Wednesday, April 11, 2018

But Whoever Lives

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The Grace of Grandparenting

Were it not for grandparents soothing and solving a child's troubles, I suspect counselors would have more business. Grandparents have experience. They have life wisdom. Perhaps above all, they aren't Mom or Dad. Most grandparents don't have to do the everyday disciplining of a parent. They don't have nearly the disciplinary friction with a child, especially a teen. Thus, they may be seen as safer, more understanding. Interesting, isn't it? As we get older, the kids think we think more like them. And that only fortifies the bonds between us.

—from Being a Grandparent: Just Like Being a Parent ... Only Different!
franciscan media


"If you ate only one meal a week would you survive? It is the same for your soul. Nourish it with the Blessed Sacrament."
— St. AndrĂ© Bessette

"We must beg God constantly in our prayers to uphold us by His hand; we should keep ever in our minds the truth that if He leaves us, most certainly we shall fall at once into the abyss, for we must never be so foolish as to trust in ourselves. After this I think the greatest safeguard is to be very careful and to watch how we advance in virtue; we must notice whether we are making progress or falling back in it, especially as regards the love of our neighbor, the desire to be thought the least of all and how we perform our ordinary, everyday duties. If we attend to this and beg Our Lord to enlighten us, we shall at once perceive our gain or loss."
— St. Teresa of Avila, p.98-9
Interior Castle

"Surely there is no one on earth so righteous as to do good without ever sinning. Do not give heed to everything that people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you; your heart knows that many times you have yourself cursed others."
Ecclesiastes 7:20-21


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St. Gemma Galgani (1878-1903) was born in Italy, the fifth of eight children born to a prosperous pharmacist. When she was young, Gemma's mother and three of her siblings died of tuberculous. When she was 18 her father died as well, leaving Gemma to help care for her younger siblings. She rejected two marriage proposals and became a housekeeper while trying to enter the religious life as a Passionist. She was rejected due to her poor heath, and later became a Tertiary member of the order. Gemma developed spinal meningitis but was miraculously healed, which she attributed to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the intercession of St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Throughout her life she united herself with the Passion of Christ and experienced great suffering as a result, but not without receiving many remarkable graces as well. She experienced many mystical visions and was often visited by her guardian angel, Jesus, and the Virgin Mary. For this she was known as a great mystic, and, according to her spiritual director, developed the stigmata at age 21. After a selfless life of love given to God for the conversion of sinners, she died on the Vigil of Easter at the age of 25. She is the patron saint of pharmacists, loss of parents, back illnesses, temptations, and those seeking purity of heart. Her feast day is April 11th.


Memorial of Saint Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr

Reading 1 Acts 5:17-26

The high priest rose up and all his companions,
that is, the party of the Sadducees,
and, filled with jealousy,
laid hands upon the Apostles and put them in the public jail.
But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison,
led them out, and said,
"Go and take your place in the temple area,
and tell the people everything about this life."
When they heard this,
they went to the temple early in the morning and taught.
When the high priest and his companions arrived,
they convened the Sanhedrin,
the full senate of the children of Israel,
and sent to the jail to have them brought in.
But the court officers who went did not find them in the prison,
so they came back and reported,
"We found the jail securely locked
and the guards stationed outside the doors,
but when we opened them, we found no one inside."
When the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard this report,
they were at a loss about them,
as to what this would come to.
Then someone came in and reported to them,
"The men whom you put in prison are in the temple area
and are teaching the people."
Then the captain and the court officers went and brought them,
but without force,
because they were afraid of being stoned by the people.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R. (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
R. Alleluia.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
R. Alleluia.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
R. Alleluia.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
R. Alleluia.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 3:16
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 3:16-21

God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.
And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.


Meditation: Acts 5:17-26

Saint Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr (Memorial)

Go and take your place in the temple area. (Acts 5:20)

It's a dramatic scene. The full council of Jewish elders has assembled for the trial of Jesus' apostles. But a report comes that the apostles have disappeared from the jail and are once more preaching in the Temple precincts. Just as the angel had told them to, they took their "place," both geographically and spiritually.

You have a place where God wants you to be as well. Every day, you face countless decisions. Some are immediate, like what to have for lunch or which route to take to the gas station. Some are more long-term, like choosing a career path or deciding where to live. And others occupy a middle ground, like deciding whether to speak to a family member about your faith or choosing to speak up about a contentious social issue. It's these medium and long-term decisions that God wants to help you make. He has a place for you in this world, and he wants to help you discover it.

So how can we find our place? The first and best way has to do with habits—the habit of inviting the Lord into our decision making and the habit of listening for the Spirit's gentle promptings.

