Tuesday, September 4, 2018

⛪ News of Him Spread

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The Mystery of Human Desire

The mystery of being human lies in the mystery of desire, which shapes our lives and can change us. Only prayer can transform us into what we desire, that is, if we truly desire God. Prayer is to make real the Word made flesh—in our lives and in our world. Prayer is the Spirit of the Word that transforms our flesh into the body of Christ. It is an awakening to who we are in Christ and to the fact that we are the path to peace. The Franciscan path of prayer leads one to proclaim by example and deed: Jesus Christ lives!

—from the book Franciscan Prayer


"If then we have angels, let us be sober, as though we were in the presence of tutors; for there is a demon present also."
— St. John Chrysostom

"I never found anyone so religious and devout as not to have sometimes a subtraction of grace, or feel a diminution of fervor. No saint was ever so highly rapt and illuminated as not to be tempted sooner or later. For he is not worthy of the high contemplation of God who has not, for God's sake, been exercised with some tribulation. For temptation going before is usually a sign of ensuing consolation. For heavenly comfort is promised to such as have been proved by temptation. To him that overcometh, saith our Lord, I will give to eat of the tree of life."
— Thomas à Kempis, p. 65
Imitation of Christ

"For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength."
Isaiah 30:15a


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Saint Rose of Viterbo

(1233 – March 6, 1251)

Even as a child, Rose had a great desire to pray and to aid the poor. While still very young, she began a life of penance in her parents' house. She was as generous to the poor as she was strict with herself. At the age of 10, she became a Secular Franciscan and soon began preaching in the streets about sin and the sufferings of Jesus.

Viterbo, her native city, was then in revolt against the pope. When Rose took the pope's side against the emperor, she and her family were exiled from the city. When the pope's side won in Viterbo, Rose was allowed to return. Her attempt at age 15 to found a religious community failed, and she returned to a life of prayer and penance in her father's home, where she died in 1251. Rose was canonized in 1457.

The list of Franciscan saints seems to have quite a few men and women who accomplished nothing very extraordinary. Rose is one of them. She did not influence popes and kings, did not multiply bread for the hungry, and never established the religious order of her dreams. But she made a place in her life for God's grace, and like Saint Francis before her, saw death as the gateway to new life.

Saint Rose of Viterbo is the Patron Saint of:
Flower Growers


Tuesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 Cor 2:10b-16

Brothers and sisters:
The Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God.
Among men, who knows what pertains to the man
except his spirit that is within?
Similarly, no one knows what pertains to God except the Spirit of God.
We have not received the spirit of the world
but the Spirit who is from God,
so that we may understand the things freely given us by God.
And we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom,
but with words taught by the Spirit,
describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms.

Now the natural man does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God,
for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it,
because it is judged spiritually.
The one who is spiritual, however, can judge everything
but is not subject to judgment by anyone.

For "who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to counsel him?"
But we have the mind of Christ.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13ab, 13cd-14
R. (17) The Lord is just in all his ways.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. The Lord is just in all his ways.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. The Lord is just in all his ways.
Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. The Lord is just in all his ways.
The LORD is faithful in all his words
and holy in all his works.
The LORD lifts up all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
R. The Lord is just in all his ways.

Alleluia Lk 7:16
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 4:31-37

Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee.
He taught them on the sabbath,
and they were astonished at his teaching
because he spoke with authority.
In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon,
and he cried out in a loud voice,
"What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are–the Holy One of God!"
Jesus rebuked him and said, "Be quiet! Come out of him!"
Then the demon threw the man down in front of them
and came out of him without doing him any harm.
They were all amazed and said to one another,
"What is there about his word?
For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits,
and they come out."
And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.


Meditation: Luke 4:31-37

What is there about his word? (Luke 4:36)

That's a great question! Whether it was his teaching that astonished them, or his authoritative command to an unclean spirit, something about the words of Jesus made people sit up and listen. When Bible scholars try to describe God's word, they say that it acts in two different ways: it is light, and it is power. Today's Gospel gives us a clear example of both of these ways.

First, God's word is light. It reveals the meaning of things; it illuminates when something is in darkness. As an example, think about what happened when Jesus taught in the synagogue in Capernaum. The people were astonished and recognized his authority, yes. But something even more striking happened right afterward: a man started shouting at Jesus. This man didn't burst into the synagogue; he had been there all along. But something about Jesus' words exposed the bondage he was experiencing. He might not have even been aware of it, but Jesus' word brought it to light, and it caused the man to act out.

Second, God's word is power. It brings things into existence according to God's will. In the same synagogue, it wasn't enough for Jesus just to expose the man's oppression. He wanted to do something about it too. So he spoke directly to the demon and commanded it to be quiet and come out of the man. And that's exactly what happened—without harming the man. Imagine how wonderful that fellow must have felt! Jesus' mere words completely turned his life around.

Maybe God's word will uncover something uncomfortable in you too as you ponder today's readings. But you don't have to be afraid! Jesus wants to bring his light into your life. If his word uncovers something unexpected in you, know that he won't leave you there. His word is always there to set you free and make you whole.

God's word is not just a theoretical principle. It's a promise. It brings light and power. When you read today's Gospel and see the man go from bondage to freedom, know that this is exactly what Jesus can do for you. So take his word into your heart. Sit with it and ponder it. Let God speak directly to you.

"Lord, open my ears to hear your powerful word."

