Now more than ever in the days we live in it would do us all well to do a soul check. What’s a soul check? It’s a conscious effort to seriously look into our souls and see what and or who is dwelling there. What and or who is taking priority.
In the times we live in there are so many ways and things that work their way into our souls and before we know it we are feeling lost, empty, longing for something we can not put our finger on to make us happy.
In the days of the Apostle Paul, in the church of Corinth the same thing was happening to the very young church and it’s young Christians. They were allowing the world of their time and all the things in it to pull them away from the Lord Jesus, from His Church, from His teachings. From the happiness and peace only the Lord can give us. They were again, longing for happiness and filling it with things like, immoral sexuality, drunkeness, fighting between themselves, division, worshiping pagan idols.
So what about today? What about us? Are we so unlike those people of long ago in the church in Corinth? The reality is, we are exactly like those people and we are and have been doing the same things they did and there are consequences to this.
St. Paul tells the Corinthian people that these are the reasons they are weak and sick and some die. Is it not the same today? Do we not have fake idols we worship today? Let’s take a look at some of the idols that we have allowed ourselves to bow down too and worship because society says it’s right..
Any of these look familiar? These are our modern day idols and we have all been victims of indoctrination. If we are honest with ourselves how many of them rule your soul at this moment? I know for myself I struggle with two of these but I am trying very hard to release my soul from the bonds of these modern day idols and fill it once again with who and what should be there. The who and what for me is my Lord Jesus and His teachings.
Are we capable of doing this alone? No, we sure aren’t. In fact, anything we can do is all because of the love and grace of God. So how do we get back to God and put Him where He belongs which is at the center of our souls and lives?
We ask for His help and we know we shall receive it. How can we be so sure?
Because this is what St. Paul tells us.
“No temptation has ever overtaken you that is not common to man. God, is faithful and He will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, shun the worship of idols.”
See what St Paul says to us there? God is ever faithful. All we need do is ask and trust that He will help and provide a way for escape.
For our part we must open our souls to His help. We must begin little by little, with the help of the Lord to pull ourselves away from all the noise and things that the world tells us is good and right because deep in our souls, we know the world lies to us.
Many Catholics ask this question. The shame of that is, they should already know the answer. The same question is asked by almost every non-Catholic.
The Catholic asks, “Why should I confess my sins to a priest?”. The non-Catholic asks, “Why should I confess my sins to another man?” The answer my friends is plain and simple and above all, true. Because Jesus tells us to!. Today is Pentecost Sunday. For those who don’t know what this day is, it’s the day when the Lord Jesus Christ sent the Holy Spirit upon the disciples in the upper room after his resurrection.
So what is this about “confessing my sins to another man stuff?” As I stated above, because Jesus tells us too and this is what He said,
“Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.” John 20:23
Right there on the day of Pentecost The Lord Jesus Christ Himself gave his apostles the power to forgive or retain sins. This is why Catholics go to Confession with a priest of the Church because he is an apostle of the Lord and he has been given the power of the Holy Spirit by the Lord Himself to forgive or retain the sins of man. In the Catholic Church we have the one and only True Sacrament of Confession. The sacred gift given by the Lord to be forgiven of our sins. Now some non-Catholics will say, “but, but the Lord Jesus died one time for the forgiveness of sins and one time only.” Yes this is true but He also knew that as fallen human beings we would go on and continue to sin. He knew that we would need forgiveness of these future sins over and over again or He would not have given this direction and command to His apostles.
My Catholic brothers and sisters we have been given a great gift from our Lord. The Joy of Confession. Use it, embrace it, free yourself and find peace. For my non-Catholic brothers and sisters, my prayer is that you give some deep thought to what it written here and look it up in the Sacred Scriptures for yourself. Mediate on this passage. Then, if you come to the conclusion that Jesus was right, lean about the Catholic faith for it is your true home here on earth. But learn from a good and Holy Catholic, pick up and read the Catechism of the Catholic Church and you will see that the beliefs and tenants of the Church all lead you back to Sacred Scripture. Then you will have to ask yourself if this is where you truly belong. I can tell you with an astounding yes that it is but, you will have to prove it to yourself. And as always, ask the Lord to guide you, to lead you.
