Making an eternal difference … Friday, September 6

English: Jesus Christ, polychromed and gilded ...

 

A Rosary Meditation … The Second Sorrowful Mystery, the Scourging. A beating like the one Jesus took was as close to deadly, yet without causing death, as His tormentors knew how to make it. He was, to be blunt, tortured here to the point of death without the relief of death. We think of Him as being the victim of our sins. So He was. Because it was for us He suffered, and for no fault of His own. Yet He offered all this up to the Father in payment for our sins, to make a way for us. Now we can, because of what He did for us, work out our own salvation. And it IS work. There are times in our walk with Christ when we are beaten too, just like Him, and for no reason. You needn’t do anything to be beaten. You only need to be a Christian. It doesn’t say any where that Jesus liked His scourging, so I’ll assume we don’t need to like ours either. But He accepted it and offered it up. We can do the same. He made a way for us through His sufferings. We can make a way for someone else by virtue of our sufferings if we’ll offer them up, willingly, as He did. He allows us to share in the work of Redemption. Our patience in the face of an undeserved beating can be the very example somebody else needs to see to make them think. That might be all it takes to make an eternal difference in their lives.

 

Today …

 

 

 

Bishop of Verona. He was especially known for his care of the poor. He died in the year 450. It occurs to me that every good bishop suffers. They see the people around them drowning in the worldly misery that is sin and they suffer out of loving care. They care about the poor. Those with no material bread to eat and those without the Heavenly Manna that is Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Their suffering gives them a reason, a reason that should spill over onto us via their pastoral example, to suffer willingly that others might be saved. St. Petronius might make a good prayer partner in times of trouble. He could help us ask for the grace to suffer with patience, willingly, for others.

Prayer request … I found out yesterday that a friend of mine in Colorado died of a heart attack. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Ray Woods. Thank you.

 

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OK, now close your eyes and hold out your hand … Thursday, February 21

StJohnsAshfield StainedGlass Simeon

StJohnsAshfield StainedGlass Simeon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Rosary Meditation … The Fourth Joyful Mystery, the Presentation. “Because my eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples.” Luke 2:30-31. Blessed eyes, weren’t they? Simeon holding a baby, THE Baby, knowing Who and What he was looking at. It’s not everybody that recognizes salvation when it’s offered. Lots of people who have eyes to see in the physical world are blind in the spiritual realm. Its easy enough to see this blindness during Christ‘s earthly ministry and things, people that is, seem to have not changed much. But blindness has been cured before and so there is hope for the world. Closer to home we’ll hope there’s hope for us because we, as Catholics, can suffer from a dimmed vision from time to time. The symptoms are a lack of faith and obedience. Not so terribly difficult to overcome with a little effort. Pray for faith and trust I’ve been given it. (See? There it is already!) And do the deal even when I wonder if Holy Mother Church is right THIS time. (History, personal history, helps with this. I just ask myself when was the last time she was wrong? Ah, more faith right there with trust to go with it!) Wondering is natural, doubt is a temptation, a temptation is not a sin. Self-will is always self-defeating. Better to have vision, like Simeon. Better to keep my eyes on the Christ and hold Him close, like Simeon. When salvation came Simeon saw it, recognized it even when it was wrapped in swaddling cloths. Now salvation is brought to me disguised in other ways. Bread, wine, a divine institution that looks all to human much of the time. Its OK. All these things, the bread and wine and more, are seen through eyes of faith because they are gifts given by the One Simeon held. And even when the package looks a little odd to me, because the gift comes from Him, I can trust in the content, I can hold out my hand and receive the gift. Even with my eyes closed.

Today … St. Felix of Metz. Third bishop of Metz, France. He is believed to have ruled that see for more than four decades. I picked the good bishop this morning for a simple reason. “Felix” is Latin for “Happy”. So I figured he obviously knew about the Gift, and that he saw.

