If you don't have special times in your life that are liminal, that put the ordinary into eclipse, then you are condemned to a dull life of facts and predictability. You have no enchantment, and without the charm of the liminal your soul goes to sleep and you become like a robot. Your very humanity depends on the interplay of the ordinary and the wondrous. We all know that children are especially susceptible to the thin veil of Christmas, but in our own way we adults could be more open to its impact. You don't have to "believe" in Santa Claus to get into the spirit of the season or to be uplifted by its special charm, but you have to be aware of your need for light and have some hope and vision that light will be there.
—from the book The Soul of Christmas by Thomas Moore
† Saint Quote "To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek Him the greatest adventure; to find Him, the greatest human achievement." — St. Augustine of Hippo
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY "They who are bent on sensible sweetness, labor also under another very great imperfection: excessive weakness and remissness on the rugged road of the cross; for the soul that is given to sweetness naturally sets its face against all the pain of self-denial. They labor under many other imperfections, which have their origin here, of which our Lord will heal them in due time, through temptations, aridities and trials, elements of the dark night." — St. John of the Cross, p. 28 AN EXCERPT FROM Dark Night of the Soul
† VERSE OF THE DAY "He said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Matthew 22:37-40
click to read more
St. Sabas (439-532 A.D.) was born near Caesarea in Cappadocia to an illustrious family. His father was an army officer who, being restationed in Alexandria, left Sabas (along with his estate) in the care of his wife's sister. Sabas was severely mistreated by his aunt, and he fled from her to live with his father's brother instead. This move led to a family feud over the management of his father's estate, and Sabas, a meek child disgusted with their worldliness, sought refuge in a monastery. He was well-treated there, and although only a child, excelled in the monastic life. When he reached the age of eighteen, after living in the monastery for ten years, Sabas traveled to Jerusalem to visit the holy places and to become a desert hermit. He lived in a Jerusalem monastery for a time before dwelling alone in a desert cave near Jericho, spending his days in prayer and penance. Because of his renowned virtue and holiness many men desired to follow his example. He was ordained a priest so that he could better direct the 150 monks in his care. Sabas became an important leader in the early Church by founding monasteries, fighting heresy, and serving in delegations to the Roman Emperor. He is one of the most highly-regarded patriarchs of Palestine, and is considered one of the Fathers of Eastern monasticism. His most important monastery, the Great Laura, is one of the oldest monasteries in the world and is still inhabited by Eastern Orthodox monks. St. Sabas' feast day is December 5th.
Few of us share Sabas' yearning for a cave in the desert, but most of us sometimes resent the demands others place on our time. Sabas understands that. When at last he gained the solitude for which he yearned, a community immediately began to gather around him, and he was forced into a leadership role. He stands as a model of patient generosity for anyone whose time and energy are required by others—that is, for all of us.
Thursday of the First Week of Advent Lectionary: 178 Reading 1
On that day they will sing this song in the land of Judah:
"A strong city have we; he sets up walls and ramparts to protect us. Open up the gates to let in a nation that is just, one that keeps faith. A nation of firm purpose you keep in peace; in peace, for its trust in you."
Trust in the LORD forever! For the LORD is an eternal Rock. He humbles those in high places, and the lofty city he brings down; He tumbles it to the ground, levels it with the dust. It is trampled underfoot by the needy, by the footsteps of the poor.
Ps 118:1 and 8-9, 19-21, 25-27a
R.(26a) Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes. R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. Open to me the gates of justice; I will enter them and give thanks to the LORD. This gate is the LORD's; the just shall enter it. I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me and have been my savior. R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. O LORD, grant salvation! O LORD, grant prosperity! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD; we bless you from the house of the LORD. The LORD is God, and he has given us light. R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. or: R. Alleluia.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Seek the LORD while he may be found; call him while he is near. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Mt 7:21, 24-27
Jesus said to his disciples: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
"Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined."
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever.(Psalm 118:1)
Giving thanks can be tricky during the holidays. It's hard to feel grateful when we are stressed or lonely or grieving someone we love. But today's responsorial psalm reminds us why we give thanks: because God is good. Because he came as a baby two thousand years ago. Because he comes into our hearts every time we ask. Because one day, he will come again in his full glory. This is why we give thanks.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
Everything he does is good. He never makes a mistake, never forgets a detail, never acts spitefully. Thank him for that! He never wakes up in a bad mood or has a bad day. Thank him for that unfailing goodness. Thank him for knowing you and thinking of you before you were born. Give thanks because he has always had nothing but tender love for you. If you have experienced any goodness or blessing from God, give thanks!
