Monday, November 12, 2018

⛪ If You Have Faith

Like   Tweet   Pin   +1  

Growing in Mindfulness

Is there a method for cultivating mindfulness? Yes, there are many methods. The one I have chosen is gratefulness. Gratefulness can be practiced, cultivated, learned. And as we grow in gratefulness, we grow in mindfulness. Before I open my eyes in the morning, I remind myself that I have eyes to see, while millions of my brothers and sisters are blind—most of them on account of conditions that could be improved if our human family would come to its senses and spend its resources reasonably, equitably. If I open my eyes with this thought, chances are that I will be more grateful for the gift of sight and more alert to the needs of those who lack that gift.

—from the book The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life



"Since love completes all, makes all hard things soft, and the difficult easy, let us strive to make all our acts proceed from love."
— St. Arnold Janssen

"The Devil didn't deal out temptations to Our Lord only. He brings these evil schemes of his to bear on each of Jesus' servants—and not just on the mountain or in the wilderness or when we're by ourselves. No, he comes after us in the city as well, in the marketplaces, in courts of justice. He tempts us by means of others, even our own relatives. So what must we do? We must disbelieve him altogether, and close our ears against him, and hate his flattery. And when he tries to tempt us further by offering us even more, then we should shun him all the more. . . We aren't as intent on gaining our own salvation as he is intent on achieving our ruin. So we must shun him, not with words only, but also with works; not in mind only, but also in deed. We must do none of the things that he approves, for in that way will we do all those things that God approves. Yes, for the Devil also makes many promises, not so that he may give them to us, but so that he may take away from us. He promises plunder, so that he may deprive us of the kingdom of God and of righteousness. He sets out treasures in the earth as snares and traps, so that he may deprive us both of these and of the treasures in heaven. He would have us be rich in this life, so that we may not be rich in the next."
— St. John Chrysostom, p. 152-3
Manual for Spiritual Warfare

"For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord."
Psalm 27:5-6


click to read more


Saint Josaphat

(c. 1580 – November 12, 1623)

In 1964, newspaper photos of Pope Paul VI embracing Athenagoras I, the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople, marked a significant step toward the healing of a division in Christendom that has spanned more than nine centuries.

In 1595, the Orthodox bishop of Brest-Litovsk in present-day Belarus and five other bishops representing millions of Ruthenians, sought reunion with Rome. John Kunsevich—who took the name Josaphat in religious life—was to dedicate his life, and die for the same cause. Born in what is now Ukraine, he went to work in Wilno and was influenced by clergy adhering to the 1596 Union of Brest. He became a Basilian monk, then a priest, and soon was well known as a preacher and an ascetic.

He became bishop of Vitebsk at a relatively young age, and faced a difficult situation. Most monks, fearing interference in liturgy and customs, did not want union with Rome. By synods, catechetical instruction, reform of the clergy, and personal example, however, Josaphat was successful in winSt

ning the greater part of the Orthodox in that area to the union.

But the next year a dissident hierarchy was set up, and his opposite number spread the accusation that Josaphat had "gone Latin" and that all his people would have to do the same. He was not enthusiastically supported by the Latin bishops of Poland.

Despite warnings, he went to Vitebsk, still a hotbed of trouble. Attempts were made to foment trouble and drive him from the diocese: A priest was sent to shout insults to him from his own courtyard. When Josaphat had him removed and shut up in his house, the opposition rang the town hall bell, and a mob assembled. The priest was released, but members of the mob broke into the bishop's home. Josaphat was struck with a halberd, then shot, and his body thrown into the river. It was later recovered and is now buried in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. He was the first saint of the Eastern Church to be canonized by Rome.

Josaphat's death brought a movement toward Catholicism and unity, but the controversy continued, and the dissidents, too, had their martyr. After the partition of Poland, the Russians forced most Ruthenians to join the Russian Orthodox Church.

The seeds of separation were sown in the fourth century when the Roman Empire was divided into East and West. The actual split came over customs such as using unleavened bread, Saturday fasting, and celibacy. No doubt the political involvement of religious leaders on both sides was a large factor, and doctrinal disagreement was present. But no reason was enough to justify the present tragic division in Christendom, which is 64 percent Roman Catholic, 13 percent Eastern—mostly Orthodox—Churches, and 23 percent Protestant, and this when the 71 percent of the world that is not Christian should be experiencing unity and Christ-like charity from Christians!


Memorial of Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr

Reading 1 Ti 1:1-9

Paul, a slave of God and Apostle of Jesus Christ
for the sake of the faith of God's chosen ones
and the recognition of religious truth,
in the hope of eternal life
that God, who does not lie, promised before time began,
who indeed at the proper time revealed his word
in the proclamation with which I was entrusted
by the command of God our savior,
to Titus, my true child in our common faith:
grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our savior.

