Living intentionally and fully alive—from a place of groundedness, being at home in our own skin—is not a technique. Nor is it a kind of mental Rubik's cube, to be solved. There is no list. But if we demand one, chances are, we pass this life by—the exquisite, the messy, the enchanting, the wondrous, the delightful, the untidy—on our way to someplace we think we ought to be.
—from the book This Is the Life: Mindfulness, Finding Grace, and the Power of the Present Moment by Terry Hershey
†Saint Quote "He who labors as he prays lifts his heart to God with his hands." — St. Benedict of Nursia
†MEDITATION OF THE DAY "The story of Christ's life and ministry cannot be told without giving due space to Satan's activity. The Gospel writers carefully distinguish between cases of mere physical ailments and cases of a demonic character (both of which Jesus cures). Jesus frequently refers to the devil in his parables and other teachings, and the devil himself tempts Jesus in the desert and returns again later to engineer Judas' betrayal (cf. Jn 13:2). This Gospel motif teaches us an undeniable, if uncomfortable lesson: the devil is real, and he is interested in counteracting the work of grace. In one sense, accepting this fundamental truth, and keeping it always in the back of our minds, can comfort us tremendously: it helps us make sense of all the unpleasant influences at work in and around us. We are not crazy; we are not failures; we are simply engaged in a spiritual battle. If we believe in Jesus Christ, we must also believe in the devil—doomed as he is, he would love to take as many souls as he can along with him." — Fr. John Bartunek, p. 350 AN EXCERPT FROM The Better Part
†VERSE OF THE DAY "So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:48
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Saint of the Day for
(1207 – November 17, 1231)
In her short life, Elizabeth manifested such great love for the poor and suffering that she has become the patroness of Catholic charities and of the Secular Franciscan Order. The daughter of the King of Hungary, Elizabeth chose a life of penance and asceticism when a life of leisure and luxury could easily have been hers. This choice endeared her in the hearts of the common people throughout Europe.
At the age of 14, Elizabeth was married to Louis of Thuringia, whom she deeply loved. She bore three children. Under the spiritual direction of a Franciscan friar, she led a life of prayer, sacrifice, and service to the poor and sick. Seeking to become one with the poor, she wore simple clothing. Daily she would take bread to hundreds of the poorest in the land who came to her gate.
After six years of marriage, her husband died in the Crusades, and Elizabeth was grief-stricken. Her husband's family looked upon her as squandering the royal purse, and mistreated her, finally throwing her out of the palace. The return of her husband's allies from the Crusades resulted in her being reinstated, since her son was legal heir to the throne.
In 1228, Elizabeth joined the Secular Franciscan Order, spending the remaining few years of her life caring for the poor in a hospital which she founded in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. Elizabeth's health declined, and she died before her 24th birthday in 1231. Her great popularity resulted in her canonization four years later.
Elizabeth understood well the lesson Jesus taught when he washed his disciples' feet at the Last Supper: The Christian must be one who serves the humblest needs of others, even if one serves from an exalted position. Of royal blood, Elizabeth could have lorded it over her subjects. Yet she served them with such a loving heart that her brief life won for her a special place in the hearts of many. Elizabeth is also an example to us in her following the guidance of a spiritual director. Growth in the spiritual life is a difficult process. We can play games very easily if we don't have someone to challenge us.
Saint Elizabeth of Hungary is the Patron Saint of:
Bakers Catholic Charities Secular Franciscan Order
Readings for the Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, religious
Reading 1 RV 3:1-6, 14-22
I, John, heard the Lord saying to me: "To the angel of the Church in Sardis, write this: "'The one who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars says this: "I know your works, that you have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Be watchful and strengthen what is left, which is going to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember then how you accepted and heard; keep it, and repent. If you are not watchful, I will come like a thief, and you will never know at what hour I will come upon you. However, you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; they will walk with me dressed in white, because they are worthy."' The victor will thus be dressed in white, and I will never erase his name from the book of life but will acknowledge his name in the presence of my Father and of his angels. "'Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'"" "To the angel of the Church in Laodicea, write this: "'The Amen, the faithful and true witness, the source of God's creation, says this: "I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, 'I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,' and yet do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich, and white garments to put on so that your shameful nakedness may not be exposed, and buy ointment to smear on your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. "'Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me. I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne, as I myself first won the victory and sit with my Father on his throne. "'Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'"
Responsorial Psalm PS 15:2-3A, 3BC-4AB, 5
R. (Rev. 3: 21) I will seat the victor beside me on my throne.
He who walks blamelessly and does justice; who thinks the truth in his heart and slanders not with his tongue.
