Saturday, March 01, 2014

Faith overcomes the world

1 John 5:4 "For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith." (ESV)
"For whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith." (NABRE)

"Faith transforms the earth into paradise. By it our hearts are raised with the joy of our nearness to heaven. Every moment reveals God to us. Faith is our light in this world. By it we know the truth without seeing it, we are put in touch with what we cannot feel, recognize what we cannot see, and view the world stripped of all its superficialities.

Faith unlocks God's treasury. It is the key to all the vastness of His wisdom. The hollowness of all created things is disclosed by faith, and it is by faith that God makes His presence plain everywhere. Faith tears aside the veil so that we can see the everlasting truth." (John-Pierre de Caussade, SJ)

Friday, February 28, 2014

God's watchful Providence

"If we could lift the veil and if we watched with vigilant attention, God would endlessly reveal Himself to us and we should see and rejoice in His active presence in all that befalls us. At every event we should exclaim: "It is the Lord!" (John 21:7). Nothing could happen to us without our accepting it as a gift from God. We should regard all creatures as very feeble tools serving His purpose ; we should realize, too, that we are in want of nothing and that His continual care for us makes Him give us everything that is good and proper. If we had faith, we should be grateful to all creatures, cherish them and thank them silently for their good will in helping us, by God's design toward perfection." (John-Pierre de Caussade, SJ)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Place your load on the camel

"Cast your burden on the Lord,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit
the righteous to be moved."  (Psalm 55: 22)
Camel ready to carry your burden
The Psalmist came to realize that the best course in time of troubles is not to run away from them, but to cast the burden of them on the Lord.  May we learn the lovely lesson set forth by Bishop Horne:  "He who once bore the burden of our sins and sorrows requests that we should now and ever permit Him to bear the burden of our cares."  (From Believers' Bible Commentary)

St Joseph the Worker

Great Intercessor, obtain for us the grace to discern our mission in life and the courage to embrace it and persevere in it till death.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cast your burden on the Lord

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”  (Psalm 55: 22)
Here is a commentary from the Navarre Bible -the Psalms:
St. Josemaria EscrivĂ¡ records the use he made of Psalm 55: 22:  "A paradox: every day I have had fewer worries on my mind since I decided to follow the advice of the psalm 'Cast your care upon the Lord, and He will sustain you.'  And at the same time, once we have done whatever needs doing, everything can be solved more easily."

“The things we pray for, good Lord, give us grace to labor for: through Jesus Christ our Lord. " (Prayer of Thomas More)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cast your burden on the Lord

"Cast your care upon the LORD,
who will give you support.
He will never allow
the righteous to stumble."  (Psalm 55: 22)

How do we cast our burden on the Lord?

"Thy burden, or what thy God lays upon thee, lay thou it upon the Lord. His wisdom casts it on thee, it is thy wisdom to cast it on him. He cast thy lot for thee, cast thy lot on him. He gives thee thy portion of suffering, accept it with cheerful resignation, and then take it back to him by thine assured confidence .
He shall sustain thee. Thy bread shall be given thee, thy waters shall be sure. Abundant nourishment shall fit thee to bear all thy labors and trials. As thy days so shall thy strength be .
He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. He may move like the boughs of a tree in the tempest, but he shall never be moved like a tree torn up by the roots. He stands firm who stands in God. Many would destroy the saints, but God has not suffered it, and never will. Like pillars, the godly stand immovable, to the glory of the Great Architect.  (Charles Spurgeon)

"Be aware that holiness means the eager acceptance of every trial sent you by God.  This is vastly superior to the enjoyment of all extraordinary experiences.  It is the philosopher's stone which changes into gold all your worries, all your troubles, all your sufferings.  Realize this and how happy you would be! (Jean-Pierre de Caussade, S.J.)

