†Saint Quote "It is the duty of every man to uphold the dignity of every woman." — Pope St. John Paul II
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Indeed, the glory to which God raises the soul through grace is so great that even the natural beauty of the Angels is as nothing compared with it. The Angels themselves wonder how a soul that was sunk in the desert of this sinful earth and robbed of all natural beauty can be clothed with such a wonderful splendor. But this wonder of the Angels will not surprise us when we see and hear that God Himself considers the beauty of grace with astonishment and rapture. For how otherwise can we explain what He says in The Canticle of Canticles to the soul: 'How beautiful art thou, my love, how beautiful art thou!' (Cant. 4:1)." — Fr. Matthias J. Scheeben, p. 133 AN EXCERPT FROM The Glories of Divine Grace
†VERSE OF THE DAY "Thus says the Lord: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practice steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight, says the Lord." Jeremiah 9:23-24
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ST. RAYMOND NONNATUS
St. Raymond Nonnatus (1200-1240) was born in Catalonia, Spain, to a noble family. His life was saved by caesarean section after his mother died in childbirth, earning him the name 'Nonnatus' meaning 'one not born'. Raymond was a pious child drawn to the religious life, but his father had plans for him to serve in the royal court of the King of Aragon. To distract Raymond from his vocation, his father sent him to tend the family fields. This had the opposite effect and gave Raymond greater opportunity to pray in the country chapel. His father eventually allowed him to join the Mercedarians, a religious order which ransomed Christian slaves from their Muslim captors. Raymond became Master General of the order and personally freed hundreds of prisoners. When he ran out of money, he ransomed his own life to release Christians held in captivity. St. Raymond was tortured throughout his imprisonment, yet he converted numerous people to the Christian faith. To prevent him from preaching Christ, his captors pierced his lips with a red-hot iron and closed them with a padlock. He was eventually ransomed by his order and returned to Spain, and died a year later. After his death there was a dispute over who had the right to bury his body. To settle the matter, his body was placed on a blind mule and set loose. The mule went to the country chapel where Raymond had prayed in his youth, and it was there that he was buried. Many miracles were attributed to St. Raymond Nonnatus both before and after his death. He is the patron of children, childbirth, pregnant women, infants, and midwives. His feast day is August 31st.
Tuesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 432 Reading I
1 Thes 5:1-6, 9-11
Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night. When people are saying, "Peace and security," then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober. For God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live together with him. Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do.
27:1, 4, 13-14
R. (13) I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life's refuge; of whom should I be afraid? R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living. One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek: To dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD and contemplate his temple. R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living. I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD. R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. A great prophet has arisen in our midst and God has visited his people. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee. He taught them on the sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!" Jesus rebuked him and said, "Be quiet! Come out of him!" Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm. They were all amazed and said to one another, "What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out." And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.
Daily Meditation: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11
God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:9)
God is on our side. He sent Jesus to become one of us so that we could spend eternity with him. He has given us the grace of the Holy Spirit so that we can live a life pleasing to him. These are such comforting truths, and yet we can sometimes lose sight of them. We can end up thinking, acting, and praying as if God has destined us for wrath and not for salvation.
How? By failing to remember God's true character. Even when we aren't fully aware of it, we might sometimes imagine God as a severe judge who is in the business of condemning people. We hear a harsh voice in our heads saying, "You keep messing up—what's wrong with you?" Or "I know you're not really a good person; it's just a façade." And if we're not careful, we mistake this for the voice of God.
But that's not how God speaks to us! He's not waiting to catch us at every turn so that he can tally up our mistakes. He is a loving Father who wants to relate to us as any good parent would—out of love, not fear. He isn't condemning us; he's rooting for us. He's in the business of encouraging and building up, not tearing down.
And when we do "mess up," our heavenly Father is waiting for us to come to him so that he can cover us with his mercy. He isn't out to punish us; he knows that the consequences of our sin—our distance from him, any suffering or ill effects of our sin—are punishment enough. He doesn't want to make us feel even worse. He knows all the times we try hard to follow him. Instead, he opens his arms to receive us. He heals the pain brought about from our sins and gives us grace for the future.
Are there times you have struggled with that harsh voice in your head and think that's how God sees you? Imagine the Father as he really is: the God who wraps his arms around you and says, "You are my precious child. I love you and I forgive you."
"Father, when I hear that negative voice in my head, remind me that it's not coming from you."
Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14 Luke 4:31-37
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From Saint Paul: "But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober." Last night, I was asked to lead another funeral vigil, and I had just seen this family about a week or two ago...another death in the family, natural causes. But it caught everyone off guard, and they were more struck here than the elderly mother last time. Therefore...stay awake, stay alert, I warned them "another death could happen soon, I've seen it before, I myself lost 3 in one year". We never know the time, God knows, and therefore, we live in a mystery...and there is beauty in the mystery, there is beauty in His ways. Now life is precious, because of Him.
