Friday, November 16, 2018

⛪ What Was Left

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No Longer Lost, but Not Yet Found

A single sentence, a single word, a single awareness may turn life over, and while you may not yet be found, you are no longer lost. It is impossible to express. Your dream of the world is unmasked, creating an opening. The night, however dark, is not endless, because in that smallest opening you glimpsed light moving in the dark. It was the first real thing you have known.

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


"A word or a smile is often enough to put fresh life in a despondent soul."
— St. Therese of Lisieux

"The beatitude of the saints is immutable, like that of the Son of God. . . Add ages to ages; multiply them equal to the sand of the ocean or the stars of heaven; exhaust all numbers, if you can, beyond what the human intelligence can conceive, and for the elect there will be still the same eternity of happiness. They are immutable, and this immutability excludes weariness and disgust. The life of an elect soul is one succession, without end, of desires ever arising and ever satisfied, but desires without trouble, satiety or lassitude. The elect will always see God, love God, possess God and always will wish to see Him, love Him and possess Him still more. This beatitude is the end destined for all; God has given us time only in order to merit it, being and life only to possess it. Reflect seriously on this great truth, and ask yourself these three questions at the foot of the crucifix: What have I done hitherto for heaven? What ought I to do for heaven? What shall I do henceforward for heaven?"
— St. Ignatius of Loyola, p. 179
Spiritual Exercises

"I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."
John 6:51


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Saint Margaret of Scotland

(1045 – November 16, 1093)

Margaret of Scotland was a truly liberated woman in the sense that she was free to be herself. For her, that meant freedom to love God and serve others.

Not Scottish by birth, Margaret was the daughter of Princess Agatha of Hungary and the Anglo-Saxon Prince Edward Atheling. She spent much of her youth in the court of her great-uncle, the English king, Edward the Confessor. Her family fled from William the Conqueror and was shipwrecked off the coast of Scotland. King Malcolm befriended them and was captivated by the beautiful, gracious Margaret. They were married at the castle of Dunfermline in 1070.

Malcolm was good-hearted, but rough and uncultured, as was his country. Because of Malcolm's love for Margaret, she was able to soften his temper, polish his manners, and help him become a virtuous king. He left all domestic affairs to her, and often consulted her in state matters.

Margaret tried to improve her adopted country by promoting the arts and education. For religious reform she encouraged synods and was present for the discussions which tried to correct religious abuses common among priests and laypeople, such as simony, usury, and incestuous marriages. With her husband, she founded several churches.

Margaret was not only a queen, but a mother. She and Malcolm had six sons and two daughters. Margaret personally supervised their religious instruction and other studies.

Although she was very much caught up in the affairs of the household and country, she remained detached from the world. Her private life was austere. She had certain times for prayer and reading Scripture. She ate sparingly and slept little in order to have time for devotions. She and Malcolm kept two Lents, one before Easter and one before Christmas. During these times she always rose at midnight for Mass. On the way home she would wash the feet of six poor persons and give them alms. She was always surrounded by beggars in public and never refused them. It is recorded that she never sat down to eat without first feeding nine orphans and 24 adults.

In 1093, King William Rufus made a surprise attack on Alnwick castle. King Malcolm and his oldest son, Edward, were killed. Margaret, already on her deathbed, died four days after her husband.

There are two ways to be charitable: the "clean way" and the "messy way." The "clean way" is to give money or clothing to organizations that serve the poor. The "messy way" is dirtying your own hands in personal service to the poor. Margaret's outstanding virtue was her love of the poor. Although very generous with material gifts, Margaret also visited the sick and nursed them with her own hands. She and her husband served orphans and the poor on their knees during Advent and Lent. Like Christ, she was charitable the "messy way."


Friday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 2 Jn 4-9

[Chosen Lady:]
I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth
just as we were commanded by the Father.
But now, Lady, I ask you,
not as though I were writing a new commandment
but the one we have had from the beginning:
let us love one another.
For this is love, that we walk according to his commandments;
this is the commandment, as you heard from the beginning,
in which you should walk.

Many deceivers have gone out into the world,
those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh;
such is the deceitful one and the antichrist.
Look to yourselves that you do not lose what we worked for
but may receive a full recompense.
Anyone who is so "progressive"
as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God;
whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 119:1, 2, 10, 11, 17, 18
R. (1b) Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Blessed are they who observe his decrees,
who seek him with all their heart.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
With all my heart I seek you;
let me not stray from your commands.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Within my heart I treasure your promise,
that I may not sin against you.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Be good to your servant, that I may live
and keep your words.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Open my eyes, that I may consider
the wonders of your law.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!

Alleluia Lk 21:28
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 17:26-37

Jesus said to his disciples:
"As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be in the days of the Son of Man;
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage up to the day
that Noah entered the ark,
and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot:
they were eating, drinking, buying,
selling, planting, building;
on the day when Lot left Sodom,
fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all.
So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
On that day, someone who is on the housetop
and whose belongings are in the house
must not go down to get them,
and likewise one in the field
must not return to what was left behind.
Remember the wife of Lot.
Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it,
but whoever loses it will save it.
I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed;
one will be taken, the other left.
And there will be two women grinding meal together;
one will be taken, the other left."
They said to him in reply, "Where, Lord?"
He said to them, "Where the body is,
there also the vultures will gather."


