Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pilgrimage and Retreat

I will not return to blogging until I return to Eagle Pass. I am departing in only a few moments to begin a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. I will not be blogging on this journey as it would defeat the purpose. Expect new reflections on or around the 12th of October. Please pray for me. Praised be Jesus Christ and Mary Immaculate!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Flowing Water

"Like flowing water is the heart of the king in the hand of the Lord, who turns it where he pleases."(Proverbs 21) How can a heart that is flesh, that is solid, be like water that is liquid? Recall the story from St. Johns Gospel of the women at the well. Jesus told her that he would give her living water that welled up to eternal life. The king's heart can be said to be like flowing water because it is filled with the living water that Jesus speaks about in the Gospel. In other words it is filled with grace. The king mentioned in the first reading is not refering to Jesus or David or any other king in the bible. It is refering to you and to me. Recall that at our baptisms we were anointed with Sacred Chrism as priest, prophet, and king just like Jesus, and we were to live as such until we shared eternal life with Him. He then is the Lord in the first reading and we are the kings. So our hearts then are in the hands of our Lord. In His hands our hearts are like flowing water for he pours His living water, His grace into our hearts. This of course is especially through the Sacraments, and in particular through the Eucharist and Confession. Confession in particular. Remember the woman at the well (Jn 4:1-42) her experience was basically one of having her sins forgiven. In other words she acknowledged her sins as Jesus revealed to her how she had been living. Then the living water welled up in her and she brought others to Him who had healed her. Now this living water is alive in our hearts, and our hearts are in the hands of the Lord. Often we do not acknowledge this or fail to recognize this truth of our life. He turns our hearts where ever He pleases. In other words He directs our hearts by His Grace. He pours out His Grace as he pleases. If we can let our lives be set thus on this firm foundation we have no need to fear, or be stressed out, or anxious about anything. What better foundation could we ask for than the hands of our Lord. What greater comfort could desire than the living water of grace that saturates our hearts. In living in this truth then we can imitate the woman at the well and draw others to the Lord, that they may be healed and have their stoney hearts filled with flowing water.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Little Flower

