Friday, January 18, 2019

⛪ Things In Your Hearts ♥

Like   Tweet   Pin   +1  

Falling in Love with God

The awareness of God is like the awareness that you are falling in love with a beautiful person whose worthiness, goodness and beauty are so overwhelming that you wonder how so extraordinary a person could possibly love you, whose whole life up to this moment has been lived unworthily of such a love. And when that person is God, and you're aware that God created you, died for you, and through the Holy Spirit is drawing you into deeper intimacy, you are flooded with regret for the infidelity of really not believing for so long what you now know: God is love, is, in fact, in love with you and wants your love in return.

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


"Humility, obedience, meekness, and love are the virtues that shine through the Cross and the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. O my Jesus, help me imitate you!"
– St. Anthony Mary Claret

"Worship is a spiritual weapon. When we worship God, we enter into His presence in a powerful way. Because demons tremble at His presence, they are reluctant to follow us there. No doubt the Devil is busy tempting us and trying to distract us even when we attend Mass. But if we give ourselves wholly to participating in the Mass, he has little room to operate. In fact, true worship focuses our attention on God: praising Him for who He is and thanking Him for what He has done. When our minds and hearts are centered on God, the Enemy's provocations and enticements lose their power. Frequent Mass attendance, then, is an effective weapon of our warfare."
— Paul Thigpen, p. 38
Manual of Spiritual Warfare

"But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God."
Acts 20:24


click to read more


Saint Charles of Sezze

(October 19, 1613 – January 6, 1670)

Charles thought that God was calling him to be a missionary in India, but he never got there. God had something better for this 17th-century successor to Brother Juniper.

Born in Sezze, southeast of Rome, Charles was inspired by the lives of Salvator Horta and Paschal Baylon to become a Franciscan; he did that in 1635. Charles tells us in his autobiography, "Our Lord put in my heart a determination to become a lay brother with a great desire to be poor and to beg alms for his love."

Charles served as cook, porter, sacristan, gardener and beggar at various friaries in Italy. In some ways, he was "an accident waiting to happen." He once started a huge fire in the kitchen when the oil in which he was frying onions burst into flames.

One story shows how thoroughly Charles adopted the spirit of Saint Francis. The superior ordered Charles—then porter—to give food only to traveling friars who came to the door. Charles obeyed this direction; simultaneously the alms to the friars decreased. Charles convinced the superior the two facts were related. When the friars resumed giving goods to all who asked at the door, alms to the friars increased also.

At the direction of his confessor, Charles wrote his autobiography, The Grandeurs of the Mercies of God. He also wrote several other spiritual books. He made good use of his various spiritual directors throughout the years; they helped him discern which of Charles' ideas or ambitions were from God. Charles himself was sought out for spiritual advice. The dying Pope Clement IX called Charles to his bedside for a blessing.

Charles had a firm sense of God's providence. Father Severino Gori has said, "By word and example he recalled in all the need of pursuing only that which is eternal" (Leonard Perotti, St. Charles of Sezze: An Autobiography, page 215).

He died at San Francesco a Ripa in Rome and was buried there. Pope John XXIII canonized him in 1959.

The drama in the lives of the saints is mostly interior. Charles' life was spectacular only in his cooperation with God's grace. He was captivated by God's majesty and great mercy to all of us.


Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Heb 4:1-5, 11

Let us be on our guard
while the promise of entering into his rest remains,
that none of you seem to have failed.
For in fact we have received the Good News just as our ancestors did.
But the word that they heard did not profit them,
for they were not united in faith with those who listened.
For we who believed enter into that rest,
just as he has said:

As I swore in my wrath,

"They shall not enter into my rest,"

and yet his works were accomplished
at the foundation of the world.
For he has spoken somewhere about the seventh day in this manner,
And God rested on the seventh day from all his works;
and again, in the previously mentioned place,
They shall not enter into my rest.

Therefore, let us strive to enter into that rest,
so that no one may fall after the same example of disobedience.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 78:3 and 4bc, 6c-7, 8
R. (see 7b) Do not forget the works of the Lord!
What we have heard and know,
and what our fathers have declared to us,
we will declare to the generation to come
The glorious deeds of the LORD and his strength.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
That they too may rise and declare to their sons
that they should put their hope in God,
And not forget the deeds of God
but keep his commands.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
And not be like their fathers,
a generation wayward and rebellious,
A generation that kept not its heart steadfast
nor its spirit faithful toward God.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!

