O gracious Parent! Elevate our souls, and give us access to thy sublime throne, that stable seat of pure delight! All earth-born cares remove; dispel the mists of sense; and with a ray from heaven illumine our darkened minds. Allow us to see thy light; let us view the source of good unveiled; and fix, O ever fix, our eyes on thee.
–from the book The Saint vs. The Scholar: The Fight Between Faith and Reason
✞ "Suffering overwhelms you because you take it like a coward. Meet it bravely, with a Christian spirit: and you will regard it as a treasure." — St. Josemaria Escriva
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Of all the divine attributes, only God's omnipotence is named in the Creed: to confess this power has great bearing on our lives. We believe that his might is universal, for God who created everything also rules everything and can do everything. God's power is loving, for he is our Father, and mysterious, for only faith can discern it when it 'is made perfect in weakness.' The Holy Scriptures repeatedly confess the universal power of God. He is called the 'Mighty One of Jacob,' the 'Lord of hosts,' the 'strong and mighty' one. If God is almighty 'in heaven and on earth,' it is because he made them. Nothing is impossible with God, who disposes his works according to his will. He is the Lord of the universe, whose order he established and which remains wholly subject to him and at his disposal. He is master of history, governing hearts and events in keeping with his will: 'It is always in your power to show great strength, and who can withstand the strength of your arm?'" — (CCC, 268-9) AN EXCERPT FROM Catechism of the Catholic Church
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up the neighbor. For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, 'The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.'" Romans 15:1-3
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Saints Marcellinus and Peter
Marcellinus and Peter were prominent enough in the memory of the Church to be included among the saints of the Roman Canon. Mention of their names is optional in our present Eucharistic Prayer I.
Marcellinus was a priest and Peter was an exorcist, that is, someone authorized by the Church to deal with cases of demonic possession. They were beheaded during the persecution of Emperor Diocletian. Pope Damasus wrote an epitaph apparently based on the report of their executioner, and Constantine erected a basilica over the crypt in which they were buried in Rome. Numerous legends sprang from an early account of their death.
Why are these men included in our Eucharistic prayer, and given their own feast day, in spite of the fact that almost nothing is known about them? Probably because the Church respects its collective memory. They once sent an impulse of encouragement through the whole Church. They made the ultimate step of faith.
Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Reading 1 Acts 25:13b-21
King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea on a visit to Festus. Since they spent several days there, Festus referred Paul's case to the king, saying, "There is a man here left in custody by Felix. When I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him and demanded his condemnation. I answered them that it was not Roman practice to hand over an accused person before he has faced his accusers and had the opportunity to defend himself against their charge. So when they came together here, I made no delay; the next day I took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought in. His accusers stood around him, but did not charge him with any of the crimes I suspected. Instead they had some issues with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus who had died but who Paul claimed was alive. Since I was at a loss how to investigate this controversy, I asked if he were willing to go to Jerusalem and there stand trial on these charges. And when Paul appealed that he be held in custody for the Emperor's decision, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar."
Responsorial Psalm Ps 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20ab R. (19a) The Lord has established his throne in heaven. or: R. Alleluia. Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. R. The Lord has established his throne in heaven. or: R. Alleluia.
For as the heavens are high above the earth, so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he put our transgressions from us. R. The Lord has established his throne in heaven. or: R. Alleluia.
The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. Bless the LORD, all you his angels, you mighty in strength, who do his bidding. R. The Lord has established his throne in heaven. or: R. Alleluia.
Alleluia Jn 14:26 R. Alleluia, alleluia. The Holy Spirit will teach you everything and remind you of all I told you. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 21:15-19
After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them, he said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" Simon Peter answered him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my lambs." He then said to Simon Peter a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Simon Peter answered him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, "Follow me."
Catholic Meditations Meditation: John 21:15-19
Saints Marcellinus and Peter, Martyrs (Optional Memorial)
Someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go. (John 21:18)
Many of us go through life with a disability of some sort—or we are close to someone who does. For those of us in this group, the phrase "someone else will dress you" holds a special significance. Again, our brothers and sisters with disabilities can relate in a special way when Jesus tells Peter, "You will stretch out your hands" (John 21:18). They often experience being stretched to the limit, physically or emotionally. To borrow Jesus' words, they may even feel that they are being led where they do not want—or expect—to go.
Here's the good news. Today's Gospel reading assures us that even disability and limitation can bring glory to God. How can this be? We might think God is glorified only if we are perfectly whole or if we experience miraculous healing. But the truth is that everyone can glorify the Lord.
