Saturday, October 02, 2021

Let the children come to Me.

“Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” Then he embraced them and blessed them, placing his hands on them." (Mark 10: 2... 16).

Sunday 3rd October 2021, 27th Week in Ordinary Time.

The kingdom of the God belongs "to such as these." That is, to the childlike. How childlike are you? Scripture teaches that God resists the proud and uplifts the humble. The childlike are humble in their own eyes. They do not walk straight to the front seat or have an air of entitlement.

The childlike recognizes that God is the Father of all human beings and therefore prohibits discrimination between men and women, Jew and Gentile, Black and White.

If you are in Christ, you become a new creation. The old stuff in you has died. The new childlike personality who lives through the power of of Christ in you is the You who blesses the world.

As a baptized Christian, the only thing keeping you from being the childlike Christian you are called to be is Sin. Sin has been dealt with by Jesus Christ the Savior on the Cross. Do not allow the regrets of Sin to depress you. We have in Jesus a faithful and true Advocate who pleads our case before the throne of mercy of God.

Take advantage of this stream of mercy through the readily available Sacrament of Reconciliation today.

"My priests should be the first to seek Me out in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. They should be the first to run to Me as soon as they experience the pangs of an uneasy conscience and the regret of their sinful weaknesses. The single greatest service My priests can offer one another is the readiness to hear each other’s confessions and to pronounce over each other the healing words of absolution. In this way, they carry out the example I gave you when, at the Last Supper, I washed the feet of My disciples. Frequent confession, weekly confession is, more than ever, necessary to My priests." (IN SINU JESU, Thursday, July 31, 2008).

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Friday, October 01, 2021

The Feast of the Guardian Angels.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father." (Matthew 18: 10).

Saturday 2nd October 2021, 26th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the Guardian Angels.

Our Father God in His loving Providence has provided each of His children a Guardian Angel. Are you aware of this stupendous truth? Fortunately for us, whether we are aware of our Guardian Angel that accompanies us on the journey of life or not, the Angel still performs all its duties lovingly towards us. Our Guardian Angels report to God not to us. Here is what the Church teaches about our Guardian Angels:

"Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life." Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God." (CCC 336).

Your Guardian Angel is a friend who protects you in danger and can direct your steps when you are lost. It shepherds you away from moral dangers and situations that can imperil your soul. When you have a warm and personal relationship with your Guardian Angel, you enjoy more privileges. Saints recommend praying to your Guardian Angel when you wake up in the morning and when you are ready to go to bed at night. I have prayed to my Guardian Angel ever since I learned my first prayers. I have enjoyed few close encounters with my Guardian Angel.

As an active and adventurous boy, I know how many times my Friend saved me from peril. Today I honor my Guardian Angel with a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.
Angel of God my Guardian and dear Friend, thank you for your protection. Continue to enlighten and guard me till my last breath. Amen!

"Listen to the inspiration that I give you through your guardian angel, and you will prosper in all that you do." (IN SINU JESU, Saturday, February 19, 2011).

For a Guardian Angel Prayer, click the link below:

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Thursday, September 30, 2021

The Feast of St Therese of the Child Jesus.

"Blessed are you, Father,
Lord of heaven and earth,
for revealing the mysteries of the kingdom to mere children." (Matthew 11: 25).

Friday 1st October 2021, 26th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the Little Flower, St Therese of the Child Jesus, also known as St Therese of Lisieux. (1873 - 1897). French. Carmelite Nun and Doctor of the Church. Today is also First Friday in October.

St Therese is one of the most beloved saints in the Church. She is a powerful intercessor and her contribution to spirituality can be summarized thus:

#1 Utter simplicity in everything.
#2 Profound trust in Divine Providence.

St Therese you may say was chosen to be St Therese before she was born. At the age of 6, she had a profound faith in the Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and in the Blessed Sacrament. Asked one day how she was so sure of this, her response was disarming and profound: Jesus said: "This is My Body. This is My Blood." Since Jesus is God and Almighty, nothing is impossible for Him. Does this not remind us of the Blessed Virgin Mary? To the word that She would conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit and give birth to the Son of God, she replied: "Be it done to me according to Your word."

Is there a connection between faith and simplicity?  Simplicity in thoughts and habits may facilitate the habit of believing.
"Unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven." (Matthew 18: 3).

Be simple like Jesus and Therese. Dare to Believe.

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Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we honor You this First Friday in October 2021.

October 1, 2021 - First Friday in October.

