Friday, August 31, 2018

⛪ You Know Neither.....

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Each of Us Is a Cherished Story

Our life is not pure chance or a mere struggle for survival, rather each of us is a cherished story loved by God. That we have "found grace in his eyes" means that the Creator sees a unique beauty in our being and that he has a magnificent plan for our lives. The awareness of this certainty, of course, does not resolve all our problems nor does it take away life's uncertainties. But it does have the power to transform our life deeply.

—from the book Believe in Love: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis

Franiscan Meditations Blog


"It is the duty of every man to uphold the dignity of every woman."
— Pope St. John Paul II

"Indeed, the glory to which God raises the soul through grace is so great that even the natural beauty of the Angels is as nothing compared with it. The Angels themselves wonder how a soul that was sunk in the desert of this sinful earth and robbed of all natural beauty can be clothed with such a wonderful splendor. But this wonder of the Angels will not surprise us when we see and hear that God Himself considers the beauty of grace with astonishment and rapture. For how otherwise can we explain what He says in The Canticle of Canticles to the soul: 'How beautiful art thou, my love, how beautiful art thou!' (Cant. 4:1)."
— Fr. Matthias J. Scheeben, p. 133
The Glories of Divine Grace

Thus says the Lord: Do not let the wise boast in their wisdom, do not let the mighty boast in their might, do not let the wealthy boast in their wealth; but let those who boast boast in this, that they understand and know me, that I am the Lord; I act with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the Lord.
Jeremiah 9:23-24


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St. Raymond Nonnatus (1200-1240) was born in Catalonia, Spain, to a noble family. His life was saved by caesarean section after his mother died in childbirth, earning him the name 'Nonnatus' meaning 'one not born'. Raymond was a pious child drawn to the religious life, but his father had plans for him to serve in the royal court of the King of Aragon. To distract Raymond from his vocation, his father sent him to tend the family fields. This had the opposite effect and gave Raymond greater opportunity to pray in the country chapel. His father eventually allowed him to join the Mercedarians, a religious order which ransomed Christian slaves from their Muslim captors. Raymond became Master General of the order and personally freed hundreds of prisoners. When he ran out of money, he ransomed his own life to release Christians held in captivity. St. Raymond was tortured throughout his imprisonment, yet he converted numerous people to the Christian faith. To prevent him from preaching Christ, his captors pierced his lips with a red-hot iron and closed them with a padlock. He was eventually ransomed by his order and returned to Spain, and died a year later. After his death there was a dispute over who had the right to bury his body. To settle the matter, his body was placed on a blind mule and set loose. The mule went to the country chapel where Raymond had prayed in his youth, and it was there that he was buried. Many miracles were attributed to St. Raymond Nonnatus both before and after his death. He is the patron of children, childbirth, pregnant women, infants, and midwives. His feast day is August 31st.


Friday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 Cor 1:17-25

Brothers and sisters:
Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the Gospel,
and not with the wisdom of human eloquence,
so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.

The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
For it is written:

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the learning of the learned I will set aside.

Where is the wise one?
Where is the scribe?
Where is the debater of this age?
Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish?
For since in the wisdom of God
the world did not come to know God through wisdom,
it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation
to save those who have faith.
For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
but we proclaim Christ crucified,
a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike,
Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,
and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 10-11
R. (5) The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
Exult, you just, in the LORD;
praise from the upright is fitting.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten stringed lyre chant his praises.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
For upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
The LORD brings to nought the plans of nations;
he foils the designs of peoples.
But the plan of the LORD stands forever;
the design of his heart, through all generations.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Alleluia Lk 21:36
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Be vigilant at all times and pray,
that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 25:1-13

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry,
'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise,
'Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.'
But the wise ones replied,
'No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.'
While they went off to buy it,
the bridegroom came
and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.
Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
'Lord, Lord, open the door for us!'
But he said in reply,
'Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.'
Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day nor the hour."


21st Week in Ordinary Time

Behold, the bridegroom! (Matthew 25:6)

This parable of the ten bridesmaids might seem gloomy to us, even frightening, with its locked door and grim "I do not know you" (Matthew 25:12). We might shy away from it for fear we might be found among the foolish. But even if his strong language makes you nervous, remember that Jesus wants us to be ready to greet him when he returns. So let's turn to Jesus, our bridegroom, and pray:

"Lord, you know how hard it can be for me to wait. I know I should be watching for your return, but it seems so far off. People that I love are suffering, and I am still waiting for an answer to my prayers. People that I love have died, and I miss them—I want to see them again. And there is so much that I don't understand about the world. I know that, one day, you will heal every wound and wipe away every tear. I know that there will be no more sickness, no more suffering. But while I wait for that day, I need to know your closeness. Will you wait with me, Lord? Fill me, Lord, with your hope and patience.

"Jesus, sometimes I fall asleep—but you already know that. I intend to come to you in prayer, but I get too busy. I want to read your word, but it's much easier to watch television or surf the Internet. I know you would gladly fill my lamp, but I'm so drowsy that I can't even tell when my oil supply is running low. But none of this surprises you. You always keep watch over me, even when I sleep. You have plenty of oil for me: plenty of grace and strength to help me stay awake. Fill me, Lord, with vigilance.

