†Saint Quote "If we could comprehend all the good things contained in Holy Communion, nothing more would be wanting to content the heart of man." — St. John Vianney
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY† "Jesus Christ could have appeared among us, radiant with joy and encompassed by divine splendor, amidst the glitter and pomp of His sovereign majesty. He deemed it more worthy of His glory and more profitable to the salvation of men, to show Himself to them girt with a diadem of thorns, clothed in purple and stained with blood, His face bruised, the gaping grimace of death on His lips, bearing the bloody unction of the nails imprinted on His hands and feet. In uniting Himself closely with suffering, Jesus Christ assuredly did not smooth all its severity and all its pangs; but He removed part of its bitterness, corrected and destroyed its poison. He made the chalice of His Blood fruitful. Like the brazen serpent set up by Moses in the desert, He implanted Himself in the center of the world as an inexhaustible instrument of mercy, life, and health. Owing to this transformation, His divine wounds, like fountains ever gushing, remain eternally open to all straying and fallen souls who are eager to escape from their coarse, sensual aspirations, wanting to immerse themselves anew in the joys of sacrifice and the honor of purity." — Fr. Charles Arminjon, p. 276-77 AN EXCERPT FROM The End of the Present World
†VERSE OF THE DAY "Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."" John 20:29
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ST. JOHN VIANNEY (CURE OF ARS)
St. John Vianney (1786–1859) was born in France to a farming family, one of six children of devout Catholic parents. He was baptized on the day of his birth. When he was four years old the French Revolution erupted, and priests were forced into hiding. Every day they risked their lives to give the sacraments, and John looked up to them as heroes. His First Holy Communion and Confirmation were made in secrecy. After the Church in France was reestablished, John studied for the priesthood. He had difficulty in his studies due to his lack of formal education during the turmoil of the revolution, but his great desire carried him through. After his ordination he became a parish priest assigned to the small country town of Ars. There he ministered to the carnage the revolution had left in the souls of the French people. Many were indifferent to, and ignorant of, the Faith. John performed great penances for the people and received many graces for their conversion. He had the gifts of miracle-working, prophecy, hidden knowledge, and discernment of spirits. He was soon known internationally, and people came from afar to see him. Year after year he spent 11-12 hours a day in the confessional, and up to 16 hours in the summer. By 1855 there were 20,000 pilgrims traveling annually to Ars. Because of this St. John Vianney was tormented by evil spirits throughout his life, especially when he attempted to get his two to three hours of sleep a night. He died at the age of 73 after serving 40 years as a parish priest. Over 300 priests and 6,000 people attended his funeral. St. John Vianney is the patron saint of confessors and priests. His feast day is August 4th.
Memorial of Saint John Vianney, Priest
Lectionary: 409 Reading I
Nm 13:1-2, 25–14:1, 26a-29a, 34-35
The LORD said to Moses [in the desert of Paran,] "Send men to reconnoiter the land of Canaan, which I am giving the children of Israel. You shall send one man from each ancestral tribe, all of them princes."
After reconnoitering the land for forty days they returned, met Moses and Aaron and the whole congregation of the children of Israel in the desert of Paran at Kadesh, made a report to them all, and showed the fruit of the country to the whole congregation. They told Moses: "We went into the land to which you sent us. It does indeed flow with milk and honey, and here is its fruit. However, the people who are living in the land are fierce, and the towns are fortified and very strong. Besides, we saw descendants of the Anakim there. Amalekites live in the region of the Negeb; Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites dwell in the highlands, and Canaanites along the seacoast and the banks of the Jordan."
Caleb, however, to quiet the people toward Moses, said, "We ought to go up and seize the land, for we can certainly do so." But the men who had gone up with him said, "We cannot attack these people; they are too strong for us." So they spread discouraging reports among the children of Israel about the land they had scouted, saying, "The land that we explored is a country that consumes its inhabitants. And all the people we saw there are huge, veritable giants (the Anakim were a race of giants); we felt like mere grasshoppers, and so we must have seemed to them."
At this, the whole community broke out with loud cries, and even in the night the people wailed.
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: "How long will this wicked assembly grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the children of Israel against me. Tell them: By my life, says the LORD, I will do to you just what I have heard you say. Here in the desert shall your dead bodies fall. Forty days you spent in scouting the land; forty years shall you suffer for your crimes: one year for each day. Thus you will realize what it means to oppose me. I, the LORD, have sworn to do this to all this wicked assembly that conspired against me: here in the desert they shall die to the last man."
