MISSION POSSIBLE: Prayer for saints’ intercession.

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Saint Peter with the keys of the kingdom, interceding for the church.

Questions: Who is in this ‘great cloud of witnesses’ all around us? (Hebrews 12:1) Are they not the many saints that make up the heavenly host? And if we are not able to pray to them so much, are they not able to intercede for us? 

Answer: 

THE INTERCESSION OF THE SAINTS

“Fundamentalists often challenge the Catholic practice of asking saints and angels to pray on our behalf. But the Bible directs us to invoke those in heaven and ask them to pray with us.

“Thus, in Psalm 103 we pray, ‘Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word! Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will!’ (Ps. 103:20–21). And in the opening verses of Psalms 148 we pray, ‘Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host!’

“Not only do those in heaven pray with us, they also pray for us. In the book of Revelation, John sees that ‘the twenty-four elders [the leaders of the people of God in heaven] fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the Saints.’ (Rev. 5:8). Thus the saints in heaven offer to God the prayers of the saints on earth.” (Catholic.com)

WHY DO CATHOLICS PRAY TO SAINTS?

“When Catholics say the word saint, they are usually talking about a specific kind of saint, a canonized saint. Catholics should probably be more explicit so as not to cause confusion.

“The Church recognizes some Christians (saints) that have endured, entered Heaven and won the crown, and while there, have proven to be serious prayer warriors for us on earth. The Church must be convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that the saint is in heaven. This is why they go through so much scrutiny over each and every saint. When they canonize someone they are really saying: ‘Hey, this person had a very cool relationship to the Lord while on earth and now they are in heaven and are really praying hard for us.

“Any evangelical could look at people who have been canonized by the Catholic Church and say, ‘yeah, that person is in heaven. That’s a good choice.’ (Catholicbridge.com)

WHAT IS DIVINE MERCY?

“Divine Mercy gets to the heart of Sacred Scripture. In fact, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church says, ‘The Gospel is the revelation in Jesus Christ of God’s mercy to sinners’ (1849). Right there: That summarizes it. Divine Mercy is the Gospel. It’s the good news. And so, it gets to the very center of our faith. Moreover, in the words of Pope Benedict XVI, ‘Divine Mercy is not a secondary devotion, but an integral dimension of Christian faith and prayer.’ Benedict even goes so far as to say, ‘Mercy is the central nucleus of the Gospel message.’

“Okay, so what is Divine Mercy? What is this thing that gets to the heart of Sacred Scripture and to the very center of our faith? To begin, mercy is ‘love’s second name,’ as John Paul II said. ‘It’s a particular kind of love, a particular mode of love when it encounters suffering, poverty, brokenness, and sin.’

“Divine Mercy is when God’s love meets us and helps us in the midst of our suffering and sin. In fact, because this side of eternity we’re all sinners and because suffering is our lot in life, God’s love for us here always takes the form of mercy. It’s always the Lord stepping out in compassion to help us poor, weak, and broken sinners. From our perspective, then, every good we receive is an expression of Divine Mercy.” (Marians of the Immaculate Conception) [thedivinemercy.org]

My theology401 blog is a personal response to my conscience hearing thoughts from God. This promisedsoil blog expands what I learned from it. And if you have followed me, you may have noticed the consistency, or a direction of my progress. . .

PRAYER IS BECOMING MY EFFECTIVE WAY TO HELP SOMEONE

In the past two weeks, I have learned to pray the Rosary every night. Upon that, for my concern about additional online requests for prayer, I found to pray the nine successive days of novena (Latin, novem is ‘nine’) prayers mentioning certain saints as patrons.

So I see the request, like someone on Facebook who is in the ministry who has a liver problem. I search for the patron saint for liver problems, then, for the novena prayer the church has written for the Saint interceding especially for that concern; and pray.

Now, God is enabling me to pray more as I am able. I haven’t heard so much results yet, but yesterday, when a nephew mentioned how his wife was in an accident, my thought rushed to the Daily prayer of Freedom, and that they might want to have it.

Then today, Facebook notified me that my oldest daughter had seconded my offering of daily prayer by saying she was praying along with me for them. That blessed my heart to see how God is bringing his Good News into even our own family suffering.

THE MORE I CHOOSE TO PRAY THE LESS I CONSCIOUSLY SIN

Our prayer requires some concentration, and the words lead to devotion for my heart to lead my mind. (Our spirit is sensitive to written prayers, while either good or bad thoughts can enter our mind.) Keeping notes, I record the good, and rebuke the bad.

Any chance to communicate our efforts of family prayer, is exciting, especially when it is more than ‘like’, or ‘happy birthday’, or ‘Merry Christmas’–if that’s all families give and get. Facebook is about a thousand-word photo, not a prayer–until a tragedy.

Now, we can begin to realize how God gets our attention by allowing the enemy to breach our hedge of protection. It happens, but for good reason. We need to turn away from sin, self, and all fleshly desires. Godly wisdom brings families together.

THE SUFFERING OF YESHUA-JESUS’ PASSION IS MY CONSOLATION

I am finally learning how the church teaches Yeshua-Jesus’ crucifiction can be brought into each day of my life. It is through personal prayer, and communion alone or together. The Catholic mass is a mystery that claims holy presence like no other.

If you think there is some conflict to keep us from gaining a holy life, you are right. The world, the flesh, and self battle over every issue. Yet, there is hope to find help to overcome our family dysfunction. Only faith in Yeshua-Jesus can bring peace.

Let us acknowledge the mystery of the Gospel in every form of prayer can help change and reform our hearts to receive reenforcements, and prevent any enemy advance. Bottom line, increasing devotion to God, his word, and his church is my answer.

