Wednesday, March 20, 2019

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The Sound of Silence

In our noisy, cluttered world, we need silence. Silence heals, refreshes, energizes, inspires, sharpens, clarifies. It simplifies. It is the medium of truth. And it is the font of the pure single Word that both perfectly communicates it and leads back to it. If we consciously turn off the TV or close the computer, restrain unnecessary speech, avoid out smartphones, look people lovingly in the eye, we are enhancing the same direct work of silence that we return to meeting in our meditation. And we are making the world a more silent and awakened place.

—from the book Sensing God: Learning to Meditate during Lent by Laurence Freeman, OSB


clickable: The Following is from MorningOffering

†Saint Quote
"The Divine Heart is an ocean full of all good things, wherein poor souls can cast all their needs; it is an ocean full of joy to drown all our sadness, an ocean of humility to drown our folly, an ocean of mercy to those in distress, an ocean of love in which to submerge our poverty."
— St. Margaret Mary

"If during vocal prayer your heart is drawn to mental prayer, do not restrain it, but let your devotion take that channel, omitting the vocal prayers which you intended to say: that which takes their place is more acceptable to God, and more useful to your own soul."
— St. Francis de Sales, p. 63
An Introduction to the Devout Life

"For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, 'Do not fear, I will help you.'"
Isaiah 41:13


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Saint Salvator of Horta

(1520 – March 18, 1567)

A reputation for holiness does have some drawbacks. Public recognition can be a nuisance at times—as the confreres of Salvator found out.

Salvator was born during Spain's Golden Age. Art, politics, and wealth were flourishing. So was religion. Ignatius of Loyola founded the Society of Jesus in 1540.

Salvator's parents were poor. At the age of 21, he entered the Franciscans as a brother and was soon known for his asceticism, humility, and simplicity. As cook, porter, and later the official beggar for the friars in Tortosa, he became well known for his charity. He healed the sick with the Sign of the Cross. When crowds of sick people began coming to the friary to see Salvator, the friars transferred him to Horta. Again, the sick flocked to ask his intercession; one person estimated that 2,000 people a week came to see Salvator. He told them to examine their consciences, go to confession, and to receive Holy Communion worthily. He refused to pray for those who would not receive those sacraments.

The public attention given to Salvator was relentless. The crowds would sometimes tear off pieces of his habit as relics. Two years before his death, Salvator was moved again, this time to Cagliari on the island of Sardinia. He died at Cagliari saying, "Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit." He was canonized in 1938.

Medical science is now seeing more clearly the relation of some diseases to one's emotional and spiritual life. In Healing Life's Hurts, Matthew and Dennis Linn report that sometimes people experience relief from illness only when they have decided to forgive others. Salvator prayed that people might be healed, and many were. Surely not all diseases can be treated this way; medical help should not be abandoned. But notice that Salvator urged his petitioners to reestablish their priorities in life before they asked for healing.
The Liturgical Feast of Saint Salvator of Horta is October 18.


Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent

Reading 1 Jer 18:18-20

The people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem said,
"Come, let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah.
It will not mean the loss of instruction from the priests,
nor of counsel from the wise, nor of messages from the prophets.
And so, let us destroy him by his own tongue;
let us carefully note his every word."

Heed me, O LORD,
and listen to what my adversaries say.
Must good be repaid with evil
that they should dig a pit to take my life?
Remember that I stood before you
to speak in their behalf,
to turn away your wrath from them.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 31:5-6, 14, 15-16

R. (17b) Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
You will free me from the snare they set for me,
for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
I hear the whispers of the crowd, that frighten me from every side,
as they consult together against me, plotting to take my life.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
But my trust is in you, O LORD;
I say, "You are my God."
In your hands is my destiny; rescue me
from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.

Verse Before the Gospel Jn 8:12

I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.

Gospel Mt 20:17-28

As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem,
he took the Twelve disciples aside by themselves,
and said to them on the way,
"Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem,
and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests
and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death,
and hand him over to the Gentiles
to be mocked and scourged and crucified,
and he will be raised on the third day."

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons
and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her, "What do you wish?"
She answered him,
"Command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom."
Jesus said in reply,
"You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?"
They said to him, "We can."
He replied,
"My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left,
this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."
When the ten heard this,
they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said,
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many."


