Archive for the ‘Meditations’ Category

Holiness

Posted: November 8, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Meditations, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Holiness

Posted: August 4, 2019 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Memory Book

While in Adoration..

Posted: March 9, 2019 by CatholicJules in Meditations

While in Adoration…
9th March 2019
11am

While reflecting on ‘Be merciful as Your Heavenly Father is merciful’ Luke 6:36

How then can I be more merciful?

**update**The Lord had affirmed the message I received, at the focolare meeting yesterday, the cover of the word of life YouTube video was a picture of two hands, one reaching out while the other waiting to be held. Then just before it was my turn to share, I kept being prompted with the scripture passage where Jesus prays, Heavenly Father may they be One as You and I are one and so I began sharing with that. It is only this morning that I realised the message I received during the Adoration had the one capitalised. Which had a deeper message. Praise the Lord!

Today During Adoration

Posted: January 12, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Meditations

When you react badly against an evil said or done to you.
Whose will be done?

When you respond uncharitably.
Whose will be done?

Do not wallow in sin any longer. Arise! In my love and be fruitful.

Be my joyful messenger

The Benedictus

Posted: December 17, 2018 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Prayers

The Benedictus which is recited at every Lauds is one of the most precious prayers we have.

It is a prayer which fills me with hope and reminds me of God our Father’s great love for us and His promise fulfilled through our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. It beckons me to prepare the way for Him, so that He can enter into the hearts of those without hope, peace, joy and love.

I am also grateful to Father Frederick Quek who taught us the way to sing it. Here is my rendition of it… 🙏🏼❤️

https://soundcloud.com/julian-tan-22/the-benedictus-mp3

Year C Reflections

Posted: November 27, 2018 by CatholicJules in Meditations

Beautiful reflections from verbum dei.

Year C Daily Reflections

Holy Hour Yesterday

Posted: November 7, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Meditations

Yesterday during the Holy hour….

L isten to my voice
O pen the door to your hearts
V ictory is mine
E verlasting life is yours.

T each them
H ow to love
E mbrace the poor & the sick.
M ary your mother shows you.

ONE in Love

Posted: May 5, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Meditations

ONE in Love

Two weeks ago having attended a formation session on what the focolare movement was about, I was rather intrigued by the warmth and welcome we received by the members. I had also picked up practical ways to love.

I decided then that I would love to attend one of the Word of Life sessions to learn how they conducted their meetings and to experience it first hand. Moreover I wanted to see if what I learnt from the meeting could have bigger applications that is how to set the whole archdiocese on fire so that everyone will be more welcoming and loving.

However I wasn’t sure I could commit to attending. All that changed when I sent a casual message to the host enquiring if the meeting was still on? He welcomed me and sent me their latest Word of Life edition which was about the 9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit. Last month my spiritual director had guided me to reflect on the 9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit and how others saw those fruits in me. Surely it was a call to attend.

This morning after sending my daughter for Cathechism class I went to the Adoration room. The Lord spoke to me from John 10:16 I have many sheep not of this fold, I must also lead them and they will listen to my voice and they will be one flock under one shepherd. I saw in it how my own journey was unfolding. On the way to the focolare meeting, I was reading the Word of Life and this struck me deeply on how it all connects… “Whoever is with us will notice that we are not only children of our natural family, but also children of God.”

Loved the sharings in the meeting and can see why some members choose to make lifelong journeys together in this community.

Glory to our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen

Let us Adore The Risen Lord

Posted: April 7, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Meditations

Holy Saturday

Posted: March 31, 2018 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Photos

Good Friday

Posted: March 30, 2018 by CatholicJules in Holy Pictures, Meditations

How much do you love me?

Posted: March 30, 2018 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Photos

Be A Burning Bush for Others

Posted: March 17, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Meditations

While in Adoration of our Lord today I received this very strong and powerful message which I am happy to share with you.

1. Be the flame that does not burnout. – STEADFAST
2. Be the flame that spreads the warmth of God’s love – LOVING
3. Be the flame that does not consume others. – HUMBLE
4. Be the flame that leads others out of darkness into light. – MERCIFUL
5. Be the flame connected to the source of life. – CHRIST CENTRED

Christmas Reflection

Posted: December 25, 2017 by CatholicJules in Meditations

From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope
Christian, remember your dignity

Dearly beloved, today our Savior is born; let us rejoice. Sadness should have no place on the birthday of life. The fear of death has been swallowed up; life brings us joy with the promise of eternal happiness.

No one is shut out from this joy; all share the same reason for rejoicing. Our Lord, victor over sin and death, finding no man free from sin, came to free us all. Let the saint rejoice as he sees the palm of victory at hand. Let the sinner be glad as he receives the offer of forgiveness. Let the pagan take courage as he is summoned to life.

In the fullness of time, chosen in the unfathomable depths of God’s wisdom, the Son of God took for himself our common humanity in order to reconcile it with its creator. He came to overthrow the devil, the origin of death, in that very nature by which he had overthrown mankind.

And so at the birth of our Lord the angels sing in joy: Glory to God in the highest, and they proclaim peace to his people on earth as they see the heavenly Jerusalem being built from all the nations of the world. When the angels on high are so exultant at this marvelous work of God’s goodness, what joy should it not bring to the lowly hearts of men?

Beloved, let us give thanks to God the Father, through his Son, in the Holy Spirit, because in his great love for us he took pity on us, and when we were dead in our sins he brought us to life with Christ, so that in him we might be a new creation. Let us throw off our old nature and all its ways and, as we have come to birth in Christ, let us renounce the works of the flesh.

Christian, remember your dignity, and now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return by sin to your former base condition. Bear in mind who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Do not forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of God’s kingdom.

Through the sacrament of baptism you have become a temple of the Holy Spirit. Do not drive away so great a guest by evil conduct and become again a slave to the devil, for your liberty was bought by the blood of Christ.

