Thursday, January 31, 2019

⛪ "...What You Hear..."

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It's Not about Perfection

Perfection is not what being human is about. Perfection is simply not attainable in the human condition. The function of being human is to become the best human beings we can be, one insight, one mistake, at a time. Then, knowing the struggle that comes with trying and failing over and over again, we become tender with others who are also struggling in the process.

–from the book In God's Holy Light: Wisdom from the Desert Monastics


"If you become Christ's you will stumble upon wonder upon wonder, and every one of them true."
— St. Brendan of Birr

"Prayer and fasting, worship and adoration, Scripture and sacraments and sacramentals all provide the weapons of our spiritual warfare. With them we go on the offensive against the Evil One. But the virtues provide our defense armor. As Blessed Pope Paul VI once observed, St. Paul 'used the armor of a soldier as a symbol for the virtues that can make a Christian invulnerable.' They are our best defense against his attacks, for they guard our minds and hearts from his deceptions and temptations. A lapse in virtue is in fact a chink in our armor that makes us vulnerable."
— Paul Thigpen, p. 57-8
Manual for Spiritual Warfare

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult."
Psalm 46: 1-3


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Saint John Bosco

(August 16, 1815 – January 31, 1888)

John Bosco's theory of education could well be used in today's schools. It was a preventive system, rejecting corporal punishment and placing students in surroundings removed from the likelihood of committing sin. He advocated frequent reception of the sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion. He combined catechetical training and fatherly guidance, seeking to unite the spiritual life with one's work, study and play.

Encouraged during his youth in Sardinia to become a priest so he could work with young boys, John was ordained in 1841. His service to young people started when he met a poor orphan in Turin, and instructed him in preparation for receiving Holy Communion. He then gathered young apprentices and taught them catechism.

After serving as chaplain in a hospice for working girls, Don Bosco opened the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales for boys. Several wealthy and powerful patrons contributed money, enabling him to provide two workshops for the boys, shoemaking and tailoring.

By 1856, the institution had grown to 150 boys and had added a printing press for publication of religious and catechetical pamphlets. John's interest in vocational education and publishing justify him as patron of young apprentices and Catholic publishers.

John's preaching fame spread and by 1850 he had trained his own helpers because of difficulties in retaining young priests. In 1854, he and his followers informally banded together, inspired by Saint Francis de Sales.

With Pope Pius IX's encouragement, John gathered 17 men and founded the Salesians in 1859. Their activity concentrated on education and mission work. Later, he organized a group of Salesian Sisters to assist girls.

John Bosco educated the whole person—body and soul united. He believed that Christ's love and our faith in that love should pervade everything we do—work, study, play. For John Bosco, being a Christian was a full-time effort, not a once-a-week, Mass-on-Sunday experience. It is searching and finding God and Jesus in everything we do, letting their love lead us. Yet, because John realized the importance of job-training and the self-worth and pride that come with talent and ability, he trained his students in the trade crafts, too.
Saint John Bosco is the Patron Saint of:



Memorial of Saint John Bosco, Priest

Reading 1 Heb 10:19-25

Brothers and sisters:
Since through the Blood of Jesus
we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary
by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil,
that is, his flesh,
and since we have "a great priest over the house of God,"
let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust,
with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience
and our bodies washed in pure water.
Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope,
for he who made the promise is trustworthy.
We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works.
We should not stay away from our assembly,
as is the custom of some, but encourage one another,
and this all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 24:1-2, 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 Ps 119:105
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A lamp to my feet is your word,
a light to my path.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 4:21-25

Jesus said to his disciples,
"Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket
or under a bed,
and not to be placed on a lampstand?
For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible;
nothing is secret except to come to light.
Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear."
He also told them, "Take care what you hear.
The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you,
and still more will be given to you.
To the one who has, more will be given;
from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away."


Meditation: Hebrews 10:19-25

Saint John Bosco, Priest (Memorial)

We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works. (Hebrews 10:24)

When Sheila started volunteering at a homeless shelter once a week, she couldn't stop talking about it. She loved sitting down with the residents and chatting with them. She liked hearing their stories and praying with them. Sheila's excitement was so striking that first one friend, and then another asked if they could come along. Soon they became regular volunteers as well. You might say Sheila was "rousing" her friends to love and good works.

