Tag Archive: Caring for others

Let Me Use You


My confession… I don’t go to daily Mass as often as I used to go. I still pray my prayers and try to live a good Catholic Christian life, but I fall short when it goes to daily Mass. Why? I am not too sure of the reason. Oh there always seems to be a valid excuse, my health isn’t what it should be, my 75 years are preventing me, or I just don’t have the strength anymore. All of these seem valid enough, but there is a part of me that simply wonders if I am just manufacturing excuses. Why all of this breast beating? Well, today, I went to Mass. I really didn’t expect to go. I hadn’t thought about it last night, or planned for it. It kind of just happened. A thought, a single thought, popped up and said, “Mass, today??” Why today? Why not yesterday, or last week? Thankfully, no negatives crept into my mind. And so, I went.

You have heard me speak of God whispering to us, and how He uses our own minds, our likes (and dislikes). He speaks to us often, but we sadly don’t want any part of it. We are too busy. We have things to do, places to go, and joys to be experienced. We don’t have time to converse with our God. Who has time to read the Bible? … where He continually speaks to us? We treat God more like a myth, than the very reason for our existence. And so, we hurry on to our “more important” things, to tasks that, when all is said and done, are quite meaningless. But we pursue them anyway.

So, here I am at Mass waiting for the priest to come out. Really, I am amazed that I am actually here. Mass proceeds with the readings from the Old and New Testament. After the Gospel the priest begins talking to us, not in the form of a sermon, but rather, as a friend confiding in us. Telling us how his life moved from seminarian, to Deacon and to priest. He spoke of the various parishes in which he had administered to the people. But at the end he said something, very casually, almost like an afterthought. He mentioned that wherever we are, whatever our past, God is intent on USING US to do His will, NOW!

Think about it. We spend so much time worrying about our past, what we could have done, what we should have done, and what areas we had passed through but shouldn’t have. We dwell so much in our past life, regretting our mistakes, wishing we had done better. And through all of this “what if…” and “maybe I…” concerns, we handcuff ourselves to the past. We think so much about what we could have or should have done, we never ever get around to focusing on the positives we can do now. Don’t you think it is time to bury the past? Time to put away all of those “what if’s” and “maybe I’s” and focus on the here and now!! In that casual, simple sentence, I knew why God wanted me to attend Mass today. He is telling me, directly, “No more excuses. No more imaginary barriers. It is time to seek me out in the lives of others. Don’t worry, about what to say, or to whom. I will use you. I will act through you.”

“God is intent on USING US to do His will, now!” Think about that thought. Focus on it. Let it permeate you, wash over you. Our God, our LOVING God, knows our past, knows our mistakes, our missteps. He has already forgiven us. Almost impatiently, he is telling us, “Move on with your life”. See me in all around you. Treat everyone around you as you would Me. If you see Me in them, then you will treat them as you would Me. Don’t worry about what you should do. Don’t worry about what you should say. Treat them with love and I will USE YOU, so that your actions will help them find me, too. And in finding Me, they will find themselves.

The 5 Posts directly below, blend with this theme. They continue the thought. Thanks for coming

1) What Would Jesus Do?
2) Where Do We Find Truth
3) People We Meet
4) Are You Loved? Do You Love?
5) Our Strength

What would Jesus do?

jesus and the rosary

What would Jesus do? That’s a very good way to start us thinking. It’s a good way to realize where we stand with respect to Jesus.  We attend the Sunday (and sometimes daily) masses. We say the rosary, and sometimes we even throw in an occasional good deed. We conclude, “Hey, I am not so bad”. And, we aren’t. But before we break our arm, patting ourselves on the back, we should consider a few things.

What is our view of the world? Do we see it as a thing of beauty, of promise? Or rather is it ugly and dirty and full of evil people? The people, that Jesus met, did He see them as lovable, forgivable, or did he avoid them? In the parable of the loaves and fishes the apostles wanted Jesus to send the people home, because it was getting late. He told His apostles to feed them. Tell them to recline on the ground and give them what you have. But there are so many, Lord. Yes, we meet so many people.  We read about so many people in the world doing evil, so very many people and we throw our arms up in despair. We think, “What can I possibly do?” The loaves and fishes parable wasn’t about feeding the masses, but rather helping the masses.

Ok, so how do we help these people?  99.9999% of them, we don’t even know, or haven’t even met. (I am not sure if I threw in enough 9’s). So how do we help them? First start with those people you do know, you meet, you hang with. Do they see the crucified, risen Christ in you? Not in an overly pietistic, showy way, but in a wholesome, caring way? Are you concerned about them? Do you pray for them? Now begin to widen your view and look at the many people in this world that also need prayers

Here is a question for you. “What is prayer”? When we go to mass on Sunday and the occasional daily mass do we realize that our thoughts, words and actions of that entire day can be put on the paten along with the bread? Anything we do for someone else, anytime we pray for someone else, these acts of love we will offer up on the paten. But, what we do only has merit when joined with Jesus. Only through, with, and in Him do our loving thoughts, words, and actions give glory and honor to God. Here is another question. Does the all-powerful God, the Creator of the universe NEED our prayers? He created us from all eternity for the express purpose that we learn how to love. Our thoughts, words, and actions that we offer to Him are the gifts of love that we have, that we feel towards others.

We can’t go to every place in the world. We don’t know everyone in the world. But our prayers can go there, can reach those people. Our loving prayer-life can take us to every place of evil, every person who is committing, or about to commit sin. Yes, there are so many. And that is why our every thought, word, and action should be, must be of prayerful love for the world. A powerful form of prayer, advocated by Mary, is the rosary.

Some aids for praying of the rosary. When you take out the rosary beads, remember that you are going to pray the rosary, not say it. We cannot be mindlessly muttering words. Our tongue should not be tripping over itself, as we rattle off the words. It might help if we think of five groups of people that we wish to pray for, that day. We can do this each time we say the rosary. The groups can change from day to day, or stay the same. This puts a face on a person, a need, a problem for whom we are praying. Groupings could be our immediate family, or our entire family tree. Priests, religious and those who take care of, or lead people. Heads of state. War torn nations. The sick and the dying. Those persons suffering with addictions of one form or another. The world afflicted with godlessness. I am sure you can make up more groupings, as well. The point is to take five groupings and assign them, that day to one of the five mysteries. Before you start the rosary, look at which mysteries you will be saying that day. Which mystery, which event seems to lend itself for any of the particular groups you will be praying for. Assign that mystery, for that day, to that group. Then, during the recitation of the rosary, think of that grouping, its needs and the specific mystery. As you pray the rosary, try to feel the words that you are saying to yourself (or aloud). Pray the rosary daily. Pray it as you would an act of love, a flame of love. Pray it for a suffering, hurting, confused world. Pray it for ourselves, as well, for we are part of that hurting and confused world. The world NEEDS it. We NEED it.

Mysteries of the Rosary:

Joyful (Mon. & Sat.)

Sorrowful (Tues. & Fri.)

Glorious (Wed. & Sun.)

Luminous (Thurs.)

The Annunciation

Agony in the garden

The Resurrection

Baptism of Jesus

The Visitation

The Scourging

The Ascension

Wedding at Cana

The Birth of Jesus

Crowning with thorns

Descent of the Spirit

God’s Kingdom call

The Presentation

Carrying of the cross

Assumption of Mary

The Transfiguration

The Finding of Jesus

The Crucifixion

Coronation of Mary

Eucharist Last Supper