Sunday, June 17, 2018

Homily for Today

I have the homily from the Vatican News site for you;

Fr. Antony Kadavil reflects and comments on the readings at Mass for the eleventh Sunday in ordinary time. He says that the readings focus on the birth and growth of the reign or rule of God.
Ez 17:22-24; II Cor 5:6-10; Mk 4:26-34  
Homily starter anecdote: 1) Do you know what happened to the tiny seed Rita Rizzo planted?You probably don't recognize the name, Rita Antoinette Rizzo. Rita was born on April 20, 1923. She had a rough childhood which she spent mostly in poverty. When she was a young woman Rita decided to become a nun. At 21 she entered the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, a Franciscan religious order for women. She believed that God was calling her into television ministry. At the time she didn't know anything about television except how to turn one on. But she prayed about it and decided to go ahead with the project, believing that everything would fall into place. With only two hundred dollars and a handful of other Sisters, she became the only woman in religious broadcasting to own a network. She went on to found a new house for the order in 1962 in Irondale, Alabama, where the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), is headquartered. In 1996 she initiated the building of the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady of the Angels monastery in Hanceville, Alabama. This sister, Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, suffered a stroke in 2003 and was semi-paralyzed and unable to communicate from then until her death on March 27, 2016. But she is seen still by millions of people on her prerecorded twice-weekly program, "Mother Angelica Live." Her network, EWTN, is available 24 hours a day everywhere in the world. Visitors to the EWTN complex in Birmingham, Alabama cannot help but be impressed with what God has accomplished using this little nun - a monastery, network facilities complete with satellite dish, a print shop and a chapel. Whoever would have thought that Rita Rizzo, coming from an impoverished background, and starting on her own with only a few hundred dollars, could reach out and help millions of people to learn and appreciate their Faith? Whoever would have thought that such a tiny seed would become such a large shrub? That is the way the Kingdom of God works. (http://stjohngrandbay.org/wt/client/v2/story/WT_Story.cfm?SecKey=151)
Introduction: Today’s readings are about the birth and growth of the reign or rule of God (Kingdom of God), in human lives and about the gigantic growth of the Church from very humble beginnings.  Both growths are slow and mysterious, guided by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Scripture lessons: The first reading, taken from Ez 17:22-24, is a Messianic prophecy. Ezekiel tells us how the Lord God of Israel will send a descendant of King David to Israel as His Messiah and the Savior of the world. In contrast with the parable of tiny the mustard seed in today’s Gospel, Ezekiel sees the Messiah originating in a royal family (lofty Cedar, David). In the second reading, St. Paul teaches the Corinthian Christians that they are to please God by doing His will (thus advancing the growth of God’s Kingdom and of His rule in their lives), so that they may be amply rewarded in the final judgment. In today’s Gospel, Jesus compares the growth of the Kingdom of God to the germination of a wheat seed and that of a tiny mustard seed. Both have very small beginnings. The wheat seeds, by gradual but steady growth, yield a bumper crop for the farmer. In the same way, the life principle in a tiny mustard seed enables it to grow into a large bush. The reign of God in human hearts and the growth of the Church in the world also have small beginnings. But the Source of all life, God the Holy Spirit, gives to both a steady, persistent and gigantic growth.
The first reading: Ez 17:22-24, explained. In this reading, Ezekiel prophesies the better days coming for the Chosen People, when Yahweh will take back His people once more and dwell in their midst forever. The Lord God tells the people, through the prophet, that He will take His exiled people from Babylon and replant them in Israel, the land of their fathers.  Today's extract is also a Messianic prophecy in which God says that he will raise up a descendant–a sprig from the lofty cedar, David, who will, nevertheless, be the glory of Israel. As Jesus describes the ordinary mustard shrub, grown into a size large enough so that “the birds of the air can make nests in its branches,” his words echo a similar description found in the first reading (Ez 17:22-23). In Ezekiel’s text, it is the tiny sprig that grows into a new, branched, fruit-bearing majestic cedar, far greater than the tree from which it was taken, in which “every kind of bird will live,” an image used both here and in other Old Testament texts (see Ps 104:12; Ez 31:6; Dn 4:9-21), to suggest the future inclusion of the Gentile nations in God’s eternal plan. Jesus’ use of a mustard plant for origin of the resulting Kingdom instead of a great cedar suggests both the humble beginnings for the great power that is to come and its welcome of the “little ones” of the Lord as its members and rulers.  Mark’s community would have recognized the mustard plant as appropriate for Jesus’ own earthly ministry. The Messiah came as an itinerant teacher/rabbi who gathered a few ordinary people to be his disciples. Jesus’ incarnational presence was like that of a mustard plant, not an imposing cedar. He was not a Messiah of towering strength with great political, financial and military power. Yet the Divinely ordained growth of that small beginning resulted in the same kind of exponential growth and presence—inviting all the “birds of the air” to make their nests within its branches.
