Category Archives: Reflections

Triduum Sacrum

King

This will be the first time, since my conversion back home, that I will miss attending the Easter Triduum.

I can pour out my feelings here about missing it, but it wouldn’t change anything. I can only accept what is. What I can do, is REMEMBER all the times I was able to attend, and be grateful to have been there. To remember how our Lord touched my heart and help me come to realize how much my sins hurt Him, but more so, how much He had forgiven me.  To remember the first time I had ever attended, and cried for all the times I had missed attending because I had so many other things that were, at the time, better to do. How foolish I was. When it became clear to me, everything had come to these three days, every day became a priority, to be with our Lord.

I remember Lord. I remember it all. I also remember the last Holy Mass I was in attendance. I remember how prolific the grace was, to see for myself, the Last Supper.

This day, as I can not be there, I will pray for all our Lord Priests. I will pray for all our Lords Deacons. I will pray for all our Lords Seminarians. I will pray for vocations to the Priesthood.

Lord, through Your most Holy Spirit, inflame the hearts of your friends with Your Divine Love. Touch their hearts as you have touched mine, that they may come to love you deeply above all else, in all souls and never be afraid to love as You have loved us. Give them Your Divine Courage to carry their crosses with You and to never leave You. Give them Your Divine Mercy, that they may be merciful as You have been merciful with us. I ask this through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to Your most Sacred Heart and may the glory be always our Father in heaven, for all time and all eternity.  Amen

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Taken from USCCB:

Gracious and loving God, we thank your for the gift of our priests.
Through them, we experience your presence in the sacraments.

Help our priests to be strong in their vocation.
Set their souls on fire with love for your people.

Grant them the wisdom, understanding, and strength they need to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
Inspire them with the vision of your Kingdom.

Give them the words they need to spread the Gospel.
Allow them to experience joy in their ministry.

Help them to become instruments of your divine grace.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns as our Eternal Priest.

Amen.

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Cardinal Pell’s Freedom

God

“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.” John 15:18-27

The “world” is still in the business of creating “scapegoats” and Cardinal Pell was to be another one, in the many it makes of souls. I am grateful to our Lord for his release. This is Holy Week. For Cardinal Pell’s freedom to come today, is a joyful celebration. You see, our Lord already paid the price for the sins of others, along with our own.

Imagine being saddled with every sin committed, by every soul, in all of time. When one thinks about this, in regards to their own sins, we can come to see the injustice that our Lord already carried to the Cross. He without sin, became sin itself. I can not atone for the sins of my children, my husband, my neighbor nor anyone. I can only atone for my own. What I can do, is offer up my suffering for their conversion and pray that they too, say YES to our Lord, and no to the sins they love more than our Lord.

When anyone else, besides our Lord, is saddled with the sins of his neighbor, justice is not achieved. All that comes about is more blame on the entire group, the entire Church, and the entirety of our faith. The Church can not be held guilty of the sins of its members. As the sins of its members do not speak on behalf of the Church. The true repentance of these sins,  the mercy and grace of our Lord, is what speaks by the individual souls actions, to say YES to our Lord, and no to the thirty pieces of silver they were offered in exchange for forgiveness.

When the “world” scapegoats a person such as Cardinal Pell,  falsely accuses him, falsely convicts him and places him in jail, for the sins of others, it is the epitome of injustice.  As Archbishop Fisher said: “But justice for victims is never served by the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of anyone. I hope and pray that the finality of the legal processes will bring some closure and healing to all affected.”

Who has already taken these horrific sins to the Cross? Our Lord has. Many have freely chosen His forgiveness and repented. Many have not and opted for the “thirty pieces of silver” instead. Also, many can not tell the difference between the two, as they have not grasped the severity of their own sins first. Which is what it takes to see the difference between the two. Many still refuse to forgive as our Lord has forgiven. And many still, feel the need to take on the sins of everyone who refuses to atone for their own sins, therefore taking on the guilt of NON-repenting sinners, and paint the Bride of Christ with darkness. Snap out of it! You already know that forgiveness from our Lord waits patiently for everyone. It takes a turning away from the false love they hold on to, and a turning to the First Love of their souls. I ask souls to ponder deeply, what became of Judas “Ministry.” The disciples chose a replacement for Judas. St. Matthias, literally “gift of Yahweh”. They did not wallow in the sins of Judas, but relished the Glory of our Lord. As do all repentant souls.

