Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Food for the journey (Vol 4)

Prayer of the Week
Lord Jesus Christ, son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” - The Jesus Prayer

From the Saints
God loves each of us as if there were only one of us – St. Augustine

Quote of the Week
If you want to be happy, try to be holy; if you want to be very happy, try to be very holy. -Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos

From an encyclical from John Paul II
For he who loves desire to give himself. - Dives in Misericordia/On the Mercy of God by John Paul II

I have come not to do my will, but the will of him who sent me. - John 6:38

You are where you are, wherever you are, so that Jesus might be there with you right now.

Guardian Angel Prayer

Dear Guardian Angel, in His goodness, God gave you to me to guide, protect and enlighten me, and bring me back to the right way when I go astray.

Encourage me when I am disheartened and instruct me when I err in my judgment.
Help me to become more Christlike and so someday to be accepted into the company of Angels and Saints in heaven. Amen
-Sr. Fedclis Marie.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

You can find today's readings by clicking here!

For those in public positions of preaching, the responsibility can be daunting. That is one reason that some preachers usually settle on one audience. To put into the words of a parable, “the harvest is great, but the laborers are few”. This is one reason Moses said, “Would that all the people of the LORD were prophets! Would that the LORD might bestow his spirit on them all!"

Those that have received sacraments in the Church have been gifted with God's spirit. In Baptism and with Confirmation, we are anointed priest, prophet and king. We are called to sanctify, teach, and govern. Our priestly duty of sanctification is to bring holiness into our relationships. We do this by doing good deeds, acting with humility and praying for others. Our prophetic duty of teaching can be done by witnessing our faith and the love of Christ to others. Our kingly duty to govern includes ensuring just governance and ordering society according to Jesus' teachings.

Moses and our pastor try to fulfill these duties on their own. However, they only reach those who sit in the pews. Moses' audience only listened when he was present. Remember what happened when he went up on the mountain to get the Commandments? With Moses gone, the people made a golden bull to worship! The church is full of people who already believe or who are trying to believe. Our pastor preaches to inspire us, give us a message to tell others. They can't do it on their own, they need backup!

We regularly go out into the world: school, work, the Metro and movie theater. In each of these places, we are faced with people who turn away from God. Moses and our pastor can't get to those people as readily as we can. They have their mission and their audience. We have ours.

We are called to full participation in our faith. God has given us His Spirit and strengthened us by Baptism and Confirmation. We are called to lives of action. When Jesus left this world, he gave his apostles what they call, “the Great Commission.” It wasn't the great suggestion. We are called to serve God and our community by acting as priest, prophet and king. We are to act as a gift to our pastor by taking the words we hear today into the world so that all may hear.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Food for the journey (vol 3)

Prayer of the Week

A prayer for our Church

I plead with you for the world.
Power of the eternal Father, help me!
Wisdom of the Son, enlighten my eye of understanding!
Tender clemency of the Holy Spirit inflame my heat and unite it to yourself!
I proclaim, eternal God that your power is powerful and strong enough
to free your church and your people
to snatch us from the devil's hand
to stop the persecution of the Holy Church
and to give me strength
and victory over my own enemies.
I proclaim that the wisdom of your Son who is one with you
can enlighten the eye of my understanding and that of your people
and can relieve the darkness of your secret bride.
And I proclaim, eternal gentle goodness of God,
that the clemency of the Holy Spirit, your blazing charity
wants to inflame my heart and everyone's and unite them with yourself.”
-St. Catherine of Sienna

From the Saints
Nothing is so inconsistent with the life of a Christian as overindulgence
– Rule of St. Benedict Ch 39

Quote of the Week
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
-Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
-Romans 8:18

Deliver us, Lord, from every evil, and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
-The prayer between the Our Father and the "end" of the Our Father.

From the Catechism
Faith is a supernatural gift from God. In order to believe, man needs the interior helps of the Holy Spirit.
-Catechism of the Catholic Church: CCC 179

Final though
Give God the glory.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This Sunday's readings can be found here.

The crowd gathered around the foot of the cross shouted, “You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” “He saved others but cannot save himself.” “He trusts in God, let God rescue him now” (Mat 27:38-44) Those who mocked him were the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders, but also the criminals who were crucified with Him. The leaders who mocked Christ should have seen the company that was with them. They were behaving like criminals who had been sent to their deaths.

Sinners are often offended by those who stand up for what is right in God's eyes. People who have prayed in front of abortion clinics, porn shops, and on Bourbon Street in New Orleans can tell you this is true. They have received taunts and insults from passersby and honks from cars with people shouting out of the windows as they drive by. At times it can be disheartening to experience this, but it can also be a boost to the just who pray harder for God's work to be done. Jesus teaches us that the Kingdom of Heaven is worth suffering the taunts of the sinful. He did it, and we should do it too.

The prayer of the psalmist is “O God, by your name save me, and by your might defend my cause.” It is a wonderful prayer to those who are being persecuted. The second reading gives a warning though, to those who would not follow God's plan. When we pray and do not receive it is because we have prayed to satisfy a passion that is not God's passion. We are praying for something that is selfish, conflict-driven, covetous, envious and of a human passion. If what we pray for is just, then the result should be peaceful, gentile, merciful and fruitful, without inconsistency and insincerity. God is passionate about justice. God is consistent and sincere about justice. We must pray to have this same passion and to know our part is in God's plan for justice.

