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To: All
Regnum Christi


Good Ground
September 23, 2006

Never is there a moment when God is not working to bring me closer to himself.

Saturday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time
Father Robert Presutti

Luke 8:4-15
When a large crowd gathered, with people from one town after another journeying to him, he spoke in a parable. "A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled, and the birds of the sky ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew, it withered for lack of moisture. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew, it produced fruit a hundredfold." After saying this, he called out, "Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear." Then his disciples asked him what the meaning of this parable might be. He answered, "Knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of God has been granted to you; but to the rest, they are made known through parables so that ´they may look but not see, and hear but not understand.´ "This is the meaning of the parable. The seed is the word of God. Those on the path are the ones who have heard, but the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts that they may not believe and be saved. Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear, receive the word with joy, but they have no root; they believe only for a time and fall away in time of trial. As for the seed that fell among thorns, they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along, they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life, and they fail to produce mature fruit. But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I have a profound need of prayer.  I believe that you dwell in my soul. You invite me to trust and love you with all my heart. Enable me to open my heart completely to you.

Petition: Christ Jesus, help me to dwell in good soil where your word will bear abundant fruit.

1. Christ the Sower.  God is never static. Never is there a moment when God is not working to bring me closer to himself. Christ is constantly sowing his word in my heart. Inspirations, lights, teachings, and the good examples I see in others are the Lord’s constant effort to bring me to bear fruits of holiness. The seed God places in my soul has the ability to grow on its own and over time bear much fruit. All I have to do is give it the space and room it needs to grow. Essentially, my spiritual life consists in learning how to cooperate with God’s seed: getting out of the way, and not impeding its growth by my pride or stubbornness.

2.  Birds and Rocks.  Christ reveals our inner workings to ourselves. He identifies the three types of obstacles we all face. The first is our hardness of heart -- our resistance to change. The Enemy of our souls takes great advantage of this form of attachment to keep us from ever progressing. Christ’s power is rendered null when I close my heart  and become unwilling to change. The second obstacle is emotionalism and superficiality. I could confuse thinking that I am following Christ with seeking a spiritual high or merely taking a sedative for my troubled conscience. When this is the case, I follow Christ only as far as it is convenient because I don’t really want to remove the rocks -- the real issues -- submerged in my life. As soon as Christ wants to supplant these rocks, I prefer to let the relationship wither away. There is no real love here, but rather the most refined type of selfishness. It would be better if the seed had never penetrated.

3. From Thorns to Good Soil.  The third obstacle is one we would have never suspected. We might think of a worried and concerned person as one who is attending to duty and seeking to live up to the demands of life. However, Christ reveals that we often create our own problems and forge our own shackles. It gives us some strange sort of satisfaction. Perhaps we are too afraid of the freedom Christ gives us because it implies too much responsibility. We prefer to hide behind the “too many things to do.” We get caught up in the duties of life and never really dedicate ourselves to the life behind those duties. When Christ looks into my heart, he sees good soil and the potential for much fruit. The obstacles and dangers are within my power to control and mitigate.

Dialogue with Christ: Lord Jesus, thank for your teaching. I ask you that you will help me be utterly sincere before you. I humbly accept the fact that my life is a gift. Help me to live it well and do great good for you.

Resolution: I will overcome any fear I feel in meeting Christ’s demands.

13 posted on 09/23/2006 10:11:16 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Lauds -- Morning Prayer

Morning Prayer (Lauds)

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.

O God, come to my aid.
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.

A suitable hymn may be inserted at this point.

Psalm 91 (92)
Praise of God, the Creator
It is good to praise the Lord, and to sing psalms to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your mercy in the morning and your faithfulness by night;
on the ten-stringed lyre and the harp, with songs upon the lyre.

For you give me joy, Lord, in your creation: I rejoice in the work of your hands.
How great are your works, O Lord, how immeasurably deep your thoughts.
The fool does not hear, the slow-witted do not understand.
When the wicked sprout up like grass, and the doers of evil are in full bloom,
it will come to nothing, for they will perish for ever and ever; but you, Lord, are the Highest eternally.

For behold, Lord, your enemies, how your enemies will perish, how wrongdoers will be scattered.
You will give me strength as the wild oxen have; I have been anointed with the purest oil.
I will look down upon my enemies, and hear the plans of those who plot evil against me.

The just will flourish like the palm tree, grow tall like the cedar of Lebanon.
They will be planted in the house of the Lord; in the courts of our God they will flourish.
They will bear fruit even when old, fresh and luxuriant through all their days.
They will proclaim how just is the Lord, my refuge, for in him there is no unrighteousness.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.

Canticle Ezekiel 36
The Lord will renew his people
I will take you from among the Gentiles,
 I will bring you together from all the earth,
 I will lead you into your own land.

I will pour clean water on you,
 and you will be cleansed from your filth:
 from all your worship of idols I will cleanse you.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you.
I will take the stone heart from your breast and put a heart of flesh in its place.
I will put my spirit among you,
 so that you will walk in the paths of my law,
 keep my judgements and obey them.

You shall live in the land I gave to your fathers.
You shall be a people for me, and I will be your God.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.

Psalm 8
The greatness of God, the dignity of man
How wonderful is your name over all the earth, O Lord, our Lord!
How exalted is your glory above the sky!

Out of the mouths of children and infants you have brought praise, to confound your enemies, to destroy your vengeful foes.

When I see the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars, which you set in their place –
what is man, that you should take thought for him? what is the son of man, that you should look after him?

You have made him but one step lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honour; you have set him over the works of your hands.

You have put everything beneath his feet, cattle and sheep and the beasts of the field,
the birds in the air and the fish in the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the waters.

How wonderful is your name above all the earth, O Lord, our Lord!

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.
A short Bible reading and responsory may follow here.
Canticle Benedictus
The Messiah and his forerunner
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has come to his people and brought about their redemption.
He has raised up the sign of salvation in the house of his servant David,
as he promised through the mouth of the holy ones, his prophets through the ages:
to rescue us from our enemies and all who hate us, to take pity on our fathers,
to remember his holy covenant and the oath he swore to Abraham our father,
that he would give himself to us, that we could serve him without fear – freed from the hands of our enemies –
in uprightness and holiness before him, for all of our days.

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High: for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare his path,
to let his people know their salvation, so that their sins may be forgiven.
Through the bottomless mercy of our God, one born on high will visit us
to give light to those who walk in darkness, who live in the shadow of death;
to lead our feet in the path of peace.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.

Some short prayers may follow here, to offer up the day's work to God.
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
 hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
 thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
 and forgive us our trespasses
 as we forgive those that trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
 but deliver us from evil.
A concluding prayer may follow here.

May the Lord bless us and keep us from all harm; and may he lead us to eternal life.

14 posted on 09/23/2006 10:24:33 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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