Friday, June 22, 2018

..the Light in You..

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God Is Not a Clock-Watcher

We should not become slaves to time but live like God, unbound by time's constraints. This is important when you begin to be alone with the Lord in prayer. Being absolutely fixated on the amount of time that has been set aside, down to the last second, is a common tendency. "I set aside twenty minutes, so I'm going to sit here until the twenty minutes are up." Avoid this at all costs. It treats God as a cruel taskmaster, a clock-watcher, rather than the fount of love that has invited you into his presence. Eventually, you will come to resent having to sit there until time runs out.

—from Prayer Everywhere: The Spiritual Life Made Simple


"For true hearts there is no separating ocean; or, rather, God is their ocean, in Whom they meet and are united; they love, and lose themselves in Him and in each other."
— St. Théodore Guérin

"Jesus Christ did not think the sovereign beatitude and glory of Heaven too dearly purchased at the price of unspeakable tortures, and by suffering His sacred flesh to be mangled by nails, thorns, and scourges. Great indeed must be the value of that which cost the Son of God so dear! And yet we esteem it so little, as to be even ready to renounce our claim to it, as, in fact, so many of us do, for the sake of some wretched pleasure or despicable interest! Ye blind and deluded children of men, contemplate the Wounds of your Crucified God, and see in what manner the gates of the kingdom of glory have been opened to you! See what it has cost Him to place you in possession of it, and understand, if possible, how infinite a benefit was bestowed upon you by the Son of God when He purchased for you Heaven, which you had lost by sin! ... Enter in spirit into these sacred Wounds, and you will comprehend the value and sublimity of that eternal felicity which they have acquired for you, and you will learn to detach your heart from the earth and from creatures, so as to place all your affections and desires upon Heaven."
— Fr. Ignatius of the Side of Christ, p. 226-7
The School of Christ Crucified

"Give ear to my words, O Lord; understand my sighing. Attend to the sound of my cry, my king and my God! For to you I will pray, Lord; in the morning you will hear my voice; in the morning I will plead before you and wait."
Psalm 5:1-4


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St. Thomas More (1478–1535) was born in London, the son of a lawyer and judge. He was educated in the finest schools and became a brilliant English statesman. He served in parliament, on the King's council, as a diplomat, and in many other prominent positions in public administration. He was highly esteemed for his unfailing moral integrity, sharpness of mind, humor, and extraordinary learning. He was also a faithful Catholic, a loving husband, and a devoted father. For his great abilities he was promoted by his friend King Henry VIII to the high office of Lord Chancellor, second in position to the king. He resigned from this post when the king, in open defiance of Church teaching, sought to divorce his wife in order to marry another woman, and to declare himself sovereign of the Church in England. Thomas More, a defender against heresy, refused to condone the king's actions. After trying unsuccessfully to persuade his friend to approve of what he was doing, King Henry VIII imprisoned More in the Tower of London. At his trial, More testified boldly for Church autonomy over the state, for the authority of the pope as head of the Church, and for the indissolubility of marriage in the eyes of God. He was eventually condemned and beheaded, dying as a martyr for the Catholic faith. Thomas More is the patron saint of statesman, politicians, lawyers, civil servants, and large families. His feast day is June 22nd.

Four hundred years later in 1935, Thomas More was canonized a saint of God. Few saints are more relevant to our time. In the year 2000, in fact, Pope John Paul II named him patron of political leaders. The supreme diplomat and counselor, he did not compromise his own moral values in order to please the king, knowing that true allegiance to authority is not blind acceptance of everything that authority wants. King Henry himself realized this and tried desperately to win his chancellor to his side because he knew More was a man whose approval counted, a man whose personal integrity no one questioned. But when Thomas More resigned as chancellor, unable to approve the two matters that meant most to Henry, the king had to get rid of him.

