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Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord – Spiritual Reflection


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Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord – Spiritual reflection (Taken from News.va English)

From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope: “The Lord has made his salvation known to the whole world”

The loving providence of God determined that in the last days he would aid the world, set on its course to destruction. He decreed that all nations should be saved in Christ. A promise had been made to the holy patriarch Abraham in regard to these nations. He was to have a countless progeny, born not from his body but from the seed of faith. […]

In the persons of the Magi let all people adore the Creator of the universe; let God be known, not in Judea only, but in the whole world. […] As Isaiah prophesied: the people of the Gentiles, who sat in darkness, have seen a great light, and for those who dwelt in the region of the shadow of death a light has dawned. He spoke of them to the Lord: The Gentiles, who do not know you, will invoke you, and the peoples, who knew you not, will take refuge in you. […]

This came to be fulfilled, as we know, from the time when the star beckoned the three wise men out of their distant country and led them to recognize and adore the King of heaven and earth. The obedience of the star calls us to imitate its humble service: to be servants, as best we can, of the grace that invites all men to find Christ.

Dear friends, you must have the same zeal to be of help to one another; then, in the kingdom of God, to which faith and good works are the way, you will shine as children of the light: through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with God the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

Domenico Ghirlandaio. 1485–1488. Adoration of the Magi. Ospedale degli Innocenti, Florence.

Peace.

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My Sister The Doctor


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From a work by Saint Teresa of Avila, virgin
(Opusc. De libro vitae, cap 22, 6-7. 14)

Let us always be mindful of Christ’s love

If Christ Jesus dwells in a man as his friend and noble leader, that man can endure all things, for Christ helps and strengthens us and never abandons us. He is a true friend. And I clearly see that if we expect to please him and receive an abundance of his graces, God desires that these graces must come to us from the hands of Christ, through his most sacred humanity, in which God takes delight.

Many, many times I have perceived this through experience. The Lord has told it to me. I have definitely seen that we must enter by this gate if we wish his Sovereign Majesty to reveal to us great and hidden mysteries. A person should desire no other path, even if he is at the summit of contemplation; on this road he walks safely. All blessings come to us through our Lord. He will teach us, for in beholding his life we find that he is the best example.

What more do we desire from such a good friend at our side? Unlike our friends in the world, he will never abandon us when we are troubled or distressed. Blessed is the one who truly loves him and always keeps him near. Let us consider the glorious Saint Paul: it seems that no other name fell from his lips than that of Jesus, because the name of Jesus was fixed and embedded in his heart. Once I had come to understand this truth, I carefully considered the lives of some of the saints, the great contemplatives, and found that they took no other path: Francis, Anthony of Padua, Bernard, Catherine of Siena. A person must walk along this path in freedom, placing himself in God’s hands. If God should desire to raise us to the position of one who is an intimate and shares his secrets, we ought to accept this gladly.

Whenever we think of Christ we should recall the love that led him to bestow on us so many graces and favors, and also the great love God showed in giving us in Christ a pledge of his love; for love calls for love in return. Let us strive to keep this always before our eyes and to rouse ourselves to love him. For if at some time the Lord should grant us the grace of impressing his love on our hearts, all will become easy for us and we shall accomplish great things quickly and without effort.

Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.

I absolutely love my sister St. Teresa of Ávila, my sister the Doctor. It was through her writings that I came to understand what our Lord is doing to my soul. If you haven’t read her writings, please do. She brings His tenderness to the peace our Lord is seeking to share with us in this faith we have in Him. His compassion is noticeable and ripe for the picking.

 

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Defenceless


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When I was a child, I asked my dad why God created humans the way He did. I admired the animals He created and how they had sharp claws, fur, feathers, scales and all of them seemed to have something that set them apart from one another. Some could run fast and some could climb and others could fly but I could never understand why God created man and women the way He did. We are different then all other creatures of His creation. Being a child, I was a bit upset that I didn’t have big sharp teeth like a lion or wings like a bird. I could never understand why we had “nothing” visible to help us in the world for protection or defence. God created us defenceless. My dad simply said, God gave us intellect and allows us to conquer all other creatures, giving us authority over them. Being a child, it wasn’t a good enough answer. I wanted to know why I didn’t have four legs and a tail, which I am now laughing at. Why do I look like this and why do I think like this?

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

What is intellect? Intellect: The ability to think abstractly or profoundly. When we mix that with “Free Will” and unfortunately the fall from grace in which we received “awareness”, we become less fortunate and even more defenceless. Defenceless in the regard of falling into temptation to do things no longer for the greater glory of God, but rather for our self-preservation and self-serving, self-gratification. Before the fall, God provided everything for us, thus the reason we were created “Defenceless”. There was no need for anything but God. The fall separated us from Him and His “defences”. It’s no wonder our Lord came into the world, as He did. The defenceless child with no need for anything but God to be physically present again with His defenceless creation.

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Answered Prayer


Last week while digging through Christmas boxes in storage in the church, I came across a statue of our Infant Lord in the manger. His poor little right arm was broken off. This particular statue had been replaced by another because of the break. I felt a need to fix it. I told one of the men helping me take the boxes out of storage that I was taking him home to fix him. I couldn’t just let him sit there broken. It was a beautiful statue and I knew somewhere, someone could use him.

I informed the front office that I was taking him home to fix him. The receptionists were so happy that someone had come along to take on the job of restoring his poor little broken arm. One of the fathers came in as we were talking and mentioned that I was going to “Doctor Jesus”. We all laughed and I took baby Jesus home. When I got home, my little daughter Violet was thrilled! I had forgotten she had asked me several times if we could get a baby Jesus statue and keep him in her room. Since it belonged to the Church, I told her we were just going to fix it, and bring him back. She reluctantly understood and I was left with the impression that I was in serious need to find one for our home as soon as I could.

My girls and I grabbed the glue and we sat him on the livingroom floor. Assessing the break and making sure we got everything lined up properly. It was a serious “surgery” for a 6 and 7-year-old to watch and we had it perfectly aligned. The glue was placed and baby Jesus was on the road to recovery. For three days the girls would check to see if he was okay. They would ask me, “Is his arm dry enough now Mommy?” I would say test it. They didn’t want to touch him and voiced it so beautifully. They didn’t want to “hurt” him. Day three came and my Chloe worked up enough courage to try to move the broken arm. “He’s fixed Mama!. She tried to move the broken arm and could not. It was all glued back into place with very little showing it had been broken at all. When I reminded the girls he had to go back, they cried.

I brought baby Jesus back to Church today, reluctantly, as my girls are with family until tomorrow and did not get the chance to say good-by. As I placed him in the Rectory Office, Tony, one of the gentlemen working in the office said to me, “You healed baby Jesus!”. We laughed a bit and I left. On my ride home I was reminded of when my faith was in its infant stage and I didn’t know much about anything. I would often beg our Lord to allow me to help heal His wounds. I would ponder them and cry, begging him to forgive me and all of us for inflicting so much pain on Him. I would day-dream about “Nursing” Him in His anguish. Wondering if it could have been done, but now knowing He did it for ALL of us. He had to be put through such anguish in order that we all could be saved. I was reminded of what Tony had said and yes, in some way, after all these years, our Lord allowed me to heal Him as much as I could have.

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