The importance of Love

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It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” Mother Teresa

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Underestimating God’s Love

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“The ancient Israelites in the desert failed in trust because they underestimated God’s love for them.  It is astonishing how we too can doubt God’s love for us even in the face of the most dramatic evidence. Yet he does not withdraw his gifts in anger but continues to care for us in our need.”

Psalm 78:13-19, 23-25

God divided the sea and led them through /and made the waters stand up like a wall./By day he led them with a cloud:/by night, with a light of fire.

He split the rocks in the desert./He gave them plentiful drink as from the deep./ He made streams flow out from the rock/ and made waters run down like rivers.

Yet still they sinned against him;/ they defied the Most High in the desert./ In their heart they put God to the test’ by demanding the food they craved.

They even spoke against God. They said: “Is it possible for God/ to prepare a table in the desert?”

Yet he commanded the clouds above/ and opened the gates of heaven. / He rained down manna for their food, / and gave them bread from heaven.

Mere men ate the bread of angels./ He sent them abundance of food.

Intercessions:

R  We put our trust in you!

You led your people through the sea dry-shod:

—let us put our trust in you as you lead us through this day’s challenges. R.

You fed your people in the desert:

—let us hear your Word of life amid the noise of our busy lives today. R

You gave your people water from the rock:

—let us drink from the fountain of life, and not from bitter and polluted waters R

O Lord our God, you sent into the midst of faithless humanity the living Bread, your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to nourish and strengthen us on the road.  Through the mystery of the cross you poured forth upon us the Spirit, the water of life.  Have mercy on our lack of trust, and lead us in your ways today, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.”

(from some readings in the Magnificat)

 

 

 

Life’s Joys

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Human relationships make for such joys. The blessings of home and family and faith.  Thomas Merton writes of the joy of the blessings of this unity.

Christ forms Himself by grace and faith in the souls of all who love Him, and at the same time He draws them all together in Himself to make them One in Him. Ut sint consummate in Unum.

Advent prayer

“May the almighty and merciful God,

by whose grace you have placed your faith

in the First Coming of his Only Begotten Son

and yearn for his coming again

sanctify you by the radiance of Christ’s Advent

and enrich you with his blessing.

AMEN

As you run the race of this present life,

may he make you firm in faith,

joyful in hope and active in charity.

AMEN

So that, rejoicing now with devotion

at the Redeemer’s coming in the flesh,

you may be endowed with the rich reward

of eternal life

when he comes again in majesty.

AMEN

And may the blessing of almighty God,

the Father, and the Son, and the holy Spirit,

come down on you and remain with you for ever.

AMEN”

 

from the liturgy

 

 

 

fear of suffering

“What really hurts is not so much suffering as the fear of suffering. If welcomed trustingly and peacefully, suffering makes us grow. It matures and trains us, purifies us, teaches us to love unselfishly, makes us poor in heart, humble, gentle, and compassionate toward our neighbor. Fear of suffering, on the other hand, hardens us in self-protective, defensive attitudes, and often leads us to make irrational choices with disastrous consequences.”
— Fr. Jacques Philippe, p. 47

Mary

Truly, “you are blessed among women.”
For you have changed Eve’s curse into a blessing;
and Adam, who hitherto lay under a curse,
has been blessed because of you.

Truly, you are blessed among women.
Through you the Father’s blessing has shone forth on mankind,
setting them free of their ancient curse.

Truly, you are blessed among women,
because through you
your forebears have found salvation.
For you were to give birth to the Savior
who was to win them salvation.

Truly, you are blessed among women,
for without seed you have borne, as your fruit,
him who bestows blessings on the whole world
and redeems it from that curse
that made it sprout thorns.

Truly, you are blessed among women,
because, though a woman by nature,
you will become, in reality, God’s mother.
If he whom you are to bear is truly God made flesh,
then rightly do we call you God’s mother.
For you have truly given birth to God.

Sophronius (c. 560-638)