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Thursday, March 28, 2019

⛪a strong man⛪

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Love God, Love Others, Love Yourself

Jesus is clear in the Gospels: Love God, love others, love yourself. Jesus tells us this is the greatest commandment. If we do this, keeping the other commandments will fall into place with little effort. Sometimes Lent seems like a series of dif´Čücult tasks that we toil over to show our spiritual strength and endurance. Julian of Norwich and the other mystics remind us that it's not about what we do, it's about what God does. Our Lenten practices should make room in our lives to contemplate the great mystery of love. If we lose sight of that, then the fasting and prayers become empty gestures. Our almsgiving contributes money to a good cause but we lose sight of our own place in that good work.

—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek

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mornignoffering

clickable: The Following is from MorningOffering

†Saint Quote

"Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and makes us persevere in a good life. Therefore the servant of God ought always to be in good spirits."
— St. Philip Neri

†Meditation of the Day

"True strength is not found in being stubborn or arrogant. It is found in allowing the Holy Spirit to dwell in one's heart so that one might be open to the Spirit's promptings. It is that Spirit Who frees us from our selfishness, for the Spirit reminds us that God is supposed to be the center of who we are and what we do."

— Rev. Jude Winkler, OFM, p. 20

An Excerpt From Daily Meditations with the Holy Spirit

†Verse of the Day

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows."

Matthew 10:29-31

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Saint Catharine of Bologna

(September 8, 1413 -March 9, 1463 )

Some Franciscan saints led fairly public lives; Catharine represents the saints who served the Lord in obscurity.

Born in Bologna, Catharine was related to the nobility in Ferrara, and was educated at court there. She received a liberal education at the court and developed some interest and talent in painting. In later years as a Poor Clare, Catharine sometimes did manuscript illumination and also painted miniatures.

At the age of 17, she joined a group of religious women in Ferrara. Four years later, the whole group joined the Poor Clares in that city. Jobs as convent baker and portress preceded her selection as novice mistress.

In 1456, she and 15 other sisters were sent to establish a Poor Clare monastery in Florence. As abbess, Catharine worked to preserve the peace of the new community. Her reputation for holiness drew many young women to the Poor Clare life. She was canonized in 1712. The Liturgical Feast of Saint Catharine of Bologna is May 9.

Reflection
Appreciating Catharine's life in a Poor Clare monastery may be hard for us. "It seems like such a waste," we may be tempted to say. Through prayer, penance, and charity to her sisters, Catharine drew close to God. Our goal is the same as hers, even if our paths are different.

Saint Catharine of Bologna is the Patron Saint of:
Art
Artists

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Thursday of the Third Week of Lent

Lectionary: 240

Reading 1 JER 7:23-28

Thus says the LORD:
This is what I commanded my people:
Listen to my voice;
then I will be your God and you shall be my people.
Walk in all the ways that I command you,
so that you may prosper.

But they obeyed not, nor did they pay heed.
They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts
and turned their backs, not their faces, to me.
From the day that your fathers left the land of Egypt even to this day,
I have sent you untiringly all my servants the prophets.
Yet they have not obeyed me nor paid heed;
they have stiffened their necks and done worse than their fathers.
When you speak all these words to them,
they will not listen to you either;
when you call to them, they will not answer you.
Say to them:
This is the nation that does not listen
to the voice of the LORD, its God,
or take correction.
Faithfulness has disappeared;
the word itself is banished from their speech.

Responsorial Psalm PS 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9

R. (8) If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
"Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted me;
they tested me though they had seen my works."
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Verse Before The Gospel JL 2:12-13

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
for I am gracious and merciful.

Gospel LK 11:14-23

Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute,
and when the demon had gone out,
the mute man spoke and the crowds were amazed.
Some of them said, "By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons,
he drives out demons."
Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.
But he knew their thoughts and said to them,
"Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste
and house will fall against house.
And if Satan is divided against himself,
how will his kingdom stand?
For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.
If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul,
by whom do your own people drive them out?
Therefore they will be your judges.
But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons,
then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
When a strong man fully armed guards his palace,
his possessions are safe.
But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him,
he takes away the armor on which he relied
and distributes the spoils.
Whoever is not with me is against me,
and whoever does not gather with me scatters."

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Meditation: Hosea 14:2-10

3rd Week of Lent

Return, O Israel, to the Lord, your God. (Hosea 14:2)

Few things are more painful than the betrayal of an unfaithful spouse. That's why the Book of Hosea is especially moving for us: it portrays God's relationship with Israel through Hosea's heartbreaking marriage. Through Hosea's stubborn love for his adulterous wife, God reveals his unchanging covenant love for unfaithful Israel. "Return to the Lord," he pleads over and over again (Hosea 14:3).

Today, just as in Hosea's time, God continues to plead with his people to come back to him. Since Lent is all about God's call to come home, let's listen for his voice in the words of Hosea.

You have collapsed through your guilt (Hosea 14:2). We all know how oppressive the burden of guilt can be. Even if we gloss over our offenses, unrepented sin can weigh us down like a heavy chain tangled around us. Sometimes we even carry guilt over sins we have already confessed. Still, our faithful God calls to us, Let me lift this weight that exhausts you and drags you down.

Take with you words (Hosea 14:3). God knows that the act of confessing our sins is the first step toward freedom. Naming them aloud is the best way to bring them into the light, where the Lord can free us. Isn't this what happens in Confession? Our words of repentance have the power to unlock the chains that have dragged us down. It's not always easy, though, to find the right words. But that doesn't matter to the Lord. We can begin by saying, "Father, I have sinned" (Luke 15:21). Confess your sins, God implores. I am ready to forgive.

I will heal their defection (Hosea 14:5). This promise can give us the courage we need to return to God. Not only will he forgive us, but he will heal us of the urges and drives that cause us to sin. Every time we turn to him in Confession and encounter his love, our hearts melt a little bit more, and we find it a little bit easier to act out of love instead of selfishness. He cries out, Come and be healed!

Whether it has been a short while or many years since your last Confession, go. Go this weekend. Return to the Lord your God.

"Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner."

Psalm 81:6-11, 14, 17
Mark 12:28-34

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dailycatholic

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When God said, "Let there be light," he brought finite creatures into existence. But when he says, "I absolve you of your sins," through the priest, he restores the uncreated, infinite Divine Life of God.

—DR. SCOTT HAHN
from Lord Have Mercy

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2cents:

"Listen to my voice;
then I will be your God and you shall be my people."

Let us pray: " If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts"

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Our Lord said "... it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons,
then the Kingdom of God has come upon you"

Today and tomorrow I ask for prayer for we are in Prison retreat through Saturday.

From Bishop Barron
"Friends, in today's Gospel we learn of a person possessed by a demon. Jesus meets the man and drives out the demon, but then is immediately accused of being in league with Satan. Some of the witnesses said, "By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons."

Jesus' response is wonderful in its logic and laconicism: "Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house. And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?"

The demonic power is always one of scattering. It breaks up communion. But Jesus, as always, is the voice of communio, of one bringing things back together.

Think back to Jesus' feeding of the five thousand. Facing a large, hungry crowd, his disciples beg him to "dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves." But Jesus answers, "There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves."

Whatever drives the Church apart is an echo of this "dismiss the crowds" impulse, and a reminder of the demonic tendency to divide. In times of trial and threat, this is a very common instinct. We blame, attack, break up, and disperse. But Jesus is right: "There is no need for them to go away."

Reflect: How can you be a force for unification in your parish or Christian group?

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Random Bible Verse1
1 John 4:12-13 (Listen)
12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.

Thank You Jesus

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