The second reading (2 Cor 5:6-10), explained:  St Paul tells the Corinthian Christians that his constant desire and motive in his earthly life is, and in his Heavenly life will be, to please God. In this, Paul wants them to imitate him in striving to please Christ is that everyone must “appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil” (v. 10). What we believe about the future should affect our lives today. The knowledge that Paul possessed an eternal house in Heaven allowed him to have a positive attitude toward life's adversities. Paul's cheerfulness stems in part from knowing that as long as we are at home in the body, we are away from the Lord. Death for him is not an enemy but a friend. This is because death, or being away from the body, means being at home with the Lord (v. 8). For Paul, to “live by Faith” is to walk in the realm of Faith. [“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).] Paul teaches that the Divine judgment is a certainty, not an option. Nor is this judgment to be taken lightly. Paul's intention is to remind the Corinthians that all those who serve Christ will have to give an account of what they have accomplished for the Lord, not of how they have increased their own reputation (5:12). Even the Corinthians are not exempt from this Divine scrutiny and assessment. How will we be judged? According to Paul, we are to receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. It is not clear here whether this judgment will occur at death or at the Parousia. Paul does not say, one way or the other.
Gospel Exegesis: The context: Jesus' disciples were feeling discouraged. Sure, crowds were gathering to hear their teacher, but there was little evidence of progress and a lot of evidence of resistance. Jesus had been talking about the Kingdom of God, the time when God's reign would be manifest upon the earth, and people would live in conformity to God's will. It was apparent that it wasn't happening then. It would be even more difficult at the conclusion of Jesus' ministry for his disciples to believe that the Kingdom of God had come any closer to being a reality. They would be a small, discouraged group of fugitives without a leader. Now was the time to provide them with a message that would give them hope in times of discouragement and sustain them in the face of future persecution. Hence, Jesus told them the parable of the mustard seed. His words have a message, not only for his original disciples, but for us as well. The first parable concludes with an allusion to Joel 4:13; the harvest is the Day of Judgment
The Kingdom parables or seed parables: The Kingdom of God for Pharisees was reached by the exact observance of the Mosaic Law. The Zealots saw the Kingdom as a political state established by force of arms with God as supreme ruler. The Essenes despairing of the society of their day imagined it as heralding the end of the world, and so they withdrew to Qumran and elsewhere, in the Dead Sea wilderness, to await the coming of the Kingdom. Jesus proclaimed the Kingdom of God as God’s rule in human lives begun here on earth and completed in Heaven. The Kingdom Jesus speaks of is not the afterlife but an expression of how God wants the world to be and live. Jesus’ “Kingdom parables” in today’s Gospel point to the Kingdom as a Divine act rather than a human accomplishment. They call on man to be patient with the delay of the Kingdom in coming. They are called “Kingdom parables” because they announce, “the Kingdom of God is like . . .” After the parable of the sower in the fourth chapter of Mark comes the parable of the harvest (4:26-29). Here, Jesus describes the farmer planting the seed and harvesting the crop, but not even knowing how the seed secretly sprouts and grows. The third parable in this chapter is the parable of the mustard seed (4:30-32). The consistent factors in all three parables of response in Mark 4 are: the word of God is like a seed; God alone can give the growth; and great growth is possible in God's Kingdom. We are called to do what we can do -- plant and nurture. God will do what only God can do -- produce the growth. In the second and third parables, the comparisons Jesus makes are startling in their simplicity. The kingdom of God, the great future presence of the Divine, is likened to a small seed, a dried up kernel of potential. But the actual development from seed to stalk to ripened grain all occurs outside any influence by the sower. The grain’s growth occurs “by itself” without any observable cause. Clearly, God’s providential power ordains the growth of seeds into harvestable crops, both in Leviticus and here in Jesus’ parable. This Divinely ordered growth gradually brings the small seeds to fully ripened grain heads, ready for harvest. The Kingdom that grows to full fruition under God’s power will be ready for its completion and fulfillment at the moment determined by God for judgment.
Parable of the mustard seed: The Parable of the Mustard Seed was taught in rhetorical hyperbole because the largest of mustard plants, even under ideal conditions, can grow only to a height of about 15 feet. A tree, whose large branches offer a sanctuary for birds, was a familiar Old Testament symbol for a mighty Kingdom, which would give shelter to the nations. The tiny mustard seed, growing to be a tree, symbolizes Jesus’ offer of refuge and life in God’s Kingdom. Here, Jesus uses a shrub coming from a tiny seed (Jn 12: 24)) to represent Kingdom growth, consistent with other tree/Kingdom references (Ez 17:23 and Dn 4:11-21). While the first Kingdom parable (vv 26-29) is found only in Mark, the second comparison Jesus makes concerning the Kingdom, the parable of the mustard seed, is found also in Matthew 13:31-32, Luke 13:18-19, and the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas (20). The picture painted in the Parable of the Mustard Seed by Jesus is of the humble beginnings of the Church experiencing an explosive rate of growth. While growth itself was the primary focus of the first seed parable, the mustard seed comparison emphasizes the contrast between tiny beginnings and tremendous endings. The mustard seed was proverbially used to describe something of minuscule proportions (see Matthew 17:20), in first century culture. Likewise, the resulting mustard plant was well-known as a large, fast-growing herbaceous shrub, and