Friday, February 22, 2019

⛪ " . . .build my Church"

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You Are a Saint in the Making

Because you are God's child, you are a saint in the making. Also, because you are God's child, you are Mary's child. The two go hand in hand. Mary does not love you because you are a saint; she loves you whether or not you are a saint. She loves you even if you were the most wretched, hateful sinner to ever walk the earth! If you need help, she will help you. If you call out to her, she will come to your rescue. If you are ill, she will cure you. It may not happen in exactly the timing and manner in which you prefer, but it will happen. It will happen according to God's will for you through Mary's intercession and the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.

—from Forgiving Mother: A Marian Novena of Healing and Peace


"It is not the actual physical exertion that counts towards a man's progress, nor the nature of the task, but by the spirit of faith with which it is undertaken."
— St. Francis Xavier

"Thus sin renders the soul miserable, weak and torpid, inconstant in doing good, cowardly in resisting temptation, slothful in the observance of God's commandments. It deprives her of true liberty and of that sovereignty which she should never resign; it makes her a slave to the world, the flesh, and the devil; it subjects her to a harder and more wretched servitude than that of the unhappy Israelites in Egypt or Babylon. Sin so dulls and stupefies the spiritual senses of man that he is deaf to God's voice and inspirations; blind to the dreadful calamities which threaten him; insensible to the sweet odor of virtue and the example of the saints; incapable of tasting how sweet the Lord is, or feeling the touch of His benign hand in the benefits which should be a constant incitement to his greater love. Moreover, sin destroys the peace and joy of a good conscience, takes away the soul's fervor, and leaves her an object abominable in the eyes of God and His saints. The grace of justification delivers us from all these miseries. For God, in His infinite mercy, is not content with effacing our sins and restoring us to His favor; He delivers us from the evils sin has brought upon us, and renews the interior man in his former strength and beauty. Thus He heals our wounds, breaks our bonds, moderates the violence of our passions, restores with true liberty the supernatural beauty of the soul, reestablishes us in the peace and joy of a good conscience, reanimates our interior senses, inspires us with ardor for good and a salutary hatred of sin, makes us strong and constant in resisting evil, and thus enriches us with an abundance of good works. In fine, He so perfectly renews the inner man with all his faculties that the Apostle calls those who are thus justified new men and new creatures."
— Venerable Louis Of Grenada, p. 46
The Sinner's Guide


Enshrined in the beautiful Bernini reliquary in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is the relic of the actual Chair of St. Peter the Apostle, venerated because it was from that very chair that the first Pope, the Vicar of Christ, imparted the Christian faith which was entrusted to him by Jesus Christ, and which has been passed on for 2,000 years through the Catholic bishops, and will continue until Christ returns. The Chair of St. Peter is a symbol of the authority and primacy of the first Bishop of Rome, and, through communion with the Roman Pontiff and his successors, the unity of the Universal Church. The feast day of the Chair of St. Peter is celebrated on February 22nd.

"I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love."
Ephesians 3:16-17


click to read more


Chair of Saint Peter

Saint of the Day for February 22

This feast commemorates Christ's choosing Peter to sit in his place as the servant-authority of the whole Church.

After the "lost weekend" of pain, doubt, and self-torment, Peter hears the Good News. Angels at the tomb say to Magdalene, "The Lord has risen! Go, tell his disciples and Peter." John relates that when he and Peter ran to the tomb, the younger outraced the older, then waited for him. Peter entered, saw the wrappings on the ground, the headpiece rolled up in a place by itself. John saw and believed. But he adds a reminder: "…[T]hey did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead" (John 20:9). They went home. There the slowly exploding, impossible idea became reality. Jesus appeared to them as they waited fearfully behind locked doors. "Peace be with you," he said (John 20:21b), and they rejoiced.

The Pentecost event completed Peter's experience of the risen Christ. "…[T]hey were all filled with the holy Spirit" (Acts 2:4a) and began to express themselves in foreign tongues and make bold proclamation as the Spirit prompted them.

