Thursday, October 4, 2018

⛪ Yet Know This...

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How Do We Hear the Voice of God?

St. Francis is seen as the gentle saint who shows us that the way to peace and justice is the way Christ has shown us in the Gospels, namely, the way of the love of God, which is the way; and its companion is the way of love of our neighbor as ourselves. This basic Gospel truth is the message of the Gospel St. Francis finally was able to hear in the Gospel he lived and preached. He learned that if we put those two commandments in precisely that order, we easily see how and when we sin in departing from the truth and in hurting our neighbor. All truth is from God, and God's truth is that we are to love God, and loving God will show us how to love our neighbor. Living the Gospel must start with embracing this basic Gospel truth. Only then will we, too, begin to hear the Voice of God.

—from the book Surrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from Saint Francis


"You change your life by changing your heart."
— St. Benedict of Nursia

"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself."
— C. S. Lewis, p. 205
Mere Christianity

"And he said to them, 'Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned.'"
Mark 16:15-16


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Saint Francis of Assisi

(September 26, 1182 – October 3, 1226)

Francis of Assisi was a poor little man who astounded and inspired the Church by taking the gospel literally—not in a narrow fundamentalist sense, but by actually following all that Jesus said and did, joyfully, without limit, and without a sense of self-importance.

Serious illness brought the young Francis to see the emptiness of his frolicking life as leader of Assisi's youth. Prayer—lengthy and difficult—led him to a self-emptying like that of Christ, climaxed by embracing a leper he met on the road. It symbolized his complete obedience to what he had heard in prayer: "Francis! Everything you have loved and desired in the flesh it is your duty to despise and hate, if you wish to know my will. And when you have begun this, all that now seems sweet and lovely to you will become intolerable and bitter, but all that you used to avoid will turn itself to great sweetness and exceeding joy."

From the cross in the neglected field-chapel of San Damiano, Christ told him, "Francis, go out and build up my house, for it is nearly falling down." Francis became the totally poor and humble workman.

He must have suspected a deeper meaning to "build up my house." But he would have been content to be for the rest of his life the poor "nothing" man actually putting brick on brick in abandoned chapels. He gave up all his possessions, piling even his clothes before his earthly father—who was demanding restitution for Francis' "gifts" to the poor—so that he would be totally free to say, "Our Father in heaven." He was, for a time, considered to be a religious fanatic, begging from door to door when he could not get money for his work, evoking sadness or disgust to the hearts of his former friends, ridicule from the unthinking.

But genuineness will tell. A few people began to realize that this man was actually trying to be Christian. He really believed what Jesus said: "Announce the kingdom! Possess no gold or silver or copper in your purses, no traveling bag, no sandals, no staff" (Luke 9:1-3).

Francis' first rule for his followers was a collection of texts from the Gospels. He had no intention of founding an order, but once it began he protected it and accepted all the legal structures needed to support it. His devotion and loyalty to the Church were absolute and highly exemplary at a time when various movements of reform tended to break the Church's unity.

Francis was torn between a life devoted entirely to prayer and a life of active preaching of the Good News. He decided in favor of the latter, but always returned to solitude when he could. He wanted to be a missionary in Syria or in Africa, but was prevented by shipwreck and illness in both cases. He did try to convert the sultan of Egypt during the Fifth Crusade.

During the last years of his relatively short life, he died at 44, Francis was half blind and seriously ill. Two years before his death he received the stigmata, the real and painful wounds of Christ in his hands, feet and side.

On his deathbed, Francis said over and over again the last addition to his Canticle of the Sun, "Be praised, O Lord, for our Sister Death." He sang Psalm 141, and at the end asked his superior's permission to have his clothes removed when the last hour came in order that he could expire lying naked on the earth, in imitation of his Lord.

Francis of Assisi was poor only that he might be Christ-like. He recognized creation as another manifestation of the beauty of God. In 1979, he was named patron of ecology. He did great penance—apologizing to "Brother Body" later in life—that he might be totally disciplined for the will of God. Francis' poverty had a sister, Humility, by which he meant total dependence on the good God. But all this was, as it were, preliminary to the heart of his spirituality: living the gospel life, summed up in the charity of Jesus and perfectly expressed in the Eucharist.

Saint Francis of Assisi is the Patron Saint of:
Metal Workers


Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi

Reading 1 Jb 19:21-27

Job said:

Pity me, pity me, O you my friends,
for the hand of God has struck me!
Why do you hound me as though you were divine,
and insatiably prey upon me?

Oh, would that my words were written down!
Would that they were inscribed in a record:
That with an iron chisel and with lead
they were cut in the rock forever!
But as for me, I know that my Vindicator lives,
and that he will at last stand forth upon the dust;
Whom I myself shall see:
my own eyes, not another's, shall behold him,
And from my flesh I shall see God;
my inmost being is consumed with longing.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 27:7-8a, 8b-9abc, 13-14
R. (13) I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
Hear, O LORD, the sound of my call;
have pity on me, and answer me.
Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks.
R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
Your presence, O LORD, I seek.
Hide not your face from me;
do not in anger repel your servant.
You are my helper: cast me not off.
R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.

Alleluia Mk 1:15
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Kingdom of God is at hand;
repent and believe in the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 10:1-12

Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
"The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter, first say,
'Peace to this household.'
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves his payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
'The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.'
Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you,
go out into the streets and say,
'The dust of your town that clings to our feet,
even that we shake off against you.'
Yet know this: the Kingdom of God is at hand.
I tell you,
it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day
than for that town."


