Hearts Afire Think of an act of charity: helping a sick loved one, feeding the hungry, offering aid to storm victims, visiting the imprisoned. All of
Think of an act of charity: helping a sick loved one, feeding the hungry, offering aid to storm victims, visiting the imprisoned. All of these acts of love require the gift of self, from which new life and healing can spring forth in ourselves and in others. Gazing into the eyes of Jesus with Mary, opening ourselves to the presence of the mystery, entering into the mystery through the maternal tutelage of our mother who knows its secrets, we are changed, transformed. The inner conﬁnes of our heart are illuminated; the soul is enﬂamed with the love of God; the mind is puriﬁed and made new. —from the book The Rosary: Your Weapon for Spiritual Warfare by Johnnette S. Benkovic and Thomas K. Sullivan
✞ "Nothing seems tiresome or painful when you are working for a Master who pays well; who rewards even a cup of cold water given for love of Him." — St. Dominic Savio
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "The temporal goods are created by the Most High for the sole purpose of sustaining life; having attained this end, the need of them ceases. And as this need is limited, soon and easily satisfied, there is no reason that the care for the immortal soul should be only fitful and temporary, while the hunger after riches should be so perpetual and unintermitting, as it has come to be among men. It is the height of perverseness for man to mix up the end and the means in an affair so important and urgent, that he devote all his time, all his care, all the exertion of his powers and all the alertness of his mind to the life of the body, of which he knows not the duration nor the end, and that on the other hand, in many years of his existence he spare for his poor soul only one hour, and that very often the last and the worst one of his whole life." — Venerable Mary of Agreda, p. 85-6 AN EXCERPT FROM Mystical City of God
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" Galatians 5:13-14
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ST. CATHERINE LABOURÉ
St. Catherine Labouré (1806 – 1876) was born in Burgundy, France, the ninth of seventeen children of a pious and prosperous farming family. Her mother died when she was nine years old. After her mother's funeral, Catherine kissed a statue of the Virgin Mary in her home, saying, "Now you will be my mother." Catherine was devout and simple, and did not learn to read or write. She cared for her family for many years and, drawn to the religious life, entered the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in Paris at the age of twenty-two. In the year 1830, on the eve of the feast of St. Vincent de Paul, Catherine experienced her first apparition of the Blessed Mother. Mary entrusted to Catherine the mission of spreading devotion to her Miraculous Medal, the design of which she revealed to the saint in a vision. The Blessed Virgin appeared to Catherine two more times, and eventually the Miraculous Medal was mass-produced, widely promoted, and approved by the Church as a sacramental for public devotion. Catherine preferred anonymity and remained unknown as the visionary to whom Our Lady appeared, even to the sisters of her own convent. She continued to live a quiet life in service to the sick. After her death many miracles were ascribed to her relics. St. Catherine Labouré is one of the Church's incorruptible saints: her body is reposed in a glass casket in the chapel where she received the vision of Our Lady. Her feast day is November 28th.
Tuesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Dn 2:31-45
Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar: "In your vision, O king, you saw a statue, very large and exceedingly bright, terrifying in appearance as it stood before you. The head of the statue was pure gold, its chest and arms were silver, its belly and thighs bronze, the legs iron, its feet partly iron and partly tile. While you looked at the statue, a stone which was hewn from a mountain without a hand being put to it, struck its iron and tile feet, breaking them in pieces. The iron, tile, bronze, silver, and gold all crumbled at once, fine as the chaff on the threshing floor in summer, and the wind blew them away without leaving a trace. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
"This was the dream; the interpretation we shall also give in the king's presence. You, O king, are the king of kings; to you the God of heaven has given dominion and strength, power and glory; men, wild beasts, and birds of the air, wherever they may dwell, he has handed over to you, making you ruler over them all; you are the head of gold. Another kingdom shall take your place, inferior to yours, then a third kingdom, of bronze, which shall rule over the whole earth. There shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron; it shall break in pieces and subdue all these others, just as iron breaks in pieces and crushes everything else. The feet and toes you saw, partly of potter's tile and partly of iron, mean that it shall be a divided kingdom, but yet have some of the hardness of iron. As you saw the iron mixed with clay tile, and the toes partly iron and partly tile, the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. The iron mixed with clay tile means that they shall seal their alliances by intermarriage, but they shall not stay united, any more than iron mixes with clay. In the lifetime of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed or delivered up to another people; rather, it shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and put an end to them, and it shall stand forever. That is the meaning of the stone you saw hewn from the mountain without a hand being put to it, which broke in pieces the tile, iron, bronze, silver, and gold. The great God has revealed to the king what shall be in the future; this is exactly what you dreamed, and its meaning is sure."
