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MONDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2008

St. Francis of Assisi

 

St. Francis of AssisiFounder of the Franciscan Order, born at Assisi in Umbria, in 1181.
In 1182, Pietro Bernardone returned from a trip to France to find out his wife had given birth to a son. Far from being excited or apologetic because he'd been gone, Pietro was furious because she'd had his new son baptized Giovanni after John the Baptist. The last thing Pietro wanted in his son was a man of God -- he wanted a man of business, a cloth merchant like he was, and he especially wanted a son who would reflect his infatuation with France. So he renamed his son Francesco -- which is the equivalent of calling him Frenchman.
Francis enjoyed a very rich easy life growing up because of his father's wealth and the permissiveness of the times. From the beginning everyone -- and I mean everyone -- loved Francis. He was constantly happy, charming, and a born leader. If he was picky, people excused him. If he was ill, people took care of him. If he was so much of a dreamer he did poorly in school, no one minded. In many ways he was too easy to like for his own good. No one tried to control him or teach him.
As he grew up, Francis became the leader of a crowd of young people who spent their nights in wild parties. Thomas of Celano, his biographer who knew him well, said, "In other respects an exquisite youth, he attracted to himself a whole retinue of young people addicted to evil and accustomed to vice." Francis himself said, "I lived in sin" during that time.
Francis fulfilled every hope of Pietro's -- even falling in love with France. He loved the songs of France, the romance of France, and especially the free adventurous troubadours of France who wandered through Europe. And despite his dreaming, Francis was also good at business. But Francis wanted more..more than wealth. But not holiness! Francis wanted to be a noble, a knight. Battle was the best place to win the glory and prestige he longed for. He got his first chance when Assisi declared war on their longtime enemy, the nearby town of Perugia.
Most of the troops from Assisi were butchered in the fight. Only those wealthy enough to expect to be ransomed were taken prisoner. At last Francis was among the nobility like he always wanted to be...but chained in a harsh, dark dungeon. All accounts say that he never lost his happy manner in that horrible place. Finally, after a year in the dungeon, he was ransomed. Strangely, the experience didn't seem to change him. He gave himself to partying with as much joy and abandon as he had before the battle.
The experience didn't change what he wanted from life either: Glory. Finally a call for knights for the Fourth Crusade gave him a chance for his dream. But before he left Francis had to have a suit of armor and a horse -- no problem for the son of a wealthy father. And not just any suit of armor would do but one decorated with gold with a magnificent cloak. Any relief we feel in hearing that Francis gave the cloak to a poor knight will be destroyed by the boasts that Francis left behind that he would return a prince.
But Francis never got farther than one day's ride from Assisi. There he had a dream in which God told him he had it all wrong and told him to return home. And return home he did. What must it have been like to return without ever making it to battle -- the boy who wanted nothing more than to be liked was humiliated, laughed at, called a coward by the village and raged at by his father for the money wasted on armor.
Francis' conversion did not happen over night. God had waited for him for twenty-five years and now it was Francis' turn to wait. Francis started to spend more time in prayer. He went off to a cave and wept for his sins. Sometimes God's grace overwhelmed him with joy. But life couldn't just stop for God. There was a business to run, customers to wait on.
One day while riding through the countryside, Francis, the manwho loved beauty, who was so picky about food, who hated deformity, came face to face with a leper. Repelled by the appearance and the smell of the leper, Francis nevertheless jumped down from his horse and kissed the hand of the leper. When his kiss of peace was returned, Francis was filled with joy. As he rode off, he turned around for a last wave, and saw that the leper had disappeared. He always looked upon it as a test from God...that he had passed.
His search for conversion led him to the ancient church at San Damiano. While he was praying there, he heard Christ on the crucifix speak to him, "Francis, repair my church." Francis assumed this meant church with a small c -- the crumbling building he was in. Acting again in his impetuous way, he took fabric from his father's shop and sold it to get money to repair the church. His father saw this as an act of theft -- and put together with Francis' cowardice, waste of money, and his growing disinterest in money made Francis seem more like a madman than his son. Pietro dragged Francis before the bishop and in front of the whole town demanded that Francis return the money and renounce all rights as his heir.
The bishop was very kind to Francis; he told him to return the money and said God would provide. That was all Francis needed to hear. He not only gave back the money but stripped off all his clothes -- the clothes his father had given him -- until he was wearing only a hair shirt. In front of the crowd that had gathered he said, "Pietro Bernardone is no longer my father. From now on I can say with complete freedom, 'Our Father who art in heaven.'" Wearing nothing but castoff rags, he went off into the freezing woods -- singing. And when robbers beat him later and took his clothes, he climbed out of the ditch and went off singing again. From then on Francis had nothing...and everything.
Francis went back to what he considered God's call. He begged for stones and rebuilt the San Damiano church with his own hands, not realizing that it was the Church with a capital C that Godwanted repaired. Scandal and avarice were working on the Church from the inside while outside heresies flourished by appealing to those longing for something different or adventurous.
Soon Francis started to preach. (He was never a priest, though he was later ordained a deacon under his protest.) Francis was not a reformer; he preached about returning to God and obedience to the Church. Francis must have known about the decay in the Church, but he always showed the Church and its people his utmost respect. When someone told him of a priest living openly with a woman and asked him if that meant the Mass was polluted, Francis went to the priest, knelt before him, and kissed his hands -- because those hands had held God.
 

