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SAINT FRANCIS XAVIER


Genesis, Chapter 26, Verse 24
The same night the LORD appeared to him (Isaac) and said: I am the God of Abraham, your father. Do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for the sake of Abraham, my servant.

Often times when are lives are full of trouble it is hard to think of God’s presence and to realize we are His children and we should be about His business. Isaac is involved in a dispute over water rights. In a sparsely watered land, wells were precious and claims on water could function as a kind of claim on the land. God helps Abimelech, the King, to realize that Isaac has brought blessing to his people and thus to desire to make a covenant with him the day following Isaac’s dream. When I was in the military, we had a witty maxim for this;

“It is hard to remember your mission was to drain the swamp when you are up to your arse in alligators.”

When our lives are so busy fighting off the alligators that we do not take time to listen or pray to God; that is when God may approach us in our dreams. Isaac was reassured by God not to fear for He is with Him.

In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  (1 Peter: 6-7)

Francis Xavier[1], surnamed the apostle of India, was born of noble parents april 7, 1506, at xavier, a castle near pampeluna, in spain. In his eighteenth year he became one of the first members of the society of jesus, at paris, and from that moment gave himself up so earnestly and perseveringly to meditation, self-denial, and the practice of christian virtues that by no desire was he so much animated as by that of laboring and suffering for the glory of god and the salvation of men, wherever and however it might please god. In the year 1541 he was sent as missionary to india. Of his labors and sufferings there his works bear witness. He preached the gospel in fifty-two kingdoms, great and small, of India and japan, and baptized about a hundred thousand pagans and muslims. Wherever he came, the idols temples were thrown down, and churches built to the true god. He died in 1552, poor and destitute of all bodily comforts, but rejoicing in the lord, with these words, lord, in thee have I hoped; let me never be confounded. Let us learn from St. Francis Xavier to labor, according to our ability, for the glory of God and the salvation of our neighbor. -although we cannot become missionaries, we yet can pray, and we can join the association for the Propagation of The Faith[2].

Those who hunger[3]


