Tag Archives: Saints

Pope Francis and the Saints

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A tweet from Pope Francis today, for the Canonization of our new Saints, included the New Orleans Saints logo.

Of course, the New Orleans Saints LOVED this after beating the opposing team.

To which I can’t help but ponder the “Man of God” headband controversy and the children at the local Catholic School, who made “Child of God” headbands in support of our Lord, our faith, along in support of the NFL player.

There are no coincidences, only miracles.

In all of this, I pray and I hope we all learn to place our Lord first, and never stop praying. Our Lord gave us true freedom and we should never be afraid to give Him the glory. Trust in our Lord. Be not afraid to live the faith.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us all.

 

 

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Rock Stars

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As I was sitting with our Lord in Adoration, I found myself praying for all the “Rock Stars” I idolized as a kid. Most of whom are no longer with us now. I’m not sure why this all came up in Adoration as I simply wanted to spend time with our Lord. But the subject of false idols has been heavy on me lately, in regards to how much so many place their trust on and in the worlds “stars”, be in musical, acting, political etc, rather than on how much in need they are also, as we all are, of healing, mercy and our Lord.

False idols are made from the same clay as you & I. Glits & glam is an illusion. Scratch the surface, and you see the same faults, flaws, deep yearnings and misdeeds (sins) as everyone else. What makes the difference between a false idol and a model, is when we choose the fill the void we have, with our Lord and not money, drugs, women, men, sex nor any lesser creature or creation. Every one of us, is a broken pot, seeking to be placed back together, in need of our Creator to do so.

Our Lord is the Author of all creation. The gifts and talents we receive come directly from Him. Should we not use them to give Him glory?

For the past few days, I had been listening to the old music I did once upon a time, digging through live performances and documentary’s. I was struck by the simplicity of those whom I thought were so great, and could see the same struggles that I faced in my lifetime. A deep longing to be loved. Not as the world loves, and rather than turning to our Lord, taking a road seldom ever return. Taking everything but our Lord and trying to recreate that Love, to shove into the soul to fill the void of who I was truly missing.

As I said above, I found myself praying for all the performers who had passed away. Deeply, asking our Lord to have mercy on all of us. As my time was done, and I left, getting into my car and turning on the key, a song had began to play called “Friend of the Devil” by the Grateful Dead. I rolled my eyes as changed the station and drove away thinking about how so many think that guy is a “friend”, who our Lord himself called the Gospel of John 8:44  “You belong to your father the devil and you willingly carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies.”. How we often blame our Lord for everything that goes wrong, for the chaos, turmoil and all else that is not gratifying to what we deem is.

Pondering deeper, what a sad song from such a sad soul. I was never a Dead fan, nor cared very much for Jerry Garcia or the entire dead head fan base ideology.  What went through my mind was simply “ick”. Disgust for hearing that song when I was leaving our Lord in prayer. Disgust for the fact a song like that was playing or was ever written.  I came to the stop sign and what immediately caught my heart was a billboard.

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I sat for a few moments in awe at this “sign” and knew in my heart exactly what our Lord was saying to me. I  began to ask for fogginess for all those whom I did not follow, did not like, did not idolize and did not admire. Also, teaching me never to assume the worst of anyone, but continue to hope in our Lord. All of us are lost at one time or another. May it not be, nor ever be for all eternity.

“Forgiving men, taking pity on them, is a greater work than the creation of the world”. – St. Thomas Aquinas

Prayer for the Poor Souls in Purgatory

English

V. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.
R. And let the perpetual light shine upon them.

And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Latine

V. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine.
R. Et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Fidelium animae, per misericordiam Dei, requiescant in pace. Amen.

 

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The Good News

Good News

You can’t simply delete history by trying to destroy it. All you do by trying is add to its lunacy.

Repent and proclaim the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ, by LIVING it

LIVE the faith. Live in Him

“Do not be afraid to take a chance on peace, to teach peace, to live peace. Peace will be the last word of history” – St. Pope John Paul II

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Complete Detachment From Things

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Complete detachment, with reattachment only to our Lord.

I was watching a viral “feel good” video this morning of a little girl, who had been grieving the loss of her old cat and was given a “surprise” new kitten. Granted, thy typical click bait title was given: WATCH What Happens Little Girls Reaction is Priceless!

It was and she was overcome with many emotions and she cried, and the new kitten gets a hug from her new owner. But… What happens when that kitten grows up and runs the course of its life? Lather, rinse and repeat, in regards to the grief, loss and emotions of replacing that kitten again, which becomes a cat and so on. Its the vicious cycle of material attachments.

As I pondered this more deeply, I couldn’t help but post an update on  my facebook page, not even linking the video or mentioning it in any way which simply said..

status.

Mar 14, 2017 9:06am

Imagine this video… “This little soul lost everything she thought was hers. Her memories, her home, her friends, her children, her livelihood, and her own brothers and sisters, because of her faith in Jesus. Everything she lost God replaced with Jesus Christ. Her reaction is priceless”.

As I pondered this more deeply, I began to think of how we were all called to give up everything and follow Christ. I strolled over to Twitter and Bishop Robert Barron “just happened” to tweet a new Word On Fire Show. I highly suggest listening to the entire podcast, as it completes my post. Praise, glory and honor to our Lord Jesus Christ.

