Friday, March 15, 2019

⛪ Bring your gift to the altar ⛪

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Prayer and Action

How often do we ignore the poor around us? At the very least, take time to see them. Smile. Make eye contact. Set aside some amount of cash each week to give to people you see on the street. If you don't want to give money, keep snacks or personal care items in your car. Don't just feel guilty today—take action!

Let this prayer guide our steps:
Let us ask the Lord for the grace
to always see the Lazarus who knocks
at our heart and for the grace to go outside
of ourselves with generosity,
with an attitude of mercy,
so that God's mercy can enter our heart.

—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek


clickable: The Following is from MorningOffering

"No one, however weak, is denied a share in the victory of the cross. No one is beyond the help of the prayer of Christ."
— St. Leo the Great

"The Blessed Virgin endured a long and cruel martyrdom in her heart for our sakes, and for love of us. Frequently, and with feelings of tender love, contemplate her standing at the foot of the Cross, and join her in bewailing and weeping over sin, which, by causing the death of Jesus, rent in twain the heart of Mary. Pledge your heart to this Mother of sorrows, by some habitual act of devotion and mortification, in remembrance and in honor of her bitter sufferings. Also, endure something for love of her, imitating her patience, resignation, and silence."
— Fr. Ignatius of the Side of Jesus, p. 259
The School of Jesus Crucified

"When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, I was stupid and ignorant; I was like a brute beast toward you. Nevertheless I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me with honor. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
Psalm 73:21-26


click to read more



St. Louise De Marillac (1591-1660) was born in Paris, France to a noble family and received her education at a Dominican convent. Her mother died shortly after her birth, and her father when she was sixteen years of age. It was then necessary for her to decide her vocation, and being dissuaded from entering religious life by her spiritual director, as was her desire, she married and bore a son. Later she worried that she had rejected a divine call to the religious life, and vowed that should her husband die, she would not remarry. Two years later her husband died after a long illness. During this time she met a holy priest, St. Vincent de Paul, and placed herself under his spiritual direction. Through his influence she worked among the poor and disadvantaged in Paris, and co-founded the Sisters of Charity with him in 1642. After writing their rule of life she traveled around France establishing her new religious order to work in hospitals, orphanages, and other institutions that aided the poor. She was especially gifted at spiritual guidance and served as the superior of the Sisters of Charity in Paris until her death. St. Louise De Marillac is the patron saint of social workers, the sick, widows, and against the loss of parents. Her feast day is March 15th.


Friday of the First Week of Lent

Reading 1 Ez 18:21-28

Thus says the Lord GOD:
If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed,
if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just,
he shall surely live, he shall not die.
None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him;
he shall live because of the virtue he has practiced.
Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked?
says the Lord GOD.
Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way
that he may live?

And if the virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil,
the same kind of abominable things that the wicked man does,
can he do this and still live?
None of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered,
because he has broken faith and committed sin;
because of this, he shall die.
You say, "The LORD's way is not fair!"
Hear now, house of Israel:
Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?
When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies,
it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die.
But if the wicked, turning from the wickedness he has committed,
does what is right and just,
he shall preserve his life;
since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed,
he shall surely live, he shall not die.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-7a, 7bc-8
R. (3) If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
LORD, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
that you may be revered.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
I trust in the LORD;
my soul trusts in his word.
My soul waits for the LORD
more than sentinels wait for the dawn.
Let Israel wait for the LORD.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
For with the LORD is kindness
and with him is plenteous redemption;
And he will redeem Israel
from all their iniquities.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?

Verse Before the Gospel Ez 18:31

Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the LORD,
and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.

Gospel Mt 5:20-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
"I tell you,
unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

"You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother, Raqa,
will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny."


Meditation: Matthew 5:20-26

1st Week of Lent

You will be thrown into prison. (Matthew 5:25)

J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings centers around a magical ring that gives its wearers a dark power over others. The ring is so evil that even those who don't want to exercise that dark power find themselves falling under its spell.

What that mythical ring did to its wearer, anger can do to us. When someone has hurt us, especially someone we trusted, the anger that we feel can be so strong that it takes hold of us. We may even hold on to it because it gives us a kind of power over that person—they can't reconcile with us as long as we remain angry at them.

That's why we need to take Jesus' warning about anger seriously. He describes a scenario in which anger leads to a man being thrown in prison. Tolkien's ring has the power to, as the book says, "in the darkness bind them." Similarly, we can bind people in darkness when we let our anger harden into bitterness and resentment. But ironically, we too are left bound up and in spiritual darkness if we persist. We end up in a kind of prison of our own making.