Christ's fourth beatitude, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness," cuts to the rotten flesh at the heart of the modern world. It shows a striking difference between our culture and all others, especially our own cultures past. As Solzhenitsyn said in his great and shocking 1978 Harvard commencement address, nothing more conspicuously distinguishes us than our lack of courage, our lack of passion. You see this strikingly when you live in another culture, or even when you read the writings of another culture, like the Middle Ages or ancient Israel. Kierkegaard says in Either/Or, let others complain that our age is wicked; my complaint is that it is wretched, for it lacks passion. Men's thoughts are thin and flimsy like lace; they are themselves are pitiable like lace makers. The thoughts of their hearts are too paltry to be sinful. For a worm it might be regarded as a sin to harbor such thoughts, but not for a being made in the image of God. Even their lusts are dull and sluggish, their passions sleepy. They do their duty, these shop-keeping souls, but they clip the coin a trifle. ... They think that even if the Lord keeps a careful set of books, they may still cheat Him a little. Out upon them! This is the reason my soul always turns back to the Old Testament and Shakespeare. Those who speak there are at least human beings: they hate; they love; they murder their enemies and curse their descendants throughout all generations; they sin. The greatest good, according to our culture's primary prophets, is self-esteem, self-satisfaction. Christ shocks us by blessing dissatisfaction, not the dissatisfaction with our place in the world, not worldly ambition, the profit motive, the American Dream, hunger for glory, honor, fame, power, wealth or success, but hunger and thirst for righteousness, for sanctity — dissatisfaction with our sins, passionate thirst for a sanctity we know we do not have and know we must have. There is one thing in the lives of all the saints that turns us off, and cuts of off, from perhaps the single most effective evangelistic weapon in the Church's arsenal — using the lives of the saints — and that is the saints' passionate insistence that they are great sinners, and their insistent passion for holiness. It's not that we do not admire holiness; it's that we do not admire the passion for holiness, the hunger and thirst for righteousness. What Christ blesses, we curse as fanaticism, our soft, sophisticated culture's worst insult. But this is Christ's blessing. More than a blessing, it is a requirement. It is what our Lord requires us to be in order to be his, that is, to be a saint, that is, a fanatic, to love one thing infinitely, to put all our eggs in his basket. It contains only one pearl of great price. He uses a shocking word for our Laodicean niceness: "Because you are neither hot nor cold I will spit you out of my mouth." He is content with us only if we are discontent with ourselves. Freud wrote that our civilization's success in seeking contentment has produced instead greater discontent — a profound question, but he did not know the answer why. I think that was the profoundest thing he ever wrote, only one step from Augustine's great answer, that our hearts are restless until they rest in God. Pascal, on the other hand, knew why, for his patient, unlike Freud's, was himself, and his psychoanalyst, unlike Freud's, was not himself, but Christ. And therefore, he knew why we multiply our passions for little things, and decrease our passion for great thing, why we multiply diversions, and cultivate indifference, especially to death and our eternal destiny. He knew where this disease came from. He wrote, Jesus said it even more succinctly than Pascal (Jesus spoke more succinctly than anyone ever): "Seek and you shall find," implying that non-seekers do not find.The f act that there exist men who are indifferent to the loss of their whole being and the peril of an eternity of wretchedness is against nature. With everything else they are quite different: they fear the most trifling things. They foresee them and feel them. The same man who spends many days and nights in fury and despair at losing some office, or some imaginary affront to his honor, is the very one who knows that he is going to lose everything through death but feels neither anxiety nor emotion. It is a monstrous thing to see one and the same heart at once so sensitive to minor things and so strangely insensitive to the greatest. It is an incomprehensible spell, a supernatural torpor that points to a supernatural power as its cause. Many thinkers have written sentences that begin like this: "There are only two kinds of people" or "There are only three kinds of people". In fact, one version goes like this: "There are only two kinds of people, those who believe there are only two kinds of people, and those who don't." But Pascal's version is the best I have ever heard. He writes, "There are only three kinds of people: those who seek God and have found Him — these are wise and happy; those who seek God and have not yet found Him — these are wise and unhappy; and those who live without either seeking God or finding Him — and these are both unwise and unhappy." You see, it is the seeking, the hungering and thirsting, that makes all the difference, in fact, the eternal difference. Jesus said it even more succinctly than Pascal (Jesus spoke more succinctly than anyone ever): "Seek and you shall find," implying that non-seekers do not find. The Pharisees were non-seekers, like the pop psychologists, full of self-esteem. Therefore, he said to them that he had come on earth to save everyone but them. He said, "Those who are sick need a physician, not those who are well. I came to call not the righteous, but sinners." Socrates said the same thing: on the intellectual level, there are only two kinds of people, fools who believe they are wise, and the wise who believe they are fools. Pascal says: "There are two kinds of people: sinners, who believe they are saints, and saints, who believe they are sinners." Jesus says that the wise "fools" and the saints are right, and the clear empirical test for the difference between them is the hunger and thirst, the passion, the discontent. When Christ says that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, that is, for sanctity, shall be satisfied, does he mean they shall be satisfied only in the next life? I think he means they will begin to be satisfied even in this one. Already in this life the saints have a peace and a joy that the world cannot give. They are at the same time dissatisfied and satisfied, like Romeo with Juliet, like you listening to a great symphony, or watching a great storm at sea. By a wonderful paradox, the refusal to accept self-esteem turns out to be the highest self-esteem. To accept the title "sinner" means you are the King's kid acting like an ape. To refuse that title and accept yourself as you are means that you are only a clever, successfully evolved ape, even when you act like a prince. What a privilege to sing, "Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!" No ape, however evolved, can rise to the dignity of being a wretch. Only one destined for infinite, unending, and unimaginable ecstasy in spiritual marriage to God can bear the dignity of being a wretch. Only the betrothed is wretched until united with the Spouse.

Walt Disney Day[4]

Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive. This facility makes it the most versatile and explicit means of communication yet devised for quick mass appreciation.

