Archive for “2014”

July 11, 2014 – Lectio Divina

Friday, July 11 ~ Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time

Saint Benedict of Nursia, Abbott

Holy Gospel: Matthew 10:16-23

Jesus said to his Apostles: “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to another. Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”

Meditation

What does Jesus mean when he says his disciples must be sheep in the midst of wolves? The prophet Isaiah foretold a time when wolves and lambs will dwell in peace (Isaiah 11:6 and 65:25). This certainly refers to the second coming of Christ when all will be united under the Lordship of Jesus after he has put down his enemies and established the reign of God over the heavens and the earth. In the meantime, the disciples must expect opposition and persecution from those who oppose the gospel. Jesus never hesitated to tell his disciples what they might expect if they followed him. Here Jesus says to his disciples: This is my task for you at its grimmest and worst; do you accept it? It is truly a privilege to follow in the footsteps of the Master, who laid down his life for each us. Are you willing to accept hardship and suffering in following after the Lord?

Prayer

O God, who made the Abbot Saint Benedict an outstanding master in the school of divine service, grant, we pray, that, putting nothing before love of you, we may hasten with a loving heart in the way of your commands. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Contemplation

In light of today’s gospel we might ask ourselves about how we conduct ourselves when we feel pressured – the pressure of being sheep in the midst of wolves.  Do we instinctively remain with Christ, our Good Shepherd, know that he guides us and protects us no matter what situation we might be in?  Or do we succumb to the ways of the world, and in doing so choose to turn away from the way of Christ?  Nowhere in sacred scripture does Jesus say that following Him will be easy – that a life of a Christian, the life of a disciple of Christ will be easy.  And by succumbing to the ways of the world, what does the world offer us?  Nothing of value, nothing eternal – only fleeting so-called pleasures, fame or fortune.  But what does a life in Christ offer us?  True joy, true peace, true happiness, and eternal life with him to those who are faithful, no matter the societal pressures to conform to the ways of the world.

About Saint Benedict

Born in Nursia, Italy, he was educated in Rome, was repelled by the vices of the city and in about 500 fled to Enfide, thirty miles away. He decided to live the life of a hermit and settled at mountainous Subiaco, where he lived in a cave for three years, fed by a monk named Romanus. Despite Benedict’s desire for solitude, his holiness and austerities became known and he was asked to be their abbot by a community of monks at Vicovaro. He accepted, but when the monks resisted his strict rule and tried to poison him, he returned to Subiaco and soon attracted great numbers of disciples. He organized them into twelve monasteries under individual priors he appointed, made manual work part of the program, and soon Subiaco became a center of spirituality and learning. He left suddenly, reportedly because of the efforts of a neighboring priest, Florentius, to undermine his work, and in about 525 settled at Monte Cassino. He destroyed a pagan temple to Apollo on its crest, brought the people of the neighboring area back to Christianity, and in about 530 began to build the monastery that was to be the birthplace of Western monasticism. Soon disciples again flocked to him as his reputation for holiness, wisdom, and miracles spread far and wide. He organized the monks into a single monastic community and wrote his famous rule prescribing common sense, a life of moderate asceticism, prayer, study, and work, and community life under one superior. It stressed obedience, stability, zeal, and had the Divine Office as the center of monastic life; it was to affect spiritual and monastic life in the West for centuries to come.

While ruling his monks (most of whom, including Benedict, were not ordained), he counseled rulers and Popes, ministered to the poor and destitute about him, and tried to repair the ravages of the Lombard Totila’s invasion. He died at Monte Cassino on March 21.

 

July 10, 2014 – Lectio Divina

Thursday, July 10 ~ Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time

Holy Gospel: Matthew 10:7-15

Jesus said to his Apostles: “As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick. The laborer deserves his keep. Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave. As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.”

