Monday, December 24, 2012

"Pasterka"


Merry Christmas Everyone!

[Diary 182]
I learned that certain people have a special gift for vexing others. They try you as best they can. The poor soul that falls into their hands can do nothing right; her best efforts are maliciously criticized.

+Christmas Eve.

Today I was closely united with the Mother of God. I relived her interior sentiments. In the evening, before the ceremony of the breaking of the wafer, I went into the chapel to break the wafer, in spirit, with my loved ones, and I asked the Mother of God for graces for them. My spirit was totally steeped in God. During the Midnight Mass ["Pasterka" or Shepherds' Mass], I saw the Child Jesus in the Host, and my spirit was immersed in Him. Although He was a tiny Child, His majesty penetrated my soul. I was permeated to the depths of my being by this mystery, this great abasement on the part of God, this inconceivable emptying of Himself. These sentiments remained vividly alive in my soul all through the festive season. Oh, we shall never comprehend this great self-abasement on the part of God; the more I think of it, [unfinished thought].

Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marians of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mother of the Lord [4th Sunday of Advent - December 23, 2012]


The Sunday Gospel [4th Sunday of Advent - December 23, 2012]

Luke 1:39-45

39During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, 40where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, 42cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord* should come to me? 44For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. 45Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

Reflection

The reasons why Luke included the Visitation scene are significant. Not only did he want to show the close link between Jesus and John but also the inherent superiority of the Lord even at this early point in their existence. At its most obvious level, the Visitation is a sharing of joy and faith, something to which we Catholics are not accustomed. At Christmastime, we gather for the Christmas Mass but seldom talk with each other about the implications of the Incarnation. Each of us has a private theology of it which, regrettably, we keep private. We share food, time, presents with others. But the deepest, most personal and most memorable gift we have to share with others is our faith.

Point: Our relationship with the Lord is a spiritual extension of the Incarnation. To include others within it is a great gift at Christmas.

Reflection Credits: Fr. S. Joseph Krempa, Daily Homilies

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarroabel.blogspot.com/).

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I am always in your heart


[Diary 78]
Once when I was being crushed by these dreadful sufferings, I went into the chapel and said from the bottom of my soul, "Do what You will with me, O Jesus; I will adore You in everything. May Your will be done in me, O my Lord and my God, and I will praise Your infinite mercy." Through this act of submission, these terrible torments left me. Suddenly I saw Jesus, who said to me, I am always in your heart. An inconceivable joy entered my soul, and a great love of God set my heart aflame. I see that God never tries us beyond what we are able to suffer. Oh, I fear nothing; if God sends such great suffering to a soul, He upholds it with an even greater grace, although we are not aware of it. One act of trust at such moments gives greater glory to God than whole hours passed in prayer filled with consolations. Now I see that if God wants to keep a soul in darkness, no book, no confessor can bring it light.

Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Monday, December 17, 2012

The one to come [3rd Sunday of Advent - December 16, 2012]


The Sunday Gospel [3rd Sunday of Advent - December 16, 2012]

Luke 3:10-18

10And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?”11He said to them in reply, “Whoever has two tunics should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.” 12Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13He answered them, “Stop collecting more than what is prescribed.”14Soldiers also asked him, “And what is it that we should do?” He told them, “Do not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages.” 15Now the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Messiah.16John answered them all, saying, “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire.17His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” 18Exhorting them in many other ways, he preached good news to the people.

Reflection

Every age in human history grappled with evil and suffering. An explanation given by one school of thought in the Old Testament was this: In the beginning, the principle of good and evil fought with each other. The principle of evil won. This explains why the power of evil is so evident in the world. But this situation will not last forever. A time will come when the principle of good will overpower and destroy evil.

The coming of Jesus launched God’s Kingdom and the power to overcome evil. When Jesus shared the Spirit after his resurrection, he shared this power with those who believe and who allow this power in their lives. By becoming man, Jesus also showed that this power of God will continue through every person who believes in him. Despite the gravity of the evil present in our world, evil will not have the last say. Jesus promised that eventually good will reign.  The dominating presence of good is already being manifested in our culture. Yes, there is evil but it will never win over good. God has overpowered evil.

The challenge Christmas poses on us is this: Jesus wants to conquer evil. But he can only do so through people who believe in him, and who allow him to be the power in this world through their lives by living his values, mentality and lifestyle. Can we be generous enough to lend our whole being to God?

Reflection Credits: Fr. Magdaleno Fabiosa, SVD, the Word in other words, slightly adapted

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarroabel.blogspot.com/).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Before the Day of Justice I am sending the Day of Mercy


[Diary 1588]
Today I heard the words: In the Old Covenant I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart. I use punishment when they themselves force Me to do so; My hand is reluctant to take hold of the sword of justice. Before the Day of Justice I am sending the Day of Mercy. I replied, "O my Jesus, speak to souls Yourself, because my words are insignificant."

