Saturday, September 30, 2017

The most satisfied of workers

Image result for working for the kingdom
If we're really working for Jesus Christ, then Christians should be among the most satisfied of workers, no matter what our earthly profession at which we toil on a daily basis. Whether we're digging ditches or leading a Fortune 500 company, our ultimate satisfaction is found in giving our lives away in the service of others.

What if we saw our jobs not as something to be endured, but as part of our vocation as followers of Jesus?

What if we spent every day, not comparing ourselves to others, but doing all in our power to lift others up?

Jesus calls us to be part of a team that always needs our input, our investment and our best -- and all for the glory of the rule of God. Joining that team, no matter what our earthly profession, is the key to 100 percent satisfaction!

Friday, September 29, 2017

God chooses to be generous

Image result for vineyard workers christ
In one penetrating parable, Jesus leaves us with a lot to think about. We know that we can't work our way into heaven. We can never do enough good in this life to earn everlasting retirement, whether we start our Christian service at six in the morning or at five in the evening. WE can never do enough to fully fund a future in God's eternal kingdom. 

We also learn that we're all in need of God's grace and forgiveness, every single one of us. In the kingdom economy, we can be grateful that God chooses to be generous.

We learn, too, that in God's service, we do not all have the same work to do. Some of us can teach, others sing, others cook, others organize, others visit the sick, others evangelize, others serve the poor, others care for children, others repair the church roof. Like the workers in the vineyard, we have different tasks to perform, with different time frames, energy levels and abilities.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

You have to be willing to be last

Image result for enter the  kingdom
Jesus turns to his disciples and gives them the lesson that it's hard for the rich to enter the kingdom because their worth is bound up in their possessions. A person might have the perfect spiritual resume, but until they are willing to be generous toward others, both physically and spiritually, then they will be outside the kingdom of heaven. 

This troubles the disciples, who like many people in their day believed that wealth was a sign of God's blessing. Peter then pipes up with the obvious question, "Look, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?"  Jesus assures him and the others that their dispossession of family, job, wealth and status won't go unrewarded. In order to be first in God's world, you have to be willing to be last.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

All are loved by God

Image result for workers of the kingdom
In God's eyes,  we are all equal. At the end of the day, we are all paid the same, and are paid what is right.

New Testament professor Darrell Doughty puts it this way: "In the kingdom of God all people are already equal - because all people are loved by God." In the kingdom, every person should receive "what is right" - regardless of the work they do. In the kingdom, all people are equal - rich and poor, wealthy and destitute, righteous and sinners, powerful and powerless - all people are equal because all people are loved by God. And since this is true in the kingdom, it should also be true in the life of the church, whether we are leaders or helpers, teachers or students, administrators or nursery attendants.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Tuesday Tunes

“To know, love and serve” by Maria A. Smith
In honor of the Marianist bicentennial – recorded during the St. Mary’s University Marianist Heritage Mass at Holy Rosary Parish 1/26/2017

With great thanksgiving and loving praise
we come to bless your name O God!
Your goodness is unending your mercy is profound.
With Mary you have called us to know, love and serve.
As we look to our past we remember our mission and our call:
 to know, love and serve
with the passion of Christ,
with hearts ever open to your life.

May we listen with care
as you speak of the yearnings of your heart.

With Mary we come to surrender our will;
to serve all who thirst for your love.

Let these jars filled with fears become empty and purified.
Renew our hearts, may our “yes”
be sincere as we bring your compassion to our world.
Send your spirit of hope to refresh and renew our hearts.
Together as one we bear witness to Christ to see peace and justice once again.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Marianist Monday

Beatification Upcoming for Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon

His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, met with Pope Francis on May 4, 2017. After this meeting, the Congregation promulgated, among others, the miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Mary of the Immaculate Conception (neé: Adelaide de Batz de Trenquelléon), founder of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate. She was born 10 June 1789 and died 10 January 1828. The miracle in question was the healing of Sister Michela Messina, FMI, that took place in Pallanza, in the Diocese of Novara.

