Monday, October 1, 2018

⛪ Do not prevent him....

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God, Spoil Me with Your Love

My favorite saint is Thérèse of Lisieux, "The Little Flower" (the saint from whom Mother Teresa took her religious name). I have been friends with the Little Flower since the fourth grade. Her way of talking about the faith and her understanding of God resonated with my own experience of faith formed so well by my mother. For St. Thérèse, God was not mean, angry, and ready to cast us all into hell. God was a font and source of love. He was not expecting us to prove our love to him because his Son had proved his love for us on the cross. At a young age, I learned from St. Thérèse that the one thing God expected most from me was to let him love me.

—from the book Prayer Everywhere: The Spiritual Life Made Simple


"[Jesus'] body was for Him not a limitation, but an instrument, so that He was both in it and in all things, and outside all things, resting in the Father above. At one and the same time - this is the wonder - as man He was a human life, and as Word He was sustaining the life of the universe, and as Son He was in constant union with the Father."

— St. Athanasius of Alexandria

Meditation of the Day

"Prayer, for me, is simply a raising of the heart, a simple glance towards Heaven, an expression of love and gratitude in the midst of trial, as well as in times of joy; in a word, it is something noble and supernatural expanding my soul and uniting it to God. Whenever my soul is so dry that I am incapable of a single good thought, I always say an Our Father or a Hail Mary very slowly, and these prayers alone cheer me up and nourish my soul with divine food."

— St. Therese of Lisieux, p. 141

An Excerpt From Story of a Soul

Verse of the Day

Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."

John 18:37


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St. Therese of Lisieux

St. Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897) was the last of nine children born to Saints Louis and Zelie Martin in Alencon, France. Her family was devoutly religious, and all five surviving siblings, all daughters, entered the convent. From an early age Therese desired to give herself totally to Jesus. Her happy childhood gave way to trial following the death of her mother when she was four years old. This event changed her personality from merry and bright to withdrawn and sensitive. She also suffered a strange illness that brought her near death. Her sisters prayed for her recovery, and Therese was completely healed after she saw the Virgin Mary statue in her room smile down on her. Just before her 14th birthday, on Christmas Eve, Therese had a mystical experience of the Child Jesus. Her sensitiveness disappeared and her faith was greatly fortified. She attended daily Mass with her father and cultivated her strong desire for the salvation of souls. At the age of 15 she obtained special permission to enter the Carmelite convent in Lisieux where two of her sisters were professed. Recognizing her youth and weakness, and unable to do the great things for God in the world that her heart desired, she determined that she would follow the path of spiritual childhood at the feet of Jesus, as his "Little Flower", and instead focus on small acts of kindness for love of Jesus and interior acts of self-denial, a spirituality called "The Little Way." Therese died of Tuberculosis at the age of 24, and her high degree of holiness was discovered through her autobiography, Story of a Soul. Her "Little Way" became profoundly influential around the world, and although she was not a learned scholar, her deep theological life caused Pope St. John Paul II to declare her a Doctor of the Church. She is the patron against sickness, tuberculosis, and loss of parents, as well as of pilots, air crews, florists, missionaries, and the sick. St. Therese of Lisieux's feast day is October 1st.


Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Reading 1 Jb 1:6-22

One day, when the angels of God came to present themselves before the LORD,
Satan also came among them.
And the LORD said to Satan, "Whence do you come?"
Then Satan answered the LORD and said,
"From roaming the earth and patrolling it."
And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you noticed my servant Job,
and that there is no one on earth like him,
blameless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil?"
But Satan answered the LORD and said,
"Is it for nothing that Job is God-fearing?
Have you not surrounded him and his family
and all that he has with your protection?
You have blessed the work of his hands,
and his livestock are spread over the land.
But now put forth your hand and touch anything that he has,
and surely he will blaspheme you to your face."
And the LORD said to Satan,
"Behold, all that he has is in your power;
only do not lay a hand upon his person."
So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

And so one day, while his sons and his daughters
were eating and drinking wine
in the house of their eldest brother,
a messenger came to Job and said,
"The oxen were ploughing and the asses grazing beside them,
and the Sabeans carried them off in a raid.
They put the herdsmen to the sword,
and I alone have escaped to tell you."
While he was yet speaking, another came and said,
"Lightning has fallen from heaven
and struck the sheep and their shepherds and consumed them;
and I alone have escaped to tell you."
While he was yet speaking, another messenger came and said,
"The Chaldeans formed three columns,
seized the camels, carried them off,
and put those tending them to the sword,
and I alone have escaped to tell you."
While he was yet speaking, another came and said,
"Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine
in the house of their eldest brother,
when suddenly a great wind came across the desert
and smote the four corners of the house.
It fell upon the young people and they are dead;
and I alone have escaped to tell you."
Then Job began to tear his cloak and cut off his hair.
He cast himself prostrate upon the ground, and said,

"Naked I came forth from my mother's womb,
and naked shall I go back again.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
blessed be the name of the LORD!"