+ J.M.J.

The Soul's Expectation of the Coming of the Lord.
Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Monday, December 10, 2012

The herald’s voice [Second Sunday of Advent - December 9, 2012]


The Sunday Gospel [Second Sunday of Advent - December 9, 2012]

Luke 3:1-6

1In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, 2during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert. 3He went throughout [the] whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, 4as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. 5Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth, 6and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”

Reflection

Let us see how today’s Gospel gives us a great sense of hope.

When Jesus was born, the world was a mess. The Romans controlled the world, but as we know, they did not have a true image of God. Rather, they were in love with power. Palestine was also in a bad way. After the death of Herod the Great, the Romans divided the country into four sections in order to make it weak and dependent. And so there were four different rulers there: Pilate, Herod, Philip, and Lysanias. The Jewish church was no better, its leaders ruling through power and ambition.

In the midst of this, we read Isaiah’s prophecy. “A voice cries in the desert: ‘Prepare a way for the Lord … the winding ways shall be straightened and rough roads made smooth, and all mankind shall see the salvation of God.’” (Luke 3:4-6)

Now from a human point of view, these words seem unbelievable. How could anyone in his or her right mind believe that “all mankind shall see the salvation of God”? But if we look at Isaiah’s words from a supernatural point of view, we come to a different conclusion: God loves the world. He sees what a mess it is in and He takes pity in it. Not only that, to prove His love, He sends His only Son Jesus, to be a model for us of goodness and love.

In the Letter to the Romans, Paul writes these very encouraging words:”Since God did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that He will not refuse anything He can give” (8:32). God will not refuse anything He can give. When we look around at what is happening in society, we see many problems. But then we realize that God did miraculous things when Jesus was born. He made a virgin who never knew a man to conceive. He raised Jesus from death. And through the example of Jesus and his countless followers God brought about – and is still bringing about – tremendous changes in the world.

God can do anything because of His divine nature. And because of His love for us, He always seeks for ways by which He can help us. May our awareness of this love fill our heart with hope and joy and peace.

Reflection Credits: Fr. John Seland, SVD, New Reflections on the Sunday Gospels

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarroabel.blogspot.com/).

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Announcement of the Birth of Jesus [Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception - December 8, 2012]


Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary [December 8, 2012]

Luke 1:26-38

28And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, 33and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” 35And the angel said to her in reply, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. 36And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived* a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; 37for nothing will be impossible for God.” 38Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Reflection

[The angel Gabriel said to Mary], “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” ~ v. 28

“No, no,” said Catherine shaking her head. “The Immaculate Conception of Mary isn’t the conception of Jesus; it’s the conception of Mary.” Catherine was conducting the second RCIA inquiry session and dealing with a common … misconception. “Today’s gospel can be confusing because it’s the story of the virgin conception of Jesus and, of course, Christmas is in three weeks. But today we celebrate the conception of Mary!

“While her parents conceived her in the normal way, she was kept free from original sin from the very first moment of her life in the womb of her mother. It was God’s gift to her, seeing that she would become the mother of Jesus. That’s why the angel said she was full of grace. Baptism cleanses us of original sin, too, so we can be full of grace just like Mary. Then, in the sacrament of the Eucharist, we receive Jesus in our bodies and bring his presence to the whole world. Mary is a model for us all.”

Prayer Response

Holy Mary, pray for us. Your parents conceived you in love and your mother brought you forth in hope. May we rejoice together with you in the salvation won for us by your Son, Jesus.

Action Response

Find out the date of your baptism and circle it in your calendar. Plan a little celebration of your salvation on that day.

Credits: Fr. Paul Boudreau, Between Sundays

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarroabel.blogspot.com/).

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The greatest sinners would achieve great sanctity, if only they would trust in My mercy


 [Diary 1784]
Today, in the course of a long conversation, the Lord said to me, How very much I desire the salvation of souls! My dearest secretary, write that I want to pour out My divine life into human souls and sanctify them, if only they were willing to accept My grace. The greatest sinners would achieve great sanctity, if only they would trust in My mercy. The very inner depths of My being are filled to overflowing with mercy, and it is being poured out upon all I have created. My delight is to act in a human soul and to fill it with My mercy and to justify it. My kingdom on earth is My life in the human soul. Write, My secretary, that I Myself am the spiritual guide of souls-and I guide them indirectly through the priest, and lead each one to sanctity by a road known to Me alone.

Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Watch and pray [First Sunday of Advent - December 2, 2012]


The Sunday Gospel [First Sunday of Advent - December 2, 2012]

Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

25“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. 26People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

34“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise 35like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. 36Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Reflection

[Jesus said,] “Be careful … Be on watch and pray.” ~ v. 34, 36

Farmers hope for lots of rain right after they plant their corn. Once it sprouts and gets a good start, they hope for a “dry period.” The reason is to force the corn’s roots to grow downward in search of water, rather than stay on the surface. Unless the tap root of the corn grows downward to the “water level,” the corn will wither and die when the heat of summer sets in – it will have no way to draw up water.

