To Francis everything in him and around him was a gift from his Father in Heaven. He expected nothing, so he was grateful for everything. Even a piece of earth was cause for rejoicing, and he thanked God always for everything that was. He held everything to his heart with the enthusiasm of a child surprised by some unexpected toy. The air he breathed, the sounds he heard, the sights and smells of all the world entered his grateful soul through senses perfected by gratitude and purity of heart.
Nothing was evil, for everything came from God, and evil came only from a heart that chose not to love.
—from the book Francis: The Journey and the Dream by Murray Bodo, OFM
✞ "We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way." — St. Francis of Assisi
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "I desire trust from My creatures. Encourage souls to place great trust in My fathomless mercy. Let the weak, sinful soul have no fear to approach Me, for even if it had more sins than there are grains of sand in the world, all would be drowned in the unmeasurable depths of My mercy." — St. Faustina Kowalska, (1059) AN EXCERPT FROM Diary of St. Faustina
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "Then they will hand you over to be tortured and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name. Then many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come." Matthew 24:9-14
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Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
(July 22, 1647 – October 17, 1690)
Margaret Mary was chosen by Christ to arouse the Church to a realization of the love of God symbolized by the heart of Jesus.
Her early years were marked by sickness and a painful home situation. "The heaviest of my crosses was that I could do nothing to lighten the cross my mother was suffering." After considering marriage for some time, Margaret Mary entered the Order of the Visitation nuns at the age of 24.
A Visitation nun was "not to be extraordinary except by being ordinary," but the young nun was not to enjoy this anonymity. A fellow novice termed Margaret Mary humble, simple, and frank, but above all, kind and patient under sharp criticism and correction. She could not meditate in the formal way expected, though she tried her best to give up her "prayer of simplicity." Slow, quiet, and clumsy, she was assigned to help an infirmarian who was a bundle of energy.
On December 21, 1674, three years a nun, she received the first of her revelations. She felt "invested" with the presence of God, though always afraid of deceiving herself in such matters. The request of Christ was that his love for humankind be made evident through her.
During the next 13 months, Christ appeared to her at intervals. His human heart was to be the symbol of his divine-human love. By her own love Margaret Mary was to make up for the coldness and ingratitude of the world—by frequent and loving Holy Communion, especially on the first Friday of each month, and by an hour's vigil of prayer every Thursday night in memory of his agony and isolation in Gethsemane. He also asked that a feast of reparation be instituted.
Like all saints, Margaret Mary had to pay for her gift of holiness. Some of her own sisters were hostile. Theologians who were called in declared her visions delusions and suggested that she eat more heartily. Later, parents of children she taught called her an impostor, an unorthodox innovator. A new confessor, the Jesuit Claude de la Colombière, recognized her genuineness and supported her. Against her great resistance, Christ called her to be a sacrificial victim for the shortcomings of her own sisters, and to make this known.
After serving as novice mistress and assistant superior, Margaret Mary died at the age of 43, while being anointed. She said: "I need nothing but God, and to lose myself in the heart of Jesus."
Our scientific-materialistic age cannot "prove" private revelations. Theologians, if pressed, admit that we do not have to believe in them. But it is impossible to deny the message Margaret Mary heralded: that God loves us with a passionate love. Her insistence on reparation and prayer and the reminder of final judgment should be sufficient to ward off superstition and superficiality in devotion to the Sacred Heart while preserving its deep Christian meaning.
Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Rom 1:1-7
Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an Apostle and set apart for the Gospel of God, which he promised previously through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, the Gospel about his Son, descended from David according to the flesh, but established as Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness through resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we have received the grace of apostleship, to bring about the obedience of faith, for the sake of his name, among all the Gentiles, among whom are you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ; to all the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 98:1bcde, 2-3ab, 3cd-4 R. (2a) The Lord has made known his salvation. Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; His right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm. R. The Lord has made known his salvation. The LORD has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. R. The Lord has made known his salvation. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; break into song; sing praise. R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
Alleluia Ps 95:8 R. Alleluia, alleluia. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 11:29-32
While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, "This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here."
