A Divine Tribute:

Reflecting on the Role of Fathers in Faith

Listening Faithfully Meditation: Galatians 4:6-7 [New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition] 

 6 And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

Brothers and sisters, indeed, we have much to celebrate! We have a heavenly—all-powerful Father who considers us a family member. How awesome is that? Moreover, God sent the Spirit of his Son to live within our hearts so that we may call God ‘Abba!’ So, to unpack this, Jesus Christ lives within us; his presence purifies our bodies so that we may live a life worthy of being a child of God. But that is not the only thing our heavenly Father has done for us. No, he has given us an earthly father to love and protect us here on earth. Our earthly fathers do so much more, though. They are our providers, loving leaders, willing helpers, truthful teachers, hopeful encouragers, and compassionate friends.


A Tribute To Fatherhood

My father, who is currently in hospice, thinks he can walk and wants to walk, but he can’t walk. My mother, since December 2023, has watched my dad deteriorate before her eyes. He has good days and bad ones, but I keep coming back to this one thought: God is with him, caring for him and preparing him for his ultimate transition as a member of God’s heavenly family—as his son. Beyond this, God, like us earthly fathers, is faithful in as much that we always have our family’s backs, standing up for our children, being present, and taking life on the chin so our kids can have a chance in this messed up world. My father did that for me in ways I could never hope to know, as most often, he kept many of his sacrifices to himself—as most fathers do. Our earthly fathers, like God, serve as a strong protector and providers, giving their children an example that later can be used as a guidepost when it is their turn to parent their children. Again, my father took on a job he did not like to provide for his children; he stood toe-to-toe with those who would harm us and was our front-line defense—just as God is. The love and leadership our earthly fathers give help our sons to be upright, God-fearing men and our daughters to become fearless, open-minded women who can become anything they want to be—just as God encouraged us from the beginning. God is our greatest helper, and our earthly fathers have been molded to simulate this by being willing helpers, trustworthy, and hopeful teachers. I can honestly say I am this way to my daughter, who calls for advice when she picks my brain on things she has no practical experience in and, above all when she needs someone to just listen without passing judgment. But I learned these things from my father, who lent an ear, gave interesting advice, and taught me many things that shaped the man I am today. Finally, our God is the most compassionate friend we could have ever hoped to have in this life. But our earthly fathers pull up a close second as we pull our children close and comfort them in good and bad times. I know my father did this for me, and when I saw him in the nursing home, he continued to impart many lessons of comfort, compassion, and fortitude that touched me to my core. I can only pray I can be that for my daughter. Amen!


Fathers Who Need Support

My dear brothers and sisters, I did not want to end this post without first giving a shoutout to an organization that empowers fathers and champions those who do the same. They are an interconnected group of ministries championing fatherhood in God’s design. Please take a moment and check out The Fatherhood CoMission. Below, you can find the link to their website.


Let Us Pray

Let Us Pray

As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. ~ Psalm 103:13

Dear God,

Hear my prayer, listen to my supplication, grant me the wisdom to address you with respect and honor that all fathers are due.

Give your children, the earthly fathers, the strength to accomplish your will, the fortitude to keep pushing against the evil that tries so hard to stop us.

Soften our hearts so that our children may see a man who loves them, cares for them, and would do anything for them, just as you do for us.

O Lord, I ask you to always remain our great helper, protector, provider, and teacher, always giving us spiritual food and a truthful path to walk.

Be present in all father’s lives so that we know you are there and remain for all time the pillar that we may set our sights upon for the sake of our children.

O God, give us comfort in our last moments, solace that we ran the race and lived according to your will, leaving a permanent reminder for our sons and daughters just as your son, Jesus Christ, did for the whole world. Amen

Amen

Thus, therefore, shall you pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our supersubstantial bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen.

These things I ask in the name of your only son, Jesus Christ. Amen! 

Saint Joseph, Pray for us. Sancte Ioseph, Ora pro nobis  

May the Lord Bless you and keep you—forever and ever. Amen 

Happy Father’s Day!

Dearly Yours, Brother Brian  

A Word on Burn Out!   

Listening Faithfully Meditation: Isaiah 40:28-31 [New American Standard Bible]  

28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, do not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. 29 He gives strength to the weary, And to him, who lacks it, might He increase power. 
30 Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, 31 Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not get tired; they will walk and not become weary.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, how many of you are being worn down because of life’s troubles? Is the struggle taking all your energy? Are you a leader, teacher, preacher, husband or wife? Are you a teen with real-world problems in your corner of the world? Has the week stretched into feeling like months, maybe even years? Do you feel like your flame is about to go out, and if it does, will you lose your mind—or sit down, throw your hands up, and quit? Then let us listen faithfully to God’s word… 

BURNOUT IS REAL. It affects all of us differently. We live in a torrent of daily issues—then we go to work. We come home, watch the nightly news, and face the world’s garbage. How could you not be burnt out?


GUIDING QUESTION: “How should you, as a Christian, respond to the overwhelming cacophony of the world’s noise?”   



FIRST, DO THIS: SURRENDER TO GOD!   

7 Submit yourselves, therefore, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. - James 4:7 [New Revised Standard Version, Anglicized Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)]

I know… you have probably been told to surrender a thousand times by a thousand different people. However, it is the most rock-solid thing you could ever do! Surrender! I mean, really surrender! While you are at it, surrender everything to the Lord your God! Don’t hold anything back… just let it rip! Tell him everything that is bothering you! Tell him how you are feeling about the yoke on your shoulders. Explain in detail the roadblocks you are facing that are causing your frustration, then say this, “Abba, I am burnt out. I need your help because you are my greatest helper! You alone are my salvation—there is nothing you cannot do!” I cry a bit every time I acknowledge God this way. In the back of my head, I know this is what He wants us all to do. Come to him, tell him our problems. Then, sit back and let Him perform His miracles. Oh, I almost forgot… end your prayer this way, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as well as our debtors. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil.” Then say, “These things I ask in the name of your only son, Jesus Christ. Amen!” 



SECOND, DO THIS: TRUST THE LORD—RELY ON HIM. 

 24 One who keeps the law preserves himself, and one who trusts the Lord will not suffer loss. - Sirach 32:24 (NRSVACE) 

I know… relinquishing control to someone else is a hard thing to do. Trusting someone else to have your back—I think we get stuck with personally trusting others. I mean, how many people have stabbed you in the back? People who you loved deeply, who confessed they loved you! Someone you may have helped, taught, and spent time with, and what did they go off and do? Yes. That really hurts! How many people have betrayed you and thrown you under the bus? I mean, all four wheels are crushing you under the bus! Our kids? Good Lord… our kids! How often have they done stuff they knew they should have never done? I’m talking about things that came back to bite us in the pants! Just remember they are God’s children too. Before you lash out, know that Jesus suffered betrayal and took the punishment for something he was wrongly convicted of. Remember that God is not someone else; he is not a stranger. NO! He is your Father in heaven—your Creator! How could you not trust Him? Remember that there are some things you, as a faulty, sinning human being, cannot fix. You need to remember that this is how things are and why God loves and forgives us of all our personal sins. There is no reason to be afraid to confide in Him. Ask Him for help. Spend an hour daily… He is there and will hear you! Don’t be the roadblock from allowing God to bring about a solution to your problems! 1 “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O’ God.” Psalm 42:1 (NRSVACE) 



 THIRD, DO THIS: TRUST IN HIM.  

1 "In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to me, 'Flee like a bird to the mountains;' - Psalm 11:1 (NRSVACE)]

Again… I know! Trust is a super hard thing if you have been hurt numerous times. Just remember before you go complaining that our God has love to spare! He has never betrayed you. It’s not like He hasn’t heard your pleas! Trust me, He isn’t ignoring you. Instead, God might not have answered you as fast or in the moment you would have liked. So, keep this close to your heart—Our God will not do everything you ask, but such is life. He does not do things on our time scale… but in His own time, and rightfully so. God is keenly aware of everything you don’t see happening. His view is the universal view; our view is minute, minuscule, and tiny—perhaps a bit selfish!  

Example: I am a rule follower—to a fault! I expect everyone else around me to be the same. Do you want to know a secret? I am being selfish. Everyone else is not me and perhaps not rule followers to a fault. Maybe some of them see the minutiae of life’s events; they see everything with a splash of color—not just black and white. I think God sees things in neon flashing lights and reacts with wisdom because of it.

Regardless, God wants to take care of all your problems and make everything right in your world. He is also the ultimate parent, teacher, and savior. He will let you learn your lessons the hard way if need be. So, brothers and sisters, change your mindset and look for all the invisible blessings God leaves around you; in other words, look for what is unseen! 

