Monday, September 24, 2018

⛪How You Hear


To Love God, Our True Good

Charity has as its close relatives joy and peace. Joy is born of happiness at possessing what we love. Now, from the moment at which the soul knows God, it is naturally led to love him. If the soul follows this natural impulse, which is caused by the Holy Spirit, it is already loving the Supreme Good. This fortunate soul…possesses the beautiful virtue of love. By loving God the soul is certain of possessing him. When a person loves money, honors, and good health, unfortunately he does not always possess what he loves, whereas he who loves God possesses him at once.

—from the book The Joyful Spirit of Padre Pio: Stories, Letters, and Prayers


"We should take as a maxim never to be surprised at current difficulties, no more than at a passing breeze, because with a little patience we shall see them disappear. Time changes everything."
— St. Vincent de Paul

"When we come into church from the outside our ears are filled with the racket of the city, the words of those who have accompanied us, the laboring and quarreling of our own thoughts, the disquiet of our hearts' wishes and worries, hurts and joys. How are we possibly to hear what God is saying? That we listen at all is something; not everyone does. It is even better when we pay attention and make a real effort to understand what is being said. But all this is not yet the attentive stillness in which God's word can take root. This must be established before the service begins, if possible in the silence on the way to church, still better in a brief period of composure the evening before."
— Msgr. Romano Guardini, p. 17
Meditations Before Mass


St. Peter Nolasco (12th c.) was inspired to establish a religious order for the ransom of Christians from Muslim captivity. On August 1, 1218 the Blessed Virgin appeared to St. Peter Nolasco along with his confessor, St. Raymond of PeƱafort, and to King James I of the Kingdom of Aragon to verify the Divine inspiration of this mission. Word of the Marian apparition soon spread to the entire kingdom. The new religious foundation, called the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy (the Mercedarians), was established and approved by Pope Gregory IX. The order worked to raise money to ransom Christians who had been captured and enslaved by Muslims, and to offer themselves, if necessary, as payment for their release. A feast was instituted under the title of Our Lady of Ransom and observed on September 24, later extended to the entire Church.

"As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully. As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing."
2 Timothy 4:5-8


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Blessed John Henry Newman

(February 21, 1801 – August 11, 1890)

Blessed John Henry Newman's Story
John Henry Newman, the 19th-century's most important English-speaking Roman Catholic theologian, spent the first half of his life as an Anglican and the second half as a Roman Catholic. He was a priest, popular preacher, writer, and eminent theologian in both Churches.

Born in London, England, he studied at Oxford's Trinity College, was a tutor at Oriel College, and for 17 years was vicar of the university church, St. Mary the Virgin. He eventually published eight volumes of Parochial and Plain Sermons as well as two novels. His poem, "Dream of Gerontius," was set to music by Sir Edward Elgar.

After 1833, Newman was a prominent member of the Oxford Movement, which emphasized the Church's debt to the Church Fathers and challenged any tendency to consider truth as completely subjective.

Historical research made Newman suspect that the Roman Catholic Church was in closest continuity with the Church that Jesus established. In 1845, he was received into full communion as a Catholic. Two years later he was ordained a Catholic priest in Rome and joined the Congregation of the Oratory, founded three centuries earlier by Saint Philip Neri. Returning to England, Newman founded Oratory houses in Birmingham and London and for seven years served as rector of the Catholic University of Ireland.

Before Newman, Catholic theology tended to ignore history, preferring instead to draw deductions from first principles—much as plane geometry does. After Newman, the lived experience of believers was recognized as a key part of theological reflection.

Newman eventually wrote 40 books and 21,000 letters that survive. Most famous are his book-length Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine, Apologia Pro Vita Sua—his spiritual autobiography up to 1864—and Essay on the Grammar of Assent. He accepted Vatican I's teaching on papal infallibility while noting its limits, which many people who favored that definition were reluctant to do.

When Newman was named a cardinal in 1879, he took as his motto "Cor ad cor loquitur"—"Heart speaks to heart." He was buried in Rednal 11 years later. After his grave was exhumed in 2008, a new tomb was prepared at the Oratory church in Birmingham.

Three years after Newman died, a Newman Club for Catholic students began at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. In time, his name was linked to ministry centers at many public and private colleges and universities in the United States.

Pope Benedict XVI beatified Newman on September 19, 2010, at Crofton Park. Benedict noted Newman's emphasis on the vital place of revealed religion in civilized society, but also praised his pastoral zeal for the sick, the poor, the bereaved, and those in prison. The Liturgical Feast of Blessed John Henry Newman is October 9.

John Henry Newman has been called the "absent Father of Vatican II" because his writings on conscience, religious liberty, Scripture, the vocation of lay people, the relation of Church and State, and other topics were extremely influential in the shaping of the Council's documents. Although Newman was not always understood or appreciated, he steadfastly preached the Good News by word and example.


Monday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Prv 3:27-34

Refuse no one the good on which he has a claim
when it is in your power to do it for him.
Say not to your neighbor, "Go, and come again,
tomorrow I will give," when you can give at once.

Plot no evil against your neighbor,
against one who lives at peace with you.
Quarrel not with a man without cause,
with one who has done you no harm.

Envy not the lawless man
and choose none of his ways:
To the LORD the perverse one is an abomination,
but with the upright is his friendship.

The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked,
but the dwelling of the just he blesses;
When dealing with the arrogant, he is stern,
but to the humble he shows kindness.

