- Christians have tons of examples of faith, which means they shouldn't worry about little stuff like being persecuted or killed.
- They just need to look to Jesus and keep on running the race. After all, that's what he did. He died on a cross and his followers should be ready to follow in his footsteps if need be.
- Look at persecution as a learning opportunity. Maybe this is God teaching you how to be a better person?
- See, says the author, God is like a dad, which means Christians are his children. Human parents have to lay down the law for their kids every now and then. Even though their rules and punishments seem harsh, parental units just do it because they love you.
- It's the same with God. Maybe by going through all this suffering, Christians will come out more faithful in the end.
- If God didn't care, he'd just let people do whatever they want to. But he does care, so he has to set limits.
- So, keep your head up, the author continues. Don't be like Esau (from back in Genesis), who turned his back on God just to get a decent meal.
- Basically, you need to play the long game—don't give up on God just because you get something good in the short term.
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Saturday, August 24, 2019
Sunday, August 25, 2019
Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost (21st S. Ord. Time)
ST. LOUIS OF FRANCE
Hebrews, Chapter 12, Verse 11
At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful* fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.
Christian life is to be inspired not only by the Old Testament men and women of faith but above all by Jesus. As the architect of Christian faith, he had himself to endure the cross before receiving the glory of his triumph. Reflection on his sufferings should give his followers courage to continue the struggle, if necessary, even to the shedding of blood. Christians should regard their own sufferings as the affectionate correction of the Lord, who loves them as a father loves his children.
Don't Stop Believing
Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
Daily dying to our sins and rising to new life in Christ.
AT the Introit of the Mass, with the priest, pray God for brotherly love, and for protection against enemies, within and without. God, in His holy place; God, Who maketh men of one mind to dwell in a house, He shall give power and strength to His people. Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered; and let them that hate Him flee before His face (Ps. Ixvii.).
Prayer. almighty and everlasting God, Who in the abundance of Thy mercy dost exceed the desires and deserts of Thy suppliants, pour forth Thy mercy upon us, that Thou mayest forgive what our conscience fears, and grant what our prayer does not presume to ask.
EPISTLE, i. Cor. xv. 1-10.
I make known unto you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received, and wherein you stand, by which also you are saved: if you hold fast after what manner I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all, that which I also received: how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures: and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures: and that He was seen by Cephas, and after that by the eleven. Then was He seen by more than five hundred brethren at once, of whom many remain until this present, and some are fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles: and last of all, He was seen also by me as by one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace in me hath not been void.
Explanation. This epistle teaches us that as the holy apostle Paul was not elated with vanity by the revelations he had received from God, but rather felt himself unworthy of them, ascribing it to God’s grace that he was what he was, even so the truly humble man thinks little of himself, is willing to be despised by others, and gives glory to God alone. Such humility is a most difficult lesson to our sensual nature. But are we not sinners, and far greater sinners, than St. Paul was? and shall we then esteem ourselves highly? And granting that we have not to reproach ourselves with any great sins, and have even done much good, is it not presumption and robbery to claim for ourselves what belongs to grace? Let us learn, therefore, to be humble, and to count ourselves always unprofitable servants.
Aspiration. O most humble Saviour, banish from my heart the spirit of pride, and impart to me the most necessary grace of humility. Give me grace to know that, of myself, I can do nothing that is pleasing to Thee, that all my sufficiency for good comes from Thee, and that Thou workest in us both to will and to accomplish (n. Cor. iii. 5; Phil. ii. 13).
GOSPEL Mark vii 31-37
At that time, Jesus, going out of the coasts of Tyre, came by Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. And they bring to Him one deaf and dumb: and they besought Him that He would lay His hand upon him. And taking him from the multitude apart, He put His fingers into his ears, and spitting, He touched his tongue: and looking up to heaven, He groaned, and said to him: Ephpheta, which is, Be thou opened. And immediately his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spokeright. And He charged them that they should tell no man. But the more He charged them, so much the more a great deal did they publish it: and so much the more did they wonder, saying: He hath done all things well; He hath made both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.
