This blog is based on references in the Bible to fear. God wills that we “BE NOT AFRAID”. Many theologians state that the eighth deadly sin is fear. It is fear and its natural animal reaction to fight or flight that is the root cause of our failings to create a Kingdom of God on earth. By “the power of the Holy Spirit” we can be witnesses and “communicators” of a new and redeemed humanity “even to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7 8). This blog is dedicated to Mary the Mother of God.
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Thursday, January 4,2017
sT. eLIZABETH ANN SETON-11TH DAY OF
Chapter 7, Verse 6
not seek to become a judge if you do not have the strength to root out crime,
Lest you show fear in the presence of the prominent and mar your
Basically do not start something
you cannot finish or you will damage your honor. Our Lord said something
similar to this in the Gospel of Luke. Jesus said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind
is fit for the kingdom of God.”
of the Catholic Church
II. THE VOCATION TO CHASTITY cont.
The various forms of chastity
2348All the baptized are
called to chastity. The Christian has "put on Christ," the model
for all chastity. All Christ's faithful are called to lead a chaste life in
keeping with their particular states of life. At the moment of his Baptism, the
Christian is pledged to lead his affective life in chastity.
cultivate [chastity] in the way that is suited to their state of life. Some
profess virginity or consecrated celibacy which enables them to give themselves
to God alone with an undivided heart in a remarkable manner. Others live in the
way prescribed for all by the moral law, whether they are married or
single." Married people are called to live conjugal chastity; others
practice chastity in continence: There are three forms of the virtue of
chastity: the first is that of spouses, the second that of widows and the third
that of virgins. We do not praise any one of them to the exclusion of the
others. This is what makes for the richness of the discipline of the Church.
2350Those who are engaged to
marry are called to live chastity in continence. They should see in this
time of testing a discovery of mutual respect, an apprenticeship in fidelity,
and the hope of receiving one another from God. They should reserve for
marriage the expressions of affection that belong to married love. They will
help each other grow in chastity.
Read: Today we
remember the first native-born citizen of the United States to be canonized as
a saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton.
Reflect: Only if people
change will the world change; and in order to change, people need the light that
comes from God, the light which so unexpectedly [on the night of Christmas]
entered into our night.
wife, mother and foundress of a religious congregation was born Elizabeth Ann
Bayley on August 28, 1774 in New York City, the daughter of an eminent
physician and professor at what is now Columbia University. Brought up as an
Episcopalian, she received an excellent education, and from her early years she
manifested an unusual concern for the poor. In 1794 Elizabeth married William
Seton, with whom she had five children. The loss of their fortune so affected
William's health that in 1803 Elizabeth and William went to stay with Catholic
friends at Livorno, Italy. William died six weeks after their arrival, and when
Elizabeth returned to New York City some six months later, she was already a convinced
Catholic. She met with stern opposition from her Episcopalian friends but was
received into full communion with the Catholic Church on March 4, 1805.
Abandoned by her friends and relatives, Elizabeth was invited by the superior
of the Sulpicians in Baltimore to found a school for girls in that city. The
school prospered, and eventually the Sulpician superior, with the approval of
Bishop Carroll, gave Elizabeth and her assistants a rule of life. They were
also permitted to make religious profession and to wear a religious habit. In
1809 Elizabeth moved her young community to Emmitsburg, Maryland, where she
adopted as a rule of life an adaptation of the rule observed by the Sisters of
Charity, founded by St. Vincent de Paul. Although she did not neglect the
ministry to the poor, and especially to Negroes, she actually laid the
foundation for what became the American parochial school system. She trained
teachers and prepared textbooks for use in the schools; she also opened
orphanages in Philadelphia and New York City. She died at Emmitsburg on January
4, 1821, was beatified by Pope John XXIII in 1963, and was canonized by Pope
Paul VI in 1975.
