Why do you not attend Mass daily?

Standard

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)

&

“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!

Imagine Paul’s teaching from Rome…It might look like this…

Standard

Of course, this is what our imagination is fed by today…At least, I am willing to admit mine is…

Or maybe like this…This is more directly from the first reading for Today’s Mass Readings!

Prayer:  Lord, help me to see the fruit that comes from Paul’s teaching in Rome both historical and what his death is saying to us today.  Saint Paul, pray for us.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen

Where are we being called to preach?

Standard
View of Jerusalem from southeast, showing city...

View of Jerusalem from southeast, showing city walls, the Dome of the Rock, and al-Aqsa mosque. 1 photographic print : gelatin silver ; 21 x 56 cm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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:   The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage. For just as you have borne witness to my cause in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness in Rome.”  (Acts 23:11)

Observation:  I don’t know why, but this verse was especially meaningful to me today as I read it.  I almost journaled on a continuation of my pastor’s homily from yesterday’s Mass and the Gospel reading for today, but I remembered reading this verse and feeling drawn to write about it.  The truth is for me, I should be able to see the Lord standing by my side now, saying that I should take courage…I have borne witness to His cause in Springfield, so I must take it to the world.

Personification:  Faithfulness  In order to display the fruit of faithfulness, I must listen to the message that I am receiving from the Word of God today and begin to act on it.  My wife is telling me to do something about furthering my education, and I believe she is right to admonish me to take that first step and God knows what will come next.

Prayer:  Lord, show me the way to become everything that you have created me to be and continue to give me the grace necessary to avoid the evils of this world.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

Saint Frances of Rome, pray for us…

Standard
Frances of Rome

Image via Wikipedia

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:  Who can find* a woman of worth? Far beyond jewels is her value. Her husband trusts her judgment; he does not lack income. She brings him profit, not loss,* all the days of her life.  (Proverbs 31:10-12)

Observation:  I read the standard readings for Mass this morning, I was left with the hope that Father Jaspers would shed some light on what I was supposed to hear from the Word of God.  However, after his homily consisted of an explanation of how a Bishop is chosen, since a local Pastor was just selected as the new Bishop of Baker Diocese.  So, I was left with the idea that nothing from the standard readings was speaking to him either.  Now, when I finally got to pray the Office in the church after Mass, I realized that the alternate readings for Saint Frances of Rome were probably where it was at today, and once I got home this afternoon and found the readings, that was it.  It is the general idea that I must learn to see my wife as the jewel that she is, and realize that I can trust her judgement and know that she will bring me profit, not loss.

Personification:   Patience  It is only by displaying the fruit of patience and being obedient to the will of God, that I can be able to value my wife for the beautiful creation of God that she is.  I hope that I can bear the things that I see as injustice in my life, as Saint Frances of Rome did, that I can be sure that the things that give glory to God will be able to be accomplished through me.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to be a better husband to my wife and walk in your ways and not in mine.  Saint Frances of Rome, pray for us.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

Called to be holy…

Standard
Brooklyn Museum - The Birth of Our Lord Jesus ...
Image via 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:  Through him we have received the grace of apostleship, to bring about the obedience of faith, for the sake of his name, among all the Gentiles, among whom are you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ; to all the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy.* Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  (Romans 1:5-7)

Observation:  The question for me is, how am I called to be holy?  Saint Paul is not just talking to the people of Rome, but I think we should see that he is talking to all the people of the world who would consider themselves Christians.  I should not shrink from the challenge to act like a saint would act, because I am a sinner.  Rather, because I am a sinner, I am called to repent of my sin and replace that sin with more holy action.

Personification:  Faithfulness  No matter what it is that God calls me to today, I want to be ready to answer that call.  I don’t care if others see it as holy, I only hope that others can see my obedience to the will of the Father.

Prayer:  Lord, not as I would want, rather your will be done in me and through me today and every day for the rest of my life.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

The Word is carrying yesterday’s theme through to today for me…

Standard
Moses mosaic on display at the Cathedral Basil...

Image via 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:  3 He who remains in Zion and he that is left in Jerusalem Will be called holy: every one marked down for life in Jerusalem.  (Isaiah 4:3)

Observation:  I’m sure that once again I could be taking these words out of the context in which they were written.  However, I can’t help but hear the Word revealing to me again today that those that are called will be left and not taken, as it is generally understood, especially by the producers of the “Left Behind” series of movies.  Anyway, this verse from Isaiah refers to Exodus 32:32, where Moses asks to have his name taken out of the book if God does not show his mercy to his people who had just fashioned a golden calf to represent God to have something to pray to.  Further, Exodus 32:32 relates to Romans 9:3, where Saint Paul asked that he be separated from Christ for his brothers and sisters in the flesh, or his fellow Jews who are in Rome

Personification:  Gentleness  It is my hope that someday I can be willing to have my name stricken from the book for my brothers and sisters in Christ.  I am definitely not as confident in my faith as Moses or Saint Paul.  However, I feel like if I can display the fruit of gentleness in my time and place on earth, maybe others will be more open to understanding their faith as God is waiting to reveal it to them.

Prayer:  Saint Paul and Moses, intercede for me to the Father to give me the strength to be able to display the fruit of gentleness in my life with my wife and my children first and then with those others whom I may come in contact with.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.