Monday, May 31, 2010
Then the glory of the LORD and the cloud cover the Tabernacle. (containing the Ark) and "overshadowed" (episkiazen) them. (Exod 40:34-35)
And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.(Luke 1:35)
And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Ba'ale-judah (the hill country of Judah), to bring up from there the ark of God (2 Samuel 6:2)
Mary arose and went to the hill country of Judah to visit Elizabeth ( Luke 1:39)
And David was afraid of the LORD that day; and he said, "How can the ark of the LORD come to me?" (2 Samuel 6:9)
Elizabeth exclaims: And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?(Luke 1:43)
So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD (2 Samuel 6:15-16)
And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; Elizabeth cried with a loud shout " Blessed are you amoing women, and blesses is the fruit of thy womb." (Luke 1:41-42)
And the ark of the LORD remained in the house of O'bed-e'dom the Gittite three months (2 Samuel 6:11)
Mary remained in the hill country, in Elizabeth's house for three months. (Luke 1:56)
(with gratitude to Dr. Brant Pitre)
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Jesus is Christ, "anointed," because the Spirit is his anointing, and everything that occurs from the Incarnation on derives from this fullness. When Christ is finally glorified, he can in turn send the Spirit from his place with the Father to those who believe in him: he communicates to them his glory, that is, the Holy Spirit who glorifies him. From that time on, this joint mission will be manifested in the children adopted by the Father in the Body of his Son: the mission of the Spirit of adoption is to unite them to Christ and make them live in him. CCC690
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Grace, like nature, normally acts gradually. We cannot, properly speaking, move ahead of grace. But in all that does depend on us we have to prepare the way and co-operate when God grants grace to us.
Souls have to be encouraged to aim very high; they have to be impelled towards Christ’s ideal. Lead them to the highest goals which should not be reduced or made weaker in any way. But remember that sanctity is not primarily worked out with one’s own hands. Grace normally takes its time, and is not inclined to act with violence.
Encourage your holy impatience, but don’t lose your patience.
Furrow - Josemaria Escriva
Thursday, May 27, 2010
If you really love your own country, and I am sure you do, you would not hesitate to enlist as a volunteer to defend it from imminent danger. As I wrote to you before, everyone can be useful in an emergency: men and women; the old, the middle-aged, the young and even adolescents. Only invalids and children are left out.
Every day there is a call, not just for volunteers to enlist — that is very little — but for a general mobilization of souls to defend Christ’s Kingdom. And the King himself, Jesus, has called you expressly by your name. He asks you to fight in God’s battles, and to put at his service the noblest powers of your soul: your heart, your will, your understanding, all your being.
—Listen to me: the flesh, with your clean life and especially with the protection of the Virgin Mary, is no problem. Are you going to be such a coward as to try to get out of being enlisted with the excuse that your heart or will or intellect are weak? Are you going to pretend to claim some grounds for remaining in the ancillary services?
—The Lord wants to make you an instrument for the front line —you are one already— and if you turn your back you deserve only pity, as a traitor.
Josemaria Escriva, Furrow 962
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
For fifty years the saint lived on in the intensity of that love which was more at home in heaven than on earth. Through those fifty years his was an apostolate to renew the religious and ecclesiastical spirit of the Eternal City, a task he brought to a happy conclusion. It is to his credit that the practice of frequent Holy Communion, long neglected in Rome and throughout the Catholic world, was again revived. He became one of Rome's patron saints, even one of the most popular.
Philip Neri loved the young, and they responded by crowding about him. As a confessor he was in great demand; among his penitents was St. Ignatius. To perpetuate his life's work, St. Philip founded the Congregation of the Oratory, a society of secular clergy without religious vows. The purpose of his foundation was to enkindle piety among the faithful by means of social gatherings which afforded not only entertainment but religious instruction as well. Joy and gaiety were so much a part of his normal disposition that Goethe, who esteemed him highly, called him the "humorous saint." It was his happy, blithe spirit that opened for him the hearts of children. "Philip Neri, learned and wise, by sharing the pranks of children himself became a child again" (epitaph).
As a youth Philip Neri often visited the seven principal churches of Rome. He spent entire nights at the catacombs, near the tombs of the martyrs, meditating on heavenly things. The liturgy was the wellspring of his apostolic spirit; it should likewise motivate us to Catholic Action.
— Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.
Patron: Rome; United States Army Special Forces.
Symbols: Rosary; lily; angel holding a book.
Things to Do:
- St. Philip Neri was well known for his sense of humor. To honor him today try to laugh at yourself when something annoying happens, try to make someone else happy by your cheerful disposition.
- St. Philip's favorite feast was Corpus Christi. Make a visit to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up,
knelt down before him, and asked him,
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good?
No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
you shall not defraud;
honor your father and your mother.”
