Month: May 2016

Memorial Day

First of all, I want to wish everyone a safe Memorial day. Don’t forget the true meaning of the holiday that is wrapped up and hidden beneath the BBQ and get-togethers. It is about remembering those who gave up so much and sacrificed so much for the ones that they love. Soldiers, who despite the risk, dedicate so much to ensure our protection.

The word that sticks out most? Sacrifice. This is the mindset that all Catholics and Christians need to have when it comes to their faith. We can’t in one breath proclaim our love for God but in the next we go and do something that is against the faith. Jesus loves us, yes and He died so that we could be made worthy to spend eternity with Him. However, life is not like Monopoly and we didn’t inherit a “get out of jail” free card. It takes work and a deliberate effort on our part to live like Christ wants us to.

How do we sacrifice? It starts with little things that may be keeping us from fully attaining our full possibility through Christ. Do I listen to music or watch TV shows that go against Christian morals? Do I have fun in a wholesome way? Do I neglect smiling at people? Do I help our elderly and make them feel human? These are just a small sample of little things that we could work on to fully attain our relationship with Christ.

Next comes the big stuff, the major things that will stop us from realizing who we can be through Christ. That is the major thing to come to terms with, we are nothing without Christ but with Him we are everything. Do you constantly find yourself angry? Do you worry constantly about everything? Are you compromising your morals? Do you find yourself attracted to the things in the world? Do you neglect your duties to Christ because you are caught up in worldly things?

These are the major points that we need to work on because until we fully understand how these stop us from gaining who we are through Christ, we will be lost. We are not perfect creatures because we were born with original sin. Jesus understands that we may fall at times and we may struggle entirely but that is not to be used as a crutch. One phrase that I hear all too often is “I’m only human”. Okay, well Jesus was fully divine but He was also fully human! When we use that as a crutch instead of as a building block then we will crumble.

We have been discussing sacrifice and this is where it also comes in. When we sacrifice the crutch that we are only human then we will be able to walk more free. We can face our issues more head on and allow Christ to work through us to accomplish what He wants from us. By saying to Jesus, “I worried about this particular event, please help to ease my restless mind. I can do all things through you because you are my savior even though I am only human. I am sorry for putting my trust in myself instead of you”- we are accepting responsibility. Now imagine saying this, “I worried about this particular event but I am only human and I continue to worry.” We are not accepting it and instead our using the crutch. Instead of getting through that event, we will instead be weighed down.

Dear Jesus,

Please help me to become more in tune with your will,

I want to accomplish your desire for me.

 We are nothing without you,

Help me to bring others to the light of Christ.

Amen

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No Need for Negativity

In one way or the other we are going to run into people who are hell bent on hurting others to create pure chaos. When I say hell bent, I literally mean hell – they are influenced by those who reign in hell to create such mayhem .

These are people who don’t have Christ in a complete and true way. Anyone can say that they believe in Jesus but you have to live like you believe in Jesus. This means following ALL the teachings of Jesus Christ and not just the ones that are more convenient. This means living in the world to bring others to Christ but to not be OF the world. Those people that are not living the truth will be angry at those who are. They may not completely realize what is happening but through the choices that were made it has happened.

I know in my life I was one of those people; I was bitter for no real reason and I certainly didn’t want to hear about anything dealing with God or the Catholic faith. When I did change my life and dedicate it to living in Christ fully, I realized a huge difference – I was happy. Not just “oh I got a bonus at work!!” happy. I mean a complete “my whole life has been saved and I am loved eternally forever” kind of happy. It is the kind of happiness that money can’t buy and material possessions certainly can’t fill. I have this desire to spread this joy to all the people around me so that they too can experience it as well. With that in mind, I am going to give you some pointers when dealing with negative and hate filled people.

Let’s say someone is constantly in the “moody mood”. These types of people seem gruff, short and downright grumpy. I have run into a few of these people and something has been known to be a “cure” for this disorder – smiling! Yup, something as simple as a smile and a wave of the hand can lighten this mood. These people, I have noticed, are those who have been roughed up by life or at a point in their life when bad stuff just keeps happening. That is where we as Christ’s disciples come in to show them that people will always be there for them. That no matter how bad of a time they are having, they will never be alone. We have to show people that when you have Jesus Christ in your life, then no matter how many awful things happen we will always make it.

