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Prayer For the Week of May 16 — Did You Feel The Mountains Tremble?

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Perhaps because yesterday was Pentecost or perhaps it’s because Spring is in the air with all its abundant hopefulness and joy. I don’t know. But for some reason I woke up feeling old skool. For realz. I was belting this out at the top of my lungs this morning.

Prayer can take a lot of forms. Maybe it’s time to dance?

HAPPY PENTECOST!!!!!

Thank you, Jesus, for sending us the Holy Spirit! Holy Spirit, have Your way! AMEN?!?!

Dance Before The Lord!

Perhaps because yesterday was Pentecost or perhaps it’s because Spring is in the air with all its abundant hopefulness and joy. I don’t know. But for some reason I woke up feeling old skool. For realz. I was belting this out at the top of my lungs this morning. Prayer can take a lot of […]

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Prayer For The Week of May 9 — Ordinary Lives For The Glory of God

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[This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. The Provision Room is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.]

Ordinary Lives

Yesterday in the homily my priest said, “If you could look around this room and see each face, you’d notice what I notice from up here. We are all very ordinary. Not one of us stands out as more important than the others. We are all just ordinary people. The real miracle of the Church is that it is still here.” (Think about that a minute.)

Yes, all God has to work with is us–these extraordinarily ordinary people. That’s not a lot to work with, it would seem. Read More

Ordinary Lives

[This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. The Provision Room is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.] Yesterday in the homily my priest said, “If you could look around this room and […]

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Prayer For The Week if May 2 — Pondering In My Heart

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Jesus, Change Our Hearts To Bear Good Fruit

We have really gotten behind in our prayer posts. We had a good run–about four years of faithful Monday morning prayer posts. And then life really got crazy and we just couldn’t keep up the writing schedule. But, we have missed you all. And so, we are picking up the prayer posts again.

I have several swirling thoughts this morning that all have the same theme, but came from different places.  First of all, my kids and I can’t stop singing this song from Rain For Roots:

And that got me really meditating on what thoughts I allow my heart to grow. What grows in the heart, goes to the mouth. What comes out of the mouth, started in the heart.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalms 19:14

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23

Thinking about these things, I remembered that Mary “kept all these things pondering in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)

Being a homemaker can be isolating in some ways. We can be busy, busy, busy all day with kids and housework and gardens. And our hearts and minds can be running in the background while we are unaware. Like a computer that starts to malfunction because of programs running in the background.  What’s running in the background can often go unchecked. Unintentionally we can be thinking about things that are going wrong, worries about money or our marriages or how our kids are turning out, discontentment, unforgiveness, grief. All running in the background.

What if we could reprogram our operating systems to run gratefulness, joy, appreciation, shalom in the background. Can we rewire ourselves to think on things that are lovely and pure and holy and praiseworthy?

It is my prayer today that I can. Jesus, change our hearts to bear good fruit.

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8

Jesus, Change Our Hearts To Bear Good Fruit

We have really gotten behind in our prayer posts. We had a good run–about four years of faithful Monday morning prayer posts. And then life really got crazy and we just couldn’t keep up the writing schedule. But, we have missed you all. And so, we are picking up the prayer posts again. I have […]

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Want to hear a horrible story?

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“Want to hear a horrible story?” This is how my priest should have begun his homily on Ash Wednesday. Because the story he told was indeed horrible. But the lesson has been chewing on my heart for days. It won’t let me go.

When he was on a train from Southern India to Northern India there was a family in his  car with several children. In the course of the journey one of the little girls died. A doctor on the train examined the child and declared that she had died of something terrible and very contagious. She could infect the other little daughter. The doctor told the mother to throw the dead child’s body out of the train before others caught the disease. Like any mother would, she refused to throw her child’s body from a moving train. They argued over it. The train then went through a tunnel. While in the tunnel the electricity to the train cut off and the train went dark. While it was dark the father of the child threw the child from the train. When the lights came back on it was discovered that he did not throw his dead child from the train, but his living child. The body of his dead daughter was still there.

Selah.

Do you feel like throwing up? I did when I heard that. My heart was sufficiently wrenched. The pain, the trauma, confusion, suffering, anger. Injustice of it all.

This is what fear does.  When fear is our motivator we throw away what is good and alive while holding onto what is dead and dangerous.  Fear causes us to react rather than respond. It causes us to embrace what is terrible and reject what is good.

Fear causes the culture of death and the rejection of life.

Fear causes  people to throw away relationships and isolate themselves.

Fear causes the confusion that eventually leads to torment.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” I John 4:18

The enemy loves to make us afraid. He knows that if we become afraid we will make bad choices, disconnect from important relationships, and turn our love off.  Surrounded by beauty, with grace right there within reach, with Jesus being closer than a water is to fish. And we choose darkness.

Torment. That’s what it is.

The devil is a terrorist whose suicide bomb is fear.

Like the father who threw away his precious child whom he intended to protect, we will throw away our peace and freedom and cling to bondage.

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Do not fear, I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13

We are in this season of fasting and self-denial. But are we doing it for the right reasons? What is our motivation?  Years ago I had a sign on my bedroom door that I would read every day before I walked out. It said:

Fear of what you might lose.

Hope of what you might gain.

Love of what you might give.

There are only these three motivations for everything we do, in every interaction we have with others, with every decision we make: Fear, hope or love. Choose love. Choose love. Choose love. Every day, a thousand times. It is the only way.

“In order to live in one single act of perfect Love, I offer myself as a victim…to your merciful love.” (St. Therese of the Child Jesus) 

For some of us, because of our pasts or our brokenness or our sin, fear has to combatted on a daily, hourly or sometimes moment-by-moment basis. We have to choose all the time to banish our fears and drown them in the love of God. Perfect love is what drives out fear. Perfect Love is my lifeline. It is my prayer, my deepest longing, my vocation. As I learn to embrace and cling to and welcome and live in Perfect Love, fear–the kind of fear that throws the baby out of the moving train–loses its control of me.

Want to hear a horrible story? Fear destroys lives. Everyday.

Want to hear a beautiful story? Jesus is Perfect Love. Everyday. Everywhere.

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

 

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

“Want to hear a horrible story?” This is how my priest should have begun his homily on Ash Wednesday. Because the story he told was indeed horrible. But the lesson has been chewing on my heart for days. It won’t let me go. When he was on a train from Southern India to Northern India […]

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Prayer for week of January 4 — It’s the little moments

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[This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. The Provision Room is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.]

Ever have great intentions of having quality time with the Lord? You’re gonna read the whole Bible this year or have an hour of prayer time a day.  You’re gonna make it to extra church services or spend time with amazing journaling prompts. And then…..life.  Life that eeeeeeks away at your time. You wake up in the morning, you blink, and then it’s 8pm and you’re putting the kids in bed. The whole day gone.  It was just one big blur of housekeeping, bill-paying, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and settling sibling fights. Oy.

tiny moments with Jesus Read More

tiny moments with Jesus

[This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. The Provision Room is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.] Ever have great intentions of having quality time with the Lord? You’re gonna read the […]

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Prayer for the Week Nov 23 – Thoughts from Christ the King Sunday

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Alter

This past Sunday we celebrated Christ the King.  What a wonderful feast day on the liturgical calendar.  Crowning our year end with Christ the King.

As I pondered the Mass readings and Magnificat mediation for the day I was overwhelmed by the accuracy of the word for this moment in time.  A time of violence and brokenness in our world.  Where people are crying out for mercy and being denied the most simple of charities.  We as Christians must rise to a higher standard.  We must be the voice for human dignity in a culture of death.

“Jesus brought about his Kingdom…through his closeness and tenderness towards us.  He is the Shepherd…

The Father, little by little, subjects all to the Son and at the same time, the Son subjects all to the Father, including even himself in the end.  Jesus is not a King according to earthly ways: for him, to reign is not to command, but to obey the Father, to give himself over to the Father, so that his plan of love and salvation may be brought to fulfillment.  In this way there is full reciprocity between the Father and Son.  The period of Christ’s reign is the long period of subjecting everything to the Son and consigning everything to the Father…

The Gospel (John 18:33b-37) teaches what Jesus’ Kingdom requires of us: it reminds us that closeness and tenderness are the rule of life for us also, and that on this basis we will be judged.  This is how we will be judged…

The starting point of salvation is not the confession of the sovereignty of Christ, but rather the imitation of Jesus’ works of mercy through which he brought about his Kingdom.  The one who accomplishes these works shows that he has welcomed Christ’s sovereignty, because he has opened his heart to God’s charity.  In the twilight of life we will be judged on our love for, closeness to and tenderness towards our brothers and sisters.  Upon this will depend our entry into, or exclusion from, the Kingdom of God: our belonging to the the one side or the other.  Through his victory, Jesus has opened to us his Kingdom.  But it is for us to enter into it, beginning with our life now – his Kingdom begins now- by being close in concrete ways to our brothers and sisters who ask for bread, clothing, acceptance, solidarity, catechesis.  If we truly love them, we will be willing to share with them what is most precious to us: Jesus himself and his Gospel.”  (Pope Francis, Magnificat, November 22, 2015, Day by Day)

Lord Jesus Christ, as we celebrate your Kingship may we remember to truly love you is to truly love the hurting.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” (Mathew 25:40)

Alter

This past Sunday we celebrated Christ the King.  What a wonderful feast day on the liturgical calendar.  Crowning our year end with Christ the King. As I pondered the Mass readings and Magnificat mediation for the day I was overwhelmed by the accuracy of the word for this moment in time.  A time of violence […]

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Prayer For The Week of November 16 — The End

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This is an interesting time of the liturgical calendar. The readings, the homilies, the feasts all point us to the end of all things.  We ponder the end of the year, the end of the season, the end of our lives, the end of the world.

