Monday, May 27, 2013

Empty Tabernacles (3 of 3)

Every church building is more or less beautiful & more or less well kept. Some are clean, quiet & prayerful, while others, well, are 'LACKING'! A (true) story is in order here.

Once upon a time some pilgrims visited a large & beautiful cathedral in a very poor country. One person remarked out loud: "What a *horrible waste* of money that should have been spent on the poor instead!" A native resident of the place promptly corrected the pilgrim: "Oh no, you're terribly mistaken! You see, it was the poor themselves who created this beautiful place for God - to thank, love & worship Him, with their very own blood, sweat, & tearful labors. They gladly prefer to live in poverty so long as they have a worthy church for their beloved God." The pilgrims sighed in shock, & the person turned red with embarrassment.

This recalls Judas who complained that the perfume the woman poured on Jesus not be 'wasted' but sold (& he was a thief & a traitor!), or the generosity of Jesus at the Last Supper & on the Cross. God's Love for us is 'prodigal', 'wastefully' generous! He *never* counts the cost - He only
gives & keeps on giving!

The only one I can blame if my tabernacle is 'empty', 'dirty', or 'cluttered' is *myself*. God is continually pouring Himself out with His infinite superabundant Love - all I have to do is open my heart to receive Him.

P.S. Jesus is a 'gentleman' - He ordinarily *won't* come in if we have the door of our heart bolted shut from the inside - He truly respects our freedom. I invite you: open wide the door of your heart to Christ! (But don't be surprised if He 'pops by' for an unexpected visit like He did to the Apostles after the Resurrection who had locked the doors! Or at least
when we die...) Let's start *expecting* & *preparing* Jesus' visit now. Let's welcome Jesus into our hearts & lives *today* - NOW. Amen.

+Br. Philip Maria, CFR
Most Blessed Sacrament Friary
Newark, NJ, USA
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Friday, May 24, 2013

How can we be effective communicators as Catholic?

A new video from ReviveFaith.com

How can we become effective communicators as Catholic?

by Br. Francesco, CFR

Know it!
Love it!
Live it!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Empty Tabernacles (2 of 3)

Whenever I sin, I dim the light of Christ in my soul. When I sin mortally, I extinguish it entirely - I am empty & alone. I become an empty tabernacle. (Thank God for His Mercy in confession which can restore us! Yes, God can & will forgive you!!)

Whenever I choose Christ, love Him or receive His love, pray to Him, or serve Him in my brothers & sisters, His light & presence grow within me. The Divine Fire of the Holy Spirit increases in my heart. I become a shining lamp to others, to lead them to Christ, to become ever more mature children of our Heavenly Father. I am His 'living tabernacle'!

A church building is built large enough so many people can gather & worship together; but a tabernacle is fairly small - yet it is the Throne of Christ the King, the uncontainable God of the universe! The tabernacle & altar are the *heart* of every church. They are carefully adorned. This is the place of love & sacrifice, the place of God's abiding presence.

But I must freely invite Jesus to reign in my own soul in order to share the joy of the Heavenly Liturgy. And He needs a *welcome space* to enter, not a room full of useless junk. 

What are some things or attachments in my life that may be cluttering the 'church' of my life or the 'tabernacle' of my soul? It's time to take inventory & clean house! Don't worry - Jesus WANTS all your garbage! He gladly changes it all into everlasting treasures... The one *true treasure* He wants is YOU!

+Br. Philip Maria, CFR
Most Blessed Sacrament Friary
Newark, NJ, USA
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Revive Faith Answers: Fr Herald on Jesus, Mary and Concupiscence

New video from ReviveFaith.com

#Jesus, #Mary and #Concupiscence by Fr. Herald, CFR

Purgatory Episode 4 by Br. Philip, CFR

New video from ReviveFaith.com

Br. Phililp, CFR, #Purgatory Episode 4 #Indulgences

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Listening to God Video by Fr. Herald, CFR

Listening to God by Fr. Herald, CFR
A new video from ReviveFaith.com

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Four Friars to be Ordained to the Priesthood

Cardinal Dolan to Ordain 11 to Priesthood
at Saint Patrick's Cathedral, NYC.

Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 9 AM – All are welcome!

Click here to read the full story from The Catholic New York

Empty Tabernacles (1 of 3)

What's drastically on the rise in the U.S. & other countries recently? Churches are ransacked & desecrated. Sacred images are smashed to pieces. Consecrated hosts are scattered all about & trampled underfoot. But perhaps not as overtly 'shocking' but of similar concern & more within our power to change is the loss of faith in & reverence for the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist (including many who consider themselves to be 'good Catholics').

