Archive for July, 2016

Stop Worrying

Enjoy prosperity while you can. But when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. That way you will realize that nothing is certain in this life. (Ecclesiastes 7:14 NLT)

You can be a hero one day and a zero the next day, a millionaire one day and bankrupt the next. No matter how much you make, no matter how much you save, finances are uncertain.

So we worry. What does the Bible say about worry and money?

1. It’s unreasonable. (Matthew 6:25) You’re going to have fears in life, but there are better things to be scared of than a lack of finances. Life is more than just the accumulation of things. Even if you go bankrupt, it could get worse. Worry about what’s truly important.

2. It’s unnatural. (Matthew 6:26) Jesus reminds us that animals and plants don’t worry. Birds don’t say, “I’d better build a bigger nest for retirement.” Only human beings don’t trust God to provide for them. Everything else in creation does.

3. It’s unnecessary. (Matthew 6:30) Financial fears come from a misunderstanding about God and what He’s promised to do for you. He’s assumed responsibility for your needs. He says, “I’m your Heavenly Father; I’m going to take care of your needs. You’re my child.” We always get into trouble when we doubt the love of God.

Worry is playing God. It’s assuming responsibility for something that God has said He will take care of. Paul reminds us in Philippians 4:19, “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”

God knows what’s going on in your life — and in your wallet. God knows all your needs even before you ask. He wants to help you out.

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Saint Maria Goretti

mariagorettiSt. Maria Goretti (October 16, 1890 – July 6, 1902) is an Italian virgin-martyr of the Roman Catholic Church, and one of the youngest canonized saints. Maria was borned to Luigi Goretti and Assunta Carlini in Corinaldo. She was baptized when she was one day old in the Church of San Francesco in Corinaldo. When she was six years old Maria confirmed by Mons. Giulio Boschi, Bishop of Senigallia. Maria’s farmworker father then moved his poor family to Ferrier di Conca, near Anzio.

Her father died of malaria when she was nine, and they had to share a house with another family, the Serenellis. Maria took over household duties while her mother, brothers, and sister worked in the fields. She received her First Holy Communion in the church of Conca, today called Borgo. Maria quickly matured in grace and holiness in the eyes of friends and other acquaintances.

Lured by the passions of his day and nurturing the dark side of his soul with impious reading and thoughts, Alessandro the neighbour, had been a thorn in lovely Maria’s side. On a hot afternoon in July 1902, Maria was home alone, mending a shirt. Alessandro, 20 years old, ran up to her. He threatened her with a knife if she did not do what he said; he was intending to rape her. She would not submit, however, protesting that what he wanted to do was a mortal sin and warning him that he would go to hell. She fought desperately and kept screaming, “No! It is a sin! God does not want it!” she cried out. “It is a sin. You would go to hell for it.”He first choked her, but when she insisted she would rather die than submit to him, he stabbed her eleven times. She tried to reach the door, but he stopped her by stabbing her three more times

She was taken to a hospital. Her last hours were marked by the usual simple compassion of the good—concern about where her mother would sleep, forgiveness of her murderer (she had been in fear of him, but did not say anything lest she cause trouble to his family) and her devout welcoming of Viaticum, her last Holy Communion. She died about 24 hours after the attack. Maria dies at the age of 11 years, 9 months and 21 days, after forgiving Alessandro.

Her murderer was sentenced to 30 years in prison. For a long time he was unrepentant and surly. One night he had a dream or vision of Maria, gathering flowers and offering them to him. His life changed. When he was released after 27 years, his first act was to go to beg the forgiveness of Maria’s mother.

Devotion to the young martyr grew, miracles were worked, and in less than half a century she was canonized. Almost fifty years later on June 24, 1950, Pope Pius XII stood on the steps of St. Peter’s in Rome and pronounced Maria Goretti a Saint and Martyr of the Universal Church to half a million people. He proposed her as the Patroness of Modern Youth and set July 6th as her feast Day. Her mother, siblings and her murderer, attended the canonization ceremony together. Three years later, her murderer knelt among the quarter-million people and cried tears of joy. He later became a laybrother of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, where he lived in a monastery and worked as its receptionist and gardener until his death.