Meditation

Jesus said to his disciples: “Freely you have received, freely you shall give.” What they have received from Jesus they must now pass on to others without expecting a favor in return, whether it be in form of a gift or payment. They must show by their attitude that their first interest is in serving God, not receiving material gain. They must serve without guile, full of charity and peace, and simplicity. They must give their full attention to the proclamation of God’s kingdom and not be diverted by other lesser things. They must travel light – only take what was essential and leave behind whatever would distract them – in order to concentrate on the task of speaking the word of the God. They must do their work, not for what they can get out of it, but for what they can give freely to others, without expecting special privileges or reward.  “Poverty of spirit” frees us from greed and preoccupation with possessions and makes ample room for God’s provision.  The Lord wants his disciples to be dependent on him and not on themselves.

Prayer

O God, who in the abasement of your Son have raised up a fallen world, fill your faithful with holy joy, for on those you have rescued from slavery to sin you bestow eternal gladness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Contemplation

There is a double truth when Jesus says: “the laborer deserves his keep.” And the double truth is this. The worker of God must not be overly-concerned with material things, but the people of God must never fail in their duty to give the worker of God what he or she needs to sustain themselves in the Lord’s service. Do you pray for the work of the gospel and do you support it with your material and financial resources? Jesus ends his instructions with a warning: If people reject God’s invitation and refuse his word, then they bring judgment and condemnation on themselves. When God gives us his word there comes with it the great responsibility to respond.  Indifference will not do. We are either for or against God in how we respond to his word. God gives us his word that we may have life – abundant life – in him.  He wills to work in and through each of us for his glory. God shares his word with us and he commissions us to speak it boldly and simply to others. Do you witness the truth and joy of the gospel by word and example to those around you?

July 9, 2014 – Lectio Divina

Wednesday, July 9 ~ Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions, Martyrs

Holy Gospel: Matthew 10:1-7

Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness. The names of the Twelve Apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus. Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus, “Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”

Meditation

Jesus commissioned his Apostles to carry on the works which he did – to speak God’s word and to bring his healing power to the weary and oppressed. In the choice of the twelve Apostles we see a characteristic feature of God’s work: Jesus chose very ordinary people. They were non-professionals, had no wealth or position. They were chosen from the common people who did ordinary things, had no special education, and no social advantages. Jesus wanted ordinary people who could take an assignment and do it extraordinarily well. He chose these men, not for what they were, but for what they would be capable of becoming under his direction and power. When the Lord calls us to serve, we must not think we have nothing to offer. The Lord takes what ordinary people, like us, can offer and uses it for greatness in his kingdom. DO you allow your God-given gifts, abilities and talents to be used by God for the building up of his kingdom here on earth?

Prayer

O God, who in your wonderful providence have strengthened your Church through the confession of the Martyrs Saint Augustine Zhao and companions, grant that your people, faithful to the mission entrusted to it, may enjoy ever greater freedom and witness to the truth before the world. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Contemplation

We often forget that the core of the gospel message is quite simple: the kingdom (or reign) of God is imminent! What is the kingdom of God? It is that society of men and women who submit to God and who honor him as their King and Lord. In the Lord’s Prayer we pray for God to reign in our lives and in our world: May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus’ preaching of God’s kingdom was accompanied by signs and wonders. People were healed not only spiritually, but physically as well. Jesus’ words are just as relevant today, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. We cannot buy heaven; but those who know the love and mercy of Jesus already possess heaven in their hearts! Do you believe in the power of God’s kingdom?

About Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions

Christianity arrived in China by way of Syria in the 600s. Depending on China’s relations with the outside world, Christianity over the centuries was free to grow or was forced to operate secretly. The 120 martyrs in this group died between 1648 and 1930. Most of them (eighty-seven) were born in China and were children, parents, catechists or laborers, ranging from nine years of age to seventy-two. This group includes four Chinese diocesan priests. The thirty-three foreign-born martyrs were mostly priests or women religious, especially from the Order of Preachers, the Paris Foreign Mission Society, the Friars Minor, Jesuits, Salesians and Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. Augustine Zhao Rong was a Chinese soldier who accompanied Bishop John Gabriel Taurin Dufresse (Paris Foreign Mission Society) to his martyrdom in Beijing. Augustine was baptized and not long after was ordained as a diocesan priest. He was martyred in 1815. Beatified in groups at various times, these 120 martyrs were canonized in Rome on October 1, 2000.