Incredibly although I have only been in Eagle Pass a little over a month, I have been invited to preach the opening night of the novena to Santa Teresita del Nino Jesus at the Carmel in Morelos, Coahuila, Mexico about an hour and a half away. Here is my reflection.
I want to thank Mother for inviting me to preach on this opening night of the Novena to St. Theresa of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. I am new to the area, and as you can tell my Spanish is not so good. However I believe that it is by God’s Providence that I am here and so I will share what I can. You are here by God’s Providence as well. Yes you chose to come tonight, but only after the Holy Spirit invited you. The Holy Spirit called you by name to be here. There is a grace that he has prepared for you and will give to you through little Theresa. As he has said in the Gospel, “to the one who has more will be given.” So you have received the grace to be here tonight and now you should expect that our Lord has even more graces to give to you. Therefore do not be afraid to bring your requests to Him through St. Theresa in this novena. There are many things that one could say about the Little Flower. She is a Doctor of the Church. She has written the famous outline of her spirituality in her autobiography The Story of a Soul. We have many of her letters that we could reflect upon. We even have the beautiful story of her vocation. However I will leave those serious topics for the other priests to address this week. Instead I simply want to talk to you tonight about her image or more accurately her statue which we have all seen so often. When we first look at her statue it seems very simple. Theresa is in her Carmelite Habit with a tiny smile on her face, and in her arms are roses and a crucifix. We have seen her standing in our churches a thousand times. But I invite you to look closer. She has told us she would shower down roses from heaven, but look in her arms. In her arms the statue in Eagle Pass, she holds seven roses. Seven. Why? Because before she showers down roses from heaven she wants each of us to recognize the roses that we already possess. The roses she possessed while here on earth. These roses are the Sacraments. The sacraments strengthened, and nourished St. Theresa while on earth. She was especially strengthened by the Eucharist and Confession. In her arms are the roses that she invites you to embrace. It is no good to simply come to the novena to ask for favors if you do not accept in your hearts what has already been given. You are called as a Catholic to live a sacramental life. This is the life that St. Theresa lived. This is the life that Mother and the sisters here live. And it is the life you are called to live. Come receive the Eucharist each night, but be prepared. Confess your sins during the novena. By participating in the Sacraments you will be drawn into the Loving Mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is why St. Theresa holds the crucifix as well. From our saviors wounded side flowed love and mercy. From his side the Sacraments flow out and it is through the Sacraments we find shelter in His wounded side, and in his Sacred Heart. It is in the Sacraments that we are strengthened to live as Theresa did. How did she live? She lived as the beloved daughter of God. She had confidence in the Merciful Love of God the Father at all times. If she failed or if she succeeded her experience never changed who she was as the Father’s beloved daughter. This truth is what caused the Church to proclaim her a Doctor of the faith. However this revelation given to her by God our Father was built upon a firm foundation. In her statue we see the foundation clearly and we can imitate her. The first foundation was the Sacraments. Our statue in Eagle Pass demonstrates this clearly. Seven roses in Theresa’s arms represent the Sacraments. Three roses are red and four are yellow. The red are baptism by which she became a daughter of God. Eucharist by which she was strengthened to live her life as his daughter, and confession by which she was healed when she sinned thus in his mercy she was reconciled with her Father. She holds the crucifix from which all graces flow. And she wears the habit of the Carmelites the vocation given to her by God the Father. The vocation that made her happy. The vocation that made her holy. The vocation that brought her peace. To those who have more will be given. The statue of the Little Flower tells you and me what we have been given. This is the foundation from which we begin our Novena to Little Theresa. Like her we have been given the Sacraments. Like her we come to Christ Crucified from whom all graces flow. And like her each of us has been given a vocation by God the Father that will bring us happiness, holiness, and peace. Before we begin asking for favors in this novena we would be wise to follow St. Theresa’s example and acknowledge what we already have been given. In doing this we will then be prepared to receive the more that our Lord Jesus promises in the Gospel, and that Little Theresa promises from Heaven.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

3 Sentences

Seek the Lord while He may be found. Call upon Him while he is still near. Turn to Him for mercy. These three simple sentences could easily be overlooked in the first reading today, but in fact they are so profound that we could base our whole lives upon them. Seek the Lord while He may be found. In other words we have the ability to find our Lord anytime we seek Him. There are no preconditions. We do not have to be perfect or without any weakness or failings. We do not have to be sinless. In fact Isaiah is speaking to sinners, and those who are struggling not only in their faith but in life as well. We will find the Lord when we seek Him. This is a promise that God give to us. In your suffering seek Him. In your addictions seek Him. In your worries seek Him. In your fears seek Him. Do not be afraid. Seek Him. You will find Him. The second sentence confirms the first. Call upon Him while He is still near. The name Emmanuel means God is with us. Jesus is Emmanuel. So Jesus is near to you. In other words Jesus lives with us. He is part of our family. He is with us in our homes. He is part of our marriages. Call upon Him. He is among us at all times. Even when our lives are in turmoil Jesus is near. Even when we are constantly fighting Jesus is near. Even when we suffer terrible things Jesus is near. Nothing can separate us from His Love. He will never abandon us. Seek Him and call upon Him and you will find that he is with you in all your struggles and sufferings. He is with us now in the Sacraments to strengthen us and he is at home with you. He is at school with you. He is at work with you. If you turn to Him you will find Mercy. This is the third promise that God gives in the first reading. Jesus is the Mercy of God. The name Jesus means God saves. Our God is a God of Mercy. Today you can experience this Mercy if you turn to Him. Seek Him. Call upon Him. Do not be afraid. I am speaking to you sinners. I am speaking to you who have addictions and bad habits. I am speaking to you who are ashamed of you sins. I am speaking to you who feel worth less. I am speaking to you who have suffered abuse. I am speaking to you who have been used and told lies. I am speaking to every single person here. God loves you. He wants you to come now in your heart to Him. He wants to pour out His Mercy upon you and heal you. Do not be afraid. Seek Him now. Call upon Him now. Turn to Him now, and be free of all that binds you. No sin, no addiction, no abuse, no suffering is greater than His Mercy. Today he promises you this. This is how he sees you. You are His children. He wants to comfort and heal you. Come to Him Be not afraid.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

