Category Archives: Reflections

Baptism Of The Lord

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From a Sermon by Saint Gregory of Nazianzus, bishop
(Oratio 39 in Sancta Lumina, 14-16, 20: PG 36, 350-351, 354, 358-359)

The baptism of Christ

Christ is bathed in light; let us also be bathed in light. Christ is baptized; let us also go down with him, and rise with him.

John is baptizing when Jesus draws near. Perhaps he comes to sanctify his baptizer; certainly he comes to bury sinful humanity in the waters. He comes to sanctify the Jordan for our sake and in readiness for us; he who is spirit and flesh comes to begin a new creation through the Spirit and water.

The Baptist protests; Jesus insists. Then John says: I ought to be baptized by you. He is the lamp in the presence of the sun, the voice in the presence of the Word, the friend in the presence of the Bridegroom, the greatest of all born of woman in the presence of the firstborn of all creation, the one who leapt in his mother’s womb in the presence of him who was adored in the womb, the forerunner and future forerunner in the presence of him who has already come and is to come again. I ought to be baptized by you: we should also add, “and for you,” for John is to be baptized in blood, washed clean like Peter, not only by the washing of his feet.

Jesus rises from the waters; the world rises with him. The heavens like Paradise with its flaming sword, closed by Adam for himself and his descendants, are rent open. The Spirit comes to him as to an equal, bearing witness to his Godhead. A voice bears witness to him from heaven, his place of origin. The Spirit descends in bodily form like the dove that so long ago announced the ending of the flood and so gives honor to the body that is one with God.

Today let us do honor to Christ’s baptism and celebrate this feast in holiness. Be cleansed entirely and continue to be cleansed. Nothing gives such pleasure to God as the conversion and salvation of men, for whom his every word and every revelation exist. He wants you to become a living force for all mankind, lights shining in the world. You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the great light, bathed in the glory of him who is the light of heaven. You are to enjoy more and more the pure and dazzling light of the Trinity, as now you have received—though not in its fullness—a ray of its splendor, proceeding from the one God, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.

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Discernment of Spirits

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Discernment of Spirits.—All moral conduct may be summed up in the rule: avoid evil and do good. See more here at Catholic Answers

The other day, here, I had seen a commercial. As I watched it, it became clear to me how important in all aspects of our lives it is to have and use discernment. Whom are we truly listening to? Whom are we speaking to?

Pope Francis spoke this morning about what I had been pondering & what I seen in this commercial, today. Pope’s Morning Homily: Ask Whenever You Have a Feeling or Instinct, ‘Does This Come from Holy Spirit, or Spirit of the World?’

This is something I have been accustom to doing, for many many years. Ever since this day, which I wrote here, in my post, Repent, Repent, Repent.

I can truly say, and profess this day, John 20:18

As I finished my morning prayers today, the concluding prayer became very luminous.

O God, whose Only Begotten Son
has appeared in our very flesh,
grant, we pray, that we may be inwardly transformed
through him whom we recognize as outwardly like ourselves.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
 Amen.

Back to that commercial…

Notice, Mayhem is NOT her Mother in law, but Mayhem. Although she may see her Mother in law. You never know who you may be listening to, sitting with and speaking to, so fill your minds and hearts with the Word of God, and do not be deceived, discern everything. Have courage, respond in kindness to that which is not our Lord.

 

Repent and submit to our Lord, Jesus Christ.

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Fill yourself with our Lord, purge yourself of self.

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Happy Birthday

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A beautiful sermon by St. Leo the Great, reminds us, that Christmas is also our birthday. As this new year closes in, my prayer for all that that we embrace the newness that our Lord has made us, as we reflect on the old, that reminds us, “I make all things new”.

May you have a blessed New Year. May our Lord grant you a new way of thinking, new life in Christ and new and beautiful outlook on what you also once were before our Lord touched your heart, that you may give the praise, glory and honor to Him. May our Lord bring His peace to all.

Happy and blessed new year.

From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope
(Sermo 6 in Nativitate Domini, 2-3, 5: PL 54, 213-216)

The birthday of the Lord is the birthday of peace!