Surprised? You shouldn't be. When you read this verse, you might think of someone standing on a soapbox telling you to go out and "do the right thing." But the Greek word used here for "rouse" can also mean "excite." We are supposed to get one another excited about the Christian life and all that it entails! That's how we rouse one another, by our passion and our example, as much as by our words.

So what excites you about your life in Christ? Maybe you love the one-on-one time you spend with Jesus in Eucharistic adoration. Perhaps your passion is reading and studying Scripture. You might enjoy serving in a ministry like RCIA or teaching English as a second language. Whatever it is, your excitement is attractive and contagious. It may be just the thing that rouses another person to take up the same spiritual practice or join you in a good work.

If you haven't been feeling much excitement about your faith lately, think about what has excited you in the past. You may need to get back to what you were doing then or find another avenue to channel your love. If you've been serving for a long time in one area, for example, making a change could help reenergize you. Find out what excites your brothers and sisters. Maybe God is calling you to do the same thing.

The author of Hebrews knew that Christians need one another. You might need a fellow believer to inspire you to do something you may have never even considered. And they might need you. So don't be afraid to communicate your passion and excitement to someone else. You might just be rousing another brother or sister to follow Jesus more closely.

"Lord, thank you for all the times a brother or sister has roused me to love, prayer, and good works."

Psalm 24:1-6
Mark 4:21-25


"We should not stay away from our assembly, as is the custom of some, but encourage one another, and this all the more as you see the day drawing near." Why shall we not stay away from the assembly? Because, "...through the Blood of Jesus we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary
by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil,
that is, his flesh, and since we have "a great priest over the house of God," let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience...". Jesus offers Himself for you, that's why. Completely. And how do we offer what degree?


"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. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face...". These words speak about Heaven. And people. People that desire Heaven. You are the type of person that desires Heaven. Otherwise, you wouldn't allow a stranger like me to come into your life. But we are no longer strangers when we are on the same path, we travel together...the few of us. And take heart. Although we see darkness, God sees everything. So let us turn to Him.

"Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand?" So, how do we hide the lamp in our life? First, what is the lamp? It is Christ. It is Jesus. Jesus. " Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12. Walk this Way. The first Christians were being persecuted for living the "Way". It was the Way of life. They gathered daily, broke bread, and shared compassion and charity and mercy. You must follow the Way of Heaven on earth. Do you see the Way being lived out loud? The world says you may, if you dare. Almost like a threat. People are afraid of the light. Strange huh? Check this out. I grew up, some years in old Mexico. Fond memories of poverty. Then we moved to the U.S., rat race memories here. And we brought along a paralyzed uncle and he was mentally retarded, with the brains of a 2 year old they said. Boy was he a burden on the family of 9 who had lost their parents in their teens and early 20's. He was tossed from sibling to sibling to "take turns" with the burden. Eventually, only 2 or 3 siblings only took care of him. One tossing him to the street because "her turn was up". This uncle would drag himself on his bottom, and used diapers. He was heavy. He eventually wound up back in Mexico and poisoned himself to death accidentally. His death was so hard, lots of tears. We were all there in the village and many of us stayed at my aunt's house were my uncle died. There was a street light, and I was in a room in the dark night with lots of cousins. I couldn't sleep. I heard dragging noises on the street. Then I see a figure dragging across the curtains, only a silhouette was visible. I remember getting chills witnessing what I saw. Who was it? Was it my dead uncle? Or was it some animal roaming? Witches? It mostly resembled my uncle. Years later a cousin said he was awake and seen the same weird thing. Verification, I wasn't crazy!

So why do I bring up this weird story? First, The light allows you to see scary things. But without light, you could live next to scary things and never know it. Secondly, my uncle was a cross that nobody desired, it was thrown on them. Nobody cherished or relished in suffering or giving.

Thirdly, everyone was crushed when he died about the age of 33. It actually seem to bring the family together...forever.
Scary things we see in the light. But all things are in God's light. All your thoughts and actions of all your life.