one that could be quite invasive if left unchecked in the garden (see Pliny, Natural History, 19, 170-171). Birds are naturally attracted to the taste of the mustard seed. Matthew identifies the birds of the air as "the wicked one" (http://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/bible.show/sVerseID/23544/eVerseID/23544 Mt 13:4, 19). Mark connects them with “Satan”(Mk 4: 4, 15), and Luke links them to "the devil" (http://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/bible.show/sVerseID/25251/eVerseID/25251l (Lk 8:5, 12). These "birds," demons led by "the prince of the power of the air" (http://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/bible.show/sVerseID/29232/eVerseID/29232 (Eph 2:2), have continually tried to infiltrate the Church. Upon the unsuspecting early Church, Satan moved quickly to implant his agents in it to teach false doctrine while appearing to be true Christians.
 The mystery of growth: Only Mark records the parable of the seed’s growth. Using the mini-parables of the growth of wheat seeds and mustard seeds in the field, Jesus explains the nature of the growth of the Kingdom of God or rule of God in human beings and human societies. In the case of both wheat and mustard seeds, the initial growth is slow, mysterious and unnoticeable. But within days a leafy shoot will emerge, and within months a mature plant with numerous braches and leaves, flowers and fruits will be produced. The growth is silent and slow but steady, using power from the seed in the beginning and transforming absorbed water and minerals in the later stages. Growth doesn't take place because of our understandings or manipulations.  It is God's initiative that brings forth growth. We need to be patient and not give up, because sometimes growth takes longer than we expect. God works in ways we don't understand
Mysterious but steady growth of the Kingdom of God: Jesus explains that the kingdom of God grows this way in human souls. The Kingdom of God is the growth of God’s rule in human hearts that occurs when man does the will of God and surrenders his life to God. The seed of Faith lies dormant within each of us. When we permit him to nurture it with tender loving care, it grows miraculously into gigantic proportions. The growth is slow and microscopic in the beginning. But this seed grows by using the power of the Holy Spirit, given to us through the word of God, the Mass, the Sacraments and prayer. Finally, God’s rule in the human heart transforms individuals and communities into God’s people doing His will in His kingdom.
The message of the parable: is quite simple and direct. The reign of God will grow to its fullness, despite all obstacles. Those who accept Jesus as their God and Savior will accept his rule in all areas of their lives, with the help of the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within them. The Church of Jesus Christ had a tiny beginning in the work of an obscure teacher and a pitifully small group of ordinary people. But one of the proofs of the Divine origin of the Church of Christ is its growth from such a very humble beginnings. No wonder the Church has become the greatest of all shrubs, the world-wide Church that welcomes people of all races and nations into her folds, celebrating the marvel of growth!
A parable of encouragement: The parable of the mustard seed is a word of encouragement for us. Things might not be what you and I want them to be, but there is still hope. God works in mysterious ways. God is still with us even when our efforts are frustrated, because He is the source of growth. Growth often starts out small like a mustard seed and then blossoms into something huge.  
The second thing these words of Jesus do is to remind us that while we are called to do something, we are not called to do everything. We scatter the seed, but the growth is up to God. The same process works in the Christian life. We practice daily prayer and Bible reading. We find ways to be of service to others. We pledge money and time to the Church and charitable purposes. We join the people of God at the altar regularly. These are some of the seeds that God uses to mold and shape our lives in love, peace and hope. But the shaping happens at God's own pace and as we are able to cooperate with Him.
Life messages:   1) We need to cooperate in the growth of God’s Kingdom: The Kingdom of God is the growth of God’s rule in human hearts that occurs when man does the will of God and surrenders his life to God. The seed of Faith lies dormant within each of us. When we permit the Holy Spirit to nurture it with TLC (tender loving care), it grows miraculously into gigantic proportions. The growth is slow and microscopic in the beginning. But this seed grows by using the power of the Holy Spirit, given to us through the word of God, the Mass, the Sacraments and prayer. As we learn God’s will from His words and try to put these words into practice, we participate in the growth of God’s Kingdom on earth, a growth which will be completed in our Heavenly life. But since we need the special anointing of the Holy Spirit to be doers of the word of God, let us offer our lives before God every day, asking for this special anointing.
2) We need not get discouraged: Since the acceptance God’s rule by human beings is a very slow process, there is the danger of discouragement and hopelessness among preachers, evangelizers and believers. The conviction that growth of the Kingdom of God is the work of the Holy Spirit with our humble cooperation should make us optimistic in continuing our work of bearing witness to Him. We can all plant tiny seeds in the form of words of love, acts of encouragement, deeds of charity, mercy and forgiveness. Parents and teachers can plant a lot of seeds in the minds of their children and students. The Holy Spirit will touch the hearts of the recipients of these seeds sown by us and will effect growth of the Kingdom in their souls and lives. As the apostle Paul once said of his ministry, "Neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth" (1 Corinthians 3:7). (Fr. Antony Kadavil)