Who among Christians are like the deaf and dumb of this gospel? Those who are deaf to the voice of God, and dumb in prayer, in the praise of God, in the defence of religion, and of the goodname of their neighbor, and in confessing their sins.
Why did Christ take the deaf and dumb man aside? Because He did not seek the praise of men, and at the sametime was loath to provoke too soon the hatred of His enemies.
Why did Jesus put His fingers into the ears of the deaf and dumb, and spitting, touch his tongue? To show this unfortunate person by signs that it was He Who freed him from his bodily evils, and that the healing power was not the consequence of secretly given remedies but proceeded immediately from Himself.
Why did Jesus look up to heaven and groan?
1. To show that He acted not as mere man, but that He had received all power from His eternal Father.
2. That He might thereby awaken and animate the deaf and dumb man to confidence in His power and belief in His divine mission. Learn hence to practise the beautiful virtue of compassion for others sufferings, and to acknowledge that every good gift is from above.
Why did Christ charge them that they should tell no man? That we might learn not to seek the praise of men for our good deeds. Let us learn to make known the works of God to His glory; for He is continually working before our eyes everyday so many wonders, in order that we may praise His benignity and omnipotence.
Aspiration: O Jesus, great physician of souls, open mine ears to attend to Thy holy will; loosen my tongue to proclaim and praise forever Thy love and goodness.
St. Louis of France
Things to Do:
· From the Catholic Culture library, St. Louis, King of France
· Learn about the origin and meaning of the Fleur-de-lis.
New Orleans Founded 1718
St. Louis Cathedral, the country’s oldest continuously operating cathedral, faces Jackson Square. Melding French, Spanish, Italian, and Afro-Caribbean cultures, New Orleans is a city that is at once elegant and debauched. And while it was gravely impacted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Big Easy has shown formidable resilience. Many of the city’s myriad pleasures are packed within the lively grid of streets that make up the Vieux Carré (aka the French Quarter). It is New Orleans’s most touristy area, yet also its heart. The French laid out the Quarter’s 90 blocks of narrow streets in the 1720s, and the Spanish—who ruled during the mid- to late 18th century—further developed it. Indeed, despite its name, the neighborhood looks more Spanish than French. Wherever you stroll, you risk sensory overload, from jazz on boisterous Bourbon Street to the smell of café au lait and beignets (deep-fried dough dusted with powdered sugar) wafting from Café du Monde in Jackson Square. Decatur Street offers souvenir stands, offbeat boutiques, and charming restaurants. It’s also home to Central Grocery, an old-fashioned Italian deli whose claim to fame is having perfected (some say invented) one of the city’s classic sandwiches, the muffuletta. Royal and Chartres streets are your best bets for upscale shopping. Be sure to pop into the tacky but fun Pat O’Brien’s to sample their Hurricane, a fruity—and potent—rum cocktail in a glass shaped like a hurricane lamp. Charming Soniat House is comprised of 30 antiques-filled rooms in a cluster of three 19th-century Creole town houses overlooking an interior courtyard garden where guests breakfast on warm biscuits and homemade preserves. For a big-hotel experience, and a big dose of history, it’s hard to beat the lavish 600-room 1886 Hotel Monteleone. Stop by its revolving circus-themed Carousel Bar for a Sazerac cocktail before dinner. The Windsor Court, arguably the finest hotel in the Big Easy, is known for its palatial accommodations, award-winning restaurant, the Grill Room, and museum-quality art collection—yes, that’s a Gainsborough.
Visitor info: www.neworleansonline.com.
· Battle for the Soul of America-Day 11
· Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God.
* A person with fear of the Lord is filled with peace, faith, hope and love.
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
Schultz, Patricia. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: Revised Second Edition
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