Wednesday, February 19, 2020

⛪ . . Do You See Anything? . .⛪

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Grace in All Things

I began to see that the intent of Christ was never to relegate redemption to the spiritual realm, leaving us to wait desperately to shed this cumbersome physical world. No, he is in all things and he holds everything together. He is in the bread we eat, he is in the touch of our neighbor, he is in the tears of our children, he is in the dirt we dig up, and he is in the voice of the poor.

I can't escape the million proofs of a Creator's delight in creation nor his determination to use it to woo me on earth.

—from When We Were Eve: Uncovering the Woman God Created You to Be by Colleen Mitchell


Saint Quote

"We shall steer safely through every storm, so long as our heart is right, our intention fervent, our courage steadfast, and our trust fixed on God."
— St. Francis de Sales

"And so the idea of peace came down to do the work of peace: The Word was made flesh and even now dwells among us. It is by faith that he dwells in our hearts, in our memory, our intellect and penetrates even into our imagination. What concept could man have of God if he did not first fashion an image of him in his heart? By nature incomprehensible and inaccessible, he was invisible and unthinkable, but now he wished to be understood, to be seen and thought of. But how, you ask, was this done? He lay in a manger and rested on a virgin's breast, preached on a mountain, and spent the night in prayer. He hung on a cross, grew pale in death, and roamed free among the dead and ruled over those in hell. He rose again on the third day, and showed the apostles the wounds of the nails, the signs of victory; and finally in their presence he ascended to the sanctuary of heaven. How can we not contemplate this story in truth, piety and holiness?"
— St. Bernard, p. 186
Witness of the Saints

"Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to you, when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I; for you are my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me abide in your tent forever, find refuge under the shelter of your wings."
Psalm 61:1-4


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Bl. Alvarez of (Córdoba) Cordova (1350-1430) was born to a noble family in Zamora, Spain. He joined the Dominican Order and preached throughout Spain, and served at the court of Queen Catherine. He went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and upon his return preached the crusades against the Muslims. He founded the famous priory of Scala Caeli (Ladder of Heaven) at Cordova, a convent of strict observance, and it is said that angels helped provide its building materials. He erected pictures of the holy places in Jerusalem in its gardens, popularizing the custom of the Stations of the Cross. He lived a life of great austerity and begged for alms even though he could easily obtain what he needed from the royal court. Numerous miracles are attributed to him. It is told that he once found a dying beggar, wrapped him in a blanket, and carried him back to the convent. Upon unwrapping the cloth he found only a crucifix. Blessed Alvarez was dedicated to Christ's Passion and helped spread devotion to the Way of the Cross throughout western Europe. He also successfully led a resistance against the anti-pope and brought Spain under allegiance to the true pope in Rome. His feast day is February 19.


Wednesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 337
Reading 1

Jas 1:19-27

Know this, my dear brothers and sisters:
everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger
for anger does not accomplish
the righteousness of God.
Therefore, put away all filth and evil excess
and humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you
and is able to save your souls.

Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer,
he is like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror.
He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets
what he looked like.
But the one who peers into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres,
and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts;
such a one shall be blessed in what he does.

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue
but deceives his heart, his religion is vain.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this:
to care for orphans and widows in their affliction
and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Responsorial Psalm

15:2-3a, 3bc-4ab, 5

R. (1b) Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?
He who walks blamelessly and does justice;
who thinks the truth in his heart
and slanders not with his tongue.
R. Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?
Who harms not his fellow man,
nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor;
By whom the reprobate is despised,
while he honors those who fear the LORD.
R. Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?
Who lends not his money at usury
and accepts no bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
shall never be disturbed.
R. Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?


Eph 1:17-18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope
that belongs to his call.
R. Alleluia, alleluia


Mk 8:22-26

When Jesus and his disciples arrived at Bethsaida,
people brought to him a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him.
He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village.
Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on the man and asked,
"Do you see anything?"
Looking up the man replied, "I see people looking like trees and walking."
Then he laid hands on the man's eyes a second time and he saw clearly;
his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly.
Then he sent him home and said, "Do not even go into the village."


Catholic Meditations
Meditation: Mark 8:22-26
6th Week in Ordinary Time

[Jesus] laid hands on the man's eyes a second time and he saw clearly. (Mark 8:25)

Today's Gospel passage tells the story of a healing that didn't quite work at first. Jesus had to lay his hands on a blind man not once but twice before the man could see. Surely Jesus could have healed him fully the first time, but he didn't. Why not? And why would Mark include this "two step" healing in his Gospel? Maybe to show us something new about who God is and the way he works with us.

