Friday, October 9, 2020

⛪ When a strong Man . . ⛪

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God's Presence in Our Neighbors

The heart of Christianity is the great and incomprehensible truth that God's true majesty, God's authentic immensity, consists in God's willingness to become lowly and forsaken, to pitch a tent among us and become one of us. God's presence is sometimes revealed in lightning and thunder and smoke on Mount Sinai, but it's much more likely to show up in the faces of our neighbors. And not just our respectable neighbors, either, but those whom we generally go out of our way to avoid: the poor, the ill, the imprisoned, the aged, the weak, and the despised. In their faces, if we but have eyes to see, we encounter God. In their lowliness and helplessness we discover the real majesty of a God of love and self-sacrifice.

—from the book Perfect Joy: 30 Days with Francis of Assisi by Kerry Walters


†Saint Quote
"Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves."
— Pope St. John Paul II

"We live in a fallen world. We must therefore work out our destiny under the conditions created by sin. Did we but realize this truth, we would accept each of life's trying changes in the same spirit in which we accept the penance from the confessor. Were we truly convinced that our hope of pardon, and consequently our salvation, depends upon repentance, we would willingly undergo all the sufferings of life's warfare."
— John A. Kane, p. 81
How to Make a Good Confession

"Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope, for he who made the promise is trustworthy."
Hebrews 10:23


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Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801–1890) was the eldest of six children born to a nominal Protestant family in London, England. As a child he loved reading the Scriptures, and experienced a conversion to Christianity at the age of 15. He became a brilliant academic, an extremely influential Oxford scholar, and an Anglican priest. He was a leader in what was called the "Oxford Movement" which argued for a revival of traditional religious practice in the Church of England. Once anti-Catholic in his religious sentiments, sentiments that were common in England, Newman was increasingly impacted by the Church Fathers and other Catholic writers. His theological views gradually aligned with the Catholic Church in opposition to Anglican doctrine. Through his continued study of Church history he became unable to remain a Protestant in good faith. He made the decision to convert to Catholicism in 1845, which exposed him to much ridicule in his academic and religious circles. Two years later he was ordained a Catholic priest in Rome, and was made Cardinal in 1879. John Henry Newman is remembered for his influential writings on theology and philosophy as well as his founding of the famous London Oratory. Newman wrote 40 books and 21,000 letters, some of which had profound influence on the Second Vatican Council, making him one of the most important theologians of his day. His most famous work is his Apologia in which he defends his conversion to the truths of the Catholic Church. His feast day is October 9th.


Friday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 GAL 3:7-14

Brothers and sisters:
Realize that it is those who have faith
who are children of Abraham.
Scripture, which saw in advance that God
would justify the Gentiles by faith,
foretold the good news to Abraham, saying,
Through you shall all the nations be blessed.
Consequently, those who have faith are blessed
along with Abraham who had faith.
For all who depend on works of the law are under a curse;
for it is written, Cursed be everyone
who does not persevere in doing all the things
written in the book of the law.
And that no one is justified before God by the law is clear,
for the one who is righteous by faith will live.
But the law does not depend on faith;
rather, the one who does these things will live by them.
Christ ransomed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us,
for it is written, Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree,
that the blessing of Abraham might be extended
to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus,
so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Responsorial Psalm PS 111:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6

R. (5) The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
Majesty and glory are his work,
and his justice endures forever.
He has won renown for his wondrous deeds;
gracious and merciful is the LORD.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
He has given food to those who fear him;
he will forever be mindful of his covenant.
He has made known to his people the power of his works,
giving them the inheritance of the nations.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.

