Thursday, August 1, 2019

⛪ ...Instructed in the Kingdom. .⛪

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The Gospel Is Everything

The Gospel, the Word of God, became the core of existence for Francis. The Gospel directed his form of life, animated his relationships. The Gospel energized and gave form to his activity and ministry. The Gospel constituted the very marrow of life of the brothers, the Poor Ladies (Poor Clares), and the laity interested in following him. This Holy Book was for him a Person—living. This Book was at the beginning of Francis' new life in 1208. This Book was present at his final moments. Between these two Gospel proclamations—hearing the Gospel in February 1208 and having it read to him as he lay dying in October 1226, an entire personal and communal experience unfolded out of which Francis faced up to the demands of the Book. He went out on the road and proclaimed good news. He proclaimed like a poor person. He announced peace and forgiveness as a constant. He called others to conversion of heart and he announced the arrival of the kingdom, the reign of God. Every pilgrim who comes to Assisi must spend time at the Porziuncola. Take along a book of the Gospels, feel the stones in the walls, call upon God's blessing, sit in silence and allow the spirit of the Word to enter in and renew your life.

—from the book In the Footsteps of Francis and Clare by Roch Niemier, OFM


†Saint Quote
"Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious."
— St. Thomas Aquinas

"I saw my Guardian Angel, who ordered me to follow him. In a moment I was in a misty place full of fire in which there was a great crowd of suffering souls. They were praying fervently, but without effect for themselves; only we can come to their aid. The flames which were burning them do not touch me at all. My Guardian Angel did not leave me for an instant. I asked these souls what their greatest suffering was. They answered me in one voice that their greatest torment was longing for God . . . [I heard an interior voice] which said, My mercy does not want this, but justice demands it."
— St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, p. 35
Hungry Souls

Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve . . . but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
Joshua 24:15


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Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Moral theology, Vatican II said, should be more thoroughly nourished by Scripture, and show the nobility of the Christian vocation of the faithful and their obligation to bring forth fruit in charity for the life of the world. Alphonsus, declared patron of moral theologians by Pius XII in 1950, would rejoice in that statement.

In his day, Alphonsus fought for the liberation of moral theology from the rigidity of Jansenism. His moral theology, which went through 60 editions in the century following him, concentrated on the practical and concrete problems of pastors and confessors. If a certain legalism and minimalism crept into moral theology, it should not be attributed to this model of moderation and gentleness.

At the University of Naples, Alphonsus received a doctorate in both canon and civil law by acclamation, at the age of 16, but he soon gave up the practice of law for apostolic activity. He was ordained a priest, and concentrated his pastoral efforts on popular parish missions, hearing confessions, and forming Christian groups.

He founded the Redemptorist congregation in 1732. It was an association of priests and brothers living a common life, dedicated to the imitation of Christ, and working mainly in popular missions for peasants in rural areas. Almost as an omen of what was to come later, he found himself deserted after a while by all his original companions except one lay brother. But the congregation managed to survive and was formally approved 17 years later, though its troubles were not over.

Alphonsus' great pastoral reforms were in the pulpit and confessional—replacing the pompous oratory of the time with simplicity, and the rigorism of Jansenism with kindness. His great fame as a writer has somewhat eclipsed the fact that for 26 years he traveled up and down the Kingdom of Naples preaching popular missions.

He was made bishop at age 66 after trying to reject the honor, and at once instituted a thorough reform of his diocese.

His greatest sorrow came toward the end of his life. The Redemptorists, precariously continuing after the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773, had difficulty in getting their Rule approved by the Kingdom of Naples. Alphonsus acceded to the condition that they possess no property in common, but with the connivance of a high Redemptorist official, a royal official changed the Rule substantially. Alphonsus, old, crippled and with very bad sight, signed the document, unaware that he had been betrayed. The Redemptorists in the Papal States then put themselves under the pope, who withdrew those in Naples from the jurisdiction of Alphonsus. It was only after his death that the branches were united.

