Monday, July 21, 2014

Mary TV Daily Reflection 7/21/2014

 (c) Mary TV 2014 


July 21, 2014
Saint Lawrence of Brandisi

Dear Family of Mary!

"Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer. Little children, believe that by simple prayer miracles can be worked. Through your prayer you open your heart to God and He works miracles in your life. By looking at the fruits, your heart fills with joy and gratitude to God for everything He does in your life and, through you, also to others. Pray and believe little children, God gives you graces and you do not see them. Pray and you will see them. May your day be filled with prayer and thanksgiving for everything that God gives you. Thank you for having responded to my call." October 25, 2002

Yesterday (July 20, 2014) a remarkable homily was given by a Dominican priest in Medjugorje on the Gospel reading, Matthew 13:24-43. I just couldn't let this one slip away. If it is too much to read, watch the archive of the mass for that day. What a joy to hear the Word of God proclaimed so well:

One of the supreme mortifications of my misspent youth was being charged with the maintenance of our lawn and it never occurred to me as a young man to blame an enemy for the preponderance of dandelions that had overtaken our garden. The Lord today opens His mouth in parables and announces mysteries hidden from the foundation of the world.

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, and there He put the man that He had formed. The Lord at the beginning reveals Himself as a gardener who sows a Paradise. And the man is the good seed that He plants, the finest of all His fruit. When He has adorned everything, and prepared the earth, this living spirit which He creates is His finest fruit from the Tree of Life, a living fruit that He plants in His garden. And it is the fruit of the man, the fruit of this living spirit which He wishes to enjoy and taste, the love of this man which the Lord Himself wishes to come and find, perfuming and irradiating His garden.

And yet when the Lord plants this garden in the beginning, an enemy comes at night. He comes at night, we hear in the parable. This is a beautiful ...that resonates down through all the Scriptures. Those who perform works of light, live in the light. Those who perform works of darkness, hide themselves in the darkness. The serpent comes, the evil one comes, bringing the works of darkness, these works that hide themselves. These works that wear a mask. These works of darkness come and spoil the garden that the Lord has made. 1 John says that anyone who says that he lives in the light and yet hates his brother remains in the darkness. Anyone who says that he lives in the light but does not bear the love of God that is the Holy Spirit that is poured into our hearts, the light that is the Spirit, the light that radiates down from heaven, remains in the darkness and becomes a week within this garden that the Lord has planted. And these weeds that sprout and overwhelm the garden are the works of darkness that St. Paul speaks about. These are the works of darkness: cursing and anger, gossip and slander, calumny and judgment, enmity and strife, jealousy and dissension, divorce and fornication, pornography and licentiousness, drunkenness and carousing...all the works of darkness that bring a shadow upon our hearts and smother the light and love of God which lives within us. All these works of darkness spoil the garden that the Lord has made.

They spoil the garden of our own soul, and in another image that fills all of the Scriptures, this Promised Land, this land that was meant to flow with milk and honey, with all the grace that pours out from the heart of God, is overrun with briars and brambles. And the paradise itself becomes a thicket, overrun with the foul deeds of our own fallen hearts.

What happens at the foundations of creation is renewed and remade and redone, when the Son of Man comes and plants a new seed, plants a new garden which is the seed of His own life. When the corn falls to the earth and dies so that it can bear much fruit, the Lord creates a new creation. And the Lord in His first appearance after His resurrection is mistaken for nothing other than a gardener. He dies and He is buried in a garden, in an unused tomb, and Mary Magdalene takes Him for the gardener.

The Lord remakes His garden, He remakes His garden in the second creation where a New Adam is planted in the heart of the earth, as a true living tree of life that bears much fruit, a hundredfold, and a hundred hundredfold. And it pours forth fruit, and in this fruit is found the seed of the Word, the seed of the Word is planted in the heart of every Christian. So every Christian participates and expands this field in which was planted the one good seed, and so all of us become living seeds.

