Prayer is about love, not insight. It is meant to establish friendship. Friendship, as we know, is not as much a question of having insight into each other's lives as it is of mutually touching each other in affection and understanding. Friendship, as John of the Cross puts it, is a question of attaining "boldness with each other." When we have touched each other's lives deeply, we can be bold with each other. We can then ask each other for help, ask each other to be present without needing an excuse, or share our deepest feelings. Good friendship inspires boldness. The object of prayer is precisely to try to attain this kind of "boldness" with God, to try to reach a point where we are comfortable enough with God to ask for help, just as we would a trusted friend. But to reach this kind of trust we first must let God touch us in the heart, and not just in insight.
—from the book Prayer: Our Deepest Longing by Ronald Rolheiser
†Saint Quote "He will provide the way and the means, such as you could never have imagined. Leave it all to Him, let go of yourself, lose yourself on the Cross, and you will find yourself entirely." — St. Catherine of Siena
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY "These persons, when they [receive Holy Communion], strive with all their might for sensible sweetness, instead of worshipping in humility and praising God within themselves. So much are they given to this, that they think when they derive no sensible sweetness, they have done nothing, so meanly do they think of God; neither do they understand that the least of the blessings of the Most Holy Sacrament is that which touches the senses, and that the invisible grace It confers is far greater; for God frequently withholds these sensible favors from men, that they may fix the eyes of faith upon Himself . . . All this is a very great imperfection, being against the purity of Faith, and directly at variance with the nature of God." — St. John of the Cross, p. 28 AN EXCERPT FROM Dark Night of the Soul
† VERSE OF THE DAY "And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not pass over it, and fools shall not err therein." Isaiah 35:8
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ST. BARLAAM OF ANTIOCH
St. Barlaam of Antioch (d. 304 A.D.) was an elderly, uneducated peasant laborer from a village near Antioch. He was arrested for his Christian faith under the persecution of Roman Emperor Diocletian. He was detained for a long time in a dungeon before being brought before his judge. At his trial he was severely scourged, his bones dislocated on the rack, and tortured in other ways in an attempt to force him to renounce his faith in Christ and sacrifice to idols. Instead of crying out, there was joy in his countenance. His meekness, answers, and resolute will confounded his persecutors. The judge, determined to not be humiliated by a peasant, then devised a plan that would force Barlaam to offer sacrifice to the gods despite his constancy. He had an altar with a fire prepared, and had Barlaam's right hand held over the fire and filled with incense and hot coals. This would force Barlaam's burning hand to recoil, causing the incense to fall before the pagan altar, which the judge could then proclaim as a public act of sacrifice to the idols. Instead, Barlaam endured the pain in perfect stillness. He held his hand steady until it burned off completely. Irate, the judge ordered his immediate death. St. Barlaam's feast day is November 19th.
Thursday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 500 Reading 1
I, John, saw a scroll in the right hand of the one who sat on the throne. It had writing on both sides and was sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a mighty angel who proclaimed in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?" But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to examine it. I shed many tears because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to examine it. One of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. The lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed, enabling him to open the scroll with its seven seals."
Then I saw standing in the midst of the throne and the four living creatures and the elders a Lamb that seemed to have been slain. He had seven horns and seven eyes; these are the seven spirits of God sent out into the whole world. He came and received the scroll from the right hand of the one who sat on the throne. When he took it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each of the elders held a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the holy ones. They sang a new hymn:
"Worthy are you to receive the scroll and break open its seals, for you were slain and with your Blood you purchased for God those from every tribe and tongue, people and nation. You made them a kingdom and priests for our God, and they will reign on earth."
PS 149:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6A AND 9B
R. (Rev. 5:10) The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God. or: R. Alleluia. Sing to the LORD a new song of praise in the assembly of the faithful. Let Israel be glad in their maker, let the children of Zion rejoice in their king. R. The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God or: R. Alleluia. Let them praise his name in the festive dance, let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp. For the LORD loves his people, and he adorns the lowly with victory. R. The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God. or: R. Alleluia. Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy upon their couches; Let the high praises of God be in their throats. This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia. R. The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God. or: R. Alleluia.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, "If this day you only knew what makes for peace– but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."
Daily Meditation: Luke 19:41-44
He saw the city and wept over it. (Luke 19:41)
It's clear why Jesus is weeping: he knows what will happen to Jerusalem in the near future. In AD 70, the Roman general Titus and his legions will besiege the city. In the horrific days that follow, many of its citizens will starve to death. Then the Romans will kill nearly everyone else and destroy the Jewish Temple. Knowing Jerusalem's fate must have broken Jesus' heart!
