Monday, February 8, 2010

Offer Praise

"Offer praise as your sacrifice to God,
 fulfill your vows to the Most High.
 Then call on me in time of distress;
  I will rescue you, and you shall honor me."    Psalm 50: 14, 15

A few months ago my mother received a word  "I live in the praises of my people". Another one was, "The whole earth is groaning." Seeing that Lent is almost upon us, I thought it was a good time to reprint these words. During Lent, as we abstain and fast from things of the world let us remember that as good as these things are -  it is most important to keep our eyes on God and offer praise for all that He has given us, but most of all, simply because He is God. We must remember to circumcise our hearts. The entire earth is groaning with the weight of our sins. This Lent would be a good time to take a long hard look at ourselves and to fast from anger, unlovingness, unkind thoughts and words. Get to the HEART of the matter. Fasting and then turning around and yelling at the driver behind this what God wants? Giving up sweets and then acting in an unloving manner toward others...does this please God?  No, we should fast, pray, AND work on charity and the other virtues.

"But to the wicked God says:
"Why do you recite my commandments and profess my covenant with your lips?
You hate discipline; you cast my words behind you!
When you see thieves, you befriend them; with adulterers you throw in your lot.
You give your mouth free rein for evil; you harness your tongue to deceit.
You sit maligning your own kin, slandering the child of your mother.
When you do these things should I be silent?
Or do you think that I am like you?
I accuse you, I lay a charge before you.

Understand this, you who forget God, lest I attack you with no one to rescue.
Those who offer praise as a sacrifice honor me;
 to the obedient I will show the salvation of God."    Psalm 50: 16-23

Father of all, may we all increase in charity during the Holy Season ahead. Pour your love into all the dark corners of our hearts so that we may become aware of the areas that we need to work on. May we respond to the grace and light you shine upon us that we may truly become like your Son, Jesus Christ. Heal the wounds and divisions among families and countries. I praise You and thank You for your goodness and patience with us, but most of all I praise You because You are the great I AM and everything is yours.


  1. Another great post reminding us of how we should celebrate Lent, the past few years I have given of myself rather than giving up something.....which I did when you think about it. Instead of a spa day I donated the money I would of spent, I also will stop what I call treats and donate to food banks. There are so many ways I can improve, so so many ways. Thank you for this post......:-) Hugs

  2. Great prayer Mary! You are so right, our prayers and actions are worth so much more than our fasting, if our fasting doesn't change us to be more loving children of God. I love your new picture! You are beautiful!

  3. Thank you for this. A while ago, my guardian angel asked me why I never praise God. I thank Him for things, and I'll talk about the good things He's done, but I don't praise *Him.* I still haven't figured it out, and it feels unnatural when I do it (as if I'm trying to butter up God) but I needed the kick in the pants to get back to work on that issue.

  4. Philangelus,
    You have a friendly guardian angel:) I had this same problem [I posted about it on my blog but I forgot the names of the posts or I would have left them for you], my praise felt forced and unnatural until God stepped in and did some healing in my life. I used to apologize to Him because my heart wasn't in it but praise, whether forced or not, is still praise and God accepts our efforts because the desire to praise Him is there.

  5. Anne,
    Exactly! The whole purpose of fasting is to make more room for God. Thank you for the compliment, I was just telling Judy that I thought the same thing about the two of you!

  6. Bernie,
    Me too! I can think of alot of areas where I need work. This year I am going to focus on charity. I will fast but I am going to try to focus on loving more :) Like you, I also plan to give more, our food pantries and soup kitchens need help more than ever. God bless you, Bernie :)

  7. OUCH...
    Thanks for putting me in the proper frame of mind as I prepare to prepare!

  8. Thanks, Mary.I'll search on the blog when I get a chance.

    I've asked God to help me with this. He came through in about two days to heal my trust issues (after I set Him a timeline of 35 years! LOL) but I guess the praise thing is taking a lot longer.

    Part of it is my PC culture/climate. It's okay for me to praise something someone DOES, but not to say anything about who the person IS. So I can say, "thank you God for that act of mercy" but saying "Thank you, God. You are so merciful" feels wrong and...I don't know, slighting?

  9. Mary 333
    Thanks for a really good post. We need reminders for sure. While it is good to GIVE UP SOMETHING - a bit of mortification never hurts - I think it is just as important, possibly more important, to TAKE UP SOMETHING. I mean, it would do far more good to visit someone in hospital, spend an hour with a lonely person, do some shopping for someone who is housebound, etc, than just not eating sweets. I think it pleases God more to see us reach out to those who need our help or time. Believe me, giving up some treat is easy compared to doing something practical for someone. That really means giving yourself. Keep on blogging and God bless you, Mary.

  10. Philangelus,
    Well, I got a big ole HOLY CHEAT [lol] in this area so it's especially easy for me to praise Him for his mercy. If you read my very first post you'll see what I mean. It's pretty easy to praise Him for his mercy after spending time in the Presence of the Divine Mercy [rays and all just like in St. Faustina's book, which I didn't know about at the time], but I was praising Jesus. I could not praise God the Father [yes, I know it's one God - but it's three persons in one God and I was terrified of God the Father]. Take a little family dysfunction and throw a little toxic religion into the mixture and you'll probably get the picture :)I'll pray for you. You're honesty makes me laugh!

  11. Breadgirl,
    Yes, I agree. Mortification is good but love is better. You're right, it's not very hard to give up treats or food [as I'm eating a big chunk of chocolate :)], giving of yourself is harder. Speaking of mortification, computer fasting is a bit more difficult, I should probably do that here and there during Lent. God bless you and thanks for commenting!

  12. I should have a holy cheat on this too, like I did on the trust. :-) God's certainly given me enough that it shouldn't be too hard for me to say, "Dude -- you ROCK!" and yet I find the language doesn't come.

    (Now,I can say, "God, you ROCK!" and I hope God doesn't mind if I throw it into American slang. But I have the toughest time saying, "Oh, God, you're merciful and wonderful and beautiful etc etc." )

    I just went back and searched your blog for praise entries. I can see what you're saying. I'm just stymied by this, but I guess I can't expect any better than to be stymied if my guardian angel also found it deeply puzzling. :#)

  13. Philangelus,
    Well I'll pray the Lord gives you a holy cheat on this one, too. Seems to me that since you've already had a few of these...what's a few more between God and his child. Maybe you're just not the mushy type [lol]. My friend has trouble praising Him, too. She says she'd rather be truthful because He would know that she was lying through her teeth if she praised Him. She has a point I guess. So she just tells Him that she would like to and leaves it at that. What's wrong with, "God, you ROCK!" ? He does rock;) I'd probably skip the dude part, myself, but to each his own [lol]!

  14. You know this is such a confirmation. Recently, I may be trying to study (I'm almost finished with my degree), or just getting home from work...and I'll suddenly have this strong desire to stop everything and praise and worship God. I have experienced this on and off over the years....but there should never really be an "off" time. It seems so strong recently though. There is such a groaning in my heart these days. I must remember daily that God actually lives within our praises.

    Thanks for this Mary.

  15. Cheri,
    That's a pretty strong desire:) There is an incredible groaning within my own heart, also.
    Good luck with your studies!