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 Some of their information is out of date, but our Parish priest went there to talk to a parishioners niece about whether she had thought through her decision to terminate a pregnancy there, and he was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!
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!
- “From the life of Jeremiah?” (altruistico.wordpress.com)
- Repentance from a Positive Viewpoint, Part 1 (braggschurchofchrist.com)
- Knocking on the door (justinhiebert.com)
Reading the Gospel today, I couldn’t help but think that Jesus was showing his ninja skills when he evaded the stoning they aimed at him after His proclamation that “I AM”. I led the communion service this morning and I have to say it was weird saying those words from Jesus this morning. Not just because they are so important for us to hear that Jesus said them, but because when you read them in the Gospel of John, it is as if you are saying them.
Knowing my sinfulness, I expected that I would be stoned and run out of the service this morning, but thanks to His mercy, I was allowed to stay and offered a simple reflection based on th
e video reflection that I watched from the USCCB website. I don’t understand the sig
nificance of the ninja theme that has been
the focus of my last few posts, but I have the pro
mise from the Word of God, that God will work it together for good for those that love Him
and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
I am leaning on the Holy Spirit to lead my whole life and I hope that Jesus is taking the things that I struggle with in my life and preparing to reveal to me how I will be converted and continue to repent from my past sins and look to the future that is planned for me in heaven.
I pray that my words on this post and this prayer can bring light to someone’s darkness and allow them to lean on the mercy that is promised to all those who strive to obey His Word…Amen!
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: For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him. Working together, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says: “In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you.”
Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Cor 5:21-6-2)
Observation: Today, we celebrate the beginning of Lent. It even feels weird to write that we are celebrating the beginning of forty days of fasting, almsgiving and deepening our prayer life, as we prepare for Easter. However, as I grow in my faith, I am realizing that this season that precedes Easter, reminds us of the suffering that will always come before the party. Of course, if the party is a Jesus party. My title today is basically pointing out that we remind ourselves of our human frailty on Ash Wednesday, and as we do so it can feel like we are celebrating the fact that we will die someday. I am just wondering, in our busy lives, would we find time to celebrate our own passing from this world to the next, or would be too busy?
Personification: Faithfulness. Maybe I have started focusing too much on the fruit of faithfulness lately, but it seems to me that it is only when God graces me with it, I am targeting my efforts of evangelization and prayer quite effectively.
Prayer: Lord, continue to challenge me with your will for me and never let me be complacent with the gift you grace my life with daily. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…Amen!
Gospel MK 1:40-45
“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.
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!
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: Now since the children share in blood and flesh, he likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,j and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life. Surely he did not help angels but rather the descendants of Abraham; therefore, he had to become like his brothers in every way, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God to expiate the sins of the people.k Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested. (Hebrews 2:14-18)
Observation: Death has no power, except if it eternally separates us from God. The devil had that power to have people remain in their sin, and be lost forever, but we were made free from death by the power of Jesus. If you read the gospel for today’s Mass, you will hear about his power while he still walked the earth. His greater power is only fulfilled through his faithful followers, whom he called brothers, who can see in his willingness to suffer death, that he has transferred his power to them to carry out his mission of saving sinners from death.
Personification: Patience. It is important that I remember to have patience with others, the way that God has had patience with me. If I can display the fruit of patience today, by not blowing anyone up, especially my children, with my words, than I will be well on my way to being able to be patient with anyone.
Prayer: Lord, please show me the way to display the fruit of patience with my children. You know how they get under my skin and I know it is your power to make them listen the first time. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit. Amen!
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!
- A Short Important Message On Prayer & Salvation (vineoflife.net)