Tuesday, August 14, 2018

⛪See that you...

Like   Tweet   Pin   +1  

Stop the Cycle of Violence

To be an instrument of peace means being a peacekeeper who is willing to look beyond "me" and stop the plague of retaliation that creeps into the field of the soul. As Jesus says, "But I say to you, do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also" (Matthew 5:39). Following the Divine Master's example on Calvary, we absorb the violence and pain inflicted upon us. We refuse to continue the vicious cycle of violence by striking back, retaliating or seeking revenge. In doing so, we move beyond "me" to "thee" as the internal pain we experience becomes a tributary of external peace for others.

—from Instruments of Christ: Reflections on the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi


"To put into practice the teachings of our holy faith, it is not enough to convince ourselves that they are true; we must love them. Love united to faith makes us practise our religion."
— St. Alphonsus Liguori

"I do not wish the soul to consider her sins, either in general or in particular, without also remembering the Blood and the broadness of My mercy, for fear that otherwise she should be brought to confusion. And together with confusion would come the Devil, who has caused it, under colour of contrition and displeasure of sin, and so she would arrive at eternal damnation, not only on account of her confusion, but also through the despair which would come to her, because she did not seize the arm of My mercy. This is one of the subtle devices with which the Devil deludes My servants, and, in order to escape from his deceit, and to be pleasing to Me, you must enlarge your hearts and affections in My boundless mercy, with true humility. Thou knowest that the pride of the devil cannot resist the humble mind, nor can any confusion of spirit be greater than the broadness of My good mercy, if the soul will only truly hope therein."
— St. Catherine Of Siena, p. 94
Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Acts 1:8


click to read more


Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe

(January 8, 1894 – August 14, 1941)

"I don't know what's going to become of you!" How many parents have said that? Maximilian Mary Kolbe's reaction was, "I prayed very hard to Our Lady to tell me what would happen to me. She appeared, holding in her hands two crowns, one white, one red. She asked if I would like to have them—one was for purity, the other for martyrdom. I said, 'I choose both.' She smiled and disappeared." After that he was not the same.

He entered the minor seminary of the Conventual Franciscans in Lvív–then Poland, now Ukraine– near his birthplace, and at 16 became a novice. Though Maximilian later achieved doctorates in philosophy and theology, he was deeply interested in science, even drawing plans for rocket ships.

Ordained at 24, Maximilian saw religious indifference as the deadliest poison of the day. His mission was to combat it. He had already founded the Militia of the Immaculata, whose aim was to fight evil with the witness of the good life, prayer, work, and suffering. He dreamed of and then founded Knight of the Immaculata, a religious magazine under Mary's protection to preach the Good News to all nations. For the work of publication he established a "City of the Immaculata"—Niepokalanow—which housed 700 of his Franciscan brothers. He later founded another one in Nagasaki, Japan. Both the Militia and the magazine ultimately reached the one-million mark in members and subscribers. His love of God was daily filtered through devotion to Mary.

In 1939, the Nazi panzers overran Poland with deadly speed. Niepokalanow was severely bombed. Kolbe and his friars were arrested, then released in less than three months, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

In 1941, Fr. Kolbe was arrested again. The Nazis' purpose was to liquidate the select ones, the leaders. The end came quickly, three months later in Auschwitz, after terrible beatings and humiliations.

A prisoner had escaped. The commandant announced that 10 men would die. He relished walking along the ranks. "This one. That one."

As they were being marched away to the starvation bunkers, Number 16670 dared to step from the line.

"I would like to take that man's place. He has a wife and children."
"Who are you?"
"A priest."

No name, no mention of fame. Silence. The commandant, dumbfounded, perhaps with a fleeting thought of history, kicked Sergeant Francis Gajowniczek out of line and ordered Fr. Kolbe to go with the nine. In the "block of death" they were ordered to strip naked, and their slow starvation began in darkness. But there was no screaming—the prisoners sang. By the eve of the Assumption, four were left alive. The jailer came to finish Kolbe off as he sat in a corner praying. He lifted his fleshless arm to receive the bite of the hypodermic needle. It was filled with carbolic acid. They burned his body with all the others. Fr. Kolbe was beatified in 1971 and canonized in 1982.

Father Kolbe's death was not a sudden, last-minute act of heroism. His whole life had been a preparation. His holiness was a limitless, passionate desire to convert the whole world to God. And his beloved Immaculata was his inspiration.

Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe is the Patron Saint of:
Drug addiction


Memorial of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr

Reading 1 Ez 2:8—3:4

The Lord GOD said to me:
As for you, son of man, obey me when I speak to you:
be not rebellious like this house of rebellion,
but open your mouth and eat what I shall give you.

It was then I saw a hand stretched out to me,
in which was a written scroll which he unrolled before me.
It was covered with writing front and back,
and written on it was:
Lamentation and wailing and woe!

He said to me: Son of man, eat what is before you;
eat this scroll, then go, speak to the house of Israel.
So I opened my mouth and he gave me the scroll to eat.
Son of man, he then said to me,
feed your belly and fill your stomach
with this scroll I am giving you.
I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth.
He said: Son of man, go now to the house of Israel,
and speak my words to them.

Responsorial Psalm PS 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131
R. (103a) How sweet to my taste is your promise!
In the way of your decrees I rejoice,
as much as in all riches.
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
Yes, your decrees are my delight;
they are my counselors.
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
The law of your mouth is to me more precious
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
How sweet to my palate are your promises,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
Your decrees are my inheritance forever;
the joy of my heart they are.
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
I gasp with open mouth,
in my yearning for your commands.
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!

