Wednesday, August 21, 2019

⛪ ... Am I Not Free . . .⛪

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Mysticism, Not Moralism

Mysticism, Not MoralismGod always entices you through love. You were probably taught that God would love you if and when you changed. In fact, God loves you so that you can change. What empowers change, what makes you desirous of change, is the experience of love and acceptance itself. This is the engine of change. If the mystics say that one way, they say it a thousand ways. But, because most common religion has not been at the mystical level, you've been given an inferior message—that God loves you when you change (moralism). It puts it all back on you, which is the opposite of being saved. Moralism leads you back to navel-gazing and you can never succeed at that level. You are never holy enough, pure enough, refined enough, or loving enough. Whereas, when you fall into God's mercy, when you fall into God's great generosity, you find, seemingly from nowhere, this capacity to change. No one is more surprised than you are. You know it is a total gift.

—from the book Yes, and...: Daily Meditations by Richard Rohr, OFM


† Saint Quote
"Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing."
— St. Therese of Lisieux

"For it is our plain duty to preach and defend the truth in a straightforward way. Those who are to stumble must stumble, rather than the heirs of grace should not hear. While we offend and alienate one man, we secure another; if we drive one man further the wrong way, we drive another further the right way. The cause of truth, the heavenly company of saints, gains on the whole more in one way than in the other."
— Bl. John Henry Newman, p. 25
Quotable Newman

Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing.
1 Peter 3:8-9


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Saint Pius X

(June 2, 1835 – August 20, 1914)

Pope Pius X is perhaps best remembered for his encouragement of the frequent reception of Holy Communion, especially by children.

The second of 10 children in a poor Italian family, Joseph Sarto became Pius X at age 68. He was one of the 20th century's greatest popes.

Ever mindful of his humble origin, Pope Pius stated, "I was born poor, I lived poor, I will die poor." He was embarrassed by some of the pomp of the papal court. "Look how they have dressed me up," he said in tears to an old friend. To another, "It is a penance to be forced to accept all these practices. They lead me around surrounded by soldiers like Jesus when he was seized in Gethsemani."

Interested in politics, Pope Pius encouraged Italian Catholics to become more politically involved. One of his first papal acts was to end the supposed right of governments to interfere by veto in papal elections—a practice that reduced the freedom of the 1903 conclave which had elected him.

In 1905, when France renounced its agreement with the Holy See and threatened confiscation of Church property if governmental control of Church affairs were not granted, Pius X courageously rejected the demand.

While he did not author a famous social encyclical as his predecessor had done, he denounced the ill treatment of indigenous peoples on the plantations of Peru, sent a relief commission to Messina after an earthquake, and sheltered refugees at his own expense.

On the 11th anniversary of his election as pope, Europe was plunged into World War I. Pius had foreseen it, but it killed him. "This is the last affliction the Lord will visit on me. I would gladly give my life to save my poor children from this ghastly scourge." He died a few weeks after the war began, and was canonized in 1954.

His humble background was no obstacle in relating to a personal God and to people whom he loved genuinely. Pius X gained his strength, his gentleness and warmth for people from the source of all gifts, the Spirit of Jesus. In contrast, we often feel embarrassed by our backgrounds. Shame makes us prefer to remain aloof from people whom we perceive as superior. If we are in a superior position, on the other hand, we often ignore simpler people. Yet we, too, have to help "restore all things in Christ," especially the wounded people of God.


Memorial of Saint Pius X, Pope

Reading 1 Jgs 9:6-15

All the citizens of Shechem and all Beth-millo came together
and proceeded to make Abimelech king
by the terebinth at the memorial pillar in Shechem.

When this was reported to him,
Jotham went to the top of Mount Gerizim and, standing there,
cried out to them in a loud voice:
"Hear me, citizens of Shechem, that God may then hear you!
Once the trees went to anoint a king over themselves.
So they said to the olive tree, 'Reign over us.'
But the olive tree answered them, 'Must I give up my rich oil,
whereby men and gods are honored,
and go to wave over the trees?'
Then the trees said to the fig tree, 'Come; you reign over us!'
But the fig tree answered them,
'Must I give up my sweetness and my good fruit,
and go to wave over the trees?'
Then the trees said to the vine, 'Come you, and reign over us.'
But the vine answered them,
'Must I give up my wine that cheers gods and men,
and go to wave over the trees?'
Then all the trees said to the buckthorn, 'Come; you reign over us!'
But the buckthorn replied to the trees,
'If you wish to anoint me king over you in good faith,
come and take refuge in my shadow.
Otherwise, let fire come from the buckthorn
and devour the cedars of Lebanon.'"

Responsorial Psalm Ps 21:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R.(2a) Lord, in your strength the king is glad.
O LORD, in your strength the king is glad;
in your victory how greatly he rejoices!
You have granted him his heart's desire;
you refused not the wish of his lips.
R. Lord, in your strength the king is glad.
For you welcomed him with goodly blessings,
you placed on his head a crown of pure gold.
He asked life of you: you gave him
length of days forever and ever.
R. Lord, in your strength the king is glad.
Great is his glory in your victory;
majesty and splendor you conferred upon him.
You made him a blessing forever,
you gladdened him with the joy of your face.
R. Lord, in your strength the king is glad.

