Friday, October 5, 2018

⛪ And As For You..

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Saint Faustina on Spiritual Poverty

"When I was by myself, I began to reflect on the spirit of poverty. I clearly saw that Jesus, although he is Lord of all things, possessed nothing. From a borrowed manger he went through life doing good to all, but himself having no place to lay his head. And on the Cross, I see the summit of his poverty, for he does not even have a garment on himself. As exteriorly we should possess nothing and have nothing to dispose of as our own; so interiorly we should desire nothing. And in the Most Blessed Sacrament, how great is your poverty! Has there ever been a soul as abandoned as you were on the Cross, Jesus?"

—from the book Blessed Are You: Finding Inspiration from Our Sisters in Faith


"Be one of the small number who find the way to life, and enter by the narrow gate into Heaven. Take care not to follow the majority and the common herd, so many of whom are lost. Do not be deceived; there are only two roads: one that leads to life and is narrow; the other that leads to death and is wide. There is no middle way."
— St. Louis de Montfort

"What is this brightness—with which God fills the soul of the just—but that clear knowledge of all that is necessary for salvation? He shows them the beauty of virtue and the deformity of vice. He reveals to them the vanity of the world, the treasures of grace, the greatness of eternal glory, and the sweetness of the consolations of the Holy Spirit. He teaches them to apprehend the goodness of God, the malice of the evil one, the shortness of life, and the fatal error of those whose hopes are centered in this world alone. Hence the equanimity of the just. They are neither puffed up by prosperity nor cast down by adversity.'A holy man', says Solomon, 'continueth in wisdom as the sun, but a fool is changed as the moon.' (Ecclus. 27:12). Unmoved by the winds of false doctrine, the just man continues steadfast in Christ, immoveable in charity, unswerving in faith."
— Venerable Louis Of Grenada, p. 135
The Sinner's Guide

"Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, 'Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.'"
Isaiah 35:3-4


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Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska

(August 25, 1905 – October 5, 1938)

Saint Faustina's name is forever linked to the annual feast of the Divine Mercy, the Divine Mercy chaplet, and the Divine Mercy prayer recited each day at 3 p.m. by many people.

Born in what is now west-central Poland, Helena Kowalska was the third of 10 children. She worked as a housekeeper in three cities before joining the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in 1925. She worked as a cook, gardener and porter in three of their houses.

In addition to carrying out her work faithfully, generously serving the needs of the sisters and the local people, Sister Faustina also had a deep interior life. This included receiving revelations from the Lord Jesus, messages that she recorded in her diary at the request of Christ and of her confessors.

At a time when some Catholics had an image of God as such a strict judge that they might be tempted to despair about the possibility of being forgiven, Jesus chose to emphasize his mercy and forgiveness for sins acknowledged and confessed. "I do not want to punish aching mankind," he once told Saint Faustina, "but I desire to heal it, pressing it to my merciful heart." The two rays emanating from Christ's heart, she said, represent the blood and water poured out after Jesus' death.

Because Sister Maria Faustina knew that the revelations she had already received did not constitute holiness itself, she wrote in her diary: "Neither graces, nor revelations, nor raptures, nor gifts granted to a soul make it perfect, but rather the intimate union of the soul with God. These gifts are merely ornaments of the soul, but constitute neither its essence nor its perfection. My sanctity and perfection consist in the close union of my will with the will of God."

Sister Maria Faustina died of tuberculosis in Krakow, Poland, on October 5, 1938. Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1993, and canonized her seven years later.

Devotion to God's Divine Mercy bears some resemblance to devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In both cases, sinners are encouraged not to despair, not to doubt God's willingness to forgive them if they repent. As Psalm 136 says in each of its 26 verses, "God's love [mercy] endures forever."


Friday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Jb 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5

The LORD addressed Job out of the storm and said:

Have you ever in your lifetime commanded the morning
and shown the dawn its place
For taking hold of the ends of the earth,
till the wicked are shaken from its surface?
The earth is changed as is clay by the seal,
and dyed as though it were a garment;
But from the wicked the light is withheld,
and the arm of pride is shattered.

Have you entered into the sources of the sea,
or walked about in the depths of the abyss?
Have the gates of death been shown to you,
or have you seen the gates of darkness?
Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all:
Which is the way to the dwelling place of light,
and where is the abode of darkness,
That you may take them to their boundaries
and set them on their homeward paths?
You know, because you were born before them,
and the number of your years is great!

