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Archive for the ‘Liturgy of the Hours’ Category

Apr 1

Quick Takes

1. Faith Stuff

-Living in the Spirit – or something.
I’ve noticed since I began really structuring my day around prayer (and not the other way round) that I hardly ever totally forget about God anymore. It’s like there are constant reminders, a little voice that reminds me not to be selfish etc, or helps me to be patient, or to do little acts of kindness. I’d say this started back at the beginning of lent but definitely in the last month has really become noticable, as I truly keep drawing closer and closer to God, without falling away in a moment. As usually I have my 2-3 min morning offering, then in the afternoon before I touch my computer I take the 10 minute prayer window (give or take) to go through PRAY and to read from my bible and the daily reading for the 40 day Treasure in Heaven booklet. If I’m driving anywhere that day, to school or playgroup, anywhere where I have 15-20 minutes of driving, I put on the rosary CD and pray through that. Then, at the end of the day, I pray through a simplified Vespers and the Office of the readings every night before bed-with no excuses. Finally, when all else fails I remember to BREATHE, (a trick I learned from the Source study, where you take a moment to pray out the bad stuff and call on the Holy Spirit to fill you again, which for me this involves actual breathing more than anything else. ) It helps to keep us accountable, we turn to the spirit right away in our weakness, instead of letting the gap between us and God grow in the stretches between confessions. And now when I need help, I remember where to turn. My whole day is gradually becoming a prayer. It is truly living my entire life WITH God.

-We are called, even when we’re hurt, to not become harsh or locked in our own grief but to reach out in love. Our body should radiate divine love, at all times.

LOTH-Prayer, fasting and mercy :
To make these acceptable, mercy must be added. Fasting bears no fruit unless it is watered by mercy. Fasting dries up when mercy dries up. Mercy is to fasting as rain is to earth. However much you may cultivate your heart, clear the soil of your nature, root out vices, sow virtues, if you do not release the springs of mercy, your fasting will bear no fruit.

I NEED to work on this, to be kind and especially to radiate Mercy: mercy to my in-laws, when they don’t show it to me, mercy to my husband when I find myself repeating the same thing again and again and mercy when my kids should be forgiven or are not fully culpable-even if I’m upset with them. Definitely an area to grow in.

-CCO had another faith leader event on Friday last week, complete with a talk and adoration. This time I finally heard a certain CCO staff member’s testimony. I’d been wondering for a while as I had never heard his story. I haven’t met a lot of really warm friendly people (all the time not just sometimes) and it just seemed like he had to have been brought up in faith and lived it all his life, so I was surprised to hear how he had been just a typical university student. I actually found it incredibly humbling, He’s just like me. We all fail, we all fall short of the Glory of God. And, we’re all in it together!
After the talks to start the evening we sang Our God. Still full of joy for Tanya, I let my heart brim over in praise and joy as we sang. AND, I had a moment where I felt a brush with the greatest most intense love, just beyond me. That did something. I feel like God is right here whenever I need Him, and He no longer feels far off. It’s like now I know he is here, just beyond human perception, even though I can’t see Him.

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I give you all of me. You’ve shown me far too much for me to ever turn back, so I just draw closer and closer.

-Our whole life is planned, laid out before God. No matter what we’re experiencing, joy or sorrow, deep peace and gratitude or great pain – God has a plan for it! All we have to remember, is God has a plan for this. We put our trust in him, and he will help us through anything.

-Humillity-You’re no better than anyone else, but, God LOVES you.

-The rosary cd suggests us to offer the 3 Hail Mary’s at the beginning, that we might have an increase of faith hope and love. Relegating this into what I’m working on, as I pray them I try to focus on:
Faith – Trusting God in all things
Hope – Joy (choosing to be positive and happy)
Love – Kindness-real acts of love beyond the feelings in my heart.

-Thoughts on the Rosary CD – Sorrowful Mysteries
We can only win the victory (come out victorious) by going through the trial.
Thy Will be done- even this.
But for Mary! As a woman, as a mother, to willingly agree to have but one child, knowing that you would lose him, you would lose him before his time. I felt cheated to lose my first child to miscarriage, but to have only one child period, and to lose him! Oh the sorrow! BUT, to have to watch him suffer horribly, knowing you can do nothing to lessen his pain, and the whole thing is so unfair.
She had to think at some point, there must have been some mistake, he is to die, but not like this! He is so good, he should not have to suffer! To think that they did that to him, oh God, where are you! What’s happening!?

-Faith Study etc: I am both humbled and full of Joy, because Jesus is saving my best friend!