Give thanks to the Lord, for his mercy endures forever.
St. Paul says that Christ died for you while you were still in sin (Romans 5:8). He didn't wait for you to pull yourself together or act on new resolutions. He showered you, and everyone else, with mercy even before you repented. Thank God for that. He pardons you again and again. He never holds your sins against you. Every time you return to him, he forgives you. Even if you are disappointed or feel as if a door has closed, you can trust that his mercy will prevail. Give thanks!
Give thanks to the Lord, for he has been your Savior.
He has saved you—from the eternal consequences of sin and from a futile and faithless life. He has saved you and made you his child. He has lavished you with his Holy Spirit, the great Gift who unveils the mystery of Christ to you and who helps you discover him. Give thanks!
Today and every day, look for signs of God's goodness and mercy and salvation. And thank him. Then watch your heart expand.
"Thank you, Lord, for your many blessings in my life!"
Isaiah 26:1-6 Matthew 7:21, 24-27
Of the Lord's life on earth, 91% was hidden, and of Mary's life, 97%. The Holy of Holies and "Nature's Solitary Boast" lived lives of deep prayer before great works. They would stay close to the Source of all good works and drink deep of the fountain of living waters -- the Father. —Mother Angelica from Mother Angelica on Christ and Our Lady
my2cents: " ...let in a nation that is just, one that keeps faith."
There's a movement out there that I've heard of, never been in, but sounds promising because of the name, a men's ministry called "Promise Keepers" and from the rumors I've heard, they help men become better men, better husbands, and better fathers. But the movement hasn't reached all men. So what will reach all men? Who will help men become men? And this means, men of God. If statistics are correct, the vast majority most male prisoners are there due to a lack of a real father figure. If this is a revelation of the next life, most men would be in some type of hell, because they never had a father figure to help them and guide them and even admonish them, punishing them when necessary, but with great love. You see, there is a difference. We must become a nation that keeps promises...to our Father in Heaven.
"Trust in the LORD forever! For the LORD is an eternal Rock."
Today we pray: "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord." My dad likes to quote this bible verse. It is a reminder of how little we can really trust a human being. What does this mean? Trust God more. This is the beauty of the mystery of God our Creator and Father. So grande and mysterious, and He calls on a trust...trust the Father. My aim is to bring you to Our Father in Heaven. My focus is to help you focus. Can we see the Father? Last night I asked my students "do prophets exist today?" and they didn't know. One said no, another said maybe, and most refused to open their lips. One said "the Pope" and another said "the priest", and soon I revealed to them that we were ALL baptized as prophets. They are everywhere. Are they doing their job? That's what we are called to do. Me and you. To call out evil and to bring the good news. But, to do this with love. God is trusting you.
In the Holy Gospel, our Lord said ""Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven." What is God's will? Some can make this such a perplexing question that it actually freezes them in their spiritual tracks, and get stuck, and won't move forward. "What direction am I supposed to take? Left or right?" I tell my kid to do something and they ask a ton of questions, as if I have to think for them every step of the way. At some point, you just have to take the bold step and do God's will. Do what He asks, and figure it out. Case in point: qualification. The parish asks for a teacher. Or, as in our case, we've been looking for a director of religious education for a long time now. The qualifications scare many. Some applied and didn't qualify. A would-be teacher is afraid and says "I don't know how to teach". That's just the point, they didn't ask you if you "know how" to teach, they asked if you would just be a teacher. God qualifies the called. Trust in the Lord, right? The will of the Father is very blatant to me, He wants me (and you) to be a saint. I live daily struggles and mostly struggling to pray, and to be holy. And so, I struggle to do God's will. But that is just it, obedience, the cross, the love of the Father in Heaven. What is His will for you? Oh, simple, that you truly become totally His. That is the call of a lover, someone who loves you dearly. Does He really need me? Does He really care about you? Can you trust this writing? Yes, the answer is yes! What do I want my children to do? One time I told my eldest daughter as I tucked her into bed "I don't care what you do in life, what career, where you go, as long as you love God first and above all, that will make me happy". And that is the truth. For all my children and god-children, I care so deeply for, that's my heart's desire, that each one love God so intensely, the light begins to show. And others can see the Way.
hear it read
Random Bible Verse 1
Psalm 34:8 8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Thank You Lord
For questions or comments contact Adrian@going4th.com. For more go to www.Going4th.com