2 Sinners Or Maybe More

St. Paul and the woman in the Gospel today are both sinners who have been forgiven. Paul himself says that it is only by God's grace that he is forgiven. It is God's decision to forgive them. Neither felt worthy of forgiveness. Both are thus overjoyed at the Loving Mercy of God. Both are humbled by His Loving Mercy. Both then serve the Lord of Mercy unafraid of the work they are called to because they have been given back their lives. They have found forgiveness. They have found peace. So they offer their whole lives in service. Such is the gift of mercy that it elicits this total response of love. Paul says that by God's grace he is what he is, an Apostle. We can say the same in God's Loving Mercy. We can rejoice in His Loving Mercy. We can acknowledge that it is God's choice to forgive us. We do not have to be afraid of what He will ask of us. We can find in Him freedom and peace. Thus we can offer our lives to Him. We can serve Him with joy for in Him, in His Loving Mercy we have found our life. So maybe we can humbly join these two sinners today and respond in love to the Lord of Mercy. Then one day we can be confident we will rejoice together with them in Heaven.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Am Trying

"If you are wise, then you know you have been created for the glory of God and your own eternal salvation. This is your goal; this is the center of your life; this is the treasure of your heart." These are the words of St Robert Bellarmine. Today is his feast day. Often time in our spiritual life we are obsessed with trying harder or doing better. As if we have to achieve some level of worthiness before God will even look at us. This is such a foolish foundation. Of course it is based upon a lie. Many of us believe this lie and so step upon the treadmill of self help so that one day we will be good enough for God to look upon us. Utter nonsense. See the wisdom of St. Robert's words and listen to them. Be wise! Recognize that you were created for God's glory. His glory is seen within you, it is in who you are. Why did God do this? Why did he create you this way? So that he may love you. It is his goodwill and pleasure to love you as he has created you. What about your sins and failings? Be wise! See how he himself has remedied our fallen situation by sending his only Son to be our savior, our salvation. So that in Christ Jesus the Father could see and love in us what he sees and loves in his only Son. This the Father has done because he loves you. Stop trying so hard to do better and accept the truth of who you are as a beloved child of God our Father. He created you only to love you and he has redeemed you that you may live in that love for all eternity. Thus St. Robert continues to say that this truth of the Father's love is the center of our life and the treasure of our heart. So beautiful and wonderful is this love, is this truth that we are to treasure it and base our lives upon it. In doing so we live in the freedom of the children of God. We know what our goal is and that our Loving Father is working out our salvation. If we but know and treasure his love we have no need to fear, no need to try harder to measure up for the foundation of our life is secure. All that we do begins in the Father's Love. The wise embrace this and rejoice in the Lord. The foolish move on to the next exercise, our the next book, our the next speaker, or the next spiritual practice, constantly looking for satisfaction but never finding any peace.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Seek The Smile Of Mary

On this Feast of our Lady of Sorrows anyone who reads this blog should read our Holy Father's homily today from Lourdes France at his final mass before departing. We are blessed with a very holy and fatherly Holy Father in Benedict XVI. Listen to what he says in his homily. I myself had a hard time getting through it because of my tears. You can find it at that is where I read it. Praised Be Jesus Christ and Mary Immaculate!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Exaltation Of The Cross

