It’s still Lent…

What have you done for your eternal soul lately?

Are you just walking through Babylon expecting the world to stop being evil?

Are you willing to be the change that you are expecting to see?  (Pope Francis did and he is willing to admit his faults, are we?)

For the Feast of Saint John Bosco, let’s revisit this question, “Does it matter what I watch on TV?”

This is the reading from Philippians for today’s Mass for Saint John Bosco…

FIRST READING Phil 4:4-9
Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again: rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all.
The Lord is near.
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,
if there is any excellence
and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
Keep on doing what you have learned and received
and heard and seen in me.
Then the God of peace will be with you.

What does the fox say?

What does the fox say?.

Are we standing up for what we believe?

I guess I could just answer, “No!” and go back to preparing my mind for college football Saturday, but I want to make sure I get down a few points to share with our youth group tomorrow. In hearing the gospel message yesterday, and then again today, I am left with the impression that God is expecting us to stand up for what we believe. Does that mean we have to be instrumental in changing hearts and minds around important issues like abortion, euthanasia and freedom of religion? No, it just means that, as sinners, we need to recognize that we are broken and stop being so distracted that we are not lifting those important issues up to God in prayer, so that God knows our hearts are not conformed to this world’s lies.  There are also some issues that get to the heart of what led to our complacent attitude toward these huge problems in our culture today. I talk about the virtue of chastity a lot with our youth, because along with purity, it is these two virtues, that stand in direct opposition to the vices of lust and immorality that are so accepted in our culture today.

Many people could say that lust and immorality is the default position of humanity, and it always has been and always will be, why fight it?  As for the question of what it always will be, I will defer to God’s omnipotent word for that one, and say that I know that although God is going to raise His faithful people on the last day, like Jesus, Mary, and some of the early prophets of his chosen people, and he will not be raising our lust and immorality along with our bodies. Jesus says that we will not marry or be married in heaven(Matthew 22:30), and Saint Paul said that the purpose for a Christian to be married, who is united to Jesus in building up His kingdom, is to not give in to lust(1 Corinthians 7:1-7). If we will not be married in heaven, than it goes without saying that we will not be tempted to lust either.  Therefore, if we are using this life on earth, as God has instructed us to, in His word, to prepare for eternity in heaven, shouldn’t we be cultivating the virtues that will be useful in heaven and not giving in to the vices that are only temporary?

If we are giving in to the vices, then we should be going to confession for the times that we are guilty of mortal sin. If we have been graced by God to root the sin out of our life, or we know he is in the process of doing so, shouldn’t we be admonishing the other sinners to repentance?  It is not like we have to look that far to find the sin, just drive west on Main Street through downtown Springfield and you will pass three or four strip clubs in six blocks, on your way to the largest abortion mill I have ever seen, that is just across the river in Glenwood. It is a 40,000 square foot facility that thye say is built for administrating the reproductive “Health” and “Education” of our county. It has two operating rooms on the back side of the facility that were built for the sole purpose of murdering babies in the womb.

The gospel reading at Mass on Friday morning was about interpreting the “Present” time, because of the signs that we see in the world. At first, I couldn’t see the call to action in my life until Father Jaspers read it out loud at Mass, and as I heard it read, I realized that it was talking about how we will be judged for not standing up for the things that we know are wrong in our world today. You may not be called to participate in the 40 day for life campaign that is ending in a week or so, by showing up there, in the front or back of the building, and taking some time to pray for an end to abortion. If you are Christian, then you are definitely called to pray in some way that God will deliver the women that are caught in the lies of Satan, and are being told that they have no option but abortion.  We all know someone who is probably caught up in the same sort of lies that are telling them to act like animals in their sex lives, and see women and men objects for the purpose of their own gratification, or maybe it is us, and we should be praying for God to give us a heart that loves purity, and the grace to overcome the sins of lust and immorality.

1 Thessalonians 5:4-5

You are not in the dark, brothers, that the day should catch you off guard, like a thief. No, all of you are children of light and of the day. We belong neither to darkness nor to night.

 

Student success starts here…

Sign says, "Student success starts here!"

Sign says, “Student success starts here!”

What if we truly believed this…

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Gift:  Understanding – With the gift of understanding, we comprehend how we need to live as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with understanding is not confused by all the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live.

Reading:  Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.  (John 14:12)

Observation:  I have read this a couple of times in the past week or so, and asked myself each time why there are not more people healing and casting out demons like Jesus did.  The answer I come back to each time is that we just don’t have enough faith in what Jesus is saying here.  Of course, he is only going to work his miracles through a worthy vessel, in his eyes.  I am going to not only comply with the grace of God that is forming me into a worthy vessel, but ask for the blessing of others in a way that proves that God is still here working to bring more people to him.

Personification:  Generosity. It is for the purpose of displaying God’s generosity that I hope to make a display of the fruit of generosity by my life.  If you want to give something away, you are more likely to get it when you ask for it from the Lord.  I think that is a lesson I learned from my wife.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, send your Spirit to form me into a worthy vessel of your grace and continue to work miracles in my life and the lives of those that I come in contact with today for your glory.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…Amen!

Saint Catherine of Siena, pray for us!

Eternal God, eternal Trinity, you have made the blood of Christ so precious through his sharing in your divine nature. You are a mystery as deep as the sea; the more I search, the more I find, and the more I find the more I search for you. But I can never be satisfied; what
I receive will ever leave me desiring more. When you fill my soul I have an even greater hunger, and I grow more famished for your light. I desire above all to see you, the true light, as you really are.

I have tasted and seen the depth of your mystery and the beauty of your creation with the light of my understanding. I have clothed myself with your likeness and have seen what I shall be. Eternal Father, you have given me a share in your power and the wisdom that Christ claims as his own, and your Holy Spirit has given me the desire to love you. You are my Creator, eternal Trinity, and I am your creature. You have made of me a new creation in the blood of your Son, and I know that you are moved with love at the beauty of your creation, for you have enlightened me.

Eternal Trinity, Godhead, mystery deep as the sea, you could give me no greater gift than the gift of yourself. For you are a fire ever burning and never consumed, which itself consumes all the selfish love that fills my being. Yes, you are a fire that takes away the coldness, illuminates the mind with its light and causes me to know your truth. By this light, reflected as it were in a mirror, I recognize that you are the highest good, one we can neither comprehend nor fathom. And I know that you are beauty and wisdom itself. The food of angels, you gave yourself to man in the fire of your love.

You are the garment which covers our nakedness, and in our hunger you are a satisfying food, for you are sweetness and in you there is no taste of bitterness, O triune God!

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(Taken from Office of Readings today for the Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena…)

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