Sacred Heart of Jesus Have mercy On Us

Sacred Heart of Jesus Have mercy On Us

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Do we really love Him?

Greetings in the Lord brothers and sisters! It is amazing to see the summer arrive at its consummation and I have yet to dip my foot into a chlorinated pool much less bathe in the salty warm waters of the Carolina coast. I am going almost two years strong without maintaining the youthful glow of basking in the summer sun, but I experimented with a fake tanning product available by Jergens and by golly it actually masquerades as the real thing sans the cancer potential. Ahhh, and most certainly most parents are ready for a breather as their progeny begin another school year. Keep in mind Christmas is lurking around the corner. Gulp, yes I said the C word. I began a new job at the beginning of summer and like anything else work can become all consuming as time slips by quickly ending another season of weather as a new experience in life begins. I am momentarily resuming a prior occupation, the lingerie business, as I await patiently the inception of a new career hiding for my arrival in an unknown future. I informed the Lord during our last private consultation that if I must do retail, it is mandatory that I only contend with pretty lingerie. I deal with female bodies all day long so it makes my burden bearable. It is simply refreshing to my by the book and controlling personality that during unexpected moments of grace, I can do something so mundane and meaningless such as taking the trash out to fulfill a responsibility while stealing a quiet minute, and BOOM there He is. I dispose of the refuse and perch on the dilapidated wooden bench, just to regroup, and the atmosphere becomes categorically transfigured and elevated. Just like that He arrives unexpectedly and the world as I know it melts away and true spiritual ecstasy ensues. Oh, how I love Him because our God is such a GOOD God. Jesus is simply the most exciting person I have ever known and He indeed makes all things new for His beloved children. The enthralling reality for me is the endless possibilities in the ordinary life when we attempt to live a christocentric existence. Yes folks I am indeed back in the bra and panty business and after it all began once again for me I found time to see Him in adoration. Truthfully all I could do was cry. Whiny me, oh Lord my life is so meaningless, is this what I was created for, women's underwear? Oh the drama of unchecked grief. Yet I had occasion to meet a woman who proclaimed working with foundations is important for after all women are the foundation of creation and thus the world. Her analogy intrigued me and since I have to earn a living anyway, I did appreciate her input for it revealed a Marian perspective. but I have a fabulous job and I structure with my personal input and efforts the foundational existence of humanity. How about that for a calling?
The business of daily life can be extremely distracting and a sufficient preoccupation dimming the light in our spiritual vision, but all the more reason why He is so awesome for His benevolent mindfulness of us never escapes the soul of one betrothed to the Bridegroom of Divinity. So once again the drudgery of ordinary, grinding existence when infused by the Divine Breathe of the Holy Spirit becomes a fascinating journey renewed with eternal possibilities, and only then does the real joy of human existence become compelling and life's simple but practical duties become privileged opportunities to grow in Grace and to serve Him unceasingly. Oh how I used to unknowingly mourn the days when I had the time and ability to attend daily Mass and to pray for hours, and to engage in a variety of seeming holy endeavors, and of course God would just sit back and giggle at my scrupulous but sincere attempts at seeking Him, spending time with Him, and doing for Him. And then the engine of the human psyche, the soul, our creatureliness runs out of gas and we just do not comprehend why the struggle ensues, the darkness envelops, and the proverbial rug of comfort gets violently yanked out from under our tentatively steady feet, and the existence of Job's testimony becomes our own personal hell.

