Psalm 139:1

 As the psalmist tells us, God knows our heart as well. Everything! He knows our dreams, our hopes, our fears, and our desires. He knows our gifts and talents and even our quirks. He knows what delights us, what saddens us, what worries us. He knows us at the core of our being.

What a relief! When we come to prayer, we can be confident, because we are approaching a God who not only created us but is intimately aware of our every thought and feeling.

Sometimes, God’s knowledge of us can make us feel vulnerable and afraid. For a variety of reasons, we may have grown accustomed to keeping up our guard, wary of letting anyone get too close to us, even the Lord.

But God is our biggest fan. He won’t ever betray us, and he won’t be scandalized by our faults. So open your hearts to God! Don’t hold anything back! He already knows everything about you- the bad as well as the good, and he still loves you. Tell him what’s on your mind. Share with him your struggles with bad habits or sins, and ask for his forgiveness and grace.

Remember, Jesus didn’t come to condemn us but to save us, to shower us with mercy and love.God, our Creator, accepts us just the way we are, even as he longs to see us transformed. He delights in you. He knows you as he intended  you to be or all eternity. And with that image in mind, he will always treat you with the utmost of love and respect.

“Father, what a great God you are! You have searched me and know me, and still you love me. Without hesitation or fear, I open myself to you.”



                  
The Promise of Divinization

 …he lifts us up to heaven so that, filled with his grace, we can be a more effective force for good and holiness on the earth. When we say that God lifts us up from the earth, we are really saying that he takes us out of the limited philosophies that are prevalent in the world. He lifts us out of our narrow self-focused concerns and gives us a sense of his grandeur, his power, and his love.  He raises us above our limited expectations for our lives an\d shows us that we really can overcome sin and that we really can live holy, godly lives in the world. Over time, as we experience God lifting us up more and more frequently, we find ourselves changing. We find the Holy Spirit making us more like Jesus. We find him deliveringus from old ways of sin and limited vision so that we can live in closer union with the Lord. Some of the saints have gone as far as to call this process of transformation divinization,” where God forms us into his image and likeness so fully that webegin to think and act like Jesus.




Sirach 51:12-20

A theologian once explained that the wisdom of God is itself a gift from God-the distributor of all good gifts: life and happiness, security, grace and glory, peace and justice and all the virtues.It’s amazing, but true: Receiving wisdom from God enables us to enjoy all these wonderful gifts. We need only to turn to him and ask his Spirit to lift our hearts and minds to heaven.
God is delighted when we ask him for wisdom. He loves offering us direction for our lives. In fact, every morning, he eagerly looks for us to come to \him in prayer so that he can show us his ways. After all, that’s why he created us with the capacity to hear his voice in the first place! Now that we have this capacity, it’s up to us to be diligent in seeking him out, bringing our ideas, thoughts, and plan to him, and asking him to teach us and correct us wherever necessary.
The thought of pursing divine wisdom can sound so lofty. What does this really mean for us practically? One way is through experimentation: taking steps of faith during our day and asking God to direct us as we do. This strategy allows us to learn from our successes and from our failures, and it encourages us to stay in touch with God all day long.
Another strategy is to spend time in quiet prayer and Scripture reading every morning, asking God to reveal himself to us. This strategy not only helps us understand God more;  it also brings us into a more intimate relationship with him. It gives him the opportunity to mold our thinking in general, and not just about one specific situation or topic.
Probably the best answer is to combine both strategies, both immersing ourselves in God’s presence in the morning and staying close to him as we experiment with our faith all day long.
Ultimately, this is the best way to learn how to discern right from wrong, and to deepen our love for our heavenly Father.For this is the heart of wisdom:loving God and walking in his ways!

“Holy Spirit, thank you for being so eager to teach me. I open my heart to you so that you can fill me with the wisdom of God.Come, Spirit, and be the delight of my heart, so that my feet are kept on a level path.”


“Reprinted with permission of The Word Among Us, www.wau.org, 1-800-775-9673.”





I am just like you. My immediate response to most situations is with reactions of attachment, defensiveness, judgment, control, and analysis. I am better at calculating than contemplating. Let’s admit that we all start there. The false self seems to have the “first gaze” at almost everything.

