Focus on Love

As we begin our final march toward Calvary, I pray each of you have enjoyed a fruitful Lent. I began reading the Word Among Us earlier in the year. It provides the daily readings and accompanying meditations for U.S. Catholic Mass.

One meditation instructed that we should ‘focus on Jesus on the cross and imagine the LOVE that put Him there.’

As I read this, I realized that I always focus on all the sin that put Him on the cross, and maybe most especially, on my sin that added to His pain and suffering.

It feels entirely different to consider too the love — His love — with which He sacrificed Himself and forgave us.

Meditating on His love builds to my sense of sorrow and penitence, adding an even stronger sense of humility. I found with that humility I experienced a growing desire to allow His love to fill me so full that through His grace it will just spill over and pour out upon all I meet.

Blessings on you and yours this Easter. I pray that your journey brings you closer to Him and His peace.

Focus on love

I pray this finds each of you enjoying a happy and fruitful Lent. I have begun to read the Word Among Us, which  provides the daily readings and accompanying meditation for U.S. Catholic Mass.

The meditation last Wednesday (February 17, 2016) instructed that we should ‘focus on Jesus on the cross and imagine the LOVE that put Him there.’

As I read this, I realized that I always focus on all the sin that put Him on the cross, and maybe most especially, on my sin that added to His pain and suffering.

It feels entirely different to consider too the love — His love — with which He sacrificed Himself and forgave us.

Meditating on His love adds to my sense of sorrow and penitence an even stronger sense of humility. I found with that humility I experienced a growing desire to allow His love to fill me so full that through His grace it will just spill over and pour out upon all I meet.

Blessings on you and yours this Lent. I pray that your journey brings you closer to Him and His peace.

Prioritizing Prayer, Again and Again and, Then, Again

I think we can all relate to Jurel’s post on needing to prioritize our prayer.

My most recent excuse has been that I want to first clear my decks of distractions, so I can pray without concern for all the tasks of my day. Even knowing that prayer and time with God will make the burden of all those tasks lighter as I share them with Him, this excuse can wheedle it’s way into my consciousness.

So, I pray for Jurel and for all of us as we place God at the center of our lives and our beings….and then, when life slips in and bumps us off our center, as it will do, I pray we recognize our shortcoming and reapply ourselves to God knowing He has already forgiven us and is right there waiting for us to turn again to Him.

JURELL SISON

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This blog is the first of eight reflections being written for the Ignatian Prayer Adventure hosted by ignatianspirituality.com. Keep reading 🙂

To be quite honest, making time for prayer and meditation has always been one of my biggest struggles. For me it’s like exercising—I love the idea but it seems there is a force that keeps me glued to my couch or at my computer. It’s as if someone drugged me with fear, or even worse—the curse of being “too busy.” Yet every time I find a way out of this “curse” and into a gym, I discover more energy, more life, and more peace.

It might be embarrassing to admit this, but throughout this week of contemplation, I’ve discovered that I’m not where I want to be. There is a serious aching in my heart to know and encounter God, yet I continually find myself stuck. I’m so caught…

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Return To Our Lord. Refresh Our Spirits. Remember Who and Whose We are.

I was reminded (again) today by our priest’s sermon that we all need to refuel periodically, even…maybe, most especially…in our spiritual life.

We don’t just “get God” or “get saved” and then go on about our life. Just as our bodies need rest and food, our spirits need rest and spiritual refreshment — life-giving food only available from time spent with Our Lord.

This message, combined with Fr. Robert Barron‘s Lenten reflection on “theo-dramas” versus “ego-dramas,” In describing the ego-drama portrayed in a Man for All Seasons about Sir Thomas More, Barron says:

What More assumes is the profoundly spiritual truth that the only audience worth playing for is the divine audience, and the only drama worth acting in—even in the smallest role—is God’s.

Today’s lessons then:

1. Return to our Lord for spiritual refreshment; and

2. Remember the only audience worth playing for is God.

I’m reminded of my early objectives when constructing this blog

It is my prayer that God has drawn you to this place and that you will find it a blessing along your own journey with Him. It would certainly be a blessing for me, if you were to let me know you’re out there. But, as much as I will give thanks to God for leading you to me, to this place, I really have no other choice but to do this divine work.

I must be about my way now….”I’m coming, Lord.

Return, Refresh, and Remember. These seem worthy objectives for this rainy second Sunday in Lent.

How’s your Lent going?

So, how is your Lent going?

As you’ve probably been able to tell, if you’ve been reading my posts each day, I’ve been using Thomas Merton’s meditations for Lent from Seeking God In All Things.

Today’s meditation is beyond me…or maybe I’m just a bit weary of producing a blog post each day. I feel like I’m getting behind.

I posed the question to myself, “Self,” I said, “what’s the problem? What happens if you don’t post a blog meditation each day based on Merton’s meditations?”

Hmmm. I don’t know. Nothing really. Life will continue. The world will continue to turn. God probably understands, too. In fact, He probably already knows the reason I’m feeling a bit blocked today.

So, today I’m going to spend this time chatting and being with Him. We’ll be back tomorrow. In the meantime I thought I’d share a poem I wrote a while ago; it’s at the bottom of this post.

I’d love to hear how your Lenten exercises are going. What are you learning?

———————-

Fixed on You

Keep my heart fixed on You, Lord,

As I go about my day;

Help me maintain my focus in which

All my thoughts and actions are offered to You as a gift.

My thoughts, especially, so easily fall prey

To impatience and cynicism and indifference.

Help me cleanse my mind each day, Father,

Of all but those thoughts worthy of You and your love.

Build in me an internal workroom, if it is Your Will,

Full of all the tools just at hand;

Where I can go to build a stronger faith, a more loving spirit,

A being through which Your love may flow more freely like a river.

Keep my eyes fixed on You, O Lord,

Help me to find Your face in all those I see;

Help me to see beyond others’ weakness and misfortune

To find Your light pouring through their eyes into my heart.

Fix the words of my mouth to Your holy purpose,

That they might bring comfort and joy to those they touch;

Cleanse them of sarcasm and worldliness and

Bind them up in Your golden yoke, enslaving them each day to Your will.

Make my actions and my words acceptable, Father,

That those who know me to be Your child may see Your good work;

Take Your truth and breathe it deep into my heart,

Fill me…So fill me with Your essence

That all that I am, wherever I am is pleasing in Your sight.

Keep my mind fixed on You, Lord.

That all that I am, all that I say and do may

Be offered to You each day as a gift

In deep appreciation for Your Love

Which flows like a river into my heart

Enslaving me constantly to Your will

That I may be pleasing in Your sight.