Alleluia Heb 4:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern the reflections and thoughts of the heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 20:1-16

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"The Kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.
After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage,
he sent them into his vineyard.
Going out about nine o'clock,
he saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
and he said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard,
and I will give you what is just.'
So they went off.
And he went out again around noon,
and around three o'clock, and did likewise.
Going out about five o'clock,
he found others standing around, and said to them,
'Why do you stand here idle all day?'
They answered, 'Because no one has hired us.'
He said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard.'
When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman,
'Summon the laborers and give them their pay,
beginning with the last and ending with the first.'
When those who had started about five o'clock came,
each received the usual daily wage.
So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more,
but each of them also got the usual wage.
And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying,
'These last ones worked only one hour,
and you have made them equal to us,
who bore the day's burden and the heat.'
He said to one of them in reply,
'My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go.
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?
Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Are you envious because I am generous?'
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last."


Meditation: Judges 9:6-15

Saint Pius X, Pope (Memorial)

Reign over us. (Judges 9:8)

The parable in our first reading today might seem hard to decode, but like Aesop's fables, it contains a universal lesson about human beings and their ways. In this case, the people of Israel who want a king are represented by trees. The "buckthorn" who agrees to be their king is a man named Abimelech, who is as unfit to rule as a buckthorn is to provide shade from the sun. Yet the people would rather take their chances with Abimelech than stay close to God and find out his plan.

If you look closely, these foolish trees share something in common with the critical workers from Jesus' parable—the ones who don't like the generosity of the man who hired them. They too think they know better. The problem in both cases is that mistrust is really what "reigns."

We can all fall into this "I know best" mentality at times. A higher-up's decision at work makes us roll our eyes. In a conversation with our spouse or children, we push for our own plans with urgency, not pausing to think about other people's ideas, let alone thank them. We can even do this in our relationship with God when we approach prayer by saying, "Please do this" or "Make this outcome happen." While it's not wrong to make our desires known to God, it might be good to do a "trust check" every once in a while. It could look something like this:

What is at the heart of my prayer? Do I believe in God's perfect love and perfect judgment? Am I open to his will, even if it means letting things go on as they are for a bit longer? Do I believe that God is working, even now?

So many situations you face are not God's will; they are consequences of sin, sickness, and people's bad judgment. Yet God is with you in a special way when you trust in him. When you believe that he has authority over your circumstances, he reigns as king—and you become better able to participate in his plan. So instead of trying to tell God what to do, try asking him to show you what he is doing. Let him show you how to be part of it. Let him reign.

"Jesus, show me how to participate in your plan."

Psalm 21:2-7
Matthew 20:1-16



When faith becomes the force that supports a person and the person relies entirely on God, then faith automatically becomes love. The great figures of faith—from Paul via Francis of Assisi down to Maximilian Kolbe and Mother Teresa—show us this. Where faith deteriorates, love also grows cold and selfishness increases.
—Benedict XVI
from Teaching and Learning the Love of God


"Jotham went to the top of Mount Gerizim and, standing there,
cried out to them in a loud voice".
When a prophet announces something from a mountaintop, it is a prophecy that foretells what could be, and shall be, depending on our decision. It could be a direction, one we don't want to hear. It could be the beatitudes, something that sounds nice but does not apply, mostly because we fail to take it with a sincere heart, with open ears to the calling from our Lord. And usually, it is a calling to a closer unity with Himself, a God that loves the good and loves the good that we could provide for Him. Is this good? Of course. What's wrong with Good calling on good? It may sound funny in a world where all we see is bad, and depression, and anxiety, and stress, and many not really caring about anything but...themselves. Amen? But, you are reading this for the good that calls on good.

Let us pray: "O LORD, in your strength the king is glad; in your victory how greatly he rejoices! You have granted him his heart's desire; you refused not the wish of his lips." Think now, not of yourself, but of Christ our King. The King is glad in the Lord's strength, in God's victory. He refused NOT the wish of God's lips. The command. The Word.


In comes our King, the Word of God made flesh:

"The Kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out ... to hire laborers for his vineyard."
And the parable goes on to say that it was at all hours of the day that He hires workers. From dawn to late evening. He called them to work. And they who were called all worked and they received the same wage. In those days, and today, you would say it is not fair. It is not fair that we slave all day long in the heat of the day since the crack of dawn, and these guys come in and just worked a couple hours in the evening and mooch off the King. Nobody likes a freeloader but are these guys freeloaders? No. These guys were innocent. They wanted to work but nobody offered them work. They were found late.

What does this have to do now with you and our Lord? Firstly, we must be on watch. For although you may consider yourself already a worker at this stage in life, this parable can be taken at another level. God can come at any time of the day and ask you for fruit. God can come in any form and manner in matter and ask you to do something you may or may not really feel like doing. It is work, day in and day out and in the whole of life. For a priest, it may be answering the door in the wee hours of the morning to a needy parishioner. For a deacon, it may be to give up another few hours for a needy priest. For a lay person, it may be to drop what they are doing and serve in ministry or another struggling soul.

What did God love so much about Moses? And Mary? They were "yes" sheep. They were created to say yes to the Lord always, and although Moses was imperfect, it seems Mary was the closest to perfection a human could possibly be. But they were both yes people. They were YEShua people. Because Yeshua is the older spelling of what would become Jesus. JES people in spanglish! LOL, Jes of course. A real Christ says yes to God always in everything and through everything at any given moment. Jesus was up at dawn praying. Jesus was praying throughout the day. Jesus was praying late into the night. This JES was always a YES.

And the YES people will receive a reward for choosing to do good...that is ultimately....God's will.

Lord, help us who are reading this to be always yours, to be YEShua to the world, to be found saying JES LORD YES! My life is totally yours because yours I wish to be....


hear it read


Random Bible Verse1
John 14:2-3 (Listen)

2 In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? [1] 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

Thank You Jesus

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