My oldest son is interested in “Music Education” for his future. He received permission to “job shadow” a music educator today, instead of going to his normal high school classes. I guess this is a benefit of being an “A” student (and a suck-up). He thinks today is going to be a blow-off: I am laughing my @#$ off. Jeanine and I think he will ‘crash’ when he gets home.
Today’s reflection is all about water.
Quote or Joke of the Day:
Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.
All you who are thirsty, come to the water! You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat; Come, without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk! (NAB Isaiah 55:1)
Why does water have a special place in the bible, and in religion? Well, without water, there is no life. Our space programs biggest function and goal is to find water elsewhere in space. Humans are 98% water! Water has the capabilities of quenching thirst, and moving boulders. Water can keep the grass green, and can cut through granite to make canyons. And in the future, water may be fuel for our cars. Without water, one can only live 3 or so days: but can live 2+ weeks without food.
From a religion viewpoint, water is also essential. Jesus was baptized by his cousin John the Baptist, with water from the Jordan River. This Rite of the Catholic Church, and many other churches, requires water as an essential element. In the Catholic Church this water must flow across the forehead of the person being baptised. Why? Because we are baptized with “living water!” This water represents a washing away of our sins. There is an action present in the movement of the water; and there is an action in the ‘mark’ placed on our soul. There is also an action in that the Holy Spirit becomes present in the baptised, making this one of the most beautiful events anyone can experience.
God’s salvation is freely given and extended to His people, and to all nations. Through Him, benefits promised to David are renewed: in Isaiah 12:3 it is written, ” With joy you will draw water at the fountain of salvation.” Also, in John 7:37 it says, “On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood up and exclaimed, ‘Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink.'”
Jesus is promising, through the living water of baptism, that the Holy Spirit will be a part of our lives. If anything is for sure, it is that Jesus knows His water. He chose where to be baptised; He could walk over its surface; and could make a miraculously great drink from it when needed.
“Lord, thank you for the gift of water. A molecule that in its solid state soothes our physical thirst, and washes away our sins spiritually. In its vapor form, it reaches for the heavens, and renews our earth. God, you are a magnificent chemist! Amen.”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Franciscan Saint of the Day: St. Joseph of Leonissa 1556-1612
In the year 1556, at Leonissa in the Abruzzi in the kingdom of Naples, the devout couple John Desiderius and Frances Paulina were blessed with a son, to whom they gave the name Euphranius at baptism. Under their faithful guidance the little boy made such progress in piety that at a very tender age he resolved upon certain feast days, and took the greatest pleasure in practices of piety.
Later on, pursuing his studies at Viterbo, he attracted the attention and admiration of everyone by his industry and virtuous life to such a degree that a nobleman in that city offered him his daughter in marriage together with a large dowry. But the Euphranius has already made a nobler choice. He left school and entered the Franciscan order among the Capuchins at Leonissa, in the year 1573, under the name of Joseph. Here he found happiness and peace in things which an effeminate age abhors most: mortification and penance.
His dwelling was a poor cell, so small and narrow that he could hardly stand, sit, or lie down in it. His bed was the bare earth, a block of wood was his pillow. He ate by preference food which the others could not or would not eat, such as stale beans and mouldy bread. In spite of the great strain associated with a life of preaching, he persevered in doing such penance even after he had been entrusted with the task. With works of penance he strove to win over those souls to God that he could not move with words.
In the year 1587, his zeal for souls urged him to go to Constantinople. He could not long conceal from the fanatical Turks the good that he was doing, especially among the Christian captives on the galleys. They seized him, pierced his right hand and right foot with sharp hooks, and hung him up on a high gibbet, then kindled a weak fire under him in order to roast him alive slowly. and gradually to suffocate him. He suffered untold tortures for three days. On the fourth day he was miraculously freed by an angel and received the command to return to Italy to preach the Gospel to the poor. From now on he traveled untiringly through all the villages and country towns of Umbria. He strongly denounced evils of that day, such as frivolous dances and plays. In his associations with the people, however, he resembled a lamb in his meekness and charity. His very bearing won for him the affection of the people, and effected the most remarkable reconciliations between persons who had been living in enmity for years, and between families and communities that had been at variance with each other.
Often while at work or at prayer he would be rapt in ecstasy. He wrought many miracles, and was vouchsafed the gift of prophesy and of reading human hearts. He also foretold the day of his death. It was February 4, 1612, when he entered into the joy of his Lord in the convent at Amatrice. His body was taken to his native town of Leonissa, and reposes there, glorified by many miracles.
Pope Clement XII beatified Joseph, and Pope Benedict XIV canonized him in the year 1745.
from: The Franciscan Book of Saints,
ed. by Marion Habig, ofm., © 1959 Franciscan Herald Press
(From http://www.franciscan-sfo.org website)
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #4
:The rule and life of the Secular Franciscans is this: to observe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by following the example of St. Francis of Assisi who made Christ the inspiration and the center of his life with God and people. Christ, the gift of the Father’s love, is the way to him, the truth into which the Holy Spirit leads us, and the life which he has come to give abundantly. Secular Franciscans should devote themselves especially to careful reading of the gospel, going from gospel to life and life to gospel.