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Friday, November 26, 2021

† "see for yourselves and . . ."

 
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†Saint Quote
"Would that I could exhaust myself in acts of thanksgiving and gratitude towards this Divine Heart, for the great favor He shows us, in deigning to accept our help to make Him known, loved and honored; He reserves infinite blessings for all those who devote themselves to this work." St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

†Today's Meditation
"If you stay united with Christ, each one of you will be able to do great things. This is why, dear friends, you must not be afraid to dream with your eyes open of important projects of good and you must not let yourselves be discouraged by difficulties. Christ has confidence in you and wants you to be able to realize all your most noble and lofty dreams of genuine happiness. Nothing is impossible for those who trust in God and entrust themselves to Him." — Pope Benedict XVI

Cover image from the book, Pope Benedict XVI
AN EXCERPT FROM
Pope Benedict XVI

†Daily Verse
"But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as [also] your Father is merciful." Luke 6:35-36

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St. John Berchmans

St. John Berchmans (1599-1621) was born in Flanders, Belgium, the eldest of five children of a shoemaker. He was a virtuous and well-liked child who would often rise early to serve at two or three Masses a day before he reached the age of seven. On Friday evenings he had a custom of making the Stations of the Cross outdoors while barefoot. When he was nine years old his mother suffered from a long and terrible illness, and John faithfully attended her bedside until she died. As a pious young person devoted to the things of God, he enrolled in a Jesuit college where he was known for being an energetic and outgoing student with great academic potential and leadership qualities. He also joined the Society of the Blessed Virgin and prayed her Office daily. He discerned a vocation to the religious life and began priestly formation as a Jesuit. His way of holiness was to perform his ordinary duties with extraordinary fidelity and perfection even in the smallest details, believing that, "If I do not become a saint when I am young, I shall never become one." He died tragically of a fever at the age of twenty-two while studying for the seminary in Rome. Many miracles were attributed to him after his death. St. John Berchmans is the patron saint of altar servers and young people. His feast day is November 26th.

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Lectio Divina of the Gospels 2021-2022
Friday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading I Dn 7:2-14

In a vision I, Daniel, saw during the night,
the four winds of heaven stirred up the great sea,
from which emerged four immense beasts,
each different from the others.
The first was like a lion, but with eagle's wings.
While I watched, the wings were plucked;
it was raised from the ground to stand on two feet
like a man, and given a human mind.
The second was like a bear; it was raised up on one side,
and among the teeth in its mouth were three tusks.
It was given the order, "Up, devour much flesh."
After this I looked and saw another beast, like a leopard;
on its back were four wings like those of a bird,
and it had four heads.
To this beast dominion was given.
After this, in the visions of the night I saw the fourth beast,
different from all the others,
terrifying, horrible, and of extraordinary strength;
it had great iron teeth with which it devoured and crushed,
and what was left it trampled with its feet.
I was considering the ten horns it had,
when suddenly another, a little horn, sprang out of their midst,
and three of the previous horns were torn away to make room for it.
This horn had eyes like a man,
and a mouth that spoke arrogantly.
As I watched,

Thrones were set up
and the Ancient One took his throne.
His clothing was snow bright,
and the hair on his head as white as wool;
His throne was flames of fire,
with wheels of burning fire.
A surging stream of fire
flowed out from where he sat;
Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him,

and myriads upon myriads attended him.

The court was convened, and the books were opened.
I watched, then, from the first of the arrogant words
which the horn spoke, until the beast was slain
and its body thrown into the fire to be burnt up.
The other beasts, which also lost their dominion,
were granted a prolongation of life for a time and a season.
As the visions during the night continued, I saw

One like a son of man coming,
on the clouds of heaven;
When he reached the Ancient One
and was presented before him,
He received dominion, glory, and kingship;
nations and peoples of every language serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not be taken away,

his kingship shall not be destroyed.

Responsorial Psalm Daniel 3:75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81
---------‐-------
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
"Mountains and hills, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
"Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!"
"You springs, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
"Seas and rivers, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
"You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
"All you birds of the air, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
"All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!

