†Saint Quote "I know now that true charity consists in bearing all of our neighbors defectsnot being surprised at their weakness, but edified at their smallest virtues." –St. Therese of Lisieux - The Little Flower
†Today's Meditation "The life of prayer calls for continuous battles. It is the most important and the longest effort in a life dedicated to God. This effort has been given a beautiful name: it is called the guard of the heart. The human heart is a city; it was meant to be a stronghold. Sin surrendered it. Henceforth it is an open city, the walls of which have to be built up again. The enemy never ceases to do all he can to prevent this. He does this with his accustomed cleverness and strength, with stratagem and fury … he succeeds all along the line to distract us and entice us away from the divine presence. We must always be starting again. These continual recoveries, this endless beginning again, tires and disheartens us far more than the actual fighting. We would much prefer a real battle, fierce and decisive. But God, as a rule, thinks otherwise. He would rather we were in a constant state of war." — Dom Augustin Guillerand, p. 57
The Prayer of the Presence of God, p57 An Excerpt From The Prayer of the Presence of God, p57
†Daily Verse "But as for me, I will look to the Lord, I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me." –Micah 7:7
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St. Raymond of Penafort ------‐------------ St. Raymond of Penafort (1175–1275) was born in Spain to the noble family of Aragon. As a child he received an excellent education and displayed a great love for the Blessed Mother. After studying and teaching philosophy and law he entered the Order of Preachers. He preached the Crusades and encouraged the faithful to defend their civilization from foreign threats. To aid his preaching, Raymond requested that his fellow Dominican, St. Thomas Aquinas, write his epic Summa Contra Gentiles for the conversion of non-Catholics, especially Muslims. It is said that at least 10,000 Muslims were converted to the Catholic faith as a result of Raymond's evangelistic labors. Together with King James of Aragon and St. Peter Nolasco he founded the Order of Our Lady of Ransom (Mercedarians), a group that worked to free Christians enslaved by the Moors. Known for his great mind and great sanctity, St. Raymond was the Pope's personal confessor and close adviser. As a trained lawyer, he was also chosen to compile the Church's legal documents into one source of canon law which was then used for centuries. He also wrote a manual of moral theology for confessors. St. Raymond is famous for the miracle of sailing from the island of Majorca to Barcelona using his cape for a raft, in protest of the King of Aragon's refusal to dismiss his mistress. St. Raymond of Penafort is the patron of lawyers and canon lawyers. His feast day is January 7.
Friday after Epiphany
Reading I 1 Jn 5:5-13
Beloved: Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
This is the one who came through water and Blood, Jesus Christ, not by water alone, but by water and Blood. The Spirit is the one who testifies, and the Spirit is truth. So there are three who testify, the Spirit, the water, and the Blood, and the three are of one accord. If we accept human testimony, the testimony of God is surely greater. Now the testimony of God is this, that he has testified on behalf of his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has this testimony within himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar by not believing the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever possesses the Son has life; whoever does not possess the Son of God does not have life.
I write these things to you so that you may know that you have eternal life, you who believe in the name of the Son of God.
Responsorial Psalm 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
R. (12a) Praise the Lord, Jerusalem. or: R. Alleluia. Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion. For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; he has blessed your children within you. R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem. or: R. Alleluia. He has granted peace in your borders; with the best of wheat he fills you. He sends forth his command to the earth; swiftly runs his word! R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem. or: R. Alleluia. He has proclaimed his word to Jacob, his statutes and his ordinances to Israel. He has not done thus for any other nation; his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia. R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem. or: R. Alleluia.
Alleluia See Mt 4:23 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of the Kingdom and cured every disease among the people. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 5:12-16
It happened that there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where Jesus was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, "Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean." Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, "I do will it. Be made clean." And the leprosy left him immediately. Then he ordered him not to tell anyone, but "Go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them." The report about him spread all the more, and great crowds assembled to listen to him and to be cured of their ailments, but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray.
DAILY MEDITATION: 1 JOHN 5:5-13 "The Spirit is the one who testifies, and the Spirit is truth. (1 John 5:6)"
Except for a few incidents, we don't know much about Jesus' early life. He spent about thirty years living a hidden, quiet life in Nazareth before beginning his public ministry. And when he appeared, he prompted many people to wonder who he was and where he really came from.
We may have similar questions from time to time. How can I really know Jesus? Well, today's first reading points to three crucial witnesses: "the Spirit, the water, and the Blood" (1 John 5:8). These witnesses spoke to Jesus' own followers, and they can speak to us.
Water. Jesus began his ministry when he was baptized in the Jordan River. As he came up from the water, God proclaimed, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased" (Luke 3:22). But despite this miracle and all the others, many of Jesus' followers continued to doubt him.
Then came the testimony of blood, in Jesus' death on the cross. It didn't make sense. The disciples had just begun to believe that he was the Messiah; how could he die like this? Wasn't he going to liberate Israel? Where was the victory over the Roman oppressors? But the true testimony of Jesus' blood was revealed at his resurrection: the testimony of a love that is stronger than death.
It was only when the Spirit descended on them at Pentecost that the disciples saw that Jesus was "both Lord and Messiah" (Acts 2:36). Then they fully understood that he had come to conquer the world not with military might but with the power of divine mercy. The Spirit's testimony overcame their doubt and fear. And filled with that same Spirit, the disciples traveled far and wide proclaiming the good news they had received.
Today we still have the testimonies of the water and the blood to tell us about Jesus. But it's the Spirit who makes our faith come alive. It's the Spirit who opens our eyes and overcomes our doubts. He's the One who brings us into God's presence, fills us with his love, and prompts us to live for Christ. Best of all, this special gift from God will never leave us.
"Come, Holy Spirit! Fill me and guide me today."
Psalm 147:12-15, 19-20 Luke 5:12-16
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "Beloved: Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"
Belief makes all the difference. Faith makes a difference. We need faith through tough times. A childlike belief that is pure and wonderful to our Lord's eyes.
We pray in Psalms: "He has proclaimed his word to Jacob, his statutes and his ordinances to Israel. He has not done thus for any other nation; his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem."
Who is Jerusalem? It is meant to be the city of God. A city of peace. A city where Israel collects. We are to be citizens of Jerusalem. Am I speaking of the physical nation? It is a central point of all faith. Then it is much more. It is where Jesus pours Himself out in faith. We are to follow His way.
We heard in the Gospel today: ""Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean." Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, "I do will it. Be made clean." And the leprosy left him immediately."
Right now we pray for my dad...to be made clean, to be healed. Our Lord heals, always has. We must pull at our Lord's heart strings for they say this moves mountains. Our Ord desires for all of us to be made clean....and this goes deep. To be made clean is to be made whole...with God's people and His Body. That is why the next step was to go see a priest...to do what is prescribed by the law of God...to complete the reunification with God's people.
Let's pray: Lord, if You wish, You can make us clean. I desire it. I always desire Your Holy Will.
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
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Random bible verse generator:
Proverbs 16:8 [Proverbs 16]
8 Better is a little with righteousness
than great revenues with injustice.
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