Monday, September 17, 2018

⛪They Found......

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God Is With Us

The circumstances surrounding Jesus's birth into an imperfect world contain implications for contemporary families. God is present to all kinds of people—abandoned spouses and children, families who leave their countries because of political or economic turmoil, the poor, the wealthy, non‑Christians, and Christians alike, people living in poverty, unwed mothers and fathers, or those suffering the anguish of separation and divorce.

—from the book Your [Imperfect] Holy Family


"The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service, the fruit of service is peace."
— St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

"You have never begrudged the martyrs their triumph but rather trained them for it. And so I am asking you to be consistent with the lessons you teach them. Just beg for me the courage and endurance not only to speak but also to will what is right, so that I may not only be called a Christian, but prove to be one. For if I prove myself to be a Christian by martyrdom, then people will call me one, and my loyalty to Christ will be apparent when the world sees me no more. Nothing you can see is truly good. For our Lord Jesus Christ, now that he has returned to his Father, has revealed himself more clearly. Our task is not one of producing persuasive propaganda; Christianity shows its greatness when it is hated by the world."
— St. Ignatius of Antioch, p. 194
Witness of the Saints

"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace."
Numbers 6:24-26


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Saint Robert Bellarmine

(October 4, 1542 – September 17, 1621)

When Robert Bellarmine was ordained in 1570, the study of Church history and the fathers of the Church was in a sad state of neglect. A promising scholar from his youth in Tuscany, he devoted his energy to these two subjects, as well as to Scripture, in order to systematize Church doctrine against the attacks of the Protestant Reformers. He was the first Jesuit to become a professor at Louvain.

His most famous work is his three-volume Disputations on the Controversies of the Christian Faith. Particularly noteworthy are the sections on the temporal power of the pope and the role of the laity. Bellarmine incurred the anger of monarchists in England and France by showing the divine-right-of-kings theory untenable. He developed the theory of the indirect power of the pope in temporal affairs; although he was defending the pope against the Scottish philosopher Barclay, he also incurred the ire of Pope Sixtus V.

Bellarmine was made a cardinal by Pope Clement VIII on the grounds that "he had not his equal for learning." While he occupied apartments in the Vatican, Bellarmine relaxed none of his former austerities. He limited his household expenses to what was barely essential, eating only the food available to the poor. He was known to have ransomed a soldier who had deserted from the army and he used the hangings of his rooms to clothe poor people, remarking, "The walls won't catch cold."

Among many activities, Bellarmine became theologian to Pope Clement VIII, preparing two catechisms which have had great influence in the Church.

The last major controversy of Bellarmine's life came in 1616 when he had to admonish his friend Galileo, whom he admired. He delivered the admonition on behalf of the Holy Office, which had decided that the heliocentric theory of Copernicus was contrary to Scripture. The admonition amounted to a caution against putting forward—other than as a hypothesis—theories not yet fully proven. This shows that saints are not infallible.

Robert Bellarmine died on September 17, 1621. The process for his canonization was begun in 1627, but was delayed until 1930 for political reasons, stemming from his writings. In 1930, Pope Pius XI canonized him, and the next year declared him a doctor of the Church.

The renewal in the Church sought by Vatican II was difficult for many Catholics. In the course of change, many felt a lack of firm guidance from those in authority. They yearned for the stone columns of orthodoxy and an iron command with clearly defined lines of authority. Vatican II assures us in The Church in the Modern World, "There are many realities which do not change and which have their ultimate foundation in Christ, who is the same yesterday and today, yes, and forever" (#10, quoting Hebrews 13:8).

Robert Bellarmine devoted his life to the study of Scripture and Catholic doctrine. His writings help us understand that the real source of our faith is not merely a set of doctrines, but rather the person of Jesus still living in the Church today.

Saint Robert Bellarmine is the Patron Saint of:


Monday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 Cor 11:17-26, 33

Brothers and sisters:
In giving this instruction, I do not praise the fact
that your meetings are doing more harm than good.
First of all, I hear that when you meet as a Church
there are divisions among you,
and to a degree I believe it;
there have to be factions among you
in order that also those who are approved among you
may become known.
When you meet in one place, then,
it is not to eat the Lord's supper,
for in eating, each one goes ahead with his own supper,
and one goes hungry while another gets drunk.
Do you not have houses in which you can eat and drink?
Or do you show contempt for the Church of God
and make those who have nothing feel ashamed?
What can I say to you? Shall I praise you?
In this matter I do not praise you.

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, "This is my Body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me."
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
"This cup is the new covenant in my Blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters,
when you come together to eat, wait for one another.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 17
R. (1 Cor 11:26b) Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Burnt offerings or sin offerings you sought not;
then said I, "Behold I come."
R. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.
"In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!"
R. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.
May all who seek you
exult and be glad in you
And may those who love your salvation
say ever, "The LORD be glorified."
R. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.

