1 John 2:15-17 Whoever Does the Will of God Remains Forever

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From John 2:15-17  Commentary in Bold

Do not love the world or the things of the world. (they are not important)

If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (it is your free choice)

For all that is in the world, (and the Evil One has much to entice you with) sensual lust-Sensual lust: literally, “the lust of the flesh,” inordinate desire for physical gratification, (self indulgence and sexual gratification may be your personal business but it is also your choice) enticement for the eyes -Enticement for the eyes: literally, “the lust of the eyes,” avarice or covetousness; the eyes are regarded as the windows of the soul. (seeking gratification through material consumption – for where your treasures is there your heart will be also) , and a pretentious life-Pretentious life: literally, “pride of life,” arrogance or ostentation in one’s earthly style of life that reflects a willful independence from God and others. (self reliance, living without God in your life, your life is about you) is not from the Father (He desires you obey His will) but is from the world.

Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. (all the promises of this world lead to eventual death) But whoever does the will of God remains forever. ( God promises us eternal life; eye has not seen, ear not heard nor has the mind imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him.) 1 John 2:15-17


Confront the World With The Message of Christ

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While driving to Mass this morning I began to consider how I could become more like Christ in my day to day life. I would like to share some thoughts from my perspective. The more I comprehend the beauty and truth of Catholicism, the stronger my faith is. As God has designed things there is always opposing forces that sway like a pendulum, and even in the case of my faith there is no exception. I view the entire world, nay the entire universe from my Catholicism. I am guided by the Church’s liturgical year. Advent means preparing for the coming of Christ, it does not mean Christmas shopping, Christmas trees, Christmas parties, or Christmas cards. I do participate in all of the above and by all means enjoy them, but they are on the peripheral; some I derive no pleasure from some (shopping) others bring a certain measure of joy. During Lent my focus is on deepening my spiritual life by self examination, fasting, walking the road to Calvary in trying to share emotionally in Christ’s suffering and death. I rejoice in the Risen Christ at Easter and enjoy the ordinary things in Ordinary time. My faith in Christ is the center of my life. The danger of this devotion is that I would participate in my Catholic universe to the exclusion of others. others who a) are Catholics, b) Christians, c) Non-Believers. That would be living a lie, “for it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me.” This is a real challenge for me because I do not get excited by things that are important to the secular world. As I meditated on this, the thought struck me; that I must not go through the motions when it concerns the secular belief of others, but rather I must see God’s presence in each and every situation. I was in the check-out line and I noticed that the woman in front of me was purchasing Alvin and the Chipmunks video and CD. She had forgotten something and asked if was alright if she left and went and got it. I told her no problem, and when she came back I said, ” anybody who listens to Alvin and the Chipmunks, can’t be all that bad.” She laughed and went on her way. Not a big deal, but I think what is important is to notice others and to consider them more important than you. This goes to the entire spectrum of my behavior; from not complaining when wronged, to looking for the good in each and every person. The message of Christ is a message of hope to everybody. This goes back to what I wrote about a couple of days ago with respect to how do you know you are discerning the Holy Spirit. It will reveal itself when you become more Christlike.The pendulum must not be off too far in one direction. We must all caution not to see ourselves as the Pharisee who thanked God that he wasn’t like everybody else. It is in humility that God’s grace finds its way to your heart. The world needs us, we who true followers of Christ, not because we are something special, on the contrary because we are regular people who can bring Christ (the Truth) to regular people, who are hurting, sometimes very messed up, addicted to sin and the pleasures of the world, empty and devoid of real love, abused and lonely, lost sheep. They are not outside of us, nor are they beyond the realm of God’s mercy and love. We are Christ’s eyes and ears, hands and feet to all we encounter

Christ Came in Poverty to Teach Us Humility

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Allow me to tell you about what true joy is. These four beautiful children live in poverty in various places on this planet. I have been graced by God to have the ability to contribute in a small way economically to their lives. Every now and then I receive a card or a note from one of them. Invariably it comes at a time when I am struggling with one thing or another. They always express immense gratitude for simple things like shoes, rice, or a blanket and ask God to bestow His blessings on me. Their notes and cards serve to remind me about Christ who came in poverty and to remind me that my life here is not about me, or my bills or what gifts I need to get, or what restaurant I am going out to. I am overjoyed to play a small part in their lives. I could tell you that there monthly incomes range from $50 to less than $150 or that they live in crowded small one room houses. When Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem, they were told there was no room for them to stay and thus the Creator of the Universe who makes each wave on all the waters of the earth in every sea and ocean, and each twinkle on all the stars in the universe, who knows each hair on yours and my head, was relegated to a place where the animals slept and were fed, to make His entry here in our world. God knows what poverty feels like. In this time of global recession, the poor suffer more than anyone else. If you can possibly find the money to support one of these children you will find joy in something greater than yourself and God’s grace will touch your heart. That is what Christmas is truly about. You can sponsor here at www.children.org or http://www.cfcausa.org You can also give a single donation to www.foodforthepoor.org

Taking Isaiah’s Advent Advice

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Today’s reading of Isaiah Chapter 40 is perhaps the definitive passage on what Advent should mean to us. Handel’s Messiah brings it so beautifuly “Every Valley Shall be Exalted…” In looking at Sacred Scripture, there are many levels whereupon God speaks to us. Isaiah is speaking to the people of his time, exhorting them to prepare for the return from exile. St. Mark brings to light that this “Voice that cries out in the desert” is John the Baptist, who in turn is preparing the people of his time to prepare for the coming of the Messiah, the Christ.