Meditation: Matthew 20:17-28

Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant. (Matthew 20:26)

Recently, a group of women began getting together to pray for their college-aged children. Things were going pretty well at the first gathering until one of the women inadvertently shifted the focus. Rather than stating only what she wanted prayer for, this mom added a few sentences about all that her child had accomplished. In their minds, the other women began to compare their children with this woman's, trying to see who had done the better job of parenting.

Some might say this is a common pitfall of being a parent. Without even realizing it, we can all be tempted to seek attention for our children—or even ourselves—at the expense of other people. That's why the ambitious mother of James and John might make us uncomfortable. Hearing her try to secure a special position for her sons in God's kingdom can hit close to home for us.

Jesus' response is blunt: "You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?" (Matthew 20:22). He exposes their mixed motivations and clarifies what greatness in his kingdom really looks like. Authority and position are to be used in service, Jesus explains. And to serve is to seek to love above all.

You are probably in a position of service in some way, in your church, in your workplace, or in your family. This gives you an opportunity to put this principle into practice. As you serve, focus on love. Try to take the focus off yourself, and that will help curb any tendency towards selfishness or self-serving ambition. Love looks at the people we are serving as treasured children of God. It treats them as vessels of the Holy Spirit, worthy of every honor and dignity possible.

The love behind service is the same love that brought Jesus into the world and drove him to the cross. It's the love that Jesus has for you—a love that he invites you to share with everyone around you.

If you have difficulty loving the people you are serving, ask the Holy Spirit to help you. He will help soften your heart a little bit more, and he will help you find ways to care for these people more selflessly, one step at a time.

"Jesus, teach me to serve your people with your love."

Jeremiah 18:18-20
Psalm 31:5-6, 14-16



The Marian and Josephite devotions are the most rapid way to obtain Christian perfection. They are the fastest way to obtain fully and completely all the Sacramental graces when we participate in any one of the Sacraments.
—Fr. Clement Machado
from St. Joseph: The Church's Best Kept Secret


Jeremiah was persecuted, just like the other prophets of Old and many of today, ".... let us destroy him by his own tongue". Always traps to catch you by what you say and do. What can I say to this? Welcome to the world! Welcome to the church militant that fights for the church suffering so we may obtain the church triumphant...that is, Christ.


Let us pray: "Save me, O Lord, in your kindness. You will free me from the snare they set for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hands I commend my spirit; you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God." And so our Lord commends His Spirit into the hands of the Father. He breathes His last in total confidence. That's what we need, amen? A surrender to God. A turning away from what we want, to what He wants. Trust.


In today's Gospel, the sons of Thunder come up to our Lord with their mother to ask to have the seats beside Jesus in His Kingdom. Our Lord speaks of a chalice. And then of God's plan. A bloody plan. A sacrificial plan, for the name of obedience. Jesus corrects their way of thought; "whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave." A slave? There was another time that Jesus spoke of a person being great...and it was about St. John the Baptist: "Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." Does this amaze you, or does this perplex you, or does this not affect you? Because God is speaking from Heaven here. About greatness. I don't think we can hardly fathom the thought of holiness in Heaven, it would be called too extreme by our earthly means. We should aim for that "uncomfortable holiness" now. Seriously. Pure. And Holy.

"Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." And just so, we must live and sacrifice. God came to serve. That's all Jesus did! Amen? What was the greatest thing He served? Love, and mercy, and still continues today. What does love and mercy taste like? When did you have your last serving? When did you last receive a heap of what He offers? In living out a life of ministries, I can tell you one thing...rarely will you hear thank you. And that is good. Because now you are giving. Now you are being sacrificed. Now you are living the Gospel. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you'll be reprimanded and demanded for more. You will be put in your place. Now taste the bitterness of the chalice. Bloody sacrifice. Beaten and bruised. Welcome to the world! This world is not designed to be all glitz and glamour, fame and honor. Why? Because my child, it is not about you! I wake up, and my thoughts are "Lord have mercy". I often wake up at 3AM and I pray "Lord have mercy on us and on the whole world". I just bought a new bed so I wouldn't wake up so often, and so I blamed the bed and many other things. But it keeps happening. It is a time to pray...always, so long as we live and breathe. An offering that God loves. A ransom for many. Jesus is asking not just the Sons of Thunder today "can you drink the chalice I will drink", but He is asking us too "can you love the way I do?"


click to hear the bible verse

i click on a random verse generator daily for you to realize the Holy Spirit in our lives:

Random Bible Verse
Psalm 103:2-5 (Listen)

2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Thank You Jesus

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