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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Sunday, January 27, 2019
Third Sunday after Epiphany
1, Verse 21
See, the LORD, your
God, has given this land over to you. Go up and take possession of it, as the
LORD, the God of your ancestors, has promised you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
gave the land of Israel to the Israelites as an eternal possession; land could
be leased to pay debts, but it always reverted back to the family who owned it.
In a similar way Christ has given the possession of your eternal soul back over
to you after you leased it out to the evil one. Do not fear or be dismayed to take possession of it.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to
proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the
oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord. (Luke
children of God we must take possession of our soul just as the Israelites took
possession of the land. A man in possession of his soul seeks to live in such a
way that he does not lose possession of his soul. He strives to place first things first and he
endeavors to follow God’s holy Will in his life. Conversion means turning to
God and keeping the four last things in our mind when we are tempted: Death,
Judgment, Heaven and hell. Immediately after death we will be judged, and our
private judgment will be repeated on the Day of Judgment; when all men will
know us for what we are. If we have done our best and followed Christ’s
commandments (if you love me you will
keep my commandments) we will join Him in Heaven but if we have ignored His
commandments and refused to make use of His help (via the church sacraments) we
shall be condemned to hell..
strive to love God in your daily life and make use of His grace. When you fall,
immediately make a prayer in honor of the Wound of His Holy Shoulder making use
of His grace in the sacrament of confession at the earliest opportunity and
receive Holy Communion.
is related in the annals of Clairvaux that St. Bernard asked our Lord which was
His greatest unrecorded suffering, and Our Lord answered: "I had on My
Shoulder, while I bore My Cross on the Way of Sorrows, a grievous Wound, which
was more painful than the others, and which is not recorded by men. Honor this
wound with thy devotion, and I will grant thee whatsoever thou dost ask through
its virtue and merit. And in regard to all those who shall venerate this Wound,
I will remit to them all their venial sins, and will no longer remember their
O Loving Jesus, meek Lamb
of God, I miserable sinner, salute and worship the most Sacred Wound of Thy
Shoulder on which Thou didst bear Thy heavy Cross, which so tore Thy flesh and
laid bare Thy Bones as to inflict on Thee an anguish greater than any other
wound of Thy Most Blessed Body. I adore Thee, O Jesus most sorrowful; I praise
and glorify Thee, and give Thee thanks for this most sacred and painful Wound,
beseeching Thee by that exceeding pain, and by the crushing burden of Thy heavy
Cross to be merciful to me, a sinner, to forgive me all my mortal and venial
sins, and to lead me on towards Heaven along the Way of Thy Cross. Amen.
Thomas D. Beven, Bishop of Springfield
Under the traditional
calendar the Church Christ cures the Jewish leper and the Roman centurion's
servant, calling both Jew and Gentile to His flock.
Matthew viii. 1-18
At that time, when Jesus was come
down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him: and behold a leper came
and adored Him, saying: Lord, if Thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And
Jesus, stretching forth His hand, touched him, saying: I will. Be thou made
clean. And forthwith his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith to him: See thou
tell no man: but go show thyself to the priest and offer the gift which Moses
commanded for a testimony unto them. And when He had entered into Capharnaum,
there came to Him a centurion, beseeching Him, and saying: Lord, my servant
lieth at home sick of the palsy, and is grievously tormented. And Jesus saith
to him: I will come and heal him. And the centurion, making answer, said: Lord,
I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof; but only say the word,
and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man subject to authority,
having under me soldiers; and I say to this: Go, and he goeth: and to another:
Come, and he cometh: and to my servant: Do this, and he doth it. And Jesus
hearing this, marvelled: and said to them that followed Him: Amen I say to you,
I have not found so great faith in Israel. And I say to you that many shall
come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac,
and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven: but the children of the kingdom shall be
cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
And Jesus said to the centurion: Go, and as thou hast believed, so be it done
to thee. And the servant was healed at the same hour.
did the leper say to Jesus, “Lord, if Thou wilt, thou canst make me clean”? Because he believed Jesus to be
the promised Messias, Who, as true God, had the power to heal him. When we
pray, we must be careful not to prescribe to God what He shall give us, but
begin by saying, “If it be pleasing to Thee, and advantageous to me, give me
this or that grace.
did Jesus stretch forth His hand and touch him? So that he might understand that
his leprosy was to be healed. Let us also imitate the example of Jesus by
assisting each other in sickness, not shirking this work of charity from
aversion or excessive delicacy.
did Jesus say, “I will, be thou made clean”? To reveal His almightiness, and to show that all
things were subject to Him.
did Jesus say, “See thou tell no man”?
To show His modesty and humility, and to teach us, when we do good works, not
to speak of them, thus losing our reward (Matt. vi. 2, 3).
does the Savior mean by saying, Go show thyself to the priest?
1. Christ wished to show His
respect for the law of Moses, for lepers were required to show themselves to
the priests, who were to decide whether they were clean or not. He also teaches
us that priests should receive their proper respect.
2. He reminded him who was cleansed
to give thanks to God by offering the gift which Moses commanded.
does the solicitude of the centurion teach us? That masters and mistresses should
take care of their sick servants and do what they can to restore them to
did Our Savior say, I will come and heal him? To show His profound humility, for
although He was God, and the Lord of lords, He did not hesitate to visit a poor
did the centurion say, Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my
roof? Out of
humility, for he acknowledged Jesus to be Almighty God.
is the meaning of the words, “That many shall come from the east and the west,
and shall sit down with Abraham”? Christ
meant that many unbelievers shall receive the Gospel, and, living according to
it, shall thereby gain the kingdom of heaven, while the Jews, who were the
chosen people of God, shall, for their unbelief and sins, be cast out into the
exterior darkness that is, into the most excruciating pains of hell.
