Wednesday, October 31, 2018

⛪ Where You Are From

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A Church of the Beatitudes

Jesus left no formal religious rule for his followers. The closest he came was his proclamation of the Beatitudes: Blessed are the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful, the peacemakers…. Francis took to heart this spiritual vision and translated it into a way of life. In various ways, other saints before and since have done the same. But for many men and women since the time of Francis, his particular example has offered a distinctive key to the Gospel—or, as Pope Francis might say, "a new way of seeing and interpreting reality." Among the central features of this key: the vision of a Church that is "poor and for the poor"; a resolve to take seriously Jesus's example of self-emptying love; the way of mercy and compassion; above all, a determination to proclaim the Gospel not only with words but with one's life.

—from The Franciscan Saints


Saint Quote
"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


All Hallow's Eve, or Halloween, is the vigil of All Saints (All Hallows) Day, which is a major feast on the liturgical calendar and a Holy Day of Obligation. Halloween (October 31st) is connected with All Saints Day (November 1st) and All Souls Day (November 2nd). These three days are the "Days of the Dead," a triduum also known as Allhallowtide or Hallowmas, reminding the faithful of the reality of heaven and hell; the communion of saints; and our obligation to pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all."
Romans 12:14-18


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St. Wolfgang (934-994 A.D.), also known as the Great Almoner, was a Benedictine monk, reformer, and Bishop of Regensburg, Bavaria. He was born into the noble class and had an excellent education. As bishop he worked to reform the monasteries and convents in his diocese. He is remembered for his teaching abilities, his oratory skills, and his charity towards the poor. He was also integral in the missionary efforts to evangelize the Magyars in what is today modern Hungary. Towards the end of his life he withdrew to a solitary spot to build a church and hermitage at what is now called St. Wolfgang's Lake in Austria. Before settling he prayed and threw his axe into the wilderness, and built his cell on the spot where it landed. A town grew around the saint's hermitage which still exists today. According to legend, St. Wolfgang tricked the devil into helping him build the church, promising him the first soul that came through the church doors. The devil agreed, and after the construction was completed, a wolf was the first to cross its threshold, thus tricking the devil. St. Wolfgang's life was foundational to Bavarian and Austrian civilization. Many miracles occurred at his tomb, especially those related to stomach ailments. St. Wolfgang is the patron saint of carpenters, stroke victims, and the paralyzed. His feast day is October 31st.


Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Eph 6:1-9

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Honor your father and mother.
This is the first commandment with a promise,
that it may go well with you
and that you may have a long life on earth.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger,
but bring them up with the training and instruction of the Lord.

Slaves, be obedient to your human masters with fear and trembling,
in sincerity of heart, as to Christ,
not only when being watched, as currying favor,
but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,
willingly serving the Lord and not men,
knowing that each will be requited from the Lord
for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.
Masters, act in the same way towards them, and stop bullying,
knowing that both they and you have a Master in heaven
and that with him there is no partiality.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 145:10-11, 12-13ab, 13cd-14
R. (13c) The Lord is faithful in all his words.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. The Lord is faithful in all his words.
Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. The Lord is faithful in all his words.
The LORD is faithful in all his words
and holy in all his works.
The LORD lifts up all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
R. The Lord is faithful in all his words.

Alleluia See 2 Thes 2:14
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God has called us through the Gospel
to possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 13:22-30
Jesus passed through towns and villages,
teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem.
Someone asked him,
"Lord, will only a few people be saved?"
He answered them,
"Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough.
After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door,
then will you stand outside knocking and saying,
'Lord, open the door for us.'
He will say to you in reply,
'I do not know where you are from.'
And you will say,
'We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.'
Then he will say to you,
'I do not know where you are from.
Depart from me, all you evildoers!'
And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth
when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God
and you yourselves cast out.
And people will come from the east and the west
and from the north and the south
and will recline at table in the Kingdom of God.
For behold, some are last who will be first,
and some are first who will be last."


Catholic Meditations
Meditation: Ephesians 6:1-9

30th Week in Ordinary Time

Stop bullying, knowing that both they and you have a Master in heaven and that with him there is no partiality. (Ephesians 6:9)

The Letter to the Ephesians was written during a period when at least one out of every three people in the Roman Empire was a slave. Slavery was an accepted institution that supported the social and economic structures of the culture. Sadly, slaves were considered tools of their masters and had few personal rights. Since slave owners exercised absolute mastery over their human property, some treated their slaves with vicious cruelty.