Alleluia Mt 11:29ab
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 18:1-5, 10, 12-14

The disciples approached Jesus and said,
"Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?"
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
"Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever becomes humble like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.
What is your opinion?
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father
that one of these little ones be lost."


Meditation: Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14

Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr (Memorial)

Unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3)

There's a photo that has gone viral in recent months that shows a young girl with Down syndrome contentedly holding the hand of Pope Francis while he speaks to a group of people. She was a Special Olympics athlete who had just presented a gift to the Pope and she wanted to stay next to the Holy Father and enjoy his company. Even her parents' urging couldn't convince her.

If there's one thing true about young children, it's that they have their own unique way of entering into a situation. They love to engage in whatever is going on around them, even if they're not the center of attention. They operate in the "now" and don't usually concern themselves with the past or future.

As adults, we so often focus on "doing" rather than just "being." "Doing" refers to the way our minds work. As we set goals and try to meet them, we start to look at each present moment as the means to an end that we want to achieve in the future. We measure our worth or value by whether we have achieved all we set out to do. We feel good if we consider ourselves successful, and we feel bad when we face a setback.

If we become too preoccupied with "doing," we end up missing out on the grace of just "being" in the present moment. What's more, when "doing" becomes our primary focus, we risk thinking that our value comes from what we do rather than who we are.

Think about children: they receive the love of their parents because they are their children! Yes, parents appreciate what their children do, but their love is based on who they are. When love is based on "doing" alone, a child can grow up less secure and with more emotional needs.

That's not how God treats us. Just as the pope treasured that little girl for who she is, our heavenly Father treasures us for who we are. He loves us simply because we are his children. Whether we are rich or poor, talented or challenged, healthy or ill—it doesn't matter. He just loves us. He loves you.

"Father, help me to receive your love, not for what I do, but for who I am!"

Ezekiel 2:8–3:4
Psalm 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131



"As for you, son of man, obey me when I speak to you: be not rebellious like this house of rebellion, but open your mouth and eat what I shall give you." Take what I am about to give you. It doesn't appear good, but once you taste it, it is good. We are leading to the life of Christ.

Let us pray: "How sweet to my taste is your promise! Your decrees are my inheritance forever; the joy of my heart they are." Perhaps the longest Psalm, in the bible, this 119 is a mammoth of spiritual books and poems. And it all revolves around the laws of the Lord and praising them (learned this from John Bergsman's Psalms basics for Catholics :) . Is God's law your joy? Or have you grown up and out of it? Have you ran out of joy? Have you felt like you've missed out on it somewhere? It's weird how we grow up, and lose a child's joy. We grow up into what they call "adult" life and lifestyles. And we find ourselves, detached. Even from our Lord.

In comes our Lord today: "Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven." How can you enter Heaven without the required key? The key is the joy of the Lord and the Lord's key is the commands, the precepts, the laws. How to love these laws though? Here's the answer from our Lord: "Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven." Become great. Become humble. Become more by becoming less. Less of me, more of Him. What is special about a child? They believe. What makes them believe? They are empty of prejudice, predisposed notions of who God is. They are not naive, they are ready to believe. What are you teaching them? What notions are you putting into their lives by what you teach them with your lives? I teach CCD and my biggest competition on teaching is not the schools or their friends, but...their parents. The nucleus. This is where I have the greatest challenge, I teach "go to Church" and they don't have a ride because their parents won't get up. I teach them "love God above all" and they go home and see that they are gods not God loved above all. It's true, some love themselves more than God. No emptiness, no humility here. No lowly people here. Blessed Mother Mary was lowly and humble, we can take a cue from her on this note.
Then our Lord says ""See that you do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father." Children have angels looking at GOD! YOU have an angel over you looking at God. What's that all about? Guardian angels? Why hasn't my guardian watched over me? I've been hospitalized, beat up physically and spiritually! WHY? Their job is not the job of Batman or Superman. Their job is a high honor from Heaven. To be the shining signal to God that you are living in light. Ever have a feeling you're being watched? LOL. Maybe this is why! We have an angel in Heaven. Praise be to God. What an honor for us. Wouldn't you like to meet your faithful companion some day?

And to value us even more, Lord says "If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray?" What kind of shepherd does this? One that really cares about his flock. You know what I think? I think you value something more if it belongs to you, or if you really care with all your heart. Some shepherds are there for the job. Some are there though, to lay down their lives for the sheep. Few though actually exist that are like this, like Saint Max Kolbe. Few would lay their lives voluntarily. Nazis are killing Jews and Catholics. Socialists. Those that falsely say they are for the people, yet they demand murders. This mentality seems crazy, like communism, people getting sold on a "common" ground. But it seems to be growing in our own country. It's where the people surrender themselves to government, to the laws of man and no longer to the laws of God. And man turns on himself. The best way for this turning is facing God, like our Angels in Heaven. This way you hate your life and save it. Today, let's turn to God. Turn away from darkness. Matthew 6:34 says "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." The key is the verse before this one that says: "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you." Ah, His joy will come after the commands are followed. Boy, some are hard because temptations lure you. But if you love what He loves, then we are united in Love, amen? We are united in God......
Today, your job is to shepherd. These readings are for shepherds. Rejoicing comes in what God sees. We are shepherding flocks, with what love?

It should be God's love. Self sacrifice. Total surrender to His Kingdom.
Then, you can experience what your soul desires....true joy, having found the pearl, the treasure God has hidden deep where nobody else looks or cares to look.



Powered by
GoDaddy Email Marketing ®