Category Archives: Reflections

Post Election 2020

Jesus Christ is Lord Plea for Unity and Humility.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever – Hebrews 13:8

Unity in the Body.

Place your faith, hope and love in our Lord, where it all belongs.

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All Hallows’ Eve, All Hallows’ Day and All Souls Day’s

As we enter into this very celebrated weekend, I would like to point out three very important things that take place.

“Na Dušičky” by Jože Uprek
  1. Halloween – All Hallows’ Eve – The most beautiful All Hallows’ Eve I have ever participated in, was a few years ago, in Old Town San Diego. Friends of mine held a Requiem Mass for everyone who had died that year. Not just in the parish in which this Mass was celebrated, but through the entire world. All who were unknown to us, were offered Holy Mass. This took place at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Old Town San Diego. It was in Old Town, San Diego, that Saint Junípero Serra celebrated his First Holy Mass in California on July 2, 1769, near the site of the present Immaculate Conception Church. At the same time we were celebrating Mass, Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos preparations were being made just outside of the Church, in streets outside. At the very moment the moment of Consecration, we rang the church bells, which echoed through the town. When Mass ended, we had a candlelight procession through the streets, singing the hymn Dies Irae, and praying for the dead, as we walked to the Old Adobe Chapel on Conde Street and then to Old Town Cemetery to bless the graves. All the people who were celebrating Day of the Dead early, stopped what they were doing, as we passed them in prayer. This is what Halloween is. All Hallows’ Eve, “a day when Catholics celebrate the triumph of the Church in heaven, and the lives of the saints on earth”. Catholic Answers has a beautiful reflection in regards to the day, “Putting the ‘Hallows’ Back in Halloween

2. All Saints Day – All Hallows’ Day – See how it all goes together? Just as Christmas Eve is celebrated in anticipation of Christmas, so to is All Hallows’ Eve celebrated in anticipation of All Saints Day, or All Hallows’ Day. This is the day we commemorate all the Saints in Heaven, known and unknown, who strove to enter through the narrow gate and win the crown of Victory in Christ. Please read: What’s the Point of All Saints Day?

All Souls Day – Joža Uprka

3. All Souls Day – “The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed” is a day of prayer and remembrance for the souls of those who have died. The Roman Catholic celebration is associated with the doctrine that the souls of the faithful who at death have not been cleansed from the temporal punishment due to venial sins and from attachment to mortal sins cannot immediately attain the beatific vision in heaven, and that they may be helped to do so by prayer and by the sacrifice of the Mass. In other words, when they died, they had not yet attained full sanctification and moral perfection, a requirement for entrance into Heaven. This sanctification is carried out posthumously in Purgatory. In this year of Covid, where so many of us have lost loved ones due to this virus, please see Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary regarding plenary indulgences for the faithful deceased in the current situation of pandemic, 23.10.2020

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen

So you see, this is a very special weekend, in which we place our thought’s and prayers, in the direction of the souls in most need, who’s earthy life has already ended and eternal life has officially begun. It’s a reminder that we too, shall die.

Memento mori is a Latin phrase meaning ‘remember you must die’.  All of us need to remember that our time here in exile, this life, is not long but forever is eternity. How we spend eternity depends on how we have lived here. It is wise to prepare for this moment through repentance and heeding the words of our Lord: “Strive to enter through the narrow gate , for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.” Luke 13:24

Lord convert our hearts.

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An Unjust Law Is No Law At All – UPDATE

 “an unjust law is no law at all” St. Augustine. 

As Catholics, we are ORDERED to treat everyone with dignity, mercy and love. We are not ordered to embrace sin and in no way can anyone change the Dogma of the Church.

An unjust law, is no law at all. If ONE unjust law, is accepted, that would mean ALL unjust laws would have to be embraced and accepted. It’s not an option.

Watch and see that the EDITING of this “movie” in which Pope Francis was “quoted”, was edited to cut out the full quote and the proper context in which Pope Francis had actually spoken on this subject.

No different than ALL the other times our Holy Father was taken out of context and misquoted.

Trust in our Lord, love one another anyway and be at peace.

What did Pope Francis say about civil unions? A CNA Explainer

10/23/2020 UPDATE: Mexican broadcaster: Vatican held back Pope Francis’ words on same-sex civil unions in 2019 interview footage

Father Agustino Torres has a great explanation that he posted on Instagram too, HERE

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Casting Out

Satan Being Cast Out by Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834-1890)

I must share this beautiful reflection from today’s Lectio Divina, through today’s Gospel.

“Jesus overcame the power of evil, Satan, who causes so much fear to people, He dominated him, seized him, conquered him, cast him out, eliminated him, exterminated him, destroyed him and killed him!” By this the Gospel wants to tell us: “It is forbidden to the Christian to fear Satan!” By his Resurrection and by his liberating action, Jesus drives away from us the fear of Satan, He gives freedom to the heart, firmness in our actions and causes hope to emerge in the horizon! We should walk along the path of Jesus savoring the victory over the power of evil!

