Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Grace is a gift from God

It's stated in CCC  grace is a habitual gift, a stable and supernatural disposition that perfects the soul itself to enable it to live with God, to act by his love

There are two kinds of grace: sanctifying and actual.  Sanctifying grace stays in our soul and what make the soul holy and supernatural life.   

Actual grace is like a supernatural push or encouragement and does not live in the soul.  

Both of these helps us to elevate you above your regular nature, otherwise our souls are in its natural state which isn't by default not fit for heaven. Grace elevates nature , our intellects are given new power of faith.

This is why  supernatural life is also referenced sanctifying grace because we need it to get to heaven, and if our soul have sanctifying grace we will go to heaven unless we need to purify ourselves  in purgatory first.  

If it does not dwell in our soul due to mortal sin, then we are dead spiritually. Mortal means death and mortal sins kill of our supernatural life, so sin is like saying "No" to God and sanctifying grace is saying "Yes" to God. If we physically die from earth with no grace, we are forever separated from God which is hell, which is only caused by us to be that way.

God keeps giving you divine pulses or pushes along the way in our life, such as using the sacrament of penance ore reconciliation while venial sins weaken us to eventually fall to mortal sin, however venial sin does nto destroy our supernatural life itself.

To regain supernatural life, you have to receive actual graces from God, think of them as helping graces, actual graces enable the soul to perform a supernatural act.

Our protestant brothers deny this because since sanctifying grace implies a real transformation of the soul, they deny real transformation takes place.  They believe God doesn't actually  wipe away our sins or our souls become spotless and holy in themselves, but instead remain corrupted, sinful and that God throws a cloak over them and then treat it spotless, while knowing all the while they're not.

As Catholics we believe our souls really are cleansed by infusion of supernatural life.  St. Paul speaks of thsi from 2 Cor 5:17 about "a new creation, then noted in Eph 4:24 "created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness"

Protestants also have a misunderstanding of Justification as it is only a forensic or legal declaration by God that the sinner is now justified, meaning your soul is in the same state as it was before but eligible for heaven. This is legal fiction because how can God say you are justified knowing you a sinner in not really justified but only under the cloak of Christ righteousness. 

So when God declares you justified , he make you justified. Any justification that is not woven together with sanctification is no justification at all.

The Bible teaches on justification when Paul indicates that there is real transformation that occurs in justification and that is not just a change in legal status, this is defined in Romans 6:7.  There is confusion in this passage "For a dead person has been absolved from sin.", in other revisions it say's "free from sin", The term in Greek "dikaioo" is the word for being justified, yet the context indicates sanctification, which is why every standard revision renders the word free instead of justified. So this shows in Paul's mind justification involves real transformation, in other words really being free from sin and not just a change of status.

Also sanctification and justification is not a one time even, but an ongoing process according to scripture, so it can be lost but recovered again as noted above through grace, however Fundamentalists go on to say that losing ground on sanctification will not effect your justification. Calvin taught that absolute impossibility of losing justification, Luther said it could but only lost only through sin of unbelief., in other words if you reject Jesus Christ your savior.  However we believe it can be lost in mortal sin. So we must continually seek God's grace, continually respond to the actual graces God is working within us and remember its a gift from God.

From the "Essential Catholic Survival Guide" Catholic Answers

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

When to speak

We need to look the silence of Jesus, for thirty years Jesus lived a life of silence.  He was known locally solely from his work he did with his step father Joseph.  During his three years of public life we see how at times he retreats in prayer, to be alone with his Father, or when he performed his miracles without fanfare.

Then their is the silence before his enemies, that is those who were against him but he still loves them during his passion.  Saint Jerome comments: our Savior, because of his mercy had redeemed the world, allows himself to be led to his death like a lamb without a word of complaint or self-defiance.

We also see him silent when people yelled for Barabas or when Pilate asked "Do you not hear how many things testify against you? But Jesus gave him no answer and Pilate wondered greatly.

The silence of God in the face of human passions before the sins which are committed every day by humanity, is not a silence of anger but a silence of full patience. Christ silence during his earthly life represents interior strength and sense of purpose.

Those who complain continually about their misfortunes or bad luck should look to Lord's example or when we feel compelled to explain or excuse our actions and waiting anxiously for approval, should take not of Christ. Vanity will  have us say things which should have been kept locked in the soul. Exclaimed from the prophet of Isiah, the Holy Spirit advises us that our fortitude is grounded in silence and in hope

To speak when its necessary , is with charity and fortitude , that is when we don't remain silent.  There can be silence that collaborates with lying ,cowardice or of keeping comfort and fear of complicating ones life.  The word of Jesus is full of authority as he faced injustice and abuse from the scribes and pharisees

"you hypocrites, For you devour widows houses and for pretense you make long prayers" Matt 23:14

Saint John the Baptist teaches us to say everything that must be said so we too may cry in the wilderness, and not worry of the consequences. If each Christian were to speak with conformity with Faith, we could change the world.  We can't be silent in the face of crimes like abortion , degradation of marriage, or when someone attacks the Pope or Blessed Mother, if we are silent in these things, we could be collaborating with evil because  others may see our silence with consent.

Through our Baptism we have the grace to give us courage to be silent, but when to be not silent to defend our faith, we must pray for this grace

Based From Fr, Francis Fernandez Book Chapter 45

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Silence leads us Closer to God

Today, life is constant communication and noise, from media, social media, smart phones, email, texts, work oncall we constantly are being distracted and not for only our well being and time with those we love but more importantly it can take us away from God.

What is the importance of silence and taking breaking from distractions when we can, and find a way to put effort into it.

Fr. Francis Fernandez notes: "We have to learn to come closer to Our Lord through mental prayer,recollection and contemplation.  Look at Mary , she always recollected and that is how we should learn to be. The Virgin ponders and meditates, she understood that interior spirit of recollection which enables her to evaluate and keep her heart all the happenings of her life, big or small Prayer always enriches us - even in that silent dialogue before the tabernacle in which we do not use any words. It is enough to watch and feel ourselves watched.

