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Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. April 29, 2009 - Wednesday Meditation (Do You Have REAL LIFE?)
April 29, 2009 - Wednesday Meditation (Do You Have REAL LIFE?) PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - The Daily B.R.E.A.D.
Tuesday, 28 April 2009 05:59
B ut what is life? Jesus clearly meant something more than mere physical existence. The life Jesus refers to is connected with God, the author of life. Real life is a relationship with the living God, a relationship of trust, love, obedience, peace, and joy. This is what Jesus makes possible for us - a loving relationship with God who created us for love with him. Apart from Jesus no on can enter that kind of life and relationship.
 
John 6:35-40
 
J esus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. (36) But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. (37) All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out. (38) For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; (39) and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. (40) For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
 
 
Meditation by Don Schwager:
 
W hy did Jesus call himself the bread of life? The Jews understood that God promised them manna from heaven to sustain them on their journey to the Promised Land. Bread is the very staple of life. We could not live without food for very long.  Bread sustains us. But what is life? Jesus clearly meant something more than mere physical existence.
 
The life Jesus refers to is connected with God, the author of life. Real life is a relationship with the living God, a relationship of trust, love, obedience, peace, and joy. This is what Jesus makes possible for us - a loving relationship with God who created us for love with him. Apart from Jesus no on can enter that kind of life and relationship. Are you satisfied with mere physical existence or do you hunger for the abundant life which Jesus offers?
Jesus makes three claims here. First he offers himself as spiritual food which produces the very life of God within us. Second, he promises unbroken friendship and freedom from the fear of being forsaken or cut off from God. Third, he offers us the hope of sharing in his resurrection. Those who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior will be raised up to immortal life with Jesus when he comes again on the last day. Do you know the joy and hope of the resurrection?

"Lord Jesus Christ, your death brought life and hope where there was once only despair and defeat. Give me the unshakeable hope of everlasting life, the inexpressible joy of knowing your unfailing love, and the unquestioning faith and obedience in doing the will of our Father in heaven."


Supplementary Reading
Confidence in Numbers


David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the Lord, ''I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, O Lord, I beg You, take away the guilt of Your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.' ~ 2 Samuel 24:10


It just seems to be human nature. As we grow in wealth and ability, our confidence moves from complete trust in the Lord to trust in our resources. King David decided one day that he needed to know how many fighting men he had in his army. This was a grievous sin in the nation of Israel. God always made it clear to the nation that He, not their army, was their source. It was against the law of God to number the troops. David's general, Joab, knew the serious nature of such an action. 
 
But Joab replied to the king, "May the Lord your God multiply the troops a hundred times over, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?" (2 Samuel 24:3) 
 
Joab knew that David was treading in dangerous waters when he brought up the idea to him. But David had it in his mind that this is what he was going to do. And he did. The result: God judged David for this sin by smiting the nation with a plague that resulted in the loss of 70,000 lives. 
 
Recently, I was having lunch with a former stockbroker who lost everything in the 1987 stock crash in the United States. He made an interesting comment. "You cannot know how to fully trust the Lord in the financial area until you really have to. When I lost everything, I was forced to trust Him when I knew I could not pay my next bill unless God provided. This was the time I learned to trust God. I never had to trust God before I lost my money because I had plenty. We don't willingly enter this level of trust with God." 
 
Ask God today to keep you from trusting in your own resources. Ask Him how to balance trust and blessing from Him this day. 
 
GOD BLESS US ALL!

PRAY as if everything depended on HIM. ACT as if everything depended on YOU.
 


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Last Updated on Thursday, 30 April 2009 07:04
 
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1 Thursday, 30 April 2009 09:55
SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA

Love for the Church and the Pope, the ‘sweet Christ on earth’.

Born in Siena in 1347, Catherine Benincasa as a young girl joined the Dominican Third Order and was outstanding for her spirit of prayer and penance. Impelled by a great love for God, the Church and the Roman Pontiff, she worked tirelessly for the peace and unity of the Church in the difficult years of the Avignon captivity. She spent much time at the Papal court trying to persuade Pope Gregory Xl to return to Rome, because that was the place from which Christ’s Vicar on earth ought to rule the Church. ‘if I die, let it be known that I die of passion for the Church,’ she said a few days before her death, which took place on the 29th of April 1380.

She wrote very many letters, of which about four hundred have survived, along with some prayers and ‘elevations’, and just one book, the ‘Dialogue’, which contains her own account of her intimate conversations with Our Lord. She was canonized by Pius II and her veneration spread rapidly throughout the whole of Europe. Saint Teresa of Avila said that, after God, the person she felt most indebted to for her spiritual progress was Saint Catherine of Siena. Pius IX declared her the second patron saint of Italy (along with Saint Francis of Assisi), and in 1970 Pope Paul VI proclaimed her a doctor of the Church.

Love for the Church and the Pope, the ‘sweet Christ on earth’.

Although she did not have the benefit of a very formal education (she learned to read and write as an adult), and was only thirty-three years old when she died, Saint Catherine of Siena led an extraordinarily full and fruitful life, as if she was in a great hurry to reach the eternal tabernacle of the Blessed Trinity (John Paul II, Homily in Siena, 14 October 1980). She is a wonderful example to us of love for the Church and for the Roman Pontiff; whom she described as the sweet Christ on earth (St Catherine of Siena, Letters, Siena 1913, III, p211), and of forthrightness and courage in making herself heard by the men of her time.

At that time, which was a particularly troublesome one in the Church’s history, the Popes reigned at Avignon, in the south of France; Rome, as the centre of Christianity, had been allowed to fall into decay. Our Lord made Saint Catherine see that it was necessary for the Popes to return to Rome in order to inaugurate the long-awaited and very urgent reform of Church life. To this end she prayed tirelessly, practised penance and wrote unceasingly to the Pope, to cardinals and to the various princes of Christendom.

Saint Catherine always professed unswerving obedience and love for the Roman Pontiff; of whom she wrote: Anyone who refuses to obey the Christ on earth, who is in the place of Christ in heaven, does not participate in the fruit of the blood of the Son of God (idem, Letter 207, III, p270).

She continuously sent urgent appeals to cardinals, bishops and priests for the reform of the Church and christian living, and didn’t shrink from taking them to task seriously, although always with great humility and respect for their dignity, because they are ministers of the blood of Christ (cf Paul VI, Homily proclaiming St Catherine a Doctor of the Church, 4 October 1970). It was principally to the Church’s pastors that she addressed herself again and again, realizing that the spin mal health of theft flock depended to a great extent on theft own conversion and exemplary behaviour.

Today we ask Saint Catherine to enable us to rejoice with the joys of our Mother the Church and to suffer with her in her sorrows. Let us ask ourselves how hard we pray each day for her pastors, and how generously we offer mortifications and hours of work and bear patiently life’s difficulties, all of which sacrifices help the Holy Father to carry the tremendous responsibility that God has placed on his shoulders. Let us also pray for her intercession, that ‘the sweet Christ on earth’ may never be short of trustworthy helpers.

With permission from Scepter UK. Short excerpt from IN CONVERSATION WITH GOD by Francis Fernandez. Available at SinagTala or Totus Bookstore 723-4326 or at www.totusbookstore.com ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

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