Tuesday, November 13, 2018

⛪ We are unprofitable

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The Life Force in the Universe

There is a life force flowing through the universe, and everything exists in a single moment, forever unfolding. I open myself to the stream. I want to be emptied and purified so that the past is no longer my lens—so that it no longer colors what I see. What will it be like to look without fear or expectation, to see things with nothing in the way? Who will I be if I am not afraid, but alive? There is everything to experience, and the portal beyond the darkness to know…. I am not limited to my name. I know this now. I am more than this body. I am not defined by the story I tell or the experiences life has given me. I have experienced sorrow, but sorrow is not essentially who I am. I am the small green shoot of a flower making its way through the dark. I am the spirit experiencing what it is to be here in this form.

—from the book Stars at Night: When Darkness Unfolds as Night


"You will not see anyone who is truly striving after his spiritual advancement who is not given to spiritual reading."
— St. Athanasius of Alexandria

"For us Christians, the first virtue of godliness is to honor our parents—to pay back the troubles of those who bore us, and to give them whatever comforts we can with all our strength. For if we repaid them as much as possible, we could still never pay them back for their gift of life. Then they will enjoy the comfort we provide, . . . And then won't our Father in heaven accept our good intentions, and judge us worthy to 'shine like the sun in the Kingdom of our Father' (Matthew 13:43)?"
— St. Cyril of Jerusalem, p. 190
Year with Church Fathers

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."
Isaiah 43:2-3


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St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850–1917) was the thirteenth child of a modest farming family born near Milan, Italy. Her father would often gather his children in the kitchen to hear him read from a book on the lives of the saints. St. Frances was endeared to the stories of missionaries working in the Orient and desired to become one herself, which in her day was a man's role. Turned away from being a nun twice due to poor health, she prayed at the tomb of her patron, Francis Xavier, the great Jesuit missionary-saint, about founding a new religious order to evangelize the East just as he did. Pope Leo XIII approved of her order, the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, but instead of sending her to China as she had desired since childhood, he sent her to the West, specifically to America to serve the growing European immigrant population which faced poverty and disenfranchisement. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini moved to New York in 1889 and went on to found 67 institutions—schools, orphanages, and hospitals—throughout the Western Hemisphere. She received American citizenship, and in 1946 became the first United States citizen to be canonized by the Catholic Church. Her ministry left a significant mark on the Americas, creating lasting institutions to educate and care for those in need. She is the patron saint of immigrants, orphans, and hospital administrators. Her feast day is November 13th.


The compassion and dedication of Mother Cabrini is still seen in hundreds of thousands of her fellow citizens who care for the sick in hospitals, nursing homes, and state institutions. We complain of increased medical costs in an affluent society, but the daily news shows us millions who have little or no medical care, and who are calling for new Mother Cabrinis to become citizen-servants of their land.

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini is the Patron Saint of:
Hospital Administrators
Impossible Causes


Memorial of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin

Reading 1 Ti 2:1-8, 11-14

You must say what is consistent with sound doctrine,
namely, that older men should be temperate, dignified,
self-controlled, sound in faith, love, and endurance.
Similarly, older women should be reverent in their behavior,
not slanderers, not addicted to drink,
teaching what is good, so that they may train younger women
to love their husbands and children,
to be self-controlled, chaste, good homemakers,
under the control of their husbands,
so that the word of God may not be discredited.

Urge the younger men, similarly, to control themselves,
showing yourself as a model of good deeds in every respect,
with integrity in your teaching, dignity, and sound speech
that cannot be criticized,
so that the opponent will be put to shame
without anything bad to say about us.

For the grace of God has appeared, saving all
and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires
and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age,
as we await the blessed hope,
the appearance of the glory of the great God
and of our savior Jesus Christ,
who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness
and to cleanse for himself a people as his own,
eager to do what is good.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 37:3-4, 18 and 23, 27 and 29
R. (39a) The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Trust in the LORD and do good,
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart's requests.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
The LORD watches over the lives of the wholehearted;
their inheritance lasts forever.
By the LORD are the steps of a man made firm,
and he approves his way.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Turn from evil and do good,
that you may abide forever;
The just shall possess the land
and dwell in it forever.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

Alleluia Jn 14:23
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 17:7-10

Jesus said to the Apostles:
"Who among you would say to your servant
who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field,
'Come here immediately and take your place at table'?
Would he not rather say to him,
'Prepare something for me to eat.
Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink.
You may eat and drink when I am finished'?
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
So should it be with you.
When you have done all you have been commanded, say,
'We are unprofitable servants;
we have done what we were obliged to do.'"


Meditation: Titus 2:1-8, 11-14

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin (Memorial)

Live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age. (Titus 2:12)

Titus is known as a "pastoral" letter. Consider it a sort of "owner's manual" for second-generation Christians. These believers had not physically seen Jesus and likely had never met the original twelve apostles. Rather than expounding on doctrine, this letter, along with First and Second Timothy, taught Christians how to live in a way that reflected their faith in Jesus.

Today's first reading calls believers to "live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age" (Titus 2:12, emphasis added). Well, that was then. But what about now? What does it look like for us to live this way? Let's see.

To live temperately means to be moderate and balanced, not prone to extremes. Of course this can apply to how we approach our appetites for food and drink, and we should seek moderation in these areas. But today, temperance also includes being judicious about our screen time. And because we live in a materialistic culture, we need to look at our purchases, being careful not to get caught up in a cycle of buying things we don't need.