Think of the man who has lost his legs and yet maintains a joyful heart as he continues to develop himself in other ways. Or think of the little girl with Down syndrome who reflects the innocence and affection God wants for all of us. She's mirroring heavenly life. A mother tirelessly advocating for her autistic child shows heroic perseverance and fortitude. All of these people are precious to the Lord. They all reflect his glory.
In the end, it's the way we live with our disabilities that glorifies God. Look at St. Paul: he spoke about his "thorn in the flesh" and asked God to take it away (2 Corinthians 12:7). But he came to understand that God's power is "made perfect in weakness" (12:9). His struggle helped him go beyond trying to get rid of his difficulty and focus on serving the Lord instead.
God can be revealed in our weaknesses and struggles, whoever we are. With God's grace we can learn to love and praise Jesus through our disabilities. We can grow to trust him in the face of trials or limitations. Then, like Paul, we will be focusing not on what we can't do, but on what God can do in us.
"Jesus, I will follow you wherever you go."
Acts 25:13-21 Psalm 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20
"...Paul appealed that he be held in custody for the Emperor's decision". In today's Novena prayer to the Holy Spirit we will pray: "Your Martyrs had the overwhelming self-control to go joyfully to a painful death without shrinking from the opportunity to join You in heaven. Give us this self-control to have command over our emotions and desires that we may serve You more fully."
We prayed today "The Lord has established his throne in heaven. Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name" and the ultimate blessing we can offer....our very selves!
In comes the Lord of Life and conqueror of sin and death "do you love me?"
Do YOU love Me? Those simple words from the Lord's lips and heart are a sincere reckoning of a question. Know thyself. Know Him. Know others. These are the fundamentals of our essence in Christianity. If you don't know yourself, how can you know God? If you can't control yourself, how can you approach God? If you don't know others, how can you know God? It is as if the world is imploding in "selfie" mode. And the worst part about it? It is a façade, a mirage, to have a fake self image. Know who you are as you stand before GOD! Know who you are standing before. Maybe you will kneel, maybe you will lower yourself...maybe, just maybe you will let yourself be led.
+Do you love me? -"Uh, well I don't know Lord, do you love me? I mean, look at me, I'm a slob, a liar, greedy and proud, my mouth is filled with filth and even my mind clutters up with filth, I mean, it's like I don't care about you nor really anyone around me, I don't know that I even really care for myself...and you dare to ask me if I love You? The almighty powerful and holy one in Heaven?" +Yes, I'm asking YOU. +Answer ME. + Stop looking away. Stop thinking for a moment. Look at Me. LOOK!
And I look up finally, after much doubt, anxiety and anticipation. My eyes slowly look from the ground up, I see His feet up about eye level, they are bleeding with a nail through them. And the image paralyzes me. I keep looking up because I need hope. Strips of blood course down His legs as if drenched. As if someone poured this all over Him. I look up because I have to know if He is alive. Please. PLEASE! Please I need to see you alive!
I look at his stomach to see if it is moving in breaths. I can't tell, my eyes are watering at this moment. His chest is battered and tattered and torn apart at the flesh, and pieces seem to want to come off as streams of blood are clotting as if freezing in time and in eternity. His arms were stretched out by people He loved, but they did not love Him. They were stretched to the max. They could not hold the weight up any more, and so I look to His face. The beauty of the King's majesty was now looking down at me. My place in the world...at His feet. No more words needed to be said as His eyes give the glance that speak millions of years of words, as if to see the love of His life with the love of all His might, mind, body, soul, and divinity. He had been asking all along "do you love Me". And as He gazed for a split second that lasted millions of years, no tears, just shear power and love. The look said ...because....
Let us bow down in humility at the power and grandeur of the Holy Spirit. Let us worship the Holy Trinity and give glory today to the Paraclete, our Advocate.
Oh Holy Spirit, by Your power, Christ was raised from the dead to save us all. By Your grace, miracles are performed in Jesus' name. By Your love, we are protected from evil. And so, we ask with humility and a beggar's heart for Your gift of Self-Control within us.
Your Martyrs had the overwhelming self-control to go joyfully to a painful death without shrinking from the opportunity to join You in heaven. Give us this self-control to have command over our emotions and desires that we may serve You more fully.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord,
Find the Original Here: http://www.praymorenovenas.com/novena-to-the-holy-spirit/#ixzz4iqc0Lzev