Non-physical violence

“When we say no to violence, we always imagine a knife, a bomb, a gun. However, to me, violence is caused by our attitude. For example, telling people that they are good for nothing, that they are lazy, and that they are this, and that they are that. I think this a great violence. If you and I could only make that one strong resolution that we will say ‘no’ to violence, and say ‘yes’ to peace by our kindness, by our attitude towards each other, even in a small thing — a smile when we meet each other, it would help more than anything.”  - Mother Teresa

If we are filled with the fruit of the Spirit, we will do no violence with our words.  Instead the words we speak will bring healing and restoration.  

Lord grant that my words will never be critical or judgemental but only kind.

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Starting to wear head-covering

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

I started on Oct 7th which is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Three years ago I started wearing a covering at Mass. It turned out to be on the feast of Our Lady of Carmel. This was a couple of months before I joined the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites.

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Is Jesus always kind?

In Matthew 15:21-30, he rudely ignored the woman who asked Him to heal her daughter. Even once He acknowledged her presence, He was insulting, basically calling her a dog.

It’s not because she was a Gentile since He treated the Roman centurion very differently, even offering to go to his home.

So why was He so rude to her, almost rejecting? If He treated her that way, why should I expect that He would be kinder to me? Surely this is not the sort of behaviour He wants us to imitate.

He did heal her daughter which was a kind act but did He need to be so cold, rude and unapproachable? Surely that is not the image that would encourage us to seek intimacy with Him.

His ways are definitely NOT our ways!

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Does God have favourites?

God wants to lead those whom He greatly loves by the path of tribulation and the more He loves them, the greater the tribulation.”

I had always believed that God loved all people equally since He sent Jesus to die for all. I thought that it was only we fallen humans who love some more than others. Yet Scripture tells us He hates evil-doers and that while He loved Jacob, He hated Esau. If He loves the whole world among whom are many evil-doers, then how does that fit together unless love means “love less”. There are other examples in Scripture showing God preferring one person over another. Even Jesus preferred Peter, James and John over the other apostles.

Does God have “favourites” just as human parents often prefer one child over another? A human parent would favour the child who was most similar in personality, more affectionate, eager to please and spend time with the parent rather than always asking for stuff. How much is God like a human parent? I have heard that there is nothing we can do to make God love us any more or less than He already does. I believe that nothing we do can change the fact THAT He loves us or could keep Him from loving us since Scripture says nothing can separate us from His love. Also a human parent doesn’t stop loving a rebellious troublesome child.

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Ungodly spiritual ties and what they do to us

David Cross in his book Soul Ties explains the dynamics of relationships and how they can fulfill God’s life-giving purposes or the Enemy’s destructive intent. The causes of ungodly soul ties include sexual relationships outside the marriage covenant, domination by another person or a group, false worship, occult-based healing techniques and wrongful rituals such as occur in Freemasonry.

He explains in detail the steps by which we appropriate the freedom Christ won for us on the cross. Since God transcends time, the soul ties from relationships that occurred in the past or when the other party has died can be cut and we can be set free. He elaborates on certain harmful practices that can invite the Enemy to create havoc and prevent us from experiencing the abundant life that loving Father wants us to have. These include homosexual acts, body piercing or tattoos, sexual fantasy and pornography. He explains how death through miscarriage, abortion or an accident involving the death of someone we were with leaves us in need of healing.

I just finished this book and it has helped me to understand what has hindered me in following Jesus more completely. Through reading it, the Holy Spirit showed me the healing He had already done years ago when I suffered a breakdown and received regular prayer ministry. I knew then that a lot of good stuff had happened but I understand what I’ve been freed from at a much deeper level after reading this book.

Although he doesn’t mention the Sacrament of Reconciliation or annulments, I can see how both of these played a major role in cutting many soul ties and improving my most problematic relationships. The principles he outlines in this book will help me in my continuing journey of healing as the Holy Spirit reveals other dark corners of my soul.

