Tuesday, September 29, 2020

⛪ Do You Believe . ⛪

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The Gift of Understanding

How great is it that the Lord imparts to us the gift of understanding. Many think we receive this gift in order that we might comprehend the ways of God, but we receive this gift primarily so that we can understand ourselves. The Lord taught us that we must love others as we love ourselves, which is only possible to the extent that we have a deep understanding of both our strengths and our weaknesses. Saint Thérèse of Lisieux said she loved her nothingness; that is what kept her clinging to Christ.

—from Prayer Everywhere: The Spiritual Life Made Simple


†Saint Quote
"Keep to the ancient way and custom of the Church, established and confirmed by so many Saints under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. And live a new life. Pray, and get others to pray, that God not abandon His Church, but reform it as He pleases, and as He sees best for us, and more to His honour and glory."
— St. Angela Merici

"Once, while I was wondering why Our Lord so dearly loves the virtue of humility, the thought suddenly struck me, without previous reflection, that it is because God is the supreme Truth and humility is the truth, for it is the most true that we have nothing good of ourselves but only misery and nothingness: whoever ignores this, lives a life of falsehood. they that realize this fact most deeply are the most pleasing to God, the supreme Truth, for they walk in the truth."
— St. Teresa of Avila, p. 175-6
Interior Castle

"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help."
Hebrews 4:14-16


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The Archangels St. Gabriel, St. Michael, and St. Raphael share a feast day on September 29th. These are the only three angels mentioned by name in Sacred Scripture.
St. Gabriel means "Power of God." He is the messenger or herald angel most famous for appearing to the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Annunciation (Luke 1:11-38).
St. Michael means "Who is like God?" He is the warrior angel, the famous foe of Satan, who is the champion of God's people and guardian and protector of the Church (Rev. 12:7-9).
St. Raphael means "God has healed." He is a companion and healing angel, most famous for curing a man's blindness and for traveling with Tobiah in the book of Tobit (Tob. 12).
. . . . . .

Angels—messengers from God—appear frequently in Scripture, but only Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are named.

Michael appears in Daniel's vision as "the great prince" who defends Israel against its enemies; in the Book of Revelation, he leads God's armies to final victory over the forces of evil. Devotion to Michael is the oldest angelic devotion, rising in the East in the fourth century. The Church in the West began to observe a feast honoring Michael and the angels in the fifth century.

Gabriel also makes an appearance in Daniel's visions, announcing Michael's role in God's plan. His best-known appearance is an encounter with a young Jewish girl named Mary, who consents to bear the Messiah.


Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, archangels

Reading 1 DN 7:9-10, 13-14

As I watched:
Thrones were set up
and the Ancient One took his throne.
His clothing was bright as snow,
and the hair on his head as white as wool;
His throne was flames of fire,
with wheels of burning fire.
A surging stream of fire
flowed out from where he sat;
Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him,
and myriads upon myriads attended him.
The court was convened, and the books were opened.
As the visions during the night continued, I saw
One like a son of man coming,
on the clouds of heaven;
When he reached the Ancient One
and was presented before him,
He received dominion, glory, and kingship;
nations and peoples of every language serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not be taken away,
his kingship shall not be destroyed.

Rv 12:7-12ab

War broke out in heaven;
Michael and his angels battled against the dragon.
The dragon and its angels fought back,
but they did not prevail
and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.
The huge dragon, the ancient serpent,
who is called the Devil and Satan,
who deceived the whole world,
was thrown down to earth,
and its angels were thrown down with it.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
"Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed.
For the accuser of our brothers is cast out,
who accuses them before our God day and night.
They conquered him by the Blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
love for life did not deter them from death.
Therefore, rejoice, you heavens,
and you who dwell in them."

Responsorial Psalm PS 138:1-2AB, 2CDE-3, 4-5

R. (1) In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple
and give thanks to your name.
R. In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
Because of your kindness and your truth;
for you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R. In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
All the kings of the earth shall give thanks to you, O LORD
when they hear the words of your mouth;
And they shall sing of the ways of the LORD
"Great is the glory of the LORD
R. In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.

Alleluia PS 103:21

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Bless the LORD, all you angels,
you ministers, who do his will.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 1:47-51

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him,
"Here is a true child of Israel.
There is no duplicity in him."
Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?"
Jesus answered and said to him,
"Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree."
Nathanael answered him,
"Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel."
Jesus answered and said to him,
"Do you believe
because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree?
You will see greater things than this."
And he said to him, "Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will see heaven opened
and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."


Daily Meditation: John 1:47-51

You will see greater things than this. (John 1:50)

Do you remember the first time you took a trip on an airplane? Most likely you were amazed when, as the plane took off, you saw the ground beneath you getting smaller and smaller. You watched as buildings and cars became tiny dots underneath. What a change of perspective! From up there, your thoughts might have turned to God: how minor our problems and struggles must seem in light of his greatness.

Today's feast of the Archangels is a good time to be reminded of this bigger picture of reality. That's what Jesus is asking Nathanael to do. Nathanael seems to believe in Jesus. But that might have been because he was impressed when Jesus said he had seen him under the fig tree. So Jesus tries to stretch Nathanael's faith a bit. He tells him, in effect, "You haven't seen anything yet! There's a lot more to me than you think!"

