Our Lenten Theme

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Our theme for Lent is renewal of our commitment to the practices of the Flame of Love. We must be sure this renewal rests upon the proper foundation – we do all for Love – love of our Lord and love of our brothers and sisters: “if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.” I Cor 13:3
Only when our actions reach into our deepest longings and purpose – to love and be loved – will our commitment be sustainable. All we do, we do for love for, if we have become Jesus by the effect of grace, we have become Love for God IS Love.

Let us, in this series, re-examine the various aspects of this great devotion and particularly explore how they flow from the Flame of Love, not The Flame of Responsibility or the Flame of Saving Our Own Skin – yes, the Flame of Love who is Love Himself. May God make us an ever greater blessing for others during this season of Lent.

WEEK TWENTY FIVE – SATURDAY – SEPTEMBER 25, 2021 – A SECOND WARNING (LK 9:43-45)

Prayer:

O Holy Spirit, reveal to me the mystery of Jesus. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with his disciples. 

Context:

Jesus has just healed the boy with a demon. While the disciples are still amazed at this, Jesus shifts the focus to his death. The warning falls on deaf ears. They have no idea of the mystery that lies ahead.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

In the middle of the disciples’ astonishment at all that Jesus did, he said to his disciples, “Place in your hearts my words. The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of men.” 

They failed to understand his words. It was so concealed from them that they did not grasp it at all and they were afraid to question him about this matter. 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.) 

  1. Jesus’ display of powerful healings overwhelms the disciples. They cannot grasp the mystery of suffering. 
  2. The disciples do not place Jesus’ words in their hearts. They want only his glory. 
  3. Jesus reveals the hardest truth. He will be delivered over as a prisoner. 
  4. The full impact of his words is lost. The disciples grasp nothing. 
  5. The matter seems so unimportant that they do not bother to ask. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.) 

  • O Jesus, I will be a true disciple always giving you my heart. 
  • Place your words in my heart and I will cherish them. 
  • Even when you speak to me of trials and sufferings, I will not walk away. 
  • Remove the veil that covers my mind so your words give me life. 
  • O Jesus, I will live by every word that comes from your lips. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will ask Jesus to speak to my heart. 

+ I will take to heart his gospel teachings. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.) 

Place my words in your hearts.

WEEK TWENTY FIVE – FRIDAY – SEPTEMBER 24, 2021 – JESUS’ IDENTITY REVEALED (LK 9:18-22)

Prayer:

O Holy Spirit, open to my heart the mystery of Jesus Christ. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with his disciples. 

Context:

An earlier gospel showed what the Father wanted Jesus to accomplish for Israel. This gospel answers a deeper question. What is Jesus’ relationship to the Father and to Israel. At this point, only the apostles must know. The crowds would misinterpret this truth and make him a king.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

As Jesus was praying in seclusion, his disciples were with him. He asked them, “Whom do people say that I am?” They answered, “Some say John the Baptist. Some say Elijah. Others say that one of the prophets has arisen.” 

He said, “Whom do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “The messiah of God.” He strictly commanded them not to tell anyone, saying “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and be put to death and rise on the third day.” 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.) 

  1. When Jesus is at prayer, he sees clearly the Father’s will. 
  2. The disciples, also, are especially blessed when they join Jesus in prayer. 
  3. The world cannot comprehend who Jesus is or what he accomplishes. 
  4. Jesus’ direct question to the disciples fills Simon Peter with faith and revelation. 
  5. Jesus is the Messiah sent by God to fulfill his divine plan. 
  6. Surprisingly, the Father wills that Jesus suffer, die and rise from the dead. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.) 

  • Jesus, my human intelligence cannot understand who you are and what you will do for me. 
  • Give me the light of prayer. I will understand my task. 
  • Fill me with faith. Reveal your mysteries. Draw me to yourself. 
  • You are the Messiah sent by God to save me. 
  • I will follow you into the great mystery of your death. You will raise me from the dead also. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ By daily mental prayer, I will get to know Jesus Christ. 

+ I will thank Jesus who suffered and died for me. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.) 

You are the Messiah of God.

Who Then Is This- St. Padre Pio

21 Today’s Consuming Fire Meditation- – A Daily
Dose of the Flame of Love Diary Served Up with Today’s Scriptures

Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina

Who Then Is This?

Mary: “You have no reason to fear. Although we prepared your soul, you must unceasingly feel that you are an instrument in our hands. Attribute nothing to yourself. Fear is inevitable, it is a reflection of your pride. Do you think you are capable of anything? Devote yourself fully, my little one. Recognize your nothingness. We will lead you.” (Mary) (December 1, 1962)

Today’s Readings: Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening,
and he was greatly perplexed because some were
saying,
“John has been raised from the dead”;
others were saying, “Elijah has appeared”;
still others, “One of the ancient prophets has
arisen.”
But Herod said, “John I beheaded.
Who then is this about whom I hear such things?”
And he kept trying to see him. (Luke 5)

