Monday, July 20, 2020

⛪ . "There is something Greater . . ."⛪

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Passing from Darkness to Light

It was through the Moiano Gate that Clare passed from Assisi and its mercantile values to that other world outside the city gates. When one stands inside this gate today, it is not hard to imagine how radical was Clare's passage through the dark night toward what she believed was the light she'd longed for all her life. The light that Francis preached, the light who was Christ, the light that was to be found among the poor and rejected.

—from Enter Assisi: An Invitation to Franciscan Spirituality by Murray Bodo, OFM


†Saint Quote

"You must not abandon the ship in a storm because you cannot control the winds . . . What you cannot turn to good, you must at least make as little bad as you can."
— St. Thomas More

"Finally—and this is perhaps the most difficult aspect of what concerns the practice of conformity to the will of God—we should desire virtue itself and the degrees of grace only insofar as God wishes to give them, and not desire more. Our whole ambition should be to attain the degree of perfection that has been appointed for us, since it has not been given to everybody to reach the same height. It is obvious that however well we may correspond with the graces given us, we can never equal the humility, charity and other virtues of the Blessed Virgin. And who can even presume to imagine that he can reach the same heights as the Apostles? Who can equal St. John the Baptist whom Christ called the greatest of the children of men? Or St. Joseph to whom God entrusted His Son? In this we must as in all else submit to the will of God. He must be able to say of us, My will is in them; it rules and governs everything. So when we hear or read that God in a short time has brought some souls to a very high degree of perfection and shown them signal favors, enlightened their understanding and imbued their hearts with His love, we should repress any desire to be treated likewise so as not to fall short in pure love of conformity to His Will. We should even unite ourselves still more closely to His Will by saying, 'I praise Thee, O Lord, and bless Thee for deigning to show Thyself with so great love and familiarity to the souls Thou has chosen ...'"
—Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure, p. 75-76
Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds."
Titus 2:11-14


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St. Margaret (289-304 A.D.) was born in Antioch, the daughter of a pagan priest. Her mother died when she was an infant, and she was raised by a Christian nurse who baptized her and gave her a Christian education. St. Margaret grew into a pious and virtuous young woman under her nurse's care, to the delight of her father. When she came of age, Margaret returned to live with her father. She quickly angered him, however, when she refused to take part in offering sacrifices to idols. Furious at her steadfast refusals, he drove her out of his home. Margaret then returned to live with her nurse as a household servant. One day a Roman prefect noticed Margaret's beauty and desired to have her for himself. Margaret declined, citing that she had consecrated her virginity to Jesus Christ, a reply for which she was severely persecuted. She was brought to trial for her Christian faith, scourged, tortured, and thrown into prison by her suitor. In her moment of weakness, the devil appeared to her in the form of a dragon to intimidate her and break her faith. Margaret trusted in God and made the Sign of the Cross, and the dragon fled defeated. At this triumph over her enemy, Margaret's cell was filled with light and her wounds were miraculously healed. Enraged to find her healed, her suitor had new tortures applied to her body, which did her no harm and caused many witnesses to convert to the Christian faith. She was finally killed by beheading. St. Margaret of Antioch was one of the saints who appeared to St. Joan of Arc. She is the patron saint against sterility, of the dying, and of pregnancy, labor, and childbirth. Her feast day is July 20th.


Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 395
Reading 1

Mi 6:1-4, 6-8

Hear what the LORD says:
Arise, present your plea before the mountains,
and let the hills hear your voice!
Hear, O mountains, the plea of the LORD,
pay attention, O foundations of the earth!
For the LORD has a plea against his people,
and he enters into trial with Israel.

O my people, what have I done to you,
or how have I wearied you? Answer me!
For I brought you up from the land of Egypt,
from the place of slavery I released you;
and I sent before you Moses,
Aaron, and Miriam.

With what shall I come before the LORD,
and bow before God most high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with myriad streams of oil?
Shall I give my first-born for my crime,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
You have been told, O man, what is good,
and what the LORD requires of you:
Only to do the right and to love goodness,
and to walk humbly with your God.

Responsorial Psalm

50:5-6, 8-9, 16bc-17, 21 and 23

R. (23b) To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
"Gather my faithful ones before me,
those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice."
And the heavens proclaim his justice;
for God himself is the judge.
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
"Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
for your burnt offerings are before me always.
I take from your house no bullock,
no goats out of your fold."
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
"Why do you recite my statutes,
and profess my covenant with your mouth,
Though you hate discipline
and cast my words behind you?"
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
"When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it?
Or do you think that I am like yourself?
I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.
He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me;
and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God."
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.


Ps 95:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Mt 12:38-42

Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus,
"Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you."
He said to them in reply,
"An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign,
but no sign will be given it
except the sign of Jonah the prophet.
Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights,
so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth
three days and three nights.
At the judgment, the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah;
and there is something greater than Jonah here.
At the judgment the queen of the south will arise with this generation
and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon;
and there is something greater than Solomon here."


Daily Meditation: Micah 6:1-4, 6-8

The Lord has a plea against his people, and he enters into trial with Israel. (Micah 6:2)

It seems kind of harsh for Micah to portray God as an adversary against his people at a trial. Understandably, in light of his well-founded complaint, the people panic. They have no idea how to make amends, so they start trying to figure out how many sacrifices the Lord might want. How many animals or grain offerings are necessary? How far do they have to go to make him happy again? Nothing they could do seems good enough.

