Prayer in Wake of Boston Marathon Tragedy

In the wake of the horrifying attack on innocent people today, we offer our prayers and turn to the Lord for comfort and hope. (Boston Catholic Insider)

Psalm 27

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?

The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?

When evildoers come at me
to devour my flesh,
These my enemies and foes
themselves stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me,
my heart does not fear;
Though war be waged against me,
even then do I trust.

One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek:
To dwell in the LORD’s house
all the days of my life,
To gaze on the LORD’s beauty,
to visit his temple.

For God will hide me in his shelter
in time of trouble,
He will conceal me in the cover of his tent;
and set me high upon a rock.

Even now my head is held high
above my enemies on every side!

I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and chant praise to the LORD.
Hear my voice, LORD, when I call;
have mercy on me and answer me.

“Come,” says my heart, “seek his face”;
your face, LORD, do I seek!

Do not hide your face from me;
do not repel your servant in anger.

You are my salvation; do not cast me off;
do not forsake me, God my savior!

Even if my father and mother forsake me,
the LORD will take me in.

LORD, show me your way;
lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.

Do not abandon me to the desire of my foes;
malicious and lying witnesses have risen against me.

I believe I shall see the LORD’s goodness
in the land of the living.

Wait for the LORD, take courage;
be stouthearted, wait for the LORD!

A LIFE FREE OF CLUTTER

“Your heart will be where your treasure is.” LUKE 12:34

The most powerful life is the most simple life. The most powerful life is the life that knows where it’s going, that knows where the source of strength is, and the life that stays free of clutter and happenstance and hurriedness.

Being busy is not a sin. Jesus was busy. Paul was busy. Peter was busy. Nothing of significance is achieved without effort and hard work and weariness. Being busy, in and of itself, is not a sin. But being busy in an endless pursuit of things that leave us empty and hollow and broken inside—that cannot be pleasing to God.

One source of man’s weariness is the pursuit of things that can never satisfy; but which one of us has not been caught up in that pursuit at some time in our life? Our passions, possessions, and pride—these are all dead things. When we try to get life out of dead things, the result is only weariness and dissatisfaction.

from WALKING WITH THE SAVIOR

The Christian’s Lifestyle: Our Behavior

“This I say . . . that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk.” (Ephesians 4:17)

This succinct command quickly is followed by a sweeping description of the impotent mind of the Gentiles of that day in contrast to the utterly changed condition of the believer (whether Jew or Gentile). The non-Christian Gentiles had a darkened perceptive ability, rendering them alienated because of the ignorance that was in them, and an overall blindness of their heart which was the root cause of their inability to function, even to feel, in the same way as the children of God (Ephesians 4:18-19; compare Romans 1:21-32; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4).

The saint of God, however, is told to discard the old man and to put on the new man (Ephesians 4:20-24), as though that simple picture of a powerful reality is adequate instruction to fulfill the earlier command. No longer is the child of God to be corrupt by the deceitful lusts of his or her old condition, but having learned Christ and been taught by Him, is to be renewed in the spirit of (their) mind. A transformation is now possible through the new mental (intellectual, spiritual) abilities given to us by Christ (Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 2:16).

The new man, which we are responsible to wear like a body-enveloping cloak, is created for us by the omniscient Creator in righteousness and true holiness. We have been given a specially created new man to wear (externally visible), which will show (exhibit, demonstrate, make clear) the spiritual difference between the Gentiles and the saints of God.

The seventeen commands which follow (Ephesians 4:24-5:7) address every aspect of the Christian walk, all relating to a lifestyle of truth, giving specific contrast between the unbelieving Gentile and the saint. HMM III

I trust in thy word

“I trust in thy word.” (Psa. 119:42.)

JUST in proportion in which we believe that God will do just what He has said, is our faith strong or weak. Faith has nothing to do with feelings, or with impressions, with improbabilities, or with outward appearances. If we desire to couple them with faith, then we are no longer resting on the Word of God because faith needs nothing of the kind. Faith rests on the naked Word of God. When we take Him at His Word, the heart is at peace.

