Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Choosing To Follow. By: C.C.

"While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him." (Matthew 4:18-22)

Today's Gospel invites us to take an honest look and reflect on the ways that we respond to our call to follow Jesus daily. I am amazed at the complete surrender shown in this passage. Each day we are called to follow God. It is challenging to truly let go of what we cling to, and difficult to break free from what we are comfortable with. However, if these "things" are keeping us from following Jesus we need to trust Him and let go. In doing this I truly believe that we will be taken to a state of greater joy, a real joy found only through Him who is LOVE. Most of us today will not be asked to walk away from our fishing duties. We may struggle now to understand the relation of this Gospel to our current lives. I would like to ask each of you to evaluate yourselves. Briefly reflect on the things in your life that you cling to, things that have a hold on you. Reflect on the emotions you hang on to that Jesus is calling you away from to provide His healing, love, and joy. Sometimes we may not even recognize what we are being called away from until we give Him our complete self surrendered. It is when we are where God desires us to be that we can know PEACE. This idea of responding to God and letting go exceeds things in a physical sense. I write today about letting go and leaving behind emotions, behaviors, habits, addictions, friends, and anything else that prevents you from having a deeper union with God. There is so much fear of the unknown that often keeps us prisoner to old habits and familiar ways of living. There is a large amount of hesitation to simply trust, let go, and follow Him. The Gospel said that Simon, Andrew, John, and James left their things IMMEDIATELY and followed Him. Wow! How is that for faith? Lord I pray today that you help us respond to your call. Help us to see the things that prevent each of us from having a deeper relationship with You and our brothers and sisters. Let us recognize the pains of letting go and releasing all control as part of our journey to experiencing Your Joy. Keep us mindful of our actions, words, habits, and feelings so that we may do our best to always follow You. Lord I pray You stand by us through our Advent journey, help us to let go of the things that keep us from receiving you abundantly. Finally Lord I ask that You are patient with us as we struggle to respond to Your call. Forgive us when we fall short and provide us with the courage and strength to follow You immediately. Amen. (C.C.)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Advent: A Time To Prepare. By. : C.C.

"Take time to be aware that in the very midst of our busy preparations for the celebration of Christ’s birth in ancient Bethlehem, Christ is reborn in the Bethlehems of our homes and daily lives. Take time, slow down, be still, and be awake to the Divine Mystery” (Fr. Edward Hays)
I feel that it is very fitting and appropriate to begin my posts this week with an Advent reflection. Amidst the chaotic commercialized Christmas messages, decorations, and outward displays of "holiday cheer" it is crucial to take things back into perspective and into the focus of what Christmas is all about...... CHRIST! It is very easy to fall into the numerous distractions that surround us each day in relation to the holiday season. However, it so important that we take this time of Advent to "keep awake" and prepare ourselves spiritually for the birth of Jesus. We must recognize the ways that we treat one another, our families, our loved ones, and most of all our relationship with God. Advent is a time to prepare our hearts, to heal wounds, and to break through walls that prevent us from loving Jesus and one another as we are called to do. As we decorate our Christmas trees, and light up our neighbourhoods let us not forget about the greatest light of all, and He who came to shatter our darkness. As we prepare externally let us also be awake to the reality within us so that we may receive Christ abundantly. I came across some writings from Father Edward Hays and I feel he does a wonderful job of expressing the importance and true meaning of the Advent season..."Advent, like its cousin Lent, is a season for prayer and reformation of our hearts. Since it comes at winter time, fire is a fitting sign to help us celebrate Advent…If Christ is to come more fully into our lives this Christmas, if God is to become really incarnate for us, then fire will have to be present in our prayer. Our worship and devotion will have to stoke the kind of fire in our souls that can truly change our hearts. Ours is a great responsibility not to waste this Advent time." (Fr. Edward Hays) Lord today I pray that you guide us through this Advent season and remind us of what is truly important. Provide the clarity to see the things within our lives, our hearts, and our souls that need to be refined. Help us to deepen our devotions to You so that we will experience Your love more fully each day. Lord heal those who are suffering in loneliness and sorrow during the holiday season. Provide the poor, sick, and desolate with comfort and warmth. Lord use us as your instruments during Advent and show us the ways that we can lead others into relationship with You and Your light. Amen (C.C.)
"The liturgy of Advent…helps us to understand fully the value and meaning of the mystery of Christmas. It is not just about commemorating the historical event, which occurred some 2,000 years ago in a little village of Judea. Instead, it is necessary to understand that the whole of our life must be an ‘advent,’ a vigilant awaiting of the final coming of Christ. To predispose our mind to welcome the Lord who, as we say in the Creed, one day will come to judge the living and the dead, we must learn to recognize him as present in the events of daily life. Therefore, Advent is, so to speak, an intense training that directs us decisively toward him who already came, who will come, and who comes continuously." (Pope John Paul II December 18th, 2002)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

