Child of Mary
Jesus will bring you back to life, not only because his mother has asked for this on your behalf, but also because he loves you. He wants you to be unafraid and to have faith in him. He also wants you to allow Mary to be your mother. He knows that becoming a child of his mother is the surest way to heal from the wounds on your spirit. It will take time and patience, but it will happen if you open your heart to her right now.
—from Forgiving Mother: A Marian Novena of Healing and Peace
"I place trust in God, my creator, in all things; I love Him with all my heart."
— St. Joan of Arc
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"In times of spiritual coldness and laziness, imagine in your heart those times in the past when you were full of zeal and solicitude in all things, even the smallest. Remember your past efforts and the energy with which you opposed those who wanted to obstruct your progress. These recollections will reawaken your soul from its deep sleep, will invest it once more with the fire of zeal, will raise it, as it were, from the dead, and will make it engage in an ardent struggle against the Devil and sin, thus being restored to its former height."
— St. Isaak of Syria, p. 146
AN EXCERPT FROM
Manual for Spiritual Warfare
✞VERSE OF THE DAY
"Therefore, thus says the Lord God: See, I am laying a stone in Zion, a stone that has been tested, A precious cornerstone as a sure foundation; whoever puts faith in it will not waver."
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Saint Bede the Venerable
(c. 672 – May 25, 735)
Saint Bede the Venerable's Story
Bede is one of the few saints honored as such even during his lifetime. His writings were filled with such faith and learning that even while he was still alive, a Church council ordered them to be read publicly in the churches.
At an early age, Bede was entrusted to the care of the abbot of the Monastery of St. Paul, Jarrow. The happy combination of genius and the instruction of scholarly, saintly monks, produced a saint and an extraordinary scholar, perhaps the most outstanding one of his day. He was deeply versed in all the sciences of his times: natural philosophy, the philosophical principles of Aristotle, astronomy, arithmetic, grammar, ecclesiastical history, the lives of the saints and especially, holy Scripture.
From the time of his ordination to the priesthood at 30—he had been ordained a deacon at 19—till his death, Bede was ever occupied with learning, writing, and teaching. Besides the many books that he copied, he composed 45 of his own, including 30 commentaries on books of the Bible.
His Ecclesiastical History of the English People is commonly regarded as of decisive importance in the art and science of writing history. A unique era was coming to an end at the time of Bede's death: It had fulfilled its purpose of preparing Western Christianity to assimilate the non-Roman barbarian North. Bede recognized the opening to a new day in the life of the Church even as it was happening.
Although eagerly sought by kings and other notables, even Pope Sergius, Bede managed to remain in his own monastery until his death. Only once did he leave for a few months in order to teach in the school of the archbishop of York. Bede died in 735 praying his favorite prayer: "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As in the beginning, so now, and forever."
Though his History is the greatest legacy Bede has left us, his work in all the sciences, especially in Scripture, should not be overlooked. During his last Lent, Bede worked on a translation of the Gospel of Saint John into English, completing it the day he died. But of this work "to break the word to the poor and unlearned" nothing remains today.
Saint Bede the Venerable is the Patron Saint of:
Friday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Jas 5:9-12
Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another,
that you may not be judged.
Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates.
Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers and sisters,
the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
Indeed we call blessed those who have persevered.
You have heard of the perseverance of Job,
and you have seen the purpose of the Lord,
because the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
But above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear,
either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath,
but let your "Yes" mean "Yes" and your "No" mean "No,"
that you may not incur condemnation.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 103:1-2, 3-4, 8-9, 11-12
R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Alleluia See Jn 17:17b, 17a
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your word, O Lord, is truth;
consecrate us in the truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mk 10:1-12
Jesus came into the district of Judea and across the Jordan.
Again crowds gathered around him and, as was his custom,
he again taught them.
The Pharisees approached him and asked,
"Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?"
They were testing him.
He said to them in reply, "What did Moses command you?"
"Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce
and dismiss her."
But Jesus told them,
"Because of the hardness of your hearts
he wrote you this commandment.
But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.
So they are no longer two but one flesh.
Therefore what God has joined together,
no human being must separate."
In the house the disciples again questioned Jesus about this.
He said to them,
"Whoever divorces his wife and marries another
commits adultery against her;
and if she divorces her husband and marries another,
she commits adultery."
Meditation: James 5:9-12
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Saint Bede the Venerable, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)
Do not complain. (James 5:9)
The Declaration of Independence of the United States tells us that "all men are created equal." But when it comes to complaining, not all complaints are created equal. Some complaints are valid and can be helpful, while others only serve to increase division and animosity.
First, there are constructive complaints, which can help to make a positive change. For example, you might say, "This is getting us nowhere. We keep doing it the same way, but we're not seeing any results." This kind of complaining has the potential to evolve into a brainstorming session that results in constructive action steps.