Alleluia Lk 21:28
--‐------------
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 21:29-33

Jesus told his disciples a parable.
"Consider the fig tree and all the other trees.
When their buds burst open,
you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near;
in the same way, when you see these things happening,
know that the Kingdom of God is near.
Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away
until all these things have taken place.
Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will not pass away."

agosp
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DAILY MEDITATION: LUKE 21:29-33
Consider the fig tree. (Luke 21:29)

Jesus had just described the cataclysms that would come before his return in glory: portents in the night sky, an unnatural roaring of the seas, and the "powers of the heavens" shaking (Luke 21:25-26). And now he's comparing these catastrophes to something as peaceful and lovely as the flowering of a fig tree. It seems out of place, doesn't it? You would think a locust invasion might be more appropriate. Or at least a thornbush!

But Jesus is talking about the coming of his kingdom, not the end of all creation. He's talking about that great day when all our deepest hopes and dreams are finally fulfilled. This is the kingdom of "righteousness, peace, and joy in the holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17). What better way to describe its arrival than by talking about life bursting forth into full flower?

What about all the upheaval Jesus described? Isn't that part of the picture as well? Absolutely. But it's not the end of the story. Just as we know that a thunderstorm on a humid afternoon will usher in a cool, breezy evening, we know that these trials and disasters will come to an end when Jesus, the Prince of Peace, returns.

So yes, Jesus is coming back. And yes, his coming will be marked by some frightening events. We don't know when it will happen, but when it does, whatever period of darkness precedes it will give way to the brightness and the glory of a new creation. All suffering, fear, pain, and sorrow will be wiped away. Robed in the dignity of the children of God, we will stand before Jesus, the Son of Man (Revelation 21:3-4).

Jesus promised us, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away" (Luke 21:33). Everything around us that we can see and touch today will ultimately fade or dissolve or burn away. But remember the hope and promise contained in that image of a fig tree in full flower. Because in the end, Jesus' word will still be with us: a word that saves, a word that brings new life, a word that welcomes us into his eternal kingdom.

"Jesus, help me to be ready for your return. Come, Lord, and fill me with eager expectation!"

Daniel 7:2-14
(Psalm) Daniel 3:75-81

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From Today's Holy Scripture:
"One like a son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; When he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, He received dominion, glory, and kingship; nations and peoples of every language serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed."

Welcome to the Kingdom....you baptized soul and child of God!

psalms

We pray in Psalms:
"Give glory and eternal praise to him!
"Mountains and hills, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever." Give glory and eternal praise to him! "Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever."

2cents2

We heard our Lord in the Gospel today:
""Consider the fig tree and all the other trees.
When their buds burst open,
you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near;
in the same way, when you see these things happening,
know that the Kingdom of God is near."

What bud has burst open? Recall the stump of Jesse. Recall the tree...dead tree...becomes alive...from the very bursting of the Side of Christ. Know that He is near and very near. And where He is...so is His Kingdom.

"Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will not pass away."

These words perplex me..."this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place." These words are spoken as a present tense. So did they take place already? Yes. Are they taking place today?
Yes. The bud bursts open in Mass.
Our Lord has eternally set His body for the body. Holiness for all of us.
Grace is availed. The substance needed to conquer the world.

Partake and share.

Let's pray:
Lord...thank You.
Thank you for Your Word and your Word turned into Body and into our body. Help us realize the tremendous gift. And when realized...let us realize true Thanksgiving...sacrifice for the Body if Christ.

from your brother in Christ,
Adrian

***
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1 Jn 4:7
God Is Love
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

† "Because of My Name . . ."

 
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†Saint Quote
""Crosses release us from this world and by doing so bind us to God."
Blessed Charles de Foucauld

†Today's Meditation
"Our freedom always has this marvelous power to make what is taken from us—by life, events, or other people—into something offered. Externally there is no visible difference, but internally everything is transfigured: fate into free choice, constraint into love, loss into fruitfulness. Human freedom is of absolutely unheard-of greatness. It does not confer the power to change everything, but it does empower us to give a meaning to everything, even meaningless things; and that is much better. We are not always masters of the unfolding of our lives, but we can always be masters of the meaning we give them. Our freedom can transform any event in our lives into an expression of love, abandonment, trust, hope, and offering." — Fr. Jacques Philippe, p. 58

An Excerpt From
Interior Freedom, p58

†Daily Verse
"So submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you of two minds. Begin to lament, to mourn, to weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you." James 4:7-10

