†Saint Quote "It is the duty of every man to uphold the dignity of every woman." — Pope St. John Paul II
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Indeed, the glory to which God raises the soul through grace is so great that even the natural beauty of the Angels is as nothing compared with it. The Angels themselves wonder how a soul that was sunk in the desert of this sinful earth and robbed of all natural beauty can be clothed with such a wonderful splendor. But this wonder of the Angels will not surprise us when we see and hear that God Himself considers the beauty of grace with astonishment and rapture. For how otherwise can we explain what He says in The Canticle of Canticles to the soul: 'How beautiful art thou, my love, how beautiful art thou!' (Cant. 4:1)." — Fr. Matthias J. Scheeben, p. 133 AN EXCERPT FROM The Glories of Divine Grace
†VERSE OF THE DAY "Thus says the Lord: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practice steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight, says the Lord." Jeremiah 9:23-24
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ST. RAYMOND NONNATUS
St. Raymond Nonnatus (1200-1240) was born in Catalonia, Spain, to a noble family. His life was saved by caesarean section after his mother died in childbirth, earning him the name 'Nonnatus' meaning 'one not born'. Raymond was a pious child drawn to the religious life, but his father had plans for him to serve in the royal court of the King of Aragon. To distract Raymond from his vocation, his father sent him to tend the family fields. This had the opposite effect and gave Raymond greater opportunity to pray in the country chapel. His father eventually allowed him to join the Mercedarians, a religious order which ransomed Christian slaves from their Muslim captors. Raymond became Master General of the order and personally freed hundreds of prisoners. When he ran out of money, he ransomed his own life to release Christians held in captivity. St. Raymond was tortured throughout his imprisonment, yet he converted numerous people to the Christian faith. To prevent him from preaching Christ, his captors pierced his lips with a red-hot iron and closed them with a padlock. He was eventually ransomed by his order and returned to Spain, and died a year later. After his death there was a dispute over who had the right to bury his body. To settle the matter, his body was placed on a blind mule and set loose. The mule went to the country chapel where Raymond had prayed in his youth, and it was there that he was buried. Many miracles were attributed to St. Raymond Nonnatus both before and after his death. He is the patron of children, childbirth, pregnant women, infants, and midwives. His feast day is August 31st.
Tuesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 432 Reading I
1 Thes 5:1-6, 9-11
Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night. When people are saying, "Peace and security," then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober. For God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live together with him. Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do.
27:1, 4, 13-14
R. (13) I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life's refuge; of whom should I be afraid? R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living. One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek: To dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD and contemplate his temple. R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living. I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD. R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. A great prophet has arisen in our midst and God has visited his people. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee. He taught them on the sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!" Jesus rebuked him and said, "Be quiet! Come out of him!" Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm. They were all amazed and said to one another, "What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out." And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.
Daily Meditation: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11
God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:9)
God is on our side. He sent Jesus to become one of us so that we could spend eternity with him. He has given us the grace of the Holy Spirit so that we can live a life pleasing to him. These are such comforting truths, and yet we can sometimes lose sight of them. We can end up thinking, acting, and praying as if God has destined us for wrath and not for salvation.
How? By failing to remember God's true character. Even when we aren't fully aware of it, we might sometimes imagine God as a severe judge who is in the business of condemning people. We hear a harsh voice in our heads saying, "You keep messing up—what's wrong with you?" Or "I know you're not really a good person; it's just a façade." And if we're not careful, we mistake this for the voice of God.
But that's not how God speaks to us! He's not waiting to catch us at every turn so that he can tally up our mistakes. He is a loving Father who wants to relate to us as any good parent would—out of love, not fear. He isn't condemning us; he's rooting for us. He's in the business of encouraging and building up, not tearing down.
And when we do "mess up," our heavenly Father is waiting for us to come to him so that he can cover us with his mercy. He isn't out to punish us; he knows that the consequences of our sin—our distance from him, any suffering or ill effects of our sin—are punishment enough. He doesn't want to make us feel even worse. He knows all the times we try hard to follow him. Instead, he opens his arms to receive us. He heals the pain brought about from our sins and gives us grace for the future.
Are there times you have struggled with that harsh voice in your head and think that's how God sees you? Imagine the Father as he really is: the God who wraps his arms around you and says, "You are my precious child. I love you and I forgive you."
"Father, when I hear that negative voice in my head, remind me that it's not coming from you."
Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14 Luke 4:31-37
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From Saint Paul: "But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober." Last night, I was asked to lead another funeral vigil, and I had just seen this family about a week or two ago...another death in the family, natural causes. But it caught everyone off guard, and they were more struck here than the elderly mother last time. Therefore...stay awake, stay alert, I warned them "another death could happen soon, I've seen it before, I myself lost 3 in one year". We never know the time, God knows, and therefore, we live in a mystery...and there is beauty in the mystery, there is beauty in His ways. Now life is precious, because of Him.
We pray in the Holy Psalms: "I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life's refuge; of whom should I be afraid?" Last night, after the vigil, I was in the kitchen and we were having a snack, and the baby girl wonders into a dark room in the back and my 8 year old boy says "where's Aria?" and he kept looking to the dark room, knowing she had gone back there but he didn't want to go, kept holding his arms up and his chest, "where is she". I saw the whole thing and the older kids went to get her. I scolded him "what are you afraid of? Do you think we have monsters in our house? When have you seen them? What ARE YOU AFRAID OF?" You see, this has been my lesson to my kids as of late, that we should not be afraid if we are with God. Only when we are not with Him, do we become afraid of the dark, and mystery. Who will save the child now? Courage! COURAGE my child!
Our Lord speaks in the Holy Gospel of Luke: "In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!" Jesus rebuked him and said, "Be quiet! Come out of him!" Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm. They were all amazed and said to one another, "What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out." And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region."
I had a convert recently come to me after Mass and made an interesting comment...he said "it seems to me that there is something in the modern priests' messages, like they are holding back, they want to say something but they won't come out and say it" and I said it is true, what is holding us back? What is holding you back my child? What is holding you back from having power in the word? What is holding you back from saving a child venturing into the dark? What is holding us all back as a group? As a church? Nothing held our Lord back. He gave it His all. We are to follow the lead of the groom.
Let's pray: "Lord, I don't know what is holding me back! Lord help my disbelief! Help me stop doubting! Help me stop holding back! Put in us an inner drive and a true apostolic zeal for salvation of souls! If we are infused with Your Holy Spirit, let the Spirit flow in us continuously, and let nothing else run through our souls but that pure purity of fire from Heaven! The very liberating light and life that puts out the darkness in an instant!"
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
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Hebrews 4:15 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
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