Oremus – Introductory Letter

On Fri, Sep 23, 2016

Hi everyone,
What a wonderful class we had last evening! It was so pleasant meeting everyone of you. Thank you all for coming. We hope that this week of meditations will be the beginning of a deeper relationship with our amazing and awesome God. We have just a few suggestions for you this week.


1) You should be using a Catholic Bible to read Fr. Mark’s meditation suggestions – one that is not a paraphrase Bible. There are quite a few versions of Catholic Bibles, from Douay-Rheims (one of the older translations) to the Jerusalem Bible, the New American Catholic Bible, the Catholic Prayer Bible, the Ignatius and others. A paraphrase Bible translates the Bible into more contemporary language and may miss the nuances which are so important. One of the paraphrase Bibles is the Catholic Living Bible. To read more about this topic go to: http://www.catholic.com/tracts/bible-translations-guide This article is by Catholic Answers, a good resource for many questions you might have about our faith. The Catholic Catechism is online as well. You can access it here: http://ccc.usccb.org/flipbooks/catechism/index.html


2) Remember that God is waiting for you. He has called you to a deeper and more intimate walk with Him. You came to the class last evening – that is a sure sign of God’s presence and call in your life.
3) It may take some time to obtain the results for which you are hoping, or the results may begin the very first time you meditate with Fr. Mark’s selections. Our God is patient and loving, and He is inviting us and helping us along our journey. Remember that most of us take little baby steps toward God. I know that I certainly have – there were even times when I have taken giant steps backwards!
4) You may have difficulty finding just the right time for your meditation. On some days, mornings may work; on other days, it will be evenings or afternoons. There may be some days that you may not find a time when you can be alone with the Lord – that happens to all of us. Remember that God appreciates every effort you make, even on those days when you have difficulty fitting the meditation into your schedule.


5) As we remarked last evening, some of Fr. Mark’s suggestions for meditation may not appeal to you. That is to be expected. We all have our favorites passages and books in the Bible, and even those favorites change over time. Some passages may not seem to have any relationship to your life. Don’t be discouraged if some of the meditations don’t “speak to you” – they may at some other time in your life. Some of Fr. Mark’s suggestions for meditation will speak powerfully to you. Give them all a try.
6) Here is my email address: erinsmom@gmail.com and my phone number: 512-259-1409. This is my home phone – it doesn’t accept text messages, so please leave a voice message, if I don’t answer. I will return your call. Here is Maggie’s information: maglett@gmail.com. Her phone number is: 512-713-8806. If she is not at home, please leave a message. Maggie will return your call as well. We are here to help you. If we don’t know an answer, we will find out for you, or suggest someone whom you can contact for help.


7) Steve, one of the other facilitators, has passed along a page of blessings which you may like. I have added that page as an attachment to this email. 


We are looking forward to seeing you all again next Thursday evening. The class will start at 7 PM next week with the re-showing of the first video at 6:30 PM. If you are unable to make one of the classes, please let us know, if at all possible. 

May God fulfill your greatest desire for a more intimate walk with Him. We are praying for each one of you. We hope that you will pray for us as well.


Franciene Mcdonald

Maggie Beasom

Jeremiah 29:11-14 Oremus class

Jeremiah 29:11-14

This morning I started the reflections for a new Oremus study. Maggie, Barbara, Darla and I are watching the videos and following Fr. Toups reflections.

I couldn’t help but think at the very end of the passage that the “place from which we were exiled” is not Israel but heaven itself. God is bringing us back for that “future full of hope”. I wish that for my sister Jill whose time is very limited. Her life has been so difficult, so full of pain and illness.

God promises to listen to us when we go to pray to Him. If You are listening, Lord, bless my sister. Give her that future that You have promised. I ask this in the Name of Jesus, the Lord.

Oremus Mark 10:46-52

Mark 10: 46-52

The story of blind Bartimaeus. I love this story about a blind man who hears that Jesus is passing by him, on the road where the man is begging. Bartimaeus calls out to Jesus, even though the crowd tries to stop him. Bartimaeus calls louder and Jesus asks for him. Bartimaeus threw off his cloak and ran to the Lord. Then when asked by Jesus what Bartimaeus would have Him do for him, Bartimaeus replies, “my teacher, I would see.”

There is so much here, so much I recognized before. This morning I thought more about the story and thought that at the end of my life, I would like to throw off this human garment, which is my body, and run to the Lord. When I read about St. Therese, she did this though she started much earlier. And then later today, I was touched by the words of Bartimaeus, when he says “my teacher”. Jesus is my teacher. He teaches by His Words and by His actions. I just need to watch and listen.

Oremus Isaiah 55

Isaiah 55

This is a long reading. The title of this chapter is “an invitation to grace”. God invites all of us to come to Him for sustenance and help. It is a lovely reading.