And yet the very fact that Jesus is weeping should give us some comfort because his tears are a sign of his compassion. He's not condemning Jerusalem; he's lamenting over it. He sees that this destruction will be the result of the people's sin and their rejection of him and the prophets God had sent. He knows it will happen, but he still decides to go to the cross and offer his life for his people. He refuses to abandon them. Despite their sin, he still wants to save them—and the whole world besides.
Jesus never abandons us either. But he certainly weeps for our sins because he sees the needless suffering they cause us. He sees that they keep us from our purpose in life, which is to know and serve him. He came to earth, died, and rose for us so that we could be rid of those sins and live the abundant life he intended for us (John 10:10). Even when we stray, he waits patiently for us to return to him.
Jesus doesn't condemn anyone—and he won't condemn you (John 3:17). He wants to save you. In fact, he has provided a way for you to experience that salvation more and more deeply—through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. So don't let your sins burden you. Take them to Confession! If you haven't been for a while and you're nervous about going, just remember the image of Jesus weeping. That's how much he cares about you. That's how much he wants to help you.
Once you've been absolved of your sins and have said your penance, stay silent for a moment or two. Now picture Jesus again. Imagine him smiling or even laughing with joy. He is delighted that you, his beloved son or daughter, have come to receive his mercy!
"Jesus, thank you for your boundless love and mercy."
Revelation 5:1-10 Psalm 149:1-6, 9
Two and only two ways are open for us in this life: the way of obedience to God and the way of disobedience. These roads lead to two different destinations just as surely as two different physical roads lead to two different physical destinations. — Peter Kreeft from You Can Understand the Bible
my2cents: ""Worthy are you to receive the scroll and break open its seals, for you were slain and with your Blood you purchased for God those from every tribe and tongue, people and nation." Worthy to receive the Word. Worthy to break open its seals, its promises. By the cost of His precious blood. Purchased for God an immense gift. People. People of God and for God.
"Let them praise his name in the festive dance, let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp. For the LORD loves his people, and he adorns the lowly with victory. The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God." God Loves His people. God loves you. Test His love. See it upon the cross. See How He loves.
In the Holy Gospel we heard: "Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it...". This is not the first time we heard "Jesus wept". There was another time He cried, actually couple more times we heard He cries. Once was when He heard that His friend Lazarus had died. Why did He cry? If He knew well He would go raise Him up?
It is the same for Jerusalem. Why did He cry? If He knows full well He is liberating it from eternal damnation? He weeps for what has happened. There are things that have happened that are bringing on unchangeable effects...of sin. Death, division, and destruction. These are things that sin brings upon ourselves. I want to cry when my kids get hurt, I don't like to see their scars on their faces. I know full well they will heal, but I know full well I so could make things better. And I will. I like Bishop Barron's reflection today on this as it comes to mind now:
"Friends, in today's Gospel passage, Jesus laments over Jerusalem because it failed to acknowledge him. He said, "They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation." This is a thunderclap, a shock, a highly subversive thing to say. I know I've said it to you before, but I will say it again, because it belongs to the heart of the Gospel and it is repeated by Jesus over and over again: nothing in this world lasts. Nothing in this world should, therefore, be the object of our deepest longings or of our most powerful commitments. The temple represented all of the glitter and glamor of this world, the best it can offer; and the people standing there, entranced by it, stand for all of us down through the ages who stand staring up at the goods of this world. So we must free ourselves from worldly attachments and live for God alone."
So often, I know as a church builder, I wish I could have a most magnificent temple built for God, for all to be amazed and brought to love God more. But it is in a sense, useless. Worthy of being destroyed, like the temple of Jerusalem. It is a figure of speech, like in Revelation. The symbolic meaning of Jerusalem, as a whole...nation, a whole...world, is encountering the 7 of God, the lamb of God, that is sevening Himself (as Dr. Scott Hahn says), making an eternal covenant with His people.
Can we seven ourselves too? Can we make a sacramental bond with Him? Can we sacrifice ourselves and purchase souls for God as a tremendous gift?
The pure on the road can and will. And these pure souls are on the right road to Heaven.
Lord, we need your Revelation, reveal yourself in us, and let us purchase souls for God as your most precious body on earth!
Random Bible verse from online generator: Jude 20–21 WOW!
But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
If one day you don't receive these, just visit Going4th.com God Bless You! Peace
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