Holy Families Every family is a work in progress, but each one can move toward wholeness. Circumstances differ, but every family needs peace, love, a
Every family is a work in progress, but each one can move toward wholeness. Circumstances differ, but every family needs peace, love, and trust. Christian hope springs from belief in God's presence during life's high and low points. In the struggle for wholeness, families become holy and generate holiness in others. Holy families, not perfect families, are sources of hope to those facing dark and painful times. —from Your [Imperfect] Holy Family: See the Good, Make it Better by Robert J. Hater
✞ "If you do not hope, you will not find what is beyond your hopes." — St. Clement of Alexandria
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Nothing is sweeter than love; nothing stronger, nothing higher, nothing more generous, nothing more pleasant, nothing fuller or better in Heaven or on earth; for love proceeds from God and cannot rest but in God above all things created." — Thomas a' Kempis, p. 87 AN EXCERPT FROM Imitation of Christ
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh." 2 Corinthians 4:8-11
SAINT OF THE DAY
⛪OUR LADY OF THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL On November 27, 1830, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Catherine Laboure in Paris, France and gave her a vision of an image, with instructions to strike the image, front and back, onto a medal. With this medal Our Lady promised that, "All those who wear it will receive great graces; these graces will be abundant for those who wear it with faith." The medal bears an image of Our Lady standing on the world, the serpent crushed under her feet, with arms extended and graces pouring forth from her hands. On the reverse is a cross surmounted by the letter 'M', and beneath it the side-by-side symbols of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary, all encircled by twelve stars. The medal symbolizes Mary's perfect spiritual union with Jesus' redemptive mission, and, consequently, her intercessory role in salvation history as the mediatrix of God's graces to mankind through her Son. The medal spread widely and became a source of many graces and miracles for its wearers, earning the name "Miraculous Medal." It is traditionally worn around the neck and has become a treasured sacramental of the Catholic Church. Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal's feast day is November 27th.
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Feast: November 27
Information: Feast Day: November 27 Born: 8th century Ireland Died: 784 at Salzburg, Austria Canonized: 10 June 1233 by Pope Gregory IX Patron of: Salzburg, Austria; Slovenes
Virgilius was a scientist before his time, and in his monastery of Aghaboe in Ireland he was known as "the Geometer" because of his knowledge of geography. In 743, he left Ireland for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land but got no farther than the court of Pepin, the father of Charlemagne. In 745, Pepin defeated Odilo, duke of Bavaria, and sent St. Virgilius to be abbot of the monastery of Sankt Peter and in charge of the diocese of Salzburg.
In accordance with the Irish custom, the bishop was subject to the abbot, who was the real head of the diocese. This was contrary to continental custom, and so Virgilius consented to be consecrated bishop. His most notable accomplishment was the conversion of the Alpine Slavs; moreover, he sent missionaries into Hungary.
In his first days at Salzburg, he was involved in controversies with St. Boniface, one over the form of baptism, which the pope decided in Virgilius's favor. Virgilius also expressed a number of opinions on astronomy, geography, and anthropology, which to Boniface smacked of novelty, if not heresy. He reported these views to Rome, and the pope demanded an investigation of the bishop of Salzburg. Nothing came of this and apparently Virgilius was able to defend his views.
Virgilius built a grand cathedral at Salzburg, baptized the Slavic dukes of Carinthia, and sent missionaries into lands where no missionary had yet gone. Returning from a preaching mission to a distant part of his diocese, he fell sick and died on November 27, 784. When the Salzburg cathedral was destroyed by a fire in 1181, the grave of Virgilius was discovered and this led to his canonization by Pope Gregory IX in 1233.
His feast is kept throughout Ireland and in the diocese of Salzburg.
Monday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Dn 1:1-6, 8-20
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came and laid siege to Jerusalem. The Lord handed over to him Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and some of the vessels of the temple of God; he carried them off to the land of Shinar, and placed the vessels in the temple treasury of his god.
The king told Ashpenaz, his chief chamberlain, to bring in some of the children of Israel of royal blood and of the nobility, young men without any defect, handsome, intelligent and wise, quick to learn, and prudent in judgment, such as could take their place in the king's palace; they were to be taught the language and literature of the Chaldeans; after three years' training they were to enter the king's service. The king allotted them a daily portion of food and wine from the royal table. Among these were men of Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
But Daniel was resolved not to defile himself with the king's food or wine; so he begged the chief chamberlain to spare him this defilement. Though God had given Daniel the favor and sympathy of the chief chamberlain, he nevertheless said to Daniel, "I am afraid of my lord the king; it is he who allotted your food and drink. If he sees that you look wretched by comparison with the other young men of your age, you will endanger my life with the king." Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief chamberlain had put in charge of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, "Please test your servants for ten days. Give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then see how we look in comparison with the other young men who eat from the royal table, and treat your servants according to what you see." He acceded to this request, and tested them for ten days; after ten days they looked healthier and better fed than any of the young men who ate from the royal table. So the steward continued to take away the food and wine they were to receive, and gave them vegetables. To these four young men God gave knowledge and proficiency in all literature and science, and to Daniel the understanding of all visions and dreams. At the end of the time the king had specified for their preparation, the chief chamberlain brought them before Nebuchadnezzar. When the king had spoken with all of them, none was found equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; and so they entered the king's service. In any question of wisdom or prudence which the king put to them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his kingdom.
