Category Archives: Ruth Vogel

Our Imitation of Christ

Our purpose in life is not just to root out sin, it is much more. It is to root in Christ, to let Christ take root in our hearts, to yearn to have Him grow and blossom within us, to produce fruit that is abundant and desirable. It is to recognize and use the humanity of Christ as an example for our humanity as we strive towards a closer union with Him.

Mary, Star of the Sea
A true Franciscan should have a real desire to go beyond what is a minimal requirement for being a Catholic. For a Franciscan there is no minimal requirement. It’s an all the way proposition, — climbing to the top of the mountain and reaching for the stars.

Thinking of Jesus
I am just sitting here thinking of Jesus. What is Jesus to me?
Jesus is the sun; hot, burning, warming, and healing.
Jesus is the four seasons — cold and bracing winter; searing, sometimes shower drenched, full-blown summer; mellow, brilliant autumn; new birth and promise, as at Bethlehem and springtime.
Jesus is quiet as a whisper, or demanding as a stern father. Exacting — a perfectionist; yet tolerant. Unbending; yet forgiving. Compassionate, yet relentless.

Christ Centered Prayer
What is Christ centered prayer?
It is, very simply, talking to God directly; all by myself, talking to Him in my own words, in my own way, telling him all about something; consulting with him; praising him; telling him I really do love him even though I don’t act like it sometimes. Christ centered prayer is remembering that the Holy Spirit is in me and remembering that Christ is in me and in my life.

My Version of the 23rd Psalm
The Lord is my shepherd. He is everything I want. He guides me along His pathway.
At early morning He sits down at my table beside me. He shares my toast and coffee.
Together in the freshness of the morning, He stills my fears and doubts.
He makes lush and green and fertile the fields of my mind and heart.
I pause for a while beside Him while there flows over me the restful waters from His sacred side.

The morning came.
A pebble lay white and round in the brook.
The clear water rippled around it… over it… meandered on its way.
A branch of a tree bent low over the water as though protecting it.
Blossoms shed their petals and they dropped on the water and were carried away.
A child skipped and danced up and down a green knoll at the forest’s edge. Her childish treble was sweetly in harmony with the trill of a bird in a tree.

Jesus’ Presence in our Lives
There is the hymn that says: Lose yourself in Jesus and you will find yourself. That is for us. We need to really work at falling deeper and deeper in love with Jesus right down to the core of our being; to become imbued with His presence in our lives, so that our thoughts will fly to Him when we wake up in the morning. They will be with Him at night and throughout the day — thoughts of Him will pop into our heads at odd moments. We will encounter Him in anything and everything — in the song of a bird; in the heat of the sun; in the blue of the sky; in flowers, trees, grass, people — pretty people, ugly people, old and young — in a dog or a cat or in a cloud — something like what happened to me one evening several years ago.