Monday, September 16, 2019

⛪ ...He Was Amazed at... .⛪

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God Rejoices in Diversity

I live in the area of Washington, D.C., which is a kaleidoscope of various cultures, languages and ethnicities. Is everyone Catholic? No. Is everyone Christian? No. So what does a humble God of love do in such a diverse world? Rejoice! Because God's creation is a wonderful celebration of diversity. Our God is not a boring God! But somehow our Catholic doctrine still creates walls of separation, paths of exclusivity, "in" and "out" groups. By exploring the relationship of a humble God to a world of difference we come to a more broadly conceived notion of the meaning of Christ.

—from the book The Humility of God: A Franciscan Perspective by Ilia Delio, OSF


† Saint Quote
"Truth sees God, and wisdom contemplates God, and from these two comes a third, a holy and wonderful delight in God, who is love."
— St. Juliana of Norwich

"Let us recognize with lively faith and with the help of the Holy Ghost the great evil of sin, which robs us of grace. Then we shall immediately detest it with all the power of our soul and banish it from our heart. We shall detest it because, in depriving us of grace, it deprives us of the highest good and of the possession of God and make us worthy of the most severe punishment from His hands. We shall detest it still more because by sin we commit the greatest wrong and the greatest offense against the Author of Grace. For after we have been called through grace to be children of God, we offend Him not merely as our Supreme Lord and Master, to whom we owe unlimited service and respect, but as our most loving Father, our best Friend, the most tender Spouse of our soul. We despise the ineffable love with which He embraces us and return the basest ingratitude for His inestimable gifts and blessings. We disgrace Him and insult His name by dishonoring the name of His children and by showing ourselves unworthy of Him. We tear loose from His bosom the soul that He loved as the apple of His eye and considered as the jewel and joy of His heart. We rend the heavenly robe of innocence and sanctity with which He had clothed us and presented us to the whole Heaven. Like Judas, we desert Our Lord and Saviour, who by grace has numbered us among His friends and loved ones. What pain we inflict on the tender heart of our heavenly Father, how deeply we offend and wound it!"
—Fr.Matthias J. Scheeben, p. 345
The Glories of Divine Grace

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
John 14:15-17


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Saint Cornelius

(d. 253)

There was no pope for 14 months after the martyrdom of Saint Fabian because of the intensity of the persecution of the Church. During the interval, the Church was governed by a college of priests. Saint Cyprian, a friend of Cornelius, writes that Cornelius was elected pope "by the judgment of God and of Christ, by the testimony of most of the clergy, by the vote of the people, with the consent of aged priests and of good men."

The greatest problem of Cornelius's two-year term as pope had to do with the Sacrament of Penance and centered on the readmission of Christians who had denied their faith during the time of persecution. Two extremes were finally both condemned. Cyprian, primate of North Africa, appealed to the pope to confirm his stand that the relapsed could be reconciled only by the decision of the bishop.

In Rome, however, Cornelius met with the opposite view. After his election, a priest named Novatian (one of those who had governed the Church) had himself consecrated a rival bishop of Rome—one of the first antipopes. He denied that the Church had any power to reconcile not only the apostates, but also those guilty of murder, adultery, fornication, or second marriage! Cornelius had the support of most of the Church (especially of Cyprian of Africa) in condemning Novatianism, though the sect persisted for several centuries. Cornelius held a synod at Rome in 251 and ordered the "relapsed" to be restored to the Church with the usual "medicines of repentance."

The friendship of Cornelius and Cyprian was strained for a time when one of Cyprian's rivals made accusations about him. But the problem was cleared up.

A document from Cornelius shows the extent of organization in the Church of Rome in the mid-third century: 46 priests, seven deacons, seven subdeacons. It is estimated that the number of Christians totaled about 50,000. He died as a result of the hardships of his exile in what is now Civitavecchia.

It seems fairly true to say that almost every possible false doctrine has been proposed at some time or other in the history of the Church. The third century saw the resolution of a problem we scarcely consider—the penance to be done before reconciliation with the Church after mortal sin. Men like Cornelius and Cyprian were God's instruments in helping the Church find a prudent path between extremes of rigorism and laxity. They are part of the Church's ever-living stream of tradition, ensuring the continuance of what was begun by Christ, and evaluating new experiences through the wisdom and experience of those who have gone before.


Memorial of Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs
Lectionary: 443
Reading 1

1 Tm 2:1-8

First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers,
petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone,
for kings and for all in authority,
that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life
in all devotion and dignity.
This is good and pleasing to God our savior,
who wills everyone to be saved
and to come to knowledge of the truth.

