Understanding our place

A Rosary Meditation: The Second Sorrowful Mystery, The Scourging at the Pillar.

“This is why I was born, and why I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.” John 18:37.

There was never any doubt in the mind of Christ as to his place in the scheme of things. He knew why he was born, why he was here. He understood completely his vocation.

Vocation. Our place. It can be a little tricky for us, can’t it? Things that are hard for us to spot, for whatever reason, can cloud issues. We are, after all, only human. And that’s the truth. Sometimes trying to figure out our God-given place in life can be a painful experience. Look at what so many of the saints went through trying to find God’s will for themselves. Its like a kind of scourging. But that’s why God has given us people in authority, people with training, friends and family, spiritual advisers, our confessors, people with insight. They often see in us the obvious, things that, again, we may over look.

I remember years ago working with a guy who had, well, lets just say issues. I liked him, we worked well together, and we talked. He was divorced and had been for a long while. The marriage had ended badly. He had a daughter that he hadn’t seen in years and years. When she was old enough she found him. And after all that time they began forming a relationship. He was happy about it and I gathered she was too. Then she decided she was going to get married. She was 16 and I think her boyfriend was in his twenties. My friend tried to talk her out of it, to convince her it was a bad idea (lots of details, it WAS a bad idea). Her reply was always, “Mamma was my age when you married her!”  And she had him. Now his time of pain, his own scourging, began. He had no reasoning to come back with. What she said was absolutely true. How could he combat an obvious truth? He was telling me all this. Exasperated, desperate, he stopped talking, looking dejectedly at his feet. I just looked at him. To me it was obvious. So I said, “You know what the answer is to that don’t you?” “Well, no.” I looked at him and said, “The next time she tells you her mom was her age when you married her you tell her, ‘Yeah, and you see how THAT turned out.’ ” In his eyes I could see the light come on. “Yeah, yeah! You’re right. That’s what I’ll tell her!”

He was actually trying to help his daughter with her vocation at that stage of her life. And probably help her avoid a scourging all her own that was completely unnecessary. They were both missing the obvious. A disinterested party had a clearer view, emotions and history not getting in the way.

We all have a place in the scheme of things. Jesus knew his.

“But all these things one and the same Spirit worketh, dividing to every one according as he will.” 1 Corinthians 12:11, Douay-Rheims.

Just a thought … Some one says, “Just because Jesus knew his doesn’t mean I know mine.” True. That’s why Christ provides guidance. He has people here to take care of issues like not knowing our place. He will speak to us through them. (Anyone not believing this, please explain away the First Vatican Council and Papal Infallibility for me.) So you don’t know, so what? That doesn’t mean you can’t know. And the fact is that you CAN know because HE already does.

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Recognizing Your Political Status

A Rosary Meditation: The Second Sorrowful Mystery, The Scourging at the Pillar.

“Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. But thou sayest it; I am a king.” John 18:36-37.

That’s a very bold statement from someone in Jesus’ position, standing there a prisoner, being questioned by the one man who, supposedly, could grant him his freedom and his life. But Jesus doesn’t back down not one inch. Because he is a king and he knows it. To admit to anything else would be a lie.

As children of God, the sons and daughters of God (1 John 3:2), we are faced daily with choices like the one Jesus faces here. We can admit who and what we are or we can deny it. We can do either by our words and/or actions. We can carry ourselves like members of the Royal household or not. We can try to emulate Jesus (see Matthew 10:25 and John 14:12), recognizing our true spiritual political status, which is our best option. But its not our only option. Because if we aren’t trying our  best to follow and be like him there’s really only one other alternative and that’s to emulate the other guy, who only seems to have status. “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not in the truth; because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof.” John 8:44, Douay-Rheims. Notice that while God fathers kings and priests Satan fathers lies. Its our choice who we’re related to here. Its our choice as to our status.

We all have choices. We can be what God wants us to be, what He calls us to be, or …

Pilate had a choice here, didn’t he? He had the earthly power and authority to release Christ. And he did make an attempt. As a part of his attempt to release Jesus he had him scourged and then presented him to the people. “Behold your king!” I’ve always thought that by doing this Pilate was either trying to stir the crowd to pity Jesus or make Christ look a laughingstock. Either way, through the tears or the laughter of the crowd, Pilate probably thought he could talk the people into relenting. I’m sure there are as many “what-if” scenarios out there regarding this as there are believers who’ve ever given the matter any thought. But its what Pilate did that really counts, isn’t it? He had Jesus scourged. His intentions were good, or seem to be good. He WAS trying to release Jesus. But was having him scourged the right way to go about it?