In his work with the church in Ephesus, Paul never endorsed slavery nor advocated its overthrow. He had a different objective: to enlighten everyone about the fundamental dignity of every human person. Since both slave and master "have a Master in heaven," they are equal in status before the Lord (Ephesians 6:9). So Paul directed slaves to see themselves as children and heirs of God and to do their work as if for the Lord. Because it was proclaimed to both masters and slaves, this new perspective opened the way to an eventual rethinking of the institution of slavery—even as it gave oppressed slaves an immediate sense of dignity and purpose.

Also revolutionary was Paul's assertion that within the Christian household, slaves had rights and that masters had a responsibility before God to treat them with justice and kindness. In his Letter to Philemon, Paul even appeals in love to the Christian owner of a runaway slave. He asks the master to welcome the runaway back "no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a brother" (Philemon 16)!

While the spread of Christianity in the first few centuries did not immediately lead to the abolition of slavery, it did set in motion the forces that eventually resulted in the widespread freeing of slaves. Pondering the gospel, Christians came to understand slavery as a grave injustice. Today in many parts of the world, slavery continues to grieve God's heart. Let's do all we can to fight this injustice. Let's also pray that more people will take on the mind of Christ, which changes the world by changing hearts.

"Lord, please rescue all who are enslaved. Send messengers of your gospel to change the hearts of everyone who engages in slavery."

Psalm 145:10-14
Luke 13:22-30


2 cents :
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Honor your father and mother."
Honor has gone by the wayside for many children. It is not taught as it should. We know this by the reverence due in church, or in class, or at large. Some call it respect. But you can respect even a snake. No. What is honor? It is more. It is " the reverence shown to anything because of its relation to a person who is honored." And what is our relation to our Father? If it is in the terms of creator and created, the father and created child, it is a relationship that should reflect gratefulness, thankfulness, more than appreciation, but a life offering. And so, yes, as I grew up as kids, we had to kiss the hands of the father of the family, or the father at church. Today? I don't see it. I don't know if it exists anymore. Surely in some rare part of the world this type of reverence is demonstrated. But that don't mean much if you don't care. I can do outwards signs that mean nothing inside. Think Sacraments. Think day to day tasks at home, at church, at work. In everything we do, that is what Saint Paul gets at. Whether slave or free. Some workers hate their jobs, but you wouldn't know it. They seem like "good workers". Some say they love their families, and spend all their time doing things, like work for them. But they never spend time with their families, much less show them how to be saints to be in Heaven. Some serve at church for years, even decades, and in the end, hate people in the church. And we wonder why our Lord says "not everyone who says Lord, Lord, will enter....".


Let us pray: "The Lord is faithful in all his words. Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD, and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom and speak of your might." Our Lord is faithful. We are called to be like our Lord our Father. We are called to bless our Father, with thanksgiving. There's only one word I find that is pointing to our Lord in heaven...amazing. And that word falls short. Once you lose this amazement, you are losing heart, and spirit, and what leads us to true life....eternal.

In the Holy Gospel, our Lord speaks: ""Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough." Many will not be strong enough. How does Mr. Adrian gain strength to write to you every day (weekday)? As I write to you, first, I pray, before writing, I am fasting, I am meditating, I am put in disposition to our Master. And, I am focusing on the Eucharist for the day. It's the focal point (if I'm not distracted). I'm already gazing at Him on the altar in my heart. I'm already being fed with His Presence. Then, my day is focused on the Son. And I touch Him in the Eucharist. That's how. I'm a weird guy. I'm a self-proclaimed weirdo. I go to daily Mass. Men don't do this typically. I know, because I go to daily Masses in different churches for over 10 years. Women vastly outnumber men. And in 2 out of 3 churches I go to, I'm usually the only man. And take it a step further, I'm the only weirdo in every daily Mass with a guitar. Double whammy weirdo! LOL. I'm not tooting my horn, but I want to make a point, take it as you like. The path less taken. That's all I mean. Narrow gate? True. There's a little door that opens up every now and then during the week, and very few go through it. The confessional. In one church, 500 families, door opens for the week, and maybe 5 go through it. You see? Boy I offended this man last week when I asked him "when was your last confession?". That's fine. I rub people the wrong way...just because I ask for truth.

I want to encourage you with a few words, that's all. Be a weirdo. It's tough. I mean TOUGH. Daily Mass is tough, daily family rosaries are tough, daily bible study with family is tough, and daily serving with great love can be tough. The old ladies in daily Mass, I don't know how tough it is for them, but for daily men working real jobs, yes it is tough, but I know many that can, and still won't. People wish they could. People say if they had the opportunity they could. Lies. They say that the path to hell is paved with good intentions, and it is a wide road that most walk on. Don't depend on intentions any more. Every day is a new life. A blessing. Like the old 90 year old that wakes up, realizes they are alive and suddenly becomes excited "YES! one more chance!". Amen? Use it for God. This day shall not go to waste.

