Friday, September 11, 2020

⛪ . . Brother, Let Me. . . ⛪

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Mychal Judge: Saying Yes and Accepting God's Grace

Fr. Mychal simply wished to go where God needed him. And he could never refuse God anything. "The wonderful thing is saying yes and accepting God's grace. We could say no and walk away. But when we say yes and go forward, great and wonderful things will happen," Fr. Mychal reportedly said.

"It takes courage in the midst of fear, but you do it with the grace of God." Great courage is what Fr. Mychal showed the world throughout his life and on the day when the world needed courage. On the darkest day, when the world needed to be reminded of Christ's love, Fr. Mychal Judge showed us that light.

—from the book Faith Under Fire: Dramatic Stories of Christian Courage by Matthew Archbold


†Saint Quote
"When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice."
— Pope Saint Gregory the Great

"Some people who think themselves naturally gifted don't want to touch either philosophy or logic. They don't even want to learn natural science. They demand bare faith alone—as if they wanted to harvest grapes right away without putting any work into the vine. We must prune, dig, trellis, and do all the other work. I think you'll agree the pruning knife, the pickaxe, and the farmer's tools are necessary for growing grapevines, so that they will produce edible fruit. And as in farming, so in medicine: the one who has learned something is the one who has practiced the various lessons, so that he can cultivate or heal. And here, too, I say you're truly educated if you bring everything to bear on the truth. Taking what's useful from geometry, music, grammar, and philosophy itself, you guard the Faith from assault."
— St. Clement of Alexandria, p. 13
A Year with the Church Fathers

"Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the lands! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord is God! It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him, bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures for ever, and his faithfulness to all generations."
Psalm 100


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St. Jean-Gabriel Perboyre (1802-1840) was one of eight children born to a farming family in France. He was a pious child and served as a model of virtue for his childhood companions. He discerned a call to the priesthood and joined the Vincentians along with a younger brother, with the full support of his parents. He served as a seminary professor for many years, and his sanctity impressed even his superiors. He longed to serve in the missions to China, but his poor health prevented him and his brother was sent instead. He prayed and begged to also be sent to preach in China and to suffer martyrdom there. After his brother died on the voyage to China, Jean-Gabriel was allowed to take his place in the mission. He arrived in China in 1835 and his labors there were met with great success. In 1839 persecutions broke out against the Christian missionaries, and Jean-Gabriel was one of the first to be arrested. The events leading to his death bear a striking resemblance to the Passion and Death of Christ. He was betrayed to the authorities by one of his new converts for thirty pieces of silver, stripped of his garments and clothed with rags, bound, and dragged from tribunal to tribunal. At each trial, he was brutally treated and tortured. He was finally condemned to death along with seven other criminals on September 11, 1840. He was martyred by being strangled to death as he hung on a cross. His feast day is September 11th.


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.


Friday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 COR 9:16-19, 22B-27

Brothers and sisters:
If I preach the Gospel, this is no reason for me to boast,
for an obligation has been imposed on me,
and woe to me if I do not preach it!
If I do so willingly, I have a recompense,
but if unwillingly, then I have been entrusted with a stewardship.
What then is my recompense?
That, when I preach, I offer the Gospel free of charge
so as not to make full use of my right in the Gospel.
Although I am free in regard to all,
I have made myself a slave to all
so as to win over as many as possible.
I have become all things to all, to save at least some.
All this I do for the sake of the Gospel,
so that I too may have a share in it.
Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race,
but only one wins the prize?
Run so as to win.
Every athlete exercises discipline in every way.
They do it to win a perishable crown,
but we an imperishable one.
Thus I do not run aimlessly;
I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing.
No, I drive my body and train it,
for fear that, after having preached to others,
I myself should be disqualified.

Responsorial Psalm PS 84:3, 4, 5-6, 12

R. (2) How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
My soul yearns and pines
for the courts of the LORD.
My heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest
in which she puts her young—
Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my king and my God!
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
Blessed they who dwell in your house!
continually they praise you.
Blessed the men whose strength you are!
their hearts are set upon the pilgrimage.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
For a sun and a shield is the LORD God;
grace and glory he bestows;
The LORD withholds no good thing
from those who walk in sincerity.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!

Alleluia JN 17:17B, 17A

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

Gospel 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."


Daily Meditation: Luke 6:39-42

Remove the wooden beam from your eye. (Luke 6:42)

It might not be obvious, but the seemingly unconnected verses in today's Gospel are all related. They all have to do with examining our consciences and confessing our sin.

Jesus encourages us to remove the "beam" from our eye (Luke 6:42) so that we can be clear-eyed guides for the people around us (6:39). He wants us to pay attention to our own faults and weaknesses so that we can become disciples who have been "fully trained" and are like our Teacher himself (6:40).

Let's face it, when we're stuck in a pattern of sin, it is as if a wooden beam were blocking our vision. As long as we tolerate or excuse our sin, as long as we don't seek out the grace of reconciliation, we are blinded. What's more, we remain immature disciples, and we might even end up leading people away from Jesus by our poor example.

But all is not lost. God has given us the gift of self-examination and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. That's how the sin that blocks our vision is removed. We begin to see the difference between sin and holiness more clearly. We begin to look at the people around us differently. We become less likely to notice their faults and more likely to see Christ in them. We become less likely to jump to judgmental thoughts about them and more likely to forgive them.