May the Lord bless and keep you.

Charles

@wordlifejournal

 

Expanded Daily Prayer for Freedom

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A mystical still life captured of our home’s Entry by Vivian

THE MOST POWERFUL PRAYER THAT IS WELL WORTH THE EXTRA EFFORT!
“Why a long version? Over the years we have come to learn a great deal about prayer and spiritual warfare. Frankly, the prayers of our youth have not proved sufficient for the trials of a more mature believer advancing the Kingdom of God. This longer version reflects the kind of prayer needed in times of intense ministry or times of great pressure and attack. Frankly, it just has more firepower. Try it—you’ll see.” Said author and pastor John Eldredge. [Includes his Scripture references-notes, which I have studied and listed.]

“My dear Lord Jesus, I come to you now to be restored[1] in you, renewed in you, to receive from you all the grace and mercy I so desperately need this day. I honor you as my Sovereign, and I surrender every aspect and dimension of my life totally and completely to you. I give to you my spirit, soul, and body, my heart, mind, and will. I cover myself with your blood[2]—my spirit, soul, and body, my heart, mind, and will. I ask Holy Spirit to restore me in you, renew me in you, and lead me in this time of prayer. In all that I now pray, I stand in absolute agreement with your Spirit and with my intercessors and allies, by your Spirit and by your Spirit alone.

THE TRINITY

“Dearest God, holy and victorious Trinity, you alone are worthy of all my worship, my heart’s devotion, all my praise, all my trust, and all the glory of my life. I love you, I worship you, I give myself over to you in my heart’s search for life. You alone are Life, and you have become my life. I renounce all other gods, every idol, and I give to you the place in my heart and in my life that you truly deserve. This is all about you, God, and not about me; you are the Hero of this story, and I belong to you. I ask your forgiveness for my every sin. I renounce my sins. I ask you to search me and know me and reveal to me where you are working in my life and grant to me the grace of your healing, deliverance, your holiness, and a deep and true repentance.

THE FATHER

“Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me and choosing me before you made the world[3]. You are my true Father—my creator, redeemer, sustainer, and the true end of all things, including my life. I love you, I trust you, I worship you. I give myself over to you, Father, to be one with you in everything as Jesus is one with you. Thank you for proving your love by sending your only Son Jesus to be my substitute and representative[4], to be my Rock. I receive him and all his life and all his work which you ordained for me[5]. Thank you for including me in Christ[6], for forgiving me my sins[7], for granting me his righteousness[8], for making me complete in him[9].

“Thank you for making me alive with Christ[10], raising me with him[11], seating me with him at your right hand[12], establishing me in his authority[13], and anointing me with your love[14], your Spirit, and your kingdom. I receive it with thanks and give it total claim to my spirit, soul, and body, my heart, mind, and will. I bring the life and work of the Lord Jesus Christ over my life today, over my home, my family, my household, throughout my kingdom and domain.

THE SON

“Jesus, thank you for coming to ransom me with your own life[15], I love you, I worship you, I give myself over to you to be one with you in all things—spirit, soul, and body, heart, mind, and will. I sincerely embrace[16] you as my redemption, and all the work and triumph in your cross, death, blood[17], and sacrifice (Crucifix), through which my every sin is atoned for, I am ransomed and delivered from the kingdom of darkness and transferred to your kingdom, my sin nature is removed[18], my heart is circumcised unto God[19], and every claim being made against me is disarmed[20] this day.

THE CRUCIFICTION

“I now take my place in your stripes, death, and cross (Crucifix), dying with you to sin, to my flesh[21], to this world[22], to the evil one[23], and his kingdom. I take up the Crucifix and crucify my flesh with all its pride, arrogance, unbelief, and idolatry [and anything else you are currently struggling with]. I put off the old man[24]. Apply to me all the work in your cross, death, blood, and sacrifice (Crucifix). I receive it with thanks and give it total claim to my spirit, soul, and body, my heart, mind, and will.

“I bring the blood and sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ over my life today, over my home, my family, my household, my vehicles, finances, over all my kingdom and domain. I bring the cross, death, blood, and sacrifice (Crucifix) of Jesus Christ against Satan, against his evil kingdom, against every foul and unclean (demonic) spirit, every foul power and black art, against every witch, and against every human being and their spirit, their warfare and household. I bring the cross, death, blood, and sacrifice (Crucifix) of the Lord Jesus Christ to the borders of my kingdom and domain, and I stake it there in the name of Jesus Christ.

“Crucifix” with sign saying in Latin, JESUS OF NAZARETH KING OF THE JEWS

 

THE RESURRECTION

“Jesus, I also sincerely receive you as my Life[25], and I receive all the work and triumph in your resurrection, through which you have conquered sin, death, judgment, and the evil one. Death has no power over you, nor does any foul thing. And I have been raised with you to a new life, to live your life—dead to sin and alive to God[26]. I am crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me[27].

I take my place now in your resurrection and in your life[28], and I give my life to you to live your life. I am saved by your life. I reign in life through Your life[29]. I now put on the new man[30] in all holiness and humility! in all righteousness, purity and truth. Christ is now my life[31], the one who strengthens me[32]. I receive your hope, love, faith, joy, your goodness, trueness, wisdom, power, and strength. Holy Spirit apply to me all the work and triumph of the resurrection of Jesus Christ for me. I receive it with thanks and I give it total claim to my spirit, soul, and body, my heart, mind, and will.

