Outward Signs

kittyskorner:

Help me remember Lord that it is what is INSIDE me that matters most to You.

Originally posted on Revelations:

Ash Wednesday 2015

Matthew 6:1-6

Jesus said to his disciples:“Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you,as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you

Today, on Ash Wednesday, this Gospel is read. Be careful not to let everyone know what you are doing for your own ego, but do everything in the silence of your heart. So, what do Catholics and Christians do today?

We get ashes on our heads for all the world to see!

I wonder why this particular…

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Starting to wear a head covering

After prayer and discernment, I have started wearing a head covering whenever I go out and most of the time at home.

In 2008 on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, I started wearing it only at Mass.  I have a few friends who cover full-time and asked one of them why she does this.  She pointed me to this article: http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/headcoverings.aspx.  

I had been feeling the desire to start covering full-time but didn’t want to unless I could clearly articulate to myself why I was doing it.  It was during the weekend of our 2011 Congress when I realized this inspiration and direction was from God and decided to obey Him.  

For several days I checked out styles and tying techniques on You Tube and asked my husband’s opinion about the various options.  He was not opposed to my doing this but there were some styles he definitely did not like.

My first day of covering full-time was on Oct 7th which is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.  Some people ask me why I started doing this and my response varied depending on who was asking me.  My reasons are: because Our Lady asked me to, it is a symbol of my consecration and a reminder that I’m constantly in His presence.  To some people I just say it is for religious reasons.

This has had an impact on how I dress both at home and in public.  The only time I don’t wear a skirt is for visits to my chiropractor, when I’m doing a workout (at home only) and for chores. The kind of covering I wear at home is smaller and lighter and doesn’t cover my hair completely or my ears.  

This is not a decision I made lightly. It was a lifetime commitment.  Since this is something that  I’m doing out of loving obedience to God, there is no good reason to stop.  What message would that give to others who had asked my reason for wearing a covering if I were to stop?


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New Year’s Prayer

May God make your year a happy one!
Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain, 

But by strengthening you to bear it, as it comes; 

Not by making your path easy, 

But by making you sturdy to travel any path; 

Not by taking hardships from you, 

But by taking fear from your heart; 

Not by granting you unbroken sunshine; 

But by keeping your face bright, even in shadows; 

Not by making your life always pleasant, 

But by showing you when people and their causes need
You most, and by making you anxious to be there to help. 

God’s love, peace, hope and joy to you for the year ahead. 

– Thomas Beckett

God doesn’t require the impossible

This is My commandment: that you love one another [just] as I have loved you. – John 15:2 Amp.

If He commands it, He makes it possible.  To say “I can’t love like that is a lie because the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit present in my soul since my baptism enables me to do all that God requires of me.  

I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Whoinfuses inner strength into me; I amself-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]. – Phil. 4:13 Amp.

Love is not an emotion; it does not depend on “liking” or even knowing the other person. It involves making a choice to speak or to act in a way that serves or blesses another at some cost to ourselves.  It entails sacrifice and the willingness to suffer intensely for the good of anther.  

Jesus gave everything and emptied Himself completely out of love for us. His commandment is to love others in the same way He loves.

The truth is that I lack the willingness to make sacrifices, that I am far too attached to my own will, to comfort and convenience.  I am too slothful, miserly, judgemental and selfish.

I need to practice making sacrifices of my time, resources and self-will for others.

(Lectio Divina: John 15:12)