Saturday morning and the sun is out. Had a great time at Church today. Afterwards, a large group of us went to McDonald’s to partake in a little cholesterol enhancement.
Today’s reflections is about temptation, and how to handle it. Something I need a lot of, is control over temptation.
Quote or Joke of the Day:
As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in public schools.
Jesus said to him [the devil] in reply, “It is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.” Then he [the devil] led him to Jerusalem, made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here … (NAB Luke 4:8-9)
You cannot serve two kings. It’s either going to be God, or the devil. The devil once worshiped our Lord, and our Lord once loved him and all the other “fallen angels,” God loved them so much he gave them the same gift we received from Him: the gift of free-will! After this, the angels no longer believed as God, and refused to honor his creation of us. They were thrown out of heaven for not following God in His love for his creations.
The devil doesn’t necessarily want us. As a matter of fact, the devil despises us with the utmost zeal. The only interest he has in us, is to turn us from our love of God; his eternal enemy. The pitiful thing is that at some time in the relatively near future, we are all going to spend eternity with one of these two supreme beings! If you don’t spend eternity with God in paradise, the only option left is spending eternity with a being that hates you to a degree we cannot even imagine. Scary thought, isn’t it!?
For those that think they are immune from the temptation or taunting of the devil, because of their strong faith in God: just remember that God, as Jesus, was tempted for forty days; and then taunted several other times throughout the gospels. If the devil has no fear of tempting God, what makes you think he has no qualms about tempting or taunting a ‘mere human.’
The devil even took Jesus to the place of His birth, and put Him on top of the temple were He became a member of the Jewish community (through His circumcision, and sacrifice of pigeon doves) 30+ years in the past. From there, the devil challenged Him to do an easy task that Jesus knew he would be protected; but did not succumb to this temptation, as it was not His time.
How interesting, and ironic that the devil brought Jesus to Jerusalem. This is the place of His birth, His entrance into the Jewish faith, and His first episode of His future role as priest and messiah, by being “found in the temple with the temple priests” in His early teenage years. It is also the city were Jesus will ultimately face his destiny with death: not by falling from the temple parapet as the devil wanted; but on the cross in total pain and agony, by His own free-will, as His heavenly Father had instructed, in order to give us redemption for our ‘devil pleasing’ sins.
“Lord please help the fools that think the immoral acts of today will have no impact on their futures. They are being deceived by Satan. Please be with them and come too their aid. St. Michael, protect us all from the horrors of eternal damnation by protecting us from the devils temptations and taunts. Amen.”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Franciscan Saint of the Day: St. Hyacintha Mariscotti 1585-1640
St. Hyacintha, born in 1585, belonged to a wealthy and prominent family. Her father was Count Antonio of Mariscotti, and her mother descended from the princely Roman family of the Orsini.
After her younger sister had been given in marriage, the disappointed Clarice, as Hyacintha was then called, entered the convent of the Tertiaries at Viterbo, but apparently only as a secular Tertiary. She permitted herself to be supplied with all sorts of things by way of eatables and articles of dress which enabled her to enjoy quite an agreeable and comfortable existence. Her rooms were furnished with much worldly apparatus. The spirit of mortification and of penance with which every Tertiary ought to be equipped was in no wise discernible to her.
Then it happened that she was afflicted with a strange illness, and her confessor was obliged to go to her rooms to administer the sacraments to her. When he saw the worldly and frivolous objects in her cell, he sharply reproved the sick sister. Following her confessor’s advice, she afterwards went to the common refectory and there, with a rope around her neck, begged forgiveness of her fellow sisters for the scandal she had given them.
However, it was only after she had invoked the aid of St. Catherine of Siena, that she dispossessed herself of all frivolous and unnecessary objects, and thereupon resolutely entered upon a life of heroic virtue.
She began to lead a very penitential life, in which she persevered unto the end. She went barefoot, wore an old habit that had been discarded by another sister, and performed the lowliest and most trying tasks. She ate only inferior food with which she mixed bitter herbs. Her bed consisted of a few bare boards, on which there was but a single blanket; a stone served as her pillow. She fostered a special devotion to the sufferings of Christ; and in memory of them, she subjected herself to special austerities on Fridays and in Holy Week. She also entertained a filial love for Mary, the Mother of Mercy, who sometimes appeared to her and comforted her.
Enriched by every virtue and held in great repute by her fellow sisters, she died in the 55th year of her age, in the year of our Lord 1640. Many miracles occurred at her grave for which reason Pope Benedict XIII placed her in the ranks of the blessed.
In the year 1807 she was canonized by Pope Pius VII.
from: The Franciscan Book of Saints, ed.
by Marion Habig, ofm., © 1959 Franciscan Herald Press
(From http://www.franciscan-sfo.org website)
Prologue to Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule, Chapter 1:
… “Oh, holy Father, protect them with your name (cf. Jn 17:11) whom you gave me out of the world. I entrusted to them the message you entrusted to me and they received it. They have known that in truth I came from you; they have believed that it was you who sent me. For these I pray, not for the world (cf. Jn 17:9). Bless and consecrate them, and I consecrate myself for their sakes. I do not pray for them alone; I pray also for those who will believe in me through their word (cf. Jn 17:20) that they may be holy by being one, as we are (cf. Jn 17:11). And I desire, Father, to have them in my company where I am to see this glory of mine in your kingdom” (cf. Jn 17:6-24).