Sunday, September 30, 2012

September 30, 2012 – Catechism 1846 – 1851

Where sin is increased, we have grace all the more.  This might seem like something that is hard to believe, but if you have ever watch someone convert from a deep dark life, you know how much grace was around them during their sin.  The issue is that grace needs a crack to break through.  Grace cannot get through a solid wall.  If grace can set itself in that crack, then it will begin to work and, like a crack in a dam, it will work its way into the person’s heart.  But there does need to be that crack. 

I think there may be some that think the Passion is exaggerated.  If you believe that what Christ accomplished by His Passion was to permanently defeat sin and death and made Satan ultimately powerless, if you believe that He opened up Heaven for all when that gate was shut before, then wouldn’t you think that Satan would throw everything he could at Christ to stop it.  If anything, it is probably downplayed.  This is the moment when sin sees its ultimate conclusion and it would have done anything to stop this from happening.  Everything was thrown at Christ.  It cannot be exaggerated what Christ went through for us.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

September 29, 2012 – Psalms 66 – 67

Psalm 66 is titled Praise of God, Israel’s Deliverer.  It is understood that Israel should praise God because of all the miracles that they have witnessed while God brought them out of Egypt.  We get the same sense with Christ speaking to Thomas after the Resurrection.  You believe because you have seen, blessed are those that do not see and still believe.  It makes me think about what I have seen.  Obviously, I have had no visions of Christ, but I have seen (maybe not miracles) but things that I really can’t explain.  I don’t think I can use the excuse that I haven’t seen anything so my belief is weak.  I sometimes feel that I am in the same boat with Thomas.  That means that I need to believe and believe it deeply because of what I have experienced.  I need to praise God because He is my Deliverer. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

September 28, 2012 – Job 22

The beginning of the chapter ask a very good question.  “Can a man be profitable to God?”  It is an interesting question because sometimes we can get the notion that our actions improve God in some way or that God is better off because we have done something good.  We can also take it the other way and think that our actions have hurt God to the point that He is lessened by us.  Neither is the case.  God is infinite and beyond our ability to change, for good or ill.  Nothing we can do can diminish God and nothing we do can improve upon Him.  All that we have, are taught, are told to do, accomplish, is for our sake, our soul, our eternal salvation.  God will be God regardless of the choices we make.  The only thing that is up in the air is where we will end up for all eternity.  Although God wants us with Him, He will not force us, He lets it be our choice, and if we choose to not follow Him, God is still infinitely and eternally GOD.   

Thursday, September 27, 2012

September 27, 2012 – 2 Samuel 4 – 5

You would think that people would learn not to kill those that David doesn’t tell them to kill.  Again, they go after Saul’s son and those that kill him are in turn, killed by David because of what they did.  We understand that David, before almost any action, goes to God and ask if it is something he should do.  All of Israel is on notice and understands that David is following God and they should understand not to do anything he doesn’t instruct them to do.  His actions and how he dealt with Saul, Saul’s sons, and Abner, in part at least, lead the rest of Israel to come to David and make him king over a united country.

It is hard to picture Jerusalem not in the hands of Israel, but it wasn’t.  And it is known for a city that was very hard to conquer.  (watch the movie Kingdom of Heaven)  David comes and does defeat the city and it becomes the center of Israel and from this moment on, until the present, will become the center of much of the actions that effect world history and relations.    

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

September 26, 2012 – Catechism 1830 – 1845

The 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit are Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord. 

The 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit are Charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity.

Of those 19, which is the most misunderstood and abused in the world.  As I look at the list, I might say that faithfulness is the most misunderstood.  Based on the whole movement of “not religion” Christianity, what are they faithful to.  You cannot be faithful to something that is relative, something that changes, a moving target.  Faith stems from something that is firm and forever.  It leaks a little into the gift of understanding.  People feel that they can go off on their own and understand God and be faithful to their understanding and that is all they need.  That is nauseatingly arrogant.  I see it as worse if you hold yourself out to others as a person who understands God and build others faith in YOUR understanding of God.  I will never understand how someone could break away from the Church and start their own community based solely on the fact that they think they understand God better.  I can’t believe people follow them down that road. 

I do not write this blog because I understand God better than others.  I will be the first to admit that I do not understand Him or what He wants from me many times.  I would never be so bold as to ask people to follow me and my understandings away from Church.  If there is a part of the Catholic interpretation that I don’t understand, I know enough to understand that it is me that needs correcting and more knowledge, not the Church’s teaching.  And if you are following someone that started their own church based on their own understanding, have you ever asked yourself where you are going if they are wrong.    

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

September 25, 2012 – Psalms 63 – 65

Do we long for God.  With our ever waking moment to we seek Him, do we make Him our sole objective.  Obviously we don’t, but that is the goal.  That is where are hearts are suppose to be. 

Do we ask God to guard us.  Do we understand that He can guard us.  I think many times we feel we are strong enough on our own, we can handle it.  We are called to ask God for help.  He can guard us if we ask.  Would you go to battle without armor, would Obama go to New York without secret service.  It is ok to ask for help, to ask to be guarded.  Not only is it ok, but God wants us to ask. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

September 24, 2012 – Job 21

The last lines got to me.  How can you comfort me when your lines are full of falsehoods.  I feel like that sometimes at a funeral.  You want to say that the person is in Heaven, a better place, that their suffering is over.  If a person gets cancer, you want to tell them it will be alright, they’ll get better, they’ll make it through.  We want to say this because we want to help.  We say these things because we want to believe them.  But are we trying to comfort with falsehoods.  Are we lying to them and ourselves.  Are we actually doing them any good.  I really don’t know.  I think that is something I find very hard at funerals.  I don’t know what do say because I don’t want to be dishonest, but I don’t want to be callus either.  Where is the line, what do you say.  This is an open question because I don’t think I have a good answer.   

Sunday, September 23, 2012

September 23, 2012 – 2 Samuel 3

What an episode.  Abner, the enemy for so long of David, is insulted and turns sides.  He goes to David and with his influence determines that he can make David king of all Israel and end the war.  David agrees and allows Abner to leave.  He treats Abner much like he treated Saul.  There is this sense of respect for his elders, not just those that were anointed by God.  We see the same respect for Joab, not killing him for what he did, and after Joab’s brother died.  Joab comes and finds out that Abner was here and left.  Joab calls him back and takes revenge for his brother’s death.  We also forget that Abner never wanted to kill the brother.  The brother chased him and Abner told him to go left or right and stop following, but he refused.  Joab was unaware that the war would be over if Abner did as he said he was going to.  You can picture the scene (and I still think David’s life would be a great season long TV show) but Abner returns and sees Joab.  Abner is delighted, thinking they are at peace, feeling the war is over.  Joab only sees his brother’s killer.  Abnner goes to embrace Joab and is stabbed.  Abner’s face goes from joy to surprise to sadness in a few seconds.  Then picture the scene when David finds out and Joab is remanded and understands the consequences.  What a great 30 minutes of TV that would all entail.   

Saturday, September 22, 2012

September 22, 2012 – Catechism 1822 – 1829

We are called to love, it is our new Christian commandment.  The fruits of love are joy, peace, and mercy.  The thing about love is that it is distorted in our world.  How many people, when they think of love think of feelings between two people in a relationship.  How many first think of sacrifice.  But that is true love.  True love is fully giving up yourself for someone else.  There are times for feelings, but love is not based on feelings.  It is not based on pleasure or power or wealth or any worldly or material thing.  It is about being wholly willing to give of yourself for someone else.  There are different forms of love, the love of spouses is different than a parent to a child, but if the foundation is not a willingness to sacrifice, it isn’t love, it is something else. 

