Quiet with God

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“If a tiny spark of God’s love already burns within you, do not expose it to the wind, for it may get blown out.  Keep the stove tightly shut so that it will not lose its heat and grow cold.  In other words, avoid distractions as well as you can.  Stay quiet with God.  Do not spend your time in useless chatter.” ~ St. Charles Borromeo

The above excerpt is from a sermon from St. Charles Borromeo in today’s Office of Readings (Nov 4, Saturday of week 30 in Ordinary Time) as on the Universalis site.  The entire sermon not only spoke to me personally, but also seemed timely as it fit with a discussion my 15 year-old son and I had last night on our way back from Eucharistic Adoration.

The closest Adoration to our house on Fridays is roughly 35 minutes away in either direction.  I was hoping I wouldn’t have to make the drive alone (since my wife was watching our grandson), so I made the decision easier for my son by promising him a shake from McDonald’s on the way back.

Earlier this year, we were going together regularly, and it took no extra incentive for him back then.  For the sake of staying on topic, I won’t get into that for now.

Lately, my son has been busy with cross country, school work, and youth ministry activities, so he hadn’t gone in a while.  So I figured I’d keep our stay short.

It seems praying can be a bit like running; you slack off in some areas of discipline, you usually don’t just jump back in where you left off. 

I work nights (when most people are sleeping), and I’ve found myself busier than usual lately as well; squeezing in prayer between intervals of sleep, phone calls, emails, and other errands.

Anyways, with our Bibles, rosaries, and spiritual reading in hand, there we were again together, yet each of us very much alone with our Lord.

After wrapping up my own prayer time, I asked my son if he was ready to leave; but he expressed that he wanted a little more time to finish up.

On our way home he was telling me how his prayer time was really good this day, and he was in no hurry to leave.

I told him, “Me too!”

He told me how he felt that God gave him the grace to want to pray and the ability to stay focused in his prayer time.

Again I replied, “Me too!”

We talked about our daily prayer time lately, and how at times it’s seems our biggest struggle is with distraction; and how this day was good for both of us.

How we need to make a conscious effort to simply put everything aside, and respond to Jesus’ call for us to spend quality alone time with Him.  And what better way than to sit in His presence at Eucharist Adoration–to speak with Him or just listen.

As Christians we’re called to share freely what God gives us and He always seems to give us back far more than we share.  Yet, if we’re to deliver the water, He continually reminds us that we need to spend plenty of time at the well.

That apart from Him we can do nothing–not even pray.

We need to… I need to continually feed the flame that He lit, and fill up with Christ if I’m going to fulfill the duties for my state in life and bring Him to others.

And because of His incomprehensible love for us, we can be sure He wants that quality alone time together far more than we do.

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“If in our time Christians must be distinguished above all by the ‘art of prayer’, how can we not feel a renewed need to spend time in spiritual converse, in silent adoration, in heartfelt love before Christ present in the Most Holy Sacrament?” ~ St. John Paul II, Ecclesia De Eucharistia

 

when we cry for help

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The other day my wife was letting our grandson practice eating diced pairs with a spoon; but they kept slipping off before the spoon made it to his mouth.  Rather than just shove them into his mouth with his hands like grandpa, he instead appealed to us with that irresistible 19 month voice, “Help!”

It brings to mind a movie that came out in the late eighties about a bear cub that loses its mother in a rock-slide.  After the cub comes to the aid of an adult male grizzly nursing a wound from hunters, the adult bear takes cub in as its own. Continue reading

How Do I Know If I’ve Really Forgiven?

Last year our youngest daughter (a senior at the time) asked her younger brother (a freshman) why he didn’t say anything back when another student was teasing him in one of his classes at school—in front of others who laughed along.

Of course this was difficult for our daughter to understand; she has a laid-back disposition and the quick wit to diffuse teasing remarks sent in her direction.  She’s the type that causes friends and classmates to think twice before roasting her.

We’ve reminded her that those too are gifts from God, and that a wise man once said:

“With great power comes great responsibility” ~ Uncle Ben, (Spider Man)

Continue reading

The Line that Separates

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I try, I fail, I get up and try again …. some days are better than others …. but deep down I know each day it really begins in me.

“…. the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years.”  ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

 “Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”  ~ St. Paul, (Romans 7:21-25)

…because you are His child…

Funny thing happened yesterday via electronic communication.  My oldest son (21) just recently changed phones (temporarily).  After getting the new number from my wife, I thought I’d shoot him a text in the morning.

Knowing he probably didn’t have his contacts (remember those days when we had to remember numbers), I wasn’t really surprised with the reply, “Who is this?” Continue reading

Mass – The Heart of the Matter

I, along with roughly fifty others were blessed by a powerful and moving talk my sister gave on the Mass today, as it relates to her own faith journey.

There’s no way I could recapture all that she shared, however, I was inspired to share a video she concluded her talk with; and by providence she was asked to produce for the archdiocese of Milwaukee a couple of years ago. Continue reading

Praying for Wisdom

This post got buried among other incomplete and unpublished posts a few months ago. I have a couple verses underlined in Sirach 3 to remind me that there’s a lot I simply don’t understand and to stay within my boundaries, so I let this one sit for a while.

Continue reading

New Things

Each year my old garage leans a little more to the west on one corner and to the north on another.  This year it finally got to the point where it had become a safety hazard; so I called a reputable, local contractor to see if we could pull it straight and save it.

After looking at it, he called me to tell me that my old garage can’t be saved.  It’s sort of twisting its way to the ground, pivoting around the one good corner, and it would have to be torn down and replaced—foundation and all. Continue reading