The lesson is this. We serve God out of our comfort zone unknowingly because His zone of discipleship involves the Cross. Fulton Sheen defined a term called staurosphobia, or "fear of the Cross." Honestly I do not think too many of us Catholics fear the Cross, we conveniently want absolutely nothing to do with it whatsoever for it requires the crucible of the humiliation of human pride, particularly spiritual pride under the guise of orthodoxy and hiding one's self in innumerable but honorable spiritual activities, but in the end we truly only seek a Divine or catholic illusion of sanctity but we are absolutely not going to tread beyond that self-defined boundary of comfort. A rationalistic and scientific society requires a method, a guaranteed cause and effect equation that demands a cemented outcome of personal intent, ultimately blinded by the fuel of self-interest, and self concern is an empty resource that will utterly fail to take you the distance leading to God. For instance, have you ever witnessed the poker hand of prayer cards technique for acquiring Divine assistance. Sometimes the poker players linger after mass or set up game in the perpetual adoration chapel. The prayer card deck requisite for spiritual poker involves a minimum of 20 but can include in excess of 50 cards. Invoke your respective saint and just keep going through the hand, one after the other, and watch the methodology unfold as the intense desperation rises. It almost mirrors a gambling addiction. Oh Lord just one more card, just one more card please. Eucharistic Jesus just winks from His hiding place in the monstrance or tabernacle but waits patiently nonetheless. He whispers so quietly and imperceptibly at times one just misses the personal invitation to gaze upon and to elevate one's attention upon Divine substantial presence. It is not about the card game folks.

Consider the charismatic endeavor or attempt, for if you haven't witnessed such a demonstration and your wellspring of joy has run dry or is as arid as baked mud, the clucker venue will titillate you for a least one moment and promises at least one or two outbursts of unrestrained laughter. And what in heaven's name does the word charismatic actually mean to an inquiring or should I say unprepared and unsuspecting mind? In terms of sound definition according the Catholic Encyclopedia:

The Greek term charisma denotes any good gift that flows from God's benevolent love (charis) unto man; any Divine grace or favour, ranging from redemption and life eternal to comfort in communing with brethren in the Faith (Romans 5:15, 16; 6:23; 11:29). The term has, however, a narrower meaning: the spiritual graces and qualifications granted to every Christian to perform his task in the Church: "Every one hath his proper gift [charisma] from God; one after this manner, and another after that" (1 Corinthians 7:7 etc.). Lastly, in its narrowest sense, charisma is the theological term for denoting extraordinary graces given to individual Christians for the good of others. These, or most of these, are enumerated by St. Paul (1 Corinthians 12:4, 9, 28, 30, 31), and form the subject-matter of the present article. They are: "The word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, the grace of healing, the working of miracles, prophecy, the discerning of spirits, diverse kinds of tongues, interpretation of speeches" (1 Corinthians 12:8-10). To these are added the charismata of apostles, prophets, doctors, helps, governments (ibid., 28). "

The aforementioned description is a responsible explanation of what constitutes authentic charismata, however in terms of parish activity and practiced reality a completely different manifestation of commentary typically occurs. The human experience predictably brings God down to our finite scope of supposed spiritual but inherent psychological behavior, and we unwittingly but once again methodologically attempt to conjure up God's holy presence with a maraca. And you are probably wondering or at least curious about the clucker venue I mentioned. Clucker is my personal pet word for any sound or posturing that resembles a chicken. If you have ever visited a barnyard you are reasonably aware that chickens somewhat roam haphazardly, strutting sometimes spasmodically up and down, and squawk or bawk intermittently yet incessantly, and their personal dialogue possesses no cohesive rhyme or reason of understood communication. The charismatic display of what is legitimately coined glossolalia or speaking in tongues, for this is a genuine gift of the Holy Spirit, merely becomes reduced to the appearance of chicken clucking. God forbid I would have ever rolled off my chair of witnessing formulated prayer group experience and dropped my Bible on the tile floor, for only then would a true miracle suffice to stand me up and to deliver me from hidden, unexpressed hysteria. I tell people all the time if you need a good laugh go to church, for the unfolding of the insanity of all human drama marked as spiritual pursuit becomes apparent for all to see if you are just willing to show up and await the entertainment