16 "So, we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is renewed daily. 17 This slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, 18 because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal." - 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NRSVACE) 

We often burn ourselves out, allowing the world to dominate our lives. Know that God does not want you to feel this way—moping about. Instead, He wants you to rest in him. 


 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul." - Matt 11:29 (NRSVACE)  


PARTING SCRIPTURE—TAKE COMFORT IN THE WORD OF GOD:  

7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. - 1 Peter 5:7 (NRSVACE)  
19 When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul. - Psalm 94:19 (NRSVACE)  
6 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. - Romans 8:6 (NRSVACE)  


LET US PRAY:

  [THE DIVINE OFFICE: CHRISTIAN PRAYER: The Liturgy of the Hours]  

FRIDAY, WEEK III  

INVENTORY

Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will proclaim your praise.

MORNING PRAYER  



Psalm 95 – A call to praise God  

“Encourage each other daily while it is still today” (Hebrews 3:13).  

1 COME, let us praise the Lord with joy: let us joyfully sing to God, our savior!  

2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving and make a joyful noise to him with psalms.  

3 For the Lord is a great God and a great King above all gods.  

4 For in his hand are all the ends of the earth, and the heights of the mountains are his.  

5 For the sea is his, and he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. 

6 Come, let us adore and fall down: and weep before the Lord that made us! 

7 For he is the Lord our God, and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.  

8 Today, if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts:   

9 As in the provocation, according to the day of temptation in the wilderness: where your fathers tempted me, they proved me and saw my works. 

Ant. Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.  

10 Forty years long was I offended with that generation and I said, ‘These always err in heart.’ 

11 And these men have not known my ways: so, I swore in my wrath that, ‘They shall not enter into my rest.’ 


Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.  




Psalm 51—O God, have mercy on me! 

"Your inmost being must be renewed, and you must put on the new man." (Ephesians 4:23-24)  

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins.  

Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.  

For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night.  

Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just.  

For I was born a sinner—yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.  

But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there.  

Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.  

Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice.  

Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt.  

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.  

11 Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.  

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.  

13 Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you.  

14 Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; Then, I will joyfully sing for your forgiveness.  

15 Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you.  

16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering.  

17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.  

18 Look with favor on Zion and help he rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.  

19 Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit— with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings. Then, bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.  


Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen. 



Psalm Prayer  

Father, He who knew no sin was made sin for us, to save us and restore us to your friendship. Look upon our contrite heart and afflicted spirit and heal our troubled conscience, so that in the joy and strength of the Holy Spirit we may proclaim your praise and glory before all the nations.


Lord, wash away my guilt, alleluia. 


For the Full Morning, Daytime, Evening, and Night Prayers, and Office of Readings – download iBreviary on the App Store or purchase the Christian Prayer on Amazon]  



PRAYER TO DEFEAT BURN OUT!

Dear Lord,   

Father in heaven, do not turn away from me. Hear my voice, for I cry out to you. My heart is heavy, my soul crushed, for the world has crashed in upon me. O God, please hear my prayers, for I cry out to you. I ask for solace, to be renewed in you, and to feel your presence in my heart again.

[Tell God all your problems]   

Abba, I am burnt out. I need your help because you are my greatest helper! You alone are my salvation—there is nothing you cannot do! Please do not turn away from me; hear my prayer, for I am in distress! Amen.   

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil.  

These things I ask in the name of your only son, Jesus Christ. Amen! 

Saint Joseph, Pray for us. Sancte Ioseph, Ora pro nobis  

May the Lord Bless you and keep you—forever and ever. Amen 

Dearly Yours, Brother Brian  

NOW, GO SPREAD THE WORD! 

WAR! – You Reap What You Sow!

TWENTY-EIGHTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

God’s kingdom is presented as a great banquet in today’s selections from Isaiah and Matthew, who remind me to wear the wedding garment of a worthy life. And Paul assures me that the Lord will supply whatever I need. Do I pray for his help? – Saint Paul Daily Missal


REFLECTION: ON WAR!

“Now the angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said,’I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land which I have sworn to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you, and as for you, you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed Me; What is this you have done? Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; but they will be a snare to you.’ When the angel of the LORD spoke these words to all the sons of Israel, the people lifted up their voices and wept.”

Judges 2:1-4 NASB 1995 – Charles Stanley General Edition
THE ANGEL OF THE LORD

My dear brothers and sisters, incomplete obedience, is disobedience; within that, dire consequences always come, even if done with good intentions. For disobedience opens the door for evil to walk right in unannounced, making men sow evil deeds. Moreover, those who see the evil but remain silent, turning a blind eye to the disobedience, become complicit and shall be judged accordingly, handing over their perceived innocence of what is happening and becoming subject to the evil as a thorn in one’s side, effecting everyone else around them. In short, we reap what we sow, if not in our present, then most definitely in our future and for as long as the disobedience has not been forgiven! This is the message from Judges 2:1-4.

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Moreover, look at what evil has done to us; what are we to do about it? When terrorists do the evil works of Satan, the great liar, how are we to react? How can we control our anger, thirst for revenge, and compulsions to strike back with malice and hatred? Do you all not know that stupidity begets stupidity, hate begets hate, violence begets violence, and depravity begets depravity? Anger is a drug that Satan uses to rouse our baser instincts. Look past the hideous acts of evil; control the brooding anger with measured responses rooted in compassion. For even one act of supposed justified retort done in the name of protecting oneself that results in the death of another will beget death! War has come to many nations and individual families with as little as a word that slights the other, killing their reputation and soaking them in blame. War comes from the belly of the great dragon, which seeks to devour every good thing! Do you all not know that war begets war? When have you ever not seen this to not be true? Because of this, I say to you, my brothers and sister, control your anger! Dismiss your lust for justice if it is also accompanied by the lust of justified killing! For the great deceiver has told you that nothing bad will come to you by defending yourself with anger and vengeance in your heart, convincing you that fighting and killing is better than turning the other cheek… but our LORD said, “Revenge not yourselves, my dearly beloved; but give place unto wrath, for it is written, Revenge is mine, I will repay saith the LORD.”Romans 12:19 Douay-Rheims [Saint Benedict Press] Instead, live your lives in peace, love, and kindness, filled with God’s grace! Come to the great banquet clothed in the wedding garment of Christ’s agape love, worthy of God’s forgiveness, found spotless from the evil that ravages our world. Be like Enoch, who walked with God, who did not die but rather was taken up into heaven alive in God’s love; be like Melchizedek of old, both king and priest revered by Abraham, and be like Jesus who died a hideous death and was raised from the grave so that we might also be numbered as the sons and daughters of God, alive in Him.


FIRST READING:

Sunday, October 15, 2023

The Lord will prepare a feast and wipe away the tears from every face – Is 25:6-10a

A READING FROM THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET ISAIAH (Isaias)

And the Lord of hosts shall make unto all people in this mountain, a feast of fat things, a feast of wine, of fat things full of marrow, of wine purified from the lees.

And he shall destroy in this mountain the face of the bond with which all people were tied and the web that he began over all nations.

He shall cast death down headlong forever: and the Lord God shall wipe away tears from every face, and the reproach of his people he shall take away from off the whole earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.

And they shall say in that day: Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord, we have patiently waited for him, we shall rejoice and be joyful in his salvation.

10 For the hand of the Lord shall rest in this mountain: and Moab shall be trodden down under him, as straw is broken in pieces with the wain.


LET US PRAY

LORD, open my lips, and my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Ant. You have left everything to follow me; you will have it all returned a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.

Inventory Psalm 95

95 A canticle for David himself, when the house was built after the captivity. Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: sing to the Lord, all the earth.

Sing ye to the Lord and bless his name: shew forth his salvation from day to day.

Declare his glory among the Gentiles: his wonders among all people.

For the Lord is great, and exceedingly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.

For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils: but the Lord made the heavens.

Praise and beauty are before him: holiness and majesty in his sanctuary.

Bring ye to the Lord, O ye kindreds of the Gentiles, bring ye to the Lord glory and honour:

Bring to the Lord glory unto his name. Bring up sacrifices, and come into his courts:

Adore ye the Lord in his holy court. Let all the earth be moved at his presence.

10 Say ye among the Gentiles, the Lord hath reigned. For he hath corrected the world, which shall not be moved: he will judge the people with justice.

11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad, let the sea be moved, and the fulness thereof:

12 The fields and all things that are in them shall be joyful. Then shall all the trees of the woods rejoice

13 Before the face of the Lord, because he cometh: because he cometh to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with justice, and the people with his truth.

Psalm 95- Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

Morning Prayer: Canticle of Zechariah

Lord, our help and guide, make your love the foundation of our lives. May our love for you express itself in our eagerness to do good for others. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Prayer Request: Dear Lord, please protect the people of Israel, and all the innocent Palestinians who have again been forced into a war. Please protect all Ukrainians, all the innocent people of Russia, and all of Europe who continue to face archaic aggression. Please show the aggressors the error of their ways and offer them your grace so the hate that Satan has placed within them is vanquished forever and ever. Amen.

