†Saint Quote "Quote of the Day "The devotion to the Eucharist is the most noble, because it has God as its object; it is the most profitable for salvation, because it gives us the Author of Grace; it is the sweetest, because the Lord is Sweetness Itself." –St. Pius X
†Today's Meditation "I've appointed the Devil to tempt and to trouble My creatures in this life [St. Catherine of Siena reports that Our Lord said to her]. I've done this, not so that My creatures will be overcome, but so that they may overcome, proving their virtue and receiving from Me the glory of victory. And no one should fear any battle or temptation of the Devil that may come to him, because I've made My creatures strong, and I've given them strength of will, fortified in the Blood of My Son. Neither the Devil nor any other creature can control this free will, because it's yours, given to you by Me. By your own choice, then, you hold it or let it go if you please. It's a weapon, and if you place it in the hands of the Devil, it right away becomes a knife that he'll use to stab and kill you. On the other hand, if you don't place this knife that is your will into the hands of the Devil—that is, if you don't consent to his temptations and harassments—you will never be injured by the guilt of sin in any temptation. Instead, you'll actually be strengthened by the temptation, as long as you open the eyes of your mind to see My love, and to understand why I allowed you to be tempted: so you could develop virtue by having it proved. My love permits these temptations, for the Devil is weak. He can do nothing by himself unless I allow him. So I let him tempt you because I love you, not because I hate you. I want you to conquer, not to be conquered, and to come to a perfect knowledge of yourself and of Me." —St. Catherine of Siena, p. 159-160
An Excerpt From Manual for Spiritual Warfare
†Daily Verse "Hearken to me, you who pursue deliverance, you who seek the Lord; look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were digged." –Isaiah 51:1
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St. Benjamin (d. 424 A.D.) was a deacon martyred in Persia during a forty-year-long Christian persecution under two tyrannical Persian kings. He was imprisoned for a year due to his Christian faith and then released with the help of the Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius II. As a condition of his release he was ordered to no longer publicly proclaim his faith. Benjamin declared that it was his duty to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he refused to be silenced. He continued preaching Christ crucified, and, when word reached the king, he was arrested again. In response, Benjamin asked the king what opinion he would have of any of his subjects if they were to renounce their allegiance to the king and join in war against him; in the same way Benjamin could not renounce his allegiance to Christ. This comment enraged the king, and he ordered Benjamin to endure cruel tortures. Sharpened reeds were repeatedly jammed underneath his fingernails, toenails, and other tender parts of the body. He died when a knotted stake was jammed into his bowels. St. Benjamin's feast day is celebrated on March 31st.
Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Reading I Ex 32:7-14
The LORD said to Moses, "Go down at once to your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, for they have become depraved. They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them, making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it, sacrificing to it and crying out, 'This is your God, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt!' The LORD said to Moses, "I see how stiff-necked this people is. Let me alone, then, that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them. Then I will make of you a great nation."
But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying, "Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with such great power and with so strong a hand? Why should the Egyptians say, 'With evil intent he brought them out, that he might kill them in the mountains and exterminate them from the face of the earth'? Let your blazing wrath die down; relent in punishing your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and how you swore to them by your own self, saying, 'I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky; and all this land that I promised, I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.'" So the LORD relented in the punishment he had threatened to inflict on his people.
Responsorial Psalm 106:19-20, 21-22, 23
R. (4a) Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people. Our fathers made a calf in Horeb
and adored a molten image; They exchanged their glory
for the image of a grass-eating bullock. R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people. They forgot the God who had saved them,
who had done great deeds in Egypt, Wondrous deeds in the land of Ham,
terrible things at the Red Sea. R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people. Then he spoke of exterminating them,
but Moses, his chosen one, Withstood him in the breach
to turn back his destructive wrath. R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Verse Before the Gospel Jn 3:16
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.
Gospel Jn 5:31-47
Jesus said to the Jews: "If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true. But there is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true. You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth. I do not accept human testimony, but I say this so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light. But I have testimony greater than John's. The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf. But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form, and you do not have his word remaining in you, because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf. But you do not want to come to me to have life.
"I do not accept human praise; moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me; yet if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father: the one who will accuse you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope. For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?"
Daily Meditation: John 5:31-47
There is another who testifies. (John 5:32)
According to Jewish tradition, even God himself observes the Sabbath as a day of rest—but with one exception: he still gives life on the Sabbath. And so when Jesus healed a man on a Sabbath, some of his opponents objected and accused him of breaking the Law of Moses. But Jesus answered, in effect, "I restored life to a sick man; shouldn't that tell you who I am?" That declaration would have caused quite a reaction in his critics' minds because they would have understood Jesus to mean that he was on a similar, perhaps even equal, plane as God.
He did mean that. Jesus was saying that just as God his Father was working, so he too was working—to give life (John 5:17). And how did he give life? By healing the sick, making the lame walk and the blind see (4:50; 5:9; 9:11). Before his opponents' very eyes, Jesus fulfilled the messianic prophecies that the coming of God among them would be heralded by life-giving works (Isaiah 35:4-6). Even today, God hasn't stopped working. Day in and day out, he is still giving life to his people—giving life to you!
