” But, as humans, it can be difficult to look past the hurt and see that person as God sees that person. And, therein lies the challenge, right?! Or, am I the only one who struggles with this?

Jesus has given us the commandment and the example to love others and to have mercy on them, as He does. Just because the task is difficult doesn’t mean we are off the hook. He says, “the measure that we measure with will be measured back to us” (see Luke 6:38) and that can be a sobering thought if we (I am) are not measuring with mercy.

Like I wrote, there is a lot to think about in this chapter! What about you? What struck you or challenged you in this session? Do share in the comments.

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Come Holy Spirit!

(The Feast of Pentecost is this Sunday – May 15 – so I am reposting this because it is always good to remind ourselves of the greats gifts of the Holy Spirit!)

If you have been following the novena to the Holy Spirit for Pentecost, you know we have been praying for the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. As a sort of conclusion to the novena, and for those who didn’t participate in the novena, here is a summary of the gifts of the spirit and scripture verses to pray over as you prepare for this great feast of the Church.

Holy Spirit Fire Dove

(Image in public domain)

— 1 —

Wisdom. The gift of Wisdom gives us the ability to recognize God in all things around us.

For in her [wisdom] is a spirit intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, agile, clear unstained, certain, not baneful, loving the good, keen, unhampered…For Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion and she penetrates and pervades all things by reason of her purity.” Wisdom 7:23-24

— 2 —

Understanding. The gift of Understanding helps us recognize truth and how to follow in God’s ways.

Then will you understand the fear of the Lord; the knowledge of God you will find; for the Lord gives wisdom, from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:5-6

— 3 —

Counsel. The gift of counsel gives us right judgement. We are able to clearly see and understand the difference between right and wrong.

I will instruct you and show you the way you should walk, give you counsel and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8

— 4 —

Fortitude. The gift of Fortitude gives us the courage we need to continue our faith journey, even in the face of trials and difficulties.

I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” John 16:33

— 5 —

Knowledge. The gift of knowledge helps us know who God is.

Even if I am untrained in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.” 2 Corinthians 11:6

— 6 —

Piety. The gift of Piety gives us reverence and respect for all things holy, particularly God and His Holy Church.

Therefore, we who are receiving the unshakable kingdom should have gratitude, with which we should offer worship, pleasing to God in reverence and awe. For our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12: 28-29

— 7 —

Fear of the Lord. The gift of the Fear of the Lord gives us an understanding of the greatness and awesomeness of God.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; prudent are all who live by it. Your praise endures forever.” Psalm 111:10

I pray that each of you filled with every gift and blessing from the Lord on this Pentecost Sunday. God bless.

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(Scripture verses taken from the New American Bible, St. Joseph Edition; 1970 by the Confraternity of Christina Doctrine (CCD), Washington, DC)

Mercy Bible Study: Lesson 3 Readings

Mercy Bible Study: Session 3 Readings

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We are now moving on to lesson three of the bible study. Here are the readings for this month:

Hosea 14:1-9

Habakkuk 3:1-19

Jeremiah 31:20-33

Ezekiel 39:25, 37:1-27

Zechariah 1:12-17

Jeremiah 25:11, 29:10-14

Isaiah 60:1-22

Judith 13:14-18

Judith 16:1-17

Exodus 15:20-21

Judges 5

1 Samuel 18:7-8

Wisdom 11:1-10

Proverbs 19:18

John 15:1-2

Hebrews 12:7-11

Wisdom 16:1-10

Numbers 21:4-9

John 3:14-17

Wisdom 12:1-22

Genesis 15:16

Leviticus 18:24-30

Deuteronomy 9:1-5

Deuteronomy 12:29-31

Deuteronomy 18:9-12

Wisdom 12:12-21

Again, don’t go crazy here. Read as many of the scriptures that you can but don’t stress if you don’t get them all read. It is better to spend more time reflecting on less verses than it is to rush through all of them. Besides, as you may notices, some of the scriptures overlap and several of them are grouped according the topic.

As usual, I will offer my thoughts and reflections toward the end of the month.

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10 Scripture Verses for Holy Week

(repost)

In just a few days we will celebrate the solemn liturgies of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter. To help us enter more deeply into these mysteries, here are ten scripture verses to pray over during Holy Week:

10 Scripture Verses for Holy Week

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From this week’s liturgies:

1. Isaiah 42:1 “Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, upon whom I have put my spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations”

2. John 13:26-27 “Jesus answered, ‘it is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it.’ So he dipped the morsel and handed it to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot. After he took the morsel, Satan entered him.”

3. Psalm 69:14 “But I pray to you, Lord, for the time of your favor. God in your great kindness answer me with your constant help.”

