St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, patroness of Catholic schools in the U.S., is depicted instructing schoolchildren in a sculpture seen in front of Sts. Philip and James School in St. James, N.Y. Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is calling for government aid to help Catholic schools to prevent more closings. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz) Reflect
Elizabeth Ann Seton's (1774–1821) husband had just died. She was in Italy with him and one of their children; four others were in the United States. They were bankrupt. But the solace his Catholic business partners provided resulted in a conversion moment for the first US-born saint.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, I feel so alone. Show me how to open my eyes, ears, and heart to those whom God sends to envelop me in love.
Even if you just want to be left alone, have a conversation—real-time or virtual—with a family member or friend. Let him or her help.
†Saint Quote "If I am distracted, Holy Communion helps me to become recollected. If opportunities are offered by each day to offend my God, I arm myself anew each day for the combat by the reception of the Eucharist. If I am in special need of light and prudence in order to discharge my burdensome duties, I draw nigh to my Savior and seek counsel and light from him." — St. Thomas More
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Let them fly with utter confidence to this most sweet Mother of mercy and grace in all dangers, difficulties, needs, doubts, and fears. Under her guidance, under her patronage, under her kindness and protection, nothing is to be feared; nothing is hopeless. Because, while bearing toward us a truly motherly affection and having in her care the work of our salvation, she is solicitous about the whole human race. And since she has been appointed by God to be the Queen of heaven and earth, and is exalted above all the choirs of angels and saints, and even stands at the right hand of her only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, she presents our petitions in a most efficacious manner. When she asks, she obtains. Her pleas can never be unheard." — Blessed Pope Pius IX, p.84 AN EXCERPT FROM Manual for Marian Devotion
† VERSE OF THE DAY "But if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it. But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, since he is a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways." James 1:5-8
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ST. ELIZABETH ANN SETON
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774–1821) was born in New York City to a wealthy, virtuous, and influential family. She married a businessman, and together they lived on Wall Street. They attended an Episcopalian church where Elizabeth was very active in charitable works to the poor. When her father-in-law died, she became like a mother to her husband's six younger siblings, in addition to her own five children. During a trip to Italy she was introduced to Catholicism, and she converted to the Catholic Church following the death of her husband. After losing her family fortune, Elizabeth spent her life working to improve education and provide for the poor, as well as the needs of her family. She established the first Catholic school in the nation, and also founded the Sisters of Charity, the first American religious community. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was the first native-born citizen of the United States to be declared a saint. She is also the patron of widows and those who have lost parents or children. Her feast day is January 4th.
Memorial of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, religious
Lectionary: 212 Reading I
1 Jn 3:22–4:6
Beloved: We receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And his commandment is this: we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another just as he commanded us. Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them, and the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit whom he gave us.
Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can know the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh belongs to God, and every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus does not belong to God. This is the spirit of the antichrist who, as you heard, is to come, but in fact is already in the world. You belong to God, children, and you have conquered them, for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They belong to the world; accordingly, their teaching belongs to the world, and the world listens to them. We belong to God, and anyone who knows God listens to us, while anyone who does not belong to God refuses to hear us. This is how we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.
R. (8ab) I will give you all the nations for an inheritance. The LORD said to me, "You are my Son; this day I have begotten you. Ask of me and I will give you the nations for an inheritance and the ends of the earth for your possession." R. I will give you all the nations for an inheritance. And now, O kings, give heed; take warning, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice before him; with trembling rejoice. R. I will give you all the nations for an inheritance.
See Mt 4:23
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of the Kingdom and cured every disease among the people. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Mt 4:12-17, 23-25
When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled:
Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen.
From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand."
He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people. His fame spread to all of Syria, and they brought to him all who were sick with various diseases and racked with pain, those who were possessed, lunatics, and paralytics, and he cured them. And great crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan followed him.