106:6-7ab, 13-14, 21-22, 23
R. (4a) Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people. We have sinned, we and our fathers;
we have committed crimes; we have done wrong. Our fathers in Egypt
considered not your wonders. R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people. But soon they forgot his works;
they waited not for his counsel. They gave way to craving in the desert
and tempted God in the wilderness. R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people. They forgot the God who had saved them,
who had done great deeds in Egypt, Wondrous deeds in the land of Ham,
terrible things at the Red Sea. R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people. Then he spoke of exterminating them,
but Moses, his chosen one, Withstood him in the breach
to turn back his destructive wrath. R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. A great prophet has arisen in our midst and God has visited his people. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Mt 15: 21-28
At that time Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, "Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon." But he did not say a word in answer to her. His disciples came and asked him, "Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us." He said in reply, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But the woman came and did him homage, saying, "Lord, help me." He said in reply, "It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs." She said, "Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters." Then Jesus said to her in reply, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed from that hour.
The Israelite scouts were afraid—and who could blame them? Although they had returned from spying out the Promised Land with their arms weighed down with luscious fruit, their hearts were weighed down even more. They had seen how fortified the Canaanite cities were. How could they hope to conquer a land defended by such great warriors? Clearly, God thought they could. He even asked, "How long will they not trust me, despite all the signs I have performed among them?" (Numbers 14:11).
To understand God's impatience, we have to recall Israel's history. From the call of Abraham to the exodus from Egypt, God had proven himself faithful. He parted the Red Sea so the Israelites could walk through on dry ground. He led them through the desert and fed them with manna and quail. He even gave them water from the rock! Finally, they could see the Promised Land with their own eyes. Right in their hands, they held the fruit of the land. God had fulfilled his promises! Yet despite all this, the scouts concluded that the Canaanite armies were too strong. The risk of defeat was too great.
We shouldn't judge the Israelites too harshly. It's hard to face something beyond our own abilities and move forward trusting that God will help us in concrete ways. We know that God is faithful and that he will provide for our families. But we also think, I'll be devastated if my wife's cancer returns. Like the discouraged Israelites, we think that circumstances—bad health, job loss, or our own "Canaanite army"—are too strong for us. And they are! But they are not too strong for God. He can sustain us despite these very real challenges. So it's safe to cross over into the unknown, even though the enemy is so strong.
God sometimes asks us to trust him even when we cannot see how things could possibly work out. Where is God nudging you to take a risk today? Consider how faithful he has been in the past. Look at the "fruit" you're already holding.
And take the risk.
"Lord, this is just too strong for me. But you are stronger. With you at my side, I can walk through it."
Psalm 106:6-7, 13-14, 21-23 Matthew 15:21-28
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my2cents: In today's first Holy Scripture we heard: "Caleb, however, to quiet the people toward Moses, said, "We ought to go up and seize the land, for we can certainly do so." But the men who had gone up with him said, "We cannot attack these people; they are too strong for us." So they spread discouraging reports among the children of Israel...". And so it happens, to you, and to me, that we are confronted with naysayers, and doubters, and not only confronted, but surrounded by them.
I had a thought that said, "I see how the worldly people are, and I am surrounded by them, and I do not desire to be like them". Because nothing new is out there. Only in the Lord do I see things new, and steady, and truly joyful, and wonderful, meaning, amazing.
And so the question is can we attack what God has asked us to attack? Can we seize the land? Can we get past the giants? Can we be strong even though they seem stronger? Of course, I am speaking of spiritual enemies, obstacles to true life in grace and faith. And from there, we can turn the zombies around us, back into real people, because we live in a world where many are not acting as true children of God our Father.
I am surrounded by monsters, yes, but I am not afraid. Not any more. Nor will I ever be. God is with me. And I am with God!
We pray: "They forgot the God who had saved them, who had done great deeds in Egypt, Wondrous deeds in the land of Ham, terrible things at the Red Sea. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people." And so I've noticed something on my faith pilgrimage, that sin makes us weak, sin makes us afraid, sin makes us more like evil, and sin therefore, keeps us from coming closer to God. That is what the prodigal son chooses ultimately, and the payment for sin? Wretchedness, a world of wrecks and no love, no true love, a world in the end of hell in solitude. And that is the warning from above, that we should not become weak, but strong, that is, faithfulness. That was the point of my point the other day in reflections, where this guy wouldn't ask another guy for much needed tools, because he wouldn't dare speak to another man, he wouldn't overcome the giant, and therefore, his own family would have to suffer. Such is the case with Israel, the very people of God! He asks, "can you Trust ME?"