At 71, Alphonsus was afflicted with rheumatic pains which left incurable bending of his neck. Until it was straightened a little, the pressure of his chin caused a raw wound on his chest. He suffered a final 18 months of "dark night" scruples, fears, temptations against every article of faith and every virtue, interspersed with intervals of light and relief, when ecstasies were frequent.

Alphonsus is best known for his moral theology, but he also wrote well in the field of spiritual and dogmatic theology. His Glories of Mary is one of the great works on that subject, and his book Visits to the Blessed Sacrament went through 40 editions in his lifetime, greatly influencing the practice of this devotion in the Church.

Saint Alphonsus was known above all as a practical man who dealt in the concrete rather than the abstract. His life is indeed a practical model for the everyday Christian who has difficulty recognizing the dignity of Christian life amid the swirl of problems, pain, misunderstanding and failure. Alphonsus suffered all these things. He is a saint because he was able to maintain an intimate sense of the presence of the suffering Christ through it all.
Saint Alphonsus Liguori is the Patron Saint of:



Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Reading 1 Ex 40:16-21, 34-38

Moses did exactly as the LORD had commanded him.
On the first day of the first month of the second year
the Dwelling was erected.
It was Moses who erected the Dwelling.
He placed its pedestals, set up its boards, put in its bars,
and set up its columns.
He spread the tent over the Dwelling
and put the covering on top of the tent,
as the LORD had commanded him.
He took the commandments and put them in the ark;
he placed poles alongside the ark and set the propitiatory upon it.
He brought the ark into the Dwelling and hung the curtain veil,
thus screening off the ark of the commandments,
as the LORD had commanded him.

Then the cloud covered the meeting tent,
and the glory of the LORD filled the Dwelling.
Moses could not enter the meeting tent,
because the cloud settled down upon it
and the glory of the LORD filled the Dwelling.
Whenever the cloud rose from the Dwelling,
the children of Israel would set out on their journey.
But if the cloud did not lift, they would not go forward;
only when it lifted did they go forward.
In the daytime the cloud of the LORD was seen over the Dwelling;
whereas at night, fire was seen in the cloud
by the whole house of Israel
in all the stages of their journey.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 84:3, 4, 5-6a and 8a, 11

R. (2) How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, mighty God!
My soul yearns and pines
for the courts of the LORD.
My heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, mighty God!
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest
in which she puts her young–
Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my king and my God!
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, mighty God!
Blessed they who dwell in your house!
continually they praise you.
Blessed the men whose strength you are!
They go from strength to strength.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, mighty God!
I had rather one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I had rather lie at the threshold of the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, mighty God!

Alleluia See Acts 16:14b

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Open our hearts, O Lord,
to listen to the words of your Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 13:47-53

Jesus said to the disciples:
"The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,
which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore
and sit down to put what is good into buckets.
What is bad they throw away.
Thus it will be at the end of the age.
The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."

"Do you understand all these things?"
They answered, "Yes."
And he replied,
"Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven
is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom
both the new and the old."
When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.


Meditation: Exodus 40:16-21, 34-38

Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)

The glory of the Lord filled the Dwelling. (Exodus 40:34)

For the Israelites, there was no missing the glory of God. Once Moses was finished building God's dwelling, a cloud came down from the heavens and settled over it. The cloud even burned with fire in the dark of night.

That may have been true for Moses and his people, but for the most part, God's glory—his greatness, his power, his love, his beauty—is more veiled. Even many people in Jesus' time had trouble seeing it. On the surface, Jesus looked like any other man. But for those whose hearts were open, God's glory was evident in his miracles, his teachings, his love for the outcast and wounded, and especially his death on the cross.

It might be hard to believe, but because Christ lives in you, so does his glory—even as it lives in everyone who is striving to follow him. In a 1942 talk entitled "The Weight of Glory," the British author C. S. Lewis said, "Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses . . . , for in him also Christ truly hides—the glorifier and the glorified, Glory himself."

How easy it can be to miss this glory! How easy to let people's weaknesses or failings—or our own, for that matter—cloud our vision! But it doesn't have to be that way. Jesus wants us to see him and his glory.