Be not afraid to do the same. Fear nothing but our Lord. Have the courage that strengthens in Love, to conquer all that is holding you back from loving as you have been called to love.

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ENCYCLICAL: “FRATELLI TUTTI”

Please take the time to read Pope Francis’s new Encyclical to fraternity and social friendship. I pray you read it.

You can find the link by CLICKING HERE

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Answer His Call

After morning prayers this morning, I sat and watched the series, The Chosen. About ten minutes into it, the phone rang. I looked to see who it was, and I did not answer the phone. There was no need to. As I seen the name, I was flooded with Light. There was no need to answer the phone, as I had already answered the “call”. I did not know who was on the other end of the phone, but I do know Him, who called me long ago.

It is said of St. Mary Magdalene, that our Lord had expelled seven demons from her. (see Mk 16:9; Lk 8:2). She is a deeply penitent women of our Lord’s. She had given herself completely to our Lord, in the way of service to the Apostles. Giving up herself, for Him, which is The highest form of gratitude to our Lord. It’s not a simple thank you, but a life of thanksgiving. A life lived full in Love with Him. In choosing to do what is right and just, and doing His will.

I will never forget the day He called me. It is an unforgettable moment, that dictates every action that I take now, still. It was a day that I truly was given hope. It was a day that my soul cried and was answered by the One who created me. It can never be forgotten nor understood in words in which I try to write or say. It can only be understood in the mystery of faith.

Again I say, I did not answer the phone today, but the call long ago and carry the message with me always. The call from our Lord to repent and believe in Him. Today, I ask you too, for the glory of our Lord, repent and believe in the Gospel, before the day that phone rings. To allow yourself to be purged of all that is not Him. Of all that is evil. Of all that tarnishes the soul.

Today is the Feast of Saints  Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, archangels.

 “God is strong”, “God heals”, “Who is like God!”

Repent and believe in the Gospel!

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Consequences Of Life Without God

Fantastic talk by Bishop Robert Barron on what is going on. Listen closely and see if you can see why our education system is failing. Why Hollywood is failing and keeps putting out trash. It IS Marxism. It IS Communism. It is the driving out God and replacing Him with me. This is the driving force of Communism. Fluid is a word heard a lot lately, be it gender fluid etc. When we see fluid as in a body of water, it always needs a form to be identified. What communism does is preach to the individual that YOU are in control of what you would like the form to be. Without thinking about where and Who created the “fluid” to begin with.

Think of Life Giving Water. Jesus Christ offers us the water of life. What form does this life giving water produce, but that of THEE Truth. With THEE Truth, comes law, order, freedom and peace.

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Our Lady of Sorrows

O most holy virgin, mother of our Lord Jesus Christ: by the overwhelming grief you experienced when you witnessed the martyrdom, the crucifixion, and the death of your divine Son, look upon me with eyes of compassion and awaken in my heart a tender commiseration for those sufferings, as well as a sincere detestation of my sins, in order that, being disengaged from all undue affections for the passing joys of this earth, I may long for the eternal Jerusalem, and that henceforth all my thoughts and all my actions may be directed toward this one most desirable object.

Honor, glory, and love to our divine Lord Jesus, and to the holy and immaculate mother of God.
Amen.

St. Bonaventure

SEVEN SORROWS

  1. The prophecy of Simeon. (St. Luke 2:34, 35)
  2. The flight into Egypt. (St. Matthew 2:13, 14)
  3. The loss of the Child Jesus in the temple. (St. Luke 2: 43-45)
  4. The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross.
  5. The Crucifixion.
  6. The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross.
  7. The burial of Jesus.

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Nativity Of Our Blessed Mother

My King Of The Blues Lotus

Yesterday, as I returned from physical therapy, I was greeted by the most beautiful flower. My “King of the Blues” Lotus was in bloom! It had graciously surprised me, as it was not supposed to bloom this late in the season and I did not expect it until next May. I was SO overcome with joy and awe! I could not believe it had bloomed.

From the moment I started working on this little pond, I had pondered, no pun intended, the beauty of the Lotus. I had always wanted them. They had become a favorite flower of mine going all the way back to childhood. Probably because I could not have them. Growing up in the Midwest and Chicago winters, prevented the thought of every having them. Now living in Souther California, and seeing them bloom at my sisters before she remover her pond, sparked the interest in me to grow them here.

When I seen the “King of the Blues” lotus for the first time, I knew it was one I needed to try to grow. I deeply admire blues music and through suffering thought it would be a beautiful addition of joy to my garden.

The day I received this tiny little tuber, it had two little leaves curled up and not even open. I thought of the parable of the mustard seed, and its tininess of what it could become. As I planted it, I pondered the spiritual meaning of the flower. What this most beautiful flower is planted in, is very thick and soggy mud. Like the sludge of the earth. How we too are born in this world of sin and suffering, trying to make our way through it all, from birth to death. The filthy mud and water we make our way through, sometimes overcome by it all. In the midst of chaos, my Lotus blooms. In Christ, we rise above it all.