Just do it…

Posted: December 19, 2017 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Meditations


This is a phrase that when is actually put into practice will draw you closer to Him and the community centred on Christ

Posted: June 19, 2017 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Meditations


For Reflection…. 

From a short sharing/talk I did today

Ash Wednesday 

Posted: March 1, 2017 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Photos

Jesus I Adore You (Sonnet) 

Posted: February 11, 2017 by CatholicJules in Meditations

As we journey on during Advent.. 

Posted: December 18, 2016 by CatholicJules in Meditations

Peace sisters and brothers in Christ. The only reason I am encouraging you to remain steadfast during this time of Advent is for your own spiritual growth. By celebrating ahead while still in Advent, folks are essentially saying the traditions in our church are all outdated and nonsense. We then are no different from the Pharisees, sadducees and the people who turned a deaf ear to the call for repentance by John the Baptist. He was essentially preparing them for the coming of the Lord our God. So remain steadfast even as the world is saying it’s ok! So that come Christmas Jesus can be reborn in you. This Christmas mood in which the world talks so fondly about with its prematurely carolling is short-lived. Let Jesus alone be the King of your lives. Let the Holy Spirit renewed in You teach and guide you. Amen

Praying For Fellow Sinners

Posted: February 15, 2016 by CatholicJules in Meditations

Luke 6:32
If you love those who love you, what credit can you expect? Even sinners love those who love them.

There have been a couple of occasions when some people had a prayer request either for themselves or for their loved ones and I hesitated in responding. I would eventually within the hour or at most within the same day. The reason for this is that this group of people rarely responded to prayer requests made from others. They also rarely if they do at all, participate in community fellowship activities or events. But in their hour of need they know how to turn to the community for prayers.

The crux of the matter is, I am sorely disappointed with myself for hesitating even my reluctance to immediately offer up prayers for them or their families. These and many like them are the very ones that I should be praying fervently for.

Someone maybe even more were praying for me, my family and my own personal conversion once upon a time. And through their prayers and the mercy of God, I had a transformation of heart.

Jesus You loved and forgave me from the cross. How can I withhold love and mercy from my brethren?

Families Of One

Posted: February 14, 2016 by CatholicJules in Meditations

Genesis 12:2, 13:16

I will make you a great nation ; I will bless you and make your name so famous that it will be used as a blessing. I will make your descendants like the the dust on the ground too many to count.

These were the words spoken to Father Abraham. And while I possess a tiny fraction of his faith. I marvel at what the Lord has done in my own life.

He has blessed me with a wonderful family. A blessed family of my very own. A church family and many small communities that have become family.

All this came to be when I said Yes to His call. His call to be with Him and His family. There are indeed difficulties and challenges but He has been with me every step of the way.

I thank You Lord for opening my eyes to see the marvels You have worked in my life. I thank You for the gift of my family and ever growing extended family. Help me to draw them ever closer to You. Amen

Sowing In The Field..

Posted: February 6, 2016 by CatholicJules in Meditations

Galatians 6:2-3,8

You should carry each other’s troubles and fulfil the law of Christ. It is the people who are not important who often make the mistake of thinking that they are. If he sows in the field of self indulgence he will get a harvest of corruption out of it; if he sows in the field of the Spirit he will get from it a harvest of eternal life.

Once again I am reminded that our journey in faith is never meant to be an individual one. We should look to carry one another’s troubles, to help one another overcome them. And with this we fulfil the law of Christ. What is the law of Christ? That we love God our Father with all our heart, all our mind and soul. And to love one another as He loved us.

Yes in the past I had sown in the field of self indulgence and indeed had experienced the corruption of the soul that comes with it. It is something I definitely Would Not want to fall back into.

My soul is indeed thirsting for You O Lord my God! And so I want to only sow in the field of the Spirit.
Help me to remain steadfast in Your love. Amen

Loving God

Posted: February 6, 2016 by CatholicJules in Meditations

Sirach 47:8-10

In all his activities he gave thanks
to the Holy One, the Most High, in words of glory; he put all his heart into his songs out of love for his Maker. He placed harps before the altar to make the singing sweeter with their music; he gave the feasts their splendour, the festivals their solemn pomp, causing the Lord’s holy name to be praised and the sanctuary to resound from dawn.

There is little if not No question of God’s love for David. He was chosen by God our Father and anointed to be Shepherd and King of His people. And from his line would come our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Was David perfect? Was he will holy? No! But each time he sinned against God and was made aware of his sin. His heart was broken, remorseful and contrite. And our merciful Father forgave him.

But what truly mesmerised me about this passage taken from Ecclesiasticus was just how much love David had for God. The kind of love that can only come from a deep personal prayer life and relationship with the Lord our God.

One in which his whole being became a living prayer to God our Father. Seamless between ordinary and liturgical. Such that every word, song, movement or deed brought glory to God. And everyone around to witness would be touched by God’s presence.

This is what it truly means to be a man of God! Amen

Walking In The Garden With My Lord

Posted: January 11, 2016 by CatholicJules in Meditations

At another point of our retreat we were told to go separate ways and find a quiet corner to spend some time in prayer.

I walked past some standalone hostels intending to go as far away as I could. But as I was walking past one, something about a huge bush like tree caught my eye. It had beautiful red and yellow flowers which I found odd. And as I stood there and stared at the oddity and beauty of it, I became more and more mesmerised. And found that I could not tear myself away.

Then the consolations came and I started to reflect on what it must have been like to walk with our Lord in the garden of Eden. How blessed was I in that moment to feel the presence of my Lord.

