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Sep 20 – Homily – Fr George: St. Andrew Kim Taegon and Companions, Martyrs of Korea, and “Nice People”

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Homily #120920 ( 08min) Play- On this memorial of St. Andrew Kim Taegon, the first Korean-born priest and his companion martyrs of Korea, Fr. George encourages us to pray for those who are like Simon the pharisee who think, “but I’m a good person”, or who assume they are “nice people” and don’t do anything terribly wrong. May the Immaculate obtain enlightenment for their hearts to see that their sins are in fact hidden from them, and evoke a true change of heart and conversion. Ave Maria!

Mass: St. Andrew Kim Taegon and Comp. – Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Thursday in the 24th Week in Ordinary Time
1st: 1co 15:1-11
Resp: psa 118:1-2, 16-17, 28
Gsp: luk 7:36-50

Audio (MP3)

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14 Responses to “Sep 20 – Homily – Fr George: St. Andrew Kim Taegon and Companions, Martyrs of Korea, and “Nice People””

  1. Sr. JosephMary f.t.i. Says:

    Dear Father,

    With decades of little catechesis and sometimes outright heresy, many of the faithful simply do not understand the need for confession. And when a large parish has confession times for a half an hour on a Saturday afternoon with only a half dozen penitents, and never hearing a homily on the sacrament, we can understand how this attitude has developed. I know of priests who have said it is enough to be nice or a ‘good person’. I have also heard that since we are a ‘resurrection people’ we have no need for penance. And unless we have done some terrible obvious evil, we do not need confession. Being a regular penitent has brought snorts from priests who find that practice ridiculous.

    We desperately need a better understanding of the sacrament: to know of the graces to be found there and the need to be pure of heart. When I visit a nursing home, a number will tell me they do not need confession because there is no opportunity to sin. The gossip or lies or mean spiritedness go unnoticed. And so we need to pray for a greater knowledge and appreciation for this incredible means of grace and forgiveness that Our Blessed Lord has given to us through His holy Church. I need a greater appreciation myself.

  2. Red Says:

    “Being a regular penitent has brought snorts from priests who find that practice ridiculous.”

    Sr. Joseph Mary, it may be that many people who might like to go more regularly to confess their sins do not do so, and have been discouraged to do so, because of this uncharitable and proud attitude of the times, and of some priests who have been overcome by this spirit of the world.

    It can be difficult in these circumstances for a penitent to remember that it’s the honesty and sincerity of the confession to Jesus through the Sacrament of Reconciliation that matters, and not the wisdom, nor the proud worldliness, of the priest. Though to our senses it seems so much more pleasant and grace-filled when the priest is filled with the Holy Spirit’s seven gifts rather than being infected with the spirit of the world. It may also be dangerous to the proper formation of a impressionable penitent’s conscience to hear disobedient or proud, callous advice during confession.

    It all seems to be part of the decline and decay we have experienced within the teaching and practice of the Church over the last several decades. The circumstances surrounding the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, that Pope Leo XIII wrote for the 20th century Church near the end of the 19th century, are pertinent to the troubles we find ourselves in now. But it may be that we are about to be purified, God willing, now that we are into the second decade of the 21st century.

    We pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary for the priests and bishops, as they suffer the attacks upon the purity and orthodoxy of the gospel of Christ. “Strike the shepherd” has always been the foremost desire of the evil one. And fidelity to Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Magisterium, in all seasons, has long been the greatest weapon against that disobedient devil. The Salve Regina prayer, the prayer to St. Michael, and the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary are well-known weapons used to combat Satan and all the evil spirits.

    God bless you and may Mother Mary keep you always.

  3. Marie Says:

    Red,

    I like what you wrote above, and I liked what you wrote on July 22nd under the ‘Way of Forgiveness’ posting; not the grandfather story (though that was nice), but the being militant for the Holy Catholic Church. Evil has made everything I thought beautiful ugly. It seems to have taken over, even though I know Jesus promised that it will never prevail.

    Please keep writing.

    ~pray for me to see the good through all the evil.

  4. Red Says:

    Marie,

    I’m afraid that even if I wanted to, I might not be able to stop writing in my “opinions” on things from time to time! I don’t know if that’s good or bad, maybe a little of both, depending on the situation. :)

    When you wrote that “evil has made everything I thought beautiful ugly. It seems to have taken over, even though I know Jesus promised that it will never prevail”, I wondered if that was something I wrote somewhere else, too! That has been my experience as well, sometimes.

    I think that may happen sometimes, when there is betrayal or abuse of any sort involved, whether it’s feeling betrayed by the people in the Church, or betrayed by the one or ones that you love, and so on. Or just the general betrayal that has taken place within the Holy Catholic Church these last few decades. There are so many ways a person might experience that betrayal in their life.