"Lord, when I think about your return, I start to feel nervous, not joyful. I wonder whether I am a wise or foolish disciple. Will I be ready? But you are the bridegroom, and you are completely committed to me. You came once to die and rise for me, and you will come again to bring me home. Just thinking about your love casts out my fear. I can just imagine the joy in your eyes as we both look forward to that reunion. Fill me, Lord, with your joy.

"Jesus, my bridegroom, fill my lamp today."



"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the learning of the learned I will set aside. Where is the wise one?" A while back, a deacon brother had wanted men to get back in action in our area, especially in the cursillo movement. He wanted men to take on a 30 Day challenge that was offered online or something, so I tried to look into it. He said it was called Men Rise Up, and when I tried looking for it, I couldn't find it, because I kept saying and thinking it was Men Wise up! LOL, I had Elmer Fudd Ears, siwy wabbit! But wouldn't it be the same, if we said to rise is to be wise? Rise up to the challenge. Wise up to the challenge. Rise like the Son. Wise like the Son. Do not depend solely on what you are learning from books or TV or internet. In our CCD programs teacher's meeting, about half showed up, and I blurted out to reiterate what needed to be said "there is indeed a disconnect from these books to the children, they don't see the is a spiritual connection". So they grow up and away from the faith. Yeah, you learned "stuff", but it didn't make any sense. So it will take the few of us to rise up, and wise up. It is a challenge, and at the same honor. Make the connection.

Let us pray: " The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. The LORD brings to nought the plans of nations; he foils the designs of peoples. But the plan of the LORD stands forever; the design of his heart, through all generations." What's funny about God's word? It's funny that even though people twist it around every which way, things still lead back to Him in the end. It is invincible. Truth is invincible. Jesus is the Truth. It is impossible, perhaps to the frustrations of many. In the end of many atheist arguments, or pro-abortion rhetoric, there is in the end, just hatred. So how do you fight hatred? Surely not with hatred as theirs, but hatred of sin, and disgusted with sin, to the degree that you go the other way, to the ultimate degree of God's love. In the end, an atheist led by Love is converted, a pro-abortion person becomes a most prolific pro-lifer. Why? Because love is invincible, and God is love, and Jesus is God.

So let us turn to our Lord's words, when He teaches a parable of 10 virgins. Those that were there for Him, but not all there for Him. "Five of them were foolish and five were wise. " Foolish for not having oil, for not being properly prepared. Foolish for thinking they were "good enough". Foolish for depending on their own wisdom. But what God asks for, is for a reason, and a good reason at that! How many times in our youth did we argue with our parents because "they just don't understand"? It's like, they need to understand me! But you don't understand them. That's how it is with our Lord. Right now, you don't understand Him, nor do we want to, simply because He don't understand me. I've heard many prisoner's talking, and free people, and it sounds like I have to understand their justifications. The homosexual has justifications, the alcoholic has justifications, and the thief, and the adulterer. It's like, we have to understand them so we can accept them (their lifestyle choice), right? So why do I sit with these folks and talk to them about God? So they will understand Him. What He wants is for our own good. Perhaps even...our salvation. The culture of death involves everything against life, an all out war. Here in our state, we are getting bombarded with phone calls and text messages all for a pro-death guy that wants to beat the pro-life guy. I keep telling them that until that guy is pro-life, I would consider, but as of now, that platform is dead. You can try to defeat the invincible, but in the end it will never be bent.

So what can we learn from the foolish virgins? Not much, we been there, done that, some of us still there!!
No, the question is, what can we learn from the wise virgins? Who can we see in our world that is:

(1) A Virgin

(2) Faitfhul

(3) Wise
Maybe a priest or a religious sister? Look further. A pure holy child? Look further. An unborn baby that is ripe for the world? Look further.

Today marks the 9th day before the birth of our Mother in Heaven. (there's a novena for her nativity) She was truly wise, faithful, and a virgin. That is who we can take a cue from. She lived her whole life for God, from beginning to end. She was ready. She always made sure she had oil. No oil, no life. Just like your car. No oil, and it will die, lights go out. It will seize up. But you can run free and good with oil. What is this so called "oil" then? That's the big question in my heart for our Lord. I want that oil. I want to be ready. I always want to make sure my flask is full of it. What makes that light burn?

Let us take a cue from the gates of Heaven "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven." says our Lord and our Savior Jesus.
Do the will. You may not understand it. But do HIS Will. You may doubt even, but DO HIS WILL. Ahh, what beautiful smelling oil this is. Like Rosemary oil. Like olive oil with rose petals. Like incense. God's will is that you are like Him, pure and Holy and be found spreading the light. That's it. Light for the world. The virgins went off in darkness and tried to come back from the darkness. No my child. Not you. You are mine. You be ready always. Remember the forever now. This is Your Father speaking



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