Thursday, April 28, 2011

Plodding Today, Soaring Tomorrow

There is something about a dull headache that makes you feel that you should be relieved from just about everything. It's hard to think, make decisions, move projects forward, and generally be productive. When pain medication doesn't lighten the throb, you feel justified in sitting back with a cup of tea and just vegetating. But life doesn't work that way, and you still have obligations to fulfill that an annoying but not debilitating headache doesn't excuse. If you can move forward despite the foggy brain function and slowed thought processes you feel yourself a conqueror--or at least a survivor.

Life often hands us situations where we must go on in spite of obstacles. They can be physical, mental, emotional, practical or ethical dilemmas. How we handle ourselves says a lot about our character. Are we only determined when circumstances are favorable? Are we only productive when we are in good health? Are we only thoughtful and clever when the ideas flow like a stream at spring flooding?

I want to be a faithful stalwart who can plod along whatever the weather, and when the sky's are fair, I can soar.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Foiled Again!

The conversation between Jesus and the devil in the desert is most interesting. Satan, unaware of the One God's triune nature, does not realize who he is addressing. His first suggestion to the Son of God is to turn the stones into bread, since Jesus is hungry. Jesus's reply is that man does not live by bread alone, but by the Word of God. He is, in effect, saying to the devil, "Man lives by me--the Word of God made flesh." Later Jesus reveals himself also as the Bread of Life.

The devil, thinking himself clever, then uses the written word to try and entrap the Word. He says, "Throw yourself down from this high place, and God will save you," quoting the sacred writings for Jesus's edification. Jesus, who is God, says, "You should not put God to the test." The devil does not understand that he just asked the Savior to save himself. He also does not grasp that he just put two of the three persons of God to the test.

Finally Satan offers the whole world if Jesus will worship him. The One through which the whole world was created sends the devil packing with, "Only God should be worshiped." The devil, unsuccessful in getting God to worship him, declines the veiled rebuke that the devil should worship the one he is tempting.

It is an incredible conversation of errors. Each time the devil spars with Jesus, he hands Jesus the weapon Jesus needs to foil the devil.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mystery Meditations

I have a date with Planned Parenthood once a week. I pace their sidewalk and pray the rosary. Perhaps it is as much for me as anyone who goes in, but I often find my thoughts going in surprising directions. Here is today's:

The Annunciation: Mary's "yes" to God risks everything. In her time and culture, it could have been a death sentence. Yet Mary's womb became God's home, and Joseph her protector. May all women today see the blessing of giving a safe home to God's children within themselves.

The Visitation: Mary and Elizabeth meet face-to-face. Jesus and John meet womb-to-womb. May women today realize they may be carrying someone who will change the world.

The Nativity: Jesus was born into poverty, but his parents were not afraid to have him. They trusted God for everything they needed and kings came with gifts to provide. May all women today find the courage to trust God for what this new life will need.

The Presentation: Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple on the eighth day for circumcision. This is what all Jewish parents did for the boys born to them. They welcomed him into their life--all of it. May women today have hearts ready to welcome their babies into all of their life.

The Finding of Jesus in the Temple: God had a plan for Jesus's life. He has a plan for everyone--mothers, fathers, children and teachers. The men in the temple were the first to hear from the Teacher and they were astounded. May everyone associated with abortion learn the truth from God himself!

The Baptism of the Lord: Jesus began his ministry with baptism. May all babies be given the chance to begin their life with baptism.

The Wedding at Cana: God loves marriage. May all men and women see its beauty, and save their bodies for this sacrament. Every child deserves the security of a whole and healthy family.

The Preaching of the Gospel: Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. May the truth about abortion come out in such a way that no woman would ever choose it.

The Transfiguration: Jesus was transformed on the mountain to reveal his glory. He was radiant and full of life. May all women choose life and experience the radiance that pregnancy brings.

The Institution of the Eucharist: Unless you eat my bread and drink my blood, you have no life in you. Unless you carry this body to term, you also will have no life in you. Along with your child, something of yourself will die, too.

The Agony in the Garden: Jesus was afraid of what was ahead of him, but he trusted his Father and went ahead. May all fearful, pregnant women today trust their Father and choose life.

The Scourging at the Pillar: The whipping Jesus received tore at his flesh. Most authorities say it was severe enough to have killed him. Abortion tears at the flesh of babies until they are dead. It is a horrible choice, but Jesus forgave those who whipped him. Pray for women to seek forgiveness for their abortions.

The Crowning with Thorns: Ultimately the crown of thorns was a symbol of everyone rejecting who Jesus really was. Abortionists don't like women to know what they are really doing, because if they did, many would choose life. Pray for women to not reject this little life, or the one who is Life.

The Carrying of the Cross: Jesus was willing to carry the cross, because he loves women who are unwilling to carry their babies. Pray for women to accept their actions for what they are, repent, and draw close to Jesus.

The Crucifixion: Jesus forgave everyone for what they were doing--the ones who scourged him, the ones who condemned him, the ones who betrayed him, the ones who nailed him to the cross. Jesus forgives those who choose abortion, those who reject parenthood, and those who provide the service of killing their children. Pray for everyone involved in abortion, that they would repent and turn to God.

The Resurrection: When Jesus was resurrected from the dead, many others in Jerusalem also rose from the dead and walked about the city. May all the aborted children find comfort in being raised from the dead to be with Jesus now. May their mothers and fathers forgive themselves and be comforted by knowing their children are safe in his hands.

The Ascension: All of Jesus's disciples gathered to see Jesus ascend into heaven. He gave them a great commission to spread the truth. May many more who hate abortion join the ranks of those willing to spread the truth. Give them courage to make this choice.

The Descent of the Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is our advisor and helper. Give us all wisdom and guidance in working to end abortion.

The Assumption: Mary lived a quiet and obedient life. She trusted God completely. She was a mother to die for! May all women see her perfect example and not be afraid to choose motherhood.

The Coronation: Mary is often pictured in her coronation with the child Jesus in her lap. May all women choose life, so that they will know the joy of having a child who reaches for them, needs them, is comforted by them, and treasures them. May the tender lovingkindness of Mary replace the selfishness and emptiness that abortion brings.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


It's going to fall--that pine outside
Which leans so ominously left.
I find it odd the wind blew right
And caused an opposite shift.

We're just like that when we are pushed.
We resist beyond the force,
And find ourselves bent to extreme--
Not on the straighter course.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

It Should Have Come As No Surprise

I'm reading Hitler's Mein Kampf right now. What strikes me most about it is that he hid nothing of what he planned to do. It's all laid out there. The extreme nationalism, the right of the strong to squeeze out the weak, the fixation on Jews as the source of all evil. I can only ask, why was the world so surprised?