What then, becomes of the TRUE victims of such a crime? The JUSTICE of our Lord. “Not as the world gives you. “

Cardinal Pell said, “I hold no ill will towards my accuser”. And thinking of others who may feel “hurt and bitterness”, he said that he does not want his acquittal to add any additional pain. The basis for “long term healing”, he continued, “is truth and the only basis for justice is truth, because justice means truth for all”.

 

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A Little Visit – Holy Week

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Just before dinner this evening, my daughter pointed outside and said we have a visitor Mom! We sure did. Unable to attend Palm Sunday Mass, we talked about the Holy Spirit coming to us.  How our Lord is always with us and we need to focus on the Light in all we face at all times, and not the darkness that seeks to confuse and frighten us. Trusting completely in our Lord. We have already been forgiven for not being able to attend, so we must accept His forgiveness. Least we  sin against the Holy Spirit, not trusting in our Lord’s pardon.

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Solemnity Of The Annunciation

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Thank you Mom for saying yes.

What should appear over Lourdes today, on the Solemnity of the Annunciation, but the sign of our Lord’s covenant with His people.

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Today’s Last Supper

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Our last public Mass was celebrated this morning and I was blessed to attend with two of my daughters. Never until this day, have I ever had a more solid and absolute grasp of the magnitude and sheer beauty of the Last Supper. In every moment of Holy Mass, the presence of our Lord was made known to me. Just when you know you can’t take another step closer to Him, He draws nearer to you.

From the very moment Holy Mass began, and even now, a few hours after, my soul is at peace. Truly in His peace. Knowing this would be the last time, not only I but many other souls would be able to receive Him for a time, every word that was spoken today, drew me into the Mass in a way only our Lord could do. Everything meant something very significant and was a direct reflection and correlated  what I had said early today in a blog post regarding saying goodbye for now, things that I had said to my children before hand, things I had thought about and most of all, that being family and friends who do not know Him yet, and every fear was gone. I do not expect anyone to understand this. Everything is tied together by Him and in Him. Even the music today spoke to my heart. I could never put it into words, because the human mind can not hold nor process what its Creator can.

When I received Him today, I received the most beautiful consolation from Him.  When I received our Lord in the Eucharist this morning, I walked back to the pew, placed my head down with my eyes closed.  While my eyes were closed, there was such a magnificent BRIGHT light which I can’t describe.  There is nothing to compare it to. I began to cry as it became brighter and brighter still, as I just knew it was our Lord.  The Light filled me and after a time, as it diminished, I seen the Host at a distance until the light was gone, as if He was telling me, I am still here, hidden.  My children asked me if I was okay. I couldn’t speak but only shake my head yes and placed my head back down. I told them after mass, what I have written here today.

I took you all with me today in prayer. I received Him for all who could not. I pray He brings you to repentance and to His peace. I pray that you open your heart to Him completely. A very long time ago, “He told me everything I have done.” and with my entire heart, I wanted nothing more than to return to Him. Never take Him for granted. He loves you so much. Love Him back.

I pray you too can and do say, one day: “We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”

 

 

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Just For A Time, Goodbye My Love

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I will be able to receive our Lord today at Holy Mass, for the last time until this pandemic is over, and the faithful are all allowed to return to their First Love.

“And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”.

As I ponder not being able to receive our Lord in the Eucharist, as Masses for the public are canceled, from my point of view, as I am blessed to receive our Lord today for a last time, until this is all over, I can see it as a Military spouse, kissing her husband good bye as he heads off on a short deployment. Its just for a little while.

While I have spent many years separated from my spouse due to many deployments, we still talked. We still loved one another. It was just for a time and he returned. So I still love our Lord in return, remain faithful, and do what I can to stay close to Him, as He is never far from us. Is it He who is leaving? Or is it us? Mass is still being celebrated and Adoration of Him is still available. So like a deployed spouse, we can talk and still see each other, but unable to receive one another. The spiritual battle is real.

Today’s Gospel, is very special to me, as it was our Lord  who spoke to me, an ostracized soul from many places,  in the same way as He did with the woman at the well. I will post more about this later today, but for now, as eleven O’clock Mass approaches, this time is reserved strictly for our Lord. I will receive Him for all who are not able to today, along with bringing you with me in prayer, along with all who have died.

