Monday, March 4, 2019

⛪ “. .. who can be saved?”

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Ready to Make Things New

Francis of Assisi was a master of making room for the new and letting go of that which was tired or empty. As his first biographer said, "He was always new, always fresh, always beginning again." Much of Francis's genius was that he was ready for absolute "newness" from God, and therefore could also trust fresh and new attitudes in himself. His God was not tired, and so he was never tired. His God was not old, so Francis remained forever young.

—from the book Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi


clickable: The Following is from MorningOffering

"Act, and God will act, work and He will work."
— St. Joan of Arc

"Christian life is a retreat. We are 'not of this world', just as Jesus Christ is 'not of this world' (John 17:14). What is the world? It is, as St. John said, the 'lust of the flesh', that is, sensuality and corruption in our desires and deeds; 'the lust of the eyes', curiosity, avarice, illusion, fascination, error, and folly in the affectation of learning, and, finally, pride and ambition (1 John 2:16). To these evils of which the world is full, and which make up its substance, a retreat must be set in opposition. We need to make ourselves into a desert by a holy detachment. Christian life is a battle ... We must never cease to fight. In this battle, St. Paul teaches us to make an eternal abstinence, that is, to cut ourselves off from the pleasures of the senses and guard our hearts from them ... it was to repair and to expiate the failings of our retreat, of our battle against temptations, of our abstinence, that Jesus was driven into the desert. His fast of forty days prefigured the lifelong one that we are to practice by abstaining from evil deeds and by containing our desires within the limits laid down by the law of God."
— Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, p. 17-18
Meditations for Lent

"For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ."
Philippians 3:18-20


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Saint Casimir

(1458 – 1483)

Casimir, born of kings and in line to be a king himself, was filled with exceptional values and learning by a great teacher, John Dlugosz. Even his critics could not say that his conscientious objection indicated softness. As a teenager, Casimir lived a highly disciplined, even severe life, sleeping on the ground, spending a great part of the night in prayer and dedicating himself to lifelong celibacy.

When nobles in Hungary became dissatisfied with their king, they prevailed upon Casimir's father, the king of Poland, to send his son to take over the country. Casimir obeyed his father, as many young men over the centuries have obeyed their governments. The army he was supposed to lead was clearly outnumbered by the "enemy"; some of his troops were deserting because they were not paid. At the advice of his officers, Casimir decided to return home.

His father was irked at the failure of his plans, and confined his 15-year-old son for three months. The lad made up his mind never again to become involved in the wars of his day, and no amount of persuasion could change his mind. He returned to prayer and study, maintaining his decision to remain celibate even under pressure to marry the emperor's daughter.

He reigned briefly as king of Poland during his father's absence. He died of lung trouble at 25 while visiting Lithuania, of which he was also Grand Duke. He was buried in Vilnius, Lithuania.

For many years, Poland and Lithuania faded into the gray prison on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Despite repression, the Poles and Lithuanians remained firm in the faith which has become synonymous with their name. Their youthful patron reminds us: Peace is not won by war; sometimes a comfortable peace is not even won by virtue, but Christ's peace can penetrate every government repression of religion.

Saint Casimir is the Patron Saint of:


Monday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Sir 17:20-24

To the penitent God provides a way back,
he encourages those who are losing hope
and has chosen for them the lot of truth.
Return to him and give up sin,
pray to the LORD and make your offenses few.
Turn again to the Most High and away from your sin,
hate intensely what he loathes,
and know the justice and judgments of God,
Stand firm in the way set before you,
in prayer to the Most High God.

Who in the nether world can glorify the Most High
in place of the living who offer their praise?
Dwell no longer in the error of the ungodly,
but offer your praise before death.
No more can the dead give praise
than those who have never lived;
You who are alive and well
shall praise and glorify God in his mercies.
How great the mercy of the LORD,
his forgiveness of those who return to him!

Responsorial Psalm Ps 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7
R. (11a) Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.
Blessed is he whose fault is taken away,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
in whose spirit there is no guile.
R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
my guilt I covered not.
I said, "I confess my faults to the LORD,"
and you took away the guilt of my sin.
R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.
For this shall every faithful man pray to you
in time of stress.
Though deep waters overflow,
they shall not reach him.
R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.
You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me;
with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round.
R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.