In all seriousness I absolutely do not go to church to be amused for sanctification is Divine and serious matter, but the fringe benefit of seeking grace is the unanticipated but repeated inevitable exposure to the spiritual and psychological insanity plaguing the human race and the culture at large. Fulton Sheen once remarked, " to conclude that one mass is charismatic while another mass is not, is to say the soul is separate from the body." We human beings are so ridiculous at times in our methodology and attempts at genuine spiritual experience however we are also fortunate to have such an understanding and patient heavenly Father. Yes, I do believe He does indeed smile down upon us everyday at the mortal silliness of it all, and I am emphatically convinced Jesus maintains a profound sense of humor at times. The human being is the most fascinating creature I suppose that Our good Father ever created.
My question for you is this, and it will undoubtedly lead to our next discussion are you "your brother's keeper?" We live our lives thinking we are so darn Holy but are we really willing to step up to the plate? Are you truly willing to lay down your life for a brother or sister? Are you willing to bear the burden of sacrificial love and to give up your delusional version of self holiness but inherently selfish desire in exchange for that greater good, which ultimately benefits the good of your brother? I am ever so tired of putting others first and it has truly cost me everything in the temporal sense. Yet, God has informed me that if I am to be reserved, and set apart for something magnificent, I cannot afford to deny Him His Holy opinion, and thus Divine involvement in my personal agenda. No, we must not deny Him. The Sacred Image of Divine Mercy desires to permeate the human being and endeavor, and we must contend with those Holy Feet and Holy wounds, and He asks each and every one of us, am I enough for you? Do you trust Me? I do not claim to have it all reasoned and figured out, but yes Jesus, I feebly trust in you. The person of Divine Mercy, Jesus Christ, is the reason for our being and one could clearly weep every time when reflecting upon such holy notion, for the soles of those pierced feet speak to the broken soul, for they are the golden feet of intercession. Do you trust in Me? Yes, Lord I do because what choice do I have? I weep every time I look at those feet for they tread upon and serve as a perfect guide on the pathway of the Journey underscoring the grace He has availed those who seek Him, defined by His Cross. The suffering of the Most High God should never be in vain in our eyes.
We all have knowledge of God and can quote Holy Scripture like scientific geniuses, and we join the choir, attend mass, and hang out with all of the Holy correct persons and a engage in all the right activities in the eyes of the parish, but at the end of the day how much have we actually loved and cherished Him? How do we love Him? My consistent experience with Jesus is this, how can I love Him anymore? The ardor that this God avails us can pierce our heart and thus being, and consume the soul, and one literally loses the air of the breath of human inhalation. It does hit that strongly. He loves us that much, but the question is how much do you love HIM? Do not lip service Him and perform upon self-defined Christian, proselytizing platitudes, but just love Him. The nature of the Cross is to appreciate His sacrifice, and to ultimately self deny. Catholics are poor at this commitment to and endeavor of self-denial, because they want to live their lives as is, maintaining an ultimately selfish status quo, surviving by the avoidance of any resemblance of discomfort. Look at the examples of two modern day saints, Mother Angelica and Father John Corapi, and we will clearly see the significance of spiritual success. What is your choice for truth going to be today? Do the right thing and choose Him. Begin with turning off your television, aka the devil's mental rot box, and avoid the computer and cellular phone, and go to perpetual adoration. Do you eat food everyday? Do you spend a few hours gazing upon the television? Feed your soul and thus mind with some holy substance. No excuses suffice in the end for avoiding time with Eucharistic Jesus.
We adore you oh Christ and we praise you, for by Your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world. Peace out girls and boys for I will be back.
Love you-

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Have you been baptized with the mystical fire?

Have you been baptized with the mystical fire?
Mary untie our knots.