Every day we are faced with choices. Sometimes, probably most of the time, it can be so easy to go along with the world. We might even make an excuse for worldly actions that sounds righteous. “I’ll go along with this, its no big thing. Maybe, if I do this, it’ll help people realize that Christianity and being Christian isn’t all stuffy and uptight.” Sometimes going along with the world can even be given an evangelistic flair. Bluntly, there seems to be a lot of this going around. But the faith still gets compromised, and that’s just one more way to scourge Jesus.

What we do is up to us. We can act like the kings and priests we are, which is what Jesus did, or we can follow along after the other guy like Pilate did.

“And hast made us to our God a kingdom and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:1, Douay-Rheims.

Just a thought … “By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” Matthew 7:16. And having said that … Today I go see the oncologist for my regular blood work and checkup. I’d appreciate prayers, please, for my continued remission. Thank you. 🙂

Oh, Those Soft Little Scourges

A Rosary Meditation: The Second Sorrowful Mystery, the Scourging. “They bound Jesus and delivered him to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, ‘Art thou the king of the Jews?’ ” Mark 15:1-2.

Simple question, wasn’t it? You’d think that the answer would be just as simple. Yes or no. That’s not complicated, is it? But in this case, well, things aren’t as simple as they look. Yes, Jesus certainly was king of the Jews. But a real answer would’ve included much more than the expected yes or no. Because his kingship involved his being THE prophet Israel had so long waited for. And the longed for Messiah. And a priest, high priest, after the order of Melchizedek. And the ultimate sacrifice for sin. Not to mention his being the Creator of the universe.

Have you ever had someone ask you a loaded question? Ever had someone ask something like, “Why do Catholics … ?” And after you answer their question a sort of verbal scourging starts. After the answer, which normally isn’t listened to because the other person is to intent on thinking about what they’re going to tell you if you’d just shut up, the next thing you hear is usually, “Well, I think … ” And they proceed to set you straight. After all, they have several decades (sometimes) of thought without real study under their belt. You’ve got nothing much. Just God’s Church indwelt by the Holy Spirit, 2,000 years worth of the magisterium  being lead by the Holy Spirit, numerous Church councils lead by the Holy Spirit, and Papal Infallibility as a result of God’s Holy Spirit. When this sort of thing happens I want to interrupt and apologize. “Oh, I apologize. I thought your question was an honest one. I didn’t realize you only wanted an opportunity to tell me what you think. I guess I should’ve asked.” And with a raised eyebrow as punctuation right at the end for emphasis. Now, there are definitely times to speak out loudly. But often as not its best to just smile and not say what your thinking. Which is the better of the two responses. Honestly I try not to say the above lines. But, oh, I want to. I think that some of the teeth I’ve lost I lost due to gritting them. So I try to smile. Smiles rarely alienate. But for something that takes so few facial muscles, boy, they can be hard to muster.

The above is just meant to be an illustration taken from everyday life. One that lots of us have probably suffered through. There are others just as apt. Of course listening to someone who really doesn’t know what they’re talking about and what happened to Jesus after Pilates question don’t come anywhere close to being comparable. But the comparison makes a point. Scourges come in various shapes and sizes. Some are only four or five inches long and soft.

“And if any man think himself to be religious, not bridling his tongue, but deceiving his own heart, this man’ s religion is vain.” James 1:26, Douay-Rheims.

Just a thought … When the world kicks in gear, and it will, and begins to set you straight about your faith without your having to ask remember that Jesus kept his mouth shut during most of what happened from the garden to the cross. And rather than wield a scourge of your own just smile. Even when it hurts.

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.

 

Who scourges Christ? … Friday, August 2

Cross Out Back- El Santuario de Chimayo

Cross Out Back- El Santuario de Chimayo. Please Google “El Santuario de Chimayo”. Its not directly related to this days meditation, its just a big blessing all its own.