Our prayer life is like that. God usually gives us a good start. Then God lets a “dry period” set in to force our prayer roots to grow downward to the faith level, rather than stay on the surface at the feeling level.

Why must prayer be primarily an exercise of faith rather than feeling?

Reflection Credits: Fr. Mark Link, SJ, Daily Homilies

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarroabel.blogspot.com/).

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

St. Faustina's vision of Heaven


[Diary 777]
November 27, [1936]. Today I was in heaven, in spirit, and I saw its inconceivable beauties and the happiness that awaits us after death. I saw how all creatures give ceaseless praise and glory to God. I saw how great is happiness in God, which spreads to all creatures, making them happy; and then all the glory and praise which springs from this happiness returns to its source; and they enter into the depths of God, contemplating the inner life of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, whom they will never comprehend or fathom. This source of happiness is unchanging in its essence, but it is always new, gushing forth happiness for all creatures. Now I understand Saint Paul, who said, "Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love Him."

Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Jesus before Pilate [Solemnity of Christ the King - November 25, 2012]


The Sunday Gospel [Solemnity of Christ the King - November 25, 2012]

John 18:33-37

33So Pilate went back into the praetorium and summoned Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34Jesus answered, “Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?” 35Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?” 36Jesus answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants [would] be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.” 37So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

Reflection

Today is the last Sunday in the church year. So it’s appropriate to reflect on the end of time, on judgment, and our life to come. These topics can fill us with a number of positive thoughts and few fearful ones. In our anxious moments, we may worry about whether we or our loved ones will get into heaven. We may worry about death itself or what we will be actually be doing for all eternity in heaven.

Thinking about the Second Coming can help remind us of a key truth to our faith. We cannot save ourselves. Only Jesus can do that – and he did, when he died on the cross for us. But isn’t it ironic that while we cannot save ourselves, God will still judge us based on how we have loved one another and cared for the poor and needy around us? How is that possible?

The truth is, our acts of love and charity should be a direct consequence of our realization that Jesus, our King, loves us. The experience of Jesus’ love should send us to our knees in worship, and it should send us out into the world , eager to spread  that love to everyone we come in contact with – our loved ones, the needy, and even our enemies.

So as we contemplate our loving, merciful King today, let us ask him to inspire us to serve his kingdom. And whenever we perform acts of charity, let’s see them as a way that we can give our hearts back to Jesus, who gave himself for us.

Prayer Response

Jesus, give me a generous heart. Teach me how to open my heart – and my hands – to everyone around me. Amen.

Credits: the WORD among us

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarroabel.blogspot.com/).

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

O Mary, my Mother and my Lady


[Diary 79] 
O Mary, my Mother and my Lady, I offer You my soul, my body, my life and my death, and all that will Follow it. I place everything in Your hands. O my Mother, cover my soul with Your virginal mantle and grant me the grace of purity of heart, soul and body. Defend me with Your power against all enemies, and especially against those who hide their malice behind the mask of virtue. O lovely lily! You are for me a mirror, O my Mother!

Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Coming of the Son of Man [November 18, 2012]


The Sunday Gospel [November 18, 2012]

Mark 13:24-32

24“But in those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory, 27and then he will send out the angels and gather [his] elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.

28“Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. 29In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the gates. 30Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 32“But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Reflection

As we draw near to the close of the liturgical season, we are reminded of the “last day” which is the fulfillment of our hope. The Gospel gives us sayings of Jesus expressed in apocalyptic language. As such, they are not meant to cause fear, but rather hope and encouragement to people undergoing persecution and tribulations. In Mark’s time, the hope and courage of Christians were being severely tested. In their suffering and impatience, they thought and prayed that the Lord Jesus would come back soon. They were mistaken in their opinion that the Parousia would occur during their lifetime, but certainly not in watchfulness. But as John Henry Newman would say: “It is better to be wrong in watching, than not to watch at all.”

The spirit of Advent is that of watchfulness and expectation for God’s coming into our lives. Certainly we cannot predict when Jesus will come because ”only the Father knows that day or hour.” It is sufficient for us to know with certainty that the Day of the Lord will come, and to go on with our lives with trust and eager longing.

Credits: Fr. Gil A. Alinsangan, SSP; On the Way to the Cross, excerpts

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarroabel.blogspot.com/).

