Friday, February 10, 2017

Exceedingly astonished

Use Your Voice Thank you, Lord, for giving me a voice and a hope and a purpose, as well as blessings to proclaim. Thank you for the whisper and the s

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Use Your Voice

Thank you, Lord, for giving me a voice and a hope and a purpose, as well as blessings to proclaim. Thank you for the whisper and the shout and the simple, obedient statement, all of which are mine to sound out and are designed by your hand.

-from Who Does He Say You Are?


"Totally love Him, Who gave Himself totally for your love."
— St. Clare of Assisi


"When we make a good resolution, we merely consider the beauty and excellence of virtue, which attracts even the most vapid minds, but we never consider the difficulties of attaining it. Consequently, cowardly souls are dismayed at the first sign of trouble and they hurriedly abandon their project. For this reason, it would be better for you to consider the difficulties which occur in acquiring virtue, rather than the virtues themselves, and to prepare yourself accordingly. You may rest assured that the greater courage you show in conquering yourself or defeating your enemies, the sooner will your difficulties diminish, and they will gradually vanish."
— Dom Lorenzo Scupoli, p. 94
The Spiritual Combat


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Saint Scholastica

Saint of the Day for February 10

(c. 480 – February 10, 542)

Twins often share the same interests and ideas with an equal intensity. Therefore, it is no surprise that Scholastica and her twin brother, Benedict, established religious communities within a few miles from each other.

Born in 480 of wealthy parents, Scholastica and Benedict were brought up together until he left central Italy for Rome to continue his studies.

Little is known of Scholastica's early life. She founded a religious community for women near Monte Cassino at Plombariola, five miles from where her brother governed a monastery.

The twins visited each other once a year in a farmhouse because Benedict was not permitted inside the monastery. They spent these times discussing spiritual matters.

According to the Dialogues of St. Gregory the Great, the brother and sister spent their last day together in prayer and conversation. Scholastica sensed her death was close at hand and she begged Benedict to stay with her until the next day.

He refused her request because he did not want to spend a night outside the monastery, thus breaking his own Rule. Scholastica asked God to let her brother remain and a severe thunderstorm broke out, preventing Benedict and his monks from returning to the abbey.

Benedict cried out, "God forgive you, Sister. What have you done?" Scholastica replied, "I asked a favor of you and you refused. I asked it of God and he granted it."

Brother and sister parted the next morning after their long discussion. Three days later, Benedict was praying in his monastery and saw the soul of his sister rising heavenward in the form of a white dove. Benedict then announced the death of his sister to the monks and later buried her in the tomb he had prepared for himself.


Scholastica and Benedict gave themselves totally to God and gave top priority to deepening their friendship with him through prayer. They sacrificed some of the opportunities they would have had to be together as brother and sister in order better to fulfill their vocation to the religious life. In coming closer to Christ, however, they found they were also closer to each other. In joining a religious community, they did not forget or forsake their family but rather found more brothers and sisters.

Saint Scholastica is the Patron Saint of:


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Sacred Space
Memorial of Saint Scholastica, Virgin

Reading 1 Gn 3:1-8

Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals
that the LORD God had made.
The serpent asked the woman,
"Did God really tell you not to eat
from any of the trees in the garden?"
The woman answered the serpent:
"We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden;
it is only about the fruit of the tree
in the middle of the garden that God said,
'You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.'"
But the serpent said to the woman:
"You certainly will not die!
No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it
your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods
who know what is good and what is evil."
The woman saw that the tree was good for food,
pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom.
So she took some of its fruit and ate it;
and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her,
and he ate it.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened,
and they realized that they were naked;
so they sewed fig leaves together
and made loincloths for themselves.

When they heard the sound of the LORD God moving about in the garden
at the breezy time of the day,
the man and his wife hid themselves from the LORD God
among the trees of the garden.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7

R. (1a) Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.
Blessed is he whose fault is taken away,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
in whose spirit there is no guile.
R. Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
my guilt I covered not.
I said, "I confess my faults to the LORD,"
and you took away the guilt of my sin.
R. Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.
For this shall every faithful man pray to you
in time of stress.
Though deep waters overflow,
they shall not reach him.
R. Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.
You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me;
with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round.
R. Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.

