Thursday, October 12, 2017

For Everyone Who Asks...

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God Is Not Fair

That God is not fair is actually one among many reasons for gratitude, albeit in a way counterintuitive to our usual thinking. The simple premise here is that God's way is not our way, God's love is not conditioned like our love, God's mercy is not bound as ours is, and God does not discriminate or reward a person according to the standards of a given society, no matter how widespread such criteria may be. (Thank God!)

—from the book God Is Not Fair, and Other Reasons for Gratitude, by Daniel P. Horan, OFM


✞ "We must faithfully keep what we have promised. If through human weakness we fail, we must always without delay arise again by means of holy penance, and give our attention to leading a good life and to dying a holy death. May the Father of all mercy, the Son by his holy passion, and the Holy Spirit, source of peace, sweetness and love, fill us with their consolation."
— St. Colette

"Others, again, seeing their own imperfections, become angry with themselves with an impatience that is not humble. They are so impatient with their shortcomings as if they would be saints in one day. Many of these make many grand resolutions, but, being self-confident and not humble, the more they resolve, the more they fall, and the more angry they become; not having the patience to wait for God's time; this is also opposed to spiritual meekness. There is no perfect remedy for this but in the dark night. There are, however, some people who are so patient, and who advance so slowly in their spiritual progress, that God wishes they were not so patient."
— St. John of the Cross, p. 24
Dark Night of the Soul

"Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers."
Romans 12:9-13


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Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos

(January 11, 1819 – October 4, 1867)

Zeal as a preacher and a confessor led Father Seelos to works of compassion as well.

Born in southern Bavaria, he studied philosophy and theology in Munich. On hearing about the work of the Redemptorists among German-speaking Catholics in the United States, he came to this country in 1843. Ordained at the end of 1844, he was assigned for six years to St. Philomena's Parish in Pittsburgh as an assistant to Saint John Neumann. The next three years Father Seelos was superior in the same community, and began his service as novice master.

Several years in parish ministry in Maryland followed, along with responsibility for training Redemptorist students. During the Civil War Fr. Seelos went to Washington, D.C., and appealed to President Lincoln that those students not be drafted for military service, although eventually some were.

For several years, he preached in English and in German throughout the Midwest and in the Mid-Atlantic states. Assigned to St. Mary of the Assumption Church community in New Orleans, Fr. Seelos served his Redemptorist confreres and parishioners with great zeal. In 1867, he died of yellow fever, having contracted that disease while visiting the sick. He was beatified in 2000.


Father Seelos worked in many different places but always with the same zeal: to help people know God's love and compassion. He preached about the works of mercy and then engaged in them, even risking his own health.


Thursday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Mal 3:13-20b

You have defied me in word, says the LORD,
yet you ask, "What have we spoken against you?"
You have said, "It is vain to serve God,
and what do we profit by keeping his command,
And going about in penitential dress
in awe of the LORD of hosts?
Rather must we call the proud blessed;
for indeed evildoers prosper,
and even tempt God with impunity."
Then they who fear the LORD spoke with one another,
and the LORD listened attentively;
And a record book was written before him
of those who fear the LORD and trust in his name.
And they shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts,
my own special possession, on the day I take action.
And I will have compassion on them,
as a man has compassion on his son who serves him.
Then you will again see the distinction
between the just and the wicked;
Between the one who serves God,
and the one who does not serve him.
For lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven,
when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble,
And the day that is coming will set them on fire,
leaving them neither root nor branch,
says the LORD of hosts.
But for you who fear my name, there will arise
the sun of justice with its healing rays.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6
R. (Ps 40:5a) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Alleluia See Acts 16:14b
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Open our hearts, O Lord,
to listen to the words of your Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 11:5-13

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Suppose one of you has a friend
to whom he goes at midnight and says,
'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey
and I have nothing to offer him,'
and he says in reply from within,
'Do not bother me; the door has already been locked
and my children and I are already in bed.
I cannot get up to give you anything.'
I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves
because of their friendship,
he will get up to give him whatever he needs
because of his persistence.

"And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
What father among you would hand his son a snake
when he asks for a fish?
Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit
to those who ask him?"


Meditation: Luke 11:5-13
27th Week in Ordinary Time

How much more will the Father in heaven give . . . (Luke 11:13)

If you have any doubts about "love at first sight," just ask parents about the first time they laid eyes on their children. Holding your newborn for the first time is an overwhelming experience. The long wait is over, and a new love blossoms.

