WITH GOD’S GRACE, WE MUST WANT TO BECOME HOLY…
For without ardently wanting to reach the goal to which God calls us, one will not put the means which leads to that goal.
For without ardently wanting to reach the goal to which God calls us, one will not put the means which leads to that goal.
FOUR HELPFUL TIPS TO CONVERT EVERY NOBLE ACTIVITY INTO PRAYER AND AS MEANS TO SEEK, LOVE AND SERVE GOD, AND ALL SOULS.
The Story of King Midas. Beautiful video summary and text.
Do you know that you could convert every
noble thing that you do into prayer and
as means to love and serve God,
and all souls and thus as path to holiness?
All of us have heard the legend of King Midas when we were young. The king had the power to convert everything he touched into gold. But he wasn’t happy for he converted his food, wine and daughter into gold as well!
As Christians, we as well could convert everything to something much more valuable than gold. We can seek, love, serve and glorify God in all the noble tasks that we do throughout the day and convert them into prayer. Not only the prayers and sacraments in themselves, but also all our daily tasks as well.
Those long hours of study, of hard work, the countless details in family and social life, including illness, tiredness, problems, traffic jams, sports and rest, could be converted into prayer and as a path to holiness!
In this way, you have sanctified what you are doing, they have become means to love and serve God and others: paths to holiness which is God’s will for us.
Don’t forget that Jesus, as Perfect God and Perfect Man, made this possible for us. By becoming man, He sanctified all noble realities and activities, opening the divine paths on earth towards holiness. Everything He did during His earthly life was holy: he converted them into prayer and his ordinary daily activities had a divine and redeeming value. Let us imitate Him and tread on His footsteps by converting all the activities of our daily life into prayer and occasions to love and serve God, His Church and all souls, for His Honor and Glory.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31). And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Col 3:17).”
Mary, Most Holy, pray for us!
Fr. Rolly A., priest of Opus Dei.
HOLINESS IS MADE UP OF LITTLE THINGS
DONE WITH GREAT LOVE FOR GOD AND FOR OTHERS.
Many people have the wrong notion that holiness consists in carrying out extraordinary things in this life. Quite the contrary: Our Lord wants us to know that He seeks our love in the little things of each day.
We should always remember that God awaits us, hidden in the apparently monotonous tasks of our daily life, so we could discover and love Him and others right there in the minute details of our ordinary tasks carried out with great love.
“Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love”
-Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.
“Do everything for Love. Thus there will be no little things: everything will be big. Perseverance in little things for Love is heroism. A little act, done for Love, is worth so much!”
–St. Josemaria, The Way, n. 813
Let us ask the help of the greatest saints ever, Our Lady and St. Joseph, who knew how to convert the little things of each day into opportunities of loving and serving Jesus, so that we, too, may seek, find and love our Lord in the little things in our family life, work, study, friendship, sports and rest…
Fr. Rolly A., priest of Opus Dei.
SEE AS WELL:
HOLINESS IN DAILY TASKS DONE OUT OF LOVE.
THE MIRACLE OF THE LOAVES AND FISH. LITTLE THINGS. https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.com/2015/07/25/17th-sunday-of-ordinary-time-the-miracle-of-the-loaves-and-fish-little-things/
16TH Sunday O.T. (C):
SEEK, FIND AND LOVE OUR LORD NOT ONLY IN YOUR PRAYER
BUT ALSO IN YOUR DAILY ORDINARY ACTIVITIES.
Dear brethren in Christ, today’s Sunday liturgy centers itself on an idea: WE MUST SEEK, WELCOME AND LOVE GOD WITH GENEROSITY, HOSPITALITY, DOCILITY AND SERVICE. This beautiful reminder is the result of the main ideas found in the three readings of today’s Mass.
