†Saint Said: "It is suffering, more than anything else, which clears the way for the grace which transforms human souls. Suffering, more than anything else makes present in the history of humanity the powers of the Redemption." — Pope St. John Paul II
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY "The divine activity permeates the whole universe, it pervades every creature; wherever they are it is there; it goes before them, with them, and it follows them; all they have to do is to let the waves bear them on. Would to God that ... all men could know how very easy it would be for them to arrive at a high degree of sanctity. They would only have to fulfill the simple duties of Christianity and of their state in life; to embrace with submission the crosses belonging to that state, and to submit with faith and love to the designs of Providence in all those things that have to be done or suffered without going out of their way to seek occasions for themselves. ... This is the spirituality of all ages and of every state. No state of life can, assuredly, be sanctified in a more exalted manner, nor in a more wonderful and easy way than by the simple use of the means that God, the sovereign director of souls, gives them to do or to suffer at each moment." — Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade, p. 8 AN EXCERPT FROM Abandonment to Divine Providence
† VERSE OF THE DAY "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few." Matthew 7:13-14
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ST. GERMAINE COUSIN
St. Germaine Cousin (1579–1601) was born in a remote French village to a peasant farmer. She was born with a deformed right arm and a disease that causes abscesses in her neck. Her mother died when she was an infant, and her father remarried. Due to Germaine's deformities, her stepmother was thoroughly disgusted with her. She severely neglected and physically abused the child, and taught others to do the same. Starving, sick, and dressed in rags with no shoes, Germaine was forced to sleep in the barn. Her stepmother once attempted to kill her off by sending her to tend sheep near a wolf-infested forest. St. Germaine was a simple and pious child, and through her extreme hardships she developed a deep interior life. She prayed the rosary and went to Mass daily, leaving her sheep to the care of her guardian angel. Even though she was emaciated, she shared the little food she had with beggars. Her piety was admired by the village children, and adults gradually became aware of her holiness, especially when news of her miracles began to circulate. St. Germaine died at the age of twenty-two, succumbing to her poor living conditions. Many years later her body was found incorrupt. Villagers began praying for her intercession and receiving miraculous cures, resulting in her canonization in 1867. St. Germaine is the patron saint of unattractive people, peasant girls, abuse victims, handicapped people, and abandoned people. Her feast day is June 15th.
Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 366 Reading I
2 Cor 8:1-9
We want you to know, brothers and sisters, of the grace of God that has been given to the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, the abundance of their joy and their profound poverty overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For according to their means, I can testify, and beyond their means, spontaneously, they begged us insistently for the favor of taking part in the service to the holy ones, and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and to us through the will of God, so that we urged Titus that, as he had already begun, he should also complete for you this gracious act also. Now as you excel in every respect, in faith, discourse, knowledge, all earnestness, and in the love we have for you, may you excel in this gracious act also.
I say this not by way of command, but to test the genuineness of your love by your concern for others. For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that for your sake he became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich.
146:2, 5-6ab, 6c- 7, 8-9a
R. (1b) Praise the Lord, my soul! or: R. Alleluia. Praise the LORD, my soul!
I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God while I live.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul! or: R. Alleluia. Blessed he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD, his God, Who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them. R. Praise the Lord, my soul! or: R. Alleluia. Who keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets captives free. R. Praise the Lord, my soul! or: R. Alleluia. The LORD gives sight to the blind. The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
the LORD loves the just. The LORD protects strangers. R. Praise the Lord, my soul! or: R. Alleluia.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus said to his disciples: "You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."
Daily Meditation: Matthew 5:43-48
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)
These may be among Jesus' most challenging words. We know how difficult it is to love even those closest to us. So how can we even hope to love our enemies or pray for those who persecute us—let alone achieve perfection?
There is only one possible answer to that question: through God's grace. "We won't have the grace to do what God is not asking of us," writes spiritual author and preacher Fr. Jacques Philippe. "But for what he is asking, he has promised his grace: God grants what he commands" (In the School of the Holy Spirit).
So if Jesus is asking us to be perfect, then it is because he stands ready and willing to give us all the grace we need. By the power of his Spirit and by the gift of the sacraments, God is always pouring out grace to help us go beyond the limitations of our fallen humanity.
However, the problem often lies in our failure to trust in God's grace. When we hear Jesus' words, our tendency is to double down and strive extra hard toward the goal of complete perfection. "If I can just work a little harder," we think, "I just might get there."
For example, you might be having trouble forgiving someone who has offended you. But just willing forgiveness doesn't always soften an injured heart. The better answer is to cooperate with God's grace by bringing your resentment and anger to prayer. Surrender it to the Lord when you receive Communion. Seek God's healing grace in Confession. If you ask the Spirit to soften your heart, you'll find it easier to forgive.