10:30 AM – 14 Mar 2017 

Please see here:

WOF 066: How to Have Hope

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Fear Him

eucharistic-christ

 

What do homosexuals, masons, communists, socialists, and ______________ (fill in the blank) all have in common, that so many fear may have infiltrated the Catholic Church?

Be it that the Church has been “infiltrated” or not, its been infiltrated by SINNERS since our Lord founded it, 2000 years ago. He is the Head. “Be not afraid”. He has been dealing with US SINNERS before He was Conceived. As He deals with us today and the Church remains. Fear only Him.

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9 Days For Life – Day 2

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For today’s reflection, please see here DAY TWO

My plan for today is to go to bed a little earlier and talk to our Lord. For many years, I would be in bed by 8:30 PM, about the time I would send my children to bed, and bring my bible with me. I would crawl into bed, and “talk” to Him. I would contemplate all the souls our Lord had placed in my life, through reading and contemplating the Gospels and other books, that day, and reflect on where I could improve and change for the better to be more pleasing to Him. All the while, giving the praise, glory and honor to our Lord, praying for them all. When we stop and shut down completely, in quiet, it gives our minds and hearts a chance to catch up to what our Lord is doing, now, in our all our lives. Its not to say we can understand it all, but to have the realization that it is in fact Him, doing the work. Which allows our bodies to do what He is doing over time. Working to become one with Him.

My home-life had gotten very busy in the last year and I can see a lot of external noise trying to encroach into my prayer life. While praying the novena this morning, it was beautiful to get that little nudge from our Lord at the link from our Bishops, to stop and spend time with the Spouse of our Souls in a comfortable place. Simply by going to bed early and having a beautiful talk.

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For The Love Of Mary

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To love the Holy Virgin Mary does not equate to worshiping her. You can love someone very deeply, but it does not mean that you worship them. I can not say how many times I have said to our Lord, I love you. Tonight, pondering, and praying in front of Him in the Blessed Sacrament, the words fell from my lips, I worship You.

“Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.” –Saint Maximilian Kolbe

I was drawn into the Wedding at Cana in which our Lords public ministry began, (John 2:11) by the intercession of our Holy Mother Mary, approaching our Lord to inform Him, “They have no wine”. In other words, Please Help! How can we not ask of her, for that same help today for the times that we do not have wine. When there is no cause for celebration in our lives. When we are presented with the injection of chaos in our daily lives that are the cause of personal struggles and storms. When trouble arrives and conflict is eminent. In all our trials. In the dark trenches of misery we face from time to time. When we have no wine. She, as all our Holy Angels and Saints, are here to help.

in·ter·ces·sion
ˌin(t)ərˈseSHən/
noun
the action of intervening on behalf of another

CCC 2647 Prayer of intercession consists in asking on behalf of another. It knows no boundaries and extends to one’s enemies.

A prayer from St. Don Bosco

Most Holy Virgin Mary, Help of Christian,
how sweet it is to come to your feet
imploring your perpetual help.
If earthly mothers cease not to remember their children,
how can you, the most loving of all mothers forget me?
Grant then to me, I implore you,
your perpetual help in all my necessities,
in every sorrow, and especially in all my temptations.
I ask for your unceasing help for all who are now suffering.
Help the weak, cure the sick, convert sinners.
Grant through your intercessions many vocations to the religious life.
Obtain for us, O Mary, Help of Christians,
that having invoked you on earth we may love and eternally thank you in heaven.

Amen

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Bring This Soldier Home

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A well-preserved silver box, thought to be a Roman Catholic reliquary, rested atop the coffin of a man believed to be Capt. Gabriel Archer. The box was an unexpected find at the site of the 1608 Anglican church, suggesting the colonist retained his Roman Catholic faith, perhaps in secret. (Photo Courtesy of Donald E. Hurlbert/Smithsonian Institution )

I am wondering if the Catholic Church can PLEASE get this Soldier of our Lord back home. First class relics are property of the Catholic Church and must be handled with care and love as they are the bodily remains of a human being. I beg our Bishops to please investigate this.

Via Msgr. Florian Kolfhaus – “I guess, M means martyr. The relics don’t have to be brought to Rome, but they should be venerated..”. via Msgr. Florian Kolfhaus during a twitter conversation I was having with him. Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus serves at the Secretariat of State’s Section for the Relation with States at the Holy See (Vatican).

From NPR

“A well-preserved silver box, thought to be a Roman Catholic reliquary, rested atop the coffin of a man believed to be Capt. Gabriel Archer. The box was an unexpected find at the site of the 1608 Anglican church, suggesting the colonist retained his Roman Catholic faith, perhaps in secret.”

Also:

“Kelso says the capsule is “a lead vessel that would hold holy water, oil or blood; and the bone would be that of a saint. Put together, this is a very holy object.” There’s a letter “M” scratched into the surface of the box that holds the capsule. Kelso smiles: “That stands for ‘mystery,’ ” he says. No one knows what the “M” stands for.”

Also:

“But the object itself is clearly a reliquary — a container for holy relics in the Roman Catholic Church. And that is puzzling. The colonists were Anglicans — members of the Church of England. Many Anglicans at the time considered Roman Catholics their spiritual enemies.”

Please bring this Saint home.

1st Class Relic:

a part of the Saint (bone, hair, etc.) and the instruments of Christ’s passion

Canon Law 1190
§1 It is absolutely wrong to sell sacred relics.
§2 Distinguished relics, and others which are held in great veneration by the people, may not validly be in any way alienated nor transferred on a permanent basis, without the permission of the Apostolic See.

