Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Utterly Amazed....

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Solitude with God

One does not go into solitude just to be there, or to be alone, or to struggle with one's false self or demons. That would be sadism. A person builds a rhythm of solitude into life because of a need to meet and surrender to Christ. One may resist that, but it is a need. It is not possible to maintain and nurture a life of solitude without this dynamic. I must be aware that I want to meet Christ in my solitude. The surrender may be just for a moment, but if it is unconditional at that moment, there is peace and calm. We know the nearness of the Lord and then it is possible to encounter the transforming power of our God.

—from In the Footsteps of Francis and Clare


"At the end of our life we shall be judged by charity."
— St. Paul of the Cross

"How great is the sweetness which a soul experiences, when, in the time of prayer, God, by a ray of his own light, shows to her his goodness and his mercies towards her, and particularly the love which Jesus Christ has borne to her in his passion! She feels her heart melting, and, as it were, dissolved through love. But in this life we do not see God as he really is: we see him, as it were, in the dark. 'We see now through a glass in a dark manner, but then face to face' (1 Cor. 13:12). Here below God is hidden from our view; we can see him only with the eyes of faith: how great shall be our happiness when the veil shall be raised, and we shall be permitted to behold God face to face! We shall then see his beauty, his greatness, his perfection, his amiableness, and his immense love for our souls."
— St. Alphonsus Liguori, p. 133
Sermons of St. Alphonsus Liguori

"Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 2:3-5


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St. Boniface (d. 754 A.D.) was born to a noble Christian family in Devonshire, England. He became a Benedictine monk and devoted his life to the evangelization of the pagan Germanic tribes in what is now Germany. He went there at the request of Pope Gregory II in 719 A.D. and systematically opened up the vast tracks of wilderness to the Gospel, building on the work of the earlier Irish missionaries. St. Boniface organized the Catholic Church in Germany, instructed the faithful, and converted the pagans. He became the bishop of Mainz and founded or restored many dioceses. Working alongside him as evangelists were his nephews and niece, St. Willibald, St. Winebald, and St. Walburga, who all came from England to Germany to assist him. Legend has it that at Christmastime he chopped down a large tree which was worshiped as a god and used in child sacrifice, and the local pagans converted to Christianity as a result. Instead of worshiping the tree, St. Boniface gave them a smaller evergreen tree as a symbol of eternal life in Christ, the origin of the Christmas tree tradition. He was martyred for his faith along with 52 others as he read the Scriptures on Pentecost Sunday. St. Boniface profoundly influenced the course of German history in the Middle Ages and helped to make it a Christian nation. For his missionary work he is known as the "Apostle of Germany." St. Boniface is the patron of tailors, brewers, and Germany. His feast day is June 5th.


Memorial of Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr

Reading 1 2 PT 3:12-15A, 17-18

Wait for and hasten the coming of the day of God,
because of which the heavens will be dissolved in flames
and the elements melted by fire.
But according to his promise
we await new heavens and a new earth
in which righteousness dwells.

Therefore, beloved, since you await these things,
be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace.
And consider the patience of our Lord as salvation.

Therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned,
be on your guard not to be led into the error of the unprincipled
and to fall from your own stability.
But grow in grace
and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
To him be glory now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Responsorial Psalm PS 90:2, 3-4, 10, 14 AND 16
R. (1) In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Before the mountains were begotten
and the earth and the world were brought forth,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You turn man back to dust,
saying, "Return, O children of men."
For a thousand years in your sight
are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Seventy is the sum of our years,
or eighty, if we are strong,
And most of them are fruitless toil,
for they pass quickly and we drift away.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
Let your work be seen by your servants
and your glory by their children.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

Alleluia SEE EPH 1:17-18
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope
that belongs to his call.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MK 12:13-173

Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent
to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech.
They came and said to him,
"Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man
and that you are not concerned with anyone's opinion.
You do not regard a person's status
but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?
Should we pay or should we not pay?"
Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them,
"Why are you testing me?
Bring me a denarius to look at."
They brought one to him and he said to them,
"Whose image and inscription is this?"
They replied to him, "Caesar's."
So Jesus said to them,
"Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God."
They were utterly amazed at him.


Meditation: Mark 12:13-17
Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr

Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent to Jesus to ensnare him. (Mark 12:13)

In his classic book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie offers the following advice on building relationships: "Become genuinely interested in other people."

