Mary or Jezebel…Which one am I?

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I guess I should point out that I know that those names are both female, and I am a male, so there may be some confusion among those that know me when they read the title of my post. However, I have been contemplating this question for a couple of days. It has mostly in reference to people of the opposite sex, and for that matter, my thoughts have been centered on one woman and that is my wife. I know I should not go down the road of trying to discern other people’s intentions and I really need to let go of my judgmental tendencies. I’m talking about my attitude toward my wife and all women, for that matter. It is for that reason that this post will focus on myself, and I will leave it to others who may read it to discern if they are acting like Mary or Jezebel. For a more complete treatment of who Mary and Jezebel were in the bible, there is a great article here: http://www.neverthirsty.org/pp/corner/read/r00051.html
However, there is one question that I just can’t shake. How can I be consecrated to Jesus through Mary, when act like Jezebel. Mary is a model for chastity, purity and obedience. I am a model for licentiousness, impurity and impatience. Let me explain:
In my life, I have been given a wife and four amazing children, but I spend so much time focused on fulfilling the mission of evangelization for the church, I have neglected my primary vocation as husband and father. Jezebel was the wife of Ahab, and was known for her lack of self-control and worship of many gods. It is for the same things that I could be known for, at least my confessor would know me for them. Anyway, it is my hope that with Mary, the Mother of God and the Queen of Heaven and Earth as a guide, I can learn to be a better example to my kids and a worthy partner to my wife. It is only in surrendering my will, that I will ever know His perfect will for my life.

Mary, Queen of peace and model of perfect chastity, pray for us!

The prophet John says…(part II)

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https://twitter.com/CatholicNewsSvc/status/527094769370288128

As I read the quote from Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, also known as Edith Stein, I realized that her words to Pope Pius XI are relevant to our current situation here in America, as much as they were in 1933 Germany.

We face an oppression by our government that is asking us to participate in the legalized killing of babies through contraception which is an interruption of conception by a cutting off of the natural process of protection that a womb gives to a newly formed child, all the way to partial birth abortion which is infanticide. We are being asked to fund this through a mandated health care system that looks like a system that cares for the poor, but in actuality it targets the weak with the modern form of genocide called abortion. We need Pope Francis to come to America like Blessed Mother Teresa did, and condemn this governments actions in support of Margaret Sanger’s brain child of racial cleansing, called Planned Parenthood.

We can do better than killing a whole generation of ethnic children, or we can follow in the footsteps of past oppressive regimes, and end up lamenting the years of full scale genocide of God’s people. We are all chosen to be God’s children, and it is time that we started standing up for the most vulnerable children, the ones in the womb.

That’s real mature!

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Remembering back to my high school days, we used to say that all the time.  “That’s real mature!”  It was our response to something that we considered quite infantile or below us.  The truth is, we didn’t know what real maturity even looked like, and left to my own devices or “vices” I don’t think I would have ever learned what maturity looks like.  I was just going to re-post a link to something I read this morning, but instead of doing that I am going to share on this post the things that most spoke to my heart this morning.

Anyway, it was the discussion about the fact that in emotional maturity, the heart ascends before the intellect, or better said, it is the heart that is always leading the intellect.  Allison, the author of the post I read, says, “In this modern age where much emphasis is given to reason and intellectual pursuit, even in many Catholic circles, this teaching is very important to understand. God communicates with us in our hearts, making spiritual maturity not only an endeavor of the intellect–knowing right and wrong, but one of the heart–developing a “listening ear” so to speak, and responding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Read more: http://spiritualdirection.com/2014/10/22/emotional-and-spiritual-maturity-whats-difference-part-i-of-ii#ixzz3GtncOjdm

To me, this is very important because I often think, as a man, that I may be spending too much time on the affairs of the heart and it might help to focus more on those things that I can figure out through reason and my brain.  However, it helps me to know that by focusing on the heart, I can be sure that the reason that is necessary to support the emotional stability will be supplied by my being focused on studying the right things.

As for the spiritual maturity, Allison writes, “Just as we understand emotional maturity as the ability to experience warmth and affection and to guide our emotions effectively by reason, spiritual maturity can then be understood as growth in a loving and warm relationship with Christ and the effective guidance of both our reason and our emotions by virtue.

Read more: http://spiritualdirection.com/2014/10/22/emotional-and-spiritual-maturity-whats-difference-part-i-of-ii#ixzz3GtptfnlN

Therefore, our need to consecrate ourselves to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, will only continue to provide the opportunities to grow in virtue that supports our faith.  I think tomorrow, I will be led to speak more about the importance of receiving the Body of Christ, or the heart of Jesus in the Eucharist, that leads us to displaying the virtue instead of the “vices”!

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!

