Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

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Isaiah 7:14b-15

The virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. He shall be living on curds and honey by the time he learns to reject the bad and choose the good.

This is from the Morning prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours this morning.  As it was read this morning, I felt like it was important but I think I was thinking of the reading in reference to John the Baptist, rather than Jesus.  However, now that I read it through again, I understand that the prophet that wrote this book of prophecy might not have completely understood the implications of the incarnational nature of who Jesus would be.  This begs the question to me, how do I look back on the incarnation, as someone who lives 2000 years after the birth of Jesus, and not understand the incarnational nature of who Jesus is?  I am struck today with the fact that Jesus is not only calling me to be a symbol of who he was on earth, but really be Him in the world today.  This is what the incarnational nature of who Jesus is, and if I understood this fully, I would never choose evil and only ever choose good.  Unfortunately, I sometimes forget and fall.  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini…pray for us!

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As I began to pray the Liturgy of the Hours this morning, the website I visited reminded me that we are celebrating the life of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini today.  It says that she founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart.  I may be wrong about this, but I believe it was the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart that started our Sacred Heart Hospital that was originally in Eugene, OR.  Now, the hospital is run by the Sisters of Saint Joseph and it is better known to the public as PeaceHealth or RiverBend Hospital.  The issue that myself and a few of my friends have is that there is a medical facility, located right across the street from this hospital, called Women’s Care, actually performs abortions on pregnant women up to 14 weeks according to this website.  Some of their information is out of date, but our Parish priest went there to talk to a parishioners niece about whether she had thought through her decision to terminate a pregnancy there, and he was asked to leave.  Anyway, I am not trying to start World War 3 with the Sisters of Saint Joseph or PeaceHealth, or maybe I am.  However,  I would like to get some answers about why we are supporting a business that practices medicine in a way that flies in the face of our faith.  This is not to mention the medical procedures that happen at the facility that Women’s Care operates on the same property as the hospital that are also contrary to our faith…More on that later!

On this Veteran’s Day, let us pray for our beloved dead…

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For all those men and women that have given their lives for the freedom we currently enjoy in this country, I pray for the eternal rest of their souls. I pray to the King of our eternal kingdom and the King of our heavenly goal, and finally to the King of all creation. I pray to Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. I pray that our country can get back to the supplication to that King that allowed us so many decades of joy that comes from following the real King. As Father Barron said Friday at the Magnificat Day in Philadelphia, I pray that we can get back to letting our King dominate our society as it was in the not so distant past. I pray that our country can see that it is only when we let God work out our differences that we can work together to be a just society that respects all people and enjoys that freedom that comes as a fruit of good choices. I pray for the people that lost their lives in the Philippines and Vietnam and all of their families that are mourning their loss today. Please God, let us be a society that uses our resources to help others and not one that uses them to lord over them. I finally pray that our world will come to the realization quickly that without a reliance on the one true King, we will continue down the path to destruction. Jesus, I trust in you!

For the sake of His sorrowful passion…

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Have mercy on us, and on the whole world!

So, as we start to have news coming in about the storm that is making landfall in the Philippines, I hope there are many people who read the title of my post today and finish the prayer that was first given to Saint Faustina as a part of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  The reason for the invoking of this particular prayer now, is that I have been told that the Philippines is full of 3 o’clock habit folks.  They actually have stores that shut down at 3pm, so everyone can pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  If ever there was a time for a miracle of mercy, it would be right now.  I am pretty sure that most of the world is watching the storm and either praying or worrying about the outcome.  It would be awesome if there was a way that God could shine through this tragedy, that is hitting this country that is so filled with faith-filled people, with his mercy and saving power.  I prayed along with the prayer on EWTN when I went home for lunch and I hope anyone that has a few minutes will join in this prayer at 3pm this afternoon, here on the West coast of the United States.  It is about 15 minutes before 3pm, so I am going to get this posted as a reminder, and you can pray anytime you can, of course.

 

I hate my father…*

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“If any one comes to me without hating his father* and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”  Luke 14:26

* [14:26] Hating his father…: cf. the similar saying in Mt 10:37. The disciple’s family must take second place to the absolute dedication involved in following Jesus (see alsoLk 9:5962).

Saint Ignatius…

I could have started my post today with the fact that I am putting my whole family on notice that they are not the center of my universe, but I am pretty sure there would be some hurt feelings.  However, the chances of my dad actually reading this, or it even getting back to him that I posted this are pretty slim.  Anyway, as I prepared for leading our communion service tomorrow, I read this reading and was reminded of Saint Ignatius “First Principle and Foundation”…

The human person is created to praise, reverence, and serve God Our Lord, and by doing so, to save his or her soul.

All other things on the face of the earth are created for human beings in order to help them pursue the end for which they are created.

It follows from this that one must use other created things, in so far as they help towards one’s end, and free oneself from them, in so far as they are obstacles to one’s end.

