Things Jesus Said…and meant

During this last week before Easter–often called Holy Week–I’m going to post words of Jesus. Here’s one thing Jesus said while being crucified: 

38 Lent--Holy Week--Words of Jesus--Forgive them (click on image to enlarge)

That anyone would say this while being tortured and cruelly executed is a truly remarkable thing. It reminds us that Jesus forgives our sins even in the most horrendous of situations. No sin you commit is so big that Jesus cannot forgive it. Christ’s love is more powerful than sin itself. 

This is a key message of Christ, and one that should make us think about how we treat others…Do we show mercy and forgiveness to others?

Something to think about…

Until next time, Amen! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St. John of the Cross: Love Unites

Here is a jewel of a quote on compassion:

36 Lent--Week 5--Compassion--St John of the Cross(click on image to enlarge)

 During this Lent, I’ve learned that quality quotes or passages from spiritual writers can offer great prayer-starters. This has led to something I call D.E.A.P. (Drop Everything And Pray) on my public Facebook page.   I see something interesting or inspiring and I just write a prayer about it, spontaneously, right then.  I don’t worry about polishing the words much or “being a writer” (that is, fixating on making it sound elegant or brilliant or whatever), because it’s a prayer to God. I can just be myself before God and share the prayer moment with anyone else who wants to pray on Facebook.

Here’s the prayer I wrote this morning as I was thinking about St. John of the Cross’ quote above. I was also thinking about how it is Lent and Palm Sunday tomorrow as I was writing/praying.

Will you pray with me?

O Lord,

dreamstimefree_140915--Milogu--Dreamstime Stock Photos--Free - smaller with sig Cropped CopyI know you long to pour your love
into our hearts, like a pitcher of water
pouring into a glass on the table.
Yet, sometimes I fill my glass with other stuff:
sand and glitter and even sticky tar.
Help me to set aside all that other gunk
and open my heart more fully
to the inflow of your pure, flowing
water of love… so much so that
the water both nourishes me
and overflows to nourish others, too–
abundantly so–for you, O Lord,
are the living water of Love. 

Until next time, Amen! 

Mother Teresa and forgiveness

When one takes up a Lenten practice, it is easy to say “oh, I’ll do that”…but then a little time passes, and it’s sometimes difficult to keep it going.  So I missed a day here and there of posting quotes. The way my mind works, missing a few days makes me tempted to give up the new practice.

HOWEVER, that’s the good time to just get back to it. Yesterday was a busy (and awesome!) day, so I didn’t get to post this quote… so here you go: words of wisdom from Mother Teresa:

30 Lent--week 4--Forgiveness--Mother Teresa

Hope your Lent is going well. Persevere. Hope and trust in God…

Until next time, Amen! 

Give unto others–just as you would give to Christ

Today’s quote makes me think of Matthew 25… when Jesus talks about when we care lovingly for others, especially those in need, we are also caring for Christ. When we cruelly ignore the needs of others, we are also being cruel to Christ.

19 Lent--week 3--Almsgiving--Herrick

This is a great challenge… and a life-long kind of pursuit . . .

Until next time, Amen! 

 

Christian purpose of fasting or self-denial

Today’s quote about fasting:

16 Lent--week 2 - fasting--Foster

There are several good reasons why Christians might fast or practice some form of self-denial. One reason is found in these words from Richard Foster, reminding us that when we fast, we are to replace the time and energy we spend on one thing (i.e., preparing and eating food) with something of even greater value.

This makes me think of Jesus’ 40 days in the desert. During his desert time, Jesus wasn’t doing active ministry or working in the carpenter shop or even visiting family. Jesus was practicing a kind of self-denial in order to  have some time alone for prayer.  It’s not that ministry, work, family togetherness are bad–they are good things. However, Jesus knew he needed some time to deepen his relationship with God in prayer.

So, when we fast or “give up” something for Lent, it is good to replace it with something even better. If we give up chocolate, we can replace it with fruit or vegetables. If we give up social media, we replace it with prayer or acts of kindness. If we give up a meal, we give the money we would have spent on the food to agencies who feed the hungry.

Until next time, Amen! 

 

 

Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving

Today I’m reflecting on this quote about fasting:

14 Lent--week 2--fasting--Wallis (click on image to enlarge)

Fasting and prayer go hand in hand. As others have pointed out, “fasting without prayer is simply starvation.”

In the Christian faith tradition, prayer, fasting and almsgiving are a united trio –or ought to be.  For many, this trio of spiritual practices is an emphasized theme during Lent. When people fasted, time was saved in food preparation–and that time could be spent in prayer. The food they saved was given to the hungry. (Monks actually made extra loaves of bread to give to the poor during Lent.)

Thought to ponder:
How do you practice this “spiritual trio” during Lent?

Until next time, Amen! 

 

 

 

Connection between fasting and prayer

Thought for today…about fasting and prayer (my underline):

14 Lent--week 2--fasting--Wallis(click on image to enlarge)

I’m thinking it’s not that God “needs” our fasting, but perhaps the fasting, along with prayer during the fasting period, makes us more dedicated to our prayer intention or paying attention to God. Perhaps the fasting process could be used in such a way to remind us to pay attention to God.

I’m pretty horrible at fasting. I’m wondering if any of you have found fasting and prayer to work together well. What are your thoughts? Experiences?

Until next time, Amen!