Thursday, March 4, 2021

...If They Will Not Listen ... †


From Our Very Beginning God Is

What I love is that Psalm 139 takes us all the way back to when we first became. It reveres the beauty of our very beginnings and returns us to the miracle of our mothers. Even being carried within a womb, as each and every one of us was, God met us there. How many times have we heard, "You're born alone and you die alone"? Psalm 139 dispels this, assuring us that even before our birth, when we were being woven, kneaded, and knitted, we had a holy spirit paralleling us. Could there be anything more comforting than this belief, that we had this connection to God way back, starting within the cocoon of our own creation?

—from the book What Was Lost: Seeking Refuge in the Psalms

by Maureen O'Brien


†Saint Quote
"Act, and God will act, work and He will work."
— St. Joan of Arc

"Christian life is a retreat. We are 'not of this world', just as Jesus Christ is 'not of this world' (John 17:14). What is the world? It is, as St. John said, the 'lust of the flesh', that is, sensuality and corruption in our desires and deeds; 'the lust of the eyes', curiosity, avarice, illusion, fascination, error, and folly in the affectation of learning, and, finally, pride and ambition (1 John 2:16). To these evils of which the world is full, and which make up its substance, a retreat must be set in opposition. We need to make ourselves into a desert by a holy detachment. Christian life is a battle ... We must never cease to fight. In this battle, St. Paul teaches us to make an eternal abstinence, that is, to cut ourselves off from the pleasures of the senses and guard our hearts from them ... it was to repair and to expiate the failings of our retreat, of our battle against temptations, of our abstinence, that Jesus was driven into the desert. His fast of forty days prefigured the lifelong one that we are to practice by abstaining from evil deeds and by containing our desires within the limits laid down by the law of God."
— Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, p. 17-18
Meditations for Lent

"For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their "shame." Their minds are occupied with earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ."
Philippians 3:18-20


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St. Casimir of Poland (1458-1484) was the second son of King Casimir IV and Queen Elizabeth of Austria, one of thirteen children born to them in the royal palace at Cracow. Casimir committed his life to God from an early age, thanks in part to a brilliant and pious priest who served as the royal tutor. He turned away from the privileges of his station in life and instead exercised extreme asceticism and self-denial. He wore a hairshirt under his clothes, slept on the cold ground, and knelt in prayer for long hours outside of locked churches. At the age of thirteen the Hungarians requested Prince Casimir to rule their country as king, which he accepted in the hope of defending the Christian nation against the Turks. However, the plan did not come to fruition and he returned home to continue his life of prayer, penance, and generosity to the poor. He later ruled Poland for a few short years while his father attended royal business in Lithuania. Casimir took a vow of celibacy which he upheld despite immense political pressure to marry. He suffered from a chronic lung condition, which he succumbed to in 1484 at the age of 25. Many miracles were attributed to his intercession after his death. St. Casimir is the patron saint of Poland, Lithuania, and young people. His feast day is March 4th.


Thursday of the Second Week of Lent

Lectionary: 233
Reading I

Jer 17:5-10

Thus says the LORD:
Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings,

who seeks his strength in flesh,

whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He is like a barren bush in the desert

that enjoys no change of season,
But stands in a lava waste,

a salt and empty earth.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,

whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters

that stretches out its roots to the stream:
It fears not the heat when it comes,

its leaves stay green;
In the year of drought it shows no distress,

but still bears fruit.
More tortuous than all else is the human heart,

beyond remedy; who can understand it?
I, the LORD, alone probe the mind

and test the heart,
To reward everyone according to his ways,

according to the merit of his deeds.

Responsorial Psalm

1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6

R. (40:5a) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not

the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,

nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD

and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
He is like a tree

planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,

and whose leaves never fade.

Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Not so, the wicked, not so;

they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,

but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Verse before the Gospel

See Lk 8:15

Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.


Lk 16:19-31

Jesus said to the Pharisees:
"There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man's table.
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
When the poor man died,
he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried,
and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,
he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off
and Lazarus at his side.
And he cried out, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me.
Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,
for I am suffering torment in these flames.'
Abraham replied, 'My child,
remember that you received what was good during your lifetime
while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;
but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established
to prevent anyone from crossing
who might wish to go from our side to yours
or from your side to ours.'
He said, 'Then I beg you, father, send him
to my father's house,
for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them,
lest they too come to this place of torment.'
But Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the prophets.
Let them listen to them.'
He said, 'Oh no, father Abraham,
but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'
Then Abraham said,
'If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded
if someone should rise from the dead.'"


Daily Meditation: Luke 16:19-31

Lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus. (Luke 16:20)

How are we to respond to today's Gospel passage? It might leave us feeling uncomfortable, intimidated, or even somewhat guilty. Jesus told this parable to wake us up to the reality of the poor—people who are right in front of us but whom we do not see because we are too focused on ourselves. These are the people whom, like Lazarus, God cares for deeply. He suffers when any one of them suffers, and he calls us to respond to their cries. So what can we do?

First, we can pray, not just for the person suffering, but for ourselves as well. We can pray for the grace to see the world through God's eyes so that we don't overlook the people who are most in need. That doesn't have to be someone who is materially poor. It could also be anyone who is spiritually poor—anyone who is lonely, neglected, or lost in some way. We could also pray that we become more willing to reach out to these people, even if it makes us feel uncomfortable or even if we feel we are too busy.