"To the servant of God every place is the right place, and every time is the right time." (St. Catherine of Siena)
Lord today I pray that we have the faith to see You within our current situations. May we be reminded of Your Love for us as we attempt to do Your will. Allow us to accept where You have placed us, and guide us through discernment so we will know the place you want us to be. Lord even though we have our own dreams and desires help us to become better servants to You and trust that You know best. Stand by us through or anguish, close to us in our joys, and forever near us each day. Open our eyes to see You better, our ears to Hear your voice, and our hearts to You so that we may embrace everything You offer with Love. Lord I also ask that You help each of us understand that wherever we are You are near. Give us the patience and faith to truly know that You are always on time. (C.C.)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Feast Of St. Catherine of Laboure

Today is the feast day of St. Catherine of Laboure. Her story is one that truly provokes us to draw nearer to our faith and our trust in the Lord. I have posted a quote from her that can offer us a simple way of surrendering in prayer before God. Each day as I wear the "Miraculous Medallion" I am reminded of St. Catherine's trust in the Lord and her devotion to the purity of the Blessed Mother and God's will. (C.C)
" Whenever I go to the chapel, I put myself in the presence of our good Lord, and I say to Him, "Lord I am here. Tell me what you would have me do." If He gives me some task I am content and I thank Him. If he gives me nothing, I still thank Him since I do not deserve to receive anything more than that. And then, I tell God everything that is in my heart. I tell him about my pains and my joys, and then I listen. If you listen God will also speak to you, for with the good Lord, you have to both speak and listen. God always speaks to you when you approach Him plain and simply." (St. Catherine Laboure)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Serving One Another. By: C.C

Show me your hands. Do they have scars from giving? Show me your feet. Are they wounded in service? Show me your heart. Have you left a place for divine love? (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)
Last Sunday's Gospel has been on my mind throughout this entire week. While these thoughts remain on my heart I felt the need to write about the ways we serve Jesus through serving one another as He calls us to. Here is the reading from last Sunday's mass..."for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? And the King will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.' for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?' Then he will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.' And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." ( Matthew 25. 31:46) This Gospel passage invites us to recognize the ways in which Jesus calls us to treat our brothers and sisters here on earth. It is through our treatment of others that we honor God. This concept is also one that troubles many people. It is so simple to lose ourselves within our own tasks that we often ignore, walk past, or simply do not recognize another in need. Lord allow us to see You in everyone we meet. May we be eager to aid those in need and go out of our way to do what we can. May we extend beyond our own schedules, pride, and judgements in order to do Your will. Lord I ask that you use our hands to serve, our hearts to give unconditional love, and our speech to use comforting words for those who need us. May we carry this Gospel into every place we go. Amen. (C.C)
"We turn to God for help when our foundations are shaking, only to learn that it is God who is shaking them." (Charles C. West)

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." (Romans 12:12)

Thy Will Be Done. By: C.C.

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”(St. Catherine of Siena).

It is amazing how many times we hide our genuine selves in fear of judgement, shame, or ridicule. Many of us strive so hard to "find ourselves" through various journeys, outings, and self-help books. We tend to avoid coming to terms with who we were meant to be and battle with the notion of wanting to be someone or something else. We spend days, months, and years in a state of confusion and angst when God waits for us with open arms to aid us in becoming the very person we were meant to be. His will is often difficult to see amidst the confusion. It is in these times we must take a step back and question if we are placing our own will in the way of God's. I believe that more confusion arises in our lives when we try to take God's matters into our hands. We cause ourselves more confusion by resisting the very thing that God wills for us to embrace.We must learn to trust. I know that this is much easier said than done...but as you spend more genuine time with the Lord it will become easier and the clouds will fade in time. When we truly let God do His work in us that is when things will fall into place. First, we must let go of our fears and our anxieties and offer them up to the Lord. I know that this may not happen over night, but in time there will be an overwhelming state of peace when we are where God wants us to be. We may even come to find that it is the last place we ever saw ourselves going. Be assured that He will give you the strength and clarity to know exactly where you need to be when you are fully aligned with Him. It is when we embrace who we truly are that we will "set the world on fire." God places us where we will best serve Him and for each person this can be very different. It may be religious life, a leadership role, business, teaching, missionary work, fatherhood, motherhood, music, art, or writing. Wherever it may be always remember that He walks with you and will support you through everything. God calls each of us. Some respond to the call, some ignore, and for some it takes a little more time to listen. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5) Sit before the Tabernacle, before the cross, or in a quiet room of prayer and simply say "Thy will be done". Lord today I pray that Your will be made clear in all of our lives. Allow us to embrace where You have placed us. Please be patient as we discern your will. May we let go of our temptations, fears, anxieties, and judgements that hold us back from becoming who You want us to be. Take away the confusion from our minds and our hearts so that we may see clearly. Help us to trust in You with all of our hearts, and let You into every part of our lives. Lord we seek for the riches of this world, for higher status, to be known, and are on a mission to leave our mark. Come into our hearts and help us to see that it is by doing Your Will that we will leave the most valued and righteous mark. Thank you Lord for calling us, please make known your Will for our lives. "Thy will be done". Amen. (C.C.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"There are in truth three states of the converted: the beginning, the middle, and the perfection. In the beginning they experience the charms of sweetness; in the middle the contests of temptation; and in the end the fullness of perfection." ( Pope St. Gregory the Great)

