Friday, July 19, 2019
I can honestly say that if I had paid more attention to my interior life years and years ago, life would have been so much better for my wife and children. God had given me so many opportunities to get ahead, St. Josemaria Escriva and the Opus Dei Center among them, but I did not pay enough attention. Thank God His grace kept coming! If you’ve never read anything of this great saint, start now!
Thursday, March 21, 2019
From a sermon by John the Serene, bishop
Love the Lord and walk in his ways
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? How great was that servant who knew how he was given light, whence it came, and what sort of man he was when he was favoured by that light. The light he saw was not that which fades at dusk, but the light which no eye has seen. Souls brightened by this light do not fall into sin or stumble on vice.
Our Lord said: Walk while you have the light in you. What other light did he mean but himself? For it was he who said: I came as a light into the world, so that those who have eyes may not see and the blind may receive the light. The Lord then is our light, the sun of justice and righteousness, who has shone on his Catholic Church spread throughout the world. The prophet spoke as a figure of the Church when he cried: The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The spiritual man who has been thus illumined does not limp or leave the path, but bears all things. Glimpsing our true country from afar, he puts up with adversities; he is not saddened by the things of time, but finds his strength in God. He lowers his pride and endures, possessing patience through humility. That true light which enlightens every man who comes into the world bestows itself on those who reverence it, shining where it wills, on whom it wills, and revealing itself according to the will of God the Son.
When this light begins to shine upon the man who sat in darkness and the shadow of death, in the darkness of evil and the shadow of sin, he is shocked, he calls himself to account, repents of his misdeeds in shame, and says: The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? Great is this salvation, my brethren, which fears neither sickness nor lethargy and disregards pain. We should then in the fullest sense not only with our voice but with our very soul cry out, The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? If he enlightens and saves me, whom shall I fear? Even though the dark shadows of evil suggestions crowd about, The Lord is my light. They can approach, but cannot prevail; they can lay siege to our heart, but cannot conquer it. Though the blindness of concupiscence assails us, again we say: The Lord is my light. For he is our strength; he gives himself to us and we give ourselves to him. Hasten to this physician while you can, or you may not be able to find him when you want him.
From Universalis.com, Office of Readings today.
Friday, January 25, 2019
Friday, December 14, 2018
Am I ready? I probably whine and worry too much, but the author of the above is correct: that the non-Christian world would dislike Christians like me should be expected. We were told to expect it, after all, and now that I think about it, this dislike is no more than the first reaction to a massive challenge against how the non-Christian world thinks. Since that challenge is so radical, i.e., the gospel, then of course the reaction would be one of deep suspicion and a lot of opposition. Something worth noting is that this should not have been necessary in previously Christian societies, but that ball was dropped and so here we are.
On a personal note, I have some experience in the challenge of a cross and, thankfully, embracing it. I went from asking for the cross to be taken away to, finally, embracing that it is a necessary burden for Love's sake. Not that the cross itself is the end-all. It simply means that struggle that comes with striving for something truly important. For me, it was for my loved ones, and thankfully, something I read about awhile back finally got through my thick skull: abandoning my cross - my post - meant that people I love would have to carry it for me, more than their share.
So it seems to me, reading the above article, that we cannot let fear of opposition - and any desire to fit in - deter us from that commission to evangelize the world. After all, when we stop preaching the gospel, others preach their own doctrines, which have brought and continues to bring sorrow and disaster to the world around us, even inside our own homes to our families.
We may not live long enough to see the end result of our evangelization, but we can plainly see the result of our lack of evangelization. So persecuted or not, whether softly or at the point of a knife, we can't drop the ball. We've let this madness go on for so long already. The world needs Christ. There is no relief from the evil and madness otherwise.
Thursday, August 02, 2018
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Pope St. Leo the Great, writing about St. Peter healing the lame (Acts 3:6), notes how, healing the man's legs, he also, by the power of God, and only by the power of God, healed the hearts of the multitude who then received the gift of Faith. Earlier I pondered at the idea what this gift of supernatural Faith was for. Why do I pray for an increase in Faith? For many months I prayed for the power to move the mountains in my life. But it occurred to me today to dig deeper. What do the Scriptures say? We live by Faith.
To be broken-hearted is like dying slowly. There is in it a keen feeling of asphyxiation, suffocating in anguish and despair. Faith in God lifts that up and off because there is Someone who saves, Someone who cares enough to journey with us through our sorrows and consoles us with a better tomorrow. This is also why the compassion of Christians, walking beside the downtrodden, is crucial, because it delivers the compassion of God with that human dimension in space and time. Yes, Jesus is the Son of Man, and that indeed is who we Christians are.
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
I once heard a magnificent talk given by Bishop Robert Baron where he points out the irresistible power of the Church, promised by Jesus at Caesarea Philippi: "and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it." And Bishop Baron points out that gates do not attack, so this is not about the Church being impregnable, but rather it is the Church that marches onward, and the gates of Hades must give way.
How much marching have we been doing, each of us, in or families, in our parishes and schools, in society? For me, not much.
From Haggai 1:1-2:9
The Lord of Hosts says this: Reflect carefully how things have gone for you. The abundance you expected proved to be little. When you brought the harvest in, my breath spoilt it. And why? – it is the Lord of Hosts who speaks. Because while my House lies in ruins you are busy with your own, each one of you.