True compassion includes self-compassion. After all, why would you treat yourself any different than God would treat you? We must recognize that one of the greatest gifts we can share with others is a sense of our own inner peace and a healthy perspective, but we can't share what we don't have.
-from Prayer in the Catholic Tradition
† "Let us trust in him who has placed this burden upon us. What we ourselves cannot bear let us bear with the help of Christ. For he is all-powerful, and he tells us: 'My yoke is easy, and my burden light.'" — St. Boniface
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY "What prevents us from receiving more abundant graces from God may be quite simply our not being sufficiently grateful and not thanking him for the graces he has already given us. There is no doubt that if we thank God with all our heart for each grace received, especially for the inspirations [of the Holy Spirit], he will grant us more." — Fr. Jacques Philippe, p. 28 AN EXCERPT FROM In the School of the Holy Spirit
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Our Lady of the Rosary
Saint of the Day for October 7
The Story of Our Lady of the Rosary
Saint Pius V established this feast in 1573. The purpose was to thank God for the victory of Christians over the Turks at Lepanto—a victory attributed to the praying of the rosary. Clement XI extended the feast to the universal Church in 1716.
The development of the rosary has a long history. First, a practice developed of praying 150 Our Fathers in imitation of the 150 Psalms. Then there was a parallel practice of praying 150 Hail Marys. Soon a mystery of Jesus' life was attached to each Hail Mary. Though Mary's giving the rosary to Saint Dominic is recognized as a legend, the development of this prayer form owes much to the followers of Saint Dominic. One of them, Alan de la Roche, was known as "the apostle of the rosary." He founded the first Confraternity of the Rosary in the 15th century. In the 16th century, the rosary was developed to its present form—with the 15 mysteries (joyful, sorrowful and glorious). In 2002, Pope John Paul II added five Mysteries of Light to this devotion. Reflection
The purpose of the rosary is to help us meditate on the great mysteries of our salvation. Pius XII called it a compendium of the gospel. The main focus is on Jesus—his birth, life, death, and resurrection. The Our Fathers remind us that Jesus' Father is the initiator of salvation. The Hail Marys remind us to join with Mary in contemplating these mysteries. They also make us aware that Mary was and is intimately joined with her Son in all the mysteries of his earthly and heavenly existence. The Glory Bes remind us that the purpose of all life is the glory of the Trinity.
The rosary appeals to many. It is simple. The constant repetition of words helps create an atmosphere in which to contemplate the mysteries of God. We sense that Jesus and Mary are with us in the joys and sorrows of life. We grow in hope that God will bring us to share in the glory of Jesus and Mary forever.
Brothers and sisters: Realize that it is those who have faith who are children of Abraham. Scripture, which saw in advance that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, foretold the good news to Abraham, saying, Through you shall all the nations be blessed. Consequently, those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham who had faith. For all who depend on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, Cursed be everyone who does not persevere in doing all the things written in the book of the law. And that no one is justified before God by the law is clear, for the one who is righteous by faith will live. But the law does not depend on faith; rather, the one who does these things will live by them. Christ ransomed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written, Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree, that the blessing of Abraham might be extended to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 111:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6 R. (5) The Lord will remember his covenant for ever. I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart in the company and assembly of the just. Great are the works of the LORD, exquisite in all their delights.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever. Majesty and glory are his work, and his justice endures forever. He has won renown for his wondrous deeds; gracious and merciful is the LORD.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever. He has given food to those who fear him; he will forever be mindful of his covenant. He has made known to his people the power of his works, giving them the inheritance of the nations.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
Alleluia Jn 12:31b-32 R. Alleluia, alleluia. The prince of this world will now be cast out, and when I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all to myself, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 11:15-26
When Jesus had driven out a demon, some of the crowd said: "By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons." Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven. But he knew their thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house. And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons. If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people drive them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe. But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
"When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, 'I shall return to my home from which I came.' But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that man is worse than the first."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ 'The kingdom of God has come to you'. I note the sense of urgency in these words, the pressing invitation to take sides and commit myself fully to the Kingdom.
▪ Like the opponents of Jesus, instead of accepting that often his actions and presence are really mysterious, we sometimes say incredibly stupid things about God. I bow in adoration before his saving presence in our complex and violent world.
What feelings are rising in me as I pray and reflect on God's Word? I imagine Jesus himself sitting or standing near me and open my heart to him.
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.
Through you shall all the nations be blessed. (Galatians 3:8)
Paul recounts today how God promised Abraham, a "barren," or childless, man, that he would become a source of blessing for all people. By faith, Abraham believed the Lord, and the blessings flowed from generation to generation, right down to the present day. So here's a question: How can I, a child of Abraham, continue his heritage by becoming a channel of blessing as well? Here's what one man did.