ADDING from the article from NPR: “It’s a 10,” she says. “It’s unique; nothing else like it.” That’s because of what’s inside the silver box, she says: a tiny lead capsule and some bone fragments (seen only via a CT scanner, after researchers decided the box was too fragile to open).

Eternal rest grant unto Gabriel Archer, and the others unknown to us, O Lord and let your perpetual light shine upon them. May they and all the holy souls in purgatory, rest in peace. Amen

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Help Not Hinder

Muppet-Hecklers

A suggestion for Catholic Media outlets, yes, Michael Voris & Church Militant TV, who always find a need to point out what is wrong, what needs to be fixed, what looks dirty….

Rather than complain about the dirt on the floor, don’t you think it would be more helpful to help clean it up? Maybe teach others how to clean it up? Rather than teaching souls how to point at it and blame the “cleaning lady” for not doing a good enough job? Oh No! There is trash on the floor! We have to MOVE!!!!!!!

Don’t we all live in the same house?

If you don’t feel your Priest is doing enough to teach how about asking him if you can help? See if he has other projects that may need your expertise in different ways. Its our job as Laity to teach our children and when we refuse to teach them about the faith, we can’t just toss them to the Priests and say, here, its your problem. It bothers me that we are so quick to point out what the Priest is not doing, and refuse to look within our own homes and community to see where WE can help and not hinder..

If you feel the priests are not doing enough to teach souls about birth control and abortion, etc why are you not helping to teach souls rather then sit there and heckle the priests for not doing enough? Its like pointing how filthy your bedroom is and blaming your mom for your mess. Sloth is a killer…

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Divine Mercy Saints

Divine MercyPopes

Blessed Pope John XXIII, Pray for us

Blessed Pope John Paul II, Pray for us

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us all

Amen

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His New Year 2014

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Let Him enter your heart. Let Him take hold of every aspect of your life.

Fill every day He has given you, and gives to you, with Him. In deed, in thought, in prayer in love.

Cast away your past sins and sinfulness. Don’t continue in the past but prepare for the future. A new year is upon us. Be the change in the world for the good of all and to the Glory be Gods. Live the faith, daily. Love God above all else, daily.

The Year of Faith has concluded. May we Christian Family’s, make it our Mission to ensure we do
the Will of God. Stand up and be what our Lord has called you to be, HOLY.

Not just for 2014,but for all time, teach your children to be holy by your example. One need not be a Catholic Priest or Sister to be Holy or to be a Great Saint. We are ALL called to be saints first. Teach them to love God above all else as with this ONE lesson for life, everything falls into place in perfection of Christ Jesus, thus all society reaps the bountiful harvest of the fruits of faith. When you love God above everything, it becomes VERY easy to see, all sin stems from the soul breaking the very first commandment. “You shall have no other gods before me”

As a Catholic Parent, you have ONE job. To teach your children to love God above EVERYTHING else. Sainthood is the ONLY “Profession” we should encourage our children into. Profession of Faith. Parents are so caught up in wanting their children to succeed in the world and overlook how much more important it is to do the Will of God – the faith becomes secondary. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Our Lord then doubled it to Love your neighbor as yourself.

With the first command to love God above all else and teach your children to also, the second command becomes natural and easy to do. If you love God above all else, doing the Will of the Father, becomes your will. The Great Saints placed God first. Not their desire to become “Scholars” as the reason they became GREAT Scholars is because of their Love for God therefore becoming Great Saints first. St. Augustine did not set out on the path to God thinking about how fantastic it was to write. He wrote everything he EXPERIENCED through God. Thus, doing the Will of God, and God giving him the title after his entering into Eternal Life. Leaving a visible path behind for others to our Lord, and thereby to Abba Father. As did all the great Saints.

In 2014, let’s make it clear to the entire world that as Christians, we love God above all else. Placing worldliness and sinful behaviors behind us. And if you fall, He will pick you back up to continue on through His Sacraments. If we do just this one thing, the entire world would never be the same. Don’t allow 2014 to become just another secular year, make it HOLY. Dedicate it to Him who gave His life to you. What is just one year to give Him in return? In one year, living the faith with your entire heart, you will never want to return to who you once were without Him. You won’t be able to remove your eyes from Him ever again.

I for one am looking forward to placing 2013 in the past. I am grateful for all God has done for me and my family. Lord may we all move forward into the new year, with YOU and never without You O Lord. May we apply all the gifts you have given to us, in all aspects of our lives, to give Abba Father all the glory and honor through Jesus Christ and the most gracious Holy Spirit, Three, eternally in the One God of all. Amen

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Mine

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“Mine are the heavens and mine is the earth. Mine are the nations, the just are mine, and mine the sinners. The angels are mine, and the Mother of God, and all things are mine; and God himself is mine and for me, because Christ is mine and all for me. What do you ask, then, and seek, my soul? Yours is all of this, and all is for you. Do not engage yourself in anything less or pay heed to the crumbs that fall from your Father’s table. Go forth and exult in your Glory! Hide yourself in it and rejoice, and you will obtain the supplications of your heart.” – Saint John of the Cross, Sayings of Light and Love, 27

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St Thomas Aquinas

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All that I have written seems like straw compared to what has now been revealed to me. – Saint Thomas Aquinas

Saint Thomas Aquinas never finished his writings. I can relate. If all he has written O Lord is straw, then what I have done is mud. May they mingle and become bricks for You’re great glory O Lord.