If you are not willing to love a child, sacrifice your life and the way you live, and give everything you have for a child, you should not have sex.  Forget everything else about contraception and abortion and any other part of the issue.  If you cannot say that you are willing to love a child, you aren’t ready for sex.  Those that think sex is a sign of love and then have an abortion are completely distorting any real definition of love.  Even using contraception is contradictory if you say you love the person because you are not giving yourself wholly to that person.  You are holding back, you are lying.  People always say that without contraception there would be so many unplanned pregnancies and abortions would rise.  If we taught what love actually means there wouldn’t be a need for them because sex wouldn’t be so abused.   

Friday, September 21, 2012

September 21, 2012 – Psalm 60 – 62

61 – We must pay our vows, day by day.  We are never done fighting this battle within.  I think about that sometimes.  I have grown a lot since I was in law school in regards to my faith.  There are sometimes when I think I may have peaked.  There were times when I was praying more than I am now, learning more, studying more.  I worry that I did peak.  The mission is to continue to grow, to strive to gain more, to always be seeking a closer relationship to God.  Sometimes we get a very good relationship going and we stick it in neutral.  What happens if you do that in your car.  You will be traveling great for a little while, but you will start to slow down gradually.  What happens when you get to a hill.  You will come to a stop or start moving backwards.  I worry about that sometimes because of where I think I was and what I am doing now.  Never take your foot off the gas when heading towards God. 

62 – Waiting in silence for God is something that we always need to do.  With two young boys in the house, it is never quite.  The time I really enjoy is after I put Paul in bed I lay next to the bed on the floor.  This is to keep him calm and make sure he stays in bed.  On nights when he is settled down already, I can get a good 10 – 15 minutes of just laying there in the quite, nothing but the ticking clock, and reflect on things.  It is also helpful that right before then, Paul and I have said our night prayers.  It gives me a chance to reflect, relax, and really look at the day, what happened, and review all that is going on.  Silence is essential in our relationship with God because without it, how can we ever possibly hope to hear what He is trying to tell us.   

Thursday, September 20, 2012

September 20, 2012 – Job 20

The response is what is in store for the wicked man.  It is pretty bleak, but I guess it should be.  But once again, as with the others, the focus is on what the world sees happening to this person.  The wicked man’s prosperity will be short, goods taken, riches swallowed up, etc.  This is how it has been seen from days of old.  Job is saying that you cannot judge by what you see.  Humans cannot know a man’s thoughts and relationship with God.  We can only see skin deep and so we judge based on that.  Job is saying that this is not seeing the way God sees.  29 – “This is the portion of the wicked man and the heritage appointed him by God”.  This is said while they are looking at Job and after he has just said that basically all these descriptions of what happens to the wicked has happened to him, but he is saying he’s not wicked.  Back and forth we go with the same type argument. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September 19, 2012 – 2 Samuel 2

We see the fracture after Saul’s death.  Below is a map that shows some of the areas mentioned.  David is made king of Judah, the small central zone south of Jerusalem.  Ishbaal, son of Saul, is taken by Abner, Saul’s general, and is made king over the rest of Israel.  I don’t know how the 2 years and the 7.5 years works out or when this skirmish at verse 12 happens. 

I was wondering who Zeruiah was, since it mentions the three sons and they play an important role.  It is the sister of David, so Joab, Abishai, and Asahel are David’s nephews.  1 Chronicles 2:15-16

We see that the battle isn’t a conquering victory, but a chasing away of the army of Israel.  It is unclear if any land really changed hands.  We are still left with David ruling over Judah and Ishbaal over the rest of Israel. 

Joab seems to be a person with great influence.  Abner speaks to him, not David, at the meeting and when Abner is being chased, it is Joab who calls the troops back.  When you think that David had 7 brothers and this sister could have been older, it is not unreasonable to think that Joab could be older than David, even though he is David’s nephew.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

September 18, 2012 – Catechism 1812 – 1821

The 3 Theological virtues are Faith, Hope, and Charity (or Love).  Obviously we don’t have to go into the “faith alone” argument here.  I was interested in faith is not only the belief in God, but additionally we are to “believe all that [God] has said and revealed to us”.  Much of what has been revealed has come to us through the Church. 