Peace.

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Around Italy In Quarantine

Pope Francis leads Benediction outside Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome

“Yesterday in Italy the military flew over some areas affected by the Coronavirus with the Blessed Sacrament and an image of the Virgin of Fatima!”

“A great priest who never ceases to be present with his parish community. Thanks Father Ricotta”

 

 

Did you know the word “quarantine” was taken from the Italian quaranta giorni, meaning “forty days”? Penance & Lent

ALSO – Pope urges priests to bring Eucharist to sick during Italy coronavirus quarantine

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Little Faith

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This morning, I sat in with second graders about to make their First Holy Communion through our RCIA classes. The children were learning about the Mass, but also covered a little section in their books on how our Lord spoke in parables. The kingdom of heaven is like…

A mustard seed..

As the children listened to the teacher ask about the mustard seed, they answered her questions. I sat watching them pondering these little ones sitting in their chairs, waiting to sprout and grow.  They all were playing with their pencils, looking around, getting distracted as normal children do. Nothing I could see in them regarding our faith was freely being applied right now, because they were like tiny little furrows who were placed in a row, as the seeds of faith were being planted.

As one child held his pencil, I looked at his blank paper in front of him and was able to see how nothing is accomplished if we do not put our faith to work. We can read the bible, we can study scripture, we can even sit in RCIA forever learning but if we do not follow our Lords direction and apply it, its just words to us and not the Word. If we truly believe, we act on that faith. If we do not act on His word, we remain a simple seed which sprouts and quickly dies producing no fruit.

A pencil must be put to paper with effort on our part for its purpose to be revealed. One can say that they want to be an artist, but if they never draw, or sculpture or paint, or even try, simply saying I want to be an artist, needs actions on our part to be one. If I say I want to go to heaven, but I do not do what our Lord has asked of us, to follow Him, and go off in my own way and follow my own feelings and do what ever I want, what shall that get me? False hope comes to mind.

Little faith requires much action on our part. It must be regularly watered and nourished by practicing THE faith or we lose it completely and follow our own directions, creating our own gods who we worship instead, inventing our own faith, creating false hopes in our own powers.  We must attend Mass, we must regularly attend the sacrament of confession, we must pray, we must fast, we must produce good works and keep producing them even in the little things so the weeds of sin and selfishness that are also planted along side by the world in which we live, do not strangle the faith growing within us. Applying this faith not just on Sunday, but every day, in every way in all our actions. In this way we are living the faith in Word and Deed, in our speech and actions.

It was a beautiful morning with these little ones. I can’t wait to see what our Lord teaches me through them next week. Please pray for these children and their family’s, that the faith they are learning, is nurtured by family who live the faith with them, as role models for them, that it may sprout, grow strong and produce good fruit for the next generation.

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First Week Of Lent 2020

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How can I describe this week, but best week ever. Normally we begin Lent on Ash Wednesday, but my family, due to unforeseen unintended consequences of overspending the week before, began our fast the Saturday before Ash Wednesday. We had many bills that all hit the bank at the same time. Mortgage, school for my youngest daughter, auto registration and a few other major things, that just could not be put off. So we started the week before lent, already in the negative.

My husband & I began to take stock of all the items we had in the pantry and freezer, ensuring we had enough food for the week, including what we would need for school lunches. I had not shopped yet so we didn’t have much, but our Lord ensured  us that we had everything we needed, and we were at peace, knowing that no matter what, we would do the best we could this week.

I had a little flour and olive oil, (in all honesty, as I found those two items, I pondered Elijah and the Widow, and I will get to that in a moment)  sugar, eggs , rice, a few bags of vegetables in the freezer along with a couple of pounds of different meat that had been frozen. A jar of peanut butter and some jelly, half a loaf of white bread and five apples.

We had already paid in advance for our youngest daughters hot lunch for a couple of days, and only needed to make sure she had three lunches for the week.  As dinner time arrived on Sunday evening, I took what I had found, prayed and did the best I could, with what I had. It was enough for us all and was good and very  filling.