Jesus I Trust In You

Jesus I Trust In You

Suffering and the Cross part 1

Suffering & Cross What can we learn from suffering? Sometimes we get stuck asking the question “Why do we suffer?” instead of asking “What can we learn through suffering?” When we ask this question, we realize that God allows the things he hates (e.g., sin and suffering) so that the things he loves (e.g., virtues, compassion, love, and new life) may grow. Sometimes suffering is necessary to achieve some good. In the Gospel of John (16:21), Jesus speaks of the suffering of a woman in labor. Although her pain is great, her joy is complete with the birth of her child. Sometimes when we are in the midst of suffering, it is difficult to see the good that can come out of it. However, whether it is the birth of a child or the development of a virtue, good often does follow from suffering. Suffering helps bring us closer to others. Through our own sufferings and heartaches, we come to understand the pain of others. Just as Jesus shared in our sufferings, we too are called to share in the sufferings of others. Suffering helps us to be better Christians and more Christ-like. In many respects, suffering is a gift, as it can teach us to be better Christians by teaching us about patience, humility, and compassion. Think about Job in the Old Testament. Job was a wealthy and revered man who was blessed with good health and a large family. And, in the eyes of the Lord, Job was good and righteous. However, Satan stripped Job of his earthly possessions, his family, and his health. Although Job endured great suffering, he remained steadfast in his faith in God. Moreover, his great suffering helped to purify and strengthen his love for God. Recall too the lives of the saints and martyrs. In Philippians 1:12-13, we read that St. Paul was not concerned with his own suffering; rather, he was pleased that his “imprisonment in Christ’s cause worked out to the furtherance of the gospel.” Likewise, St. Stephen and thousands of other martyrs not only grew closer to God in their suffering, but they chose a life (and death) of great suffering for their love of Christ. In their suffering, they remembered the Lord’s promise that “Blest are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of slander against you because of me. Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is great in heaven” (Matthew 5:10-12). And, most importantly, recall the passion of our Lord, Jesus Christ. As St. Francis de Sales reminds us, “Look intently and frequently on Christ Jesus, crucified, naked, blasphemed, slandered, forsaken and overwhelmed by every kind of weariness, sorrow and labor. Remember that your sufferings are not comparable to his in quality and quantity, and that you can never suffer for his sake anything equal to what he has suffered FOR YOU.” How amazing is God’s love for us! Our powerful, all good, and everlasting Lord – the Creator of the entire world – humbled Himself to take on the form of a man, and not just any man, but a slave. And, He obediently accepted death – death on a cross – because of His infinite love for us (Philippians 2:7-8). Suffering reminds us to look ahead to our eternal life with God. Sometimes, suffering forces us to take a time-out from this life. When we suffer, we are forced to ask the hard questions in life. We are forced to examine the meaning of life, and the meaning of death. And, we are forced to consider that this world makes no sense at all unless there exists some greater plan for us. Through it all, suffering inspires us to look ahead to the possibilities of eternal life – a life of truth, beauty, justice, and love – with God. The Lord reminds us to “Have no fear of the sufferings to come . . . remain faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life.” (Rev. 2:10).Through our own sufferings, then, we are called to remember the sufferings of other Christians and of Christ Himself. Through our sufferings, we are called to be faithful to God, and to turn to Him for comfort. And, we are reminded that true peace and happiness can NEVER be found in this world; rather, as Christians, we must set our sights on the next world – and our eternal life with God. How are we to endure suffering? In modern society, we are taught that happiness is the ultimate goal. And, moreover, happiness