Monday, August 29, 2011

You are not a wart on Christ's Body...You are a LIVING MEMBER of Christ's Body... the Church!

"May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our hearts, that we may know what is the hope that belongs to our call." (Gospel Acclamation for 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A)

Many of us do not reflect enough on the lives of the saints and how we are called by God to literally join in their number. I mean, could you imagine any of the angels saying "I don't need to sing at Mass or in Heaven... there are enough of other angels doing this for God" or a saint sitting back and saying "I don't need to give or sacrifice myself for others." That would be not only insane but also very much against everything Jesus said and taught us by His own example. He said very clearly: "Follow Me!"

I used to sit on the pew watching everyone else around me serve in the Church... the readers, the ushers, the altar servers, the extra-ordinary ministers of Holy Communion, those who helped clean and serve... and thought, in what way have I served the Church and given back to Christ for all that He has given to me? I gave so little... if at all. I then read in the bulletin how the pastor was asking help on a weekend to help put in landscaping for the parish. I finally got off the pew and decided to help. I had so much joy when I began to serve that I began to look for other opportunities.

Again, we are not a wart on Christ's Body~ No, we are living members called to give and serve~ each in the measure and according to the ability we have received from God for building up His Kingdom and serving for it. What would happen if your finger said: "I don't need to be a part of this body and serve it. There are enough fingers on this hand to do the job. There are other fingers who can do this." The moment the finger stops living as part of the body and separates itself from the rest of the body it will begin to die. The same is true of each of us.

Every single one of us has a role and function and work to do within the Church according to the ability God has given us! No one has an excuse... as much as every single part of your body has a function and purpose. God made the body this way to teach us about how we are to live and act as members of His Body... the Church.

Every single hair on your head has a purpose and function... it isn't just there for looks. It protects your head and keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer's heat. Every toe on your foot has a function... it helps to balance the whole body and helps your footing so you don't fall or loose your grip while walking along a precipice. Every vein has a function... it gets rid of harmful waste in the body ... every artery which provides health, nurishment and healing. Every single part of you has a purpose... except the wart. The wart is just a lump of flesh and just sits there. It is disgusting and has no purpose. It is a deformity.

But what abo
ut you? Are you merely existing as a wart on Christ's Body or do you serve in your church in at least one ministry? Even if you are young, you can go to a doration and intercede for other children that they may turn to God. If you are old and home-bound... you still have a function and God has still given you the gift of life for a purpose. Perhaps He is calling your soul amidst your aches and pains and arthritis to suffer and sacrifice as a living member of Christ's Body to suffer and intercede for the rest of the Body, the Church as Christ did from the Cross. But there is NO single person or parishioner who has an excuse not to serve and to give.... to share our time, talent, and treasure for the Kingdom of God! Don't sit on the bench.... the saints are calling out to you to join in their number!!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Are you looking for the treasure buried in a field???

"Jesus said to His disciples: "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." (Matthew 13: 44)

What is this field like that Our Lord is speaking about and how do we find it? We must understand that this treasure is hidden and that we have to look for the signs to find the field where Our Lord has buried this treasure. This field, if we are to find it in this world, would be rejected by the vast majority of those living in it. It is barren, found in the desert, and off the beaten path and there are only few find it. It is full of thorns and thickets, and in the center of the field you would find a cross which marks the site of where the treasure is hidden. To this world, this field is not only worthless but it is also useless. To those who seek the Kingdom of God, it costs us everything and even if we had all the treasures of this world, it would not be enough to purchase this simple piece of dirt with a cross.

What am I talking about? SUFFERING and TRIBULATION... TRIALS and THE CROSS. We can find it every day of our life for those who know how to recognize it, but most of us toss it away and reject it. We don't want it and we throw it away as if it was just a dirty rag fit for garbage. Jesus clung to it and the soldiers could not pry His Body from it. I hunger for this in my soul because I know its fruits and how good it is for my soul, yet my flesh wants to run as far away from it as possible and wants nothing to do with it. I want to cling to Christ and to Him crucified. Apart from Him I find only ashes... but when I cling to Him and the cross He sends me, I find LIFE. The Tree of Life is the Cross.

