Third Sunday after Pentecost (12th S. Ord. Time)
FATHER’S DAY-YOGA DAY
Matthew, Chapter 10, verse 26
“Therefore, do not be AFRAID of them. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.
Pope Francis asks us to pray that our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted may feel the consoling presence of the Risen Lord. Though physically distant from us, they are spiritually close. Suffering because they are Christians, they have a special place in the Heart of Jesus, and, if we are united to that Heart, they will have a special place in our hearts as well.
Pope Francis believes persecution should bring Christians of all denominations together. “The blood of Jesus,” he said, “poured out by many Christian martyrs in various parts of the world, calls us and compels us towards the goal of unity. For persecutors, we are not divided. We are one in their eyes! For persecutors we are Christians! This is the ecumenism of blood that we experience today.”
May our prayerful solidarity with persecuted Christians help them know they are not alone nor abandoned. May it help to bring us together as the One Body of Christ.
Because of God's mercy, the Holy Spirit works to build the kingdom of God even in sinful souls.
ON this Sunday, in the Introit of the Mass, the Church invites the sinner to call on the Lord with confidence and humility. “Look Thou upon me and have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am alone and poor. See my abjection and my labor, and forgive me all my sins, O my God. To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul; in Thee, O my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed” (Ps. xxiv.).
Prayer. O God, the protector of those who hope in Thee, without Whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy, multiply Thy mercy upon us, that under Thy rule and guidance we may so pass through the goods of time as not to forfeit those of eternity.
EPISTLE. I. Peter v. 6-11.
Dearly Beloved: Be you humbled under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in the time of visitation. Casting all your care upon Him, for He hath care of you. Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist ye, strong in faith, knowing that the same affliction befalleth your brethren who are in the world. But the God of all grace, Who hath called us unto His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will Himself perfect you, and confirm you, and establish you. To Him be glory and empire forever and ever. Amen.
GOSPEL. Luke xv. 1-10.
At that time the publicans and sinners drew near unto Jesus to hear Him. And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying: This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. And He spoke to them this parable, saying “What man of you that hath an hundred sheep, and if he shall lose one of them, doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert, and go after that which was lost until he find it? And when he hath found it, lay it upon his shoulders rejoicing; and coming home call together his friends and neighbors, saying to them: Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost? I say to you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance. Or what woman having ten groats*, if she lose one groat (small coin) doth not light a candle and sweep the house and seek diligently until she find it? And when she hath found it, call together her friends and neighbors, saying: Rejoice with me, because I have found the groat which I had lost. So, I say to you, there shall be joy before the angels of God upon one sinner doing penance.”
Why did the Pharisees murmur? Because they thought themselves better than other men, and as they avoided the company of sinners themselves, they required others to do likewise. They did not know, or rather did not wish to know, that a truly just man always feels compassion for sinners, and that the saints always desired and endeavored to promote their conversion and eternal welfare. “True justice, says St. Gregory, has compassion for sinners, while false and hypocritical justice is angry with them. Love sinners, therefore, in imitation of Jesus, and pray earnestly for their conversion.”
What does the parable of the lost sheep teach us? It teaches us the love of Jesus, Who seeks out sinners, brings them back to the Father, and reinstates them in the privileges of the children of God. We find in this parable an excuse for sinners. The sheep is a very simple animal which, while grazing in the field, does not notice that it has left the fold. It is lost, and when lost does not know the way back to the fold. It seems, therefore, when Christ compared the sinner to a sheep He intended to say that the sinner goes astray from the true path and from God through pure and natural ignorance; because being dazzled and delighted by the things of the world, he follows them; he separates himself from the just without knowing it, and, lost in the desert of this world, he does not know his misfortune and has not, humanly speaking, the means of returning again, if God in His infinite mercy does not go in search of him and rescue him.
What is meant by the words, “there shall be more joy over one sinner that does penance than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance? Thereby it is not to be understood that the penitent sinner is more pleasing to God than ninety-nine just, but that, as men have a special joy in finding that which they supposed to be lost, so also God, the angels, and saints have an extraordinary joy over the conversion of one sinner; because, in the conversion of the sinner, they see the glory, love, and power of God exalted.
Aspiration. O Lord, what profit hast Thou in the conversion of a sinner, that Thou art thereby so greatly pleased? The happiness of one of Thy poor creatures can add nothing to Thine own. But Thou lovest me, and therefore it is that Thou art pleased if I return to Thee. O my God, is it possible that I can know this Thy love, and remain any longer in sin?