Then a big black wasp flew past me and I was distracted for a moment. I put it out of my mind and resumed my reflection. All of a sudden a dog started barking in the distance as some workers appeared to clear some rotting jackfruit from the ground unto a lorry which had driven in into the grounds. Even a fellow retreat participant John slowly walked past me. All of it got me feeling a little perturbed then I recalled my earlier encounter with the Lord at the water feature. In which I learnt that the silence can come from within. So I emptied myself so as to continue my meet with the Lord once more.

After a few minutes I turned round and saw that the hostel I was standing in front of had a room number which was also a scripture passage. So I quickly wrote it down in my notebook to look up later. I wanted a remembrance of this whole encounter and so decided to pluck the red and yellow flowers to place between the pages of my notebook; since I didn’t have a camera on me. As I did this I realised the red like flower was actually budding and would turn into the yellow ones fully grown. Wow!

The Scripture passage Luke 17:20-21 I later looked up read as follows :

‘Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was to come, he gave them this answer, ‘The coming of the kingdom of God does not admit of observation and there will be no one to say, “Look, it is here! Look, it is there!” For look, the kingdom of God is among you.’

image

A Prayer Journey Into His Abounding Love

Posted: January 10, 2016 by CatholicJules in Meditations

Seeking quiet time with our Lord, I was led to a water feature where a small statue of our Lady overlooked some fishes. Then as I bent over I found myself gazing into the eyes of the biggest fish in it. It swam around effortlessly and came up every few moments gasping for air. Then I felt the consolations as it swept over me.

And I just knew that prayer was not meant to be hard. We simply need to take a few long deep breaths and enter into silence so as to meet the Lord. It does not really matter if the rest of the world is noisy for the silence comes from within.

In the middle of the water feature was a mini fountain which showered little droplets into a stone platform hovering just over the water. And I saw in it that I was the platform on which the abounding blessings of our Lord and God was showering on me.

Then as I peered up I saw the statue of our Lady on the rock and just below it was a mini waterfall. I saw in it that, that our Blessed Mother who constantly intercedes for us and who is the spouse of the Holy Spirit; stands upon the rock her Son. Of whom mercy and love is poured out upon us in abundance.

When I returned to see our Lord’s overall message for me through scripture. I was led to this passage John 4:14

“But no one who drinks the water that I shall give will ever be thirsty again: the water that I shall give will become a spring of water within, welling up for eternal life. “

Luminous Mystery 1

Posted: January 8, 2016 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

## Baptism of Our Lord

+ Have I prepared myself and others to receive our Lord?

+ Have I decreased and He increased in my life?

+ Do I ponder over the joy of my own baptism? Of becoming a child of God our Father?

+ Of being grafted unto the source of life, the one true vine; my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

+ Who was without sin when he entered the Jordan to be baptised, declaring his love for us by taking on the sins of the world for our sake.

+ Do I pray daily to receive the Holy Spirit descend on me and my life, so that I may live it in a manner pleasing to God my Father?

I pray that one day I will hear my Heavenly Father say, “This is beloved son (daughter) whom I am well pleased. Amen

Through The Eyes Of Jesus

Posted: January 2, 2016 by CatholicJules in Meditations

What if I saw myself through the eyes of Jesus? Whom would I see?

A petty fault finding person or He?
Tolerant and merciful.

A foul mouthed person ready to tear to pieces with my words or He?
Gently speaking His Word and building up foundations centred on God our Heavenly Father.

Self centred person seeking personal glory or He?
Ready to wash the feet of others, lay down His life for them; and all for God His Father’s glory?

Indifferent to the needs of others or He?
Compassionate, loving and kind who sought out the poor, the sick and needy.

Joyful Mystery 5

Posted: December 29, 2015 by CatholicJules in Meditations

## The finding of our Lord in the temple

+ Do I take my family members for granted thinking they will always be around? Do I check in from time to time to ensure their well being? Or do I assume someone else in the family is watching over them?

+ Do I pray and trust in the Lord my God in times of distress and anxiety that He will lead me on?

+ Do I ask questions about my faith? Ponder and reflect on Holy scripture so as to grow in my relationship with God? Do I share what I learnt so as to learn it better? Am I able to astound others with the knowledge of our awesome loving God?

+ When I feel that I’ve lost Jesus through sin, temptations, preoccupations of self or worldly distractions. Do I also know that in His great love and mercy for me, He is to be found in the Church? The Holy Sacraments? Especially in the sacrament of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist? The most Blessed Sacrament in the Adoration room?

+ I cherish You my Jesus and ponder in my heart all that is You and about You. Amen

Joyful Mystery 4

Posted: December 28, 2015 by CatholicJules in Meditations

## The presentation of our Lord in the temple

+ Do I purify myself regularly so as to be reconciled with God? Do I prepare myself before each Eucharistic celebration?

+ Do I consecrate myself to Jesus? Do I perform acts of consecration? Little sacrifices, acts of mercy towards others?

+ Have I stayed awake faithful to the Lord our God, awaiting His coming? Have I done my priestly duties of reconciling people with God? Have I done my prophetic duties of sharing His Word? Singing His praises?

+ Do I share the wisdom and knowledge given to me by God with His people?

+ Through faithful, love, service and sacrifice may I be granted a chance to look upon the face of Christ as Saint Simeon and Saint Anna did. Amen

Joyful Mystery 3

Posted: December 24, 2015 by CatholicJules in Meditations

## The Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ

+ When the dark of night comes and I find an urgent need for shelter for my family or myself. Do I trust that the Lord will provide? Am I patient with those I encounter?

+ Am I sympathetic to the urgent need of others? Do I look for a way to help even if it is just pointing out a possibility?

+ Do I expect a royal welcome, to be treated with honour and respect? Or do I go in love with the expectation to be of service?

+ Our Lord was born in the town of Bethlehem ‘House of Bread’ in a manger where animals are fed; to be ‘bread’ for us. Do I treasure and reverence the precious Holy Eucharist. The true bread from heaven which gives us eternal life!