The 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus:  Jesus promised 12 special favors to all those who will honor His Sacred Heart especially on the First Friday of every month.  In the 10th month of the year 2021, we look at Promise #10.

#10.  "I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts."

Do not think: "I am not excited by this promise.  I am not a priest."  We are all priests by virtue of our Baptism. Jesus Christ chose and ordained a tiny percentage of men to celebrate the Sacraments.  The first mission of the Church is evangelization.  You are an evangelist. Moreover, the first 3 Spiritual Works of Mercy instruct us:
#1. Instruct the ignorant.
#2. Counsel the doubtful.
#3. Admonish sinners.

Jesus promises to give you power to touch the most hardened of sinners.  These sinners could be in the family. They could be friends or neighbors.  Will you refuse such a gift? Moreover, you can apply the grace of this promise to any priest of your choice.

"In the Blessed Sacrament, Jesus Christ is really, truly and substantially present, with His Body and Blood, with His Soul and His Divinity. He is personally present, not by a mere sign or image, not in a spiritual manner only. Devotion to the Sacred Heart, as expressly declared by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, is essentially the same as devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. It honors the Divine love of our Eucharistic God which revealed itself in His Passion and Death and continually reveals itself in the Holy Eucharist. Therefore, the Sacred Heart devotion is the most agreeable to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament."
(DEVOTION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS by the Benedictine Sisters of Missouri).

For the 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Sacred Heart Prayer, click the link below:

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

The Feast of St Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church.

"Blessed indeed is he who ponders the law of the Lord day and night:
he will yield his fruit in due season." (Cf Psalm 1: 1 - 2. Entrance Antiphon on the Feast of St Jerome).

Thursday 30th September 2021, 26th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Jerome (342 - 420). From Dalmatia in former Yugoslavia. Priest, Doctor of the Church. Jerome translated the Bible into the Latin Vulgate, which became the official version of the Bible for the Church for over 1000 years.

We chose our key Scripture for today from Psalm 1, the great promise of God for those who love His word and study it season and out of season. Note that a similar promise is made to Joshua:
"Do not let this book of the law depart from your lips. Recite it by day and by night, that you may carefully observe all that is written in it; then you will attain your goal; then you will succeed." (Joshua 1: 8).

If you are still not excited by the promises of investing in the word of God, consider this:
"When I found your words, I devoured them; your words were my joy, the happiness of my heart." (Jeremiah 15: 16).
When Jeremiah devoured the word of God, what did he find? Incomparable happiness and joy.

I too discovered the word of God in a career crisis while working for a large  company. The word that was waiting for me to discover was Exodus 14: 13 - 14. I was blown away by God's utter faithfulness to His gracious promise. I resolved to read the Scriptures everyday from that day.

I am enchanted by these quotes from St Jerome:

+  "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ."

+ "As often as the world’s vain ambition delights you, as often as you see in mundane affairs something that vaunts itself, transport yourself in your thoughts to paradise: begin to be what you shall be. And you shall hear from your Bridegroom: Put me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm."

Lord, help us to follow the example of St Jerome in reflecting on Your word day and night. May Your word prepare us to offer You a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving always and everywhere. Amen.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The Feast of the Archangels: Michael, Raphael and Gabriel.

“Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (John 1: 47....51).

Wednesday 29th September 2021, 26th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.

Angels are mentioned many times in the Hebrew Scriptures. Jesus' encounter with Nathanael (Bartholomew) in the Gospel of today confirms the existence of angels. A fact that is known in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Here is the meaning of the names of the Archangels:

Micha-El: Who is like God?
Gabri-El: God’s strength” or “Power of God”
Rapha-El: “God heals”
El means God.

By the ministry of the angels, our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving come before the presence of Almighty God. The Archangel Michael is assigned to guard the Church. ( Cf Daniel 12: 1). Pope Leo XIII who had a vision of this in the Sanctuary of his Church composed the Prayer to St Michael which became an inspired and principal prayer in spiritual warfare. Many Catholics say this prayer daily.

How do we enter into personal relationship with the angels? Exactly the same way we enter into relationship with our patron saints. We honor the saints by praying to them, asking them favors and their protection. We celebrate their feast as we do this day. Jesus Christ, the Prince of Saints says that when we honor the saints and angels, we glorify Him. Besides the three Archangels we honor today, each human being is assigned a Guardian Angel when he is created. We celebrate the feast of the Guardian Angels on October 2nd.