Responsorial Psalm Dn 3:57, 58, 59, 60, 61 R. (59b) Give glory and eternal praise to him. "Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever." R. Give glory and eternal praise to him. "Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever." R. Give glory and eternal praise to him. "You heavens, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever." R. Give glory and eternal praise to him. "All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever." R. Give glory and eternal praise to him. "All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever." R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
Alleluia Rev 2:10c R. Alleluia, alleluia. Remain faithful until death, And I will give you the crown of life. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 21:5-11
While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, "All that you see here– the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down."
Then they asked him, "Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?" He answered, "See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and 'The time has come.' Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end." Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky."
Catholic Meditations Meditation: Luke 21:5-11
34th Week in Ordinary Time
The days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone. (Luke 21:6)
People often keep postcards or photographs of vacations or dream destinations on their kitchen walls or smartphones. Why? We're trying, even if only for a moment, to experience something breathtaking, something amazing. Seeing beautiful locations takes us out of our normal lives and gives us a sense of wonder.
The Temple in Jerusalem was one such place of wonder in the ancient world. People spent their lives yearning to visit it. This was the place where God offered healing and forgiveness. Many traveled over long distances just to be there, and when they arrived, they were amazed by its beauty and grandeur. Some were even converted when they saw the greatness of God that the Temple represented, when they saw how much he wanted to dwell with his people. Although the Temple was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70, pilgrims still travel thousands of miles just to see its ruins—perhaps longing for just a glimpse of God's glory.
Where can you see the wonder of God's presence today? In yourself! You don't have to travel to Rome or Jerusalem to find God. You have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, and that makes you a temple of the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:19)! Yes, you, with your doubts, fears, and sins. Nothing can stop God's desire to be present with you; not original sin, not the destruction of the Temple, not all the evil done by humankind, not even your own personal weaknesses. Just as God chose to be present in the ancient Temple, he chooses to be present in you.
Here's something even more wonderful: you carry God with you in the midst of your family, your co-workers, and even among strangers on the street. You might not always notice it happening, but you are the hands God uses to reach out to them in love. You are a marvel, made with more love and attention to detail than the Temple with all its costly stones. The Holy Spirit, living in you, has the power to amaze, to convert, to heal. You are much more than just a postcard. You are a temple of the living God.
"Thank you, Lord, that you are alive and active within me."
Daniel 2:31-45 (Psalm) Daniel 3:57-61
my2cents: From today's First Holy Scripture:
"In the lifetime of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed or delivered up to another people..."
We pray today 'Give glory and eternal praise to him. "Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever." Forever means always. This always begins now. Earn your wings. How? Work out your salvation? Well, you must do your part in the heart. Our Lord does the rest as He sees fit.
In comes the heart of the whole of the matter of the world: "See that you not be deceived...", do not be fooled, do not be taken by the affairs and currents of the talk of the world. You remain firm, and grow in this love of God. "...the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down." The collapse of all the kingdoms happened. The iron age came and went away, the bronze age came and something stronger came, and the stone age had come and something greater came....it is the Lord who rules with an iron rod. What the Lord said came true. Although it is not written as blatant, when He came to destroy all what we built, He came to raze and build anew, and this new is the new you. He would rather dwell in your heart than be left alone in the temple. Such is the perplexity of a visit to the Blessed Sacrament. He sits there alone in the temple, in the tabernacle, yet, He is in every heart He chooses. Spending alone time with Him then is a mystery....yet the unity that makes one whole with Him. So let's talk basics then: God sometimes tears us down with tears. Why? Why the suffering and pain? Why was all this built up for then? It is His, that's why. Nothing is yours. What's yours is a desire that can only be filled and fulfilled with Him, making you complete. Yes there were signs in the sky, yes there were earthquakes, yes there dead people rose when He died, and many were frightened and began a new hope.
There begins a new hope and Here He comes...daily. How have you prepared? I see Christmas lights lighting up, one by one, here and there, little by little, more and more. I see the exterior lighting up. And the interior? Is Jesus lighting up the inside of your home? Your temple? Your body?....your...soul?