+ Like the shepherds who were rough and uncouth men, do I heed the call of angels sent to come and witness my Lord and God? To witness His glory and to participate in singing the praises of God.

+ Like the magi am I open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit so that I may be led to the feet of Jesus. Do I bring with me the gifts of my heart and soul; the very best of myself fit for my King!

+ Sweet Jesus you were born to die for us, so that through You we have eternal life with You, God our Father and the Holy Spirit. Together with the Angels and Saints may I always adore You singing Glory to God in the highest!

Joyful Mystery 2

Posted: December 22, 2015 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

## The Visitation

+ Am I fully alive in my faith and joy that I am eager to share the good news and be there to share in the good news of others?

+ Do I make each journey with the mind of being of service to others and for the Lord?

+ Do my voice and presence resonate with that of Jesus? Do I carry with me His presence to all I meet? Do I bring His peace and joy with me?

+ Do I recognise that new life already begins in the womb? And is sacred to God.

+ Do I acknowledge Mary’s special and unique role in God’s plan for our salvation? That she is indeed our Mother and the Mother of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

+ Like my Blessed Mother do I magnify the Holy Trinity in my life, in my words, my actions and in my very being.

+ Do I make sacrifices of time and effort to build relationships centred on Christ?

Dearest Mother Mary, be with me always to purify my thoughts, words and actions. Let whatever I do be pleasing to you as it will be pleasing to God. Amen

Bearing Fruit In Christ As A Community

Posted: June 10, 2015 by CatholicJules in Meditations

Summary of tonight’s homily by Msgr Ambrose Vaz

* Total obedience
* Work and corporate with and for each other
* Accept the other branches otherwise we are cut off
* Never exaggerate our importance
* Appreciate and value our differences
* Use our collective gifts to serve God and one another
* Look and build upon what we have individually not what we are lacking
* Be opened as to welcome Christ by being ready to serve the community.
* Thankfulness to God is shown only in so far as we serve Him and the community.

Are We Ready To Receive Jesus Into Our Lives?

Posted: April 30, 2015 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Meditations

If Jesus came to your house to spend a day or two –
If He came unexpectedly, I wonder what you would do.
Oh, I know you would give your nicest room to such an Honoured Guest;
And all the food you would serve Him would be the very best.
And you would keep assuring Him you are glad to have Him there,
That serving Him within your home is joy beyond compare.

But – when you saw Him coming would you meet Him at the door
with arms outstretched in welcome to your Heavenly Visitor?
Or would you have to change your clothes before you let Him in?
Or hide some current magazines and put the Bible where it had been?

Would you turn off the TV set and hope He hadn’t heard?
And wish you hadn’t uttered that last, loud, hasty word?
Would you hide your worldly music and put some hymn books out?
Could Jesus walk right in – or would you have to rush about?

And so, I wonder – if the Savour spent a day or two with you,
Would you continue doing the things you always do?
Would you go right on repeating the things you always say?
Would life for you continue as it does from day to day?
Would your family conversation keep up its usual pace?
And at the dinner table would you say a word of grace?
Would you sing the songs you always sing and read the books you read?
And let Him know the things on which your mind and spirit feed?

And would you take Him with you everywhere you planned to go?
Or would you maybe change your plans for just a day or so?
Would you be glad to have Him meet your closest friends?
Or would you hope they would stay away until His visit ends?
Would you be glad to have Him stay forever – on and on?
Or would you sigh with great relief when He at last was gone?

Yes, it might be interesting to know the things you would do.
If Jesus came in person to spend some time with you.

How at peace are we with Jesus?  Do we have a relationship with Him, or is He still a stranger in our lives?  What can we do individually, as a husband or wife, or as a parent to be able to immediately welcome Jesus into our homes without first ‘cleaning up’?

A Reflection

Posted: April 26, 2015 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Memory Book

You don’t have to stand in front of a large crowd to give testimony to Christ. In fact few will even want to or have the opportunity.

The best way to give testimony to Christ is by His light shining through us. How we touch people through our smile, mannerisms, little things we do and say. And we may touch them without even knowing that we have. That is the true Spirit of evangelisation, when we live the Word.


Vatican City, 27 January 2015 (VIS) –
The following is the full text of the Holy Father Francis’ message for Lent 2015, entitled “Make your hearts firm”. The document was signed in the Vatican on 4 October 2014, the festivity of St. Francis of Assisi.

“Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each communities and every believer. Above all it is a ‘time of grace’. God does not ask of us anything that he himself has not first given us. “We love because he first has loved us’. He is not aloof from us. Each one of us has a place in his heart. He knows us by name, he cares for us and he seeks us out whenever we turn away from him. He is interested in each of us; his love does not allow him to be indifferent to what happens to us. Usually, when we are healthy and comfortable, we forget about others (something God the Father never does): we are unconcerned with their problems, their sufferings and the injustices they endure. Our heart grows cold. As long as I am relatively healthy and comfortable, I do not think about those less well off. Today, this selfish attitude of indifference has taken on global proportions, to the extent that we can speak of a globalisation of indifference. It is a problem which we, as Christians, need to confront.

When the people of God are converted to his love, they find answers to the questions that history continually raises. One of the most urgent challenges which I would like to address in this Message is precisely the globalisation of indifference. Indifference to our neighbour and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience.

God is not indifferent to our world; he so loves it that he gave his Son for our salvation. In the Incarnation, in the earthly life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God, the gate between God and man, between heaven and earth, opens once for all. The Church is like the hand holding open this gate, thanks to her proclamation of God’s word, her celebration of the sacraments and her witness of the faith which works through love. But the world tends to withdraw into itself and shut that door through which God comes into the world and the world comes to him. Hence the hand, which is the Church, must never be surprised if it is rejected, crushed and wounded. God’s people, then, need this interior renewal, lest we become indifferent and withdraw into ourselves.

