To love like Jesus ...

    Saturday, April 19, 2014, 8:58 PM [General]

    To love people as Jesus loves them is to wash their feet, to serve them in humility; it is to help them to rise up in truth and love.... To love is to live in communion with others.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    All things are charged with love...

    Saturday, April 19, 2014, 6:33 PM [General]

    God's Grandeur

    Gerard Manley Hopkins captured the faith view that I want in his poem “God’s Grandeur.”The world is charged with the grandeur of God. . . . Nature is never spent; there lives the dearest freshness deep down things. . . ."

    In her book Poetry as Prayer: Gerard Manley Hopkins, Maria Lichtmann quotes from his spiritual notes: “All things therefore are charged with love, are charged with God, and if we know how to touch them, give off sparks and take fire, yield drops and flow, ring and tell of him.”

    Hopkins knew “how to touch” them and how to see God’s presence. As a youth, “he loved to climb to the top of tall trees and enjoy the view.” He could spend hours fascinated by an ant hill or studying the ice crystals in a puddle of water on cold mornings. He also knew dryness, frustration, rejection, and depression as his “terrible sonnets” reveal. “Send my roots rain,” he pleaded in his poem. “Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend with Thee.”

    Like St. Francis, he lived the Paschal mystery

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    Our time is limited...

    Saturday, April 19, 2014, 6:23 PM [General]


    The death of those we love brings a troubling awareness of our own mortality. James Oldo had that experience when he gazed into a friend’s grave, and it brought him to his senses. He determined to use whatever time he had left to build up treasures in heaven and to build God’s realm on earth. Our time is limited, too. We can use it well or foolishly: The choice is ours.
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    A Friend Indeed !

    Saturday, April 19, 2014, 4:18 AM [General]

    Christ the Friend  He rose for us. He came to earth for us, he suffered for us, and he rose for us. Nothing in Christ was for himself. Nothing. He is all love, all self-giving, all obedience to the Father’s will for the sake of our salvation. He rose so that we might rise with him. In his Resurrection, we see what he is preparing for us. How eagerly he looks forward to that day when he will “wipe away every tear” (Revelation 7:17) from our eyes and welcome us into the fullness of life that is his eternal kingdom! The more faithful we are to him now, the more we will share in his glory when he raises us from the dead. Good friends fill our lives on earth with joy and comfort; only Christ can offer a joy that will keep growing forever.

    Christ: I know it’s hard for you to feel the power and the joy of my Resurrection. You still need to grow in your faith and humility to be able to feel it. But you don’t need to feel it in order to believe in me. Think of my Resurrection often. The more you turn the eyes of your heart towards it, the more its light will illumine and warm your heart, until your whole life is gradually bathed in its power and joy. And I have given you a reminder – the sunrise. Each day, the sun comes up and brings light to the world, just as I rose from the darkness of death in order to conquer it forever with the light of my life

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    The Cross of Christ, The Cosmic Tree

    Friday, April 18, 2014, 8:25 PM [General]

     

    Cosmic Tree - Cross of ChristThis powerfully poetic sermon on the Cross of Christ as the Cosmic Tree was preached during Holy Week in the early church, somewhere around the 5th century, by someone whose name has been lost.  It was wrongly attributed to the great preacher St. John Chrysostom.  Pseudo-Chrysostom Homily VI for Holy Week (P.G. lix, 743-6).

     

    This Tree is my eternal salvation.  It is my nourishment and my banquet.  Amidst its roots I cast my own roots deep: beneath its boughs I grow and expand, revelling in its sigh as in the wind itself.  Flying from the burning heat, I have pitched my tent in its shadow, and have found a resting-place of dewy freshness.  I flower with its flowers; its fruits bring perfect joy - fruits which have been preserved for me since time's beginning, and which now I freely eat.  This Tree is a food, sweet food, for my hunger, and a fountain for my thirst; it is a clothing for my nakedness; its leaves are the breath of life.  Away with the fig-tree, from this time on! If I fear God, this is my protection; if I stumble, this is my support; it is the prize for which I fight and the reward of my victory.  This is my straitened path, my narrow way; this is the stairway of Jacob, where angels pass up and down, and where the Lord in very truth standing at the head.

     

    This Tree, vast as heaven itself, rises from earth to the skies, a plant immortal, set firm in the midst of heaven and earth, base of all that is, foundation of the universe, support of this world of men, binding-force of all creation, holding within itself all the- mysterious essence of man.  Secured with the unseen clamps of the spirit, so that, adjusted to the Divine, it may never bend or warp, with foot resting firm on earth it towers to the topmost skies, and spans with its allembracing arms the boundless gulf of space between.

