Tag Archives: Rosary

“I Didn’t Even See the Hangman’s Noose!” Psalm 116:3-4


It is Thursday in foggy Western West London (AKA Hazelwood, MO).  Fog for three days straight, with no let up has to be a record in this part of the midwest.

  

The Annual March for Life kicks off this Friday, January 22nd, in Washington, DC. If you are unable to join fellow Americans in Washington, DC you can still stand and be counted by going to www.VirtualMarchforLife.com now.  It’s very easy to do and will only take seconds. 

Bible Scroll

 

Quote or Joke of the Day:

  

FAITH is coming to the edge of all you know, and trusting God gives you something to stand on, or  teaches you to fly.

  

Today’s Meditation:

  

I was caught by the cords of death; the snares of Sheol had seized me; I felt agony and dread.  Then I called on the name of the LORD, “O LORD, save my life!”  (NAB Psalm 116:3-4)

  

Have you ever thought about your life, and what could be improved.  I hope so, as this is part of preparing for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Not only should one think about what sins occurred, but also how to improve their relationship with God. 

This process of review past problems, and changing your ways can upset some.  No one likes to dig up the past, and especially the bad stuff of the past.  On top of this is thinking about the future; and change is not normally a fun experience. 

When I was a little younger, I got caught up in some bad practices in regards to my faith.  I was tightening that noose around my neck, a lit bit more each day, and I didn’t even realize it at the time.  I had to have my feet kicked out from under me, in order to realize the dangers of my actions.  I was forced to think about my life and what I was losing, both in this existence, and with Jesus in the next. 

I went to church, and as the old cliché goes, I truly prayed for the first time in many years.  Why was I doing this?  The answer was solely because I was upset and scared: not because I wanted too!  I found comfort, for the first time, in praying and just sitting there with the Blessed Sacrament.  What a strange experience for me. 

That weekend, I went to confession for the first time in many years!  I was afraid the ceiling was going to fall on my head as I entered that little cubicle in the back of the Church.  I literally had forgotten how to go to confession.  The priest was kind and encouraging.  He directed me through a super experience in giving up my sins, and allowing Jesus to work in me, instead of building up the brick wall as I had in the past. 

That noose had slipped from my neck the instant I allowed Jesus to live in me.  Notice, I did not say “when I went to God.”  God was always there, looking over our shoulders; I just had to be open to Him, and ask for help.  God likes to hear from us often.  He is willing to hear us when we have problems, but He also loves to hear from us in the good times as well.  Talk to Him as you would any best friend: after all, He is your BEST friend! 

“Lord, I love that you are with me at all times.  I cannot hide from you, and would never want too.  Please help me stay on the path of righteousness, no matter how rocky, and twisted it can become.  Please be there when I fall, to help me up.  I truly do love you as my father, and my best friend.  Amen”

  

Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO

  

*****

  

Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #21:

  

On various levels, each fraternity is animated and guided by a council and minister who are elected by the professed according to the constitutions.  Their service, which lasts for a definite period, is marked by a ready and willing spirit and is a duty of responsibility to each member and to the community.  Within themselves the fraternities are structured in different ways according to the norm of the constitutions, according to the various needs of their members and their regions, and under the guidance of their respective council. 

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“My Dancing Makes Most People Cry!” – Ecclesiastes 3:4


TGIF!  Had a superb time last night, praying the Rosary with 12 of my brothers and sisters in Christ.  Every thursday evening, a group of us assemble outside our parish church, in our Madonna’s Grotto, and say the Rosary “under the stars, and with nature.”  All are invited, and are welcomed.  Come on by and try it – YOU’LL LIKE IT!!

Ecclesiastes

Quote or Joke of the Day:

 

THE SENILITY PRAYER :
Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
The good fortune to run into the ones I do, and
The eyesight to tell the difference

 

Today’s Meditation:

 

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.  (Ecclesiastes 3:4)

 

In April, my mother died from that lung cancer you here about linked to asbestos.  Up until this time, my mother was a vibrant and humorous woman of 87 years.  She used a walker to get around, and she always had pictures of her many grand-children and great-gran-children stuffed in a pocket of a storage item attached to her walker. 