Second, we can ask God how he is inviting us to respond. There are, of course, many ministries to the poor that could use more volunteers, and there are homeless people who could use an extra couple of dollars or a hot cup of coffee. But don't forget about the Lazarus right at your door as well. Is there someone in your life who needs a personal connection, someone who needs to feel loved, cared for, and accepted for who they are?

Finally, we can intercede. We don't have to stop at praying for the person we are helping. We can offer to pray with them. We could pray that God would lead them to a better situation. We could pray for healing. We could pray that they would experience God's abundant love and mercy.

God wants us to have the same generous heart that he has, one ready to give freely to people in need. Jesus' parable shows us just how important it is to God that we take care of one another. So today, open your eyes and your heart to someone who could use more of God's love in their life—through your prayers, through your presence, and through your provision.

"Jesus, give me your heart for the 'Lazarus' at my door."

Jeremiah 17:5-10
Psalm 1:1-4, 6



When God made you, He thought about every detail of your appearance, your personality, your abilities, and your heart. The truth is that not only did God make you–you are His masterpiece! He looks at you and is thrilled with what He has made.
— Lisa Brenninkmeyer
from Between You and Me: Mother-Daughter Journal and Devotional


"I, the LORD, alone probe the mind and test the heart, To reward everyone according to his ways, according to the merit of his deeds."

This scripture would possibly be torn out of the bible as many other books by Protestants, and why? They say faith alone. Because they do not believe in works. Our Lord tests us. He tests Job. He tests Moses. He tests you too. And He rewards good deeds, as we will see when our Lord Jesus speaks about Lazarus.


First we pray: "Blessed the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, But delights in the law of the LORD and meditates on his law day and night."
Our Lord speaks of Lazarus, and I find many similarities of Him and Lazarus. An outcast. A poor person. A rejected person outside the gate (of Jerusalem). Why? It was His choice not to side with the insolent. Holiness means to be separated from (evil). This is amazing. We can separate ourselves from them (the evil). That is the purpose of Lent.


Our Lord says a long story about Lazarus and in it said: "Abraham replied, 'My child,
remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad...". What bad did he receive? We all like the good life, good food, good times, honor and respect, all things gluttony and glory...right? I mean, when's the last time you went days and days without food? Without scraps? Without medical attention, totally forgotten, abandoned, rejected and alone? Right? Our Lord was. And our Father in Heaven sees the bad, the suffering, and His desire grows ever more for the poor one, to be nourished, and so, He builds up an abundant harvest for him, like Joseph the dreamer in Egypt, who was rejected and sold, basically killed out of the family.

Instead, Lazarus was ignored, and the question is why? Why are the poor ignored in our life? The mantra says "that's not my problem" or "God will help them". Who is dying at your door, the gate of your town, and neighboring country? Right now, the persecuted are the unborn, and they are coming after your religion next. Blood thirst never ends. And these demons have names. They are actual huge demons from hell. But, we are too busy to defend. We got lives to live! Mind you, there are a few brave souls giving their lives to fight these powerful demons, but they need our help. We are, in this world, the church militant. Believe it or not, your prayers are super important. Why? Because we are joined in Holy Baptism. You and I are making a difference in our attitude, our prayer life, our works and our words in the whole of Church Life.

I am encouraging you to help the rejected. I am encouraging you before the day of wrath. When is that going to happen? We all know it, it is the day of each everyone's judgement. When I help at funerals, I know who has the biggest heartaches and tears. It's not normally the loving wife, nor the obedient children, it's always the disobedient or unloving wife that have remorse if there is any. They are bitter tears of self hatred. And then my job becomes one of picking up souls from the floor, to make them see the Lord as I have seen Him. As a Savior. As our Father. As true hope in the darkness.

So why did Jesus cry when his own friend Lazarus died? He experienced loss, sure, but His heart was moved by his sisters and family, who were so sad, that moved Him to tears.

How can God cry? How can God reward our good deeds? Is He for real? He cries again at the garden of Gethsemane, and sweats blood of anguish, extreme anxiety, the kind we may never know. This is amazing. Why did God give us Himself in His Son? Some people, mostly atheists and agnostics ask "why is there evil?" To find the answer, you must come to know God. If you want a simple answer, you won't understand or accept it.
If you want the true answer, you must travel into the depths of time and creation to realize how amazing the answer is. The refiner's fire is good my friend.

So take courage my child. Our time is finite in this age. Therefore, be prudent in your investment, of time, money, talents, treasures, thoughts, and prayers. If you become holier, I become holier. If I become a saint, you become a saint. I've always said it, saints spawn saints. If you feel like having a good time instead of devoting to God time, there's the error, there's the ignorance of Christ, there's the missing of seeing Lazarus. He's alone in every Church almost 24 hours a day. The sickly will not come knocking. The poor can't afford to come to your mansion. You are too busy, they are too humble. You are too heavily fortified with all your doings. But there He is prostrated on the ground, giving his life to God, therefore, to all of us.

Lord, thou art like Lazarus, and I need thee in my life. And in this picture, it'd seem like thou should need me more, but alas, it is I who needs the Savior of the World. I love thy Sacred Heart that bleeds at my step...Help us find thy precious blood and lick it like the dogs that assisted thee at the Divine Hour....

from your brother in Christ our Lord,


Random online bible verse from a random verse generator:

Colossians 1:17–18

17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.


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

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