My thoughts on CCD


Recently, our Cardinal informed us that he would like to hear from the parishioners and a survey was sent out.  I was excited to share some of my thoughts and spent the next day thinking about what I’d like to convey.  I really don’t have an axe to grind on the subject of Catholicism; I love the faith and the beauty of the religion.  Still, after some contemplation, I settled on one item I’d like to raise.

I opened the survey with anticipation, but was immediately disappointed.  The Cardinal wanted to know, in 1 single sentence, how the Church could listen to us better.  There were 3 questions, each requesting 1 single sentence on how the parish could listen better, how the Archdiocese could listen better and lastly, how the greater Catholic Church could listen to the world. 

1 single sentence…

I get it, there’s a lot of people in the Archdiocese and reading everything will take time, still, I was disappointed.  The 2nd question bothered me the most – I have no idea what the Archdiocese is currently doing to listen to the parishioners, so how could I suggest how they could do better, in one single sentence?

I guess I should appreciate that they are reaching out, even if it wasn’t as I had expected or hoped.  My answers we’re quickly, that the priests should look to build relationships within the community, that the Archdiocese should have an active mechanism to gather feedback from learned individuals who know the faith and finally, that the Church, as a whole, shouldn’t listen to the world. 

I had actually wanted to provide feedback on CCD.  At one point, I am certain, that CCD was taught by a bunch of well educated and faithful Moms.  Kids would go to Church on Sunday and then, during the week, receive an hour of instruction from a Mother who was willing to share her time and experience.  Today though, sadly, few Moms know the faith.

Every year, my children learn the same things, always the Sacraments and then, predictably, during Christmas, they learn about the 3 Wise Man and the Baby in the manger.  The story of the Baby in the manger is a shocking story if told right; the All mighty and powerful King of Kings is born dirt poor to a bunch of nobody shepherds?!?!?

I am always surprised when I drop my kids off for CCD, that there are a ton of kids that I never see on Sunday and didn’t know their families were Catholic.  A pew research poll showed that only 31% of Catholics believe that the Bread and Wine is actually the Body and Blood of Christ; the majority believe its just a symbol. (“If it’s only a symbol, to hell with it.” -Flannery O’Connor).  This is who is teaching CCD, in many instances. 

CCD is meant to augment what our parents are teaching us at home and what they learn in Church.  Reality is, parents today don’t know much about the Bible and most aren’t teaching their children.  CCD’s new role, in my opinion, is to tell the children about the Good Sheppard, the loving Giver of Life.

Children in CCD don’t know the Great Story of the Old Testament that calls out for Jesus.  Kids don’t know who St Paul is, they can’t name the writers of the four Gospels, they don’t know who David is or Moses and they don’t know the stories in the Bible.  CCD will try and teach my kids that Jesus loves them, but if they don’t know Jesus, telling them they’re loved just isn’t enough. 

CCD should spend more time as Bible study.  Teach the children not just that Mary loves us, but rather, why Mary is important.  Teach the kids about the Saints and how their lives can point to Christ and how in times of needs, they can intercede. 

Kids need to know Jesus and build a relationship with Him so that they can go through life knowing who loves them.  Kids, parents and everyone need to know, that Death doesn’t have the final say, that on the other side of life’s door, there’s Jesus, waiting with open arms. 

God Bless! 

How to get mad – Jesus Style

What comes to mind when you think of anger?  Often, we associate it negatively, as something to avoid.  With good reason, you should avoid anger when expressed in a non-productive way.  Of course, we are humans and we don’t handle every situation perfectly, so anger is expressed inappropriately often, hence the negative association.

I have a friend that recounted a story on Facebook with a picture of 4 broken eggs on the ground.  Apparently, her son tried to make eggs for lunch and dropped a few.  The mom had found it humorous, but I quickly reflected, that myself and most parents, would have responded “are you kidding me!!!”  Just the other day, we were heading to a swim meet and we were going to make it with a minute to spare.  I got a call that my son had left his goggles at home and I needed to turn around.  I was angry and we ended up making only the last few seconds of the warm up time.  It was a mistake and although I was angry, I kept my mouth shut.  I had the right to be frustrated and angry but I didn’t have the right to start yelling and making my son feel terrible.  Responsibility is what I’m trying to teach here not for him to incorrectly reflect –“I’m an idiot!”

