We cannot see God with our physical eyes nor can we find God through the logic of reason. The more we try to see God with our physical eyes or find God through logical analysis, the more we will fail. We will become increasingly frustrated and God will become more distant to us. To see the extraordinary ordinariness of God is to see with a different set of eyes, the eyes of the heart and to know God by a different logic, the logic of love. What Francis tells us in his Admonition is that we must contemplate the mystery of God. Contemplation takes place when we learn to see the mystery of God bent over in love in the fragile human flesh of Jesus Christ. The way to contemplate the mystery of God's humble love, according to Francis, is in the Eucharist.
—from the book The Humility of God: A Franciscan Perspective by Ilia Delio, OSF
† Saint Quote"Would that I could exhaust myself in acts of thanksgiving and gratitude towards this Divine Heart, for the great favor He shows us, in deigning to accept our help to make Him known, loved and honored; He reserves infinite blessings for all those who devote themselves to this work."
— St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
† Meditation of the Day
"If you stay united with Christ, each one of you will be able to do great things. This is why, dear friends, you must not be afraid to dream with your eyes open of important projects of good and you must not let yourselves be discouraged by difficulties. Christ has confidence in you and wants you to be able to realize all your most noble and lofty dreams of genuine happiness. Nothing is impossible for those who trust in God and entrust themselves to Him."
— Pope Benedict XVI
†VERSE OF THE DAY
"But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."
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(543 – November 21, 615) Columban was the greatest of the Irish missionaries who worked on the European continent. As a young man who was greatly tormented by temptations of the flesh, he sought the advice of a religious woman who had lived a hermit's life for years. He saw in her answer a call to leave the world. He went first to a monk on an island in Lough Erne, then to the great monastic seat of learning at Bangor.
After many years of seclusion and prayer, he traveled to Gaul with 12 companion missionaries. They won wide respect for the rigor of their discipline, their preaching, and their commitment to charity and religious life in a time characterized by clerical laxity and civil strife. Columban established several monasteries in Europe which became centers of religion and culture.
Like all saints, he met opposition. Ultimately he had to appeal to the pope against complaints of Frankish bishops, for vindication of his orthodoxy and approval of Irish customs. He reproved the king for his licentious life, insisting that he marry. Since this threatened the power of the queen mother, Columban was deported back to Ireland. His ship ran aground in a storm, and he continued his work in Europe, ultimately arriving in Italy, where he found favor with the king of the Lombards. In his last years he established the famous monastery of Bobbio, where he died. His writings include a treatise on penance and against Arianism, sermons, poetry, and his monastic rule. The Liturgical Feast of Saint Columban is November 23. Reflection
Now that public sexual license is becoming extreme, we need the Church's memory of a young man as concerned about chastity as Columban. And now that the comfort-captured Western world stands in tragic contrast to starving millions, we need the challenge to austerity and discipline of a group of Irish monks. They were too strict, we say; they went too far. How far shall we go?
Tuesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar: "In your vision, O king, you saw a statue, very large and exceedingly bright, terrifying in appearance as it stood before you. The head of the statue was pure gold, its chest and arms were silver, its belly and thighs bronze, the legs iron, its feet partly iron and partly tile. While you looked at the statue, a stone which was hewn from a mountain without a hand being put to it, struck its iron and tile feet, breaking them in pieces. The iron, tile, bronze, silver, and gold all crumbled at once, fine as the chaff on the threshing floor in summer, and the wind blew them away without leaving a trace. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
"This was the dream; the interpretation we shall also give in the king's presence. You, O king, are the king of kings; to you the God of heaven has given dominion and strength, power and glory; men, wild beasts, and birds of the air, wherever they may dwell, he has handed over to you, making you ruler over them all; you are the head of gold. Another kingdom shall take your place, inferior to yours, then a third kingdom, of bronze, which shall rule over the whole earth. There shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron; it shall break in pieces and subdue all these others, just as iron breaks in pieces and crushes everything else. The feet and toes you saw, partly of potter's tile and partly of iron, mean that it shall be a divided kingdom, but yet have some of the hardness of iron. As you saw the iron mixed with clay tile, and the toes partly iron and partly tile, the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. The iron mixed with clay tile means that they shall seal their alliances by intermarriage, but they shall not stay united, any more than iron mixes with clay. In the lifetime of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed or delivered up to another people; rather, it shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and put an end to them, and it shall stand forever. That is the meaning of the stone you saw hewn from the mountain without a hand being put to it, which broke in pieces the tile, iron, bronze, silver, and gold. The great God has revealed to the king what shall be in the future; this is exactly what you dreamed, and its meaning is sure."
Daniel 3:57, 58, 59, 60, 61
R. (59b) Give glory and eternal praise to him. "Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever." R. Give glory and eternal praise to him. "Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever." R. Give glory and eternal praise to him. "You heavens, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever." R. Give glory and eternal praise to him. "All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever." R. Give glory and eternal praise to him. "All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever." R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, "All that you see here– the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down."
Then they asked him, "Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?" He answered, "See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and 'The time has come.' Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end." Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky."
Meditation: Luke 21:5-11
34th Week in Ordinary Time
There will not be left a stone upon another stone. (Luke 21:6)
Imagine the people's response to these words from Jesus. He had just finished evicting corrupt money changers from the Temple. It was also in the Temple courts that he confounded hypocritical religious leaders. Then, he praised the generosity of a woman who had made a small but meaningful donation to the Temple's upkeep. Surely Jesus loved the Temple and was about to usher in a time of peace and restoration for God's holy dwelling place!