-Maybe someday I will be called to actively share the gospel and my faith with anyone in every situation, like an elevator etc, but for now I don’t have the courage…or the words.

2. We are HOMEOWNERS! The closing date for everything was Wednesday. The lawyer only got the documents she needed (mortgage instructions) the previous afternoon. At least the bank waived us having to sign at the branch, but it would have been helpful for everyone if they could have made that decision sooner.

Wednesday morning dawned bright and sunny. It couldn’t have been a better day for this, all day it was sunny and spring-like. We went back out to the trailer (for the fourth time) for the final walk through. Since it was closing date it was starting to feel like home. DH and I took a walk down to the little grass area by the lake at the end of the road. Turns out it is most definitely a park and not someone’s private land so it’s great to be able to walk just down the road when I want to find peace and tranquility down by the lake, especially for outdoor prayer time.

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From there we drove to the bank to get a bank draft for our down payment etc. Then we drove to the lawyer’s office and signed a bunch of papers. Normally at this time it would have been ours, but she was still waiting on the Mortgage release from from the seller and another document as well, so she told us she’d call when everything was complete and then we could get our keys. When I called around 5 she had just left to take the final documents to the other lawyer, and pick up our keys. She said to give it 20 minutes, so we drove out with a few things in the trunk: our first load consisted of 2 construction trucks and a fake plant.

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We went through a drive-thru on the way then we drove out to the lawyer’s office, picked up the key and went inside our home. I brought my oldest in and sat him down to have a picnic in the living room so he could finish supper. Then I wandered around taking pictures while the kids played in the back yard with the trucks. DH decided it was a good time to start raking the gravel to make room for grass. I thought it was cute to already see him caring for our property 🙂

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Getting out of the car etc that day, knowing it was now ours, I started to get a feel for how nice the neighborhood was. It was kinda cozy yet peaceful. It was quiet, but not silent. There were kids out playing and people out walking, and we’d see them every now and then. It was, comfortable. It felt right. And the neighbours seemed to notice us for the first time. The lady had just put the sold sign on that afternoon, so now when we showed up, they knew we belonged. No one came right over to welcome us, but I could tell they took notice (and not in a bad way).

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We also met one of our new neighbours. They have a little dog (and also a little baby) but the dog was outside so I took one of the kids up to see it. When the dog barked, the lady came out and so we introduced ourselves. Also, before we left we had her take a couple photos of our whole little family, in front of our new house 🙂

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3. This was an interesting article. The main benefit she finds with her clothesline is it gets her outside to be with her kids more. Interesting, and doubly so, because I have a clothesline at our new house!
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4. The saga with DH’s new job also got me thinking about how I portray my husband on this blog. I think it is usually positive, but it is something that would be hard to look up. In my determination to make things right, I wanted to publicly share just how special my husband is to me, and how I really feel about him:

First off, I’m really proud of him. He’s a good worker, earning the respect of his coworkers and superiors and also new opportunities. He’s not afraid to go after his goals and to keep moving up. He has ambition and drive. Regarding the new job, I’m very happy for him and I agree, it sounds like a perfect fit. I’m happy that he’s happy. Finally, I care deeply about him. I want him to share my faith but most of all I desire his salvation, I want him to be in heaven with me, because it breaks my heart to think of him suffering for eternity in hell.

Job Update:
He made a very good impression on the interview, and they asked him to come in the next Monday morning and ‘we’ll see how it goes’.

When he told his coworkers they all started to freak out at the thought of losing him, (a definite compliment!) but after they got over the initial shock, they were all very supportive.

This past week he had the trial week at the new location. I went to drop off his juice when he forgot it, partly because I had to go in town anyway for class, partly as an act of kindness and partly so I could check out his new office. It’s in a big tall glass building, with shiny elevators and lots of people in business suits milling about. He even has his own little cubicle 🙂 My hubby is moving on up! He’s gone corporate. And I am extremely proud of him.

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5. In terms of handling kids, Particularly kids that know what they want, I want to work harder to be proactive. Instead of saying you’ll get a timeout if x…. (negative) maybe offering a reward fro cooperation is better. I tried it when he would’t get off the couch to go out, I told him he could bring his blankie if he came now, and then he did. Without much fuss. I’ve heard you shouldn’t bribe your kids but there has to be a difference between outright bribery and rewards offered for good behavior. Even if I tell them the reward ahead of time, it’s often just what they are asking for:”an we pick up the toys and then we’ll have a rock a bye?” It’s about compromise and achieving their willing cooperation. Does that sound right?

