Friday, August 9, 2019

⛪ ...They See The Son. . .⛪

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What God Does Through Us

Contemplation is not what I do, or what I do to God. It is what God does to me through an invitation to intimacy and union. What a difference this could make if our prayer would begin with an awareness of this truth. It is true that we want to be with God, but all prayer begins because God wants us! We share with God, say our prayer words, express our needs and the needs of others. But we also have to respect God's perspective; we have to be attentive to God's touch and inspiration. This approach to prayer frees us from the compulsion that somehow we have to make prayer happen. It brings in a simplicity to prayer. God is always offering this invitation to us, but we are so reluctant to let go of our cherished, even boring, ways of prayer. We hang on, it seems, because if we do prayer the way we want, and perform all these exercises, then we can feel safe and in control of prayer, and in effect in control of God. When praying in this manner, we don't have to trust or step out in faith.

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


†Saint Quote
"If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive."
— St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

"Natural love is sufficient for earthly parents, but the love which [Joseph] bore to Jesus, as His appointed father, was not a mere human love, it was also a supereminently divine love; for, in loving his Son he was exercising the most perfect love of God; since He whom he called his Son was at the same time his God. As in creatures all is finite, so all is capable of increase. What, then, may we imagine, must have been the growth of this ardent love in the heart of our saint during the long period which he spent with Jesus! Those things which tend naturally to add to human love, in him ministered fresh fuel to the divine flame within him. The constant association with the Son of God made Man and given to him as his own Son, the serving Him and being served by Him for thirty years, and, we must add, their marvelous resemblance created a bond between them which was unequalled of its kind."
— Edward Healy Thompson, p. 363
The Life & Glories of Saint Joseph

I know that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; God has done this, so that all should stand in awe before him. That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already is; and God seeks out what has gone by.
Ecclesiastes 3:14-15


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Saint Teresa Benedicta

A brilliant philosopher who stopped believing in God when she was 14, Edith Stein was so captivated by reading the autobiography of Teresa of Avila that she began a spiritual journey that led to her baptism in 1922. Twelve years later she imitated Saint Teresa by becoming a Carmelite, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.

Born into a prominent Jewish family in Breslau, Germany—now Wroclaw, Poland—Edith abandoned Judaism in her teens. As a student at the University of Göttingen, she became fascinated by phenomenology, an approach to philosophy. Excelling as a protégé of Edmund Husserl, one of the leading phenomenologists, Edith earned a doctorate in philosophy in 1916. She continued as a university teacher until 1922 when she moved to a Dominican school in Speyer; her appointment as lecturer at the Educational Institute of Munich ended under pressure from the Nazis.

After living for four years in the Cologne Carmel, Sister Teresa Benedicta moved to the Carmelite monastery in Echt, Netherlands, in 1938. The Nazis occupied that country in 1940. In retaliation for being denounced by the Dutch bishops, the Nazis arrested all Dutch Jews who had become Christians. Teresa Benedicta and her sister Rosa, also a Catholic, died in a gas chamber in Auschwitz on August 9, 1942.

Pope John Paul II beatified Teresa Benedicta of the Cross in 1987, and canonized her 12 years later.

The writings of Edith Stein fill 17 volumes, many of which have been translated into English. A woman of integrity, she followed the truth wherever it led her. After becoming a Catholic, Edith continued to honor her mother's Jewish faith. Sister Josephine Koeppel, O.C.D. , translator of several of Edith's books, sums up this saint with the phrase, "Learn to live at God's hands."


Friday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Dt 4:32-40

Moses said to the people:
"Ask now of the days of old, before your time,
ever since God created man upon the earth;
ask from one end of the sky to the other:
Did anything so great ever happen before?
Was it ever heard of?
Did a people ever hear the voice of God
speaking from the midst of fire, as you did, and live?
Or did any god venture to go and take a nation for himself
from the midst of another nation,
by testings, by signs and wonders, by war,
with his strong hand and outstretched arm, and by great terrors,
all of which the LORD, your God,
did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?
All this you were allowed to see
that you might know the LORD is God and there is no other.
Out of the heavens he let you hear his voice to discipline you;
on earth he let you see his great fire,
and you heard him speaking out of the fire.
For love of your fathers he chose their descendants
and personally led you out of Egypt by his great power,
driving out of your way nations greater and mightier than you,
so as to bring you in
and to make their land your heritage, as it is today.
This is why you must now know, and fix in your heart,
that the LORD is God in the heavens above and on earth below,
and that there is no other.
You must keep his statutes and commandments which I enjoin on you today,
that you and your children after you may prosper,
and that you may have long life on the land
which the LORD, your God, is giving you forever."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 77:12-13, 14-15, 16 and 21