Some Prayer and Meditation

Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit and transform me into the Christ-like holiness you desire. Increase my zeal for your kingdom and instill in me a holy desire to live for your greater glory.

Lord, I believe you have called me to strive tirelessly to extend your Kingdom throughout the world. I hope in you because you are the one the Father sent. I love you. Thank you for inviting me to be an apostle of your Kingdom.

Today the meditation is from Regnum Christi please read through and enjoy;

Petition: Lord Jesus, make me an apostle of your Kingdom.
 
1. Kingdom of God: Christ returns to this theme again and again. It was the topic of his first public sermon. He gives us the image of the mustard seed which grows to be the largest of plants and in turn serves other creatures’ needs. The Kingdom of God is like this. God is king and his Kingdom, like the mustard tree, is a safe haven for us. We can dwell in its shade, rest on its branches, and find protection from evils. All we have to do is be faithful subjects of our King, following his commands and going out to spread the news of his Kingdom to all people.
 
2. Modest Beginnings: We should not get anxious when we do not progress in the spiritual life as fast as we would like. God moves us along little by little. The life of our relationship with Christ does not depend solely on us, but on him. We are like good farmers who do our part to make sure the conditions are good for the seed to grow, but it is the Creator who makes the growth happen. Often, we do not perceive the work of God in our souls until much time has passed. However, he is constantly there, pulling out our weeds one at a time, and pushing our virtues to the surface.
 