    And there’s nothing like betrayal, maybe even accompanied by some false and condemning portrayals of a person’s character, to bring about some darkness and anger and rage and frustration and hurt and all the harmful emotions and passions within.

    But a person would have to be pretty thick, I think, not to see that this age we live in is a very, very troubled one indeed. How many million babies have to be slaughtered before we come to that conclusion? Or how much fornication and adultery and pornography and how many broken families and broken hearts of little children? How much greed and materialism and selfishness and lust? How much hypocrisy and abuse among the so-called people of God? The questions could go on and on. And when one cries out with these questions, it may seem at times that even our brothers and sisters in the Church and the Clergy do not want to hear these cries. So where is the good in all of this. It can be difficult to see, especially when caught up in the middle of some type of evil doing. Where is the good in me, in my existence? I know only anger and fear and rage.

    In a world that loves liars and presents evil as good and good as evil, and does so very skillfully and convincingly, where is that truth and beauty and justice and gentleness and kindness and joy and humility? Where is God’s love in all of the ugliness? When we begin to see that the peace the world offers to us is a false peace, and that Jesus and His Real Presence in the world is the source of all true peace, then it seems to be logical that all truth and beauty and justice and gentleness and kindness and joy must begin with Him and in His Real Presence. Whatever leads us away from that Truth, will ultimately lead us to its logical end, which was that of Judas, the traitor.

    It can be difficult to find that Real Presence and that Truth and Beauty that seeks to abide within me, when the evil one keeps me worried all the time about these betrayals and hurts and at times I don’t even realize it! I just know the hurt and the anger and the suppressed frustrations that lead to more suppressed rage within. And the “vicious circle” that it can become may be spinning very quickly at times! ;}

    There is a lot of evil in this world. And we are all “poor banished children of Eve.” Otherwise His loving Sacrifice on the Holy Cross would not have been necessary. Felix Culpa. “O happy fault that merited such and so great a Redeemer.” “God allows evils to happen in order to bring a greater good therefrom.” Those are the words of St. Thomas Aquinas. Sometimes when there seems to be so much evil everywhere and so much hypocrisy about it, it can be really a tough job to find the good, the greater good, and to experience that on a personal level, feeling so tied up to the darkness myself.

    Jesus Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament, and the gift of His Holy Mother Mary. These are the places for me where that good becomes, at least, apparent to me. I do not understand the whole of it, and I am still too sinful to even be aware of that good and its truth and beauty a great deal of the time. But I know that it begins there. In that true peace and true beauty. And that much of the false peace and beauty the spirit of the world offers, is mistaken for that greater good and turns out to be just another false promise and seduction.

    Felix Culpa.

    I’ll pray for you as you requested, and hope that you will do the same for me, for my need too is very great.

    Ave Maria! And peace to men of good will.

  5. Marie Says:

    Red,

    Thank you so very much. I will keep your words in my heart (and copied on the hard drive, just in case I forget them). ;)

    When Our Lord said in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation.” He meant for mankind, not to let the 7 Capital Sins tempt us; not to embrace them, because they will ultimately consume us. That is much of the world today. That is the evil. I have recently seen how it only takes just a few, who disregard our Lord’s admonisions, to disturb the true peace of many. It spreads like a cancer! Peace plans between countries will never work until every man, woman, and child has it in their heart to avoid sin and practice virtue. Abortion will never end until the same is done. Changing the law of the land won’t effect anything until good prevails in the hearts of all.

    ~~~Pride, Envy, Anger, Envy, Lust, Avarice, Gluttony~~~

    Maybe the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate can give some homilies on the 7 Capital Sins and the opposite virtues to practice so that we may not ‘fall into temptation’. May God bless them all, and make them all good shepherds to lead His sheep.

    Red, I look forward to more of your ‘opinions’ in the future.

    ~a little black sheep

    Ave Maria!

  6. Marie Says:

    Red,

    My 12:29 posting is stuck in ‘moderation’. I forgot to say that I will remember you in my prayers, though I am sure I am handing only weeds to the Immaculate for your sake.
    She knows our needs better than we do. She is a good Mother.

    ~Refuge of sinners, pray for us.

  7. Marie Says:

    Red,

    “Where is the good in me, in my existence? I know only anger and fear and rage.”

    I pray the words you wrote above are rhetorical in nature. If they are not, then read these words and keep them with you.

    Genesis: 1:31

    “And God saw all (highlighting ‘all’) the things that He had made, and they were very good…” (God doesn’t make ‘junk’.)

    There is a beautiful staue of the Sacred Heart in a chapel near my home. I have spent hours staring at it while in Adoration of Our Lord. I think about the crown of thorns Jesus’ enemies placed on His head, and I think about the thorns placed around His Sacred Heart by his friends; those who promised to love Him, especially through vows and consecrations. I think the thorns around His Heart hurt a great deal more. Betrayal has to be the biggest of all the thorns because Jesus loves us so very much. When one loves deeply and is later betrayed the pain can be intense.