July 8, 2014 – Lectio Divina

Tuesday, July 8 ~ Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Holy Gospel: Matthew 9:32-38

A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus, and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke. The crowds were amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.” Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”

Meditation

Always interesting whenJesus’ miracles could cause both scorn and wonder at the same time, especially from those who professed their faith in God. And yet, don’t we sometimes encounter the same reaction today, even in ourselves! The crowds looked with awe at the wonderful works which Jesus did, but the religious leaders attributed this same work to the power of the devil. They disbelieved because they refused to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. Their idea of religion was too narrow and closed to accept Jesus as the Anointed One sent by the Father “to set the captives free” (Isaiah 61:1; Matthew 11:5). They were too set in their own ways to change and they were too proud to submit to Jesus. They held too rigidly to the observances of their ritual laws while neglecting the more important duties of love of God and love of neighbor. The people, as a result, were spiritually adrift and hungry for God. Jesus met their need and gave them new faith and hope in God’s saving help.

Prayer

O God, who in the abasement of your Son have raised up a fallen world, fill your faithful with holy joy, for on those you have rescued from slavery to sin you bestow eternal gladness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Contemplation

Whenever the gospel is read in the quiet of one’s home or proclaimed, God’s kingdom is made manifest and new life and freedom is given to those who respond with faith. The Lord grants freedom to all who turn to him with trust. Do you bring your troubles to the Lord with expectant faith that he can set you free? The Lord invites us to pray that the work of  the gospel may spread throughout the world, so that all may find true joy and freedom in Jesus Christ.

July 7, 2014 – Lectio Divina

Monday, July 7 ~ Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

 Holy Gospel: Matthew 9:18-26

While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward, knelt down before him, and said, “My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples. A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the tassel on his cloak. She said to herself, “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.” Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.” And from that hour the woman was cured. When Jesus arrived at the official’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion, he said, “Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they ridiculed him. When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand, and the little girl arose. And news of this spread throughout all that land.

Meditation

Jesus gave hope where there seemed to be no human cause for it because his hope was directed to God. He spoke words of hope to the woman (Take heart, daughter!) to ignite the spark of faith in her (your faith has made you well!). And he also gave divine hope to a father who had just lost a beloved child. It took considerable courage and risk for the ruler of a synagogue to openly go to Jesus and to invite the scorn of his neighbors and kin.  Even the hired mourners laughed at him in scorn. Their grief was devoid of any hope. Nonetheless, Jesus took the girl by the hand and delivered her from the grasp of death. In both instances we see Jesus’ personal concern for the needs of others and his readiness to heal and restore life.

Prayer

O God, who in the abasement of your Son have raised up a fallen world, fill your faithful with holy joy, for on those you have rescued from slavery to sin you bestow eternal gladness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Contemplation

When faced with the challenges of life, which often bring anxieties and fears, do you take your troubles to the Lord with expectant faith and confidence in his help? People in desperate or helpless circumstances were never disappointed when they sought Jesus. What drew them to Jesus? Was it hope for a miracle or a word of comfort in their affliction? What did the elderly woman who had suffered greatly for twelve years expect Jesus to do for her? And what did a grieving father expect Jesus to do about his lost beloved daughter?

Are you too busy to pray?

Are you too busy to pray?

 

The length of your prayers should be measured by the amount of your work, and inasmuch as it has pleased our Lord to place you in the kind of life in which you are perpetually distracted, you must accustom yourself to making short prayers, but you must also make them so habitual that you will never omit them except upon the rarest occasions.

