Friday, August 23, 2019

⛪ ... You Shall Love the LORD . . .⛪

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Silence Is Almost Too Simple

The simplest spiritual discipline is some degree of solitude and silence. To be with our own thoughts and feelings is probably the most courageous act most of us will ever do. Besides that, we invariably feel bored with ourselves and all of our loneliness comes to the surface. We won't have the courage to go into that terrifying place without Love to protect us and lead us, without the light and love of God overriding our own self-doubt. Such silence is the most spacious and empowering technique in the world, yet it's not a technique at all. It's precisely the refusal of all technique.

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


† Saint Quote
"The works of God are not accomplished when we wish them, but whenever it pleases Him."
— St. Vincent de Paul

"If the soul will analyze the desire it has of happiness, and the idea of happiness that presents itself to it, it will find that the object of this idea and of this desire is only and can only be God. This is the impression that the soul bears in the depths of its nature; this is what reason will teach it if it will only reflect a little, and this is what neither prejudice nor passion can ever entirely efface."
— Fr. Jean Nicholas Grou, p. 4
The Spiritual Life

"And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed. I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word."
John 17:3-6


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St. Rose of Lima

The first canonized saint of the New World has one characteristic of all saints—the suffering of opposition—and another characteristic which is more for admiration than for imitation—excessive practice of mortification.

She was born to parents of Spanish descent in Lima, Peru, at a time when South America was in its first century of evangelization. She seems to have taken Catherine of Siena as a model, in spite of the objections and ridicule of parents and friends.

The saints have so great a love of God that what seems bizarre to us, and is indeed sometimes imprudent, is simply a logical carrying out of a conviction that anything that might endanger a loving relationship with God must be rooted out. So, because her beauty was so often admired, Rose used to rub her face with pepper to produce disfiguring blotches. Later, she wore a thick circlet of silver on her head, studded on the inside, like a crown of thorns.

When her parents fell into financial trouble, she worked in the garden all day and sewed at night. Ten years of struggle against her parents began when they tried to make Rose marry. They refused to let her enter a convent, and out of obedience she continued her life of penance and solitude at home as a member of the Third Order of Saint Dominic. So deep was her desire to live the life of Christ that she spent most of her time at home in solitude.

During the last few years of her life, Rose set up a room in the house where she cared for homeless children, the elderly, and the sick. This was a beginning of social services in Peru. Though secluded in life and activity, she was brought to the attention of Inquisition interrogators, who could only say that she was influenced by grace.

What might have been a merely eccentric life was transfigured from the inside. If we remember some unusual penances, we should also remember the greatest thing about Rose: a love of God so ardent that it withstood ridicule from without, violent temptation, and lengthy periods of sickness. When she died at 31, the city turned out for her funeral. Prominent men took turns carrying her coffin.

It is easy to dismiss excessive penances of the saints as the expression of a certain culture or temperament. But a woman wearing a crown of thorns may at least prod our consciences. We enjoy the most comfort-oriented life in human history. We eat too much, drink too much, use a million gadgets, fill our eyes and ears with everything imaginable. Commerce thrives on creating useless needs on which to spend our money. It seems that when we have become most like slaves, there is the greatest talk of "freedom." Are we willing to discipline ourselves in such an atmosphere?
Saint Rose of Lima is the Patron Saint of:

Latin America
South America


Friday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Ru 1:1, 3-6, 14b-16, 22

Once in the time of the judges there was a famine in the land;
so a man from Bethlehem of Judah
departed with his wife and two sons
to reside on the plateau of Moab.
Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died,
and she was left with her two sons, who married Moabite women,
one named Orpah, the other Ruth.
When they had lived there about ten years,
both Mahlon and Chilion died also,
and the woman was left with neither her two sons nor her husband.
She then made ready to go back from the plateau of Moab
because word reached her there
that the LORD had visited his people and given them food.

Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye, but Ruth stayed with her.

Naomi said, "See now!
Your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her god.
Go back after your sister-in-law!"
But Ruth said, "Do not ask me to abandon or forsake you!
For wherever you go, I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge,
your people shall be my people, and your God my God."

Thus it was that Naomi returned
with the Moabite daughter-in-law, Ruth,
who accompanied her back from the plateau of Moab.
They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 146:5-6ab, 6c-7, 8-9a, 9bc-10

R.(1b) Praise the Lord, my soul!
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD, his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
The LORD keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
The LORD loves the just.
The LORD protects strangers.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!

Alleluia Ps 25:4b, 5a

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Teach me your paths, my God,
guide me in your truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law, tested him by asking,
"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?"
He said to him,
"You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."


Catholic Meditations
Meditation: Matthew 22:34-40

Saint Rose of Lima, Virgin (Optional Memorial)

You shall love the Lord, your God. . . . [And] your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37, 39)

Songwriters have long proclaimed that what the world needs is love. But that lofty sentiment is a little vague on what love looks like or what it means to love someone. By contrast, Jesus had the weight of a thousand-plus years of revelation from God backing him up when he told some Pharisees that the greatest commandments are to love God and love your neighbor. The commandments themselves explain what love is and what it looks like.

So what does love look like? Here's one way to approach it.

Look at how God loves. He delivered the Israelites out of Egypt, and he delivers each one of us out of the grip of our enemies—enemies like the pain of failed or abusive relationships, physical or emotional suffering, bitterness or resentment.

But how do we love God? By proclaiming that he—not forms of escape like alcohol, drugs, or pornography—is strong enough to deliver and restore us. We love him as we trust that God is just as willing to bring us out of patterns of sin or indifference as he was to bring the chosen people out of Egypt.

