Catholic, life experience

Conversation and conversion

I like having a good conversation about why I became Catholic, it seems to be what people care about now days, and is the first topic we discuss when we haven’t seen each other for awhile.

What I dislike greatly is the morbid curiosity or judgment kind of conversation about my conversion.  Had one of those tonight at a pancake breakfast!  It was accusatory and put me on the defensive.  In the end I just said that it fed my spirit and let them push their nose up to the ceiling and sigh.  I did the latter and left the table.

Shared this theory with my SIL when we visited her last month, we agreed, it’s not like becoming Lutheran.  I mean – heck people don’t see that as admonishing.  Or Jewish; now I do have a friend that converted to Judaism and she’s functioning just fine and doesn’t seem to get hassled about her beliefs.  (Gypsy, I’m gonna need some feedback from you)!

Catholic is probably the most misunderstood religion on earth.  I should know, I had my high and mighty opinions too, when I was in RCIA (a class to learn more about Catholicism) I asked my many ignorant questions.  Why do you worship the Virgin Mary?  Why is she so important anyway?  What is purgatory all about (I still don’t buy that one)!  Why can’t priests marry?  The amazing thing is, all of my teachers were patient and gave me explanations that helped me understand.

I’m not an expert, trust me.  I attended mass tonight, my first Tuesday night service and felt like a 3 year old.  However, I was able to function and it was a lovely 1/2 hour. When you have conversation with people; whether it’s about lifestyle changes, religion, politics or child-raising, remember the other person is a human being and deserves the same respect you have for yourself.

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Ephesians 4:32
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
life experience

Feeling Pieces

We often feel a certain way; anxious, sad, happy, joyful, worried, compassionate, etc.  Feelings however, can mar our walk of faith.  We tend to trust how we feel, instead of what God is actively doing in our life.  Especially when it doesn’t seem like He cares or is listening, or has a plan.  God always has a plan!

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Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding (Prov. 3:5).

Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered (Prov. 28:26).

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jer. 17:9).

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Spiritual Direction

My husband has been joking with me about a country song titled:  “I could write a book about what I don’t know.”  He thinks his book would be blank!

I am continuing/beginning/carrying on down my spiritual path.  I’ve decided that I will seek “spiritual direction.”  This is not a formal or expensive endeavor, generally a clergy person of any and all religions, including pagan or atheisim will advise, poke, prod, explore, ask questions about where/when/how/why you are considering this particular path.

Who advises you deeper than your relationship with God, when you receive a calling?  Curious of any comments.

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Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

 

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It Takes Time

We are a hurry-busy-fast society.  However, a hand has reached down often enough in my life that SLAMMED on the brakes, Jesus calls to me.  Take more time with Me, get into the Word, tomorrow is not promised, but today — it’s here, let’s move some mountains, let’s climb to the top instead of wallowing in the shadows.

I’ve experienced some heavy health issues the last two months.  I have slowed WAY down.  And yet, with all this free time, I am still selfish, not having committed my time with better intentions.

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Our relationship with God is our most important.  Jesus walked the earth for 33 years as a human being, we can bring to him all we’ve got.  He “gets” it.  Let the extra time in your days, be filled with prayer, conversation, servitude and love, all we are; and all we can be — can be received by the love of the Father.

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Deuteronomy 4:40
Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land theLord your God gives you for all time.
2 Timothy 2:22
Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

 

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Pieces of Reconciliation

As a writer, I am enthralled by words; what they mean, the purpose they serve, how to use them correctly.  Oftentimes I come across a word that seems important; but I am not familiar with it.

Reconciliation is that word for me right now.   We die to our old selves, becoming new in Christ.

There is no greater joy than to be forgiven, to forgive and know that forgiveness is necessary each day — to live in harmony; oftentimes — with ourselves.

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2 Corinthians 5:18 All these new things are from God who brought us back to himself through what Christ Jesus did. And God has given us the privilege of urging everyone to come into his favor and be reconciled to him.