If you have ever had to walk through thick mud, you may understand what I am referring to. This world cakes us in sinfulness and we, through the grace of our Lord and His sacrament of Baptism (water), must find His way out of it and overcome it all. Well, like the Lotus flower, we do just that when we follow our Lord . We are called to rise above the murky waters and filth of this world to give glory to Him. That which we suffer through, is only but a moment of time and we grow from it.

My little Lotus in my little pond 9/7/2020

Today is the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Yesterdays beautiful bloom made me ponder her more deeply as the Most Beautiful Flower. Today as I looked deeper, I was able to see that I now have TWO beautiful flowers, inspiring me to singing the Hymn: Mary the Dawn

Mary The Dawn

Mary the dawn, Christ the Perfect Day;
Mary the gate, Christ the Heavenly Way!
Mary the root, Christ the Mystic Vine;
Mary the grape, Christ the Sacred Wine!
Mary the wheat sheaf, Christ the living Bread;
Mary the rose tree, Christ the Rose blood-red!
Mary the temple, Christ the temple’s Lord;
Mary the shrine, Christ the God adored!
Mary the beacon, Christ the Haven’s Rest;
Mary the mirror, Christ the mother’s Son.
Both ever blest while endless ages run.
Amen

In the midst of chaos, my Lotus blooms. With a crown of Glory, she is adorned. Mama Mary, pray for us.

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Seventy Times Seven

Continuing with yesterday’s post, we move into today’s Gospel. Always. How many times must I forgive? Always. It’s hard to think of doing this, especially when someone has hurt us, or when someone continues to hurt us, or when we see someone consistently making bad choices which move them to take out their own frustrations on us. BUT, it is necessary, as we know how much our Lord has forgiven us, when we too have been on that same path. As we forgive others, our Heavenly Father has forgiven us.

Matthew 18:21-22: Forgive seventy times seven! Before the words of Jesus on fraternal correction and reconciliation, Peter asks, “How often must I forgive? Seven times?” Seven is a number which indicates perfection and, in the case of Peter’s proposal, seven is synonymous with always. But Jesus goes beyond. He eliminates  whatever possible limitation there may be to pardon: “Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times”. It is as if He would say “Always, Peter! Even seventy seven times! Always!” This is because there is no proportion between God’s love for us and our love for our brother. Here we recall the episode of the Old Testament of Lamech: “Lamech says to his wives, Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; listen to what I say: I killed a man for wounding me, a boy for striking me. Sevenfold vengeance for Cain, but seventy-sevenfold for Lamech” (Gen 4:23-24). The task of the communities is to reverse the process of the spiral of violence. In order to clarify His response to Peter, Jesus tells them the parable of pardon without limits.

Please read more, HERE

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Fraternal Correction And the Power to Forgive

Today’s Gospel beings the discourse of our Lord, in how to properly correct a soul who has failed. Keep in mind, “failure” is not the end, but a moment to address where the soul has gone wrong and rectify it, in love.

The Carmelites have a beautiful reflection on this today, and I MUST share it.

Matthew 18:15-18: Fraternal correction and the power to forgive. These verses give simple norms of how to proceed in case of conflicts in the community. If a brother or a sister should sin, if they had behavior not in accordance to the life of the community, they should not be denounced immediately. First, it is necessary to try to speak with them alone. Then it is necessary to try to know the reasons of the other. If no results are obtained, then it is necessary to take two or three persons of the community to see if it is possible to obtain some result. Only in extreme cases is it necessary to expose the problem to the whole community. If the person refuses to listen to the community, then they should be considered by you as “a sinner or a pagan”, that is, as someone who is not part of the community. Therefore, it is not you who excludes, but it is the person himself/herself who excludes himself/herself. The community gathered together only verifies or ratifies the exclusion. The grace to be able to forgive and to reconcile in the name of God was given to Peter (Mt 16:19), to the Apostles ( Jn 20: 23) and, here in the Discourse on the Community, to the community itself (Mt 18:18). This reveals the importance of the decisions which the community assumes in regard to its members.

Please see the rest of this reflection HERE

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Day Of Mourning #HagiaSophia

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is inviting all Christians and people of goodwill to join in a Day of Mourning on Friday, July 24 for the conversion of the #HagiaSophia in Istanbul back into a mosque after serving for over eighty years as a museum. The museum was a place of encounter and dialogue between people of all faiths and cultures. The Greek Orthodox have asked that every Church toll its bells, every flag be raised to half-mast and that the Akathist Hymn is chanted in the evening. For Catholics unfamiliar with the Akathist Hymn, the recitation of the Rosary is recommended, as both prayers entreat the Mother of God for her intercession.

Please see HERE

How to pray the ROSARY can be found HERE

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Beautiful Liturgy

Something to ponder….

What exactly is NOT beautiful about worshiping our Lord at Mass?

Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan turned a concentration camp into a cathedral, the palm of his hand into an altar, his pocket into a tabernacle and darkness into Light with the grace of our Lord.

