Thursday, January 10, 2019

⛪ The eyes of all. . .

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Saints Show Us Who We Can Be

The mystics cultivate awareness. They listen for God's word; they respond with concrete, often heroic, actions when they hear it. A mystic, then, is one who shows the rest of us who we really are, who we can become, if only we would realize the gift of God that is already within us and respond in our concrete daily lives to God's great gift of love. The mystic shows us how not to let God's word return to God empty. The mystic uncovers the mystery, a mystery inside each one of us, and models what it looks like and what it accomplishes. In all of this it is important to remember that God takes the initiative—both in the ordinary believer's life and in the mystic's life. One cannot force God's hand or woo God to make one a mystic. But once that initiative is taken, the mystic's heart is changed, and he or she falls in love with God.

—from Mystics: 10 Who Show Us the Way of God


"As the pilot of a vessel is tried in the storm; as the wrestler is tried in the ring, the soldier in the battle, and the hero in adversity: so is the Christian tried in temptation."
— St. Basil the Great

"Our confidence in God must be founded on His infinite goodness and on the merits of the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, with this condition on our part: that we should preserve and recognize in ourselves an entire and firm resolution to belong wholly to God, and to abandon ourselves in all things, and without any reserve, to His Providence. Observe that I do not say that we must feel this resolution to belong wholly to God, but only that we must have it and recognize it in ourselves; we must not concern ourselves with what we feel or do not feel, since the greater part of our feelings and satisfactions are only the movements of self-love. Neither must it be supposed that in all this practice of abandonment and indifference, we shall never have desires contrary to the will of God, or that nature will never shrink with repugnance from the dispositions of His good pleasure, for these will often occur. The virtues of abandonment and indifference reside in the higher region of our soul; the lower region, generally speaking, has nothing to do with them. We must remain at peace, and paying no attention whatever to what that lower nature desires, we must embrace the divine will and unite ourselves to it—whatsoever this may entail. There are very few persons who reach this height of perfect self-renunciation; nevertheless, we must all aim at it, each according to his little measure."
— St. Francis de Sales, p. 22-23
The Art of Loving God

"But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ."
2 Thessalonians 3:3-5


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St. William of Bourges (1155–1209), also known as St. William the Confessor, was born to a noble family in France. He was educated under his uncle who was an archdeacon, and from a young age turned away from the world and gave himself over to religion and learning. He became a priest and later entered religious life in a Cistercian monastery, an order famous for strict discipline. St. William was known to be a cheerful man and a hard worker, and pure of heart. He was chosen to be Archbishop of Bourges in the year 1200, much to his dismay. He left the solitude of the monastery out of obedience and entered into the public life of a bishop, throwing himself wholeheartedly into serving both the spiritual and physical needs of the poor. As bishop he continued his great austerities. He had a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and would spend much time in prayer at the foot of the altar. He was known for performing miracles both during his life and after his death. He died kneeling at prayer, and by request was buried wearing his hair shirt and lying in ashes. His feast day is January 10.


Thursday after Epiphany

Reading 1 1 Jn 4:19–5:4

Beloved, we love God because
he first loved us.
If anyone says, "I love God,"
but hates his brother, he is a liar;
for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen
cannot love God whom he has not seen.
This is the commandment we have from him:
Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God,
and everyone who loves the Father
loves also the one begotten by him.
In this way we know that we love the children of God
when we love God and obey his commandments.
For the love of God is this,
that we keep his commandments.
And his commandments are not burdensome,
for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world.
And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 72:1-2, 14 and 15bc, 17
R. (see 11) Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king's son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
From fraud and violence he shall redeem them,
and precious shall their blood be in his sight.
May they be prayed for continually;
day by day shall they bless him.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

Alleluia Lk 4:18
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Lord has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor
and to proclaim liberty to captives.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 4:14-22

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit,
and news of him spread throughout the whole region.
He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all.

He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
"Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing."
And all spoke highly of him
and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.


Meditation: 1 John 4:19–5:4

Christmas Weekday

We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

Tim was struggling. His wife had been battling an illness for a couple of years, and the two of them had grown distant because of it. Tim was finding it harder and harder to treat her with the love he knew he should have. He did his best, but he often felt discouraged and frustrated.