     

    He was All, and in all, filling it with himself; stripped naked for battle against the powers of the air. . .

     

    With him two thieves were extended, bearing within themselves the marks of those two peoples, the marks of those two types of mind. . .

     

    When this cosmic combat came to an end ...  the heavens shook; almost, the stars fell from the skies; the light of the sun was extinguished for a time; rocks were split asunder; the entire world was all but shattered ...  But great Jesus breathed forth his divine Soul, saying: "Father, into Thy hand I commend my spirit."  And lo, even while all things shuddered and heaved in earthquake, reeling for fear, his divine Soul ascended, giving life and strength to all; and again creation was still, as if this divine Crucifixion and Extension had everywhere unfolded and spread, penetrating all things, through all, and in all. 

     

    0 Thou who art alone among the alone, and all in all!  Let the heavens hold thy Godhead; and paradise, thy soul; and earth, thy blood ...  For the Indivisible has become divided, so that all might be saved, and the world below might not remain ignorant of the coming of God...

     

    We beseech thee now, Lord God, Christ, eternal King of souls: stretch forth thy mighty hands over thy sacred Church, and over a holy people for ever thine

    0 (0 Ratings)

    PRAYER AGAINST EVERY EVIL

    Friday, April 18, 2014, 8:05 PM [General]

    PRAYER AGAINST EVERY EVIL - Very Powerful

    Heavenly Father, I love You, I praise You, and I worship You. I thank You for sending Your Son Jesus Who won victory over sin and death for my salvation. I thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit Who empowers me, guides me, and leads me into fullness of life. I thank you for Mary, my Heavenly Mother, who intercedes with the holy angels and saints for me.



    Lord Jesus Christ, I place myself at the foot of Your cross and ask You to cover me with Your Precious Blood which pours forth from Your Most Sacred Heart and Your Most Holy Wounds. Cleanse me, my Jesus, in the living water that flows from Your Heart. I ask You to surround me, Lord Jesus, with Your Holy Light.
    Heavenly Father, let the healing waters of my baptism now flow back through the maternal and paternal generations to purify my family line of satan and sin. I come before You, Father, and ask forgiveness for myself, my relatives, and my ancestors, for any calling upon powers that set themselves up in opposition to You or that do not offer true honor to Jesus Christ. In Jesus' Holy Name, I now reclaim any territory that was handed over to satan and place it under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
    By the power of Your Holy Spirit, reveal to me, Father, any people I need to forgive and any areas of unconfessed sin. Reveal aspects of my life that are not pleasing to You, Father, ways that have given or could give satan a foothold in my life. Father, I give to You any unforgiveness; I give to You my sins; and, I give to You all ways that satan has a hold of my life. Thank You, for Your forgiveness and Your love.
    Lord Jesus, in Your Holy Name, I bind all evil spirits of the air, water, ground, underground, and netherworld. I further bind, in Jesus' Name, any and all emissaries of the satanic headquarters and claim the Precious Blood of Jesus on the air, atmosphere, water, ground and their fruits around us, the underground and the netherworld below.
    Heavenly Father, allow Your Son Jesus to come now with the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the holy angels and the saints to protect me from all harm and to keep all evil spirits from taking revenge on me in any way.
    (Repeat the following sentence three times: once in honor of the Father, once in honor of the Son, and once in honor of the Holy Spirit.)
    In the Holy Name of Jesus, I seal myself, my relatives, this room (place, home, church, car, plane, etc...), and all sources of supply in the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ.
    (To break and dissolve all satanic seals, repeat the following paragraph three times in honor of the Holy Trinity because satanic seals are places three times to blaspheme the Holy Trinity.)
    In the Holy Name of Jesus, I break and dissolve any and all curses, hexes, spells, snares, traps, lies, obstacles, deceptions, diversions, spiritual influences, evil wishes, evil desires, hereditary seals, known and unknown, and every dysfunction and disease from any source including my mistakes and sins. In Jesus' Name, I sever the transmission of any and all satanic vows, pacts, spiritual bonds, soul ties, and satanic works. In Jesus' Name, I break and dissolve any and all links and effects of links with: astrologers; bohmos; channelers; charters; clairvoyants; crystal healers; crystals; fortune tellers; mediums; the New Age Movement; occult seers; palm, tea leaf, or tarot card readers; psychics; santeros; satanic cults; spirit guides; witches; witchdoctors; and, Voodoo. In Jesus' Name, I dissolve all effects of participation in seances and divination, ouija boards, horoscopes, occult games of all sorts, and any form of worship that does not offer true honor to Jesus Christ.
    Holy Spirit, please reveal to me through word of knowledge any evil spirits that have attached themselves to me in any way. (Pause and wait for words to come to you, such as: anger, arrogance, bitterness, brutality, confusion, cruelty, deception, envy, fear, hatred, insecurity, jealousy, pride, resentment, or terror. Pray the following for each of the spirits revealed.)
    In the Name of Jesus, I rebuke you spirit of _________________. I command to go directly to Jesus, without manifestation and without harm to me or anyone, so that He can dispose of you according to His Holy Will.
    I thank You, Heavenly Father for Your Love. I thank You, Holy Spirit for empowering me to be aggressive against satan and evil spirits. I thank You, Jesus, for setting me free. I thank You, Mary, for interceding for me with the holy angels and the saints.
    Lord Jesus, fill me with charity, compassion, faith, gentleness, hope, humility, joy, kindness, light, love, mercy, modesty, patience, peace, purity, security, tranquility, trust, truth, understanding, and wisdom. Help me to walk in Your Light and Truth, illuminated by the Holy Spirit so that together we may praise, honor, and glorify Our Father in time and in eternity. For You, Lord Jesus, are, "...the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6 ), and You "...have come that we might have life and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10 ).
    "God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and courage is the Lord, and he has been my savior" (Isaiah 12:2 ).
    Amen. Alleluia. Amen.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Holding a Cross...

