Archive for the ‘Faith’ category

Song of Songs 4-8; 1 John 4

December 12, 2017

Song of Songs 8:6-7

Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm;

For Love is strong as Death, longing is fierce as Sheol.

Its arrows are arrow of fire, flames of the divine.

Deep waters cannot quench love, nor rivers sweep it away.

Were one to offer all the wealth of his house for love,

He would be utterly despised.

 These verses are an Old Testament description of true love; note that “Love is strong as Death, longing is fierce as Sheol.”  Jesus came and testified that Love is stronger than Death.  And the countless Christian martyrs have testified and continue to testify to that.

 

 

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Song of Songs 1-3; 1 John 3

December 8, 2017

1 John 3:16-18 The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him? Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.

Another Scriptural refutation of “faith alone”.  The love of God is expressed in deed and in truth.  I place a special emphasis today on “truth”.  You aren’t loving someone when you enable them in their sins – “admonishing the sinner” is one of the spiritual works of mercy.  And admonishment needs to be given in love, not in disdain.  And that is tough duty, but this Christian thing is not a piece of cake.

Ecclesiastes 10-12; 1 John 2

December 5, 2017

1 John 2:21-23  I write to you not because you do not know the truth but because you do, and because every lie is alien to the truth. Who is the liar? Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist. No one who denies the Son has the Father, but whoever confesses the Son has the Father as well.

We can get hung up looking for signs of the coming of “The Antichrist”, when in truth antichrists are all around us – as they were in St. John’s day and all throughout history.  The key point is not to become one oneself.

Ecclesiastes 7-9; 1 John 1

December 1, 2017

1 John 1:6-10  If we say, “We have fellowship with him,” while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin. If we say, “We are without sin,” we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

The beloved disciple shows us the foundation of humility, simple acknowledgement of our sinfulness and our utter dependence on the mercy of Christ.  It is the antithesis of what is now called “virtue signalling”.  Here’s a link to the Litany of Humility.  Praying it goes against the grain of everything our culture tells us will make us happy.

https://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/prayers/humility.htm

Ecclesiastes 4-6; 1 Peter 3

November 30, 2017

2 Peter 3:15-16  And consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, as our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, also wrote to you, speaking of these things as he does in all his letters. In them there are some things hard to understand that the ignorant and unstable distort to their own destruction, just as they do the other scriptures.

The blessing of being Catholic is what we believe sits on a three-legged stool: Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium.  Knock out one of the legs by going off on your own tangent, and the stool falls over, most likely depositing you onto a hard surface and giving you a major spiritual owwie.  The 30,000 or so Christian denominations that exist today are a testament to Peter’s warning.  There is a lot of error out there.  And I’m not pointing a cannon at our separated brothers and sisters; there is a multitude of wandering sheep within the Catholic sheepfold.  To such I would call to contemplate our Blessed Mother’s last Gospel-recorded words “Do whatever he tells you.”

Ecclesiastes 1-3; 2 Peter 2

November 26, 2017

Ecclesiastes 3:16-21 And still under the sun in the judgment place I saw wickedness, and wickedness also in the seat of justice. I said in my heart, both the just and the wicked God will judge, since a time is set for every affair and for every work. I said in my heart: As for human beings, it is God’s way of testing them and of showing that they are in themselves like beasts. For the lot of mortals and the lot of beasts is the same lot: The one dies as well as the other. Both have the same life breath. Human beings have no advantage over beasts, but all is vanity. Both go to the same place; both were made from the dust, and to the dust they both return. Who knows if the life breath of mortals goes upward and the life breath of beasts goes earthward?

Like the beasts we are mortal.  Humility is rooted in remembering this fact.  Our hope is Christ’s promise of eternal life. Qoheleth didn’t have this promise; hence the mournful tone of Ecclesiastes.

Proverbs 28-31; 2 Peter 1

November 24, 2017

Proverbs 30:17 The eye that mocks a father, or scorns the homage due a mother, will be plucked out by brook ravens; devoured by a brood of vultures.

Wow, great post-Thanksgiving imagery.  Chew on that one kids, when 25 years from now you are considering denying my request for pudding and locking me in a closet. (Love you, I was only joking.  Does that make me like a crazed archer scattering firebrands?  Maybe.)