Nevertheless, we can focus our reflection on the Gospel of today’s Mass which recounts how Jesus, who was heading for Jerusalem, passed by Bethany, the village where the siblings Martha, Mary and Lazarus, a family whom he had great affection lived. And a spontaneous dialogue which normally arises among friends took place:
“Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, ‘LORD, DO YOU NOT CARE THAT MY SISTER HAS LEFT ME BY MYSELF TO DO THE SERVING? TELL HER TO HELP ME.’ The Lord said to her in reply, ‘MARTHA, MARTHA, YOU ARE ANXIOUS AND WORRIED ABOUT MANY THINGS. THERE IS NEED OF ONLY ONE THING. MARY HAS CHOSEN THE BETTER PART AND IT WILL NOT BE TAKEN FROM HER.’”
Dear brethren in Christ, we must strive to combine Martha’s active work and service with Mary’s contemplation of Jesus. We must learn how to SEEK, FIND AND LOVE OUR LORD NOT ONLY DURING MOMENTS DEDICATED EXCLUSIVELY TO OUR PRAYER LIFE BUT ALSO IN OUR DAILY ORDINARY ACTIVITIES (family life, work, social life and rest), without either harming the other. This unity between action and contemplation can be achieved in very different ways, depending on the specific vocation each person is given by God.
“You must understand now more clearly that God is calling you to serve him in and from the ordinary, material and secular activities of human life. He waits for us every day, in the laboratory, in the operating theatre, in the army barracks, in the university chair, in the factory, in the workshop, in the fields, in the home and in all the immense panorama of work. Understand this well: there is something holy, something divine, hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to each one of you to discover it…There is no other way. Either we learn to find our Lord in ordinary, everyday life, or else we shall never find him. That is why I can tell you that our age needs to give back to matter and to the most trivial occurrences and situations their noble and original meaning. It needs to restore them to the service of the Kingdom of God, to spiritualize them, turning them into a means and an occasion for a continuous meeting with Jesus Christ” (St. Josemaria, Conversations, 114).
Let us ask the help of Our Lady and St. Joseph, the great contemplatives, so that we too, may seek, contemplate and love Jesus in our midst and convert our work, family and rest into contemplative prayer, with Jesus as the motive and end of all our actions.
Fr. Rolly A., priest of Opus Dei.
ORIGINAL PHOTO SOURCE: Bartolome Esteban Murillo, Flight to Egypt, in http://www.wikiart.org
JUNE 26: ST. JOSEMARIA.
FOUNDER OF OPUS DEI,
PATRON SAINT OF ORDINARY LIFE.
A Brief Biography & Schedule of June 26 Masses Worldwide
On June 26, or days before or after, Masses all over the world will be celebrated in honor of St. Josemaria. But who is St. Josemaria?
St. Josemaria is the founder of Opus Dei, a Personal Prelature of the Roman Catholic Church.
To him I owe a lot since I wouldn’t be who I am today if not for him and you will not be reading this neither if not for the heroic self-giving and dedication of this holy priest chosen by God to remind the world regarding THE UNIVERSAL VOCATION TO HOLINESS, which in the previous centuries, was erroneously expected only from priest, monks and people pertaining to a religious order.
“WITH THE BEGINNING OF THE WORK IN 1928, MY PREACHING HAS BEEN THAT HOLINESS IS NOT SOMETHING FOR THE PRIVILEGED FEW. We have said that ALL THE WAYS OF THE EARTH, ALL STATES OF LIFE, ALL THE PROFESSIONS, ALL HONEST TASKS CAN BE DIVINE….we tell EACH ONE–ALL WOMEN AND ALL MEN–THAT THERE WHERE YOU ARE YOU CAN ACQUIRE CHRISTIAN PERFECTION. (Saint Josémaría, Letter, Roma, March 19, 1954, cited by P. Rodriguez, “Vocación, trabajo, contemplación,” pp. 93-94.)”
“EVERYDAY LIFE IS THE TRUE SETTING FOR YOUR LIVES AS CHRISTIANS. Your ordinary contact with God takes place where your fellow men, your yearnings, your work and your affections are. THERE YOU HAVE YOUR DAILY ENCOUNTER WITH CHRIST. IT IS IN THE MIDST OF THE MOST MATERIAL THINGS OF THE EARTH THAT WE MUST SANCTIFY OURSELVES, SERVING GOD AND ALL MANKIND. (St. Josemaria, “Passionately Loving the World,” in “Conversations with Mons. Josemaria de Balaguer,” n. 113.)”
