All the obstacles and trials of life, which we perceive as making us unhappy, are not impediments to real living. Instead they are ways of really living, opportunities to discover that real living involves real loving and real loving can be painful at times.
-from When You Suffer
"In her voyage across the ocean of this world, the Church is like a great ship being pounded by the waves of life's different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship but to keep her on her course." – St. Boniface
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞
"When you find yourself greatly distracted and devoid of devotion due to countless devil-inspired thoughts or because of your own heart's bitter passions or are disturbed by the unpleasantness of others, seek out a quiet place and recollect yourself, reciting the Lord's Prayer and the Angelic Salutation [Hail Mary]. Kneel down alone before the Holy Cross or a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary or some saint's revered image—made to the honor of God and in that saint's memory. Especially ask mercy of Jesus and of Mary, of the angelic host, and of the entire heavenly court, that the grace of divine consolation be again granted to you. Then from the Psalms say with holy David: 'Lord, all my longing is known to You, and my sighing is not hidden from You'. You have been my hope, Lord, ever since my youth; I now turn to You in this time of trial." — Thomas à Kempis, p. 106 AN EXCERPT FROM Bountiful Goodness
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Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska
January 30. Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska founded the Felician Sisters as a result of a conversion experience she had while convalescing from an illness. At the age of 44 she was forced to resign due to ill health. She lived, however, into her 70s.
Brothers and sisters: What more shall I say? I have not time to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, did what was righteous, obtained the promises; they closed the mouths of lions, put out raging fires, escaped the devouring sword; out of weakness they were made powerful, became strong in battle, and turned back foreign invaders. Women received back their dead through resurrection. Some were tortured and would not accept deliverance, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Others endured mockery, scourging, even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, sawed in two, put to death at sword's point; they went about in skins of sheep or goats, needy, afflicted, tormented. The world was not worthy of them. They wandered about in deserts and on mountains, in caves and in crevices in the earth.
Yet all these, though approved because of their faith, did not receive what had been promised. God had foreseen something better for us, so that without us they should not be made perfect.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 31:20, 21, 22, 23, 24
R. (25) Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord. How great is the goodness, O LORD, which you have in store for those who fear you, And which, toward those who take refuge in you, you show in the sight of the children of men. R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord. You hide them in the shelter of your presence from the plottings of men; You screen them within your abode from the strife of tongues. R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord. Blessed be the LORD whose wondrous mercy he has shown me in a fortified city. R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord. Once I said in my anguish, "I am cut off from your sight"; Yet you heard the sound of my pleading when I cried out to you. R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord. Love the LORD, all you his faithful ones! The LORD keeps those who are constant, but more than requites those who act proudly. R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
Alleluia Lk 7:16
R. Alleluia, alleluia. A great prophet has arisen in our midst and God has visited his people. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mk 5:1-20
Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the sea, to the territory of the Gerasenes. When he got out of the boat, at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him. The man had been dwelling among the tombs, and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain. In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains, but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed, and no one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones. Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and prostrated himself before him, crying out in a loud voice, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me!" (He had been saying to him, "Unclean spirit, come out of the man!") He asked him, "What is your name?" He replied, "Legion is my name. There are many of us." And he pleaded earnestly with him not to drive them away from that territory.
Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside. And they pleaded with him, "Send us into the swine. Let us enter them." And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine. The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea, where they were drowned. The swineherds ran away and reported the incident in the town and throughout the countryside. And people came out to see what had happened. As they approached Jesus, they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion, sitting there clothed and in his right mind. And they were seized with fear. Those who witnessed the incident explained to them what had happened to the possessed man and to the swine. Then they began to beg him to leave their district. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him. But Jesus would not permit him but told him instead, "Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you." Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.
wau.org Catholic Meditations Meditation: Mark 5:1-20
4th Week in Ordinary Time
Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you. (Mark 5:19)
Banished to the wilderness, taking refuge among the tombs, he wandered and moaned. Tormented by demons, he entered town only to cause havoc and damage. The townspeople tried to shackle him, but he could not be restrained. He was like an uncontrollable force of destruction, both to himself and his neighbors. So when Jesus cast out the evil spirits, it's no surprise that the man wanted to join him—he was filled with gratitude.
But Jesus refused his offer. Why? Why would he tell the man to return to his family and share how God had worked in his life? Perhaps it's because his family needed to see him healed. They needed to hear him tell his story in his own words, and they needed to witness the depth of his transformation.
For years, his family had known him as a demoniac. Now, all of a sudden, he is at peace and in his right mind. Imagine how exciting it would be to see him healed and hear his story; it would surely help them come to believe in Jesus!
Perhaps the man also needed to make amends. Remember, the townspeople had to chain him up. While it might have been more appealing to stay with Jesus, he needed to return to the town and face the damage he had done and the people he had hurt. Jesus knew that the man's witness and his humility in seeking reconciliation had the power to open this Gentile town to faith.
It can be the same for us. We are thrilled when we get free from a pattern of sin or overcome a prejudice. We want to throw ourselves into serving him. That's a good thing! But we still might shy away from the people we have hurt or looked down upon. We might want to avoid the embarrassment.
But this is what builds the kingdom! God uses our humility to demonstrate that real people with real problems can be set free and can bring healing through their humility.
You can be that kind of witness today. Go back, and tell them all that the Lord has done for you.
"Thank you, Lord, for having changed me. Now help me to be an effective witness to your power."
Hebrews 11:32-40 Psalm 31:20-24
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "God had foreseen something better for us". It is difficult to see God's plans. You just have to go with it. This is why it is called faith. It is a cooperation of the will, ours and His. How much am I willing to cooperate? That is, how much am I willing to obey? That is to say, how much am I willing to love...God?
We prayed today "Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord. Once I said in my anguish, "I am cut off from your sight"; Yet you heard the sound of my pleading when I cried out to you." You have to know what the bottom is, that suffering, that lowliest point in your existence, to appreciate the goodness that is above. It's to the point to where you ask yourself "are you even there God?" and tears roll out. And all everyone says is "yes He is there". Then, the reply from the Lord answers, softly, and He utters only a slight breathe...dying on the cross.
It is the Holy Spirit. It drives life to eternity. When our Lord runs into a crazed, possessed man chained to a cemetery, the place of death, people had him put out of sight and out of mind, sort of like the many souls locked up in silence today. They beat themselves up. They hurt themselves. And no one can save them. Sad reality is, no one cares...enough. This is call to get out on to the streets and evangelize. This is a call to set captives free. The man is freed from oppression, and the people that saw the miracle, instead of being amazed, where shocked at their pocketbooks, their livelihoods, their swine, their economy was going to suffer. So they ousted Jesus. They never asked for Him and now they didn't want Him. It would be crazy Jim that would now be set free and be left to convert the Gerasenes. Interesting how God works, using the lowly, the ousted, to be the light of the world. Fire starters. God wishes the world to be set ablaze with His compassion...and Truth.