Alleluia Acts 16:14b

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Open our hearts, O Lord,
to listen to the words of your Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 7:31-37

Jesus left the district of Tyre
and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee,
into the district of the Decapolis.
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
and begged him to lay his hand on him.
He took him off by himself away from the crowd.
He put his finger into the man's ears
and, spitting, touched his tongue;
then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,
"Ephphatha!" (that is, "Be opened!")
And immediately the man's ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly.
He ordered them not to tell anyone.
But the more he ordered them not to,
the more they proclaimed it.
They were exceedingly astonished and they said,
"He has done all things well.
He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak."

Catholic Meditations
Meditation: Mark 7:31-37
Saint Scholastica, Virgin (Memorial)

People brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment. (Mark 7:32)

One night, Febin Bellamy, a student at Washington's Georgetown University, exchanged a nod with the janitor who cleaned the study room. From that, a friendship developed and, with it, Febin's awareness of the employees who keep Georgetown running. Bus drivers, custodians, food service workers—each person had a story, Febin discovered, and deserved to be noticed and appreciated. So he decided to introduce these behind-the-scenes workers to other students by interviewing them and posting their stories online.

On his "Unsung Heroes" website (, you meet a man named Tracey, whose father was hit by a car and killed in a crosswalk. A university crossing guard, he keeps Georgetown students safe in memory of his dad. You hear Oneil, Febin's janitor friend, speak of his faith in God and his dream of starting a catering business. Georgetown students responded with a fund-raiser to help him do that. You meet Suru, a food-service worker from South Sudan. On learning that he hadn't seen his family in forty-five years, students surprised him with the money to cover the cost of a visit. Today, Unsung Heroes continues as an organization that aims at "making visible the Invisibles" and giving them a voice.

In today's Gospel we also meet people who give a voice to the voiceless. They are, presumably, the relatives and friends of the man who couldn't hear or speak (Mark 7:32). What a service they performed by bringing him to Jesus and begging for his healing! Without their intercession, this man would have gone unnoticed, his needs unspoken and unmet.

Imagine how life-changing his healing must have been! With a voice of his own, he could lead a more peaceful life, share his experience with friends, and speak up for other "Invisibles."

God wants all of us to notice the invisible people around us. Unborn children, shut-ins, the unemployed or underpaid, prisoners, those trapped in poverty or a war zone . . . Is there someone whose need stirs our heart? Someone to bring to Jesus in intercessory prayer? Someone to speak up for? Don't hesitate—make them known!

"Jesus, help me to notice the unnoticed, speak for the voiceless, and share your love with all."

Genesis 3:1-8
Psalm 32:1-2, 5-7



In today's 1st Holy Scripture, we heard Eve was convinced with lies and then: "The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it." She saw all the "good" reasons to go for it. How many times do we do this? People see the "good" for abortion, or the "good" for living in sin, and the lies cause something we can not impending and looming death. But they don't die physically, but they die from God. God walks in the garden and they hide, which is funny because He knows exactly where they are always, all of us: "Can anyone hide in secret without my seeing them?—oracle of the LORD." Do I not fill heaven and earth?—oracle of the LORD." Jeremiah 23:24. Does He not fill...your heart? Why need of anything else, desire anything else and eat anything else?

We pray "Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven. Then I acknowledged my sin to you, my guilt I covered not. I said, "I confess my faults to the LORD,"and you took away the guilt of my sin."

The deaf and mute man was brought to the Lord. It is the same as if we are brought to God. Upon receiving the man, the Lord takes him aside, and prays with signs. He puts his finger in his ear, for an auditory sign that means to listen, to obey, to hear God. The Lord puts his finger on his tongue spitting, out with the bad and in with the good, defy and deny what has hindered, it is now time to speak up in the name of the Lord. Then, God does what is impossible, He groans and prays to Heaven 'BE OPENED". This is what we mortals can not do on our own it "be opened". As much as we sing and pray "open my heart Lord" we can't and we won't and we don't. But God does this to a man, and He will do it again. We can not do it on our own. If I'm learning anything as I can not walk without crutches now, is I depend heavily on loved ones....God. Being messed up is a blessing if it brings you closer to the Lord. Sins mess you up, they should bring you to beg God for help and mercy. And help and mercy means life. It means being saved like the man healed. It means obedience is restored. It means restored...