Today is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. This is the day we recognize the victory of Christ Jesus over sin and death. In other words we celebrate the Mercy of God. When we stand at the foot of the Cross we come to know who we are in the Mercy of God. But we often prefer to be told who we are by our sins. What do your sins tell you? What does lying tell you? Are you not trying to be someone your not. What does gossip tell you? That you are better then someone else. What does cheating tell you? That it is good to get away with things. What does doing drugs tell you? That it is better to to escape real life and live in a fantasy world. What does greed tell you? That money equals happiness. What does excessive drinking tell you? That you deserve to relax because you work so hard. What does excessive gambling tell you? That one day you will hit it big and then all your problems will be solved. What about pornography? That it is okay to look at people as objects. What about casual sex outside of marriage? That we are nothing but animals and need to satisfy our base instincts. What does anger or a grudge say? That we better protect ourselves because no one else cares. How many lives, families, and marriages have been ruined by these lies. Not only these sins, but every sin begins and ends in a lie. Every sin ends with our betraying our very selves and often others as well. We often seek the comfort of our sins regardless of how they strip us of our dignity. We feel entitled to the comfort they provide. Our sins however are not a true refuge. True refuge is found only at the foot of the Cross of Christ. We have no right to embrace our sinful inclinations. We have no true need to embrace our sins. This feast of the Exaltation of the Cross reminds us that true freedom comes from the Cross of our Lord. Mercy is our true freedom and it comes from Christ Crucified. Stripped and nailed to a Cross Jesus restores to us our dignity and heals the mortal wound that sin inflicted upon us. When we look upon His Cross we come to know who we really are because we can see how much we are loved. Maybe no one else loves us. Maybe we feel abandoned and all alone. But we always have Jesus. He knows our loneliness because he was abandoned on the Cross. These are not just nice words, or childish sentiments. This is the truth of our lives revealed by Christ Crucified. Jesus loves you. You are His beloved. His Love is Merciful. No Lie! You are loved by name, personally. Come to the Cross and you will see who you really are in Christ's eyes. You are His beloved. So we celebrate the truth of our life found at the foot of the Cross. All of us have listened to enough lies in our lives. It is time we embrace this truth, and no longer live in fear of judgement and condemnation. Instead let us live in the light of the truth. Let us live in the Loving Mercy of Christ Jesus. The Loving Mercy we celebrate today as we Exalt His Holy Cross.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Listening To Christ Our Foundation

In the Gospel today Jesus tell us that it is not enough to come to Him with our requests and prayers. We have to actually listen to what he tells us and then act upon what we hear. In other words, His Word is the foundation of all our actions. How often do we repeat the same prayers over and over again waiting for the Lord to act in accord with our desires. We never really listen to His response. In not listening we become spiritually paralyzed and simply remain in our anxiety, or our misery, or our fear, and even in our sin. The foundation of our spiritual life is not doing things for the Lord, nor is it the voluminous repetition of prayers and petitions. Jesus reveals to us today that the foundation of our spiritual life is found in LISTENING to Him and then acting upon what we hear. How often do you listen? Is it only when you hear what you want to hear? If that is the case the house you construct will collapse. So how can one Listen to Jesus? Imitate Mary our Mother. Even in praying the Rosary Mary can teach us to listen to her Son. If we pray calmly the mysteries with Mary she will reveal to us what our Lord is saying to us in each one. Not only that but Mary will show us how to put what we hear into action. With Mary guiding us we will never be paralyzed, and we will not multiply our works and prayers in order to satisfy our own ideals of holiness. Instead we will quietly go about our daily labor pondering in our hearts the greatness of the Lord for looking upon his lowly servants. Like our Mother we will be blessed and secure for the Loving Mercy of Christ her Son will be the firm foundation of our lives.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Purity of Paul's Intention

In this year of St. Paul it would be good to pay attention to the purity of his intention as he goes about proclaiming the Good News. He says in the scriptures today, that the duty to preach has been laid upon him. He goes on to say that he did not chose the work of evangelization. Thus free from his own selfish desires he can do the Lord's work. He does not count the cost and he makes a point of telling the Corinthians this. He is totally free. Free to succeed and rejoice as well as to be rejected and suffer. He is confident in God's Love regardless of what happens. The only concern he has is that he remain close to Christ. This is a great example and challenge to us today. Often we claim that we are doing God's will or being a Christian when in fact we are doing even charitable things to gain our own satisfaction. We are obsessed with success. We want to be recognized and approved of by people even as we say we are working for God. This is the opposite of how Paul lived and worked. Today we can reflect on our own intentions and see how pure they are. Today we can pray for the grace to imitate Paul's fine example of working and living for the Lord. This is the path to holiness and peace. Humble service to the Lord by serving our families, our children, our spouses. Serving regardless of the mundane nature of our job or the repetitious nature of our daily life at home. God must be part of all that we do, beginning with our initial intention up to the end of our daily labor. Then like Paul we will receive our reward from God for the good we have done and mercy for all the times we have failed. In this as it was for Paul, we will find Peace in Christ Jesus.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What is Paul Talking About?

