22 days till the BIRTH of CHRIST,
and this is the 4th day of the ADVENT season.
“HO, HO, HO-ly God, We Praise Thy Name!”
Quote of the Day:
Opportunity may knock once, but temptation bangs on your front door forever.
I will dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come. (Ps 23:6)
How many of us are anticipating going to heaven? Some believe that they are automatically going to heaven because of their belief that there is NO hell. Others believe that they will go to heaven due to Jesus’ redemption on the cross: that no matter how they live, they are destined to heaven because they “have been saved!” And still others believe God is so merciful, that he cannot send anyone to hell. In reality, most of these individuals have forgotten that He gave us a ‘free will,’ and the ability to knowingly disregard purposely His commandments. The title of today’s reflection, “Not Paying Rent in the Lord’s House,” does not mean that we have a free destiny, and home in heaven. We have to pay for our ‘rent’ in heaven, PRIOR to going there.
Those that chose NOT to follow His laws will find their ‘rent’ delinquent, and they will be foreclosed on. Free will means that God has allowed us to choose hell over heaven. The Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, a catholic nun who was a mystic, visionary, stigmatist, and prophet wrote that in one of her dreams, in seeing hell the majority of the people there were individuals who ‘did not believe’ in hell while alive.
Followers of God’s laws, but have sins that need to be paid for, must work off the rest of their ‘rent’ prior to admission to the Lord’s home. This is done in, what we have termed, ‘purgatory.’ For those that do not believe there is a biblical basis for purgatory, I refer you to the following bible verses: 1 Corinthians 3:14–15, Matthew 12:32, 1 Corinthians 3:14–15, and 1 Peter 3:19–20, to name a few.
The few humans who have lead a devout, loving, and lawful (religious and civil) life, have paid all their rent in full, and are gained immediate access to their eternal home in the presence of Jesus and Mary, in heaven. I doubt that I will be in this group. I am praying that, with God’s graces, I will go to heaven, even indirectly through purgatory. I want so much to gaze upon the loving eyes of my creator for whom my existence is otherwise worthless.
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Franciscan Saint of the Day: Bl. Maria Angela Astorch
Maria Angela, was born in Barcelona, Spain on September 1st 1592. She joined the Capuchin Poor Clares, at age 11 but had to wait five years to be admitted to the cloister because of her age. A year later she made her solemn profession on the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady of 1609. She was director for those in the beginning of their formation and in charge of the newly professed nuns.
In 1614 with five other nuns, she was sent to Saragossa to start a new monastery. There she was Novice Master. In 1627, Pope Urban VIII approved the Constitutions of the Spanish Capuchin Poor Clares and she was named Abbess for a period of three years. In 1645, she took part in the foundation of the Murcia monastery, and for sixteen years she was in charge of those in their initial formation and abbess of this monastery. In this monastery she succeeded to introduce daily daily Mass. They experienced a very difficult time during the plague, and they were very poor. They had to leave the Monastery for one year, and they moved in temporarily in a summer residence of the Jesuit Fathers. She remained Abbess until the end of her seventieth year. Maria Angela had extraordinary contemplative experience. She had special devotion to the Passion of Our Lord. Maria Angela died at the age of 73 years on December 2nd, 1665. She died while singing “Pange Lingua. Her body is conserved in the Monastery of Murcia in incorrupt state. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on May 23rd 1982.
(From http://www.franciscan-sfo.org website)
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #2:
The Secular Franciscan Order holds a special place in this family circle. It is an organic union of all Catholic fraternities scattered throughout the world and open to every group of the faithful. In these fraternities the brothers and sisters, led by the Spirit, strive for perfect charity in their own secular state. By their profession they pledge themselves to live the gospel in the manner of Saint Francis by means of this rule approved by the Church.