Why I Love Jesus

Barbara over at Suffering With Joy tagged me in the “Why I love Jesus” meme. It is a perfect meme for Lent. Here are the ground rules:

  • Those tagged will share 5 things they “love” about Jesus
  • Those tagged will tag 5 other bloggers
  • Those tagged will provide a link in the comment section here with their names (and responses) so that others can read them.

Having given the rules, I am going to break them by combining this meme with this week’s “Top Ten Tuesday” contribution and offer 10 reasons I love Jesus instead of 5:

1. He was born in a manger, in poverty, for my sake.

2. He lived 30 years in silence and obedience and humility for my sake.

3. He spent 3 years preaching and teaching and healing  and performing miracles for my sake.

4. He endured great suffering and pain before dying a horrible death for my sake.

5. He rose again in His own power, spent 40 days more on earth and Ascended into Heaven for my sake.

6. He sent the power of the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of Confirmation, given  His Body in the Eucharist and strength in the Sacrament of Confession, for my sake.

7. He has given the Scriptures, His Living Word, as spiritual nourishment and food, for my sake.

8. He is ALWAYS there for me, loving me and showing me His infinite love and mercy.

10. He has given me the example of His mother and all the saints to help me understand what it means to love Him back!

In short, I love Jesus because He is EVERYTHING to me: my Savior, my Healer, my Friend, my Guide, my Truth, my ALL. Loving Jesus absolutely works for me!  By the way, Jesus did all of the above not only for my sake, but for YOURS. Why do you love Jesus?

I tag:

Anne at Living in the Two Hearts

Kathleen at So Much to Say, so Little Time

Joann at Into Stillness

Jen at the Big Binder

Angela at Free Spirit Haven

 

Prayer for Educators and Students

Monday is the memorial of Saint John Bosco, who was a great friend and defender of the youth and an outstanding educator. You can watch a short Youtube video that I found about his life here. (WP won’t let me embed the video for some reason. 🙁 )

In his honor, I want to dedicate this weekend to praying for all our educators and students.

Educators have a big responsibility and will have to account for their service before God and I thank God for the many wonderful educators and teachers who work hard at teaching our children. But, then when I read of all the things that go on in schools today, such as pushing the homosexual and birth control and other liberal agendas, guns and shootings, and everything else, it can be disheartening.

Students have a responsibility, too, of course. They also need to be encouraged to learn, to overcome whatever circumstances or difficulties they are in, and need to be in an environment that is conducive to learning. They have to deal with all sorts of bullying, peer pressure, and other issues that were not so prominent when many of us were growing up.

So, let’s pray together for our primary, secondary and university teachers and students. Also, let’s not leave out those who are homeschooling. As I’m learning very quickly, that’s not an easy job either – for the mom or dad doing the teaching or the children!

“Eternal God,
Bless all schools, colleges, and universities, that they may be lively centers for sound learning,
new discovery, and the pursuit of wisdom; and grant that those who teach and those who learn
may find you to be the source of all truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.”

(This prayer was found, and more prayers can be located, at churchyear.net.)

(Linked to Fearless Friday and the Kennedy Adventures!)

See What Love the Father has…

“See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet, so we are.” 1 John 3:1

“For God so loved the world that he gave His only son, so that everyone that believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” John 3:16

These scripture verses never cease to fill my heart with wonder and joy. This is what true love is, not that sappy Hallmark version we’ll be celebrating on Valentine’s Day (not that that’s not fun. 🙂 ). However, true love is a choice, a sacrifice. It’s not an emotional high, but down and dirty in the reality of life, of struggles. The kind of love God has for us.

Doesn’t his kind of love make us want to respond in kind? Let us pray that God will will overflow our hearts with His love, so that our love for Him and our love for others will grow.

Act of Love

Oh my God, I love You above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because You are all good and deserving of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of You. I forgive all who have injured me and ask pardon of all whom I have injured.

–Traditional prayer, author unknown

(Linked to Fearless Friday.)

That You May Have Life: Saints and Scripture Sunday

“…I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

Today is sandwiched between the “Day of Penance for violations to the dignity of the human person”, which was yesterday, and the March for Life, which is tomorrow.

These days remind us again of the need to work and pray for the respect of all persons, from conception to natural death.We have a lot of work to do in the pro-life movement, and with life being ever more degraded and tossed aside each day, it feels like an uphill battle. We must  not lose courage, though. In God we are “more than conquerors” (Rm 8:37) and the “victory has already been won in Christ!” (1 Cor 15: 57)

Each person is sacred, unique, and precious in God’s eyes. YOU are sacred, unique, and precious in God’s eyes. We should occasionally take a time to remember that and rejoice in that. So, today, in the midst of battle let us rejoice and take a moment to revel in God’s love for us. 🙂

(Linked to The Kennedy Adventures!)

The Holy Name of Jesus: Saints and Scripture Sunday

“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, answered them, ‘Leaders of the people and elders: If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a cripple, namely, by what means he was saved, then all of you and all the people of Israel should know that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead; in His name this man stands before you healed. He is ‘the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.’ There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” Acts 4:8-12

Traditionally in the Catholic Church, January is dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus. The feast has been celebrated in the church since the 15th century on a local level and was extended to the whole church in 1721. The feast of the Holy name of Jesus is a wonderful feast (optional memorial, actually) that is officially celebrated on January 3rd. The feast is overlooked, however, due to all the other celebrations of the Christmas season, which is why I am mentioning it now. 🙂 .