Monday came and our daughters had lunches for school and I prayed and pondered what I could do for them for dinner. With the little flour and oil I had, I made a pizza crust by hand for the very first time. I had a small jar of yeast in the refrigerator I had bought a few months ago, which was still good to use. I had a half a bag of cheese which I used for stuffed shells the week before, a tiny can of chopped olives and three frozen Italian sausages. Every time I had tried to make bread it had failed miserably. I could never get the temperature right with the water and yeast, and ended up killing the yeast. Not this time. I mixed the warm water and the yeast, got the flour and measured just what I needed, having only two cups of flour left, with a little olive oil left. I added the yeast mixture to the flour, salt and sugar I had measured, placed it in the oven covered, and left it. When I checked on it later, it had doubled in size. It WORKED! I was dancing because I was so happy! Didn’t have a clue how it would taste, but it didn’t matter. I had a crust! Later that day, I assembled it for dinner & placed it in the oven for dinner, thanking our Lord in gratitude that it all came together and worked.

Monday Pizza

It was the BEST pizza we had ever had. My husband and children now want me to make it for them all the time. We will no longer be getting carry out, because it is just that good.

Tuesday came and lunches were provided for and as far as dinner, we had plans to attend Palm Burning and the Mardi Gras at our parish, which the youth group was sponsoring. I needed to bring a dish for my family, and a side dish to share. I made mashed sweet potatoes & meat loaf for us. Again, our Lord providing what we needed, through a little cash we had set aside.

Ash Wednesday and our children had minimal lunches, and we fasted until our Parish held soup night, just before the 7:00 PM Holy Mass. Our Lord providing again, and again.

Thursday came and our children had lunches. My husband’s check would register this night. We had nothing left but the flour, olive oil, left over tomato sauce, a little cheese and a sausage left in the fridge. I made that pizza again for them for dinner and just like the first time, the crust worked and everyone was satisfied. Although that evening we all realized how hungry we were after fasting the day before. We waited a little longer until Friday when I was able to shop again for what we needed.

That entire week, was one of the best weeks we had ever had as a family. No one was upset about our situation. No one missed being able to run to the store for things they wanted. Everyone understood that we were doing the best we could and we all made the most of it and I give the praise, glory and honor to our Lord, Jesus Christ for providing it all. Especially the understand and the peace among us. We all LIVED, trusting in our Lord who provides for all our needs.

Joyful

 

 

 

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Lent 2020

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As we enter into the season of Lent, a good question to ask ones self is what is your attitude about it this year?

What do the thoughts about lent evoke in you?

Are you excited in a joyful way?

Are you anxious?

Are you looking forward to completely handing yourself over to our Lord?

Are you reserved?

Are you wondering how you will get through it again and will there be a change in you, or will it be just like last lent?

A good place to start Lent is with these question. Followed up with: What are you hoping for?

For a long time I would look at Lent as being on the same level as dieting for a special occasion. Man I need to get rid of 10 pounds right now and when ______________ is over, I can go right back to eating all that stuff I love again.  Totally wrong in my attitude.

Lent is not a spiritual yo-yo diet plan for a special day, in which we trudge through it, complaining and suffering until we lose the weight and hope to go back to being exactly as we were when it’s over. It is a change for LIFE.

Lent is an exit ramp from a life of mortal sin and selfish ambition. It is a choice to follow our Lord, to enter into Him, and become obedient once again, not because we have to, but because we love Him in return.

Have you ever heard someone say, or have you yourself, like I have said:  Ugh! I can’t go to the game because I HAVE to go to Church. Or, I can’t go with you to the beach today because my mom is making me to to Mass. Or, Why do I have to do all this stuff, isn’t Jesus everywhere anyway?

Yes, Jesus is everywhere anyway, BUT, making the “choice” to love Him back, and to be obedient to Him, is no different than falling in love with a perspective spouse or hanging out with your best Friend whom you love dearly and share everything with. When we love in return, Church, nor obedience is no longer a “chore” we are forced to do and painful. It is rather a CHOICE we make, to be with the One we love above all else instead. Ones attitude changes from discord to joy, and becomes , I GET to spend time at Mass with our Lord! Rather than I HAVE to go. Therefore, Lent is our way to ENTER into this place to fall in love with Him. When we love in return, obedience to whom we love, comes natural. We change from one who can’t be bothered to listen to Him, to one who intently is listening for Him. Thereby practicing and acting on His direction and not that of the worlds.

I pray for attitudes to change this year, that our hearts of stone, become flesh again, and can accept the gifts our Lord wants to give to us all. That of Himself, completely.

