Thursday, October 19, 2017

Trying To Enter

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God, the Good Father

What would you think of a father who took his daughter's scribbled picture, tore it up, and told her not to draw again until she got it exactly right? No good father would do that!

God looks at us the way a good dad looks at his son or daughter. When it comes to prayer, our heavenly Father sees our hearts, our sincere desires to pray well, not just our final products in prayer. So even if our praying of the rosary ends up being just a bunch of scribbles, we should remember that God can write straight with our crooked lines. He can delight in our good intentions, our sincere desires to please him in prayer, even if our minds go someplace else. Having a good intention is more important than maintaining perfect attention throughout prayer.

—from the book Praying the Rosary Like Never Before: Encounter the Wonder of Heaven and Earth by Edward Sri


✞ "The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for what He is sending us every day in His goodness."
— St. Gianna Molla

"Above all, it is necessary to ask of God every morning the gift of perseverance, and to beg of the Blessed Virgin to obtain it for you, and particularly in the time of temptation, by invoking the name of Jesus and Mary as long as the temptation lasts. Happy the man who will continue to act in this manner, and shall be found so doing when Jesus Christ shall come to judge him. 'Blessed is that servant, whom, when his Lord shall come, he shall find so doing' (Matt. 24:46)."
— St. Alphonsus De Liguori, p. 167
The Sermons of St. Alphonsus Liguori

"For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God's will, than to suffer for doing evil. For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God."
1 Peter 3:17-18a


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Saints Isaac Jogues, Jean de Brébeuf, and Companions

(d. 1642 – 1649)

Isaac Jogues and his companions were the first martyrs of the North American continent officially recognized by the Church. As a young Jesuit, Isaac Jogues, a man of learning and culture, taught literature in France. He gave up that career to work among the Huron Indians in the New World, and in 1636, he and his companions, under the leadership of Jean de Brébeuf, arrived in Quebec. The Hurons were constantly warred upon by the Iroquois, and in a few years Father Jogues was captured by the Iroquois and imprisoned for 13 months. His letters and journals tell how he and his companions were led from village to village, how they were beaten, tortured, and forced to watch as their Huron converts were mangled and killed.

An unexpected chance for escape came to Isaac Jogues through the Dutch, and he returned to France, bearing the marks of his sufferings. Several fingers had been cut, chewed, or burnt off. Pope Urban VIII gave him permission to offer Mass with his mutilated hands: "It would be shameful that a martyr of Christ not be allowed to drink the Blood of Christ."

Welcomed home as a hero, Father Jogues might have sat back, thanked God for his safe return, and died peacefully in his homeland. But his zeal led him back once more to the fulfillment of his dreams. In a few months he sailed for his missions among the Hurons.

In 1646, he and Jean de Lalande, who had offered his services to the missioners, set out for Iroquois country in the belief that a recently signed peace treaty would be observed. They were captured by a Mohawk war party, and on October 18, Father Jogues was tomahawked and beheaded. Jean de Lalande was killed the next day at Ossernenon, a village near Albany, New York.

The first of the Jesuit missionaries to be martyred was René Goupil who with Lalande, had offered his services as an oblate. He was tortured along with Isaac Jogues in 1642, and was tomahawked for having made the sign of the cross on the brow of some children.

Father Anthony Daniel, working among Hurons who were gradually becoming Christian, was killed by Iroquois on July 4, 1648. His body was thrown into his chapel, which was set on fire.

Jean de Brébeuf was a French Jesuit who came to Canada at the age of 32 and labored there for 24 years. He went back to France when the English captured Quebec in 1629 and expelled the Jesuits, but returned to his missions four years later. Although medicine men blamed the Jesuits for a smallpox epidemic among the Hurons, Jean remained with them.

He composed catechisms and a dictionary in Huron, and saw 7,000 converted before his death in 1649. Having been captured by the Iroquois at Sainte Marie, near Georgian Bay, Canada, Father Brébeuf died after four hours of extreme torture.

Gabriel Lalemant had taken a fourth vow—to sacrifice his life for the Native Americans. He was horribly tortured to death along with Father Brébeuf.

Father Charles Garnier was shot to death in 1649 as he baptized children and catechumens during an Iroquois attack.

Father Noel Chabanel also was killed in 1649, before he could answer his recall to France. He had found it exceedingly hard to adapt to mission life. He could not learn the language, and the food and life of the Indians revolted him, plus he suffered spiritual dryness during his whole stay in Canada. Yet he made a vow to remain in his mission until death.

These eight Jesuit martyrs of North America were canonized in 1930.


Faith and heroism planted belief in Christ's cross deep in our land. The Church in North America sprang from the blood of martyrs, as has been true in so many places. The ministry and sacrifices of these saints challenges each of us, causing us to ask just how deep is our faith and how strong our desire to serve even in the face of death.

Saints Isaac Jogues, Jean de Brébeuf, and Companions are the Patron Saints of:

North America


Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 470
Reading 1 ROM 3:21-30

Brothers and sisters:
Now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law,
though testified to by the law and the prophets,
the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ
for all who believe.
For there is no distinction;
all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.
They are justified freely by his grace
through the redemption in Christ Jesus,
whom God set forth as an expiation,
through faith, by his Blood, to prove his righteousness
because of the forgiveness of sins previously committed,
through the forbearance of God–
to prove his righteousness in the present time,
that he might be righteous
and justify the one who has faith in Jesus.

