Friday, October 19, 2018

⛪ the hairs of your head


Reflecting the Reign of God

Romero was clear in his own mind and conscience that he was doing Christ's work, not playing power politics. "We not only read the Bible, we analyze it, we celebrate it, we incarnate it in our reality, we want to make it our life. [Our goal is] to incarnate the Word of God in our people. This is not politics. When we point out the political, social, and economic sins in the homily, this is the Word of God incarnate in our reality, a reality that often does not reflect the reign of God but rather sin. We proclaim the Gospel to point out to people the paths of redemption."

—from Saint Oscar Romero: Pastor, Prophet, Martyr


"Faith and love are like the blind man's guides. They will lead you along a path unknown to you, to the place where God is hidden."
— St. John of the Cross

"Therefore, when God gives spiritual comfort, receive it with thanksgiving, but know that it is the bounty of God, not thy merit. Be not puffed up, be not overjoyed, nor vainly presume, but rather be the more humble for this gift and the more cautious and fearful in all thine actions; for this hour will pass away and temptation will follow. When comfort shall be taken away from thee, do not presently despair; but wait with humility and patience for the heavenly visit, for God is able to restore thee a greater consolation. This is no new thing, nor strange to those who have experienced the ways of God: for the great saints and ancient prophets have often felt this kind of variety."
— Thomas à Kempis, p. 64
Imitation of Christ

"Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name. When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them."
Psalm 91:14-15


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Saints Isaac Jogues, Jean de Brébeuf, and Companions

(d. 1642 – 1649)

Saints Isaac Jogues, Jean de Brébeuf, and Companions' Story
Isaac Jogues and his companions were the first martyrs of the North American continent officially recognized by the Church. As a young Jesuit, Isaac Jogues, a man of learning and culture, taught literature in France. He gave up that career to work among the Huron Indians in the New World, and in 1636, he and his companions, under the leadership of Jean de Brébeuf, arrived in Quebec. The Hurons were constantly warred upon by the Iroquois, and in a few years Father Jogues was captured by the Iroquois and imprisoned for 13 months. His letters and journals tell how he and his companions were led from village to village, how they were beaten, tortured, and forced to watch as their Huron converts were mangled and killed.

An unexpected chance for escape came to Isaac Jogues through the Dutch, and he returned to France, bearing the marks of his sufferings. Several fingers had been cut, chewed, or burnt off. Pope Urban VIII gave him permission to offer Mass with his mutilated hands: "It would be shameful that a martyr of Christ not be allowed to drink the Blood of Christ."

Welcomed home as a hero, Father Jogues might have sat back, thanked God for his safe return, and died peacefully in his homeland. But his zeal led him back once more to the fulfillment of his dreams. In a few months he sailed for his missions among the Hurons.

In 1646, he and Jean de Lalande, who had offered his services to the missioners, set out for Iroquois country in the belief that a recently signed peace treaty would be observed. They were captured by a Mohawk war party, and on October 18, Father Jogues was tomahawked and beheaded. Jean de Lalande was killed the next day at Ossernenon, a village near Albany, New York.

The first of the Jesuit missionaries to be martyred was René Goupil who with Lalande, had offered his services as an oblate. He was tortured along with Isaac Jogues in 1642, and was tomahawked for having made the sign of the cross on the brow of some children.

Father Anthony Daniel, working among Hurons who were gradually becoming Christian, was killed by Iroquois on July 4, 1648. His body was thrown into his chapel, which was set on fire.

Jean de Brébeuf was a French Jesuit who came to Canada at the age of 32 and labored there for 24 years. He went back to France when the English captured Quebec in 1629 and expelled the Jesuits, but returned to his missions four years later. Although medicine men blamed the Jesuits for a smallpox epidemic among the Hurons, Jean remained with them.

He composed catechisms and a dictionary in Huron, and saw 7,000 converted before his death in 1649. Having been captured by the Iroquois at Sainte Marie, near Georgian Bay, Canada, Father Brébeuf died after four hours of extreme torture.

Gabriel Lalemant had taken a fourth vow—to sacrifice his life for the Native Americans. He was horribly tortured to death along with Father Brébeuf.

Father Charles Garnier was shot to death in 1649 as he baptized children and catechumens during an Iroquois attack.