OUR FATHER

Be not you, therefore, like to them, for your Father knoweth what is needful for you before you ask him.

Thus therefore shall you pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our supersubstantial bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen.

Dismissal

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


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Brother Brian

Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brother Brian © 2009-2023

The Lessons of God Series pt. 1

The Ultimate Teacher

Found Online at Building Faith · A Ministry of Virginia Theological Seminary

Pentecost Sunday – WK 1

My dear brothers and sisters today is Pentecost, the day which God sent the Holy Spirit to the disciples. Therefore, it is right to pray – ‘God, come to my assistance’ -because Jesus said that he would. In each of these promises of God, we are reminded that each promise was a lesson in and of itself. So, let us say in a loud voice – ‘Alleluia, the Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world; come, let us worship him, alleluia!’

'30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. 31 He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.' -  Acts 5:30-32 New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB1995)

Remember my brothers and sisters, God did not send angels to break the disciples out of prison for no reason. Likewise, He did not leave them bound in jail cells without a plan. God did not let them loose from man’s chains so they could live a life of creature comforts in relative safety! Nor did he remove any of us from temptation, for even Jesus suffered the urges of sin. No, God freed the disciples so they could challenge the establishment! So that they could go about His business with as much vigor as they had been previously. Remember, the disciples lived on the edge before and after each imprisonment! The same can be said about those who are the children of light, sons, and daughters of God! Our lives are not always filled with roses. Nor was a path promised to always be straight and narrow. God did not promise this path He put us on for His name’s sake would be scented with aromatic scents all the time. He did not promise our lives would be filled each and every hour of our existence with peace and enjoyment! No… far, far from it! But God did promise to be present in our lives guiding us and showing us the way we should go.


GUIDING QUESTION 1: ‘Why then if God allows such suffering would anyone push His message forward in this world?’

ANSWER: Know this, God’s word is holy and must go forth for the salvation of the world. His message is universal making it relevant to all ages.

GUIDING QUESTION 2: ‘So how are God’s promises, divine word, and lessons for all ages, especially today?’

ANSWER: By His love, by sending His only son to take away our sins, and by showing us His true nature which is love, for God is love. By giving us the opportunity to partake in His divine love. We are His children, students, and His teachers in waiting. We are taught by the master teacher through the words found in the Holy Bible. Words that are for all men and women from every generation, for we all were made to thirst for His knowledge.


Found Online at Building Faith · A Ministry of Virginia Theological Seminary

What is Found Within Pentecost?

Within Pentecost, we find the most basic instruction that is also a direct fulfillment of what Jesus commanded, not to mention the fulfillment of prophecy by the minor prophet Joel.

'Wait for the promise of the Father, which you have heard, (saith he) by my mouth. For John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence.' - Acts 1: 4-5 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

Therefore, aren’t we all also told to wait? For God gives to those who obey and are steadfast, disciplined, filled with His righteous love, and who do not judge others. God gives graciously to His children… wait for it! In His good time.

'It is not for you to know the time or moments, which the Father hath put in his own power: But you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost parts of the earth. - Acts 1: 7-8 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

As for Joel the son of Phatuel: He prophesied a time when God would pour out his spirit upon all flesh, wonders will abound, and anyone who calls out to the Lord will be saved. In Acts 2:16 the morning of Pentecost John declares this prophecy has been fulfilled.

'17 And it shall come to pass, in the last days, (saith the Lord,) I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And upon my servants indeed, and upon my handmaids will I pour out in those days of my spirit, and they shall prophesy. 19 And I will shew wonders in the heaven above, and signs on the earth beneath: blood and fire, and vapour of smoke. 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and manifest day of the Lord come. 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.' - Acts 2:17-21 (DRA)

Unknown Source

Man’s Reaction to Christ’s Teachings

Jesus Christ, who we Christians, declare in Church on Sundays to be our Lord and Savior. To whom we praise and pray, yet in our modern world we question his very existence and even His relevance. In the bible we find Him teaching many relevant lessons based on morality and the tenets of basic humanity. Yet in our technological world, we seem to have forgotten these most basic of lessons. In many ways, His own disciples one hand praised and followed Him, but on the other did not completely understand His teachings. For they were the perfect representation of the human condition. This absolute and complete understanding didn’t come until after Pentecost. As mortal men and women His death on the cross, to which he forewarned was going to happen, and still, they resisted it. When Christ died as foretold they feared for their own lives held up in a room not knowing what to do left bickering with each other. They were crushed even though Christ said He alone was the way to everlasting life. In every instance, they saw through the eyes of non-believing sinful mortals. Likewise, their love for Him in many ways was not adequate for such a person as Christ Jesus.

Yet, He forgave them anyway, as His perfect love gives all of mankind the opportunity to receive His love. This love of Jesus allowed Him to teach the disciples regardless, showing them the way and loving them until the last. He promised them that they would see Him again, and indeed for forty days was He with them in His glorified body, for His loving kindness never wavered! Even during this period, Jesus kept teaching them about heaven and about God. Yet, the bible says they still doubted in the face of many unexplainable miracles.

I can’t begin to tell you how frustrating it is to teach children whose minds are focused on mischief and fun. Never taking seriously the life lessons we teachers are paid to teach them, many times not paid enough! When I say it is a calling that becomes a work of love and for others a mission to teach, I mean it! For me, it is not as much about the money but rather the investment in my student’s future success. Do others take advantage of my love for my students? Absolutely, but wasn’t Jesus sometimes taken advantage of, His teachings twisted to suit some political end? It is through my teaching career that I have become closer and have understood more about God. I have found a deeper more intrinsic value in teaching worth more than a field staked with gold! I have become way more disciplined with my words and my actions. No amount of military training I underwent could ever do that!

Found Online @ https://www.edx.org/

In retrospect, I can relate to Jesus’s frustration with His disciples, not to mention the entire world. One of my favorite Psalms speaks about this. It is a reflection of how God Himself felt about the Jews led by Moses while in the desert.

'To day if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts: As in the provocation, according to the day of temptation in the wilderness: where your fathers tempted me, they proved me, and saw my works. 10 Forty years long was I offended with that generation, and I said: These always err in heart.' - Psalm 94: 8-10 (DRA)

Many, many times my colleagues and I ask why we still want to teach. For me, It’s because I was called to this profession as the disciples were called to do the will of God even until death. The thirst to teach and the drive to continue teaching others is in my DNA! Like Jesus, I know not all my students completely understood the logic behind my lessons. I know it will take some sort of profound life-changing moment to bring them to the understanding I strived so hard to bring them to in the classroom. I know this to be true as plenty of my former students have visited over the years telling me as much.

So, when our Lord and savior says to wait, be patient, and be disciplined in waiting, trust me, there is a good reason. For everything happens not in our time but in God’s good time. During Pentecost, the disciples were rewarded with God’s complete and total understanding. They saw their collective mission knowing the importance of telling the world about it. They risked everything regardless of what would happen to them personally. During Pentecost, they received the proverbial answer key to Jesus’s lessons. They took that profound knowledge and ran with it! It can be said that every single disciple faced death with monumental courage, an example we all should strive for.

It’s extremely important, however, to see their accomplishments from a teacher’s perspective. For Pentecost, is about being filled with the courage to help others understand, accept, and look at the world through more evolved eyes. It is about facing down that fear of knowing not everyone will understand or even believe. Having the wisdom to cope knowing there will be some that will be lost in this race. But for those who strive to understand no matter how many times it takes the exercise proves to be worth it! But for each attempt that consists of love, forgiveness, and understanding, a lost soul will be won over. The lesson of Pentecost teaches us that Jesus was also filled with the power of the same Holy Ghost, as we are also even in this modern world.

Moreover, Jesus promised that those who follow Him would be able to do as He had done – minus the saving of the world part.

'12 Otherwise believe for the very works' sake. Amen, amen I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do; and greater than these shall he do.' - John 14:12 (DRA).

AMEN!

LETS US PRAY

Dear Lord,

Let us pray for Ukraine and their fight for sovereignty, for their people who have suffered much within an unprovoked war, not of their own making. May the Lord protect the people of Ukraine and shelter them and uplift their hearts while continuing to build their courage. Together, may we petition the Lord to send His Holy Spirit to comfort them and all nations who desire unity, peace, and mutual respect. Lord God, Father of all mankind, you desire to gather together your scattered children in unity and faith and enlighten the world by the grace of the Holy Spirit. For, through the Holy Ghost, you raised up your Son from the dead, so also Lord we ask that you raise up the bodies of the Ukraine dead into everlasting life.

