Monday, February 8, 2016

Mary TV Daily Reflection 2/8/2016

    (c)Mateo Ivankovic 2016

February 8, 2016
St. Jerome Emiliani
St. Josephine Bakhita
Dear Family of Mary!
January 25, 2016 "Dear children! Also today I am calling all of you to prayer. You cannot live without prayer, because prayer is a chain which brings you closer to God. Therefore, little children, in humility of heart return to God and to His commandments so that with all of your heart you are able to say: as it is in Heaven so may it be on earth. You, little children, are free to in freedom decide for God or against Him. See where Satan wants to pull you into sin and slavery. Therefore, little children, return to my heart so that I can lead you to my Son Jesus who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Thank you for having responded to my call."
Our Lady called us in the January 25 message to return to God and to His commandments. That is what Lent is all about. Fr. Leon gave a very practical and concrete teaching to us this week in his "Musings" about how to live Lent, so that we will return to God and His commandments in Justice. I think his words will help us to dive into Lent with both feet!
Father Leon Pereira, "Medjugorje Muses from Fr. Leon", February 5, 2016:
Praise be Jesus and Mary!   Hello, I'm Father Leon Pereira speaking to you from Medjugorje. Next week on Wednesday, we begin the season of Lent with Ash Wednesday. Now Lent, as you know, is a season of prayer and penitence. Forty days, and the forty days are counted from Ash Wednesday until Holy Saturday inconclusive - but excluding the Sundays. That's the only way you could make it 40 days.
Now I know people have different ideas about what Lent is. Well, I'll tell you a few things from my own....but not necessarily my own....some of this is gleaned from the Catechism. You know in Lent we traditionally give up things. And sometimes you might hear people telling you rather than giving up something it's more important to take on something - to do something extra. Now this might sound like wisdom but when it comes to Lent, it's not. Doing something extra - that's fine. Do it whenever you'd like, even in Lent if you'd like.   But Lent is about giving up something - a sacrifice - and making a sacrifice is different from taking on an additional role.
Making a sacrifice costs us something. And sometimes it also restores a certain balance. Now, when we do the traditional Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, all three have to do with the virtue of justice.
Prayer: Prayer is what we owe to God in justice. We are creatures. We are dependent, rational creatures and we owe God prayer. Of course when you talk about it as owing something it doesn't sound very exciting as though we are paying it grudgingly. No, I don't mean that. We should pay it joyfully. But it is something we owe God in justice. And so that is why the virtue of religion is part of the virtue of justice, according to St. Thomas. We pray because we owe everything we are to God, everything that we have. We are utterly dependent on Him. And the more we recognize this, the less deluded we are, even the less insane we are. So that's what prayer is.
Fasting: Fasting in a sense you could say what we owe in justice to ourselves.   Because we don't need so much of the stuff we have. Think about the meals you have. Do you ever waste food? Do you ever leave things on your plate uneaten? Maybe this is less likely in your own home. But when you go out to a buffet, or buffet for Americans viewers.... Do you take on more than you can actually eat? Are your eyes bigger than your stomach, and you waste stuff? Do you waste food? And if so, why? Why do you do that? Why do we do that?
Fasting is about saying to God, "I love you more than even my earthly appetites."   Yes, we all need food, air and water. But you can live without some kinds of food. You can live without most kinds of drink. Maybe at least for one day - one day a week. Maybe even two days a week. The early Christians used to fast on two days a week, Wednesdays and Fridays..... !n the "Didache", the teachings of the 12 apostles, written roughly between AD 50 and AD 100, it says, "You shall fast on Wednesdays and Fridays." Fasting is a discipline of the church right from the very beginning. We do this not to torture ourselves but to show God that we love Him more than the other things that we desire. Almost every day you wouldn't forget to eat, would you? I mean, very few people forget to eat. I once heard an American comedian say, "Forget to eat? It takes a special kind of stupid to forget to eat!" And I think that's true. It would take a special kind of stupid to forget to eat!
We don't forget to eat or to drink. We don't forget these things and yet we can say, "Oh, yes, I went through the whole day and I forgot to pray." So there we go. We fast, in justice, to show God that what we really need, in justice, is Him. It's not to torture ourselves, or to make a big fuss about it. Remember that when you fast make sure that your left hand doesn't know what your right hand is doing. Don't make a fuss, don't put on a sad face. Don't moan and whine, and tell people, "Oh, I'm fasting today. Aren't I marvelous?" Because then it is pointless.