Dietrich Von Hildebrand states the importance of contemplation and recollection, and how to work on it

"For man in his fallen state, the process sanctification - of transformation in Christ - is dependent on a systematic effort towards a moral formation of self and is thus inseperable from s set of ends and means"

God presence the "vacare et videre" to rest and see that effects a regeneration of our souls, enabling us to realize the further elements of contemplation. Not unless we again and again pause to take breath, abounding ourselves to contemplation, can we escape the danger of losing oursleves in the peripheral and of allowing deeper meaning of our life be swamped.

The act of recollecting oneself requires a rudiment of contemplation, in this respect recollection is a preamble to contemplation, contemplation  is the restful immersion of self as apposed to purposeful tension (example day to day work). Recollection is not limited to moments of contemplation, it may continue to be present while we are active. We live in uninterrupted tension, never ceasing to be concerned about what is next to be settled and many of us no longer know any alternative to work except recreation and amusement.

First we should consecrate every day a certain space of time to inward prayer., we must guard from performing the inner prayer as though we are dispatching a business among others, assimilating it to the  rhythm of current tasks.  - loose the spasm of activity and dominate your conscious toward superior realm of ultimate being. Inward prayer is the out most antithesis to all tense activity., we cannot practice fruitfully our faith unless we succeed in extracting ourselves from the rythem of affairs

Silence is of great help to recollecting ourselves, it is why is plays a powerful role in monastic life.. Silence fulfills an important function in mental regeneration.  Silence alone evokes that inward calm which is a prerequisite of recollection.  by silence we do not mean have a mere outward abstaining from speech, coupled with its mental continuance. We must also cultivate an inward stillness. Not only silence but solitude is requisite for concentration.  Moments of solitude that the intensity of this spiritual contact will build itself up and bud in the depths of our soul.

Once we accomplish the mode of silence and solitude., the we can recollect and contemplate ; by virtue of recollection alone we can reduce everything to the common denominator to Christ and make it possible for us to keep awake in ourselves the basic attitude of charity, ignite melting fire of Jesus love and nourishes simplicity.

Unless we cultivate a recollected mode of life and recognize the primacy of contemplation, we remain essentially unfit for receiving the holy imprint of Chirst
Contemplative rhythm of of life is a process of transformation in Christ.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

What is the Trinity

Trinity reflection from book "Faith Explained" Chapter 3 from  Leo J. Trese

There is a limit to what the human mind can reason for God in revealing to us the truth about himself.  Be content with simply telling us what the truth is. There are three divine Persons - Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit . there is only one divine nature but there are three divine persons

When we try to think of God as three Persons possessing one and the same nature, we find ourselves battling our heads

Is is why we call such truths that the blessed trinity a mystery of faith.  We believe it is so because God say it is so

Theologians do of course cast some light upon the mystery for us. They explain that the distinction between the three Persons in God is based upon the relationship that exists between three Persons  There is a difference between our knowledge and God’s knowledge of himself. It is of the very nature of God to exist. The only real definition we can give God is to “ he is who is” like to Moses “ I am who am”

God sees of himself.  God the Father is God knowing himself 

God the Son is the expression of God knowledge of himself. Son is the expression of God knowledge of himself thus the second Person of the blessed trinity,  the son of God precisely because from all eternity he is generated he is begotten in the divine mind of the father. Also the silent word he perfectly express himself, whom we call God the Son. He is also called the word of God because he is the mental word in which the divine mind gives utterance to the thought of himself

Nature of God must be a living love and infinitely intense living love which flows externally from father and Son is he whom we call the Holy Spirit.

In Summary

  • God  the father God knowing himself 
  • God the Son is the expression of Gods knowledge of himself
  • God the Holy Spirit is the result of Gods love for himself 

Example of Trinity in best possible human reasoning:

Lets use a full length mirror. You see there an image of yourself, a living image but it is just an reflection in the glass.  There would no be two of you, there would be just one you, one human nature.  There would be two persons but only one mind and one will, sharing the same knowledge and same thoughts. The self-love is natural to an intelligent being, there would flow between you and your image an ardeen love. This love would be a third person standing between you and your image.

Even if these remarks or example don't help, we should not get frustrated when dealing this mystery of faith. However one error must guard, must not think God the Father came first, God the Son  or Holy Spirit later. All three equally eternal, equally timeless with God's nature and also God the Son and Holy Spirit are not in anyway subordinate to God the Father.

We can attribute individual divine Persons certain works such as God the Father for work of creation or the generator, the Son of God's work to make know the truth on earth for all of us and heal. and finally Holy Spirit works of sanctification of souls

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Who is God

Who is god - Nobody

The philosophers express it by saying, “Every efect must have a cause”. There must be someone who always existed, someone who never had a beginning. There is such a someone whom we call God

No one made God. He always was and he will always be. He is the supreme being. The very word “supreme” means above all others. If there were two equally powerful gods side by side, then neither can be supreme.

There is but one God and he is spirit. Philosophers distinguish two kinds of substances: spiritual subtances and physical substances.

Physical subtances has different parts (example air with nitrogen, which then made of molecules, contain atoms, , then neutrons and so forth)

Spiritual substance has no parts and can never be broken up, corrupted or divided. Its a simple substance. And that is why spiritual substance is immortal. There is three classes of the spiritual substance, they are

Human Souls

For human souls when they get dis-united from the body at death will still function and we will love more freely and contain all the memories and knowledge we have gained on earth, we will still be “me” but with the body gone. That is until the end of time we will be re-united with our body.

With God there is no limits of an kind, no limit in direction.We usually say God is good but should really say God is goodnes. God is wisdom. Mene and angels may be said be enternal in so far as they never die, but they had a beginning and are subject to change, not God because he is absolute.

So why does God allow evil and sufering in the world. Both came in the consiquence of mans sin in both physical and morally. God does not keep stepping to snatch back the gift of freedom and free will he gave us. Evil is mans idea.