Prayer Meditation- Lord we praise You today because we read in the Gospel about how Herod is perplexed by who Jesus is. You see, Herod thought he was in control as he had already beheaded John the Baptist. And now there was a new prophet and he was curious. Herod represents the cynicism, corruption and worldliness so present particularly in the last century and today. And into the mix of our recent times came Padre Pio, a prophet, a stigmatist, and a miracle worker both in and out of the confessional. And the world was curious about him too, he was even on the cover of Life Magazine, but like Herod, our generation so often fails to see You Lord when You are in our midst despite signs and wonders. Lord Jesus, when you were on the Earth You were humble and You attributed everything to the Father. Padre Pio was humble and attributed nothing to himself even as he was persecuted even in the Church. He lived for You Lord! And You are asking us Lord to be instruments of Your Grace in these times- not to fear as we recognize our nothingness as You lead us in Your Most Holy and Divine Will. Others may or may not say about us, who then is this, as we quietly make sacrifices and acts of reparation for the world we are in today, but let us be faithful like Padre Pio and also like You Lord Jesus, totally united to the Holy Trinity in all that we do for Your Glory!

Blessed Padre Pio of Pietrelcina | Jim, the Photographer | Flickr
Get this image on: Flickr | License details

WEEK TWENTY FIVE – THURSDAY – SEPTEMBER 23, 2021 – HEROD’S CONCLUSION (LK 9:7-9)

Prayer:

O Holy Spirit, reveal to me the fullness of Jesus. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with his disciples. 

Context:

This text is sort of an interlude as Herod ponders Jesus’ identity. Later, Peter, by divine revelation will proclaim correctly that Jesus is the Messiah. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

Herod the Tetrarch heard of all that Jesus was doing, and he was perplexed. Some were saying, “John has been raised from the dead.” Others, “Elijah has appeared.” Still others say, “One of the prophets of old has risen. But Herod said, “John I beheaded. Who is this man about whom I hear all these reports?” He was very curious to see him. 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.) 

  1. Jesus’ miracles do not lead Herod to faith but “to confusion.” His sinful life impeded any true understanding. 
  2. The three preposterous ideas show the great religious confusion which only Jesus can remove. 
  3. Herod is troubled. He cannot forget his murder of John. Jesus’ holiness stirs up these painful memories. 
  4. In the gospels, many people hear reports about Jesus. Usually, this arouses faith and they bring their sick to Jesus. 
  5. In Herod, the reports only stir up curiosity. He wants to see Jesus but not to repent and to believe. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.) 

  • O Jesus, do not let my sins lead me into confusion. 
  • Quiet my sinful desires. Take away the darkness of my mind. 
  • I, too, have troubling memories. I come to you for forgiveness. 
  • I know who you are, Jesus. You died for me and you saved me from everlasting death. 
  • You are Lord. You are King. 
  • How I want to see you, to serve you, to love you forever. Come, Lord Jesus. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will uproot the sinful desires that confuse my heart. 

+ I will multiply my desires to see Jesus. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.) 

Herod was perplexed and curious.

Take Nothing For The Journey

Today’s Consuming Fire
Meditation- – A Daily Dose of the Flame of Love Diary Served Up with Today’s
Scriptures

Twenty Fifth Wednesday
of Ordinary Time

Take Nothing For The Journey

“I grasp your hands. I will go with you. May our feet journey
together.” (Jesus) (November 29, 1962)

Today’s Readings: He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey ,neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic.(Luke 9)

Prayer Meditation- Lord, on this journey of life we can load ourselves down with so many things- so many props, so many things we think we can’t live without. So many attachments! We all have them- money, food, need for approval, addictions, stuff! But Lord we can’t grasp Your Hands if we don’t fully let go- Lord help us to rid ourselves of whatever baggage is getting in the way of our walk with You! Because only You lead the way to the narrow road of life! (Matthew 7:14)

black backpack on gray concrete road

WEEK TWENTY FIVE – WEDNESDAY – SEPTEMBER 22, 2021 – SENT BY JESUS (LK 9:1-6)

Prayer:

O Holy Spirit, anoint me with your powers. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus sending forth his 12 apostles. 

Context:

This text looks forward to the Church, when the Holy Spirit will send the apostles to the whole world. Jesus’ words reflect what actually happened. The small Church communities sent forth preachers to the whole world.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

Jesus called the twelve apostles together and gave them power and authority to overcome all demons and to heal diseases. He sent them forth to proclaim the reign of God and to heal the afflicted. He told them, “Take nothing for your journey, not staff, or traveling bag. Take no food and no money. No one is to have two coats. 

Stay at whatever house you enter and live there. Do not depart from it. Whoever will not receive you, when you leave that city, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.” 

So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the good news everywhere and curing diseases. 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.) 

  1. Jesus trusted that these apostles would tell the whole world. How important is the preacher of the word! 
  2. The apostles only proclaim that the Kingdom is at hand. Even they do not yet understand this Kingdom. 
  3. However, they can heal and cast out demons to show the power of this Kingdom. 
  4. Because they preach a heavenly Kingdom, they must set aside earthly comforts. 
  5. Any village which rejects them receives no blessing. Even the dust will not enter the Kingdom. 
  6. The apostles start immediately. They set out. The Kingdom is important and people must hear about it. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.) 