Peace Begins At Home. By. C.C.

"I think the world today is upside down. Everybody seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater development and greater riches and so on. There is much suffering because there is so very little love in homes and in family life. We have no time for our children, we have no time for each other; there is no time to enjoy each other. In the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world." ( Bl. Mother Teresa )

Blessed Mother Teresa saw the tragedy in becoming so consumed with advancement, status, and work instead of embracing those who are irreplaceable and ever needing of love in our lives. It is so easy to get lost in the worldly day to day struggles/demands. However, we must remember that we are not of this world and that our lives should be focused on living in union with God....and doing His will. It is in this surrender that we will truly find a means of balance during our worldly days. It is through understanding the true importance of our families, our children, and our neighbours that we will become instruments of our Lord. Unity among us is what HE desires and this is the Devil's playing ground for distortion. This is so clearly seen by looking into the family dynamics that plague our society today. We urgently strive to have more, to do more, and to accomplish more. We work, and work, and work, but what about LOVE? What about putting that work into our families, into our children, and into our homes so that there can be a restored balance. It is in this balance that we can live in true unity as God called us to do. Today there is such a great imbalance in our priorities and in our lives. One will throw themselves into gruesome hours of work in order to advance in society and worldly ways. Ironically the idea of working at a stronger family life, a stronger marriage, any work toward each other is something we want no part of???? And then we hear statements such as these echoed around us.." The world is in a horrible state"..."The idea of family is lost"...." There is no hope for our future generations" I beg to differ. "In the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world" (Bl M. Teresa). As Christians we are called to LOVE. We must strive daily to take a step back and focus on the REAL priorities. Is it hard to make this a reality? I would like to say YES! Impossible? NO. Cling to the Lord for strength. Only with Him as our guide and our focus will we be able to maintain our worldly duties and our call to live in unity with our families and loved ones. Lord today I pray for the restoration of our world which begins in our smaller world at home. I pray for healing amongst those homes that have been broken. Lord use Us who claim to know You as a light to others. May our actions and our own homes reflect Your love. May we recognize the importance of relationship with one another and somehow find the time amidst our other commitments to love our families, our children, our spouses, and our sisters/brothers in Christ abundantly. May we pursue advancement toward a strong family structure as we have pursued the things of this world. Lord strengthen and shine a light on those who demonstrate Your will in their own homes daily. May we be able to see Your presence through their example. Lord, you know it is easy to look around and be discouraged by the amount of broken homes, marriages, and families. Provide us with the knowledge, wisdom, and strength to assist us in creating a home like that of Mary and Joseph in Nazareth. Give us comforting arms and words to aid those who are hurting due to disruption in their own families. Guide our young Lord to live as You have called them to. For through them we will have our future worldly homes. Give them strength in chastity and obedience so that they are able to recognize true values. St. Joseph intercede in the lives of all men and provide them with the strength to be men as God intended. Mother Mary embrace every woman, wrap your mantle of warmth around their shoulders and guide them to live with a heart as open, loving, and selfless as yours. Lord when it seems that we have no time to do Your will, show us the moments. Pour Your love into us so we are able to offer it to those who need it around us. Assist us in creating peace in our homes so we are able to live as You intended until we are home with You. Amen. (C.C.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

" Lord I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word and I shall be Healed."

Suffering And The Journey. By: C.C.