Jesus expresses His anger in the Temple in Jerusalem.  The temple was supposed to be the source of how to worship God but it was broken.  John the Baptist, the son of the high priest, Zechariah was not preaching in the temple, but out in the wilderness because the temple was dirty and damaged with corruption.  Jesus comes to clean the house, which had become a common market, selling goods.  Jesus turns over the tables, spills the money and drives everyone out. 

“He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money-changers seated there.  He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen and spilled the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves, he said, “Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”  Jn 2:15-16

I’d like to reflect that the sight of one man driving out a whole marketplace with just a whip must have been a sight! 

Jesus was not wrong to be angry at the sight.  The temple is where we worship and gain a deeper relationship with God, not where we go to buy goods.  Would you be able to pray and spend quiet time with the Lord in His Church if you were surrounded by shop keepers yelling and chickens flying around?  Not many could, but the point is, the market in the temple was blocking worship, keeping us away from the source of love and light.  God wants a relationship with you for your sake and He is justified in His anger.  Note that during this exchange, Jesus doesn’t strike anyone down and there’s no mention that in His uncontrolled rage, He throws things around.  Rather, He drives them out.  He makes it so the temple can be a place of worship. 

When Jesus gets done, he explains to all that He will soon lay down His life.  “Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” Jn 2:19  The ultimate act of love is being referenced here, that Jesus, for all of our sin and to conquer death, He will subject Himself to torture and death on a cross.  After driving out the market, His offer is one of love. 

Jesus uses His anger to accomplish a point and doesn’t sin while angry.  He fixes an issue; He is perfectly justified and He seeks to redeem those who were sinning.  Jesus loves those He is angry with here. 

Whenever we talk about forgiveness, anger and love, one must always remind oneself, that loving your enemies shouldn’t come at a cost for health and wellbeing.  If someone shoots your friend, don’t invite the murder over for tea the next morning (try and come to terms with the issue, ease your broken heart and forgive…from a safe distance). 

When you find yourself angry, ask, are you justified?  Are you seeking to correct out of love?  After the fact, have you accomplished the goals? 

Easier said then done, but with God’s Grace, we can persevere.  God Bless!

Remember your death

Pope Pius XII famously said “The greatest sin is losing the sense of sin.” This saying comes in 1946, shortly after WWII, which I find profound that he didn’t say the holocaust or hatred of fellow man was the greatest sin; to be fair, I agree with Pope Pius XII.

What is the consequence of sin but death. When sin entered the garden, the result was that we would die and all death is a consequence of the sin of the world. Through one act, all will perish, but there’s more. Through one act of Jesus’s death, all can be saved, a greater gift than the punishment.

“But the gift is not like the transgression. For if by that one person’s (Adam’s) transgression the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one person Jesus Christ overflow for the many.” Romans 5:15

We must never forget why Easter is the most important holiday – it is the moment Jesus triumphed over death. We cannot have Easter, without Good Friday. Most would think, Good Friday, the day we killed our God in the most brutal fashion, wouldn’t be called Good, but we do, because it is good that He laid down His life for us.

If man has forgotten their sense of sin, could they have also forgotten their sense of mortality? Death is the secret hidden away from the forefront of the mind, but not for all. There are many monasteries around the world where death is a constant focus. A popular phrase is memento mori, which is Latin for, remember your death.

Trappist Monk’s are often known to have symbols of death prominently displayed and at one monastery, on the wall is inscribed, “Tonight perhaps?” Another monastery in France, on their cemetery is inscribed, “Today I die, tomorrow it will be you.”

The Catholic faith speaks extensively about death. The Hail Mary ends, “ Pray for us, now and at the hour of our death.” We don’t focus on death because we are macabre and dark. It is important that we remember not just Easter Sunday, but we remember Good Friday. We must remember that if we don’t die, we can’t be saved. The fruit must die so that the tree can grow. Rather, we focus on death because it is important to be ever mindful that we live forever and death is not the end. All the tragedy of the world is not the last say. All the misery, and trust me, there is lots of misery if you bother to look, is not just misery in its finality. Jesus offers eternal salvation and only Jesus offers it. If you forget that we perish, that we live in a dangerous world where perhaps, tomorrow is your last day, you forget you need the saving power of Jesus.