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Not in the beauty of the color, nor of the brush lies the greatness of this image, but in My grace


[Diary 313]
+Once, when I was visiting the artist [Eugene Kazimirowski] who was painting the image, and saw that it was not as beautiful as Jesus is, I felt very sad about it, but I hid this deep in my heart. When we had left the artist's house, Mother Superior [Irene] stayed in town to attend to some matters while I returned home alone. I went immediately to the chapel and wept a good deal. I said to the Lord, "Who will paint You as beautiful as You are?" Then I heard these words: Not in the beauty of the color, nor of the brush lies the greatness of this image, but in My grace.

Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Poor Widow’s Mite [November 11, 2012]


The Sunday Gospel [November 11, 2012]

Mark 12:38-44

38In the course of his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, 39seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets. 40They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers. They will receive a very severe condemnation.”

 41He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. 43Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. 44For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood."

Reflection

A part of the Jewish temple was the court of women where “collection boxes” were established. People would drop money in these trumpet-shaped boxes for the support of God’s temple.

In today’s Gospel, we find Jesus observing the crowd putting in their offerings, the priest-guardian of the treasury calling the name of the generous donors and the amount of their offering and then thanking them and blessing them in return.

Lost in the clinging of golden and silver coins is the clang of a widow’s two lepta (copper coins), which have the least value among the coins in circulation. She may as well have given only one, yet she gives all that she has to live on. That sound, however, is music  to Jesus’ ears and he plucks her out of from anonymity and raises her above all the benefactors of the temple. In the eyes of God, her two coins are far more valuable than the contributions of the wealthy because in them is her “everything.”

The poor widow represents the true believer who entrusts everything to God, the figure of the poor Church which is blessed by God. She is the one who observes the greatest commandment of loving God with all her heart, mind, and strength. And God, who is rich in mercy, becomes her defender.

What a contrast to the Scribes who “devour the savings of widows.” They are experts in the Mosaic Law, and most probably for their “lawyer’s fee,” they charge the widows too much that these have to use their savings or sell their properties to pay them. How ironic that the sizable amounts offered by all the ostentatious rich have come from the poor and simple people. The prophets have proclaimed that true religion in the case of foreigners, widows, and orphans who are most in need of protection takes the form of justice and defense, and yet the so-called practitioners and teachers of God’s law do the opposite. In this case, what they offer God is “blood” money.

Poverty is not synonymous with misery and the poor have often a certain nobility. Archbishop Helder Camara of Recife, Brazil, was told by a widow when a Frenchman whom she he was accompanying in a poor quarter mumbled how miserable the people were: “Please tell our visitor that we are not so miserable as he thinks we are. We have our hands, our feet, our eyes, and, most importantly, we have God.” A proud claim, but knowing Jesus’ praise for the widow, she is not far from the truth.

Reflection Credits: Fr. Gil A. Alinsangan, SSP, On the Way to the Cross

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarroabel.blogspot.com/).

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

"Pray for the dying"


[Diary 314]
+When I went to the garden one afternoon, my Guardian Angel said to me, "Pray for the dying." And so I began at once to pray the rosary with the gardeners for the dying. After the rosary, we said various prayers for the dying. After the prayers, the wards began to chat gayly among themselves. In spite of the noise they were making, I heard these words in my soul: "Pray for me!" But as I could not understand these words very well, I moved a few steps away from the wards, trying to think who it could be who was asking me to pray. Then I heard the words: "I am Sister ...."[78] This sister was in Warsaw while I was, at the time, in Vilnius. "Pray for me until I tell you to stop. I am dying." Immediately, I began to pray fervently for her, [addressing myself] to the expiring Heart of Jesus. She gave me no respite, and I kept praying from three [o'clock] until five. At five, I heard the words: "Thank you!" and I understood that she had died. But during Holy Mass on the following day, I continued to pray fervently for her soul. In the afternoon, a postcard came saying that Sister ... had died at such and such a time. I understood that it was at the same hour when she had said to me, "Pray for me."

Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Greatest Commandment [November 4, 2012]


The Sunday Gospel [November 4, 2012]

Mark 12:28-34

28One of the scribes, when he came forward and heard them disputing and saw how well he had answered them, asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” 29Jesus replied, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! 30You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, ‘He is One and there is no other than he.’ 33And ‘to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself’ is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34And when Jesus saw that [he] answered with understanding, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And no one dared to ask him any more.

Reflection

The year is drawing to a close and we are summoned to declare as a people where we stand before God. We are to fear God, listen and obey the commandments, with love that is all encompassing. We stand with Jesus our priest/leader so that we approach God, with Jesus interceding on our behalf. Jesus is our sacrifice that makes us holy before God, with him. How devotedly do we love God with all our heart, soul, mind, resources, body and strength that endures? And do we love our neighbor/enemy/friend with the same passion? Then today, we will hear Jesus tell us that we are not far from the kingdom of God – God wants that practical love more than sacrifice. God wants us as a people.

Reflection Credits: Megan McKenna, Theologian, Tasting the word of God

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarroabel.blogspot.com/).

