Friday, August 31, 2018
+ The gospel passage today again tells us all to stay awake: for you do not know the day nor the hour.
And Jesus is right! but in order to stay awake one needs to “Be Awake” in the first place, really awake.
Being awake means being present, really present in the moment! It means being able to nonjudgmentally at first simply observe what is going on inside of us, and what is going on around us in our environment and world.
Then, once awake, and attuned we switch on all of the sensors and “radars” that we have in order to navigate our way through the time in which we will be awake and active today – before sleep tonight.
Conscience is our biggest radar and sensing device: for it is a device of the soul directly – where the source of truth lies waiting to be discovered more fully each day – where our sense of right and wrong is fine tuned for each new moment – where we again answer our call, our vocation to be disciple of Christ – and change agents in the world – it is where the “battery of our LIGHT – the very Light of Christ gets replenished.
What we can feed our conscience with, so that all our sensors: spiritual, physical and mental can be firing on all 8 cylinders is JESUS – Jesus literally, Jesus himself, Jesus in his Eucharistic Presence – where he becomes us so that we can become more him today!
We have just concluded the great Eucharistic Discourse of Jesus in our Sunday gospel series – so let us embrace the Eucharist like never before because there are vicious storms brewing now not only in the American Presidency, but also in the hierarchy of our beloved Church. Both need to be purged and replaced with good and faithful shepherds and leaders who – while still sinners themselves – as we all are – but repentant and sorrowful sinners who will lead from the heart and soul rather than by other means.
May the oil of our lamps be today works of goodness and courage – even if it means, the good work of encouraging and even demanding rightful authorities to do the right thing, the hard thing, the proper thing and deposed the mighty from their thrones of disgrace!
Thursday, August 30, 2018
+ The gospel passage today tells us all to remain awake: because we “do not know when the Lord will come” – and those who are caught off guard will be severely punished – this for those who call themselves his disciples.
We speak here of at least two “comings of the Lord” – the first that comes to mind is the grand “Second Coming” when accounts will be cleared – the light will be switched on – everything will be known to everyone – and each will get his just rewards. This coming we are aware of – though we perhaps don’t bring it to our front brain burners as we should.
But what might help and help indeed is to get into the practice of not only expecting the Lord to come at any future moment – but to actually greet him and be with him in any given moment – any indeed! Classically this was called “the sacrament of the moment” – in recent years it has become known as Mindfulness – but for us disciples of Christ it can be fine tuned as “Christian/Catholic” Mindfulness.
It is a fascinating way to live the day – and it puts everything in its proper place – it “gives us the ‘control’ that we think we need to have – especially when our lives or life arounds us spins out of control – say, as it is doing now with the presidency of our country and our response to it as citizens of this earth, and of course in the Church, where the hierarchy is being unmasked in their all to human sinfulness and criminality.
But the best news is the God still remains in charge of everything as he always has been – and when we meet him in the moment – especially the moments after receiving his Body and Blood in the Eucharist at Mass – we are safe, we are secure, we are protected, we are energized to face each subsequent moment in our day with peace and joy and hope!
Let us live this day “mindful” of the Lord’s manifold blessings and “awake and ready” to meet him moment by moment!
Stay awake! For you do not know when the Son of Man will come! (or maybe we do!)
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
+ St. John the Baptist was a cousin of Jesus Christ, son of Zachary, a priest of the order of Abiah, whose job in the temple was to burn incense; and of Elizabeth, a descendent of Aaron. John was a Prophet – the last of the great prophets of the Old Testament, for he literally pointed to Christ on the banks of the Jordan and said: Behold, the Lamb of God, it is he who takes away the sins of the world: follow him!
Before this time, John converted many to a way that would propel them towards Christ when he did in fact arrive: and he baptized men and women for the forgiveness of their sins (which would be fully effected by Christ’s death and resurrection). And, of course, he baptized Jesus himself, not that he had any sins, but as a sign that baptism would be required of all future members of his church, and as a way to inaugurate his own public ministry among the people of Israel.
Now that Jesus ministry had begun, John’s job was pretty much finished except for his greatest act of faith and love for his cousin that he could make: his martyrdom. He was imprisoned because he had condemned King Herod Antipas for his marriage to Herodias, which was both adulterous and incestuous. She was not only his niece, but also the wife of his brother, who was still alive. At Herodias’s insistence, Herod imprisoned John. Later, during a banquet the king made a public promise that he could not retract: telling Heordias’s daughter, who danced provocatively in front of him, that he would give her anything she wanted. Herodias told her daughter to ask for the beheading of John in prison. And so John the Baptizer “lost his head” to “save the king’s face” in front of his guests.
This feast is celebrated by both the Eastern and Western Churches – in which John has always been held in very high esteem.
The first reading makes a seeming contrary prophecy: they will fight against you, but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. Did John the Baptist, therefore, win or lose in his confrontation with King Herod? He won, of course: even though one loses his physical life for the sake of the Kingdom, God delivers the soul intact and joyful to him as a specially granted reward. To give one’s life for Christ and his Kingdom is the greatest of all gifts one can give to God, and he accepts it as such and rewards the giver with a crown of glory!