Jesus tells us “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.” To receive God we must receive the child, the lowly, the cast aside in our society. Our actions in this world should be for the lowly: the children, the poor, the cast aside. Mother Teresa once said, “each of them is Jesus in disguise.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Food for the journey (Vol 2)

Please visit Conversion Diary, host of Seven Quick Takes.

Prayer of the week
Please take from me my life
when I don't have the strength
to give it away to you, Jesus.

From the Saints
"Life's distortions are removed by God's kind eye, giving us sight of our dignity and seeing the ways our soul glass is smudged." - St. Catherine of Sienna

Quote of the week
"Our life of poverty is as necessary as the work itself. Only in heaven will we see how much we owe to the poor for helping us to love God better because of them." -Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

On the Mass
"We are going to be bored unless we come with a burning desire to hear God's word, to meet him in sacrament and to be changed in the way in which we continue to live our lives.

[We should] bring to the sacred liturgy all that is transpiring within our own lives. We can then bring it directly to God and place it in his hands and offer ourselves in a way that is open and pliable to his loving will. We want to be taught by him. We want to be purified by him. We want to be changed by him. For this to happen .. we have to move beyond wanting to be entertained or made to feel good. Rather we need to be strengthened by a voluntary self-offering in union with Christ that accepts the kind of suffering that purifies and ennobles us.

This kind of engagement in the liturgy is what liturgy ultimately implies. Liturgy is ultimately and involvement that demands courage and a lively faith. It requires the desire of the whole person to be engaged. It includes a willingness to be transformed and led into a new life. "

from Spiritual Masters: Living a life of prayer in the Catholic Tradition by Bishop Alfred Hughes

Jesus will never be arrested for forced entry. We have to open the door to let him in.

Almost the last bite
The Great Commission is what Christ told his followers to DO. It's not the great suggestion.

Scripture of the Week
Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the Lord, my recompense is with my God. - Is 49:4

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today's readings can be found here

The question posed in James is "What good is faith without works?" For an individual, faith in God's sanctifying grace is all that is needed to be saved. However, on earth, we are living in community. Community needs each member to contribute in one way or another. Otherwise we are all just living next to each other instead of with each other.

Mahatma Ghandi once said, "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians." Wow. What kind of behavior must we have been displaying for him to say that? We must not be living out the ministry of Christ and the works of our faith to our fullest extent.

Looking at the vast array of religious orders, it is easy to see that there are many different types of works to be done: ministry to the sick, healthy, dying, survivor, poor, wealthy, orphan, child, teen, homosexual, married, single, addict, homeless, jobless, soldier, hungry, and more. There are orders who focus on teaching, healing, health, meditation, contemplation, preaching, politics, social justice, and missionary work. Even within our own church building, opportunities abound for works: extraordinary minister of the Eucharist, lectoring, singing, altar serving, greeting, taking the collection, becoming a Deacon, writing the bulletin, teaching catechism, collecting for the food drive, writing letters to representatives, leading the Mom's group, cleaning the church pews after mass, cleaning the candles and altar before mass, parish council, and so much more.

God asks for our time, talent and treasure to meet the needs of the community. God's gift of grace saves us. Our faith sustains us. Our works help our neighbor and build our community. I pray that each of us can respond to the needs of the community according to the call on our hearts and that one day, a great leader may say, “I like your Christ, and I love your Christians.”

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Food for the journey

Please click here to view Conversion Diary. Host of Seven Quick Takes Friday.

Prayer of the week
“Lord, teach us to be generous.
To serve as you deserve,
to give and not to count the cost
to fight and not to heed the wounds
to toil and not to seek for rest
to labor and not to seek reward
except that of knowing that we do your will. Amen”
-Prayer of St. Ignatius

From the Saints
"Charity is no substitute for justice withheld." -Saint Augustine

Quote of the week
“You can't eat me, because I eat Him!” Fr. Stan Fortuna (pointing at the Eucharist)

God made you the way you are for a reason. He made you perfectly for what he has in store

We thank you for counting us worthy to stand in your presence and serve you. (EP II)

Scripture of the week
Psalm 18: 30-32
As for God, his way is perfect;
the word of the LORD is flawless.
He is a shield
for all who take refuge in him.

For who is God besides the LORD ?
And who is the Rock except our God?

It is God who arms me with strength
and makes my way perfect.

A little bit more
When your faith is all about you and what you get out of it, or if you focus only on yourself, then its not real faith. If Jesus had said, “Whats in it for me?” We would all be in real trouble.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

You can find today's readings here

God made His kingdom for all people but so many will miss out on it. He made His kingdom for you, me, our neighbors, the relative you haven't spoken to in years, and the guy who cut you off in traffic. He sent us all an invitation to His kingdom. You and I have shown up for the pre-party (church), but have the others? Who is missing today? Why aren't they here? Are their eyes closed to the invitation, did they turn a deaf ear to the call, was their body unable to get them to the car and drive here, would they be embarassed say that they went to church?

The scripture says, "the eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf will be cleared." It also tells us, "the lame will leap" and the "tongue of the mute will sing." Do you know someone spiritually deaf, blind, mute, or lame? We all do. They have this disability because they have ignored God's offer. They might need a reminder about God's love and desire for them.

What does it take for a Christian to speak out to others? It takes courage. God promises to support our efforts if they are efforts of God. Today's first reading tells us, "Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you." He comes to defend us, to support us and give us the help we need on our earthly journey.

This earth is full of spiritually blind, deaf, lame and mute people. If we open our mouths to say to them, "God has something for you". God will support us, He will strengthen us. But we must be brave to speak out. God does not want to act alone in His plan of salvation. You are a part of His plan. "Be strong, fear not."