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2008

Holy Land Collections Statement of Faith

 



We believe in one God-the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe that the Old and New Testament Scriptures, given by plenary inspiration, contain all truth necessary to faith and Christian living.
We believe that man is born with a fallen nature, and is, therefore, inclined to evil, and that continually.
We believe that the finally impenitent are hopelessly and eternally lost.
We believe that the atonement through Jesus Christ is for the whole human race; and that whosoever repents and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ is justified and regenerated and saved from the dominion of sin.
We believe that believers are to be sanctified wholly, subsequent to regeneration, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe that the Holy Spirit bears witness to the new birth, and also to the entire sanctification of believers.
We believe that our Lord will return, the dead will be raised, and the final judgment will take place.
 

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2008

The Importance of Nazareth in the Christian Tradition

 



 


 


Nazareth is located between the open space of the Jezreel valley and the mountainous regions of the Galilee.The valley and its history were well known to the Jews of Nazareth in the time of Jesus.During the first 20 years of his life spent in Nazareth, Jesus had many an opportunity to walk on the mountain ranges, to look over and think about the history of his people. The great battles that had taken place in the valley, together with the great hopes that were dashed with their losses, must have affected and shaped his view on life.


 


The valley of Jezreel, as it is seen from Nazareth, is a natural battlefield. This fact must have influenced the idea of "all the holders of swords shall fall by the sword," (Matthew 28:52).Another geographical area adjacent to Nazareth was the lower Galilee and the Beti Netofa valley.In this region there were many small Jewish villages and towns settled by Hellenized Syrians. The largest of these towns was Tzippori, the capital of the Galilee until the year IS BC. Even though Tzippori is a 45 minute - walk from Nazareth, the town is not mentioned in the New Testament


 


The main events in Jesus's life, as described in the New Testament, are the annunciation of his birth (Luke 1: 26-3 8), his childhood and early manhood (Luke 2:39-52, Matthew 2:19-23), and the clash with his fellow citizens (Matthew 13:5458, Luke 4:17-30).From the very first events relating to the life of Jesus in Nazareth, we learn that the people of his village did not approve of his thinking and behavior.To them he was Jesus, one of the sons of Joseph the carpenter (the other brothers were James, Joseph, Simeon and Judah Matthew 13:55).Luke describes with great drama how Jesus was rejected by the people of Nazareth.


 


Nazareth is also holy to Christians because it throws light on the holy family, especially Mary, the mother of Jesus.This is the place where a Christian believer can consider Mary's qualities, Her character as a noble woman, a woman of purity, simplicity, sensitivity and pureness of heart.Mary is portrayed as a mother who devotes herself to the education of her son and remains devoted to him in the most tiring of circumstances (she was present at his crucifixion - John 19:25 - and recognized him as the messiah - Acts 2:36).For Catholics, Mary has a special significance - and her special place in the New Testament is hinted at in the verses "Blessed art though of women" (Luke 1:41) and "Peace unto thee woman of grace, God be with you" (Luke 1:28).
 
Click the link please in order to watch the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth


 
 

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2008

The Apostolate

 

 

 

The Lord gave us an Apostolate of multiple forms, developed in whatever area he directs us and the Church supports us. We continually embrace God’s call to evangelize with new fervor and creativity. Through the experience of the Holy Spirit we conduct prayer groups and develop a big variety of evangelizing actions. We are present in the midst of youth, families, children, and poor people, through communications, arts, and works of mercy to those who suffer. We open and administrate centers of evangelization, formation, spirituality, education, arts, culture, communication and work with the poor. We are open to any new apostolate inspired by the Lord; and it will always be developed according to the spirit of our vocation.
 

