Father’s Messages

You are the Temple of the Holy Spirit Father Stefan working on Homily for This Sunday Feb 19

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Source: You are the Temple of the Holy Spirit Father Stefan working on Homily for This Sunday Feb 19

You are the Temple of the Holy Spirit Father Stefan working on Homily for This Sunday Feb 19

In the Second Reading we are told “Do You not know that you are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and that the Spirit of God dwells in You?”(1 Cor 3:17-18)

We read in Ephesians 2: 19-22 ‘So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s Household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing in a ‘Holy Temple in The Lord’ in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.’

1 Peter 2:5 we read ‘You also, as living stones are being built up into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.’

St Therese the Little Flowers tells us ‘A Soul in a state of Grace has nothing to fear of demons who are cowards.’

St Catherine of Siena was gifted by the Lord to see a soul in a state of grace.
‘It was so beautiful that she could not look at it; the brightness of that soul dazzled her. Blessed Raymond, her confessor, asked her to describe to him, as far as she was able, the beauty of the soul she had seen. St Catherine though of the sweet light of that morning, and of the beautiful colors of the rainbow, but the soul was far more beautiful. She remembered the dazzling beans of the noonday sun, but the light which beamed from that soul was far brighter. She though of the pure whiteness of the lily and of the fresh snow, but that is only an earthly whiteness. The soul she had seen was bright with the whiteness of Heaven, such as there is not to found on earth.’

St Theresa of Avila says ‘In a state of Grace, the Soul is like a well which which flows only streams of clearest crystal. Its works are pleasing to God and to Man, rising from the River of Life.’ I think it was St Theresa of Avila who said. ‘The soul in a state of Grace is so beautiful that if you didn’t know better you would think it was God.’

THE CHURCH IS THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

797 “What the soul is to the human body, the Holy Spirit is to the Body of Christ, which is the Church.”243 “To this Spirit of Christ, as an invisible principle, is to be ascribed the fact that all the parts of the body are joined one with the other and with their exalted head; for the whole Spirit of Christ is in the head, the whole Spirit is in the body, and the whole Spirit is in each of the members.”244 The Holy Spirit makes the Church “the temple of the living God”:245

Indeed, it is to the Church herself that the “Gift of God” has been entrusted. . . . In it is in her that communion with Christ has been deposited, that is to say: the Holy Spirit, the pledge of incorruptibility, the strengthening of our faith and the ladder of our ascent to God. . . . For where the Church is, there also is God’s Spirit; where God’s Spirit is, there is the Church and every grace.246
798 The Holy Spirit is “the principle of every vital and truly saving action in each part of the Body.”247 He works in many ways to build up the whole Body in charity:248 by God’s Word “which is able to build you up”;249 by Baptism, through which he forms Christ’s Body;250 by the sacraments, which give growth and healing to Christ’s members; by “the grace of the apostles, which holds first place among his gifts”;251 by the virtues, which make us act according to what is good; finally, by the many special graces (called “charisms”), by which he makes the faithful “fit and ready to undertake various tasks and offices for the renewal and building up of the Church.”252

Think how beautiful St Peter’s Church in Rome is? You soul when it is in a state of Grace is infinitely more beautiful. You are a Living Stone in the Temple of The Lord. Holy Spirit make me into a living stone and place me where you want me in the temple of the Lord.

Thought for the day from Pope Francis ‘Soul Institute’ Feb 3 Holy Spirit also makes us Young

Pope Francis preached yesterday, “We do well to take up the dreams of our elders, so that we can prophesy in our day and once more encounter what originally set our hearts afire. Dreams and prophecies together. The remembrance of how our elders, our fathers and mothers, dreamed, and the courage prophetically to carry on those dreams.

This attitude will make our consecrated life more fruitful. Most importantly, it will protect us from a temptation that can make our consecrated life barren: the temptation of survival. An evil that can gradually take root within us and within our communities. The mentality of survival makes us reactionaries, fearful, slowly and silently shutting ourselves up in our houses and in our own preconceived notions. It makes us look back, to the glory days – days that are past – and rather than rekindling the prophetic creativity born of our founders’ dreams, it looks for shortcuts in order to evade the challenges knocking on our doors today. A survival mentality robs our charisms of power, because it leads us to “domesticate” them, to make them “user-friendly”, robbing them of their original creative force. It makes us want to protect spaces, buildings and structures, rather than to encourage new initiatives. The temptation of survival makes us forget grace; it turns us into professionals of the sacred but not fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters of that hope to which we are called to bear prophetic witness. An environment of survival withers the hearts of our elderly, taking away their ability to dream. In this way, it cripples the prophecy that our young are called to proclaim and work to achieve. In a word, the temptation of survival turns what the Lord presents as an opportunity for mission into something dangerous, threatening, potentially disastrous. This attitude is not limited to the consecrated life, but we in particular are urged not to fall into it.”

