Tuesday, November 12, 2019

⛪ . Something for me to eat.. .⛪

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Trust the Heartfelt Questions

The scope of every life is indeed defined by the questions we choose to live into, and if we are blessed to live long enough, we will inevitably end up shaped like a question mark. Since quest is also the start of every question, it is questions, not answers, that are the surest guideposts for any journey of faith —which necessarily means moving into the unknowable. Always trust the open, heartfelt question that lays bare the soul to unknowing. Whether they are simplistic or sophisticated, handle answers with care, for they often reflect and display, for all the world to see, the broad sweep of our ignorance. Perhaps, for this reason, wisdom teachers use stories, ballads, parables, or poems. Such lyrical musings open spaces for fresh appreciations and diverse perspectives. They foster fascination and expose imagination to wider fields of understanding, laced with mystery, which always leads us down and out to face yet another, more penetrating question.

—from the book Wandering and Welcome: Meditations for Finding Peace by Joseph Grant


† Saint Quote
"Since love completes all, makes all hard things soft, and the difficult easy, let us strive to make all our acts proceed from love."
— St. Arnold Janssen

"The Devil didn't deal out temptations to Our Lord only. He brings these evil schemes of his to bear on each of Jesus' servants—and not just on the mountain or in the wilderness or when we're by ourselves. No, he comes after us in the city as well, in the marketplaces, in courts of justice. He tempts us by means of others, even our own relatives. So what must we do? We must disbelieve him altogether, and close our ears against him, and hate his flattery. And when he tries to tempt us further by offering us even more, then we should shun him all the more. . . We aren't as intent on gaining our own salvation as he is intent on achieving our ruin. So we must shun him, not with words only, but also with works; not in mind only, but also in deed. We must do none of the things that he approves, for in that way will we do all those things that God approves. Yes, for the Devil also makes many promises, not so that he may give them to us, but so that he may take away from us. He promises plunder, so that he may deprive us of the kingdom of God and of righteousness. He sets out treasures in the earth as snares and traps, so that he may deprive us both of these and of the treasures in heaven. He would have us be rich in this life, so that we may not be rich in the next."
— St. John Chrysostom, p. 152-3
Manual for Spiritual Warfare

"For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord."
Psalm 27:5-6


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Saint Josaphat

(c. 1580 – November 12, 1623)

In 1964, newspaper photos of Pope Paul VI embracing Athenagoras I, the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople, marked a significant step toward the healing of a division in Christendom that has spanned more than nine centuries.

In 1595, the Orthodox bishop of Brest-Litovsk in present-day Belarus and five other bishops representing millions of Ruthenians, sought reunion with Rome. John Kunsevich—who took the name Josaphat in religious life—was to dedicate his life, and die for the same cause. Born in what is now Ukraine, he went to work in Wilno and was influenced by clergy adhering to the 1596 Union of Brest. He became a Basilian monk, then a priest, and soon was well known as a preacher and an ascetic.

He became bishop of Vitebsk at a relatively young age, and faced a difficult situation. Most monks, fearing interference in liturgy and customs, did not want union with Rome. By synods, catechetical instruction, reform of the clergy, and personal example, however, Josaphat was successful in winSt

ning the greater part of the Orthodox in that area to the union.

But the next year a dissident hierarchy was set up, and his opposite number spread the accusation that Josaphat had "gone Latin" and that all his people would have to do the same. He was not enthusiastically supported by the Latin bishops of Poland.

Despite warnings, he went to Vitebsk, still a hotbed of trouble. Attempts were made to foment trouble and drive him from the diocese: A priest was sent to shout insults to him from his own courtyard. When Josaphat had him removed and shut up in his house, the opposition rang the town hall bell, and a mob assembled. The priest was released, but members of the mob broke into the bishop's home. Josaphat was struck with a halberd, then shot, and his body thrown into the river. It was later recovered and is now buried in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. He was the first saint of the Eastern Church to be canonized by Rome.

Josaphat's death brought a movement toward Catholicism and unity, but the controversy continued, and the dissidents, too, had their martyr. After the partition of Poland, the Russians forced most Ruthenians to join the Russian Orthodox Church.

The seeds of separation were sown in the fourth century when the Roman Empire was divided into East and West. The actual split came over customs such as using unleavened bread, Saturday fasting, and celibacy. No doubt the political involvement of religious leaders on both sides was a large factor, and doctrinal disagreement was present. But no reason was enough to justify the present tragic division in Christendom, which is 64 percent Roman Catholic, 13 percent Eastern—mostly Orthodox—Churches, and 23 percent Protestant, and this when the 71 percent of the world that is not Christian should be experiencing unity and Christ-like charity from Christians!


Memorial of Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr
Lectionary: 492
Reading 1

Wis 2:23–3:9

God formed man to be imperishable;
the image of his own nature he made them.
But by the envy of the Devil, death entered the world,
and they who are in his possession experience it.

But the souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
They shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the Lord shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19

R.(2a) I will bless the Lord at all times.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.
The LORD has eyes for the just,
and ears for their cry.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.


