Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Jesus Explains The Parable

BEADS OF JOY 07-30-13
“Matthew 13:36-43”
©2013 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Gospel: (Matt 13:36-43 / Jesus Explains the Parable)

Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field." He answered, "He who sows the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world, and the good seed means the sons of the kingdom; the weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. The Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”

Reflection: My Friends,

I absolute love it when Jesus takes the time to explain a parable to us. His words of wisdom are entrenched in the parable. But when He takes the time to explain exactly what He meant, the way He intended us to understand it, now that is magnificent. Today we continue reading in Matthew's gospel. Our scripture is Matthew 13:36-43 (Jesus Explains the Parable of the Weeds). This parable gives us the foresight we need to have so much more patience with the evil around us. Many often wonder, "Why are Catholics such wimps when they are attacked and criticized?" The funny part is, they say that with obviously no scriptural knowledge of God's wrath. See we are not wimps, we are like the kid in the playground who are being beat up and threatened. As we take the hits and hear the slander, our father (GOD) and all of His buddies (The Angels), and the police (God's Word) are coming shortly, to pronounce judgment on the guilty. We know if we act like our father asked to, with kindness and love and forgiveness, that we would receive our eternal reward with Him in Heaven. We must be like Jesus in the Passion. The guilty, sinful, evil doers will be thrown into prison for all eternity, or like Jesus says, "into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth." Guess those evil-doers didn't get the memo. God's wrath is sufficient when we wish the enemy to be defeated. Of cause and by all means it would be so much better if the evil, no good, thugs would repent and ask God for forgiveness and mercy. We shall pray for that outcome. We must love our enemies above all things when we are being assaulted. Even if a gun or a knife is at our throat, we must be like Jesus and love and forgive them.

Honestly now, let’s really look at this and understand what Jesus is warning us and the enemy of. The enemy has planted seeds of hatred, angry, violence, lust, pride, selfishness, everything sinful you can possibly imagine. All those seeds have been hurled into our world and they desire to use that evil harvest to entwine us; into their messed up world of sin against life and love, and against God. And in the end the evil doers of the world want us to be just be like them, so we to separate ourselves from God, by hating them. Not only are the evil doers, the soldiers of satan; but they are deceitful, lying backstabbing people who despise the peace and love that we have with God. Our contentment gives them even more rage. I have seen it with my own eyes and heard with my ears in many a conversations. The funniest part of hearing someone’s anger towards God or Christians is by not fighting back... Oh no don't fight or argue. Just let them know that you already know how all this is going to end and you already know who wins. And then further that, if they give the chance to continue speaking and tell them that you forgive them. I will be honest with you, you must have the kahunas to do this. LOL. I mean it, if there is one thing angry mean evil doer hates, is our sincere heartfelt smiles and forgiveness and not even a flinch of offense from them. We act like we don't even hear them or care. We do care, but we can't allow ourselves to respond mean or hatefully. We must not. I know we want to, but we must trust in Jesus as we are abused and slandered. Pray, "Jesus, I trust in You"

You see the battle that has been in place for the last two thousand plus years is Jesus planting His seeds of hope, love and charity all over the world; while satan is doing the exact opposite. There's a saying that most everyone knows, "What goes around comes around." My parents use to say that a lot when I was kid. They'd say to me whenever I'd get angry, "Don't get angry Jim, let's pray that that person finds kindness in their hearts. And if they don't, what goes around comes around." That never needed to be explained to me as kid. It just meant that the evil someone gives you, will one day be the very same evil that they will receive. It's sort of biblical in many ways. We are all sinful in this world, maybe we are not evil doers killing the innocent or deceiving the masses. But regardless we are still guilty of sin. So we must consider the words Jesus has told us, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” ~Matthew 7:1-2. Jesus was very serious about this. You see our enemies judge us by our faith and devotion and how we respond, or don't respond to them. We must not be like them, God's wrath is waiting for those who do.