May we be willing today, more than in any other time in our lives to give and give for Christ the true King and his reign, and receive blessings and rewards assured us by the Father’s own promises, for the Church, as you know from the news media, is in deep trouble right now – there is a betrayal in the ranks of shepherds that in many ways equates the betrayal of Judas, who handed over Jesus for his Passion, the most devastating Passion of all time. In “pleasing themselves” with self-gratifying sexual exploits with children of both sexes, on into adulthood in some cases, and then in attempting to perpetuate these improprieties and crimes by cover ups and closing ranks of their subculture of homosexual perversion for protection from exposure to the light of day!
As bad as things are, I urge good and faithful Catholics and clergy to remember that it is Jesus who is his Mystical Body, his Church – and he is extremely angry at what is coming to light, and he and his Blessed Mother, weep together over the atrocities, and they will bring about just retribution, because at this point they are the only ones who can do it! As St. John the Baptist offered his sufferings and martyrdom for the sake of his cousin and his Lord, in imitation of him and Jesus himself, we can do the same. Please, do not abandon the ship, even though a great many of its stewards are fools!
God himself will come to shepherd his flock – he promised – and he will do it!
Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Tuesday, August 28, 2018
+ St. Augustine of Hippo was born in Tagaste (modern Algeria, Northern Africa) in 354, of a pagan father named Patricius, who converted on his deathbed, thanks to the prayers of his literally sainted wife, Monica, who was the mother of three sons: one of whom was Augustine.
Yesterday, we had an historical peek behind the sanctoral curtain and saw that Monica was as human as the rest of us, and even had the honor of being the first alcoholic saint in church history – but she became before she died – a recovering alcoholic – and mostly by her life of deep prayer and meditation and thinking and praying for her son and her husband, she left the wine behind!
Now history also tells us that Augustine, was “no saint” either in his early adult years. He led a very wild life indeed and played with many things including philosophies and even heresies (Manichaen), before his final Conversion to the faith and baptism by St. Ambrose of Milan.
Augustine was a very sexually active young man, and even after his conversion always was tempted until he died with an unceasing appetite for sin in this regard. This though maybe surprising, on second thought, should not be so surprising. He is a saint in part because he dealt successfully with the temptations until the end.
Of course, later in life, Augustine, became, not only a great preacher, but a great teacher and resource for the early Church to “get its bearings” morally, doctrinally and spiritually. His Book entitled: “Confessions” is a classic in the Christian way of life.
Now, what would against say and do about the moral catastrophe that has exploded in our church today in the area of sexuality, and sexual abuses and transgressions that apply not only to lay people, but also to the clergy, even the hierarchs, even allegedly the Pope of Rome himself?
He would say: while it is understandable how things could have happened: i.e. the seminary system is very very broken, and the diocesan networking of subcultured sex mongers (among clergy with not only children, and not only among themselves, but with men and women) – so now the time has come to deal with the whole stinking mess. A clearing out and resignation of any involved needs to happen, a new layer of good shepherds and helpers needs to be installed: and for God’s sake, the finger pointing and whistleblowing and witch hunting that is inevitable needs to be curtailed at the outset.
There is no one on the planet who does not have some “skeletons in the closet” – it just comes with the mistake-making human species that we are – some of us are just lucky enough not to get caught. That these things have happened is reprehensible, but how we deal with them will prove how Christian we really are. We need to deal with them honestly, forthrightly, and swiftly, both canonically, and civilly And then move on to steady the “bark of Peter” – which is withstood many more catastrophes than this one.
With St. Augustine praying for us – let us go forth with Charity first guiding our actions, but actions that will bring about the just sentencing of all involved: spiritually and temporally.
St. Augustine, pray for us today; help us to know that it is normal for our hearts to experience a certain and raw kind of persistent restlessness, otherwise we would not want to join you in heaven – but let this not negatively influence our thoughts and words, our appetites, our desires and our actions!
With all our hearts, we seek you, Lord; let us find you in the perfect way, and in the perfect time you have in mind for us!
Monday, August 27, 2018
+ St. Monica was born in Tagaste (modern Algeria, Northern Africa) in 322. She was given in marriage to a bad-tempered, adulterous pagan named Patricius. She is the mother of three sons one of whom is St. Augustine of Hippo, whose writings about her are the primary source of our information about her. She prayed constantly for the conversion of her husband (who converted on his death bed), and of her son (who converted after a wild life). Augustine (whose feast day we will celebrate tomorrow) was the spiritual student of St. Ambrose of Milan. After Augustine’s baptism in Milan, he and his mother set out for Ostia, but she died on the way in 387. She was fifty-five. Monica is reported to have said to her son before her final illness that she had fulfilled her life’s purpose in seeing him converted and baptized.
Our readings today are particularly suited for St. Monica. The first reading speaks the beauty of a virtuous wife as the radiance of her home: like the sun rising in the Lord’s heavens. The gospel passage spoke to Monica about the moral resurrection of her own son, Augustine, when Jesus raises the deceased only son of a widow in Nain. The widow, like Monica, asked the Lord in faith to have mercy on her son; Jesus does not refuse a mother’s prayer for her children.
In all fairness to all involved, I should like to mention a few some well known and others, not so well known facts, about both Monica and Augustine (but a lot more on Augustine tomorrow). So often we think that it is all the Monica did was to be found kneeling in prayer and crying her eyes out for her son. Well this is only partly true, according to historical research – actually Monica was an alcoholic: “she was what was known in those days as a “wine-swiller” – and was known to swill a bit too much on many an occasion.
