Go out to all the world and tell the Good News. (Mark 16:15)

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Polski: Witraż piety

Polski: Witraż piety (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:  Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?  Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”  (John 20:29)

Observation:  My Dad and I were just discussing this verse from today’s Gospel In the midst of a heated discussion about sin and the need for repentance, but I think it relates better to my title today, that comes from the response in the Responsorial Psalm for today’s Mass.  The reason I say that is because after we realize that we have accepted the truth of Jesus as God, what do we do.  Do we spend all day patting ourselves on the back for accepting the truth, or do we, “Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.”

Personification:  Faithfulness  In order to display the fruit of faithfulness, I think it is only necessary to continue to do the work that God has laid out before me today.  Sounds easy, but when I think of the names of the people who will cross my path today, it may be a struggle to always be telling the “Good News”.  However, when I think of the struggle that other people are going to have with me, I remember that it only by His grace that we will be able to withstand anything the enemy may throw at us.

Prayer:  Lord, I know that I can be a stumbling block for others in their faith, help me to stay out of your way today and keep me only using words that build your kingdom.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

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Heroic virtue…A lost trait in our modern culture?

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Torah inside of the former Glockengasse synago...

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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:  Most admirable and worthy of everlasting remembrance was the mother who, seeing her seven sons perish in a single day, bore it courageously because of her hope in the Lord. Filled with a noble spirit that stirred her womanly reason with manly emotion, she exhorted each of them in the language of their ancestors with these words: “I do not know how you came to be in my womb; it was not I who gave you breath and life, nor was it I who arranged the elements you are made of. Therefore, since it is the Creator of the universe who shaped the beginning of humankind and brought about the origin of everything, he, in his mercy, will give you back both breath and life, because you now disregard yourselves for the sake of his law.”  (2 Maccabees 7:20-23)

Observation:  As I read the first reading this morning, I was not left with much of a lasting impression of it in my mind.  I continued through reading the readings for Mass and after reading the gospel, I was left with no particular verse or verses to journal on.  However, after attending Mass and listening to Father Jaspers homily, in which he mentioned that it was interesting that we don’t hear these verses quoted from scripture to explain the power of the Creator to bring about a human life inside of a woman, like we hear quoted from Jeremiah or the Psalms.  When reading it over again and reflecting on the context of the rest of this chapter from Maccabees, I can understand why someone would not necessarily want to quote this part of scripture, because of its rather matter of fact way of explaining the way her children were killed.

Personification:  Gentleness  I made a promise to my wife that I would try to be more gentle with the boys when I will undoubtedly need to reprimand them tonight.  I chose to focus on gentleness on my own, but she agreed that my being gentle, rather than completely enraged at their inevitable acting without discipline would be a nice change of pace.  I don’t know if it was because I was away for a couple of days and lost my patience more easily or I was away for a couple of days and they were used to being in charge, either way the end result was that I lost my cool a few times last night.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to display the fruit of gentleness.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

The path to life…

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St. Francis of Assisi (circa 1182-1220)
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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:  You will show me the path to life, abounding joy in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.  (Psalms 16:11)

Observation:  I have tried to focus on praying the rosary on a daily basis, since the 40 days for life started last week.  Ironically enough, the groundbreaking ceremony for a new Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in our community happened on the first day of the National 40 Days for Life campaign.  If that is not a call to make this campaign a part of my daily routine, maybe the fact that Ennie Hickman’s reflection on today being the Solemnity of Saint Francis of Assisi included a reminder to pray the rosary daily.  It took me a little research to find the readings for today’s Solemnity Mass, but I think the 11th verse of the 16th chapter of Psalms shows why it was worth the time it took to find today.

Personification:  Faithfulness  I can’t say that I have been able to pray a rosary every day since September 28th, or the beginning of the 40 Days for Life.  However, I am resolved to take the verse that I chose from the Psalms to reflect on today, and the call from Ennie Hickman’s blog post yesterday, as a reminder to display the fruit of faithfulness like Saint Francis of Assisi.  As if all the other “coincidences” weren’t enough, how about the prayer that I posted yesterday, before I even knew that it was going to be the Solemnity of Saint Francis of Assisi Mass celebrated today.  Of course, I will repeat it today…

Prayer:   (Saint Francis Prayer)

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord. (Jonah 2:7b)

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Jonah Mosaic at St. Anne Melkite Greek Catholi...