To do this, we need to make ourselves indifferent to all created things, provided the matter is subject to our free choice and there is no other prohibition.

Thus, as far as we are concerned, we should not want health more than illness, wealth more than poverty, fame more than disgrace, a long life more than a short one, and similarly for all the rest, but we should desire and choose only what helps us more towards the end for which we are created.

To me, this “First Principle and Foundation” that I first read in the “Consoling the Heart of Jesus” retreat book by Father Michael Gaitley, the director of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, is the heart of the gospel reading today.  It was specifically the last verse of the gospel that prompted me to look up the “First Principle and Foundation” and share it here.  (Luke 14:33) In the same way, everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.

As for my dad, if this does somehow get back to him, I hope he knows that it is my sincere hope that he someday comes to a full knowledge of the forgiveness and mercy of God and we are both caught up in the blessedness of the beatific vision that is an eternity sharing in the divinity of our Lord.  For me, that means that I continue to struggle through this world bringing the good news of the plan of salvation to as many people as possible, both by the words I choose to share and the life that I live everyday in the presence of Jesus in the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation.

I hope this post finds you struggling to do the same…God bless you!

What does the fox say?

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You knew it was just a matter of time before it had to be done, especially by me.  I spend a lot of time around young adults and youth, so there was bound to be a reference to foxes in scripture or somewhere in my prayer life that was going to lead me to share this video and take the opportunity to point out the good news in the lyrics.  So, without further ado, here is the video…

If we follow the gospel reading for today, we see that it is Jesus who calls out the fox.  Here he says…He replied, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose.  (Luke 13:32)  The fox that he is referring to is Herod, who the Pharisee was telling Jesus, wanted to kill him.  Here is a good question, “Did Herod really want to kill Jesus?”  After what had happened to John the Baptist and that whole terrible scene, you might think Herod wanted to steer clear of Jesus.  However, the point of this post is to ask the question…”What does the fox say?”

It has been over 2000 years since Jesus said, “Go and tell that fox”, and we are left to figure out what Herod’s response would have been to this telling statement of Jesus about casting out demons and performing healings, and the third day accomplishing his purpose.  In the song, we hear a reference to the red fur and an angel in disguise, but also a reference to a guardian angel in the woods.  Rather than try to discern the intentions of the artist in choosing these lyrics, I would rather point out that God can use whatever means necessary to bring people to know him and I will use this song as a reminder of the power of angels in our lives to overcome evil.

Here is a prayer that I will say and share with you now…

Angel of God, our guardian dear to whom God’s love commits me here.  Ever this day be at our side, to light and guard, to rule and guide…Amen!

Cleansing our minds from evil…

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ImageI was thinking during the reading of the Mass readings this morning how thankful I am for God gracing me with the different prayers and devotions, as well as websites, Twitter and Facebook friends that keep me focused on Him.  I have struggled with being distracted with the trappings of this world, whether it be by financial concerns or the evil of pornographic images that can lead to full on pornography in the past and have sometimes found it difficult to justify even being connected to the internet.

However, the present moment in my life has been graced by many “holy” distractions that lead me to deepen my relationship with the Lord.  I felt motivated to write about it today, but figured that I wouldn’t because I would probably be too busy preparing for my class tonight.  However, directly after receiving Communion today, I realized that I was bothered by a small pain in my head that I noticed that I get right after receiving Communion and I knew that this was a gift of the Lord’s coming into my body in the form of bread and wine, but in His body and blood that caused this pain.  It was a gift that was meant to cleanse my mind of all the memories of past sins and allow me to be further converted into the man who God is creating me to be.  When I shared this with my son, I realized that I should look up whether there was anyone else who has ever noticed anything like this happening after Communion.  The only article I found was someone who had headaches that probably stemmed for problems with gluten, since it happened about a half an hour after receiving.

Anyway, I wanted to write this post today to give thanks to God for this revelation of the work that is being done in my life to cleanse my mind of evil, both in the physical world of the Eucharist, physically effecting chemical changes in my brain, and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that has motivated me, as He is trying to motivated us all, I believe, to fill our virtual world with many friends and followers that lead us to a closer relationship with Jesus.  It was in the hope that this post would be read by someone who has recognized the power of God working in their lives through the Eucharist and the other people and things that they have connected to through the internet and will be encouraged by reading my story.  In addition, if there is anyone who finds their life preoccupied by sin and “unholy” distractions.  Hopefully, they will know that if they are open to receiving the grace of God through the Sacrament of the Eucharist and Reconciliation, as well as the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to find spiritually uplifting friends on Facebook and holy men and women to follow on Twitter, and websites that focus on deepening your relationship with God, there is light at the end of the internet.  I hope that I can somehow be a part of that light for someone too.

dc Talk / In the light from nicoletta477 on GodTube.

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=FBE9E1NU