For this reason I left you in Crete
so that you might set right what remains to be done
and appoint presbyters in every town, as I directed you,
on condition that a man be blameless,
married only once, with believing children
who are not accused of licentiousness or rebellious.
For a bishop as God's steward must be blameless, not arrogant,
not irritable, not a drunkard, not aggressive,
not greedy for sordid gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness,
temperate, just, holy, and self-controlled,
holding fast to the true message as taught
so that he will be able both to exhort with sound doctrine
and to refute opponents.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 24:1b-2, 3-4ab, 5-6
R. (see 6) Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
The LORD's are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Alleluia Phil 2:15d, 16a
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Shine like lights in the world,
as you hold on to the word of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 17:1-6

Jesus said to his disciples,
"Things that cause sin will inevitably occur,
but woe to the one through whom they occur.
It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck
and he be thrown into the sea
than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.
Be on your guard!
If your brother sins, rebuke him;
and if he repents, forgive him.
And if he wrongs you seven times in one day
and returns to you seven times saying, 'I am sorry,'
you should forgive him."

And the Apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith."
The Lord replied, "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you would say to this mulberry tree,
'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you."


Meditation: Luke 17:1-6

Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr (Memorial)

Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the one through whom they occur. (Luke 17:1)

Have you ever noticed how closely many children watch adults? They are always absorbing and learning from what they see—the bad and the good. It's reminiscent of the phrase "Children learn what they live." They learn to do what they see their parents doing and not necessarily what their parents tell them to do.

It's not just children either. We all know how hard it is to avoid joining in gossip when we hear it, or how tempting it can be to chime in with hurtful comments on social media.

This is why Jesus warns us about leading other people to sin through our example. People watch us. Our witness matters. Just one negative example from us may be all someone needs to justify his or her own sin. But if a bad example has a powerful effect, imagine how much more powerful a good example can be!

The important issue, then, is not just that we avoid behaviors that could cause people to sin. It is also that we become good examples who help inspire people to holiness. Isn't this what Jesus did? His prayer life was so attractive that his disciples asked, "Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1). When he drove the money changers out of the Temple, the people were "hanging on his words" (19:48). And when he refused to condemn a woman caught in adultery, her accusers walked away "one by one," humbled by their own sins (John 8:9).

St. Paul once wrote, "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1). That's your goal as well. When you imitate Jesus, your example will whet people's appetite for God. They will see a reflection of Christ in your actions and your demeanor, and it will move them to seek the Lord for themselves. When you set aside time to pray in the morning, your faithfulness will inspire other family members. When you let a negative comment slide off your back, your peace will make your coworker take notice. When you reach out to someone who is hurting, your compassion will melt that person's heart.

How can you imitate Jesus today? Simply by living in love.

"Lord, make me like you so that other people can see you in me."

Titus 1:1-9
Psalm 24:1-6


2 cents :
" that you might set right what remains to be done..."
The more I teach this protestant student on our faith, the more he reveals about how twisted Protestantism is. I don't even want to go into detail, but it is right out lies and twists, and deception. I say this because, Jesus left us with things to do. He didn't just say have faith. He didn't say just do things either. He never said by Word alone. Saint Paul says to be set right and to get on with the things that remain to be done. And my dear one, much, very much remains.


Let us pray: ". Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face. Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD? or who may stand in his holy place? He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain." Vanity is pride. Vanity is passing. Vanity poses to be in style, the latest fashion, the latest psychological revelations and technological advancements. No. These things are mere instruments, twisted, taken wrong again. As if man takes things and just makes a mess with them, think Adam and Eve and from there the snowball begins. We need to melt that coldness. We need to turn to our Lord.

In comes our Lord in the Holy Gospel: "Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the one through whom they occur." In the prison retreat this past week, by the way, Thank You, for your prayers and thoughts and concerns, I digress, in the prisons, I see men who talk about the abusive father, the drugee father, the absent fathers, the invisible fathers of these sons in jail who have inevitably, as much as they hated their fathers, became their fathers or worse. What you do matters. I discussed in class yesterday with my RCIA student, I was lost in thought for a moment as we read about how every move, every gesture Jesus did meant something. We get to hear things our Lord did and said, but not much on how He looked, walked, moved, and did body language which speaks even more volumes. I was imagining how our Lord moved and talked without saying words. How every move meant something important, like mercy, and love. How the crowds pressed on Him to "see" Him...for good reason. I am back from retreat today. This is not my first rodeo, but this is the first time I felt like this as t his thought ran through my head on my way home "Now I know why our Lord asks us to see Him in Prison". I was left mesmerized. A fellow team member said as we spoke outside the jail fences "this I do every week, and I'll tell you what, it is addictive". And this fellow was in prison himself at one point.

Why? Lost souls. Yes. Hungry souls....perhaps a few. I've much to ponder on this visit with our Lord, perhaps more will be divulged, for now, our Lord says have faith. Be moved like the mulberry that was uprooted.

There was a special reason for calling on mustard seeds and mulberry trees. There is a reason for everything. I just realized one reason, the truth of our Lord's presence.

He wants to come into your cell. Your every cell. Nothing can keep Him out...only you can let Him in all the more.....



Powered by
GoDaddy Email Marketing ®