The New Gasparian
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A journal dedicated to the life and mission of St. Gaspar del Bufalo, and to a life lived in response to the call and the cry of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our on-going mission is to share good news of hope and communion.

Saturday, March 15, 2003
Second Sunday of Lent (B)

The Readings
Genesis 22:1-2, 9a,10-13, 15-18 The Sacrifice of Abraham
Psalm 116 I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living
Romans 8: 31b-34 If God is for us, who can be against?
Mark 9:2-10 This is my Beloved Son, Listen to him. (Transfiguration)

St. Gaspar del Bufalo
Therefore, let us willingly retire to a place of solitude; let us listen to the voice of God as he directs us in a special way during these days. For your voice is sweet. (Song 2:14) Let this be an enlightenment of our minds and a sanctification of our hearts so that we may become indefatigable workers in the eyes of God.

For you the hour of the great apostolate has not yet come, but the time to acquire the necessary dispositions is your work now. Now you must learn how to handle the spiritual weapons: This God ... who trains my hand for battle. (Cf. 2 Sm 22:35, Ps 17 (18):35) Now the necessary provisions for the struggle are being made. Now the ambush of the enemy is exposed and the plan laid for his defeat. Is not this a great apostolic groundwork? Dearly beloved, take these words to heart. Listen with docility, as did Samuel in the temple, to the promptings of grace, and guard it carefully.

Through the Cross we enjoy the abundance of those mystic waters, which symbolize the graces issuing from the merits of the divine Blood so as to be able to promote purity of life in ourselves and in our neighbor. Let us, then, listen to the convincing voice of the Savior who shows us his sufferings as an incentive to be zealous for souls, for they have been purchased at an inestimable price. You have been bought at a great price. (1 Cor 6:20)


Reflection
A married person often marries what they consider the ideal spouse. Much of what is entailed here is the imagination, the hopes and dreams, and often we must go beyond the ideal to the actual person. To receive another person as they are and not as I want them to be is the greatest act of respect.

The disciples had to learn to listen. They wanted to operate like kings, based in power, success and prestige. What they hoped for in Jesus was not what they got, and it took many challenges before they were to receive him as he is. Jesus was not succeeding as they hoped. There was opposition from the Pharisees, and now he was predicting his passion and death. Peter had opposed that but Jesus put him in his place. Their view of Jesus must be transfigured.

Now on the mountain they see him as he is. They hear the voice that Jesus had heard at his baptism, “This is my beloved Son, Listen to him.”

Did they hear? Not really! He asked them to be quiet until he rose from the dead. Rather than paying attention to who he is, they discuss among themselves what rising from the dead might mean. Our encounter with Jesus is not supposed to leads us into endless theological discussion.

Are we really ready to accept a messiah who comes to life through suffering rather than conquering through power? When we listen to Jesus we must receive him as he is, not as we hope, want or expect. God’s word breaks in upon us not for our comfort, but to call us to conversion. Peter wanted to make three tents as if we were dealing with three equals. He and we still have much to learn

The discipline of prayer this Lent means listening to Jesus with new ears and seeing with new eyes, receiving him as he is.

• What do I hope, want or expect from Jesus?
• What about Jesus do I not want to listen to?
• Where might he be calling me to conversion?
• Where has suffering led to new life?




posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 11:14 PM link
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What Are Missions?

You can read St. Gaspar on "What are Missions?" by clicking here. You will need Adobe Acrobat to read the file. An Acrobat reader is free at Adobe.com.



posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 2:22 PM link
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Mission



A while back one of our fellow
Catholic Bloggers said that The New Gasparian should be called "Now Gasping Again if he does not cut back on the travel." Well he said this just as the real travel season is beginning. What we do as Missionaries of the Precious Blood is preach missions and retreats. St. Gaspar wanted us to commit ourselves to what he called the holy expeditions. Hey, even this blog is one of those holy expeditions.

So I am in the days of final preparation for a Parish Mission. It will be held at St. Anselm Church in San Anselmo, CA beginning next Saturday. If you are anywhere in Marin County and want to spend some time in a Lenten retreat, please join us. If you would like to see what a Parish mission looks like you can click here if you have Adobe Acrobat. The New Gasparian will feature reports from the parish mission as well as the on-going on-line retreat with St.Gaspar.



posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 1:02 PM link
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Saturday of the First Week

The Readings
Dt. 26: 16 19 Observe God's Law with heart and soul
Psalm 119, Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord.
Matt 5:43 48 ...but I say: love your enemies.

St. Gaspar
Since the beginning and the progress of a devout life depend entirely upon interior mortification, let this be something that is always thoroughly dear to you. Be firm in overcoming the obstacles that are met along the road to perfection; be big hearted in the execution of your desires, keeping them in conformity to the divine good pleasure, and, do not be fearful of any opposition that you may encounter that would try to discourage you. These are general principles for everyone and they become better understood with the practice of them. Remember that we are in service to a Lord who is sweetness itself and one who wants our love. Therefore, let Jesus reside in our hearts, the thought of eternity in our minds, the world kept under our feet, and, in this way gain merits.

May God always be blessed in times of prosperity as well as adversity, and let us try to live ever in conformity with his holy will.

The bravery of a soldier and his skill are recognized in the battle that he fights; the sturdiness of a plant is made evident as soon as it resists the violent impact of the wind; the quality of a metal is proved by the repeated blows of a hammer. Therefore, be courageous: our most loving Father is totally intent on having us grow in evangelical perfection, in detachment from created things, in total abandonment to his most holy desires.


Reflection
Jesus sits before us as a teacher. In the Sermon on the Mount we listen to his wisdom and to his instruction. Life is ours if we keep his commands. And one of his commands is that we love our enemies. How difficult it is to hear! The world is filled with violence, and we may fear for our safety and security. But if we are to follow Jesus we are commanded to have love and compassion for enemies. They may remain enemies, yet we are to be revealed as members of Christ’s body in how we remain faithful in the struggle.

Entering more deeply into the disciplines of Lent we set out on the road to perfection. This perfection is an ever-growing likeness with the ways of God. One who is begotten of God is known by compassion, love, and forgiveness, not by anger and bitterness toward enemies.

This perfection is not easily attained. St. Gaspar teaches that the disciples are moved by the chisel of the struggles and trials of the world. It is there that we are revealed as children of God.
Any relationship goes through this type of purification as we detach ourselves from prior ways and observe the ways and actions with and for the beloved. So too the relationship with God teaches us to observe his ways and learn to do his will.

• What actions in my daily life reveal me as a child of God?
• What actions reveal me as a child of the world?
• What is God teaching me this Lent?

The PBLC reflection is here.



posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 11:45 AM link
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