Saturday, October 1, 2016

IT’S NOT TO LATE









TO HELP US TO HELP THEM!

Each day now we are getting more and more malaria cases and we are ready for them because of your kindness in helping us to get the needed medicines. We do have one problem however, and that is the children. We do not stock any pediatric malaria medications because working with children is a lot more difficult.  Many children are so afraid when they are brought here. First, they are "scared" of me because many have not seen a white man before and with my whiskers I must really look like some sort of golem and then the Lord alone knows what the older children tell them. It is funny to see their reaction and we all laugh but it is difficult to assess a child who is screaming and fighting and secondly, the children are just afraid they will have to have a "pengo"(an injection) and usually if a child has malaria he or she will need an injection. Often times they become dehydrated before the mothers bring them in and they will need IV solutions for that. Because of that they will have to be monitored by health workers for a few days. All this means that we are not equipped to help the little ones so we have made an agreement with the private health center nearby. They will see and treat the little ones and Nazareth will pay them so much for their services per child. Our funds have really been depleted from when we bought all the malaria medicines and the other needed supplies. So now I am asking for your help again. If we can't send the children to the health center, then the parents will turn around and have to go back to their villages with no help and there is no one else that can help them. I know it is difficult but try and see what you would do if one of these babies were one of your own.

Please, I am begging you in the name of Jesus, if you can help, do it now!

If you put it off now you may forget!



To donate please do the following:

1. Please make checks payable to "Monastery of Christ in the Desert"

2. The memo on your check must read: “Nazareth Hermitage-Gambia sick poor”

3. Address envelope to:

                       Monastery of Christ in the Desert,

                                   St. Paul's Hermitage

                                   P.O. Box 270

                                   Abiquiu NM 87510



Not a penny will be used for any overhead expenses, it will go to right where it is needed





Bro. dismas Mary, a penitent hermit of Divine Mercy

Saturday 1 October 2016 Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin, Docto






St Thérèse’s autobiography

In the heart of the church I will be love
Image result for images: In the heart of the church I will be love
Since my longing for martyrdom was powerful and unsettling, I turned to the epistles of St Paul in the hope of finally finding an answer. By chance the 12th and 13th chapters of the 1st epistle to the Corinthians caught my attention, and in the first section I read that not everyone can be an apostle, prophet or teacher, that the Church is composed of a variety of members, and that the eye cannot be the hand. Even with such an answer revealed before me, I was not satisfied and did not find peace.
  I persevered in the reading and did not let my mind wander until I found this encouraging theme: Set your desires on the greater gifts. And I will show you the way which surpasses all others. For the Apostle insists that the greater gifts are nothing at all without love and that this same love is surely the best path leading directly to God. At length I had found peace of mind.
  When I had looked upon the mystical body of the Church, I recognized myself in none of the members which St Paul described, and what is more, I desired to distinguish myself more favorably within the whole body. Love appeared to me to be the hinge for my vocation. Indeed I knew that the Church had a body composed of various members, but in this body the necessary and more noble member was not lacking; I knew that the Church had a heart and that such a heart appeared to be aflame with love. I knew that one love drove the members of the Church to action, that if this love were extinguished, the apostles would have proclaimed the Gospel no longer, the martyrs would have shed their blood no more. I saw and realised that love sets off the bounds of all vocations, that love is everything, that this same love embraces every time and every place. In one word, that love is everlasting.
  Then, nearly ecstatic with the supreme joy in my soul, I proclaimed: O Jesus, my love, at last I have found my calling: my call is love. Certainly I have found my place in the Church, and you gave me that very place, my God. In the heart of the Church, my mother, I will be love, and thus I will be all things, as my desire finds its direction.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday 30 September 2016 Saint Jerome, Priest, Doctor






A commentary on Isaiah by St Jerome

Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ
Image result for images:Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ
I interpret as I should, following the command of Christ: Search the Scriptures, and Seek and you shall find. Christ will not say to me what he said to the Jews: You erred, not knowing the Scriptures and not knowing the power of God. For if, as Paul says, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God, and if the man who does not know Scripture does not know the power and wisdom of God, then ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.
  Therefore, I will imitate the head of a household who brings out of his storehouse things both new and old, and says to his spouse in the Song of Songs: I have kept for you things new and old, my beloved. In this way permit me to explain Isaiah, showing that he was not only a prophet, but an evangelist and an apostle as well. For he says about himself and the other evangelists: How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news, of those who announce peace. And God speaks to him as if he were an apostle: Whom shall I send, who will go to my people? And he answers: Here I am; send me.
  No one should think that I mean to explain the entire subject matter of this great book of Scripture in one brief sermon, since it contains all the mysteries of the Lord. It prophesies that Emmanuel is to be born of a virgin and accomplish marvelous works and signs. It predicts his death, burial and resurrection from the dead as the Saviour of all men. I need say nothing about the natural sciences, ethics and logic. Whatever is proper to holy Scripture, whatever can be expressed in human language and understood by the human mind, is contained in the book of Isaiah. Of these mysteries the author himself testifies when he writes: You will be given a vision of all things, like words in a sealed scroll. When they give the writings to a wise man, they will say: Read this. And he will reply: I cannot, for it is sealed. And when the scroll is given to an uneducated man and he is told: Read this, he will reply: I do not know how to read.
  Should this argument appear weak to anyone, let him listen to the Apostle: Let two or three prophets speak, and let others interpret; if, however, a revelation should come to one of those who are seated there, let the first one be quiet. How can they be silent, since it depends on the Spirit who speaks through his prophets whether they remain silent or speak? If they understood what they were saying, all things would be full of wisdom and knowledge. But it was not the air vibrating with the human voice that reached their ears, but rather it was God speaking within the soul of the prophets, just as another prophet says: It is an angel who spoke in me; and again, Crying out in our hearts, Abba, Father’, and I shall listen to what the Lord God says within me.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thursday 29 September 2016 Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels




A sermon of Pope St Gregory the Great

The word "angel" denotes a function rather than a nature
Image result for images:Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels
You should be aware that the word “angel” denotes a function rather than a nature. Those holy spirits of heaven have indeed always been spirits. They can only be called angels when they deliver some message. Moreover, those who deliver messages of lesser importance are called angels; and those who proclaim messages of supreme importance are called archangels. And so it was that not merely an angel but the archangel Gabriel was sent to the Virgin Mary. It was only fitting that the highest angel should come to announce the greatest of all messages.
  Some angels are given proper names to denote the service they are empowered to perform. In that holy city, where perfect knowledge flows from the vision of almighty God, those who have no names may easily be known. But personal names are assigned to some, not because they could not be known without them, but rather to denote their ministry when they came among us. Thus, Michael means “Who is like God”; Gabriel is “The Strength of God”; and Raphael is “God’s Remedy.”
  Whenever some act of wondrous power must be performed, Michael is sent, so that his action and his name may make it clear that no one can do what God does by his superior power. So also our ancient foe desired in his pride to be like God, saying: I will ascend into heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of heaven; I will be like the Most High. He will be allowed to remain in power until the end of the world when he will be destroyed in the final punishment. Then, he will fight with the archangel Michael, as we are told by John: A battle was fought with Michael the archangel.
  So too Gabriel, who is called God’s strength, was sent to Mary. He came to announce the One who appeared as a humble man to quell the cosmic powers. Thus God’s strength announced the coming of the Lord of the heavenly powers, mighty in battle. Raphael means, as I have said, God’s remedy, for when he touched Tobit’s eyes in order to cure him, he banished the darkness of his blindness. Thus, since he is to heal, he is rightly called God’s remedy.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

IT’S NOT TO LATE









TO HELP US TO HELP THEM!

Each day now we are getting more and more malaria cases and we are ready for them because of your kindness in helping us to get the needed medicines. We do have one problem however, and that is the children. We do not stock any pediatric malaria medications because working with children is a lot more difficult.  Many children are so afraid when they are brought here. First, they are "scared" of me because many have not seen a white man before and with my whiskers I must really look like some sort of golem and then the Lord alone knows what the older children tell them. It is funny to see their reaction and we all laugh but it is difficult to assess a child who is screaming and fighting and secondly, the children are just afraid they will have to have a "pengo"(an injection) and usually if a child has malaria he or she will need an injection. Often times they become dehydrated before the mothers bring them in and they will need IV solutions for that. Because of that they will have to be monitored by health workers for a few days. All this means that we are not equipped to help the little ones so we have made an agreement with the private health center nearby. They will see and treat the little ones and Nazareth will pay them so much for their services per child. Our funds have really been depleted from when we bought all the malaria medicines and the other needed supplies. So now I am asking for your help again. If we can't send the children to the health center, then the parents will turn around and have to go back to their villages with no help and there is no one else that can help them. I know it is difficult but try and see what you would do if one of these babies were one of your own.

Please, I am begging you in the name of Jesus, if you can help, do it now!

If you put it off now you may forget!



To donate please do the following:

1. Please make checks payable to "Monastery of Christ in the Desert"

2. The memo on your check must read: “Nazareth Hermitage-Gambia sick poor”

3. Address envelope to:

                       Monastery of Christ in the Desert,

                                   St. Paul's Hermitage

                                   P.O. Box 270

                                   Abiquiu NM 87510



Not a penny will be used for any overhead expenses, it will go to right where it is needed





Bro. dismas Mary, a penitent hermit of Divine Mercy

Wednesday 28 September 2016 Saints Laurence Ruiz and his Companions, Martyrs






St Polycarp's letter to the Philippians

Let us run in faith and holiness
Image result for images:Let us run in faith and holiness
Now I beseech you all to obey the word of righteousness, and to endure with all the endurance which you also saw before your eyes, not only in the blessed Ignatius, and Zosimus, and Rufus, but also in others among yourselves, and in Paul himself, and in the other Apostles. Be certain that all of these did not run in vain but in faith and righteousness, and that they are with the Lord, with whom they suffered, in the place which is their due. They did not love this present world but they loved him who died on our behalf and was raised by God for our sakes.
  Therefore stand fast in these things and follow the example of the Lord, firm and unchangeable in faith, loving the brotherhood, affectionate to one another, joined together in the truth, rivaling one another in the gentleness of the Lord, despising no man. When you can do good do not defer it, for almsgiving sets free from death. Let each of you be subject to the others so that the Gentiles find no fault in your behavior. Let your good works earn you praise and ensure that the Lord is not blasphemed in you. As Scripture says, Woe to him through whom the name of the Lord is blasphemed. Teach sobriety to all and be an example of it in your own lives.
  I am deeply sorry that Valens, who was at one time one of your clergy, so little understands the place which was given to him. His example makes me warn you to keep from avarice and be pure and truthful. Keep yourselves from all evil. For how may he who cannot attain self-control in these matters enjoin it on another? If any man does not abstain from avarice he will be defiled by idolatry and considered as one of the Gentiles who know nothing of God’s judgement. As Paul says, Do we not know that it is God’s people who will judge the world?
  I have not seen or heard any other errors of this sort among you — you with whom the blessed Paul labored, you whom he praised in the beginning of his Epistle. He boasted of you in all the Churches who at that time knew the Lord, (for we ourselves had not yet come to know him).
  So, brethren, I am deeply sorry for Valens and his wife and I pray that the Lord may grant them true repentance. Be moderate yourselves in this matter and do not regard these people as enemies but call them back as fallible and straying parts of your own body, that you may make that body whole again. By doing this you will build up your own spiritual strength.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tuesday 27 September 2016 Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest






A writing of St Vincent de Paul

Serving the poor is to be preferred above all things
Image result for images:Serving the poor
Even though the poor are often rough and unrefined, we must not judge them from external appearances nor from the mental gifts they seem to have received. On the contrary, if you consider the poor in the light of faith, then you will observe that they are taking the place of the Son of God who chose to be poor.
  Although in his passion he almost lost the appearance of a man and was considered a fool by the Gentiles and a stumbling block by the Jews, he showed them that his mission was to preach to the poor: He sent me to preach the good news to the poor. We also ought to have this same spirit and imitate Christ’s actions, that is, we must take care of the poor, console them, help them, support their cause.
  Since Christ willed to be born poor, he chose for himself disciples who were poor. He made himself the servant of the poor and shared their poverty. He went so far as to say that he would consider every deed which either helps or harms the poor as done for or against himself. Since God surely loves the poor, he also loves those who love the poor. For when one person holds another dear, he also includes in his affection anyone who loves or serves the one he loves. That is why we hope that God will love us for the sake of the poor. So when we visit the poor and needy, we try to understand the poor and weak. We sympathise with them so fully that we can echo Paul’s words: I have become all things to all men. Therefore, we must try to be stirred by our neighbours’ worries and distress. We must beg God to pour into our hearts sentiments of pity and compassion and to fill them again and again with these dispositions.
  It is our duty to prefer the service of the poor to everything else and to offer such service as quickly as possible. If a needy person requires medicine or other help during prayer time, do whatever has to be done with peace of mind. Offer the deed to God as your prayer. Do not become upset or feel guilty because you interrupted your prayer to serve the poor. God is not neglected if you leave him for such service. One of God’s works is merely interrupted so that another can be carried out. So when you leave prayer to serve some poor person, remember that this very service is performed for God. Charity is certainly greater than any rule. Moreover, all rules must lead to charity. Since she is a noble mistress, we must do whatever she commands. With renewed devotion, then, we must serve the poor, especially outcasts and beggars. They have been given to us as our masters and patrons.
Responsory

Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday 26 September 2016 Saints Cosmas and Damian, Martyrs






From a sermon by Saint Augustine

The martyrs' deaths are made precious by the death of Christ
Image result for images:The martyrs' deaths are made precious by the death of Christ
Through such glorious deeds of the holy martyrs, with which the Church blossoms everywhere, we prove with our own eyes how true it is, as we have just been singing, that precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints; seeing that it is precious both in our sight and in the sight of him for the sake of whose name it was undertaken. But the price of these deaths is the death of one man. How many deaths were bought with one dying man, who was the grain of wheat that would not have been multiplied if he had not died! You have heard his words when he was drawing near to our passion, that is, when he was drawing near to our redemption: Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
  On the cross, you see, Christ transacted a grand exchange; it was there that the purse containing our price was untied; when his side was laid open by the lance of the executioner, there poured out from it the price of the whole wide world. The faithful were bought, and the martyrs; but the faith of the martyrs has been proved, and their blood is the witness to it. The martyrs have paid back what was spent for them, and they have fulfilled what Saint John says: Just as Christ laid down his life for us, so we too should lay down our lives for the brethren. And in another place it says, You have sat down at a great table; consider carefully what is set before you, since you ought to prepare the same kind of thing yourself. It is certainly a great table, where the Lord of the table is himself the banquet. No-one feeds his guests on himself; that is what the Lord Christ did, being himself the host, himself the food and drink. Therefore the martyrs recognised what they ate and drank, so that they could give back the same kind of thing.
  But from where could they give back the same kind of thing, if the one who made the first payment had not given them the means of giving something back? What shall I pay back to the Lord for all the things he has paid back to me? I will receive the cup of salvation. What is this cup? The bitter but salutary cup of suffering, the cup which the invalid would fear to touch if the doctor did not drink it first. That is what this cup is; we can recognize this cup on the lips of Christ, when he says, Father, if it can be so, let this cup pass from me. It is about this cup that the martyrs said, I will receive the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.
  So are you not afraid of failing at this point? No? Why not? Because I will call upon the name of the Lord. How could the martyrs ever conquer, unless that one conquered in them who said Rejoice, since I have conquered the world? The emperor of the heavens was governing their minds and tongues, and through them overcoming the devil on earth and crowning the martyrs in heaven. O, how blessed are those who drank this cup thus! They have finished with suffering and have received honour instead.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday 25 September 2016 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time






St Polycarp's letter to the Philippians

You have been saved by grace
Image result for images: You have been saved by grace
Polycarp and the Elders with him, to the Church of God sojourning in Philippi: all mercy and peace to you, from God Almighty and Jesus Christ our Saviour.
  When you welcomed those copies of the True Love and took the opportunity of setting them forward on their road, I rejoiced with you in Jesus Christ. The chains that bound them were the badges of saints, the diadems of men truly chosen by our Lord and God. I rejoiced too that your firmly rooted faith, so well-known since the earliest times, still flourishes and bears fruit for our Lord Jesus Christ. He bore the burden of our sins even as far as suffering death, and God raised him up, releasing him from the pains of the underworld; you did not see him but still you believed in him, in unspeakably glorious joy. Many desire to come into this joy, knowing that you are saved by grace, not by works, – not by your actions but by the will of God through Jesus Christ.
  So gird up your loins and serve God in fear and sincerity. Leave aside empty vanities and vulgar error, believing in him who raised up our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead and gave him glory and a throne on his right hand, to whom are subject all things in heaven and earth, whom everything that has breath serves, who is coming as the judge of the living and of the dead: God will require vengeance for his blood from any who disobey him.
  Now he who raised him from the dead will also raise us up if we do his will and walk according to his commandments and love the things which he loved, if we refrain from all unrighteousness, covetousness, love of money, evil speaking, and false witness, if we do not render evil with evil, abuse for abuse, blow for blow, or curse for curse, but if we remember what the Lord taught when he said, Do not judge, that you may not be judged; forgive and you will be forgiven; be merciful and you will receive mercy. For whatever you measure out to other people will be measured out to you also… Blessed are the poor, and they who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of God.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Saturday 24 September 2016 Saturday of week 25 in Ordinary Time






From a treatise on the psalms by Saint Hilary of Poitiers


The water of the river gives joy to God's city
 Image result for images: The water of the river gives joy to God's city
The river of God is in full spate; you have provided their food, for so you have prepared it. There is no room for uncertainty about the river. For the prophet says: There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God. And the Lord himself says in the gospels, Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water springing forth to eternal life. And again, He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart shall flow rivers of water. Now this he said about the Holy Spirit, which those who believed in him were to receive. This river of God, then, is brimful. For we are flooded with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and from that spring of life the river of God, in full flood, pours into us. We also have food prepared.
  And what is this food? That in which we are prepared for society with God: through communion of a holy body to be thereafter given a place in the communion of a holy body. That is what the present psalm means when it says, You have provided their food, for so you have prepared it – for by that food, though we are saved for the present time, we are none the less also prepared for the future.
  We who are reborn through the sacrament of baptism have the greatest joy, as we perceive within us the first stirrings of the Holy Spirit, as we begin to understand mysteries; we gain knowledge of prophecy, speech full of wisdom, security in our hope, gifts of healing, and dominion over the devils made subject to us. These gifts, like drops of liquid, permeate our inner self, and so beginning, little by little produce fruits in abundance.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday 23 September 2016 Saint Pius of Pietrelcina






