Tuesday, May 8, 2018

If I Do Not Go

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Mother Church Creates

Mother Church is eager to bear new children, to love them and nurture them throughout their lives, and to protect their God-given dignity. Because Christ died and rose to assure our salvation, his bride, the Church, wants nothing more than to take full advantage of what the Bridegroom won for us. She wants to lavish graces upon us, to welcome us into her embrace, and to see us flourish in every possible way.

—from The Church Is Our Mother: Seven Ways She Inspires Us to Love
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"Have caution in not allowing yourself to be struck down by adversity nor becoming vain by prosperity."
— St. Clare of Assisi

"Do you know what it is to be truly spiritual? It is for men to make themselves the slaves of God—branded with His mark, which is the Cross. ... Unless you make up your minds to this, never expect to make much progress, for as I said humility is the foundation of the whole building and unless you are truly humble, Our Lord, for your own sake, will never permit you to rear it very high lest it should fall to the ground. Therefore, sisters, take care to lay a firm foundation by seeking to be the least of all and the slave of others, watching how you can please and help them, for it will benefit you more than them. Built on such strong rocks, your castle can never go to ruin. I insist again: your foundation must not consist of prayer and contemplation alone: unless you acquire the virtues and praise them, you will always be dwarfs; and please God no worse may befall you than making no progress, for you know that to stop is to go back—if you love, you will never be content to come to a standstill."
— St. Teresa of Avila, p.209-10
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"The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their refuge in the time of trouble. The LORD helps them and rescues them; he rescues them from the wicked, and saves them, because they take refuge in him."
Psalm 37:39-40


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St. Victor Maurus (d. 303 A.D.), also known as Victor the Moor and Victor of Milan, was born in Mauretania (North Africa) in a Christian household. He later relocated to Milan, Italy, as a soldier of the Praetorian Guard that served Roman Emperor Maximian during his persecution of Christians. Although Victor was a Christian since childhood, this fact was not widely known until he destroyed an altar to a pagan god. The Emperor, infuriated, had Victor imprisoned and starved for six days. The Emperor then gave him every chance to recant his faith, including offering him riches, but Victor refused each attempt. He was then tortured mercilessly, unless he would offer sacrifice to the gods, by being stretched on the rack and having molten lead poured over his body. Victor remained steadfast and boldly proclaimed his faith in Christ, declaring that the Roman gods were demons. Finally the saint was beheaded on May 8 in the year 303 A.D. The Emperor refused him burial so that wild beasts would consume his body. However, after six days the body was discovered untouched with two beasts guarding it at the head and foot. The local bishop then received permission to bury the body. A church was later erected over Victor's grave and many miracles occurred there. St. Victor's feast day is May 8th.


Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 16:22-34

The crowd in Philippi joined in the attack on Paul and Silas,
and the magistrates had them stripped
and ordered them to be beaten with rods.
After inflicting many blows on them,
they threw them into prison
and instructed the jailer to guard them securely.
When he received these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell
and secured their feet to a stake.

About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying
and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened,
there was suddenly such a severe earthquake
that the foundations of the jail shook;
all the doors flew open, and the chains of all were pulled loose.
When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open,
he drew his sword and was about to kill himself,
thinking that the prisoners had escaped.
But Paul shouted out in a loud voice,
"Do no harm to yourself; we are all here."
He asked for a light and rushed in and,
trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas.
Then he brought them out and said,
"Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus
and you and your household will be saved."
So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house.
He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds;
then he and all his family were baptized at once.
He brought them up into his house and provided a meal
and with his household rejoiced at having come to faith in God.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 138:1-2ab, 2cde-3, 7c-8
R. (7c) Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple,
and give thanks to your name.
R. Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Because of your kindness and your truth,
you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R. Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.
R. Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia See Jn 16:7, 13
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will send to you the Spirit of truth, says the Lord;
he will guide you to all truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 16:5-11

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Now I am going to the one who sent me,
and not one of you asks me, 'Where are you going?'
But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts.
But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go.
For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.
But if I go, I will send him to you.
And when he comes he will convict the world
in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation:
sin, because they do not believe in me;
righteousness, because I am going to the Father
and you will no longer see me;
condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned."


Meditation: Acts 16:22-34

His household rejoiced at having come to faith in God. (Acts 16:34)

Did you know that the Greek word for conversion, metanoia, literally means to change one's mind or heart? Today's first reading is one of Scripture's most powerful stories about conversion. Unjustly, Paul and Silas are arrested, beaten, and thrown into prison because they freed a young woman from demonic possession. Of course, the real reason for their arrest was that by rescuing this woman, they were depriving a man of the money he was making off of her uncanny ability to tell the future.