Meditation: Romans 1:1-7
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, Virgin (Optional Memorial)
Paul . . . called to be an Apostle and set apart for the Gospel of God. (Romans 1:1)
St. Paul's Letter to the Romans has long been recognized as a theological masterpiece, but that fact can make it seem awfully intimidating. So as we explore Romans over the next few weeks, let's approach it as an actual letter written by a real person and not as a theological, religious treatise.
Paul wrote Romans while he was in Corinth, probably in AD 57 or 58. He was preparing to take a collection of donations from the Gentile Christians in Macedonia and Achaia to the church in Jerusalem, which was struggling financially. Then, he planned to sail for Rome, where he hoped to set up a base of operations to support a further missionary journey to Spain (Romans 15:26-33). Paul had not personally evangelized Rome, so he wrote this letter as an introduction in the hopes of winning the Roman Christians' friendship and their support for his missionary work.
How did Paul introduce himself? By spelling out the gospel he proclaimed. He wrote about how God has made it possible for everyone to be reconciled to him through the gift of faith (Romans 3–5). He wrote about the life in the Spirit that Jesus has made available through his cross and resurrection (7–8). And he wrote about how everyone— Jew and Gentile alike—can come to know God and enter the kingdom of heaven (3, 9–11). In a sense, Romans gives us a glimpse into Paul's heart and mind. It reveals an apostle who was both a deep thinker and a passionate believer, and it points the way for us to follow his example.
As you read through Romans in the next few weeks, ask the Holy Spirit to help you embrace the love of God that is embedded in the letter's main themes. This letter carries a message that has changed the lives of millions of people over the course of two thousand years. It's a message that never loses its power to change us as we learn that nothing can "separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:39)!
"Father, thank you for speaking to me through the Scriptures. Holy Spirit, open my heart so that God's love might penetrate to the depths of my soul."
Psalm 98:1-4 Luke 11:29-32
my2cents: "Through him we have received the grace of apostleship, to bring about the obedience of faith" You are reading this, and you are called to this life, to be an apostle even, saints. To spread the word of God! The Good News.
We pray "The Lord has made known his salvation". It is to the point, that the Gospel has encompassed the ends of the earth, yet still, every soul has not received...I pray for some countries that I would like to see the revelation of Christ....it is our corner. Your corner. God wants to be in your corner!
In the Holy Gospel we heard our Lord "Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation." And that's all the sign we need. Have you seen it? Jonah came back to life after 3 days of being buried to tell the wicked people to repent. AND THEY DID. This is good news. Good news for us.
I have no doubt the Lord is good. And how? For thousands of years of wickedness, He still sees to it, that the majority is being forgiven, and being led to Him. If you want a sign, go to a Catholic Church, and look upon the Altar.
God gave His life for you. Can we give ours to Him? Suddenly, being an apostle isn't a question if you can, but if you love.
I want to thank you for your prayers, as a director of a community family festival, the day arrived, and I served the Lord with a broken thumb all day, normally I walk an average of 8,000 steps a day, this day of the festival I walked nearly 39,000 steps just in that event. Hundreds of hours were coordinated, and perhaps thousands of people? I don't know, but what I do know is that God did His part. We do ours. His part was perfect. Some of ours, lacked, some didn't do what I asked, some left suddenly, some things went wrong, generators broke, rides broke, but what would not be broke is my smile, because God was there. All day chaos, but great Joy resides among the chaos because GOD IS GOOD. I have to tackle every day but I would lose if I went at it alone. God's angels helped all day. God is Good. God's spirit is alive. God is good. I had many close moments with Christ. I can't forget though, a new sponsor gave us lots of big bibles to give away. The raffle ends and we try to raffle them away to those present. At the end I was told to just give away to someone as the night was ending, "just give the bible to some one". I saw an older lady that works at a gas station, just standing there and I asked her if she would take it, to my surprise she was SOO HAPPY, she said how much she wanted a bible lately. She is a thinner lady with curlish hair, she embraced it, carried it pressed to her chest. Oddly enough, as I walked into the dark street, I saw her again, I could see her walking away alone...but holding that bible so tight as if she was hugging someone or something cherished. Those are the reasons I do this family festival. For God moments. And they happen ALOT. Especially when you are disposed and available for God's grace! It is amazing. I am in awe of God's wonders and signs of great love....