Like eating, prayer is meant to respect the natural rhythms of our energy. As we know from experience, we don't always want a banquet. If we tried to have a banquet every day, we would soon find coming to the table burdensome and we would look for every excuse to escape, to sneak off for a quick sandwich by ourselves. Eating has a natural balance: banquets alternate with quick snacks, rich dishes with simple sandwiches, meals that take a whole evening with meals we eat on the run. We can have high season only if we mostly have ordinary time. Healthy eating habits respect our natural rhythms: our time, energy, tiredness, the season, the hour, our taste.
—from the book Prayer: Our Deepest Longing by Ronald Rolheiser
†Saint Quote "Can there be a more fitting pursuit in youth or a more valuable possession in old age than a knowledge of Holy Scripture? In the midst of storms it will preserve you from the dangers of shipwreck and guide you to the shore of an enchanting paradise and the ever-lasting bliss of the angels." — St. Boniface
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Know that our faith is strengthened by the resurrection of Christ. The passion of Christ represents the misery of our present life, while the resurrection of Christ gives us a brilliant glimpse of the happiness of the future life. Let us apply ourselves energetically in the present life, and hope in the future. Now is the time for painful struggle; then will come the recompense. Those who are lazy about carrying out their work will be brazenly impudent if they expect the recompense." — St. Augustine, p. 61 AN EXCERPT FROM Augustine Day by Day
† VERSE OF THE DAY "Therefore, from the day we heard this, we do not cease praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding to live in a manner worthy of the Lord, so as to be fully pleasing, in every good work bearing fruit and growing in the knowledge of God." Colossians 1:9-10
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BL. MARIA FORTUNATA VITI
Blessed Maria Fortunata Viti (1827–1922) was born in Italy, the eldest daughter of nine children. Her father had a gambling and alcohol addiction, and her mother died when she was 14 years old. Maria then cared for her younger siblings and worked as a housekeeper to earn money for the family as her father sunk deeper into his addiction. Maria rejected an offer for marriage, deciding instead to become a Benedictine nun at the age of 24. Sr. Maria Fortunata, illiterate her entire life, spent more than seventy years in the monastery as a housekeeper attending to the washing, sewing, and other simple tasks, which was her path to holiness. She was admired for her great simplicity of heart, and her confessor testified that she was often accosted by the devil with threats, physical attacks, and vile insults in attempts to break her virtue. She had great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and made frequent visits to the chapel tabernacle as she carried out her daily tasks. She died at the age of 95, and after her death miracles were reported at her grave. She is a patron saint against poverty, temptations, loss of parents, and mental illness. Her feast day is November 20th.
Friday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 501 Reading 1
I, John, heard a voice from heaven speak to me. Then the voice spoke to me and said: "Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land." So I went up to the angel and told him to give me the small scroll. He said to me, "Take and swallow it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will taste as sweet as honey." I took the small scroll from the angel's hand and swallowed it. In my mouth it was like sweet honey, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Then someone said to me, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings."
PS 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131
R. (103a) How sweet to my taste is your promise! In the way of your decrees I rejoice, as much as in all riches. R. How sweet to my taste is your promise! Yes, your decrees are my delight;
they are my counselors. R. How sweet to my taste is your promise! The law of your mouth is to me more precious than thousands of gold and silver pieces. R. How sweet to my taste is your promise! How sweet to my palate are your promises, sweeter than honey to my mouth! R. How sweet to my taste is your promise! Your decrees are my inheritance forever; the joy of my heart they are. R. How sweet to my taste is your promise! I gasp with open mouth in my yearning for your commands. R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
R. Alleluia, alleluia. My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, saying to them, "It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves." And every day he was teaching in the temple area. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile, were seeking to put him to death, but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose because all the people were hanging on his words.
Daily Meditation: Revelation 10:8-11
In my mouth it was . . . sweet . . . , but . . . my stomach turned sour. (Revelation 10:10)
Sometimes a thought arises suddenly in your mind during prayer. Maybe a Scripture verse stands out to you, a song fills you with hope, or tears flow as you recognize your need to repent or to forgive someone. In each of these instances, you have heard a message from the Lord. It can be stirring, even exciting, at the time. But the reality of living out that "word" can be bitter or "sour" in your stomach.
John, the author of the Book of Revelation, knew what that felt like, as did the prophet Ezekiel more than five hundred years earlier. John addressed believers living in a society hostile to the gospel. He saw that bearing witness to Jesus in such a culture could be a bitter experience. Similarly, God commissioned Ezekiel to assure his people living in exile of God's abiding faithfulness to them. Their lives seemed helpless and hopeless, so his words were surely sweet. But Ezekiel also found it bitter to announce to these exiles the terrible news that Jerusalem, their home, was about to be destroyed.