Daily Meditation: 1 John 3:22–4:6
This is the spirit of the antichrist. (1 John 4:3)
Many have speculated over the centuries about the "antichrist," referred to here and in several other places in John's letters. But the word simply means someone who is opposed to Christ. In John's time, that included people who claimed to be Christian but who rejected the truth that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. These were the false teachers he was writing about—those who didn't acknowledge "Jesus Christ come in the flesh" (1 John 4:2).
Why did these people struggle so much with a God who became a human being? Perhaps it's because they could not imagine an all-holy God who would stoop so low as to take on our flesh. Some thought all physical reality was evil, so it was inconceivable to them that God would do such a thing. Instead, they believed that Jesus came only in the "form" of a human body.
But the Incarnation—God becoming man—is one of the central mysteries of our faith. It is at the heart of the Creed we recite at Mass, and it is the basis for our belief in Jesus' presence in the Eucharist. We might be tempted to view physical reality somewhat as these false teachers did—as tainted in some way. And that could lead us to think of ourselves primarily as souls who will one day be freed of their bodies to enjoy a "pure" union with God in heaven forever.
That view fails to take into account two important truths. First, because God is all-good, everything that he created is good. As we see in Genesis, he is delighted with his creation; he even calls it "very good" (1:31). Original sin corrupted our human nature and physical reality, but that never was God's design or intention.
Second, Jesus didn't come in the flesh to save just our souls. If he had, he wouldn't have risen bodily and then ascended bodily into heaven. When Jesus comes again, we too will be resurrected, and we will see Jesus—God and man.
The Incarnation redeemed us—all of us, body and soul. As we look forward to our future destiny, may we always recognize the goodness of God's creation!
"Jesus, I believe that everything you have made is good."
Psalm 2:7-8, 10-12 Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25
There [in your kingdom] we hope to enjoy forever the fullness of your glory, when you will wipe away every tear from our eyes. For seeing you, our God, as you are, we shall be like you for all the ages and praise you without end. — Eucharistic Prayer III
my2cents: "You belong to God, children, and you have conquered them, for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." Are there times when you believe you've been defeated? It is a depressing state, isn't it? Or has there ever been a time when you feel like you don't belong to God, or you don't feel like serving Him? What is this loss, or feeling of being lost? It is like the first loss, when our Lord asked Adam, "where are you? " and "who told you that you were naked?" The Lord knows. How? He is inside. Like GPS? No. We are made in His image, of Him, of His being. Through that we are in Him. Therefore, take heart, the one who is in you is greater than those in the world. We are destined therefore, for greatness. The key is...the surrender, to live a life of surrender to Him. Repent. Sin no more. Make your life His.
"The LORD said to me, "You are my Son; this day I have begotten you. Ask of me and I will give you the nations for an inheritance and the ends of the earth for your possession." You are MY child. Ask my child. ASK for what is good, the whole world. They say that much of what goes on inside of us is a state of mind. What state of being are you? I'm convinced that the hereafter is this very state fully realized.
"Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand." The arrest of His cousin, Saint John the Baptist, the greatest born of all women, the Elijah, signaled the full revelation of Himself to the world, preaching, teaching and healing to every single person. And what did He preach? Repentance. And then came healing. They say the Holy Sacrament of Reconciliation, a.k.a. "confession", is a healing sacrament. In a sense, this repentance, is not taking back what you did, but giving what you did to God as if to say "look, I broke it" and you present your being, your soul to God the healer. Brokenness makes one weak, and susceptible to worse things. Do you desire healing my friend? Present yourself. A visiting missionary priest emphatically implored that you never stop coming to Mass, to offer yourself to God. But how? Where there is a will, there is a way. "But where's Will?", my friend always joked. We need to develop a longing for God in our lives. The founder of the Cursillos said that this course in Christianity should not come to fill our hunger, but to make us more hungry for Christ.
"Come to Me all who labor and are burdened" says our Lord. And you will find rest. It is really an invitation to fidelity...forever. A true love.
Lord, I love the invitation, and I'll move on it every day ever closer, with Your grace, with Your beautiful hand in mine....
Random online bible verse: Phil 4:4 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
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