Monday, January 22, 2018

That Kingdom.....

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Ingredients of Love

When you take knowledge and add humility you get wisdom, and when you take that wisdom and add it to compassion you get love. And God is love.

Also, as the fourth- and fifth-century desert fathers and mothers teach us: Humility helps us constantly become aware of the need for God's grace.

—from the book Prayer in the Catholic Tradition: A Handbook of Practical Approaches
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"For He became man that we might become divine; and He revealed Himself through a body that we might receive an idea of the invisible Father; and He endured insults from men that we might inherit incorruption."
— St. Athanasius of Alexandria

"Now surely I do see what an immense effect such a doctrine [of the Holy Trinity] must have upon life. It is no mere question for theologians, but one that concerns every living soul. Whatever is allowed by God's power must be guided by His wisdom and urged on by His love. All that happens to me in life, the little worries and the great anxieties, the crises and the daily annoyances, the sorrows and the joys, the harms that reach me through the sins of others, the great crimes of history, the huge and devastating wars, the partings and loves and the whole cycle of human experience are permitted by Power, which is itself wise and loving. These three Persons determine my life, and, since I walk by faith, I must surely grow very patient in my attitude toward life. For how can I complain or criticize God's Providence, since it all comes under that triple influence of Power, Wisdom, and Love? Under the guidance, then, of this mystery, I can walk through the valley of death or the more perilous borders of sin without loss of courage or hopefulness. Nothing can make me afraid. How these are separate, yet one, I do not know, nor can I reconcile in my concrete experience the claims of each. It is always a mystery, but a mystery in which I believe. Whatever Power allows on earth is designed in Wisdom and attuned by Love."
— Fr. Bede Jarrett, p. 10
Classic Catholic Meditations

"I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed."
Psalm 139:14-16


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Saint Vincent of Zaragossa

(d. c. 304)

Most of what we know about this saint comes from the poet Prudentius. His Acts have been rather freely colored by the imagination of their compiler. But Saint Augustine, in one of his sermons on Saint Vincent, speaks of having the Acts of his martyrdom before him. We are at least sure of his name, his being a deacon, the place of his death and burial.

According to the story we have, the unusual devotion he inspired must have had a basis in a very heroic life. Vincent was ordained deacon by his friend Saint Valerius of Zaragossa in Spain. The Roman emperors had published their edicts against the clergy in 303, and the following year against the laity. Vincent and his bishop were imprisoned in Valencia. Hunger and torture failed to break them. Like the youths in the fiery furnace, they seemed to thrive on suffering.

Valerius was sent into exile, and Dacian, the Roman governor, now turned the full force of his fury on Vincent. Tortures that sound very modern were tried. But their main effect was the progressive disintegration of Dacian himself. He had the torturers beaten because they failed.

Finally he suggested a compromise: Would Vincent at least give up the sacred books to be burned according to the emperor's edict? He would not. Torture on the gridiron continued, the prisoner remaining courageous, the torturer losing control of himself. Vincent was thrown into a filthy prison cell—and converted the jailer. Dacian wept with rage, but strangely enough, ordered the prisoner to be given some rest.

Friends among the faithful came to visit him, but he was to have no earthly rest. When they finally settled him on a comfortable bed, he went to his eternal rest.

The martyrs are heroic examples of what God's power can do. It is humanly impossible, we realize, for someone to go through tortures such as Vincent had and remain faithful. But it is equally true that by human power alone no one can remain faithful even without torture or suffering. God does not come to our rescue at isolated, "special" moments. God is supporting the super-cruisers as well as children's toy boats.


Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

Reading 1 2 Sm 5:1-7, 10

All the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said:
"Here we are, your bone and your flesh.
In days past, when Saul was our king,
it was you who led the children of Israel out and brought them back.
And the LORD said to you, 'You shall shepherd my people Israel
and shall be commander of Israel.'"
When all the elders of Israel came to David in Hebron,
King David made an agreement with them there before the LORD,
and they anointed him king of Israel.
David was thirty years old when he became king,
and he reigned for forty years:
seven years and six months in Hebron over Judah,
and thirty-three years in Jerusalem
over all Israel and Judah.

Then the king and his men set out for Jerusalem
against the Jebusites who inhabited the region.
David was told, "You cannot enter here:
the blind and the lame will drive you away!"
which was their way of saying, "David cannot enter here."
But David did take the stronghold of Zion, which is the City of David.

David grew steadily more powerful,
for the LORD of hosts was with him.