3. Called to Greatness: Two thousand years ago, Christ’s Church started off like a small mustard seed. It has grown and matured to be a huge plant with many branches. I am one of those branches. Christ brings life to my branch and assigns me a specific task. He calls me to participate in the great mission of his Church. Do I realize and relish how great it is to be a Catholic, how much good the Church does, how I am called to be a link that will bring others to experience the same goodness I have experienced?
 
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, I am a member of your Mystical Body. I want to partake in your mission of bringing all souls to know and love you. I have found my joy in you, and now I have a burning desire to make it known to all people. Lord, I pray for the courage to keep going, never tiring from the mission you have given me.
 
Resolution: I will take a moment in prayer to reflect on how God has worked in my life, making me grow.

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Image result for eleventh sunday in ordinary time 2018

Reading 1 Ez 17:22-24

Thus says the Lord GOD:
I, too, will take from the crest of the cedar,
from its topmost branches tear off a tender shoot,
and plant it on a high and lofty mountain;
on the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it.
It shall put forth branches and bear fruit,
and become a majestic cedar.
Birds of every kind shall dwell beneath it,
every winged thing in the shade of its boughs.
And all the trees of the field shall know
that I, the LORD,
bring low the high tree,
lift high the lowly tree,
wither up the green tree,
and make the withered tree bloom.
As I, the LORD, have spoken, so will I do.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 92:2-3, 13-14, 15-16

R. (cf. 2a) Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.
It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
to sing praise to your name, Most High,
To proclaim your kindness at dawn
and your faithfulness throughout the night.
R. Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.
The just one shall flourish like the palm tree,
like a cedar of Lebanon shall he grow.
They that are planted in the house of the LORD
shall flourish in the courts of our God.
R. Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.
They shall bear fruit even in old age;
vigorous and sturdy shall they be,
Declaring how just is the LORD,
my rock, in whom there is no wrong.
R. Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.

Reading 2 2 Cor 5:6-10

Brothers and sisters:
We are always courageous,
although we know that while we are at home in the body
we are away from the Lord,
for we walk by faith, not by sight.
Yet we are courageous,
and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord.
Therefore, we aspire to please him,
whether we are at home or away.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ,
so that each may receive recompense,
according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower.
All who come to him will live forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 4:26-34

Jesus said to the crowds:
“This is how it is with the kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and through it all the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.”

He said,
“To what shall we compare the kingdom of God,
or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them,
but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

THE BEADS AND REPETITION OF THE ROSARY

This is an atricle I read from our friends at Spiritual Direction and thought it was good insight into the Rosary so I have decided to share with you. God Bless and enjoy!

