St Faustina’s Diary

As I was trying to make my Holy Hour, I saw the suffering Jesus, who spoke these words to me: My daughter, do not pay so much attention to the vessel of grace as to the grace itself which I give you, because you are not always pleased with the vessel, and then the graces, too, become deficient. I want to guard you from that, and I want you never to pay attention to the vessel in which I send you My grace. Let all the attention of your soul be concentrated on responding to My grace as faithfully as possible (Diary, 1599).

1 Corinthians 11:1-16 (.2)

Other than the veil, we do have to remember that husband and wife in their relationship with each other are to emulate the relationship we are supposed to have with God. It seems that as relationships go with God, so goes our relationships in marriage. When God created humanity, before the fall, there was a perfect relationship we had with God and each other. Not so much today.

We have a hard time with one word: submit. We are all called to submit to God in every way. We say a lot of things. We tell God we give ourselves to Him and even try to do God’s will. But we all fall short. “Thy will be done” is in our daily prayer, but for this to be accomplished, we are the ones that need to do it. Because we do not will what God wills, we need to submit to God’s will. Our will is opposed to God’s will because of our ignorance and stiffened neck (Ex 32:9). If we do not understand, we judge God and tell Him He is wrong. But the Lord is patient.

Our stubbornness makes us experience our submission as something evil, when it was designed by God to be an act of love. We have to remind ourselves that God submitted Himself to us as He was dying on the cross. Though we were yet still sinners, He entrusted his very self to us, knowing the sins we would commit and the suffering He would endure for submitting Himself to us. By human standards, not a very wise decision. But by God’s standard, it is the wisdom of God and the power of God (1 Cor 1:24). In our lack of submission to God, He in turn shows us how much we can trust in Him, by submitting Himself to us. It shows us His character. God, the innocent one, submits himself to the multitude of sinners to win us over to Himself. He does this not because He benefits from us, but that we may benefit from Him and His goodness.

Submission to God is not the opening to use and abuse like when He submitted to us. Rather, submitting to God is where we discover our true self as we discover His Love for us. We come to fulfillment, peace, healing and wholeness when we put ourselves under His care. Jesus is the breadwinner that pays the price for all our sins. He supplies for our fruitfulness, and gives us purpose and direction. He was willing to die for us, so that we may have life, and have that life to the fullest (Jn 10:10). Submission to God now becomes a discovery of the goodness of God and a reason to abandon oneself totally to Him. God is good.

Imagine a world where God has not chosen to be so good to us. What if people chose not to believe in His goodness? I think we are experiencing some of that now. What if husbands chose not to love their wives as Christ has loved us? What if wives were not given a reason to trust in their bridegroom?

Thank God He has been so good to us and that He has proven His trustworthiness. God is indeed good!

Prayer Against Coronavirus

(The following prayer is what we pray at the end of Mass.)

Lord Jesus Christ, our Divine Physician,
we ask you to guard and protect us from the
Coronavirus and all serious illness.
For all that have died from it, have mercy;
for those that are ill now, bring healing.
For those searching for a remedy, enlighten them;
for medical caregivers helping the sick,
strengthen and shield them.
For those working to contain the spread,
grant them success;
for those afraid, grant peace.
May your precious blood be our defense and salvation. By your grace, may you turn the evil of disease into moments of consolation and hope.
May we always fear
the contagion of sin
more than any illness.
We abandon ourselves
to your infinite mercy.
Amen.

July Mobile Food Pantry

On July 31, groceries were distributed to eighty-six families in need of assistance. One hundred ninety-three adults and one hundred twenty-four children benefited from this free food. I wish to thank all who gave of their time to assist in this service to our community. Your continued support is vital to meeting this basic need of our neighbors. Thank you again and God Bless. – Mary Koppi

1 Corinthians 10:14-33

               There is an essential difference to the Eucharist and the worship of any other religion. Worship of the Eucharist is something God gave us at the Last Supper. The Passover has not been eradicated, but fulfilled in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Therefore, it is the fulfillment of the once and for all sacrifice that is made present to us every day. The Eucharist fulfills the sacrifice that must be offered “perpetually” (Ex: 12: 14&17). The old form of worship has been renewed and brings new life and along with it, new graces. It is not just an ordering to the physical, but for the spiritual. The physical leads to the spiritual. Our worship has become whole and integrated, body and soul. “Is not the cup of blessing a sharing in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread we break a sharing in the body of Christ?” (v16). The blood is the blood that was shed on the cross and poured out of His heart when pierced.

