Monday, June 26, 2017

De-Logging Our Own Eyes

It's so easy for us to see the faults in others and to slip a quick, dimissive  judgement on them spontaneously. We all do it. and try as we might after hearing Jesus tell us over and over again to "remove tbe log from our own eye before tending to the splinter in our neighbor's eye." (Cf. Mt 7: 4), we fail time and time again.
Perhaps if we put ourselves at the other end of the log and try to see ourselves as others do, we might be humbled enough to work on de-logging our eye and leave the splinter in the eye of our neighbor to God.
Bro. Rene

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Speaking In the Light

We are all called to be proclaimers of the Good News, evangelizers.  Jesus tell us to speak in the light  what we hear in the dark; to proclaim on the housetops what we hear whispered. (cf Mt 16:26-27).  We might be able to voice our political opinions loudly, but when it comes to matters of faith or sprituality, we tend to hold back.  This hesitancy might come from the honest truth that we "don't know that much about these things," or from the "who am I? syndrome resulting from an overpowering awareness of our faults and weaknesses.  It's a kind of fear that paralyzes us into silence.  Jesus is aware of that and continues to encourage us not to be afraid, for indeed the Father knows the number of hairs on our had and surely if he cares for the sparrows that dart about, does he not care for us and protect us?  Are we not worth more than many sparrows? (cf. Mt 16:32).  We don't have to be a Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, but by our humble presence in deed, more than word, we can be proclaimers of the Gospel and shed our light in the darkness.
Bro. Rene

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Birth of John the Baptist

Note:  Totally diorientated this morning and the deadline has arrived...Sorry... A great feast. a great prophet...May we imitate his zeal and follow in his footsteps in making Jesus known and loved.

Friday, June 23, 2017

"Crazy In Love With Us"

The phase used by St. Alphonsus LIguori in the 17th century "Craze in Love With Us" preceeded the title of the popular musicl, "Crazy For You" but refers to the great love God has for us.  The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus celebrates that love and encourages us to reflect on the image givien to St. Margaret Mary Alocoque and the 12 promises made to her. The flaming heart of Jesus burns with love for us and seeks to enkindle our loving response:  Can we love Jesus with the intense love that Jesus has for us?  Can we love our neighbor with an unselfish, undoncitional love?  Can we show it in little signs of affection or caring like the anonymous gardner who daily plants new flowers in my garden in secret, by night or sometime during the day when no one is looking?  A sign that someone cares and recognizes my inablitly at the present time to plant my own flower.  As the burning heart of Jesus is a sign for his love, what signs can we give to others of our love?
Bro. Rene
Here are the 12 promises...
1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life.
2. I will establish peace in their families.
3. I will comfort them in their trials.
4. I will be their secure refuge during life, and, above all, in death.
5. I will shed abundant blessings on all their undertakings
6. Sinners will find in My Heart an infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Lukewarm souls will become fervent.
8. Fervent souls will rapidly grow in holiness and perfection.
9. I will bless every place where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.
10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
11. The names of those who promote this devotion will be written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.
12. I promise thee, in the excessive mercy of My Heart, that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Don't Babble

In his usual direct wau, Jesus gave his disciples (including us) a simple prayer that keeps us from babbling on and on and encomapses all we need to say to our Father.  We acknowledge him as God, bless him and pray that his will become our will.  We ask for our daily sustenance, physical and spiritual, the gift to be able to forgive as we have been forgiven and the grace to avoid temptaion. Yes, succintly and efficiently stated, the OUR FATHER is the beloved prayer that over the centuries has been prayed by saint and sinner. Instead of rattling it off by rote while thinking of other things, may we pay attention to what we are saying so that it actually affects our hearts and our behavior.
Bro. Rene

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Loving Silence, Quiet Service

In today's Gospel, Jesus gives us the norms for prayer and doing good deeds:  We are not to draw attention to ourselves in either prayer or service to others.  Privacy in prayer seems to be a preference, behind closed doors so that the Father who sees in secret will repay. (cf. Mt 6:5) Righteous deeds, giving of alms, should be done without a trumpet blare; there's no reward from the Father for such, because being seen is reward enough.  It seems there is a fine line between being public and private in these things.   We want to give good example, and witness to others how to serve and pray, yet, we do not want to draw attention to ourselves.  Our Marist way of "doing good quietly, in the Way of Mary seems to be the model for us to follow.  She sang the praises of God in her Magnificat, giving the credit to him for the marvelous gift he gave to her, and put herself in the background, as her life testifies.  She was a presnece with Jesus right to the foot of the cross.  Being such a presence comes from a close relationship with Jesus, one that is fostered by spending time with him in loving silence.  In these private moments, we receive the grace to give quiet service.
Bro. Rene

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Loving Enemies

Perhaps one of the most demanding teachings of Jesus is found in today's selection from the Sermon on the Mount: But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who perseute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.  For if you love those who love you, what recompense diwll yo have? (Mt 5: 44-45), When we think back on those who have wronged us, or whose personalities conflict with ours, it takes a monmental effort to love them.  Yet, the model is our heavenly Father who loves all and has a plan for all, whose sunshin and rain fall on them as well as on us. May his grace enable us to be as forgiving, welcoming and loving as he is.
Bro. Rene