God is searching for lost souls…

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Sto Antônio de Pádua

Sto Antônio de Pádua (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we lose something, we might call on the intercession of Saint Anthony to pray to God for us to help us find it. Yesterday, I attended Mass with Father Ron at Saint Mary Catholic Church, and he mentioned that sometimes he has used this intercessory prayer and it hasn’t worked. He suggested, I think correctly, that God, in his infinite wisdom , must have decided that he didn’t need to find the thing that he was searching for, so the power of the intercessory prayer was usurped by the will of God.

He also shared with us this part of the Office of Readings for yesterday, that came directly from the Second Reading from the words of Saint Anthony of Padua. I was moved by them, when I had read them earlier yesterday morning. Here are those amazing words, that, I think relate to me and this blog…

“The man who is filled with the Holy Spirit speaks in different languages. These different languages are different ways of witnessing to Christ, such as humility, poverty, patience and obedience; we speak in those languages when we reveal in ourselves these virtues to others. Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach and your actions speak.”

As we finished Mass, before we were sent out to be living examples of the grace we received in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, Father Ron told us that he has a relic of Saint Anthony that he wanted to offer us a blessing with, before we are sent out. It was quite incredible that the whole church waited, very few people left right after Mass ended, so they could receive this blessing. Now, it wasn’t like we went up and kissed the relic and received tongues of fire, but it was a healing blessing that Father Ron used, and it had a great effect on me when I heard it.

Now, to my point, when our souls are lost, it is usually because we have allowed some darkness to take over our lives, where the light wants to shine through. It is my hope and I give thanks today for the deliverance I received from the evils in my life that comes as a result of this healing blessing that I received yesterday, through the intercession of Saint Anthony. I am not sure how this original prayer goes, but this is my new version that I will try to use, at least on Saint Anthony’s Feast Day, from now on.

Saint Anthony, patron saint of lost causes, thank you for interceding for me and dispelling the evil that surrounded me, and helping God find my lost soul…Amen!

WE HEARD THE GOOD NEWS, BUT ARE WE LISTENING?

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So proud of Andy Schmelzer…From Coos Bay!  <  See video here!

Gift:  Fortitude (Courage) – With the gift of courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risk as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death.

Reading:  For in fact we have received the good news just as they did. But the word that they heard did not profit them, for they were not united in faith with those who listened.Therefore, let us strive to enter into that rest, so that no one may fall after the same example of disobedience.  (Hebrews 4:2,11)

Observation:  As you know, if you have read my journal before, I do not usually highlight the reading, unless it is the words of Jesus and I think I need to highlight in red.  However, today’s first reading for Mass, so reveals a truth about something that happened last night in our little town, I had to highlight it in bold letters.  After I post the video for last night’s rally outside of PP’s new facility, I think it will be abundantly clear why I think this first reading is speaking to us in this country now.

Personification:  Faithfulness. It is true that I am a little jealous of this guy that I met for the first time yesterday, because of his courage to stand up to the abomination that is PP.  I hope that I can stay faithful to the Word of God and our church, so that God will show me the way he is using me to do the same thing Andy was last night.

Prayer:  Lord, continue to build up in me courage and by your grace, keep me always faithful to the calling that you have laid on me and let us be united in your church with those who listened.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

How does Mom remember the story?

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Madonna by Raphael, an example of Marian art

Madonna by Raphael, an example of Marian art (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gift:  Knowledge – With the gift of knowledge, we understand the meaning of God’s Revelation, especially as expressed in the life and words of Jesus Christ. A person with knowledge is always learning more about the scriptures and Tradition.

Reading:  And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. (Luke 4:22a)

Observation:  As I read the gospel reading from the Mass readings for today, I remembered that I had heard that Luke had gotten part of his gospel from listening to testimony of Mary, the Mother of God.  It should not surprise us then that in his gospel we hear of how people spoke highly of him and were amazed at his gracious words, before they got irritated at the fact that he was just the son of Joseph, the carpenter, and they could not accept what he had said of himself.  It is true for me, that my mother would usually tell a better version of my story than even I remember from growing up, and for that I am truly thankful to have her for a mother.

Personification:  Love  I hope that I can remember to focus on my mother version of the events that make up my life, and only see the bright spots of where God was trying to form me into a disciple.  As for Mary, I hope that I can see her as my spiritual Mother, so I can start to understand what pure love is and how to put the fruit of love on display to the people who I meet today.  I have to give my testimony again tonight at Saint Peter Catholic Church about how I suffered through my girlfriend’s abortion, without having any say in the decision, and as I finish this post I will call my mother to ask her to pray for me.

Prayer:  Hail Mary, full of grace.  The Lord is with you.  Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

 

He was born, died, resurrected, and rose to heaven and will come again…Are you afraid?

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Allegory of hope; Oil on canvas, Francesco Gua...