He replied and said to him,
“Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him,
“You are lacking in one thing.
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
At that statement, his face fell,
and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
“How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the Kingdom of God!”
The disciples were amazed at his words.
So Jesus again said to them in reply,
“Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves,
“Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For men it is impossible, but not for God.All things are possible for God.”
Monday, May 24, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
God is present in all created things. His presence can be made known to anyone who mediates on His creation. This morning I heard God's voice in the early morning symphony of birds singing to one another. Its was beautiful as I pondered what they were saying to each other and attempted to decipher the myriad of chirps, whistles, and songs. It was a simple Saturday morning thing yet marvelous to think that God takes care of those beautiful creatures who were serenading me. But God does so much more for us. In man God desires us, desires to be united with us, He goes beyond thinking of us as His creation. This is so important to realize. God is like that girl or boy in adolescence who secretly likes you and you are not aware that in their quiet time they are thinking of you. God does does this on the grandest of scales. He loves each one of his creations, like a mother loves her children. The difference is that as a child we were all once part of our mother and then separated from her at our birth. God seeks to enter into union with us, he wants us to experience a new birth, whereupon He enters us and we become united with Him. This is what all of His creations should strive for, not fame, not wealth, not toys,not sensual pleasures or a great career. All those things are not bad or evil in themselves, as long as they do not deter from getting to know God and moving closer to Him each and every day. When the power of the Holy Spirit enters you, there exists within you a Divine Life, and unlike anything you experience on a human level, it is transforming love. It will give you an utterance, the ability to speak of God unlike anything you could do on your own. It is wisdom and beauty and new life all rolled into one, gushing forth. There is nothing comparable in our mere human experiences. Pure love.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Fr. James Martin, S.J the culture editor for the Jesuit weekly magazine America, has come out in an article entitled Hingham, Same-Sex Marriage and Life Issues criticizing Pope Benedict XVI when he declared Pope Benedict XVI's comments last week in Fatima, Portugal, in which he stated that abortion and same-sex marriage were "some of today's most insidious and dangerous threats" to the common good seemed oddly discordant. The equation of abortion, something that clearly is about a threat to life, with same-sex marriage, which no matter how you look at it, does not mean that anyone is going to die, is bizarre. A good friend of mine, who is gay, recently resigned from a position at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, where he said, with great dismay, that “abortionsamesexmarriage” had become one polysyllabic word among some of his bosses. He further argues "Why has same-sex marriage been equated with abortion? Are they really equivalent "threats" to life? If you’re looking for a life issue with stakes as high as abortion, why not something that actually threatens life? Like war? Or the death penalty? Or the kind of poverty and destitution that lead to death? Why aren't “abortion and war” the most "insidious and dangerous" threats to the common good? Or “war and the death penalty”? Or “war and poverty?” The great danger is that this increasingly popular equation will seem to many as having less to do with moral equivalency and more to do with a simple dislike, or even a hatred, of gays and lesbians." There are a few points that I would like to make regarding Father Martin's poor understanding of human sexuality and its relationship to life. Homosexuality is against the laws of God and the laws of nature. It is never under any circumstances devoid of moral consequences. What Pope Benedict is saying is that the very fabric of the Trinitarian life is the family and when you destroy the family you are attacking the Church and turning your back on God. Father Martin has chosen to side with the pagan, secular society that believes that there are no moral consequences for one's actions. This is equivalent to looking over the Ten Commandments like a drive-thru menu, what would you argue next for? Bestiality? There is a link between abortion and same sex-marriage: they are both morally wrong, they both disrespect what is and what will always be God's plan for humanity from the beginning - the family unit and the continuation of life, they are insidious because as they become more accepted and commonplace within societal norms, man will be destroying his very self. Father Martin, let's rid ourselves of the Mass and the Eucharist and start worshiping "golden calves." I'm sure St. Ignatius is proud of you.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
While he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven. And they returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God. Luke 24:49-53.
I find it interesting that the least known and perhaps the most denied facets of our faith are of those that are so diametrically opposed: the Holy Spirit and Satan. Many Christians have no concept of the power of the Holy Spirit and His presence is totally absent from their lives. The "Giver of Life" as we profess in our creed, was promised to us by Jesus. The passage above is one of the affirming passages that indeed the Apostles were given power, that is Apostolic authority by God. They were instructed to essentially do nothing until they were "clothed with the power from on high." This should indicate to all of us that they true measure of our Christian life is whether our actions are being directed by the Holy Spirit or not. St. Ignatius of Loyola recognized this and in the Spiritual Exercises, it is necessary that one discern by the fruit of one's actions who is the driving force behind them, the Holy Spirit or the Evil One. In his book titled " The Five Pillars of the Spiritual Life" (a book I would highly recommend) Father Robert Spitzer, SJ, writes about the Holy Spirit's favorite tactic - He draws us towards an opportunity...then opens the door into the opportunity...then furthers the opportunity through a sense of peace, excitement, and zeal. The result is greater faith with more opportunities presented. Remember this Power from on High overshadowed Mary to bring the Word Incarnate to us, and it is the Epiclesis, calling upon the Holy Spirit that transforms the the bread and wine into the body and blood of Our Lord Jesus. Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide your actions and to aid you as you seek opportunities to live out your Christian vocation.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins.