So be on the lookout for the glory of God today. It won't be as clear as that cloud that led the Israelites, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. You might see it in a fellow parishioner who is collecting food for a homeless shelter. You might see it in your neighbor who lovingly cares for her disabled husband. You might even see it in yourself when you readily forgive your spouse or when you step out in faith and offer to pray with someone.

On the surface, we are all ordinary, fallen human beings. But how wonderful it is that God's glory is in and around us!

"Lord, show me your glory!"

Psalm 84:3-6, 8, 11
Matthew 13:47-53



It is very currently suggested that the modern man is the heir of all the ages, that he has got the good out of these successive human experiments. I know not what to say in answer to this, except to ask the reader to look at the modern man, as I have just looked at the modern man—in the looking-glass.
—G.K. Chesterton
from What's Wrong with the World


"Moses did exactly as the LORD had commanded him."
Moses certainly became a man of GOD didn't he? He had a rough start, was supposed to be killed as a baby, grew up and was involved in a murder, and was for a great many years a fugitive in a sense, cast out of the land that raised him, but to Moses, it was always about family, the family of God, a man after God's heart and justice and righteousness. God doesn't see you in terms of sin, but He sees you in terms of your heart. Now this is a tough pill to swallow, especially for us who like to say all the time "that's not right".

But what is right? What is truth? Pontious Pilate asked this question to the Truth standing before him, and then, he inadvertently had the Truth slaughtered. You see, when you choose neutrality, you choose death to Truth, and the Truth is not an idea, but a person, and that person so often and more than not, is always Christ Himself. I read somewhere today that next to the Blessed Sacrament, after that, Christ hides Himself in the person next to you, who we would call a neighbor, those you encounter. Christ is among us in the glory tent. Have faith.

Let us pray:
"How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, mighty God! My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the LORD. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God."
If you are like me, in the slightest break and chance, you will look for God. In neighbor, yes, in nature, yes too, we can look for Him in the small and the great. You can find Him under a microscope and using the largest of telescopes. And you don't need instruments to find Him, for He gave you the greatest marvel He dared to create...the heart, where all things center and matter for life. Souls. To the tune of billions to this day. That is amazing and beyond words. To that tune, let us turn to Him.


Our Lord speaks:
"Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."
Another talk about Heaven and Hell. Another mention of suffering and damnation. But it is a chance at Heaven. We breathe, and we have a fighting chance to choose Him in our heart.

And so, the question is always "am I good enough?", and "who is good enough?" What must we do to gain eternal life? How do we obtain eternal life? What things do I HAVE to do? LOL. People asked Jesus this question all the time right? And our Lord always answered with the old Testament, and then with new words. Take this to heart in your heart. You know well what you must do. The commands of GOD are clear. It begins with great Love and great Love of GOD. And it ends with great love of neighbor. Doesn't it? For God is in neighbor. I am, as of late, getting a little better after years of trying, to bite my tonque, to not say negative things, or not so negative things about others. I'll write a text, and then completely erase it and just reply with one or two simple words. Love of neighbor entails great and little things. Amen? And it begins with great love of GOD! Back to the heart, the heart of all things and persons. Am I sounding repetitive? Why talk about Loving GOD so much? Because, I want to experience the love of GOD. Forever.
Quite frankly, a small taste of it here on earth can propel you for years and years. A great taste of it would propel you forever.

I want you, my child, to know how much GOD loves you.
Oh He loves you SO much. He does all things for your greater good. He makes all roads lead to Him, and a very small road to choose otherwise, He puts all odds on Him. Yes, there are some that choose otherwise, but you, YOU He is focused on. The good, and the Holy, the one who is trying day in and day out, the one who is praying, the one who is tasting Him.

Hang in there. Because Jesus, the Love of God Hangs there for you. Is it a memorial? No, it is true day in and day out, GOD's Love reigns. It defeats the darkness. You be a child of TRUTH. And true love.....


hear it read


Random Bible Verse1
2 Corinthians 3:4-6 (Listen)

4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who has made us competent [1] to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Thank You Jesus

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