Thursday, September 10, 2020

⛪ . . Give and Gifts . . ⛪

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God Sends Us Where We're Needed

"God is not an obligation or a burden. God is the joy of my life!" —Fr. Mychal Judge

On the bright fall morning of September 11, 2001, firefighters across New York were summoned to a scene of unimaginable horror: Two hijacked airliners had crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. As firefighters rushed into the burning buildings, they were accompanied by their chaplain, Fr. Mychal Judge. Hundreds of them would die that day, among the nearly three thousand fatalities in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. Fr. Judge would be among them. There seemed to be special meaning in the fact that Fr. Mychal was listed as the first certified casualty of 9/11. A photograph of his fellow firemen carrying his body from the wreckage to a neighboring church became an icon of that day: an image of loving service and sacrifice, a hopeful answer to messages born of fear and fanaticism.

—from The Franciscan Saints by Robert Ellsber


†Saint Quote
"Heaven could not span its Creator, but the faithful soul, and only it, becomes its dwelling place and seat, and it becomes so in virtue of charity of which the impious lack."
— St. Clare of Assisi

"In contemplating a beautiful work of creation consider that, in itself, it is nothing. Let your thoughts soar to the great Hand that produced it; place all your delight in Him saying: "O my God! Sole Object of my desires! Universal Source of all good things! How delightful it is to consider that the perfections of creatures are but a faint image of Thy glory!" When you behold the verdant trees or plants and the beauty of flowers, remember that they possess life only through the will of that Divine Wisdom that, unseen by all, gives life to all things. Say to Him: "O Living God! O Sovereign Life! Thou delight of my soul! From Thee, in Thee and through Thee all things on earth live and flourish!" The sight of animals should lift your mind and heart to the Author of sensibility and motion. Say with respect and love: "Great God, Unmoved Mover of all things, how I rejoice when I consider the eternity of Thy existence, incapable of the slightest change!" When the beauty of mankind impresses you, you should immediately distinguish what is apparent to the eye from what is seen only by the mind. You must remember that all corporeal beauty flows from an invisible principle, the uncreated beauty of God. You must discern in this an almost imperceptible drop issuing from an endless source, an immense ocean from which numberless perfections continually flow. How my soul is ravished when I consider that Eternal Beauty, the Source of every beautiful thing!"
— Dom Lorenzo Scupoli, p.68
Spiritual Combat

"Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him."
John 14:21


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St. Ambrose Edward Barlow (1585-1641) was born near Manchester, England, to a noble family. He was baptized Catholic at his birth, but was raised Protestant when Catholicism was outlawed by the reigning monarchy. His grandfather died while imprisoned for his Catholic faith, and his father had two-thirds of his estate confiscated for refusal to conform to the Church of England. Ambrose returned to Catholicism as an adult, recognized his vocation to the priesthood, and traveled to France to enter seminary. He was ordained in 1617 in the Order of St. Benedict. He returned to England to minister to underground Catholics in his native south Lancashire for 24 years, being financially supported with a pension arranged by his grandmother. Ambrose said Mass daily and administered the sacraments secretly to avoid detection by the authorities. He was arrested four times during his priesthood, each time being released without charge. When the king issued a decree that all Catholic priests should immediately flee the country or be arrested and condemned as traitors, St. Ambrose chose to stay, reasoning that he could not die a better death than to be martyred for being a Catholic priest. On April 25, 1631, just as he ended Easter Sunday Mass at Morley Hall near Manchester, he was arrested by a 400-strong armed mob led by the local Anglican vicar. He freely admitted to the charge of being a Catholic priest, and gave a defense of the true faith before his judge. He was sentenced to be hanged, drawn, quartered, and boiled in oil on September 10, 1641. His dead body was publicly displayed on a pike as a warning to other Catholic priests. St. Ambrose Edward Barlow is one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. His feast day is September 10th.


Saint Thomas of Villanova

(1488 – September 8, 1555)

Saint Thomas was from Castile in Spain and received his surname from the town where he was raised. He received a superior education at the University of Alcala and became a popular professor of philosophy there.

