Aloha Friday Message – January 29, 2010 – Living With Christ

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Happy Aloha Friday, Beloved! I begin today by sharing some news about Justin and JC. I spoke with JC’s mom recently. JC’s sphenoid tumor is still growing, very slowly, but growing. A recent visit with her team of physicians led to the decision to continue prayerful, watchful waiting.
She’s in college on the mainland, and really enjoying it. The headaches and other side effects are still there, but, give thanks to God, her vision remains unaffected. If you still have the prayer for her I sent you last year, please use it with increased fervor. It’s working!

7-year-old Justin is still being treated for cordoma, a cancer of the spinal cord. The cancer is still there, but Justin’s health and activity-level have actually improved. When I spoke to him, he was with his mom and sisters, and being a typical boy. I could not believe how much he had grown. The cordoma has impinged on a couple of the cranial nerves, and that has affected his eyes a bit. Still, he is once again active and not feeling quite so ill. Praise God for this good news, and (dare I say it again?), keep praying. It’s working!

Please accept a giant Mahalo to all of you from the moms of JC and Justin.

So, today I am thinking of things people say to us that are life-changing – often for the good, but occasionally for the not-so-good. I came across sort of a collection of good, positive advice this month in my January Issue of Living with Christ. (That should be a clickable link. Try it.) This periodical contains all of the scripture readings and prayers for daily Mass and also some very good devotional and study material. Very often the section for each daily reading has a quote from a famous Christian. A couple of them this month really caught my attention, so I went through the January issue and looked at all of these quotes.

Collectively, there is a synergistic effect generated by reading them in one sitting. I am going to put a few of them here for your consideration (with permission from Living with Christ). Maybe I’ll add a comment or two as I go along.

Right at the top of the month on January (4th) we have this from Elizabeth Ann Seaton: “We must pray without ceasing, in every occurrence and employment of our lives – that prayer which is rather a habit of lifting up the heart to God as in a constant communication.” Just like we do in the MBN! She was the first to have a community of Catholic religious women recognized in the US, and also the first canonized native-born (A New Yorker) American Saint. It is for this “Elizabeth” that my compadres named our goddaughter M. Elizabeth M.

Next a quote (January 9) from The Golden Mouth of St. John Chrysostom: Our confidence in being heard must be based on God’s love and mercy. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, by God’s mercy alone will we be saved.” The Summit of virtue? Man! I’m not even close to the foothills yet! Still, the MBN places a, lot of confidence in God’s love and mercy, trusting that He will know all the degrees of separation between everyone who prays and somehow bring them all to zero degrees of separation. In Him will we all be ONE.

Next (January 11) there is St Robert Bellarmine. “If we wish to learn the art of living well and dying well, let us not follow the crowd, which only believes and values what is seen. Instead let us follow Christ.” We in the MBN are so spread apart! From the US East coast to the shores of the Philippines people are praying for, with, and about us! We believe and value what is unseen. Christ, and the love which comes from God through Jesus by the ministry of the Holy Spirit expressed in the love and prayer we share with others we probably do not know and will not see — except in the moon of course!

On January 15th we read this from St John Eudes: “Our wish, or object, our chief preoccupation must be to form Jesus in ourselves, to make his spirit, his devotion, his affections, his desires, and his disposition live and reign there.” Beloved, pray for the People. All the people. They, too, belong to Him. Like Him, take them ALL into your heart.

And then there is this On January 24th: “Love cannot remain by itself – it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action and that action is service. A mission of love can come only from union with God. From that union, love for the family, love for one’s neighbor, love for the poor is the natural fruit.” I can just see and hear Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (known better by the name Mother Teresa) speaking those words. Beloved, put your love into action, and pray, pray, pray as if souls depend on it – for they do!

Moving ahead to January 28th, St Ephrem of Syria reminds us: “Be a lamp in brightness and make these works of darkness cease.” Finish reading this message and then join with the MBN and “Let your light SHINE!”

And I close with a man who was instrumental in my conversion, first in 1964, then again in 1969, and again in 1985 (each one stronger than the preceding one), Thomas Merton: All creation teaches us some way of prayer.” Think about the MBN. Think about the moon. Think about two of us standing 4,000 miles apart and looking at the same moon, or at the same sunlight, and think about God thinking about us and loving it…

And so, Beloved, I will wrap this up with another appeal for you to use the MBN prayer whenever you can.* I want you to know that many people are praying for you, so I encourage you to pray for them as well as for all of the people for whom your benefactors are praying. Think of it this way:

Christ died for the sins of the whole world. He died for your sins, for the things that you do that offend God. Those things interfere with the fullest distribution of the love He gave you to share with everyone, including the people who sin against you. You see, Jesus made reparation to God for their sins too. So, He died for you and for those who persecute you. Ought we to not imitate Him better by praying not for just those whom we love but also for people who have been or are now causing us pain? And since we know we can extend our prayers to them, can we not also pray for everyone who is praying with us or for us or about us? Should we then go farther and also pray for everyone who will not or cannot pray? Or must we pray only for ourselves and for the few people who are willing to take the time and effort to remember us? Think about it, and then pray about it.

Pray for the People. All the people, including you, me, JC and Justin, everyone in the MBN, and everyone who prays for us, and everyone who asks for our prayers, and everyone who doesn’t ask for our prayers, and everyone we have ever loved, and everyone who loves us, and anyone who has ever loved them, and …yep, even the ones who are opposed to Christ and therefore to us.

Yes, pray for all of those souls, and as long as you’re at it, pray for everyone’s souls too. It’s working!!

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service.*
chick

Quotations from saints and other authors have been reprinted with permission from Living with Christ. All rights reserved. To subscribe to Living with Christ, call 1-800-321-0411 or visit: http://livingwithchrist.us

*If you can’t find your copy of the MBN prayer, let me know. I’ll send it right away!

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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