is equated with immediate gratification, pleasures of the body and the palate, and possession of the “conveniences” created by modern technology. In this conception of happiness, suffering doesn’t seem to have a place. Yet, as Christians, we know that we are called to a life of holiness, and that the path to holiness often involves suffering. We believe that Christ saved us by His suffering, and that “we must work out our salvation in the same manner, through suffering and afflictions, enduring the injuries, denials and discomforts we meet with all possible meekness” (St. Francis de Sales). For Christians, then, suffering does have its place. If we are to be holy, we must endure our trials in accord with God’s will. When an evil happens to us, we must do all we can to remedy the situation. If we are at fault, we must humbly admit our transgression. And, if the evil is caused by another, we must bless that person and “never repay injury with injury” (Rom. 12:14, 17). We must be patient in our suffering – we must not complain or seek pity from others. We must consider the suffering of other Christians before us – and of Christ Himself. We must offer up our suffering to Christ. We must remember that our time on this earth is short and our trials shall quickly pass. Above all, we must pray. The great mystic Thomas à Kempis said that we should always let Christ’s promises strengthen and console us. Receiving Him will be a reward beyond all measure. Thomas à Kempis “speaks” for Christ as follows: “You will not labor here for long, nor will you always be burdened with sorrows. . . . The hour will come when blood, sweat and tears will be no more. All that passes away with time is of little importance, and it passes away quickly. Whatever you do, do it well . . . bear adversity with courage. Eternal life is worth all these battles – and more ... Oh, if only you could see the everlasting crowns of the saints in heaven and how much glory they now enjoy – those same saints who, when they were alive, were held in utter contempt by the world and were thought unworthy of even drawing breath . . . Are not all painful labors to be endured for eternal life. It is no small thing to lose or gain the kingdom of God! So, lift your face to heaven. Look at me and all my saints with me, they who in this world have had great contention. They are now joyful, they are now consoled, they are now safe, they are now at rest, and they will forever remain with me in my Father’s kingdom.” What is meant by redemptive suffering? Pope John Paul II wrote: “In bringing about the Redemption through suffering, Christ raised human suffering to the level of the Redemption. Thus each man, in his sufferings, can also become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of Christ” (Salvifici Doloris). St. Paul likewise realized that his sufferings had redemptive power: “I find joy in the sufferings I endure for you. In my own flesh I fill up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of His Body, the Church” (Colo. 1:24). Some people are concerned that St. Paul’s words imply that Christ’s passion was insufficient for our redemption. Before Christ died, He cried out, “It is finished,” meaning that He had accomplished our redemption. But, as Pope Pius XII said in his encyclical on the Mystical Body (Mystici Corporis Christi): “In carrying out the work of redemption Christ wishes to be helped by the members of His Body. This is not because He is indigent or weak, but rather because He so willed it for the greater glory of His spotless Spouse (Church). Dying on the Cross, He left to the Church the immense treasury of the Redemption. Towards this she (the Church) contributed nothing. But when those graces come to be distributed, not only does He share this task of sanctification with His Church, but he wants it, in a way, to be due to her action. What a deep mystery . . . that the salvation of many depends on the prayers and voluntary penances which the members of the Mystical Body offer for that intention, and on the assistance of pastors of souls and of the faithful…” Jesus wants to honor us, the members of His Mystical body by participating in His redemptive mission (Colo.1:24). Compiled by Fr. Herman (Feb. 11’07--the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes).

