Mary has requested that the daily message be given each day to the world. It is read nightly at the prayer service from her Image Building in Clearwater, Florida, U.S.A. This is according to her request. All attempts will be made to publish this daily message to the world at 11 p.m. Eastern time, U.S.A.


We acknowledge that the final authority regarding these messages
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I appear my children on this former bank building in Florida, Our Lady Clothed with the Sun.

August 13, 2006

August 14th Holy Spirit Novena
Scripture selection is Day 1 Period II.

The Novena Rosary Mysteries  
for August 14th are Joyful.

     
 

August 11, 2006

Homily by Fr. Mike

    Being on the right path, I think is what it's all about isn't it? I mean, we try to strive to live as God would call us and want us to live. And I think that's what Paul's talking about in his letter that he has written to the Philippians. You know - he's struggling with the Christian life. Yes, you heard me correctly. St. Paul struggled with the Christian life. I won't ask for a show of hands but here's a question anybody else here struggle with the Christian life from time to time?

    And ultimately, I think to sum up what he writes to the Philippians and to us on this feast - this memorial, excuse me - of St. Clare, is that in the struggling in the Christian life, the thing is, is he keeps his eyes fixed on the goal and he keeps going, knowing that God will bring to completion the good work begun in him, knowing that indeed that he hasn't obtained the goal yet, but that he's in process.

    For me, being the kind of the computer geek that I am, I always think of - know when you have gone a little too much on the computer and it shows you that little time piece, either as an hour glass or as a clock, and it might say underneath it - processing.

    Well I think that's exactly what is true for all of us processing. And St. Paul is saying that to us about himself, he's in process. God is processing him, such that the good work begun in him at his baptism and his calling, that that's being brought to completion.

    What's interesting, is how does that happen in our lives? Well obviously the sacraments of the Church, which bring to us Christ Himself preeminent among them the Holy Eucharist are, of course, the top of the list. The Word of God is on the top of the list.

    But I think on this memorial of St. Clare we need to recognize that as Jesus said, "Wherever two or more are gathered in My name, there I'm in your midst." Well it means that then the company that we keep, is also a way by which God interacts with us, and helps us to progress on the road of holiness, helps us to continue to be processed and to stay in process and to reach the goal and keep our eyes fixed on the goal to which we are aiming.

    Clare found that in one of her best friends - St. Francis. She was a young woman and she heard Francis speak and she saw Francis live. And in his single-hearted and single-minded dedication to God, his embracing of poverty, saying that the world is not what it's about, and keeping himself devoted to God - Clare was inspired. Clare heard the voice of the Lord calling her, and so she struck out on a new way of living for herself. Ultimately, she is the one that then has the distinction, of being the one who has brought into being the 'Poor Clares.'

    If you have ever been to San Damiano Church in Assisi and you have seen the original convent in which she lived, you would recognize the poverty that she embraced. You know what - poverty is not something in and of itself. It's not the end. For Clare, it was a means by which she could divorce herself of all the things that distracted her in life so that she could be single-minded in her heart directed to God. And so without shoes and sleeping on the floor - you know - she chose to follow God in that way. She brought others with her. She brought her sisters and mother. And so lots of people followed her and others besides that.

    And so they produced then a company of friends - an assembly of like-minded people. And in that assembly of like-minded people they supported one another in living out the way that God calls us. And that doesn't mean that God calls each and every one of us to be a Poor Clare. I would make a very poor 'Poor Clare'. At least I know that I'm not in the running because, well - maybe the Franciscans I could do but not the Poor Clares. I think that's obvious as to why.

    But all of us are called, there is one single vocation to which we're all called to, and that is the vocation of holiness. We are all called to be holy people. And so we strive along that path in various ways, but the path is the same and that's true for Clare, see. Part of her journey was this embracing of poverty. That may not be yours, but it was hers.

    And so it's a matter, though, of having this company of friends around us to help us stay on track - you know - to persevere and to keep our eyes fixed on the goal, which is ultimately to be with Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, eternally in the glories of heaven.

    And no matter what we think we may have given up, even like with Clare, giving up warm bed and shoes and the comfort of her family home. Well Jesus speaks to us in the Gospel then, there is nothing that we will give up that we'll not receive a hundred-fold back. God is never outdone in generosity. The more generous we are to God, the more generous God will be back to us, that's how it works. And even when we're not generous to God, guess what, God is still generous to us - to try to pull us along this path in this road to holiness.

    But spiritual friends and friends along the path make a difference - you know. And so I think then, this memorial of Clare puts before us as individuals a very important set of questions. The first question is - whose company do we keep? Whose company do we keep? Do we keep a set of friends around us that are - mmm - not very holy? That's not a judgment upon them, it's just a statement of fact. Now sometimes we need to do that because we are suppose to be the light, the salt, the leaven.

    So this then becomes the question - how do you know whether or not the company that you are keeping is okay or not - okay? So there's this group of friends that help support us, that are good for us in the sense that they remind us what we are suppose to be about. But then also we are supposed to be a friend to others to help draw them. And so the question then is how do you discern is the group of friends okay or not.