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St. Columbanus

St. Columbanus (543 – 615 A.D.) was born in West Leinster, Ireland. He was a noble, well-educated, and handsome man who was pursued by many women. He sought the advice of a pious religious woman who advised him to flee from his temptations for the sake of his soul, which he did, leaving the world to become a monk against the wishes of his family. He embraced the monastic life and excelled in virtue before being called by God to be a preacher in foreign lands. At the age of 40 he left his monastery with a band of twelve fellow monks on an apostolic mission to spread the Gospel throughout Europe. The holiness and zeal of Columbanus and his companions combatted the laxity of the clergy and the negative influence of the barbarian invaders. Columbanus preferred the solitude of nature and would often live withdrawn from others in a nearby cave, which attracted followers to imitate his lifestyle. He founded and served as abbot of several monasteries known for their strictness, writing a monastic rule governing their life which emphasized obedience, silence, poverty, humility, and chastity. The Rule of St. Columbanus was approved by the Council of Mâcon in 627 A.D., but was later superseded by the Rule of St. Benedict. His feast day is celebrated on November 24th.
Find a Devotional for This Saint

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Memorial of Saint Andrew Dŭng-Ląc, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs

Lectionary: 505
Reading I

Dn 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28

King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his lords,
with whom he drank.
Under the influence of the wine,
he ordered the gold and silver vessels
which Nebuchadnezzar, his father,
had taken from the temple in Jerusalem,
to be brought in so that the king, his lords,
his wives and his entertainers might drink from them.
When the gold and silver vessels
taken from the house of God in Jerusalem had been brought in,
and while the king, his lords, his wives and his entertainers
were drinking wine from them,
they praised their gods of gold and silver,
bronze and iron, wood and stone.

Suddenly, opposite the lampstand,
the fingers of a human hand appeared,
writing on the plaster of the wall in the king's palace.
When the king saw the wrist and hand that wrote, his face blanched;
his thoughts terrified him, his hip joints shook,
and his knees knocked.

Then Daniel was brought into the presence of the king.
The king asked him, "Are you the Daniel, the Jewish exile,
whom my father, the king, brought from Judah?
I have heard that the Spirit of God is in you,
that you possess brilliant knowledge and extraordinary wisdom.
I have heard that you can interpret dreams and solve difficulties;
if you are able to read the writing and tell me what it means,
you shall be clothed in purple,
wear a gold collar about your neck,
and be third in the government of the kingdom."

Daniel answered the king:
"You may keep your gifts, or give your presents to someone else;
but the writing I will read for you, O king,
and tell you what it means.
You have rebelled against the Lord of heaven.
You had the vessels of his temple brought before you,
so that you and your nobles, your wives and your entertainers,
might drink wine from them;
and you praised the gods of silver and gold,
bronze and iron, wood and stone,
that neither see nor hear nor have intelligence.
But the God in whose hand is your life breath
and the whole course of your life, you did not glorify.

By him were the wrist and hand sent, and the writing set down.

"This is the writing that was inscribed:
MENE, TEKEL, and PERES.
These words mean:
MENE, God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it;
TEKEL, you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting;
PERES, your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians."

Responsorial Psalm

Daniel 3:62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67

R. (59b) Give glory and eternal praise to him.
"Sun and moon, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
"Stars of heaven, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
"Every shower and dew, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
"All you winds, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
"Fire and heat, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
"Cold and chill, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.

Alleluia

Rv 2:10c

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain faithful until death,
and I will give you the crown of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

Lk 21:12-19

Jesus said to the crowd:
"They will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents,
brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives."

agosp
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Daily Meditation: Daniel 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28

Tell me what it means. (Daniel 5:16)

Today's passage from the Book of Daniel reads like a modern horror story. Imagine the panic and terror the people felt when they saw a disembodied hand inscribing cryptic words on the wall! But this story comes from ancient Israel, not modern times. In fact, this is where we get the saying about seeing "the writing on the wall." The facts are right in front of you, and they're about to come true. So it was for King Belshazzar, though neither he nor his wise men could interpret the mysterious writing.

