Saturday, October 3, 2015

A biblical refection on THE 27th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME [YEAR B] – 4 October 2015)



by achristianpilgrim
A biblical refection on THE 27th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME [YEAR B] – 4 October 2015)
Gospel Reading: Mark 10:2-16 
First Reading: Genesis 2:18-24; Psalms: Psalm 128:1-6; Second Reading: Hebrews 2:9-11 
The Scripture Text
And Pharisees came up and in order to test Him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to put her away.” But Jesus said to them, “For your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one. So they are no longer two but one. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”
And in the house the disciples asked Him again about this matter. And He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
And they were bringing children to Him, that He might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it He was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to Me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the Kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And He took them in His arms and blessed them, laying His hands upon them. (Mark 10:2-16 RSV)
YESUS KRISTUS - 13 I AM THE WAY THE TRUTH AND LIFEThere are quite many stories of marriages that strayed, drifted away and ended in the rocks. In today’s Gospel, Jesus takes a strong stand on the permanence and indissolubility of marriage. This is not based primarily on the harm done to innocent children and society by broken families but rather, on the fact that sex and its fulfilment in marriage are God’s idea, hence, sacred. God intended marriage to be a lasting relationship between one man and one woman (see Mark 10:7-8).
This is expressed in the book of Genesis which our Lord Jesus quotes:  “...... from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one. So they are no longer two but one. What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder” (Mark 10:6-9; see Genesis 1:27; 2:24; 5:2). There is no compromise on what Jesus holds out as the ultimate and ideal goal of marriage – two people should become one flesh; what God has joined let no man separate; whoever divorces and remarries commits adultery.
Thus, in mentioning Genesis, Jesus goes back to the original teaching which opposes divorce or whatever would divide a married couple. Adultery is wrong because it would harm the relationship of husbands and wives. Moreover, if men and women had sexual relations with anyone they wanted, jealousy, hatred and irresponsibility would destroy the very fabric that holds society together.
Ideally, then, a marriage should be marked by unity – a total sharing of body, mind and spirit; and it should be a permanent relationship – till death separate us. But we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in a real world where too often selfishness overpowers love, taking dominates giving, and some marriages end in divorce. It will help to remember the fact that no marriage is perfect simply because there’s no perfect husband nor perfect wife. But marriage as envisioned by God is a high ideal and being thus, the way is strewn by numerous failures, conflicts, broken promises. What does Jesus have to say about that?
To answer this, recall how Jesus condemned adultery, but forgave the woman caught in adultery (John 8:2-11); how He showed compassion toward the Samaritan woman at the well who had live with five husbands and one male companion (John 4:1-42); and how He gave Peter a new start after Peter had denied Him and run away (John 21:15-19).
Do we continue to strive for ideal marriages? Yes, with all our resources. Do we condemn divorce but not the divorcee. We deal with the divorcee the way Jesus would – by balancing law with love, firmness with forgiveness and principles with practice.
Real deep love does not happen all of a sudden. It is something which must grow, even amid conflicts and personal shortcomings. When a wound or hurt has been inflicted, it is important that the wound be treated with real sorrow which goes with a resolve to reform; otherwise it leaves a permanent scar. Too many scars destroy the beauty of the relationship and lead to separation or to the marriage tribunal. But loving someone deeply, completely demands a bigness, a bigness that say “I’m sorry” – and really mean it.
On the flip side, “bigness” means the ability to forgive an erring spouse. And this is where the difficulty lies. “How can I forgive a husband who’s a traitor like Judas Iscariot? I am not crazy!” “How can I kiss and make up with an unfaithful wife?” These are valid grievances which make the Christian teaching on marriage a hard pill to swallow at times. However, there is value in fidelity. It outweighs the conflicts and difficulties of married life. And as the Lord promised: “He who is faithful until the end will receive the crown of glory.”
Short Prayer: We praise You, Lord, for Your teachings, for Your compassion and love of the weak, the broken, the sinner. Amen.
Jakarta, 1 October 2015 
A Christian Pilgrim

Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday October 2 Feast of Our Guardian Angels and a New Book "In the Beginning Was Love - Contemplative words of Robert Lax Edited , with an Introduction by S.T. Georgiou


Prayer to Our Guardian Angels

ANGEL OF GOD, my Guardian dear,
To whom His love commits me here,
Ever this day [or night] be at my side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

A New Book Edited by S.T. Georgiou

In the introduction by Steve Georgiou, he tells us that Robert Lax and Thomas Merton, the famous Trappist Monk, were friends.  Merton felt, and many others felt, that Lax was a saint where spirituality came easy to him.

Contemplative Words of Robert Lax, edited with an introduction by S.T. Georgiou, is a very small book, but it is not a book that one reads from cover to cover in one sitting.
It is a classic which has  to be meditated on word by word,
line by line. Read, then close the book and memorize, chew it in meditation, study it,  then put those words in action  in ourselves and toward others.

In the foreword Jonathan Montaldo says,
"Far from simple, although his life and poetry enflesh simplicity- Lax zeroed in on what was essential -
for 'less reveals more.'
"We live in a confusion of words -no one any longer easily sees the value of 'one star', or 'one Cloud'.
As Lax said so well,
"Love needs a compass."

 For me, Lax is our compass.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thursday October 1, Feast of Saint Therese, known as the Little Flower


by achristianpilgrim
Saint Teresa was born at Alencon in France in the year 1873. While still young she entered the Carmelite monastery at Lisieux and practised the virtues of humility, evangelical simplicity and a firm confidence in God. By her words and example she taught the novices. Offering her life for the salvation of souls and for the spreading of the faith in the missions, she died on 30 September in the year 1897.
Let's pray:
God our Father, You promised Your Kingdom to the little ones and the humble of heart. Give us grace to walk confidently in the way of Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus, so that, helped by her prayers, we may see Your eternal glory. We make our prayer in the name of Jesus, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Jakarta, 1 October 2015
A Christian Pilgrim
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Happy October 

This month, we celebrate two awesome saints and Doctors of the Church. Today is the feast of Thérèse of Lisieux, whose “Little Way” always reminds us that even the smallest outreach -- a smile or kind word -- can mean a world of difference to others! Later on October 15, we celebrate another great Carmelite nun -- Teresa of Avila! Did you know she is the patron saint of A Nun's Life Ministry?!

October is also Fall Fundraiser time. The fundraiser begins on October 15 and ends on November 2, All Souls Day. It’s the main time of year that we reach out to you for financial support of the ministry. We are counting on your support. This year, we’re excited to introduce a great new way to acknowledge everyone who donates to A Nun’s Life! More details are on the way soon! We'll be posting everything on our website's Fall Fundraiser page.

There's lots more happening at A Nun's Life throughout October. In the spirit of the season, stock up on fresh apple cider and cinnamon donuts and join us! 

Discernment Chat | October 8 @ 9 p.m. Eastern
Wondering where God is calling you? Discernment Chat is a great place to talk with others who are exploring God's call. Join the live chat at

Ask Sister podcast | October 14 @ 5 p.m. Eastern
Sisters Julie and Maxine are in the studio, talking with you about God, faith, religious life and maybe even pumpkin recipes! Tune in and join the conversation.
“Discernment Techniques in a World Full of Choices” webinar 
October 28 @ 7 p.m. Eastern
Our presenter Sister Deborah Borneman, SSCM, offers insights and helpful steps for the discernment journey—wherever God may be calling you! REGISTRATION is now open!

We’re happy to share news of the latest articles published by A Nun’s Life Ministry! Find links to other articles too in the newsroom at A Nun’s Life.
So much goodness happening! We pray you are well, dear friends, and are delighted to be connected with you.