11th day of Christmas the
11 pipers piping is a sign for the eleven faithful apostles. It is
interesting to note that Judas’ sin was due to fear, greed, pride and
envy. Today would be a good day to read about the remaining 11 pipers and
their courage to create a Kingdom of God that changed the world.
this Christmas season let us take up the nature of God by reflecting on these
traits that make us a model for our children and our sisters and brothers in
Christ. Today reflect on:
and doing what both God and others are expecting from me (Romans 14:12)
religious authorities in Jerusalem were not unanimous about what stance to take
towards Jesus. The Pharisees threatened to excommunicate his followers. To
those who feared that "everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will
come and destroy both our holy place and our nation", the high priest
Caiaphas replied by prophesying: "It is expedient for you that one man
should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish."
The Sanhedrin, having declared Jesus deserving of death as a blasphemer but
having lost the right to put anyone to death, hands him over to the Romans,
accusing him of political revolt, a charge that puts him in the same category
as Barabbas who had been accused of sedition. The chief priests also threatened
Pilate politically so that he would condemn Jesus to death.
Parents have the first
responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this
responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness,
respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well
suited for education in the virtues. This requires an apprenticeship in
self-denial, sound judgment, and self-mastery - the preconditions of all true
freedom. Parents should teach their children to subordinate the "material
and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones." Parents have a
grave responsibility to give good example to their children. By knowing how to
acknowledge their own failings to their children, parents will be better able
to guide and correct them:
He who loves his son will not spare the rod. . . .
He who disciplines his son will profit by him.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring
them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
2431 The responsibility
of the state. "Economic activity, especially the
activity of a market economy, cannot be conducted in an institutional,
juridical, or political vacuum. On the contrary, it presupposes sure guarantees
of individual freedom and private property, as well as a stable currency and
efficient public services. Hence the principal task of the state is to
guarantee this security, so that those who work and produce can enjoy the
fruits of their labors and thus feel encouraged to work efficiently and
honestly. . . . Another task of the state is that of overseeing and
directing the exercise of human rights in the economic sector. However, primary
responsibility in this area belongs not to the state but to individuals and to
the various groups and associations which make up society."
Judith, Chapter 10, Verse 16 When you stand before him, have no fear in your heart; give him the report you have given us, and he will treat you well.” Judith prepares for war with prayer and by the enhancement of her beauty. She is so strikingly beautiful that in this verse one of the guards of the Assyrian camp advises her to be confident in the presence of Holofernes. Beauty and the Beast  After bathing (during a drought) she uses all the human arts available to her to make herself beautiful and captivating: perfumed ointment, hair, clothing and jewelry. She understands the goodness of her body. She knows physical beauty is good and comes from God. She also knows that the power of her beauty comes from within her, from her holiness, from her faithfulness to God. Since both her exterior and interior beauty come from God, her beauty must be devoted to the service of God. God intends to use her beauty as a weapon to liberate the people. She will wield the weapon t
Introduction to Joshua  Hail the conquering hero ! Beowulf , Alexander the Great , Xerxes , Romulans , Marcus Aurelius , Hannibal, Caesar the Ape... okay, we'll stop here. Needless to say (but you know we're going to anyway), the world is full of conquering heroes. Did you know the Bible has one, too? His name is Joshua. Written in Hebrew during the late 7th century BCE, the Book of Joshua is the first recorded text of the Bible and kicks off what is known as the Historical Books. This doesn't mean that everything is to be taken literally (like our jokes). History was originally meant to teach a community about how to be good citizens and way less concerned with historical accuracy. The Book of Joshua, which reads like a game of Risk, tells the tale of a man named Joshua (didn't see that one coming) and his conquest of the land of Canaan with the Israelite army. Joshua was Moses's replacement to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. The problem? Peopl
Second Sunday of Easter DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY-S T. STANISLAUS John, Chapter 20, Verse 19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for FEAR of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Life begins at the end of our comfort zone. Do you live in fear of failure or are you locking the doors of your heart to new opportunities? When you let in the spirit of Christ you open yourself to empowerment. The Law of Empowerment  The job of leadership is to lead with the intent to work yourself out of a job. Imagine what would happen if our politicos did this! This is what Jesus did. After Christ gave His Peace to the apostles, he breathed on them to receive the power of the Holy Spirit and thus empowered them to live the supernatural life. We in turn by the power of the successors of the apostles are heirs to this. Christ wants us to be change agents to bring about t
Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter T. Jefferson Joshua, Chapter 2, Verse 8-9 8 Before the spies lay down, Rahab went up to them on the roof 9 and said: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, that a dread of you has come upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land tremble with FEAR because of you. Rahab saved the spies of Israel. Why? She knew the truth that God was with Israel. Rahab was a survivor and a sinner; she knew God had given the land to Israel. If you know the truth you do not swerve from it. Rahab was saved from the fate of Jericho because of her action not just good will toward Israel. James in his epistle puts it this way: 20 Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works. 23 Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abrah
Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter Joshua, Chapter 2, Verse 24 They assured Joshua, “The Lord has given all this land into our power; indeed, all the inhabitants of the land tremble with FEAR because of us.” Secularist and pagans still tremble with fear because of God. Why? People fear what they do not understand or have to compete with. Every person is born with the spirit of God within them; it is the spirit of truth which they have lost or suppressed. Christ referred to this when he told the parable of the sower. The seed is the spirit of truth (spirit of God) that the sower sows. Christ tells us, “A sower went out to sow. and as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich
First Saturday ST. BASIL/9 th Day of Christmas -MOTIVATION DAY Psalm 23, verse 4: 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will FEAR no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me. Saint Pope John Paul II was an example of someone who walked through the valley of the shadow of death and feared no evil. The Lord’s rod and staff sustained him through the nightmare of the Nazis and the Communists. Both were evil empires devoted to the destruction of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all except for the few selected elite. These empires systematically replaced God with the rule of the chosen ones of the State. People from both the Fatherland and the Motherland sat by and watched the evil grow without taking decisive action, making the adage ‘ All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men (or women) do nothing.’ Remember to measure our nation and our politics with Gods Rod (Rods were often used in an
Thursday of the Second Week of Easter ISRAEL INDEPENDENCE DAY Joshua, Chapter 4 , Verse 14 That day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and so during his whole life they FEARED him as they had FEARED Moses. Sometimes we are tempted to follow any leader who is popular. We forget God’s warning about following the proud and evil hearted, for lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the LORD of hosts. (Mal 3: 19) We may think that following the leadership of our bishops is a waste of time. You have said, “It is useless to serve God; what do we gain by observing God’s requirements, and by going about as mourners - before the LORD of hosts? But we call the arrogant blessed; for evildoers not only prosper but even test God and escape.” (Mal 3:14-15) God knows the heart of a man and if his heart b
Wednesday after laetare Sunday: end of mid-lent  Jeremiah, Chapter 26, verse 19 Did Hezekiah, king of Judah, and all Judah condemn him to death? Did he not fear the LORD and entreat the favor of the LORD, so that the LORD had a change of heart regarding the evil he had spoken against them? We, however, are about to do great evil against ourselves.” Have you ever been around people who cannot handle the truth! Speaking the truth got Jeremiah in dire straits. Unmoving, the temple officials and elders trashed Jeremiah nonetheless they were too afraid to kill him. Dire Straits  · At the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign, God tells Jeremiah to stand in the court of the temple and speak to all the people and cities of Judah. They're getting another chance to repent. Maybe they'll actually listen this time. · If the people don't finally come to their senses, God's going to do the same thing to Jerusalem that he did to Shiloh up
Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Acedia My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, At a word from You the devil and his minions flee in terror. You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength. By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech You, O Lord To extend Your saving arm and to send Your holy angels To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces. Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses Your Bride, The Church, So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation We may turn fully back to You in all fidelity and trust. Lord, we know if You will it, it will be done. Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray. Amen Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception...pray for us St. Joseph...pray for us St. Michael the Archangel...pray for us (the patron of your parish )... pray for us (your confirmation saint)...pray for us "Freedom from Acedia" by Fr. Rick Heilman Recently, I wrote a reflection on pride. I said