†Saint Quote ""A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love." –St. Basil the Great
†Today's Meditation "Scattered about the entire earth, your mother the Church is tormented by the assaults of error. She is also afflicted by the laziness and indifference of so many of the children she carries around in her bosom as well as by the sight of so many of her members growing cold, while she becomes less able to help her little ones. Who then will give her the necessary help she cries for if not her children and other members to whose number you belong?" — Saint Augustine, p. 90
An Excerpt From Augustine Day by Day, p90
†Daily Verse "Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope, for he who made the promise is trustworthy. We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works." –Hebrews 10:23-24
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St. Francis de Sales
St. Francis de Sales (1567–1622) was born to a noble family in France. He enjoyed a privileged upbringing and education, earning a doctorate in law and theology. He was a well-liked and intelligent man, yet quiet and reserved. When struggling with thoughts of his possibly being predestined to eternal damnation, Francis went into a deep two-year depression. God healed him of this fear, and afterwards Francis consecrated himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He later became a priest, rejecting the lucrative career and advantageous marriage his father had prepared for him. As a priest, St. Francis became a prolific writer and preacher, and at the age of 35 was made bishop of the Calvinist stronghold in Geneva, Switzerland, at the height of the Protestant revolt against the Church. Through his gentleness, preaching skill, zeal for the faith, and his clear explanations of Catholic doctrine, he returned thousands of obstinate heretics to the true Faith. He also used sign language to convert the deaf. St. Francis de Sales is a Doctor of the Church, known especially for his writings on practical spiritual direction for lay people. He is the patron of teachers, the deaf, the Catholic press, confessors, educators, and authors. His feast day is January 24th.
Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
• Readings for the Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, bishop and doctor of the Church
Reading I 2 Sm 5:1-7, 10
All the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said: "Here we are, your bone and your flesh. In days past, when Saul was our king, it was you who led the children of Israel out and brought them back. And the LORD said to you, 'You shall shepherd my people Israel and shall be commander of Israel.'" When all the elders of Israel came to David in Hebron, King David made an agreement with them there before the LORD, and they anointed him king of Israel. David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned for forty years: seven years and six months in Hebron over Judah, and thirty-three years in Jerusalem over all Israel and Judah.
Then the king and his men set out for Jerusalem against the Jebusites who inhabited the region. David was told, "You cannot enter here: the blind and the lame will drive you away!" which was their way of saying, "David cannot enter here." But David did take the stronghold of Zion, which is the City of David.
David grew steadily more powerful, for the LORD of hosts was with him.
Responsorial Psalm 89:20, 21-22, 25-26
R. (25a) My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him. Once you spoke in a vision,
and to your faithful ones you said: "On a champion I have placed a crown;
over the people I have set a youth." R. My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him. "I have found David, my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him, That my hand may be always with him,
and that my arm may make him strong." R. My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him. "My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him,
and through my name shall his horn be exalted. I will set his hand upon the sea,
his right hand upon the rivers." R. My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him.
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 3:22-30
The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus, "He is possessed by Beelzebul," and "By the prince of demons he drives out demons."
Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables, "How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him. But no one can enter a strong man's house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house.
Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin." For they had said, "He has an unclean spirit."
Daily Meditation: 2 Samuel 5:1-7, 10
The Lord of hosts was with him. (2 Samuel 5:10)
We see David in today's first reading as he is being anointed king by all the elders of Israel. David's story fills forty chapters in the first and second books of Samuel with tales of success and failure. But across that vast span of time, a common theme emerges for David that can also apply to us: "The Lord was with him."
It's easy to see evidence that the Lord was with David: he was anointed by the prophet Samuel and defeated Goliath with just a stone and a slingshot (1 Samuel 16:13; 17:1-50). He evaded King Saul's attempts to kill him and showed mercy to Saul on many occasions (chapters 16–31). He conquered Israel's enemies and triumphantly brought the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6).
But there were also times that David disobeyed or strayed from the Lord. He conspired to kill Uriah after David took Uriah's wife as his own. He also failed to defend his daughter Tamar from his violent son Amnon (2 Samuel 11, 13). Even in his last years, David disobeyed the Lord and took a census of the people of Israel to assess their strength at the end of his reign (chapter 24).
Considering his inconsistent history, how can we understand what seems like an unconditional statement: God was with David?
The truth is, God's love for David did not rise and fall with David's actions. The Lord knew him inside and out. Yes, David had potential for greatness, and yes, he had his weaknesses. But even when David was mired in sin, there was still some part of him that wanted to please the Lord. Even when he disobeyed, his heart was open enough to hear the call to repentance and see the error of his ways.
That can be a lesson for us. Like David, we have been blessed by God, but his love for us isn't won by our good behavior. Even when we're lost in sin, God is still beside us, always prepared to take us back. That's when our hearts need to be like David's—ready to hear and respond to God's call to repentance, always trusting that he is with us.
"Lord, thank you for your unfailing love for David. Help me to be like David in my response to you."
Psalm 89:20-22, 25-26 Mark 3:22-30
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: " "David cannot enter here." But David did take the stronghold of Zion, which is the City of David."
Faith says you can. Faithlessness says you cannot. David went in faith. And the strength of the Lord our God.
We pray in Psalms: ""I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him, That my hand may be always with him, and that my arm may make him strong." My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him."
Our Lord speaks in the Holy Gospel: "How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand."
Together we are strong, they say. And that is how we should be as the body of Christ. United, not divided, not paying attention to negative hearsay or rumors, but united for Love and God is Love.
"But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin." For they had said, "He has an unclean spirit."
And the temptation is to say God is not good, and would this be the same as blaspheming?
I don't know, but I can see where people see this deadly temptation...like when you are suffering because your loved one is in a life and death situation. Or when something doesn't go our way. And I understand what pain can do to a person now that I'm every day being bombarded for weeks with temptations against my faith, against God. It was so bad that I busted out crying in the confessional a couple days ago. Because I heard to not trust in God is a sin. And I don't know if I'm truly trusting....until after that confession. I'm trusting God with our lives, And letting go of my life...is not easy...my wants, and yet God is asking "Do You Trust Me?"
Let's pray: Lord God, Father in Heaven, I am here, having slept overnight at the hospital with my dad who is trying to recover from Covid, and when I leave, they tell me he tested positive for Covid and I don't know what this means, and so I trust in You. I cannot rely on my own understanding...now we must rely on faith. Lord, hold us tight. We need You Father.
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
I probably slept around an hour last night tending to my dad at the hospital. When I left this morning, my mom took my place and they said he tested positive for Covid. Meaning only one visitor during the day, meaning my mom cannot watch him at night, when he has the most stress... And what now? Which is confounding, just when things seemed to be shaping up a bit. Let us turn with confidence to God our Father, for he sees the eyes of the faithful that turn to Him....
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Philippians 4:19 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
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