†Saint Said: "Christ is my Spouse. He chose me first and His I will be. He made my soul beautiful with the jewels of grace and virtue. I belong to Him whom the angels serve." — St. Agnes
†MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Habits are being formed here under the pressure of temptation and difficulty that unfold in perfect form and beauty when the soul that has developed these habits passes into its true home. Those very temptations that made it so difficult to persevere were really the means of developing these powers. The spirit of prayer and worship grew on; hampered and oppressed by the distractions of life, it fought its way in spite of them and thus gained strength; then, when all these were removed, it opened out unhindered in its perfect growth. Now, there is one fundamental principle of the spiritual life that has to be learned and practiced here, mostly with suffering, often with the very keenest suffering, although so closely associated with it that it almost seems a necessary part of it, is indeed only accidental, and one day will altogether cease, while the grace that has been fought for and developed in so much agony will live on forever, and be the delight of the soul through eternity." — Fr. Basil Maturin, p. 44-45 AN EXCERPT FROM Spiritual Guidelines for Souls Seeking God
†VERSE OF THE DAY "But without faith it is impossible to please him, for anyone who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him." Hebrews 11:6
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NATIVITY OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST
A family relation of Jesus, St. John the Baptist is called "the Forerunner" because he was sent by God to "prepare the way of the Lord" ahead of Jesus' public ministry. The birth of St. John the Baptist to his elderly and previously barren parents, Zechariah and Elizabeth, is recorded in St. Luke's Gospel. His birth was announced to his father Zechariah by the Archangel Gabriel, who also brought the news of Christ's birth to the Blessed Virgin Mary. John the Baptist's nativity is one of only three birthdays celebrated by the Church, along with the nativities of Jesus and Mary. Though not an official dogma, according to ancient tradition St. John the Baptist was freed from original sin at the moment his mother heard the greeting of the Blessed Virgin at the Visitation, causing John to leap in his mother's womb through the action of the Holy Spirit. So, like Jesus and Mary, St. John would have been born without sin, and therefore his birthday is also worthy of special honor. Because Christ praised John the Baptist so highly by saying "Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist," he was one of the most highly venerated saints in the ancient and medieval Church. He has two feasts: his nativity on June 24th and his passion on August 29th.
Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
Mass during the Day
Lectionary: 587 Reading I
Hear me, O coastlands,
listen, O distant peoples. The LORD called me from birth,
from my mother's womb he gave me my name. He made of me a sharp-edged sword
and concealed me in the shadow of his arm. He made me a polished arrow,
in his quiver he hid me. You are my servant, he said to me,
Israel, through whom I show my glory.
Though I thought I had toiled in vain,
and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the LORD,
my recompense is with my God. For now the LORD has spoken
who formed me as his servant from the womb, that Jacob may be brought back to him
and Israel gathered to him; and I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
and my God is now my strength! It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.
139:1b-3, 13-14ab, 14c-15
R. (14) I praise you, for I am wonderfully made. O LORD, you have probed me, you know me:
you know when I sit and when I stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar. My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar. R. I praise you for I am wonderfully made. Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother's womb. I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works. R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made. My soul also you knew full well;
nor was my frame unknown to you When I was made in secret,
when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth. R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.
In those days, Paul said: "God raised up David as king; of him God testified,
I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart;
he will carry out my every wish. From this man's descendants God, according to his promise, has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus. John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel; and as John was completing his course, he would say, 'What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. Behold, one is coming after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.'
"My brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those others among you who are God-fearing, to us this word of salvation has been sent."
See Lk 1:76
R. Alleluia, alleluia. You, child, will be called prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Lk 1:57-66, 80
When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, "No. He will be called John." But they answered her, "There is no one among your relatives who has this name." So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, "John is his name," and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, "What, then, will this child be?" For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.
The child grew and became strong in spirit,
and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel.
Daily Meditation: Luke 1:57-66, 80
No. He will be called John. (Luke 1:60)
Do you think God's will happens automatically? If so, think again. Consider that Elizabeth's relatives assumed her son would be named Zechariah, after his father. But Elizabeth sensed something different: the Lord had a special calling for this child and wanted his name to be John. It might have been easier to go along with the family and ignore this prompting. But she didn't. Her no to her relatives was a yes to God and paved the way for his will to unfold.
Something similar happened in John's life. Leaving his family to go live in the desert, wearing camel's hair, and eating locusts may not have been the life he had imagined for himself. Confronting the people of Israel with their need for repentance was probably not all that easy for him. But John kept saying no to his own will and yes to God's will because he knew that God had given him a specific mission. He knew that God would give him the grace he needed to live out that mission. That's what fueled John's yes each time.
It's what can fuel our yes to God too. Each one of us is called to play a part in building God's kingdom. Every time you follow John's example and say no to your own preferences, you are saying yes to something better from God. Every time you listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, you are fulfilling your call. Your little acts of surrender, your seemingly insignificant yeses to God along the way help bring about God's will in your life and in the people around you. Taken together, they steer you toward a bigger yes as you begin to understand and pursue the mission he has for your life.
God's will doesn't happen automatically. He wants us to work with him to make it happen. That's why he needed Elizabeth's no to her relatives. That's why he needed each yes from John the Baptist. And that's why he needs you to try your best to say yes to him in the big or small choices that you face every day.
"Lord, help me to say yes to you every moment of the day!"
Isaiah 49:1-6 Psalm 139:1-3, 13-15 Acts 13:22-26
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my2cents: "Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the LORD, my recompense is with my God. For now the LORD has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb..." Are we called...from the womb?
Our Lord has written His commands in our Heart. So yes, we are called from the womb.
Let us pray: "Truly you have formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb. I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are your works. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made." What a funny wording, "I am fearfully made". But now we are speaking about things not of this world, that is, that we were made with honor, and holiness, fear of the Lord, things of Heaven, because we are made in His image.
In the Gospel we hear: "He asked for a tablet and wrote, "John is his name," and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, "What, then, will this child be?" For surely the hand of the Lord was with him. The child grew and became strong in spirit,
and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel."
Zechariah gave John the name because an angel had appeared to him in the temple to tell him the name of the child before he was conceived in the womb.
This tells us many incredible things...like the argument of predestination, where some believe we are already destined...and some destined for hell like some protestant denominations believe. This is not all true. Our Lord does not make trash. He makes guiding lights though. He will intercede for us in the dark. Lights have been Holy Prophets, and now Mother Mary and Saints, and these saints come from places necessary for the salvation of the world...your world. Do you know a local saint in your community? Parish? Your home?
If you don't have one at home, look no further then.
You have been called.
Let's pray: Lord, this calling, this great calling to You, to Your Holy will is incredible. How can you call me, a simple sinner, to a life of amazing grace? I pray that we can open ourselves to Your amazing grace, to fulfill Your desires in the reality You have placed us in...being, loving, serving, sacrificing, my all for You my Love!
from your brother in Christ our Lord, adrian
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Random Bible Verse from online generator:
And he said to them, "Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
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