THE BEADS AND REPETITION OF THE ROSARY

MAY 30, 2018 BY   
FILED UNDER BOOKSCHARLIE MCKINNEYFEATURED
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The Beads and Repetition of the Rosary
beads
We should begin with what is most obvious in the Rosary. An aid is used in this prayer: a string or a chain of beads. Some of these beads are larger or are marked apart from the others by a greater distance. Ten smaller beads follow a larger one and form a decade. The whole chain has five such decades. The decades taken together are preceded by a sort of preface, formed by a little crucifix and followed by one large bead and then by three smaller beads.
For the sake of completeness and for those to whom all of this is foreign, we should add that there are some variations of the Rosary that have different divisions, and are only in use in certain places. We should also add that externally the Rosary has taken on manifold and at times beautiful and precious forms, as happens with things that are honored and loved. There can be something very venerable and delicate about an old and nobly designed Rosary that looks as if generations had used it and passed it on.
This string of beads slides through the fingers of the person who prays. At the little cross in the beginning he says the Creed; at every smaller bead, the Hail Mary. At the larger ones that always precede a row of the ordinary beads, he says the Our Father. And after every decade, the doxology: “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.” And all begins and ends with the Sign of the Cross.
What does all this mean? Is not this praying cord a symptom of inferior piety, as the critics say? Is it not something material which contradicts Jesus’ word of exhortation: “God is spirit, and they who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth”?
Praying means conversation with God. This conversation is life. But all the expressions of life cannot be reduced to the same pattern. There is no prescription for prayer to be taken “as directed.” Revelation tells us who God is and who we are, and in what disposition we should approach Him, but not the precise manner in which to walk and dwell before God. Even words that deal with spirit and truth do not give us that prescription, let alone the fact that they are often misunderstood; for spirit and truth do not contradict outward form and order. Spirit does not mean “thought,” but the Holy Spirit who hovered about Christ, assuming at Pentecost the guidance of Christian history; and truth is not an incorporeal emotion, but rather the living order in which Christ has placed us before the Father. Even in the seemingly most exterior form of prayer, this order can be maintained, this spirit can hold the reins – just as they may become lost in any form of prayer, even the most spiritual and the most interior.
There is a form of prayer in which man expresses a petition or sentiment to God: an appeal, gratitude, or repentance. This he must do sincerely and concisely, and his expression should be in keeping with his innermost impulse. We are reminded here of Christ’s warning against excessive speech. If a person thinks that his request will be more certainly heard if he repeats it ten times, says the Lord, he acts “like the Gentiles.” But if in his anxiety he longs for expression, he may well repeat it ten or a hundred times. Prayer is good when it springs from the heart’s impulse; only otherwise is prayer harmful. We mean here all and everything that basically meets God in a false manner. For the “prattle of the Gentiles” is not evil because of the fifth or tenth repeti­tion, but is evil from the beginning, because it is not an appeal to the Lord of creation but to “a god” whom, regardless of his greatness, one harasses like a man to do one’s bidding.
But there is another kind of prayer in which it is not a matter of simply saying what is in one’s heart, but in which one yearns to dwell in God’s presence. This prayer is inclined to use fewer and fewer words, not because it exhausts itself in the saying, but because it is beyond words. Perhaps what it voices is always the same, over and over again. Just think of St. Francis, who spent whole nights crying out, “My God and my all!” At the end even such words will be dropped, and the soul — so claim the spiritual masters — will enter “nothingness.” Words in this prayer have only the task of supporting the inner emotion, fading away when they have done this service.
Finally, there is still a third form of prayer. It is also centered around a sojourn with God, around a service to Him — in inner self-knowledge and tranquillity, but in a manner that makes a flowing channel out of the words in which it is expressed, a force that keeps the prayer moving. In this type of prayer, new words will not always emerge, but the same words will return. Repetition be­comes the outer form of prayer for the purpose of pacify­ing and fulfilling the inner emotion. The Litany is an example of this type of prayer, with its many related invocations and petitions in which the thought is trans­formed but slowly. It is very old; we find it at the dawn of Christendom. A similar kind of prayer is the use of Psalms, when the antiphon is inserted between the verses — a constantly recurring invocation. The anti­phon, too, is as old as the hills. In this form of prayer we also include the Rosary.
One might object that this repetition leads to an exteriorization of prayer. That may happen, of course; but then one has made a mistake and we are using the Rosary in the wrong way. But exteriorization of prayer does not necessarily happen, for repetition can have a real meaning. Is it not an element of all life? What else is the beating of the heart but a repetition? Always the same contraction and expansion — and yet it makes the blood circulate through the body. What else is breathing but a repetition? Always the same in and out — but by breathing we live. And is not our whole being ordered and sustained by change and repetition? Ever anew the sun rises and sets, night follows day; the round of life begins in the spring, rises, reaches its sum­mit, and sinks. What objection can one raise against these repetitions and so many others? They are the order in which growth progresses, the inner kernel develops, and the form is revealed. All life realizes itself in the rhythm of external conditions and internal accomplishment. If this is so everywhere, why should it not also be so in religious devotion?
The Rosary represents a certain form of religious devotion. The individual may claim that he cannot do anything with it; that is his affair. But he must not call this prayer senseless or un-Christian, for then he would show ignorance.
The string of beads obviously has the purpose of diverting the thoughts from certain external distrac­tions of attention. One bead leads the person praying to the next. Their number keeps the repetition within certain bounds, approved by long usage. Otherwise he who prays would have to keep a watch for the “too little” or else fall into the “too much,” and thus be diverted from the essential. The beads take this trouble off his shoulders; they do the counting for him. Yet is this not something “technical”? Surely; but does not all life con­tain “technicalities”?
It is said of all things, even the spiritual, that they have to be learned. But learning requires practice; and practice is nothing else but a training of technical skill, liberating our strength and attention for what is essential. So long as one is yet unskilled, one has to watch every single act, and the essential comes off badly; but with the acquisition and development of technical skill, the essential is liberated. The string of beads has no other meaning.

