Monday, February 18, 2019

⛪ "“To This Generation"

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Time for a Date with God

Mystics through the centuries have described their passionate and intense experiences of God in prayer as though God were a lover. Others, such as the medieval English abbot Aelred of Rievaulx, have considered God as like a friend. Still others, including Jesus of Nazareth, speak of God as a father or a mother. Just as each of these images—lover, friend, and parent—does not exhaust the richness of God's ability to relate to us in ever increasingly personal ways, to think of God in terms of dating will also inevitably fall short of perfection. Nevertheless, I believe that this way of looking at our relationship with God, new as it may seem to us, might be just what today's spiritual seekers need to rekindle a sense of the divine in their lives or to discover it for the first time. An experience like dating—that is, a relationship of increasing intimacy, complication, and change—is exactly what Francis and Clare of Assisi knew in their lives lived as prayer. Perhaps it's time that, following their cues, we go on a date with God.

—from Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis


"I will go anywhere and do anything in order to communicate the love of Jesus to those who do not know Him or have forgotten Him."
— St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

"Christianity asserts that every individual human being is going to live for ever, and this must be either true or false. Now there are a good many things which would not be worth bothering about if I were going to live only seventy years, but which I had better bother about very seriously if I am going to live for ever."
— C.S. Lewis, p. 74
Mere Christianity

"For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace."
James 3:16-18


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Blessed John of Fiesole

(1387 – February 18, 1455)
The patron of Christian artists was born around 1400 in a village overlooking Florence. He took up painting as a young boy and studied under the watchful eye of a local painting master. He joined the Dominicans at about age 20, taking the name Fra Giovanni. He eventually came to be known as Fra Angelico, perhaps a tribute to his own angelic qualities or maybe the devotional tone of his works.

He continued to study painting and perfect his own techniques, which included broad-brush strokes, vivid colors and generous, lifelike figures. Michelangelo once said of Fra Angelico: "One has to believe that this good monk has visited paradise and been allowed to choose his models there." Whatever his subject matter, Fra Angelico sought to generate feelings of religious devotion in response to his paintings. Among his most famous works are the Annunciation and Descent from the Cross as well as frescoes in the monastery of San Marco in Florence.


He also served in leadership positions within the Dominican Order. At one point, Pope Eugenius approached him about serving as archbishop of Florence. Fra Angelico declined, preferring a simpler life. He died in 1455.

The work of artists adds a wonderful dimension to life. Without art our lives would be much depleted. Let us pray for artists today, especially those who can lift our hearts and minds to God.

Blessed John of Fiesole is the Patron Saint of:

Christian Artists


Monday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Gn 4:1-15, 25

The man had relations with his wife Eve,
and she conceived and bore Cain, saying,
"I have produced a man with the help of the LORD."
Next she bore his brother Abel.
Abel became a keeper of flocks, and Cain a tiller of the soil.
In the course of time Cain brought an offering to the LORD
from the fruit of the soil,
while Abel, for his part,
brought one of the best firstlings of his flock.
The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering,
but on Cain and his offering he did not.
Cain greatly resented this and was crestfallen.
So the LORD said to Cain:
"Why are you so resentful and crestfallen.
If you do well, you can hold up your head;
but if not, sin is a demon lurking at the door:
his urge is toward you, yet you can be his master."

Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let us go out in the field."
When they were in the field,
Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
Then the LORD asked Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?"
He answered, "I do not know.
Am I my brother's keeper?"
The LORD then said: "What have you done!
Listen: your brother's blood cries out to me from the soil!
Therefore you shall be banned from the soil
that opened its mouth to receive
your brother's blood from your hand.
If you till the soil, it shall no longer give you its produce.
You shall become a restless wanderer on the earth."
Cain said to the LORD: "My punishment is too great to bear.
Since you have now banished me from the soil,
and I must avoid your presence
and become a restless wanderer on the earth,
anyone may kill me at sight."
"Not so!" the LORD said to him.
"If anyone kills Cain, Cain shall be avenged sevenfold."
So the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest anyone should kill him at sight.

Adam again had relations with his wife,
and she gave birth to a son whom she called Seth.
"God has granted me more offspring in place of Abel," she said,
"because Cain slew him."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 50:1 and 8, 16bc-17, 20-21
R. (14a) Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
God the LORD has spoken and summoned the earth,
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
"Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
for your burnt offerings are before me always."
R. Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
"Why do you recite my statutes,
and profess my covenant with your mouth
Though you hate discipline
and cast my words behind you?"
R. Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
"You sit speaking against your brother;
against your mother's son you spread rumors.
When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it?
Or do you think that I am like yourself?
I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes."
R. Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.

Alleluia Jn 14:6
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 8:11-13

The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus,
seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.
He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said,
"Why does this generation seek a sign?
Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation."
Then he left them, got into the boat again,
and went off to the other shore.


Catholic Meditations
Meditation: Genesis 4:1-15, 25

6th Week in Ordinary Time

Sin is a demon lurking at the door . . . yet you can be his master. (Genesis 4:7)

This story starts off with great promise. Both Cain and Abel have prepared their offerings to the Lord. They know that God has created and sustained them. They know that everything comes from him and that offering a sacrifice is only right. We also know that God sees Cain's heart when Cain's sacrifice falls short and that he knows the temptation Cain is facing.

We also see God make a promise to Cain. He offers him the strength to turn away from anger and jealousy. He is ready to help Cain "master" the sin that is tempting him (Genesis 4:7).