Hope is the longing for Heaven.  It talks about receiving these virtues through Grace, but we have this gift inherently.  I think everyone, regardless of what they believe, have a longing for Heaven, even if they don’t know it or if they don’t call it Heaven.  This hope is what anchors us so that we do not drop into despair.  I have written before about how sorry I feel for those that don’t believe in Heaven because without that belief, Hope is not there for them as an anchor.  They are much more vulnerable to dropping into the despair.  Is it any surprise that with us taking God out of everything, suicides have passed car accidents as the number 1 cause of deaths in the US.  No Heaven, no Hope, Vulnerable to despair.

Monday, September 17, 2012

September 17, 2012 – Psalms 58 – 59

58 – I got the sense that the singer is not asking that the wicked be stopped altogether, but that their methods be thwarted.  Don’t stop them from shooting the arrow, just make it so that their arrows are off course.  It makes you think about the attacks that Catholics are under today.  There are some that attack the actual theology of the Church, but they aren’t the majority.  The majority of attacks come at the human side of the Church.  The humans that make up the Church are weak in that they are always going to be human and sinful.  They are vulnerable to attack.  The Truth of the Church, the theology and the teachings are Godly, they are not vulnerable to sin, and therefore, not so easily attacked.  Thus, the humans that make up the Church is where the majority attack it.  But if that is where the attack comes, the Church will always be there.  Maybe in a different size or different shape from what we see today, but the Church will remain.  God is not stopping attacks, but He may be nudging their aim so as to not strike a bull’s-eye. 

59 – Part of the plea to God is that the evil doers will be caught in their lies.  Isn’t that a great trick that God has allowed.  When you lie, you must remember that lie, and you will likely have to lie to cover up the first.  I heard that each lie you tell will cause you to have to lie 7 more times to keep it.  Obviously it is easy to see that you can’t keep up with it and you will be caught.  Lust like the complicated way in which God created the inner workings of an eyeball, God also created the inner workings of how things like lies will lead to other lies and thus we will be caught in our own web.  Keep that in mind, all you politicians.  For my part, I know I am not smart enough to lie.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

September 16, 2012 – Job 19

We see Job describe what God has done, or allowed to be done, in detail all that tragedies.  Verses 7-20 is a long list.  But after this list, Job is going to say something that he wants to be remembered for.  He wants it chiseled in stone so that it never goes away.  He wants everyone to know that even though all this has happened “[He] know[s] that [his] Redeemer lives” 25.  He knows that this world is not the end, that all this is dust and that sometime down the road, God will come and he holds on to the hope that he will be with God on that day.  That day in the future is his focus.  Everything that happens until then is either leading you towards that day or taking you away from it, or at least away from where you want to be on that day.  Job warns them that they are looking at things the wrong way and focusing on the worldly possessions and judging based on what happens to those will result in the wrath of God.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

September 15, 2012 – 2 Samuel 1

Here we have a pretty clear teaching on euthanasia.  Saul wanted to die and asked someone to end his life and suffering.  The servant did this, but he is not credited or praised for it, but killed for his act.  Life is God’s to give and take. 

I don’t know how this fits with what we read about at the end of 1 Samuel.  I thought Saul had asked someone to kill him and they had said no, so he killed himself. 

We see David, even after all that has happened, still honors Saul as God’s anointed and never waivers from that.  If there is ever a person that should hate and want the demise of Saul, it is David, and yet he consistently defends and honors Saul because of the authority God gave him.  But God was not with Saul towards the end.  I guess David did not know or understand this.  David could not judge another man’s soul or another man’s relationship with God.  Saul was anointed by God and that is what David followed, up until and even after Saul’s death.

