Monday, June 10, 2013

"Anything" Bible Study- Week 2

Anything Bible Study Week 2
Monday- Today's reading was Psalm 118. The SOAP verse was Psalm 118:6- "The Lord is with me; I am not afraid; What can mortals do against me?"

From the Book: "I loved God, but I loved un-invisible people more. I worshipped them." (Jennie Allen, Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul, pg 35)

From the Catechism: CCC#154-  Believing is possible only by grace and the interior helps of the Holy Spirit. But it is no less true that believing is an authentically human act. Trusting in God and cleaving to the truths he has revealed are contrary neither to human freedom nor human reason. Even in human relations it is not contrary to our dignity to believe what other persons tell us about themselves and their intentions or to trust their promises to share a communion of life with one another. If this is so, still less is it contrary to our dignity to "yield by faith the full submission of... intellect and will to God who reveals," and to share in an interior communion with him.

My Observations: Today's verse makes me think of all of the trust we put into other humans and that we lack to put in God. If we read Psalm 118:6, we know that God "has our backs" and we should fear no human- is that what we do? No. We fear failure, we fear hurting our loved ones, we fear letting people down. We don't fear failing God, hurting Him, or letting Him down- but we should. Even the catechism says that we naturally want to place our trust in God as much as we put it in other people so why don't we?

Tuesday- Today's verse was Deuteronomy 6:1-9. The SOAP verse is Deuteronomy 6:5- You shall love your Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.

From the book: "It's only God who moves my heart. He chases me down and lures me back to him; while I am running to everyone else, he runs after me. God brings me back to the place where it fares well with me; reminding me he is my husband. There is no spinning, no fear, only perfect acceptance and peace." (Jennie Allen, Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul, pg 38)

From the catechism: CCC#2093-Faith in God's love encompasses the call and the obligation to respond with sincere love to divine charity. The first commandment enjoins us to love God above everything and all creatures for him and because of him.

My Observations: Today's verse instructs us on how to love God. With all our heart, soul, and strength. To me, this means that when we don't feel like loving God, we should do it anyway. When we are too tired to love God, we should do it anyway. When we feel too far away from God, we should love Him anyway. Sometimes it will be easy and sometimes it'll be a conscious effort, but it is something that we are told we must do.

Wednesday- Today's verse is Hosea 1:2-11. This is when God tells Hosea to take a prostitute for his wife and God says that He feels sorry for the house of Judea so he will save them but not through man...

From the Book: "Money and a god latte protect us from a lot of things. It is to easy in this country for blessings to become rights, for stuff and money to become what calls the shots in our lives. And before we know it, God's gifts have replaced God himself." (Jennie Allen, Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul, pg 44)

From the Catechism: CCC#602- Consequently, St Peter can formulate the apostolic faith in the divine plan of salvation in this way: "You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers... with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake." Man's sins, following on original sin, are punishable by death. By sending his own son in the form of a slave, in the form of fallen humanity, on account of sin, God "made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God"

My Observations: God tried to save Israel in the Old Testament but they refused to be saved. Finally, He took it into His own hands and saved us through Jesus Christ. Israel chose false gods above the true God just as we do in America, putting wealth and notoriety above God.

Thursday- Today's verse is from the book of Hosea. Hosea 2:14-17 talks about how God wants to change the things that the harlot desires into things that repulse her.

From the book: "The ironic thing about believing in God and supernatural things is that the invisible stuff is actually the most trustworthy, the most stable. So the concrete things we can see and touch, they become the wind, they  become the things we try to catch, and over and over, they pass through our fingers and souls, keeping us empty. But when I take my empty self to God, he feels familiar and stable and more like concrete than wind." (Jennie Allen, Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul, pg 46)

From the catechism: CCC#1428- Christ's call to conversion continues to resound in the lives of Christians. The second conversion is an uninterrupted task for the who Church who, "clasping sinners to her bosom, is at once holy and always in need of purification, and follows constantly the path of penance and renewal." This endeavor of conversion is not just a human work. It is the movement of a "contrite heart", drawn and moved by grace to respond to the merciful love of God who loved us first.

My observations: I chose these quotes to share with this verse because I believe that once we move to our second conversion, God makes many of those things that were once so desirable to us into "rank growth" that we no longer want to strive towards. We, along with God's merciful love, move towards those invisible things that are trustworthy and stable.

Friday- Today's verse, Proverbs 21:1, is a beautiful analogy of how we should make our will- "like a stream... in the hand of the Lord".

From the book: "Somehow I thought most of my life following God was not supposed to be too costly. Following God is flat costly. It always has been. It doesn't make sense to us, but since this life, these few years, are not the climax from God's perspective, he's okay throwing a little wrench into the short plans we have to be normal here." (Jennie Allen, Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul, pg 47)

From the catechism: CCC#2826- By prayer we can discern "what is the will of God" and obtain the endurance to do it. Jesus teaches us that the one enters the kingdom of heaven not by speaking words, but by doing "the will of my Father in heaven."

My observations: In order to make our will like a stream, moving and flowing along with the will of God, we must realize that following God is, indeed, costly and that we must pray, pray, pray. Prayer along with willingness should lead us to more peaceful lives (not necessarily easier, though) knowing that we are following the will of God, who knows where we are headed.

Check back Monday for Week 3 Observations!
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