6. One morning this week the baby came up to my room all by himself. He just showed up at the door for his morning nursing and cuddle time. I heard him coming all the way as I usually do, but this time it too a lot longer. When I heard the little bank on the door, I knew he had brought himself to me. Aww.

Also, we discovered this week that he finds it funny when people sneeze. It seems to amuse him no end, ‘a a a a a-choo!’ So now we are all saying ‘achoo!’ quite regularly whether we have to sneeze or not, (even his older brother, who now plays along too). And now even baby is doing it too!

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7. Just caught this guy on tv the other night. He was pretty funny and there wasn’t anything really objectionable in his bit.

Scott Faulconbridge at the 2010 CBC Winnipeg Comedy Festival

On Home Depot. I paraphrase:

I went to buy a shed and they told me they only had shed kits. So I went to get a shed kit: it was just a list. Ok fine, where do I find this first item?
“Oh, we don’t carry that.”
I Had to go to Rona to get a part for my Home Depot shed kit!

Also, did you notice how in all the Home Deport adds, everybody’s smiling? Nobody smiles at home depot. If you’re there it’s because your house is broken, and you’re too poor to hire a professional. No one can actually help you find what you need. If there’s an Armageddon, don’t go to Home Depot. Go to Walmart. They have everything. If not, go to Canadian Tire. Not only do they have everything but they have their own currency so we can rebuild society!

The clothesline photo is not mine, just something I found on Google. I can’t give proper credit because the original page wouldn’t load.

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Mar 26

From the treatise on Flight from the World by Saint Ambrose, bishop.

Where a man’s heart is, there is his treasure also. God is not accustomed to refusing a good gift to those who ask for one. Since he is good, and especially to those who are faithful to him, let us hold fast to him with all our soul, our heart, our strength, and so enjoy his light and see his glory and possess the grace of supernatural joy. Let us reach out with our hearts to possess that good, let us exist in it and live in it, let us hold fast to it, that good which is beyond all we can know or see and is marked by perpetual peace and tranquillity, a peace which is beyond all we can know or understand.

This is the good that permeates creation. In it we all live, on it we all depend. It has nothing above it; it is divine. No one is good but God alone. What is good is therefore divine, what is divine is therefore good. Scripture says: When you open your hand all things will be filled with goodness. It is through God’s goodness that all that is truly good is given us, and in it there is no admixture of evil.

These good things are promised by Scripture to those who are faithful: The good things of the land will be your food.

We have died with Christ. We carry about in our bodies the sign of his death, so that the living Christ may also be revealed in us. The life we live is not now our ordinary life but the life of Christ: a life of sinlessness, of chastity, of simplicity and every other virtue. We have risen with Christ. Let us live in Christ, let us ascend in Christ, so that the serpent may not have the power here below to wound us in the heel.

Let us take refuge from this world. You can do this in spirit, even if you are kept here in the body. You can at the same time be here and present to the Lord. Your soul must hold fast to him, you must follow after him in your thoughts, you must tread his ways by faith, not in outward show. You must take refuge in him. He is your refuge and your strength. David addresses him in these words: I fled to you for refuge, and I was not disappointed.

Since God is our refuge, God who is in heaven and above the heavens, we must take refuge from this world in that place where there is peace, where there is rest from toil, where we can celebrate the great sabbath, as Moses said: The sabbaths of the land will provide you with food. To rest in the Lord and to see his joy is like a banquet, and full of gladness and tranquillity.

Let us take refuge like deer beside the fountain of waters. Let our soul thirst, as David thirsted, for the fountain. What is that fountain? Listen to David: With you is the fountain of life. Let my soul say to this fountain: When shall I come and see you face to face? For the fountain is God himself.

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Mar 23

St Irenaeus –

Through foreshadowings of the future Israel was learning reverence for God

From the beginning God created man out of his own generosity. He chose the patriarchs to give them salvation. He took his people in hand, teaching them, unteachable as they were, to follow him. He gave them prophets, accustoming man to bear his Spirit and to have communion with God on earth. He who stands in need of no one gave communion with himself to those who need him. Like an architect he outlined the plan of salvation to those who sought to please him. By his own hand he gave food in Egypt to those who did not see him. To those who were restless in the desert he gave a law perfectly suited to them. To those who entered the land of prosperity he gave a worthy inheritance. He killed the fatted calf for those who turned to him as Father, and clothed them with the finest garment. In so many ways he was training the human race to take part in the harmonious song of salvation.