For everything we can ever know about God, regarding all the inner workings of His way, the simplest and easiest is through Love. Love is simplicity. If we complicate all that is true with what we feel we need to know then we are taking away room for love. To simply love, is to understand the Divinity.

Does a wife love her Spouse any more upon learning what His business is or how He runs His business? Or does a loving wife just continue to love her Spouse? Our Lord shares everything with His wife. All she has to do is ask. But it should never come between or hinder in any way, the love she has for Him. She knows He is in control and all He does is for the good of all.

To read more about this wonderful Saint, see here

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Prayer For 2013

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Lord help me to focus and work on all that is needed for You in 2013. Help me to live as You have intended me to live. Help me to be as You have created me to be. Help me Lord to be there in times of need for those You have placed in the life you have created for me. May I lead all souls back to You O Lord in my words, actions and way of living. May I always seek You first in all things, especially in my sufferings and trials. May I find joy in You and through You my Beloved Lord, and share this joy with the entire world, so that in its times of sadness and bitterness, it may hold on to your sweet compassion with both hands, and eat only what You give to them. May I continue to win the battles over evil in my soul and in my life, with You and all your Saints and Holy Angels at the ready. May all the holy souls in Purgatory be released from their bondage and accept you’re pardon and mercy my Lord. May the children you have given to me, pull ever closer to You this year and stay at Your side. May we all grow in all the gifts of the most Holy Spirit. May the murder of all you’re children through the heinous act of abortion come to an end. May Your One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and all her members come to know You better and serve only You. May those who have left, return to You. If my death in exile should come this year, I unite it to Your death and give You my Love, all the glory and honor. I hope to spend eternity with You. May I become so lost in You, that all I find, is You, all I see, taste and touch and know, is You. May you have mercy on us all. I ask this through the Immaculate Heart of Mary our Mother, to Your most Sacred Heart O Lord. Amen

Have a blessed and Christ centered New Year.

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Winning The Battle Over Scrupulosity

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“Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, tells him inwardly at the right moment: Do this; shun that. For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God. His dignity lies in observing this law, and by it he will be judged.” For each human person, our conscience — the core of our being — can be a place where we are “alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths” (16). Gaudium et Spes

When the soul is being convicted by the Holy Spirit, and each and every soul on earth will be, it is very helpful to the soul to simply plead guilty and throw ourselves on the Mercy of our Lord. That does not mean we go back to our sinful old selves but we must come to understand that our Lord has given us a grace to pull closer to Him and now is the best time to do so! The close a soul becomes to God in this exile, the more painful it becomes until the gift of understanding has blossomed. We are all guilty. When our guilt becomes overwhelming, we find ourselves much in the same state as St. Augustine of Hippo once was, rolling arround in our own sinful muck and filth, rather than simply seeking an area to climb out of it and clean ourselves off in through the Mercy of our Lord. His mercy is there for the soul to take advantage of and unless you accept it, there is no moving forward. The soul needs to seek a point in life to say, enough is enough and allow our Lord to love us to the fullest without our own “Ideas” of our sinful state standing in His way to do so.

Scrupulosity – in religious terminology, it can be defined as an uneasy and persistent concern that things might be sinful when in fact they are not.

Scrupulosity can also be a deep examination of conscious gone overboard.

For the scrupulous soul, life in exile can be considered personal hell. It is fighting and agonizing. But we need to remember, it is anything but hell. It is however, a purgatory in which the soul CAN and SHOULD fully take advantage of, to grow in humility, hope and love. In exile we are given by the Holy Spirit, consolations which bring joy to the soul, in which we must use in a way that HOPE grows. “Joy is a net of love by which we catch souls.” When given the consolations, if only for a second, they bring the soul closer to our Lord. In most cases, the soul returns to the state of inner hell not by over thinking, but by a trigger to the conscious by the subconscious of a former sin that may have been committed, most times by the actions of others. The soul forgets the words from its last confession “I absolve you of these sins and ALL your sins”. It’s not a “BAD thing” to place ones soul at a higher degree of obedience to God the that of our neighbors. Doing so, is exactly as our Lord did, BUT “Who is like God”? There is a danger that exists where the soul can be tempted to believe it is better than He. When we hold ourselves at a higher standard than our neighbor, we are completely admitting, I am sinful and need to keep myself in check, not by overlooking our neighbors sins, but rather admitting, I too am sinful. The key here is to not believe for a second that the standard to which we hold ourselves to, can ever be higher than that of Mama Mary. She was the only soul created “Full of Grace”. When we see our sinful neighbors in the light of Christ we need to understand first and foremost, I too have committed THAT sin in which they are guilty of. By doing so, we no longer see the speck in our neighbors eye. We just continue to pray for them, and us, with open eyes, not to fall back into the pit that we once were in, where nothing was visible. The soul in the state of scrupulously still suffers a “blindness” in regards to what is Right and Just, but also what is just how God created us as individually different. Overcoming it means to completely be detached from every object, every idea of our own and every ounce of self-righteousness action but understand every object can be used to pull souls closer to God as God is the creator of everything good.