A Rosary Meditation … The Second Sorrowful Mystery, the Scourging. “Pilate, then took Jesus and had Him scourged.” John 19:1. What are we? I mean Christians. What are we collectively? We are the Church, the Body of Christ, aren’t we? What happens when we judge and condemn one another? Or backbite? Or fight amongst ourselves? Have you ever felt the sting of any of these? If you’ve been around any length of time I’m betting your answer is yes. And the word “sting” is altogether appropriate here. Like the sting of the whip they used on Christ Himself. There is more than one way to scourge the Body of Christ. And the inflictor of pain needn’t be a pagan Roman soldier. We can do it to ourselves, to one another, with words and actions. The story following, that of Saint Eusebius of Vercelli, in his experiences with Arian “Christians” gives us one sort of example of this very thing. But what ought to concern us, you and me, more than this example is our own.

Today …

St. Eusebius of Vercelli

St. Eusebius of Vercelli.

Christians breathed a sigh of relief when Constantine proclaimed Christianity the state religion, believing this would end the bloodshed and martyrdom. But it was all too short a time until they were facing persecution once more — from others who claimed to be Christian. When Christianity became the state religion, many people adopted it for political reasons. Others adopted it without truly understanding it. Under these circumstances heresy found fertile ground. One of the most powerful heresies was Arianism which claimed that Jesus was not God (a heresy that has never completely died out). Some, and I’m one, believe that this period with the Arians is what Paul was talking about when he mentioned a “falling away” before the return of Christ and that Arius was the antichrist.  Whatever the truth of that the Arians were powerful people, including nobles, generals, emperors. They commanded armies and senates. True Christianity was in real danger of being stamped out once again. Eusebius had learned how to stand as a Christian from his father, who died a martyr in Sardinia. After his father’s death, he grew up in Rome where he was ordained a lector. This was a time when bishops were elected by the people and local clergy. When the people of Vercelli saw how well he served their Church, they had no doubt about choosing him as bishop. Pope Liberius also noticed his abilities and sent him on a mission to Emperor Constantius to try to resolve the troubles between the Arians and Catholics. Seeming to agree, Constantius convened a council in Milan in 355. The powerful Arians however weren’t there to talk but to force their own will on the others. A horrified Eusebius watched as his worst fears were confirmed and the Arians made this peace council into a condemnation of Saint Athanasius, their chief opponent. Eusebius, unafraid of their power, slapped the Nicene Creed
down on the table and demanded that everyone sign that before condemning Athanasius. (Hooray for our saint! Now HERE is a good example to follow in this day and age.) The Nicene Creed, adopted by a council of the full Church, proclaims that Jesus is one in being with the Father — directly contradicting the Arian teaching. The emperor then tried to force Eusebius, Saint Dionysius of Milan, and Lucifer of Cagliari to condemn Athanasius under pain of death. They steadfastly refused to condemn a man who far from being a heretic was supporting the truth. Instead of putting them to death, the emperor exiled them. In exile in Scythopolis in Palestine, Eusebius lived with the only Catholic
in town. Any comfort he had from visits of other saints was destroyed when the local Arians stripped him half-naked and dragged him through the streets to a tiny cell. The Arians finally let him go after he spent four days without food. But a few weeks later they were back, breaking into his house, stealing his belongings and food, and imprisoning him again. Eusebius was exiled to two other places before Constantius’ successor Julian let him and the other exiled bishops return home in 361. The problem was not over and Eusebius spent his last years working hard to counteract the damage the Arians had done and continued to do. After working with Athanasius and taking part in councils, he became a latter-day Saint Paul traveling all over in order to strengthen the faith and spread the truth. Eusebius died on August 1, 371.

A Question … I try to post these meditations early each morning so that they’ll be up and ready for the people who read them daily (or as often as they care to). Sometimes its a little hard for me to do that. Frankly, sometimes I just need to sleep extra and that seems to be happening more and more. That’s OK, I figure I must need it. My thought, and question, being: How would it be if I started posting today’s meditation the evening before? It would be there through the night, in my hemisphere, and ready in the morning. So, tell me what you think. Because even though I write the thing I consider it more your blog than mine. 🙂

The “I want to be like Jesus” Rosary

Rosary...

Every Christian wants to be like Jesus. He is our Goal. To be like Him, to be with Him. Sometimes we look at ourselves and see how far away we are from our Goal. Sometimes it helps to remember the things we have in common with Jesus, even if they’re just little things. Knowing we have things in common with Him may not make us any more like Him but it does help make Him seem not so far away. He doesn’t want to be far away. He came here, lived with us, walked with us, ate with us, to be close to us. And we can be as close to Him now as our hearts will let us.