The only way out is to forgive. If you want to be free, then work on setting free whoever has made you angry. It's not always easy, and it's not always something we can do on our own. Thank God we have Jesus, whose mercy has the power to melt our hearts so that we can forgive!

If there is someone you are struggling with, try visualizing that person for a moment. Now put Jesus into the picture. Imagine he is standing with both of you and looking at each of you with love. Think about how his forgiveness extends to both of you. Then say a simple prayer, something like "Jesus, help me let go of my anger. I want to feel your love and mercy for this person so that I can forgive."

Genuine, heartfelt forgiveness may not happen all at once. But God's mercy always wins. If you can keep praying for the grace to forgive, he will unlock your prison door and bring you into his freedom.

"Lord, help me to live in the freedom of your Spirit and to renounce all anger and bitterness."

Ezekiel 18:21-28
Psalm 130:1-8



Of the Lord's life on earth, 91% was hidden, and of Mary's life, 97%. The Holy of Holies and "Nature's Solitary Boast" lived lives of deep prayer before great works. They would stay close to the Source of all good works and drink deep of the fountain of living waters—the Father.
—Mother Angelica
from Christ and Our Lady


"If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed,
if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just,
he shall surely live, he shall not die. " The verse starts with an important word "If". It all hinges on the decision. Decide today to be a saint. They say only saints are in Heaven. How can we become saints? Some say we are saints, some say we are holy, but what we do with our holiness and sainthood is the ordeal and dilemma we face. Day in and day out. Turn from sin.


Let us pray: "O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand? Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
LORD, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication." I have some dear friends that follow the Lord, or at least they try, like me. I notice the more afflicted ones are the more faithful. Some people on their toes notice the afflictions and they shy away from ... the Lord...the cross. But what if that cross holds you so tight to the Lord? And what if that cross is what makes you that holy saint you dream about being?


In the Holy Gospel, our Lord told us ""I tell you,
unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven." And by all means, these scribes and Pharisees where doers of the law, they did everything the law prescribed! WOW. So we are supposed to surpass them to enter Heaven? Lord have mercy on us.

Yet, He says yes, "your righteousness" must surpass theirs....your holiness must surpass theirs! What is holiness? Ask yourself, identify they goal. Most would agree it is the opposite of sinfulness and darkness, amen? But what if I asked you to go beyond the law? What if I asked you for a deep and convicted love? What if I asked you to give your life? I prayed the stations of the cross this morning, and at each station the prayer included "Grant that I may love Thee always; and then do with me what Thou wilt".
YIKES! Let God do whatever with me? Yes. I have to catch myself there every time and sometimes start all over on the station's meditation. Focus. God's will. Let Him live. Let Him be. That is the hardest part.
I told my friends in faith sharing last night, that I had wrote about being a faker. I gave an impromptu example: "Take brother here for example, he invited us to his home, he opened the door, he cooked us a meal, and he hugs us....I can't do that, I struggle to do something like that, he knows how to love and I don't". Don't know what I mean? Let me put it simply; I do many things for God (like Pharisees) but I don't love like God. My fight always internally is to be a true lover of Christ. I can pile on more and more devotions, but if I don't have love? I'm constantly struggling and seeking Him. I seek Him in nursing homes, prisons, through workers and strangers and family. He is an elusive figure in my life...but it could be that I am evasive. I want all the glory and put out no guts. I want to be a saint without any suffering. I want Heaven to be what I want, and not what God wants. I want glory defined by my earthly thoughts. And it is not.

I will tell you then, a synopsis of prophecy for the week "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," Isaiah 55 8-9.
What does this mean? Quite, believe, and love Him as Father God. It means what He says is the law. When He says " whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna" means He has stepped up what He desires in Holiness, (from doing, to saying, to being). He actually a big bloody plunge. God came to show us His desire, therefore His will in Jesus Christ our Lord and savior.

Your silly talk is being counted. Every word is being noted. Every thought is noticed. What you whisper is shouted in the next realm. Be afraid to sin, that offend our Lord. Why? Because He is among us. That is the tragedy we sin...against one another. To lack love of God.
A brother chimed in last night "if I lived back when Jesus was here"...then I chimed in: "but we are to live like that now, because Jesus is among us". To say I'd be better back then is a lie. For He is here and now. He will always simply BE. His sacrifice on the cross is eternally that way...forever and now.

Glory to God


click to hear the bible verse


Random Bible Verse
Proverbs 13:20 (Listen)

20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

Thank You Jesus

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