Alleluia JN 12:31B-32

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The prince of this world will now be cast out,
and when I am lifted up from the earth
I will draw all to myself, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 11:15-26

When Jesus had driven out a demon, some of the crowd said:
"By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons,
he drives out demons."
Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.
But he knew their thoughts and said to them,
"Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste
and house will fall against house.
And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?
For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.
If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul,
by whom do your own people drive them out?
Therefore they will be your judges.
But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons,
then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
When a strong man fully armed guards his palace,
his possessions are safe.
But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him,
he takes away the armor on which he relied
and distributes the spoils.
Whoever is not with me is against me,
and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
"When an unclean spirit goes out of someone,
it roams through arid regions searching for rest
but, finding none, it says,
'I shall return to my home from which I came.'
But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order.
Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits
more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there,
and the last condition of that man is worse than the first."


Daily Meditation: Galatians 3:7-14

It is those who have faith who are children of Abraham. (Galatians 3:7)

In a perfect family, children would have total confidence in their parents' love. Of course, we know that there is no perfect family—except for the Holy Family—and some families fall far short of the ideal. Abusive parents, broken marriages, violent environments—these can make children suspicious of the people who truly are trying to love them. They've been hurt in the past, so they've learned to be wary: I hear you saying you love me, but how can I be sure? Some of them think that love can never be given freely, that they have to do something to earn it instead.

Something similar seemed to be going on with the Christians in Galatia. St. Paul had preached the good news of God's salvation and unconditional love to them, and their lives had been changed dramatically by the Holy Spirit. But despite all that, they began to believe that the Jewish rite of circumcision was a criterion for belonging to Christ (Galatians 3:2-3). This concerned Paul. They had received the free gift of salvation and new life in the Holy Spirit, but they were now making circumcision a condition, a block in the way of receiving God's love.

Although we don't look to circumcision to make us children of God, we can be skeptical of God's free gift of love in other ways. We're tempted to believe that he has placed conditions on his love and grace: God will only love me after I've fixed myself. God is probably disappointed with me and won't answer my prayers. These "requirements" reveal our doubt that God could really love us.

Paul wanted the Galatians to accept God's unconditional love for them. He wanted them to understand that God's love is not based on circumcision, moral perfection, or any other requirements. God just loves us, and he asks us to respond by putting our faith in him.

Imagine the freedom and relief we could all feel if we were convinced that we didn't need to win God over. We don't need to earn his love. He loved us before we were even born.

Through this saving love, God has made you his son or daughter. There is no catch.

"Lord, thank you for your unconditional love for me!"

Psalm 111:1-6
Luke 11:15-26



Mortification tames the flesh, weakens inclinations to evil, cuts down occasions of sin, removes enticements, and so on: O holy penance!
— St. Claude de la Colombière
from The Spiritual Direction of Claude de la Colombière


"Through you shall all the nations be blessed."
Through you. The message is for you my friend. And for me. You become a blessing, and suddenly, the least you think is blessed. There is a theory that we are connected with everyone else through about 5 people. That's pretty close.That's a high calling.


We pray today: "He has given food to those who fear him; he will forever be mindful of his covenant.
He has made known to his people the power of his works, giving them the inheritance of the nations."
To His people, He makes Himself known and His works. And we are called to faith works.


We heard today our Lord say "... he knew their thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste...". And our Lord divided the dark kingdom. By the very word, He exposed the truth.
Our Lord continues: "... if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you."
And so it did. The finger of God came and pointed and evil scattered. This is the case and an invitation to come to Him. Obey. To come to the Sacraments. This is where we can scatter the darkness out of our lives. But the Word gets interesting, when He talks about how evil works.

He says that evil comes back 7 times more if we do nothing but leave ourselves open to another invitation of evil.

What evil is there in your life that you do not take care of? Whatever it is, we are invited to stay close to our Lord, the light source that darkness hates. This is purity, mortification, sacrifice, and humility.
I invite you to this kind of life. It becomes a life focused on the other...a total giving.
It is hard, but it starts in increments...the very next thing you decide to do: withholding a bad remark, praying for those who hurt you, picking up trash, clean up after others, and so on. Everything makes up who we are and make the body of Christ, everything we do and choose...

Lord, let us choose Life, and you are the Way and the Truth too....


Random Bible verse from online generator:
Jn 14:23

Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.


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God Bless You! Peace

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