For there is one God.
There is also one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus,
who gave himself as ransom for all.

This was the testimony at the proper time.
For this I was appointed preacher and Apostle
(I am speaking the truth, I am not lying),
teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray,
lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 28:2, 7, 8-9

R.(6) Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard my prayer.
Hear the sound of my pleading, when I cry to you,
lifting up my hands toward your holy shrine.
R.Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard my prayer.
The LORD is my strength and my shield.
In him my heart trusts, and I find help;
then my heart exults, and with my song I give him thanks.
R.Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard my prayer.
The LORD is the strength of his people,
the saving refuge of his anointed.
Save your people, and bless your inheritance;
feed them, and carry them forever!
R.Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard my prayer.


Jn 3:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Lk 7:1-10

When Jesus had finished all his words to the people,
he entered Capernaum.
A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die,
and he was valuable to him.
When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him,
asking him to come and save the life of his slave.
They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying,
"He deserves to have you do this for him,
for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us."
And Jesus went with them,
but when he was only a short distance from the house,
the centurion sent friends to tell him,
"Lord, do not trouble yourself,
for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.
Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you;
but say the word and let my servant be healed.
For I too am a person subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, Go, and he goes;
and to another, Come here, and he comes;
and to my slave, Do this, and he does it."
When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him
and, turning, said to the crowd following him,
"I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith."
When the messengers returned to the house,
they found the slave in good health.


Catholic Meditations
Meditation: 1 Timothy 2:1-8

Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs (Memorial)

Pray, lifting up holy hands. (1 Timothy 2:8)

What's in your hands? In order to lift up "holy hands" in prayer, you may need to let go of some of the things you're holding on to. Because, let's face it, when we hold on tightly to some things—whether future expectations, past wounds, current resentments, or strident demands—we find it harder to pray with faith and surrender.

We all know how easy it is to hold on to resentments, especially when we feel justified in our anger or bitterness. Or how hard it can be to let go of our judgments about another person, especially when we are convinced that we're right. Maybe you and your spouse disagree on the best way to raise your child. You might be praying, "Lord, help her recognize I'm right," instead of being open to working together to find a solution. You might be angry with God, wondering how he has allowed something bad to happen to you or a loved one. Like Job, you shake your fist at the Lord, unwilling to abandon yourself to his wise and loving plan.

If you realize you're holding on to something like this, Jesus is giving you a chance to empty your hands today.

When you sit down to pray and you remember that you've been arguing with your spouse or a coworker, make the choice to let it go. Ask forgiveness. Then start praying. If you've stormed off after an angry outburst, take a deep breath and try to make things right with the person you've hurt. Remember, when your fists are clenched around anger or self-righteousness, it's harder to raise your hands to the Lord in prayer. It's harder for him to fill you because your hands are already full.

So what's in your hands? What are you holding on to that might be keeping you from receiving all the gifts God wants to give you? If you can identify something, take the next step and try to let it go. Lift up your hands to God, as empty as you can make them, and watch as he fills them with every good and perfect gift.

"Father, I believe you want to give me good things. So help me to let go of whatever I'm holding on to that keeps me from you."

Psalm 28:2, 7-9
Luke 7:1-10



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


"First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone...".
Prayers have existed from the beginning, haven't they? Yes. Supplications. Petitions and thanksgiving offerings too. I want to thank you right now for having prayed for our Men's Conference. In one word, I can say it was beautiful. On the way over there, we prayed and on the way back us men prayed some prayers of thanksgiving. We must never stop praying. There is power in the Word. And God is the Word. He left us the Word. The Word made flesh and spirit.

Let us pray:
"Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard my prayer. Hear the sound of my pleading, when I cry to you, lifting up my hands toward your holy shrine."
Wouldn't you love to have our Lord hear your prayers? How can the Lord be reached? Let us go into the Holy Gospel. Because we need to know!


In the Holy Gospel, the first Person we encounter is Jesus, the Son of God.
Then, a centurion, a person of power and authority on earth.

And then, a dying slave. But this slave was said to be "valuable" to the centurion. So much so that He strove through no matter what to save his life.
Before we go further, I just asked my dad if he took his grandson to church, because the grandson said he would finally go this weekend. I asked if he went. He said no. He said the grandson wanted him to drive to his house, open the door and wake him up physically. So, my question here is, who is valuable? The grandson? The father/intercessor, and what about God? What is the value? To what degree will we give up our life? Now let's remove God from the value, because He already gave all He had...Jesus, whom is God, offered flayed and hung on a stake in the ground bled all out, hung to dry. So He's done His part. Has the grandpa done his part? And what about the grandson?