After joining the Augustinian friars at Salamanca, Thomas was ordained and resumed his teaching–despite a continuing absentmindedness and poor memory. He became prior and then provincial of the friars, sending the first Augustinians to the New World. He was nominated by the emperor to the archbishopric of Granada, but refused. When the see again became vacant he was pressured to accept. The money his cathedral chapter gave him to furnish his house was given to a hospital instead. His explanation to them was that "our Lord will be better served by your money being spent on the poor in the hospital. What does a poor friar like myself want with furniture?"

He wore the same habit that he had received in the novitiate, mending it himself. The canons and domestics were ashamed of him, but they could not convince him to change. Several hundred poor came to Thomas's door each morning and received a meal, wine, and money. When criticized because he was at times being taken advantage of, he replied, "If there are people who refuse to work, that is for the governor and the police to deal with. My duty is to assist and relieve those who come to my door." He took in orphans and paid his servants for every deserted child they brought to him. He encouraged the wealthy to imitate his example and be richer in mercy and charity than they were in earthly possessions.

Criticized because he refused to be harsh or swift in correcting sinners, Thomas said, "Let him (the complainer) inquire whether Saint Augustine and Saint John Chrysostom used anathemas and excommunication to stop the drunkenness and blasphemy which were so common among the people under their care."

As he lay dying, Thomas commanded that all the money he possessed be distributed to the poor. His material goods were to be given to the rector of his college. Mass was being celebrated in his presence when after Communion he breathed his last, reciting the words: "Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit."

In his lifetime Thomas of Villanova was already called "the almsgiver" and "the father of the poor." He was canonized in 1658. His Liturgical Feast Day is September 22.

The absent-minded professor is a stock comic figure. Thomas of Villanova earned even more derisive laughs with his determined shabbiness and his willingness to let the poor who flocked to his door take advantage of him. He embarrassed his peers, but Jesus was enormously pleased with him. We are often tempted to tend our image in others' eyes without paying sufficient attention to how we look to Christ. Thomas still urges us to rethink our priorities.


Thursday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 COR 8:1B-7, 11-13

Brothers and sisters:
Knowledge inflates with pride, but love builds up.
If anyone supposes he knows something,
he does not yet know as he ought to know.
But if one loves God, one is known by him.
So about the eating of meat sacrificed to idols:
we know that there is no idol in the world,
and that there is no God but one.
Indeed, even though there are so-called gods in heaven and on earth
(there are, to be sure, many "gods" and many "lords"),
yet for us there is one God, the Father,
from whom all things are and for whom we exist,
and one Lord, Jesus Christ,
through whom all things are and through whom we exist.
But not all have this knowledge.
There are some who have been so used to idolatry up until now
that, when they eat meat sacrificed to idols,
their conscience, which is weak, is defiled.
Thus, through your knowledge, the weak person is brought to destruction,
the brother for whom Christ died.
When you sin in this way against your brothers
and wound their consciences, weak as they are,
you are sinning against Christ.
Therefore, if food causes my brother to sin,
I will never eat meat again,
so that I may not cause my brother to sin.

Responsorial Psalm PS 139:1B-3, 13-14AB, 23-24

R. (24b) Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
O LORD, you have probed me and you know me;
you know when I sit and when I stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother's womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
Probe me, O God, and know my heart;
try me, and know my thoughts;
See if my way is crooked,
and lead me in the way of old.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.

Alleluia 1 JN 4:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If we love one another,
God remains in us,
and his love is brought to perfection in us.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 6:27-38

Jesus said to his disciples:
"To you who hear I say, love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you,
pray for those who mistreat you.
To the person who strikes you on one cheek,
offer the other one as well,
and from the person who takes your cloak,
do not withhold even your tunic.
Give to everyone who asks of you,
and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
For if you love those who love you,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners love those who love them.
And if you do good to those who do good to you,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners do the same.
If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners lend to sinners,
and get back the same amount.
But rather, love your enemies and do good to them,
and lend expecting nothing back;
then your reward will be great
and you will be children of the Most High,
for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
Be merciful, just as also your Father is merciful.
"Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you."


