Tuesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
TUESDAY, May 25th Mk. 10:28-31 “Peter began to say to Jesus, ‘We have given up everything and followed you.’”
Part 1: Points and Excerpt from Universal Call to Holiness – Lumen Gentium – Chapter 5
Part 2: KEEP THE FIRE OF GOD’S LOVE BURNING WITHIN YOU! by Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
- Jesus responds to Peter: “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.”
- This passage is for priests and men and women religious. Right? They are in the world but not of the world. They are called to poverty, chastity, and obedience. They have given up everything to follow Christ and do His work of saving souls through prayer, penance, and service in their particular apostolate. Lastly, they are called to be humble and obedient to all that God and their superiors ask of them.
- Whereas we are very much in the world. We have to hold jobs, pay bills, for many raise a family. But that is not all we are called to do. In our state in life – married or single, we are also called to poverty, chastity, and obedience. I’ll prove it.
- St. John Chrysostom says we are to keep what money we need to provide for ourselves and our family, and the rest we are to give to the poor.
- Every man and woman in the world is called to be chaste—even married couples are chaste to everyone but their spouse, and then they are to respect the God-given purpose and nature of marital relations, abiding by Church teachings in that area.
- Lastly, we are called to be humble and obedient to the teachings of the Church, to our Confessor, and to God’s permissive will expressed in the circumstances and events of our lives.
- Priests and men and women religious are the first tier. There is no question that they are called to a higher standard. But lay men and women, married or single, are the second tier. In the setting in which we live, we are all called to holiness.
Universal Call to Holiness – Lumen Gentium – Chapter 5 – Vatican II. Perfection of that Love called Charity…
Thus it is evident to everyone, that all the faithful of Christ of whatever rank or status, are called to the fullness of the Christian life and to the perfection of charity;(4*) by this holiness as such a more human manner of living is promoted in this earthly society.
In order that the faithful may reach this perfection, they must use their strength accordingly as they have received it, as a gift from Christ. They must follow in His footsteps and conform themselves to His image seeking the will of the Father in all things. They must devote themselves with all their being to the glory of God and the service of their neighbor.
In this way, the holiness of the People of God will grow into an abundant harvest of good, as is admirably shown by the life of so many saints in Church history.
PART 2: KEEP THE FIRE OF GOD’S LOVE BURNING IN YOU! By Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
Jesus said: “I have come to cast fire on the earth; I am not at peace until that fire is blazing.” (Lk. 12:49) Right now, that fire should be burning in your heart. That is the fire of the Holy Spirit. A bonfire to be kept ablaze must be fed constantly. Wood, leaves, brush, old papers must be constantly cast into the fire. If not, the fire extinguishes and soon there is only a pile of ashes.
As a result of the social and spiritual milieu in which we live, how easy it is for the fire of the Holy Spirit, the Fire of Divine Love to wane, decline, diminish and extinguish. Too many Catholics today are like smoldering wicks, smoldering embers that have lost their fire, lost their zeal, lost their enthusiasm, lost their joy for living. As T.S. Elliot penned poetically: “They will go out not with a bang, but with a whimper!”
A SERIOUS WARNING. The last Book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation/Apocalypse warns us: “You have lost your first love.” (Rev. 2:4) And, “You are neither hot nor cold, I wish you were, but you are lukewarm; so I will vomit you out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:16) Startling or even shocking as these words sound, they come from the Holy Spirit who is the Author of all of Sacred Scripture. May God save us from mediocrity!
A FERVENT PRAYER. Let us make a heartfelt and fervent prayer from the depths of our heart that the fire of God’s love will never extinguish in our soul. However, if it has, let us beg the Holy Spirit to rekindle that fire. Then let us pray for the grace to ignite many fires—the fire of God’s love—wherever we go, with whomever we meet, in whatever circumstances God places us!
JUMP-STARTS TO SET OUR HEARTS ABLAZE. This being the case, let us use all the tools, all the means that God has placed in our path to jump-start the flame of God’s love in our heart. May we follow in the footsteps of the Master Jesus, making His words our own: “I have come to cast fire on the earth, and I am not at peace until that fire be enkindled.” (Lk. 12:49)
Here are the Big Ten Jump-starters!
1. RE-IGNITE THE FLAME. Go to Confession! If we have lost God’s grace through Mortal sin, then God’s fire has been extinguished in us. Have no discouragement on your part; rather trust in God! Like the Prodigal Son (Lk. 15:11-32) get up and return to the loving embrace of the Father through a good Sacramental Confession. The loving arms of the Father are wide-open to receive you. He patiently awaits your return!
