Tuesday, October 15, 2019

⛪ .. The Maker of the Outside... .⛪

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Live Without Holding Back

St. Francis of AssisiI have lived most of my emotional and spiritual life with a heart condition. Because I have lived cautious and afraid, holding back my heart because of what it might cost, or require of me. Or fearing (running from) my brokenness, not believing that an open and broken heart is an invitation to live my days giving, creating, embracing, connecting, savoring, and celebrating. It is no wonder that, too often, I do not see. Hundreds of years ago, in an era much more fraught than ours, St. Francis learned to live without holding back his heart. His antidote to confusion and paralysis was a return to simplicity, one step at a time, one person at a time, one good thing at a time, the right-in-front-of-you idea of searching for the light even while living with the darkness. His genius was that he saw what was hidden in plain sight. It was so simple it is almost impossible to see; we are wired to be present.

—from the book This Is the Life: Mindfulness, Finding Grace, and the Power of the Present Moment by Terry Hershey


† Saint Quote
"Work hard every day at increasing your purity of heart, which consists in appraising things and weighing them in the balance of God's will."
— St. Francis de Sales

"Love proves itself by deeds, and how shall I prove mine? ... I can prove my love only by scattering flowers, that is to say, by never letting slip a single little sacrifice, a single glance, a single word; by making profit of the very smallest actions, by doing them all for love. I want to suffer and even rejoice for love, for this is my way of scattering flowers."
— St. Therese of Lisieux, p. 4-5
The Story of a Soul

"If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world."
James 1:26-27


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St. Teresa of Avila (1515–1582), also known as St. Teresa of Jesus, was born in Spain to a large, devout, and prominent Catholic family. Fascinated with the lives of the saints taught to her by her pious parents, as children she and a brother tried to run away from home to seek martyrdom among the Moors. After an uncle found them and returned them home, they built hermitages for themselves in the family garden. At the age of 14 Teresa was plunged into sorrow upon the death of her mother; to find consolation she asked the Virgin Mary to be her new mother. When she began to exhibit worldly vanities, her father placed her in a convent to be educated with other ladies of her social class. Determined to avoid marriage, and motivated more by the need for security than love for God, at the age of twenty Teresa entered religious life as a Carmelite nun. For two decades she led what she describes as a mediocre prayer life, hindered by too much socialization with visitors. However, an intense prayer experience in her forties helped her to renounce worldly attachments and enter deeper into a life of prayer. She advanced rapidly and taught others to do the same, being encouraged by a vision of the place reserved for her in hell if she was unfaithful to God's graces. She had many profound mystical experiences for which she was often slandered and ridiculed. After the reform of her own life she worked hard to reform the laxity of many Carmelite convents, and was successful even while being greatly opposed in her efforts. She was a strong and important female figure of her era, and her great progress in the spiritual life led her to write the spiritual classics Interior Castle and The Way of Perfection. For these works St. Teresa of Avila was named the first female Doctor of the Church. Her feast day is October 15th.


Memorial of Saint Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Reading 1 Rom 1:16-25

Brothers and sisters:
I am not ashamed of the Gospel.
It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:
for Jew first, and then Greek.
For in it is revealed the righteousness of God from faith to faith;
as it is written, "The one who is righteous by faith will live."

The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven
against every impiety and wickedness
of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
For what can be known about God is evident to them,
because God made it evident to them.
Ever since the creation of the world,
his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity
have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made.
As a result, they have no excuse;
for although they knew God
they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks.
Instead, they became vain in their reasoning,
and their senseless minds were darkened.
While claiming to be wise, they became fools
and exchanged the glory of the immortal God
for the likeness of an image of mortal man
or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes.

Therefore, God handed them over to impurity
through the lusts of their hearts
for the mutual degradation of their bodies.
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie
and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator,
who is blessed forever. Amen.

Responsorial Psalm PS 19:2-3, 4-5

R.(2a) The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
and night to night imparts knowledge.
R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.
R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

Alleluia Heb 4:12

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

Gospel Lk 11:37-41

After Jesus had spoken,
a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home.
He entered and reclined at table to eat.
The Pharisee was amazed to see
that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal.
The Lord said to him, "Oh you Pharisees!
Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish,
inside you are filled with plunder and evil.
You fools!
Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?
But as to what is within, give alms,
and behold, everything will be clean for you."


Catholic Meditations
Meditation: Romans 1:16-25

Saint Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)

The wrath of God is indeed being revealed. (Romans 1:18)

What is this "wrath of God" that Paul talks about here? How can a God of mercy, love, and compassion also be wrathful? Even more important: does the idea of a wrathful God mean we should live in constant fear of him?

Absolutely not! Think of all the times Jesus told his disciples "Fear not." Think of all the ways Jesus told us that we have a loving Father in heaven who wants nothing more than to set us free from sin. Or think about St. Paul's words to the Ephesian church, assuring all of us that we can have "boldness of speech and confidence of access" through faith in the Lord (3:12). How can we be bold and confident and at the same time be anxious and fearful?

