Posted by: reveriewithgod | April 15, 2018

192 – “And Lead Us…”

In scripture there is a prayer that has been given to us by Christ and handed down for centuries, the Our Father:

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.”

     In today’s world there seems to be some question about the phrase “and lead us not into temptation,” because God, who is all good, cannot lead us into temptation nor can He lead us into sin. When man has sinned against God, what he has done is to turn his back on God. But God in His mercy still showers man with His grace, so man can find the strength to turn back to Him. In the Old Testament the phrase “do not turn your face from us, O Lord” is used many times in prayers to God, because when man is left alone to himself bad things happen to him. We know this to be true because when God would turn His face from the Jewish nation, bad things happened to them.

     I am not a linguist, I know no other languages, I do not know what language this phrase originally was written in; nor am I a translator, I do not know equivalent words of other languages. But my take on this phrase is that in today’s language it might be better phrased as – “and leave us not to our temptations, but deliver us from evil,” in other words, don’t turn your face from us and leave us to our self-centered self, where we welcome temptation because it is an easier path to follow, this will more often than not lead us to our destruction in sin. But continue to send us your grace so that we my have the strength to return to you and be delivered from evil.

Dennis Higgins (25 March 2018)

Advertisements
Posted by: reveriewithgod | April 1, 2018

191 – Sin Is Death

     In the celebration of the resurrection we need to remember that the death from the consequences of Adam’s sin, the closed gates to eternity with God, was now defeated.

“We know that our old self was crucified with him, so that our sinful body might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin. For a dead person has been absolved from sin. If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him. As to his death, he died to sin once and for all; as to life, he lives for God. Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as [being] dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.

    For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom 6:6-11, 23 (New American Bible)

     The “sinful body” that Paul is talking about is the stain of the original sin in our bodies that we all inherited from Adam, which caused his ejection from eternity by God. Christ Jesus, by his death and resurrection, absolved us from eternal death without God, won for us by Adam’s sin of pride. By Christ’s rising from the dead, he defeated death by not being dead anymore, but by being alive in eternity with God. Christ opened the gates of heaven so we can follow him into God’s eternity. But to follow him we have to be “dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.”

     When we die we all will be in eternity, but if we die in mortal sin we will be in eternity with Satin, not God. Satin has no love for us; he rebelled against God because he did not want to serve humanity. If you live in slavery to sin so as to bring you power and fortune, remember, there are no innocents to have power over in hell; they are all mortal sinners just like yourself, so much for your influence over other people. There is only one master in hell, which is Satin, and he stands for nothing that is good or comfortable. Remember, sin is death to our living in eternity with God, and we are talking about the here and now for all eternity.

Dennis Higgins (22 March 2018)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | March 15, 2018

190 – Our Unbelief

Jesus’ words to Nicodemus were to prepare us for the sacrifice he was about to make in order to open the gates of heaven to His Father in eternity.

“If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

     For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” Jn 3:12-18 (New American Bible)

     Jesus was the only one who made the journey from His Fathers kingdom, and at that time no one had entered the gates of heaven because of Adam’s sin.

    While still roaming in the desert, God had sent seraphs to punish the Jews for their disobedience. Moses pleaded with God to relent His displeasure, so God told him to lift up a bonze serpent on a staff. Whoever a serpent bit, if they looked at the staff and repented of their sins, they would not die from the serpents bite. Jesus was lifted up on a cross in repentance for our sins, and whoever believed in Him, would have the possibility of living in eternity with God. While, Jesus opened the gates of heaven, entrance was not automatic. “Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

     God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, but at the last minute spared him. He did not spare his own Son, so great is his love for us; He asks of us nothing that He is not willing to do Himself. Yet, we find it hard to return His love. Our unbelief and self-centeredness blocks us from even coming close to returning the intensity of his love.

Dennis Higgins (13 March 2018)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | March 1, 2018

189 – Faith And Works

     In this season of Lent, we not only need to prepare the way of the Lord, but to prepare our way to the Lord. It is not only a time to give up things, but to do things, positive things.

