Monday, December 14, 2020

⛪. Then why did you not believe.... ⛪


Prayer for a Dark Night

"God leads into the dark night those whom He desires to purify from all these imperfections so that He may bring them farther onward." (St. John of the Cross)

John was good at caring for the sick. He'd been such a gentle nurse's assistant that the hospital director encouraged him to study to become a chaplain. John chose instead to become a Carmelite priest, but almost as soon as he was ordained, he began thinking that life with the Carthusians would be better for him. Enter Teresa of .vila, who was embarking on her own effort to reform the Carmelites and take them back to their roots. She invited John to join her in the effort. It was not long thereafter that he and four others opened a Discalced Carmelite community for men; a few years later, he became the spiritual director for Teresa's Convent of the Incarnation.

When John refused to abandon the reformation efforts, he was imprisoned for nine months, during which time he wrote Dark Night of the Soul. For this book and his other writings, John was named a Doctor of the Church in 1926. John healed with his hands, his words, and his faith-filled courage. Dark nights will come to us all; patience and trust, as John articulated so beautifully, will carry us forward.

—from the book Brotherhood of Saints: Daily Guidance and Inspiration
by Melanie Rigney


†Saint Quote

"Only he will receive, will find, and will enter who perseveres in asking, seeking and knocking."
— St. Louis de Montfort

"Jesus has many lovers of His heavenly kingdom, but few cross-bearers. Many desire His consolation, but few His tribulation. Many will sit down with Him at table, but few will share His fast. All desire to rejoice with Him, but few will suffer for Him. Many will follow Him to the breaking of the bread, but few will drink the bitter cup of His Passion. Many revere His miracles, but few follow the shame of His cross. Many love Jesus when all goes well with them, and praise Him when He does them a favor; but if Jesus conceals Himself and leaves them for a little while, they fall to complaining or become depressed. They who love Jesus purely for Himself and not for their own sake bless Him in all trouble and anguish as well as in time of consolation. Even if He never sent them consolation, they would still praise Him and give thanks. Oh how powerful is the pure love of Jesus, when not mixed with self-interest or self-love!"
— Thomas à Kempis, p. 88-89
Imitation of Christ

"Hearken to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am He, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save."
Isaiah 46:3-4


click to read more



St. John of the Cross (1542–1591) was born to a poor family in Old Castile, Spain. His father married below his rank and was disinherited as a result. After his father's early death, John was raised in poverty by his mother. He studied and served at a local hospital while committing himself to severe penances. Uncertain of his life's direction, he was told in prayer that he should enter religious life in order to bring reform. John joined the ancient Carmelite Order and received permission to observe their original rule of life, quickly earning a reputation for his humility, obedience, and religious fervor. He later met St. Teresa of Avila, a reforming Carmelite abbess who recognized the greatness of John's virtue and requested his assistance to found a monastery of friars under the primitive Carmelite rule, as she had done for her nuns. Together they founded the Discalced Carmelites, a contemplative order of strict religious observance. His reforms began to spread, and as a result John was captured, imprisoned, and physically abused by his fellow friars. His sufferings helped him to write his most famous work, Dark Night of the Soul. After nine months he made a miraculous escape and he went on to found and govern several Carmelite monasteries. St. John of the Cross became an authority on the spiritual life, and his profound writings and poetry are considered among the greatest of all Spanish literature. Because of his invaluable writings he was named a Doctor of the Church and the patron saint of mystics, contemplatives, and Spanish poets. His feast day is December 14th.


Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, priest and doctor of the Church

Lectionary: 187
Reading 1

NM 24:2-7, 15-17A

When Balaam raised his eyes and saw Israel encamped, tribe by tribe,
the spirit of God came upon him,
and he gave voice to his oracle:

The utterance of Balaam, son of Beor,
the utterance of a man whose eye is true,
The utterance of one who hears what God says,
and knows what the Most High knows,
Of one who sees what the Almighty sees,
enraptured, and with eyes unveiled:
How goodly are your tents, O Jacob;
your encampments, O Israel!
They are like gardens beside a stream,
like the cedars planted by the LORD.
His wells shall yield free-flowing waters,
he shall have the sea within reach;
His king shall rise higher,
and his royalty shall be exalted.

Then Balaam gave voice to his oracle:

The utterance of Balaam, son of Beor,
the utterance of the man whose eye is true,
The utterance of one who hears what God says,
and knows what the Most High knows,
Of one who sees what the Almighty sees,
enraptured, and with eyes unveiled.
I see him, though not now;
I behold him, though not near:
A star shall advance from Jacob,
and a staff shall rise from Israel.