On my better days, when I am “open, Undefended, and immediately present,” I can sometimes begin with a contemplative mind and heart. Often I can get there later and even end there, but it is usually a second gaze. The True Self seems to always be ridden and blinded by the defensive needs of the false self. It is an hour by hour battle, at least for me. I can see why all spiritual traditions insist on daily prayer, in fact, morning, midday, evening, and before we go to bed prayer too! Otherwise, I can assume that I am back, in the cruise control of small and personal self-interest, the pitiable and fragile “Richard” self.
 
The first gaze is seldom compassionate. It is too busy weighing and feeling itself: “How will this affect me?” Or “How does my self image demand that I react to this? Or “How can I get back in control of this situation?” This leads us to an implosion, a self pre-occupation that cannot enter into communion with the other or the moment. In other words, we first feel our feelings before we can relate to the situation and emotion of the other. Only after God has taught us how to live “undefended,” can we immediately stand with and for the other, and for the moment. It takes lots of practice. Maybe that is why many people even speak of their “spiritual practice”?

My practice is probably somewhat unique because of the nature of my life. I have no wife, family, or even constant community. My Franciscan tradition and superiors have allowed me in these later years to live alone, in a little “hermitage” behind the friary and parish, that I call East of Eden. I am able to protect long hours of silence and solitude each day (when I am home), which I fill with specific times of prayer, study, journaling and writing, spiritual reading, gardening, walking, and just gazing. It is a luxury that most of you do not have. (My 50% of time on the road is much harder to balance, and probably more like your life).

On a practical level, my at home day is two extremes: both very busy visitors and calls, counselees, work at the CAC, mail, writing, and some work at Holy Family parish) yet on the opposite side, my life is very quiet and alone. I avoid most social gatherings, frankly because I know my soul has other questions to ask and answer as I get older. (Thank god, my Franciscan community has honored this need). Small talk and “busyness about many things” will not get me there. If I am going to continue to address groups, as if I have something to say, then I have to really know what I know, really believe what I believe, and my life has to be more experiential and intimate than mere repetition of formulas and doctrines. I am waiting, practicing, and asking for the second gaze.
 
I suppose this protected interiority was the historic meaning of cloister, vows of silence, silence in church, and guarded places and times inside of monasteries, where you were relieved of all the usual social pleasantries and obligations. Some had to be free to move beyond ego consciousness to deeper contact with the unconscious, the shadow self, the intimate journey of the soul, toward conscious union with God. Traditionally, one was never allowed to live as a “hermit” until later in life, and only after you had paid your dues to community and concrete relationships. Only community and marriage force you to face, own, and exorcise your own demons. Otherwise, the loner is just a misanthrope or a sociopath, a person with poor social skills, or a person who desires to have total control of their day and time. This is not holiness. Avoiding people does not compute into love of God, being quiet and alone does not make you into a contemplative. Introversion and shyness are not the same as inner peace or communion. “Still waters run deep,” they say, but that water can be either very clear or quite toxic.

Your practice must somehow include the problem. Prayer is not the avoiding of distractions, but precisely how you deal with distractions. Contemplation is not the avoidance of the problem, but a daily merging with the problem, and finding its full resolution. What you quickly and humbly learn in contemplation, is that how you do anything is probably how you do everything. If you are brutal in your inner reaction to your own littleness and sinfulness, your social relationships and even your politics will probably be the same- brutal. One sees a woman overcome this split in an autobiography like St. Therese of Lisieux’s, Story of A Soul. This young contemplative nun is daily dealing with her irritations, judgments, and desire to run from her fellow sisters in the convent. She faces her own mixed motives and pettiness. She is constant in her concern for those working actively in the missions. But her goal is always compassion and communion. She suffers her powerlessness until she can finally break through to love. She holds the tension within herself (the essence of contemplation) until she herself is the positive resolution of that tension. These always get to the second gaze.

It has taken me much of my life to begin to get to the second gaze. By nature I have a critical mind and a demanding heart, and I am impatient. These are both my gifts and my curses, as you might expect. Yet I cannot have one without the other, it seems. I cannot risk losing touch with either my angels or my demons. They are both good teachers. A life of solitude and silence allows them both, and invariable leads me to the second gaze. The gaze of compassion, looking out at life from the place of Divine Intimacy is really all I have, and all I have to give, even though I don’t always do it.
 