    Well, I think I stepped up on a ‘soapbox’, sorry. Be well, and be at peace. Oh, yes…anger, fear, and rage will kill you. Kill them first.

    Ave Maria!

  8. Marie Says:

    You know….if Judas had only run in the other direction, into the open arms of his Mother Mary, he would not be known as ‘Judas, the traitor’, now.

    Just a thought.

    ~for love of the Two Hearts!
    Ave Maria!

  9. Red Says:

    The words were rhetorical to a point as I think they partly describe the human condition of original sin. We know deep down these are unacceptable passions, contrary to the Father, and we try to hide them away or disguise them in some more attractive manner. And without Christ’s salvation for each of us, we die in those sins.

    The seven capital sins. Pride, anger, envy, lust, greed, gluttony, sloth. And we have the need to be saved from them. We can’t save ourselves. But we can cooperate with the offer of eternal life. And even then we might take pride in how much we cooperate better than another! Or feel angry because another appears to be doing better. That’s partly the sorry state of our condition! The gospel the other day about “who’s the greatest” was a bit like that.

    St. Louis de Montfort put it like this in “True Devotion to Mary”:
    “By the light which the Holy Spirit will give you through Mary, his faithful spouse, you will perceive the evil inclinations of your fallen nature and how incapable you are of any good apart from that which God produces in you as Author of nature and of grace. As a consequence of this knowledge you will despise yourself and think of yourself only as an object of repugnance. You will consider yourself as a snail that soils everything with its slime, as a toad that poisons everything with its venom, as a malevolent serpent seeking only to deceive. Finally, the humble Virgin Mary will share her humility with you so that, although you regard yourself with distaste and desire to be disregarded by others, you will not look down slightingly upon anyone.”

    To the modern reader, this seems kind of harsh! But that is only because our pride is somewhat stunned, I suspect, by the thought of seeing ourselves as slimy snails, or toads that poison everything, or serpents seeking only to deceive! How many of us have seriously balked at that paragraph, and attributed the words to a “bygone era” in the Church! Of course they’ve likely never been more true than they are today. We are so deep in this mire and so then, more denial. More hiding, cramming it away inside. More deadly sin. More hypocrisy, etc.

    If only we could stand the truth about ourselves and continue to read further. Our Mother Mary, Queen of Heaven, Co-Redemptix, and Mediatrix, knows what to do with her children.

    So as you say, Marie, God doesn’t make junk…. but we have “soiled and poisoned” what He made. “Poor banished children of Eve.” The more we hide from that truth, the more sin we stuff inside or attempt to make it more attractive by renaming the wrong as right.

    And betray and abuse. Well, on our own, it’s either abuse or be abused… betray or be betrayed. Kind of a “survival of the un-fittest!” But with Jesus through Mary, God is able to bring a greater good” other than betrayal or being betrayed. Abuse or be abused.

    Still, though, it’s such a mysterious process a lot of the time, and we “work out our salvation with fear and trembling”, as St. Paul wrote to the Philippians.

    Thanks, Marie. Thanks for your prayers. Time now, I think, for me to do some more of that work with fear and trembling. :*]

    Ave Maria! And peace to men of good will.

  10. Marie Says:

    Red,

    First of all thank you for the correction: I wrote envy twice in my list, and forgot sloth.
    As for Father de Montfort (my spiritual Father), he was a poet, as well as a song writer. His wording at times is a bit creative, but his meaning is not. He merely points out the great abyss between God’s majesty and His creation; He is everything compared to our nothingness, which is the spiritual mentality we should have in order to look toward heaven and rely on God’s infinite mercies and providence. Father de Montfort never meant for his words to depict a self-depreciation; otherwise we would never endeavor for the higher things such as zeal in God’s service, courage, fortitude, perseverance, magnanimity….we would be ‘stuck in our slime’ due to spiritual indifference.

    Jesus Christ came into the world to elevate the marginalized; women, lepers, the sick, children, the unlovables and unwanted of His time. He goes so far as to say, “I no longer call you servants, but I call you friends.” (You can look up the chap/verse).

    Since you seem familiar with Father de Montfort’s writings, let me share this with you:
    #167 “Since Mary alone has crushed all heresies, as we are told by the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, (Office of the B.V.M.), a devoted servant of hers will never fall into formal heresy of error, though critics may contest this, He may very well err materially, mistaking lies for truth or an evil spirit for a good one, but he will be less likely to do this than others. Sooner or later he will discover his error and will not go on stubbornly believing and manitaining what he mistakenly thought was the truth.”

    If we wish to see the world become a better place the change must begin within ourselves first. The kingdom of God must reign within, before it can reign without. Desire and prayer are the first steps.

