4.21.2013

Religion=Relationship


A lot of people are so misunderstood about Catholicism and just religion in general. They misunderstand that our religion does not take the place of God in any way or circumstance. It is not our God. Religion is the relationship we have with God, to have that relationship - to have that religion- is very important. If we don't have that relationship with Christ how do we become what we are suppose to be as humans? Do we just wait and wander around aimlessly or do we make an effort to love God and live for Him through His love for us by obedience and submissiveness to His will?

It's all so complicated and so obvious at the same time. Well duh we want to have a relationship with Christ and come to love our Creator, but how? Of course, Jesus died for the sake of humanity ,and with that, also showing how much God loves and cares for us and to draw us closer to Him, but God does not stop there. He will never stop performing miracles in our lives. He will never stop loving us. He will never stop being our Father, Lover, Brother, Savior, Guide, etc. even when you deny His very presence in your life. And the reason I say this is because people have brought to my attention that "Isn't Christ dying on the cross enough for you?", well excuse me if I'm wrong for saying this, but since God has not stopped my heart from beating I will always continue to strive to live for God in all the ways possible (and made possible through His death and resurrection).  

Having a relationship with God works out just like having a relationship with any human being. To know someone you have talk to them, experience things with them, laugh with them, cry with them, love them, ask them questions, GET TO KNOW THEM AND LET THEM GET TO KNOW YOU. The difference between the human relations with each other is - God is perfect and you are not. Hint hint, more of a reason to become God's friend.


To maintain this friendship with Christ:


  • Talk to Him through prayer (however it is you like to pray - Chapel, candles, letters, just simple conversation, on your knees, All of the above..)
  • Learn more about Him and His wonders in the Bible
  • Recognize that you are in His presence and maintain silence and peace within that fact
  • Let Him love you
  • Seriously, attend church and attend it mentally, spiritually, and physically 
  • Open your heart to whatever Christ is telling or calling you to do
  • Ask for the intercession from Mary and all the other great saints in heaven


(With that, it doesn't even sound like much of a " routine religion" at all. It sounds like a relationship..)

There are so much more things that can draw you closer to Christ and help you desire that divine relationship throughout the period of the day. I won't go on listing examples, although I could, but what I'm trying to get to is that if you look beyond what is "normal" you can experience miracle after miracle, blessing after blessing. To see this way your heart must be open to the greatness and love of our God. 



"There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle." -Albert Einstein 


As I have stated above, religion is the relationship you have with the Creator. Don't cringe at the word religion and totally reject it until you truly know what it is about and WHO it is all about.



God bless you always.



Dear Lord, help me to always strive for You and give me the strength  not to go astray, but desire to  run only into Your loving arms. 
Amen
+JMJ.J+



"Now the just shall live by faith:
but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him."
-Hebrews 10:38





4.12.2013

A Little Witness on Prayer



-My youth minister asked me to give a little witness to people who are about to Confirm about the process of Confirmation but looking specifically upon prayer. So I decided it would be best to get my thoughts together in blog form and share it with you all. -


My experience of the process of Confirmation is a little bit different than y'alls but that doesn't change the fact of how important prayer is during any given time, but especially while going through a Sacrament. 

While I was in the process of becoming a Catholic it was an extremely important and huge time in my life and I needed to know what God truly desired for me; which, that can only be clarified through prayer. My prayer life was pretty intense considering I had around 3 months before I got Confirmed. It was a lot of joy and happiness along with doubts and loss of close relationships, but that is where your own neediness of God kicks you and you find yourself relying purely on God, which is such a blessing. 

Then the day of my Confirmation crept upon me and I was ecstatic (which is an understatement). I was so ready. This day was going to be the start of the rest of my life. The only way I could have ever gotten here ,though, is through the love and mercy of Christ and through prayer, both mine and others.

Although, the morning after getting Confirmed it seemed as if anything spiritual in my soul just left. It was a good 3 months are more that this rough time in my prayer life occurred. I completely despised it. I wanted that joy. I wanted that happiness. I wanted that all those feel good feelings back and that was the problem. It was just a feeling and I became "high" ,per say, off of. I came to learn that my feelings don't predict my whole state and that I needed to keep strong in prayer and let Christ be my refuge even though it was difficult to pray. I have learned from numerous amounts of spiritual droughts that it is for a purpose. The sole meaning - To get you closer to Christ and realize that you need to praise God in the good and bad. 


Prayer is so hard to describe because it is the way we communicate with our Creator, which is divine. The effect that prayer had on me has completely no word that would give it the least bit of glory that it deserves. I have much gratitude and love for those who have prayed for me and who still pray for me because those prayers gave me the strength and courage to act upon God's will for me. It showed me how much of a blessing my life is and how beautiful others are and it made me realize that although I lost some of the most important relationships that I had I have gained a hundred fold. 

Prayer is the one of the most beautiful gifts from God and it should never be taken for granted. St. Francis de Sales put it beautifully when he said, 

"He who truly loves prayer loves it for the love of God, and he who loves it for the love of God wishes to experience in it nothing but what God  is pleased to send him."

So don't just pray whenever you need something granted or when something tragic happens. Pray always. It doesn't have to be anything profound. Every prayer can only draw you closer to Christ and through Christ you can only draw deeper into prayer.



I love You, God. I trust You, I believe in You, I need You now. 
+JMJ.A+


 "Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven."
-Psalm 107:28-30


Blessed Imelda, keep us in your heart.