Responsorial Psalm Dn 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56 R. (52b) Glory and praise for ever! "Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever; And blessed is your holy and glorious name, praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages." R. Glory and praise for ever! "Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory, praiseworthy and glorious above all forever." R. Glory and praise for ever! "Blessed are you on the throne of your Kingdom, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever." R. Glory and praise for ever! "Blessed are you who look into the depths from your throne upon the cherubim, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever." R. Glory and praise for ever! "Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven, praiseworthy and glorious forever." R. Glory and praise for ever!
Alleluia Mt 24:42a, 44 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Stay awake! For you do not know when the Son of Man will come. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 21:1-4
When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, "I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood."
Catholic Meditations Meditation: Luke 21:1-4
34th or Last Week in Ordinary Time
He noticed a poor widow. (Luke 21:2)
Who did you notice at Mass yesterday? Maybe you caught a glimpse of someone in a fancy new dress. Perhaps you spotted a family whose children behaved perfectly. Or maybe a handsome young man whom you had never seen before came in and sat down right in front of you. We tend to notice the impressive people; we don't notice the ordinary. That's the way our minds work. But that's not who Jesus noticed. He noticed a poor widow.
Somehow, amid all the activity, Jesus singled out this woman. He didn't reject the wealthier people's offerings, but this widow touched his heart in a special way. He saw far more than her meager gift. Those two coins reflected her heart; in deep faith and trust, she offered God everything. No wonder Jesus wanted his disciples to see this!
Like the widow, there are times when we give all we have. Often this happens within our family, when we make sacrifices for our spouse or our children. Parents work tirelessly to provide for their family. They spend sleepless nights caring for a sick child or spouse. A husband or wife listens patiently when the other has a difficult day. Why? Because love does such things. Just as Jesus saw the widow, he sees these acts of love. He sees you. It's not hard to imagine him smiling and saying to his Father, "See how they love one another!"
So what about giving our all to Jesus? How can we have a generous heart for the Lord? It's not just a matter of giving more money or praying longer or going to Mass more often. It certainly pleases God if we can do any of these things. But it's not in the doing; it's in the intention. It's a matter of our hearts. It's a matter of offering Jesus every task we do and carrying it out with all the love we can muster.
St. Paul said it best: "Whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31). So whether you are changing diapers or brokering business deals, pause and dedicate it to God. Do this several times during the day. Your joy will grow. Your awareness of God's presence will grow. And Jesus will surely bless you.
"Jesus, I offer you all that I think and say and do."
Daniel 1:1-6, 8-20 (Psalm) Daniel 3:52-56
"...and so they entered the king's service." The King found them as "better". Little did this earthly king know they were "better" because of the KING of the Universe, having never defiled Him. The Lord wants you to be found "better" too, undefiled, and holy. To be found giving your heart, pouring it out like Him on the cross. That is how you are to be found and no other way.
We pray today " Glory and praise for ever! "Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven, praiseworthy and glorious forever." A thought struck me as I meditated before writing and invoking the Holy Spirit into my life for yours: It was a conversation with God, thinking about all who I work with who are not church goers: Me: "Lord, how I wish everyone to be a churchgoer" Spirit: "Not all are called..." Me: "Lord, it would be an awesome scene though, to live in it..." Spirit: "This exists....in Heaven". And my soul was gladdened. My soul is glimpsed with joy. But what of those that are not called? It is someone in their world, even me, that has perhaps not made the call, to several I have, literally, called and prayed with many of them and some I invited to and we done bible study in the past. The calling is there, but they are not "called"...yet.
In comes our King of Glory and where is He found again? In the Holy Temple. He sat watching the people giving. This is a keynote of Heaven to always remember...The Lord notices what you are giving, not how much. What percentage, what amount of love. The poor widow was giving her all, she was declaring her faith in God "The Lord will Provide" and she deposited her 2 cents of faith into the treasury of God. She enriched God. The others stole from Him because they kept the rest to themselves. Notice this in your life. The other day, I wrote and said "sin is punishing God". Today, it is being said that we are "stealing from God' by not giving like the poor widow. Those who gave from their surplus wealth gave an outward appearance of being generous, but they were not. What does this "giving of 2 coins" mean then? Giving glory, giving til it hurts, being sincere, being a trusting soul, like all the saints that give glory to God.
To this day, and will always be, God will be noticing what you are giving at the altar, in the Holy Temple. Will you be offering defilement? Will you be offering an insincere faith? Will you be offering very little, just surplus "if you got any you'll give" type faith? But what if you don't got "none"? That's when the real beginning of faith begins. I can add an extra rosary, go to daily Mass, like we read before, but what does that matter if what matters inside doesn't take to heart the matter of offering? The manner matters. Because this offering in the temple in a Holy Mass is the matter of daily living. Your daily offering. Lord, I pray for everyone reading this, to see what you have let me see, the most majestic glory of a banquet, souls come to the feast in offerings to the tone of myriads in your Holy Presence. You are all deserving of this and more. This life and more.