We also have to understand the devil is real and WANTS to keep the soul in this state. Never give him a thing. Take His words to heart: “So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.” Give him nothing! Do not curse the darkness, but laugh at it. Everything belongs to God. All power is Gods and His alone. When the devil tries to make you think he is triggering and in control of all the events of your life, laugh at him, as we KNOW only God is powerful and the keeper of all souls and power over us. When the soul is in this state, it is as if it is being slowly sanded down over time, allowing the evil thoughts to take over. To the soul in this state, everything begins to become hopeless. I offer you this: EVERYTHING that happens to the soul in this life, is due to God’s will. All suffering we endure, endure it for our Lord. Even If your soul is as black as coal, which most of us are, take into account that every diamond, was once carbon, “Behold, I make all things new.” Rev 21:5.  In order for the diamond to be created, much pressure is needed for the state of the carbon to change into the beautiful gem. Does the pressure stop until it is created? No. Because it is not finished becoming what it was intended to be. This is where fortitude comes into play. You KNOW that everything your soul is going through, can not be stopped simply by saying, I quit. Falling back into the sinful state of living is not an option. BUT understanding you are NOT perfect and never will be complete until you are in our Lord arms allows the soul to take baby steps back to our Lord and the mercy He wants to share with you. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

In every scrupulous soul is a warrior for Christ battling the demons that fear Him. Take courage! Give in to our Lords mercy and grow in humility. Do not let your inner pride and vainglory of believing your not good enough ever take an inch of the soul our Lord created to be His love and His alone as you are feeding the demon in which our God commanded to eat dust and dust alone. Courage! Its okay to be fearful, but overcoming the fear and doing Gods will, is what we are called to do. Each and every one of us.

“God sustains every soul and dwells in it substantially, even though it be that of the greatest sinner in the world, and this union is natural. The supernatural union exists when God’s will and the soul’s will are in conformity. Therefore the soul rests transformed in God through love.” – St. John of the Cross

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On Earth As It Is In Heaven

Ever wonder why people are placed in your life that you know had a reason behind it?

In Matthew 6:10 “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Our Lord is teaching us how to pray to God the Father. When I ponder this, the first thought is, what is Heaven and who is there and what are they doing? Many have the false idea that they will be surrounded by their friends and it would be a party atmosphere of drinking and good times, never taking into account, God is there and we are there for Him. Not to party with our friends. Much in the same way life is to be. I’m not trying to say you should not have good times here or that it isn’t good times there, but rather, if God is not part of your daily life here on earth, or in your idea of heaven, and it is all about Him, chances are your in the wrong place here on earth. “”no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.”

Matthew 18:3: and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven

Heaven is home. Who is at home? God of course, but also all the souls who have done His will. In the Church, the title of Saint refers to a person who has been formally canonized or officially recognized by the Catholic Church, and is therefore believed to be in Heaven. Sometimes the word “saint” is used to refer to Christians still sojourning here on earth. We immediately think that when a loved one dies, they definitely go straight to heaven. We can’t say that with 100% certainty. We don’t know what was in their heart. And by being in this way, we are in fact judging that soul and we are called not to do that, even though it is in a good way or for the better. We are still making a judgement that only God can make. We HOPE they are in heaven. This is why we NEVER stop praying for them. Just as the Saints never stop praying. Saints do not have power of their own, but only that granted by God. No, I do not worship the Saints, I honor them. Much in the way anyone might reflect on a relative that has passed away and casually said after a death, for example, “Oh mom, I miss you, I love you, send me some help to get through this loss”, your asking for spiritual help. This is what I do in prayer to the Saints who have gone home to our Lord. In Revelation 5:8 “And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.”. The Saints are interceding for us. They are presenting our petitions, or prayers to God on our behalf. When this takes place, be it God’s will, they are answered, therefor giving the person on earth, the grace to carry out the task asked with God’s approval, because He so willed it. We pray, they pray, God answers. This is why prayer is so important.

First let me comment on God’s Will. What is God’s Will in heaven? What is God’s will on earth? One in the same. To be surrounded by His children back at home, with Him in love for eternity. From the Caticisim of the Catholic Church – 1023 Those who die in God’s grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they “see him as he is,” face to face
Seeing as we are exiles, and not perfect, we can only see Him now, face to face in our neighbors faces and the grace He grants to do His will.

When a prayer is answered by God, many “behind the scenes” events tend to take place. Grace comes in many forms. An action on the part of the person seeking intercession from God, due to an action be it from another person or themselves, places them into a situation needing Gods help. When the person seeks the help of God, a request via prayer is made. Either by the person that caused the condition, or the person who is effected by the condition, or who has witnessed the condition. Sometimes, it can be totally random, meaning, a person who has no idea of the condition taking place to another, but prays to God for help to those in that condition or state of being. Either way, the first prayer is made. The second part of the prayer comes in the form of the Saints hearing the cry’s for help from the “Church Militant”. Knowing that God the Father, can not look upon sin and we are a sinful people, the Saints in Heaven bring the petitions before our Lord, where God’s will is granted, or denied. We here in exile, then can see our prayers being answered in how we live and in the choices we make to either listen to Gods voice, or ignore it. By choosing to love God or love the world. When we see the hungry, do we feed them or do we mock them. When we see the homeless, to we house them or do we ignore them. When our neighbor needs help, do we help them or do we talk about them? When we see everything around us and act on God’s grace to do what is right and just, because we love Him, we are doing His will.

“Lord, let me never be parted from you.”