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cup of Bitterness


[Diary 1453]
Today is the Feast of the New Year. I felt so bad in the morning that I barely managed to go to the next cell to receive Holy Communion. [225]I could not go to Mass because I felt so sick, and I made my thanksgiving in bed too. I wanted so much to go to Mass and then to confession to Father Andrasz, but I felt so bad that I could go neither to Mass nor to confession. And because of this my soul suffered a good deal. After breakfast, the Sister Infirmarian [Sister Chrysostom] came along and asked, "Sister, why didn't you go to Mass?" I answered that I couldn't. She shook her head disdainfully and said, "Such a great Feast Day, Sister, and you don't even go to Mass!" and she left my cell. I had been in bed for two days, writhing in pain, and she hadn't visited me; and when she did come, on the third day, she did not even ask if I were able to get up, but asked irritably why I hadn't got up for Mass. When I was alone, I tried to get up, but I was seized again with sickness, and so I stayed in bed with a calm conscience. Yet my heart had plenty to offer the Lord, joining itself spiritually to Him during the second Mass. After the second Mass, Sister Infirmarian returned to me, but this time in her capacity as infirmarian, and with a thermometer. But I had no fever, although I was seriously ill and unable to rise. So there was another sermon to tell me that I should not capitulate to illness. I answered her that I knew that here one was regarded as seriously ill only when one was in one's last agony. However, knowing that she was about to give me a lecture, I replied that at the present time I was in no need of being incited to greater zeal. And once again, I remained alone in my cell.

My heart was crushed with sorrow, and bitterness flooded my soul, and I repeated these words: "Welcome, New Year; welcome, cup of bitterness." My Jesus, my heart is eager for You, and yet the gravity of my illness prevents me from participating physically in the community prayers, and I am suspected of being lazy. My sufferings are becoming greater. After dinner, Mother Superior [Irene] looked in for a moment, but she left very soon. I intended to ask to have Father Andrasz come to my cell to hear my confession, but I restrained myself from making the request for two reasons: first, not to give occasion for murmuring, as had happened above in respect to Holy Mass; and secondly, because I would not even be able to make the confession, since I felt I would burst into tears like a little child. A while later, one of the sisters came along and again reproved me: "There's some milk with butter in the oven, Sister; why don't you drink it?" I answered that there was no one to bring it to me.

Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Blind Bartimaeus [October 29, 2012]


The Sunday Gospel [October 29, 2012]

Mark 10:46-52

46They came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. 47On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.” 48And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.” 49Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage; get up, he is calling you.” 50He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. 51Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” 52Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.

Reflection

“Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.” ~ v. 47

In the Gospel today, Mark tells us something very important about faith.

First of all, faith does not depend on a great amount of knowledge. The blind man Bartimaeus, probably did not know Jesus very well. He only heard that he was the Son of David and that he cured some people somewhere. But this knowledge gave him great hope. He felt that Jesus could cure him too. And so when he heard that Jesus was passing by, he called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”

Surely, Mark also wants to tell us that our faith should be bold and courageous, like the faith of Bartimaeus. When we pray, we should approach God with the same kind of confidence and trust.

There is another important point: the story also tells us that we must persevere when we pray and never give up. This is what Bartimaeus did. He continued to call out to Jesus, and so Jesus called him to himself and cured him.

Finally, we learn that when we pray, we must ask God for specific things. Again this is what Bartimaeus did. When Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” he answered, “Rabboni, I want to see.” Hearing this, Jesus gave him just what he asked for, his sight.

There is still one more important point. When Bartimaues cried out to Jesus, the people scolded him and told him to be quiet. Isn’t this ironical! Those who had eyes did not see. They did not realize that Jesus really wanted to heal people like this. And the one who was not able to see was the one who was much more aware of who Jesus was, and so understood his power to heal.

It goes without saying, then, that Mark is also trying to tell us about the importance of awareness and the need to know who we are.

Here we might ponder a few questions for a while. How aware are we of our own self? How aware are we of the way we react to people? How aware are we of the presence of God in our heart and in the hearts of people around us?

Let us pray for wisdom and awareness. May we be like Bartimaeus, who knew who he was, a pitiful man before Jesus, the Son of David. And may we also know the powerful saving love of Jesus, who heals us of all our ills.

Reflection Credits: John Seland, SVD; New Reflections on the Sunday Gospels

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarroabel.blogspot.com/).

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

God condemns no one


[Diary 1452]
When the clock struck twelve, my soul immersed itself more deeply in recollection, and I heard a voice in my Soul: Do not fear, My little child, you are not alone. Fight bravely, because My arm is supporting you; fight for the salvation of souls, exhorting them to trust in My mercy, as that is your task in this life and in the life to come. After these words, I received a deeper understanding of divine mercy. Only that soul who wants it will be damned, for God condemns no one.

Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Ambition of James and John [October 21, 2012]


The Sunday Gospel [October 21, 2012]

Mark 10:35-45

35Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36He replied, “What do you wish [me] to do for you?” 37They answered him, "Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.” 38Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 39They said to him, “We can.” Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; 40but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 41When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John. 42Jesus summoned them and said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. 43But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; 44whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. 45For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Reflection

"The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." ~ v. 45

Jesus has intimated for the third time to his disciples that they are going to Jerusalem where he will be condemned and killed , in the manner of the mysterious Suffering Servant of God who “through his suffering shall justify many” (Isaiah 53:11). With a touch of irony, Mark records that at this solemn and sorrowful occasion, the Zebedee brothers are still lost in their political illusion of a religious triumphalism. They ask Jesus a share of power and profess to merit it by their resolve to stick with Jesus through thick and thin.

Jesus takes the occasion to inculcate a lesson on power and authority on the two brothers and the other ten disciples who behave no better, getting jealous of the two. Power is shown by a person’s ability to stoop down and serve; the greatest among Jesus’ followers are those who forget their position so as to minister to the needs of all.

Mark may have liked to put before his readers two pictures. On one side is the despotic Herod Antipas who makes his importance felt by living in a grandiose palace, taxing the people and deciding the fate of his servants. On the other side is Jesus who mingles with the poor and the outcast, who pays taxes, and is later brought to trial before the high priests and rulers.

The lines are clearly drawn. When the disciple aims for power and takes side with the oppressors, he betrays his master. When the disciple who has been given the power and authority in the community turns to be a proud despot, looking for influence, he destroys the Church, turning it merely into a socio-political organization. When the Christian community allows itself to be blinded by the fascination of power and the strength of structure, it is no different from pagans. It cannot be like that with Jesus’ disciples.

Paul describes “positions” as “charisms,” gifts of the Holy Spirit for the service of Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:27-31). “Power” in the Church comes from service, and this, in a sense, is not determined  by “positions” or “offices.” St. Augustine, reflecting on his position as bishop, wrote: “What I am with you gives me joy, what I am for you frightens me. For with you, I am a Christian; for you I am a bishop. The former is grace, the latter is an office. The former is salvation, the latter is temptation.

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta once gave a press conference to a group of European journalists, some of whom were atheists. They were in a hurry to leave but she bade them to stay for a prayer. All stayed, including the unbelievers. A journalist curtly remarked that one seemed able to resist her orders: “Her voice seemed not to belong to this world.” She stood no longer as a frail old woman but a woman of God who reflected his goodness. There lay her authority.

Reflection Credits: Fr. Gil A. Alinsangan, SSP; On the Way to the Cross

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarroabel.blogspot.com/).

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to My mercy


[Diary 723] 
+ Today, I heard these words: The graces I grant you are not for you alone, but for a great number of other souls as well... And your heart is My constant dwelling place, despite the misery that you are. I unite Myself with you, take away your misery and give you My mercy. I perform works of mercy in every soul. The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to My mercy. My mercy is confirmed in every work of My hands. He who trusts in My mercy will not perish, for all his affairs are Mine, and his enemies will be shattered at the base of My footstool.

Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Rich Man [October 14, 2012]


The Sunday Gospel [October 14, 2012]

Mark 10:17-30

17As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.19You know the commandments: ‘You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.’” 20He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.” 21Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” 22At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. 23Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to pass through [the] eye of [a] needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?” 27Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.” 28Peter began to say to him, “We have given up everything and followed you.” 29Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel 30who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.

Reflection

“The word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword.” ~ Hebrews 4:12, 1st Reading

What a vivid image! God’s word is razor sharp, able to cut through our innermost thoughts. It can expose the inner motives and desires of our hearts. Most of us would cringe at the thought of such a weapon. So it is good to know that this isn’t the whole picture.

If we want a fuller picture, we need to look at today’s Gospel reading. A wealthy man asks Jesus how he can gain eternal life. Jesus recounts the commandments, and the man is sure he has kept them. What is he still missing? This is when Mark gives us a vital detail. Jesus looked at him, “loved him,” and told to give his money to the poor and then come follow him (Mark 10:21).

It’s this look of love that cut through the man’s confusion and exposed his real self. Jesus saw his sincerity, but also saw the “one thing” that stood in his way: he was too attached to his wealth (Mark 10:21). Jesus’ “look” wasn’t one of harsh scrutiny. It was an inviting look. It was a warm and compassionate look that saw the man’s strengths and weaknesses and offered him the grace to become the disciple he wanted to be.

It’s unfortunate that the rich man “went away sad” (Mark 10:22). But you don’t have to follow his footsteps! Every day, Jesus, the living Word of God, looks on you with the same penetrating gaze. He sees everything in you – the good, the bad, and the ugly – and he loves you intensely.

So take a moment now to let Jesus search you. As you do, you’ll discover that he sees so much goodness in your heart – goodness that you take for granted or didn’t even know was there. Of course he sees areas that need to change. But he is so happy with everything else that he is more than eager to make you those changes.

Prayer Response

Lord Jesus, nothing in me is hidden from you. Thank you for looking on me with such love.

Reflection Credits: the WORD among us

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarroabel.blogspot.com/).

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

For great is the power of God's mercy


[Diary 1652]
Adore, my soul, the mercy of the Lord,
O my heart, rejoice wholly in Him,
Because for this you have been chosen by Him,
To spread the glory of His mercy.

His goodness no one has fathomed, no one can measure,
His compassion is untold.
Every soul that approaches Him experiences this.
He will shield her and clasp her to His merciful bosom.

Happy the soul that has trusted in Your goodness
And has abandoned herself completely to Your mercy.
Her soul is filled with the peace of love.
You defend her everywhere as Your own child.

O soul, whoever you may be in this world,
Even if your sins were as black as night,
Do not fear God, weak child that you are,
For great is the power of God's mercy.

+ J.M.J.

Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Marriage & Divorce [October 7, 2012]


The Sunday Gospel [October 7, 2012]

Mark 10: 2-16

2The Pharisees approached and asked, “Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?” They were testing him. 3He said to them in reply, “What did Moses command you?” 4They replied, “Moses permitted him to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her.” 5But Jesus told them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment. 6But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female. 7For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother [and be joined to his wife], 8and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” 10In the house the disciples again questioned him about this. 11He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; 12and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

13And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” 16Then he embraced them and blessed them, placing his hands on them.

 Reflection

“They are no longer two but one flesh.” ~ v. 8

In the Gospel today, the Pharisees ask Jesus what he thought about marriage. Moses allowed Jewish men to divorce. Did he agree with that? In answering them, Jesus excuses what Moses did. Moses only allowed divorce because of the great pressure the Jews put on him. Also, the law that allowed divorce was only given for a time, since the people were not ready for anything more perfect. (Dt. 24:1) However, Jesus tells them what the ideal is. “At the beginning of creation God made them male and female; for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and the two shall become as one. They are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore let no man separate what has joined.”

When the disciples question him later about this, Jesus tells them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and the woman who divorces her husband and marries another commits adultery.”

In Mark, we see Jesus rejecting the idea of remarriage after divorce. In fact, he calls it adultery. He sees marriage not only as a bond between a man and a woman, but also a bond between them and God. This of course requires lifelong fidelity. Jesus’ argument goes back to God’s will, which is engraved in nature. When a man leaves his father and mother and joins himself to his wife, they become one body. (Genesis 2:24)

There are two other points of view, which present a less severe approach to marriage. In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus is seen as permitting divorce in the case of adultery. (Mt. 19:9) Paul’s view (the “Pauline privilege”) was that when a Christian and a pagan marry, if the pagan wanted a divorce, the Christian was no longer bound. (1 Corinthians 7:15)

The issue of marriage and divorce has become complicated in modern society – even more complicated when one considers the way different cultures and various religious groups look at marriage. But, lest marriage be seen as merely a matter between the married couple, it is good to keep in mind Jesus’ views. The ideal is indissolubility. That was God’s original intent. One cannot err in trying to be faithful to that ideal.

Reflection Credits: Fr. John Seland, SVD; New Reflections on the Sunday Gospels

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarroabel.blogspot.com/).

Thursday, October 4, 2012

There is no misery that could be a match for My mercy


[Diary 1273]
Jesus: My daughter, do you think you have written enough about My mercy? What you have written is but a drop compared to the ocean. I am Love and Mercy itself. There is no misery that could be a match for My mercy, neither will misery exhaust it, because as it is being granted-it increases. The soul that trusts in My mercy is most fortunate, because I myself take care of it.

Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Another Exorcist; Temptations to Sin [September 30, 2012]


The Sunday Gospel [September 30, 2012]

Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

38John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.” 39Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. 40For whoever is not against us is for us. 41Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.

42“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe [in me] to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire. 45And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna. 47And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, 48where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’

Reflection

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe [in me] to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” ~ 42

O Henry is well known for the surprise endings of his stories. One story concerns an emotionally starved child. She’s always asking her father is she can sit in his lap. He always puts her off, saying, “Go outside and play.” The inevitable happens. The girl grows up accepting affection from anyone who offers it; she becomes a prostitute. When she dies, Peter says to Jesus. “We’ve got a bad one coming today.” Then comes the “surprise ending.” Jesus says to Peter, “When she comes, let her into heaven; but when her father comes, hold him responsible for her life.”

How vigilant am I not to do anything that might cause anyone – especially a child – to lose faith in Jesus?

“Children, especially, set their watches by our clock.”

Reflection Credits: Fr. Mark Link, SJ; Daily Homilies

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarroabel.blogspot.com/).