I named my little hermitage “East of Eden” for some very specific reasons, not however, because of John Steinbeck’s marvelous novel (and movie) of the same name. On a humorous level, it was because I moved here six years ago, 300 yards “east” of desHoly Family Friary where I had previously lived. We had a fine community while I was there, consisting of three priests, two brothers, and many visitors who genuinely enjoyed one another-most of the time anyway! All my needs and ires were met in very good ways. It was a sort of “Eden”
 
But I also picked the name because of its significance in the life of Cain, after he killed his brother Abel. It was a place where God sent Cain, this bad boy, after he had failed and sinned, yet ironically with a loving and protective mark: “So Yahweh put a mark on Cain so that no one would do him harm. He sent him to wander in the land of Nod, East of Eden” (Genesis 4:16).

By my late 50’s I had had
plenty of opportunities to see my own failures, shadow, and sin. The first gaze at myself was critical, negative, and demanding, not helpful at all, to me or to others. I am convinced that such guilt and shame are never from God. They are merely the protestations of the false self as it is shocked at its own poverty-the defenses of a little man who wants to be a big man. God leads by compassion toward the soul, never by condemnation. If God would relate to us by severity and punitiveness, God would only be giving us permission to do the same (which is tragically, exactly wus both askew and awake.

So now my later life call is to “wander in the land of Nod,” enjoying God’s so often proven love and protection, and look back at my life, and everybody’s life, the One-And-Only-Life, marked happily and hat has happened!). God offers us, instead, the grace to “weep” over our sins more than ever perfectly overcome them, to humbly recognize our littleness rather than become big. It is the way of Cain, Francis, and Therese. It is a kind of weeping and a kind of wandering that keeps gratefully with the sign of Cain. Contemplation and compassion are finally coming together. This is my second gaze. It is well worth waiting for, because only the second gaze sees fully and truthfully. It sees itself, the other and even God with God’s own eyes, which are always eyes of compassion.
(Fourth in the Series on CAC Principles)
used with permission
www.cacradicalgrace.org



.

I am just like you. My immediate response to most situations is with reactions of attachment, defensiveness, judgment, control, and analysis. I am better at calculating than contemplating. Let’s admit that we all start there. The false self seems to have the “first gaze” at almost everything.

On my better days, when I am “open, Undefended, and immediately present,” I can sometimes begin with a contemplative mind and heart. Often I can get there later and even end there, but it is usually a second gaze. The True Self seems to always be ridden and blinded by the defensive needs of the false self. It is an hour by hour battle, at least for me. I can see why all spiritual traditions insist on daily prayer, in fact, morning, midday, evening, and before we go to bed prayer too! Otherwise, I can assume that I am back, in the cruise control of small and personal self-interest, the pitiable and fragile “Richard” self.
 
The first gaze is seldom compassionate. It is too busy weighing and feeling itself: “How will this affect me?” Or “How does my self image demand that I react to this? Or “How can I get back in control of this situation?” This leads us to an implosion, a self pre-occupation that cannot enter into communion with the other or the moment. In other words, we first feel our feelings before we can relate to the situation and emotion of the other. Only after God has taught us how to live “undefended,” can we immediately stand with and for the other, and for the moment. It takes lots of practice. Maybe that is why many people even speak of their “spiritual practice”?

My practice is probably somewhat unique because of the nature of my life. I have no wife, family, or even constant community. My Franciscan tradition and superiors have allowed me in these later years to live alone, in a little “hermitage” behind the friary and parish, that I call East of Eden. I am able to protect long hours of silence and solitude each day (when I am home), which I fill with specific times of prayer, study, journaling and writing, spiritual reading, gardening, walking, and just gazing. It is a luxury that most of you do not have. (My 50% of time on the road is much harder to balance, and probably more like your life).