I could go on about how little we actually take to faith as a whole.

Tonight, many will go celebrate "halloween". Like "Christmas eve". But why won't those same numbers go celebrate our true day the next day? All Saints day. God created us to be saints! It is a day of obligation. To be in communion with the saints in Heaven and those on earth, because yes, there are saints on earth as we speak. They are wonderful people. Wonderful, meaning that they are full of wonder....of God. They are amazed. They slave like you and me, but with great love of God and neighbor. Why? Because they love the truth.
That truth lives inside of us as we speak.
Thank You Lord. You are absolutely amazing. Words can not say nearly enough....ever
Help us see the narrow gate that we may take to it and with your grace pass through it....



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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

⛪ Man took and planted

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The Path of Love

Jesus shows us the path to follow Him: the path of love.… It is a real path, a path that leads us to come out of ourselves and go towards others. Jesus showed us that the love of God is realized in love for our neighbor. Both go hand-in-hand. The pages of the Gospel are full of this love: adults and children, educated and uneducated, rich and poor, just and sinners all were welcomed into the heart of Christ.

—from Believe in Love: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis


Saint Quote
"Don't spend your energies on things that generate worry, anxiety and anguish. Only one thing is necessary: Lift up your spirit, and love God."
— St. Padre Pio

"We should recall that no man is an island, entire of itself. Our lives are involved with one another, through innumerable interactions they are linked together. No one lives alone. No one sins alone. No one is saved alone. The lives of others continually spill over into mine: in what I think, say, and do, and achieve. And conversely, my life spills over into that of others: for better or for worse. So my prayer for another is not something extraneous to that person, something external, not even after death."
— Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI

"In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God's own people, to the praise of his glory."
Ephesians 1:13-14


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Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez

(1533 – October 30, 1617)

Tragedy and challenge beset today's saint early in life, but Alphonsus Rodriguez found happiness and contentment through simple service and prayer.

Born in Spain in 1533, Alphonsus inherited the family textile business at 23. Within the space of three years, his wife, daughter, and mother died; meanwhile, business was poor. Alphonsus stepped back and reassessed his life. He sold the business, and with his young son, moved into his sister's home. There he learned the discipline of prayer and meditation.

At the death of his son years later, Alphonsus, almost 40 by then, sought to join the Jesuits. He was not helped by his poor education. He applied twice before being admitted. For 45 years he served as doorkeeper at the Jesuits' college in Majorca. When not at his post, he was almost always at prayer, though he often encountered difficulties and temptations.

His holiness and prayerfulness attracted many to him, including Saint Peter Claver, then a Jesuit seminarian. Alphonsus' life as doorkeeper may have been humdrum, but centuries later he caught the attention of poet and fellow-Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins, who made him the subject of one of his poems.

Alphonsus died in 1617. He is the patron saint of Majorca.

We like to think that God rewards the good, even in this life. But Alphonsus knew business losses, painful bereavement, and periods when God seemed very distant. None of his suffering made him withdraw into a shell of self-pity or bitterness. Rather, he reached out to others who lived with pain, including enslaved Africans. Among the many notables at his funeral were the sick and poor people whose lives he had touched. May they find such a friend in us!

Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez is the Patron Saint of:


Tuesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Eph 5:21-33

Brothers and sisters:
Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.
For the husband is head of his wife
just as Christ is head of the Church,
he himself the savior of the Body.
As the Church is subordinate to Christ,
so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives,
even as Christ loved the Church
and handed himself over for her to sanctify her,
cleansing her by the bath of water with the word,
that he might present to himself the Church in splendor,
without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
that she might be holy and without blemish.
So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.
He who loves his wife loves himself.
For no one hates his own flesh
but rather nourishes and cherishes it,
even as Christ does the Church,
because we are members of his Body.

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.

This is a great mystery,
but I speak in reference to Christ and the Church.
In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself,
and the wife should respect her husband.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
R. (1a) Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
Your children like olive plants
around your table.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Alleluia See Mt 11:25
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
You have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 13:18-21

Jesus said, "What is the Kingdom of God like?
To what can I compare it?
It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden.
When it was fully grown, it became a large bush
and 'the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.'"

Again he said, "To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God?
It is like yeast that a woman took
and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch of dough was leavened."


Meditation: Ephesians 5:21-33

The two shall become one flesh. (Ephesians 5:31)

When Paul talks about two becoming one flesh, he is referring back to the story of creation in the Book of Genesis. It's a beautiful image, one that describes the kind of love and single-mindedness that God wants for every married couple. But as lovely as the sentiment is, we know that no marriage is perfect. All couples have their ups and downs. Nobody agrees all the time, and some marriages are on the verge of collapse because of disunity.

So what does unity in marriage mean in real life?