Suffering and The Cross part 2

Suffering & The Cross The Shrine at Lourdes was chosen last year for the World Day of Prayer, because it was the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. In fact, it was on Dec. 8, 1854, that Blessed Pius IX, affirmed that “the most Blessed Virgin Mary was, by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from every stain of original sin.” At Lourdes, Mary, speaking in the local dialect, said: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” With these words, did not the Virgin perhaps wish to express the bond which joins together health and life? Just as death entered the world through original sin, so through the merits of Jesus Christ, God preserved Mary from every stain of sin, and salvation and life came to us (Rom. 5:12-21). The original plan of God for creation was thereby restored in Christ. The great work of Redemption, accomplished through the precious blood of Christ, began with the Immaculate Conception of Mary. In Jesus, every person is called to the fullness of holiness (Col. 1:28). Just as Jesus is the source of life which overcomes death, Mary is the solicitous mother who comes to the assistance of her children, obtaining for them health of body and soul. This is the message that the Shrine of Lourdes constantly presents to devotees and pilgrims. This is also the meaning of the physical and spiritual healings that take place in the grotto of Massabielle. From the day of her apparition to St. Bernadette Soubirous, Mary’s prayers “cured” pain and sickness, restoring health of body to so many of her children. However, her intercession achieved even more surprising miracles in the souls of believers, opening their hearts to re-encounter her Son Jesus, the true response to the most profound aspirations of the human heart. The Holy Spirit, whose power overshadowed her at the moment of the Incarnation, transforms the souls of countless sick people who turn to Him. Even when they do not obtain health in body, they can always receive something even more important—conversion of heart, the source of peace and of interior joy. This gift transforms their existence and makes them apostles of the cross of Christ, vessels of hope even when confronted with the most difficult trials. Suffering is part of the human condition, and man has to learn to accept and overcome it. But how can we do that, if not through the cross of Christ? In the death and resurrection of the Redeemer, human suffering finds its most profound meaning and its salvific value. The entire weight of the tribulations and sufferings of the human race is condensed in the mystery of a God who, assuming our human nature, denied Himself even to the point of making Himself “sin on our behalf” (2 Cor. 5:21). On Golgotha, He was weighed down with the sins of every human creature and, in the solitude of abandonment, cried out to the Father: “Why have you abandoned me?” (Mt. 27:46). From the paradox of the Cross flows the response to our most unsettling questions. Christ suffers for us. He takes upon Himself the suffering of all and redeems it. Christ suffers with us, giving us the possibility of sharing with Him our own sufferings. United to the sufferings of Christ, human suffering becomes a means of salvation. That is why the believer can say with St. Paul: “I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of His body, which is the Church” (Col. 1:24). Sorrow, accepted with faith, becomes the door for entering into the mystery of the redeeming suffering of the Lord. This is a suffering which does not take away peace and happiness, because it is illuminated by the splendor of the Resurrection. At the foot of the Cross, Mary suffers in silence, participating in a very special way in the sufferings of her Son. She became the mother of all people, ready to intercede so that every one can obtain salvation. It is not difficult to understand this singular participation of Our Lady in the salvific role of Christ. The miracle of the Immaculate Conception reminds believers of a fundamental truth. It is only possible to attain salvation by participating with docility in the plan of the Father, who willed to redeem the world through the death and the resurrection of His only-begotten Son. He wanted to show how He loves us. He wanted to show the horribleness of sin and the displeasure we earn by our disobedience to His commandments. He wanted us to know the costliness of attaining heaven. He also wanted to tell us how sin is infectious, like a ripple in a lake. With Baptism, the believer is inserted into this salvific plan and is freed from original sin. Sickness and death, although they continue to be present in our earthly existence, nonetheless lose their negative meaning. In the light of faith, the death of the body, conquered by the death of Christ (Rom. 6:4), becomes the obligatory passage to the fullness of immortal life. I recall what Mother Teresa said when she visited our seminary in Madras in the year 1963: “You are to become apostles of joy, to console the Sacred Heart of Jesus through joy. You have heavy crosses waiting for you in your future ministry. Remember the passion of Christ ends always in the joy of Resurrection; so when you feel in your own heart the suffering of Christ, remember the Resurrection has to come, the joy of Easter has to dawn. Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of the Risen Christ.” I know this has been repeatedly told to her sisters. God is love, and we are truly called to become instruments of His love on earth, not to become apostles of compromise of God’s teachings for the sake of peace. We do a disservice to our fellow man if we do not point out their error and ignorance. We are called to lift the veil of untruth and error and show the beauty of God and His plan for human beings. At Christmas in the Eastern Church, there is a practice of embroidering the swaddling clothes with the Sign of the Cross. Also, the figure of the Divine Infant is presented with arms extended, as he would be on the Cross. We have the same kind of baby Jesus in our parish. In those symbolic ways is presented the unity of the mystery of redemption, joy, and sorrow. From the wood of the crib to the wood of the cross, the mystery is one. The poverty, the abandonment, the rejection which Jesus suffered on the Cross, He already experienced at His coming. We need to understand that life should be the same. Just as beneath the Cross there was the comfort of loving hearts, so at Bethlehem He was greeted with the joyful welcome of pure hearts and the song of the angels. When we celebrate His coming every year with special solemnity, we greet Him with the age-old song, “Venite adoremus”, “Come let us adore Him.” Beneath the Cross, our prayer of worship is the same: ‘We adore thee, O Christ, and praise thee.’ In our lives, punctuated by the interplay of Bethlehem joy and Calvary sorrow; we are certain that the same love that made Him come and made Him die for us, is always beside us. This is the mystery of the Cross. Pray to Our Blessed Mother of Perpetual Help that she may help every Christian witness to the fact that the only authentic response to sorrow, suffering, and death is Christ, our Lord, who died and rose for us. Compiled by Fr. Herman April 11, 2004