On a practical level, my at home day is two extremes: both very busy visitors and calls, counselees, work at the CAC, mail, writing, and some work at Holy Family parish) yet on the opposite side, my life is very quiet and alone. I avoid most social gatherings, frankly because I know my soul has other questions to ask and answer as I get older. (Thank god, my Franciscan community has honored this need). Small talk and “busyness about many things” will not get me there. If I am going to continue to address groups, as if I have something to say, then I have to really know what I know, really believe what I believe, and my life has to be more experiential and intimate than mere repetition of formulas and doctrines. I am waiting, practicing, and asking for the second gaze.
 
I suppose this protected interiority was the historic meaning of cloister, vows of silence, silence in church, and guarded places and times inside of monasteries, where you were relieved of all the usual social pleasantries and obligations. Some had to be free to move beyond ego consciousness to deeper contact with the unconscious, the shadow self, the intimate journey of the soul, toward conscious union with God. Traditionally, one was never allowed to live as a “hermit” until later in life, and only after you had paid your dues to community and concrete relationships. Only community and marriage force you to face, own, and exorcise your own demons. Otherwise, the loner is just a misanthrope or a sociopath, a person with poor social skills, or a person who desires to have total control of their day and time. This is not holiness. Avoiding people does not compute into love of God, being quiet and alone does not make you into a contemplative. Introversion and shyness are not the same as inner peace or communion. “Still waters run deep,” they say, but that water can be either very clear or quite toxic.

Your practice must somehow include the problem. Prayer is not the avoiding of distractions, but precisely how you deal with distractions. Contemplation is not the avoidance of the problem, but a daily merging with the problem, and finding its full resolution. What you quickly and humbly learn in contemplation, is that how you do anything is probably how you do everything. If you are brutal in your inner reaction to your own littleness and sinfulness, your social relationships and even your politics will probably be the same- brutal. One sees a woman overcome this split in an autobiography like St. Therese of Lisieux’s, Story of A Soul. This young contemplative nun is daily dealing with her irritations, judgments, and desire to run from her fellow sisters in the convent. She faces her own mixed motives and pettiness. She is constant in her concern for those working actively in the missions. But her goal is always compassion and communion. She suffers her powerlessness until she can finally break through to love. She holds the tension within herself (the essence of contemplation) until she herself is the positive resolution of that tension. These always get to the second gaze.

It has taken me much of my life to begin to get to the second gaze. By nature I have a critical mind and a demanding heart, and I am impatient. These are both my gifts and my curses, as you might expect. Yet I cannot have one without the other, it seems. I cannot risk losing touch with either my angels or my demons. They are both good teachers. A life of solitude and silence allows them both, and invariable leads me to the second gaze. The gaze of compassion, looking out at life from the place of Divine Intimacy is really all I have, and all I have to give, even though I don’t always do it.
 
I named my little hermitage “East of Eden” for some very specific reasons, not however, because of John Steinbeck’s marvelous novel (and movie) of the same name. On a humorous level, it was because I moved here six years ago, 300 yards “east” of the Holy Family Friary where I had previously lived. We had a fine community while I was there, consisting of three priests, two brothers, and many visitors who genuinely enjoyed one another-most of the time anyway! All my needs and desires were met in very good ways. It was a sort of “Eden”
 
But I also picked the name because of its significance in the life of Cain, after he killed his brother Abel. It was a place where God sent Cain, this bad boy, after he had failed and sinned, yet ironically with a loving and protective mark: “So Yahweh put a mark on Cain so that no one would do him harm. He sent him to wander in the land of Nod, East of Eden” (Genesis 4:16).

By my late 50’s I had had
plenty of opportunities to see my own failures, shadow, and sin. The first gaze at myself was critical, negative, and demanding, not helpful at all, to me or to others. I am convinced that such guilt and shame are never from God. They are merely the protestations of the false self as it is shocked at its own poverty-the defenses of a little man who wants to be a big man. God leads by compassion toward the soul, never by condemnation. If God would relate to us by severity and punitiveness, God would only be giving us permission to do the same (which is tragically, exactly was both askew and awake.