Why are Churches full of elderly? Because the elderly can’t escape the thought that their death is getting closer and now, more than ever, they cry out for their Savior. Connecting life and death connects our actions to our judgement.

Why is the Church not full of all ages? Perhaps because the youth have forgotten their mortal.

This pandemic has taught many that we are vulnerable and we live in a dangerous world; death numbers are published constantly and they can’t be ignored. Many think they can just stay home and be safe – that their actions will save themselves, but that’s just not true. Many put their faith in the government to come up with a solution or their doctors, but again, that won’t save either. If 1,000 die every day in the US from the novel Coronavirus, there are another 7,000 that die every single day, in the US, from things other than the Coronavirus. Death and our vulnerabilities are in the news today but death and peril was and is always here.

I know as a Dad that I can’t protect my children from everything. I allow them to bike to their friend’s house, which has hazard. I allow them to have that freedom, but I know there’s risk. When I get nervous, I say a quick prayer to the Blessed Mother to ask for Her intercession for my children’s protection. Mother Mary has more power than my watchful eye, after all. Life’s vulnerabilities help me to connect to my Lord and Savior.

During a Simpson’s episode, Hurricane Neddy, Maude Flanders states after nearly dying, “It was terrifying, I thought I was heading towards the eternal bliss of paradise.” I believe that in actuality the writers were making fun of the religious, but the jokes on them. We do hold out hope for the eternal bliss of paradise, that can only be accessed through death.

Let’s be clear, I am nervous about dying and death, but for a few reasons. The process of dying sounds scary and likely painful. I feel I have more to do on earth to love and care for those that depend on me and therefore, I don’t want to die – even though I’m confident God would provide. I mourn the loss of loved ones, who are no longer with me, which is normal, even if I hold out hope they are in eternal bliss. I also worry about my own judgement. All of these fears are made easier knowing that on the other side of that door awaits the loving embrace of My Lord and My God.

The veil of tears is not the end of our existence. Remembering my death helps me to remember that I have a Lord and Savior and that death doesn’t have the final word. What I do today matters. Life is not, as Macbeth put it, “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing,” but rather, it has a purpose. Remember your death so you don’t forget to strive to be saved. When the pandemic goes and fades away to a bad memory, don’t fool yourself – run to the loving embrace of our Savior and stay with Him. God Bless!

The 6th Commandment

“You shall not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Mt 5:27-28

The 6th commandment is not just some arbitrary rule that is imposed on you. Rather, it’s a prescription of how to live your best life. To practice the virtue of temperance is to live a chaste life. A life where you are not dominated by thoughts and actions of sex. You’ll be miserable if you hop from bar to bar, looking for a one-night stand. A meaningless life, dominated by sex will never be enough to fill the emptiness you will feel.

Imagine the scene, where the young man is enticed by the beautiful woman. She beckons for him and he resists because he loves another. Finally, the young man has a change of expression and one of determination and succumbs to his desires. Men and women have a choice, to master their passions or be enslaved to them. You can live a life of free choice or you can be moved by blind impulses.

Let’s say in the example above, the young man succumbs to his desires and is unfaithful, but his young bride never finds out. Is it ok then? There are two issues with this thought and first and foremost, is that nothing you do is unseen to the Lord. Nothing will go unpunished in a sinful life. The second is that you, yourself, know of your unfaithfulness. Even if you can’t express it, you know that you’ve failed. The demons in your head are in and they will continue to whisper to you, louder and louder; you are not free, but enslaved to the master of lies. Only through the sacrament of reconciliation and repentance can you find your burden eased.

In baptism, we are all called to live a chaste life. A life of chastity is a life of mastery over self and allows you to appreciate the integrity of another rather than reducing a person to their sexual function. The 6th commandment is not just about NOT committing adultery, but rather, its about loving one’s neighbor. The commandment is about the integrity of the person.

Not too often do you hear of the word chastity or chase other than as part of some joke (think chastity belt). Much like how today, we hear pride as a good thing to have, but when the good is bad (chase) and the bad is good (pride) do we know the devil is at work trying to trick us. “Chasity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being.” CCC2337. When you are free from the desire, you can know yourself better, live a better and holy life and have a better relationship with your God, who loves you.

