Such a beautiful day in the St. Louis Area. This was a fun blog to write. You get to learn a little bit about me, and how intense I can be at times. I hope you enjoy my reflection.
Today’s reflection is about learning from God.
Quote or Joke of the Day:
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. — Kahlil Gibran, from “The Prophet”
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. It is written in the prophets: ‘They shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” (NAB John 6:44-51)
The phrase “taught by God” almost has a comical meaning to me. God has a weird sense of humor, and likes to teach in unusual ways. I remember once asking for the virtue of patience. Let’s just say that my patience was challenged more than ever before. In the confessional, I brought this up, and the priest started laughing. He told me that he “had made that mistake once also!” I was then told to pray for tolerance instead, which seemed to work for me.
I was a very busy and successful person in the workforce. I enjoyed my job, and lived for my profession. Matter of fact, my life lifestyle reached a point that I relegated my faith life to a back shelf. Bad thing to do: a lesson had to be learned, and I became disabled, and unemployed.
I became angry; angry at myself, others, and especially God for being placed in this position, especially with a family to support. I remember literally being in church demanding an answer to why this happened, and even cussing out God. Funny how things work out sometimes: sitting in that pew, crying quietly, I felt Jesus sitting next to me saying, “Thanks for talking to me finally, come back tomorrow and let’s talk again.” I did; and I’m glad I did. I lost my anger, and forgave myself and all others. My prayer life increased and became a personal journey, instead of just a thing Catholics do at church. And I have found an active ministry that I enjoy as a grace from God; helping the poor and disabled, as an advocate.
Jesus wanted to make clear that all that believed, and lived a worthy Christian life, would have eternal life with Him in paradise. I can picture Jesus saying, “Yo, Listen to me. I AM the bread of life. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but I AM the bread that came down from heaven. Through me, you will not die, but live forever.”
Jesus is the bread. The Eucharist is His bread, His flesh for the world. He gave us His flesh on the cross, to save us, and He continues to give us His flesh in the Holy Eucharist, also to save us. The bread and wine truly does become the body and blood of Jesus Christ, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, at each and every celebration of the Mass.
If someone put up signs and billboards; and it was announced on the evening news that Jesus was going to appear tomorrow, at a specific time and place, how crowded would that area be the next day? So why are the church pews so empty at most Masses, when all knows that Jesus is truly there? We are our own worst enemies!
“Jesus, your body and blood is all we need for eternal life in paradise. Oh how I love to have your most sacred host on my tongue. I love you with all my heart, soul, and body. Please be with me always. Amen.”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Catholic Saint of the Day: St. Paternus
St. Paternus.The first 5th century saint. He followed his father’s path by becoming a hermit in Wales. He founded the monastery at the great church of Paternus, and became a bishop of that region. He was known for his preaching, charity and mortifications. Scholars believe his story is an amalgam. His feast day is April 15.
(From http://www.catholic.org/saints/ website)
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #15:
Let them individually and collectively be in the forefront in promoting justice by the testimony of their human lives and their courageous initiatives. Especially in the field of public life, they should make definite choices in harmony with their faith.