Friday, September 13, 2019

⛪ ...Guide a Blind Person. . .⛪

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The Supreme Love of God

Francis demonstrated a type of love that ascends to God and descends to neighbor, a love that expressed itself in the desire for martyrdom and strove for unity with neighbor and creation. Francis, therefore, is not only the model of relationship with God but he models the relationship of the human person to others, to community, and to the created world. The Stigmata signify that Francis attained the supreme love of God through his imitation of and conformity to Christ. Union with Christ Crucified, the center of all reality, enabled Francis to stand with Christ at the center of the world, united to humanity and creation in solidarity, in the spirit of compassionate love—"burning" for love of God and love of neighbor who has been created and redeemed by God. In light of the stigmatized Francis, we can say that the mysticism of the human person means that in the human person, united to Christ, the self-diffusing goodness of the Creator is clearly and perfectly manifested.

—from the book Crucified Love: Bonaventure's Mysticism of the Crucified Christ by Ilia Delio, OSF


† Saint Quote
"A friend is more to be longed for than the light; I speak of a genuine one. And wonder not: for it were better for us that the sun should be extinguished, than that we should be deprived of friends; better to live in darkness, than to be without friends."
— St. John Chrysostom
"Perhaps we do not know what love is, nor does this greatly surprise me. Love does not consist in great sweetness of devotion, but in a fervent determination to strive to please God in all things, in avoiding, as far as possible, all that would offend Him, and in praying for the increase of the glory and honor of His Son and for the growth of the Catholic Church."
— St. Teresa of Avila, p. 54-5
Interior Castle

"For many are called, but few are chosen."
Matthew 22:14


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Saint John Chrysostom

(c. 349 – September 14, 407)
The ambiguity and intrigue surrounding John, the great preacher (his name means "golden-mouthed") from Antioch, are characteristic of the life of any great man in a capital city. Brought to Constantinople after a dozen years of priestly service in Syria, John found himself the reluctant victim of an imperial ruse to make him bishop in the greatest city of the empire. Ascetic, unimposing but dignified, and troubled by stomach ailments from his desert days as a monk, John became a bishop under the cloud of imperial politics.

If his body was weak, his tongue was powerful. The content of his sermons, his exegesis of Scripture, were never without a point. Sometimes the point stung the high and mighty. Some sermons lasted up to two hours.

His lifestyle at the imperial court was not appreciated by many courtiers. He offered a modest table to episcopal sycophants hanging around for imperial and ecclesiastical favors. John deplored the court protocol that accorded him precedence before the highest state officials. He would not be a kept man.

His zeal led him to decisive action. Bishops who bribed their way into office were deposed. Many of his sermons called for concrete steps to share wealth with the poor. The rich did not appreciate hearing from John that private property existed because of Adam's fall from grace any more than married men liked to hear that they were bound to marital fidelity just as much as their wives were. When it came to justice and charity, John acknowledged no double standards.

Aloof, energetic, outspoken, especially when he became excited in the pulpit, John was a sure target for criticism and personal trouble. He was accused of gorging himself secretly on rich wines and fine foods. His faithfulness as spiritual director to the rich widow, Olympia, provoked much gossip attempting to prove him a hypocrite where wealth and chastity were concerned. His actions taken against unworthy bishops in Asia Minor were viewed by other ecclesiastics as a greedy, uncanonical extension of his authority.

Theophilus, archbishop of Alexandria, and Empress Eudoxia were determined to discredit John. Theophilus feared the growth in importance of the Bishop of Constantinople and took occasion to charge John with fostering heresy. Theophilus and other angered bishops were supported by Eudoxia. The empress resented his sermons contrasting gospel values with the excesses of imperial court life. Whether intended or not, sermons mentioning the lurid Jezebel and impious Herodias were associated with the empress, who finally did manage to have John exiled. He died in exile in 407.

