To follow Christ is an option, a choice, a call, a vocation, and we are totally free to say yes or no or maybe. You do not have to do this to make God love you. That is already taken care of. You do it to love God back and to love what God loves and how God loves!
-from Eager to Love
† "Be one of the small number who find the way to life, and enter by the narrow gate into Heaven. Take care not to follow the majority and the common herd, so many of whom are lost. Do not be deceived; there are only two roads: one that leads to life and is narrow; the other that leads to death and is wide. There is no middle way." — St. Louis de Montfort
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY ✞ "Joy is one of the best safeguards against temptation. The devil is a carrier of dust and dirt and he uses every opportunity to throw what he has at us. But a joyful heart protects us from this dirt. That is because Jesus is there in our joy. Jesus takes full possession of our soul when we surrender to him joyfully. St. Francis de Sales said, 'A sad saint is a bad saint'. St. Teresa of Avila worried about her sisters only when she saw them lose their joy. Joy is a source of power for us." — St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, p. 38 AN EXCERPT FROM Thirsting for God: Mother Teresa
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Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska
(August 25, 1905 – October 5, 1938)
Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska's Story
Saint Faustina's name is forever linked to the annual feast of the Divine Mercy, the Divine Mercy chaplet, and the Divine Mercy prayer recited each day at 3 p.m. by many people.
Born in what is now west-central Poland, Helena Kowalska was the third of 10 children. She worked as a housekeeper in three cities before joining the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in 1925. She worked as a cook, gardener and porter in three of their houses.
In addition to carrying out her work faithfully, generously serving the needs of the sisters and the local people, she also had a deep interior life. This included receiving revelations from the Lord Jesus, messages that she recorded in her diary at the request of Christ and of her confessors.
At a time when some Catholics had an image of God as such a strict judge that they might be tempted to despair about the possibility of being forgiven, Jesus chose to emphasize his mercy and forgiveness for sins acknowledged and confessed. "I do not want to punish aching mankind," he once told Saint Faustina, "but I desire to heal it, pressing it to my merciful heart." The two rays emanating from Christ's heart, she said, represent the blood and water poured out after Jesus' death.
Because Sister Maria Faustina knew that the revelations she had already received did not constitute holiness itself, she wrote in her diary: "Neither graces, nor revelations, nor raptures, nor gifts granted to a soul make it perfect, but rather the intimate union of the soul with God. These gifts are merely ornaments of the soul, but constitute neither its essence nor its perfection. My sanctity and perfection consist in the close union of my will with the will of God."
Sister Maria Faustina died of tuberculosis in Krakow, Poland, on October 5, 1938. Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1993 and canonized her seven years later.
Devotion to God's Divine Mercy bears some resemblance to devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In both cases, sinners are encouraged not to despair, not to doubt God's willingness to forgive them if they repent. As Psalm 136 says in each of its 26 verses, "God's love [mercy] endures forever."
The world is charged with the grandeur of God. (Gerard Manley Hopkins) I dwell for a moment on the Presence of God around me, in every part of my body, and deep within my being.
"I am free." When I look at these words in writing They seem to create in me a feeling of awe. Yes, a wonderful feeling of freedom. Thank You, God.
At this moment Lord I turn my thoughts to you. I will leave aside my chores and preoccupations. I will take rest and refreshment in your presence Lord.
The Word of God
Wednesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time reading audio
Reading 1 Gal 2:1-2, 7-14
Brothers and sisters: After fourteen years I again went up to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. I went up in accord with a revelation, and I presented to them the Gospel that I preach to the Gentiles– but privately to those of repute– so that I might not be running, or have run, in vain. On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the Gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter to the circumcised, for the one who worked in Peter for an apostolate to the circumcised worked also in me for the Gentiles, and when they recognized the grace bestowed upon me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas their right hands in partnership, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. Only, we were to be mindful of the poor, which is the very thing I was eager to do.
And when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he clearly was wrong. For, until some people came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to draw back and separated himself, because he was afraid of the circumcised. And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not on the right road in line with the truth of the Gospel, I said to Cephas in front of all, "If you, though a Jew, are living like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?"
Responsorial Psalm Ps 117:1bc, 2 R. Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News. Praise the LORD, all you nations, glorify him, all you peoples!
R. Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News. For steadfast is his kindness toward us, and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
R. Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News.
Alleluia Rom 8:15bc
R. Alleluia, alleluia. You have received a spirit of adoption as sons through which we cry: Abba! Father! R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 11:1-4
Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples." He said to them, "When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name, your Kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ 'Teach us how to pray'. This is certainly a prayer that is never refused. So I make it my own today, while thanking God for all that He has taught me already.
▪ It is Jesus himself who is teaching me to pray through these words. I pray the Our Father slowly, word by word, letting each word echo in my heart as it evokes what is deepest in me to rise in prayer to the Father.
I begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture I have just read. What part of it strikes a chord in me? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story I have heard recently - will slowly rise to the surface in my consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to 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.
wau.org Catholic Meditations Meditation: Luke 11:1-4
27th Week in Ordinary Time
Give us each day our daily bread. (Luke 11:3)
"I'm hungry!" It's an annoying complaint parents hear almost constantly. But no parent would reply, "I fed you yesterday. You can't be hungry again!" Everyone knows that children need to be fed every single day. So too with us: we need to be fed each day with spiritual food from God our Father.
The good news is that God wants to feed us each day, just as he gave the Israelites fresh manna every morning as food for their journey (Exodus 16). In today's Gospel reading, Jesus teaches us to ask our Father for our daily bread so that we too will have what we need for our journey.
