Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

listening

All of the posts under the "listening" category.

Spiritual Discernments

I’ve been trying to figure out what direction I am being called within many things. There are a lot of things going on within the realm of my Catholic spirituality that I’m trying to figure out. Mostly the things I want to talk about, the talks I’d eventually like to give, potential books I’d like to write, the Young Adult group I’m trying to start, my faith life, my career direction and even my current prayer routine (yes, our careers are part of our faith journey as they are our vocation).

Its kind of frustrating to some point. I’d like to be able to say “yes, I will write Saturday for two hours between the hours of noon and two”, but of course, you can’t always force the keys on the keyboard to input into the text editor to display onto the screen the words that you’d like to say or that the Holy Spirit is guiding you towards, they are either there or they aren’t (although sometimes they can be summoned). So, I’d like to at least keep up putting out a post a week at minimum, but its tough. The frustrating part about it is that a lot of times I’ll have something incredibly awesome I’d like to share, pull up the editor and *poof* its gone. Incredibly frustrating.

So, I think what I need to do, is spend more time pulling out the laptop when I come up with something and just start writing it down. That, or when I do spend the time writing I just write what comes to mind. I want the words to flow forth like that of St. Paul, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, but alas, I am not them. I think that is the most difficult thing for me to realize is that I am me and my writing habits are different. They were also much older and all I have heard about are their successes and not their defeats. Who knows how many times St. Augustine put the ink quill to the parchment before coming up with his masterpiece “Confessions”? I suppose it’ll take time, and I believe that my writing is improving as I am discovering myself through this process.

Eventually, I’d like to give talks on my conversion story and other aspects of Catholicism. It is something I am passionate about. I love discussing and teaching the Faith, which is why I began teaching Religious Education two years ago. I am taking the year off as my plate is already full, that with the Young Adult group and other ministries that I am hoping to be a part of. But, I feel that I have the gift of speech, as I have noticed I seem to be able to find common ground with my audience and bring them in when I talk. Or maybe I’m just full of myself, you tell me.

I think the biggest part of my life is getting into a good prayer routine. I discussed this awhile back about figuring out what you want to do with your prayer life, and when you figure that out, to keep a note about it somewhere. This is important, and I’m beginning to question if a month is too long to determine if something is too much or too little. Some weeks, nothing is going on, and it would make more sense to add more, and some weeks there is a lot going on and it’d make more sense to drop a few items. I say this as I have yet to complete an accurate one month portrayal (I’m currently half way through), as I seem to make it about a week, before forgetting about it and getting off track. Trial and error is apart of life as it is a part of our spiritual journey. Remember that.

I’m currently working on a bunch of posts simultaneously. I’m hoping to have another post this week of something with a bit more substance, just because I have such a huge back log of posts that I want to put out, and because I want to be more regular with posting. There are many things going on in my head.

If you could offer up some prayers for me, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Jeff August 28, 2012 Leave A Comment Permalink

Prayer: How to do it!

I’ve been reading the psalms as part of my scriptural reading and have noticed a few things. The first is how we should always pray to God as if He is with us in the room. In every psalm God’s name is only mentioned a few times, and only a few times. Now, when we pray, we shouldn’t be saying God’s name every 5 words. It isn’t how we would properly communicate with…well, anyone. Frankly, if someone came up to me and said my name after every 5th word, I don’t know how I would take them, but I probably wouldn’t take them seriously.

When we pray, whether it be the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Mary or any Saint or Angel, we should always be sure that we talk from the heart. Talk like you would with your friend. Have a conversation. Mention all the things that are on your mind. Be thankful, be gracious, but most importantly be honest. God knows what is in your heart better than you do. Don’t be afraid to say what you want.

Its also important to realize that God always answers our prayers. Just because we don’t get what we want when we ask for it doesn’t mean he ignored us, for when we ask someone else to do something we either get a “yes” or a “no”. When we ask God for something and we don’t get it, He did indeed answer our prayer, but not with a yes, but, with a no. God knows what we need and what we want. Not always do they match up though. A lot of times we are not asking for things that will help us in our lives, but will end up being crutches later on.

Another theme in the psalms is that really, each prayer is almost like a conversation. They aren’t just a bunch of words that you throw together because you think that God will like what He hears, but really its a conversation. As Archbishop Fulton Sheen said “Prayer is a dialogue”. It is very important to remember this. Now, if we can’t think of things to say, that is one thing, and it is great to use prayers that the Church or Saints have already put to paper for us. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this as they are indeed beautiful prayers. But, how awesome would it be for you to say “I communicate with God because He is my best friend above all earthly things”?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with prayers that have already been written. My favorite devotion is the Rosary, which in my opinion should be recited daily. The Rosary is a powerful tool that Satan despises. He hates it and every time we pray it, he is weakened. Not to mention, we call upon Our Blessed Mother’s intersession. Now, the other really cool thing, is that we get to meditate upon all of Jesus’ important parts of life. The Joyful (Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Presentation, Finding in the Temple), the Sorrowful (Agony, Scourging, Crowning of Thorns, Carrying of Cross, Crucifixion), the Glorious (Resurrection, Ascension, Descent of Holy Spirit, Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary, Coronation of Blessed Virgin Mary) and the Luminous (Baptism, Wedding of Cana, Proclamation, Transfiguration, Institution of the Eucharist). Every single one of these events has Jesus, and as a double, we can also meditate on Mary’s life and how these events affected her as well.

Finally, it is also incredibly important, that when you pray, you don’t do all of the talking, but you listen. God speaks to us during prayer and a lot of the time, we are too busy rambling on and on about our problems, our desires and our wants, and we don’t listen to what God has to say to us. When you pray, find a quiet place to pray. Ask God what His will is for you. You may not hear a response at first, but don’t huff and go “well that didn’t work!”. It will take time. For too long you have done all the talking and none of the listening. It takes time to build up listening skills in daily interactions, so, it will take time to build up these skills with your interaction with Christ as well.

Speak Lord! Your servant Listens!

Jeff April 30, 2012 Leave A Comment Permalink

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