That's why it's such a relief that the reading ends with God telling them that they already know what is good—and it's not animal sacrifices or offerings of grain. They simply need to get back to basics: to "do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8).

God tells us the same thing too. How often, when we become painfully aware of falling short, do we cast about for a way to make God happy again? How much fasting, or how many Rosaries, or how many hours of serving in our parish or neighborhood? No doubt, God values our acts of devotion and service, but they are meant to be expressions of love, not of fear or guilt. God appreciates our loving obedience even more than the sacrifice itself.

Keep it simple, the Lord seems to be saying. Just love me and try to love the people around you.

It's the beginning of a new week, so it's a great time to reflect on the ways you might show love this week. If you are concerned that you might fall short of even this goal, don't worry. Just pick one thing to work on, some way you can love your spouse, your coworker, or those difficult people in your life just a bit better this week. Try holding your tongue instead of answering with a biting comment. Or forgive a perceived slight. Or share an affirming word.

It sounds simple, but it's not always easy. The good news is, as you pick one simple thing to work on this week, you will end up closer to God and better able to love as he does. Every little step forward is pleasing to him.

"Lord, I want to get back to basics. You have shown me what is good. Help me to love better this week."

Psalm 50:5-6, 8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
Matthew 12:38-42



To avoid the anxieties which may be caused by either regret for the past or fear of the future, here is the rule to follow: The past must be left to God's measureless mercy, the future to his loving providence; and the present must be given wholly to his love through our fidelity to his grace.
— Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade
from Abandonment to Divine Providence


"You have been told, O man, what is good, and what the LORD requires of you: Only to do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God."
I suggest for everyone to do what I been doing lately...on Mondays for 40 days for freedom....praying the litany of humility. There we learn to put others first. There life begins to turn around. Walking humbly with God as we were created to be. To do what our Lord requires us to do. To do: right and love. But we need the source of righteousness first. God is the source of truth and all life. We follow humbly.


We pray: "To the upright I will show the saving power of God. Gather my faithful ones before me,
those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." And the heavens proclaim his justice;
for God himself is the judge."
The "rules" have been changed. So long as this virus is out there, supposedly, "you don't have to" go to church. And so churches are virtually empty. Scared away, and with little heart, few won't go, but they will go everywhere else they need to go. What is essential then...shows. But there are a few faithful my friend. And I pray you are that faithful one that cannot stay away from Him no matter what happens. I'm writing to you in His remain.


They asked our Lord for a sign.

Our Lord replies:
""An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign,
but no sign will be given it.
except the sign of Jonah the prophet."

The following is from today's graceforce:

"......Sheen continued, "We started our country with a revolution. Revolution is in the air today. In fact, the arguments, today, are that we started that way, why not continue it? We do live in America with a revolutionary tradition. But the question is, what kind of revolution should we have?"
He then tells the story of a soldier who fought at Concord. The soldier was asked why he fought; why he went to Concord. The answer came, "For one reason, that we might govern ourselves." Sheen goes on to say, "Now, what's the revolution of today? VIOLENCE! Violence just for the sake of violence ... the new type of revolt, which involves the destruction of everything in the past. And these people who are actuating violence today, claim they are in line with the American Revolution. THEY ARE NOT!"
The point Venerable Fulton Sheen makes is that our nation was founded, and has thrived, by the understanding that our rights and liberties come from God. The revolution he was viewing in the 1960s, and we are seeing reenacted today, is a rejection of God, in favor of man.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "The Church teaches ... The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing. Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels. This 'fall' consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocably rejected God and his reign. We find a reflection of that rebellion in the tempter's words to our first parents: 'You will be like God.'"
You see? Once we rebel against God and his reign, we are left to make ourselves our own gods. We are then left to the inevitable outcome, which is totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is a form of government that theoretically permits no individual freedom and that seeks to subordinate all aspects of individual life to the authority of the state. The evil elites, throughout history, have sought such a government. Once they have gained control of every source of influence (media, education system, etc.) they are then equipped to build their army of "useful idiots." "Useful idiot" is a derogatory term, referenced in writings of totalitarian governments, for a person perceived as propagandizing for a cause without fully comprehending the cause's goals, and who is cynically used by the cause's leaders.
The evil elites of history have always rebelled against God and country with the same method of operation, which is to use a complaint, violent mob to usher in their plan for totalitarian rule. Sheen puts it this way, "Their principle was, that in order to get people to pass through a certain door, there was only one way to do it, and that was the way of terror." There is a reason why there is a "silent majority" ... they're terrified to go against the agenda of the evil elites, and their violent mob.
Venerable Fulton Sheen then brings us to his point: "The world is built on order. There's a plan. So, scientists are able to discover the laws of the universe. And in discovering the laws of the universe, men find harmony. This harmony, and order, had to come from somewhere. It came from God. What is the essence of Satanism? The essence of Satanism is the destruction of that order - the order of law, the order of morality, the order of religion, the order of ethics, anything you please."
This may not be Concord, but the demonic rebellion against God and his beautiful order - against life, liberty and pursuit of happiness - are very possibly as severe as they have ever been. Quo vadis, America? ... where are you going, America?........"



Random Bible verse from an online generator:

Romans 8:32

32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?


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