Monday, October 31, 2016

you will be repaid

Why Idols Fail All idols will fail us. We will never have enough money to satisfy our desires, no matter how much we amass. Success disappears as eas

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Why Idols Fail

All idols will fail us. We will never have enough money to satisfy our desires, no matter how much we amass. Success disappears as easily as it comes; power is temporary and partial at best. Likewise, pleasure is fleeting. What is worse, when we follow an idol, we tend to recalibrate our worldview to fit our idol.

-from What Pope Francis Really Said


† "Christ Himself is our mouth through which we speak to the Father, our eye through which we see the Father, our right hand through which we offer to the Father. Without His intercession neither we nor all the saints have anything with God."
— St. Ambrose


"Let the sinner know that he will be tortured throughout all eternity, in those senses which he made use of to sin. I am writing this at the command of God, so that no soul may find an excuse by saying there is no hell, or that nobody has ever been there, and so no one can say what it is like. I, Sister Faustina, by the order of God, have visited the abysses of hell so that I might tell souls about it and testify to its existence."
— St. Faustina Kowalska (741)
Diary of St. Faustina


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Saint Wolfgang of Regensburg

Saint of the Day for October 31
(c. 924 – August 31, 994)

Saint Wolfgang of Regensburg's Story

Wolfgang was born in Swabia, Germany, and was educated at a school located at the abbey of Reichenau. There he encountered Henry, a young noble who went on to become Archbishop of Trier. Meanwhile, Wolfgang remained in close contact with the archbishop, teaching in his cathedral school and supporting his efforts to reform the clergy.

At the death of the archbishop, Wolfgang chose to become a Benedictine monk and moved to an abbey in Einsiedeln, now part of Switzerland. Ordained a priest, he was appointed director of the monastery school there. Later he was sent to Hungary as a missionary, though his zeal and good will yielded limited results.

Emperor Otto II appointed him Bishop of Regensburg, near Munich. He immediately initiated reform of the clergy and of religious life, preaching with vigor and effectiveness and always demonstrating special concern for the poor. He wore the habit of a monk and lived an austere life.

The draw to monastic life never left him, including the desire for a life of solitude. At one point he left his diocese so that he could devote himself to prayer, but his responsibilities as bishop called him back. In 994, Wolfgang became ill while on a journey; he died in Puppingen near Linz, Austria. He was canonized in 1052. His feast day is celebrated widely in much of central Europe.

Wolfgang could be depicted as a man with rolled-up sleeves. He even tried retiring to solitary prayer, but taking his responsibilities seriously led him back into the service of his diocese. Doing what had to be done was his path to holiness—and ours.


Sacred Space
Daily Prayer - 2016-10-31


May my heart rejoice in your love, O Lord.
Let me live each day anew.


Fill me with Your Holy Spirit Lord,
so that I may have inner freedom.
Let your Spirit instil in my heart
a desire to know and love you more each day.


Knowing that God loves me unconditionally,
I look honestly over the last day, its events and my feelings.
Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks.
Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness.

The Word of God

Monday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
readings audio

Reading 1 Phil 2:1-4

Brothers and sisters:
If there is any encouragement in Christ,
any solace in love,
any participation in the Spirit,
any compassion and mercy,
complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love,
united in heart, thinking one thing.
Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory;
rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves,
each looking out not for his own interests,
but also everyone for those of others.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 131:1bcde, 2, 3
R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.
O LORD, my heart is not proud,
nor are my eyes haughty;
I busy not myself with great things,
nor with things too sublime for me.

R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.
Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted
my soul like a weaned child.
Like a weaned child on its mother's lap,
so is my soul within me.

R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.
O Israel, hope in the LORD,
both now and forever.
R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.

Alleluia Jn 8:31b-32
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 14:12-14

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees.
He said to the host who invited him,
"When you hold a lunch or a dinner,
do not invite your friends or your brothers or sisters
or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors,
in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.
Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

So much of our behaviour and choices is determined or at least influenced by the expectations and behaviour of others. Jesus uses a very simple yet telling example to challenge us to give freely, not expecting anything back. We can do this only if we are aware that we too have received freely.
The writers of the first centuries of Christianity used to say that it will be the poor who will welcome us at the doors of heaven. Will they know me well enough to let me in, do they have an important place in my heart?


How has God's Word moved me?
Has it left me cold?
Has it consoled me or moved me to act in a new way?
I imagine Jesus standing or sitting beside me,
I turn and share my feelings with him.