"If anyone supposes he knows something he does not yet know as he ought to know." What is it that we ought to know? The Loving Mercy and the Merciful Love of Jesus our Lord. Jesus is the Lover of our souls. Everything must be seen in the Light of His Love. The depths of which are are inexhaustible. Thus none of us can know as we think we ought for we are dealing with Infinite Love and Mercy. The deeper the wound, the more grave the sins committed, the harder the habit, the more entrenched the mindset, the more sensitive the heart, the uglier the abuse, the more fearful the memory, the deeper the depths of Jesus' Loving Mercy. You have no idea. Let go of what you think you know and abandon yourself to His Merciful Love. It flows like a torrent from His Most Sacred Heart and will pour into your wounded souls like a water fall. Nothing can resist this torrent of Loving Mercy. Step into the Light of His Love and let yourself be swept away by His Mercy. Do not be afraid. Jesus wants to heal all your wounds and comfort you in all your afflictions and memories. Not a moment goes past that He is not longing for you. You are not hidden from Him, you are not insignificant no matter how small you feel or how petty you think you are being. You are known by Him. You are loved by him. Forget what you think you know. Forget thinking there is no excuse for you. Listen to His voice calling you. Dive into the depths of His Loving Mercy. Trust in Him and you will be healed, and you will know Peace.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

See And Bend Your Ear

Often times as Catholics we over look the Responsorial Psalm. The Psalm and Response today though should not be over looked. In fact they reveal the very foundations of our spiritual lives. The first foundation is in the response "Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear." "Listen to me" God Himself wants our attention. He wants us to recognize the importance of what he is saying. "See" He wants us to look at him because in His gaze we find Mercy. "Bend your ear" He wants us to come close to Him. To lean in close so we do not just hear Him but actually listen to what He is saying. So the first foundation is the desire of God the Father that his children listen to Him. "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."(Jn 3:16) The Father wants us to listen to Him so that we may come to know His Mercy. That is His Son Jesus.
The Psalm then is the other foundation and it can be summed up in this one line, "So shall the King desire your beauty." We are beautiful to the Father. First in that He created us and second in that He adopted us through His Son Jesus Christ. So He desires that we come to Him that we live with Him and share the wonder of His Love. In this the Father blesses us and all those to whom we are related. We are beautiful to the Father because it is His beauty that is within us. Even with our sins and our wounds we are beautiful to the Father. This is because of His Mercy that dwells within us in Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit. So the foundations are firmly set in the will of the Father and like Jesus and our Blessed Mother have showed us we can confidently say in the power of the Holy Spirit, "Thy Will Be Done Father."

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The focal point of today's Feast in Christ Jesus. "We have been called by the Son of the Virgin Mary out of the darkness into the joy of eternal light." This light first began to transform the darkness of the world at the birth of Mary. Thus we celebrate this feast to honor with great joy our Mother's Birth. It is our devotion to Mary, our drawing close to her that allows the light of Her Son's Loving Mercy to begin to dawn in the darkness of our lives. And what is the darkness of our lives? For some it is sin. For others it is weakness. For others still it is suffering of many sorts physical, emotional, psychological or spiritual. For many it is the wounds of our lives. This is especially true of those wounds the have been self-inflicted, but even more importantly those that have been inflicted against us. The abuse and molestation that so many have suffered. Celebration and devotion to the Blessed Mother allows the healing we need to begin. It allows Christ's Light to begin to shine in our hearts that we may find peace in the Knowledge of His Loving Mercy. Only a Mother can teach this. Therefore we celebrate our Mother's Birthday with great Joy and confidence the as she brought forth The Sun of Justice to Illumine the world, so she will bring us close to Her Son so that His Loving Mercy may Illumine our hearts and our lives bring us His healing and peace.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mind Your Own Business