R. I will seat the victor beside me on my throne.
Who harms not his fellow man, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor; By whom the reprobate is despised, while he honors those who fear the LORD. R. I will seat the victor beside me on my throne. Who lends not his money at usury and accepts no bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be disturbed. R. I will seat the victor beside me on my throne.
Alleluia 1 JN 4:10B
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God loved us, and send his Son as expiation for our sins.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel LK 19:1-10
At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house." And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they saw this, they began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner." But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost."
Daily Meditation: Luke 19:1-10
Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house. (Luke 19:5)
Luke's story of Zacchaeus reveals a pattern we see repeatedly in the Gospels. It goes like this: Jesus seems to anticipate what is in someone's heart and mind. He perceives a hunger, a restlessness, a searching for God, even if that person doesn't fully realize it himself. Then Jesus "shows up" in some unexpected way that leads the person to new life and a change of heart.
Somehow Jesus knew that Zacchaeus would be sitting up in that sycamore tree. He also understood that Zacchaeus, despite his occupation and wealth, was ready to repent and welcome Jesus into his heart and his home. And Zacchaeus did just that, even publicly committing to repay four times over those he had cheated.
Where else do we see this pattern? Look at Simon Peter. After a fruitless night of fishing, Jesus shows up and tells him to try again. Peter is overwhelmed by the enormous catch of fish and leaves everything to follow Jesus (Luke 5:1-11). The Samaritan woman at the well is another example. Jesus notices her thirst and offers her living water instead, leading her to share the news that the Messiah had come (John 4:4-40). Or the two disciples on the road to Emmaus: Jesus sees their despondency and brings them hope and joy by revealing himself to them (Luke 24:13-27).
You might see this same pattern in your own story. When has the Lord unexpectedly "shown up" and given you just what you needed from him? Perhaps he helped open your eyes to see yourself or someone else differently. Or maybe he prompted you to change your attitude, viewpoint, or perspective. Whatever it was, his grace helped you to take a step closer to him.
The people Jesus encountered in the Gospels responded by placing a deeper trust in him—in his ability to heal and set free and in his call to follow him. May we follow their example and do the same in those times when Jesus anticipates our need and comes to us.
"Jesus, thank you for anticipating and fulfilling my every need!"
Revelation 3:1-6, 14-22 Psalm 15:2-5
It doesn't matter what you've done in your life, or how bad you've sinned. I rejected God, but he still knew that I was redeemable. I was worth saving. There is no soul anywhere on this earth that is beyond the reach of God. It's never too late. — Deborah Lipsky from Confessions of an Ex-Satanist: A Message of Hope
my2cents: "If you are not watchful, I will come like a thief, and you will never know at what hour I will come upon you." It is the unexpected that catches us off guard, but not so, if you are always vigilant. This is important to notice, because the Gospel speaks about when Jesus unexpectedly met a man.
First we pray: "Who harms not his fellow man, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor; By whom the reprobate is despised, while he honors those who fear the LORD. I will seat the victor beside me on my throne." Tax collectors were despised, and why? They were seen as traitors on a couple fronts. Traitors against the Jews. And traitors against humanity itself. What does this mean? God and man. For more on that, let us turn to our Lord.
In the Gospel we heard basically the following: "Now a man there named Zacchaeus...a wealthy man...was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature." He was found short, and this is why he could not see. Have you ever noticed what this means? I know I've never noticed. Tax collectors used scales, and often scales tipped to their own benefit. Some of these made themselves rich by tipping scales. Government officials taking advantage of the poor. In the book of Daniel we hear:
mene, tekel, parsin
26"Here is what these words mean:
Mene e : God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.
27Tekel f : You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.
28Peres g : Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians."
You yourself are numbered and weighed on His scales. The King in the book of Daniel was partying, getting drunk, using God's cup to make himself look good. And suddenly, the hand of God appeared. And his knees buckled and shook. And so our Lord appears today, to Zacchaeus. He knew immediately He'd been caught. Like a fish in a net. But when it comes to our Lord, you WANT to be caught. You WANT freedom. You WANT to see. This man that was found short, did what most would not. He climbed a tree. If you are shrewd, you will find a way. And the bible says in Mathew 10:16 16"Behold, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. " This is the kind of man Zacky was. Once he realized Jesus' compassion, his heart broke, he reconciled, giving and giving and promising more. Jesus didn't tell him to do it, but the inner remorse busted out in truth for love and harmony. And so it shall be with you. That inner turmoil must burst forth in tears, rendering to God what is God's and what belongs to the people what is theirs. Do you know what this means? It means true life. It means never going back or taking back. It means giving.
Lord, we say we want to see you. And you appear to the true hearts seeking you. You see what humans do not. You see truth. You see sincerity. You see us truly for who we are. I want to desire to see you truly. Forever amen.
Random Bible verse from online generator:
A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
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