St Augustine's sermon On Pastors

All good shepherds are in the one Shepherd
 Image result for images:I shall feed my sheep on good pasture
We have seen that Christ feeds you with judgement, and he distinguishes the sheep that are his from those that are not. The sheep that are mine, he says, hear my voice and follow me.
  Here I see all good shepherds wrapped up in the one shepherd. It is not that there are no good shepherds but that they are all part of the one. To be many means to be divided, and so here the Lord speaks of one shepherd because it is unity that he is commending. The Lord does not avoid talking about “shepherds” in the plural because he cannot find anyone to take care of his sheep. He did find shepherds, since he found Peter – and by the very choice of Peter he commended unity. The Apostles were many and to only one of them did he say Feed my sheep. May it never happen that we truly lack good shepherds! May it never happen to us! May God’s loving kindness never fail to provide them!
  Now if there are good sheep then it follows that there are good shepherds, since a good sheep will naturally make a good shepherd. But all good shepherds are in the one Shepherd, and in that sense they are not many but one. When they feed the sheep it is Christ who is doing the feeding. In the same way the bridegroom’s friends do not speak with their own voices, but when they hear the bridegroom’s voice they are filled with joy. Thus it is that Christ is feeding the sheep when the shepherds are feeding them. He says “I feed” because it is with his voice that they are speaking and with his love that they are loving. For even as he gave his sheep into Peter’s charge, like one man passing responsibility to another, he was really seeking to make Peter one with him. He handed over his sheep so that he himself might be the head and Peter, as it were, the body – that is, the Church – so that like a bridegroom and bride they might be two in one flesh.
  Before he handed his sheep over to Peter he made sure that he would not be entrusting them to someone quite separate: Peter, do you love me? And he responded, I love you. Again: do you love me? And he responded, I love you. And a third time: do you love me? And he responded, I love you. He makes certain of love and gives a firm foundation to unity. He, the one shepherd, feeds the sheep in these many shepherds, and they, the many, feed them in him, the one.
  Scripture is silent about shepherds and yet not silent. The shepherds boast, but whoever boasts, let him boast in the Lord. This is what it means for Christ to feed the sheep; this is what it means to feed the sheep for Christ, to feed them in Christ and not to feed oneself apart from Christ. When he said I will feed my sheep Christ did not mean “I have no-one else to give them to,” as if the Prophet had foretold a bad time when there would be too few shepherds. Even when Peter and the Apostles were still walking this earth, Christ, in whom alone all are one, said I have other sheep that are not of this flock, and these I have to lead as well so that there will be only one flock, and one shepherd.
  So let them all be in the one shepherd and speak with the one shepherd’s voice, for the sheep to hear and follow their shepherd – not just any shepherd, but the one. Let all shepherds speak with one voice in him and not with separate voices: I beseech you, my brethren: say the same thing, all of you, and let there be no divisions among you. May that voice, cleansed of all division and purged of all error, be the voice that the sheep hear as they follow the shepherd who says The sheep that are mine hear my voice and follow me.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thursday 22 September 2016 Thursday of week 25 in Ordinary Time






St Augustine's sermon On Pastors

I shall feed my sheep on good pasture
 Image result for images:I shall feed my sheep on good pasture
I shall gather them together from foreign nations and bring them back to their own land. I shall pasture them on the mountains of Israel... As the mountains of Israel, he has set up the authors of the holy Scriptures. Feed on these and you will feed in safety. Whatever you hear from them will do you good; whatever you hear from elsewhere, spit it out. Listen to the voice of your shepherd lest you lose your way and wander into the mist. Gather together on the mountains of holy Scripture. There you will find the delight of your heart: nothing poisonous, nothing strange – the richest of pastures. Simply come in good health, and feed in good health on the mountains of Israel.
  ...In the ravines and in every inhabited place in the land. From these mountains of Scripture flow the streams of the gospel preaching, whose sound has gone forth into all the earth so that every inhabited place of the earth has become a rich and fertile pasture for the sheep.
  I shall feed them in good pasturage; the high mountains of Israel will be their grazing ground. There will they rest. That is, where they will say, “It is good here,” where they will say, “It is true, it is clear, we are not deceived.” They will take their rest in the glory of God as in their own shelters. They will sleep and take their rest in the midst of delight.
  They will browse in rich pastures on the mountains of Israel. I have already spoken of the mountains of Israel, the good mountains, the mountains to which we lift up our eyes so that help will come to us from them. But remember, our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. So to prevent us putting our hope in the mountains, as soon as he had said I shall pasture them on the mountains of Israel he added at once I shall feed my sheep. Yes, lift your eyes up to the mountains from which your help will come; but wait for him to say I shall feed. For your help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
  And finally he says I shall feed them with judgement. Note that it is he alone who feeds them with judgement. For what man can judge another man? Wherever you look, you see rash judgements. Someone we have despaired of suddenly turns round and becomes the best of people. Someone of whom we have had high expectations suddenly fails and sinks into uselessness. There is no certainty in our foreboding, there is no certainty in our love.
  Take any man. What is he today? He hardly knows himself. He has some slight idea, perhaps, of what he is today, but as for tomorrow – nothing. So the Lord feeds us all with judgement, distributing what is appropriate to each of us: this to one person, that to others, to each what they ought to have, one thing to one and another to another. For he knows what he is doing. He feeds us with judgement, us whom he redeemed after he had himself been judged. So he feeds us all with judgement.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wednesday 21 September 2016 Saint Matthew, Apostle, Evangelist






A sermon by St Bede the Venerable

Jesus saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him
Related image
Jesus saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office, and he said to him: Follow me. Jesus saw Matthew, not merely in the usual sense, but more significantly with his merciful understanding of men.
  He saw the tax collector and, because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him, he said to him: Follow me. This following meant imitating the pattern of his life – not just walking after him. St John tells us: Whoever says he abides in Christ ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
  And he rose and followed him. There is no reason for surprise that the tax collector abandoned earthly wealth as soon as the Lord commanded him. Nor should one be amazed that neglecting his wealth, he joined a band of men whose leader had, on Matthew’s assessment, no riches at all. Our Lord summoned Matthew by speaking to him in words. By an invisible, interior impulse flooding his mind with the light of grace, he instructed him to walk in his footsteps. In this way Matthew could understand that Christ, who was summoning him away from earthly possessions, had incorruptible treasures of heaven in his gift.
  As he sat at table in the house, behold many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. This conversion of one tax collector gave many men, those from his own profession and other sinners, an example of repentance and pardon. Notice also the happy and true anticipation of his future status as apostle and teacher of the nations. No sooner was he converted than Matthew drew after him a whole crowd of sinners along the same road to salvation. He took up his appointed duties while still taking his first steps in the faith, and from that hour he fulfilled his obligation and thus grew in merit. To see a deeper understanding of the great celebration Matthew held at his house, we must realise that he not only gave a banquet for the Lord at his earthly residence, but far more pleasing was the banquet set in his own heart which he provided through faith and love. Our Saviour attests to this: Behold I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
  On hearing Christ’s voice, we open the door to receive him, as it were, when we freely assent to his promptings and when we give ourselves over to doing what must be done. Christ, since he dwells in the hearts of his chosen ones through the grace of his love, enters so that he might eat with us and we with him. He ever refreshes us by the light of his presence insofar as we progress in our devotion to and longing for the things of heaven. He himself is delighted by such a pleasing banquet.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tuesday 20 September 2016 Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Priest, and Paul Chong Hasang, and their Companions, Martyrs