Let the knowledge of this love fill your heart. Let it move you to tell him about your love in return. Set aside the phone, computer, laundry, or bills to pray and give thanks for all the ways God has shown his love to you. As you praise him for his kindness and goodness, you are opening yourself to receive even more of his love.

And how do we love our neighbors? As God's love fills us, it will also flow out of us. It will expand our hearts and increase our capacity to love more humbly and more fully.

More than just performing acts of service, you love your neighbors by honoring and respecting them. You love by restraining angry words or lustful and insulting thoughts. You look at people the way God sees them, with the same love that he showers on you.

Yes, the world does need love, and God has shown us what it looks like. So receive that love as often as you can—and give it away even more!

"Jesus, teach me how to love!"

Ruth 1:1, 3-6, 14-16, 22
Psalm 146:5-10



[Today] invite Jesus to heal you and to touch any hurt or sadness. Invite Him to help you walk in forgiveness. Ask Him for the graces you need to respond in faith to what He revealed to you. Ask Him to help you live out His love toward others.
—Karen L. Dwyer, PhD & Lawrence A. Dwyer, JD
from WRAP Yourself in Scripture


"Do not ask me to abandon or forsake you! For wherever you go, I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge, your people shall be my people, and your God my God."
Ruth had a new family now. Not her mother in law, but the people she consecrated herself to...the people of God. And once she decided that was her family, she made a decision to never look back. Are we family in Christ? There is a stronger bond than blood, because spiritual blood binds for eternity.

"Praise the Lord, my soul! The LORD keeps faith forever, secures justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets captives free." The Lord keeps what forever? Faith? The Lord has faith? Apparently, the Lord thinks this world is a big deal. To the tunes of billions of big deals...all the souls created in creation. Where fruits are born. Apparently He sees all and desires the best of most. What fruit can come? Any fruit! As much as possible fruit! Yes you! Doing good for love of God is fruit. The tastiest the kind that gives everything in the name of love.


In the Holy Gospel, our Lord issues forth a command, or better said "THE Command", first and foremost: ""You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." That is the law! God's law. God's will. It may not be our will, but His will continues FOREVER. "This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

I remember praying this week after noticing I have not been taking care of myself well, with overindulgence in food, and negligent in sleep, and really stressing and not exercising, and also I have indulged in other things that are not what is best for a soul, and the love of neighbor. I prayed "Lord, help me take care of myself, I don't even know how to take care of myself!". And for the most part, most probably don't, or better said, we are not perfect. Thank God His faithfulness does last forever. Ours lacks. Ours is found wanting. But what do we want? "I just want my problems to go away" right?

At work, family business, we just got served a second lawsuit in a span of a month. Accidents we had no control of. Why? Why do these things happen? Accidents, or incidentals of life, right? At church, in ministries, things are not any better, many things are the same or worse, no activity, more and more loved ones turning from God and His law. Now I wonder if I really love them, by not approaching or reproaching them and their failure to love Love. And we could go on and on about the atrocities and darkness we live in, right? Focusing on all the negative? I mean, death everywhere, my classmate just died and a younger one just died too, and my teenage cousin just miscarried this week too, all this in just this week! I mean, one could be like "what's going on!". And like the previous reflection said, many turn to drugs or porn and other ways to "out" their pain, anxiety, stress, and so forth. But those are worse on the wound, for they are not true healing. Like when they had me on "pain" medicine in the hospital, I studied on what was in those drugs and what they did; just played with feelings, not really healings. You see? So I decided not to take pain meds and trusted in the Lord.

You know what I remember most about being beat up? All I can remember more than the pain, is all the people that came to see me, the love of...neighbor, the love of God. Some I don't even remember! They saw me later and said "you don't remember we went to see you in the hospital?" Truth is, I hardly see them, probably met at a retreat once. But I still appreciate the love of a stranger. You see? The love of God.
I encourage you to love the stranger...God.
In nursing homes, people are thrown and abandoned. Some are not. But for the most part, yes. How can I say this? Because, one old man my wife used to see more, he died, and we went to the funeral place, and nobody had signed in to visit him, so his body lay there, and the room empty, just as it was in life, alone. Looking back, it is kind of eery, like a solemn visit to the Blessed Sacrament. Total silence. And reverence. And God is there. You see? The love of God is true and immense. He is intensely involved in your life, but it is us that are intensely involved in other things.
I read a quote last night from a book I am starting to read and can already recommend: Holy Confidence: The Forgotten Path for Growing Closer to God
"This point settled, it is clear that we cannot serve our Creator better than by loving Him, and the best way of loving Him is to direct every motion of our hearts toward Him. And no one will do this so perfectly as he who loves this Being worthy of all devotion with a great and ardent love. And I quote from Hugh of St. Victor this just conclusion: "To love God is to serve Him, so that he who loves Him, serves Him; he who loves Him not, serves Him not; he who loves Him little, serves Him little, and he who loves Him much, serves Him much." To augment and increase this love so that every movement of the soul may tend toward God, and the soul herself to a perfect service, a filial confidence is of far greater use than a humble fear, a second truth which is not less certain or less evident than that which I have demonstrated."
Love to love Love.
God is Love. Love to love God.
God to love God.
God to God God.

And these are the greatest commandments. For God dwells in our hearts, His new tabernacle....the new you and the new eternal faith....


hear it read


Random Bible Verse1
Proverbs 17:22 (Listen)

22 A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Thank You Jesus

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