  • O Jesus, you entrust this task to me. You believe in me. You depend on me. 
  • Your Kingdom is powerful, healing people and setting them free. 
  • Unleash your powers in our midst. 
  • O Jesus, I will proclaim the Kingdom is at hand. 
  • I will set aside earthly comforts because your Kingdom deserves my whole heart. 
  • I will set out, Jesus. I will not wait. Tomorrow is too late. Your Kingdom is coming. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will try to listen to God. What does he want me to do? 

+ In Jesus’ name, I will pray that people be cured and set free. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.) 

He sent them forth to proclaim the Kingdom and to heal.

ARE YOU CHOOSING GOD’S WILL TO PROMOTE HEALING AND HOLINESS?

While a child, our Blessed Mother asked Maximilian Kolbe to choose the red crown of martyrdom or white crown of sacrificing himself daily. The young Max responded that he wanted both crowns. Saint Maximilian Kolbe became a Franciscan priest and always chose to surrender his human will to God’s will. On fire with the love and mercy of Jesus, this Franciscan spread the good news of Jesus throughout the world and attracted over a thousand men to live in his monastery in Poland. When the Nazi regime invaded Poland, they sent Maximillian to a concentration camp. Even his enemies recognized the power of this priest who professed Jesus as the inspiration of all his thoughts, words and deeds. When one prisoner escaped, ten men had to die. When a family man screamed not to choose him, Maximilian offered himself. ? Do you believe that God’s will guarantees us divine love, peace and joy? How willing are you to sacrifice your life tor family, friends or even a stranger

Jesus elevated a little child in the presence of his disciples by placing the child in a privileged position of honor. It is customary, even today, to seat the guest of honor at the right side of the host. Who is the greatest in God’s kingdom? The one who is humble and lowly of heart – who instead of asserting their rights willingly empty themselves of pride and self-seeking glory by taking the lowly position of a servant or child. Jesus, himself, is our model. Jesus emptied himself and took the form of a servant to clothe us in his divine nature. God wants to fill us with his own glory God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Saint James warns us that if we want to be filled with God’s life and power, then we need to empty ourselves of everything, which stands in the way – pride, self-seeking glory, vanity, prejudice, anger and sloth. God wants empty vessels so he can fill them with his own glory, power, and love. Are you ready to humble yourself and to serve as Jesus did?

We do not know what the future holds, but if we believe that God created us to share his love, mercy and peace, we are destined to be a saint and like Maximillian inspire others. Take a minute for the next nine days and meditate gazing on a crucifix. Listen in your soul and allow Jesus to embrace you so that you can embrace all you love together.

Pray: “Lord Jesus, by your cross you have redeemed the world and revealed your glory and triumph over sin and death. May I never fail to see your glory and victory in the cross? Help me to conform my life to your will and to follow in your way of holiness.”

DEDICATE A CRUCIFIX IN OUR SCHOOL: we purchased new crucifixes for each of our classrooms. The students pray for all of you and if you want to donate one in honor of your family, the offering is $100. Send the offering to our parish office.

You Came For Me- Saint Matthew

Today’s Consuming Fire
Meditation- – A Daily Dose of the Flame of Love Diary Served Up with Today’s
Scriptures

Feast of Saint Matthew

You Came For Me!

“You know how pleased I am when you prostrate before Me and say that you are sorry for your sins as no sinner has ever been sorry and that you want to love Me more than all converted sinners.” (Jesus) (April 8, 1962)

Today’s Readings: Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners? “He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” (Matthew 9)

Prayer Meditation- Lord, You remind us so vividly that You came not for the righteous but for sinners- to set us free and heal us and free us so that we can live the abundant life You have meant for us to live. (John 10). This is really good news because that means You came for me and for all of us because we are all sinners and all broken and only You can fix us. Lord help us to know that Your Gaze is always upon us- You see us where we are in our lives and You look at us with such love and ask us to follow You. Lord help us not to miss Your invitation today and every day!

two man facing each other

WEEK TWENTY FIVE – TUESDAY – SEPTEMBER 21, 2021 – MATTHEW, THE TAX COLLECTOR (MT 9:9-13)

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. Let me respond quickly to Jesus’ call. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus at table in Matthew’s house. 

Context:

This text has two parts. First, Matthew responds to Jesus’ call and then he invites Jesus to his house. Since Matthew is a sinner (collecting taxes for Romans) his friends are also “sinners,” so the dinner becomes a controversy story. This leads to the pronouncement that Jesus came to call sinners not the righteous. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

Jesus saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s post. He said to him, “Follow me.” He got up and followed him. 

Later, while Jesus was at table in Matthew’s house, many tax collectors came and sat with Jesus. Some Pharisees saw this and asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such people?” Jesus heard them and said, “Those who are well do not need the doctor. The sick do. Learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ I came to call sinners, not the righteous.” 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. Matthew never searched for Jesus. He just went to work one day and Jesus found him. 
  2. What a special day! Matthew began as a tax collector (working for the Roman Empire). He ends the day as Jesus’ disciple (working for the Kingdom). 
  3. Everything happened so quickly. Jesus saw him and invited him. Matthew left his post and followed. 
  4. If he had hesitated or doubted, he would have missed his call. 
  5. He accepts Jesus completely, opening his home and inviting the other sinners. 
  6. The Pharisees try to exclude Matthew and his friends from the Kingdom. Jesus would have none of that. 
  7. Jesus proclaims that they are the very ones he is calling. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, today is so important! You will come. You will pass by. You will say, “Follow me.” 
  • Do not let me say “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” (like St. Augustine). 
  • When you call, I will follow. 
  • Come for me! I am a sinner and your Father sent you to sinners. 
  • Why do I wait? Why do I continue to sit at my tax collector’s post? Why am I afraid? Who do I not “get up and follow you?” 
  • In the quiet of this prayer, I hear your voice. I respond, “Wait, Jesus, I am coming.” 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will be vigilant today. 