Alleluia Lk 7:16
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 2:1-12

When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days,
it became known that he was at home.
Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them,
not even around the door,
and he preached the word to them.
They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.
Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd,
they opened up the roof above him.
After they had broken through,
they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to him,
"Child, your sins are forgiven."
Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves,
"Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming.
Who but God alone can forgive sins?"
Jesus immediately knew in his mind what
they were thinking to themselves,
so he said, "Why are you thinking such things in your hearts?
Which is easier, to say to the paralytic,
'Your sins are forgiven,'
or to say, 'Rise, pick up your mat and walk'?
But that you may know
that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth"
–he said to the paralytic,
"I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home."
He rose, picked up his mat at once,
and went away in the sight of everyone.
They were all astounded
and glorified God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this."


Meditation: Mark 2:1-12

Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary

When Jesus saw their faith . . . (Mark 2:5)

This is such a familiar story about healing that we often miss another important lesson: the link between our generosity and God's mercy. It's a link that the poor fellow lying on the mat—as well as his four friends—learned in a dramatic fashion.

Imagine what it took for these men to haul their friend up onto that roof and lower him down to Jesus. They could have slipped and fallen. They could have upset the man's stretcher and watched him end up splayed out on the floor. They could even have been arrested for property damage and breaking and entering! But it didn't matter. They were willing to take the risks for the sake of their friend.

Seeing such an act of love, Jesus was filled with compassion. How could he not heal the man? How could he not assure the man that his sins had been forgiven?

This is just one of many stories that show how God responds when we go out of our way to seek help for our loved ones. Think of the Canaanite woman who wouldn't rest until Jesus healed her daughter (Matthew 15:21-28). Or think of the way Moses pleaded with God to spare the Israelites after they had made a molten calf (Exodus 32:7-14). Or think about Jesus telling his disciples that some situations need extra prayer and fasting (Mark 9:28-29). God may not always do exactly what we are asking for, but he does pour out his grace—just the right amount at just the right time and in just the right way.

Today begins the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Imagine what could happen if each of us were generous enough to devote just ten minutes each day to praying for reconciliation between the churches. Imagine how much grace God would pour out if we were to give up our lunchtime or our TV time or our Internet time and spend it interceding for our divided Church. Let's imitate these four friends and band together to pray for the body of Christ. Let's bring this wounded body before the Lord so that he can tell all of us: Your sins of division are forgiven. Rise up and walk together as one.

"Jesus, we bring our divisions and disagreements to you. Lord, heal us and unite us as your one, holy, catholic, apostolic Church!"

Hebrews 4:1-5, 11
Psalm 78:3-4, 6-8


"Let us be on our guard while the promise of entering into his rest remains...For in fact we have received the Good News just as our ancestors did." Jesus told His disciples He would return. They anxiously awaited and lived as He'd return any day now. Has the promise been fulfilled? So often, they would not recognize Him in the resurrection...much less in the Holy Spirit. The answer then, is yes. Be on guard, for as long as we have mercy, Jesus, the promise remains. To be living a couple thousand years after He ascended is a miracle of grace. We are a living love child of God. Created by Him and for Him. A child of a King that says He is one of us. Such a profound mystery that only the Creator can realize. For now, all we can say is, Thank You.


Let us pray: "Do not forget the works of the Lord! What we have heard and know, and what our fathers have declared to us, we will declare to the generation to come The glorious deeds of the LORD and his strength." One of the deadliest killers of spirits in our world is silence. Silence of prayer. Silence of the Word of God. Silence without God. How does silence of God come about? There used to be a time when bibles were allowed and prayed in schools. Now it's gone. There used to be a time when families sat around the table and read bibles. Now, I don't hear about it as much. There used to be a time when families would kneel every day and pray the rosary. That is rare. In silence, people forget. Therefore, it is good to do the opposite. Kneel, pray. Read bible together, community. With your family. I do way too much of that everywhere, and not enough at home. One brother said 2 out of 3 kids are gone from the house, married, the one remaining, now that He found Jesus, now He talks to the left one about Jesus, and faith is growing. The other 2 have no real interest in the things of God while the dad himself was mostly silent on the things of our Lord as they grew. Silence can be mortally wounding. Yet, mercy exists, and lives among us. There is hope and time, and mercy among us.

