Dear brothers and sisters, let us renew the promises of our Baptism: let us renounce Satan and all his works and seductions—for he is a seducer—in order to follow the path of God and arrive at Easter in the joy of the Spirit.
-from The Hope of Lent
"Pray, hope and don't worry. Anxiety doesn't help at all. Our Merciful Lord will listen to your prayer." — Saint Padre Pio
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Free me from evil passions and heal my heart of all disorderly affections, that being healed and well purified in my interior, I may become fit to love, courageous to suffer and constant to persevere. Love is an excellent thing, a great good indeed, which alone maketh light all that is burdened and makes all that which is bitter sweet and savory. The love of Jesus is noble and generous; it spurs us on to do great things and excites us to desire always that which is most perfect." — Thomas á Kempis, p. 89 AN EXCERPT FROM Imitation of Christ
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well." Philippians 1:29
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Saint Ludovico of Casoria
Saint of the Day for March 29
(March 11, 1814 – March 30, 1885)
Born in Casoria, near Naples, Arcangelo Palmentieri was a cabinet-maker before entering the Friars Minor in 1832, taking the name Ludovico. After his ordination five years later, he taught chemistry, physics, and mathematics to younger members of his province for several years.
In 1847, he had a mystical experience which he later described as a cleansing. After that, he dedicated his life to the poor and the infirm, establishing a dispensary for the poor, two schools for African children, an institute for the children of nobility, as well as an institution for orphans, the deaf, and the speechless, and other institutes for the blind, elderly, and for travelers. In addition to an infirmary for friars of his province, he began charitable institutes in Naples, Florence, and Assisi. He once said, "Christ's love has wounded my heart." This love prompted him to great acts of charity.
To help continue these works of mercy, in 1859 he established the Gray Brothers, a religious community composed of men who formerly belonged to the Secular Franciscan Order. Three years later, he founded the Gray Sisters of St. Elizabeth for the same purpose.
Toward the beginning of his final, nine-year illness, Ludovico wrote a spiritual testament which described faith as "light in the darkness, help in sickness, blessing in tribulations, paradise in the crucifixion, and life amid death." The local work for his beatification began within five months of Ludovico's death. He was beatified in 1993 and canonized in 2014.
Saintly people are not protected from suffering, but with God's help they learn how to develop compassion from it. In the face of great suffering, we move either toward compassion or indifference. Saintly men and women show us the path toward compassion.
Thus says the LORD: In a time of favor I answer you, on the day of salvation I help you; and I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people, To restore the land and allot the desolate heritages, Saying to the prisoners: Come out! To those in darkness: Show yourselves! Along the ways they shall find pasture, on every bare height shall their pastures be. They shall not hunger or thirst, nor shall the scorching wind or the sun strike them; For he who pities them leads them and guides them beside springs of water. I will cut a road through all my mountains, and make my highways level. See, some shall come from afar, others from the north and the west, and some from the land of Syene. Sing out, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth, break forth into song, you mountains. For the LORD comforts his people and shows mercy to his afflicted.
But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me." Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 145:8-9, 13cd-14, 17-18 R. (8a) The Lord is gracious and merciful. The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness. The LORD is good to all and compassionate toward all his works. R. The Lord is gracious and merciful. The LORD is faithful in all his words and holy in all his works. The LORD lifts up all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. R. The Lord is gracious and merciful. The LORD is just in all his ways and holy in all his works. The LORD is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth. R. The Lord is gracious and merciful.
Verse Before the Gospel Jn 11:25a, 26 I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord; whoever believes in me will never die.
Gospel Jn 5:17-30
Jesus answered the Jews: "My Father is at work until now, so I am at work." For this reason they tried all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God.
Jesus answered and said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, the Son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for what he does, the Son will do also. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything that he himself does, and he will show him greater works than these, so that you may be amazed. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life, so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes. Nor does the Father judge anyone, but he has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life. Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he gave to the Son the possession of life in himself. And he gave him power to exercise judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation.
"I cannot do anything on my own; I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me."
Sing out. . . . For the Lord comforts his people. (Isaiah 49:13)
Have you ever noticed how much sadness and self-pity there is in blues music? The singer has unjustly lost his lover, his dreams have led to disappointment, his life is a shambles, or he has nothing to look forward to. The music is in a minor key, and the rhythms are mournful, all to reinforce the mood.
Well, the Israelites had reason to sing the blues. Their enemies had destroyed their city and their Temple. Those who weren't killed were taken into exile far from home. When their captors asked them to sing one of their traditional songs, they protested, "How could we sing a song of the Lord in a foreign land?" (Psalm 137:4).
In the midst of this depressing situation, God's prophet begins to proclaim a message of hope: God is on the move! He is going to liberate the prisoners and make a way for the exiles to return to their land.
The prophet reminds the people who God is. He is the One who "leads them and guides them beside springs of water" (Isaiah 49:10). Even though they feel as if God has abandoned and forgotten them, he tells them this cannot be. Even if a mother could forget her baby, God has not, cannot, and will not his people—ever!