Clearly today's Gospel could allude to the gift of the Eucharist. The Bread for the journey. The sacred bread that David and his men ate could be seen to prefigure the Eucharist. But it also can be seen to speak of the Sacrament of Confession. The Pharisees in the Gospel are busy pointing out other peoples faults. Ask any priest in the world and they will tell you of the many people who come to confession in order to confess other peoples sins. Usually the sins of family members. When they are told to confess their own sins they are often offended. Do not think you are above this. Many people commit this fault regularly and are not even aware of it. It is called justification. We try to work out with the priest or with God how it was not so bad what we did. Then we talk of circumstances and people as if they make us sin. Do not get me wrong. It is important to recognize the circumstances and occasions in which we commit our sins. But we ought not blame others even if they contributed to our sinful behavior. In Confession we are to confess our own faults not others. When we are busy minding other peoples business we are not growing in holiness ourselves. This desire to justify ourselves is a universal problem. Peoples of all ages, and ethnicity struggle with it. It is in effect a lack of faith and trust in God's Mercy. Jesus did not institute this Sacrament as a means of condemning us. It is meant instead to heal us and strengthen us in His Mercy. But it requires a humility that is painful at times. Do not be afraid. Abandon your justifications and judgements the next time you go to confession and you will experience the Joy of this Sacrament. Then you will seek it out more and more. Without your judgements and justifications you will begin to hear the voice of the Lord speaking to your heart in the confessional. It won't even matter who the priest is who is hearing your confession. You will begin to experience the freedom of true pardon and true peace if you mind your own business.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Not Passing Judgement On Oneself

Paul has nothing on his conscience but still does not judge himself. Rather he is confident in the Merciful Love of God and goes about his duties. In reality he is imitating our Blessed Mother and her quiet confidence. Being mindful of Christ or abandoning ourselves to him is not an intellectual decision nor a program of discipline. It is instead a matter of the heart. Yes, it involves our mind but most importantly it is our heart that acknowledges the truth of our life. I belong to Christ. I am His Beloved. He has chosen me. I have faults and failings. I have sins and temptations. I have habits and weaknesses. But He has chosen me. This is the truth if my life. I cannot deny it. He has chosen me in Love and in Mercy. Many would say it was a bad choice. I even agree judging by my many failings. But it was not my choice. It is His. Thus my soul rejoices and my heart exults in God my Savior. My struggles never leave me and why should they? But I do not face them alone even when I feel all alone. I am His Beloved and my Lover never leaves me. Jesus IS the lover of my soul. I AM His Beloved. That is my only identity. As His Beloved then I am blessed with gifts, many gifts, like family, friends, talents, work, vocation etcetera. But also with faith, hope, love, mercy, consolation, and the list goes on infinitum. I do not have to be afraid. I have only to live in His Love. The love of the Most Holy Trinity brings freedom to our souls. We are free to serve, free to love, free to struggle, free to suffer, free to be healed, free to fail and even to sin. Nothing can break the bond of love that binds the beloved to Jesus the lover of our souls. United to Him we can do all things. As Paul tells us, He knows the motives of our hearts and He has chosen to unite them to His Most Sacred Heart. The only response worth giving is that of our Blessed Mother "Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done unto me according to your word." In imitating Mary then we can find peace, we can abandon our judgements like Paul did and embrace our identity as the Beloved of Christ.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