+ I will open my whole house to Jesus. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.) 

Seeing Matthew at his post, Jesus said, “Follow me.”

Cant Start A Fire Without A Spark

Today’s Consuming Fire
Meditation- – A Daily Dose of the Flame of Love Diary Served Up with Today’s
Scriptures

Memorial of Saint Andrew Tae Gon and Companions

Can’t Start a Fire Without a Spark

The Blessed Virgin revealed that the light of her Flame of Love filled not only me, but all my family members, and the Evil One could not lead them into sin. That is why their souls are strengthened and prepared to receive even more graces. (Elizabeth) (February 21, 1963)

Today’s Readings: Jesus said to the crowd: “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. (Luke 8)

Prayer Meditation- Praise You Lord Jesus that in these times in which we live Your Grace abounds even more than the sin that surrounds us! (Romans 5:20). We are living in the time of Divine Mercy, the time of the outpouring of the Flame of Love if we would just receive! Lord let us who are consecrated to You through Mary be ready for the Holy Spirit to fill us with Your Light so that it is not we who live but You through us! (Galatians 2:20). Lord let this light shine brightly in us, this Flame of Love, so that this light would move from heart to heart to heart! Come Lord Jesus into our hearts and fill us with Your Abundant Life which will overflow to all around us! (John 10:10)

girl with a sparkler

WEEK TWENTY FIVE – MONDAY – SEPTEMBER 20, 2021 – THREE SAYINGS OF JESUS (LK 8:16-18)

Prayer:

O Lord, call me to be your child of light. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching the crowds

Context:

This text contains three separate sayings of Jesus. The first saying envisions a Greek home with a light welcoming visitors. The second sentence points out that nothing is secret to God, all will be revealed. The third sentence describes a person who is receptive to God’s word and will receive more, and a person who will lose what little faith he has. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

Jesus said to the crowds, “No one lights a candle and covers it over with a basket or places it under the bed. He sets it on the candlestick so all who come in can see the light. 

There is nothing secret that will not be made known and come to light. 

Be careful, then, how you hear. To the man who has, more will be given. Whoever does not have will lose even the little that he thinks he has.” 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.) 

  1. Jesus describes three different situations. 
  2. A person filled with faith should not hide his light but make it available so others will live by faith. 
  3. A person who has dark secrets must learn to remove that darkness. God knows his evil and it will be revealed to all. 
  4. A person must hear God’s word and receive it correctly so he can receive more. 
  5. Unless he safeguards the word, he will lose even what he has. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.) 

  • Jesus, light the candle in my heart. 
  • Let my lamp lead others to you. 
  • Remove all darkness within me. Bring all my secrets into your light. 
  • I will treasure your word. It is your great gift. 
  • Let me receive your word and hold it securely. 
  • What a mystery. If I receive, then I get even more. Only you can be so generous. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ This day I will walk in God’s light. 

+ I will root out the dark powers within me. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.) 

There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed.

Dawn Displaces Darkness

Last week, I described my personal experience of seeing the shattering power of dawn. The dawn arrived almost imperceptibly but yet most clearly and its progress was inexorable; darkness had no choice but to retreat before the dawn. There was no contest; darkness had no choice other than to retreat as the light of dawn displaced the darkness.

And that is the point of this entire reflection: Dawn Displaces Darkness. Our spiritual warfare is not militancy, of violence, of anger or fear. In fact, we needn’t think very much at all about our enemy and his darkness. Instead, we focus on being the light. We focus on cooperating with the great outpouring of grace in the Flame of Love by diligently living its practices. When we do that, Jesus is present in us; the Unity Prayer becomes our life. When we focus on being the light, the darkness has no choice but to retreat because Dawn Displaces Darkness.

Let’s explore three characteristics of the Light of Dawn:

  • Light does not fear the darkness
  • Light does not focus on the darkness
  • Light obliterates the darkness

But, at the expense of a little extra length, let’s explore the context of Mary’s statement, “I, the beautiful ray of dawn, I will blind Satan.” Mary made that statement on May 19, 1963 (p. 154 in the Blue Diary) but the context started the previous day with Jesus’ statements.

Jesus: “Always give Me new and abundant sacrifices. I am sowing in your soul the seed of My graces, My holy doctrine. Cultivate it in your soul by your prayers, mortifications, and a continual acceptance of sacrifices.”

Jesus begins talking about His “holy doctrine” and it is all about Elizabeth’s life (and our lives) being poured out for others – may our hands gather in unity, i.e., gather souls. Jesus continues:

“My teaching, My little one, is simple and unaffected. . . When your written words and your sufferings for My work of Salvation have risen to Me, My living rays of the sun will shine upon you. With the dawn, the sun rises, but the valley is still in the shadow. The early risers are filled with ecstasy as they contemplate the magnificent beauty. That is enough for now. In conclusion: live by My new teaching and return it to Me as a prayer.”