We pray in the Holy Psalms: "I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life's refuge; of whom should I be afraid?" Last night, after the vigil, I was in the kitchen and we were having a snack, and the baby girl wonders into a dark room in the back and my 8 year old boy says "where's Aria?" and he kept looking to the dark room, knowing she had gone back there but he didn't want to go, kept holding his arms up and his chest, "where is she". I saw the whole thing and the older kids went to get her. I scolded him "what are you afraid of? Do you think we have monsters in our house? When have you seen them? What ARE YOU AFRAID OF?" You see, this has been my lesson to my kids as of late, that we should not be afraid if we are with God. Only when we are not with Him, do we become afraid of the dark, and mystery. Who will save the child now? Courage! COURAGE my child!
Our Lord speaks in the Holy Gospel of Luke: "In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!" Jesus rebuked him and said, "Be quiet! Come out of him!" Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm. They were all amazed and said to one another, "What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out." And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region."
I had a convert recently come to me after Mass and made an interesting comment...he said "it seems to me that there is something in the modern priests' messages, like they are holding back, they want to say something but they won't come out and say it" and I said it is true, what is holding us back? What is holding you back my child? What is holding you back from having power in the word? What is holding you back from saving a child venturing into the dark? What is holding us all back as a group? As a church? Nothing held our Lord back. He gave it His all. We are to follow the lead of the groom.
Let's pray: "Lord, I don't know what is holding me back! Lord help my disbelief! Help me stop doubting! Help me stop holding back! Put in us an inner drive and a true apostolic zeal for salvation of souls! If we are infused with Your Holy Spirit, let the Spirit flow in us continuously, and let nothing else run through our souls but that pure purity of fire from Heaven! The very liberating light and life that puts out the darkness in an instant!"
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
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Hebrews 4:15 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
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†Saint Quote "Accustom yourself continually to make many acts of love, for they enkindle and melt the soul." — St. Teresa of Avila
†MEDITATION OF THE DAY "I realize as never before that the Lord is gentle and merciful; He did not send me this heavy cross until I could bear it. If He had sent it before, I am certain that it would have discouraged me . . . I desire nothing at all now except to love until I die of love. I am free, I am not afraid of anything, not even of what I used to dread most of all . . . a long illness which would make me a burden to the community. I am perfectly content to go on suffering in body and soul for years, if that would please God. I am not in the least afraid of living for a long time; I am ready to go on fighting." — St. Therese of Lisieux, p. 122 AN EXCERPT FROM The Story of a Soul
†VERSE OF THE DAY "For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came also through a human being. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the firstfruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.The last enemy to be destroyed is death." 1 Corinthians 15:21-26
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St. Fiacre (d. 670 A.D.) was born in Ireland and was raised from childhood in an Irish monastery. There he grew in knowledge as well as holiness, and became a priest. He retired to a hermitage to live in prayer and solitude, but men began to flock to him to imitate his way of life and become his disciples. To escape them, Fiacre left Ireland to establish a new hermitage in France. He went to the bishop and asked for land to plant a garden to grow food as well as herbs for medicinal healing, a science which he studied in the monastery. The bishop agreed to give Fiacre as much land as he could entrench. Fiacre picked a plot of land and walked around its perimeter, dragging his shovel behind him. Wherever his spade touched the ground, the land was miraculously cleared and the soil became entrenched. St. Fiacre lived a life of great mortification in prayer, fasting, vigils, and manual labor in his garden. Disciples gathered around him again, and soon formed a monastery. St. Fiacre then built an oratory in honor of the Virgin Mary, a hospice in which he received strangers, and a cell for his own dwelling. His fame for performing miracles became widespread, and his garden became a place of pilgrimage for centuries for those seeking healing. St. Fiacre is best known as the patron of gardeners, florists, and cab drivers. His feast day is August 30th.
Monday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 431 Reading I
1 Thes 4:13-18
We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep. Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore, console one another with these words.
96:1 and 3, 4-5, 11-12, 13
R. (13b) The Lord comes to judge the earth. Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all you lands. Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds. R. The Lord comes to judge the earth. For great is the LORD and highly to be praised; awesome is he, beyond all gods. For all the gods of the nations are things of nought, but the LORD made the heavens. R. The Lord comes to judge the earth. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the sea and what fills it resound; let the plains be joyful and all that is in them! Then shall all the trees of the forest exult. R. The Lord comes to judge the earth. Before the LORD, for he comes; for he comes to rule the earth. He shall rule the world with justice and the peoples with his constancy. R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.
