Here we are, Holy Saturday, and I only kept one of my lenten promises and it wasn’t the one that I was going to write a blog post for each day of lent. I didn’t make the Good Friday “Celebration of the Passion” either. Maybe next year but I will be going to Easter Mass tomorrow morning. More
April 15, 2017
March 28, 2017
One of the readings at Mass Sunday was Psalm 23. This psalm is mostly known from being read at funerals. Depending on the particular bible translation you use, the NABRE used at Mass reads differently than the RSVCE. The difference is verse 4:
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death – RSVCE
Even though I walk in the dark valley – NABRE
Not being a biblical scholar I guess this can be taken as the psalmist is on his deathbed, but I look at it differently. I look at Palm 23 as talking about our journey through life in general. It describes what trusting in God is like, how your life journey will be.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
When you trust in the Lord, you shall not want, He will give you what you need, it may not be what you want, but it will be what you need. He will protect you from harm, he will guide you through the storms. He will lead you to green pastures where you can rest peacefully, with plenty of food and out of harm’s way. He will lead you to restful waters where you will be able to drink without worrying about being washed away by rough currents. You will also be able to cross these streams without difficulty. Because your journey is made easier by following Him, your soul will be refreshed and rested.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
The Lord will guide you, making sure you are on the right path. He will make sure you don’t stray from the path, becoming lost, abducted or misled. Even when you are in a dark valley, even after death, He will be right with you and you do not need to fear evil. All you need to do is look at Him, see Him next to you and you can get through anything. I know this has certainly worked for me. I have been on a pretty rough journey, and once I began to trust in Him, letting Him guide me, I was no longer afraid of where I was going or what was going to happen to me. I was always afraid, uncertain of the future, not knowing what was coming next, and what I would do when something happened. No longer do I feel that way for I know God has my back. He has given me the strength and courage I never had before.
You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come.
When you follow the Lord, he spreads his table before you, all the gifts you could want, all you need. He does this in front of your enemies so they can see what He has to offer and they will realize they cannot compare. You will see that your cup will truly overflow.Because you follow Him, goodness and kindness will always be with you. You come into the world with nothing and you will go out with nothing. All you can leave behind you is the good works you have done, and a legacy of all the good you have done.
Are you following the shepherd?
September 23, 2014
In my last post, I referred briefly how I began my journey back to the Catholic faith after a rather long absence. It began when I fell off the back of a truck, and a heavy piece of equipment that came behind me narrowly missed me. Someday I will write about the incident in more detail. After this happened I figured I was lucky this did miss me, even though it was coming right for me. A miracle? Luck? Divine intervention? I don’t know, but it sure got me thinking. More
September 22, 2014
As anyone who has a house to take care of knows, there are some chores that you just dread each year. I had to begin one of those yesterday, stacking cord wood. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my wood stove, there is nothing better than sitting in my den on a cold, snowy winter day, with the warmth from the fire soaking into me. But I hate stacking it, moving one wheelbarrow load at a time from one side of the house to the other. However, it needs to be done, or else I have to trek it through the ice and snow whenever I need it.
Three things occurred to me while doing this dirty deed yesterday. One kind of led to the other. First, as muscles I don’t normally use began to ache, I compared this to the spiritual life. When we don’t exercise our muscles they get soft and we know they are going to hurt when we are done. This causes us to not want to exercise, to get out there and move that wood. That’s how I felt yesterday, I was dreading it all day. Once the muscles loosened as they warmed up, it was easier.
It is the same when we don’t exercise our spiritual muscles. They become soft and we know they are going to hurt when we use them, so we avoid using them. Some of us, like me, didn’t use them for a long time, and it took awhile for them to loosen and there was, and still is, both stiffness and aching in them. But each day it gets easier and easier to use them. When we make our spiritual muscles stronger we are better able to resist temptation. It is harder for the Evil One to lead us into sin. When I fell away from the church, I never used these muscles and on the rare occasions I thought about using them, I knew they would hurt so I avoided it. It was very easy for me to succumb to temptation and therefore to sin. If only I had exercised…
The second thing I thought about was like bringing the wood from one side of the house to the other, the only way it is going to get done is by picking up each piece, putting it in the wheelbarrow, walking to the other side of the house and stacking it. In other words, you need to pick up that first log, you have to take that first step. It is the same with our spiritual journey, it starts with taking that first step. In my case it was falling off a truck that began me thinking about God, if He was real, what happens after we die, do we really have a guardian angel who watches over us, etc. The first step was to begin asking God all of these questions and finding the answers. I needed to take this first step to begin the journey.
The third thing I thought of was how interesting it was that as I was working I was actually thinking about these things. I have noticed as I travel along the road of my spiritual life, I spend more time thinking about God, his Word, what He has giving me and what I can do for Him. I won’t say I spend 100% of my time thinking about Him, but certainly a lot of it. I find myself asking the question “What would Jesus do?” more and more.
I have come a long way in my journey, but I also know I have a long way to go. But, like when I sit in front of the wood stove I know my effort was worth it, so it will be at the end of my spiritual journey.
Speaking of which, time to go stack some more wood.
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