Have you seen him at work? Every time you've experienced healing—of a physical illness or an emotional wound or a broken relationship—he is at work giving life to you. Any time you have been freed from the guilt of your sins or received insight into God's love for you, Jesus is at work giving you life. These works testify that Jesus is the Son of God, who is consubstantial (one in being) with the Father. They testify to the power and love of God for you.
God is not bound by human limitations of place and time. Jesus is always working to give life to you, when and where you need it. On the Sabbath, he can give life. On holidays, wedding days, or even Thursdays, Jesus can give you life. So ask him today to free you from sin and to give you life in abundance (John 10:10).
"Thank you, Jesus, that you are always bestowing life on me."
Exodus 32:7-14 Psalm 106:19-23
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "So the LORD relented in the punishment he had threatened to inflict on his people."
There have been some interesting things that have happened in history with our Lord and Father in Heaven. His plans change. They seem to hinge on a will, and our free will. Even prophecies by wonderful saints turn to something else. Just youtube some prophecies as of late by exorcists and of Mother Mary, and some of them change, and this is because of our free will.
God releases punishers into the world, for the greater good. If I don't change the behavior of my kids, they only get worse and hurt each other more.
We pray in Psalms: "Then he spoke of exterminating them, but Moses, his chosen one, Withstood him in the breach to turn back his destructive wrath. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people." And our new Moses is our Lord Jesus. He can stand in the breach to turn back God's wrath. Mercy stand in for us, and all I can see is mercy written everywhere in scripture, in realms of the next life even. I know this too, because I experienced the strangest phenomenon when my dad passed after praying the Divine Mercy chaplet with him and even before so.
And there is a constant threat to the world, even to this moment, and God's wrath is ready to be unleashed. But we have Mercy living among us. Have you experienced Divine Mercy? I have, and it is an overwhelming ordeal, like a healing that leaves me baffled asking "well, how do I pay back?". Do you know what a life costs? There is no way to pay for a life to come to life from the dead. Everything about life hinges on Divine Mercy, our Lord Himself.
In today's Gospel we heard: "But you do not want to come to me to have life. "I do not accept human praise; moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me" I hope one day you can be like me or even better. That is actually my job, to be the guinea pig, the lab rat to be sent in so you can know what is to be expected. I am tasting the Lord, so that you can see. I am tasting as a slave does for the King, and you are my King, for the Lord is incorporated in the baptized body of Christ the King. I want you to be like me in being perplexed by human praise, that is, to not accept human praises.
And you should see how I get praised sometimes, oh boy do I stand back and ask myself as it is going on "is this of the devil?" who is trying to inflate me ego right now?
And now let me go backwards. This morning, I sat alone and I am used to my dad/the boss sit next to me, and so a jab stabbed my heart, a tear jerker, but a phone call about worker interrupted the temptation to depression. And so, I wonder, "is this the devil trying to enter me with temptation to depression?" and the list goes on and on. We really have to stepback and away from ourselves and see what is really going on. And so, we avoid the highs and lows in life by living a life with God in grace. And Grace is a free gift from God that we are given in Sacraments and by prayer.
"How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?" The world loves to teach about egos and self esteem and that you are more important than even God Himself. The world operates on emotions and many times on bodily influences that are susceptible to seductions of all kinds for self gratification, and the worst is the mental pride. I don't like being applauded in church. Tradition says applause is no place for Church in the church. All praise is reserved for God and anyone who praises otherwise gets under my skin. And I know people will argue with me about it but let me take more of your time on this with an example: I ask to make an announcement after Mass, pleading for help in a ministry, and after a great speech, a roaring applause ensues, and then nobody answers the plea for help. Nobody tended to Christ, they just enjoyed the tickling of the ears, agreeing to what? Can you see why the applause and praise is ridiculous? Save it for your gods in the stadiums and awards ceremonies. Praise is all due to God. Let God praise you in silence. And that's another thing that kills me inside. All about today's Gospel is about "belief". God is asking us to believe and if you believe then you will see. Well, faith is believing. Believing what? In God, right? Ultimately that's what it boils down to.
I know we all believe, otherwise you wouldn't be reading this. But what kills me is silence. I cannot sit silent. And I cannot pray in silence, and I mean, I cannot hush mentally for very long before losing it. Yet, they say that is where God speaks. Just last night, I was praying and telling God that I cannot stand it, just the silence. Maybe it is because my dad passed and I feel a long silence, and I long to hear his voice, the back and forth communication with the father, my father. And what's worse is that God is Our Father and I long to have that interaction of back and forth, like Moses could talk with God and hear God and so forth.
Maybe I've just blurted my own answer to my problem now. Work on silence. Work on humility. Work on faith. Work on a greater intimacy with Our Father...
Lord help us obtain the belief needed to illuminate the world. We turn to you in humble supplication...still in sackcloth and ashes....
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
PS I apologize for writing later in the day, now that I'm assuming my dad's role at the family business, it seems i've taken on even more hats to wear, more responsibilities and people to answer to...takes more time. Please be patient with me. Thank you. I pray for all who read this.
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Random bible verse generator:
DOH! LOL more on believing and faith:
Romans 10:17 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
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