1 Corinthians 2:10-16
Psalm 145:8-14


"We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God"
We are not to follow or think we belong to this world. Everything we do should have our focus on the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God is truly a force to be reckoned with. It is a formidable force that goes beyond time and existence. This force brought about the very existence we know of. God's word spoke, and His spirit made it come to be. The other day, I saw a lady walking out of a dollar store, pushing a cart and she seemed to walk normal even though she had on a big black cast on her lower leg and foot. I thought to myself immediately "you know, on this person, we can see on the exterior her malady, her hurt, where she hurts and even how she hurts, because it is on the exterior which we can see, but how this one person we can not see what hurts inside, and what's more, nobody knows what hurts people carry inside". Only one can...God. And only one self, can bring them out to a doctor, and better yet, a spiritual doctor, Jesus in the confessional. He sees immediately, but wants us to see for ourselves what He sees. And there, in intimacy, there is His desire poured walk out renewed.

Let us pray: "The Lord is just in all his ways. The LORD is faithful in all his words and holy in all his works. The LORD lifts up all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down." They say that God is good. How? He is faithful. He is Holy. That is how. We want to blame all bad on Him, but you can't, because He is faithful and He is Holy and He is true. Can you blame Him for lightning striking? How about when it strikes a person? Or how about when it strikes a person you know? Or how about when it strikes a person you actually love? You see how intimacy works? If it were any random person, you wouldn't have even cared really. But since it struck your loved baby, now it is all the matter of the world. The Lord is faithful. The Lord is Holy. So what happens now? That's what matters.

Let us turn to our Lord and speaks direct to evil: ""Be quiet! Come out of him!". They said that today Pope Francis calls for prayer and silence. There are some that will ridicule him for calling for this, especially silence. But I will side like Saint Rose of Viterbo, with the Pope. The people don't want to hear it, but the truth must never be silenced. As a matter of fact, on this whole scandal thing, I prayer for truth to be revealed, for repentance, and reformation of our own selves. We have caused this debacle. How? I'm innocent! We allow filth to pervade in our society. What used to be called pornography is now actually licit, legitimized and even legalized. We have allowed filth to be a part of our lives. Did God create this evil? We are made in His image, of a creator, so we like to create things, right? What are we doing with God's creation? Evil was introduced into the world. For what? The greater good. That's what they say. Do you believe? Pope Francis calls for silence. What does this mean? It means that during prayer, there should be silence. He is Jesuit. He knows that praying calls on meditation and even contemplation. People want him riled up as they are, to get bent out of shape like they are, to be tempted as they are, to be they are.

What was a man with an evil spirit doing hanging around Jesus? The man knew he needed salvation, and all that came out was filth. It is a straightforward confession. Evil speaks. Jesus is there and splits the weeds from the grass. We too must root out evil from ourselves. Think of the next great hot juicy gossip, and think of the destruction it aims to do. Do not let it enter your heart. Have nothing to do with evil. Be on the greater good. Bishop Barren says at the end of his reflection today "What makes Jesus' teaching so striking—apart from the content, which is striking enough—is his manner of teaching. He doesn't appeal to "Rabbi so and so" and finally back to Moses. He teaches on his own authority. The Greek word here is instructive (exousia), meaning "from his own being." He moves through his public life, Chesterton said, like a lightning bolt."

Lightning strikes. It is the Lord. Love strikes. What do you make of it? Even the devils recognize the Lord, why can't we?

Why can't we recognize Him right in front of us? Why do we feel alone at times? Isn't He everywhere? Yes but....
where are you?
What happened in the Gospel today after evil spoke? Jesus saves a man from evil. His soul is restored. Something good came from the bad.
Like the cross.
Like when He came to the world and all we could create was murder and murdered Him.

"Oh Adrian, why do you speak of murder?" Because, in the world there is one who seeks to divide and destroy, even with death if necessary. But it has no power but with what is allowed, in your heart. If you pray, and if you are silent, it means you are siding with Christ as Pilate asked him to speak up and "defend himself". Jesus wouldn't speak. Prior to that, He had said to our first Pope, ""Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him. "For all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Are you not aware that I can call on My Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen this way?" And so, Jesus said to Pilate: ""My kingdom is not of this world; if it were, My servants would fight to prevent My arrest by the Jews. But now, My kingdom is not of this realm."
Now we can speak frankly.
We are not of this world.
Did God need angels to keep him from being tortured to death when He visited this earth through His Son, His creation?

What a hostile place this became. Why? Freedom. With temptations. That's where we're at. God loves fruit.
God loves bear fruit.
God knows what to do with weeds.
Are you bearing fruit?

Fruit needs prayer and silence. In silence God can speak. If you can bite your tongue and wait for the truth, you would serve the Lord much better.
in too many ministries people speak too much. Too many feelings get involved. Too many words. Too many weeds.

God continues to amaze people.
I stared at some pretty horific lightning strikes this weekend, as I saw a coyote coming up to my house in the darkening hours, I went to "get him" and the lightning chased me back in the house. It was striking in town and all around and above me streams of lightnings that split three ways all at once as if carrying the clouds. You could almost feel the earth charged up.

Lightning strikes everywhere in the world.
If God's life was like lightning in the world, He came and left in a flash. And that's all it took to transform the world. A man was saved. All those years of suffering, now thousands of years of sheer joy of being with the Lord. It is in another realm, the realm that matters. People claim to be "spiritual" as if that makes them good. I doubt it. If you are spiritual it could be anything, even devils are bad spirits that have you fooled into not being in Good Spirits and in Good Grace with our Lord.

Something happened to me during Mass. I was so tired of my ear ailment, I said as they prayed the prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel, " I am so tired of this bad spirit in me, causing me torment, anxiety, despair, and stress. I am so tired of it that I am going to do something about it. I am going to devote myself even more to the Lord in retribution. I will strike back at the enemy. I will no longer sit in fear. I will no longer lose hope. I will no longer feel further from God." That is what evil does. Divides, and destroys. Pulls you from Him and sinks you in quick sand.
Quickly get out while you can. God is waiting. God is stretching out His Hand.



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