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Celtic Carmelites

A Prayer Community of the Celtic Rite Old Catholic Church

My Blog

Blog

Original Innocence

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 9:16 AM Comments comments (46)
Throughout history, theologians have debated the extent of "Original Sin" on the soul of man. St. Augustine was the champion of total depravity and mainstream churches have held to some degree of original sin in their doctrines.
 
Adam and Eve disobeyed God and the world has never been the same. We toil, suffer death, strife, sickness, loneliness, and a disharmony with nature. Yet it was God Himself who clothed Adam and Eve. It was God Himself who spoke to Cain after the death of Abel and marked Cain so that he would not be killed.
 
God is a God of relationship. He loves us so much as to send Jesus, His only Son, to save us from ourselves and re-establish an "Abba-Father" relationship with us. He is simply in love with us.
 
My grandson is two months old. When I look in his eyes - when I look in the eyes of any baby - I see the wonder of God. I can't imagine God seeing any of us as totally depraved from birth. I understand the verse "Yet Jacob have I loved; but Esau I have hated" in Malachi 1:3 shows a partiality of God towards Jacob. But we can not use this verse to defend original sin. If Esau was cursed with original sin, was Jacob spared?
 
In the Celtic tradition, we see God as looking over His creation - and especially mankind - and saying, "It is very good." (Genesis 1:31).

Labors of Love

Posted on September 3, 2012 at 5:26 PM Comments comments (48)
Today in the United States we celebrate Labor Day. For many it is a day of rest from a grueling, fast-paced schedule. For others looking for work, it is bittersweet. We have deep within all of us the desire to be contributors to our family, community, and nation.
 
I read once that the second question men are asked at an introduction is, "what do you do?" For those unemployed, this question feels like a knife to the heart. Perhaps during this recession we can refrain from asking this sensitive question.
 
This weekend has been a mixture of rest and deadlines for me. My great joy is writing, yet I find it one of my most challenging endeavors. I love it so much, it intimidates me. To paraphrase Eric Liddell in the movie, Chariots of Fire, "When I write, I feel His pleasure."
 
Often, I do not write because I feel my offering to Him is woefully inadequate. It is during these times I must visit my childhood and remember giving my father a crayon drawing and his congratulating me on such a fine work of art.
 
When we bring our gifts, our labor, to God, we must consider all our efforts are measured by the love we pour into them. We will never achieve the quality of work He creates in an instant.
 
So, I must write for His pleasure and my joy. I encourage you to acknowledge the talent God has placed in your heart and nurture it as a gift of thanksgiving to Him.
 
Be Blessed,
Brother Joe

Philippians 4:11

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 10:57 PM Comments comments (30)
"...For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am in, therewith to be content."
 
The lottery tomorrow is up to 350 million dollars, and my son and I have big plans for that money! We will be very content.
 
What if the Apostle Paul, writing from a prison, knew a little bit more about what is true contentment than I could learn with 350 million dollars (before taxes)?
 
In verses 12 & 13, Paul tells us, "I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and being hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. I have the strength for everything through Him who strengthens me."
 
What if intimacy with Jesus is worth more than 350 million dollars? What if Paul and St. Francis of Assisi and Mother Teresa and countless missionaries around the world have an abundant joy movie stars and premiere athletes and business moguls and lottery winners are trying so desperately to buy?
 
What if the secret to contentment is a love relationship with the Holy Trinity?

For God so loved you and me!

Posted on March 22, 2012 at 9:26 PM Comments comments (40)
I listened to a preacher yesterday explain how much God the Father loves us. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him might not perish but have everlasting life" Jn 3:16.
Note that God loved us before giving Jesus as a sacrifice for our sin. Jesus loved us so much that He willingly gave His life, and the Holy Spirit loves us so much that He gives us the grace to believe in the Holy Trinity.
We are extraordinarily loved!

Simple Prayers

Posted on March 9, 2012 at 9:04 AM Comments comments (33)
God listens most to the prayers of our hearts. Let us approach our Father with childlike confidence - He will provide what is best for us. I don't believe He is overly impressed with well-constructed prayers that lack emotional content..

Seek intimacy.

Posted on February 19, 2012 at 7:03 PM Comments comments (44)
When I allow my days to be filled with projects, I tend to lose the appreciation that the God of all the universe is holding my hand. Seek intimacy over intellect. We will always have questions. We will always have an opportunity to love, to be kind. If we can balance the intellect with the intimate, we are blessed. If we need to choose one over the other, let love win.