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Living Flame Channel Announcement & Third Friday of Lent 2017

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Living Flame Channel Announcement & Third Friday of Lent 2017

MARCH 23 2017: “The seven words of healing from the cross of Christ”.

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"The seven words of healing from the cross of Christ"

 

Third Thursday of Lent 2017

Father Rudy's Reflection on Third Thursday of Lent 2017:  Luke 11: 14-23

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MARCH 18 2017: The Seven Deadly Vices

The seven deadly vices are normally the strong roots of our wrongly acquired experiences of the external senses and spiritual faculties, deeply embedded in the will. Initially when every sense experience is enjoyed and accepted with attachment without upward orientation towards God, it resides in the spirit/will like a person getting addicted to drugs. Repeated sense experience naturally gets rooted in the will and becomes stronger over years like a drug addict who cannot live without drugs. These roots when they give out fresh shoots and fruits become vices. These vices if not surrendered to God in prayer can be gradually detrimental to growth in spiritual life. The fruits of such roots are as follows.

 

Pride

 

 It is too great an admiration of oneself. Pride has seven evil consequences: boasting, love of publicity, hypocrisy, hardheadedness, discord, quarreling and disobedience. When all these seven evil inclinations grow in our dealings with God and neighbour, we must understand that our prayer is no prayer but a prolonged practice of pride. The devil balloons our pride to make us lose eventually to our own egoism. Authentic prayer requires humility. Any form of pride in life and prayer must be overcome first of all through personal efforts. When pride becomes part of our life it cannot be overcome by our own efforts. Therefore, in the higher stages of prayer the Lord Himself will purify us through spiritual trials or through physical trials. Pride is the enemy of any progress in prayer. If the ultimate goal of prayer is total surrender to God, there ought to be daily surrender on our part of all our actions, thoughts and also an on-going surrender in our relationship with God. In our pride when we do not listen to the Spirit who invites us to discern the purpose and goal of prayer we greatly neglect the primary task of overcoming evil. St. Paul’s words to the Galatians are apt here: “let the Spirit direct your lives, and you will not satisfy the desires of the human nature. For what our human nature wants is opposed to what the Spirit wants, and what the Spirit wants, is opposed to what our human nature wants. These two are enemies, and this means that you cannot do what you want to do. If the Spirit leads you, then you are not subject to the law” (Gal 5:16-18).

 

When the Lord takes initiative in prayer we ought to be passive. It is in passive prayer that the Lord strengthens our will to overcome this unwanted tendency to pride. He through his grace introduces us to profound humility.

 

Avarice

 

 This is a vice that leads us to be greedy and upset at every point. This nature of being upset interferes greatly during prayer. Eventually avarice ends up in other related dangers to the soul: fraud, perjury, dishonesty, perfidy, and harshness in dealing with others. When avarice reaches its culminating point we have no way out than to surrender to our own convictions and decisions. Eventually even prayer is practiced to feed our avarice. Everything we do will be justified during prayer and we can find ourselves ever more comfortable in living with all the above mentioned consequences of avarice. What is the outcome? We would rather leave prayer than rectify our own avarice-filled soul. Perhaps we even continue to pray to program and plan the way of our actions leading to avaricious behavior.

 

Avarice leads us to desire and covet things we should not. This behavior can extend to all the six goods: natural, temporal, sensory, moral, spiritual and  supernatural. We must be reminded of the Lord’s command “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God”.

 

Envy

 

Envy starts demanding “why shouldn’t I have everything that others have?” We are envious of another’s goods and jealous of our own. These thoughts pester us mainly during prayer. Beware! If not checked these thoughts and questions can lead us to come to concrete action so as to obtain everything that others have. Prayer is made into a path of getting even with others. That is why Paul in his letter to the Corinthians said: “Love is not jealous or envious”. When we are envious there cannot be genuine and authentic prayer. Deeply rooted jealousy can lead us to lose health both physical and spiritual. Precious hours can be simply lost thinking about the success of others and becoming destructively jealous when unable to obtain what the others have through unsuccessful attempts.

 

Lust

 

It is a disorientated love that seeks not the other but personal individualistic pleasure and satisfaction in everything we do. Lust excludes all personal consideration for the sake of sensate experience. Lust leads to exploitation of oneself and others or things for our own glory, satisfaction and pleasure. Finally lust leads to the development of hedonistic mentality. Even our prayer becomes a means to self-gratification and never to improve the quality of our life and to suffer. Whenever sufferings come we become sad. Prayer is practiced only to obtain satisfaction and pleasure. Is this prayer? The Lord will answer them “they have their reward already”.

