Posts

Showing posts from January, 2016

Monday, February 1, 2015 Novena to the Holy Face

Image
Sirach, Chapter 29, Verse 7 Many refuse to lend, not out of meanness, but from fear of being cheated needlessly.
The lending of money was part of the cycle of life for a righteous Jew and then as today a good person was afraid of being cheated by someone holding a sign up that says: “Why lie I still get high” “Help” “God Bless”.
Lending and Love: A Jewish Approach to Loans[1]
Tracee Rosen suggests that the Torah provides a system of social engineering in its complex laws of land management and interest-free loans. Every seven years the land was to lie fallow and debts were cancelled. In the meantime it was forbidden for Jews to charge one another interest when lending money. Tracee Rosen writes, “Both are social engineering policies designed to forestall widening the chasm between the haves and the have-nots in society. Helping the poor become more self-sufficient through these two policies also meant a reduction in the number of Jews who would be required to sell themselves into inde…

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Image
Sirach, Chapter 27, Verse 3 Unless one holds fast to the fear of the Lord, with sudden swiftness will one’s house be thrown down.
Sexagesima literally means "sixtieth," though it only falls 56 days before Easter. During these weeks before Lent contemplate the ways you can build up your fear of the Lord remembering that fear of the Lord is really a deep abiding love for God.
Brothers and sisters: Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in human and angelic tongues, but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, it is not pompous, It is not inflated, it is not ru…

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Image
Sirach, Chapter 26, Verse 23-25 23 A godless wife will be given to the lawless man as his portion, but a godly wife will be given to the man who fears the Lord. 24 A shameless woman wears out reproach, but a virtuous daughter will be modest even before her husband. 25 A headstrong wife is regarded as a bitch, but the one with a sense of shame fears the Lord.
Well I never thought I would hear the word “bitch” in the bible. I guess God calls it as He sees it.
Yet, as a man who has lived with four sisters (no brothers) and also has five daughters I still have to admit I have no clue into the psyche of the feminine sex. Therefore, I think the issue is more physiological then psychological. There may be a reason God has commanded men to stay away from women at certain times of the month. (Lv. 15:19-30) Solomon, the wisest of men advises, “It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop than in a mansion with a quarrelsome wife.” As men we are naturally drawn to women and we should use th…

Friday, January 29, 2016

Image
Sirach, Chapter 26, Verse 3 A good wife is a generous gift bestowed upon him who fears the Lord.
So does this mean that if you don’t fear the Lord you are to be cursed with a bad wife? I don’t think that is the message here though; the point is that if our primary relationship with the Lord is right then as a natural result all our relationships will be improved. If you fear the Lord, that is Love the Lord, then you will love those around you and not see others as objects to be used but as persons of worth and dignity. As a husband seek to love your wife as Christ loved the church giving Himself up for her.
Today we are a community living in the fulfillment of faith in Christ and He asks us to do something unthinkable, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true d…

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Image
Sirach, Chapter 25, Verse 10-12 10 How great is the one who finds wisdom, but none is greater than the one who fears the Lord. 11Fear of the Lord surpasses all else. To whom can we compare the one who has it? 12 Fear of the Lord is the beginning of loving him, and fidelity is the beginning of clinging to him.
Today try and be 100% for God.
As iron, cast into the fire, loses its rust and becomes bright with the flame, so too a man who turns his whole heart to Me is purified and all sluggishness and changed into a new man.[1]
Who am I, Lord, that I should be considered by You: I AM WHO AM.
Saint Thomas Aquinas’ thoughts on fear:[2]
1. Fear is a shrinking back from evil. Hence, we cannot fear God in himself, for God is infinite goodness. But one is said to fear God in the sense of fearing the evil of being separated from God by sin, and in the sense of fearing to incur his punishments for sin.