Then there are the downright nasty people, who are filled with so much venom that it makes a Cobra look like a butterfly. These people have no concern for how they treat others because A) they are only concerned with themselves B) they are so insecure that they project that onto others C) they are unhappy with their lives or D) all of the above plus so much more. What it boils down to is that Jesus Christ to these people is only a figment or only a name when it suits them. People who don’t have Christ can be some of the most hate filled people in the universe because they don’t know what pure, true love is and what happiness really feels like. Then there are the people who only use Christ to further whatever little facade they have set up for themselves. These people are sometimes worse than those who don’t have Christ; because they have Him but they misuse Him.

When dealing with negative people don’t give it back to them! Often times when someone has an attitude, our first response is to get that way right back. I can tell you right now that it will not be the best thing to do. These people want to cause chaos, disharmony and unhappiness. Don’t let them! Instead, wish them the peace of Christ and keep peace in your own heart. We are in control of our happiness and how we react to others. We have to keep a level head, a heart full of Christ and a smile on our face.

Dear God,

Help me to keep Your Peace in my heart,

To spread it to all those I come in contact with.

Allow me to work through the world with you shining in my eyes.

Help those people who don’t have peace in their heart,

To find the happiness in You.

Amen

Flawless

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Mercy Me is a great band, with inspirational songs that are nice to listen to. With that being said, there is a lyric in there that certainly made me raise an eyebrow, because most protestants and maybe even some Catholics (I hope not but it is possible…) believe it to be true.   Here it is: The cross has made you flawless.

God is flawless, Jesus is flawless and the Blessed Mother is flawless. Us? Not so much. The cross has made us worthy to be followers of Christ and able to find redemption. The big boulder that often blocks our way is there because we allow it. The name of that boulder? Free will.

We so often allow things that have no significance in the whole scheme of our salvation to interfere with our ability to reach that point. The point where we understand that we should completely live our lives for JOY. J-esus O-thers and Y-ourself. When we live our lives fully through Christ’s teaching then we are completely embracing what it means to be a Catholic living for Christ. Then the rest comes naturally, such as embracing our fellow brothers and sisters by always loving them just as Jesus commands.

This little tidbit is not always an easy motto to follow, considering some people make their self so negative and downright mean. Some of those people may even come from your own Church! The important thing is to not allow these people to interfere with the way you treat them or your own frame of mind. Now, this certainly does not mean you have to be walked on; that is not what Jesus wants. However, He does want us to proclaim the Gospel through not only words but through our actions. When someone is rude to you, simply say “the Peace of Christ be with you”. Just be prepared for the response.

I have run into quite a few people who are adversely affected by this simple yet powerful statement. I have even been told to “shove the peace of Christ up your” (yeah, you get the point). It is because people, who are so of the world, don’t want to be associated with anything Christ related; at least not when it doesn’t behoove them. They want to see your anger, to hear you give it right back, to see you out of control, that it makes them furious when you give them the opposite. That is what it boils down to and that is why we have to turn to Christ during this trying time.

By the Cross we are not flawless, no one is flawless. It is arrogant to think that we are free from flaws. The sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on that Cross was selfless and flawless. In order to truly embrace what Christ has planned for us, we have to understand that we are going to sin, that our human state is one that needs continuous help to ensure that we are doing the right thing that Christ wants. By the Cross we have the ability to seek out a cure for our inability to be flawless. It is through understanding this that we can embrace how God made us and we can follow Jesus in a complete way. The Cross can make us flawless but it is our choice and it is an ongoing process.

Dear God,

Please help me to keep on the path that you have created for me,

I look to you as my compass, my father and my friend.

To you I give the glory for each day you let me live.

I will spread your word throughout the world,

In your truth I will live my life.

Amen

Special Announcement

Hey All!

I have a special announcement to make! I have started my own jewelry business called Jewelry for Jesus. All proceeds will go back into the business and into a retreat center that I am going to build. It is going to center around the Stations of the Cross because I feel so drawn to the Stations, and I want to share that with everyone. All things through Christ! Head on over to my Facebook page I have setup, I will add pictures soon and I will have a Etsy site up soon. Much love and thanks to all of my followers. Spreading Christ’s message together!

In Christ, Tyler Marie

https://www.facebook.com/JewelryforJesus/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

The Lord’s Prayer

Hey everyone! I am here today with another prayer breakdown. This time it is with one that is fundamental to our Catholic Faith, given to us by Jesus Himself; the Our Father! Here we go!

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

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Our Father

These are two simple words that hold so much meaning. Our Father is God, the creator of the universe, everything that we can see and everything that we can’t. Creator of the air, sky, stars, sun, moon, planets, animals, everything. To say that He is our Father, is an honor to us because here this creator of the world is saying that He is our Father. Fathers take care of their children, they hold them when they cry, praise them when something is done right and scold them when the rules are broken. To think that this Almighty God has taken on this role is enough to help you know that He loves you; through good and bad He is our Father.

Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name

Heaven is what we are “aiming” for on earth, it is where our journey through life will take us – if we follow God’s word. Who art in Heaven is a way of saying who is in Heaven because that is where of course God is. Hallowed be thy name is a way of giving respect and giving Honor. So we are saying during this prayer to our Father who lives in Heaven, we must give Him honor and praise; complete adoration.

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven

The Kingdom of God is where God dwells. When the end time comes, then the Kingdom of God will be with those who have been living their lives through teachings of Christ. We have to do God’s Will on earth, just as it is done in Heaven in order to fully live in the glory of Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread

Our daily bread is Jesus Christ. We have bread that sustains our physical body and we have bread that sustains the spiritual side of our body as well. Just as Jesus Himself said: “I am tmaxresdefaulthe bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst”. In essence, our Spiritual bread is much more important than physical bread. In order to be fully complete in life we have to completely give our lives to Christ. If we truly, 100%, gave our lives over to Jesus then we would be fine having just a small meal because our spiritual side is fulfilled. That is a hard place to get to but that is why we pray for God to give us our daily bread of His mercy, love and direction.

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us

This is perhaps the second most difficult part of the prayer to put into “action”, aside from being sustained by our daily bread. We are asking God to forgive us our sins, just as we forgive those who sin against us. One of the most difficult things in this world is to truly forgive someone who was hurt you but it is one of the things that will bring us closer to God. When Jesus died on the Cross, He asked God to forgive those who did that to Him. That is a really huge deal because most of these people were not contrite for what they had done but that didn’t stop Jesus. When we forgive someone, we are not doing it because they feel bad for what they had done; instead we are doing it because we put God above ourselves. When someone hurts you, you go to Jesus and give Him your hurt. Then the next step is to say to yourself and to God that you forgive them and you continue to pray for them; for their heart to turn to Christ. If they sForgiveeek you asking for forgiveness, give it to them. If they never speak to you again after what they did, forgive them. We are asking God to forgive us for the sins we committed, we have to truly give forgiveness as well.

 

 

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil

God will never test us as if we are taking an exam; He will give us situations that we are able to handle. I think sometimes people get a little confused at that, when people say “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle”. To a certain extent that is true but if you have God in a truly deep way then you can handle it. Some people blame God, curse Him and ask why bad things keep happening. I used to be one of those people! That is when we are completely failing God because we are not turning to Him completely. Yes, bad things happen and as long as we are on the journey God has for us they will continue to happen. Are we going to completely ignore that God is here with us and will guide us through the storms? Or are we going to look up to God and tell Him that I can do anything through You. Evil is all around us in this world, we have to fight the temptations, follow Gods word and keep ourselves free from sin by using the sacrament of confession. That is how God will deliver us from evil, we must be willing to let evil go though.

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Mary is Blessed

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It is fitting to have the month of May as the month of Mary. It is the beginning of summer, the trees have their leaves again after the cold winter months, mother’s day is celebrated during this month and we are still in the season of Easter.

Often times Mary is forgotten and even intentionally dismissed in the protestant religions. Often times they say that we Catholics pray to Mary who is only human and forget all about God. I have even heard of someone saying that during Mass Catholics pray to and worship Mary, that there is no mention of Jesus or God. Confusing, I know. This individual had obviously never been to a Catholic Mass.

Mary is the first Saint of the Catholic Church because she said yes to God. Although she was probably scared as we all would be, she knew that being called by God was not something to take lightly. She accepted that God had chosen her, instead of ignoring the call and doing something else she went right into it without question.

As someone who has not always fully listened to God, it is certainly a commendable feat to “jump” right in to listen to God’s command. I have often times put my wants before the needs of God which is something Mary did not do. She could have very well denied God, ignoring Him completely and going down a different path. Although it was her pure heart and joyous soul that helped her to make this tremendous, life changing decision.

She is first and foremost a mother; although she is the mother of God she is still human as is Jesus Himself and He is fully divine. They lived a normal life, although it feels a little odd saying normal about the Son of God and His mother, more like extraordinary but normal nonetheless.  There isn’t really much known about their home life and the only time that it is really mentioned is when Jesus was found in the temple.untitled

I think that the reason this period of time is left blank is because it mirrors our time as youth in families. We have a family; we eat dinner together, pray, talk, celebrate and just are together as a family. We know that Joseph passed on his carpentry skills to Jesus which is an absolute beautiful thing. I think that is why there is really nothing written during this time because they were busy being just a family. Again, saying “just” a family seems a little lacking but that is what the Holy Family was.

