Friday, March 31, 2017

Where I am from

Consolation in Suffering Most High, Glorious God, in our times of suffering, may we follow the example of Jesus; but may we also serve as a source of

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Consolation in Suffering

Most High, Glorious God, in our times of suffering, may we follow the example of Jesus; but may we also serve as a source of comfort and consolation to others in their suffering. May we never let the fear of suffering stand in the way of our calling to love and work for justice. Amen.

-from The Last Words of Jesus


✞ "The devotion to the Eucharist is the most noble, because it has God as its object; it is the most profitable for salvation, because it gives us the Author of Grace; it is the sweetest, because the Lord is Sweetness Itself."
— Pope St. Pius X

"I've appointed the Devil to tempt and to trouble My creatures in this life [St. Catherine of Siena reports that Our Lord said to her]. I've done this, not so that My creatures will be overcome, but so that they may overcome, proving their virtue and receiving from Me the glory of victory. And no one should fear any battle or temptation of the Devil that may come to him, because I've made My creatures strong, and I've given them strength of will, fortified in the Blood of My Son. Neither the Devil nor any other creature can control this free will, because it's yours, given to you by Me. By your own choice, then, you hold it or let it go if you please. It's a weapon, and if you place it in the hands of the Devil, it right away becomes a knife that he'll use to stab and kill you. On the other hand, if you don't place this knife that is your will into the hands of the Devil—that is, if you don't consent to his temptations and harassments—you will never be injured by the guilt of sin in any temptation. Instead, you'll actually be strengthened by the temptation, as long as you open the eyes of your mind to see My love, and to understand why I allowed you to be tempted: so you could develop virtue by having it proved. My love permits these temptations, for the Devil is weak. He can do nothing by himself unless I allow him. So I let him tempt you because I love you, not because I hate you. I want you to conquer, not to be conquered, and to come to a perfect knowledge of yourself and of Me."
— St. Catherine of Siena, p. 159-60
Manual for Spiritual Warfare

"Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness, you that seek the Lord. Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug."
Isaiah 51:1


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Saint Stephen of Mar Saba

Saint of the Day for March 31

(725 – 794)

A "do not disturb" sign helped today's saint find holiness and peace.

Stephen of Mar Saba was the nephew of Saint John Damascene, who introduced the young boy to monastic life beginning at age 10. When he reached 24, Stephen served the community in a variety of ways, including guest master. After some time he asked permission to live a hermit's life. The answer from the abbot was yes and no: Stephen could follow his preferred lifestyle during the week, but on weekends he was to offer his skills as a counselor. Stephen placed a note on the door of his cell: "Forgive me, Fathers, in the name of the Lord, but please do not disturb me except on Saturdays and Sundays."

Despite his calling to prayer and quiet, Stephen displayed uncanny skills with people and was a valued spiritual guide.

His biographer and disciple wrote about Stephen: "Whatever help, spiritual or material, he was asked to give, he gave. He received and honored all with the same kindness. He possessed nothing and lacked nothing. In total poverty he possessed all things."

Stephen died in 794.


Saint Stephen of Mar Saba knew the value of solitude. Even though he was generous and served whoever came to him, he relished his time alone. Maybe we can learn from him the value of solitude and seek it out a little more in our lives


Sacred Space
Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Reading 1 Wis 2:1a, 12-22

The wicked said among themselves,
thinking not aright:
"Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us;
he sets himself against our doings,
Reproaches us for transgressions of the law
and charges us with violations of our training.
He professes to have knowledge of God
and styles himself a child of the LORD.
To us he is the censure of our thoughts;
merely to see him is a hardship for us,
Because his life is not like that of others,
and different are his ways.
He judges us debased;
he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure.
He calls blest the destiny of the just
and boasts that God is his Father.
Let us see whether his words be true;
let us find out what will happen to him.
For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him
and deliver him from the hand of his foes.
With revilement and torture let us put him to the test
that we may have proof of his gentleness
and try his patience.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death;
for according to his own words, God will take care of him."
These were their thoughts, but they erred;
for their wickedness blinded them,
and they knew not the hidden counsels of God;
neither did they count on a recompense of holiness
nor discern the innocent souls' reward.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 34:17-18, 19-20, 21 and 23
R. (19a) The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
Many are the troubles of the just man,
but out of them all the LORD delivers him.
R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
He watches over all his bones;
not one of them shall be broken.
The LORD redeems the lives of his servants;
no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him.
R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.