    Friday, April 18, 2014, 1:11 PM [General]

    Look at Him again - laden on the cross, and not allowed to take a breath. He will gaze at you with those beautiful, compassionate eyes, brimming with tears, and will forget His own grief to solace yours. Teresa of Avila

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Gift of the Holy Spirit

    Thursday, April 17, 2014, 6:21 AM [General]

    The Holy Spirit, Gift of God's Love

    St. Augustine

    There is no gift of God more excellent than this. It alone distinguishes the sons of the eternal kingdom and the sons of eternal perdition. Other gifts, too, are given by the Holy Spirit; but without love they profit nothing. Unless, therefore, the Holy Spirit is so far imparted to each, as to make him one who loves God and his neighbor, he is not removed from the left hand to the right. Nor is the Spirit specially called the Gift, unless on account of love. And he who has not this love, "though he speak with the tongues of men and angels, is sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal; and though he have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and though he have all faith, so that he can remove mountains, he is nothing; and though he bestow all his goods to feed the poor, and though he give his body to be burned, it profiteth him nothing."

    How great a good, then, is that without which goods so great bring no one to eternal life! But love or charity itself,--for they are two names for one thing,--if he have it that does not speak with tongues, nor has the gift of prophecy, nor knows all mysteries and all knowledge, nor gives all his goods to the poor, either because he has none to give or because some necessity hinders, nor delivers his body to be burned, if no trial of such a suffering overtakes him, brings that man to the kingdom, so that faith itself is only rendered profitable by love, since faith without love can indeed exist, but cannot profit. And therefore also the Apostle Paul says, "In Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith that worketh by love:" so distinguishing it from that faith by which even "the devils believe and tremble." Love, therefore, which is of God and is God, is specially the Holy Spirit, by whom the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, by which love the whole Trinity dwells in us. And therefore most rightly is the Holy Spirit, although He is God, called also the gift of God. And by that gift what else can properly be understood except love, which brings to God, and without which any other gift of God whatsoever does not bring to God? . . .

    Wherefore, if Holy Scripture proclaims that God is love, and that love is of God, and works this in us that we abide in God and He in us, and that hereby we know this, because He has given us of His Spirit, then the Spirit Himself is God, who is love. Next, if there be among the gifts of God none greater than love, and there is no greater gift of God than the Holy Spirit, what follows more naturally than that He is Himself love, who is called both God and of God? And if the love by which the Father loves the Son, and the Son loves the Father, ineffably demonstrates the communion of both, what is more suitable than that He should be specially called love, who is the Spirit common to both? For this is the sounder thing both to believe and to understand, that the Holy Spirit is not alone love in that Trinity, yet is not specially called love to no purpose

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    On Pope Francis and hope

    Thursday, April 17, 2014, 6:10 AM [General]

    Pope Francis kisses child as he arrives for the general audience (CNS)

    Pope Francis kisses child as he arrives for the general audience (CNS)

    Jesus’s Resurrection “isn’t the happy ending of a beautiful fairytale, it isn’t the happy ending of a film”, but is the result of the loving intervention of God, who wanted to give humanity hope and salvation, Pope Francis said.