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

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Holy Thursday

From the Vatican: A must read!

HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI

Saint Peter’s Basilica
Holy Thursday, 5 April 2012

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

At this Holy Mass our thoughts go back to that moment when, through prayer and the laying on of hands, the bishop made us sharers in the priesthood of Jesus Christ, so that we might be “consecrated in truth” (Jn 17:19), as Jesus besought the Father for us in his high-priestly prayer. He himself is the truth. He has consecrated us, that is to say, handed us over to God for ever, so that we can offer men and women a service that comes from God and leads to him. But does our consecration extend to the daily reality of our lives – do we operate as men of God in fellowship with Jesus Christ? This question places the Lord before us and us before him. “Are you resolved to be more united with the Lord Jesus and more closely conformed to him, denying yourselves and confirming those promises about sacred duties towards Christ’s Church which, prompted by love of him, you willingly and joyfully pledged on the day of your priestly ordination?” After this homily, I shall be addressing that question to each of you here and to myself as well. Two things, above all, are asked of us: there is a need for an interior bond, a configuration to Christ, and at the same time there has to be a transcending of ourselves, a renunciation of what is simply our own, of the much-vaunted self-fulfilment. We need, I need, not to claim my life as my own, but to place it at the disposal of another – of Christ. I should be asking not what I stand to gain, but what I can give for him and so for others. Or to put it more specifically, this configuration to Christ, who came not to be served but to serve, who does not take, but rather gives – what form does it take in the often dramatic situation of the Church today? Recently a group of priests from a European country issued a summons to disobedience, and at the same time gave concrete examples of the forms this disobedience might take, even to the point of disregarding definitive decisions of the Church’s Magisterium, such as the question of women’s ordination, for which Blessed Pope John Paul II stated irrevocably that the Church has received no authority from the Lord. Is disobedience a path of renewal for the Church? We would like to believe that the authors of this summons are motivated by concern for the Church, that they are convinced that the slow pace of institutions has to be overcome by drastic measures, in order to open up new paths and to bring the Church up to date. But is disobedience really a way to do this? Do we sense here anything of that configuration to Christ which is the precondition for all true renewal, or do we merely sense a desperate push to do something to change the Church in accordance with one’s own preferences and ideas?

But let us not oversimplify matters. Surely Christ himself corrected human traditions which threatened to stifle the word and the will of God? Indeed he did, so as to rekindle obedience to the true will of God, to his ever enduring word. His concern was for true obedience, as opposed to human caprice. Nor must we forget: he was the Son, possessed of singular authority and responsibility to reveal the authentic will of God, so as to open up the path for God’s word to the world of the nations. And finally: he lived out his task with obedience and humility all the way to the Cross, and so gave credibility to his mission. Not my will, but thine be done: these words reveal to us the Son, in his humility and his divinity, and they show us the true path.

Let us ask again: do not such reflections serve simply to defend inertia, the fossilization of traditions? No. Anyone who considers the history of the post-conciliar era can recognize the process of true renewal, which often took unexpected forms in living movements and made almost tangible the inexhaustible vitality of holy Church, the presence and effectiveness of the Holy Spirit. And if we look at the people from whom these fresh currents of life burst forth and continue to burst forth, then we see that this new fruitfulness requires being filled with the joy of faith, the radicalism of obedience, the dynamic of hope and the power of love.

Dear friends, it is clear that configuration to Christ is the precondition and the basis for all renewal. But perhaps at times the figure of Jesus Christ seems too lofty and too great for us to dare to measure ourselves by him. The Lord knows this. So he has provided “translations” on a scale that is more accessible and closer to us. For this same reason, Saint Paul did not hesitate to say to his communities: Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. For his disciples, he was a “translation” of Christ’s manner of life that they could see and identify with. Ever since Paul’s time, history has furnished a constant flow of other such “translations” of Jesus’ way into historical figures. We priests can call to mind a great throng of holy priests who have gone before us and shown us the way: from Polycarp of Smyrna and Ignatius of Antioch, from the great pastors Ambrose, Augustine and Gregory the Great, through to Ignatius of Loyola, Charles Borromeo, John Mary Vianney and the priest-martyrs of the 20th century, and finally Pope John Paul II, who gave us an example, through his activity and his suffering, of configuration to Christ as “gift and mystery”. The saints show us how renewal works and how we can place ourselves at its service. And they help us realize that God is not concerned so much with great numbers and with outward successes, but achieves his victories under the humble sign of the mustard seed.

Dear friends, I would like briefly to touch on two more key phrases from the renewal of ordination promises, which should cause us to reflect at this time in the Church’s life and in our own lives. Firstly, the reminder that – as Saint Paul put it – we are “stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Cor 4:1) and we are charged with the ministry of teaching, the (munus docendi), which forms a part of this stewardship of God’s mysteries, through which he shows us his face and his heart, in order to give us himself. At the meeting of Cardinals on the occasion of the recent Consistory, several of the pastors of the Church spoke, from experience, of the growing religious illiteracy found in the midst of our sophisticated society. The foundations of faith, which at one time every child knew, are now known less and less. But if we are to live and love our faith, if we are to love God and to hear him aright, we need to know what God has said to us – our minds and hearts must be touched by his word. The Year of Faith, commemorating the opening of the Second Vatican Council fifty years ago, should provide us with an occasion to proclaim the message of faith with new enthusiasm and new joy. We find it of course first and foremost in sacred Scripture, which we can never read and ponder enough. Yet at the same time we all experience the need for help in accurately expounding it in the present day, if it is truly to touch our hearts. This help we find first of all in the words of the teaching Church: the texts of the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church are essential tools which serve as an authentic guide to what the Church believes on the basis of God’s word. And of course this also includes the whole wealth of documents given to us by Pope John Paul II, still far from being fully explored.

