Saturday morning, and we survived the devastating 1/2 inch snowfall we had yesterday. Look out your window and you may even see: if you look close! I hope all have a great weekend.
I guess the snow just didn’t take the right path. What a segway into todays reflection.
Quote or Joke of the Day:
When everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
For the leader. A psalm of David. O LORD, you have probed me, you know me: (NAB Ps 139:1)
The NAB verse is not easy to understand. Another way of saying this is: ‘You may not know me, but I know everything about you.’ God knows everything about you, even before your birth. How? After all, how can one know everything, when we have options and free-will on every decision?
There is no set course in life. We are met with turns on our path each day; and sometimes many times each day. Actually, if there are no ‘turns’ on your path, you need to be careful and look at your life. Remember, the road to hell is a straight and easy path; and the road to heaven is difficult, twisted, rocky, and filled with barriers.
Redemption and salvation is never easy. It is something you earn, and not just given to you. We are not told how to find our way, but we are given the tools to navigate the path. What are those tools. Prayer, fasting, confession, trust in God, and love for others.
As for how God can know everything about us, even with all the different paths we are offered continuously; it is a “MYSTERY”!! What is known is that He is with us no matter what path we take on this earth.
“Lord, thank you for being with me on the path to eternal life with you. Thank you for picking me up when I fall, and for carrying me when I am too tired to continue. I love you and want so much to be in your presence. Allow the Holy Spirit to work through me, as you wish. Amen”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Franciscan Saint of the Day: Sts Peter Baptist, and Companions d. 1597
About the year 1592 Hideyoshi, the military dictator of Japan, planned to invade and conquer the Philippine Islands, situated near his domain but belonging at the time to the Spanish crown. To negotiate peace, King Philip II of Spain delegated Father Peter Baptist Blasquez, a Franciscan of Manila, as his ambassador to Hideyoshi.
Peter Baptist, who came from an ancient Spanish family of the nobility, was learned, capable, and known for his holy life. He arrived in Japan with three companions at the end of the month of June, 1593. He succeeded in winning the dictator to terms of peace, and even obtained permission to spread Christianity throughout Japan without interference.
So Peter Baptist founded several convents of his order, built churches and hospitals, and in company with his associates converted hundreds of pagans to Christianity. Hideyoshi even offered them a neglected temple in his capital city Miyako, with permission to rebuild it as a church.
The Japanese bonzes were much incensed at the turn of events. They got the dictator to believe that the missionaries had in mind to dethrone him and deliver up the country to the Spaniards. Enraged, Hideyoshi ordered the Franciscan missionaries and their helpers to be imprisoned and put to death as offenders against the crown. Forthwith the soldiers invaded the friars convents in December, 1596, and imprisoned the inmates. Peter Baptist was among the prisoners, together with his companions, the two priests Martin of the Ascension and Francis Blanco, the cleric Philip of Jesus, who was a native Mexican, the two lay brothers Francis of St. Michael and Gonsalvo Garcia. Included were also 17 Tertiaries who rendered services to the missionaries as catechists, teachers, sacristans, and infirmarians; likewise three Jesuits.
On January 3, 1597, they were all led out of their cruel prison to the public square at Miyako. Here they were informed that they were to be crucified, and as a mark of dishonor a portion of their left ear was cut off. Then they were driven through the city on hurdles, while the sentence of death was carried on a pole at the head of the procession, and the rabble was given free hand to ill treat and insult them.
On January 4 they were again bound and thrown on hurdles, to be taken to Nagasaki for execution. The sad journey lasted 4 weeks, which in itself was cruel martyrdom because of the brutality of the bailiffs and the fury of the people in the towns and villages through which the martyrs passed. To this were added cold, hunger, and privations of every sort.
They arrived at Nagasaki on the morning of February 5th. The crosses on which the glorious confessors were to die had been prepared on a hill outside of town. The martyrs were immediately taken there and each one was bound to his cross. With loud voices they thanked God for the grace of being permitted to die like Christ their Lord, and they praised Him with psalms and hymns. As the martyrs hung crucified, executioners ran the body of each one through transversely with two spears, Father Peter Baptist being the last.
Hardly had the martyrs breathed forth their souls when God glorified them with extraordinary signs and marvels. In consequence, Pope Urban VIII beatified them in the year 1627 and permitted the annual celebration of the feast of the Japanese martyrs. In the feast of Pentecost, June 8, 1862, in presence of a great number of bishops assembled from all parts of the world, Pope Pius IX inscribed them in the catalog of the saints as powerful intercessors against enemies of the holy cross.
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 #6:
They have been made living members of the Church by being buried and raised with Christ in baptism; they have been united more intimately with the Church by profession. Therefore, they should go forth as witnesses and instruments of her mission among all people, proclaiming Christ by their life and words. Called like Saint Francis to rebuild the Church and inspired by his example, let them devote themselves energetically to living in full communion with the pope, bishops, and priests, fostering an open and trusting dialog of apostolic effectiveness and creativity.