Thursday, March 21, 2019

⛪ If They Will Not Listen ⛪

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Transform Yourself This Lent

How does transformation happen? Ladder-climbing Western culture, and the human ego, made the Gospel into a message of spiritual advancement—ascent rather than descent. We hopefully advance in wisdom, age, and grace, but not at all in the way we thought. Jesus got it right! He taught the way of the cross and not the way of climbing. We come to God much more by doing things wrong than by doing things right. God leveled the human playing field by using our sins and failures to bring us to divine union. This is surely the most counterintuitive message of the Gospels—so counterintuitive that it largely remains hidden to this day in plain sight.

—from the book Yes, And...: Daily Meditations by Richard Rohr, OFM
Yes, And ...: Daily Meditations by Richard Rohr


clickable: The Following is from MorningOffering

†Saint Quote
"If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion."
— St. Maximilian Kolbe

"When will the happy time come when the divine Mary will be established Mistress and Queen of all hearts, in order that she may subject them fully to the empire of her great and holy Jesus? When will souls breathe Mary as the body breathes air? When that time comes, wonderful things will happen in those lowly places where the Holy Ghost, finding His dear spouse, as it were, reproduced, in all souls, shall come in with abundance, and fill them to overflowing with His gifts, and particularly with the gift of wisdom, to work miracles of grace."
— St. Louis de Montfort, p.118-19
True Devotion to Mary

"Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you. Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress. Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call."
Psalm 102:1-2


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St. Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487) was born in Switzerland, a devout child of pious parents. At the age of 21 he joined the army and fought in local battles. In his mid-twenties, at the advice of his parents, he married a similarly pious woman and had five sons and five daughters. He served the public by holding various civil offices, and was esteemed by all for his moral integrity. After 25 years of marriage, upon discerning a special call from God, and with the consent of his wife, he went to live in a nearby valley as a hermit. He built a dwelling out of branches and left it only for daily Mass. He wore a tunic and kept his head and feet bare, spending his days in prayer and penance on behalf of the local people. With permission from the parish priest he abstained totally from food and drink, without any negative effect on his health, which was confirmed by the Church as a miracle. He lived in this manner for 20 years and became known as a visionary and a prophet. Distinguished persons from all over Europe came to him for counsel. The civil authorities built him a cell and chapel and assigned him a chaplain. The saint intervened as an arbiter when a civil war was imminent, resulting in the enduring union of the French and German-speaking parts of Switzerland. His hermitage became a place of pilgrimage after his death. St. Nicholas of Flue is the patron saint of Switzerland. His feast day is March 21st.


Thursday of the Second Week of Lent

Reading 1 Jer 17:5-10

Thus says the LORD:
Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings,
who seeks his strength in flesh,
whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He is like a barren bush in the desert
that enjoys no change of season,
But stands in a lava waste,
a salt and empty earth.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
It fears not the heat when it comes,
its leaves stay green;
In the year of drought it shows no distress,
but still bears fruit.
More tortuous than all else is the human heart,
beyond remedy; who can understand it?
I, the LORD, alone probe the mind
and test the heart,
To reward everyone according to his ways,
according to the merit of his deeds.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6

R. (40:5a)Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Not so, the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Verse Before the Gospel See Lk 8:15

Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.

Gospel Lk 16:19-31

Jesus said to the Pharisees:
"There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man's table.
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
When the poor man died,
he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried,
and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,
he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off
and Lazarus at his side.
And he cried out, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me.
Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,
for I am suffering torment in these flames.'
Abraham replied, 'My child,
remember that you received what was good during your lifetime
while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;
but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established
to prevent anyone from crossing
who might wish to go from our side to yours
or from your side to ours.'
He said, 'Then I beg you, father, send him
to my father's house,
for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them,
lest they too come to this place of torment.'
But Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the prophets.
Let them listen to them.'
He said, 'Oh no, father Abraham,
but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'
Then Abraham said,
'If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded
if someone should rise from the dead.'"


Meditation: Psalm 1:1-4, 6

2nd Week of Lent

He is like a tree planted near running water. (Psalm 1:3)

This psalm can seem abstract and overly spiritual to us at first glance. How exactly can a man be like a tree? And how are we supposed to be "planted near running water"? Bible scholars would say the psalmist uses this image because, like trees, we need a "water source" in order to thrive and bear fruit. And this source is the Holy Spirit, who is often compared to living water.

The image still might seem abstract, so let's engage our imagination.

Picture this: you are taking a walk on a scorching hot, sunny day. You're tired, and all you want is a glass of water to help cool yourself off. You see a river in the distance and walk toward it, thinking about how refreshing its water must be.

As you approach the river, you notice a mist rising from the water as it splashes over the stones on the riverbed. The banks of the river are damp as well, and so are your feet. Some water splashes over the bank onto you, and it's taking the edge off the heat and your fatigue. You're beginning to feel revived. The heat doesn't feel as oppressive as before, and you are feeling more relaxed and peaceful.