I want to be like Jesus …

1st Joyful Mystery, the Annunciation. When it was known that I was on my way into the world there was an announcement too. I am like Jesus.

2nd Joyful Mystery, the Visitation. My mother went visiting, sharing me with others before I was ever born. I am like Jesus.

3rd Joyful Mystery, the Nativity. When I was born folks came to see me, and they were glad to see me. I am like Jesus.

4th Joyful Mystery, the Presentation. After I was born my parents were thankful to God for me. I am like Jesus.

5th Joyful Mystery, the Finding in the Temple. When I was little I’d hide away and no one would know where I was. I am like Jesus.

1st Sorrowful Mystery, the Agony in the Garden. I’ve prayed when my heart was heavy and felt like it was about to break. I am like Jesus.

2nd Sorrowful Mystery, the Scourging. I’ve been hurt by people. I am like Jesus.

3rd Sorrowful Mystery, the Crowning with Thorns. People have made fun of me and misused me. I am like Jesus.

4th Sorrowful Mystery, Carrying the Cross. I’ve fallen more than once under a burden to heavy for me to bear alone and God has sent me help. I am like Jesus.

5th Sorrowful Mystery, the Crucifixion. I’ll die someday and I’ve had my heart-broken. I am like Jesus.

1st. Glorious Mystery, the Resurrection. When the priest baptized me I was born new in Jesus, raised up from the death of my sin, my own resurrection. I am like Jesus.

2nd Glorious Mystery, the Ascension. I am with Jesus in His Heart right now, there where He is, so in a way He has already taken me to Heaven. I am like Jesus.

3rd Glorious Mystery, the Decent of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit descended on Jesus, on His Church, and on me too when I was confirmed. I am like Jesus.

4th Glorious Mystery, the Assumption. Jesus’ Mother is in Heaven and she is my Mother so my Mother is in Heaven too. I am like Jesus.

5th Glorious Mystery, the Coronation. Jesus made our Mother Queen and that means she is His Queen and my Queen, she is our Queen. I am like Jesus.

I am human, God is my Father, Mary is my Mother, the Saints (living and dead) are my family, Christ’s Church is His Body and I am a part of all this. I want to be like Jesus. And in being like Jesus I need to remember those things we already have in common and prayerfully work on the rest.

Stepping in front of a bus … Tuesday, July 16

Titian - The Scourging of Christ - WGA22826

The Scourging of Christ.

A Rosary Meditation … The Second Sorrowful Mystery, the Scourging. “It was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured.” Isaiah 53:4. It’s a little hard to conceive of anything more painful than what Christ suffered, both physically and emotionally. Especially when you consider that none of these sufferings were deserved by Him. It was for love of us that He took upon Himself what we have coming, our infirmities, our sufferings. That’s a very real love, one that’s put into action. What’s our reaction? And do we follow Him in this way? Am I willing to take the whipping deserved by an abortionist? Would I step in front of an oncoming bus in order to push a “religious” extremest bent on terrorism out of the way, thus saving him? Will I keep my mouth shut when someone who doesn’t like me says something untrue about me? Will I follow Christ?

Today …

St. Mary Magdalen Postel

St. Mary Magdalen Postel was born at Barfleur, France, on November 28 and baptized Julia Frances Catherine. She was educated at the Benedictine convent at Valognes, and when eighteen she opened a school for girls at Barfleur. When the French Revolution broke out, the revolutionaries closed the school and she became a leader in Barfleur against the constitutional priests and sheltered fugitive priests in her home, where Mass was celebrated. When the concordat of 1801 between Napoleon and the Holy See brought peace to the French Church, she worked in the field of religious education, and in 1807, at Cherbourg, she and three other teachers took religious vows before Abbe Cabart, who had encouraged her in her work – the beginning of the Sisters of the Christian Schools of Mercy. She was named superior and took the name Mary Magdalen. During the next few years the community encountered great difficulties and was forced to move several times before settling at Tamersville in 1815. It was not until she obtained the abbey of St. Sauveur le Vicomte that the congregation finally began to expand and flourish. She died on July 16 at St. Sauveur, venerated for her holiness and miracles, and was canonized in 1925. Her feast day is July 16.