One thing is clear: Talk of God's wrath emphasizes how very real, and serious, sin is. Sin divides us from each other. It separates us from God. It causes rivalry and enmity. It causes us to dwell in wrath and resentment and fear and shame. Sin is serious enough, in fact, that Jesus had to go to the cross to defeat it.

But sin can also be forgiven. Always. In everyone. Every time someone turns to the Lord. Yes, Paul wrote that the wrath of God is being revealed. But so too is the mercy of God. So too is the love of God. So too is his tender compassion for every person trapped in sin.

It's this redemption from the power of sin that we celebrate every time we gather for Mass. We may begin by praying, "Lord, have mercy," but then we move on to rejoice in that mercy in the Gloria, to recall its revelation in the Creed, and to share it with one another at the Sign of Peace. Then, best of all, our Father offers us not wrath but the Bread of Life and the Chalice of Salvation.

We know that we are not worthy for Jesus to enter under our roof. But he has said the word, and our hearts have been healed. Where once there was sin—and, with it, wrath—now there is only mercy and salvation.

"Jesus, teach us to live in peace under the protection of your mercy."

Psalm 19:2-5
Luke 11:37-41



Certainly a life lived by faith resembles more an expedition up a mountain than a quiet evening spent reading in front of the fire; but anyone who embarks upon this expedition knows and experiences more and more that the adventure to which it invites us is worthwhile.
—Joseph Ratzinger
from Faith and the Future


"As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God
they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks."
I read from ChurchPop this morning a quote from Father Bill where he posted on social media:
"I got to thinking tonight that we live in a world that increasingly demonizes the holy and deifies the demonic.
What do I mean?
Our culture deifies rebellion, promiscuity, violence, division, hate, suspicion, and the castigating of our 'enemies', real or imagined, all in a mad rush for the accrual of power, wealth, prestige, and pleasure. It pits us against each other as demonic beings who threaten each other's joy and security.
Whilst doing this, it mocks prayer, patience, mercy, forgiveness, and selflessness as the traits of the mousy and weak. It revels in vengeance, and views justice as a matter of retribution. Our enemies, real or imagined, aren't to be forgiven, but to be ruthlessly crushed. I see this from many who call themselves Catholics.
So the demonic runs free as we go after each other.
Yet, does not Christ teach mercy and forgiveness of our enemies? Does He not teach us to not see the enemy in the eyes of our brothers and sisters, but in the eyes of the demonic? Does He not teach us to stand our ground in humility and courage by turning the other cheek, not to return demonic interjection with more demonic interjections?
Yes, wrongs must be righted. The Gospel must be defended. Conversion, though, is never reached by the tip of a sword, but by the adherence to the holy."


Let us pray today: "Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard; Through all the earth their voice resounds, and to the ends of the world, their message. The heavens proclaim the glory of God."

What we say carries on through waves of time, for good or for worse.


In the Holy Gospel today, our Lord responds to evil thoughts: "Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools!"

Why does our Lord call them or us even, "fools"? Because a fool is one who has been fooled, right? To make a fool of someone is just that, right? God didn't make them fools, it was Satan. It was begun with their own "works" that led them to Satan, it was that inward explosion which a black-hole in the universe exemplifies. Now, is being a fool innocent? God came to bring light to the situation. What was really at the heart of "picking specs out of eyes"? Jesus came to show them the log! And the log was the cross, the severity of sin, the brutality of cruelty, because at the heart was just that.

And so our Lord ends today with the summation of the cause of all this: "But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you."

Hmm. He told the pointy finger Pharisee host, "give alms" from within. As if our Lord was saying:
"Thank you for inviting me into your home.

Thank you for sharing a meal with Me.
Thank you for showing the world what you are doing.
Now...please, may I come into your heart? "
If today you hear His voice, harden not your heart.
Everything opposite of darkness revolves around charity, and it is a supreme act of holiness to give to God charity, an offering of thanksgiving.

What does this mean? To be thankful? Yes. But what else? Be truly thankful, by being truly holy, and righteous.
Let's just say, God can do a lot with a little, but if He has little to work with, He can not do a lot. That is why Capernaum must face the music. Who is Capernaum? It is those who have thought much of themselves and their success. It is those who have no need for righteousness because they have made their own. It is a place where Jesus can come in, but will not be accepted in totality. Are you Capernaum? It is actually a scary place to be. Because when God walks out of Capernaum, the gates of hell open up. Did God curse it? No. We curse Him by sinning against Him.

The more I go to Mass every day, the more I enjoy pleading "Lord Have Mercy". It is to ask God for something. Something spectacular, that does something great with so very little.
Jesus asks for mercy, charity, and humility all at once. "I Desire Mercy" says our Lord.

And He stretched out Giving it His All on the cross.



hear it read


Random Bible Verse 1
Matthew 12:36–37

36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."


Thank You Jesus

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