John Drake thought he was doing plenty. An executive at a Fortune 500 company, he was a devout Catholic and a generous donor to charities. But then he started losing sleep. He was haunted by memories of street kids he had met over ten years of business trips to the Philippines: the nine-year-olds who were offered to him by a pimp; a boy who had been badly burned to make him a begging prop; a girl who had fled her home after being raped repeatedly by her father.
Drake would wake up tormented, crying, and wrestling with God. That's because, unexpectedly, a Filipino mayor had asked him to take over a shelter where twenty-six children were living in appalling conditions. God was calling, Drake realized. But he had a family and a dream job. The call was insistent, though, so Drake took a first step in 2003 by raising funds for the shelter. To his astonishment, seemingly insurmountable obstacles melted away. He ended up retiring from his executive position to oversee a center and foundation that are making a life-saving difference for thousands of Filipino street children (www.lingapcenter.org).
John Drake's secret was that he listened to God. He pondered the mayor's request and the horrors he had seen. And by listening and obeying, slowly and tentatively at first, he ended up being a source of blessing for thousands of children.
God wants you to be a source of blessing as well. That's where your listening comes in. But how can you listen to God? Try keeping a prayer journal and writing down what you think God is saying to you each day. Listening takes practice. You may not get it right from the start. But over time you'll find yourself hearing, as well as writing, more and more. So listen to God, and let the blessings flow.
"Lord, I'm listening. How can I bring your life into my world?"
We heard the Word today "And that no one is justified before God by the law is clear, for the one who is righteous by faith will live." Lately I said we are all sinners. The laws are broken, the 10 commandments are broken, because the Lord explained them into the spirit, not just the flesh. That is to say, things said and thought in regards to these laws in evil spirit are to be included. No longer can you say "I haven't committed adultery" (physical relations) but you are liable for even thinking it, entertaining it in your mind...thus your life. And idolatry is adultery to the Lord. The laws alone will not save us, the things we do, our merits, but by what God does, Jesus on the Cross, mercy, and true love and true surrender, leading the way to Heaven. We prayed today "The Lord will remember his covenant for ever. I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart in the company and assembly of the just." The Lord Keeps His promise. And mine? If I say I will give thanks to the Lord in the assembly of the just, it means of the Holy. But are you giving thanks? Pay attention in Sunday's Gospel. How many times do we go and actually give thanks? We usually are tuned into WIIFM, What's In It For Me. We don't pour ourselves out on the Altar...but God does. We don't pour out our sins in confession as we should...frequently. But The Lord becomes this and pours out daily. We claim to be judges by the things we say. And we claim not to judge, but gossip keeps flowing, hatred keeps flowing, animosity keeps flowing, the sins keep on flowing, but Oh no! I never committed murder! That is why it says in Deuteronomy 27 ""Cursed be anyone who strikes down a neighbor in secret!"n And all the people shall answer, "Amen!" - GOSSIP
25"Cursed be anyone who accepts payment to kill an innocent person!"o And all the people shall answer, "Amen!" - ABORTION/ Euthanasia / Death Penalty
26"Cursed be anyone whose actions do not uphold the words of this law!"p And all the people shall answer, "Amen!"
And that is why we heard the Lord come into our lives today "But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you." He doesn't even need a hand to smack down evil, just a finger. That is how powerful God is. And the Lord did this, and this means His Kingdom has come. Then the Lord says something even more powerful "Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters." How is this more powerful? Because it means the world from beginning to end. At work, I had these guys doing sloppy work. Over the years, they never were really told anything, not written up, until lately, I brought it to their attention, and the truth was not pretty. The guys quit. They scattered. The truth was told and they were not told to leave. They scattered on their own. This is how we will be when we face the truth of our lives. We would have left, God would have never abandoned you. This is the atrocity of sin, all the enticements of evil. And how does evil happen in our lives? I told a loved one this week, "hey, you got opened doors to evil in your life". This is a direct reflection to today's Word "(evil spirits)...upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there...". There is room in your life for wickedness, and so evil finds a home. It's like at my house, I live out in the country. If I got mice in the house, I have open holes. Soon, snakes come into the house. And mice holes many times come through bug holes, and bug holes through smaller holes made by other things. Soon, the poisonous snakes are inside causing havoc and fear. This is how it is with our souls, and this is how we have fear with terrorists, clowns in our world, locking down our schools like in my hometown and area lately. When they brought me the news in the day yesterday, I laughed at the clowns and their threats. Why? Because, evil LOVES attention. That is why gossip gets perpetuated. I told someone this week "gossip has to stop with you."
The laws of the Lord are simple. Jesus proves it. Love GOD ABOVE ALL. Seal up all the little holes in your life that make way for evil.
And you know what the best sealant is? Repentance/Confession and then the hardener of the sealant to make it concrete and everlasting...the Holy EUCHARIST. In the assembly of the Just, the saints and angels, they are witnessing what you are doing. Assisting unless you are resisting