However God is all mercifull, as long as we repent

The perfections of God

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Blessed Mother's Grace and title "Mother of God"

Review from Bishop Gibbon - Early Church Teachings Book Chapter for Blessed Mother's Grace

If the land of Judea is considered hallow ground because Jesus dwelt there or the apostles were considered model of holiness because he chose them, then how peerless must have been the sanctity of Mary who have him birth

Review Luke 11:27

Why is it that our fellow Christians that are not Catholic struggle with Mary's grace of being sinless, when they seem to accept the grace God gave to Moses to speak with authority or the prophet Jeremiah was to herald God's word or John the Baptist filled with the Holy Spirit, apostles received graces by tongues and other privileges yet the Blessed Mother is exempt even the though once again bear the Lord. How can she ever be profaned in sin like the rest of us?

Howe is it inconceivable to call Mary Mother of God.

  1. her son Jesus Christ is  true man; else she is not a mother
  2. he, Jesus is true God else she is were not the Mother of God
To further expand on first point, Jesus came from her maternal womb thus same substance as her., in other words we affirm the Second Person of the blessed Trinity

However the Blessed Mother is not the mother of divinity, did our Mother have any production of our soul, no but we couldn't say she is the Mother of our body and we simply say she is my Mother just as a child is adopted calls their adopted parents Mom and Dad.  The general Counsel of Ephesus in 431 vindicated the title "Mother of God", so this concludes that the title Mother of God has been around very early part of the Church, nearly right after the Canon of Scriptures were decided and introduced , so in no way can be proclaimed by any Protestant that this is something that was made up by the Church recently.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Rest is needed to refresh our ourselves and faith

Jesus also got tired which is part his sacred humanity. We know this from scriptures from Mark 6:30-31. Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest a while. "And they away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest a while" And they went away in a boat to a lonely place by themselves.  There are other area's in scripture noting how Jesus & Apostles are tired through their apostate  An example is a time Jesus was sleeping in the boat during the storm, it shows how tired he was.

There are times when real bodily weariness can effect us and Jesus who is redeeming mankind show his weakness of being tired that should help us to bear our own weakness and co-redeeming with him.  We must learn to recover our strengths close to him we can use regular leisure activity be sanctified.  Love does not take holidays.  An example from Jesus is when he rests near Jacob's well and with that time converts the sinful woman so we should try not to fail offer up times when exhaustion  makes us feel useless or stop helping other people, tiredness teaches us to be humble and to live in charity , weariness helps us to live in detachment from things.

A Christian should consider his life beneficial gift because it doesn't belong to that person and which has responsibility to look after and live the years God wants .Among the norms of leisure be properly employed to refresh the spirit and strengthen the health of mind and body subjecting oneself to a timetable, dedicating sufficient time to sleep , going occasionally for a walk or simple outing. 

We have a duty to rest, in order to serve God and other people better.  We should learn to rest and avoid becoming totally exhausted, God wants us to look after our health and know how to recover, its part of the Fifth commandment.

However rest doesn't mean to do nothing at all, it is to relax in activities which demand less.  We should not confuse rest with laziness.  It should be leisure that provides an opportunity for interior enrichment and this is where a retreat is good where it not only rests or body and mind from hectic or daily busy lives with work or chores, but also enrich our relationship and spirituality with God.

We also can get burn out serving with the church or any other charity activities, this is when we really need a retreat. Keep in mind Jesus rested out of obedience to the law of Moses, he rested as a result of demands made on him and his family or just because of weariness, he would have been tired of serving others but never isolated himself and he did make himself available to others no matter what, so we make sure we are close to God and don't make your leisure time a total pagan time, all the time.which means keeping being distinct and separated from interior life.

Reflection from Fr. Fernandez

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Angels are part of our faith

 Angels are a Dogma of our Faith as Catholics; you cannot be a Catholic if you do not believe in the existence of angels. The Catholic Church states in Paragraph 328: The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls "angels" is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition.
330 As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendor of their glory bears witness.

They are spiritual beings who were created by God to serve Him. They can appear in human form and interact with us, but those bodies are only temporary illusions and pass away when their interaction with certain humans ends sin

The purpose of all of the angels is to serve God, praise God, worship God, and pray to God. In the process of serving God, they also protect us, pray for us, inspire us, encourage us, and guide us during our journey on Earth. Some early Christian traditions indicate that even after our death, the angels continue to guide us in our journey to our final place, whether it is to Heaven or to Hell, this is for baptized and non-baptized alike.

We can pray to our guardian  Angel to intercede for us and bring out petition before God. The special angel of each person even of the most insignificant within the church - as he always contemplates the face of God who is in heaven and sees the divinity of our Creator, unites his prayer to ours and co-operates as much as he can to obtain what we request

Holy Scripture and Tradition rightly give the name of angels to those pure spirits who chose God, his kingdome and his glory, when they were given the fundamental test of freedom. They are charged with protecting all men

According to Daniel 7:10, there are so many of them that the angels cannot be counted by human standards but they and God know how many of them there are. And yet, as Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches, each angel is unique and no two angels are the same. Every angel is as distinct from one another 

We know the names of the seven archangels who lead the angelic host (Tobit 12:15, Revelation 8:2); three are mentioned in Scripture and four from historical tradition. They are Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel, Saint Raphael, Uriel, Raguel, Zerachiel, and Remiel but the Catholic Church officially only acknowledges the names of three of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael because they are the only ones mentioned by name in the Bible.  Both in Old and New Testimant, both Jews and Christians, Angels are disclosed and beleived, in the new Testament in Acts 12:7-11.  Peter is freed from an Angel while in prison, when he went to the house of Mary where people were praying for him, Rhoda answered the door of the gateway, when she heard the voice of Peter , she ran to the people praying to say Peter was standing in the gate, even though she didn't open the door yet, the people praying said she was mad and that it was an Angel.

All angelic beings have a purpose and perform different functions. According to theological traditions inspired from what the Bible makes reference to in various passages, there are nine choirs of angels organized in a heavenly hierarchy: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Powers, Virtues Principalities, Archangels, and Angels. The Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones mediate upon the Person, Wisdom, and Judgment of God. The Dominions, Powers, and Virtues govern the forces of nature and the Universe as a whole. Finally, Principalities are guardians of nations and cities, Archangels are guardians of special people, and Angels are guardians and messengers to us all.