By the Word of God a living seed is planted in each of our hearts. By the gift of Baptism the seed of the Word of God is planted in our heart as a down payment, the first fruits of the Holy Spirit and we become trees in the garden of God. And we are to bear more fruit, and to scatter the seed of the Word of God throughout the World.

And so the garden has become again a place where a new Seed has been planted, but again the enemy comes and plants evil seeds. And this theme of old recurs, the enemy, the serpent, the dragon, comes again to plant his darkness, these seeds. And yet the message that the Lord gives us today in this parable, is the message above all that the Lord wishes to save us. The Lord wishes to save us who are in the new creation but crowded in, pressed in, hemmed in by the plants of the world, by the weeds of the world. By the foul and rotten fruits that are produced by the devil and the world. Because we know very well that even within the new creation we yet find the works of Satan. Even in the world that the Lord has come to redeem.

And so the parable that the Lord gives us, this mystery that the Lord gives us, reveals three very simple things. It reveals first that we have an enemy. I never thought to blame an enemy for the mismanagement of our own garden, it would have been clever...But what the Lord reveals today is a sadly forgotten truth that the devil exists. That the evil one exists, and that the evil one wishes to destroy the garden that the Lord has planted, which is the garden of the Church, which is the garden of our own soul. And so we fight the world, and the flesh, and the devil. And he comes to attack us and to assail us. The evil one is clever and powerful and he sleeps not and he comes at night, when we pay no attention. When my mind doses for a second because the preacher preaches too long. When I fail to pay attention when the Gospel is read, and the Word is lost to me and the seed drops by the wayside and is lost forever. These seeds that fall upon the rocky soil. They never touch the good soil of my heart. When I sleep in the presence of the Lord, the evil one comes and step by step, though I never notice, I wander away from the Lord. And I wake up one morning and I find that my garden is overgrown with weeds. And I ask "How has this happened? Who has made this happen?"

The evil one, who is the prince of this world, the prince of darkness, the evil one to whom all the power of all the kingdoms has been given. The prince of this world rules this world, not the world to come. He rules our televisions and he rules our radios, and he rules all the voices that we hear that are also planting seeds. Through my ears and through my eyes they are planting seeds within my heart. The evil one is planting his weeds in my heart. And in my passions, and in my affections and in my mind. He is planting these weeds in order to destroy the fruit that the Lord would bear there.

And so we have this enemy that pressed in upon us from the world, and yet comes with a strategy, it is not a mindless chance. We have an enemy who knows us and watches us, who St. Peter says is prowling like a roaring lion waiting to find someone to devour. If we would be wise, as the Lord says, we who have ears should hear. WE should know. He has even planted in our flesh, in our fallen flesh, which wars against the spirit. St. Paul says, within myself I feel a war, within my members, and the good I would do I do not do. There is a weakness in me and I see the good and it lies beyond my grasp. This is the enemy, these are the weeds of the enemy that would overwhelm the Church.

This leads us to the second point, very important point, that there are imposters among us. I might even be an imposter. Even in the garden of the Church, St. Paul is remarkably strong on this point and even coins interesting new words, the "pseudo-apostoloi" - false apostles - and pseudo-adelphoi - false brethren. There are those who look like Christians, those among us who look very much like wheat, and we cannot tell what is what. They come to mass, they come to confession. They stand in the confession line. I tell you, I have sat in the confessional many, many times and heard horrible confessions. These people come and give the sense that their hearts are clean, pure, and they do what they should do. And yet the fruits of the Spirit, these 12 fruits of the Spirit that John says will come every month for the healing of the nations, and yet these 12 fruits (one for each month) are not being born in my life. And so Pope Paul VI said, even the smoke of Satan has entered the Church. Here among us, John in all three of his epistles speaks of these antichrists among us. And this is remarkable, St Paul when he speaks of these false brethren says that it is no wonder that they masquerade, it is no wonder when the ministers of Satan masquerade because Satan himself can appear as an angel of light. I only heard this morning that that happened in an apparition here. Satan dressed up like Our Lady. He found a second hand shop somewhere and got Our Lady dresses and showed up. And the visionaries recognized him. There are stories of this in the lives of the saints. There are stories of this in the Dominican Order. Satan came neatly disguised (with the mustache and glasses) as Our Lady and the Friar said "Command me to do something against obedience." And "She" did and immediately "puff!" He was gone. The evil one dresses like an angel of light. And so we find ourselves in a state of great confusion. We find ourselves in a world confused, mingled with words that "sound" like the words of the Gospel, and which come to us as the words of salvation and everlasting life and abundant life, and they promise abundant life, and yet they are rotten within. White washed tombs, the Lord said, filled with dead men's bones.

