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