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear, and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” Jas 2:14-17 (New American Bible)

    It is the works that we do through our faith that will lead us onto the path, the way to the Lord. There are many works we can do to show our faith. We can start the habit of going to confession on a regular basis; what a novel idea, relieve ourselves of the burden of our sins on a regular basis. Say the rosary often; remember, we can dedicate the prayers of the rosary to help a particular person in need; the intentions can be for spiritual or material assistance or health needs. The Stations of the Cross can be dedicated for a particular intention for us or better yet, for someone else. We should do something out of our normal way of life, to help prepare us to receive the gift won for us by Christ’s death and resurrection. There are many acts of charity that we can perform, and it does not have to be just a personal or individual thing. It can also be a community effort that many participate in, such as: collecting food, clothing, and basic necessities for the poor, helping the elderly, caring for the sick, attending a funeral of someone we don’t know and praying for him or her. This will involve God in many more aspects of our lives, for He will always be present for these acts of charity. And when God is involved in every aspect of our lives, then we are truly independent, free, and successful. This is how we use our faith through works to thank God for the sacrifice of Christ’s cross and His defeat of death by His resurrection to reopen the gates of heaven, so we may join God for all eternity.

Dennis Higgins (17 February 2018)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | February 15, 2018

188 – Prepare The Way

     As we start the season of Lent, the saying “prepare the way of the Lord” should have a special meaning for us.

“A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the Lord! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low; the rugged land shall be made plain, the rough country, a broad valley. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all mankind shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Is 40:3-5 (New American Bible)

This chapter of Isaiah was written about the time of the end of the Babylonian exile. He was preaching that the Jews needed to make a united path back to Jerusalem so that as a nation they would once more be the chosen people of their Lord God who had repented of their mistakes. After seventy years in exile, He had forgiven them their transgressions towards Him. We need to clear the mountains of sin we have made and level the holes of disbelief we have dug for ourselves, so that we can see our neighbor and ourselves as one with one another. It is not just a personal and individual thing, it is also a community effort that we all must participate in, to show that as a nation we are one with God. With everyone standing on a level field, “Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all mankind shall see it together.” With Lent upon us, we must be the “John the Baptist” of our time, crying out in the desert of secularism, against those who wish to take God out of every aspect of our lives, for it is when God is involved in every aspect of our lives that we are truly independent, free, and successful. It is when our path is level that our vision is truly clear and we can see the glory of God and how love of our neighbor brings us closer to Him. Only then can we truly “prepare the way of the Lord” for His second coming and partake in the glory of God’s eternity. We must prepare the way of the Lord not only for ourselves but with our neighbor, so that God’s grace may sweep us all into eternity with Him.

Posted by: reveriewithgod | January 16, 2018

187 – Avoid Immorality

“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Avoid immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.” 1 Cor 6:15a, 17-20 (New American Bible)

    At conception, a mortal embryo is given an eternal soul to bring it to life. God is the Lord of all that is eternal. Christ died so that we would have the choice to be in the presence of God or to not be in His presence. Although Adams and Eve’s sin closed the gates of heaven to us, we still had a choice to follow God or not. It has always been a choice for us to be temples of God’s grace. When Christ died for our sins, He reopened those gates. With Christ’s sacrifice we once again became children of God who could be in the presence of God. Through Christ we were once again “joined to the Lord [and could] become one [in] spirit with him”. Christ not only opened the opportunity to be in God’s presence for us, but to have His presence in us through the Eucharist. God is eternal and our souls are eternal and belong to God not us, but He lets us decide whether or not to join Him.

     Paul reminds us to “avoid immorality” because it is a sin “against [our] own body”, a body that God created to be the temple of his grace and presence, which He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within and reflect His great love for us. It is the immoral sins that affect our own body, created in the image and likeness of God that we should be most concerned about, for it allows evil to penetrate the deepest into our own heart. Remember, Christ showed His greatest displeasure with those who defiled his Father’s temple. We should often remind ourselves what Christ did for us – “for you have been purchased at a price” – therefore we should give thanks and glory to God and “avoid immorality”, and to keep our bodies a clean temple for the presence of God the Father almighty and His Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Dennis Higgins (15 January 2018)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | December 25, 2017

186 – Anniversary #8

In celebration of the eighth anniversary of my reverie blog, I am going to reprint an anonymous reverie that I used on my first anniversary that is timeless. It is titled “One Solitary Life”.

