†Saint Quote "Love Our Lady and make her loved; always recite the Rosary and recite it as often as possible." — St. Padre Pio
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Always be impartial and just in your deeds. Put yourself into your neighbor's place, and him in yours, and then you will judge fairly . . . Frequently, therefore, examine your heart, whether it is so disposed towards your neighbor, as you would have his disposed towards you, were you to change places; for this is the true test." — St. Francis de Sales, p. 226 AN EXCERPT FROM Introduction to the Devout Life
†VERSE OF THE DAY "O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever." 1 Chronicles 16:34
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ST. PADRE PIO OF PIETRELCINA
St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina (1887–1968) was born to peasant farmers in southern Italy. By the time he was 5 years old he practiced a life of penance and made the decision to give himself completely to God. He grew up working in the fields, and at the age of 19 joined the Capuchin Franciscan friars. His Franciscan spirituality was characterized by a life of poverty, love of nature, and charity to those in need, especially to those who were his "spiritual children." St. Padre Pio had many spiritual gifts and was a great miracle-worker. These were well-documented from multiple reliable sources and included bilocation, levitation, reading souls, and physical healing by touch. Word of his holiness spread and people both pious and curious flocked to see him, especially to have him hear their confession. He is the first priest known to have received the stigmata, for which he suffered suspicion and investigation. Because of the unusual supernatural phenomena surrounding his life, he is considered one of the great visionaries and mystics of the Church. Padre Pio died in 1968 at the age of 81. He was canonized by Pope St. John Paul II in 2002. Because of the many miracles he performed during his life, he is commonly invoked as a healing saint for various ailments. His feast day is September 23rd.
Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest
Lectionary: 452 Reading I
On the first day of the sixth month in the second year of King Darius, The word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai to the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, and to the high priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak:
Thus says the LORD of hosts:
This people says: "The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD." (Then this word of the LORD came through Haggai, the prophet:) Is it time for you to dwell in your own paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?
Now thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways! You have sown much, but have brought in little; you have eaten, but have not been satisfied; You have drunk, but have not been exhilarated; have clothed yourselves, but not been warmed; And whoever earned wages earned them for a bag with holes in it.
Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways! Go up into the hill country; bring timber, and build the house That I may take pleasure in it and receive my glory, says the LORD.
149:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6a and 9b
R. (see 4a) The Lord takes delight in his people. 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. 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. 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.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father except through me. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying, "John has been raised from the dead"; others were saying, "Elijah has appeared"; still others, "One of the ancient prophets has arisen." But Herod said, "John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?" And he kept trying to see him.
Daily Meditation: Luke 9:7-9
He was greatly perplexed. (Luke 9:7)
Jesus had opened blind eyes, unstopped deaf ears, and mended lame legs. By doing all of this, he had fulfilled Isaiah's prophecy about the coming Messiah (35:4-6). Herod, a Jew, would probably have known that prophecy. But Herod's thoughts were tangled up in guilt, fear, and self-interest. He had ordered the beheading of John the Baptist, he was living with his brother's wife, and he would do just about anything to satisfy his self-interest. And that tangle of thoughts prevented him from recognizing the truth of who Jesus was.
It's natural to criticize Herod's actions because we know that he would eventually reject Jesus and send him to his death. But here we see Herod in the middle—the perplexing middle—of his story. We see him still intrigued by Jesus and his message.
We all experience some degree of perplexity about the Lord. Perhaps guilt or shame causes you to doubt that he would welcome you. Maybe you're disappointed that a loved one for whom you had prayed earnestly has slipped away into eternity. Or perhaps you're worried about your spouse or a child who has turned away from the faith. Thought and emotion become tangled, and perplexity gains the upper hand.
You don't have to stay like this! You can always turn to the Lord and let the truth of God's presence and love speak to the perplexity within you. Let God remind you that his love is greater than all uncertainty, that the freedom flowing from repentance is worth any awkwardness, and that Jesus is both able and willing to strengthen anyone. Even you. Then focus your thoughts on the truth that you know: Jesus will never abandon you, your loved ones, or anyone, for that matter.