God is compassionate. Jesus showed great gentleness in his interaction with this man. He "took the blind man by the hand and led him" away from the scrutiny of the crowds (Mark 8:23). He didn't just heal him from a distance as he did with the centurion's servant (Matthew 8:8-13). He came close. Close enough to touch his eyes, close enough to ask if he could see, and close enough to listen for his reply. How consoling this human contact must have been! Isolated by his blindness, he must have longed to experience such connection.

God is persistent. Jesus surely knew that the man was only partially healed, but he asked anyway. He was looking to heal more than his physical blindness; he was concerned with his spiritual blindness as well. To his credit, the man responded honestly. It must have taken some courage to confess that people looked like trees. But had he simply thanked Jesus for the little bit he received and gone on his way, the man would have lived the rest of his life in physical and spiritual confusion. Jesus' insistent questioning gave the man the courage to seek more.

God is patient. Throughout his Gospel, Mark reveals Jesus as a tireless Teacher whose disciples continually misunderstand who he is. Many scholars believe that the blind man's progressive healing points to Jesus' patience in helping his disciples to see. Jesus kept working with them, he kept working with the blind man, and he will keep working with us.

The same Jesus who drew the blind man aside with compassion seeks to be close to us today. He will persistently touch us, heal us, and listen to our needs. He will patiently help us to believe, until we see him face-to-face.

"Jesus, please help me to see you more clearly today."

James 1:19-27
Psalm 15:2-5



Jesus often expressed deep emotion, compassion, sorrow, frustration, and even righteous anger. So we should never be afraid to reveal our true feelings to him. He understands human emotions, because he experienced them.
— Matthew Arnold
from The Miracles of Jesus


"....put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls."
God's word is creative. The Word creates what becomes an image of Him, the expression of being. Yet, not just any being, but well being, the very well of water...that what brings life. He speaks " quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger
for anger does not accomplish the righteousness of God."
He did not say be quick-tempered, ready to defend yourself with a return for a blow to the face, nor quick to anger and become enraged...yet, that is how the worldly person has become. And there are those who show no signs of vile hatred, but inside, that is another story. Many awful things happen in a fit of rage. Things we regret saying. Things we regret doing. Things that have everlasting repercussions. I was in the waiting room at the hospital and randomly opened the bible I found on a table and it said:

"A man of knowledge restrains his words,
and a man of understanding maintains a calm spirit.
Even a fool is considered wise if he keeps silent,
and discerning when he holds his tongue."
Proverbs 16.


Today we pray: "He who walks blamelessly and does justice; who thinks the truth in his heart
and slanders not with his tongue. Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?"
Holy mountain? Zion? What mountain is this? It is about the ascent. It is about rising, and rising above what the world offers. No thing can satisfy the human heart, as does our Lord Almighty. Walk blameless, thinking in the heart truth, be true to yourself and be true to God. He can see duplicity without you saying a word. For that, we have a season of penance. For that blindness we go to encounter our Lord.


In the Holy Gospel, our Lord is presented with a blind man. We heard our Lord "He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village.
It was again, a one on one time, apart, the very meaning of holiness, to be set apart for God and with God. These are all hints at how we should spend our season of penance. With spit, the life of Jesus within, the well of life, He puts the spit on the eyes of the blind. He opens them, and sees people like trees. Trees that are to give fruit. To see what God sees. And then " he laid hands on the man's eyes a second time and he saw clearly". He saw clearly what Jesus had done for Him. He not only restored him, but restored him to the flock he belongs to "Do not even go into the village." Go straight home. Do not go back to where you will be blinded again, do not go back into the world you lived in. If you are purified and see things not stain yourself with the world again. For this we have the season of penance.

Heavenly Father, I can't see clearly. My life gets obscured with maladies. I see things with darkness many times, and the doom and gloom makes me lose focus. How I long to see clearly My Lord. How I wish to see your face. How I long for something my heart doesn't long for rightly and justly. If I could only love you as our Mother Mary, and the saints and angels. If I could only truly love you with all my heart, mind, and soul, in essence, with all my strength, all my being...then I could see forever my love, my true love, my true well being that makes me be, the truth...and the life..your precious and Sacred Heart Jesus!

O Make us love Thee More and MORE!


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->Random Bible Verse from an online random verse generator<

Matthew 22:37–39

37 And 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. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Thank You Lord


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