Although the state of infancy, which the majesty of the Son of God did not disdain to assume, developed with the passage of time into maturity of manhood, and although after the triumph of the passion and the resurrection all his lowly acts undertaken on our behalf belong to the past, nevertheless today’s feast of Christmas renews for us the sacred beginning of Jesus’ life, his birth from the Virgin Mary. In the very act in which we are reverencing the birth of our Savior, we are also celebrating our own new birth. For the birth of Christ is the origin of the Christian people; and the birthday of the head is also the birthday of the body.

Though each and every individual occupies a definite place in this body to which he has been called, and though all the progeny of the church is differentiated and marked with the passage of time, nevertheless as the whole community of the faithful, once begotten in the baptismal font, was crucified with Christ in the passion, raised up with him in the resurrection and at the ascension placed at the right hand of the Father, so too it is born with him in this Nativity, which we are celebrating today.

For every believer regenerated in Christ, no matter in what part of the whole world he may be, breaks with that ancient way of life that derives from original sin, and by rebirth is transformed into a new man. Henceforth he is reckoned to be of the stock, not of his earthly father, but of Christ, who became Son of Man precisely that men could become sons of God; for unless in humility he had come down to us, none of us by our own merits could ever go up to him.

Therefore the greatness of the gift which he has bestowed on us demands an appreciation proportioned to its excellence; for blessed Paul the Apostle truly teaches: We have received not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. The only way that he can be worthily honored by us is by the presentation to him of that which he has already given to us.

But what can we find in the treasure of the Lord’s bounty more in keeping with the glory of this feast than that peace which was first announced by the angelic choir on the day of his birth? For that peace, from which the sons of God spring, sustains love and mothers unity; it refreshes the blessed and shelters eternity; its characteristic function and special blessing is to join to God those whom it separates from this world.

Therefore, may those who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God, offer to the Father their harmony as sons united in peace; and may all those whom he has adopted as his members meet in the firstborn of the new creation who came not to do his own will but the will of the one who sent him; for the grace of the Father has adopted as heirs neither the contentious nor the dissident, but those who are one in thought and love. The hearts and minds of those who have been reformed according to one and the same image should be in harmony with one another.

The birthday of the Lord is the birthday of peace, as Paul the Apostle says: For he is our peace, who has made us both one; for whether we be Jew or Gentile, through him we have access in one Spirit to the Father.

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Jesus: God’s love story — Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.

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Please read the beautiful Homily by Bishop Silvio Jose Baez, which can be found at the link below.

 

via Jesus: God’s love story — Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.

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December 26, 2019 · 10:28 am

Merry Christmas

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Every day is Christmas, as our Lord, Himself,  is the ultimate gift.

May you open your hearts to receive this Gift

May your life become His

That you may give also.

To the glory of God

Amen

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Justice! Peace! Truth! Glory To God!

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From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Sermo 185: PL 38, 997-999)

Truth has arisen from the earth, and justice looked down from heaven

Awake, mankind! For your sake God has become man. Awake, you who sleep, rise up from the dead, and Christ will enlighten you. I tell you again: for your sake, God became man.

You would have suffered eternal death, had he not been born in time. Never would you have been freed from sinful flesh, had he not taken on himself the likeness of sinful flesh. You would have suffered everlasting unhappiness, had it not been for this mercy. You would never have returned to life, had he not shared your death. You would have been lost if he had not hastened to your aid. You would have perished, had he not come.

Let us then joyfully celebrate the coming of our salvation and redemption. Let us celebrate the festive day on which he who is the great and eternal day came from the great and endless day of eternity into our own short day of time.

He has become our justice, our sanctification, our redemption, so that, as it is written: Let him who glories glory in the Lord.

Truth, then, has arisen from the earth: Christ who said, I am the Truth, was born of a virgin. And justice looked down from heaven: because believing in this new-born child, man is justified not by himself but by God.

Truth has arisen from the earth: because the Word was made flesh. And justice looked down from heaven: because every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.

Truth has arisen from the earth: flesh from Mary. And justice looked down from heaven: for man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven.

Justified by faith, let us be at peace with God: for justice and peace have embraced one another. Through our Lord Jesus Christ: for Truth has arisen from the earth. Through whom we have access to that grace in which we stand, and our boast is in our hope of God’s glory. He does not say: “of our glory,” but of God’s glory: for justice has not proceeded from us but has looked down from heaven. Therefore he who glories, let him glory, not in himself, but in the Lord.

