Archive | July 2015

Bare Knuckled Duty or Invitation to Love?

10-commandmentsIn our legalistic society, we usually think of laws as existing for their own sake, rather than something else–certainly not for a personal relationship. But the Ten Commandments (and the whole moral law) flows out of the relationship that God had with Moses, and is a guide to the Israelites for how to share in that relationship. The Commandments even begin with a reminder of the relationship that God has with Israel, of how God loved Israel and them from slavery. The moral life is not some set of cold and universal duties that we follow for duty’s sake. It is a concrete set of guidelines for how to live out a concrete relationship with God in love. Let us accept this gift in the right state of mind, and use the moral law to help us cultivate that relationship with God where we, too, speak with God face to face, as one friend to another.
David Paternostro, S.J.

from The Magis Center for Catholic Spirituality

July 28, 2015

. . .as we forgive those who trespass against us.

From infancy on, anger is a constant threat that can damage each one of us in emotional, physical, and spiritual ways. Few learn how to handle it in a healthy manner and so our society suffers because of anger issues. Retaliation only ramps up the hostility while ignoring the issue turns the victim into a neurotic door mat. Today’s news, conversations with neighbors, and reports from our childrendreamstime_xl_22824210 will again be filled with episodes of aggression,antagonism, opposition, intimidation, and anger.

No wonder God insisted on that “Forgiveness Clause” in the Lord’s Prayer that nearly all Christians memorize as children and repeat daily. It ties our own forgiveness from Him to the extent of our willingness to forgive the ones who hurt us. May each of us who claim to be a Little Christ take that clause seriously, learn how to forgive instead of stuffing anger down below our conscious level, and truly forgive others no matter how often or how seriously they hurt us.

“And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”


My dear Heavenly Father,

First I ask you to help ________ realize how much You love him. Bring to his mind all the times he was aware of Your love. May he truly understand that those were merely tiny glimpses of the boundless care and concern You have for him.

Help him to relax in Your love and to know that it is more real and lasting than any thing on this earth. Furthermore, it is for him personally. And Dear Lord, please show him that only You can fill that hole in his heart.

And God, teach him in real, practical ways that You are his true employer and you will not fire him. He may quit Your service, but You will never sever his connection with You.

As Your employee, teach him that You provide his wages, although the checks might be signed by someone else. Even if he doesn’t know where the money for his family will come from, You do. You will appoint check writers as long as he seeks You as his source of love and provision.

Train him to do the work You expect of him every single day. Guide him to get his mind off of his problems and onto every person he meets. His job is to share Your love with everyone You place in his path, whether he collects regular paychecks or not. Give him an ear to hear the unspoken dimension of every conversation in order to help others.

Show him how to be a true friend to:

His wife

His children

His siblings and friends

His business contacts

The people he sees when running errands

The people who have treated him shabbily

The people who call him for help

The people he talks to when seeking employment.

Show him that everyone in his world is hurting. Help him understand that resenting others only burdens him further. Train him to give You all injustice that comes his way. Empty fear, bitterness, and anger from his heart and replace it with love.

Encourage him to make getting a new job his major goal for each day. Let him understand that any job will ennoble him and prepare him for a better position. There is a true dignity in humility that especially pleases You. When he is ready for a new or greater responsibility, You will show him the way.

Please, Dear Father, heal his broken heart. Send angels to soothe all old wounds. Teach him to rest in You and to rise up in Your strength. And like Jesus, we ask that he will “increase in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52)

In the precious name of Jesus, we ask this,


  • Psalm 36:7 How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings
  • Psalm 69:13 But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me. With your faithful help
  • Psalm 136:1 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
  • Joel 2:13 Rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing.
  • Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
  • Romans 8:31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
  • 1 Corinthians 8:3 . . . but anyone who loves God is known by him.
  • Galatians 2:20 And it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
  • 1 John 3:1 See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
  • 1 John 4:16 So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.