My brother died…

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It was last Saturday, and I had just dropped my son off at the line for Confession with Father Jaspers.  One of my friends I saw in line was quite upset, and they looked at me as if they needed to tell me something.  As I left the church, with my son in line with some of his friends that were in his Confirmation class last year, I was met by someone who told me that they had some news about someone that I know.  As we walked together to the Education Center building, she told me that the young man, who was the father of my friend, who was in line in confession, committed suicide.  At first, I thought I would post his name on here to show that he is a real person, but I would rather not put him and his family on blast about this horrible incident in their lives.

However, the reason this suicide affects me so deeply is that I actually had a relationship with this young man through his place of business, as well as through his baby’s mom.  So, I am left with the thought that in my interactions with him, why did I never invite him to come to the church?  Was it because he was not married to the mother of his son?  Was it just because I thought that he was young and had plenty of time to decide to follow Jesus?  Whatever the reason, it is pointless now because I will not have a chance to invite him to come to church and find a reason for hope, because he already decided that it was time to give in to despair.  It is sad, and his funeral is tomorrow, so I will have some time to deal with the grief of losing someone from my life who had quite an impact on me, despite the limited time that we spent together this side of heaven.

However, the reason I am bringing up the story of this young man is because there are millions of young men just like him, or with a similar story, who need a reason to believe.  Does it matter where we meet them?  Does it matter what there story is?  Do they have plenty of time to decide to follow Jesus?  The answer is, not necessarily!  We should be inviting them to come find a reason for hope.  It doesn’t matter what circumstances led them to come into our lives, we are called to tell them about Jesus and all he has done for us and invite them to come to him and his church.  Our brothers and sisters are out there in the world waiting to be given a reason to hope for the future.  The future that is right now, not tomorrow!

Thank you Jesus for giving me a reason to hope and the ability to share it with others!  I pray that through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, his Mother and my Mother, I will be led to share the good news with everyone I meet today.

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!

When we eat this bread…

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I was praying the rosary Wednesday morning, and I realized that when we eat the Body of Christ in the Eucharist, we are participating in the Resurrection of Jesus by allowing him to be incarnated again in us.  As I prayed the 1st glorious mystery, the realization that I could be the incarnation of God after consuming his Body and Blood was short lived, because I remembered that the fact that his presence only stays with us for about 10 minutes was explained to me through a homily I heard just yesterday.  Anyway, as I got into the Ascension of Jesus or the 2nd glorious mystery, I realized that if we were united to him through his resurrection, we were also united to him through the Ascension, and if only for a brief moment we can be taken up to heaven with Jesus through his power that has ascended to the Father.  Finally, it was the Descent of the Holy Spirit, or the 3rd glorious mystery that reminded me that because he has left us here on earth, even though our hearts are transported to heaven with him, he is sending the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us to the work that is left to do here on earth until Jesus comes the final time to earth.

advent.jpgI finished my night last night at the Newman Center, where I received the Body and Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist.  I remember feeling the presence of Jesus when I received him in the form of bread and wine, and I distinctly remember feeling the presence leaving me and having the conscious thought that now I need to live by the direction of the Holy Spirit, if I want to stay in communion with God.  Thanks be to God and all glory to him who has revealed these truths to me and to anyone who he wishes to share his truth with through me.

Come Lord Jesus!

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!

Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us…

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When I think about the love I felt in the church the other day, this is the love that I think of…

From a work by Saint Teresa of Avila, virgin
Let us always be mindful of Christ’s love

If Christ Jesus dwells in a man as his friend and noble leader, that man can endure all things, for Christ helps and strengthens us and never abandons us. He is a true friend. And I clearly see that if we expect to please him and receive an abundance of his graces, God desires that these graces must come to us from the hands of Christ, through his most sacred humanity, in which God takes delight.

Many, many times I have perceived this through experience. The Lord has told it to me. I have definitely seen that we must enter by this gate if we wish his Sovereign Majesty to reveal to us great and hidden mysteries. A person should desire no other path, even if he is at the summit of contemplation; on this road he walks safely. All blessings come to us through our Lord. He will teach us, for in beholding his life we find that he is the best example.

What more do we desire from such a good friend at our side? Unlike our friends in the world, he will never abandon us when we are troubled or distressed. Blessed is the one who truly loves him and always keeps him near. Let us consider the glorious Saint Paul: it seems that no other name fell from his lips than that of Jesus, because the name of Jesus was fixed and embedded in his heart. Once I had come to understand this truth, I carefully considered the lives of some of the saints, the great contemplatives, and found that they took no other path: Francis, Anthony of Padua, Bernard, Catherine of Siena. A person must walk along this path in freedom, placing himself in God’s hands. If God should desire to raise us to the position of one who is an intimate and shares his secrets, we ought to accept this gladly.

Whenever we think of Christ we should recall the love that led him to bestow on us so many graces and favours, and also the great love God showed in giving us in Christ a pledge of his love; for love calls for love in return. Let us strive to keep this always before our eyes and to rouse ourselves to love him. For if at some time the Lord should grant us the grace of impressing his love on our hearts, all will become easy for us and we shall accomplish great things quickly and without effort. (end of quote from Saint Teresa of Avila)

Question is…What will we accomplish today with the power of this great love?

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!