Blessed Lent to all and may we come to know the One who loves us all. The One who came to set us free from our sins, from our lives of misery, and to give us Himself.

 

 

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Querida Amazonia

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Please read it yourself  here: QUERIDA AMAZONIA

I will be reading it over the next few days and post a few thoughts later.

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Eternal Life Begins Now

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We have many good lessons to learn, through this tragic event…

Sunday morning, my youngest daughter came to me in tears, showing me her iPad and asking me if it was true! She really took me by surprise and was yelling at me to tell her. I asked her a few times before looking down, what? What? Is what true?  She proceed to walk to my husband and show him and he picked up the TV remote, changed the channel and yes. It was true. Kobe Bryant was killed that morning in a horrific helicopter crash. My daughter was inconsolable. I held her as she cried, and asked her if she wanted to pray for him and we did together. My daughter is extremely sensitive when news breaks of anyone’s death.

She walked into her room sobbing while my husband, who happens to be an air traffic controller, and myself, sat in shock watching the news unfold. Later that day, hearing Kobe and his daughter attended Holy Mass, brought us all great comfort. We attended the evening Mass that day, and the Priest added Kobe and Gianna, his 13 year old daughter, along with all who had died in that horrific crash, in the prayers of the faithful. My daughter looked at me during that moment and smiled. She was at peace again.

First spiritual lesson to learn. I can not stress the importance of receiving our Lord in the Sacraments before we die. We never know when our Lord is going to take us home. If we become sick, or if we have sick loved ones, who are Catholic, PLEASE, before they slip into a condition to where they can not longer receive our Lord in the Eucharist, call a Priest to administer the Sacraments! There is a great post here on this subject: A Guide to the Last Rites May take this time for granted and wait until the loved one has already died, or is in a vegetative state. Please, the sooner the better that they may take our Lord with them on that final journey.

Getting back to the news of Kobe.  I must admit, I am not a fan of basketball. Not even a fan as I was living in Chicago, when the Bulls took the Championship five times with Michael Jordan and the rest of the crew. What I am a huge fan of, is repenting sinners. Another spiritual lessons to learn in this, is repentance. In learning more about Kobe and his charities, his regular attendance of Holy Mass and even attending daily Mass, my heart leaped knowing he sure looked like a repenting soul to me. At that point in anyone’s life, the moment of repentance, turning back to our Lord, what we ONCE WERE, is no longer who we are at this moment. It’s gone, as we allow our Lord to build us into what He created us to be. Letting go of what we want to be, accepting the good and the bad. What our Lord has already forgiven, can no longer be held against us. The sin is gone, although the residual effect of the sin may remain. Its not easy to find souls in this society we are exiles in, willing to forgive us, as our Lord has. Holding on to His is forgiveness through the sacrament of reconciliation, hearing the words “I absolve you”, is key to moving through all society holds against the repenting soul, and not allowing the world to take away the joy of being forgiven,  getting that second chance in life in Christ to do what is right and just again.  Society often holds on to the bitterness, unable to move past others sins, because it lacks the ability to forgive and heal, although society (the world) could never be burdened with thinking of its own sins first.

It no longer mattered to me what he may have done, but my hope for him and all was what may be. His continuing the journey on into eternal life with our Lord.

Another spiritual lesson to be learned, is not constantly looking at the ugliness of one another, and finding the good in each soul.  Anyone can see the dirt in their neighbor, be the one who finds the gold. We must remember that what we hold against our neighbors, will be held also against us. We are called to forgive as we have been forgiven. We are called to see the good in others, and not continually focus on the bad. A repenting soul, knows their own sins and do not need others to help them remember them, especially when they have already been forgiven.  I’m not saying Kobe is a Saint, although I hope he is, as that is a judgement left to our Lord. What I am saying is he definitely was working on his salvation, while he was still here. That is another key to our salvation. We live the faith now, repent now, so not to regret later. Eternal life begins in this life. CS Lewis said:  ‘Die before you die, there is no chance after.’

I pray for everyone, during this tragedy, to remember the words our Lord spoke, directly after teaching us how to pray:

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If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.

I hope others see how important it is to forgive as we ourselves have been forgiven.

I pray for the souls of all who have lost their lives in this horrific tragedy, and I also hope that more souls, still here, can see the joy of repentance and forgiveness and begin eternal life, now. Lord have mercy on us all.