Instead of complaining, which they had every right to do, Paul and Silas spent their time in prison praying and singing to the Lord. The other prisoners were so moved by their prayers that when the chance to escape came, none of them fled.

The jailer was about to commit suicide rather than face the consequences of prisoners escaping on his watch. But Paul stopped him and assured him that no one had escaped. That changed the jailer's heart as well. He took Paul and Silas home, dressed their wounds, and fed them. That night, that jailer and his whole family experienced conversion.

A close look at this story can offer us some helpful guidance as we try to be instruments of conversion, as Paul and Silas were. For instance, did you notice that Paul did not protest his imprisonment? Being a Roman citizen, he had the right to a fair trial, but he never received one (Acts 16:37). Is it possible that Paul chose to remain silent so that he could bring it up later and so meet the town leaders—and, of course, evangelize them? Notice too how warm and inviting he and Silas were to the man who had thrown them in prison—and who probably administered his own beating on them. "Unusual" behavior like this must have touched the jailer and led him and his family to a metanoia—to a change in life.

Likewise, our "unusual" acts of mercy and love instead of revenge and bitterness can move people today. This is especially true when our acts are coupled with prayer. So go ahead and be unusual. Try your best to let your gifts of kindness, generosity, and mercy draw people, especially your loved ones, toward God.

"Lord, help me to be unusual, just as you were on so many occasions."

Psalm 138:1-3, 7-8
John 16:5-11


"About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened...". Already, before the prisoners were set free, their hearts were being set free by the soothing words of encouragement, the Holy Spirit at work. It's like when Christ had already sacrificed Himself before being mounted on a cross, almost beaten to death. You see? It starts right now and right here, in the midnight. They say there is always light in Heaven, no darkness. Here, half the time we are in darkness. A new poll, a survey shows that 1 out of 2 people are experiencing loneliness. It is a generation lost, in half of darkness, and rightly so, no matter how connected we are with electronics, it is not the same, and to make matters worse, we are missing a couple of million children lost through abortions of all sorts including contraceptives, we are missing smiles from Heaven that brighten the day all the more. Who will sing now?

Let's sing: "Your right hand saves me, O Lord. I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth; in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise; I will worship at your holy temple, and give thanks to your name." Giving thanks is great, being thankful even greater. I know some people I help always say "thank you" all the time, but sometimes I wish they were REALLY thankful. I mean, it's one thing to say " I love you" and a whole other to show you really care what I say. One thing I've realized, in this world, our love is really limited. But God's love is completely unlimited. I mean, how come I witness an astounding miracle, and people fail to be thankful? Their children are saved, or their own lives are saved, yet...there is no metanoia, a complete change of heart and soul!

So let us turn to our Lord and savior, to His words: ""Now I am going to the one who sent me, and not one of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' Nobody wants to know where He is going. What does this mean? It means we do not ask truly for the this case, His Holy Spirit. In this case, His way of living. In this case, a revelation! Jesus said " I am going to the Father
and you will no longer see me...". This is what He calls "righteousness". And we are in the world where the ruler is condemned. This ruler does have power, but by our permission. In the world, loneliness occurs when there is no father, most men in prison, are there because they had no earthly father. Then, some men go into prisons in the name of the Lord, to show them "you do have a father". By then, the prisoners are tattooed and beaten up, and addicted to poisons of the soul from drugs to pornography and both. What is causing these infections? Our permission. Under our watch we allow this to be. We teach everyone that marriage is not sacred and not important "just make it whatever you want". A revelation hit me the other day "the devil is so happy now that marriage has been turned into a debauchery, has turned inward onto self and not producing life". It is a work that has been in the making for 2,000 years. Homosexuality has always been existing, since sin entered, but, now, it has entered the sacred covenant. We must save marriage if we are to save the world. How? Look at your relationship. Is God the center? Is life the center? Is the Holy Spirit leading the relationship or is the other? Look, look at your spouse? What do you see? It must be Christ! Ultimately, the sacred covenant is with Jesus our Lord! This is the entirety of a Holy Mass, the bride and the groom, a sacred bond is being sealed in the Holy Eucharist, your body with His. And it should be untouchable and untainted. The unblemished lamb with your sacrifice makes for a powerful light.

Another survey shows that 80% of people don't mind people talking to them about God. Funny though, the ruler has made it seem like nobody wants to hear it. Fake news. There's only a few that hate to the extremes, but the rest need to hear God loves them. That is why Christ offers Himself eternally...with His arms eternally open to a soul that will turn to Him in a complete metanoia " I LOVE YOU "



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