We must only allow the love we have for Jesus to dominate our lives and our hearts. Do not allow anger or hatred to enter your heart or the way you react to evil. We must ingrain in our thoughts and understanding that the last will indeed be first and those who rudely believe they are first and that the world revolves around them, they shall be last. Scripture is clear on this, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.” ~Matthew 19:29-30. We must always put Jesus first in our lives over every single person we know, and every single thing we possess. When in doubt, pray out loud, "Jesus, I trust in You!!!"

(Today’s blog is a revitalized excerpt from an earlier date I wrote it in 2010.)

Your brother in Christ Jesus
And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS

I also invite you to follow me on Twitter:

Monday, July 29, 2013

Memorial of St. Martha

BEADS OF JOY 07-29-13
“Memorial of St. Martha”
©2013 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

My Friends,

Today we celebrate the Memorial of St Martha. Martha was born of noble and wealthy parents, but she is still more illustrious for the hospitality she gave to Christ our Lord. After His Ascension into heaven, she was seized by the Jews, together with her brother and sister, Marcella her handmaid, and Maximin, one of the seventy two disciples of our Lord, who had baptized the whole family, and many other Christians. They were put on board a ship without sails or oars, and left helpless on the open sea, exposed to certain shipwreck. But God guided the ship, and they all arrived safely at Marseilles.

This miracle, together with their preaching, brought the people of Marseilles, of Aix, and of the neighborhood to believe in Christ. Lazarus was made Bishop of Marseilles and Maximin of Aix. Magdalen, who was accustomed to devote herself to prayer and to sit at our Lord's feet, in order to enjoy the better part which she had chosen, that is, contemplation of the joys of heaven, retired into a deserted cave on a very high mountain. There she lived for thirty years, separated from all human intercourse; and every day she was carried to heaven by the angels to hear their songs of praise.

But Martha, after having won the love and admiration of the people of Marseilles by the sanctity of her life and her wonderful charity, withdrew in the company of several virtuous women to a spot remote from men, where she lived for a long time, greatly renowned for her piety and prudence. She foretold her death long before it occurred; and at length, famous for miracles, she passed to our Lord on the fourth of the Kalends of August. Her body which lies at Tarascon is held in great veneration.
Excerpted from The Liturgical Year, Abbot Gueranger O.S.B.

Prayer: Saint Martha, pray for us that we might serve Jesus better. Help us to overcome our distractions and worries to listen to his words and be present to him this day. Amen

Who was Martha? (From Wikipedia)
Martha of Bethany (Aramaic מַרְתָּא Martâ) is a biblical figure described in the Gospels of Luke and John. Together with her siblings Lazarus and Mary, she is described as living in the village of Bethany near Jerusalem. She is the middle child of her family with Lazarus being the eldest and her sister Mary the youngest. She was witness to Jesus' resurrection of her brother, Lazarus.

Scripture with Martha:
(Luke 10:38-42) At the Home of Martha and Mary
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me! “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

(John 11:1-7) The Death of Lazarus
Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

(John 11:17-24) Jesus Comforts the Sisters of Lazarus
“On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

(John 11:38-44) Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead
Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

Your brother in Christ Jesus
And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS
I also invite you to follow me on Twitter:

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Lord's Prayer

BEADS OF JOY 07-28-13
“Gospel Decades-Luke 11:1-13”
©2013 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Gospel: (Luke 11:1-13 / The Lord’s Prayer)

He was praying in a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples." And he said to them, "When you pray, say: "Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread; and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us; and lead us not into temptation. “And he said to them, "Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, `Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him'; and he will answer from within, `Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything'? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!".”

Pray -1 Our Father -10 Hail Mary’s -Glory be… - Oh My Jesus…

Reflection: My Friends,

Today’s gospel one of the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray…” and Jesus indeed did that. Jesus taught the disciples (us) a most blessed, loving prayer. It is here that Jesus teaches us that we must see God, as Father; hence we are His children. Today let us reflect on the meaning in all its splendor to this most magnificent prayer. For starters I will use the Catechism to help direct us through today’s reflection.