2. CONSECRATION TO MARY AND THE SCAPULAR. At the crack of dawn upon awaking every morning consecrate your whole being, your day, and all your activities to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and then kiss your Scapular. Paintings depict the Immaculate Heart of Mary with fire flowing out from her heart—the fire of love, the fire of the Holy Spirit – for you and your eternal salvation!
3. SHORT ASPIRATIONS IN THE DAY. During the course of the day lift up your heart in short prayers, like arrows piercing the heavens, such as: “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I love you; save souls!” Whenever a short, fiery dart occurs to you, shoot it up to heaven as an act of love. Keep the fire aflame!
4. RECOGNIZE YOUR DIGNITY. Through Baptism our souls were radically transformed: we became Temples of the Holy Spirit! Among the many beautiful, mystical, and poetic titles for the Holy Spirit in the Sequence of the Holy Spirit is that of “Sweet Guest of the soul”. As Pope Saint Leo the Great reminds us in his Christmas homily: “Christians, recognize your dignity!” Through a constant awareness of your dignity and destiny—“I am a Temple of Holy Spirit and Heaven is my destiny”—the fire leaps up incessantly!
5. HEAVEN: RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER. The virtue of Hope enflames the interior of your soul. With your feet on the earth and your spiritual eyes lifted on high towards Heaven that awaits you, God’s fiery flames ignite your soul. Life is short, like the flower of the field that rises in the morning and withers and dies as the sun hides its face. (Ps. 103: 15-16) If you carry your cross patiently and with love, Heaven awaits you!
6. EXTINGUISH THE FIRE OF GOD’S JUSTICE BY THE FIRE OF YOUR LOVE—PURGATORY! Frequent prayers, sacrifices, alms-giving, and acts of love offered for the souls in Purgatory can mitigate the Fire of God’s Justice that purifies the souls in Purgatory. That is to say, the Fire of your Charity can result in these souls arriving sooner at their final destiny—Heaven. Then their prayers from heaven will serve to ignite and enflame you constantly with God’s fiery love!
7. FIERY LOVE FOR GOD AND MY NEIGHBOR. The fire of love that burns in your heart towards a God you do not see, must rush forth impetuously towards your neighbor whom you do see and who is created in the image and likeness of God! “I was hungry, thirsty, naked, a foreigner, sick and in prison, and you tended to my needs!” (Mt. 25:31-46) Every time you serve Jesus in either the Corporal or Spiritual Works of Mercy, the fire of God’s love ignites and burns brightly in you. Read the lives of the saints as your model!
8. THE HOLY HOUR: THE HOUR OF POWER, THE HOUR OF FIRE! If you come in out of an icy winter night and sit before the hearth where a fire is blazing, you will thaw out. The flames shooting from the brick hearth will even dry your wet, soggy winter clothes. In a similar fashion, it is easy for worldliness and mundane values to permeate our inner being with a wet, soggy indifference! It is precisely the Holy Hour, the Hour of Power, the Hour of Fire that sets our minds, our hearts, and our wills aflame! In the Tabernacle lives the Lord of Lords and King of Kings in all of His Majesty, fire, and power! Pope Saint John Paul II stated that the Tabernacle is the living heartbeat of the Church. May His fiery Heart set our hearts on fire through faithfulness to our daily Holy Hour!
9. SPIRITUAL READING / LECTIO DIVINA. For us to cast fiery darts into the minds and hearts of others, it is necessary to have firm convictions in our mind that translate into actions. All too many are sluggish, lethargic, anemic, and half asleep in their spiritual life. They lack the fire of motivation that is sparked and ignited by solid spiritual reading. Consult your spiritual director or regular confessor on your choice of reading. May the choice help you to put on the mind of Christ, in the words of the fiery Apostle Saint Paul. Then you will be able to say: “I have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. 2:16)
10. HOLY COMMUNION AND FIRE. When possible, receive Holy Communion. In a very real sense Holy Communion results in a Spiritual Heart Transplant. You truly receive the Total Christ—Jesus’ Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. This means that you receive the Sacred Heart of Jesus! If you contemplate any image of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus you will see that blazing fire rush forth from His Heart! He suffers so much, as He said to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque: “Behold the Heart that loves so much and receives only coldness, indifference, and ingratitude.” If your reception of Holy Communion is indeed fervent, then Jesus’ Heart takes your heart and floods it with the fire of His Divine Love so that you can share it with the whole world!!!
Copyright 2021 Oblates of the Virgin Mary – St. Peter Chanel Church, Hawaiian Gardens, CA