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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Monday, February 15, 2016 Presidents Day

Isaiah, Chapter 8, verse 12-13
12 Do not call conspiracy what this people calls conspiracy, nor fear what they fear, nor feel dread. 13 But conspire with the LORD of hosts; he shall be your fear, he shall be your dread.

Because Isaiah and his followers resisted the official policy of seeking help from Assyria they were labeled “conspirators”; Isaiah uses the term to express what is really the case, cooperating with the Lord. When we see the word “conspire” we think of spies and covert operations; yet if we check the synonyms of the word it takes on a whole different meaning: combine, unite, collaborate, collude, contrive, devise, machinate and work together. The greatest of our church is that we when we are troubled and don’t know what to do we can always approach Him in prayer and seek the advice of his elders (Mary and the Saints) anywhere we are. If we desire we may also approach our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and bring any case that is too difficult for Him to hear and He will answer us. Likewise we may approach a priest in confession or connect with a local parish spiritual director. How great is our God that He does not abandon us. Furthermore there is a multitude of great Catholic websites where there are elders of the church who can assist us in our difficult moments.

The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are true, all of them just. (Ps. 19:10)

Presidents Day

 

In America, we have until now had no fear in worshiping Him in holiness and righteousness. In fact the model in America since its founding has been one of “Many religions, but one covenant”. 

We are certainly a blessed people because we as a whole have not abandoned the covenant, nor shall we if the vision of George Washington at Valley Forge is true. In it he saw that American would remain true to our creator.

"Son of the Republic…Three great perils will come upon the Republic. The most fearful is the third, but in this greatest conflict the whole world united shall not prevail against her. Let every child of the Republic learn to live for his God, his land and the Union." With these words the vision vanished, and I started from my seat and felt that I had seen a vision wherein had been shown to me the birth, progress, and destiny of the United States.[1]

Posture and Prayer[2]

 

We are composed of body and soul, “every part of the body is an expressive instrument of the soul. The soul does not inhabit the body as a man inhabits a house, It lives and works in each member, each fiber, and reveals itself in the body’s every line, contour and movement.” Our bodies communicate respect or contempt. By our gestures and the way we comport ourselves we confirm his presence. We are “ensouled” bodies as much as we are embodied souls. We should always move as the Church directs us: sit, stand, bow, kneel, strike the breast, make the Sign of the Cross, all in due time. The scriptures speak of several postures of prayer: 1) Standing 2) Kneeling 3) bowing 4) prostrating.

 

Standing. Standing gives the expression to the prayers of our heart. Standing is a sign of vigilance and action acknowledging that we are the warriors of God; as a soldier on duty. A Knight always stood in the presence of the King or Judge. Standing was a sign of deference and trust. We acknowledge that none of our weapons or self-defenses can repel Him for He alone is all powerful and all knowing. We are vulnerable in His presence. Military officers know that comportment has serious consequences. Soldiers tend to live up, or down to the way they carry themselves. That’s why there are strict rules about how a soldier should stand when at attention. Bad posture is bad for the spine and communicates disrespect for ourselves and others. Standing expresses the filial liberty given us by the risen Christ, who has freed us from the slavery to sin.

 

Kneeling. Kneeling is the prayer posture of mothers, rulers, lepers, and Jesus himself. Kneeling is the side of worship that is at rest and is quiet; “I bow my knees before the Father”. (Eph. 3:14) Kneeling expresses the recognition of our humility before the Almighty Lord (Phil 2:10). Kneeling is associated with reverence, submission and obeisance. Kneeling renders a person defenseless and unable to flee and shows a trust in a power beyond the merely human.

 

Bowing or Genuflecting. Bowing or genuflecting is an act of showing recognition of our God. It is adoration. In bowing or genuflecting we show our faith in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the sacrament of the altar. To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

 

Prostration. In prostration a person lies face down upon the ground. We are connected to the earth from which we came. Prostrations are reserved for most solemn moments, such as the ordination of a bishop or priest. Remember our Lord prostrated Himself in the garden of Gethsemane. The posture indicates the candidate’s inadequacy for the task to which he has been called. Recall our Lord asking the Father to take to cup…but not my will but thine. Our body expresses self-emptying.

 

Sitting. We spend a lot of time in church sitting; by this position we show our receptiveness and our willingness to listen and take the Word of God.

 

Worship Him and give Him all your heart, mind, soul and will!




[2] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 10. Posture.

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