Quotes of Mother Teresa

 

 

 

"Keep the joy of loving God in your heart and share this joy with all you meet especially your family. Be holy – let us pray."
"I once picked up a woman from a garbage dump and she was burning with fever; she was in her last days and her only lament was: ‘My son did this to me.’ I begged her: You must forgive your son. In a moment of madness, when he was not himself, he did a thing he regrets. Be a mother to him, forgive him. It took me a long time to make her say: ‘I forgive my son.’ Just before she died in my arms, she was able to say that with a real forgiveness. She was not concerned that she was dying. The breaking of the heart was that her son did not want her. This is something you and I can understand."
"When once a chairman of a multinational company came to see me, to offer me a property in Bombay, he first asked: ‘Mother, how do you manage your budget?" I asked him who had sent him here. He replied: ‘I felt an urge inside me.’ I said: other people like you come to see me and say the same. It was clear God sent you, Mr. A, as He sends Mr. X, Mrs. Y, Miss Z, and they provide the material means we need for our work. The grace of God is what moved you. You are my budget. God sees to our needs, as Jesus promised. I accepted the property he gave and named it Asha Dan (Gift of Hope).
"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin."
"Like Jesus we belong to the world living not for ourselves but for others. The joy of the Lord is our strength."
"There is only one God and He is God to all; therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic. We believe our work should be our example to people. We have among us 475 souls - 30 families are Catholics and the rest are all Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs—all different religions. But they all come to our prayers."
"There are so many religions and each one has its different ways of following God. I follow Christ:Jesus is my God,Jesus is my Spouse,Jesus is my Life,Jesus is my only Love,Jesus is my All in All;Jesus is my Everything."
Make us worthy, Lord, to serve those people throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger. Give them through our hands, this day, their daily bread, and by our understanding love, give them peace and joy.I heard the call to give up all and follow Christ into the slums to serve Him among the poorest of the poor. It was an order. I was to leave the convent and help the poor while living among them. When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed. You and I, we are the Church, no? We have to share with our people. Suffering today is because people are hoarding, not giving, not sharing. Jesus made it very clear. Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it to me.Give a glass of water, you give it to me. Receive a littlechild, you receive me.
Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace of the world.
If we really want to love we must learn how to forgive.
 

The Miracle Prayer That Will Change Your Life

 

SAY THE MIRACLE PRAYER daily and it will change your life! Hear 91 years old healing priest, Fr.Peter Mary Rookey, who gave his life to God after a miraculous cure from blindness, recite this wonderful prayer.Here it is...The Miracle Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I come before you just as I am. I am sorry for my sins, I repent of my sins, please forgive me. In your name I forgive all others for what they have done against me. I renounce Satan, the evil spirits and all their works. I give you my entire self, Lord Jesus now and forever. I invite you into my life, Jesus. I accept you as my Lord, God and Saviour. Heal me, change me, strengthen me in body, soul, and spirit. Come, Lord Jesus, cover me with your precious blood, and fill me with your Holy Spirit. I Love You, Lord Jesus. I Praise You, Jesus. I Thank You, Jesus. I shall follow you every day of my life. Amen.&Amen
Mary, mother of sorrows, Queen of Peace, St. Peregrine, the cancer saint, all you Angels and Saints, please help me. Amen&Amen
Say this prayer faithfully, no matter what you feel, when you come to the point where you sincerely mean each word, with all your heart, something good spiritually will happen to you. You will experience Jesus, and HE will change your whole life in a very special way. You will see.

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=dtuS8a-MAb8
 

How To Love God

 

God has created us to love and to be loved. and this is the beginning of prayer to know that he loves me that i have been created for greater things.

 

God has created us in his image and likeness enabling us to know him,love him and serve him in this world, so as to be happy with him forever in the life to come. This is true purpose in life. to live our lives with this aim, our lives have to be woven with prayer.


What i can do, you cannot, what you can do, i cannot. but together we can do something beautiful for God.Yes, you must live life beautifully and not allow to spirit of the world that make Gods out of power, Riches, and pleasure make you to forget that you have been created for greater things- to love and to be loved.


Do ordinary things with extraordinary Love.Let us love one another as God loves each one of us. and where does this love begin? in our home. How does it begin? by praying together.God told us, "love your neighbor as yourself"So first i am to love my self rightly, and than to love my neighbor like that.But how can i love my self unless i accept my self as God has made me.