Posted by: reveriewithgod | March 15, 2017

168 – Delay Not

“Say not: “I have sinned, yet what has befallen me?” for the Lord bides his time. Of forgiveness be not overconfident, adding sin upon sin. Say not: “Great is his mercy; my many sins he will forgive.” For mercy and anger alike are with him; upon the wicked alights his wrath. Delay not your conversion to the Lord, put it not off from day to day. For suddenly his wrath flames forth; at the time of vengeance, you will be destroyed. Rely not upon deceitful wealth, for it will be no help on the day of wrath.” Sir 5:4-10 (New American Bible)

     “Delay not your conversion to the Lord.” For it has been said by Christ many times – You do not know when the thief will come (Mt 24:42-44), or when the bridegroom will arrive (Mt 25:10-13), or when the owner will return from his journey (Mk 13:33-37), or the parable of the rich fool who stored all his wealth in a big barn, ”But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you, and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.” (Lk 12:20-21) “Rely not upon deceitful wealth, for it will be no help on the day of wrath.”

       Yes, God shows mercy in the forgiveness of sins when repentance is sincere. Don’t be overconfident that you will have time to ask for forgiveness in the future. Even if you receive additional time to repent, sincerity is not something that you will be able simply to turn on when you need it. Sincerity is like a plant that needs water to make it grow, water which you must actively collect with your hands when it rains. It takes time to nourish such a plant. Complacency can become a habit, and habits are hard to overcome. At judgment time, you are judged by the actions and deeds you have sent before you, there will be nothing from what you have left behind. Once you are before the Lord, there is no plea-bargaining, your trial is over, and it’s time for judgment. Delay not your conversion to the Lord; it could cost you much more than what you think you have gained by delay.

Dennis Higgins (23 February 2017)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | March 1, 2017

167 -Shall Not Bear Hatred

     “You shall not bear hatred for your brother in your heart. Though you may have to reprove your fellow man, do not incur sin because of him. Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countryman. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” Lev 19:17-18 (New American Bible)

     Although this statute, “shall not bear hatred” from Leviticus, has been around for centuries, and preached from every pulpit at almost all church services, in today’s world it seems to apply only to socially correct matters. There is a different standard for the political and the business arena. There are those who claim to be God fearing, but for whom this statute has no place or meaning in their every day life, it is only for social appearances and status that they have to love their neighbor without hatred. How sad that is for humanity in this day and age, especially in this country that God has blessed with wonderful accomplishments, that we can turn our back to God when we don’t get our way; we can be as vile as we want towards our neighbor with impunity.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father… For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Mt 5:43-45a, 46a, 48 (NAB)

     If we actually followed Christ’s example, we would sit and have a meal and talk to our neighbor about our differences, especially someone we thought was a grave sinner. The arrogance of hatred seems to be running rampant in today’s world, where the only acceptable way to deal with someone we disagree with is hatred, carried to anger, ultimately to violence. Love is a shallow word to many today, for only the appearance of love is necessary. When Christ forgave his persecutors, it did not make what the persecutors did right. God commanded us from of old that we shall not bear hatred and false witness towards our neighbor, and He has made it clear that doing so will not get us through the gates of heaven.

Dennis Higgins (18 February 2017)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | February 15, 2017

166 – If You Choose

“If you choose you can keep the commandments; it is loyalty to do his will. There are set before you fire and water; to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand. Before man are life and death, whichever he chooses shall be given him. Immense is the wisdom of the Lord; he is mighty in power, and all seeing. The eyes of God see all he has made; he understands man’s every deed. No man does he command to sin, to none does he give strength for lies.” Sir 15:15-20 (New American Bible)

       When God created Adam He gave him a free will, because He wanted mankind to choose to be with Him. Satan doesn’t want you to choose to be with Satan, he wants you to choose not to be with God. He doesn’t care about the pain you will suffer in his house; he only cares about you not being with God in eternal joy. It is up to you to choose eternal life with God or eternal death with Satan. The pathway God has laid out for you will lead you to eternity with Him. You cannot fool God, for He sees into the deepest recesses of your heart. What you choose will be given to you.