So now my later life call is to “wander in the land of Nod,” enjoying God’s so often proven love and protection, and look back at my life, and everybody’s life, the One-And-Only-Life, marked happily and that has happened!). God offers us, instead, the grace to “weep” over our sins more than ever perfectly overcome them, to humbly recognize our littleness rather than become big. It is the way of Cain, Francis, and Therese. It is a kind of weeping and a kind of wandering that keeps gratefully with the sign of Cain. Contemplation and compassion are finally coming together. This is my second gaze. It is well worth waiting for, because only the second gaze sees fully and truthfully. It sees itself, the other and even God with God’s own eyes, which are always eyes of compassion.
(Fourth in the Series on CAC Principles)
used with permission
www.cacradicalgrace.org


.

Insights Into Spirituality

Articles and Stuff

Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM is a Franciscan
of the New Mexico Province and founder
of the Center For Action And Contemplation
in Alburquerque, NM.
For more information on Fr. Richard and the CAC
please visit www.cacradicalgrace.com

Just A Thought

I was listening to the Prayer Channel and heard
Father Charles say:
“Sometimes the reason we can’t stop committing a certain sin is because we don’t want to.”
I thought about this for a moment and it struck me like a hammer. There are times when I derive too much pleasure from a sin and I get too comfortable with God’s forgiveness. I loose sight of the fact that with forgiveness is accountability and responsibility. The mastery of sin relies on my unwillingness to change. “…sin is a demon lurking at the door; his urge it toward you, yet you can be his master.” 


            

Contemplation and Compassion:
The Second Gaze
 By Richard Rohr, OFM – December 2005


As published in Radical Grace,
the publication of the Center for Action and Contemplation
Vol. 18, No 6 – November-December 2005


Contemplation happens to everyone.
It happens in moments when we are open, undefended,
and immediately present. –
Dr. Gerald May


                                                                                                                                                                                  .

Awareness & Acknowledgement

melt the masks we wear: give us

faces alive, open our hearts, and

awaken our souls to his Song of Love

 

Summer’s Glory Days…

                Breathe New Life

 

Be open to the gracious, holy touch of healing…

Re-connect to the prompting of your senses: sight,touch ,sound of waves, the salt of the sea.

Enjoy the glory of blue-sky serenity and free  floating wisps of white clouds passing by.

Applaud the kiss of the sun, warming the earth,reaching out to the coldness in your heart.

Touch the child within you: feel the sand between your toes, castles at your finger-tips.

Hear the song of His Love! Still places in your heart may echo the Whisper of His voice in wind and surf,

Enduring since the beginning of Earth’s creation.

 New horizons appear and beckon to us! Do we dare…?

Energy and hope shake hands, urging us to go beyond our pettiness; calling us to be in
Wonder at His glory and invitation; humbled by His Power, changed by His Presence!

 Listen! He, again is calling! Are you willing to respond?

Imagine the freedom if you let Me lead you to new shores, release you from past sins and hurts!

Fight through the anger, fear: Breathe in My Spirit, your sorrow and suffering I will turn into joy.

Exult in your journey, no matter the cost, for My streams of Mercy and  Love for you are now, and forever!

                                     
                 Peggy-Christie Walkuski


 

 You’re Priceless

 You are born with dignity and worth that no one can take from you,

Not even yourself!

You are a precious and unique gift.

There has never been nor will there ever be  anyone exactly like you.

Life does have meaning. It is your task and challenge to discover it.

You have an irreplaceable contribution to make to your family and society that no one can make for you; your life can make a difference if you let it.

Don’t let concerns about physical attractiveness, intelligence, money, or the growth and changes you are going through get you down.

The key to overcoming  the ups and downs of these feelings is to be yourself and not pretend or strive to be someone else.

Peggy -Christie Walkuski  (used with permission)

Discovering Our True Selves:
The Gift of Healing
Behind the Mask We Wear
By Peggy Christie-Walkuski

In our journey from God to our mother’s womb to our birth and growth to adulthood, the influence of our mother and


father, the position of our birth in our family and our development and interaction within our family circle is


paramount in how we develop, interact with ourselves and others. Our birth position dictates our needs and is often


dependent upon our parents unmet needs from their childhood birth position and childhood family dynamic. The


following poem attempts to clarify how powerfully each child accepts the role offered them by their position in order


to obtain and receive their own needs being met, and at the same time, naturally learns to suppress its opposite


reaction.

