Monday, February 11, 2019

⛪ ""As they were leaving...

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Drink from the Spring of Holiness

The Blessed Virgin taught Bernadette with what she could see, touch and experience. "Bernadette is invited to enter a grotto, to drink spring water, to wash from it and to carry the light," says Father de La Teyssonnière. "Rock, water and light are parts of the human experience, of the religious experience and of Christian revelation. Mary invites Bernadette to go further than the human level, to go further than the religious level, to reach the level of Christian revelation." These basic elements of life—rock, water and light—become for Bernadette, Father de La Teyssonnière says, the place of meeting Jesus. This in turn prepares her to meet Jesus Christ in the sacraments of the Church. "Bernadette's experience is a pilgrimage led by Mary. She has to go out of her place, to walk, to go forward, to keep going. But at the same time this concrete pilgrimage is a pilgrimage deep in the heart," he says.

—from Lourdes Today: A Pilgrimage to Mary's Grotto


"Build an oratory within yourself, and there have Jesus on the altar of your heart. Speak to Him often while you are doing your work. Speak to Him of His holy love, of His holy sufferings and of the sorrows of most holy Mary."
— St Paul of the Cross

"Consider not only that God your benefactor is present but also that He acts continuously in all His creatures. And for whom is this continual action, this work of God in nature? For you. Thus, He lights you by the light of day; He nourishes you with the productions of the earth; in a word, He serves you by each one of the creatures that you use; so that it is true to say that at every moment the bounty, the wisdom and the power of God are at your service and are exercised in the world for your wants or pleasures. This conduct of God toward man should be the model of your conduct toward God. You see that the presence of God in His creatures is never idle; it acts incessantly, it preserves, it governs. Beware, then, of stopping at a sterile contemplation of God present in yourself. Add action to contemplation; to the sight of the Divine presence add the faithful accomplishment of the Divine will."
— St. Ignatius, p. 182
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius



On February 11, 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to fourteen-year-old Bernadette Soubiroux in the hollow rock of Massabielle in southern France. That year Bernadette would report a total of 18 apparitions of a woman she described as "lovelier than I have ever seen." The woman in the vision revealed herself as the "Immaculate Conception," in confirmation of this dogma of the Catholic faith which was infallibly defined by the Holy Father just four years previous. Our Lady told Bernadette to drink from an unseen fountain at the grotto, and called for a chapel to be built there. When Bernadette scratched at the ground, a stream of pure spring water surged forth. This stream demonstrated healing properties, and it continues to draw pilgrims to the grotto from around the globe. A basilica was built upon the rock of the Massabielle in response to Our Lady's request, and in 1876 it was consecrated as the "Church of the Rosary." Due to the multitudes of medically documented miraculous healings, the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in the world.

"Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness a word that shall not return: 'To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.'"
Isaiah 45:22-23


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Our Lady of Lourdes

Saint of the Day for February 11

On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in the apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus. A little more than three years later, on February 11, 1858, a young lady appeared to Bernadette Soubirous. This began a series of visions. During the apparition on March 25, the lady identified herself with the words: "I am the Immaculate Conception."

Bernadette was a sickly child of poor parents. Their practice of the Catholic faith was scarcely more than lukewarm. Bernadette could pray the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Creed. She also knew the prayer of the Miraculous Medal: "O Mary conceived without sin."

During interrogations Bernadette gave an account of what she saw. It was "something white in the shape of a girl." She used the word aquero, a dialect term meaning "this thing." It was "a pretty young girl with a rosary over her arm." Her white robe was encircled by a blue girdle. She wore a white veil. There was a yellow rose on each foot. A rosary was in her hand. Bernadette was also impressed by the fact that the lady did not use the informal form of address (tu), but the polite form (vous). The humble virgin appeared to a humble girl and treated her with dignity.

Through that humble girl, Mary revitalized and continues to revitalize the faith of millions of people. People began to flock to Lourdes from other parts of France and from all over the world. In 1862 Church authorities confirmed the authenticity of the apparitions and authorized the cult of Our Lady of Lourdes for the diocese. The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes became worldwide in 1907.

