Thursday, January 4, 2018

You Will Be Called †


Read God's Presence in His Creation

Pope Francis reminds us that creation—including the weather—is a gift to be celebrated, not something simply to be controlled and altered. We lose our sense of wonder in nature when we become too absorbed in the structures of everyday life.

Jesus' parables reflect a deep knowledge of flocks, fields, and fishing. We can understand these stories better if we grow in our awareness of creation. Pope Francis, like his namesake, Saint Francis of Assisi, calls us to read God's presence not only in our holy books but in the holiness of the world around us, plant and animal as well as human.

—from The Peace of Christmas: Quiet Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek


"If I am distracted, Holy Communion helps me to become recollected. If opportunities are offered by each day to offend my God, I arm myself anew each day for the combat by the reception of the Eucharist. If I am in special need of light and prudence in order to discharge my burdensome duties, I draw nigh to my Savior and seek counsel and light from him."
— St. Thomas More

"Let them fly with utter confidence to this most sweet Mother of mercy and grace in all dangers, difficulties, needs, doubts, and fears. Under her guidance, under her patronage, under her kindness and protection, nothing is to be feared; nothing is hopeless. Because, while bearing toward us a truly motherly affection and having in her care the work of our salvation, she is solicitous about the whole human race. And since she has been appointed by God to be the Queen of heaven and earth, and is exalted above all the choirs of angels and saints, and even stands at the right hand of her only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, she presents our petitions in a most efficacious manner. When she asks, she obtains. Her pleas can never be unheard."
— Blessed Pope Pius IX, p.84
Manual for Marian Devotion

"If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord."
James 1:5-8


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Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

(August 28, 1774 – January 4, 1821)

Mother Seton is one of the keystones of the American Catholic Church. She founded the first American religious community for women, the Sisters of Charity. She opened the first American parish school and established the first American Catholic orphanage. All this she did in the span of 46 years while raising her five children.

Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton is a true daughter of the American Revolution, born August 28, 1774, just two years before the Declaration of Independence. By birth and marriage, she was linked to the first families of New York and enjoyed the fruits of high society. Reared a staunch Episcopalian, she learned the value of prayer, Scripture and a nightly examination of conscience. Her father, Dr. Richard Bayley, did not have much use for churches but was a great humanitarian, teaching his daughter to love and serve others.

The early deaths of her mother in 1777 and her baby sister in 1778 gave Elizabeth a feel for eternity and the temporariness of the pilgrim life on earth. Far from being brooding and sullen, she faced each new "holocaust," as she put it, with hopeful cheerfulness.

At 19, Elizabeth was the belle of New York and married a handsome, wealthy businessman, William Magee Seton. They had five children before his business failed and he died of tuberculosis. At 30, Elizabeth was widowed, penniless, with five small children to support.

While in Italy with her dying husband, Elizabeth witnessed Catholicity in action through family friends. Three basic points led her to become a Catholic: belief in the Real Presence, devotion to the Blessed Mother and conviction that the Catholic Church led back to the apostles and to Christ. Many of her family and friends rejected her when she became a Catholic in March 1805.

To support her children, she opened a school in Baltimore. From the beginning, her group followed the lines of a religious community, which was officially founded in 1809.

The thousand or more letters of Mother Seton reveal the development of her spiritual life from ordinary goodness to heroic sanctity. She suffered great trials of sickness, misunderstanding, the death of loved ones (her husband and two young daughters) and the heartache of a wayward son. She died January 4, 1821, and became the first American-born citizen to be beatified (1963) and then canonized (1975). She is buried in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Elizabeth Seton had no extraordinary gifts. She was not a mystic or stigmatic. She did not prophesy or speak in tongues. She had two great devotions: abandonment to the will of God and an ardent love for the Blessed Sacrament. She wrote to a friend, Julia Scott, that she would prefer to exchange the world for a "cave or a desert." "But God has given me a great deal to do, and I have always and hope always to prefer his will to every wish of my own." Her brand of sanctity is open to everyone if we love God and do his will.

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton is the Patron Saint of:
Catholic School
Loss of Parents


Memorial of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Religious

Reading 1 1 Jn 3:7-10

Children, let no one deceive you.
The person who acts in righteousness is righteous,
just as he is righteous.
Whoever sins belongs to the Devil,
because the Devil has sinned from the beginning.
Indeed, the Son of God was revealed to destroy the works of the Devil.
No one who is begotten by God commits sin,
because God's seed remains in him;
he cannot sin because he is begotten by God.
In this way,
the children of God and the children of the Devil are made plain;
no one who fails to act in righteousness belongs to God,
nor anyone who does not love his brother.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 98:1, 7-8, 9
R. (3cd) All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy before the LORD.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
The LORD comes;
he comes to rule the earth;
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

Alleluia Heb 1:1-2
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets;
in these last days, he has spoken to us through the Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 1:35-42

John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
"Behold, the Lamb of God."
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
"What are you looking for?"
They said to him, "Rabbi" (which translated means Teacher),
"where are you staying?"
He said to them, "Come, and you will see."
So they went and saw where he was staying,
and they stayed with him that day.
It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter,
was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon and told him,
"We have found the Messiah," which is translated Christ.
Then he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said,
"You are Simon the son of John;
you will be called Cephas," which is translated Peter.


Meditation: John 1:35-42

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Religious (Memorial)

Behold, the Lamb of God. (John 1:36)

It can be easy to miss Jesus. Just ask John the Baptist. John knew he had been called to prepare the way for the Messiah. He was even Jesus' kinsman! But still, by his own admission, John "did not know him" (John 1:31). He didn't fully understand Jesus' mission. But with time and insight from God, John did come to recognize Jesus as the Messiah and was able to proclaim, "Behold, the Lamb of God" (1:36).

