Our heart is a highly sensitive receiver; it can listen through all our senses. Whatever we hear, but also whatever we see, taste, touch, or smell, vibrates deep down with God's song. To resonate with this song in gratefulness is what I call singing back. This attitude of prayer has given great joy to all my senses and to my heart.
—from the book The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life by David Steindl-Rast
†Saint Quote "If the heart wanders or is distracted, bring it back to the point quite gently and replace it tenderly in its Master's presence. And even if you did nothing during the whole of your hour but bring your heart back and place it again in Our Lord's presence, though it went away every time you brought it back, your hour would be very well employed." — St. Francis de Sales
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY "This great power of grace over nature appears at first sight as unnatural, for which reason nature strives against it and does not even wish to hear of the necessity of penance and mortification. But the obligation of penance remains, and precisely because of nature's opposition, it cannot be emphasized often enough or earnestly enough. Softened, wounded nature, moreover, makes difficulties greater than they really are. Grace does not wish to destroy nature, but only to elevate it, that is, to drive out the evil that makes it sick and then to introduce a new and better life. By taking away all that nature loves to its own detriment, and thus wounding it in its innermost depth, it at the same time pours such a healthful balsam into this wound that it is a delight to be wounded in this way. Ask the Saints if they have ever experienced any greater delight than in those moments when they offered themselves, body and soul, as a victim to God. ... Ask yourself if you have ever enjoyed a deeper or more genuine delight than when you suppressed a violent desire of proud, angry nature, or performed any other act of heroic mortification with the help of grace. If, then, grace could give the Saints such a wonderful, superhuman and heroic courage as to elevate them above themselves and make them lead an angelic life already in the flesh, can it not enable you to live at least as a man, in harmony with your natural dignity, and not as a slave of the flesh, of the passions, of your own will and opinion?" — Fr. Matthias J. Scheeben, p. 260 AN EXCERPT FROM The Glories of Divine Grace: A Fervent Exhortation to All to Preserve and to Grow in Sanctifying Grace
†VERSE OF THE DAY "Though the fig tree do not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation." Habakkuk 3:17-18
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ST. FELIX OF NOLA
St. Felix of Nola (d. 250 A.D.) was born in Italy near Naples, the son of a Syrian soldier. After his father's death, Felix gave his goods to the poor and entered the priesthood. He was ordained by his bishop, St. Maximus of Nola, and served as his assistant. When persecution against Christians increased under Roman Emperor Decius, St. Maximus hid in the desert while St. Felix was captured, tortured, and thrown into prison. While in prison an angel appeared to Felix and freed him from his chains, bidding him to go to the aid of his bishop, St. Maximus, who was at the point of starving to death. After assisting the bishop, Felix fled from his captors by hiding in a hole. Miraculously, a spider quickly spun a web over the hole and prevented St. Felix from being caught by his pursuers. Felix continued hiding in a dry well for six months until the persecution abated. Afterwards he declined an offer to become the bishop of Nola following the death of St. Maximus. Felix's property was confiscated in the persecutions, so he lived his remaining years farming a few acres of rented land for his own sustenance as well as alms for the poor. His feast day is January 14.
hursday of the First Week of Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 308 Reading I
The Holy Spirit says:
Oh, that today you would hear his voice,
"Harden not your hearts as at the rebellion
in the day of testing in the desert,
where your ancestors tested and tried me
and saw my works for forty years.
Because of this I was provoked with that generation
and I said, 'They have always been of erring heart,
and they do not know my ways.'
As I swore in my wrath,
'They shall not enter into my rest.'" Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil and unfaithful heart, so as to forsake the living God. Encourage yourselves daily while it is still "today," so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin. We have become partners of Christ if only we hold the beginning of the reality firm until the end.
95:6-7c, 8-9, 10-11
R. (8) If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts. Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us. For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides. R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts. Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
"Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as in the day of Massah in the desert, Where your fathers tempted me;
they tested me though they had seen my works." R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts. Forty years I was wearied of that generation;
I said: "This people's heart goes astray,
they do not know my ways." Therefore I swore in my anger:
"They shall never enter my rest." R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
See Mt 4:23
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom and cured every disease among the people. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said, "If you wish, you can make me clean." Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched the leper, and said to him, "I do will it. Be made clean." The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once. Then he said to him, "See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them." The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere.
Daily Meditation: Hebrews 3:7-14
Encourage yourselves daily while it is still "today." (Hebrews 3:13)
"That's not a huge sin. There's no rush to go to Confession right now. Oh yes, it would be very good to go; in fact, you really ought to make a good, systematic examination of conscience sometime soon. But today is already half gone. Wait until Saturday when it's easier and when you can confess properly." This is a common and clever temptation. And often enough, when Saturday comes, there's a new reason to put it off—if we even remember our intention. It's far better to repent today, however poor the circumstances, than to wait for the perfect moment.