“I bring the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ over my life today, over my home, my family, my household, my vehicles, finances, over all my kingdom and domain. I bring the resurrection and the empty tomb of Jesus Christ against Satan[33], against his evil kingdom, against every foul and unclean (demonic) spirit, every foul power and black art, against every witch, and against every human being and their spirit, their warfare, and household. I bring the resurrection and the empty tomb of the Lord Jesus Christ to the borders of my kingdom and domain, and I stake it there in Jesus’ name.

THE ASCENSION

“Jesus, I also sincerely receive you as my authority, rule, and dominion, my everlasting victory against Satan and his kingdom, and my ability to bring your Kingdom at all times and in every way. I receive all the work and triumph in your ascension, through which Satan has been judged and cast down[33], his evil rulers principalities disarmed[34]; and all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to you, Jesus[35]. And I have been given fullness in you the head over all[36]; you are worthy to receive all glory and honor, power and dominion, now and forever.

“I take my place now in your authority and in your throne, through which I have been raised with you to the right hand of the Father and established in your authority[37]. Greater is he who is in me than he who is in the world[38]. Christ has given me power and authority to overcome the enemy, and I claim that authority, now, standing in place over, above, and against every enemy, and I banish them in the name of Jesus Christ[39]. I give myself to you, to reign with you always. Apply to me all the work and triumph in your authority and your throne; I receive it with thanks, and I give it total claim to my spirit, soul, and body, my heart, mind, and will.

THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST’S WORK

“I now bring the authority, rule, and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ over my life today, over my home, my family, my household, my vehicles, finances, over all my kingdom and domain. I now bring the authority, rule, and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ and the fullness of the work of Christ against Satan, against his evil kingdom, against every foul and unclean (demonic) spirit—every ruler, power, authority, and spiritual force of wickedness, their every weapon, claim, and device.

“[At this point, I specifically name all foul and unclean (demonic) spirits that I know have been attacking me, such as fear, doubt, accident, injury, death, the religious spirit, pride, arrogance, slothfulness, gluttony, etc.]

“I send all foul and unclean (demonic) spirits bound to the throne of Christ, together with every back-up and replacement, every weapon, claim, and device—by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and in his name. I command the judgment of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the heads of those that refuse to obey, and I send them to judgment, by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and in his name.

“I now bring the authority, rule, and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ and the fullness of the work of Christ against every foul power and black art—every hex, vex, and incantation, every spell, weave, web, veil, shroud, charm, and snare; against every ritual, sacrifice, and device; against every vow, dedication, and sacrifice, every word, judgment, and curse—written, spoken, unspoken, or transferred to me. I command them disarmed and broken by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and in his name.

“I now bring the authority, rule, and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ and the fullness of the work of Christ against every witch, cult, and coven, every channel of black arts to me. I cut them off in the name of the Lord; I send the glory of God to them to turn them in Jesus’ name.

“I now bring the authority, rule, and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ and the fullness of the work of Christ between me and every human being—their spirit, soul, body, their sin, warfare, and their household. I bring the full work of Christ between me and [now I name people I’ve counseled or prayed for, family members, folks in crisis looking to me, etc.]. I command their human spirits bound back to their bodies and their warfare bound to the throne of Christ in their life. I bring the full work of Christ between me and my household and all people, in the authority of Jesus Christ and in his name.

THE HOLY SPIRIT

“Holy Spirit, thank you for coming for me today. I love you, I worship you, I trust you. I honor you as Lord.  I sincerely embrace you, become my union with the Father and the Son, the Spirit of truth in me, the life of God in me, my counselor, comforter, strength, helper and guide[40] You have clothed me with power from on high, sealed me in Christ[41]. Restore my union with the Father and the Son. Lead me into all truth, anoint me for all of my life and walk and calling, and lead me deeper into Jesus today[42]. I honor you as Lord, and I fully give to you every aspect and dimension of my spirit, soul, and body, my heart, mind, and will—to be filled with you, to walk in step with you in all things[43]. I receive all the work and triumph in Pentecost[44] through which you have come. Fill me afresh, blessed Holy Spirit. I receive you with thanks, and give you total claim to my life.

“Heavenly Father, thank you for granting to me every spiritual blessing of heaven in Christ Jesus[45]. I claim the riches in Christ Jesus over my life today, over my home, my family, my work, over all of my kingdom and domain. I bring the blood of Christ once more over my spirit, soul, and body, over my heart, mind, and will. I put on the full armor of God: the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of the gospel, helmet of salvation; I take up the shield of faith and sword of the Spirit, and I choose to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of your might[46], to pray at all times in the Spirit.

“Jesus, thank you for your angels. I summon them in the name of Jesus Christ and instruct them to destroy all that is raised against me, to establish your Kingdom over me, to rebuild the shields and hedges of protection around me and my household, and to minister to me your ministry[47]. I ask you to send forth your Spirit to raise up prayer and intercession for me[48]. I now call forth the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ throughout my home, my household, my kingdom, and domain in the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving all glory and honor and thanks to him. (with all wisdom and power and riches and dominion), now and forever more. In Jesus’ name, amen.” (And amen.)

