“Your family does not just push your buttons...they installed them.” --Nigel Mumford.
There's no time like the holidays, surrounded by family, “stretched to our limits” in many ways, to see where we are still in need of a little “transformation.” (Or perhaps you thought it was only them? :)
The word metamorphosis is the same in the Greek language as the word “transformation” and “transfiguration.” The Bible is very clear on how we are to be “transformed.” Romans 12:2 states: “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.”
Wow! We can be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of our minds to God’s truth. But first we must know what that is! How do we know it? We read it in His Holy Word and then ask Him to speak to us through it. (This is where the journal pictured above might come in handy...order it here! It would also make a great little gift. There is nothing “special” about this journal, but it does have a helpful verse on each page for meditation and a place to record your thoughts.)
Secondly- Have you ever considered the idea that you have control over what you do with the thoughts that pop into your head? I used to think I was a victim or slave to my thoughts (even the UNtransformed ones) until I learned this verse: 2 Corinthians 10: 3-5: “For, although we are in the flesh, we do not battle according to the flesh, for the weapons of our battle are not of flesh but are enormously powerful, capable of destroying fortresses. We destroy arguments and every pretension raising itself against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive in obedience to Christ…”
Wow! That is as equally AMAZING! We can actually take captive those thoughts that set themselves up “against the knowledge of God” and His loving ways! Well...not we...but WE...God through the Holy Spirit and you and I cooperating with Him.
How do we do this?
We choose to REFUSE the negative and choose to glance towards Christ instead. If we ONLY refuse the negative, sadly we may go right back to it. For instance, if I say “Do NOT think about the fact that your family member did/said _____.” I have a feeling that _______ is very much in your head! But if I say instead, “Replace that with ONE GOOD/POSITIVE THING that you are thankful for about your family member!” You are now thinking about that POSITIVE aspect instead of the ______!
Ask GOD for the grace to help you keep choosing to dwell on loving thoughts and entreat Him to LOVE THEM THROUGH YOU as you do not have the capacity to do it on your own. Ask Him for the grace to change the way you think about them and choose to dwell on the GOOD, not the BAD. This can work in all kinds of areas of our life. If we choose to fill our minds, hearts and souls with GOOD and INSPIRING thoughts and ideas instead of BAD [or even just TIME WASTERS] we exercise the reverse of the GIGO principle- Garbage In, Garbage Out and are actively cultivating good and holy ingredients for the Holy Spirit to work with in order to transform us-- You may be surprised at how positive the results can be.
To help you understand how God can work in others, you might enjoy reading the other book Metamorphosis of a Soul - also a great little gift item. But MY books are by far NOT the only books I recommend! Below is a very short list of some of the fantastic books God has used to transform my life. Any of these would be GREAT CHRISTMAS GIFTS!
I am THANKFUL for each of you this Holiday, may God richly bless you as you keep choosing to follow Him each and every day. pax, m
Prayer books: Miracle Hour by Linda Schubert http://lindaschubert.org/shop/miracle-hour/ Hearts on Fire, Praying with Jesuits http://www.amazon.com/Hearts-Fire-Praying-Michael-Harter/dp/0829421203 Our Lady Undoer of Knots Novena http://www.maryundoerofknots.com/catalogue.htm
Sacred Reading: The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander https://www.avemariapress.com/product/0-87061-240-9/The-Reed-of-God/ The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence http://www.amazon.com/The-Practice-Presence-God-Teachings/dp/1434410137 Into Your Hands, Father by Wilfrid Stinissen http://www.ignatius.com/Products/IYH-P/into-your-hands-father.aspx The Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux http://www.amazon.com/Story-Soul-Autobiography-Therese-Lisieux/dp/0935216588 Interior Freedom by Fr. Jacques Philippe http://www.amazon.com/dp/1594170525/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=33840151675&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4293534549462105586&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_31ptwwdoul_b Consoling the Heart of Jesus by Fr. Michael Gaitley http://www.amazon.com/Consoling-Heart-Jesus-Do-It-Yourself-Spiritual/dp/1596142227/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1W4K5ZJTRAVM1EFXW853
The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis
See it LIVE in NYC: https://pearltheatre.secure.force.com/ticket/#details_a0Sd000000FL5AYEA1
The Screwtape Letters by C. S Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
(Basically anything by C. S. Lewis! :)
“...all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.” James 1:17
I want to be transformed by You this holiday and be used by You to lovingly encourage others as well. I want to have loving, good and holy thoughts that will produce loving, good and holy actions in my life. Please give me the grace to be able to choose You and Your holy ways--even when my buttons are being pushed. I know that You will use others to show me where I am still in need of transformation. Please give me the grace to let go of anything that I need to let go of, and to LOVE unconditionally, not needing to “fix,” but placing all things in Your capable hands. (go to this posting if you are in need of a good forgiveness prayer! ) I give You my WHOLE self, even my bruised and broken bits. Please take all of me and transform me into a NEW CREATION with a new heart and mind that much more resembles your own. Please give me patience with others and myself as together we walk ever closer to Union with You and Your beautiful Sacred Heart.
I ask this in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.