Thursday, February 20, 2020

⛪ . . As Human Beings Do . .⛪

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The Warmth of God's Mercy

It is God's love that is still holding me by the shoulder as, spoonful by spoonful, I consume the warmth of his mercy into my physical and spiritual being. And when I am fully restored and well, it will be with love and great delight that he touches my hand and calls me to serve again.

We are not called to live a life of servitude to a demanding Father. We are his children whom he wants to heal and feed, then lift into service as evidence of his great love and delight in us. Let us not confuse the two any longer but open our eyes and be fed so that we might serve him from the fullness of our hearts and our confidence in his love.

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


Saint Quote

"Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible."
— St. Francis of Assisi

"No one denies what everyone knows, for nature herself teaches it: that God is the Creator of the universe, and that it is good, and that it belongs to humanity by the free gift of its Creator. But there is a vast difference between the corrupted state and the state of primal purity, just as there is a vast difference between Creator and the corruptor. ... We ourselves, though we're guilty of every sin, are not just a work of God: we're image. Yet we have cut ourselves off from our Creator in both soul and body. Did we get eyes to serve lust, the tongue to speak evil, ears to hear evil, a throat for gluttony, a stomach to be gluttony's ally, hands to do violence, genitals for unchaste excesses, feet for an erring life? Was the soul put in the body to think up traps, fraud, and injustice? I don't think so."
— Tertullian, p. 11
A Year with the Church Fathers

"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."
1 Peter 2:9


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Saints Jacinta and Francisco Marto

(Jacinta: 1910 – February 20, 1920 | Francisco: 1908 – April 14, 1919)

Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, three Portuguese shepherd children from Aljustrel, received apparitions of Our Lady at Cova da Iria, near Fátima, a city 110 miles north of Lisbon. At that time, Europe was involved in an extremely bloody war. Portugal itself was in political turmoil, having overthrown its monarchy in 1910; the government disbanded religious organizations soon after.

At the first appearance, Mary asked the children to return to that spot on the thirteenth of each month for the next six months. She also asked them to learn to read and write and to pray the rosary "to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war." They were to pray for sinners and for the conversion of Russia, which had recently overthrown Czar Nicholas II and was soon to fall under communism. Up to 90,000 people gathered for Mary's final apparition on October 13, 1917.

Less than two years later, Francisco died of influenza in his family home. He was buried in the parish cemetery and then re-buried in the Fátima basilica in 1952. Jacinta died of influenza in Lisbon in 1920, offering her suffering for the conversion of sinners, peace in the world, and the Holy Father. She was re-buried in the Fátima basilica in 1951. Their cousin Lúcia dos Santos, became a Carmelite nun and was still living when Jacinta and Francisco were beatified in 2000; she died five years later. Pope Francis canonized the younger children on his visit to Fátima to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first apparition–May 13, 2017. The shrine of Our Lady of Fátima is visited by up to 20 million people a year.

The Church is always very cautious about endorsing alleged apparitions, but it has seen benefits from people changing their lives because of the message of Our Lady of Fátima. Prayer for sinners, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and praying the rosary—all these reinforce the Good News Jesus came to preach.


Thursday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Jas 2:1-9

My brothers and sisters, show no partiality
as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.
For if a man with gold rings and fine clothes

comes into your assembly,
and a poor person with shabby clothes also comes in,

and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes
and say, "Sit here, please,"
while you say to the poor one, "Stand there," or "Sit at my feet,"
have you not made distinctions among yourselves
and become judges with evil designs?
Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters.
Did not God choose those who are poor in the world
to be rich in faith and heirs of the Kingdom
that he promised to those who love him?
But you dishonored the poor.
Are not the rich oppressing you?
And do they themselves not haul you off to court?
Is it not they who blaspheme the noble name that was invoked over you?
However, if you fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture,
You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing well.
But if you show partiality, you commit sin,
and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

Responsorial Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
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. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

Alleluia John 6:63c, 68c

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
you have the words of everlasting life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 8:27-33

Jesus and his disciples set out
for the villages of Caesarea Philippi.
Along the way he asked his disciples,
"Who do people say that I am?"
They said in reply,
"John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others one of the prophets."
And he asked them,
"But who do you say that I am?"
Peter said to him in reply,
"You are the Christ."
Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.
He began to teach them
that the Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed, and rise after three days.
He spoke this openly.
Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples,
rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do."


