(Photo©Father Lawrence Lew, O.P. Used With Permission)

"Whenever anything disagreeable or displeasing happens to you, remember Christ crucified and be silent."— St. John of the Cross

Worth Revisiting - Wanted: Lepers and Prophets

Thank you, Allison Gingras at Reconciled To You  and Elizabeth Riordan at Theology Is A Verb  for hosting Worth Revisiting each week. It is a privilege to share our work with you and your followers.
I would like to share the following post:
Wanted: Lepers and Prophets 
(Originally published 8/13/18)

Few people warm up to lepers or prophets. That is most unfortunate.

(Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)

In Jesus’ time, lepers were shunned. Rarely would they show themselves in public and when they did so they kept their distance from the rest of the community – warning those nearby of their diseased presence by their voices and/or by ringing bells.

What great courage and faith it took for them to seek Jesus out. They knew He was the source of mercy, forgiveness, healing and eternal life. They begged Him to have mercy on them and cleanse them physically. Jesus, defying the norms of His day, not only approached them, He touched and healed them. Unfortunately, true to human nature, not all of those cured expressed their thanksgiving and gratitude for the opportunity at a new life.

Man’s ingratitude toward His God has continued over the centuries.

As the undeserved beneficiaries of God’s mercy and spiritual healing, how have we expressed our gratitude to Him? What portion of the 168 hours in each week that He gives us, have we given back to Him by talking to Him, listening to Him, adoring Him and spending time in His Presence?

As best as I can recall from my reading of Scripture over the years, prophets fared little better than lepers in the reception they received. It was an important but difficult and painful task for those chosen to share God’s words. Not many of the Lord’s prophets were willing ones. Can you blame them? No one wants to constantly hear “Here’s trouble. All he ever does is focus on the negative. He’ll have nothing positive, to say.” Much of what these messengers had to share were predictions of captivity, destruction, doom, eternal damnation and war. Few were thrilled about serving in that capacity. One became so discouraged, he sought death rather than the treatment to which he was subjected. They rarely felt welcomed; they were often despised, ignored, imprisoned or killed. Some tried to flee from their duties.

Eucharistic Reflection - A Life of Gratitude

"A life of faith is a life of gratitude – it means a life in which I am willing to experience my complete dependence upon God and to praise and thank him unceasingly for the gift of being. A truly eucharistic life means always saying thanks to God, always praising God, and always being more surprised by the abundance of God’s goodness and love. How can such a life not also be a joyful life? It is the truly converted life in which God has become the center of all. There gratitude is joy and joy is gratitude and everything becomes a surprising sign of God’s presence."

                                                                       Henri Nouwen

Monday Musings - Courageous Priests Teach The Truth - Let Us Restore Reverence!

May this excerpt from a presentation by Father William Casey, C.P.M. shake us out of our lukewarmness and irreverence toward the Holy Eucharist:

With much appreciation to Reverence Restoration where I came upon this clip

Worth Revisiting - Hell - The Fiery Forever Furnace

Thank you, Allison Gingras at Reconciled To You  and Elizabeth Riordan at Theology Is A Verb  for hosting Worth Revisiting each week. It is a privilege to share our work with you and your followers.

Hell - The Fiery Forever Furnace

(Originally posted on April 15, 2019)

Among the many problems within our Church today is the fact that far too many Catholics do not know or live their faith. This is in large measure due to poor catechesis and the reluctance of some priests to teach the full and undiluted Truths of our Faith. Too many are content to tickle our ears and not seek to save our souls.

I believe, as did St. Vincent Ferrer, O.P., that we cannot be timid when addressing problems in our Church and the lukewarm manner in which many of us live out our faith. St. Vincent, like the noted Italian Franciscan preacher, St. Leonard of Port Maurice referenced below, was direct and confronted people with the Truth since it is only the Truth that will set hearts and souls free.