To further this renewal, I would like to propose for our reflection three biblical texts.

1. ‘If one member suffers, all suffer together’ – The Church

The love of God breaks through that fatal withdrawal into ourselves which is indifference. The Church offers us this love of God by her teaching and especially by her witness. But we can only bear witness to what we ourselves have experienced. Christians are those who let God clothe them with goodness and mercy, with Christ, so as to become, like Christ, servants of God and others. This is clearly seen in the liturgy of Holy Thursday, with its rite of the washing of feet. Peter did not want Jesus to wash his feet, but he came to realise that Jesus does not wish to be just an example of how we should wash one another’s feet. Only those who have first allowed Jesus to wash their own feet can then offer this service to others. Only they have ‘a part’ with him and thus can serve others.

Lent is a favourable time for letting Christ serve us so that we in turn may become more like him. This happens whenever we hear the word of God and receive the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. There we become what we receive: the Body of Christ. In this body there is no room for the indifference which so often seems to possess our hearts. For whoever is of Christ, belongs to one body, and in him we cannot be indifferent to one another. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honoured, all the parts share its joy’.

The Church is the communio sanctorum not only because of her saints, but also because she is a communion in holy things: the love of God revealed to us in Christ and all his gifts. Among these gifts there is also the response of those who let themselves be touched by this love. In this communion of saints, in this sharing in holy things, no one possesses anything alone, but shares everything with others. And since we are united in God, we can do something for those who are far distant, those whom we could never reach on our own, because with them and for them, we ask God that all of us may be open to his plan of salvation.

2. ‘Where is your brother?’ – Parishes and Communities

All that we have been saying about the universal Church must now be applied to the life of our parishes and communities. Do these ecclesial structures enable us to experience being part of one body? A body which receives and shares what God wishes to give? A body which acknowledges and cares for its weakest, poorest and most insignificant members? Or do we take refuge in a universal love that would embrace the whole world, while failing to see the Lazarus sitting before our closed doors?

In order to receive what God gives us and to make it bear abundant fruit, we need to press beyond the boundaries of the visible Church in two ways.

In the first place, by uniting ourselves in prayer with the Church in heaven. The prayers of the Church on earth establish a communion of mutual service and goodness which reaches up into the sight of God. Together with the saints who have found their fulfilment in God, we form part of that communion in which indifference is conquered by love. The Church in heaven is not triumphant because she has turned her back on the sufferings of the world and rejoices in splendid isolation. Rather, the saints already joyfully contemplate the fact that, through Jesus’ death and resurrection, they have triumphed once and for all over indifference, hardness of heart and hatred. Until this victory of love penetrates the whole world, the saints continue to accompany us on our pilgrim way. Saint Therese of Lisieux, a Doctor of the Church, expressed her conviction that the joy in heaven for the victory of crucified love remains incomplete as long as there is still a single man or woman on earth who suffers and cries out in pain: ‘I trust fully that I shall not remain idle in heaven; my desire is to continue to work for the Church and for souls’.

We share in the merits and joy of the saints, even as they share in our struggles and our longing for peace and reconciliation. Their joy in the victory of the Risen Christ gives us strength as we strive to overcome our indifference and hardness of heart.

In the second place, every Christian community is called to go out of itself and to be engaged in the life of the greater society of which it is a part, especially with the poor and those who are far away. The Church is missionary by her very nature; she is not self-enclosed but sent out to every nation and people. Her mission is to bear patient witness to the One who desires to draw all creation and every man and woman to the Father. Her mission is to bring to all a love which cannot remain silent. The Church follows Jesus Christ along the paths that lead to every man and woman, to the very ends of the earth. In each of our neighbours, then, we must see a brother or sister for whom Christ died and rose again. What we ourselves have received, we have received for them as well. Similarly, all that our brothers and sisters possess is a gift for the Church and for all humanity.

Dear brothers and sisters, how greatly I desire that all those places where the Church is present, especially our parishes and our communities, may become islands of mercy in the midst of the sea of indifference!

3. ‘Make your hearts firm!’ – Individual Christians

As individuals too, we have are tempted by indifference. Flooded with news reports and troubling images of human suffering, we often feel our complete inability to help. What can we do to avoid being caught up in this spiral of distress and powerlessness?

First, we can pray in communion with the Church on earth and in heaven. Let us not underestimate the power of so many voices united in prayer! The ’24 Hours for the Lord’ initiative, which I hope will be observed on 13-14 March throughout the Church, also at the diocesan level, is meant to be a sign of this need for prayer.
Second, we can help by acts of charity, reaching out to both those near and far through the Church’s many charitable organisations. Lent is a favourable time for showing this concern for others by small yet concrete signs of our belonging to the one human family.

Third, the suffering of others is a call to conversion, since their need reminds me of the uncertainty of my own life and my dependence on God and my brothers and sisters. If we humbly implore God’s grace and accept our own limitations, we will trust in the infinite possibilities which God’s love holds out to us. We will also be able to resist the diabolical temptation of thinking that by our own efforts we can save the world and ourselves.

As a way of overcoming indifference and our pretensions to self-sufficiency, I would invite everyone to live this Lent as an opportunity for engaging in what Benedict XVI called a formation of the heart. A merciful heart does not mean a weak heart. Anyone who wishes to be merciful must have a strong and steadfast heart, closed to the tempter but open to God. A heart which lets itself be pierced by the Spirit so as to bring love along the roads that lead to our brothers and sisters. And, ultimately, a poor heart, one which realises its own poverty and gives itself freely for others.

During this Lent, then, brothers and sisters, let us all ask the Lord: ‘Fac cor nostrum secundum cor tuum’: Make our hearts like yours (Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus). In this way we will receive a heart which is firm and merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent or prey to the globalisation of indifference.