In the 6th commandment, at first, you see quiet simply that you must be faithful to your spouse. As you dig more, you come to realize that the 6th commandment is about, once again, love. It’s about the respect and integrity you must acknowledge about your fellow man. As we are drawn more and more closely to God and His love, we can live both a moral and free life but also an unflappable life in knowing God’s love always wins out.

Thank you for reading this blog today! God bless!

The 9th Commandment

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.” Exodus 20:17. This is also restated in Deuteronomy 5:21.  As we discussed previously, the 9th and 10th commandment are linked with a call to NOT desire for both your neighbor’s goods and his wife.  The 9th commandment deals with the desire for another man’s wife and vice versa, a woman to desire another woman’s husband. 

Jesus reinforces this commandment in Matthew 27:28 “But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

So, what is wrong with thoughts, they are seemingly harmless.  Clearly, if you stop and think, there are harmful thoughts.  Thoughts of envy, thoughts of greed, thoughts of hatred all diminish your quality of life.  If you are consumed with thoughts of revenge on someone who wronged you, you will find yourself unhappy and miserable.  You could be led to actually hurting the person who wronged you but more than likely, you will hurt those around you with your unpleasant disposition.

Thoughts, driven by lessons, either learned first hand or assumed, can dictate your actions.  If you had a boss that once wronged you, if you let that lesson impact your next experience with your new boss, you will not likely have a good relationship, hurting your career.  For example, if your old boss stole your ideas and presented them to others as his own, if you carry those lessons forward, you may be less likely to share ideas with your new boss, hurting your career by being overly secretive, protective and defensive. 

Thoughts can hurt you, if they are inconsistent with God’s will.  By stealing your mind away from immoral thoughts of desire, you can more freely think clearly and appropriately.  If you let the desires of flesh consume you, you will never be happy because desires of the flesh and sexual pleasure is not enough to make one’s heart at ease; only the love of God can ease your heart. 

For all of time, pornography has been shunned and widely rejected by society.  Today, we are inundated with pornography on any media device and the evil one himself wants us to believe pornography is harmless.  Why are Christians and Jews so against pornography – because they’ve read and studied the 9th Commandment and know it harms oneself.  Pornography stands as an obstacle to purity of heart and lets in damaging thoughts.  Today, we are free to allow unhealthy thoughts, but we are far from free, rather, we become trapped.  Freedom of desire is to be sought so we can be truly free. 

“Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8.  The 6th Beatitude challenges us to clean our heart and mind.  By purifying your thoughts, you will hear God and know better His will. 

Purity of heart should be desired.  As you work towards adhering to the 9th Commandment, freeing your mind from thoughts of desire, you are better able to see your fellow man and woman as who they truly are, a child of God. 

Purity of the heart brings freedom.  You are no longer enslaved to your desires, but clearly see the dignity of the person.  It is erroneous to want to be free from God, where you are immodest in thought and behavior, only to find yourself trapped in sin and far from God and His love. 

God Bless!

The Ark is Mary

To Moses, by God’s very word: “You shall make an ark of acacia wood, two and a half cubits long, one and a half cubits wide, and one and a half cubits high.  Plate it inside and outside with pure gold, and put a molding of gold around the top of it.”   Exodus 25:10-11

The Lord has the Ark made of pure gold and spends a few chapters explaining how the Ark is to be made pure, flawless and blessed.  Later in Exodus, the dwelling that Moses erects to house the Ark is often covered, or overshadowed, by the cloud of the Lord.

In the Gospel according to Luke, Chapter 1:35, the angel Gabriel tells Mary that “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.”  Like God overshadowed His Ark, God will overshadow His new Ark, Mary.

The Ark contained the word of God, and Mary now contains the Word of God in Jesus, becoming the new Ark.

Remember that God was very specific in the creation of the Ark, having it made pure.  No less than 5 Chapters are dedicated to the making of the Ark.  Knowing the pains God takes to purify His Ark to house the Ten Commandments, it only stands to reason that His new Ark, Mary, would also be pure prior to Her housing the Word of God, Jesus.  This is a major reason Catholics believe in Mary’s purity and her Immaculate Conception, because the Ark is made pure and Mary is the new Ark.