Her sense of humor was well-known.  Mom had a bicycle bell attached to her walker, and would ring it as she walked down the hallways of the retirement apartment she had lived in  for about 15 years.  When she was younger, and had children still living at home; one of my brothers “acquired” flowers from grave of a local cemetary, and she made them into a corsage for his prom date that night.  My brother did not tell his date until towards the end of the evening; and let’s just say she was not very pleased. 

Mom was always willing to laugh, mess up a joke, and to see the good in everyone.  She, as I, believe that humor is a supreme gift and grace from God that should be used daily.  I found a poem that I changed a little bit about humor and God, and I would love to share it with you: 

Remember when you’re feeling low, And life seems hard to bear.
There is a brighter day ahead, He promises that it’s there.
  

We picture in our minds at times that we have such a solemn Lord.
When I’m sure it was He whom laughed not once,
but ‘ore & ‘ore.
    
 
He has to get a chuckle out of the way that men react,
He made us whole, and part of us is laughter:
That is a fact.
    
 
His image is reflected in the human form He made.
He must laugh often then, as you and I convey.
     
 
A famous scripture, “He wept”, is among the favorite of verse.
If He was able to shed tears,
He surely laughed at first.
     
 
I see him with a smile, holy laughter flowing forth.
In a rolling rumbling style, proving mirth is its own worth.
     
 
A joyous man, I believe was He that roamed His land.
He thought good thoughts and brought good cheer to His creation: Man.
     
 
He gave us laughter I believe;  a gift so fair and grand.
So we know He also laughed, and we would understand.
     
 
For without this gift He freely gave, Would we even want to be?
Life would be so dreary,
without the gift of glee. 
   
 
So just as sure as there are tears, there’s laughter all about.
And I’m so thankful Our sweet Lord saw fit not to leave it out.
  

 May We Use and Enjoy This Gift Everyday.  
~Adapted from poem by “sun smile“~
     

Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO

   

*****

   

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.  

“My 10 Year Old: The Mature One!” – Ecclesiastes 3:3


Please pray for the dead and survivors in need from the terrible earthquake in Haiti yesterday.  Thet need all the intercessions possible. 

The Beatitudes

Quote or Joke of the Day:

    

Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisers.

    

Today’s Meditation:

    

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build.  (Ecclesiastes 3:3)

    

The fifth commandment states, “Thou shalt not kill!”  What  I believe this verse is, is a poetic way of saying that there is a time shed our old lives, and to create a new life.  Is this time controlled by us?  The correct answer, for me, is “Yes and No!”    

Maturity is not based on age as much as it is a response to environmental and social exposure.  Looking back at my life, I realize that I was not very mature until after I had graduated from my post-high school education, and began working in the medical field.  It was there that I realized that, though brought up in a single parent, lower middle-income household, I had it not to bad, at all.    I can honestly say that I saw decades worth of learning and wisdom from those five years working in the poorest parts of the inner city of St. Louis.   

As most of you know, I am the proud parent of four teen and near-teen age boys.  Not to get my kids mad at me, but it is well-known that my youngest (the 10-year-old) is my most mature child.  I believe it doesn’t hurt his maturity that he has been an insulin dependant type I diabetic since age four.  This is my child whose food group, if he could, would consist totally of waffles, chocolate, cookies, chocolate, cheese cake, and did I emphasize the chocolate thing enough!  He is also the one that gets himself up and goes to bed without any comments from his parents.  He is the one that always does his homework immediately upon coming home from school.  He is the one that gets his own food, instead of asking and whining.  Yes, I know; he is an alien!   

He has, at his tender age, been forced to build himself up, and to take responsibility for himself.  In his young journey, he has also built a special relationship with God, and his catholic faith.  I, though forty years his senior, have learned significantly about what a child-like faith really entails.  Matt asks questions about his faith, but has no question about Jesus’ love for us or why He came to earth, through a virgin, to die on a cross for our sins.  He has no doubts about Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to heaven.  Matt, at age 10, can and does say the daily rosary!   

We can learn so much from our elders, as well as from our children.  Just take a deep breath and relax; and watch, live and learn.   