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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:  Set out for the great city* of Nineveh, and preach against it; for their wickedness has come before me.  But Jonah made ready to flee to Tarshish,* away from the LORD. He went down to Joppa, found a ship going to Tarshish, paid the fare, and went down in it to go with them to Tarshish, away from the LORD.  (Jonah 1:2-3)

Observation:  If I quote the Responsorial Psalm in the title for my journal from the daily readings, it usually stands alone.  I find it interesting today that the Responsorial is taken from the following chapter of Jonah from the first reading.  As I sat at Mass this morning, I thought about the fact that it is a sacrifice to be able to make it to Mass in the morning.  I see in the readings this morning, the realization of the fact that just as Jonah chose to take a trip to Tarshish, and not go to Nineveh.  We often choose other tasks and not make time for Mass, even though we know that it is God’s will that we spend time with his Son in the Eucharist.  We often look for other things to distract us.  I am truly thankful to God that he rescued me from the pit today, and supplied the grace I need to follow his will.

Personification: Love  I hope that I can display the fruit of love today, and be an example of God’s love to everyone that I meet.  There are so many things in this world that try to counterfeit God’s love, that I need to keep my eyes on the cross to remember what his love really looks like.  I must remember the sacrifice he made, so I don’t lose sight of the lengths that he would go to show me that he loves me.  I hope that I will be willing to go to whatever lengths necessary to show that love to the people I meet today.

Prayer:  (Saint Francis Prayer)

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

If put to the test…Do I pass or fail?

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Saint Michael Archangel

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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:  Moreover, they should be tested first; then, if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.  (1 Timothy 3:10)

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I do not allow into my presence anything base.  (Psalm 101:3a)

Observation:  As I was reading this morning, I was being tempted and distracted from the message that was clearly coming from God for me.  In these two verses, God is telling me to ask myself if I am ready to begin formation as a deacon in our church.  The first verse from the first reading says clearly that anyone that is called will be tested, and the surrounding verses in that reading clearly spell out the rest of the qualifications, or should I say disqualifying factors.  However, it was the verse from the responsorial psalm for today’s readings that was speaking directly at me about the issue that could hold me back from pursuing my dream.

Personification: Faithfulness  In order to display the fruit of faithfulness to the calling that I believe I may have, I must be willing to put out of my life everything that does not have value in building up the kingdom.  This is my definition of base, of course it also includes staying away from all things that are placed as obstacles to my faith by the father of all lies.

Prayer:  Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.  Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.  May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do you, O Prince of the Heavenly Host by the power of God, cast into hell, satan and of the evil spirits, who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

His mercy endures forever.

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The Divine Mercy painting by Adolf Hyla. The P...

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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:  But swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea, God’s love endures forever;  (Psalm 136:15)

Observation:  In reading all the readings for Mass this morning, this verse was the first thing to jump out at me.  It was because as the Psalmist is discussing these reasons why we can see that God is love and mercy to His chosen ones, we hear about the destruction of Pharaoh and his army.  The take away, for me, is that if God chooses us to be on His side, we will be protected.  Also, I love how the church has used mercy instead of love in the Responsorial Psalm for today’s Mass, as I copied in the title for today’s journal.  I love it because we just focused on the Divine Mercy on the last day of Camp Saint Alice yesterday, by saying the Chaplet in the church with everyone who was at Camp.

Personification: Faithfulness  As God continues to reveal the holy Spirit to me through the readings for Mass, I will choose to be faithful to His Word and display that fruit of faithfulness by attending Mass everyday and praying the Divine Mercy chaplet at 3pm in the church with anyone who wants to join me.

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.

Wash yourselves clean! (Isaiah 1:16a)

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Jesus Christ of eucharist - an icon, Historic ...

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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:  Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil; learn to do good.  (Isaiah 1:16-17a)

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You hate discipline; you cast my words behind you!  (Psalm 50:17)

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Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice.  (Matthew 23:3)

Observation:  I read this morning that God is trying to tell me that I must learn to do good, and I must be careful where I look to find examples of others doing good.  In the verse from the Responsorial Psalm, I hear God’s reminder that I must be willing to accept discipline, and not ever cast the Word of God aside in favor of the word of man.

Personification:  Faithfulness  It is my hope that I can display the fruit of faithfulness today.  I don’t plan on just attending Communion Service this morning and receiving the Body of Christ, I plan on letting the Eucharist wash me clean of my iniquities and allow me to finish the day strong proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ by living it out in my life.

Prayer:  Lord, cleanse me of my iniquities and allow me to be your vessel of grace to others.  Please give me patience to go ahead in this world with the knowledge that you have already defeated all evil.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.