Tuesday, December 2, 2014

To The Childlike

Welcome In 
In Advent we cry out, “Come, O come Emmanuel! Come, visit us and bring your peace to hearts filled with the cares and troubles of our lives. Let us become a holding place for you as we begin this blessed season.”
— from Let Us Adore Him

Blessed Rafal Chylinski

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 (central Poland), 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.


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.

During the beatification homily, Pope John Paul II said, "May Blessed Rafal remind us that every one of us, even though we are sinners, has been called to love and to holiness" (L'Osservatore Romano, 1991, vol. 25, number 19).


Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M. 



Dear Jesus, I come to you today
longing for your presence.
I desire to love you as You love me.
May nothing ever separate me from You.


"I am free."
When I look at these words in writing
They seem to create in me a feeling of awe.
Yes, a wonderful feeling of freedom.
Thank You, God.


Where do I sense hope, encouragement, and growth areas in my life? By looking back over the last few months, I may be able to see which activities and occasions have produced rich fruit.
If I do notice such areas, I will determine to give those areas both time and space in the future.

The Word of God


Reading 1 is 11:1-10

On that day,
A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
A Spirit of counsel and of strength,
a Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
Not by appearance shall he judge,
nor by hearsay shall he decide,
But he shall judge the poor with justice,
and decide aright for the land’s afflicted.
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
Justice shall be the band around his waist,
and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.

Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
The calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to guide them.
The cow and the bear shall be neighbors,
together their young shall rest;
the lion shall eat hay like the ox.
The baby shall play by the cobra’s den,
and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair.
There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD,
as water covers the sea.

On that day,
The root of Jesse,
set up as a signal for the nations,
The Gentiles shall seek out,
for his dwelling shall be glorious.

Responsorial Psalm ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17

R. (see 7) Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king’s son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
He shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Behold, our Lord shall come with power;
he will enlighten the eyes of his servants.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel lk 10:21-24

Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said,
“I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows who the Son is except the Father,
and who the Father is except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

Turning to the disciples in private he said,
“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.
For I say to you,
many prophets and kings desired to see what you see,
but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”


Begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture you have just read. What part of it strikes a chord in you? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story you have heard recently - will slowly rise to the surface of your consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to you?


I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Isaiah 11:1-10

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1st Week of Advent
He shall judge the poor with justice. (Isaiah 11:4)

Maybe there should be a “scary prayers” section in devotional books. It would include Jesus’ words to the Father, “Not my will but yours” (Luke 22:42) and the prayer of St. Ignatius: “Take, O Lord, and receive all my memory …” There would be fill-in-the-blank prayers like “Lord, teach me patience [or your virtue of choice].” And there would be the Advent refrain: “Come, Lord Jesus!”
Did you raise an eyebrow at that last suggestion? Should this prayer make you quake? Yes, because it asks for the whole Jesus, not just the baby but the Lord who comes to establish justice. You can’t stay at the Christmas crèche in peaceful, private contemplation of God’s love. You also have to respond to that love (here’s the scary part) by taking up God’s call for justice and peace.
“Social justice” is what the prophets and psalmists meant when they paired the Hebrew words for “judgment” and “justice” (Isaiah 11:4; Psalm 72:2). It’s almost like a mathematical formula: judgment plus justice equals social justice. This consistent, systematic care for people in need is what the Messiah-King was going to bring about.
As Christians we believe that this King has come! So Advent is a good time to examine how much we share Jesus’ concern for the poor and weak. It’s also a good time to deepen our understanding of the Church’s teachings on social justice. For a good starting point, see sections 1928–1938 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Look at your relationships: in your family, at work, in your religious order, in your classroom and neighborhood, and whatever groups you belong to. Are you treating everyone with honor, especially those who tend to get overlooked? Consider your broader role as a citizen with a vote. Do you stay informed and work toward a society that improves the situation of people who are homeless, frail, in the womb, or otherwise vulnerable? It may be uncomfortable, inconvenient, and even scary to stand up for these neglected ones. Although it may cost us something, it also brings great blessings. For when we care for them, we are also caring for Jesus in disguise.
“Come, Lord Jesus! Give me the wisdom and courage to build your kingdom and work for your justice.”

Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17
Luke 10:21-24

Let's pretend that I am a prophet, (even though we are baptized priest, prophet, and king).  I have been evangelizing my brother in law who lives with us.  On his thanksgiving weekend, he went home to visit his family.  There he said, people were coming to him and asking him about faith, and to tell him they are now starting to pray and some going to church.  The light of Christ is in him, someone even told him "you are glowing". 
I began with this to go on to say something he says he told somebody over the weekend " see" he said, "its like a cactus, you see a new flower bud and the new cactus grows from there".  Now keep in mind, we are talking about my brother in law, a former drug addict, one who dropped out of high school, and has a testimony of personal trials and hardships, mostly of pain and grievances.  I am saying this because of all the scriptures we read today.  From the stump of Jesse will sprout a shoot.  {the cactus flowers a new cactus}.  And then people asked him over the weekend, "are you a prophet".  Last night, he joined our friendship group, even though he is not a cursillista, not even catholic, but is studying to become one, and lived an ACTS retreat, he said in group that when he was asked about coming to faith he said he froze like Moses and he called on Aaron for help, (the Holy Spirit).  This is not a learned and wise man, but God joins the poor to do His works on earth.  That was the Gospel today.  Last night I read in a book Joyful Spirit Of Padre Pio, it said a question that St. Pio said, allow me to paraphrase from memory "on that day of Bethlehem, when angels appeared to shepherds and sang the glorious hymns, and at the manger were the Mother and father of the newborn who only heard cries of a baby that was cold, where would you have rather been at that moment?".  Because now we are leading to real life, and I try hard to give you real life examples of Jesus on earth, because he came from the stump of Jesse, "The root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, The Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious."  Where will He dwell?  Where will He live?  Now you are prophet.  Go and evangelize.  After reunion last night I told the brother in law after he said something about him still waiting to learn so he can go out and teach, I said "you don't have to wait, with what little you learn you go share immediately" and he has, and his mission is one accompanied with a rosary, the life of Christ right there with His Mother, and father, saints and angels.
Yeah, I talk a lot about what goes on daily in my faith, but I'm talking to YOU.  Jesus is talking to you (and me) through these reflections.  He wants you alive, he does not want you dead, like the many that had never known Christ and the day they went to church was in a coffin. 
This is a story about you and His Kingdom, the Word is alive, Jesus the King came, and how the prophets of old wished they live in our day, after the Messiah came on that mountain to crush death (they even say the mountain is called the place of the skull, where supposedly the skull of Adam lay) the old stump, God made new, the foundation, all that had lived for Christ

And that is our history in the making...ALL GLORIOUS, giving guts, giving honor, giving heart and soul


your lil bro in Christ and Mary,