Archive for category Cleansing the Temple

Every Day Can Be Independence Day

Update (July 6, 2013): For those interested in calling on Rachel’s Vineyard, it is an international organization with retreats scheduled the world over throughout the year.  Their contact information is as follows:

Website: www.rachelsvineyard.org

Toll-free retreat information: 877 HOPE 4 ME   (877-467-3463)

National Helpline for Abortion Recovery: 866-482-LIFE   (866-482-5433)

Office Location:

Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries 808 N. Henderson Road 2nd Floor King of Prussia, PA  19406

(610) 354-0555 (office) (610) 354-0311 (fax)

 

Previous (July 4, 2013): On this Fourth of July,  we celebrate America’s Independence Day and the God-given freedoms we enjoy in this country.    There are most certainly strains and struggles with respect to these freedoms enjoyed.  Much of the struggles stem from disagreement over the source of such freedoms the people enjoy.  Are these freedoms privileges extended by the state to the individual or are they created by God as part of the inherent dignity of the individual and the rule of natural law?  Men fight and die for each cause, but for the human person to soar under peace his dignity under God’s freedom must be affirmed and protected.

As essential as political freedoms are to  people, so is freedom from sin and its cursed consequences.  Every day holds the potential of being Independence from sin day.  Refuge under the protection of God and His ways is a first defense, forgiveness and healing from other’s sins can serve as another front defense, and repentance for our own sins is another required defense.

Our forgiveness for another’s sins is rarely possible without seeking healing and strength from the Lord.  He died bearing the sins of others and He is ready to take the burden of other’s sins from us.  Our forgiveness is a sharing in Divine life and power of the Divine.  Not always easily done and often without a greater reward than freeing oneself from the debilitation from another.  Yet, we can take solace that our treasure in heaven is building and our formation as a person of God is strengthened.

We can all  seek contriteness and repentance for our sins with the sure knowledge that God will forgive all repented sin.  For certainty in absolution, Jesus gave His Church and His priests the authority to administer the Sacrament of Penance.  The United States Constitution may assure one of a free tongue, hands or feet, but only the Sacrament of Penance can assure one of the freedom of one’s soul.

 

If you have not been to the Sacrament of Penance for some time, please consider attending soon.  The formula for beginning a confession to a priest is, “Bless me father, fo r I have sinned.  It has been ________ since my last confession.  Since then my sins have been…”  Know that priests are ready to hear anything and Christ is more than ready to forgive that of which you repent.

 

Healing is a close cousin of penance for sin as many of our needs for healing are associated with sins committed and suffered by its victims.  Also, sin is not the only source of harm.  All life has its losses and wounds over time.  One such loss that can leave a life-long wound and a confession may not be needed, or sufficient alone, is an unresolved pregnancy loss.  A healing is never further than a prayer away, but not always the full healing sought.

 

One place where such healing for unresolved pregnancy losses have been so successfully achieved is through encounters with Jesus Christ through the Scriptures, the other person, and the Sacraments is a Rachel’s Vineyard weekend retreat.  If you have or someone you know has  suffered such a  loss, consider calling on and attending one of their weekend retreats.  Such weekends have  been Lazarus events for so many.  If you need it: Why not for yourself?

Each of these methods toward Independence Day helps to cleanse this Temple of our being that frees us to be the Temple for where the Preborn Christ may rest and grow, taking consolation from your willingness to take notice of His needs and our willingness to serve Him.   And so further our relationship with Him deepens in intimacy as we come to know, understand better, and share in His difficult life.  In return, He will give you His rest.

Feast of St. John the Baptist

“He must increase; I must decrease,” John 3:30 was declared by John the Baptist during his final testimony before his incarceration and later beheading. Contained within these words is a clear expectation that the role of John the Baptist was to lessen while Jesus stepped forward to center stage. This is exactly what happened, especially so with his imprisonment and beheading. John the Baptist is recognized as the dividing line between the Old and New Testaments and here gives clear testimony to the fulfillment of the Old Law in Jesus Christ. He, like the Law, would recede and give way to the Spirit’s dominance.

It is also intriguing to note where the Evangelist John placed this statement of John the Baptist. Leading up to this statement of John the Baptist, the Evangelist records the Baptism of Jesus, the selection of His first Disciples, His attendance and miracle at the Wedding of Cana, the Cleansing of the Temple and the conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus on the spiritual re-birth in Christ. In parallel, we are called to seek union with the Holy Spirit that we may conceive of Christ, be cleansed for growth, and be formed into Christ in order to birth or manifest Him in this world and birth ourselves into eternal life with Jesus.

Let’s not be afraid or neglectful in asking St. John the Baptist to intercede for our reception of the Preborn Christ who has the power to change our lives and teach us how to love another.

Pleae Note: I have had technical issues with the site for the past two days and have finally resolved them. This is why, not wanting to miss noting on of John the Baptist’s contribution to the Preborn Christ devotion, this was posted late