Story. That is the great gift the Scriptures give us in the infancy narratives of Matthew and Luke. And it is those stories and a few other short vignettes in the Gospels of Mark and John that form the basis of what we call mariology, the study of the theology that derives from the story of Mary and her son Jesus. And her son Jesus was and is the reason, the root, and the complementarity that makes her story complete... That is why we lift up our hearts and pray, as Christians have prayed for centuries, "Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen."
— from the book Nourishing Love: A Franciscan Celebration of Mary by Murray Bodo, OFM
†Saint Quote "The Lord has turned all our sunsets into sunrise." —St. Clement
†MEDITATION OF THE DAY "The freshness of a living hope in God fills the soul with such energy and resolution, with such aspirations after the things of eternal life, that all this world seems to it—as indeed it is—in comparison with that which it hopes for, dry, withered, dead, and worthless. The soul now denudes itself of the garments and trappings of the world, by setting the heart upon nothing that is in it, and hoping for nothing that is, or may be, in it, living only in the hope of everlasting life. And, therefore, when the heart is thus lifted up above the world, the world cannot touch it or lay hold of it, nor even see it. The soul then, thus disguised and clad in the vesture of hope, is secure from its second foe, the world, for St. Paul calls hope the helmet of salvation. Now a helmet is armor which protects and covers the whole head, and has no opening except in one place, where the eyes may look through. Hope is such a helmet, for it covers all the senses of the head of the soul in such a way that they cannot be lost in worldly things, and leaves no part of them exposed to the arrows of the world." — St. John of the Cross, p.175 AN EXCERPT FROM Dark Night of the Soul
†VERSE OF THE DAY "If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:31-32
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ST. ROSE VENERINI
St. Rose Venerini (1656–1728) was born in Italy, one of four children of a pious physician and his admirable wife. Rose was a bright and gifted child. At the age of seven she made a vow to consecrate her life to God. However, she was later conflicted between her vow and living in the world. At the age of 20 she knew she must make a decision between marriage and the cloister, the only two options available to women of her day, both of which she esteemed. After much prayer and suffering she entered a monastery. Only a few months passed before she returned home upon the sudden death of her father. This was followed not long after by the deaths of her brother and mother. Still yearning to respond to God's call to the consecrated life, she began by gathering together the young women of her neighborhood to pray the rosary. She was struck by the cultural, moral, and spiritual poverty of the women, and their lack of basic Christian formation. This inspired her to begin a school for their instruction and human formation, which became Italy's first public school for girls. This was an innovation in her day, as teaching catechism belonged to the clergy. After facing initial resistance, the fruit of her work and the moral improvement of the women became evident to all. The Pope himself attended one of her classes and praised her work. Governors and cardinals asked her to open schools in their areas. Over the course of her life she opened 40 schools across Italy dedicated to the education and promotion of women for the uplifting and ennobling of society. "Educate to save" became her motto. Her feast day is May 7th.
Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 289 Reading I
The Apostles and presbyters, in agreement with the whole Church, decided to choose representatives and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. The ones chosen were Judas, who was called Barsabbas, and Silas, leaders among the brothers. This is the letter delivered by them: "The Apostles and the presbyters, your brothers, to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia of Gentile origin: greetings. Since we have heard that some of our number who went out without any mandate from us have upset you with their teachings and disturbed your peace of mind, we have with one accord decided to choose representatives and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. So we are sending Judas and Silas who will also convey this same message by word of mouth: 'It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage. If you keep free of these, you will be doing what is right. Farewell.'"
And so they were sent on their journey. Upon their arrival in Antioch they called the assembly together and delivered the letter. When the people read it, they were delighted with the exhortation.
57:8-9, 10 and 12
R. (10a) I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord. or: R. Alleluia. My heart is steadfast, O God; my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and chant praise. Awake, O my soul; awake, lyre and harp!
I will wake the dawn. R. I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord. or: R. Alleluia. I will give thanks to you among the peoples, O LORD,
I will chant your praise among the nations. For your mercy towers to the heavens,
and your faithfulness to the skies. Be exalted above the heavens, O God;
above all the earth be your glory! R. I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord. or: R. Alleluia.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. I call you my friends, says the Lord, for I have made known to you all that the Father has told me. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus said to his disciples: "This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another."
Daily Meditation: John 15:12-17
I have called you friends. (John 15:15)
Have you ever thought about what it means to be a "friend of God"? Moses, who received the Ten Commandments, spoke to God "as a person speaks to a friend" (Exodus 33:11). Abraham was called a "friend of God" (James 2:23) because he believed God's promises about becoming the "father of a multitude of nations" (Genesis 17:5). We might think that if all of God's friends are like these two, we'll never make it into such an elite group!
