Miracles Are Real!

Miracles Happen!

TWENTY-SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – WK II

Antiphon “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

Warning to Rich Oppressors

“Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days.” ~ James 5:1-3

A Modern Day Miracle

Senator Flake listening to a tearful confession of abuse

The morning of Friday, September 28, 2018, I woke up anxious. I was feeling this way because the night before I had watched the entire events of the testimony of Dr. Ford and Brett Kavanaugh who both appeared before the United States Senate Justiciary Committee. Dr. Ford testified about the sexual misconduct of now Federal Judge Brett Kavanaugh when they were in High School. Not surprising Judge Kavanaugh testified that those allegations were false. I watched how both carried themselves, the words they chose, and how they said them. After all, this is a job interview for one of the most powerful positions in our country and the manner to which a person testifies to the truth under penalty of perjury is important. In fact, that is partly what the Committee’s job is, to determine if Mr. Kavanaugh is qualified to sit on the Supreme Court as an Associate Justice, and in addition, this is about character and credibility.  Prior to this Republicans have been quoted as saying they were going to “plow through this…”  their intent was clearly to rush the process and put Kavanaugh on the bench regardless! Thursday night I heard over and over by Democrats who simply wanted the FBI to investigate these allegations, to gather the facts, and seek out the truth. So Friday morning I woke knowing that the Republicans would try and vote to push the Kavanaugh confirmation to the floor of the Senate without seeking out the truth in a way the country could deal with, in a way that showed respect to Dr. Ford and all the other women who had come forward against Mr. Kavanaugh. I turned on the TV to see the proceedings and in my heart, I just felt so sad and upset. From my growing anxiety, I had to just let it out, so I said aloud very firmly as I watched Senator Grassley try as he might too make good on the Republican promise to just push it through moments before I had to leave to go to work, I said, “Brian just have faith. Miracles happen!”, then I turned off the TV and left still feeling defeated and anxious all rolled up into one. I got into my truck and turned on the radio to listen to what was happening but before I could get on the road I felt a deep need arise to say it again, so I did, I told myself, “You just have to have faith!” Then around noon, I received a text from a friend who told me that the Committee had voted the way I had expected, then I was informed about what Republican Senator Flake had done to get the FBI to investigate. ‘It was a miracle I thought.’

Sex assault survivor who confronted Jeff Flake speaks out – 
Maria Gallagher &  Ana Maria Archila

It wasn’t until I got home when I saw with my own eyes the first of the three real miracles that had transpired Friday in Washington D.C.  I saw and heard two women who stopped Senator Flake in the private elevator and poured out their hearts to him. One of them confessed for the first time that she was a survivor of this kind of abuse.  Mr. Flake to his credit stood there listening to them taking it all in. Then the second miracle caught on camera; the speech from Democrat Senator Coons that moved Republican Flake to the point he stood up and walked out to a private meeting room adjacent the committee room calling Coons out to discuss what the right actions should be. Then after 15 minutes, they came back in and Mr. Flake voted to push for an FBI investigation.

Miracle number three caught on TV was the President who ordered the FBI to investigate these allegations of Dr. Ford. His description of Dr. Ford was surprising and elegant. My faith that God would act, that something good would happen, the freight train stopped dead in its tracks was now reality before my very eyes! So my brothers and sisters, in these events we are seeing our God act, for the warning of Saint James is happening in real-time! The games of the rich and powerful are crumbling down as truth makes those who mislead out of a sense of entitlement are now weeping and wailing! Their treasures are rotting away before them and all they hold dear are wasting away! It is their lies and past corruption which now serve as evidence against them and will surely eat their flesh away like a wisp of flame turned into a roaring fire that burns all impurity into ash. Indeed, I tell you this is what we are seeing with this confirmation hearings as God moves to allow truth to prevail!

Divine Majesty and Human Dignity

“O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouths of babes and infants, you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger.” ~ Psalm 8:1-2 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

