We must not give in to weariness: we must spend every minute in loving God. God alone, the maker of heaven and earth, must be our rest and our consolation. The love of God is the only thing we can possess forever: everything else will pass away. –Saint Joaquina de Vedruna -from Sisterhood of Saints
"What was the first rule of our dear Savior's life? You know it was to do His Father's will. Well, then, the first end I propose in our daily work is to do the will of God; secondly to do it in the manner He wills; and thirdly, to do it because it is His will." — St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞
Winnow not in every wind, and do not start off in every direction (Sirach 5:11). It is essential to discern what the Spirit wants when we are making important choices in our lives. Through prayer, fasting, spiritual reading, spiritual advice, discernment of signs, sorting out our hidden motivations, etc., we develop a sense of what God wants of us." — Rev. Jude Winkler, O.F.M., p 13 AN EXCERPT FROM Daily Meditations with the Holy Spirit
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Saint Claude de la Colombière
Saint of the Day for February 15
(February 2,1641 – February 15, 1682)
This is a special day for the Jesuits, who claim today's saint as one of their own. It's also a special day for people who have a special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus—a devotion Claude de la Colombière promoted, along with his friend and spiritual companion, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque. The emphasis on God's love for all was an antidote to the rigorous moralism of the Jansenists, who were popular at the time.
Claude showed remarkable preaching skills long before his ordination in 1675. Two months later, he was made superior of a small Jesuit residence in Burgundy. It was there he first encountered Margaret Mary Alacoque. For many years after he served as her confessor.
He was next sent to England to serve as confessor to the Duchess of York. He preached by both words and by the example of his holy life, converting a number of Protestants. Tensions arose against Catholics and Claude, rumored to be part of a plot against the king, was imprisoned. He was ultimately banished, but by then his health had been ruined.
He died in 1682. Pope John Paul II canonized Claude de la Colombière in 1992.
As a fellow Jesuit and as a promoter of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Saint Claude must be very special to Pope Francis who has so beautifully emphasized the mercy of Jesus. The emphasis on God's love and mercy are characteristic of both men.
At the end of forty days Noah opened the hatch he had made in the ark, and he sent out a raven, to see if the waters had lessened on the earth. It flew back and forth until the waters dried off from the earth. Then he sent out a dove, to see if the waters had lessened on the earth. But the dove could find no place to alight and perch, and it returned to him in the ark, for there was water all over the earth. Putting out his hand, he caught the dove and drew it back to him inside the ark. He waited seven days more and again sent the dove out from the ark. In the evening the dove came back to him, and there in its bill was a plucked-off olive leaf! So Noah knew that the waters had lessened on the earth. He waited still another seven days and then released the dove once more; and this time it did not come back.
In the six hundred and first year of Noah's life, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the water began to dry up on the earth. Noah then removed the covering of the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was drying up.
Noah built an altar to the LORD, and choosing from every clean animal and every clean bird, he offered burnt offerings on the altar. When the LORD smelled the sweet odor, he said to himself: "Never again will I doom the earth because of man since the desires of man's heart are evil from the start; nor will I ever again strike down all living beings, as I have done. As long as the earth lasts, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, Summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."
Responsorial Psalm Ps 116:12-13, 14-15, 18-19
R. (17a) To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise. or: R. Alleluia. How shall I make a return to the LORD for all the good he has done for me? The cup of salvation I will take up, and I will call upon the name of the LORD. R. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise. or: R. Alleluia. My vows to the LORD I will pay in the presence of all his people. Precious in the eyes of the LORD is the death of his faithful ones. R. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise. or: R. Alleluia. My vows to the LORD I will pay in the presence of all his people, In the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem. R. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise. or: R. Alleluia.
Alleluia Eph 1:17-18
R. Alleluia, alleluia. May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our hearts, that we may know what is the hope that belongs to his call. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mk 8:22-26
When Jesus and his disciples arrived at Bethsaida, people brought to him a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on the man and asked, "Do you see anything?" Looking up the man replied, "I see people looking like trees and walking." Then he laid hands on the man's eyes a second time and he saw clearly; his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly. Then he sent him home and said, "Do not even go into the village."
He laid hands on the man's eyes a second time and he saw clearly. (Mark 8:25)
Have you ever noticed that Jesus is never in a hurry? Take today's Gospel, for instance. Instead of acting right away, Jesus gently led a blind man to a place where they could be alone. He then prayed with him and took the time to ask how well he was seeing. Then he prayed with him again, until his vision was completely restored.
We don't know why this miracle happened in stages, but it's clear that the ongoing interaction between Jesus and this man reveals an important aspect of God's plan for healing.
We all know what it's like to beg God to heal a sickness or an inner wound caused by divided relationships. Sometimes he answers right away, giving a powerful witness to us and the people around us. But it seems that he is more likely to take his time. We experience a partial healing, but the illness remains. We are more at peace and more forgiving, but there's still a sting to the inner wound.
We don't know exactly why God takes his time with us. This is one of the great mysteries of our faith. But we should never think that Jesus is indifferent to our needs. Our healing matters to him, but it seems that there are times that he wants to heal us on a deeper level than we are looking for.
Perhaps he wants to build our trust in him. Perhaps he "delays" to strengthen our faith. Or perhaps he wants our humble surrender to him to testify to the people around us. Whatever the case, we can be sure that every time we come to Jesus for healing, he hears us and answers us. Every time we come to him, he touches us a little more deeply and asks, "Do you see me more clearly now?"
You may be suffering physically. You may have a deep emotional or psychological hurt. Your healing may come incrementally instead of all at once. Trust that Jesus is healing you. A deep hurt can take time to mend; it can require a gradual letting go. But each step along the path helps you see Jesus more clearly, and that's the most important healing of all.
"Thank you, Jesus, that you are committed to making me whole. Help me to be as patient with myself as you are."
Genesis 8:6-13, 20-22 Psalm 116:12-15, 18-19
When the Lord smelled the clean offerings He said "Never again will I doom the earth because of man...". Did He regret it? That's not what it says, but He made a promise that pleased His heart...His will...mercy from here on, until forever.
We pray today "To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise. How shall I make a return to the LORD for all the good he has done for me? The cup of salvation I will take up, and I will call upon the name of the LORD." To repay the Lord, I will take up Obedience. I will take up the cup and I will always praise, and call on Him. "My vows to the LORD I will pay in the presence of all his people. Precious in the eyes of the LORD is the death of his faithful ones." A promise kept, is a promise of love.
The Lord heals a blind man, one on one, and asks "Do you see anything?" He sees unclear, he sees like trees walking. We know they were not trees, but people. But what keeps us from seeing clearly....God's children? Stereotypes. Pre-judging. We see blurry when we do not live a life of grace...and mercy. Today, the Lord aims to heal us. First, inside. When the man is taken aside, he is taken apart, and "apart and set aside" means the ancient word "holy". Only when we are alone with Him can we experience an inner healing. Broken, we approach for help. This reminds me of the Holy Sacrament of confession. A priest came to my house, he asked everyone to give us a moment, and I took him to my room. We sat next to each other, I felt special, alone with my Father. He speaks of his past and I feel like "wow, you been through so much, yet, here you are still, reaching to me!". Healing began. I had a renewed sense of faith after confession, communion, and anointing of the sick. Inside was Christ "I Can Do This". Every day is a step closer. What do you see?
I see the love of Christ, and this brings such joy. Saints see Christ and this is why we see Christ in them. What do you see my child?