John Chrysostom's preaching, by word and example, exemplifies the role of the prophet to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable. For his honesty and courage, he paid the price of a turbulent ministry as bishop, personal vilification, and exile.
Saint John Chrysostom is the Patron Saint of:



Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 441
Reading 1

1 Tm 1:1-2, 12-14

Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our savior
and of Christ Jesus our hope,
to Timothy, my true child in faith:
grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father
and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because he considered me trustworthy
in appointing me to the ministry.
I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and an arrogant man,
but I have been mercifully treated
because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.
Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant,
along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 16:1b-2a and 5, 7-8, 11

R.(see 5) You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, "My Lord are you."
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
R.You are my inheritance, O Lord.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R.You are my inheritance, O Lord.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R.You are my inheritance, O Lord.


See Jn 17:17b, 17a

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your word, O Lord, is truth;
consecrate us in the truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Lk 6:39-42

Jesus told his disciples a parable:
"Can a blind person guide a blind person?
Will not both fall into a pit?
No disciple is superior to the teacher;
but when fully trained,
every disciple will be like his teacher.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?
How can you say to your brother,
'Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,'
when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye?
You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter in your brother's eye."


Meditation: 1 Timothy 1:1-2, 12-14

Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)

The grace of our Lord has been abundant. (1 Timothy 1:14)

How often do you stop and review the sins of your past, especially the sins you have already confessed and put behind you? This isn't a matter of rehashing the past or beating yourself up over sins from years ago. No, we're talking about looking back at how God has changed your life.

Look at the example of Paul in the first reading: "I was once a blasphemer . . . and an arrogant man," he tells his friend Timothy. "But I have been mercifully treated. . . . The grace of our Lord has been abundant" (1 Timothy 1:13, 14). Rather than being embarrassed over the man he once was, Paul chose to focus on the power of God's grace to transform his life.

God's grace has been abundant in your life as well—even if you sometimes have a hard time seeing it. Right now, take a moment to look back and identify one or two ways you have grown spiritually over the past few years. Maybe you feel closer to Jesus in your prayer. That's his grace. Maybe you can see ways he has helped you to overcome anger, laziness, or pride. That's his grace. Or maybe you've found it easier to accept someone who once got on your nerves or who hurt you in the past. That too is God's grace. In fact, if you look closely enough, you'll see that God's grace has indeed been abundant. And powerful. And persistent. And unconditional.

Today's reading is an invitation to praise and thanksgiving. Like Paul, you have been "mercifully treated" to God's never-ending, overflowing grace (1 Timothy 1:13). So devote your prayer time today to thanking God for all the ways he has surrounded you and immersed you in his grace. Your spiritual growth may seem gradual, even painfully slow at times. But it is happening. As you spend time thanking him for his grace, your vision of his work in you will become even sharper and clearer. You'll see how far you've come, and what you see will move you to cooperate with his grace even more fully.

"Jesus, thank you for your abundant grace in my life. Lord, help me to open myself even more to your grace. Jesus, I want to become like you!"

Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 11
Luke 6:39-42



People think of "the family that prays together stays together" as a quaint old saying. But it was a favorite saying of Saint John Paul II and Saint Teresa of Calcutta, and the daily practice of Pope Benedict XVI's family, according to his brother's biographer.
—Tom Hoopes
from The Rosary of Saint John Paul II


"I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and an arrogant man, but I have been mercifully treated..."
The greatest conversion stories we love to hear are always those of those hardened sinners, and how God entered their lives and changed them, right? Or does the story of a child that grew up a saint convert people? Either and or both, right!
They both touch lives. Perhaps to a hardened sinner, the first story may help more, so they can see they have a chance, a hope at being made right with the Lord, amen? Saint Paul says that God's grace was abundant, and so was faith and love at work. Some say that God entered Paul's life without permission, or being asked to be converted. I say nay. I say Paul saw God working in His people. Paul was being pulled little by little into the WAY of Christ. The straw that broke his back? When He saw the light. When Jesus came in to finish the job of love, faith, and grace. And the same happens to each of us. Little by little we give way to the Way. And then, one day, BAM! God enters and becomes one with us totally! Yes, you can become a SUPER SAINT too! By the grace of God of course.

Let us pray then:
"You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever. You are my inheritance, O Lord." Our Lord spoke of an inheritance. This Sunday, if you read the whole Gospel, you will see an inheritance that is spoken about. It is squandered. It is lost. Yet, that person who squandered it, came back. A repented sinner came back. And how did the father receive his son? With open arms, and with a huge feast, so much so that the other son was mad about the whole thing. NOT FAIR.

