More is less/Less is more … Thursday, January 31

Key Largo (film)

Robinson’s character, Rocky, wanted “more”. What do we want? And why? Key Largo (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Rosary Meditation … The Third Joyful Mystery, the Nativity. “And there were shepherds in the same district. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them.” Luke 2:6,9. A lot of people spend a lot of time wishing they had money, power, position. Some go beyond wishing and put forth great effort to attain these. People who take low-level entry jobs with companies normally have their eyes set on something higher. I remember the movie “Key Largo” with Bogart and Robinson. Robinson played a hood, a mobster with “power”. Bogart made the comment that he knew what Rocky (Robinson) wanted. Robinson countered with something like, “Okay, smart guy, tell us what Rocky wants.” And Bogie answered with, “More. Rocky wants more.” And that describes a large part of humanity. It doesn’t matter what it is, people just want “more”. And a very real question, in light of the Gospel and the lives of saints, is, “Why?” Have you ever noticed that the great majority of people chosen by God for whatever good purpose have been those with “less”, not “more”. The shepherds were the first to see Jesus. Not the Wise Men, they came later. What was David before he was king? What was Peter before Jesus called him to head His Church? What did St. Francis possess, other than God, when he died? Have you ever heard of a religious order called the Rich Clares? Which group of religious take vows of chastity, avarice, and obedience? So, why would ANYONE ever want “more”? The shepherds had next to nothing. Who was it that stood by them in the field? Does the Bible say who it was that stood by Herod, or Pharaoh, or Caesar? It doesn’t say, does it? Maybe no one stood by them because they had “more”, and in having that they had all they thought they needed. And that, that much “more”, was enough in their lives to take up all the space necessary to exclude any angel of the Lord, and the Lord Himself.

Today … St. John Bosco. In 1867 Pope Pius IX was upset with John Bosco because he wouldn’t take his dreams seriously enough. Nine years earlier when Pope Pius IX met with the future saint who worked with neglected boys, he learned of the dreams that John had been having since the age of nine, dreams that had revealed God’s will for John’s life. So Pius IX had made a request, “Write down these dreams and everything else you have told me, minutely and in their natural sense.” Pius IX saw John’s dreams as a legacy for those John worked with and as an inspiration for those he ministered to. Some people inherit money, property, position, a “name”. There’s nothing wrong with those things or having those things. You can put power and riches to good use for God. France was blessed with a king who was a saint. But all in all, well, there were more poverty-stricken saints, in the worldly sense, than rich ones. Like John Bosco, who had little more than dreams. On the other hand, how rich are those who inherit the dreams of saints?

And so …

Prospero:
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

The Tempest Act 4, scene 1, 148–158

Advertisements
Published in: on January 31, 2013 at 5:12 am  Comments Off on More is less/Less is more … Thursday, January 31  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

outside da box :: our videos

 

outside da box :: our videos.  Good Catholic videos. Every resource we have, everything soundly Catholic that we put to use, helps strengthen our Catholic Culture and the stronger that becomes the closer we get to overcoming the Culture of Death.

Published in: on January 30, 2013 at 9:56 pm  Comments Off on outside da box :: our videos  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

