Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Fun: Sweet M&M



The chocolate tear is my favorite part. :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Quote of the day

It is clear when you receive the soul-quenching love they exude that it comes from some deep, pure source that lies beyond this world; their actions are permeated with an unnaturally acute awareness that every single person they encounter has been hurt by the world more than they let on, that we all could really use some tender treatment and love.


From Life as an eloquent sermon
By Jennifer at conversiondiary.com

Monday, February 23, 2009

Conversion Diary: Why my life is better since becoming open to life - The diary of a former atheist

Ever wondered if you should have children? Ever been SCARED to have children? Have you worried that your life would never be "your life" again if you had children? Is God calling you to have children?

Well, then you gotta read this amazing blog post by Jennifer. It can't be explained by any of my feeble attempts, you just have to go read it for yourself.

God love you, Jen, thank you for your beautiful words (again)!

Conversion Diary: Why my life is better since becoming open to life - The diary of a former atheist

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lent 2009

It's hard to believe that Lent is starting on Wednesday (Ash Wednesday) already! I have been directing my prayer time this weekend to ask God to show me what area(s) he wants me to work on this Lent. I also read the Holy Father's message for Lent to help center my thoughts. As always, I thought the message was great and easy to understand and read.

Have you wondered what Lent is all about? Asked yourself why those crazy Catholics starve themselves by fasting and giving things up? Well, here's your chance to read some of the explanations right from the Pope himself. It's very good and doesn't take long to read. The parts in yellow are my emphasis.



MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI FOR LENT 2009

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

At the beginning of Lent, which constitutes an itinerary of more intense spiritual training, the Liturgy sets before us again three penitential practices that are very dear to the biblical and Christian tradition – prayer, almsgiving, fasting – to prepare us to better celebrate Easter and thus experience God’s power that, as we shall hear in the Paschal Vigil, “dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy, casts out hatred, brings us peace and humbles earthly pride” (Paschal Præconium). For this year’s Lenten Message, I wish to focus my reflections especially on the value and meaning of fasting. Indeed, Lent recalls the forty days of our Lord’s fasting in the desert, which He undertook before entering into His public ministry. We read in the Gospel: “Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry” (Mt 4,1-2). Like Moses, who fasted before receiving the tablets of the Law (cf. Ex 34,28) and Elijah’s fast before meeting the Lord on Mount Horeb (cf. 1 Kings 19,8), Jesus, too, through prayer and fasting, prepared Himself for the mission that lay before Him, marked at the start by a serious battle with the tempter.

We might wonder what value and meaning there is for us Christians in depriving ourselves of something that in itself is good and useful for our bodily sustenance. The Sacred Scriptures and the entire Christian tradition teach that fasting is a great help to avoid sin and all that leads to it. For this reason, the history of salvation is replete with occasions that invite fasting. In the very first pages of Sacred Scripture, the Lord commands man to abstain from partaking of the prohibited fruit: “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die” (Gn 2, 16-17). Commenting on the divine injunction, Saint Basil observes that “fasting was ordained in Paradise,” and “the first commandment in this sense was delivered to Adam.” He thus concludes: “ ‘You shall not eat’ is a law of fasting and abstinence” (cf. Sermo de jejunio: PG 31, 163, 98). Since all of us are weighed down by sin and its consequences, fasting is proposed to us as an instrument to restore friendship with God. Such was the case with Ezra, who, in preparation for the journey from exile back to the Promised Land, calls upon the assembled people to fast so that “we might humble ourselves before our God” (8,21). The Almighty heard their prayer and assured them of His favor and protection. In the same way, the people of Nineveh, responding to Jonah’s call to repentance, proclaimed a fast, as a sign of their sincerity, saying: “Who knows, God may yet repent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we perish not?” (3,9). In this instance, too, God saw their works and spared them.

