I just watched the current EWTN short video Vaticano featuring the International Sacred Music Art Festival. A world-famous Russian Orthodox choral group also participated. And musicians from various orchestras played music by Mahler and Mozart, which I don't consider to be truly sacred. All performances took place in the various magnificent basilicas of Rome. Of course, beautiful music played in magnificent settings can be most impressive, but if no one is drawn any closer to the Lord afterwards, then it's much ado about nothing. In reality, you can open up to the Lord in silence anywhere and be drawn deeply into him. Seeking God through anything external to him only reveals our unreadiness to directly face him.
Sunday, October 6, 2019
Here is Fr. Mark Goring's latest video. I couldn't agree with him more. Not to go to Jesus or preach him directly is wasting your time. Saints are great, but don't follow them. Instead, let them inspire you to follow Christ as they did. If the Lord were on earth right now, I am sure you would want to follow him only. By the way, if you do not zero in on Christ, how can you possibly attain union with him?\
Saturday, October 5, 2019
From today's Gospel reading from Luke 10, the seventy-two disciples returned rejoicing from their mission and said to Jesus, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name." Jesus said to them, "Do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven." This is rejoicing for the right reason. No other delight can possibly top the delight of knowing that you are going to experience the greatest joy in heaven for all eternity!
Friday, October 4, 2019
Today is the first Friday of October, so there was Eucharistic adoration at church after Mass. I remained for about a hour and received these insights.
- To desire the Lord is the only desire we need. When we have him, we have everything. It is also the desire that pleases him the most. It is not a selfish desire, for it requires giving yourself to him.
- To be wholly healed by the Lord is to be holy.
- To be aware of your sins is good, for it is the Lord drawing you to him.
- The world is filled with evil, so seek union with the Lord to remain in him.
- Everything is known to the Lord. Everything done for his sake in faith is great in his eyes.
- If you want to feel good, serve the Lord faithfully and he will give you joy.
- A sinner who hides from the Lord is a fool. He becomes wise when he turns to the Lord to let him look into his heart.
- We can solve all our problems if we will surrender ourselves to the Lord to ask him to make us perfect.
In Matthew 5.29 & 30, Jesus said to his disciples, "If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut if off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna." The Lord has a point: we must remove what causes us to sin. Sometimes we can have hidden desires our ego still urges us to fulfill. Therefore, we must have the Lord go deep into us to find and remove all the causes. Again, attain union with him to give him total freedom to accomplish this. As it is, the more perfect your union is, the holier you become.
In general, we who follow Christ do not aspire high enough. We are too mild, too fainthearted, falling far short of what the he expects of us and what he deserves from us. We should go all out to possess the Lord, for he loves us so much that he desires ardently to be one with us! The most expedient way to accomplish this to give yourself entirely to him. You cannot aspire any higher.
Today is Memorial of St. Francis of Assisi. In the Gospel reading from Luke 10, Jesus reproached the unrepentant towns. He said to them, "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. And as for you, Capernaum, 'Will you be be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.'" That there will be judgment and there is hell is clear. We know that we are sinners, yet we behave as if we are sinless, remaining repentant. Sins buried are still with you; they can only be taken away by God after you repent of them. If you don't face sins squarely, you won't see heaven either!
Thursday, October 3, 2019
I am old enough to recall the lives of the many deceased relatives and friends of mine. Like most lives, they had happy times as well as sad ones. All I can say is that if we only seek happiness but do not have Christ, then we are merely going through the motion. It is the Lord who can give us the right perspective on life, giving it meaning and direction. Living for God frees us from the prison of living for ourselves. It's living a new life not bound by this world.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 10, Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit to proclaim the Kingdom of God. He said to them, "Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, cure the sick in it and say to them, 'The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.' Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you, go out into the streets and say, 'The dust of your town that clings to our feet, even that we shake off against you.'" It truly matters to the Lord and to us whether we welcome him or not. For our own good, we must seriously consider him before dismissing him outright.
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
I became a Catholic prior to Vatican II, so I am familiar with the old Latin Mass. Now we have the priest celebrating Mass facing us, standing between us and the tabernacle. This morning at Mass, the Lord unexpectedly made me see that the priest could easily become the center of our attention rather that the Lord. In the old days, the priest stood facing the tabernacle like the congregation, so we all focused in the same direction upon the Lord. Hearing the language I understand instead of Latin is fine with me; it's taking the focus away from the Lord that's disconcerting.
Today is Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels. The Gospel reading came from Matthew 18. Jesus said to his disciples, "Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven." How do good children behave? Well, they believe in and obey the father without question, knowing that he takes complete care of them. This is what we adults should be like to the Father. After all, aren't we all God's beloved children?
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
If you had read my post "Bright Hope for Our Time" about the prophecies made by Our Lady of Good Success yesterday, you would understand what's going on in the Church and the world right now. We have all become disordered. Another small example was just in the news. A gay male senior at a high school in Tennessee was crowned as a gender-neutral homecoming queen. Here's a teen boy wearing a gold dress believing that he was a queen. It is only by giving our heart completely to God that we can keep it pure and in good order. You can believe or claim that you are a Christian and still be influenced and swayed by the Evil One without realizing it. To come to the point, you can belong to God or to Satan, and if you are in-between, you are taking an awfully big chance hoping that you can be saved.
It is just plain impossible for us to escape God unless we become absolutely nothing, which again only God can make happen. So the smart, sensible thing for us to do is turn to him and give ourselves totally to him. And he turns out to be our most loving creator and Father!
Today is October 1, the memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus. Deuteronomy 32.10-12 was the entrance antiphon: The Lord led her and taught her, and kept her as the apple of his eye. Like an eagle spreading its wings, he took her up and bore her on his shoulders. The Lord alone was her guide. Matthew 18.3 was the Communion antiphon: Unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. What marked Thérèse as a saint were her childlike belief in Jesus and trusting in his guidance alone. It's a singular faith that was simple, pure, and unwavering. She is my model saint.