Here again is another sign that God had not abandoned his people after Adam and Eve fell into sin. Here we see God talking directly to Cain, encouraging him and steering him in the right direction. He isn't asking Cain to rely on his own strength alone; he offers divine strength to help him.

God is offering his same divine strength to you as well. He knows your heart. He knows whom you struggle to love. He knows the angers you harbor. Yet he is speaking to you, just as he spoke to Cain, and promising you the grace to master your own sin. He invites you to bring your temptations before him so that he can help you with his grace. He is asking you to listen to him so that he can help you find the way to love.

Right now, imagine yourself in this scene. Imagine God is calling your name as he called out to Cain. You might hear him asking you a question similar to the one he asked Cain: Why are you resentful? Why are you dwelling on this temptation? As you consider how to answer, be assured that God is patiently waiting for you to ask for his help. He is offering you an exchange: your anger for divine strength. Your jealousy for healing. Your resentment for a changed heart.

God makes these exact same offers when you face every kind of temptation. He is always with you. He knows your heart, and he is always ready to offer you his grace to help you gain mastery over every sin.

"Lord, help me look to you for your divine strength in the face of every temptation."

Psalm 50:1, 8, 16-17, 20-21
Mark 8:11-13



Compared to eternity, time can seem inferior, degenerate. But this is an abstract speculation. If we look at man's purpose and destiny, which is to be introduced into the life of the Trinity, then it is clear that time is a gift. Time gives us a chance to grow. Thanks to time, what God has placed within us can germinate and become a tree. Because of time, we have the possibility of participating in God's creation ourselves.
—Fr. Wilfrid Stinissen, O.C.D.
from Eternity in the Midst of Time


"Why are you so resentful and crestfallen.
If you do well, you can hold up your head..."
Our Lord asks the murderer these questions. The Lord knows this man was infected and sick, like rabies. And this rabid mentality exists to this day. Murder on the minds of people who are crestfallen. Think of the pregnant mother. She sees not the blessings but the curses. Cursed. Infected with a mortal malady. Sin. Yet our Lord encourages again, "sin is a demon lurking at the door: his urge is toward you, yet you can be his master."
And so the Master enters our lives now to show the Way, the Truth, and the Life.


Offer to God a sacrifice of praise. "Why do you recite my statutes, and profess my covenant with your mouth Though you hate discipline and cast my words behind you?" Jesus said "'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me." How many of us are Christian from the teeth out? And how many of us are Christians from the heart? Our Lord knows who is true. I always recall the duplicity vision He has when He says to Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, "Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him." Jesus knows who has a double standard, a standard of your own...and another to judge God Himself! Isn't that the sad position most unbelievers have of our Lord? And in order to believe, they demand signs, if they demand at all.


Let us turn to our Lord today. He finds Himself with followers that don't' believe in Him. How funny is that, and are we like that too? To illustrate this story, a man from Denmark, Soren Kierkegaard, wrote a story about the ducks and it goes like this:

"One fine Lord's Day, he wrote, all of the ducks dutifully waddled to duck church, where the parson duck stood to deliver his homily. He opened his duck Bible to the place where it spoke of God's great gift to ducks—wings. "With wings", said the duck preacher, "we ducks can fly! We can mount up like eagles and soar the heavens! We can escape the confinement of pens and fences; we can know the utter euphoria of unfettered freedom! We must give God thanks for such a great gift as wings!" To which all of the ducks in duck church stood to their feet with a hearty "Amen!" And then, they turned around…and waddled home.
- It's all too easy to fall into this same trap today. Let's remember that Christ called us to present 100% of who we are to Him. "

Is it wrong to ask for signs? Yes. LOL, before you get riled up, let me explain. These Pharisees came to argue with Jesus. So much so that they argued Him out of their church. It says at the end of the short Gospel that our Lord ".. left them, got into the boat again, and went off to the other shore." What was so wrong about what they were doing? They were telling God what to do, when and how. Aren't we like that? Demanding. Aren't we Pharisaical? These Pharisees weren't needing healing. They didn't need nothing at all. So Jesus left. They didn't need His teachings. So He left. They didn't need His presence, so He left. They were like Herod, demanding a "little miracle" like a circus sideshow to appease them and then throw it away. That's not how miracles work and that is not what they are for. A little miracle makes great faith show and grow. And it is for grateful souls. The kind that will be eternally grateful. The kind that makes one humble before our Lord. But that would not happen with the Pharisees. That would not happen with the lukewarm. For the most part, we live off faith. We live off a little miracle, like the one I just experienced in between writing to you...I accepted our Lord and Savior into my mind, body, and soul in the Holy Eucharist moments ago. I write at work, but I can take off for about 30 minutes or so to go to Mass. Why?

I experienced this just now: Our Lord comes in sacrifice, we join Him in that eternal offering. He makes Himself flesh for flesh. And He let's Himself be chewed up by a sinner, like me. And He decides to become one with me as in every soul in Holy Communion. Sacrifice is had. I heard alot of grumbling throughout Mass, empty stomachs. After receiving, no more grumbling. We were filled with God's grace. Enough grace for today's troubles. Amen.
Sacrifice what you don't want to.
Your grumbling for humility.
Your thoughts of God for what He really is.
Sacrifice your feelings, they are not worth more than the cross.
The cross, it hurts. But love changes everything. God's vision becomes clear.
And remember, He has a special vision...for you


I got a random audio bible verse as I wrote to you today, click to hear it


Random Bible verse pulled up:
Philippians 4:19 (Listen)

"19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus."

Thank You Jesus

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