Friday, May 11, 2018

So You Also Are...

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Trust In God

Was there a time in your life when you turned your back on God? If so, have you asked forgiveness? Can you let go of the past and move forward in God's love? Can you trust God with your life?

The Blessed Mother tells us that we will receive all of the graces we need to follow God's holy will in our lives. There is nothing to worry about when we trust God.

—from Our Lady of Fatima: 100 Years of Stories, Prayers, and Devotions
franciscan media


"Put your heart at His feet. It is the gift He loves most."
— St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

"It is the common opinion of Doctors of the Church that, when the Blessed Trinity gave our saint as spouse to Mary, no other man could have been found so like to her. ... St. Bernadine of Siena is of the opinion that there never were two spouses so like to each other as were Mary and Joseph. ... Joseph was so exceedingly like to Mary that he had none like to him among men. Inferior to the Blessed Virgin alone, he was superior to all else besides. In that superiority, therefore, they were partners. What a singular glory was this, to be so like to the Blessed Virgin as to possess in a great measure common privileges with her, and to have a love for God of the same character as her own! And, in effect, our Lady ... places no difference between the vehement sorrow and anxiety she experienced at the loss of her Son, and the sorrow, anxiety, and solicitude of her husband: 'Behold, Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing'. She thus gives us the liberty to compare the love which they both had for Jesus, and to hold as a consequence that Joseph was so similar to her that there was no one else who could enter into comparison with him. Certainly we need no greater proof of the eminent sanctity of Joseph than is implied in the choice made of him by God to be the husband of Mary. We have only to look at her to know what he must have been."
— Edward Healy Thompson, p.109
The Life & Glories of Saint Joseph

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Matthew 6:19-21


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Saint Ignatius of Laconi

(December 17, 1701 – May 11, 1781)

Ignatius is another sainted begging brother.

He was the second of seven children of peasant parents in Sardinia. His path to the Franciscans was unusual. During a serious illness, Ignatius vowed to become a Capuchin if he recovered. He regained his health but ignored the promise. When he was 20, a riding accident prompted Ignatius to renew the pledge, which he acted on the second time. Ignatius's reputation for self-denial and charity led to his appointment as the official beggar for the friars in Cagliari. He fulfilled that task for 40 years, despite being blind for the last two years.

While on his rounds, Ignatius would instruct the children, visit the sick, and urge sinners to repent. The people of Cagliari were inspired by his kindness and his faithfulness to his work. Ignatius was canonized in 1951.

Why did the people of Cagliari support the friars? These followers of Francis worked hard but rarely at jobs that paid enough to live on. Under these conditions Saint Francis allowed them to beg. The life of Ignatius reminds us that everything God considers worthwhile does not have a high-paying salary attached to it.


Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 18:9-18

One night while Paul was in Corinth, the Lord said to him in a vision,
"Do not be afraid.
Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you.
No one will attack and harm you,
for I have many people in this city."
He settled there for a year and a half
and taught the word of God among them.

But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia,
the Jews rose up together against Paul
and brought him to the tribunal, saying,
"This man is inducing people to worship God contrary to the law."
When Paul was about to reply, Gallio spoke to the Jews,
"If it were a matter of some crime or malicious fraud,
I should with reason hear the complaint of you Jews;
but since it is a question of arguments over doctrine and titles
and your own law, see to it yourselves.
I do not wish to be a judge of such matters."
And he drove them away from the tribunal.
They all seized Sosthenes, the synagogue official,
and beat him in full view of the tribunal.
But none of this was of concern to Gallio.

Paul remained for quite some time,
and after saying farewell to the brothers he sailed for Syria,
together with Priscilla and Aquila.
At Cenchreae he had shaved his head because he had taken a vow.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
R. (8a) God is king of all the earth.
R. Alleluia.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.
R. God is king of all the earth.
R. Alleluia.
He brings people under us;
nations under our feet.
He chooses for us our inheritance,
the glory of Jacob, whom he loves.
R. God is king of all the earth.
R. Alleluia.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R. God is king of all the earth.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia See Lk 24:46, 26
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead,
and so enter into his glory.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 16:20-23

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn,
while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.
When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived;
but when she has given birth to a child,
she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy
that a child has been born into the world.
So you also are now in anguish.
But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice,
and no one will take your joy away from you.
On that day you will not question me about anything.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you."


Meditation: John 16:20-23

You will grieve, but your grief will become joy. (John 16:20)

When we watch a movie or read a book, it's usually pretty easy to follow the plot. We understand the story because we see one event following from another, and we begin to get a feel for where the story is heading. Wouldn't it be nice if life worked the same way? The problem is that when you're "inside" a story, it can be easy to lose the thread of the plot and to wonder where it is heading.

As Jesus approached his crucifixion, he tried to help his disciples with this sort of confusion. He knew that they would be faced with a huge challenge when they saw him die on the cross. To prepare them, he explained that this was part of the great story that he had called them into. They would experience wrenching grief, and they would feel out of step with the rest of the world. But that wouldn't be the final chapter. Their grief would be turned to joy, and the story would take on a whole new meaning.

Do you believe that your life is part of this same story? While the disciples had to wrestle through the grief of Jesus' death, your part of the story has come later. You already know about Jesus' resurrection. If you can keep your eyes focused on Jesus' victory over sin and death, you'll know a joy, a stability, and a peace that nothing in this world can take away from you.

At times we lose sight of God's story. We forget that our joy comes from Jesus' salvation, not from the story that the world offers us. Losing focus, we can begin to lose our trust that God is with us.

This is why we need to immerse ourselves every day in the story of the Scriptures. We need God's word to sharpen our focus.