Just as Jesus sought to open Nathanael's eyes to who he is and to heavenly realities, so he wants to open our eyes as well. He is the Son of God. His majesty and power are beyond our comprehension. Thousands of angels are ministering to him, worshipping him day and night. And yet he is also the Son of Man, the One who has come to redeem us, to suffer for us, and to save us from sin. He uses all of this awesome power to serve us and bring us to eternal life with him.

Unfortunately, sometimes we get stuck at "ground level." We know about Jesus in our heads, but we can forget how great he is. We might feel as if we're the ones in control of the world around us. That's when we need to cultivate a heavenly perspective.

Today in your prayer time, try to picture yourself before the throne of God with angels all around—including the archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. Imagine the radiance of God's glory, like sunlight bouncing off white clouds. Picture the sheer beauty and overwhelming goodness of the Lord. Then lift your heart to worship him for who he is. Let this vision of God's presence give you a new perspective.

"Lord, help me to 'see greater things.' I want to share your perspective."

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
Psalm 138:1-5



Whoever wishes to lead a truly Christian life must first exert his will, and so regulate his existence as to put the most important things foremost. Nothing is more important in the use of our days than the time given first of all to God.
— St. Elisabeth Leseur
from a letter to her mother, August 31, 1907


"Now have salvation and power come, and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed."
Our Lord said in John 16:33 "Look, an hour is coming and has already come when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and you will leave Me all alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 33I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!"
Take courage. He has taken on our fears, our sins, and death, to do something spectacular with it. What is it? He shows the Way.


We pray:
"I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth; in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise; I will worship at your holy temple and give thanks to your name.

In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord."
I invite you to worship daily in His temple. The great signal of this is in Church, literally with others. And if you cannot, then you can do it in your temple, your home. And if you cannot, then go deeper, into the heart, where God sees all.


In the Gospel today we heard:
"Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?"
Jesus answered and said to him,
"Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree."
And Nathanael exclaimed shocked: "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel."
We can rightly suppose that Nathan had prayed under the fig tree, asking God to see him there, "do you see me under this tree Lord?" and Jesus walks up to him and says "I see you my child".

They say that evil can't read your mind. But God sees everything. Evil can read your life better than anyone else, but not your heart, not your true heart.

So what can we learn from Nathanael? We can learn two things and more: Be true, be prayerful, and be amazed.

I was amazed a couple days ago. A poor couple comes into my office. I already knew what they wanted before they sat. They would need help, because they are struggling, basically poor, with their newborn child still in the hospital for 4 months now, and baby still has a pipe in throat to breathe, with autism. I ask for prayers for him to breathe on his own and eat. So when they asked for help, in getting a vehicle, I said ok. But I said "but I need you to look for a vehicle yourself", and silently I was praying for help. She found one, they responded to their ad, and they even accepted an affordable option (I was coaching her on what to say through her conversation). All within a few minutes. The next day, yesterday, we drove to the place. They look at the mini van and I speak with the Nigerian man owner. The man asks me without much after saying hello "so are you a doctor?" I shook my head no. And then he asked "are you a priest?". I said "no, but many times I've been asked" and he said "its something about the way you are". But the story is not about me here. I'm looking at this guy already as an angel. He is very tall, pretty cool looking older man. Big hands. What I like about Nigerians is their accent. And so, one admiration goes to another, and the conversation went to God. He sounded like he missed going to church. We took the van, and I bought the couple lunch and explained how that man was giving to them, just like I was giving to them, and how we are all called to be a giving people. That man, in my opinion is an angel. But we are all called to act upon our angelic show us to Heaven. What is evAngelism? It is proclaiming the Good News. We are to proclaim the good news with our actions, not just our words. The young couple listened at lunch, and the husband said "I feel like a huge weight lifted when you said you'd help". Yess! That's what we are called to do, help each other's cross. And I brought them to church to pray, because I know they haven't been church goers...YET. What are church goers? Those who go give thanks to God. And the Eucharist means thanksgiving. And this is where true angels are at. They are found honoring God with all their essence, all their being, doing every good beckoning call from our Lord. I was amazed, more than the young couple, at how God works, so perfectly, so timely, so lovingly, so kind and merciful. Thank you. And I thank you in advance for prayers for their baby....Colton.

From Bishop Barron:
Friends, today we celebrate the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. When the existence of God is widely doubted, it just seems unscientific to believe in spiritual beings. And yet, they are prominently mentioned in the Bible; they are amply discussed by the Church Fathers; and the Catechism of the Catholic Church boldly reaffirms the existence and activity of angels.
Do you remember how, a few years ago, there was an enormous interest in the culture in angels? One of my favorite stories had to do with a man who was flying a single-engine plane during a severe storm. At one point, his communication system failed, and he found himself without a means to make it to the airport. _
Just as he was about to give up hope, a strong voice came through the radio. It gave directions to an airport the pilot knew nothing about. The voice guided him to the runway of a small airport. When he landed, he realized that the airport was abandoned. No personnel were on the ground or in the tower. _
An accident? Or a sign that "there are more things in heaven and on earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy, Horatio"?"

Thank you Lord, for sending angels, always, I pray that they help us show the way to the Lord forever


Random Bible verse from online generator:

James 5:8

You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.


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God Bless You! Peace

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