Saint Thomas More is the Patron Saint of:
Civil Servants
Court Clerks
Public Servants


Friday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 2 Kgs 11:1-4, 9-18, 20

When Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah,
saw that her son was dead,
she began to kill off the whole royal family.
But Jehosheba, daughter of King Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah,
took Joash, his son, and spirited him away, along with his nurse,
from the bedroom where the princes were about to be slain.
She concealed him from Athaliah, and so he did not die.
For six years he remained hidden in the temple of the LORD,
while Athaliah ruled the land.

But in the seventh year,
Jehoiada summoned the captains of the Carians
and of the guards.
He had them come to him in the temple of the LORD,
exacted from them a sworn commitment,
and then showed them the king's son.

The captains did just as Jehoiada the priest commanded.
Each one with his men, both those going on duty for the sabbath
and those going off duty that week,
came to Jehoiada the priest.
He gave the captains King David's spears and shields,
which were in the temple of the LORD.
And the guards, with drawn weapons,
lined up from the southern to the northern limit of the enclosure,
surrounding the altar and the temple on the king's behalf.
Then Jehoiada led out the king's son
and put the crown and the insignia upon him.
They proclaimed him king and anointed him,
clapping their hands and shouting, "Long live the king!"

Athaliah heard the noise made by the people,
and appeared before them in the temple of the LORD.
When she saw the king standing by the pillar, as was the custom,
and the captains and trumpeters near him,
with all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets,
she tore her garments and cried out, "Treason, treason!"
Then Jehoiada the priest instructed the captains
in command of the force:
"Bring her outside through the ranks.
If anyone follows her," he added, "let him die by the sword."
He had given orders that she
should not be slain in the temple of the LORD.
She was led out forcibly to the horse gate of the royal palace,
where she was put to death.

Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD as one party
and the king and the people as the other,
by which they would be the LORD's people;
and another covenant, between the king and the people.
Thereupon all the people of the land went to the temple of Baal
and demolished it.
They shattered its altars and images completely,
and slew Mattan, the priest of Baal, before the altars.
Jehoiada appointed a detachment for the temple of the LORD.
All the people of the land rejoiced and the city was quiet,
now that Athaliah had been slain with the sword
at the royal palace.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 132:11, 12, 13-14, 17-18
R. (13) The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling.
The LORD swore to David
a firm promise from which he will not withdraw:
"Your own offspring
I will set upon your throne."
R. The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling.
"If your sons keep my covenant
and the decrees which I shall teach them,
Their sons, too, forever
shall sit upon your throne."
R. The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling.
For the LORD has chosen Zion;
he prefers her for his dwelling.
"Zion is my resting place forever;
in her will I dwell, for I prefer her."
R. The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling.
"In her will I make a horn to sprout forth for David;
I will place a lamp for my anointed.
His enemies I will clothe with shame,
but upon him my crown shall shine."
R. The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling.

Alleluia Mt 5:3
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are the poor in spirit;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 6:19-23

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal.
But store up treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

"The lamp of the body is the eye.
If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light;
but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness.
And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be."


Meditation: Matthew 6:19-23

Saints John Fisher, Bishop, and Thomas More, Martyrs (Optional Memorial)

The lamp of the body is the eye. (Matthew 6:22)

Have you ever watched an ice cream commercial and said to yourself, "I could go for a cone right now!" Maybe you have a lot of self-control, and you think, "Well, that really isn't a good idea." But you may also find yourself drifting into the frozen section of the grocery store next time you shop. That little inspiration came into your mind, became part of your thoughts, grew into a kind of craving, and then affected your actions.

This is what Jesus is talking about in today's Gospel reading. What we take in through our eyes shapes the focus of our hearts and our actions.

Think for a minute about how many images you absorb during the day: television, magazines, billboards, the Internet, and social media. While many are enjoyable or harmless, some are downright offensive. If a fifteen-second commercial can make you want ice cream, how much more can a longer movie depicting extreme violence or impure situations influence our thoughts?

These images don't have to dominate our minds. We can learn to guard our eyes by deciding what we will watch and what we'll avoid. In those cases where it's just unavoidable, we can learn how to catch the images before they become a part of our thought process. Blocking unhealthy images and focusing on wholesome and uplifting ones can help us keep our thoughts pure and full of light.