When you say “Jesus” think about this … Wednesday, January 30

Jesus

Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Rosary Meditation … The Second Glorious Mystery, the Ascension. “Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19. This was a part of the instructions Jesus gave just prior to His Ascension. What is God’s name? When you think about it “God” is more of a title, it’s WHAT He is. It’s like calling me “man”. It’s what I am, but WHO am I? In the Old Testament the Trinity was as real as it is now, it just wasn’t revealed. Three Persons in one Godhead, but there was a name. “A” name singular. It was considered to Holy to pronounce and was spoken only once a year by the High Priest at Passover when he went into the Holy of Holies inside the temple to do his priestly duty. ( As an aside the Holy of Holies was a perfect cube of a room located at the center of the Temple, the “heart” of the temple, and seems to correspond with the New Jerusalem described in the Book of Revelation which is also a perfect cube. In the Holy of Holies was the Ark of the Covenant upon which God’s Glory rested. In the New Jerusalem there is Jesus, God Glorious, and Mary, the Ark. Food for thought. ) But all of this was under the Old Covenant. Things changed with the New Covenant in that the Old contained shadows and types, examples, that are revealed for what they truly are in the New. God told Moses that He was “I am who am” and that he should tell the Israelites that “I Am” had sent him. Exodus 3:14. In the New Testament who was I Am? When approached by the guards in the garden, the ones looking for Jesus to arrest Him, Jesus told them plainly, “I am He.” And they feel backwards to the ground. John 18:6. Why did they fall back? A thought is that He used the Divine Name, the one pronounced by only the High Priest and then only once a year at Passover, in reference to Himself. The guards fell back in total shock, shocked that anyone would dare say the name much less use it in reference to themselves. When asked at His trial if He was the Christ, the Son of God, He answered “I am.” Mark 14:62. At this the High Priest tore his garments in a rage and accused Jesus of blasphemy. In the New Testament, under the New Covenant, we are encouraged to use the Name Jesus in our prayers and supplications. It’s not a word to be whispered once a year by one man alone in a secret sort of place. What was hidden in the Old is revealed in the New. Every time we say “Jesus” lets remember just how holy the name is and what a privilege it is that we be not only allowed but encouraged to say it.

Today … St. Matthias was Bishop of Jerusalem. He was of Jewish heritage, and he governed that see in a troubled era of oppression by the Roman government and political upheaval in Palestine owing to the severe Jewish uprising against Roman occupation. Being Jewish all of the above was not lost on him. How do you think he felt, what awe ensued, every time he said “Jesus”?

January … This has been the Month of the Holy Name. We’ve still got a couple of days left to take this to heart.

Published in: on January 30, 2013 at 6:44 am  Comments Off on When you say “Jesus” think about this … Wednesday, January 30  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Baggage, luggage, carry-on, “stuff” … Tuesday, January 29

What is truth? Deutsch: Was ist Wahrheit? Fran...

What is truth? And the truth is that we all have baggage. What we do with it is what counts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Rosary Meditation … The Second Sorrowful Mystery, the Scourging at the Pillar. “Then Pilate said, ‘I find no guilt in this man. I will therefore chastise him and release him.’ ” 23:4, 16. Isn’t that just like the world? Someone who isn’t guilty gets chastised anyway just to placate those people who ARE guilty. There is nothing right about this, it isn’t a kindness, although I’m sure Pilate thought it to be. “Well, hey, at least I’m not gonna crucify him.” And it’s that way with all sin. “Well, at least I didn’t fill-in-the-blank.” And we use a greater sin that we didn’t commit to justify one that we did do. If not justify we at least use the excuse to make ourselves look not so bad and therefore  better than we really are. At least in our own mind. And sometime those around us go along with us because it puts them in a better light too. Birds of a feather. During His earthly ministry Jesus taught His followers, and this includes you and me, to expect to be treated in the same way that He was. So it shouldn’t surprise us when the world vents its anger and we’re the innocent victim. Paul taught us that we were of the world but that now, even tho still in it, we aren’t a part of it anymore. We are part of the Kingdom of Christ, the Family of God, the Church, instead. We’ve moved our residency. Think about all the good Catholics you know personally, and include yourself please, and ask yourself if you know one, just one, that made the move, left the kingdom of the world and moved into the Kingdom of Heaven, without bringing baggage along? Personal baggage. Because the answer has to be “no” consider this: Baggage makes it possible, even easy, for us to retain worldly ways and act accordingly. So, in reference to Pilate taking the easy way out with Jesus and engaging in “people pleasing”, the question ought never be, “Has the world treated me this way?”, because this is a given. The question ought always be, “Have I ever treated anyone this way?” And if the answer is yes we need to look at our baggage and work towards discarding.

Today … St. Blath. The cook in St. Brigid‘s convent, in Kildare, Ireland, also called Flora. She was renowned for her holiness and for her steadfast loyalty to St. Brigid in good times and in bad. Note: “good times and bad.” Do you think Blath was ever treated poorly? Was Jesus? There’s the answer. And she was just a simple cook. No one is immune. Even those of us who have small roles, Christians that are never really noticed, get noticed by the world regardless. Blath was holy, steadfast, and loyal anyway. Are we?

