Friday, March 29, 2019

⛪you are not far...⛪

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The Grace of Solitude

To have a place of solitude is an inestimable gift. It makes it easy to let the heart expand, to let the senses wake up, one by one, to come alive with fresh vitality. Yet, whatever our circumstances, we need to somehow set aside a time and a place for this kind of experience. It is a necessity in everyone's life, not a luxury. What comes alive in those moments of solitude is more than eyes or ears; our heart listens and rises to respond. All of us—each in a different measure—have need of solitude, because we need to cultivate mindfulness.

—from the book The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life by David Steindl-Rast, OSB


clickable: The Following is from MorningOffering

†Saint Quote

"Pray, hope and don't worry. Anxiety doesn't help at all. Our Merciful Lord will listen to your prayer."

— Saint Padre Pio

†Meditation of the Day

"Free me from evil passions and heal my heart of all disorderly affections, that being healed and well purified in my interior, I may become fit to love, courageous to suffer and constant to persevere. Love is an excellent thing, a great good indeed, which alone maketh light all that is burdened and makes all that which is bitter sweet and savory. The love of Jesus is noble and generous; it spurs us on to do great things and excites us to desire always that which is most perfect."

— Thomas á Kempis, p. 89

An Excerpt From Imitation of Christ

†verse of the day
"For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well."

Philippians 1:29


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St. Berthold of Mt. Carmel

St. Berthold of Mt. Carmel (d. 1195), also known as Bartoldus of Calabria, was born in France, the son of a Count. He excelled at his studies and was ordained a priest. Berthold's brother, Aymeric, became the Latin patriarch of Antioch. The two joined together to participate in a Crusade to the Holy Land. While in the Holy Land, Berthold traveled to Mount Carmel and built a monastery and church dedicated to the Prophet Elijah. He gathered together a number of hermits scattered throughout Palestine to live together in imitation of the life of the great prophet as recorded in the Old Testament. Berthold became the group's superior and stayed with the community at Mount Carmel for 45 years until his death in 1195. It was the life and work of St. Berthold that laid the foundation for the Carmelite Order, whose rule was approved by Pope Honorius III in 1226. St. Berthold's feast day is March 29.


Friday of the Third Week of Lent

Lectionary: 241

Reading 1 HOS 14:2-10

Thus says the LORD:
Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God;
you have collapsed through your guilt.
Take with you words,
and return to the LORD;
Say to him, "Forgive all iniquity,
and receive what is good, that we may render
as offerings the bullocks from our stalls.
Assyria will not save us,
nor shall we have horses to mount;
We shall say no more, 'Our god,'
to the work of our hands;
for in you the orphan finds compassion."

I will heal their defection, says the LORD,
I will love them freely;
for my wrath is turned away from them.
I will be like the dew for Israel:
he shall blossom like the lily;
He shall strike root like the Lebanon cedar,
and put forth his shoots.
His splendor shall be like the olive tree
and his fragrance like the Lebanon cedar.
Again they shall dwell in his shade
and raise grain;
They shall blossom like the vine,
and his fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

Ephraim! What more has he to do with idols?
I have humbled him, but I will prosper him.
"I am like a verdant cypress tree"–
Because of me you bear fruit!

Let him who is wise understand these things;
let him who is prudent know them.
Straight are the paths of the LORD,
in them the just walk,
but sinners stumble in them.

Responsorial Psalm PS 81:6C-8A, 8BC-9, 10-11AB, 14 AND 17

R. (see 11 and 9a) I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
An unfamiliar speech I hear:
"I relieved his shoulder of the burden;
his hands were freed from the basket.
In distress you called, and I rescued you."
R. I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
"Unseen, I answered you in thunder;
I tested you at the waters of Meribah.
Hear, my people, and I will admonish you;
O Israel, will you not hear me?"
R. I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
"There shall be no strange god among you

nor shall you worship any alien god.
I, the LORD, am your God
who led you forth from the land of Egypt."
R. I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
"If only my people would hear me,
and Israel walk in my ways,
I would feed them with the best of wheat,
and with honey from the rock I would fill them."
R. I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.

