Scripture

Do not let me be a source of temptation

When the little frustrations of life strike: a stubbed toe, dropping something, an appliance breaking down, a near automobile accident, all the mishaps of life; may I not blame God, tempting and chiding Him.  When things in life do not go my way, when there are ways I feel I can serve the Lord greater, may I not tempt God with challenges and disgruntled complaints.  God please pour down the grace to allow me not to debate and complain, not to pout and feel sorry for myself.  Allow me to relish in the sweet glory of your majesty and mercy.

The LORD spoke to Ahaz:
Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God;
let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!
But Ahaz answered,
“I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!”
Then Isaiah said:
Listen, O house of David!
Is it not enough for you to weary men,
must you also weary my God?
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:
the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and shall name him Emmanuel.

Isaiah

spacer

First reading: Prefiguring

There was a certain man from Zorah, of the clan of the Danites,
whose name was Manoah.
His wife was barren and had borne no children.
An angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her,
“Though you are barren and have had no children,
yet you will conceive and bear a son.
Now, then, be careful to take no wine or strong drink
and to eat nothing unclean.
As for the son you will conceive and bear,
no razor shall touch his head,
for this boy is to be consecrated to God from the womb.
It is he who will begin the deliverance of Israel
from the power of the Philistines.”

The woman went and told her husband,
“A man of God came to me;
he had the appearance of an angel of God, terrible indeed.
I did not ask him where he came from, nor did he tell me his name.
But he said to me,
‘You will be with child and will bear a son.
So take neither wine nor strong drink, and eat nothing unclean.
For the boy shall be consecrated to God from the womb,
until the day of his death.'”

The woman bore a son and named him Samson.
The boy grew up and the LORD blessed him;
the Spirit of the LORD stirred him.

Judges chapter 13

spacer

Wisdom beyond grasping

I am positive a secular profound artist can capture the loss of innocence, the futility of errant ways, paths taken through tendencies, upbringing, and self-will, desperately seeking yet never reaching. Ends attained only through negation and frustration. There is something so honest and eye opening about an individual grasping the depth of banging one’s head against a brick wall; the desperate longing and reality of something greater, the need to attain more than one is able to produce. There lies truth, there lies reality, there lies blockage; beneath the turmoil a soul can be buried while suffering the consequence of truth, the awareness lingering something is missed, the knowing love exist yet seemingly out of reach. As with all spiritual growth, this initial stage–this call for acquiescence, this call to call out, produces attachment, the desire to become entrenched within familiarity and sentimentality; the effect of becoming a reputable personality. To grow, to merge within the fact one’s eyes are being opened by grace, is the key to deeper progress, further healing and further blossoming—the purging necessary for unification with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, and the loving tendering of a Sorrowful Mother; the ability to become obedient, disciplined, and malleable.

The Dogs

by Moby

We started like children
Lost in the building by the wall
Hope lost to fear
And nothing was clear when we lost it all

This is how, how we tried
This is where, where it died
This is how, how we cried
Like the dogs left outside

We were so cautious
Guarding the locksets viciously
I’m never breathing
Tender like ribbons obviously

This is how, how we tried
This is where, where it died
This is how, how we cried
Like the dogs left outside

I am too shy to cry
You gave her one kind to provoke
Even with balance
Losing the hope with you again

This is how, how we tried
This is where, where it died
This is…

In Wisdom is a spirit
intelligent, holy, unique,
Manifold, subtle, agile,
clear, unstained, certain,
Not baneful, loving the good, keen,
unhampered, beneficent, kindly,
Firm, secure, tranquil,
all-powerful, all-seeing,
And pervading all spirits,
though they be intelligent, pure and very subtle.
For Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion,
and she penetrates and pervades all things by reason of her purity.
For she is an aura of the might of God
and a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty;
therefore nought that is sullied enters into her.
For she is the refulgence of eternal light,
the spotless mirror of the power of God,
the image of his goodness.
And she, who is one, can do all things,
and renews everything while herself perduring;
And passing into holy souls from age to age,
she produces friends of God and prophets.
For there is nought God loves, be it not one who dwells with Wisdom.
For she is fairer than the sun
and surpasses every constellation of the stars.
Compared to light, she takes precedence;
for that, indeed, night supplants,
but wickedness prevails not over Wisdom.

Indeed, she reaches from end to end mightily
and governs all things well.

Wisdom chapters 7 & 8

spacer

Monday reading

Love justice, you who judge the earth;
think of the Lord in goodness,
and seek him in integrity of heart;
Because he is found by those who test him not,
and he manifests himself to those who do not disbelieve him.
For perverse counsels separate a man from God,
and his power, put to the proof, rebukes the foolhardy;
Because into a soul that plots evil, wisdom enters not,
nor dwells she in a body under debt of sin.
For the holy Spirit of discipline flees deceit
and withdraws from senseless counsels;
and when injustice occurs it is rebuked.
For wisdom is a kindly spirit,
yet she acquits not the blasphemer of his guilty lips;
Because God is the witness of his inmost self
and the sure observer of his heart
and the listener to his tongue.
For the Spirit of the Lord fills the world,
is all-embracing, and knows what man says.

Wisdom chapter 1

spacer

Daily reflection

Let love be sincere;
hate what is evil,
hold on to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection;
anticipate one another in showing honor.
Do not grow slack in zeal,
be fervent in spirit,
serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope,
endure in affliction,
persevere in prayer.

Romans chapter 12

spacer

Response

In you, Lord, I have found my peace.

O LORD, my heart is not proud,
nor are my eyes haughty;
I busy not myself with great things,
nor with things too sublime for me.

In you, Lord, I have found my peace.

Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted
my soul like a weaned child.
Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap,
so is my soul within me.

spacer

Daily reading

Brothers and sisters,
we are not debtors to the flesh,
to live according to the flesh.
For if you live according to the flesh, you will die,
but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body,
you will live.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear,
but you received a spirit of adoption,
through which we cry, “Abba, Father!”
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit
that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs,
heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,
if only we suffer with him
so that we may also be glorified with him.

Romans 8::12-17

spacer