The Pharisees and Herodians in this passage may have seemed to have this advice down pat. They talked to Jesus with great respect, and they appeared to be very interested in his opinion about paying taxes. But their flattery didn't ring true. Jesus knew they were trying to trap him, eager to see him slip up. They may have looked friendly, but it was just an act.

Don't make the same mistake! God asks you to be sincere, honest, and open in your relationships—especially with the people you may find difficult. Show them as much charity and respect as you can, but never be fake. If you need to discuss a problem with someone, try your best to do it with humility and love for the person. You'll find that your efforts will free you to love that person even more—and it will also help him or her to respect you all the more.

Still, no matter how hard you try, there will always be a few people who push you to the breaking point. That's where prayer really makes a difference. Instead of complaining and gossiping, as Jesus' opponents would have done, take your frustration to the Lord. Remember how he loved everyone, even his enemies. Remember how he fed thousands of people—friends and enemies alike—with just a few loaves of bread and a couple of pieces of fish. Remember, especially, how he forgave the people who crucified him. Surely he can help you with your difficult relationships!

Is someone causing you a lot of tension? Try interceding for that person every day for a week, and see what happens. Ask Jesus to help you see that person through his eyes of love and mercy. You may find your heart softening. You may find just the right words to say the next time you encounter him or her. Or you may find the wisdom and self-control to hold your tongue. Whatever you experience, ask God to bless this person and to fill your heart with his peace.

"Jesus, teach me to be patient and merciful, just as you are."

2 Peter 3:12-15, 17-18
Psalm 90:2-4, 10, 14, 16



Saint Peter our first leader said " on your guard not to be led into the error of the unprincipled and to fall from your own stability. But grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord". Grow in grace. Be on guard. Do not fall into error: The errors the world teaches, and there are many errors. Errors in marriage. Errors in faith. Errors in your very way of thinking. If you make yourself a god, watch what happens. There are rulers who think they are gods this very day, of tribes, of countries, some movie stars think they are gods too. Egos, to the extreme. What happens with these egos? They trample on others. They use others. They degrade others. They forget others. They allow the killing of others. Be on your guard not to fall into these errors yourself. God is evidenced by our humanity, our charity, our true faith.

Let us pray: ". In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge. Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days. Let your work be seen by your servants and your glory by their children." What children? Do people want children anymore? Do people want God's blessings anymore? What children? Do people teach their children to be of God? Yes, there are people that do so. One of them is writing to you right now. Have faith. The light is reaching to us this very moment.

In comes the light of the world, our Lord: ""Why are you testing me?". Have you ever tested God? I bet most would have done some test, to see if He is really "out there". But you know what's wrong with tests on Him? Your feebleness is trying to comprehend the mystery, the Sacred. You can not. Nor shall you ever. One of the things that keeps love going is mystery. If I knew every little thing about my wife, every thought, everywhere she is and was and will be, what mystery is there? There is this thing called faith, or trust. There is where love resides, and there is where God resides.

Scripture tells us to "Taste and See". Taste what? See what? The goodness of the Lord. Take this to heart, there is more light shining than there is darkness on our world. Both scientifically with the sun and spiritually with the Son. With grace, it shines all the more. Obtain this grace, this elevated state of being, this inner peace and indescribable joy that Saint Peter wants for us, as the day will come when the skies are ripped apart by flames. And what happens next? God knows. It is a mystery, isn't it? I hope that the world does what Jesus be set ablaze, on fire. This is a fire of love that produces a great light. You are a very special person. You for reading this...but already were chosen to read this. Jesus our Lord, has a special place in His Sacred Heart for you. He does. In the world, love is limited. What's great about Heaven is unlimited love. We've yet to get a real taste of this, but God gives us a clue. He has chased you since before you were born. His love has rooted itself in you the day you were formed at conception. That day the heavens wrote "this one is destined for the beatific vision, an everlasting and life giving joy". Yes you are. This invitation then does one thing: it makes our hearts say "guess what! guess where I'm headed! you want to join?".

My kids are so excited, we are travelling to the east coast, huge family trip, 2 vans of people, going to a family wedding and we'll see a real beach, which we haven't seen in many years. But the meat and potatoes of the trip is the trip itself. The travel. The sacrifice. The journey. That's what will probably be most memorable.
And you know what stands out the most every time we travel? The times with God. Going to Mass in another part of the world. You see, everything is different when He is invited and involved. I have not stopped writing to you when I travel. How can I? You are the first part of my daily life...with God!
We are involved heavily on our journey of life of faith!



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