In Confession, he told the priest, "Sometimes I don't even want to come home because of how tense and depressing the situation is. What's worse, when she needs my help, I get impatient and lose my temper. I feel terrible. I know this isn't how I should treat my own wife. Can God forgive me? Can he help me change?"

"Of course he forgives you," the priest said, "and he will help you change."

As soon as Tim received absolution, he felt as if his burden was already becoming lighter. For his penance, the priest told Tim to choose a trusted friend. He was to share his struggles with this man and ask him to pray with him each week, either in person or over the phone. Together they asked God to show Tim how much Jesus loved him and to help him love his wife the way that Jesus loved him.

Little by little, Tim's frustration diminished. He didn't feel tempted to avoid coming home as often. He felt more compassion for his wife, and his angry outbursts grew less frequent. Over time, because of Tim's kindness, his wife was able to admit how angry and bitter she was over her illness. They began to pray together, and that led them to feel God's love and forgiveness more deeply.

Today, their home is far more peaceful. They have good days and bad days, but Tim and his wife have tasted God's love, and that love changed their marriage. They are living proof that we can grow in love as we soften our hearts to God's love. As St. John tells us in today's first reading, we can love because God first loved us. We can forgive because God has first forgiven us. And we can care for each other because God never stops caring for us.

"Lord, let your love fill me today. Help me to love as fully as you love."

Psalm 72:1-2, 14-15, 17
Luke 4:14-22



"And his commandments are not burdensome, for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith."

How are you today? I know you are well, for you are reading this and well on your way in your journey of faith. May our Lord bless your precious heart. His commandments are not burdensome my beloved. Take heart, being with Christ the conqueror of the world, we are one with Him in the Holy Triumph. By the way, pray for our men's conference in September, it's name will be Triumph of the Holy Cross. I digress. His commandments are huge. Perhaps the largest book in the bible is the Psalms, and the largest one inside the Psalms focuses on His commands, His law, His precepts, and so on and so forth. It revels in the law. God's laws make us happy souls, joyful is better said. I've had this pervading insightful look into Heaven, as if a dream, and it goes like me thinking like this:

Celestial host: "Hi! We are SO Glad you are here. First things first; let's teach you how you are to walk...walk straight like this, and your feet have to go like this...".
Me thinking: "WOW! I'm even told how I am supposed to walk? SOOO COOL!".

What a funny insight huh? But what if you are being told how to think, how to walk and how to talk? Doesn't this sound like a new order...of life? Doesn't this sound interesting? My kids are happy with order. Kids thrive with order. Kids left to their own device brings their own demise. But, to have this command, is to conquer. Conquer your thoughts, actions, words, your act, and conquer the world. This is victory, triumph. Many saints used to whip themselves, hurt themselves, but they were training themselves to be Holy Souls for God. Who does that nowadays? We shreek and shrivel away at the thought of suffering. Dont' we?

But For Jesus ? It is triumph.


"Let us pray the Psalm: "Lord, every nation on earth will adore you. May his name be blessed forever; as long as the sun his name shall remain. In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed; all the nations shall proclaim his happiness."

The Son will always shine from here on out. Scientists declare doom and gloom, the end of the sun/light we see, but the Son shines, the Son of God because HE IS the Light, the revelation of truth...true love. Every nation, every group of people shall adore Him. But how? You, my precious beloved, you show the way. Is it so hard to show the love of God? Light.

dove look

"Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing."

You, beloved, you are incorporated into the body of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit was bestowed on your soul from the moment of Holy Baptism. It was for no reason more important than this when our Lord was about to ascend to take His seat in Heaven " "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Mt 28:18. The great Commission they call this. Two words make up commission; "Co-Mission". We have a co-mmissioning in Holy Mass, the priest's final words and blessing. You should never walk about before he says so. We are sharers in the mission. Why do I bring all this up? Because, our Lord talks about what has been fulfilled "in your hearing". Our incorporation into Him is to fulfill His mission, His desire, "because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord."
We are:
Anointed in Baptism to be His mercy and charity.
We are sent to proclaim, bring mercy to those captured.
We are to bring sight to the blind in faith.
We are to free those trapped in the world.
We are to make this a year for the Lord an acceptable one to Him.
Sounds like a whole new life.
A whole new walk. A whole new talk.
A whole new heart for love...and God is Love.
That is why I call you my beloved. Be loved by Him...



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