Thursday, July 25, 2019

⛪ ...Life As A Ransom.. .⛪

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The Power of Pilgrimage

For the last few days of the Camino, I felt a yearning in my heart that I could not explain. It was a tugging deep within me that was always present but vaguely outside of me. I felt I was being drawn in or pulled to something. The feeling was odd, and I could not fully understand it. As I drew closer to Santiago, it became clearer to me what was happening. I felt that I was being beckoned, as if someone was waiting for me. I instinctively knew that someone was Christ. I am not able to explain exactly what was taking place in my heart. It was both a longing for and a being called to. While I was experiencing Christ as I walked, I was increasingly being consumed by the reality that he was waiting for me in Santiago. I have never since had such a genuine sense of God waiting on me.

−from Hiking the Camino: 500 Miles with Jesus


†Saint Quote
"Announcing the Gospel is the first and greatest act of charity."
— St. Arnold Janssen

"We have to accustom ourselves to pray in all places and at all times. The real place to pray in is the soul, for God dwells there. If we wish to obey our Lord's counsel, when we pray we should enter the chamber of our soul, close the door, and speak to the Father, whose loving eyes seek ever our own. This inner chamber of our soul is the true temple, the sacred sanctuary, and we carry it with us and can at any time either remain there or quickly return to it, should we have been obliged to leave it."
— Dom Augustin Guillerand, p. 111
The Prayer of the Presence of God

"What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done."
Matthew: 16:26-27


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St. Christopher (3rd c.) is a highly popular saint, though little is known about him with certainty. According to one account, a pagan queen prayed to the Blessed Virgin Mary for a child, whom she named Offerus and dedicated to the pagan gods. The child grew into a man of exceptional size and strength, and he endeavored to serve only the strongest and most courageous of masters. First he served a heathen king, but soon realized that the king feared the Devil. He then served the Devil, until he saw that the Devil feared the Sign of the Cross. He then decided to serve Christ, reasoning that Christ must be the strongest master of all. Offerus found a Christian hermit who instructed him in the faith, baptized him, and gave him a new name, Christopher, or "Christ-bearer." From then on Christopher determined to serve Christ by using his great physical strength to assist travelers crossing a treacherous river. One day he helped a small child across the river; as Christopher carried the child he felt his burden becoming strangely heavy, as if the weight of the whole world was upon his shoulders. When he spoke of this, the child replied that Christopher carried not only the whole world, but also Him who made it. The child then revealed himself as Jesus Christ and announced that Christopher's humble service was pleasing to Him, and worked a miracle by turning Christopher's staff into a tree. Due to this miracle many converted to Christianity, which caused Christopher to be imprisoned, tortured, and beheaded for refusing to worship the pagan gods. St. Christopher is the patron saint of travelers. His feast day is July 25th.


Saint James the Apostle

This James is the brother of John the Evangelist. The two were called by Jesus as they worked with their father in a fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had already called another pair of brothers from a similar occupation: Peter and Andrew. "He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him" (Mark 1:19-20).

James was one of the favored three who had the privilege of witnessing the Transfiguration, the raising to life of the daughter of Jairus, and the agony in Gethsemani.

Two incidents in the Gospels describe the temperament of this man and his brother. Saint Matthew tells that their mother came—Mark says it was the brothers themselves—to ask that they have the seats of honor in the kingdom. "Jesus said in reply, 'You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?' They said to him, 'We can'" (Matthew 20:22). Jesus then told them they would indeed drink the cup and share his baptism of pain and death, but that sitting at his right hand or left was not his to give—it "is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father" (Matthew 20:23b). It remained to be seen how long it would take to realize the implications of their confident "We can!"

The other disciples became indignant at the ambition of James and John. Then Jesus taught them all the lesson of humble service: The purpose of authority is to serve. They are not to impose their will on others, or lord it over them. This is the position of Jesus himself. He was the servant of all; the service imposed on him was the supreme sacrifice of his own life.

On another occasion, James and John gave evidence that the nickname Jesus gave them—"sons of thunder"—was an apt one. The Samaritans would not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to hated Jerusalem. "When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, 'Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?' Jesus turned and rebuked them…" (Luke 9:54-55).

James was apparently the first of the apostles to be martyred. "About that time King Herod laid hands upon some members of the church to harm them. He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword, and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews he proceeded to arrest Peter also" (Acts 12:1-3a).

This James, sometimes called James the Greater, is not to be confused with James the Lesser or with the author of the Letter of James and the leader of the Jerusalem community.

The way the Gospels treat the apostles is a good reminder of what holiness is all about. There is very little about their virtues as static possessions, entitling them to heavenly reward. Rather, the great emphasis is on the Kingdom, on God's giving them the power to proclaim the Good News. As far as their personal lives are concerned, there is much about Jesus' purifying them of narrowness, pettiness, fickleness.
Saint James the Apostle is the Patron Saint of:



Feast of Saint James, Apostle

Reading 1 2 Cor 4:7-15

Brothers and sisters:
We hold this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.
For we who live are constantly being given up to death
for the sake of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith,
according to what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke,
we too believe and therefore speak,
knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus
will raise us also with Jesus
and place us with you in his presence.
Everything indeed is for you,
so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people
may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 126:1bc-2ab, 2cd-3, 4-5, 6

R.(5) Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Then they said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.

Alleluia See Jn 15:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I chose you from the world,
to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 20:20-28

The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons
and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her,
"What do you wish?"
She answered him,
"Command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom."
Jesus said in reply,
"You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?"
They said to him, "We can."
He replied,
"My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."
When the ten heard this,
they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said,
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served
but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."