Alleluia Jn 3:16
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 7:1-10

When Jesus had finished all his words to the people,
he entered Capernaum.
A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die,
and he was valuable to him.
When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him,
asking him to come and save the life of his slave.
They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying,
"He deserves to have you do this for him,
for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us."
And Jesus went with them,
but when he was only a short distance from the house,
the centurion sent friends to tell him,
"Lord, do not trouble yourself,
for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.
Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you;
but say the word and let my servant be healed.
For I too am a person subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes;
and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes;
and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it."
When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him
and, turning, said to the crowd following him,
"I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith."
When the messengers returned to the house,
they found the slave in good health.


Meditation: Luke 7:1-10

Saint Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)

They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come. (Luke 7:4)

Today's Gospel recounts one of Scripture's best-known stories about the power of intercessory prayer: Jesus heals an unseen servant with only the power of his word. It's an inspiring story, but take a look at how it all began. People came to Jesus and urged him, begged him, to come. They weren't asking on behalf of a family member or a friend or even another Jew. They were asking him to come heal a pagan soldier's slave. An unlikely believer, the Roman centurion recognized that Jesus, like Caesar, possessed supreme authority. So he sent envoys to convey his request, and Jesus responded!

Many miracles in Scripture occurred because someone went to Jesus on another person's behalf. Often it was a parent pleading for a child or a friend begging Jesus to intervene. And over and over, Jesus answered their request.

Intercession like this isn't limited to biblical times. We can all be intercessors. We don't need a special title or training. In fact, you probably already intercede for your family and friends. But maybe now is an opportunity to learn to pray a little more effectively. How? Like the centurion, try making a plan and pushing yourself to stick with it.

First, find a piece of paper and write down the people, places, and situations that you want to pray for. Maybe it's people in your own home or parish. Maybe it's a bitter conflict in a distant country. Don't let the size of the request deter you.

Next, find a visible place in your home where you can post your list. You might put it on the refrigerator, on your mirror, or beside your Bible. Every time you see the list, picture yourself bringing these petitions to Jesus, just as the centurion did. Ask him to intervene in these situations to bring healing or reconciliation or whatever else is needed.

As time goes by, you may discover that God has answered some of your prayers. Put a check mark next to these. This will remind you that God is listening, even though other prayers seem to go unanswered. In moments of doubt, you can look back on these answered prayers and remember that God knows and hears the requests of his people.

"Lord, I am not worthy, but please come and heal."

1 Corinthians 11:17-26, 33
Psalm 40:7-10, 17


Saint Paul recalls the words of our Lord "Do this in remembrance of me."

It is for our own good. Do what? Take His Body. Breaking bread is coming together. Do the remembrance thing...Greatest Love. Greatest humility. Oh boy, still working on that last one. I have no clue on humility, but I have lead...that is, the Love of Christ which compels me. There are divisions and factions in every single church. Why? It goes back to the beginning of time. Perfection with an imperfection. But perfection remains. It remains in you and you've just to polish it. Ahh how beautiful holiness is. What is a holy person like? Probably the most personable, most down to earth person you'll meet, you just know it by the way they carry themselves. And we've to carry our cross with this kind of love. Follow Jesus. Obedience is one thing, and love makes it happen.

Let us pray: "Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Burnt offerings or sin offerings you sought not; then said I, "Behold I come." They say faith is a gift. Therefore, it is something you can pray for. You can ask for this, but often we pray for other things, for things to go well, for wealth and health are probably the most popular prayers. But faith? The world needs more faith. They say that the U.S. is made up of 90% believers in a God, but most live practically is atheists. What we say doesn't match up. The focus is on other things, like work, money, recreation, all sorts of distractions. Where is the faith when it really boils down to needing it? Faith is proven. Faith is built up. Faith is what we are encountering in the Word.

In comes our Lord: ""Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof." These are words we say right before receiving Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Right before we do this in remembrance of Him we remember this encounter. "I am not worthy". The centurion believed in the power of the word. Do you? How strong are words? They give commands and things happen right? I once sat in daily Mass feeling and saying "I am not worthy" and I received the Lord and a message "who told you that you are not worthy?". It is a sentiment like this: "I desire to be with you". And so I break bread daily and say these words daily. And He enters my roof. He comes into my body and soul with His divinity.

There's a powerful sentiment coming over me lately. At ultreya, even at Mass, a shelter for the storm is built. And it begins inside of each one of us.

Faith builds this up, and it is a gift. I know there are things you are afraid God is not working, and things are not they should. My message to you: don't give up. Never. Please don't. The most powerful Word is among us. Jesus. Carry Him. I carry Him inside. I have partaken of His Blessed Body. He is speaking through me as He can speak through you. And the words you speak can be for the good or the bad. What would you have Jesus do through you today?

Today Jesus is amazed by one's faith.
It happens time and time again...and things happen.
have faith. There are people I know that don't go to church, and I know deep inside how their faith would be so powerful and beautiful, if they'd only use the gift I see in them. Some, I don't see the gift, and so I pray for this gift to them.
I work to be worthy of the call of Christ Me.
Come be with Me.
Let's be together



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