This doesn't happen right away. It may take time before you are able to love someone who has hurt you. But as you call on the Spirit and ask him to fill you with his grace, you will find yourself doing what you never could have done on your own. Maybe you'll begin praying for an "enemy"—or even become one of their trusted friends!
None of us will ever become truly perfect, but we can confidently rely on the overflowing grace of God to help us come as close as possible.
"Heavenly Father, help me to receive all the grace of the Holy Spirit that I need today."
2 Corinthians 8:1-9 Psalm 146:2, 5-9
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my2cents: We heard in Corinthians: "I say this not by way of command, but to test the genuineness of your love by your concern for others. For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that for your sake he became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich." What if we are tested on earth? Some agnostics and atheists despise this very notion. I heard one tell me "it's like God is playing games with people". It is a statement that says it despises the very notion that God is in control, and we are not, and in that very statement, it means we are spitting in the wind, it comes back to hit our own faces. But if God is testing us, and we know this as in His final words in the Lord's prayer mean "do not let us fall into temptation" means do not submit us to the final test, or as Pope Francis would like it understood as it should "do not let us fall into temptation" as the Lord does not do the leading, we lead ourselves into temptation island, alone. So what if we are in a test?
It means that God loves us so much, He gives us free will, to choose, and now we start in Genesis, in the beginning, the meaning of life.
Let us pray today: "Blessed he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD, his God, Who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them. Praise the Lord, my soul!" And so by creating a world with free will, we are in a world that naturally has a need, and mores specifically, a supernatural need, and that need is to fulfill all our needs, to know the Creator, to love with all our hearts, and to serve Him love in return. Now we are speaking words from Heaven.
Our Lord speaks: "You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust." Remember how our Lord works, in mysterious ways, and how things work backwards, like the message of the cross, the crucifixion. And today, our Lord says "LOVE your enemies". He didn't say "to like them". Love costs something, remember? Love is a one way giving thing, and as a description of love says "to will the good of the other".
And so, we must will the good of the enemy, always. So how can we love our enemies? Who are enemies? Do you have enemies? Let's take our soft nation for instance. Modern enemies are called bullies. They are mean to you. They make fun of you. They hurt your feelings. Our Lord asks us to love them. How do you love a bully that pushes you around and shoves you off to a side every time they come up to you and run into you?
Let's keep reading before we answer. Hear our Lord words: "For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."
We have no further to look than to our Lord to see how to love our enemies.
Long before they tortured Him, they were bullying Him, pushing Him even to the edge of a cliff. It was the devil always. So bear with me, things get deep. Christ died at the hands of who He wanted to be His children, but these folks were induced and seduced by the world and the devil. Now things are getting scary. Let's think about a possessed person. That is a person! Let's think about the unborn child, that is a person! Now that we've acknowledged a person, we can acknowledge the presence of a soul. And now a battle for souls begins. And now a test begins. A love test. Our Lord died asking God our Father for their forgiveness...all the way to the cross is love. It is a self crucifixion, not suicide, but death to hatred, death to sin, death to self love and self preservation. Our world only teaches self preservation, and they are teaching to love sin.
We are taught to hate sin, but not the person. Hate evil, because we know what evil does to those who love sin. Think simply of a drug, what it does to a drug addict. And many are hooked on legal drugs too, alcohol, anti depressants, and the list goes on and on like opioids. Sin is a drug, and it brings down many addicts. It leads to death.
In the most successful treatments, we are taught to depend on a Savior, namely, Jesus Christ, which means Jesus Savior, Messiah. So be perfect. Not imperfect.
To be perfect, we must know what perfect is. It is Christ. Impeccable, free from a sin, through His Grace for Mother. Born of Grace, and of the Father, Love. And He is now bestowed in the world, Love and Grace. Can you be perfect? The world says no. But God says yes. "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." He wouldn't command it, if He wouldn't avail you the grace to do it. If we want to be perfect, we must then obtain grace. Grace is availed in the Holy Sacraments, a tighter union and life with Christ. It is a path less taken, but makes a beautiful light for the world. Ok, let's get down to earth. I pray for those who contradict me. I pray for those who are not following the path. I pray for those that make me mad. And something happens when you pray...you will the good for them, and then your heart softens....and mercy shows up like a miracle. Life changes, and we can change it for the better...the Kingdom Of Heaven, the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Love!
Let's pray: Lord, I belong to You.
I belong to Your Kingdom. I belong to You Father, Love.
I Love You Father, and I want to Love You Forever. I pray for all Your children, my brothers and sisters...forever.
from your brother in Christ our Lord, adrian
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Matthew 5:46–48 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers,1 what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
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