Through the free will of angels and human beings. Angels and humans were created with the gift to choose to serve God. With that choice also comes the option of not wanting to serve God.
Evil came into “being” because of the choice of one angel who chose to sin against God by not wanting to be obedient to His Authority as Lord and Creator. That angel, a high ranking cherub angel, was named Lucifer. And once he chose to rebel against God, he took about a third of the angels with him in rebellion (Revelation 12:4
But why did Lucifer sin against God and dare to say “Non serviam!” (“I will not serve!”)? Because of pride (Isaiah 14:12-14, Ezekiel 28:17, Proverbs 16:18) and envy (Wisdom 2:24 – But through the devil's envy death entered the world, and those who belong to his party experience it). Lucifer was prideful of his high status, power, wisdom, and beauty, but what he had was not enough for he wanted to be adored and worship like God. Therefore, he did not want to be second to God in honor and so he chose to not serve his Master. Somehow, this rebellious idea of not serving God then appealed to the other angels who sided with Satan.
According to Canon 1 of the VI Lateran Council in 1215, the fallen angels were good. Does any goodness still exist within these demons and can they repent since God is merciful to sinful humans who repent of their evil?

Sacred Scripture and the Church's Tradition see in this being a fallen angel, called 'Satan' or the 'devil'' No. 391)

We believe that in the beginning, God created Satan as a good angel: The Lateran Council IV (1215) stated, "The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing." These angels irrevocably chose through their free will to rebel against God and not to serve Him. For this rebellion, they were cast into hell. Sacred Scripture attests to this belief: Our Lord, speaking of the final judgment, said, "Then [the Son of Man] will say to those on His left: 'out of my sight, you condemned, into that everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels'" :(Mt 25:41). St. Peter wrote, "Did God spare even the angels who sinned? He did not! He held them captive in Tartarus [the term in Greek mythology to indicate the place of punishment in the underworld]รข¦" (2 Pt 2:4).


Saturday, June 9, 2018

St. Joseph and Family Life

The Messiah wanted to start his redemptive task in the bosom of a simple, ordinary  family. The first thing that Jesus  sanctified with his presence was a home, the one in Nazareth

Joseph was the head of the family, he way a father according to the law and it was he supported Jesus and Mary with his work

Joseph was the head also because of his obedience and fortitude, the trust he had in God. When Joseph was called in a dream from an Angel "To rise up and go to Egypt and take the child Jesus and Mary" . Joseph obeyed immediately, he showed fortitude at this moment and taken charge. Mary listened and both followed what was said, but Joseph made the initiative to leave, this is not easy because they had to leave most everything and it's a long and hard journey to Egypt.

St. Joseph is for us many examples of virtues of intelligent and rapid obedience, of faith, of hope, of hard work and of course fortitude again because of the difficulties and hard situations he had to deal with to support the holy family.

Between Joseph and Mary there existed a holy affection a spirit of service and a mutual desire for each other's happiness.  This is Jesus family was sacred, holy, exemplary model of human virtues, ready to carry out God's will exactly.  A Christian home must be an imitation of the house of Nazareth; a place where there is plenty of room for God so that he can be the centre of the love that members of the family have for each other.

IS your home like this?
Is Jesus its centre?
Do we live for only the others?

These are some questions we can ask ourselves in prayer later on.

The family is lead by parents by word and example are the first heralds of faith with regard to children. In the case of the Holy family, Jesus learned the meaning of the things around him from his parents, Joseph and Mary.  The holy family would have devoutly say or recited their traditional prayers,which were said in every Jewish home.  In that house, everything that refereed to God had a new meaning and content.

Family is a school of virtue and the ordinary place for us to find God.  Husbands and wives will achieve this aim by exercising the virtues of faith and hope, facing serenely all the great and small problems which confront any family. and will be persevering in the love and enthusiasm with which they fulfill their duties.

They will learn to smile and forget about themselves in the order to pay attention to others.  Husban and wives will listen to each other and their children, showing them that ehy are really loved and understood., they will forget about the unimportant frictions that selfishness can magnify out of al proportions.  They so lovingly all the small acts of services that make up their daily life together.

The aim is sanctify family life, while creating a true family atmosphere, many Christian virtues are needed such as prudence, loyalty, sincerity, humility, cheerfulness and more. These virtues will strenghten the unity that the church teaches for the family.

Family is very important, its the simplest and most basic form of society, society is driven by family.
Second , united in Christ, family is a member of the Mystical Body and have been called the domestic church, the christian family proclaims aloud both the present power of the kingdom of God and hope of the life to come.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Grace is a gift

Grace is a gift from God.  We can either except it or reject it.  All things we do is from his grace, especially the good things we do.  There can be times these graces seem negative or cause suffering, but in the long run it leads us to himself God.

The following article explains different levels of grace

Quote the following:

There are two kinds of grace, sanctifying and actual. That may be all you recall. The names being so similar, you might have the impression sanctifying grace is nearly identical to actual grace. Not so. 

Sanctifying grace stays in the soul. It’s what makes the soul holy; it gives the soul supernatural life. More properly, it is supernatural life. 

Actual grace, by contrast, is a supernatural push or encouragement. It’s transient. It doesn’t live in the soul, but acts on the soul from the outside, so to speak. It’s a supernatural kick in the pants. It gets the will and intellect moving so we can seek out and keep sanctifying grace. 

The Catechism of the church defines the following for grace:

"grace is favour, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life". ... The meansby which God grants his grace are many.