So, third point, we find ourselves with the enemy and also with an enemy within. Solzhenitsyn, the great prisoner in the Soviet gulags, said it is a very important point to realize, I do not draw the line between good and evil as a line between us and them. The line between good and evil is a line that cuts straight through the center of my heart. So even here, in the garden of my heart there is an imposter. Even here in the garden of my heart I am bearing forth sour fruit. So this must be uprooted. This is the good news of the Gospel today. The Lord would not lose a single fruit that He would have of us. I am a great fan of the Blueberry. I was picking blueberries six years ago, and I nearly destroyed myself, trying to get every last berry. This is the way that the Lord is. He does not wish to leave a single fruit untouched in our hearts, He wishes to have them all. And so He is patient with us and He does not bring the judgment upon us before the time. The Lord says in John 15, that He would have us bear fruit, but He would have us bear more fruit. This is the message that He gives us.

We have this beautiful word in the first reading from the Book of Wisdom, "Though you are the master of might, you judge with clemency. With much lenience you govern us. You gave your children good ground for hope." We hear of the fire, we hear that the weeds will be gathered into bundles to be burned. And there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. We must remember the judgment. WE must hear that the works of darkness cannot survive in heaven. Believe me, people, it would not be heaven if we all went there as we currently are. It would just be a very, very long family reunion. It would be miserable. We have to be different. We have to be perfected, we have to be divinized. We have to be holy. This means everything foul within us must be burned. And we must be saved as if through fire, as St. Paul says. So all of the foul fruit within us must be bundled and burned. And burned in the confessional. We bundle it ourselves, we cooperate with the angels, and we bundle our sins and we give them to the priest, who with the power of the Holy Spirit burns them to ash. WE are made clean, we are made new, and we are made citizens of heaven.

And so we pray that in this way we may not be sterile. We might not be these thistles in the heart of Church that prick those around us, but that we might be this new fruit, this new Adam who is meant to bear fruit with abundance. The Lord sees us, he sees the good within us, He sees the Holy Spirit He has given to us, and He sees us as He sees the Bride. From the Canticle of Canticles, "She is as a Lily among the brambles." The Lord has the eyes to see even among the nations of the world, and even within the heart of the Church, He sees that the heart of the Church is immaculate, flawless, sinless and beautiful. And He sees this within our souls, He sees the Holy Spirit in our souls, the Holy Spirit He has given. He sees us as something beautiful, as a flower in the midst of thorns. He wishes to pluck it, to save it, the Lord wishes to see that everything in us that can die will die so that only that which cannot die remains. That is the flower of the Spirit, the flower and the fruits of the Holy Spirit, the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit.

So what the Lord begs of us today is what He has begged from the moment that John the Baptist announced His coming, "Show forth the fruits worthy of repentance." Bring forth the fruit of the garden which the Lord has planted from the foundation of the world. WE will see in the Lord the face of a father delighting in his children. And the child's heart will spring with joy to see the joy on the face of the Father. This is the beatitude that the Lord calls us to from all eternity.

Finally we are called to be leaven in the world, in three measures of flour, we are the good leaven to bring forth nourishment for the world. So we thank the Lord for His Word, for this place of pilgrimage where we can open our hearts anew, and we pray that the Spirit would descend upon our hearts and fill our minds with light so that our lives might bring forth this fruit for the healing of the nations. Amen.

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2014

PS. Fruit of Medjugorje!!! Tonight! 8:00 pm EDT

"Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world."
Saint John Paul II
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