Let them be good thoughts and actions from here on out.
Can I tell you something scary but you not be afraid?
I had a prophetic message that started hitting me yesterday.
It is only scary though, to a soul in love with God.
Revelation being revealed. The serpent of evil waits to devour the unborn.
And laws are being pushed to kill as the baby is being born and some are already proposing to bring laws that are of infanticide. Revelation said it was hurling stars. It is engrossing. Grossly attracting multitudes, a culture of death. I see these things in the light. Do not let your hearts be troubled. These things must happen, just as they did when Jesus was born. Jesus came.
These things happen because in the dark, darkness whispers voices disguised so you are fooled thinking it is someone else.
What do these voices sound like? Temptations.

sssss " you don't have to suffer" sssss

sssss" you don't have to take this"ssss
sssss "you don't need anyone telling you how to live"ssssss
Remember what Jesus said, our King said, the Lord said today:
"Take care what you hear.
The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you".
What you hear has to come through a filter of grace.
But if your filter is clogged, grace will not operate.
Confess. And allow grace to come in, more prayer, more spiritual works, more sacrifice will spring forth, the more you receive grace.
Grace is our Lord in our lives, after all, He is in Heaven and we desire Heaven...Amen?


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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

⛪ "...They are the people who..."

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Hearing the Voice of God

Among all the voices that surround and beckon us, we need to discern the unique cadence of God's voice. And we have a number of principles that come to us from Jesus, from Scripture, and from the deep wells of our Christian tradition that can help us discern God's voice among the multitude of voices that beckon us:

The voice of God is recognized both in whispers, and in thunder and in storm.

The voice of God is recognized in the call to what's higher and invites us to holiness, even as it is recognized in the call to humility.

The voice of God is the one that most challenges and stretches us, even as it is the only voice that ultimately soothes and comforts us.

The voice of God always invites us to live beyond all fear, even as it inspires holy fear.

The voice of God is always heard wherever there is genuine enjoyment and gratitude, even as it asks us to deny ourselves and die to ourselves.

—from Prayer: Our Deepest Longing


"In her voyage across the ocean of this world, the Church is like a great ship being pounded by the waves of life's different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship but to keep her on her course."
– St. Boniface

"What is time, with regard to myself? It is my present and actual existence. Past time, or my past existence, is no longer anything, as far as I am concerned; I can neither recall it, nor change anything in it. The time to come, or my future existence, has not yet arrived, and perhaps never will arrive. I does not depend on me; I cannot count on it ... No one is ignorant of these two simple truths, but very few draw from them the conclusions they ought to draw ... This present moment, or this actual existence—from whom do I hold it? It is He who has preserved my existence from one instant to another, and who is preserving it at this present moment. Will He preserve it for me in the moment that shall immediately follow this one? I do not know; and nothing in the world can give me the assurance of it. Why has time been given to me? So that by it I may merit a happy eternity. I shall live forever: faith teaches me this; my reason even assures me of another life. The desire of immortality is implanted in the depths of my heart, and this desire, which God Himself has planted there, can never be frustrated of its object. I am, then, born for eternity, but this eternity will be happy or wretched ... My fate for all eternity depends, then, on the use I make of time, and since neither the past nor the future is in my own power, it is quite true to say that my eternity depends always on the present moment. Now, at this present moment, what is my state? Would I like to die just as I am now?"
— Fr. Jean Nicholas Grou, p. 82-83
The Spiritual Life

"Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


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Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska

(May 16, 1825 – October 10, 1899)

Today we honor a woman who submitted to God's will throughout her life—a life filled with pain and suffering.

Born in 1825 in central Poland and baptized Sophia, she contracted tuberculosis as a young girl. The forced period of convalescence gave her ample time for reflection. Sophia felt called to serve God by working with the poor, including street children and the elderly homeless in Warsaw's slums. In time, her cousin joined her in the work.

In 1855, the two women made private vows and consecrated themselves to the Blessed Mother. New followers joined them. Within two years, they formed a new congregation, which came to be known as the Felician Sisters. As their numbers grew, so did their work, and so did the pressures on Mother Angela (the new name Sophia took in religious life).