Still, you'd like a drink. You bend down to scoop some water into your hands. Yes—it's even better than you had imagined. Grinning, you reach into the flowing water to splash on your arms and legs. Its coolness seems to be refreshing you from the bottom of your feet to the top of your head.

Eventually, you lie down on the river's bank and fall asleep. The sound of the rushing water is all around you, and you know that if you want more, it's right there.

This is a wonderful image of what it's like to have a relationship with the Holy Spirit. We can spend so much of our time worrying about how successful we are being in the spiritual life that we forget that the Spirit lives in us and wants to refresh us. His love is always flowing, always cleansing the soul of anyone who asks. So if only for today, take some time just to rest with God. Don't be afraid to dip your toes into the stream of his love and let him quench your thirst.

"Come, Holy Spirit, and refresh my heart!"

Jeremiah 17:5-10
Luke 16:19-31



Disciples of Christ and fellow religious, if you wish to attain the joys of heaven, then hasten to carry the mystical Cross and be determined to walk in the steps of your Redeemer.
—Thomas รก Kempis
from On the Passion of Christ: According to the Four Evangelists


We began our day by hearing the words of our Lord "Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the LORD." I can not depend on any earthly love. I promise, everyone can fail you, and many will, if not all...for the sake of our Lord. We do not live in Heaven as some religions are declaring. If so, they are declaring that hell is their heaven. We are not of this world. You must not trust in any human love. You must only trust in God's love. Too many are falling in love with the wrong love. Does God curse them? No. Never has, and never will. We curse ourselves. We choose by any means that comes our way, other things. A brother said in a meeting "I don't understand why I can get up every day at 3 or 4 in the morning for work, but I can't get up on Sunday at 10 in the morning to go to church. At the end of the meeting we said we'd meet a week later, which is tonight, and he already said he couldn't because his son's sports. He can't, and he will not make the meeting. And this would've been a spiritual direction meeting. An aid to help us get closer to God. But it is hard. I have prayed for years and years for an alcoholic loved one, and I can't break his spell. I wait, and I pray to this day. And nothing. God will not break you down, we must let Him in.

Let us pray: "Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. Blessed the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent, But delights in the law of the LORD and meditates on his law day and night." And that loved one sits at the bars, with other people, others than family. I tell my church, "you are my family". We have fights in our family. But love must win. We have disagreements, but love must win. A couple days ago I was basically told to "mind my own business" with a coworker family member. And the matter was all about business. It was a cold hearted sneer. The comment really seemed like a dagger aimed to separate us. I prayed. Yesterday, a long time person I knew in the church that moved away called to basically insult me and accuse me of a bad business deal he had going on the side. He threw religion at me, said he couldn't believe me after all I do for the church, how crooked I am, and how money corrupts people. He hung up and I texted back "Wow. Money does corrupt". Within a few more texts, we seemed to settle, but not before I prayed for him. This goes to show something critical: we are all susceptible to charges as long as we live. You will be charged at, and you will be accused. Funny on accusations, on priests, I'd say most are bogus, a few credible, and rarely some serious. It's worse in public squares or even law enforcement, but the Church has a big target. Once a priest told me he was being accused of molesting a child on the altar, IN THE MIDDLE OF MASS! Do not sit with these lies, do not live with the liars. We are family, united in God and in Love, for we are not of this world. Let us keep this in mind as our Lord comes.


In the Holy Gospel, Our Lord speaks about a poor man and a rich man. The rich man lives on ignoring the poor. Are you rich? Some say that if you got running water, you are rich. Another exerpt reads:

"If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of the world.
If you have money in the bank, your wallet, and some spare change you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the agony of imprisonment or torture, or the horrible pangs of starvation you are luckier than 500 million people alive and suffering."

Our African priest says that to have carpet in your home means you are rich. Makes sense, because most in other places can't even cloth themselves, much less the floors or windows or walls.
So are you rich? Then give. But, forget about what you got materially, just for a moment. Because if you are reading this, of course you have it all. But what about God? Where is God?
A quote I read yesterday said "Don't expect to hear God if you don't open your bible".

I'll add to that "Don't expect to see God if you don't open your heart".

Is that where God is? Well, yes He is speaking there.
Where else is God? Easy for me to answer: The Eucharist and Sacraments.
But where else is God?

That question bothers me, because Lazarus bothers me. I spend much of my efforts trying to figure out who Lazarus is in my life. Is it my alcoholic loved one that lives down the street? Or is it my co-worker struggling to believe in God? My life is spent seeking. I seek Lazarus. Where are you my friend? I look for you in jails, and I can't see you. I go every week to the nursing home and you won't call out to me. I have availed myself to retreats, and I don't see or hear you. I am here Lazarus. Where are you? I reach for friends and my friends won't reach to me. I beg them to come with me, and help me and they won't, rather, they leave me to fend for myself, at times my only comfort is my dog. My wounds hurt. I cry. But there is no one to wipe my tears or to hold me. I am alone. Lazarus, I need you. Who are you Lazarus, you holy and unseen soul? They said they saw you with must be My Lord....


click to hear the bible verse


Random Bible Verse
Acts 20:35 (Listen)

35 "In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

Thank You Jesus

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