In the New Testament, Jesus brings to light the profound motive for fasting, condemning the attitude of the Pharisees, who scrupulously observed the prescriptions of the law, but whose hearts were far from God. True fasting, as the divine Master repeats elsewhere, is rather to do the will of the Heavenly Father, who “sees in secret, and will reward you” (Mt 6,18). He Himself sets the example, answering Satan, at the end of the forty days spent in the desert that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mt 4,4). The true fast is thus directed to eating the “true food,” which is to do the Father’s will (cf. Jn 4,34). If, therefore, Adam disobeyed the Lord’s command “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat,” the believer, through fasting, intends to submit himself humbly to God, trusting in His goodness and mercy.

The practice of fasting is very present in the first Christian community (cf. Acts 13,3; 14,22; 27,21; 2 Cor 6,5). The Church Fathers, too, speak of the force of fasting to bridle sin, especially the lusts of the “old Adam,” and open in the heart of the believer a path to God. Moreover, fasting is a practice that is encountered frequently and recommended by the saints of every age. Saint Peter Chrysologus writes: “Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. So if you pray, fast; if you fast, show mercy; if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others. If you do not close your ear to others, you open God’s ear to yourself” (Sermo 43: PL 52, 320. 322).

In our own day, fasting seems to have lost something of its spiritual meaning, and has taken on, in a culture characterized by the search for material well-being, a therapeutic value for the care of one’s body. Fasting certainly bring benefits to physical well-being, but for believers, it is, in the first place, a “therapy” to heal all that prevents them from conformity to the will of God. In the Apostolic Constitution Pænitemini of 1966, the Servant of God Paul VI saw the need to present fasting within the call of every Christian to “no longer live for himself, but for Him who loves him and gave himself for him … he will also have to live for his brethren“ (cf. Ch. I). Lent could be a propitious time to present again the norms contained in the Apostolic Constitution, so that the authentic and perennial significance of this long held practice may be rediscovered, and thus assist us to mortify our egoism and open our heart to love of God and neighbor, the first and greatest Commandment of the new Law and compendium of the entire Gospel (cf. Mt 22, 34-40).

The faithful practice of fasting contributes, moreover, to conferring unity to the whole person, body and soul, helping to avoid sin and grow in intimacy with the Lord. Saint Augustine, who knew all too well his own negative impulses, defining them as “twisted and tangled knottiness” (Confessions, II, 10.18), writes: “I will certainly impose privation, but it is so that he will forgive me, to be pleasing in his eyes, that I may enjoy his delightfulness” (Sermo 400, 3, 3: PL 40, 708). Denying material food, which nourishes our body, nurtures an interior disposition to listen to Christ and be fed by His saving word. Through fasting and praying, we allow Him to come and satisfy the deepest hunger that we experience in the depths of our being: the hunger and thirst for God.

At the same time, fasting is an aid to open our eyes to the situation in which so many of our brothers and sisters live.
In his First Letter, Saint John admonishes: “If anyone has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, yet shuts up his bowels of compassion from him – how does the love of God abide in him?” (3,17). Voluntary fasting enables us to grow in the spirit of the Good Samaritan, who bends low and goes to the help of his suffering brother (cf. Encyclical Deus caritas est, 15). By freely embracing an act of self-denial for the sake of another, we make a statement that our brother or sister in need is not a stranger. It is precisely to keep alive this welcoming and attentive attitude towards our brothers and sisters that I encourage the parishes and every other community to intensify in Lent the custom of private and communal fasts, joined to the reading of the Word of God, prayer and almsgiving. From the beginning, this has been the hallmark of the Christian community, in which special collections were taken up (cf. 2 Cor 8-9; Rm 15, 25-27), the faithful being invited to give to the poor what had been set aside from their fast (Didascalia Ap., V, 20,18). This practice needs to be rediscovered and encouraged again in our day, especially during the liturgical season of Lent.

From what I have said thus far, it seems abundantly clear that fasting represents an important ascetical practice, a spiritual arm to do battle against every possible disordered attachment to ourselves. Freely chosen detachment from the pleasure of food and other material goods helps the disciple of Christ to control the appetites of nature, weakened by original sin, whose negative effects impact the entire human person. Quite opportunely, an ancient hymn of the Lenten liturgy exhorts: “Utamur ergo parcius, / verbis cibis et potibus, / somno, iocis et arctius / perstemus in custodia – Let us use sparingly words, food and drink, sleep and amusements. May we be more alert in the custody of our senses.”

