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Tuesday, April 2, 2019

⛪May Happen To You ⛪

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Saint Catherine's Tree

Saint Catherine of Siena pictured the spiritual life as a large tree:
The trunk of the tree is love.
The core of the tree is patience.
The roots of the tree are self-knowledge.
The many branches are discernment.
In other words, said Catherine, love does not happen without patience, self-knowledge, and discernment. Today we have little encouragement toward honest self-knowledge or training in spiritual discernment from our churches. We prefer the seeming clarity of black-and-white laws. By nature, most of us are not very patient. All of which means that love is not going to be very common. We need Saint Catherine's tree again.

—from the book Yes, And...: Daily Meditations by Richard Rohr

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mornignoffering

clickable: The Following is from MorningOffering

†Saint Quote
"If you wish to strengthen your confidence in God still more, often recall the loving way in which He has acted toward you, and how mercifully He has tried to bring you out of your sinful life, to break your attachment to the things of earth and draw you to His love."
— St. Alphonsus Liguori

† MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"God will forgive you if you ask him to. Though your sins be numerous as the grains of sand on the shore, God's merciful forgiveness is far greater than your sins. Do not be afraid. Trust in his love. Repent of your sins without delay and return to the house of the Father. He is waiting for you. "
— Patrick Madrid, p.15
AN EXCERPT FROM
A Year with the Bible

† VERSE OF THE DAY
"May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Romans 15:5-6

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ST. FRANCIS OF PAOLA

St. Francis of Paola (1416-1507) was born in Calabria, Italy, to a husband and wife known for their holiness. After suffering childlessness for many years, his parents had recourse to prayer, especially the intercession of St. Francis of Assisi. They eventually had three children, and the eldest, Francis, was named after St. Francis in thanksgiving for his birth. Francis of Paola grew in sanctity, and after having a vision of St. Francis he spent a year in a Franciscan convent to fulfill a vow his parents had made to the saint. After his time there, he returned to his parents and accompanied them on a pilgrimage to Assisi. Upon returning home, Francis retired to a private spot on his parents' estate to live as a hermit. He later moved his dwelling to a lonely cave by the seashore, living there in prayer, solitude, and mortification for six years. Disciples gradually came to him to imitate his manner of life, so many that St. Francis of Paola, with the permission of his bishop, built a monastery and church to accommodate them. He later obtained permission from the Holy See to found a new religious order called the Minims, or "The Least," as they were to live hidden lives of poverty, abstinence, and humility. St. Francis of Paola became famous and was sought out by others for his prophecies and miracles. He spent the last three months of his life in solitude in preparation for his death. On Good Friday, after receiving Last Rites, he died while the Passion of Christ was read to him aloud. His feast day is April 2.

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ANF
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Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Reading 1 Ez 47:1-9, 12

The angel brought me, Ezekiel,
back to the entrance of the temple of the LORD,
and I saw water flowing out
from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east,
for the fa├žade of the temple was toward the east;
the water flowed down from the right side of the temple,
south of the altar.
He led me outside by the north gate,
and around to the outer gate facing the east,
where I saw water trickling from the right side.
Then when he had walked off to the east
with a measuring cord in his hand,
he measured off a thousand cubits
and had me wade through the water,
which was ankle-deep.
He measured off another thousand
and once more had me wade through the water,
which was now knee-deep.
Again he measured off a thousand and had me wade;
the water was up to my waist.
Once more he measured off a thousand,
but there was now a river through which I could not wade;
for the water had risen so high it had become a river
that could not be crossed except by swimming.
He asked me, "Have you seen this, son of man?"
Then he brought me to the bank of the river, where he had me sit.
Along the bank of the river I saw very many trees on both sides.
He said to me,
"This water flows into the eastern district down upon the Arabah,
and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh.
Wherever the river flows,
every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live,
and there shall be abundant fish,
for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh.
Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow;
their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail.
Every month they shall bear fresh fruit,
for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.
Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9

R. (8) The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
God is our refuge and our strength,
an ever-present help in distress.
Therefore we fear not, though the earth be shaken
and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea.
R. The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God,
the holy dwelling of the Most High.
God is in its midst; it shall not be disturbed;
God will help it at the break of dawn.
R. The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
Come! behold the deeds of the LORD,
the astounding things he has wrought on earth.
R. The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.

Verse Before the Gospel Ps 51:12a, 14a

A clean heart create for me, O God;
give me back the joy of your salvation.

Gospel Jn 5:1-16

There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate
a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes.
In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled.
One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
When Jesus saw him lying there
and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him,
"Do you want to be well?"
The sick man answered him,
"Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool
when the water is stirred up;
while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me."
Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your mat, and walk."
Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.

Now that day was a sabbath.
So the Jews said to the man who was cured,
"It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat."
He answered them, "The man who made me well told me,
'Take up your mat and walk.'"
They asked him,
"Who is the man who told you, 'Take it up and walk'?"
The man who was healed did not know who it was,
for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there.
After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him,
"Look, you are well; do not sin any more,
so that nothing worse may happen to you."
The man went and told the Jews
that Jesus was the one who had made him well.
Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus
because he did this on a sabbath.