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning,
is now and ever shall be,
world without end.

Catholic Meditations
Meditation: Luke 14:12-14

31st Week in Ordinary Time

Do not invite your friends. (Luke 14:12)

When you were in high school, there were probably people around you who hung out in cliques. They spent a lot of time with those who dressed like them or talked like them, played the same sports, or listened to the same music. Being with the in-group gave them a feeling of belonging. Some of them seldom moved out of those cliques to mingle with people who were different.

In today's reading, Jesus invites his host—a Pharisee—to venture beyond his own clique. Many of the Pharisees who opposed Jesus did not reach out to the less fortunate. By avoiding people who weren't like them, they missed out on the works of compassion at the heart of the Law they cherished so much.

But Jesus saw that this Pharisee was open. He had invited Jesus to his house, so he was already looking for the truth. Thus, Jesus tried to get him to see things in a new light, the light of his mercy.

Jesus invites us to see things in that same light. His life shows us that mercy in action looks radical. Throughout his life, he embraced poverty and was shunned by the powerful. He spent time with prostitutes and ate with tax collectors. He healed lepers by touching them. Even when compared to our modern ideas of social justice, these actions can seem radical. Yes, it's good to give our resources to the poor, but it's harder to give ourselves.

"Do not invite your friends." As you meditate on this verse today, consider how Jesus' words to the Pharisee weren't empty philosophy. When he told his host to invite "the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind," this was something Jesus had actually done (Luke 14:13). He constantly reached out to the marginalized. He loved them and was one of them.

Imagine Jesus ministering to people on the fringes, to the poor or isolated. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you look at them the way Jesus did. You may find yourself thinking differently about people outside your circle of friends. And you might just act differently too.

"Lord, who are the broken in my midst? How can I touch them with your love?"

Philippians 2:1-4
Psalm 131:1-3



We heard the Word of God today "complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing. Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory". God says "complete MY joy". Not your joy, not what makes you happy, but what pleases the Lord, and what pleases the Lord is good. Don't you want to make your Father happy? The more love He is shown, the better, but this has to come from a sincere love of the Father.
We prayed today "In you, O Lord, I have found my peace." and "O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor are my eyes haughty; I busy not myself with great things, nor with things too sublime for me." In the humanity of things, we find God. Every human being carries the potential of our Lord to be present. As I see the lines receiving the Holy Eucharist, I see the Lord embedded in these bodies both physically and spiritually. Our part is the soil, His is the grace of the seed.
In comes the Lord of our lives "when you hold a banquet, invite the poor" and then says "blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you." I've given my life to the poor, and this I say as I type. How? These unborn children, I've dedicated so much time and efforts, I've been doing my part, we have been doing our part. They can not repay me for what I have done for them. I can't say I've saved a soul, but together we have saved many lives from being taken. But the poor are more. This weekend, I heard someone say that faith is a gift. When you are given a gift, aren't you honored? So if you have faith, you have been honored. The one giving the gift, are they thanked? Are they appreciated? You see, giving is a one way street. It is to never expect anything in return, God pays. So invest yourself in giving. What's that you are thinking? You don't really have money? Perhaps if you give, you'll realize how much you really have. Oh, wait...what's that? You don't time? Perhaps investing time will make more time magically appear in your life. God can do this. Then, time becomes love. You spend on what you love. Spend it on the poor. I find myself praying for those around me, to be given a gift of But the kind of faith that obeys the Lord. Because everybody says they believe, but few move on it. This morning as I woke up I read a scripture in a text message a brother sent me from Matthew 7:24 "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock". It is a call for action, for they say Love is an action, not an idea.

And God Is Love
The forever now




Friday, October 28, 2016

When day came...