If this is how new parents feel about their children, imagine how your heavenly Father feels about you! He loved you before you were born. From the moment he called you into being, he rejoiced, both in your gifts and talents and in the prospect of having you by his side forever. Even when you were caught in sin, his love stayed firm—to the point of offering up his Son to redeem you. Age after age, year after year, your Father has held nothing back from you!

Now, it's one thing to hear these truths in church or to read them in a devotional magazine like this. But we still have to deal with everyday life, when the lies of the devil and the lures of the world can still sow doubts in our minds. They whisper that God is some kind of heavenly score keeper or that he is indifferent and uninvolved in our lives. They accuse us of being too sinful or too weak for God to love us, or they try to distract us with self-centered ideas.

So how do we bridge the gap between what we hear at Mass and what we hear in the world? By taking the truths of Scripture with us into our daily lives. Every time you catch yourself thinking that you are all alone, every time you catch yourself thinking that God doesn't care, make today's Gospel reading your own: How much more will my heavenly Father give me the Holy Spirit! Keep telling yourself: If I ask, I will receive; if I seek, I will find; if I knock, the door will be opened!

The devil wants to convince you that God is not good. The world wants to tell you that God doesn't care. Stand up to these lies. Let God's word silence them. You have a loving Father, and he wants to give you every good gift.

"Father, I want to get to know you better. Open my eyes to your goodness and love."

Malachi 3:13-20
Psalm 1:1-4, 6


The first Holy Word said ""What have we spoken against you?"
You have said, "It is vain to serve God..." The Lord said we said these things. What things again? To say things like "you don't need to be a holy roller". Our Father begs to differ. Let me ask you something. What did the Lord say to you yesterday?
Do you remember? Or are you wondering "did He even say anything?" As I am in a rush every day setting up our community family festival, I wondered this as I took a split second to marvel about Him and the glory shown of a final sunset for the day. You have to take into consideration Him. Did He say anything in particular? Anything of importance?
This question came up as I prayed before writing to you. "What did God say?" Because we say alot of things....and HIM? Does it matter to you? Does it matter to me? It should.

We pray today "Blessed are they who hope in the Lord." What does this mean too? It means Blessed are they who live in the Lord. Hope is living. Hope never dies. Hope is eternal. What is eternal is growing fruit in our lives. Some to thrive. I look at plants and seeds and they give thousands and many if any never make it. But the plant keeps giving seeds of hope. I think back at the many years of leading the family festival. To me, it is a God thing. I see people serve and some I never forget. A little old lady watching a bouncer faithfully, serving long hours, even if no one is there. She looks so attentive as if this were important. That faithfulness is love. That is love of God, to keep giving faithfully and being eternally grateful.

And so our Lord speaks today about persistence, doesn't He? As if incessant prayers fall on deaf ears? I know of some that are beggars. Some beg for help until I cave in. Yes, I am merciful. And although it costs me something and it cost them nothing, I give. As if it did not cost our Father in Heaven anything to give to this begging and wretched world? Yes, it cost Him dearly, the only life He'd spend on earth...and how did we reward Him? How did we receive Him? Don't say you would've not treated the Lord any different than the Jews or pagans. Don't say you would've been any better. Because the Lord is still being sent to us day after day. Otherwise He would not say today "If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?" Graciously He gives. To an undeserving soul, He gives hope. Hope for an eternity with Him, if they only ask. If they plead, unceasingly. We should be knocking down doors with prayer, locked doors, doors with no door knobs. Bishop Barren brought up the scripture "Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."
And the Lord is not speaking about asking Him for anything else....than Himself.
How would you like it if someone always asked you for things and if you ask them for anything they will not give? It hurts. I know. Would you give again? Would you give again to one who does not seem to give a hoot about you? What kind of relationship is that? Not a good one right? Because if the giver keeps much do you eventually owe the giver?

God Lives and God Gives
Do not think we owe Him a thing. This is the atrocity of the train of thought that the darkness puts into hearts of mankind. Being grateful and gracious just as He is, this is the key. I like a part of a quote I sent you today from the book of Romans "...outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord."
Honor your Father and your mother.
Honor one another. Be zealous as God is zealous....for SOULS



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