Almsgiving: Then the third thing, alms giving....what we owe in justice to our neighbor. So almsgiving is not just giving money to the poor. Do you give money to everybody who begs from you? Well, the Gospels say to give to everybody who asks of you. Actually Pope Francis says as well to give to people who asks things of you. Of course sometimes you have to make a rational judgment about this. Is the person asking you this because they are a drug addict? By you giving money to them are you actually enabling them to go and buy more drugs? To perpetuate their misery. Or are they an alcoholic? Then you are helping to fuel their addiction.
Maybe sometime instead of giving them money, invite them out to dinner. Say to them, "Come and join me." And take them in and eat with them. You might get certain looks, but who cares? Who cares how people look at you? We should be more concerned with how God looks at us. How the angels look at us. Think about considerations like that.
So if you don't want to give out money because you are uncertain, give out food. Give out help. Give your time, talk to people. Talk to the homeless. Talk to them like they are normal people, because most people ignore them and treat them like they are dirt. Worse than the dirt underneath your shoes. Treat them with human dignity.
You remember a couple of years ago there was a big fuss in the media because this policeman in New York bought a pair of shoes for a beggar. First of all people admired him, but really we need more people like him. People who don't count the cost, who are willing to go that extra mile. But more than buying a pair of shoes, what that policeman did was talk to that man. He treated him as his brother, as his neighbor. This is a very important thing.
So in the season of Lent, these forty days of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, let's remember these works of mercy, these works of Justice indeed. I categorize them as works of Justice rather than works of Mercy. But in the Year of Mercy, I would have to say that even these things that we do in Lent, they are really more to do with Justice than with Mercy. Because Mercy means going the extra mile, doing things you don't necessarily have to do. And Justice says these are things that we ought to do. And these things of Lent, we ought to do. We need to do.
To them you add the works of Mercy. These are great. Emphasize them. But don't think that by exercising these three works, prayer, fasting and almsgiving, you are doing anyone any favors. These are not works of mercy as such. The only favor you are doing, is to yourself. Because you are treating yourself as you deserve to be treated. You are putting yourself more in touch with reality. Therefore you are making yourself more sane.
Now some of you might ask, am I implying that we don't have to do some of these things on Sundays? Sundays are not counted as part of these forty days. They are still Sunday's of Lent, even if they are not in Lent. Or is it phrased the other way around. I know the Church phrases it quite carefully. But I know these Sundays are during the season of Lent. Certainly we shouldn't fast on Sunday. That is forbidden by the First Council of Nicaea. We do not fast on Sunday. Sunday is the day of the Resurrection. But still you can make sacrifices. You could eat less. You could not eat some of your favorite things.
And also I haven't even talked about what people traditionally do in Lent, giving up chocolates. You know if you don't even like chocolate, if you don't eat it very much, why even bother giving it up for Lent? It has to cost. It has to cost you something. So give up something that you actually like. Give up television, Facebook, the internet, emails, Instagram! I don't know what people do actually on the internet. But whatever it is that you do, if you like it, and you do it, and you are addicted to it you like it so much, give it up. Show God that He matters more to you than Instagram or Facebook. And if you can't do that it doesn't say something very good, if Facebook means more to you than God. So make a real sacrifice this Lent, and do it with love and don't tell a soul. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen!        
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
Mary TV
PS. Today's new Fruit Show is a testimony from Mike Nolan!  Don't miss it!!  You can see it in the Fruit of Medjugorje Archive later today!

PPS.  Mike Nolan's pilgrimage for March 28 to April 7, 2016 still has room for more pilgrims. Airfares are very low. And you will be in Medjugorje for Divine Mercy week! Call 574-335-9952 or visit pilgrim-medj.com for more information!!

"Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world."
Saint John Paul II
Be connected!


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