Verse Before the Gospel Mt 4:4b
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

Gospel Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

Jesus moved about within Galilee;
he did not wish to travel in Judea,
because the Jews were trying to kill him.
But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near.

But when his brothers had gone up to the feast,
he himself also went up, not openly but as it were in secret.

Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said,
"Is he not the one they are trying to kill?
And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him.
Could the authorities have realized that he is the Christ?
But we know where he is from.
When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from."
So Jesus cried out in the temple area as he was teaching and said,
"You know me and also know where I am from.
Yet I did not come on my own,
but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true.
I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me."
So they tried to arrest him,
but no one laid a hand upon him,
because his hour had not yet come.

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Wisdom 2:1, 12-22

4th Week of Lent

_Let us beset the just one. (Wisdom 2:12) _

This passage could easily be read as a prophecy about Jesus. He was indeed the "just one" who reproached the Jewish authorities for "transgressions of the law." He was tortured and put to a "shameful death" for calling God his Father (Wisdom 2:12, 20).

But when this passage was written, about 200 BC, its author was referring to Jews living in Egypt who were undergoing persecution. Actually, this passage paints a pretty realistic picture of what faithful people of any era might face.

Jesus said that a disciple who gives up everything to follow him will receive many blessings—along with "persecutions" (Mark 10:30). Darkness is never comfortable with the light. The holiest people, while beloved by many, are often targets of some of the worst hatred and slander. St. Agnes chose to remain a virgin and refused to marry a Roman noble, and she was mocked and killed for it. St. Benedict was almost poisoned by monks who didn't want to hear his fraternal correction. Even St. Teresa of Calcutta was ridiculed by some secular authors for her radical devotion to the poor!

Not many of us have to worry about being openly mocked for our faith. Nor should we go seeking out such persecution. However, we can try to have the attitude of these saints. They didn't worry about what people were thinking because they were too busy trying to please God—even when pleasing the Lord brought them into conflict with the prevailing philosophies of the world.

Sometimes being virtuous means speaking out when we see something wrong. Sometimes it means holding our tongues and praying silently. But most of all, it means bringing God's presence into every situation as best we can, even into places where we might face hostility. The Holy Spirit will help us decide how loudly or softly we should witness to Christ. If we do our best to live in a way that honors the Lord and upholds the dignity of the people around us, we'll know God's blessing, no matter how we are received.

"Lord, help me to bring your love and peace into the stress and strife around me."

Psalm 34:17-21, 23
John 7:1-2,10, 25-30


In the book of Wisdom we heard today "He professes to have knowledge of God and styles himself a child of the LORD". This book has been thrown out of protestant bibles. Yet it speaks. Even if you throw out the truth of your life, the wisdom of Life, the will still be spoken. What we don't want to hear, is still being heard. We what don't want others to hear is being heard. What we want hushed or kept secret is till being broadcast. There is no hiding from the Lord, the Truth, and this is good. It is the prophecies of an unknown person. And people want to know the unknown, but some discredit the unknown. So, how will you get to know the unknown? Certainly not by rejecting Him!

We pray today "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted". An afflicted heart is in preparation for good. During this Lent, I've been called a hypocrite by 3 different people. It does cause an immediate pain and weight. And I look deep into myself, "am I really what they are accusing me of?". Am I a two face liar? Am I one person here and another there? Am I not really sincere? Am I not genuine? I pray. And most often, I come out of it loving the person accusing more. We all need prayer. I've never met a person that does not need prayer. Not even the Abbot we are going to see tomorrow in a family retreat I have organized. We are loading our bus we bought together and going to spend the day in the Monastery. I ask for your prayers, and I love you for your prayers. It will be a time of reflection. A retreat is not meant to see what we can get out of it, but a time to spend with God, more intimately. It is setting aside, and that is what Holy means. When God chose Israel, His people, they were to be set aside. And this being set aside is being sharpened, and it happened when Christ entered the world...our world.