And I am always here if you would like to chat about it or have questions.
Blessed Pentecost to you all and may the peace of the Lord be with you always..
When I was a kid my mom used to have this saying, “water water everywhere but not a drop to drink”. Yep, she was right. One morning about two weeks ago I went into my kitchen and I saw some water on the floor. At the time it wasn’t a whole lot and honestly I thought one of my old dogs had an accident during the night. I didn’t make a big deal of it, you learn not too after having raised thirteen dogs in almost twenty years, I just cleaned it up and went on my way. The next morning however when I walked to the same spot to get my coffee cup it looked like my roof sprung a leak. There was, water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink!
My husband came into the kitchen and we thought the line for the refrigerator water had sprung because when we pulled out the fridge there had to be two inches of water back there. So we spent the next few hours trying to clean it up but upon further inspection of the water line we found there was no cracks, no holes and no leaks. My husband asked me if I had been in my closet today of course I said no not yet but maybe I should go look. In the back of my walk in closet there is a little sort of closet that encloses our hot water tank. Yep. Sure enough. Water, everywhere , running under the walls etc.
I immediately called my insurance company who had a demolition crew out to our home within an hour. The man who was leading the job was named Thomas a very nice man by the way. He thought okay no big deal a couple of dryers and all will be well. Not….so….fast….To his surprise and my complete shock and worry he ended up having to rip up flooring in my laundry room, kitchen and my closet. Then he ripped out walls in those same rooms, then he had to pull out bottom kitchen cabinets, then insulation from under the house. Yes, it was a mess. The worst part though was that he and his crewfound black mold under the flooring in my laundry room and inside my walk in closet. I was horrified. With my health issue’s this was not good and I was told it had been there a long time and also the hot water heater had been leaking a long time as well. That the insulation around the heater and under the home had been absorbing the water but couldn’t hold it any longer.. Thankfully they were able to kill the mold and clean it all up and dry everything out.
On Tuesday of last week I had the demo crew here to finish up, the insurance adjuster and the plumbing company installing a new hot water heater all at the same time. As of today we are still waiting for an estimate of repairs from the insurance company so I can begin to call contractors and we are living with missing walls, floors etc. The walls, floors, my closet and possibly my entire kitchen plus the insulation under the house will have to be replaced. Here are the before photos. I will post the after photos whenever that happens. The lesson here is, check your hot water heater at least every six months! Don’t drown like us!
Kitchen damage behind the refrigerator and a now missing bottom kitchen cabinet.
Yes, I know, sounds crazy right? Well I’m here to tell you it isn’t crazy at least, I don’t think it is? And it does happen and it’s happened to me today…
I have or should I say had, my first follow up appointment with the Rhuematologist to discuss possible treatment options. I say possible because it’s a possibility I won’t be doing it but that’s for another post. I was supposed to be there tomorrow, Wednesday morning. Well, my body has decided it has other plans for me. The plan is, to be stuck in bed all day yesterday, today and most likely tomorrow. Guys? Hide your eyes.
Why am I and have been stuck in bed? Some refer to it as ‘your monthly friend’ umm, yeah, I don’t see anything friendly about it!!! Of course if you’re actively having sex, not married etc then yeah, I could see why you would call it your friend but, I’m 47 years old and married and No, it’s not my friend!!! Anywho…Since becoming chronically ill so many moons ago I experience a lot of sickness with my cycles. Sometimes it’s not too bad and other times it’s like being hit by a semi for about three days. This month it was a double semi and here I am.