… Lukewarm Christians try to build a church that conforms to their own common sense and see too much risk in following Jesus, Pope Francis preached. “They are Christians of good sense only: they keep their distance. Christians, so to speak, who are ‘satellites,’ that have a church small in size: to quote the words of Jesus in Revelation, ‘lukewarm Christians,’” the Pope said at the April 20 morning Mass in the chapel of St. Martha’s residence. “They walk only in the presence of common sense, common sense … that worldly prudence: this is a temptation (to use) just worldly prudence,” he added.

A Spiritual Stigmata … Tuesday, July 2

St. Catherine of Siena

Do all stigmatas show?

A Rosary Meditation … The Third Sorrowful Mystery, the Crowning with Thorns. “Like the Stigmata, the Crown of Thorns is an extraordinary mystical gift of God given to select victim souls, that they might participate more fully in union with Jesus for the conversion of sinners. A good portion of the Stigmatics have also bore the Crown of Thorns, such as St Julian of Norwich, St Catherine of Siena, Domenica Lazzeri [who’s crown of thorns puncture wounds were once counted and there were exactly 40 puncture wounds], Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich and Therese Neumann to name just a few.” (Taken from http://www.miraclesofthesaints.com.)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to bear the stigmata? In this case, the crown of thorns? To have it there, on your forehead, for all the world to see and wonder about? If that happened to me would I stay home so as not to be gawked at? Would I wear some sort of bandaging or a hat? Do you ever feel emotionally put upon by the world? As though your mind was being attacked by all the worldly turmoil and temptations around you? Bombarded constantly by an unseen, by others at lest, assault? Is there such a thing as an invisible stigmata? One that only you can feel and that only God can see? A crowning with thorns via emotional onslaught?  And if there is do we stay at home or wear a hat or bandage up our minds in such a way as to not let others in so they can’t see the wounds? And is this the way God wants us to deal with our own crown of thorns?

Today … Saint Monegundis (Monegund, Monegundes) (died 570 AD) was a Frankish hermit and saint. A native of Chartres, she married and bore her husband daughters. When her daughters died in childhood, she decided to become an anchorite after a long depression, and after receiving permission from her husband. She founded a hermitage, consisting of a private room, at Chartres but later moved to a site near the tomb of Saint Martin at Tours. She acquired a reputation for holiness. There, she was joined by other women, who I understand essentially forced our saint to write a monastic rule that led to the founding of the convent of St. Pierre-le-Puellier. Have you ever noticed how many saints tried shutting themselves away from the world? They weren’t, as the world in its pride supposes, running away from the world. What they were doing was running to God. But they can’t run. People always follow. The fact that they are known to us at all proves that someone followed. If all you really wanted was to be alone with God and other people wouldn’t let you do you think this might be an unseen crown of thorns to bear? And do you think that maybe, just maybe, God let them search you out for a good reason?

Think … How depressing it must be for a saint at times. The “dark night of the soul”, the times when, running after God as hard and fast as they can, they see Him as being further and further away if they see Him at all. Are you ever depressed? Does your mind, your thoughts, seem hemmed in by hurts that are hard to deal with and that take your heart into a downward spiral? Do you ever cry out inside, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Maybe, when we’re faced with these times of spiritual dryness or emotional pain, we could view this as a spiritual crown of thorns and do what Jesus did. Rather than run from it accept it and work with it. Look at all the blessings that derive from His crown of thorns. How many might come from yours?

With Popes in mind … Friday, June 28

English: Pope John Paul II on 12 August 1993 i...

Pope John Paul II on 12 August 1993 in Denver (Colorado), U.S.A.

A Rosary Meditation … The Second Sorrowful Mystery, the Scourging at the Pillar. “He was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins.” Isaiah 53:5.  As Pope John Paul II’s beatification cause moves forward, more is coming to light about the late pontiff’s life, including testimonies that he occasionally scourged himself and sometimes prayed nonstop for many hours. John Paul II often put himself through “bodily penance,” said Sister Tobiana Sobodka, a Polish nun who worked for the Pope in his private Vatican apartments and at his summer residence in Castle Gandolfo near Rome. “We would hear it,” said Sister Sobodka, who belongs to the Order of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. “We were in the next room at Castle Gandolfo. You could hear the sound of the blows when he would flagellate himself. He did it when he was still capable of moving on his own.” Emery Kabongo, a secretary of John Paul II, also backed up the claim. “He would punish himself and in particular just before he ordained bishops and priests,” he said. “I never actually saw it myself but several people told me about it.”