Dear brothers and sisters, it is good to see how the ultimate goal of fasting is to help each one of us, as the Servant of God Pope John Paul II wrote, to make the complete gift of self to God
(cf. Encyclical Veritatis splendor, 21). May every family and Christian community use well this time of Lent, therefore, in order to cast aside all that distracts the spirit and grow in whatever nourishes the soul, moving it to love of God and neighbor. I am thinking especially of a greater commitment to prayer, lectio divina, recourse to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and active participation in the Eucharist, especially the Holy Sunday Mass. With this interior disposition, let us enter the penitential spirit of Lent. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Causa nostrae laetitiae, accompany and support us in the effort to free our heart from slavery to sin, making it evermore a “living tabernacle of God.” With these wishes, while assuring every believer and ecclesial community of my prayer for a fruitful Lenten journey, I cordially impart to all of you my Apostolic Blessing.

From the Vatican, 11 December 2008.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

21-week-old baby in his mother's womb


The picture is that of a 21-week-old unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas, who is being operated on by a surgeon named Joseph Bruner.

The baby was diagnosed in the womb with spina bifida.

Little Samuel's mother, Julie Armas, an obstetrics nurse in Atlanta, knew of Dr. Bruner's remarkable surgical procedures. Practicing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Dr. Bruner performs these special operations while the baby is still in the womb.

During the procedure, the doctor removes the uterus via C-section and makes a small incision to operate on the baby.

Little Samuel's hand flopped out of the womb and the photo shows Dr. Bruner gently lifting the hand to tuck it back into the womb before closing the incision.

Samuel's mother said they 'wept for days' when they saw the picture. She said, 'The photo reminds us pregnancy isn't about disability or an illness, it's about a little person. 'Samuel was born in perfect health, the operation 100 percent successful.'


I found this photo and surgery to be a beautiful and hopeful antithesis to the death and destruction of abortion occurring every day. Both are happening at 21 weeks of pregnancy. Can you imagine ripping that tiny hand and baby out of his mother's womb and killing him instead of saving his precious life?! A precious life created and given by God! No, me either.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Fun: Grandparent humor

This is an email I received from my mom. Some of them made me laugh so I thought I would share.


1) She was in the bathroom, putting on her makeup, under the watchful eyes of her young granddaughter, as she'd done many times before. After she applied her lipstick and started to leave, the little one said, 'But Gramma, you forgot to kiss the toilet paper good-bye!' I will probably never put lipstick on again without thinking about kissing the toilet paper good-bye...

2) My young grandson called the other day to wish me Happy Birthday. He asked me how old I was, and I told him,'62.' My grandson was quiet for a moment, and then he asked, 'Did you start at 1?'

3) A grandmother was telling her little granddaughter what her own childhood was like: 'We used to skate outside on a pond. I had a swing made from a tire; it hung from a tree in our front yard. We rode our pony. We picked wild raspberries in the woods.' The little girl was wide-eyed, taking this all in. At last she said, 'I sure wish I'd gotten to know you sooner!'

4) A little girl was diligently pounding away on her grandfather's word processor. She told him she was writing a story. 'What's it about?' he asked. 'I don't know,' she replied. 'I can't read.'

5) I didn't know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her. I would point out something and ask what color it was. She would tell me and was always correct. It was fun for me, so I continued. At last, she headed for the door, saying, 'Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these yourself!'

6) When my grandson Billy and I entered our vacation cabin, we kept the lights off until we were inside to keep from attracting pesky insects. Still, a few fireflies followed us in. Noticing them before I did, Billy whispered, 'It's no use Grandpa. Now the mosquitoes are coming after us with flashlights.'

7) When my grandson asked me how old I was, I teasingly replied, 'I'm not sure. 'Look in your underwear, Grandpa,' he advised, 'mine says I'm 4 to 6.'

8) Children's Logic: 'Give me a sentence about a public servant,' said a teacher. The small boy wrote: 'The fireman came down the ladder pregnant.' The teacher took the lad aside to correct him. 'Do you know what pregnant means?' she asked. 'Sure,' said the young boy confidently. 'It means carrying a child.