Jn 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Lk 17:7-10

Jesus said to the Apostles:
"Who among you would say to your servant
who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field,
'Come here immediately and take your place at table'?
Would he not rather say to him,
'Prepare something for me to eat.
Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink.
You may eat and drink when I am finished'?
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
So should it be with you.
When you have done all you have been commanded, say,
'We are unprofitable servants;
we have done what we were obliged to do.'"


Catholic Meditations

Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr (Memorial)

The souls of the just are in the hand of God. (Wisdom 3:1)

If God had hands, what do you think they would look like? Maybe the outstretched finger bringing forth life in Michelangelo's famous fresco The Creation of Adam? Maybe the strong, slightly aged hands clasped gently in prayer depicted in sixteenth-century artist Albrecht Dürer's drawing Praying Hands? Or perhaps the capable, calloused hands of Jesus, the skilled carpenter?

If we follow this train of thought, we are likely picturing God's hands as very large and strong, yet also gentle. We imagine him holding each of us with tenderness but firmness, the way a seasoned father or grandfather might grasp a little one. In his solid but careful grasp, we are secure and at peace.

It's no accident that the author of the Book of Wisdom used the image of God's hands in today's first reading. He wanted to assure his readers that even though they will eventually die, God will still be with them. We don't know what life after death will be like, but we do know that we have a loving God who is eternally committed to us. The image of God tenderly holding us or our loved ones can be a source of great comfort and hope. It can bolster our faith and give us the courage to keep pressing on, even as we mourn the loss of someone dear to us.

But this great, comforting truth isn't limited just to the hour of death. God holds us in his strong hands every moment of our lives, from our very beginning and through all the stages and seasons of our lives. The more we trust in this truth, the more convinced we will be that he won't abandon us in the end.

If you have a loved one approaching death, believe that God's hand remains on them. Even if they are suffering, look for God's loving touch in the care of the people who surround them. And if you have recently lost someone dear to you, take today's passage to heart. Believe that God will never release them from his tender hold!

"Lord, thank you for holding me and my loved ones so firmly in your grasp. My trust and hope are in you!"

Psalm 34:2-3, 16-19
Luke 17:7-10



Mother Teresa handed on every gift she received as quickly as possible. Everything always belonged to the poor, the needy, or simply to people who in her view needed a little love at that moment. People who presented her with valuable heirlooms with the aim of 'parking' them near a saint had miscalculated and were often disappointed. She was an expert at re-gifting. Moreover, she recognized that the complete lack of possessions is also a piece of freedom, and that anything she could not use immediately was simply a burden.
—Msgr. Leo Maasburg
from Mother Teresa of Calcutta: A Personal Portrait


"But by the envy of the Devil, death entered the world,
and they who are in his possession experience it. But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them."
So I've always had trouble with "Dia De Los Muertos" (day of the dead). Because the title is misleading. It is to be the day of those who are still living...on the other side, so are they dead to us? "They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction." So are we celebrating foolishness? No. I was invited to a local dia de los muertos event. I was asked to lead a prayer. I had no clue what all this was about. I always judged the day, for what the title was all about, skulls, dead people, skeletons, bringing back things about Halloween again. I am pro-life. But I went. I wanted to go pray. That is what I like about gathering with friendship groups...we get to pray. Another opportunity to pray in community. So I went. We prayed. It was a dab in culture, of weird beliefs, like putting plates of food and water out for the "dead" to come take. Eating with dead people? Now we are either getting weird, or we are remembering the dead...are still alive. That day, this whole thing prompted me to do something weird...I took my wife and kids to the cemetery, to visit the tombs of my grandparents, and looked for a couple other known loved ones. There was a weird haze over the cemetery that chilly afternoon. I prayed for my loved ones and everyone else there that would need prayer. It was, an edifying experience. Because now we are talking about souls. All souls. Now we are getting to the heart of things.


Today we pray: "I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD; the lowly will hear me and be glad."
Let my soul glory in the Lord? What does that mean? Let my soul glorify the Lord? Isn't our soul intimately united with our bodies? I'm thinking of giving glory as Jesus does. He experienced much ridicule, much cynicism, and much hatred. Let's not fool ourselves, deep inside, it all was fueled by deep hatred. Today there is a group that is socialist and anti-racism, and they use violence to "protest" in the streets. It is hatred again. Withing the last few days, this has taken to the streets in South America, now a church has been vandalized in the name of hatred, to get their point across. A headless pieta, statue of our Blessed Mother holding Christ sits in the middle of the street. Another pic I get was lately a Blessed Mother and child photo has been photo shopped to have her head as a goat looking demon. There is much violence, until the end of the world. The hatred is fueled by a self implosion. All things opposite of giving GLORY to GOD in the Highest, and peace on earth.


