Thursday, June 21, 2018

This is How you are to..

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Keep Moving Forward

Junipero Serra's canonization and following his Camino in California should prompt us to awaken our own missionary spirit. Taking with him only the certainty that God was calling him to missionary discipleship, he came to the New World to be a witness to God's love. As we follow in his way, let us keep his spirit before us, a vision of life encompassed in his motto recalled by Pope Francis:

Fr. Serra had a motto which inspired his life and work, not just a saying, but above all a reality which shaped the way he lived: siempre adelante! Keep moving forward! For him, this was the way to continue experiencing the joy of the Gospel, to keep his heart from growing numb, from being anesthetized. He kept moving forward, because the Lord was waiting. He kept going, because his brothers and sisters were waiting. He kept going forward to the end of his life. Today, like him, may we be able to say: Forward! Let's keep moving forward!

–from Saint Junipero Serra's Camino: A Pilgrimage Guide to the California Missions


"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin."
— St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

"[Mary] does not remain locked in her initial troubled state at the proximity of God in his angel, but she seeks to understand. So Mary appears as a fearless woman, one who remains composed even in the presence of something utterly unprecedented. At the same time she stands before us as a woman of great interiority, who holds heart and mind in harmony and seeks to understand the context, the overall significance of God's message. In this way, she becomes an image of the Church as she considers the word of God, tries to understand it in its entirety and guards in her memory the things that have been given to her."
— Pope Benedict XVI, p. 33
Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives

"Yet he knows my way; if he tested me, I should come forth like gold. My foot has always walked in his steps; I have kept his way and not turned aside. From the commands of his lips I have not departed; the words of his mouth I have treasured in my heart."
Job 23:10-12


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Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

(March 9, 1568 – June 21, 1591)

The Lord can make saints anywhere, even amid the brutality and license of Renaissance life. Florence was the "mother of piety" for Aloysius Gonzaga despite his exposure to a "society of fraud, dagger, poison, and lust." As a son of a princely family, he grew up in royal courts and army camps. His father wanted Aloysius to be a military hero.

At age 7 Aloysius experienced a profound spiritual quickening. His prayers included the Office of Mary, the psalms, and other devotions. At age 9 he came from his hometown of Castiglione to Florence to be educated; by age 11 he was teaching catechism to poor children, fasting three days a week, and practicing great austerities. When he was 13 years old, he traveled with his parents and the Empress of Austria to Spain, and acted as a page in the court of Philip II. The more Aloysius saw of court life, the more disillusioned he became, seeking relief in learning about the lives of saints.

A book about the experience of Jesuit missionaries in India suggested to him the idea of entering the Society of Jesus, and in Spain his decision became final. Now began a four-year contest with his father. Eminent churchmen and laypeople were pressed into service to persuade Aloysius to remain in his "normal" vocation. Finally he prevailed, was allowed to renounce his right to succession, and was received into the Jesuit novitiate.

Like other seminarians, Aloysius was faced with a new kind of penance—that of accepting different ideas about the exact nature of penance. He was obliged to eat more, and to take recreation with the other students. He was forbidden to pray except at stated times. He spent four years in the study of philosophy and had Saint Robert Bellarmine as his spiritual adviser.

In 1591, a plague struck Rome. The Jesuits opened a hospital of their own. The superior general himself and many other Jesuits rendered personal service. Because he nursed patients, washing them and making their beds, Aloysius caught the disease. A fever persisted after his recovery and he was so weak he could scarcely rise from bed. Yet, he maintained his great discipline of prayer, knowing that he would die within the octave of Corpus Christi, three months later, at the age of 23.

As a saint who fasted, scourged himself, sought solitude and prayer, and did not look on the faces of women, Aloysius seems an unlikely patron of youth in a society where asceticism is confined to training camps of football teams and boxers, and sexual permissiveness has little left to permit. Can an overweight and air-conditioned society deprive itself of anything? It will when it discovers a reason, as Aloysius did. The motivation for letting God purify us is the experience of God loving us in prayer.

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga is the Patron Saint of:
Catholic Youth


Memorial of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious

Reading 1 Sir 48:1-14

Like a fire there appeared the prophet Elijah
whose words were as a flaming furnace.
Their staff of bread he shattered,
in his zeal he reduced them to straits;
By the Lord's word he shut up the heavens
and three times brought down fire.
How awesome are you, Elijah, in your wondrous deeds!
Whose glory is equal to yours?
You brought a dead man back to life
from the nether world, by the will of the LORD.
You sent kings down to destruction,
and easily broke their power into pieces.
You brought down nobles, from their beds of sickness.
You heard threats at Sinai,
at Horeb avenging judgments.
You anointed kings who should inflict vengeance,
and a prophet as your successor.
You were taken aloft in a whirlwind of fire,
in a chariot with fiery horses.
You were destined, it is written, in time to come
to put an end to wrath before the day of the LORD,
To turn back the hearts of fathers toward their sons,
and to re-establish the tribes of Jacob.
Blessed is he who shall have seen you
And who falls asleep in your friendship.
For we live only in our life,
but after death our name will not be such.
O Elijah, enveloped in the whirlwind!

Then Elisha, filled with the twofold portion of his spirit,
wrought many marvels by his mere word.
During his lifetime he feared no one,
nor was any man able to intimidate his will.
Nothing was beyond his power;
beneath him flesh was brought back into life.
In life he performed wonders,
and after death, marvelous deeds.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 97:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7
R. (12a) Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many isles be glad.
Clouds and darkness are round about him,
justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
Fire goes before him
and consumes his foes round about.
His lightnings illumine the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
and all peoples see his glory.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
All who worship graven things are put to shame,
who glory in the things of nought;
all gods are prostrate before him.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!

