Clare's bereavement could hardly be equaled since for her, as for her sisters, Francis was "after God, her only consolation." Now she must face an abyss of solitude in the quest for Gospel perfection. Thomas of Celano etches an indelible image: "Once he was taken away, the door that never again will suffer such pain, was closed on them" (First Life of St. Francis, Part II, Chapter X, 27). Indeed, the door closed on an experience of shared charisms that would never be rivalled. The time of grief did not reduce Clare to a shadowy survivor of the "good old days." Rather, the immediate fires of loss and increased episcopal pressure to abandon their original plan only fortified her determination to stay the course. She would be the "lampstand to enlighten all in the house" of Francis. If the first half of her life had been spent in constructing the path with him, the second would be spent insisting on its trustworthiness as the penitent pilgrim's road. She will live to enflesh the prophetic declaration: I will stand at my guard post, and station myself upon the rampart, and keep watch to see what he will say to me, and what answer he will give to my complaint. Then the Lord answered me and said: Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily. For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays wait for it, it will surely come, and it will not be late. (Habakkuk 2:1-3)
— from the book Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare
by Margaret Carney, OSF
†Saint Quote "The spirit of humility is sweeter than honey, and those who nourish themselves with this honey produce sweet fruit." — St. Anthony of Padua
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY† "Let anger be guarded against. But if it cannot be averted, let it be kept within bounds. For indignation is a terrible incentive to sin. It disorders the mind to such an extent as to leave no room for reason. The first thing, therefore, to aim at, if possible, is to make tranquility of character our natural disposition by constant practice, by desire for better things, by fixed determination." — St. Ambrose, p.279 AN EXCERPT FROM A Year with the Church Fathers
†VERSE OF THE DAY "And he said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.'" Job 1:21
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ST. BERNADETTE SOUBIROUS OF LOURDES
St. Bernadette Soubirous (1844–1879) was the eldest of nine children born to an impoverished family from Lourdes, France. She was a sickly child who suffered from severe asthma her entire life. While out collecting firewood on February 11, 1858, at the age of 14, Bernadette saw an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in a grotto cave on the banks of the Gave River. It was the first of 18 times that the Blessed Mother would appear to her. Bernadette faced much controversy and opposition as a result of her visions, including humiliating interrogations from both the civil and ecclesiastical authorities. Yet, many of the townspeople believed her and gathered at the grotto when she continued to have visits from the Virgin Mary. During one of the visits a hidden spring was shown to St. Bernadette which proved to have miraculous healing power. When Our Lady finally revealed her name to Bernadette as the "Immaculate Conception," the local bishop acknowledged the visions as authentic. As requested by Our Lady of Lourdes, a church was erected at the site of the grotto and spring. Today, Lourdes is one of the most visited Catholic pilgrimage shrines in the world. Multitudes have experienced medically documented cures of body and soul from the Lourdes waters. St. Bernadette became a nun and died at a convent in Nevers, France, on April 16,1879, at the age of 35. She was canonized in 1933 by Pope Pius XI. Her feast day is April 16th.
Friday of the Second Week of Easter
Lectionary: 271 Reading I
A Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up, ordered the Apostles to be put outside for a short time, and said to the Sanhedrin, "Fellow children of Israel, be careful what you are about to do to these men. Some time ago, Theudas appeared, claiming to be someone important, and about four hundred men joined him, but he was killed, and all those who were loyal to him were disbanded and came to nothing. After him came Judas the Galilean at the time of the census. He also drew people after him, but he too perished and all who were loyal to him were scattered. So now I tell you, have nothing to do with these men, and let them go. For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God." They were persuaded by him. After recalling the Apostles, they had them flogged, ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them. So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. And all day long, both at the temple and in their homes, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Christ, Jesus.
27:1, 4, 13-14
R. (see 4abc) One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord. or: R. Alleluia The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear? The LORD is my life's refuge;
of whom should I be afraid? R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord. or: R. Alleluia One thing I ask of the LORD
this I seek: To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life, That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple. R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD. R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord. or: R. Alleluia
R. Alleluia, alleluia. One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, "Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?" He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, "Two hundred days' wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little." One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?" Jesus said, "Have the people recline." Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, "Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted." So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, "This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world." Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.
Daily Meditation: John 6:1-15
A large crowd followed him. (John 6:2)
Who wouldn't follow Jesus? He turned water into wine, healed the sick, and overturned tables in the Temple. He brought some excitement—and perhaps a bit of hope—into people's lives. And so a young boy joined the crowd in following Jesus around the Sea of Galilee and up a mountainside. Perhaps he was hoping to see more miracles. But Jesus had something even greater in mind. He wanted to feed the people—to satisfy both their physical hunger and their spiritual hunger.