See Lk 4:18
R. Alleluia, alleluia. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.
Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, "Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing." And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They also asked, "Is this not the son of Joseph?" He said to them, "Surely you will quote me this proverb, 'Physician, cure yourself,' and say, 'Do here in your native place the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.'" And he said, "Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place. Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the sky was closed for three and a half years and a severe famine spread over the entire land. It was to none of these that Elijah was sent, but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon. Again, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian." When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. But he passed through the midst of them and went away.
Daily Meditation: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Console one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:18)
What does it mean when the Bible refers to death as "sleep"? We see it in today's first reading as well as in other parts of the Bible. For example, Daniel 12:2 refers to the dead as "those who sleep in the dust of the earth," and before he raised him from the dead, Jesus referred to Lazarus as "asleep" (John 11:11).
We often use "sleep" as a comforting metaphor for death, and that's understandable. Death is scary. Most of us spend the better part of our lives trying to avoid it. Sleeping, on the other hand, is not scary. It's easier to relate to, and it gives the impression that death is temporary.
But "sleep" is more than just a peaceful metaphor. Deep down, we all sense that we were made for more than this life. We all sense that something—or better yet, Someone—awaits us on the other side. And that sense is right.
Jesus told us over and over that we should trust him and not be afraid—and nowhere is that more appropriate than when we think about death. God has promised that we will someday "wake up" to be with him forever.
Jesus said it best when he said that his Father "is not God of the dead but of the living" (Mark 12:27). He promised that even when we sleep in death, we are alive in God. That can happen, he taught, because his salvation opens the door for us to live forever—and to be fully united with him, with all the saints, and with our loved ones who have walked the path ahead of us.
This gives death new meaning. It is no longer a "hard stop" to life that we should fear; it's a gateway to a new and even better life. The happiness we will experience in heaven will far surpass any of our greatest joys here on earth. That's why Paul's words today aren't gloomy—they're uplifting!
So let Jesus lessen whatever fears you may have about death. Ask him instead to fill you with a greater sense of hope and expectation for that day when you awake to new life with him!
"Jesus, thank you for opening the gates of heaven for me and my loved ones!"
Psalm 96:1, 3-5, 11-13 Luke 4:16-30
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From Saint Paul: "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep. Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep." And this perhaps is where the protestant ideas, the "left behind" series comes from. But it says that those who are "alive" are with Him. It is not about a "rapture" but about being caught with Him, with our lights on, oil in the lamps, it is all about being prepared right here and right now for the coming of our Lord, and blessed is He (and She) who is found ready as giving fruit for His Kingdom.
We pray in the Holy Psalms: "Before the LORD, for he comes; for he comes to rule the earth. He shall rule the world with justice and the peoples with his constancy.
The Lord comes to judge the earth."
And when is the second coming, that we should get ready for it...then? Right? Because we are procrastinators (for the most part) most people in the world will wait till the last minute, and give their fate to chance. But most will not get a chance at fate. So what are we to do now?
We are to live as this being the day we are being called! For that we are! If He called you, say "Yes Lord, Your servant is listening!".
Our Lord speaks in the Holy Gospel of Luke: "Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing." And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They also asked, "Is this not the son of Joseph?" He said to them, "Surely you will quote me this proverb, 'Physician, cure yourself,' and say, 'Do here in your native place the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.'" And he said, "Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place." And the rest of the Gospel winds up with a revolt, all "His" people charge at Him " "They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. But he passed through the midst of them and went away." Can you imagine our Lord being pushed around? Well, He was. ✔So who do we think we are when people push us around?
✔How does that make us feel? ✔What are we to do when we are being pushed to the brink of death? Our Lord tells those that a "house divided against itself cannot stand".
We are to take Him at His every last word. We cannot be a divided household. A divided Church. A divided Nation.
First comes God. First comes love. This means someone has to lose their life...to find it. And so we have our Lord proving it on the cross both now and forever as an eternal sign and giving. And where are the thankful souls now? Do we not remember what God desires?
Let's Pray: Lord, my Father in Heaven, You are my desire, You are the center of my life, all my being must bless Your soul, and I must sing a new song unto Thee with my whole heart, my whole being. Teach us to love, to make reparations, to fast, to hold and to love what You cherish and desire. Do not let us lose sight of the very truth that we push out of our lives... You My Precious, innocent, and benevolent Lord of Heaven. You have stricken me with a laceration that calls to mind the bitter affliction of a unifying pact that can not ever be broken. You have bound Yourself to Me, a sinner, and imperfect man, that has been driven to the brow of the hill of a city built on a mountain, driving the truth out of my life, and the truth escapes me, so I live another day, to seek Ye My Lord, with a more righteous heart, afflicted by my own bitter remorse, now desiring more truthfully the Heart of God, and precious blood that pours endlessly in the light realms that pierces the clouds...and my soul.
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
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4 Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
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