Daily Meditation: Luke 6:27-38

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. (Luke 6:27)

Have you ever noticed how many action films focus on a hero overcoming a villain? For most of the movie, the hero suffers at the hands of the villain. Then, in the last act, the hero confronts him, and the villain gets what's coming to him—maybe in a shoot-out or in hand-to-hand combat.

Now, imagine a different ending. Instead of killing the villain, the hero calls the police. As they are about to haul the villain away, the hero embraces his enemy and speaks words of mercy. He commits to visiting the villain in jail regularly and helping his family.

It's too bad more movies don't end this way. But that's probably because filmmakers understand our human nature too well. We seem to be "wired" for getting even. If someone hurts us, our instinctive reaction is to want to hurt them back. So how on earth can we love our enemies as Jesus asks us to?

The truth is we can't do it on our own. We can only do it by receiving Jesus' grace to help us follow his example. We can do it only by fixing our eyes on the cross and recalling how Jesus loved even the people who hurt him. He bore the criticism and condemnation of the religious leaders. He suffered the worst death imaginable—at the hands of the people he came to save! The mercy Jesus poured out can melt our hearts and inspire us to show mercy.

That doesn't make it easy, of course. You can struggle a long time to let go of past hurts or to reconcile with current enemies. But you can ask the Holy Spirit to soften your heart and then take one step forward. Try bringing to mind someone you have trouble forgiving. Then picture Jesus on the cross and, standing underneath, you and the person you're trying to forgive. You know that Jesus would have died just for that person alone—and for you. Ask him to give you his merciful heart for the one who has wounded you. Even if you don't feel anything, you have started down the road to forgiveness.

"Jesus, help me to forgive from the heart and to love those who are hardest to love."

1 Corinthians 8:1-7, 11-13
Psalm 139:1-3, 13-14, 23-24



The Holy Spirit brings freedom from fear, anger, and the past. So often Christians find themselves bound by so many things and are not aware that the Holy Spirit wants to bring the freedom of God to them.
— Fr. Dave Pivonka, TOR
from The Wild Goose



"Knowledge inflates with pride, but love builds up.
If anyone supposes he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know."
It is one thing to know much, and another to love much. It would be better to love much than to know much. This is why the Good News is for the Masses. What happens with knowledge? In Genesis, in the beginning, knowledge caused the world devastation we live in today. Wouldn't you like to know everything? But what happens to love and trust? Why do you have to know everything? Where is faith in that? Where is...humility in that? There have been so many times in my life where I think I know better and I usurp authority like at work, and by superseding the boss's orders I mess things up! And then it's all on me, and a bad decision for the whole company falls on me. Yet, that is the case for any worker, or follower. And so it is in the Kingdom of our Lord.


We pray today: "Probe me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; See if my way is crooked,
and lead me in the way of old. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way."
Once our Lord illuminates the way, you will begin to see your crooked ways. But this is the beginning of healing, learning to walk straight. This is why we are here, together on this journey.


Our Lord said today:
"To you who hear I say, love your enemies...".

Love is a strong word, no? Love enemies? That's not what the world teaches. The world teaches us to hate each other, especially if they seem to have said something bad about you, even if you're not sure. Love an enemy who is out to get you? Yes. Love the person, not what they do, but love them regardless. So many have been kicked out of families and church, because they kick the person out instead of the evil, or wrong they do. I've seen a divorce too, "they done something that is unforgiveable".

"... do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you".