He continues to talk about His new teaching of this life that embraces even suffering in love if it brings about the salvation of souls – just like Jesus willingly walking to Calvary – may our feet journey together. Though this has been gathered in the Flame of Love with new intensity and clarity, it has been the call of Christianity all along – to take up our cross if we want to follow Jesus. Yes, new and old at the same time.

“Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. And yet I do write a new commandment to you, which holds true in him and among you, for the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.” (I John 2:7-8 NABRE)

Notice that Jesus introduces the themes of the rising sun and the early risers who can see the dawn rising while others do not because their lives of sacrificial love mirror Jesus. It in this context that Mary joins – her voice interwoven with Jesus’ and referencing the themes of the early risers and the dawn that Jesus introduced:

Mary: “You also, my little one, were among the early risers. When your soul was still in the darkness of night, I made my Flame of Love shine on you, and by its smooth, caressing warmth, I gave you a new strength. Many souls are asleep out there like yours was, and I also want to project on them the life-giving rays of my maternal heart, the effect of grace of my Flame of Love. Listen, currently, earth is like nature before a storm. It can also be compared to an erupting volcano which smothers, kills and blinds with the infernal smoke and its falling ashes. Its tremors disturb everything around it. Such is the terrible situation of the earth at this moment. The crater of hatred is boiling. Its deadly sulfur ashes change souls created in the image and likeness of God into gloomy and colorless creatures.

And I, the beautiful ray of dawn, I will blind Satan. I will free this world darkened by hatred and contaminated by the sulfurous and steaming lava of Satan. . . My Flame of Love is already lighting up. You know, my little one, the elect will have to fight against the Prince of Darkness. It will be a terrible storm. Rather, it will be a hurricane which will want to destroy the faith and confidence of even the elect. In this terrible turmoil currently brewing up, you will see the brightness of my Flame of Love illuminating Heaven and earth by the effusion of its effect of grace I am passing on to souls in this dark night.”
So now we see the context and how the pieces fit together. Jesus exhorts us to follow His teaching of living a life of sacrificial love in union with Him – pouring our lives out for others (I John 3:16). This awakens our soul with His light because, as we start to live as He lives, we see as He sees. We become the early risers who can see when others cannot. We see the dawn rising. As early risers, we are in a terrible battle with evil – a great storm but, as sure as the dawn displaces darkness, there is victory as we focus on the brightness of Mary’s Flame of Love and the effusion of its effect of grace.

Yes, our battle is not one of militancy, harshness, anger, or fear. We stay focused on The Flame of Love and it effusion of grace. We stay focused on living the light and when the live the light, the darkness must recede because Dawn Displaces Darkness. So let’s examine these three characteristics of the light of dawn.

Light Does Not Fear The Darkness

As my friends and I stood watching the shattering dawn rise over the Finger Lakes, there was no contest. There was no thought that the sun would not rise or that the darkness could someone threaten the light and drive it back. The light had no need to fear the darkness; it progress was inexorable and its victory over darkness absolutely certain.
Despite the dire state our Blessed Mother describes when she says she, the Beautiful Ray of Dawn will blind Satan (erupting volcano, crater of hatred boiling, hurricane, terrible turmoil), there is no need to fear. The light does not fear the darkness.

One of my many favorite scripture is I John 4:18 – “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.” (NABRE) No fear! What is Satan going to do to us?

Make us sick . . . . so that we can be in the hospital with the person God knows needs to meet us?
Miss every light on our commute so we are late to work . . . . because God knew we needed to smile at that person in the elevator?
Lose our job . . . . so that we learn more deeply to trust God?
Give us long term COVID . . . . to offer our sufferings for the salvation of many souls? Talk about Satan’s plans backfiring!
Kill us . . . . . so we are one step closer to Heaven?

I was recently chatting with a woman in the Southwest who had a problem with a demonic presence in her house. The dog came tearing into her bedroom terrified. As she stepped into the living room she could sense this very evil presence. I reminded her not to fear. Not only is our Daddy bigger than their daddy but our Mommy is bigger than their daddy! The light does not fear the darkness.

Light Does Not Focus On The Darkness

As the dawn is rising, it does not need give one thought to the darkness. The dawn focuses on bringing the light. As long as the dawn is bringing the light, the darkness has no choice but to retreat. Remember, dawn displaces darkness.

So it is with us. We do not need to worry about the darkness; we need to focus on our prayer and on following every movement of grace and every moment of our lives. We focus on the light and the darkness must flee.

In fact, this is the key to overcoming sin. We will not overcome sin by simply resisting it. That’s fighting a defensive war and one can’t win a defensive war. We vanquish sin in our lives not by being focused on the sin but by growing in grace so that Jesus’ life in us displaces sin. Where Jesus is present, sin is not!

Notice James 1:13: “No one experiencing temptation should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God is not subject to temptation to evil, and he himself tempts no one.” (NABRE) Why is God not subject to temptation to evil? Because it doesn’t even cross His mind to put self before other because He is so completely love. I may be tempted to eat chocolate ice cream but I do not have much inclination to sip a cup of hot tar. To God, the idea of sin is as attractive as drinking hot tar.

