Posted by: matt25 | January 26, 2016

You’ve Got To Stay Bright

Yesterday we remembered St Paul and today two of his disciples, Timothy & Titus. Who passed their faith to you, and who are you passing your faith on to? The Christian Faith is alive. If it is not being shared it is a light under a bushel which does nothing to dispel the darkness.

Posted by: matt25 | January 23, 2016

Hidden Prison

There is no prison as confining as a mind and heart steadfastly shuttered to prevent the light of truth from finding entry.

Posted by: matt25 | January 1, 2016

A Prayer For Your New Year

May the grace and mercy of God abound bringing you healing where there is pain, peace where there is conflict, joy where there is sorrow, and  light to dispel every darkness in your new year.   And may your life be so filled with love that there is room for nothing which diminishes it. I ask this in the sacred name of Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, who live and reign with the Father, in and outside of time, always and forever. Amen.

Posted by: matt25 | November 23, 2015

Morning Musing For Thanksgiving Week

“Thanks and Change”

For our blessings
Large or small
We thank you Father
For them all

Help us remember them
One by one
And strengthen our relationship
With your Son

Temples of the Spirit
Who is one with you
May we be your love
And make all things new

Then with hearts
Transformed by grace
We’ll be blessed and blessing
In all we face

– Matthew Hens

Posted by: matt25 | October 4, 2015

Be Simple, Humble and Pure

St Francis wrote us a letter, part of which follows. It is a great reflection to deepen my worship on Sunday and everyday.

From a letter written to all the faithful by Saint Francis of Assisi

It was through his archangel, Saint Gabriel, that the Father above made known to the holy and glorious Virgin Mary that the worthy, holy and glorious Word of the Father would come from heaven and take from her womb the real flesh of our human frailty. Though he was wealthy beyond reckoning, he still willingly chose to be poor with his blessed mother. And shortly before his passion he celebrated the Passover with his disciples. Then he prayed to his Father saying: Father, if it be possible, let this cup be taken from me.

Nevertheless, he reposed his will in the will of his Father. The Father willed that his blessed and glorious Son, whom he gave to us and who was born for us, should through his own blood offer himself as a sacrificial victim on the altar of the cross. This was to be done not for himself through whom all things were made, but for our sins. It was intended to leave us an example of how to follow in his footsteps. And he desires all of us to be saved through him, and to receive him with pure heart and chaste body.

O how happy and blessed are those who love the Lord and do as the Lord himself said in the gospel: You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart and your whole soul, and your neighbor as yourself. Therefore, let us love God and adore him with pure heart and mind. This is his particular desire when he says: True worshipers adore the Father in spirit and truth. For all who adore him must do so in the spirit of truth. Let us also direct to him our praises and prayers saying: Our Father, who art in heaven, since we must always pray and never grow slack.

Furthermore, let us produce worthy fruits of penance. Let us also love our neighbors as ourselves. Let us have charity and humility. Let us give alms because these cleanse our souls from the stains of sin. Men lose all the material things they leave behind them in this world, but they carry with them the reward of their charity and the alms they give. For these they will receive from the Lord the reward and recompense they deserve. We must not be wise and prudent according to the flesh. Rather we must be simple, humble and pure. We should never desire to be over others. Instead, we ought to be servants who are submissive to every human being for God’s sake. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on all who live in this way and persevere in it to the end. He will permanently dwell in them. They will be the Father’s children who do his work. They are the spouses, brothers and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Posted by: matt25 | September 26, 2015

And We’re Off!  (And the Pope’s UN address)

We have boarded bus 1 of 3, courtesy of St. Gemma’s Catholic Pilgrimages, to make our way to Philedephia.  Once there we will check into our hotel and quickly come back out to travel downtown to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway which is the location for both of the Papal activities we will be attending.  Tonight we will attend the Festival of Families which is the culmination of the World Meeting of Families which has been held most of this week.  Tomorrow we will leave the hotel at 5AM in the hopes of being early enough to get a decent place to stake out for the Mass which begins at 4PM. 
image

After boarding (and posting a couple of pictures to Facebook) we all prayed the joyful mysteries of the rosary together for the safety of all, and for the grace of God to fill Pope Francis and all who are being touched in any way by his visit.  I then decided to read his remarks to the United Nations, which I did not get to yesterday as I tried to put 9 pounds of activity into a 3 pound sack.  I will post a few excerpts that I felt were important below for those who do not wish to read the full text.

Comment below if you would like me to remember any of your intentions in prayer at Mass tomorrow.

Here are those quotes, but first, pass the popcorn.  The movie, “Mary of Nazareth” just started.