Alleluia Rom 8:15bc
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You have received a spirit of adoption as sons
through which we cry: Abba! Father!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
"In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

"This is how you are to pray:

'Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.'

"If you forgive others their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions."


Meditation: Matthew 6:7-15
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Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious (Memorial)

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. (Matthew 6:9)

The Lord's Prayer is short and sweet. It's just seventy-six words long, which means you can recite it comfortably in less than twenty seconds. Have you ever wondered why this prayer—the one prayer that Jesus himself taught us—is so brief?

Well, for one thing, the Lord's Prayer doesn't have to be long. Long prayers don't capture God's attention better than short prayers. You don't have to worry about saying just the right thing in order to win an audience with your heavenly Father (Matthew 6:7). He's attentive to you because he loves you. Even at this moment, his eyes are on you, and his ears are open.

Second, the Lord's Prayer is short enough that it's easy to memorize. This may seem rather pragmatic, but remember: for centuries, written documents were expensive and hard to come by. Many people couldn't read. So Jesus made it so that anyone could learn this prayer by heart and carry it with them wherever they go.

Third, the Lord's Prayer creates space for listening. Its short length gives us plenty of time to tell the Lord, "I want to hear what you have to say too." Think back to a meaningful conversation you've had with a loved one. You probably weren't doing all the talking. Instead, the other person opened up to you as well. While you were listening, you discovered something new about them. Or their words touched you and moved your heart somehow. The best prayer times are like that. When we pray the Lord's Prayer, we're praying the essentials—the things we need to say. Then we can quickly shift our attention to listening to God and giving him an opportunity to open himself up to us.

Try devoting your prayer time today to the Lord's Prayer. Recite it slowly. Pause for a moment to dwell on each phrase. Know that God hears every word. What's more, he sees your heart. He is aware of all of your needs today—you don't even have to mention them. Instead, you can thank him for giving you such a beautiful, simple prayer. Then invite him to respond. Who knows? This could lead into a very meaningful conversation.

"Father, thank you for always listening. Help me open my eyes and ears to you."

Sirach 48:1-14
Psalm 97:1-7


"Like a fire there appeared the prophet Elijah whose words were as a flaming furnace." And there appears our Lord. Words of fire. Ablaze His Soul, burning for souls. This burning that is good. This fire quenched by Love. Such ardent desire. Such great love. "Nothing was beyond his power;
beneath him flesh was brought back into life. In life he performed wonders,
and after death, marvelous deeds." They say polls show that about 85% of people believe in miracles. So, we should get to the source of miracles. And why believe? Because, they actually happen, a whole bunch, to a whole variety of people. God's burning desire for us covers the earth as the Sun burns. He desires us to be with Him. If the universe is expanding, He wants to fill it with His Goodness. And if it reverses, it will all be brought back to Him. But that is nothing to us, because we are His creation. What concern is it of ours of how long the Universe will expand? A trillion years? Does it matter to you that much? Only His ardent and burning desire should matter to us...A plenitude of great faith.

Let us pray: "Rejoice in the Lord, you just! Fire goes before him
and consumes his foes round about. His lightnings illumine the world;
the earth sees and trembles." In layman's terms, Be full of joy living the life of our Lord, you holy one! His justice makes way for Him! When His power is seen, the world sees in fear. Yet, many see, and still go against Him. We see miracles and still dare to sin. Like the Philistines who heard a loud and powerful cry from the Hebrews when they brought the Ark to fight with them. The Philistines were afraid, but they encouraged one another to fight all the more. They said "Fight like soldiers" or else be enslaved. And they fought, and won. It was a bloody and bitter battle. Today, the fight is on. Against evil. There are legions of soldiers, but it only takes one David to knock down a giant. The sword of the rosary, the armor of God, the heart...of our Lord, will win and has been written to win.

In comes our Mighty Lord and Savior. He says ""In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him." Protestants use this line against the first Christians, the Catholics. They say we "babble" the rosary. They don't know the truth. And so they inadvertently are lying. Raising false accusations. We prayed the rosary last night, and it dove into the Glorious mysteries in the life of Christ, the Resurrection, the Ascension, descent of the Holy Spirit, and then, on our Blessed Mother's assumption and coronation. All things, the life and blood of our Church. We pray the life of Christ in silent meditation, in solemn meditation. We do not start saying Lord this and Lord that and talk and talk and blabber so that we can get His attention. His attention is there in a soft whisper to Him. He is in the interior. And the rosary takes into the interior. I ask you to pray it daily. This is what happens to me, I'm busy, my mind is in a thousand places, I focus on the mystery, and the world fades, and He comes into focus. That's what's happening in the rosary prayer.
And it contains the Lord's prayer, and we pray it several times. Yet, it seems our Lord emphasizes one point at the end:
"But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions." So be careful when praying the Lord's prayer. Don't just rattle it off and blabber away. Be careful what you say, thus pray. It is like the Eucharist. You could bring self-condemnation by what you partake. Don't just say "forgive us as we forgive" and never take it seriously! He is serious! About mercy.
Because He is mercy.
He is ablaze, throne of fire, chariots of fire, horses of fire, everything He touches is fire and light and energy, and power, and light that gives life. He is not subpar, His above all. Men don't fear gods. And they die. There are holy ones that fear God, and they live. But these holy men want all to live.

You are called to be holy.
You are called to set the world on fire.
And it begins in the heart. Not of others, but yours.
Christ is interested in you.
He loves deeply, just as He loves the forgotten.
And He reaches the forgotten through you.
Do to Me Lord as I do to others!
WHOA! We better be pure God's will, sincere Love!
No more blabbering



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