A Sunday Prayer

Sundays are generally quiet days in my life. The highlight of my Sunday is singing with the choir at Holy Mass. Four part harmony... I sing bass most of the time, sometimes tenor, if it's not too high. It depends on how many singers are at hand. Our Music Director is a very gifted person, who looks for excellence or as much of that is possible from a non-professional choir. I must say, it sounds great.

 

I check the e-mail on Sundays, and maybe do one of these reflections as I am doing now in the evening of Sunday. I try to leave Sundays free from heavy work because Our Lord doesn't really want us to work on Sundays. Some people cannot afford to take Sundays off. People who work 5-6 days a week, well, there's always lawn-mowing and lots of other projects or shopping. I prefer not to shop on Sundays, nor Saturdays for that matter. The stores are way too crowded on the weekends. Be that as it may. Our Lord created the seventh day of the week for rest, and for honoring the Father.  That's important, too.

 

Today happens to be Mission Sunday, and I'm reminded of Franciscan friars who go to the Missions. The few whom I know went to the Island of Jamaica, to Nicaragua, and other places, usually far away. Missionaries are servants, God sent His Son Jesus into this world, not to rule but to serve. In his servanthood, Jesus came to us to reveal God to us. When we hear about great servants such as Saint [Mother] Theresa of Calcutta, we are strongly reminded of the face of God, and those she served most likely perceived her that way, as fundamental goodness and love. Let us pray: "Lord Jesus Christ, make ours the same attitude that was yours. You who emptied yourself, taking the form of a slave, you humbled yourself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.¹" (see Phil 2:5,7-8)

Sundays are a good day to reflect on God's wishes for  us. He wants us to become holy in our daily lives. Holiness manifests itself when there is no longer any difference between our words and our actions. As Catholics we promise to love God and our neighbor (that means everyone) as ourselves. The intention to do so are our words. The action is when we do as we promise. We can stop sin in our lives. We have that power with the help of the Holy Spirit. God has given us a free will, so let us exercise that free will for the better. Heaven is not something you will earn five minutes before you breathe your last breath, if you have neglected it all your life. But God is merciful and compassionate. Heaven is earned by a life long pursuit of prayer (that is, talking with Jesus, with God) and comparable action. People who pray and pray, and every time they meet other people act foolishly, sinfully, are hypocrites. They are simply not acting upon God's goodness. So we may pray for them, not in comparison with ourselves, but simply asking God to bless them and make their hearts like His. That they may live in His presence now. "As a deer yearns for running streams, so I yearn for you, My God. In you is the source of life, by your light we see light¹" (cf. Ps. 42)

 

"God's love brings us to full blossom.²" With God's love, we can, in His name, accomplish almost anything. His love nurtures us as it does a most exquisite flower. Don't shut Him out, but prepare each day to make Him welcome in your life and your soul. Be joyful and grateful when He visits, and be Christ to everyone you meet each and every day.

 

May the Lord bless you and keep you well.

Fred Schaeffer, OFS
2008 rev. 2012 republ. 2018

 

If you truly want to help the soul of your neighbor, you should approach God first with all your heart. Ask Him to simply fill you with charity, the greatest of all virtues, with it you can accomplish what you desire.    St. Vincent Ferrer

 

1. Fr. Henry Nouwen
2. F. Schaeffer

Secular Franciscan Order
Ordo Franciscanus Sæcularis

Divine Mercy Fraternity

Vero Beach, FL

 

Officers as of 1/10/2016

 

Minister:
Fred Schaeffer, OFS
Vice-Minister:
Helen Caldarone, OFS
Secretary:
Mary "Jean" McGovern, OFS
Treasurer:
 
Jack Reddy, OFS

Formation Director: 
Donna Haro, OFS

Councillor-at-Large:

 Joanne Giordano, OFS

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Webmaster:
Fred Schaeffer, OFS
 

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