Monday, September 24, 2012

Great love can change small things into great ones


[Diary 303]
Great love can change small things into great ones, and it is only love which lends value to our actions. And the purer our love becomes, the less there will be within us for the flames of suffering to feed upon, and the suffering will cease to be a suffering for us; it will become a delight! By the grace of God, I have received such a disposition of heart that I am never so happy as when I suffer for Jesus, whom I love with every beat of my heart. Once when I was suffering greatly, I left my work and escaped to Jesus and asked Him to give me His strength. After a very short prayer I returned to my work filled with enthusiasm and joy. Then, one of the sisters [probably Sister Justine] said to me, "You must have many consolations today, Sister; you look so radiant. Surely, God is giving you no suffering, but only consolations." "You are greatly mistaken, Sister," I answered, "for it is precisely when I suffer much that my joy is greater; and when I suffer less, my joy also is less." However, that soul was letting me recognize that she does not understand what I was saying. I tried to explain to her that when we suffer much we have a great chance to show God that we love Him; but when we suffer little we have less occasion to show God our love; and when we do not suffer at all, our love is then neither great nor pure. By the grace of God, we can attain a point where suffering will become a delight to us, for love can work such things in pure souls.

Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Greatest in the Kingdom [September 23, 2012]


The Sunday Gospel [September 23, 2012]

Mark 9:30-37

30They left from there and began a journey through Galilee, but he did not wish anyone to know about it. 31He was teaching his disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death he will rise.” 32But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to question him.

33They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, he began to ask them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” 34But they remained silent. They had been discussing among themselves on the way who was the greatest. 35Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” 36Taking a child he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it he said to them, 37“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”

Reflection

“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me.” ~ v. 37

It seems that we have a lot in common with the apostles. We love Jesus, they loved Jesus. We want to follow him, they followed him. We want to please him, and so did they. And like the apostles, we too are subject to human weaknesses. Today’s gospel tells us that Jesus was trying to teach the apostles, but they weren’t listening. They were arguing about who was the greatest.

We shouldn’t look down on the apostles. Like us, they had the natural human tendency to place themselves above those around them. Like us, they had the natural human tendency to think about their needs and desires more than the needs and desires of others. In other words, their hearts needed to be shaped and purified just as ours do!

When Jesus asked about the conversation, the apostles kept quiet. They knew that Jesus didn’t like these kind of senseless arguments, so they were reluctant tp own up to them. So, let’s ask ourselves: “How many times do I engage in senseless arguments? How many times have I tried to prove my point while knowing all the time that the argument was trivial?”

The apostles eventually outgrew these self- centered attitudes. They realized that they were God’s children and that they were being entrusted with God’s work. They understood that what counted most was to show people how to love God and to love one another.

As Jesus did with the apostles, he wants to do with us, He wants to show us a higher way to live. He wants to show us how noble and pleasing it is to serve others above ourselves. He wants to teach us how to avoid getting caught in senseless arguments and how to redirect our conversations so that they help promote virtue and love over envy and jealousy.

Prayer Response

Jesus, teach me how to put others ahead of myself. I want be like you, Lord.

Reflection Credits: the WORD among us

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarroabel.blogspot.com/).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Lord sometimes makes known to me who is praying for me


[Diary 1529]
Today I saw Father Andrasz at prayer. I also knew that he was interceding with the Lord for me. The Lord sometimes makes known to me who is praying for me.

Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Conditions of Discipleship [September 16, 2012]


The Sunday Gospel [September 16, 2012]

Mark 8:27-35

27Now Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.” 29And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Messiah.” 30Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.

31He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days. 32He spoke this openly. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

34He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 35For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.

Reflection

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” ~ v. 34

Wilfred Funk writes:
Lord Byron had a clubfoot;
Robert Louis Stevenson and John Keats had tuberculosis.
Charles Steinmetz and Alexander Pope were hunchbacks.
Admiral Nelson had only one eye’
Edgar Allan Poe was a psychoneurotic
Charles Darwin was an invalid;
Julius Caesar was an epileptic;
Thomas Edison and Ludwig von Beethoven were deaf, and
Peter Stuyvesant had a wooden leg.”
The significant thing about each of these is that they achieved mightily in the face of what most would have considered a cross.

If God asked me to carry one of the above crosses which would I choose?

“If you bear the cross gladly, it will bear you.” ~ Thomas A Kempis

Reflection Credits: Fr. Mark Link, S.J., Daily Homilies

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarroabel.blogspot.com/).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Joy of Heaven


[Diary 1592]
February 10, 1938. During meditation, the Lord gave me knowledge of the joy of heaven and of the saints on our arrival there; they love God as the sole object of their love, but they also have a tender and heartfelt love for us. It is from the face of God that this joy flows out upon all, because we see Him face to face. His face is so sweet that the soul falls a new into ecstasy.

Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".