In the Holy Gospel today, our Lord said: 'Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished'
These are the words you GET to hear in Heaven upon arrival. It is an honor to serve the Lord. I GET to serve in ministry. I don't HAVE TO. I GET to pray with people who invite me, even if it means a funeral. It is an honor, and I express my gratitude to strange families who invite me. And some of these prayer gatherings are super hard. They don't feel good. I don't leave feeling excited. Sometimes I leave torn inside. And about 9 times out of 10, I leave without a soul giving thanks. And this is right. I am an unprofitable servant. It is not about me, it is all about GOD.

So often in these daily writings, I write about "loved ones". Because I do love them. And I have them all in my own, from homosexuals who won't really talk to me, to unmarried couples who seem far away. But I continue to reach out to them. Just because someone hates, doesn't mean I hate. You must own and conquer the relationship for Christ. This is not about you and your so called "feelings". Here the truth is told and it is a hard pill to swallow. It is not for the faint of heart. It reaches the disgraced, because grace is reaching out in the name of Mercy and Love. All souls matter. The King asks "Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?"
Obedience comes into play.

Love comes into action.
Do not expect a thanks. Often, I get more complaints than anything in ministries. "You should've done this" or "you shouldn't do that". I often think of what it would be like to send out postcards "what did you think of my service?" but I'd be afraid of....the truth. Criticisms. I'd be afraid of humiliations, even though they are to make me more humble.
And so, of all the sinners I worry about, I worry about my sins the most. I am challenged right now, and you can laugh about what I am about to say.
Monday morning, the first day of the week comes, and I rush to make Holy Mass at 9a.m., right after writing to you. I was deeply moved within with the Eucharist, and after consuming the bread body and wine blood of Christ, as I walked back to my seat, I felt a piece of meat in my mouth. Strange, I had brushed my teeth that night, and in the morning I rinsed my mouth good with listerine and I always fast, I don't eat or drink before Mass. Here's where the story gets strange. I sung the final song and we left. I still have a piece of meat in my mouth, I think "what if this is Christ's flesh?" I kept thinking and wondering and half was consumed and at a stoplight, I took the other piece out to "look at it". And I left it out. Now, that has tormented me. I couldn't sleep last night for various reasons. When I told my dad about it, he said something that really bothered me. "Why do you have doubts? That has happened to me too". Eucharist turns to meat for others? So I took a picture of this month's first Friday Holy Hour Adoration and I put the meat on the picture. My dad says I was being disrespectful by taking pictures of our Lord. But...I take pictures of EVERYTHING and everyone, why not the most beautiful thing and person that has ever touched my life? I was converted in my faith in a cursillo when the priest held up the Eucharist and all I saw was a piece of flesh in his hands. And so, I may need clarification now, on how to proceed. What have I done....IF this is the body of Christ, and how would you ever know? I wanted to see Christ. I wanted a personal miracle. I wanted something to edify not just me, but others. So far, it's just brought me misery. Torment. Why did I doubt? Was this a doubt?

What was I thinking? When it comes to safety, you should always go for the safer way. I believe now, I will take this for proper caring of dropped crumbs, but there I just being silly?
Make of this what you wish. As it sits on my desk, I have a more fervent desire to pray. Pray for the whole world.

Saint Therese of Lisieux said some things to remember and it pertains to the Gospel, and living and dying for the Lord:

"True happiness on earth consists in being forgotten and in remaining completely ignorant of created things. I understood that all we accomplish, however brilliant, is worth nothing without love."

"I want to suffer and even rejoice for love, for this is my way of scattering flowers. Never a flower shall I find but its petals shall be scattered for you; and all the while I will sing, yes always sing, even when gathering my roses in the midst of thorns; and the longer and sharper the thorns may be, the sweeter shall be my song."

"I feel my mission is soon to begin, to make others love God as I do, to teach others my 'little way.' I will spend my Heaven in doing good upon earth."

For more of her quotes click here.

Heavenly Father,
Perhaps I am being over scrupulous, or perhaps I have sinned gravely. Forgive me. I want to make reparations to Your Sacred Heart. I cannot sleep as I pray for souls, I cannot think of anything clearly if it does not involve You first. I pray for everyone here as I've done before. I pray for Your light to come. Even if it means war and death, all things Glory, war on evil, and death to the life that I want that is not in fulfillment of Your most Holy Will.

I just opened the book Imitation of Christ, and prayed to have a message for you and me and this is what it says:

"How many people will remember you and pray for you once you are dead?
So do all you can now, for you do not know when you will die or what you will face after death. Gain merit for eternity now while there is time and concern yourself only with your eternal salvation.
Attend to those things that are to God's honor and glory. Honor the Saints and follow their example and you will have friends waiting to receive you into everlasting dwellings (Lik16:9) when your life here is ended.
9.) Live on earth as a pilgrim and a stranger, unconcerned with the world's business. Let your heart remain free and lifted up to God, for you have not here a lasting city. Persevere in your prayer, sending your aspirations daily up to God, so that at the hour of death your soul may depart from this world and go to its Lord.



hear it read


Random Bible Verse 1
Ephesians 2:1–3
By Grace Through Faith

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body1 and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.2

->Thank You Jesus<-

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