†Saint Quote ""One should not say that it is impossible to reach a virtuous life; but one should say that it is not easy. Nor do those who have reached it find it easy to maintain." –St. Antony Of The Desert
†Today's Meditation "That which our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did and suffered for all men, He did and suffered for each one in particular; and He would not have thought it too much to do if it had been a question of saving only a single soul. The salvation of a soul is, then, the price of the blood of God, the price of the death of God, the price of the greatest sacrifice that God, clothed in our human nature, could possibly make! This is incomprehensible! … It proves that the dignity of a soul is beyond understanding—for God to abase Himself, for God to annihilate Himself, for God to sacrifice Himself, only to save that soul and make it happy forever! … As for us, who believe humbly and firmly all that God has revealed to us, let us learn, by the contemplation of God upon a Cross, what is the value of our souls. Let us not lose our soul; let us not prostitute it to creatures; and to make sure of our eternal salvation, which cost so much to the Son of God, let us beg of Jesus Christ Himself to take charge of it, to lead us in the right way and guide us always. Such an inestimable treasure runs too great a risk in our own hands. Let us trust it to God and our Savior. Let us make Him the Master of our liberty, which we may so easily abuse, and the abuse of which may bring about such terrible consequences. Once abandoned to the safe and infallible guidance of His grace, we have no more to fear. He loves us too much, He takes too much interest in our salvation, ever to lose the price of His blood and His sufferings." — Fr. Jean Nicholas Grou, p. 7-9
An Excerpt From The Spiritual Life
†Daily Verse "Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him." –Proverbs 30:5
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St. Sebastian (d. c. 288 A.D.) was born in Gaul, present-day France, to wealthy Italian parents. According to tradition he went to Rome to serve and encourage the Christians who were being persecuted under the Roman Emperor Diocletian. To do so effectively and without suspicion, he enrolled in the Roman army as an officer. In this position he did much to encourage the faith of the Christians in the face of brutal martyrdom, and in the process made many new converts through his gift of healing. Once he was discovered to be a Christian, he was seized by Roman officers, tied to a tree, and shot through with arrows. He survived this, and was healed by St. Irene of Rome. Being fully recovered, he returned to preach to Diocletian himself. Diocletian then had him beaten to death with clubs. St. Sebastian is the patron of many causes, most notably of archers, athletes, police officers, soldiers, and against plague victims and enemies of religion. St. Sebastian's feast day is January 20th.
Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Reading I 1 Sm 18:6-9; 19:1-7
When David and Saul approached (on David's return after slaying the Philistine), women came out from each of the cities of Israel to meet King Saul, singing and dancing, with tambourines, joyful songs, and sistrums. The women played and sang:
"Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his ten thousands."
Saul was very angry and resentful of the song, for he thought: "They give David ten thousands, but only thousands to me. All that remains for him is the kingship." And from that day on, Saul was jealous of David.
Saul discussed his intention of killing David with his son Jonathan and with all his servants. But Saul's son Jonathan, who was very fond of David, told him: "My father Saul is trying to kill you. Therefore, please be on your guard tomorrow morning; get out of sight and remain in hiding. I, however, will go out and stand beside my father in the countryside where you are, and will speak to him about you. If I learn anything, I will let you know."
Jonathan then spoke well of David to his father Saul, saying to him: "Let not your majesty sin against his servant David, for he has committed no offense against you, but has helped you very much by his deeds. When he took his life in his hands and slew the Philistine, and the LORD brought about a great victory for all Israel through him, you were glad to see it. Why, then, should you become guilty of shedding innocent blood by killing David without cause?" Saul heeded Jonathan's plea and swore, "As the LORD lives, he shall not be killed." So Jonathan summoned David and repeated the whole conversation to him. Jonathan then brought David to Saul, and David served him as before.
Responsorial Psalm 56:2-3, 9-10a, 10b-11, 12-13 R. (5b) In God I trust; I shall not fear. Have mercy on me, O God, for men trample upon me;
all the day they press their attack against me. My adversaries trample upon me all the day;
yes, many fight against me. R. In God I trust; I shall not fear. My wanderings you have counted;
my tears are stored in your flask;
are they not recorded in your book? Then do my enemies turn back,
when I call upon you. R. In God I trust; I shall not fear. Now I know that God is with me.
In God, in whose promise I glory,
in God I trust without fear;
what can flesh do against me? R. In God I trust; I shall not fear. I am bound, O God, by vows to you;
your thank offerings I will fulfill. For you have rescued me from death,
my feet, too, from stumbling;
that I may walk before God in the light of the living. R. In God I trust; I shall not fear.
