Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Posts Tagged ‘christian’

Fornight for Freedom comes to a close…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on July 5, 2012

They Came Before Us

For Those Who Fought and Died for Our Freedom

Updated! 7/06/12

And I am amazed at how topical the readings in the Christian Prayer were for these fourteen days!  In particular, the readings from this week as found in the Evening Prayer…

Evening Prayer II: Week I, Sunday: READING: 2Cor 1:3-7 (emphasis added)

Praise be to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation!  He comforts us in all our afflictions and thus enables us to comfort those who are in trouble with the same consolation we have received from Him.  As we have shared much in the suffering of Christ, so through Christ do we share abundantly in His consolation.

If we are afflicted it is for your encouragement and salvation, and when we are consoled it is for your consolation, so that you may endure patiently the same sufferings we endure.  Our hope for you is firm because we know that just as you share in the sufferings [of Christ], so you will share in the consolation.

The Word of the Lord… Thanks be to God!

When I read that last paragraph, I envision the founding fathers and those who risked their very lives to begin the process of making the American Colonies independent from England over 230 years ago, encouraging us in the same way.  America will never be the same since that Supreme Court ruling last week…

And yet we are reminded again by St. Paul…

Week I: Evening Prayer, Monday: READING: Colossians 1: 9b-13 (emphasis added)

May you attain full knowledge of God’s will through perfect wisdom and spiritual insight.  Then you will lead a life worthy of the Lord and pleasing to Him in every way

You will multiply good works of every sort and grow in the knowledge of God.  By the might of His glory you will be endowed with the strength needed to stand fast, even to endure joyfully whatever may come, giving thanks to the Father for having made you worthy to share the lot of the saints in light.

He rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of His beloved Son.

The Word of the Lord… Thanks be to God!

We will have to endure many trials in the days ahead – both financial as well as (I’m sure), spiritual trials.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church does tell us that:

Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.  The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of His Messiah come in the flesh. ~CCC§675

But for those who hold steadfastly to the teachings of Christ and His Holy Church the victory of Christ – which is Guaranteed will become our own.  St. Paul further admonishes us…

Evening Prayer: Week I, Tuesday: READING: Romans 13: 11-14 (emphasis added)

You know the time in which we are living.  It is NOW the hour for you to wake from sleep, for our salvation is CLOSER than when we first accepted the faith.

The night is far spent; the day draws near…

(“Let the greatest sinners place their trust in My Mercy… before I come as a Just Judge, I first open wide the door of My Mercy.  He who refuses to pass through the door of My Mercy must pass through the door of My Justice.” ~Diary of St. Faustina, §1146.)

Let us cast off deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.  Let us live honorably as in daylight; not in carousing and drunkeness, not in sexual excess and lust, not in quareling and jealousy.  Rather, put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provisions for the desire of the flesh. 

The Word of the Lord… Thanks be to God!

Boy, does that last part sound like our society today?  Most assuredly… “The night is far spent…” and that Day of the Lord draws ever near.  Soon, very soon, there will be no room for excuses.  All of us will be held accountable for every action, thought, word, and deed… we’ll either be FOR God or against Him…

Tonight’s reading really sends that TRUTH home…

Evening Prayer: Week I, Wednesday: READING: James 1: 19-25 (emphasis added)

Keep this in mind dear brothers [and sisters].  Let every [one] be quick to hear, slow to speak, [and] slow to anger;  for a man’s anger does not fulfill God’s justice.

Strip away all that is filthy, every vicious excess.  Humbly welcome the Word that has taken root in you, with its power to save you.  Act on this WordIf all you do is listen to it, you are deceiving yourselves.

A man who listens to God’s Word but does not put it into practice is like a man who looks into a mirror at the face he was born with; he looks at himself, then goes off and promptly forgets what he looked like. 

There is, on the other hand, the man who peers into freedom’s ideal law and abides by it He is no forgetful listener, but one who carries out the law in PRACTICE.  Blest will this man be in whatever he does.

The Word of the Lord… Thanks be to God!

So which will YOU BE?  A true follower of Jesus who HEARS the Word of God AND LIVES his life according to that Word… OR in hearing the Word will you think, “that is all I need… I’m good to go.” 