Sometimes hearing God speak to us seems just as inscrutable as mysterious writing on the wall. You ask the Lord for wisdom in a difficult situation or for direction for your life, and then you can't make heads or tails of his answer. You long for someone to tell you what it all means. King Belshazzar was fortunate to have Daniel to decode the message, but what about me? you wonder.

But you can discern what God is saying. Scripture tells us that Daniel lived under harsh persecution, yet he faithfully practiced his faith. He stayed close to the Lord. He prayed three times a day. He avoided foods and activities contrary to Jewish law. And "God gave [him] knowledge . . . , wisdom, and . . . understanding" (Daniel 1:17). God can do no less for you as you seek to discern what he is saying.

We all have times when we wish God would tell us exactly what to do. Most often, he doesn't, but he has given us the Spirit of truth to guide us (John 14:17). The Spirit will help us discern by using the tools God has given us: our reason, our past experience of God's work in our lives, his word in Scripture, wisdom from our prayer time, or advice from a trusted friend. Over time, we can grow in noticing the Spirit's guidance and understanding how he might be leading us.

So ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten your mind, and look for the evidence all around you. These tools can help you grow, like Daniel, in wisdom and understanding of what God is saying to you.

"Holy Spirit, help me to read 'the writing on the wall' as I seek to know you and understand your word to me."

(Psalm) Daniel 3:62-67
Luke 21:12-19

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From Today's Holy Scripture:
"Suddenly, opposite the lampstand, the fingers of a human hand appeared, writing on the plaster of the wall in the king's palace. When the king saw the wrist and hand that wrote, his face blanched;
his thoughts terrified him, his hip joints shook,
and his knees knocked."

There is one word for an all controlling dictator, an authoritarian and in want of full control of the whole world...and that word is coward.

Have you ever met a man that beats his wife? Have you met a government that beats on its own people? With more and more regulations. It is insecurity. These are not signs of one like God, who lets everyone totally free, in full trust. God trusts you with His Kingdom. And He is calling on you to trust Him and others. Letting go is hard. I should know. I'm facing tons of problems at our family business, there seems to be no end to problems, the DOT is threatening hefty fines for things we didn't know, a customer is threatening breach of contract for miscommunication issues, and a couple cases of injuries are hurting our safety scores, limiting our customer base more and more as the cases go on and on. It's all an uphill battle. And then the daily battles. Most of the time I'm in shock, and disbelief, knees knocking maybe? Lord, what have we done? What's going on? Why does everything seem against me?

Yet the message is clear.

Mene: Your Days Are Numbered
Tekel: You Have been found Wanting
Peres: Your Kingdom has been given to others.

What does this say to you? The wise ones know, they will not waste away their life, their light. They will not burn the sweet oil that God has provided. They will not get drunk and use God's gifts for self pleasure. The wise will learn to give in, more and more to Christ. Give into the light. Give into...the cross.

psalms

We pray in Psalms:
"Give glory and eternal praise to him.
"All you winds, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever." Give glory and eternal praise to him."

2cents2

We heard in the Gospel today:
"They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony."

And so, there are a couple ways to give testimony, to share the light, to spend our life right...for the Lord.

The good way: Always spreading His Good Word by word and deed.
The bad way: being forced to speak about Him.
Which is the way you face now? In some good instances, like Blessed Miguel Pro, who was shot to death by a firing squad, the very government military in Mexico, about 100 years ago, He shouted "Viva Cristo Rey!" proclaiming Christ the King.
Father Miguel Pro was already being hunted and accused of an assassination plot. Lies. They were just killing priests left and right, hanging them on telephone poles as well as many hundreds of faithful.

There are two ways to spread the testimony. White Martyr and Red Martyr.

Blessed Miguel died with a rosary on one hand and His ordination crucifix on the other. He chose both crowns.

And our Lord continues:
"You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name...".

Well, well...so you want to be a true Christian? Welcome to a world of hatred. Catholics are the number one target. And this should tell the world...that there is something there that the world hates...evil hates. Truth.

"but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives."

Let's pray:
Lord, I don't even know the number of hairs on my head...but You do. What's more, this insignificant fact apparently is significant to You. If then, this is true, how much more do you value my heart! My Lord, Father, I want to love Thee with my whole heart. Please accept it, and let it love You forever and ever...

from your brother in Christ,
Adrian

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James 1:13
Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire

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