†Saint Quote "Whenever anything disagreeable or displeasing happens to you, remember Christ crucified and be silent." — St. John of the Cross
†MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Let us beware of complaints, resentments, and evil-speaking against those who are ill-disposed to us, discontented with us, or hostile to our plans and arrangements, or who even persecute us with injuries, insults, and calumnies. Rather let us go on treating them as cordially as at first, or more so, as far as possible showing them esteem, always speaking well of them, doing them good, serving them on occasion, even to the point of taking shame and disgrace upon ourselves, if necessary to save their honor. All this ought to be done, first, to overcome evil with good, according to the teaching of the Apostles; and secondly, because they are our allies rather than our adversaries, as they aid us to destroy self-love, which is our greatest foe; and since it is they who give us an opportunity to gain merit, they ought to be considered our dearest friends." — St. Vincent de Paul, p.413
AN EXCERPT FROM Cultivating Virtue: Self-Mastery With the Saints
† VERSE OF THE DAY "Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."" Jeremiah 1:4-5
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STS. NAZARIUS AND CELSUS
St. Nazarius and St. Celsus (1st c.) were early Christian martyrs, but nothing else is known with certainty about their lives or the time they lived, other than that they were put to death for their Christian faith in Milan, Italy, perhaps during the persecution of the Emperor Nero. What we know about these saints came to us from St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan. In 395 A.D. St. Ambrose discovered the body of St. Nazarius, with severed head, along with a vial of his blood still as fresh as the day it was spilled, in a garden outside the city gates. St. Ambrose carried the body in procession to bury in the city's Basilica of the Apostles. In the same garden he also discovered the body of St. Celsus, and likewise had the body taken to the same basilica. Miracles occurred in the church at the presence of the relics of these two holy martyrs. According to one account, St. Nazarius was the son of St. Perpetua, the child she bore just prior being executed for her faith. Celsus was a youth given to the care of St. Nazarius by the boy's mother, who desired for the saint to teach her son the Christian faith. The two traveled and preached the Gospel together zealously before being tortured and executed in Milan. They share a feast day on July 28th.
Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 403 Reading I
As Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands, he did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant while he conversed with the LORD. When Aaron, then, and the other children of Israel saw Moses and noticed how radiant the skin of his face had become, they were afraid to come near him. Only after Moses called to them did Aaron and all the rulers of the community come back to him. Moses then spoke to them. Later on, all the children of Israel came up to him, and he enjoined on them all that the LORD had told him on Mount Sinai. When he finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. Whenever Moses entered the presence of the LORD to converse with him, he removed the veil until he came out again. On coming out, he would tell the children of Israel all that had been commanded. Then the children of Israel would see that the skin of Moses' face was radiant; so he would again put the veil over his face until he went in to converse with the LORD.
99:5, 6, 7, 9
R. (see 9c) Holy is the Lord our God. Extol the LORD, our God,
and worship at his footstool;
holy is he! R. Holy is the Lord our God. Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
and Samuel, among those who called upon his name;
they called upon the LORD, and he answered them. R. Holy is the Lord our God. From the pillar of cloud he spoke to them;
they heard his decrees and the law he gave them. R. Holy is the Lord our God. Extol the LORD, our God,
and worship at his holy mountain;
for holy is the LORD, our God. R. Holy is the Lord our God.
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: "The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it."
Daily Meditation: Matthew 13:44-46
The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure. (Matthew 13:44)
Treasure: a store of money, great wealth stored up. That's right, the primary definition of "treasure" means more than just an individual coin or gem. Picture a pirate's chest overflowing with strings of diamonds and rubies and glittering bars of gold. That's what the kingdom of heaven is like. You have a limitless stockpile: riches of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding; hope and grace; patience, forbearance, and kindness; boldness and courage; and much more. All of it is available to you.
This treasure doesn't accumulate randomly throughout your life, and it isn't held in trust for later. It's all available, not at some future date when you step out of mortal life into eternity, but today. But here's the catch: you might have to "sell" something to acquire it.
You already do that as you pray, read the Scriptures, and go to Mass. But the truth is, whenever you put the things of God ahead of something else, you are spending limited resources—your time—to obtain something greater—heavenly power and grace.
