Friday, August 15, 2008

God's Graces

It's by the Grace of God that I make it though every day. With my recorruing depression and anxiety I have days where I can feel like all hope is lost or I feel scared to move forward. A great book on this is Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World which includes a chapter about the devils 3 deadly D's: dispair, discouragement, and depression. Something I run into every day. Yet, there is always something that brings me hope.

It's God's pure love, His tender mercies, and His graces that shower over me. I am amazed that even if I am not in the complete state of grace (by having a mortal sin on my soul), He still showers me and my family with His Graces! What a loving and forgiving God we have on our side!

Actual Grace is special graces given to us by God to make it though. God provides to those who ask. We can ask for virtues of faith, hope, charity, justice, prudence, temperance and fortitude There are also the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, humility, gentleness, goodness, faith, patience and temperance. And other graces of knowledge, strength, serenity, and more.

Sanctifying Grace is the cleansing of our souls who have been saved by Jesus's death on the cross. We can continue to stay in this state of Sanctifying Grace by going to confession. Jesus does not "cover our sins" as some protestants believe, rather through confession those sins are washed away.

This past week I've been hearing the word "Grace" so often, I know it's God speaking to me. Refining my faith life. My friend Jamie and I have been discussing the logistics of NFP according to the Catholic Teachings, and we talked about God's Grace to get us through the rought patches of NFP, the graces to accept an unplanned pregnancy or miscarriages, etc. Just last Wednesday at the homeschool group's rally, the main speaker talked about Graces in reference to teaching our children and accepting God's Will for us.

Then last night, God spoke to me again in Adoration. He lead me to read a book my mother gave me back in 1995 when I was only 15 years old. It is called "Praying to God as a Friend" by Saint Alphonsus Liguori. She had underlined the parts she wanted me to reflect on. The more I read, I knew this was meant to be...

"Let the mountain streams remind you of God's abundant GRACE pouring int your being."

"Have you forgotten my sins and offenses? Since you have treated me with so much love, and given me GRACES without number, I will love you from now on..."

And in regard to my prayers for graces to live my life as a prayer...

"O Spirit of God, grant me the gift of prayer. Come into my heart and give me the strength not to abandon the practice of prayer eventhough I sometimes grow weary of it. Give me the spirit of perservering in prayer, the GRACE to pray continually."

In regards to me wondering why bad things are allowed to happen to me when I am faithful:

"On the other hand, if you turn to God at once to ask pardon and promise to do better, your very falling will help you to grow in God's love." Meaning that we need to pray to God for the GRACE to see the good that comes from our sins and sufferings.

"Know that this suffering will serve to strengthen you, to increase your humility, and to renew your confidence in God."

The week before in the Perpetual Adoration chapel, I also read some prayers from Prayers Before an Awesome God (The Psalms for Teenagers) by David Haas. The back has "When I.." references to many feelings and desires and the Psalms that refer to them in a prayerful manner. I highly recommend this book for teenagers and young adults!

On my way to the chapel, I had to put in this CD that I used to listen to over 8 years ago during my weekly holy hour. The artist is Simonetta, a beautiful Catholic woman who spoke about St. Philomena and Chastity at the young adult Steubenville Conference back in 1999 or 2000. She has a music CD of beutiful songs. My favorites are called The Beauty that You Are and Keep Your Eyes on the Beloved.

You can follow the link, but here are the main words I love:

Keep your eyes on the Beloved
He can bring you everlasting peace
He’ll take you by the hand, and guide you to him gently
Keep your eyes – on – Him

In the quiet of the church, I’ve come to be with You a while
On my knees I pray for Your guidance
On my knees I beg for your helping hand
And yet, I kneel so still & gaze at You, for all all the beauty that You are, to me
In the stillness of the church, I pray...

There is always much that I take from this experience sitting in friendship with my Lord and Saviour. This really is only one revelation. But I hope that you go walk in God's GRACE, and ask Him to continually bless you. And ask often.

God Bless!

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Thanks so much if you have some thoughts to share here! Please keep them kind - think, would you say this to your friend?