Friday, February 8, 2018


Saint Bakhita

Hebrews, Chapter 13, Verse 6
Thus we may say with confidence: “The Lord is my helper, [and] I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?”

Most of us at times have a lack of confidence. Unlike the Fonz on “Happy Days” we just lack that childlike confidence that we can do it all. Yet, in reality we can be much more like the Fonz when we know that the Lord has our back.


Confident Love Is More Sanctifying[1]

The “little ones” who have surrendered themselves to love, living here below in the arms of Jesus, on His Heart, will find Themselves, at the moment of death, in His arms, on His Heart. It is then that we must push confidence to the extreme limits. These trials are graces, because they are occasions for pure faith. Pure love is realized in pure faith, and pure faith is realized in darkness in the same way as “strength is perfected in weakness.”Profit from these dark hours when your nature grieves, when your heart is cold, when you believe, wrongly, that Jesus is very far from you and even, perhaps, that He is turning His eyes away from you, because you see yourself to be so imperfect and wretched; profit from them to make heroic acts of faith and confidence out of pure will. These are the most precious acts—they have immense merit because in those times they are acts of pure faith, without consolation and without sensible aid. That is the moment to say to Jesus, “You may sleep in my boat; I shall not awaken You. You are hiding Yourself, but I know well where You are hidden: You are in my heart. I do not feel it, but I know it. I believe in Your love for me and I believe in my love for You.” And at death? It is said that at the time of death Hell is let loose. Jesus can permit it. But is He not near us then, much nearer than Satan? Is not Mary there, supporting this soul which is the stake of the Redemption, with a motherly solicitude?

And St. Joseph is there, who knew the sweetness of dying in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Their hearts bend over the dying with an unparalleled saving power at this decisive hour. “Not a single soul falls into Hell that has not torn itself out of my arms,” said our Lord to a holy soul. If, according to the Curé of Ars, “It is not the sinner who comes back to God to ask His pardon, but God Himself who runs after the sinner and who brings Him back to Himself,” it is certainly so at the hour of death. Confidence is the heart of the doctrine of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus since, “it is confidence and nothing but confidence which will lead us to love,” and love is everything. Engrave this in your souls and hearts in letters of gold and fire: immense confidence, unshakeable confidence in this King of Love, who is called Jesus—Savior.

Saint Bakhita-Slave to Saint-Quotes[2]

·         "If I were to meet the slave-traders who kidnapped me and even those who tortured me, I would kneel and kiss their hands, for if that did not happen, I would not be a Christian and Religious today... The Lord has loved me so much: we must love everyone... we must be compassionate!" ~ Josephine Bakhita
·         "Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself, 'Who could be the Master of these beautiful things?' I felt a great desire to see him, to know him and to pay him homage." ~ Josephine Bakhita
·         "The Lord has loved me so much: we must love everyone...we must be compassionate!" ~ Josephine Bakhita
·         "O Lord, if I could fly to my people and tell them of your goodness at the top of my voice, oh how many souls would be won!" ~ Josephine Bakhita


Marriage Week[3]

Simon Peter and the other fishermen are astonished at the catch that reveals Jesus as Lord. Jesus’response to Simon Peter is reassuring: “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men”. Once again, the fisherman of Galilee places his trust in the words of Jesus and leaves everything tofollow Him. James and John also do the same; from now on, they will be ‘fishers of men’. Jesus invites them to share in His mission, the mission of the Church. As baptized, we all partake in the mission of Jesus Christ, priest, prophet, and king. As married men and women, the calling is lived out in a concrete home and family. How does your life as a couple, asparents, as godparents, or in another way, touch the lives of your family? How are you witnesses and bearers of the Gospel?

What Is Marriage?[4]

Marriage is a lifelong partnership of the whole of life, of mutual and exclusive fidelity, established by mutual consent between a man and a woman, and ordered towards the good of the spouses and the procreation of offspring. As the Second Vatican Council reminds us, marriage is not a purely human institution: the intimate partnership of life and the love which constitutes the married state has been established by the creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws. . .. For God himself is the author of marriage. Moreover, God has endowed marriage with certain essential attributes, without which marriage cannot exist as he intends. The Church has taught through the ages that marriage is an exclusive relationship between one man and one woman. This union, once validly entered and consummated, gives rise to a bond that cannot be dissolved by the will of the spouses. Marriage thus created is a faithful, privileged sphere of intimacy between the spouses that lasts until death. Marriage is not merely a private institution, however. It is the foundation for the family, where children learn the values and virtues that will make good Christians as well as good citizens. The importance of marriage for children and for the upbringing of the next generation highlights the importance of marriage for all society. Conjugal love, the love proper to marriage, is present in the commitment to the complete and total gift of self between husband and wife. Conjugal love establishes a unique communion of persons through the relationship of mutual self-giving and receiving between husband and wife, a relationship by which ―a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body [flesh]‖(Gn 2:24).The Second Vatican Council speaks about conjugal love in words of great beauty: The Lord, wishing to bestow special gifts of grace and divine love on married love, has restored, perfected, and elevated it. A love like that, bringing together the human and the divine, leads the partners to a free and mutual self-giving, experienced in tenderness and action, and permeating their entire lives; this love is actually developed and increased by its generous exercise in conjugal love one can see something of how Christ loves his Church (Eph 5:25).

Resources

On marriages in crisis –For Your Marriage list of ministries that help married couples in difficulty or crisis
On healthy sexuality within marriage –Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae,1968.
On divorce –USCCB, Divorce and the Church’s Healing Ministry, 2010.
On lust and pornography –USCCB: Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response toPornography, 2015 and Clean Heart series of pamphlets, 2016.
Pope Francis’s Catechesis on the Family, January 7, 2015 –November 18, 2015.
USCCB, Pastoral Letter Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan, 2009.
USCCB, For Your Marriagewebsite: foryourmarriage.org.
USCCB, Por Tu Matrimonio website: portumatrimonio.org.

The Way[5] Penance

"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."

If you realize that those sufferings — of body or soul — mean purification and merit, bless them.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Universal Man Plan
·         Nivevah 90 day17



[1]d'Elbée, Jean C.J.. I Believe in Love: A Personal Retreat Based on the Teaching of St. Therese of Lisieux
[2]https://www.azquotes.com/author/28504-Josephine_Bakhita
[5]http://www.escrivaworks.org/book/the_way-point-1.htm

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