Herod let perplexity keep him from seeing the truth. You have the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, to guide you to all truth and to help you choose it (John 16:13). He will lead you in the way forward. He will help you find peace, even in the midst of perplexity.
"Holy Spirit, help me to choose truth today, and lead me in your peace."
Haggai 1:1-8 Psalm 149:1-6, 9
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From the book of Haggai: "Now thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways! You have sown much, but have brought in little; you have eaten, but have not been satisfied; You have drunk, but have not been exhilarated; have clothed yourselves, but not been warmed; And whoever earned wages earned them for a bag with holes in it.
Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways! Go up into the hill country; bring timber, and build the house That I may take pleasure in it and receive my glory, says the LORD."
There is a price to pay for things, isn't there? If I indulge in something, like a cake, or too much to drink, alcohol, or even relaxation...too much, there is a price to pay. By the time many get their paycheck, it is already spent, isn't it? Where did all my time and money go? This Scripture asks us to invest...in the house of God. To be selfless. To be consumed in "My Father's Business" from Heaven.
Let us pray the Holy Psalms: "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."
Children love attention from daddy. We got 8 kids, and I know this for a fact. Some do well with not much attention, some need more. They delight with attention. But how often does daddy delight in his kids?
I delight when they do not know.
I delight in the unexpected moments. I even delight just at their sight, same thing with my wife. And so, the scripture tells us that God is delighted in HIS people.
And guess what? You are HIS. You do not belong to the world. You belong to Him. And this is good news, let us turn to Him in sincerity and true Love.
In the Holy Gospel according to Luke we heard: "Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying, "John has been raised from the dead"; others were saying, "Elijah has appeared"; still others, "One of the ancient prophets has arisen." But Herod said, "John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?" And he kept trying to see him."
All reflections I've read on this Scripture focus on Herod, the one trying to see our Lord as they wondered who Jesus was, really. Eventually Herod tosses our Lord away as if to say "meh, he does nothing for me, I don't need him". Does this line sound familiar? I've heard it from some who refuse to believe in our Lord. "Why should I do anything for Him? He's never done anything for ME!". The very truth of utilitarianism, using for one's own benefit or be discarded, like aborted people. And so I turn my focus then, on you and me. I asked my students last night if they've ever "experienced God" in their lives. And this is an important question, because the experience of God is an experience of being.
Think of your greatest experience of God now. What was happening at the moment? I bet you remember where you were and what you were doing. How did He enter your life? I bet it was inexplicable. You just knew He was there, right? That's how it is. This is called the knowing and being of God, as I'd like to put it. It goes beyond consciousness, and into a realm and reality that we are to tap into more often than not. But some refuse to let God speak to their hearts.
The Herods were curious about Jesus. And this is the point of most neutralists in the world, this is their maximum effort to get to know God our Father.
I know a young college guy that finally met his father. And it turned out his blood dad wasn't all that he expected him to be, and as a matter of fact, he had to help his dad more than the dad was helping him! I told him "he needs you". It wasn't the relationship he expected, but in the end, they are content and communicating...and the love relationship has begun, because the child decided to love and get to know him. Earthly daddy's are not the same as Heavenly Father. He is EVERYTHING you expected to be. He does not need you, but oh boy, do we need Him. You see, earthly loves are limited. God is unlimited. You have a knowing in your heart and it will be known to the world whence you decide to truly honor God our Father with all sincerity...and not for selfish gain. It's not about me, it's about so much more!
Let's pray: Lord, My Father, I have desired to see you all my life. And here I am, in Your Presence, You are delighted that I am with You, and I still want more of You in my life. How can a love thirst so much? This is good Father, You are amazing...May I become unlimited like You...unlimited in thirst for Love of You My Father My God MY ALL!
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
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9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
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