DOXOLOGY

Thus, therefore, shall you pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our supersubstantial bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen.

Matthew 6:9-13 – Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

A Prayer for Protection

ANTIPHON: ‘Alleluia, the Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world; come, let us worship him, alleluia!’

INVITATORY – PSALM 95

Venite exultemus

An invitation to adore and serve God, and to hear his voice.

"Encourage each other daily while it is still today." Hebrews 3:13

1 Come let us praise the Lord with joy: let us joyfully sing to God our saviour.
2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; and make a joyful noise to him with psalms.

(Antiphon repeated)

3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
4 For in his hand are all the ends of the earth: and the heights of the mountains are his.

(Antiphon repeated)

5 For the sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.
6 Come let us adore and fall down: and weep before the Lord that made us.

(Antiphon repeated)

7 For he is theLord our God: and we are the people of his pasture,
    and the sheep of his hand.
8 To day if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts:

(Antiphon repeated)
 
9 As in the provication, according to the day of temptation in the wilderness: where your fathers tempted me, they proved me, and saw my works.
10 Forty years long was I offended with that generation,
    and I said: 'These alwats err in heart.'

(Antiphon repeated)

11 And these men have not known my ways: so I swore in my wrath that they shall not enter into my rest.

(Antiphon repeated)

PENTECOST SUNDAY

READING:

Careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. One body and one Spirit; as you are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all. – Ephesians 4:3-6 (DRA)

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. – Amen

Saint Joseph Pray for us. Sancte Ioseph, Ora pro nobis

Cross of Salvation

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

NOW GO SPREAD THE WORD!

Brother Brian

Copyright ©2022 by Brother Brian. All rights reserved.

Permission to print for personal use only.

PASSION SUNDAY

PALM SUNDAY

Psalter, Week II

ANT. COME, WORSHIP THE LORD, FOR WE ARE HIS PEOPLE, THE FLOCK HE SHEPHERDS, ALLELUIA!

18 Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things as gold or silver, from your vain conversation of the tradition of your fathers: 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled, 20 Foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but manifested in the last times for you, 21 Who through him are faithful in God, who raised him up from the dead, and hath given him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God. - 1 Peter 1:18-21 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition 
Palm Sunday

My dear brothers and sisters, rooted in prophecy today we celebrate the triumphant entry into Jerusalem as found in Matthew 21:5 which is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9.

“Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

Matthew 21:5 – New International Version

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Zechariah 9:9 – New International Version

For this day Christ is exalted for He takes upon himself the mantle of priesthood forever as prophesied, a priest forever in the order of Melchisedech.

The Lord hath sworn, and he will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech.

Psalm 109:4 – Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition

13 For the one concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests. 15 And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is attested of Him, “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.”

Hebrews 7:13-17 – New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB 1995)
Journey into Jerusalem

Therefore, as Jesus made his way into Jerusalem he was greeted rightly by the people as a King and the long-awaited Messiah. ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ For it is right and just that we celebrate the coming of Christ Jesus, the fulfillment of God’s promise to deliver us from all evil, and the renewing of our whole trust within him. For the redemption of our sins upon this day was at hand!

 117:1 Give praise to Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. 2 Let Israel now say that he is good: that his mercy endureth for ever. 3 Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever. 4 Let them that fear the Lord now say, that his mercy endureth for ever. 5 In my trouble I called upon the Lord: and the Lord heard me, and enlarged me. 6 The Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man can do unto me. 7 The Lord is my helper: and I will look over my enemies. 8 It is good to confide in the Lord, rather than to have confidence in man. 9 It is good to trust in the Lord, rather than to trust in princes. 10 All nations compassed me about; and in the name of the Lord I have been revenged on them.

15 The voice of rejoicing and of salvation is in the tabernacles of the just. 16 The right hand of the Lord hath wrought strength: the right hand of the Lord hath exulted me: the right hand of the Lord hath wrought strength. 17 I shall not die, but live: and shall declare the works of the Lord. 18 The Lord chastising hath chastised me: but he hath not delivered me over to death. 19 Open ye to me the gates of justice: I will go into them, and give praise to the Lord. 20 This is the gate of the Lord, the just shall enter into it. 21 I will give glory to thee because thou hast heard me: and art become my salvation. 

26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name Lord. We have blessed you out of the house of the Lord. 27 The Lord is God, and he hath shone upon us. Appoint a solemn day, with shady boughs, even to the horn of the alter. 28 Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, and I will exalt thee. I will praise thee, because thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation. 29 O praise ye the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. - Psalm 117 - Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition

AMEN!

LETS US PRAY

PRAYER FOR PROTECTION

ANTIPHON: The great crowd that had gathered for the feast cried out to the Lord; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest

INVITATORYPSALM 95

Venite exultemus

An invitation to adore and serve God, and to hear his voice.

"Encourage each other daily while it is still today." Hebrews 3:13

1 Come let us praise the Lord with joy: let us joyfully sing to God our saviour.
2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; and make a joyful noise to him with psalms.

(Antiphon repeated)

3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
4 For in his hand are all the ends of the earth: and the heights of the mountains are his.

(Antiphon repeated)

5 For the sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.
6 Come let us adore and fall down: and weep before the Lord that made us.

(Antiphon repeated)

7 For he is theLord our God: and we are the people of his pasture,
    and the sheep of his hand.
8 To day if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts:

(Antiphon repeated)
 
9 As in the provication, according to the day of temptation in the wilderness: where your fathers tempted me, they proved me, and saw my works.
10 Forty years long was I offended with that generation,
    and I said: 'These alwats err in heart.'

(Antiphon repeated)

11 And these men have not known my ways: so I swore in my wrath that they shall not enter into my rest.

(Antiphon repeated)

PALM SUNDAY

PRAYER: Almighty Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, you sent your Son to be born of a woman and to die on a cross, so that through the obedience of one man, estrangement might be dissolved for all men. Guide our minds by his truth and strengthen our lives by the example of his death, that we may live in union with you in the kingdom of your promise. Grant this through Christ our Lord.

Perpetual Prayer for UKRAINE:

Dear Lord, give your strength to our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. Protect the innocent and brave of heart. Save those who find themselves in harm’s way and give courage to those who fight like righteous lions! Give your eternal peace to Ukraine’s President Zelenski and show him the path to take in these troubled times. May the words written in Philippians 2:2-4 reign in all Christian hearts worldwide;

 "Make my joy complete by your unanimity, possessing the one love, united in spirit and ideals."

GIVE TODAY TO HELP UKRAINE!

The Franciscan Relief Fund

The Franciscan Relief Fund was established by the Franciscan Friars in 2020 to bring food assistance to men, women, and children facing hunger during times of natural disaster, war, disease, unemployment, or poverty.

In Ukraine today, our sisters and brothers and their children are facing hunger, homelessness, and evacuation.

DOXOLOGY

Thus, therefore, shall you pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our supersubstantial bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen.

Matthew 6:9-13 – Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. – Amen

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Saint Joseph Pray for us.

Sancte Ioseph, Ora pro nobis

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Special Prayer for Ukraine

POPE FRANCIS’S PRAYER FOR FORGIVENESS

FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT

Forgive us for war, O Lord.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners!
Lord Jesus, born in the shadows of bombs falling on Kyiv, have mercy on us!
Lord Jesus, who died in a mother’s arms in a bunker in Kharkiv, have mercy on us!
Lord Jesus, a 20-year-old sent to the frontlines, have mercy on us!
Lord Jesus, who still behold armed hands in the shadow of your Cross, have mercy on us!

Forgive us, O Lord.

Forgive us, if we are not satisfied with the nails with which we crucified Your hands, as we continue to slate our thirst with the blood of those mauled by weapons.
Forgive us, if these hands which You created to tend have been transformed into instruments of death.
Forgive us, O Lord, if we continue to kill our brother;

Forgive us, if we continue like Cain to pick up the stones of our fields to kill Abel.
Forgive us, if we continue to justify our cruelty with our labors, if we legitimize the brutality of our actions with our pain.
Forgive us for war, O Lord. Forgive us for war, O Lord.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, we implore You! Hold fast the hand of Cain!
Illumine our consciences;
May our will not be done;
Abandon us not to our own actions!

Stop us, O Lord, stop us!
And when you have held back the hand of Cain, care also for him. He is our brother.
O Lord, put a halt to the violence!
Stop us, O Lord!
Amen.

TO HEAR POPE FRANCIS CLICK HERE

TWO COMPETING PARADIGMS…

One With True Contentment & One Without

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Thirsting for God... 
       42 'As the deer pants for the water brooks,
             So my soul pants for You, O God.
       2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
             When shall I come and appear before God?' 
              - Psalm 42:1-2 New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB 1995)
Everyone Thirsts for God!

