Tuesday, January 30, 2018

He Gave strict orders

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Where Charity and Love Prevail

It is useless to talk when things speak for themselves in such an eloquent manner. There is a clear and precise way of finding God, and we have so much need of him. There are moments in everyone's life when the need becomes acute; it is when our pride is overcome by suffering and humiliation that we finally look for God. Where can we find him? The way is clear: Where there is charity, there is love; where there is love, there is God.

–from the book Padre Pio: A Personal Portrait
franciscan media


"In her voyage across the ocean of this world, the Church is like a great ship being pounded by the waves of life's different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship but to keep her on her course."
– St. Boniface

"What is time, with regard to myself? It is my present and actual existence. Past time, or my past existence, is no longer anything, as far as I am concerned; I can neither recall it, nor change anything in it. The time to come, or my future existence, has not yet arrived, and perhaps never will arrive. I does not depend on me; I cannot count on it ... No one is ignorant of these two simple truths, but very few draw from them the conclusions they ought to draw ... This present moment, or this actual existence—from whom do I hold it? It is He who has preserved my existence from one instant to another, and who is preserving it at this present moment. Will He preserve it for me in the moment that shall immediately follow this one? I do not know; and nothing in the world can give me the assurance of it. Why has time been given to me? So that by it I may merit a happy eternity. I shall live forever: faith teaches me this; my reason even assures me of another life. The desire of immortality is implanted in the depths of my heart, and this desire, which God Himself has planted there, can never be frustrated of its object. I am, then, born for eternity, but this eternity will be happy or wretched ... My fate for all eternity depends, then, on the use I make of time, and since neither the past nor the future is in my own power, it is quite true to say that my eternity depends always on the present moment. Now, at this present moment, what is my state? Would I like to die just as I am now?"
— Fr. Jean Nicholas Grou, p. 82-83
The Spiritual Life

"Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


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St. Hyacintha of Mariscotti


Feast Day: January 30

1585, Vignanello, Italy

Died: 30 January 1640, Viterbo
Canonized: 1807 by Pope Pius VII

A religious of the Third Order of St. Francis and foundress of the Sacconi; born 1585 of a noble family at Vignanello, near Viterbo in Italy; died 30 January, 1640, at Viterbo; feast, 30 January; in Rome, 6 February (Diarium Romanum). Her parents were Marc' Antonio Mariscotti (Marius Scotus) and Ottavia Orsini. At Baptism she received the name Clarice and in early youth was remarkable for piety, but, as she grew older, she became frivolous, and showed a worldly disposition, which not even the almost miraculous saving of her life at the age of seventeen could change; neither was her frivolity checked by her education at the Convent of St. Bernardine at Viterbo, where an older sister had taken the veil. At the age of twenty she set her heart upon marriage with the Marquess Cassizucchi, but was passed by in favour of a younger sister. She was sadly disappointed, became morose, and at last joined the community at St. Bernardine, receiving the name Hyacintha. But, as she told her father, she did this only to hide her chagrin and not to give up the luxuries of the world; and she asked him to furnish her apartments with every comfort. She kept her own kitchen, wore a habit of the finest material, received and paid visits at pleasure.

For ten years she continued this kind of life, so contrary to the spirit of her vows and such a source of scandal to the community. By the special protection of God, she retained a lively faith, was regular in her devotions, remained pure, always showed a great respect for the mysteries of religion, and had a tender devotion to the Blessed Virgin. At length she was touched by God's grace, and the earnest exhortations of her confessor at the time of serious illness made her see the folly of the past and brought about a complete change in her life. She made a public confession of her faults in the refectory, discarded her costly garments, wore an old habit, went barefoot, frequently fasted on bread and water, chastised her body by vigils and severe scourging, and practised mortifications to such an extent that the decree of canonization considers the preservation of her life a continued miracle. She increased her devotion to the Mother of God, to the Holy Infant Jesus, to the Blessed Eucharist, and to the sufferings of Christ. She worked numerous miracles, had the gifts of prophecy and of discerning the secret thoughts of others. She was also favoured by heavenly ecstacies and raptures. During an epidemic that raged in Viterbo she showed heroic charity in nursing the sick. She established two confraternities, whose members were called Oblates of Mary or Sacconi. One of these, similar to our Society of St. Vincent de Paul, gathered alms for the convalescent, for the poor who were ashamed to beg, and for the care of prisoners; the other procured homes for the aged. Though now leading a life so pure and holy, Hyacintha always conceived the greatest contempt for herself. At her death great sorrow was felt at Viterbo and crowds flocked to her funeral. She was beatified by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726, and canonized 14 May, 1807, by Pius VII.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)


Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 2 Sm18:9-10, 14b, 24-25a, 30–19:3

Absalom unexpectedly came up against David's servants.
He was mounted on a mule,
and, as the mule passed under the branches of a large terebinth,
his hair caught fast in the tree.
He hung between heaven and earth
while the mule he had been riding ran off.
Someone saw this and reported to Joab
that he had seen Absalom hanging from a terebinth.
And taking three pikes in hand,
he thrust for the heart of Absalom,
still hanging from the tree alive.

