Hope is not a feeling, sentiment, or affect. It is not a starry-eyed assurance, cheery conviction, or buoyant confidence. Nor is it passive optimism that, despite the situation, bullishly predicts, "It's all going to work out." It is beyond security and peacefulness. Hope cannot be bought or taught. It can only be received and awakened. Saint Francis instinctively knew this when, seeking discernment before the San Damiano crucifix, he prayed, "And give me…certain hope…." The seed of hope is planted by God and celebrates the gratuity of grace. It is a gift, a blessing that strangely breaks ground and sprouts only during times of desperation, despair, despondency, and disaster—when the soul is parched.
—from the book Soul Training with the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis by Albert Haase, OFM
†Saint Quote December 10, 2020 "He who enters into the secret place of his own soul passes beyond himself, and does in very truth ascend to God. Banish, therefore, from thy heart the distractions of earth and turn thine eyes to spiritual joys, that thou mayest learn at last to repose in the light of the contemplation of God." — St. Albert the Great
†Meditation of the Day "St. Augustine says, that to prevent the sheep from seeking assistance by her cries, the wolf seizes her by the neck, and thus securely carries her away and devours her. The Devil acts in a similar manner with the sheep of Jesus Christ. After having induced them to yield to sin, he seizes them by the throat, that they may not confess their guilt; and thus he securely brings them to Hell. For those who have sinned grievously, there is no means of salvation but the confession of their sins." — St. Alphonsus Liguori, p. 138 An Excerpt From Sermons of St. Alphonsus Liguori
†Verse of the Day "For through the Spirit, by faith, we await the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus, neither...counts for anything, but only faith working through love."
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Our Lady of Loreto
Our Lady of Loreto is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary associated with the house where Mary was born, the site of the Annunciation, and the dwelling place of the Holy Family. The tradition and history of the Holy House goes back to Apostolic times. In the 13th century the house was mysteriously moved in one piece from Nazareth in the Holy Land to a final resting place in Loreto, Italy, carried by angels, a miracle to which the Church attests. It was transported to prevent its destruction by Muslims who destroyed the basilica which housed it. A new basilica was built around the Holy House in Italy, known as the Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto, one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in the world. Written at the door of the basilica are these words: "The whole world has no place more sacred ... For here was the Word made Flesh, and here was born the Virgin Mother." Our Lady of Loreto is the patron of aviators, fliers, pilots, and builders. Her feast day is December 10th.
Thursday of the Second Week of Advent
Lectionary: 184 Reading 1
I am the LORD, your God, who grasp your right hand; It is I who say to you, "Fear not, I will help you." Fear not, O worm Jacob, O maggot Israel; I will help you, says the LORD; your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. I will make of you a threshing sledge, sharp, new, and double-edged, To thresh the mountains and crush them, to make the hills like chaff. When you winnow them, the wind shall carry them off and the storm shall scatter them. But you shall rejoice in the LORD, and glory in the Holy One of Israel.
The afflicted and the needy seek water in vain, their tongues are parched with thirst. I, the LORD, will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will open up rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the broad valleys; I will turn the desert into a marshland, and the dry ground into springs of water. I will plant in the desert the cedar, acacia, myrtle, and olive; I will set in the wasteland the cypress, together with the plane tree and the pine, That all may see and know, observe and understand, That the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.
PS 145:1 AND 9, 10-11, 12-13AB
R. (8) The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness. I will extol you, O my God and King, and I will bless your name forever and ever. The LORD is good to all and compassionate toward all his works. R. The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness. Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD, and let your faithful ones bless you. Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom and speak of your might. R. The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness. Let them make known to men your might and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom. Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages, and your dominion endures through all generations. R. The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus said to the crowds: "Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force. All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah, the one who is to come. Whoever has ears ought to hear."
Daily Meditation: Isaiah 41:13-20
Fear not, I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)
The people who first heard these words found themselves facing fearsome obstacles. After decades of exile in Babylon, they were about to embark on the long journey back to their homeland of Jerusalem. But what would they find when they got there? And how many hardships would they have to endure along the way?
Fully aware of the challenges they faced, Isaiah speaks God's promise to his people: the Lord himself will help them. He had acted powerfully to liberate them in the past, and he promises to do so once more.
What does this mean? This prophecy is so lyrical. Mountains will be crushed before the people. Springs will well up from the dry ground. Verdant trees will thrive in the desert. In short, God will do everything he can to help them keep going—even when they see no end in sight. He will teach them to rely on him, and he himself will redeem them and bring them home. What a hopeful message!