God, and the unlimited riches he holds for us, are worth any cost. So don't ever hesitate to tap into this treasure—and be willing to "sell" something to obtain it! Seek patience when you're stretched to the limit by a headstrong child by "selling" your right to respond in anger. Tap into God's wisdom and insight when you're facing a difficult situation by forgoing your time in front of the television and spending it instead in prayer. Seek generosity when your own plans for the day are upended by letting go of a "me-first" attitude. Grab onto hope when you become discouraged by the distressing things going on around you, and focus instead on the goodness of God.
Today, ask God to fill you with joy over the treasure available to you, even when you come face-to-face with the call to "sell all" to obtain it (Matthew 13:46). Ask him to show you that even when the cost seems high, the reward far surpasses it!
"Holy Spirit, help me recognize what I can 'sell' in order to obtain the treasure stored up in heaven for me."
Exodus 34:29-35 Psalm 99:5-7, 9
Listen to 2cents
my2cents: "As Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands, he did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant while he conversed with the LORD. When Aaron, then, and the other children of Israel saw Moses and noticed how radiant the skin of his face had become, they were afraid to come near him." I propose to you then, one question: If the people were afraid to come near Moses, a mere mortal, whom had seen God, what would it be like then, to see God Himself? Would we be even more afraid? Deathly afraid? And is this why sinners choose not to come to Church..to God...to confession? So we do not have to face Him? I'm not pointing fingers here, I wonder on my part too, why I do not desire to come more frequently to adorations, visitations, confessions, all things Holy of Holies?
Let us pray the Holy Psalms: "Moses and Aaron were among his priests, and Samuel, among those who called upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them. Holy is the Lord our God. From the pillar of cloud he spoke to them; they heard his decrees and the law he gave them. Holy is the Lord our God." So, is not coming to our Lord, a true fear of the Lord? Or is it fear of letting go of my sinful self? Am I too comfortable with my life? Do I love my life that much? Am I afraid of a cost?
Our Lord speaks to us: ""The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it."
And so let us consider the cost of something valuable. And it boils down to desire. How bad do you want it? How much do you desire it?
Sinful things don't cost much...they are easy, just give in...right? In the end, they cost you your life, taken from you, when the time comes to pay up. But for holy things, it costs much, they aren't easy, and you have to sacrifice...right? This is why our Lord explains that the path is narrow, and the gates to hell are wide, for it goes with a law of supply and demand. We as a nation, have built bigger and bigger stadiums, and smaller and smaller churches. What is the desire? We have built larger and larger movie theatres. What do we seek? We see fancy banks, and some on every street corner. What does that say about our lives?
Because banks cost something- They lend, and you are in debt. Because movies provide something- For your time and ideals. Because stadiums are the new Roman Coliseums- There, a political war is waged. In Roman times, they killed Christians as well as prisoners of war, and criminals. They played with their lives. They fed them to savage beasts. Evil dictators? No my friend, who filled the seats? It's too easy to blame a particular government. In those days we saw blood thirst. And for the last 60 years, this blood thirst has been satiated by killing innocent humans, in the womb, and now, beyond, to the elderly, to the weak, because evil desires death. Look at the worldly, see how they love skulls, and violence, mostly in silence. And so I ask you, where are your thoughts right now? What is your ideal? Where have you been? Where are you now? And where are you going? You see, just when you think you don't matter, you are realizing through this...you DO Matter. Jesus our Christ and Savior thinks you matter so much that He's willing to lay down His life for you...and so He did. He found the pearl, and if you look into His eyes, you'll see it. Come closer and see. Be not afraid to come to God. You will leave radiant with Joy. You will leave with the law in your hands. You will leave knowing full well the reason for your existence. You will come to His people...and say...OUR FATHER Speaks!
Let us pray: Lord, until now, You have been at work, in every aspect of my life, and I have failed to acknowledge with gratitude. I have not sought You. I have not sought the treasure. I have not knocked on the door. I have not opened the door.
I pray for grace Lord, to enter this precious Covenant. I pray for courage...true Love, and compassion.
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
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Random Bible Verse from online generator:
2 O LORD my God, I cried to you for help,
and you have healed me.
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