Tuesday, March 5, 2019

⛪ “ ...given up everything and . . ."

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Something Needs to Change

In its fullness, prayer is an encounter with God that transforms the way we see and interact with the world. It is like a bright light that reveals what we otherwise do not see: When we wear glasses or look through a window away from the light, we can believe that the glass is perfectly clean. But turn our perspective and hold it up to the light, all of a sudden we are able to see smudges, scratches, and cracks that have been there all along but completely hidden to our normal consciousness. That is the effect that an encounter with God can have on our lives. When we stop for a moment the desire to convince God to give us what we want and simply encounter God—to aim our full attention at the light itself rather than using it to see what we want—our focus becomes clear. All of a sudden, we see ourselves and the world the way God does… and for the first time know that things are not the way that the should be. Something needs to change. Often, that something is us.

—from the book Called: What Happens after Saying Yes to God


clickable: The Following is from MorningOffering

"We are Christians, and strangers on earth. Let none of us be frightened; our native land is not in this world."
— St. Augustine

"Many Christians regard Confession in the light of an unimportant act of piety, if not mere ceremony . . . many go even frequently to Confession, but so few amend, and consequently derive little or no benefit from the Sacrament. ... Be, then, most thoroughly convinced of the immense importance of this Sacrament, and be filled with an earnest desire of approaching it worthily, bestowing the utmost care and attention upon your preparation for this great duty, if you desire to obtain eternal salvation. Confession is one of the seven Sacraments instituted by Christ; it is called the Sacrament of Penance, and by its means alone can he who has committed mortal sin after Baptism hope to save his soul; therefore it is called by the holy Council of Trent: the second plank after shipwreck. In this Sacrament Jesus Christ has deposited His Precious Blood, that it may be to our souls as a salutary bath wherein they may be cleansed from all the stains of sin, their wounds closed, their maladies cured, their weakness strengthened, and grace unto salvation imported to them. This Divine Blood is dispensed to us by the priest in the holy absolution, and is abundantly poured forth upon all souls approaching the tribunal of confession with proper dispositions."
— Fr. Ignatius of the Side of Jesus, p. 284-5
The School of Jesus Crucified

"His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature."
2 Peter 1:3-4


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Saint John Joseph of the Cross

(August 15, 1654 – March 5, 1734)

Self-denial is never an end in itself but is only a help toward greater charity—as the life of Saint John Joseph shows.

John Joseph was very ascetic even as a young man. At 16, he joined the Franciscans in Naples; he was the first Italian to follow the reform movement of Saint Peter Alcantara. John Joseph's reputation for holiness prompted his superiors to put him in charge of establishing a new friary even before he was ordained.

Obedience moved John Joseph to accept appointments as novice master, guardian and, finally, provincial. His years of mortification enabled him to offer these services to the friars with great charity. As guardian he was not above working in the kitchen or carrying the wood and water needed by the friars.

When his term as provincial expired, John Joseph dedicated himself to hearing confessions and practicing mortification, two concerns contrary to the spirit of the dawning Age of Enlightenment. John Joseph of the Cross was canonized in 1839.

John Joseph's mortification allowed him to be the kind of forgiving superior intended by Saint Francis. Self-denial should lead us to charity—not to bitterness; it should help us clarify our priorities and make us more loving. John Joseph is living proof of Chesterton's observation: "It is always easy to let the age have its head; the difficult thing is to keep one's own" (G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, page 101).


Tuesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Sir 35:1-12

To keep the law is a great oblation,
and he who observes the
commandments sacrifices a peace offering.
In works of charity one offers fine flour,
and when he gives alms he presents his sacrifice of praise.
To refrain from evil pleases the LORD,
and to avoid injustice is an atonement.
Appear not before the LORD empty-handed,
for all that you offer is in fulfillment of the precepts.
The just one's offering enriches the altar
and rises as a sweet odor before the Most High.
The just one's sacrifice is most pleasing,
nor will it ever be forgotten.
In a generous spirit pay homage to the LORD,
be not sparing of freewill gifts.
With each contribution show a cheerful countenance,
and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy.
Give to the Most High as he has given to you,
generously, according to your means.

For the LORD is one who always repays,
and he will give back to you sevenfold.
But offer no bribes, these he does not accept!
Trust not in sacrifice of the fruits of extortion.
For he is a God of justice,
who knows no favorites.

Responsorial Psalm 50:5-6, 7-8, 14 and 23
R. (23b) To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
"Gather my faithful ones before me,
those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice."
And the heavens proclaim his justice;
for God himself is the judge.
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
"Hear, my people, and I will speak;
Israel, I will testify against you;
God, your God, am I.
Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
for your burnt offerings are before me always."
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
"Offer to God praise as your sacrifice
and fulfill your vows to the Most High.
He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me;
and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God."
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

Alleluia See Mt 11:25
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 10:28-31

Peter began to say to Jesus,
'We have given up everything and followed you."
Jesus said, "Amen, I say to you,
there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters
or mother or father or children or lands
for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age:
houses and brothers and sisters
and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.
But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first."


Meditation: Mark 10:28-31

Saint Casimir (Optional Memorial)

The last will be first. (Mark 10:31)

We all have areas of our lives that frustrate us: the way we can't stop yelling at our kids, that chip on our shoulder that we can't seem to get rid of, or that sinful habit that we can't seem to overcome. We might even say that this is where we fall in "last place" in an imaginary lineup. But that's not the way Jesus thinks. He is not running the earth like a race in which there are winners and losers and runners-up. There is no competition in the kingdom of God. He wants everyone to win—especially the ones the world might consider to be in last place.