Find Soul Ties on Amazon

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Sowing seeds in social media

The Pope is encouraging priests to make effective use of social media by blogging and using other tools of the social media and he is leading by example. He launched his own You-Tube channel, an I-phone and a Face Book application. There are so many tools and some of them are very similar, it can be a confusing and overwhelming task to simply piece together what each one is called, what it does and what are the limitations. There is a lot of overlap between them and many of them feed into each other. YouTube is an excellent example as it allows easy sharing of it’s videos with quite a variety of tools.

I have been using Twitter for several months and have recently discovered a variety of interesting tools that will make my tweeting more effective. Twaiter is a tool that allows “tweets” to be created in advance and set to appear at whatever time and frequency the user wants. I have used this to create tweets that promote certain sites as well as ones that quote from my spiritual reading.

I have a Face Book account and have added friends but have not posted much to it and none of it is personal. I only use it as a way to share inspirational videos or websites I come across or encouraging messages. It doesn’t have Twitter’s 144 character limit so it would be easier to share quotes from my spiritual reading without having to chop them up.

I was considering creating a MySpace account since it is one of the things that YouTube links to. I created the framework for a site but have put very little on it. It is like Face Book in that only what is recently posted is visible on the screen. Since the focus of this tool is sharing music, perhaps creating a site on webs.com is more compatible with my goals.

The first three icons on YouTube for sharing content are: Google Buzz, Twitter and Face Book. Below the box with the URL (which it provides an option for shortening), there are icons for the following tools: Orkut, MySpace LiveSpaces, Blogger, StumbledUpon, Digg and Reddit.

According to an article on Wikipedia, the tools of social media fall into these categories, among others:

  • Blogging. I have experimented with WordPress, Blogger and TypePad
  • Microblogging. The only one I’ve tried is Twitter
  • Location-based social networks. This category included “Facebook Places” and others I had never heard of.
  • Social networking. Besides Face Book and others I had not heard of, this category included Orkut
  • Social bookmarking (or tagging). I’ve been using Delicious and considered trying StumbledUpon.
  • Document managing and editing tools. Google Docs is probably the most popular of the three mentioned. So far I have only used it to get documents from my computer to my I-pod touch. At some point I will look into sharing documents using this tool.

Making regular entries to my blog and using Twitter is all I have really done with social media. The next step will be to see how I can make the most effective use of social bookmarking with Delicous. Following that, I will use webs.com to create a website that links everything together. When I looked into Google Buzz, I saw that it is integrated with Gmail. Since I don’t need another place to store email, I doubt if I will use this. Neither Digg nor Reddit fit the vision of how I want to use social media.

Resources

  • How to Twitter Effectively – This article is related to using Twitter for marketing but much of what he says applies to any venue. At the end he provides links and descriptions of some Twitter tools.
  • Wikipedia article on social media
  • Pope2You Site This includes links to the FaceBook and IPhone applications as well as to his YouTube channel.

 

 

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Choosing goals over resolutions

A few years ago I decided to stop making resolutions at the beginning of a new year, a new month or even a new week. I am so good at starting things and much less good at following through. I posted to this blog twice or three times a week for several months then left it completely alone for four months. If I had any followers then, I am sure they’ve long since disappeared. I didn’t do much advertising of the blog on Twitter or Facebook. Perhaps if I had, I would not have dropped it last September. My new goal is to post once a week.

Some of my goals involve daily disciplines related to my spiritual practice and to self-care. Other goals relate to finishing what I’ve started, to weight loss and to skills I want to gain.

I decided in November that I would lose 15 pounds, and buy myself an I-Pad once I had gotten to my goal weight and maintained it for at least two weeks. A death in the family and the Christmas season set me back to the same number on the scale that I started with. After neglecting regular exercise, I have renewed my efforts.

There are some study projects left over from the last year or two that I want to finish. I have experienced the euphoria and burst of energy that comes from completing something that has been on the shelf for a while. The bigger the project and the longer it has been “in progress”, the bigger the energy burst I get from finishing it. It seems that unfinished projects create a psychic clutter that weighs down the soul.

Resolutions create a pressure and feelings of failure whereas goals provide a focus for time and energy. I have a tendency to be very self-critcal about things I do or fail to do. I also tend to want to do more than I can possibly do with the time and energy available to me. As a result, I end up over-tired and triggered to overeat. Accepting limitations is a difficult lesson.

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