Meditation: Luke 17:26-37

Saint Margaret of Scotland (Optional Memorial)

Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it. (Luke 17:33)

If you think this Scripture verse sounds familiar, there's good reason. Jesus says the same thing at least once in every Gospel! But even though it's familiar, Jesus' statement is the type of paradox that can be hard to make sense of. What does it mean for me?

To see one way it was lived out "in real life," let's look at someone who practiced "losing" his life and ended up "saving" it.

Francis Xavier was an ambitious young man who sought success in the scholarly world. Living in Paris, he had many opportunities to take advantage of all that the world had to offer. But an older student named Ignatius of Loyola saw something special in Francis—something that could be fulfilled only as he let go of the life of scholarly success that he valued so highly. And so Ignatius befriended him and challenged him—patiently but repeatedly—to put God above his worldly ambitions: to "lose his life" instead of seeking to "preserve it."

Slowly, Francis found his priorities changing. Earthly accomplishments no longer seemed so fulfilling. The idea of doing great things for God started to entice him. After following the Spiritual Exercises with Ignatius, he decided to let go of his earthly ambitions, "lose" his life in this world, and devote himself to God.

The rest, as they say, is history. Francis Xavier spent the rest of his life bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to the distant lands of Asia. He is credited with the conversions of countless people, and it's said that he baptized more than one hundred thousand people before he died at the age of forty-six.

Your experience of losing your life to save it probably won't look as dramatic as St. Francis Xavier's. But inwardly, it is every bit as life changing. Every time you put aside your own preference or put someone else first, you are "saving" your life. Each choice to hold your own plans loosely and ask for God's guidance is a choice to let go of preserving your own way. Little by little, these choices reshape your heart and your will. Step-by-step, your desires start to change. Before you know it, you'll be doing great things for God!

"Lord, help me to let go of anything that would keep me from following you."

2 John 4-9
Psalm 119:1-2, 10-11, 17-18


2 cents :
"Anyone who is so "progressive" as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God; whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son. " Remain. Faithful and True. Be found in this Way. Do "progressives" still exist? You bet! They say the ways of the church are old and out of style and out of sync with the world. True. They are old, thousands of years old. True. Yes they don't sync with the world, don't fit in with the ways of the world. True. Today, we see progressives everywhere, even in Church, trying to change the Church, secretly, with evil intent, wolves in sheep's clothing. So what is progressiveness? It is being unfaithful. They twist things to their fancy. Newer churches pop up, new denominations, new fashions, fads, and trends. All to avoid what? Suffering. Sacrifice. And Truth.


Let us pray: "Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord! Blessed are they whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD." In the world, there are those who follow the law, and there are those who hate the law. There are those who love the law, and there are those who could care less. Now, I'm talking about the law of the Lord. Where lawlessness runs rampant, there are those who have total disregard for the law. I gotta say something that many might not agree with in the world: There are not that many people ready to go to Heaven. If only saints are in Heaven, then can I be far off from truth? But progressives teach that you don't need law any more in the faith, they teach hell isn't really real. They teach that you just believe whatever you want and that's truth. Such is the world we live in; if you are religious, you are an outcast member of society. You are an oddball. Peculiar in a world where oddities are loved except the rare saint. And you are called to be a saint. Every one of us.

Let us turn to our Lord: ""As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man" and from here protestants take off making up a "Left Behind" series and theories of how the world will end. Incorrect. The day of the Son of Man is at hand. We are called to a total transformation. Once you have decided to follow Jesus, there is no turning back. " in the field
must not return to what was left behind." This is true of how many times people would come up to Jesus and say they wanted to follow Him...BUT. I think we should be tired of Christian buts, Catholic buts. Excuses. Everyone has an excuse for not being faithful. A true soul though, knows they have no excuse. But a holy soul knows the law of the Lord and cherishes it. And what is the law? Jesus says LOVE. "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." Now, this is a tall order. Loving as God loves is a tall but not impossible order. So how will it be in the end? How will it be when the Son of Man comes? It will be just as He said. Two in bed, one fades away...death. But in the same way, we are called to die to ourselves and never turn back. The first death. The death to the world. The ways of the world must die in you, you must die to the world. Then... a saint is born. What are the ways of the world and what are the ways of Christ our Lord? It comes back to Adam and Eve. The difference? Obedience. Betrayal is disobedience. Sin is disobedience. There's a major problem in the world. Sinners. Sinners that don't seek to be reconciled. Sinners that don't want to unite to help each other to Heaven, to figure things out. You need help. You need spiritual help. You need to seek grace. I know I do. I'm not pointing the finger. I constantly tell my friendship groups and ultreyas, how we need this community of believers. It is crucial. We need to come to a place of light in the world of darkness. We did last night, and our priest spoke. Words of perseverance. Of comfort. Of how to live the Way.

For our church festival, the rains were pouring non-stop. As the director, I kept getting calls from bands, volunteers, "Adrian, what are we going to do?" By now I had already prayed. By now, I had already received the message "Just Do It". I said to all "we must continue to plan on being there no matter what". That morning, the rains went away for the day. The seas opened up. The people went through the sunny day. It was a spectacle of a day. Amazing. Then the skies closed up the following day with chilling cold drizzles that started up another week of rain. Noah. Who is Noah? It's the faithful one. It can be you.

Now, Jesus is Noah too. "Have Faith" He says. And He makes many promises to the one He finds faithful. Things like eternity. Things like living in His Father's house. Things like "more to come".

Now as I write to you, I implore you, live out your faith. Live it with everyone you encounter. Pray with your family, your community. The storms come for a reason, the greater good, and often, a cleansing.



Stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.

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