The Holy Spirit is guiding the Church in new direction. The Holy Spirit is the Soul of the Church. In the Act of the Apostles right after Pentecost Peter tells the crowd “And I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughter shall prophecy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” As Pope Francis said “The mentality of survival makes us reactionaries, fearful, slowly and silently shutting ourselves up in our houses and in our own preconceived notions. It makes us look back, to the glory days – days that are past and rather than rekindling the prophetic creativity born of our founders’ dreams”

The Glory Days are not behind us. The Glory days are ahead of us if only we trust in the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit makes us forever young and new. When the Holy Spirit is present an old man or woman can have the heart and imagination of a child. In contrast, a young man or woman can be old and harden in their heart. Pope John XXIII despite being an old man had the heart and mind of a young man. The Holy Spirit made him perpetually young.

Come Holy Spirit and help us to be young again. As Jesus said in the Scripture “Unless you are born of water and the spirit you cannot enter the Kingdom of God.

Feb 3 Feast of St Blaise

How many of you have been to mass and healing service? You might say I don’t think that I have been to one. But you might have been to one and not realized it.

February 3 is the feast day of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr. St Blaise was a fourth century bishop. Tradition tells us that a woman had a son who was choking on a fish bone, and the bishop prayed over the boy and he was healed.

From this event in the life of St Blaise rose the tradition of blessing the throats of people at mass on Feb 3.

At the mass the priest or deacon will say as he places two candles around the person’s throat, “through the intercession of St Blaise bishop and martyr may you be healed of every disease of the throat and of every other illness.”

I think there is a lot of theology in this prayer. First we are asking for the intercession of St Blaise. But we also in this prayer have a theology of the church’s teaching on suffering.

We are asking through the intercession of St Blaise to not only heal the throat. but any other illness.

The prayer that the priest or deacon prays is part of the official liturgy of the church. I think we see the church’s teaching on illness. Namely that all sickness and disease is not part of God’s plan because we are praying for the healing of the throat and of every other illness.

I often meet people who never think of going to a mass and healing service. They might say those “charismatics are crazy”. Maybe without realizing it we go to a mass and healing service on the feast of St Blaise.

Like all healing services we have to have faith. When we get our throats blessed this Friday on the feast of St Blasie may we come with faith and expect to get healed.

If you have cancer, heart disease, back problems, or throat disease come with faith and allow God to heal you through the intercession of St Blaise bishop and martyr.

Blessing Father Stefan

Father Stefan Reflection for the day Feb 1 Holy Spirit and knowing God Will

The Liturgy of The Hours today has a reading on ‘Spiritual Perfection’ by Diadochus of Photice, bishop. He writes “Therefore, we mist maintain great stillness of mind, even in the midst of our struggles. We shall then be able to distinguish between different types of thoughts that come to us: those that are good, those sent by God, we will treasure in our memory; those that are evil and inspired by the devil we will reject. A comparison with the sea may help us. A tranquil sea allows the fisherman to gaze right to its depths. No fish can hide there and escape his sight. The stormy sea, however, becomes murky when it is agitated by the winds. The very depths that it revealed in its placidness, the sea now hides. The skills of the fisherman are useless.”

“Only the Holy Spirit can purify the mind: unless the strong man enters and robs the thief, the booty will not be recovered. So by every means, but especially by peace of soul, we must try to provide the Holy Spirit with a resting place…This is why the Apostles says ‘Do not stifle the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of goodness: do not grieve him by your evil actions and thoughts, and so deprive yourself of the defense his light afford you. In his own being, which is eternal and life-giving, he is not stifled, in darkness, deprived of the light of knowledge.”