When we have become so transformed by grace into the image of Jesus, those sins that are so attractive to us now – gossip, pornography, lying, judging others wrongly, seeking compliments and attention for ourselves, anything that puts self before other – will be as attractive to us as drinking hot tar. Then, we have truly overcome sin not by focusing on the sin but on growth in grace – not by focusing on the darkness but focusing on the light.

If our lives are completely filled with the fruits of the Holy Spirit, there is no room for transgressions of the law – Gal 5:22-23: “In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

I make it a habit to pray the Unity of Prayer, the Prayer of Union with Jesus, each morning as I awaken and each night before going to bed to ask to be so completely united to Jesus, so full of humility and love guided by wisdom that there is no room for sin. If we are filled with God’s love (as opposed to our human love), there will be no room for sin: “Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet,’ and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, [namely] ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.” Rom 13:8-10 (NABRE)

Light Obliterates The Darkness

The shattering dawn was not displacing the darkness for itself. Dawn was displacing darkness for everyone in its path. So it is with us. The last two points were more about us, i.e., we do not fear and we overcome sin.

But, as the dawn continues to rise, as grace continues to have its effect in our lives, we move beyond this. All traces of the darkness of self are dispelled – even the darkness of spiritual selfishness.

Every several months, I asked in our cenacle how people are being changed by the effect of grace of the Flame of Love. A couple of months ago, I phrase the question differently and asked how they found it had changed the way the interacted with others. One woman with a truly beautiful soul replied that she found she was no longer living for herself but rather all her thoughts were about how to save others – how to save souls.

I thought to myself, “yes, Yes, YES!!!” This is the effect of grace. This is living the Unity Prayer – when our lives have become united to Jesus’ life which is completely poured out for the salvation of souls:


Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but [also] everyone for those of others. Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Phili 2:3-8 (NABRE)

The effect of Satan is to draw us toward self – even spiritually. The effect of grace is Jesus and His perfectly selfless love within us always pouring out toward other. Stop worrying about getting to Heaven or how much you are growing spiritually or about any reward. Jesus will take care of that. Instead focus away from self even spiritually. Focus on bringing joy to our Beloved and alleviating His pain over the loss of souls. Pour out our lives for the salvation of souls – those near (like family, neighbor, and coworker) and those far (the ones whose names we will never know but, by blinding Satan in their lives, we opened the door to salvation). Focus on the bringing forth the light for others as the dawn does. Participate in the dawn our Blessed Mother is bringing to obliterate the darkness and this dawn brings light not for itself but for all upon whom it shines.

This brings us back to the context. Remember that it all started with Jesus’ teaching about our lives being poured out for others. When we do this, the living rays of the sun fall upon us. Mary makes us early risers, moving our soul out of spiritual darkness by projecting on us “the life-giving rays of my maternal heart, the effect of grace of my Flame of Love.” The effect of grace makes Jesus so present that even our spiritual selfishness is displaced by His selfless love. This is the miracle of grace that displaces sin in our lives.

So, as we contemplate our Blessed Mother, the Beautiful Ray of Dawn who will blind Satan, remember:

Do not fear.

Do not focus on the darkness.

As children of the light, obliterate the darkness of others.


And do this all in great peace without strife, militancy, or anxiety. Our spiritual warfare not one of violence but of displacement. Yes, Dawn Displaces Darkness!

Asking Wrongly

Today’s Consuming Fire
Meditation- – A Daily Dose of the Flame of Love Diary Served Up with Today’s
Scriptures

Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Asking Wrongly

“They avoid what is difficult, and as the years go on, their soul becomes grey and covered with dust. Woe to them, because through example they influence others.” (Jesus) (December 22, 1963)

Today’s Readings: You do not possess because you do not ask. You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (James 3)

“If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of
all.” 
Taking a child, he placed it in their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my
name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.”
(Mark 9)

Prayer Meditation- Lord in today’s Gospel we see the disciples are just not getting it. They are angling for their position in what they think will be an earthly kingdom (Mark 9). Lord, You instruct us to ask and seek but many times we can be like the disciples, we can want and ask for all the wrong things. We seek comfort, or position, or we seek to avoid what is hard . What we need is a heart change but we what we ask for so often is for our circumstances to change. And yet it is those circumstances that may well be the way You will sanctify us if we unite our pain and suffering to Your Most Holy Cross. Lord may our feet journey together! Lord help us to follow You and seek You first like little children, ready to serve You in the least of these!

girl under cherry blossom tree

WEEK TWENTY FIVE – SUNDAY – B – SEPTEMBER 19, 2021 – DISPUTING ABOUT IMPORTANCE (MK 9:30-37)

Prayer:

O Jesus, I want to serve you and your friends. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with a child in the middle of his disciples. 

Context: 

In the second half of Mark’s gospel, Jesus deliberately withdraws from the crowds to teach his disciples about his suffering and death, and about their difficult duties as disciples. The more he explains, the less they seem to grasp (as in this story). 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

Jesus said to his disciples, “The son of Man will be betrayed into the hands of men and they shall kill him. After his death, he will rise again on the third day.” However, they did not understand a word and were afraid to ask him. 

