Friday, May 10, 2019

“This one has a chalice!” said the man at the X-ray machine at the airport. All five security guards suddenly looked up at me in terror. The head guard, with a trembling voice, said, “sir, may I ask you to come to our back room. We have a few questions for you.” “I don’t understand, it’s just a chalice! It’s not a bomb.” Just a chalice? Not dangerous? I reviewed in my mind the words I just said. Wait a minute! There is nothing more dangerous, nothing more likely to change the face of the earth, to rock the world, than the blood of Christ outpoured. It most certainly is a weapon. It is the source, summit, and center of accessing and diffusing across all time and space THE HOLY LOVE OF GOD!!! “Excuse me?” I was momentarily awakened out of my interior sermon. The guard was asking me where and when I got it. Suddenly I realized they weren’t stopping me because they thought I was dangerous but because they thought I might be stealing precious artifacts, although my chalice is only three years old and obviously not ancient. There had been some precious artifacts stolen recently in Peru, and the ministry of culture had a most wanted list with pictures of things stolen. Mine was not on the list. Nonetheless I have to say I was tempted when they asked me my name to say, “Me? My name is Fr Samuel Medley, but they call me Indiana Jones!” They took some pictures, asked more questions, and eventually told me I could go. But wow, what a homily my heart told me in the meantime. Never under estimate the Blood of the Lamb.


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Friday, March 8, 2019

Always seek the blessing of the poor Today a beggar prayed over me and gave me his blessing. What a grace to receive the blessing of a poor man. I have always felt that even if I give some meager charity to those in need that their prayers for me would unlock the floodgates of the Lord, and thereby obtain blessings I could not with my own weak petitions. In these moments I feel the words of Tobit 12:9, “for almsgiving saves from death, and purges all sin.” Alms works away at the miserly selfishness lurking in our hearts, opens new paths of purity and truth, cleanses us of ‘entitled’ grumblings, and inspires deep in our hearts joyful gratitude at the gift of Life. It is not only prayer and fasting that casts out demons, but heartfelt almsgiving that saves us from the fires and hardened curses of hell.


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God Our Loving Father uses Lent to take us by the hand and guide us back to the right path. For each of these respond: Lord, guide us back to you+ When we use good and healthy pleasures too much that they become dominant or excessive... When we seek comfort from passing things forgetting our eternal destination... When we seek our own pursuits, forsaking the needs of the poor members of our family or community... When instead of merely keeping up with friends and family, we spend too much time on social media, forgetting prayer... When instead of just enjoying a show for evening relaxation we binge watch, keeping us from living life or needful rest... When things don't go our way and instead of waiting patiently we react with irritation or guile... When legitimate authority in our life directs us toward the common good yet we rebel or resist correction... When we turn from gratitude and joy to slump into complaining or self-pity... When we lose sight of God's hand failing to trust him, lapsing into vain anxiety and worry... When we forget God is in charge and needlessly brood over human politics and divisive rancor... When the Holy Spirit inspires us to intercede for others yet we procrastinate in obstinacy... O God Our Loving Father, guide us always in your merciful path, help us to trust in your ways and always seek your face, that when this earthly life is over we may rejoice with you in eternal life, through Christ Our Lord. Mary Mother of Jesus be a mother to us now+


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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Giving up for Lent? You certainly will give up if you attempt something that is too difficult. Don’t hate thyself. You don’t go into the gym after staying away for a while and attempt to lift some weight too heavy you never could lift before. You would injure yourself and have to recover and would be discouraged in the future to get in shape. Out of guilt some people line up big and heavy penances for Lent, things they might not really be ready for, and then when they fail because it was too much to begin with, they feel a failure and more guilty when they started. Instead I find it is better to look at your state in life at what you should be doing anyway and to do it if it is close enough for you to try. Like a physical weight your body can lift while still being a challenge, spiritually this will not only make you stronger but be an encouragement because of the little victories you will have. This way you’re planning not only to succeed incrementally but permanently change your habits. Good pointers for penances that could permanently change you? Be S.M.A.R.T. Make sure it is: S - specific - don’t say you’ll “give up negativity” or “be holier” for Lent. What exact practices are you going to do? M - measurable - how many more minutes will you pray? How many acts of kindness will you do for your family? A - attainable - don’t attempt something you can’t do. Be realistic about what you’re capable of. If you’ve never been able to do it before there might be a step in between point A and C that you are missing - B. R - relevant - it should be something that helps you be a better you, not turn a businessman into a monk, not take you away from charity toward your family but enkindle it. If you are committing habitual sin you shouldn’t focus on something else but stop what you shouldn’t be doing anyway. T - time sensitive - daily, weekly, monthly, at least once during Lent (like confession) etc. putting a time limit on it makes you accountable.


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Saturday, February 9, 2019

Ministering to priests, especially to those who have allowed themselves to mature, reveals the spirituality of emptiness, of futility, of being poured out like of a libation. If a priest is living the grace of his ordination his soul will most surely begin to start singing the words of psalm 22, a psalm of hope and victory covered in ignomy: “Eloi eloi lamech sabachtani!, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” It will feel like he has nothing left over, like he has been spent and consumed. He will ask, “Am I in crisis? Is there something wrong with me? Have I displeased God somehow” and will be accustomed to valley walking his journey through low spots, acquainted with misery, rejection, abandonment, and loss. The reason for this is that his identification with Christ is as shepherd and servant, and his poor priestly heart becomes conformed more and more to Jesus’ Sacred Heart, which is pierced by our offenses, broken open by our rejection of his friendship and presence, and abandoned in ingratitude of the many. Being conformed to Christ fully means being crucified with him. However, the consolation and intimacy given to those who allow themselves to grow in Christ’s priesthood is beyond any explanation. It is a compensation and comfort for such desolation. At times there is a delay or lapse in such consolation to allow the priest to long and ache for eternity, for real life, to begin. It is at these times priests are in need of great prayer, intercession, and sacrifices. Today is a Friday, or day of penance in the life of the Church. Join me in praying and sacrificing today for priests. Our Father...Hail Mary....Glory Be


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