Monday, July 8, 2019

⛪ ...News of This Spread .. .⛪

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Prayer Takes Us Outside Ourselves

Prayer begins through our recognition of ourselves as creatures, finite and yet aware of something greater. It is an impulse that takes us outside of ourselves, inspired by the expectation of some deeper meaning or the longing for an infinite existence. Prayer doesn't issue from a sense of resignation about our condition but rather from a sense of hope: There must be something more. Through the act of prayer, a person attempts to reach beyond the boundaries of space and time and touch something transcendent, some ultimate Other who is responsible for everything that exists. Prayer expresses an all-pervasive longing for happiness, not in terms of emotional satisfaction but in terms of personal fulfillment. The impulse that grounds the act of prayer is an unconditional and sensitive openness to that which transcends all the ins and outs of everyday life. Prayer addresses the basic questions of human existence.

—from the book Inspired: The Powerful Presence of the Holy Spirit by Fr. Gary Caster


†Saint Quote
"All the things in this world are gifts of God, created for us, to be the means by which we can come to know him better, love him more surely, and serve him more faithfully."
— St. Ignatius of Loyola

"Without doubt, Jesus Christ could have abolished pain at a single stroke, and, by virtue of the infinite grace of the Redemption, restored man to the state of complete, unmixed bliss that he enjoyed in the paradise of innocence. He did not so wish. He judged that, for some, suffering would be a source of merit, a gain, a source of glory, and a means of renewal and triumph; that, for the greater number, it would be a necessary expiation. He therefore maintained suffering, but purified, ennobled, and transfigured it by taking it upon Himself. He became the man of sorrows, virum dolorum, in the strict and absolute sense of these words."
— Fr. Charles Arminjon, p. 276
The End of the Present World

"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you."
1 Peter 5:6-7


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Saint Gregory Grassi and Companions

(d. July 9, 1900)

Christian missionaries have often gotten caught in the crossfire of wars against their own countries. When the governments of Britain, Germany, Russia, and France forced substantial territorial concessions from the Chinese in 1898, anti-foreign sentiment grew very strong among many Chinese people.

Gregory Grassi was born in Italy in 1833, ordained in 1856, and sent to China five years later. Gregory was later ordained Bishop of North Shanxi. With 14 other European missionaries and 14 Chinese religious, he was martyred during the short but bloody Boxer Uprising of 1900.

Twenty-six of these martyrs were arrested on the orders of Yu Hsien, the governor of Shanxi province. They were hacked to death on July 9, 1900. Five of them were Friars Minor; seven were Franciscan Missionaries of Mary—the first martyrs of their congregation. Seven were Chinese seminarians and Secular Franciscans; four martyrs were Chinese laymen and Secular Franciscans. The other three Chinese laymen killed in Shanxi simply worked for the Franciscans and were rounded up with all the others. Three Italian Franciscans were martyred that same week in the province of Hunan. All these martyrs were beatified in 1946, and were among the 120 martyrs canonized in 2000.

Martyrdom is the occupational hazard of missionaries. Throughout China during the Boxer Uprising, five bishops, 50 priests, two brothers, 15 sisters and 40,000 Chinese Christians were killed. The 146,575 Catholics served by the Franciscans in China in 1906 had grown to 303,760 by 1924, and were served by 282 Franciscans and 174 local priests. Great sacrifices often bring great results.


Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Gn 28:10-22a

Jacob departed from Beer-sheba and proceeded toward Haran.
When he came upon a certain shrine, as the sun had already set,
he stopped there for the night.
Taking one of the stones at the shrine, he put it under his head
and lay down to sleep at that spot.
Then he had a dream: a stairway rested on the ground,
with its top reaching to the heavens;
and God's messengers were going up and down on it.
And there was the LORD standing beside him and saying:
"I, the LORD, am the God of your forefather Abraham
and the God of Isaac;
the land on which you are lying
I will give to you and your descendants.
These shall be as plentiful as the dust of the earth,
and through them you shall spread out east and west, north and south.
In you and your descendants
all the nations of the earth shall find blessing.
Know that I am with you;
I will protect you wherever you go,
and bring you back to this land.
I will never leave you until I have done what I promised you."

When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he exclaimed,
"Truly, the LORD is in this spot, although I did not know it!"
In solemn wonder he cried out: "How awesome is this shrine!
This is nothing else but an abode of God,
and that is the gateway to heaven!"
Early the next morning Jacob took the stone
that he had put under his head,
set it up as a memorial stone, and poured oil on top of it.
He called the site Bethel,
whereas the former name of the town had been Luz.

Jacob then made this vow: "If God remains with me,
to protect me on this journey I am making
and to give me enough bread to eat and clothing to wear,
and I come back safe to my father's house, the LORD shall be my God.
This stone that I have set up as a memorial stone shall be God's abode."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 91:1-2, 3-4, 14-15ab
R.(see 2b) In you, my God, I place my trust.
You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
Say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
R. In you, my God, I place my trust.
For he will rescue you from the snare of the fowler,
from the destroying pestilence.
With his pinions he will cover you,
and under his wings you shall take refuge.
R. In you, my God, I place my trust.
Because he clings to me, I will deliver him;
I will set him on high because he acknowledges my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in distress.
R. In you, my God, I place my trust.