Lourdes has become a place of pilgrimage and healing, but even more of faith. Church authorities have recognized over 60 miraculous cures, although there have probably been many more. To people of faith this is not surprising. It is a continuation of Jesus' healing miracles—now performed at the intercession of his mother. Some would say that the greater miracles are hidden. Many who visit Lourdes return home with renewed faith and a readiness to serve God in their needy brothers and sisters.

There still may be people who doubt the apparitions of Lourdes. Perhaps the best that can be said to them are the words that introduce the film The Song of Bernadette: "For those who believe in God, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible."

Our Lady of Lourdes if the Patron Saint of:
Bodily Ills


Monday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Gn1:1-19

In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth,
the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss,
while a mighty wind swept over the waters.

Then God said,
"Let there be light," and there was light.
God saw how good the light was.
God then separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night."
Thus evening came, and morning followed–the first day.

Then God said,
"Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters,
to separate one body of water from the other."
And so it happened:
God made the dome,
and it separated the water above the dome from the water below it.
God called the dome "the sky."
Evening came, and morning followed–the second day.

Then God said,
"Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin,
so that the dry land may appear."
And so it happened:
the water under the sky was gathered into its basin,
and the dry land appeared.
God called the dry land "the earth,"
and the basin of the water he called "the sea."
God saw how good it was.
Then God said,
"Let the earth bring forth vegetation:
every kind of plant that bears seed
and every kind of fruit tree on earth
that bears fruit with its seed in it."
And so it happened:
the earth brought forth every kind of plant that bears seed
and every kind of fruit tree on earth that
bears fruit with its seed in it.
God saw how good it was.
Evening came, and morning followed–the third day.

Then God said:
"Let there be lights in the dome of the sky,
to separate day from night.
Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years,

and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky,
to shed light upon the earth."
And so it happened:
God made the two great lights,
the greater one to govern the day,
and the lesser one to govern the night;
and he made the stars.
God set them in the dome of the sky,
to shed light upon the earth,
to govern the day and the night,
and to separate the light from the darkness.
God saw how good it was.
Evening came, and morning followed–the fourth day.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 104:1-2a, 5-6, 10 and 12, 24 and 35c
R. (31b) May the Lord be glad in his works.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
You are clothed with majesty and glory,
robed in light as with a cloak.
R. May the Lord be glad in his works.
You fixed the earth upon its foundation,
not to be moved forever;
With the ocean, as with a garment, you covered it;
above the mountains the waters stood.
R. May the Lord be glad in his works.
You send forth springs into the watercourses
that wind among the mountains.
Beside them the birds of heaven dwell;
from among the branches they send forth their song.
R. May the Lord be glad in his works.
How manifold are your works, O LORD!
In wisdom you have wrought them all—
the earth is full of your creatures;
Bless the LORD, O my soul! Alleluia.
R. May the Lord be glad in his works.

Alleluia See Mt 4:23
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom
and cured every disease among the people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 6:53-56

After making the crossing to the other side of the sea,
Jesus and his disciples came to land at Gennesaret
and tied up there.
As they were leaving the boat, people immediately recognized him.
They scurried about the surrounding country
and began to bring in the sick on mats
to wherever they heard he was.
Whatever villages or towns or countryside he entered,
they laid the sick in the marketplaces
and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak;
and as many as touched it were healed.


Meditation: Mark 6:53-56

Our Lady of Lourdes

As many as touched it were healed. (Mark 6:56)

How many people do you suppose Jesus healed during his time on earth? Certainly there must have been hundreds—physical healing was a huge part of his ministry. But you might make a couple of mistaken assumptions if you read only this passage. On the one hand, you might assume that Jesus performed powerful healings only when he walked the earth. On the other hand, you might assume that Jesus will always heal every person who asks him, just as he did in New Testament times.

Both assumptions are extremes. Two thousand years of Church history and current events tell us that many miracles of healing still take place today. But the same combination of history and today's news tells us that not everyone who asks is healed. This is a mystery that we just can't explain. We don't know why some are healed and why some aren't. We do know, however, that God is more loving than we can ever imagine and that he always has our best interests at heart.

It is never wrong to ask God for healing. We should feel free to ask for it boldly, with the confidence of a child asking his father for help.