A Freeing Experience Admitting you are a sinner frees you from having to keep up appearances, it frees you from having to be right all the time, it g

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A Freeing Experience

Admitting you are a sinner frees you from having to keep up appearances, it frees you from having to be right all the time, it gives you the humility to be able to drop your own agenda and simply adopt Jesus Christ's. It is also the only honest self-assessment that a human being can have, so it frees you from illusions about yourself or others.
-from What Pope Francis Really Said


† "The Holy Bible is like a mirror before our mind's eye. In it we see our inner face. From the Scriptures we can learn our spiritual deformities and beauties. And there too we discover the progress we are making and how far we are from perfection."
— Pope St. Gregory the Great

"Just as God's creature, the sun, is one and the same the world over, so also does the Church's preaching shine everywhere to enlighten all men who want to come to a knowledge of the truth. Now of those who speak with authority in the churches, no preacher however forceful will utter anything different—for no one is above the Master—nor will a less forceful preacher diminish what has been handed down. Since our faith is everywhere the same, no one who can say more augments it, nor can anyone who says less diminish it."
— St. Ignatius of Antioch, p. 194
Witness of the Saints


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Saints Simon and Jude

Saint of the Day for October 28
(1st Century)

Saints Simon and Jude's Story

Jude is so named by Luke and Acts. Matthew and Mark call him Thaddeus. He is not mentioned elsewhere in the Gospels, except, of course, where all the apostles are mentioned. Scholars hold that he is not the author of the Letter of Jude. Actually, Jude had the same name as Judas Iscariot. Evidently because of the disgrace of that name, it was shortened to "Jude" in English.

Simon is mentioned on all four lists of the apostles. On two of them he is called "the Zealot." The Zealots were a Jewish sect that represented an extreme of Jewish nationalism. For them, the messianic promise of the Old Testament meant that the Jews were to be a free and independent nation. God alone was their king, and any payment of taxes to the Romans—the very domination of the Romans—was a blasphemy against God. No doubt some of the Zealots were the spiritual heirs of the Maccabees, carrying on their ideals of religion and independence. But many were the counterparts of modern terrorists. They raided and killed, attacking both foreigners and "collaborating" Jews. They were chiefly responsible for the rebellion against Rome which ended in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

As in the case of all the apostles except for Peter, James and John, we are faced with men who are really unknown, and we are struck by the fact that their holiness is simply taken to be a gift of Christ. He chose some unlikely people: a former Zealot, a former (crooked) tax collector, an impetuous fisherman, two "sons of thunder," and a man named Judas Iscariot.

It is a reminder that we cannot receive too often. Holiness does not depend on human merit, culture, personality, effort, or achievement. It is entirely God's creation and gift. God needs no Zealots to bring about the kingdom by force. Jude, like all the saints, is the saint of the impossible: Only God can create his divine life in human beings. And God wills to do so, for all of us.


Sacred Space
Daily Prayer - 2016-10-28


Lord, God, my Creator,
Be close to me now.
My soul yearns for your presence.


There are very few people
who realise what God would make of them
if they abandoned themselves into his hands,
and let themselves be formed by his grace. (Saint Ignatius)
I ask for the grace to trust myself totally to God's love.


There is a time and place for everything, as the saying goes.
Lord, grant that I may always desire
to spend time in your presence.
To hear your call.

The Word of God

Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles
readings audio

Eph 2:19-22

Brothers and sisters:
You are no longer strangers and sojourners,
but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones
and members of the household of God,
built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets,
with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.
Through him the whole structure is held together
and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord;
in him you also are being built together
into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 19:2-3, 4-5
R. (5a) Their message goes out through all the earth.
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
and night to night imparts knowledge.

R. Their message goes out through all the earth.
Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.

R. Their message goes out through all the earth.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
the glorious company of Apostles praise you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Lk 6:12-16

Jesus went up to the mountain to pray,
and he spent the night in prayer to God.
When day came, he called his disciples to himself,
and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles:
Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew,
James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew,
Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus,
Simon who was called a Zealot,
and Judas the son of James,
and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

Some thoughts on today's scripture

Today I pray in wonder and gratefulness for this small group of men, the Apostles. With all their shortcomings and mistakes, it is through them and their total trust in Jesus and in his Spirit that the Gospel has spread to the whole world, including to my own heart. I ask for their spirit as I hear Jesus call me by name to be an apostle in my own small world.
They were also the disciples of Jesus, those who were witnesses of his power and also of his great compassion when faced with human suffering. At the end of his life he told them they could also consider themselves his friends. I pray to be worthy of this great honour, and for the ability to consider Jesus as one of my friends.


Lord, I know that when I turn to you there is no need for words.
You can see into my heart.
You know my desires and you know my needs.
I place myself into your hands.


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: Luke 6:12-16

Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Apostles (Feast)

When day came, he called his disciples to himself. (Luke 6:13)

According to tradition, Sts. Simon and Jude worked as a team preaching the gospel in Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula, where they were eventually martyred. However, not much more than that is known, and even this much is not historically certain. So why do we honor these strangers as saints?