Now David was sitting between the two gates,
and a lookout went up to the roof of the gate above the city wall,
where he looked about and saw a man running all alone.
The lookout shouted to inform the king, who said,
"If he is alone, he has good news to report."
The king said, "Step aside and remain in attendance here."
So he stepped aside and remained there.
When the Cushite messenger came in, he said,
"Let my lord the king receive the good news
that this day the LORD has taken your part,
freeing you from the grasp of all who rebelled against you."
But the king asked the Cushite, "Is young Absalom safe?"
The Cushite replied, "May the enemies of my lord the king
and all who rebel against you with evil intent
be as that young man!"

The king was shaken,
and went up to the room over the city gate to weep.
He said as he wept,
"My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom!
If only I had died instead of you,
Absalom, my son, my son!"

Joab was told that the king was weeping and mourning for Absalom;
and that day's victory was turned into mourning for the whole army
when they heard that the king was grieving for his son.

Responsorial Psalm PS 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
R. (1a) Listen, Lord, and answer me.
Incline your ear, O LORD; answer me,
for I am afflicted and poor.
Keep my life, for I am devoted to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God.
R. Listen, Lord, and answer me.
Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for to you I call all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
R. Listen, Lord, and answer me.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.
Hearken, O LORD, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my pleading.
R. Listen, Lord, and answer me.

Alleluia MT 8:17
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ took away our infirmities
and bore our diseases.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 5:21-43

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat
to the other side,
a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.
One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward.
Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying,
"My daughter is at the point of death.
Please, come lay your hands on her
that she may get well and live."
He went off with him
and a large crowd followed him.

There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.
She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors
and had spent all that she had.
Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd
and touched his cloak.
She said, "If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured."
Immediately her flow of blood dried up.
She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him,
turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who has touched my clothes?"
But his disciples said to him,
"You see how the crowd is pressing upon you,
and yet you ask, Who touched me?"
And he looked around to see who had done it.
The woman, realizing what had happened to her,
approached in fear and trembling.
She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.
He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and be cured of your affliction."

While he was still speaking,
people from the synagogue official's house arrived and said,
"Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?"
Disregarding the message that was reported,
Jesus said to the synagogue official,
"Do not be afraid; just have faith."
He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside
except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official,
he caught sight of a commotion,
people weeping and wailing loudly.
So he went in and said to them,
"Why this commotion and weeping?
The child is not dead but asleep."
And they ridiculed him.
Then he put them all out.
He took along the child's father and mother
and those who were with him
and entered the room where the child was.
He took the child by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum,"
which means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise!"
The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around.
At that they were utterly astounded.
He gave strict orders that no one should know this
and said that she should be given something to eat.


Meditation: Mark 5:21-43

4th Week in Ordinary Time

She . . . told him the whole truth. (Mark 5:33)

Doesn't this scene remind you of what can happen during the Sacrament of Reconciliation? There are some intriguing parallels between the sacrament and the story of the woman who touched Jesus' garment.

First, there's the likeness between the woman's illness and our experience of sin. Of course, we don't equate sickness with sin, but we can see some analogies. The woman couldn't stop blood from flowing out of her body. This affliction marked her as "unclean" and prevented her from worshipping in the Temple. That's a striking image for the way sin drains life from our spirit and prevents us from freely relating with God and from receiving the Eucharist.

Next, there's pushing past our apprehensions to seek out Jesus. The woman had to deal with the crowd. She also didn't know what Jesus would say, even as she was falling down at his feet. For us, Confession might be accompanied by similar anxieties. Maybe we've had the experience of waiting in a long line of people before it's our turn in the confessional. We might have wondered, "What will these people think of me? What will the priest think? Is God in a good mood today, or is he upset with me?"

Then comes the amazing power that pours into us the moment we touch Jesus in Confession. It's a stream of mercy and grace that washes away all of our impurities. All is cleansed, and our spirit is healed.

