†Saint Quote "Since love completes all, makes all hard things soft, and the difficult easy, let us strive to make all our acts proceed from love." St. Arnold Janssen
†Today's Meditation "The Devil didn't deal out temptations to Our Lord only. He brings these evil schemes of his to bear on each of Jesus' servants—and not just on the mountain or in the wilderness or when we're by ourselves. No, he comes after us in the city as well, in the marketplaces, in courts of justice. He tempts us by means of others, even our own relatives. So what must we do? We must disbelieve him altogether, and close our ears against him, and hate his flattery. And when he tries to tempt us further by offering us even more, then we should shun him all the more. . . We aren't as intent on gaining our own salvation as he is intent on achieving our ruin. So we must shun him, not with words only, but also with works; not in mind only, but also in deed. We must do none of the things that he approves, for in that way will we do all those things that God approves. Yes, for the Devil also makes many promises, not so that he may give them to us, but so that he may take away from us. He promises plunder, so that he may deprive us of the kingdom of God and of righteousness. He sets out treasures in the earth as snares and traps, so that he may deprive us both of these and of the treasures in heaven. He would have us be rich in this life, so that we may not be rich in the next." — St. John Chrysostom, p. 152-3
†Verse of Daily "For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent, he will set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies round about me; and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord." Psalm 27:5-6
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St. Josaphat (1580-1623) was born to a devout religious family of Ruthenian ancestry in what is now Ukraine, and was baptized in the Eastern Orthodox Church. He devoted his virginity to the Virgin Mary and grew in his reverence for ancient liturgy. During a revival of Eastern Catholic monastic life he became a monk in the Order of St. Basil, and was ordained to Holy Orders in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in 1609. He was noted for his life of asceticism, holiness, and virtue which led to his appointment as Archbishop of Polotsk in what is today Belarus. During his lifetime there was much sociopolitical and ecclesiastical rivalry between the Catholics and Orthodox, especially in the wake of the 1596 Union of Brest which saw the Ruthenian rite break with Orthodoxy and come under the authority of the Holy See. St. Josaphat was passionate about working for the reunification with Rome and won many heretics and schismatics back to communion with Rome. However, he was also strongly opposed to the Latinization of his people. This combination of views drew ire from both Catholic and Orthodox clergy. His diocese was contested by the Orthodox, and a rival Orthodox bishop was set up to oppose him, causing riots. During one uprising Josaphat tried to calm the tensions and work for reunification and peace, but his enemies plotted to kill him. A mob of Orthodox Christians entered Josaphat's home, stabbed and axed his body and threw it into a river. His body was seen glowing in the water and was recovered. After his martyrdom many miracles were attributed to his intercession. Josaphat's sacrifice became a blessing as regret and sorrow over his death converted many hearts toward reunification with the Catholic Church. In 1867 Josaphat became the first saint of the Eastern Church to be formally canonized by Rome. His feast day is November 12.
Memorial of Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr
Lectionary: 495 Reading I
All men were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God,
and who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing him who is,
and from studying the works did not discern the artisan; But either fire, or wind, or the swift air,
or the circuit of the stars, or the mighty water,
or the luminaries of heaven, the governors of the world, they considered gods. Now if out of joy in their beauty they thought them gods,
let them know how far more excellent is the Lord than these;
for the original source of beauty fashioned them. Or if they were struck by their might and energy,
let them from these things realize how much more powerful is he who made them. For from the greatness and the beauty of created things
their original author, by analogy, is seen. But yet, for these the blame is less; For they indeed have gone astray perhaps,
though they seek God and wish to find him. For they search busily among his works,
but are distracted by what they see, because the things seen are fair. But again, not even these are pardonable. For if they so far succeeded in knowledge
that they could speculate about the world,
how did they not more quickly find its Lord?
R. (2a) The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day pours out the word to day,
and night to night imparts knowledge. R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God. Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard; Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message. R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus said to his disciples: "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man; they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage up to the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building; on the day when Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all. So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, someone who is on the housetop and whose belongings are in the house must not go down to get them, and likewise one in the field must not return to what was left behind. Remember the wife of Lot. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it. I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. And there will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken, the other left." They said to him in reply, "Where, Lord?" He said to them, "Where the body is, there also the vultures will gather."
Daily Meditation: Luke 17:26-37
As it was in the days of Lot: they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building. (Luke 17:28)
When Rome was sacked by Germanic tribes in AD 410, its citizens were stunned. They wondered how the "Eternal City"—unconquered for eight hundred years—could have been overthrown. In response to those who blamed its collapse on the rise of Christianity, St. Augustine wrote his famous treatise The City of God.