Then there is venting. Venting can be either helpful or harmful. As the word implies, people vent to relieve the pressure caused by an ongoing challenge. Getting your thoughts out in the open can help reduce your frustration. It can help you calm down, especially when you have a patient, compassionate listener. At the same time, constant venting risks turning into whining, and constant whining wears everyone out—including the one who is venting.
Then there's the worst kind. When James tells us not to complain about each other, he is talking about complaints that are made without love and without purpose. Complaints like these do more harm than good. Oftentimes, they arise from a desire to hurt someone. This kind of complaining strips life of its pleasure and leaves us trapped in a negative, cynical disposition.
Today, let's ask ourselves, "Do my complaints tend to be specific and constructive, or are they general and vague?" Questions like these can help us uncover hidden thoughts and fears that are weighing us down. This is where the Holy Spirit wants to help. He has the power to soothe us, to remind us of God's care for us, and to give us a sense of hope and trust. Best of all, he can remind us that Jesus is kind and merciful and that he is always ready to help us with our challenges.
So the next time you find yourself complaining, try to quiet yourself, and let the Spirit soothe your heart.
"Lord, help me to offer only constructive comments."
Psalm 103:1-4, 8-9, 11-12
"But above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath, but let your "Yes" mean "Yes" and your "No" mean "No," that you may not incur condemnation." What is God asking for here? Faithfulness. As faithful as He is, He sets the goal for each one of us. Be merciful. Be faithful. Be loving. Be faithful. There is one place God makes an oath with us...it is the Holy Sacraments. He promises His faithfulness...and us?
Let us pray: "The Lord is kind and merciful. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him." A holy fear of the Lord is a beginning of a beautiful relationship. The gift of fear of the Lord enables a person "to avoid sin and attachment to created things out of reverence and love of God." Fear here, is loving God. Fear here is fear to lose His love, like a lover that never wants his lover to be saddened or distressed, or down, always holding their chin up with great love. Such is the love that God desires. And it, itself, is a gift of the Holy Spirit.
In with Love, Jesus speaks: "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." Enough said. Books can be written with every sentence God spoke, even more, with every word He spoke! The world was even created with the WORD! One flesh becomes another flesh. One father and mother were one flesh, and now this created man becomes one flesh with another. So deep, isn't it? And so God created man. And so God gives Himself as man. And the two become one. Divinity into man. Such is the power of the Holy Eucharist, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Father giving of Himself to us! It is always though, a trinitarian love though right? Three in one. Three in this relationship, man, woman, and God. Jesus, Church, and Father. Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Man and woman unite to become one through giving of themselves and a creation is made...a child of God. Because God is involved in the creation process, and we allow Him to create children in Holy Marriage, a covenant a promise. Let your yes be a yes. If not, we bring about our own condemnation by our own lies, our own failures. If a man divorces his wife, he is still bound spiritually with her with God. You made a promise. You made a promise that if human love fails, you will still love spiritually. This love is where God is left on the altar. Sure you don't love your spouse anymore, but what about God? You see, in Holy Marriage, 3 became one. Do not swear, do not make an oath by heaven or earth, because it is binding...you don't know what you are getting into! That is why you can't receive the Eucharist, the body of God in a state of serious sin! You could take in your own condemnation! That is just another reason why strangers can't just prance up to the altar and receive! You are promising to accept all the Catholic Church and God. Your receiving a promise that is eternal. You are not to go blindly, as a fool, not taking serious what God is offering.
When you receive the Eucharist, you are renewing your vows with Christ.
You are saying I love you more than anything.
You are receiving Christ!
You are mixing your offers with what He offers.
What are we offering to Christ?
This week, I went to daily Mass ( I try everyday) and once went in a disposition that said "Lord, I know what is about to happen, you are coming down from Heaven, and you have made a special calling to meet you here, as lovers do in intimacy. I want to receive you worthily. I come because my friends and family said they would not meet me, but you do." And I began to weep. And Christ offered a cup of wine, and this turned into blood. And He offered a bread...His own body. And how do I receive Him? How do I receive this precious eternity of offering? This sacrifice? How do I receive GOD?
From Genesis, how did we receive God? Infidelity struck.
From the Old Testament until Christ entered, how did we receive God? With infidelity.
When Christ was about to be born, how was He received? With rejection.
We crucified Christ, from birth to death, He was rejected. Whipped and hung on a cross with a crown of thorns. Left to die and for all to see the shame.
But a few repented. And this made all the difference, because He had offered consolation, and mercy...His very Body.
Why doesn't the world receive hell for putting Christ through hell?
Because God loves more. God wins. Christ wins. We can't love like Him, He knows, but God wants you to love more, be more, that's why He offers Himself more and more, and once again...for eternity. Why life on earth then? What's with short life on earth? It is a place to be born. It is a place of expectation. It is a meeting place because here, purification begins. We are not so holy and worthy as to prance right into Heaven. That there too, is a gift from God, an eternal one.
So what does the Eucharist taste like?