Adèle was born at the family estate in Feugarolles. When she was eight, her family fled France for Spain. She made her First Communion on flight in San Sebastian, Spain, in 1801. She received Confirmation in 1803, two years after her family returned to France. After founding the order, she remained very busy with its activities. She died in Agen.

The Daughters of Mary Immaculate, also known as the Marianist Sisters, was founded on May 26, 1816, in Agen, France. They currently are in sixteen nations across five continents.

This is a very special time for the Marianist Family, which is celebrating the bicentennials of the foundation of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate and the Society of Mary (1817).

Sunday, September 24, 2017


Image result for forgiveness strengthens

In his book The Message of Leadership: 31 Essential Insights From Proverbs (2007) Daniel Southern writes:

If you put God first, everything else will fall into place.

How do you do this? It starts with humbling yourself and admitting that God is the coach and you are the player. He calls the plays and you execute them — sometimes over and over again, always learning more about God and yourself. And you keep at it, always reminding yourself that the coach has a perspective of the game you’ll never have.

The legendary coach Tom Landry once told me that he had three priorities in life: God, family and football — in that order. “Until you get your priorities straight, you will never be truly successful at anything.”

Life is not a game; it is serious business and the stakes are eternally high. You must start with the fundamentals. Gentlemen, there is a God and we’re not him!

—Eugene Peterson and Daniel Southern, The Message of Leadership: 31 Essential Insights from Proverbs (Colorado Springs, Colo.: Navpress, 2007), 13.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Servants focus on others

Image result for forgiveness strengthens

Servants focus on others, not themselves. This is true humility: not thinking less of ourselves but thinking of ourselves less. They are self-forgetful … This is what it means to “lose your life” — forgetting yourself in service to others. When we stop focusing on our own needs, we become aware of the needs around us … When was the last time you emptied yourself for someone else’s benefit? You can’t be a servant if you’re full of yourself. It’s only when we forget ourselves that we do the things that deserve to be remembered.

—Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2002), 265-266.

Friday, September 22, 2017


Image result for forgiveness strengthens“So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”  There’s an unbreakable bond between God's forgiveness and the forgiveness we are to offer one another, making it illogical and impossible for us to accept the mercy of the Lord and then refuse to extend mercy to others. Jesus summarizes this quite succinctly in his teaching of the Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us our trespassers, as we also have forgiven those who trespass against us.”

Forgive us our trespassers — that’s what we ask of God.

As we have forgiven those who trespass — that’s what we offer our neighbors.

In the divine economy of the kingdom of heaven, you can’t have one without the other.

Our Lord is a merciful God who is willing to do the dirty work of blotting out our transgressions, washing us from our iniquity, and cleansing us from our sin. That’s a job that would overwhelm anyone. But God is betting that we have been transformed by his forgiveness into the kind of people who can do the hard work of forgiving others. God knows that his mercy can have a surprising and wonderful effect — it can create a community of merciful people.

God is willing to do the most disgusting of dirty jobs — the removal of our sin through his gift of forgiveness. All he asks is that we turn and do the same for others. Seven times. Seventy-seven times. Maybe even 490 times.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

beyond calculation.

Image result for Forgiveness beyond calculation.Jesus is calling us to roll up our sleeves and do some very demanding work.

In our world, we expect that insults are going to be followed by apologies and crimes are going to be followed by punishments, but Jesus turns this system upside down by saying, “Just forgive!” Notice that Jesus doesn’t even expect the sinner to repent or make amends. Forgive them, orders Jesus — “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.” Maybe 490 times. Point is, your forgiveness should be beyond calculation.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Image result for forgiveness strengthens

Jesus says, "Forgive your brother or sister from your heart." Luskin says that when you forgive, you counteract the stress response along with its chemicals that make you feel like a helpless victim. "When you forgive," says the doctor, "you wipe all of that clean."