Just as Augustine found his own personal experiences the learning place for theology, so too with Monica. She was, poor woman, an alcoholic, and perhaps has the melancholy distinction of being the first recognizable alcoholic in history. The story of her dependence on wine and how she overcame it, how she found redemption, is found in Book IX, 8, 18 of the Confessions, an account which her son It is encouraging to know that the Saints overcame many difficulties to achieve sanctity, just as we all must. For them, and for us, redemption comes through the everyday. This is one reason, among many, why Monica and Augustine command such a place in Christian hearts today.
And so, even as we find ourselves embroiled in a scintillating scandalous expose now on “sexual intrigue” and “unspeakable abuse” among the hierarchy of the church – those who should know better – much better – we must not forget that we each have skeletons in our closets – in fact, most likely, many skeletons probably categorized by any number of moral and immoral labels. None of us therefore, can get on our soap-boxes and point fingers, judge or condemn. We simply as Pope Francis said yesterday in a possible cover-up ring that cast a wide net on prominent prelates – including himself – but Francis with bowed head said: “I’m not going to say a word: let the evidence, the document from the ex-nuncio to the United States speak for itself. I may comment on it at a later date.
We need to remember God is a God of mercy and justice: and that he will always offer the truly repentant sinner forgiveness, but he also expects “Caesar” – the civil authorities to settle accounts as well.
The Church will survive this: it is but a very long line of such atrocities or similar ones in the past: but, will we have learned something from it. I pray so: I pray that we will ultimately do unto others, what we know and would expect to be done unto us: if many skeletons in our closets went on a holiday!
St. Monica, St. Augustine – who was definitely “no saint” in his earlier days, and in fact, really up into his later one’s as well – but more on that tomorrow!
In you, Lord, our restless hearts will find our peace!
Sunday, August 26, 2018
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time – August 26, 2018
I –We will serve the Lord, for his is our God.
R –Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
II – This is a great mystery, regarding Christ and the Church.
A – Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life; you have the words of everlasting life.
G –To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
+ We reach the grand conclusion of the great Discourse on the Most Holy Eucharist today, as it is related to us in the Gospel of St. John. This doctrine and reality are central and essential to Jesus whole mission. He came into the world to redeem it and to give it the “key to life.” The Eucharistic presence of his own real Body and Blood in transubstantiated elements of bread and wine is that key! It is not a secret key, nor an invisible key, but it does take something very special in order to see it, use it and operate it: it takes faith, simple faith! Faith being the gift of God and our cooperation with it, which gives the ability to see all things as God sees them, as they really are; and to use them the way he intends for them to be used.
It is quite apparent that many of Jesus’ disciples did not accept the gift of faith, and so they could not use it; and therefore their only course of action was to murmur about his insistence that they eat his real flesh and drink his real blood, and so they walk away confused and probably a bit annoyed that following Jesus around for so long a time ended with this impasse. Jesus then makes reference to how things are seen with the eyes of faith, rather than the human eyes: all things, but especially religious things must have something to do with “Spirit and life” – these things are “super-natural” – these things are the fruit of the activation of a simple and real faith!
And so, Jesus says to those who wander away, then “go, go, but remember I told you that no one can come to me and remain unless it is granted him by my Father,” apparently, for the time being, it has not been granted to you – but maybe, in time; I will pray for you for a time in the future when you will be more pliant to the action of the Spirit in your life.
And you, he then turns to the Apostles and says, do you want to go too? After I have very carefully given you the benefit of countless hours of “private lessons” and practical experience even on difficult matters to understand – do you want to leave me too? But then Peter, speaking for the rest, as he always did said to him: Lord, to whom shall we go (quo vadis?), you have the words of eternal life; we have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God. How relieved Jesus must have been, we can see him smiling at Peter now, and the others, and saying to them: thank you, for your sakes, thank you, and you shall see and hear even greater things in the very near future!
The first reading today, in a sense gives us another decision made for God, rather than against him, a walking away: Joshua, addressing the elders of the tribes of Israel said: decide who you will serve from now on (which way are you going to go?); but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Any other kind of life, such as the kind the other tribes were involved in, just did not seem right to Joshua – and so he made his choice and God was very pleased. And, because of Joshua’s example, the rest of the tribes chose the Lord too.
Sometimes, it takes a simple straightforward statement in favor of God and his ways for others to activate faith, to “get onboard” – like Joshua, like Peter, like all the Apostles and their successors – and billions of disciples of Christ throughout the ages – we too can influence others to set their sights on heavenly goals, and to modify their earthly sojourn in order for it to end up in the right place at the right time!
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord, and then tell everyone you can about it, and let them know that it is for them too!
For the first time in my 43 years as a priest I would like to end my homily with a brief “teaching session” – a “fireside chat” if you will:
Dear Brothers and Sisters – we are at a very critical turning point in both Church and American History. Now neither is something new or unexpected or without some precedent. But what is new, in the here and now, is your response and my response to what is happening. And the time for deciding how we will respond is here and now.
I do believe that the international credibility of the Catholic Church is all but destroyed: especially, in the wake of Pope Francis’s pathetic visit – which is currently underway – to Ireland. To spout out words of “atrocities” and “we will get to the bottom of this” with no concrete plan as to how to do that: shows a fatal flaw in the episcopacy of the Bishop of Rome, and the Pope of the world. And, what is more tragic and unforgiveable – at this point – is that the Pope himself is now a proven part of the coverup, and should resign immediately from his office as Chief Shepherd of the Flock of God – which includes vast numbers of children.
