I'm preparing my bible study for later this week. I'll be playing this song by Sandi Patty, and then asking the following questions. When you have five minutes, first listen to the lyrics, and then think how you would answer the same questions I will ask those in the study:

1. Is what she sings about God’s forgiveness and mercy true, or just wishful thinking?
2. Think of Paul, and Peter, and the harlot at the well, and millions of others through the centuries for whom God’s forgiveness and mercy were real.
3. Jesus knows His sheep by name. Does He know YOUR name?
4. Why does God call you ‘Beautiful’?
5. Why does God call you ‘righteous’?

youtube.com/watch?v=kCFg1iiQtm

This should be a no-brainer. Why it is not preached from every church pulpit, regardless of denomination, is nothing short of complicity in the blood-letting. tinyurl.com/tghllc2

I just finished reading Lamentations again. It’s one of the saddest books of the Bible . . . the saddest because it all could’ve been different. If only the people and their priests and their elders had not continually thumbed their collective nose at Almighty God.

If only they had listened to their prophets who begged them again and again to turn from their sins. But they’d have none of it.

Long before Sinatra sang the lyrics, they and their religious leaders lived their lives their way — and not God’s.

It could have been different, but it was not.

Fast forward 2500 years. We, our priests, and pastors, and deacons, and bishops – we could all learn valuable lessons from an annual, prayerful, and humble reading of this book.

“Richard, arise.”
“Shawn, arise.”
“Enrique, arise.”
“Kathleen, arise.”
“Felice, arise.”
"Nancy, arise."
“(Add your name here), arise.”
thecontemplativecatholicconver

This really excites me whenever I think about the juxtaposition of God's justice and His mercy: thecontemplativecatholicconver

My wife saw this on her twitter feed. I very much like its sentiment.

"If you are struggling with the idea that you are living through this dark period in Catholic Church history know that you are alive during this time because God knows that this time in history is your best shot at attaining Heaven. You were born for this battle."

This statement reminds me of Mordecai's comment to Esther:

“Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13-14)

God is still on His throne. He still orchestrates events – perhaps ‘choreographs’ is the better word – God is still choreographing governments, and those who govern, and those who are governed, to do what He decreed ages ago must and will happen, so that His name and His glory will be trumpeted throughout all time, space, and creation itself.

thecontemplativecatholicconver

Here is an edited version of the message I delivered to the saints at a local 55+ community. I preached it two days after All Saints Day: thecontemplativecatholicconver

Tonight is Halloween. The Holy Day (yes, it used to be a Holy Day) has a different origin than you might have known. thecontemplativecatholicconver

I listened to this song this morning. In light of the recent events at the Vatican, and among Protestant churches as well, these lyrics touched my spirit and my heart swelled. I hope it will do the same for you: youtube.com/watch?v=G5efmrvX5v

Probably not much need for comment. This speaks pretty eloquently of the rocketing apostasy occurring at the moment.

lifesitenews.com/news/italian-

Many Christians, when we think of the Holy Spirit, often think of Him only in relationship to the Day of Pentecost when He filled the 120 disciples in that upper room, and they began glorifying God with other tongues. But God the Holy Spirit is much more than we see in Acts 2. Here are only a few examples of His role on earth and in the life of the child of God:
thecontemplativecatholicconver

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"We are Catholics,.... We don't embrace other cultures, we baptize them."
-Pope Martok, Bajoran Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation "You Are Cordially Invited..." (2374)

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You are going to die in a few decades -- or possibly quite soon.

What preparation do you hold dearest?

1. life insurance
2. bucket list
3. God's friendship

If we do not build godliness into ourselves and into others without the materials given us by God, we accomplish absolutely nothing. thecontemplativecatholicconver

So, I’m reading this morning in John’s gospel, and this verse stopped me: “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself” (John 12:32). Almost immediately, another verse injected itself from my memory: “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2).

In other words, Richard, don’t lift up your church. Lift up Jesus. Don’t lift up your pastor. Lift up Jesus. Only in lifting up Jesus will He draw to Himself all who still hunger and thirst for righteousness.

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