Finally, we receive "pardon and peace" because our sins have been forgiven. The woman was worried about talking to Jesus, but she didn't have to be. Likewise, we don't have to live one more day with the burden of guilt. We can have the peace that comes from encountering the mercy of God.

Don't be afraid to come before the Lord with "the whole truth" (Mark 5:33). He won't get upset with you. He's eager to bless and encourage you. Try to push past any apprehension and seek out the sacrament, even if it's been a while. After all, peace is waiting for you. Life is waiting for you.

"Have mercy on me, O Lord, for to you I call all the day" (Psalm 86:3).

2 Samuel 18:9-10, 14, 24-25, 30–19:3
Psalm 86:1-6



The first Word we hear said "If only I had died instead of you, Absalom, my son, my son!" Can you hear the Lord speaking from Heaven? He is saying "I would die for you....and I did." What a love. What love that is out of this world. He touches for that very reason. To say, " I Love You This Much" and is stretched beyond human reasoning on the cross.

Let us pray: " Listen, Lord, and answer me. Incline your ear, O LORD; answer me, for I am afflicted and poor. Keep my life, for I am devoted to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God." God's love is so tremendous that it is like this: So long as a person has a living breath, they stand a chance of mercy, hope lives. What we do with this chance is key. Make fruit of it. Take advantage, seize the day. Those who seize the opportunity experience healing.

In the Holy Gospel, the hemorrhaging woman was bleeding to death. She was tore up inside. Not only was she physically ailing, but she was alienated, as Bishop Barren said today: ". Having a flow of blood for twelve years meant that anyone with whom she came in contact would be considered unclean. She couldn't, in any meaningful sense, participate in the ordinary life of her society.
The woman touches Jesus—and how radical and dangerous an act this was, since it should have rendered Jesus unclean. But so great is her faith that her touch, instead, renders her clean. Jesus effectively restores her to full participation in her community.
But what is perhaps most important is this: Jesus implicitly puts an end to the ritual code of the book of Leviticus" saying Jesus was now the book of life, and the WAY.
Jesus restores. Jesus says "you are unclean until you come to Me". In confessional, in the Holy Sacraments, begun in Baptism. Holiness. A way of life that is uncommon, but common in trying. Faith is the greatest gift of God, because with it, salvation comes. You are reading this now in faith. The woman had great faith and Jesus said ""Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and be cured of your affliction." Now, you, approach Him. The same thing happened with the 12 year old daughter of Jairus that died while Jesus was on His way to save her. He raised her up from the dead and said beforehand ""Do not be afraid; just have faith." Faith is a tremendous gift from God. It is to be taken seriously and gratefully.
There are a group of super-faithful in church, which as of today, I will call the super-grateful. Can you be one of these super-gratefuls, the super-faithfuls? Can you hang with these folks? LOL, I kind of feel bad for some of my new faith friends, I keep inviting them to one thing after another, last week pro-life rally, this week a conference with Theologians Scott Hahn and more! I'm excited. And the night before kicks it off with Holy Adoration, Holy Hour. That's all that's on my agenda, the next thing for God! You won't get rich by sitting on your couch, let's go to work! And I'm talking about rich in knowledge, rich in grace! You go with poverty, and that is the key ingredient. God fills the empty, as Mary our Mother said "...He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty." Empty yourselves. Talitha, little girl, I am taking your hand, wake up, arise! ARISE! Arise to a new life, imagine, waking up, opening your eyes, after being dead, and seeing Jesus holding your hand! WHOA! Who is He? Then, you spend the rest of your life learning about Him and seeking Him who saved you. This my little girl, this is Heaven on earth. Where does He go? No one knows. But when my heart burns and my tears flow, I know He is here, just as most of the time I am writing to you. I cry alot. Yesterday I kept welling up. Why? Because I feel God's love. No sad or bad news can keep it from coming. And so, I thought, "what if in Heaven you run into a group of cry-babies? They are on their knees, face in their hands and weeping. And you ask them "what's going on here?" and they say to you "they are weeping out of sheer joy!". These tears of joy come from God's goodness, His bounty, and there's plenty to be had. Be glad. Rejoice. Jesus took Talitha's hand and then He died on the cross for her. His baby. His you. Go ahead and cry, but have faith. "I came to save you" meaning "I come to set you apart" this means holiness. "I designed you to be with Me in eternity".
Get dressed (get ready).
Let's go



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