Great Love, Great Truth God does not love us because we are good; God loves us because God is good. Nothing humans can do will inhibit, direct, decre
Great Love, Great Truth
God does not love us because we are good; God loves us because God is good. Nothing humans can do will inhibit, direct, decrease, or increase God's eagerness to love. That is the one absolute of biblical faith, as Pope Francis says, and all else is relative to it. All other claims to some theoretical "absolute truth," even by the Church, are all in the head, and that is not where we need truth. For us, the word has become flesh. So we need to first find truth in relationships and in ourselves, and not in theories. Only great love can handle great truth.
—from the book Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi by Richard Rohr
✞ "He who labors as he prays lifts his heart to God with his hands." — St. Benedict of Nursia
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "The story of Christ's life and ministry cannot be told without giving due space to Satan's activity. The Gospel writers carefully distinguish between cases of mere physical ailments and cases of a demonic character (both of which Jesus cures). Jesus frequently refers to the devil in his parables and other teachings, and the devil himself tempts Jesus in the desert and returns again later to engineer Judas' betrayal (cf. Jn 13:2). This Gospel motif teaches us an undeniable, if uncomfortable lesson: the devil is real, and he is interested in counteracting the work of grace. In one sense, accepting this fundamental truth, and keeping it always in the back of our minds, can comfort us tremendously: it helps us make sense of all the unpleasant influences at work in and around us. We are not crazy; we are not failures; we are simply engaged in a spiritual battle. If we believe in Jesus Christ, we must also believe in the devil—doomed as he is, he would love to take as many souls as he can along with him." — Fr. John Bartunek, p. 350 AN EXCERPT FROM The Better Part
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:48
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Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
(1207 – November 17, 1231)
In her short life, Elizabeth manifested such great love for the poor and suffering that she has become the patroness of Catholic charities and of the Secular Franciscan Order. The daughter of the King of Hungary, Elizabeth chose a life of penance and asceticism when a life of leisure and luxury could easily have been hers. This choice endeared her in the hearts of the common people throughout Europe.
At the age of 14, Elizabeth was married to Louis of Thuringia, whom she deeply loved. She bore three children. Under the spiritual direction of a Franciscan friar, she led a life of prayer, sacrifice, and service to the poor and sick. Seeking to become one with the poor, she wore simple clothing. Daily she would take bread to hundreds of the poorest in the land who came to her gate.
After six years of marriage, her husband died in the Crusades, and Elizabeth was grief-stricken. Her husband's family looked upon her as squandering the royal purse, and mistreated her, finally throwing her out of the palace. The return of her husband's allies from the Crusades resulted in her being reinstated, since her son was legal heir to the throne.
In 1228, Elizabeth joined the Secular Franciscan Order, spending the remaining few years of her life caring for the poor in a hospital which she founded in honor of Saint Francis. Elizabeth's health declined, and she died before her 24th birthday in 1231. Her great popularity resulted in her canonization four years later.
Elizabeth understood well the lesson Jesus taught when he washed his disciples' feet at the Last Supper: The Christian must be one who serves the humblest needs of others, even if one serves from an exalted position. Of royal blood, Elizabeth could have lorded it over her subjects. Yet she served them with such a loving heart that her brief life won for her a special place in the hearts of many. Elizabeth is also an example to us in her following the guidance of a spiritual director. Growth in the spiritual life is a difficult process. We can play games very easily if we don't have someone to challenge us.
Saint Elizabeth of Hungary is the Patron Saint of:
Bakers Catholic Charities Secular Franciscan Order
Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious
Reading 1 Wis 13:1-9
All men were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God, and who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing him who is, and from studying the works did not discern the artisan; But either fire, or wind, or the swift air, or the circuit of the stars, or the mighty water, or the luminaries of heaven, the governors of the world, they considered gods. Now if out of joy in their beauty they thought them gods, let them know how far more excellent is the Lord than these; for the original source of beauty fashioned them. Or if they were struck by their might and energy, let them from these things realize how much more powerful is he who made them. For from the greatness and the beauty of created things their original author, by analogy, is seen. But yet, for these the blame is less; For they indeed have gone astray perhaps, though they seek God and wish to find him. For they search busily among his works, but are distracted by what they see, because the things seen are fair. But again, not even these are pardonable. For if they so far succeeded in knowledge that they could speculate about the world, how did they not more quickly find its Lord?