Catechism of the Catholic Church References
The Lord's Prayer "is truly the summary of the whole gospel. “Since the Lord. . . after handing over the practice of prayer, said elsewhere, 'Ask and you will receive,' and since everyone has petitions which are peculiar to his circumstances, the regular and appropriate prayer [the Lord's Prayer] is said first, as the foundation of further desires."

 #2763 All the Scriptures - the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms - are fulfilled in Christ. The Gospel is this "Good News." Its first proclamation is summarized by St. Matthew in the Sermon on the Mount; the prayer to our Father is at the center of this proclamation. It is in this context that each petition bequeathed to us by the Lord is illuminated:

The Lord's Prayer is the most perfect of prayers. . . . In it we ask, not only for all the things we can rightly desire, but also in the sequence that they should be desired. This prayer not only teaches us to ask for things, but also in what order we should desire them.” ~St Thomas Aquinas

The Lord's Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

As we look further into this let us look at how The Lord’s Prayer has 7 Petitions with in it. This is why the #7 is always signified with Jesus.

#2803 After we have placed ourselves in the presence of God our Father to adore and to love and to bless him, the Spirit of adoption stirs up in our hearts seven petitions, seven blessings. The first three, more theological, draw us toward the glory of the Father; the last four, as ways toward him, commend our wretchedness to his grace. "Deep calls to deep."

Here are the 7 Petitions with there (Latin) translation. And a simple brief statement from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (#).

1st Petition:  Hallowed be Thy Name  (Sanctificétur Nomen Tuum)  #2858: By asking "hallowed be thy name" we enter into God's plan, the sanctification of his name - revealed first to Moses and then in Jesus - by us and in us, in every nation and in each man.

2nd Petition: Thy Kingdom come (Advéniat Regnum Tuum) #2859: By the second petition, the Church looks first to Christ's return and the final coming of the Reign of God. It also prays for the growth of the Kingdom of God in the "today" of our own lives.

3rd Petition: They will be done on earth as it is in Heaven (Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in coelo, et in terra) #2860: In the third petition, we ask our Father to unite our will to that of his Son, so as to fulfill his plan of salvation in the life of the world.

4th Petition: Give us this day our daily bread  (Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie) #2861: In the fourth petition, by saying "give us," we express in communion with our brethren our filial trust in our heavenly Father. "Our daily bread" refers to the earthly nourishment necessary to everyone for subsistence, and also to the Bread of Life: the Word of God and the Body of Christ. It is received in God's "today," as the indispensable, (super-) essential nourishment of the feast of the coming Kingdom anticipated in the Eucharist.

5th Petition: And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. (Et dimitte nobis débita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris) #2862: The fifth petition begs God's mercy for our offences, mercy which can penetrate our hearts only if we have learned to forgive our enemies, with the example and help of Christ.

6th Petition: And lead us not into temptation (et ne nos inducas in tentationem) #2863: When we say "lead us not into temptation" we are asking God not to allow us to take the path that leads to sin. This petition implores the Spirit of discernment and strength; it requests the grace of vigilance and final perseverance.

7th Petition: But deliver us from evil (Sed libera nos a malo) #2864: In the last petition, "but deliver us from evil," Christians pray to God with the Church to show forth the victory, already won by Christ, over the "ruler of this world," Satan, the angel personally opposed to God and to his plan of salvation.

Here is a link that sings the Latin version with English subtitles. Well done: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATrrmGGShdY

Pondering these thoughts today: In your quest to “find” Jesus in your life; do you feel that you can approach Him at any time? Today Jesus tells us, even if we are requested bread in the middle of the night by a neighbor to whom we will eventually give bread to; will not God also provide for us regardless of its inconvenience or time in which we request it. Every day let us pray the Lord’s Prayer in confidence as we honor, worship, love and adore our Lord.