In all this Job did not sin,
nor did he say anything disrespectful of God.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 17:1bcd, 2-3, 6-7

R. (6) Incline your ear to me and hear my word.
Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
attend to my outcry;
hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit.
R. Incline your ear to me and hear my word.
From you let my judgment come;
your eyes behold what is right.
Though you test my heart, searching it in the night,
though you try me with fire, you shall find no malice in me.
R. Incline your ear to me and hear my word.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my word.
Show your wondrous mercies,
O savior of those who flee
from their foes to refuge at your right hand.
R. Incline your ear to me and hear my word.

Alleluia Mk 10:45

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Son of Man came to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 9:46-50

An argument arose among the disciples
about which of them was the greatest.
Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child
and placed it by his side and said to them,
"Whoever receives this child in my name receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
For the one who is least among all of you
is the one who is the greatest."

Then John said in reply,
"Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name
and we tried to prevent him
because he does not follow in our company."
Jesus said to him,
"Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you."


Mass Reading & Meditation for October 1, 2018
Catholic Meditations
Luke 9:46-50

St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)

Whoever receives this child in my name receives me. (Luke 9:48)

Football players know the value of staying low to the ground. For instance, try picturing two evenly matched linemen at the line of scrimmage. Usually, it's the one who crouches lower who is able to hold his ground.

The same is true in the kingdom of God. Crouching low in humility gives you a strategic advantage. The disciples hadn't learned that yet. Still thinking that higher was better, they argued over who was the greatest among them. But Jesus rewrote the rules when he equated receiving a lowly child with receiving him.

"Going low" is powerful for this simple reason: it's the place where we'll find Jesus. It's the place where we'll find the One who "emptied himself" to walk among us and who "humbled himself" by accepting death on a cross (Philippians 2:7, 8). It's the place where we'll find the One who came to care for "the poor," the "captives," and "the oppressed" (Luke 4:18). It's the place where we'll find the One who came "to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45). The more often we lay down our ego and our agenda, the more often we will find God's grace and the ability to love the people around us.

Is there a situation in which you need to give up pride or self-centeredness? Perhaps you have been holding a grudge for far too long. Perhaps you have been avoiding someone who needs your help. Or maybe you need to pay closer attention to the needs of the people around you. Take just one step today, and trust that God will take care of you.

You don't need to protect your position. You don't always have to get in the last word. Take the lower place beside Jesus. Be quick to listen and serve. And watch for the Lord to bring you close to him. Listen for his quiet voice: "Well done, my good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:21).

"Lord, help me to follow you along the low road today. Jesus, I want to find you there."

Job 1:6-22
Psalm 17:1-3, 6-7

Screenshot 20181001-094532 Email


From Bishop Barron;
Friends, today is the Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus. The best introduction to Thérèse's spirituality is a text that she wrote at the behest of Sr. Marie of the Sacred Heart, a sort of memoir of the retreat that she made in September 1896, just a year before her death.

What she offers is a "science of love," a way of knowing and acting that is utterly conditioned by the love that Jesus has placed in her heart: "Jesus deigned to show me the road that leads to this Divine Furnace, and this road is the surrender of the little child who sleeps without fear in its Father's arms."

God, Thérèse concluded, is pleased to work with those who have become utterly docile to his direction, who have acknowledged their total dependence upon him, their readiness to receive gifts. Any sense that God's love must be earned or that a relationship with him is a product of economic calculation is repugnant to a healthy spirituality: "Jesus does not demand great actions from us but simply surrender and gratitude."

When this attitude is in place, anything and everything is possible. Following Thérèse, we can be pleasing to God and valuable to the Church in the humblest places and through the simplest acts. All we need to do is surrender, like a little child asleep in its Father's arms."

God gave His all
JESUS on the cross.
A mystery pondered and admired only by love.....



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