†Saint Quote "Prayer is the best preparation for Holy Communion. Prayer is the raising of the mind to God. When we pray we go to meet Christ Who is coming to us. If our Creator and Savior comes from heaven with such great love, it is only fitting that we should go to meet Him. And this is what we do when we spend some time in prayer." –St. Bernardine of Siena
†Today's Meditation "God cannot cease to love me. That is the most startling fact that our doctrine reveals. Sinner or saint He loves and cannot well help Himself. Magdalen in her sin, Magdalen in her sainthood, was loved by God. The difference between her position made some difference also in the effect of that love on her, but the love was the same, since it was the Holy Spirit who is the love of the Father and the Son. Whatever I do, I am loved. But then, if I sin, am I unworthy of love? Yes, but I am unworthy always. Nor can God love me for what I am, since, in that case, I would compel His love, force His will by something external to Himself. In fact, really if I came to consider, I would find that I was not loved by God because I was good, but that I was good because God loved me. My improvement does not cause God to love me, but is the effect of God's having loved me." —Fr. Bede Jarrett, p. 51
An Excerpt From Classic Catholic Meditations, p51
†Daily Verse Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens." –Ephesians 6:10-12
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St. Thomas Aquinas
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) was born into a wealthy and noble family in Aquino, Italy. He was the pious and brilliant son of a count, and a lucrative future was planned for him. When Thomas set off to enter the newly founded Dominican order to be a poor mendicant friar, his mother held him prisoner in the family castle in order to dissuade him. His brothers tried to destroy his purity, and thus his vocation, by tempting him with a prostitute. However Thomas resisted and turned to God for help; as a result, angels were sent to guard and preserve his chastity. This long ordeal only strengthened his vocation, and eventually he escaped and joined the Dominicans. He was ordained to the priesthood and went on to become a famed professor and prolific writer. His works remain immensely influential in philosophy and theology, the most famous being his Summa Theologica, and multiple popes have upheld him as the model of a systematic Catholic education. St. Thomas Aquinas is the foremost Doctor of the Catholic Church, known as the "Angelic Doctor" for his purity of mind and body, and remarkable intelligence. St. Thomas Aquinas is the patron of schools and universities, students, philosophers, theologians, apologists, academics, and chastity. His feast day is January 28
Memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 321 Reading I
2 Sm 11:1-4a, 5-10a, 13-17
At the turn of the year, when kings go out on campaign, David sent out Joab along with his officers and the army of Israel, and they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. David, however, remained in Jerusalem. One evening David rose from his siesta and strolled about on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing, who was very beautiful. David had inquiries made about the woman and was told, "She is Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam, and wife of Joab's armor bearer Uriah the Hittite." Then David sent messengers and took her. When she came to him, he had relations with her. She then returned to her house. But the woman had conceived, and sent the information to David, "I am with child."
David therefore sent a message to Joab, "Send me Uriah the Hittite." So Joab sent Uriah to David. When he came, David questioned him about Joab, the soldiers, and how the war was going, and Uriah answered that all was well. David then said to Uriah, "Go down to your house and bathe your feet."
Uriah left the palace, and a portion was sent out after him from the king's table. But Uriah slept at the entrance of the royal palace with the other officers of his lord, and did not go down to his own house. David was told that Uriah had not gone home. On the day following, David summoned him, and he ate and drank with David, who made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his bed among his lord's servants, and did not go down to his home. The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab which he sent by Uriah. In it he directed: "Place Uriah up front, where the fighting is fierce. Then pull back and leave him to be struck down dead." So while Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to a place where he knew the defenders were strong. When the men of the city made a sortie against Joab, some officers of David's army fell, and among them Uriah the Hittite died.
51:3-4, 5-6a, 6bcd-7, 10-11
R. (see 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned. Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me. R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned. For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always: "Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight." R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned. I have done such evil in your sight
that you are just in your sentence,
blameless when you condemn. True, I was born guilty,
a sinner, even as my mother conceived me. R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned. Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness;
the bones you have crushed shall rejoice. Turn away your face from my sins,
and blot out all my guilt. R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
See Mt 11:25
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus said to the crowds: "This is how it is with the Kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come."
He said, "To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade." With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.
Daily Meditation: 2 Samuel 11:1-10, 13-17
At the turn of the year, when kings go out on campaign . . . (2 Samuel 11:1)
Today's first reading tells the story of David and Bathsheba. You're probably familiar with it: David spies Bathsheba bathing and begins to lust after her. He has her brought to him, and their encounter results in Bathsheba becoming pregnant. To hide his guilt, David conspires to have her husband killed so that he could take her as one of his many wives.
But how did it all start? The first verse of the reading tells us something interesting. It was the turn of the year, the time when kings would go out on campaign with their armies. All the kings went. Every year. But where was David? At home, taking siestas and strolling about on the roof of the palace (2 Samuel 11:2). He wasn't leading his army; he was having a vacation. And that's when he discovered the beautiful Bathsheba.
Now, vacations aren't bad. But David's downward spiral began because he wasn't doing what he should have been doing in the first place. Unfaithfulness to his duties led to even more unfaithfulness. And that can happen to us too.
God, in his grace, calls us and gives us certain structures and rhythms to our lives that are meant to help us grow in virtue. We have our prayer times, Mass, and even the demands of our jobs or vocations. There's a kind of protection in staying faithful to these "guardrails."