2. Fear is called servile fear when it is the dread of punishment alone. It is called filial fe…

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Image
Sirach, Chapter 25, Verse 6 The crown of the elderly, wide experience; their glory, the fear of the Lord.
We use to say in the military to the younger troops fresh out of high school that joined the military that beyond showing us normal military courtesy they really should listen and follow what we do because “We survived youth”. The fact is experience is the best teacher and experience teaches us that God is real and the older ones have learned that fear of the Lord is more than a crown of glory it is the key to reaching old age.
One of the most curious phenomenons of our modern society is that by the year 2020 we will have five generations working together: Each with difference values and views of life.




















The Johnsons report[1] that each generation has been influenced by the major historical events, social trends, and cultural phenomena of its time. These forces shape ideas about everything from expectations and perceptions about what the workplace will provide and how employees sho…

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Image
Sirach, Chapter 23, Verse 27 Thus all who dwell on the earth shall know, all who remain in the world shall understand, that nothing is better than the fear of the Lord, nothing sweeter than obeying the commandments of the Lord.
What happens when those who dwell on the earth no longer know God and what should we do when it becomes abundantly clear to us that our duty to God is threatened by the governments of men?  
The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church[1]addresses the issue of when and how St. Peter's teaching that obedience to God comes before obedience to men as it applies in the modern Christian's life.
Presciently, or perhaps better, prophetically, Pope Benedict XVI foresaw and foresees increasing conflict between American Catholics and a public authority increasingly secularized and increasingly hostile to the moral values of its Catholic citizens. The conflict is caused by the increasing demands of the State to "to deny the right of conscientious objecti…

Monday, January 25, 2015 Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul

Image
Sirach, Chapter 22, Verse 18 Small stones lying on an open height will not remain when the wind blows; So a timid mind based on foolish plans cannot stand up to fear of any kind.
“A timid mind is apt to mistake every scratch for a mortal wound.” George Gordon Byron
Like Paul we must be fearless in proclaiming the gospel.
“Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. (Mk. 16:15-16)
What do we learn from the conversion of Saint Paul?
Not to despise any sinner, nor to despair of his salvation: for, like Paul on the road to Damascus, the greatest sinner may, by the grace of God, be suddenly converted, and become a saint. At the command of God he accepted Ananias as his leader in the way of salvation, and became as zealous for the honor of Christ as he had previously been intent on persecuting Him. In like manner, a convert must shut his eyes to all by which he has heretofore b…

Sunday, January 24, 2016 Septuagesima

Image
Sirach, Chapter 22, Verse 16 A wooden beam firmly bonded into a building is not loosened by an earthquake; So the mind firmly resolved after careful deliberation will not be afraid at any time.
A prudent mind firmly resolved is undisturbed by violent and conflicting thoughts. Sometimes we all have senseless thoughts and feelings which shake us but faith is a firm anchor for our thoughts. We indeed do have the power within ourselves to choose not to react to impulsive thoughts.
Holiness consists in friendship with God. If we would be in any sense the friends of God, we must have at least that desire for holiness without which such friendship would be impossible; growth in the knowledge of God is the deepening of this friendship. To know God is to know self and if we know ourselves well, we know have one or two prominent sins that have dogged our life’s path for years, and against these we struggle bravely and are conscious that God is helping us. Sin and sanctity reveal us to ourselves;…

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Image
Sirach, Chapter 21, Verse 11 Those who keep the Law control their thoughts; perfect fear of the Lord is wisdom.
If you have not had much success with your habitual sins and find yourself always confessing the same sins over and over: perhaps this verse will provide a key to real change for those who control their thoughts keep the law for where the mind goes unchecked the body and the will follow.
One of the most remarkable characteristics[1] of all forms of organic life is the power to adapt itself to the circumstances in which it is placed. It will endeavor under the most altered conditions to live, and, in order to live, it will resort to all kinds of contrivances, sometimes effecting such changes in its outward appearance that none but a trained eye could detect its identity. Yet with all these adaptations, it will preserve its identity.
Man possesses this power in perhaps a higher degree than any other form of life. He can find his home in any country, in any climate, under an almo…