When they came to the house, Jesus asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” They were silent because they had discussed which of them was the most important. 

Sitting down, Jesus called the twelve and said, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” Taking a child, he put him in their midst, and embracing him, said, “Whoever receives such a child in my name receives me and whoever receives me, does not receive just me but him who sent me.” 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.) 

  1. What a contrast. Jesus talks about his death. The disciples talk about their importance. 
  2. They go inside the house. The disciples are so important that Jesus leaves the crowds behind. This is private teaching. 
  3. When confronted, the disciples know that they were wrong. They grow silent, not trying to defend themselves. 
  4. Jesus makes the application easy to understand. Within the Christian community, the disciple must sacrifice and serve. 
  5. The child represents the newcomer, the new believer. Serving and teaching new believers is the apostles’ primary task. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.) 

  • O Jesus, you paid a great price to redeem me. 
  • You saved me. You died for me when I was a sinner. 
  • Now others must be saved, and I must pay the price. 
  • Help me to set aside my selfish desires. I will sacrifice for the Kingdom. 
  • O Jesus, I fall silent before you. You have done so much and I have done so little. 
  • Help me to serve, to bring your gospel to those who have never heard. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will look for chances today to evangelize. 

+ In all my relationships, I will try to serve others. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.) 

They did not understand a word and were afraid to ask him.

Dwelling In Unapproachable Light

Today’s Consuming Fire
Meditation- – A Daily Dose of the Flame of Love Diary Served Up with Today’s
Scriptures

Saturday of the Twenty Fourth Week of Ordinary Time

Dwelling In Unapproachable Light

Jesus: “Did you enjoy the hymn? I was the One who touched you by the melody. This is the hymn which we like the most. I use it to praise you because you so much love the silence of the church where I dwell.” (Jesus) (June 2, 1962)

Today’s Readings: Beloved:
I charge you before God, who gives life to all
things,
and before Christ Jesus,
who gave testimony under Pontius Pilate
for the noble confession,
to keep the commandment without stain or reproach
until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ
that the blessed and only ruler
will make manifest at the proper time,
the King of kings and Lord of lords,
who alone has immortality, who dwells in
unapproachable light,
and whom no human being has seen or can see.
To him be honor and eternal power. Amen. (1
Timothy 6)

Prayer Meditation- Lord we love You and praise You and bless You because You live in unapproachable light. No one has ever seen God but Your One and Only Son, Jesus Christ has revealed You (John 1) and has showed us the way to be perfect, as You are perfect in the Gospels. Lord, You want to dwell in us and make Your love complete in us (1John 4). You care about every detail of our lives, even the hymns we like in Church and You want to share everything with us! Lord Jesus, You are light and You offer us the way to live with You forever in Your Unapproachable Light because You have made a way for us through Your Incarnation, Life, Death, and Resurrection- let us seek You always in prayer, Your Word, and the Sacraments of Your One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church!

mountains during sunset

WEEK TWENTY FOUR – SATURDAY – SEPTEMBER 18, 2021 – THE SOWER (LK 8:4-15)

Prayer:

Jesus, plant the powerful seed of your Kingdom in my heart. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus preaching to the crowds. 

Context:

This parable contrasts the difficult beginning of the Kingdom and its glorious fulfillment. The beginning has multiple frustrations. The end has a gigantic harvest.

Jesus’ ministry is experiencing many obstacles. The disciples see failures, desertions and hostility. Jesus, however, sees that God’s work is doing quite well.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

A farmer went out to plant seeds. Some seed fell by the wayside and the birds of the air ate it. Some seed fell on rocky ground and grew quickly because the soil was not deep. When the sun rose, it was scorched for lack of roots. Some fell among thorns. The thorns grew and choked it and it did not yield grain. Some fell upon good ground and brought forth abundant fruit that yielded thirty, sixty or a hundred fold. He who has ears, let him hear. 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. God scatters these abundant seeds of his power in your heart. 
  2. Some seeds you miss entirely. These invitations fall “by the wayside.” 
  3. Other seeds you resist by the hardness of your heart. They do not take root. 
  4. You mix some seeds with your other worldly concerns. Unfortunately, these never produce any worthwhile fruit. 
  5. But some seeds you receive without compromise. You give them fertile soil. They produce abundant fruit and you rejoice. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Lord, sow the seeds of your kingdom and of eternal life in my heart. 
  • O God, I see those times when I was not receptive to your Kingdom. 
  • Jesus, why did I resist your kingdom? Why was my heart like rocky ground? 
  • O Lord, when I mix your seeds with my human desires, they bring forth no fruit. 
  • Jesus, my life can still be glorious. There is still time for an abundant harvest. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.) 

+ I will believe that the seeds of God’s Kingdom are abundant and powerful within me. 

+ I will clear the soil, so the seeds can grow. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.) 

The harvest was thirty, sixty and a hundredfold.

