Tuesday, February 23, 2021

...This Is How You Are To.... †


Mercy Falls Like Rain

Mercy Falls Like Rain"As the rain and snow come down from the heavens and do not return without watering the earth and making it the word does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do" (Isaiah 55:10–11).

Isaiah is writing in the fullness of the Babylonian exile, Jerusalem has fallen, no end in sight, and still he (some say "she"!) can speak with totally calm inevitability, kind certainty, and even joyful trust. (Treat yourself and open your Bible to 55:12–13 to see the final exclamation point, which is not included in the Lectionary reading.)

Then we have Matthew's version of the "Our Father," preceded by a warning against "rattling on" with too many prayers, and ending with a promise of a perfect and fair equivalence between how you forgive and how you will be forgiven. Jesus made the essential requirement for the forgiveness of sin rather clear and definitive here: As you do it, it will be done to you. If you do not do it, it cannot be done to you.

We are merely and forever inside of the divine flow, just like Isaiah's "rain and snow." Forgiveness is not some churchy technique or formula. Forgiveness is constant from God's side, which should become a calm, joyous certainty on our side. Mercy received will be mercy passed on, and "will not return to me empty, until it has succeeded in what it was sent to do."

—from the book Wondrous Encounters: Scriptures for Lent
by Richard Rohr, OFM


†Saint Quote
"I will attempt day by day to break my will into pieces. I want to do God's Holy Will, not my own."
— St. Gabriel Possenti

"God sees you in secret. Know that he sees into your very depths, infinitely farther than you do yourself. Make a simple, lively act of faith in his presence. Christian soul, place yourself entirely under his gaze. He is very near. He is present, for he gives being and motion to all things. Yet you must believe more; you must believe with a lively faith that he is present to you by giving you all of your good thoughts from within, as holding in his hand the source from which they come, and not only the good thoughts, but also whatever good desires, good resolutions, and ev¬ery good act of the will, from its very first beginning and birth to its final perfection. Believe, too, that he is in the souls of the just, and that he makes his dwelling there within, according to these words of the Lord: 'We will come to him and make our home with him' (John 14:23). He is there in a stable and permanent way: he makes his home there. Desire that he should be in you in this way. Offer yourself to him as his dwelling and temple. Now come out, and with the same faith that enables you to see him within you, look upon him in Heaven, where he manifests himself to his beloved. It is there that he awaits you. Run. Fly. Break your chains; break all the bonds that tie you down to flesh and blood. O God, when shall I see you? When will I have that pure heart that enables you to be seen, in yourself, outside of yourself, ev¬erywhere? O Light that enlightens the world! O Life that gives life to all the living! O Truth that feeds us all! O Good that satisfies us all! O Love that binds all together! I praise you, my heavenly Father, who sees me in secret."
— Jacques-BĂ©nigne Bossuet, p.4-5
Meditations for Lent

"Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all."
Isaiah 53:4-6


click to read more



St. Polycarp of Smyrna (c. 69-155 A.D.) became a Christian in his youth, a disciple of St. John the Evangelist. St. John ordained him Bishop of Smyrna (in modern day Turkey) and from this position Polycarp became one of the most illustrious of the Apostolic Fathers. His closeness with the Apostles, and the long life that he lived, enabled him to protect the Church against heresy. The account of his martyrdom is well-preserved and is one of the earliest in the Church. Knowing the government was seeking his life, he received a vision while praying that he would be burned alive. After his capture he was encouraged to submit to Caeser in order to be released, but he refused. He was then taken to a public arena to be killed. He gave an outstanding testimony, declaring that he had served Christ for 86 years. Witnesses of his execution saw the flames surround his body without burning it, and that Polycarp began to glow and emit a sweet aroma. This amazed the crowds, and his executioners were then ordered to stab him to death. St. Polycarp is the patron saint against dysentery and earache. His feast day is February 23rd.


