Spiritual Thought for Today Archive Week #8


Guardian Angels

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in Heaven their angels always behold the face of My Father who is in Heaven."

It's a comforting thought to think that God has entrusted us under the watchful care of his angels.

Today be mindful of that presence.

#2

Focus

As he was leaving the temple, one of the disciples said to him, "Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!"

"Do you see all these great buildings?" replied Jesus. "Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."

I remember my first trip to Disney World in Florida; everything seemed so big and magical. But later over a period of years when I would return there to take friends, the place looked less impressive. I started noticing that most of the buildings were only facades.

It is easy for us to be impressed at man made objects, but what held the disciple's gaze was the Temple in Jerusalem, a place where God was believed to dwell. And Jesus warns his disciples not to get attached to even that.

We build many temples in our lives, places where we have experienced God deeply. But ultimately all of them come crashing down.

Then we are faced with a dilemma; do we abandon our faith or do we realize that what we experienced is not the wood and stone of a building or institution?

The Temple in Jerusalem, one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World, was destroyed, but faith in God persists. Our Temple's may be destroyed too, but the God we experience can never be contained in them.

Do not place your hope in material things, they rust and fade away.

#3

Fruit of Prayer

"Love means to love that which is unlovable. Or it is no virtue at all. Forgiving means to pardon the unpardonable, Faith means believing the unbelievable, And hoping means to hope when things are hopeless. (G.K. Chesterton)"

A relationship with God should result in us being able to commit Godlike acts, like loving, forgiving, believing and having hope. It takes grace, God’s gift to be able to do these things and grace comes freely to those who open their hearts to God.

But too often we succumb to the dislikes, grudges, despair and hopelessness of a life without God. Sometimes we do so believing that we are “good” and “religious” people, but all of our actions betray our lack of faith in God.

It is then that we need to drop to our knees or take that long walk and ask God's help.

"The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God."

Do I act as though God exist?

How do I act toward the unlovable? Do I forgive those who have wronged me? Do I believe?

There is hope.

#4

St. Michael the Archangel

"Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon."

When I imagine it; I seldom picture Heaven as a place of war, but there it is in the book of Revelation and it's up to St. Michael the Archangel to bring about the peace by driving out all the warring factions.

The ancients had the mindset that whatever was happening on earth was also happening in heaven. So if war broke out on earth it was also being waged in the heavens. This way of seeing the happenings on earth showed that there is a spiritual reason to every material happening.

But you should know something before you choose what spirits are going to move you, St. Michael always wins. He is never the underdog, which I would guess would make him rather unpopular in our culture.

But I'm rather happy to have the likes of St. Michael around defending me.

St. Michael's mission is a daily reenactment of "Saving Private Ryan," only this time you and I are the "Private Ryans" that this Archangel is in search of.

So say a special prayer for his protection today, and who knows you might find yourself touched by an Archangel.

St. Michael the Archangel!

Pray for us...

#5

Eutychus

"Seated in the window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead."

There are several lessons to be learned from this rather remarkable account in the Acts of the Apostles.

#1 Don't ever think that bad preaching can't kill you.

#2 Don't think that the early church had preaching the like of which you have never experienced.

Evidently Paul didn't know when to quit and poor Eutychus didn't know when to leave. We may find ourselves in the same situation at times, so what do we do?

In the Acts of the Apostles, Paul raises Eutychus from the dead.

If you are going to subject yourself to deadly preaching find out first how many people the preacher has raised from the dead to make sure if you succumb he'll be able to bring you back. Otherwise, be careful.

The point I see in this short episode from the life of St. Paul is that Paul could bore people just like anyone else. It is a mistake to glorify the preaching that existed in the times of the Apostles.

The Eutychus Club, which I'm sure many of us belong to, deserve an A for effort and a share in the Resurrection too!

P.S. If the preaching is real bad in your church at least try to convince the Pastor that cushioned pews would be a big improvement.

#6

Lazarus

"At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores."

The parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus may be familiar to us, but I wonder if we ever take the time to reflect on it's meaning for us in daily life.

Lazurus is described as being in the periphery of the rich man's sight and is described as being in the worst state. The added comment that dogs licked his sores is only there to intensify how wretched his condition was, for dogs were considered impure by the Jews of Jesus' time.

There is also the added implication that Lazarus had been dropped off at the Rich Man's gate specifically to give the Rich Man a chance to do something about Lazarus' condition. It was a test.

The Rich Man's condemnation does not come from his wealth, but rather of his acceptance of Lazarus' state in life. Even in death the Rich Man thinks of Lazarus as a servant. He beckons Abraham to send Lazarus to fetch him some water, showing that even in his torment he has not been converted.

Jesus taught the dignity of all human beings. He warned us never to live this life as though it were the end, and to never think of anyone as less.

Each day presents countless opportunities to practice charity, not just in deed but in thought.

How many "Lazarus's" will I meet today? What will be my reaction to them?


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