When that boy followed Jesus up the mountain, he probably didn't recall how Moses went up on Mount Sinai to meet with God. And he probably never anticipated his lunch becoming like manna for the people. He may have had more practical concerns. His two fish and five barley loaves, the bread of the poor, were more than he could eat on his own. Maybe he was carrying his family's provisions. Or maybe he intended to sell the food to earn some money.
Imagine how surprised the boy must have felt when Andrew brought him to Jesus. What an honor! But when Andrew suggested taking his lunch to feed the crowds, the boy faced a moment of decision. Could he relinquish his food? What would his parents say? He had no idea what Jesus would do, but he gave them to him anyway.
Jesus, for his part, took the small offering from the boy, gave thanks—and multiplied it!
Today, Jesus looks down on all the billions of people on the earth, and he sees each one. He sees every child hungering for bread and every person hungering for him, the Bread of Life. And he sees you. His eyes are welcoming, his arms are outstretched. He invites you to offer what you have so that you can feed his people. You may feel that you don't have enough to be useful. You may feel that you are unqualified to help. But Jesus is pleased to receive and bless what you offer to him. Come closer; come out of the crowd. Give him your heart and your gifts.
"Here I am, Lord. Use me to build your kingdom today."
Acts 5:34-42 Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14
To develop the character God wants for us, it helps to remember the words of Saint Ignatius: 'Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.' — Tom Peterson and Ryan Hanning from their book The Willpower Advantage
my2cents: "So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name." What an amazing grace to be able to rejoice in suffering. Today, do we rejoice in suffering? Can you? And the next verse says that " all day long, both at the temple and in their homes, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Christ, Jesus." What an amazing grace to be able to teach all day long in the temple and your homes. Everyone listening to this message is a teacher. Everyone tending to our Lord's business is reaching for God's amazing grace. When's the last time you were insulted and punished for tending to God's business? If you haven't, isn't it about time you stick your neck out? Here's an opportunity. If you really love a sinner, reach out to them in the name of our Lord, for their salvation. Pray for them non stop. Fast for them. Things happen with a faithful soul. And sometimes the faithful get flogged, and this is good news. A college student told me yesterday "it seems the more I try to get closer to God, the more obstacles I encounter". This my friend, is actually a good sign. It means you are on the right path of deliverance from destruction. Yesterday, another man told me his daughter in law said "everyone is leaving the Catholic faith" and she was wanting to leave too. Everyone is bailing ship, and this is Noah's Ark of the New Covenant. Stay with Me...says the Lord.
We pray in the Psalms: "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life's refuge; of whom should I be afraid? One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord." To dwell in the house of the Lord is to tend to His business. What do you think is happening in Heaven right now? There's much tending to the house of God, the temple. Billions of Angels are at work, and thousands of saints are at work, and millions are attending as servants. There is a King with a fire fueling life. And that fire desires to consume the world...and it is good, for it is Love.
They asked our Lord ""There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?" These calculations fall short. Human calculations fall short of God's power. How many times have you ran out of bread and still made it? Do you think God cannot provide as He has always provided for the world? Just to provide the light of the Son and the sun itself are two marvelous deeds, but the Son of God has eternal life, more than the millions of years of life left in the burning star that we see as light. Take heart, for even if the stars fade, He still lives on in what we cannot fathom or dream.
"But what good is this for?" they asked our Lord Small potatoes. That's when we need to look to Heaven and give thanks for the little we have and become joyful, and say "Lord, I may be small potatoes, but this spud's for you!". How stingy can we get! That the little we have, we dare not even invest that! How dare we be so...obstinate! So proud? For the sake of salvation, bring forth your faith for the whole world to see.
Jesus said, "Have the people recline." People reclining back then meant one thing...it's Dinner TIME. It is a position that we put ourselves in to be served. And here comes the servants, with the head chef our Lord Himself. He who provides becomes master. That is why they said in the end of the Gospel, that they were about to haul our Lord off to crown Him King. But that's not we can do, for that is God's King. How can you crown a King that is already King? How can you make someone your Father who is already your Father? Maybe, one way...actually being their child, or subject, and or both child and subject.
In our world, there are powers that want you to be their subject. But our Lord proves Himself as the ultimate provider of moral objectives, a complete truth, and not only that, but food Himself, sustenance for the Soul. Why do people think they can live without Him? Because that is the going trend of ages, as if moral relativism, a heresy, is a new phenomenon. It has always been a battle of the will and for the soul. When our Lord feeds thousands with the little we offer, consider how stingy we can be if we don't offer the little we got...perhaps it would starve a nation!
Lord, I want to be bread of Life for the world, I want to give myself to You, please help us serve as Thou serves with true faith and humility, complete dependence on our Lord from Heaven, for the next breath, for the next gasp, for the next reaching out to Heaven...for mercy...and grace!
from your brother in Christ our Lord, adrian
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Random online bible verse from a random verse generator:
Into Your Hand I Commit My Spirit To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. 31
In you, O LORD, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me! 2 Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily!
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me!
If one day you don't receive these, just visit Going4th.com God Bless You! Peace