Click the link below for the St Michael the Archangel Prayer:

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Monday, September 27, 2021

Feast of two martyrs: Saints Wenceslaus and Lawrence Ruiz.

"On the way [to Jerusalem] they [Jesus and His disciples] entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village." (Luke 9: 51... 56).

Tuesday 28th September 2021, 26th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of two martyrs:  St Wenceslaus (907 - 929). King and Martyr. Saintly monarch. Murdered by his own brother in a sibling rivalry that reminds us of Cain and Abel.
St Lorenzo (Lawrence) Ruiz (+1630). Filipino layman and his companions. Martyred in Japan with other Christian missionaries.

Our key Scripture for today reinforces the lesson I learned as a salesman. A good salesman does not force himself or his product on people. Make the best presentation and product demonstration you are able to. At the end, if the prospect says no, move on to the next prospect. I have found sometimes that the next prospect might actually be very happy to make a purchase. It was a very hard lesson for me to get. I took No as a personal rejection. Jesus taught His disciples that the field of Evangelization is very wide. He shares His way of winning souls below:

"My way is one of gentleness, of mercy, and of compassion. I offer My Cross to souls, but I never impose it, and when a soul begins to say “Yes” to the sweet and terrible exigencies of My love, I fit My Cross to her shoulders, and then help her to carry it step by step, increasing its weight only as that soul grows in love and in the fortitude that comes from the Holy Spirit." (IN SINU JESU, September 23, 2011, Feast of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina).

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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Feast of St Vincent de Paul.

"An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child and placed it by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.” (Luke 9: 46... 50).

Monday 27th September 2021, in the 26th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Vincent de Paul, Priest (1581 - 1660). French.

For many people around the world, St Vincent de Paul needs no introduction. His name and prestige blesses the world-wide charitable organization that ministers spiritually and materially to the needs of the poor, the homeless and the very needy. St Vincent de Paul is known in history for his love of the Poor and for deep humility.  He also had great interest in the formation of priests.
St Vincent de Paul founded the Daughters of Charity with St Louise de Marillac. After this, he founded the Congregation of the Mission.

After the Twelve heard the Second Prediction of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus, we were told that they did not understand what Jesus was talking about. They did not want to ask Him any questions. They however launched into a worldly competition as to who is the greatest in the Kingdom of God. 

St Vincent de Paul learned the lesson in our key Scripture in a very personal way. After his ordination, he discerned the greatest need of the Church in France as the training and formation of the clergy. He threw himself into preparation for this ministry. Imagine his dismay when his Bishop sent him hundreds of miles from Paris to the provinces to the home of a prince, friend of the king of France. He remained in the castle for several years teaching the two young sons of the prince.
St Vincent de Paul went to this mission in obedience. For the years he spent in the castle trying to teach the boys who did not want to learn anything, he wondered the strange ways of Divine Providence. He was soon to learn on his return to Paris.

"Jesus took a child and placed it by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.”

True greatness in the eyes of Jesus is: humility, a loving concern for the little ones, the poor and the needy and homeless. This became the new ministry of St Vincent de Paul in Paris. Because of the connection with the Prince and his family, St Vincent de Paul got to know who is who in the court of the king of France. These nobles provided the funds for the ministry of St Vincent de Paul to the poor and downtrodden of Paris. St Vincent de Paul did not forget the second love of his life: the formation of the clergy.

All through out his life, Vincent marveled at God's mighty, merciful and mysterious Providence. What happened to the Twelve who wanted to be the greatest in the Kingdom of God. They all followed their Master to the Cross and achieved a different kind of greatness. They became Princes in Heaven and Princes in the Church on earth. 

"I give you Saint Vincent ² to prepare the way. I give you Saint Thérèse to move the hearts and wills of those who, by their word, will open the way before you. I give you Mother Mectilde and Abbot Marmion to instruct you in the life of hiddenness and of praise to which I call you for the sake of My priests and of My Church. I give you My angels to keep a guard about you and to preserve you from the plots and intrigues of the unseen Enemy of your soul and of the souls of all priests. I give you Mother Yvonne-Aimée as a close friend and intimate companion. She will remind you of her little invocation and spur you on to act with a manly courage in all My interests."

²Saint Vincent de Paul, who helped Mother Mectilde de Bar when she and her daughters were homeless after fleeing the war in Lorraine." (IN SINU JESU, Wednesday, September 28, 2011).

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