Monday, February 15, 2021

⛪ . .He Left Them . . . ⛪


A Spirituality of Subtraction

Letting go is not in anybody's program for happiness, and yet all mature spirituality, in one sense or another, is about letting go and unlearning. You can take that as an absolute. As German mystic-philosopher Meister Eckhart said, the spiritual life has much more to do with subtraction than it does with addition.

—from the book Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps
by Richard Rohr, OFM


†Saint Quote
FEBRUARY 15, 2021
"What was the first rule of our dear Savior's life? You know it was to do His Father's will. Well, then, the first end I propose in our daily work is to do the will of God; secondly to do it in the manner He wills; and thirdly, to do it because it is His will."
— St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

"Winnow not in every wind, and do not start off in every direction (Sirach 5:11). It is essential to discern what the Spirit wants when we are making important choices in our lives. Through prayer, fasting, spiritual reading, spiritual advice, discernment of signs, sorting out our hidden motivations, etc., we develop a sense of what God wants of us."
— Rev. Jude Winkler, O.F.M., p 13
Daily Meditations with the Holy Spirit

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time."

1 Peter 1:3-5


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St. Claude de la Colombiere (1641-1682) was born to a noble family in France and became a Jesuit priest. He was known for his solid and serious sermons and his dedication to observing the rule of his order with exactness. He became the rector of a Jesuit house next to the Monastery of the Visitation where St. Margaret Mary Alacoque lived, who was given special revelations from Jesus of His Sacred Heart. Claude became St. Margaret Mary's spiritual director, and, like her, became a zealous promoter of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In 1676 he was sent to England to attend the wife of the future King James II, serving at court as preacher and confessor. When anti-Catholic persecutions broke out, Claude was falsely accused of being involved in a 'papist plot' and was thrown into prison. While there his health suffered due to mistreatment. He was preserved from execution and instead banished from England by royal decree. He returned to his native France, where his fragile health continued to deteriorate until he died a few years later. The day after his death, St. Margaret Mary received supernatural assurance that he needed no prayers, as he was already in heaven. His feast day is February 15.


Monday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 335
Reading I

Gn 4:1-15, 25

The man had relations with his wife Eve,
and she conceived and bore Cain, saying,
"I have produced a man with the help of the LORD."
Next she bore his brother Abel.
Abel became a keeper of flocks, and Cain a tiller of the soil.
In the course of time Cain brought an offering to the LORD
from the fruit of the soil,
while Abel, for his part,
brought one of the best firstlings of his flock.
The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering,
but on Cain and his offering he did not.
Cain greatly resented this and was crestfallen.
So the LORD said to Cain:
"Why are you so resentful and crestfallen.
If you do well, you can hold up your head;
but if not, sin is a demon lurking at the door:
his urge is toward you, yet you can be his master."

Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let us go out in the field."
When they were in the field,
Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
Then the LORD asked Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?"
He answered, "I do not know.
Am I my brother's keeper?"
The LORD then said: "What have you done!
Listen: your brother's blood cries out to me from the soil!
Therefore you shall be banned from the soil
that opened its mouth to receive
your brother's blood from your hand.
If you till the soil, it shall no longer give you its produce.
You shall become a restless wanderer on the earth."
Cain said to the LORD: "My punishment is too great to bear.
Since you have now banished me from the soil,
and I must avoid your presence
and become a restless wanderer on the earth,
anyone may kill me at sight."
"Not so!" the LORD said to him.
"If anyone kills Cain, Cain shall be avenged sevenfold."
So the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest anyone should kill him at sight.

Adam again had relations with his wife,
and she gave birth to a son whom she called Seth.
"God has granted me more offspring in place of Abel," she said,
"because Cain slew him."

Responsorial Psalm

50:1 and 8, 16bc-17, 20-21

R. (14a) Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
God the LORD has spoken and summoned the earth,

from the rising of the sun to its setting.
"Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,

for your burnt offerings are before me always."
R. Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
"Why do you recite my statutes,

and profess my covenant with your mouth
Though you hate discipline

and cast my words behind you?"
R. Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
"You sit speaking against your brother;

against your mother's son you spread rumors.
When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it?

Or do you think that I am like yourself?

I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes."
R. Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.


Jn 14:6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Mk 8:11-13

The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus,
seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.
He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said,
"Why does this generation seek a sign?
Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation."
Then he left them, got into the boat again,
and went off to the other shore.


Daily Meditation: Genesis 4:1-15, 25

Why are you so resentful and crestfallen? (Genesis 4:6)

How many times can you spot God's compassion for Cain in today's first reading? First, he engages Cain in a conversation, asking why he is "crestfallen" (Genesis 4:6). Then he warns him that "sin is a demon lurking at the door" of his heart (4:7). Finally, even after Cain disobeys the Lord and murders his brother, God cares for him by saying that "if anyone kills Cain, Cain shall be avenged sevenfold" (4:15).

