†Saint Quote ""He who seeks not the Cross of Christ seeks not the glory of Christ." — St. John of the Cross
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Oh, how painful it is to Me that souls so seldom unite themselves to Me in Holy Communion. I wait for souls, and they are indifferent toward Me. I love them tenderly and sincerely, and they distrust Me. I want to lavish My graces on them, and they do not want to accept them. They treat Me as a dead object, whereas My Heart is full of love and mercy. In order that you may know at least some of My pain, imagine the most tender of mothers who has great love for her children, while those children spurn her love. Consider her pain. No one is in a position to console her. This is but a pale image and likeness of My love." — Diary of St. Faustina Kowalska, 1447 AN EXCERPT FROM Diary of St. Faustina
† VERSE OF THE DAY "But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine."" Isaiah 43:1
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ST. JEANNE DE CHANTAL
St. Jeanne (Jane) Frances de Chantal (1572–1641) was born in Dijon, France. She was the daughter of the president of parliament, and lived up to her noble status as a refined, cheerful, and beautiful woman. At the age of twenty-one she married a baron and together they had six children. She was strong in her faith, having daily Mass said in her castle, giving alms to the poor, and skillfully managing her household. After seven years of marriage, her husband was killed in an accident. To protect the estate for her children, she was obliged to live with her ill-tempered father-in-law for seven years. When she was thirty-two she met St. Francis de Sales, whom she had previously seen in a vision after praying for a spiritual director. To her private vow of chastity she added another of obedience to his direction, while continuing to provide for her children. At the age of forty-five, after meeting her family obligations, she and St. Francis founded a religious institute for women, the Congregation of the Visitation, which was to exemplify the virtues of the Virgin Mary at the Visitation. The Visitation sisters accepted women who were rejected from other religious orders due to age or illness. They were notable for their charitable works. Aristocrats and the nobility flocked to Jeanne de Chantal's reception-room to seek her counsel. She underwent great trials, including the deaths of many of her close family and friends. She also traveled extensively to found new Visitation houses, having established eighty-six at the time of her death. Her feast day is August 12th.
Thursday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 416 Reading I
Jos 3:7-10a, 11, 13-17
The LORD said to Joshua, "Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know I am with you, as I was with Moses. Now command the priests carrying the ark of the covenant to come to a halt in the Jordan when you reach the edge of the waters."
So Joshua said to the children of Israel, "Come here and listen to the words of the LORD, your God. This is how you will know that there is a living God in your midst, who at your approach will dispossess the Canaanites. The ark of the covenant of the LORD of the whole earth will precede you into the Jordan. When the soles of the feet of the priests carrying the ark of the LORD, the Lord of the whole earth, touch the water of the Jordan, it will cease to flow; for the water flowing down from upstream will halt in a solid bank."
The people struck their tents to cross the Jordan, with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant ahead of them. No sooner had these priestly bearers of the ark waded into the waters at the edge of the Jordan, which overflows all its banks during the entire season of the harvest, than the waters flowing from upstream halted, backing up in a solid mass for a very great distance indeed, from Adam, a city in the direction of Zarethan; while those flowing downstream toward the Salt Sea of the Arabah disappeared entirely. Thus the people crossed over opposite Jericho. While all Israel crossed over on dry ground, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD remained motionless on dry ground in the bed of the Jordan until the whole nation had completed the passage.
114:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
R. Alleluia! When Israel came forth from Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of alien tongue, Judah became his sanctuary, Israel his domain. R. Alleluia! The sea beheld and fled; Jordan turned back. The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like the lambs of the flock. R. Alleluia! Why is it, O sea, that you flee? O Jordan, that you turn back? You mountains, that you skip like rams? You hills, like the lambs of the flock? R. Alleluia!
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Let your countenance shine upon your servant and teach me your statutes. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Peter approached Jesus and asked him, "Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount. Since he had no way of paying it back, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt. At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.' Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan. When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount. He seized him and started to choke him, demanding, 'Pay back what you owe.' Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.' But he refused. Instead, he had the fellow servant put in prison until he paid back the debt. Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair. His master summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?' Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt. So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart."
When Jesus finished these words, he left Galilee and went to the district of Judea across the Jordan.
Daily Meditation: Joshua 3:7-11, 13-17
The priests carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord remained motionless . . . until the whole nation had completed the passage. (Joshua 3:17)
Today's reading shows us the important role that priests played in ancient Israel and, in particular, in the Israelites' journey into the Promised Land. Joshua called on them to march into the Jordan River ahead of all the people and to stay there until everyone had made the crossing. By following Joshua's command, these priests had to literally take a step of faith. They didn't know for certain that the river would dry up, but they trusted the Lord's word to Joshua and walked forward. And because of this step of faith, the whole Israelite nation was able to cross the Jordan.