Here are some resources about and devotions for the Holy Name of Jesus for the month of January:

Catholic Encyclopedia

Wikipedia

Prayers in honor of the Holy Name

Fisheaters

About.com

(Linked to The Kennedy Adventures!)

The Meaning of Christmas: Saints and Scripture Sunday

I never tire watching a Charlie Brown Christmas each year. It perfectly exemplifies what Christmas is all about, so please indulge me as I share it with you once again:

As we enter into this last week of Advent, may we all take some time to meditate on the real meaning of Christmas and try not to get caught up in all the crazy activities we have going on!

(Linked to Saints and Scripture Sunday over at The Kennedy Adventures!)

St. Francis Cabrini: Saints and Scripture Sunday

“Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the LORD of hosts. But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.” — Malachi 3:19-20

(From today’s first mass reading.)

Yesterday was the feast of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, the first American Citizen to be canonized. St. Frances was born in Italy, the youngest of 13 children. She is the Foundress of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. She came to America in 1889 to minister to the Italian immigrants. She traveled extensively, founding hospitals, orphanages, schools, and other institutions. She died in Chicago on December 22, 1917 and is the patron saints of immigrants. There is is shrine in her honor in Golden, Colorado.

(Dianna over at The Kennedy Adventures! hosts Saints and Scripture Sundays each week. Come and join us!)

Saint Martin de Porres

“Blessed are the Poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3

This week we will be celebrating two big feasts of the church: All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day. However, instead of focusing this post on one of them, I want to mention another (optional) memorial that’s this week: Saint Martin de Porres.

Saint Martin has a special place in my heart. I was first introduced to him when I first got involved with the Little Sisters of the Poor. Then when I became a novice and took my religious name, it was Sister Elizabeth Martin – after Saint Martin de Porres.

He had to endure a lot of injustice in his life. He was the son of a free black woman and a Spanish Grandee; but, his father did not recognize St. Martin as his son until St. Martin was eight. He lived in abject poverty; but, never let the scars of life embitter him. He trusted in the Lord. He gave to those who were poorer than himself. He was goodness and kindness personified.

Saint Martin was also one of those saints that received extraordinary graces and even had the gift of bi-location. How cool is that? 😉 More importantly, he lived a life of prayer and penance, was charitable, and so humble that when he eventually sought entrance into the Dominican order, he didn’t think himself worthy enough to become a brother. He asked to be a lowly lay helper (although the community “made” him become a brother several years later).

We can strive to imitate many of his virtues and ask him to help us to trust in the Lord when we are faced with injustice or difficulties in life. St. Martin de Porres, pray for us!

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Tweetable: St. Martin de Porres

Saint Paul of the Cross: Saints and Scripture Sunday

On Wednesday, the Church celebrated the optional of Saint Paul of the cross, founder of the Passionists. If you don’t know much about Saint Paul of the Cross, it would be worth it to get to know him. 🙂 You can read about him here and here.

St. Paul of the Cross had a deep understanding of the sacrifice of Jesus and the love poured off from the Cross. He had great zeal for souls and continually offered (often severe) sacrifices and mortifications for their conversion. Of course, most of us aren’t called to do severe penances or mortifications, but we (speaking mostly for myself) can all probably follow his example and sacrifice ourselves a little more!

Here are a few nuggets of wisdom from Saint Paul of the Cross:

“It is an excellent and holy practice to call to mind and meditate on our Lord’s Passion, since it is by this path that we shall arrive at union with God. In this, the holiest of all schools, true wisdom is learned, for it was there that all the saints became wise.”

“Look upon the face of the Crucified, who invites you to follow Him. He will be a Father, Mother–everything to you.”

“The world lives unmindful of the sufferings of Jesus, which are the miracle of miracles of the Love of God”

(Join us for other Saints and Scripture posts at The Kennedy Adventures!)

Sing to the Lord: Saints and Scripture Sunday

“Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds.” (Psalm 98:2)

This verse is in the first stanza of this weekend’s responsorial psalm. This psalm is an exhortation to praise the Lord; something I don’t do often enough.

Praise is good for us. God doesn’t need our praise, but praising Him lifts us up. It brings our hearts and minds into focus. I know for me, when I’m down or caught up in life, praising the Lord lifts me up. Also, when I’m tempted to sin and I remember to praise the Lord, the temptation flees. (Didn’t do a very good job remembering that this week, though…)

One of the things that helps me to praise the Lord is music. St. Augustine says that when we sing, we pray twice. That’s why I like to listen to Christian music when I clean or go about my daily activities. It helps me lift my heart in praise and prayer. It washes away the bad mood I may be in. It’s all round just good. 🙂

So, here’s a little song I found to help you lift your spirits to the Lord in prayer and praise on this fine Sunday. (Scroll down a bit to play the song.) It’s called Adoration and it’s by Rick Founds, Rhesa Siregar, Paul Gentry and Elton Smith.

Have a blessed week!

(Join us over at the Kennedy Adventures! for more Saints and Scripture posts!)