Isn't that good news? There is no line! It's never too late to take the next step toward the Lord.

For instance, God might have been asking you for years to control your anger, remove the chip from your shoulder, or stop committing the same sin over and over again. But suppose that you do find the grace to change. He won't ask, "What took you so long?" His mercy is abundant and overflowing. It doesn't work on a schedule or a tight deadline, so you're not late.

This is a hard concept to wrap our minds around. Jesus doesn't keep time or measure progress the same way our boss or anybody else does. Everything depends on his free gift of grace—a gift that he offers us to the very end. That's why "the last will be first" (Mark 10:31). It's not necessarily because they will outrun the first; it's because the people we consider "last" will be treated just as bountifully as the ones who we think are "first."

Jesus promised that anyone who gives up his old way of life will receive "a hundred times more now in this present age . . . and eternal life in the age to come" (Mark 10:30). Even you.

This is an unusual race you're running. The rules are stacked in your favor! So leave behind any frustration that you feel, and start fresh today once again. Ask the Lord to show you his mercy in just the place you need it. Let that mercy remind you that it's never too late to change or to try again.

"Jesus, thank you for your generous mercy."

Sirach 35:1-12
Psalm 50:5-8, 14, 23



Let us go into this Lent with a sense of enthusiasm, a deep consciousness of sin, an awareness that we are penitents in need of redemption, and a knowledge that we are ailing people whom the Physician is coming to heal.
—Mother Mary Francis P.C.C.
from A Time of Renewal: Daily Reflections for the Lenten Season


"In works of charity one offers fine flour, and when he gives alms he presents his sacrifice of praise. To refrain from evil pleases the LORD, and to avoid injustice is an atonement."
Amazing. God just told us how we can offer to Him things. How? Almsgiving. Praise and prayers. And Refraining from evil. Refrain from what makes for evil too. And there is much of that in the world. But it is not evil's final word. The Lord has the ultimate word and authority. Let us venture then with the Lord, "For the LORD is one who always repays, and he will give back to you sevenfold." Remember I spoke of an investment? But don't do it as a bribe. Do it because of sheer will of love for God. I want to make a video one day. It will be of our Lord sitting on a throne/couch, watching a replay of the times you and Him were so tight, as a child frolicking towards daddy to give Him a great big hug. That is Our Creator, Our Father. Boy He loves the little flowers you bring Him. And that little flower sacrificed its life as a gift.


Let us pray: "To the upright I will show the saving power of God. Offer to God praise as your sacrifice
and fulfill your vows to the Most High. He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me; and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God."
I am among some shepherds. We have been meeting on how to gather the flock. The flock is scattered. The flock is being stubborn. They have found some grass patch they like. But they don't know what we know. We must move on. Why? Does the sheep need to know why? They don't know. But God knows. We must be on the move. We must always be on the move, for we must finish the course.


Let us turn to the good shepherd: ""Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel
who will not receive...." and then the promises start coming. What you will receive if you give up something for the Lord. Pause right quick. For Lent, and for penances, forward these messages to others. Evangelize. All of it or part of it. I do parts of it to many text groups, some english groups, one spanish, and another for teens. Daily. That will be a part of your prayer and praise. Sharing the word is praise too! It is to be thankful to God. Could it be then that silent souls are not praising and therefore...ungrateful? Scary thoughts, because silence is to be stopped in the water, and in this fight to finish the course, you can't stop for an instant. Evil will never stop. Let me reiterate long as we live here...evil will not stop. Do you see loved ones living faithless? They stopped swimming against the current. Your prayers should be for them. Your fastings should be for them...and for them to repent of having stopped. Because God gives us strength to swim so long as we ask. And this my friend is grace.

So would you give up house, brothers, sisters, parents, kids for His sake? Will you? You should. You should hate them even. BOY! Why do I keep saying that...right? Because the deeper I get into faith and theology, into grace, it makes sense. It is so weird and contrary to the world. Do not be set in your ways. Do not choose the ways of the world and sin. Because your loved ones could be set in them...therefore hate the world for what it does to souls. Some non-believers say that if there is a God, it seems He is playing games. My inner resonse is this "then we should play the game and by His rules". In other words, humility needs to enter.

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. Eat your pancakes today, but do not enjoy them. Hate them. Force them down your throat. For you will have to give them up for 40 days. WHAT? LOL. Weird huh? If you can say you hate them, then you can make it through the race. You will not look back. Starting to make sense? Earthly loves are not God loves. Our Love is not terrestrial. Our Love is out of this world. "Oh but Adrian you are wrong, He is in the world". Yes. But He is not of this world. Consider the source.
Love your addictions. Can't give them up? HATE THEM. It would be better to enter Heaven maimed and blind and deaf.

You see? If you can't give up your family for one hour to be in prayer, you have chosen a false love. That family will not get you to Heaven...YOU must help them to Heaven. Is it starting to make more sense?
If it still doesn't make sense to give up something for God, then, you will have to do the impossible. Just try it. LOL. Huh? Yes. Just try faith for once.

Tomorrow marks a reminder on our heads, that time is a ticking and it ain't going to stop. But God can. In the book of Joshua we heard about the day time stopped:

"And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel."
The Lord fought for His people.
The Lord has come to fight.

And it gets really weird when He fights. He fights fury with Love. He let the world slam Him on His face with a crown of thorns. He let the world beat Him on the back and forced Him to carry a cross nobody else wanted to do...willingly.

And you? Where is your will...your cross


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Random Bible Verse
John 8:32 (Listen)
32 "And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Thank You Jesus

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