Surrounded by Love We may read volumes and volumes on the art of swimming, yet we'll never understand what swimming is like unless we get wet. So we
Surrounded by Love
We may read volumes and volumes on the art of swimming, yet we'll never understand what swimming is like unless we get wet. So we may read all the books ever written on the love of God and never understand loving unless we love. Where love is genuine, belonging is always mutual. It is like submerging ourselves into an ocean of sublime grace. —from the book The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life by Brother David Steindl-Rast
✞ "Be a Catholic: When you kneel before an altar, do it in such a way that others may be able to recognize that you know before whom you kneel." — St. Maximilian Kolbe
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "'As God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk.' No one can do better with his life than that; no one can put it to a better use. Any life must be perfect in proportion as it does what it was made to do. There are many lives that are brilliant failures; they strive after many things that they were never intended to do and fail in that one thing. It seems strange that a reasonable being should never ask himself why he was put upon earth, or that it should not occur to him that the reason must be found in the will of his Creator ... At the end of the day of our earthly life, we have to answer to our Maker whether we have been employed about our own work or about His, whether we have even made an effort to find out what He would have us do. A life that is inspired by such a motive is sure to be a success, for of this we may be absolutely certain: that each of us can fulfill in our life that for which we were created. We cannot be sure that we have the gifts needed for any other purpose ... For God, in creating us, equipped us for the work for which He created us. We have every gift of nature and of grace, of mind and body that is needed for this work." — Fr. Basil Maturin, p. 35 AN EXCERPT FROM Spiritual Guidelines for Souls Seeking God
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, 'Seek his face!' Your face, Lord, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior." Psalm 27:7-9
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ST. EDMUND CAMPION
St. Edmund Campion (1540–1581) was born in London, England, the son of a bookseller. He was a promising student and went on to become an esteemed and celebrated Oxford scholar, winning the high regard of Queen Elizabeth who admired his wit and pleasant disposition. Although raised Catholic, he was ordained an Anglican deacon. Unsettled by his move away from the Church, he repented and returned to the Catholic faith. While in disguise to protect his safety following his reversion, he witnessed the martyrdom of a fellow scholar and recognized his vocation. He went to Rome and became a Jesuit priest, and while assigned to minister in Moravia he received a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary who foretold his martyrdom. He later returned to England as an undercover priest during the severe persecution of Catholics upon the Pope's excommunication of Queen Elizabeth. His mission was to strengthen Catholics wavering under government pressure and win converts among the Protestants. St. Edmund was eventually hunted down, imprisoned in the Tower of London, and tortured. After being found guilty of treason, he said, "In condemning us, you condemn all your own ancestors, all our ancient bishops and kings, all that was once the glory of England — the island of saints, and the most devoted child of the See of Peter." After spending his last days in prayer, he was dragged with two fellow priests to be hanged, drawn, and quartered on December 1st, 1581 at 41 years of age. His feast day is December 1st.
Friday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Dn 7:2-14
In a vision I, Daniel, saw during the night, the four winds of heaven stirred up the great sea, from which emerged four immense beasts, each different from the others. The first was like a lion, but with eagle's wings. While I watched, the wings were plucked; it was raised from the ground to stand on two feet like a man, and given a human mind. The second was like a bear; it was raised up on one side, and among the teeth in its mouth were three tusks. It was given the order, "Up, devour much flesh." After this I looked and saw another beast, like a leopard; on its back were four wings like those of a bird, and it had four heads. To this beast dominion was given. After this, in the visions of the night I saw the fourth beast, different from all the others, terrifying, horrible, and of extraordinary strength; it had great iron teeth with which it devoured and crushed, and what was left it trampled with its feet. I was considering the ten horns it had, when suddenly another, a little horn, sprang out of their midst, and three of the previous horns were torn away to make room for it. This horn had eyes like a man, and a mouth that spoke arrogantly. As I watched,
Thrones were set up and the Ancient One took his throne. His clothing was snow bright, and the hair on his head as white as wool; His throne was flames of fire, with wheels of burning fire. A surging stream of fire flowed out from where he sat; Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him, and myriads upon myriads attended him.
The court was convened, and the books were opened. I watched, then, from the first of the arrogant words which the horn spoke, until the beast was slain and its body thrown into the fire to be burnt up. The other beasts, which also lost their dominion, were granted a prolongation of life for a time and a season. As the visions during the night continued, I saw
One like a son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; When he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, He received dominion, glory, and kingship; nations and peoples of every language serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed.
Responsorial Psalm Dn 3:75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81 R. Give glory and eternal praise to him! "Mountains and hills, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever." R. Give glory and eternal praise to him! "Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever. R. Give glory and eternal praise to him! "You springs, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever." R. Give glory and eternal praise to him! "Seas and rivers, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever." R. Give glory and eternal praise to him! "You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever." R. Give glory and eternal praise to him! "All you birds of the air, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever." R. Give glory and eternal praise to him! "All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever." R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
Alleluia Lk 21:28 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Stand erect and raise your hands Because your redemption is at hand. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 21:29-33
Jesus told his disciples a parable. "Consider the fig tree and all the other trees. When their buds burst open, you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near; in the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away."