Your brother in Christ Jesus
And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS

I also invite you to follow me on Twitter:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Be A Sower of The Seed

BEADS OF JOY 07-24-13
“Matthew 13:1-9”
©2013 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Gospel: (Matthew 13:1-9 / The Parable of the Sower)

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat there; and the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow, and as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away. Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”

Reflection: My Friends,

Parables are so exciting, and today’s is especially exciting. Is Jesus the Sower, or is the Holy Spirit the Sower; or actually is every single Christian the Sower? How can we be true followers of Jesus if we are not Sowers? I was just thinking about this the other day. You know how many complain about how “many” are lost and how many do not want to hear about Jesus or faith or anything that is moral anymore? I know, isn’t that so sad how our society has changed so much. Unfortunately all we are able to do sometimes is pray for them and live by our example. Consider this my sisters and brothers, after we plant the seeds –the growing is in God’s hands. Yes we can help them grow with unconditional love, understanding and by the example of how we live our lives and how it has changed our lives for the better with Jesus. But in the end God alone is the only one who shall help those seed grow.

Is your mind closed (1)? Is your life guided by emotion (2)? Or maybe your mind just wanders around often and is so easily distracted (3)? But then maybe, hopefully you are a well-grounded good hearer who is rooted deep in God’s word (4)? There is so much wisdom here to be thought about. Maybe you have never considered any of these thoughts, or maybe you never understood why you never felt well-grounded. Hopefully these thoughts might help lead you closer to Jesus and deeper into His word.

(1) “…some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.” This soil wasn’t even soil at all; being of closed mind is the only way to understand this “soil”. Who would ever expect a seed to be able to grow, lying on a path? Any animal can easily devour it, a heavy wind can blow it away, there is really nothing even allowing the seed to gain any sort of root. How sad to even think one would even say they are a Christian in this state of faith. There is no way that God’s word can gain any root here.

(2) “Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away..” How many people immediately receive God’s word, and sing on top of the roof tops and then all of a sudden, you never see or hear from them again. Without spiritual depth, full surrender of spirit and a true character of faith there is no way that someone can possibly stay excited and focused on Jesus. Emotion is the guiding force here, which is unstable and inconsistent. Those that fall into this category, really also have no root, and their understanding of what it really means to be born-again is not understood and people like this easily backslide.

(3) “Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.” Does your mind wander? Do the worries and pleasures of this world distract you and keep you away from really knowing and loving Jesus? I don’t mean just a Sunday Catholic, Jesus died for us for all days, not just Sunday. You know the distractions of this world are subtle in their approach; you know who wouldn’t like a nice home, couple new cars, vacations unlimited; yes all that stuff would keep your heart away from Jesus, it doesn’t have to, but it could. These distractions are only more nails in our coffin, for the coffin that never makes it to Heaven. Consider the humble life of poverty. You know the word poverty doesn’t mean “broke”. If you are wealthy, you can still live the life of humility and you can still live in a state of spiritual poverty. Simply stop being so selfish and prideful about yourself, care for others with what God has blessed you with. Stop meeting all your whims. Go on a “not buying for me” fast. And instead do things for others. Think about it. Help the people and the families you know need someone to step in and help them.

(4) “Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” This is where you want to be, in good soil; a soil that brings forth grain and multiples. For some of us this is just a matter of mindset or better of heart-set, focusing on and really loving Jesus as Lord. Once you become sold out to Him and you really truly love Him, you will have deep roots in his word, and you will want to tell everyone about His love, His word, His mercy, oh so much to share, you won’t be able to shut up and sit down. LOL. Like I always say, you are either in, or you are out. If you are in, then you need to be fully in… Jesus didn’t die “partially”, He died fully for us. We to, must die fully for Him. Consider taking this step, a step that only leads you closer to Jesus... do it today.

Pondering these thoughts today: How hungry are you for God’s word? How hungry are you and how much desire do you have to stay focused and attentive to His word? I think the main focus throughout this parable is actually the “soil”. Yes the Sower is importantly noted and obviously the seed is the key (God’s word) to the entire process. So let’s look at the soil, Jesus shares with us four kinds of soil that probably is examples of where we are spiritually in our life. Which one of these probably best describes us? And which one would we like to be, or even better, prefers to be? Jesus first – others second – we must remain last; by our example and our commitment to our Lord, we to can help encourage others to devote their lives to Jesus.