Tuesday of the First Week of Lent

Lectionary: 225
Reading I

Is 55:10-11

Thus says the LORD:
Just as from the heavens

the rain and snow come down
And do not return there

till they have watered the earth,

making it fertile and fruitful,
Giving seed to the one who sows

and bread to the one who eats,
So shall my word be

that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me void,

but shall do my will,

achieving the end for which I sent it.

Responsorial Psalm

34:4-5, 6-7, 16-17, 18-19

R. (18b) From all their distress God rescues the just.
Glorify the LORD with me,

let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me

and delivered me from all my fears.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,

and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,

and from all his distress he saved him.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.
The LORD has eyes for the just,

and ears for their cry.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,

to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,

and from all their distress he rescues them.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;

and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.

Verse before the Gospel

Mt 4:4b

One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.


Mt 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
"In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

"This is how you are to pray:

Our Father who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name,

thy Kingdom come,

thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

"If you forgive men their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions."


Daily Meditation: Isaiah 55:10-11

My word . . . shall not return to me void. (Isaiah 55:11)

Have you ever been inside a greenhouse? Its transparent walls trap heat and humidity, creating a tropical atmosphere—even in the wintertime. The walls also keep out hungry herbivores. It's no wonder a greenhouse is such a fertile environment!

This may be a good metaphor for the practice of lectio divina, an ancient, prayerful way of reading Scripture. In today's first reading, we hear about the life-giving power of God's word. It's like rain that waters the earth and causes crops to grow and bear fruit. You could say that lectio divina is an especially fertile environment for growth.

In order to experience God's written word through lectio divina, you need to "wall yourself off" from distractions for a time. This creates space for the four traditional stages of this practice: reading, meditation, prayer, and contemplation.

Reading. Just as fertile soil helps plants grow, the words of Scripture are a rich medium in which we can experience God's grace. So unhurried reading of a short passage is the first step of lectio divina. This stage usually ends as you pause at a phrase—even a word—that catches your attention.

Meditation. Remember the greenhouse's clear walls that let in so much light? Similarly, you can invite the Holy Spirit to illuminate the truths in that phrase or word as you ponder it and turn it over in your mind.

Prayer. Next, bring your reflections before the Lord in the form of a prayerful conversation. Maybe you could thank him for a truth he has revealed. Or ask him whatever questions come into your heart. Then give him room to respond. At this point, the Lord may already be irrigating your soul with peace or joy.

Contemplation. Now be still and open. Allow anything God has said or done to soak in. Let his word take root within you—even if you don't immediately "feel" anything happening.

And that's it. But don't be fooled. Even though it's structured and simple, lectio divina contains living surprises, like any good greenhouse. You never know at which stage you may encounter the Lord walking through the garden.

"Lord, make your word come alive in my heart!"

Psalm 34:4-7, 16-19
Matthew 6:7-15



Let us dare to learn humility again! The humility that, in the confession of our sins, allows the Lord to wash our feet; the humility that gratefully acknowledges God's gifts in us and in others; the humility that does not bow to appearances and does not live by opinions; the humility that makes us free through the Lord.
— Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI)
from the book On Love: Selected Writings


"So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it."
When we repeat something, it tends to stick better. If you zip through a book, much may not stick. But if you ponder it, read the passages again, and again, much can come out of it. Such is the Word of our Lord. We ponder it together.
Our Lord says His word shall not return void, and that void is now entering your very soul. In speech, yes. In other people, yes. In reading, yes. But most importantly, in the Holy Eucharist, the Word becomes Flesh and flesh for your flesh, and who can fathom such a thought!