God's devotion to Cain, even in the midst of his sin, hurt, and disobedience, is a profound story that shows us the way God looks upon us as well. He cares about us and wants to protect us from sin. What's more, no matter how many times we sin, no matter how many times we fall, he is ready to welcome us when we turn back to him in repentance.

Do you know someone who may be acting in a hurtful manner, either toward you, someone else, or even themselves? As he did with Cain, God wants that person to know that he is a loving and forgiving God. He wants everyone to know that he will even leave behind the ninety-nine to go after that one lost sheep (Matthew 18:12-14).

But God calls you to be his ambassador in this mission of compassion and mercy. You can reach out to someone who seems confused, hurt, or lost. Begin by engaging them in conversation. Ask them how they are doing and be genuinely interested in their response. Offer to help. If the person is open, you can ask to pray with them, and you can also promise to pray for them. Even these small things may be a step out of your comfort zone, especially if the person is acting in a way that is hurtful, but God will bless your efforts.

God has offered each of us, in our weakness, sin, and hurt, the same compassion that he offered Cain. It's the same compassion that he offers to everyone. Let's follow his example and be a witness of his love.

"Jesus, teach me how to treat people with the love and compassion you have for them."

Psalm 50:1, 8, 16-17, 20-21
Mark 8:11-13



Can you stop reading this right now and pray for one minute? If you cannot, you are in serious trouble; you are addicted to work and action as to a drug. You are a slave. If you can but you will not, you are in even more serious trouble; for that means you do not love God as much as you love whatever else you are doing.
— Peter Kreeft
from his book Prayer for Beginners


"Why are you so resentful and crestfallen." asked our Lord to tempted Cain. Why are you feeling less than? What's happening in your heart? Our Lord continues:
"If you do well, you can hold up your head".
I know when I'm not doing well (spiritually) I cannot hold up my head, that is, look to Heaven as deeply connected as before. I cannot, it is built into the consciousness, and our Lord continues: "but if not, sin is a demon lurking at the door: his urge is toward you, yet you can be his master."
Sinful temptations become interior urges. What urged Cain to kill Abel? Eve's original temptation carries on. Faithlessness is the ultimate urge that kills another. It is the reason for abortion. It is the reason for demonic pride. It is the reason to lose faith. It is a direct act against faith. And to that end we go if we succumb to temptation, if we choose to let others die rather than us. This is why a person insults another, to save oneself, rather than to lose oneself. To win. To defeat another. And we know now, that to cast death onto another, an insult even, is to cast it onto oneself. My friend, I'm writing to you in faith. I have faith that you will have faith. I have faith that you will be strong. Meet the strongest man on earth. Our Lord our Christ.


We pray: "Offer to God a sacrifice of praise. "You sit speaking against your brother; against your mother's son you spread rumors. When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it?

Or do you think that I am like yourself? I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes."
Offer to God a sacrifice of praise. A true praise.


In the Holy Gospel we heard; "The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus,
seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him." The name Israel means quarreling with God, wrestling with God. And here is Israel, arguing with God. They wanted a sign. What sign? They wanted a sign that THEY wanted to see. Not what God wanted them to see.

"He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said, "Why does this generation seek a sign? Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation."
And sure enough, they did not get their sign. Not until the next generation, like the generation after Cain and Abel. Not until they acting as Cain would slaughter the shepherd Abel, the Lord. He would plead for mercy for them on the cross. Only then, did the sign come from Heaven. The Holy Spirit speaks.
What sign do you need to believe my child?
What is it that you need to see?
And if you saw it with your own eyes, would you finally believe in Him? Would you...give your life, sacrifice your life to Him in true praise and gratitude forever? What if I told you that is not necessarily true? Because I have seen what a normal person is not allowed to see in His Passion, yet still I am a complete fool living in folly. But I never asked to see the sign of the cross. And so I am even more perplexed. It is a bitter and sweet sign. Just like in Revelation and the scroll to be tasted and ingested. The Word becomes true. And so what we ask for is in need of light. We must ask our Lord to explain to us what this means. What does He mean when He refuses to grant our request?

To me, it has been life saving, to not have some requests granted. To see Him means death to self. To see His works and be amazed, means life to the soul.

Lord, I ask for nothing more today than to live in awe, a true fear of Your Holy Love. To let my heart be unabashedly Yours. To let others be loved better by You, but do not forget Me. To let others be more, but let me be Yours still. To let others ridicule me and be ungrateful to me, but let me serve you Love still even then. And so Lord, I ask for grace, this amazing humble gift from Heaven...forever!

from your brother in Christ our Lord,


Random online bible verse from a random verse generator:


Colossians 3:1–2
Put On the New Self

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.


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