Responsorial Psalm PS 89:20, 21-22, 25-26
R. (25a) My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him.
Once you spoke in a vision,
and to your faithful ones you said:
"On a champion I have placed a crown;
over the people I have set a youth."
R. My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him.
"I have found David, my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him,
That my hand may be always with him,
and that my arm may make him strong."
R. My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him.
"My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him,
and through my name shall his horn be exalted.
I will set his hand upon the sea,
his right hand upon the rivers."
R. My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him.

Alleluia SEE 2 TM 1:10
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 3:22-30

The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus,
"He is possessed by Beelzebul," and
"By the prince of demons he drives out demons."

Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables,
"How can Satan drive out Satan?
If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
And if a house is divided against itself,
that house will not be able to stand.
And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided,
he cannot stand;
that is the end of him.
But no one can enter a strong man's house to plunder his property
unless he first ties up the strong man.
Then he can plunder his house.

Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies
that people utter will be forgiven them.
But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
will never have forgiveness,
but is guilty of an everlasting sin."
For they had said, "He has an unclean spirit."


3rd Week in Ordinary Time

David grew steadily more powerful, for the Lord of hosts was with him. (2 Samuel 5:10)

Have you ever watched the Olympic sport of pole-vaulting? An athlete sprints down a runway with a long pole, wedges the pole into a holder, and uses his momentum and strength to catapult himself up in the air toward a very high bar. Letting go of the pole, he soars over the bar, falls to earth, and lands on a big cushion.

That moment of letting go of the pole can seem to ordinary observers

like a death-defying act. But a lot goes into that "leap of faith." The athlete has worked hard to build on his natural gifts, develop the right technical skills, and follow the advice of his coach.

This is not a bad image for the way David grew into a successful military leader and king. His rise to power might look like a miraculous feat, but the truth is that David grew by habit and practice. He took his natural talent for strategizing, his natural charm, and his strong faith, and he worked with God to develop them.

Think about David's military successes and the years he spent avoiding Saul's pursuit. He survived and grew stronger because he listened to the Lord and followed through with the Lord's instructions. Each small step of faith was supported by trust in God's power and grace.

Small, consistent steps will bring you forward too. Daily prayer, whether it's five or fifty-five minutes long, will teach you how to sense God's presence. Regular reading and meditating on Scripture will teach you how to hear his guidance. A nightly examination of your day will train you to recognize God's often hidden grace in your life. Small, modest attempts to share your faith will show you how hungry for God people really are.

It's a simple formula, but then most training regimens are simple as well. All successful athletes, respected musicians, and accomplished businesspeople will tell you that they owe their success to being faithful, day in, day out, to practicing and practicing and practicing. King David would say the same thing. So will every saint. Can it be any different for us?

"Lord, as I prepare to launch myself into the day, I ask for your guidance. Help me build on the gifts you've given me and listen to your instructions."

Psalm 89:20-22, 25-26
Mark 3:22-30



The first Holy Word spoke and brought up the time: "David was told, "You cannot enter here: the blind and the lame will drive you away!" One time we had a salesman, entrusted with accounts for our family business. Looking back many years ago, this one was taking over the account for himself, taking the customer. He was starting his own business without us knowing. And when this man would speak, he was speaking as if for the customer all the time, "oh no, he doesn't want to speak with you" in the end, the salesman took the customer, a large account, and started his business back up. We suffered a loss, financial, yeah, but the loss was a greater learning lesson, like when David was being chased by King Saul. The loss wasn't that great then, if we remained stronger in our faith. I remember one thing of the whole ordeal; me and the boss, my dad, went to the Blessed Sacrament. Completely at a loss for words but prayed for guidance through what would be tough times ahead. The salesman took customers and even employees. Why do I bring all this up? What does it matter to you who have no vested interest in this business?
I bring up Our Father's business. If you haven't caught the gist by now, the devil speaks as if representing a whole. It is a whole lot of lies. It is to take over people's hearts and business...the Kingdom of God. Me and you are entrusted with much, take this to heart as we proceed.

" My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him. "I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him, That my hand may be always with him, and that my arm may make him strong." You are anointed with Holy oil in the Holy Sacraments. These words aren't just for saints of old, but of saints anew, and that is you. Why anointed? For God's hand that stretched over the waters of creation, may be ever creative through you.

In comes our Holy Father, our Lord in the flesh that spoke; "...whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin." For they had said, "He has an unclean spirit."

Spanish reflection #1 ended today with: "Hopefully, without falling into absurd credulity (superstition) and being aware of our autonomy and responsibility in the march of history, we have at the same time a humble heart, always open to the surprise of the healing and creative action of Jesus, especially when we are approach in his Word and in his Sacraments."