In the morning, when you rise, you should bend your knees before God to adore him, make the Sign of the Cross, and ask him for his blessing for the entire day; this can be accomplished in the amount of time it takes to say one or two Our Fathers.

If you go to Mass, it will suffice for you to hear it de­voutly and attentively. In the evening, before the meal or just after it, you can easily find the time to make a few fervent prayers, throwing yourself before our Lord for as long as it takes to say one Our Father — for there can hardly be an occasion that holds you so bound that you cannot tear away such a little bit of leisure.

At night, before retiring, you can, while you do other things and wherever you may be, pass under review what you have done during the day, in outline, and then, as you go to bed, throw yourself on your knees and ask God’s pardon for the faults you have committed, and pray him to watch over you and give you his blessing. This you can do in short compass, in about the time of a Hail Mary.

Above all, during the day, you should bring your heart back to God and say to him a few brief words of fidelity and love.

 Perseverance in Worship

You should firmly believe that you harbor no lasting desires contrary to the will of God — that is, desires for venial sin — even though certain imperfections and bad inclinations surprise you from time to time.

Do not cease receiving Communion. No longer be in doubt, but employ your heart in being faithful to the ex­ercise of poverty amid wealth, meekness and calm amid clamor, and resignation to all that can befall you in God’s providence. When we have God, what else can we possibly need?

It is better for you to assist at Mass every day than not to do so on the pretext of having more time to pray at home. It is better not only because the real presence of the humanity of our Lord cannot be replaced by his pres­ence in our minds, but also because the Church strongly desires that we attend Mass. We can consider this desire as advice that to follow is a kind of obedience when we can do so rightly and, by our good example, be of use to others.

A Devout Life

You wish to have a devout and peaceful spirit, which is not a small thing to wish for. The virtue of devotion is nothing other than a general inclination and readiness of the spirit to do what is pleasing to God. It is that opening of the heart of which David spoke: “I will run in the way of your commandments when you have opened up my heart” (Ps. 119:32, following de Sales’s reading of the Vulgate). Those who are simply upright men and women walk in the way of the Lord, but the devout run along it, and when they are very devout, they fly. Here are a few rules that you must follow in order to be truly devout.

You must before all things observe the general commandments of God and of the Church, which are estab­lished for all faithful Christians, and without which it is not possible to have any devotion. Beyond the general commandments, you must carefully keep the particular commandments that relate to your vocation. Whoever fails to do so, even if he were to raise the dead, will fall into a state of sin and, if he die, be damned. For instance, bishops are commanded to visit their flock, to teach, re­prove, and console them. If I were to remain at prayer throughout the week, fast my whole life, and yet neglect these prescribed duties, I would die. If a person in the mar­ried state were to work a miracle but not fulfill the duties of marriage or care for his children, he would be “worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim. 5:8).

These, then, are the two kinds of commandments that must be carefully kept as the foundation of all devotion. Yet the virtue of devotion does not consist in merely observing them, but in observing them promptly and willingly. The following considerations will help you to acquire this readiness.

The first is that God so wishes it, and we exist to do his will. Alas, every day we pray that “his will be done,” and yet when it comes to our doing it, how difficult it is! We offer ourselves to God so often, we say to him, “Lord, I am yours” (cf. Ps. 119:94), and then when he wants to make use of us, we are so cowardly! How can we call ourselves his if we do not want to bend our will to his?

The second consideration is to think about the nature of God’s sweet, gracious, and mild commandments, not only the general ones, but still more those pertaining to our vocations. What could cause them to annoy us? Noth­ing, except our own will, which wants to reign no matter the cost. We desire things when they are not commanded and reject the same things when they are. From out of a hundred thousand delicious fruits, Eve chose the single one that was forbidden to her, and no doubt she would not have done so had it been permissible. In a word, we wish to serve God, but according to our will, not his. To the extent to which we have less self will, we shall more easily observe the will of God.