Your brother in Christ Jesus
And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS
(Revised from an earlier blog of mine in 2011.)

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Our Time is Essential

BEADS OF JOY 07-22-13
“Our Time is Essential”
©2013 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

My Friends,

This is a “hard reflection” some will probably disagree and many won’t ever consider this. But I begin by saying: Consider pondering these thoughts for just a moment. What is your passion rooted in? What does it take to spark your interest? Do you prefer physical activities like sports, gardening, building things; or do you prefer to focus on intellectual activities with say -writing, reading, research? Maybe your interests are in music, or you are drawn to a specific hobby (making clothes, arts and crafts, drawing)? Whatever sparks your enthusiasm -know that as long as Jesus isn’t part of the equation; these things take you away from being best prepared for what really matters in this life, and what is that? Eternity! See we must prepare for and be ready for and be prepared for that first day at the very beginning of our eternity. Our first day there –will be our last day here. This is why our time is essential and quite honestly best not wasted. When will that be? See that’s the problem, we don’t actually know, and so our preparing is for the unknown; staying on “the ready” at all times. Let us look at scripture, which is indeed the best way to see if God Himself is asking for us to deny our own selfishness that isn’t Him, so that we only follow after Him:

Luke 9:22-26 (NIV)
And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”

Here is another scripture of conversation, a rather surprising conversation. But here we can see the importance of our focus on Jesus; nothing and no one can come between us and our Lord. Jesus Himself tells us this:

Luke 9:58-62 (NIV)
Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”  Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”  Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

This next scripture does not mean that Jesus wants us to “hate”. We all know Jesus only speaks of love and harmony. The content of this scripture is directly after Jesus was at the house of the Pharisee, followed by the Great Banquet. There is no doubt that Jesus had His challenges with people attacking His Word. My understanding here is; if your family members reject you because you are following after Jesus, we must carry the cross of that pain and still follow after Jesus. See our faith isn’t a “group thing”. Yes it’s wonderful to be able to be in fellowship with others on this journey; and it’s even more wonderful when our family is with us. With that said we must know that if all turn against us, we must still on our own, follow after Him.

Luke 14:25-27 (NIV)
The Cost of Being a Disciple
Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.  And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”

I hope this has been helpful. We can’t down play our faith, we shouldn’t down play its cost. Jesus was crucified to save you and me -that cost Him everything. Why shouldn’t we have to pay a similar price if we are rejected? And so I will end with this scripture..

Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)
The Narrow and Wide Gates
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Your brother in Christ Jesus
And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS

I also invite you to follow me on Twitter:

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Better Portion

BEADS OF JOY 07-21-13
“Luke 10:38-42”
©2013 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Gospel: (Luke 10:38-42 / The Better Portion)

Now as they went on their way, he entered a village; and a woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Reflection: My Friends,

Our lives are meant to be so simple, yet so many of us live complicated, very involved lives that keep us just way too busy. Martha was that busy muli-tasker in today’s gospel. Of cause she loves our Lord -of cause she honored Him and there is no doubt that her heart was in the right place; the only question is, most especially in His presence should she have been so busy in the works for Him? or should she have been instead directly focused on Him? There is a time for ministry, a time for service that honors Him; but in the end loving and honoring and focusing fully on Him must come front and center in all that we do. Think of it like this; if we spent the whole week serving our Lord by helping others who needed maybe food needs met or even faith questions answered; then on Sunday we never went to Mass or spent any time daily -directly with Him in prayer or worship, what good was all that time spent doing those works in His Name, when in the end we never really spent any time with Him? We must place Him first in our lives at all times; most especially after we “serve Him”. It’s not bad or wrong to do the works that honor Him, we just can’t forget to Honor Him!!!

We can look at this in many ways in our lives, either as a married couple, a parent, or a friend. If we spend our time focused on serving them (even with love), but yet spend no time at all directly with our spouse, our kids or our friends; then where is the depth and meaning of that relationship truly in our lives? Jesus is also a guest in our home and as a guest like any guest, simply serving Him without spending time with Him; takes away from that relationship we have with them. Jesus is no different, He too must have our undivided attention and desire to spend time with Him. The better portion must always be part of our daily faith.