It is our own former Papal Nuncio: Archbishop Vigano, who reported to Pope Francis 5 years ago, for example, the truly abhorrent sexual activities of Archbishop of Washinigton Cardianl McCarrick – and nothing was done – until the Pope’s hand was forced by surfacing and reporting in the secular press. This is unconscionable. But not undprecedented as a pope. St. Paul John Paul II – was thick in the coverup for years, most especially with Fr. Maciel, the founder of the Legion of Christ – who committed “reprehensible actions” with seminarians in his own seminary. Pope John Paul II refused to believe the reports – while many of the victims wrote a book years ago telling what actually happened to them.
And if that is not enough, Pope Benedict XVI, who was Joseph Ratzinger at the Time and head of the Office of the Doctrine of the Faith altered canon law to soften punishment for Maciel.
The time has come for the FLOCK TO BAH!! and bah relentlessly until some really is done – the entire Church needs restructuring from the top down – we need a pope who, while not a saint, while a sinner like the rest of us – has at least CONVERTED AS FULLY AS POSSIBLE TO THE PERSON OF JESUS – who is very angry, along with his Blessed Mother – and can lead us out of this, our most likely, darkest hour of despair that Church has known for centuries.
The best way to fix the ill and woes and atrocities in both the World and the Church is for Christ to come Again and fix it himself. This is my vote! and so I pray: Come Lord Jesus Come, and bring at last salvation for your faithful people!
And may God have Mercy on us all!
Saturday, August 25, 2018
+ The readings for mass today are more than coincidental! I would like to stop off at the gospel passage first: Jesus berates the Pharisees and the scribes for making impossible laws and regulations for their “flock” to follow – the people of Israel – God’s family – and then do nothing to modify them and make them more palatable and possible to follow. This while they themselves do whatever they want to please themselves. This smacks of a great hypocrisy that was rampant at that time, and is assuredly a part of our own time with the leadership of our Church, which was built on the foundation of the Jewish religion.
There is much in the way the leadership conducts itself both publically and privately that needs to be weed out, wacked, and purged. And then a purification process on authentic and genuine excessive rules and regulations for Catholics needs to be reevaluated and reprocessed. Now I am not talking about anything that violates true dogmatic Church teaching. This is undbatable and unchangeable. But the minutia of outmoded canons and prescriptions can surely be modified and made more human and supportive in what we are all trying to accomplish and that would be: eternal life in a kingdom unimaginable in its real Reality, but which we glimpse when we go into ourselves and contemplate it, and reach out to other fellow pilgrims and share our experiences and our love with them.
This takes us to the first reading which gives us a glimpse the heavenly city that awaits, the temple and the glory of God that fills it, lights us, and loves it! We have this great passage from the Book of Ezekiel which mirrors the last book of the Bible: the Apocalypse, or Book of Revelation. Thus, testifying that God has revealed to some men what the Kingdom is really like, it’s a “peek behind the curtain!”
This being accepted as canonical and worthy of our reflection, study and belief: I would more than conjecture that the plethora of verifiable, and otherwise unexplainable accounts of those millions who just in our day in age [backing up in the last 50 years to the present] have actually been to heaven and its environs due to the advancement in medical procedures and resuscitation techniques. This very much resembles the Transfiguration even with Jesus, Moses and Elijah, Peter, James and John present. And of course it confirms Jesus’ own Resurrection event which is the great breakthrough into human history of Forgiven, Restored and Renewed Life to share forever for everyone who believes it.
There have been many studies of NDE’s or Near Death Experiences. But the one that I like the best either in written or audible form is: IMAGINE HEAVEN by John Burke. It is factual, scriptural and not contrary to any Church doctrine that I know of. It of course is not an exhaustive study, but it is very affirming and comforting for any and all of us who face death – and we all do that – or have experienced a loss through death of any loved one.
I should also like to encourage any Catholic or Christians who have had a near death experience or anyone at all – to speak out: by writing to your local bishop and asking how you could relate you experience in a way that could benefit others in your diocese or church or world at large.
We are all going to the wedding feast of the Lamb of God – once his Bride – the Church has been purified and prepared. But first there is a lot of purging and recalibrating that needs to be done: we, Joyful Servants of the Cross has this as one of our primary prayer intentions, along with preparation for the world to be changed at last into the Kingdom of God – with Jesus reigning as King that he is, King that he was, and King that he always will be. What a day of awakening that will be for a great many who think they are in charge!
THE GLORY OF THE LORD WILL DWELL IN OUR LAND!
Friday, August 24, 2018
+ St. Bartholomew was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus (most likely the one also known as Nathanael). Born in Galilee, he was originally a close friend of Philip who brought him to Jesus. He also may have written a gospel which is now lost: it is mentioned in other writings of the time. He may have preached in Asia Minor, Ethiopia, India and Armenia. He was martyred in Albanopolis, Armenia by being flayed alive. His relics are at St. Bartholomew-on-the-Tiber Church in Rome; and in the cathedral in Canterbury, England. His patronage is against nervous and neurological diseases, twitching, leatherworkers, shoemakers, tanners and trappers.
Our gospel passage today is of the calling of Nathanael who is brought to Jesus by Philip. Jesus likes what he sees and knows that he will be a good, holy and honorable disciple to the end; and that he will see the great things of the Kingdom beyond all imagining!