 Mask-erade

What is the mask you hide behind To cope with life’s truth, hurts and stress? What is the “face” that keeps you safe,


Gains attention, seeks happiness? Why is your wall built brick-by-brick, A “stone-face” you put on for the crowd,


While deeper feelings you hide within Unable to voice them aloud? Is it the mask of the hero Restoring each victim


you meet? You’re victimized in the end, friend, Alone in guilt-ridden defeat. Were you offered the scapegoat’s


mask, Provoking the anger of all; Snatching at power with fury While hurt/ shame is your heart-broken call? Or,


maybe you wax angelic With everyone calling you, sweet, dear: Silent for fear of attention-rejection As rage screams


its name in your ear! Clowns wear a mask so appealing, Their jesting makes ever one smile; But, their eyes sound a


truth unspoken… Sad fear of rejection their trial. Which is the mask you hide behind? Does it still bring comfort to


your? Or, is it just plaster-of-paris, so no one Knows the real you…especially you! Come, take a risk in this moment.


Dare to embrace the eakness inside. Your heart will break free, your face Come alive! Love and peace will abide.


Peggy Christie-Walkuski The strengths and talents we learn in childhood through our birth position and the


interaction with family give each one of us the attention we need and a sense of accomplishment and self worth. We


discover there is always someone who encourages. We learn to dream, find a desire to achieve the best of who and


how we are. But, there is always more when we become willing to admit our vulnerabilities, sins, mistakes and then


explore the opposite side of our strengths… the repressed or deliberately suppressed side of our nature – and make


friends with that hidden, shadow side. If and when we are willing to make the leap, or as one hymn proclaims, to


“seek other shores,” God’s calling, love and mercy begins to appear. He has long waited for that moment when we


recognize that our limits are also our strengths and that we can – not do it alone, even though we have spent much


effort, in various ways, trying. Eternal Mercy has a Name … Jesus! Long has He waited for us to ask for love and


mercy. I found the following between the pages of my book of Psalms: Psalm 72, placed as a marker and for


meditation. “Let’s not live distracted lives. Let us know ourselves so that we can better know our brothers and


sisters. If we want to understand those with whom we live, we need to understand ourselves first of all.” Mother


Teresa (used with permission)

Peggy Christie-Walkuski
50 years varied teaching experience.
 20 years: Creation, development and implementation
 of FACES of Addiction, Inc. (Family Awareness & Community
Educational Services);
 including. 14 years - "Rainbows & Roses" Retreat,
 the Sunday after Easter, Mount Manresa, S.I.
 with Rev.Joseph Finnerty, S.J. Spiritual Advisor
which offered awareness and emorional/spiritual
support and healing from addictions rooted in a
Judaic/Christian pastoral ministry integrated
with A.A. 12 Step Way of life.
10 years - "Healing the Precious Child Within" curriculum;
yearly week-end Retreat offered at St. Ursala Retreat House,
Blue Point, L.I. Curricula and seminars were developed
to meet the needs of individuals, and specific group(s)
upon request. Presently Editor/Writer of the monthly
Our Lady of the Snows Parish Respect Life News Note,
 Floral Park, Queens, NY. E-mail: mjchris@catholic.org



My Banquet of Mercy

Come to
My table! My friends will be there!
I set you a place! Come, listen and share.
The feast is
My Banquet of joy for each one
Who surrenders disquiet and yields to
My Son.

 Leave your “market place’ of stress so intense,
My presence and mercy heal heart and soul-sense.
Come to 
My table, be filled and be fed.
Allow
Me to serve you. Give Me your bread…

…old bread hardened by hurts, sin and fears.
…stale bread gone tasteless, encrusted by tears.
 I offer your Life-Bread borne of the Dove;
Sprinkled with giftedness,
Thrice-sifted with Love.

My table is set! My friends wait for you there
 With willing hearts open to bless with 
MY care.
Old fragments and crumbs
I’ll sweep from your soul.
Receive
My Son’s Bread, His Yeast makes you whole!

Peggy Christie-Walkuski…



The Fisherman


A fisherman needs to be patient. He learns to wait for the fish to take the bait.
(A fisher of men is gentle and allows the Holy Spirit to draw the person to the Word.)

A fisherman perseveres and is not discouraged.
(A fisher of men always tries again after a failure.)