Jesus wants us to get stronger and healthier by making the decision to forgive, and then turning that choice into a process. He challenges us to make that choice repeatedly until it becomes a part of who we are. Yes, forgiveness is difficult. Seeing ourselves as sinners who have received forgiveness from our Lord is also difficult. It is much easier to hold grudges than to feel compassion toward the people who have hurt us. But Jesus knows that forgiveness is good for us -- body, mind and spirit -- which is why he commands us to offer it to our brothers and sisters. Sometimes we need to be challenged to forgive, just as we need to be pushed.

We can wipe the slate clean by forgiving our brothers and sisters. That's a choice that lowers stress, increases personal power and heals the world as well.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Image result for seven times seven'Forgiveness starts with a choice and then becomes a process. Jesus urges us to make this choice for ourselves when he responds to Peter's question about the number of times we should forgive. "Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive? As many as seven times?" Once ... twice ... three times ... "as many as seven times"?

"Not seven times," says Jesus, "but, I tell you, seventy-seven times." Other translations of this verse say "seventy times seven times" ... totaling 490 times.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Marianist Martyrs - Carlos, Fidel and Jesús

Image result for blessed Carlos, Fidel and Jesus

Blessed Carlos, Fidel, and Jesús were born during the closing years of the nineteenth century and martyred in September and October of 1936 out of hatred for the faith. They were beatified on October 1, 1995, by Pope John Paul II.

Lord, our God,
To Blessed Carlos, Fidel, and Jesús,
Who were inflamed with the love of the Virgin Mary,
You gave the grace to suffer for Christ;
Grant that, through their intercession,
We may remain firm in the faith
Which they taught to children and youth,
And to which they bore witness
With their own blood in martyrdom.

We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, You Son,

Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

We Are Catholic.

"In a today’s world we live in an age of instant everything. We live in a world of now—a world of immediate satisfaction,” Audrey Kasenge told her fellow graduates during the Commencement Exercises of Christendom College’s Graduate School held on the college’s Front Royal, Va., campus on July 30, 2011. Twenty-one students—a record number—received their Master of Arts in Theological Studies while three of them also received the Advanced Apostolic Catechetical Diploma.

“Instant messaging, fast food, movies on demand, Twitter, Facebook—and yet with all these means of immediate satisfaction to our desires, when you look around, it still seems like something is missing,” Kasenge said. “Technology can never satisfy the deepest desires of the human heart—the desire for intimate union with God.” …

“As Catholics we have the answers,” she said. “We must share this knowledge with those who are searching. We have studied the faith and now our mission is to proclaim it within our particular state in life. Whether it’s in schools, in our churches, at work, and—most importantly—in our families.” …

“Christendom delivered. They gave me knowledge of God and then some,” she said. “I would like to thank the absolutely phenomenal faculty and staff of the Graduate School. They are the reason this program is so amazing, so challenging, and so orthodox.”

Concluding, Kasenge said, “We are Catholic. Embrace it. Own it. Live it. Be proud of it. We belong to the one true Church founded by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What a gift. What a blessing.” …

Saturday, September 16, 2017

A Nation that Keeps the Sabbath

 Father Robert Barron comments on A Nation Under God; A Nation that Keeps the Sabbath


Friday, September 15, 2017

Blessed are those who do not see...

Image result for holy sepulchre
Believing and seeing is a lot of hard work. Believing isn't the same thing as wishing. Believing takes grit and guts, blood and sweat. It also requires enthusiasm, energy and zeal. 

The Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis told about the monk who had long planned to go to Jerusalem to see the Holy Sepulchre.

He finally began with the money he had saved over 40 years. Soon after he left the monastery, he passed a field where a pale, emaciated man was digging roots out of the ground, and he said to the monk, "Good morning, Father. Where are you going?" The monk replied, "I am going to Jerusalem to see the Holy Sepulchre, where Christ was buried, and I am going to march around it three times and pray." The man in the field said, "That trip will cost much money." "Yes," said the monk, "all my life's savings." Then the man suggested, "Father, why not march around me three times and give me the money so that my wife and children might have food." And the monk did.

The monk never saw where Christ was buried. But he saw where Christ was alive and living -- in other people!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Triumph of the Cross

Image result for exaltation of the holy cross
Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

Preface for the Exaltation of the Holy Cros

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God,
we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks.