See yourself at a Wedding. Is the food not to your liking? Are the Groomsmen not wearing what you would like? Is the music not in the right key for your ear? Is the Wedding not up to your expectations?

What do you suppose the Bride and Groom’s mind is on this day? Is it the wedding or the Marriage? If she messes up her words, it is His that have already held True and it doesn’t negate the validity of the Marriage. It’s happening, everyone is there, its the most beautiful thing in this world.

We are a sorry lot. We often complain about the wedding without taking the Marriage into account. What makes the Liturgy strikingly beautiful, is the reality that our Lord entered into and rose above all that “ugliness” of ours and we can too, because He tells us to follow Him.

“Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” 

It is a blessing just to be there. We should be grateful simply for that.

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Our Lady Of Mount Carmel Feast!

“So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel, and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. And Elijah came near to all the people, and said, ‘How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him’”

Glorify God in all that you do. In all places. At all times. He is with us always. Not just when we remember Him. Not just when we gather together, but always.

Blessed and beautiful feast to my Carmelite brothers and sisters!

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.

Most loving Savior, Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.

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Our Lady Of Mount Carmel Novena – Day 9

Have you ever heard someone say, “If Jesus was here”, or have you said or thought this saying yourself? If we truly believe, we know He is here. He is with us always. It is our own lack of faith that tells us and others, when we say this, that He is not.

In today’s Gospel we hear our Lord’s proclamation:

“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.

Remember when you were a child. You were cared for and all the “worries” you may have today, back in childhood, were nonexistent. You went about life doing what a child would do. You just KNEW you were cared for. Such is the faith we have in our Lord when we know He is with us always.

When our Lord Ascended into Heaven, although He was gone, the Holy Spirit made known the reality of His continued presence. The Apostles did not preach saying “If Jesus was here right now”. No. They preached saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is here, our Lord Jesus Christ, is here STILL right now, repent and believe. As we still this day preach, because He truly is.

Our Lord is not a far away God. It is we who are far away in our knowing Him. We may know of Him, which keeps us distant from Him but He is not far from us at all, as He knows us. We must make the decision, as in all relationships, to know Him better. When we do this, we move closer to Him.

At the Wedding of Cana, our beautiful Mother Mary, intercedes for the Wedding Couple, when she says to our Lord, “They have no wine”. The guests, those who were there to be served, never knew. They continued on celebrating. Who knew the of the intercession? Who SEEN with their own eyes what took place? The servants who carried out the orders by our Lord. So too do we continue to see the work of our Lord, when we carry out the orders of our Lord and to see His hands at work in this world, is cause for joyful celebration that the “world” can not understand.

Please go to today’s Novena HERE

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Our Lady Of Mount Carmel Novena – Day 8

Today’s pondering is a focus on silence. On quiet. On listening and not speaking during prayer.

Do you find yourself aimlessly reciting prayers, without pondering what you are saying, because your mind is clouded with distractions? Be the distractions of what your plans are later, what is troubling you, what you had experienced at some other time or even trying to focus on the words themselves, so not to make a mistake while reciting them?

What one can try is very simple. Stop everything. Keep the focus on what you are doing right now. You are in prayer. Be in prayer. Place 100% into the prayer. Sit and be mindful. Turn off what your distraction is, and “turn on” what you are doing. Slow down what you are saying, so that each word perminates you. Allow the fragrance of the prayer to envelop your entire being. When we bend down to smell a flower, do we bend down without thinking of what we are doing, while thinking of all our troubles? No. We are captivated by the beauty of the flower, while taking in the lovely scent. Thus, we stop to smell the flowers. The same must be done with prayer.

In practicing this always, that same focus takes in the beauty of our Lord. He becomes our focus, while all else, falls away.

Please see today’s Novena HERE

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Our Lady Of Mount Carmel Novena – Day 7

Keeping the Word no matter what. In today’s Gospel, we hear our Lord say: “one’s enemies will be those of his household” . Do you find yourself at odds with those closest to you because you truly practice the faith? You are not alone. The more we pray, the more we adhere to our Lord’s commands and the more we come to believe in our Lord, the more we grow in the faith, and die to the world, the more we become like sandpaper to those around us, who do not believe. Oh, they often say they believe in our Lord, but they often add that “BUT” to their answer when you ask if they do.

All the “buts” they can give us, are very telling. Its generally a fear of wanting to move closer to the cross of our Lord. Moving closer to the cross, seems to souls that they will have more suffering, more struggles, more storms, more heat and who want’s that? The reality is, we have these things anyway, even far away from the cross, but closer to His cross, we find we are able to bare them because we are with our Lord.

How do we not become “sandpaper” to those around us? Through accepting the fact that we are all on this journey. We do not shove a soul nor demand them to believe in our Lord. We allow them to decide for themselves while we are living the faith deeply. Yes, you will be hated because of His name and we know that this is not against us, but the soul who finds fault with our Lord, is reveling the faults of themselves. They will hate you anyway, because they do not accept Him.

