My guardian angel is calling me by name…

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The Guardian Angel

The Guardian Angel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have looked for a validation for calling my guardian angel by name, and I was told that I should be more concerned about the name he knows me by, and not what I call when I pray.  The name that came to me was John, and at first I wanted to accept that this was my guardian angel’s name.  However, I was troubled by the fact that I felt like that was the name that I thought I would take, if I was ever to be blessed with joining a religious community that accepted me under a new name.  Still, I felt called to use that name until I read the gospel for yesterday’s Mass and heard in the naming of John by Zechariah that I am called to be like John the Baptist, a herald of the one who is to come.  Then today, I read in a post by an inmate in jail in prison in New York, that we are called to be like John the Evangelist, to “Behold our Mother!”, who is Mary, the Mother of God and our Mother.

After completing the Consecration to Mary last year and completing the retreat of “Consoling the Heart of Jesus“, with the direction of Father Michael Gaitley and the spiritual direction of some amazing Saints, I have known that God is calling me to so much more than just a head knowledge or even the interior conversion that I have felt so wonderfully happening to me since taking on these two wonderful gifts of “do-it yourself” retreats.  This past week, our Advent Mission was directed by Father Philip Scott and I was directly told that I must make my life a complete gift to God and he is waiting for me to start the mission that he has for me.

As the writer of the blog from prison, These Stone Walls,  related happened to his companion, when he knew that God was calling him to greatness, and changed his name to Max, after Saint Maximillian Kolbe, I feel like from today on, I would like to be called John.  I would love to be known as the herald as the one to come, and I definitely want to be able to identify myself as a child of the Blessed Mother Mary, who is interceding for me now, as I write this post.  You can take this for whatever it means to you, but I think it is important for my guardian angel to know that I have made the conscious decision to be called by the name that I was given from heaven to be called…

I, John, do solemnly pray…Angel of God, my guardian Imagedear, to whom God’s love commits me here…Ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide…Amen!

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!

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.

 

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

Saint Maria Goretti, pray for us!

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English: Painting of Maria Goretti.

English: Painting of Maria Goretti. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Father Ron was so inspiring this morning at Mass at Saint Mary Catholic Church.  I am abandoning my normal format to make sure this message gets through.  As I reflected on the readings that were chosen specifically for her optional memorial, as well as the story of her life that Father Ron had read for part of his homily, I realized that if we took the attitude of this 12-year-old girl towards the virtue of chastity, we would have very few young people who struggled with purity before marriage.  It may have been an inference that Father Ron made to the fact she is a model of purity that is much-needed in this world today, but I think the thought I had expounds on his inference.

The thought was that if every person would consider death over impurity, in other words that they would prefer to die than violate the commandment of God to save sex for the Sacrament of Matrimony.  Imagine the young man who is trying to pressure the girl he is dating to take this relationship to the next level that is told that his girlfriend would prefer that he just kill her and not violate her purity.  Understandably, this sounds crazy for those parents that have daughters that are dating the guy that might actually take her up on it.

However, if we look at this from the other side, maybe it might shine some light on the wisdom here.  What if every time a woman, young or old, was to offer her purity to a man in a way that incited his flesh to desire to take her as his own in a way that was meant for the marriage bed, he informed her that he would rather that she were to kill him, and not cause him to desire to violate her purity.  I imagine myself preferring to be stabbed in the heart with a knife, rather than ever be incited to violate a woman’s purity.

If you look at the life of Saint Maria Goretti, you may understand this line of thinking a little better.  For my part, I will probably develop this idea just a little better before I ever share it with our youth, but if we look at this line from the gospel chosen for the memorial of Saint Maria Goretti, it might shed an even brighter light on the purpose and meaning of the reference I made above to preferring death to sin.

(John 12:24-26) :  Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life* loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.

Furthermore, in the first reading, Paul says in his first letter to the Corinthians…

(1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a):  The body, however, is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body; God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Avoid immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body.* Do you not know that your body is a temple* of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.

Finally, the collect prayer from the beginning of Mass is the best prayer to encapsulate my hope in the intercession of Saint Maria Goretti in my life and the conversion of the whole world…

O God, author if innocence and lover of chastity, who bestowed the grace of martyrdom on your handmaid, the Virgin Saint Maria Goretti, in her youth, grant, we pray, through her intercession, that, as you gave her a crown for her steadfastness, so we, too, may be firm in obeying your commandments. 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!

Are you still persecuting the church?