Responsorial Psalm

PS 25:4-5AB, 6 AND 7BC, 8-9

R. (4) Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
and your kindness are from of old.
In your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
he teaches the humble his way.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.


PS 85:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Show us, LORD, your love,
and grant us your salvation.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


MT 21:23-27

When Jesus had come into the temple area,
the chief priests and the elders of the people approached him
as he was teaching and said,
"By what authority are you doing these things?
And who gave you this authority?"
Jesus said to them in reply,
"I shall ask you one question, and if you answer it for me,
then I shall tell you by what authority I do these things.
Where was John's baptism from?
Was it of heavenly or of human origin?"
They discussed this among themselves and said,
"If we say 'Of heavenly origin,' he will say to us,
'Then why did you not believe him?'
But if we say, 'Of human origin,' we fear the crowd,
for they all regard John as a prophet."
So they said to Jesus in reply, "We do not know."
He himself said to them,
"Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things."


Daily Meditation: Matthew 21:23-27

Where was John's baptism from? (Matthew 21:25)

This should have been a joyful encounter. But when the chief priests and elders in Jerusalem approached Jesus and questioned his authority, they were already on the wrong road. Somewhere they took a wrong turn that kept them from accepting that Jesus was their Messiah. They considered Jesus, who had upset the money changers and captured the admiration of the people, as an obstacle to true piety. Their challenge, "By whose authority?" revealed how deeply they were opposed to Jesus (Matthew 21:23). And when he answered with a question of his own—about John the Baptist—it wasn't an evasive maneuver but an invitation to go back to where they had lost their way.

John had come preaching repentance to prepare the people for their Messiah. He spent his life inviting people to turn back to God. He was like a fork in the road: once you heard his message, you knew you had to choose which way you would go. So when the elders sparred with Jesus in the Temple three years later, they showed that they had already closed their hearts to him. Having heard John's preaching in the wilderness, they chose the wrong path—the path of unbelief and opposition (John 1:19-28).

If you ever find yourself missing out on the joy and peace of Christ, take it as an invitation to recalculate your route. Where or when did you lose sight of Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world? How did you wander from John's urgent yet hope-filled call to repentance? Then make the decision to turn back.

Modern GPS devices usually have a pleasant voice that tells you when you missed a turn and how to get back on the right road. The Holy Spirit can be your guide if you ask him. In his own distinct voice, he will lead you back to Jesus. He may even take you back to the message of John the Baptist so that you can turn from sin and turn back to Jesus. It's never too late to begin again. Jesus died and rose to save you. Even if you have been traveling on the wrong road for a long time, the Spirit can get you back quickly. You can get there from here!

"Come, Holy Spirit! Show me where I have veered off the road to heaven."

Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17
Psalm 25:4-9



I am created to do or to be something for which no one else is created: I have a place in God's counsels, in God's world, which no one else has. Whether I be rich or poor, despised or esteemed by man, God knows me and calls me by my name.
— St. John Henry Newman


"A star shall advance from Jacob, and a staff shall rise from Israel."
And the new Covenant is Jesus. The new bread, mana. The new commandment. And the new staff to shepherd the flock.


We pray: "Your ways, O LORD, make known to me; teach me your paths, Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior." And our shepherd guides us to salvation. THIS WAY, He guides.


From Bishop Barron:
"Friends, in today's Gospel, the chief priests and elders question Jesus: "By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?"
The Greek word used for "authority" is most enlightening: exousia. It means, literally, "from the being of." Jesus speaks with the very exousia of God, and therefore, his words effect what they say. He says, "Lazarus, come out!" and the dead man comes out of the tomb. He rebukes the wind and says to the sea, "Be still!" and there is calm. And the night before he dies, he takes bread and says, "This is my body." And what he says is.
Friends, this is the authority of the Church. If we are simply the guardians of one interesting philosophical perspective among many, then we are powerless. If we rely on our own cleverness in argumentation, then we will fail. Our power comes—and this remains a great mystery—only when we speak with the authority of Jesus Christ.
Reflect: How and why does Christ pass his authority to the Church?"

Jesus our King is still here with HIS authority. The Holy Mother Church is the one left with Authority. No matter how much others try to guide it astray, it is HIS authority that is demanding our Love.

Lord, may we fully submit ourselves to Your Holy Way.
We need ears to hear and eyes to see, and a mouth to speak the truth. And the Holy Spirit with Holy Fervor to invigorate the fire of Your Holy Love.


Random Bible verse from online generator

Rev. 1:8
8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.


If one day you don't receive these, just visit
God Bless You! Peace

Powered by
GoDaddy Email Marketing ®