Beyond the forgiveness, examining our conscience and confessing our sin are vital in our training as disciples. We face up to the ways we fall short, and we receive the grace to overcome our shortcomings. Through the sacrament and the counsel of the priest, we begin to see things the way Jesus does and are released from the hold that sin has on us. As a result, we become better friends, better neighbors, and more true to our vocation. We are more able to love the people around us and to lead them, not into a pit, but to Jesus!

All this grace is available to you in Confession. So don't hesitate to celebrate this healing and transforming sacrament. Let Jesus open your eyes and train you to be a mature disciple—one who looks more and more like the Teacher.

"Lord, open my eyes so that I can follow you and be an example to everyone who sees me."

1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-27
Psalm 84:3-6, 12



In every age, we need to learn anew how to pray, how to touch God as a plug touches a socket, as a candle touches a match, as a wire touches a dynamo.
— Peter Kreeft
from Wisdom from the Psalms


"If I do so willingly, I have a recompense, but if unwillingly, then I have been entrusted with a stewardship."
I have been entrusted, with much. Much what? We have followers. There are many watching you, to see where they should go. As if that were not enough, let us be clear, for we are speaking about souls and eternity.


We pray: "Blessed they who dwell in your house! continually they praise you. Blessed the men whose strength you are!
their hearts are set upon the pilgrimage. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!"
The strength of us is our Lord. And for us men, and women, this strength helps us on our journey through earth, this pilgrimage. This is why the feast of booths was important in the old Testament, to recall our flight and to celebrate life, true freedom with God our Father.


"Can a blind person guide a blind person?
Will not both fall into a pit?"
Our Lord speaks about eternal realities. In the world, we have many guides, false guides. They are worldly guides, godless guides, who have themselves only as guides, as gods. Completely locking out our true guide, our true Lord.

"Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?" Boy is it easy to see splinters in other eyes. Isn't it? All others' problems and sins are easy to perceive, and my own? What's next is critical: "You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother's eye."
REMOVE the wooden beam in your eye. Then you can see. What's the most effective way to remove the beam? Confession. Then Grace illuminates the way. The right way to travel to, on this pilgrimage.

Randomly opening the book Imitation of Christ:
"It is rare indeed that one finds a friend so faithful as to stick with us through thick and thin. You, O Lord, are most faithful in all things and there is none other but You.

How wise was the holy St. Agatha, who said: "My mind is solidly established in and grounded upon Christ!" If only this were so with me, I would not be prey to so many fears and anxieties, nor would the unkind words of others move me.

There is no one who can foresee future events or take precautions against future disasters. If even approaching evils can hurt us, how much greater the wound of those unlooked for? But why have I not made better provision for my wretched self? And why have I so readily put my trust in others? Truly because we are frail and weak human beings, though many think of and speak of us as Angels.

In whom can I believe, O Lord, except in You?
For You alone are the Truth, Who can neither deceive nor be deceived. On the other hand, all people are liars (Ps 116:11), weak, unstable and subject to fail, especially in speech; so that even what seems to be true we should not be too ready to believe."

Follow the Truth, and become one with the Truth.
Follow the Life, and have life within,
Follow the Way and be the way...

How? If you don't go to Church, the love of Church is not within you.
If something happens to the Church, it is of no concern to you.
My friend, we are the Church.
How can I know the Truth? It is Jesus. Come to Jesus in the Church, both physically and spiritually.
Find Him most often and most available in the Holy Sacraments that unify us to Him ever more. And find Him in the most abandoned in the world, and most often in the least you'd expect.
Only true eyes can see truth. Be true. Be pure. Be purely true.

How else can a blind man follow?
I have a physically blind friend in a nursing home. He really has no family, and so being his friend I know means much. When I used to be able to visit him before the pandemic split us apart, he used to hold on to my shoulder with his right hand on my right shoulder. I had to lead him to his room, or sometimes through the store or restaurant, wherever I would take him.
My friend is locked in, especially now, and cannot see. And nobody can come see him. The way I communicate is through the phone. (Think prayer with our Lord). The way he receives things like food mostly sweets he asks for, is by dropping them off at the door and calling for help. Think Mass, think love offerings, think Love of God.
He follows me and what's tough is following him. What do I mean? You see, He is one of special needs. It is irksome to hear his call, because I know he needs something from me and most often I am just too darn busy. Most people say "I can't" but that just means "I choose not to". "I can't do prison ministry because.....". " I can't serve at church because....". But we are good at being moralists and theologians, right? Telling others what to do? And so when Manuel calls, I have to tear apart my plans and do what he says, make room in my my life for Him. And you know what? It changes things. Devotions change things. I think of Holy Hour Adoration. I think of daily Mass, and rosaries. What is most clarifying? An encounter with Jesus our Lord. Think St. Paul. A conversion let's you see things you never seen before.
And that is what our Lord is asking of us today.
An encounter. With a special person. He calls for sacrifice, but it means so much more....

God Father King Almighty, we want to see! Help us in our disbelief, in our attachment to worldly pleasures, obstacles to a life of grace. I want to hold you and never let you go. Surely you wouldn't present this desire if it would not be fulfilled! Daddy....please


Random Bible verse from online generator:

Joshua 1:8

8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.


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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