According to St. John Paul II, St. Josemaria is the PATRON SAINT OF ORDINARY LIFE. All noble activities and situations here on earth is a path to holiness. In the audience he had with the faithful who had come to Rome for the canonization of the founder of Opus Dei, the then Pope, now saint said:
“St Josemaria was CHOSEN BY GOD TO PROCLAIM THE UNIVERSAL CALL TO HOLINESS and to show that EVERYDAY LIFE AND ORDINARY ACTIVITIES ARE A WAY OF SANCTIFICATION.
He could be called the PATRON SAINT OF ORDINARY LIFE.
The reason is his conviction that, for those who start from the viewpoint of faith, everything offers an opportunity for an encounter with God, everything becomes a stimulus for prayer. Seen in this way, daily life reveals unsuspected greatness.
Holiness really is within everyone’s reach.”
(St. John Paul II, Address, Oct.7, 2002, cited in http://www.josemariaescriva.info/article/decree-of-canonization)
Hence, June 26 is a wonderful occasion to thank St. Josemaria for all he had done to faithfully and generously correspond to God’s will in spite of all the obstacles, calumnies, and contradictions he faced during his life. His faithful fulfillment of God’s Will to found Opus Dei has resulted to a bountiful harvest of fruits of holiness and apostolate among many people in the world. Thank God that through his teaching, many people have discovered the divine beauty of ordinary daily life as a path to holiness, a path towards a profound, intimate relationship with the Blessed Trinity who calls each and every one of us towards sanctity.
At the same time, we can ask his intercession for all he wants is that we may seek Christ, find Christ and love Christ in all the things that we do (cf. St. Josemaria, “The Way,” n. 382). As the late Cardinal Jaime Sin, Archbishop of Manila said in his homily (Cathedral of Manila, January 9, 2002):
“More important than the many miraculous cures are the countless interior conversions attributed to his intercession. So many people were moved by Blessed Josemaría’s message of discovering God in the circumstances of ordinary life. Blessed Josemaría is indeed a powerful intercessor before God. I encourage you to turn to him for your spiritual and material needs.”
-Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei.
SCHEDULE OF MASSES ON JUNE 26:
All of you are invited. Feel free to come. No invitations needed. J
BELOW IS A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF ST. JOSEMARIA TAKEN FROM OPUSDEI.ORG:
Josemaría Escrivá was born in Barbastro, Spain on January 9, 1902. He was ordained on March 28, 1925. He studied civil law along with his ecclesiastical studies, and in 1927, he moved to Madrid to obtain a doctorate in law. While there, he worked hard with the poor and sick, and also with students, workers, and professionals.
On October 2, 1928, he saw by divine inspiration, as the Pope’s Apostolic Constitution Ut Sit affirmed, that God was asking him to spread the universal call to holiness, and that a new path would be opened up within the Church – Opus Dei – to spread this call throughout the world. History has borne out this vision: there are now around 90,000 people in Opus Dei and his spiritual message has reached millions.
His apostolic work was not limited to Opus Dei, however. He helped numerous people discern vocations to the priesthood and religious life, both active and contemplative. In 1943, he founded the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, an association inseparably united to Opus Dei, to which belong thousands of diocesan priests around the world. And his Christian teachings on marriage have been especially influential, with countless people putting them into practice in their lives.
Escrivá was always a proponent of understanding and dialogue, and in 1950 he won the Holy See’s approval to allow Opus Dei to appoint Cooperators, who could be Catholics, non-Catholic Christians or even non-believers.
Inspired by Escrivá’s teaching and his promotion of the apostolic and social responsibility of Christians, the members and Cooperators of Opus Dei have started hundreds of evangelical works and social initiatives all over the world, especially among the poor and disadvantaged.