"The wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God." I often think I know better than God. Usually there are two reasons for this. The first is that I want to justify my behavior. I want to insist that I am right. The second perhaps seems more virtuous but is in fact no less sinful than the first. It is that I often have worked out exactly how God should answer my prayers. Yes, these are often for my family and for those I love, and for those I serve. But when I really think I know better than God is when I am praying for something for myself. I struggle and struggle against God's way preferring my own. How the self-centered and the self-righteous ways of the world have infected our hearts. I do not think I am alone in my affliction. Thus St. Paul's words are such a comfort. He is the one who has told us by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to put on the mind of Christ. He is also the one today to tell us that we belong to Christ. In belonging to Him we can have no fear. We can trust Jesus. We do not have to get our way. We do not have to understand and approve of things. We can abandon ourselves to His Loving Mercy. It is not only the Apostle Paul who teaches us this today. Look at the call of the first Apostles in the Gospel. In essence they abandoned themselves to Jesus and followed Him. Such was the power of His Words and the Strength of His Love as he gazed into their eyes and called them by name. They did not understand why He called them, nor what He would ask them to do. But they knew His Loving Mercy and they drew close to Him, and learned from Him and found healing and peace. We certainly can do the same.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What Is There About His Word?

This question arises in the hearts of the people in the Gospel after they witness a miracle. Jesus heals a man in public by casting a demon out of him. Just prior to this he had been teaching in the synagogue and the people were astonished at his teaching. Hearing the Lord speak and seeing the miracle caused the people of Capernaum to be filled with wonder and amazement. So much so in fact that they spread news of Jesus everywhere in the surrounding region. Wonder and amazement as well as healing and instruction come to us when Christ is present. And when we are mindful of his presence. From this naturally flows a desire to share with others what we have seen and come to know in our hearts. In other words we naturally become disciples. Now obviously Christ is most especially present to us in the Blessed Sacrament. Therefore it is in Exposition that we can be healed and instructed most easily in a personal and intimate way. However Jesus is also present to us in the great Sacrifice of the Mass and it is in the Mass that we are healed and instructed in a explicit way. Both experiences should draw us into the awe of Jesus' Loving Mercy. Christ is not present only in these ways though. In fact he is also present in our homes when we dedicate them to Him. Especially when they are Consecrated to Him. His presence and His Loving Mercy will naturally then make us disciples. This is so important in our modern world where there are so many voices fighting for our attention. What is it about His Word? He is fully present when He speaks! Thus his Word heals and instructs us because they are Spirit and Life. His Word draws us into the Loving Mercy that is the Divine Life of the Most Holy Trinity. Furthermore His Word sends us out to share the Good News of what we have experienced in our hearts. What a joy our lives can be living in awe at the wonder of God's Love, as we listen to His Word. And all we need to do is to offer our homes to Him, visit him in the Blessed Sacrament and receive Him when we attend Mass. Our Loving savior does the rest.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Faith that Comes from the Power of God

Very often our spiritual lives are caught up in a never ending struggle to do better. I really have to pray more or do more is the mantra of the day. St. Paul was a hard worker and he was not afraid to let people know it. But on this Labor Day it would be good to reflect upon his words in the first reading. In doing God's will he comes to the Corinthians in weakness with fear and trembling. In other words he humbly comes to do God's Will. He resolves to know nothing but Christ Crucified. Again he is placing all his trust in Jesus Crucified. As he goes about his daily labor and doing God's Will, St Paul continually says "Jesus I Trust in You". He is not worried about doing more or doing better. He lives in the Mercy that has been poured out from the wounded side of Christ Crucified. He trusts in that Divine Mercy that he knows and has experienced in the very depths of his soul. What happens when St. Paul humbly goes about his daily labor in confident trust is that God manifests His Spirit and Power. But Paul is only imitating Christ. The Gospel tells us what happens in our lives when God manifests His Power and Spirit. Glad tidings to the poor, liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and the oppressed go free, all are a consequence of humble service and simple trust in Divine Mercy. It is the proclamation of Jesus and it is the lived experience of Paul. We too can enter into it in the same humble way if we can live our days Trusting in Jesus. Not relying on our human wisdom but on the power of God. Then we like the Corinthians will come to a deep faith and a deep healing of our wounded souls, and we will find joy and peace and beauty even in our most mundane of Daily Labors for like Paul we will live in the Loving Mercy of God.