___________________

[1] Col. 2:19; Rom. 12:1; Lk. 10:27; 1Cor. 6:17. Restored body soul and spirit. [2] 1Jn. 1:9. [3] Eph. 1:4. [4] Rom. 5:8. [5] Lk. 9:23. [6] 1Cor. 1:30. [7] Col. 2:13. [8] 2Cor. 5:21. [9] Col. 2:10. [10] Col.2:13. [11] Col. 3:1. [12] Eph. 2:6. [13] Lk. 10:19; Eph. 2:6. [14] Eph. 1:13. [15] Mt. 20:28. [16] Lk. 9:23. [17] 1Jn.1:9. [18] Col. 2:11. [19] Rom. 2:29. [20] Col. 2:15. [21] Rom. 6:11. [22] Gal. 6:14. [23] Col. 1:13. [24] Eph. 4:22. [25] Eph. 4:24. [26] Rom. 6:11. [27] Gal. 2:20. [28] Eph. 2:5. [29] Rom. 5:17. [30] Rom. 6:4. [31] Col. 3:4. [32] Phil. 4:13. [33] Jn. 12:31. [34] Col. 2:15. [35] Mt. 28:18. [36] Col. 2:10. [37] Eph. 2:6. [38] 1Jn. 4:4. [39] Lk. 10:19. [40] Jn. 14:16; Acts 9:31. [41] Eph. 1:13. [42] Jn. 15:26; 16:13. [43] Gal. 5:25. [44] Eph. 4:8. [45] Eph. 1:3. [46] Eph. 6:10-18. [47] Heb. 1:14. [48] 2Cor. 1:8-11.

 

May God bless and keep you,

Charles

@wordlifejournal

BITTERNESS BREAKTHROUGH: Murder prevention


GOD SPEAKS THROUGH MY CONSCIENCE

This  morning during personal quiet-time devotion, my conscience reminded me of a comment I made on Facebook the other night. For the comment, I had to look up some information for the purpose of sharing something helpful, but it backfired.

I needed to offer to pray the solution, and show how the third party might benefit. I failed to do the ministering and let the first party say, since my analysis was more than expected, she passively agreed to pray the solution.

A CASE FOR THIRD PARTY BITTERNESS

How often do we share some broken relationship with friends who have some experience with helpful comments? Not that often. My conscience grabs me for offering information about the problem (bitterness) and not the solution.

My friend is educated and employed as a professional educator. She is the first party offering the circumstance of a loner friend (third party) who became very bitter–and remains chronically so. We agree prayer is his solution, so how can we pray?

My research revealed three points: Bitterness is a spiritual affliction; bitterness is a stronghold of the enemy in the third party soul; and such bitterness has seven subordinate spirits that support its wicked purpose. (from A More Excellent Way book)

THE ROOT CAUSE OF BITTERNESS

The root cause of all sickness and disease is sin (disobedience to God). The bitter root grows out of an unthankful heart. Sin causes separation from God, then separation from self. Self separation devalues all other relationships, and brings isolation.

Unforgiveness is the first spirit to attack after the bitter spirit to support it. (Hebrews 12:15-17 LIV). Then, resentment (spiritual, not psychological), then retaliation, then anger. If anger exists, unforgiveness, resentment and retaliation are with it already.

Anger generates hatred, hatred violence, and violence, murder. How does one get to commit murder, a mortal sin? They have let bitterness and the seven bitter spirits justify such behavior, and the lost soul plots and plans to commit murder.

HOW DOES A LOST SOUL FIND FREEDOM?

Pastor Henry Wright teaches the eight step to freedom program. First as an answer to prayers of friends, the victim needs to recognize his/her peril, and take responsibility personally for disobedience. Then comes repentance, and renounce spiritual enemy.

After renounce, removing each spirit, resisting them, rejoicing, and restoration. The victim of bitterness must turn from a life of sin. Romans 8:1 is something to consider: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,

Who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.” Here is our answer. Walking after the Holy Spirit, fearing Almighty God, and regaining a clear conscience before God. Sin has no grasp on the soul when it’s sin is confessed to our forgiving God daily.

MISSING SOMETHING?

The bible tells how authority of the church applies, to provide the holy man who is anointed to help our subject find freedom. James 5:13-16 NJB,

“Anyone of you who is in trouble should pray; anyone in good spirits should sing a psalm. Anyone of you who is ill should send for the elders of the church, and they must anoint the sick person with oil in the name of the lord and pray over him. The prayer of faith will save the sick person and the Lord will raise him up again; and if he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven. So confess your sins to another to be cured; the heartfelt prayer of someone upright works very powerfully.”

Click on the link and read another Catholic version of the same passage, which reads, “Send for the priest of the church…” My Greek-English Lexicon says, ‘The English word priest comes from presbyteros. Later usage is responsible for development (of using elder).’ [New Oxford English Dictionary]

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Here is my new rosary that is framed by the cross that makes my writing desk an altar.

If my Greek Bible says presbyteros, so the earlier Catholic version is correctly translated. I am elder, but I am not a priest. I am old, but that doesn’t make me qualified to pray for someone’s spiritual freedom, we all need to know someone who is.

FINAL POINTS FOR SPIRITUAL HEALING

Only God is healer, he get’s the credit and glory for the whole operation. His word, the holy bible, has the authority to reclaim a soul from the hand of the enemy. The way and means that is pleasing to God is simple faith–faith of a child.

I started actually praying the rosary two weeks ago. Just tonight I learned a necessary correction with it. What happened was, around the third time–saying ‘pray for us sinners now and in the hour of our death, amen.’ Fifty times saying ‘death’…

I suffered a mild heart attack. A symptom of early angina, my chest felt squeezed and very much like a cramp about to happen. The timing of it was during morning devotion prayer, just as I put on thr armor of God. I said Help God, and it was over.

OUR FAITH LIFE GROWS AS OUR CONSCIENCE HEARS AND OBEYS

My social media prayer ministry is beginning to show signs of growth. My conscience heard seven days ago to begin praying for Facebook friends who have asked for prayer as they have become desperate. My mid-day prayer time is devoted to their requests.

What I found to pray that the church sanctions is called a novena. I make requests to St. Jude, the infant Jesus of Prague, and Our Lady of Fatima. Each of these sources have records of miraculous healings. My heart is lowly enough to do this nine days.

My boldness is not based on my pride, but on service to our loving Savior. Do you understand how a ministry cannot grow without sacrifice?

Oh, about that correction for my saying ‘death‘ fifty times: I just saw a teaching tape of Mother Angelica that stated “Catholics don’t suffer death, we make ‘transition‘ instead.” That is my correction to praying the rosary. I say transition instead of death.

PRAYER CAN OVERCOME ALL OUR SIN

I really hope this post is helpful. Please let me know your prayer requests. Always let your godly conscience be your guide. Think about this,

With Christians, a poetical view of things is a duty. We are bid to color all things with hues of faith, to see a divine meaning in every event.” –John Henry Newman

Encamped along the hills of light, you Christian soldiers rise, and press the battle ere the night shall veil the glowing skies. Against the foe in vales below let all our strength be hurled; faith is the victory we know, that overcomes the world.” –John H.  Yates

May the Lord bless and keep you,

Charles

@wordlifejournal

[Editor note: Fair use of copyrighted material is claimed without permission due to full credits given, link to bookseller constitutes free advertisement as no infringement, and no monetary value (loss) is risked by this posted article.]

CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH: Trusting God to give this.

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Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest California

“Dear Father God, I come before You with a grateful heart for the many blessing that You bestow on us day by day, and praise You that Your mercies are new every morning and You have provided for all our needs – and more besides. You are a great and generous God..
You are so good to all Your creation and have faithfully supplied all our needs, according to Your riches and grace – just as You have promised.

I love that hymn where it says, “count your blessings, see what God has done,” and Father I do count the many blessings that come from You day by day. Please forgive me for the times when I taken for granted the many gifts and graces that come from You – I could not draw another breath unless You give me the strength and yet moment by moment I am being kept in Your love and sustained by Your grace.. Praise Your glorious name, for ever and ever,
Amen”

Monday we heard our doctor say, “You’re good to go Charles!” This was the answer to the above prayer, which came to me from my Twitter follower @rick_warrens. He is one church leader worth following, who can get God on your case.

My wife and I were pleased to hear this, because we suffered with acute sinusitis for over 7-months. My stuffy nose was troublesome for both of us. I couldn’t sleep, always snorting and blowing the nose. But it was infected because of my failure.

We both believe God is a good God and worthy of our conscious acceptance as always acting on our behalf, to keep us from harm, truly. But we know there are the devil and his demons that can infect our lives with sickness and disease. We are only human.

Another teacher, Art Matthias teaches that all sickness is caused by an evil or wicked spirit. Yes! And that is consistent with Deuteronomy 28, where the law (Torah), gives a name of every disease and a license for dark spirits to attack any disobedient believers. (www.akwellspring.com) [BibleGateway.com]

But our faith in God through his only begotten Son Jesus (Yeshua) represents a new and better covenant, which improves upon the law, by providing grace and truth. Our Christian faith is able to grant a sinless existence by obeying Christ (Messiah).

MY SICKNESS WAS CAUSED BY AVOIDABLE SIN

Please let me explain. Our godly existence is maintained by prayer. Self prayer and prayer for others. The above prayer was sent to me  by a staff member in Rick Warren’s church-office. I needed that. (We all need that.)

His online church is growing. I have increased my prayer list to include many pastors, rabbis, priests, sisters, evangelists, bishops, cardinals, and popes, but pastor Rick is the only one God has appointed to send a prayer for me.

Then what do I claim as a fault I should have avoided? Three things: My immune system was weak. I was fasting to lose weight. And I was unprotected from ingesting the dust of tree spores and fungus while raking and bagging leaves.

Such conditions seem common, but they opened the door for an evil sickness or infection that happened to me. How it happened was when I sneezed bending over to tie my boots–it came up and out my nose! (Always hold your nose when sneezing.)

KNOWING THE TRUTH AND OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW OF MESSIAH

Here is my summary. As Christian believers, we are to learn and teach and grow in our faith. Get in the Holy Spirit, and stay there. Check your motives for doing anything for God. To please God is foremost in thinking, praying, and speaking. God loves you!

I let my motives slip, taking God’s hearing my prayers for granted. He does hear them, except when not actively trusting him to hear my prayer. I heard how to fast from a church source, but neglected supporting my immune system. My blood was enemic.

My faith in Christ (Messiah) does not discount my responsibility to take necessary measures to maintain a good diet and moderate exercize. The best way to stay healthy is to pray, pray for others, and hear God’s voice: ‘Obedience is better than sacrifice.’ (1Samuel 15:22,23 (MSG)

May the Lord richly bless you dearly beloved.

Charles @wordlifejournal

SEVEN WORDS FROM GOD, Trusting for grace to follow Him

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Photo taken out of the front door at sunset in early March

 

One of the few times when I can hear God speak into my spirit is when waking up from napping. I unfolded a quilt over my bed which I use as a kneeling cushion at early quiet time. As I did, I thought about each fold as showing Scripture. . .

So, when I awoke, I heard to take from my few memorized verses, and write one passage for each fold. And, sitting up, I easily wrote down numbers one through seven, for each fold, then I began to hear these popular references:

Psalms 118:24, Jeremiah 33:3, Romans 8:28, John 3:16, 2Corinthians 5:17, 2Timothy 2:15, and Hebrews 4:12. That’s all, and I knew each of them, but of all the versions available to me, only the (Catholic) New Jerusalem Bible stood out.

LISTEN TO THIS FRESH MESSAGE

“This is the day which Yahweh has made, a day for us to rejoice and be glad.”

