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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Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Tuesday of Holy
Chapter 6, Verse 2-4
you reach Babylon you will be there many years, a long time—seven generations;
after that I will bring you back from there in peace. 3
now in Babylon you will see gods of silver and gold and wood, carried shoulder
high, to cast fear upon the nations.4Take
care that you yourselves do not become like these foreigners and let not such fear possess you.
not let fear possess you! Sometimes
people lose hope when they enter a strange land. John McCain highlights in his
book Character is Destinythe
hopefulness of John Winthrop who left the security of his native country to
face the dangers of an unknown world to create and shape the character of a new
civilization in America. Is there still hope in this country He helped found?
Only if we have hope!
John was a puritan and followed
the idea that they are to be in the world but not of the world. They should not
love earthly pleasures but neither should they shun the blessings of God. To be
humble and grateful and give hope to others, by being faithful and encouraging
in their own society. John believed men should strive to build a shining city
on the hill by putting ones duty to God and community before one’s own personal
desires and to never despair.
He wrote and preached the sermon,
“Model of Christian Charity”
to give hope to others. He led always by example and never, never gave up hope.
Tuesday of Holy Week
Traditionally the account of Christ's Passion
according to St. Mark is read today and most people continue with spring
cleaning. Also today marks the bargaining of Judas with the Sanhedrin as the
Jewish way of tracking time makes Tuesday evening Wednesday as days changed
after sunset and not at midnight following the Roman time keeping method.
We learned yesterday from St. John that Judas was a
thief. He robbed from Christ, from the other apostles, from the incipient
Church. Jesus, for him, had become merely an excuse to seek after his own
interests. Jesus was not the one thing necessary, as he was for Mary of Bethany.
Jesus wasn't even an end, but merely a means for Judas to satisfy his own
greed. Judas supposedly had serious qualms of conscience about the failure to
sell the years’ worth of aromatic nard with which Mary had anointed Jesus'
feet, but he thought nothing about selling Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Judas
had been a disciple merely in his body, not in his heart. Judas had been called
personally by the Lord, had lived with him for about 1,000 days, had followed
him for three years, had heard him preach and teach, had seen him walk on
water, still stormy seas, feed thousands with a five rolls and two sardines,
raise three people from the dead, heal on countless occasions the sick, blind
and lame and have mercy on countless sinners, had even received from the Lord
the power to do many of these same things himself, and had been entrusted by
him with the money bag for the Twelve. But he tragically had never gotten to
know Jesus, and even more tragically had never gotten to love him. He remained
just a follower of Jesus on the outside, not on the inside. In betraying Jesus,
Judas valued him less than a handful of coins, forgetting that it would profit
him nothing to gain the whole world and forfeit his life.
Modern man and the media often portray persons that
fast as deranged, passé or even ignorant. However, fasting and bodily
discipline are truly the marks of a man or woman of mature intellect which has
mastery over not only the mind but also the body and spirit. St. Paul put it in
stronger terms, “put to death therefore what is earthly in you (Col. 3:5).”
Jesus has also said, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and
take up his cross and follow me.” Christ knew we become attached to created
things and to the pleasure they bring us. St. Augustine said that sin begins as
a turning away from God and a turning toward lesser goods. When we sin, we
don’t choose evil. We choose something less than God and His will. Our bodies
want more than they need, so we must give them less than they want. Our bodies must
be subject to our reason—or our reason will soon be subjected to our bodies.
St. Paul went even further. “I pommel my body and subdue it” (1 Cor. 9:27).
Nevertheless our goal should be to let our reason/soul cooperate with the Holy
philosophy demonstrates three ways in which the body and soul can interact:
soul can try and mitigate the urges of the body. Things that look good, taste
good and feel good are stimulating and addictive. Most of us live life with our
body in the driver’s seat. The soul just can’t compete. And so the soul tries
to negotiate reasonably, and encourages moderation.
the soul can choose to reject the body and abhor anything associated with
materialism. The soul-driven person would then rebel against society’s shallow
and false veneers. Simplicity and ascetism become the ultimate goals of the
third scenario is not a compromise between the first two. It is an entirely new
approach, where the body and soul learn to work together. The soul neither
leans towards the body nor rejects it. It
does not react; it pro-acts. In a proactive position, the soul directs and
channels the body’s inclination in a constructive way. In this last approach,
instead of repressing the body’s needs, the soul views them as an opportunity
to serve God in a whole new way.
Using the third approach we should fast with a
purpose like Moses or Elijah for example before going into God’s presence or to
strengthen us or for the benefit of others. Jesus fasted not because He needed
to, but as a model for us. We should make self-sacrifices in an effort to make
others happy or out of love for our God to share in his plan of salvation. By
dying to self, daily, we prepare ourselves for our own moment of death.
are veterans of the spiritual war that continues to rage in this world. Their
insights, born of long experience in combat with the Enemy, can make us wise
and strong in battle.
·God has fashioned and shaped only one enmity, and that an
irreconcilable one, which will endure and even increase, until the end: It is
that between the Virgin Mary and the Devil, between the children and servants
of the Blessed Virgin and the children and accomplices of Satan; so that the
most terrible of the enemies of Satan created by God is Mary, his Blessed
Mother. ST. LOUIS DE MONTFORT
·Men do notfeara powerful, hostile army as much as
the powers of hell fear the name and protection of Mary. ST. BONAVENTURE
·You, O Lady, by the simple invocation of your most powerful name,
give security to your servants against all the assaults of the Enemy. ST.
·By invoking the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under
Pontius Pilate, Satan is driven out of men. ST. IRENAEUS
·We are all inclined to sin, my children; we are idle, greedy,
sensual, given to the pleasures of the flesh. We want to know everything, to
learn everything, to see everything. We must watch over our mind, over our
heart, and over our senses, for these are the gates by which the Devil
penetrates. See, he prowls round us incessantly; his only occupation inthis
world is to seek companions for himself. All our life he will lay snares for
us; he will try to make us yield to temptations. We must, on our side, do all
we can to defeat and resist him. We can do nothing by ourselves, children. But
we can do everything with the help of the good God. Let us pray Him to deliver
us from this enemy of our salvation, or to give strength to fight against him.
With the Name of Jesus we shall overcome the demons; we shall put them to
flight. With this name, though they may sometimes dare to attack us, our battles
will be victories, and our victories will be crowns for heaven, all brilliant
with precious stones. ST. JOHN VIANNEY
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
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
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
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