We may not always recognize Jesus as clearly as John did. Yet just like John, we, too, can grow in our awareness, little by little.

Behold, the Lamb of God. Make it a goal to greet Jesus the moment you first wake up. All it takes is a simple "Good morning, Lord!" He delights to see you starting your day with even the briefest of conversations with him.

Behold, the Lamb of God. This morning greeting can be a great lead-in to a quiet time of meditation. Even if it's only five minutes, a regular time of prayer will help you grow more familiar with Jesus—who he is, how he speaks to you.

Behold, the Lamb of God. Once the onslaught of the day begins, you might struggle. There's an office to get to or errands to run or a house to clean. In the midst of these everyday challenges, Jesus doesn't want you to forget that he is with you. At a couple of points today, take a moment to acknowledge the Lord who is "walking by" you (John 1:36). Maybe you can keep a prayer card on your desk. Or perhaps you can take a few minutes to open your Bible while you eat lunch.

Behold, the Lamb of God. In the evening, you might hit a point when you're ready to unwind. You made it through the day—and you did it with God's help. Before going to sleep, you can pause to thank Jesus for how he was with you today. You can look back and try to recall one or two ways that he blessed you with his peace or his guidance.

Jesus, the Lamb of God, is with you. He loves it when you notice him, just a little more each day!

"Jesus, thank you for being with me always."

1 John 3:7-10
Psalm 98:1, 7-9


The Lord says: "No one who is begotten by God commits sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot sin because he is begotten by God. In this way,
the children of God and the children of the Devil are made plain; no one who fails to act in righteousness belongs to God, nor anyone who does not love his brother."
If this is true, and it IS, we should see clearly who is begotten. Jesus was and IS the begotten, light from Light, true God. A hater, simply one who does not love his brother has sided with the devil, designed for hatred. They said this guy died and went to hell (I saw it on those near death experience shows), the guy said he died and saw the devil, huge, ugly sitting in darkness, and he ignored this guy, and the guy said he eventually started yelling at the devil who simply ignored him the whole time. The devil sat on what we would call riches. Ignoring. It should speak volumes on what hatred is. Ignoring the poor, stepping on the poor, never seeing the good, much less acknowledging and being grateful. All things opposite of true light.

Let us pray: "All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God. The LORD comes; he comes to rule the earth; He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity." He shall rule, and does, and IS. Jesus saves. He Does. You know, by the simple fact that one is sealed in Sacraments, we are being saved and living out salvation...this applying of a covenant, a relationship. He covers us with this mercy blanket if we want to be in it. Mother Mary loves to tuck her baby chics in this mantle of God's grace. Be fortified then. Be warmed as you have been warned, comfort comes if there is something to be comforted for. Consolation comes only to those who need it. Salvation comes then the same, and thank God I have acknowledged this sin...the death causer, and so, then acknowledge the need for a savior. So many believe the devil's lies and so few believe God. But the truth prevails, it always has. His love is on His elect. I am preaching to the choir here, be comforted. Let this love pour out to the poor who are out in the cold in need of God's mercy and now.

In the Holy Gospel, Jesus says to Simon ""You are Simon the son of John;
you will be called Cephas," which is translated Peter." Peter means rock, a stone, upon which He would build His Church. There is a magnificent structure that can not be knocked down in the world, it is the Holy Catholic Church. The devil has tried for thousands of years to do so, but in the process only has made it stronger. Because every wound, every broken bone heals and is fortified and made stronger than before. Holiness abounds. That is why governments (people) have tried repeatedly to knock it down, only to their own demise. First ones were Rome, and so on and so forth. Now Rome is Catholic. Protestants still call Rome the old Rome and see Catholics as Romans. WRONG. They fail to see the conquering Holy CHURCH OF CHRIST JESUS, the UNIVERSAL. I digress. Peter was called and now he is called the first Pope of the Catholic Church. The stone to strike Goliath formed by God....JESUS. Goliath was terrible. Made fun of David, was pompous and proud in his own wit and strength. David was the opposite. Not proud, was meek and even weak. But God does greater with that than with those strengthened within themselves. That's why I don't like talk about self-esteem, because it sounds egotistical, all things of pride. No. Our strength is in the Lord. Isn't it? There is a monster out there in the world, Goliath's offspring. Oh yeah, terrible, makes most people run away as it conquers. It is the anti-Christ. I want you to realize never to let your guard down. Faith first. It's like the lies continue on and on. God wrote to you today and His first words were
"Children, let no one deceive you."
People are falling for lies against marriage, against the unborn, against religion, against everything LIFE stands for, and JESUS is the LIFE, the WAY. The TRUTH.
And so, the world is suffering more and more atrocities, martyrs, people slaughtered, but this is an outward physical scene of the atrocious hidden scene that is going on as we speak. Either you will kneel before God or stand in courts before men. I write to encourage you to be firm, face set like flint, like Jesus. I want to see Jesus.
Let me let you in on another revelation. I live in the middle of nowhere, a desert like region. In a small town. I'm a nobody, right? The closest saint we've had is perhaps St. Pio on the other side of the world in time, or St. Elizabeth Ann Seton about a hundred years ago here, or some slaughtered in Mexico less than a hundred years ago by government. So, the revelation said "You know, I don't know of any living saints here lately showing the way...maybe it's time for the light to shine in this part of the world....".
In other words, Children of God, that light God has instilled in you is calling out for mercy in the world. It is all about salvation. Not doom and gloom. It is about reaching like Jesus. He left so we could continue HIS work. And He left...HIS Body, Blood, Soul, Divinity, leaving us with His Holy SPIRIT! Move mountains. Melt them with this Fire!
I am praying for you ....



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