It is my prayerful hope that this Lent will prove spiritually fruitful for each believer and every ecclesial community. I ask all of you to pray for me. May the Lord bless you and Our Lady keep you”.

***
Indifference, key theme of the Pope’s Message for Lent 2015

Vatican City, 27 January 2015 (VIS) –
A press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office his morning, during which Msgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, secretary of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”, presented the Pope’s Message for Lent 2015, explaining that its central theme is indifference, an issue that the Holy Father has touched upon on a number of occasions. In addition, in his speech to the UN last September Cardinal Secretary of State Parolin emphasised “widespread indifference”, which he equated with an “apathy” that is at times even “synonymous with irresponsibility”.

Indifference is, therefore, “an important concept to explain the different phenomena of the modern world. In this way, we can understand this same concept, including it in what is surely a partial interpretation of a certain culture. Indifference comes from a lack of difference, from a lack of attention to the difference. This can be applied at least on three levels”.

“At the interpersonal level, the play on words between difference and indifference is perhaps more easily understood. On the one hand, the difference is stressed in order to provoke a separation. On the other hand, a lack of attention to the difference between the other and myself conforms the other to one’s own parameters and thus annihilates him”.

“At the cultural level, that is, in the everyday environment that helps shape our thoughts and judgement, I seem to notice an indifference to values. This is not only related to a lack of awareness of values or an incomplete observance of values; it is above all a lack of judgement on values. In this way, every choice becomes interchangeable, every option becomes viable, any assessment on good and evil, truth and falsity becomes useless. If there is no difference, everything is the same and is therefore not permissible for anyone to propose something that is more or less appropriate to a person’s nature. In my opinion, global uniformity, the lowering of the standards of values that comes from the lack of difference is linked to the experience of many of our contemporaries of a lack of meaning. If everything is the same, if nothing is different and everything is therefore more or less valid, in what can one invest one’s life? If everything is the same, it means that nothing really has value and therefore it means nothing fully deserves our gift”.

“We then come to a third level, that more specifically regards metaphysical principles. Here lies the greatest indifference, the largest and most consequential form of the lack of attention to difference, that is: indifference towards God and as a result, a lack of attention to the difference between the Creator and creature, which causes so much harm to modern man as it leads him to believe that he is God, while he must continually push against his own limitations”.

Msgr. Dal Toso went on to consider the globalisation of indifference not merely as a geographical phenomenon, but also a cultural one. As it spreads, a Western concept of the world, or Weltanschauung, prevails, linked not only to relationships but also as an existential attitude. The Church does not denounce certain situations simply in order to censure them but instead to offer paths towards healing. For this reason, the Lenten season is always a time of conversion, change and renewal. It is a time for overcoming this globalisation of indifference and entering into a new phase in which we recognise the difference between the self and the other, between one lifestyle and another, between oneself and God. This year’s Lenten Message presents three areas in which indifference must be overcome: the Church, the community and the individual”.

He continued, “Pope Francis speaks about the necessary conversion and the new heart that can beat within us. The key step in all social reconstruction and cultural renewal is change in the individual. The Gospel provides the keys for achieving this change in the person, which then affects the whole social fabric”. However, he warns, “conversion does not have its purpose in a better society, but in the knowledge of Christ and in becoming like Him. Therefore, as we can see in Pope Francis’ Magisterium, he calls us to go beyond a faith that serves only to care for oneself and one’s own well being. Indifference stems from an attitude to life in which otherness does not make a difference and so each person withdraws into himself. Faith also can become instrumental in this search for self”. Our path, he explained, must therefore take us further, “beyond ourselves”, so that we “live our faith by looking at Christ and in Him we find the Father and brothers and sisters who await us”.

Indifference must also be overcome in Christian communities, which are required to be “islands of mercy in a world dominated by the globalisation of indifference. There is a distinction between the Church and the world, between the heavenly city and the earthly city, a distinction which become increasingly evident. Our Christian places – parishes, communities and groups – must be transformed into places that manifest God’s mercy. Faced with this globalisation of indifference, some might be discouraged as it seems as if nothing can be changed, since we are part of a great social and economic process that is beyond us. Instead, this is not the case. The Christian community can already overcome this indifference, it can show the world that one can live differently and that it can become the city on the mount mentioned in the Gospel. Beginning with this Lent season, Christian community life, where one lives for the other, can be not merely a chimera but instead a living reality; rather than a distant dream, a living sign of the presence of God’s mercy in Christ”.

Finally, the third level is the Church in her global reality. “Unfortunately”, remarked Msgr. Del Toso, “we tend to see the Church only as an institution and a structure. Instead, she is the living body of those who believe in Christ. It is the Church in her entirety that needs to be renewed. As a body, she shows that she is really alive because she changes, grows and develops. In this body, the members take care of each other”.

Finally, the prelate recalled that “Cor Unum” has always acted as an “instrument of the Pope’s proximity to the least of our brothers and sisters”, offering three examples. First, he mentioned the recent joint meeting with the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and the various other entities involved in the reconstruction of Haiti, during which the balance of the financial aid raised by the Catholic Church’s for the island during the five years since the earthquake, estimated at 21.5 million dollars, was presented. He also referred to the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Iraq, “where the great victims of these wars are the people, especially the most vulnerable minorities such as Christians who again have become the ‘cards’ with which those in power play”.

Finally, he remarked on the Pope’s recent trip to the Philippines, where it could be seen what it means to “’make hearts firm’ where there is nothing left to hope for”. In Tacloban, the area visited by the Pope, “Cor Unum” has built large community centre named after Pope Francis, to care for the young and the elderly. He concluded, “Our Dicastery wishes to be a great global expression of what it means for the Church to be a body in which each member can experience the love of the other”.