In comes the Lord ""You know me and also know where I am from.
Yet I did not come on my own, but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me." So really, we can not know where He is from, to fulfill the scriptures they were dictating to Him "When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from." They didn't know really where He was coming from. They only knew where He was mortally born, physically. They had become spiritually blind. Do you know where I'm coming from? Because right now, the Lord is speaking to you. I did not come on my own. It was the Lord's will and desire. You do not know Him, but Jesus does. Get to know ME. I'm afraid the worst misunderstandings are from not knowing where they are coming from. If you did not know the person, you would not know why they did what they did. I once wrote a song that said these things, inspired by a talk give by Dr. Brant Pitre, a theologian and professor at a University. The song is called Prodigal Paradox in a CD called Renuevame (renew me) click to listen. The song says "I...know you don't know, and what you see is wrong....what you don't know is what's really going on" and it gives examples of a thief, trying to fill in their lives a hole they can not fill, the same with one in adultery, and the person not going to Church, they don't have a soul praying for them. Is it their fault? Or is it mine? You see, God didn't come in the person of Jesus for anything else than to empty Himself to fill our deep void in our lives. He is the eternal font. Need more? Come get your fill, and then come back for more: Mercy, Love, and Compassion.
If there is a broken bond, there is an opportunity for a greater bond.
My wife went to a women's retreat a couple months back and I like a story she relayed she heard the speaker say: Our relationship with God can be likened to a string. When we sin, we cut the string, our line connected to God. But when we return and reconcile, God ties a knot, these tow strings tied together are now closer than they were before because when tied it brings them together.
I encourage you, this is the time, this day of life is a present, to be more intimately united with our Lord.



from :
Thought for today: Even In the face of great tragedy, Mary and Martha had complete faith and trust in Jesus. What stands between you and that kind of radical trust? Do you have the courage to surrender even those things to Him today?

Action for today: When you wake up in the morning , remember that the same God that raised Lazarus from the dead, gives you every breath. Ask for the eyes to see Him in your life today.

Prayer for today: Lord, you are the source of all life. Open my eyes to find you and give me the desire to follow you, wherever that leads me. Amen

Quote for today: "Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even though they die.'" – John 11:25

Be a Hero today – #ShareJesus: Come up with some ideas to "breathe new life" into someone. Maybe bring someone flowers. Invite a friend out for a meal, your treat! Pray for the souls of those who have died today


Thursday, March 30, 2017

How can you believe

Pray Fervently Pray to Our Lady—pray the Rosary very fervently, cling to Our Lady, She will surely lead you to Jesus to know His will for you. –Moth

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Pray Fervently

Pray to Our Lady—pray the Rosary very fervently, cling to Our Lady, She will surely lead you to Jesus to know His will for you.

–Mother Teresa

-from Our Lady of Fatima


"Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything. Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices."
— St. Teresa of Avila

"If you wish to explore the Holy Scripture, and you overcome your laziness and apply yourself, thirsting for the knowledge, then every good thing will be yours. You will fill your mind with the divine light. Then, when you apply that light to the doctrines of the Church, you will very easily recognize everything that is true and unadulterated, and lay it up in the hidden treasures of your soul."
— St. Cyril of Alexandria, p. 167
A Year with the Church Fathers

"I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power."
Ephesians 1:17-19


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Saint Peter Regalado

Saint of the Day for March 30

(1390 – March 30, 1456)

Peter lived at a very busy time in history. The Great Western Schism (1378-1417) was settled at the Council of Constance (1414-1418). France and England were fighting the Hundred Years' War, and in 1453, the Byzantine Empire was completely wiped out by the loss of Constantinople to the Turks. At Peter's death, the age of printing had just begun in Germany, and Columbus's arrival in the New World was less than 40 years away.

Peter came from a wealthy and pious family in Valladolid, Spain. At the age of 13, he was allowed to enter the Conventual Franciscans. Shortly after his ordination, he was made superior of the friary in Aguilar. He became part of a group of friars who wanted to lead a life of greater poverty and penance. In 1442, he was appointed head of all the Spanish Franciscans in his reform group.