9) A 6 year old was asked where his grandma lived. "Oh" he said "she lives at the airport, and when we want her, we just go get her. Then when we're done having her visit we take her back to the airport.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

convertobama.com



"Change worth praying for!"


I found the above link on The Curt Jester's site. I like it!! I signed up for my prayer and sacrifice.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Frosty bit o' morn


For those of us that had to actually get up and go to work this morning—unlike all of the students and parents of students, state workers, etc. that got to take President's Day OFF today (ahem, no, I'm not jealous! :})—we were given a gift from God for our perseverance. A beautiful frosty morning with gorgeous trees to make us smile on the way to work. Thank you, God!

I had to walk from my office down to the main hospital building to take some pictures for my supervisor (who is on vacation today, BTW) so I took advantage of the walk outside with the camera to shoot some of the beauty around me.

Now you lazy... uh, I mean, lucky people who got the day off can enjoy some of the morning glory that you missed as you were sleeping warm in your bed. (Don't get mad, I am just kidding ... and jealous!) Have a great day, whatever you are doing! :)


Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Fun: Fonts are funny!



Thanks for sending the link, Rena! This made me laugh. :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Quote of the Day—Finding True Love

We can’t love others and be loved ourselves until we discover God’s love for us.


"We are fascinated with finding and experiencing love. We prize it and chase after it and wish our lives could be filled with it. We want to be cherished, to be someone’s joy. It is exactly this vulnerability of our characters, this yearning for love, which evil exploits, perverting what God has intended to be the noblest of our desires. (My emphasis)

What is it about our human nature that predisposes us for love? God Himself. God is love (1 John 4:8) and we are made in His image. Placing in each being, born and unborn, an innate desire to love and be loved, God provides the answer to the very longing He creates. What we do with this desire, how we seek to fulfill it through the course of our lives, dictates whether or not we will ever find "true love."

God would not create us, place a desire for love in us, and then leave us orphans to discover how to satisfy such a complex and deep-rooted need. It makes sense to turn to Him, the Source of Love, if we are to understand how to find it and experience it. St. Paul (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) gives us a "check list" of sorts, putting it as plainly as he can:

Love is patient; love is kind
Love is not jealous; it does not put on airs, it is not snobbish.
Love is never rude, nor self-seeking, nor prone to anger;
Nor does it brood over injuries.

Love does not rejoice in what is wrong but rejoices with the truth.
There is no limit to love’s forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure.
Love never fails.


If you were tempted to skip over those lines, please go back and re-read them. This time try replacing every reference to the word "love" with your own name. Go ahead. It’s a sobering exercise in confronting what love really is."


Excerpt from Finding True Love
Reading the complete article is well worth the time!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Valentine's Day ads

Fr. Z has a great post on his blog about the amazingly STUPID (smutty, immoral, offensive...) advertisements for Valentine's Day right now.

It made me laugh out loud. You must go read it for yourself! :)

As a woman who considers herself to rather enjoy romance, I dread this time of year. None of this commercialized Valentine crap has an ounce of romance to me.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Anticipation

Yep, it's that time of year again. I've come down with a severe case of cabin fever! I am living in anticipation of spring.

So, this morning when I saw the sun was shining, even though the temperature was only in the teens, it was time ... time to hit the deck!



I found a spot free of snow near the wall being warmed by the sun, blocked from any breeze and, oh, it felt so good! To bask in the warm sun, read my book and breath in the crisp fresh air was just a gift from God! Especially since, as I write this, a storm front is moving in that is supposed to bring us, first, ice and then top that off with some more snow over the course of the next couple of days.

Yeah, God is good! Every moment of sun and fresh air that I got today will be remembered and get me through the ickiest parts of the next couple of days.

Spring, spring, please come soon,
otherwise I may turn in to a loon!

I know, too late, I'm already there! : )


Oh, and Oreo seemed to find the deck time today quite therapeutic as well.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Henry Poole is Here—A hopeless man finds hope (and faith)

Henry Poole is Here

I watched Henry Poole is Here last night. What a great movie! The characters are wonderful, there is some good humor in the midst of the serious subject matter and it portrays a realistic journey of a hopeless man that finds faith, hope and love when it all seems impossible. Nothing is impossible for God!