I recall scripture to emphasize in recordings of this writing, in today's Holy Gospel we hear: "... a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, "Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon." But he did not say a word in answer to her. His disciples came and asked him, "Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us."
So our Lord was not responsive to her pleas. Now what? Let's continue to hear, watch for the answer: "...He said in reply, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But the woman came and did him homage, saying, "Lord, help me." He said in reply, "It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs." She said, "Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters." Then Jesus said to her in reply, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed from that hour."
What happened? She was incessant. She was persistent. And her persistence was persuasive. If I write to you just about every day, if I am that constant voice in your head, I can begin to wear on you, until something gives. That is how we are to be with His Word, and His Daily Spirit. We should allow Him to persist on us, just like we persist on Him. If you are hearing this message now, it is because He is persisting on YOU! Now, can you persist on Him? She knew something most didn't. She knew she could count on Him if He so looked at her, turned His attention to her for one instant. For what? For her child to be freed from a demon. Who does that nowadays? Thinking of exorcisms? That's an extreme and rare occasion, although, becoming more frequent as of late. But a good parent should notice signs of demonic activity and presence in the child's life. There are things you should learn on how the devil operates, and we can see signs of oppression, and manipulation, that is what they call "influence".
I cannot go into detail now, but you should take care if you care about what is out there vying for your child's allegiance, and therefore, their heart, and therefore...their very lives!
Every parent should desire heaven for their child, and the only way to it is for the saint to spawn a saint. I had a loved one come to me, she is my aunt, she's been through several marriages, and came to me at Mass saying "speak to my daughter, she is an atheist, and she says she doesn't want to baptize her new baby!". She wanted a miracle from me.
Is this like the time the Canaanite woman asked Jesus for deliverance for her daughter? I've noticed evil wrecking, causing havoc in my loved one's life. Now another divorce. Now another sad moment. Now a health crisis. Now finances down, now what? I can't even convert my own fallen away closer relatives, how in the world could I save a more distant one? I saw the truthfulness in her plea. It was sincere. Jesus didn't reach the daughter. I didn't reach the daughter either. Here's what the Holy Spirit inspired in my reply: "Do not worry, there is still time, in the meantime, you will have to set the example". And with that she left. Fast forward months later, she is not living with her legal husband, not married by the church. She went to confession, and is receiving the Eucharist, and is frequenting Mass. She has embarked on the sacrificial stages of love for salvation. Now, I can only bind myself with her for the salvation of her children, and her children's children, may God hear our prayers. In the story, the Lord said "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish." God will hear our prayers. We must be faithful. I'm in charge of our new parish building of a new parish gym/hall/classrooms. For nearly 10 years I've had to face opposition and naysayers. People saying "it's too big" and "how are you going to keep up with the maintenance? We got not money in the budget for that?" and after a few years of saving "the people are upset and want to know where is the building" and it goes on and on for years. Do you think that don't put an awkward stress on a poor fellow like me? I'm not even sure why or where we're going! I'm just availing myself to God! The building plans have morphed and changed drastically from one concept to another throughout the years. Nothing is cut dry and clean. All I know is that building church is messy, and beautiful. All I know is that I've taken on the Franciscan attitude of building God's church. What is that? It is not just material things my friend. Church building is building relationships and testing relationships. I'm involving and calling on agnostics, atheists, other religions and denominations to help, and you'd be amazed at what I've seen. As of last week, the Diocese has finally approved our building loan. And now some elbow grease, and hard work is to come. And what will come after that is up to God and His children.
I've told you about a few giants to face. You may be facing other things, physical maladies, spiritual, mental. I'm asking you to take on faith. It is believing in what nobody else cares to believe. Doing what others won't dare to do. I am swimming against the current, and so are you. We must encourage one another. And deposit the seeds into the next generation.
Let's pray: Lord, what a journey! Life has so many ups and downs, just like my faith. I pray that we can amaze you with faith my Lord and My God My Father. I pray that all of us listening here, truly acknowledge that you have the power, therefore, are trustworthy in all that happens. I pray for the gift of perseverance, grace, and if you desire a miracle sought...salvation for our loved ones' souls. In your precious Name Jesus, we pray.
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
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Random Bible Verse from online generator:
1 John 4:4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
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