Verse Before The Gospel MT 4:17

Repent, says the Lord;
the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Gospel MK 12:28-34

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
"Which is the first of all the commandments?"
Jesus replied, "The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these."
The scribe said to him, "Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
He is One and there is no other than he.
And to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him,
"You are not far from the Kingdom of God."
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.


Meditation: Hosea 14:2-10

3rd Week of Lent

Return, O Israel, to the Lord, your God. (Hosea 14:2)

Few things are more painful than the betrayal of an unfaithful spouse. That's why the Book of Hosea is especially moving for us: it portrays God's relationship with Israel through Hosea's heartbreaking marriage. Through Hosea's stubborn love for his adulterous wife, God reveals his unchanging covenant love for unfaithful Israel. "Return to the Lord," he pleads over and over again (Hosea 14:3).

Today, just as in Hosea's time, God continues to plead with his people to come back to him. Since Lent is all about God's call to come home, let's listen for his voice in the words of Hosea.

You have collapsed through your guilt (Hosea 14:2). We all know how oppressive the burden of guilt can be. Even if we gloss over our offenses, unrepented sin can weigh us down like a heavy chain tangled around us. Sometimes we even carry guilt over sins we have already confessed. Still, our faithful God calls to us, Let me lift this weight that exhausts you and drags you down.

Take with you words (Hosea 14:3). God knows that the act of confessing our sins is the first step toward freedom. Naming them aloud is the best way to bring them into the light, where the Lord can free us. Isn't this what happens in Confession? Our words of repentance have the power to unlock the chains that have dragged us down. It's not always easy, though, to find the right words. But that doesn't matter to the Lord. We can begin by saying, "Father, I have sinned" (Luke 15:21). Confess your sins, God implores. I am ready to forgive.

I will heal their defection (Hosea 14:5). This promise can give us the courage we need to return to God. Not only will he forgive us, but he will heal us of the urges and drives that cause us to sin. Every time we turn to him in Confession and encounter his love, our hearts melt a little bit more, and we find it a little bit easier to act out of love instead of selfishness. He cries out, Come and be healed!

Whether it has been a short while or many years since your last Confession, go. Go this weekend. Return to the Lord your God.

"Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner."

Psalm 81:6-11, 14, 17
Mark 12:28-34



It is in the family that the greatness and magnanimity of the divine plan is realized, which has made the family the road to salvation… I repeat: we cannot remain indifferent to the attempt to relativize marriage and the family.

—Cardinal Gerhard Müller from The Cardinal Müller Report: An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church


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The Word says "Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God"


We pray "am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
An unfamiliar speech I hear:
"I relieved his shoulder of the burden;
his hands were freed from the basket.
In distress you called, and I rescued you."

Continue your prayers for us in prison retreat...

Friends, our Gospel for today features the Word of God himself telling us what stands at the heart of the law. A scribe posed, as a kind of game, the following question: "Which is the first of all the commandments?" There were hundreds of laws in the Jewish system. So it was a favorite exercise of the rabbis to seek out the single rule that somehow clarified the whole of the law.

So Jesus gives his famous answer: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

What does that mean? The law is finally about love, and the love of God and neighbor are inextricably bound to one another. If we love God but hate our neighbors, we're wasting our time.

Why are the two loves so tightly connected? Because of who Jesus is. Jesus is not just a human being, and he is not just God. He is the God-man, the one in whom divinity and humanity come together. Therefore, it's impossible to love him as God without loving the humanity that he's created and embraced.

Reflect: What restrictions, if any, do you put on your love for God or for neighbor?


click to hear the bible verse


Random Bible Verse1
Acts 16:31 (Listen)
31 And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household."

Thank You Jesus

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