May we persevere like Nathanael/Bartholomew and trust in God’s never-failing help when difficult times come our way: for it is in facing them with faith, and with never-ending hope, that the glory of the Son will always shine afterwards! To apply these sentiments to our particular situation in our day today: the Church itself needs to come to terms with its inability to properly address issues that involve the most innocent and vulnerable in our midst: children, who are the victims of unbridled sexual maledictions of the hierarchy, both senior and supportive;
and the country is in the midst of a constitutional crisis and very soon impeachment process to one who is a clear pawn of the Devil himself: no doubt about that. He needs to be removed from office, for his own safety, and the integrity of our system of governance,
Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel, [you and none other!]
Thursday, August 23, 2018
+ The readings today for mass are astoundingly on target!
There is no doubt that the same people, you and I, and all our Catholic and Christian brothers and sisters exist in two worlds at the same time: the Kingdom of God that has already begun, here and now, in us because of the undeserved merits of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and the world that is a very strange mixture of good and evil, beautiful and ugly, truth and lies. What God made in the world is magnificent, what mankind has done with it, in part is beyond disgraceful and sinful.
And so these same people you and I have to constantly, daily, monitor the progress of the development of “both worlds” – all aimed at the inauguration one day of the new heavens and the new earth, and the Wedding that will take place, between Jesus and his Bride – the Church. And so today’s readings are right on target.
The first reading tells of the interior attitude and conviction of heart that must be present if one is to not only attend the wedding, but be a participant in eternal life at the wedding reception that will be amazing beyond our wildest imaginations of joy, bliss and community life. Our hard – self-centered and oriented hearts must be converted and replaced with soft, fleshy, human, fully functioning loving hearts – this would in a sense be the “inner wedding garment” that we must have to get in door of Paradise.
The gospel passage talks literally about the very wedding of which we speak – this is not just another parable – this is a key parable – the outer noticeable wedding garment that we must all have on – to get in the door Paradise – is the “wedding garment of good works” – the garment of true, authentic and genuine surrender to Jesus as Chief Shepherd and Warrior against Satan and all he is about, and in his Name, actual caring and concern and a willingness to help all others placed in our day, to make it through the door of Paradise, and enjoy with us what God has to offer all.
It is the feeding the hungry, giving a home to the homeless, it is binding wounds, it is clothing the naked, it is visiting the imprisoned, it is treating others as we would be treated, it is protecting and forming children who are God’s favorites at the wedding feast, those who frolic around and play in the meadows and fields of the wedding reception and play with their animal friends and pets, who are now not so imaginary after all.
Getting ourselves ready for the wedding feast and reception, then, would also go a long way in changing the attitudes and actions of those recalcitrant and bully children, the scared and the cornered children, who sit in the Oval office and occupy seats in the United States Senate and House.
I shall pour clear water over you and all your sins will be washed away! I will not spurn your humbled, contrite hearts!
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
+ Today is the Feast of Our Lady, Mother and Queen. Today is the worst day in this history of the presidency of the United States since Watergate. Mary is not only Mother and Queen of the Church, she is also Patroness of the United States. Today Mary is weeping copiously, God the Father is weeping copiously, Jesus is weeping copiously, and the Holy Spirit will rain down buckets of truth, truth, truth – and this Truth will set us all free.
Today, August 22, 2018 marks the bullseye convergence of world and Church history – the battle lines have been drawn up – whose standard will you follow – Christ Jesus and His Powerful Mother – or Satan and his Devils. This is very much the eschatological Final Battle in its ending stages.
I have chosen the first reading today from the Mass of the Day, and the gospel from the Mass of the Feast: neither are coincidence. Both are prophetic, even chilling, while at the same time comforting and energizing: we must remember THIS BATTLE HAS ALREADY BEEN WON – but what has already been taken into consideration is our active participation in it – our willingness to focus and fight for everything we have been taught about Jesus, his Way, his Truth and his Life.
And so, the first reading speaks full force against the BAD AND EVIL SHEPHERD OF THE FLOCK and very specifically today: the shepherds who weaponized the Mystical Body of Christ, and used it to commit vile sacrilege in their sexual predatory shameful acts of sexual aggression against CHILDREN – children, and on most occasions children who so innocently and lovingly presented themselves to the Church in roles of altar ministry and service. And if that is not bad enough – higher ups – those in the very episcopacy were doing the same thing – but most applingly enough with those in training to be shepherds, preists. And then turning the whole thing into a willing subculture and criminally conspiratorial ring of vice – unspeakable, breathtaking, and despicable.
THE BLESSED TRINITY, MARY AND THE ANGELS AND SAINTS WEEP TODAY!
But God has already vowed in the reading “to come against” these shepherds – and it had better be with the full force of both civil and canon law.
And if that was not enough: the presidency of our country is now up in flames – again by means of the wiles of the Evil One – Satan – who has captured the president in an effort to deflect the whole country away from its moral accountability and obligation to remove him from office. For as of today: with him backed into a corner like he is, there is every cause to have grave fear that he might / will create a grave international incident to deflect attention away from himself and his malevolent self-gratification and glorification.
THE BLESSED TRINITY, MARY AND THE ANGELS AND SAINTS WEEP TODAY!
But God has already vowed in the reading “to come against” these shepherds as well who are exercising law and governance through his gracious willing of it anyway – and it had better be with the full force of constitutional and civil law.
