Monday, October 8, 2018

⛪ The One Who Treated...

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Prayer Is a Mystery

Prayer is almost as much a mystery as God. Prayer always seems to be more than the words we use to describe it or the ways in which we understand it. Prayer is as old as the human family, stretching all the way back to the fall of Adam and Eve. Prior to disobeying God, our first parents lived in friendship with him. The intimacy they shared precluded the need for prayer. Their sin, however, produced a chasm between themselves and God. Because God created them to share his life, the desire for him not only remained, it also intensified. St. Augustine describes this as a restlessness within the human heart that can only be satisfied by resting in God. We can say, therefore, that prayer is the action that enables communication between that which is human and that which is divine.

—from Prayer Everywhere: The Spiritual Life Made Simple


"Be one of the small number who find the way to life, and enter by the narrow gate into Heaven. Take care not to follow the majority and the common herd, so many of whom are lost. Do not be deceived; there are only two roads: one that leads to life and is narrow; the other that leads to death and is wide. There is no middle way."
— St. Louis de Montfort

"What is this brightness—with which God fills the soul of the just—but that clear knowledge of all that is necessary for salvation? He shows them the beauty of virtue and the deformity of vice. He reveals to them the vanity of the world, the treasures of grace, the greatness of eternal glory, and the sweetness of the consolations of the Holy Spirit. He teaches them to apprehend the goodness of God, the malice of the evil one, the shortness of life, and the fatal error of those whose hopes are centered in this world alone. Hence the equanimity of the just. They are neither puffed up by prosperity nor cast down by adversity.'A holy man', says Solomon, 'continueth in wisdom as the sun, but a fool is changed as the moon.' (Ecclus. 27:12). Unmoved by the winds of false doctrine, the just man continues steadfast in Christ, immoveable in charity, unswerving in faith."
— Venerable Louis Of Grenada, p. 135
The Sinner's Guide

"Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, 'Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.'"
Isaiah 35:3-4


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Blessed Ambrose (1220-1286) was born in Siena, Italy, the son of a book illuminator. He was born so severely deformed that his parents could not bear the sight of him. They put their son in the care of a nurse who took the child with her to daily Mass at the Dominican church. The child, often fussy, would become calm when he was placed near the altar of relics, and would cry when he was removed. While praying at the altar, the nurse would conceal the child's hideous face with a scarf. This practice continued for a year. One day a pilgrim told the nurse to remove the baby's scarf and prophesied that the child would one day become a great man. A few days later, before the same altar, the child Ambrose stretched out his deformed limbs and pronounced the name of Jesus; from that moment he was miraculously healed into a beautiful and perfectly formed child. Blessed Ambrose grew in piety and was determined to become a Dominican friar. His family and friends opposed his plan and attempted to dissuade such a handsome and talented youth from becoming a poor friar. Ambrose overcame these obstacles and joined the Dominicans at the age of 17. He studied under St. Albert the Great along with St. Thomas Aquinas, and went on to become a preacher, teacher, missionary, diplomat, and peace-broker. His skills with diplomacy earned him the respect of kings and popes alike. His feast day is October 8th.


Monday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Gal 1:6-12

Brothers and sisters:
I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking
the one who called you by the grace of Christ
for a different gospel (not that there is another).
But there are some who are disturbing you
and wish to pervert the Gospel of Christ.
But even if we or an angel from heaven
should preach to you a gospel
other than the one that we preached to you,
let that one be accursed!
As we have said before, and now I say again,
if anyone preaches to you a gospel
other than the one that you received,
let that one be accursed!

Am I now currying favor with human beings or God?
Or am I seeking to please people?
If I were still trying to please people,
I would not be a slave of Christ.

Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,
that the Gospel preached by me is not of human origin.
For I did not receive it from a human being, nor was I taught it,
but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 111:1b-2, 7-8, 9 and 10c
R. (5) The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
sure are all his precepts,
Reliable forever and ever,
wrought in truth and equity.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
He has sent deliverance to his people;
he has ratified his covenant forever;
holy and awesome is his name.
His praise endures forever.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 13:34
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I give you a new commandment:
love one another as I have loved you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 10:25-37

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said,
"Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law?
How do you read it?"
He said in reply,
"You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself."
He replied to him, "You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live."

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus,
"And who is my neighbor?"
Jesus replied,
"A man fell victim to robbers
as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road,
but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place,
and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him
was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim,
poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.
Then he lifted him up on his own animal,
took him to an inn, and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins
and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,
'Take care of him.
If you spend more than what I have given you,
I shall repay you on my way back.'
Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers' victim?"
He answered, "The one who treated him with mercy."
Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."


Meditation: Luke 10:25-37

A Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion. (Luke 10:33)

"The man who rescued me was a Samaritan, but I'm a Jew. Why did he even bother to help me?"