Think … A saint isn’t somebody with no baggage. A saint is a person with baggage who steadily works at lightening the load.

When the world and the worldly war against Christ’s Church, Who wins?! … Monday, January 28

Shrine of Blessed John Henry Newman

Shrine of Blessed John Henry Newman (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

And Cardinal Newman has the answer, here …

Assumption – No one has access to the Almighty as His Mother has. | Newman Friends International.

 

In the morning we’ll resume our daily Rosary meditations. The past few days have been a little difficult, “things”, like me being older and etc., don’t always work like I’d like ’em to.

Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Manual

voor box uitsnede monstrans

FYI & worth sharing.

Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Manual.

Published in: on January 27, 2013 at 11:57 am  Comments Off on Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Manual  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Does the Son light hurt your eyes? … Sunday, January 27

Sun Set

Does the sun light hurt your eyes? (Photo credit: Balaji.B)

Today’s Gospel reading is found in Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21. Luke shares with us what God has given him pertaining to the Gospel of Christ, and here is a part of it. We’re told about how Jesus stood up in the synagogue and read a portion of scripture, prophecy pertaining to Himself, and its fulfillment that very day. We might think of this as Jesus presenting Himself to His people, the Jews, as their long-awaited Messiah. Luke records His “coming out”. This was a sort of beginning for Jesus, a public proclamation, one of the first, of His official standing. Just prior to this He had been tempted by Satan in the desert. Just after this proclamation by Him the people rejected Him. It would seem that His ministry was off to a flying stop.

Have you ever tried to do a thing, an honestly good thing, and been foiled at every turn? If you’re sincerely trying to live a Godly life the answer almost has to be “Yes”. Try doing a good deed and it starts out hard, like His temptation in the wilderness, and then gets harder when the folks who ought to be joyful over the effort and the act trample it underfoot with their doubt and negativity. And there you are, standing outside the synagogue because they threw you out, wondering what went wrong. Don’t they understand? Can’t they see what it is you’re trying to do? And the answer is no, they can’t.

Like it or not we live in a world darkened by sin. The darkness blinds people to the light. Have you ever walked outside after having been in a really dark room? Didn’t your eyes hurt? Did you shield your eyes, protecting yourself from the light that hurt? And this is exactly what people have been doing for nearly two thousand years now. Bring them out of the darkness, or try to, into His marvelous light and see what happens. So, whats to do?

Whats to do? Well, what did He do? You don’t put out the light just because it hurts someones eyes. The truth can be painful and I don’t know of any real way around that. Not a way that works without denial anyway. So we do what He did. Keep letting our little light shine and pray that someone somewhere stands in the light long enough for their eyes to adjust. Because some will. And this is called conversion. This is what we work for, without to great a concern for the downside because the eternity of those who WILL come to the light is more important than any downside. Whats a little discomfort on our part compared with another persons eternity? How comfortable was the crucifixion? We probably won’t be called to anything nearly as uncomfortable. We should be able to withstand a few snide remarks, a few dirty looks, a little personal discomfort. Jesus put up with bad treatment, we’re supposed to follow Him.

Being cast out of a synagogue isn’t so bad if it keeps another from being cast into hell.

Published in: on January 27, 2013 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Does the Son light hurt your eyes? … Sunday, January 27  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

If you DO or DO NOT own a mule … Friday, January 25

Duccio di Buoninsegna - Agony in the Garden (d...

Agony in the Garden (detail) – WGA06791 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Conversion of St Paul

Conversion of St Paul (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please Note: I write my posts one or two days in advance just in case. Yesterday I punched the wrong button and posted Saturdays meditation, so today is “Friday”. I’ll try to watch my p’s and q’s a little closer from now on, but for now, thank God its Friday. 😉

