Saturday, April 25, 2009

Arch Enemies


To finish up my comparison of the samurai warrior's Bushido (Way of the Warrior) to the effective practices of a Prayer Warrior I am going to look at loyalty (忠 chuu).

unswerving in allegiance
faithful in allegiance to one's lawful sovereign or government
faithful to a private person to whom fidelity is due
faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution, or product
the state of being loyal; fidelity

A samurai is nothing if he is not loyal. The ancient feudal society was based on loyalty. This is something that our society really needs - but I promise not to turn this into a political blog.

From the beginning of our existence, God has always been loyal to us. He has given us chance after chance to remain in his glory. We keep messing it up and he keeps graciously accepting us back into his fold.

The Archangels are the ultimate loyalists. Archangels are members of the second choir of angels. Archangels are found in a number of religious traditions, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. The Hebrew Bible uses the terms מלאך אלהים (melakh Elohim; messenger of God), מלאך יהוה (melakh Adonai; messenger of the Lord), בני אלוהים (b'nai elohim; sons of God) and הקודשים (ha-qodeshim; the holy ones) to refer to beings traditionally interpreted as angelic messengers.

Of course there were the two that went bad. Contrary to popular belief, Satan and Lucifer are two separate fallen angels. The name "Lucifer" means "Light Giver" or "Light Bearer". Lucifer is thought to be the prince of the underworld and is who most consider to be the Devil. Being a creation of God, he cannot be considered an equal of God. He is more an equal of Michael the archangel. Satan's name is believed to originate from the term satan which connotes the idea of opposition and adversary. Before his fall, it's believed that he was one of the Ruling Prince's of the Celestial Orders. Satan is thought to be primarily 'stationed' here on earth. Both want nothing more than to turn our loyalties away from God.

Considering Lucifer is a former archangel, we should look to the 'field commander of the Legion of God' for assistance. Instead of pasting the whole thing, here is a link to the NOVENA TO ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL This novena begins on Friday May 1.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Honor Roll

For the Samurai warriors, honor & glory ( yo) were often misinterpreted virtues.  If someone insults us, it is easy to say they 'took away' our honor.  Many people have died (or killed) in defense of their honor.  This was all a waste.  Honor is a one-way street.  People can give us or show us honor.  They cannot take it away.  We can do something that is dishonorable, but we cannot honor ourselves. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as: 
1 a: good name or public esteem : reputation b: a showing of usually merited respect : recognition honor to our founder>
As Christians, we are called to honor our God.  We honor God by who we become and what we do.  The Bible is full of dos and don'ts, but it more than that.  It is more than just following rules.  We honor God by seeing that he is in us and everything around us.  Everyone and everything is an opportunity to honor God.
As he passed by he saw a man blind from birth.  His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"  Jesus answered, "Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.  We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work.  While I am in the world, I am the light of the world." John 9:1-5
My son is disabled and uses a manual wheelchair to get around.  He is fairly self-sufficient.  He does have a classmate that follows him around school to open doors, carry his lunch tray and a few other tasks.  My son will never walk, but I recently asked my him, if it were up to him, if he would rather walk or use a wheelchair.  My son told me that he would definitely rather use his wheelchair because otherwise his buddy would not have anything to do.  My son does not see his disability as a handicap.  He sees it as way for others to be the Light.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Good Friday

Friday is Good Friday.

Good Friday is the defining day for Christianity.  

I am to do what I can to make this a Good Friday special day.  I have already pledged not to log into Facebook or Twitter. Here is the Facebook group I started to make that pledge.  I now considering not turning on my computer.  There is so much more that I can do.  I work for the Church, so I have the day off.  The kids are on spring break as well.  I should take my daughter to Stations of the Cross.  It will be our fourth or fifth time this year.  She served at two of them.  I have a Christian novel about the writing of John's Gospel to finish too.

I call everyone out to do something different this Good Friday.  Something that will bring you closer to God.

Here is a Good Friday meditation from Creighton Univ:
by the suffering of Christ your Son 
you have saved is all from the death 
we inherited from sinful Adam. 
By the law of nature 
we have borne the likeness of his manhood. 
May the sanctifying power of grace 
help us to put on the likeness of our Lord in heaven 
who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Psalm 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-17, 25; Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9;  John 18:1-19:42

Daily Meditation: 
This is the wood of the cross, 
on which hung the Savior of the world. 
Come, let us worship. 
This is a very special day of intimacy with our Lord. 
It is a day to pray the Stations of the Cross. 
A day of fasting and abstinence, in order to sharpen our awareness and openness. 
A day to stand at the foot of the cross as a forgiven sinner - 
to stand there side-by-side with everyone else who is forgiven. 
It is a day of profound gratitude.