I Am Loves Me – The Mission of My Life

Posted: February 1, 2015 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Memory Book

1. God was all-complete, all-blessed in Himself; but it was His will to create a world for His glory. He is Almighty, and might have done all things Himself, but it has been His will to bring about His purposes by the beings He has created. We are all created to His glory—we are created to do His will. I am created to do something or to be something for which no one else is created; I have a place in God’s counsels, in God’s world, which no one else has; whether I be rich or poor, despised or esteemed by man, God knows me and calls me by my name.

2. God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission—I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. Somehow I am necessary for His purposes, as necessary in my place as an Archangel in his—if, indeed, I fail, He can raise another, as He could make the stones children of Abraham. Yet I have a part in this great work; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connexion between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling.

3. Therefore I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be necessary causes of some great end, which is quite beyond us. He does nothing in vain; He may prolong my life, He may shorten it; He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends, He may throw me among strangers, He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide the future from me—still He knows what He is about.

O Adonai, O Ruler of Israel, Thou that guidedst Joseph like a flock, O Emmanuel, O Sapientia, I give myself to Thee. I trust Thee wholly. Thou art wiser than I—more loving to me than I myself. Deign to fulfil Thy high purposes in me whatever they be—work in and through me. I am born to serve Thee, to be Thine, to be Thy instrument. Let me be Thy blind instrument. I ask not to see—I ask not to know—I ask simply to be used.

—JOHN HENRY CARDINAL NEWMAN

Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 25, 2014 by CatholicJules in Meditations

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Gospel
John 1:1-5,9-14

In the beginning was the Word:
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things came to be,
not one thing had its being but through him.
All that came to be had life in him
and that life was the light of men,
a light that shines in the dark,
a light that darkness could not overpower.
The Word was the true light
that enlightens all men;
and he was coming into the world.
He was in the world
that had its being through him,
and the world did not know him.
He came to his own domain
and his own people did not accept him.
But to all who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to all who believe in the name of him
who was born not out of human stock
or urge of the flesh
or will of man
but of God himself.
The Word was made flesh,
he lived among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father,
full of grace and truth.

Reflections by Dr Scott Hahn

December 25th, Christmas Day

Isaiah 52:7–10
Psalms 98:1–6
Hebrews 1:1–6
John 1:1–18

The Church’s liturgy rings in Christmas with a joyful noise. We hear today of uplifted voices, trumpets and horns, and melodies of praise.

In the First Reading, Isaiah foretells Israel’s liberation from captivity and exile in Babylon. He envisions a triumphant homecoming to Zion marked by joyful singing.

The new song in today’s Psalm is a victory hymn to the marvelous deeds done by our God and King.

Both the prophet and psalmist sing of God’s power and salvation. God has shown the might of His holy arm, they say. This language recalls the Exodus, where the people first sang of God’s powerful arm that shattered Israel’s enemy Egypt (see Exod. 15:1, 6, 16).

The coming of the Christ child into the world fulfills all that the Exodus and the return from exile prefigured. In Jesus, all nations to the ends of the earth will see the victory of God over the forces of sin and death.

Jesus is the new King. He is the royal firstborn son and Son of God promised to David, as we hear in today’s Epistle (see Ps. 2:7; 2 Sam. 7:14). And as our Gospel reveals, He is the Word of God, the one through whom the universe was created, the one through whom the universe is sustained.

In speaking to us through His Son, God has unveiled a new age, the last days.

The new age is a new creation. In the beginning, God spoke His Word and light shone in the darkness. Now, in this new age, He sends us the true light to scatter the darkness of a world that has exiled itself from God.

He is the one Isaiah foretold – who brings good tidings of peace and salvation, who announces to the world that God has come to dwell and to reign (see Rev. 21:3–4).

So we sing a new song on Christmas. It is the song of those who have believed in the Christ child and been born again – by grace given the power to become children of God.

For Reflection

Posted: September 4, 2014 by CatholicJules in Meditations

Human wisdom blocks out and ignores the little things and often cannot perceive and receive the wisdom of our heavenly Father. Until we fall on our knees we cannot rise to the power of glorifying our heavenly Father. Let us rise together to His call to be Fishers of men. Amen


Just wanted to highlight this even though it may be a repetition….

A line in today’s Gospel passage struck me straight through the heart. As I never saw it in that light before….

“The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep.” John 10:12-13

As a disciple of Christ, we are called to tend to His sheep as our very own. Not only when it convenient or safe but in all circumstances and situations. Even if we have to lay down our lives for them. Or it can be simply by putting our brethren’s needs ahead of ours. After all do we not belong to the same sheepfold? One body in Christ, with our one good Shepherd?

Saints 27th April 2014

Posted: April 28, 2014 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Photos

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Posted: April 18, 2014 by CatholicJules in Holy Pictures, Meditations

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I began this Lenten journey like most with the desire to grow in my relationship with God. But what I was shown and taught went a whole lot deeper. 

First thing I learned was that in any relationship, with a spouse,  children, family members, friends, colleagues and whomever I desire to get to know better. I would need to ‘SPEND’ time with them.  In other words I would need to invest some precious time in order that I may build up my relationship with them.  And by doing so on a regular basis, and with God’s grace I am able to build intimate bonds with them.

So it is with building a relationship with God, I need to spend time with Him, getting to know Him and experiencing Him in His Word.  I would need to spend quiet time with Him in prayer, and stay alert listening to Him and being in His presence. To heed Him as He told His disciples, ”Could you not stake awake an hour with me?” Matt 26:40

Now here is where it gets deeper, to grow in my relationship with Him does not end in building it in Him or with Him alone. I need to grow in my relationship with His Body, in other words with my brothers and sisters in Christ! Not just my immediate family, but my Church community. Not just the ones that I love, but the ones I don’t love as much or at all.  And how do I go about doing that?  Well like in the very beginning, I need to spend time with them; learning and growing in faith with them. 