Alleluia 2 Cor 8:9
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 10:17-27

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up,
knelt down before him, and asked him,
"Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Jesus answered him, "Why do you call me good?
No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
you shall not defraud;
honor your father and your mother."
He replied and said to him,
"Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth."
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him,
"You are lacking in one thing.
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."
At that statement, his face fell,

and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
"How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the Kingdom of God!"
The disciples were amazed at his words.
So Jesus again said to them in reply,
"Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God."
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves,
"Then who can be saved?"
Jesus looked at them and said,
"For men it is impossible, but not for God.
All things are possible for God."


Catholic Meditations
Meditation: Mark 10:17-27

Saint Casimir (Optional Memorial)

Jesus, looking at him, loved him. (Mark 10:21)

Let's begin looking at this passage by thinking about what Jesus is not doing here. He isn't trying to trick this man. He's not trying to discourage him or tell him the only way to heaven is to get rid of all his money. He's not saying that this fellow is not good enough or that his efforts at keeping the commandments count for nothing.

So what is Jesus doing? He's offering this man a chance to take the next step. Looking at him with great love, he sees the man's eager desire for salvation and tells him how to get there.

Today put yourself in this fellow's place. Consider what Jesus might say to you as he looks into your eyes and loves you:

"Child, I see all the ways you are following my commands. I see how you are already pouring yourself out for me. I see all the big and small things you do—the ways you show your love to your family and friends, your faithful attendance at Mass, how you try hard to be patient and kind. I see it all, and it gives me great joy.

"But I have more for you! I want to show you who I am more clearly. I want you to feel my love more deeply. I want to give you more opportunities to share my love with the people in your life. I want you to take the next step because I can tell you're ready for it."

What might that next step be for you? The best way to find out is to ask the Holy Spirit to help you see it, and then keep your eyes open. It may be a simple act of service you can do for a friend. It may be a new, more patient and loving way to approach a challenging situation. It may be an unhealthy habit that you need to work toward overcoming.

Whatever that step is, always remember how much Jesus loves you. Know that anything you leave behind for him, anything you give to him, makes it easier for you to follow him. He promises that if you surrender the things that you treasure above him, he will reward you immensely.

So come, follow Jesus. He wants to share his wealth with you.

"Yes, Lord, I will follow you! Thank you for the way you love me."

Sirach 17:20-24
Psalm 32:1-2, 5-7



Christ's works testified to what he was; our works will testify as to what we are.
—Fr. Emil Kapaun
from The Miracle of Father Kapaun: Priest, Soldier and Korean War Hero


"Turn again to the Most High and away from your sin,
hate intensely what he loathes...".
Aren't these beautiful words from above? It's as if our Father in Heaven is saying "Love Me, don't turn away from Me".

Our chance, our only chance in life is now, to turn to Him and see eternity unfold before our very eyes. Turn to Him and turn into Him. I once wondered if the ultimate extreme in the highest Heavens would be to completely lose your life in Heaven as you dove into an abyss of light at the center of Heaven...the final farewell...and it would be good.


Let us pray: "Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord. You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me; with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round." There was a chinese man who was arrested for his faith and having Holy Mass in his home. He was tortured to tell where the priest was. He said he'd rather die than to say. He somehow was freed. He moved to the USA. There he could go to Mass every day without persecution. Soon, he found wealth and prosperity and became busy. Daily Mass no more, just on Sundays. Later, he found it hard to go on Sundays. That which he treasured in China was not treasured any longer in the USA. Funny how freedom works. I'd rather be a slave, a life for life. My first years in life were in Mexico. I will never forget the freedom I felt. And here, it is a rat race of life, "where has time gone?" is the question, meanwhile locked in a credit world, life turned in.


So let us turn to true freedom, our Lord Jesus Christ in the realms of eternity as He comes in by the Word that becomes flesh daily upon the Holy Altar of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone." for He was asked what one must do to inherit eternal life. The man was right to seek the good and eternal. And He came to the source of all good...Jesus, Son of God whom is in charge of all, the ultimate lamb and shepherd of the Almighty. Why do you call Him good, only to turn and do evil? Why do you seek good and go to His door and not enter? Remember...the realms of Heaven.

Since you know the story, I will not repeat the Gospel, but only at the core of the heart of the matter when our Lord speaks:

"You are lacking in one thing." In the book of Daniel, the finger of God spoke, and in the second writing it said "TEKEL, you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting;" Wanting means lacking. Jesus says today "you are found lacking". You see, in the book of Daniel also, the first thing written was "MENE, God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it. You may think you'll live forever, YOLO mantra, but your days are numbered my friend. I dare ask you, how have you profited every day? That was what entered my mind as I woke up, how will I profit every single day for our Lord? What are the stakes and what is at stake? Souls. That's all.

