My sense is that you will come closer to the Lord Jesus the more you pray for others, because Jesus came for others and praying for others is entering more deeply into the mystery of His divine intercession. There are so many people who need our prayers, and to take the time to lift them up to the Lord is one of the greatest services we can perform.
-from Love, Henri
†"Behold Jesus Christ crucified, Who is the only foundation of our hope; He is our Mediator and Advocate; the victim and sacrifice for our sins. He is goodness and patience itself; His mercy is moved by the tears of sinners, and He never refuses pardon and grace to those who ask it with a truly contrite and humbled heart." — St. Charles Borromeo
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞
"My daughter, know that My Heart is mercy itself. From this sea of mercy, graces flow out upon the whole world. No soul that has approached Me has ever gone away unconsoled. All misery gets buried in the depths of My mercy, and every saving and sanctifying grace flows from this fountain." — St. Faustina Kowalska, (1777) AN EXCERPT FROM Diary of St. Faustina
Saint Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions
Saint of the Day for November 24 (d. 1820 – 1862)
Saint Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions' Story
Andrew Dung-Lac was one of 117 people martyred in Vietnam between 1820 and 1862. Members of this group were beatified on four different occasions between 1900 and 1951. All were canonized by Pope John Paul II.
Christianity came to Vietnam through the Portuguese. Jesuits opened the first permanent mission at Da Nang in 1615. They ministered to Japanese Catholics who had been driven from Japan.
The king of one of the kingdoms banned all foreign missionaries and tried to make all Vietnamese deny their faith by trampling on a crucifix. Like the priest-holes in Ireland during English persecution, many hiding places were offered in homes of the faithful.
Severe persecutions were again launched three times in the 19th century. During the six decades after 1820, between 100,000 and 300,000 Catholics were killed or subjected to great hardship. Foreign missionaries martyred in the first wave included priests of the Paris Mission Society, and Spanish Dominican priests and tertiaries.
Persecution broke out again in 1847 when the emperor suspected foreign missionaries and Vietnamese Christians of sympathizing with a rebellion led by of one of his sons.
The last of the martyrs were 17 laypersons, one of them a 9-year-old, executed in 1862. That year a treaty with France guaranteed religious freedom to Catholics, but it did not stop all persecution.
By 1954 there were over a million Catholics—about seven percent of the population—in the north. Buddhists represented about 60 percent. Persistent persecution forced some 670,000 Catholics to abandon lands, homes and possessions and flee to the south. In 1964, there were still 833,000 Catholics in the north, but many were in prison. In the south, Catholics were enjoying the first decade of religious freedom in centuries, their numbers swelled by refugees.
During the Vietnamese war, Catholics again suffered in the north, and again moved to the south in great numbers. Now the whole country is under Communist rule. Reflection
It may help a people who associate Vietnam only with a 20th-century war to realize that the cross has long been a part of the lives of the people of that country. Even as some people ask again the unanswered questions about United States involvement and disengagement, the faith rooted in Vietnam's soil proves hardier than the forces that willed to destroy it.
Dear Jesus, I come to you today longing for your presence. I desire to love you as You love me. May nothing ever separate me from You.
There are very few people who realise what God would make of them if they abandoned themselves into his hands, and let themselves be formed by his grace. (Saint Ignatius) I ask for the grace to trust myself totally to God's love.
Help me Lord to be more conscious of your presence. Teach me to recognise your presence in others. Fill my heart with gratitude for the times Your love has been shown to me through the care of others.
I, John, saw in heaven another sign, great and awe-inspiring: seven angels with the seven last plagues, for through them God's fury is accomplished.
Then I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire. On the sea of glass were standing those who had won the victory over the beast and its image and the number that signified its name. They were holding God's harps, and they sang the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb:
"Great and wonderful are your works, Lord God almighty. Just and true are your ways, O king of the nations. Who will not fear you, Lord, or glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All the nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed."
Responsorial Psalm Ps 98:1, 2-3ab, 7-8, 9 R. (Rev. 15: 3b) Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God! Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; His right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God! The LORD has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God! Let the sea and what fills it resound, the world and those who dwell in it; Let the rivers clap their hands, the mountains shout with them for joy.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God! Before the LORD, for he comes, for he comes to rule the earth; He will rule the world with justice and the peoples with equity.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
Alleluia Rv 2:10c R. Alleluia, alleluia. Remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 21:12-19
Jesus said to the crowd: "They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ These words of Jesus continue what he was saying in yesterday's scripture about future events. He speaks of great suffering for those who follow Him. This was especially fulfilled in the early years of the Church when there were so many martyrs.
▪ Many today are suffering because of lack of freedom to live their beliefs. For many it can be difficult today to openly profess one's faith. It is important to pray for the Church and also for those who find it difficult to believe in a God of love.
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.
