Every person is your brother, your sister. By acknowledging our companions around the table of the Lord, members of his body, we honor Christ as well. Our unity must not be merely theological, but real, as together we turn to worship God, the source of all love. –from Advent with Saint Teresa of Calcutta
†"The Lord manifests Himself to those who stop for some time in peace and humility of heart. If you look in murky and turbulent waters, you cannot see the reflection of your face. If you want to see the face of Christ, stop and collect your thoughts in silence, and close the door of your soul to the noise of external things." — St. Anthony of Padua
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞ "All, however, cannot attain to the same degree of sacrifice. There are chosen souls whom God has raised above the ordinary callings of life, who, true to their vocation, show their love for God in heroic self-denial, in total surrender to His will, exulting in the use of all their powers to spread His kingdom. But regardless of disparity of calling, all can be led by the same spirit. It is the spirit, not the measure, of sacrifice that will decide our eternity." — John A. Kane, p. 81 AN EXCERPT FROM How to Make a Good Confession
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Saint Martin of Tours
Saint of the Day for November 11 (c. 316 – November 8, 397)
Saint Martin of Tours' Story
A conscientious objector who wanted to be a monk; a monk who was maneuvered into being a bishop; a bishop who fought paganism as well as pleaded for mercy to heretics—such was Martin of Tours, one of the most popular of saints and one of the first not to be a martyr.
Born of pagan parents in what is now Hungary and raised in Italy, this son of a veteran was forced at the age of 15 to serve in the army. He became a Christian catechumen and was baptized at 18. It was said that he lived more like a monk than a soldier. At 23, he refused a war bonus and told his commander: "I have served you as a soldier; now let me serve Christ. Give the bounty to those who are going to fight. But I am a soldier of Christ and it is not lawful for me to fight." After great difficulties, he was discharged and went to be a disciple of Hilary of Poitiers.
He was ordained an exorcist and worked with great zeal against the Arians. He became a monk, living first at Milan and later on a small island. When Hilary was restored to his see after exile, Martin returned to France and established what may have been the first French monastery near Poitiers. He lived there for 10 years, forming his disciples and preaching throughout the countryside.
The people of Tours demanded that he become their bishop. He was drawn to that city by a ruse—the need of a sick person—and was brought to the church, where he reluctantly allowed himself to be consecrated bishop. Some of the consecrating bishops thought his rumpled appearance and unkempt hair indicated that he was not dignified enough for the office.
Along with Saint Ambrose, Martin rejected Bishop Ithacius's principle of putting heretics to death—as well as the intrusion of the emperor into such matters. He prevailed upon the emperor to spare the life of the heretic Priscillian. For his efforts, Martin was accused of the same heresy, and Priscillian was executed after all. Martin then pleaded for a cessation of the persecution of Priscillian's followers in Spain. He still felt he could cooperate with Ithacius in other areas, but afterwards his conscience troubled him about this decision.
As death approached, his followers begged him not to leave them. He prayed, "Lord, if your people still need me, I do not refuse the work. Your will be done."
Martin's worry about cooperation with evil reminds us that almost nothing is either all black or all white. The saints are not creatures of another world: They face the same perplexing decisions that we do. Any decision of conscience always involves some risk. If we choose to go north, we may never know what would have happened had we gone east, west or south. A hyper-cautious withdrawal from all perplexing situations is not the virtue of prudence; it is, in fact, a bad decision, for "not to decide is to decide."
"I stand at the door and knock," says the Lord. What a wonderful privilege that the Lord of all creation desires to come to me. I welcome His presence.
Lord, may I never take the gift of freedom for granted. You gave me the great blessing of freedom of spirit. Fill my spirit with Your peace and Your joy.
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.
[Chosen Lady:] I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth just as we were commanded by the Father. But now, Lady, I ask you, not as though I were writing a new commandment but the one we have had from the beginning: let us love one another. For this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, as you heard from the beginning, in which you should walk.
Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh; such is the deceitful one and the antichrist. Look to yourselves that you do not lose what we worked for but may receive a full recompense. Anyone who is so "progressive" as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God; whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 119:1, 2, 10, 11, 17, 18 R. (1b) Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord! Blessed are they whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord! Blessed are they who observe his decrees, who seek him with all their heart.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord! With all my heart I seek you; let me not stray from your commands.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord! Within my heart I treasure your promise, that I may not sin against you.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord! Be good to your servant, that I may live and keep your words.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord! Open my eyes, that I may consider the wonders of your law.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Alleluia Lk 21:28 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 17:26-37
Jesus said to his disciples: "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man; they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage up to the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building; on the day when Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all. So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, someone who is on the housetop and whose belongings are in the house must not go down to get them, and likewise one in the field must not return to what was left behind. Remember the wife of Lot. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it. I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. And there will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken, the other left." They said to him in reply, "Where, Lord?" He said to them, "Where the body is, there also the vultures will gather."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ In this month of November, the Church suggests that we recall those who have gone before us and that we think of our own passing from this life and also, as this text reminds us, of the eventual ending of the world.
▪ As we know from experience, many overwhelming events catch us by surprise, just when we think that ordinary life will continue as usual. These moments often cause us stop and think, what is it all about and what are we really living for? God gives us the help to live our life on our journey to him and not be caught by surprise.
Lord, I know that when I turn to you there is no need for words. You can see into my heart. You know my desires and you know my needs. I place myself into your hands.
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: 2 John 4-9
Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop (Memorial)
Let us love one another. (2 John 5)
Did you notice that John says, "Let us love one another" (2 John 5)? He includes himself in the exhortation, telling us that everyone is called to love. And actions speak louder than words. It's not enough to just say, "I love you." You need to actually do it.
The author of 2 John was probably not John the apostle, but another John, a presbyter, or elder, in a local church. He likely knew some of the people who were eyewitnesses of Jesus' ministry—maybe even some of the apostles. John is writing out of concern for the brothers and sisters in his church. He rejoiced like a proud parent that they were "walking in the truth" and urged them to "love one another" (2 John 4, 5).
Why did John focus on these concerns? Some believers had stirred up confusion about whether Jesus had really been fully human. Perhaps, they thought, he was just pretending to be a man. As a result, many people were caught up in controversy and were missing the heart of the matter: God loves our humanness so much that he sent his Son to take on our actual flesh and blood. He wanted to be completely human: one of us so that he could be one with us.
If God has so much love for us human beings, then how could the people in John's church think they didn't have to love each other—and in practice, not just in theory? This was John's point. What we do matters. How we love matters. Sometimes it matters more than what we say we believe.
So when we attend Mass faithfully but speak harshly to a family member at home, we are missing something. Our love for one another is a reflection of our love for God. As John wrote, love is the most important way we can live out our faith.
God loves everyone and wants his love to flow out from you and into your relationships. So stop today, and look at the people around you. Ask God to show you one brother or sister that he wants you to love in a concrete way. Then spend time with them: look them in the eye, listen to their concerns, and care for them with the love that you have received from God.
