Tuesday, February 19, 2019

⛪ Do you not yet understand

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Love Draws Us Back to God

Love God and do as you will, says St. Augustine, for love is its own commandment. That is how St. Francis took it and lived it. He sinned, as all humans do, but after his conversion, he always knew when he had sinned because Love's commandment drew him back to the divine love that underpinned everything he was and did. It was not so much fear of punishment that motivated Francis but rather his commitment to him whom he loved, Jesus Christ. To separate oneself from Christ would be the sin for Francis. If he feared anything, it would have been that he would betray Christ, the love of his life.

—from Surrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from Saint Francis


"We shall steer safely through every storm, so long as our heart is right, our intention fervent, our courage steadfast, and our trust fixed on God."
— St. Francis de Sales

"And so the idea of peace came down to do the work of peace: The Word was made flesh and even now dwells among us. It is by faith that he dwells in our hearts, in our memory, our intellect and penetrates even into our imagination. What concept could man have of God if he did not first fashion an image of him in his heart? By nature incomprehensible and inaccessible, he was invisible and unthinkable, but now he wished to be understood, to be seen and thought of. But how, you ask, was this done? He lay in a manger and rested on a virgin's breast, preached on a mountain, and spent the night in prayer. He hung on a cross, grew pale in death, and roamed free among the dead and ruled over those in hell. He rose again on the third day, and showed the apostles the wounds of the nails, the signs of victory; and finally in their presence he ascended to the sanctuary of heaven. How can we not contemplate this story in truth, piety and holiness?"
— St. Bernard, p. 186
Witness of the Saints

"Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to you, when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I; for you are my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me abide in your tent forever, find refuge under the shelter of your wings."
Psalm 61:1-4


click to read more


Saint Conrad of Piacenza

(c. 1290 – February 19, 1351)

Born of a noble family in northern Italy, Conrad as a young man married Euphrosyne, daughter of a nobleman.

One day while hunting he ordered attendants to set fire to some brush in order to flush out the game. The fire spread to nearby fields and to a large forest. Conrad fled. An innocent peasant was imprisoned, tortured to confess, and condemned to death. Conrad confessed his guilt, saved the man's life, and paid for the damaged property.

Soon after this event, Conrad and his wife agreed to separate: she to a Poor Clare monastery and he to a group of hermits following the Third Order Rule. His reputation for holiness, however, spread quickly. Since his many visitors destroyed his solitude, Conrad went to a more remote spot in Sicily where he lived 36 years as a hermit, praying for himself and for the rest of the world.

Prayer and penance were his answer to the temptations that beset him. Conrad died kneeling before a crucifix. He was canonized in 1625.

Francis of Assisi was drawn both to contemplation and to a life of preaching; periods of intense prayer nourished his preaching. Some of his early followers, however, felt called to a life of greater contemplation, and he accepted that. Though Conrad of Piacenza is not the norm in the Church, he and other contemplatives remind us of the greatness of God and of the joys of heaven.


Tuesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Gn 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10

When the LORD saw how great was man's wickedness on earth,
and how no desire that his heart conceived
was ever anything but evil,
he regretted that he had made man on the earth,
and his heart was grieved.

So the LORD said:
"I will wipe out from the earth the men whom I have created,
and not only the men,
but also the beasts and the creeping things and the birds of the air,
for I am sorry that I made them."
But Noah found favor with the LORD.

Then the LORD said to Noah:
"Go into the ark, you and all your household,
for you alone in this age have I found to be truly just.
Of every clean animal, take with you seven pairs,
a male and its mate;
and of the unclean animals, one pair,
a male and its mate;
likewise, of every clean bird of the air, seven pairs,
a male and a female,
and of all the unclean birds, one pair,
a male and a female.
Thus you will keep their issue alive over all the earth.
Seven days from now I will bring rain down on the earth
for forty days and forty nights,
and so I will wipe out from the surface of the earth
every moving creature that I have made."
Noah did just as the LORD had commanded him.

As soon as the seven days were over,
the waters of the flood came upon the earth.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 29:1a and 2, 3ac-4, 3b and 9c-10
R. (11b) The Lord will bless his people with peace.
Give to the LORD, you sons of God,
give to the LORD glory and praise,
Give to the LORD the glory due his name;
adore the LORD in holy attire.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.

The voice of the LORD is over the waters,
the LORD, over vast waters.
The voice of the LORD is mighty;
the voice of the LORD is majestic.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The God of glory thunders,
and in his temple all say, "Glory!"
The LORD is enthroned above the flood;
the LORD is enthroned as king forever.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.

Alleluia Jn 14:23
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord;
and my Father will love him
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 8:14-21

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread,
and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.
Jesus enjoined them, "Watch out,
guard against the leaven of the Pharisees
and the leaven of Herod."
They concluded among themselves that
it was because they had no bread.
When he became aware of this he said to them,
"Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread?
Do you not yet understand or comprehend?
Are your hearts hardened?
Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?
And do you not remember,
when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand,
how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?"
They answered him, "Twelve."
"When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand,
how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?"
They answered him, "Seven."
He said to them, "Do you still not understand?"


Meditation: Mark 8:14-21

Do you still not understand? (Mark 8:21)

Twice in today's Gospel, Jesus asked his apostles, "Do you not yet understand? . . . Do you still not understand?" (Mark 8:17, 21). The answer is obvious. The apostles thought Jesus was lecturing them about their irresponsibility in forgetting to bring enough bread for their journey (8:16). But Jesus was after something much more important.