Saint Clement I, Pope and Martyr (Optional Memorial)
Great and wonderful are your works, Lord God almighty. (Revelation 15:3)
In music theory, a motif is a sequence of notes that keeps repeating. It's what gives a piece of music its character and helps you identify it. Probably one of the most recognizable motifs in all of music is the repeated four-note sequence from Beethoven's Fifth Symphony: "DA-DA-DA-DUM! DA-DA-DA-DUM!" It's amazing how much drama those four notes convey. Beethoven himself called them "fate knocking at the door."
There are also motifs in the Book of Revelation, and one of them is praise. In today's reading, the saints in heaven are singing a song similar to the one that Moses sang after God had delivered the Israelites from slavery. They are praising God because Christ has delivered them from the sin of the world. Earlier in Revelation, we also see the saints praising God. They give us a picture of what heaven will look like: an unending symphony of praise to God and his glory (Revelation 5:9-14).
We, too, are called to live "for the praise of the glory of his grace" (Ephesians 1:6). But praising God is not just what we will do when we finally make it to heaven. It's something we can do here on earth—and it's something that will help us on our path to heaven. Praise takes us out of the here and now and helps lift us up into God's presence. We can praise God whether things are going well or terribly, because the point of praise isn't how our life is going but how wonderful God is.
You don't really need a reason to praise God. Or more precisely, he's the only reason you need. You can praise him for his power, wisdom, and mercy. You can glorify him for his love, his justice, and his kindness. What's more, having the motif of praise running through our lives keeps us focused on what life is all about—knowing, loving, and serving the Lord.
So sing a song of praise to the Lord! Sing in your heart, out loud, or through the words of Scripture. Beethoven's motif illustrated "fate knocking at the door." Your motif of praise is one way you can knock at your heavenly Father's door.
"Lord, thank you for your unfailing love! May I never cease to glorify your holy name."
"O king of the nations. Who will not fear you, Lord, or glorify your name?" The question is perplexing, who will not fear the Lord? Because, it implies that everyone shall fear the Lord, but the question leaves it asking who will not? Psalms 86 "All the nations you have made shall come to bow before you, Lord, and give honor to your name. For you are great and do wondrous deeds; and you alone are God." And Jeremiah 10: "Who would not fear you, King of the nations, for it is your due! Among all the wisest of the nations, and in all their domains, there is none like you." We sang that this Sunday in Shout To the Lord, singing "my Jesus, My Savior, Lord there none like you, All of my days I want to praise The wonders of Your mighty love". These songs are songs of love and praise and worship, all things due to God and Him alone, not to earthly things of holding things higher than Him! I laugh inside when people tell me they got more important things to do than to go to Church with me. IF YOU ONLY KNEW. Jesus said at one point "Jesus replied, "If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water."
We pray today "Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!" indeed and we continue praying "Sing to the LORD a new song". These words here affect me to my heart, and I often wind up actually writing songs for the Lord. In private revelations, I am inspired by Him and sing to Him and He sings inside the songs, like Him saying repeatedly "I want you with Me" and "I've missed you" and He goes on "Where are you going?". Yesterday in Holy Mass, a song was boiling up inside that said "I want to be good for You God, not for me". Because so often we want to be good for our own good...but not as a good and holy offering to Him...for HIM. It is not about me.
In comes the Lord into our lives today "...because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony." You know, if you are living out your saint, your Holy Life, a life of Grace, you will see that your persecutions are a chance to witness. They prove what you got. Will you fall to anger or despair or disillusion, that of depression? Or will you prove your love of God and see to it that faith is more, see to it that these persecutions are a chance to shine God's love, His light, His glory? Because the crown we read today is awaiting, in Heaven, as we read today "Remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life." The line before that reads "Do not be afraid of anything that you are going to suffer. Indeed, the devil will throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will face an ordeal for ten days." Now, this was an encouragement letter in Revelation, to many, it has already occurred and to many, it is waiting to happen. The ordeal is the life we live. A real battle for souls. I am outfitting the little old SUV I drive to look like an army vehicle, military style ready for battle, because since the Lord came and before, there has been evil in the world. A battle for souls is occurring at this very moment, and yours is at stake as well. Imagine, traps, and poisons laid all around, and the only reason we have not fallen is because of God's grace. A true thanksgiving is a true heart desiring to be good for GOOD and only God is Good. This means a life of holiness and grace awaits. I desire for you this life, because the work on earth is a vast field of cultivating, of seeds and of watering, and of burning what is not good for the crop. And this means worlds, people, the importance of each has its place. I write to you so that you will take courage, have enough valor to defeat evil presenting itself in your life. I know it is hard, I'm with you, but that is why we have each other...and more importantly...we have the LORD always at our side, so long as we live on this earth. At one point, my soul gave a huge hug to God when reading various reflections today. It was a thanksgiving, a giving of thanks, of this reading of martyrs, of red (blood) martyrs and white martyrs. How awesome the chance to give testimony of Him in my life. There is so much work to do for the Lord it is crazy. I invite you to see the opportunity of this amazing grace. Join me. Join ME