R.(12a) I remember the deeds of the Lord.
I remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I remember your wonders of old.
And I meditate on your works;
your exploits I ponder.
R. I remember the deeds of the Lord.
O God, your way is holy;
what great god is there like our God?
You are the God who works wonders;
among the peoples you have made known your power.
R. I remember the deeds of the Lord.
With your strong arm you redeemed your people,
the sons of Jacob and Joseph.
You led your people like a flock
under the care of Moses and Aaron.
R. I remember the deeds of the Lord.

Alleluia Mt 5:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 16:24-28

Jesus said to his disciples,
"Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
Or what can one give in exchange for his life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father's glory,
and then he will repay each according to his conduct.
Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here
who will not taste death
until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom."


Meditation: Matthew 16:24-28

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), Virgin and Martyr (Optional Memorial)

Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 16:25)

Do you tend to shrink back when you read these words? You're not alone. Denying oneself, taking up one's cross, losing one's life—it can sound, well, just too difficult.

And yet we need to remember that it is God who is asking this of us—and he is someone we can trust! Just look at what Moses says in the first reading. He recounts miracle after miracle that God had done out of love for his people. Moses' language is striking: he reminds the Israelites that God "personally" led them out of Egypt "by his great power" (Deuteronomy 4:37). He took them by the hand and delivered them from a land of slavery to a land flowing with milk and honey. Yes, the Israelites had to give up the relative security of their old life in Egypt, but look what they gained!

This is your God. He is faithful and trustworthy. He wants only what is best for you, even if it means that you have to give up something that you think you can't do without. He wants to lead you personally, just as he led the Israelites, away from anything that keeps you far from him or that divides you from the people you love. But he won't force you; he wants you to surrender to him willingly and trustingly.

Remember too that God doesn't usually ask for something earth-shattering. Maybe he wants you to give up some time catching up on the news in the morning so that you meet him in prayer first. Maybe he is asking you to refrain from office gossip and use that time to listen to a colleague who is going through a hard time.

Spend some time today thinking about what you might need to "lose" in order to find more of your life in Christ. Even if it's something difficult, remember whom you are giving it up for. You can trust this great wonderworking God. He won't ask you to give up something without giving you something much better in return. He is a good God, and he wants nothing but good for you!

"Jesus, help me to let go of anything in my life that leads me away from you."

Deuteronomy 4:32-40
Psalm 77:12-16, 21



Recognition that lost periods of a life can never be returned can provoke an intense desire to give completely to God what is yet remaining in a life. The soul scarred by former sin is sometimes, after grace, the soul that will give without reserve. It is not at all an exaggeration to affirm that great sinners often do become hidden saints.
—Fr. Donald Haggerty
from Conversion


"You must keep his statutes and commandments which I enjoin on you today, that you and your children after you may prosper, and that you may have long life on the land which the LORD, your God, is giving you forever."
The Jews were being promised a land. The "Promised Land" they said. That was always their ultimate goal, for their pilgrimage, and today, is it any different? Life can be likened to a journey, we are on a pilgrimage, headed to the promised land. I simply want to encourage you to not settle. Do not settle, becoming neutral and bland and gray like the world, lukewarm at best. That is my job (and yours), to keep the fire going, in your heart and in mine. That is where God speaks from.

Let us pray: "I remember the deeds of the Lord. With your strong arm you redeemed your people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. You led your people like a flock under the care of Moses and Aaron."
They say that when Jesus was Transfigured on the mountain, Moses appeared, and Elijah, the Law and the Prophets. The baton, so to speak, was being passed on, or better said is transformed into all things culminated...the new Shepherd...forever. Lord, let us be your faithful flock!


Our Lord speaks:
† "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself".

So much in the whole Gospel! First, whoever even wishes to come. Not all wish to come. Come where? Where to? AFTER Him. That means He comes first. That means we follow. And how? Self-denial. Deny what you love in the world. Easier said than done. We love comfort. We love no trouble. We love not lifting a finger. We love air conditioners and we love entertainment. We love all creature comforts and fast and convenient foods and lifestyle. We love our loved ones and love them to love us back. Now flip the switch, Christ asks us to deny all those loves, forfeit them, for HIS great love. Not easy, because we want to love what we can touch, feel, hear, see, taste, all things...faithless. Blessed are those who believe and have not seen. Faith, have faith. Deny yourself in good faith, trust in the Lord who is now our Shepherd.

†"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?"
Yesterday I heard of a guy I deal with, he pulled a gun on another guy I deal with. I write with a heavy heart. One's gain was to control the other, and the other was controlling the other his way. One was inebriated, the other was not. Who had the greater fault? In my opinion, both were at fault, because both failed at the greatest law from God...Love comes first.
If you wish to save your life by being in control, you will lose control, because control is an elusive concept, just ask any dictator that has failed, or tried to rule with arms and might and brute force. Love does not work with brute force. That is why God does not force Himself. God introduced Himself to Abram. And then to Moses. He asked them to do things, and we are free to respond how we wish. With our lives.
Human catastrophes begin with you and me in the heart. Take away the gun, and the dude would've pulled out a machete or another weapon, he even has built guns out of scratch. You see?

There is a new pew research that states that only about 30 percent of Catholics believe in the real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
How does this come into play in our daily lives?
Is this a shocking new statistic, or is it same old news, maybe getting worse? What difference does it make if you believe or not?
I have a handy man working for me for years, odd jobs, and sometimes a faith conversation pops up for a second. Last time he said "I feel the Presence of Christ in the Catholic Church" but he does not go to church, at least frequently. I'm teaching a Jewish man then Protestant, how to be Catholic in RCIA, he says his wife believes in the Presence but chooses her prosperity gospel religion instead.
I read today that Saint Dominic cried in a forest for 3 days until he went into a coma. Why was he crying loudly in lamentations so much? I've heard that he who loves more, suffers more (and I'm suffering for my loved ones failures, trying to hurt each other and kill each other). I digress. Dominic, the hound of God, attributed this to the deepness and gravity of sinfulness of the heretics and the poor example of Catholics. Our Lady appeared to Dominic and gave him a Psalter, which is now our rosary. Keep in mind, this was in the 1200s.

Are we in better shape? Yes and no. Yes we are, but we still aren't that great. It seems the great information age is turning into a great time of disinformation. The king of lies is out there putting false images and writings everywhere. We seek truth and it seems to get harder to find.
Not so, though, if you deny the world and yourself, and follow Christ tightly and intimately.
I just got a phone call. There will be no Mass in the nursing home, Father said no one picked him up to go there and now it is too late.

Who will suffer now? Me and the elderly. Our daily bread denied because someone denied the cross. Failed to pick up...the cross.
I see dropped crosses everywhere, and it hurts.

And that is the reason I hold on to my heavy one, clinging, falling with it.
Someone helps me sometimes, and I love them so much for it.
I hope I can help you with yours.
It is Friday, a good Friday to remember, to remember what Christ done with his cross of obedience and great love and mercy. Fast and or abstain on Fridays for our Lord.

Jesus, Help us continue spreading the word of Truth and be the word of Truth. Let the spirit of Saint Dominic and with the daily rosary be our guiding tools, and above all, send us your Holy Spirit in this fallen world, we need your Spirit of Great love, obedience, and compassion in a fallen lukewarm world.
Please Lord, to deny our very lives and never deny you again!


hear it read


Random Bible Verse1
Isaiah 26:8 (Listen)

8 In the path of your judgments,
O Lord, we wait for you;
your name and remembrance
are the desire of our soul.

Thank You Jesus

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