The saints spent their life pursuing this field daily and toiled in it. They ask us to join them so that we can also share in the spoils of the treasure of grace found hidden here. St. Rose of Lima knew this field well and it quietly, sweetly beckoned her soul still deeper:

"Our Lord and Savior lifted up His voice and said with incomparable majesty: "Let all men know that grace comes after tribulation. Let them know that without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace. Let them know that the gifts of grace increase as the struggles increase. Let men take care not to stray and be deceived. This is the only true stairway to paradise, and without the cross they can find no road to climb to Heaven."
When I heard these words, a strong force came upon me and seemed to place me in the middle of a street, so that I might say in a loud voice to people of every age, sex, and status: "Hear, O people; hear, O nations. I am warning you about the commandment of Christ by using words that came from His own lips: We cannot obtain grace unless we suffer afflictions. We must heap trouble upon trouble to attain a deep participation in the divine nature, the glory of the sons of God and perfect happiness of soul."
That same force strongly urged me to proclaim the beauty of divine grace. It pressed me so that my breath came slow and forced me to sweat and pant. I felt as if my soul could no longer be kept in the prison of the body, but that it had burst its chains and was free and alone and was going very swiftly through the whole world saying:
"If only mortals would learn how great it is to possess divine grace, how beautiful, how noble, how precious. How many riches it hides within itself, how many joys and delights! Without doubt they would devote all their care and concern to winning for themselves pains and afflictions All men throughout the world would seek trouble, infirmities and torments, instead of good fortune, in order to attain the unfathomable treasure of grace. This is the reward and the final gain of patience. No one would complain about his cross or about troubles that may happen to him, if he would come to know the scales on which they are weighed when they are distributed to men." (From the writings of St. Rose of Lima, Virgin)

So, let's go back to our original question: Are you looking for this treasure buried in a field or are you avoiding it?

Read the Word of God daily!!!

"Thy Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my paths."(Psalm 118:105)

Read more of Holy Scripture daily and meditate on it day and night so Our Lord can lead you by His Light.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Honor your Mother...

If Jesus honored His own mother... shouldn't we!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Powerful prayer to the Holy Spirit... pray it daily!

Come, O Holy Spirit!
Enlighten my mind to know your commands;
strengthen my heart against the snares of the enemy;
inflame my will…
I have heard your voice, and I don’t want to harden myself and resist, saying “Later…, tomorrow.”
Nunc coepi! Now I begin! In case there is no tomorrow for me.

O Spirit of truth and wisdom, Spirit of understanding and counsel, Spirit of joy and peace! I want whatever you want. I want because you want, I want however you want, I want whenever you want.

(From the writings of Josemaria Escriva)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

ABBA!!! Yes, God is your Father and you must turn to Him in all things...

Take one step at a time with God the Father and do not focus on your weakness. You are but a little child and are weak. Lean on Him at all times and surrender to His Mercy if you fall along the way. He will strengthen you but you must do your best to avoid every form of darkness and to live in His LIGHT which He gave you in your Baptism.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Grow up and be a MAN

I am really getting annoyed with all those "men" out there who continue to act like they are in middle school. You can tell by the type of photos they have of women on their Facebook accounts, by their comments, and how they treat them... with very little dignity and respect which is truly owed to them. They will sleep with just about any woman without even a blink of thinking of the responsibility that this holy act actually needs along with the commitment it entails when a child is a result.

Every child deserves a father who will be there for them
along with a family to help them to grow in their spiritual life and in their basic needs as a human being. Not only this, but every woman deserves MORE from you... NOT less. Never treat a woman like they are cheap.

Women never let a man treat you less than you really are worth. You and every woman is worth the total SACRIFICE of a man who will lay down his life for you. Don't settle for less. The next time a man wants to be with you and is not willing to wait till marriage... tell him this: "HONEY! Do I LOOK like I am cheap? I am not the type of woman that you can get a cheap thrill with and then throw me away like I am a piece of toilet paper. I am worth a lot more than that and if you don't want something more but are willing to settle with something less with me, then you better best find someone else to waste your time with!"

The next time a man hits on you (if you are single), ask him this: "SO, what type of diapers do you prefer?" You will know exactly where he stands to his level of commitment and responsibility (and what he is really looking for) by the way he responds. You will know if you are dealing with someone who is merely a playboy and an act or if you are dealing with a real man who is seeking something more and is willing to make the commitment a real lasting relationship takes to keep.

At the same time, I don't just blame all the men out there. Women, you need to hold men accountable for the way men treat you. Be modest in your dress. Don't reveal anything of yourself that is meant for your future spouse and HIM ALONE!!! Don't bear yourself to all and have nothing left when you find the right man. Don't be like someone who gives out every rose petal of themselves to every person who comes across their path and then when they find the pearl of great price, they have nothing left to give but an empty and dead stem with thorns. Give the right person the whole YOU and don't settle for less. You are not cheap and you need someone who has grown up and is a real MAN!