There is a fear that the average Catholic in the pew can not "handle" the Truth, will not accept the Church's teachings and will take a hike when they are forced to listen to and live them.  Better, many argue, that we skip over the "hard points" of what we must believe, so that we don't lose any more parishioners. For those of this theological bent, zeal for the salvation of souls is an archaic and unnecessary concept.

During this Holy Week, we Catholics should have some solid instruction on sin and the eternal consequences given the price our Loving Lord Jesus paid for our transgressions. The realities of sin and Jesus' suffering and death are front and center this week in our liturgy, Scripture and meditations.

Yes, Virginia. Hell is real - real hot. It's a fiery forever furnace of torment for souls who did not believe it existed and who failed to avoid it by seeking God's forgiveness and mercy. Not a few of these sorry souls eagerly acquiesced to the false teachers among them who told them not to worry about hell. God, they proclaimed,  is merciful and would never condemn any one to hell. Therefore, we can have a reasonable hope that all men are saved. Hell, these pundits suggest, is vacant (if it even exists at all).

Eucharistic Reflection - We Should Never Leave Him Alone

Why art Thou left alone in this Most Holy Sacrament? Where are Thy adorers and Thy friends? Has Thy Church failed to announce Thy Gospel to the world, and to make Thy presence known? Why art Thou so ignored, forsaken, and left alone in Thy tabernacles, without honor and with no one to thank Thee for the gift of Thy Real Presence? Why is the world kept in the dark concerning Thee in this Most Holy Sacrament, when Thou art all that this world needs, and all that souls desire?
(Dom Mark Daniel Kirby, OSB the author of Vultus Christi:)

Monday Musings - Bringing the Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary to Life

[I could not let the month of May come and and go without sharing this post from December of 2017]

Bringing the Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary to Life

Let me be frank. Dan Burke and Connie Rossini are fine outstanding lay Catholics whose efforts on behalf of the Lord they serve have touched the hearts of countless souls seeking a closer union with God. Nary a day passes without my being enriched by the wisdom and insight they share at spiritualdirection.com  and at authenticcontemplativeprayer.

But I am upset with both of them! Why you ask? Because I was too weak to stand my ground, to honor the promise I made not to buy another book this year! It is THEIR fault that I was unfaithful to that promise and succumbed once again to that “buy with one click” button on Amazon.

Had they not written The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of  Avila, I would have been successful in fulfilling my promise. They should have known that this rosary loving Lay Dominican, who never leaves home without his beads, would rush to get a copy. It’s unfair that they chose this particular point in time to write a book that will enhance the prayer life of those who read and follow its recommendations, that will bring the mysteries of the Rosary to life, and that will draw souls closer to the eternal embrace of a loving God.

Most of the concepts in this book were not completely foreign to me. Some had been forgotten or weakened by inattention and distraction and others had become too routine. What an excellent job the authors have done to incorporate their unique insights and the wisdom of St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila into one concise volume. The pictures and reflections are lush with fruit for meditation. 

Let me end with a suggestion and a plea: get your copy of The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila now; and Dan and Connie, please do not write or publish any more books this year. I don’t want to break another promise.

Pondering Tidbits of Truth - May 16, 2019

Pondering Tidbits of Truth is my simple and inadequate way of providing nuggets of spiritual wisdom for you to chew on from time to time.

Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

"Every word that come to us about the uncomfortable, the homeless, the lepers, is the Son of God passing by. If we let Him pass by, He may never be recalled. Graces unused are not often repeated; whispers ignored do not become shouts. All through life, our hands will stretch forth empty of the richest blessings of wisdom and truth unless they are first used to clutch as the sleeve of the Divine 'who makes as if He would pass us by'."

(From Guide to Contentment)

Eucharistic Reflection - His Voice Is Soft

Photo©Michael Seagriff

"The Savior makes Himself heard only in hours of deep recollection, peace, and silence. His voice is soft, so soft that in the soul all must be hushed; it is a melodious voice, while that of the devil is noisy, abrupt, and discordant, and his words are uttered in the midst of agitation and tumult."

Blessed Dina Bélanger