Holocaust Memorial Day is a day commemorating the
millions of Jews and minority groups who were murdered by the Nazis during the
Holocaust in the 1930s and 40s. The Holocaust, a systematic and state-planned
program to kill millions of Jews and other minority groups in Europe, was one
of the most horrific genocides in history with an estimated 11 million lives
lost. The purpose of the day is to encourage discussion of this difficult
subject in order to make sure that it never happens again. In 2005, Holocaust
Memorial Day was established by the United Nations
General Assembly. January 27, the remembrance date, is significant as it
was the date that Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest and most infamous Nazi
extermination camp in Poland, was liberated in 1945. The Holocaust is marked by
many different days around the world. In Israel, the day is known as Yom
HaShoah and begins when the sun sets on May 4 and finishes in the evening of
International Day of Victims of the
Holocaust Facts & Quotes
·Jewish people were excluded from public life on September
15th, 1935 when the Nuremberg Laws were issued, stripping German Jews of their
citizenship and the right to marry Germans.
·The mass killings of Jews and undesirables in death
camps was referred to as the Final Solution by the Nazis.
·If we bear all this suffering and if there are
still Jews left, when it is over, then Jews, instead of being doomed, will be
held up as an example. ― Anne Frank, well-known Holocaust victim
·I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever
human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality
helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never
the tormented” ― Elie Wiesel, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor
Victims of the Holocaust Top Events and
Things to Do
·Visit the largest extermination/concentration camp
from the Holocaust. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, located in Poland, allows
visitors to see the camp and learn more about the atrocities committed inside.
·Join social media campaigns that promote awareness
of the Holocaust, try tweeting using the hashtag #holocaustmemorial or
·Find a HMD activity near you by consulting their
website. There are many different workshops and discussions held year-round. Or
if there are none near you organize an activity yourself to mark HMD in your
community. The HMD website has a
selection of useful information on how to do this.
·Read one of the thought provoking, gripping and
saddening accounts of the Holocaust. Some choice picks include:
Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
2) Maus by Art Spiegelman
in Jerusalem by Hannah Arendt
·Watch a movie about the Holocaust. Some popular
List (1993), Auschwitz (2011), The
Boy in Striped Pajamas (2008), Life is Beautiful (1997) and The
Question: Are the babies in the
womb considered human? At the Judgement Germany will have 11 million souls to account for: -and
America now has 60 million and counting to account for---think about it.
Louis and Zélie Martin: Sowing a Household of Saints through Suffering
114. The Church lifts up to us the lives of those
who have lived heroically the vocations of marriage— and suffering—in order to
be an inspiration and source of intercessory power in our own lives. I
encourage you to find such an example in the parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux,
Louis and Zélie Martin, the first married saints of modern times and the only
married couple to be canonized together. Their marriage was rich in suffering,
but even richer in love.
115. Saints Louis and Zélie both had desired
religious life, he to be a priest, she a nun. Louis, however, was unable to
master Latin, and Zélie was turned away from the convent for unexplained
reasons. God, in fact, had other plans. When He revealed that they were called
to marriage, they embraced their vocation wholeheartedly and desired to have many
children to “bring them up to heaven.”
116. Their marriage would bless the Church in a way
far surpassing even their greatest hopes. They would raise five daughters, all
destined for the convent, one of whom, Thérèse, would become one of the most
beloved saints of all time, a Doctor of the Church, the patron saint of
missions, and spiritual mother to millions—even though she died at 24 years of
age, never having left the convent after her entrance at the young age of 15.
Her Story of a Soul reveals that the spirituality of the Little Way which she
made famous was really a discovery of the deeper meaning of her own childhood,
lived within the circle of the devotion of her family.
117. Married in France in 1858, Louis and Zélie both
worked hard as business owners, creating and selling a special lace for which
their region was known. They lived modestly and prayerfully, staying close to
the sacraments and never missing an opportunity to practice charity to their
neighbors and raising their children to do the same.
118. But they knew the suffering of grief
intimately. They would bury two infant sons, and thus surrender all their hopes
for a priest in the family. Two daughters would also die, one in infancy, one
at the age of five, causing Zélie to admit, “I thought I would die myself.”
119. The next sacrifice the Lord asked was that of
Zélie’s life—she died of cancer when Thérèse (the youngest), was only four
years old. Louis carried on with the help of his older girls. But one by one he
would be asked to give them back to God, too, at the door of the convent, even
Thérèse, his “Little Queen.” In the end he also would offer a final sacrifice
in the form of an illness which took his health, his independence and his mind.
At his last painful visit to his Carmelite daughters, Thérèse would never
forget her father’s final words to them. Pointing his finger upwards, he
exclaimed with great effort, “In heaven!”
120. Indeed, they are in heaven, but still always
concerned with the Church militant below. In raising this married couple to the
altars, the Church gives them to you, mothers and fathers, as witnesses to the
joy of the restorative hope of the Resurrection, to the grace to bear the
heaviest crosses, and to the sanctity of marriage and family life.
121. God’s generosity knows no bounds. With the simple faith of Thérèse
and her parents, surrender all and allow Him to restore your family and
marriage to wholeness in the way He knows best.
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."
Give thanks, as for a very
special favour, for that holy abhorrence you feel for yourself.
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
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
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