Responsorial Psalm Ps 19:2-3, 4-5ab
R. (2a) The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day pours out the word to day, and night to night imparts knowledge. R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God. Not a word nor a discourse whose voice is not heard; Through all the earth their voice resounds, and to the ends of the world, their message. R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
Alleluia Lk 21:28 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 17:26-37
Jesus said to his disciples: "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man; they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage up to the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building; on the day when Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all. So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, someone who is on the housetop and whose belongings are in the house must not go down to get them, and likewise one in the field must not return to what was left behind. Remember the wife of Lot. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it. I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. And there will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken, the other left." They said to him in reply, "Where, Lord?" He said to them, "Where the body is, there also the vultures will gather."
Meditation: Wisdom 13:1-9
Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious (Memorial)
Let them know how far more excellent is the Lord than these. (Wisdom 13:3)
Wouldn't it be wonderful if every visitor to Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon or Mount Everest were to drop to their knees in awe of the God who designed such stunning displays of nature's beauty? The Book of Wisdom tells us that God is the original source of all beauty. This means that the many natural wonders around us point to the Lord who is "far more excellent" than his most glorious works (Wisdom 13:3). Feel free to add your own words of praise to the following prayer to our Creator:
"I praise you, Lord, for the constancy of the sun that rises every day. Each rising and setting reflects your faithfulness. There is no place or time on earth where your faithful love cannot pierce through like a ray of sunshine. In heat and drought, storm and flood, your faithfulness remains. It is bigger than my problems and more constant than the sun. I can count on you and call on you every day, just as I know the sun will rise every day.
"I praise you, Lord, for the power of the seas. Each tide, coming in and rolling out, reflects your waves of mercy constantly flowing toward me. Like a crashing wave throwing sea spray high into the air, your mercy stretches higher than I can imagine. It reaches places within me that I have not expected. It puts me in awe of you. There is fierce power in the ocean, but even more awesome is the power of your mercy, which raises me up and sets me free.
"I praise you, Lord, for the beauty of the plants and shrubs that cover the earth. As you are lovely, so are they. Just as without flowers, the planet would seem bare, without you the world would be empty of eternal life. I am so thankful for the beauty of life in you and your Son, Jesus. Following you is a creative and colorful prospect—you always bring me to unexpected and pleasant places. As you have filled the earth with plants, you fill my heart with joy."
"Lord of Creation, I love you! Each time I see one of your wonders, help me to turn to you in thanksgiving."
Psalm 19:2-5 Luke 17:26-37
my2cents: Our First holy Word ended today "For if they so far succeeded in knowledge that they could speculate about the world, how did they not more quickly find its Lord?" We can speculate until the last day, but faith is not based on speculations of the world...alone.
We pray today "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day pours out the word to day, and night to night imparts knowledge." Remain in the truth of the Holy Catholic Church, and do not speculate, do not look too much into what divides. That is not what it is based on...it is based on JESUS. That is the truth, and He is all we shall focus and center our lives upon.
In comes our Heavenly Lord: "...one will be taken, the other left." In the last century this line has caused a ruckus and new theories popped out and called them the "Left Behind" series. It has been taken way out of context, it does not jive with the rest of the scriptures. Don't be caught up in this "rapture". The only rapture you should be caught up in is in the ecstasy of His divine love and mercy. Because this life is day by day, and this day imparts knowledge, and knowledge of Him gains us wisdom, to know how to love Him better, and what could be better than that? With wisdom we will understand. This week two were in bed and one was taken. It was a husband and wife and the wife passed away. Every day this doom's day is possible. We should be ready for it. Doug Barry of EWTN gave us men a talk last year, and what stood out most of it to me was that he was carrying this survival bag, with a water filter, and tools and who knows what else. He got up on stage with it. He got off with that backpack. He was seemingly ready for it any day now. But he spoke of being spiritually ready. That is the point. The carcass that will be left behind is not what the Lord is after. We have something inside much more valuable, so precious that He would die for it, and it is inside all of us. Be ready for the tests. There is nothing more frustrating to me than to not pass a test. It makes me want to get into it more. I guess I'm wired that way. But now, I'm talking about the tests that the evil one sets out. Threats come my way, insults, discouragements, and the worst? Distractions. Man oh man distractions are bad. Smoke and mirrors are all out there to blindside you, to catch you unawares.
Tell me right now....where is your bible?
Where is your rosary? When is the next Holy Sacrament scheduled in your life? What is in your survival backpack? Or are you not ready for the end?
Because the end has to come, it is written....yet the end is the beginning for those who live. Choose Life. Be Holy. 4ever