A Sign of Strength Many people see forgiveness as a sign of weakness rather than as a sign of strength. Often we forgive people not because they have
A Sign of Strength
Many people see forgiveness as a sign of weakness rather than as a sign of strength. Often we forgive people not because they have asked for this but because that is the only way we can leave behind our anger toward them, for it has also been toxic for us.
–from Peace and Good
✞ "Help me to journey beyond the familiar and into the unknown. Give me the faith to leave old ways and break fresh ground with You."
— St. Brendan
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"Do not suppose that after advancing the soul to such a state God abandons it so easily that it is light work for the devil to regain it. When His Majesty sees it leaving Him, He feels the loss so keenly that He gives it in many a way a thousand secret warnings which reveal to it the hidden danger. In conclusion, let us strive to make constant progress: we ought to feel great alarm if we do not find ourselves advancing, for without doubt the evil one must be planning to injure us in some way; it is impossible for a soul that has come to this state not to go still farther, for love is never idle. Therefore it is a very bad sign when one comes to a standstill in virtue."
— St. Teresa of Avila, p.99
AN EXCERPT FROM
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY
"It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."
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Saint Louis Mary Grignion de Montfort
Saint of the Day for April 27
(January 31, 1673 – April 28, 1716)
Saint Louis Mary Grignion de Montfort's Story
Louis's life is inseparable from his efforts to promote genuine devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus and mother of the Church. Totus tuus ("completely yours") was Louis's personal motto; Pope John Paul II chose it as his episcopal motto.
Born in the Breton village of Montfort, close to Rennes, France, as an adult Louis identified himself by the place of his Baptism instead of his family name, Grignion. After being educated by the Jesuits and the Sulpicians, he was ordained a diocesan priest in 1700.
Soon he began preaching parish missions throughout western France. His years of ministering to the poor prompted him to travel and live very simply, sometimes getting him into trouble with Church authorities. In his preaching, which attracted thousands of people back to the faith, Father Louis recommended frequent, even daily, Holy Communion–not the custom then!–and imitation of the Virgin Mary's ongoing acceptance of God's will for her life.
Louis founded the Missionaries of the Company of Mary, for priests and brothers, and the Daughters of Wisdom, who cared especially for the sick. His book True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin has become a classic explanation of Marian devotion.
Louis died in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, where a basilica has been erected in his honor. He was canonized in 1947.
Like Mary, Louis experienced challenges in his efforts to follow Jesus. Opposed at times in his preaching and in his other ministries, Louis knew with Saint Paul, "Neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who causes the growth" (1 Corinthians 3:7). Any attempt to succeed by worldly standards runs the risk of betraying the Good News of Jesus. Mary is "the first and most perfect disciple," as the late Sulpician Father Raymond Brown described her.
The Liturgical Feast of Saint Louis Mary Grignion de Montfort is April 28.
Thursday of the Second Week of Easter
Reading 1 Acts 5:27-33
When the court officers had brought the Apostles in
and made them stand before the Sanhedrin,
the high priest questioned them,
"We gave you strict orders did we not,
to stop teaching in that name.
Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching
and want to bring this man's blood upon us."
But Peter and the Apostles said in reply,
"We must obey God rather than men.
The God of our ancestors raised Jesus,
though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree.
God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior
to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.
We are witnesses of these things,
as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him."
When they heard this,
they became infuriated and wanted to put them to death.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 34:2 and 9, 17-18, 19-20
R. (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
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 hears the cry of the poor.
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 hears the cry of the poor.
Alleluia Jn 20:29
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord;
blessed are those who have not seen, but still believe?
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 3:31-36
The one who comes from above is above all.
The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things.
But the one who comes from heaven is above all.
He testifies to what he has seen and heard,
but no one accepts his testimony.
Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy.
For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God.
He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.
The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,
but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life,
but the wrath of God remains upon him.
Meditation: John 3:31-36
2nd Week of Easter
He does not ration his gift of the Spirit. (John 3:34)
Those who have lived through hard times, when food and other resources were rationed, often have trouble counting on abundance. Long after the crisis has passed, they can remain cautious, holding some of what they have in reserve "just in case."