What they need, as a little sprout, is more water, more heat, or more sun. Fear keeps them from moving, growing into Him. Why is it, that humans are the only creatures that try not to reach out for what we need most and reach for what we want instead? Our Lord knows what we need. It is always Him.

On to today’s Novena HERE

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Our Lady Of Mount Carmel Novena – Day 6

In my pondering of today’s novena and Gospel, we hear talk of “seeds”. We all start off in this life, each one of us, as as something considered insignificant to the world. Consider the seed, before it sprouts, it is just a seed. The seed changes drastically in its short span of being a seed when planted and becomes something much different.

Have you ever bumped into someone you have not seen for many years, and in speaking with them, all they seem to focus on is how you were back twenty or so years ago, without any care of what has taken place in the past twenty plus years? The spouse you have, the children and grandchildren that are now part of your life? As if the focus is constantly on the husk of the seed that was tossed aside, rather than the family tree that came forth from it.

Our spiritual life, begins the same way. As much as we focus on our temporal needs, food, housing, family, etc, we should spend that same time, focusing on our spiritual needs, so as to grow beautifully into who we were crated to be. Imagine if you will, how many today call for “Separation of Church and State”. Lets call the worldly part of your life, the State, and the spiritual part of your life, the Church. Although there truly is, only one life. How long do you think it would take, for your spiritual life to fall away and turn to dust, like the husk of a seed, if you were to separate the two? Very quickly. When this happens, there is no spiritual growth, and when that Friend (our Lord) from long ago (when you were Baptized) comes to you (moment of death) there is nothing to say, there isn’t any new fruit to give, because you have not grown.

Grant, Lord, that I may listen attentively and remember constantly Your teaching, that I may put it into practice forcefully and courageously, despising riches and avoiding the worries of a worldly life… Grant me Your strength and that I may meditate on Your words putting down deep roots and purifying me of all worldly perils (St. John Chrysostom, A Commentary on the Gospel according to Matthew 44:3-4).

Please go to today’s Novena HERE

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Our Lady Of Mount Carmel Novena – Day 5

Going deeper into the faith, takes commitment to doing what our Lord has commanded of us. What is the greatest commandment? To love. Love not as the world knows, but that of the love that our Lord has shown to us. Fearless love to carry out His will. Courageous love, to be truthful in all thing, in all places and in all circumstances.

In today’s Gospel, we find our Lord telling us: If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of his household!Therefore do not be afraid of them.

Have you ever continued to sin, because you were afraid to speak out against a wrong being committed because you might upset someone? Or due to despair because you think your voice is not loud enough to change the situation? This is a situation in which you can change it by speaking out. You can assert your right to freedom from despair that our Lord has given to you. You can change that situation within you, thus by not allowing it to hold you back. Do not be afraid to be persecuted for the Truth, as our Lord is Truth. The first step to true freedom takes courage to not do the sinful things, that everyone else is doing. The first step to true freedom takes action on our part. We must be honest with ourselves. We must acknowledge we are fallen and need our Lord. Even if it doesn’t seem like much, it is great. It will bring persecution from those who do not believe in our Lord. It will bring suffering to us, but it is not in vain. No more is our suffering self inflicted, but instead, we suffer for the good of others. In this life, when we reflect on this suffering, we can see the good thief and the bad thief crucified with our Lord. We can suffer with our Lord, or suffer without Him.

To continue taking these steps, one needs to reflect constantly on what is right and just in our Lord, and do the good, turning away the bad. This life comes with responsibility. Coming to grips with our sins and changing our behaviors, attacks them head on. It’s not just taking into account what would Jesus do, but what does the Catholic Church believe and teach in this regard? If I find fault with this, why is that, as the Church is the authority. Do my thoughts and action mirror that of the teachings of the Church? Learning why the Church teaches what she does, brings to light what was hidden from our sight due to our own lack of “seeking”. In this way, we begin to get rid of the vices that have entered into each of us, which destroy our spiritual lives, turning us into dead wood on the Vine.

Please go to today’s Novena here

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Our Lady Of Mount Carmel Novena – Day 4

As I woke this morning and walked into our living room, I was greeted by one of our pet rats. She seen me coming and I greeted her with a warm “Good Morning”. She stood on her hind legs looking at me and it was adorable. This little creature of our Lord’s put a smile on my face. I seen her just as that. A creature of our Lord. Lesser no doubt than a human, as she is unable to reason as a human, but she brought me joy just the same. Was my greeting to her received as joy? No. Lesser creatures can not experience joy as we do as true Joy is a gift of our Lord. Joy is the gift that one retains even if it is not given in return. It’s the peace of our Lord, come to rest in the heart.

Have you ever greeted another human with joy, who does not know you, whom you have never met, in this way? Generally a smile is given in return. The gift of Joy when given to others, is no doubt the gift that keeps giving. Be it that it is given in return, or not.

As I contemplate today’s Novena, I can see the joy in the Wise Men, at finding our Lord. That gift of Joy they possessed without knowing at the time, which they tried to give to King Herod, who utterly despised it, returned to them, as they continued to seek our Lord where He was.