Building up the Kingdom
This Sunday focuses on God's mercy, the Holy Spirit works to build the kingdom of God even in sinful souls.
Scripture and the Church teach us that we have three divinely ordained purposes that give our lives meaning:
· Salvation — seeking to save our eternal souls and help save the souls of others (that salvation, the Church teaches, is God's free gift but requires our cooperation through faith in God, obedience to his commandments, and repentance of our grave sins).
· Service — using our God-given talents to build God's kingdom here on earth.
· Sanctity — growing in holiness.
The third of these life goals, sanctity, is central to building Catholic character. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says something that is stunning: "Be thou made perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt 5:48). St. Gregory put it this way: "The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God." Scripture tells us, "God is love" (1 Jn 4:16). If we want to be like God, our vocation is to love. The essence of love is to sacrifice for the sake of another, as Jesus did. Love is self-gift. What, then, is our goal if we want to develop Catholic character in our children and ourselves? Look to the character of Christ: A life of self-giving.
The high goal of Christ-like character builds on a base of what the Church calls "natural virtues." Among the natural virtues that families and schools should nurture are the four advanced by the ancient Greeks, named in Scripture (Wis 8:7), and adopted by the Church as "the cardinal virtues": prudence, which enables us to judge what we should do; justice, which enables us to respect the rights of others and give them what they are due; fortitude, which enables us to do what is right in the face of difficulties; temperance, which enables us to control our desires and avoid abuse of even legitimate pleasures. These natural virtues are developed through effort and practice, aided by God's grace. To develop a Christ-like character, however, we need more than the natural virtues. We also need the three supernatural, or "theological," virtues:
1. Faith in God, which enables us to believe in God and the teachings of his church.
2. Hope in God, which leads us to view eternal life as our most important goal and to place total trust in God.
3. Love of God, which enables us to love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.
The three theological virtues are considered supernatural because they come from God and have as their purpose our participation in God's divine life. As the Catechism (1813) teaches, the theological virtues are not separate from the natural virtues; rather, they "are the foundation of Christian moral activity; they animate it and give it its special character." The Catholic writer Peter Kreeft points out, "The Christian is prudent, just, courageous, and self-controlled out of faith in God, hope in God, and love of God." The supernatural virtues, like the natural virtues, grow stronger through our effort and practice, in cooperation with God's grace.
Father's Day is the day to recognize, honor and celebrate the sacrifices and accomplishments of fathers. In 1910, Washington State Governor declared Father's Day on the 19th of July. It then became a permanent federal holiday in 1972 when President Richard Nixon proclaimed that the third Sunday in June would be further known as Father's Day. On this day, children celebrate their fathers and father figures to show their love and appreciation.
Father's Day Facts & Quotes
· In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. It became a permanent holiday in 1972 when President Richard Nixon proclaimed that the third Sunday in June would remain Father's Day.
· Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd first came up with the idea for Father's Day after hearing a Mother's Day sermon in church. She was raised by her father and wanted to honor him.
· In 2014, 4% of all U.S. children lived only with their fathers.
· It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father. - Pope John XXIII
· When one has not had a good father, one must create one. - Frederich Wilhelm Nietzsche
- Attend a Baseball game. Father’s Day occurs in the midst of Baseball season.
- Arrange a BBQ and invite all of the fathers in your family.
- Spend the day with Dad doing one of his favorite activities: fishing, golfing, hiking.
- Complete one of dad's chores or projects as a surprise. If it's something you don't know how to do, offer to help and learn.
- Take the President's Fatherhood's Pledge.
- Teach justice, prudence, temperance, and fortitude to children.
How to Be a Good Father
The father's role in our modern society has dwindled to almost nothing. But as a Christian the father's role is important in molding and giving example to his children, especially to his sons.
Probably nobody denies that the typical father exercises less authority in his home today than at any time in history. Reasons for this decline probably are of no interest or help in the present discussion; but the effect of it cannot be overlooked. For evidence accumulated by psychiatrists, social workers and similar experts proves unmistakably that when children lack a strong father to guide them, they suffer serious damage in many important ways. Consider these facts:
There is a startling growth in homosexual tendencies among the young, and most authorities agree that the boy who develops feminine characteristics usually has had unsatisfactory relations with his father in one or several important respects. Increases in juvenile delinquency — a headlined trend in every part of the country — are also due to the weak position of the father; the lack of an affectionate and understanding relationship between father and son is a prevalent characteristic in the background of boys charged with criminal offenses. Many authorities also blame the shocking rates of divorce and marriage breakdowns to this cause. The fathers of those who cannot succeed in marriage often never gave their children a realistic example of how a man should live with his wife in this relationship.