Prayer for The Eternal Rest

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

 

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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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Perfect Marriage

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“The marriage with Joseph was planned so that Mary’s virginity might remain hidden from the prince of this world. For the external forms of marriage were adopted by the Virgin, almost as if to distract the Evil One, who has always preyed on virgins, ever since he heard the prophet announcing: ‘Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a son’ (Isaiah 7:14). With this marriage, then, the tempter of virginity was deceived. For he knew that the coming of the Lord in the flesh would entail the destruction of his dominion.” – St. Basil of Caesarea (On the Holy Generation of Christ)

As the birth of our Lord is upon us, in the darkness and silence of these next few nights of winter, I have to ponder the beautiful silence of St. Joseph.  A good man does not have to say much, nor does a strong man. His actions speak for him. He listened for our Lord, who was yet to come. He held Him in his arms, when He did arrive and he protected Him until his time was done. He gave his life to Him.

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Forth Week Of Advent

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Now… The time is now and do not delay.  It can not be undone. It can not be stopped as it, already IS.  Before we hear, before we know, before we feel, before we love, He already IS. Now.

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When the angel revealed his message to the Virgin Mary he gave her a sign to win her trust. He told her of the motherhood of an old and barren woman to show that God is able to do all that he wills.

When she hears this Mary sets out for the hill country. She does not disbelieve God’s word; she feels no uncertainty over the message or doubt about the sign. She goes eager in purpose, dutiful in conscience, hastening for joy.

Filled with God, where would she hasten but to the heights? The Holy Spirit does not proceed by slow, laborious efforts. Quickly, too, the blessings of her coming and the Lord’s presence are made clear: as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting the child leapt in her womb, and she was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Notice the contrast and the choice of words. Elizabeth is the first to hear Mary’s voice, but John is the first to be aware of grace. She hears with the ears of the body, but he leaps for joy at the meaning of the mystery. She is aware of Mary’s presence, but he is aware of the Lord’s: a woman aware of a woman’s presence, the forerunner aware of the pledge of our salvation. The women speak of the grace they have received while the children are active in secret, unfolding the mystery of love with the help of their mothers, who prophesy by the spirit of their sons.

The child leaps in the womb; the mother is filled with the Holy Spirit, he fills his mother with the same Spirit. John leaps for joy, and the spirit of Mary rejoices in her turn. When John leaps for joy Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit, but we know that though Mary’s spirit rejoices she does not need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Her son, who is beyond our understanding, is active in his mother in a way beyond our understanding. Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit after conceiving John, while Mary is filled with the Holy Spirit before conceiving the Lord. Elizabeth says: Blessed are you because you have believed.

You also are blessed because you have heard and believed. A soul that believes both conceives and brings forth the Word of God and acknowledges his works.

Let Mary’s soul be in each of you to proclaim the greatness of the Lord. Let her spirit be in each to rejoice in the Lord. Christ has only one mother in the flesh, but we all bring forth Christ in faith. Every soul receives the Word of God if only it keeps chaste, remaining pure and free from sin, its modesty undefiled. The soul that succeeds in this proclaims the greatness of the Lord, just as Mary’s soul magnified the Lord and her spirit rejoiced in God her Savior. In another place we read: Magnify the Lord with me. The Lord is magnified, not because the human voice can add anything to God but because he is magnified within us. Christ is the image of God, and if the soul does what is right and holy, it magnifies that image of God, in whose likeness it was created and, in magnifying the image of God, the soul has a share in its greatness and is exalted.

– Saint Ambrose.

Peace

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A Song

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As this Advent continues, my thoughts are on Easter. I know many will say, lets enjoy the gift of the Holy Child and stay in this moment. But the beauty of this Advent and Christmas for me, is the reality that Our Lord truly is the Gift that keeps giving. Every day is Christmas. Every day we open our eyes, some, open their hearts. He gives us Himself daily. We have the gift of life to do His will. Christmas, this Holy Child given to us for a time of 33 years. Until He was deemed unworthy, like a present that didn’t live up to our expectations, sentenced to death, crucified but rose from the dead, giving us the best gift ever. Victory over death and a choice to follow Him or not.

As I prayed Divine Office this evening, I found this opening hymn to be exactly what I needed. I hope you find it needed as well.