Today’s Gospel reading of Matthew 10:16-23, also a correlation to this gift of Joy, states: whoever endures to the end will be saved. This joy, is a finality of knowing our Lord. No matter what takes place, we know that our Lord is King. We know that our Lord sustains us. Our Lord gives us life giving water. We find ourselves swimming in His love. When we know this, all that we do, is for our Lord. One can not see that we are not swimming in this love, and simply we know where we are. Thus, in all that we encounter, we are in prayer. We know that our Lord’s love for us, prevails over all. The gift of joy, is our Lord Himself.

For today’s Novena see HERE

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Our Lady Of Mount Carmel Novena – Day 3

May we take this time we have been given today, to look deeply within our lives, and see where all our own dead parts are. What are dead parts, but that which sin has taken root, behaviors that cause us harm, unhealthy attitudes about others and ourselves, but especially actions that harm not only us, but all those around us.

Today’s Novena focuses on the red rose and “pruning”. I am brought to the Gospel of John.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

To remain in our Lord, is to love Him above all else. To continue daily to carry out His will and His commands. All that we love above our Lord, needs to be pruned or cut away, as it can not produce anything for our Lord. Again we hear in the Gospel of John:

1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.2 He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.

On to today’s reflection:

Day 3 – Novena for Our Lady of Mt Carmel by Fr. Gregory Houck

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Our Lady Of Mount Carmel Novena Day 2

Dionaea muscipula

Today is day two of the novena to our Lady of Mount Carmel. In today’s reflection, we find that there are many flowers in the Garden of Carmel.

I am not one to assume my own flower, as I would rather that our Lord or Lady would designate that for me, and so, yesterday I had a soul contact me via direct message on social media, with an obvious scam. This person demanded that I send an email to their contact person, so I could claim my huge prize winnings. When this is done, the scammer obtains your entire contact list and attempts this scam on more souls.

I reported this person, as it was a scam that targets the deaf and hard of hearing. See here: Deceiving the Deaf

I shared their information with others, with a warning about this scam, so others would not be deceived. As I took it to prayer yesterday, I pondered the Venus Fly Trap. The Venus flytrap is a flowering plant best known for its carnivorous eating habits. It seems to get a bad rap as an aggressive little plant, but actually eats all the pests that danger others and protects the rest of the garden. It doesn’t chase after any of its meals but waits patiently for them to come to it. In reflecting on this little plant, I thought about this in regards to the spiritual life. The fly is an obvious symbol of sin and evil. When we repent, sin still comes to us, but it goes no further if we do not act upon it. Rather, we, like the little fly trap, consume it, stop it from going any further, and keep on doing the will of God.

During this Novena to our Lady of Mount Carmel, I pray we all stop the evil that comes to us daily, cloaked in the allurement of worldly pleasures, seeing them for what they are, hearing the call of our Lord and stop them dead in their tracks, giving the glory to our Lord.

For the entire Day Two reflection and prayer, please click HERE

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Our Lady of Mount Carmel Novena – Day 1

Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

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Meditation After Divine Office

Via Pedro Marrero –

A Meditation after praying the Divine Office:

As Deitrich Bonhoeffer reminds us, when Christ calls us he bids us die, to ourselves and to the world, and still at rarer times, in true martyrdom of the body for the sake of the Faith.

Some Christians will be crucified spiritually, others, as in the middle-east of our days, quite literally upon a Cross of Spiritual Battles or upon the wood of a roughly hewn beam under the watch of our old enemies, certain followers of a man who set us in opposition 1,400 years ago.

The Way, the Way of a Christian is along the Via Dolorosa towards the Cross.

The Gospel isn’t merely a set of books, as meritorious as their spiritual guidance is, but a profound sacrifice of ourselves through the grace gifted to us by the Persons of Love, as expressed through the Paraclete, the Comforter, who resides in an especially intimate way in the hearts of those called forth to the Altar worthily. The Word of God is dynamic, is alive, brings forth existence itself, is Scripture, Christ, His Church and all who follow the will of the Father. The Word of God is Love, and Love is a Person who invites us to His Presence. The Universe itself owes its existence to this effulgence of Love which could not help but call us forth to participate in this Love – And this is why Christ is King. This gift of the virtue of courage in martyrdom to ourselves and the world for love of God and neighbor for the Advancement of the Kingdom of True Love ( Agape ) is the Gospel, and that we can participate in it through the power of the Comforter is the Good News. That we have been overcome by grace and have become chalices overflowing with grace to bring new life into the world against the Cultures of Death and Darkness, which do not reside in the Truth since Truth is the Person of Love in the Most Holy and Blessed Trinity. The gaze of Love between the Father and the Son, eternally.