A fisherman has the courage to face the fury of the sea.
(A fisher of men prepares to resist the temptations of a world that doesn’t believe.)

A fisherman has to be on guard for potential danger.
(A fisher of men realizes that telling men the truth can evoke strong reactions.)

A fisherman usually knows when to fish.
(A fisher of men has to develop timing; when the truth will move men and when the truth will harden them.)

A fisherman learns that the bait must fit the fish.
(A fisher of men determines how to approach men. Where he can work and where he can not.)

A fisherman doesn’t scare the fish and keeps out of sight.
(A fisher of men always puts Jesus first.)
 
A fisherman maintains his tackle.
(A fisher of men studies the Good News in order to spread the Good News.)

A fisherman dresses properly for the conditions.
(A fisher of men is clothed in Christ.)

A fisherman respects his capture.
 (A fisher of men treats all men and women equally.)

A fisherman learns everything he can about his craft.
(A fisher of men has a genuine interest in people.)

A fisherman is confident in his skills.
(A fisher of men has faith in God.)

A fisherman has zeal for his craft.
(A fisher of men has the fire of the Holy Spirit.)    


John Magurno   


.

More...

Is the next revelation God wants me to discover;
Is the next road He wants me to travel;
Is the next grace He wants to bestow upon me;
Is the next wave of love He wants to place in my heart;
Is the next infilling of His Spirit He wants to share with me;
Is the next increase in peace He wants me to experience;
Is the next miracle He wants to perform for me;
Is the message of continuing hope for life...now and after I leave this world.        John Magurno




I Carry a Cross In My Pocket

I carry a cross in my pocket
 A simple reminder to me
Of the fact that I am a Christian
No matter where I may be

This little cross is not magic
Nor is it a good luck charm
It isn’t meant to protect me
From every physical harm

It’s not for identification
For all the world to see
It’s simply an understanding
Between my Savior and me

When I put my hand in my pocket
To bring out a coin or a key
The cross is there to remind me
Of the price he paid for me
 
It reminds me, too, to be thankful
For my blessings day by day
And to strive to serve Him better
In all that I do and say

It’s also a daily reminder
Of the peace and comfort I share
With all who know my Master
And give themselves to His care

So I carry a cross in my pocket
Reminding no one but me
That Jesus Christ is the Lord of my life 
If only I let Him be.
Author Unknown



.

 Lectors’ Checklist

Present:              Do I bring myself before God in a manner worthy to the task at hand?

Presence:            Do I command the attention of those who will hear me deliver God’s Word?

Proclamation:     Does my life reflect the import of the words I deliver?

Prepare:              Have I taken the time to study the readings?

Practice:             Have I taken the time to go over all the elements of the material to insure that the readings will bunderstood?

Pronunciation:   Do I enunciate properly so there is no confusion about what I am reading?

Punctuation:      Do I use all the breaks in the material to help determine the flow?

Pinpoint:             Do I take Paul’s run-on sentences and make them understandable?

Project:               Do I speak strongly enough so everyone will hear God’s Word?

Pace:                   Do I speak slow enough to allow God’s Word to penetrate?

Pause:                 Do I use pauses, inflection and emphasis to communicate the meaning of the text?

Piercing:             Do I make sufficient eye contact so everyone senses God is speaking directly to them?

Patience:            Do I read and remember so as to look up as much as I am looking down?

Pitfalls:              Am I aware of any perils built into the text? How do I correct them?

Possession:       Has God’s Word been internalize and become flesh of my flesh?

Prayer:               Have I asked the Holy Spirit for help and guidance?

Physical:            Have I kept myself healthy so God may use me wholly?

Passion:             Does the fire of the Holy Spirit motivate me?                            John Magurno

Father Pat Martin shared his story about his
childhood and the diseases that left him blind.
He spoke about the miraculous return to limited vision.
His vision was and is limited to a very small field.
If three people are standing together, he would only be able

to clearly discern one of the three. Despite his limitation,

his whole life has been about preaching on the love of God.


www.awildcanary.com


Therein lies a spiritual lesson for me. I could use some

spiritual myopia that would allow me to focus on the

love of God in my life; a tunnel-vision which leads directly

to the heart of Jesus.