Save us from the fires of hell,
lead all souls to heaven
especially thosein most need of thy mercy
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
- And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.
- If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
- Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, (God is patient, God is kind)
- it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. (God rejoices with the truth)
- It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (God bears all things)
- Love never fails." (God never fails)
There is something we all can do, in union with Christ and imitating the Holy Trinity: love somebody, love them despite their faults, despite our wants and needs, despite the color of their skin, despite their social status, despite their intellect, despite all the reasons you have not to. In that love you will become like Christ and you bring Him to another person. There is nothing more perfect and more beautiful than that.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself. The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions.
The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God. (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
Thursday, May 6, 2010
If you lose the supernatural meaning of your life, your charity will be philanthropy; your purity, decency; your mortification, stupidity; your discipline, a whip; and all your works, fruitless.
Monday, May 3, 2010
I will start with James because people often get him confused. The names James is a Hellenized form of the name Jacob, so it is not unusual to see many James at the time of Christ. The first James that we encounter is James the son of Zebedee, brother of John both Galilean fishermen ( see Mark 1:19 and Matthew 4:21). He and his brother John were called "sons of thunder" by Jesus because of their zeal. (Mark 3:17) They were appointed a part of the 12 Apostles who had a special relationship with Jesus. James was in the close circle of a trio of disciples who witness the raising of Jarius's' daughter(Mark 5:37; Luke 8:51), the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1; Mark 9:2), and the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane(Matthew 26:37; Mark 14;32-33). He was the first Apostle to suffer martyrdom- he was beheaded at the command of King Agrippa I of Judea in 44 A.D.(Acts:12:2) He was also known as James the Greater (he was either older or taller) His feast day is July 25th.
The James whose feast day is today May 3rd is James "Brother of the Lord" (Matthew 13:55;Mark 6:3;Galatians 1:19). He was the brother of Joses, Simon, and Judas.(Mark 6:3) Paul writes that James had a personal encounter with the Risen Christ (1Corithinians 15:7) and later became the leader of the early Christian community in Jerusalem. His authority grew after Peter fled Jerusalem after escaping execution at the hands of Herod Agrippa (Acts 12:2) James was also visited by Paul in Jerusalem (Acts 21:18) He was traditional known as the first Bishop of Jerusalem by Clement of Alexandria calls him that as recorded by Eusebius. He is also know as James the Lesser (either younger or shorter) Most scholars consider him the author of the New Testament Epistle of James.
Philip was one of the 12 Apostles (Acts 1:13; John 1: 43-51), he came from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. In John's Gospel Philip is present in several episodes - the feeding of the multitude (John 6:5-7), when some Greeks say they want to meet Jesus(John 12:21-23), at the Last Supper Discourse when Jesus says " Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me Philip."(John 14:8-9) Philip is ranked 5th in three different lists after the brothers Peter and Andrew, James and John. (Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:14-19; Luke 6:13-16)
St. James and St. Philip Pray for us.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
"Contrary to scientific knowledge or other types of certainty, the assent of faith comes from a personal encounter with God. He reveals himself to us, and we respond with the assent of faith. “Through being touched in this way, the will knows that even what is still not ‘clear’ to reason is true” and it assents to faith in God. “When the heart comes into contact with God’s Logos, with the Word who became man, this inmost point of his existence is being touched.” Or, put another way, “just as a person becomes certain of another’s love without being able to subject it to methods of scientific experiment, so in the contact between God and man there is a certainty of a quite different kind from the certainty of objectivizing thought.” He goes on to say:
“in the act of believing the assent comes about …by an act of the will, in connection with which the thought process remains open and still under way.” In other words, although the heart has assented to give itself fully to the truth, because the assent has not come by means of reason, the thought process, the search for understanding, must strive to catch up with the assent of the heart and is therefore open, and, furthermore, spurred on, to search for deeper understanding. Within this search, what Thomas calls a contrary motion (motus de contrario), arises, which can “be the challenge summoning forth a deeper knowledge.”
Contrary to the shallow modern thought that fails to investigate what it believes and rejects any challenges to it; Catholic faith is a process whereby theologians are constantly asking why do we believe what we do. Catholics and Christians who "buy into" secular thinking, stop thinking and that is very dangerous.