From the Seven Last Words of Jesus:

4. Matthew 27:46 “And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, eli, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?'”

5. Luke 23:34 “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.'”

6. Luke 23:43 “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

7. Luke 23:46 “Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit;’ and when he had said this he breathed his last.”

8. John 19: 26-27 “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son.’ then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. ”

9. John 19:28 “After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I thirst.'”

10. John 19:30 “When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, ‘It’s is finished,'”

I choose these verses because they are very meaningful to me; however, there are many other beautiful scriptures applicable for this sacred week to pray over. What are your favorites? Do let us know in the comments.

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Ten Scripture Verses to Pray Over During Lent

(repost: I thought this would be a good complement to Sr. Christina’s guest post. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

We are just on the cusp of Lent, and as I’ve said many times before, one of the best things we can do is read God’s word. One of the best ways to do this is to pray the scriptures that are given to us at Mass. The Liturgy is wrought with meaningful verses to encourage us to deepen our understanding of the Lord’s sacrifice, to open and convert out hearts and renew our commitment to the Lord. That is why I am republishing this post of 10 scripture verses:

10 Scripture Verses to Pray Over During Lent

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Here is a small compilation of scripture verses to help get you meditating on the Holy Word God:

1. “Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me your paths.” Psalm 25:4

2. “A clean heart create in me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me.” Psalm 51 12

3. “Return, O Israel, to the Lord, your God; you have collapsed through your guilt. Take with you words, and return to the Lord.” Hosea 14:2-3

4. “Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God.” Joel 2:12-13

5. “Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.” Matthew 7:1-2

6. “He released Barabbas to them, and after having Him scourged, he handed him over to be crucified.” Matthew 27:26

7. “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.” Luke 9:22

8. “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23

9. “Jesus wept.” John 11:35

10. “God proves His love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

I can’t resist adding these two more:

11. “Though He was in the form of God, Jesus did not regard equality with God something to be grasped at. Rather, He emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found in human appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even to death on a cross.” Philippians 2:6-8

12. “Judgment is merciless to one who has not shown mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:13

What favorite scripture verses do you like to pray over during Lent?

P. S. In case you want to print these verses to pray over them, I created a .pdf file to make it easier for you. You can print it here, no opt-in required. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 10 Scripture Verses to Pray Over During Lent

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Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival (October 6, 2013)

Sunday Snippets

School has kept me unbelievably busy so I’ve had almost no time for blogging. The following posts are from the last three weeks:

A Lemon Cookie recipe for the busy woman (or man!)

Put the Lime in the Coconut (a fun little video to brighten your day)

Ten Scripture Verses to Memorize with Children

I also posted my weekly goals but didn’t bother linking them up here.

Question of the Week:

Have you ever tried the Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office)? Why or why not, and, if so, is it something you pray regularly?

Yes, I have prayed the Liturgy of the Hours. It was an integral part of my prayer life when I was with the Little Sisters of the Poor. Since leaving, I’ve prayed the Liturgy of the Hours off and on. It is a beautiful prayer and I will continue to pray it when I can.

P.S. If you could say a quick prayer for me: I have a huge exam on Tuesday, so please pray that I do well in the course. Thanks!

Top 10 Scripture Verses to Memorize with Your Children

Memorize scripture with children

(This post, first published in 2010, continues to be very popular. I’ve added a pdf version so that you can print out the verses to use with your family. The link is at the end.)

One of the things we are doing is trying to memorize scripture with Andrew.ย  We want him to develop a love of scripture, encourage character development and promote growth of virtue. Normally, we make it part of our home-schooling day, but I’ve slacked off a bit over the summer. ๐Ÿ™‚

It is a lot of fun learning scripture with Andrew! We make a game of it and we take turns testing each other. He gets a real kick out of “being the “teacher”. lol!

With our home-school starting up again, we are getting back on track. Here some of the scripture verses that we will be working on memorizing over this school year:

1. Colossians 3:20 “Children obey your parents in everything for this is pleasing to the Lord.”

2. Exodus 24:7 “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”

3. Psalm 111:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

4. 1 John 4:8 “God is love.”

5. Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

6. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

7. Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, as it is the wellspring of life.”

8. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave us His only begotten Son; so that anyone who believes in Him may not perish, but may have eternal life.”

9. Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

10. Psalm 107:1 “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His mercy endures forever.”

What about you? What are your favorite scripture verses? What favorite scripture verses are you memorizing with your family? Do share in the comments!

(This is linked to Top 10 Tuesday and Works for me Wednesday.)

UPDATE: I made a PDF out of these scripture verses in case you wanted to memorize some (or all) of them with your family. Rather than writing each one out, feel free to print out the PDF here:ย Scripture Verses to Memorize with Children No opt-in required.