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today I wanted to reflect upon the two choices that will define our lives and will determine our course into the hereafter. Therefore, within the serious tone of this message please have an open mind and heart. ‘Today if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts.’ – Psalm 94:8 Douay-Rheims 1899 Version

Question to Ponder: “Don’t you want for yourself and for your family; even the world to be at peace finding ever-lasting contentment in all things?”

We have two choices that really matter, I mean, (absolutely), in the literal sense of the word, (absolutely), matters. You can’t run from this choice, you can’t hide from it, you can’t ignore it, and you can’t meet or beat it with silence. I guess you could try as a large portion of the world’s population tries with a huge amount of struggle… but one who tries this strategy quickly finds this choice is constantly on their mind until they decide which way they shall go. For this choice will nag you to the grave! It is a choice between living a life knowing that you are absolutely loved, cherished, forgiven, and which you can confidently know true lasting joy and peace, having eternal hope, fullness, and unending happiness within all circumstances in your life; being a beacon of hope to others. Or a choice of instant gratification, temporary happiness that has a definable beginning, middle, and end. A choice that leaves you wanting for more, never satiating your hunger, always leaving you with underwhelming love, hope, joy, and peace; a mere taste of what the first choice can deliver. This second choice also is the harbinger of sin, strife, division, the true source of pain and anguish; the driver of conflict which leaves everyone involved in bitterness and leads to never forgiving others and thus, a permanent hardening of the heart. Why would anyone choose this second choice? Sadly, millions of our brothers and sister do. Perhaps out of ignorance and/or fear, maybe they were taught to fill their lives with the belief that they are an island and do not need what the first choice can bring into their lives. Simply put there are many circumstances, too many to count, which people face that bring them to choose the wrong choice. However, making this choice is hardwired into our very being and so, when we try to ignore it we find ourselves in depression and despair.

Found Online: NEW WINE COLLECTION

Dealing With These Two Competing Paradigms

The best place to start is by understanding why we have this thirst for God, why choice number one is the right choice, and finally, we must come to terms with what God wants from us in the starkest of terms.

42 'As the deer pants for the water brooks,
      So my soul pants for You, O God.'
       - (NASB 1995)

God our Father who is in Heaven made us, He alone knows everything about us, and He wants a relationship with us. I can not stress this enough! So, paradigm one logically states that God hot-wired us to thirst for him as the wild and tame animals thirst for water. Therefore, it is absolutely true that God made us for himself. (Isaiah 43:21) 21 “The people whom I formed for Myself Will declare My praise.” Therefore, the first paradigm should be easy to accept right? Well, hold on… there’s more! God also wants us to live with the confidence he is in control, 28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.’ – Romans 8:28 (NASB 1995). Furthermore, when you put this idea against your own personal wants and dreams we naturally find conflict. The human heart because of sin is separated from God. Because God is love he reacted the only way he could; that being the ultimate sacrifice on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. Here again, we as fallible creatures struggle with that one act of God’s mercy that on its face is so overpowering and dumbfounding that we struggle with it. We find ways to explain why God would allow his son to die in such a hideously painful and disgraceful manner that we begin to question his loving-kindness with this most common question: ‘If Jesus was real and he died on the cross for my sins… (it is here we are forced to accept God’s mercy without the benefit of having been there to witness it ourselves), then why would God do that for a wretch like me?’ (Instead of accepting God’s mercy we find ourselves unworthy and therefore automatically go through phases of rejection, guilt, and turmoil which leads us to ask, ‘How could a person love me so much they would willingly lay down and die for me.’)

Found Online: VWAQ

Believe it or not, this is called progress, for at this moment our logical minds start asking questions searching for the truth about God, so much so that we inevitably become closer to finding God. Think hard, do you remember ever asking this question? ‘If Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins then why does God still allow evil into our lives?’ Have you ever started any question with, ‘Why does God…’, this, of course, is called the searcher’s questions. Though I will warn you… that some people never stop asking and instead their questions become accusatory assigning blame for everything wrong that has ever happened to them. They end up bitterly blaming God saying it is his fault and they can never see their own hand in the midst of their own misery. This is a person who has chosen the world, or paradigm two, over paradigm one and acts against the direct command given to us, ‘…abstain from every form of evil.’ – 1 Thessalonians 5:22 – (NASB 1995). However, for those of us who honestly and sincerely search for Christ and who honestly want to grow in their faith each question asked is purposeful and will bring the asker closer to God lighting an undying fire to know Him.

Christian Parenting

Some people who were raised with parents who taught and read the Bible often are more accepting and thus choose early in life to believe in and love God. Others who as children that did not have the benefit of being raised in a stable home with parents who believed in paradigm one are often lost, wandering through life, searching for something which is ingrained within their very being but sadly have no clue why they hunger for something more powerful and meaningful. Into adulthood, many of these people are blind to the virtues which God Himself commands us to follow. Others simply run away from making this difficult choice because to face it would be too painful which drives them into the arms of disbelief, fooling themselves that they can manage it all without God. This of course is a childish attempt at controlling every event that happens to them from the moment they were initially hurt to the day they are forced to answer this nagging choice of which path to choose. This is known as running away from one’s pain and unwittingly straight into the arms of the loneliness of our imperfect world and all it cannot give us rejecting what we rightfully deserve in Christ Jesus. My brothers and sisters, if this is you, I sincerely urge you to stop, look, and listen because you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t.

Found Online: NEW LIFE NARRABRI

Benefits of Paradigm One

My Personal Testimony

In conclusion, as I reflect upon what I have written here within this post, I often recall all the hurtful experiences I have faced as an adult living in California. I think back on the joy of my only child’s birth and the subsequent years of arguing and hating my then-wife as she pursued a long-drawn-out divorce that did not end once the original papers were signed. I reflect upon the countless men who I associated with on Facebook parenting groups who were victims of Parental Alienation of a Minor Child, and how our ex-wives sought to divide us from our children making them choose between their parents. The court battles where I endured countless hours of lies by the opposing lawyers who tried everything in the playbook to define me as a bad dad, deadbeat dad, and a dad that was only good for forking out money hand over fist. My joy was reduced in the courts like so many other fathers into a pile of pain and torment… subsequent torcher, living in fear of what else could be taken away, ripped from our hearts and lives. Spending time became a schedule set by the court. How you spend time was often reduced to where this time could be spent. I within this hour of darkness had a daily choice, to give up and concede to what the world wanted of me, or fight with confidence that God was by my side through it all. I chose God every day, he is my strength, courage, and my shield! God has never left me alone, and in this, I learned and grew to always be thankful for everything.

My argument for paradigm one is not something I endorse without knowing God, but rather I endorse it because I would not be here without God! In short here are the benefits of choosing God or paradigm one:

ADOBE STOCK

I can confidently testify that…

  1. I have found peace in everything, in every good or bad thing that has happened to me.
  2. I have an undying joy, as I look at this world and celebrate all that God has done for me.
  3. I have found a deep sincere agape love that only comes from God.
  4. I have learned that forgiveness is always the best policy, for those who don’t forgive will end up bitter holding tight to a hardened heart… this was the most difficult thing to do as it relates to my ex-wife.
  5. I have a hope that can never be drowned by the world’s imperfect pessimistic policies and actions. For God is always in control and is working for the good of all things. There will always be some things that I can not explain but I have hope in God knowing he knows about it and is working on a solution.
  6. I am filled to the brim with God’s goodness, grace, and mercy.
  7. I have a happiness that is far and above anything other forms of happiness the world could ever offer me.

Though I will admit that the key to my relationship with God is rooted within this one guiding principle; I know and trust God and will heed all of his commands, I will go where he wants me to go without question and seek out his wisdom at every turn. For I know without any doubt that God is conforming me into the likeness of His only son which is far and above a much better version of who I was when I started this journey. I am not afraid to write this in black and white for it is a starkly different mindset that is freeing and allows one to escape the world’s blame, being defined by one action, and is completely within God’s will.

This my brothers and sisters is what I want for you. Be confident in your own testimony, yield to God in all things, and know He is with you and in control over every aspect of your life, and yes, He is conforming you into a better version of yourself.

AMEN!

LETS US PRAY

PRAYER FOR PROTECTION

ANTIPHON: O God, my God, I give you thanks; you are my God, I shall proclaim your Glory.

INVITATORYPSALM 95

Venite exultemus

An invitation to adore and serve God, and to hear his voice.

"Encourage each other daily while it is still today." Hebrews 3:13

1 Come let us praise the Lord with joy: let us joyfully sing to God our saviour.
2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; and make a joyful noise to him with psalms.

(Antiphon repeated)

3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
4 For in his hand are all the ends of the earth: and the heights of the mountains are his.

(Antiphon repeated)

5 For the sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.
6 Come let us adore and fall down: and weep before the Lord that made us.