“Call to me and I will answer you; I will tell you great secrets of which you know nothing.” [about the plan for your life, Jeremiah 29:11]

“We are well aware that God works with those who love him, those who have been called in accordance with his purpose and turns everything to their good.”
[He decided beforehand who were the ones destined to be moulded to the pattern of his Son that he should be the elder of many brothers. It was those that he called, he justified, and those he justified he has brought into glory.]

“For this is how God loved the world he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not perish, but may have eternal life.” [For God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but so that through him the world might be saved.]

“So for anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation: the old order is gone and a new being is there to see.” [It is all God’s work. He reconciled us to himself through Christ and he gave us the ministry of reconciliation. I mean, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself not holding anyone’s faults against them, but entrusting to us his message of reconciliation.]

“Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who has no need to be ashamed, but who keeps the measure of truth on a strait path.” [Have nothing to do with godless philosophical discussions; they only lead further and further from true religion.]

“The Word of God (Jesus) is something alive and active, it (he) cuts more incisively than any two-edged sword; it (he) can seek out the place where soul is divided from spirit, or joints from marrow; it (he) can pass judgement upon emotions and thoughts.” [No created thing is hidden from him. Everything is uncovered and stretched fully open to the eyes of the One to whom we must give an account of ourselves.] (Parens are mine, and brackets show contexts of each verse.)

The Holy Spirit has just shared the Catholic Scriptures concerning my calling to peacefully minister what God has done and is doing for us, his church body.

THE BIG QUESTION

Since I visited our local Catholic Church a week ago, I was so impressed that I had to take some pamphlet handouts that were displayed for the taking. One said, Are you thinking of becoming a Catholic? It showed Isaiah 30:18 (TLB)

“The Lord waits for you to come to him, so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God.”

I am personally impressed by the resources the Catholic Church provides, certainly far more than our present membership cannot. The teachings of faith and the beauty of all family programs are very attractively appealing to me.

Yesterday I learned to make my own rosary. With that, I understand our Holy Mother Mary is available to help with the process. I am alone in such a quest, but I am encouraged as I learn the truth, all saints and angels can come to the aid of all who determine to make the journey.

Also, I found an app that includes many rosary prayers, and even when my heart objects to praying in King James English, I learned why that is important. Two words, history and tradition, both have formed God’s Word. How? By the majority of saintly leadership: The college of cardinals finds consensus.

THERE IS STILL SO MUCH TO LEARN

The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, RCIA, is a long training program I am hearing. And I understand that the difference in worship within the closed communion family, helps to heighten the spiritual experience. It proves to be worth every effort it will require.

As I am now entering the sunset years of life, I am given grace to realize how much more there is to our living for a loving God. After all, he is the Author and Finisher of our life (and the Church). I certainly don’t want the death our parents had. My life, as well as yours, can be renewed and strengthened to live well beyond them all.(See the 15 promised blessings of rosary devotion.)

GRACE IS MY GREATEST NEED

Last night I decided to start praying some rosary prayers, like I never knew there were so many. But before I did that, I looked up the word in the catechism conveniently listed. I thought it interesting that only four paragraphs were shown.

#2678 “Medieval piety in the west developed the prayer of rosary as a popular substitute for the Liturgy of the hours.” (St Charles Catholic Church of Picayune, MS)

#1674 “Put under this paragraph along with pilgrimages, processions, stations of the cross, dances, rosary, and medals.” (St Charles)

#2708 “Christian prayer tries above all to meditate on the mysteries of Christ, as in Lectio Divina (divine reading) or the rosary: A form of prayerful reflection of great value.” And,

#971, “The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer (rosary) are an ‘epitome of the whole Gospel’, express this devotion to the Virgin Mary.” (from Catholic Catechism paragraphs in the #1 Catholic app, Laudate)

We just got back from shopping, and the sky fell in! (Thank you God!)

I was trusting God for a rosary, and we found the materials to make one. (rosarymakersguide.org) So, thanks to Father God and his love for Mary mother of his Son Jesus, and my lovely wife, we will have a rosary to show for next time.

Let me know what you think.

Blessed be your nap-time!

Charles @wordlifejournal.

 

REFORMING A CHALLENGED CHURCH

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The St. John the Baptist Catholic Church of Madison Alabama

This morning I did go to our local catholic church, and despite the circumstances, (disagreement, objections, arguments, generally) I was able to attend the teaching with grace and certain familiarity. The initial calling was from the Holy Spirit, with the image of blessing myself on entering the service–but when I got there it was empty.

The secondary calling was to hear a presentation of Dr. Christopher Bellitto, which I learned about from the church newsletter advertising his talk as “Reforming a Challenged Church: Six Lessons from Church History”. This I needed to hear about. And I feel any attempt to share about this, can be significant to all our friends.

I entered the downstairs room in time as families were sitting down with food. The light was on, and a projector was set up with slide showing on the front wall. I looked for a chair on the front row between a young man and his son and a teenager. . .

INTRODUCTION

“At the dawn of the third millennium, the church is facing serious challenges. Dr. Bellitto will look back at how the church has survived–and even renewed herself–during difficult times in her history. By discussing six lessons from the history of church reform, he will put today’s challenges in perspective and explore how the institutional and grass-roots church can move forward together in a constructive and Christian way.” [To view Dr. Bellitto’s profile, click on his name for Kean.edu page.]

COMPETING PERSPECTIVES

Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, 1832: “It is obviously obscure and injurious to propose a certain restoration and regeneration for the church, as though necessary for her safety  and growth, as if she could be considered subject to defect or obscuration or other misfortune.”