Alleluia See 2 Tm 1:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 9:18-26

While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward,
knelt down before him, and said,
"My daughter has just died.
But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live."
Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples.
A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him
and touched the tassel on his cloak.
She said to herself, "If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured."
Jesus turned around and saw her, and said,
"Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you."
And from that hour the woman was cured.

When Jesus arrived at the official's house
and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion,
he said, "Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping."
And they ridiculed him.
When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand,
and the little girl arose.
And news of this spread throughout all that land.


Meditation: Genesis 28:10-22

14th Week in Ordinary Time<

This is nothing else but . . . the gateway to heaven! (Genesis 28:17)

Did you know that there are gateways to heaven all over the world? These places are made sacred because God is present there in a unique way or because something special happened there. Think of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, where Jesus died and rose. Or think of Fatima and Lourdes, where Mary appeared, or Assisi, where St. Francis lived. The divine power present in those places is so great that the very site becomes holy ground.

Now, not all sacred spots are as notable as Assisi or Lourdes. Today's first reading tells how Jacob's encounter with God in the harsh environment of the desert made that spot holy. As Jacob lay his head down on a rock, God came to him in a dream and promised to honor the covenant he had made with Abraham. This experience, along with his vision of a ladder to the skies, led Jacob to call the place a "gateway to heaven" (Genesis 28:17).

Jacob's experience shows us that any place can become sacred—even your home. As you develop the habit of coming to Jesus in prayer and worship in your home, you make it your own special sacred space. It takes on new meaning beause Jesus becomes present to you right there where you live.

Of course, your home is a place of such familiarity and distraction that you might sometimes find it hard to sense God's presence there. That's why it's helpful to carve out a special place just for him, even if it's just a quiet corner somewhere. Keep an icon or a crucifix nearby, along with your Bible. Then, when you come to your prayer corner each day, imagine that Jesus is there with you. You could even place a chair opposite you, a special space for him to sit with you. As you sit across from that chair, picture Jesus looking at you with love. What does it feel like when he leans toward you to listen to you? What is he saying to you in response?

Your home, whether it is a large mansion, a cramped apartment, a cozy cottage, or even a hospital room or prison cell, can become sacred. You can find your own gateway to heaven.

"Lord, thank you for accepting my invitation to come into my home each day."

Psalm 91:1-4, 14-15
Matthew 9:18-26



For monks, death is formidable, like a punishment, but it does not frighten us. It is natural. Hope is everything. We are confident that death will not separate the people who have loved each other on this earth.
—Dom Forgeot of Fontgombault Abbey
from Nicolas Diat's A Time to Die: Monks on the Threshold of Eternal Life


The Lord spoke to Jacob:
"Know that I am with you; I will protect you wherever you go,
and bring you back to this land. I will never leave you until I have done what I promised you."
These words were reiterated by our Lord before ascending into Heaven "I will always be with you".
It is true...He is here, but we turn away and go away, and are not with Him, when we fail Him...when we sin. But take courage! He says "It is I"...."do not be afraid".

Let us pray:
"In you, my God, I place my trust. Because he clings to me, I will deliver him;
I will set him on high because he acknowledges my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in distress. "


In the Holy Gospel, our Lord is on the move. They are pressing Him from all sides and someone "touches Him".
What touches Him? Before that is answered....

From Bishop Barron:
"Friends, the centerpiece of our Gospel today is the story of the hemorrhaging woman. To get at the power of the Gospel, we have to reacquaint ourselves with the Jewish attitudes regarding the clean and the unclean. In the book of Leviticus we find carefully laid out prescriptions dealing with animals, plants, foods, and situations that are unclean. These prescriptions were meant to identify the Jewish people as a people. But they had a rather severe downside, since they placed certain people in extremely difficult situations.

Having a flow of blood for twelve years meant that for that entire period the woman in our Gospel was a virtual pariah. Anyone with whom she came in contact would be considered unclean. She couldn't participate in the ordinary life of her society.

She touches Jesus and should have rendered him unclean. But so great is her faith that her touch, instead, renders her clean. Jesus effectively restores her to full participation in her community.

The most important outcome is this: Jesus implicitly puts an end to the ritual code of Leviticus. The identity of the new Israel, the Church, would not be through ritual behaviors but through imitation of him."

What touches Him is sincerity.
An authentic heart.
Of all the people touching Him and pressing on Him and calling on Him, like today, millions upon millions press upon Him.
But He is touched every so an honest prayer, a sincere soul.
She is restored, she desired to be restored firstly...with God. Now she was "cleansed" and now she could go into the Heavenly temple, for she had found Jacob's ladder.
Her faith saved her. But we know Jesus saved her. How can this be? Jesus is at the other end of the ladder in Heaven! Take to it. Reach High to the sky. Reach for Him and never stop.
And so He winds up at another young woman's death. For if the hemorrhaging woman was as good as dead spiritually, this one was really dead, physically.
He casts off the faithless, and the flute players to boot! How many times do we "throw dirt" on people that we stereotype! How many times do we give up on hope! How many times can we save souls and do not lift a finger!
How many times are we lamenting and saying "I can't!".
I know that is a tough spot to be in, but you know what! Cling to Him, seek Him and see what happens.
The ladder is found at bethel, Bethlehem's light....It is JESUS!


hear it read


Random Bible Verse1
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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