We heard the Word of our Lord today "...let us love one another. For this is love, that we walk according to his commandments...". Today's 5 minutos spanish reflection said "There was a large strong burly man, of strong voice, and rough ways of being. And his wife was a sweet and delicate. They had gotten married. He would never let anything go missing and she took care of the house and educated their children. The children grew up, they married and went away from the parents. A story like so many. But when all the children left their home, the wife lost her smile, she became ever more subtle and almost transparent. She could not eat anymore and in short time she no longer get out of bed. The worried husband took her to the hospital. The doctors and medics came and visited her, the most competent and famous. Nobody was able to diagnose or describe the problem she had. They shook their heads and said "who knows?". The last specialist, that visited, told the husband aside: "I would say, with all honesty, your wife no longer has the will to live. That is why no remedy would be good to give." Without saying a single word, that big strong and vigorous man sat at the bid side of his wife, he took her hand, and with his strong voice said to her decidedly, "You will not die". "Why? she asks with a thread of a voice. "Because, I love you and I can not live without you". And, from that moment, the wife, smiling and with a thread of a voice answered "Why didn't you tell me before?" And from that moment, the woman began to get better'...let us not stop telling the others that we love them. " We prayed today "Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!" and" Blessed are they who observe his decrees, who seek him with all their heart." You know, I have a right mind to get on the rooftop and tell the people of this world "you know all your sports gods and TV gods well, you know their names, what they wear, how much they do and where they've been, where they come from, but of the ones in the bible? Not a single clue! You do not seek, and therefore...you do not find!" And therefore...we do not rightly Love...and right is Holy. In comes the Lord of life to us today "Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it." Nowadays, I hear of many who watch what they eat, as they say "stay away from GMOs, High fructose, aspartame, sucralose...", and the list goes on and on, all in efforts to preserve your life. But we do not stay away from sin. "Stay away from people that are sick", they say, but we do not say "reach out and heal". St. Francis' conversion began when he kissed a leper, whereas most would desire to have the leper killed. This then, is the attitude of Christ; To go where no man has gone before, except the Son of Man, Jesus. To preach the light of repentance. The end times are always a popular topic. Most people that want to get into the bible, want to learn about the "end times" and want to read Revelation before Genesis, as if to understand the whole of the bible by not reading the bible. The best explanation of Genesis through Revelation can be found in the Holy Catholic Church, those who wrote the bible can explain where it is coming from. Last month my cousin died in her sleep. This week they found a dead 20 year old in my town. Couple months ago, my 40something year old cousin died suddenly. And stories like this can be found day after day. Revelation has come, Jesus has come like lightning, in and out through out this realm. Be on guard, for we do not know the day nor the hour. They have this doomsday clock in the world, judging by world events, the speed by when the end of the world will come. But that clock will keep on turning and the end of the world has already come and gone for millions, so that clock is not in sync with the real life...a life for God. I am outfitting myself, preparing for the end. My bags won't have to be packed. My loved ones won't be notified. They will know I love them without me saying a word. I bless them every day, even strangers, I pray for them behind their back. I'm riding a ride with a St. Benedict emblem on it now
and people are starting to wonder why, and what does that mean? Even I question myself "why in the world am I doing this?". The emblem says many things, it says "I will follow the light of Christ, I will never follow the dragon" and it has an exorcism prayer, and atop it says Peace. I tell people that ask, "People don't know what this means...but the devil does". And so we must live prepared. Prepared for what? To give a testimony. This is what it means when we say the word "martyr" and usually we think of that word as someon that was killed for their faith, but it actually means witness, a testimony, and your life testimony is being asked of. I heard there were people cleaning the church, and it seemed they were frustrated, as if they had problems with another group that were using the church. These people need to hear my song "The Broom". It says "we don't need to get mad or cry". We must do things out of love and for love. I was at a burial yesterday for a 50-ish yr. old man that used to work for us. They buried his ashes atop his mother's grave. I've never been to a funeral burial with so little people, and such a small grave. There were 3 people there. One was his "wife" and relative, and another was his sister. His name was Jerry. The sister gave us a long story of how much Jerry suffered, and was having dialysis 4 times a week, and if you don't know what this is, it is a painful and debilitating procedure of the clinical purification of blood by dialysis, as a substitute for the normal function of the kidney. Because he had diabetes, he had just lost his younger brother to the same. He had lost his parents too. He had lost wives in divorce and kids were far away. His new wife he had brought from Mexico was, as we were told, "very unfaithful" and did not love him. She got pregnant with other men, and he still loved her. She cursed him daily, to which the daughters would say "mommy is going to hell for talking to daddy so bad". She would not let him use "her" car to go to dialysis in the end and so he'd miss times to go. He died. He died in love. He died in hopes. My parents hadn't heard how bad this woman was and gave her some cash as she left the grave site, and they sounded like they regretted helping her after all was said about her behind her back. I said "Loving is a one way street" and then said "Jerry would've been happy you gave her that money".
My brothers and sisters, Love is more and love is everything. Seek God and you will know what the truth is. To do so, we must repent, have a metanoia, a complete change of heart mind and soul, and this begins with a step of surrender...which is to give, and we give to forgive and be forgiven. As of now, life is happening in eternity....