Friday, September 14, 2012

September 14, 2012 – Catechism 1803 – 1811

The four Cardinal virtues are Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance.  I was thinking about the difference between Justice and Fairness.  Is there a difference.  The word fair is thrown around a lot.  Pay your fair share recently has been brought up in politics.  We hear that life isn’t fair.  When comparing just and fair, is life just or would it mean the same to say pay your just share.  Justice is a Cardinal virtue, but does that mean the same as fairness.  The definition in the Catechism is “to give their due to God and neighbor.”  The actual paragraph quotes Colossians 4:1 about treating slaves “justly and fairly”.  I just wonder if the two are interchangeable. 

Temperance is probably the one that is most challenging to people in our age.  The reason is it so against the world.  The world says to indulge in all your pleasures.  Any restriction on pleasure is seen as an unhealthy action.  But that is one of the biggest problems with the world and why we are in such shape we are in.  Everyone just does whatever they feel.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

September 13, 2012 – Psalms 56 – 57

Both these Psalms seek God’s mercy and protection against the world that is against them.  Both would be good to say in our world today.  We are constantly being assailed by the material world.  It is digging and picking and chipping away at our Spirit.  We need God’s protection when we are against these things.  Trying to go it alone will only lead to our failure.  Only with God’s strength can we hope to fend off all the world is trying to attack us with. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

September 12, 2012 – Job 17 – 18

17:14 – “If I must call corruption my father”.  When I read this I thought of those that don’t believe in God, those that feel this life is all there is, that when you die, you go into the ground and that is it.  Corruption is their father.  Job ask if that is the case, “Where then is my hope”. 15.  That is a great question and one that they cannot answer.  That is why a secular culture, one where we take God out of every type of public sphere, is a dark culture and devoid of hope.  If this is all there is, there is really no foundation to rules.  Pleasure and what pleases us is the only rule.  Our feelings are all that matter and if me feeling good means that you don’t, that isn’t my problem.  That is where a world without God leads us. 

I read chapter 18 after I wrote the above, but it feels like I was on to something.  Job was talking about those without hope, that rely totally on the world.  In that category would be those that feel we are nothing more than animals.  Bildad’s response appears that this is exactly what Job was saying about them.  “Why are we accounted like the beast, their equals in your sight” 3.  It is obvious that Bildad, even though he has a worldly view, does not believe his akin to the animals.  I wonder if those that preach that humans are just advanced animals today actual truly believe it or just like to hear themselves speak.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11, 2012 – 1 Samuel 30 – 31

David and his band goes from almost being in a battle with Saul on the Philistines side to taking revenge for an attack on Israel and Saul’s kingdom.  It is just a very confusing time for David.  His king is his enemy but he still helps his kingdom.  Have we ever had times when up feels down and white looks black.  What do we do when things are so confusing and we are amid chaos.  Look to David’s example, he goes to God.  David leaves one scene into another and instead of making his own decision he consults with God.  (Granted, if God spoke directly to us and told us yes or no, things might seem clearer)  But God does speak to us.  Are we listening, or did we go to Him in the first place.  For those big decisions or those times of confusion, have we consulted God or have we only sought His help after making a go ourselves and making a mess of it. 

Saul and Jonathon come to such a quick end.  Especially Jonathon.  He is such a virtuous character that I would have hoped his death would have been more inspiring.  Instead he just dies with his brothers.  Saul ends his own life in the fashion of the coward he has transformed into.  If you notice, we tend to canonize those that die.  One example I can think of is Richard Nixon.  For most of my life, I don’t remember hearing many good things said about Nixon.  But when he died, the entire tone changed.  All his accomplishments were paraded out and is was as if he had done nothing wrong.  With that in mind, as Saul dies, I want to remember where he started.  He was the tall and strong defender of Israel that did God’s will, listened to Samuel, and didn’t want to be King.  Thus ends 1 Samuel. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