Suffering is something that all of us must endure. "Everybody Gotta suffer" is a message Fr. Stan Fortuna shares in one of his songs which speaks to me in a very strong way (I will share the link at that bottom of today's message). As I thought about how I would articulate the concept of suffering I was honestly at a loss for words. Nobody likes to suffer, nobody wants to endure pain, and to try and rationalize the concept of suffering as part of God's plan is a very difficult task. It is difficult to truly express the feeling of joy that can be had when we cling to God through our trials and see our sufferings as a vehicle God uses to meet us in a deeper way. This may seem like some glorified idealistic thought, but it is indeed the way I feel our Lord wants us to view our suffering. The hardship is in actually being able to put these thoughts and feelings into practice. Padre Pio is one of my most beloved Saints. He truly endured suffering beyond most understanding and did it with unbelievable resilience and devotion to God. I found his quote on suffering to be one very crucial in helping me to understand what suffering in our lives actually accomplishes if we just hang tight and cling to God. "The life of a Christian is nothing but a perpetual struggle against self; there is no flowering of the soul to the beauty of its perfection except at the price of pain (Padre Pio)". Realistically the idea of suffering is not one that seems very alluring. It is for this reason that many people spend their lives trying to avoid pain and struggle...which are very much the most unavoidable truths of life. In order to avoid this pain one may find themselves seeking a "way out" foolishly accepting "things" and behaviours which aim at numbing the discomfort they are feeling. The result of this is a cycle of pain and a whiplash of disillusionment. These crutches that one clings to during their pain can range anywhere from addictions (in every sense), shopping sprees, social outings, or any form of escape to get away. Some will potentially justify and argue that certain "escapes" are not totally is here however that I would like to purpose the idea that the ONLY real and lasting solution to any pain and suffering is God. He first and foremost should be our "escape". I was there before....and that is where I met God. We are all on a journey with a void in our hearts and our souls that only God can fill. Some of us walk around with so much pain inside of us that God wishes to wash away if we allow it. Coming to a deeper relationship in my faith life and embracing the Blessed Mother, Jesus, and the Saints has been a blessing and ironically a struggle for me at the same time. My journey since then has been "a perpetual struggle against self". Padre Pio's words resonate very deeply within me today. These words offer me so much insight and to all of us on our journey of faith. In finding God and a deeper relationship with Him does not mean that we are free from struggle, pain, temptation, and of toil. It is actually the exact opposite. There will be pains, discomforts, confusion, loss, and is through faith and surrender that we are able to recognize God there beside us (Think of Job's story). God does not desire us to worry, fear, and be anxious as we often are. But rather to be ever faithful to Him and trust his ways. To simply trust through our hardships in order experience the joy of the "flowering of our souls". When we battle to understand this we must turn towards the cross and reflect upon the Passion of Christ. We must acknowledge the suffering Christ endured FOR OUR SAKE was beyond human understanding. That he suffered and surrendered to God's will. We are each called to do this in some degree daily. It is hard! It can be gruesome, and at times seem almost impossible to endure. But we must remember that our God is a God of LOVE. A very important lesson was taught to me by a priest when I was in a time of need. As I sat with him before the cross openly sharing my worries, fears, pains, and sorrows...he simply pointed to the cross and said "I know this is hard for you, but is it THAT hard?" In that one sentence I realized how minute my suffering was in comparison to what Jesus had experienced. Reflecting upon the cross allowed me to see the love of God through the darkness, pain, and anguish that I was experiencing. I reflect on the way that Jesus responded to his sufferings and realized that this is how I am called to handle my own struggles in every way. When we accept to live a God centred life we are opening ourselves to allowing the hand of God to change us, for Him to transform and mold our hearts to the ways in which he longs for. Through this we commit to accepting the discomfort and the ways in which we will be changed to become more as he intended us to be. This process is unending and can be without a doubt very painful. It is only recently, very recently that I have begun to see why certain things occurred and why my reactions were not always Christ like. I wish to imitate Him...and I have learned that "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41) This serves as no excuse, but rather allows me to understand the process and importance of surrender acceptance, and self sacrifice. I have failed to do this in many ways, and multiple times. It is hard to see the lesson on the journey, but I believe that through a maturity of faith and growing in Love with God it is indeed possible. Anything is possible with and through God. I began to recognize that God is never too late and it is often us who are late in hearing His call, and his will for us. “Too late have I loved You, You were with me, but I was not with you. Things held me far from You—things which, if they were not in You, were not at all. You called, and shouted, and burst my deafness. You flashed and shone, and scattered my blindness. You breathed odors and I drew in breath—and I pant for You. I tasted, and I hunger and thirst. You touched me, and I burned for your peace” (St. Augustine, Confessions). Lord I pray today that we openly recognize our sufferings from Your hand. May You give us the patience to endure them, and may You provide us with clarity to be able to see through the struggles toward Your light. May we accept our sufferings as Jesus and the Saints did, and be lead into a deeper union of joy with You. Amen. (C.C)
"I have begun to to love my darkness, for I believe now it is a part, a very small part of Jesus' darkness and pain on Earth." (Bl Mother Theresa)
"Let nothing disturb you, Let nothing frighten you, All things pass away: God never changes. Patience obtains all things. He who has God Finds he lacks nothing;God alone suffices." (St. Teresa of Avila) Fr Stan Fortuna: Everybody Gotta Suffer