Allegory of hope; Oil on canvas, Francesco Guardi, 1747 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Gift:  Wisdom- With the gift of wisdom, we see God at work in our lives and in the world. For the wise person, the wonders of nature, historical events, and the ups and downs of our lives take on deeper meaning. The matters of judgment about the truth, and being able to see the image of God.

 

Reading:  Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,
with the mountains quaking before you.  (Isaiah 63:19)

 

&

 

In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.  (1 John 4:17-18)

 

Observation:  As I read the Office of Readings, I felt as if the first psalmody was written for me.  As I went back to the page just now to remember what the first psalm reading is called, I found this scripture written under the title for Psalm 39, or the urgent prayer of a sick person.  Creation is made subject to futility…by him who subjected it, but it is not without hope (Romans 8:20).  So, I am getting over a cold/flu, and I hope today marks the end of my suffering any symptoms.  However, it was further down the Office that I came to the line from the First reading that I quoted above.   I couldn’t help feeling joy at reading of the words of Isaiah that were calling on God to come down.  Although, the prophet was speaking before the first coming, I would think he would have yearned for our final salvation as well.

 

Personification:  Joy. Today, I am hoping to display the fruit of joy, not only because I hope to not suffer any more symptoms of a cold, but also because of the hope that I have that our loving God will not want to see us suffer this world’s injustice too much longer.  As it says in the responsory, right after the first reading for today’s Office of Readings:

 

We cry out for justice, but it is not there;

 

for salvation, but it is far from us.  (Isaiah 59:11)

 

It is much easier to see a path to displaying the fruit of joy when we read the first reading for today’s Mass from the first letter of John that I listed in the readings section above.  It is only because we know that God loves us perfectly, that we know that we can be not afraid of his bringing judgment on this world.

 

Prayer:  Lord, in your love let me put real joy on display to see today.  It is my hope that everyone who sees me today, sees you.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

 

Who am I?

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Gregory of Nazianzus

Gregory of Nazianzus (Photo credit: Texsain (formerly Nazianzus))

 

Gift:  Wisdom- With the gift of wisdom, we see God at work in our lives and in the world. For the wise person, the wonders of nature, historical events, and the ups and downs of our lives take on deeper meaning. The matters of judgment about the truth, and being able to see the image of God.

 

Reading:  Different men have different names, which they owe to their parents or to themselves, that is, to their own pursuits and achievements. But our great pursuit, the great name we wanted, was to be Christians, to be called Christians. (From a sermon by Saint Gregory Nazianzen, bishop)

 

Observation:  I read the readings for Mass first this morning, and the first reading from the Office of Readings probably had some more interesting material to journal on, but when I got to the end of the second reading from the Office of Readings for today, I was blown away by how humble this Saint was.  He could have said that because of their great wisdom, he knew that he and Saint Basil would go on to make great reforms in monastic life because they knew what to do.  He didn’t, he said their great pursuit, would be to be called Christians.

 

Personification:  Peace. Once again, if the fruit of peace is to be put on display in my life, I must learn to be content with where God has called me in every moment today.

 

Prayer:  Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…Amen

 

Beloved: Translation – All you who know that you are loved!

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Divine Love…<—- click there to see video and then come back to read below\/

I was given this message this morning…I think it fits perfectly with the Feast of Saint John…He was the beloved disciple…We are called to know this love too…God bless you!

First Reading for today’s Mass for the Feast of Saint John:  (1 John 1:1-4)

Beloved:saint-john-the-apostle1.jpg
What was from the beginning,
what we have heard,
what we have seen with our eyes,
what we looked upon
and touched with our hands
concerns the Word of life –
for the life was made visible;
we have seen it and testify to it
and proclaim to you the eternal life
that was with the Father and was made visible to us?
what we have seen and heard
we proclaim now to you,
so that you too may have fellowship with us;
for our fellowship is with the Father
and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
We are writing this so that our joy may be complete.

The Word of the Lord…

And now, my joy can be complete!  Thanks be to God…Alleluia…Amen!!!

Is it just me, or is Jesus talking to us too?

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Offertoire en rite tridentin

Offertoire en rite tridentin (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:  Turning to the disciples in private he said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.  For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”  (Luke 10:23-24)

 

Observation:  It is possible that I came to this conclusion before when I heard this reading and I may have even journaled on it.  However, I feel like it is important for me to say that I feel blessed to be living in these days where we can know Jesus intimately through all the Sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Eucharist.  In both visible signs of God’s grace, we can see, feel and experience grace in a way that the prophets and kings of the old testament only dreamed about.

 

Personification:  Patience. I came to the conclusion after Mass on Sunday, that I need to show more patience with those that are leading our congregation in worship and in the different ministries in our church.  I was reminded of the fact that it took me 20 years of walking in the faith to come to the conclusions that I have about the importance and necessity of the church in all areas of your life.  That should not be a matter of pride for me that I got to this point in my faith in 20 years, rather I should be thankful that the grace of God has gotten me this far and his grace is enough to get us all to be able to enjoy eternal life with Him.

 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner…Amen!