Thursday, May 9, 2019

⛪ Life Of The World ⛪

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God Loves Our Attempts to Pray

I remember when my first child started drawing pictures, around the age of two. I'd come home from work, and she'd be eager to show me the pictures she had drawn for me during the day. Many times, the pictures were just a bunch of scribbles, not clear depictions one could easily identify. ("That's me? Oh…wow, I didn't realize… Well, thank you!") I was always delighted that my daughter was thinking of me during the day and desiring to give me a gift. I saw her heart more than her final product. What would you think of a father who took his daughter's scribbled pictures, tore them up, and told her not to draw pictures again until she could get them exactly right? No good father would do that! "Whatever struggles you may face with the rosary, never walk away feeling discouraged."

—from the book Praying the Rosary Like Never Before: Encounter the Wonder of Heaven and Earth by Edward Sri


†Saint Quote
"The Eucharist is the bread that gives strength... It is at once the most eloquent proof of His love and the most powerful means of fostering His love in us. He gives Himself every day so that our hearts as burning coals may set afire the hearts of the faithful."
— St. Damien of Molokai

"But you, 'a chosen generation', weak things of the world, who have forsaken all things, so that you may follow the Lord, go after him, and confound the strong; go after him, you beautiful feet, and shine in the firmament so that the heavens may declare his glory . . . Shine over the whole earth, and let the day, brightened by the sun, utter unto day speech of wisdom, and let the night, shining with the moon, declare to the night the word of knowledge . . . Run into every place, O you holy fires, you beautiful fires! You are the light of the world, and you are not put under a measure. He to whom you have held fast has been exalted, and he has exalted you. Run forth, and make it known to all nations."
— Saint Augustine, p.318-19
The Confessions of Saint Augustine

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect."
Romans 12:1-2


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Saint John of Avila

(c. 1500 – May 10, 1569)

Born in the Castile region of Spain, John was sent at the age of 14 to the University of Salamanca to study law. He later moved to Alcala, where he studied philosophy and theology before his ordination as a diocesan priest.

After John's parents died and left him as their sole heir to a considerable fortune, he distributed his money to the poor. In 1527, he traveled to Seville, hoping to become a missionary in Mexico. The archbishop of that city persuaded him to stay and spread the faith in Andalusia. During nine years of work there, he developed a reputation as an engaging preacher, a perceptive spiritual director, and a wise confessor.

Because John was not afraid to denounce vice in high places, he was investigated by the Inquisition but was cleared in 1533. He later worked in Cordoba and then in Granada, where he organized the University of Baeza, the first of several colleges run by diocesan priests who dedicated themselves to teaching and giving spiritual direction to young people.

He was friends with Saints Francis Borgia, Ignatius of Loyola, John of God, John of the Cross, Peter of Alcantara, and Teresa of Avila. John of Avila worked closely with members of the Society of Jesus and helped their growth within Spain and its colonies. John's mystical writings have been translated into several languages.

He was beatified in 1894, canonized in 1970, and declared a doctor of the Church on October 7, 2012.

Saint John of Avila knew that the lives of Christians can contradict the Good News of Jesus Christ—for example thinking racism is OK—implicitly encouraging Christians to live their faith-halfheartedly, and causing obstacles to non-Christians who might accept Baptism. In 16th-century Spain, those who advocated reforming the Church were often suspected of heresy. Saint John of Avila held his ground and was eventually recognized as a very reliable teacher of the Christian faith.


Thursday of the Third Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 8:26-40

The angel of the Lord spoke to Philip,
"Get up and head south on the road
that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route."
So he got up and set out.
Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch,
a court official of the Candace,
that is, the queen of the Ethiopians,
in charge of her entire treasury,
who had come to Jerusalem to worship, and was returning home.
Seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
The Spirit said to Philip,
"Go and join up with that chariot."
Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said,
"Do you understand what you are reading?"
He replied,
"How can I, unless someone instructs me?"
So he invited Philip to get in and sit with him.
This was the Scripture passage he was reading:

Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who will tell of his posterity?
For his life is taken from the earth.

Then the eunuch said to Philip in reply,
"I beg you, about whom is the prophet saying this?
About himself, or about someone else?"
Then Philip opened his mouth and, beginning with this Scripture passage,
he proclaimed Jesus to him.
As they traveled along the road
they came to some water,
and the eunuch said, "Look, there is water.
What is to prevent my being baptized?"
Then he ordered the chariot to stop,
and Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water,
and he baptized him.
When they came out of the water,
the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away,
and the eunuch saw him no more,
but continued on his way rejoicing.
Philip came to Azotus, and went about proclaiming the good news
to all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 66:8-9, 16-17, 20

R.(1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
Bless our God, you peoples,
loudly sound his praise;
He has given life to our souls,
and has not let our feet slip.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
When I appealed to him in words,
praise was on the tip of my tongue.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
Blessed be God who refused me not
my prayer or his kindness!
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 6:51

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord;
whoever eats this bread will live forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 6:44-51

Jesus said to the crowds:
"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him,
and I will raise him on the last day.
It is written in the prophets:

They shall all be taught by God.

Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.
Not that anyone has seen the Father
except the one who is from God;
he has seen the Father.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life.
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven
so that one may eat it and not die.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my Flesh for the life of the world."


