Friday, September 1, 2017

Therefor, Stay Awake

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God, Born of Woman

God could have chosen to break upon the scene of human history to save us from our very selves in any way he wanted. It could have been in a way that was overtly grand and glorious and terrifying. He could have shaken the foundations of the earth with his coming and darkened the universe only to light it up again. He could have put on a fantastic show.

But he chose instead to create a vessel that could cradle his greatness—he chose to be borne by and born of a woman. The glory that happens in the womb of a woman may just be God's best show of all. And the idea that our salvation is both borne and born in a world that scarcely knows it has a reason to hope? That God is working out the salvation of the world in secret ways with a woman as his only companion? What deep, rich grace there is in that!

—from the book Who Does He Say You Are? Women Transformed by Christ in the Gospels


✞ "It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes."
— St. Thomas Aquinas

"He who is humble, even though he fall through frailty, soon repents with sorrow and implores the divine assistance to help him to amend; nor is he astonished at having fallen, because he knows that of himself he is only capable of evil and would do far worse if God did not protect him with His grace. After having sinned, it is good to humble oneself before God, and without losing courage, to remain in humility in order not to fall again . . . But to afflict ourselves without measure and to give way to a certain pusillanimous melancholy, which brings us to the verge of despair, is a temptation of pride, insinuated by the devil . . . However upright we may be, we must never be scandalized nor amazed at the conduct of evildoers, nor consider ourselves better than they, because we do not know what is ordained for them or for us in the supreme dispositions of God."
— Rev. Cajetan da Bergamo, p. 56-57
Humility Of Heart

"And the king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.'"
Matthew 25:40


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Saint Giles

Saint of the Day for September 1

(c. 650 – 710)

Despite the fact that much about Saint Giles is shrouded in mystery, we can say that he was one of the most popular saints in the Middle Ages. Likely, he was born in the first half of the seventh century in southeastern France. That is where he built a monastery that became a popular stopping-off point for pilgrims making their way to Compostela in Spain, and the Holy Land.

In England, many ancient churches and hospitals were dedicated to Giles. One of the sections of the city of Brussels is named after him. In Germany, Giles was included among the so-called 14 Holy Helpers, a popular group of saints to whom people prayed, especially for recovery from disease, and for strength at the hour of death. Also among the 14 were Saints Christopher, Barbara, and Blaise. Interestingly, Giles was the only non-martyr among them. Devotion to the "Holy Helpers" was especially strong in parts of Germany and in Hungary and Sweden. Such devotion made his popularity spread. Giles was soon invoked as the patron of the poor and the disabled.

The pilgrimage center that once drew so many fell into disrepair some centuries after Giles' death.


Saint Giles may not have been a martyr but, as the word martyr means, he was a true witness to the faith. This is attested to by the faith of the People of God in the Middle Ages. He became one of the "holy helpers" and can still function in that role for us today.

Saint Giles is the Patron Saint of:

The Disabled
The Poor


Friday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 Thes 4:1-8

Brothers and sisters,
we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that,
as you received from us
how you should conduct yourselves to please God–
and as you are conducting yourselves–
you do so even more.
For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

This is the will of God, your holiness:
that you refrain from immorality,
that each of you know how to acquire a wife for himself
in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion
as do the Gentiles who do not know God;
not to take advantage of or exploit a brother or sister in this matter,
for the Lord is an avenger in all these things,
as we told you before and solemnly affirmed.
For God did not call us to impurity but to holiness.
Therefore, whoever disregards this,
disregards not a human being but God,
who also gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 97:1 and 2b, 5-6, 10, 11-12
R. (12a) Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many isles be glad.
Justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the LORD of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
and all peoples see his glory.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
The LORD loves those who hate evil;
he guards the lives of his faithful ones;
from the hand of the wicked he delivers them.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
Light dawns for the just;
and gladness, for the upright of heart.
Be glad in the LORD, you just,
and give thanks to his holy name.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!

Alleluia Lk 21:36
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Be vigilant at all time and pray,
that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 25:1-13

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry,
'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise,
'Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.'
But the wise ones replied,
'No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.'
While they went off to buy it,
the bridegroom came
and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.
Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
'Lord, Lord, open the door for us!'
But he said in reply,
'Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.'
Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day nor the hour."