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Meditation: John 5:1-16

Saint Francis of Paola, Hermit (Optional Memorial)

"Do you want to be well?" (John 5:6)

What kind of question is that? Of course this man wants to be healed! He's been waiting thirty-eight years for a healing.

So why would Jesus ask him that question? Why wouldn't he just go ahead and heal the man? Notice that instead of saying yes to Jesus' inquiry, the man explains why he hasn't been healed yet: he never gets to the pool quickly enough when the water is "stirred up" (John 5:7). Perhaps the man has grown accustomed to being unable to walk and has resigned himself to it. So Jesus wanted to get to the heart of the matter first.

The same may be true for us at times. Whether it is a sickness of mind, spirit, or body that afflicts us, we can grow accustomed to it. We don't really expect things to ever change. In fact, we may even fear how we would live without it.

But what if the Lord suddenly asked you that question? What might you say?

Do you want to be well? "Lord, you know I want to be healed. But sometimes I doubt that you can help me. Take away my doubts, and give me faith in your healing power."

Do you want to be well? "Lord, I'm afraid to ask you for healing because if I don't get it, I'll be disappointed. Sometimes I even wonder if you love me. Help me to put all things in your hands and leave the outcome to you."

Do you want to be well? "Lord, I don't know what becoming well will require of me. I may have to let go of a grudge so that I can receive the grace to forgive. I may have to do new things or encounter new situations that take me out of my comfort zone."

Don't let anything hold you back from asking the Lord to heal you. Whatever your wounds, tell him, "I want to be well." Then imagine him saying, "Take up your mat, and walk" (John 5:8). You may not be healed instantaneously, but you may receive a much-needed increase in faith and trust in him—along with a clearer sense of how much he loves you. Let him make you well in his time and according to his wisdom.

"Yes, Lord, I want to be made well."

Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12
Psalm 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9

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dailycatholic

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We determine the caliber of our spiritual life by what we choose to remember and what we choose to forget.
—Mother Mary Francis P.C.C.
from A Time of Renewal: Daily Reflections for the Lenten Season

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2cts

2cents:
"....the water flowed down from the right side of the temple,
south of the altar". They pierced the right side of our Lord. Water flowed flowed on to a person...bathed that person, and that person was converted, a baptism took place without him requesting. Can we accidentally be baptized? Can God enter without you asking? He did to Adam. He did to Eve. He can with us...for the greater good, and for His goodness.

Let us pray today; " The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob. There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High. God is in its midst; it shall not be disturbed;
God will help it at the break of dawn." Let us focus on the saving waters that God designed, and it gladdens His heart...His Holy City, His dwelling. Our Lord can not be contained in a temple alone...but He can live there...in us all.

2cents2

Our Lord asks the crippled man ""Do you want to be well?"

Of course. Another healing story. Of course, a matter of life and death. Do you really want to be healed? Or have you forgotten how much you want to be healed? That is...to live in grace. Because for that man to be at the temple for nearly a generation, meant so many things. He was at the temple...but was not reconciled. God didn't wait the 40 years as in the desert. It's as if our Lord can not contain His own Divine Mercy. It is bursting at the seems for us. To be reconciled.

The man said ""Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me."
Say what? Someone else beats them? Someone else won't let you go first?

How many times do we got to church, someone sits at the end of the pew and won't scoot over? Or how many times do we want to be ahead in traffic and won't allow others before us? Or how many times do we have to defend ourselves and not let others win? Or...wait, am I getting to personal now? Because in the end...the Gospel is about mercy. Jesus is merciful, and the temple people are not. They were not merciful to merciful Jesus. Instead, they now targeted Him as an evil doer, one who breaks any and all laws. The prisoners stated in testimony that society has stigmatized them and sees them as outcasts. What is my personal opinion? This may be true, because when I would feed the homeless, I heard rude comments about them. I've heard rude comments about the blind man I see at the nursing home, and yes I've heard of nonsensical comments about prisoners. Nobody gives them a crying chance at...love...mercy, with the tongue, much less with the heart. How does YOUR tongue operate? Does it operate with mercy? Who is operating it? Jesus reconciled the cripple...it was the cripple who was made one with Jesus. So Jesus says the words of absolution that we hear in confession in His own words ""Look, you are well; do not sin any more,
so that nothing worse may happen to you." We hear forgiveness and 'go and sin no more'. Jesus is calling us to Himself, where in Heaven, sin does not exist in the way we see it. A slight lack of love is a great and deadly sin in Heaven. And that does not belong in a world of light.
And this is not the only time Jesus says to "pick up your mat and walk". What's up with the mat?

It is a living testimony. The mat was the cross.

Jesus is saying "Take Up Your Cross and FOLLOW ME".
To follow Him is to be walking behind Him....Him leading the way.
The mat will make you remember and be thankful.
What is your mat? For me, my pains are my mat, physical and spiritual...for the Lord. Ministries cause me headaches and tears, and heartaches to boot. But I pick up my bag or guitar, and head out the door....Here I Am Lord...I am coming to do your will....because it is no longer about me....

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Random Bible Verse
John 13:34-35 (Listen)

34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

Thank You Jesus

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