St Augustine's sermon On Pastors

The church, like a vine, grows and spreads everywhere
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They are straying across the mountains and the high hills, they have been scattered over all the face of the earth. What does this mean, scattered over all the face of the earth? That they attach themselves to earthly things, the things that glitter on the face of the earth: they love and desire them. They do not want to die and be hidden away in Christ. Over all the face of the earth not only because they love earthly things but because across all the earth there are sheep astray. They are everywhere, but one thing, pride, is the mother of them all, just as Christians who are spread over all the world have one mother, the Church.
  So it is not to be wondered at that pride gives birth to dissension while love generates unity. The Church is the mother of all, and everywhere the shepherd in her seeks those who are astray, strengthens those who are weak, cares for the sick and puts the broken together again. Many of them are not even known to one another, but she knows them all because she is merged with them all.
  She is like a vine that has grown and sprouted everywhere. Those in love with earthly things are like sterile shoots pruned away by the grower’s knife because of their sterility, cut away so that the vine should not have to be cut down. And those sterile shoots, once they are pruned away, lie on the ground and stay there. But the vine grows over all, and it knows those shoots that remain part of it, and it knows the cut-off shoots that lie next to it.
Image result for images:Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Priest, and Paul Chong Hasang, and their Companions, Martyrs
  But from where they lie she calls them back, for as St Paul says of the broken branches, God has the power to graft them back again. Whether you speak of sheep straying away from the flock or branches cut off from the vine, God is equally able to call back the lost sheep and to graft back the lost branches: the Lord, the true vine-dresser. They have been scattered over all the face of the earth and no-one misses them, no-one calls them back – no-one among the bad shepherds. No-one misses them – that is, no man does.
  Well then, shepherds, hear the words of the Lord. As I live, says the Lord God... See how he starts. It is like an oath sworn by God, calling his very life to witness. As I live, says the Lord God. The shepherds are dead but the sheep are safe. As I live, says the Lord God. What shepherds are dead? Those who have sought their own interests rather than Christ’s. So what of the shepherds who seek Christ’s interests and not their own? Of course there will be such shepherds, of course they will be found: there is no lack of them and there never will be.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday 19 September 2016 Saint Januarius, Bishop, Martyr







A sermon of St Augustine on the anniversary of his ordination
For you I am a bishop, with you I am a Christian
Image result for images: Pope francis
From the moment this burden, about which such a difficult account has to be rendered, was placed on my shoulders, anxiety about the honour shown to me has always haunted me. What is to be dreaded about the office I hold, if not that I may take more pleasure (which is so dangerous) in the honour shown to me than in what bears fruit in your salvation? Whenever I am terrified by what I am for you, I am given comfort by what I am with you. For you I am a bishop, but with you I am, after all, a Christian. The former signifies an office undertaken, the latter, grace; the former is a name for danger, the latter a name for salvation.
  Finally, as if on the open sea, I am being tossed about by the stormy activity involved in being a bishop; but as I recall by whose blood I have been redeemed, I enter a safe harbour in the tranquil recollection of being a Christian. Thus, while toiling away at my own proper office, I take my rest in the marvellous benefit conferred on us all in common. So I hope that the fact that I have been bought, together with you, gives me more pleasure than my having been placed at your head; then, as the Lord has commanded, I will be more effectively your servant, and be preserved from ingratitude for the price for which I was bought to be, not too unworthily, your fellow-servant. I am certainly obliged to love the Redeemer, and I know what he said to Peter: Peter, do you love me? Feed my sheep. Once he said it, twice, a third time. Love was being questioned and toil demanded, because where the love is greater, the work is less of a burden.
  What shall I pay back to the Lord for all that he has paid back to me? If I say that I am paying back by herding his sheep, even then it is not I who am doing it, but the grace of God within me. So when can I be found to be paying back to him, if he is always there before me? And yet, because we give our love freely, because we are herding his sheep, we look for a reward. How can this be? How can it be consistent to say “I give my love freely, which is why I am herding sheep” and at the same time “I request a reward because I am herding sheep”? This could not possibly happen: in no way at all could a reward be sought from one who is loved freely, unless the reward actually were the very one who is being loved. I mean, if what we are paying back for his having redeemed us is our herding his sheep, being his shepherds, what are we paying back for the fact of his having made us shepherds? Being bad shepherds, you see (may God preserve us from it) is something that we are through our own badness, whereas being good shepherds (God grant it may be so!) is something that can come only through his grace. So it is, my brethren, that we command and implore you not to receive the grace of God in vain. Make my ministry fruitful. You are God’s agriculture. From the outside, receive the work of the planter and the waterer; but from the inside, receive the work of the One who makes you grow. Please, give me your help by both your prayers and your obedience, so that I may find my delight not in being in charge of you but in being of use to you.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday 18 September 2016 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time