While there is certainly room for improvement and further growth, I praise and thank God for allowing me to grow in my relationship with Him, my immediate family and my family in Him during this Lenten journey.  Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Amen

Personal Reflection

Posted: February 23, 2014 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Knowledge of Scripture and the pursuit of the wisdom contained therein cannot be had without first the love of God and the love of brother and sister.  Without humility it is just selfish ambition and vanity. 

Catholicjules 22nd Feb 2014

The sanctity of marriage and the family

Posted: January 27, 2014 by CatholicJules in Meditations

From the constitution on the Church in the modern world of The Second Vatican Council
The sanctity of marriage and the family

Husband and wife, by the covenant of marriage, are no longer… two, but one flesh. By their intimate union of persons and of actions they give mutual help and service to each other, experience the meaning of their unity, and gain an ever deeper understanding of it day by day.

This intimate union in the mutual self-giving of two persons, as well as the good of the children, demands full fidelity from both, and an indissoluble unity between them.

Christ the Lord has abundantly blessed this richly complex love which springs from the divine source of love and is founded on the model of his union with the Church.

In earlier times God met his people in a covenant of love and fidelity. So now the Savior of mankind, the Bridegroom of the Church, meets Christian husbands and wives in the sacrament of matrimony. Further, he remains with them in order that, as he loved the Church and gave himself up for her, so husband and wife may, in mutual self-giving, love each other with perpetual fidelity.

True married love is caught up into God’s love; it is guided and enriched by the redeeming power of Christ and the saving action of the Church, in order that the partners may be effectively led to God and receive help and strength in the sublime responsibility of parenthood.

Christian partners are therefore strengthened, and as it were consecrated, by a special sacrament for the duties and the dignity of their state. By the power of this sacrament they fulfill their obligations to each other and to their family and are filled with the spirit of Christ. This spirit pervades their whole lives with faith, hope and love. Thus they promote their own perfection and each other’s sanctification, and so contribute together to the greater glory of God.

Hence, with parents leading the way by example and family prayer, their children – indeed, all within the family circle – will find it easier to make progress in natural virtues, in salvation and in holiness. Husband and wife, raised to the dignity and the responsibility of parenthood, will be zealous in fulfilling their task as educators, especially in the sphere of religious education, a task that is primarily their own.

Children, as active members of the family, contribute in their own way to the holiness of their parents. With the love of grateful hearts, with loving respect and trust, they will return the generosity of their parents and will stand by them as true sons and daughters when they meet with hardship and the loneliness of old age.

Personal Reflection

Posted: October 17, 2013 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

True Love which comes from God, is not an emotion. It is a choice and a decision to love inspite of; despite of. One cannot truly love without first encountering the One who loved us first.

No one can love us more than Jesus and by His love we can truly love one another.

Today As I Prayed Before Jesus In The Tabernacle…

Posted: October 4, 2013 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Memory Book

 

“It is not the prayer but your faith behind the prayer that is heard.”


From the beginning of a sermon On Pastors by Saint Augustine, bishop

I am a Christian as well as a leader

You have often learned that all our hope is in Christ and 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 fulfill 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 principal 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.

While In Adoration…

Posted: September 6, 2013 by CatholicJules in Meditations

Those who seek a Me, will surely find Me.

Nourish First The Body Of Christ

Posted: August 31, 2013 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Memory Book

From a homily on Matthew by Saint John Chrysostom, bishop

Do not adorn the church and ignore your afflicted brother

Do you want to honor Christ’s body? Then do not scorn him in his nakedness, nor honor him here in the church with silken garments while neglecting him outside where he is cold and naked. For he who said: This is my body, and made it so by his words, also said: You saw me hungry and did not feed me, and inasmuch as you did not do it for one of these, the least of my brothers, you did not do it for me. What we do here in the church requires a pure heart, not special garments; what we do outside requires great dedication.

Let us learn, therefore to be men of wisdom and to honor Christ as he desires. For a person being honored finds greatest pleasure in the honor he desires, not in the honor we think best. Peter thought he was honoring Christ when he refused to let him wash his feet; but what Peter wanted was not truly an honor, quite the opposite! Give him the honor prescribed in his law by giving your riches to the poor. For God does not want golden vessels but golden hearts.

Now, in saying this I am not forbidding you to make such gifts; I am only demanding that along with such gifts and before them you give alms. He accepts the former, but he is much more pleased with the latter. In the former, only the giver profits; in the latter, the recipient does too. A gift to the Church may be taken as a form of ostentation, but an alms is pure kindness.

Of what use is it to weigh down Christ’s table with golden cups, when he himself is dying of hunger? First, fill him when he is hungry; then use the means you have left to adorn his table. Will you have a golden cup made but not give a cup of water? What is the use of providing the table with cloths woven of gold thread, and not providing Christ himself with the clothes he needs? What profit is there in that? Tell me: If you were to see him lacking the necessary food but were to leave him in that state and merely surround his table with gold, would he be grateful to you or rather would he not be angry? What if you were to see him clad in worn-out rags and stiff from the cold, and were to forget about clothing him and instead were to set up golden columns for him, saying that you were doing it in his honor? Would he not think he was being mocked and greatly insulted?

Apply this also to Christ when he comes along the roads as a pilgrim, looking for shelter. You do not take him in as your guest, but you decorate floor and walls and the capitals of the pillars. You provide silver chains for the lamps, but you cannot bear even to look at him as he lies chained in prison. Once again, I am not forbidding you to supply these adornments; I am urging you to provide these other things as well, and indeed to provide them first. No one has ever been accused for not providing ornaments, but for those who neglect their neighbor a hell awaits with an inextinguishable fire and torment in the company of the demons. Do not, therefore, adorn the church and ignore your afflicted brother, for he is the most precious temple of all.