In the homily today we were reminded that in seeing the signs, we remain careful not to miss the message.  We observe the signs–wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes and destruction, etc. The temptation is to focus so much on the signs of the times that we miss the actual message.  The actual message that all this will at some point come to an end. Jesus will redeem all things. All things will be made new. The kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ.  That is the message.  That is what we are to look for, keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, waiting with eager expectation for the the final redemption.

Redemption

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Redemption

This is an interesting time of the liturgical calendar. The readings, the homilies, the feasts all point us to the end of all things.  We ponder the end of the year, the end of the season, the end of our lives, the end of the world. In the homily today we were reminded that in […]

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Prayer for the Week November 9 – Interior Adoration

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Interior Adoration

Does life require a lot of you now? Read More

Interior Adoration

Does life require a lot of you now?

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Prayer for the week of November 2 — Ora Pro Nobis

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Maybe I have thought about it before. Maybe it’s a new thought. I can hardly tell. All I know is that it has occurred to me afresh that we never pray alone. The Christian life is a not a solitary journey trying to sort things out for ourselves. It’s not a faith of pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps. It’s not my lonely words hitting an empty expanse, looking for a place to land.

There is literally Someone who hears.  In addition to that amazing fact, is the fact that there are also many Someones who pray with me.

There I am in my room by myself, kneeling by my bed. Feeling so all alone. The tears of loneliness or frustration or fear or desperation or pure weariness.  The questions that keep me awake at night as I implore the Lord for solutions and revelation and peace.  Christ is at the right hand of the Father making intercession for me. The Holy Spirit translates groans and moans into intercession to the heart of the Father. The Great Cloud of Witnesses also prays with me.  Christ is not divided. (I Corinthians 1)  All those who belong to Christ–we are One. We are joined to one another in bond of the fellowship of Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.  If Christ prays, all those who are joined to Him pray–those on earth and those in heaven.

I have a big family. A loving husband and nine children. I have devoted friends, parents and siblings. Yet, my personality is bent towards loneliness. I have the tendency to get inside my own head a bit too much and the feelings of being alone–terribly alone in the world–can press in on my soul.

But, I am never really alone. Even if my husband, children, friends, family cannot be there with a shoulder to cry on, even if no one “gets” me, even if I am awake and solitary in the middle of the night, I am never really alone.

St. Therese is there ready to shower down roses and remind me that for me to love and keep on loving is the ultimate calling.  St. Hildegard is there to pray and remind me that the very Wisdom of God who formed the world is there to empower my life. St. Josemaria prays and is there to remind me that to walk in humility is to offer and receive forgiveness.  St. John Paul II prays, too, and reminds me that in all my femininity I am made to image the glory of God and to walk worthy of that genius is the greatest compliment to our Creator. And on and on and on. That whole great cloud of intercessors, whose number includes some precious members of my own family who died to this life, clinging to the hope of God’s mercy in the next. They pray for me and with me, too.

As you begin your week in prayer, remember to ask others to pray with you and for you. Ora Pro Nobis. Pray for us. The Christian life is that of being part of a body, a mighty force, undivided.

Amen.

Christ Altar

Maybe I have thought about it before. Maybe it’s a new thought. I can hardly tell. All I know is that it has occurred to me afresh that we never pray alone. The Christian life is a not a solitary journey trying to sort things out for ourselves. It’s not a faith of pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps. It’s […]

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Prayer for the Week Oct 26 – Feeding Wolves

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Feeding Wolves

This past Friday we finally sat down to a family movie night.  After much debate, we decided to watch the Tomorrowland movie.  If you haven’t seen it yet, go pick it up on DVD and watch it.  You won’t be disappointed.  It’s a movie about hope and making a difference.  I think Walt Disney would be pleased with this one.  But what does any of this have to do with a Monday morning prayer post, you ask?  A lot.

About five minutes into the movie a story was told of two wolves.  In doing a little research this story has been around for a very long time and is most attributed to the Cherokee.  The movie tells a much shortened, but no less powerful version.  That story has resinated with me for the last couple of days.  It won’t go away because it’s a simple truth.

“There are two wolves who are always fighting.
One is darkness and despair.
The other is light and hope.
The question is… which wolf wins?”

The one you feed.

Let that sink in.

Are you already struggling?  Does life feel relentless?  Today feed light and hope no matter the circumstance.  Our Father in heaven can handle any situation we are in, but he allows us to participate in the trial and the outcome.  To participate in the winning and the losing.  As Christians we are empowered with the grace to see through the difficulties into something better.  God gives us grace for the day.  He won’t always change our circumstance, but we change in them.  Choosing to see the good and be joyful no matter the circumstance.

So go feed a wolf today.  Just make sure you’re feeding the right one.

Feeding Wolves

This past Friday we finally sat down to a family movie night.  After much debate, we decided to watch the Tomorrowland movie.  If you haven’t seen it yet, go pick it up on DVD and watch it.  You won’t be disappointed.  It’s a movie about hope and making a difference.  I think Walt Disney would […]