God does not wait for us to become perfect or even to repent, but calls us constantly, even while we're struggling with our faults or refusing to acknowledge them altogether. God takes what is at hand and finds the good in it. He takes what is humble and elevates it to a higher purpose.
-from A Mary Christmas
†"The adorable Heart of Jesus is our comfort, our way, our life." — St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞ "We must improve our prayer and, flowing from that, our charity toward others. It can be difficult to pray when we don't know how, but we can help ourselves through the use of silence. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence. This silence takes a lot of sacrifice, but if we really want to pray, we must be ready to take that step now. Without this first step toward silence, we will not be able to reach our goal, which is union with God." — Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, p. 42 AN EXCERPT FROM Thirsting for God
Blessed Rafal Chylinski
Saint of the Day December 2 (January 8, 1694 – December 2, 1741)
Blessed Rafal Chylinski's Story
Born near Buk in the Poznan region of Poland, Melchior showed early signs of religious devotion; family members nicknamed him "the little monk." After completing his studies at the Jesuit college in Poznan, Melchior joined the cavalry and was promoted to officer rank within three years.
In 1715, against the urgings of his military comrades, Melchior joined the Conventual Franciscans in Krakow. Receiving the name Rafal, he was ordained two years later. After pastoral assignments in nine cities, he came to Lagiewniki, where he spent the last 13 years of his life, except for 20 months ministering to flood and epidemic victims in Warsaw. In all these places, Rafal was known for his simple and candid sermons, for his generosity, as well as his ministry in the confessional. People of all levels of society were drawn to the self-sacrificing way he lived out his religious profession and priestly ministry.
Rafal played the harp, lute, and mandolin to accompany liturgical hymns. In Lagiewniki he distributed food, supplies, and clothing to the poor. After his death, the Conventual church in that city became a place of pilgrimage for people throughout Poland. He was beatified in Warsaw in 1991. Reflection
The sermons preached by Rafal were powerfully reinforced by the living sermon of his life. The Sacrament of Reconciliation can help us bring our daily choices into harmony with our words about Jesus' influence in our life.
"Come to me all you who are burdened and I will give you rest" Here I am, Lord. I come to seek Your presence. I long for your healing power.
It is so easy to get caught up with the trappings of wealth in this life. Grant, O Lord, that I may be free from greed and selfishness. Remind me that the best things in life are free. Love, laughter, caring and sharing.
I exist in a web of relationships - links to nature, people, God. I trace out these links, giving thanks for the life that flows through them. Some links are twisted or broken: I may feel regret, anger, disappointment. I pray for the gift of acceptance and forgiveness.
Thus says the Lord GOD: But a very little while, and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard, and the orchard be regarded as a forest! On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book; And out of gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind shall see. The lowly will ever find joy in the LORD, and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the tyrant will be no more and the arrogant will have gone; All who are alert to do evil will be cut off, those whose mere word condemns a man, Who ensnare his defender at the gate, and leave the just man with an empty claim. Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of the house of Jacob, who redeemed Abraham: Now Jacob shall have nothing to be ashamed of, nor shall his face grow pale. When his children see the work of my hands in his midst, They shall keep my name holy; they shall reverence the Holy One of Jacob, and be in awe of the God of Israel. Those who err in spirit shall acquire understanding, and those who find fault shall receive instruction.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14 R. (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation. 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?
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation. One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek: To dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD and contemplate his temple.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation. I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
Alleluia R. Alleluia, alleluia. Behold, our Lord shall come with power; he will enlighten the eyes of his servants. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 9:27-31
As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out, "Son of David, have pity on us!" When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I can do this?" "Yes, Lord," they said to him. Then he touched their eyes and said, "Let it be done for you according to your faith." And their eyes were opened. Jesus warned them sternly, "See that no one knows about this." But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ The deaf will hear, prophesied Isaiah, the eyes of the blind will see; and not only that – they will marvel at all the wonders the Lord has worked among his people (with trouble-makers silenced and wisdom being respected). It will be a totally 'new age'.