You can also read this good article that I posted about the movie before it came out and see a music video.

In the special features section of the DVD I also watched "The Making of Henry Poole is Here." They talk to the writers, producers and members of the cast about making the movie. When they talked to George Lopez who plays Fr. Salazar, the Catholic priest who comes to see the face of Jesus on the wall, he talks about preparing for this role. George Lopez says, "I am not a peaceful dude, I am usually really crazy and most of the time I'm really kind of obnoxious." Lopez continues that he spent time with a Catholic priest names Fr. Garrett. "The more time I spent with [Fr. Garrett] the more I kinda got zeroed in on my own tranquility and peace. I found playing this guy (Fr. Salazar) very calming. We'll see how long it stays after the movie is over, but it's pretty calming right now," Lopez laughs.

Uh huh! THAT, my friends, is the light, peace and tranquility of Christ shining through the priest, the teachings and the truth that is His beautiful Catholic Church! I loved hearing those words coming across the screen. And I pray that George Lopez has kept digging further into that peace and has found his way home to full communion with the Church.

What are you waiting for? You, too, can have that peace and tranquility that you are instinctively searching for in the depths of your being. Visit a Catholic Church, talk to a priest or a Catholic friend (or blogger :) that you trust and start your own journey. You will never regret it!

Friday, February 06, 2009

I want love and children but they are nowhere to be seen

Thanks to Fr. Ryan for having this on his blog.

“I never thought I would be saying this, but being a free woman isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Is that the rustle of taffeta I hear as the suffragettes turn in their graves? Possibly. My mother was a hippy who kept a pile of (dusty) books by Germaine Greer and Erica Jong by her bed (like every good feminist, she didn’t see why she should do all the cleaning). She imbued me with the great values of choice, equality and sexual liberation. I fought with my older brother and won; at university I beat the rugby lads at drinking games. I was not to be messed with.

Now, nearly 37, those same values leave me feeling cold. I want love and children but they are nowhere to be seen. I feel like a UN inspector sent in to Iraq only to find that there never were any weapons of mass destruction. I was led to believe that women could “have it all” and, more to the point, that we wanted it all. To that end I have spent 20 years ruthlessly pursuing my dreams - to be a successful playwright. I have sacrificed all my womanly duties and laid it all at the altar of a career. And was it worth it? The answer has to be a resounding no.”
- Zoe Lewis


This makes me go back to the post Only women can be mothers. I just love what it says.

Friday Fun—Snow polar bear

I got the following email a couple of time this week. These are some pretty talented "snow builders." How cute! Now that's a WIDE load. :)


How's this for a "snowman !!" This was built in Wahpeton, N.D. Kinda gives you an idea of how much snow we've been having. Pretty good sculpture too, don't ya think?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

A life saved today!

An email received from 40 Days for Life in ND:

God heard and answered your prayers today, a young couple arrived at the abortion clinic (in Fargo, ND) this morning for their scheduled appointment. A sidewalk counselor was able to speak to them about the effects of abortion and the development of their child. There were tears of gratitude from the mother as they chose life for their unborn baby.

Thank you for your prayers and faithfulness,

The 40 Days for Life committee


Thanks be to God!

Patti Armstrong on Catholic Answers Live


Catholic author, wife and mother of 10 children, Patti Armstrong, from good ol' Bismarck, ND (woohoo!) was a guest on Catholic Answers Live last week to talk about suffering and her book Amazing Grace for Survivors. I got a chance to listen to the show today. Patti did a great job!

We all suffer and have to survive, whether it's short-term or long-term, so we can all benefit from listening to this show and reading Patti's book, take the time for yourself.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

lolsaints.com


So, there is a great new site on the net that you have to go check out if you are up for some fun!

lolsaints.com


And today you could even win a contest if you have a good capshun (caption) in mind for the photo that you see above.

I have entered my caption idea! Have you?