Peter led the friars by his example. A special love of the poor and the sick characterized Peter. Miraculous stories are told about his charity to the poor. For example, the bread never seemed to run out as long as Peter had hungry people to feed. Throughout most of his life, Peter went hungry; he lived only on bread and water.

Immediately after his death on March 31, 1456, his grave became a place of pilgrimage. Peter was canonized in 1746.


Peter was an effective leader of the friars because he did not become ensnared in anger over the sins of others. Peter helped sinning friars rearrange the priorities in their lives and dedicate themselves to living the gospel of Jesus Christ as they had vowed. This patient correction is an act of charity available to all Franciscans, not just to superiors.


Sacred Space
Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Reading 1 Ex 32:7-14

The LORD said to Moses,
"Go down at once to your people
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt,
for they have become depraved.
They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them,
making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it,
sacrificing to it and crying out,
'This is your God, O Israel,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt!'"
The LORD said to Moses,
"I see how stiff-necked this people is.
Let me alone, then,
that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them.
Then I will make of you a great nation."

But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying,
"Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people,
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt
with such great power and with so strong a hand?
Why should the Egyptians say,
'With evil intent he brought them out,
that he might kill them in the mountains
and exterminate them from the face of the earth'?
Let your blazing wrath die down;
relent in punishing your people.
Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel,
and how you swore to them by your own self, saying,
'I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky;
and all this land that I promised,
I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.'"
So the LORD relented in the punishment
he had threatened to inflict on his people.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 106:19-20, 21-22, 23
R. (4a) Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Our fathers made a calf in Horeb
and adored a molten image;
They exchanged their glory
for the image of a grass-eating bullock.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
They forgot the God who had saved them,
who had done great deeds in Egypt,
Wondrous deeds in the land of Ham,
terrible things at the Red Sea.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Then he spoke of exterminating them,
but Moses, his chosen one,
Withstood him in the breach
to turn back his destructive wrath.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

Verse Before the Gospel Jn 3:16
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.

Gospel Jn 5:31-47

Jesus said to the Jews:
"If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.
But there is another who testifies on my behalf,
and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true.
You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.
I do not accept human testimony,
but I say this so that you may be saved.
He was a burning and shining lamp,
and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light.
But I have testimony greater than John's.
The works that the Father gave me to accomplish,
these works that I perform testify on my behalf
that the Father has sent me.
Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf.
But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
and you do not have his word remaining in you,
because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent.
You search the Scriptures,
because you think you have eternal life through them;
even they testify on my behalf.
But you do not want to come to me to have life.

"I do not accept human praise;
moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you.
I came in the name of my Father,
but you do not accept me;
yet if another comes in his own name,
you will accept him.
How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another
and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?
Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father:
the one who will accuse you is Moses,
in whom you have placed your hope.
For if you had believed Moses,
you would have believed me,
because he wrote about me.
But if you do not believe his writings,
how will you believe my words?"

Catholic Meditations
Meditation: John 5:31-47

4th Week of Lent

You search the Scriptures. (John 5:39)

Have you ever picked up your Bible, read a passage from it, and then wondered what in the world God was trying to say to you? Maybe you decided the passage didn't have any application for your life, so you set it aside and moved on with your day. But somewhere in your heart, you sensed that God really did want to say something to you; you just couldn't place your finger on it.

As Catholics, we believe that the Bible is not just a historical artifact or a set of rules and guidelines for our lives. No, it is a living word from God that bears the inspiration of the Holy Spirit both for the whole Church and for each person who ponders its messages.

But just like everything else in the Christian life, Scripture won't magically make sense to us. We need to cooperate with the Spirit as we read the Bible. And that takes some time, some attention, and some perseverance.

The following guidelines may help you cooperate with the Spirit as you open the Bible and ponder its meaning. Try putting them into practice over the next few days and see what happens.

• Select a Scripture passage to read. Ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten you as you begin to read the passage.

• Slowly read the passage a couple of times, dwelling on the words or phrases that resonate in your heart.