Father Noel Chabanel also was killed in 1649, before he could answer his recall to France. He had found it exceedingly hard to adapt to mission life. He could not learn the language, and the food and life of the Indians revolted him, plus he suffered spiritual dryness during his whole stay in Canada. Yet he made a vow to remain in his mission until death.

These eight Jesuit martyrs of North America were canonized in 1930.

Faith and heroism planted belief in Christ's cross deep in our land. The Church in North America sprang from the blood of martyrs, as has been true in so many places. The ministry and sacrifices of these saints challenges each of us, causing us to ask just how deep is our faith and how strong our desire to serve even in the face of death.

Saints Isaac Jogues, Jean de Brébeuf, and Companions are the Patron Saints of:
North America


Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs

Reading 1 Eph 1:11-14

Brothers and sisters:
In Christ we were also chosen,
destined in accord with the purpose of the One
who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will,
so that we might exist for the praise of his glory,
we who first hoped in Christ.
In him you also, who have heard the word of truth,
the Gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him,
were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
which is the first installment of our inheritance
toward redemption as God's possession, to the praise of his glory.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 12-13
R. (12) Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Exult, you just, in the LORD;
praise from the upright is fitting.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten stringed lyre chant his praises.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
For upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
From heaven the LORD looks down;
he sees all mankind.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

Alleluia Ps 33:22
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us;
who have put our hope in you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 12:1-7

At that time:
So many people were crowding together
that they were trampling one another underfoot.
Jesus began to speak, first to his disciples,
"Beware of the leaven–that is, the hypocrisy–of the Pharisees.

"There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness
will be heard in the light,
and what you have whispered behind closed doors
will be proclaimed on the housetops.
I tell you, my friends,
do not be afraid of those who kill the body
but after that can do no more.
I shall show you whom to fear.
Be afraid of the one who after killing
has the power to cast into Gehenna;
yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.
Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins?
Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God.
Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.
Do not be afraid.
You are worth more than many sparrows."


Catholic Meditations
Meditation: Luke 12:1-7

Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs (Memorial)

Do not be afraid. (Luke 12:7)

From time to time, we receive letters from our readers telling us about how the Lord has worked in their lives. The letter below, edited for space and clarity, tells one such story.

"Last week I was driving my seemingly healthy son, Josh, to the emergency room as waves of panic rose up in me. We had gone to the doctor, assuming he had picked up some minor bug, only to be told to go straight to the hospital. Josh's blood sugar level was dangerously high, and he needed immediate treatment.

"Within a few hours his life changed dramatically: Josh had diabetes. The news shocked us. Josh needed to adopt a completely alien health regimen, one that included administering shots at least three times a day. My son, who loved eating sweets and lots of carbs, would now have to pay very close attention to his diet. All of a sudden, the future became cloudier.

"'Do not be afraid.' These words from Luke's Gospel spoke to my motherly heart. What if he were to miss a glucose reading or a shot of insulin while he was at college—hours away? Who would remind him? Who would be able to drop everything and rush him to the hospital?

"But Jesus said, 'Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God' (Luke 12:6). My fear led me to ask some unsettling questions. Had it escaped the notice of God that our son has a life-altering chronic illness? Did he miss the fact that my boy will now need to exercise more discipline and self-control than most kids his age?

"That was last week. Today, I am watching Josh take advantage of the grace that God has provided him, and my fear is subsiding. I still have moments of frustration and discouragement when I think about how difficult life will be for him. But I am also seeing many ways that God has proved himself true to his promise. He is clearly giving my son the ability to accept his new reality. Josh isn't living in fear, so surely I can follow his lead—surely I can stake my life on Jesus' words."

"Lord, when fear rises up within me, give me the grace to trust in your promises."

Ephesians 1:11-14
Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 12-13


2 cents :

"In Christ we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One...". Fr. Mike Schmitz said "if you don't know what God's will is for your life, here it is... are you ready for it? Be A Saint!" Be holy. We are built with a purpose. A brother we united with last night said on this "I didn't know I had it in me!". Saint Paul goes on to say "In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him,were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit" think, the Sacrament of Confirmation. You have been sealed with the gift. It is in you.