Meditation: Acts 8:26-40

3rd Week of Easter

Philip . . . proclaimed Jesus to him. (Acts 8:34, 35)

Who was this man who met up with an Ethiopian court official and then was mysteriously "snatched. . . away" (Acts 8:39)? Not to be confused with the apostle Philip, this Philip was one of the seven deacons appointed to oversee the distribution of food to the poor widows in the Jerusalem church (6:1-7). After the martyrdom of Stephen, the community scattered, and Philip went to Samaria where he continued to proclaim the gospel. His preaching was accompanied by signs and wonders, and many turned to the Lord (8:4-7).

Philip was seeing so much success, so why did God interrupt his work in Samaria to send him on this special mission?

Philip listened to the Spirit and did what he asked. When an angel of the Lord told Philip to go south on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza, he "got up and set out" (Acts 8:27). When the Holy Spirit told Philip to join the chariot, again he obeyed immediately.

Philip knew the Scriptures. Just as Jesus opened up the Scriptures to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35), the Holy Spirit had opened up the Scriptures to Philip. That meant he was able to help the Ethiopian see that the passage he was reading from Isaiah pointed to Jesus.

Philip was open to the new way in which God was working. The Ethiopian court official was most likely a "God-fearer," a Gentile who prayed to Israel's God. He may have been returning from worshipping at the Temple in Jerusalem when Philip caught up with him. Despite the man's faith, however, he was still considered an outsider. When he asked to be baptized, Philip didn't hesitate, and the Ethiopian man became a full-fledged member of the people of God.

Just as he chose Philip, the Lord might choose you for a special mission of some kind. As you listen to the Spirit, he might just nudge you to talk to someone about what God has done for you. As you read the Scriptures, he might inspire you to share a meaningful verse with a friend. As you look for opportunities to welcome outsiders, he might ask you to greet a newcomer at Mass. The possibilities are endless. You just have to keep listening—and obey!

"Holy Spirit, I am listening to you. Use me to spread the gospel."

Psalm 66:8-9, 16-17, 20
John 6:44-51



Just as Christian doctrines have consequences, so do false teachings. And the experience of the last several decades shows us the consequences of false teachings about marriage: broken hearts and homes, spouses betrayed, children abandoned by father or mother and slowed or derailed from the path to healthy maturity. And when these things befall large segments of the next generation, every other social institution is impaired. For all associations—including the Church herself—depend on formation that only the marriage-based family can reliably provide.
—Gerhard Cardinal Müller
from The Power of Truth: The Challenges to Catholic Doctrine and Morals Today


""Do you understand what you are reading?"
I remember I started a bible study, to go through a timeline series with Jeff Cavins, the "Great Adventure". I was up for inviting just about anybody. I went to a metal shop and the owner is an old school buddy. I saw a bible on his counter and I asked if he wanted to join the bible study. He said basically no and that he had just finished reading the bible. It was off-putting because it's one thing to go at it alone, and another to have the Holy Spirit open your eyes to what the Holy Scripture is trying to say. I've never seen the old school buddy in Church. I asked him to help me at our family festival and he did not. I see he is a big football fan, the color and logo of his team is everywhere in the shop. Get the picture? The bible isn't meant for one alone. In the stories that are true and of theology, one finds hidden the life and draws one to the source at the center. No, not the center of the Bible, because you'll end up in a random book or Psalms or Proverbs, but the center of the universe...the God made Man.

Let us pray: "Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare what he has done for me. When I appealed to him in words, praise was on the tip of my tongue. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy." Praise must be on the tip of our tongue, otherwise, other things are at the tip of our tongue, that what draws from the heart. For some, it is cursing. And cursing can come in many ways, like talking about others in a negative and dark manner, like gossip. There are two things that are quite deadly, and it is just that, slander, a sin against charity, and the other is not forgiving. These two can keep a soul from Heaven quite easily. We will be held liable for the silliest of words and thoughts and rancor. So how in the world can we be saved? Ahh. We need someone to help us on our journey. Then salvation. Take a cue from the eunuch. He was seeking. God sees who is seeking. And then He sends angels along your way in the form of humans, speaking in the Holy Spirit, of angelic tunes and things to illuminate our lives.


For that, let us turn to our Lord who says today "Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me." Listening is key, isn't it? How can we listen to our Father? Obedience is one way to listen. For He speaks to a faithful heart. But listening entails much more. It means carving out of your day, a dialogue, where two are speaking and God listens...but do we? Or do we just talk and talk in prayer, babble and babble? I know I do that alot and I have to force myself to remain still, to calm down, to shut up, to just stop this mind that goes 100 mph all the time, at the same time losing real focus. What's hard about listening? You want to hear things that you don't hear. You want to see things that you don't see. Rather, an uneasy feeling comes over, something...not natural. Indeed, we must be born from above to realize what is going on. And all week long we hear Jesus saying He is the bread. Today He said "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. "
Ok, we have eternal life for believing... BUT, will it be an eternal life WITH Him? You see, there's more than meets the eye. Eat the bread He offers, Himself...the very truth.
I think it was this week, I was in daily Mass in our little chapel, and I had a thought as I gazed at a stained glass window depicting a triumphant lamb. I envisioned that lamb came to life, and it was asking me to follow it throughout life, I had to trust it all the time, and it was so confident, and so pure. Many times I just wanted to not believe the lamb that seemed cartoonish. But I could see it was to my own demise and I would get stuck in a rut if I did not follow. My way always seemed to fail. And I knew eventually that lamb would be killed so I could eat and live, it would give its life for me (all of us). God comes to life.
So I stopped daydreaming in the middle of Mass, and tried to focus on our prayers again.

Focusing on the bread of life....


real pic of the glass i spoke of today


hear it read


Random Bible Verse1
Galatians 6:9-10 (Listen)

9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Thank You Jesus

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