David might very well have become bored with his springtime forays onto the battlefield every year, even though they protected the people God had given him to lead. We too might think we're just doing our same old daily routines. We might wonder how important they are anyway. But faithfulness protects us. God uses even our ordinary habits to lift us up and shelter us from temptation.
Are you being faithful to what God is calling you to do, or are you getting bored and wandering off? You can find joy even in your mundane tasks or repetitive duties because God is there. So try to approach each routine task with a desire to please God. He will bless your faithfulness and pour out his grace to draw you closer to him.
"Lord, help me to follow you faithfully!"
Psalm 51:3-7, 10-11 Mark 4:26-34
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "David, however, remained in Jerusalem."
There's a saying that says something like "not taking a step forward is like taking two steps back". Have you ever noticed someone taking a break from Church or ministries? How often do they come back super great and on fire for the Lord? I don't believe I ever have in my nearly 20 years in various ministries. No. Instead, they come back more tepid and timid, if they come back at all. How do we help them? How do we keep from freezing in our tracks? Stay with Him. Stay near the blazing fire of His love from His Sacred Heart.
We pray in Psalms: "Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me."
There is no way the world can operate without God's mercy. If He desires, it can go up in flames, or wiped out unexpectedly. But that has not been the case so far. Since Holy Scripture began, there have been yes calamities and death, but overall, there has been overwhelming mercy. Even the world wars, there was mercy that Mother Mary warned and asked us for. Mercy my friend, Mercy on Christ. We must relent, and repent. Our sins hurt Christ. There is no such thing as private sin that does not hurt His Body, for we are bound in ways you may never know.
Our Lord speaks in the Holy Gospel: ""This is how it is with the Kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how."
What all happens while you sleep? You continue breathing, you continue even thinking in a subconscious level, and somehow your body keeps operating without you being conscious. What else happens? Other miracles happen, things are growing, and going, and transforming. Many of which are inexplicable. How does a life form in the darkness of a womb? How does a heart receive life? Through blood. Through the original will of God.
And now we can believe in the blood of Christ, and His will. Many things have been going awry like our water wells at homes and work. One that provides to our family business hadn't been working in the last 3 days, and with dad, the boss in the hospital, there's no one who knows how so many lines were plumbed together, for they are all buried, things unknown and unseen. It's been stressful, not knowing. We keep hacking away at the problem, trying different things. My dad in the hospital, having a turn for the better called in and we let him know, and among many things he said to do, he also sent many other people, to help.
One of them was an old employee, a right hand man that was here for many years before he started his own business and left. He came, a younger man than I. One day, he came, we couldn't figure it out, it got dark and cold. We summized lines were frozen we couldn't get to. He said "I'll be back tomorrow to check on things". The next morning, we thought we got it going, even told the boss. But it stopped working almost as soon as it started.
The old hand comes in the evening. He says he remembered how lines were buried and noticed a valve was on backwards at the main central area where lines joined. It was a valve we put on the first freezing day, because a guy broke it when things gone down.
Well, I didn't really believe because we had some water trickling in and was still thinking our ideas were more right than his. I doubted. But underneath, hoped. Long story short, that was the problem. He turned the check valve and now water flowed perfectly. Long story short, how doubts made me feel hopeless.
Throughout this ordeal, I'm learning that I really don't know much of...anything.
I'm a nobody.
I can no longer rely on my own understanding. I always thought I was smart, and lately, I feel like the dumbest of all. Why? Because, in faith, you cannot rely on your understanding. You can't have things figured out. Walking on water means total trust in our Lord, with all our mind, all our heart, and all our soul...and no fear. They say perfect love casts out all fear. And I have a way to go until that happens.
And what of the mustard seed? I always like to say to myself, that God does wonders with the little we give. I see how little our church gets from tithing and still wonders are happening, new buildings, new employee positions, how does this happen? Some give, and some give with all their hearts. Some trust little, some trust a whole awful lot.
It is time we listen to these words and trust that things will grow from dark into light. And it will begin inside of you, believe it or not. How? Only God our Father knows.
Let's pray. Lord, Father in Heaven. I have experienced last week, You at my Father's bedside during Divine Mercy prayers, and when Your light came into the room, my soul wanted to run and hide as my soul said "depart from me Lord, for I am an unholy man". And I ran afraid, in fear, and in tears of darkness. Distrust. Where is the perfect Love you call us to? Perfect trust and confidence that You are for us and not against us? I have been a tepid lover. And now I want to make my way back...where only You await with Open Arms and burning fire coming out of Your side, gushing from Your Sacred Heart. Lord, I am Yours, and YOURS I wish to be!
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
Dad thrives on our prayers, had bad daytime yesterday stomach ailment, but felt better after Divine Mercy prayers. Our Father loves our prayers and offerings. I was awakened oddly enough again at 3 am last night and I changed the baby and began praying. This morning dad calls saying he got up (which he has not been able too) at that time and we realized the power of prayers. The Lord wants us to know about Divine Mercy. Faith in the dark and cold. Love from above and love from us below.
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Isaiah 50:10 10 Who among you fears the LORD
and obeys the voice of his servant?
Let him who walks in darkness
and has no light
trust in the name of the LORD
and rely on his God.
If one day you don't receive these, just visit Going4th.com God Bless You! Peace