So the people have a choice. They can continue to sing the blues, remembering their shame and how hard their lot is. Or they can place their trust in the God who loves them.
We all face demanding times in life because we live in a sinful world. But God is with us, just as he was with the exiled Israelites. He will never forget us. He is ready to comfort us no matter how dark things look.
King David trusted in the Lord even though there was a bounty on his head. Jeremiah trusted in the Lord even though the people turned on him and put him in a cistern. Paul trusted in the Lord even after he was beaten and imprisoned. Jesus trusted in his Father even as he hung on the cross. Of course God will not abandon us in our times of trial and darkness!
"Holy Spirit, teach me to sing your song of joy. Even in my darkest times, revive me with your presence."
Psalm 145:8-9, 13-14, 17-18 John 5:17-30
The Word of God say today "For the LORD comforts his people and shows mercy to his afflicted." Thank you Lord.
We pray today "The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness." Where the world makes God out to be a mean god, a merciless god, where the world sees darkness, I do not, because the bible is a stack of good books based on the goodness of the Lord, and the revelation of God in our lives. I see more goodness in the world than darkness, so...what news are you tuned into? Because all I hear is the bad from many. What is in your heart? A brother that works at a hospital offered to have our hearts checked at work with angioscreenings and so forth. This morning that had us going in one by one. They said my results were normal, and I said, "Oh, I thought I would be AWESOME!" (and I'm thinking of being a saint, not just a normal Christian) and as they gave me my results I said "like the little kid in heart surgery, did you see Jesus in my heart?" Can anyone see Jesus in your heart? Can anyone feel Jesus in your life? Have you proclaimed the goodness of God our Father? Have you been merciful? Merciful with your words and ears and heart and mind and soul? This is where the Lord is leading: In comes the Lord into our lives: ""My Father is at work until now, so I am at work." Jesus was work and Jesus is work. Jesus never stopped working, He sent His Holy Spirit among us. Jesus works and comes into our lives asking "want to go to work with Me?" Notice He doesn't ask "work for me" but "with Me". He never lets His baby go, not even when a mother decides to let go, He does not, and a mother can only love so much, the Father loves beyond what is humanly possible, this is why we should introduce everyone to Our Father, because He loves eternally, and that alone is amazing! The Lord Jesus said to those hardened hearts ""I cannot do anything on my own; I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me." If Jesus can not do anything on His own, then who am I thinking I can do things alone? Especially in the faith! Our Lord says He hears and judges with justice, because His will is aligned with the Father's will.
This is where me and you are at, aligning our wills. Doing what pleases God most, being Jesus, being His children. This amazes Him. To see miracles performed by His children! To see them loving each other to death! To see them helping one another to Heaven! YES! He loves that. You know what else He loves? When you turn away from darkness, bitterness, hatred, vices, things that have you turned away from Him. He loves it when you return, and the more the better! Because on one of those returns, you may never return to darkness! And that is good. So how can I further align my will with our Father? Grace. Grace is a gift just like faith. Get closer to Him in the Holy Sacraments and be disposed and available. Grace will let you judge like Jesus. It is like a great filter. Nasty stuff bombards and you are able to filter it out until the filter gets clogged go and ask for another...Penance, Reconcile in the name of everyone and for everyone. We are one in the body. This is what Jesus is seeking. The Pharisees couldn't judge right, they were plugged up filters! Jesus light could not pass through until He revealed Himself on the cross and resurrection. God now is shining powerfully. He will allow a glimpse of His love little by little, morsel by morsel, little action by little ways until we see Him in all His Majesty and Glory....BEHOLD THE MAN
adrian From RedeemedOnline.com: Thought for today: We are halfway through Lent, and the Spirit is still calling to each us to go through the Lenten process. The Lord never just lets us remain the way we are He is constantly changing of us from Glory to Glory. He is okay if we run and wrestle but we know His pursuit of our hearts is constant. He wants more of us and more for us. He wants to bestow freedom upon us, and He wants us to reside in abundant life.
Action for today: Stop, reflect, ponder, and pray about one thing in your life that needs to be crucified and die so it can be resurrected in God's redeemable power. Is there a fear we need to surrender? A person we need to forgive or bitterness we just need to let go of? Take some time and go to adoration reflect on these scriptures on restoration: Isaiah 58 and 61
Prayer for today: Dear Lord – Reveal to me the areas of my life that you want to restore and help me to trust you to restore those areas.
Quote for today: "The house of my soul is too small for you to come to it. May it be enlarged by you. It is ruins, restore it." – St. Augustine
Be a Hero today - #ShareJesus: Do something for a person that would not expect it to bring refreshment to their lives. -Example: Bring coffee to a neighbor or a co-worker, give your neighbor some flowers. Give a word of affirmation to someone in your life that needs to hear some good news.