First, unity means developing a common heart and mind. Virtually every self-help manual focused on marriage emphasizes the need for good communication—and for good reason. If they don't discuss their goals, husbands and wives risk going in different directions. This takes patience. It takes a lot of listening. It also takes flexibility and a willingness to compromise. But it is well worth the effort. Not only is there unity in the family, but the husband and wife are drawn that much closer to each other.

Second, unity means a readiness to forgive. When one person offends the other, they should make it their number one priority to seek reconciliation. Choosing humility over pride has a special power to melt the other person's heart. It invites the Holy Spirit to come and help the couple choose mercy over judgment.

Finally, unity means loving sacrificially. It can sound grandiose, but sacrificial love usually shows itself in the small things: helping with the dishes, listening attentively when your spouse has had a hard day, going out of your way to give your spouse a break from the kids when you are both tired. Gestures like these never go unnoticed—by your spouse or by the Lord.

Of course, none of this is easy. That's why the greatest way to build unity is simply to pray. Ask God to bless you and your spouse. Don't pray that your spouse become everything you expect them to be; pray instead for the grace to love your spouse right now and to continue to lay down your life for them.

In the end, unity is a precious gift from God. It's a gift embedded in the Sacrament of Marriage that God gives to everyone who turns to him.

"Lord, bless all marriages with love and unity."

Psalm 128:1-5
Luke 13:18-21


2 cents :
The Word opens up to us today: "Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ."
This goes to everything. Husbands and wives. Priests and Church. Workers and bosses. I've learned one thing in the spirit; that the more you want to lead, the more you have to serve. There are those who want to lead, and that's it. And so they wind up hating the people they lead. But if you serve, you'll love. If you serve the church, you'll love the church, if you serve your wife, you'll love her. What's more, if you strive for her holiness, you'll love her even more, you will be holy first to give. Don't wait for others to serve, beat them to it, serve love first! And God is love, amen?


Let us pray: "Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways! For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; blessed shall you be, and favored." Ahh, we want favor? Favor Him first. What good is a favor if it is returned? It's not a true favor. Favor is giving and love is giving one way. How can you make a return to God for all the good He has done for you? How? Thanksgiving. We lead to Christ, in the Eucharist. Amen?

In the Holy Gospel today, our Lord approaches us: ""What is the Kingdom of God like?" Two answers He says; first, it is like a seed. Second, it is like yeast. These things are designed for a purpose, to grow. They lose themselves, they change their form. They transform. But they need another ingredient to grow, they need nutrients, substance, amen? That is the Kingdom. Already there. At hand, just like our Lord says. It has been handed to us. Handle it with care. It is though, not like any other seed. This seed is so powerful, it is so ready to grow, it will latch on to the tiniest bit of dirt (a person) and flourish for a minute, an hour, a day, a month, a year, or even....a lifetime. But wait, there's more! It can grow into eternity. It can inside of you. Do me a favor, don't tune into the news of the world, take it with a grain of salt. Add salt. Be salt to the world. Tune into the Sacred Heart of Jesus. If you want joy, everlasting joy, join the cross bearing life of doing God's will. Everyone asks "Lord what do you want of me?". It is a common question. And the answer is simple, from heaven the voice proclaims this: All Of You. That's the answer. All of you. I met a wonderful man last week, and he told me his life story over dinner. He learned he was adopted and was adopted into a wealthy family. Once he was about 20 years old, he wanted to meet his "real" mom. He found her. He called her. First thing she says to him over the phone was "WHERE ARE YOU". That's all she wanted to know, nothing else. Just like when God asks in Genesis "where are you". That's all God wants to know. That's a book of theology by the way, not history. Anyway, back to the story. The mother wants to know where he is so she can fly immediately to him, and she did, somehow, the next day she about flew halfway across the country to meet him. And the young man had tears in his eyes. He goes to his adopted mother...and is disowned. No more wealth. No more happiness. But the man has joy. That's what God offers. In the world, you can find happiness. But joy? Be that joy. Be that seed. Be that yeast that makes the bread grow. And this bread growing is the body of Christ. This man is finding joy now in the Catholic Church. And the world hates it. I'd say most divisions in the world are a direct attack against the mother Church. Why? Because truth hurts. I tell people how it is in their face. And it gets me in trouble, I need to learn how to tell people with grace the truth. That's why I told my 11 yr. old son at a men's conference a couple months ago, when he asked me "dad, what does humble mean?". I said "son, let me find out, and I'll get back to you". I've yet to tell him. But we got clues. Its about a seed no longer being a seed. Yeast no longer being yeast. It becomes something greater, and gives fruit to the world to eat. It seems as though the Eucharist giving life has something to do with it. Something so little, being something so great.



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