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Psalm 87

The Joy of Living in Zion

Of the Korahites. A Psalm. A Song.

On the holy mount stands the city he founded;
    the Lord loves the gates of Zion
    more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Glorious things are spoken of you,
    O city of God.  Selah

Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon;
    Philistia too, and Tyre, with Ethiopia[a]
    ‘This one was born there,’ they say.

And of Zion it shall be said,
    ‘This one and that one were born in it’;
    for the Most High himself will establish it.
The Lord records, as he registers the peoples,
    ‘This one was born there.’  Selah

Singers and dancers alike say,
    ‘All my springs are in you.’

Psalm 88

Prayer for Help in Despondency

A Song. A Psalm of the Korahites. To the leader: according to Mahalath Leannoth. A Maskil of Heman the Ezrahite.

O Lord, God of my salvation,
    when, at night, I cry out in your presence,
let my prayer come before you;
    incline your ear to my cry.

For my soul is full of troubles,
    and my life draws near to Sheol.
I am counted among those who go down to the Pit;
    I am like those who have no help,
like those forsaken among the dead,
    like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom you remember no more,
    for they are cut off from your hand.
You have put me in the depths of the Pit,
    in the regions dark and deep.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
    and you overwhelm me with all your waves.  Selah

You have caused my companions to shun me;
    you have made me a thing of horror to them.
I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
    my eye grows dim through sorrow.
Every day I call on you, O Lord;
    I spread out my hands to you.
10 Do you work wonders for the dead?
    Do the shades rise up to praise you?  Selah
11 Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
    or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
12 Are your wonders known in the darkness,
    or your saving help in the land of forgetfulness?

13 But I, O Lord, cry out to you;
    in the morning my prayer comes before you.
14 O Lord, why do you cast me off?
    Why do you hide your face from me?
15 Wretched and close to death from my youth up,
    I suffer your terrors; I am desperate.[a]
16 Your wrath has swept over me;
    your dread assaults destroy me.
17 They surround me like a flood all day long;
    from all sides they close in on me.
18 You have caused friend and neighbour to shun me;
    my companions are in darkness.

Here are my thoughts after reading and praying: 

Yes, the Lord loves me.  I question whether the He loves me.  I am in pain, constantly.  How can a good God allow me to be in such extreme pain?  I think, there must be a purpose, but don’t know what.  in my heart I know that Jesus loves me but my brain questions His love for me.  I am sympathetic to those who wonder how an all good, omniscient, and omnipotent God can allow such horrible tragedies, diseases, disasters, and turmoil in this world?  We need to remember that God does not intervene in persons free will decisions.  In going through my pain I have become closer to Christ.  Are these sufferings a wake up call?  God wants us to be closer to Him but these tragedies are odd ways for that to occur.  Yet we do not understand the ways of the Lord.  The Lord calls us to trust Him.  This is hard when going through tough times.  We are called to have faith that God has a plan for each of us and that He will guide and take us to where we need to be. 

 

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 In prayer yesterday I talked to God about the craziness that is going on in both our lives.  I expressed that I trust the Lord but am unsure about what is going to happen in the future.  I know God is watching over us in the good and bad times but the unknowing about the future is a bit nerve-racking.  God is our rock.  The Lord is our fortress.  God is our guide.  God is love.  God is always there for us.  During prayer the Lord led me to Psalm 46. 

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;
He raised His voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has wrought desolations in the earth.
He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.

 

 

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I had hoped to finish my first post in a series where I will explain Catholic beliefs to non-Catholics but I haven’t been feeling well the past few days.

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Secularism reduces all things to matter and removes God from the equation.  When Satan tempts us and we give in we separate ourselves from God.  There is a bit of the enduring influence of Satan in every person who follows in the example of The Original Sin, by their own will ascribing what they deem to be good and evil.  Adam and Eve were tempted by the serpent.  They failed to follow God’s only command, to not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Instead of trusting in God’s will Adam and Eve gave into temptation.  When they disobeyed God’s will, bit into the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge they used their wills to decide what was right and wrong. Adam and Eve’s actions showed that they thought they knew better than God.  People today who ignore God’s will and believe it is their prerogative to decide with their own will what is good and bad are following in the footsteps of Adam and Eve.

