Archive for the ‘Catholic/Christian’ Category

Lack of Purpose

October 17, 2014

As I walked to the subway a number of weeks ago, I encountered a scene in front of a local deli. Two men stood there and in a conversation replete with profanity, discussed the weekend baseball scores.

First and foremost let me state that I’m not the type of sanctimonious Catholic/Christian who is of the belief that sports are ungodly. Quite simply I hate to see human life wasted and I become rankled when I encounter individuals who merely exist without any regard for their God-given purpose. One of those men whom I referred to, can typically be found on White Plains Road as he struts the area aimlessly or lounges in front of the deli by himself as well as with others.

In the 1955 drama Marty, the lead character, played by Ernest Borgnine, congregated with those who preferred to whittle their days in aimless pursuit. The famous dialogue in that film centered on “What do you want to do tonight?…”I don’t know…what do you want to do?” For myself, I have chosen to disassociate from friends such as that. My own epiphany occurred 20 years ago, on November 11, 1994. I had visited a family member and on that Friday evening, as we wandered aimlessly from one suburban strip mall to the next, I cried out inwardly “There has to be more than this!” I realized then, as I do now, that time is a precious commodity given to me by God. I refuse to squander it in laziness and futility. I also came to the awareness that the Lord, on the day that I stand before Him, would question as to how I utilized both the gifts and years that He bestowed upon me. It therefore became necessary to adjust my inner circle and eliminate those with low expectations and who wanted nothing more from life other than a constant influx of social media, television, shopping, and dining out.

Psalm 91:16 states “With long life I will satisfy them and show them My salvation.” I thank the Lord for that promise but it would grieve me to have arrived at old age only to be confronted with the fact that I had never disengaged myself from the ordinary in order to embrace significance. That of itself has prompted me to seek Him on a daily basis, and then obey that which He has directed me to do.

Christ My Healer

February 27, 2014

An unfortunate teaching that is rampant amongst the churches, is the fallacy that the Lord’s miracles, such as healing, ended upon the death of the apostles. To say that would render the Bible to just another historical narrative.

God’s Word is replete with promises that pertain to our healing whether it is physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. In Exodus 15:26, He told the Israelites “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord, and do what is right in His sight and give heed to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will not bring upon you any of the diseases that I brought upon the Egyptians for I am the Lord who heals you.” In Jeremiah 30:17, He said “For I will restore health to you and your wounds I will heal…” We are assured in Isaiah 53:5 “But He was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our inequities, upon Him was the punishment that made us whole, and by His bruises we are healed.” This is repeated in 1 Peter 2:24 “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.”

Admittedly, I tend to become annoyed when I hear individuals claim “Well, Jesus doesn’t heal everyone…. It’s not His will…” If those statements were true, then all four Books of the Gospel would have reflected the Lord’s refusal to heal those who approached Him. Thankfully, that did not occur. Failure to trust in God, however, is a deterrence for in Mark 6:5, it is recorded that “And He could do no deed of power there, except that He laid hands on a few sick people and cured them. And He was amazed at their unbelief.”

In 2006, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. Though he went through the process recommended by his doctor, we stood fast on various healing scriptures and believed that the Lord would fulfill that which He had promised in His Word. He was soon declared cancer free and eight years later, we continue to praise God for the manifestation of His power.

The Power Of Our Words

February 21, 2014

Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruits (Proverbs 18:21).

Our words are powerful and can alter the very course of our destiny. We can use them to either pronounce God’s promises or to wreak havoc in our lives. Spiritual laws are set into motion by the words that we choose. In James 3:10 we are told “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so.”

For many years, my verbal dialogue was filled with standard phrases “…that just killed me…I thought I would die…he/she makes me sick…” And on and on it went. I thank God to this day that a sister in Christ informed me that I would possess exactly that which I confessed whether it was good, bad, or indifferent. Jesus exemplified this in Mark 11:23. when He said to His disciples “Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you.”

With those verses I realized that I would have to change my vocabulary as well as friends whom I had allowed to speak into my life. It was futile to have a Godly confession and then agree with those whose choice of phrases ran contrary to His Word and thus His plan for my life. It was a process but one that was well worth the effort.

Our State at Communion

February 21, 2014

With little exception, the majority of individuals who attend Mass, also partake of Communion. For many of us, it is a joyful and sacred celebration to feast at the Lord’s table. We eat His bread and drink His cup as we proclaim His death until He comes again. Sadly, I’ve also had occasion to witness those that while they engage in this Sacrament, do so in a purely ritualistic approach without thought to His sacrifice or the knowledge that they are required to first examine themselves.

I will never hesitate to use myself as a personal example since for many years I lived apart from God and had nil familiarity with His Word. And yet during that period I did not refrain from Communion. I bore an attitude of impudence as I considered that to be my right as a Catholic regardless of my spiritual condition. Yet according to 1 Corinthians 11:27-31 “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the Body and Blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the Bread and drink the Cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying. If we discerned ourselves, we would not be under judgment;” Though I consistently approached His table in an ambience of carelessness and sin, I am so grateful that it was His mercy which allowed me to grasp the impact of those verses before the call of judgment.