Mary is someone who we can pray for her intercession (notice I didn’t say pray to). We pray to God and we pray to Jesus but we pray for Mary’s intercession. It is like if you want to ask your parents for something but are too nervous about what they might say, so instead you ask a trusted aunt or uncle to ask your parents with you just to give you strength. Mary is the mother of God, that is a huge deal and it is completely reasonable to have the month of May dedicated to Mary. If only people truly understood who and what Mary stands for, they would change their hearts and minds to fully encompass this beautiful thing.

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Dear Jesus,

You loved your mother with all your heart,

Help me to give her that same love,

And to love you and honor you as much as she did.

Those who do not accept your mother,

Please help to open their hearts to her.

Help me to convey the specialness that she is.

Amen

Fighting Temptation

“For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” Romans 8:13

What a beautiful quote from scripture. To truly live according to this scripture, will lead you down a path full of awareness of God’s plan for you.

Let me explain. A while back I was very “of the flesh”. To me the words flesh, die, body and live are metaphorical. Meaning that “of the flesh” means very of the world. A person who lives of the world will be cut off from the saving grace of our Lord Jesus. When I say I was of the world, I was more concerned with what I wanted, with how I appeared to others in a superficial way.

It is so easy, especially in today’s society, to get caught up with looks, appearances, who’s-wearing-what, etc. so much so that it interferes with our relationship with God. I actually saw an article that said “good looking” students are more apt to get a job. What is the definition of “good looking”? There is a very specific guideline according to current society standards, which is a funny statement coming from the same people who are so willing to “accept” everyone for who they are – unless of course you are Catholic or Christian.

Let that sink in. There are people more concerned with getting the perfect tan, the next best phone or the fastest care, than they are about where their soul may end up. This is what is mean by “if you live according to the flesh you will die”. This isn’t meant to be taken literally, it is meant as a teaching tool. Telling us that if we put worldly things above God, our spirits will die. There is nothing in this world that is worth going to hell over.

We have to understand that God sent down His son to teach us and save us from ourselves. How much easier can it get? God gave us rules to follow, Jesus came to preach about God and teach us even more. He is the one who brought peace between us and God. It can almost be described as a gap that has been filled by Jesus Christ. The gap of course was created by us, we are weak, foolish, human beings. However, we should use that as a motivator not as a crutch.

We live in a society where the world is literally at our fingertips, our families and friends are just a text away and new age ideas flood the world. The new age idea I am talking about is the more focus on the “self”. So many people say they are spiritual, or in tune with their higher power, some have begun calling God and woman, some women are becoming priests, people are creating their own branches of whatever the heck they want to, then passing it off as a new belief system.

“Back in the day” so to speak, there were not as many worldly distractions between us a God. Notice how I said distractions and not obstacles. We have every choice to not watch the football game on Sunday and go to Church. Or to skip that One basketball practice to go to Mass in the morning.  Obstacles would imply that someone put something in our way to keep us from God. Instead, these things which are seemingly unimportant, are mere extracurricular activities that we can either choose are less important than God or will replace God.

Another thing that bothers me, is how people are so worried about their appearance of themselves to others. Here is one simple question to ask yourself: Will he or she be judging me when I die? NO! Jesus will be the one who first meets you at the hour of your death, not the people you were so desperate to please. I admit that at one time I desperately sought after perfection in other people’s minds. I never wanted to make a mistake in from of someone who be perceived as some kind of unintelligent person. Looking back, I now realize how absolutely ridiculous I was in thinking that! We don’t live this life to please other people, we live our lives to please and honor our God. We treat others how Jesus would have treated them. When Jesus went around preaching the Gospel, He wasn’t worried about how He appeared to others. He was more worried about teaching them how to live their life according to God’s will. He wanted to SAVE people not IMPRESS them! That is what we need to do from now on. Challenge yourself to now care what others think about you, to continue living your life according to what Jesus wants from us.

So if we live according to the spirit (Holy Spirit) and not our flesh (the world) we will live for eternity in the splendor of Heaven. If we live according to the flesh (the world) our spirits will be separated from Jesus and Heaven for eternity.

 

Dear God,

Help me to live according to your will,

To listen clearly to what my calling in life is.

I wish to live in the world spreading your message,

Not of the world and trampling your name.

Help me to overcome any self-doubts,

And replace them with only thoughts of you.

For you are my strength and my courage,

You are the redeemer of my soul.

~Amen