†Saint Quote "It is part of the discipline of God to make His loved ones perfect through trial and suffering. Only by carrying the Cross can one reach the Resurrection." — Archbishop Fulton Sheen
†Meditation of the Day "The fact that we can't save ourselves is something we acknowledge in words, but in fact we find it very hard to accept. We'd all like to be saved by our own efforts...to shine in other people's eyes, even on the spiritual level. Worldly people want to be highly regarded because they have luxurious cars, expensive watches, designer clothes, professional prestige, and go around with beautiful people. As good Christians, we may want to stand out for our virtues, charisms, experience, and sound judgement. Then we consider that we are on the right path. But in fact we're in danger of ending up with exactly the same mindset as the worldly people described above. Very often, without realizing it, we have a worldly outlook on the spiritual life: self-fulfillment, self-affirmation, expansion of the ego, etc. And spiritual pride, we must be aware, is sometimes more destructive than social, worldly pride." —Fr. Jacques Philippe, pg. 34-35 AN EXCERPT FROM The Way of Trust and Love
†Verse of the Day "Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground." Ephesians 6:13
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ST. URSULA & HER 11,000 COMPANIONS
St. Ursula (4th c.) was a pious Christian princess from Britain, perhaps Wales. According to the 13th century Golden Legend she set sail and embarked on a pilgrimage to Rome with a large court of handmaids prior to settling in what is today western France, where she was to be joined in marriage to a local governor. Along her pilgrimage route she attracted many followers who were influenced by her holy example. On the return journey St. Ursula and her traveling maidens fell into the hands of the Huns, violent nomads from the East, who had invaded large swaths of Europe. St. Ursula and her company of virgins and other followers, which numbered 11,000, were tortured in an effort to have them renounce their faith. Steadfastly refusing, they were massacred in Cologne, Germany and buried together in a mass grave over which was built the Basilica of St. Ursula. Due to the varying accounts of her martyrdom and the difficulty of separating fact from legend, her feast day was suppressed in modern times. St. Ursula is the patroness of the Ursulines, a female religious order founded in 1535 by St. Angela Merici for the education of young girls. St. Ursula is also the patron of students, teachers, Catholic education, and of a holy death. Her feast day is October 21st
Thursday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading I Rom 6:19-23
Brothers and sisters: I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your nature. For just as you presented the parts of your bodies as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness for lawlessness, so now present them as slaves to righteousness for sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness. But what profit did you get then from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been freed from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit that you have leads to sanctification, and its end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Responsorial Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6
R. (Ps 40:5) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. Blessed the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked Nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, But delights in the law of the LORD and meditates on his law day and night. R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. He is like a tree planted near running water, That yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade. Whatever he does, prospers. R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. Not so the wicked, not so; they are like chaff which the wind drives away. For the LORD watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes. R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Alleluia Phil 3:8-9
R. Alleluia, alleluia. I consider all things so much rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in him. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 12:49-53
Jesus said to his disciples: "I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."
DAILY MEDITATION: ROMANS 6:19-23 You were slaves of sin . . . and have become slaves of God. (Romans 6:20, 22)
Slavery. It's not a word we like to hear. It brings to mind some of the worst abuses of humanity, and it violates the matchless dignity of every person. Is St. Paul saying it's okay? Of course not!
Unfortunately, the Romans Paul was writing to saw slavery as a fact of life. In the first century, as many as one in three people in the city of Rome was a slave! So Paul says he is speaking "in human terms" (Romans 6:19). Using a concept they could relate to, he talks about being "slaves of sin" (6:20). They understood being held in bondage by a power greater than their own. They had vivid images of people being compelled to obey even if they didn't want to. And so Paul used slavery as a way of explaining the power of sin.
Being "slaves of God" is an even harder image to understand. Paul is expressing the wholehearted, freely chosen obedience that God wants every one of his children to demonstrate. Just as slaves have only one master, so we believers should love and follow God alone, not "enslaving" ourselves to sin or to anything else. We know that God loves our free will and wants us to choose to obey him out of love, not out of fear of punishment.
Paul is trying to help the Romans understand the difference between being bound by our sinful tendencies and being children of God wholly belonging to him. He wants them, and us, to understand that "the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
In a sense, Paul is redefining the word when he talks about our call to become "slaves" to a God who loves us and has redeemed us. He also redefines the word "master" when he tells us that God is a Master who wants to set us free!
In the end, it's a beautiful paradox: we find our greatest freedom when we surrender ourselves to God. The more we submit to his reign, the more free we become. May we never go back to living as a "slave" to sin!
"Thank you, Lord, for setting me free! I want to belong completely to you and lovingly obey you."
Psalm 1:1-4, 6 Luke 12:49-53
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From Today's Holy Scripture: "I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your nature. For just as you presented the parts of your bodies as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness for lawlessness, so now present them as slaves to righteousness for sanctification."
We pray in Psalms: "Blessed the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked Nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, But delights in the law of the LORD and meditates on his law day and night. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord."
Our Lord speaks, the TRUTH speaks: "I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!"
From Bishop Barron.
"Friends, the statement of Jesus that we have in the Gospel for today is frightening: "I have come to cast a fire upon the earth; how I wish it were already kindled." He's throwing fire down, much like the God who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.
Okay, so how do we make sense of all this? I thought the angels on Christmas morning said that he had come as the Prince of Peace? Jesus is the Incarnation of the God who is nothing but love, but this enfleshment takes place in the midst of a fallen, sinful world. Therefore, it will appear as something threatening, strange, off-putting.
The world, on the biblical reading, is a dysfunctional family. When Jesus comes, he necessarily comes as a breaker of the peace, as a threat to the dysfunctional family. Now we can begin to understand that strange language about setting three against two and two against three.
This is why Jesus wants to cast a consuming fire on the earth. He wants to burn away all that is opposed to God's desire for us. He has to clear the ground before something new can be built. Is this utterly painful? Yes!"
Our Lord is peace and joy. Some will accept this Way. Some will reject Him.
Let's pray; Lord I pray we are the salt of the earth...the pure white crystals that radiate light by letting light shine through...for You are the light My Lord Jesus
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
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Random bible verse generator: John 14:23 23 Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
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