Fr Wilfried Stinissen in his book ‘The Holy Spirit Fire of Divine Love’ tells us “The voice of the Spirit always creates inner harmony. He does not bring about alienation. The one who obeys him feels he has become more himself, that he has received a genuine ‘identity’ and a greater rootedness’

‘The entire Gospel gives witness to this. Zachariah prophesies about Jesus that ‘through the tender mercy of our God…the day shall dawn upon us from on high…to guide our feet in the way of peace’ (Lk 1:78-79). ‘Peace I leave with you.’ says Jesus Jesus (Jn 14:27). and he greets with the words: ‘Peace be with you.’ (Jn 20:19)

‘It can happen that the Spirit’s voice creates a holy restlessness at first. For example, it is typical for a religious vocation often to give rise to feeling of resistance. But if the vocation is genuine, it will afterwards lead to a deep peace. Thrown a magnet into iron filings. The first reaction is a great stir. This is because the small particles are set in motion by the magnet and hurry to take up their new position.’

‘If you wish to know if it is the Spirit speaking, wait a little while, and see if Joy and peace are lasting. This rule can also be formulated in the reverse: If you heeded an impulse that you believed to be from the Holy Spirit but never experienced peace in it, you were mistaken and must admit that this impulse cannot have come from the Holy Spirit.’

Scripture says ‘Be Still and Know that I am God.’ Spend a few minutes today. Just be quiet for a few minutes and see what the Holy Spirit is telling you today.’

Working Note For Homily On Sunday Feb 5 ‘You are the salt of the Earth’ ‘Everyone will be Salted with Fire’

In the Gospel we will read this Sunday:
Jesus said to his disciples ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses it taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lamp stand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.’ (Mt 5 13-16)

Salt Preserves, Cleanses, Brings out Taste.

Jesus says in Mark (9:49) ‘Everyone will be salted with fire.’
‘But if salt looses it taste, with what can it be seasoned. It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.’ When we fell by original sin. We were wounded but not depraved. Salt cannot help season or preserve spoiled meat. We need this spiritual salt to prevent our wounded souls and hearts from becoming spoiled. But more importantly this spiritual salt brings out the life of Jesus in our hearts. But if our hearts are ‘spoiled and corrupt’ this salt can do no good in our soul. This Spiritual Salt ‘Is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.’

In Genesis 19:26 When Lot and His wife were fleeing Sodom. We are told ‘But Lot’s wife looked back and she became a pillar of salt.’ In a Jewish Mid Rash tradition Lot’s Wife cried so many tears of sadness for the sake of Sodom. That she became a pillar of salt.

Leviticus 2: 13 tells us ‘ You shall season all your cereal offering with salt; you shall not let the salt of the covenant with your God be lacking from your cereal offering.’

In 2 Kings 21 the Prophet Elisha ‘He said bring me a bowl and put salt in it’ so they brought it to him. Then he went into the spring of water and threw salt in it, and said ‘Thus said the Lord, I have made this water wholesome; henceforth neither death nor miscarriage shall come from it. So the water has been wholesome to this day.”

In the Blessing of Holy Water the Priest used Blessed Salt and said this prayer

‘O Salt, creature of God, I exorcise you by the living God, By the True God By the Holy God. By the God who ordered Elisha the prophet, so that its life-giving powers might be restored. I exorcise you so that you may become a means of salvation for believers, that you may bring health of soul and body to all who make use of you, and that you may put to flight and drive away form the places where you are sprinkled; every apparition, villainy, turn of devilish deceit, and every unclean spirit; abjured by him who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.’

Jesus tells us in Mary Gospel ‘Salt is good, but if the salt has lost it saltiness, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.’ (Mk 9:50)

Paul say in Colossians ‘Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer every one.’ (Col 4:6)

Salt season and preserves food. Spiritual salt preserves and seasons our heart and tongue.

New born were cleaned in salt. We read in the prophet Ezekiel 16:4 ‘And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths.’ New Born were rubbed with salt. In Baptism ‘Before the candidates enter the Church or baptistry, salt is blessed with an exorcism, and a pinch can be put in the mouth of the candidates. However, in modern practice this can be skipped.’

Leviticus 2: 13 tells us ‘ You shall season all your cereal offering with salt; you shall not let the salt of the covenant with your God be lacking from your cereal offering.’

When we read in Mark Gospel ‘That everyone will be salted with Fire.’

