Friday, November 8, 2019

⛪ . The Children of Light .. .⛪

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Growing in Mindfulness

Is there a method for cultivating mindfulness? Yes, there are many methods. The one I have chosen is gratefulness. Gratefulness can be practiced, cultivated, learned. And as we grow in gratefulness, we grow in mindfulness. Before I open my eyes in the morning, I remind myself that I have eyes to see, while millions of my brothers and sisters are blind—most of them on account of conditions that could be improved if our human family would come to its senses and spend its resources reasonably, equitably. If I open my eyes with this thought, chances are that I will be more grateful for the gift of sight and more alert to the needs of those who lack that gift.

—from the book The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life


† Saint Quote
"In this life our lot is not to enjoy God, but to do his holy will."
— St. Teresa of Avila

"I desire that you know more profoundly the love that burns in My Heart for souls, and you will understand this when you meditate upon My Passion. Call upon My mercy on behalf of sinners; I desire their salvation. When you say this prayer, with a contrite heart and with faith on behalf of some sinner, I will give him the grace of conversion. This is the prayer: 'O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You.' "
— St. Faustina Kowalska, p. 186-7
Diary of St. Faustina

"For it is written, 'As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.' So then, each of us will be accountable to God."
Romans 14:11-12


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Blessed John Duns Scotus

(c. 1266 – November 8, 1308)

A humble man, John Duns Scotus has been one of the most influential Franciscans through the centuries. Born at Duns in the county of Berwick, Scotland, John was descended from a wealthy farming family. In later years, he was identified as John Duns Scotus to indicate the land of his birth; Scotia is the Latin name for Scotland.

John received the habit of the Friars Minor at Dumfries, where his uncle Elias Duns was superior. After novitiate, John studied at Oxford and Paris and was ordained in 1291. More studies in Paris followed until 1297, when he returned to lecture at Oxford and Cambridge. Four years later, he returned to Paris to teach and complete the requirements for the doctorate.

In an age when many people adopted whole systems of thought without qualification, John pointed out the richness of the Augustinian-Franciscan tradition, appreciated the wisdom of Aquinas, Aristotle, and the Muslim philosophers—and still managed to be an independent thinker. That quality was proven in 1303, when King Philip the Fair tried to enlist the University of Paris on his side in a dispute with Pope Boniface VIII. John Duns Scotus dissented, and was given three days to leave France.

In Scotus's time, some philosophers held that people are basically determined by forces outside themselves. Free will is an illusion, they argued. An ever-practical man, Scotus said that if he started beating someone who denied free will, the person would immediately tell him to stop. But if Scotus didn't really have a free will, how could he stop? John had a knack for finding illustrations his students could remember!

After a short stay in Oxford, Scotus returned to Paris, where he received the doctorate in 1305. He continued teaching there and in 1307 so ably defended the Immaculate Conception of Mary that the university officially adopted his position. That same year the minister general assigned him to the Franciscan school in Cologne where John died in 1308. He is buried in the Franciscan church near the famous Cologne cathedral.

Drawing on the work of John Duns Scotus, Pope Pius IX solemnly defined the Immaculate Conception of Mary in 1854. John Duns Scotus, the "Subtle Doctor," was beatified in 1993.

Father Charles Balic, O.F.M., the foremost 20th-century authority on Scotus, has written: "The whole of Scotus's theology is dominated by the notion of love. The characteristic note of this love is its absolute freedom. As love becomes more perfect and intense, freedom becomes more noble and integral both in God and in man" (New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1105).


