Friday, June 15, 2018

Your whole body...

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Where Earth and Heaven Meet

So preoccupied had I been with Assisi that I couldn't see beyond it to the goal of everything, that other threshold, that border where earth and heaven meet. The mountain is the symbol of that apogee in the soul where we meet God. This is not to denigrate or dismiss what is below, but to lift it up and give thanks to God for all that God has made; to bless it and praise God and see that everything is good because it comes from God and ultimately leads us beyond itself to the God who made it and redeems it. What is below makes the mountain. It does not rest on air, on spirit, but on matter, which is the mountain's way to the heights of union with God. The mountain affirms incarnation, the entering of God into all that God has made.

—from Enter Assisi: An Invitation to Franciscan Spirituality


"It is suffering, more than anything else, which clears the way for the grace which transforms human souls. Suffering, more than anything else makes present in the history of humanity the powers of the Redemption."
— Pope St. John Paul II

"Be faithful to the time spent in prayer and make sure that at least half of your prayer is spent in silence. This will bring you closer to Jesus. If you deepen your prayer life you will grow in holiness and obtain many graces for the souls entrusted to your care. Deepen your love for one another by praying for each other and by sharing thoughts and graces you have received in prayer and reading."
— Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, p. 56
Thirsting for God

"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it."
Matthew 7:13-14


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St. Germaine Cousin (1579–1601) was born in a remote French village to a peasant farmer. She was born with a deformed right arm and a disease that causes abscesses in her neck. Her mother died when she was an infant, and her father remarried. Due to Germaine's deformities, her stepmother was thoroughly disgusted with her. She severely neglected and physically abused the child, and taught others to do the same. Starving, sick, and dressed in rags with no shoes, Germaine was forced to sleep in the barn. Her stepmother even attempted to kill her off, once by sending her to tend sheep near a wolf-infested forest. St. Germaine was a simple and pious child, and through her extreme hardships she developed a deep interior life. She prayed the rosary and went to Mass daily, leaving her sheep to the care of her guardian angel. Even though she was emaciated, she shared the little food she had with beggars. Her piety was admired by the village children, and adults gradually became aware of her holiness, especially when news of her miracles began to circulate. St. Germaine died at the age of 22, succumbing to her poor living conditions. Many years later her body was found incorrupt. Villagers began praying for her intercession and receiving miraculous cures, resulting in her canonization in 1867. St. Germaine is the patron saint of unattractive people, peasant girls, abuse victims, handicapped people, and abandoned people. Her feast day is June 15th.


Friday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 Kgs 19:9a, 11-16

At the mountain of God, Horeb,
Elijah came to a cave, where he took shelter.
But the word of the LORD came to him,
"Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD;
the LORD will be passing by."
A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains
and crushing rocks before the LORD—
but the LORD was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake—
but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake there was fire—
but the LORD was not in the fire.
After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.
When he heard this,
Elijah hid his face in his cloak
and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.
A voice said to him, "Elijah, why are you here?"
He replied, "I have been most zealous for the LORD,
the God of hosts.
But the children of Israel have forsaken your covenant,
torn down your altars,
and put your prophets to the sword.
I alone am left, and they seek to take my life."
The LORD said to him,
"Go, take the road back to the desert near Damascus.
When you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king of Aram.
Then you shall anoint Jehu, son of Nimshi, as king of Israel,
and Elisha, son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah,
as prophet to succeed you."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 27:7-8a, 8b-9abc, 13-14
R. (8b) I long to see your face, O Lord.
Hear, O LORD, the sound of my call;
have pity on me, and answer me.
Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks.
R. I long to see your face, O Lord.
Your presence, O LORD, I seek.
Hide not your face from me;
do not in anger repel your servant.
You are my helper: cast me not off.
R. I long to see your face, O Lord.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. I long to see your face, O Lord.

Alleluia Phil 2:15d, 16a
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Shine like lights in the world,
as you hold on to the word of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 5:27-32

Jesus said to his disciples:
"You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery.
But I say to you,
everyone who looks at a woman with lust
has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin,
tear it out and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
And if your right hand causes you to sin,
cut it off and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.

"It was also said,
Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.
But I say to you,
whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful)
causes her to commit adultery,
and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery."


10th Week in Ordinary Time

Everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery. (Matthew 5:28)

Just a glance—sometimes that's all it takes to lead us into sin. Whether it's lust or greed or anger, we know how our disordered desires can affect us. It can be discouraging to see how easily sinful or unclean thoughts can spring into our minds and then lead us to sin.