It's a sweet thing to know God has said something to you, and not only big things like those that John and Ezekiel were called to convey. Most of us will hear the Lord on the subject of smaller things: forgiving someone, having a sensitive conversation with one of your children, or encouraging a friend or coworker with a verse from Scripture. To be given a word for someone else, to be given a direction by the Lord, is exhilarating!
Right up until you actually have to act. Then you might find yourself with that nervous, sour stomach. But take heart! Remember that God loves you and entrusts you with his word, whether it is a message for someone else or some guidance for your own life. Take time as well! The Lord is patient and understanding. He knows you might need a while to digest what he says. Finally, take courage! Your Father promises, "[I] . . . will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed" (Deuteronomy 31:8).
"Lord, thank you for the sweet words you speak to me. I trust you to help me through whatever might follow."
Psalm 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131 Luke 19:45-48
It is an error to seek to banish the devout life from the solider's guardroom, the mechanic's workshop, the prince's court, or the domestic hearth. While a purely contemplative devotion cannot be practiced in these outer vocations, there are other kinds of devotion well-suited to lead those with a secular calling along the paths of perfection. — St. Francis de Sales from Introduction to the Devout Life
my2cents: "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings." Wow. What a message for John. But was it just for John only? Aren't we all prophets? In baptism we are. We are the body of Christ. Christ is a prophet. What He signaled in the temple, the cleansing is a sign, the kind of sign that prophets would use, like tearing a hole through the city wall, and leaving and not looking back. It is time.
We pray today: "How sweet to my palate are your promises, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" Those who love God's laws, I'm sorry to say, but it must be said: those are a rare breed. I mean, we have to look at St. Joseph, and Blessed Mother Mary, and the Apostles. These are the people that made God's words sweet. They developed an appetite for what made their stomach sour. It doesn't feel good, but it is good. How strange, but true.
From a daily reflection from a monk in Spain, (P. Josep LAPLANA OSB Monje de Montserrat(Montserrat, Barcelona, España)
"Today, the gesture of Jesus is prophetic. In the manner of the ancient prophets, he performs a symbolic action, full of significance for the future. By expelling from the temple the merchants who sold the victims destined to serve as an offering and by evoking that "the house of God will be a house of prayer" (Is 56,7), Jesus announced the new situation that He had come to inaugurate, in the that animal sacrifices no longer had a place. Saint John will define the new cultic relationship as "adoration of the Father in spirit and in truth" (Jn 4:24). The figure must give way to reality. Saint Thomas Aquinas poetically said: "Et antiquum documentum / novo cedat ritui" ("Let the Old Testament give way to the New Rite"). The New Rite is the word of Jesus. For this reason, Saint Luke joined the scene of the cleansing of the temple with the presentation of Jesus preaching there every day. The new service focuses on prayer and listening to the Word of God. But, in reality, the center of the center of the Christian institution is the very living person of Jesus, with his flesh given and his blood shed on the cross and given in the Eucharist. Saint Thomas also remarked it beautifully: "Recumbens cum fratribus (…) se dat suis manibus" ("Sitting at the table with the brothers (…) he gives himself with his own hands"). In the New Testament inaugurated by Jesus, oxen and lamb sellers are no longer necessary. Just as "all the people heard him hanging on his lips" (Lk 19:48), we are not to go to the temple to sacrifice victims, but to receive Jesus, the authentic lamb slain for us once and for all ( cf. He 7,27), and to unite our life to his."
The house shall be a house of...Prayer. Adoration. Worship. Sacrifice? Yes, because it takes sacrifice for Jesus and it takes sacrifice for us. But the sacrifice God wants is what Jesus offers. Total surrender to God, openness to Him.
How did the people forget to pray? Of course they went to pray! How did the people forget to sacrifice? They were sacrificing! I ask you the same thing. How is your prayer life going? Have you forgotten to pray? How is your sacrifice thing going? Have you been sacrificing lately? Did you know we could've started a 40 day fast for Christmas a few days ago? How are you doing financially? Did you know that you must give to receive? That's how investments work. Things set aside that you cannot touch. That is the whole purpose of first fruits in the bible. And that is why Jesus our Lord is called the first fruit. The first to do what God designed for eternity. Back to the temple. Remember your body is a temple. And together we form the temple of Christ. You are so important. They say our galaxy is made of trillions of stars...and our body is made of trillions of cells. What does this mean? It means volumes. You are no small thing. You are so loved. And God loves love in return. Think prayer. Think sacrifice. What else does God demand of you? LOL. Nothing. He freely gives, expecting us to freely give too. Teaching us the way, to pray, and sacrifice, and offer prayer as sacrifice, and sacrifice as prayer.
Lord, how can we love you as we ought? My time with you is Heaven. My life with you is joy. Your law is my delight. Help us teach your law of love to the whole world!
Random Bible verse from online generator Romans 8:26 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
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