Thursday, June 6, 2019

⛪..But I Know You...⛪

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Where Are You?

An important step in the spiritual life is simply to answer God's question. God, who created you in love, who knows everything about you, is asking you, Where are you? This is not a question asked by an angry God. An angry God wouldn't care. It is important that we see this question for what it is. By asking such a question, God is out to expose you. Not so that he can show you everything that is wrong with you, or even everything that is right, but simply because God wants to be with you where you are, and whether we know it or not: God's already there.

—from the book Already There: Letting God Find You, by Mark Mossa, SJ


Saint Quote

"Do not be anxious: go straight on, forgetful of self, letting the spirit of God act instead of your own."
— St. Julie Billiart

"As St. Paul points out, Christ never meant that we were to remain children in intelligence: on the contrary. He told us to be not only 'as harmless as doves', but also 'as wise as serpents'. He wants a child's heart, but a grown-up's head. He wants us to be simple, single-minded, affectionate, and teachable, as good children are; but He also wants every bit of intelligence we have to be alert at its job, and in first-class fighting trim."
—C.S. Lewis, p. 77
Mere Christianity

"For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness. Therefore whoever rejects this rejects not human authority but God, who also gives his Holy Spirit to you."
1 Thessalonians 4:7-8


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St. Marcellin Champagnat (1789–1840) was born to a peasant family near Lyons, France, in the same year the French Revolution erupted. He grew up amid the havoc and instability it left in every area of life. Like many other children, St. Marcellin was poor and illiterate due to the collapse of education. Yet a visiting priest encouraged him to enter the seminary, which he did at the age of sixteen despite his poverty. Because of his lack of education he struggled academically, which inspired him to combat the illiteracy and spiritual poverty resulting from the violence and chaos of the French Revolution. With hard work, prayer, and the support of his family, he was ordained in 1816. The following year he bought a simple house, opened a school, and recruited other peasant men to join him in a new community devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary and committed to giving young people a proper Christian education. He made his school year flexible with the farming seasons, and the fees were affordable to the poor. His congregation became The Little Brothers of Mary, now called The Marist Brothers. They were dedicated to the education of youth, especially the most neglected. When Marcellin died his order had 48 establishments in France with 278 Brothers. Today there are 5,100 Brothers working in over 80 countries. St. Marcellin Champagant's feast day is June 6th.
See More About This Saint >


Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 22:30; 23:6-11

Wishing to determine the truth
about why Paul was being accused by the Jews,
the commander freed him
and ordered the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin to convene.
Then he brought Paul down and made him stand before them.

Paul was aware that some were Sadducees and some Pharisees,
so he called out before the Sanhedrin,
"My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees;
I am on trial for hope in the resurrection of the dead."
When he said this,
a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and Sadducees,
and the group became divided.
For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection
or angels or spirits,
while the Pharisees acknowledge all three.
A great uproar occurred,
and some scribes belonging to the Pharisee party
stood up and sharply argued,
"We find nothing wrong with this man.
Suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?"
The dispute was so serious that the commander,
afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them,
ordered his troops to go down and rescue Paul from their midst
and take him into the compound.
The following night the Lord stood by him and said, "Take courage.
For just as you have borne witness to my cause in Jerusalem,
so you must also bear witness in Rome."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 16:1-2a and 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11

R.(1) Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
R. Alleluia.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, "My Lord are you."
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
R. Alleluia.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
R. Alleluia.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
Because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
R. Alleluia.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 17:21

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May they all be one as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that the world may believe that you sent me, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 17:20-26

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:
"I pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them."


Meditation: John 17:20-26

Saint Norbert, Bishop (Optional Memorial)

. . . that they may all be one. (John 17:21)

Have you ever participated in an event with people from all walks of life? Maybe it was something united around a common cause, like the March for Life, or a food drive, or a race to raise money for cancer research. While you were there, chances are no one asked you about your age, where you lived, your occupation, or even your religious affiliation. What brought you together was the cause.

This kind of unity of purpose can help us understand one facet of the unity that Jesus prayed for in today's Gospel, but he wants us to know much more than unity of purpose. He wants us to know unity of love and unity of vision as well.

It's no secret that the Church is fractured and that Jesus' prayer remains unfulfilled. We know that Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox are separated. There are countless different denominations, and the Catholic Church continues to suffer from internal divisions. Even on a smaller level, every parish seems to have its own difficulties.

And so Jesus continues to pray that his followers become one as they share in his Father's perfect, selfless love. He wants more than cooperation and tolerance. He wants reconciliation and love. When our divisions no longer define our relationships, we'll begin to see each other as brothers and sisters. We may not believe everything in exactly the same way, but we can rejoice that there is far more that unites us than divides us.

How can we promote Christian unity? By praying. We can bless our brothers and sisters from other traditions. We can ask the Holy Spirit to soften our hearts toward each other. We can echo Jesus' prayer that all barriers of hostility would be broken down and that God's children would be one.

Just think of what your prayer for unity can accomplish. Close your eyes and imagine the heavenly throne room. Picture the angels and saints there worshipping Jesus. Now picture everyone from all the churches in your neighborhood joining them. See them all gathered together singing hymns of glory to the Lord. Imagine the smiles on their faces as they greet each other—and as they greet you. Isn't this a unity worth praying for?

"Come, Lord, and make us one!"