You decreed that we should be saved through the wood of the cross.
The tree of our defeat became our tree of victory;
where life was lost, there life has been restored
through Christ our Lord...
God of Glory,
the Cross shines as a sign
of obedience to your will
and a symbol of your love
for the world.

Bless us who find salvation
in the cross of Christ;
may we always recognize his glory
in the weak, suffering and condemned of the world.
We ask this through Christ, crucified and exalted,
who is Lord forever and ever.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Discipleship:Tears of the Saints

The text says, The vineyard owner came at Dawn, 9:00 am, Noon, 3:00 pm, 5:00pm

We may puzzle as to why God call some early, others late; none of our business. But he does call at different times. And even those he calls early, he does not always call us to do everything now. There is a timing to discipleship.

Moses thought he was ready at age 40, and in his haste, he murdered a man. God said, “Not now!” and made him wait until he was 80.

Sometimes we’ve got something we want to do but the Lord says, “Not yet.” And we think, “But Lord! This is a great project and many will benefit!” But the Lord says, “Not yet.” And we say, “But Lord I’m ready to do it now!” And the Lord says, “Not yet.”

Sometimes we think we’re ready, but we’re not. An old gospel song says, God is preparing me. He’s preparing me for something I cannot handle right now. He’s making me ready, just because he cares. He’s providing me with what I’ll need to carry out the next matter in my life. God is preparing me. Just because he cares for me. He’s: maturing me. arranging me, realigning my attitude. He’s training me, teaching me, tuning me, purging me, pruning me, He’s preparing me

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Holy Name of Mary

Image result for holy name of mary
September 12 
Today we celebrate the Holy Name of Mary.

This day is the patronal feast of all members of the Marianist Family.
It is in the name of Mary that all members of the Marianist Family offer their ministry to the people of God. It is Mary, the woman of faith, who is our model for all we do as members of the Church community.

Let us pray:

Lord, Our God,
when your son was dying on the cross,
He gave us as our mother,
the one he had chosen to be his own mother,
the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Grant that we who call upon
the holy name of Mary,
Our mother, with confidence in her protection
may receive the strength and comfort in all our needs.

May the Father and the Son
and the Holy Spirit be glorified
in all places through the Immaculate Virgin Mary.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Praying on 9/11

Image result for pope benedict ground zero
When the Vicar of Christ visited the United States he made a special visit to "Ground Zero", a truly American site of prayer and reflection and he prayed. The words of that beautiful prayer are as stirring today as they were on April 20, 2008. In memory of all those who died, those who still suffer, those who still grieve their loss and for a Nation which today reflects on the event and what it means for the future,we offer the Pope's Prayer: 

O God of love, compassion, and healing,
look on us, people of many different faiths and traditions,
who gather today at this site,
the scene of incredible violence and pain.

We ask you in your goodness to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here—
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers, emergency service workers, and
Port Authority personnel, along with all the innocent men and women
who were victims of this tragedy simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11, 2001.

We ask you, in your compassion to bring healing to those
who, because of their presence here that day,
suffer from injuries and illness.
heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives with courage and hope.

We are mindful as well
of those who suffered death, injury, and loss
on the same day at the Pentagon and in
Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Our hearts are one with theirs
as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.
God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
peace in the hearts of all men and women
and peace among the nations of the earth.

Turn to your way of love those whose hearts and minds
are consumed with hatred.
God of understanding,
overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,
we seek your light and guidance
as we confront such terrible events.
Grant that those whose lives were spared
may live so that the lives lost here
may not have been lost in vain.

Comfort and console us,
strengthen us in hope,
and give us the wisdom and courage to work tirelessly for a world
where true peace and love reign
among nations and in the hearts of all.

Pope Benedict XI--Prayer at Ground Zero
New York, 20 April 2008

Saturday, September 9, 2017

So how did you celebrate Mary's Birthday?

Students at St. Martin de Porres Marianist School celebrated the birthday of Mary with fanfare yesterday.

