Wednesday, March 4, 2020

⛪ . . There Is Something Greater . .⛪

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Radical Change One Step at a Time

To change a small thing makes some people feel insecure about many things and even sends warning signals down deep into the caverns where their fear of death lurks. When it comes to our character or personality, as shaped by years of experience, it seems even more difficult to effect change. We have all kinds of means to resist changing our mind—denial, aggression, and procrastination being among the favorites. To change or repent means not only the content of our beliefs and ideas, but the actual mode of perception by which consciousness operates. Saying a mantra in our daily Lenten practice tricks us out of these resistances and fears by first affecting the quality of awareness through seeing what is really there. Then behavior changes. Then thoughts. Radical change without force. Radical simplicity with unbounded love, in daily increments. The meaning of repentance.

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


Saint Quote

"Act, and God will act, work and He will work."
— St. Joan of Arc

"Christian life is a retreat. We are 'not of this world', just as Jesus Christ is 'not of this world' (John 17:14). What is the world? It is, as St. John said, the 'lust of the flesh', that is, sensuality and corruption in our desires and deeds; 'the lust of the eyes', curiosity, avarice, illusion, fascination, error, and folly in the affectation of learning, and, finally, pride and ambition (1 John 2:16). To these evils of which the world is full, and which make up its substance, a retreat must be set in opposition. We need to make ourselves into a desert by a holy detachment. Christian life is a battle ... We must never cease to fight. In this battle, St. Paul teaches us to make an eternal abstinence, that is, to cut ourselves off from the pleasures of the senses and guard our hearts from them ... it was to repair and to expiate the failings of our retreat, of our battle against temptations, of our abstinence, that Jesus was driven into the desert. His fast of forty days prefigured the lifelong one that we are to practice by abstaining from evil deeds and by containing our desires within the limits laid down by the law of God."
— Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, p. 17-18
Meditations for Lent

"For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ."
Philippians 3:18-20


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(1458-1484) Casimir, born of kings and in line to be a king himself, was filled with exceptional values and learning by a great teacher, John Dlugosz. Even his critics could not say that his conscientious objection indicated softness. As a teenager, Casimir lived a highly disciplined, even severe life, sleeping on the ground, spending a great part of the night in prayer and dedicating himself to lifelong celibacy.

When nobles in Hungary became dissatisfied with their king, they prevailed upon Casimir's father, the king of Poland, to send his son to take over the country. Casimir obeyed his father, as many young men over the centuries have obeyed their governments. The army he was supposed to lead was clearly outnumbered by the "enemy"; some of his troops were deserting because they were not paid. At the advice of his officers, Casimir decided to return home.

His father was irked at the failure of his plans, and confined his 15-year-old son for three months. The lad made up his mind never again to become involved in the wars of his day, and no amount of persuasion could change his mind. He returned to prayer and study, maintaining his decision to remain celibate even under pressure to marry the emperor's daughter.

He reigned briefly as king of Poland during his father's absence. He died of lung trouble at 25 while visiting Lithuania, of which he was also Grand Duke. He was buried in Vilnius, Lithuania.

For many years, Poland and Lithuania faded into the gray prison on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Despite repression, the Poles and Lithuanians remained firm in the faith which has become synonymous with their name. Their youthful patron reminds us: Peace is not won by war; sometimes a comfortable peace is not even won by virtue, but Christ's peace can penetrate every government repression of religion.
Saint Casimir is the Patron Saint of:



Wednesday of the First Week in Lent

Reading 1 Jon 3:1-10

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time:
"Set out for the great city of Nineveh,
and announce to it the message that I will tell you."
So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh,
according to the LORD's bidding.
Now Nineveh was an enormously large city;
it took three days to go through it.
Jonah began his journey through the city,
and had gone but a single day's walk announcing,
"Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,"
when the people of Nineveh believed God;
they proclaimed a fast
and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.
When the news reached the king of Nineveh,
he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe,
covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes.
Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh,
by decree of the king and his nobles:
"Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep,
shall taste anything;
they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water.
Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God;
every man shall turn from his evil way
and from the violence he has in hand.
Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath,
so that we shall not perish."
When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way,
he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them;
he did not carry it out.

Responsorial Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19
R. (19b) A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.

Verse Before the Gospel Jl 2:12-13

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart
for I am gracious and merciful.

Gospel Lk 11:29-32

While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
"This generation is an evil generation;
it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah.
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment
the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here.
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here."


Catholic Meditations
Meditation: Matthew 6:7-15

Saint Katharine Drexel, Virgin (Optional Memorial)

In praying, do not babble. (Matthew 6:7)

Have you ever seen a toddler playing with a shape sorter? It's a common toy with blocks shaped like triangles, squares, or circles and corresponding holes for the blocks to pass through. The concept is very simple, and yet until the child has practiced and developed coordination, it can be difficult for him to align the shapes correctly to fit through the holes.

Sometimes prayer can feel like trying to fit the right block into the right hole. How am I supposed to pray? What should I pray for? What is successful prayer? But Jesus distilled it down to its essential elements: Keep it simple. Persist. Line yourself up with God and his plan. That's what he taught us in the Lord's Prayer. This familiar passage from Scripture is not just a beautiful prayer; it models for us what prayer should be.

For example, more words don't always translate to better prayer. In fact, the less we speak, the more time we have to listen to God. Sometimes our words—even though well-intentioned and devout—can drown out the words that God wants to speak to us.

It's in quiet and simplicity that we will be able to align ourselves with God's will and his thoughts. We can worship him ("hallowed be thy name") and submit ourselves to what he wants ("thy will be done"). We can trust him to provide for us ("give us this day our daily bread") and realign ourselves with him and other people when we have fallen short ("forgive us . . . as we forgive"). And we can ask humbly for his protection ("deliver us from evil").

That's the key to "successful" prayer! As we spend time with God, commit ourselves to following his will, and listen closely for his voice in our hearts, he makes us more like him. Our worship gains more depth. Our trust in him grows deeper. Our repentance changes our hearts—and our actions. Like a child developing his skills, we find it easier to fit the right block into the right hole. And we grow closer to the Lord in the process!

"Jesus, thank you for teaching me to pray with simplicity. Help me to follow your example!"

Isaiah 55:10-11
Psalm 34:4-7, 16-19



'Come to me, all who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest' (Mt 11:28). Heaven knows how laborious our life is, yours and mine, and how heavy the burdens we must carry. But do we think of Christ as helping us to bear them? He wants our company. Do we want his?
— Frank Sheed
from Christ in Eclipse


""Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will tell you."
Be on your way. Just obey. Take not anything with you..just what I say. In comes trust. Not just obedience. Not a robot. Not someone that just does stuff. But someone in full compliance with the heart matters.


We pray today: "For you are not pleased with sacrifices; should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it. My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn".
Humility is a tall order my friend. I don't mean to be mean. But, honestly, I don't know a humble person in the world, a truly and completely humble person. But I do know one, as I've said to many...I see Him when I go to Mass. He is so humble. Sometimes I ignore him. Sometimes I admire him. But...He is always there.


Our Lord said: "This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah."
Did God say seeking signs is evil? No. We live off signs, all kinds of signs, don't we? If you are attempting to live life in the Spirit, you definitely are open to cues from God. The thing is, an evil generation wants what they want, and not what God wants. And so, Jesus, God Himself says "I'll only give you guys the sign of Jonah". The sign of repentance, and a quest for total abandonment to God's will. Back to that one word...Trust. I have made a few people very angry already this year. It is a spiritual battle. I pushed one so hard in a ministry that he quit. I pushed another so hard to realize their sin, and they snapped at me with curse words and hatred that I knew not was there. I have now become scrupulous. I am very afraid of what comes out of my mouth, because I want to offend no one. What did I do to push someone out of ministry? I am not sure, all I know is I was being persistent, and maybe even became a nuisance begging for fidelity, to choose Christ above all. Leave your family. Leave your work. Leave everything!! Guess that message don't work. And on the other? I called them out on their sin, "you are living in sin with your boyfriend". Oh boy, did that open a can of worms. Was that wrong? Did I say it wrong? Now I am scrupulous. I told one yesterday, "now you are beginning to have a beautiful family" and I meant now that I see them so loving, whereas before? Am I saying they were not before? You see? No, I am encouraging to strive through the narrow way, that narrow gate, the kind of life few really be Jesus, a stark contrast, a light in the dark, that sign of Jonah. The sign of Jonah came 3 days after Jonah was dead to the world. Gone, thought dead.

Jesus came after 3 days after everyone thought He was dead. Our King came back triumphant, and He appeared to who? The faithful. And even one who doubts...but was there to see...faithful. The sign of Jonah gives sinners a chance at life, and life everlasting. When you look at people, you are probably judging them by appearance. When you hear of sinners, you are probably judging them by their sins. "Oh he uses drugs? He is therefore a drugee". But God sees with an eye of confidence, and confidence in Mercy. The sign of Jonah is that man I see in Mass. This man, when He opens up His arms, love drips from His side. Drops of blood. And offers it to anyone who is open for the sign of Jonah. An offering of salvation.
I'm there man. Son of Man, I am there with you. We shall not trust a man that is not of God, ungodly men will destroy you. And there are many ungodly people around us. But who are the worst? Don't hate me for what I am about to say, because the truth hurts bad. The worst kind of person, is the one with indifference. Indifference is gray. The book of Revelation says that those lukewarm will be spit out and vomited out, a sign of what is disgusting to God. That is why the man in the banquet in the parable of a feast was bound up and thrown out...because he was not dressed up for the ocassion. Indifference. At what point will trust become humility? At what point will obedience become true love? I remember hearing a story of a guy that was in an accident and his car flipped over and wound up in a lake and he drowned to death. He explained that he was in hell, and this huge devil with horns was before the man. Yet, the man was completely ignored as if he did not exist. Such vile absence of love. To fail to recognize a person. The man came back to life and has decided to leave his worldly life style and follows Christ now. Question is...shall we repent of our evil ways? Are you indifferent? Do you not care about what God says to care about? The poor, the marginalized...the forgotten, the outcasts. The Holy Church often finds itself in a fight it does not ask for...when protecting the innocent. Where do you stand when the fight is on? Do you flee from the you act like it doesn't matter what you believe? Or do you stay with the beloved disciple?

"I'm Here Lord, and I know this will cost me my life...but I will be with you as you have always been with me".


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Random Bible verse from an online generator:

Colossians 3:15
15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.


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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