All our preaching must measure itself against the saying of Jesus Christ: “My teaching is not mine” (Jn 7:16). We preach not private theories and opinions, but the faith of the Church, whose servants we are. Naturally this should not be taken to mean that I am not completely supportive of this teaching, or solidly anchored in it. In this regard I am always reminded of the words of Saint Augustine: what is so much mine as myself? And what is so little mine as myself? I do not own myself, and I become myself by the very fact that I transcend myself, and thereby become a part of Christ, a part of his body the Church. If we do not preach ourselves, and if we are inwardly so completely one with him who called us to be his ambassadors, that we are shaped by faith and live it, then our preaching will be credible. I do not seek to win people for myself, but I give myself. The Curé of Ars was no scholar, no intellectual, we know that. But his preaching touched people’s hearts because his own heart had been touched.

The last keyword that I should like to consider is “zeal for souls”: animarum zelus. It is an old-fashioned expression, not much used these days. In some circles, the word “soul” is virtually banned because – ostensibly – it expresses a body-soul dualism that wrongly compartmentalizes the human being. Of course the human person is a unity, destined for eternity as body and soul. And yet that cannot mean that we no longer have a soul, a constituent principle guaranteeing our unity in this life and beyond earthly death. And as priests, of course, we are concerned for the whole person, including his or her physical needs – we care for the hungry, the sick, the homeless. And yet we are concerned not only with the body, but also with the needs of the soul: with those who suffer from the violation of their rights or from destroyed love, with those unable to perceive the truth, those who suffer for lack of truth and love. We are concerned with the salvation of men and women in body and soul. And as priests of Jesus Christ we carry out our task with enthusiasm. No one should ever have the impression that we work conscientiously when on duty, but before and after hours we belong only to ourselves. A priest never belongs to himself. People must sense our zeal, through which we bear credible witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us ask the Lord to fill us with joy in his message, so that we may serve his truth and his love with joyful zeal. Amen.

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The Soul As A Football

I can’t help but ponder today, the soul in exile as a football. The kicking team being the world we are born in. The receiving team being Our Lord, quarterback and coach and owner, and most certainly, referee, of course and all the angles and saints, His team. Throughout our entire life, we are presented with choices to do good for the glory of God on the road back home, or bad which take us in the opposite direction and in possession of the opposing team. When we through free will, make decisions, that jeopardize the the soul being recovered by the opposition,  Our Lord in His infinite Wisdom through the Holy Spirit, “Passes” us on to one of His “Saints” to carry us, through their works and life story, so we can see and learn from them, to eventually make it to the “End Zone” to score the touchdown for God.

Sometimes, a “Fleaflicker” is needed from Saint to Saint, when the “Football” is in danger of being recovered by the opposition. In any case, it in time reaches the “End Zone” to score for the receiving team.

I say this, because in my case, Its as if I was originally “Passed” to St. Augustine, the first Saint I could identify with in regards to the stat of my soul in grate danger at the beginning of my conversion,  then to St Thérèse of Lisieux, who taught me how to love,  St Teresa of Avila, who taught me about our Lord’s “Mansions”. Then to St. John of the Cross, who taught me the Dark Night, is a blessing not a punishment and now on to St. Rita of Cascia. Who through her poverty, stayed a wife and mother, finishing her Vocation and then, took on the vocation of Religious Life.

Our Lord, Jesus Christ, always there to keep the “Ball” in the game. The “Ball” must be kept inflated, through the Holy Spirit, prayers and the sacraments. If it loses its air, it is taken out of the game. As the “Ball” is moved up field, there are “Downs”, where the soul is given time to reflect on their life. There are timeouts, in serious moments of the life of the “Ball” where critical issues are evaluated in which way to go with the “Ball”. Until the end of the game. Granted the soul is much more valuable then a “Football”. So to is life real and not a game.

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Replacing “Judas”

This morning, in my typical Saturday routine, I woke up and went to Adoration. Praying for all, and forgiveness for not understanding, and following the path our Lord intended me to follow and came to understand through that little voice, through missed messages we have received from our Lord, also comes love and mercy.

“Now in the Book of Psalms it says: Reduce his encampment to ruin and leave his tent unoccupied. And again: Let someone else take over his office.”

I can only speak for myself and my situation in regards to this topic. Today’s first reading we find the Apostles looking for a replacement for “Judas”. In hearing it, I began to ponder the “Judas” that used to be in me. Judas the traitor, represents to me, the sinner who refuse to ask for forgiveness. He is the personification of the soul before the conversion to Christ Jesus, which takes place in the heart. Who then has replaced him in my soul? “Joseph known as Barsabbas, whose surname was Justus, and Matthias” were the two men to replace Judas. The Apostles could only pick one. Looking at this from my perspective, picking one over the other does not constitute a “Loser” in the choice between the two men. Who can lose anything who is in Christ, but that which Christ has not given to him?