    Consider joining the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary. My life changed in a positive way when I did. You will receive all types of supernatural help.

    May the Mediatrix of all Graces bless you abundantly, bless us all abundantly, so we can see the good in ourselves, in others, and make the efforts necessary to change the world, one soul at a time, if necessary.

    God bless you, Red. Thanks for sharing.

    Marie

  11. Marie Says:

    Red,

    Final word, I think. You have typed some very strong negative words in your comments. I hope that you have someone in your life who helps you contain those emotions so that you do not act them out on yourself, or others.
    Secondly, I sense that you are not entirely unfamiliar with the teachings of Holy Mother Church, and the gospels. You know, as well as I, that suffering is redemptive, and that uniting suffering (ie being abused, being betrayed, being physically, emotionally, and spiritually hurt…) helps not only to save our souls, but helps Christ save others as well. That should bring us consolation, and profound joy.
    Consider the Passion of Our Lord. He knew very well that those who He cured, forgave, fed, taught, lived with (his friends) would abandon, betray, and deny Him. Jesus didn’t spend a moment’s time being consumed by their actions, or motives. Jesus loved them to the end, to the point of saying, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” His holy Mother did the same!
    This is passive and active mortification! This is love.
    As long as you allow ‘the evil one’ to worry you you will never get out of your ‘vicious circle’. Break the cycle.

    Father Robert Barron’s CD “Seven Deadly Sins, Seven Lively Virtues” has helped me to understand my ‘defects’ and how to change them. He discusses Dante’s “Divine Comedy” in this CD. Dante takes a little time to read and digest, at least for me. But it’s worth reading if you have the time.
    “The Particular Examen – How to Root Out Hidden Faults” by Fr James McElhone C.S.C. is on my reading list as well.

    I wish you all the best (ie. holiness). You are in my prayers.

    Ave Maria!

    Marie

  12. Red Says:

    There seems to be so much between the lines of what you have written that I’m not certain if there is much point in my responding.

    A little point, perhaps, to clarify, I wasn’t correcting you when I wrote in concerning the 7 deadly sins. I hadn’t had the opportunity to see the post of yours until after I had posted. That seems to happen sometimes here, I don’t know why, and I don’t find it a problem particularly.

    Anyway, I hope I haven’t offended you by what I have written previously here. You seem to be set on me learning to forgive any who may have harmed me. They are forgiven, I assure you.

    And I am quite familiar with the Church’s teaching on the value of human suffering. As with all of Her teaching, it is beautiful when understood purely and in its fullness.

    This does not mean, of course, that we should continue to accept on-going abuse or harm from anyone, nor see such a thing as merely “more suffering to be endured.” It is a good idea to see what is going on in these types of abusive relationships to whatever extent they may exist in your life, and to do whatever you can to make the situation more positive and pure. And if necessary, to back away from them to whatever extent is most prudent and possible. A very good priest told me this once, decades ago, and I believe the instruction is still a sound one.

    Anyway, I think some of the dots are coming together now for me as far as the comments lately on this site, though my “internet” memory is definitely not always as good as it should be! All is forgiven from my end of things, and I trust that with that said, I need not put myself in any further near occasion of sin, for my own sake, or for the sake of any other.

    As far as breaking any cycle of sin, avoiding the near occasion of it, is always a good start; and as for the deeper more personal aspect of our sinful nature, I will continue to allow Jesus and Mary, as best as I can cooperate in that regard, to “break the cycle” as only they can! I know that relying on our own sinful, self-deceiving ways, or our own intelligence or pride or self-righteousness, will merely leave us in a state of proud, foolish arrogance and unhappy ignorance.

    If that seems negative to some, so be it. We must truly admit what we are before we can be changed into something better. God did create us in his image, his goodness, but we have indeed, each of us in our own way, soiled and stained that image with our fallen nature and sinful ways. Happily, God forgives and heals!

    Now I feel as though I have been around this block so many times over the years, that it is time for me to move on from the seemingly never-ending drudgery of it.

    It is what the Church, through the guarantee of the Holy Spirit working in Her, says it is. We are sinners, in need of repentance, forgiveness, salvation, and redemption.

    O happy fault that merited such and so great a Redeemer.

    I can add nothing to that. Honestly. :)

    Ave Maria! And peace to men of good will.

  13. Marie Says:

    Arrivederci, Red.

  14. Marie Says:

    Red,

    I watched my dad die a holy death yesterday. Everything about him said “Jesus lives within me”. He was charitable, humble, and extraordinarily loving and self-sacrificing. He was a positive man; my hero. I no longer wish to entertain negative conversations with anyone; on the AirMaria web site, or anywhere else. I wish to carry on his way of life in my own.
    I wish you all the best. You will be in my prayers.

    Ave Maria!

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