As salt was used in the offering in Leviticus. Jesus sends the the Spiritual Salt. The Holy Spirit in the image of salt into the offering of our hearts. Salt is used for cleaning and purifying the offering. So the Holy Spirit Salt that Jesus will spend to us will cleanse and purify our hearts. So that Our Hearts will be a true offering to Jesus.

Being ‘Salted with Fire’ will often burn, but that is because our hearts are often corrupt and need to be cleansed by this burning Spiritual Salt. This Spiritual Salt will preserve our hearts souls, so that we will be a pleasant fragrance of Jesus Christ in the world. This Spiritual Salt will be healing to the world and prevent it from falling into corruption. This Spiritual Salt of the Holy Spirit Fire bring healing to the world.

Father Stefan Working on Homily for this Sunday starting to make working notes ‘You are the salt of the Earth’5 th Sunday in Ordinary Time

In the Gospel we will read this Sunday:
Jesus said to his disciples ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses it taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lamp stand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.’ (Mt 5 13-16)

Salt Preserves, Cleanses, Brings out Taste.

Jesus says in Mark (9:49) ‘Everyone will be salted with fire.’
‘But if salt looses it taste, with what can it be seasoned. It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.’ When we fell by original sin. We were wounded but not depraved. Salt cannot help season or preserve spoiled meat. We need this spiritual salt to prevent our wounded souls and hearts from becoming spoiled. But more importantly this spiritual salt brings out the life of Jesus in our hearts. But if our hearts are ‘spoiled and corrupt’ this salt can do no good in our soul. This Spiritual Salt ‘Is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.’

In Genesis 19:26 When Lot and His wife were fleeing Sodom. We are told ‘But Lot’s wife looked back and she became a pillar of salt.’ In a Jewish Mid Rash tradition Lot’s Wife cried so many tears of sadness for the sake of Sodom. That she became a pillar of salt.

Leviticus 2: 13 tells us ‘ You shall season all your cereal offering with salt; you shall not let the salt of the covenant with your God be lacking from your cereal offering.’

In 2 Kings 21 the Prophet Elisha ‘He said bring me a bowl and put salt in it’ so they brought it to him. Then he went into the spring of water and threw salt in it, and said ‘Thus said the Lord, I have made this water wholesome; henceforth neither death nor miscarriage shall come from it. So the water has been wholesome to this day.”

In the Blessing of Holy Water the Priest used Blessed Salt and said this prayer

‘O Salt, creature of God, I exorcise you by the living God, By the True God By the Holy God. By the God who ordered Elisha the prophet, so that its life-giving powers might be restored. I exorcise you so that you may become a means of salvation for believers, that you may bring health of soul and body to all who make use of you, and that you may put to flight and drive away form the places where you are sprinkled; every apparition, villainy, turn of devilish deceit, and every unclean spirit; abjured by him who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.’

Jesus tells us in Mary Gospel ‘Salt is good, but if the salt has lost it saltiness, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.’ (Mk 9:50)

Paul say in Colossians ‘Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer every one.’ (Col 4:6)

Salt season and preserves food. Spiritual salt preserves and seasons our heart and tongue.

New born were cleaned in salt. We read in the prophet Ezekiel 16:4 ‘And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths.’ New Born were rubbed with salt. In Baptism ‘Before the candidates enter the Church or baptistry, salt is blessed with an exorcism, and a pinch can be put in the mouth of the candidates. However, in modern practice this can be skipped.’

Leviticus 2: 13 tells us ‘ You shall season all your cereal offering with salt; you shall not let the salt of the covenant with your God be lacking from your cereal offering.’

When we read in Mark Gospel ‘That everyone will be salted with Fire.’

As salt was used in the offering in Leviticus. Jesus sends the the Spiritual Salt. The Holy Spirit in the image of salt into the offering of our hearts. Salt is used for cleaning and purifying the offering. So the Holy Spirit Salt that Jesus will spend to us will cleanse and purify our hearts. So that Our Hearts will be a true offering to Jesus.

Being ‘Salted with Fire’ will often burn, but that is because our hearts are often corrupt and need to be cleansed by this burning Spiritual Salt. This Spiritual Salt will preserve our hearts souls, so that we will be a pleasant fragrance of Jesus Christ in the world. This Spiritual Salt will be healing to the world and prevent it from falling into corruption. This Spiritual Salt of the Holy Spirit Fire bring healing to the world.