The importance of the father as an example of manhood to his son and daughter probably cannot be overestimated. For example, one day your son may marry and have a family. To be a successful father, he should know how to train his children; how to treat his wife and their mother in their presence; what to discuss with them about his work; how to show them manual skills, such as repairing a chair or painting furniture; how to perform in countless other important areas. The best way to learn how to act as a father is to observe one in action.
What ideals will he display as husband and father? To a large extent, that answer will depend upon those he has learned from you, his father, in your own home. What part will he play in the religious education of his children? The answer will largely depend upon whether you have led the family to Mass each Sunday, whether you say grace before meals in your home, whether you take an active part in the spiritual life of your parish. How should he act toward his wife — aloof, affectionate, domineering, docile? Here too the answer will mainly depend upon your example.
The adage, "Like father, like son," is firmly based on fact. No matter how much he may resist your influence, your son will be like you in many different ways. If your influence is wholesome, the effect upon him will be wholesome. If you are a bad father, you will almost surely corrupt him in some significant way. Remember also that you represent God before your child because you are — or should be — the figure of authority in your home. He will be taught that he can always depend upon the mercy and goodness of the eternal Father; but it will be difficult for him to grasp the full importance of that teaching if he cannot rely upon the goodness of his earthly father.
It has been said that, in addition to giving wholesome example, a good father follows four fundamental rules in his dealing with his children.
· First, he shows himself to be truly and sincerely interested in their welfare.
· Secondly, he accepts each child for what he is, and encourages any special talent which the youngster possesses.
· Thirdly, he takes an active part in disciplining his children.
· And finally, he keeps lines of communication open with them at all times.
Each of these rules is worth detailed consideration, because the typical American father often ignores one or more of them.
1. Show an interest in your child's welfare. You can do this by devoting time to him, every day if possible. Try to discuss with him his experiences, problems, successes and failures. By giving yourself to him in this intimate way, you give him the feeling that he can always depend upon you to understand and help him in his difficulties. In a large family, it is especially important that you find time for intimate moments with each child. Every youngster should know that his father is interested in him as an individual, and is sympathetic with him and devoted to his welfare.
Modern fathers may find it more difficult to make their children an intimate part of their lives than did men of a few generations ago. Today's fathers often work many miles away from home. They leave for their jobs early in the morning and do not return until late in the evening, perhaps after the children are in bed. Unlike the men of an earlier age who often worked close to their homes, today's fathers may seldom see their youngsters during the week. To offset this condition, they should try to devote as much of their weekends to them as possible. This does not mean that you should be a "pal" to your children or that you must act like a juvenile, when aging bones may not permit this. But at family gatherings, picnics, trips to the ballpark or even visits to the school, you are sharing leisure moments with them.
2. Accept your child and encourage his talents. One man hoped for a son, and found it impossible to conceal his disappointment when a girl was born. He now spends much time trying to inculcate masculine virtues in her and berates her constantly because she is not proficient at sports. A successful lawyer prides himself upon his intellect and once hoped that his son would achieve great scholastic success. But the lad, now in high school, has shown no pronounced ability in academic work; however, he is skilled at working with his hands. He must face unending sneers from his father about his "stupidity." A third man married a beautiful woman and expected his daughters to be beauties too. One girl is extremely plain, however. Even at the age of ten she knows that she is a complete disappointment to her father.
All of these examples indicate ways in which fathers display a lack of acceptance of their children. It is a fact that the qualities a child inherits — his physical attributes, aptitudes, and many other characteristics — are the result of chance. He may be a genius or an idiot: you should not claim credit if the first possibility occurs any more than you should feel ashamed for the second. The moral is plain: your children are a gift from God, and you should always accept each of them in a spirit of gratitude. In fact, the saintly father will accept a defective child with greater gratitude, for God has offered him an opportunity to provide more love, affection and direction than the ordinary youngster might need.
Remember also that your child is an individual, with talents which you perhaps cannot appreciate. Let him develop them in the best way possible. In attempting to learn why many gifted children do not go to college, researchers have found that their parents often have actively discouraged them. In a typical case, a father became wealthy through real estate investments and could easily afford college for a son with a strong aptitude in science. But the father accused the boy of trying to "put on airs" whenever college was discussed. Thanks to him, the son is now a misfit.