They were friends of Jesus. They shared daily life with him. They learned by his example of how to live, how to love, and how to forgive. Then, after Pentecost, they played a role in beginning the Church. That's all the proof the Church needed.

But what about proof of their exceptional holiness? Well, we can look at some of the more famous apostles and ask the same thing! Peter denied Jesus; James and John wanted to destroy a town that had rejected him. The best evidence for recognizing the sainthood of Simon and Jude—and anyone, for that matter—is that anyone who has a vibrant relationship with Jesus grows in holiness. It's a simple equation: the more time we spend with Jesus, the more saintly we become—even if nobody else is around to see it.

Of course, this means that you are a candidate for sainthood too. It's not, first and foremost, about performing heroic deeds for God. It's about the relationship. Saints love Jesus and love his people.

You don't have to be a high-profile Catholic. You just need to be faithful to what Jesus asks you to do each day. As you pray for your family, work hard to provide for them, or sacrifice yourself for your neighbors, you are pleasing the Lord deeply. These silent acts of love are precious to him, and he always rewards them.

Who knows? It's possible that in heaven we will discover that God has given the highest place to humble servants of God whose names nobody knows. Maybe we'll be surprised by some of the people we find in the company of the apostles: "average" people, "everyday" people who never founded a religious order, suffered martyrdom, or converted thousands. All they did was love Jesus and try their best to follow him. That's all any of us ever needs to do.

"Lord, I want to be more like you. Help me walk humbly with you every day."

Ephesians 2:19-22
Psalm 19:2-5



From the first Holy Scripture "You are no longer are fellow citizens with the holy ones...built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone" you who are baptized, you who have been anointed with the Holy Spirit, you who have been called even to this point of reading this right now, God has chosen me, God has chosen you, to be what the Apostles were...followers of Christ, and those who would spread the Word of God...the Kingdom of God!

We prayed today "Their message goes out through all the earth." and "Not a word nor a discourse whose voice is not heard; Through all the earth their voice resounds, and to the ends of the world, their message." What is your message? The question is of your message today, the right NOW, not yesterday's, not tomorrow's, but TODAY! What is your message? What is your life proclaiming, and teaching? I hope it is for the Kingdom of God, and the LIFE! They sent me a tire cover I custom ordered, and it was supposed to come in one week and it took about a month, and it was "lost" in the mail. It's funny how pro-life gets attacked. I remember one time me and my wife were going to pray at a planned parenthood abortion site, (it's not a clinic because they don't represent hospitals correctly, they are unsafe and unsanitary, although current government says otherwise), as we were driving, we were driving through a light, and someone decided to cut us off, and we crashed, and we nearly got thrown into a concrete canal that was pretty deep. Evil wants to block the message of pro-life. Check out the tire cover, I finally got it and put it on yesterday...


If you can't see the picture, it says in large letters PROTECT THE UNBORN. There is a tiny image of a tiny person, unborn, and it says around it "I Am A Person". At the very bottom it says "Pray, Vote, Defend" and at the very top it says DT:30:19. Why did I veer off onto this story? Because, we need more messengers. And what is your message? And how bold will you be about your message? How bright will be your light?

In comes the Lord today, and He is said to have prayed the night before, perhaps all night, USSCB footnotes says "Luke regularly presents Jesus at prayer at important points in his ministry: here at his baptism; at the choice of the Twelve (Lk 6:12); before Peter's confession (Lk 9:18); at the transfiguration (Lk 9:28); when he teaches his disciples to pray (Lk 11:1); at the Last Supper (Lk 22:32); on the Mount of Olives (Lk 22:41); on the cross (Lk 23:46). HE prays. Do I pray? Do I spend the night in prayer for something important and world changing? For the decisions to be made? Have you prayed before making any and all decisions? The Lord prays, and the Spirit chooses the Apostles. "I want YOU" says the Lord. And I'll tell you what, this calling is special, it is powerful, and it is an honor to be chosen by God. It should be humbling..."who am I Lord?" Yet, He sees a poor sinner, and says "you are mine", I have chosen you. Even this writing to you is a choosing, because perhaps it won't reach the ends of the world, but it has reached your world, and that is what matters.

And the matter is of LIFE.

And JESUS our God says "I AM the Way, the Truth, and the LIFE!"

Thank you Lord for choosing me, help me do your will, and only yours, for yours I am and yours I wish to be


your bro,