Mother Angela served as superior for many years until ill health forced her to resign at the age of 44. She watched the order grow and expand, including missions to the United States among the sons and daughters of Polish immigrants.

Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1993. Her Liturgical Feast Day is October 10.

Like Saints Francis of Assisi and Ignatius of Antioch, Blessed Mary Angela experienced a conversion while convalescing from an illness. The Lord can use sickness as well as other situations to speak to the heart of an individual. This does not imply that God caused the illness; just that he used the opportunity to speak to Blessed Angela's heart.


Wednesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Heb 10:11-18

Every priest stands daily at his ministry,
offering frequently those same sacrifices
that can never take away sins.
But this one offered one sacrifice for sins,
and took his seat forever at the right hand of God;
now he waits until his enemies are made his footstool.
For by one offering he has made perfect forever
those who are being consecrated.
The Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying:

This is the covenant I will establish with them
after those days, says the Lord:
"I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them upon their minds,"

he also says:

Their sins and their evildoing
I will remember no more.

Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer offering for sin.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 110:1, 2, 3, 4
R. (4b) You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand
till I make your enemies your footstool."
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The scepter of your power the LORD will stretch forth from Zion:
"Rule in the midst of your enemies."
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
"Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor;
before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you."
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD has sworn, and he will not repent:
"You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek."
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower;
all who come to him will live for ever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 4:1-20

On another occasion, Jesus began to teach by the sea.
A very large crowd gathered around him
so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down.
And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land.
And he taught them at length in parables,
and in the course of his instruction he said to them,
"Hear this! A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and the birds came and ate it up.
Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep.
And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots.

Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it
and it produced no grain.
And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit.
It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold."
He added, "Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear."

And when he was alone,
those present along with the Twelve
questioned him about the parables.
He answered them,
"The mystery of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you.
But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that

they may look and see but not perceive,
and hear and listen but not understand,
in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven."

Jesus said to them, "Do you not understand this parable?
Then how will you understand any of the parables?
The sower sows the word.
These are the ones on the path where the word is sown.
As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once
and takes away the word sown in them.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who,

when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy.
But they have no roots; they last only for a time.
Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
they quickly fall away.
Those sown among thorns are another sort.
They are the people who hear the word,
but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches,
and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word,
and it bears no fruit.
But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it
and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold."


Meditation: Mark 4:1-20

3rd Week in Ordinary Time

The sower sows the word. (Mark 4:14)

Perhaps when you read or hear this parable, you focus on the different kinds of soils or the environments, in which the seeds fall. Maybe you wonder which one of these soils best fits you, and you hope that you are like the good soil that produces abundantly. But how about seeing yourself as the sower instead? Maybe it's worth considering how you are doing in the call to sow the word of God into the people around you.

If there is one word that characterizes the sower in this parable, it is generous. This fellow spreads his seeds everywhere! He doesn't seem all that concerned about where the seed will fall. He just casts it to and fro.

Isn't this a great image for how we should view evangelization? Shouldn't we be generous, almost indiscriminate, in the way we share God's word and his promises? We don't have to worry about where the seeds may fall or the "soil quality" of the people with whom we share the word. It shouldn't matter whether we think the ground is too hard, too weedy, too thorny, or just right. It's the Lord who gives the growth, not us (1 Corinthians 3:6-7). All we have to worry about is imitating the generosity of the sower.

Think for a moment how many other seeds the devil, the world, and the flesh are sowing. There's nothing stingy in their tactics. Shouldn't we counter all these poisonous seeds with the seeds of the gospel?

The need is great, so don't be intimidated. And by all means, don't feel outnumbered or defeated. God has promised to be with you always as you spread his word.

So how are you going to sow today? What opportunities will you seize to spread the seeds of the gospel? They're all around. Keep your eyes open, and ask the Lord to help you see ways you can creatively witness to his love. Who knows? He may even give you brothers and sisters in Christ who are just as zealous as you to proclaim the word in season and out!

"Jesus, make me a generous sower of your word. Fill me with zeal and courage to spread your seeds all over the world!"