Willing to innovate, but always faithful to the Magisterium of the Church, Escrivá was described by Pope John Paul II as a precursor of the Second Vatican Council. He anticipated by thirty years many of the teachings that, after the great ecclesial assembly, became the patrimony of the whole People of God.
He is the author of books of spirituality which are read around the world. His best-known book is The Way, which has sold nearly four million copies in 43 languages.
Escrivá died in Rome on June 26, 1975. He was beatified on May 17, 1992, in St. Peter’s Square. He was canonized by John Paul II in the same place on October 6, 2002, before a crowd of 350,000.
ARTICLE SOURCE: http://www.opusdei.org/en-us/article/biography-of-saint-josemaria-escriva/
ORIGINAL PHOTO SOURCE: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/C7TRMLd3S-I/maxresdefault.jpg
POPE FRANCIS’ ADVICE TO THE SICK (JUNE 1, 2016)
Dear brethren in Christ, in particular, those who are physically ill: the Church needs you! Don’t forget that you could help a lot of souls and convert your illness into prayer when you offer up to Our Lord all the suffering and pain which you are experiencing. As St. Josemaria always taught, the sick are the “treasure of Opus Dei,” for when they sanctify their illness, their prayers are so pleasing to God and very powerful.
The Holy Father and the entire Church rely on you for you are a great source of spiritual strength when you strive to see Our Lord behind all things, willingly embracing His Cross which He offers you to be special co-redeemers with Him. Kindly pray for the conversion of many people, for the reparation of sins of mankind, and for vocations as well.
You are all in my daily Mass intentions! God bless! Fr. Rolly A.
ORIGINAL PHOTO CREDIT: L’OSSERVATORE ROMANO
MAY 1, ST. JOSEPH THE WORKER.
DON’T FORGET THAT YOUR WORK AND
DAILY ORDINARY ACTIVITIES ARE A PATH TO HOLINESS!
As we prepare to celebrate May 1’s feast, St. Joseph the Worker (preceded by the 6th Sunday of Easter), during which the entire world celebrates the human activity of work, let us remind ourselves that WORK HAS A DIVINE, SANCTIFYING VALUE AS WELL, FOR WORK AND OTHER ORDINARY TASKS OF OUR DAILY LIFE ARE A PATH TOWARDS HOLINESS, TOWARDS SANCTITY.
As Pope Francis said:
“We are all called to become saints…BE A SAINT BY CARRYING OUT YOUR WORK WITH HONESTY AND COMPETENCE AND BY OFFERING TIME IN THE SERVICE OF YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS. “But, father, I work in a factory; I work as an accountant, only with numbers; you can’t be a saint there…”. “Yes, yes you can! There, where you work, you can become a saint. God gives you the grace to become holy. God communicates himself to you”. ALWAYS, IN EVERY PLACE, ONE CAN BECOME A SAINT, THAT IS, ONE CAN OPEN ONESELF UP TO THIS GRACE, WHICH WORKS INSIDE US AND LEADS US TO HOLINESS.
WHEN THE LORD INVITES US TO BECOME SAINTS, he doesn’t call us to something heavy, sad… quite the contrary! IT’S AN INVITATION TO SHARE IN HIS JOY, TO LIVE AND TO OFFER WITH JOY EVERY MOMENT OF OUR LIFE, BY MAKING IT BECOME AT THE SAME TIME A GIFT OF LOVE FOR THE PEOPLE AROUND US. IF WE UNDERSTAND THIS, EVERYTHING CHANGES AND TAKES ON NEW MEANING, A BEAUTIFUL MEANING, A MEANING THAT BEGINS WITH LITTLE EVERYDAY THINGS (General Audience, November 19, 2014).”
Let us ask the intercession of St. Joseph so that like him, we may seek, find and love God in our work and ordinary duties of each day by working well to the best of our capabilities, living the virtues and offering it to Our Lord.
St. Joseph, pray for us, for all the workers in the world and for those who are seeking for a job.
HAPPY FEAST OF ST. JOSEPH THE WORKER!