The above is taken from an article at Newsmax.com. … Now, I’m not suggesting we follow suite. Perhaps there is more than one way to do “bodily penance”, something other than self-scourging. Something the average person, you and me, can do. And there is a simple answer to the desire to follow Christ in this. Jesus denied Himself. That’s the real crux of the matter. A little self-denial on our part. The Rule of Saint Benedict instructs the monks to live a life of perpetual Lent. Maybe every once in a while we could designate a day or so as our own personal Lent and practice a little self-denial, a little “crushing” of self.
Today …

St. Paul I, Pope

St. Paul I, Pope

Pope St. Paul I. Pope from 757-767. The brother of Pope Stephen II and a Roman, he was educated in the Lateran Palace, became a deacon under Pope Zachary, and wielded considerable influence in his brother’s administration. Elected to succeed Stephen, he took as his primary concern the threat posed to Rome and the Papal States by the Lombards. Paul secured an alliance with the Frankish king Pepin the Short, thereby cementing the relationship between the Holy See and the Frankish Empire which culminated with the historically significant alliance between Pope Leo III and Charlemagne. Paul also opposed the Iconoclast policies of the Byzantine emperor Constantine V, thereby exacerbating further the deteriorating relationship between the papacy and the Byzantine Empire. He died on June 28 at St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, in Rome.

Quote … “Everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.” Pope Paul VI.

Pope Paul VI quotes

 

Sharing worth-full-ness … Tuesday, June 11

English: Sarleinsbach ( Upper Austria ). Our L...

Christ at the pillar of scourging, making you worthwhile.

A Rosary Meditation … The Second Sorrowful Mystery, the Scourging at the Pillar. “Upon Him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5. You know, when we talk about things, when we share things, our sharing is never so powerful as when we share our own experience. Telling the other person’s story has it’s time and place, but for the most part its better to stick with our own. Years ago, back in the early seventies, I went to California. I ended up with a group of people that had an entirely different world view. It wasn’t a bad one, as a matter of fact, in retrospect, they were right and I was wrong. But at the time I was a far cry from fitting in. My rebellious nature was a front for a deep-seated feeling of worthlessness. But I blustered and bluffed and I felt, on the inside where I kept it well hidden, so much less than. Less than I should’ve been, less than I could’ve been, less than I knew how to be, less than they were, less than worthless. Of course I realize now that this sort of thing often goes with growing up. But this realization is now. What was then was then and I had nothing to combat it with other than a bad attitude and a mouth to go with it. Now? Well, I see others and I understand that others aren’t so different from me. If I’ve gone through something then its more than likely that they have or are going through the same thing. So at some point EVERYONE has felt worthless. People deal with it in various ways, but I think lots of people who seem mean-spirited are just dealing with their feelings of worthlessness like I did. The Gospel, the word Gospel, means “Good News”. And Isaiah expresses it well in the above verse. “Upon Him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by His stripes we are healed.” Our worthlessness? It’s very real and the result of very real sin. Sin takes something worthwhile and turns it around, making it something less than desirable. The Good News is that my worthlessness and yours has been dealt with. If we can accept it He has, past tense, made us whole. Now, in Christ, we are worthwhile. We are once again what we were meant to be. This is God’s work and God’s will. To cling now to my sense of worthlessness would be a denial of the Gospel. To bluff and bluster now is unnecessary. He took the punishment, the beating, due my sins for me. My part now is to act accordingly and live my life as the worthwhile life that it is. “So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself.” James 2:17.

Today …

St. Paula Frasinetti

St. Paula Frasinetti

St. Paula Frasinetti. Foundress, also known as Paola Frassinetti. She was born in Genoa. Her brother was a parish priest in the city, and she assisted him by teaching poor children in their parish. From this humble beginning in 1834 began the Congregation of St. Dorothy, which soon spread across Italy and then to the Americas. Beatified in 1930, she was canonized in 1984. And she is more than a saint. She is a hero. Think about it. Think about those kids she taught. The poor ones who were, by some, considered worthless. How many developed a sense of self-worth because she shared with them the love of Christ? Because she taught more than school. Her example spoke volumes. And when we share whatever it is we share on a daily basis do people walk away feeling more than they were, or less than?

Consider … Jesus came to make us worthwhile again. Now we pass it on to those around us in need. “Inadequacy of his own strength, learned from experience, impels and urges a man to enlist the help of others.” ~ Pope Leo XIII ~