Jesus continues:
"Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor. Its funny how in RCIA we went over this exact scripture yesterday. There I recounted a true life, a living story of today's Holy Gospel. I have a dear loved one I grew up with and saw as an older brother, he even lived with us for years. He eventually became successful, owning his own business, and now is part of a big franchise and employs dozens. I asked him to go to a Cursillo. He was hesitant. I convinced him to sign the application, I went to his business and we signed. I found a clergy to sign his application. I didn't get the registration money from him to go but said "I'll pay for your way for now". The day of Cursillo came. It was time to start and he wouldnt' show. I called him "where are you, I'm here at the door waiting for you". He said he couldn't and that he was sorry. This was the second time it happened with him. Later on, in deep conversation, he admitted he didn't want to go because of the story when Jesus asked the man to sell all his riches and follow him. He said he could never do that. I said he wouldn't have to literally. But that wasn't convincing. He has a huge gun collection and buys foreign land in case things go wrong in the USA. That is his "security" he says. I told my RCIA student that it is funny how we want to have total control. There is no diving into light head first as in the Heavens there. To this day my loved one has not experienced cursillo and is travelling the world, once I caught him in Hawaii, then Europe, and South America. And I await at the door. I'm still in Cursillo hoping for conversions. And the movement itself needs prayers and help.

Our Lord:
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." Some have found Jesus and have cashed in their lives. All chips are gone and all bets are on Him. But you can't see what you have cashed in. You can't see the treasure but you know you have found it.

So, back to you.
Are you seeking God like today's man in the Gospel? Are you seeking eternity? Why ? For yourself? Because you just don't want to die? My friend, that is wrong. The reason for eternity is Jesus. The reason for life now is Jesus. I have met many rich men in my life. They are wonderful people, and generous with their money. But if I ask for time to be with them, I will be denied. I have been denied a lunch with them. A simple meal. I have been denied one day, and three days in retreat. I am denied what is perhaps most precious to them...even more than money...and that is the precious time.

You see?

This past weekend, we put on a Parish retreat to kick off lent. I bet a few hundred received an invitation, but out of our own parish, I bet on the English side we only got no more than 5 adults, give or take a couple that came in and left. That's not even 10% of people, it was like 1%. LOL, funny, the extreme biker gangs have the 1 percenters group, they say, the most extreme and committed members. I invited a couple from 3 hours away to give a talk at our Family retreat. We spoke afterwards and the brother said "funny how in our church we have lots of help for festivals, and activities but if you invite them to a rosary or a retreat they won't come". Why? Because it calls for a sincere part of your heart. And for time that you could spend elsewhere.

How do you spend? Your time?
Lent calls for an investment of time and treasure and talent for God.
Spend less on yourself and your loves.
Spend more on Him and His love.
So what happened at the retreat? I reflected as I awoke this is like all things for is mining for Gold. And it takes heaps of mountains to get a few small ounces or nuggets. Rarely will you heat a streak of solid Gold. But my friend, that is more gold than you ever had before!

So, do you have to sell all your riches? Nope, not if you don't want to.
Do you have to obey all the commandments? Nope, it's your choice.
Can you sell all your riches? Yes, but it'd be even better to give them away.
Can you obey all the commandments? Yes of course, He gives strength.
So why don't we? Why don't you sell everything and follow God?

Want the answer?

Because you don't follow Him.
In our retreat this past weekend we filmed some footage for a video about the Catholic Grinch, stay tuned as it is being edited. The Grinch walks into Mass, and left the same as when he walked in. Nothing happened. People asked "but the Grinch has a change of heart" in the movie? Yes, but not in real life. You see, a conversion is the ideal and the goal of following God.

If you follow Him all the way, you will wind up naked and dead on the cold floor among Jesus lovers, like St. Francis, another Christ.
But the man in the Gospel came to Jesus and left the same or worse, for if he was happy, now he was said, the Grinch. Now he knew what it would cost "to be perfect".

To be totally His.
Do you believe?


click to hear the bible verse


Random Bible Verse
Psalm 30:4 (Listen)
4 Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
and give thanks to his holy name. [1]

Thank You Jesus

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