Father Barron directly quoted an infamous passage in the Supreme Court’s decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey – “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life…”, words specifically attributed to Justice Anthony Kennedy,  citing it as a perfect example of persons trying to play God in determining what is ethical or unethical according to their own will.  Does liberty give us the right to do wrongs? Evil?  Participate in moral relativism? Going by the quote above it is reasonable to extrapolate that it is acceptable for each of us to try everything regardless of whether it is moral or immoral just so we are able to experience it, so we are able to feel it.  According to Justice Kennedy his concept of liberty would give us the right to try theft, assault, or murder just to find out what it is like. Huh?  Using our conscience we should be able to know that some things are obviously wrong so there would be no need to experience that which would harm our soul.  It is unethical to harm others in the name of liberty.

After Adam and Eve sinned they felt shame.  In addition to feeling shame it makes sense that they would also feel uncomfortable and exposed. When each of us sins we feel exposed and uncomfortable.  That little voice inside each of us tells us that we did something wrong.  The voice inside then tells us to correct the wrong.  The voice also tells us to avoid committing the same sin in the future.  When Adam and Eve felt uncomfortable and exposed this let them know that they had sinned. We experience the same thing.

 

 

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An interview with Cardinal Dolan on “Meet The Press” aired this morning on NBC.  He was asked for thoughts on the University of Missouri football player Michael Sam who had come out as gay recently.  Cardinal Dolan responded “good for him” and “bravo.”  Cardinal Dolan said the Bible says not to judge.  That isn’t necessarily correct.  There is one place in the Bible that says not to judge but you have to take into account the context in which this was said.  We are not to use do not judge broadly so as to attribute it to circumstances it does not apply.  Here are a couple of scripture passages:

John 7: 24 “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

Leviticus 19: 15 “You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.”

As you can see the two scripture passages above DO NOT condemn judging others.

In response New Catholic at the blog Rorate Caeli wrote this: 

OK, then. Naturally, the Cardinal did not have to say anything at all regarding a specific individual, even if asked. But silence and discretion are one thing, explicitly refusing moral discernment is another, and raising such refusal to the status of “good” and “bravo” is quite noteworthy for a Prince of the Church, because it is in itself a moral judgment, a positive moral judgment.
It is quite easy to see that no moral debate in which the Catholic Church takes part, of any kind and on any level, can ever anymore advance even one inch if the parameters become simply an isolated reading of “not judging” – and much less if “not judging” is elevated to the positive judgment of “good” and “bravo.” Politicians quote a pontiff when casting immoral votes, and what can the Church say, from now on, on any legal matter (that presupposes a moral order)? It can always be used to stop any social debate. What can poor pastors and vicars say regarding any sin, even personally to a parishioner, when the isolated presentation of “no sense of judgment” becomes normative? Or even regarding, for instance, an inclination that our judgmental Catechism of the Catholic Church defines as “objectively disordered” (regardless of the practice or not of the “intrinsically disordered” acts attached to it)?

And if you do not like this post, who are you to judge us?…

[Op-ed update: Cardinal Dolan, in this age, it is keeping the faith that deserves a “Bravo”.]

Bravo New Catholic!  Politicians and laity sure do know how to twist and pervert the words of authority figures in the Church in order to support agendas that are contrary to the faith.  Going by his words it seems that Cardinal Dolan is talking as if he believes the Catechism is wrong when it says homosexual relations are “intrinsically  disordered.”  Yes, we are called to love every human being.  But it is wrong to cheer on a sexual orientation which the Church condemns as “objectively disordered.”  Loving everyone does not mean approving of everything they do.  

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Explore your higher latitudes . . . be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, open new channels, not of trade but of thought.

Henry David Thoreau 

Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

Edmund Burke

It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has.

Henry Ward Beecher 

Psalm 86:15   But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

Isaiah 40:31   But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

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

Ephesians 2:10  “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

 

 

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