Monday, May 30, 2011

Falling Away

Acts 16:11-15
Psalm 149:1-6,9
John 15:26-16:4

As we read this Gospel passage we find those beautiful words - 'so that you may not fall away.' Christ speaks to us this phrase to give us peace and to show us that He loves us. In the original context of the scriptures, Christ is warning the Apostles of all that is to come and the sufferings they will endure. For us today, though, the Lord speaks the same consoling words. He tells of the Advocate, the Spirit, who descends upon us and of the persecutions we too are called to undergo. With His words He speaks a message of love, caring enough to speak these words that they and we might not fall away. And the message itself - that we not fall away but always remain in Him - is one of great consolation. Grant Lord that His desire might be fulfilled in us.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Face-Melting Quote of the Day

Gospel of John 15:12-17 (from the readings of the day)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.”

Fitting readings as I prepare for ordination to the priesthood tomorrow. Fitting for all us to read as we contemplate the mission that has been given to each of us in our baptism. Have a blessed day! Please pray for me!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Face-Melting Quote of the Day

Because the Bible has awesome quotes too - Isaiah 43:1-4:

"But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you."

Monday, May 16, 2011

Face-Melting Quote of the Day

From Fr. Federico Suarez in About Being a Priest:

"In theory, prayer is the easiest thing in the world. God is always present, he always sees us and he hears us. We can speak to him at any time, in any place, in any circumstances. All we have to do is say "Lord," and he will turn towards us to listen to us and hear whatever we have to say to him."

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sheep and Shepherds

Readings for Sunday, May 15:
Acts 2:14, 36-41
Psalm 23:1-6
1 Peter 2:20-25
John 10:1-10

This weekend we celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday, so called because we ready the section of St. John's gospel wherein Christ speaks of Himself as shepherd and gate. In the Office of Readings from the Liturgy of the Hours this morning, we read the beautiful words of St. Gregory the Great:

"No matter what obstacles we encounter, we must not allow them to turn us aside from the joy of that heavenly feast. Anyone who is determined to reach his destination is not deterred by the roughness of the road that leads to it. Nor must we allow the charm of success to seduce us, or we shall be like a foolish traveler who is so distracted by the pleasant meadows through which he is passing that he forgets where he is going. "

He reminds us that in this life we are all bound to encounter countless trials and difficulties that will push us to leave The Way - Jesus Christ - and that there will also be things of such great appeal to us - be it fame or fortune - that will make us want to cease walking and simply stay there. In both of these we are reminded that we are meant to remain where we are but we are a people destined for eternal glory with God in Heaven. If we open the ears of our heart to the voice of the Good Shepherd who calls us each in our own way and strive to remain on that path, we will be sure to receive that blessed reward of a room in the Heavenly House of God. May we always seek after the shepherd who calls us and be protected from the evil one who seeks to blot out His voice.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Face-Melting Quote of the Day

From Blessed John of Vercelli:

"Watch the little things. He who grows careless in little things, little by little falls. He who does not push himself to make progress, goes backward."

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mercy and Such

These past few days have seen an incredible series of events. In the secular world we have all been stunned by the tragic tornadoes that tore through Alabama and neighboring states killing hundreds and the announcement that Osama Bin Laden has been confirmed dead. In the Catholic world we have been filled with an unexplainable joy as we celebrated the feast of Divine Mercy, Beatification of Pope John Paul II and the beginning of the month of May, in which we honor the Blessed Mother. And as I reflect upon these things I can't help but see that hand of God at work. It cannot be but divine providence to have Pope John Paul II be beatified on Divine Mercy Sunday (a feast he instituted universally) and on the first day of the month devoted to Our Lady, to whom he had consecrated his entire life and ministry. Intersecting with this beautiful work of God, we have these two other events that consume our secular media. In the wake of these tornadoes we can only entrust the dead to the mercy of God and to seek his mercy on those who remain, entrusting themselves to His paternal care and consolation. And as we all hear that joyful shouts of so many Americans that Bin Laden has been killed, we must also remember that we ought not to rejoice in death, but in life. I pray that before his death, as unlikely at it may seem, he was converted to the Lord Jesus. And if not, I pray - and we all must - that the Lord Jesus show him His infinite mercy. Reflecting on this, I can't help but recall that famous quote "There, but for the grace of God, go I." Earlier tonight I was visiting with a couple of brother seminarians and I mentioned an old song that I used to listen to. One of then hadn't heard it before and so I pulled it up online and he was surprised to hear the type of music that it was - electronic heavy metal. I passingly mentioned that it was from my time before conversion. To this he responded, "Well, I'm glad for your conversion." As he spoke this I couldn't help but feel in my heart that joyful, peaceful response, "Me too." I know personally the grace of conversion that can come from the prayers of those who are faithful and so I think it fitting to pray for those who not yet part of the fold. You never know the power that a prayer can have, especially through Our Lady, whose intercession is powerful beyond our understanding, to Our Lord who is longing to pour out His mercy upon each of us.