Wednesday, August 19, 2020

⛪ . .. "‘My friend, I am not ... "⛪

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The Sacrament of the Present Moment

In letters written in 1740, Jean-Pierre de Caussade (ordained member of the Society of Jesus) wrote about the sacrament of the present moment. We are invited to choose to live each day as a sacrament (as a gift), enabling us to see, to hear, to taste, and to touch grace—the goodness of God's presence in our world. We need to bring this sacrament back and allow it to be front and center in our lives. I'm pretty sure that St. Francis would agree. Franciscan spirituality is an incarnational earthy spirituality. Put simply: God is close, never far away.

—from the book This Is the Life: Mindfulness, Finding Grace, and the Power of the Present Moment by Terry Hershey


†Saint Quote
"Never give up prayer, and should you find dryness and difficulty, persevere in it for this very reason. God often desires to see what love your soul has, and love is not tried by ease and satisfaction."
— St. John of the Cross
"Moreover, beseech daily the eternal Father, His divine Son, and the Blessed Virgin, that you may be particularly under the protection of St. Joseph, the worthy spouse of the most chaste of virgins. Then addressing yourself to this loving protector, ask with great humility to be received into his care. For innumerable are the instances of assistance afforded to those who have called upon St. Joseph in their spiritual or temporal necessities. Particularly has he aided them when they stood in need of light from heaven, and direction in their prayers. And if God shows so much regard for the other saints who have loved and served Him here below, how much consideration and deference will He not show for the person He so honored as to pay him filial homage and obedience?"
— Dom Lorenzo Scupoli, p. 154
The Spiritual Combat

"If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you."
John 15:18-19


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St. John Eudes (1601–1680) was born in Normandy, France, to a farming family. His devout parents consecrated him to the Blessed Virgin Mary when he was a child. At the age of fourteen he took a vow of chastity, and studied under the Jesuits where he earned the reputation of being a brilliant student. After his ordination to the priesthood he ministered to his countrymen who were suffering from an outbreak of the plague. He later became a missionary priest, traveling throughout France and preaching strong sermons to large crowds in churches, open fields, and in the courts of the royalty and nobility. The force of his sermons was bolstered by his great sanctity; he was considered to be a prodigy and the greatest preacher of his age. He was instrumental in spreading devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary throughout France during a time when religious fervor had grown cold. He was responsible for influencing the Church to establish these two devotions with liturgical feasts, himself composing their Mass and Office. St. John Eudes founded several organizations including the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge, which provided a new life for repentant prostitutes, and the Society of Jesus and Mary (the Eudist Fathers) which specialized in improving the training of seminarians by promoting greater virtue and dedication to the preaching of parish missions. His feast day is August 19th.


Daily Mass Reading 1 EZ 34:1-11

The word of the Lord came to me:
Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel,
in these words prophesy to them to the shepherds:
Thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the shepherds of Israel
who have been pasturing themselves!
Should not shepherds, rather, pasture sheep?
You have fed off their milk, worn their wool,
and slaughtered the fatlings,
but the sheep you have not pastured.
You did not strengthen the weak nor heal the sick
nor bind up the injured.
You did not bring back the strayed nor seek the lost,
but you lorded it over them harshly and brutally.
So they were scattered for the lack of a shepherd,
and became food for all the wild beasts.
My sheep were scattered
and wandered over all the mountains and high hills;
my sheep were scattered over the whole earth,
with no one to look after them or to search for them.
Therefore, shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
As I live, says the Lord GOD,
because my sheep have been given over to pillage,
and because my sheep have become food for every wild beast,
for lack of a shepherd;
because my shepherds did not look after my sheep,
but pastured themselves and did not pasture my sheep;
because of this, shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
Thus says the Lord GOD:
I swear I am coming against these shepherds.
I will claim my sheep from them
and put a stop to their shepherding my sheep
so that they may no longer pasture themselves.
I will save my sheep,
that they may no longer be food for their mouths.
For thus says the Lord GOD:
I myself will look after and tend my sheep.

Responsorial Psalm PS 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6

R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
He guides me in right paths
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness will follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Alleluia HEB 4:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern the reflections and thoughts of the heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 20:1-16

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"The Kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.
After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage,
he sent them into his vineyard.
Going out about nine o'clock,
he saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
and he said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard,
and I will give you what is just.'
So they went off.
And he went out again around noon,
and around three o'clock, and did likewise.
Going out about five o'clock,
he found others standing around, and said to them,
'Why do you stand here idle all day?'
They answered, 'Because no one has hired us.'
He said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard.'
When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman,
'Summon the laborers and give them their pay,
beginning with the last and ending with the first.'
When those who had started about five o'clock came,
each received the usual daily wage.
So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more,
but each of them also got the usual wage.
And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying,
'These last ones worked only one hour,
and you have made them equal to us,
who bore the day's burden and the heat.'
He said to one of them in reply,
'My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go.
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?
Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Are you envious because I am generous?'
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last."


Daily Meditation: Matthew 20:1-16

What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? (Matthew 20:14)

What if the day you entered heaven, you were greeted by someone who you knew had lived an ungodly life? Your immediate reaction might be "What is he doing here?" Then maybe St. Peter would gently remind you of Jesus' parable of the landowner and the laborers. This unexpected citizen of heaven came "last" to receive God's mercy—he turned to God as he was dying—but he still came, and that was all that mattered to the Lord.

It can be hard to wrap our minds around this parable. It just doesn't seem fair. But God's mercy can't be limited or measured out. It is so vast, so overflowing, that it is always pouring out like a waterfall from his heart. So while it might seem to us that God should dole out mercy like a paycheck, it doesn't work that way. Whoever comes to him will be covered in his mercy—a mercy that saves us and fills us with his divine life.

So if you began following the Lord early in life, like those laborers who went out at dawn, rejoice! You probably have made many sacrifices to live out your faith. It hasn't always been easy, but your work in God's vineyard has made a difference in the world. You have planted and tended it out of love for your Master, and your reward will be great.

If you didn't start practicing your faith until much later, maybe after years of breaking his commandments and following your own way, rejoice as well! Jesus' blood, shed on the cross, has washed you clean. God has not only forgiven your past sins, but he has forgotten them. You too will receive the fruit of Jesus' death and resurrection—life in abundance here on earth and life everlasting in heaven.

This parable shows us that there is always hope for our loved ones who haven't yet come to the Lord. God is a communion of love—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—and he is always offering his love and mercy to us. And that's what he will do when anyone comes to his vineyard, no matter what time of day!

"Lord, I praise you today for your abundant love and mercy, which know no bounds!"

Ezekiel 34:1-11
Psalm 23:1-6



The modern habit of saying, 'Every man has a different philosophy; this is my philosophy and it suits me': the habit of saying this is mere weak-mindedness. A cosmic philosophy is not constructed to fit a man; a cosmic philosophy is constructed to fit a cosmos. A man can no more possess a private religion than he can possess a private sun and moon.
— G.K. Chesterton
from In Defense of Sanity


"I will save my sheep...I myself will look after and tend my sheep."
Fast forward about 700 years and Christ appears and changes the world.

Why would it take 7 centuries to fulfill a prophecy? Actually, things started changing already, since the prophecy. But Christ our Lord fulfilled every prophecy into a new Jerusalem.

When He is born, angels appeared to shepherds in the field "Come and See".

When He grows up in the temple, people "come and see" the child.
When He grows up into a young man, people "come and see" the wonders and signs He performs.
The flock comes and sees.
In that some note, I invite you to come and see.


"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want."
There is nothing else I shall desire.
There he feeds the flock on pastures, asks them to recline and feeds them, thousands, with a few bread and fish.

Come and see.


Our Lord said:
""The Kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard."
He Himself went to hire laborers. All throughout His life He speaks about works and God's work. He is very much a doer. He asks us to join Him in His ministry, not our own. At different times He comes and invites people at different parts of the day. A day is like a life. At different parts of life, God invites certain people. What time is it in your life? Are you young? Are you old? Are you in between? Now is the time of His invitation, to the visitation, and to the time of joyful expectation. Everyone who paid...the same.
There is a good example of this, where upon the cross our Lord crucified, forgave at the last minute, a thief, but a thief that was so shrewd, that he gained Heaven. We should be shrewd too. Mt 10:16 "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the middle of wolves: be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."

What were the words of the thief? "Remember me". He said to the others "we deserve this, but Christ did not". He defended Christ, and this tugged at the crucified Sacred Heart. Could this be mercy? And then mercy bestowed on mercy?

Be merciful.

Whatever life you've lived, repent, and plead for mercy. The thief, they say is named Dismas, paid the price for stealing. But in the same way, many pay their purgatory, if, and only if, they offer themselves to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
At that time of day, at nearly the third hour, Mercy poured out from His heart, before they pierced His heart, it was already oozing mercy.
So precious is this love story, that it was written in Heaven with a pen filled with ink made of precious ingredients. Ingredients such as mercy, compassion, charity, humility, and sacrifice.

Lord, at this hour in my life, I plead for clemency, and therefore...conversion.
May your heavenly reward be a life with you always...and forever


Random Bible verse from online generator:

Acts 20:35
35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"


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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