The days ahead WILL BE tough, trust in that!  But you can also TRUST that God will NEVER ABANDON us but will always be there to strengthen us and provide for our every need: physical, emotional, and spiritual…

My dear apostles, it is time for Me to announce Myself as King. I am truly the King of heaven and I am the King of all God’s children on earth. I am the King of all that is good and I am the King of love.  Most of all, and most importantly for you, I am your King...

Do you serve Me because you trust Me to care for you and to care for that which is important to you? I believe this is true. I believe that you understand something about both My power and My goodness and I believe that you rely on Me to care for your loved ones even in their sufferings and rebellions…

Your message is one of love and welcome and you give the message as the messenger of the King. Be at peace. I am all powerful and you are on the side of heaven.

~Lay Apostles, Monthly Message, July 2012, excerpt, emphasis added

Take heart, TRUST in HIM, for the Father will NEVER abandon us because He always keeps His promises – Ps 149 & Rev 11: 17-18; 12: 10b-12a!

Evening Prayer: Week I, Thursday: READING: 1Peter 1: 6-9 (emphasis added)

There is cause for rejoicing hereYou may for a time have to suffer the distress of many trials; but this is so that YOUR FAITH, which is MORE PRECIOUS than the passing splendor of fire-tried gold, may by it genuineness lead to praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ appears.

Although you have never seen Him, you LOVE Him, and without seeing you now BELIEVE in Him, and rejoice with inexpressible joy touched with glory because you are achieving faith’s goal, YOUR SALVATION.

The Word of the Lord… Thanks be to God!

(see how great it is to add the prayer of the Church – Christian Prayer – to your daily intake of Sacred Scripture?)

Recommended Reading:

Mystery Babylon

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A Summary… chpts 1-7

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on November 30, 2008

Greetings!: This is a continuation of an Advent reflection as seen from the eyes of the Mother of the Redeemer, the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Please refer to the first post in this series: INTRODUCTION if you are a first time reader.

Preface:

OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS REPORTED TO HAVE SAID TO:

ST BRIDGET OF SWEDEN: Know that is not for your own sake alone that I speak to you, but also for the salvation of all Christians…

VEN. MOTHER MARY OF AGREDA: Many mysteries pertaining to My Mother…are still hidden,…I desire to make known to mortals how much her intercession is worth…If men would seek to please Me…if they would all begin to solicit her intercession from their whole heart, the world would find some relief.”

SISTER ANNA CATHERINE EMMERICH: I give you these visions – and I have ever done so – to prove that I shall be with My Church till the end of days.  But visions alone sanctify no one; you must practice charity, patience, and all the other virtues.” (emphasis added)

Chapter 1: St. Anne and St. Joachim

BEFORE TIME BEGAN, the Holy Trinity decreed that one day, after the creation of the world and of man and after man’s fall, God the Son was to be born of a Virgin Mother.  In order that this Mother should be the purest human being who ever lived, Almighty God decreed that she was to be miraculously exempt from all stain of original sin…

St. Anne was born in Bethlehem of rich parents who owned many flocks of sheep and herds of cattle.  But they regularly gave away to the poor a large part of their possessions and kept very little for themselves.  After Anne’s birth they moved to a beautiful country estate… near Nazareth.

YEARS LATER:

One day Anne happened to be praying fervently to God to give her a husband who would help her to live according to the Divine Law.  And at the very same moment on another farm near Nazareth and unusually pious middle-aged bachelor named Joachim was also praying for God’s help in choosing a wife.

When the prayers of St. Anne and St. Joachim were presented by the angels before the throne of the Blessed Trinity, God decreed that this pure couple should unite in marriage…

The Very next day, Joachim…went and asked Anne’s father for the hand of his daughter.  And soon the couple were solemnly wedded…St. Anne was about 24years at the time, and St. Joachim was 42 years.  They made their home on the estate of Anne’s father.

Each year they divided all their rents and income and sheep into three parts.  Then they gave one third to the Temple for God’s service, one third to the poor, and they kept only what was left.