St Augustine's sermon On Pastors

On weak Christians
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You have failed to strengthen the weak, says the Lord. He is speaking to wicked shepherds, false shepherds, shepherds who seek their own concerns and not those of Christ. They enjoy the bounty of milk and wool, but they take no care at all of the sheep, and they make no effort to heal those who are ill. I think there is a difference between one who is weak (that is, not strong) and one who is ill, although we often say that the weak are also suffering from illness.
  My brothers, when I try to make that distinction, perhaps I could do it better and with greater precision, or perhaps someone with more experience and insight could do so. But when it comes to the words of Scripture, I say what I think so that in the meantime you will not be deprived of all profit. In the case of the weak sheep, it is to be feared that the temptation, when it comes, may break him. The sick person, however, is already ill by reason of some illicit desire or other, and this is keeping him from entering God’s path and submitting to Christ’s yoke.
  There are men who want to live a good life and have already decided to do so, but are not capable of bearing sufferings even though they are ready to do good. Now it is a part of the Christian’s strength not only to do good works but also to endure evil. Weak men are those who appear to be zealous in doing good works but are unwilling or unable to endure the sufferings that threaten. Lovers of the world, however, who are kept from good works by some evil desire, lie sick and listless, and it is this sickness that deprives them of any strength to accomplish good works.
  The paralytic was like that. When his bearers could not bring him in to the Lord, they opened the roof and lowered him down to the feet of Christ. Perhaps you wish to do this in spirit: to open the roof and to lower a paralytic soul down to the Lord. All its limbs are lifeless, it is empty of every good work, burdened with its sins, and weak from the illness brought on by its evil desires. Since all its limbs are helpless, and the paralysis is interior, you cannot come to the physician. But perhaps the physician is himself concealed within; for the true understanding of Scripture is hidden. Reveal therefore what is hidden, and thus you will open the roof and lower the paralytic to the feet of Christ.
  As for those who fail to do this and those who are negligent, you have heard what was said to them: You have failed to heal the sick; you have failed to bind up what was broken. Of this we have already spoken. Man was broken by terrible temptations. But there is at hand a consolation that will bind what was broken: God is faithful. He does not allow you to be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Saturday 17 September 2016 Saint Robert Bellarmine, Bishop, Doctor






St Robert Bellarmine, 'On the Ascent of the Soul to God'

Turn my heart to your decrees
Image result for images: Turn my heart to your decrees
O Lord, good and forgiving and abounding in steadfast love, who would not serve you with all his heart, when he has begun at least to taste the sweetness of your fatherly rule? What do you order your servants to do, Lord? ‘Take my yoke upon you,’ you say. What is your yoke? — ‘my yoke is easy,’ you say, ‘and my burden is light.’ Who would not willingly carry a yoke which does not press down but gives strength, and a burden which does not weigh heavily but refreshes? With justification, then, you also say, ‘and you will find rest for your souls’. What is this yoke of yours that does not tire but brings rest? It is that ‘great and first commandment: you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart’. For what is easier, better and more agreeable than to love goodness, beauty and love, all of which you are, O Lord my God?
  Do you not offer a reward to those who keep the commandments, which are more desirable than a heap of gold and sweeter than honey from the comb? So in every way you offer a very ample reward, as James the apostle says: ‘The Lord has prepared the crown of life for those who love him.’ What is the crown of life? It is a good greater than all we can think of or desire: Paul quotes these words from Isaiah: ‘No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor has the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.’
  There is much reward in keeping your commandments. That first and great commandment is not only profitable for the man who keeps it or for God who commands it: the other commandments of God also make perfect him who obeys them, improve him, instruct him and make him illustrious; in a word, they make him good and holy. If you understand this, realize that you have been created for the glory of God and for your own eternal salvation; this is your end, this is the object of your soul and the treasure of your heart. You will be blessed if you reach this goal, but miserable if you are cut off from it.
  Therefore consider that to be for your real good which brings you to your goal, and that to be really bad which cuts you off from this goal. Prosperity and adversity, riches and poverty, health and sickness, honor and ignominy, life and death should not be sought after for themselves by the wise man nor are they to be avoided for themselves; if they contribute to the glory of God and your eternal happiness, they are good and to be sought after; if they are obstacles to this, they are evil and to be avoided.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday 16 September 2016 Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs






The proconsular Acts of the martyrdom of St Cyprian, 258AD

I have no need to deliberate: the issues are clear
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On the morning of 14 September a huge crowd gathered at Villa Sexti as the proconsul Galerius Maximus had ordered. The proconsul commanded that Bishop Cyprian be brought to trial before him as he sat in judgement in the court called Sauciolum. When the bishop appeared the proconsul asked him: ‘Are you Thascius Cyprian?’
  The bishop replied: ‘I am.’
  ‘And have you acted as leader in a community of impious men?’
  ‘I have.’
  ‘The sacred emperors have ordered you to sacrifice.’
  ‘I will not sacrifice.’
  ‘Consider your position.’
  ‘Do what is required of you. I have no need to deliberate; the issues are clear.’
  Galerius consulted briefly with his advisers and reluctantly pronounced sentence in the following words: ‘You have lived in an irreligious manner for a long time now and have gathered about you a large congregation of criminals and unbelievers. You have shown yourself hostile to the gods of Rome and the rites by which they are worshiped. The pious and sacred emperors Valerian and his son, Gallienus, and the right noble Caesar, Valerian, have been unable to recall you to the practice of the official religion. Furthermore you are the instigator of abominations, a veritable standard-bearer for criminals and as such you have been brought before me. Your death will be an example to those whom you have gathered into your criminal conspiracy. Your blood will uphold the law.’ He then pronounced the following sentence from his wax tablet: ‘It is our decision that Thascius Cyprian be put to death by the sword.’ Bishop Cyprian simply said, ‘Thanks be to God.’
  When sentence had been passed the assembled brethren cried out: ‘Let us be beheaded with him!’, and followed him in a huge and tumultuous crowd. Cyprian was brought to the plain of Sextus. There he removed his cloak and kneeling down he humbled himself in prayer to God. He disrobed and gave his dalmatic to the deacons. Clad only in his linen tunic he awaited his executioner.
  When the executioner arrived Cyprian told his followers to give him twenty-five gold pieces. His brethren spread before him linen cloths and towels. The blessed Cyprian blindfolded his eyes with his own hands. The presbyter Julian and the subdeacon Julian tied the ends of the handkerchief since he was unable to do so himself. So died blessed Cyprian.
  His body was exposed nearby to satisfy the curiosity of the pagans. During the night the body was removed by the light of wax candles and torches, and with prayer and great pomp it was brought for burial to a piece of open ground belonging to the procurator Macrobius Candidianus near the reservoirs on the Mappalian Way. A few days later the proconsul Galerius Maximus died.
  The blessed Cyprian suffered martyrdom on 14 September, under the emperors Valerian and Gallienus, but in the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom is honor and glory for ever. Amen.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Thursday 15 September 2016 Our Lady of Sorrows