In my case, in the realization of what my true calling was, religious life, verses what it is today through my lack of understanding in my past, wife and mom, I look at the way my life is now taking shape much in the way of this beautiful reading. Let me point out, being a wife & mom is just as beautiful and a blessing as the other. Its just the full “Commitment to Christ” will come when I leave this world, rather then making the sacrifice to do it right now. For now, although our Lord comes first and foremost, I have been given the gift of children and a husband to share in this blessing, who also need my attention. The Holy Spirit called to me so many times, but I didn’t listen. I am listening now. If I would have listened in the past to what our Lord was saying to me, my “Judas” would have been replaced with “Matthias”. As it stands today, my “Judas” has been replaced with “Barsabbas”. Not any less loved, not shown any less mercy or forgiveness, but given a different way to live IN CHRIST.

Barsabbas, is known as St. Joseph Barsabbas. He is still a saint. Just given a different plan of action then Saint Matthias Apostle.

I can’t complain. “Judas” has been replaced.

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Halo Or Sainthood

I don’t want to pick on Toyota, my mom drove a one so I’m not picking on them, but their logo best represents to me a false Halo. Placing our worldly wants, no matter what they might be, above the needs of God for our soul and potential Sainthood.

Halo or Sainthood? A question I ask myself all the time to keep myself in check.

Let me clarify.

For me, to seek a “Halo” is to seek the appreciation and acceptance of others by making my Christian life known to man for superficial praise. OR making myself look worthy to God, for others sake, to be worthy to be called a saint rather then living the life He called me to live because He requires me to live as Christ lived.

In this aspect, when I find myself looking to the future of my life with Him in heaven, I need to constantly place Him first. Rather then chasing after the “carrot” at the end of the stick in my life of faith, which would be the “Halo” to make myself known to others. Then ALLOWING God to make my works known. If God whats you to be a well know Saint of His, He most definitely will let your works be known. I do not have to. The more I try, the more I am placing my wants above our Lords.

Sainthood is doing the work our Lord asks of you, for nothing in return, except the LOVE you have for him. No name recognition can replace the love and joy in the soul, when yours is joined with His. Thus, placing your wants last, and placing the love for God first, which manifests itself in the love you have for every soul on earth.

“We are all called to be Saints”

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

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Grabbing Onto The Branches

Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. – Saint Augustine

I can’t help but ponder how many Saints we have and how much they have played a part in my life. Their works, and how so many of their ways carry great influence. It is imposable for me to pick just one and pinpoint in particular, THAT is the one because Jesus Christ is the One. Which one I can say was the first “Branch” I grabbed on to, without a doubt, Saint Augustine of Hippo.

The works and words of the Saints I would have to compare to branches hanging low enough to be used for leverage, help off the “Jungle” floor. On the jungle floor, the food is picked over and rotting unless you can catch it as it is falling. It will sustain you for a time, but its never enough. You have to forage in the trees. Not to mention, there are a lot of predators on the floor. You have to jump up onto one branch. But if you stay on that one, you never move to where you need to be. You just swing back and forth and eventually run out of food. What I have seen, is all the branches have much to offer. The goal is to keep climbing, eating, drinking what they have to offer, until you reach the “Vine” where all the fruit and branches are visible. Where the “Light” is bright enough to sustain the branches that produce the fruit. Where the supply is abundant.

The second you let go of the “Branches” becoming “Spooked” by the wind, you will fall back to the floor of the jungle.

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Saint Augustine

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St. Cyril of Jerusalem

“Make your fold with the sheep; flee from the wolves: depart not from the Church,”

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, pray for us. Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on us all. Amen

St. Cyril’s teaching about the Blessed Sacrament is of the first importance, for he was speaking freely, untrammelled by the “discipline of the secret”. On the Real Presence he is unambiguous: “Since He Himself has declared and said of the bread: This is My Body, who shall dare to doubt any more? And when He asserts and says: This is My Blood, who shall ever hesitate and say it is not His Blood?” Of the Transformation, he argues, if Christ could change water into wine, can He not change wine into His own Blood? The bread and wine are symbols: “In the type of bread is given thee the Body, in the type of wine the Blood is given thee”; but they do not remain in their original condition, they have been changed, though the senses cannot tell us this: “Do not think it mere bread and wine, for it is the Body and Blood of Christ, according to the Lord’s declaration”. “Having learned this and being assured of it, that appears to be bread is not bread, though perceived by the taste, but the Body of Christ, and what appears to be wine is not wine, though the taste says so, but the Blood of Christ . . . strengthen thy heart, partaking of it as spiritual (food), and rejoice the face of thy soul”. It is difficult not to see the whole doctrine of Transubstantiation in these explicit words. Confirmation is with blessed chrism: “As the bread of the Eucharist after the invocation of the Holy Ghost is not bread, but the Body of Christ, so this holy myrrh is no longer simple, as one might say, after the invocation, but a gift of Christ and capable by the presence of the Holy Ghost of giving His divinity” (ii, 4).

Taken from New Advent

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Saint Patrick’s Day

Apostle sent by God to Ireland,
in your humility you called yourself a sinner,
but you became a most successful missionary
and prompted countless pagans
to follow the Savior.
Many of their descendants in turn
spread the Good News in numerous foreign lands.
Through your powerful intercession with God,
obtain the missionaries we need
to continue the word you began.
New Saint Joseph People’s Prayer Book

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. An Irish Blessing

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