Yes, one glance can lead you down the road of temptation. But just as your eyes can get you into trouble, they can also help get you out of it. But how?

Let's say you are admiring your neighbor's new car, and you start to feel dissatisfied with your own car. The temptation to succumb to greed begins to stir within you. When you recognize it, turn your eyes away from both cars and toward the poor. Consider people who don't have enough food for the day, let alone a safe means of transportation. Maybe conjure the image of that homeless man you see on the corner as you drive to work—in your comfortable car. Try to be grateful for the blessings you have instead of focusing on what you think you are lacking.

Here's another example: you might see an attractive movie star, and suddenly your spouse seems less interesting. That's when you can shift your gaze and look at your spouse. Look closely; remember all the times he or she has sacrificed for you. Staying up late with a sick baby. Working extra hours so that you can afford a vacation. Making your favorite meal for your birthday. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see your spouse as God does. Ask him for the grace to love your spouse as deeply and purely as he does.

No matter what situation you are in, turn your eyes to Jesus. Take a few moments to pause and gaze at a crucifix. Let it show you God's loving desires for you. He will bring you back if you have begun to stray. Look at how much Jesus did to show you his love and faithfulness, and let him show you that love and faithfulness again!

"Jesus, I give you everything that competes for my attention. When I struggle, help me to lift my eyes to your cross."

1 Kings 19:9, 11-16
Psalm 27:7-9, 13-14



From today's 1st holy Scripture:

"...the word of the LORD came to him,
"Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD"
and there again we heard:
""Go, take the road back to the desert near Damascus.".

Elijah had said that the people had turned their backs, and he was the only prophet left.

Our Lord asked him to anoint and appoint men as successors. A couple of kings and a prophet. Our Lord is asking for important things, and it will be done with our obedience. Great things with little things, Him with us.

Let us pray: " I long to see your face, O Lord. I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD." This is one of the Psalms read at funerals. It is a song of hope. It is a song of faith. And on this note, our Lord enters our lives.

"It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna." Jesus says lust is adultery in the heart. Is your heart a member of your body? Of course it is. So why would you want to lose your heart? And the heart is where the soul resides! Why then dabble in sin? Why mess with what could burn you? Why be tantalized, and taunted into it? Why do we allow our hearts to meddle with muck? Jesus has internalized the Word, hasn't He? No more about physical killings and physical adulterous acts, no, now it is about thoughts and words and heart. He has taken it all up a notch, the the next level. Don't even think about it! You too, take this love to the next level.
"whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) causes her to commit adultery". You cause sin by the lack of love in your heart. The lack of love means everything. The love of God means everything. It does. It changes everything. With love, our God: The day is brighter, after a cursillo, many testify "I see everything in a new light!". The food is better when received with gratefulness. The day is more joyful when you meditate on God's love. So why would we cause others to sin? Why should we cause adultery with adultery? How does this happen? Divorce is common in our lives, isn't it? So common that many want the church to accept it as norm. To accept a sin as a norm. The world offers divorce, but the Holy Catholic Church does not. Annulments are not divorces. But what causes this? Deviation. To stray from God's path. To focus on other things. No commitments = No worries. The path is broad that chooses this lackadaisical life, which is really careless, and that is a good word, because it says to care less. Do not be careless but careful, full of care. Care about His word. Bring it with joy to those you meet. This is what Jesus wants. When He says "stop divorcing" and "stop being lustful", He does it for one good reason: a better joy, and an eternal one at that! Think Grace.
Jesus today, talks about our heart.
He has written His law in our heart.
He resides even, in the heart.
There are some unattractive people, that are truly beautiful, like today's Saint Germaine Cousin. Rejected by the world, and taken early by God.
You'd be surprised to see how many ugly people are in Heaven, because you said they were ugly. You said they were worthless. You ignored them. You didn't want to be with them, much less help them. You despised them. You spoke about them behind their back. You spit on their face and on their grave. You mocked them. You asked for them to be crucified.

You'd be surprised to see how many beautiful people are in hell. They loved being attractive. They used people. They put themselves before others. They were always looking in the mirror. They were always checking their status among their friends. They were so busy being social, they forgot to ever look in the heart. Externals, never internalized.

This is the danger in our life.
We can let God be someone else, and never one with us, or all of us.
The Eucharist is a unification of body, and soul.
This is where He wants to be. He would not create something like you, and your body, if He did not desire to dwell in Holiness, in you.
To prove it, simply look at the crucifix today, even a pic, look at the crucified body, as if He is saying:

"You can have my body, if I can have yours".

Oh my....



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