A sermon of St Bernard

His mother stood by the cross
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The martyrdom of the Virgin is set forth both in the prophecy of Simeon and in the actual story of our Lord’s passion. The holy old man said of the infant Jesus: He has been established as a sign which will be contradicted. He went on to say to Mary: And your own heart will be pierced by a sword.
  Truly, O blessed Mother, a sword has pierced your heart. For only by passing through your heart could the sword enter the flesh of your Son. Indeed, after your Jesus – who belongs to everyone, but is especially yours – gave up his life, the cruel spear, which was not withheld from his lifeless body, tore open his side. Clearly it did not touch his soul and could not harm him, but it did pierce your heart. For surely his soul was no longer there, but yours could not be torn away. Thus the violence of sorrow has cut through your heart, and we rightly call you more than martyr, since the effect of compassion in you has gone beyond the endurance of physical suffering.
  Or were those words, Woman, behold your Son, not more than a word to you, truly piercing your heart, cutting through to the division between soul and spirit? What an exchange! John is given to you in place of Jesus, the servant in place of the Lord, the disciple in place of the master; the son of Zebedee replaces the Son of God, a mere man replaces God himself. How could these words not pierce your most loving heart, when the mere remembrance of them breaks ours, hearts of iron and stone though they are!
  Do not be surprised, brothers, that Mary is said to be a martyr in spirit. Let him be surprised who does not remember the words of Paul, that one of the greatest crimes of the Gentiles was that they were without love. That was far from the heart of Mary; let it be far from her servants.
  Perhaps someone will say: “Had she not known before that he would not die?” Undoubtedly. “Did she not expect him to rise again at once?” Surely. “And still she grieved over her crucified Son?” Intensely. Who are you and what is the source of your wisdom that you are more surprised at the compassion of Mary than at the passion of Mary’s Son? For if he could die in body, could she not die with him in spirit? He died in body through a love greater than anyone had known. She died in spirit through a love unlike any other since his.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wednesday 14 September 2016 The Exaltation of the Holy Cross





A discourse of St Andrew of Crete

The cross is Christ's glory and triumph
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We are celebrating the feast of the cross which drove away darkness and brought in the light. As we keep this feast, we are lifted up with the crucified Christ, leaving behind us earth and sin so that we may gain the things above. So great and outstanding a possession is the cross that he who wins it has won a treasure. Rightly could I call this treasure the fairest of all fair things and the costliest, in fact as well as in name, for on it and through it and for its sake the riches of salvation that had been lost were restored to us.
  Had there been no cross, Christ could not have been crucified. Had there been no cross, life itself could not have been nailed to the tree. And if life had not been nailed to it, there would be no streams of immortality pouring from Christ’s side, blood and water for the world’s cleansing. The legal bond of our sin would not be cancelled, we should not have attained our freedom, we should not have enjoyed the fruit of the tree of life and the gates of paradise would not stand open. Had there been no cross, death would not have been trodden underfoot, nor hell despoiled.
  Therefore, the cross is something wonderfully great and honorable. It is great because through the cross the many noble acts of Christ found their consummation – very many indeed, for both his miracles and his sufferings were fully rewarded with victory. The cross is honorable because it is both the sign of God’s suffering and the trophy of his victory. It stands for his suffering because on it he freely suffered unto death. But it is also his trophy because it was the means by which the devil was wounded and death conquered; the barred gates of hell were smashed, and the cross became the one common salvation of the whole world.
  The cross is called Christ’s glory; it is saluted as his triumph. We recognise it as the cup he longed to drink and the climax of the sufferings he endured for our sake. As to the cross being Christ’s glory, listen to his words: Now is the Son of Man glorified, and in him God is glorified, and God will glorify him at once. And again: Father, glorify me with the glory I had with you before the world came to be. And once more: “Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it and will glorify it again.” Here he speaks of the glory that would accrue to him through the cross. And if you would understand that the cross is Christ’s triumph, hear what he himself also said: When I am lifted up, then I will draw all men to myself. Now you can see that the cross is Christ’s glory and triumph.




Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tuesday 13 September 2016 Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop, Docto






A sermon by St John Chrysostom

For me, life means Christ, and death is gain
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Come follow me

The waters have risen and severe storms are upon us, but we do not fear drowning, for we stand firmly upon a rock. Let the sea rage, it cannot break the rock. Let the waves rise, they cannot sink the boat of Jesus. What are we to fear? Death? Life to me means Christ, and death is gain. Exile? ‘The earth and its fullness belong to the Lord. The confiscation of goods? We brought nothing into this world, and we shall surely take nothing from it. I have only contempt for the world’s threats, I find its blessings laughable. I have no fear of poverty, no desire for wealth. I am not afraid of death nor do I long to live, except for your good. I concentrate therefore on the present situation, and I urge you, my friends, to have confidence.
  Do you not hear the Lord saying: Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst? Will he be absent, then, when so many people united in love are gathered together? I have his promise; I am surely not going to rely on my own strength! I have what he has written; that is my staff, my security, my peaceful harbour. Let the world be in upheaval. I hold to his promise and read his message; that is my protecting wall and garrison. What message? Know that I am with you always, until the end of the world!
  If Christ is with me, whom shall I fear? Though the waves and the sea and the anger of princes are roused against me, they are less to me than a spider’s web. Indeed, unless you, my brothers, had detained me, I would have left this very day. For I always say “Lord, your will be done”; not what this fellow or that would have me do, but what you want me to do. That is my strong tower, my immovable rock, my staff that never gives way. If God wants something, let it be done! If he wants me to stay here, I am grateful. But wherever he wants me to be, I am no less grateful.
  Yet where I am, there you are too, and where you are, I am. For we are a single body, and the body cannot be separated from the head nor the head from the body. Distance separates us, but love unites us, and death itself cannot divide us. For though my body die, my soul will live and be mindful of my people.
  You are my fellow citizens, my fathers, my brothers, my sons, my limbs, my body. You are my light, sweeter to me than the visible light. For what can the rays of the sun bestow on me that is comparable to your love? The sun’s light is useful in my earthly life, but your love is fashioning a crown for me in the life to come.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Monday 12 September 2016 The Most Holy Name of Mary



St Augustine's sermon On Pastors

The shepherds who feed themselves
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The Hireling Shepherd Scatters Sheep