I loved the lines “seek the Lord while He may be found, call Him while He is near…”It continues by telling us to seek the Lord for He is merciful. I thought it interesting that today is St. Therese’s feast day. She wrote about how merciful our God is, that if we expect mercy from the Lord, that is exactly what we will receive. I need all the mercy God can provide for me.

Then I was touched by the words “For just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return until they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful…so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.” I thought about Jesus, the Word of God and how He came to us and returned to the Father after He had done the Father’s will and achieved what God had wanted. And it gave me peace, knowing that the words of Jesus – the Son of God – will be fulfilled as well. He said “when I am lifted up, I will draw all men to myself”. But I know that men can turn away from Him, that is their choice. I pray that I will not turn away but will allow the Lord to draw me close to Him to receive His mercy.

We had a magnificent sunrise this morning – God is so good to us!

Oremus Psalm 63

Psalm 63

“O God, you are my God whom I seek; for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.”

I couldn’t help but think of Jesus, during those hours he suffered so intensely for us on the Cross. Did He pray this psalm? Did He seek His Father in His hours of greatest need?

The end of the psalm is a song of joy as it states: “The king, however, shall rejoice in God;” so at least there was some comfort for Our Lord, knowing that there was joy awaiting Him.

 

Romans 8:31-39 Oremus class

Romans 8:31-39 

“If God is for us, who can be against us?….For I am certain that neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor powers, neither height nor depth nor any other creature, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”

I found myself thinking about how all those people arrayed against us are merely creatures of the same God, the God I worship. Everything we know, we hear about, whether it be natural phenomena or human persons have been created by God. God is for us – we know that through Our Lord, Jesus Christ. So all these other things and people, whether for or against us, are creations of God. They have no power, except what He has allowed them to have. In the end, they have nothing and no power at all. While this life is uncertain, while it is full of problems, temptations and yes, even joy, it is nothing compared to what God has waiting for those who love and honor Him.

Reading this gave me a sense of peace.

Romans 8:22-27 Oremus class

Romans 8:22-27

I read this in the Adoration Chapel during my regular hour. I couldn’t help but think how this coincided with the study of Genesis which I am doing with the ladies Scripture study this year.

“all creation groans” – even the animals whose lives were never meant to be as they are, for death was not in the world when they were created. We did this – by our disobedience, we brought death into the world, not just for us but for those creatures who share this earth with us.

“And hoping for what we cannot see means awaiting it with patient endurance.” Isn’t that what we do – wait and live. We wait for Jesus’ second coming or perhaps for our own demise, when we will meet the Lord.

“The Spirit too helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought.” Sometimes I have known this, when I lack the words but then the words are there, as though the Spirit is praying through me. And I thought this was interesting: “the Spirit intercedes for the saints as God himself wills”. We are taught this – that God answers prayers that conform to His will.

Psalm 139:1-18 Oremus class

Psalms 139:1-18

This is one of my favorite psalms. In this psalm we recognize that we cannot run away from God, for there is no place where He is not with us. We reflect on how God has formed us, when no one could see but Him.. We think about how He knew us from all eternity. We are grateful that our God is always there, guiding us, holding our hand, blessing us. What a wonderful God we have!

I read this psalm often, especially in the Adoration Chapel.

John 15:1-17 Oremus class

John 15:1-17

“I am the vine, you are the branches.” So begins this long passage of Christ speaking with His disciples. It is a beautiful reading. I remembered that God planted the Jews in the land of Israel, but Jesus was the true vine. The Father is the vine grower, the one who tends the vine, waters and fertilizes it.

Jesus tells us that we are the branches growing on the vine. As long as we remain attached to Him (abide in Me, He says), we will bear fruit. But if we detach ourselves from Him, we will be cut away and thrown into the fire. If we remain attached to Him, we will be pruned by the Father to bear more fruit, just as a grape vine is pruned. Pruning is painful – no one wants to be pruned.

Jesus tells His disciples: “You have not chosen Me; I have chosen you.” Looking at myself, at my faults and mistakes, I am amazed that I was chosen. What have I to give to the Lord, to His work?

I pray that I will remain on and with the True Vine, our Lord Jesus Christ. May the Father, Son and Holy Spirit encourage and help me to persevere in this life, so that I can be with them in the next. My greatest fear is that I will walk away from Them and spend eternity alone, without God.

Jesus also tells us that if we are His friends, we will obey His commandments. His new commandment is : “love one another as I have loved you”. It is hard to love. There are people who so disturb me that I need the Lord to help me love them.

Jeremiah 29:11-14 Oremus class 1st time

Jeremiah 29:11-14
“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future full of hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me: if you seek me with all your heart. I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.”
Now I understand all those years away from the church. And God has brought me back to the place from which I was sent  into exile. May the Lord be praised!
It surprised me when I read the passage over again. I had felt guilty that I stopped going to Church for so long, but as He always does, God fixes everything in the end. I am so grateful.