Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Isaiah, Chapter 10, verse 24
Therefore thus says the Lord, the GOD of hosts: My people, who dwell in Zion, do not fear the Assyrian, though he strikes you with a rod, and raises his staff against you as did the Egyptians.

I sought the LORD, and he answered me, delivered me from all my fears. (Ps. 34:5)

Sometimes the Lord asks us to go out into the desert for it is in the desert that we can; like Abraham and Moses, have an encounter with the living God. Deserts are fearful places and are full of rocks, pointy things, snakes, spiders and the indescribable beauty of God’s creation. By encountering God in the desert we learn that

the very same stones that somehow get in our shoes and make progress impossible are the very same stones that lay foundations, bridges and roads.

In the desert we can search for God; avoid of our distractions and find Him. In the desert we can write out our sins and confess them to God. In the desert we can shed our old lives like the snake sheds its skin and find a new perspective for life. It is during this time alone with; He that IS; we make a spiritual change of clothes. In the desert we can make an all-night vigil and with the coming of the new day we can proclaim as in the Negro spiritual: When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun, O Lord, have mercy on me.

For it is in the desert that we can quit deluding ourselves and be doers of the word and not hearers only. For it is in the desert we can find the strength to keep ourselves unstained by the world and  find that pure and undefiled religion is to care for others in their afflictions. In the desert we can ponder the "Our Father" and know what it means.
When you pray do not use many words, for the heavenly Father knows what you need before you ask. When you pray, say:
“Our Father, who are in heaven. Hallowed be your name. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Thoughts (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. In the Our Father, Jesus explains what the disciple should desire.
  2. The Heavenly Father and His Kingdom must come first.
  3. In all things, the disciple must accomplish the Father’s will.
  4. The disciple must receive the daily bread of the Eucharist.
  5. The disciple’s sins must be forgiven to gain the Kingdom.
  6. The disciple must forgive all who have inflicted injuries.
  7. The disciple must persevere in all trials and temptations.
  8. The saints said this prayer slowly and devoutly.
Morning Offering[1]

The world was created to be a Temple and Adam was to be its priest. We are hardwired for priesthood. We will not be fulfilled unless we exercise it. The human race received a priestly vocation from the moment of its creation. In the book of genesis, we see that God made a lush garden in Eden, and he placed Adam there “to till it and keep it”. The verbs in Hebrew, abodah and shamar, comprise man’s primal vocation. Yet, in all the rest of the Old Testament they appear together on to describe the priestly service of the tribe of Levi, who offered sacrifice and guard Israel’s sanctuary from defilement. When God call the tribes of Israel out of Egypt, declared that they should be “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation”. Yet Israel like Adam, forfeited the office when the people sinned by worshipping the golden calf. Afterward, the priesthood was reserved for the tribe of Levi, whose members had refused to take part in the idolatry. Levites offered sacrifice 24/7 but the most important sacrifice was the first offering. Jesus was both a priest and a sacrifice and by offering Himself up He has restored the human race through the Catholic Church. We are called to make an offering of our life, as Jesus did. Our work space, our living space-these are where we exercise our kingship and our priesthood. One way Catholics exercise this priestly vocation is by praying a “Morning Offering” each and every day. In the time of Jesus, there was a prayer the pious Jews prayed every morning. Jews still pray it today. Jesus knew it by heart, and he assumed that all his listeners were familiar with it.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your Heart, and with all your soul, and with your entire mind, and with all your strength.

The Church has urged member to make a similar priestly offering every day, in union with the holy sacrifice of the Mass.

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all my relatives and friends, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father. Amen.

[1] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 11. Morning Offering.


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