When Jesus sent his disciples out and told them to "cure the sick," he wanted them to know that divine healing was something they should expect—even when he wasn't physically present with them (Matthew 10:8). This may run counter to our experience, but we should be careful not to put God in a box. He is still God, and that means that he can and sometimes will do what is humanly impossible.

If you are praying for healing for yourself or a loved one, take heart. Even if nothing appears to be changing, you are still doing a lot more than you think. You are taking your needs before the all-powerful, all-loving God. He hears your prayer, and he will do whatever is best in that situation. Be open to whatever kind of healing may take place. It may occur at the hands of the doctor or it may be through your intercession—or it may be both. Or it may be a spiritual healing where you find new peace in the midst of suffering.

"Mighty Lord Jesus, you can do the impossible! Hear my prayer!"

Genesis 1:1-19
Psalm 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12, 24, 35



"I have learned that if you own your wounds, they will have less power over you. If you name the lies, you can take authority over them. But to do this, you need to show up to your own fight."
—Crystalina Evert
from Made New: Healing and Hope for Abuse Survivors

Healing and Hope for Abuse Survivors
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"God saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from the darkness." The word Holy is translated from a hebrew word "Ka-dosh". And that word means "to be set apart". And so our Lord separated what was to be set apart from the beginning, think Adam and Eve, and Abraham, and Moses, and so on until today. And the word "until" doesn't mean things change as we are accustomed in our English language. Think the virgin Mary, had no relations until she bore the Son of God. Things don't change once they are embedded with the indelible mark into eternity. Because "God saw how good it was....".

Let us pray: "May the Lord be glad in his works. Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed! You are clothed with majesty and glory, robed in light as with a cloak." Again with the light. This time it robes our Lord. He likes the light so much, He dresses and covers Himself with it. I sang that song "How great is our God" to prisoners this weekend, "...he wraps Himself in light, and darkness tries to hide". I sung that for the 3rd Joyful Mystery on Saturday. Some prisoners said they so much enjoyed the music, how it changed the whole rosary that day. That's what happens when you apply more love. More light.

In the Holy Gospel, our Lord is found, and people are trying to touch His robe, His love that emanates from within. They have so much faith that countless souls were being touched by this radiant light of love. Healing is a powerful thing. Spiritual healing...the best. Wounded souls need healing. Hurt souls need healing. Offended souls need healing. Abused souls need healing. But what happens in a world where everybody believes they are the victim?

Because that's what I see mostly. Yet, there is a grain of truth to that. Yes we are victims, but we are also perpetrators of merciless living. Thoughtless words, countless thoughtless words and intuitions, we are merciless. Eye for an eye. Putting people in their place-behind their backs. Where is the light in all that? Who needs the healing now? And why aren't "they" (actually we) reaching to touch Jesus? Because, we believe we are the victims. "I won't apologize until they say sorry first". That's not forgiveness. That's the total opposite. I have to say these things, because you have to spread the message of purity.

Today we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the day St. Bernadette was told to honor our Mother who called herself "The Immaculate Conception". Something protestants detest; The improbability of someone designed and destined to be the unblemished ark of the Covenant. But it has to be light from light, true God from True God. Not of this world. Separated. Set apart. And this light is now imparted to you. Who cares what people say? Touch the tassel anyway. "They scurried about the surrounding country
and began to bring in the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was."
People cared. People carried. I'll let you in on a secret, but only because I trust you with it, enough to pray for me about it: Soon me and some will be gathering, maybe next week, and we are going to be praying for the lost. Those that are sick and don't know they are sick. We shouldn't just think of physical illness as much as spiritual illness, because often it is together. We will begin a 7 week non stop prayer chain for certain individual in need of prayer and some will be brought into the prayer group as we pray over them. I'm envisioning a charismatic gathering, a healing gathering as we gather them to our Lord.

You see how real all this can be?
I invite you, in your part of the world to do the same. The time is not lent, the time is not pentecost, the time is not for then but for now. There are miracles that occur, but the greatest? A soul that sees the light...the robe of Jesus, and is called to the be set apart....and holy.
And that person can be you, today.


random audio bible verse as I wrote to you today


Thank You Jesus

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