There are two main and chief weapons to use in this colossal battle: PRAYER/WORSHIP/EUCHARIST as one combined effort and THE INTERCESSION OF MARY, MOTHER AND QUEEN BY MEANS OF THE ROSARY- anyone can pray the rosary – it is not just for Catholics: it is a Christ-centered prayer and Mary has told us that it is a vital tool for the Final Battle.
What more can I say? What more can we do?
Mary, Mother of the Church, Mother of the World, pray for us at each and every moment of every day – until we see you at last in the glorious, effervescent and shimmering new Kingdom of Love, Light and Peace that awaits those who are faithful, honest with themselves and loving to others.
Monday, August 20, 2018
+ Today we celebrate the feast of St. Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church. Bernard was born to French nobility in Dijon, in 1090. When he was 22, fearing the ways of the world, he, four of his brothers, and 25 friends joined the Benedictine abbey of Citeaux (it had the strictest monastic rule); his father and another brother joined soon after. Three years later Bernard was named Abbot of a new foundation at Clairvaux, a post he would hold for the next thirty-eight years.
At first, and by his own admission, he was too strict on the monks, but later relented. The monastery prospered, establishing 160 daughter houses throughout Europe, and by the time of his death there were 700 monks at Clairvaux alone. What was so appealing to the monastic way of life was the blessed assurance that seeking God alone was not only theoretically possible but also practically fruitful. The great contribution of the monks has always been and always will be hope for the Church and the world, and a source of powerful prayer for all of the world’s ills.
In our day in age, the ills of the world and the church have collided and have created one of the biggest crisis situations in all of history – the sheep of God’s flock who have now – because of the latest sex abuse scandal committed by clergy in Pennsylvania (and let us be clear, this is not just a PA issue, I would conjecture and make a well educated guess that it is equally present to a great degree in all the diocese of our country) and with former Cardinal McCarrick the disease is also known to be in the bishops fraternity as well – he is not the only one guilty for sure;
and with all that is going on with the diabolical presidency of our country
the same people who exist in the world and the church – suddenly have nowhere to turn, no one to trust, no one who really cares about them. And this is chilling. And it is the chill that is cast by the net of Satan.
However, JESUS HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD, and HE HIMSELF IS THE MYSTICAL DIVINE AND UNFAILILING CONSOLING AND HEALING GOLDEN CORE OF THE REAL CHURCH – we can always turn to him there, in the quiet of our minds and heart – we can CRY OUT TO HIM – both as sheep and shepherds who are also scandalized – HELP US LORD, SAVE US! and lead us to you! we yearn to live in your courts, your lush green valleys, your golden cities, your blue-blue skies in the new heavens and the new earth.
Now getting back to our monastic saint, who understood all these things: Bernard was also very active in the life of the Church outside the monastery walls; he fought against heresies, and helped interdisciplinary problems within the Church itself, he was advisor to Pope Eugene III who had been one of his monks, he was a famed spiritual writer and preacher who made a great impact on the Western Church: he is rightly called the last of the Western Doctors of the Church. and would be on the very front lines in this Great Battle against evil which is now being waged here and now!
Every morning Bernard would ask himself, “Why have I come here?”, and then remind himself of his main duty – “to lead a holy life!” He died after having led a very holy and exemplary life on August 20, 1153. We can ask ourselves that same question: “What am I supposed to be doing today” – and hearing a similar answer: “To be the best holy person I can be – seeking God with all my heart – and trying to help other get to heaven the best I can!” – all this with God’s grace, his help and his love! Amen.
Sunday, August 19, 2018
+ We have been basking in the glory of the great Eucharistic Discourse of Jesus, these past several Sundays, given to us according to the Gospel of St. John. But we must be very careful at the outset: one of the most dangerous errors that can be made, regarding scriptural interpretation of this theme, often takes place right at the heart of this passage. Jesus himself is trying to be very forceful in what he is saying, and he does in fact come across as such – but there still remains a kind of sense that in some way he doesn’t really mean exactly what he is saying! This is simply not the case! Jesus means exactly what he says! UNLESS YOU EAT MY FLESH AND DRINK MY BLOOD YOU WILL NOT HAVE LIFE WITHIN YOU – AND YOU WILL BE DENIED EVERLASTING LIFE!
But as the gospel passage today again points out, the people quarrel among themselves wondering what he could possibly mean by this outlandish statement: “eating flesh, drinking blood.” But Jesus persists: you MUST do this or die spiritually!
The first reading from Proverbs today gives us a clue as to how to deal with this mandate of Jesus: Wisdom has “set up a wayside food and drink stand:” let whoever is simple turn in here, those lacking in understanding, come and eat and drink of the food drink that I will prepare and you will advance in the way of understanding! Those quarreling with Jesus, most likely, were not the simple and the unlearned, and so they are just incapable of “getting” what he is saying!
This sentiment is echoed in the second reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians: do not live like “foolish persons,” in ignorance, because they think they are so smart; rather act like persons filled with the Wisdom of God, who feast on what God prepares and then sing psalms and play instruments joyfully to God always giving thanks to God for everything!
And so, yes, Jesus is serious about the menu for eternal life, and the secret of understanding what it is all about comes to the simple and the childlike: for they know that Jesus can do anything he wants to do; all he has to do is “say and do” – and it is “said and done.” Jesus takes bread and transubstantiates it into his very real physical body (although it appears differently than the one he lived his earthly life in), and he takes ordinary wine and transubstantiates it into his very real physical blood so that we can indeed do what he commands!
