Jesus really gives his Body for us and pours out his Blood to redeem humanity's sins and to bring us into communion with him. In Penance, Jesus accepts us with all our limitations, he brings us the mercy of the Father who forgives us and transforms our heart, making it a new heart that can love as he does.
† "For a Son of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a man on fire with love, who spreads its flames wherever he goes. He desires mightily and strives by all means possible to set the whole world on fire with God's love. Nothing daunts him; he delights in privations, welcomes work, embraces sacrifices, smiles at slander, and rejoices in suffering. His only concern is how he can best follow Jesus Christ and imitate Him in working, suffering, and striving constantly and single-mindedly for the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls." — St. Anthony Mary Claret
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞
"Our Lord, by descending into hell, planted (if I may thus express myself), in the spiritual garden of the Church, a mysterious tree, the fruits of which—namely, His merits—are destined for the constant relief of the Poor Souls in Purgatory. The Church Militant must cultivate the tree, and gather its fruits, in order to present them to that suffering portion of the Church which can do nothing for itself. Thus it is with all the merits of Christ; we must labor with Him if we wish to obtain our share of them; we must gain our bread by the sweat of our brow. Everything which Our Lord has done for us in time must produce fruit for eternity; but we must gather these fruits in time, without which we cannot possess them in eternity. The Church is the most prudent and thoughtful of mothers; the ecclesiastical year is an immense and magnificent garden, in which all those fruits for eternity are gathered together, that we may make use of them in time. Each year contains sufficient to supply the wants of all; but woe be to that careless or dishonest gardener who allows any of the fruit committed to his care to perish; if he fails to turn to a proper account those grace which would restore health to the sick, strength to the weak, or furnish food to the hungry! When the Day of Judgment arrives, the Master of the garden will demand a strict account, not only of every tree, but also of all the fruit produced in the garden." — Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, p. 351-2 AN EXCERPT FROM The Dolores Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ
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Saint Martin de Porres
Saint of the Day for November 3 (December 9, 1579 – November 3, 1639)
Saint Martin de Porres' Story
"Father unknown" is the cold legal phrase sometimes used on baptismal records. "Half-breed" or "war souvenir" is the cruel name inflicted by those of "pure" blood. Like many others, Martin might have grown to be a bitter man, but he did not. It was said that even as a child he gave his heart and his goods to the poor and despised.
He was the son of a freed woman of Panama, probably black but also possibly of Native American stock, and a Spanish grandee of Lima, Peru. His parents never married each other. Martin inherited the features and dark complexion of his mother. That irked his father, who finally acknowledged his son after eight years. After the birth of a sister, the father abandoned the family. Martin was reared in poverty, locked into a low level of Lima's society.
When he was 12, his mother apprenticed him to a barber-surgeon. He learned how to cut hair and also how to draw blood (a standard medical treatment then), care for wounds, and prepare and administer medicines.
After a few years in this medical apostolate, Martin applied to the Dominicans to be a "lay helper," not feeling himself worthy to be a religious brother. After nine years, the example of his prayer and penance, charity and humility led the community to request him to make full religious profession. Many of his nights were spent in prayer and penitential practices; his days were filled with nursing the sick and caring for the poor. It was particularly impressive that he treated all people regardless of their color, race or status. He was instrumental in founding an orphanage, took care of slaves brought from Africa and managed the daily alms of the priory with practicality, as well as generosity. He became the procurator for both priory and city, whether it was a matter of "blankets, shirts, candles, candy, miracles or prayers!" When his priory was in debt, he said, "I am only a poor mulatto. Sell me. I am the property of the order. Sell me."
Side by side with his daily work in the kitchen, laundry, and infirmary, Martin's life reflected God's extraordinary gifts: ecstasies that lifted him into the air, light filling the room where he prayed, bilocation, miraculous knowledge, instantaneous cures, and a remarkable rapport with animals. His charity extended to beasts of the field and even to the vermin of the kitchen. He would excuse the raids of mice and rats on the grounds that they were underfed; he kept stray cats and dogs at his sister's house.