God delights to exercise faith, first for blessing in our own souls, then for blessing in the Church at large, and also for those without. But this exercise we shrink from instead of welcoming. When trials come, we should say: “My Heavenly Father puts this cup of trial into my hands, that I may have something sweet afterwards.”

Trials are the food of faith. Oh, let us leave ourselves in the hands of our Heavenly Father! It is the joy of His heart to do good to all His children.

But trials and difficulties are not the only means by which faith is exercised and thereby increased. There is the reading of the Scriptures, that we may by them acquaint ourselves with God as He has revealed Himself in His Word.

Are you able to say, from the acquaintance you have made with God, that He is a lovely Being? If not, let me affectionately entreat you to ask God to bring you to this, that you may admire His gentleness and kindness, that you may be able to say how good He is, and what a delight it is to the heart of God to do good to His children.

Now the nearer we come to this in our inmost souls, the more ready we are to leave ourselves in His hands, satisfied with all His dealings with us. And when trial comes, we shall say: “I will wait and see what good God will do to me by it, assured He will do it.” Thus we shall bear an honorable testimony before the world, and thus we shall strengthen the hands of others.— George Mueller.

Lift them up for ever

“Lift them up for ever.” Psalm 28:9

God’s people need lifting up. They are very heavy by nature. They have no wings, or, if they have, they are like the dove of old which lay among the pots; and they need divine grace to make them mount on wings covered with silver, and with feathers of yellow gold. By nature sparks fly upward, but the sinful souls of men fall downward. O Lord, “lift them up for ever!” David himself said, “Unto Thee, O God, do I lift up my soul,” and he here feels the necessity that other men’s souls should be lifted up as well as his own.

When you ask this blessing for yourself, forget not to seek it for others also. There are three ways in which God’s people require to be lifted up. They require to be elevated in character. Lift them up, O Lord; do not suffer Thy people to be like the world’s people! The world lieth in the wicked one; lift them out of it! The world’s people are looking after silver and gold, seeking their own pleasures, and the gratification of their lusts; but, Lord, lift Thy people up above all this; keep them from being “muck-rakers,” as John Bunyan calls the man who was always scraping after gold! Set thou their hearts upon their risen Lord and the heavenly heritage! Moreover, believers need to be prospered in conflict.

In the battle, if they seem to fall, O Lord, be pleased to give them the victory. If the foot of the foe be upon their necks for a moment, help them to grasp the sword of the Spirit, and eventually to win the battle. Lord, lift up Thy children’s spirits in the day of conflict; let them not sit in the dust, mourning for ever. Suffer not the adversary to vex them sore, and make them fret; but if they have been, like Hannah, persecuted, let them sing of the mercy of a delivering God.

We may also ask our Lord to lift them up at the last! Lift them up by taking them home, lift their bodies from the tomb, and raise their souls to Thine eternal kingdom in glory.

Behold the Saviour in the depth of His sorrows

“My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” Psalm 22:1

We here behold the Saviour in the depth of His sorrows. No other place so well shows the griefs of Christ as Calvary, and no other moment at Calvary is so full of agony as that in which His cry rends the air—”My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” At this moment physical weakness was united with acute mental torture from the shame and ignominy through which He had to pass; and to make His grief culminate with emphasis, He suffered spiritual agony surpassing all expression, resulting from the departure of His Father’s presence. This was the black midnight of His horror; then it was that He descended the abyss of suffering.

No man can enter into the full meaning of these words. Some of us think at times that we could cry, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” There are seasons when the brightness of our Father’s smile is eclipsed by clouds and darkness; but let us remember that God never does really forsake us. It is only a seeming forsaking with us, but in Christ’s case it was a real forsaking. We grieve at a little withdrawal of our Father’s love; but the real turning away of God’s face from His Son, who shall calculate how deep the agony which it caused Him?

In our case, our cry is often dictated by unbelief: in His case, it was the utterance of a dreadful fact, for God had really turned away from Him for a season. O thou poor, distressed soul, who once lived in the sunshine of God’s face, but art now in darkness, remember that He has not really forsaken thee. God in the clouds is as much our God as when He shines forth in all the lustre of His grace; but since even the thought that He has forsaken us gives us agony, what must the woe of the Saviour have been when He exclaimed, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”