September 10, 2012 – Catechism 1783 – 1802

“I am allowed to follow my conscious” is an excuse many people, especially Catholics use, to do many of the things they do in their lives.  I felt this was a valid reasoning for many years through college and early married years.  How many people that use that actually look to the entire teaching on that and how many disregard the part about a well formed conscious being the thing to be followed.  If you are following a conscious that is not well formed, you are asking to be led by a blind guide.  That is the more innocent view.  Many are not being led blindly but choosing to follow a conscious that is actually leading them in the wrong direction.  I don’t think many can honestly say they don’t know what Catholic teaching is.  The information is out there.  Yet, there are those that teach in the Church, even priest, that teach things that go against Catholic teaching.  I know I have been led astray by advise from a priest that I later understood was incorrect.  Pray for priest and their conversion and their education.  Pray for those that are being led away from God without their knowledge.  Continue to look and strive to learn as much about what Catholic’s teach on your own so you do know what is right and truth and can properly form your conscious.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

September 9, 2012 – Psalms 51 – 52

We talked about some of the early Psalms and how David writes them from the point of view of someone who is not at fault.  Here, we get a different picture.  This is one of the most recognizable Psalms dealing with seeking forgiveness.  The notes say that it was written after Nathan confronts Daniel on what happened with Bathsheba.  This Psalm is so rich, it is one that should be prayed often because we are so weak and full of sin.  We constantly need to go to God and ask for His mercy, ask Him to wipe away our sin. 

We also see that offerings and sacrifices are not what God truly wants, but a humble heart and a broken spirit, a change of heart.  Even though the Jews had this Psalm and probably had it memorized, they still seem confused when Christ comes and preaches the same thing.  They can follow all the laws they want to, but if their hearts are not turned to God, it won’t matter.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

September 8, 2012 – Job 16

“I have heard this sort of thing many times”.  I just wrote about that in my last post, that all the arguments begin to sound the same. 

11-12 – It seems like Job might understand what happened.  He was in peace (his life before) but God gave him over (allowed Satan to test him) and now Satan has “seized [Job] by the neck and dashed [him] to pieces.  If that is the meaning of those lines, we see that at the end of the chapter, Job is still calling out to God.  We have to go back and look at what Satan wanted to happen.  He thought that if everything was taken from Job, he would turn away from God.  But we see that Job has not lost his trust in God and believes that God is still with him. 

Friday, September 07, 2012

September 7, 2012 – 1 Samuel 28 – 29

I was thinking about Samuel coming back through the medium.  I think sometimes we see ghost stories or senesces and think that they couldn’t possibly be real.  We don’t necessarily get that from the Bible.  We are told that we aren’t to mess with them or participate in them, but not that they don’t work.  The story of the rich man wanting to visit his brothers doesn’t say he can’t, it says it won’t work.  The commandments are that we are not to participate in the occult, not that it is phony.  The Catholic Church does take possessions and evil spirits very serious.  I have understood that participating in things of the occult open you up to possible possession.  Exorcisms do happen and there are priest, even locally, that have participated in them.  I think that is something to think about when people play around with ouija boards or taro cards.  Even if they think it is a joke, there is power behind them.  We are told not to play with things we don’t understand.  

Thursday, September 06, 2012

September 6, 2012 – Catechism 1776 – 1782

We must first be able to hear our conscience.  If we cannot hear it, it cannot be followed.  If we fill our life with noise to the point where there is no room left, we cannot hear our conscience instruct us.  Have you ever heard yourself say “I can’t even hear myself think”.  That is a point when we cannot begin to follow our conscience because we cannot hear it. 

I wonder how helpful it is to think of Jiminy Cricket in this section.  He was Pinocchio’s conscience.  There was a difference between when Pinocchio ignored advice and when he couldn’t even hear the advice to follow.  Before we ever get to the idea of forming our conscience, we need to be able to hear it.  Once you are able to hear it, you can know if it needs to be altered by examining it.  An examination of your conscience is impossible if you aren’t able to hear and know what your conscience is saying.   

September 4, 2012 – Job 15

These responses seem to run together a little bit.  Here we have another argument on the reliance of worldly knowledge.  It speaks of elders and their knowledge and that it has been passed down.  How can Job argue against what the wisest elders have taught.  Then we have the same thing said but in a different way.  If you are wicked, bad things will happen to you.  Despair, wandering, darkness, dwell in ruins, wither, etc.  You can envision the arguments getting ratcheted up a little bit more with every exchange.  At first, it was just general conversation, but with every back and forth, the volume and tone get a little more intense.  I will tried to read the next back and forth with that in mind.  Maybe that will add something to it when you envision the scene and the growing tension. 