Let us consider the unflattering words of God which Scripture addresses to shepherds who feed themselves and not the sheep. You consume their milk and cover yourselves with their wool; you kill the fatlings, but my sheep you do not pasture. You have failed to strengthen what was weak, to heal what was sick, and to bind up what was injured. You did not call back what went astray, nor seek out what was lost. What was strong you have destroyed, and my sheep have been scattered because there is no shepherd.
  This is spoken to the shepherds who feed themselves and not the sheep; it speaks of their concern and their neglect. What is their concern? You consume their milk and cover yourselves with their wool. And so the Apostle asks: Who plants a vineyard and does not eat from its fruit? Who pastures a flock and does not drink from the milk of the flock? Thus we learn that the milk of the flock is whatever temporal support and sustenance God’s people give to those who are placed over them. It is of this that the Apostle was speaking in the passage just quoted.
  Although he chose to support himself by the labor of his own hands and not to ask for milk from the sheep, the Apostle did say that he had the right to receive the milk, for the Lord had established that they who preach the Gospel should live from the Gospel. Paul also says that others of his fellow apostles made use of this right, a right granted them, and not unlawfully usurped. But Paul went further by not taking what was rightfully his. He forgave the debt, whereas the others did not demand what was not due them. Therefore Paul went further. Perhaps his action was foreshadowed by the Good Samaritan who, when he brought the sick man to the inn, said: If you spend any more, I will repay you on my way back.
  What more can I say concerning those shepherds who do not need the milk of the flock? They are more merciful; or rather, they carry out a more abundant ministry of mercy. They are able to do so, and they do it. Let them receive praise, but do not condemn the others. The Apostle himself did not seek what was given. However, he wanted the sheep to be fruitful, not sterile and unable to give milk.

IT'S NOT TO LATE
To help the sick poor. We need your help all the time but especially now as the Malaria season has started. We have plenty of the Anti malaria medicine (Artemether and Lumefantrine tablets) for adults and children over 5 years of age but for the babies, we send them over to the small hospital nearby. We have arranged with the nurses at the hospital, to have them treat the young ones. Often times they need injections of the Anti malaria medicine or the pediatric suspension. They have given us a discounted rate for the laboratory test and
the medicine but we don't have money to cover the cost. I tried begging them to take the babies gratis but the owner of the hospital (a very nice German lady) said she couldn't do that since she has to buy the medicines and the test kits.
We don't treat the babies at Nazareth Hermitage as it can be risky in case of a reaction to the malaria medicine.
When we tell the mothers that they need to go to the hospital they usually tell us they have no money. If we have put aside money for food, the helpers here will  always give up their main meal so we can use the money for the day to help the little ones. But that doesn't go far and then the same problem presents itself again. I have to tell the parents that we don't have the funds and they could try asking the nurses to help them....meds now, pay later! When they are leaving the hermitage I walk them  to the gate and then watch as they turn to go back to their village or home.
Malaria can be a killer and it seems children are more susceptible than the adults. Won't you please help to save these little one?
You can send your donations to:

Please make checks payable to "Monastery of Christ in the Desert"
Memo reads:  Hermitage sick poor
Address envelope to: Monastery of Christ in the Desert,
>                                      St. Paul's Hermitage
>                                      P.O. Box 270
>                                      Abiquiu NM 87510
>
My name should not appear anywhere on your check.
The Monastery receives the donation and will send you an acknowledgement for tax purposes (should you need it).
Then your check will go to St. Pauls hermitage (located on the Monastery grounds) and finally the donation will be put into my bank account and the little ones will get the help they need.

PLEASE HELP US
HELP THEM!




Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sunday 11 September 2016 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time







St Augustine's sermon On Pastors

We are Christians as well as leaders
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You have often learned that all our hope is in Christ that he is our true glory and our salvation. You are members of the flock of the Good Shepherd, who watches over Israel and nourishes his people. Yet there are shepherds who want to have the title of shepherd without wanting to fulfil a pastor’s duties; let us then recall what God says to his shepherds through the prophet. You must listen attentively; I must listen with fear and trembling.
  The word of the Lord came to me and said: Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel and speak to the shepherds of Israel. We just heard this reading a moment ago, my brothers, and I have decided to speak to you on this passage. The Lord will help me to speak the truth if I do not speak on my own authority. For if I speak on my own authority, I will be a shepherd nourishing myself and not the sheep. However, if my words are the Lord’s, then he is nourishing you no matter who speaks. Thus says the Lord God: Shepherds of Israel, who have been nourishing only themselves! Should not the shepherds nourish the sheep? In other words, true shepherds take care of their sheep, not themselves. This is the principle reason why God condemns those shepherds: they took care of themselves rather than their sheep. Who are they who nourish themselves? They are the shepherds the Apostle described when he said: They all seek what is theirs and not what is Christ’s.
  I must distinguish carefully between two aspects of the role the Lord has given me, a role that demands a rigorous accountability, a role based on the Lord’s greatness rather than on my own merit. The first aspect is that I am a Christian; the second, that I am a leader. I am a Christian for my own sake, whereas I am a leader for your sake; the fact that I am a Christian is to my own advantage, but I am a leader for your advantage.
  Many persons come to God as Christians but not as leaders. Perhaps they travel by an easier road and are less hindered since they bear a lighter burden. In addition to the fact that I am a Christian and must give God an account of my life, I as a leader must give him an account of my stewardship as well.



IT'S NOT TO LATE
To help the sick poor. We need your help all the time but especially now as the Malaria season has started. We have plenty of the Anti malaria medicine (Artemether and Lumefantrine tablets) for adults and children over 5 years of age but for the babies, we send them over to the small hospital nearby. We have arranged with the nurses at the hospital, to have them treat the young ones. Often times they need injections of the Anti malaria medicine or the pediatric suspension. They have given us a discounted rate for the laboratory test and
the medicine but we don't have money to cover the cost. I tried begging them to take the babies gratis but the owner of the hospital (a very nice German lady) said she couldn't do that since she has to buy the medicines and the test kits.
We don't treat the babies at Nazareth Hermitage as it can be risky in case of a reaction to the malaria medicine.
When we tell the mothers that they need to go to the hospital they usually tell us they have no money. If we have put aside money for food, the helpers here will  always give up their main meal so we can use the money for the day to help the little ones. But that doesn't go far and then the same problem presents itself again. I have to tell the parents that we don't have the funds and they could try asking the nurses to help them....meds now, pay later! When they are leaving the hermitage I walk them  to the gate and then watch as they turn to go back to their village or home.
Malaria can be a killer and it seems children are more susceptible than the adults. Won't you please help to save these little one?
You can send your donations to:

Please make checks payable to "Monastery of Christ in the Desert"
Memo reads:  Hermitage sick poor
Address envelope to: Monastery of Christ in the Desert,
>                                      St. Paul's Hermitage
>                                      P.O. Box 270
>                                      Abiquiu NM 87510
>
My name should not appear anywhere on your check.
The Monastery receives the donation and will send you an acknowledgement for tax purposes (should you need it).
Then your check will go to St. Pauls hermitage (located on the Monastery grounds) and finally the donation will be put into my bank account and the little ones will get the help they need.

PLEASE HELP US
HELP THEM!