What is not fair? Who is not fair when it comes to true love?
Perhaps the mad son had a splinter, that became a log in his eye.

He could not rejoice at the return of his brother. Like Jonah, he could not be joyful for the city Niniveh's repentance. Why? Because you have a splinter.


And that is what our Lord spoke of in the Holy Gospel today, amen?
"Can a blind person guide a blind person?
Will not both fall into a pit?"
This is a heavy summons to all of us who are trying to show others The Way.

Why? Because you are leading others. Are you leading people closer to Christ or not? Your ways could very well lead people to hell! Yes you with your bad attitude. Yes you with a grudge. Yes you with something in your eye that causes you to sin. Yes you with your doubts! You doubt the Lord and expect others to believe you and HIM! People can read in between the lines.

So what is the remedy?

Sincerity. Be sincere with our Lord and with others. Sincerity entails justice, holiness, and truth. Be sincere. Don't be a hypocrite!

Our Lord said "You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother's eye."
I've noticed how I change my manner of talking with certain people in the past. With a certain group, I try to blend in with how they talk. If they are black, I'll try to talk like a "brother". If they are white, then I'll talk perfectly like a cowpoke out here. If they are business, I will talk perfect business. If they are in a rowdy crowd with cursing...well, you know how that goes, with adult talk and vulgar language. I don't curse, but I have found myself being pulled to their way of being to try to blend in. Why do we change so much? Why can't I just be me, like I am being with you as I write? The church boy. The "Holy Roller" all the time! I think I am, as of late, more the church boy. I don't want duplicity. Jesus knows duplicity a mile away. He can smell it.

So how do I help others, if I need help myself? Should I just quit until I am perfectly holy?

Jesus never said to stop. Never stop trying to be holy and perfect. As a matter of fact He calls us to it!
No. But, we can see clearly what sin is. Amen? Once we can recognize it, then we can help others steer away from it. The Pharisees practically walked around with a magnifying glass to put you in your place when you messed up on one of their 600 laws. But they themselves did nothing for God, and hated their own. This is exactly why our Lord was crucified. Jesus broke their laws. They failed to see God. They failed at the ultimate test...of love.
That is why it was the perfect time for the Light of Christ to enter the dark world. He was hated and despised by His own brothers. But He became the right hand of God in judgement. Sound like Joseph? Yes, it was the son of Saint Joseph, the Son of Man that was despised for being a "dreamer".
And you?

What specs do you see in others? What failures do you see in them?

Let's take a closer look with the eye doctor's Ophthalmoscope:

Me: I see the young man not going to church anymore. That's wrong, that is a grave sin against God! They are living in sin, they are not even married in the church!
Eye doctor: Yes, I see a great failure here. A great sickness indeed, it looks like glies-coma. They fallen into lies and are in a coma-tative state in life. Yes, they seem paralyzed. You see? Look through my Ophthalmoscope.
Me: Yeah, I knew that, so let me see what you're looking at doc.

And taking a peek, I see a picture. It was me standing still. Not moving. Frozen. Paralyzed. As if in coma-tative state. The feeling brought a guttural feeling I never wanted to admit.

Me: Doc, I don't see what I thought I'd see with your scope thing.

Eye Doctor: So what did you see?

Me: I saw what I didn't want to see. I saw all my failures cast onto that sinner. That was my scapegoat. Throwing all the blame on that sinner, and all that time it was me. I'm the one that couldn't forgive. I'm the one that couldn't make a move. I'm the one that won't lift a finger. I'm the lazy sinner. I'm the wrong judge. And I didn't ever want to see what I just saw. Myself in them.

Moral of the story? Help them, and then you will help yourself.
Love them, and then you will be loved.
Heal them, and then you will be healed.
Teach them, and then you will learn.
Reach to them, and you will be reached to.

This is The Way.
An eye opening experience.
A life changing experience.
Ever seen the light in someone's eye?

It is time we do.


hear it read


Random Bible Verse 1
1 John 4:10–11

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Thank You Jesus

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