 

Note: This article is made available courtesy of The Catholic Exchange and is adapted from St. Francis de Sales’ Roses Among Thorns which is available from Sophia Institute Press. 

July 6, 2014 – Bishop’s Annual Appeal Update

Bishop’s Annual Appeal Update

(as of July 1, 2014)

Some statistics on the Bishop’s Annual Appeal in our parish to-date . . .

[custom_table]
Number of parishioner families participating: 154
Percent of total parishioners participating to-date: 19%
Parish goal established by Diocese: $53,055.01
Enhanced parish BAA goal: $101,655.01
Total amount pledged to-date: $59,690.00
Amount already slated for 100% rebate to our parish: $6,634.99
Amount still needed to reach our enhanced BAA goal: $41,965.01
[/custom_table]

WE’VE MADE OUR DIOCESAN GOAL!  LET’S FOCUS ON MAKING OUR CATHEDRAL GOAL!

From this point forward, every penny pledged to the BAA will come back to our Cathedral parish in the form of rebates to fund the replacement of the Cathedral lighting system. The present lighting system, installed in the early 1980s, is failing, the manufacturer has gone out of business, and replacement parts are unavailable. Please, as registered parishioners, we all have a role to play in supporting the good works of the Diocese of Columbus funded by the BAA and the needs of our Cathedral parish. Let’s pull together as a parish family and contribute what we can to the BAA!  BAA envelopes are in the pews.  Please consider giving $15.00, $20.00, $25.00 or more each month over a 10-month period to help reach our enhanced BAA goal to pay for the much needed Cathedral lighting system.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY IN SUPPORTING THE BAA!

July 6, 2014 – From the Rector

ON THIS FOURTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME we might recall watching the evening news for the past few weeks where some people are blaming God for the bad weather (heavy rains and flooding) and find themselves angry with God. God does not send us anything bad. God only sends us what is good. If we turn from God because of bad weather, health problems, or because of any other crisis that comes upon us, to whom will you then turn? God is the only one who can help us through any situation. Unfortunately some people are turning to New Age practices, and to practices like palm reading, tarot card reading and all sorts of other practices seeking solutions to life’s challenges and problems. They should know not to expect good to come if they dabble in such practices. Turning to such people for advice is the same as saying that you no longer believe God is in control of your life. Either such people and their powers are in control of your life or God is in control of your life. Decide for God. In our second reading today we hear, “there is no necessity for us to obey our unspiritual selves or to live unspiritual lives. If you do live in that way, you are doomed to die; but if by the Spirit you put an end of the misdeeds of the body you will live” (Rom 8:12-13). God is stronger than all worldly and pagan practices. Decide for God. Remember the first commandment, “I am the Lord your God, you shall have no strange gods before me.”  Also, in our Gospel today Jesus says, “Come to me all you who labor and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt 25:28). We all need rest.  But let’s also make sure that when we seek rest that we choose carefully.  Choose God and not someone who is not of God. We go trips and enjoy holidays every year. Why not consider going on holidays with God in a pilgrimage or retreat. One person who went to Međugorje (Medjugorje) last year said to me she found such peace there it was like stepping off the world. Jesus says, “Come to me all you who labor and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Ask yourself: What do I do to rest? Listening to the radio all day long or watching TV all evening will not bring us rest. It will fill our minds with thoughts and we will not have room in our minds for God or for spiritual matters. There should be a health warning on radios and TVs. Listening to radio all day long or watching TV all evening will block God out from our lives. When we want rest, we should go the Lord in prayer. In the Gospel today Jesus says, “Come to me all you who labor and burdened, and I will give you rest.” In our second reading we heard, “Your interests are not in the unspiritual, but in the spiritual, since the Spirit of God has made his home in you.” I am fully convinced that we should all spend a few hours in prayer every day. I have spoken to you several times before about the importance of praying every day – especially spending some time each week praying before the Blessed Sacrament – and I will continue to do so because of the bountiful goodness, blessings and graces that can come from a strong spiritual life.  Let’s not cheat ourselves – let’s turn to the Lord daily, several times a day, and cement that spiritual bond with Christ that if ours for the asking.