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Pieces of Forgiveness

I have struggled personally with the act of forgiveness.  Some resentment harbored over 30 years of my life.  Imagine.  Withholding forgiveness to another human being when Jesus forgives ME every day, sometimes many times a day.  I am not without sin.  How did it ever become my place to judge the actions of another?

It is not.

What does the bible say about forgiveness?

Wow, the bible says a lot, doesn’t it?  🙂

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Questioning Pieces

(From my personal meditation journal)

I spent decades asking God why my mom had to die.  I finally – let it go.  There are circumstances we will not know until we meet Jesus in person.

I don’t know how to pray when “I” have pain; so I say The Lords Prayer and it comforts me  I may still have the pain, so it’s another circumstance I won’t know or understand — maybe ever.  And, I’m actually, finally –  okay with it.

A lesson is sometimes part of a plan we didn’t see.  And/or closure from a situation we couldn’t see.  Trusting You is all the vision I need.

For the reverence and fear of God are basic to all wisdom. Knowing God results in every other kind of understanding.
He reveals profound mysteries beyond man’s understanding. He knows all hidden things, for he is light, and darkness is no obstacle to him.
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Unlimited Pieces

There is nothing God can’t do, it’s infinite, unlimited and out of the realm of our understanding.

Part of our belief in Jesus Christ is “faith” — I should say a HUGE part of it — is faith.  We walk in faith, the same way a seeing-eye dog guides his person across the street, the dog doesn’t hope that everyone will slow down, he trusts his training.  We receive training too, daily bible reading/mediation, conversing with like-minded people; my good friend Helene says “she loves truth seeking people,” and more than any of that — prayer.  These are our tools; our training.

But when I am afraid, I will put my confidence in you. Yes, I will trust the promises of God. And since I am trusting him, what can mere man do to me?
Come to me and I will give you rest—all of you who work so hard beneath a heavy yoke. Wear my yoke—for it fits perfectly—and let me teach you; for I am gentle and humble, and you shall find rest for your souls; for I give you only light burdens.”
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Journey to Redemption

Easter Sunday has arrived in many parts of the world; where I live, it’s tomorrow.  The past few days have been incredibly moving for me.  Having grown up in a rather sedate Lutheran church, there were no “stations of the cross,” Good Friday services or much reflection on the sanctity of Holy Week.  We recognized the birth of Jesus, His Resurrection on the cross, the day He rose from the dead, and the Ascension.

Did these events take place so that we could affirm our faith?  The disciples were given the task of sharing Jesus’ word with the entire world; it may have been “mere Christianity” without the the death & resurrection of Jesus.

What does Holy Week, the heartache of death, the miracle of Resurrection, the Ascension into heaven to sit with God the Father Almighty, mean to you?  Mean FOR us?

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I encourage you to find this video on YouTube.  The words are incredible powerful.

Wonderful, Merciful Savior

By: Selah

Wonderful, merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and Friend
Who would have thought that a Lamb
Could rescue the souls of men
Oh you rescue the souls of men

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper
Spirit we long to embrace
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way
Oh, we hopelessly lost the way

You are the One that we praise
You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

Almighty, infinite Father
Faithfully loving Your own
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne
Oh, we’re falling before Your throne

Songwriters: WYSE, ERIC/RODGERS, DAWN
Wonderful, Merciful Savior lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

 

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Holy Week Pieces

This is the week of great miracle.  Jesus rode a donkey through Jerusalem to his final death.  Parts of the journey were lovely, palm branches waved in the air, coats laid on the ground, our version of a red carpet.  Hallelujahs shouted, prayers said, celebrations made.

The Last Supper

The people angered for justice to prevail.  Arguments had, angry voices demanding justice.

The cross.

The blood.

The finality.

Burdens carried to the cross.  Crown of thorns.  Blood.  Exhaustion.  Defeat.  Burial.  Mourning.  Great sadness.  Disbelief.  Sorrow.

HE LIVED.  HE DIED.  HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD.  HE LIVES.

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The stone rolled away.  How?  Where is Jesus?  He has risen!!!  Our Lord reigns, loves, forgives, is exalted!!!

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