O quickly come, great Judge of all;
For glorious will your advent be,
All shadows from the truth will fall,
O come and heal that we may see!
O quickly come, for doubt and fear
Like clouds dissolve when you are near.

O quickly come, great King of all;
Reign all around us and within;
Let sin no more our souls enthrall,
Let pain and sorrow die with sin:
O quickly come, for you alone
Can make your scattered people one.

O quickly come, true Life of all,
For death is mighty all around;
On ev’ry home its shadows fall,
On ev’ry heart its mark is found:
O quickly come, for grief and pain
Cannot obscure your glorious reign.

O quickly come, sure Light of all,
For gloomy night broods o’er our way;
And weakened souls begin to fall

With weary watching for the day:
O quickly come, for round your throne
No eye is blind, no night is known.

 

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Third Week Of Advent

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Closing out the Second week of Advent, I was able to attend our parish Penance Service. For the first time in many weeks, I was able to make a clean and beautiful confession. I entered into the Sacrament with nothing to lose and everything to gain. Half way through confession, I began to cry like a baby. Many things I had not seen before had come to light in my heart, and it was so wonderful to finally let go of the many false hopes I had had and become nothing again.

I had found many things this week which needed to be addressed within. The first being that little room I had created within for our Lord and I, to rest. It was as if so much of the world and its noise had entered into that solitude, that I had to strain just to hear Him. Our Lord reminded me of something I had not been doing in my daily routine, since I had begun testing for MS. He had shown me what was missing, therefor handing me the key to that room, which seemed to be locked with me on the outside.

Since my injury, I had been missing daily Mass. It became painful to sit in the pew, so I had not gone, but rather began to watch the televised Mass. Over time, distractions came, and something else or nothing was on, as I simply turned the television off.  It became very clear to me this week, that my presence at Daily Mass, is truly essential to the spiritual well being of my soul. Its been almost two years of testing and the first year, seen me locked in my bed, or in a chair. I had begun physical therapy a year into this condition, and regained the use of my hands, built up strength and became able to do most things again, limiting the amount of weight I can carry, but still able to move and do most chores. As I did, I began to slip into old habits where I lost patience with others, and began to do things which bothered my interior life. Mainly seeing things I began doing not being as charitable as I had been, nor as I know I could be. Why was this happening? Well, because I had addressed the body, without addressing the spirit. I was working out and doing things externally without thinking about the spiritual needs of my soul and the presence of our Lord in the Eucharist, which became a daily necessity! I was missing Him.

With this Third Week of Advent, and that light upon the pink candle, may we come to realize the importance of our Lord’s real presence within us, and keep the fire within lit, by Him, with Him and through Him. Least we become like smoldering wicks, cooled in a time when His flame of Love can be found, as He is the One they said would come.

May all come to drink, feast and rely on Him who Is!

“My spirit has become dry because it forgets to feed on You.” – St. John of the Cross

 

 

 

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Christ The King – 2019

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“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 #ChristTheKing

My King, my Lord, my God, my All

 

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One Body

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If you find yourself looking for a particular “camp” inside the Catholic church, be it left, right, trad, liberal, it is only because you are in the “wrong someplace” within yourself and can not stand ALONE with our Lord. It is you and Him. No one else to grab out for. No one else to blame. No one else but yourself and Him. His tent.

ONE Body in Christ. I am Roman Catholic. Some say I am not Catholic enough. Some say I am way too Catholic. The only thing that matters, is our Lord calls me by name to Him and I listen to Him, following Him.

I was lost, now I am found.

“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”

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#SinodoAmazonico – Document finale

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1. “And he who sat on the throne said:“ Look, I make all things new ”And he said:“ Write: these words are faithful and true! ” ( Rev 21.5)

Please read above at the link

Today: Via Vatican News:

Amazon Synod: The Church committed to be an ally with Amazonia

 

Related posts:

Ecology Of Pope Francis

Our Holy Father

 

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St. John Henry Newman “Pivotal Players”

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Bishop Robert Barron knocks it out of the park once again, with his St. John Henry Newman “Pivotal Players” .

It is a a must see, for those who love our new Catholic Saint, and those who are just getting to know him.

Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt, as I understand the subject; difficulty and doubt are incommensurate. – St. John Henry Newman

Chapter 5. Position of my Mind since 1845

 

Via Bishop Barron’s Facebook page: PS. Want more on St. John Henry Newman? Sign up for my new 12-lesson video course on Newman in the Word on Fire Institute by visiting https://wordonfire.org/newman

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Feast of St. Teresa Of Avila

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“I repeat, it is necessary that your foundation consist of more than prayer and contemplation. If you do not strive for the virtues and practice them, you will always be dwarfs. And, please God, it will be only a matter of not growing, for you already know that whoever does not increase decreases. I hold that love, where present, cannot possibly be content with remaining always the same.” – St. Teresa of Jesus —Interior Castle VII:4.9

October 15th is the Solemnity of St. Teresa of Avila. Over at Elijah’s Breeze, you will find the Liturgy of the Hours for the day.

From the USCCB: The Liturgy of the Hours,  also known as the Divine Office or the Work of God (Opus Dei), is the daily prayer of the Church, marking the hours of each day and sanctifying the day with prayer.  The Hours are a meditative dialogue on the mystery of Christ, using scripture and prayer.

Feast of St. Teresa of Avila

Rediscovering Teresa of Avila: A Lay Perspective

Angela Blardony Ureta, A.O.Carm

Today, we commemorate the feast day of one of the most remarkable women to have ever walked the earth, a Spanish contemplative nun who lived and died well over four centuries ago but whose words and deeds continue to impact us, especially those who have chosen to heed the silent call of Carmel.

For the Liturgy of the Hours: 15 October: St. Teresa of Jesus

 

Carm

 

St. Teresa of Jesus, pray for us

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Amazon Synod – Listening Like Mary

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Blessed are those who hear the word of God
and observe it.

A Synod is simply dialogue my friends. It does not mean EVERYTHING will be implemented. When we talk as friends, we discuss everything, no? This is how a relationship is built. That does not mean we do everything. It is how we hear one another and see what our friend needs are.  It means, we talk about everything and with the teaching authority, do what we believe. Live the faith and preach the gospel. That is all. It is sad to see so many jumping to conclusions through the illusions of false notions.

Today’s Gospel:

Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.

If you are anxious, or fearful, add more “Mary” to your life, meaning, pray more and sit at  the feet of our Lord, bringing with you all that frightens you. Empty yourself of all that is not His, and allow Him to fill you with all that is Him. Peace Be not afraid.

Pray without jumping to conclusions and falling for the illusions produced through lack of faith in our Lord. The illusions of “what if” are drawn through placing our faith in ourselves and grow huge in a society that refuses to sit and listen to our Lord, choosing to run around and do things, sharing false notions, rumors, etc, one may think is more important. This causes irrational fear and it takes away from our Lord where our fear should actually be, alone in Him (Fear of the Lord).  Make yourself busy in Him. 

My prayer today is for all to spend more time sitting at the feet of our Lord, instead of the world, hanging on His every word without fretting, and putting them into action, so to be both Mary and Martha, at His promptings. If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.

 

 

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He Shall Drink from the Stream by the Wayside

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Pondering: He shall drink from the stream by the wayside
and therefore he shall lift up his head. 

As I began praying tonight’s Vespers, the moment I started to pray the Psalmody, a bunch of pictures came to my heart.

Ant. 1 The Lord said to my Master: Sit at my right hand, alleluia.

Psalm 110:1-5, 7
The Messiah, king and priest

Christ’s reign will last until all his enemies are made subject to him (1 Corinthians 15:25).

He shall drink from the stream by the wayside
and therefore he shall lift up his head. 

Stopped me for a moment, as our Holy Mother meeting our Lord on the way to Calvary flashed through as light. “He shall drink from the stream by the wayside” – Virgin Mary, Stream of Grace on the side of the road, in which our Lord carried the Cross for us on the wayside.

I than began to see from the OT, when Abraham pleads for Sodom. The conversation moment of “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?” Our Holy Mother, sinless Virgin, still in need of salvation, as all of us sinners.

I then began to move onto Song of Songs – “Who is this that comes forth like the dawn
beautiful as the white moon, pure as the blazing sun,
fearsome as celestial visions?”  Seeing His Mother, the one created to carry Him in her womb, the very Tabernacle of Christ, carried Him again, in a way which can only be called a mystery by the look of Love for us all.

and therefore he shall lift up his head. ” 

The Resurrection of our Lord.

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