Future Sustainable Development Goals must therefore be formulated and carried out with generosity and courage, so that they can have a real impact on the structural causes of poverty and hunger, attain more substantial results in protecting the environment, ensure dignified and productive labor for all, and provide appropriate protection for the family, which is an essential element in sustainable human and social development. Specifically, this involves challenging all forms of injustice and resisting the “economy of exclusion”, the “throwaway culture” and the “culture of death” which nowadays sadly risk becoming passively accepted.

Today, in concrete terms, an awareness of the dignity of each of our brothers and sisters whose life is sacred and inviolable from conception to natural death must lead us to share with complete freedom the goods which God’s providence has placed in our hands, material goods but also intellectual and spiritual ones, and to give back generously and lavishly whatever we may have earlier unjustly refused to others.

Consequently, while encouraging you in your continuing efforts to coordinate the activity of the international agencies, which represents a service to all humanity, I urge you to work together in promoting a true, worldwide ethical mobilization which, beyond all differences of religious or political convictions, will spread and put into practice a shared ideal of fraternity and solidarity, especially with regard to the poorest and those most excluded.

Posted by: matt25 | September 26, 2015

And We’re Off!  (And the Pope’s UN address)

We have boarded bus 1 of 3, courtesy of St. Gemma’s Catholic Pilgrimages, to make our way to Philedephia.  Once there we will check into our hotel and quickly come back out to travel downtown to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway which is the location for both of the Papal activities we will be attending.  Tonight we will attend the Festival of Families which is the culmination of the World Meeting of Families which has been held most of this week.  Tomorrow we will leave the hotel at 5AM in the hopes of being early enough to get a decent place to stake out for the Mass which begins at 4PM. 

After boarding (and posting a couple of pictures to Facebook) we all prayed the joyful mysteries of the rosary together for the safety of all, and for the grace of God to fill Pope Francis and all who are being touched in any way by his visit.  I then decided to read his remarks to the United Nations, which I did not get to yesterday as I tried to put 9 pounds of activity into a 3 pound sack.  I will post a few excerpts that I felt were important below for those who do not wish to read the full text.

Comment below if you would like me to remember any of your intentions in prayer at Mass tomorrow.

Here are those quotes, but first, pass the popcorn.  The movie, “Mary of Nazareth” just started.

Future Sustainable Development Goals must therefore be formulated and carried out with generosity and courage, so that they can have a real impact on the structural causes of poverty and hunger, attain more substantial results in protecting the environment, ensure dignified and productive labor for all, and provide appropriate protection for the family, which is an essential element in sustainable human and social development. Specifically, this involves challenging all forms of injustice and resisting the “economy of exclusion”, the “throwaway culture” and the “culture of death” which nowadays sadly risk becoming passively accepted.

Today, in concrete terms, an awareness of the dignity of each of our brothers and sisters whose life is sacred and inviolable from conception to natural death must lead us to share with complete freedom the goods which God’s providence has placed in our hands, material goods but also intellectual and spiritual ones, and to give back generously and lavishly whatever we may have earlier unjustly refused to others.

Consequently, while encouraging you in your continuing efforts to coordinate the activity of the international agencies, which represents a service to all humanity, I urge you to work together in promoting a true, worldwide ethical mobilization which, beyond all differences of religious or political convictions, will spread and put into practice a shared ideal of fraternity and solidarity, especially with regard to the poorest and those most excluded.

Posted by: matt25 | September 21, 2015

The New Evangelization (or everything old is new again)

Share your story here.  That is what it says on my WordPress app when I click the icon to start a new blog.  That is a new way to share the faith by sharing my story, thoughts, musings, discoveries, or things that make me laugh or think.  But, as I was reminded by Saint Bede the Venerable this morning in the Office of Readings, sharing our story when we have been touched by mercy goes all the back to the foundation of Christianity.  Here is what he said:

From a homily by Saint Bede the Venerable, priest. (Hom, 21: CCL 122, 149-151)