In their home they frequently talked together about God and the coming of the Redeemer, for which they prayed long and fervently.  Both Anne and Joachim had been serious even in their youth.  Now as they matured, they made a distinguished and devout couple.

In His wisdom Almighty God proceeded to purify them still further by giving them a heavy cross to bear, a cross which only grew heavier as the years passed: they remained childless.  Among the Israelites in those times, this was considered not only the greatest misfortunes and disgrace (1Sam 1:5,7,10-11)… But they took these humiliations with patience and continued to pray that God might bless their marriage with children.  Seven years passed without an answer to their prayers.

Then one day when Joachim was offering his sacrifice in the temple, the priest rebuked and insulted him saying, “Why do you come here, Joachim?  Your offerings are not acceptable to the Lord!”  His face burning with shame, the poor man withdrew to a corner of the Temple and prayed: “O Lord, my sins merit this disgrace.  But as I accept it according to Thy will, do not cast me away…”

That evening St. Anne was sitting under a great tree in her garden reading prayers… begging God to send Joachim home and to let them have at least one child – she was now 44 years.  Then she prayed…for the coming of the Messiah.  Just then the Archangel Gabriel suddenly appeared before her in resplendent form:

“Anne, servant of God, the Lord has heard thy petitions.  If He delays in their fulfillment, it is in order to prepare thee and give to thee much more than thou has asked…He sends me to give thee joyful news: He chooses thee to be the mother of her who is to give birth to the Redeemer of mankind! … now go to the Temple to give thanks to the Lord, and [you] shall meet Joachim at the Golden Gate.”

This time the Holy Spirit moved the priests in the Temple to accept Joachim’s offerings courteously, and several of his friends congratulated him.  Then two priests led him to the Holy Place and left him alone after burning incense on the altar.

While Joachim prayed on his knees with his arms extended, a bright angel appeared and told him that this childlessness was not a disgrace but and honor; for the child who was to be born of his wife would be the most perfect flower of the race of Abraham.

Next the angel took him into the Holy of Holies, anointed his forehead, and gave him a certain mystic blessing which freed him from all sensuality.  Then he led him back to the Holy Place and vanished, as Joachim sank to the floor in an ecstatic trance.  Soon the priests found him thus and revived him with marks of respect…He told the priests that he wanted to meet his wife at the Golden Gate, and they showed him the way…

Thus it happened that near the Golden Gate St. Joachim suddenly perceived his beloved wife coming toward him, her beautiful face shining with joy.  They hastened toward each other and embraced with tender emotion… As they now renewed their vow to offer their child to His Temple, they seemed to be rapt in a holy ecstasy.  A cloud of heavenly light enfolded them, while a great number of angels hovered over them…Never had a human couple achieved such supernatural purity of soul.

Thus did Almighty God prepare and purify Mary’s good parents until the great day at last came when the glorious mystery of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God took place.

THE BLESSED VIRGIN SAID TO ST. BRIDGET OF SWEDEN: “It is a truth that I was conceived without original sin and not in sin.  A golden hour was my conception.  My Son joined my father and my mother in a marriage of such chastity that a purer union has never been seen.  Sensuality was extinguished in them.  Thus my flesh was formed through divine charity.”

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What is this Advent “thing” really all about?…

But just what are we watching and waiting for? The fulfillment of God’s promises—the time when every tear will be wiped away and all pain and suffering will end (Revelation 21:4). For the time when we will be gathered around God’s throne, completely immersed in [His]love and filled to overflowing with [His] divine life. We’re not waiting just for Christmas; we’re waiting for the fulfillment of everything that Christmas beganJesus’ glorious return!

Rather than passively waiting, try to spend this Advent actively anticipating the Lord. Invite [Him] to meet you in prayer and at Mass. Look for [Him]in the face of a stranger—or a difficult family member. Let the sights, sounds, and smells of the season lift your imagination and give you a glimpse of the celebration that awaits you.

“Lord, I praise [You] for being so committed to our salvation! Give me the grace to keep watching and waiting for [You].”

Courtesy of Word among us publication: Meditation excerpt for Nov 30, 2008: First Sunday of Advent

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Coming soon: Mary’s birth

Introduction

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