Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Every Day is Thanksgiving

In the United States we just celebrated our yearly Thanksgiving holiday, dedicated to thanking God for the many blessings He has given to us, our families, and our country. But Thanksgiving should not be just one day a year. Every day we have many things to be thankful for.
  Many years ago my spiritual director suggested I keep a "thanksgiving" journal to record the blessings I and my family have received. I now have several journals filled with the good things that have happened; healings, births, holidays; even some miracles. I also record ordinary happenings like a sunny day at the beach with family, a dinner out, the beautiful Fall foliage, my flower garden in summer.
  I don't write in it every day, but usually once or twice a week (I do thank God every day in my evening prayers).  It helps to keep my mind focused on looking for God's blessings and the good things in my life.
  It's also helpful to look back on when times of sadness, sorrow or depression come. It lifts my spirits to be reminded of all the blessings I and my family have received.
  Everyone has something to be thankful for--the gift of life; food, clothing, a place to live; eyes to see, ears to hear; the ability to walk, to work; good health; the gift of faith.
  If you would like to start a "Thanksgiving" journal, you can purchase empty journals online, at any bookstore or stationer, or even at Walmart. They come with blank lined pages. Be sure to write the year at the beginning of the journal and date each page. The entries don't have to be long or wordy--a line or two will suffice. Just enough to jog your memory. And don't forget to thank God for each and every blessing you record.

  Thank you Jesus, for the graces and gifts of this day.  Mother Angelica

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Why Do So Few Have Faith

Sometimes It's hard to understand, with the wealth of proof only a click away, why so few have faith. Anyone with a PC, tablet or smart phone can find a multitude of miracle stories or witnesses of God working in people's lives, from both Christians and Jews, online and at bookstores. One of my favorite things is to read one of these before bed.
  There are also biographies of the multitude of canonized saints. You may not know that in the Roman Catholic Church a person cannot be declared a saint unless there is concrete evidence of at least two miracles attributed to the saint's intercession.
   There are also the many witnesses  of the changed lives of those who have come to faith in Jesus and received the Holy Spirit. I am one of those.
  I recently read a compilation of several reports of Eucharistic miracles, fully and scientifically documented; and from recent times, not in centuries past.
  It's not that there isn't enough proof out there both of the existence of God and His working in our lives. I think that many people don't want to see the proof because then they would have to stop doing what they want to do and bow to the will of God for their lives.
  People will continue to write the books and post online; to put the proof out there for those who want to be saved. Are you one of them?

(For those who want to know some of what the Bible says about eternal life, see my post from 10-29-13.)

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Pursuit of Happiness

In the Constitution of the United States it states that we Americans have the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."  Notice it says "pursuit of happiness."  Our Constitution does not guarantee that all will be happy, only that we have the right to seek that which we think will make us happy.
  Of course, because we live in a society, we may not be able to pursue some things that we think will bring us happiness because they may harm or be detrimental to someone else. That's one reason why we have laws to govern society.
For instance--
  You may like to drive fast; it gives you a high. But driving too fast on the highways may cause an accident which will do injury to others. Therefore, speed limits.
  You may like to get drunk; to party; to have a good time. But if you drink and drive, you may injure yourself or someone else. Therefore, laws against drunk driving.
  It may make you happy to have sex with multiple partners. But if one of those partners happens to get pregnant, the law says you are responsible for helping to support and care for the child.
  You may like to get high on illegal drugs. But the use of those drugs does harm not only to you, but to society as a whole.
  So you see, our rights are limited to those things that will not harm others. We live in a society that prides itself on individualism. But as Thomas Merton said, "No man is an island." Our laws have been established to allow us freedom, but freedom only so far as it does no harm to others.