To live justly means to be righteous—morally upright and obedient to God's commands. Living justly also involves loving our neighbor as the Good Samaritan did (Luke 10:29-37). Today the complexities of work and family life can absorb us to the point where we don't notice the people around us who are in need. But living justly means looking beyond our own concerns to care for those who are suffering.

A devout person is committed to God. He seeks to please the Lord in all he says and does. Many today feel too busy to carve out time for God. But a devout person makes attending Sunday Mass and having a regular prayer time a priority. A devout person knows that's one of the best ways to strengthen their relationship with the Lord.

We all want to live out our faith. We just have to be aware of the unique temptations that we face in the age we live in. The truth is, every age presents its own set of challenges. But with our eyes open and focused on the Lord, we can live holy lives even today.

"Lord, help me to live in a way that points people to you."

Psalm 37:3-4, 18, 23, 27, 29
Luke 17:7-10


2 cents :
"For the grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age...". We are little less than angels. We have training wheels. The best of saints have done great things and have done the smallest of things. So, once again, the grace of our Lord is saving and training. To reject godless things and worldly desires. That's a tough one. That's what has most imprisoned. But not only in physical jails, but spiritual cells. We are called to live just, holy lives. Temperance is key. Moreover than moderation. Holiness calls for heroism. I can only wish to live this heroic lifestyle. To be of the Savior, the hero, we must then be heroic in virtue. We must not only be light, but be a blinding light. I hope this truth is sinking into our hearts.


Let us pray: "The salvation of the just comes from the Lord. Trust in the LORD and do good,
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security. Take delight in the LORD, and he will grant you your heart's requests." Do good. What's funny about this? Everybody thinks they are doing good, from the avid follower, to the inactive catholic or Christian, to any religion to no religion and atheists, and demonic forces thinking they too do good in their own eyes. So we must pray on:

"Turn from evil and do good, that you may abide forever". Once again, there is that word "may", so you "may" abide forever. Nothing is absolutely guaranteed like protestants teach. As Catholics, we live a different way, we are only susceptible to God's grace, we depend on Grace, and what He says. So let us turn to Him now.

Our Lord says "Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished." Weird huh? Why did God say "wait on me first before you go"? The answer is obvious isn't it? Love comes first. Ahhh. DOH! Why should I wait on others? Why should others go first? I remember I used to get so aggrevated as a young teenager, fresh in the morning, breakfast smelled so good, my father is eating, and before I could sit he asked "have you fed the animals yet?" We had a few horses and cows. Now I had to trek out in the cold and muck and get all dirty, while my dad sits there and eats a warm breakfast. And these are just ANIMALS! They aren't worth more than me...right? But wait. Love comes first. Obedience. Love of the father, Our Father comes first. Obedience comes first. The cross comes first. Strange teachings Jesus teaches, completely opposed to the ways of the world. Indeed, the followers of Christ, they weren't called "Christians". They were just known to be people of the "Way". The way of life. Because Jesus said "I Am the Way". Indeed. He is our way to salvation. The hero. The Savior. He still saves. Saves souls.

In this prison retreat I helped at, there are many hurdles one must pass to enter. I'm not speaking of all the guards and gates. No, before the gates you enter, there are already other doors being knocked on; I was asked, "Would you like to help the prison ministry?" WHOA. That's the first one. But before that, there are already other gates. The gates of one already slaving away for the Lord. And so, I was asked. What an honor. Then, I had to sacrifice 3 days. Ok. Not too easy of an obstacle. Then, these other men had to find a place to stay, pay for their way. And then, we had to pay the team a fee. (This provides meals for prisoners etc). So I had to pay in many different sacrificial ways. And at the end of the retreat, I had to get on my knees and wash and kiss the feet of the prisoner. Say WHAAAT? All that work for that? And they sat to eat, and I had to serve them too!

Like I said. What an honor. These rejected "scum bags" of the world were served love. They were moved and touched by love. I remember when I broke my hip by motorcycle racing a couple years ago. I was in the race and excited because I thought my dad said he'd go see me, and he's never gone to see me do anything like that. In my excitement, thinking he was in the stands, I got overzealous and lost my concentration and flipped the quad atv and it stabbed me into the ground. I was in sheer pain, I was afraid because I couldn't move my leg. I pleaded for help from heaven. JESUS! Fast forward the painful ride to the hospital. Fast forward to the day before I leave the hospital. By now I had realized my dad had not gone to the race at the coliseum that night. But, he was there to help me in and out of my shower with my walker, and there as I sat, he dried my feet like Jesus, washing my feet. I'll never forget. My heart was touched by Jesus. So much that my heart burns with tears as I write. As if He were to say "I'm not there for you in your craziness, but I am here for you to recover you, to restore you, to help you through the toughest of times".

That's how I feel with prisoners. The sentiment of our Lord is "I'm with you".

Because the Love of the Father always waits with mercy to deliver.
Because the Love of the Father knows what is best for our soul.
That is why He asks us to do certain things that we don't understand.
Things like...serving Him always and following Him through the valley. Going the extra mile, giving to the one who just takes.
Things like honoring Him and placing Him above all.

Don't you think our children deserve that?
Who will they learn to be saints from?



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