Now wait! Is anyone wondering what happened to the father of the grandson? Well, he walked out on the son when he was a toddler. Ok. So what about the mother? She has no control over his faith as she struggles to find her own. Right now, the waves of life are taking them where they go. Who will save a soul and to what extent are we willing to sacrifice for their salvation? The Church struggles. It is a day in and day out situation and even battle. That is why the Lord said " 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own. " But the real kicker is the previous verse when He says: " first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you." Mt 6:34

So what did the centurion do to save a life?

1.) When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him.
Who do you send out to save a life? Firstly, who is dying in your family or loved ones? Is the grandson I mentioned, dying? Spiritually, it is possible. As a baptized Catholic (and he is), we are being asked to oblige God's Word.
Mortal sins kill the soul, and it just takes one to go to hell. Many are not strong enough to enter the narrow gate of Heaven. I'm an avid church man, right? What do I see in these folks? Weakness. Absolutely no will. I asked another loved one to have faith and go to church, this a father of a family of my loved ones and he said "I can't, it's hard". I said "I agree, it is hard, perhaps the hardest thing we can do, that's why we gotta do it". To this day he does not go to church, therefore his whole family does not go. So who do I send his way? I'm certainly sending prayers. And I'm certainly not giving up on him. I have hope. And I have a dream. Is he valuable to me, like the centurion's slave? That is a question we need to answer before proceeding.
"They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying,
"He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us."
The centurion was faithful, and loved much. He even built a church. What else did he do? Can you build a church? LOL, don't go make one up! And the answer is yes. Your home is a mini Church of God! Who is running the place? Or is it full of cobwebs? Or is it an active living and learning center for Jesus already?

2.) Secondly, the centurion realized the Lord was coming, just as he had prayed and sent emissaries for, perfect intercessors who pleaded on his behalf. Then, "...the centurion sent friends to tell him, "Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof." This loving and authoritative centurion was now in full faith stepping it up another notch. Nobody had ever stopped Jesus in His tracks to just "say the Word" for healing. Now that was powerful faith. How many of us need to see Jesus touch somebody or physically see Him or feel Him? Not the centurion. The Centurion didn't even need to see Jesus. Now that is faith, Amen? This kind of person amazes God, for it is amazing faith. Ever wonder if the world is worth much? Wonder no longer. God came to die for it. To claim it back for Himself. Because other things want to take it over.

3.) Thirdly, our Lord heard humble supplications, as the centurion's friends were saying what the centurion wanted to say "... I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed."
They say there are a few things necessary for a true prayer. Firstly, the consideration of God, and an examination of conscience. Then one of them is to have supplications. Another is to be thankful, and perhaps most importantly, is to have servile humility, a proper disposition. I'm sure we have all done this, right? And I'm still slowly reading the book Holy Confidence. It is revealing that we should have confidence in God's mercy. The centurion has removed himself from the scene. He is fully believing in God's word as he has already heard. That is why we say these things before receiving Jesus in the Eucharist. "Lord I am not worthy to receive you (come in under my roof), but only say the word and ..." I shall be healed" and in spanish the words say "Lord I am not worthy that you enter my house, but only one word of yours is enough to save me".

Language brings on new meanings, doesn't it? There is power in the word.

"For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me."

You are subject to authority. Everything is subject to authority, even the devil. And others are perhaps under your authority. And we need to take authority against evil.

The perennial problem has always been the subject of authority. The obedience that makes saints and the disobedience that causes havoc and destruction.

Does God find your loved ones valuable? I think He does. That is why you are thinking of them.

Reach out to them. How? Send emissaries. Send angels their way. Find a way. If it is worth it, you will find a way to have Jesus come and save them.

Afterall, He is the one doing everything right? We must let ourselves be windows to the air of God, and the air breathes into the world God's power of salvation.
How? Let God's air catch you on fire. Fire catches things on fire.

Lord, I pray for all of us reading this today, that we may be the fire of your Holy Spirit. That our loved ones see the light of the fire and find warmth in our hearts to come to You.

Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
I Am not worthy, but only say the Word and we shall be healed....


hear it read


Random Bible Verse 1
Proverbs 15:31–32

31 The ear that listens to life-giving reproof

will dwell among the wise.
32 Whoever ignores instruction despises himself,

but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.

Thank You Jesus

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