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

September 5, 2012 – Psalm 50

When reading this I was thinking about the DNC’s platform and how they took God out of it.  Not that He was mentioned much before, only once in the last convention, but this time not at all.  I was wondering if they are better off because 16 “Why do you…profess my covenant with your lips”.  They don’t follow God’s covenant and their platform moves in the opposite direction of anything God requires, so mentioning God is being hypocritical.  The mentioning of God one time wouldn’t change their actual views, what they stand for, what they believe about women’s choice in abortion, homosexual marriage, or any of the other issues that separate them from morality.  So, they are only being honest, which I guess is refreshing.  (If you ask some, it might be the only honest thing that comes out of the convention.)

Monday, September 03, 2012

September 3, 2012 – 1 Samuel 26 – 27

There is no mention of a renewal of Saul’s anger over David coming back since the last incident like this.  After that, it appeared that the bridge was mended, but Saul is after David again.  This one ends the same way, with them both going their separate ways.  I guess we can assume, though, that Saul will still come after David and continue to pursue him despite what he says. 

David becomes an exile and takes a small group with him.  He does battle and is successful in conquering places.  He sounds ruthless in not leaving anyone alive, but we have seen that before.  In this case, though, it is not God saying “leave nothing alive” but it appears the motivation is that David doesn’t want anyone to know what he is doing.  That makes it a different story and makes David look like a butcher that doesn’t want any witnesses.  There is really no explanation to this and I am not sure what to think of it. 

Sunday, September 02, 2012

September 2, 2012 – Catechism 1762 – 1775

Love is to will the good of another.  We are working with Paul on being less selfish.  He is looking out for number 1, wants toys when he wants them, wants to eat when he wants to, bathroom, outside, etc.  I have been telling him that he needs to think of others first, that he shouldn’t only think about himself.  He says that this is hard and he makes mistakes.  He couldn’t be more right.  Selfishness is very hard to step away from.  When you look at this definition of love, being selfish does not allow you to love in any sense of the word.  (I don’t know if you can love yourself if this is the definition.  Loving yourself would require you to love others because that is what will cause you the most joy.)  We are all selfish to a point, but I know some that take it to an extreme.  I don’t know how they can go through life in that way.  It would make me so lonely.  I know when I have acted selfish, it tends to lead to me being alone because I have driven people away.  When you are thinking first of others, people will gravitate to you, and not in order to take advantage of you, but to just be with you because that “love” emanates from you.  Selfishness drives people away, Selflessness draws people to you.  One is the epitome of love, one is the complete opposite. 

Saturday, September 01, 2012

September 1, 2012 – Psalms 48 – 49

48 – The city that is invincible is the city that has God as its citadel, God as its protector.  You could see this as talking about an actual city, possibly even Jerusalem.  I see it as talking about us, our bodies and souls.  When we make God our citadel, our center, we are invincible.  Not in the super hero kind of way, but in the eternal salvation kind of way.  This is talking about military strength, but that imagery can be used in the war for our souls. 

49 – It is very hard to look around and see what others have and what I have not and not be jealous.  When I think that, I hope I remember this Psalm.  17-18 “Do not fear when other become rich, when the wealth of their house grows great. When they die they will take nothing with them”.  How greedy and envious we are.  How much did that hurt this country over and above anything that the politician did.  Credit card debt, mortgage foreclosures, college loans, basically living beyond our means.  The government can be held responsible for some, for encouraging risk, for lending to those that couldn’t pay back, but the government never forced anyone to buy a home out of their range, a 60 inch flat screen, go to a college that would leave you 120,000 in the hole at graduation.  Personal responsibility has to come into play and we are the reason that many of us are struggling right now.