Friday, July 24, 2020

⛪ . "One Who Hears The. . ."⛪

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Journey's End

Saint Francis spent almost half of his life on and in the mountains, and the other half he spent on the road entering and leaving cities. As Jesus walked up the mountain to pray, then descended and moved among the people, so did Francis and the early brothers, discovering, contemplating, and sanctifying new places, as they continued to walk beyond their own history, as do we if we learn to walk into and out of our own Assisi as pilgrims.

To be a pilgrim means to let go of the need to be attached to one place only. Space, in turn, then becomes the place that home usually is. It requires traveling lightly, open to and expecting surprises and blessings from those we meet along the way—a foretaste of journey's end.

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


†Saint Quote
"Announcing the Gospel is the first and greatest act of charity."
— St. Arnold Janssen

"We have to accustom ourselves to pray in all places and at all times. The real place to pray in is the soul, for God dwells there. If we wish to obey our Lord's counsel, when we pray we should enter the chamber of our soul, close the door, and speak to the Father, whose loving eyes seek ever our own. This inner chamber of our soul is the true temple, the sacred sanctuary, and we carry it with us and can at any time either remain there or quickly return to it, should we have been obliged to leave it."
— Dom Augustin Guillerand, p. 111
The Prayer of the Presence of God

"What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done."
Matthew: 16:26-27


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St. Christina (1150-1224) was born to a peasant family in Belgium. She was orphaned as a child and raised by her two older sisters. When she was 21 she had what was believed to be a severe seizure, and was pronounced dead. At her funeral she suddenly revived and levitated before the bewildered congregation. She said that during her coma she had been to heaven, hell, and purgatory and had been given the option to either die and enter heaven, or return to earth to suffer and pray for the holy souls in purgatory. Christina chose the greater act of charity. From then on she lived in extreme poverty: wearing rags, sleeping on rocks, and begging for her food. She is called "Astonishing" because she did the most bizarre things and suffered the pains of inhuman feats without being physically harmed by them. She would roll in fire and hide in hot ovens; she would stand in freezing water for hours in the dead of winter; she allowed herself to be dragged under water by a mill wheel; she spent much time in graveyards. She would also climb trees to escape the strong odor of sin in those she met. Many thought her to be possessed by demons or insane, but many devout people recognized and vouched for her sincerity, obedience, and sanctity. They believed that she was a living witness to the pains that souls experience in purgatory, willingly suffering with them and for them. Christina the Astonishing is the patron of those with mental illness and disorders, mental health workers, psychiatrists, and therapists. Her feast day is July 24th.


(May 8, 1828 – December 24, 1898 )

Saint Sharbel Makhlouf

Although this saint never traveled far from the Lebanese village of Beka-Kafra where he was born, his influence has spread widely.

Joseph Zaroun Maklouf was raised by an uncle because his father, a mule driver, died when Joseph was only three. At the age of 23, Joseph joined the Monastery of St. Maron at Annaya, Lebanon, and took the name Sharbel in honor of a second-century martyr. He professed his final vows in 1853, and was ordained six years later.

Following the example of the fifth-century Saint Maron, Sharbel lived as a hermit from 1875, until his death. His reputation for holiness prompted people to seek him to receive a blessing and to be remembered in his prayers. He followed a strict fast and was very devoted to the Blessed Sacrament. When his superiors occasionally asked him to administer the sacraments to nearby villages, Sharbel did so gladly.

He died in the late afternoon on Christmas Eve. Christians and non-Christians soon made his tomb a place of pilgrimage and of cures. Pope Paul VI beatified Sharbel in 1965, and canonized him 12 years later.

John Paul II often said that the Church has two lungs—East and West—and it must learn to breathe using both of them. Remembering saints like Sharbel helps the Church to appreciate both the diversity and unity present in the Catholic Church. Like all the saints, Sharbel points us to God and invites us to cooperate generously with God's grace, no matter what our situation in life may be. As our prayer life becomes deeper and more honest, we become more ready to make that generous response.


Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 399

Reading 1

Jer 3:14-17

Return, rebellious children, says the LORD,
for I am your Master;
I will take you, one from a city, two from a clan,
and bring you to Zion.
I will appoint over you shepherds after my own heart,
who will shepherd you wisely and prudently.
When you multiply and become fruitful in the land,
says the LORD,
They will in those days no longer say,
"The ark of the covenant of the LORD!"
They will no longer think of it, or remember it,
or miss it, or make another.

At that time they will call Jerusalem the LORD's throne;
there all nations will be gathered together
to honor the name of the LORD at Jerusalem,
and they will walk no longer in their hardhearted wickedness.

Responsorial Psalm

Jer 31:10, 11-12abcd, 13

R. (see 10d) The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
Hear the word of the LORD, O nations,
proclaim it on distant isles, and say:
He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together,
he guards them as a shepherd his flock.
R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
The LORD shall ransom Jacob,
he shall redeem him from the hand of his conqueror.
Shouting, they shall mount the heights of Zion,
they shall come streaming to the LORD's blessings:
The grain, the wine, and the oil,
the sheep and the oxen.
R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
Then the virgins shall make merry and dance,
and young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into joy,
I will console and gladden them after their sorrows.
R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.


See Lk 8:15

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


Mt 13:18-23

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Hear the parable of the sower.
The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the Kingdom
without understanding it,
and the Evil One comes and steals away
what was sown in his heart.
The seed sown on rocky ground
is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy.
But he has no root and lasts only for a time.
When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
he immediately falls away.
The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word,
but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word
and it bears no fruit.
But the seed sown on rich soil
is the one who hears the word and understands it,
who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold."


Daily Meditation: Matthew 13:18-23

Hear the parable of the sower. (Matthew 13:18)

Seeds are remarkable feats of nature. Not only do they contain miniature models of the plant they are to become, but they also have an outer casing that protects them from the elements, along with a storage area for food and nutrients that they will need in order to grow. Amazingly, scientists still don't fully understand what exactly happens inside a seed as it comes to life. It remains a mystery.

One of the most remarkable things about seeds is how resilient they are. The oldest seed that has ever been grown into a viable plant was a 32,000 year-old Arctic flower seed that was found buried, frozen, in the tundra in Siberia.

It's no wonder, then, that Jesus would use the image of a seed to describe us! We too have all we need to grow into fully mature children of God. We are also very resilient. And like a seed, we just need to be planted in the right environment in order for the mystery of spiritual growth to begin.

But there's one way we are not like the seeds in this parable. We have the ability to jump out of the thorns and weeds, fend off the birds, and roll off the worn footpaths that might trip us up. In other words, we have the ability to seek out the proper spiritual environment and set down our roots there.

So how is your environment? Are there aspects of it that threaten to choke off your faith or keep it shallow and without deep roots? Of course, there's no such thing as a perfect environment—except in heaven—and there are some things we just can't change. But we still can make choices that improve the "field" in which we live.

Sometimes small things can make a big difference, like a little bit of fertilizer mixed into the soil of a garden. Maybe all you need is to wake up just ten minutes earlier so that you can spend a little more time in prayer. And perhaps your effort to be a little more patient around the house can create an environment that will help the entire family become more patient.

You have within you the potential to grow into a saint. All it takes is the right environment.

"Lord, help me grow into the person that you know I can become."

Jeremiah 3:14-17
(Psalm) Jeremiah 31:10-13



Old Testament rituals like water, bread, blood, and animal sacrifices were more numerous, way more complicated, but less powerful—weak against sin. But because of Christ's divine power, the New Covenant Sacraments of grace are much fewer, less complicated, and far more powerful—strong against sin.
— Matthew Leonard
from The Bible and the Sacraments


"They will in those days no longer say, "The ark of the covenant of the LORD!" They will no longer think of it, or remember it, or miss it, or make another."

And so it came to be to this day. Who no longer remembers the ark? The promise of God. The very presence of God!


We pray: "The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock. Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, proclaim it on distant isles, and say:
He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together, he guards them as a shepherd his flock."
Scattered Israel. Israel is the people of God.
Keep that in mind as we discuss scattered seed.


Our Lord said: ""Hear the parable of the sower.
The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the Kingdom without understanding snatched away."
The seed on rocky soil, no roots.
The seed in thorns, choked by weeds.
But the seed in rich soil bears much fruit.
What is the seed? The Word of God.
Who bears the seed? Persons.
We've been given the seed.

Are we being fruitful?
How can you tell? Am I attracting swarms and crowds like evangelical preachers and those on street corners?

Of course not. Even they are subject to proper judgement.
What is good fruit? The Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit provides fruit. Then we begin to see the fruit from within. And that fruit bears much fruit in the very world and life you live.
It begins inside, and grows to the outside.
I pray for you, pray for me.
Lord help us be fruitful for your Holy Kingdom, on earth as it is in Heaven!


Random Bible verse from an online generator:
2 Tim 1
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to1 a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,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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