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.

Monday, March 17, 2003
Tuesday 2nd Week of Lent

The Readings
Isaiah 1:10, 16 20 Cease evil, learn the good, search for justice
Psalm 49, To the upright I will show the saving power of God
Matt 23:1 12 The greatest among you must be your servant. The exalted are humbled, the humble are exalted.

St. Gaspar
Dear brothers, having these words of the Apostle in mind, we return this year to the spiritual exercises which may be the last of our lives! Should not devotion to the ministry and its responsibility before God and the people call us to a most studious examination of our lives? If St. Paul, that exalted preacher of the Gospel, trembled, "for, having been an announcer myself, I should not want to be disqualified;" what, then, should be our portion who, in the light of so many circumstances, find every motive to truthfully acknowledge before the Divine Presence: "I hardly deserve the name apostle" . . . ("If I am to boast" ) . . . "I shall be happy to make my weaknesses my special boast." How important it is, therefore, to understand what the Apostle emphasizes in his letter to the Thessalonians: "Make a point of living quietly, attending to your own business . . . " Certainly, it is upon these points that we must direct our examination to achieve what is implied in the text quoted.

Cultivate the virtue of humility, a virtue which I greatly urge you to develop.

After awakening, we are to consecrate the beginning of the day to God: O God, you are my God, for you I long. (Ps 63:2). Time is to be given to holy meditation which will be conducted by the one chosen to proclaim the divine word on these holy days. A generous amount of time is to be allowed for private prayer and for the individual practice of the virtue of humility. It is written that the wisdom of God is given to those who humble themselves and become childlike in his presence: Giving wisdom to the simple. (Ps 19:8)

The Blood of Christ is the expression of an extravagantly generous love. This love calls for a response of loving obedience. Jesus challenges us to self-examination. Do we do what we do in life as a gift of self for others, or is everything done for self centered motives? The discipline of Lent teaches the heart again the utter dependence on and hunger for God. But these disciplines can be misused and bring other gratification as well, the affirmation and praise of others. All the titles used in our world and in our church, Teacher, Doctor, Father, Sister, Brother, Deacon, etc. are titles of service for others. Yet we can be tempted to depend on the gratification the title earns us, or we can be called to serve as the title of respect demands. St. Gaspar calls us to self examination as well, that we, who have cherished the Word of God, may not forget the call the Word give us. The Word calls us to humility as well. Humility is the simple truth that the One who created us is simply beyond us, that we are his children. When we act like we are in charge, or in control, we sin against the truth. Only servants know the truth.

• How do I behave because of who I am or what I have done?
• What are some of the ways I can be a better servant?
• When was the last time I desired to be the greatest?

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 10:26 PM link
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Indulge yourself

There was a time when we slipped into an unhealthy practice of trying to earn indulgences. An "Indulgence" is not something you earn. It isn't even a "thing." Indulgence is who God is. Indulgence is the unmeasurable generosity of God who desires so much to be close to his people. It is the experience of that relationship which enriches the Christian people. The Time of a mission is known as a time of plenary indulgence. A "plenary Indulgence" is granted the Christian faithful who on the occasion of a mission have heard some of the sermons and are present for its solemn conclusion.

A Mission is a time to listen to God, not simply the mission preacher. God generally selects the weakest instruments to accomplish his greatest works, says St. Gaspar del Bufalo, one of the best mission preachers and the founder of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. A Mission is a time to pay attention to God who is so generous, so merciful, who loves you so, who has been seeking you for along time. Now is the time for you to set aside the mundane and everyday, to seek ways of conversion and repentance, and spend some time considering God's desires. "Now is the time" God says. This is the time when God is calling out to you, that God is waking us to what is real and what is true. We are to wake up to a God who is indulgence, who even in our struggles seeks to show us his generosity. Our God is not one to judge or condemn but is rather mercy, indulgence itself to all who seek him. Now is the time for Mission. Indulge yourself.

In the Handbook on Indulgences it is #41
Praedicationis sacrae participatio

"A partial indulgence is granted the Christian faithful who attentively and devoutly assist at the preaching of the Word of God.

A plenary indulgence is granted the Christian faithful who on occasion of a mission have heard some of the sermons and are present for its solemn conclusion.

Usual conditions: celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Reception of the Eucharist, Proclamation of the Creed and prayers for the Holy Father.

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 3:31 PM link
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