Augustine depicted two invisible "cities" that exist simultaneously on earth. The inhabitants of both cities go through life together and experience the same events alongside one another (like the fall of Rome). However, in the City of God, the Lord is present and the people worship Jesus as Lord. In the "Earthly City," the people are so preoccupied with the things of this world that they are unaware of—and sometimes at odds with—God's kingdom in their midst.
We see a similar situation in today's Gospel. The same people are "eating, drinking, buying, selling," but Jesus distinguishes between Noah and his contemporaries, Lot and the residents of Sodom, and two women grinding grain (Luke 17:26, 28, 35). In each group, there are residents of the City of God who have put their faith in the Lord. There are also others who are so absorbed in the worries and pleasures of this world that they are unaware of God's kingdom coming upon them. Ultimately, the Earthly City and its inhabitants will fade, while God's city and his people will live forever.
This doesn't mean that Jesus is against everyday activities like working, cooking meals, and owning possessions. These things are usually good and necessary. But Jesus is warning us not to become too entangled and immersed in the things of this Earthly City.
So today, let's try to keep our spiritual eyes and ears open to the kingdom of God in our midst. Let's hold on to our earthly possessions with an open, generous hand—not a clenched fist! These things are destined to fade, rust, and decay, but we are destined to live forever. Let's keep clinging to Jesus, the source of life and the ruler of the City of God, our eternal home!
"Lord, open my eyes to your kingdom coming upon me."
Wisdom 13:1-9 Psalm 19:2-5
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From Today's Holy Scripture: "All men were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God, and who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing him who is, and from studying the works did not discern the artisan..."
There have been scientists and philosophers who found God in their studies of the world and humanity. And there have been many who have not. And those who do not find Him then, choose folly as the standard for life. And so that is the greatest issues we face today....who gets to set the standards? If it is not God, then a fool will be sent in His place...and we are that fool if we do not choose His ways above our ways....that is His will above our wills.
We pray in Psalms: "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day pours out the word to day, and night to night imparts knowledge. The heavens proclaim the glory of God."
Light from light, truth from Truth, life from Life. Darkness gives darkness. How can we avoid darkness in our own lives? Avoid it, says the priests in my confessional, "avoid the near occasion of sin". It is biblical. "Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers".
Ever seen people mocking other people? It happens in gossip. It happens more often than we can admit, or care to admit.
We heard our Lord: "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man; they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage up to the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all." Not many entered the Ark...of the Covenant. Instead of entering with Noah, they made fun of him. Instead of repenting, the persisted in their sin, and died in their sin.
Right now, I'm spreading a message to all my church, and it goes like this: "Let's fast for 40 days til Christmas, and offer it up for our loved ones in addictions and straying far from Church. Let's abstain from sin, and let's give up something, and pray every day for this intention, and be giving".
Our country, our world needs prayer. Their is bickering and fighting, instead of being together uniting. Divisiveness is of the devil and the devil feeds off of sin, and sin is nothing other than giving into temptation.
The prophet speaks. For we are baptized so.
Our Lord said: "...and likewise one in the field must not return to what was left behind. Remember the wife of Lot. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it." What you worked so hard for will be destroyed. What you treasured so much will be annihilated. Nothing is forever...except God. All earthly promises are broken, but the Covenant of God is forever. As much as the rich try to preserve themselves like the kings of Egypt, they will turn to dust. And only God can raise us and make new from the dust.
Our Lord said: "I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. And there will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken, the other left."
And the protestant's "rapture" and "left behind series" comes about. I told my RCIA students that I've seen protestant bumper stickers that say "Warning: In case of Rapture this vehicle will be unmanned". Like people will be zapped away. In a sense it is right, but mostly wrong. We will not be working and one person suddenly disappear, but we may be next to someone who dies suddenly, as has been the case in recent funerals I've noticed.
So who will be left away and who is going to be left behind? And where are they going? The hope is we are taken to Heaven, right? And the dead are left to suffer, is the belief, right? Or do the righteous get to live and the others go to hell, eternal death?
Either way, the message is clear: Be ready. The King is coming. He has come and promised to return.
Let's pray: Lord, My God, My all, I pray for my loved ones, and I pray for myself, that we are caught up with You in Heaven. Please hear our 40 day prayer that will start soon, please God and Father, we cannot do anything with You, please hear our prayers.
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
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fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
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