Friday, October 2, 2020

⛪ Unless yoU Turn . . . ⛪

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The Highest of All Loves

Francis's long journey into God was, at each step along the way, punctuated by learning again and again another truth that St. Augustine articulates at the beginning of his Confessions: "You have made us for You and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in You." It was a journey that involved learning to love anew the things of creation, his love constantly being purified by the overarching love of God. It was like a return to the Garden of Eden seeking again and again to restore the Paradise humans had so cavalierly destroyed. The journey forward into God is a journey backward to an original innocence we never fully recover but where a sort of semi-paradise happens when love turns into charity. This is the highest of all loves, which Christ defined as the love of God and the love of neighbor, the total love of God leading to true love of neighbor and the true love of neighbor leading to the love of God.

—from Surrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from Saint Francis


†Saint Quote
"There is nothing the devil fears so much, or so much tries to hinder, as prayer."
— St. Philip Neri

"Now, man is afraid of death by nature, afraid of the decay of the body. But here is a really starling fact: whoever has put on the faith of the Cross despises even what is naturally dreadful, and for Christ's sake is not afraid of death. So if anyone is skeptical even now, after so many proofs, and after so many have become martyrs to Christ, and after those who are champions in Christ have shown scorn for death every day—if his mind is still doubtful about whether death has been brought to nothing and come to an end—well, he's right to wonder at such a great thing. But he should not be stubborn in his skepticism, or cynical in the face of what is so obvious. Let him who is skeptical about the victory over death receive the faith of Christ, and come over to his teaching. Then he will see how weak death is, and the triumph over it. Many who used to be skeptics and scoffers have later believed, and despised death even enough to become martyrs for Christ himself."
— St. Athanasius, p.15
A Year with the Church Fathers

"Peter [said] to them, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit. For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call.""
Acts 2:38-39


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October 2nd is the Feast of the Guardian Angels. Although Guardian Angels have been venerated since the early days of the Church, it wasn't until the 17th century that Pope Clement X extended their feast day to the Universal Church. Although not a dogmatic article of the faith, it is a firmly established Catholic belief that each individual human being has their own Guardian Angel assigned to them by God to watch over their soul, help them avoid sin and temptation, and lead them to heaven, taken in part from Jesus' words in the Gospel of Matthew: "See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father." The Church thanks God for our heavenly helpers, the Guardian Angels, who minister to us in our need and guide us on the path of salvation.

Devotion to the angels began to develop with the birth of the monastic tradition. Saint Benedict gave it impetus and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, the great 12th-century reformer, was such an eloquent spokesman for the guardian angels that angelic devotion assumed its current form in his day.

A feast in honor of the guardian angels was first observed in the 16th century. In 1615, Pope Paul V added it to the Roman calendar.

Devotion to the angels is, at base, an expression of faith in God's enduring love and providential care extended to each person day in and day out.


Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels

• Readings for the Memorial of the Guardian Angels
The Gospel for this memorial is proper.

Reading 1 JB 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5

The LORD addressed Job out of the storm and said:
Have you ever in your lifetime commanded the morning
and shown the dawn its place
For taking hold of the ends of the earth,
till the wicked are shaken from its surface?
The earth is changed as is clay by the seal,
and dyed as though it were a garment;
But from the wicked the light is withheld,
and the arm of pride is shattered.
Have you entered into the sources of the sea,
or walked about in the depths of the abyss?
Have the gates of death been shown to you,
or have you seen the gates of darkness?
Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all:
Which is the way to the dwelling place of light,
and where is the abode of darkness,
That you may take them to their boundaries
and set them on their homeward paths?
You know, because you were born before them,
and the number of your years is great!
Then Job answered the LORD and said:
Behold, I am of little account; what can I answer you?
I put my hand over my mouth.
Though I have spoken once, I will not do so again;
though twice, I will do so no more.

Responsorial Psalm PS 139:1-3, 7-8, 9-10, 13-14AB

R. (24b) Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
O LORD, you have probed me and you know me;
you know when I sit and when I stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
Where can I go from your spirit?
From your presence where can I flee?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I sink to the nether world, you are present there.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
if I settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
Even there your hand shall guide me,
and your right hand hold me fast.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother's womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.

Alleluia PS 103:21

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

Gospel MT 18:1-5, 10

The disciples approached Jesus and said,
"Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?"
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
"Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever humbles himself like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.
"See that you do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father."


Daily Meditation: Matthew 18:1-5, 10

Their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father. (Matthew 18:10)

Jesus always had a soft spot for children—and they loved him as well. While his disciples thought he was too busy to bother with a group of children, Jesus welcomed them (Matthew 19:14). He praised them and instructed the adults to become like them (18:3). "Whoever humbles himself like this child," he said, "is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven" (18:4). It wasn't their immaturity that he loved; it was their humble dependence.