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This article is adapted from a chapter in The Rosary of Our Ladyby St. Peter Julian Eymard which is available from Sophia Institute Press
Art for this post on the beads and repetition of the Rosary: Cover of The Rosary of Our Lady used with permission; Detail of The Madonna of Carmel and the Souls of Purgatory [Queen of Carmel], Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 1730s, PD-US author's life plus 100 years or less, Wikimedia Commons.
Read more on the Rosary from Fr. Guardini HERE.

Sacred Heart of Jesus Novena

Time for the Sacred Heart of Jesus Novena and it starts today,. You can follow the link to Pray More Novenas and follow along daily. God Bless!

I have put down Day 1for all of you;

Day 1 - The Sacred Heart of Jesus Novena

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.”
Behold I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of…
(Mention your Intention Here)
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. 
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.” Behold, in your name, I ask the Father for the grace of…
(Mention your Intention Here)
Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory be to the Father...
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away.” Encouraged by your infallible words I now ask for the grace of…
(Mention your Intention Here)
Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory be to the Father...
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of you, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your tender Mother and ours.
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve: to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus, O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.

Amen.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Pope’s Morning Homily: Worldly Patterns Promise Everything & Give Nothing

Read this at Zenit it is the Holy Father's Homily from yesterday's mass. Found it a good read so here it is for the rest of you to see and enjoy!

Pope’s Morning Homily: Worldly Patterns Promise Everything & Give Nothing

During Morning Mass, Francis Says to Walk Toward Holiness, We Must ‘Be Free & Feel Free’
Do not remain attached to worldly ways of thinking and behavior. You know better. Hence, claim your freedom by embracing your call to holiness.
According to Vatican News, Pope Francis stressed this during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta as he reflected on the day’s reading from the First Letter of Peter which urges Christians to be holy in every aspect of their conduct.
In the homily, Francis discussed that call to holiness and the importance of moving away from our worldly way of thinking and behavior that formerly enslaved us.
“The call to holiness, which is the normal call, is our call to live as a Christian, namely living as a Christian is the same as saying ‘living as a saint’. Many times we think of holiness as something extraordinary, like having visions or lofty prayers … or some think that being holy means having a face like that in a cameo … no. Being holy is something else. It is to proceed along this path that the Lord tells us about holiness.”
“And what is it, to proceed along the path of holiness?” the Pope asked. “Peter says it,” he answered, “‘Put all your hope in that grace that will be given to you when Jesus Christ manifests Himself.'”
Walking towards holiness, the Pontiff said, means proceeding towards that grace, that encounter with Jesus Christ. Like walking towards the light, Francis highlighted that many times we don’t see the road well, because the light dazzles us.
“But we are not mistaken, noted the Pope, “because we see the light and we know the way”. When you walk with the light behind you, you can see the road well, but in reality there is shadow, not light, in front of you.”
The Pope urged Christians not to go back to their worldly patterns of behaving.
Stressing so many things enslave us, the Jesuit Pope stressed that for Christians to walk toward holiness, they need “to be free and to feel free.”
Do Not
It is for this reason, he said, that Peter urges us not to conform “to the desires of our former ignorance.” In his First Letter to the Romans, Saint Paul say: “Do not conform,” which means don’t get involved in worldly patterns of behavior.
“This is the correct translation of this advice – do not adopt the worldly patterns, – do not adopt those patterns of behavior, that worldly way of thinking, that way of thinking and judging that the world offers you because this deprives you of freedom.
To proceed towards holiness, the Pope stressed, one must be free: free to go forward, looking at the light, going forward. “When we return, as he says here, to the way of life we had before our encounter with Jesus Christ or when we return to those patterns of worldly behavior, we lose our freedom.”
“In moments of trials and tribulations, we always are tempted to look back, to look at the worldly patterns of behavior, at the patterns that we had before setting out the path towards salvation: without freedom. And without freedom one cannot be holy.”
“Freedom is the condition for moving forward while looking at the light ahead of us. Do not adopt the worldly patterns of behavior, walk forward, looking at the light that is the promise, in hope; this is the promise like the people of God in the desert: when they looked forward everything went fine; when they were nostalgic because they could no longer eat the good things they formerly had, they made mistakes and forgot that they had no freedom back there.”
Called Daily to Holiness
The Lord, the Pope reminded, calls us to holiness every day.
To know if we are on our way to this call, the Pope said there are two parameters. “First of all, if we look towards the light of the Lord in the hope of finding it and, then if when the trials come, we look ahead and do not lose our freedom by taking refuge in worldly patterns of behavior, which promise you everything and give you nothing.”
“You will be holy because I am holy: this is the Lord’s commandment.”
Pope Francis concluded, praying God to grant us the grace to understand correctly what the path of holiness is.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Prayer and Meditation