According to tradition the Four Crowned Martyrs (d. 305 A.D.) were renowned sculptors living in what is today Austria-Hungary. They were commissioned by Roman Emperor Diocletian to make several sculptures; however, when he requested a sculpture of the pagan god Aesculapius for a heathen temple, they refused to carve it. Their refusal exposed them as Christians during Diocletian's fierce persecution against Christianity. The men refused to sacrifice to the pagan gods to save their lives, and were condemned to death by being placed alive in lead caskets and cast into a river. The Four Crowned Martyrs are closely associated with an earlier group of four soldiers, also killed during the persecutions of Diocletian two years before, who died by being beaten to death with leaden clubs after refusing to sacrifice to the god Aesculapius. Because their names were originally unknown, they were called the Four Crowned Martyrs. Their relics were first venerated in the Roman catacombs before a basilica was erected in their honor on Caelian Hill. The two groups of martyrs, both called the Four Crowned Martyrs until their names were afterward discovered, are honored together on November 8th.


Friday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Rom 15:14-21

I myself am convinced about you, my brothers and sisters,
that you yourselves are full of goodness,
filled with all knowledge, and able to admonish one another.
But I have written to you rather boldly in some respects to remind you,
because of the grace given me by God
to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles
in performing the priestly service of the Gospel of God,
so that the offering up of the Gentiles may be acceptable,
sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to boast in what pertains to God.
For I will not dare to speak of anything
except what Christ has accomplished through me
to lead the Gentiles to obedience by word and deed,
by the power of signs and wonders,
by the power of the Spirit of God,
so that from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum
I have finished preaching the Gospel of Christ.
Thus I aspire to proclaim the Gospel
not where Christ has already been named,
so that I do not build on another's foundation,
but as it is written:

Those who have never been told of him shall see,
and those who have never heard of him shall understand.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4

R.(see 2b) The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.

Alleluia 1 Jn 2:5

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Whoever keeps the word of Christ,
the love of God is truly perfected in him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 16:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples, "A rich man had a steward
who was reported to him for squandering his property.
He summoned him and said,
'What is this I hear about you?
Prepare a full account of your stewardship,
because you can no longer be my steward.'
The steward said to himself, 'What shall I do,
now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me?
I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.
I know what I shall do so that,
when I am removed from the stewardship,
they may welcome me into their homes.'
He called in his master's debtors one by one.
To the first he said, 'How much do you owe my master?'
He replied, 'One hundred measures of olive oil.'
He said to him, 'Here is your promissory note.
Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.'
Then to another he said, 'And you, how much do you owe?'
He replied, 'One hundred measures of wheat.'

He said to him, 'Here is your promissory note;
write one for eighty.'
And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.
For the children of this world
are more prudent in dealing with their own generation
than the children of light."


Catholic Meditations
Meditation: Luke 16:1-8

31st Week in Ordinary Time

So that . . . they may welcome me. (Luke 16:4)

Anyone who is a waiter or in a service profession knows the value of using "soft skills"—good communication, approachability, empathy—to ensure customer loyalty and build a safety net of relationships. It seems that the dishonest money manager in Jesus' parable had learned the same lesson: you attract more people with honey than with vinegar. So when his master fired him for squandering his wealth, he knew he needed to fix his relationships with people in the local community in order to survive. His motive may have been self-serving, but at least he understood that being generous and merciful would gain more for him than extortion. And Jesus commended him for his shrewdness.

What this dishonest steward did for selfish reasons we can do for godly reasons. Showing mercy is always a good strategy, particularly in our parishes. The church you attend is your Catholic "home," the place where your brothers and sisters in Christ gather to celebrate a family meal. It can be easy to think of Mass simply as "my time" with Jesus, but Jesus doesn't just dwell in the tabernacle. He dwells in everyone gathering with you. That includes the cantor who sings off-key, the family with unruly children, and the guy racing out of the parking lot in front of you. How you treat your fellow parishioners is an important indicator of your relationship with God.

As important as it is to put money in the offertory basket, it is also important that we adjust our attitude toward any parishioner we think is being inconsiderate. What better way can we create a space of fellowship and unity in our parish? What better way to honor the time when we all receive the grace and power of Jesus?

At Mass this Sunday, at the Sign of Peace, try to make sure you're at peace with the people around you. If someone or something is nagging at you, ask Jesus to help you put it aside and focus on building up the unity of your parish instead. Whatever challenges you may face, know that Jesus will help you to respond with love. Remember, he loves every person standing around you just as much as he loves you.