Monday, February 02, 2009

Quote of the day

"May your trust in God foster hope in you and help you to change the world by rooting you in Gospel values, particularly in forgiveness, the culmination of love, for whoever forgives does not stop at the fault committed but opens a new future.

If peace is the fruit of justice, it is still more the fruit of forgiveness that truly seals reconciliation between those who yesterday mistrusted or opposed one another, enabling them to go forward together. By accepting God's forgiveness given to us in the sacrament, you will be able in your turn to be creators of forgiveness between brothers and sisters and build a reconciled world."

Pope Benedict XVI

Sunday, February 01, 2009

I should like you to be free of anxieties

1 Cor 7:32-35

Brothers and sisters:
I should like you to be free of anxieties.
An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord,
how he may please the Lord.
But a married man is anxious about the things of the world,
how he may please his wife, and he is divided.
An unmarried woman or a virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord,
so that she may be holy in both body and spirit.
A married woman, on the other hand,
is anxious about the things of the world,
how she may please her husband.
I am telling you this for your own benefit,
not to impose a restraint upon you,
but for the sake of propriety
and adherence to the Lord without distraction.

On Friday night after work I went for Adoration. One of the topics that God and I ended up "discussing" has a lot to do with the above reading for Mass today. When I heard the reading I just had to smile and shake my head. God really does talk to you if you give him the chance and listen.

What came up at Adoration was the strong feeling (consolation) of love I was having for God as I was sitting in the silent church praying with him. The thought came to mind that as a single person I can focus and give all of my love to God. What a great thing! As soon as that thought came out another thought, and a very strong wave of emotion, overcame me that being married would just enhance that love even more. (To those who have more will be given.) This thought kinda shocked me since I had just been reflecting on the "good part of my singleness."

My thoughts continued, if a marriage is created and centered on Christ the love will just keep growing stronger in all directions—for Christ, for each other as husband and wife and for the children that God would create through that marriage, if that is his will. There is no need to be torn between God and your spouse/family. The two are intimately intertwined; as one goes so goes the other. The more you grow in love of God, the more you grow in love in your marriage. The more you grow in love in your marriage, the more you grow in love for God.

Wow! By this point I was pretty overwhelmed.

I was now thinking how I had heard many times about God's love being infinite and that this same infinite love has been given to each and every one of us. But I had never really reflected on it this way. I was thinking, "this is so opposite from what the secular world of me, me, me teaches." So much of the world believes that if you open your heart and give it to others there will be nothing left for you (selfish and self-centered). God was revealing to me the opposite to be true. The more you give your heart away the bigger it will grow and the more you will have to give to him, to others and also to yourself. What a beautiful thought!

So, when hearing the reading about having "adherence to the Lord without distraction" my mind whizzed back to my conversation with God Friday night. My advice would be:

Live your life centered on Christ at all times, whatever your vocation. Give your heart completely to everyone that God puts in your life so you can keep growing in love. And do your best to live without all of the anxieties of the things of the world, instead, live in the peace and joy that comes from putting all of your trust in God.

God's Desire for You

I came across the following blog post on Fr. John Bartunek's site Catholic Spiritual Direction. I found this to be inspiring and beautiful. I thought you might, too. What a great reflection for anyone, new to prayer or not!


God's Desire for You

For years, though I had been a committed Christian and enjoyed what many call a truly personal relationship with Christ, I had not really internalized the thought that God desired me. That he wants and longs for a relationship with me. The idea seemed odd that the great God of our universe would have any sense of personal longing for a relationship with any human, let alone one as broken as me. The breakthrough came in meditating on Luke 22:15. He was speaking to the disciples at the last supper - he was preparing for his own death by communing with them. He said to them,


"I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer;"


God earnestly desired to be with his disciples. He had no need to be with them, yet, in his great love, he still had a deep and compelling desire to be with them. He has that same desire to be with you. The next time you pray, sit or kneel silently before him - put yourself in the seat of one of the disciples - you are after all, one of his disciples. See him speaking to you. Hear him say to you - using your own name - "_________, I earnestly desire to commune with you, to be with you, to speak to you, to know you and have you know me." The God of love is calling your name. Take a moment to stop and listen - you won't regret it.