▪ The two blind men receive their sight, but they also receive this whole new vision of everything that Jesus was about - they couldn't stop praising the kingdom that he was ushering in.
▪ Even if he hadn't acceded to their request, they still believed that the granting of it was in his power.
Remembering that I am still in God's presence, I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting beside me, and say whatever is on my mind, whatever is in my heart, speaking as one friend to another.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
But a very little while, and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard. (Isaiah 29:17)
It's hard to wait for something, isn't it? Whether it's a doctor, a paycheck, or Christmas Day, the "very little while" beforehand can seem to stretch on forever. In a similar way, we might read Isaiah's prophecy of a time when "the lowly will ever find joy in the Lord" and "the tyrant will be no more" and wish God would speed things up (Isaiah 29:19, 20).
But for those of us who believe, waiting doesn't have to be so difficult. By learning the art of waiting well, we can begin to experience God's goodness in the present moment, even as we look forward to its full revelation in the future.
So what, exactly, does it mean to wait well? How can we best navigate that space between today's challenges and tomorrow's promises? Let's look at the Responsorial Psalm for some clues.
Wait for the Lord with courage; be stouthearted. (Psalm 27:14) To call someone stouthearted is to say that they are undaunted by adversity and resolute in the face of obstacles. They have confidence in the future because they trust that God will show up at just the right time. For example, you can think of the two blind men in today's Gospel, eagerly waiting for Jesus to cross their path so that they could cry out to him.
One thing I ask of the Lord . . . To dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. (Psalm 27:4) Another key to waiting well is to stay close to the Lord. You aren't in heaven yet, but Jesus, who is "Emmanuel, God is with us," is in your heart. So you can rest in his presence and enjoy his consolation. You can drink in his word—all the days of your life. God is not withholding his blessing and his peace!
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13) Before he performed a miracle, Jesus often asked, "Do you believe that I can do this?" (Matthew 9:28). Jesus is asking us the same question: "Do you believe?" Exercise your faith, and say, "Yes, Lord, I believe you will bring me into the land of the living."
The Word of the Lord in the first Scripture said "On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book; And out of gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind shall see." That day, if you are still waiting, then great, but it has already come. Because Jesus healed the willing spirit. And continues to this very day, if you want to see, keep after Him.
We prayed today "The Lord is my light and my salvation." and "One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek: To dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD and contemplate his temple." All the days of this life, and the next life, and the next life is a day with no darkness in Heaven for those that seek it every day. So does one sleep in Heaven? I don't know...find out for yourself! And then lead the rest of us there.
In comes the Lord leading the way: ""Do you believe that I can do this?" The blind wanted to see. But we have to realize what this meant. I visit this blind elderly man at the nursing home, I think by now many think he's related to me, but anyhow, I know that if he could see, his life would be changed drastically, he could work, provide for himself, and be free from the hospital where he lives, and his social life would change, just about every facet of life would change...perhaps for the better...or worse, if he decides to use it for the bad, seeing bad things. Because, me, with sight, I see things I shouldn't see. I see bad people, I see bad things, I've even seen a guy who hates me walking and as I drove closer to him, I realized it wasn't even him! So what we have to realize is "seeing is believing", because what they were asking for was to see CHRIST, because they believed in the One who would heal, and change their lives, so believing is seeing. Because how many things have you done that changed your life? Was it not GOD? He is the life changer, from death to life. I invite you, as the Lord, to a life change. I don't want to continue being me, seeing the way I see. I want to see Jesus. I want to see Jesus this Christmas, in everyone I meet, in family, in strangers, instead seeing darkness. And that is what advent is, the coming of Christ, the coming of the light into the world. I want you to help me see Jesus. Because those blind men followed Jesus through the dark, but there were people helping them along. I am helping you, but I want you to help me, let us help one another to Heaven, instead of sending each other to hell. This is why the Lord says pray for our enemies. I done it for that guy who hated me, my own family member, prayed, and one day we were talking he said "I love you man", and I said, "don't say it, just live it". The mouth can profess and confess, but the heart lives otherwise if it is not true. Your offering is what God sees. And THAT is what we need to see