My people, what have I done to you? 
How have I offended you?  Answer me. 
Good Friday Reproaches


For our sake our Redeemer suffered death and was buried, and rose again.  With heartfelt love let us adore him, and pray: 
 Lord, have mercy on us. 

Christ our teacher, for our sake you were obedient even to accepting death,
- teach us to obey the Father's will in all things. 

Christ our life, by your death on the cross you destroyed the power of evil and death,
- may we die with you, to rise with you in glory. 

Christ our King, you became an outcast among us, a worm and no man,
- teach us the humility by which you saved the world. 

Christ our salvation, you gave yourself up to death out of love for us,
- help us to show your love to one another. 

Christ our Savior, on the cross you embraced all time with your outstretched arms,
- unite God's scattered children in your kingdom of salvation. 

Closing Prayer: 
My Lord, 
your son has suffered so much, shed so much blood. 
I was born with so many faults 
and my nature is so full of weakness, 
and yet your son Jesus has died on the cross. 
For me. 
I know your grace has the power 
to cleanse me of my many sins 
and to make me more like your Son. 
Thank you for your goodness and love for me. 
I ask you, Father, to watch over me - always.

May the Lord bless us, 
protect us from all evil 
and bring us to everlasting life. 

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Honest To God

Honest to God! 

Honesty ( makoto or 信 shinis the value of speaking truth and creating trust in minds of others. This includes all varieties of communication, both verbal and non-verbal. Honesty implies a lack of deceit. A statement can be strictly true and still be dishonest if the intention of the statement is to deceive its audience. Similarly, a falsehood can be spoken honestly if the speaker actually believes it to be true.

How honest to God are you?

Do you give God your all?  Is He number one in your life?  Or do you just seek God when you need him?

Do you cheat God out of what is rightfully his?

Any sin moves us further from God. 

Jesus, Prince of all Heavenly truths, Your Words are carved for eternity! You have commanded the virtue of honesty, It is the power against all deceptions. Direct Your Spirit of honesty upon me, That by soul may always remain stainless. Guide my daily thoughts, words and actions, To join those living by the Spirit of truth. For honesty yields harmony and loyalty, Enriching all human relationships. By the power of Your Spirit that flourishes, Honesty will prevail in this world!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Created to Serve


Respect ( rei).

What is respect? 
Respect is esteem for, or a sense of the worth or excellence of, a person, a personal quality, ability, or a manifestation of a personal quality or ability.
Respect should be one of the easiest things have/show/give.  If we live with the understanding that we are each created in the likeness and image of God, then we would naturally treat each other as if they were God. Piece of cake!

Of course, it is never that easy.  Modern society seems to make every effort to show that respect must be earned.  We live in a "what have you done for me lately" world.  Many people allow this attitude to pervert their relationship with God.  They say, "Look at this crappy life I have.  God has forgotten about me, so I am not going to have anything to do with Him."  They are obviously very self-centered.

Respect cannot be demanded.  Respect has to be given freely - to everyone.

God loves us.  God knows us.  He wants us to love him. This is what the Catechism teaches us:
Of all visible creatures only man is able to know and love his creator. He is the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake, and he alone is called to share, by knowledge and love, in God's own life. It was for this end that he was created, and this is the fundamental reason for his dignity… God created everything for man, but man in turn was created to serve and love God and to offer all creation back to him.
We are created to serve and love God.  This is at the core of our nature.  It should be a piece of cake.  It can be if we work at it.

Once we realize that everyone else is made in the image and likeness of God, respect will be freely given and received - and this world will be a much better place.


I genuflect before You Honorable Jesus, Respecting Your Will, Plan and Judgment! You overcame earthly evil emptations, Maintaining Self-respect to the end. Jesus, You are my code of conduct; I strive to comply with Your precepts. Teach me all I need to know about respect, Its mastery being my long-term objective. May this include learning to listen, Allowing others to share their opinions. May my respect towards other humans Truly reflect Your love towards all!