3. Don't shirk unpleasant tasks of parenthood. "See your mother; don't bother me" is a remark commonly made by one type of father. He returns from work, eats his dinner and then settles down to an evening behind his newspaper or before the television screen. When his children seek his aid with their homework or when they become unruly and require a strong parental hand, he is "too busy" to pay attention. Such an attitude tells a child that his mother is the true figure of importance in the family, while Dad is only the boarder who pays the bills.
It is not fair for fathers to enjoy all the pleasures of parenthood — to play with the children, to boast about their growth — and to give mothers all the painful duties. A father should discipline as often as the mother. If he fails to do so, he gives the children the idea that he does not stand with the mother in her efforts to instill proper manners and acceptable forms of behavior. As a matter of fact, in major matters the good father is likely to be the court of last resort. This is as it should be for his authority is more impressive and its effect more lasting than that of the mother.
4. Keep lines of communication open with your children. Teenagers often say that they cannot talk to their fathers about questions which disturb them. This breakdown in communication usually stems from one of three factors, or a combination of them. The father may be so severe in his discipline that he appears as a dictator in the youngster's mind; in the past he has always been "too busy" to keep on close terms with his boy; or he has not given his youngster the respectful attention he should have.
Stalin-type fathers fortunately are on the way out in America, for most men have learned that it is easier to train a child with loving kindness than with brute force. But some stern unyielding fathers remain. They may beat their child into patterns of behavior that offend no one, but in the process, they often create a bitter adult who is never able to confide fully in another human being.
The second and third possible explanations for a child's unwillingness or inability to confide in his father may have even worse effects than the first. In the first instance, unless the father is a calloused brute, his child may at least discern evidence that his father is interested in his welfare. But when a father does not even care enough to concern himself with the child's upbringing in any serious way, he evidences a complete absence of love or interest.
There are many things that human beings prefer to keep to themselves, and it is probably good that this is so. Your child should not feel that he must lay bare his innermost thoughts and desires. But he should know that in times of stress and strain he has a sympathetic and loving adviser to turn to. You will fulfill that role if you strive always to treat him with courtesy and sympathy, and with an understanding based upon your memory of the difficulties, problems, fears and aspirations of your own boyhood. Never ridicule him: it is the opposite of sympathy and probably locks more doors between father and son than any other action.
Activity Source: Catholic Family Handbook, The by Rev. George A. Kelly, Random House, Inc., New York, 1959
International Yoga Day
International Yoga Day celebrates yoga, an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice. Today, yoga, which originated in India, is one of the world's most popular pastime activities. In September of 2014, India’s Prime Minister proposed the establishment of an International Day of Yoga to promote international peace and cooperation. His request was granted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2014 in an effort to highlight the benefits of yoga to physical well-being and to world peace and development.
In a recent homily, Pope Francis reminded listeners that practices like yoga aren't capable of opening our hearts up to God. "You can take a million catechetical courses, a million courses in spirituality, a million courses in yoga, Zen and all these things. But all of this will never be able to give you. freedom," he explained. While yoga was just one example offered among many, the Holy Father touched on a matter of great debate among faithful Catholics who happen to prefer this kind of exercise.
Can Catholics participate in yoga? The answer is a bit more nuanced than one might think. Catholics should not participate in any of the "spiritual" aspects associated with yoga, but technically can do the actual physical exercises. However, many people who practice yoga caution that it is often difficult, if not impossible, to separate the exercises from the meditations. For example, a common mantra repeated in yoga is "So'ham" that roughly translates to "I am the universal self". This focus on the self is contrary to the focus on God to which we are called. In the words of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: "Christian prayer... flees from impersonal techniques or from concentrating on oneself, which can create a kind of rut, imprisoning the person praying in a spiritual privatism which is incapable of a free openness to the transcendental God" The Pope tells us that only the Holy Spirit can "move the heart" and make it "docile to the Lord, docile to the freedom of love". If we are seeking a zen-like peace from yoga meditation, then we are seeking peace from the wrong source.
But is it possible to combine exercise and prayer? Founders of SoulCore, a core workout that combines isometric exercises with praying the rosary, say that it is. Deanne Miller and Colleen Scariano explained that their new exercise movement is born from the desire to nourish both body and soul through exercise. Miller explained, "in our physical movement, when tied to prayer-strengthening from the inside-out-we are FULLY ALIVE." www.soulcoreproject.com
· Always fight with the deep conviction that I am with you. Christians are to fight against all demonic tactics—resist!
· Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after SUNSET ON SATURDAY till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
* medival silver coin