†Saint Quote ""The Cross is the way to Paradise, but only when it is borne willingly." –St. Paul of the Cross
†Today's Meditation "There was much in the Magdalen that she had never used, perhaps never dreamed of, until she came to our Lord. He revealed to her the secret of true self-development, which is another word for sanctity. And she found under His guidance that everything in her had henceforth to be used, and used in a fuller and richer way than she had ever imagined possible. It was in no narrow school of self-limitation, in no morbid school of false asceticism, that this poor sinner was educated in the principles of sanctity, but in the large and merciful school of Him who has been ever since the hope of the hopeless, the friend of publicans and sinners; who knows full well that what men need is not to crush and kill their powers, but to find their true use and to use them; that holiness is not the emptying of life, but the filling; that despair has wrapped its dark cloud around many a soul because it found itself in possession of powers that it abused and could not destroy and did not know how to use. Christ taught them the great and inspiriting doctrine 'I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.'" — Fr. Basil W. Maturin, p. 40
An Excerpt From Christian Self-Mastery, p40
†Daily Verse "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." –Joshua 1:9
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St. Agnes of Rome
St. Agnes (c. 291–304 A.D.) was born to a noble Roman family. She was a beautiful young woman of twelve or thirteen years of age when many suitors desired her hand in marriage. Instead of marrying, St. Agnes committed herself to a life of consecrated virginity as a spouse of Christ. She was then denounced to the authorities as a Christian during the persecutions of Roman Emperor Diocletian. She was condemned to be dragged naked through the streets into a brothel to be sexually abused. She miraculously escaped from this predicament with her virginity preserved, and was then condemned to be burned at the stake. Again, by a miracle, her persecutors were unable to carry out her sentence. Finally, they put her to death by beheading. Of all the virgin martyrs, St. Agnes is held in the first place by the Church. She is one of the seven women, besides the Virgin Mary, commemorated by name in the Roman Canon of the Mass. St. Agnes' name means 'chaste' and she is the patroness of girls, chastity, engaged couples, virgins, rape victims, and the Girl Scouts. Her feast day is January 21st
Memorial of Saint Agnes, Virgin and Martyr
• Readings for the Memorial of Saint Agnes, virgin and martyr
Reading I 1 Sm 24:3-21
Saul took three thousand picked men from all Israel and went in search of David and his men in the direction of the wild goat crags. When he came to the sheepfolds along the way, he found a cave, which he entered to relieve himself. David and his men were occupying the inmost recesses of the cave.
David's servants said to him, "This is the day of which the LORD said to you, 'I will deliver your enemy into your grasp; do with him as you see fit.'" So David moved up and stealthily cut off an end of Saul's mantle. Afterward, however, David regretted that he had cut off an end of Saul's mantle. He said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD's anointed, as to lay a hand on him, for he is the LORD's anointed." With these words David restrained his men and would not permit them to attack Saul. Saul then left the cave and went on his way. David also stepped out of the cave, calling to Saul, "My lord the king!" When Saul looked back, David bowed to the ground in homage and asked Saul: "Why do you listen to those who say, 'David is trying to harm you'? You see for yourself today that the Lord just now delivered you into my grasp in the cave. I had some thought of killing you, but I took pity on you instead. I decided, 'I will not raise a hand against my lord, for he is the LORD's anointed and a father to me.' Look here at this end of your mantle which I hold. Since I cut off an end of your mantle and did not kill you, see and be convinced that I plan no harm and no rebellion. I have done you no wrong, though you are hunting me down to take my life. The LORD will judge between me and you, and the LORD will exact justice from you in my case. I shall not touch you. The old proverb says, 'From the wicked comes forth wickedness.' So I will take no action against you. Against whom are you on campaign, O king of Israel? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog, or a single flea! The LORD will be the judge; he will decide between me and you. May he see this, and take my part, and grant me justice beyond your reach!" When David finished saying these things to Saul, Saul answered, "Is that your voice, my son David?" And Saul wept aloud. Saul then said to David: "You are in the right rather than I; you have treated me generously, while I have done you harm. Great is the generosity you showed me today, when the LORD delivered me into your grasp and you did not kill me. For if a man meets his enemy, does he send him away unharmed? May the LORD reward you generously for what you have done this day. And now, I know that you shall surely be king and that sovereignty over Israel shall come into your possession."
Responsorial Psalm 57:2, 3-4, 6 and 11
R. (2a) Have mercy on me, God, have mercy. Have mercy on me, O God; have mercy on me,
for in you I take refuge. In the shadow of your wings I take refuge,
till harm pass by. R. Have mercy on me, God, have mercy. I call to God the Most High,
to God, my benefactor. May he send from heaven and save me;
may he make those a reproach who trample upon me;
may God send his mercy and his faithfulness. R. Have mercy on me, God, have mercy. Be exalted above the heavens, O God;
above all the earth be your glory! For your mercy towers to the heavens,
and your faithfulness to the skies. R. Have mercy on me, God, have mercy.
