During worship I saw his heart, crown of thorns pressing in so hard it was burning with pain and the sense of isolation from friends and friendship. The little worship and praise his heart receives from us consoles it so little. He desires more praise.
This picture, it seems, sums up EVERYTHING that life is about.
Married people especially should understand this.
First - this picture is at the moment of ‘consecration’ - that is, when the priest in a Catholic mass prays special prayers that make bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus.
The idea is like marriage: he, the groom, gives his entire being to us, his bride, the Church.
The two become one. How? By the bride receiving into herself her beloved, the husband. Which hopefully will bear new life.
Immediately after the priest prays this prayer of consecration, he holds up the host to show to the people. Evidence of the total gift of God’s life to you and to me.
That’s what the photo depicts:
"for This is my body, which will be given up for you."
These are the words of true love.
They are the words a man says and carries out sacrificially every day for his bride.
They are the words that Jesus said and carried out on the cross for you and for me.
"All of me, all for you. At every moment. Every day. For the rest of eternity."
This picture is like a crucifix. Arms stretched out in total offering for the Beloved.
And if it’s not real - if it’s just a symbol or not true, or anything other than actually God’s pledge of unconditional love, it’s all a waste of time.
Mind blowing, really.
"Your love, O Lord, is better than life itself." Psalm 63.3
What is the lion in your life?
Baptism of Theodore James, a set on Flickr.Photos I took of my friends’ kid’s baptism
Great talk by pastor Tim Keller out of #nyc
A homily on confirmation I can’t stop thinking about
—You I Seek
LOVING this song —
"You I Seek" by @murraybunton
— Pope Francis
"What is an idol? It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give."
-Tim Keller, The Reason for God
When I was 18 years old, about nine years ago, two years before I entered the Church, I was laying in my bed late at night. Over the side of my bed I was holding a Rosary.
At this point in my life I was not yet Catholic. Intellectually I wanted to become Catholic - well, most days anyway.
But emotionally, I was not ready. Become Catholic? Yeah right!
I remember praying the Hail Mary’s over and and over again as I thumbed through the plastic beads that night. I had finally memorized the order of the mysteries and learned to meditate on those chapters in Our Lord’s life while praying the Hail Mary’s.
And at some point that night, a moment I remember very, very vividly, I intentionally dropped the Rosary on the ground and said, “This is stupid.”
You see, at the time I was wrestling with the whole concept of the Communion of the Saints and of praying to the Saints. How could Catholics claim to know that a dead person can hear their prayers? And even if somebody in Heaven could hear your prayers, how could the Catholic Church claim that he or she would have the ability to grant requests?
These last hangups I had were really fueled by my emotional state at the time. Converting to the Catholic Church from a non-Catholic background as any convert will tell you is often a two-part story: first, the intellectual journey, and second, the emotional journey. For me, the emotional journey was immensely more difficult and often threw my intellectual reasoning off the road.
My love for Mary would only begin after I became Catholic two years later, after I learned that she was not to be feared, for her only concern and desire for me and for everybody is to come to know Jesus. Her entire earthly life pointed to that reality. Her thoughts pointed to it - in fact, almost every picture of the Annunciation has her reading the scriptures in great expectation. Her body pointed to Jesus, quite literally, by being the instrument through which the Second Person took on human nature forever and entered the human race to redeem it (co-redemptrix). And of course all of her actions pointed right to Jesus, as evidenced by her last recorded words in scripture: “Do whatever He tells you.”
Mary, I came to learn, was somebody who, because of her perfect love for God and for neighbor (me), only wanted me to come to know Jesus as much as she.
Now that’s not so scary after all.
Seven years into my Catholic life, things are totally different. I can’t think of Mary without thinking words like, “home, peace, safety, security, joy, humility, abundance, total fulfillment.” I remember travelling in Australia a few years ago and I came upon St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney. Although I was literally on the other side of the world, in a seemingly very far, far away place, the moment I saw the church and realized it’s name was St. Mary’s, all I could think was, “Ah - home. I’m home here, for here is my Mother.”
And there’s nothing like being in a Catholic Church on a Holy Day of Obligation, like the Feast of the Assumption or the Immaculate Conception, when for her sake, men and women all around the world stop their busy lives to come and receive the love of God, Jesus Christ, on a day marked by her name. It is through Mary that we have access to the Love of God, whose name is Jesus:
This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation . . . . Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 969.)
"My soul MAGNIFIES the Lord…"
One last thing about that late night nine years ago. I woke up in the middle of the night that night, leaned over, picked up the Rosary, kissed it, put it on my side table and went back to bed.
Consider the following phrase: ”I don’t care what people think of me.”
Have you ever said that?
I have. The truth-validity (is that a phrase?) can be debated either way, I think. Because on the one hand, there are times that I really don’t care what people think of me. And then there are other times that I do care.
What about as a representative of your workplace? Or as a representative of an organization? Or even as a Christian?
Does it matter what image you project, and what people think, if you are a Christian?
Using this tool, I sought to have my Facebook posts analyzed and have it spit out the most frequently used words I post on Facebook. You can see the results in the picture attached to this post.
The top one: love.
The thing I think and write about the most, apparently, is love. I think this is a good thing. I’m happy with that. I may even love it.
You see catchy titles about success all the time, titles like “10 Secrets to Super Success.”
But what about all the reasons why you won’t succeed? If we know whatnot to do, say, or think, hopefully it will help us know exactly what to do.
So without further ado, here are 15 reasons why you won’t succeed.
- You won’t succeed because you’re lazy.
- You won’t succeed because you say you won’t succeed.
- You won’t succeed because you hate change.
- You won’t succeed because you’re afraid to fail.
- You won’t succeed because you don’t like responsibility.
- You won’t succeed because you’re afraid of commitment.
- You won’t succeed because you listen to naysayers.
- You won’t succeed because you hate criticism.
- You won’t succeed because you don’t believe you’re worth it.
- You won’t succeed because you won’t ask for help.
- You won’t succeed because you are only after money.
- You won’t succeed because you don’t know how to say yes.
- You won’t succeed because you don’t know how to say no.
- You won’t succeed because you don’t know how to listen.
- You won’t succeed because you won’t deal with your weaknesses.
“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” Henry Ford
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On average I am burdened with three business ideas every day. For somebody like me, this is a problem. There’s so much to do, but so little time.
But this week I had a brilliant idea for a niche website. And I’m actually going to do this one, because the potential is great. It’s in a market that nobody is selling to, and it uses information I am currently using for a client of mine, so I know what I’m talking about.
a guest post by Berni Xiong
“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” – Steve Jobs
I remember just like it was yesterday… I had just locked up my HTC company cell phone and American Express corporate card inside my desk drawer… slipped the keys in an envelope containing my resignation letter… and addressed it to HR.
I was trembling with fear thinking to myself, “Is this really it? Is today the day I do this?”