FROM TODAY’S OFFICE OF READINGS IN THE LITURGY OF THE HOURS:

From a homily by Pope Paul VI-

“Not to preach the Gospel would be my undoing, for Christ himself sent me as his apostle and witness. The more remote, the more difficult the assignment, the more my love of God spurs me on. I am bound to proclaim that Jesus is Christ, the Son of the living God. Because of him we come to know the God we cannot see. He is the firstborn of all creation; in him all things find their being. Man’s teacher and redeemer, he was born for us, died for us, and for us he rose from the dead.

All things, all history converges in Christ. A man of sorrow and hope, he knows us and loves us. As our friend he stays by us throughout our lives; at the end of time he will come to be our judge; but we also know that he will be the complete fulfilment of our lives and our great happiness for all eternity.

I can never cease to speak of Christ for he is our truth and our light; he is the way, the truth and the life. He is our bread, our source of living water who allays our hunger and satisfies our thirst. He is our shepherd, our leader, our ideal, our comforter and our brother.

He is like us but more perfectly human, simple, poor, humble, and yet, while burdened with work, he is more patient. He spoke on our behalf; he worked miracles; and he founded a new kingdom: in it the poor are happy; peace is the foundation of a life in common; where the pure of heart and those who mourn are uplifted and comforted; the hungry find justice; sinners are forgiven; and all discover that they are brothers.

The image I present to you is the image of Jesus Christ. As Christians you share his name; he has already made most of you his own. So once again I repeat his name to you Christians and I proclaim to all men: Jesus Christ is the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega, Lord of the new universe, the great hidden key to human history and the part we play in it. He is the mediator – the bridge, if you will – between heaven and earth. Above all he is the Son of man, more perfect than any man, being also the Son of God, eternal and infinite. He is the son of Mary his mother on earth, more blessed than any woman. She is also our mother in the spiritual communion of the mystical body.

Remember: it is Jesus Christ I preach day in and day out. His name I would see echo and re-echo for all time even to the ends of the earth.”

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Father’s Day

‘The Lord’s Prayer ‘is truly the summary of the whole gospel.’ ‘Since the Lord… after handling over the practice of prayer, said elsewhere, ‘Ask and you will receive, ‘ and since everyone has petitions which are peculiar to his circumstances, the regular and appropriate prayer (the Lord’s Prayer) is said first, as the foundation of further desires.’


Catechism of the Catholic Church; 2761.

“Run through all the words of the holy prayers [in Scripture], and I do not think that you will find anything in them that is not contained and included in the Lord’s Prayer” – St. Augustine

Our Father, Who art in heaven, 
Hallowed be Thy Name. 
Thy Kingdom come. 
Thy Will be done, 
on earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread. 
And forgive us our trespasses, 
as we forgive those who trespass against us. 
And lead us not into temptation, 
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Blessed Father’s Day

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Censoring The Past

The other day, I read a story about how Minnesota schools would be banning books over racial slurs. I was brought back to how many times this “book burning” idea, was pinned on bible pushing conservatives. Remember when they said that Conservative Bible pushers were going to ban everything? Not so today. It seems the pendulum has swung and the reality of who is behind this is clear. It’s communism. Before communism takes over, it sends “peasants” in to do the dirty work of destruction. Then, it comes riding in on the “white horse” looking like the good guy, hiding the reality that it sent the peasants in to do the dirty work in the first place, so to take over.

In speaking with a friend about this, I felt I must share her words:

“Trying to censor and silence the past? It is a very ignorant and failed attempt at time travel by unserious willfully ignorant hackers of history. These literary pieces are key holes into the culture of that era in our history. They’re supposed to make you feel uncomfortable and angry. This country has spent generations transforming itself from this era. It is not where we are now. But we must look back on it to understand the human condition, man’s inhumanity to man, and yes racism. And we must also be able to see the failures in order to fully understand and appreciate our accomplishments.

However, the powers that be inside this Marxist based and driven movement cannot allow us to look into that keyhole for fuller context of where we were and where we are because it diminishes their fake premise and false narrative that we are still in that ear when we are NOT. So, our literature must be censored, banned and even destroyed.

It’s what every fascist And communist does. Destroys history and obliterates full context. Imagine our Bible’s history beginning with the Adam and Eve chapters and then going directly to the News Testament. Jesus Christ and His meaning would seem aimless and unnecessary, right? Adam and Eve were evicted from the Garden and thrust into an existence of hardships and not only their own sins but the massive collateral damage the sins of others inflicts. To go from one ‘garden’ and end up in another ‘garden’ with the Son of God on His knees in tears and pleading with His Father has little to absolutely no context of what and how humanity was brought to that moment in the universal history.

By the way, it is those chapters of the Bible that those who insist that book is the most violent book ever written refer to. Understand the total loss of meaning in the context of the whole journey, bad and good, if chapters of history are removed. Imagine the power that those who would do these sort of censorship moves have over the rest of us and our future generations.

We’re seeing it now with the asinine kowtowing to the neo-fascists in all the kneeling and apologizing for centuries old sins we didn’t commit, and those who did have long since answered for when their own call to judgment arrived. To kneel and set yourself on fire with baseless apologies for something you’ve not done is to aid and abet in somebody else’s bearing false witness, in my opinion.

