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To Be Salt of the Earth

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“You are the salt of the earth.”

In today’s gospel Jesus tells us this very catchy and familiar phrase. It is also the motto of St. Francis de Sales Seminary, except they use the Latin, “vos estis sal terrae”. Sounds very inspirational. I must tell you, though, I don’t quite know what it means to be “the salt of the earth”. 

To be the salt, does it mean to be one of the people? For us priests, maybe it is a warning to maintain humility and not forget we are sinners like everyone else. My wife had that assignment  when I was a physician. When she noticed I was thinking too highly of myself she would remind me, we all put our pants on one leg at a time. I was never quite sure what that meant, but I listened. 

Maybe to be salt means that we, through our lives, are to be the flavor of humanity? We are to lead joy filled lives of service and thereby flavor the lives of those we meet. Through our relationship with Jesus, through our understanding of salvation in the midst of suffering, we can offer others a means of savoring life. 

I also cannot help but think of a common modern use of salt, especially at this time of year…to melt ice. Being the salt of the earth, we could melt the ice of anger and hate. As the salt, we can give traction to those whose ways are slippery and prone towards falling. As the salt, we can provide a safe path to God and home.

Now that I think about it, maybe I do know what it means to be the salt of the earth.

The Mystics

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Our Catholic faith has many fascinating elements to it. Not many people pay attention to the mystics. These are individuals who possess a gift that allows them to participate in a different level of awareness and connection to Jesus and Mary. There are many Saints who were mystics. They experienced visions and participated in interactions that are, for lack of a better phrase, out of this world.

There is one such mystic today who is a wife, mother of six, and a Secular Franciscan named Anne. She experiences interior locutions. An interior locution is a mystical concept used by various religions, including the Roman Catholic Church. In an interior locution, a person reportedly receives a set of ideas, thoughts, or visions from an outside spiritual source. Interior locutions are most often reported during prayers. An interior locution is a form of revelation, but is distinct from an apparition or religious vision because no supernatural entity is reported as present during the interior locution (forums.catholic.com). I learned of her writings a few years ago, and with skepticism, read them. Even though her texts carry the Imprimatur, I always went into them with a prayer on my lips and in my heart not to fall prey to anything that wasn't Truth. I don't believe I have. I wish to share some of what Jesus told Anne to write. These messages are in line with the gospel. They are simple and clear. Peace! 

I am Jesus. I am God. I am complete in myself. I am present in your world and I am present in Heaven. You see. I am omnipresent. Even if you wish to, you cannot remove yourself from my presence on Earth. I created Earth. You might say the earth belongs to me. All on it are also my creation. You, dear beloved one, were created by me. Do I say that you belong to me? I say it in another way. I say, I 'want' you to belong to me. I want to possess your heart. Why do I use the word heart when truly it is your soul that I seek? I use the word heart because people characterize the heart as the place where people hold the love they possess. If you have love, people say you have it in your heart. The heart is known as the source of love and the receptacle of love, so I, Jesus, tell you that I want to possess your heart. When it is all simplified, as it should be, I am saying that I want you to love me. I love you. There is no problem there. I love you today and I will always love you. A difficulty we have is that you do not know me. The only way for me to teach you to love me is for  me to reveal myself to you, to allow you to know me. For that reason, I come to you today. I reveal myself to you through these words and through the graces attached to them. If you read these words and sit in silence, you will begin to know me. If you begin to know me, truly, you will begin to love me. Forget anything that tempts you to move away from these words and graces. Rest. Be with me. Allow me to teach you about myself.

All Things Start at Home

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All things start at home. All virtue. All habits. All learning.

In much of our literature at St. Dominic, we speak to parents as the primary educators of the children. While it reads as a bit of a "no brainer", the magnitude of this phrase is quite large. Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) says, the source of this phrase:

The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute. The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable (#2221). Parents must regard their children as children of God and respect them as human persons. Showing themselves obedient to the will of the Father in heaven, they educate their children to fulfill God's law (#2222). Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness
to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule...Parents have a grave responsibility to give good example to their children. By knowing how to acknowledge their own failings to
their children, parents will be better able to guide and correct them (#2223). Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child's earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life
in keeping with the Gospel (#2224).

 

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