Catholic Meditations
Meditation: James 2:1-9

6th Week in Ordinary Time

Show no partiality. (James 2:1)

In his biography of St. Francis of Assisi, British author G. K. Chesterton uses an analogy to show how Francis' whole way of thinking had changed as a result of his conversion. Deep in prayer in a cave outside the city, the young Francis surrendered his expectations of a worldly career with its honors and chose to live for the honor of God instead. When he came out of the cave, everything had turned upside down for him. It was, Chesterton wrote, as though Francis were "walking on his hands."

Chesterton used this image to give a sense of the joy Francis felt when, having given up all his possessions, he could see the true poverty of humanity, the poverty of a people who depend at every moment on God for existence. From this upside-down perspective, everything that seemed strong and permanent—thick walls, high towers—appeared precarious as it hung dangerously over empty space. By being turned upside down, Francis saw things right side up.

This description can help shed light on today's first reading. In a world based so much on who is in and who is out, James tells his readers to "show no partiality" (2:1). We can no longer look at things the way society does, favoring the wealthy and powerful while disregarding people who struggle with illness or financial need or weakness. Instead, we should see things upside down. If anything, we should favor the poor over the rich, since the poor have so little and need so much.

These can be very challenging words. It's hard enough to give any of our spare money or time to the poor, let alone prioritize them as the greatest. In some ways, it's like giving just as much attention to someone we consider boring as we give to someone who is attractive or charming.

Keeping our eyes fixed on the cross is one key to flipping our perspective. The more we see the love of the One who emptied himself, the more we will see the world differently. The more we see how Jesus reached out to people in need, the more we will be moved to give generously of ourselves. Like St. Francis, we will begin to treat every person, rich and poor, with the dignity and love they deserve.

"Jesus, help me to see as you see and to love as you love."

Psalm 34:2-7
Mark 8:27-33



My uncle's generous reputation preceded him, and often people came right up to him on the street and asked him for money. He never refused them, even when I suspected that they weren't being honest about their needs and were taking advantage of my uncle. Sometimes I would ask, 'What if that person's not telling the truth?' His reply was always the same: 'I can't take that chance.'
—Joan Sheen Cunningham
from My Uncle Fulton Sheen


If you do God's law: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing well.
But if you show partiality, you commit sin".
Partiality? Partial to what? Oh, you mean, partial to one side and the other? Light and dark? Two faces is to be defaced. That my friend is a hard struggle, I'd say for anybody. With one friend I'm one way, and the other, I'm another way. Who can silence the tongue? Who is critical? Is it critical to call out sin? Or is it critical to notice when evil is at hand?


We pray today: "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. The Lord hears the cry of the poor." What shall ever be in my mouth? His Praise. Praising Him through thick and thin. Nothing else should be in my mouth. Let our soul glory in the Lord.


In the Holy Gospel today we hear about two rebukes: "Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan."
What's with all the rebukes? What is a rebuke? A censure? A reprimand? Who is reprimanding who? Who is then, establishing authority?

Evil comes around and whispers through people "you shouldn't have to take that or go through that" when you know full well that you should take that or go through that, and I'm speaking of a covenant and more specifically, a covenant relationship. Something aims to break relationships apart, always. Lent will give us a great opportunity to reignite our fire in our relationship, to be one in Him all the more.

Our Lord said ", "Get behind me, Satan.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do."
and he faced the disciples, not Peter as He said this to rebuke Peter. Strange huh? Was Satan among the disciples, or did our Lord not want to even give Satan the face? What we must learn, is to properly discern. When is evil speaking, and when is our Lord speaking. If something clearly contradicts God's plan, it is evil speaking. Evil is speaking through the media nowadays, clearly speaking against God's plan...for marriage. God's plan for pro-creation. God's plan for His creation. We are slowly becoming our own worst enemy by going against God's plan. How can we reverse this plan? By listening to God. Where can you see Him and listen to Him? He will not speak through auditory senses, but sometimes angels are sent to give you a message. Listen to Him in the silence you will make for Him in your heart. Lent calls for time spent. Let us spend just a few more moments in silence, quiet, going into the desert, meditating and listening.

Lord, I am a mess of anxiety, nerves, tensions, a mess in my head, I can't think straight at times, my thoughts won't stop, and I know I need to slow down and hear you say "have no fear, I AM here". Take my hand Lord, I am your child, I am yours, help me learn, help me yearn to be more truly yours...and Love you


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


14 The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent."
Exodus 14:14

Thank You Lord


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