Sister Maxine, IHM, Jane, Sister Julie, OSF, and Sister Julie, IHM
A Nun's Life Ministry

Daily Dig for October 1

Kallistos Ware
God does not condemn us to hell; God wishes all humans to be saved. He will love us to all eternity, but there will exist the possibility that we do not accept the love and do not respond to it. And the refusal to accept love, the refusal to respond to it, that precisely is the meaning of hell. Hell is not a place where God puts us; it is a place where we put ourselves. The doors of hell, insofar as they have locks, have locks on the inside.
Source: “Image and Likeness,” Parabola, Volume 10, Number 1: Wholeness

Daily Prayer for October 1

Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer...Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:12,15, NIV

Lord our God, we thank you for your gospel, the great, good tidings we may carry in our hearts to give us joy in this present time, even though on all sides people are in anguish and agony. We thank you that your gospel fills our hearts with compassion, enabling us to help carry what many have to suffer. Show us our need of you so that we can receive your help. If we must be the first to suffer all kinds of pain and distress, may we do so joyfully because we have been promised blessing in the midst of all the pain. May we continually honor your name, praising you for the good news of your kingdom, for the promise that everything must work together for good through Jesus Christ the Savior. Amen.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Daily Dig for September 30

Henri J. M. Nouwen
There is no such thing as the right place, the right job, the right calling or ministry. I can be happy or unhappy in all situations. I am sure of it, because I have been. I have felt distraught and joyful in situations of abundance as well as poverty, in situations of popularity and anonymity, in situations of success and failure. The difference was never based on the situation itself, but always on my state of mind and heart. When I knew I was walking with God, I always felt happy and at peace. When I was entangled in my own complaints and emotional needs, I always felt restless and divided.
Source: Seeking Peace

Daily Prayer for September 30

Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33, NIV
Dear Father in heaven, in the world we are full of fear; in you we have peace. We pray that your Spirit may give us the joy of your heavenly kingdom and the strength to live in your service. Remember those who suffer pain, who still have to walk paths of fear and distress. Grant them help, to the glory of your name. May we be united in hope and in expectation of what you will give through your great goodness and faithfulness. Amen.

Wednesday September 30 Feast of Saint Jerome - Scripture Scholar


by achristianpilgrim
Born at Strido in Dalmatia about the year 340. He studied at Rome and was later baptized. Then he began to lead a life of asceticism, went to the East and was there ordained priest. Returning to Rome he was secretary to Pope Saint Damasus and began the task of translating the Bible into Latin as well as promoting the monastic life. He then settled in Bethlehem where he gave great help in the needs of the Church. He wrote many works, especially commentaries on the scriptures. He died at Betlehem in the year 420. 
Prayer: Almighty, ever-living God, You endowed Saint Jerome with a deep reverence for Holy Scripture, which he loved with all his heart. Sustain us ever more with Your Word and help us to find in it the source of life. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Jakarta, 30 September 2015
A Christian Pilgrim

Monday, September 28, 2015

Our Pope at the Prisoner

Monday September 28 Pope Visits Prisoners

Pope Francis

Pope at the Curran Correctional Institute in Philadelphia

Daily Dig for September 28

Thérèse of Lisieux
Love gave me the key to my vocation. I realized that if the church was a body made up of different members, she would not be without the greatest and most essential of them all. I realized that love includes all vocations, that love is all things, and that, because it is eternal, it embraces every time and place. Swept by an ecstatic joy, I cried, “At last I have found my vocation. My vocation is love! I have found my place. I will be love. So I shall be everything and so my dreams will be fulfilled!”
Source: Story of a Soul

Daily Prayer for September 28

Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story – those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south. Psalm 107:1–3, NIV
Lord our God and our Father, we thank you for all the blessings you have brought into our lives and for everything we still hope to receive from your goodness. We thank you that through your Spirit you will work more and more in us and in all people, so that we are not held back by any human considerations but can go toward a higher goal. Keep us in your care. In all our special concerns may each of us experience your comfort and help, so that we may rejoice with the praise of your name always in our hearts. Amen.
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