When Jesus told them, "Guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod," he was talking about corrupt teaching that imposes burdensome laws, employs a double standard, and seeks for personal gain (Mark 8:15).

Jesus was also telling the apostles that he was capable of meeting all of their needs. You can hear him saying, "Can't you remember? Didn't you see me take a few loaves and feed everyone? Didn't you gather up many baskets of leftovers? Why would you ever doubt me?"

So what lessons can we glean from this?

First, don't reduce your faith to a matter of obeying laws and commandments. If you do, you risk falling into the trap of feeling good about yourself if you succeed and feeling miserable if you feel you have failed. There is so much more to the life of faith than upholding God's laws.

Second, let Jesus' multiplication of the loaves and fishes build up your faith in his love for you. He knows how difficult it can be to believe in something that seems illogical at first—something like a miracle. But this is exactly what Jesus asks us to do every day. He asks us to put our whole hope in him even though we can't see him. He asks us to believe that he will provide for us. He asks us to believe that he can lead us to heaven.

If we trust only in what we see, we will limit what Jesus can do in us. Instead, let the miracle of the loaves help you see that Jesus is both willing and able to meet your needs.

John's Gospel tells us that the apostles eventually understood (16:30). We can understand too—if we persist in faith and believe in the One who loves us unconditionally.

"Jesus, help me to understand. Help me believe that you can satisfy my deepest desires. O Lord, I trust in you."

Genesis 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10
Psalm 29:1-4, 9-10



Indeed, the pro-abortion culture is especially strong precisely where the Church's teaching on contraception is rejected. . . . [Contraception] and abortion are often closely connected, as fruits of the same tree.
—Pope John Paul II
from Evangelium Vitae


"Go into the ark, you and all your household, for you alone in this age have I found to be truly just." This was now the second covenant. It was being formed once again, a call to faithfulness. Shall we tire of this message? "Remain". Shall I get tired of His Holy encouragement? "Abide in Me". For the world had made a mockery of faithfulness. But God wanted 7. The number of the covenant. He sevened everything. We are sevened in the Holy Sacraments. Think Grace. Grace abounds for those who toil in His way. You will sow with tears and reap rejoicing. In the world, people live off feelings. Noah worked off of grace. This is the life we are called to. Emotions play a certain role, but not all. Grace is more of an important role...indeed, the Way.


Let us pray: "The Lord will bless his people with peace. The God of glory thunders, and in his temple all say, "Glory!" The LORD is enthroned above the flood; the LORD is enthroned as king forever. " Our Lord once said forever: "Peace* I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid." Let these words soak in your soul. His peace is not as the world offers. Did you know that the Anti-Christ is alive and is offering a peace in your life too? If you do as it says, it will leave you alone. This is why our Lord offers His leaven, for He is our advocate, and then, you have the adversary.


So let us turn to our Lord and Savior, and let us Hear His precious voice:

"Watch out...", He is always telling us to be on guard, in vigil watch with Him, with lights on, oil ready, because we know not the hour nor the day when He will come nor will you know when the adversary has entered, it will just happen and catch you unaware. Ours is to be a constant vigil, prayer mode, and this means grace.

"...guard against the leaven of the Pharisees
and the leaven of Herod." It is said that the Roman government knew how to rule its people, and it is obvious, for they were successful to the tune of hundreds of years of ruling and is arguably known as the most powerful force of its time. But your loyalty comes at a price. Your faithfulness has its due. What does it cost you to be a Christian? Not much? For some in the world, it costs them their lives. And I'm not talking past tense, we are talking the present. I see it everywhere, the type of people God abhors from the times of Noah, when He felt like just wiping the entire world, hitting the reset button. " the LORD saw how great was man's wickedness on earth, and how no desire that his heart conceived was ever anything but evil,
he regretted that he had made man on the earth,
and his heart was grieved."

Yet hope was born, out of God's sheer goodness. The earth was spared, but cleansed.
The world was purified with water.
God baptized the world.
And out of it, the hope walked away...the Sevens.

The promise. The rainbow of God's promise, colors, a bow tie for the present.
We live in the present hope. For the new covenant was born with Jesus now who would baptize with fire. They say the end of the world will end with fire. Even Jesus said "I've come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already ablaze!". Out of the Holy Spirit, souls walk on fire for the Lord. These are hope. Born is hope, not walking in darkness, but in holiness, and living pure, purely for God's will. Think Blessed Mother Mary and all the saints that lived from there on.

And the 12 disciples, they were the bread that remained, as the 12 wicker baskets that were left after feeding 5,000.
And the 7 that remained after feeding 4,000.
That Holy Bread was to remain as the covenant promise. Think Eucharist. Think of how bread is cooked. With fire.

Is your heart on fire? Have you felt it burn for the Lord lately?
If it is, you must have an ardent desire to do God's will, a burning desire to live and accomplish His desires...a holy desire, not the kind that grieves Him.
In a video I saw by a priest on real love for valentines, he said that true love is seeking the good of the other, for the other. And true good is eternal. Amen?
Let us be encouraged with the bread of life, Jesus. Jesus couldn't say it any clearer, I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE.
What everyone else is feeding you are lies. For the world offers a lie for peace, for people are out to do their own will and not the will of Our Father.
I'm not going to give real life examples because you know what deviates and detracts from the Way.
But I am leaving you with a plea from Heaven:
as He pleads
Trust In Me, He says.

Thank you Lord for this present


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


Random Bible Verse from Sanders:
Luke 19:10 (Listen)
10 "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."

Thank You Jesus

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