Cast thy burden upon the Lord, etc. The best way to ease thyself is to lay thy load upon God; he will take it up and also carry thee. There is many a man would be willing to go of himself if another would but carry his burden for him; but if you throw your burden upon God he will not only carry that, but will also carry you. He cares not how much weight a Christian layeth on his back; a true Israelite may ease himself, and best please his God at once. God delights not to see tears in thine eyes, or paleness in thy countenance; thy groans and sighs make no music in his ears. He had rather that thou wouldst free thyself of thy burden by casting it upon him, that he might rejoice in thy joy and comfort. Now, true confidence in God, and resting upon God, will both free thee of thy burden and also bring in the strength of God to sustain and bear thee up from falling.
Wouldst thou, therefore, own God as thy strength, and fetch strength from God to thy soul? Rest upon God, roll thyself upon him, and that
1. In time of greatest weakness
2. In time of greatest service
3. In times of greatest trials.
(Samuel Blackerby,1674)

"Cast thy burden upon him in the same way that the ship in a storm casts her burden on the anchor, which anchor holds on to its sure fixing place. And to my mind, that is the more beautiful sense of the two--a sense which once entered into, may be followed out in these glorious verses: -- And I see the good ship riding, all in a perilous road; The low reef booming on her lee; the swell of ocean poured Sea after sea, from stem to stern; the mainmast by the board; The bulwarks down; the rudder gone; the boats stove by the chains. But courage still, brave mariners, the ANCHOR yet remains: And he will flinch--no, never an inch--until ye pitch sky high; Then he moves his head, as if he said, "Fear nought; for here am I!"   (J. M. Neale's Commentary)

"Here we see the believer has--
1. A burden to try him .
2. A duty to engage him, "Cast thy burden, "etc .
3. A promise to encourage him, "He shall sustain, "etc.  (Ebenezer Temple,1850)

"Thy burden--literally, "gift," what is assigned you.
he shall sustain--literally, "supply food," and so all need ( Psalms 37:25 , Matthew 6:11 ).
to be moved--from the secure position of His favor (compare Psalms 10:6 ).  (Commentary Critical and Explanatory (CCE)

"Cast thy burden upon the Lord
These are either the words of the Holy Ghost to David, according to Jarchi; or of David to his own soul in distress, and may be directed to any good man in like circumstances. The word rendered "burden" signifies a gift and so the words are translated by many, "cast thy gift upon the Lord"; what he has given in a way of providence and of grace, acknowledge him to be the author of it; pray for a continuance of mercies, and for fresh supplies, and expect them; and also what he gives in a way of trial, the cross, with all afflictions and troubles: which sense seems most agreeable to the context; and these may be said to be "the gift" of God, as the cup of sorrow Christ drank of is said to be "given" him by his Father, ( John 18:11 ) . These are given by the Lord to bring his people to a sense of sin, and acknowledgment of it; to humble them for it, and cause them to return from it; and to try their graces: and then do they cast them upon him, when they acknowledge them as coming from him; wait the removal of them in his time; desire a sanctified use of them, and expect deliverance from them by him. Or the sense is, whatever thou desirest should be given thee by the Lord, cast it on him; that is, leave it with him to do as he pleases, who works all things after the counsel of his own will. The Targum renders it,
``cast thy hope upon the Lord;''
as an anchor on a good bottom, to which hope is compared, ( Hebrews 6:19 ) . This is done when persons make the Lord the object of their hope, and expect all from him they hope to enjoy here and hereafter. The Septuagint version is, "cast thy care upon the Lord"; of thy body, and all the temporal concerns of thy family, and everything relating thereunto; and of thy soul, and its everlasting welfare and salvation; see ( 1 Peter 5:7 ) . But Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Kimchi, interpret the word by (Kavm) , "thy burden", which is learnt from the use of it in the Arabic language. The Rabbins did not know the meaning of the word, till one of them heard an Arabian merchant say F7,
``take up (Kybhy) , "thy burden", and cast it upon the camels.''
The burden here meant is either the burden of afflictions, which is sometimes very heavy; see ( Job 6:23 ) ( 23:2 ) ; no affliction is joyous, but grievous; but some are heavier in their own kind and nature than others, and become so through the multiplicity of them, as in the case of Job; or through the long continuance of them, and especially when attended with the hidings of God's face, or with the temptations of Satan: or else the burden of sin and corruption, which is an heavy burden, and a very disagreeable one; under which the saints groan, and by which they are hindered in running their Christian race, and which they are like to carry with them to their graves; their only relief under it is to look to Christ, who has borne it and took it away; which may be meant by casting it on the Lord:
and he shall sustain thee;
in being, both natural and spiritual; and supply with all things necessary both to the temporal and spiritual life, and support under all trials and difficulties;
he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved;
to be shaken and stagger so as to fall, especially totally and finally; for the words may be rendered, "he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved forever" F8; or so to be moved by their afflictions as to desert the cause in which they are engaged; nor shall they ever be moved by men or devils, or anything whatever, from their spiritual estate, in which they are by grace; nor from the love of God and covenant of grace; nor out of the hands of Christ; nor from their state of justification, adoption, and sanctification.  (John Gills Exposition)

