Why do you not attend Mass daily?

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Jesus drives out a demon or unclean spirit, fr...

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:   In the same way, the doctrine of the Christian religion should properly follow these laws of development, that is, by becoming firmer over the years, more ample in the course of time, more exalted as it advances in age.  (from the Second reading of the Office of Readings, From the first instruction by Saint Vincent of Lerins, priest)

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“When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came. ’But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that person is worse than the first.”  ( Luke 11:24-26)

Observation:  As I prepared for leading our communion service this morning, I wondered about the end of the Gospel that had left me once again with a false impression of how grace was given to us through the exorcism of evil from our lives.  I had decided to avoid the subject, except to say that we must choose to not fall into temptation when it is presented to us, by making a conscious decision to place ourselves at the foot of the cross with Jesus in Spirit and kiss his feet in submission to the will of God, and not follow our temptations to their logical conclusion of falling into sin.  Thereby, as Saint Frances de Sales says in his Introduction to the Devout life, causing the Devil to forfeit his bringing the same temptation to us, for fear that it is leading us to be more devoted to God.  Anyway, I didn’t have to lead the communion service because Father Jaspers showed up…Thanks be to God…He shared the story that I was trying to think of from the book that I shared with him about the story of an American Exorcist trained in Rome, called the Rite.  The story was of a man who was exorcised of his demon, only to be possessed by seven more, because he did not fill his life with the visible signs of God’s grace on earth, the Sacraments.  Anyway, good news from our representative of Jesus, here at Saint Alice Church, Father Jaspers and again, all thanks be to God the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Personification:  Faithfulness  It is only by faithfully attending the Mass and receiving the Sacraments that we can be sure of being filled with the God who can keep us from sin.  I don’t mean just our little venial sins, but the evil that we know has taken hold in our lives before, because we have consented to it.  I hope I can align my will with the grace that has been poured out on me from the Sacrament I received today and continue to be made free from all evil tendencies in my life, by continuing to be led to receive the Sacraments that are offered to me in the future.

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

Guess who already won the battle over Satan?

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Guido Reni's archangel Michael (in the Capuchi...

Guido Reni’s archangel Michael (in the Capuchin church of Santa Maria della Concezione, Rome) tramples Satan (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:  War broke out in heaven;
Michael and his angels battled against the dragon.  (Rev 12:7)

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And he said to him, “Amen, amen,* I say to you, you will see the sky opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (John 1:51)

Observation:  This morning, I couldn’t help thinking back to our prayer vigil in front of Planned Parenthood yesterday.  Usually, I would assume that there were demons hanging over that 40,000 square foot facility that was built to carry out the lies of the devil.  However, because of all of our prayers, I envision Saint Michael sitting on top of that building just waiting for the order to destroy the evil, and our hope is that God will transform it with the help of a new administration in power in our nation’s capital After November’s election.

Personification:  Peace. I don’t think I journal on the display of peace very often because it is not a fruit that I feel is necessary in today’s world that is so full of evil.  However, when seen in. the light of the battle has already been won and we know that the Devil will not win in the end, it seems more appropriate to display the fruit of peace now.

Prayer:  St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Read more:http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/prayers/michael.htm#ixzz27rtQrLul

We live amidst evil, until the end…

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Gift:  Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.

Reading:  Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house.
His disciples approached him and said,
“Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom.
The weeds are the children of the Evil One,
and the enemy who sows them is the Devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will collect out of his Kingdom
all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the Kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”  (Matthew 13:36-43)

Observation:  I don’t usually post the whole gospel reading from our Mass readings, but today’s is especially impactful on me and the young folks and chaperones that just returned from a youth conference in San Diego.  I would normally talk about how I hear that I need to stay strong and unafraid amidst all the evil that is allowed to be present in this world by a God that knows that his grace is sufficient to save us, even in an evil world.  However, I feel that this parable is saying to me today that my job is not to pluck the weeds, it is to live in their midst, with my attention on what God is doing in my life and not on the evil that the Devil is working in theirs.

Personification:  Joy  It is with great joy that I can say that God has saved me from myself today.  It is with joy that I will worship Him at Mass at 12:15pm today at Saint Mary Catholic Church.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

The devil is the father of lies, even the ones we tell ourselves!

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This is what he wants us to look like...

This is what he wants us to look like…

Gift: Fear of the Lord (Wonder and awe)

Reading: Whoever sins belongs to the Devil,
because the Devil has sinned from the beginning.
Indeed, the Son of God was revealed to destroy the works of the Devil. (1 John 3:8)

Observation: This morning, I woke up to my son telling me about a nightmare that he had last night. I ended our discussion in the same way most nightmare discussions end with my children, and that is with telling him that the only fear he should have while he is awake is a fear of the Lord. I also shared this reading with my two older boys this morning and we prayed the Saint Michael the Archangel prayer together. To me, this reading is a great reminder of who the devil is in our world and that we have to remember that Jesus has destroyed his works before, but he cannot stop us from conspiring with him in the future. It must be our free will choice to decide to not believe his lies, so we can more aligned with the truth that comes from God.

Personification: Self-Control  Why is it that we are afraid to say the name of the devil. The power he has is given to him by our decision to agree with him. The only name that has power on its own is Jesus. I will try to remember the scripture that is referenced in this reading. In John 8:44, Jesus says, “You belong to the father the devil and you willingly carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Prayer:  Lord, thank you for revealing the truth of who the devil is and continue to help me see your truth in our world and not accept the lies that come from the father of lies. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

This is how God see us...

This is how God see us…

Counsel (Right Judgment)

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Satan frozen at the center of Cocytus, the ninth circle of Hell in Dante’s Inferno

Scripture: For God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him. But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who are in his possession experience it.  (Wisdom 2:23-24)

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So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.”  (Mark 5:39)

Observation: It is clear to me after reading the old testament reading from the book of Wisdom today, and putting it together with the Gospel about this daughter of Jarius, that God does not call us to death.  The Good News is that if we pass from this life to the next, we fall asleep and are awakened by the Lord.  I used to see this story only as a great miracle of bringing this girl back to life, but it is an important example of what can happen to any of us when we accept that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Saviour and follow him and not the other.

Peace:  If I can recognize that God did not plan on our death, than hopefully I can help more people deal with death.  The fruit that I am feeling called to share today is that of peace.  It is not that we should be at peace with the wrong that happens in this world, but that God created it and He will bring us through it to an eternal existence with Him.

Prayer: Lord, grant me the peace in my heart to share the Good News with your world fearlessly, no matter what my enemies may do.  In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.