Friday, September 7, 2018

⛪Who Has Been Drinking

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The Spirit Brings All into Christ

Franciscan evangelical life strives to live in this mystery more deeply through a life of unceasing prayer. God is to descend and take on flesh anew in our lives through the indwelling Spirit that joins us to Christ and expresses itself in the body of the believer. Prayer is the breath of the Spirit within us, the Spirit who brought about the Incarnation of the Word of God and who continues to incarnate the Word in our lives. The one Spirit who joins together the Father and Word in love brings us finite creatures into this infinite relationship of love. Because the one Spirit is sent by the one Christ, the fullness of Christ is the fullness of love that is the work of Spirit. The Spirit not only forms one to Christ but brings all into unity in Christ.

—from the book Franciscan Prayer


"Three things are necessary to everyone: truth of faith which brings understanding, love of Christ which brings compassion, and endurance of hope which brings perseverance."
— St. Bonaventure

"My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls, and especially for poor sinners. If only they could understand that I am the best of Fathers to them and that it is for them that the Blood and Water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy. For them I dwell in the tabernacle as King of Mercy. I desire to bestow My graces upon souls, but they do not want to accept them. You, at least, come to Me as often as possible and take these graces they do not want to accept. In this way you will console My Heart. Oh, how indifferent are souls to so much goodness, to so many proofs of love! My Heart drinks only of the ingratitude and forgetfulness of souls living in the world. They have time for everything, but they have no time to come to Me for graces."
— St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, p. 367
Diary of St. Faustina

"But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame."
1 Peter 3:14-16


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Saint Regina (d. 286 A.D.) was born to pagan parents in France. Her mother died in childbirth, and her father gave her to the care of a Christian nurse who secretly baptized her and raised her in the Christian faith. As Regina grew older her embrace of Christianity became evident, and her father disowned her as a result. Regina then went to live with her Christian nurse. They lived in poverty, and Regina tended sheep to help support the household. This solitude allowed her time to pray and meditate on the lives of the saints. When she was fifteen years of age, a Roman proconsul by the name of Olybrius was determined to marry her. He became greatly disturbed when he discovered that she was a Christian. He asked her to renounce her faith in order to save her life and secure a prosperous marriage with him. Regina staunchly refused to deny her faith, having already taken a vow of virginity to Christ. For her defiance she was cast into prison. Hoping that her resolve would gradually weaken, Olybrius visited her in prison and asked her once more to renounce her faith. Regina's determination only increased with time, and she again refused. Olybrius, angered, had her severely tortured with her body being scourged, burned, and raked. Finally, she was beheaded. Her resolve under torture and the appearance of a dove above her head caused witnesses to convert to Christianity. After her death many miracles were attributed to her relics. St. Regina is the patron of poor people, shepherdesses, and torture victims. Her feast day is September 7th.


Friday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 Cor 4:1-5

Brothers and sisters:
Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ
and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Now it is of course required of stewards
that they be found trustworthy.
It does not concern me in the least
that I be judged by you or any human tribunal;
I do not even pass judgment on myself;
I am not conscious of anything against me,
but I do not thereby stand acquitted;
the one who judges me is the Lord.
Therefore, do not make any judgment before the appointed time,
until the Lord comes,
for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness
and will manifest the motives of our hearts,
and then everyone will receive praise from God.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 37:3-4, 5-6, 27-28, 39-40
R. (39a) The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Trust in the LORD and do good,
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart's requests.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Commit to the LORD your way;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will make justice dawn for you like the light;
bright as the noonday shall be your vindication.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Turn from evil and do good,
that you may abide forever;
For the LORD loves what is right,
and forsakes not his faithful ones.
Criminals are destroyed
and the posterity of the wicked is cut off.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
The salvation of the just is from the LORD;
he is their refuge in time of distress.
And the LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

Alleluia Jn 8:12
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 5:33-39

The scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus,
"The disciples of John the Baptist fast often and offer prayers,
and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same;
but yours eat and drink."
Jesus answered them, "Can you make the wedding guests fast
while the bridegroom is with them?
But the days will come, and when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
then they will fast in those days."
And he also told them a parable.
"No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one.
Otherwise, he will tear the new
and the piece from it will not match the old cloak.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins,
and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined.
Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.
And no one who has been drinking old wine desires new,
for he says, 'The old is good.'"


Meditation: Luke 5:33-39

The new wine will burst the skins. (Luke 5:37)

In ancient Israel, the juice from pressed grapes immediately went into a container to ferment into wine. If the wine was going to be transported a long distance, the container was often a goatskin sewn into a bag, or "wineskin." The initial gaseous stage of fermenting the grapes caused the wineskin to stretch out. "Old wineskins" had already been stretched once, so if they were used again, the fermentation process would cause them to burst (Luke 5:37).

Jesus told this parable to ask his detractors to try to become more like new wineskins. He told them that the new life he was proclaiming could not be fitted into old ways of thinking and doing. Life in the kingdom of God required people who had the capacity to stretch along with the movements of God.

