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  Some of their information is out of date, but our Parish priest went there to talk to a parishioners niece about whether she had thought through her decision to terminate a pregnancy there, and he was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!

Listen to this…

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Gospel       MK 1:40-45

A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said,
“If you wish, you can make me clean.”
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand,
touched the leper, and said to him,
“I do will it. Be made clean.”
The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.
Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once.
Then he said to him, “See that you tell no one anything,
but go, show yourself to the priest
and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed;
that will be proof for them.”
The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter.
He spread the report abroad
so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly.
He remained outside in deserted places,
and people kept coming to him from everywhere.

Great reflection on today’s Gospel…Glad to share!

Thankful to God for the healing in my life…Hopeful for healing for my immediate and extended family…Hoping to stay focused on God’s intention for my life today…Amen!

 

In Joseph, we see our salvation…

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Saint Joseph by Guido Reni, c. 1640.

Saint Joseph by Guido Reni, c. 1640. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, an epiphany about what Joseph means to our salvation.  As much as the Feast of Mary, the Mother of God heralded her role as the first image of heaven on Monday to me, today’s Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus shows me that Joseph reveals to us the name of our Savior.  This may not sound like much, but without his compliance with the word given to him by an angel about the name of Jesus, his foster son, we would not have his name to lead us to the Father in heaven…Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner…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!!!

REALLY GOOD NEWS FROM PETER TODAY!

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Window at Parish Church of St Peter, Frampton ...

Window at Parish Church of St Peter, Frampton Cotterell, England (Photo credit: DanieVDM)

 

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:  He did deliver Lot, however, a just man oppressed by the conduct of men unprincipled in their lusts. (Day after day that just one, good as he was, felt himself tormented by seeing and hearing about the lawless deeds of those among whom he lived.) The Lord, indeed, knows how to rescue devout men from trial, and how to continue the punishment of the wicked up to the day of judgment. (2 Peter 2:7-9)

 

Observation:  If God delivered Lot, does that mean that he will deliver us?  I can see parallels in what Lot had to endure in his day and what God’s faithful ones have to endure in today’s world, living amidst all kinds of evil.  We can be sure that if we continue on the route to becoming devout men and women, he will rescue us from trial.  However, we must remember that if we throw our hat in with the wicked, the punishment that comes to the wicked will be for us as well.  Reading today taken from the Office of Readings for today.  (See lournaling Page for link)

 

Personification:  Faithfulness. It is good to know that God will save devout men from trial, but I need to keep in His grace, by displaying the fruit of faithfulness in my life now, if I plan on being that devout man.  In choosing to do God and rejecting evil at every opportunity today, I will be able to display the fruit of faithfulness by the grace of the One who died for my sin.

 

Prayer:  Lord, it is by the light of your goodness that I can see the evil that surrounds me and with your protection and the protection of your holy angels that I will be saved from my flesh…Amen!

 

Let’s give glory and honor to God now…

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Vision from Book of Revelation

Vision from Book of Revelation (Photo credit: cliff1066™)

 

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:  “Worthy are you, Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things; because of your will they came to be and were created.”  (Revelation 4:11)

 

Observation:  Although this verse is quoting the 24 elders that fell don in worship of God in John’s Revelation, shouldn’t we all be taking this attitude toward the God who is completing the work of salvation in us.  Rather than try to figure out exactly who the 24 elders are, I decided that giving glory and honor and power that rightly belong to God to Him who is still completing his work of salvation in me, is a better way to spend this post.

 

Personification:  Faithfulness.  It is only by giving up my selfish ambitions to understand the mind of God and following the lead of all the great saints that came before me, by giving glory and honor and power to the God who has saved me, that I can experience the fruit of faithfulness in my life.

 

Prayer:  Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end…Amen!

 

 

 

 

What are we waiting for?

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Courage

Courage (Photo credit: NJ..)

 

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:  On that day, a person who is on the housetop and whose belongings are in the house must not go down to get them, and likewise a person in the field must not return to what was left behind.  (Luke 17:31)

 

Observation:  Have we not seen enough tribulation and strife, world wars and evil to be converted away from what this world has to offer?  I am hearing this morning in the Gospel reading, not a call to repentance to save ourselves from future pains, but a call to leave our possessions of this world behind in favor of redemption that has already come to us through the resurrection and ascension of the one who died on a cross for us, Jesus.

 

Personification:  Peace.  It is only when I realize that God has made me for so much more than this present darkness that we live in, that I can be at peace with the fact that we have to suffer through this world in order to get to the next.  I don’t know what God has planned for me next, but I know it is a future full of hope and love.

