Monday, March 2, 2020

⛪ . . Lord When did We See You . .⛪

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Compassion Is More than Behavior

Compassion is more than behavior. It is the way that things are done, the fundamental current through which action flows toward self and others. And the source of compassion is not less than the true self, that irreducible "I" in which the ego has been fully absorbed and therefore is invisible and casts no shadow. When action flows from this non-geographical point of pure identity, it is unconcerned about what it looks like and even about whether it is good or bad in the eyes of others. Compassion is pure action issuing from purity of heart. It is carried along toward others by a force of generosity that is too complete, and too fulfilling for it to worry about what it is going to get in return. We have to learn and relearn to stay centered and be simple. We have to remember when we forget.

—from the book Sensing God: Learning to Meditate during Lent by Laurence Freeman, OSB


Saint Quote
"Act as if everything depended on you; trust as if everything depended on God."
— St. Ignatius of Loyola

"Our Blessed Lord, bound like a thief, is conducted through the public streets of Jerusalem accompanied by a large body of soldiers who indulge their rage and hatred by ill-treating Him in every possible way, and surrounded by a multitude of people who overwhelm Him with insults and maledictions, and rejoice over His misfortunes. Jesus advances, His feet bare, and His strength utterly exhausted by all His mental and bodily sufferings, offering up the ignominy and tortures He is now enduring, to His Eternal Father, for the salvation of my soul. The soldiers render His position still more painful, by inviting people to approach and see their renowned prisoner, while Jesus proceeds on His way in the midst of them, with a humble demeanor and with downcast eyes, to teach us what value we should set on the esteem and honor of the world, and the applause of men. But a few days previously Jesus had passed through these same streets, applauded and honored by the crowd as the Messiah, and now, abandoned even by His disciples, He is followed only by perfidious enemies who seek His death, and unite in deriding and insulting Him as a malefactor, and the last of men. Such is the duration of the honors and praises of the world! Learn hence to seek the good pleasure of God alone, to labor for the acquisition of a right to the immortal honors of Paradise, and to practice patience under humiliation, from the example of Jesus."
— Fr. Ignatius of the Side of Jesus, p. 79-80
The School of Christ Crucified

"And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, and that they may escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will."
2 Timothy 2:24-26


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Saint Agnes of Bohemia

(1205 – March 6, 1282)

Agnes had no children of her own but was certainly life-giving for all who knew her.

Agnes was the daughter of Queen Constance and King Ottokar I of Bohemia. She was betrothed to the Duke of Silesia, who died three years later. As she grew up, she decided she wanted to enter the religious life.

After declining marriages to King Henry VII of Germany and King Henry III of England, Agnes was faced with a proposal from Frederick II, the Holy Roman Emperor. She appealed to Pope Gregory IX for help. The pope was persuasive; Frederick magnanimously said that he could not be offended if Agnes preferred the King of Heaven to him.

After Agnes built a hospital for the poor and a residence for the friars, she financed the construction of a Poor Clare monastery in Prague. In 1236, she and seven other noblewomen entered this monastery. Saint Clare sent five sisters from San Damiano to join them, and wrote Agnes four letters advising her on the beauty of her vocation and her duties as abbess.

Agnes became known for prayer, obedience and mortification. Papal pressure forced her to accept her election as abbess, nevertheless, the title she preferred was "senior sister." Her position did not prevent her from cooking for the other sisters and mending the clothes of lepers. The sisters found her kind but very strict regarding the observance of poverty; she declined her royal brother's offer to set up an endowment for the monastery.

Devotion to Agnes arose soon after her death on March 6, 1282. She was canonized in 1989.

Agnes spent at least 45 years in a Poor Clare monastery. Such a life requires a great deal of patience and charity. The temptation to selfishness certainly didn't vanish when Agnes walked into the monastery. It is perhaps easy for us to think that cloistered nuns "have it made" regarding holiness. Their route is the same as ours: gradual exchange of our standards—inclinations to selfishness—for God's standard of generosity.


Monday of the First Week of Lent
Lectionary: 224
Reading 1

Lv 19:1-2, 11-18

The LORD said to Moses,
"Speak to the whole assembly of the children of Israel and tell them:
Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.

"You shall not steal.
You shall not lie or speak falsely to one another.
You shall not swear falsely by my name,
thus profaning the name of your God.
I am the LORD.

"You shall not defraud or rob your neighbor.
You shall not withhold overnight the wages of your day laborer.
You shall not curse the deaf,
or put a stumbling block in front of the blind,
but you shall fear your God.
I am the LORD.

"You shall not act dishonestly in rendering judgment.
Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty,
but judge your fellow men justly.
You shall not go about spreading slander among your kin;
nor shall you stand by idly when your neighbor's life is at stake.
I am the LORD.

"You shall not bear hatred for your brother in your heart.
Though you may have to reprove him,
do not incur sin because of him.
Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countrymen.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
I am the LORD."

Responsorial Psalm

19:8, 9, 10, 15

R. (John 6:63b) Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart.
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart
find favor before you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

Verse Before the Gospel

2 Cor 6:2b

Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.


Mt 25:31-46

Jesus said to his disciples:
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him.
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right,
'Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.'
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?'
And the king will say to them in reply,
'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Then he will say to those on his left,
'Depart from me, you accursed,
into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
a stranger and you gave me no welcome,
naked and you gave me no clothing,
ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.'
Then they will answer and say,
'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty
or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison,
and not minister to your needs?'
He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you,
what you did not do for one of these least ones,
you did not do for me.'
And these will go off to eternal punishment,
but the righteous to eternal life."