He became a formidable fundraiser, obtaining thousands of dollars for dowries for poor girls so that they could marry or enter a convent.
Many of his fellow religious took him as their spiritual director, but he continued to call himself a "poor slave." He was a good friend of another Dominican saint of Peru, Rose of Lima.
Racism is a sin almost nobody confesses. Like pollution, it is a "sin of the world" that is everybody's responsibility but apparently nobody's fault. One could hardly imagine a more fitting patron of Christian forgiveness (on the part of those discriminated against) and Christian justice (on the part of reformed racists) than Martin de Porres. Saint Martin de Porres is the Patron Saint of:
African Americans Barbers Hairdressers Race Relations Radio Social Justice
"Be still and know that I am God" Lord, may your spirit guide me to seek Your Loving presence more and more. For it is there I find rest and refreshment from this busy world.
By God's grace I was born to live in freedom. Free to enjoy the pleasures He created for me. Dear Lord, grant that I may live as You intended, with complete confidence in Your Loving care.
Where do I sense hope, encouragement, and growth areas in my life? By looking back over the last few months, I may be able to see which activities and occasions have produced rich fruit. If I do notice such areas, I will determine to give those areas both time and space in the future.
Brothers and sisters: We are the circumcision, we who worship through the Spirit of God, who boast in Christ Jesus and do not put our confidence in flesh, although I myself have grounds for confidence even in the flesh.
If anyone else thinks he can be confident in flesh, all the more can I. Circumcised on the eighth day, of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrew parentage, in observance of the law a Pharisee, in zeal I persecuted the Church, in righteousness based on the law I was blameless.
But whatever gains I had, these I have come to consider a loss because of Christ. More than that, I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 105:2-3, 4-5, 6-7 R. (3b) Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. Sing to him, sing his praise, proclaim all his wondrous deeds. Glory in his holy name; rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. Look to the LORD in his strength; seek to serve him constantly. Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought, his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. You descendants of Abraham, his servants, sons of Jacob, his chosen ones! He, the LORD, is our God; throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord. or: R. Alleluia.
Alleluia Mt 11:28 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest, says the Lord. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 15:1-10
The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." So Jesus addressed this parable to them. "What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, 'Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.
"Or what woman having ten coins and losing one would not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it? And when she does find it, she calls together her friends and neighbors and says to them, 'Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.' In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ Think of the trouble you go to to find something you have lost. The search is more thorough when what we have lost is very valuable. Jesus gives us two examples of people searching for what is precious to them. And we hear of the joy that comes when they find it. He uses these examples to try and explain to us the sense of how God seeks us, and his joy when our friendship with him is renewed. His searching for us cost him more than just the search – it cost him his life.
▪ To spend some time realising the value Jesus puts on our friendship can help us realise how precious we are to him.
Jesus you speak to me through the words of the gospels. May I respond to your call today. Teach me to recognise your hand at work in my daily living.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
wau.org Catholic Meditations Meditation: Luke 15:1-10
Saint Martin de Porres, Religious (Optional Memorial)
Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep. (Luke 15:6)
We've all experienced losing something. Sometimes a quick prayer to St. Anthony is all it takes to lay our hands on a misplaced book or a set of keys. And when we find it, we are naturally both happy and relieved.
But what about losing touch with a friend or relative? Perhaps the estrangement was sudden, the result of something hurtful we did or experienced. Perhaps it was inadvertent—we both got busy and lost track of each other. In either case, we can't help wondering, "Could I have prevented this? Can I fix it?" Maybe we don't have anything in common anymore. Has she passed away, and I didn't hear about it? We may even make a few attempts to do an Internet search. But over time, we realize that this lost relationship probably won't be found, and so we give up.
This is not how Jesus acts. He never tires of searching for us. Whether someone has been gone for years or only a few minutes, Jesus keeps on looking and never gives up. And when he does find that person, he is thrilled to reconnect with them again. There is no recrimination, no mistrust or hesitancy. There is only an outpouring of joy and love.
Think about the joy you feel when you are reunited with a long-lost friend. After the first awkward moments, you may pick up right where you left off, swapping stories and filling in the details of the intervening years. You may need to share words of explanation or forgiveness, but your relationship is stronger than ever. Both of you will probably wonder why it took so long.