    I think that you look at the theological virtues in your life faith, hope and love. What's happening in your life regarding these things? Is your sense of faith - is that sense of faith in you - is it growing deeper and richer? Along side of that, you know is that sense of trust - you know - trust and faith go together. So are you able to abandon yourself into God's providence more fully. That's that sense of faith which has that dimension of trust to it. So what's happening to that? If your faith is becoming weaker because the company that you're keeping, even if it seems to be a holy assembly, well guess what my dear friends in Christ - get out!! Because they are not the right people for you! They're not the right people for you.

    What about hope? You know I've met lots of very fervent, zealous Christians, but all they can speak about is doom and gloom. And they've lost focus on the fact that, guess what, the so-called war, the spiritual war, is over. God has won - in Jesus Christ. But that never grabs their imagination and their heart and the mind and the soul. And so all they can talk about is how the world is full of doom and gloom and they leave people in a place of, well sometimes despair. So even holy friends can be not the right friends. So what's happening with your hope? And if your hope is not growing - guess what - they're the wrong friends - get out! Find somebody else.

    But most of all love. So you know what - what happens with faith and what happens to hope in the end? They vanish, don't they? Faith is a hope of things unseen, right - basically. Well when we're in the glories of heaven, guess what - we see. So there's no faith there any longer, we know and we see. And hope, well hope are things - you're aiming for, longing for, things that have not yet been realized. But in the glories of heaven all of our dreams, all of our needs all is realized.

    So it sounds terrible in a way, but you know what, in heaven - there is no hope - because it's been realized. It's not hopeless. It's hope-filled because they've been realized. The only thing that lasts, as Paul reminds us in the letter to the Corinthians, is love. And so amongst all of the theological virtues then when you look at your relationships in your life - is like what is this doing to my sense of love in my life? Am I becoming a more charitable person? Am I becoming a more loving person? You know if you look at the letter to the Corinthians again in that wonderful discourse on love, we hear it at almost every wedding - you know - it bears all things, it hopes all things, you know - it does not celebrate in the wrong.

    So what is happening to our love? Are we able to be more like Christ, Who even gave His life so that we might have life to the fullest? That's love, to lay down one's life for a friend. So what is happening to our love? And if we find that being in relationship to somebody is increasing our faith, and our hope and our love in our lives, then that's a good person to hang around. And that's a friend that God has placed in our life so that we might be spurred along the path of holiness.

    Now it's interesting that even when we are the friend that is to help someone deepen their faith and hope and love, so if you will, we're further along the spiritual journey then that other person - you know - this is Jesus, you know, going to the sinner's house even there, in those relationships, our faith, hope and love can grow. And so even in those so-called unsavory relationships we might have, in the sense of that person's not as holy as we would like to be holy and we want to help them grow in holiness well even there they can be the right friends and we can be the right friends for them and we can discern that by looking at how faith, hope and love is in our own lives.

    So that's the first thing, that I think this memorial of Clare places before us, to have us examine our own circle of friends, our own the company that we keep and to discern anew, are they the right friends in our lives? Discern that by looking at faith, hope and love.

    On the flip side of that - you know - lets us looking at our friends - you know - that we keep what kind of friend we are being? Do we help bear faith, hope and love into other people's lives? So, I mean, are we a person who says - you know - oh well, everything's lost. Or do we tend to be really cynical here is such a rotten person. Do you see how these things erode faith and hope and love?

    What kind of person are we being? Are we a person with faith, hope and love such that what we have received as gift, because that's what they are my friends, they are gifts from God into our lives - faith, hope and love.

    Are we such that we bear those things then into other people's lives. Is that the kind of friend that we're being? Are we like Francis to Clare and Clare to all the sisters that followed her into her way of living out discipleship in the world? What kind of faith, what kind of friend are we being? And so that's the second thing that's laid out before us I think today, in this memorial of Clare.

    Now if we're going to be honest and both questions will say - well you know what - good, and improvement needed. And I think that's what we need to always say. It's good and improvement needed - you know - because of Christ nothing is lost. And so it's a matter of then we need to ask God to help us have the strength and the courage then to be-friending - befriending the people we need to befriend, and to be the friend that we are called to be.

    And here in this place, God helps supply that for us. Because here in this place, God works on us through the presence of Christ His only Son in one another, for we are the body of Christ. And in the Word that is proclaimed, for it is Christ Himself Who speaks to us here. And preeminently in the Sacrament that we are about to celebrate and share. It is His Body and His Blood that is given to us from this altar. And as St. Augustine says, we say Amen to who we are.

    And by our reception of the Body and Blood of Christ we grow more fully into that which we eat and drink. And in that and all these graces that are bound in this holy liturgy, the presence of Christ given to us, we are able to see more clearly the friends that we keep, and whether or not we need to move on or stay. And we are perfected more fully into the friend we are called to be.

 

 

 

Excerpt from August 2, 2006

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