†Saint Quote ""The works of God are not accomplished when we wish them, but whenever it pleases Him." — St. Vincent de Paul
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY "If the soul will analyze the desire it has of happiness, and the idea of happiness that presents itself to it, it will find that the object of this idea and of this desire is only and can only be God. This is the impression that the soul bears in the depths of its nature; this is what reason will teach it if it will only reflect a little, and this is what neither prejudice nor passion can ever entirely efface." — Fr. Jean Nicholas Grou, p. 4 AN EXCERPT FROM The Spiritual Life
† VERSE OF THE DAY "Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began. I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word." John 17:3-6
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ST. ROSE OF LIMA
St. Rose (1586-1617) was born in Lima, Peru, one of ten children belonging to a Spanish immigrant and his wife, a descendant of the Incas. Rose was beautiful and very pious. She was so sensitive to compliments on her physical appearance that, to combat vanity, she disfigured her face with pepper and lime. When her father's finances deteriorated, Rose used her skill at needlework to help support her family. Her parents desired that she marry, but she refused, and lived as a recluse in a hut in her parent's garden. Inspired by the example of St. Catherine of Siena, Rose joined the Third Order Dominicans, dedicated her life to chastity and assisting the sick and poor, and inflicted severe penances on herself daily. For this extreme behavior she endured disapproval and persecution from her family, especially when she began to have visions and other mystical experiences. An evaluation by priests and physicians proved Rose's experiences to be authentically supernatural. She also spoke out against the corruption of her day, as the Spanish grew rich from Peru's natural resources while Peruvians became impoverished. She was greatly revered by the people, and at the time of her death, at the age of 31, her body could not be buried for several days due to the large crowds. After her death many miracles were attributed to her intercession. Rose of Lima was the first native-born saint from the Americas to be canonized. She is the patroness of the Americas, the Philippines, India, Peru, and of gardeners, florists, needle-workers, and against vanity. Her feast day is August 23rd.
Monday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 425 Reading I
1 Thes 1:1-5, 8b-10
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy to the Church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: grace to you and peace.
We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father, knowing, brothers and sisters loved by God, how you were chosen. For our Gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction. You know what sort of people we were among you for your sake. In every place your faith in God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. For they themselves openly declare about us what sort of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to await his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus, who delivers us from the coming wrath.
149:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6a and 9b
R. (see 4a) The Lord takes delight in his people. or: R. Alleluia. Sing to the LORD a new song
of praise in the assembly of the faithful. Let Israel be glad in their maker,
let the children of Zion rejoice in their king. R. The Lord takes delight in his people. or: R. Alleluia. Let them praise his name in the festive dance,
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp. For the LORD loves his people,
and he adorns the lowly with victory. R. The Lord takes delight in his people. or: R. Alleluia. Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy upon their couches; Let the high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia. R. The Lord takes delight in his people. or: R. Alleluia.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.
"Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.' Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred? And you say, 'If one swears by the altar, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.' You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it; one who swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it; one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it."
Daily Meditation: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 8-10
We give thanks to God always for all of you. (1 Thessalonians 1:2)
Have you noticed how easy it is to be critical? Whether at school, the workplace, or even at home, it seems so much easier to correct than to affirm someone.
Is this how God would speak to us? Paul didn't think so. Look at the first two chapters of this letter to the believers in Thessalonica; he does nothing but congratulate, praise, and affirm them for their faith! Or just look at his words of greeting at the very start: "We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3).
Now, Paul wasn't working under any illusions. He knew that the Christians in Thessalonica weren't perfect. In fact, as his letter progressed, Paul challenged them on matters of immorality and anger, and in his final words warned them not to be idle nor quench the Spirit. There was sin within the Thessalonian church, but Paul didn't begin by focusing on it. Looking for ways to encourage them first, he focused instead on the evidence of God's grace. Surely Paul saw their need for growth, but he was also aware that their growth would come from God. Paul's main task was to help them keep their gaze turned toward their Savior so that the Spirit could continue to form them and transform them.
We are not all that different from our Thessalonian brothers and sisters. God wants to encourage us and remind us that he is at work in us. And when we become aware of our sin and our need to change, he asks us to turn our gaze to the cross and confess our need for his grace to become more like Christ.
Right now, today, God is drawing you to his side. So answer his call and run to him, the one who loves you unconditionally. Tell him that you need him, and ask him to help you on your way to heaven. He has begun something marvelous in you, and he is committed to bringing it to completion!
"Thank you, Father, for your love for me. May my awareness of this love increase my hunger and thirst for you."
Psalm 149:1-6, 9 Matthew 23:13-22
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From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "For our Gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction." The Word means everything, right? But the Word is manifested, in us, in Church, we are those who must be convicted of the truth and in the truth. It is the holy vigor that we must fight to acquire, and the fight is against everything else that wants to wash it into bland neutrality. You are reading this for a purpose.
"Let them praise his name in the festive dance, let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp. For the LORD loves his people, and he adorns the lowly with victory. The Lord takes delight in his people" You are His. You do not belong to the world. You should be filled with zeal, apostolic zeal. For the Lord has done this. You were created out of nothing. The Word has been manifested and makes all things good and true. You were made to bloom and give fruit, the kind He desires for His Kingdom. Therefore...everything you do...matters.
Our Lord speaks: ""Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter." Pause there just a moment. Who are the scribes and Pharisees? They are hypocrites? The very church goers? The very makers of church laws? The keepers of church and church laws are hypocrites? If that's the case, then no wonder all the non church goers call us hypocrites! LOL. Right? We are the very obstacle for people to come to church! "Oh well look at them, they go to church and they are no different than me!". Right? We blend right in with the folks, at parties and games and manner of speaking and dressing. No wonder they don't want to come! And so we've not very far to look to find scribes, for I could be called a scribe, writing about God things, and Pharisees, those that are church goers. Yet our Lord continues:
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves." Child of Gehenna? I went to Mass and the Spanish reading said "lo hacen todavía más digno de condenación que ustedes mismos!" The translation didn't call them child of Gehenna, but said "make it (the convert) even more worthy of condemnation than yourselves!" Instead of helping them, we make things worse for them? What kind of converts do we want? Those to be like us? Or to be like our Lord Jesus? Right? Definitely not like us, right? Our ideas are not ideal always. Right? If we could all focus on the same Christ! Right?
Our Lord continues: "You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?"
We tend to make other things greater than Him, and greater than Church, the Temple of God, where the Temple Sacrifice takes place.
Things to consider: ✔ What problems do I face that I make greater than our Lord? ✔ What sin do I face that I make greater than our Lord? ✔ What doubts do I have that I feel are greater than our Lord? ✔ What treasure do I have that I make greater than our Lord?
So soon are we blinded by pride, all things sin, and we've got only one recourse...to repent, and turn to our Lord, and become less, become lowly, become poor, become a worldly humiliation, so that our God can be greater than all. And then we face True Love...the very Truth. And perhaps we will not bring converts into the fold, but lovers of God Himself, through someone that sacrificed themselves for the very cause.
Let's pray: Lord, I face many daily challenges. I feel overwhelmed! I cannot face these challenges alone. The greatest obstacle is myself, and where I put all my hope and trust. I pray that faith in You becomes true, where everything that matters is You my Lord in Heaven. And so I consecrate myself again today...as I've already been sworn to Heaven by the very Sacraments of Divine Love You have bestowed on this soul...your poor child, in great need.
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
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Zechariah 7:9–10 9 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, 10 do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart."
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