 

Any physical feeling felt during prayer under the guise of spirituality cannot be dismissed as something dangerous. Yet aiming at only feelings, satisfaction and pleasure in prayer is to be shunned. God experience cannot be identified with sense experience. “Some people are so delicate that when gratification is received from the spirit or from prayer, they immediately experience a lust which so inebriates them and caresses their sense that they become as it were engulfed in the delight and satisfaction of that vice; and this experience will endure passively with the other. Sometimes these individuals become aware that certain impure and rebellious acts have taken place” (NightI,4,v) Therefore, the sensory part of our being must be reformed throughpassivity during prayer without expecting any tangible result. This is an active effort at overcoming the elements of lust in our prayer. When we are totally helpless to do so, we need to expect God to intervene.

 

The pleasure-seeking attitude in life and prayer cannot help us to become partners with God. The desire for pleasure is a good thing in life. Life would be sapless without it. What is dangerous is inordinate craving for it. Jesus advocates a life that is simple. He is conscious of the dangers of riches and money. Therefore lustful attitude in prayer and outside of prayer must be overcome.

 

Anger

 

Anger is a strong feeling that comes when one is wronged or insulted or when one sees cruelty or injustice either real or imaginary. It is a vice when one becomes angry at every thing and everybody in every circumstance. Anger has such consequences as emotional cruelty, psychological pain, rage, assaults, the viciousness of tongue, insulting, abusing, cursing and swearing to inflict damage, and many other terrible combinations of hatred, including class conflict, dissention and party spirit. All these elements are detrimental to prayer. We need to discern well in prayer whether we are still a prey to these offshoots of anger. If not, we need to seek a suitable remedy to overcome this deadly sin. In order to grow in healthy relationship with God and neighbour, anger should be done away with. Jesus says “you have heard it said ‘you shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgement’. But I say to you, whoever says to his brother ‘you fool’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (Mt 5.21-24). The tendency to anger can extend very easily to prayer and instead of praying in a friendly manner with God our anger will lead us to negative consequences. Ultimately if we are the victims of anger, we will almost certainly be angry that prayer has produced no results in our life.

 

Gluttony

 

This flows from the disorderly animal appetite, the obsession with food and drink to the point of living to eat, rather than eating to live. This can harm prayer. If this tendency for food and drink is not overcome the roots of this tendency to gluttony could also extend to our spiritual life. The practice of prayer can become a substitute to material gluttony. We can become slaves to a certain type of method or the way we say our prayers and become gluttonous creatures craving for satisfaction, pleasure and gratification during prayer and crave for attention and appreciation outside of prayer. We need to discern well why such a tendency has crept into our prayer life. The genuine attitude in prayer ought to be to become aware of growing in inner freedom for God’s personal design or plan for me. If our prayer aims at only fulfilment of our odd desires, then it is no prayer at all. It is nothing less than an attempt to feed our gluttony that has taken on a spiritual garb.

 

Sloth

 

Sloth is laziness or idleness. It is the bosom companion of covetousness, and is seen as the failure of the will to work purposefully and constructively for God. It is a mean sin that could not care less about others when there is no obvious and immediate personal gratification. The only antidote for this sickening attitude is perseverance, the willingness and effort to remain aware of others and open minded towards them, even and especially when there is nothing to be gained for self. Perseverance is the way by which the selfish laziness of the will is overcome through persistent acts of charity towards others and acts of devotion towards God without expectation of anything material or spiritual. We are to detach ourselves from the cravings of the animal soul for sensual satisfaction, even of a devotional, pious nature. This can be done by attaching ourselves to God and His goodness towards us as the source of our deepest fulfillment in prayer

 

 

THIRD TUESDAY OF LENT 2017 (year A)

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THIRD TUESDAY OF LENT 2017 (year A)

Father Rudy talks about Mathew 18: 21:25

CHURCH SERVICE– Third Sunday of Lent—The Samaritan woman and Jesus

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CHURCH SERVICE -- Third Sunday of Lent---The Samaritan woman and Jesus

FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPH. March 19 2017

FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPH.  March 19 2017 

THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT 2017

 
** Our Apologies.  The last few minutes were deleted accidentally 
 
THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT
 
 

Third Sunday of Lent
Lectionary: 28

Reading 1EX 17:3-7

In those days, in their thirst for water,
the people grumbled against Moses,
saying, "Why did you ever make us leave Egypt?
Was it just to have us die here of thirst
with our children and our livestock?"
So Moses cried out to the LORD,
"What shall I do with this people?
a little more and they will stone me!"
The LORD answered Moses,
"Go over there in front of the people,
along with some of the elders of Israel,
holding in your hand, as you go,
the staff with which you struck the river.
I will be standing there in front of you on the rock in Horeb.
Strike the rock, and the water will flow from it
for the people to drink."
This Moses did, in the presence of the elders of Israel.
The place was called Massah and Meribah,
because the Israelites quarreled there
and tested the LORD, saying,
"Is the LORD in our midst or not?"