So the people must have been shocked when instead of peace and prosperity, Jesus predicted the Temple's destruction. How could that be? This was the dwelling place of God, the very center of the Jewish religion. Tradition even held that it was the very center of God's creation—not to mention, without the Temple there could be no annual Rite of Atonement. Imagine how upsetting this image would have been to Jesus' disciples, almost all of whom were faithful Jews!
Well, as Jesus predicted, the Temple was destroyed. It happened in AD 70 when the Roman army moved in to put down a Jewish uprising. It was seen as a complete catastrophe—an undeniable triumph of the forces of evil over the will of God. But true to form, God was able to take this tragedy and bring great good out of it. With the Temple gone, the early Christians could grasp even more deeply the central truth that God now lived in them by the power of the Holy Spirit.
It's just as true today as it was in AD 70: Christ dwells in you, always. He also dwells in a special way in every tabernacle around the world. And he dwells in every one of your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Are you struggling to understand a tragedy? It could be something deeply personal or something profoundly upsetting on the news. By all means, grieve and mourn the loss. Cry out to God for healing and strength. But at the same time, hold on to your faith. Believe, even against all hope, that God still has you in the palm of his hand. Believe, despite your fears and sadness, that he is already at work to bring good out of evil.
"Jesus, I trust in your love and your wisdom. Help me to surrender this hard situation to you."
Daniel 2:31-45 (Psalm) Daniel 3:57-61
One of the signs that John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila give that we're growing in holiness is that we're becoming less and less afraid. We're becoming more and more free. We're becoming less afraid of suffering, less afraid of death, less afraid of failure, and less afraid of what other people think. We are becoming more confident and joyful in the Father's Love. We are more able to love, worship, and serve.
from Transformation in Christ
"In the lifetime of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed or delivered up to another people; rather, it shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and put an end to them, and it shall stand forever."
To this day, kingdoms are being set up, and splintered. None are everlasting kingdoms. To this day, and to the T, the last word of our Lord, it is all being fulfilled. There are always wars and insurrections, horrible storms, yet, have you seen signs from the skies? I was praying the rosary last night, and watched a light in the dark sky, it wasn't moving. Eventually it started moving to the left. It made me somewhat uncomfortable. But I kept praying. And the light started moving faster. But I kept praying until I saw the light pass to the other side of the sky, by which point, I realized it had blinking lights in the rear, an airplane. Why bring up this silly story? Because, at first, one could think something terrible is about to happen, but God calls us to be faithful, unafraid. Just keep being faithful. Be ready, always in a state of complete awareness of our King, our Life for which all of life was created.
Let us pray: "Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever. Give glory and eternal praise to him."
Let all your works praise and exalt Him both now and forever. What a waste of a day if today we didn't praise God and exalt Him above all things.
Our Lord came to the temple and said ""All that you see here–the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down."
What does this mean? What do you know as the temple? Do you think of a church? How about one of those huge majestic churches that cause you to be so inspired by its beauty? I've seen pics of many, never been there, and some, I wouldn't mind visiting.
But God comes into the temple and says "all this will be destroyed". Think of your body. Think of that temple. God came to destroy what we come to worship and adore...your very self. You see, what eyes see do no justice to what God sees. Nowadays, fashions set trends, plastic surgery, body sculpting, makeup, hair styles, tattoos, you name it, people seek to adorn themselves...adore themselves. But, God wants us to focus outward, not inward. They say we are in a depressing state in such a modern day with so much "social media". Yet it is in one of the deepest states of depression. Why? Because they are little mirrors in hands, people focused on themselves "oh look at me" and "look at what I like" and the list of "me" goes on and on. God wants us to look up. Look up for awesome signs. Just look up a little bit, and you may see Him there. You may find an actual friend in Christ. You may find peace, and joy. And who knows, you may find life....eternal.
Our Lord said to watch out when you hear "'I am he,' and 'The time has come.' Do not follow them!"
He says, rather, follow the truth, take up your cross, the cross that was handed you when you were given faith. I spoke with an agnostic a couple days ago. In the conversation, I found out that long ago, they gave up on faith, gave up trying, and says that they have found peace by giving up.
I said they should have never given up. Every day is an ongoing battle. Every day we must pickup our cross. Why do we sleep? To have energy to get up again....to pick up our cross. What is our cross? I asked a man, a student of mine. He said it is the pains we go through in life. I said that was only half the truth. I said, it is the burdens, yes, but that what our God calls for. You see, you can either suffer for yourself and hate it, or suffer for God and love it. Now we are tuning into redemptive suffering. Obedience.
Let us summarize then. The Kingdom of God is at hand, and it is not man-made like many agnostics accuse us "religious people" of.
God destroyed the temple they adored....more than Him.
I told another student "why do we use gold chalices and patinas and all that stuff on the altar?" Because of its worth? Why don't we use tupperware on the altar? The reason is to signify as a symbol, what we are calling most valuable. Not the dollar signs you see and worship.
Can you begin to see?
What is held in the priests hands is most valuable, 3 times elevated upon for the world to see....This is Christ, this is Messiah, this is Savior.
Follow Him, give glory to Him, give praise to Him. I encourage you to do what I do daily. Read many reflections and write your own but first invoke the Holy Spirit. And then, take off to daily Mass. And then, give thanks for the rest of the day, acknowledging Him in everything you do and with everyone you speak to. And if you have the time, pray the rosary and divine mercy chaplet...every day. Why? Why if there is "no time"?
God makes a time for everything. If God came and prayed all the time, surely we can find more and more time to pray. And this will bear much fruit.
And God loves the flowers of fruit, beautiful flowers, not because He created them for Himself, but that He created you for Himself, and you showed Him what creation can be...what He desired and hoped for from the beginning, an intimacy with Him, to perpetuate a light that will go on forever...
hear it read
Random Bible Verse 1
Mark 11:25 25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses."1
Thank You Lord
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