Notice that Jesus didn't tell us to pray, "Give me everything I need right now!" Only our daily bread—nothing more, nothing less. If the Israelites gathered extra manna, it spoiled and bred worms. They had to trust that God would give them enough for that day and provide more the next morning.
This is exactly what Jesus wants to teach us: God will provide us with bread each day. We just need to ask for it and wait for it, one day at a time.
So how do we receive this daily bread? By spending time with Jesus in prayer and pondering his word in Scripture. And then there's the grace you receive in the Eucharist. You may not be able to receive it every day, but when you do, you can be confident that your Father will pour immense blessings on you.
The next time you are at Mass, remember that God wants to give you your daily bread. Then as you receive Communion, pray, "Lord, I believe in You. Thank You for feeding me right now. I trust that You will give me all that I need today."
Next, imagine Jesus standing before you. Picture yourself handing him all your hopes and worries about the future—one by one—and Jesus giving you in exchange the bread that you need: his peace, his hope, and his courage. Then hear him tell you, "I am with you always, until the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).
"Jesus, you are my daily bread. I put every worry in your hands today. Lord, I trust in you."
We heard today the Word of the Lord "we were to be mindful of the poor, which is the very thing I was eager to do." and we see clearly, the grace of God was in Saint Paul. Eager to reach to the poor, without barriers, without reserve, and the poor souls are starving for Christ. Depending daily on a feeding, and some don't eat for days, or months...the hungry souls suffer. I let my oldest daughter go with relatives, spent the night out of town with them celebrating a birthday, and they were to take her to church, or better said, Holy Mass. When we spoke with her at home, she said they went, left halfway through, and she was not able to receive the Holy Eucharist, the bread and wine turned into the body and blood of Christ. Me and my wife were shocked, and my wife immediately asked me, "should I take her to the nearby city for her to receive the Eucharist?"...it was late Sunday. I said, "her intent was there, she is innocent". And I asked my relatives what in the world happened. They had left because none of them were receiving the Lord, and unknowingly...took my daughter away from the opportunity. (Let it be known we should never walk out before the final blessing after the Holy Communion). I say this after already speaking with them on it, about telling them to confess, and I know they are possibly reading this. I say all this for one reason only; look at how our actions (sin) affects all those around us, for good or worse. We set the pace and lead others...but where are we leading them? To the offering of Christ Himself? Or to our own whims (ideas)?
Our Lord offers Himself in every Mass to every sinner, and we all go with sins to receive Him, but the less, the better. I want you to realize this because the Lord teaches us life in His prayer.
But first let us pray the Holy Psalms of today "Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News....For steadfast is his kindness toward us, and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever." But what Good News is there to tell? HUH? All we hear is bad news..right? Yes, if all you tune into is the news of the world, instead of the news of the Lord. Sister, Saint Faustina wrote down the good news, revelations of the Lord Himself. And He speaks to EVERY ONE, but only a few actually take the time to listen. If you can't hear Him, go to conferences and retreats and learn to listen. Then you will have good news to share! For His is a steadfast kindness, not easily provoked, like ours, and He is faithful and true...this is what is what it says in the last book of the bible "I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war." Is the final war the final test that we ask to be delivered from? Because it will be terrible...a terrible day,... for sin.
In comes the Lord of our lives, and what a beautiful sight for our ears, mind, and eyes, and heart...and the soul? He teaches us how to pray, what to pray, and thus...life, and life daily: "Father, hallowed be your name" Holy is YOUR NAME GOD. I shouldn't use it at all except for calling for help, or to praise you Lord.
..."Your Kingdom come." Let us live in your Holy Presence Lord, let You reign in my heart and thus, bring You as my king of my world, and allow You to reign, thus "thy will shall be done and accomplished through this little soul".
"Give us each day our daily bread" Padre, Saint Pio said once ""It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do so without the Holy Mass.". Because the Holy Mass is all about the true Son, the true light of the world, otherwise, we'd be in total darkness. God loves us so much that He gives us His only Son so we can eat of Him, every day, the ultimate sacrifice, the unblemished lamb of God, the holiness, the fullness of all my desires, and we are to desire what fills us perfectly and healthily...God HIMSELF.
"... and forgive us our sins" Lord have mercy on us.
"...for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us," Don't we? Do we forgive everyone? EVERYONE? Many people I see are so devastated by what someone "said" about them. I asked a relative once, "why did you divorce your wife?" He said "Because there are things said that can not be undone". Untrue as that is, I replied "words are nothing, we must fight to live united". And he is more separated from family and God, more than ever before this day. And the solution is simple...CHRIST=Forgiveness.
"...and do not subject us to the final test." This part is perplexing. Only thing that comes to mind is a torture chamber. And self torture is a horrible place to be, where there is no mercy, where there is no God....and this place has a name...Hell.
They say, we shall live Heaven, how we spend our Sundays. I call on you to spend your ENTIRE Sunday making it one with the Son, a true SON-day. I call on you to worship God like nobody else in your life. The Lord is filled with splendor and glory, and glory gives splendor. What does this mean? It means giving it your all, heart and guts and guts makes heart and heart makes guts.
I am blessed to have people with heart in my life. Strangers, family members, parish, Diocese. It truly takes a village to raise a child, a community. I leave my children in your hands and you leave yours in mine. What we do with the children? Ahh....God's children, that is the question. We live a few years with this golden opportunity to help save souls. Each one equally important, even the ones in the womb not born yet are souls of the Lord. I pray that we learn what this means....to be one...in the Body of Christ.