READING OF THE DAY: 23 AUGUST, 2014

Jesus teaching in the Temple Tissot

 

“Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.

Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example.

For they preach but they do not practice.

They tie up heavy burdens (hard to carry) and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them.

All their works are performed to be seen.

They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.

They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’

As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.

Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven.

Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, the Messiah.

The greatest among you must be your servant.

Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” -Matthew 23:1-12.

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SAINT OF THE DAY: 23 AUGUST, 2014

Saint Rose of Lima

Saint Rose of Lima

Virgin
(1586-1617)

This lovely flower of sanctity, the first canonized Saint of the New World, was born at Lima, Peru, in 1586. She was christened Isabel, but the beauty of her infant face earned for her the title of Rose, which she thereafter bore.

As a child still in the cradle, her silence during a painful surgical operation seemed to foretell the thirst for suffering which would consume her heart.

At an early age she engaged herself as a servant to support her impoverished parents, then worked day and night. In spite of hardships and austerities her beauty ripened with increasing age, and she was openly much admired.

Fearing vanity would enter her heart, she cut off her hair, blistered her face with pepper and her hands with lime. She never left the interior of her parents’ house in Canta, for four years, not even to walk in an inviting garden just beyond its walls.

She finally obtained her parents’ permission to be enrolled in the Third Order of Saint Dominic; from her childhood she had taken Saint Catherine of Siena as her model, and she then redoubled her penance. The Blessed Sacrament seemed virtually her only food.

Her love for it was intense. Her fasting was near miraculous; during Lent in particular, she denied herself her former single piece of bread each day, to consume only a few orange seeds.

Her disciplines were of an almost incredible severity, and her hair shirt reached from her shoulders to her wrists and knees; not satisfied with its rudeness, she armed it with iron nails.

The cell of Saint Rose was a garden hut, her couch a box of broken tiles. Concealed by her veil, a silver crown armed with ninety sharp points encircled her head.

More than once, when she shuddered at the prospect of a night of torture, a voice said, My cross was yet more painful.

The demon tormented her for fifteen years with insupportable temptations; but God sustained His spouse against them, though she would gladly have died rather than live any longer in their clutches.

When a Dutch fleet prepared to attack the city of Lima, Rose took her place before the tabernacle, and wept because she felt unworthy to die in its defense, as she hoped she might; the enemy weighed anchor soon afterwards and departed without attempting a siege.

All of Saint Rose’s sufferings were offered for the conversion of sinners, and the thought of the multitudes in hell was ever before her soul. She died in 1617, at the age of thirty-one.

(SOURCE: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).)

READING OF THE DAY: 22 AUGUST, 2014

alegria_01

 

“When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a scholar of the law, tested him by asking, 

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”

He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.

This is the greatest and the first commandment.

The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” -Matthew 22:34-40.

 

READING OF THE DAY: 20 AUGUST, 2014

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“Jesus told his disciples this parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.

After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard.

Going out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what is just.’

So they went off.

(And) he went out again around noon, and around three o’clock, and did likewise.

Going out about five o’clock, he found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’

They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’

He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’

When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and ending with the first.’

When those who had started about five o’clock came, each received the usual daily wage.

So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage.

And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’

He said to one of them in reply, ‘My friend, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?

Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?

(Or) am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?

Are you envious because I am generous?’ ” 

Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.” -Matthew 20:1-16a.

READING OF THE DAY: 19 AUGUST, 2014

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“Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Again I say to you, 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.”

When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, “Who then can be saved?”

Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”

Then Peter said to him in reply, “We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?”

Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life.

But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.” -Matthew 19:23-30.

…AND WHERE WAS GOD WHEN…..

jesus-watching-the-planet

…And now I answer the most OFTEN ASKED question ever!

We look around us at this world today and we see so MUCH that is wrong.  We see wars breaking out all over the place, diseases running amok…society breaking down, families in suffering and torment, people killing each other willy-nilly…we see crops failing and the weather becoming worse and worse every year….the rich exploiting natural resources to the point of breaking…and people look to me and ask me “Where is God in all of this?” and “Why doesn’t YOUR God do something about it” and “How can HE let this happen?” ,and my personal favorite: “WHY DOESN’T HE DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?” silly people..don’t you realize that God CREATED the world…so it would be a mere NOTHING to Him to REMAKE IT AGAIN?

The plain fact is He IS doing something about it. HE IS LETTING IT HAPPEN TO FULFILL THE PROPHECY!

The Revelations of John are OVERFLOWING with the forewarning of these things…they have been foretold for almost TWO THOUSAND YEARS, preached in EVERY CHURCH and from EVERY pulpit in all that time…so they should come as NO surprise that they are FINALLY coming TRUE.

Now most of you know I do not soapbox, nor do I slap pulpit and do the “I wanna tell ya a story, AHA, about the Glory of GAWD, AHA” bit…but I LOVE to answer the eternal questions by throwing a LITTLE bit of a preach into them…so…this sermon is short and to the point…WHY DOES GOD ALLOW THESE THINGS TO HAPPEN? I will answer it in HIS WORDS….and when you read them the “AH-HA!” moment will hit you like the proverbial ton of bricks…

Ready?…Then here we go…the ANSWER to the question you so ARDENTLY keep asking:

“You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you, 

you forgot the God who gave you birth.
When the LORD saw this, he was filled with loathing
and anger toward his sons and daughters.  

“I will hide my face from them,” he said,
“and see what will then become of them.
What a fickle race they are,
sons with no loyalty in them!”

“Since they have provoked me with their ‘no-god’
and angered me with their vain idols,
I will provoke them with a ‘no-people’;
with a foolish nation I will anger them.” -Deuteronomy 32:18-19.20.21.