You can imagine the victim in this parable asking a question like this. Acrimony between Jews and Samaritans had existed for centuries, so these two would have considered each other sworn enemies. The hatred was so intense that both Jewish and Samaritan leaders had told their people that it was sinful to talk to or have any contact with the other. The worst Jewish insult would have been to call someone a Samaritan.

It must have shocked Jesus' audience that he made a Samaritan the hero of his story. How could a Samaritan be so kind and compassionate?

Jesus' parable forced his hearers to put a face and a heart on a member of a despised group. That's always the first step in undoing prejudice and bias: to view people not as "categories" or "labels" but as individuals created in the image and likeness of God. When we do this, we often discover that our assumptions about a person are way off base.

The Samaritan in Jesus' parable saw the Jewish man on the side of the road not as his enemy but as his neighbor. That's how God wants us to see everyone we encounter as well. It's a tall order, and we can't do it on our own. We need the grace of the Holy Spirit to help us confront our prejudices, fears, and assumptions. We need him to open our eyes so that we can see everyone as our brother or sister, no matter how different they are from us.

Jesus ended this parable by telling the scribe who prompted it, "Go and do likewise" (Luke 10:37). The answer to overcoming our divisions is not just in seeing people differently; it's in treating them differently. Take that as a challenge today. Find one situation in which you can "go and do likewise" toward someone different from you—engage them in conversation, offer to help them, make it a point to think about their own hopes and dreams. Opportunities abound. All we need is a little courage to try.

"Lord, help me overcome my biases. I want to be able to see you in every person I meet."

Galatians 1:6-12
Psalm 111:1-2, 7-10


"Am I now currying favor with human beings or God?" In another translation it says "Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." I've sat and heard people tell me that they won't be going to Mass or a church thing because they have to tend the family visiting them "we got company" they say. And so, mortal sin ensues. A detraction. A subtraction. To win approval of people, and not of God. But this kind of thing happens even to a church goer. A husband goes just to be on the good side of the wife, or a person goes to be seen as a social gathering, acceptable, as if in politics. To have a "good" reputation. All of these are the wrong reasons to miss God. One should really "miss" our Lord. If you love someone, you miss them. And boy oh boy, do I miss alot of loved ones in Church. God loves. He misses you. It's been a while since you've been with

Let us pray: "I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart in the company and assembly of the just. Great are the works of the LORD, exquisite in all their delights. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever." There is an old popular lie the devil uses to entice us humans too, the kind of lie that implies that you don't need a church, just keep it between you and God. No sins need to be confessed. No church on Sundays. No church meetings. No CCD (bible study), no formation, no gathering. And it's a powerful lie. It's the kind that divides and conquers. I bet you know of some that have fallen for this lie and are "on their own". Lost sheep. I will tell you a truth, there is a family, and then, there is a family of God.

In comes our Lord, on the story of the good Samaritan. I guess there must've been bad Samaritans, but there are good ones. There are good people who don't belong to the so called "flock". And God sees their heart. Allbeit, it is safer to be with the flock, safety in numbers, safety in the body of Christ, but there are good things to learn about mercy. An outcast saves a member of the flock. The priests and levites, the head honchos of the flock were not taking care of their flock. Jesus comes as the High Priest to show them how to take care of their flock. We've much to learn. If you are a priest reading this, learn what Pope Francis meant when he first came onboard "the shepherd must smell like the flock". This means one thing and clearly, take care of God's flock. Be involved. So many times throughout different years and different priests, I hear people dismayed by the priest. "Oh he wouldn't come when I asked him" and "he wouldn't let me in the door of his house to talk about my problem". This was about 10 years ago. The priest is expected to be many things in a parish. And a loving perhaps the most important. What kind of father is he who does not spend time with his children? Divorced dads that don't care about his kids are called "dead beat dads" right? Abandoned kids, abandoned responsibilities, abandoned love, abandoned salvation.
You as Catholic are baptized as a priest. What kind of priest will you be? The kind that don't open the doors to your house? The kind that won't listen to his kids? The kind that doesn't seem to care anymore? The kind that won't welcome others? The kind that won't look for the lost child when he or she has gone missing? The kind that doesn't care about fulfilling their God-given role? We all love to be loved.

So does God.
He bandages with His wine turned blood, the poor and forgotten.
He loves to be loved, and Heaven is fueled by Love.
Love in action is a powerful story.
Love in the just, the truth...That is a formidable force because the truth wins.
Let us ask our Lord to reveal the poor among us. And let us see if we don't dodge them. Often, it is the one you least suspect. Easily overlooked. Hard to get to.

Don't be too busy. Winning people's approval...and not God's



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