“Lord, help me to find that child-like love and faith that I have seen in my child.  I so love and desire to be with you in paradise some day.  Also, please help me to be a better father.  Amen”

    

 Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO

    

*****

    

Franciscan Saint of the Day: Blessed Odoric Matiussi of Pordenone 1265-1331

    

Odoric was born of noble parents in the year 1265 at Pordenone in Friuli. He entered the Franciscan Order in the convent of Udine when he was only 15 years old. He felt himself called by God to be a missionary, and so prepared himself for his vocation by a strict life of penance, intimate union with God in solitude, and earnest application to study.   

Ordained a priest, he labored as a zealous and forceful preacher of penance. The people came from great distances to hear his sermons and through him to be reconciled to God in the tribunal of penance. But soon his vast field of labor no longer satisfied his burning zeal. He was desirous of winning souls for God in the distant heathen countries and, if God so wished it, even to shed his blood for Christ. In 1296 he went as a missionary to the Balkan Peninsula, and then to the Mongols in southern Russia.   

In the year 1314 he sailed for the Orient. From Constantinople he crossed the Black Sea and landed at Trebizond, whence he travelled and preached in Armenia, Media, and Persia. In all these countries the Franciscans had founded mission centers.   

With an Irish confrere, Friar James, he sailed to India and the islands of Ceylon, Sumatra and Java. He then pushed forward to China, and preaching Christ crucified as he went his way, he finally arrived at the capital, Cambalac, now called Peiping. There he met the great apostle of China, the Franciscan friar John of Montecorvino, who had been appointed archbishop of Cambalec in 1307.   

After three years of fruitful labor in Cambalec, Odoric resolved to go to Europe and submit a report of his 15 years of apostolic labor to the then reigning pontiff John XXII, in the hope of securing fresh recruits for the apostolate. He traveled through China and central Asia, and returned to Italy in the year 1330, 65 years old, and emaciated by incessant toil and sufferings of various kinds, so that none of his brethren recognized him.   

Reaching Pisa, he fell ill, and, as has been recorded, it was revealed to him that he should go to his native town and repair to the convent at Udine. At Padua he rested several days, and, at the command of his superiors, dictated an account of his apostolic journeys to Brother William. In this account the humble son of St. Francis says nothing of the hardships and dangers that he encountered; but his associates report that he suffered torment from evil spirits and wicked men, from wild animals, from hunger and thirst, and from heat and cold. Once he was seized by cruel heathens and tortured nigh unto death, when our Savior and the Blessed Mother appeared, consoling and strengthening him.   

Having arrived at Udine after a wearisome journey, Odoric patiently awaited death in the convent where he had once received the holy habit. After making a general confession and receiving the last sacraments he departed this laborious life and entered into eternal rest on January 14, 1331.   

Moved by the many miracles that were wrought at the tomb of the great missionary, Pope Benedict XIV, in the year 1775, approved the veneration which had been paid to Blessed Odoric. In the year 1881 the city of Pordenone erected a magnificent memorial to its distinguished son.   

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 #14:   

    

Secular Franciscans, together with all people of good will, are called to build a more fraternal and evangelical world so that the kingdom of God may be brought about more effectively. Mindful that anyone “who follows Christ, the perfect man, becomes more of a man himself,” let them exercise their responsibilities competently in the Christian spirit of service.   

“Popes Do Read the Bible!” – Jer 3:15


This is Missouri; not Canada.  We should not be this cold.  This weather really makes me wonder about global warming.  The good news is that my boys are back in school – YEAH!!!
 
Pope Benedict XVI

 

Quote or Joke of the Day:

  

 “I would have made a good Pope.” (Richard M. Nixon)

  

Today’s Meditation:

  

I will appoint over you shepherds after my own heart, who will shepherd you wisely and prudently.  (NAB Jer 3:15)

 

What an awesome verse for Catholics.  In the Old Testament, I found proof for the succession of the Apostles to our current pope: Pope Benedict XVI.  There are plenty of such verses in the New Testament, but I love that I found this one in the OT.  The Catholic Church had been started with the first Eucharist, and that Eucharist has continued uninterrupted, through a line from Jesus to the Apostles, and through their successors: the bishops and Pope.  No other Christian congregation can rightly claim this same succession.

