A Morning of Reflection
THE BENEDICTINE TEMPLATE has influenced Christian spirituality since the early centuries. We will look at the key elements which can enrich our spiritual lives. Join Yvette Lessard (Spiritual Director) in the Parish Hall of St. Peter Church, Main St. Danbury, CT on Thursday, July 11 from 10-11:45.
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Meditation: Revelation 1:1-4; 2:1-5
The revelation of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 1:1)
Have you ever wondered what the Book of Revelation is about? You’re not alone. This book has baffled, bedeviled, and frightened readers for centuries. That’s mainly because the Book of Revelation is a different kind of writing that we’re not too familiar with in the twenty-first century.
Revelation is a prime example of “apocalyptic” literature. That means it uses dramatic imagery—cosmic signs and fanciful creatures—to interpret present-day events. In the case of this book, it is an interpretation of the readers’ own challenging situations: persecution, false gospels, complacency, and general hardship.
But that’s only one part of the picture. The overall goal of Revelation is to reveal Jesus himself, the One whose kingdom can withstand any challenge or hardship. It’s an unveiling—a throwing back of the curtain around heaven.
From now until Advent begins, the Church’s liturgy will feature readings from this beautiful but puzzling book. These readings will unveil a truly awe-inspiring Jesus. You’ll see him take his throne on a seat of glory. You’ll see him surrounded by myriads of worshippers crying, “Holy, holy, holy” (Revelation 4:8). You’ll even hear him speaking from heaven as he tells you that he has come, not only to destroy the old reign of sin, but also to “make all things new” (21:5).
For the next two weeks, begin each prayer time by asking the Holy Spirit to open your eyes so that you can see Jesus in the passages you will read. Then read through them. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination. Go ahead and picture the scenes. Imagine yourself actually in them. Let those pictures draw you into worship. If you find yourself struggling amid unfamiliar signs and symbols, that’s okay. See if you can find a commentary in your Catholic study Bible that might clarify these images for you. Footnotes can provide context or help you understand what the images mean.
Finally, trust that God is going to bless you. After all, he said, “Blessed is the one who reads” (Revelation 1:3)! Let this fantastical imagery help you imagine Jesus’ majesty. Let it convince you that no matter what life throws your way, Jesus is on his throne and in control.
“Holy Spirit, open my eyes to see the glory of Jesus.”
Published by Word Among Us – 19November 2018
For the past two years, I have been working a job that has required a daily commute of roughly two hours, more or less. Over time, it has slowly worn on me, not to mention my cars. It not only has had its effects on me, but my wife and my son also feel the impact of my long absence.
I’ve written and lamented in the past on how crucial it is for fathers to be home with their families as much as they can, and I very much still stand in that favor of that position. The absence of the father in a home can be very noticeable if we just observe.
On days when I’m able to show up at home immediately following a day’s work and I get to interact with my wife and son, the family feels more stable and the evening has a better flow to it. If I come home but I don’t interact with them, I find the tension gets high, and so do frustration levels (understandably so).
Most noticeably is the change in my son’s behavior when I can get home and just playwith my little guy. When I’m able to come home and get straight to playing, wrestling, rough-housing, or what have you, the evenings always go much smoother, my son is better behaved, and my wife is much happier and at ease and can relax a little.
In my own family, we have recognized how essential it is for me to get home and give my son my undivided attention and simply play with him. The difference in his behavior is night and day when I get to spend uninterrupted time with him versus when I don’t. Because of the noticeable difference and the desired result of a smoother evening, we’ve put rules in place where I put phones away and remove any other distractions for at least the first 30 minutes (or more) of my time in the evening and I focus entirely on my little boy. He has waited all day to see his ol’ man. I’ve had to wait too.
When we take these measures as fathers to give of ourselves entirely to our wives and children and set aside things that call our attention, I find that we live lighter and more freely. By engaging in selfless play with our kiddos, we show them the love of the Father and give them the confidence and assurance they need that they are deeply a part of us, and that we love them in a way they cannot fully understand.
This, I believe, will dramatically affect the way they relate to our Heavenly Father. We dads here on earth have an opportunity to help our children engage in receiving the love of our Father. Many times, I have met Christians who speak incredibly highly of their fathers and how impactful that relationship was to receive the Divine Love. I have also heard the reverse, of how a poor relationship with a father (or lack thereof) has led to an abandonment of the Lord. What a beautiful opportunity for us, but also, how intimidating!
Playing with your child is a gift. Play is done not as a means but as an end unto itself; it’s done for the sake of itself. Playing with our children reminds us to let go and enjoy the gifts that the Lord has given us, namely our children. To hear the laughter of your child as you play-tackle him to the ground, is one of the finest treasures in our lives as fathers.
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