It takes courage to follow chastitiy

Homosexuality should not be singled out as a sin itself, because heterosexual couples can sin by having sex outside of marriage, married couples can sin by coveting another person or even looking at lewd media or pornography.
Its not by our regular emotions, feelings or even tendencies that lead to sin, but the lustful act itself which will be talked more by Fr. Fernando below
Chastity is Purity of heart
"Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness, let the earth open , that salvation may spring up"
Uncleanness of heart produces insensitivity to the things of God but with pure of heart spring joy, the ability to see the divine trust in God, sincere repentance, recognition of ourselves and our sins, great love of God and other people
Read Matt 15:2,7-8
The whole man is defiled by what happens in his heart, evil desires and intentions, envy etc are external sins which our Lord enumerates, even if they are committed internally in the sinners heart. Jesus describes as blessed and happy those who guard their hearts
If we don't try to guard our heart then otherwise we always tend to attach themselves in the wrong way to people and things. Among all the aims of our lives, there is only one, to go to heaven, and we do this to live our individual vocation to the full
Mat 5:29 -30
Our Lord means anything that at given moment seems indespinsibleby precious and valuable, Sanctity, salvation ones own and ones neightbor comes first
The things we need to abandon or cut out of our lives can be all different sorts. They can be even good things in themselves but self feed our egoism or a failure to rectify our intention which has then turned into obstacles in our sanctification.  We need to guard the small whims that result in failure of complete control.  St Augustine notes "the sea comes through leaky places and little by little fills the hull of the boat.  Unless expelled the boat goes down..need to imitate the sailors that pump the water out even though it continues to fill with water, because the weak points of our human nature are always there; and you will have to have man the pumps again"
Love of frequent confession and persistence with the daily examination of conscience help help us to keep our souls clean, even of our daily obvious daily weaknesses

If our hearts are pure. then we will know how to recognize Christ. in the intimacy of silent prayer, in the busy middle of our work or any other other daily events., but if we lack inner purity the clearest signals will mean nothing to us and will interpret them wrong

Let us contemplate God the father, the Son and Holy Spirit and well the Blessed Mother also, then we shall now God as he knows us, directly face to face

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Evil and Suffering review of John Paul II

"To this you rejoice, though now for a little while you may have suffer various trials, so the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire..."
Peter 1:6-7

This text points out "predestination" in Christ of the created world and how the theme of the relation of divine providence & reality of evil and suffering

The principle is hard to accept , it is even more difficult to accept when one accuses God because of evil and suffering, but we must somehow accept the divine providence.

It is clear from the pages of sacred scriptures, the bible, shows the vision of reality of evil and suffering.  However through the gospels the good news, their is adequate method to find response to the question of evil and suffering in the world, it is to seek it in the context of revelation offered by word of God.

Lets be clear about evil, it is multi form.  It can be distinguished in a physical sense, from that in the moral sense.

Moral evil is distinguished from the physical evil, first of all because it implied guilt, it depends on free will and always an evil of spiritual nature.

It is distinguished from physical evil because the latter does not directly include mans will even thought it does not mean cannot be caused by man of result from his fault.  At times its result of ignorance, this is sometimes related to natural disaster, bodily and physical disability and sickness

 Though these forms of evil, suffering is engendered in human beings, human suffering can be interiorized known and experienced in the whole dimension of ones being.

Sometimes it constitute a complaint , challenge and cry of rejection of God and his providence, thus questions can be summed up; Does God not will evil?  And if he does, can we believe God is love?

In the old testament we can look at Job.The old testament bears witness to primary of wisdom and goodness of God, the bank of job outlines and develops an attitude dedicated to the theme of evil and suffering seen as a tremendous trial for the just overcome by certainty , laboriously acquired , that God is good.

In all of this, we can be consoled with definitive light can come to us, only the victory of cross from Christ can do this

General audience June 4, 1986

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Patience and meekness

Jesus is the model of patience and meekness

We need to contemplate the greatness of God as opposed to that weakness of our own or others which we know thourhg experience of our repeated falls to sin

From Isiah 4:25-31

Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in steadfast love; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run  and not be weary, thery shall walk and not faint.

Jesus brought a yoke and a burden to humankind, his yoke is easy to bear because it liberates us, and this burden does not weight us down because he himself carries the hard part.

Matt11 Jesus says, Come to me , all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Jesus wins the trust of the people following him due to meeknes of His heart., it is through his lovable heart that crowds at his time on earth find shelter and rest, and why they are strongly attracted by him and find peace in him.  And today we do the same through the eucharist.  The fruitfulness of all apostotlate will and should be very closely bound up with this virtue of meekness and patience.

If we are to follow and be like Christ as we are due to our baptism, then we should notice how patient he was with defects of his disciples.

The way to cure our bad temp or impatience with either ourselves or others failures is to imitate Jesus meekness.  This calm and welcoming spirit will be born and develop in us in exact proportion to ur efforsts to remember to constant presence of God and to think more of our Lord's life on this earth.

Meekness is particuraly necessary in circumstances where living with other people who are difficult.

Meekness is founded on great spiritual streangth. Just as the Gospel beatitudes, notes, the poor are those who are really rich, so the meek are those who are truly strong.

Meekness is like a strong shield which blunts and shatters the sharp arrows of anger, The meek are like people dressed in garments of thick quilted, meekness helps control and directs it, so that is aroused only when ncessary.

Let us examine ourselves on our readiness to make sacrifices neccessary to make life pleasant for other people.  LEt us see if we are able to give way to other people opinions, instead of claiming to be always right about everything, and how to control our temper and disregard the frictions which are in our daily life.

If we can go to adoration or just go to a chapel with the tabernacle, let us discuss or talk it over with our lord and let him get through and what is in our uppermost thoughts.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

How to battle Lukewarmness

Our life does not make sense if we are not following Our Lord closely

He comes to bring us the fire of his love, which fills our pointless lives and make sense of them. Every Christian soul full of the love of God is that tree of which the responsrial psalm speaks of; "the tree whose leaves never fade". It is Christ himself who gives it life. But if Christian allows his love to grow cold, if he allows self satisfied mediocrity to creep into his soul, then he will develop a spiritual sickness

The persons mind and heart become as it were blind and deaf; as a result of their negligence the person can no longer see or hear Christ. Their soul feels emptied of God and that person tries to fill that emptiness with other things

We must realize that there is a cure for every disease of the soul, including that of the lack of love. We have only to employ the right means in the order to re-discover Christ. The hidden treasure who once gave meaning.