Hebrews 10:11-18
Psalm 110:1-4


In today's 1st Holy Scripture we read, and our Lord said:
"I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them upon their minds,"
He didn't abolish the old but made everything new. Think of a caterpillar and the cocoon, and then it is a butterfly, is it different or is it the same little guy? Now, think Eucharist, is it any different as it changes form? Is it the same. Jesus put all the laws in our hearts. We will be judged by those baptized laws, ultimately in love.


Let us pray today: "The LORD has sworn, and he will not repent: "You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek."
In the world, it is obvious who has the Lord as their Lord and savior and it is obvious those who do not. Those who do not practice His law in their heart, they do not carry the Lord. What happens to a person who takes our Lord in the Eucharist and then lashes out at another soul? What happened to our Lord? Did He disappear? What happens when crumbs fall to the floor? Do not the dogs deserve crumbs? No my beloved, it happens that we keep the Lord from growing, that's all, and to our own detriment.

In today's Gospel, our Lord was crowded again, so He got on a boat to scatter seed with His gospel parable of a sower. "Hear this! A sower went out to sow." Hear it. The seeds are coming. In the reflection we read that we are to be the sowers. Always, without discrimination, without judging, just keep sowing, just keep sowing, just keep...going. Who in the world asked you to give up? Now, hear this: His word is not for just those you talk to, it is for you too buddy! LOL. So often we read scriptures and we be all like "man! I wish so and so would hear this, THEY need this"...not me. Point the finger, Mr. or Mrs. Scripture Deflector! You shall not. When a word is being applied, it is for your eyes only, your ears only, your heart only, your soul too at that time for it to take root.
Before you go blabbering how someone needs to shape up, you shape up first, take that log out of your eye, because so often we don't see things right.
At my office, we have a surveillance camera system, have had it for years now. A few times I've been asked to verify some things, someone stealing often being blamed of stealing, or someone not clocking in, I even had a hired safety man say our guys stole his computer after our meeting. I'll tell you, more often than not, the accusations are false. We are so quick to judge and jump to conclusions. The cameras showed that safety guy actually drove off with his computer on the back of the truck and lost it down the road. So, you. You with all your accusations and finding fault in others, aren't you to take today's words to heart? I know I'm tired of finding faults in others.
Jesus sows the Word right now.

In Mass.
In fellow people you run into.
Jesus speaks.

I've made a new CD of inspirational songs, I give them away. This week, I left one for someone on their desk, and later (yesterday) I asked "did you get the CD?" and they said "yeah, I took it right back to you, I'm not going to listen to it, that's not my kind of thing".
Later they asked that I not be offended etc.
I wasn't offended. I'm actually quite used to it. Not everybody likes my music, nor what I say, nor what I write, and in this case, it wasn't about me, it was their beliefs are not like mine, not Christian or whatever. But I keep sowing, this is all I got! This is all my heart being poured out. I have been working on our Church building (plans and fundraising) for about 10 years. We done a survey last week and then I gave the church the results of the survey and we had a discussion after Mass. Some people walked out. Some guy threw his hands in the air and walked out. Another questioned why we are even building if nobody even hardly comes. And truly, I feel like big dumb Noah building an Ark in the dry season. Little doubts come in "why am I doing this again?" Oh yeah, because God is speaking, and we need classrooms and a new kitchen and more room for when we get together and our church is getting old and in need of repairs, yeah, that's why.

So, the seeds are scattered, sometimes rejected. Some are onboard for a while, then they get off when things get rocky. Some eventually give all their focus to something else, don't care. But some will stick with it, and some will be extremely helpful and therefore fruitful.

So join me. Join Jesus. So often these parables are of Jesus and you. Be the sower and be the soil. Just be what God wants you to be....His, all His. Ask yourself: "How can I be fruitful without Him?"
I'm encountering a world that wants to be faithless.
But I'm encountering too, a world that wants to know faith.
There are different soils in different stages. The lava rock is extremely hard and course, blackened, but give it time and it becomes the most fertile of soils. But some soils get worn, lose nutrients and no longer give fruit. These soils need Jesus. Some need time, but always will need seed for that right moment to take root. Jesus provides seed. Grace. Always.
Watch what happens when Grace enters the life....


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