Posted by: reveriewithgod | September 15, 2018

202 – Imitators Of God

As Paul wrote to the Ephesians:

“And do not grieve the holy Spirit of God, with which you were sealed for the day of redemption. All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice. [And] be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.” Ephesians 4:30-5:2 (New American Bible)

“The holy Spirit of God, with which you were sealed for the day of redemption,” sealed refers to the day of our baptism. The cleansing of our soul with the waters of baptism, thus to be dead to original sin and reborn with the Holy Spirit to be a child of God “for the day of redemption”. “All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice”, these are all things that come from within us and must be excoriated from our soul. As Christ said: “Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.” Mk 7:15 (NAB) As God forgives us, we must also forgive others, and this is how we show our love for our neighbor. This is not to say that disagreement with someone is not valid, but the language used to express that disagreement should be “kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.” There is no hatred in God or Christ, nor should there be in us. “So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.” A “fragrant aroma” is not one of “bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling”, but it is one of kindness, compassion and forgiving. Be imitators of God who is all love, compassion, mercy, and justice.

Dennis Higgins (12 September 2018)

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Posted by: reveriewithgod | September 1, 2018

201 – Are You A Christian?

When Christ was asked:

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40 (New American Bible)

     For a nation that calls itself Christian, and prides itself on its Judeo-Christian foundation, this scripture passage should be very clear. It is one that is heard almost every Sunday. Yet, it seems to be quite alien to most people who call themselves Christian. What constitutes the love of neighbor has gotten lost somewhere. The rhetoric of hatred that is most prevalent in politics and the media today belies any resemblance to Christian values. This is not to say that disagreement with someone is not valid, but the language used to express that disagreement in today’s world is anything but Christian. It is quite often used with the intention to destroy the opponent, which often has nothing to do with the disputed point of view.

     God helped to create this nation and has been quite good to it, which does not mean that this nation has not had its problems. But the wholesale secular turning of our back on God and His Commandments does not bode well for this country. If history repeats itself and He turns His face from us, as He has done to other countries, we are in for very bad times. I don’t think those who want to take God out of our government have learned very much from history. Godless governments don’t survive very well, just look at the last century and the destruction that they reaped upon themselves and the world. Are you a Christian? If you really want to call yourself Christian then you have to start living the word as God has given it to us. There is no hatred in God or Christ, nor should there be in us.

Dennis Higgins (26 August 2018)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | August 15, 2018

200 – Perseverance

      When a Canaanite woman asked Jesus to have pity on her because her daughter was tormented by a demon:

“He said in reply, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’ …[Yet she persisted]. He said in reply, ‘It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.’ She said, ‘Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.’ Then Jesus said to her in reply, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.’ And her daughter was healed from that hour.” Matthew 15:24, 26-28 (New American Bible)

     The Canaanite woman, although she was a Gentile, recognized the special ability of the man named Jesus, and believed He could cure her daughter. And it was her faith and perseverance in pursuing Jesus to perform the miracle on her daughter that persuaded Him to act. Jesus’ original mission was to reconcile the Jews to God and then through them the rest of the world. But when they rejected His message, Jesus turned to the gentiles, who were not necessarily looking for deliverance by an earthly king as many Jews were, but who were open to His spiritual message. There are many stories in the Bible that show the power of faith through perseverance in prayer.

     One other thing that usually gets over looked is that her prayers and faith were for the healing of another person. Yes, it helped her with the care of her daughter, but that was the consequences of the healing of her daughter. Her petition was for a person other than herself. Perseverance with intercessions through prayer can be a great help for other people. Jesus healed many people from a distance because of the perseverance and faith of another person. Perseverance with our prayers for other people doesn’t go unnoticed, in this life or the next, especially for the souls in purgatory.

Dennis Higgins (10 August 2018)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | August 1, 2018

199 – Known By Its Own Fruit

     “A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For people do not pick figs from thornbushes, nor do they gather grapes from brambles. A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good but an evil person out of the store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.” Luke 6:43-45 (New American Bible)

     Satan cannot speak the truth, “an evil person out of the store of evil produces evil”. If Satan spoke the truth, he would be divided against his own house. God is eternal goodness, “the store of goodness in his heart produces good”, He is known by the fruit He produces, and there is no evil in His heart. How can we, in truth, listen to hate filled speech and think that there are good intentions in that person’s speech? If “A good tree does not bear rotten fruit”, how can we put credibility into what a person full of hate says? Unfortunately, there is a lot of hate filled speech in the world today that is gaining acceptance.