But aren't adults supposed to become independent as they mature? Yes, of course! But at every age, we are also meant to be dependent on God, as dependent as a child is upon his parents. In fact, we are much more dependent on God than we often think we are—we depend on him for our every breath. That's one reason why God gives us guardian angels, to help us remember our dependence on our heavenly Father.

It's easy to think that we don't need God much, especially when things are going well. If we are blessed with good health, a happy family, and basic comforts, we can get lulled into self-reliance and not give God much attention. Sometimes the more blessings we receive, the more we forget our need for God. Even if our circumstances change, our first reaction may be to try to rely on our own resources.

And yet God has so much to give us! When we forget to bring our needs to him, we are like people living on a subsistent diet when we could be enjoying a feast. Every day he wants to give us his grace, his strength, his wisdom, and his protection.

Today, whether you feel strong or needy, know that you are God's beloved child. He wants you to lean on him so that he can bless you. He has even provided you with your own special angel to help and guide you!

"Lord, I need you. Help me to remember how much you want to give me each day."

Job 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5
Psalm 139:1-3, 7-10, 13-14



There are times when, unless we are willing to do what seems humanly ridiculous, God will not do the miraculous.
— Mother Angelica
from her book Mother Angelica's Answers, Not Promises



"Tell me, if you know all: Which is the way to the dwelling place of light, and where is the abode of darkness...".
Which is the way to light?

Do you know? And if you get a hint, will you take to it? Now we are speaking of realms and reality. Now we are speaking about all things faith.


We pray today: "Truly you have formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb. I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are your works.
Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way."
Guide me, Lord, we pray. And even before you prayed like this, our Lord already sent an angel to be with you and to help guide you. But our Angel cannot force you. He is looking to God always. We should look to our angel.


Our Lord speaks:
""Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever humbles himself like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven."
That my friend, what our Lord asks for, is a precious commodity. What is a precious commodity? A rarity, and that makes it special. Like say, Padre Pio, or Mother Teresa of Calcutta. These are rare children, like the little flower Saint Therese. And we are called to be precious...children of God. It is a calling my friend. It is calling out to you.

""See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father."
And the world despises. The worldly despises. Those who have no fear of God despise little ones. Think abortion. Think those who hate what the Church teaches. Hatred towards children of the light. As nice and pretty as we'd like things to be, we are in the world, but we are not of the world. LOL, and you don't have to go very far to encounter evil traps and snares and the devil itself. You could encounter traps and darkness daily. And for this, God has sent you a partner, an Angel from Heaven. do you know how powerful this is? Do you know how great your angel is? Angels are supreme beings, and I'm thinking Archangels. There are levels of angels. But angels themselves are a special creation. Where are they? What do they do? Wouldn't you like to know? Ask them yourself! Angels ascend and descend from the Lord our God and Father. Angels turn away from you when you sin. Angels turn to you when you pray. Interesting isn't it? That is why our Lord says that we should not despise little ones, others, and ourselves, because sin is a turning away from God.
What happens when your guardian turns away? Evil things can lurk and enter. It was not the angel's fault, but yours, my fault for turning away, isn't it? I turned first, and then the angel turned. It's like what happens in a divorce, one parent turns away from the other, and the children are the ones who get hurt, they were in a sense...despised.

I told someone yesterday, that I have theory on divorce situations; that a divorced parent must consider, what time they used to spend with their child before divorcing, now they must spend at least twice as much time with the child to make up for the loss of the true parent. It is not easy to live without one or the other. Many children in the world are despised because of the sin of pride. Do you understand? Now we are going beyond divorce of two, but a divorce from God. A turning sin.
If we understood what this meant, we would have many more saints in the world.

But the devil has seduced us into thinking that sin is ok. The devil says we need to make legal all sins so we don't have anymore legal issues about it. What's the worst legal thing I see in my opinion? Pornography. It is the worst legalized despisement in the world. Most souls are in hell for the sins of impurity. They say that the lashings in the scourging of our Lord were because of sins of impurity. How many angels are looking away right now because of this sin? They cannot endure the lashings onto the body of Christ. They are terrified...of sin. Why? How? Because they truly fear God. And looking at sin (giving attention to) can seduce you and enter and distort your soul. Do you understand the gravity of sin? What's the source of all this? Self satisfaction. Pride. And so the precious commodity of holy pure souls is looked to and called for.
This writing calls out to you.
Be pure and be purely HIs.

Lord, we need You in our lives now more than ever.
Come into my life, and make Your dwelling place there, a place of refuge and light, mercy and compassion, a humble dwelling for many to take refuge with us....


Random Bible verse from online generator:

Ps 23 :4
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,1

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

they comfort me.


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God Bless You! Peace

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