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 32 of Devotion....St. Louis-Marie de Montfort

I am currently in the process of completing a 33 day devotion/consecration to Jesus. This has been the most challenging and also a very eye opening experience for me. There are also things that have occurred that can not be placed into words. Beyond that each day I am expected to read various passages, and writings from books on growing deeper into relationship with Christ. I woke up this morning with a very heavy heart, feeling rather alone in my circumstances, and wanting to point fingers, failing to understand how the human heart can hurt so much. Today's reading reminds me that I need to put my whole heart, and all of my love toward He who is forever constant. I will post the link at the bottom of today's reflection for those interested in completing this sacred devotion. Here below you will find my reading for the 32 day of this devotion.. (C.C.)

Imitation of Christ, by Thomas รก Kempis: Book 2, Chapter 7Of the Love of Jesus above All Things

Blessed is he that understands (Psalm 119:1,2) what it is to love Jesus, and to despise himself for Jesus' sake. You should leave your beloved, for your beloved (Deut. 6:5; Matt. 22:37; Cant. 2:16); for that Jesus will be loved alone above all things. The love of things created is deceitful and inconstant; the love of Jesus is faithful and persevering. He that cleaves to a creature, shall fall with that which is subject to fall; he that embraces Jesus shall be made strong for ever. 2. Love Him, and keep Him for your friend, who, when all go away, will not forsake you, or allow you to perish in the end. Some times you must be separated from all, whether you want to or not. Keep close to Jesus both in life and in death, and commit yourself to His faithfulness, who, when all fail, can alone help you. Your Beloved is of that nature, that He will admit of no rival; but will have your heart alone, and sit on His throne as King. If you could empty yourself perfectly from all creatures, Jesus would willingly dwell with you. - The Devotion

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Worthy Struggle

"Anyone who does not take his cross and follow in my footsteps is not worthy of me. Anyone who finds his life will lose it; anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it." (Matthew 10. 38:39)
I spoke in my last reflection about the temptation to judge others before looking within ourselves and truly acknowledging the ways in which we each have failed to glorify God through our actions, words, and daily deeds. I have truly begun to direct my focus inwardly and in doing so I am able to sort through my own "mess". I feel God so close through this and realize it is through bringing this mess to light that I am able to allow God to further change me and purify everything in accordance to His will. It is so challenging to strive for a Sacred Heart like that of Jesus, and the word challenging does not even begin to define the numerous ways that we are expected and called to live/love. It a struggle to follow Jesus...but, we are reminded that it is in denying ourselves and taking up our cross daily that we will truly find life. In my own struggles of faith I have often looked around me at others (yes, in a judging manner) and wondered why life for them seemed to be such a "breeze" for those who did not accept Christ or turn to prayer in their times of need seemed to have it all. In these times I have turned to friends, to Scripture, and to God in order to find the comfort and answers that my soul was yearning for. It is through this that I have truly discovered that the most immense Joy, Happiness, and true Peace can only be found through a total surrender to God's will. Those who have yet to know Him in their lives can never feel, experience, or attain all that is genuine and pure. Those who walk in sin will have moments of temporary satisfactions in every sense but without anything sustainable and everlasting. No matter what we are going through, no matter how much pain, confusion, discomfort, and loss we are feeling..we must look to Jesus on the Cross to remind us of his sufferings for our sake. We must recognize our sufferings as a pathway peace as the serenity prayer reminds us. I pray that we are always able to choose God and seek light through our dark times. I wrote this poem below in a time when I was reflecting on the purpose of living a God centred life..I was struggling to understand, and was feeling unworthy of receiving all that has been promised to us. I was questioning through my struggle the reason and significance for it all...the answer that quickly feel upon my heart while sitting before the Blessed Eucharist was this "Someday You Will Meet Jesus" this to me was all that I needed as my comfort and my sword to carry on through the battle. I pray today that it aids you in your struggles and that you too turn and fight with prayer. Amen.
Someday I will Meet Jesus. By: C.C.
Someday when I meet Jesus and all is said and done
When my life here has passed away and mercy must be won
I will weep in His presence and be held by His embrace
I will tell Him how much the world needs him and speak of my
Someday when I meet Jesus I can only hope He invites me in,
I hope He sits to speak a while and forgives each and every
And though sometimes I may be battling so wounded and in
Someday I will meet Jesus and so I choose to fight
with prayer.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Reflection