     The solution to violence in our world today lies there in our hearts. Regardless of your point of view about guns, a gun is an inanmate object; it cannot promote hate speech. That lies within us, “for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks”. “For every tree is known by its own fruit” and a rotten tree does not bear good fruit. No good can come from fostering hatred in our hearts, only evil. Remember, Christ entreated us to love our enemies. We must root out hatred from our own hearts first, before we can begin to root it out of our society. Let us be known by our own fruits, that of the goodness that God has placed in us to bring us into the eternal kingdom that is His. At the final coming of Christ our tree will be “known by its own fruit”; for by those fruits, the fruits we have produced during our lifetime, we will be judged.

Dennis Higgins (30 July 2018)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | July 15, 2018

198 – Justice

    “I will listen for the word of God; surely the Lord will proclaim peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who trust in him. Near indeed is salvation for the loyal; prosperity will fill our land. Love and truth will meet; justice and peace will kiss. Truth will spring from the earth; justice will look down from heaven. The Lord will surely grant abundance; our land will yield its increase. Prosperity will march before the Lord, and good fortune will follow behind.” Psalm 85:9-14 (New American Bible)

   The peace of God is in the keeping of his word; keeping his commandments and statutes will lead us to our salvation. To those who trust or keep faith in Him, prosperity will fill their heart. “Love and truth will meet; justice and peace will kiss.” The key word here is justice. It does not say mercy or compassion or faith will kiss with peace. In today’s world justice is thrown out of the equation and mercy or compassion or faith are substituted to suit societies political agenda; sometimes hatred is even touted as being justifiable.

    But those substituted words, mercy or compassion or faith, are not in the equation with peace that God has put forth. That does not mean that they are not important or should not be in our hearts. But justice is vital to the equation for our salvation and being at peace with God, it cannot be thrown out with the bath water. When truth springs from our hearts, God in his “justice will look down from heaven” and shower us with His grace, showing us how important love and truth are to our salvation. God is all love, truth, justice and peace, and these attributes are all an essence of God and cannot be separated from each other or from Him; they are all one and go hand in hand with each other. “Prosperity will march before the Lord” only with the keeping of his whole word, not just the parts that suit us. And where “justice and peace will kiss [then] good fortune will follow behind.”

Dennis Higgins (10 July 2018)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | July 1, 2018

197 – Free Will

“Say not: “It was God’s doing that I fell away”; for what he hates he does not do. Say not: It was he who set me astray”; for he has no need of wicked man. Abominable wickedness the Lord hates, he does not let it befall those who fear him. When God in the beginning, created man, he made him subject to his own free choice. 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 to 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 15:11-20 (New American Bible)

     “God in the beginning, created man, he made him subject to his own free choice.” To deny your free will, that which sets us apart from all other species that inhabit the earth, is to deny your humanity. God did not create evil, it only exists by man’s choice. Man can choose to put his hand in fire and get burned, and maybe learn not to put his hand in fire again, or he can choose not to learn and put his hand into the fire again.

     “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.” So, God gave us the Commandments to help us not put our hand into the fire of sin to begin with, for in sin is eternal death. We can choose to sin, which is death, or not to sin and drink of the water of life; but even when we choose sin we can repent and put our hand into God’s well of forgiveness. He is always there for us, but we must choose to be for Him. “If you choose you can keep the commandments; it is loyalty to do his will.” Sin only exists when humanity chooses to give it life. “No man does he command to sin, to none does he give strength for lies.” It is the use of our free will that brings us life or death in this life or eternity.

Dennis Higgins (24 June 2018)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | June 21, 2018

196 – Sparking A Flame

“If you blow upon a spark, it quickens into flame, if you spit on it, it dies out; yet both you do with your mouth! Cursed be gossips and the double-tongued, for they destroy the peace of many. A meddlesome tongue subverts many, and makes them refugees among the peoples; it destroys walled cities, and overthrows powerful dynasties.

A blow from a whip raises a welt, but a blow from the tongue smashes bones; many have fallen by the edge of the sword, but not as many as by the tongue.

Dire is the death it inflicts, beside which even the nether world is a gain; it will not take hold among the just nor scorch them in its flame, but those who forsake the Lord will fall victims to it, as it burns among them unquenchably!” Sir 28:12-14, 17-18, 21-23a (New American Bible)

     The book of Sirach was written some 200 years before Christ and is still timeless today. Its numerous maxims are still quite pertinent in today’s world. To see the truth in that, all one has to do is to look at the wars of the last century. Our words can be used in either way, for war or peace.

     When speaking of the qualities of the tongue, one must remember, that “Dire is the death it [can] inflict” not only on the living body, but the eternal soul. Satan’s world is peppered with souls of people of good intentions. Words have meaning and are important, how quick we are to dismiss the thought that our words are destructive, because everyone knows that truth is good. But truth must be tempered with justice and while our words might have some truth in them, they are not all just; and truth without justice is chaos, and the devil revels in chaos. Just as you can spark a flame with your breath, you can also put one out, or better yet to not start one to begin with. Forsaking the Lord by sparking a flame of hatred does not bring us eternal happiness. Using our words as seeds to grow and invoke the love of our neighbor will bring us closer to eternity with God, and eternity with God should be our goal.