For this reason, when our Lord was born of the Virgin, the message of the angelic voices was: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.

For how could there be peace on earth unless Truth has arisen from the earth, that is, unless Christ, were born of our flesh? And he is our peace who made the two into one: that we might be men of good will, sweetly linked by the bond of unity.

Let us then rejoice in this grace, so that our glorying may bear witness to our good conscience by which we glory, not in ourselves, but in the Lord. That is why Scripture says: He is my glory, the one who lifts up my head. For what greater grace could God have made to dawn on us than to make his only Son become the son of man, so that a son of man might in his turn become the son of God?

Ask if this were merited; ask for its reason, for its justification, and see whether you will find any other answer but sheer grace.

 

Merry Christmas! May the Peace of our Lord fill you with all that you need. 

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Investigate

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What is it that we long for? Why do we wait? Wait for Who as Who is my Lord? When will He come to me in my misery? Where will this take place? How can this be? Investigate… Seek, knock and ask. Invest- I -Gate

When we are attracted to someone, the relationship is build on these three things. By simply seeking the love of the other, we find the love within. When the angel of the Lord appeared to the Shepherds, they were first struck with fear. What where they afraid of? Something out of the ordinary, something astounding had taken place. To hear the words  “Do not be afraid”, removes our cowardice. and replaces it with the strength of our Lord. The shoulders drop their pride, and one is able to carry the cross with our Lord. As the scripture says: When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” – What then were the Shepherds going to do? INVESTIGATE! They had been given the grace to move from cowardice and into bravery. They were given what they needed, what they were lacking. From tending sheep, to tending souls. They did not return to the sheep, they went at once to the town and told what they have seen, done and witnessed. Giving the glory to our Lord.

So what must we do in our faith? In all circumstances? Be not afraid to investigate the faith you profess and when you come to the Truth about Him and you, accept it, allow Him to wash you clean, repent of what you had and grasp what He has given to you. Be not afraid to share it. Invest I Gate – The Good Shepherd.

in·ves·ti·gate
/inˈvestəˌɡāt/
verb
  1. carry out a systematic or formal inquiry to discover and examine the facts of (an incident, allegation, etc.) so as to establish the truth.

From a treatise against the heresy of Noetus by Saint Hippolytus, priest and martyr
(Cap. 9-12: PG 10, 815-819)

The manifestation of the hidden mystery

There is only one God, brethren, and we learn about him only from sacred Scripture. It is therefore our duty to become acquainted with what Scripture proclaims and to investigate its teachings thoroughly. We should believe them in the sense that the Father wills, thinking of the Son in the way the Father wills, and accepting the teaching he wills to give us with regard to the Holy Spirit. Sacred Scripture is God’s gift to us and it should be understood in the way that he intends: we should not do violence to it by interpreting it according to our own preconceived ideas.

God was all alone and nothing existed but himself when he determined to create the world. He thought of it, willed it, spoke the word and so made it. It came into being instantaneously, exactly as he had willed. It is enough then for us to be aware of a single fact: nothing is coeternal with God. Apart from God there was simply nothing else. Yet although he was alone, he was manifold because he lacked neither reason, wisdom, power, nor counsel. All things were in him and he himself was all. At a moment of his own choosing and in a manner determined by himself, God manifested his Word, and through him he made the whole universe.

When the Word was hidden within God himself he was invisible to the created world, but God made him visible. First God gave utterance to his voice, engendering light from light, and then he sent his own mind into the world as its Lord. Visible before to God alone and not to the world, God made him visible so that the world could be saved by seeing him. This mind that entered our world was made known as the Son of God. All things came into being through him; but he alone is begotten by the Father.

The Son gave us the law and the prophets, and he filled the prophets with the Holy Spirit to compel them to speak out. Inspired by the Father’s power, they were to proclaim the Father’s purpose and his will.

So the Word was made manifest, as Saint John declares when, summing up all the sayings of the prophets, he announces that this is the Word through whom the whole universe was made. He says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Through him all things came into being; not one thing was created without him. And further on he adds: The world was made through him, and yet the world did not know him. He entered his own creation, and his own did not receive him.

 

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