The next time that we are invited to the Supper of the Lamb, it is imperative that we…as Catholics…as Christians…heed the Lord’s Word and examine ourselves. Communion is His gift but to continue to participate in an unworthy manner can bring damnation to our souls.

The Power of God’s Word

February 6, 2014

It is our Savior’s desire that all who have professed Him as Lord will apply His Word to every facet of their lives. And we have His assurance that if He spoke of it in His Word, then He alone will bring it to pass. Isaiah 55:11 is clear “So shall my Word be that goes forth from My mouth. It will not return to me void but will accomplish the purpose for which I sent it.” That same Word should be foremost in our thoughts when a challenge arises. Rather than say “I just don’t know what the Lord is going to do”, we should instead meditate on His promises and stand ready to both proclaim and receive them. He said in Jeremiah 1:12 “Then The Lord said to me ‘You have seen well for I am watching over My Word to perform it.'” It’s an assertion on which we can rest this very day and everyday thereafter.

A New Creature In Christ Jesus

February 3, 2014

When I accepted Jesus as my Savior in March 1984, I carried a multitude of baggage inclusive of sexual immorality. From a theological standpoint, I knew The Lord loved me and had died on the cross for my sins. Ultimately, however, I came to realize that it was necessary to know Him on an intimate basis in order to change the course of my life which was headed towards disaster.

Through the years, I have encountered some Christians whom with emphasis informed me that their own lives were free from temptation and that they embraced a Godly existence on an instantaneous basis upon recitation of the sinner’s prayer. To those particular individuals, I commend them all for their strength. My own process was gradual and it took awhile to grapple with the fact that He had made me in His image according to His likeness (Genesis 1:26), and that according to 2 Corinthians 5:10 “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” In 1 Corinthians 10:13, He assured me that during periods of temptation “No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful and He will not let you be tested beyond your strength but with the testing, He will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.” Eventually I purposed to see myself as God envisioned me and take Him at His Word. In doing so, I reached the place where to please my Savior became of primary importance. And at that point I knew, with every fibre of my being, that I was the new creature in Christ whom The Lord had fashioned and designed.

The Holy Spirit

January 26, 2014

As Catholics/Christians, our relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ, is and should be the key element in our lives and the core of our existence. He is our Master, our Savior, our Lord. Clearly He died in order that we may live. However, to effectively sustain that relationship it is vital that we allow the Holy Spirit entrance into our day to day existence.

In John 15:26, Jesus, during the Last Supper, assured His disciples that “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, He will testify on My behalf.” In the following chapter, John 16:13, Jesus went on to say “When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own but will speak whatever He hears, and He will declare to you the things that are to come.”

As evidenced in these two verses, the Holy Spirit is the revealer of truth. Neither He or the Son operate independent from each other or apart from our Heavenly Father. Saint Paul stated clearly in 1 Corinthians 12:3 ” Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says ‘Let Jesus be cursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.”

When we yield ourselves to The Lord, and pray to the Father in Jesus’ name, it is the Holy Spirit who responds and will disclose what our Savior wants us to know.

Decide To Believe God

December 7, 2013

It would seem like a paradox to say that there are many who believe in God but not God Himself. They know that He exists and He is acknowledged as a Supreme Being but there is no sense of intimacy or familiarity with Him.

To walk in the good life that The Lord has planned for us, we must choose to believe Him…sum and total. His Word contains provisions that not only provide for our needs, but also the fulfillment of the dreams and desires that He has placed in our hearts. He said in Jeremiah 1:12 “I have watched over My Word to perform it.” And in Romans 4:3 “For what does the scripture say? Abraham believed God and it was credited to Him as righteousness.”

Our decision to believe God and take Him at His Word is indeed powerful and can change the very course of our lives.

Trust In The Lord

November 5, 2013

So many times, particularly during a fiery trial, we hear from well meaning individuals “Trust in The Lord and whatever will be will be.” However, when we search the Bible, there is nothing that alludes to or substantiates the latter, common part of that phrase.

God’s Word is replete with the promises that He has made for those that have put their confidence in Him. For example, in Psalm 37:3, we are told ” Trust in The Lord and do good. So you will dwell in the land and be nourished in safety.” Psalm 40, Verses 1 through 3 proclaim “I waited patiently for The Lord. He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the desolate pit out of the miry bog and set my feet upon a rock making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in The Lord.” Isaiah 53:5 states “For He was wounded for my transgressions; He was bruised for my iniquities. Upon Him was the chastisement that made us whole and by His stripes we were healed.”

Whatever our issue may be, we already have the assurance in His Word of a victorious outcome. As we yield our hearts to Him, we will see those promises made manifest in our lives.