Pope Paul VI, Ecclesiam Suam, 1964: “A vivid and lively self-awareness on the part of the Church inevitably leads to a comparison between the ideal image of the church as Christ envisaged, his holy and spotless bride, and the actual image which the church presents to the world today. But the actual image of the church will never attain to such a degree of perfection, beauty, holiness, and splendor that it can be said to correspond perfectly with the original conception in the mind of him who fashioned it.”

COMPETING WITH VATICAN II

The (competing) language of reform–hermeneutics–a mode of understanding, looking at an issue (which church leaders discern and put in place–see the Latin used in the following texts).

Unitatis redintegratio #6: “Every renewal of the church [renovatio ecclesiae] essentially consists of an increase of fidelity to the churches own calling–in its pilgrimage on earth, Christ summons the church to continual reformation [perennem reformationem], of which it is always in need, in so far as it is an institution of human beings here on earth.”

As the professor was showing this from his handout, he told small off-the-cuff jokes that everyone heard and laughter erupted except I was taking notes about the handout material that I couldn’t do writing, reading and laughing to keep up with him. It was a good family teaching class.

Unitatis redintegratio, #4: “For although the Catholic Church has been endowed with all divinely revealed truth, and with all means of grace, yet its members fail to live by them with all the furvor that they should, so that the radiance of the church’s image is less in the eyes of our separated fellow Christians and of the world at large, and the growth of the kingdom is delayed.

“All Catholics must therefore aim at Christian perfection, and each according to their situation, play their part that the church, bearing in her own body the lowly and dying state of Jesus, may be daily more purified and renewed, against the day when Christ will present her to himself in all her glory without spot or wrinkle.”

MORE VATICAN II EXAMPLES GIVEN

Lumen Gentium, #4, 6, 9: “Through the power of the Gospel, the Holy Spirit rejuvenates the church, continually renewing it and leading it to perfect union with its spouse–in order that we may be continually renewed in Christ, He gave us a share of his Spirit–under the action of the Holy Spirit, the church does not cease from renewing itself until, through the cross, it arrives at the light which knows no setting.”

Lumen Gentium, #8: “The church, containing sinners in its own bosom, is at one and the same time holy and always in need of purification and it pursues unceasingly penance and renewal.”

CONTEXTUALIZING VATICAN II

I now have to apologize to you for not realizing what a huge ministry this professor must have traveling all around the country to help evangelize the church. He spoke this morning after last night and is speaking tonight. A university that pays him to do this is definitely supporting what I just learned about ‘Vatican II’. It is a huge legal document you can access here, called officially, The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. It has the title of ‘Dogmatic Constitution’, which has 4 constitutions, 3 Declarations,and 9 Decrees.

Professor Bellitto selected only two small examples from one decree (Unitatus redintegratio), and two small examples of one constitution (Lumen Gentium). The points he made are well taken but only to support his six lessons that church history can scripturally show us some light at the end of the tunnel.

SIX LESSONS FROM CHURCH HISTORY

1. “Ultimately, personal reform is the only thing that matters.

  • Genesis 1:26, “Then a God said, let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness.”
  • Colossians 3:9-11, “Do not lie to one another seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with a new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. In that renewal, there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumsized and uncircumcised , barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all in all.”
  • 2Corinthians 4:16, “Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.”
  • Ephesians 4:22-24, “You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to clothe yourself with a new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

2. Reformers can appear anywhere in the church.

  • St. Francis of Assisi, 1181-1226
  • Bridget of Sweden, 1303-73, Catherine of Siena, 1347-80
  • Angela Merici, 1474-1540
  • Dorthy Day and Mother Teresa, Twentieth century

3. The Institution and God’s People don’t falter at the same time.

  • Great Western Schism, 1378-1417
  • devotio moderna
  • From church history, 3 popes, 3 colleges of cardinals, 1378, 1409, 1417.

4. The Holy Spirit blows in the sensus fidelium.

  • Erasmus, 1467-1536, and reform
  • June 2002, USCCB: Margaret O’Brien Steinfels, Scott Appleby, and the abuse victims themselves.
  • What’s the Holy Spirit saying now?

5. They’re part of the problem, but bishops can be part of the solution too.

  • Pope Adrian VI: “You will also say that we frankly confess that God permits this persecution to afflict his church because of the sins of men, especially the priests and prelates of the church. 1522-23.
  • Alessandro Farnese (Cardinal Petticoat) to Paul III, 1534-49.
  • Council of Trent, 1545-63
  • Bishop Wilton Gregory: “We are the ones, whether through ignorance or lack of vigilance, or God forbid with knowledge, who allowed priest abusers to remain in ministry and reassign them to communities where they continued to abuse. We are the ones who chose not to report the criminal actions of priests to the authorities, because the law did not require this. We are the ones who worried about the possibility of scandal than bringing about the kind of openness that helps prevent abuse.”

6. Evolutionary change is better than revolutionary change.

  • Martin Luther, 1483-1546
  • Vatican II, “Going too far too fast.” 1962

THOUGHTS TO TAKE WITH YOU

“We need the old AND the new:

Pope Paul VI, Ecclesiam Suam, 1964, “When we speak about renewal, we are not concerned to change things, but to preserve all the more resolutely the characteristic features which Christ impressed on his church. Or rather, we are concerned to restore to the church the ideal of perfection and beauty that corresponds to its original image, and that at the same time, consistent with its necessary, normal, and legitimate growth from its original, embryonic form into its present structure.”

Hans Kung, Commonweal, 1966, pg 466, “Why can’t a church, which according to the common judgment of Catholics CAN err, also show that it is truly capable of Christian conversion and of changing its views? Such a church is far more convincing to the present world than one whose motto is the ecclesiastical equivalent of ‘The party is (and was) always right’.

Yves Congar, 1904-1995: The virtue of active patience.