Alleluia See 2 Tm 1:10
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mk 3:7-12
Jesus withdrew toward the sea with his disciples. A large number of people followed from Galilee and from Judea. Hearing what he was doing, a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem, from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan, and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him. He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him. And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, "You are the Son of God." He warned them sternly not to make him known.
Daily Meditation: 1 Samuel 18:6-9; 19:1-7
Jonathan then spoke well of David. (1 Samuel 19:4)
What a friend David had in Jonathan!
King Saul, Jonathan's father, was angry and resentful enough to want to kill David. Why? Because women in Saul's kingdom were singing David's praises for having slain Goliath. They were singing Saul's praises too, but were crediting David with greater deeds in Israel's victory over the Philistines. David wasn't boasting or inciting these praises, but the situation might have gone very badly for him had not his friend Jonathan interceded and spoken up on his behalf.
You have just such a friend too. His name is Jesus, who "indeed intercedes" for you in heaven (Romans 8:34). He "lives forever to make intercession" for you (Hebrews 7:25). He never takes a day off. He never tires of speaking up for you. He never throws up his hands and says you'll never change. He never is too busy to appeal to the Father's unfailing love for you. He always speaks well of you to his Father, just as Jonathan spoke well of David to his father, Saul.
Remember that when your thoughts condemn you. Jesus is interceding for you. When all you can recall is the laundry list of your sins and failures, he asks the Father to shower mercy upon you. In the middle of the night, when you are plagued by worries that you haven't done enough, haven't done it well enough, or haven't done what God wants you to do, Jesus is at the throne of God, appealing for an outpouring of peace and grace on your life. What a friend you have in Jesus!
Think about it. On your worst day, Jesus is at the throne of God speaking up for you. "This is our friend," he might be saying. "This one was washed in the waters of Baptism and made holy through my own perfect obedience." On your best day, he is there still, rejoicing with the Father, pointing out your faithfulness, your obedience, or your love for others. Most of us, on most days, are somewhere in between those extremes. But Jesus does not swing between interceding and not. He is always merciful, always faithful. And he is always interceding for you.
"Jesus, thank you for your constant intercession for me. Lord, I trust in you!"
Psalm 56:2-3, 9-13 Mark 3:7-12
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "Let not your majesty sin against his servant David, for he has committed no offense against you, but has helped you very much by his deeds."
Who intercedes for Christ Son of David? Who pleads that we do not sin against Him? Who asks for mercy so that we do not hurt His body any more? Who? Let us listen, obey God's will of sincere love of God, the first Commandment.
We pray in Psalms: "Have mercy on me, O God, for men trample upon me; all the day they press their attack against me. My adversaries trample upon me all the day; yes, many fight against me. In God I trust; I shall not fear"
Our Lord speaks in the Holy Gospel: "And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, "You are the Son of God." He warned them sternly not to make him known."
We heard a large number of people heard of Him and were following Him. For what? Where they tired of how the government, the whole world was working? Did they want to hear the Good News? Or did they follow to get something, like a healing and nothing else? What about the transformation? Maybe they heard about a transformation. Maybe they heard He provided for thousands, food, and life saving touches.
Whatever the case is, we have to ask ourselves...are we following Christ our Lord...and for what? Why are you following? Some may say...for salvation. As if to save your own skin? Some may say that's just what got to do. As if to say, there's nothing better? What am I saying? God desires a love relationship, and a love relationship is built on trust. And how hard it is to trust. A priest on EWTN Mass said this morning that to sin is to show God you do not trust in Him. And so we have to ask ourselves...are we sincere? Can I really trust God? And can God really trust me...with His people? With the flock?
Let's pray: Lord, God, Father, We have come to You, following You, and we come to this point, as if being asked "Do you love Me?". And I answer like Peter, "Yes Lord, You know I love You". You say it 3 times knowing full well I will fail You. Yet You still trust me. Lord, I am not worthy of You. You are good. How can you trust a wretched sinner? Yet you forgive. Yet You have faith. And there are no words or actions to express gratitude for this complete giving. Help us love You like that. Amen.
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
Let us keep praying for my dad please. They let him be on a lower flow oxygen yesterday at his request, to see how things go. It went Ok for most afternoon and then was put back on high pressure mask. His faith is being tested, he suffers I know, never been in a hospital, never been tied down, always the workoholic. Now we pray for letting others take care of him as he has always taken care of so many others. Lord we pray for healing hands and words to come upon him today, to be calm...and to listen. In your Holy and Precious name we pray.
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For God So Loved the World
16 "For God so loved the world,1 that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
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