Dear brothers and sisters, I truly say to you, what price do we pay when we ignore the truth? What price do we pay before God when we ignore civility, love, and dignity? In the words of Daniel; ‘Blessed be the name of God from age to age, for wisdom and power are His.’ (Daniel 2:20)  So it is within this truth – for many years I have written here on Listening Faithfully what to look out for, I have talked about the pitfalls of our weak and earthly desires. But I think we now have a newer gospel, a newer truth for our more modern age, but make no mistake – current events are still linked to our ancient history with a deep common thread which is even more relevant today as history unfolds. That common thread is our faith – blind faith in the Lord, Our God which reigns in heaven forever and ever! Make no mistake my brothers and sisters, God is surely unchanged, remains pure, and forever loyal! Our God is a seeker of truth in all men and who holds us up to the standards of salvation and everlasting life with Him! In the words of Paul the Apostle ‘Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore, do not be partakers with them.’ (Ephesians 5:6-7 So it is I say all these things to remind you all that God is a destroyer of lies, a punisher of the malcontented, troublemaker, sewer of mischief, agitator, dissident, and rebel who seeks to mislead, sell half-truths, sew heartache, and those who seek personal gain through others misfortune!  Please, I beg you, my brothers and sisters, to always remember that we are never victorious without God, we receive nothing in this life without first being given the blessing of God to have whatever it is or achievement that which we have sought out. We are not an entitled race, rather just the opposite – we are given forgiveness after first asking God to forgive us, it is God who makes the decision always, and it is God who decides to grant us His perfect grace! Despite the rich and powerful family you may have been born into, despite the riches your family may have gathered here on earth, and despite the elite school your privileged life allowed you to attend, we all are first subject to God and His moral and just truth! Again, let the words of Apostle
Paul speak loudly to your heart, ‘And do not have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; instead, expose them.’ (Ephesians 5: 11). So it is my brothers and sisters that truth binds us to God, holds us accountable in all that we do for the entire length of our lives, which by no mistake is also governed by our loving, loyal, and perfect God. It is these truths which King Nebuchadnezzar tested when he threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the flames. It was Jesus who came to save them as a shadow in the midst of that inferno which kept the three men safe. Through that event, it was the miracle we know as the Son of Man which made the powerful King bow down and praise God! (Daniel 3:8-30).  So it is the same God today – in our own time which softened the heart of Senator Flake, the same God that provoked the two women in the elevator to pronounce their truths, it is the same God in heaven that will surely guide all the FBI Agents to seek the truth of Dr. Ford! Yes… the mighty and powerful now tremble as the flames of a disastrous plan are blown against them by yes… the same God in heaven. Our divine God who plows through the sins of man to make way for all His children to come home with dignity and truth on our side and loud praise for God on our lips!  So I proudly proclaim today that miracles are real, they do happen, and if you look hard enough and open your eyes, heart, and mind you also will see the Son of Man working in the shadows. 

LET US PRAY!

The Song of the Three Jews

‘Let All Creatures Praise the Lord’ 
Daniel 3:57-88 (NRSVACE)

Ant: “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

57 ‘Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

64 ‘Bless the Lord, all rain and dew;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

66 Bless the Lord, fire, and heat;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

67 Bless the Lord, winter cold and summer heat;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

68 Bless the Lord, dews and falling snow;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

69 Bless the Lord, ice, and cold;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant: “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

70 Bless the Lord, frosts, and snows;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

71 Bless the Lord, nights and days;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

72 Bless the Lord, light, and darkness;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

73 Bless the Lord, lightning, and clouds;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

74 ‘Let the earth bless the Lord;
    let it sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

75 Bless the Lord, mountains, and hills;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

76 Bless the Lord, all that grows in the ground;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

77 Bless the Lord, you springs;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

78 Bless the Lord, seas, and rivers;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

79 Bless the Lord, you whales and all that swim in the waters;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

80 Bless the Lord, all birds of the air;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

81 Bless the Lord, all wild animals, and cattle;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

82 ‘Bless the Lord, all people on earth;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

83 Bless the Lord, O Israel;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever. 

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

84 Bless the Lord, you priests of the Lord;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever. 

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

85 Bless the Lord, you servants of the Lord;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever. 

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

86 Bless the Lord, spirits, and souls of the righteous;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever. 

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

87 Bless the Lord, you who are holy and humble in heart;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

88 ‘Bless the Lord, Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever. 

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

For he has rescued us from Hades and saved us from the power of death, and delivered us from the midst of the burning fiery furnace; from the midst of the fire, he has delivered us.

Anti:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

Special Prayer for Mrs. Elan LeDay – My Good Friend, Fellow Teacher, and Sister in Christ

Prayer for Health & Healing:

Dear Lord, grace is yours alone, it is grace you bestow upon those who ask, and it is your grace which is at the heart of your perfect agape love. Today, I pray a special prayer for a woman who has spent a lifetime listening to you, clinging on every word, and who has spread your light throughout this world bringing joy to all she meets. Today, O’ Lord, I come before you with a host of friends and relatives of Mrs. Elan LeDay who currently suffers from asthma which steals away her breath. We humbly ask you to give her breath back and also ask for you to heal her ailing body of 81 years young and increase her joy, extending your grace, and infusing into her heart the power of your presence so as to allow her to move without pain as she had in years past.