You might be surprised at how a simple awareness of what images you allow or don't allow will give you more peace and a sense of steadiness in your heart.

Today, think about the many images that you see in a given day. Then, just for fun, get a piece of paper and a red and a green marker. All morning, pay attention to what you are seeing. If it is an image you should filter out, make a red mark. If it is a good image, make a green mark. Then, during lunch, take stock. Are there too many red marks? What can you do about it? How can you make your eyes as clear as possible? By fixing them on Jesus as often as you can remember to.

"Lord, help me to guard my eyes and turn my heart to you."

2 Kings 11:1-4, 9-18, 20
Psalm 132:11-14, 17-18


"He had them come to him in the temple of the LORD, exacted from them a sworn commitment, and then showed them the king's son." There is much bloodshed in the old Testament. Lots of vengeance. Lots of oaths with blood. Lots of pacts. And promises. One fails and another appears. And then, a King appears. And an oath is made in the temple. And there is great cheer, for the bloodline is saved and it saves the original pact. Our Pact with our Lord in Heaven!

Let us pray: "The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling. "If your sons keep my covenant and the decrees which I shall teach them, Their sons, too, forever shall sit upon your throne." What throne? These promises from above are gearing towards one thing: Glory. Teaching glory. And Glory prevails. How do we glorify God? Look at our Lord on the cross. Whatever it takes...right? What happens though, in our world, people want all the glory for themselves, stars love attention and ratings, and they think of themselves as gods. And regular people too, love to be respected, their image means everything, egos abound, and pride rears its ugly head. Where then, is the glory to our Lord in Heaven?

In comes our Lord from Heaven: " up treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be." What do thieves steal? Anything. They can steal friends, family, money, all things temporal. And it can be even a lover, that comes in and snatches a spouse. And the other spouse is left brokenhearted, betrayed, depressed, all alone. Or, a bad company decision leaves many employees with no retirement, all gone in an instant, or you lose your job, or health! Where was your treasure all along? In your spouse? Your retirement? Your bank account? Your own body?

Our Lord says something that resounds " "The lamp of the body is the eye.". WHOA! Lord, you speak in powerful terms, incomprehensible. But what is cool, is this: He sends the Holy Spirit to certain people, at certain times to interpret, to teach.

Teach your children glory. Children are amazing. They can soak up things, unlike hardened adults. How important are headlights on a car in a dark night? Absolutely important no? How can you travel? Well, you probably can't travel, or you can start going and hope you won't hit something, but chances will. Or you may drive off a cliff! Now how scary is that? Designers draw up cars so headlights make a particular statement. They draw them as eyes. It's almost as if the whole front end revolves around this particular feature of a car. But what if the lights don't work? Why wouldn't they? Are they broke? Or is there no power going to them? What de-energizes a battery that gives power? I'll tell you what kills a battery...a car that never uses it. The battery eventually loses its energy. Use it or lose it! Jesus wants to find us with our lights on. At the funeral vigil rosary, the Holy Spirit asked that I read the story of the 10 virgins. They had to wait for the bridegroom. It got dark. Suddenly a loud cry was heard "He's coming!". The wise ones got their lamps out, trimmed the lamps, and the foolish ones realized they had no oil. They asked for the wise for oil but they were told to go get some in town. By then, the groom comes and takes the wise ones and they shut the door of the banquet room.

The story, our Lord tells, for an important reason. Be ready. For you do not know the day or the hour He will come. Keep watch!

Down to the practical level. "If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light". Personal testimony: when I live in grace, I can look at anything, any situation, even nudity, and see it in a whole new light. Not caught up in worldly desires or anger, but in Christ's heart. In which case the heart sees clearly through the eyes, "these are to be pure children of GOD!".

God sees with a whole other desire: purity and holiness.
Can you see the world with these eyes?
Apply yourself daily to Him. Eat Him. Consume Him and be consumed only by Him. And then only one desire matters....His


Glory To GOD in the HIGHEST

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