PLEASE WELCOME Fr. Jordan Lenaghan, O.P., to Saint Joseph Cathedral.  Fr. Lenaghan will be helping out while I am on medical leave.  Fr. Lenaghan was one of my professors at the Josephinum, and also assisted with Masses while I was Pastor of Saint Catharine’s.  He heard about my medical issues and asked if he could help out during the month of July, which he has off from his duties as Chaplain at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.  Thank you, Fr. Lenaghan, for helping out!

 HEALTH UPDATE… I was discharged from the OSU-James Hospital on June 28, and am in a period of recovery for the next three-to-four weeks.  (I am amazed how just taking a shower can wear you out following major surgery like this!) I was told going into this about the possibility of follow-up chemotherapy given one or both of these scenarios — (1) the tumor piercing the colon wall, or (2) cancer spreading into the lymph nodes.  Pathology reports show that the cancer did not get into the lymph nodes, however the stage two tumor did pierce the colon wall, meaning that cancer cells shed from the tumor are lurking about in my colon.  Chemotherapy is needed. Over the next few weeks of recovery I have a battery of follow-up appointments with my surgeon and his staff, and an oncologist who will devise the plan of chemotherapy treatment.  What I have been told thus far is that the chemotherapy will likely begin four-to-six weeks from now, and will last approximately three-to-six months.  I know nothing more than that; firm details will become known after my meetings and tests with the oncologist. After 11 days in the hospital I was climbing the walls, and no doubt being in a rest and recovery mode for the next three-to-four weeks will be challenging, but the surgeon said “do it” because I need to build up my strength for the first waves of chemotherapy.  This is all curative, folks – along the 90-95 percent range – it’s just that my healing journey is going to take a little longer with some added steps and time along the way. I cannot thank you enough for all of your prayers and words of encouragement and support — they are very much appreciated.  I also cannot say enough good things about the quality of care I received at the OSU-James Hospital.  In the meantime, please keep me in your prayers.  Thank you!

-Fr. Lumpe

10 Arrows to Launch Us into Heaven

10 ARROWS TO LAUNCH US INTO HEAVEN

from Fr. Ed Broom

We offer you ten short counsels to help you in your daily battle to arrive at spiritual maturity and eventually in the loving embrace of your Heavenly Father. Prayerfully meditate upon these ten fiery arrows that if used well, launched at the proper time and place can serve to raise you up on high.

1. Heaven! I was brought into this world by the loving hands of God to end up forever in the loving Heart of God for all eternity. Every day I should spend at least a few moments reflecting on who God is, why He created me and how to draw closer to my eternal destiny: heaven!

2. Refuges in the storms of life. In the spiritual life there are moments of calm, but also many storms. Jesus frequently reminded St. Faustina to prepare for battles. In the midst of the storms and battles of life, we must find some secure places to seek refuge. There are two: the most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. May our constant prayer be:  “Jesus I trust in you; sweet Heart of Mary be my salvation.”

3. Kryptonite to your life.  Be constantly vigilant in your spiritual life.  The devil is out on the prowl, seeking to attack and kill.  St. Peter says that the devil is like a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour; resist him solid in the faith.” Do you know your kryptonite, your major weak point? Ask the Holy Spirit as well as your Confessor or spiritual director to point it out to you!  Ignorance of our weak point enhances the work of the devil!

4. Be slow to speak and quick to listen. This is the excellent advice of the Apostle Saint James.  Pope Francis reminds us time and time again to avoid all forms of gossip and sins of the tongue which can kill. Read and meditate on Saint James chapter three—one of the best chapters in the Bible highlighting the damage that a loose tongue can cause!