He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in still another village where he worked in a carpenters shop until he was thirty. He did none of the things one usually associates with greatness. He had no credentials but himself. He was only thirty-three when public opinion turned against him. He was turned over to his enemies and was crucified. When he was dead he was laid in a borrowed grave. Nineteen centuries have passed and today he is the central figure of the human race. No one has affected the life of man on earth as much as that ONE SOLITARY LIFE.

With the secularization of this season, it would do us well to remember what this season is really all about, One Solitary Life.

Posted by: reveriewithgod | December 1, 2017

185 – Souls Of The Just

   “The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality; chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. In the time of their visitation they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble; they shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the lord shall be their King forever. Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with his elect.” Wis 3:1-9 (New American Bible)

     The book of Wisdom was written about a century before Christ, when many did not believe in the coming resurrection of the soul. Even though God had promised a Messiah to redeem all humanity, the foolish did not believe in the resurrection of the soul to an eternal life, only of redemption during this mortal life, so death itself was “an affliction” and the end to all things. Because of Adam and Eve’s sin, our bodies became mortal; but in God’s love for us, He kept our souls eternal. God lives in eternity and if our just souls are in the hands of God, as written in the book of Wisdom, no harm can come to us; we shall be “in peace”, for we will be in eternity with Him.

     Christ said that in order to enter God’s kingdom, we must pick up our cross to follow Him. This cross we must pick up is our “chastised a little”, our being tempered in the furnace of life. It is our chance to be proven worthy as “sacrificial offerings”. If we have proven ourselves, we “shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble” out of the darkness of death into the light of eternity with God. The souls of the just, as described in Wisdom, are those who take seriously the fact of the after life in eternity with God, and who trust in His word and work to gain that eternity. “Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with his elect.”

Dennis Higgins (15 November 2017)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | November 15, 2017

184 – We Have No Excuse

“Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what has been made. As a result, [we] have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes.

      Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” Rom 1:20-25 (New American Bible)

     Since humanity proclaims itself as great thinkers, we have no excuse for the lack of recognition of the almighty God. “Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what has been made.” Instead, our vain arrogance, which led to our downfall from God’s eternity, has led us into the darkness, and further away from God’s eternal light. When we try to destroy Him by science, we only show that the intricate nature of things confirms that there is a higher power. “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever.” We lie to ourselves by trying to call that higher power aliens, but it is really God the Father almighty, all-powerful, just and merciful, who is the supreme creator. We are afraid of something more powerful than ourselves, because we might have to pay deference to someone greater than ourselves. We have no excuse for using vain arrogance to down play a God who is all benevolence, and mercy. What makes us want to ignore God, what makes us so scared of Him? It is the fact that He is all-just, He will hold us accountable for all our actions. We have no excuse for using something, our vain arrogance, to push us further away from God’s eternal light, joy and happiness for all eternity.

Dennis Higgins  (10 November 2017)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | November 1, 2017

183 – Whose Image

“Knowing their malice, Jesus said, ‘Why are you testing me, you hypocrites? Show me the coin that pays the census tax. They handed him the Roman coin. He said to them, ‘Whose image is this and whose inscription?’ They replied, ‘Caesar’s.’ At that he said to them, ‘Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.’” Mat 22:18-21 (New American Bible)

     Nothing has changed in all these centuries since the Pharisees tried to test Jesus. We are still trying to test God as if we were smarter than the creator. But as Jesus so aptly said if the image created on the coin belongs to Caesar then return the coin to Caesar, and we should also return to God what He created. We would do well to remember that we were created in the image and likeness of God; therefore, we are obligated to return to God that which He has created, us. But God does not ask us for a blind self-centered faith that many sectarians use to promote themselves. He wishes for us to choose to return to Him by the use of the free will He gave us as a gift. God has given us many tools to help us on the road to His kingdom, and it is up to us to choose and use them. God has set the standards for entry into His kingdom, and we, in our arrogance, should not think that we have a right to change or alter those standards. Towards us He is merciful and forgiving when we fall off the path, but He is also just, and we have to make the effort to stay on that path.

     Whose image are we faithful too? As Paul writes: “While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes. (Rom 1:22-23)” These are images that are contrived by man in his hypocrisy to bolster his human ego in this world. Should not the image and likeness created by God, with His love, goodness and justice, be returned to Him? Our answer will affect where we spend eternity.

Dennis Higgins (26 October 2017)

Older Posts »

Categories