Friday, October 18, 2018
MARTYRS OF NORTH AMERICA
Romans, Chapter 8, Verse 28
We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
The spirit filled life does not promise us success and that everything will be rosy, but it does free us from the law of sin and death. Paul tells us that there is a difference between Christian mentoring and worldly mentoring.
The Spirit Filled Life
Christians somehow even in the mist of challenges have lives of liberty, hope and power because the Holy Spirit guides our lives. This is the gift of the Father and the Son. Observe how the Holy Spirit navigates life for us:
1. He intercedes and groans for us (Rom. 8:22)
2. He directs and testifies to us (John 16:13)
3. He empowers and anoints for service (Acts 1:8)
4. He searches and enables us to discern (Rom. 8:26)
5. He confirms, and bears witness with us (Rom. 8:14)
Martyrs in North America
Today in the dioceses of the United States the Church celebrates the optional memorial of Sts. Issac Jogues and John de Brébeuf (priests and martyrs) and their companions (martyrs). They were Jesuit missionaries who died as martyrs in North America where they preached the Gospel.
· Pray to the Holy Spirit to renew the evangelization of distant countries as well as the re-evangelization of our own nation.
· More Christians have been martyred in the 20th century than in the previous nineteen centuries combined. For example, pastors are being arrested and sometimes shot in China and Cuba. Believers are forbidden to buy goods or own property in Somalia. Christians who testify to their faith in Iran or Saudi Arabia may be put to death for blasphemy. Mobs have wiped out whole villages of Christians in Pakistan. Pray for courageous and zealous missionaries in these countries where the Church is persecuted.
· Support the Indian Missions in the USA.
· Visit the National Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville, New York. This site offers a wonderful gallery of pictures of the shrine.
· Learn more about each of the martyrs. You might also like to read this definitive scholarly biography, Saint Among Savages: The Life of St. Isaac Jogues, by Francis Talbot, S.J.
· Learn for Christmas the Indian Christmas Carol, the first American Christmas carol John de Brébeuf wrote to teach the Christmas story to the Huron Indians.
1173 When the Church keeps the memorials of martyrs and other saints during the annual cycle, she proclaims the Paschal mystery in those "who have suffered and have been glorified with Christ. She proposes them to the faithful as examples who draw all men to the Father through Christ, and through their merits she begs for God's favors."
I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more.
· If obedience doesn’t give you peace, it’s because you’re proud.
· You’ve been told to do something that seems difficult and useless. Do it. And you’ll see that it’s easy and fruitful.
· Right now, when you are finding it hard to obey, remember your Lord, factus obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis— “obedient unto death, even to death on the cross!”
· Oh, the power of obedience! The Lake of Genesareth had denied its fishes to Peter’s nets. A whole night in vain. Then, obedient, he lowered his net again into the water and they caught piscium multitudinem copiosam— “a great number of fishes.” Believe me, the miracle is repeated every day.
· How well you understand obedience when you write: “Always to obey is to be a martyr without dying!”
· Temper your will. Strengthen your will. With God’s grace, let it be like a sword of steel. Only by being strong-willed can you know how not to be so in order to obey.
Amoris Lætitia Growing in conjugal love, Lifelong sharing (123-125)
After the love that unites us to God, conjugal love is the “greatest form of friendship”. It is a union possessing all the traits of a good friendship:
· Concern for the good of the other
· Stability and the resemblance born of a shared life.
Lovers do not see their relationship as merely temporary. Those who marry do not expect their excitement to fade. Those who witness the celebration of a loving union, however, fragile, trust that it will pass the test of time. Children not only want their parents to love one another, but also to be faithful and remain together. These and similar signs show that it is in the very nature of conjugal love to be definitive. The lasting union expressed by the marriage vows is more than a formality or a traditional formula; it is rooted in the natural inclinations of the human person. For believers, it is also a covenant before God that calls for fidelity: “The Lord was witness to the covenant between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant… Let none be faithless to the wife of his youth. For I hate divorce, says the Lord” (Mal 2:14-16). A love that is weak or infirm, incapable of accepting marriage as a challenge to be taken up and fought for, reborn, renewed and reinvented until death, cannot sustain a great commitment. It will succumb to the culture of the ephemeral that prevents a constant process of growth. Yet “promising love for ever is possible when we perceive a plan bigger than our own ideas and undertakings, a plan which sustains us and enables us to surrender our future entirely to the one we love”. If this love is to overcome all trials and remain faithful in the face of everything, it needs the gift of grace to strengthen and elevate it. In the words of Saint Robert Bellarmine, “the fact that one man unites with one woman in an indissoluble bond, and that they remain inseparable despite every kind of difficulty, even when there is no longer hope for children, can only be the sign of a great mystery”. Marriage is likewise a friendship marked by passion, but a passion always directed to an ever more stable and intense union. This is because “marriage was not instituted solely for the procreation of children” but also that mutual love “might be properly expressed, that it should grow and mature”. This unique friendship between a man and a woman acquires an all-encompassing character only within the conjugal union. Precisely as all-encompassing, this union is also exclusive, faithful and open to new life. It shares everything in constant mutual respect.
The Way Prayer
"Read these counsels slowly. Pause to meditate on these thoughts. They are things that I whisper in your ear-confiding them-as a friend, as a brother, as a father. And they are being heard by God. I won't tell you anything new. I will only stir your memory, so that some thought will arise and strike you; and so you will better your life and set out along ways of prayer and of Love. And in the end you will be a more worthy soul."
108. You were saying to him: 'you mustn't trust me. But I..., I do trust you, Jesus. I abandon myself in your arms: there I leave all that is mine, my weaknesses!' And I think it is a good prayer
 John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible.
Escrivá, Josemaría. The Way
 Pope Francis, Encyclical on Love.
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