(Antiphon repeated)

7 For he is theLord our God: and we are the people of his pasture,
    and the sheep of his hand.
8 To day if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts:

(Antiphon repeated)
 
9 As in the provication, according to the day of temptation in the wilderness: where your fathers tempted me, they proved me, and saw my works.
10 Forty years long was I offended with that generation,
    and I said: 'These alwats err in heart.'

(Antiphon repeated)

11 And these men have not known my ways: so I swore in my wrath that they shall not enter into my rest.

(Antiphon repeated)

FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT:

PRAYER: Father of Peace, we are joyful in your Word, your Son Jesus Christ, who reconciles us to you. Let us hasten toward Easter with the eagerness of faith and love. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and forever.

Perpetual Prayer for UKRAINE:

Dear Lord, give your strength to our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. Protect the innocent and brave of heart. Save those who find themselves in harm’s way and give courage to those who fight like righteous lions! Give your eternal peace to Ukraine’s President Zelenski and show him the path to take in these troubled times. May the words written in Philippians 2:2-4 reign in all Christian hearts worldwide;

 "Make my joy complete by your unanimity, possessing the one love, united in spirit and ideals."

DOXOLOGY

Thus, therefore, shall you pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our supersubstantial bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen.

Matthew 6:9-13 – Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. – Amen

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Saint Joseph Pray for us.

Sancte Ioseph, Ora pro nobis

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Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2022

A Command to Hope!

WORDS FOR UKRAINE
WE STAND WITH YOU!

6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6–7 (New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition)
Jesus fish / Christian faith symbol
Marek Studzinski via Pixabay

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I write this reflection with the invasion of Ukraine heavy on my heart. The shock of one nation attacking another sovereign nation with no provocation… is unconscionable! The pretext used by Russia was the same as Nazi Germany which started WWII. So, I say to you this which is the truth we all know and celebrate but rarely is it found written or even spoken aloud to which I pray will spread hope where hope seems fleeting. Know this, there is more going on that we cannot see yet God sees. Proof of this can be found within the impressive Ukrainian people, their President, their boldness in their defience against Putin’s Russia! The lesson that is unfolding before the world’s eyes is one we all need to teach our children from here on. This lesson is solidly based on Philippians 4:6 “Do not worry about anything…” Frankly put; by giving your life over to God there is nothing to worry about as He sees and knows and has already provided everything for you. Moreover,“… but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” By prayer and earnest supplication will God not only hear those requests but also answer them. Know that faith in God during the darkest hour always produces miracles that surpass our earthly understanding. Therefore, let the world pray and let the world fall down in supplication before our God with Ukraine in our hearts, on our minds, and tongue!

FAITH IN ACTION

Brothers and sisters, it is not enough to read this reflection but I urge you all to take action!

For starters, there is this little-known organization who through nothing more than donations is going into Ukraine helping people leave safely. I highly recommend everyone to donate funds to Project Dynamo – CLICK HERE

87% to programs, 8% to administration, 5% to fundraising.

Another non-governmental organization that specializes in global humanitarian aid and relief has been delivering these services since its founding in 1933 in Manhattan, New York, NY. I highly recommend everyone to donate whatever you can to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) – CLICK HERE

Crisis in Ukraine

10 do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)
Knowing Jesus
Source: https://www.knowing-jesus.com/

TO THE UKRAINIAN PEOPLE

A PRAYER OF SOLIDARITY

I tell you to remember what has been written, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1 (NRSVCE) Therefore, take refuge in God who walks by your side, His divine spirit fights against evil in all its forms on your behalf! I tell you with all assurances in this that God is your strength for He alone upholds you; He alone will lead you to victory! God has moved the world to support you, to give you all that you need, He alone fills your men with the fighting hearts of righteous lions, and it is God who neuters your enemy’s desires forcing them to fall under your heel!

TO PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY

33 I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!”

John 16:33 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)
President Zelensky

Dear President Zelensky, remember always the words and promises of YHWH… for your hope is found within his love! Your nation’s peace along with all other nations that stand with you is found in unity! Take heart in the many examples of all who have faced down oppression, hold strong to your courage and faith. Continue to give hope to your people with the knowledge that peace, hope, love, and courage will overcome every tyrant no matter the age they have arisen. Know that your victory is certain! Know you are justified in all your actions. Keep hope close to your heart and peace for all Ukrainians written upon your soul! All hope is yours and all things are possible within this incredible love of our shared faith in all righteousness!

LETS US PRAY

PRAYER FOR PROTECTION

ANTIPHON: Come, let us worship God who holds the world and its wonders in his creating hands.

INVITATORYPSALM 95

Venite exultemus

An invitation to adore and serve God, and to hear his voice.

"Encourage each other daily while it is still today." Hebrews 3:13

1 Come let us praise the Lord with joy: let us joyfully sing to God our saviour.
2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; and make a joyful noise to him with psalms.

(Antiphon repeated)

3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
4 For in his hand are all the ends of the earth: and the heights of the mountains are his.

(Antiphon repeated)

5 For the sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.
6 Come let us adore and fall down: and weep before the Lord that made us.

(Antiphon repeated)

7 For he is theLord our God: and we are the people of his pasture,
    and the sheep of his hand.
8 To day if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts:

(Antiphon repeated)
 
9 As in the provication, according to the day of temptation in the wilderness: where your fathers tempted me, they proved me, and saw my works.
10 Forty years long was I offended with that generation,
    and I said: 'These alwats err in heart.'

(Antiphon repeated)

11 And these men have not known my ways: so I swore in my wrath that they shall not enter into my rest.

(Antiphon repeated)

EIGHTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME:

PRAYER: Lord, guide the course of world events and give your Church the joy and peace of serving you in freedom.

Dear Lord, give your strength to our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. Protect the innocent and brave of heart. Save those who find themselves in harm’s way and give courage to those who fight like righteous lions! Give your eternal peace to Ukraine’s President Zelenski and show him the path to take in these troubled times. May the words written in Philippians 2:2-4 reign in all Christian hearts worldwide;

 "Make my joy complete by your unanimity, possessing the one love, united in spirit and ideals."

DOXOLOGY

Thus, therefore, shall you pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our supersubstantial bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen.

Matthew 6:9-13 – Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. – Amen

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Saint Joseph Pray for us.

Sancte Ioseph, Ora pro nobis

KEEP IN TOUCH!

Come and visit us on Facebook for weekly questions and discussions on the reflections posted here. I can’t wait to hear from you! Just click the link below and make a comment!


Douay-Rheims Bible

Help Support Listening Faithfully by clicking the link below!

If you donate $100 or more I will send you a Douay-Rheims Bible! Just leave your mailing address in the comments. The Douay-Rheims Bible was translated between the years 1582 and 1610 and revised by Bishop Richard Challoner. It is the most accurate English translation of the Bible available today and Listening Faithfully’s bible of choice! 

Growing a Real Relationship with God!

Honoring the important role God plays in your life.

FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

The Year of Grace

My brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, over the last several years of Covid and seeing the impacts on my students and community I wanted to give back with something of real substance. So, listen carefully – whenever I am faced with adversity I call upon God to give me the strength to carry on. Whenever I find times have grown so bleak I can’t hardly stand it I call on God to hold my hand and rejuvenate my heart. So, this Sunday I chose to write a guide for all of you that I hope will, if put into practice, rejuvenate your hearts and rekindle the fire for God in your life.

When You Wake in the Morning

When the alarm goes off… roll over onto your back, open your eyes look at the ceiling and begin your day with a meditation. Each day for four weeks meditates on the scripture for that day as follows:

Take 5 minutes a day with God in meditation.

Scriptural Justification for Meditating:

“5 I am the vine, you are the branches; whoever abides in Me and I in them, bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, they are thrown away as a branch and dries up; and then they are gathered and cast into the fire where they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” - John 15:5-7 
 

In the Morning or Evening – but meditate daily!

Instructions for the Meditation: Open your bible and clear your mind, and bring your heart into the presence of the Lord. Remember the important role God plays in your life. Then center your body, heart, mind, and soul on the Lord. Again, start with the first Psalm and silently read it, and ask God to speak to your heart. 

Meditation – Week 1:

‘No Christian has ever been called to walk alone.’ 

READ: James 4:7 Reflect upon this passage daily. In the evening write down your new insights each day. Find the connections between the reading and the daily Psalms.

Recite / Meditate / Ask God for His Guidance

Meditation – Week 2:

‘Obtaining peace with God is obtaining oneness with God.’

READ: James 3:18 Reflect upon this passage daily. In the evening write down your new insights each day. Find the connections between the reading and the daily Psalms.

Recite / Meditate / Ask God for His Guidance

Meditation – Week 3:

‘Listening Faithfully to God is essential to walking with God.’