Jesus saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him

Jesus saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office, and he said to him: Follow me. Jesus saw Matthew, not merely in the usual sense, but more significantly with his merciful understanding of men.
He saw the tax collector and, because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him, he said to him: Follow me. This following meant imitating the pattern of his life—not just walking after him. Saint John tells us: Whoever says he abides in Christ ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
And he rose and followed him. There is no reason for surprise that the tax collector abandoned earthly wealth as soon as the Lord commanded him. Nor should one be amazed that neglecting his wealth, he joined a band of men whose leader had, on Matthew’s assessment, no riches at all. Our Lord summoned Matthew by speaking to him in words. By an invisible, interior impulse flooding his mind with the light of grace, he instructed him to walk in his footsteps. In this way Matthew could understand that Christ, who was summoning him away from earthly possessions, had incorruptible treasures of heaven in his gift.
As he sat at table in the house, behold many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. This conversion of one tax collector gave many men, those from his own profession and other sinners, an example of repentance and pardon. Notice also the happy and true anticipation of his future status as apostle and teacher of the nations. No sooner was he converted than Matthew drew after him a whole crowd of sinners along the same road to salvation. He took up his appointed duties while still taking his first steps in the faith, and from that hour he fulfilled his obligation and thus grew in merit.
To see a deeper understanding of the great celebration Matthew held at his house, we must realize that he not only gave a banquet for the Lord at his earthly residence, but far more pleasing was the banquet set in his own heart which he provided through faith and love. Our Savior attests to this: Behold I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
On hearing Christ’s voice, we open the door to receive him, as it were, when we freely assent to his promptings and when we give ourselves over to doing what must be done. Christ, since he dwells in the hearts of his chosen ones through the grace of his love, enters so that he might eat with us and we with him. He ever refreshes us by the light of his presence insofar as we progress in our devotion to and longing for the things of heaven. He himself is delighted by such a pleasing banquet.

May we know and share the the story of how the mercy of God either has or will soon touch our hearts in a powerful way.

St Matthew, pray for us.

St Bede, pray for us

Posted by: matt25 | August 28, 2015

The Struggle To Live With Integrity

I could really beat myself up over this one.  I am sure you probably could too.  After all, when we look in the mirror can we honestly say we are seeing someone who lives constantly as a person of integrity?  Do we always think, speak, and act according to the dictates of our ideals, even when we think nobody can see us or will ever know what we did?   I got to thinking about this when I reading about the life of St. Augustine of Hippo on his memorial today.

An ambitious school-boy of brilliant talents and violent passions, he early lost both his faith and his innocence. He persisted in his irregular life until he was thirty-two. Being then at Milan professing rhetoric, he tells us that the faith of his childhood had regained possession of his intellect, but that he could not as yet resolve to break the chains of evil habit. One day, however, stung to the heart by the account of some sudden conversions, he cried out, “The unlearned rise and storm heaven, and we, with all our learning, for lack of heart lie wallowing here.” He then withdrew into a garden, when a long and terrible conflict ensued. Suddenly a young fresh voice (he knows not whose) breaks in upon his strife with the words, “Take and read;” and he lights upon the passage beginning, “Walk honestly as in the day.” The battle was won.   – Pictorial Life of the Saints, Shea, John Gilmary

While it would be easy to draw some loose comparisons to the trajectory of our young adult lives, that was not what initially drew my attention.  No, what I was drawn to was the “young fresh voice” and “Walk honestly as in the day.”

This was the main point for me.  I thought about how it is impossible to live with true integrity when we try to do it on the merits of our own strengths. It was not Augustine’s brilliant intellect which brought him to live a life of heroic virtue, nor was it an ardent desire to follow a way of life to which he was committed.  It was an act of grace which Jesus spoke about to his apostles:  

24 …“Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to pass through [the] eye of [a] needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.” – Mark:10 NABRE

And here:  44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day.”  John:6 NABRE

For me, for Augustine, and for you if you are a Christian, living with integrity is impossible without allowing ourselves to surrender to the promptings of the Father and the guidance of the Holy Spirit which brings us into relationship with the person of Jesus Christ.  When the great gift of that grace is received and embraced it becomes the foundation of everything that we are.

Living with integrity doesn’t mean that we live flawlessly, never stumbling or falling on our journey.  It means that we strive for perfection while knowing we will make mistakes.  It means living as if Jesus is always with us to see everything we say and do, because he does.  It means that when we choose to do something that saddens him, we are sorry and seek to restore our friendship with Jesus as we rely completely upon his mercy.

That reminds me, I have not been to Confession for awhile.  I had better make time for that on my calendar this week.  As a Catholic Christian I am being invited by the Father to restore my relationship with Jesus in this way.

Okay Integrity, let’s do it.

  
 

Posted by: matt25 | August 9, 2015

It’s The End of the World!

Gasp!! We must run to our churches and pray! The world is teetering on the brink of extinction, multiple gmail accounts are not functioning. If Google servers are off line… What other explanation is possible? LOL.  
  
Well it is Sunday so if you are a Christian it is a great day to worship God in community with your church family. If you haven’t been attending, go today. I promise the ceiling won’t fall in because of your attendance. Gmail servers set aside, we don’t know the day or the hour the end will come for each of us. We only have this moment now. We have no guarantee that we will awaken tomorrow; so connect, reconnect, or take a step to heal your relationship with Jesus while it is still today. There is nothing you could possibly have done that is bigger than his love for you. THAT, is a guarantee.  

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