Isaiah wrote “A voice cries out:In the desert prepare the way of the LORD!Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!Every valley shall be filled in,every mountain and hill shall be made low;the rugged land shall be made a plain,the rough country, a broad valley.”

In 2011, today, this very day the message to God’s people, those baptised in Christ, His Mystical Body, is this: Prepare yourselves for the Incarnation, the birth of the God-Man, Jesus, which we celebate in our liturgical season of Advent. We celebrate this not in just a historical remembrance of an event thatn took place some 2000+ years ago, but here and now, for Jesus is always being born, in the hearts of those who wish to recieve Him. The message can also be understood this way. If we are lacking or have “pot holes,” maybe even “valleys” in our virtuous life, we can prepare to “fill them in,” how? by perhaps the Sacrament of Penance is a good, place top start, seeking repair and healing, rebuilding what does mesure up to what God desires of us. Another problem could be the hill of our prideful and puffed uo existence, where we are too self-absorbed, not seeing God from the proper perspective of a humble servant, not recognizing Him for who He is. Finally, are our “landscapes” filled with junk, rocks, obstacles, from our sinful lives that we lead? Is our soul”littered”?  Can we “smooth” things out and make paths to Christ direct. That is what we can take from Isaiah as we proceed this Advent, towards the day when the infant Jesus arrives.

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Remembering St. Francis Xavier S.J.

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Today we remember St. Francis Xavier,(1506-1562) the great Jesuit Saint , who was one of the original companions of St. Ignatius of Loyola. He spent his life as a missionary in India and Japan. The picture to the left is from his tomb in Goa, India on the western coast. His body, which is incorrupt, is still enshrined in a glass casket at in the church which formerly belonged to the Society which he founded. In the year 1614, by order of Claudius Acquaviva, the current General of the Society of Jesus, the right arm was severed at the elbow and conveyed to Rome. An altar was erected to receive it in the church of the Gesu, where it is still on display today. My wife and I visited there in 2008.

The Litany of St. Francis Xavier

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God,
Pray for us.
Saint Ignatius, founder of the Society of Jesus,
Pray for us.
Saint Francis Xavier, the glory and second pillar of that holy Institute, etc.
Apostle of the Indies and Japan,
Legate of the Holy Apostolic See,
Preacher of the truth and doctor of the nations,
Vessel of election, to carry the Name of Jesus Christ to the kings of the earth,
Shining light to those who sat in the shadow of death,
Full of burning zeal for the glory of God,
Unwearied propagator of the Christian Faith,
Most watchful shepherd of souls,
Most constant meditator on Divine things,
Most faithful follower of Jesus Christ,
Most ardent lover of evangelical poverty,
Most perfect observer of religious obedience,
Thou who didst burn with the fire of Divine Love,
Who didst generously despise all earthly things,
Most able guide in the way of perfection,
Model of apostolic men,
Model of all virtues,
Light of infidels and master of the faithful,
Angel in life and manners,
Patriarch in affection for and care of God’s people,
Prophet mighty in word and works,
Whom all nations and the Church have with one voice associated
with the glorious choir of Apostles,
Who wast adorned with the crown of virgins,
Who didst aspire to the palm of martyrs,
Confessor in virtue and profession of life,
In whom we reverence, through the Divine Goodness, the merits of all Saints,
Whom the winds and the sea obeyed,
Who didst take by assault the cities that had revolted from Jesus Christ,
Who wast the terror of the armies of infidels,
Scourge of demons and destroyer of idols,
Powerful defense against shipwreck,
Father of the poor and refuge of the miserable,
Sight to the blind and strength to the lame,
Protector in time of war , famine, and plague, Wonderful worker of miracles,
Who wast endued with the gift of tongues,
Who wast endued with the wondrous power of raising the dead,
Resounding trumpet of the Holy Ghost,
Light and glory of the East,
Through the cross, which thou didst so often raise among the Gentiles,

Saint Francis Xavier,
we beseech thee, hear us.
Through the Faith, which thou didst so marvelously propagate,
we beseech thee, hear us.
Through thy miracles and prophecies, etc.
Through the perils and shipwrecks which thou didst endure,
Through the pains and labors, in the midst of which
thou didst so ardently exclaim, “Still more! Still more!”
Through thy Heavenly raptures, in the midst of which thou didst
so fervently exclaim, “Enough, enough, Lord, enough!”
Through the glory and happiness which now thou dost enjoy in Heaven,

Friend of the Heavenly Bridegroom,
intercede for us.
Blessed Francis Xavier, beloved of God and men,
intercede for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
V. Pray for us, Saint Francis Xavier,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let Us Pray.
O God, Who by the preaching and miracles of blessed Francis
wast pleased to add to Thy Church the nations of the Indies,
mercifully grant that we who venerate his glorious merits
may imitate his virtues, through Our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son,
Who with Thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth,
one God, world without end. R. Amen.