Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Devotion for today: Love the Lord your God

Scripture for meditation:  Deuteronomy 6:4-7
“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone! Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today. Drill them into your children. Speak of them at home and abroad, whether you are busy or at rest.”

Christ tells us: Luke 10: 25-28
On one occasion a lawyer stood up to pose Him this problem: “Teacher what must I do to inherit everlasting life?” Jesus answered him; “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” He replied: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus said, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you shall live.”

Brother Lawrence observes: How to Adore God in Spirit and in Truth
There are three points to consider here: First, to adore God in Spirit and in truth means to adore Him as we should. Because God is a Spirit, He must be adored in spirit. That is to say we must worship Him with a humble, sincere love that comes from the depth and center of our soul. Only God can see this adoration, which we must repeat until it becomes part of our nature, as if God were one with our soul and our soul were one with God. Practice will demonstrate this. Secondly, to adore God in truth is to recognize Him for what He is and ourselves for what we are. Adoring God in truth means that our heart actually sees God as infinitely perfect and worthy of our praise. What man, regardless of how little sense he may have, would not exert all his strength to show his respect and love of this great God? Thirdly, to adore God in truth is to admit that our nature is just the opposite of His. Yet, He is willing to make us like Him, if we desire it. Who would be so rash as to neglect, even for a moment, the respect, the love, the service and the continual adoration that we owe Him?  The practice of the presence OF GOD by Brother Lawrence, Whitaker House, 1982.

Prayer: Psalm 119: 41-48
Let your kindness come to me, O Lord,
 your salvation according to your promise.
So shall I have an answer for those who reproach me,
 for I trust in your word.
Take not the word of truth from my mouth,
for in your ordinances is my hope;
And I will keep your law continually, forever and ever.
And I will walk at liberty, because I seek your precepts.
I will speak of your decrees before kings without being ashamed.
And I will delight in your commands, which I love.
And I will lift up my hands to your commands and meditate on your statutes.

My thoughts:  The first commandment states: I am the Lord your God; you shall not have false gods before me. (Baltimore Catechism)  We must pause here and ask ourselves if we have false gods which we worship more than God alone: recreation, rest, money, work, ourselves? What comes between us and a continual adoration of God in our hearts? Our readings today tell us that we must love God with all our hearts, souls and minds. Brother Lawrence tells us that this interior adoration must be continual. The first three commandments are summed up in this one by Moses and Christ. Moses tells us to make sure everyone in our lives practices this command. Christ tells us if we do, we shall live. That should be enough to get us to pray, to use God’s name with love and respect, and to keep the Sabbath holy. God does not understand if you miss Mass because your favorite team is on TV, for example. That is worshipping a false god, one you created in your image. This advent, let us come and adore our God, in spirit and in truth, always in truth.

Our prayer to God: Father, I adore you, lay my life before you; how I love you! Jesus, I adore you, lay my life before you; how I love you! Spirit, I adore you, lay my life before you; how I love you! I love you Lord, and I lift my voice, to worship you, O my soul, rejoice! Take joy, my King, in what you hear; let it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear!” Over and over, all day long, a simple act of adoration, over and over…

St Andrew novena: Begin today to say this powerful novena on this, the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle. Say it from Nov. 30 until Dec. 24 for the special intention of your heart. Say it 15 times a day, all at once, or spread out, in traffic, or while staring at a computer screen, anyway at all. Just say it. It is very powerful. If you miss a day, just say twice as many the next day! Be sure to go to the EWTN website for a beautiful reflection for each day as well.
Christmas Novena

Hail, and blessed be the hour and moment
At which the Son of God was born
Of a most pure Virgin
At a stable at midnight in Bethlehem
In the piercing cold
At that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee,
To hear my prayers and grant my desires
(mention request here). 
Through Jesus Christ and His most Blessed Mother.

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