Alleluia 2 Cor 5:19
R. Alleluia, alleluia. God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mk 3:13-19
Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles, that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons: He appointed the Twelve: Simon, whom he named Peter; James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.
Daily Meditation: 1 Samuel 24:3-21
Great is the generosity you showed me today. (1 Samuel 24:19)
David is a wonderful example of the virtue of forbearance. Just look at the way he responds to Saul's jealousy and desire to kill him. Saul relentlessly pursues David, even though he has never been disloyal or questioned Saul's right to rule. When Saul unwittingly stumbles into the cave where David and his men are hiding, no one would have faulted David for taking vengeance on Saul for all he had done to him. Instead, he lets Saul escape unharmed.
The generosity of David's forbearance has an immediate effect on King Saul: he admits to treating David badly, calls off the pursuit, and gets David to promise mercy to his descendants.
David's actions mirror the forbearance of God, who is patient and slow to anger, like the father in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). Instead of punishing us swiftly, God gives us room to experience the consequences of our choices and feel remorse for our sins. He scans the road, eagerly awaiting our return. Perhaps he muses about the ways we will grow from these difficult experiences.
David shows us that it is better to restrain our anger than to act on it. Exercising forbearance opens up space for God to work in us, and in the other person, to bring to birth something new.
For example, maybe you become angry one day as you think about the fact that your adult children haven't called you lately. Rather than letting that anger build and continue to darken your thoughts, ask the Holy Spirit to give you his peace. Then at some later point, you can bring up the issue with them and ask if they're doing okay. Maybe they are coping with a lot of stress at work or are struggling with a health issue. By forbearing, you may just end up having an important conversation that wouldn't have happened otherwise.
Next time you are wronged, take a deep breath. Call on God's mercy for you and for the one who has hurt you. Remember, forbearance is a virtue that opens up the opportunity for you and the people around you to grow.
"Father, give me a heart full of forbearance toward those who wrong me."
Psalm 57:2-4, 6, 11 Mark 3:13-19
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "Is that your voice, my son David?" And Saul wept aloud.Great is the generosity you showed me today, when the LORD delivered me into your grasp and you did not kill me."
David we will see embodied in Christ, who has mercy on His enemies. Followers of Christ have mercy. One of the demonic messages I received this week on my cell phone came immediately after me and my wife and kids had finished praying the nightly rosary on our knees. The message said to "ya'll ain worth a f*%@". It was clear to me who it came from. Too much of a coincidence, and the message had copied my sister. The sender was a relative we been helping and he'd been falling behind on bills we are paying for him and his family. My sister had reminded him of all the past dues. And when we got this I texted her to watch out for demons are speaking. She told me the next day she thought, when she read it, that she was mistakenly put on the message, but by then we got another message, "That was for Adrian and Becky". As if a double jab attack. I prayed for him and knew what was going on. He is probably on drugs, and is alcoholic. The devil works in drugs and alcohol and in people. That's not my loved one speaking. Mercy came, I prayed for his deliverance as I've prayed and fasted for him before. And when he apologized the next afternoon, before our family rosary, I let him know of my prayers and I said "I'm praying you be the child God created you to be...beloved by Him". He said thank you.
Mercy goes much longer than not having mercy. As is evident by David, and the Son of David...our Lord and King.
We pray in Psalms: "Have mercy on me, O God; have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. In the shadow of your wings I take refuge, till harm pass by."
They said there was a fire, in a forest, torrential blazes, and when someone walked through the charred forest the following day, they said they heard peeping, noises in the charcoal, and they saw a charred bird, looked under it, and found its baby birds alive.
In the same manner, we take refuge under the wings of our Lord, who has given His life for us. We are alive because of His Great Sacrifice.
Our Lord speaks in the Holy Gospel: "Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him."
He summoned 12 men. To be His chosen ones. The shepherds of the flock, the tribes. We are shepherds of the flock by our baptism too. We are heading faith too. We then, need to listen to our Lord. He is the head of the body. He is asking for obedience. He is asking us to make a return to Him. Too much has gone wrong, and not enough has gone right in the heart of the body of Christ. We are His love and we are to love Him rightly, fuel for the fire.
Let's pray: Lord, send help as we take refuge. Lord, we are in great need of holiness, purity, and Your righteousness. Help us make a return, to rightly honor You and serve You. Hear our pleas for mercy. Graciously Hear us that our hearts make a return, in whole, in unity, with Your Precious Body.
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
We continue to pray for my dad, and I am thankful for prayers. Dad chose a lower oxygen mask and slept with it, and doctors just now said they weren't impressed and want him on high power oxygen mask. It is day by day living...and I'm praying that we pray to our Lord Jesus, to have mercy on us and his servant, that he may humbly walk out on his own by the strength of God and God's oxygen...our prayers.
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Random bible verse generator:
21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
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