    In the middle of Holy Week, Pope Francis encouraged people to pick up a crucifix, kiss it and recite the simple prayer: “Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Lord.”

    At his weekly general audience, the Pope said Jesus willingly endured the most humiliating, most painful path to death: betrayal, mocking, being nailed to a cross “like the worst criminal.”

    Watching Jesus suffer and die, the Pope said: “We see the suffering of all humanity and we find the divine response to the mystery of evil, suffering and death. We often feel horror because of the evil and pain around us and we ask: ‘Why does God allow this?’ It hurts deeply when we see suffering and death, especially when it involves the innocent. When we see children suffering, it wounds our hearts.

    “This week it would do all of us good to look upon a crucifix, kiss the wounds of Jesus,” he said. “He took upon himself all human suffering.”

    “We want God, in his omnipotence, to defeat all injustice, evil, sin and suffering with a triumphant victory,” the Pope said. “But instead, he shows a humble victory. Humanly speaking, it seems to be a failure, but God is victorious precisely in that failure.”

    Jesus’s death “is not an accident,” the pope said. “His death – that death – was already written. Really, we don’t have a full explanation. It is a bewildering mystery, the mystery of the great humility of God.”

    During Holy Week, the Pope said, Christians should meditate on the suffering of Jesus and recognise, “this is for me. Even if I was the only person in the world, he would have done it. He did it for me.”

    “When everything seems lost,” the pope said, that is the moment that God intervenes “with the power of the Resurrection,” restoring hope to humanity with a father’s love.

    God does the same thing in the lives of everyone who suffers, he said. When suffering seems unbearable and everything is dark, “that is the moment closest to the Resurrection”.

    “Jesus, who chose to live this life, calls us to follow the same path of humiliation,” Pope Francis said. “At the times in our lives when we cannot seem to find any way out of our difficulties, when we find ourselves in the deepest darkness … at the hour when we experience that we are fragile and sinful, it is precisely then, at that moment, that we should not mask our failure, but open ourselves to God with trust, just as Jesus did.”

    Riding around St Peter’s Square before the audience, Pope Francis picked up two young passengers and allowed the boys to ride in the back of the Popemobile until he was ready to begin his catechesis

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Fasting , drawing closer to God

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 7:40 PM [General]

                 ON FASTING
                           St. John Chrysostom
    
         The value of fasting consists not only  in avoiding  certain
    foods, but in  giving up  of sinful  practices.   The person  who
    limits  his fast  only to  abstaining from  meat is  the one  who
    especially lowers the value of it.
         
          Do  you fast?  Prove it  by doing  good works.  If you  see
    someone in need,  take pity on them.  If you see  a friend  being
    honored, don't get jealous of him.  For a true  fast, you  cannot
    fast only with your mouth. You must fast with your eye, your ear,
    your feet, your hands, and all parts of your body.
         
         You fast with your  hands by  keeping them  pure from  doing
    greedy things.   You  fast with  your feet  by not  going to  see
    forbidden  shows  or  plays.   You fast  with  your  eyes by  not
    letting  them  look  upon  impure  pictures. Because  if this  is
    forbidden or unlawful, it mars your fast and threatens the safety
    of your soul.  But if you  look at  things which  are lawful  and
    save  you increase  your fast,  for what  you see  with your  eye
    influences your conduct.  It would be very stupid to eliminate or
    give up meat and other foods because of  the fast  but feed  with
    your eyes upon other things which are forbidden. 
    
         You don't eat meat,  you say. But you allow yourself to lis-
    ten to lewd things. You must fast with your ears, too.    Another 
    way of fasting with your ears is not to listen to those who speak 
    evil  or untrue things about others.  "Thou shalt not receive  an 
    idle  report.    "This is  especially true  of  rumors,   gossip, 
    untruths which are spoken to harm another. 
         
         Besides fasting with your mouth by not eating certain foods,
    your mouth should also fast from  foul language  or telling  lies
    about  others.  For what  good is  it if  you don't  eat meat  or
    poultry, and yet you bite and devour your fellow man?
    0 (0 Ratings)

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