Meditation: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

God . . . gives his Holy Spirit to you. (1 Thessalonians 4:8)

For many of us, the Holy Spirit is the most puzzling member of the Trinity. Sure, we can't fully grasp the Father or Son either, but it seems hardest to relate to the Spirit. Why might this be?

Well, for one, the Father and Son have names we can easily connect with. "Holy Spirit," on the other hand, sounds rather mysterious! Still, the Church teaches that the Spirit is the third Person of the Blessed Trinity. So it makes sense that the Spirit would want to relate to us in a personal way.

First, the Holy Spirit teaches us. He teaches us to pray and helps us keep in mind what Jesus has done for us. He takes what belongs to Jesus and makes it known to us. Like a devoted mentor, he walks beside us and guides us in how to live.

The Spirit also helps us in our weakness. Like a good friend, he prays for us; he even prays with us. He helps us grasp the truth of Scripture and gives us the grace to live it out, especially when we feel weak or inadequate.

Finally, the Spirit loves us. Scripture tells us that God is love, and it's the Spirit who helps us feel this love in our hearts. He comforts us by reminding us that we are God's children, that God loves us so much that he has adopted us into his family. He fills us with love so that we can bear fruit by loving one another.

Yes, the Holy Spirit is a mysterious Person. He will always boggle our minds. But he's not distant. He lives in us. The infinite God has come to live in such a tiny home! He is always with you. He is always ready to shower his love and wisdom on you. Just like the Father and the Son, he is always happy to spend time just with you.

"Come, Holy Spirit. Teach me, help me, and fill me with your love."

Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 10-12
Matthew 25:1-13



We heard the Word: "This is the will of God, your holiness: that you refrain from immorality" and at the end of the first Holy Scripture the Lord says " whoever disregards this, disregards not a human being but God". Who lives in a state of disregard? Who will be found "ready"?

We pray today "Rejoice in the Lord, you just! The LORD loves those who hate evil; he guards the lives of his faithful ones". And so, what is it, to be faithful?

In comes the Lord on the parable of the 10 virgins awaiting the groom. Upon His arrival, they were to have lamps ready to be seen and taken away. You know, I had a vision one time of the Lord, during a divine mercy chaplet with men, and I was sitting in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I was phased into another world, at the foot of a dark moment in time, and I realized I was at the foot of the cross where Jesus our Father and King was breathing His last earthly breathes. Of what I was witnessing, I couldn't see his face, but I knew it was covered with blood, blood clotted hair, and everywhere, because of the disfigurement, and as I dared to take my eyes off Him, I looked around to see if I could see my brothers praying in the church. I could only see a few lights, some brighter than others. Some, perhaps, not even there. I was eventually zapped out of the vision when a brother next to me shook me awake and I realized I was drenched in tears.
What of this whole ordeal? Two things. One: I felt that was my Father on the cross, not my earthly dad, but my real Father, Our Father, a deep, super deep connection to the creator. Second: The lights I saw must have been the men in the church, some ready, some not, some lighted, some not, some prepared, some not, some praying, some not. What would cause the lights to be on and stay on?

Who then is faithful?
I call upon you to be faithful.
In a world that is not faithful, we are called to be faithful.
In a world that chooses to put things off and relax, we are called to do things now and never relax in the faith.

It must be a relentless faith that knows no rest, because how can you take a break from love? LOL, it's like those that "want to take a break from a relationship", most of the times it means they either do not love, don't know if they love, or want to pursue another love, right? This is what I mean by faithfulness. I must be faithful. You must be faithful.

Bishop Barren said today "We are wise in our waiting if we pray on a regular basis, if we educate ourselves in the faith, if we participate in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, if we perform the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, if we become people of love. We are foolish in our waiting if we neglect these things.
_ And here is one of the hardest truths of this parable: the divine life, so cultivated, cannot simply be shared with another at the last minute. The wise virgins are not being difficult and self-absorbed when they tell their friends that they can't help them. A saint can't simply infuse his life into another; it just doesn't work that way."_

It's all on you. Here's a conundrum I face when approaching one I wish would be faithful: it seems they want someone to do all the work for them. I can only do so much. I can't hold your hand through it all and I can't lift your legs that don't want to walk. And so I pray, that you may have the strength of endurance, of perseverance, of a tenacity that is forged and bonded with the greatness of LOVE!


Bless God

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