READ: James 1:22 Reflect upon this passage daily. In the evening write down your new insights each day. Find the connections between the reading and the daily Psalms.

Recite / Meditate / Ask God for His Guidance

Meditation – Week 4:

‘Intimacy with God, which is His highest desire for us, holds the greatest impact on our lives.’

READ: James 4:8-10 Reflect upon this passage daily. In the evening write down your new insights each day. Find the connections between the reading and the daily Psalms.

Recite / Meditate / Ask God for His Guidance

Prayer is how we stay connected to God.

Scriptural Justification for Prayer:

8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. 9As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. John 15:8-11

Take 20 minutes a day with God in prayer.

Instructions for Prayer: Next, you will set up in bed or kneel on a pillow. Then open your Christian Prayer: The Liturgy of the Hours and turn to the page as designated in the Saint Joseph Guide. Begin your prayer with the following:

Whisper: ‘O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.’ –  Psalm 51:15 (NRSVACE)

Recite: ‘Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.’ – (Minor Doxology)

Inventory Psalm 95 found on pg. 688 inserting every two verses the Antiphon from the Four-Week Psalter.

Example: We are currently on Week 1 of the 4-week Psalter so turn to page 706 and the first unnumbered Ant.

Ant. ‘Come, let us sing to the Lord, and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.’ (This is said before starting Psalm 95)

Recite the following as found in ‘The Liturgy of the Hours’:

Morning Prayer

Ant. 1 is said before Psalm 63:2-9 and in all spaces between the paragraphs of the scripture. 

Psalm-Prayer

Ant. 2 Is said before the Cantile and in all spaces between the paragraphs of the scripture.

Ant. 3 Is said before Psalm 149 and in all spaces between the paragraphs of the scripture.

Psalm-Prayer

Reading

Responsory

Canticle of Zachariah as in the Proper of Seasons pg. 249

Intercessions

Recite the Our Father…

Prayer in the Proper of Seasons pg 249

Conclusion: ‘May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.’ – pg. 698

Mark pgs. 712-713 for the Evening Prayer II… Sunday Evening Prayer.

Learn to be grateful even during a time of pain or illness.

Scriptural justification for maintaining a thankful spirit.

‘18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.’ - 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Take 10 minutes a day with God asking him to teach you how to be grateful in all situations.

Instructions for Constantly Being Thankful: In your heart of hearts you make the daily promise to do your best to be thankful for everything given to you by God. Recite the awesome things God has done for you remembering to never be boastful about them in public and always give glory to God. Engage God in a private one-on-one conversation throughout the day – especially when you are alone ask God to cleanse your heart from all thoughts of complaining and ask Him to help you rekindle within your heart His neverending joy. Below are a few scriptures to help guide you:

Be like Paul, learning how to be grateful:

15‘And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.’- Colossians 3:15
18‘give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.- 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Get rid of the drama in your life:

6‘Better is a handful with quiet than two handfuls with toil, and chasing after the wind.’ - Ecclesiastes 4:6

Find the daily miracles in your life:

8‘As for me, I would seek God, and to God, I would commit my cause. 9He does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without numbers. 10He gives rain on the earth and sends waters on the fields; 11he sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety. 12He frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success. 13He takes the wise in their own craftiness, and the schemes of the wily are brought to a quick end. 14They meet with darkness in the daytime and grope at noonday as in the night. 15But he saves the needy from the sword of their mouth, from the hand of the mighty. 16So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth.’ - Job 5:8-16

Stop Comparing what others have versus what you were given by God:

12 ‘We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they do not show good sense. 13We, however, will not boast beyond limits but will keep within the field that God has assigned to us, to reach out even as far as you.’ - 2 Corinthians 10:12-13

Now its your turn… find scripture that speaks to your needs!

Don’t forget to give from your heart to others!

Scriptural justification for giving to others.

6‘The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.’ - 2 Corinthians 9-6:8

Take 10 minutes a day with God asking Him how He would have you give to others.

Instructions for Godly Giving: Remember giving to others does not always involve giving money or time. Rather it also includes random acts of kindness, be it through your loving words of encouragement, helping someone with a project, calling a relative who you haven’t seen or spoken to in years, and/or spending time to develop a real relationship that will last the ages with those around you. What you do speaks louder than words in most instances and has a lasting impact.

38 ‘give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.’ - Luke 6:38

40 minutes a Day – throughout the day – will bring true joy into your life. Brothers and sisters remember that happiness comes from external sources and joy comes from God and therefore an internal experience that fills up your immortal soul.

THEREFORE, LET US PRAY

Lord God,

Give to your people the joy which only comes from you! Teach us how to purge our hearts from lusting after others’ possessions and from being jealous of what others have that we do not. Lord, vanquish from our minds the complaining heart and instead renew our souls with the spirit of thanksgiving. Teach us your love, patience, kindness, and generosity, and allow the holy spirit to fill us with the want to always give to others especially the needy. Lord, wipe away our sins and fill us with your light.

“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread. 12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’ - Matthew 6:9-13 New American Standard Bible 1995

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. – Amen

Saint Joseph Pray for us.

Sancte Ioseph, Ora pro nobis

A Command To Be Just!

TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Listen, my brothers and sisters, we have a major problem happening in America as it relates to how we treat others. Most specifically, the passage of arcane laws that prevent our fellow human beings from exercising their rights to judge for themselves what is good and proper. Moreover, this same small minority of our population has taken it upon themselves to restrict our brothers and sisters of color from their fundamental right to vote. More shockingly there are some who have chosen to rebel against the common good through uncouth measures concerning health issues as they continue to spread known lies about life-saving treatments, fighting against the free vaccine, and causing chaos around the issue concerning masks which have been proven to statistically protect our children! If you know me at all you know I will always speak out about issues related to protecting God’s children! But the greatest problem we are now facing is that their rebellion does not uphold the law but yet their own precepts!

Normally, I would not address these political issues here on this forum. But, too many transgressions have been left unanswered about critical issues which directly affect our entire population. Therefore, because of the enormity of these issues, I have targeted the ongoing and upsetting revolving door issue of women’s health in America and how this small minority thinks they have a right to prevent women from exercising their rights on this issue!

Guiding Question:

“Why did God give mankind free will if He didn’t think we could handle it?”

THE BOOK OF WISDOM

Love justice, you that are the judges of the earth. Think of the Lord in goodness, and seek him in simplicity of heart. For He is found by them that tempt Him not: and he sheweth himself to them that have faith in Him. - Book of Wisdom, Chapter 1:1-2 - Douay-Rheims Version, Saint Benedict Press - A.D. 1609

Problem: We have too many radical judges who say they are Christian and thus use their power as a judge and their beliefs to make rulings that do not support the written law and instead legislate from the bench with rulings that can not be supported by law and in some instances frequently ignore legal precedent. In addition, our God-given right of free will is yet again under attack by man’s suffocating law. If you love justice then you are a lover of God who is just! Judges of the earth should make rulings that uphold the law in a bipartisan manner using wisdom and prior legal precedent which the US Supreme Court chose to do neither of those two things and instead seems to support empowering private citizens to anonymously report women who are going to have, or are on the way to have, or prosecute all those involved in helping women to get an abortion and then get paid for reporting it! How is this just? How is this ruling moral? How does this celebrate God’s trust in giving his children free will? What other American rights will this uproot? Nowhere in the Bible does it say, ‘When someone does something you disagree with go rat them out to the authorities?’ No, it says:

In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the law and the Prophets. - St. Matthew 7:12

We call this the golden rule. We teach this rule to our children. But we seemingly forget to apply it when it is convent not to follow its teachings as adults! With that stated plainly, I guess anyone who reports in Texas an abortion would want others to report anonymously some private issue of theirs that would uproot their life as well? I guess the Supreme Court Judges who upheld the TX SB8 Legislation on Abortion are in favor of private citizens anonymously reporting their hidden crimes as well? WE CAN DO THIS ALL DAY!

Pro-life vs. Pro-choice

DE-ESCALATING THE ISSUE?: Abortion is a complex paradox. This is where Matthew 7:12 comes in. It’s all about relationships: meaning as a country we need to work together to solve this moral dilemma not rip each other apart. This could be said about every issue that Republicans and Democrats or even self-professed conservatives and liberals disagree with each other on. Ending the argument and divisiveness and instead, practice active listening to find common ground! It’s all about being just with each other! In being just we build our relationships on firm foundations. The Texas law is wrong on so many levels and was a test case that the Supreme Court failed miserably because it’s all about what is just under the law! This ban simply divides people further driving them deeper into the two camps, (tribal warfare instead of civil discourse), in effect giving a sledgehammer to one side, and leaving the other side defenseless. Then sitting back to watch what happens! The Texas Legislature removes themselves from enforcement and all responsibility from what happens when it was their grand old idea in the first place! Again, this irresponsible attempt in crafting a law and the irresponsible attempt at upholding the previous statutes will create further chaos which is tragic! Why? Because it destroys relationships and pits private citizens at odds with each other in the hope of making a profit! Pro-life and Pro-choice need a time out! They need to rethink their approach. As human beings, we all need to understand more deeply the issues and find ways to accommodate each other’s opinions, and stop trying to impose each other’s will on the other! We can fix this if we stop arguing and trying to undercut each other which is the root cause of hatred and division within our nation! So, I say to you, be lovers of justice! Seek in everything, what is good and just always! No, not just for yourself, but also for your fellow human being.