In the face of this kind of temptation, the Letter to the Hebrews gives refreshingly direct advice: "Encourage yourselves daily while it is still 'today'" (3:13). As a warning to Jewish Christians tempted to grow weary of their discipleship or to be indifferent to Jesus, the author uses the example of the ancient Israelites. During their journey from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land, they cried out against God in the desert (Numbers 14). Rather than encouraging each other to remember their destiny, they focused their attention on all the current hardships.
We may not be wandering in a desert like the Israelites or facing persecution like the early Christians, but we can certainly be tempted by indifference and procrastination. What we put off until tomorrow can reveal our priorities and the state of our hearts. We may need to get so many things done today that the things God wants of us—whether praying, going to Confession, or looking in on a neighbor—those can always wait for tomorrow. These upside-down priorities can be a sign that we need to choose for the Lord today.
So take a look at your priorities today. Is there something you've been avoiding? Can you rearrange your day so that you are more available to the Lord? Try to make time to listen for his voice in prayer, even when you have a lot going on. If you feel inspired to reach out to a neighbor or reconcile with an estranged family member, "harden not your heart" (Psalm 95:8). And if the Spirit urges you to go to Confession, don't delay. Do it today.
"Help me, O God, to do your will today."
Psalm 95:6-11 Mark 1:40-45
How could Christians understand that the priest gives himself to them if he is not entirely given over to the Father? This total delivering of himself in Christ is the condition for a total gift of self for everyone. He who has not given himself totally to God is not given perfectly to his brethren. — Robert Cardinal Sarah from the book From the Depths of Our Hearts
my2cents: "Encourage yourselves daily while it is still "today," so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin." What hardens you in sin? YOU DO. What makes it even harder? Eucharist. That is why we are to break away from sin. But how can you, if you like it too much? How can you, if you are addicted? How can you...if you don't want to? How can you seek healing, if you like the disease? It's like going to the doctor for a check up and lying to him. If you ever go.
We prayed today: "If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts. Oh, that today you would hear his voice: "Harden not your hearts as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the desert, Where your fathers tempted me; they tested me though they had seen my works." Not only are some errant in their ways, but they are errant and arrogant. What does arrogance smell like? Pride. It's where everyone else is wrong but you. It's where everyone else is less than you. And this is a sign of a hardened heart. No room for mercy, and much less...a desire for mercy.
In the Holy Gospel, we heard of a sick man that approaches Christ: ""If you wish, you can make me clean." In the Spanish language, words have a much more stronger connotation and punch to them, "Si Tu Quieres", means "if YOU Want to". The whole hinge is on you. It puts the entire decision on the person being spoken to. And I bring it up because that is how our Lord speaks to each one of us: "my child, if YOU want to". And now we are speaking of faith. Faith is said to be a gift from God. But I write to you daily to be better availed to the gift of God. It is one thing to be given a gift, and another thing to desire the gift. And He does not turn away good from us. Rather, it is us that turn down the good.
""I do will it. Be made clean." Our Lord issues a command: Be Made Clean. That is His will. So if you've been wondering what God's will is for your life, here it is: Be Made Clean. That has been the focus since His birth, to His Baptism, to the Chalice.
Our nation needs a cleansing. And it begins one person at a time. Lent is coming, and as a nation, we shall desire to be made clean. Enough with the filth. Enough with the muck. Enough with the doom and gloom that is brought about by our sins. I want you to focus on Lent. Not so much on what you are giving up, but what you are giving to. And not what you are giving to alone, but who you are giving to.
I see much blasphemy and pornography in the world. If we can relent and repent, from these two disgusting sins, I believe our Lord will relent from allowing our own demise. Rome imploded and towards the end blamed all the Christians. It is possible to avoid this catastrophe if we love what we've built up. Otherwise, the kingdom will scatter to the savages, but not God's Kingdom, for it will always remain. I pray for peace. I pray that I will relent. I try hard as of right now. For example, a man I've been helping through his alcoholism, I've spent so much time and effort, and now that I need him at work, he will not respond. My animal instinct is to have gutteral rage, furious at the ungrateful man. But then I relent...and pray for his soul. You can't help the addict, but I can help the addict help himself....relent....and repent.
Lord, I want to be grateful...therefore Holy, and purely Yours!
from your brother in Christ our Lord, adrian
Random online bible verse:
Ask, and It Will Be Given
7 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
If one day you don't receive these, just visit Going4th.com God Bless You! Peace
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