†Saint Quote "As the pilot of a vessel is tried in the storm; as the wrestler is tried in the ring, the soldier in the battle, and the hero in adversity: so is the Christian tried in temptation." –St. Basil the Great
†Today's Meditation "Our confidence in God must be founded on His infinite goodness and on the merits of the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, with this condition on our part: that we should preserve and recognize in ourselves an entire and firm resolution to belong wholly to God, and to abandon ourselves in all things, and without any reserve, to His Providence. Observe that I do not say that we must feel this resolution to belong wholly to God, but only that we must have it and recognize it in ourselves; we must not concern ourselves with what we feel or do not feel, since the greater part of our feelings and satisfactions are only the movements of self-love. Neither must it be supposed that in all this practice of abandonment and indifference, we shall never have desires contrary to the will of God, or that nature will never shrink with repugnance from the dispositions of His good pleasure, for these will often occur. The virtues of abandonment and indifference reside in the higher region of our soul; the lower region, generally speaking, has nothing to do with them. We must remain at peace, and paying no attention whatever to what that lower nature desires, we must embrace the divine will and unite ourselves to it—whatsoever this may entail. There are very few persons who reach this height of perfect self-renunciation; nevertheless, we must all aim at it, each according to his little measure." — St. Francis de Sales, p. 22-23
†Daily Verse "But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. We are confident of you in the Lord that what we instruct you, you [both] are doing and will continue to do. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ." –2 Thessalonians 3:3-5
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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.
Monday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
Reading I 1 Sm 1:1-8
There was a certain man from Ramathaim, Elkanah by name, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives, one named Hannah, the other Peninnah; Peninnah had children, but Hannah was childless. This man regularly went on pilgrimage from his city to worship the LORD of hosts and to sacrifice to him at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were ministering as priests of the LORD. When the day came for Elkanah to offer sacrifice, he used to give a portion each to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters, but a double portion to Hannah because he loved her, though the LORD had made her barren. Her rival, to upset her, turned it into a constant reproach to her that the LORD had left her barren. This went on year after year; each time they made their pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the LORD, Peninnah would approach her, and Hannah would weep and refuse to eat. Her husband Elkanah used to ask her: "Hannah, why do you weep, and why do you refuse to eat? Why do you grieve? Am I not more to you than ten sons?"
Responsorial Psalm 116:12-13, 14-17, 18-19 R. (17a) To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise. or: R. Alleluia. How shall I make a return to the LORD
for all the good he has done for me? The cup of salvation I will take up,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD. R. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise. or: R. Alleluia. My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people. Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones. O LORD, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
you have loosed my bonds. R. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise. or: R. Alleluia. My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people, In the courts of the house of the LORD,
in your midst, O Jerusalem. R. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise. or: R. Alleluia.
Alleluia Mk 1:15
R. Alleluia, alleluia. The Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mk 1:14-20
After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God: "This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel."
As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." Then they left their nets and followed him. He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him.
Daily Meditation: 1 Samuel 1:1-8
Why do you weep, and. . . refuse to eat? . . . Am I not more to you than ten sons? (1 Samuel 1:8)
Family photos often elicit the exclamation "He looks just like his father!" Sometimes the resemblance is evident in a posture, a mannerism, or even in the sound of one's voice. So it is with Hannah's husband, Elkanah, in today's first reading. Elkanah's words to Hannah, whose heart is breaking under the weight of her longing for a child, reveal the loving character of God. The concern, the tenderness, and the empathy Elkanah has for Hannah mirror how God looks at each of us.
Read Elkanah's words to Hannah again: "Am I not more to you . . . ?" (1 Samuel 1:8). They are words of love, full of compassion and graciousness toward his distraught wife. Elkanah was not hurt or angered by her refusal of his comfort but gently tried to turn her thoughts toward the bigger truth of his love for her. How like God our Father that is! As a father, God has compassion on us, his children. Daily he wants to remind us of his grace and mercy toward us.
As it did for Hannah, disappointment can cloud your emotions and your view of God. But you can clear that fog. Like Hannah, start with prayer—it's okay to remind the Lord (repeatedly even) of what you desire. But also remind yourself that God cares for you. He is not angered when you refuse his comfort. He wants to meet you in your pain and provide for you. He longs to nourish you and heal the areas of your life that feel wounded or wasted. Eventually, God did fulfill Hannah's deepest longing for a son, Samuel. But in the meantime, he poured into her his tender, fatherly love—just as he will for you.
So take the nourishment God offers today. He might nourish you with an inspiring word in Scripture. Or perhaps he will feed your soul through the comfort of a friendship and the laughter and encouragement that flow between the two of you. He certainly can feed you through his presence in the Eucharist and in a restful, peaceful prayer time. In those moments, you may discover that your heavenly Father can fulfill you as nothing else can.
"Father, thank you for your tender love. I trust you to provide for me."
Psalm 116:12-19 Mark 1:14-20
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: ""Hannah, why do you weep, and why do you refuse to eat? Why do you grieve? Am I not more to you than ten sons?"
She wanted a baby. A blessing. It was considered a great blessing to have a child. But God asks us to consider the true blessing...His very presence...and His essence. Lord help us focus on you more.
We pray in Psalms: "My vows to the LORD I will pay in the presence of all his people, In the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise..."
We heard in the Gospel today: ""This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel." Our Lord came to tell us that God's Kingdom is at hand. What is God's Kingdom? And what are we to do with His offering and invitation? One thing is for sure...a Kingdom has a King. And we are invited to make Him King and center of our lives. To become a citizen, we must repent and believe. Repent of our sinful ways and lives, and believe in His salvation.
"Jesus said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." Then they left their nets and followed him." Our Lord invites us to Himself and our response should be immediate. The men left everything behind and followed Him. But we put forth excuses, don't we? What are we afraid to give? Our lives? Our Lord calls us, the King calls us. Our Shepherd calls us. Our Savior calls us.
Let's pray: Lord, if You are calling, I want to know. If You are calling, give me grace to follow. If You are calling, give me strength and love to come to You. I pray for all of us hurting and still praying for our loved ones suffering with this pandemic. I pray for strength to hear Your voice and to come to You, with true love and sincerity, for You are our God, our strength, our hope, and our Salvation.
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
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1 Thessalonians 5:23–24
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
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