Repercussions of Not Following the Law: The clear end-run of the Texas government is to pave the way for abortions to become illegal in Texas and to help other states pass copycat laws which will be upheld in the courts effectually killing Row vs Wade and robbing women the right to choose for themselves what is good and just in their own personal lives in those states. Stop and think: Do you want some stranger melting in your personal life? Some stranger dictating what you can and cannot do? Stopping you from exercising your free will? This goes beyond religion because it strikes at the very heart of law in America, trust in our Judges to follow and uphold laws instead of rewriting them based upon their own personal religious beliefs.  Simply put, there has been a hardening of the heart of those who feel it is their mission given them by God to force millions to live in a world of restrictive, anti-democratic, and dystopian laws which are changed at a whim! Laws that do not meet the test of our Christian values! Is this the America you want to live in? Listen, we are never going to agree completely and in some instances not even partially, so what we all need to do is simple. Stop and listen with compassion and justice will reign.

For perverse thoughts seperate from God: and his power, when it is tried, reproveth the unwise: for wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body sudject to sins. For the Holy Spirit of discipline will flee from the deceitful, and will withdraw himself from thoughts that are without understanding, and he shall not abide when inquity cometh in. For the spirit of wisdom is benevolent, and will not acuit the evil speaker from his lips: for God is witness of his reins, and he is a true searcher of his heart, and a hearer of his tongue. - Wisdom 1:3-6, Douay-Rheims Version, Saint Benedict Press - A.D. 1609Douay-Rheims Version, Saint Benedict Press - A.D. 1609

Questions To Ponder

Who gave the five Supreme Court Justices the power to make the pro-life decision for all Texas women within a midnight secret agenda vote? Is this the first step to further develop an acceptable platform where neanderthal-rulings made by radical judges that allow the ultra-right the power to stop women from walking alone on the street without a man being present, or force them to cover their faces and heads at all times, or restrict women in America from the right to equal and fair access to education or to simply prevent women from voting altogether or worse yet prevent women from driving? Are we talking about a complete and utter disembowelment of women’s suffrage as we know it in America: The Land of The Free? Does this mean judges will now side with laws like the one Texas passed which opens the floodgates for other states to empower vigilante justice by allowing regular citizens to profit off of ratting out thier neighbors who seek abortions? Are these judges and lawmakers aware that they are creating a culture of interjecting ourselves into the private personal health issues of a complete stranger for the sake of money? Does any of this sound familiar? To me, it sounds an awful lot like 1933 Nazi Rule or Italian Fascism? Am I being too radical with my questions? Where does oppression stop! How does any of this follow Jesus’s command to love one another? (John 15:12) How do these blatant actions of the court uphold the Book of Wisdom cited above? Can I kindly and lovingly remind my brothers and sisters in government and on the bench that these issues have already been tested and found unworthy of the American citizenry! We need to put away our ancient grievances and move forward together in love and harmony for the benefit of all people.

Let us listen to the voice of God; let us enter into his rest." - Office of Readings - iBreviary

Freely Come To Me!

Consider this: The Second Temptation of Christ

And the devil led him into a high mountain and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, And he said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them. If thou, therefore, wilt adore before me, all shall be thine. - St. Luke, Chapter 4:6-7 Douay-Rheims Version, Saint Benedict Press - A.D. 1609

Here Satan wants Jesus to bow down and worship him. What a sight that would have been! Christ bending the knee to a subordinate, jealous, twisted fallen angle! Sorry, but things in the universe do not work like that! See all you Judges, Congressmen, State, and Federal Representatives, and District Leaders you all work for us – the people!  We do not bow the knee, for we elected you to serve, protect, legislate sensibly, and uphold the laws and values of America! – Please Review the United States Constitution.

It is written: Thou shalt adore the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve. - St. Luke, Chapter 4:8 - Douay-Rheims Version, Saint Benedict Press - A.D. 1609

Guiding Question – Answer:

'And why call you me, Lord, Lord; and do not the things which I say? Every one that cometh to me, and heareth my words, and doth them, I will shew you to whom he is like. He is like to a man building a house, who digged deep, and laid the foundation upon a rock. And when a flood came, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and it could not shake it; for it was founded on a rock. - St. Luke 6:46-48 - Douay-Rheims Version, Saint Benedict Press - A.D. 1609

Jesus wants all of humanity to come to him and be saved under a just God! Moreover, He desires that we come to Him of our own free will. God does not want slaves and He most certainly does not want robots! Make no mistake, Lucifer wants your soul just as badly as God but he wants your soul under a much different pretext! It looks a lot like what is happening in Texas, Florida, and all the other states of the union that are hell bend to place the people of this country in a condition of permanent bondage! Again, I implore you to turn away from Satan and the path of your own selfish pride. Again, I ask when, my brothers and sisters, did common sense become so unpopular that spouting blatant lies was your only recourse? It is not too late to come back to God. It is not too late to recapture your true faith as a Christian and to begin rebuilding your house under God if only you would open your eyes to see the rewards that await you.

'For you are bought with a great price. Glorify and bear God in your body.' - 1 Corinthians 6:20 
'Is this such a fast as I have chosen: for a man to afflict his soul for a day? Is this it, to wind his head about like a circle, and to spread sackcloth and ashes? Wilt thou call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the Lord? Is not this rather the fast that I have chosen? Loose the bands of wickedness , undo the bundles that oppress, let them that are broken go free, and break asunder every burden. Deal thy bread to the hungry, and bring the needy and the harbourless into thy house: when thou shalt see one naked, cover him, and despise not thy own flesh. Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health shall speedily arise, and thy justice shall go before thy face, and the glory of the Lord shall gather thee up.' - Isaias 58:5-8 - Douay-Rheims Version, Saint Benedict Press - A.D. 1609

Consider this: Do you really want to gamble with your soul by forcing your will onto others thus denying justice?

'There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.' - Proverbs 6:16-19 New American Standard Bible 1995

GRACE IS HOW WE ARE SAVED!

In conclusion, remember my brothers and sisters, of what God said about the people who toiled in the wilderness,

'Today if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts: As in the provocation, according to the day of temptation in the wilderness: where your fathers tempted me, they proved me, and saw my works. Forty years long was I offended with that generation, and I said: These always err in heart. And these men have not known my ways: so I swore in my wrath that they shall not enter into my rest.' - Psalm 95: 8-11

Therefore, it is through God’s loving-kindness and grace that are we saved, not through personal grabs for earthly power. It is through God’s moral teachings and commands can we truly find wisdom and justice! AMEN!

WEEK III SUNDAY PSALM 113

Praise the name of the Lord

He has cast down the mighty and lifted up the lowly (Luke 1:52)

Ant. From the rising of the sun to its setting, may the name of the Lord be praised.

113 Praise the Name of the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord,
    praise the name of the Lord!

Ant. From the rising of the sun to its setting, may the name of the Lord be praised.

Blessed be the name of the Lord
    from this time forth and for evermore!
From the rising of the sun to its setting
    the name of the Lord is to be praised!
The Lord is high above all nations,
    and his glory above the heavens!

Ant. From the rising of the sun to its setting, may the name of the Lord be praised.

Who is like the Lord our God,
    who is seated on high,
who looks far down
    upon the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust,
    and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes,
    with the princes of his people.
He gives the barren woman a home,
    making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!

Ant. From the rising of the sun to its setting, may the name of the Lord be praised.

THEREFORE, LET US PRAY

Lord God,

Give to your people the joy of continual health in mind and body. With the prayers of the Virgin Mary to help us, guide us through the sorrows of this life to eternal happiness in the life to come. Father, we ask you to give us victory and peace in Jesus Christ, our Lord, and king, we are already seated at your right hand. We look forward to praising you in the fellowship of all your Saints in our heavenly homeland.

“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread. 12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’ - Matthew 6:9-13 New American Standard Bible 1995

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. – Amen

Thus, therefore, shall you pray:
Our Father who art in Heaven, halloed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen

Saint Joseph Pray for us.

Sancte Ioseph, Ora pro nobis