The Ark continues to have significance as David takes great pains to secure it and it continues to bless him while in his possession.

David sets out to Judah to retrieve the Ark to bring it to Jerusalem but while transporting the Ark, it begins to tip and a man name Uzzah reaches out to steady the Ark.  Because Uzzah believes he can steady the Ark, rather than God protect it, God strikes Uzzah dead.  David now fears the Ark and leaves it in the hill country of Judah with a man named Obededom.

“The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obededom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed Obededom and his whole house.”  2 Sam 6:11

Mary, after she is with child, in haste rushes to her cousin Elizabeth who lives in the hill country of Judah and remains with her for three months.  The parallel with the Ark is gaining ground here, as the Ark was in the hill country of Judah and remained for three months, just like Mary travels to Judah for three months.

As David brings the Ark into Jerusalem, he dances before the Ark.  “Then David, girt with linen apron, came dancing before the Lord with abandon as he and all the Israelites were brining up the ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and to the sound of the horn.”  2 Sam 6:14-15

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”  Luke 1:41-42 The child with Elizabeth is John the Baptist and John here, like David before, dances (or leaps) before the Ark with abandon.

Turning to John in the book of Revelations Chapter 11:19 to 12:1-2 we get to the final point of Mary as the Ark.  “Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple.  There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a violent hailstorm.  A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.  She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.” 

“She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.” Rev 12:5

Clearly, its Mary John speaks of, who is with child that is destined to rule all the nations.  John notes he sees the Ark and directly after noting the Ark, he sees Mary.  Mary is the new Ark – she is significant.

God Bless!

The Cock’s Crow!

“Peter said to him in reply, “Though all may have their faith in you shaken, mine will never be.”  Jesus said to him, “Amen, I say to you, this very night before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” Mat 26:33-34

Did every nation East of Jerusalem, as the sun rose while the world spun, awake to silence?  Did the world cease to hear the morning call of the cock?

I like to imagine that the good men and women in the East stopped in wonder.  Was something wrong?  Was something happening?

The answer is, something was happening, The Son was accepting His death, a death alone on a cross for all mankind.  Yes, something was happening, but no one but a few knew.

Did the cock not crow for all mankind during this time or was the cock’s crow at that moment just for Peter’s ears?  I believe the rooster called it shrill cry for Peter’s ears, to teach our first Pope of his great sin.

Our God is a patience and deliberate God.  Had the cock not crowed for all mankind for the 10 or so hours it took between our Lord’s prophesy and Peter’s denials, it would have been just curious and resolved the next morning as the cock resumed his predictable noise.

Something was going on, but that happening is not just a curious event at one moment in time but one that an everlasting, ancient one made sure still rings today.  That bird’s call is forever memorialized to this day.  An insignificant beast played his part, oblivious of his role in history.

Its not just spooky that Jesus knew the future, rather, we come to learn that even in Jesus’ greatest time of need, Peter couldn’t stand firm, and he ran.  Peter was far from Jesus, but the sound of the cock’s crow is the Father calling to Peter, come back.  It calls to the man, repent/ turn back.

Peter does repent:

“At that he began to curse and to swear, “I do not know the man.”  And immediately a cock crowed.  Then Peter remembered the words that Jesus had spoken: “Before the cock crows you will deny me three times.”  He went out and began to weep bitterly.”  Mat 26:74-75

Peter weeps bitterly, which is our great saint’s display to all of us, that despite our sins, our Lord calls us back for His mercy, we only need to weep bitterly.  Peter knows he’s failed, yet unlike Judas who commits suicide, Peter repents.  Later, the risen Lord demands Peter’s words of commitment.  Peter must answer Jesus three repeated questions, “do you love me?”  Peter must undo his three denials.

Christianity spread like wildfire after these events.  Our God is a patient God though, and His plan and will was to bring the good news to others at the time He felt was right.  The America’s, for example, would have to wait 1500 or so more years before the Good news was spread.  Many still wait today.

All of the world’s roosters probably sang their shrill cry to the unaware while we waited for Peter’s denials because it wasn’t just some weird event in history, but is an everlasting call, sustaining through the ages by a perfect and patient storyteller.  A storyteller pulling you in even today, 2000 plus years later.