Neither of these habits comes easily. We are accustomed to making our own decisions or reacting immediately to a situation rather than listening for God's guidance. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. In truth, there is no magic formula that fits all circumstances. The only thing we can do is keep trying to get into the habit. Over time, God's voice will become clearer, and we'll find our place more easily.

According to Brother Lawrence, the seventeenth-century monk behind the book The Practice of the Presence of God, "In the beginning a persistent effort is needed, . . . but after a little care, his love brings us to it." At every crossroad, you can take up this "persistent effort." In a challenging situation, pray, "Your will be done," and spend just a moment or two to sense the Lord's leading. When a big decision comes up, seek God's guidance in prayer. Give it time. Be patient with yourself. Trust that God uses every effort of yours to mold you and place you exactly where he wants you.

"Lord, open my ears to hear you and my heart to sense you. Show me my place in your kingdom."

Psalm 34:2-9
John 3:16-21


"Go and take your place in the temple area, and tell the people everything about this life." When an angel appears, it is to give a command from Heaven. "Go...and tell...everything about this life". What life? One word: Christ. I read various reflections daily, today, one mentioned the word astronaut. I thought about the Russian cosmonaut that went to space and said "I'm in space...and there is no god". I thought, "of course not, you left earth expecting there would be no god, and you went to a vast emptiness and found nothing." There is no hope for the hopeless in this mindset where hope is not believed in. If a believer leaves this earth, they look to the earth and the stars and the moon and say "wow....there truly is a God!". You need not leave earth to see God. A majestic sunset, a little flower, and the sheer'll know, and this has been implanted since Jesus walked this earth, into our hearts. You see, the cosmonaut can not see inside the heart where God resides...but God can.

Let us pray: "I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall be ever in my mouth. Let my soul glory in the LORD; the lowly will hear me and be glad.
The Lord hears the cry of the poor." It is a joyous occasion, when a weakling in faith hears the faith of a strong believer. This is why popular preachers are flocked to, for a strong message. Or, a miracle worker, flocked to, simply because they want some of But what if you don't flock? What if you don't go and see, and taste, and touch, and hear, and feel? Then, the cosmonaut in you go to space and see nothing but darkness.

In comes the light of the world, our Lord, and thank God for His words of eternal life: "Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned...". There is only one thing God asks of Peter, and of all those who come to Him for healing and life; He ask for one simple, yet tremendously hard thing for This is why atheist can't believe. Because it asks for too much. A cross. And how can you get a-cross? Across to His love? Our Lord continues: "And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil." You see why there is darkness and you only see darkness then? Evil. It keeps you from Heaven. Faith. The Sadducees were filled with jealousy, and so locked up the Christ bearers, the Christ followers. So jealous that they were getting all the attention. No humility here. Basically, three types of Jews existed at this time: Sadducees, who where very involved in politics and power and ramrodded the Jews and temple. Pharisees, who were not there so involved with Rome but wanted to live as God's people. And, the little known Essenes, these people lived set apart and were faithfully awaiting the Messiah, they were very holy People. It is said that Mary and even John the Baptist were of this Jewish following. So you got, them, Hot for God, and then Pharisees, more lukewarm, and the Sadducees, more cold than anyone else. Where do you stand in faith? Neutral? Not good. When you are neutral, you let the devil run a part of your life. You are to be either hot or cold for God. I have seen too many atrocities because of neutrality, holocausts, and the one we are going through is the murder of unborn children to the tune of millions per year. And so there is a fake peace, a pact has been made with the devil in our day in time. I go to daily Mass and offer it for the unborn. We need to be people of life and light. Go and tell the people this is what God wants: Mercy. I signed on to America Needs Fatima, and they will give her a rose to our mother on Mother's day and they will pray for my intentions and I said "Pray for an end to abortion brought about by pornography which brings on contraception and then violence to the unborn". Archbishop, the Blessed, Fulton Sheen said first comes nudity, and then comes violence. Cover your eyes, cover yourselves with God's mercy. Close your eyes to the darkness cosmonaut, and see the light. Meditations, prayers, the more the better, if you do not know God it is because you never come to Him. If you do not see God it is because have chosen not to come see Him. It is not that He does not reveal Himself, for He reveals Himself easily when we are clean of heart, our eyes are not dirty, the windows of the soul.

Do not believe I am not praying for you. Right when I hit send to you, I am already praying for you. Go and tell the people about this life....of Christ, and life means eternity. We can not understand eternity, so have faith. We can have faith as a choice...and they say love is a choice...not a feeling. Just look at our Lord on the cross. That choice says it all. And He says "I'd do it again in a heartbeat"
Because I can.
Because I will.
Because I DO



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