What occasion is there then for boasting? It is ruled out.
On what principle, that of works?
No, rather on the principle of faith.
For we consider that a person is justified by faith
apart from works of the law.
Does God belong to Jews alone?
Does he not belong to Gentiles, too?
Yes, also to Gentiles, for God is one
and will justify the circumcised on the basis of faith
and the uncircumcised through faith.

Responsorial Psalm PS 130:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6AB

R. (7) With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication.
R. With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.
If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
Lord, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
that you may be revered.
R. With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.
I trust in the LORD;
my soul trusts in his word.
My soul waits for the LORD
more than sentinels wait for the dawn.
R. With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.

Alleluia JN 14:6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 11:47-54

The Lord said:
"Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets
whom your fathers killed.
Consequently, you bear witness and give consent
to the deeds of your ancestors,
for they killed them and you do the building.
Therefore, the wisdom of God said,
'I will send to them prophets and Apostles;
some of them they will kill and persecute'
in order that this generation might be charged
with the blood of all the prophets
shed since the foundation of the world,
from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah
who died between the altar and the temple building.
Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood!
Woe to you, scholars of the law!
You have taken away the key of knowledge.
You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter."
When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees
began to act with hostility toward him
and to interrogate him about many things,
for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.


Meditation: Psalm 130:1-6

Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs (Memorial)

My soul waits for the Lord. (Psalm 130:6)

Did you know that there is a restaurant inside Disneyland with a fourteen-year waiting list? Most of us will never wait that long for tickets to a Broadway play, let alone a nice meal! We're probably more used to waiting a few minutes for the bathroom to become free, for the microwave to finish, or for a bus to arrive. What's more, with the growth of devices like smartphones, we now have so many ways to pass the time that we can forget that we're waiting at all. But that's not the kind of waiting the psalmist is talking about today.

We have all experienced God answering our prayers on a different timescale than our own. It's only natural to feel frustrated if we've been praying for something for a long time and still do not see him intervene. "If you are almighty God, then why am I waiting so long for you to come and help?" While it may be closer to the sentiment in today's psalm, this kind of impatient, frustrated waiting is probably not what the psalmist had in mind either.

So if waiting for the Lord doesn't mean keeping yourself distracted or grumbling impatiently, then what does it mean? More than anything else, it means trusting that God is always good and that his timing is always perfect. It means saying, "Lord, you know best. My life is in your hands." It also means keeping our eyes peeled and not letting ourselves get so distracted or upset that we forget about the wait altogether.

Try waiting right now. Begin by recalling the faithfulness of God. Tell yourself that you will place your trust in him, no matter how long he takes. Then name the things you are waiting for him to do. Make the list as long and specific as you like. Maybe even write it down. Now, peacefully and confidently, take each item and say, "Lord, I ask you to do this, I trust you to do what is best, and I know you will do it at the right time. I will wait, in trust, to see what you will do." Then go about your day confident in God's goodness, his wisdom, and his schedule.

"Lord, I will wait, in trust, to see what you will do."

Romans 3:21-30
Luke 11:47-54



The Holy Word spoke today at one point: "For we consider that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law." There are works, yes, but there is faith...yes. What good are works without faith and what good is faith without works? We can't say we believe and not be living it. Let your life shine the life of Christ while we still can!

We pray today: "With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption. I trust in the LORD; my soul trusts in his word." And how you have to trust when temptations of despair come your way, don't we? That's when the rubber meets the road and we get down to the nitty gritty. That's when you are like a little bird cast from the nest, fly or die. Trusting. I can only imagine the extreme torture today's saints had to endure, but it still happens, only we do not hear about it...until these tortured souls are introduced to be possibly canonized saints. We don't know how our lives affect the world, but our Lord our God does!

In today's Holy Gospel, our Lord says "Woe to you, scholars of the law!
You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter." These scholars were no different than the savage Indians that were like ravenous wolves to the lambs of God. Without God, it'd be just like that, savage darkness, a real life hell where we'd do whatever suits our fancy. In contrast, Heaven and Heaven at hand, is light, to do God's will, to obey Him, to be happy by doing His bidding, to be tied tightly with Him by being one with Him. I can't explain it enough, the more holy then, the more cinched to Him we will be, He the Good Shepherd. I have not met a soul that is truly happy without God. I have met many souls truly happy being with God. This is the Kingdom of God at hand. And so, the envy of darkness aims to kill by ripping to pieces that which has light inside...your soul. Guard this light of Christ, this holiness, this faith. Protect it and nurture it. It is a vibrant living thing, this soul inside. As I meditated before writing, the song began inside of me "Holy Spirit, come with your fire, come down with your fire" and it made for a frightening vision, that of His fire enlightening a soul that it may bear the onslaught that would ensue a martyr.

Indeed, God is more terrifying and frightening than all darkness because He created everything. Be in AWE then, afraid. Afraid to SIN. Afraid to die forever without HIM. As if you were to breathe one more breath without His consent? Yet, He expresses Himself with a tremendous amount of compassion. When He decided to come to earth in the form of a human....we devoured HIM. And to this day, allows us to devour Him. But it is our disposition to Him that makes all the the Holy Eucharist. Do you receive with wonder and awe and honor? Or do you receive Him as if nothing....nothing in your life? Do you receive Him with Holy Hands offered to Him in sacrifice as He did for you? Or do you receive ungrateful and dirty?

This is not a joke. Faith is not to be taken lightly.
I invite people to God, to Mass, to a life with God in Christ. Some have died not accepting a full love of Christ. Some have accepted and are living for Christ.
Before writing to you, a thought hit me "I am writing to saints". Therefore, let Christ's words reach the heart of your soul, where He resides...
God for God Light For Light



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