Monday, October 2, 2017

Child Such As This

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Call on Your Guardian Angel

The main thing is to be aware of the angels around you—and get in the habit of calling upon them for little favors. Invoke them silently as you begin each conversation, as you dial the phone, as you start to reply to an e-mail. Ask them to give you the right words. Ask them to help you avoid words that can damage your relationships and compromise your Christian witness. And don't stop asking the angels to keep you safe and healthy! Go ahead and call upon your angel every time you start your car or cross a busy street. We can't help but be self-interested; it's our nature. But grace builds on nature. If our natural desire for safety brings heavenly assistance ever to our minds, that's a very good thing. It builds a habit of drawing near to the angels, and that's a habit that can only help us as we go through life and face other perils: temptations to immorality, temptations against faith, temptations to say hurtful things.Our angels are always there, always doing their best to keep us on the path to heaven. But there's one place in particular where Christians meet the angels—and meet them as equals.

–from Mike Aquilina, author of the book: Angels of God: The Bible, the Church and the Heavenly Hosts


✞ "There is nothing the devil fears so much, or so much tries to hinder, as prayer."
— St. Philip Neri

"Now, man is afraid of death by nature, afraid of the decay of the body. But here is a really starling fact: whoever has put on the faith of the Cross despises even what is naturally dreadful, and for Christ's sake is not afraid of death. So if anyone is skeptical even now, after so many proofs, and after so many have become martyrs to Christ, and after those who are champions in Christ have shown scorn for death every day—if his mind is still doubtful about whether death has been brought to nothing and come to an end—well, he's right to wonder at such a great thing. But he should not be stubborn in his skepticism, or cynical in the face of what is so obvious. Let him who is skeptical about the victory over death receive the faith of Christ, and come over to his teaching. Then he will see how weak death is, and the triumph over it. Many who used to be skeptics and scoffers have later believed, and despised death even enough to become martyrs for Christ himself."
— St. Athanasius, p.15
A Year with the Church Fathers

"Peter said to them, 'Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.'"
Acts 2:38-39


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Feast of the Guardian Angels

Saint of the Day for October 2

Perhaps no aspect of Catholic piety is as comforting to parents as the belief that an angel protects their little ones from dangers real and imagined. Yet guardian angels are not only for children. Their role is to represent individuals before God, to watch over them always, to aid their prayer, and to present their souls to God at death.

The concept of an angel assigned to guide and nurture each human being is a development of Catholic doctrine and piety based on Scripture but not directly drawn from it. Jesus' words in Matthew 18:10 best support the belief: "See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father."

Devotion to the angels began to develop with the birth of the monastic tradition. Saint Benedict gave it impetus and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, the great 12th-century reformer, was such an eloquent spokesman for the guardian angels that angelic devotion assumed its current form in his day.

A feast in honor of the guardian angels was first observed in the 16th century. In 1615, Pope Paul V added it to the Roman calendar.


Devotion to the angels is, at base, an expression of faith in God's enduring love and providential care extended to each person day in and day out.


Memorial of the Guardian Angels

Reading 1 Zec 8:1-8

This word of the LORD of hosts came:

Thus says the LORD of hosts:

I am intensely jealous for Zion,
stirred to jealous wrath for her.
Thus says the LORD:
I will return to Zion,
and I will dwell within Jerusalem;
Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city,
and the mountain of the LORD of hosts,
the holy mountain.

Thus says the LORD of hosts: Old men and old women,
each with staff in hand because of old age,
shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem.
The city shall be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets.
Thus says the LORD of hosts:
Even if this should seem impossible
in the eyes of the remnant of this people,
shall it in those days be impossible in my eyes also,
says the LORD of hosts?
Thus says the LORD of hosts:
Lo, I will rescue my people from the land of the rising sun,
and from the land of the setting sun.
I will bring them back to dwell within Jerusalem.
They shall be my people, and I will be their God,
with faithfulness and justice.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 102:16-18, 19-21, 29 and 22-23
R. (17) The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
The nations shall revere your name, O LORD,
and all the kings of the earth your glory,
When the LORD has rebuilt Zion
and appeared in his glory;
When he has regarded the prayer of the destitute,
and not despised their prayer.
R. The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
Let this be written for the generation to come,
and let his future creatures praise the LORD:
"The LORD looked down from his holy height,
from heaven he beheld the earth,
To hear the groaning of the prisoners,
to release those doomed to die."
R. The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
The children of your servants shall abide,
and their posterity shall continue in your presence.
That the name of the LORD may be declared in Zion;
and his praise, in Jerusalem,
When the peoples gather together,
and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.
R. The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.