People who are chronically ill have to cancel things all the time because we never know from one hour to the next how we will feel. Yes, our bodies can change on a dime like that and yes there are times we are actually too sick to see a doctor. I know just how absolutely insane that sounds but look at it this way. If you had the flu, you know how sick you get with the flu right? Usually there’s not much a doctor can do for a healthy person who gets the flu so going to a doctor is pretty useless. Instead you stay home and ride it out until you feel better. Now imagine if you had the flu and you had to go and sit in a waiting room with other sick people hacking and sneezing all over the room, then you had to wait again to see the doctor, then it’s off to the pharmacy to wait again to pick up your prescription. By now you’d most likely be praying you won’t black out and break your neck because you’re so weak. See what I’m sayin here? So yes, being too sick to see a doctor is a real thing and yes it does suck.
This morning I began reading the Gospel of Luke. In the opening chapters of Luke we learn about the foretelling of the birth of John the Baptist by the Angel Gabriel. Next we read about the telling of the birth of our Lord by this same Angel to our Blessed Mother Mary. Now imagine this if you can in your mind. Mary was most likely between the ages of fourteen and sixteen when she was betrothed St. Joseph. In our day and age that would seem insane to most people that a girl of such young age be engaged to a man quite many years older than her, even just the thought of being engaged to anyone at that age but, in those times girls of those ages were no longer considered girls. They were women. They weren’t like young women of today. By these ages, these young women knew how to run a household, how to care for family. They were for the lack of a better phrase, “grown up” because they had been prepared for these things from the time they could speak and most importantly they were taught how to walk with God. The people of this age did things very differently and might I say, the right way.
Now when the angel Gabriel came to Mary and told her she would be the mother of God. She would conceive a child in her womb through the Holy Spirit and his name would be Jesus. Of course at first she was perplexed by this because she said to the angel, “how can this be as I do not have a husband”. Notice she never asked WHY, just how will this take place. Gabriel went on to explain to her how this would be and what would unfold. What was Mary’s response? “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word.” and then Gabriel departed from her. Can you even imagine!?!??! Now If it had been you or I we probably would have been flipping out.. Not Mary. In complete and total obedience to God she accepted it. Accepted it knowing that in her time, if a woman was found to be with child and was not married she would be stoned to death. Yes, she would be murdered in a horrible way because this was Jewish law.
So now she knows she will become pregnant through the Holy Spirit, she is not married, if it is found out she is with child she will be put to death and on top of all of this, shenow has to convince Joseph of what she was told by Gabriel! Not too mention her parents.. Can you even imagine! Still and all, knowing what she could possibly be facing, Mary was absolutely obedient to the Lord and what was told to her. She trusted completely in God. I am sure she had her fear as any of us would. Remember, Mary was not divine, she was a human girl like any of us but she was also special in that God chose her from the beginning of time but still, human. Which one of us being put in her position wouldn’t have been afraid? Still and all though she depended on the Lord. Put everything in His hands, gave Herself completely over to His will.
What about us? How many of us could say we would have reacted the same? Do we react this way today? God is not a dead God. Each day he waits for us to say “yes” to His will just like Mary did. Do we? Will we? We live in a society where there are SO many things and distractions to take us away from God. It’s very hard these days to make God thecenter of our lives. To trust Him completely if at all. Everything in our society says not to do this. Everything in our society tries so deeply to keep us away from God and the things of God, to erase God and if you take a good look around, it’s working. But when this life is over, and it will be for all of us what will be left? We will be standing before the Lord waiting for His judgement.
Today and everyday try as hard as you can to fight back against the world and give yourself to God. Trust in Him. Renew this commitment to Him each day. I won’t be easy I can tell you that from experience but never give up. God knows what we need before we ask it. God will provide even when there seems to be no answer and no help. Each day try harder to trust in Him and give Him your life so that when you stand in front of Him on your judgement day you have the hope of hearing from the lips of our precious Lord,
“Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into the glory of the kingdom of everlasting life.