Jesus, the true shepherd; ruled wisely, prudently, and with compassion.  The image we see often in paintings is with His heart exposed.  Why?  It proves that He was MAN, as well as divine.  Jesus gave this same heart and body to reclaim His people.  The compassion, wisdom, and piety continues through the bishops and Pope by way of the Holy Spirit.  These men, as is published often in the news, may be susceptible to the evils of free-will; but when teaching the faith, in union with the Magisterium, do so without error.  The Holy Spirit can do no wrong, for He and not man, is perfect.  

Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO

  

*****

 

Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #5:

  

Secular Franciscans, therefore, should seek to encounter the living and active person of Christ in their brothers and sisters, in Sacred Scripture, in the Church, and in liturgical activity. The faith of St. Francis, who often said, “I see nothing bodily of the Most High Son of God in this world except His most holy body and blood,” should be the inspiration and pattern of their Eucharistic life.  

   

   

“(Not So) Meek Magnificant Magnificat, Part 2! – Lk 1:49-55”


Today is the FEAST of OUR LADY of GUADALOPE, Patroness to the Americas.  We are celebrating the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary to an Aztec Indian (St. Juan Diego) on a hill-top, what is today part of Mexico City.  As a miracle, her image was imprinted on Juan’s cape made of cactus fibers, in vibrant colors and microscopic detail, for surpassing the capabilities of that time period.  Nearly 470 years later, this still pristine cape, is still hanging in a Cathedral in Mexico City: a cape that should only last, at most, 50-60 years.  For those that believe, there is no explanation necessary: for those that don’t, there is no explanation possible.

 

Also, today is the first day of the eight-day Jewish Feast of Hanukkah, also know as the festival of lights.  May I wish a festival celebration of your Jewish faith, as we celebrate the coming of our baby Jesus; the light of the new world to come with Him in paradise.

Week 2 of Advent

12 days till the BIRTH of CHRIST, 
and this is the 14th day of the ADVENT season.
“HO, HO, HO-ly God, We Praise Thy Name!”
 

Quote or Joke of the Day:

 

Those wonderful Church Bulletins!  Thank God for church ladies with typewriters.  These sentences (with all the BLOOPERS) actually appeared in church bulletins, or were announced in church services:

 

The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.

 

The sermon this morning: ‘Jesus Walks on the Water.’  The sermon tonight: ‘Searching for Jesus.’  

 

 Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale.  It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house.  Bring your husbands.

 

Today’s Meditation:
 

The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.  His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him.  He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.  He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly.  The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty.  He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever. (NAB Lk 1:49-55)
 

Again, we have the theme of the mighty God corresponding to the lowly servant of young Mary.  This last half of the Magnificat, is further example that nothing is impossible for those who fear God. What does ‘fear of God’ mean.  The Islamic religion teaches God is a diety to be actually feared, and seen as a ‘ruler.’  I see God as a loving and magnificent diety, wanting His children to be with Him, in paradise.  In other words, I see Him more as a father than as a ruler.  Fathers sometimes have  to be strong, direct, and possibly even angry; but fathers also need to be caring, supportive, and humorous at times as well.  I believe the “fear” talked about in the Magnificat is meant more towards respect, and exaltation, more than actually meaning ‘making afraid.’

In talking about the hungry against the rich, was Mary talking about Israel (as a whole) versus the gentiles, or just the Jewish Christian population at odds with the gentile people?  Or, could it mean the poor and sick versus the healthy, proud, and arrogant?   I really don’t know: it could be all three examples.  I believe there is too much materialism in this world today.  I think God wants us all to be good stewards of our earth, and of all creation on this earth, including the human race.  I also believe we will be judged on these issues at our final judgement.

No covenants with God ever expire, that I know of.  God has though, swept away the old and built anew, such as with the stories of Adam and Eve, and Noah’s Ark.  God can build anew, upon the promises of Abraham.  He is doing this, through Jesus, as redemptive suffering was needed to reclaim God’s peoples.

 

Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO

*****
 

Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #12:
 

Witnessing to the good yet to come and obligated to acquire purity of heart because of the vocation they have embraced, they should set themselves free to love God and their brothers and sisters.

“Meek Magnificant Magnificat, Part 1! – Lk 1:46-49”


 

Week 2 of Advent

14 days till the BIRTH of CHRIST,  

and this is the 12th day of the ADVENT season.