Meditation: Matthew 20:20-28

Saint James, Apostle (Feast)

My chalice you will indeed drink. (Matthew 20:23)

Santiago de Compostela is a famous pilgrimage site that thousands of people visit every year to venerate the remains of the apostle James. Most of the pilgrims undertake an arduous journey through the mountains to reach this Spanish town. Many experience a deeper conversion even before they reach their final destination!

But what is the body of the apostle James doing in Spain? Wasn't he martyred in Jerusalem in AD 44? And where did the town's unusual name come from?

Tradition has it that after Pentecost, James traveled all the way to the end of the known world—Spain—in order to preach the good news. While some historians doubt that journey, others support it for a curious reason. The first-ever apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, "Our Lady of the Pillar," is said to have happened in Saragossa, Spain, in the year AD 40, when Mary appeared to encourage James in his evangelization efforts.

A few years afterward, again in response to a vision, James returned to Jerusalem, where he was eventually beheaded by Herod. His disciples are said to have then taken his body back to Spain, where he had done so much good.

In a mythical twist, the story tells that James' body was transported by a mysterious unmanned ship. And when it arrived in Spain, the ship was secretly buried. "Lost" for centuries, in the Middle Ages his body was found because of a mysterious light illuminating the location. At first, the place was called Campus Stellae, the "Field of the Star." But over time it was shortened to Compostela. Since, in Spanish, St. James' name is "Santiago," the site came to be called Santiago de Compostela.

The story can seem fantastical, but the down-to-earth reality is that ever since a shrine was built in Santiago de Compostela, millions of pilgrims have experienced God's presence and work in their lives.

Whether or not you ever walk the "Camino," the Way of St. James in Spain, you are on a pilgrimage of sorts. So ask St. James, the patron of pilgrims, to pray that you draw closer to God on every step of your journey.

"Lord, may your whole Church be strengthened by St. James' willingness to drink from your chalice."

2 Corinthians 4:7-15
Psalm 126:1-6



If God had merely saved us from sins, it would be enough. In fact, it would be the greatest gift imaginable. Instead, however, he chose to surpass the limits of our imagination when he came down from heaven" to save us. Not only did he make himself like us -- but he made us like himself.
—Leila Miller
from Raising Chaste Catholic Men


"For we who live are constantly being given up to death
for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh."
Was Saint Paul speaking merely of the martyrdom he faced? If that is the case, why was he speaking about Jesus manifesting Himself in our mortal flesh?
It is then a message of our daily dying. Isn't it? A sacrifice, right? A spirit of giving oneself...amen?

What about everyone else who isn't doing all my loved ones who I constantly pray for?

Your faith my child, your faith shows the way of Salvation. Prayers are efficacious, yes, but so are stretched out hands, works on the cross. Faith alone does not stretch out ones hands to the Father, in a solemn prayer offering...I Love YOU to the end.

Let us pray: "Although they go forth weeping, carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing, carrying their sheaves. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing." They who suffer for Him, will rejoice with Him. And the Kingdom suffers much, and so there is much rejoicing. Are people rejoicing on earth? If they are, it is not like the rejoicing in Heaven. Because everything there is for real. Everything here seems real, but there is something more real. Christ's presence is real. Is it a feeling? No. Feelings can fool you and lead you to do horrible things. No it is not a feeling. Christ's presence is a knowing. You know He is present. Have faith. Faith in your suffering makes things happen.


In comes our Lord:
" whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served
but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."
A ransom for "many"? I thought He came to die for all? A ransom for all?

Not so. Say whaaaaat? But, but there are those teachings out there that there is no hell, and that everyone is going to Heaven! I've even heard a priest kind of say that.

Great. But not so.
Not every person born is destined for Heaven. If it were so, we'd live in Heaven right now! We live among thorns. We live among rocks. We live where there is evil. A person asked a friend "why did God put us in a world with the devil?". It is the never ending question of atheists "if god were so good, then why did he create evil?". Is it a valid question?

It is.
Is it a "good" question? Not really.

Because the question supposes, or hints that God is mean...not good. Therefore "not as good as me". You see? It puts you above Him. Him who created you out of nothing. Him who said "Follow Me to a better place".
Him who said "I Love you so much, I'll give you total freedom and total free will to do as you choose". We don't love anybody like that, we don't trust anybody like that. Yet we hear say "I am better"?
Not good. Lies. The world is full of lies, all things deception. A mirror always in front of you, nowadays the mirror is a cellular phone, with selfie mode always on. Sometimes it looks like people are taking a picture of me, but no, it is on selfie mode, like at a dinner table with various family. LOL. Isn't it true? Where am I going with all of this?
The servant of all.
The servant doesn't have a cellular device always in front, and on selfie mode.
The servant puts it down, and tends to those in front of them, by being their servant, mastering himself, and herself.
If you want a taste of the cross, take the chalice. That is, follow the Way. We read about 2 saints today, and they both died for Christ. How? How can you die for Christ?

First question is, do you want to die for Christ?
Do you really want to face murder/martyrdom for Christ?
This is the first step for any future saint/martyr.
It is a decision. Can you really put others first?

I absolutely am disgusted to sit in a ministry and hear someone complain about "the people". My friend the "people" are Christ you serve. You can not serve two gods.
This past Sunday, while I sang on the guitar, I sang to Jesus Christ's body....the mass of the Mass, that is...the Body of Christ, which includes everyone present. Did I sing perfect? No, but I sang with sincerity, with love. Is it perfect love? No, but it is perfectly His.
You see? You want to be called great? Then be the least! Ever heard of service with a smile?

How about complete surrender with total and true love!


hear it read


Random Bible Verse1
Philippians 1:6 (Listen)

6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Thank You Jesus

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