Never forget that you are part of an epic story. You are one of the "great . . . cloud of witnesses" whose lives have been changed by the Lord (Hebrews 12:1). You aren't just a passive observer; you're an active participant. You have a role to play today in moving this story forward—and Jesus is right beside you, helping you every step of the way.

"Lord, teach me the wonderful story of your salvation. Help me to make it the story of my life."

Acts 18:9-18
Psalm 47:2-7



The Lord tells St. Paul and us all: "Do not be afraid. Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you." What are you afraid of?

Go on. Onward. You can do it. I AM is right here, with you. I don't know about you, but I fight daily. Inner struggles. Outer struggles, some times, but not as often as inner struggles. And even if God is telling me to get my head out of the sand, I can't seem to muster the faith. Fear comes and hides under the skin. What people see is not always the case. I need help, just like every body I have ever met. We all need help, we need on another, and above all, we need our Father, we need Jesus, and Jesus our Lord sends us the Spirit, the consoler, the encourager, the healer of souls.

Let us pray: "God is king of all the earth. All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness, For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome, is the great king over all the earth." There is a dark ruler in the earth, but it is not king. The KING is our Lord our God and our Father. On that note, Our Father, we are promised a great inheritance, and that in of itself takes an act of faith, and it entails faithfulness on our part. But what if you are not interested? I'm praying for my cousin that passed away, I will use his life testimony to serve a purpose, please pray for his soul. As a youth, he was vibrant, cheerful, an artist, very spunky. As we grew up and grew apart, I didn't really meet up with him until many many years later. By then, life had smacked him hard. I learned late in his life, that he had been sexually molested by a relative, and his parents had divorced, and after this, he had latched on to drugs, and had at various points of his life, become a wanderer on the streets, homeless, even after having had a wife and children. A vagabond. His father asked him to come help his business, and even promised him the prosperity of the business. He would go help his dad for a while, and drugs would get him down again, to jail, to drug rehabs, and perhaps a half dozen rehabs later, still to no effect. I took him out to ride at the sandhills with my atvs. We talked, a lot about life and faith. My eyes well up with tears as I am writing. Such a good hearted man, and that demon under his skin, people call a disease, drug addiction, I hate it, it caused something to this man to not be able to participate in the prosperity and stability his father offered. He always smiled. He talked about Jesus very much and carried the bible that he drew on and read much. I don't know why I'm so sentimental suddenly for him. His love was soft. He was I guess like a brother, since I have no blood brothers. He told me one time "you know what I wish for Adrian? I wish, that my dad would take me fishing for once". I told someone the message, they scoffed, they said people just need to get over themselves. I don't think the message was relayed to my uncle. My cousin passed away, and I believe it may have been because of drugs. I spoke at his funeral and I told everyone that this vagabond was Jesus. Strange right? A suffering drug addict? A suffering soul? Someone that people scoff at? His dad suffers much to this day for the loss. He has sold the business and retired. What promises do you keep? What promises do you look forward to?

In comes our Lord "Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn,
while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy." During lent, I went to help at a prison retreat. I told a young man there that was going to get out in about 1 or 2 years "you know, when you get out, there is going to be a great huge party waiting for you, women, beer, drugs, whatever you want, and why? Because the devil hates you so much". I hope that is the message the confirmation students got from me this week. The world is good, God created it to be. But what is in the world is a mixture of checks and balances. If you remain with Him, you will live to see joy. If you are unfaithful, a world of hurt ensues the coming generations. My cousin suffered much, divorce of his parents hit him hard, and sexual perversions made him a victim. The world has offered many things. You are free to choose as you please. If you choose Jesus, you choose the "better part". From here, the world changes, from this perspective, from this Way of living. I told the students that sex is to create life, and not leave the results of sex to be wandering the world and left to die or rot in a prison cell. The world suffers the loss of a father. The worst loss? Losing our real Father in Heaven. I told the students that another cousin was confirmed just like they were, and went to live in the big city, and lost his religion, and became atheist, and now he is promising to bring the biggest homosexual revolution to our part of the world. Not only has he lost Christ, but becomes part with the anti-christ, the anti-life. Today, there are those against life designing exotic ways to kill yourself, new death inventions, that look pretty on the outside but designed to kill you on the inside. To show the world you give up. To show God He can't do anything. And this is a grain of truth, He won't do anything with an unwilling soul, with a closed soul. But He strives, day and night to reach that soul. He is alive through the faithful and in every cell of nature. A cell is alive with Him. This is why conception is important. That is why every morsel of the Eucharist is important. It belongs to God. We belong to a kingdom with a King, but even more than a King, this is the almighty, and the Psalm today called Him, the "Awesome". Because He causes wonder and awe with the Holy Spirit. So if you have ever been in Awe of Him, it is a sign of the Holy Spirit at work.

The great I AM has promised to be with us. And this is true no matter what. Yet, if I say I am with you, will it mean anything if you are not with me?
It's as if our Lord is saying:
I am here for you, just call me.
I am here for you, just come for me.
I am here for you, if you reach out to me.
I am here to offer a shoulder to cry on.
I am here for you to offer help in as much as is best for you and the world.
I am here for you, to see to it, that your grief for me, ends in everlasting joy
I am here for you, when the rest of the world is not, even if you mother forgets you, I will not, and I can not.

Some of the greatest joys you will see, if you are faithful, are beyond human comprehension, and dare I say...beyond human compassion.
A couple days after my cousin's death, someone said they could swear they saw my cousin on the road, and they saw him smiling. And then another person said they saw him on the same road at another place, but he'd vanish. We are all on a journey.
Let us guide one another carefully to God. Heaven awaits. God awaits. But that goal, it resides in us, it remains with us, it pushes us, and the promise from God is real, and He keeps His part. Let us choose that part...



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