Pondering these thoughts today: Jesus must come first in our lives in all things; not the works of our Lord or even the laboring of a ministry honoring Him, but rather our relationship directly with Him must come first and foremost in our lives. Even though Martha most certainly chose to serve our Lord with a heart full of love; Mary chose to sit at His feet to be with directly Him instead. Both women chose great things to do in Jesus’ presence; it’s just that Mary chose the better portion. Are we able to know when we must choose the better portion in our lives? Do we attentively seek after Him always; or are we so preoccupied in the services that are about Him? And also consider this: Is Jesus always welcome in your home? If Jesus were to be there with you in your home and He spent the day with you; would He say you chose the better portion? Just a thought.

Consider this: When I use to attend daily Mass. For the longest time every single day before I ate anything, before I spent time in my studies, before my day began. I placed early morning Mass first and receiving Him in communion first. Jesus was always the purposely intended first one to touch my tongue each day in nutriment and in word at Mass. Just a thought you may consider in your own daily habits. I also do this on Sundays, in that I won’t eat anything first; the Eucharist “Jesus” always comes first.

Your brother in Christ Jesus
And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS

I also invite you to follow me on Twitter:

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lectio Divina

BEADS OF JOY 07-16-13
“Lectio Divina”
©2013 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

My Friends,

I love this method of prayer, I have used this method privately throughout my 30 years of ministry. Lectio Divina is an incredible, blessed slow prayerfully meditative way to spend time in scripture; followed by us spending our time resting in God’s love within His Words. This ancient method of prayer was developed back around 300 A.D. It was originally began to help internalize Scripture creating an intimacy with God. Till this day many still pray in this most blessed simplistic way. Furthermore listen to the words of Saint Gregory. 

“…to know the heart of God through the Word of God.” ~St. Gregory the Great

 St. Gregory also said, “Would you enter into the very heart of God? Listen to His words,” Lectio Divina is literally the divine lesson, a time for us to divinely listen, and is broken down like this:

We should prepare for a time for Lectio in a similar way as to how you prepare for prayer time.   Allow all of this to slowly develop together. You can easily spend 15 minutes to an hour once you begin, it’s completely up to you.

Read / Lectio  
(Listening) Read the scripture very slowly, two or three times and notice what word or phrase speaks to you. Say to yourself, what am I hearing? What keeps popping out at me as I read this passage?

Meditation / Meditatio
(Repetition)  Then repeat the word or phrase over and over you feel is speaking to you and allow it to sink into your heart, are you noticing thoughts or feelings as you continue? Are questions building up inside you, questions that touch your life? Consider this though, how is this word or phrase touching me?

Prayer / Oratio    
(Listening) Listen for what you are feeling that the Lord is saying to you now through His Word. Ask God for the grace of this teaching, embrace this into your heart and make this your prayer.

Consider these questions to ponder:

·       What new spiritual insights are beginning to surface in my Spirit?

·       What am I hearing God say to me?

·       Is this new method of prayer affecting how I will pray now?

·       How shall I respond to this?   

Contemplation / Contemplatio
(Rest in the Word) Quietly sit there and trust fully in God. Embrace what is happening to you. God loves you and only wants the best for you.

What to do now?
Continue these thoughts throughout your day, or at least through the balance of your prayer time. Lectio Divina is the nourishment of prayer. Another most blessed way to understand this is that we are the vessels in Our Lady’s hands; and in her hands we are waiting to receive God’s Mercy and Grace that flows from Jesus’ wounded side to our hearts. Mary is very significant in our experience of Lectio Divina.