Alleluia Ps 103:21
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Bless the LORD, all you angels,
you ministers, who do his will.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 18:1-5, 10

The disciples approached Jesus and said,
"Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?"
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
"Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever humbles himself like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father."


Meditation: Matthew 18:1-5, 10

The Holy Guardian Angels (Memorial)

Their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father. (Matthew 18:10)

Today we honor our guardian angels, those spiritual beings who both gaze on the Lord in worship and watch over us to protect us.

We might look at guardian angels as the subject of bedtime stories or children's religion classes. But Pope John XXIII saw them differently. "Our Father in heaven," he wrote, "has charged his angels to come to our assistance during our earthly journey . . . so that, protected by the angels' help and care, we may avoid the snares upon our path, subdue our passions, and . . . follow always the straight and sure road that leads to Paradise."

Isn't that awesome? God loves you so much that he has given you your very own angel to watch out for you. Day after day, no matter what you are doing, your guardian angel is with you, praying for you, sending you messages of hope and comfort, urging you to stay close to the Lord. Even in your darkest hour or your deepest sin, your guardian angel never gives up hope. And neither should you!

How easily we can get caught up in the concerns of the day and lose sight of the love of God that surrounds us! But the guardian angels help us to see that God is always aware of us. He is always offering us all the grace we need.

Recalling the blessings that God has given you—blessings like your guardian angel—can help build up your confidence in him and keep you from wavering when things don't go your way. It can help all of us live "like children": trusting in our Father's care, seeking his will, and thanking him for his mercy (Matthew 18:3).

Try it right now. Look back on the past year or so. See if you can recall one specific time when you experienced God's help. Try to bring that experience to life again. Let this memory convince you that your Father cares deeply for you—because he does!

"Thank you, Father, for sending an angel to watch over me. May I come to share your life with all the angels, singing your praises forever!"

Zechariah 8:1-8
Psalm 102:16-23, 29


"I am intensely jealous for Zion, stirred to jealous wrath for her" says the Lord our God. Not just jealous, but intensely jealous. A capricious love? No, that would be us, susceptible to mood swings, and why? Because we are not rooted in love being fed with His grace. Even if you tap into the root, it does not mean you are open to it. Like receiving the Eucharist, all the components are there, the body, the spirit, but the mind? The heart?

We pray today "The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory." He will build up the people in which He will live...the temple, and He appears in all His glory, in the world, and the world could not see. Just because you can not see does not mean it is not there. And so we believe in angels, and we believe in the Holy Spirit, and we believe in Love and God is Love itself.

In the Holy Gospel, Our Lord, our God speaks ""Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven? He called a child over, placed it in their midst..." He then said the strangest thing "unless you turn and become like children....", recalling the moment He said "you must be born again", now He says become like children. Let's not beat around the bush, our Lord said "Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest". Now can you begin to see the glory of God? We can only see it if we are humble. And only a handful got to see it like Nathaniel whom the Lord said the other day to him, "Very truly I tell you, you will see 'heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on' the Son of Man." Why? How? Because there stood a man seeking the heart of God. In this man, there was no deceptiveness, no duplicity, no two faces to deal with.

And speaking about faces, our Lord says today ""See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father." You may not see God, but your angel does. You may not see your angel, but God does. And if you want to see, then ASK! Ask for faith if you have none. Ask for love if you have for God. The kind of love God has is so intensely jealous, that is in its every sense....Good.
This is how it is....Tremendous, so much, that if you love a little, He loves more. If you give a little, He can't help but give more. Why? I don't know, but that's how I am in the grace of God. When dealing with a sinner, when dealing with a person not active in faith, if they give a little, I want to give them more. It's like teaching a creature to feed on its own. Hard to explain, but once it takes root, it can give fruit. Fruit for the world, fruit for the Lord, fruit that grows an orchard, and this offered as a bouquet of souls to God our FATHER!



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