Acts 22:30; 23:6-11
Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11



Each new thing learned about God is a new reason for loving him. Can we imagine anyone saying, provided he was really listening to what he was saying: 'We don't need to know any more about God or his work; we know enough already for our salvation'? Love of God, as of our fellow men, craves knowledge and is fed by it.
—Frank Sheed
from Knowing God


"The following night the Lord stood by him and said, "Take courage. For just as you have borne witness to my cause in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness in Rome."
There are two ways to give up your life: One, for the Lord, and second, for yourself. How do we make a complete surrender to our Lord? Doing His will. How do we know His will? Be involved deeply and passionately in His will. How do we do that? How can I make someone passionate? There must've been a group, back then, of Christians praying for Saul to become Paul. A conversion with many leading him to believe. It took some martyrs, beginning with St. Stephen. Stephen said he saw the Lord and Saul was witness. Then Saul/Paul saw after being blinded. He saw what Stephen saw. Common denominator: Both sought to see.

Let us pray: "I bless the LORD who counsels me; even in the night my heart exhorts me. I set the LORD ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed." In the night, they say, in the dark it is said that still the heart exhorts, a calling in the night. What is your darkness right now? What problems are you facing? Now tell me, are these problems bringing you closer to our Lord, or are they pushing you away? It's funny how some problems can you bring you closer to Him, and some problems take you from Him. I'd like to know why problems take you away from Him. I see a wave of people walking away from the Way. Is His way too much? They no longer go to church. What happened? What made the faith dissipate? What withered it away? I'm noticing one thing in common; a lack of good communication. Firstly with our Lord. From there, from a lack of common prayer, together, the Holy Spirit flies away, because He is no longer invited, or welcomed, or spoken to, not important, not king and not center. They say in the business word that the biggest problem they see is the "silent customer". It is sad to say that many churches see people as customers. There is a great need of greater community, yes, but for what? What should bring us together always? Let us go there now.


In the Holy Gospel today, our Lord speaks to us: ""I pray..." Jesus our Lord is praying for us,
"so that they may all be one..." one body of Christ, all together with Him and for Him as He is our Head.
"that they may be brought to perfection as one" and once again, He wants us perfect, perfection in one. Aren't these words Heavenly? Does that not sound like Heaven? and He continues with His prayer and desire, His will:
" that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me." Now this is deep! It encompasses His purpose, His coming, His annunciation, nativity, ministry, and his entire life. He was sent, by Love, to Love us as God does. And it is mind boggling. John 3:16. For God So loved the world.

Yesterday on the road, a recent high school graduate nephew living with us right now, asked me "why are all priests I see from Africa". I told him that we have very low vocations in our country and so we have to borrow priests from other parts of the world. Places like Africa where there are Muslims bombing their churches. I kept talking, saying how in our country we don't put an emphasis on the love of God above all, for we are severely distracted. By the way, a video by Fr. Mike Shmitz I had played (audio in my truck), spawned the conversation. After watching the video on "How Do We Spend Our Time", my nephew and some of my boys, we all clapped, applauded the video. Check it out at . Any how, I said it is true, we put an emphasis on work, family, vacation, pleasure, enjoyments, anything else but our Lord Himself. I said, look at how many go to Daily Mass, or confessions, and then look at how many go to Sunday Mass and Communion. Like in our choirs, for years we've tried to have practices. Nobody "can make it". They got way too going on in daily lives. But on Sunday, they want to sing, they demand to sing, and if not, know what happens! My way or the highway. And so, we have very few vocations. And since I'm on a soapbox now, let me tell all of another truth out there nowadays: For the longest time, let's say, for the last 12 years or so, I've been involved in the pro-life movement, we prayed for several years at local abortion places (I'd hate to use the word clinic!). And I noticed something in the was hard to say I was pro-life without facing backlash from people, family, friends, and even parishioners in my own church! It was awkward, it was like I had to remain silent. But the truth wouldn't settle. I just could not be silent. Fast forward now to today, it is much easier, the world is realizing the truth that has been pushed for over 40 years now...abortion ends life. I bring up that example to tell you of another, this time it is not abortion that I'm being told to be silent about, this time it is homosexuality. Now the awkward conversations are about that and the silence is about that. The strange thing though is that laws are being passed like wildfire to protect homsexualism and these laws are not only calling for an ultimatum on life by being anti-conception, they are calling for an end to spiritual life. Not only are we in dire need of vocations now, but we are in dire need of the truth!

Have I veered from today's Gospel? No. Not in the slightest bit. God wants us together and perfect. That is, perfectly His. The devil says "don't judge me" as it preys on the innocent. How can I speak about sin to the sinner? I have an alcoholic person in my life, family member. I can no longer speak with him. Of course I can call him, and talk to him, but I can not speak to him about his drinking problem. Why? Because he is a liar. He says he knows he needs to quit, but he will not. Now, we have a problem. Addictions speaks. His way of life speaks. Some call it an irreversible disease, incurable even...hopeless. That is the devil talking still. For I believe in hope. I make it a rule to not bring up someone if I am not praying for them. Even last night in family prayer I prayed for this alcoholic. I am so afraid for the alcoholic. Just like those bonded to homosexual life. I am afraid for their life. I'm not speaking of life on earth either. I'm speaking salvation. That person needs an intervention. I mean to intervene. I have intentions. But how far will they go? Now the alcoholic has split from his family, found a girlfriend. You see what happens with sin? You see where it leads? Separation.

Am I veering again? No. God wants us together and perfect. God wants to reach others through love. Even the numbskulls, even the wretched addicts, even the homosexuals that won't talk to me even though I talk to them. They want me silent...but I can't....I just can't...and I'm not sorry...


says our Lord


hear it read


Random Bible Verse1
Colossians 3:9-10 (Listen)

9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self [1] with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Thank You Jesus

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