These are hard pills to swallow. We want immediate revenge. We want so called "justice" but this is world justice, not God's justice. What did St. John Paul II do with the guy that tried to murder him? He went to visit him in the jail, to forgive him. What happened next? The bad guy turned good, he was moved by love and mercy. What happened to the child molester rapist and murderer of St. Maria Goretti? She visited him in his jail cell in a dream. He was so moved by mercy that he didn't even seek, that when he got out of jail, he pleaded the world for mercy, and lived to be a living saint. He was moved by love and mercy. You see the difference? You can hate someone to death, or love someone back to life, and we mean life with God.
Our Lord said "pray for those who mistreat you." Just pray for them. If you're feelings get hurt, get over it, treat that wound with healing balm, love. Try it next time. See what happens? They may not change but you will change...and this feat will change the world. Eventually they will be visited by mercy and grace, if you so will it into existence.

I wish I knew all of this before. I heard stuff like this but it never sank in. Such is the word of God to those who hear, and those who truly can understand.
"Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back."
I've loaned money, never got paid back. I forgave with love, and now they are doing much better and on their own, and they know...they know they owe, but they owe what is most important, gratitude, and not just to me, but to our Lord in Heaven. You see? God gives, when we forgive.
And to this day there are some asking me for a tremendous amount, thousands. It used to be he was asking for a hundred dollars every once in a while, this drunk man, and now he is needing thousands. That is a huge debt he owes, and that is "not my problem", right? Now what do I do? He's literally calling me every day, begging.
And I am perturbed, because I know Sunday's Gospel that is coming up, about a man forgiven much, and he wouldn't forgive a smaller debt to another. With Lazarus, will I be a perplexed Herod, or will I be Jesus?
Jesus spoke about giving when it comes to forgiveness. For give is to give. Let's remember that about charity. Forgive is to give.

There is much resentment towards this drunk man, he is a lunatic when he drinks, a womanizer, my kids are afraid when he comes to the house in such a state. It is like witnessing a demonic possession, threatening everyone in site.

What do you do with a person with such a problem? It seems like they have a split personality. Yet, isn't that the picture of a hypocrite? Ahh. Suddenly it is like looking into a mirror, isn't it? When you point a finger, and wag your tongue and shake your head? Isn't it? That's why I hate hearing someone being talked about badly, even worse if I participate in it. It is disgusting. I digress! "Give to everyone who asks of you". Tall order my friend. But they are orders from Heaven, amen?

""Stop judging and you will not be judged."
The devil loves this one. The devil uses this one, and it knows scripture very well. This one is used and twisted up to say "stop judging me, let me do whatever I want". The world has taken this message up to cover up their sins. "Don't judge me!" screams the devil as it devours the blood of the unborn and makes a mockery of marriage. I have to judge though, everything I do is a judgement, from my speeding, to my decisions at work, and at home, and especially in morality. Why is this all distorted? Because it is taken out of context, the very next words of our Lord were omitted, "Stop condemning and you will not be condemned." Ahh. Picture is more clear, no? You see, remember the Pharisees that judged and condemned all at once? What happens when you judge someone? Do you condemn them as well? It happens my friend. You wish them hell instead of heaven. Be merciful, remember what happens with love?
Give and you will be given...forgiveness. Mother Teresa took in all sorts of people, some who despised her ways, but she continued giving. To this day, her nuns face the same treatment, and they continue to give no matter what. You see, giving is eternal. Think Eucharist.
"For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you."
You will be judged by your love. Today's readings were a perfect fit for today's saint who gave to the poor and gave all his life to the Church and at the end gave his spirit to God, just like Jesus our Lord and King.
The problem with greed and the ego is that it hurts you more than anyone else. To not forgive hurts you more than them. The devastation of the cross put on our Lord becomes the sign of Jonah to the unbeliever, those who chose not to believe a word God said. To their own detriment, their own death. Or, to those who chose to believe, it meant salvation, life.

Lord, you have set us on this course to you in Heaven. All of us reading this want what You say, to do as You say, give us the grace to live day by day what You do and what You say, in Your holy name we pray, Jesus.


Random Bible verse from online generator:
Proverbs 21:17

"17 Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man;

he who loves wine and oil will not be rich."


If one day you don't receive these, just visit my website, surely you'll find me there. God Bless You! Share the Word. Share this, share what is good

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