Mercifully, we don't have to be this way with our heavenly Father. His love is inexhaustible. He holds nothing back from us. Rather, he gives us his Holy Spirit without measure. No matter how much of God's generous love we experience, there is always more available for the asking.
A beautiful prayer recited during the Jewish Passover meal has the refrain Dayenu, which translates to "It would have been enough for us." It goes something like this:
God, if you had only created us, it would have been enough for us.
If you had only freed us from slavery in Egypt, it would have been enough for us.
If you had only given us your wise Law, it would have been enough for us.
If you had only fed us with manna, it would have been enough for us.
If you had only brought us into the Promised Land, it would have been enough for us.
The prayer lists many more blessings that God has poured out on his people and concludes: "How much more do we have to be thankful for the manifold and unbounded blessings of the All-Present God!"
What a great prayer for us today! No matter how much we realize all that God has done for us, there is always more. Maybe you have been blessed in ways that you haven't even noticed. Certainly there are still more gifts he has in store for you. There is never a reason to doubt that God wants to give you more.
What would your own Dayenu list look like? Think of the ways your heavenly Father has provided for you, blessed you, and revealed his love to you. Think too of the blessings you hope to see in years to come. Take some time in prayer today to rejoice in his boundless gifts in your life—past, present, and future.
"Lord, if you had only forgiven my sin or removed my guilt, it would have been enough. But you have done so much more. All praise to you!"
Psalm 34:2, 9, 17-20
The Word said today ""We must obey God rather than men. " These are indeed chivalrous words, aren't they? Noble, and faithful. So, let me propose you a situation I was in last night as the CCD classes were in for a "Mass Explained" and I was singing in the choir. Throughout the Mass and a narrator going through script, most kids were well behaved, from all age groups, except for the older ones, and one adult. They kept giggling and what not. And I love them, because I know the rowdy ones, one is family and the other one a long time member brother. I kept getting distracted and looking back at them, giving them the dirty eye LOL. "That ain't right", just kept going through my head. And even a few things Father explained of the mass weren't right from all the classes and studies I've done on the Mass. "That ain't right" over and over, to the point that it was getting under my skin. "We must obey God rather than men". So what does God say about all this? I don't know, let's keep reading the Holy Word. "When they heard this, they became infuriated and wanted to put them to death." Intolerance. People on the dark side point the finger of intolerance to the Holy Church. "You ain't right" they say. "You are backwards". Well, that's the truth. We are backwards to the darkness. And if this is the truth, then, humility is backwards of pride. I will obey God.
We prayed "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."
The hard part about me is my hard heart. Think about that. If someone lives in a dark world, it is because of their outlook, one without Christ...the light.
In comes the light into our lives: "The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things. But the one who comes from heaven is above all." We rather obey God than men, men who speak of earthly things. Jesus speaks of Heavenly things. And Heaven is not that far away, as we sometimes feel. What is Heaven like? Heaven is like when you are comforted in troubled times. That is the Holy Spirit, the comforter is Jesus. And when you are in His arms, and He is in Heaven, well, heaven is In His arms. I say this so you will take comfort. Ease your soul. Jesus said ""I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Jn. 16:33. Suddenly, things of God while we are on earth are things of faith. The only way I found comfort from that "That ain't right" attitude is the moment I prayed before writing to you. Jesus overcame, peace, and joy, a gentle smile, and a loving tug for all those that ain't right. Love is more. Love is more powerful than pride. Love is all encompassing and dies if necessary. And rises again. To love again, and with all the greater power and glory. This is Easter. Welcome to the sunshine that overpowers the darkness. I know you are in trouble, but God says that is nothing. You want your loved one back? You want love back? Only through ME (Jesus says). Death and sin have no hold on Christ. Unite yourself intimately with Him and you will be one with the light. I want you for reading this to be the happy saint God created you to be. Tough? Tough as nails? Jesus knows. He knows nails. He chose that to show you what was possible with Him and in Him alone. Jesus loves you and Jesus in me loves you too. That there is comfort. Need anything more?