"(v. 22): "Cast thy burden upon the Lord,’’ whoever thou art that art burdened, and whatever the burden is. "Cast thy gift upon the Lord’’ (so some read it); "whatever blessings God has bestowed upon thee to enjoy commit them all to his custody, and particularly commit the keeping of thy soul to him.’’ Or, "Whatever it is that thou desirest God should give thee, leave it to him to give it to thee in his own way and time. Cast thy care upon the Lord,’’ so the Septuagint, to which the apostle refers, 1 Pt. 5:7 . Care is a burden; it makes the heart stoop (Prov. 12:25 ); we must cast it upon God by faith and prayer, commit our way and works to him; let him do as seemed him good, and we will be satisfied. To cast our burden upon God is to stay ourselves on his providence and promise, and to be very easy in the assurance that all shall work for good. If we do so, it is promised, 1. That he will sustain us, support and supply us, will himself carry us in the arms of his power, as the nurse carries the sucking-child, will strengthen our spirits so by his Spirit as that they shall sustain the infirmity. He has not promised to free us immediately from that trouble which gives rise to our cares and fears; but he will provide that we be not tempted above what we are able, and that we shall be able according as we are tempted. 2. That he will never suffer the righteous to be moved, to be so shaken by any troubles as to quit either their duty to God or their comfort in him. However, he will not suffer them to be moved for ever (as some read it); though they fall, they shall not be utterly cast down."  (Matthew Henry Commentary)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Be faithful. Be consistent.

Be faithful. Be consistent.

"Go on, and you cannot but go forward; believe it, though you do not see it.  Do the duties of your calling, though they are distasteful to you.  Educate your children carefully in the good way, though you cannot tell how far God's grace has touched their hearts.  Let your light shine before men, and praise God by a consistent life, even though others do not seem to glorify their Father on account of it, or to be benefited by your example." (Blessed John Henry Newman)

I believe, help my unbelief!

"Jesus said to him, “‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.”

Jesus says that everything is possible to one who has faith.  When we look at  life here and now, what are the things we want faith to impact?  Health, family, money, job, tools, food and future. Many would not be particularly interested in moving a mountain from its location into the sea.  Is our faith today impacting our health, family, money, job, tools, food and future?  If we are to be honest, we would answer:   Not completely.  Why not?  Because we still experience  anxiety over these matters.  This  anxiety tells us that our faith is still far from perfect.

The faith that is perfect is the faith that trusts completely in God's promises come what may.  It is  faith that has no anxiety at all but in everything, by prayer and petition mingled with thanksgiving commits all needs to God. (Philippians 4: 6 - 7).  This type of firm faith is also patient. (Isaiah 28: 16)  This is the faith that conquers the world. (1 John 5:4)

Since faith is a supernatural gift of God who encourages us to ask, seek, knock and we shall receive, find and enter, (Matthew 7:7)  let us approach the throne of grace with confidence to ask for this faith now and at every time of need.  (Hebrews 4: 16)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Do not be anxious

Matthew 6:25-26

Do Not Be Anxious

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"

Devotion to St Joseph

“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-21)

"I wish I could persuade everyone to be devoted to this glorious saint, for I know from long experience the benefits he obtains from God. I have never known anyone who was truly devoted to him and performed particular services in his honor, who did not advance greatly in virtue... I only ask, for the love of God, that anyone who doubts what I say make a test of it himself, and he will see, from actual experience, the great benefit it is to commend oneself to this glorious Patriarch, and to have devotion to him." (St Teresa of Avila, LIFE)