Along with the Eastern Orthodox, every Catholic should know the *one reason* that makes their churches uniquely different than all others throughout the whole world: the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament (i.e. the Eucharist, which is received during Mass as Holy Communion). We see the sanctuary candle (usually encased in red-colored glass) burning next to the tabernacle, & we know *SOMEONE* is present here. That's why we prayerfully genuflect in adoration, reverently making the Sign of the Cross. This simple witness of our faith works *wonders* in overcoming the loss of reverence.

Now-a-days people are dying for many reasons. When *I* die, I want to die for CHRIST, for love of HIM & HIS Holy Will, not for some half-baked 'cause', personal philosophy, or even...sin.

Just imagine the emptiness of the world without Jesus present in every tabernacle! A desolate wasteland... And yet, every one of our souls is a 'living temple' where God *already* dwells through Baptism, & He desires to increase His presence & love in us & our personal union with Him through every Communion well-received. Whenever a baptized Catholic in the state of grace receives Jesus in Holy Communion with the proper dispositions, we 'give joy' to Jesus who desires to dwell in us fully - we become 'living tabernacles'! And people *notice* when Jesus' love shines out!

+Br. Philip Maria, CFR
Most Blessed Sacrament Friary
Newark, NJ, USA
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Cautionary Word

It is the effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense and can’t see things as they are. So said G.K. Chesterton through one of his most famous characters, Fr. Brown, the very English priest-detective.  It’s a comment that some of his contemporaries took arms against but a fair and valid point I have to say, and so for clarity let me repeat it

It is the effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense and can’t see things as they are.

You see, it would be like not believing in something like numbers.  In such a mind addition or multiplication would lose their power and in such a world, houses their structure.

Of course, it’s nearly impossible to imagine a man who doesn’t believe in integers—if he exists I don’t know him.  Though I have met and read of men who don’t believe in God (though in the history of the world it’s just as absurd a thought), and truly such men do live in a world of crumbled and broken homes because they’ve undercut the foundation of life and reason, and they take up the maddening task of re-working the times tables with something other than numbers—that is to say they have to understand the meaning of life without the proper tools to find the solution.

Often times this problem they conclude unsolvable which is, in fact, the only conclusion they can make.  Five times five means nothing if we have no knowledge of what five is.  Thus meaning of life means nothing if we have no knowledge of what life is.  Five is five because one is one five times over.  Life is life because God is God, giver of life.  As five can only be understood in light of one so life can only be understood in light of God.

Here’s the challenge today: the world is so interconnected that the confused minds and crumbling homes of such people become for all of us a confused education and a crumbling society.  So what do we do, we who live uniquely in the truth that God is real and who are able to rejoice in the beauty of each stunning facet of that three word sentence, when the collective voices of atheism and its maddening or more subtle forms are louder and more pervasive than ours?

Be sure your convictions come from the basic truth of God’s veracity rather than whatever is most loudly shouted in your ear lest we pose no threat to the deconstruction of our society and the brokenness of our world.

+ Br. Joseph Michael, CFR
Most Blessed Sacrament Friary
Newark, NJ
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Friday, May 10, 2013

The Faith Side: Does Faith Fit?

Another video from YoFoReal.com , The Faith Side : Does Faith Fit?

Don't miss the bonus footage at the end ...

Find the youtube.com playlist for "The Faith Side" here:


Monday, May 6, 2013

Letters of hope and consolation #24

Often times you suffer from being nearsighted, therefore you can only see what is in front of you while everything further away is foggy and unclear. Since you cannot see too far in the distance you tend to concentrate on what is only directly in front of you. The danger here is that you are not embracing all of reality, but only a very small portion of it.

In this life it is easy to be overwhelmed by sufferings, trials, disappointments, fears and a million other things that stand directly in front of you. Our faith reminds us there is a greater part of reality we are not seeing. There is a greater part of reality that we often ignore. It is the reality of heaven! 

This world, with all of its struggles and disappointments, does not contain the complete picture of your life. The Catechism says that “heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1024). 

Without this eternal perspective you will be overwhelmed by this life and all its drama. Happiness, peace, joy and fulfillment are not simply part of a fairy tale. You can experience them in pieces in this life, yet in heaven they will be yours in abundance. Keep heaven before you always and remember that by doing so you are not neglecting anything, but in fact you are embracing the fullness of reality.

God bless you,
Fr. Jeremiah Myriam Shryock, CFR
Sacred Heart of Jesus Friary
Fort Worth, TX

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