Dennis Higgins (20 June 2018)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | June 1, 2018

195 – Perversity Of Speech

“When a sieve is shaken, the husks appear; so do a man’s faults when he speaks. As the tests of what the potter molds is in the furnace, so in his conversations is the test of a man. The fruit of the tree will show the care it has had; so too does a man’s speech disclose the bent of his mind. Praise no man before he speaks, for it is then that men are tested.” Sir 27:4-7 (New American Bible)

     Unfortunately in today’s world perversity of speech is looked upon with admiration. The more crude and perverse the speech., the bigger the laugh it gets, the more admiration is given. Civility is looked upon as old fashion. Ridicule must be endured, other wise you are considered thin skinned. But of coarse this only applies to those you dislike; but if it is you receiving the ridicule, you are encouraged to show righteous indignation, and to use more perverse speech. Unfortunately, all this shows us is that for the arrogant, speech only has meaning when spoken by those they consider the elite. But all words have meaning and consequences no matter who speaks them. As stated long ago in Sirach, the way a person speaks shows a great deal about the person speaking, and discloses “the bent of his mind.”

     When we let perverse speech incite violence, we are destroying our faith in the wisdom and truth of speech. It is only when we acknowledge that all speech should have truth in its meaning not vulgarity, then we can communicate with each other. If speech has no meaning then there is no communication and chaos ensues. This seems to be what the secular world wants, which leads to the perverse using perverse speech to gain power over peoples lives through chaos. When speech has no meaning or consequences every human being is in danger, for evil thrives in chaos. Perversity of speech is how nations and societies are destroyed. Let us bring back civility to our rhetoric and bury the perversity of our speech.

Dennis Higgins (22 May 2018)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | May 18, 2018

194 – Our Eternal Spirit

     “For Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead us to God. Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the spirit. …This prefigured baptism, which saves you now. It is not a removal of dirt from the body but an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.” 1 Peter 3:18, 21-22 (New American Bible)

We too have an eternal spirit and like Christ we must die to the worldly flesh so that our eternal spirit will be able to follow Him through the gates to be with the Lord our God. Where we spend our spiritual eternity is not automatic, it is determined by the choices we make during our mortal life. During our lifetime, the future of our spiritual life can change direction often, and God understands this and is ready to forgive our transgressions when we are truly sorry for them. Sincerity is not a commodity that can be bought or sold. It must be freely collected and saved, stored safely in our hearts. Just as the Israelites had to collect manna each morning, that God also freely gave to them, so they would have enough to eat for the day. Christ can be our manna each day in the Eucharist at daily mass. But the effort must be on our part to receive Him. When we sin, we loose great quantities of sincerity that should be replaced as soon as possible. Remember, our heart and soul must be as white as snow in order to be in the presence of God. Christ, who was righteous, died in the flesh to open the gates of heaven for us; we must die to sin each day so that we will be righteous enough to enter those gates. We must learn to care more about our eternal spirit in this life than to worry about our mortal comfort. Where our eternal spirit spends eternity is important because it will be there for all eternity and the mortal comforts we enjoy will pass away.

Dennis Higgins (18 May 2018)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | May 1, 2018

193 – “Grace Was Given…”

“But Grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.                   And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ, so that we may no longer be infants, tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery, from their cunning in the interest of deceitful scheming.” Ephesians 4:7, 11-14 (New American Bible)

     While we are all equal in God’s eyes, as in a human body we all have different functions. But it is necessary for all those functions to work together, in order for the body to work and perform its duties efficiently. It is important for us to maintain our individuality, our individual function, but we must work in unison to keep the body of Christ functioning on its journey “to mature manhood.” We keep that unity through “faith and the knowledge of the Son of God.” The body of Christ’s Church is “joined and held together by every supporting ligament, [and] with the proper functioning of each part, brings about the body’s growth and builds itself up in love – Ephesians 4:16 (NAB).” It is through faith and knowledge that we keep Christ’s body, the Church, from being swept away by the secular world around us.

     At creation the gift that God shared with us was His divinity, that divinity is called grace. Adam lost that grace by disobeying God’s will, now God gives it back to us as a gift but we must accept it and more importantly we must show our acceptance by obeying His will. When we accept His grace we have the Spirit of the Risen Christ dwelling within us. God cannot dwell in material things, but where the Spirit is, He is able to converse with that Spirit. This is the importance of our body as a temple of God, where our heart is His tabernacle. Once we are in a state of grace, there is the indwelling of the divine trinity. Grace was given to each of us to help us perform our individual function needed to mature Christ’s body, the Church, to its full stature.

Dennis Higgins (18 April 2018)

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