Friday, July 29, 2011

St. Martha

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If ever there was a saint homemakers could relate to, it is St. Martha. Poor Martha! She must have spent the whole day cleaning and cooking in anticipation of Jesus' visit to their home. Then when He finally arrives, her sister Mary is so busy keeping Him company, that she does not even realize her sister Martha may need some help putting dinner on the table.

Martha, can no longer keep silent nor mask her annoyance at her sister's apparent inconsideration, but she also seems somewhat annoyed at her guest, Jesus!  As we know from that scriptural reading, she complains about the fact that He doesn't care that Mary has left her with all the work to do.  Jesus gently points out that she is "anxious and worried over many things".

Sad to say, I would probably have done the same thing as Martha.  I do find it endearing though that she and her family had such an intimacy with Jesus that she could talk to Him that way.

If you attend Mass daily, you will notice there are some busy-bees working prior to the sacrifice of the Holy Mass.  They are the ones who pick up litter in the Church, light the candles, prepare the altar, depose of dead flowers, etc.  Then there are the "early birds" who are sitting in their pews, totally focused on the Blessed Sacrament and oblivious to the aforementioned"busy-bees" around them. [Ha! birds and bees reference is totally coincidental).

Those are the Marthas and Marys of daily Mass.  They both do their duties with love for God and neither is looking for recognition.  If the Marthas were to need help from the Marys, I am sure they would immediately offer to help. 

I think we need to be both a Martha and a Mary.  Homemakers must fulfill their daily duties to their family yet it is also very important for them to spend uninterrupted time with Jesus.  He truly refreshes our soul.  Early Mass for these busy homemakers may just be the answer.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Suffer from arthritis or any pain? ask St.Alphonsus

Shared by Mary Jane:

Pray as a Novena, starting this weekend.  Feast of St. Alphonsus is Monday, August 1st.

Dear St. Alphonsus, Friend of the Poor, and Arthritis Sufferer, you are the special patron of all who suffer from arthritis and the pains of many years.

When our joints, hips, arms, legs and knuckles hurt so much that tears well up in our eyes, help us to recall the tears, the sweat and the blood that flowed from our crucified Jesus who bore so much suffering out of love for each of us.

St. Alphonsus, afflicted with curvature of the spine and nailed to a wheelchair cross in your final years, teach us to unite all our pains with those of Jesus, so our patience and love inspires others to accept the difficulties of their lives.

We ask you to intercede for us so our pains will be eased but more so that we are enabled to be one with Jesus in his great act of dying and rising.  Amen.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Regarding Father Gordon MacRae

I left a comment on Father's most recent post letting him know that some people leave not-so-nice comments when I try to enlighten readers on Father's innocence. These comments are anonymous and I therefore delete them.

In response to my comment, Suzanne, one of the lovely ladies who is Father's right hand with regard to his blogging, send me the following comment. I have her permission to share it with you.  Mahalo, Suzanne and Jeremy!

There is a lot more to the story of Father Gordon MacRae than you know. I want to tell you about the real Gordon MacRae. I spent five years in prison with him, but we didn’t know him as Father anything. Just G. I was 19 years old when I went to prison and most people thought I was 16 or 17. Every young kid in prison is very aware of predators and prison is filled with them. A tiger can’t change his stripes and a man who is a predator on the streets can be a monster in prison.

G is far from a predator. He was the only person any of us could trust. He treated with nothing but care and respect and challenged us to leave prison better than when we came in. In all those years I never saw, heard, or felt anything that made me believe G ever belonged in prison.

There’s something else you need to know. There was this big, tough man on our cell block who everyone feared. I was a pretty tough kid and could handle myself , but one night this guy told my roommate to be somewhere else. Then he came in my cell and demanded something despicable from me. When I refused he dragged me from my bunk and started beating me. I fought but was no match for him and he pinned me to the floor. All the upstanding convicts fled to their cells and blocked their ears.