For this reason John in the book of Revelation says: His voice was as the voice of many waters. The Spirit of God is indeed a multitude of waters, for the Father is rich and great. As the Word passed among all these people he provided help in generous measure for those who were obedient to him, by drawing up a law that was suitable and fitting for every circumstance.

He established a law for the people governing the construction of the tabernacle and the building of the temple, the choice of Levites, the sacrifices, the offerings, the rites of purification and the rest of what belonged to worship.

He himself needs none of these things. He is always filled with all that is good. Even before Moses existed he had within himself every fragrance of all that is pleasing. Yet he sought to teach his people, always ready though they were to return to their idols. Through many acts of indulgence he tried to prepare them for perseverance in his service. He kept calling them to what was primary by means of what was secondary, that is, through foreshadowings to the reality, through things of time to the things of eternity, through things of the flesh to the things of the spirit, through earthly things to the heavenly things. As he said to Moses: You will fashion all things according to the pattern that you saw on the mountain.

For forty days Moses was engaged in remembering the words of God, the heavenly patterns, the spiritual images, the foreshadowings of what was to come. Saint Paul says: They drank from the rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. After speaking of the things that are in the law he continues: All these things happened to them as symbols: they were written to instruct us, on whom the end of the ages has come.

Through foreshadowings of the future they were learning reverence for God and perseverance in his service. The law was therefore a school of instruction for them, and a prophecy of what was to come.

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Mar 20

From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope

The Law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ

The Lord reveals his glory in the presence of chosen witnesses. His body is like that of the rest of mankind, but he makes it shine with such splendour that his face becomes like the sun in glory, and his garments as white as snow.

The great reason for this transfiguration was to remove the scandal of the cross from the hearts of his disciples, and to prevent the humiliation of his voluntary suffering from disturbing the faith of those who had witnessed the surpassing glory that lay concealed.

With no less forethought he was also providing a firm foundation for the hope of holy Church. The whole body of Christ was to understand the kind of transformation that it would receive as his gift. the members of that body were to look forward to a share in that glory which first blazed out in Christ their head.

The Lord had himself spoken of this when he foretold the splendour of his coming: Then the just will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Saint Paul the apostle bore witness to this same truth when he said: I consider that the sufferings of the present time are not to be compared to the future glory that is to be revealed in us. In another place he says: You are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

This marvel of the transfiguration contains another lesson for the apostles, to strengthen them and lead them into the fullness of knowledge. Moses and Elijah, the law and the prophets, appeared with the Lord in conversation with him. This was in order to fulfil exactly, through the presence of these five men, the text which says: Before two or three witnesses every word is ratified. What word could be more firmly established, more securely based, than the word which is proclaimed by the trumpets of both old and new testaments, sounding in harmony, and by the utterances of ancient prophecy and the teaching of the Gospel, in full agreement with each other?

The writings of the two testaments support each other. The radiance of the transfiguration reveals clearly and unmistakably the one who had been promised by signs foretelling him under the veils of mystery. As Saint John says: The law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. In him the promise made through the shadows of prophecy stands revealed, along with the full meaning of the precepts of the law. He is the one who teaches the truth of the prophecy through his presence, and makes obedience to the commandments possible through grace.

In the preaching of the holy Gospel all should receive a strengthening of their faith. No one should be ashamed of the cross of Christ, through which the world has been redeemed.

No one should fear to suffer for the sake of justice; no one should lose confidence in the reward that has been promised. The way to rest is through toil, the way to life is through death. Christ has taken on himself the whole weakness of our lowly human nature. If then we are steadfast in our faith in him and in our love for him, we win the victory that he has won, we receive what he has promised.

When it comes to obeying the commandments or enduring adversity, the words uttered by the Father should always echo in our ears: This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased; listen to him.

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Man’s Deeper Questionings — from Gaudium et Spes, Vatican Council II

The world of today reveals itself as at once powerful and weak, capable of achieving the best or the worst. There lies open before it the way to freedom or slavery, progress or regression, brotherhood or hatred. In addition, man is becoming aware that it is for himself to give the right direction to forces that he himself has awakened, forces that can be his master or his servant. He therefore puts questions to himself.

The tensions disturbing the world of today are in fact related to a more fundamental tension rooted in the human heart. In man himself many elements are in conflict with each other. On one side, he has experience of his many limitations as a creature. On the other, he knows that there is no limit to his aspirations, and that he is called to a higher kind of life.