Birthday hats, candles, balloons, and singing added to the celebration of the school Mass.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Related imageSeptember 8 
Today we celebrate with the whole Church
the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Let us pray:

you are the new Eve
and the mother of all nations.
You gather all the poor of the earth
and tenderly console them.
You gather all the diverse peoples
of our world and invite them to work
for justice and reconciliation.
We place ourselves in your care today.
Renew in us the dedication
to live a life of faith modeled
on your example and witness
your virtues of humility and openness.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Mary as Queen of Apostles

Image result for queen of apostlesSeptember 5 
Today we remember Mary as Queen of Apostles.
On this day in 1818 the first members of the Society of Mary publically professed vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

Let us pray,
God, you gave the Holy Spirit to your apostles
as they joined in prayer with Mary,
the mother of Jesus.
By the help of her prayers
grant us the gift of serving you
and your people faithfully
by spreading the glory of your name
in our words and actions.

May the Father and the Son
and the Holy Spirit
be glorified in all places
through the Immaculate Virgin Mary.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Related image
From the 1839 Constitutions of the Society of Mary: 19. 

By the vow of stability the member intends constituting himself permanently and irrevocably in the state of servant of Mary. This vow is in reality a devotedness to the Blessed Virgin with the filial design of spreading her knowledge and perpetuating her love and her cult as much as possible, by one’s self and by others, in whatever circumstances of life he may be. 20. Moreover, the vow of stability is made with the intention of never depriving the Society one’s cooperation in the work that has been undertaken. Dispensation from this vow can give rise to grave injustice to the Society. The Apostolic Letters require that those concerned in a vow take the steps necessary for a dispensation from it. 21. Whether it be expressed or not, the vow of stability is supposed in all orders. The Society of Mary deliberately makes it a special vow, which has the same consequences it includes everywhere else.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Faithful Martyr

Image result for Bonhoeffer

There is one question that mattered more than any other for Dietrich Bonhoeffer and it pressed upon him throughout his life right to the end. Who is Jesus Christ? It was as if he stood with the apostle Peter hearing Jesus ask him personally, “Who do you say that I am?” How one answers that question was decisive for Bonhoeffer. Today, it remains as decisive for us in a postmodern, post-Christian world as it was for Bonhoeffer in the totalitarian world of Nazi Germany. 

When he was addressing the question, the church in Germany was confronted with the rise of Nazism and the deliberate, systematic annihilation of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, mentally disabled people and nearly anyone else who did not fit into the Aryan future.

One of the reasons we remember the witness of faithful martyrs is to learn the things that require faithful repentance, as well as those things that stir up renewed devotion. If the witness of Dietrich Bonhoeffer encourages us, we will also turn away from practices that contradict the gospel and Jesus Christ.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Call of Jesus

Image result for Bonhoeffer
When Jesus asked Peter in the Gospel of Matthew, "who do you say that I am?" both of them knew that everything was at stake in his answer. Centuries later, in civilized Germany, Bonhoeffer also knew what was at stake in the answer. 

“The new situation must be created, in which it is possible to believe in Jesus as God incarnate; that is the impossible situation in which everything is staked solely on the word of Jesus. Peter had to leave the ship to risk his life on the sea, in order to learn both his own weakness and the almighty power of the Lord. If Peter had not taken the risk, he would never have learned the meaning of faith. Before he can believe, the utterly impossible situation on the seas must be displayed. The road to faith passes through obedience to the call of Jesus. Unless a definite step is demanded, the call vanishes into thin air, and if men imagine they can follow Jesus without taking this step, they are deluding themselves like fanatics.” (The Cost of Discipleship, 68.)

Friday, September 1, 2017

Living completely in this world

Image result for Bonhoeffer
While Dietrich Bonhoeffer was in prison for his participation with fellow Christians and co-conspirators in a plot to assassinate Hitler, he wrote about the need for a truly human faith capable of living in this world.

“I thought I could acquire faith by trying to live a holy life or something like it. 

I suppose I wrote the Cost of Discipleship as the end of that path. Today I can see the dangers of that book, though I still stand by it. I discovered later, and I’m still discovering right up to this moment, that it is only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith.”