Dear Father in heaven, Mrs. Elan LaDay has been a good and loyal friend, (too many),  she has been a good teacher and support, (too many), and most of all a wonderful Sister in Christ who has lead thousands of your children to your light. Mrs. Elan LaDay has been a marvelous doer of you word urging others to not just be hearers only; filling them with the truth and morality which only comes from your love and wisdom. We all ask for your hand to touch her heart Lord, to chase away her physical pain and healing her with your perfect grace and love.

O’ Lord, my Savoir you are ever faithful – ever true. It is your promise of an incorruptible body – an everlasting gown of white made from a holy thread of your grace and love. I ask dear Lord for you to wrap this gown of blinding light around Mrs. Elan LaDay – your daughter of the light – and hold her hand with your preserving touch taking upon yourself her troubles and worries – sickness, weakness, and distress carrying away her sorrows and pain. Dear Lord, we all thank you for loving Mrs. Elan LeDay and all her sisters and brothers in Christ so much that you sacrificed yourself on the cross which gave the world a marvelous hope in an everlasting life with you in heaven forever. With sincerity and fidelity we, your children acknowledge our dependence upon you. So once more we thank you for listening to our many cries and prayers today on behalf of Mrs. Elan LeDay. We ask this in Jesus’ name? Amen.

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then please leave a comment below. Remember you’re never alone.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

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

Saint Joseph, Pray for us. ~ Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

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Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018

Disregarding The Bread of Life – Secular Humanism Series

The Dangers of Nonbelief!

Twenty-First Week of Ordinary Time

48-51 “I am the Bread—living Bread!—who came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this Bread will live—and forever! The Bread that I present to the world so that it can eat and live is myself, this flesh-and-blood self.” ~ John 6:48-51  The Message (MSG)

Convenient Absentmindedness pt. 2

Last week I wrote, “We have become unmindful of the one who bore us, the one who gave us life, and forgot where we have come from.” (Brother Brian Disregarding God, August 21, 2018) I took aim at what I feel is a great and terrible evil we are fighting in our everyday lives. I gave examples of how humanity is guilty of being collectively unmindful. I asked, “Is anyone listening?” This week I give more examples of how Secular Humanism pulls us away from God and makes us blind to God’s offer of everlasting life and instead living your life on a ledge of disaster!

Secular Humanism says, “How can this man serve up his flesh for a meal?”, just as the Jews had begun asking in, (John 6:52 MSG). This rhetoric sowed disbelief because man inherently fears what he does not understand but that is only a small part of what drove the mass disbelief. Even the disciples had a hard time with this one, proclaiming, 60 ” this teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” (John 6:60 NRSVACE).

Thinking Deeper: “Why is it that this specific teaching sowed so much disbelief?”

Perhaps, my brothers and sisters, we like children take things too literally! Maybe, we think so basically as to misunderstand what Jesus said? Surely it is easy to hear one thing and interpret it in a completely different way than what it was meant to mean. On this point how many times have you intently listened to the rhetoric other people say? How many times do you take them at face value or doze off not really hearing their overall message?  Worse yet picking and choosing the parts you like and discarding the rest? (We will circle back around for more on this point.) Notice that those who left John calls them disciples indicating that they all had once believed and followed but had lost their way or maybe simply had grown tired and so they simply wandered off to take up their old lives. Maybe, the idea of being the bread of life; the most staple food source at that time period referencing the bread (manna) that fell from heaven when the Jews were escaping Egypt was simply too much for those one-time disciples of Jesus to bear? Whatever the reason, modern secular humanism supports the falling away from Christ, enforces the disbelief in God, blurs our vision so much so we do not know where then to look for salvation. Jesus made many hard to understand and follow statements but in each one of them at the root, He was calling us to Himself so that we would have the hope of everlasting life. Secular Humanism, however empowering will not and can not save your immortal soul because man cannot save himself apart from God.

On the other hand, maybe those lost disciples did indeed get Jesus’s “I AM” proclamation of everlasting life! Maybe they had also heard Jesus’s teaching on marriage, his view of both husband and wife needing to be equal partners; which flies in the face of both Mid-Eastern culture and practices going back thousands of years. I have to admit this scripture found in (Ephesians 5:21-32), is a blow to the male ego in almost every culture around the world. But simply put that is our Lord and Savoir, He was not afraid to say it as it was or needed to be. Maybe His message was too harsh for some, but whoever said everlasting life was going to be easy to attain?

Thinking Deeper: “How does being subordinate to another person in marriage mix with the message of disregarding the bread of life?”