Hear the cock crow and if your sins are great, then weep bitterly.

God Bless!


My daughter was tasked to write a grace for Thanksgiving dinner.  Apparently, we are going to dispatch with the traditional prayer – “Bless us o Lord for these thy gifts which we are about to receive from the bounty.”  Bounty, of course, references the bounty given to our first parents, Adam and Eve in the garden, where the Lord our God created all things in variety and abundance.

This grace my daughter is to write is basically a statement about for which she is thankful.  Later she asked me how to write it and I responded, “Dear Lord, I’m thankful for:” then fill-in the blank.

Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks.  It is a very secular holiday, although it was memorialized by Abraham Lincoln as: “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”  Clearly the nation in 1863 wanted to give thanks to our Father in Heaven.  While many thinks of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians having a harvest feast, the feast was to give thanks for the abundance of the harvest which the Father creates.  Thanksgiving doesn’t really have any notion of being religious today, and it certainly doesn’t have to be for anyone, but its perfectly acceptable to make this holiday about our Lord our God, as it was once intended.

“Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining,” John 6:11

As we contemplate and remark to what we are thankful for during this Blessed time, let’s not lose sight of to whom we are thankful.

BTW – my daughter is thankful to the Lord for a great family, food and water.  (Nailed it!)

God Bless!

Love your enemy

I’ve been a manager for some time now, over 10 years, and during that career I have regrettably had to fire 3 people during this time.  Most recently, I ran into one of them at a function and try as I might to have been nice to her, she clearly resents me.  I’m sure that it would make her day if I too had something bad happen to me.  I wonder how she would feel if I got promoted?

I share her feelings of someone in the workplace that I too dislike.  I briefly worked for a company that determined success by how many people liked you, not how you performed; constructive feedback, no matter how well framed and accurate, was not good if that person was well liked.  Add to it a very close nit group that would bad mouth those doing well and I failed.  I knew I wasn’t wanted, so I ran for it, and thanks be to God, I found a better job.  I hold resentment towards my manager and if honest, I want him to fail but I’ve been praying for him.

My prayer for my former boss is simple, I leave it up to God.  I can’t pray my boss is successful because I don’t think God determines success as one being promoted.  The prayer is one of smooth sailing and if it gets rocky, that those challenges help him grow to know God better.

“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 he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.  For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?”  Mat 5:43-46

First, there is not a commandment in the Old Testament that you should hate your enemy, just that at the time, most believed that it was ok to hate your enemy.  Think about it, if someone came to you during Jesus’ time and said, ‘boy I sure hate those Romans who keep taking our money and making salves of us,’ your response would be, well, yeah, me too.

Jesus calls us to pray for our enemies.  That is really hard.  Of course, justice always gets served, after all, we all live on this broken world and none can avoid the final judgement, of which is determined by the Father alone.

If there is a murder on trial, it is ok to want that person to be convicted and serve his life in prison.  During that time, we should pray that the person repents and turn towards God.

God loves me.  I fired someone who hates me and probably considers me her enemy.  Thank God I’m loved.  I know I’m loved and I know I’ve done wrong.  I don’t deserve God’s love.  It would be wrong for me to think that God can overlook my faults and love me but not others.  To that end, I know God loves my former boss as well.  We have a God that doesn’t discriminate His love of us sinners and His mercy is endless and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thanks be to God.

Move Mountains

I’ve often thought about Matthew 7:20 – “Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.”

So why, in all of time, has no one moved a mountain through faith alone?  Because if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will only want to move a mountain if its God’s will.  Faith is doing God’s will and what He wants.  If God put a mountain somewhere, chances are, He doesn’t want you to move it.  If you want to move the mountain, and He doesn’t, then you are in conflict with God and don’t have the faith the size of a mustard seed.

Those with true faith, could move a mountain but don’t want to because God doesn’t want that mountain moved.  The minute you try to move a mountain with your great faith, then, you don’t have great faith.

It’s a brilliant catch 22.

There are countless miracles that have happened throughout history that have demonstrated that faith can do wonderous things.  I believe those blessings are like moving mountains.

God Bless!