Isolated faults do not lead to tepidity or lukewarmness, This sickness of the soul is characterized by the fact that one more or less deliberately treats venial sin lightly.

Even if someone still frequently commits venial sins, it does not mean that he is tepid or lukewarm , provided that person is sorry for them and try to fight against it. Tepidity is a state of conscious and deliberate lack of fervor, a state of enduring carelessness and half heartedness

Tepidity or lukewarmness is the result of prolonged carelessness in the interior life. It usually follows a whole string of small infidelities who un-repentet guilt has come between the soul and God. There is no struggle or only pretended and effectual struggle, to be better.

The state of tepidity is like a gentle slope down which the soul slips further from God. Almost without noticing, it becomes content with not going too far.  Where there is tepidity or lukewarmness , there is no true worship of God in the Holy Mass; lack of love and preparation make Holy Communion itself cold.  In this sorry state the tepid soul looses all desire to get really near God.  To sum up, You are lukewarm if you carry out lazily and reluctantly those things which have to do with God.

To prevent or break out of it, , we need to increase our determination to struggle again tepidity or lukewarmness, which will involve taking great care with our daily examination.  Contrition makes the soul young again. Remember, God always forgives, but we must get up , repentant and go to Confession wherever necessary.  Our Lord take our failures into account, but he also expects from us many little victories in the course of our days, we will never fall into self-satisfied mediocrity, into carelessness, into lovelessness.

Fr. Fernando "In Converstation with God"

Sample examination of conscious from a prayer book

Friday, April 27, 2018

God is a father to us

God is always by our side

When Moses was chosen an extraordinary task to lead his people the Israelite's from their bondage, which was a life time of work, God confirmed him in his mission with these words "I will be with You"

Our lives too, Gods presence at every moment is hard to fathom.  He is like a father minding his toddler.   Jesus who is true man and true God, knows the father better than anyone else because he is intimately one in substance with the father, so he can reveal his Father (with a capital F) relationship with us.  What Jesus has revealed to us and with it, and in it we find the wonder of God's fatherhood.

Our lord has revealed to us the depths of the trinitarian mystery: the fact God is a father, so close to us men.  Notice that Jesus used the title Father both in private discussion with the apostles and in his preaching publicly.   Jesus lets us know that this Father is never far away, no more that would be a father who sees his little toddler alone and in danger.

God's Will; you will never, even in the worst state of agitation, lose sight of the fact that our Father in Heaven is always close to you, very close, right next to you, with his everlasting Love and with his unbounded affection.

Imitating Christ is the way to be true children of God. To be children of God which our God the Father intend for us to be with him, his children wants us to be partakers of the divine nature.  It is through Christ that we share this divine son ship.  The more like Jesus we become, the more God the Father will see us as children, if we try to work as he did, to have pity on people as he did, and show our thanks like Jesus did.  Let us pray and have dialog like Jesus did with our Father.

Our mother Mary is the perfect example of what divine grace can achieve when it is fully availed of.  No one excepting the sacred Humanity of Our Lord, was ever closer to God, no created being ever become the Daughter of God the Father that she was.  Let us ask her to make us seek the counsel of the Holy Spirit who will get us to imitate Jesus, Under his influence we will feel the pressing need to turn to the Father at all times.

Summary from Fr. Fernando of Conversation of God

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Faith - Keep our eyes on Christ

Faith in Christ. With him, we can do everything; without him we are incapable of taking a single step.

If you recall, after the miracle of the loaves, when Jesus asked the apostles to go to their boats and then himself went up to the mountain to pray on his own, however later on a storm formed and the apostles were stuck in it.  Jesus saw them from afar buffeted by waves.  He started to walk toward them and when the apostles saw Jesus approach them walking in the water, they were filled with fear, Jesus said "Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.

Christ always presents himself in this manner.  Peter is moved and wants to join Jesus in the water and says "Lord, if it is thyself, bind me to come over the water". Loves daring has no limits and our Lord easily yields to the request. Peter starts walking in the water with faith and confidence in his "Master"  , and so when difficulties that surround us , it doesn't matter if we walk in faith and confidence in Jesus, it doesn't matter if the waves are high, or if its not natural to walk in the water, if we look at Jesus, we can do anything, by looking at him is the virtue of piety, through prayer and the sacraments, we will be in the right path.

However , just like Peter who looks away from Jesus and was distracted by the waves  and then his faith at first great, starts to diminish, then he starts to sink, and so like Peter, we sink too many times.  Just like Peter we realize the  force of the waves and wind it was impossible to walk in water, we instead worry about the difficulties.  We miss that if we pay attention , that in in complete trust in Jesus we can avoid our faith diminishing, just like Peter at that moment.

It is God who keeps us afloat and makes us effective in the midst of those apparent impossibilities, it is he who makes us walk on water but on one condition; we should keep our eyes set on Christ., and not allow obstacles and temptations distract us.  

When faith diminishes, then difficulties seem greater.  If Peter would have kept looking at Jesus, who would have remained firm and walked all the way to Jesus on the water, so we should strive in our prayer to have that confident gaze and prevent our faith to be exposed and sink in discouragement.

Saint Thomas Aquines states: If you want to be saved, look upon the face of your Christ.  It is through prayer and the sacraments which is going to help us look upon his face through middle of rough seas we live in.

Even though Peter stopped looking at Christ while walking in the water and sank,  but he knew enough to return immediately  to Jesus "Lord save me", Peters cries with all his strength when he felt it was loss, and so Jesus with infinite affection, stretched out his hand.

And it is the same with us, when our faith diminishes, cry out to the lord and say "Lord, save me" when going through over whelming difficulties, temptations, failures  - let us go to Jesus, because he will always stretch out his hand to us, and pull is up again.

Based from "Conversaion with God" Fr. Fernando

Monday, April 16, 2018

How the Holy Spirit Perfects our faith

The Holy Spirit is one of the three divine person of one God, the Holy Trinity.  The Holy Spirit  is identified in several area's of the bible but one of them is in Act 5:3 when Peter addresses a man named Ananias who lied about the donation, Peter asked why he would lie to the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is part of the birth of Jesus; God into man, and as noted by St. Ignatius; for our God, Jesus Christ was according  to the appointment of God, conceived in the womb of Mary, but by the Holy Spirit.