"Jesus, help me to see your face in every person I will encounter at Mass this Sunday."

Romans 15:14-21
Psalm 98:1-4



Pro-life feminism asks the obvious question others choose to ignore: The right to choose what? My right to decide what? For women to be truly free, we must be intellectually free, and that means challenging and breaking loose from decades of indoctrinating propaganda that stems from that generous, memorable, and wholly meaningless slogan 'a woman's right to choose'.
—Fiorella Nash
from The Abolition of Woman


" I myself am convinced about you, my brothers and sisters,
that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to admonish one another."
We got what it takes. We are fully capable. We are created in His image. Baptized not only with water, but with fire. Keep this in mind as we read the Gospel today.


Let us pray today: "All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; break into song; sing praise.
The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power." Have all the ends seen the salvation? Yes. The Word of God has proclaimed it. Have the ends of the earth been saved? Have all souls been touched and saved? A priest in daily Mass on EWTN said today that Christ's incarnation was the capstone of God's creation. Salvation has indeed come. For those who have ears, and eyes, perk up! This message is coming through you for a reason.


In the parable today, the King says: "Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward.' In another scripture, our Lord recounts a parable where He says "'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' Luke 12:20. And in another scripture He says "Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming." Mt 24:42. So long as we live on this earth, that messages lives on true.

So what does the bad steward do? And what was so bad about him? He was found wanton. What is wanton? Merciless, inhumane. Does scripture bring up this word? In some translations yes, many times. For example, in the book of James "You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you."
Think Paschal Mystery. YIKES! Is the bad steward starting to hit home? Who lives a life of luxury? Our country is probably one of the most luxurious, pleasure filled countries in the world. But that could be said of most places on earth. And the righteous man is put to death, he does not resist. They say God is The Gentle Man. He does not force Himself upon anyone. He did not resist the cross. He does not resist when you deny Him...even an act of dignity. The bad steward was given a fair warning. Shape up, or ship out. It is a yes, or a no to the Lord. In the book of Revelation, we are told "…15I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other! 16So because you are lukewarm— neither hot nor cold— I am about to vomit you out of My mouth!" Rev.3:16. God speaks in the times of past and the times of future, because for Him it is forever right now.

So how can we become good stewards? What are we doing with our time, talent, and treasure. I have a loved one that every year puts on a huge haunted house, and makes thousands upon thousands of dollars every year. I am a bit jealous for what I am zealous. They've used all that time, money, and talent to make money for...themselves. How I wish they could've done that for the church that has spent years and years trying to raise money for classrooms and to rebuild or build a needed hall. What's worse, the money earned seems to glorify the devil. Mammon is glorified. Death glorified. Other gods. I wonder if there is a god called "Self"?

So, the steward has a conversion, caused by an epiphany. The moment the King called him up and called him out, that was the moment of realization.
The steward realizes he needs to reconcile...accounts. Giving back to the King what was supposed to be His in the first place....and he does so to the highest extent he can, even though it comes up short.

The bad steward suddenly wins hearts, not only for himself, but more importantly, for the King. For the steward was abusing his representation of the King.

This week, I wrote myself a note to tell our workers in our family business at our next company meeting. I will tell them something like "Don't bad mouth each other, blame others to our customers. Don't blame your supervisor, don't blame your co-worker, don't tear others down, because in the end, you are just tearing us down as a whole".
You are of the King. You represent the King. You are then, God's representative. You are called not only to be faithful, but to be exactly what God wants us to be....His body.
Think Eucharist. Think stewardship.
Now do what you have thought.

Be a Holy Angel of God. Theologically, impossible, but saints are just that...the mouthpiece of complete surrender to Him, inasmuch as possible, and God does the rest.
Let us then, follow Christ to the T....the cross....

"When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven."


hear it read


Random Bible Verse 1
Colossians 3:15

15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.


->Thank You Jesus<-

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