Then the beating stopped and i realized someone else was in the room. It was G. The man stood up and demanded that G leave. G just said, “I don’t jump on your command.” Then this beast just lunged at him, but G stood there and didn’t move. When this guy saw that g wasn’t backing down he walked past G and left. G made sure I was okay. This man never came near me again. He never even looked at me again.

I am out of prison today because of G. All I learned about courage and integrity and honor I learned from G.

Novena to St. John Marie Vianney for Our Priests

It is imperative that we pray for our priests! Check out Father Gordon's recent post

My friend and co-coordinator for the Spiritual Moms Apostolate, Easter, reminds us that the Novena to St. John Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests, begins today. I would also like to thank another friend Madalena, for sending me the novena reminder the other day.

Novena can be found here.

A Heavenly Beautifier

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"Moses 'did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant while he conversed with the Lord.'"
Exodus 34:29-35

The above quote from Exodus was the first reading of today's Mass.  Moses' face became radiant because he came in contact with the living God, face to face.
St. Michael Friary Chapel, Paterson, NJ

We too have the opportunity to encounter the living God whenever we enter a Catholic church or chapel.  Our God is the same God that spoke to Moses.  That close proximity with our creator transformed Moses' face into such a radiance that he had to cover his face from the others.  Just imagine how much our countenance will be changed when we go before the Lord, truly present in the Blessed Sacrament and sincerely adore Him!  It is not only our faces that will transform, but more importantly, this transformation will come about because our hearts will transform.  Our hearts will know love and in turn, will give love to others.  This love will make us beautiful.

There is a strange way of gauging beauty by worldly standards.  For instance, the Hollywood crowd is referred to as the "beautiful people".  People Magazine, has their annual Beautiful People issue.  But if we think about the people we really consider beautiful, we will realize those are the people who radiate love and joy.  Those people are beautiful on the inside and out and that is not just a cliché.

"Girl in the Mirror" by Norman Rockwell 1954

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sts. Joachim and Anne

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Great and glorious patriarch, St Joachim, and good St Anne, what joy is mine when I consider that you were chosen among all God?s holy ones to assist in the fulfillment of the mysteries of God, and to enrich our earth with the great Mother of God, Mary most holy. By this singular privilege, you have become most powerful with both the Mother and her Son, so as to be able to obtain for us the graces that are needful to us.

With great confidence I have recourse to your mighty protection, and I commend to you all my needs, both spiritual and temporal, and those of my family. Especially do I entrust to your keeping the particular favour that I desire and look for from your intercession.

And since you were a perfect pattern of the interior life, obtain for me the grace to pray earnestly, and never to set m heart on the passing goods of this life. Give me a lively and enduring love for Jesus and Mary. Obtain for me also a sincere devotion and obedience to Holy church and the sovereign pontiff who rules over her, in order that I may live an die in faith and hope and perfect charity. Let me ever invoke the holy Names of Jesus and Mary. And may I thus be saved. Amen.

Source: Air Maria: The Model Grandparents - Saints Joachim and Anne

Be sure to visit The Catholic Grandparents Association

Monday, July 25, 2011

St. James - Bridling of the Tongue

The Beheading of St. James by Fra Filippo Lippi

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If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue 14 but deceives his heart, his religion is vain.
St. James 1:26.

In honor of the Feast of St. James, I will:

- Not speak unless necessary.

- Not give my opinion unless asked.

- Listen more intently to the person speaking to me.

- Avoid negative words, harmful, critical, hurtful words escaping from my lips.

- Literally bite my tongue if tempted to speak without first pausing and thinking about I am about to say.

- Pray to the Holy Spirit and our Blessed Mother for strength in  taming my tongue.

- I knew I forgot one more thing.  I will not complain especially about little things.
In the same way the tongue is a small member and yet has great pretensions. Consider how small a fire can set a huge forest ablaze.

The tongue is also a fire. It exists among our members as a world of malice, defiling the whole body and setting the entire course of our lives on fire, itself set on fire by Gehenna.

For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species,

but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings who are made in the likeness of God.

From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. This need not be so, my brothers.
James 3:6-10

There is a good article that someone shared on Twitter that should be read. Three Tips for Taming the Tongue.