Spanish reflection #2 said today: "Blaspheming against the Holy Spirit means denying the possibility that the Lord has an authentic word for my heart. It implies acting from the conviction that I have to control my whole life. So I am invited, even by very hard phrases, to increase hope, knowing that in Him we are, we move, and we exist."

Bishop Barren's reflection said: "Friends, today's Gospel speaks plainly of Satan and sin. And in light of today's anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision, we still feel the echoes. When we look realistically at the society around us, we can become pretty discouraged. The conservative estimate regarding the number of abortions since Roe v. Wade is 58,000,000. That's almost ten times Hitler's holocaust. Assisted suicide is now legal in a half dozen states, including California, and the death penalty remains a blight on a half dozen others. And most people in our culture now feel that these states of affairs are simply a fact of life. The culture of death, as St. John Paul II called it so bluntly, seems to be on the march.
But I want everyone to attend to what the prophet Habakkuk tells us: "Write down the vision clearly on the tablets…for the vision…will not disappoint."
What is he talking about? He's describing the arrival of salvation to a people who had grown weary and desperate, convinced that God had abandoned them. And he is urging them to have faith, to trust.
And so on this somber anniversary, we continue to raise our voices and to walk according to faith. Our vision will not disappoint."


In the news last night, they showed all these people marching wearing pink, many holding signs "pro choice". At the same Month there are marches for life, holding signs "pro- life" because choice means death. These are two fronts. Evil is at work. Evil is saying they want you to stay away from them like the Jebusites told David to stay away from Jerusalem. Same thing when Jesus set His face like flint to Jerusalem, nobody would stand by Him and follow Him into the die out of love...and to save. Today, the devil speaks very smartly, using science against God, using arts, using movies and actors to portray a light that is very false, an attractive life that is dead, therefore, inviting you to death through sin. The Holy Scriptures are very pertinent, especially when they tell us that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made". This Psalm I've held up at abortion clinics. Along with "take my hand, not my life" and a baby is laying on a hand. And what do I get for holding up that sign and praying the rosary? We used to get the cops called on us, and we also got vulgar language and obscene hand signs. Once, even our Lady of Guadalupe was a cause for disruption...supposedly her image was covering up the stop sign there on the street corner. HMMMM. Looking back, it is all very interesting. The devil was saying "stop trying to stop life".

It is a day of reckoning. About 60million lives are gone, more than a generation of humans in the United States alone, (in the world we have lost upwards of 250 million I would say). What have we "united" ourselves to, lies? Let me tell you what started this, from evil, a little emancipation proclamation back in the 60's that started a revolution. Very few realize that a satanic cult brought this about, and helped with many powers in power positions. It was assisted through sciences too, a "birth control" pill aimed really at genocide, to strike certain demographics. Those holding the color pink hold birth control...this supposed "power" in their hands. They want you to stay away..from Jerusalem....where God belongs.

No. These people are God's city. We are in war against spirits, not people. Realize this. Never has it been about being against someone. Souls are falling left and right. Why do unmarried people living together seem so happy? They got nothing to lose...they've lost, living in mortal sin. Jesus wants them back. Jesus wants them to live in eternity with Him, not outcast and alone. This war is in your front yard. Your street corners. Your backyard, and even in your home. Put on the armor of God and add humility to your growing knowledge of Christ so that He may be empowered in your life. Today's saint proves our weakness is His strength....weakness if given to Him, weakness meaning humility, and faithfulness. God wants your heart, more than anything.

I am planning a retreat in my head for lent. Everyone should be on retreat in lent, as Jesus was for 40 days. I am letting you in on how it will go, top secret! It will be a hunting trip. I will have the candidates accompany me to a junkyard, our boneyard. I will ask the candidates to catch a rabbit, there are tons of rabbits. First prize will be so much, if you catch it with your bare hands. Second prize if you catch it with tools you make. Third prize if you catch with someone else. What's the point? The point is to accept the challenge. Those rabbits are those elusive souls that don't want to be caught up with Jesus. They are afraid to die and so they run and they hide, their little hearts beat fast, lost in anxiety. How can you catch a soul with your bare hands? I'll tell you; you have to be gentle, and easy, and take years even decades of gentle love easing them to Jesus, but first, true love, the kind that lays their life for them. Catching souls with a helper is easier, a group makes it easier. That is why Jesus sends men two by two, to catch fish. Do you want to go on this retreat with me? It is coming. I have said yes to the Lord for whatever retreat He's asked me for this year. Funny thing is....I don't even know of any dates! LOL, I don't even know which ones are coming! LOL. But the hunt is on for sure, I want to hear about your hunt with LOVE.....



Lord, you are amazing!

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