We engage in works of mercy not so that we can present Saint Peter at the pearly gates with our list of accomplishments but because we cannot live honestly before God and with others unless we are attentive to human need.
-from Peace and Good
"We are born to love, we live to love, and we will die to love still more." — St. Joseph Cafasso
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞
"Knock. Persevere in knocking, even to the point of rudeness, if that were possible. There is a way of forcing God and wresting his graces from him, and that way is to ask continually with a firm faith. We must think, with the Gospel: 'Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you,' which he then repeats by saying, 'Everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened' (Luke 11:9-10). We must, therefore, pray during the day, pray at night, and pray every time we rise. Even though God seems either not to hear us or even to reject us, we must continually knock, expecting all things from God but nevertheless also acting ourselves. We must not only ask as though God must do everything himself; we must also make our own effort to act according to his will and with the help of his grace, as all things are done with his support. We must never forget that it is always God who provides; to think thus is the very foundation of humility." — Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, p.35 AN EXCERPT FROM Meditations for Lent
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Saint Leander of Seville
Saint of the Day for March 13
(c. 534 – March 13, 600 or 601)
The next time you recite the Nicene Creed at Mass, think of today's saint. For it was Leander of Seville who, as bishop, introduced the practice in the sixth century. He saw it as a way to help reinforce the faith of his people and as an antidote against the heresy of Arianism, which denied the divinity of Christ. By the end of his life, Leander had helped Christianity flourish in Spain at a time of political and religious upheaval.
Leander's own family was heavily influenced by Arianism, but he himself grew up to be a fervent Christian. He entered a monastery as a young man and spent three years in prayer and study. At the end of that tranquil period he was made a bishop. For the rest of his life he worked strenuously to fight against heresy. The death of the anti-Christian king in 586 helped Leander's cause. He and the new king worked hand in hand to restore orthodoxy and a renewed sense of morality. Leander succeeded in persuading many Arian bishops to change their loyalties.
Leander died around 600. In Spain, he is honored as a Doctor of the Church.
As we pray the Nicene Creed every Sunday, we might reflect on the fact that that same prayer is not only being prayed by every Catholic throughout the world, but by many other Christians as well. Saint Leander introduced its recitation as a means of uniting the faithful. Let's pray that the recitation may enhance that unity today.
"Lord, great and awesome God, you who keep your merciful covenant toward those who love you and observe your commandments! We have sinned, been wicked and done evil; we have rebelled and departed from your commandments and your laws. We have not obeyed your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers, and all the people of the land. Justice, O Lord, is on your side; we are shamefaced even to this day: we, the men of Judah, the residents of Jerusalem, and all Israel, near and far, in all the countries to which you have scattered them because of their treachery toward you. O LORD, we are shamefaced, like our kings, our princes, and our fathers, for having sinned against you. But yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness! Yet we rebelled against you and paid no heed to your command, O LORD, our God, to live by the law you gave us through your servants the prophets."
Responsorial Psalm Ps 79:8, 9, 11 and 13 R. (see 103:10a) Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins. Remember not against us the iniquities of the past; may your compassion quickly come to us, for we are brought very low. R. Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins. Help us, O God our savior, because of the glory of your name; Deliver us and pardon our sins for your name's sake. R. Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins. Let the prisoners' sighing come before you; with your great power free those doomed to death. Then we, your people and the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; through all generations we will declare your praise. R. Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
Verse Before the Gospel See Jn 6:63c, 68c Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life; you have the words of everlasting life.
Gospel Lk 6:36-38
Jesus said to his disciples: "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
"Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you."
wau.org Catholic Meditations Meditation: Daniel 9:4-10
2nd Week of Lent
Great and awesome God, you who keep your merciful covenant toward those who love you . . . (Daniel 9:4)
Awesome . . . Merciful . . . Covenant. Doesn't this sound like a strange way to begin a prayer of repentance? Yet here is Daniel, confidently proclaiming God's love before he starts confessing his sins and the sins of his people.
How can Daniel be so certain that God will be forgiving? Perhaps because he has history on his side. Time after time, God had proved his love for Daniel. He provided Daniel a very high position in the gentile kingdom of Babylon. He saved Daniel in the lion's den. He rescued him from his enemies' murderous conspiracy. Clearly, God was committed to Daniel, and that commitment gave him the courage to confess his sins and those of his people.
Daniel didn't keep anything a secret, even though he knew that justice wasn't exactly on his side (Daniel 9:7). Trusting that he was safe in God's presence, Daniel came clean before the Lord because he had experienced God's covenant of mercy over and over again.
How do you look at God? If you see him as critical and exacting in his demands, you'll likely avoid him. If you see him as a legalistic stickler for details, you'll feel so guilty that you'll spend your whole prayer time trying to win his favor—and never thinking that you have.
Don't fall into that trap! That's not the God that Daniel knew. Your Father is too good and too generous for that. Take Daniel as your model instead. Yes, he openly confessed his sins, but he also put his trust in God's mercy and faithful love.
Keep this in mind as you examine your conscience and ask God's forgiveness. Remember that he is kind, loving, and merciful. Believe that he is committed to bringing you to heaven. Know too that he sees you, not only as you are right now, but as the person he knows you are capable of becoming.
So go ahead and confess your sins, but be sure to proclaim your trust in God's mercy and love as well. You don't need to fear any condemnation. Just keep Daniel's words in the forefront of your mind: "But yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness!" (Daniel 9:9).
"Thank you, Lord, for your unending love! I lay my sins at your feet so that I can know your mercy."
Psalm 79:8-9, 11, 13 Luke 6:36-38
We heard at one point the prophet Daniel exclaim "...But yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness! Yet we rebelled against you..." Where is our compassion and forgiveness? Have we rebelled against God by no being compassionate and forgiving? Have we rebelled by not accepting HIS compassion and forgiveness? Because many of us live as if we are not worthy, and we live as some others are not worthy. The other day I noticed prayers in daily Mass, they were offered for all, all those who have gone before us and those in the world...all are being prayed for with compassion and offering forgiveness. It is a giving. And it was designed For Giving.
We pray "Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins." We would not stand a chance before the Lord if He dealt with us according to our sins. But we stand a chance. And we live in this time period, in an offering of grace and forgiveness. The more we reconcile, the better we reconcile. And the Lord hears the cry of the poor and the just. A holy prayer is a good prayer. But He is not deaf to a contrite heart of a wretched sinner.
Therefore, our Lord speaks today ""Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." God forgave that person you can not forgive. God came to the world in the form of one of us to forgive and to tell us to forgive. Being merciful means giving. It means giving of yourself, your time and treasures and especially your love. Being merciful means giving a chance, for as much as you'd love a chance, "For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you." That is why our Lord taught us to pray "forgive us our trespasses AS we forgive those who trespass against us". If you can't stand a person, then how will you stand before God? If you can't pray for a person, then how can you pray righteously before God? And it's not about what goes around comes around, it is not revenge, it is about mercy. If you can forgive, you will be forgiven....because ultimately, you forgive yourself. This is coming clean before our God. The point of lent is to repent, and to give, and to unite more with God. Do not relent. Do not hold back. We live on each others' prayers. And I pray for you that are reading this. These words are an invitation to come to God in Heaven, and allow His Kingdom come into your heart, where there is peace, joy, and light, and this is salvation. No duplicity, just giving. No remorse, just reconciliation. A life of no regrets, means having given all to God, especially loving His creation right before your eyes....