But how does the Holy Spirit relate directly to our relationship with God through it beauty and power, one with God in the Holy Trinity.

Faith is a particular response on the part of man to the Word of God reveals himself in the revelation of Jesus Christ.However, the acceptance of knowledge of God is imperfect in the present life.

The originality of our faith in comparing with knowledge of God started with "created things". By faith  man gives his response to "God's self revelation" and accepts the divine plan of salvation.

This is stated in part First Vatican Council which underline the supernatural character of faith.  God works in the depths of mans spiritual faculties and in his energies and dispositions, the divine power is called grace, in particular grace of faith.

In Second Vatican Council it explains that this grace of faith , that is to make an act of faith is through the interior help of the Holy Spirit. To bring upon a deeper understanding of revelation the same Holy Spirit constantly brings faith by completion of his gifts.

These gifts enables man to fully respond fully to God's self revelation in Jesus Christ, this grace protects the act of faith, it stirs it up, supports and guides it.  Thought it, man believes in God, participates in internal life.

This grace from the Holy Spirit is the source of the supernatural illumination which opens the eyes of the mind to the acceptance of the mysteries of God and the elements of the plan of human salvation. In the same time man's faculty, under the action of grace of faith, tends to a deeper understanding of the contents revealed.

This understanding is projected by the total truth promised by Jesus Christ and these efforts of growing understanding finds it through the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The Fathers Know Best and Catechesis on the Creed from John Paul II  God Father and Creator (from general audience of April 10th, 1985)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

God is not Hidden from us

Jesus seems remains hidden so that he may be sought out by our faith and our love.
He wanted to live among us to pitch his tent among men. So on earth and remained hidden for the great majority of people. God seems to be hidden from us, but in reality he is in the tabernacle or exposed in adoration to us, we should be like the rabbi in the Presentation when we approach the tabernacle”Lord now lest thou servant depart in peace according to thy word, for mine eyes have seen the salvation"

God was hidden during the miracles, he instructed people to not report them, during Gesiname and in his Passion his divinity was also hidden However God was hidden in the eyes of people because we chose too, this would be our pride and sin, this is why we missed his divinity. Jesus hides again in the Blessed Eucharist under the appearance of bread and wine so that our faith and our love may seek him out. We say to him in our prayer; Lord you who make us share in the miracle of the Eucharist, we beg you not to hide away, may your face be ever clear to  our eyes.  

Live with us, because without you our lives have no meaning. May we see you, with our eyes purified by the sacrament of Penance.  May we see you , with our eyes purified by the sacrament of Penance. May we touch you , like that woman who dared to finger the hem of your garment and who was healed. May we too touch you; without ever wanting to get accustomed to the miracle. May we want to be beside you all the time: which is the only place where we are completely happy.  May we have you as the King of our lives and of our work: because we have given everything to you.

The Holy Eucharist transforms us, when we do to adoration, go to church a pray before the tabernacle , or receive him in the Eucharist during mass, we develop a deep friendship with him. He may be hidden from our senses but clear to our faith.

Saint Thomas affirms that the virtue of this sacrament is to transform a man into Crhist through love.  We all have the experience that eah one of us lives largely in accordance wit that he loves. People devoted to study, to sport or to their profession say that activities are their life. Ina similar way, if man seeks only his own self-interest, he lives for himself alone.  If we love Christ nd unite ourselves to him, we will loive more deeply thorugh him and in him, depending on the truth and depth of our love.

Jesus is not hidden, we just need to look for him with our heart.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Gethsemane to Sanhedrin - Reflection of Jesus Passion

Jesus knew what his disciples should have witness - the occasion to assert that the Passion was not to be regarded as a condemnation of him or his doctrine, but a solemn attestation before the world, showing his loyalty to God

"That the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father hath given me commandment, so do I, arise let us go"

When in the garden of Gethsemane, he shows he is command or the leader, not Judas from the start, but before that he went through the greatness of his soul, he thought for his disciples even in midst of his own agonies of body and of mind.  He well know that the disciples be spared if their faith were not to reel under shock , which is why he withdrew apart from them, during his agony.

Jesus whole nature and causes of the dreadful mental sufferings that he endured alone for long hours., no created intelligence can fully explore.  Once the moment or his hour has come, Jesus finds himself plunged in trembling fear and anguish. He was to wrestle alone with dreadful force bonding's that pressed on him, sorrow crushes the vitality out of the soul.

Tradition is unanimous in asserting that what the savior endured was intimately connected with sins of mankind.  The almighty allowed his son to experience in the depths of his being a realization of the consequences for himself of his taking on his shoulders the responsibility for the crimes of humanity in spite of his personal innocence.

Jesus saw all the acts of faithfulness and base betrayals, all the acts of lust and adultery; all the acts of impiety and sacrilege; all the imprecations and blasphemes; all the acts of violence and murder. It is not surprising that the savior prostate himself in agonizing prayer before God.  For thee long hours he lay prone on earth repeating the same words; My father if possible, let this chalice pass from me.  Jesus from the beginning accepted the passion.  He knew the passion was God's absolute will. He needs to the perfectly human impulse to plead with God, knowing all the time what God wills. 

It was thus Jesus prayed his prayer was conditional and Jesus did not wish that is should alter the absolute determination of God, the prayer was not without its answer.  Jesus was comforted, with an angel from heaven to strengthen him.  Christ saw and understood caused his shuddering from the contract with agony and panic, fear under the physical contractions of nerves and fibers and arteries, the blood drops oozed through the pores of the skin and mingling together, flowed in red stream-lets to the ground.  Up to the time of entering on the Passion Jesus acted as accredited envoy of God and had his disposal the divine omnipotence to indicate his claims, he could operate miracles at will but he stood before the rabble under the guidance of Judas.  The defense of his divinity is now withdrawn, he was now a victim of sin, but his last dominate power was permitted to secure the safety of his followers.

Again,even through his suffering , he thought of others well being.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

What is my vocation?