Not all of Jesus' hearers accepted these words, but those who did were stretched—and were blessed for it! For example, they had to expand their concept of the Messiah: he was the crucified and risen Son of God, not a temporal king. They had to accept that the Gentiles were their brothers and sisters, not pagans who would make them unclean. Because the first disciples' pliability helped them to respond to the "fermentation" of the Holy Spirit, the Church continued to grow dramatically.

Like every believer in the time of Christ, you, too, are a wineskin, and the Holy Spirit is stirring in you. The important thing is to be willing to "be stretched" as the Spirit moves you. For example, you might have an innate dislike of a coworker or neighbor, but maybe God is calling you to see that person in a more compassionate light. Or God might want to stretch you by giving you a new gift or by asking you to use a gift long dormant. Maybe caring for a new baby or an elderly or sick relative has stretched you. These kinds of situations push us to rely on God's Spirit more so that we can expand and not burst.

Is there an area of your life in which you are feeling stretched? Ask for the grace to be "stretchy" so that you can share God's love and presence just a bit more today.

"Jesus, help me stretch to new capacities to bear your love to people around me."

1 Corinthians 4:1-5
Psalm 37:3-6, 27-28, 39-40


"... he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts..." I am not afraid generally speaking of the dark, like the darkness that looms and threatens always. This is the attitude Saint Paul writes with. He is confident and unafraid. He says "I am not conscious of anything against me". This is what happens to you when you go to confession. You can walk out confident, and unafraid. If you confess sincerely, with a contrite heart, ripe for contrition. A true contrition. A true cutting of the heart. Out with the old, and in with the new.

Let us pray the Psalms of the day: "The salvation of the just comes from the Lord." Who are the "just" again? The righteous in God, therefore, the Holy, amen? Salvation of the just.
"Commit to the LORD your way; trust in him, and he will act." Yesterday, Peter obeys God, "go back and throw nets into deep water", and Peter comes back on his knees, "I am a sinful Man my Lord!", for he obeyed and then was amazed and blessed and honored to have seen God in front of Him.
"He will make justice dawn for you like the light; bright as the noonday shall be your vindication." When people walk out of cursillos (a course in Christianity", their testimony often says "I see everything in a new light". Out with the old, and in with the new.

In comes our Lord and our Savior as we aim to be just...with HIM: "No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one." Jesus didn't come to "patch up" the Old. He came to transform it, completely new, version 2.0. Right? Whence you upgrade your computer, you don't go back to the old, do you? You don't patch the new computer into the old. It's completely upgraded, new software, new processors, or just like your car, you get a brand new car, 10 years newer than your old, it's not the same car. It's probably got an engine that has extreme modifications, runs more efficient, safer, and the list goes on. The same way with your soul. When God enters, we must be ready for version 2.0. The You 2.0. And it is going to happen. When? When you die. All that we've worked for on earth will be revealed. All you loved on earth will be revealed. Truth will be revealed. I told someone last night, "This week, I've been inspired to write a song, and it will be called "There Is No Time" and it will be a haunting melody that you sing all your life and then when you die, it plays continuously and forever to the point it will drive you crazy". Because in the hereafter, there actually is no time. That tune will be heard in hell, but that tune is being played in purgatory. To me, purgatory is like hell, because to be put somewhere where I can not see the one I've wanted to see my whole life, (The Beatific Vision), would be torment and torture, a waiting room is no fun for me, I don't even like to wait in lines at restaurants, like when I take my wife to dinner and the wait is 1 to 2 hours long! No sir. I want to be prepared, with reservations, the RSVP in hand.

That is what God is calling us to. Out with the old. In with the new. They say in Heaven everything is always new. That is awesome. To me, every day is new. A new opportunity to visit with God. A new opportunity to be His. His servant, His hands and feet. His voice. His....light.
A thought has hit me within the last 24 hours, "I don't serve God in so many ministries...God works through me in as much as I allow Him! " WOW. Is that amazing or what? All my earthly loves are fading. All my Heavenly love is coming into sight. Why? Darkness is fading. I can see in the light.

When you are away from God, you are like me walking in total darkness around my home, out in the country, where there lurk unknown creatures, rattlers, coyotes, a lion was found around my part, and these are not afraid of you, especially if you run into one inadvertently. Demons lurk in the dark my friend. Be afraid? Well, truth is, you should be afraid to leave the leave Christ.

Either you accept Him, or you reject Him.
Either you love Him, or you do not.
Either you worship Him...or something else, and I call something else devil worship. Because that what detracts from what is due to calling attention to itself and away from God.
You don't fit that picture.
Only God fits in that picture. See your loved ones in pictures? Where is their lives? See those in your daily life? Where is God?
He travels in some hearts, and if He all


Communions For Sacred Heart of Jesus
9 in a row, you can do it

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