Enter now Mercy. Jesus is "at home" in Capernaum. A packed house, Jesus was preaching. A sense of urgency begins. "This is it!" said some men to the paralytic. "This is our chance!". But people wouldn't budge at the door. They blocked the door. They wouldn't let the paralytic in. They remind me of people on the end of the church benches, instead of scooting in, they get bothered that you want to sit at their bench. The men didn't want to bother them any more. So, they "think outside the box". They would raise the roof. They would haul the poor paralytic up and over the house. It's not easy hauling a body. This was no easy feat, even if there were stairs. The story of the four men, is the story I like to relate to. I want to be one of those four men that helps a poor soul to Christ. And it is no easy feat. It takes considerable effort. But the story takes effect when Jesus meets the poor soul. Paralyzed. I have a paralyzed friend I visit and help, he is at a nursing home, alone most of the time, family don't come around that much that I know of, and his wife divorced him after he got paralyzed. I remember 3 of us men, years ago, we visited him. He said that he couldn't afford therapy. He said he needed to be lifted up to try to work out his body. One of our men, huge 6' 5" at least 300lbs, a nurse, said "let's lift you up". We all went for it, tried to raise him up from his bed, and succeeded for a couple of minutes and then everyone got tired and we put him back down. Fast forward about 8 or 10 years later, the man is still at a nursing home, alone. The three men, what happened to them? It was me and two others. The other two became Deacons, beautiful holy men. The other, yours truly, went into the first phase of the deaconate, but the Holy Spirit said it was not time. I am the youngest, they all have got no more children at home to raise and all mine are toddlers and up to 1st teenager now. What happened then, was a miracle of grace. We took the time to see Jesus, and Jesus touched our hearts. This paralyzed man said that when he was in a coma due to his thing that happened, he said he saw his deceased dad, and the father told him "you'll be alright". But all these years later, he isn't walking. He goes to dialysis frequently, and one arm is limp. But, truth be told, I see the slightest and most gradual of recoveries. He told me a couple months ago "I could stand for the first time for 20 minutes!". Praise be to God. He says to me "Adrian, I want to be a lector". He said this after 4 of us other men got him a wheelchair accessible van. A couple weeks ago he said "I am going to read on January 21st for the first time, and I am really nervous". He is going to read at a church where that big man that helped him get up is now a deacon.

What happens in the story is about an encounter, a public one at that. Jesus says something that astonishes the Jews "I forgive you".

We are used to hearing "forgiven" now. But to hear Jesus say it is a whole new story. This means He IS GOD.

To hear these words in the confessional, is to hear Jesus say it to you.
But sadly, some of us have a hard time believing when He says it.
It is sad for us. Remorse and regret or even no real contrition makes it hard to receive a miracle of grace. It is there, but we must do our part.

Jesus said to the paralyzed ""I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home."
The man arose. Picked up his mat and walked. Faith and obedience intersect.
With what faith do you walk?
I remember someone told me something another brother had said about me behind my back, it was something like "Adrian, he is walking on water". What this means is I believe, "Adrian is living the faith". Lately, I've let my beard grow, some call me santa claus, some Osama bin Laden, and one worker said "you are looking like Christ". I'll take the latter, LOL. Why do I say this? We can make a difference in the world. And it only takes a few. And these few have to do a whole awful lot of work. Working salvation.
I encourage you to be one of the few.
A brother that went to cursillo, I heard him tell his wife "at Cursillo, I saw like 12 other guys like Adrian running around". I took that as a great compliment to our team, a bunch of weirdos doing the Lord's work. Pray for us. Doing His work is challenging. It is not for the faint of heart. It takes brute strength at times, but it starts with the softest of hearts...for Jesus. Belief. Love. And then love for one another...


A random audio of a bible verse I requested, click to listen


Powered by
GoDaddy Email Marketing ®