1st Week of Lent

Lord, when did we see you . . . ? (Matthew 25:37)
Can you imagine arriving at God's judgment seat, hearing his assessment of your life, and saying, "What are you talking about? That's not how I remember it. When did I see you?" It would be like a bad dream.

According to today's Gospel, one of the best ways to prevent this from happening is to examine how you treat the people around you. Jesus says that we should see him in other people, especially the poor, the prisoner, the hungry, and the foreigner.

A story about St. Francis of Assisi illustrates this truth perfectly. Thomas of Celano, one of Francis' early disciples, described it this way:

So greatly loathsome was the sight of lepers to [Francis] . . . that, in the days of his vanity, he would look at their houses only from a distance of two miles and he would hold his nostrils with his hands. But now, when by the grace and the power of the Most High he was beginning to think of holy and useful things, . . . he met a leper one day and, made stronger than himself, he kissed him.

Writing about this incident himself, Francis said, "What had previously nauseated me became a source of physical consolation for me. After that I did not wait long before leaving the world."

What happened to Francis can happen to you. But don't think you have to make such a radical change overnight—or all on your own. Thomas of Celano attributed Francis' act of kindness to "the grace and the power" of God. Francis may have taken one or two steps in welcoming people with leprosy, but he knew that he was able to embrace that man only because he was "made stronger than himself." In other words, it was a combination of Francis' decision and God's grace that changed his heart.

Jesus is present in a special way in the beggar on the street. He is in the new student at school and in your coworker from another country. Every time you show mercy to one of them, you open the door to grace a bit more. Every time you show kindness, the Holy Spirit changes you a little bit more. And the path to heaven grows a little clearer.

"Jesus, help me to see you in every person I meet."

Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18
Psalm 19:8-10, 15



Nearly 2500 years ago, the Athenian General Thucydides wrote, 'We must remember that one man is much the same as another, and that he is best who is trained in the severest school.' In a similar way, temptation is a test of love. Through fighting well, you prove your loyalties. With purity and self-control, you are free to love. When a man controls his passions, he finds peace.
—Jason Evert
from Pure Manhood


"You shall not defraud or rob your neighbor."
Could we sum up today's 1st Holy Scripture with this verse?
Could we take it seriously to avoid the rest?
Lying, swearing, profaning, cursing, withholding wages, acting dishonest, slandering, and "nor shall you stand by idly when your neighbor's life is at stake."
Who's life is at stake nowadays? Everybody's. I asked a few "do you remember when you were young (a few decades ago) and hearing of a fellow teen or youth taking their own lives? Or do you remember back then, hearing about so many abortions? Who's life is at stake? Now, I gave you some examples of real lives at stake, even some innocent on death row for all we know. But, let's take this to the next degree. Let's talk souls. Let's talk things eternal. Now, that number multiplies exponentially.


Today we pray: "The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart. The command of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eye.

Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life". When His Words are carried out and made true, lives are saved...and more importantly...souls.


In the Holy Gospel our Lord said: "He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.'
Ahh, Mother Teresa's favorite words, five words, one for every finger, and did the word end with the smallest finger..."me". Because "me" is Jesus in the end, the smallest, often the forgotten, the smelly, the drugee, the lost, the lonely, the outcast, those in the peripheries of life, outskirts, pretty invisible, and pretty untouchable. Have you ever met one of these folks? Many of them, they don't want you near them, "they don't need nobody" and "nobody needs them".

Yet God talks about hearts and eyes. "The command of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eye."
Enlightening. Light to the eye? Light to the doors of the soul? How did Mother Teresa have eyes to see the poor where others could not see them? She had a keen eye. And in her speech she talked about loving the unborn children, some of the most forgotten. We live in a precarious time of assault on the innocent, through pornography and contraception that leads to deception which leads to death. I call it the hidden Baal, the hidden gods and even evil gods.

So back to caring, back to making a difference, and back to enlightening the eyes of the world.

There was a saint that said of a mean person that Jesus was really hard to love in disguise. And He is disguised day in and day out, so watch out! "Mother Teresa knew how crucial this was. Seeing Christ in the Eucharist enabled her to see him in the streets. "If we recognize [Jesus] under the appearance of bread," she explained, "we will have no difficulty recognizing him in the disguise of the suffering poor." This is why Mother Teresa could say, "I have an opportunity to be with Jesus 24 hours a day." Whether in the chapel or the slums, the pew or the hospital, she recognized the Lord everywhere she went because she trained herself each morning at the altar." She was said to have said "every one of them is Jesus in disguise".

So think again when slandering, gossiping, defrauding, and abusing the innocent in any which way.

Think again, because they carry Jesus. They carry the genome. They carry the genetic makeup of the Creator, our Father. They are completely dependent on you to show them Father.
With all the "neighbor" talk today, is it "Love Thy Neighbor" day or something?
That would be more like...every single day.

Lord, enlighten our eye. Let us see what you see. Let us care for you when in need. Help us love Thee more and more.

Oh, and thank you for your prayers. We had a little girl Saturday, we are home now recovering. My son asked me last night as we held the baby, "so how does it feel to have another kid dad?" I said what is true "it feels right".

Love feels right.


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Random Bible verse from an online generator:

John 4:13
13 Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.1 The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."


If one day you don't receive these, just visit my website, surely you'll find me there. God Bless You! Share the Word. Share this, share what is good

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