And … Seeing can be a strain, eye strain. Eyes get tired? Its OK. We have a Shepherd to lead shortsighted sheep. Trust me, I know. Now if I could only remember where I laid my glasses. 😉

Whats in a Name? … Monday, February 11

L' Annonciation, 1644, peinture de Philippe de...

“You will call His Name Jesus” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Rosary Meditation … The First Joyful Mystery, the Annunciation. “Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus.” Luke I:31. Jesus. It was a common name at the time, its meaning reflecting a nations hope. Jesus basically means “the Lord is salvation”. (As an aside, and concerning the name Jesus, there are different ways of looking at the validity of transliteration and translation, semantics, and etc. Bluntly, there are people who like to argue any and every point regardless the validity of the argument or its worth. I’ve never known one of these that could read or translate Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, or Latin. And that means they really don’t know what they’re talking about even though they think they do. Like Shakespeare’s play, for them the argument is the thing. Please read Titus 3:9. I leave those folks to themselves and to their own devices. Personally, and with no concern for what these argumentative people may think about it, but with a great distaste for the mindset that goes with the argument, I trust that when I say “Jesus” He knows Who He is, and so do I.) Salvation, help from the Lord, is exactly what the Jews were looking for. And they needed to be saved. Saved from the Romans, from their own “king” Herod, from the pagan world around them, from sin, from themselves. Not much has changed for Jew or Gentile, has it? Humanity, as long as we live with our own fallen nature, needs salvation. And we’ll continue to until Jesus returns. The old adage, to “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps”, sounds good. Until push comes to shove. Try it sometimes, try pulling yourself up out of the muck and mire of your own sinful nature via human endeavor alone and see how much real progress you make. Isaiah 64:6. Gravity takes its toll. So does sin. That’s why we need a savior. And just as we need Jesus, just so He needs our co-operation.

The Lord’s salvation is one thing. Our acceptance of it and our willingness to work with it is another. Where would we be now if, after the Annunciation, Mary had said “Yes” and then sat on her hands? God’s salvation, His grace, is a gift. Like a Christmas (Christ-Mass) package under the tree (cross) its beautiful but of no use to me unless I accept it and unwrap it. “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but much more now in my absence,) with fear and trembling work out your salvation.” Philippians 2:12., Douay-Rheims. It may sound hard, but we need to remember, and never forget, that grace follows grace and He supplies all the help we’ll ever need. John 1:16, Philippians 4:19, Matthew 19:26.

“And in all things whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.” Matthew 21:22. “Because I go to the Father: and whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, that will I do: that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14:13.

Call on the Name above all names. It’s a gift given us, this Name is a gift whereby we must be saved. God sent the angel Gabriel with this Gift to the Blessed Virgin Mary. “Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12. The Divine Name, the Name of God under the New and Everlasting Covenant, JESUS, isn’t a magic talisman. It isn’t a wizard’s concoction. It isn’t a charm to be worn around the neck and forgotten about. It IS a REALITY and a SPIRITUAL weapon. “Our God is our refuge and strength: a helper in troubles, which have found us exceedingly.” Psalm 46:1b. “That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth … ” Philippians 2:10.

Today … St. Jonas was an Egyptian monk under St. Pachomious at Demeskenyanos Monastery. He served as a gardener for eighty-five years in the desert hermitage and was known for his deep piety. A gardener in the desert. A vine dresser in the Lord’s vineyard, which vineyard is located in the world despite its being a desert of sin, and via God’s Grace there is a blooming in the desert. In the desert heat St. Jonas toiled. And believe me, if his gardening brought forth any fruit, it was ONLY because of the Name above every other name. It was ONLY because of Jesus.

Pray in Jesus Name … “The great method of prayer is to have none. If in going to prayer one can form in oneself a pure capacity for receiving the spirit of God, that will suffice for all method.” ~ St. Jane Frances de Chantal ~

Published in: on February 11, 2013 at 2:15 am  Comments Off on Whats in a Name? … Monday, February 11  
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