Then Job answered the LORD and said:

Behold, I am of little account; what can I answer you?
I put my hand over my mouth.
Though I have spoken once, I will not do so again;
though twice, I will do so no more.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 139:1-3, 7-8, 9-10, 13-14ab
R. (24b) Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
O LORD, you have probed me and you know me;
you know when I sit and when I stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
Where can I go from your spirit?
From your presence where can I flee?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I sink to the nether world, you are present there.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
if I settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
Even there your hand shall guide me,
and your right hand hold me fast.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother's womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.

Alleluia Ps 95:8
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 10:13-16

Jesus said to them,
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would long ago have repented,
sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon
at the judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum, 'Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the netherworld.'
Whoever listens to you listens to me.
Whoever rejects you rejects me.
And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me."


Meditation: Luke 10:13-16

Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, Priest (Optional Memorial)

Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! (Luke 10:13)

These are some pretty harsh words! Jesus' statements of woe against the cities where he ministered can sound as if he is promising to retaliate against them for having rejected his message. We can get the idea that he will come in a fit of rage and destroy anyone who doesn't repent for their sins.

But something's not quite right with this picture. Jesus isn't so sensitive that he needs to bully people into obedience. Rather, he is lamenting what will happen to these cities because of their lack of repentance. All the miracles that he performed in them, all his teaching and parables—it was all meant to show them what life could be like if they turned back to God and began treating each other with mercy and compassion.

The destruction that Jesus predicts will come, not from his hand, but from the hands of the people themselves. As St. Paul once wrote, "If you go on biting and devouring one another, beware that you are not consumed by one another" (Galatians 5:15).

Repentance doesn't mean just saying "I'm sorry." It means turning our lives around. It means asking the Lord for his grace as we try to change our behavior. This is what Jesus was hoping would happen in all of these cities. But it didn't. They remained trapped in their sin, despite all the demonstrations of God's love, power, and mercy Jesus showed them.

Jesus knows how easily we can give in to temptations like greed, envy, resentment, and lust. He also knows how dangerous these sins are. It's why he went so far as to die for us: to set us free from these sins and to fill us with his Spirit of love.

Jesus spoke these words after he had left Galilee behind and had begun heading for Jerusalem (Luke 9:51). He had done all he could, and it was time to move on toward the cross. Isn't it wonderful that he hasn't "moved on" from us? Day after day, he gives us countless opportunities to repent, to change our hearts and behaviors, and to bear the kind of fruit that can change not only us, but the people around us as well.

"Jesus, help me to live a life of true repentance and change."

Job 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5
Psalm 139:1-3, 7-10, 13-14


Job said to our Lord: "Behold, I am of little account; what can I answer you?
I put my hand over my mouth." When you're tired of talking TO God, then, maybe you will be able to hear Him. When we pray, we do all the talking it seems. There are other ways to pray you know. Contemplation. Meditation. Not just vocal prayers like protestant know. We need to learn to listen, to be able to discern.

Let us pray: " Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way. Truly you have formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb. I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are your works." Fearfully made? Wonderfully made? It had to be, if we are made in His image. Fear of the Lord is a sign of the Holy Spirit working inside. Fearing, meaning, standing in awe, to be so humbled.

In comes the Lord of humility: "Whoever listens to you listens to me.
Whoever rejects you rejects me." Sometimes we confuse the word "listen" with the word to "hear". How many of us hear the Word all the time but have a hard time listening? It's like my kids, it seems I have to tell them 100 times to listen but they don't seem to register. What happens inside of us? I had to train one kid by punishing him. Now he is starting to listen. That is, he is now doing what I asked. What does God ask? To listen. Miracles are designed to be wake up calls. That's it. They are not merely "favors" as most probably see it. No. Our Lord wants us to listen. I have seen miracles in peoples' lives, yet, they continue to live as if there is no God.

Listen to God's love.

Listen to His message of repentance.

Listen to His heart.

Listen to what He is asking.

Listen because it is for our own good.

Listen because He loves.

Listen so we can love.

Listen to Him speaking through those surrounding you when He says come!
Listen, the Lord is calling us to be grateful. Thankful. Eucharist means thankful. Thankful and holy.

Listen to the most beautiful music to our ears, His voice.



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