Now, God could certainly have stopped the river on his own and led the Israelites across without the help of the priests. But he chose them to lead his people into the Promised Land.
Even today, God chooses priests to cooperate with him in leading his people into the new Promised Land of heaven. Every time we celebrate a sacrament, the priest has a special role. Acting in the person of Christ, he stands as a bridge between heaven and earth. Like those ancient Israelite priests, he stands in the river of God's grace for us.
But it's not just the priests who act as a bridge. In its own way, the entire Church, the whole body of Christ, is a bridge between heaven and earth. Every one of us shares in the common priesthood of Jesus. No matter our vocation, God calls all of us to lead people to salvation. He wants everyone to cross over into eternal life, and he has given us the privilege of helping them do it.
So ask the Lord how you can be a bridge to eternal life. You can start by praying every day for people who you know are far from the Lord. From this place of prayer, ask the Spirit to help you find opportunities to share your faith with those people. And when those opportunities come up, remember Israel's priests. Take the next step of faith, and watch what God does.
"Jesus, show me one way I can be a bridge between earth and heaven today."
Psalm 114:1-6 Matthew 18:21–19:1
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Today's 1st Holy Scriptures ends: "The people struck their tents to cross the Jordan, with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant ahead of them. No sooner had these priestly bearers of the ark waded into the waters at the edge of the Jordan, which overflows all its banks during the entire season of the harvest, than the waters flowing from upstream halted, backing up in a solid mass for a very great distance indeed, from Adam, a city in the direction of Zarethan; while those flowing downstream toward the Salt Sea of the Arabah disappeared entirely. Thus the people crossed over opposite Jericho. While all Israel crossed over on dry ground, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD remained motionless on dry ground in the bed of the Jordan until the whole nation had completed the passage." And a mental image came into my mind, witnessing the passage that Christ ushers, and we cross because Christ stands the waters, He stills the waters, and we cross the other side. What if you saw yourself crossing from death to eternity and upon the crossing you saw Christ crucified...holding all of time and life, for you to cross? What would your inner reaction be? Shock? For me, yes. What a terrible sight, right? And you can't stop, you got to keep going, while the priests are locked with Christ holding the doors open. It is a mesmerizing thought, and then, you enter eternity, and if you enter Heaven, it's all about Jesus. Imagine? All tabloids are about Jesus? All magazines covered with stories about Jesus? And if He's hurting, the news coverage goes into a frenzy? And everyone hits their knees, making sacrifices, fastings, and offerings. Yet, it can be so, because Christ lives among us. While many stand stagnant in faith, we true Christ followers fight on as we move forward. You are reading this because you are not stagnant. You are moving with Christ. The Body moves, because Love is an action. An Action from a being, a Holy Being.
We pray today: "The sea beheld and fled; Jordan turned back. The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like the lambs of the flock.
Our Lord speaks: "Peter approached Jesus and asked him, "Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times." I was listening to today's daily Holy Mass for EWTN, (see here click) and the visiting priest from Divine Mercy gave an impacting story on how a woman from Colombia, lost her daddy was killed when she was a little girl, and she grew up, got married, her husband was then killed, when she had a toddler daughter, all in violence, and then, her daughter was killed by violent people after being kidnapped for 9 months. She was determined to find her daughter's...remains. Until she found her, and buried her. Then her son was kidnapped by a group. She never lost faith. She found her son, dumped on the road. Buried her son, and came back down that road, and found a hurting man, and she picked him up, took him home, and helped him. That man saw a picture of her son and asked "who is that?" she said "my son", he said "I killed him". She was praying to Mother Mary to cover his words, begging Mary to help her forgive this man sitting at her table. She was filled with grace. She kept taking care of the murderer, even loving him, and years later, that man was killed, and she felt she lost a child.
Have you ever met someone that can forgive like that? Trade your child in for a murderer? Think about Christ Jesus our Lord. I once taught adults, and I told all that for homework, they'd have to forgive somebody. A woman came back, some didn't do their homework, but that woman did. She said she had decided to forgive her daughter's murderer. She had committed suicide because of him. She had so much resentment. But she called to forgive him, and the connection gave her so much peace, you could tell a weight had been lifted from her.
What if I told you that you could do the same? That you can forgive. That you can BE FORGIVEN. What if you could forgive others more than you needed to be forgiven? Think about Christ Jesus our Lord.
Let's Pray. Lord, You are amazing. Mercy is who You became at the cross. You amaze Me. Mercy never ceases to Amaze me. If I could only fall in love with Mercy. If I could be strong enough, so as to not be afraid of Mercy. If I could make the crossing. Lord, I want to. Help us Love Thee more and more!
Mother of God, pray for us and for the healing of the Body of Christ.
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
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Random bible verse generator: Psalm 4:8 8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
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