May the Lord Jesus put his hands on our eyes also, for then we too shall begin to look not at what is seen but at what is not seen. May he open the eyes that are concerned not with the present but with what is yet to come, may he unseal the heart's vision, that we may gaze on God in the Spirit, through the same Lord, Jesus Christ, whose glory and power will endure throughout the unending succession of ages.

Lord Jesus, I believe in you. I believe you have called me to the faith and to share that faith. I trust that you will fill me with your spirit of courage and truth, so that I might faithfully assimilate and transmit the faith. I love you. I want to love you more with my prayer and with my life, and so grow in the unity of the love you share with your Father and the Holy Spirit.
 
Meditation is from Regnum Christi;


Petition: Lord Jesus, help me to understand better and adore this great mystery of the Holy Trinity.
 
1. Standing Between Heaven and Earth: Jesus Christ stands on the mountain of the Ascension, drawing all creation back to his Heavenly Father. He stands between heaven and earth as our God, our redeemer, our best friend, and as one who will walk with us every step of the way. Together with the disciples, let us adore him. Lord, we worship you, we thank you, we adore you. We thank you for your great goodness, burning love and unfathomable mercy. Heaven and earth are filled with your glory.
 
2. Go Therefore and Make Disciples of All Nations: What does Jesus do with his power over heaven and earth? He uses it to unite sinful men with the all-holy God. How almighty his power must be to transform sinners into children of God and heirs of heaven. And how does Jesus bring about this transformation? He empowers his apostles to teach his truth and transmit a participation in his divine life. Lord Jesus, thank you for the light of truth that dispels the darkness of our minds. Thank you for the life of grace bestowed upon us in baptism. And thank you, Lord, for the bishops and priests who bring us — through your divine power — God’s own truth and a share in the life of the most blessed Trinity. Thank you for St. Peter and all his successors who keep us united in one, holy and universal Church as we journey toward the heavenly kingdom.
 
3. Baptizing Them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: Without water, we would die of thirst. Without the Redemption, we would die in our sins, forever excluded from our destiny — union with God in the eternal happiness of heaven. How fittingly then, Jesus uses water to give us the fruits of his glorious Redemption. Not water alone, but water blessed in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Let us bow down in adoration before the infinite power of Our Lord. Through the ministry of his priests, Jesus raises the dead to the supernatural life of grace. Thank you, Lord, for the awesome gift of baptism and for adopting me as your child.
 
Conversation with Christ: Dear Heavenly Father, you are now my own Father. I am your beloved child in Christ. Holy Spirit of God, gift of the Father and the Son, make your home in my heart. Direct my every thought, word and deed to glorify the most Holy Trinity.
 
Resolution: I will often repeat with the holy children of Fatima: “O Most Blessed Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most Precious Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of thy dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world.”

Homily for Today

I have the homily from the Vatican News site for you; Fr. Antony Kadavil reflects and comments on the readings at Mass for the eleventh S...