21 “Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.” Ephesians 5:21 The Message (MSG)

Many of Jesus’s “I AM” proclamations were intended to shock, to stir up, to challenge the way we see this secular world. But mainly to wake us up to what is coming upon His return. But more to the point we will not be awake if we as a human race do not first get with the program of submission and being subordinate to each other first. Oh yes… I said the words that our own egos can’t stand to hear or even confront, (submission and subordinate), without saying the word love. Truth be told many people in their marriages treat their spouses horribly and try to assume the role of the boss in the relationship! After all our secular world is all about the wants of the individual right? How then can you possibly be submissive to your spouse if your mentality is all about the preservation of ‘SELF’ wants? In this listening and communicating becomes the last priority then lies and deceit creeps in to fill the gap of being submissive and subordinate i.e. loyal to your spouse! If then love is not associated to any of this then marriage is not rewarding and thus tiresome and labor intensive. You will my brothers and sisters lose the love you so crave from the world, blinded so severely that you do not know where to look for salvation! Therefore, to love and honor your spouse and children is both the greatest gift and redeeming qualities that emulate God! Think of it this way, submissive love is being God-like! So Yes… “He who loves his wife loves himself.” (Ephesians 5:28 NABRE) For Jesus so loved the Church and sacrificed Himself for her – (the collective of mankind as His Holy Church!) 

Putting It All Together: In short my brothers and sisters, to be loyal, faithful, living your life honoring your relationships with fidelity and love is one of the best ways any human-being has available to honor and emulate God.  To live for your own selfish means then is the same as being that group of disciples who got bored and wandered off and consciously or unconsciously ended up emulating secular humanist. When we fall into this secular mold we become lost and blind not knowing or seeing where to turn for salvation and/ or redemption. Sadly in that state, we become the property of Satan and headed for damnation. But when we honor our relationships we emulate the Christian Family Jesus had wanted us to live. We, in turn, serve God and are headed for His everlasting grace and mercy. Believing in Jesus, honoring your personal relationship with Him is, in turn, mastering the concept of eating and drinking his body and blood which is traditionally in the Church known as the Eucharist. For spiritually Jesus lives within each one of us and loves all of the human race. He is always calling to us to be that better person, He is always reaching out to intervene and protect us which is something this secular world cannot do. In the end my brothers and sisters, the choice is yours to make. Which interpretation of living in this secular world will you choose? Who do you want to emulate?

LET US PRAY

PRAYER FOR LOVING OTHERS

From: Catholic Doors.com

Lord, Make me an instrument of your love. 
May I see each circumstance in my life 
as an opportunity to grow in your love.
May I see my environment 
as a place to grow in your love.

May I then take this love to other people…

When I am tempted to become impatient, 
help me to be patient. 

When I am tempted to become unkind, 
help me to be kind. 

When I am tempted to become jealous, 
help me to be tolerant. 

When I am tempted to become boastful or proud, 
help me to give you the glory. 

When I am tempted to be rude or selfish, 
give me the gift of gentleness. 

When I am tempted to take offense, 
help me to let go. 

When I am tempted to become angry with someone, 
give me the gift of forgiveness. 

When I am tempted to become resentful, 
give me your power to love. 

Lord, grant that I may take no pleasure in criticizing others, 
but that I may see good in them, as you do.

When I begin to concentrate on the faults and failures of others, 
give me the courage to praise their accomplishments. 

Help me be loyal to those you give me to love. 

Help me to believe in them, 
even when they do not believe in themselves. 
To expect the best from them, 
but accept the best they can give. 
May I always defend them, 
as you always defend me. 

All gifts and powers come from you. 
All will come to an end. 
With one important exception, the gift of love!!! 
Lord, when I was a child, 
I thought like a child, 
I acted like a child, 
and I reasoned like a child. 
Now that I have become an adult,
I release my childish ways.

In Jesus’ Name and with the help of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember you’re never alone.

Amen, Alleluia!

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

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

Saint Joseph, Pray for us. ~ Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

NOW GO SPREAD THE WORD!!

FRIENDS WHO LIKE LISTENING FAITHFULLY COMMUNITY

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LISTENING FAITHFULLY PODCAST W/BROTHER BRIAN

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Each podcast is focused on a specific reading based upon the Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth (3rd Edition) by Saint Mary’s Press. Listen, Learn, Share!

REAFFIRMING OUR MISSION

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

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LIVE STREAM

Saint Louis De Montford Catholic Church

LIVE STREAM

7:30am – Mass
9:30am – Mass
11:30am – Mass
3pm – Mass (Spanish)
6pm – Mass

Special events outside the above schedule will also be streamed.

Be a part of spreading the word of God by giving what you can today. 

“Let’s grow together as children of God”

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Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018