The Mass is God’s supreme and marvelous gift: the setting for such praying, psalm singing, instrument playing, wisdom reading and transubstantiation rituals! They prepare us to go out from the celebration and live radically transformed lives so to infect the society in which we live with useful and redemptive Christian values!
And now, we cannot conclude this homily without making a statement about the scandal that is rocking the Church to its foundations AGAIN and for the second time in 16 years, and also the apparent demise of the very foundations of our nation as a republic by the surfacing once again in all his counterfeit glory of the “Prince of Darkness, the Father of Lies, Satan himself on our very own American soil.
With the sex abuse scandal which is now reaching epic proportions not only in our country but across the globe, it is time for the entire administration of the Church – and the first among them – the hypocritical and bad shepherds of their flocks members of the hierarchy – to “repent in sackcloth and ashes” and do public penance for their roles in what I call The Abomination of Desolation – the conspiratorial extermination of the sacred childhoods of hundreds of thousands of children throughout not only own country but the world by forcible acts of sexual aggression and in some cases physical rape.
And as far as the national debacle that is taking place which has its aim the extermination of freedom in the very land that bases its very founding principles on this God-given right and privilege. When the very person sitting in the chair of chief guardian and defender of the Constitution has allegiance with our avowed enemies, and whose main focus is to align our principles with those of dictators, autocrats and murderers – it is time to remove him from office – or we will be coconspirators with him – and our fate will be of our own making.
On two fronts then, the people in our pews, the people in our homes, work places and schools are in deep trouble – if they don’t feed on Jesus spiritually – join hands in prayer for and with one another – and call on His Name to end the catastrophes that are right smack dab upon us.
The Joyful Servants of the Cross have prayed daily for 13 years now “for the purging, purification and perfection of the Church on earth; and for the spiritual transformation of the world into the glorious Kingdom of God in the new heavens and the new earth” – dare I say, perhaps, our prayers are finally being answered – but in a way that boggles the mind!
All of you come, eat and drink, taste and see – experience and enjoy - the goodness of the Lord.
Saturday, August 18, 2018
+ Our readings today are eerily right on target! In the first reading from the Prophet Ezekiel we are reminded and told outright that God will judge you on your ways: “Fathers have eaten green grapes, thus their children’s teeth are on edge!” This means that fathers and sons shall be judged on their own conduct, and not on what they eat! The virtuous man who tries his very best to always do what is right and fair and just on behalf of others shall live!
But his own son, if he be a thief, a murderer, a gouger – this son shall certainly not live, and so be condemned by our own kind of justice laid out in the Proverb, but derived from the supernatural divine law and order of God.
The bottom line here however, is God urging and exhorting his people to repent, return and live! Make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit – or one day it will be too late. And this has everything to do with the political debacle that is playing out in D.C. The president must be stopped, and brave citizens are now called upon the do the right thing, or the bystanders will be classified with the thieves, the murders and the malcontents – and they shall surely be held accountable on the Last Day!
The gospel passage can’t be more on target with the explosive bombshell reports both of the episcopacy and the priesthood – in the articles on Archbishop McCarrick of Washington, and the Pennsylvania Diocese exposition of gross and grotesque abuse of children, boys and girls, over the past 70 years by clergy who formed a “syndicate of sorts” to pass around victims to one another. In the gospel passage Jesus tells us in no uncertain terms that the Kingdom of God belongs to children! children whom we wanted to feel free enough to come to him even in this life for blessings and hugs. But the molester, and rapists and sodomists who rob and steal them not only of physical and mental security and safeness, but most importantly of all “spiritual refuge” the refuge that the church ought offer when dastardly things happen in one’s life. When these children now adults have nowhere to turn – they are the most pitiable of all God’s children on earth.
To this end, as of yesterday, the Joyful Servants of the Cross are now committed for the life of this Congregation to pray a rosary daily in Repentance for and Reparation of the Damage Done by Priests of any rank throughout the world who have stolen precious childhood away from the most innocent of God’s creatures: boys and girls who are God’s favorites. and the treasure of the church!
May God have mercy on us all!
Friday, August 17, 2018
+ Our readings today are quite emphatic regarding God’s kind of justice. In the first reading from the Prophet Ezekiel we see the remarkable kind of “justice” that God insists on in deal with aberrant and sinful people he calls his own: I WILL CONTINUE TO LOVE YOU AND FORGIVE YOU – in spite of the fact that you continue to despise your oaths of fidelity to the covenant between you and me. I WILL LOVE YOU INTO A CHANGE OF HEART AND MIND AND ACTIONS – or you will die in you sins because you did not respond to this love call.
In the wake of what is happening both in the world and in the church – with people holding public office and trust in both realms – and the heinous atrocities that are allowed to take place using children – those politicians and their unrelentingly ignorant supporters; and the clergy of all ranks and statuses who either have committed such atrocities, and those who have not yet been caught – even those who still have such grotesque fantasies playing out in their minds – they need to know that GOD WILL NEVER STOP LOVING THEM! hmmm – I bet you didn’t expect to hear that!
But this is what the intent of the passage from Ezekiel says: GOD HAS UNCONDITIONAL LOVE FOR EVERYTHING THAT HE HAS CREATED! BUT – BUT – in having this love, he expects creation to respond in kind: and among human beings – who share his ability to reason, reflect and change minds and hearts – to do so – when they find themselves doing things they know displeases him, and in this case make him weep, and wring his hands, and mop his eyes!