Only then can Peter fulfill the task Jesus had given him: "… [O]nce you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers" (Luke 22:32). He at once becomes the spokesman for the Twelve about their experience of the Holy Spirit—before the civil authorities who wished to quash their preaching, before the Council of Jerusalem, for the community in the problem of Ananias and Sapphira. He is the first to preach the Good News to the Gentiles. The healing power of Jesus in him is well attested: the raising of Tabitha from the dead, the cure of the crippled beggar. People carry the sick into the streets so that when Peter passed his shadow might fall on them.

Even a saint experiences difficulty in Christian living. When Peter stopped eating with Gentile converts because he did not want to wound the sensibilities of Jewish Christians, Paul says, "…I opposed him to his face because he clearly was wrong…. [T]hey were not on the right road in line with the truth of the gospel…" (Galatians 2:11b, 14a).

At the end of John's Gospel, Jesus says to Peter, "Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go" (John 21:18). What Jesus said indicated the sort of death by which Peter was to glorify God. On Vatican Hill, in Rome, during the reign of Nero, Peter did glorify his Lord with a martyr's death, probably in the company of many Christians.

Second-century Christians built a small memorial over his burial spot. In the fourth century, the Emperor Constantine built a basilica, which was replaced in the 16th century.

Like the committee chair, this chair refers to the occupant, not the furniture. Its first occupant stumbled a bit, denying Jesus three times and hesitating to welcome gentiles into the new Church. Some of its later occupants have also stumbled a bit, sometimes even failed scandalously. As individuals, we may sometimes think a particular pope has let us down. Still, the office endures as a sign of the long tradition we cherish and as a focus for the universal Church.


Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle

Reading 1 1 Pt 5:1-4

I exhort the presbyters among you,
as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ
and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed.
Tend the flock of God in your midst,
overseeing not by constraint but willingly,
as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly.
Do not lord it over those assigned to you,
but be examples to the flock.
And when the chief Shepherd is revealed,
you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 23:1-3a, 4, 5, 6
R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Alleluia Mt 16:18
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church;
the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
he asked his disciples,
"Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"
They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Simon Peter said in reply,
"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."


Meditation: Matthew 16:13-19

The Chair of Saint Peter the Apostle (Feast)

You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church. (Matthew 16:18)

The best nicknames capture something essential about a person. United States President Abraham Lincoln, for instance, was called "Honest Abe" for his great concern for the truth. One story has it that as a store clerk in Illinois, he walked several miles to return a few cents to a customer he overcharged.

Today's Gospel tells us how Peter—whose real name was Simon—received his nickname from none other than Jesus himself. Impressed that Peter had come to the conclusion that Jesus was the Messiah, Jesus gave him the name "Rock," or Petros in Greek and Kepha in Aramaic. Peter's faith would be the rock-solid foundation for Jesus' new Church.

Appropriately, Peter's nickname identified his best talents: he was solid as a rock; he could stand firm under pressure; and he could be a trustworthy brother to his fellow disciples—the rock who held everyone together.

At first, however, Peter didn't quite live up to his name. He had to grow into it. Like all of us, he started out as a mix. He believed in Jesus and wanted to follow him wholeheartedly. But he also wavered at times, acting undeniably "unrocky." He told Jesus he should not have to go to the cross (Matthew 16:22). He boldly walked on water at Jesus' invitation, only to sink like a rock the minute he realized what he was doing (14:28-32). And at what must have felt like his lowest point ever, Peter denied three times that he was a follower of Jesus (26:69-75).

Despite these failings, Jesus never stopped believing in Peter. He never stopped teaching him and molding him into the rock Jesus knew he could be. And it worked. Peter eventually did become every bit the rock who would sustain the Church.

On this feast day, when we celebrate Peter's role as leader of the Church, remember that Peter was able to take on this role because Jesus had helped him grow into the person he became. Remember this, and believe that he can do the same for you.

"Lord, I want to be your disciple! Keep on teaching and forming me so that I can be the saint this world needs."

