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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Loving One’s Enemies (Matt 5:43-48)

God has many enemies; the atheist who mocks him, the agnostic who is indifferent and the lapsed that is worldly minded. Each in their own way has marked themselves against God. Yet God in return loves them and asks the same of us in return. We who have fewer enemies and whose enemies are less passionate and less violent are called to imitate God. Our hearts, like his, are meant to become a wide open space where even our enemies can come and take refuge.

Matthew 5:43-48
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute 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 will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."

+ Fr. Jeremiah Myriam Shryock, CFR
Sacred Heart of Jesus Friary
Ft. Worth, TX
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Carmel God's Garden

From the garden of Eden to the parables of Jesus, the Bible is filled with spiritual references to agriculture. On today's feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, we remember the prophet Elijah and the meaning of the word Carmel: God's Garden...

The true prophet (based on Matt 7:15-20)

In order for a tree to bear good fruit its foundation needs to be nourished by water, sunlight and the right temperature. If not its days are numbered. In order for a prophet to be found true his foundation needs to be nourished by humility, forgiveness and purity of heart. If not his days are numbered as well and his life becomes nothing but smoke, soon ready to disappear.

+ Fr. Jeremiah Myriam Shryock, CFR
Sacred Heart of Jesus Friary
Ft. Worth, TX
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Friday, July 11, 2014

HolyHaiku 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Matthew 13

You reap what you sow
starts with small seeds of the Word
in time it will grow

#HolyHaiku #Matt13 (readings found here)
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Monday, July 7, 2014

Mt 5:38-42 Surrender

True security, according to the Gospel, occurs through surrender. Everything belongs to Jesus; our bodies, minds, and hearts but also our desires, opinions and preferences. There is nothing that belongs to us. The sooner we embrace this the freer we become. The freer we become the easier it is to let go of everything and return it to its rightful owner.

based on Matthew 5:38-42:
"You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow."

+ Father Jeremiah Myriam Shryock, CFR
Sacred Heart of Jesus Friary
Ft. Worth, TX
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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Politics and the Virtue of Patriotism

The month of July calls to mind so many wonderful memories: beautiful summer weather, 4th of July fireworks, cookouts with the smell of barbecue, family reunions, freedom and the year 1776. I also think about powerful symbols such as the American Flag (and The Star-Spangled Banner), the bald eagle, the Liberty Bell, the President and his White House.

Living in New York, how can I forget the Statue of Liberty?!

July is a time to give thanks to God for all that is good in the USA. There are a plethora of Biblical passages which teach us that Heaven is our true homeland. Before all else, I am a Catholic, a Christian, a Son of God, a believer and follower of Jesus... Keeping that truth in mind, we are then called to love the land where we are. The virtue of Patriotism is simply a love for one's country. There is another plethora of Biblical passages (and examples from Church history) which teach us to be, in the words of the dying St. Thomas Moore,  "the King's good servant, but God's first".

July is a time to pray for the USA. Like an Old Testament prophet I must cry out that there is a pile of evidence that we are losing our way as a country. Politcal spin and influential cultural trends have had their effect on so many of us. Time to return to the LORD!

The month of July now calls to mind the dictator it is named after: Julius Caesar. Let's learn a lesson from history and take note of the depravity which toppled the great Roman Empire. We are more comfortable with conservative vs. liberal, right vs. left rather than right vs. wrong.

In all our confusion where can we turn to know the truth? What still unites us? In what ways do my opinions clash with what God has revealed? July is a time to pray...

+ Fr. Luke M. Fletcher, CFR
Yonkers, NY
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Friday, June 27, 2014

HolyHaiku Saints Peter and Paul

Saints Peter and Paul
began to build Christ's Church
Two foundation stones

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