But take a look at the disciples. Jesus called them his friends, but most of them had serious flaws and moments of weakness. Peter denied Jesus (John 18:17, 25, 27); Thomas doubted (20:25); James and John were ambitious (Mark 10:37). And the list goes on. Not only that, but Moses and Abraham, as holy as they were, were far from perfect. It seems that our accomplishments might not be what make us friends of God after all.
The truth is, you don't have to do something special or be perfect to be Jesus' friend. You are his friend simply because he has chosen you. Jesus knows everything about you, and still he calls you his friend. He actually enjoys being with you!
Think about the relationship you have with your friends. You want to spend time with them, to hear what they have to say and know what's going on in their lives. Jesus wants that type of closeness with you.
The more you get to know Jesus as a friend, the more you will value that relationship. You will appreciate the great gift of being chosen by Jesus. You'll be all the more eager to please him and to become like him. That's why Jesus says that his friends do what he commands (John 15:14)—not because they are slaves forced to obey, but because they are friends who love and want to be like the one who loves them.
Yes, Jesus chose you first, but you can choose him every day. You can choose every day to respond to the gift of his friendship by loving him and trying to follow in his footsteps.
"Lord, thank you for choosing me to be your friend. Help me to respond to this gift today with my own choices to follow you!"
Acts 15:22-31 Psalm 57:8-10, 12
Loving God, who sees in us nothing that you have not given yourself, make my body healthy and agile, my mind sharp and clear, my heart joyful and contented, my soul faithful and loving. And surround me with the company of men and angels who share my devotion to you. Above all, let me live in your presence, for with you all fear is banished, and there is only harmony and peace. — St. Thomas Aquinas
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"'It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage. If you keep free of these, you will be doing what is right. Farewell.' It is a way of keeping the commandments, honoring our Father above all, not having other idols, or participating in any type of idol worship, right? And keeping lawful marriages. There is a strange quieting that has happened with the pandemic, that I am content with. No idol worshiping, like sports and leisure and vacationing idols, or movies. All things that make us think of them above all, pay homage and money and time and so forth. If the pandemic plague is lifted, I hope we keep the quiet peace still in our hearts, to spend more time with God our Father. And by the way, thank you for being faithful. You will be delighted in the end. I do ask for help in praying for marriages. In the last year and a half, I've not witnessed or heard of many births or marriages, I was involved with one last month, the parents of my RCIA teen student for first Communion. We need more Holy Marriages, for the sake of life. And think of what marriage means, two united into one, because it is meant to be an image of Man and God. It has been so from the beginning. We must honor our Lord in His righteous will.
We pray in the Psalms: "My heart is steadfast, O God; my heart is steadfast; I will sing and chant praise. Awake, O my soul; awake, lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn. I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord." And so I pray that we are steadfast, in our walk, in the Way, of Christ our Savior. I hope this helps in your walk, to remain!
Our Lord speaks: "This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you." These are the new commandments that are now added, and thus transforms the previous commandments, as if to have revealed the truth behind them....love God, and one another.
And our Lord ends today with the same words again: "This I command you: love one another." Is it possible to love on another? Think of your family. Is it possible? Think of those you can't get along with, is it possible? Deep down, there is a yearning to do so, even for the worst of haters. And so, our Lord proves it on the cross. The people He died for, He showed that Love is possible even if rejected. Can you love like that? You see, my friend, what we fail to see is that Love is a one way street. To give is to not expect anything in return. Our Lord gave His life for us, His only Son. Given! And how did we return Him to Heaven? He went back tattered and torn, ravaged by our sins and demonic hatred. His flesh was ripped open, head beaten, thorns pricks on his head into His skull, and holes in His hands and feet, and a lance thrust into His heart. Can you imagine seeing Him like that? Scars.
What will it be like in Heaven to see Him...and then see the scars our sins have caused Him?
We will be like Peter "Depart from Me Lord, for I am a sinner".
But our Lord holds us as we attempt to walk away. "I do Love You". So how can I not love those around me today?
Let us pray: Lord, how do You do it? It doesn't take much for my anger to flare. It doesn't take much for me to ignore someone. How do you Love unconditionally? I want that love to grow in Me, so that no matter what happens, grace prevails, and You win, Love wins always. For the sake of the world, and Your sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world...
from your brother in Christ our Lord, adrian
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Random Bible Verse from online generator:
Ecclesiastes 1:12 New International Version Wisdom Is Meaningless
12 I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
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