Let us pray with the Psalms, with our Lord: "Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own. For upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy. He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full." Something happened said Mark Hart in the bible study Great Adventure for teens, when the evil one tempted Eve in the Garden. He never said that God doesn't exist, of course He exists, everyone knows that, but evil one did open a doubt in her mind "did He REALLY mean that? Did He really mean you would die? Or did He mean He didn't want you to be like Him and live forever? She became afraid to die with the doubt, fell for the lie, and then actually died. Think sin. Think, the wages of sin. And it comes back to faith. Trusting. Making the Word trustworthy. Righteousness.

In comes our Lord, into our lives today by way of the Holy Gospel, the trustworthy Word from Heaven: ""Beware of the leaven–that is, the hypocrisy–of the Pharisees." What? What hypocrisy? Pharisees were hypocrites? I thought they were supposed to be the so called good doers of the word? Ahh, nobody said they weren't doers. Our Lord said they had hypocrisy inside of them, a leaven inflating themselves. Is there such a thing as a bad batch of bread? Yes, if the leaven is not good. If the yeast is not right.
So our Lord continues: ""There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed". Every secret is known to Him. All your dirty nasty ugly thoughts of other people, they are all being said as you whisper in gossip, as you play with it in your head. Do you trust this truth? Does this truth make you sin? It should. As Mother Angelica said once "I very well intend to scare the hell out of you". Scare the evil out of you. Be righteous, that is...holy. I can only vouch for all this by saying this: God hears my thoughts, and my inner prayers, how can He not hear everything else? I'll tell you what, He has heard some inmost prayers I've never even uttered in vocal prayer. He knows the heart, He knows the desires of the heart. He knows what is good. He knows what is best. Shall we have secrets? Shall we have sins? Or shall we come out with them, be straightforward, no duplicity, bring them out in confession? Yes. It is like an exorcism. Out with the old and in with the new. The new you. The new joyful you. The new kind that the world sees. My friend said last night "I was afraid I'd stop being cool and that I'd be boring if I gave my life to God". But now, he is joyful. He has found the joy and wants it for the world. I know the feeling, but its like we are talking an alien language in the world. You for reading this know what I'm talking about, the joy of the Lord.
"I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body...". There are 2 kinds of martyrs in the world, a red martyrdom, like today's saints murdered in cold blood, a bloody death, and there is a white martyrdom. White martyrdom is still a total life offering to God. I'd say, it is a state of life in grace waiting to be a red martyr. I'm thinking now, of priests in Australia, who are now being threatened to break the seal of confession to report to government what they hear in this Holy Sacrament. There is evil working here. And these will face prison. Be afraid not of government but of that who has power of life after death. Thou shall not break the covenant, the seal. Let no man separate us in our marriage, our vows, be ready to give account to righteousness. And for us who want to follow our Lord in a dark world? Today's saints brought Christ to "savages". These savages, all they know how to do is to kill the body. Simpletons. Just like all the world's most violent dictators. All the power of gangsters is death. That's all they got. A violence is their mentality. Sadly, some people in our own government is now calling for violence of one party on to another. Evil. There is a battle, constantly between good and evil. I want you to be aware of evil. There are snakes around my home, but I'm not living sad, just on full alert. We are joyful. We are kept warm. We are together. You and I we are one in the Lord.

Again, twice today our Lord says "Do Not Be Afraid". "You are worth more than many sparrows." Yet He notices the little bird that nobody else cares for. How do these birds survive? By the grace of God. You are precious. I told my students never to feel worthless, undeserving of life. Everyone deserves life, that is why the Church is pro-life and not pro-death. Yet, the dark world hates to hear this. Those playing with life, those dictator governments in other parts of the world are starting to realize we need more humans. We've been setting a death trend for too long. There are less and less people in the world. They want to open up a little to letting more life happen. But they have a problem, people don't want it. They don't want more children no matter how much money they are offered. People don't want more children because life is now different, they are accustomed to a lifestyle that is anti-children. I've spoken of Russia and of China. Now the French dictator is saying ignorants have children. LOL. Little does he know that "the meek shall inherit the earth". What does this mean? Humility. Life. It means everything because it came from a trustworthy source....Jesus. Ahh, the one who is accepted or rejected. The one who brings life eternal. The one who has set the bar. Yes, He calls for much more than we currently care for. Authentic love. Dirt poor love. Human love mixed with divine love. Now think Eucharist. Martyrdom. Holiness.
It's in you



Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD

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