Saint Maria is called a martyr because she fought against Alessandro’s attempts at sexual sin; however, the most important aspects of her story are how she forgave her attacker – her concern for her enemy extending even beyond death – and the miracle her forgiveness produced in his life.

“The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.”

“The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.” ~ C.S. Lewis

#MoralStory: The Village Idiot

Once upon a time, there was a village named Egoville hidden away in the mountains. Now, this village, like most villages, had their own idiot. His name was Hugh Millety. Hugh, the village idiot, was the ridicule of Egoville. The townsfolk would often set him up with silly choices in order to laugh mercilessly at him when he made the wrong choice. “Hugh,” they’d say, “would you rather have this shiny new quarter or this dirty old torn dollar bill?”

“I’d like the shiny quarter,” Hugh would reply. His tormentor would give him the quarter and walk away laughing, declaring Hugh a true village idiot. Hugh would just shrug and go about his business. Even though it was a poor village with little opportunity, this was repeated several times a day by many people.

As the years went by, the ridicule became a ritual that dozens of townies took part in. The townsfolk had little to their names, but at least they could feel better about themselves in comparison to the village idiot this way. It was their small comfort in the lap of poverty.

Not everyone would make fun of Hugh though. A few felt sorry for him and gave him hand-me-down clothes, leftover food, and even an old shack to live in at the edge of town. Hugh lived off of the handouts of the charitable few.

One day, Hugh showed up at the village square wearing a brand new suit. Everyone was amazed, for few people in the town could afford new clothing, let alone a nice suit. The small village didn’t even have a new clothing store, only a used clothing store. One of townsfolk asked Hugh where he got his new suit, thinking he must have stolen it. He bought it, he told them. And furthermore he added, the fine new house being built on the mountainside that everyone was wondering about, that was his.

When questioned where he got the money, he told them it was the money they gave him. With people giving him food, clothing, and shelter, he simply saved and invested everything they gave him. “I may be your village idiot,” he smiled and said, “but I’m no fool.” But why then, they asked, did he always take the lesser amount of money they offered him if he was so cunning? Hugh replied that if he had taken the greater amount of money, they would have stopped offering it to him. He earned his money by letting them laugh at him, but he knew the first time he took the greater amount they’d stop offering him money and find something else to laugh at him about. “Now,” said Hugh, “I’m the richest person in town and have all the money I need. I didn’t waste money amusing myself at the expense of someone I falsely perceived to be a lesser person. And you, all of you, have little more now than you had when you started ridiculing me. So tell me, who is the village idiot now?”

Hugh smiled again, then handed out hundred dollar bills to those who had been kind to him. The townsfolk were shocked. It was true though, they had frittered away their money a little at a time, trying to make themselves feel big by comparison to the village idiot.

It just goes to show you, if you live in Egoville, take care not to become the village idiot by your vain perceptions. On the other hand, if you follow the wisdom of Hugh Millety, you might just become the richest person in town.

~Author Unknown~

Rest in Peace Fr. Jacques Hamel of Saint Etienne

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we just heard about the martyrdom of Fr. Jacques Hamel in France. Saddened by the lost of a beautiful soul, but we also glad to know he has reunited with God. Let’s us all together pray for the eternal rest of his soul and now ask for his intercession in heaven.

“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.” ~ Tertullian

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Come To Me

embracingchrist

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Come to me all who labour and are heavy burdened,
And I shall give you rest.
Take up my yoke and learn from me,
For I am meek and humble of heart.
And you’ll find rest for your souls,
Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall never be in need,
Fresh and green are the meadows where he gives me rest.

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#ShortNews: Africa to be consecrated to the Divine Mercy

The continent of Africa will be consecrated to the Divine Mercy on September 14, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

The consecration will take place during the Third Congress for Africa and Madagascar on Divine Mercy in Kigali, Rwanda. Pope Francis has named Cardinal Pasinya Laurent Monsengwo of the Democratic Republic of the Congo as his legate to the congress.

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/07/11/14_sept_africa_to_be_consecrated_to_the_divine_mercy_/1243471