"Do not judge or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother "Let me take the speck out of your eye", when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." (Matthew 7. 1:5)
I have a confession to make..... I find myself guilty of this everyday of my life, especially with those I claim to love most. The temptation to fall into that realm of judging others on whatever degree is rather strong. There is such a humility to be had when reading this powerful passage. It is here that I truly begin to understand my worth in a genuine sense, and how IMPURE I truly am. You see, we each have our standards that we present the world with, expectations I have for others..but what about with ourselves, what about with me? The realization is profound, and in saying that this passage should be enough to bring any one of us to our knees in full surrender and acknowledge the ways that we have sinned against our God, within ourselves, and towards our brothers and sisters whom we are called to love. I find myself looking in a mirror and seeing reflected ways that I have mistreated, misjudged, and often times exercised pride and egotism. I have failed on many occasions to cling to Christ and the values which I claim to follow. We must not judge but work together for God's greater good. We must first accept ourselves and our own brokenness before we can ever begin to understand another's actions, pains, and deeds. It is in recognizing this that I am able to understand the commitment I must make towards denying my flesh daily. How? How do we avoid judging when we are so hurt? How do we avoid judging when our anger and our emotions get the best of us? How do we not let Satan win, and deny ourselves to the point of being open to receiving the will of God? I truthfully can not answer these questions and battle with them every single day. It is often easy to offer advice and comforting words but today I inwardly glance at this very issue within myself and shamefully recounting the ways that I have failed to honor God and imitate Jesus with my daily deeds. In Jesus' words I am able to see and understand that there is no grounds for me to ever judge another...even in those situations that seem to hurt me or cause me discomfort. I am here reminded that purification is a process, one that is unending, and one that can not be possible without total devotion to Jesus. It is wrong to look at myself and compare my neighbours sin to my own. We are reminded in Scripture that God weighs the heart and judges each of us according to ourselves. I ask myself the question tonight...If Jesus was with me today what would he say about me? How would he feel? If he heard my voice, and the things I chose to verbalize would he be impressed??? How easily I forget that He walks with me daily..that He walks with each of us. Lord I pray tonight that you allow us to turn ourselves away from judgement..give us the gift of self mastery in every sense to help us become true and pure children of You. May our brokenness remind us of our constant need for You in our lives..may You pour Your cleansing spirit inside of us and take away everything that is not of You so that we are able to live the way You have called us too. May we be reminded that perfection is impossible, but the pursuit and will to imitate You is righteous. For the times that we fall..forgive us, and allow us to start anew. And Lord, when we feel that we have grown in faith, and learned all there is to know..may You humble us and allow us to see ourselves clearly so that we forever hunger, thirst, and yearn for You. Lord I accept the discomfort you often allow in my is through this that I am able to turn judgement upon myself and realize that the "plank" in my own eye still remains rather large. Lord stand by me and mend my brokenness, be patient with me in my failings, and ever comforting through my pain. May I give myself wholly unto You so that I am able to reflect what you have done within me to those around me. Lord I know that only through You can all of my wrongs be made right...I come to You open, willing, and committed to do Your will. (C.C.)

"It is well with my soul" (Horatio. G. Spafford)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mother Mary: By C.C.

With your yes we have our Savior
With your answer we know our Lord
Through your fear, Mary you trusted
Blessed be your holy womb.
I am sure some have doubted
Your importance to our faith
But your surrender gave us Jesus
And your sacrifice paved our way.
Now we hold you as our Mother
When the cold night settles in
You will comfort through our triumph
And will aid us away from sin.
With your mantle you have clothed me
Shielded me from so much harm
I will always strive to reach you
Blessed Mother I love you so.

"If you ever feel distressed during your day — call upon our Lady — just say this simple prayer: 'Mary, Mother of Jesus, please be a mother to me now.' I must admit —this prayer has never failed me." (Blessed Mother Teresa )

Hard Hearts

"If today you hear His voice Harden not your heart." (Psalm 95)