       “If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him. Mk 3:25-26 (NAB)” Satan will never lead you to truth, because he would be speaking against himself and his house. God will only tell you the truth because He is all truth, and He wants you to be full of joy eternally with Him. God can never command you to sin or condone your sinning, but he “understands man’s every deed”, and if you ask God with sincere repentance, He will forgive your transgressions. The pathway you choose to follow is the house that God will give you at the final judgment. To say that you never had a choice in life is to deny your humanity. No other species has the gift of choice (free will) from God. Every moment of your life is a choice, and you must make the best of those choices. If you choose to be with God then you must follow His statutes, for it is His Kingdom you wish to enter. It is for you to choose your eternity either by living up to or not living up to the standards God has set for entry.

Dennis Higgins (12 February 2017)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | February 1, 2017

165 – Live Just As He Lived

“[Jesus Christ] is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world. The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way that we may know that we are in union with him: whoever claims to abide in him ought to live [just] as he lived.” 1 Jn 2:2-6 (New American Bible)

     Jesus did not die for just the Jews or just for His followers, but for everyone. It was God’s plan to have everyone with Him in heaven from the beginning. Adam’s sin made it difficult for humanity to fulfill that plan, for his sin closed the gates of heaven for everyone. God sent His Son to open the gates for everyone, but humanity is still plagued by the sin of pride or arrogance, which lost us paradise in the first place. So, God gave us statutes to guide us in what we must do to be with Him in eternity. Again, it is His eternity and He gets to make the rules on what we must do to enter. His Commandments are about how to show love to our neighbors, they are not restrictions on our freedom. This is why when saying, “I know him” without keeping his commandments, makes us liars, because His Commandments are acts of love towards Him and our neighbors. Hatred, like pride, is a restriction on our freedom; sin is what takes our freedom away from us. Living within the boundaries of the Commandments is what gives us security and in security there is freedom. Satan does not care about our freedom, only that we don’t make it into God’s eternity. Hell is eternity without God, and that is what hatred earns us.

   Reparation for Adam’s sin, the opening of the gates of heaven, not only required someone from humanity, but someone divine. So, God sent His Son to redeem us. Not only did Jesus take on our humanity to redeem us, but He also showed us how to live in that humanity within the boundaries of God’s Commandments. “Whoever claims to abide in him ought to live [just] as he lived.”

Posted by: reveriewithgod | January 15, 2017

164 -Into The Darkness

“…For the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him to cause a fall. Whoever hates his brother is in darkness; he walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” 1 Jn 2:8b-11 (New American Bible)

     With the birth of Jesus the true light started to shine, and with His conquering death by His resurrection, death, also known as darkness, has become navigable for us. Hatred is negative light, thus part of the darkness. The stronger the hatred, the light, which is God, becomes further away at the end of the tunnel. When we die we must be in the light in order to stay with God in eternity. Darkness increases despair, light brings joy. When we keep ourselves in the light we can see the pitfalls that approach us; in darkness we are more likely to trip and fall. God does not put us in the darkness. We run to embrace it, just as Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden after they had sinned (Gen 3:8-12). They did not want God to see them in their nakedness, but God is all seeing, and knows all our thoughts; we cannot hide from Him even in darkness. Yes, we choose the darkness, and trying to survive in the darkness is not an option we should choose. The darkness only removes us further from God and eternity. God knows we sometimes fall into the shadows of darkness, but He has given and made many graces available to us, to help us stay in the light out of the shadows. But we must be open to these graces; to receive and use them to light our way out of the shadows. If “the darkness has blinded our eyes” it can be harder to grab hold of these graces because of their brightness. Just as in real life we can get lost in the darkness, we must use the lantern lit by God’s graces to keep our path towards the light. It is even better to use God’s graces not to venture into the darkness in the first place.