 

Prayer:  Lord, make me an instrument of your peace right now and for as long as you give us the time to take part in the redemption of the souls that have not yet accepted your grace.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…Amen!

 

Saint Peter’s 7 steps to love…

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Statue of st. Peter

Statue of st. Peter (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:  Beloved: May grace and peace be yours in abundance through knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has bestowed on us everything that makes for life and devotion, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and power. Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love.  (2 Peter 1:2-7)

Observation:  I had picked the last three verses of this reading to journal on yesterday morning, but didn’t have the time to sit down and share my thoughts until now.  After hearing Father Francis’ homily from The Newman Center Mass yesterday evening, I am encouraged to share with more zeal than ever the good news as it is being revealed to me.  Truth is, I don’t care if no one else is listening that I think needs to hear this message, I know God is using it to talk to the one that needs to hear it.  Anyway, the steps I mentioned in my title, are not so much steps but parts of love…It just didn’t sound as good as parts, so I left the title I picked yesterday.  If you read the words that are attributed to Saint Peter in this letter, he says that love is composed of these things; Faith, Virtue, Knowledge, Self-Control, Endurance, Devotion and Mutual Affection.  This is a much different version of love than the one I was raised with and the worldly love is the one I spent most of my life selling to get what I wanted from people.

Personification:  Kindness  This fruit of kindness was not listed in Saint Peter’s parts of love, but for me to be able to display God’s love, I must remember to act with kindness towards those that I love first and everyone else I come in contact with as well.  The grace that I get from God will allow me to focus on displaying this kindness, because it is not something that comes naturally to me.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to show the uncommon kindness that you showed me by dying for my sins, even though I am unworthy of your grace, I know you will supply the grace necessary to love others with the love that you showed me for calling me to follow you.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

Who is questioning our authority to preach?

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English: Resurrection of Christ

English: Resurrection of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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:  They returned once more to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple area, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders approached him and said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do them?”  (Mark 11:27-28)

Observation:  As I began to ponder what verse or verse I would focus on today in my journal, I actually picked out a verse from the first reading first, but the link wasn’t working to open it to the page that could remind me of the context.  Anyway, I had thought about the fact that the scribes and temple authorities had questioned Jesus’ authority when I read the Gospel too.  When I thought about it, in relation to who questions my authority to do the things That I do to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, I realized that this is a more worthy reflection on today’s readings for my blog.  It is not any authority, per se, that I think about when I am deciding whether or not to post my reflection, it is the doubts that enter my head about whether I am really called to do this or if I am just putting myself out there, so someone will tell me how great I am.  Jesus said that he has defeated the powers that create those negative thoughts in my head, and thanks be to God the authorities of our faith are not telling me to stop, because I would really need God’s help and grace to continue preaching then.

Personification:  Love  As my daughter asked me to pick her up, I couldn’t help but want to focus on the fruit of love this morning.  As she squirms to get down on the floor and I have to put her back in her walker, I realize that self-control is the fruit that I should be focusing on.  It is a fruit that I was not asked to focus on much when I was growing up, and even at age 40, I struggle with displaying this fruit in my life.  Maybe, I will struggle with it my whole life, but I know that it is only by grace and through the power of the Holy Spirit that I will ever be able to e to conquer the desires of the flesh and things that lead me to despair in this life.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to rely more fully on the holy Spirit and allow the fruit of self-control to be displayed in my life.  Please keep me from displaying anger at things that are not evil, and only focus my attention on holy things.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen

Abundant fish…

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Jesus

Jesus (Photo credit: madam3181)

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:  Wherever it flows, the river teems with every kind of living creature; fish will abound. Where these waters flow they refresh; everything lives where the river goes.  (Ezekiel 47:9)

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When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be well?”  (John 5:6)

Observation:  It was the video from the USCCB website that helped me with my reflection that I shared with the faithful people of God that came to our church to share the body of Christ in Communion with me.  I looked for the one thing to preach on, and it was the abundant fish.  We should see ourselves as the abundant fish that Ezekiel is talking about that are nourished by the living water that flows from God throughout this world from the church.   For my journal, I added the question of Jesus, because I hear him asking me this question, “Do you want to be well?”  Well, do I?  If I do, shouldn’t I live like someone who is confident that he can overcome whatever sin I struggle with?

Personification:  Joy  I have felt compelled to display the fruit of joy for a few days now, and I haven’t written it in my journal because it was something that I was just doing, not needing to focus on.  I am going to focus on it today, no matter what comes my way, I will be joyful.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to be well, because you are the one who makes me well.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.