Throughout our daily dealings and earthly struggles it is very difficult to keep our hearts open, pure, and selfless. To strive for a purity of heart is something so important and will draw us nearer to the love of Jesus and our Lord. It is through a purity of heart that we are able to imitate Christ in a deeper way and truly abandon ourselves. I pray for each heart to be open to the love of God and to give with the intent to be received and not to receive. May we each turn in faith toward God the Father to pour His love into our hearts so that we are able to give selflessly to those we encounter and those most dear to us. Lord I pray that you remove the walls, boundaries, and burdens that lay around our hearts which inhibit us from loving purely in the way You intended. May we ask forgiveness with sincerity and may we be guided always by Your light and love. (CC)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I wrote this poem while attending teachers college. I read it from time to time to remind me of the constant need to recharge myself and keep my role in perspective. Each time I read this I am brought to a deeper understanding of what it means to truly educate, guide, mentor, and aid a child in becoming the best that they can be. It is easy to lose our patience, tempers, and our motivation..yet, it is truly important to soften our hearts in these times and strive to recognize the importance of our role in their lives. Ironically there is so much we are in need of learning from them also. I pray that we are able to be positive role models for the children we encounter. May we each turn to our Blessed Mother for the strength, patience, and maternal virtues to aid us in educating and guiding children along their path. (C.C.)
For The Children. By: C.C.
If we believe they are the future, we must treat them with respect.
If we want them to have dreams, we must first strive to achieve our own.
If we teach them that life is beautiful, we must greet them with whole smiles.
If we want them to be happy, we must listen, laugh, and smile more.
If we want them to go far, we must remove our boundaries.
If we want them to believe in the impossible, we must first exercise faith.
If we want them to reach the stars, we must point them out at night.
If we want them to believe in us we must always follow through.
If we want them to achieve, we must give them all the tools.
If we want them to stay youthful we must find our childish innocence.
We must encourage dreams, support short comings, and never forget that we were once children too.

Monday, November 14, 2011

"Not the goods of the world, but God. Not riches, but God. Not honors, butGod. Not distinction, but God. Not dignities, but God. Not advancement, but God.God always and in everything."
(St. Vincent Pallotti)

I would first like to begin by apologizing to my readers for being absent from posting new writings and thoughts. I found this quote and it ignited so much passion and reflection within me. It is worded so simply, yet provokes such an enormous truth. This truth being to always recognize, keep, and serve God through everything that we do. I have shared thoughts in previous posts about our need to truly surrender to God in all areas of our trust Him through our trials and our successes. I ask You Lord to aid us in entrusting You with all of our pursuits. I ask You to forgive us for those times in which we have failed to recognize that our worldly accomplishments are nothing without You at the centre of everything we do. I pray for everyone to have the strength, courage, and faith to commit all of their works to the Lord, and to glorify Him everyday through what they do. May we always be reminded to keep "God always and in everything."

Saturday, November 12, 2011

"Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly." (St. Ignatius Loyola)

We can claim to have faith; but how much do we truly trust God?? This concept is one that we must consider as we sit in confusion about "where our lives are headed"... In today's society where "everything" is so quickly attained and available, it seems that anything we want, desire, and "need" should happen all at once and when we feel it should. The temptation to fall into this way of thinking is so powerful. As children of God we must strive to abandon ourselves completely to the Lord and to trust our lives within his hands. When we come to recognize the Love our Lord truly has for us, it is then we begin to embrace the gift within the strife. The Lord knows exactly what we need and He will provide. Surrender to him and allow His will to is through this act that we will truly know peace. I have posted one of my favorite prayers below to aid you in surrendering to His will with "serenity". (C.C.)

The Serenity Prayer: By: Reinhold Niebuhr

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Prayer To Do His Will. By: C.C.

"To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it" (Bl. Mother Teresa)

"It can be difficult to keep our lamps burning as we face various day to day struggles and experiences. It is in these times that we must recognize the need to "recharge" and to simply offer up all of our cares and our worries. May we find comfort in the Lord's love and the teachings of the Saints. May we always remember that turning to God in prayer and faith can provide us with all we need to keep our lamps burning." (CC)

Give me strength when I grow weary
Give me love when I am lost
Give me saving when I call You
Lord my Saviour keep me near
Give me joy when others call me
Give me strength to do Your will
Give me patience when I’m needed
Lord my Father I need you near.
Give me faith when others doubt You
Give me courage to speak Your name
Give me light when darkness calls me
Lord my God keep me near.

Come To His Light. By. C.C.

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where
there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness,
light; and where there is sadness, joy.” (St. Francis of Assisi)

May each of us who know the joy and love of God be instruments of His peace. May we shine light on those in our lives and around us who are seeking Him. (C.C)

Come To His Light. By: C.C.
I pray that You direct and
help to guide their way
For they know not Your
light and are scared pray.
Lord, help them to see Your
will is truly just
And that in You everyone
can always trust
Sometimes it seems that
You are not there
Living amongst this sin,
they don’t seem to care
Turning a blind eye, they
take an easy road
Only to crawl back to You
with such a heavy load.
Yet, it is there in Your
arms we shall each find our rest
For you love everyone unconditionally;
to this I can attest

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Something For Thought

Let us not close our hearts and lose sight of one of God's greatest gifts....LOVE. May we strive to love as Christ did and share ourselves selflessly with our families and loved ones. May we learn to forgive when it is needed, and may we die to ourselves daily in order to know love the way He intended. (CC)

"The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society
whose idols are pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people
close their hearts and become selfish." (PJPII)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Adoring. By: C.C.