SEE AS WELL:
WORK WITH JOY AND HOPE: https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.com/2015/08/20/pope-francis-on-family-life-2-work-may-god-grant-us-to-receive-his-call-to-work-with-joy-and-hope-to-give-dignity-to-oneself-and-to-ones-family/
HOLINESS IN DAILY TASKS DONE OUT OF LOVE: https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.com/2015/10/13/holiness-in-daily-tasks-done-out-of-love-seek-find-and-love-god-in-the-little-things-of-each-day/
NO TO BRIBERY, KICKBACKS AND CORRUPTION. DON’T GIVE DIRTY BREAD TO YOUR FAMILY: https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.com/2016/02/07/pope-francis-on-the-unjust-steward-no-to-bribes-kickbacks-and-corruption-dont-give-dirty-bread-to-your-children/
SALVATION COMES FROM LITTLE THINGS.
In his daily morning Mass homily at Santa Marta, Pope Francis reminded the faithful that SALVATION COMES FROM THE SMALL AND SIMPLE THINGS OF GOD. “When Jesus proposed the way of salvation, He never spoke of great things,” but about “little things.” These are “the two pillars of the Gospel,” that we read about in Matthew: the Beatitudes, and in chapter 25, the final Judgment, where Jesus says, “COME, COME WITH ME BECAUSE YOU HAVE DONE THESE THINGS, SIMPLE THINGS.”
Dear friends, HOLINESS IS MADE UP OF MANY LITTLE THINGS OF EACH DAY DONE OUT OF LOVE FOR GOD AND OUR NEIGHBOR: our work well-done, our effort to smile in spite of our tiredness or our lack of sleep, the struggle to be nice to one’s spouse or children after a hard day’s work, an inopportune word not said…and so on. St. Josemaria said: “EVERYTHING IN WHICH WE POOR MEN HAVE A PART — EVEN HOLINESS — IS A FABRIC OF SMALL TRIFLES WHICH, DEPENDING UPON ONE’S INTENTION, CAN FORM A MAGNIFICENT TAPESTRY OF HEROISM OR OF DEGRADATION, OF VIRTUES OR OF SINS (The Way, n. 826).” “DO YOU REALLY WANT TO BE A SAINT? CARRY OUT THE LITTLE DUTY OF EACH MOMENT: DO WHAT YOU OUGHT AND CONCENTRATE ON WHAT YOU ARE DOING (Ibid., n. 815).”
Let us ask God so that we may take care of the little things of each day done out of Love for many great things depend on our fidelity in the small things of each day. Let us not forget that “BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN ‘IN PAUCA FIDELIS,’ FAITHFUL IN SMALL THINGS, COME AND JOIN IN YOUR MASTER’S HAPPINESS. THE WORDS ARE CHRIST’S. ‘IN PAUCA FIDELIS!’… NOW WILL YOU NEGLECT LITTLE THINGS, IF HEAVEN ITSELF IS PROMISED TO THOSE WHO MIND THEM? (Ibid. n. 819)”
Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Fair Love, pray for us!
Cordially inviting you to visit and like our FB page in www.fb.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness or sign-up to our website,www.catholicsstrivingforholiness.com, so we can have a wider apostolic reach and thus help more people in their Christian life. Thanks! Fr. Rolly A., priest of Opus Dei.
See as well: HOLINESS IN DAILY TASKS DONE OUT OF LOVE in https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.com/2015/10/13/holiness-in-daily-tasks-done-out-of-love-seek-find-and-love-god-in-the-little-things-of-each-day/
St. Josemaria dedicated a chapter on “Little Things” in his book, “The Way” which I encourage you wish to bring them to your personal prayer. The link is: http://www.escrivaworks.org/book/the_way-chapter-39.htm
+++ARTICLE ON POPE’S HOMILY BEGINS HERE. CAPS MINE.+++
Salvation comes from the simplicity of the things of God, not from the powerful
The day’s readings spoke about contempt. In the first Reading, Naaman the Syrian, a leper, asked the prophet Elisha to heal him, but could not appreciate the simple means by which this healing would be accomplished. The Gospel spoke of the disdain the inhabitants of Nazareth felt at the words of Jesus, their fellow countryman. It was not “how we thought salvation should be, that salvation we all want.”