And so, he who is the primal Fountain of life, full in himself and filled with himself, gushed forth in the secret places of the heavens about Him, to fill them all with His favors. And having endowed the remotest heights and recesses, He burst upon our earth, saving men and beasts, multiplying His mercies everywhere. When He had first filled up the secret places, His teeming mercies billowed over; they poured upon the earth and drenched it, to multiply its riches. You must imitate the process. First be filled, then control the outpouring. The charity that is benign and prudent does not flow outwards until it abounds within.” ~St. Bernard

Your brother in Christ Jesus
And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS

I also invite you to follow me on Twitter:

Friday, July 12, 2013

Joy In My Suffering

BEADS OF JOY 07-12-13
“Joy In My Suffering”
©2013 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

My Friends,

Today let us look at the JOY, the BLESSINGS, the incredible INSIGHT we can all have by bearing our cross CHEERFULLY. Is it easy? NO! Will it ever be easy? Sort of YES. I will say this, it gets easier. I am GRATEFUL for being the one chosen to bear a Cross that I feel sometimes is killing me. I don’t fear death, no I don’t have a death wish. But know that when you are under the weight of a fiercely HEAVY CROSS, death is sweet to consider, comforting to ponder. But we won’t talk about that; instead let us look at the HOPE and JOY found in our Suffering. Embrace your suffering! Thank Jesus for choosing you to be the one to suffer.


2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Philippians 3:7-9
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.”

James 1:2-4 (Trials and Temptations)
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~The trials we face along with what seems like endless difficult times; through prayer and trust we learn and begin to see through the Holy Spirit within -that God is pruning the imperfections and getting rid of them out of our lives, so that we are better prepared for His Will in our lives.  Knowing this helps us bear with all this know; because it all seems so much more worthwhile.

James 1:2-18 (Trials and Temptations)
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business. Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.”

Let us end with this incredible verse:
1 Thessalonians 5:15-18
Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES (we must remember that)

OK. One final scripture to give you HOPE; our HOPE in Jesus.

1 Peter 1:3-9 (Praise to God for a Living Hope)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

This might be hard to understand, but I LOVE the SUFFERING. Not the pain and suffering, not the bloodshed, for only ONE (Jesus) who has bled has blessed us. When I speak of my “Love of Suffering” I am speaking of my gratefulness that God has chosen me to be the one to suffer. This suffering keeps my focus fully on Him, completely on Him, and this suffering keeps me on my knees at all times. Like I said, I am ever grateful for all this suffering.

If we are to FOLLOW JESUS, we must not be afraid to suffer. Suffering removes us from focusing on this world. Jesus' example on how He handled suffering is how we should be handling ours, by embracing our Cross.

“Jesus, I Trust In You!”

Your brother in Christ Jesus
And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mother Teresa's Joy

BEADS OF JOY 07-11-13
“Mother Teresa’s Joy”
©2013 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

My Friends,

Mother Teresa is inspiring, encouraging and so devout to our Lord; that I can’t help but love her so much. I especially love sharing all that I have learned about her life, her faith and her experiences. She has always played a very significant role in my own personal private prayer life, and devotion to the Rosary. Our St. Patrick’s Rosary Makers Guild here in Milford PA; use to personally send her mission rosary beads monthly for several consecutive years. Today let us look at ponder and maybe even include some of this most inspiring words from one our Lord’s most blessed saints.

Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II

Some quick notes/facts about Mother Teresa:

·       She was born August 26, 1910 -Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Albania.

·       When she was 18 y/o, Agnes left home to join the Sisters of Loreto in Ireland.

·       She stared the Missioners of Charity

·       She died on 5 September 1997. 

At the time of her death, Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity had over 4,000 sisters, and an associated brotherhood of 300 members, operating 610 missions in 123 countries. A truly dedicated worker of the Lord.

In Mother’s own words she speaks of incredible love for God: “How tenderly Jesus speaks when He gives Himself to His own in Holy Communion. ‘My Flesh is meat indeed and My Blood is drink indeed.  He that eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood abides in Me and I in him.’ Oh, what could my Jesus do more than give me His Flesh for my food?  No, not even God could do more nor show greater love for me.”