There are so many times we find ourselves in struggles and tribulations. Often we are overcome with emotions and question where God is during these times. It is crucial to recognize that the one unchanging constant in our lives is God's unconditional love for us all. Cling to Him, lean on Him, and trust Him with all of your heart. (C.C)

My Child do not fearfully go about your days
the Lord your God protects you and maps your unknown ways.
There may be times of trial, of temptation, and of toil
but amidst this angst serve Him well, and be that fruitful soil.
The "others" you say walk in sin, and on their face a smile
My child you must always know the power of sinners denile.
The suffering you are experiencing, and the pain within your heart
Will lead you to redemption; to an honest God filled start.
And while here you find some struggle
place your glances towards the sky...
for through Me you are healed dear child
and out to Me you can always cry.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Prayer. By: C.C.

In this world full of struggle Your grace is still there
More people need to seek You so their life may be fair
The young need Your guidance, and the old forgot Your way
But it is here that I praise God and am thankful today.
There are wounds deep within me that I’m aching to heal
In this world full of corruption make Your love real.
I long to surrender and to just do Your will
To give over all control and make right every ill
There are reasons to doubt You, but only more to believe
And Lord I stand by You with no intent to deceive
Stand by through my anguish and nearer in my fear
I give myself to You purely and always sincere.
Be that beacon of light and guide me toward Your shore
I now live for You and strive to meet at heaven’s door.

A Dream Of God. By: C.C.

I had a chance to sit and talk to the Lord
For so long it seems that His voice I’ve ignored.
He wasn’t angry as we finally sat down to speak,
And I know He is with me every time I’m weak.
I was overwhelmed to see Him, and it was such a grace
He smiled at me, as tears rolled slowly down my face.
I knew not why I was crying, but only why I came
And after this moment I would never be the same.
I had so many questions; I didn’t know where to begin.
I felt so overwhelmed by triumph, pain, and too much sin.
Just as promised He was there for me, and didn’t turn away
It was as if He cared about everything I finally had to say.
Not knowing where to begin I just sat there in his view
And He took my hand and said “I’ve always loved you”
It was then I understood that it was I who turned away
It was me who forgot the importance and my need to pray.
I told Him life was hard, and that it was a battle at best
Explaining how so much hurt weighed down upon my chest.
I was terrible for doubting that God was even there
With so much disaster today how could He still care?
I was conflicted and lost; I just needed some clarity
It was then God told me that He’s even closer in my adversity.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Child Find Your Faith Again. By: C.C.

Child find your faith again:
By: C.C.
There once was a little girl who knelt down each night to pray
She opened her heart to the Lord and could trust what He had to say.
The years passed briskly and into a young woman she had grown
Now finding it hard to hold tightly to the faith she had known.
Awakened to a new world where everything seemed so unjust
She found it hard to stay faithful, and with God place her trust.
She battled silently trying to hold on to the morals she once adored
Experiencing so much heartbreak and confusion, where was this Lord?
She cried and fought herself and some nights she could hardly sleep
There were many times she lay awake and would constantly weep.
Finally, she let out a broken and tearful prayer,
For even though she doubted, she knew the Lord was there.
This young woman was no longer that little girl who knelt to pray
And she finds it such a battle to be faithful today.
But the Lord was always watching and proud of her from above
He continuously sent this child his unconditional love.
He has always been there for her, even in her times of doubt
He has listened to her tears, and has heard her loudest shout.
You see the Lord only gives us what He knows we can take
Even the heaviest of loads are there for our sake.
At times we want to scream, when we feel as though we have no control
It is during these times that we must surrender everything and have Him make us whole.
We are always given what we can handle, and we are blessed even in tribulation
Just approach Him with that childish faith and put away that contemplation.
We need not worry about the future, but put our trust in the path He designed
For you are unique to Him, and have some special role assigned.
And so you ask me to help you reconnect, but that’s all up to you
God above knows everything in you, all that’s sweet, genuine, and true.
You again must find within you that little girl who knelt down to pray
Open your heart to the Lord again and trust what He has to say.
Our prayers never go unanswered they just take sometime to see
Be patient and hopeful and your heart will surely dance free.
And whenever you feel as though you wish to turn away
That’s when you must move closer and strongly pray.