A Rosary Meditation … The First Sorrowful Mystery, the Agony in the Garden. “Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; yet not my will but thine be done.” Luke 22:42. One of the hardest things any of us will ever do is get self out-of-the-way on an ongoing basis. “Not my will but thine be done.” It’s not a thing to be done once and, with self-satisfaction, be set aside in triumph. There’s no development, no attaining of strength, in that. In this life its meant to be a lasting exercise, one leading to everlasting results. No violinist ever practiced once. We are creatures of habit and the more we do a thing the easier it gets, but it takes repetition. It’s what the old Pennsylvania Dutch call “stichk mit”, or “stick with”. In the spiritual life this needs to be a given. It’s not the falling down that matters nearly as much as the continually getting up. And falling is a positive when, like the example given us by Christ here, the falling is to our knees. It’s difficult for us to accept at times that anyone else could know better than we whats best for us. That thought is, with a bit more thought, easy enough to disprove. All we need to do is think back at the times we went our own way. Where did going our own way take us? Did we REALLY end up where we honestly wanted to be? Or was the whole thing, journey and all, a disappointment? God’s will, on the other hand, never disappoints. The journey may be hard, that’s true. It may lead us to a Calvary all our own. The result of a Calvary, and on a difficult journey this is a thing to be kept in mind, is the new beginning, the resurrection, at the end of the road.

Today … The Conversion of St. Paul. Paul was, as Saul, going his own way wasn’t he? The result was less than desirable, both for Paul and others. Very destructive. And during all of this he actually thought he was pleasing God. It wasn’t untill he hit his knees, and God had to knock him off his mule to get him there, that he saw the light. We can learn from Paul’s example. How do you want change to happen? We can go to our knees because we understand that’s where we need to be or we can get knocked off the mule. Personally I’d rather take the easy way. Personally, what does my history show? Bruised knees from having fallen off my ride. Take a tip. Just go ahead and climb down now, save the wear and tear on your knees. You needn’t take my word for it. You can ask Paul, or you can get in a little practice yourself and see how that works out for you.

Consider … An intelligent person learns from their own mistakes, a wise one from the mistakes of others. 😉

Published in: on January 26, 2013 at 5:27 am  Comments Off on If you DO or DO NOT own a mule … Friday, January 25  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Got a rock to big to move? Try being a beacon ~ OR ~ I punched the wrong button … Saturday, January 26

Benjamin West's The Angel at the Tomb of Chris...

Benjamin West’s The Angel at the Tomb of Christ. Note that Matthew only mention two women at the tomb, though this painting, and standard Christian doctrine, has three women there following Mark and Luke. The guards are unique to Matthew. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please Note: I try to write one or two posts ahead. This morning feels very “Saturday” to me and, well, I punched the wrong button. So tomorrow will be Friday and after that we’ll hope time corrects itself. 🙂

 

A Rosary Meditation … The First Glorious Mystery, the Resurrection. “And behold, an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, and drawing near rolled back the stone.” Matthew 28:2. Angels, messengers from God. They come in many forms. Strictly speaking, of course, an angel is a spirit being. But broadly speaking, when thought of as a messenger, an angel can be pretty much anything or anyone. The priest giving his homily is a heavenly messenger. The pope, given his office, is a heavenly messenger. A politician, driven to draft a pro-life bill because of their religious convictions, is a heavenly messenger. For someone lost in the snow and in danger of freezing to death a St. Bernard with a flask of brandy attached to his collar might well be a heavenly messenger. Its only when we start thinking in terms of what a heavenly messenger isn’t that we start to shorten God’s hand. Its best for us not to do that, it’s better to keep our options open to possibilities. You never know when or where you might be in need. The morning of the Resurrection the women coming to the tomb were in need. They knew they couldn’t roll that big rock back out-of-the-way. When you think about this it was obviously a hopeless situation. They knew what they needed to get done and they knew they weren’t going to be able to do it without help. They went anyway. It’s this sort of faith in action that calls out to angles. God knows, God sends. Now, this doesn’t mean we need to walk into heavy traffic trusting God will send a traffic cop style angel to keep us from getting run down. Faith is one thing, being foolhardy, well, there’s a reason for the word “fool” in this instance. Some folks try hard to work with faith of the foolhardy variety. If it weren’t so sad a thing it would be laughable. But healthy trust, based on a faith that loves and isn’t presumptuous, must provide a kind of beacon for angles to home in on. One more reason for you and me to provide light to the world. Because you never know when there’s an angel in the wings, an angel with or without wings, just waiting for an invitation.

