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'Saying and Believing'

St. Ambrose

Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the Kingdom of heaven...

- Matthew 7:21

As children, my friends and I avoided stepping on the cracks in the sidewalk just in case the adage was true that if you "stepped on a crack, it would break your mother's back." I am still not sure where this superstition came from or why it had such a power over us.

The same kind of magical thinking can infect our faith life. I remember one man who became irate at a parish meeting because someone used the term Spirit instead of Holy Spirit when referring to the third person of the Trinity. We can invoke the Holy One with our mouths, yet our motivation and desires can actually be far from the principles of compassion, forgiveness, integrity and justice.

- Terri Mifek
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freeter | Posted on: 2017-12-07 08:38:08
This month marks 29 years since my very good friend, counseled me after I described my disappointment in a colleague's actions with the words "you have to think about the motivation". To this day I have to acknowledge that my disdain for negative actions and my empathy for others comes from considering what is motivating people to act in particular ways. Whom am I to judge though? This Christian journey gives us many opportunities to see ourselves in others,and to learn from the actions of others.
Lennise | Posted on: 2017-12-07 07:01:46
When evangelizing, I feel the other person's motivation. Many times I hear anger. Anger does not always mean that the person is frustrated because they want you to take their side. Sometimes anger means that their life is so turbulent and undecided that they are clinging to the only thing they know.

My approach is to explain the gospel in a loving manner and pray that the peace I feel enters their heart. And sometimes I even experience progress!
Linda | Posted on:: 2017-12-07 07:40:37
Amen. Thank you Holy Father for this day and for today's Gospel. Thank you Lord for my faith, my life and for my family. Thank you Holy Father most of all for your great sacrifice and for the opportunity of forgiveness and reconciliation. Please Lord have mercy. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ now and forever. Amen
A Sinner | Posted on: 2017-12-07 06:38:52
I read your prayer every morning and repeat it to myself. I am glad to see you back!
dana | Posted on:: 2017-12-07 07:48:22
I feel the same as Dana!
Bill G. | Posted on:: 2017-12-07 08:31:33
So true, Terri!

Let's hear what Jesus said who will enter the Kingdom of heaven in:
* Matthew 7:21b, "but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven."

Here is what Jesus pointed to what they did was not the will of the Father in heaven:
* Matthew 7:22, "Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?"

In fact, not only did they not do the Father's will, they actually did evil:
* Matthew 7:23, "Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers."

Hmmm......So what is the will of the Father in heaven? They seemed to be doing things in God's name? What's wrong with that? Am I doing things in God's name that are not in His will? Hmmm......

As Steve Urkel said in Family Matters, "Did I do that?"

* Romans 12:2, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.
* 1 Timothy 2:3-4, "This is good, and pleases God our Savior, Who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."
* 1 Peter 2:15, "For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people."
* 1 Thessalonians 5:18, "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
.......what else?.....

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Amen!
Salina | Posted on: 2017-12-07 01:59:15
I agree with you that I step back at times and ask myself if I am doing things in God's name that are not His will. When evangelizing, I am always kind but sometimes it is frustrating to encounter born agains who tell you that you are going to hell for your Catholic pagan beliefs.

Jesus told us that those who follow Him would not have an easy road. And when the road gets rough, do we self satisfy ourselves and attack in the name of righteousness or do we persist with the truth in a loving way? I choose the loving path and pray that the Holy Spirit does his work on those who need His grace. And I pray that I am doing His will and not mine.
Linda | Posted on:: 2017-12-07 07:31:46
Lia | Posted on:: 2017-12-07 07:33:21
I, too am sometimes concerned about my motives for being irate at the way some Christians refer to God; "the Man upstairs" or, the "Big Man"! Have I misunderstood portions of scripture such as Numbers 23:19, and John 4:24; God is not man...; God is a spirit..."
Another source of irritation is the one who insists, no doubt out of ignorance and because if indoctrination, that Roman Catholic and is pagan,
Marcia Smith | Posted on:: 2017-12-07 08:14:19
Linda, keep doing the kind work...I appreciate hearing your heart!

As Peter said in 1 Peter 2:15, "For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people."

* John 13:34-35, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this (love) everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”

* 1 John 4:11-12, "Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us."

* Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Salina | Posted on:: 2017-12-07 09:31:14
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