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I’m breaking from my normal format today, to make a comment about the readings for today’s Mass.  It seems to me that the gospel reading today makes it very clear that Jews that were with Jesus had a hard time accepting the fact that Jesus said that they would have to eat flesh and drink blood to have life within them.  How many non-denominational Christians are still struggling with this today?  It strikes me that if they would only see that Jesus has been present in the church

imagesince the Institution of the Eucharist, the people who had struggled with accepting that the Eucharist is truly His Body and Blood would have the scales fall off their eyes just like Paul.  Jesus wanted us to be One Church, not many denominations of Christian churches.  Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful that other Christians are still struggling, like us, to follow Christ in their own way, but with a Pope like Francis, and a God who humbled himself to come down to earth, not just as a baby but also making himself present to us in the form of bread and wine right now, I think we could easily be in Communion as brothers and sisters in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.  Maybe they are waiting for Jesus to return and really blind them, like Saul was on his way to persecute the first Christians, before they will let their eyes be opened to the truth that has been revealed for 2000 years of history in the church.

I pray that we all continue to follow God’s will for our lives and we are brought so low that everyone can see Jesus behind us…I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…Amen!

It is a Jeremiah day…

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English: Repent window, Mathon church, near to...

English: Repent window, Mathon church, near to Mathon, Herefordshire, Great Britain. Beneath the left side: Repent ye for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” and the right: “Thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Gift:  Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

 

Reading:  “The one who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars says this: “I know your works, that you have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.  Be watchful and strengthen what is left, which is going to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.  Remember then how you accepted and heard; keep it, and repent. If you are not watchful, I will come like a thief, and you will never know at what hour I will come upon you.  However, you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; they will walk with me dressed in white, because they are worthy.  (Rev 3:1b-4)

 

“I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot.* I wish you were either cold or hot.   So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.   For you say, ‘I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,’ and yet do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.   I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire* so that you may be rich, and white garments to put on so that your shameful nakedness may not be exposed, and buy ointment to smear on your eyes so that you may see.  Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise. Be earnest, therefore, and repent.  (Rev 3:15-19)

 

Observation:  I feel like I attend church in the time of the Revelation to John about the church in Sardis and Laodicea, and I can’t decide which of the two I attend presently.  It is me, of course, that has the lukewarm feelings at times and the tendency to get too lax in my spiritual life, but I feel like our church has so much lukewarmness and spiritual deadness, it is hard to not stand up on the pews and start screaming about when we are going to stand up for what we really believe.

 

Personification:  Joy  It is only in displaying the fruit of joy in my life, that I will be effective in delivering the news that it is time to repent.  This is not just a call to stop complying with evil in our society, it is that we need to recognize that sitting idly by while the neighborhood we live in goes to hell in a hand-basket is not ok either.

 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner…For the sake of your sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world…I ask this, as always, in the name of  the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you heard of the prophecy from Saint Malachy?

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220px-St._MalachySo, it was this mornings daily Mass readings that is prompting me to discuss the prophecy and the implications to Our Mother Church.  If you read about the prophecy, you will see that its veracity can not be verified, but it is interesting to see how many people have spent countless hours, I am sure, rationalizing the names given by the prophecy to a somewhat endless list of popes that would lead us to the 112th one, that should be the last.  If I am hearing the interpretation correctly, many people believe that Pope Francis is the last pope that is called, “Petrus Romanus” or Peter the Roman.  I won’t bore you with the reasons that I have read for the justification for Pope Francis being him, but suffice it to say that many people will be talking about it being him, partly because they hope he is the last pope, and so do I.

Why?  You may be asking yourself, why would someone be hoping for Pope Francis to be the last pope.  You may just as well as yourself, why do we pray, “Come, Lord Jesus!” at every Mass that we use Eucharistic Liturgy 1.  The truth is that we know from science that the earth is passing away, and some scientists say it could last a couple 1000 more years and others say we are on the brink of destruction, at least as far as the climate is concerned.  The point is, we know that the time we have to live our own lives is short, and as believers in Jesus Christ, we would rather start spending our eternity with our God who loves us, than a world that hates us.  However, that should not concern us or cause us to despair to the point of inaction, because the world first hated Jesus, as he reminds his disciples. (See John 15:18-19)

So, for me, I love talk about the prophecy and what it all means, as long as we keep in perspective that it should be calling to live our lives more fully for Jesus Christ, in this moment and every moment for the rest of eternity.  As Our Mother told Saint Bernadette, and I’m paraphrasing, that she did not promise her comfort in this world, but in the next.  Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!