Saturday, February 24, 2018

Mortification's lead to the Cross

Jesus speaks of a daily cross.  "And he said, if any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:22

Is there is such a thing Christianity without a cross?

"Whoever does not take up his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:27

This Christianity is without redemption unless the cross is part of it.  Lukewarmness symptoms is when we want to remove the cross or abandon it, or resit doing any form of mortification. To flee from the cross is to turn our backs on holiness and joy we could receive.  Those who abandon mortification is engrossed in their senses of the world and is incapable of any supernatural thoughts.

Mortification is closely related to joy and it is when our hearts can get purified.  When we except the cross in little things; it can be accomplished by carrying out each day, especially during lent. We should avoid being lazy, avoid being selfish, envy and so on. To deal with petty  annoyances is another form of mortification which may occur at work or at home; such as a person with strong personality, a sudden change of plans in the last minute, discomfort in heat or cold. Enjoy these daily "pinpricks"

We need to be courageous not to complain about these little things so we can reach that true joy.  This will help us to grow spiritually through the spirit of penance.  It will help us improve in the virtue of patience, charity and understanding.

We will have setbacks but accept those with humility and start again, so then you be persistent in holiness.

Friday, February 16, 2018

To be like an Apostle; we must not water down the truth

Why as Catholics we forget that we have an apostolate to fulfill and reminded after each mass, we must go out and preach the word of God.  We are living in times of people needed to hear the word of God by mouth and example.We can not depend on the secular world or media to help us with our salvation.

Frank Duff states: We can make a mistake , that relying on the mass media or mechanical means for the getting of religion over to the people. Those media play an effective part in the molding opinion today, so why not enlist them in aid of religion...Likewise that century has been a time of religious shrinkage..Whatever those mass media have in regard to secular subjects, I cannot see them as having produced any religious influence. St. Paul says that faith comes from hearing.

In order to hear, a person needs to announce Christ word and must be willing to be unpopular at times. Our first obligation is to those who are to hear us and in frequent contact. We present Christ teaching in a attractive and heart warming way.  We will not attract anyone to the faith if we are rash and impetuous, we will if we are kind and patient.

However, this doesn't mean we give a message that is convenient for others to accept, it must be as Christ would say it. Pope Benidect XV quotes: When St. Paul taught was all truths and precepts of Christ, even the most demanding ones, without silencing or watering down any.  He spoke of humility, of self-denial, of chastity, of detachment from earthly goods, of obedience...And he did not fear to stress that one had to choose between serving God and serving Belial, because it is not possible to serve the two together.  He taught that after death all had to undergo a woeful judgement; that no one can bargain with God; that one can only  expect eternal life if one has kept Gods laws; that seeking pleasures by breaking these laws once can only expect damnation...Never did the preacher of the truth think he had to omit these things because they might seem harsh to his listeners.

So just as God chose Jonah to speak out to the city of Nineveh.  We are reminded by what St. John wrote in his Gospel: "You did not chose me, but I chose you and appointed you that, you should go and bear fruit."

The apostolic mission is also to sow without seeing the fruits; at other times it is to reap; such as what we or other have said by word; by suffering in a hospital bed, or doing our job well and patiently.

We may not see the fruits or results in our life time and if we get discouraged than this can be a sign having sown without upright intention.  We must trust God to grow the seeds we have planted, those are the fruits we care about

This is a reflection from several resources; From Conversation of God: The Fruits in the Apostolate and Maria Legionis : Prime Principles of Survival

Friday, February 9, 2018

Gods Work in the Vineyard is fair after all

A reflection from the Gospel of the Lords Vineyard Matt 20:1-16 from the book "In Conversation with God"

Working in the vineyard is symbolic of the Lords salvation will.  Lord doesn't mean the parable to be a strict lesson on labor relations.  He wants us do understand that his grace is a pure gift.

So even if we followed Jesus in our youth, this does not enjoy precedence over someone else that is mature and in their final moments of their life. The day's wages represent God's grace and it s piety few people know Christ in a personal matter and not accept his graces

However it could be that people around us may not find Christ or accept his graces due to our lack of sharing his word or setting a bad example.

So there is room in the vineyard for all!

The Second Vatican Council states:"children too have an apostolate of their own. In their own measure they are true living witness of Christ among the companions. Sick people are also called  to the apostolate. On al Christians, accordingly, rests the noble obligation of working to bring all men throughout the whole world to hear and accept the divine message of salvation"

So all who cross our path in the life, should not say they were not encouraged by our example or by our word or lack of it.

From Saint Pope John Paul II "This then, is the vineyard; this is the field in which the faithful are call to fulfill their mission. Jesus wants them, as he wants all his disciples, to be the 'salt' of the earth, and the light of the world."

We must not wait ofr imaginary or better opportunities, we have the graces necessary to do an effective aposolate.