“HO, HO, HO-ly God, We Praise Thy Name!”

 

Quote of the Day:

 

 A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.

 

Today’s Meditation:

 

And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.  For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.  The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.  (NAB Lk 1:46-49)

 

Do you remember watching your child accomplishing something special:  scoring a goal, playing an instrument in a concert or recital,  getting that ‘A’ in a class. or even earning their driver’s license.  You are so happy and excited for them.  Your love has transcended to others.  Your joy has nothing to do with you, but for another.

This is exactly what Mary is experiencing at this moment.  She is ‘with-child.’  Her baby is God!  She is not excited about what she is doing: what her role in salvation history is to be for all mankind.  She is excited that God is interacting with all mankind through her, a poor and humble girl of no stature in society.

God could have just  appeared, with an army of angels, and ‘taken over’ the planet.  Instead, God chose to work through the meek, mild, and nondescript people of society.  This appears to be a theme in salvation history.  God works in mysterious ways, and sometimes these ways are beyond reason or possibility – true miracles of faith.  It is true the meek will inherent the earth: God’s meek and humble people.

 Mary, being learned in OT literature, knows that this moment parallels 1 Sam 2:1-11: ‘The Song of Hannah”.  I always find it so exciting to find ways the OT plays into the NT.  ’Scripture -caching’ is my little word for hunting, and finding these similarities that renews the old into the new, such as this one. 

 

Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO

*****

 

Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #11:

 

Trusting the Father, Christ chose for Himself and His mother a poor and humble life, even though He valued created things attentively and lovingly. Let the Secular Franciscans seek a proper spirit of detachment from temporal goods by simplifying their own material needs. Let them be mindful that according to the gospel they are stewards of the goods received for the benefit of God’s children.  Thus, in the spirit of the Beatitudes, and as pilgrims and strangers on their way to the home of the Father, they should strive to purify their hearts from every tendency and yearning for possession and power.

“Labor, Braxton-Hicks, or Just the ‘Holy Spirit’?! (Lk 1:41-42)”


 

Week 2 of Advent

15 days till the BIRTH of CHRIST,  

and this is the 11th day of the ADVENT season.

“HO, HO, HO-ly God, We Praise Thy Name!”

 

Quote of the Day:

 

 God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

 

Today’s Meditation:

 

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.(Lk 1:41-42)

 

John was the last prophet before Jesus’ ministry life.  John knew, even prior to his birth, that the infant in Mary’s ‘belly’ was destined to be the Savior and Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament.  Elizabeth’s son will bring in the reign of the true Christ, and will suffer for his faith.  Mary’s son will bring redemption and salvation for all, and will also suffer for OUR faith!

I would love to have been there to see an old woman, and a young girl, both carrying in their wombs the essential people needed for the future of mankind, both on earth and in heaven.  The bible verses tell of [neonatal] John’s reaction upon meeting the [neonatal] Jesus for the first time, and there is biblical verses telling of Elizabeth’s and Mary’s reaction; but the Gospels do not record Jesus’ reaction, in the womb. 

Was he excited, as John demonstrated?  Did he elicit any emotions at all?  Every time I am exposed to these verses, these same questions come to mind.  I guarantee that if I am allowed, these two questions will be answered by Jesus some day.  I have a list of questions, and these are just two, on my very long list.

 

Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO

*****

 

Franciscan Saint of the Day:  Bl. Peter Tecelano

 

Blessed Peter, a Franciscan mystic and tertiary who lived around 1287 is a native of Campi, in Tuscany; and he worked as a comb maker in Siena. After his wife passed away, he entered the Franciscan Order as a tertiary and served in a Franciscan hospital as a nurse.

In his lifetime, he was reputed to be a deeply mystical and holy individual, and was credited with miracles. He was beatified in 1802, in part because of miracles reported as occurring at his tomb. (from Catholic Online)

(From http://www.franciscan-sfo.org website)

 

Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #10:

 

United themselves to the redemptive obedience of Jesus, who placed His will into the Father’s hands, let them faithfully fulfill the duties proper to their various circumstances of life. Let them also follow the poor and crucified Christ, witness to Him even in difficulties and persecutions.