Responsorial PsalmPS 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9

R. (8) If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
"Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted me;
they tested me though they had seen my works."
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Reading 2ROM 5:1-2, 5-8

Brothers and sisters:
Since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith
to this grace in which we stand,
and we boast in hope of the glory of God.

And hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
For Christ, while we were still helpless,
died at the appointed time for the ungodly.
Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person,
though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die.
But God proves his love for us
in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.

Verse Before The GospelCF. JN 4:42, 15

Lord, you are truly the Savior of the world;
give me living water, that I may never thirst again.

GospelJN 4:5-42

Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar,
near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
Jacob's well was there.
Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well.
It was about noon.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water.
Jesus said to her,
"Give me a drink."
His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
The Samaritan woman said to him,
"How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?"
—For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.—
Jesus answered and said to her,
"If you knew the gift of God
and who is saying to you, 'Give me a drink, '
you would have asked him
and he would have given you living water."
The woman said to him,
"Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep;
where then can you get this living water?
Are you greater than our father Jacob,
who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself
with his children and his flocks?"
Jesus answered and said to her,
"Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again;
but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst;
the water I shall give will become in him
a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
The woman said to him,
"Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty
or have to keep coming here to draw water."

Jesus said to her,
"Go call your husband and come back."
The woman answered and said to him,
"I do not have a husband."
Jesus answered her,
"You are right in saying, 'I do not have a husband.'
For you have had five husbands,
and the one you have now is not your husband.
What you have said is true."
The woman said to him,
"Sir, I can see that you are a prophet.
Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain;
but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem."
Jesus said to her,
"Believe me, woman, the hour is coming
when you will worship the Father
neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
You people worship what you do not understand;
we worship what we understand,
because salvation is from the Jews.
But the hour is coming, and is now here,
when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth;
and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.
God is Spirit, and those who worship him
must worship in Spirit and truth."
The woman said to him,
"I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ;
when he comes, he will tell us everything."
Jesus said to her,
"I am he, the one speaking with you."

At that moment his disciples returned,
and were amazed that he was talking with a woman,
but still no one said, "What are you looking for?"
or "Why are you talking with her?"
The woman left her water jar
and went into the town and said to the people,
"Come see a man who told me everything I have done.
Could he possibly be the Christ?"
They went out of the town and came to him.
Meanwhile, the disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat."
But he said to them,
"I have food to eat of which you do not know."
So the disciples said to one another,
"Could someone have brought him something to eat?"
Jesus said to them,
"My food is to do the will of the one who sent me
and to finish his work.
Do you not say, 'In four months the harvest will be here'?
I tell you, look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest.
The reaper is already receiving payment
and gathering crops for eternal life,
so that the sower and reaper can rejoice together.
For here the saying is verified that 'One sows and another reaps.'
I sent you to reap what you have not worked for;
others have done the work,
and you are sharing the fruits of their work."

Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him
because of the word of the woman who testified,
"He told me everything I have done."
When the Samaritans came to him,
they invited him to stay with them;
and he stayed there two days.
Many more began to believe in him because of his word,
and they said to the woman,
"We no longer believe because of your word;
for we have heard for ourselves,
and we know that this is truly the savior of the world."

OrJN 4:5-15, 19B-26, 39A, 40-42

Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar,
near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
Jacob's well was there.
Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well.
It was about noon.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water.
Jesus said to her,
"Give me a drink."
His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
The Samaritan woman said to him,
"How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?"
—For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.—
Jesus answered and said to her,
"If you knew the gift of God
and who is saying to you, 'Give me a drink, '
you would have asked him
and he would have given you living water."
The woman said to him,
"Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep;
where then can you get this living water?
Are you greater than our father Jacob,
who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself
with his children and his flocks?"
Jesus answered and said to her,
"Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again;
but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst;
the water I shall give will become in him
a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
The woman said to him,
"Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty
or have to keep coming here to draw water.

"I can see that you are a prophet.
Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain;
but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem."
Jesus said to her,
"Believe me, woman, the hour is coming
when you will worship the Father
neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
You people worship what you do not understand;
we worship what we understand,
because salvation is from the Jews.
But the hour is coming, and is now here,
when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth;
and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.
God is Spirit, and those who worship him
must worship in Spirit and truth."
The woman said to him,
"I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ;
when he comes, he will tell us everything."
Jesus said to her,
"I am he, the one who is speaking with you."

Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him.
When the Samaritans came to him,
they invited him to stay with them;
and he stayed there two days.
Many more began to believe in him because of his word,
and they said to the woman,
"We no longer believe because of your word;
for we have heard for ourselves,
and we know that this is truly the savior of the world."