Jesus felt the “contempt of the doctors of the Law who sought salvation in moral casuistry,” and in a multitude of precepts. The people, though, did not have faith in them, “or in the Sadducees who sought salvation in compromises with the powers of the world, with the [Roman] Empire. Thus they sought after salvation: the one group, from clerical parties; the other from political parties. But the people did not have confidence in them, they didn’t believe them. Yes, they believed Jesus, He spoke ‘with authority.’ But why this contempt? Because in our imagination, salvation should come from something great, something majestic; only the powerful, those who have strength or money or power, can save us. These people can save us. And the plan of God is different! They felt contempt because they could not understand that SALVATION ONLY COMES FROM THE SMALL THINGS, THE SIMPLICITY OF THE THINGS OF GOD.”
The two pillars of the Gospel that people look down on
“When Jesus proposed the way of salvation,” the Pope continued, “He never spoke of great things,” but about “little things.” These are “the two pillars of the Gospel,” that we read about in Matthew: the Beatitudes, and in chapter 25, the final Judgment, where Jesus says, “Come, come with me because you have done these things, simple things.”
“You did not seek salvation or your hope in power, in political parties, in negotiations. No! You have simply done these things. And so many people look down on this! As a preparation for Easter, I invite you – I’ll do it too – to read the Beatitudes and to read Matthew 25, and to think and to see if there is something I look down on, if something disturbs my peace. Because contempt is a luxury that only the vain and the proud allow themselves. We should see if, at the end of the Beatitudes, Jesus says something” that makes us ask why He said that. “‘Blessed is he who is not scandalized in me,’ who does not look down on these things, who does not feel contempt.”
The folly of the Cross
Pope Francis concluded his homily:
“It would do us good to take some time – today, tomorrow – to read the Beatitudes, to read Matthew 25, and to pay attention to what happens in our heart: if there is some feeling of contempt. And seek grace from the Lord to understand the only path of salvation is ‘the folly of the Cross,’ that is, the Son of God ‘emptying Himself,’ making Himself small, represented here [in the Readings] in the cleansing in the Jordan, or in the small village of Nazareth.”
PHOTO SOURCE: fljuida.com
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Thanks and God bless you for your kindness and generosity.
Fr. Rolly Arjonillo
2nd Sunday After Christmas:
GOD IS NEAR TO US, GOD IS WITH US!
Dear friends, today’s Sunday liturgy wishes to remind and encourage us of a very important idea: GOD IS NEAR TO US! HE IS WITH US!
He is not a God who is indifferent with the plight of men, far from them but rather a loving and, merciful and approachable God who did not hesitate to be one like us, assuming our human nature in order to show us how to live our humanity, imbuing it with His Divinity. God does not save us from afar, but rather accompanies us in our journey towards eternal life.
The 3 readings converge on this most important proclamation: GOD-IS-WITH-US who lovingly calls us towards Himself to love Him, imitate His Only-Begotten Son, thus walking along the path of divine filiation, till we reach its plenitude: holiness which is the full identification with Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us thank, bless, adore and praise the Most Blessed Trinity, for His Infinite Love manifested in many different ways, in particular, with His closeness and union with us, not only with His Incarnation but also in His Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist whom we can truly receive in our soul in grace and thus be united with Him.
Love seeks union with the beloved and seeks to please Him as well.
We could put this into practice in our daily life, by behaving as real children of God, seeking holiness with the help of His grace in the little things of each day through our struggle to identify ourselves with Our Lord Jesus Christ and imitate Him in our thoughts, words, desires, feelings and actions: in our life!
Almighty ever-living, God, splendor of faithful souls, graciously be pleased to fill the world with your glory and show yourself to all peoples by the radiance of your light (Opening prayer of the Mass).
Wishing you all a Blessed 2016, filled with material and spiritual blessings!
-Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei, CATHOLICS STRIVING FOR HOLINESS. We are also in Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness. Hope you like our page and invite your friends as well to do so in order to help more people.
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