Meditation: Daniel 7:2-14
The Ancient One took his throne. His clothing was snow bright, and the hair on his head as white as wool. (Daniel 7:9)
Have you ever seen a picture of a spiral galaxy? It's a wonder to behold. Starlit arms that are thousands of light-years long curl outward into the inky blackness of space. Often, these images are composites of multiple exposures. Sometimes they're artistic renderings of scientific data. Nevertheless, they're still true in that they convey—as best as humanly possible—the beauty and magnitude of God's creation.
Now take a look at the image that Daniel reveals in today's first reading. Daniel dreamed of heaven, a place that's impossible to convey with an earthly language. Still, he gives us an image that's well worth picturing. Let's try to visualize Daniel's image of heaven as a composite of three "exposures," with each one showing us something special about God.
First, we see God sit down on his throne. This is the first impression of heaven: God reigns! Every creature in heaven recognizes that God is king over the whole universe. He holds up the cosmos with just the power of his word (Hebrews 1:3).
Next, we discover that God is adorned with snow-bright clothing. This color is far brighter than any shade of white that's possible on earth. What does it mean? God is pure, with no spot of sin. His righteousness shines "like the dawn," illuminating every corner of heaven (Psalm 37:6).
Finally, we see that God's hair is "white as wool" (Daniel 7:9). God is wise and all-knowing. He is the "Ancient One" who existed before the universe began (7:9). He holds the past, present, and future in his hands. Nothing catches God by surprise!
Today, how about taking a few moments to let these images of heaven fire your imagination? In your mind's eye, see God enthroned in heaven, adorned like a king. Marvel at how glorious and powerful he is. And remember that, as great as he is, he is your Father who loves you. Let the Holy Spirit fill you with a sense of wonder and move you to say, along with Daniel, "Praise and exalt him above all forever" (Daniel 3:75)!
"Lord, give me a taste of heaven today."
(Psalm) Daniel 3:75-81 Luke 21:29-33
my2cents: The First Holy Scripture read at one point: "Thrones were set up and the Ancient One took his throne." Notice, it says "thrones". God intends for thrones. I can't help but shake when our Lord said that "more will be given to the one who has". And to the one who does not invest for Him, even what they have will be taken away. What happens here is an unexplained reality, God has much more planned than we could ever imagine. He proves and finds worthy to suit His need...work. Yet this work is life. One of the quotes we read today speaks to this effect: "At the end of the day of our earthly life, we have to answer to our Maker whether we have been employed about our own work or about His".
And so, let us pray: " Give glory and eternal praise to him! All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever." Indeed, we read in the holy Scripture Rom 14:11 "For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. 11 It is written: "As surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow before Me; every tongue will confess to God." 12So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.…" I have made a remark in our office "either you need to be working for the company or for the Lord". Not all up in facebook gossip, not all up in fads and shopping, other interests, not all up in about myself. And if you are working for the Lord full time, this is how it works: You will fulfill your earthly duties well. God comes first. Then, your family will be served well. Your work will be dutifully and faithfully done. The best part? God's vineyard will be attended to well. Because there is where His work sets, on the heart of every man (all humankind). And so our Lord visits us in the Holy Gospel, for His word is alive and effective until the end of ages: "When their buds burst open, you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near". The buds I see are bodies burst open for the Lord, for faith, for His love. And what happens next? They begin to give fruit. Many times in the blazing heat of the summer. In this century we have lived, there have been many buds bursting, saints, martyrs, the faithful holy souls generating fruit in quantities like never before. It is our turn to bud up. It is our turn to give fruit, and we are, we are going to. All I can do is encourage you, to endure, to persevere, which is the purpose of these writings. It is our Lord reaching out to you and me, and I believe it firmly. He says "I want you" furthermore He says "I have a place prepared for you" that is why He said "I would die for you", and...guess what? He did. Friday is Good Friday. Good because the day will be forever linked in 3 days to Resurrection Day, the day of the Son....Son-day. It is the day where things begin, the first day of the week. The first day of our lives. I am motivated by the love of God to do great things and the great things I will not see because only God will see. My part then is Faith. That is what we have been handed down from the time of Adam and Eve, to Abraham, to Moses, to Israel, to our Blessed Mother, to Jesus who changed the world of faith forever to focus on Him. "Look at ME" Look at what love looks like! It conquers the world.
Jesus says "follow Me". Conquer with Me. This is the blessing of Jesus in every priest when giving the final blessing in Mass.
We come. He Appears.
He gives His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. We partake.
We are dismissed with marching orders.
We enter the vineyard to encounter all sorts of things unseen.
And yet His presence burns the heart, burns and yearns for more of Him. And I live off of Him. Such is life....and Life to Jesus means eternity with God