The gospel passage is actually an exception to the rule, as it itself plainly discloses: God partially changed an irrevocable Rule he made regarding marriage because of the childish inability of the his people to grasp the significance of the original Rule. But, the original Rule still holds and is in full force. The lesson here is that God is willing to bend over backwards to get us to take the right track on things: but he prefers if we change our minds and heart freely, willingly and in response to his unconditional love for us.
And you know, the best way to test this whole scenario out is for us today: to view all people we will come into contact with with unconditional love and communicate to them that they are entirely free to respond in kind.
The results could be very astounding both to you and the person you free to respond maturely and in a grown-up sort of way!
God indeed is our savior, and our lover, we ought to face this day unafraid and with confidence! Amen.
Thursday, August 16, 2018
+ Today we have very timely readings, but for a topic that you might not except to hear. The gospel passage talks about unlimited forgiveness, “seventy times seven” meaning no end to forgiveness. And then it goes on to a story on how a man who was forgiven, goes out and treats a fellow debtor even worse than he was treated when forgiven. This will not do in the Kingdom of Heaven, which begins here on earth.
Usually the “work of the devil” is quite easily recognizable with what is going on in the political debacle that plays out daily on our tv screens – and it’s the moral duty of the church to encourage it’s members to act in conscience against such fatal antics.
But today it is more than fair to mobilize the same citizens of two kingdoms (heaven and earth), you and me, members of the Church to speak out against the ungodly and quite frankly catastrophically incomprehensible presence of predator priests who, due to their own twisted personalities and malformed consciences using the faith of the church as its symbols to commit unspeakable sexual crimes against children of both sexes. And to do so in a conspiracy ring of crime where they shared victims with one another for years. There is a special place in hell for those dastardly men, and most especially for their superiors, and the bishops who were a part of the conspiracy and its cover up.
The finding of the Pennsylvania dioceses report released yesterday is beyond appalling, and quite frankly sickening.
And so it is time to militate prayerfully against such practices – and to demand that justice be served on behalf of the victims – who are suffering irreparable consequences to such sinful and illegal behavior.
There needs to be special prayer groups formed throughout this country in all parishes to pray for the victims that they find peace and comfort in their lives finally, because we are praying with and for them, and also for the predators and their conspirators many of whom are still at large and functioning in the church. These needs to be sought out and dealt with in civil litigations – and also in courts of canon law.
We must not forgive any of those in the conspiracy – ever. Period.
The first reading then today can also be applied to this case: the church has been a rebellious house, whose administrators have eyes but they choose not to see, they have ears, but they choose not to hear.
It is time for the total administration of the church to see and hear the reality of life around them, to repent and clean up its act, and then to quickly begin to change the course of the Church because it is too late – and the clock is certainly ticking down.
Mary is weeping, the saints are restless, and the Father is tapping hit foot – Come Lord Jesus come, with salvation for your faithful people – and fire and wrath for the unfaithful! all as you have warned and promised! Amen.
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
+ Today we celebrate a great feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The wording of the Dogma of the Assumption made by Pope Pius XII on this date in 1950 proclaiming this fact is this: “when the course of her earthly life was finished,” the Blessed Virgin Mary “was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven.” This definition does not take a position on the long-disputed question of whether Mary actually died. There are sound arguments on both sides of this debate, with the opinion favoring the fact that she did die, if only momentarily, or for a short while, being by far the stronger: this is supported not only by Scripture, but also the writings of the early Fathers of the Church.
Mary experiences this assumption into heaven to be the first to fully participate in her Son’s redemption; to be our hope and our model of right Christian living that will lead to where she and her Son have gone; and to become the True Mother of the Church – the tender, consoling, loving mother of all who yearn for salvation and need a mother’s helping hand to guide them.
The feast began in the East in the fifth century and in the west by the seventh.
I should like to add because of the extremity of the spiritual climate of the world at this winding down time in human history – in addition to the stellar exemplary life and love of the Blessed Mother of God, she, being the Mother of HOPE the Mother of the Redeemer, tow other points needs to be brought up here – to be Eucharistically United, Communed with the Lord, her Son, our Lord, our Friend is a primary spiritual nourishment needed to assure a spiritual victory for us all in the end, and also the Rosary – at no other time in history, since the Rosary was given in the time of St. Dominic, the recitation of the Rosary – contemplating is Christocentric meditations – and for us Joyful Servants of the Cross adding the final 5 decades under the title of the Eschatological Mysteries (The Heavenly Mysteries) which will take us right up to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb of God, to his Bride the Church (us) – is the other profoundly influential tool to use for our own full conversions to Christ, that of our family members and loved ones, and for all of the wandering lost sheep in the world – who pitifully are headed directly for the cliff’s edge – we can do something to gather them back to the Chief Shepherd and Guardian of their souls. Pray the rosary today, and help tremendously in the transformation of the world!
You can find The Heavenly Mysteries of the Rosary at our community website: www.rjoy4u.org.
O blessed Lady, clothed with the sun, with the moon under your feet, and on your head a crown of twelve stars – pray for us this day! Pray for us as we, along with all generations, call you blessed and see you as our life, our sweetness and our hope!
All you angels of heaven: exult, as the Mother of the King takes her place at his side – to intercede for us – to pray for the sanctification of the Church and the world!
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