Humility

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Being humble is easy to talk about, but not to do.

My child, conduct your affairs with humility,
 and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.
Humble yourself the more, the greater you are,
 and you will find favor with God.
For great is the power of the Lord;
by the humble He is glorified.

Sirach 3:17-20

The way I think about it, humility isn’t about bargaining with God so that I can get the Big Payout at the end of my life. That isn’t humility all.

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Listening to Him speak

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Reading Jesus entered a village
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed Him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to Him speak.

Luke 10:38-39

It always seemed to me that the Gospel stories have an absolute abundance of Marys! No doubt it was a popular name then as it is now.

Perhaps it’s because Mary can represent all of us, not just the mother of our Lord.

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God’s handiwork

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It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:8-10

This concept gives me pause.

If we are God’s handiwork, then that means that I myself am God’s work. And since God is perfect, then he intentionally created me as I am.

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Peace

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Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.

John 14:27

Our world certainly doesn’t seem peaceful. The news is more and more stressful every day, trying to drive me nuts.

Time to check out of the daily disaster feed and return to my Rock, my Savior.

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Our Shepherd

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The metaphor of sheep and shepherd keeps cropping up in Jesus’ teachings.

When I first noticed this, it almost seemed offensive. After all, people keep telling me that sheep are rather stupid, and without a shepherd they’d quickly devolve into chaos.

OK, that’s maybe a little more accurate than I had hoped.

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Into Jerusalem

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Today we commemorate Jesus’ final entry into the holy city. This is such a powerful event, much more than any normal historical significance.

Jerusalem is an epicenter of faith for all the Abrahamic religions. It signifies our paths toward God, just as He led the Jews toward union with Him here on earth.

In my mind, it signifies that we´re ALL on a journey to God, and our goal is to meet Him in the next life.

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God whispers

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As I’ve been praying the rosary in recent years, I’ve consistently worried about my lack of focus. Sure, if I’m saying it as part of a group before Mass, it’s pretty easy to get caught up in the prayers.

By myself? I get distracted. All the time.

But I came to a powerful realization this morning: The ideas and worries that I wake up with are God speaking to me.

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My silent rosary

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For a while now, I’ve been praying my Rosary totally inside my head. Of course there’s the guilt … maybe I’m doing it wrong!

But I also know that God is in everything, and silent prayer is a powerful part of our tradition. So I figure that God, Mary, Jesus and the saints can hear me even when it’s just in my head.

What’s interesting is that I find it MUCH harder to stay on track when it’s just in my head. I lose the thread quite easily, and even switch from one prayer to another right in the middle.

So it’s good mental discipline for me to try to stay focused as much as I would if I were speaking out loud.

And I do need discipline and focus in my prayer life.