Wednesday, April 1, 2020

⛪ . .a man who has told you the truth . . .⛪

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The Spiritual Path Is a Work of Love

Raising a family may be exhausting and seem to leave little time for specific "spiritual practice," but it is all about other-centeredness. It is a good preparation for meditation. Conversely, monastic life may give us time for prayer but may also keep us in a shallow state of dissatisfaction, repeating the same unproductive cycles of thought and behavior. But it can be a good preparation for serving the world. We are attracted to the other-centered option because we crave relationship and connection, which, combined, deliver us into the experience of meaning. Marriage, family, friendship, community, service are all ways in which we can learn to pay attention to others. Very quickly, however, we realize that other-centeredness is hard to do and even harder to sustain. Yet we also realize that we are better, more free and more open to love when we are learning to live in this way. Then we see that the spiritual path is a work. In fact, it is a work of love.

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


†Saint Quote
"If you truly want to help the soul of your neighbor, you should approach God first with all your heart. Ask him simply to fill you with charity, the greatest of all virtues; with it you can accomplish what you desire."
— St. Vincent Ferrer

"The soul that does not attach itself solely to the will of God will find neither satisfaction nor sanctification in any other means, however excellent by which it may attempt to gain them. If that which God Himself chooses for you does not content you, from whom do you expect to obtain what you desire?... It is only just, therefore, that the soul that is dissatisfied with the divine action for each present moment should be punished by being unable to find happiness in anything else."
— Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade, p. 14
Abandonment to Divine Providence

"Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you. Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my cry of supplication. In the day of my trouble I call on you, for you will answer me."
Psalm 86:4-7


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Bl. Anacleto Gonzalez Flores (1888–1927) was the second of twelve children born to a poor family in Jalisco, Mexico. He was baptized the day after his birth. As he grew, a priest recognized his intelligence and recommended that he enter the seminary. Anacleto studied there for a time before discerning that he was not called to the priesthood. Instead he became an attorney, husband, and father, as well as an activist for his Catholic faith. He was a prolific writer and dedicated catechism teacher, and attended daily Mass. He joined the Catholic Association of Young Mexicans (ACJM) in addition to starting another Catholic lay organization committed to resisting the fierce persecution of the Catholic Church under the infamous Mexican dictator, Calles. Initially he participated only in the non-violent resistance against Calles, until four members of the ACJM were murdered in 1926. Their deaths spurred Anacleto to lend support to the armed resistance movement. Anacleto did not take up arms but instead gave speeches to encourage Catholics to support the Cristeros, the Catholic army fighting against Calles. Anacleto was captured during the Cristero War on April 1, 1927, and was brutally tortured before being martyred by firing squad. His feast day is April 1st.


Saint Hugh of Grenoble

(1053 – April 1, 1132)

Today's saint could be a patron for those of us who feel so overwhelmed by all the problems in the world that we don't know where to begin.

Hugh, who served as a bishop in France for 52 years, had his work cut out for him from the start. Corruption seemed to loom in every direction: the buying and selling of Church offices, violations of clerical celibacy, lay control of Church property, religious indifference and/or ignorance. After serving as bishop for two years, he'd had his fill. He tried disappearing to a monastery, but the pope called him back to continue the work of reform.

Ironically, Hugh was reasonably effective in the role of reformer—surely because of his devotion to the Church but also because of his strong character. In conflicts between Church and state he was an unflinching defender of the Church. He fearlessly supported the papacy. He was eloquent as a preacher. He restored his own cathedral, made civic improvements in the town, and weathered a brief exile.

Hugh may be best known as patron and benefactor of Saint Bruno, founder of the Carthusian Order. He died in 1132. He was canonized only two years later.

In the midst of our confusing life these days, let us pray for the ability to rise above the fray and to see things in the light of faith as did Saint Hugh.


Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 253
Reading 1

Dn 3:14-20, 91-92, 95

King Nebuchadnezzar said:
"Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
that you will not serve my god,
or worship the golden statue that I set up?
Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made,
whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet,
flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe,
and all the other musical instruments;
otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace;
and who is the God who can deliver you out of my hands?"
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar,
"There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you
in this matter.
If our God, whom we serve,
can save us from the white-hot furnace
and from your hands, O king, may he save us!
But even if he will not, know, O king,
that we will not serve your god
or worship the golden statue that you set up."

King Nebuchadnezzar's face became livid with utter rage
against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual
and had some of the strongest men in his army
bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
and cast them into the white-hot furnace.

Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and asked his nobles,
"Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?"
"Assuredly, O king," they answered.
"But," he replied, "I see four men unfettered and unhurt,
walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God."
Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed,
"Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
who sent his angel to deliver the servants who trusted in him;
they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies
rather than serve or worship any god
except their own God."

Responsorial Psalm

Daniel 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56

R. (52b) Glory and praise for ever!
"Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;
And blessed is your holy and glorious name,
praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages."
R. Glory and praise for ever!
"Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
R. Glory and praise for ever!
"Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever."
R. Glory and praise for ever!
"Blessed are you who look into the depths
from your throne upon the cherubim;
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever."
R. Glory and praise for ever!
"Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven,
praiseworthy and glorious forever."
R. Glory and praise for ever!

Verse Before the Gospel

Lk 8:15

Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.


Jn 8:31-42

Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him,
"If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham
and have never been enslaved to anyone.
How can you say, 'You will become free'?"
Jesus answered them, "Amen, amen, I say to you,
everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.
A slave does not remain in a household forever,
but a son always remains.
So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free.
I know that you are descendants of Abraham.
But you are trying to kill me,
because my word has no room among you.
I tell you what I have seen in the Father's presence;
then do what you have heard from the Father."

They answered and said to him, "Our father is Abraham."
Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children,
you would be doing the works of Abraham.
But now you are trying to kill me,
a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God;
Abraham did not do this.
You are doing the works of your father!"
So they said to him, "We were not born of fornication.
We have one Father, God."
Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me,
for I came from God and am here;
I did not come on my own, but he sent me."


Today's Meditation: (Psalm) Daniel 3:52-56

Blessed are you, O Lord. (Daniel 3:52)

There's one detail to this story that we often overlook: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego sang God's praises, not after they had been delivered from the fiery furnace, but while they were in the midst of the flames. These three young men were prepared not to be saved. Even before they were rescued from the furnace, they exulted in God's goodness and glory.

It's natural to praise God's greatness after we have been delivered from an ordeal. But what about extolling his greatness while we are undergoing a trial?

Whether God miraculously saved them from the furnace or they perished in its flames, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego believed that God was worthy to be praised, just for who he is. So too our faith cannot rest solely on miraculous answers to prayer. Trials will come, and we won't always be released from them immediately. God doesn't always do what we want how and when we want it done. But even in the midst of these difficulties, we can declare his greatness because he is God and deserving of all our honor and praise.

So how do you do it? Well, you can base your praise on what the Scriptures say about God. He is the Good Shepherd who knows you and is zealously concerned for your life (John 10:11). He is Emmanuel, God with us (Isaiah 7:14). He will never leave you or forsake you (Joshua 1:5). He will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-29). Using these passages, you can praise God, even as you are waiting for him to act.

God always hears you and always answers you, even though sometimes you still have to endure the "heat" of difficulties. He is with you when you feel as if you're in the fiery furnace just as surely as he is with you when all seems right with the world. So thank and praise him for being by your side. Perhaps he will speak to you right then and there. Or perhaps his answer will come much later, and you will recognize it only through the lens of hindsight. Whatever happens, always declare God's goodness, and it will come to you—in his time and according to his wisdom.

"Lord, thank you for always being with me, even when all I feel is the heat of adversity."

Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95
John 8:31-42



A mother gets to know her child through her incomparable knowledge of his flesh, his smell, his voice. She sits beside him and listens to what he tells her, and absorbs it. In those first years, she will know best if he is in pain or distress and what he needs. So it is with God and man. And the best place to sit with him and get to know him is in Adoration.
— Sally Read
from Annunciation: A Call to Faith in a Broken World


"If our God, whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may he save us!
But even if he will not, know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue that you set up."
Who sets up golden statutes? Did I misspell statue? What is a statute? It is an act of a legislature that declares, proscribes, or commands something; a specific law, expressed in writing. In a nutshell, laws. An argument even among the pandemic is the right to kill an unborn child. Who is choosing the right to life? Golden statutes. Golden meaning giving worth, isn't it? When everyone is shutting down, why can young women still choose to kill the unborn? Now we are talking fundamentals. The very basis of laws. We are treading dangerous waters. Because it deals with worth...of your life, and mine. How much is it worth? Let's find out, but first, let's pray.


""Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever; And blessed is your holy and glorious name, praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages."
Glory and praise for ever!"
Why glory? What is glory? Why praise? What is praise? What is righteous praise? What is meritorious glory? The phrase attributed to St. Ignatius "Ad maiorem Dei gloriam inque hominum salutem" or "for the greater glory of God and the salvation of humanity" is a summary of the idea that any work that is not evil, even one that would normally be considered inconsequential to the spiritual life, can be spiritually meritorious if it is performed in order to give glory to God. Is this where the Little Flower saint got her learning? What little we do, is it worth it? Bodies are made of small things, cells. Cells matter. Little bacteria, little organisms. Little you, and little me. For more on that, let us turn to our Lord.


Our Lord speaks: ""If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
All that matters is truth. But who is saying what truth is? Pontious Pilate said "what is truth" and then washed his hands of Jesus' blood. Is that the mentality of the world? A neutrality that turns a blind eye to innocent blood? Are we talking again about the innocent slaughtering of an unborn child? Perhaps, if we are speaking about the concept and conception of life. Those who remain true, to Jesus, will be His disciples, and we will know Jesus, the truth, and He will set us free from two things...sin, and death.

Our Lord continued: " you are trying to kill me, because my word has no room among you." Our Lord said one time "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" As if to say "why are you killing me?" Whence we have no room for Jesus, we then, give room to His persecution. Once we stop praying, we give room to killing. Once we lower our hands, like Moses in battle, the enemy will gain ground. We must raise our hands in surrender to Jesus and praise to Jesus and give glory to Jesus, and never grow tired, and if you grow tired surround yourself with friends that will help you keep your hands raised to God. This is community. They said large groups cannot gather, but 2 or 3? I have not seen that happen in Jesus name. You would be amazed at what we CAN do and fail to do by not acting. The Word of God is Love and this is an action, not an abstract idea like the world has turned it to be.

"If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and am here; I did not come on my own, but he sent me."
Listen again, "IF GOD WERE YOUR FATHER" if you truly see Him as your father would love Him. How do you treat your Father? So many stories in the bible are about a father, a Patriarch, but a blood Father, which is realized in John 3:16, God giving us His true blood and therefore true body.
If you will believe an eye witness, I am writing to you, for the Father has sent me to you in these writings. My heart witnessed Father dying for us. Father said without uttering a word "I love you so much" please, follow MY WAY...for the good of yourself and your loved ones.


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Random Bible verse from an online generator:

James 3:7–9

7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.


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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