Have we not seen the politicians lead us down a self benefiting agenda? Have we ourselves not been the ones who elected them? Was it not OURSELVES who stopped praying? Stopped BELIEVING in Him?

Does it surprise you that He is ANGRY at us for this? What parent is not angry with their child when they disobey? What parent does not say “They got themselves into this mess by not listening to ME, their PARENT”?

So the next time someone says “There is no God”…or that “God is dead”..or “If there Is a God then why is He letting these things happen?”  YOU can look them dead in the eye and say “It is because of YOUR lack of BELIEF…YOUR lack of FAITH…YOUR DENIAL OF HIM…YOUR continuance in doing EVERYTHING HE SAID NOT TO DO that He is allowing these things to happen”.

He removed Himself from the Israel peoples back THEN to teach THEM a lesson…and He does it again to teach US a lesson…HAVE FAITH.LOVE ONE ANOTHER..HAVE BELIEF!

Or in HIS words:

“One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” -Mark 12:28-31

Now, I am not saying everything is HIS fault..for we cannot pin everything that goes wrong on HIM..WE have had our fingers in OUR OWN demising for MANY centuries. WE ARE TO BLAME FOR SO MANY OF THE WOES OF THE WORLD!

But belief and faith go hand in hand with morals, and societal structure. If we cheat each other, hate each other, exploit the land for sordid money, have intolerance towards each other, use what He gave us for gain instead of for helping one another, leave others to die so that the ones with money can live, or let politicians lead us down THEIR agenda rather than what is RIGHT, then we have no one to blame for our woes but OURSELVES.  

God already told us what He plans…Jesus spoke of it, Prophets foretold it, entire BOOKS of the Bible were written to let us know what WAS coming….and yet, we let others lead us into ignoring the very words we CLAIM to uphold…yes, friends, WE are to blame..not God… BUT, and I stress this, He IS up there..probably shaking His head and saying “I so informed them thus” and waiting till all the signs have been fulfilled. That way, when the time DOES come, He can say “I told you I would end this..but YOU ignored My warnings”.

So…how do we COUNTER this? We CAN’T…at least, not on a GLOBAL scale because too many say “I want this” or “We want that”….all WE can do is look to OUR OWN SOUL.  No, it is not being ‘greedy’…it is EXACTLY what HE said to do! 

A young man approached Jesus and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?”

He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

He asked him, “Which ones?”

And Jesus replied, ” ‘You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother’; and ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” -Matthew 19:16-19

 

Why do you think that the CORE of my work is to HELP people? I am trying to get their soul BACK on the right track! I am not trying to ‘save their soul’ for the better of a Church…I am trying to help them AWAKEN and save THEIR OWN SOUL FOR THEMSELVES. I preach tolerance, love, FAITH…and I am ridiculed, berated, and attacked because I am not doing it for money or because of some musty old words set down telling me what to do BY MAN. I do not want glory for a building, or organization of men…I want THEM to pull THEMSELVES up out of the mire…to open their eyes and SEE that it is THEY who need to do something…and that is to GET THEIR SOUL IN ORDER..because the clock is counting down, people, and we do not know WHEN it will go off…

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come” -Mark 13:32-33

 

So, before you  go laying the heavy questions on a Preacher, or Priest, go stand in front of the mirror and be HONEST with yourself…ask YOURSELF why YOU allowed these things to happen and what can YOU do to change them!

SAINT OF THE DAY: 18 AUGUST, 2014

Saint Helen

Saint Helen

Empress
(† 328)

It was the pious boast of the city of Colchester, England, for many ages, that Saint Helen was born within its walls; and though this honor has been disputed, since others say she was born in York, it is certain that she was a British princess.

She married a Roman General, Constantius Chlorus, and became the mother of Constantine the Great. She embraced Christianity late in life; but her incomparable faith and piety greatly influenced her son Constantine, the first Christian emperor, and served to kindle a holy zeal in the hearts of the Roman people.

Forgetful of her high dignity, she delighted to assist at the Divine Office amid the poor; and by her almsdeeds showed herself a mother to the indigent and distressed.

In her eightieth year she made a famous pilgrimage to Jerusalem, with the ardent desire of discovering the cross on which our Blessed Redeemer had suffered. After many labors, three crosses were found on Mount Calvary, together with the names and the inscription recorded by the Evangelists.

The miraculous discovery and verification of the true Cross is still celebrated by the Church on the 3rd of May. The pious empress, transported with joy, built a beautiful Basilica on Mount Calvary to receive the precious relic, sending portions of it also to Rome and Constantinople, where they were solemnly exposed to the adoration of the faithful.

She built two other famous churches in Palestine to honor the sacred sites of Our Lord’s life, one at the site of His Ascension, and the other, known as the Basilica of the Nativity, in Bethlehem, which she and her son richly adorned.

Saint Helen’s influence on her son Constantine is recognized by all historians. He always honored her in every way. In the year 312, when Constantine found himself attacked by Maxentius with vastly superior forces, and the very existence of his western empire was threatened, he remembered the crucified Christian God whom his mother Helen worshiped. Kneeling down, he prayed God to reveal Himself as the supreme God, by giving him an otherwise impossible victory.

Suddenly at noonday, a cross of fire was seen by his army in the calm and cloudless sky, and beneath it the words, In hoc signo vinces — In this sign thou shalt conquer.

By divine command, Constantine made a standard like the cross he had seen, to be borne at the head of his troops.

This is the famous banner known as the Roman Labarum. Under this Christian ensign they marched against the enemy and obtained a complete victory.

When past the age of 80, Saint Helen returned from Jerusalem to Rome, dying there in 328.

(SOURCE: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894); Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 10)