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"I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."
Lack of forgiveness blocks the grace of God in our lives. It brings death--spiritually, emotionally, and often, physically. Examine your life. Where do you need to forgive? Pray for the grace to do so.
"We have to uphold the right of all men to live, to own what is necessary to lead a dignified existence, to work and to rest, to choose a particular state in life, to form a home, to bring children into the world within marriage and to be allowed to educate them, to pass peacefully through times of sickness and old age, to have access to culture, to join with other citizens to achieve legitimate ends, and, above all, to enjoy the right to know and love God in perfect liberty."
-St. Josemaria Escriva
How are you actively participating in activities that speak for the poor, the weak, the disenfranchised, and the forgotten? During this week when we uphold the dignity of all human life, especially the unborn, how can you do more?
"For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own liking, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths."
-2 Timothy 4:3-4
"Resist the devil and he will flee from you."
Anytime we are serious about our relationship with God, we can be certain that Satan will try to dissuade us in every way possible. He will taunt us, tempt us, and try us in an effort to make us give up and give in. What are your biggest distractions? How is God calling you to remain faithful to your time of prayer?
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me." -Revelation 3:20
God will never trespass on our free will. Daily, God calls us to surrender to His plans and will. Today, He is calling you to give everything to Him. What is He asking you to surrender?
"So God created man in His own image." -Genesis 1:26
What does this passage tell us about ourselves and who we were created to be? What does it tell you about all of human life?
“Create a clean heart in me, O God.”
Imagine for a moment that your heart is like a chalkboard filled with writing. It’s covered in words and smudges. What do the words say? Now, erase those words; spray a cleaner on it and wipe away the smudge. And all of a sudden, it’s spotless. Oh, how I wish I could purify my heart that easily! But, I can’t. I cannot erase painful memories and the fears of letting others see the real me; I can’t wipe clean the scars that have toughened over the years; and I can’t break the chains that sometimes suffocate the life out of me.
But, God can. He can renew my heart in an instant (although we don’t normally see purification happen that fast in our human idea of time.). God has to work on us— He strips away layers like an onion, and every layer beneath has its own work to be done.
I remember recently when my spiritual director told me that God had to do some work on me, and that it’s going to hurt. But He always uses the most gentle means possible. And it’s true. The last few months are a testament to His gentleness and charity. He has really purified my heart in ways I couldn’t imagine, although He has asked some things of me that really hurt. Surrendering can be really painful. But, I know it’s necessary. I know that heart He holds so dearly in His hands has needed some work; and I know when He’s done with this big phase of operation, it’ll be ready to experience all life and love have to offer it. And I can’t wait for that day.
Is it time for you to let God do some pruning? Tell Him you’re scared, but know that He won’t do anything unnecessary, and He will give you what you need to endure it.
“With age-old love I have loved you.”
I don’t know about you, but I love romance. Poems, letters, sweet messages— I’m a romantic at heart. I love love; I always have, and I can guess I always will. When everyone else complains about Valentine’s Day, I swoon over it...hearts everywhere! Indeed, Song of Songs is by far my favorite book.
When I read my readings for the day, this line went straight through my heart like an arrow. The love I desire so strongly in life is all mine, and it’s all yours; He has loved each of us from the beginning of time. He loved us into existence, and His love never ceases to exist. And it won’t. Ever.
Our love story is my favorite. He has unconditionally chased my heart for as long as I have been a thought in His plan; and giving Him my heart was the best decision of my life. And in doing so, I was free to live fully, knowing He would keep it safe and only give it away when the right person asked.
So go ahead- give Him your heart. Let Him mend the scratches, heal the wounds, and protect it. Watch your heart in His perfect hands turn into something so beautiful. And know that He, the owner of it, will keep an eye on it til the end of time. He will never stop chasing you. So stop running. And fall into His wide open arms.
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