Today … St. Timothy. I did a web search and one of the first things that came up was an ad that said, “Find The Truth About St Timothy View Criminal Records In Seconds.” Well, that’s not exactly what I wanted or was expecting. But I think Timothy would appreciate the humor. You don’t become a saint without being able to laugh. Or at least I don’t think you do. With St. Timothy laughing about this particular Google in mind think about this: Being able to laugh at yourself, as well as with others, can lighten up an otherwise tough situation. It’s a release and a relief. If you were faced with a hard situation, like a big rock in your way, wouldn’t you welcome a bit of relief? So here is a chance for you and me to be an angel for someone else. A little laughter might just make the rock lighter. Having said that, I’ll let YOU Google St. Timothy and see what YOU get. 😉

Angels & Laughter … It is said that angels are attracted by the sound of laughter. Our body produces all sorts of beneficial hormones and chemicals when we laugh. Laughter reduces stress. When we laugh we feel better. ~ Susan Gregg ~

Published in: on January 25, 2013 at 5:50 am  Comments Off on Got a rock to big to move? Try being a beacon ~ OR ~ I punched the wrong button … Saturday, January 26  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Fear … Thursday, January 24

Fear Is the Mindkiller

Fear. Do we really have nothing to fear but fear itself? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Rosary Meditation … The First Joyful Mystery, the Annunciation. “And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.” Luke 1:30. Have you ever noticed how often God offers comfort to those in distress? “Do not be afraid, Mary.” I can see how being confronted by an angel could be a fearful moment. Or being confronted with an I.R.S. audit, or being called into the principles office (ah, the memories), or being sent to Afghanistan, or … My point being that whatever our circumstances or station in life we all have stressful moments, even bloodcurdling fearful moments. Some, like going to Afghanistan, are all to real. Still others, like going to see the principle, often get blown all out of proportion in our minds. When I was 7 I was given a note to take home. It was in cursive, I couldn’t read it. I duped a neighbor into reading it to me. When my grandparents got home from the store that afternoon I had stacked the furniture up against the door and barricaded my self in, and them out. It was a circus. The fear was obviously very real. As real as the stack of chairs against the door. But you know what? I actually lived through all that. Such is fear. Makes us do odd stuff. But there is something more real, and more powerful, than our fear. That’s God’s grace. “Do not be afraid.” If you’re a disciple of Jesus you can put your own name after those words. And what does He ask of us? Only our faithfulness, our love. Someone might say, “What right does He have to ask anything of us?” And the first thing that comes to mind is right of ownership. He created us, we belong to Him. Pity the “self-made man” who has no one to turn to but self. God could make it a lot more difficult for us if He wanted to. That we have it as easy as we do, and, yes, I understand that we often THINK we have it hard but we need to think again, but that we have the ease of His grace rather than a much deserved wrath is a personal miracle for each of us. “Do not be afraid” is announced to each of us through the Incarnation. Because Mary said “Yes” to God His Grace gives us His perfect love. And perfect love casts out all fear. 1 John 4:18.

Today … St. Messalina, Virgin martyr and disciple of St. Felician, who was the bishop of Foligno, Italy. She received the veil from him, and visited him in prison. Denounced as a Christian, she was ordered to sacrifice to the false pagan gods. Refusing, Messalina was beaten to death. Would sanding there before a pagan judge, being commanded to offer sacrifice to strange “gods”, with others standing close by with the objects to be used to beat her to death if she refused, be a fearful moment? Yes. Would a saint be afraid? Any human would. Did the fear matter? No, not in the long run. The long run, if the race is run correctly, leads into eternity. And in eternity, with God, fears and tears are unknown. With that as a fact of life, eternal life, can you hear what Messalina no doubt heard in her heart? John 16:33.

Fear … Bravery is doing what needs to be done in spite of fear and not because it, the fear, isn’t there. Cowards run in fear. Hero’s, regardless of their fears, stand their ground. And the ground they stand on? For the follower of Christ its solid rock. Matthew 7:24.

Published in: on January 24, 2013 at 5:11 am  Comments Off on Fear … Thursday, January 24  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,