The name Disney is known all over the world and is the brand name of characters and stories that are cherished and beloved the world over. Behind all of this wonder, the voices of Mickey Mouse and the seemingly endless parade of characters that the company put out was the vision of one man, Walter Elias Disney. Known to his friends, which he would consider all of us, as Walt. Walt Disney Day celebrates this incredible man and the joy and laughter he brought to the world. It is perhaps no mistake that Walt Disney was born in 1901, right at the turning of the century. He would go on to turn the entire world around, changing the face of cinema and entertainment through the introduction of his incredible cast of animated characters. Born in Chicago, Walt would move multiple times throughout his life, first in 1906 to a family farm in Missouri, again in 1911 to Kansas City where he would attend grammar school. His career as an artist and illustrator would get its start in 1919 when he returned from World War I during which he served as part of the Red Cross. It would be 1928 before Mickey Mouse came into the world, the result of a sketch being done while he was on a bus. It quickly became the centrepiece of the Disney Empire, which would grow rapidly to become one of the most important names in family entertainment in the world. 90 years later Disney is a name known around the world for its beloved characters, exciting theme parks, and most recently it’s ownership of Star Wars.

How to celebrate Walt Disney Day

The best way to celebrate Walt Disney Day is to get in and watch as many Disney films as you can cram into a single day, especially if you’ve never seen them before. If you’re one of those who grew up with Walt Disney as the heart of your childhood experience, then this is a perfect opportunity to take a walk down memory lane. Get together a bunch of themed food and sweets and enjoy your day with a group of friends, because Disney has always been about family.

5 Disney movies with religious messages[5]

Disney movies are a well-known and well-loved part of most people's childhood. These stories talk and teach us things, like believing in ourselves and follow our dreams. Recently, the stories inspire courage and kindness, as well as forms of "true love." But viewers may have missed something; these popular Disney stories have religious messages.

1. Snow White is a Christian princess.


Released in 1937, the first animated story Disney made is actually about a Christian princess. It may not be explicit, but Snow White was shown briefly, praying with her head bowed down and hands clasped, asking for God's blessing to the seven dwarfs that had shown kindness to her.

2. Simba is The Prodigal Son.
The youngest son in the parable is just like Simba, King Mufasa's son who just enjoys the life of a prince. But once he realizes the part he played in his father's death, he runs away and lives with animals eating grubs. Discarding the "Hakuna Matata" lifestyle, he goes back home to face the responsibilities waiting for him.

3. Rapunzel, in Tangled, symbolizes our humanity.
Like many of the characters in the Bible, the trapped princess was able to live through the darkness in her life and find the light that sets her free. Every year following her kidnapping by the witch, who represents the devil, her parents lit up the sky through lanterns helping her find her way back home. And like God, they never got tired of doing it.

4.  God's grace in Cinderella.
We might think of this heroin as not exactly the type to look up to: most the time she just lets everyone tell her what to do. She may not have deserved the happy ending she got, because she relied solely on her fairy godmother. However, the point of God's grace is it's undeserved, as depicted in the Bible stories.

5. The Hunchback of Notre Dame involves God the most.
This could be a bit of an exaggeration, as described in crosswalk.com. But remember, the beginning of the story tells of the villain wanting to kill a baby but stopped by the Church, one way the Holy Spirit works. The heroine later sings to God, how prayer should really be. Believing he's better than others, the villain constantly clashes with his faith. Whether it is intentional or not, aren't we glad Disney incorporates God and Christianity in its stories? These scenes are rarely seen in movies, so you might want to do a re-watch. You'll never see your favorite movies the same again.

49 Godly Character Traits[6]

As we begin the Advent 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:

Compassion vs. Indifference


Investing whatever is necessary to heal the hurts of others (I John 3:17)

1503 Christ's compassion toward the sick and his many healings of every kind of infirmity are a resplendent sign that "God has visited his people" and that the Kingdom of God is close at hand. Jesus has the power not only to heal, but also to forgive sins; he has come to heal the whole man, soul and body; he is the physician the sick have need of. His compassion toward all who suffer goes so far that he identifies himself with them: "I was sick and you visited me." His preferential love for the sick has not ceased through the centuries to draw the very special attention of Christians toward all those who suffer in body and soul. It is the source of tireless efforts to comfort them.

The Way[7] Heart

"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."

Surely there must be something wrong somewhere! If God gives himself to you, why are you so attached to creatures?

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood


[1]Goffine’s Divine Instructions, 1896
[4]https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/walt-disney-day/
[5]https://www.catholic.org/news/hf/faith/story.php?id=59303
[6]http://graceonlinelibrary.org/home-family/christian-parenting/49-godly-character-qualities/
[7]http://www.escrivaworks.org/book/the_way-point-1.htm

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