• Imagine that you are at the scene described in the passage. Imagine Jesus or Moses or Sarah or Abraham turning from the action and speaking directly to you. What message do you hear?

• Notice if some words or pictures come to mind. This may be God speaking to you—especially if the images and thoughts lead you closer to Christ, fill you with hope, or stir your heart to love and forgive.

• Write out what you think God is saying to you, and close with a prayer of thanksgiving.

God wants to reveal himself to us in Scripture. Through quiet reflection we can learn to hear his voice.

"Holy Spirit, quiet my heart. Help me to read Scripture with new eyes. Let your revelation penetrate my life and fill me with peace."

Exodus 32:7-14
Psalm 106:19-23



God said to Moses "They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them, making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it, sacrificing to it and crying out, 'This is your God, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt!'"
The LORD said to Moses, "I see how stiff-necked this people is..."
It happens in our modern day. That things go awry, or things go well, and we forget God. We say that a miracle was not due to God but due to the fact that we took things into our own hands. We see that money fed us and so people worship money, the economy, people themselves are gods even. This is why God is frustrated, or is He? How did He know what was about to happen? LOL. Well, uhh, He is God! He knew Moses would plead for mercy and intercede on behalf of the people. Keep this in mind when our Lord speaks.

We pray today "Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
They forgot the God who had saved them, who had done great deeds in Egypt..."

In comes the Lord Jesus and confronts those who forgot what Moses did and said, interceding for the people when speaking to God. And here is Jesus stating He is of God "The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me". But so far where they in scripture, and so much further into themselves, that they could not see or hear God. It is the same today, where there are many who read the bible and many are so called theologians, but can not really see or hear God speaking directly to them. They have no clue on what mercy means. They have no clue on what repentance means. Could this be you? Look at those things you don't like about other people, could it be a reflection of you? "Well I don't like how they talk". Exactly. "Well who do they think they are?" Exactly. "Well they don't need to be judging". Exactly! Maybe God is asking you to be holy today.
Maybe He is asking you to listen.
Maybe He is asking you to be still.
When the people of Israel became "Depraved" as God said, they made a calf of gold. What were they depraved of? For sure it was grace. And so sin takes over, and in Spanish "sin" means without. Depraved for sure. So take a deep look into sinful life. It is a depraved life, a life without God.

And so, the sacrifice becomes living flesh. They were hungry, Moses left them and the sheep were depraved of the food. Moses had been their connection and left to their own whims, well, you know what happens. We need Jesus.
Without Him we too become depraved. I feed from this sacrifice almost daily, the flesh of the lamb of God in the Holy Eucharist as He instituted by the Holy Hands of Christ through the apostles and laying of hands to this day. I invite you to this life of God. Some here are priests, some are deacons, some future deacons, and some simply lay people like me. I invite you to a life of God. In Heaven, there are only saints. I Invite you to Heaven, to be an unblemished lamb, these sheep He loves so dearly. Look deep inside yourself right now.
Where is God?
Where is the love of God deep inside that other person's heart? It is deep inside. So deeply He loves that He integrated it into the DNA of the soul. Today's saint gave and that was the only way he survived. I invite you that kind of life. Of becoming poor? Is it worth it? Is it worth losing this life? Many work 2 or 3 jobs to have that car they want, or that house or that lifestyle. Is it worth it? Many live so busy a life that they can not see or hear God. Is it worth it? I try to hold back my tongue of zealousness when I hear something took the place of God in their lives, but sometimes I can't. Jesus speaks. And His words are eternal Life


Thought for today: God is true to His word. When He says "I love you" He doesn't just mean it because you did something good, or made Him proud or happy or laugh. He means it in the truest sense of the word, and for all eternity.

Action for today: Read 1 Timothy 1:15-16 and pray on God's love for you.

Prayer for today: God, soften my heart. Let me encounter your Love in a real way, and let me be true to my word to you today, in all I think, say and do.

Quote for today: "To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless." – GK Chesterton

Be a Hero today – #ShareJesus: Who in your life do you butt heads with the most? Offer sacrifices today for that person, and go out of your way to do something kind or helpful for them.