Mother Teresa’s message is always of love and humility: “We all know, when we look at the cross, how Jesus loved us.  When we look at the Eucharist we know how much He loves us now.”  And to those who longed to imitate her life she told, “In every Holy Communion, Jesus the word becomes Flesh in our life, a special, delicate, beautiful gift of God; it’s a privilege...” ...“You must protect it with tender care because He is giving Himself, the Word, to you to be made Flesh, to each one of you, and to those who will come after.”
When Mother Teresa became a nun, she took her name after St. Therese of Lisieux.  It was this young Saint who said these two statements, (1)“When I act and think with charity, I feel it is Jesus Who works within me.  The closer I am united with Him, the more I love all the other dwellers in Carmel.”  (2)“Holy Communion, as the word itself implies, is the intimate union of Jesus and our soul and body.  If we want to have life and have it more abundantly, we must live on the Flesh of our Lord.”

To me - Jesus is my God.  Jesus is my Spouse.  Jesus is my Life.  Jesus is my only Love.  Jesus is my All in all.  Jesus is my everything.  Jesus, I love with my whole heart, with my whole being.  I have given Him all, even my sins, and He has espoused me to Himself in all tenderness and love.  Now and for life I am the Spouse of my crucified Spouse.”  Let us pray for Mother Teresa’s intercession for us.

In each of our lives Jesus comes as the Bread of Life - to be eaten, to be consumed by us. This is how He loves us. Then Jesus comes in our human life as the hungry one, the other, hoping to be fed with the Bread of our life, our hearts by loving, and our hands by serving. In loving and serving, we prove that we have been created in the likeness of God, for God is Love and when we love we are like God. This is what Jesus meant when He said, "Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
Like Mary, let us be full of zeal to go in haste to give Jesus to others. She was full of grace when, at the annunciation, she received Jesus. Like her, we too become full of grace every time we receive Holy Communion. It is the same Jesus whom she received and whom we receive at Mass. As soon as we receive Jesus in Holy Communion, let us go in haste to give Him to our sisters, to our poor, to the sick, to the dying, to the lepers, to the unwanted, and the unloved. By this we make Jesus present in the world today.”

When you look at the Crucifix, you understand how much Jesus loved you then. When you look at the Sacred Host you understand how much Jesus loves you now,”
Put your sins in the chalice for the precious blood to wash away. One drop is capable of washing away the sins of the world. "The Eucharist is connected with the Passion. If Jesus had not established the Eucharist we would have forgotten the crucifixion. It would have faded into the past and we would have forgotten that Jesus loved us. There is a saying that to be far away from the eyes is to be far away from the heart. To make sure that we do not forget, Jesus gave us the Eucharist as a memorial of his love,”

Perpetual Adoration, Eucharistic Adoration offers to our people the opportunity to join those in religious life to pray for the salvation of the world, souls everywhere and peace on earth. We cannot underestimate the power of prayer and the difference it will make in our world,”
Who is Jesus to me? Jesus is the Word made Flesh. Jesus is the Bread of Life. Jesus is the Victim offered for our sins on the cross. Jesus is the sacrifice offered at holy Mass for the sins of the world and for mine. Jesus is the Word - to be spoken. Jesus is the Truth - to be told. Jesus is the Way - to be walked. Jesus is the Light - to be lit. Jesus is the Life - to be lived. Jesus is the Love - to be loved,”

A life not lived for others is not a life.”
Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.”

God doesn't require us to succeed; He only requires that you try.”

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, 'How many good things have you done in your life?' rather he will ask, 'How much love did you put into what you did?”

I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.
I know God won't give me anything I can't handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much.”

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
If we pray, we will believe; If we believe, we will love; If we love, we will serve.”

If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.”
If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

I'm a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.”
Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, fight for it.”

Live simply so others may simply live.”

Peace begins with a smile.”
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.”

What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”
When you don't have anything, then you have everything.”

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”

Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”
I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”

If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”
It is a kingly act to assist the fallen.”

Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love.”
Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”

Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.”
One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.”

We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love.”

Your brother in Christ Jesus
And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS

I also invite you to follow me on Twitter: