Monday, September 14, 2020

⛪ . . one has gone up . . ⛪

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Finding a Place

I will arise and go now to a place you have prepared.
I will arise with confidence that I know the way
though your leading is revealed just one step at a time.
You had no place to lay your head yet every place is yours,
marked by your miracles, touched by your hand,
shaped by your love.
I will remain still in this familiar place
and I will know it for the first time.
Your welcome encompasses me, Lord my God.
I know my place and it is here with you.

—from the book A Retreat with Saint Anthony: Finding Our Way, by Carol Ann Morrow


†Saint Quote
"You can do more with the grace of God than you think."
— St. John Baptist de la Salle

"The Church has been uniting her praises to those which the angels and her own elect children have been giving to God in heaven. In this way, she already begins to do, here below, what is destined to occupy her for all eternity. United to the praises of the man-God, this praise, the prayer of the Church, becomes divine and the Liturgy of the earth becomes one with that of the celestial hierarchies in the Court of Christ, echoing that everlasting praise which springs forth from the furnace of infinite love which is the Most Holy Trinity."
— Dom Jean-Baptist Chautard, p. 217
Soul of the Apostolate


September 14th is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (also known as the Triumph of the Cross). Early in the 4th century St. Helena, mother of Roman Emperor Constantine, went to Jerusalem in search of the actual locations where the events of Jesus' life took place. She found the True Cross which immediately became an object of veneration for the Church. Constantine built a basilica on Calvary marking the site of the Crucifixion and dedicated it on this day in the year 335 A.D. The basilica was later destroyed by the Persians and the true cross was stolen. This day also marks the recovery of the cross by Emperor Heraclius II who returned it to Jerusalem, carrying it on his own back and restoring it to the Church in 629 A.D.

"We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28


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St. Albert of Jerusalem (d. 1215) was born to a noble family in Italy, and was well educated in theology and law. He went on to become a priest and bishop and served in important posts as a peacemaker; he served as a mediator between Pope Clement III and the Holy Roman Emperor, between the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Kingdom of Cyprus, and between the Knights Templar and the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia. In 1205 he was made Patriarch of Jerusalem by Pope Innocent III during the time when the Saracens had control of the city. In this position he was respected by all for his sanctity and intelligence. Because of the Muslim presence in Jerusalem, Albert took up residence in Acre overlooking the great city, as well as Mt. Carmel where a group of holy hermits lived. Albert was asked by St. Brocard, who was prior of the group of hermits, to draw up a rule of life for them which became the beginning of the Carmelite Order. In 1214 Albert was summoned to serve in the General Lateran Council, but was murdered before he could attend. The Master of the Hospital of the Holy Spirit, whom he had rebuked and deposed for immorality, stabbed him to death on September 14th in the Church of Saint John of Acre, while he was part of the procession on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. His feast day is September 14th.


Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Saint of the Day for September 14

The Story of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Early in the fourth century, Saint Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, went to Jerusalem in search of the holy places of Christ's life. She razed the second-century Temple of Aphrodite, which tradition held was built over the Savior's tomb, and her son built the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher on that spot. During the excavation, workers found three crosses. Legend has it that the one on which Jesus died was identified when its touch healed a dying woman.

The cross immediately became an object of veneration. At a Good Friday celebration in Jerusalem toward the end of the fourth century, according to an eyewitness, the wood was taken out of its silver container and placed on a table together with the inscription Pilate ordered placed above Jesus' head: Then "all the people pass through one by one; all of them bow down, touching the cross and the inscription, first with their foreheads, then with their eyes; and, after kissing the cross, they move on."

To this day, the Eastern Churches, Catholic and Orthodox alike, celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on the September anniversary of the basilica's dedication. The feast entered the Western calendar in the seventh century after Emperor Heraclius recovered the cross from the Persians, who had carried it off in 614, 15 years earlier. According to the story, the emperor intended to carry the cross back into Jerusalem himself, but was unable to move forward until he took off his imperial garb and became a barefoot pilgrim.

The cross is today the universal image of Christian belief. Countless generations of artists have turned it into a thing of beauty to be carried in procession or worn as jewelry. To the eyes of the first Christians, it had no beauty. It stood outside too many city walls, decorated only with decaying corpses, as a threat to anyone who defied Rome's authority—including Christians who refused sacrifice to Roman gods. Although believers spoke of the cross as the instrument of salvation, it seldom appeared in Christian art unless disguised as an anchor or the Chi-Rho until after Constantine's edict of toleration.


Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Reading 1 NM 21:4B-9

With their patience worn out by the journey,
the people complained against God and Moses,
"Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert,
where there is no food or water?
We are disgusted with this wretched food!"
In punishment the LORD sent among the people saraph serpents,
which bit the people so that many of them died.
Then the people came to Moses and said,
"We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you.
Pray the LORD to take the serpents from us."
So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses,
"Make a saraph and mount it on a pole,
and if any who have been bitten look at it, they will live."
Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole,
and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent
looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.

Responsorial Psalm PS 78:1BC-2, 34-35, 36-37, 38
R. (see 7b) Do not forget the works of the Lord!
Hearken, my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable,
I will utter mysteries from of old.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
While he slew them they sought him
and inquired after God again,
Remembering that God was their rock
and the Most High God, their redeemer.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
But they flattered him with their mouths
and lied to him with their tongues,
Though their hearts were not steadfast toward him,
nor were they faithful to his covenant.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
But he, being merciful, forgave their sin
and destroyed them not;
Often he turned back his anger
and let none of his wrath be roused.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!

Reading II PHIL 2:6-11

Brothers and sisters:
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,
because by your Cross you have redeemed the world.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 3:13-17

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
"No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life."
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.


Daily Meditation: John 3:13-17

So must the Son of Man be lifted up. (John 3:14)
In the medical world, vaccines protect us from disease by training our immune system to recognize and attack a virus or bacteria. Vaccines inject antigens from the disease into our bodies—small bits, in laymen's terms—so that we produce antibodies to fight off that disease in the future. The very thing that overpowers us and brings sickness and death now empowers us to resist and overcome it.

This is similar to what Jesus' cross has done for us. Today, we celebrate that cross as the source of our life, our hope, and our salvation. How ironic that this instrument of death would bring us life! Yet this had happened before, as we heard in our first reading. In the time of Moses, a seraph serpent that had brought sickness and death became an instrument of healing (Numbers 21:9). In the same way, the cross of Jesus, where he was condemned, wounded, and sinned against, brings us forgiveness, healing from the wounds of sin, and freedom from death. No wonder we have a feast devoted entirely to declaring the mighty work of the cross!

The true victory of the cross is that Jesus overcame death when he rose again. So when we "lift up" the cross, we are proclaiming Jesus' resurrection as well as his suffering and death. Without the resurrection, there would be no triumph. "If Christ has not been raised," St. Paul says, our faith is in vain and we are still in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:17). But because Jesus both died and rose in a human body, "everyone who believes in him" can share his victory and have eternal life (John 3:15). Everyone.

Today, rejoice that Jesus died and rose—for you. Gaze upon a crucifix: the instrument of death that is now your source of strength and power. Exult that Jesus' love is stronger than death. Lift up the cross and proclaim the victory of Jesus' death and resurrection and watch as your faith grows stronger. Like antibodies surging through your body, the cross will bring eternal life to your soul.

"Lord, today I lift high your cross over every struggle. Strengthen my faith, my love, and my obedience."

Numbers 21:4-9
Psalm 78:1-2, 34-38
Philippians 2:6-11



Pray that God will console you when you feel the burden of the Cross, for in doing so you are in no way acting against the will of God, but you are placing yourself beside the Son of God who asked His Father during the Agony in the Garden to send Him some relief. But if He is not willing to give it be ready to pronounce the same 'Fiat,' 'So be it,' that Jesus did.
— St. Padre Pío


"Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and if any who have been bitten look at it, they will live."
They will live, if you've been bitten by the serpent of sin and death, if only. There's always that contingency, that hinge point. "That they MAY be saved" says our Lord. For example: John 5 "...33You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth. 34 Even though I do not accept human testimony, I say these things so that you may be saved…".


We pray today: "Hearken, my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable, I will utter mysteries from of old.
Do not forget the works of the Lord!"
Listen, says our Lord, listen to these words of eternal life.


We heard today about our Lord: "...he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death even death on a cross".

He taught us a lesson, He teaches us a lesson. He will continues to teach us the value of the cross, that what is foolishness to the world.

Our Lord continues: "... so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life."
When you see the cross, what do you see? I mean the crucifix, what does it mean to see an image of our Lord, of a body on a cross, as if served on a stake?

It can be a complex answer, or you may not have an answer.

I want you to see Father. For the moment I saw him when I was taken away, my heart knew it was Father. What did He do? He died for me (you). Why? WHY!? Why did the strongest in the world let Himself die a wretched death? The devil tempted Him all the way to death to save Himself, but He wouldn't.

The answer then is: why not? Why not teach the opposite in the world, the opposite of the ways of the world. What did the world erect on that cross immediately? A temple to the goddess of pleasure, and as an oxymoron, the goddess of procreation, and love. Twisted temples but still with the meaning of what was to come. God did something with that cross. A blood sealed covenant, a pact that would last for all ages, because it was sealed, not with a drop of blood, but with ALL His blood.

Do you will?
Do you?
And God speaks of love with the body. He suffered languishing tasting what we all would taste to show us the way.

I see the strongest man I've ever or will ever see, in daily Mass, and there He is on the cross. Humility. The devil fleas from humble souls, and the devil runs to the weak souls, weak in pride.
St. Benedict did the sign of the cross over his poisoned food and the dish shattered. The very sign of the cross is powerful.
Today, let us lift High the cross.
Take up your cross means to take your part in the covenant bond.
Watch what happens when you become humble, that is, submissive to God's will.
Life happens. Life is valued. All things opposite of the world.
And this is what happens to a righteous person, he is crossed.
I remember at a retreat called "escuela de la cruz" they spoke of a "cruzado" a crossed person. I realized what they talked about, it was about an afflicted person, cut deep and changed forever. We were trained to serve our priest our Father. They gave the story of a man who even gave his life for a priest. This is strange because most of the time we'd expect the priest to die for his flock.
Now we can begin to realize the message of the cross, where the vertical beam intersects with the horizontal. God meets man.

Lord, help us realize our cross, cherish it, the scorn, the joy, the lashings, the love of God, and help us help each other to see, look up at the cross and saved


Random Bible verse from online generator:


Phil 2 5-8
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,1 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,2 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,3 being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.


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