Dennis Higgins (10 January 2017)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | January 1, 2017

163 – A New Resolve

      With this New Year it may be time for a new resolve instead of another old resolution, that you would have a hard time keeping anyway. That’s because most resolutions are negative in nature; I won’t do this or I will give up this or that. As Paul reminds us:

  “For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is their ‘shame.’ Their minds are occupied with earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will change our lowly body to conform with His glorified body by the power that enables Him to also bring all thing into subjection to himself.” Phil 2:18-21 (New American Bible)

     Why not resolve to do a positive action for the New Year? Let’s not think about our stomachs, or our station in life, or other things centered on our earthly selves. Lets take a positive action toward our spiritual self. What could those actions be? Why not say the rosary once a week or every day, a mere 20 minutes a day. You could go to a weekday mass once a week, or every day, a mere half hour a day. Volunteer at you Church for some activity, the list could be endless. You could give an afternoon to help in a senior center or a soup kitchen. What a novel new years resolution, to help your neighbor, as God has commanded us to do. Positive actions have a way of attracting positive things to happening for us. Wouldn’t that be nice, to make our life more positive and elevate our spiritual possibilities at the same time? For at our death – “He will change our lowly body to conform with His glorified body by the power that enables Him to also bring all thing into subjection to himself.” He will take care of our bodies in the after life if we take care of our souls in this life. So let us make a new resolve that this years resolutions will be positive ones towards our neighbors and our spiritual life in eternity.

God bless, and have a happy New Year.

Dennis Higgins (20 December 2016)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | December 25, 2016

162 – This Season

      I thought this excerpt, from a Christmas sermon by John H. Newman, to be a good reflection on this season:

      “Let us at this season approach [Christ] with awe and love, in whom resides all perfection, and from whom we are allowed to gain it. Let us come to the Sanctifier to be sanctified. Let us come to Him to learn our duty, and to receive grace to do it. At other seasons of the year we are reminded of watching, toiling, struggling, and suffering; but at this season we are reminded simply of God’s gifts towards us sinners. ‘Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.’ We are reminded that we can do nothing, and that God does everything. This is especially the season of grace. We come to see and to experience God’s mercies. We come before Him as the helpless beings, during His ministry, who were brought on beds and couches for a cure. We come to be made whole. We come as little children to be fed and taught….

      May each Christmas, as it comes, find us more and more like Him, who as at this time became a little child for our sake, more simple-minded, more humble, more holy, more affectionate, more resigned, more happy, more full of God.”

      God bless everyone, and may you have a blessed and joyful Christmas Holyday.

Dennis Higgins (14 December 2016)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | December 15, 2016

161 -Slow to Wrath

“Know this, my brothers and sisters: everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, for the wrath of man does not accomplish the righteousness of God. Therefore, put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls.

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, his religion is vain. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” Jas 1:19-21, 26-27 (New American Bible)

“Quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath”, nothing gets accomplished by being negative. God is the personification of goodness; He is everything that is positive. There can be righteous anger, but that should be left to God. “For the wrath of man does not accomplish the righteousness of God”. Evil is negative, and that which is negative only fosters more negativity. There is far too much evil in the world, and it is more than willing to come our way, we should not be putting out a welcoming sign for it. Slow to wrath, is a sign of self-control, and God’s commandments are all about self-control, through love of our neighbor. The seed of God’s goodness has been planted in us, and it is our job to nourish it and make it grow. That seed is the “word … and is able to save your souls”. Keeping oneself unstained by the world is not an easy job; but God has given us an abundance and steady flow of grace, through the reception of His sacraments and the performing of good works. He willingly gives us more grace than is needed to meet the abundant negativity that the world sends our way. Jesus, through the sacraments of His Church, has provided the help we need. We only have to be receptive to His help, and we cannot be receptive to it when we are in the negative. We should approach wrath slowly with great caution, for it darkens our heart and keeps the light of Christ from filling our heart completely, for in the full light of Christ there is great joy. These words need repeating – “quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath”. Words of wisdom to help the full light of Christ shine in us.