5. Charity begins at home.  It can be very easy at times to manifest patience, kindness and even exquisite charity to strangers or work companions or associates.  However, once at home, we can be transformed into devils!  Never forget: charity begins at home with the members of the family.  Every day try to do an act of kindness to some family member.

6. Mercy in one of three ways.  Jesus insisted in the Diary of St. Faustina in living out charity, encouraging us to carry out at least one act of mercy every day.   Jesus outlines three ways that charity can be manifested: 1) Words of kindness; 2) deeds of kindness; 3) Prayer for somebody. Why not start today to be a messenger of God’s love and mercy?

7. Never give up. The Bible reminds us that even the just man falls seven times a day.  We were born sinners, are sinners and will die as sinners. Despite our human fragility and weakness we should never give up or lose hope, but rather upon falling, humbly admit our fall, repent and start again. Remember the consoling words of the Psalm:  “God is slow to anger but rich in kindness.”    We tend to be quick to anger and slow to forgiveness.  God is the opposite.  As soon as we repent and turn our hearts to God, our merciful God forgives in a heartbeat, a blink of the eye, a split second. How great our God is!   We can either be like play dough that falls and remains glued to the ground; or we can be like a super-ball that hits the ground and bounces even higher.  What are you like: super ball or play dough? It is your choice!

8.  Permanent formation. Get into the habit of good spiritual reading. The human mind is like a field, better yet, a garden!  A field or garden that is never cultivated will eventually be filled with weeds which eventually choke out the plants and flowers.  The habit of a solid, methodical and constant spiritual reading nourishes the mind with holy and noble thoughts, which in turn leads to noble affections of the heart and finally culminates in noble actions that we can call virtues! This in turn will set us on the highway to holiness and the final result will be eternal beatitude in heaven.  There is a saying, “You are what you eat.” There is truth to this!  But even more we can say we are what we think!  Jesus said that we should love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength!

9. Live in the presence of God. Brother Lawrence insisted in his masterpiece “Live in the Presence of God” that holiness could be achieved by living out this one concept—being aware of and living constantly in the presence of God.  Before carrying out a questionable action, why not ask God if this would be pleasing to Him?  St Teresa of Avila, woman Doctor of the Church, asserts that one of the primary reasons why we give in to sin is because we become oblivious to or simply forget the presence of God! St. Paul, in his discourse to the Athenians, quotes a Greek poet: “In Him we live and move and have our being.”  God is never far from us, but we often distance ourselves from Him.

10. Our Lady, Undoer of Knots.  Recently there has been a growing interest and trust in Mary under this somewhat surprising title: “Our Lady undoer of knots”.   Our life can prove to be a complicated, messy, dirty, bumpy, valley of tears! We may find ourselves in economic, social, psychological, or moral situations—that are so complicated and knotted up—that it might seem literally impossible to find a solution!  Why not turn to Mary?    The first Miracle that Jesus accomplished was in the context of a very knotty and uncertain occasion—a wedding couple must have miscalculated the number of guests—but they unfortunately ran out of wine. Our Lady gently turned to Jesus saying: “There is no more wine… then do whatever He tells you!”   Jesus heard His Mother’s request and untied the wedding knot!  He turned water into wine and the best of wine!   Today why not give Mary your knots so that she can undo them and give you freedom, the freedom of the sons and daughters of God!

July 6, 2014 – Parishioners in Prayer

PLEASE KEEP THESE PARISHIONERS IN PRAYER

 

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Jack Beckman

Max Flores

Jennifer Bogdziewicz

Charles & Nancy Brant

JoAnn Buttler

Ann Marie Elkins

Don Fortner

Ruth Harper

Bernie Hause

 

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Jonathan Holmes

Pam Jurgens

Fr. Mike Lumpe

Maria Paras

Linda Pauley

David Simmons

Sandra Valencia

Bill & Dora Zweydorff,

and Christopher Clark.

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