Isn't that the way it is with Jesus? It may feel awkward at first, especially if our reunion takes place in the confessional. But whether our reunion is big or small—whether the distance between us was over leaving the Church or a nagging sin—it doesn't matter to him. He's just glad to have you back! He has searched high and low, and now he has found you. He has forgiven you for wandering, and all he wants is to renew your friendship once more. So come to him every day, and let him rejoice over you.
"Jesus, thank you for patiently, persistently searching for me. Thank you for bringing me back to you."
Today's 1st Holy Scripture ends with "More than that, I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." Everything Saint Paul knew as Saul was as if nothing of value, now that He found Christ, He found it all: All that matters.
We pray today "Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord." There is a lot of seeking and finding to be found when we read Holy Scriptures. We read, we seek, we find, and we find those seeking and finding in the Holy Scriptures. The constant search for hidden clues and ques are found in a faith journey. And you will be ultimately led to Him, and not astray, for the soul that is faithful.
In comes the Lord of our lives this day: "there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance." Yesterday, I made some stickers to put on my vehicle, and the stickers say "REPENT AND BELIEVE MK1:15" As we read today, the Lord is not only asking us to repent, but He also commands it. I feel like the prophet Jonah, that is preaching for the world to repent. But, why do I do this? For all the passing people to see the sign? Perhaps, but mostly for me. I need to constantly be reminded to repent, and to believe. They put ashes on our heads saying repent and believe and to remember that we are dust and ashes. But you can offer dust and ashes to God and it can be used as fertile soil for the plant, and He is the gardener. And so, the story is not about the others' repentance, is it? It's about MY repentance, OUR repentance. The Church is full of sinners. Don't be surprised when they act up and sin. This is the place they wait and put themselves to perhaps be availed the gift of mercy, and ours is a job to help each other to mercy. Then, angels and saints will cheer loudly for us that are looking on and hoping. This is the place to be pro-active in faith. This is the time to live out your faith. Do not wait for tomorrow. Tomorrow may not come.
A spanish 5 minutos reflection said today "a woman was carrying her child in her arms and passed in front of a cavern that called out "Come in and take all you desire, but do not forget the principle. But remember this: after you leave, the door will close forever." The woman entered the cavern and encountered many riches, she put the child down on the floor and began to gather anxiously all the riches, all she could in her apron. The voice said "you have only eight minutes".. Loaded with gold and precious stones, she ran out the cavern and the door closed. She remembered then, that the child stayed inside and the door was closed forever. The riches lasted did not last and the desperation lasted forever. And so too, we only have about 80 years to live in this world and a voice is telling us "Do not forget the principlel" like the Spiritual values, Prayer, vigilance, family and friends, and LIFE. ... and when the door of life is closed to us, lamentations will be of no value. What is the PRINCIPLE in your life?" That is to ask, what comes first in your life? Is it God? Many get angry with me when I say it is not family that comes first. How can I put them before God? How in the world then, will I lead them to God? Anything else you put first is then your god or gods. For some, it is work, or sports or simply, themselves. The most fertile humus (soil) is that which can be used. We are to be that humus, that human God can use for the vine to grow and give fruit. Our Blessed Mother once lost track of Jesus, and was growing more and more anxious as she searched for 3 days for her Child Jesus. She was so distraught that when she found Him asked Him "how could you do this to us?" But Jesus says the truth "Did you not know that I am at My Father's House?". You see, we can blame God for everything, and He will still be God, and He will still be in His House. The Church is full of sinners, and sinners should be seeking mercy, forgiveness, and the more, the better. And those sinners should be led by me. Because sheep follow others. I should be going to the Shepherd, at the very least be calling to Him so He can find me, and us. God would not create a soul He does not love. When each one of our children was born, they were all unplanned pregnancies, and after they are born I think in my heart "how can I have lived without this one?". If I, a mere mortal, think and love like this, then how much more does God Love!?
Lord, I am calling, I constantly cry out...I will now be quiet for a moment to hear your voice...