Dennis Higgins  (07 December 2016)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | December 1, 2016

160 – Stronger Than God

“You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons. Or are we provoking the Lord to jealous anger? Are we stronger than [God]?

     ‘Everything is lawful,’ but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is lawful,’ but not everything builds up. No one should seek his own advantage, but that of his neighbor.” 1 Cor 10:21-24 (New American Bible)

      There are those in the world today who still believe everything is lawful for them. At the start of the Cold War, there was put forth the image of the ugly American. This was a person who thought that because he [she] was a U.S. citizen, they were free to do anything they wanted, any where in the world, including America. They were not ruled by any particular morality, it was solely about what they wanted. And some even called themselves Christian, as if that gave them special privileges.

     There are no special privileges for anyone, not in this life. If you work at earning rewards during your life, they should be for gain in the next life, as being children of God. Adam and Eve thought they deserved more in their life, even though they were already living in Paradise. Thus they wallowed in the sin of pride and lost Paradise. Wallowing in the sin of pride will not get us back into Paradise. Jesus has generously opened the gates of heaven for us, but now we have to choose to enter. God has given us the rules of entry into “His Kingdom”, and it is His kingdom; either we fulfill those rules or we don’t.

        The use of pride as a tool to turn us against God and our neighbor hasn’t changed since Adam and Eve. That is what the Scribes and Pharisees used against Jesus. Love is a humble experience, not an act of pride. This is what many people who scream for tolerance forget. Love is a two way street, an avenue of give and take. Justice demands respect for each other, and without respect there is no justice.

      As I have quoted before: “We are not human beings going through a temporary spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings going through a temporary human experience.”1  At our resurrection a new glorified body will be united to our soul, just as Christ has shown us by His resurrection. If all that is lawful does not show respect for our neighbor, then it is not beneficial to our eternal life; we are not stronger than God.

Dennis Higgins (13 November 2016)

  1. Quotation from the Internet, the true author is in dispute.
Posted by: reveriewithgod | November 15, 2016

159 – You Fool!

   “But some will say, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come back?

    You Fool! What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be but a bare kernel of wheat, perhaps, or of some other kind; but God gives it a body as he chooses, and to each of the seeds its own body.

  So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible. It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious. It is sown weak; it is raised powerful. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one.” 1 Cor 15:35-38, 42-44 (New American Bible)

   Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, is writing to people who are questioning the Resurrection of the Lord and their own resurrection. If the Lord was not raised from the dead, then we have nothing. It is Christ’s dying on the cross and His Resurrection that conquers death; this is what opens the gates of heaven. We, in baptism, die to original sin so we will be able enter thru the gates that have been opened for us, to be brought in by Christ at the final coming. If there is no resurrection then all is for naught.

     Paul then addresses our resurrection. He calls the Corinthians “You Fool” for worrying about the state of their bodies at the moment of resurrection, as if our mortal bodies mattered. God gives life to the seed that is each of us; and in the womb when the seed dies in the egg, He gives “as he chooses, to each of the seeds its own body”, a mortal body with an eternal spiritual soul. After death, at our resurrection, our bodies will be spiritual, not mortal, and reflect the glorious body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he promised us. However, if at death our souls need further cleansing, the existence of purgatory is to give us the opportunity to purify our souls, to be as white as snow, so at the second coming, our spiritual body and soul will be ready to fully reflect our God in all His glory. When Satan is cast into hell for all eternity, it will be the end of all corruption; only the glory of God will remain. “You Fool”, don’t worry about the mortal and material things in this life, for they will not follow us, or be of importance to us, in the next.

Dennis Higgins (14 October 2016)

 

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