Meditation: Luke 10:1-12

Saint Francis of Assisi (Memorial)

Into whatever house you enter, first say, "Peace to this household." (Luke 10:5)

This verse seems particularly relevant today, on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi (1181–1226). Like the disciples in the Gospel reading, Francis and his followers wandered the countryside carrying the good news of Jesus. And like the disciples, they often did it by bringing peace and reconciliation into places of conflict.

One story in particular reveals Francis' gift for peacemaking. In the last year of his life, the mayor of Assisi and the town's bishop had fallen into a feud. To intervene, Francis composed a new verse of his poem "Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon": "All praise be yours, my Lord, through those who grant pardon for love of you. . . . Happy those who endure in peace; by you Most High, they will be crowned."

Francis sent two friars to sing this verse before the mayor and the bishop. Touched to the heart, the mayor said, "I forgive the lord bishop, whom I ought to recognize as my master." And the bishop replied, "My office demands humility of me, but by nature I am quick to anger; you must forgive me!"

Francis understood that Jesus came to reconcile us, not only with God, but with each other as well. On a personal level, unforgiveness can destroy families and friendships—even our health and peace of mind. On a broader level, it can lead to war, conflict, and destruction. But Jesus came to preach peace by putting to death all enmity through his cross, and he wants us to try to "preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3).

Is there someone you need to forgive? Try to let go of your resentment. Even if it means just taking one more step, go ahead and take that step. It couldn't have been easy for Assisi's bishop and mayor to forgive each other, but they found the grace to try. It's not easy for us either, but the same grace is available to us. If you just can't forgive right now, ask God for the grace to want to forgive. Even if you feel no love for the other person, consider how much God loves them. Even if it takes a long time, he can bring you to peace.

"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace!"

Job 19:21-27
Psalm 27:7-9, 13-14


"But as for me, I know that my Vindicator lives, and that he will at last stand forth upon the dust..." In some translations, it says "I know my redeemer lives". What is a vindicator? What is a redeemer? It is a Savior. One who saves you from something, accusation. And the devil's job and title is to be an accuser. Are you ever accused of things? Does the devil taunt you and haunt you with accusations? With doubts like "you are not worthy" and "you are guilty!". But if we have a redeemer, we are to be saved. If you so desire to be free.

" I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living. Hear, O LORD, the sound of my call; have pity on me, and answer me.
Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks." Does our Lord hide from us? Or do we hide from Him? Does He reveal Himself to us? Or do we reveal ourselves to Him? God reveals Himself through works. We can reveal ourselves to Him through works. I said at the retreat "there is a blind man at a nursing home I visit, and I'm sure he wonders "when will I be able to see God", and then I walk into his room "I wonder when I will see God". And God is right there, Jesus, walking into the room and Jesus waiting in the room. God lives in souls, in the invited house.

In comes our Lord our Redeemer ""The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few" LOL. You don't need to tell me this verse, I already know it is truth. Even last night I almost cried to the youth saying "in my world, I have a thousand things going for church, the festival, the ministries, the worries for lost souls, and most like you are here forced to be here, some forced to attend church, and during the week, I am here all alone, I have nobody...". I have huge things donated, I have everything needed to accomplish a grand festival, even a feast, but I have not but a handful of helpers some of whom say they are coming but have not come to meetings. Am I worried? LOL. I am praying. And Praying. And PRAYING. I am in a sense, preparing myself. I will have faith in our Lord. O Lord hear my prayer. God reveals Himself to the faithful, and sometimes even to the unfaithful, who become faithful.

Our Lord says "Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves." Wow. Last night I told the kids that in the world, it is teaching you to basically do whatever you want, which is the devil saying "do whatever in the hell you want". Making life a living hell. After all "you only live once" the devil sings. I said "God only asks 10 things from us, for us to be happy, to live a life of joy". Look up Fr. Mike Shmitz new video on joy click here to see it. It is a good pointer to true joy. Unlike happiness which what people seek, and its even written in our constitution "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" is a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence. " But life and liberty are only found in Jesus. And happiness? We all want to be happy, but the secret is to do what God says. There is true joy. There is much confusion in our world about liberty and life and happiness. The devil's job is to confuse the truth, to obscure the truth and to blur the truth. I want you to be very clear. Clarity that only comes from living a life of grace. What the devil offers is a false kingdom and false riches. So many kids wrote on their top heart things that success is something that is set on their heart. But what about success for our Lord? Funny thing here is, you don't get to see the success often. You just have to have faith that God sees your good works!
Our Lord continues: "Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, 'The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.' God reveals Himself through healings, the Kingdom is revealed, but it doesn't happen without a welcoming of Him into our home and town. And it doesn't happen if there are no evangelizers, no angels doing their job. You are that angel in training. Like those mormons on foot or bikes, they are in training mode right? Allbeit they teach other things from another founder of their religion, but there are things that are admirable, door to door knockings, conversions, even Muslim things are admirable, like the devoted prayers on their knees, and the purification's that Jews called for. We can all learn to be better Christ followers by being doers of His Word.
What's here before your eyes are words from our Savior, Jesus, the love of God.
The world is passing by. How will you have left it? Will you sow with tears? Will you suffer like St. Francis a bitter death and lie naked with wounds of Christ all over you? Or will you leave dressed up fancy?

There's much to learn here. Understanding brings about wisdom, "But wisdom is proved right by her deeds." These are words of the Vindicator. Our redeemer. Our Lord. To whom the world has been granted. Jesus King. This King desires laborers. Ask for them. And you become the first laborer when there is none. For if there is none, there is one. It is you. One brings another, then there are two. Jesus sends two by two, and soon there are hundreds of faithful. But there is never you alone, for the other is our Lord binded and yoked. Like Simon of Cyrene and our Lord and the cross.

Simon becomes a lover of Jesus by taking the cross....



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