The dictionary meaning of vocation is “a strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation, lie a nurse, lawyer or doctor. This would be a secular meaning.
In spiritual sense when we talk about vocation, it can be as simple as fulfilling out your married life to your spouse and children, or can be fighting abortion while making some sacrifices along the way, could be a call to be a priest or nun, or being a single person serving the poor in third world country or even being a dedicated legionary.

However vocation can be layered out because God could call us to have that strong feeling to do his will at a particular time.

But what does vocation really mean in our relationship with God, and what are some examples

Example of vocation, John the Baptist.  John was to carry out his task the full, even to the extent of giving his life in the fulfillment of his vocation.  Many came to know Jesus through John the Baptist apostolic work. 

One’s vocation embraces one whole life, and our whole being works towards fulfilment of the divine mission.  Each person has a God given vocation.  The divine will desires many other things that depend on the fulfillment of that vocation.  Many great things depend – don’t forget it – on whether you and I live our lives as God’s wants.  Do we bring the people around us closes to God?  Do we give good example in the way we carry out our work, in our family circle, in our social relations.  Do we speak about God to our colleges.

A vocation is a great honor.  When one freely decides to follow Christ completely it takes preference over other plans.  God’s call come first, everything else has to take second place, for example from Mathew 10:34 “He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me”  Christ's words don’t create any incompability between the First or fourth commandments, but rather highlight their mutual relationship.  It appears the reading is for those who may be called to serve God and the church as their spouse by being a priest or nun, and so for these children that their love for their parents cannot take precedence over love for God.  Ordinarily  there will be little reason for conflict to rise.

 Overall, it would be sad for anyone to reject the vocation they are being called to turn a deaf ear to God’s call for what ever reason.  To follow our Lord properly calls for completely unfettered detachment, a freedom of heart that is not hampered by sadness or regret, which would only lead to half hearted self giving; the person concerned also need to have the necessary autonomy to fulfil God’s will.

 When someone gives their heart completely to God, it is returned more youthful and enlarged, with a greater capacity to love others.  Vocation is God’s initiative; He knows well what is best for the person called.

A vocation can give us a new meaning, even to the most ordinary things.  The whole of life is effected by Our lords plans for each one of us.  The discovery of one’s personal vocation is the most important point in each person’s vocation, is the most important point in each person’s existence.  It changes everything without changing anything; just as a landscape , without  changing , is different before and after the sun goes down, beneath the light of the moon, or wrapped in the darkness of night. Every discovery give a new beauty to things and a new light creates new shadows, one discovery is the prelude to other discoveries of new lights and more beauty.

Our Lord has chosen all of us, some of us with a specific vocation – to follow him, to imitate him and to carry  on in the world the work of his redemption.  And from all of us he expects a joyful and unshakeable faithfulness.

From "Conversation with God" Fr. Fernandez

Friday, March 16, 2018

Be an Apostle like the Blessed Mother Mary

Be an Apostle like the Blessed Mother Mary

Faith and Obedience are essential of being an apostolate.  The blessed Mother Mary knew this from the beginning, before she was ever called to be the Mother of our God, she already had the grace of faith and obedience, thus making her really the first practicing apostolate

We can also use Peter's experience with Jesus from the scriptures, which is more relatable to us: Luke 5

Peter told Our Lord that they had been working all night and had caught nothing. The fisherman's reply seemed reasonable enough The night hours were they normally fish.
What was the point of fishing by day? But Peter has faith: 'Nevertheless, at your word I will let down the net' He decides to act on Christ's request. Although they are tired, and although it is not a man of the sea who gives the order, and although the fishermen are well aware that the time is all wrong for fishing; although they know perfectly well there are no fish around, they put all hands to lowering the nets. Now, purely out of faith, purely out of trust in Jesus, they simply dismiss from their minds those considerations that normally would tell
them whether fishing was advisable or not. What sets them to work again is Peter's faith in his Master. Simon simply obeys and trusts.

Once again, the apostolate, faith and obedience are indispensable.  Without obedience, everything is use less in God's eyes.  Any type of work or action to help is fruitless unless we carry out God's will, Saint John Chrysostom notes:  God does not need our work but he needs our obedience.   
This is something Mary did, she was obedient even to the point when she said "yes" to bearing God, knowing the earthly difficulties involved, such as explaining to Joseph her pregnancy, etc.
Our lord call us to follow him closely and to be apostle in the middle of the world, like Mary did.  Apostolic effectiveness depends on our union with Christ

The miracle of the fish caught teaches a lesson, it is only when we acknowledge our own uselessness or sin and put our trust in the lord  that the apostolate is effective and fruitful, once again like our Mother

But going back to Peter

Peter is amazed at the miracle. and is when in a single instant he sees everything with great clarity. Christ's omnipotence and wisdom; his own calling and his unworthiness. He
throws himself down at the feet of Jesus as soon as they come to land. Depar from me, he says, for I am a sinful man. He acknowledges the loftiness of Christ's great dignity, his own wretchedness and his obvious lack of ability to carry out the mission of which he already has a presented

  Then Our Lord takes away his fear and reveals to him in all its clarity the new meaning of his life: Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men. Jesus draws on Peter's
occupation, in the pursuance of which He had sought him out, to make known to him his mission as an Apostle. The awareness of God's holiness and of our condition as sinners
does not separate men from God, but rather brings men closer to hint Moreover, once a man has been convened, he declares his faith openly and becomes an apostle

Our Lord calls all of us to be apostles in the middle of the world, whether we are sitting by a computer, or follow-ing the plough, in the great city or in a little village.  Whatever condition you are sick or healthy, each of us in his own way are called by our lord to the perfections of sanctity.

John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you, just like Mary was chosen to help redeem the world and accepted God's will

Ask Mary to help you make up your mind to share the desires of sowing and fishing that fill the heart of her Son.  I can assure you that if you begin you will see the boat filled , just like the fishermen from Galilee. And you will find Christ on the shore, waiting for you.

Reflection from Maria Legionis 2013 and "Conversation with God" Fr. Fernandez