We pray: "the LORD has eyes for the just, and ears for their cry. The LORD confronts the evildoers, to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
From all their distress God rescues the just.". When you think of evildoers, who do you think of? The other day, I saw a group of workers huddled up watching something on someone's phone during lunch, what was so engrossing? I interrupted. I asked what they were watching, and one guy sitting far said "you don't want to watch this during lunch, you'll lose your lunch". Then they told me it was a video about what I understood to be narcos, or gangs in Mexico cutting the head off a guy and ripping his beating heart out. Yeah, pretty engrossing, isn't it? I didn't see it, but the the very thought haunted me for days. This kind of video is designed to engross you, drag you in, and put fear inside of you. I said something to the guys at that moment and they said "these people are not human, they are animals". After days of being saddened by the inhumanity of some souls, I turned to our own state. Abortion. Babies ripped apart in their own mothers' wombs. The sentencer? The baby's own mother, condemning her own child to death. The executor? Someone in it with a cold heart, a dead one mostly. And so the world pushes more abortions laws, even with a Catholic President. Giving word, consent, to allow, to be permissive of such inhumanity. That one video brings to light what darkness does to a fellow human being. It is terrible. And I wonder how today's Psalm works: "From all their distress God rescues the just." and who are the evildoers? How do we share in this injustice to humanity? One word...sin. And for this, we all must turn to our Lord on our knees. For we have shared in injustice with any sin, a departure from our Lord.


Our Lord asks us to consider our prayer: ""In praying, do not babble like the pagans...". What does this mean? I watched an evangelist on TV and he spoke about how something like 70% of religious people use beads to pray. And then he went on to say how wrong everyone was to pray like that. Protestants believe Catholics babble too much. I believe Protestants go on and on babbling too much at times too. So who's right? In the case of what they consider, rosaries, a babbling matter, repetitive words, they need to know and study different forms of prayer, meditative is the one used in rosaries. When I see an evangelist talk for hours on end, I must consider that they are preaching, not praying. So who's right? God is right. Meditative prayer sedates my soul. I cannot be still. My mind is on a thousand things at once. Even when I visit our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, I can't be still, my mind cannot be still. I've got many irons in many fires, I am in charge of many things, and I worry about many more. And the aim of the rosary is to quiet your restless soul. We say prayers and our souls are digging into the contemplative state brought about the meditative state. And some have the gift of contemplative state, to contemplate Him without saying a word. So who's the babbler again? We all are. I can preach till your face is blue, but that don't mean a thing. Let's notice the next thing our Lord says after telling us not to babble:

"who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them."
We all must be aware, Protestants and Catholics alike. Pagans babble on, that's where the name Babylon came from. The people were building a tower to self. They were saying "we can reach God" and then our Lord dispersed them, leaving them confused in their babbling. Recall the scripture when Elijah was put up against the pagans. The pagan priests, by the hundreds babbled, just rambled on and on! They were so desperate to be heard by their gods, they would cut open their veins and splurt blood all over, and nothing. Their gods were silent, as their blood spilled still. And then Elijah prayed one thing and immediately God heard, flames erupted and engulfed the sacrifice, and this after he had poured water everywhere to prove just how great God the faithful, to the true God from Heaven, our Lord, and our Father.

I'm sorry. I told you the Word goes super deep, and I've not even touched our Lord's prayer. But it is the same with His prayer. We Catholics pray the Lord's prayer always. And if we don't watch it, we can be babbling words without a cause. Like if I sing without meaning, I'm just singing and not praying. There is a difference my friend.
There is a world of difference. And when it comes to our Lord's prayer, they say there are seven stanzas, where the first three are directed at the Holy Trinity, and the next 4 pleadings for ourselves, in prayer and supplication to the Holy Trinity.
And it all begins with OUR Father.

Lord, Father, your prayer reconciles us, calling upon Heaven and Earth and no other prayers does this. It calls upon holiness. It calls upon strength. It calls on You O Lord. Please accept the words we say, so that they may become fruitful and to ultimately achieve the end....Your Holy Will

from your brother in Christ our Lord,


Random online bible verse from a random verse generator:

Hebrews 4:16
16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.


If one day you don't receive these, just visit
God Bless You! Peace

Powered by
GoDaddy Email Marketing ®