Set Free

Today’s Consuming Fire
Meditation- – A Daily Dose of the Flame of Love Diary Served Up with Today’s
Scriptures

Set Free

“Your living faith in Me keeps your soul in a continual freshness and makes you ready to receive abundant graces. Hence, My little one, do not serve anyone but Me.” (Jesus) (August 1, 1963)

Today’s Readings: Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources.(Luke 8)

Prayer Meditation- Lord today we see You journeying with Your chosen Apostles and also some women who were set free. Like us Lord, these women were stuck in sin and in their brokenness but then You broke into their mess; and we are all a mess, and set them free! Lord we can never repay You for Your goodness and ,mercy, all that we can do is walk alongside You with a living faith! Lord we may have served many idols before- money, prestige, addictions, acting out of need for approval and human respect but now we have found everything in You and we will serve no one else! May our feet journey together!

woman praying while leaning against brick wall

WEEK TWENTY FOUR – FRIDAY – SEPTEMBER 17, 2021 – THE SPECIAL DISCIPLES (LK 8:1-3) 

Prayer:

O Jesus, let me accompany you all the days of my life 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with these special disciples – both men and women. 

Context:

Only Luke has this section which highlights the role of women in a ministering role for the Kingdom. Jesus had helped each of these women. After being blessed by Jesus, they were invited to travel with the group.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

Jesus travelled through the cities and towns, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom. With him were the Twelve as well as certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities. Mary, called Magdalen, from whom seven devils were cast out. And Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chusa, Susanna and many others who were assisting Jesus out of their means. 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. This short summary contains many individual stories. First, the Twelve who are so tightly bonded to Jesus. 
  2. Then the three women whom Luke says were healed. (Chusa is probably the royal official whose son was healed. No wonder he let his wife travel with Jesus.)
  3. Finally, “many others.” All of whom had received some blessing. 
  4. Their gratitude led to full-time service and even using their money for the Kingdom. 
  5. Luke writes that “the women who had followed him from Galilee“ were at Jesus death and burial (24:49 and 55). They were faithful to the end. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, what a privilege to be always in your company. 
  • By your favors and blessings you bond me to you. 
  • You share your work. You give me a task. What more can I ask? 
  • Jesus, wherever you go, I will go. 
  • Lord, I will use my money for your Kingdom. 
  • Even at Calvary, I will be there for you. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.) 

+ I will recall the special blessings of Jesus. 

+ In my gratitude, I will do everything I can for his Kingdom, today. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.) 

The Twelve were with Jesus as well as certain women. 

Showing Great Love

Today’s Consuming Fire
Meditation- – A Daily Dose of the Flame of Love Diary Served Up with Today’s
Scriptures

Twenty Fourth Thursday of Ordinary Time

Showing Great Love

Say and constantly repeat, ‘My adored Jesus.’ I have told you before how pleasant it is to Me, and even if you say nothing else for a whole hour, repeat it with repentance for your sins. This obtains many graces, forgiveness for sins, and provides peace for souls.” (Jesus) (January 2, 1963)

Today’s Readings: So, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The others at table said to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” But he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7)

Prayer Meditation- Lord, today we read about the beautiful repentance of St. Mary Magdalene- she loved much and was forgiven much. Lord help us to break the alabaster jar of our lives and lay them at Your Feet in repentance and thanksgiving for Your Mercy that endures forever! (Psalm 118)

black and white cross with cross

WEEK TWENTY FOUR – THURSDAY – SEPTEMBER 16, 2021 – PARABLE OF THE TWO DEBTORS (LK 7:36-50)

Prayer:

O Jesus, even though I am a sinner, I will approach you. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus at table with the woman at his feet. 

Context:

The central figure is the creditor who forgives both debtors. Where can such a man be found? He is God with his inconceivable goodness. The woman understands this goodness. Simon does not and, therefore, cannot accept Jesus allowing the woman to cleanse his feet.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

A certain Pharisee, named Simon, invited Jesus to dine with him. A woman learned of this and brought a vase of perfumed oil. Her tears fell upon his feet and she wiped them with her hair. 

Jesus’ host thought, “If this man were a prophet he would know that this woman is a sinner.” Jesus said to his host, “Simon, a certain creditor had two debtors. One owed him five hundred days wages and another fifty. Since neither could pay, he forgave both. Who loved him more? 

Simon said, “The one who was forgiven more.” Jesus replied, “When I entered your house, you gave me no water to wash my feet. She washed them with her tears. You gave me no kiss. She has kissed my feet. You did not anoint my head. She has anointed my feet.” I say, “Many sins are forgiven her because she has loved much.” 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. Before this happened, Jesus had already forgiven the woman’s sins. 
  2. The greatness of her sins leads to her to great thankfulness. 
  3. She expresses this gratitude totally with her perfume, her tears and her hair. 
  4. She desires only to thank Jesus, God’s instrument of forgiveness. 
  5. The whole scene puzzles the Pharisee. He cannot comprehend the woman’s total thankfulness or Jesus’ total acceptance of her. 
  6. Jesus clarifies what has happened. Her love is as deep as her sins used to be. She sinned totally. She was forgiven totally. She now loves totally. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Lord, you have forgiven all my sins. Why do I not love you totally? 
  • O Jesus, where my sins have been total, my love will be total. 
  • Jesus, you have redeemed me and bought me back. You own me. 
  • How can I repay you? I cannot! 
  • What a blessing to weep at your feet! 
  • I will anoint you with deepest feelings. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.) 

+ I will see my past sins as a cause for thanking God for his mercy. 

+ I will thank God for saving me from hell. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.) 

Which of these loved him most?