This message is for you as well. God will help you overcome your challenges as you journey toward him.
Think about a challenge you are facing. What help do you most need today? You may see obstacles that lie in your way. But know that your loving and powerful God will help you. He will walk with you.
Sometimes he crushes a "mountain" that prompts you to overcome the obstacle of a negative pattern of behavior—along with a renewed trust in God's grace to help you. He might cause a "spring" to well up from dry ground with a comforting sense of his love and presence that heals some inner hurt and helps you take steps to mend a wounded relationship. He could make you fruitful like a "verdant tree" by prompting you to help a friend in need or moving you to become more involved in a parish outreach.
No matter how God makes good on his promise to help you, trust him to do it. Believe that he can work miracles of healing and deliverance. And believe just as strongly that he is walking alongside you as you cross the desert and your journey unfolds.
"Lord, I am counting on you. I rejoice in your saving help."
Psalm 145:1, 9-13 Matthew 11:11-15
Nowhere in the world has so great a miracle occurred as in that little stable in Bethlehem; here God and man became one. — Thomas A. Kempis
my2cents: "I am the LORD, your God, who grasp your right hand; It is I who say to you, "Fear not, I will help you." Can we trust His Word? Israel had to depend, do we really have a choice? What's the next option to not trusting in Him fully? It's either yes or no. Right? Trust or not? Is there a middle option, somewhat trusting Him? Because, I think most are there. Unsure. Uneasy. If the answer is "I don't know" I always say "you've said no" because know sounds like no. You are not to KNOW, you are to TRUST. Selah. What does that mean? Let's just take it as "what's been said has been said". For God's name is "I AM WHO AM".
Pray: "Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD, and let your faithful ones bless you. Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom and speak of your might. The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness." The faithful bless God. Where is God? Where is He so I can bless Him? When it comes to love, presence is presents, right? I've sensed another presence when a baby is in the womb. And today, we can bless Him because His presence is in being and all beings. Bless Him in His Presence.
"From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force. " Do you see violence? Violence on Christians? They say the last century has seen the most persecutions in the history of the world. And the general news does not cover the real truth, the real violence. About a million in the U.S. alone suffer violence, and are persecuted, and are killed and are not allowed to speak. Over 60 million are reportedly dead. Who are they? Baby children in the womb. Are they Christians? Let's go back to the presence. Where is God? In life. In the innocent. In the weak. In the silence. In the beginning. What starts this violence? Archbishop Fulton Sheen (venerable) said first comes "nudity, then comes violence." The license (permission) given by licentiousness. What does licentiousness mean? Lacking moral restraint, especially in sexual conduct. Forget cases of rape, and incest, there is much more violence after that. Murder. Yet, that's how the devil sells it. With a doubt "you don't want to suffer do you?" and so murder is ordered, not by government, oh no, they only consent to the adults' preference, a voice, a horn, a choice. The order is ordered by the very mother of the child. Why bring this up? Because, the violent are fueled by darkness, and I'm bringing light to darkness. You are charged to be a prophet like St. John, to be the least in Heaven, the honor of being the least is to be considered. Forget yourself and let God be remembered. Thus is the case of any saint, for we remember what they did for our King and Savior, our friend, our brother and our Father of Heaven and earth.
"Whoever has ears ought to hear." That means every person in the Kingdom, hear ye, hear ye, this has been the Lord's decree. The holiness of St. John the Baptist is not measurable. Yet even that does not compute to comprehend the degrees of holiness in Heaven. His name in Hebrew means "My God is Yahweh", and may be a title applied to him because of his challenge to worship of Baal. Baal had different forms of worshipers and sacrifices offered to that god including child sacrifice. And so we go back. Baal exists, the "Bull Market" exists. And so we go back to the yes or no. Can you be in the neutral zone when it comes to faith? No. Can you say "I don't know" and not fully trust? No. St. John the Baptist was a clear sign, a clear yes, and a clear prophet that produced more prophets, many of which became the disciples of Jesus, and so, this is a true preparation and gift to God our Lord in Heaven. This is what is being asked of you today. Selah. Amen.
Lord, you ask us to do the impossible, to be true in every sense of the word to you, and in this produce much fruit. May we begin the Advent season with this charge in the heart, an en-kindling of the true light from Heaven...Yours My Lord and My GOD!
Random Bible verse from online generator
Sacrifices Pleasing to God 13 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
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