Responsorial Psalm ps 15:2-3a, 3bc-4ab, 5
R. (1) The just one shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord.
He who walks blamelessly and does justice;
who thinks the truth in his heart
and slanders not with his tongue.
R. The just one shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord.
Who harms not his fellow man,
nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor;
By whom the reprobate is despised,
while he honors those who fear the LORD.
R. The just one shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord.
Who lends not his money at usury
and accepts no bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
shall never be disturbed.
R. The just one shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord.

Alleluia Mt 5:16
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 8:16-18

Jesus said to the crowd:
"No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel
or sets it under a bed;
rather, he places it on a lampstand
so that those who enter may see the light.
For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible,
and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light.
Take care, then, how you hear.
To anyone who has, more will be given,
and from the one who has not,
even what he seems to have will be taken away."


Meditation: Luke 8:16-18
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No one who lights a lamp conceals it. (Luke 8:16)

It's not uncommon to read this passage and see ourselves as the lamp set on a lamp stand, shining for all to see. But what if we thought about Jesus himself being the brightly shining light? After all, he called himself the "light of the world" (John 8:12). He is not trying to hide from us or make us jump through all kinds of hoops before we discover him. No, Jesus wants to reveal himself to us. What a hopeful message! Jesus is our light and our salvation (Psalm 27:1).

So what does the light of Christ help us to see? For one thing, it reveals more than an abstract set of facts about God. It shows us God himself: his mercy, his love, and his faithfulness. And when God reveals himself, he always touches our hearts even as he illuminates our minds. We see him a little more clearly, and our hearts are moved to follow him a little more closely.

For instance, as you read the parable of the prodigal son, you might imagine yourself as the young man coming home to his father's embrace. Or a moving experience during Confession might help you to be more compassionate because you want to share the mercy you have received. God can use instances like these to shine his light into your heart—and by shining his light, to scatter some of the darkness in it.

You might not see clearly all at once. When you enter a dimly lit room, it may take time for your eyes to become accustomed to the lighting. But the longer you are there, the more bright the light appears, and the more clearly you can see. Similarly, the more time you spend in God's presence, the more you will perceive all the ways he is making himself known to you.

God has been revealing himself since the beginning of time, and he is still doing it today! He is continually placing his light on a "lamp stand" because he wants to be known. You can trust his light to shine even in places you might not expect. So open your eyes to see him.

"Jesus, shine your light on what-ever you want me to see today. Help me to focus on you and your revelation."

Proverbs 3:27-34
Psalm 15:2-5


Our Holy Word began from Heaven:
"Refuse no one the good on which he has a claim when it is in your power to do it for him." This is asking us to give on the spot. No procrastinating. No waiting. No putting it off. When asked, give. It's true of our neighbor (those around us and that come to us) but, what if God is asking us for that good? Where is Johnny On The Spot now? Yes, this is our calling!

Let us pray: "The just one shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord. He who walks blamelessly and does justice; who thinks the truth in his heart and slanders not with his tongue." Ahh, our tongues and our hearts. How long has this been the influence of generations? Yet, what spews our of our hearts onto our tongues is what is key. Either darkness flows, or goodness, but darkness and goodness? If there is light, can there be dark? I bet the Son does not go down in why now?

In comes the Lord, the Son of God, the light to impart light into our souls: "For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light." To God, there are no secrets. All your secrets He knows, all your sins. It is good to repent, say sorry, but it is even better to confess it in confession. Out with it. Out with darkness and in with light. Out with oneself and in with Him. Who hides the light of God? The neutral. Those who say they believe but live otherwise. They teach others that church is not important, therefore, God's commandments are not important, but, they say they are believers. Liars. Two faced liars. Do you really believe? What do you believe? You have fallen for the greatest lie in the world. The doubt. How can you love God and not know Him?

You don't even truly know your spouse yet you say you love them, and would perhaps even die for them, so how can you get to know...God better? They say that you can not carve out "quality time" with your kids. They say rather, that you only get quality time if you spend quantity time. Not every prayer is rich in feelings. Not every ministry is fulfilling and makes you feel good and with God's fervor. Not every moment with Him is hunky dory. I have gone to a couple retreats this month, and I don't feel as if I've spent enough time with our Lord, so this weekend will be the 3rd opportunity, a 3rd retreat. I ask for your prayers. And for this, I had a revelation yesterday as I practiced some songs for the retreat "It's not so much about the ones that will be evangelized, but as for us spending time with our Lord".

How can I let light into my soul with closed windows and doors?
How can I let my house light up and be a beacon of hope if all doors are shut?

"Take care, then, how you hear" says our Lord.
How do you hear? How do you hear Him? How do you hear others speak? You can take a message and take it all wrong, right? If a message from God has been condemnation, and not salvation, you are hearing wrong. If I called you a 2 faced liar, it should open up your ears, your holy ears and say "I have been a liar" humble ears will hear this. It is not a message for others. you should not have deflectors on your ears. Gossip works to have twisted ears as well. The news is filled with gossip, so you have to have ears from our Lord to be able to discern the message and the times.

Take care.
When you hear, take care. Take care of your hearing. Or you could suffer hearing loss. Listen carefully, and take note, take heart.

"To anyone who has, more will be given and from the one who has not,
even what he seems to have will be taken away."
Has what? What will be given?

Think Grace.
Think blessings.
When you've been asked to be Johnny On The Spot, think grace and blessings. The only way to receive is to give. Give what you got.

Let us ask for God's grace then.

Lord, we need your grace. We need Your grace to illuminate the world. We need Your grace to be poured out over our families, our loved ones. We need Your grace to be full of grace, and then, overflowing. Rich in love and mercy. We need then, Lord, more of You.

Please Lord, so that this grace may be a true light, and true love of you for the world to see, true Love
In Jesus' name we pray....



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