               Therefore, our worship cannot be mixed with other foreign worship. Todays culture wants to mix and match different forms of worship to make up what we want. We shop around for what we like. The message of Jesus is appealing and many may call Jesus a good guy or may even call Him God, but do not want to worship as God designed it to be. But we worship God alone, and Him alone do we worship (Ex 20:1-6 & Lk 4:8). We do not go to palm readers, any form of astrology, Hinduism, Buddhism or use any tools of such things or the New Age. These would be directly opposed to faith in Jesus and therefore be an offense against Him. In short, any such thing would be a mortal sin. Evil spirits often attach themselves to such souls who invite them into their lives through such practices.

               Paul warns us, “You cannot take the cup of the Lord and of demons” (v21). It seems that many today have totally forgotten what it means to worship God.  How Jesus is really and truly present in what appears to be bread and wine, but in fact is no longer bread and wine, but the body and blood of Jesus. This is so true, that we can bend our knees before what looks to be bread and wine point to it and say with full heart, I worship you Son of the Most-High God! For the Bible tells me so. Jesus says, “this is my Body…this is my blood” (Lk 22:19&20). He does not say, a symbol of… If Jesus says it, then we believe it. It is not much of a leap to say that God became man to God became bread. He does whatever He wills. If this is the way He chooses to share with us His love as the fulfillment of the Passover, then so be it (Jn 6:68). How God chooses to be worshipped is how we worship. No other worship will do.

               Paul finishes the chapter with practical advice. Do not go looking to be offended or be scrupulous. What makes a sin a sin is that it is willed. We have to will to offend God. So when a person offers food, do not go into all the questions to make sure it is not food for false worship. Don’t look for the offense, but love your neighbor. Be hospitable and assume the best. If there are red flags, then you may want to be careful about spreading scandal to others. Not having your palms read can be a great witness for others when you say you will not come with.

Being scrupulous can also steal away the Joy of God in your heart. Living in fear that we could offend God is hardly what God intended. One of the things Jesus did for worship is take it from mere servitude and fulfilled it where God made Himself a gift to us. It is a renewal of the covenant relationship with God. God gives Himself totally to us as we give ourselves totally to God. The two become one in flesh, much like marriage, but better. God reveals Himself as He really is in His kindness, gentleness, humility, peace and joy. These attributes are not just attributes, they are essentials of who God is as our spouse in heaven. Marriage gives way to the reality of our calling to be united to God. If this is true, why would we go anywhere else? Only those who believe (Jn 6:47) can understand this. He fills us with what we need as we worship.  If we have God, we have everything we need (2 Thes 1:2). Do we trust in that?

Spiritual Bouquet for Our First Responders

What is a spiritual bouquet? It is a promise to pray specific prayers for whom we say we are praying for. This particular Spiritual Bouquet is for our first responders in its many facets. These are our nurses, paramedics, police, firefighters, and all those who help save lives. We normally celebrate Mass for them, but since the COVID virus, we have not been able to do so.

The intentions for them can be for their safety, wisdom, their families, health, and in thanksgiving for their sacrifice and commitment to the community. Many people pray rosaries, chaplets, holy hours, other written prayers, bible readings, or even good works such as suggested by the corporal and spiritual works of mercy in honor of them. You can be as creative as you like. We will present all our prayers and works in a list. It is a way of asking Our Lord Jesus to fill them with the graces they need in this time of intense trial.

Please let us know by Sunday, August 2, what you are willing to offer for our first responders in prayers so that your prayers may be on the list and bring them hope. God bless them all!