“A hermeneutics of balance in a bipolar world, and church toward a world of both-and > either-or; talk with > at each other; win-lose = Lose-lose; today is a privileged pendulum moment.”

TREASURES OLD AND NEW

Jesus in Matthew 13:52, “Every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

 

The lessons were over, and we stood up after applauding. I turned to the person to my right who introduced himself as Jeffrey, and that he has been a Catholic just three weeks! I congratulated him but had to admit I’m not, but find I am being led in that direction. He said he is seventeen, then introduced me to his friend at the table. I admitted I was there to hear the professor, and Jeffrey said I could take his handout. I thanked him with my confession that I intend to write it up in my blog. He smiled and seemed interested. Then I asked him if he had a copy of the Catechism yet. Do you read it? He nodded and asked me if I had one. I said no. Then he said if I wanted one he could send me one. And I admitted I couldn’t afford to buy it. And he said that’s okay. So I gave him my home address, shook hands and went back upstairs to leave.

MY SUMMARY CONCLUSION

I am personally encouraged to have visited the one church in our community that really inspires me. May I give credit to God and his Catholic TV network EWTN; but when a vision of myself breaks through to me in my quiet-time–of blessing myself with holy water, I have to receive that as a calling and obey it.

Getting the added benefit of this attending a presentation of the renowned expert in the field was exciting. But writing this has helped me to see how only the Catholic Church can be the leader in the global ecumenical movement.

Hope you can see this too.

Charles (Twitter link)

(See Facebook too)

ROMANCING THE LEGEND – The dogwood tree tradition

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My photo of one of the blooming trees in our yard at sunset.

I am sitting at my desk thinking how to start, and realize how much that doesn’t matter. This is about the beauty of Spring; to include my faith in a loving God who dwells in all life as it was written how He breathed into every living soul and designed life for trees, birds and bees, etcetera and etcetera.

And, let’s try touching on a deeper theme: personal growing in faith about suffering and prayer, about trusting the teaching of the Church for greater unity. (This is a start. Let me research links to build from my hearing from God.)

THE LEGEND

I have linked the official story written by an author, Elaine M. Jordan, that is found on the traditioninaction.org website. (This is a church website, calling this legendary story gualifying as sacred tradition, and this is just what I wanted to hear.)

WHAT SACRED TRADITION MEANS

I Just found an authorized explanation of how the Roman Catholic Church determines a legend is elevated to be a ‘tradition’, which then becomes equal to God’s Word.

“Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God, committed to the Church. Holding fast to this deposit the entire holy people united with their shepherds remain always steadfast in the teaching of the Apostles, in the common life, in the breaking of the bread and in prayers (see Acts 2, 42, Greek text), so that holding to, practicing and professing the heritage of the faith, it becomes on the part of the bishops and faithful a single common effort.
But the task of authentically interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ. This teaching office is not above the word of God, but serves it, teaching only what has been handed on, listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully in accord with a divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it draws from this one deposit of faith everything which it presents for belief as divinely revealed.
It is clear, therefore, that Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the teaching authority of the Church, in accord with God’s most wise design, are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others, and that all together and each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit contribute effectively to the salvation of souls.” (from the Second Vatican Council which taught on tradition, scripture, and magisterium. Dei verbum, Latin for Word of God, [mentioned in the first line of the document].

I went to the doctor Monday, after five weeks on his prescription, hoping to have a CT-scan to discover what I had ingested into my sinus cavity. I had sneezed while raking leaves last October–and bending over, the sneeze went out of my face through the nose! Have you ever done that? I suspect microscopic spores are growing in my head. Anyway when I told the ENT specialist I was much improved, I got more of the same, only stronger drugs to kill the stuffy infection.

You know the last post of my promisedsoil blog was about learning of how Catholic children can learn to respect and follow church teaching even to give their heart to a life of devoted service, as a nun. This is very inspiring to me. And we got a bunch of new followers on Twitter.

SUFFERING IS HELPING ME GROW IN FAITH

The week following Easter was a profound experience in witnessing the testimonials of the foundress of the Catholic television network, here in Alabama. Mother Angelica was an active teaching sister and mother, in the gentle power of the Holy Spirit. God gave her the call to put her heart into the developing a television station, and beyond that, the global network of EWTN today!

Her suffering for over fourteen years due to a stroke was quite remarkable to me. Associates of her order, the poor Clare sisters, testified that their helping her was an honor and a privilege because her spirit still ministered despite her loss of speech and facial deformation.

Up to the last moment of her life, her contemplative disciplines carried her through to a most peaceful passing. The priest actually testified about witnessing her last breath. To publically show and tell how details of a human being’s death was a godly death. The entire week was devoted to her visitation and funeral and interment.

It was Monday that I heard from God during devotion, to go to the nearest Catholic Church this Sunday. It was in the form of a mini vision that visualized entering and even crossing myself with holy water. Since then I am getting conformation of this.

Since We are not Catholic, this is a big move for me. But I dearly desire to take a step up to a higher level with God. There is so much more to learn! How is God more present in one church than another? You guesed it. The only difference I see is the adoration of the Eucharist. Taking that closed communion so seriously is also remarkable to me. I get a Holy Spirit goose-bump watching on TV!

To conclude, I want to simply say I feel hopeful from the year of mercy, from the evangelization of the Roman Catholic Church, and from my heart’s leading. I pray for the healing of my small suffering daily, and am beginning to realize it’s no accident. All human beings fall and fail from perfect health. We desperately need one another.

Now, can you see the  beauty in this?

May the God of peace bless your hearts and minds with the joy that transcends all suffering! (Thanks for your prayers.)

Charles