1 Peter 5:1-4
Psalm 23:1-6



God makes saints as he pleases, but they are made always according to his plan, and in submission to his will. This submission is true and most perfect abandonment.
—Jean Pierre de Caussade, S.J.
from Abandonment to Divine Providence


"Tend the flock of God in your midst, overseeing not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it..."
So how do we tend to God's flock? Firstly, we are overseeing. What does this mean? We are stewards. This is God's flock, and God's vineyard. Let's keep that in mind. We are tending to sheep of the owner, they are not my sheep. We are to be careful, feed them right, care for them right, not to lose a single one, and we are to lay down our lives for them, serving them, cleaning them, helping and guiding. Guide them from danger. Guide them to good food, not what is bad for them. Afterall, it would be for His profit. I would get my pay, but He would get what His goal was meant. If I love My Father, I will tend to the sheep, learn their names, give them names, realize their character, and work with it. Some are stubborn, some are not so ready to listen, and the list goes on and on. But you care for them, and you live among them. Pope Francis started out his pontificate saying that the priest should smell like their sheep. This means that he should be working among the people, not sitting in some far office. And the sheep take notice. They take to their shepherd. God designed it this way.


Let us pray: "The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff that give me courage." I don't know about you, but sometimes I have to walk in darkness, and I'm talking spiritually. Darkness means loss. Loss of senses. Doesn't it? Once you can't see, you have to trust. Read about the dark night of the soul. Some beautiful saints walked in the dark night. This darkness is not the sinful kind. This kind is the kind where there is to be no consolation, or as my spiritual advisor, a hermit told me "that is spiritual candy". All that matters at that point is that you know you can trust God your Father, and that's all you got to live by. Amen? Amen. So let us turn to Our Lord.


In the Holy Gospel, our Lord says to Simon, ""Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church...". The Good shepherd institutes an institution, the Holy Catholic Church. And to this day, it is the longest living institution known to the existence of mankind. It is a living testament. God wrote a new testament. He wrote all the old to make all the new. Perfect complement. Just like a man for a woman, a perfect complement. Just like a priest for the Church. Perfect complement. For Adam was designed to be the giver, and the woman, the receiver. We are the Bride of Christ. We receive from Him. We receive what? Life giving. Jesus says "I AM the bread of Life". Jesus wants this for our sheep.

Jesus builds a church. No matter how much protestants say He didn't, He did. I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH says our Lord. This is HIS CHURCH. Not yours, not mine. Want to help? Grab a broom. When your job is over, hand it on. Next shift. Next generation. So how will you have swept for the Lord all this dust? If we are lazy in serving, we won't clean very well, it'll simply be more work for the next generation. But God knows how to clean. The job will get done with or without you. What does all this mean? Holiness. God desires the cultivation of holiness. It (holiness) smells so good in Heaven.
To have Jesus is to have everything (remember Psalm 23). Randomly opening The Imitation of Christ by Kempis, I read now "It is a great art to know ho to talk with Jesus, and to know how to keep Him with you is great wisdom. Be humble and peaceful and Jesus will be with you; be devout and he will stay with you.

But as soon as you turn back to outward things, you will quickly drive away your Lord and lose His grace....How foolish, therefore, to put your trust or happiness in any other. It would be better to have the whole world against you than to hurt Jesus. Of all who are dear to you, let Jesus be your best beloved. 4. All others must be loved for Jesus' sake, but Jesus for Himself alone. Jesus Christ must be loved exclusively, for He alone is proved good and faithful above all other friends."
Think the flock. Think the Shepherd.
Jesus told our first pope (which means Papa) "I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven..." and this goes for all of us. If you don't forgive here, you won't be forgiven over there (on the other side). Here comes confession. Here comes contrition. Let your love be decisive and not divisive.

Here comes the key.
The key to the heart of God.
"...whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Thank you God for mercy.
Let us tend to the flock how He taught us.
And let us be the sheep that knows the Shepherd's voice.
Love becomes trust.
Trust becomes life offering.
Faith is caught in the middle.


I got a random audio bible verse as I wrote to you today, click to hear it


Random Bible Verse
1 Peter 4:16 (Listen)

16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.

Thank You Jesus

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