Imagine an amnesia patient with nobody around who knows him/her to remind him where he had been in life and what the world was like in his life and environment. That would give complete power of suggestion and “re-education” to those directly influencing him now to mold him into the person they believe is best suited for him. The left cannot control us without imposing cultural amnesia on us, and then guilting, intimidating, punishing us for a past we didn’t have a hand in, but they insist we’re responsible for. Yet, they insist of burning that past as some sort of retribution, creating a paradox for the world they are determined the rest of us live in under their thumb. If you destroy things like cultural era books and movies and caricatures, then you have also removed that evidence that it even existed/happened. This is Marxism and communism, enforced by fascism. This is Orwellian.”

More to come soon – This post will be updated. Please see HERE

Update: Can Catholics support ‘Black Lives Matter’?

I ask you to read Black Lives Matter – What We Believe, and then please, read below, ponder how this is not another communist political agenda.

Please read: DIVINI REDEMPTORIS – ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XI
ON ATHEISTIC COMMUNISM

Today –

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I love you. Come to our aid, convert the hearts of souls at odds with You that they may come to love You too.

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Everlasting Joy

Nothing can change what our Lord has already done. It is we who change and realign to Him. His mercy endues forever.

When our thought begin to imagine that we somehow presume to know more than we do, illusions kick in, and torment takes over, where peace once was. This is a trigger point, to keep in reference when we begin to fall back out of union with our Lord. What do I know? Is a question we should ask ourselves often. What I know, is that our Lord has promised to be with us until the end of the age. What I know, is that He doesn’t say what He doesn’t mean. Can I trust this? With my entire heart. This is not a time to rest in presumption of knowing our Lord. It is a time to delve deep into Him, spend time with Him, talk to Him, and learn to trust Him.

No matter what may come, our Lord is with us. He is with us when we freely choose to not follow Him. He is with us when we freely choose to follow Him. When we come face to face with ourselves, when we see we are no better or worse than anyone else, is when we can see the sins of all, right in the mirror as we look at ourselves. What then, shall we do at this moment? We offer to help our neighbor, not by condemning them in their sin, as our sin is no better, rather we accompany them as a friend, through their struggle with it, and try to help them to overcome it, as we have, through Christ. We do not justify the sin by continuing in it, rather, we give glory to our Lord, by acknowledging it, repenting from it, accepting our Lord forgiveness for it, and overcoming it. Never committing it again.

If since our Lord is with us, how can I justify fear of the terrible things that may come when I have ignored His call? I can not. What can be more terrible than the justice of God? Nothing. The wages of sin, is death. What can be more frightening than the justice of God? Nothing. Again, the wages of sin, is death. Notice, our Lord does not say which sins, but sin in general. Have I sinned? I know that I have. I am a sinner. Without the mercy of our Lord, the wages of my sins, have been laid out in front of me. Death.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” – If then I have received this gift from our Lord, what does this mean? I know that this gift did not come without a price. That price was the life of the One who loves with an eternal and everlasting love. The One who, as I said in the start of this post, He doesn’t say what He doesn’t mean.

This coming Sunday for some, today, we celebrate Christ’s Ascension. The Catechism states:

IN BRIEF

665 Christ’s Ascension marks the definitive entrance of Jesus’ humanity into God’s heavenly domain, whence he will come again (cf. Acts 1:11); this humanity in the meantime hides him from the eyes of men (cf. Col 3:3).

666 Jesus Christ, the head of the Church, precedes us into the Father’s glorious kingdom so that we, the members of his Body, may live in the hope of one day being with him for ever.

667 Jesus Christ, having entered the sanctuary of heaven once and for all, intercedes constantly for us as the mediator who assures us of the permanent outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

If we can not see Him, how can we then believe this? One does not need to see Him in the flesh, in order to believe. One must, however, see Him in the heart, through conviction of the Holy Spirit. That is when the fire within rages for Truth. What is Truth? “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” When the fire for Truth is ignited, one can only desire Truth. Truth about ones self. Truth about the world. Truth about sin. Truth about eternal life. In this way, we live Truth. When we freely choose to live Truthfully, there is everlasting joy which no one can ever take away. Which no one can touch. Because He is Truth itself.

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May Crowning

1fb77-may-crowning

There is talk today, of the nation opening back up, on May 1st. May is the month of Mary and just when this virus took hold of us, I was pondering how long this may last. Mama Mary came to my heart in the way of May Crowning. Corona means crown.  I pray this is truly a breakthrough for everyone, to opening the Church again, with the faithful able to receive our Lord again. Queen of Heaven and Earth, pray for us.

O most beautiful flower of Mount Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in my necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me herein and show me here you are my Mother.

St. Joseph, pray for us.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us all

 

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Easter 2020

 

Make this go viral

 

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He IS Risen

tomb11

The tomb is empty. He is not here. Nor should you be..

Red heart

LIVE as He has and does still today.

Blessed Easter to all.

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