Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Journey Through My Bible...Leads Me to an Awesome Challenge

This post is a bit delayed; I started writing it a while back, never finished it, then forgot about the post! But recently I figured I should put it up, just for fun:  

My well used "TEC Bible."
Recently while in Adoration, I pulled out the bible I received on my first Teens Encounter Christ retreat. It had been months since I had opened this particular Bible, since I’ve been using another bible for my classes and homework and such. Opening my “TEC Bible” hit me with a flood of memories, love, and prayers. My bible is filled with bookmarks, holy cards, random prayer cards, a couple pictures (that I had shoved in there for safekeeping on a whim) of people—some of whom I haven’t seen since high school, one of whom has since died—who I could pray for, and verses highlighted by myself and by friends on TEC retreats.
 I even came across a business card that I haven’t thought about in long time. Three years ago (or something like that) I was at church for daily Mass, and this random guy in the back pew was like, “wait a minute.” He scrawled out a message on this business card, and gave it to me. I stuck it in my bible, and when I looked at it later, I read that this man had recently lost a son, a son who converted shortly before death. This man was asking that I pray for his family. Coming across this business card again, I was able to pray for this man and his family.

I also came across a passage that was highlighted by someone from my table on my very first TEC retreat in 2010, with an accompanying note: “AnneMarie—I write to you by this highlighted verse because I see you resembling all these things.” My eyes glanced over to the yellow highlighter, and read the passage. Reading it, I was hit with “oh shoot, I don’t know what this person saw in me that weekend, ‘cause I have a lot to work on. I don’t feel worthy of being told that I “resemble these things” at all.”
What was this passage?

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated,

it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, 

it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,6it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. 

It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things

Yes, I’m guessing many of you have heard this passage before. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
Reading this, I thought about how earlier in the day, I had been impatient with Jacob, thought unkind things about another person, been judgmental…you get the idea. So, I decided to start using this Scriptural passage in prayer, as an “Examination of Conscience.” After all, we are called to image God for others—and God is Love—so we have to be the face of love for all people whom we meet. Therefore, I figured I needed to try and reform myself to become the face of Love. And right here, St. Paul gives us a fabulous outline of how to live a life of love.

I have found that I need to take the passage and turn it into a series of questions:

“Love is patienthave I been patient with others today?”

“Love is kindhave I been kind, both in my thoughts and words, as well as my actions?”

And so forth, you get the idea. I have to be honest, I don’t remember to do this particular “examination” that often, but when I do, I’ve found it to be helpful. Meditating on this passage challenges me to change my life in order to love better. And it's an awesome challenge : ) 

So my thoughts basically wind down to two major points today:

  1. I think filling your Bible with different holy cards, notes by verses, etc. can be truly awesome. Reminders to pray for random people are always great, and highlighted verses will hit you when you least expect them to!
2. St. Paul’s famous “Love Passage” can be an epic way to examine my progress in the spiritual life, and to see where my failings lie.

 I hope that you all have a blessed Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment