Tuesday, August 20, 2019

⛪ .. Everyone Who Has Given Up . . .⛪

Like   Tweet   Pin   +1  



We Can Have Both Faith and Reason

Neither Peter Abelard nor Bernard of Clairvaux would understand or comprehend the twenty-first century secularist perspective that prevails in the West, when what is believed, written, and said about God simply does not matter. The culture today—even in most of our churches—tells us that anyone who worries about the details of God-talk is something of a religious radical. But those of us who still cultivate a religious or spiritual life know otherwise. We can care about who God is and be careful about our language for God without being unusual or crazy or dangerous. Our world is, in fact, increasingly filled with people who care deeply about who God is, and how to explain our seeking to understand our faith.

—from the book The Saint vs. The Scholar: The Fight Between Faith and Reason, By Jon M. Sweeney


† Saint Quote
"We can't have full knowledge all at once. We must start by believing; then afterwards we may be led on to master the evidence for ourselves."
— St. Thomas Aquinas

"Action relies upon contemplation for its fruitfulness; and contemplation, in its turn, as soon as it has reached a certain degree of intensity, pours out upon our active works some of its overflow. And it is by contemplation that the soul goes to draw directly upon the Heart of God for the graces which it is the duty of the active life to distribute. And so, in the soul of a saint, action and contemplation merge together in perfect harmony to give perfect unity to his life."
— Dom Jean-Baptist Chautard, p. 62
Soul of the Apostolate

"Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account."
Hebrews 4:12-13


click to read more



St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) was one of seven children born to a noble family in Burgundy, France. All seven children, six sons and one daughter, were offered to the service of God by their devout mother. Before St. Bernard was born, a holy man foretold of his great sanctity. As a child Bernard was given an excellent education. He excelled at his studies, and also possessed a personal charm that attracted many people to him. He prayed about his vocation, and at the age of 22 left his worldly wealth to become an austere Cistercian monk. Four of his brothers joined him at the monastery in Citeaux, along with many others belonging to the Burgundian nobility. He later founded and became abbot of the Abbey of Clairvaux, which rapidly grew to over 700 monks and 160 daughter-houses. Bernard, with his natural charisma, was also a skilled arbiter and counselor who proved to be instrumental in the support of the true pope of Rome against the schism of a rival anti-pope. Bernard's reputation for holiness and piety was widely known. He traveled throughout Europe as a preacher and became one of the most famous and influential men of his century. He was a man of reform, and was effective in opposing the appointment of unworthy men to episcopal offices, while others reformed themselves at his censure. St. Bernard composed many theological works and wrote tenderly on devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. St. Bernard is a Doctor of the Church, and the patron of beekeepers and candlemakers. His feast day is August 20th.


Memorial of Saint Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church

Reading 1 Jgs 6:11-24a

The angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth in Ophrah
that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite.
While his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press
to save it from the Midianites,
the angel of the LORD appeared to him and said,
"The LORD is with you, O champion!"
Gideon said to him, "My Lord, if the LORD is with us,
why has all this happened to us?
Where are his wondrous deeds of which our fathers
told us when they said, 'Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?'
For now the LORD has abandoned us
and has delivered us into the power of Midian."
The LORD turned to him and said, "Go with the strength you have
and save Israel from the power of Midian.
It is I who send you."
But Gideon answered him, "Please, my lord, how can I save Israel?
My family is the lowliest in Manasseh,
and I am the most insignificant in my father's house."
"I shall be with you," the LORD said to him,
"and you will cut down Midian to the last man."
Gideon answered him, "If I find favor with you,
give me a sign that you are speaking with me.
Do not depart from here, I pray you, until I come back to you
and bring out my offering and set it before you."
He answered, "I will await your return."

So Gideon went off and prepared a kid and a measure of flour
in the form of unleavened cakes.
Putting the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot,
he brought them out to him under the terebinth
and presented them.
The angel of God said to him, "Take the meat and unleavened cakes
and lay them on this rock; then pour out the broth."
When he had done so,
the angel of the LORD stretched out the tip of the staff he held,
and touched the meat and unleavened cakes.
Thereupon a fire came up from the rock
that consumed the meat and unleavened cakes,
and the angel of the LORD disappeared from sight.
Gideon, now aware that it had been the angel of the LORD,
said, "Alas, Lord GOD,
that I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!"
The LORD answered him,
"Be calm, do not fear. You shall not die."
So Gideon built there an altar to the LORD
and called it Yahweh-shalom.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 85:9, 11-12, 13-14

R. (see 9b) The Lord speaks of peace to his people.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD–for he proclaims peace
To his people, and to his faithful ones,
and to those who put in him their hope.
R. The Lord speaks of peace to his people.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. The Lord speaks of peace to his people.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.
R. The Lord speaks of peace to his people.

Alleluia 2 Cor 8:9

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich
so that by his poverty you might become rich.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 19:23-30

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich
to enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Again I say to you,
it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God."
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said,
"Who then can be saved?"
Jesus looked at them and said,

"For men this is impossible,
but for God all things are possible."
Then Peter said to him in reply,
"We have given up everything and followed you.
What will there be for us?"
Jesus said to them, "Amen, I say to you
that you who have followed me, in the new age,
when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory,
will yourselves sit on twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters
or father or mother or children or lands
for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more,
and will inherit eternal life.
But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first."


Meditation: Judges 6:11-24

Saint Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)

Be calm, do not fear. You shall not die. (Judges 6:23)

How about looking at Gideon's story from a different perspective today? Let's take it as a sort of case study in dealing with anxiety.

Gideon was probably no stranger to worry. After all, he lived in enemy-occupied territory. He wasn't a prominent member of his tribe either. Just an ordinary man trying to eke out a living. In fact, Gideon's opening scene is a picture of tense nerves—he's holed up in a winepress, trying to protect his crops from the Midianites. Later, when God told him to deliver Israel, Gideon understandably fretted over his lack of qualifications. It took three miraculous signs from God to help him overcome all his doubts.

But God was always there to help calm Gideon's fears. He visited Gideon in his makeshift hideout. Twice he told Gideon, "I am with you." He patiently gave him all the signs he asked for. By the end of the reading, we see how far Gideon had come: he named his altar "Yahweh-shalom," meaning "the Lord is peace" (Judges 6:24).

Many of us can relate to Gideon's struggles with anxiety. Everyone has worries: children, money, health, or a host of other concerns. Many people suffer from severe anxiety and need counseling and medical treatment. But whether our anxieties are major or minor, we can all learn something from Gideon's story.

First, it's okay to hide out every now and then. When we feel anxiety rising, we can pause, take a deep breath, and turn our attention to the Lord—even if it's just for a few seconds. This holy and safe space is always available to us. With a little practice, our "hiding place" can become a momentary refuge where, with the Lord's help, we gain a new perspective on our concerns.

Next, Gideon's story helps us stand firm in faith. Even if we can't feel or hear him, we can trust that God is with us, offering his grace. He is always ready to "speak of peace" with us (Psalm Reponse).

Finally, peace comes when we respond with worship. It's no coincidence that Gideon's peace was connected to the act of building the altar. For us, just saying "Thank you, Jesus" or "I love you, Jesus" can go a long way toward settling our hearts.

"Lord Jesus, you are my peace!"

Psalm 85:9, 11-14
Matthew 19:23-30



Nowadays we would like to make Christianity exclusively a matter of head knowledge. But a Christianity that is merely discussion, organization, and a bit of morality does not support us; we cannot grow fond of it; it does not provide joy and strength for our life. In order for the faith to support us and not to be a burden, it has to touch the heart, we must be able to grow fond of God.
—Benedict XVI
from Teaching and Learning the Love of God


"The LORD is with you, O champion!"
When our Lord visited our Blessed Mother, it was first through an Angel, wasn't it? And the Angel also said "The Lord Is With Thee" to her. O champion, O warrior, O you who are called to do the impossible. And we, like Gideon, feel so insignificant, so little, "what can I really do?" Wipe out a whole army? How?

One word...obedience, the kind of obedience though, that finds you in great love.

Let us pray: " The Lord speaks of peace to his people. I will hear what God proclaims; the LORD–for he proclaims peace To his people, and to his faithful ones, and to those who put in him their hope." The Lord speaks of peace, and yet we find ourselves at war. When our Lord resurrected, He spoke peace upon His people, for they were found afraid, even though, they were not alone. He would appear and always say "peace be with you". John 14:27 "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you. 27Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid".


In the Holy Gospel, our Lord says "For men this is impossible, but for God all things are possible." For they had asked who would be saved. It seemed almost impossible to be saved, for there were not that many that would do what they were all of their lives to Jesus. They said "We have given up everything and followed you.
What will there be for us?"

And the promise from heaven begins:
†"Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age,
when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones...". LOL, I can't shake the thought, a friend of mine in AA said their meeting place is at a building where they are starting a religion, and there are a bunch of thrones where they sit. Perhaps this is where they get their ideas from? Anyhow, the 12 thrones are set. These men, these disciples that were chosen to sit on thrones are promised something out of this world. It would almost sound like a cult. LOL. Someone said that it really felt like a cult to walk into a Catholic church, but now the man is sitting right smack in the middle on his own, and growing in the faith. Another learning the faith said he feels right at home in the Catholic Church. I digress. Something out of this world? They will be doing a job, "judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Tribes? How long can you judge a tribe? What does a judge do anyway? In times of old, the judge was more of a leader, like a king of sorts, and a king has many hats to wear, including an army helmet. Amen?

The Lord continues:
† "And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life." For the disciples had given up all of that, family, properties, wives, children, dreams, hopes, and put it all in Jesus. Who would do that nowadays? I call it a special calling. Keep in mind, the conversation began with the talk about a rich man, right...yesterday was about a rich man and today too, and now we hear how hard it is to be strong, "strong enough to enter the narrow gate". How odd, right? There are different takes on this, some literally saying "a needle was a passage through a wall and to enter you'd have to enter on your knees with no luggage". Sounds fine, but we heard that you have to be strong to enter the narrow gate. And that is where I come into your daily life, with spiritual calisthenics, to keep ourselves limber and strengthening our faith. And for this training, you will need to find some to keep you on your spiritual toes, like a workout buddy. Someone to help you get stronger. And we have the best one joining us always...the one who enters and says "Do Not Be Afraid".

The rich will not be able to enter the Kingdom. Why? For they do not desire God as the poor do. So who are the rich? For sure, stop thinking of just money. At what dollar amount does the church say you are rich or poor? The doors are opened to the poor at the Church. I found a homeless man sleeping in the church. I tried to help him, gave him a job, an apartment, bought him food, took him furniture, and we spoke about God. Things didn't work out at the job, nor the apartment and furnishings. And he never made it to church for various reasons, although he talked about wanting to go.

I said goodbye to him yesterday as I dropped him off in another town. When I was helping him, he was always saying thank you. When things got bad, he never thanked me. Didn't want to say much. At one point he said he wanted to be in AA but then again, he spoke and he sounded like "he didn't have a problem".
The doors at the church continue to be wide open, for the strong. Very few people enter Heaven through these doors. What doors? Confession.
For every 100 people, maybe one will enter. Why? For one thing, it is taught that you don't have to confess, really, maybe once a year. But the doors are still open, week in and week out. But if you get into the faith, you hear about faithful souls confessing at least once a month, and you'll hear about a Pope that confesses even weekly. They say to stand up before the Lord is to be on your knees.

Our Lord said today:
† "But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first."
We had a choir practice yesterday, and only a couple new faces were there. And it was hard to practice, because we were not synchronized, nor in harmony, nor in tune it seemed. But inside I was at peace and joy. Why? Why if nothing was going as perfect as it could be? Why? Because, I was with the least. The nobodies. Just a couple of kids, and another that wasn't really singing well, but, BUT I knew why they were there, to praise and worship our Lord with all they had. And that made me glad. Perfection will come after a few years of endurance and perseverance.

So who are the rich? The millionaires and billionaires out there?
Maybe. But also some homeless out there are rich, and so many in between.
So rich in time, and give no time to God.
So rich in gifts and give none to God.
So rich in talent, and share none for the Lord.

And to find a person in Spiritual poverty is a real gem.
They have no time for the world and worldly things,(think holiness), for they are so busy with the business of God and always off at war.
They share all their gifts in Church, all their talent. They are pouring themselves out. And some, actually give their lives, like priests, deacons, nuns, brothers and sisters.

I pray we find a person in poverty that will lead us to God.
Maybe you'll find one in Confessional.
The one who came to be poor in the world.

The one who was born in an animal den, and was sleeping in a feeding trough.

The one who had no place to stay throughout His life, and then was stripped of everything and whipped and scourged and beaten, mocked and ridiculed, all for ...your sake, for Heaven's sake.
Maybe when you'll see Him, you'll begin to fall in love with Him.

Maybe one day you'll decide to be poor too. Blessed are the poor, for they will see God

And Live


hear it read


Random Bible Verse1 chosen by random verse generator online.

Psalm 103:11-12 (Listen)

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

Thank You Jesus

Powered by
GoDaddy Email Marketing ®