Thursday, March 5, 2020

⛪ . . Do To Others Whatever.. . .⛪

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What's the Catch?

Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you "There must be a catch." Of course there is. Do you think God, the universe, whatever, is going to give you what you want, when and how you order it, like a home delivery? Is God a pizza boy? No, of course not. You're thinking, "If I get what I ask for I will be a really happy person and then it will be easy to be generous and nice to others. Material and emotional security, good health, and a nice home in which to enjoy it all. I could do so much good in the world if I had that." Well, it's not impossible you will get that—even for a few decades if you're lucky. But you know you asked, "Is there a catch?" Yes. Here it is: Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. "Now? Even before I get the delivery?" You said it.

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


Saint Quote

"We are Christians, and strangers on earth. Let none of us be frightened; our native land is not in this world."
— St. Augustine

"Many Christians regard Confession in the light of an unimportant act of piety, if not mere ceremony . . . many go even frequently to Confession, but so few amend, and consequently derive little or no benefit from the Sacrament. ... Be, then, most thoroughly convinced of the immense importance of this Sacrament, and be filled with an earnest desire of approaching it worthily, bestowing the utmost care and attention upon your preparation for this great duty, if you desire to obtain eternal salvation. Confession is one of the seven Sacraments instituted by Christ; it is called the Sacrament of Penance, and by its means alone can he who has committed mortal sin after Baptism hope to save his soul; therefore it is called by the holy Council of Trent: the second plank after shipwreck. In this Sacrament Jesus Christ has deposited His Precious Blood, that it may be to our souls as a salutary bath wherein they may be cleansed from all the stains of sin, their wounds closed, their maladies cured, their weakness strengthened, and grace unto salvation imported to them. This Divine Blood is dispensed to us by the priest in the holy absolution, and is abundantly poured forth upon all souls approaching the tribunal of confession with proper dispositions."
— Fr. Ignatius of the Side of Jesus, p. 284-5
The School of Jesus Crucified

"His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature."
2 Peter 1:3-4


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St. John-Joseph of the Cross (1654-1739) was born on the island of Ischia, near Naples. He joined the Franciscan Order of the Strict Observance (the reform of St. Peter of Alcantara) at age sixteen. His influence was great despite his young age, and after three years he was sent to help found a new order of friars in Piedmont, where he was ordained to the priesthood. He codified a set of guidelines for spiritual and daily life that were approved by the Holy See and became a lasting model for religious communities. In 1702 he was appointed Vicar Provincial of the Alcantarine Reform in Italy. During his time as Vicar he implemented a rule that no beggar would be turned away without assistance, and in times of extreme scarcity he would offer his own portion to the poor. He was known as a deeply holy man who served Christ and the monastic community through daily acts of mortification and humility. Despite his high ranking position, he continued to lead a life of service and took on menial tasks whenever possible, from working in the kitchen to chopping firewood. He was said to have performed numerous miracles as well as the gift of prophecy. St. John-Joseph of the Cross is the patron saint of Ischia and his feast day is March 5th.


Thursday of the First Week in Lent
Lectionary: 227
Reading 1

Est C:12, 14-16, 23-25

Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish,
had recourse to the LORD.
She lay prostrate upon the ground, together with her handmaids,
from morning until evening, and said:
"God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you.
Help me, who am alone and have no help but you,
for I am taking my life in my hand.
As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers
that you, O LORD, always free those who are pleasing to you.
Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you,
O LORD, my God.

"And now, come to help me, an orphan.
Put in my mouth persuasive words in the presence of the lion
and turn his heart to hatred for our enemy,
so that he and those who are in league with him may perish.
Save us from the hand of our enemies;
turn our mourning into gladness
and our sorrows into wholeness."

Responsorial Psalm

138:1-2ab, 2cde-3, 7c-8

R. (3a) Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple
and give thanks to your name.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Because of your kindness and your truth;
for you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

Verse Before the Gospel

Ps 51:12a, 14a

A clean heart create for me, O God;
give me back the joy of your salvation.


Mt 7:7-12

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which one of you would hand his son a stone
when he asked for a loaf of bread,
or a snake when he asked for a fish?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father give good things
to those who ask him.

"Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the law and the prophets."

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Catholic Meditations
Meditation: Psalm 138:1-3, 7-8

1st Week of Lent

When I called, you answered me; you built up strength within me. (Psalm 138:3)

What happens when we cry out to God? Well, we know God listens attentively to our pleas. "You have heard the words of my mouth," the psalmist proclaims (138:1).

Sometimes God answers with a dramatic intervention. A friend with inoperable cancer recovers. A wayward child encounters Christ in a life-changing way in prison. A basket of food shows up at the door when the cupboard is bare.

But other times God answers by empowering us to be agents of the change we are praying for. This was Queen Esther's experience. King Ahasuerus had authorized the execution of every Jew in his land. Esther knew she was in a unique position to plead for her people, but she also knew how slim her chances were. The king could have killed her simply for approaching him unbidden.

Esther was justifiably "seized with mortal anguish" at the thought (Esther C:12), yet she believed that God was utterly trustworthy. And so she prayed for courage to do this daring thing. After days of fasting and prayer, Esther felt God's grace helping her master her fear. And God did his part by softening the king's heart. In the end, Esther's intervention won a reprieve for her people.

Is there a problem you are begging God to solve? Consider that he may be asking you to take a step to make things better. Let's say the environment in your office or parish is marred by gossip. Is there a small step you could take, like changing the subject or making a positive comment? Ask the Lord to build up strength within you as he did for Esther. Who knows? You might find new enthusiasm or the desire to get involved. You might even come up with the first steps of a plan and the courage to take them.

Of course, it pleases God when we cry out to him with our concerns, large and small. But he is even more delighted when we linger to ask how we can be part of the solution ourselves. So don't be afraid to ask! He has promised not only to hear you but also to build strength within you to do what needs to be done.

"Lord, you always hear my prayer. Help me to draw on your strength to make things better."

Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25
Matthew 7:7-12



Catholics have a reputation for not knowing the Bible. But the Bible is our book! It's our family album! It's our history! The Gospels should be read in the heart of the family, whose heirloom it is. We need to regain it as our book. We shouldn't let it sit on the shelf, but we need to get it out and let Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John tell us the story of Jesus.
—Steve Ray
from Four Gospels


"Save us from the hand of our enemies; turn our mourning into gladness and our sorrows into wholeness."
Queen Esther had recourse, she called on God, for she knew everything was at stake. She relied fully on God, the provider.
Take that into consideration for your doubts, what do you do with your doubts? Turn them over to our God. Turn them into faith.


We pray today: "Because of your kindness and your truth; for you have made great above all things your name and your promise. When I called, you answered me; you built up strength within me. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me." Trust no man. Trust only God. Too many I see leave the church and ministry because man (woman) failed them. Would you then turn from God? Who needs to reconcile? Who turns away? The betrayer doubts "not I Lord, is it?" Doubts can deviate us from the holy path. To doubt love, and to doubt to truly love. Let us turn to our Lord.


"For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." Have you ever asked "where are you Lord? Where are you hiding?" In adoration today, we will pray "Hidden God" to begin the Holy Hour and it goes like this:

(Adoro te devote)

Hidden God, devoutly I adore you,
Truly present underneath these veils:
All my heart subdues itself before you,
Since it all before you faints and fails.

Not to sight, or taste, or touch be credit,
Hearing only do we trust secure;
I believe, for God the Son has said it -- Word
of Truth that ever shall endure.

Contemplating, Lord, Your hidden presence,
Grant me what I thirst for and implore,
In the revelation of Your essence
To behold Your glory evermore.
(Partial indulgence) "

There is a reason to adore the hidden God. The reason is a gift offering to Him. Faith.
This reason proves love. This reason is fruitful for His Kingdom. God did it on the cross. He had faith in God. Light from Light. True God from True God. And so what does God do in the next life? Time ceases to exist. And what ensues? The pursuit of personal happiness? I think not. The real existential reason becomes pervasive, and the sole provider of everything is still hidden but made known real. You need not see a face, because He is not human, He lives through humans. But if you must see a face, there is a reason for that, so you, creation, can realize what He has created. The fathom of this BEING is mind blowing, and so awesome. He persists with His message "come and see" and "knock...ask...and ye shall receive". Ask for what? Receive what?

Right? Who do you say Jesus is?
Thomas the doubter went above what Peter said. Peter said Messiah. But Thomas said "MY LORD AND MY GOD!!!" And both disciples hit their knees "depart from me Lord, for I am an unworthy sinner". This is what happens before God. We put ourselves in the position...yet His mercy prevails on those who are faithful. Was the thief on the cross faithful? God's mercy knows what fidelity entails. As for you, much has been given. And now God is asking of you.

God asks:
Peter, my child, do you love Me?


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Random Bible verse from an online generator:

Proverbs 16:19
19 It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor

than to divide the spoil with the proud

Random Verse #2
Ephesians 2:1–3
"By Grace Through Faith"
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body1 and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.2


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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