Many things compete for his attention, but he is always compelled to make a choice among them. and to renounce some. What is more, in his weakness and sinfulness he often does what he does not want to do, and fails to do what he would like to do. In consequence, he suffers from a conflict within himself, and this in turn gives rise to so many great tensions in society.

Very many people, infected as they are with a materialistic way of life, cannot see this dramatic state of affairs in all its clarity, or at least are prevented from giving thought to it because of the unhappiness that they themselves experience.

Many think that they can find peace in the different philosophies that are proposed.
Some look for complete and genuine liberation for man from man’s efforts alone. They are convinced that the coming kingdom of man on earth will satisfy all the desires of his heart.

There are those who despair of finding any meaning in life: they commend the boldness of those who deny all significance to human existence in itself, and seek to impose a total meaning on it only from within themselves.

But in the face of the way the world is developing today, there is an ever increasing number of people who are asking the most fundamental questions or are seeing them with a keener awareness: What is man? What is the meaning of pain, of evil, of death, which still persist in spite of such great progress? What is the use of those successes, achieved at such a cost? What can man contribute to society, what can he expect from society? What will come after this life on earth?

The Church believes that Christ died and rose for all, and can give man light and strength through his Spirit to fulfil his highest calling; his is the only name under heaven in which men can be saved.

So too the Church believes that the centre and goal of all human history is found in her Lord and Master.

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From a commentary on the psalms by Saint Augustine, bishop Jesus Christ prays for us and in us and is the object of our prayers

God could give no greater gift to men than to make his Word, through whom he created all things, their head and to join them to him as his members, so that the Word might be both Son of God and son of man, one God with the Father, and one man with all men. The result is that when we speak with God in prayer we do not separate the Son from him, and when the body of the Son prays it does not separate its head from itself: it is the one Saviour of his body, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who prays for us and in us and is himself the object of our prayers.

He prays for us as our priest, he prays in us as our head, he is the object of our prayers as our God.

Let us then recognise both our voice in his, and his voice in ours. When something is said, especially in prophecy, about the Lord Jesus Christ that seems to belong to a condition of lowliness unworthy of God, we must not hesitate to ascribe this condition to one who did not hesitate to unite himself with us. Every creature is his servant, for it was through him that every creature came to be.

We contemplate his glory and divinity when we listen to these words: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made. Here we gaze on the divinity of the Son of God, something supremely great and surpassing all the greatness of his creatures. Yet in other parts of Scripture we hear him as one sighing, praying, giving praise and thanks.

We hesitate to attribute these words to him because our minds are slow to come down to his humble level when we have just been contemplating him in his divinity. It is as though we were doing him an injustice in acknowledging in a man the words of one with whom we spoke when we prayed to God. We are usually at a loss and try to change the meaning. Yet our minds find nothing in Scripture that does not go back to him, nothing that will allow us to stray from him.

Our thoughts must then be awakened to keep their vigil of faith. We must realise that the one whom we were contemplating a short time before in his nature as God took to himself the nature of a servant; he was made in the likeness of men and found to be a man like others; he humbled himself by being obedient even to accepting death; as he hung on the cross he made the psalmist’s words his own: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

We pray to him as God, he prays for us as a servant. In the first case he is the Creator, in the second a creature. Himself unchanged, he took to himself our created nature in order to change it, and made us one man with himself, head and body. We pray then to him, through him, in him, and we speak along with him and he along with us.

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From the Mirror of Love by St. Aelred and the Office of Readings for Friday of the First Week of Lent.

The perfection of brotherly love lies in the love of one’s enemies. We can find no greater inspiration for this than grateful remembrance of the wonderful patience of Christ. He who is more fair than all the sons of men offered his fair face to be spat upon by sinful men; he allowed those eyes that rule the universe to be blindfolded by wicked men; he bared his back to the scourges; he submitted that head which strikes terror in principalities and powers to the sharpness of the thorns; he gave himself up to be mocked and reviled, and at the end endured the cross, the nails, the lance, the gall, the vinegar, remaining always gentle, meek and full of peace.

Friday evening first week of lent
If you are bringing your gift to the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift in front of the altar; go at once and make peace with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift.

Saturday intercessions
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, clothe us with compassion, kindness and humility, make us want to be patient with everyone. How often I should pray this!

do not fret, it only leads to evil (psalm 37 1258) I thought this was interesting.

Homily at Mass today
In our culture today there is no sin, there are only problems, and problems can be solved. Therefore, the culture of today believes it has no need of a redeemer.

After Mass I read this in the Liturgy:
Psalm 43 (1263)
Defend me O God, and plead my cause
against a Godless nation.

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