Friday, February 4, 2022

† ". He Has Been ."


†Saint Quote
"When one has nothing more to lose, the heart is inaccessible to fear."
–St. Thodore Gurin

†Today's Meditation
"In the spiritual life there are two great principles which should never be forgotten: Without grace we can do nothing; with it we can do all things. Sometimes it anticipates our desires; ordinarily, God waits till we ask for it. This is a general law thus expressed by Our Lord: 'Ask, and it shall be given to you.' Prayer is, therefore, not only a precept, it is a necessity. God places the treasure of His graces at our disposal, and its key is prayer. You desire more faith, more hope, more love; 'ask, and it shall be given to you.' Your good resolutions remain sterile, resulting always in the same failures: 'ask, and it shall be given to you'. Precepts are numerous, virtue painful, temptation seductive, the enemy ruthless, the will weak: 'ask, and it shall be given to you.'"
—Rev. Dom Vitalis Lehodey, p. xv

An Excerpt From
The Ways of Mental Prayer

†Daily Verse
"For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, "Abba, Father!" The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him."
–Romans 8:15-17


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St. Jane of Valois

St. Jane of Valois (1464-1505) was born to French King Louis XI and Charlotte of Savoy. Much of her life was marked by neglect and emotional abuse. Her father resented her because she was a sickly and deformed female child. He sent her away to a remote country home where she was carelessly raised before being married off at the age of nine to her cousin, the Duke of Orléans. Her husband likewise despised and publicly humiliated her, and their marriage was never consummated. Jane had a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary from a young age, especially in the mystery of the Incarnation. One day Our Lady appeared to Jane and told her that in the future she would found a religious community. Through her veneration of the Blessed Mother, Jane found the strength to be a loyal and devoted wife during her painful twenty-two year marriage. When her husband became king, he had their marriage annulled. This left Jane free to found the Order of the Annunciation dedicated to imitating Mary's virtues, as Our Lady foretold. She also gave her Order the duty of constant prayer for the souls of her father and husband who both mistreated her. St. Jane of Valois' feast day is February 4th.


Friday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading I Sir 47:2-11

Like the choice fat of the sacred offerings,

so was David in Israel.
He made sport of lions as though they were kids,

and of bears, like lambs of the flock.
As a youth he slew the giant

and wiped out the people's disgrace,
When his hand let fly the slingstone

that crushed the pride of Goliath.
Since he called upon the Most High God,

who gave strength to his right arm
To defeat the skilled warrior

and raise up the might of his people,
Therefore the women sang his praises,

and ascribed to him tens of thousands

and praised him when they blessed the Lord.
When he assumed the royal crown, he battled

and subdued the enemy on every side.
He destroyed the hostile Philistines

and shattered their power till our own day.
With his every deed he offered thanks

to God Most High, in words of praise.
With his whole being he loved his Maker

and daily had his praises sung;

He set singers before the altar and by their voices

he made sweet melodies,
He added beauty to the feasts

and solemnized the seasons of each year
So that when the Holy Name was praised,

before daybreak the sanctuary would resound.
The Lord forgave him his sins

and exalted his strength forever;
He conferred on him the rights of royalty

and established his throne in Israel.

Responsorial Psalm 18:31, 47 and 50, 51

R. (see 47b) Blessed be God my salvation!
God's way is unerring,

the promise of the LORD is fire-tried;

he is a shield to all who take refuge in him.
R. Blessed be God my salvation!
The LORD live! And blessed be my Rock!

Extolled be God my savior.
Therefore will I proclaim you, O LORD, among the nations,

and I will sing praise to your name.
R. Blessed be God my salvation!
You who gave great victories to your king

and showed kindness to your anointed,

to David and his posterity forever.
R. Blessed be God my salvation!

Alleluia See Lk 8:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart,
and yield a harvest through perseverance.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 6:14-29

King Herod heard about Jesus, for his fame had become widespread,
and people were saying,
"John the Baptist has been raised from the dead;
that is why mighty powers are at work in him."
Others were saying, "He is Elijah";
still others, "He is a prophet like any of the prophets."
But when Herod learned of it, he said,
"It is John whom I beheaded. He has been raised up."

Herod was the one who had John arrested and bound in prison
on account of Herodias,
the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
John had said to Herod,
"It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."
Herodias harbored a grudge against him
and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man,
and kept him in custody.
When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed,
yet he liked to listen to him.
Herodias had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday,
gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers,
and the leading men of Galilee.
His own daughter came in and performed a dance
that delighted Herod and his guests.
The king said to the girl,
"Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you."
He even swore many things to her,
"I will grant you whatever you ask of me,
even to half of my kingdom."
She went out and said to her mother,
"What shall I ask for?"
Her mother replied, "The head of John the Baptist."
The girl hurried back to the king's presence and made her request,
"I want you to give me at once on a platter
the head of John the Baptist."
The king was deeply distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests
he did not wish to break his word to her.
So he promptly dispatched an executioner
with orders to bring back his head.
He went off and beheaded him in the prison.
He brought in the head on a platter
and gave it to the girl.
The girl in turn gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it,
they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.


Daily Meditation: Mark 6:14-29

Herod was the one who had John arrested. (Mark 6:17)

Alex Honnold is known for his daring climb—without a rope—up the treacherous El Capitan wall in Yosemite National Park. One wrong step, and he would have plunged thousands of feet to his death. But Honnold seemed to know how to control his fear so that he could successfully achieve his goal.

Today's Gospel reading points us to an even more admirable kind of courage. John the Baptist spent his life preparing people for the coming of the Lord. He called out the people's sins, chastised the religious leaders, and refused to stay silent about Herod's adultery. This last confrontation cost him his life, and yet he remained steadfast to the end.

It can be tempting to look at great saints like John the Baptist and assume that they never struggled with fear. But realistically, that is unlikely. He knew that his words and lifestyle would stir up controversy and opposition and could land him in prison or worse. But he continued with his mission nonetheless, and that is what makes him such a great hero.

Though we aren't called to be prophets in the wilderness like John, we all have moments when we need to be courageous. There may be situations in which we have to choose honesty and integrity when it would be easier to hide the truth or just tell a lie. Or speak up when a work colleague is being treated unfairly. Or counsel a friend with compassion if we see that person going down an unhealthy path.

Situations like these can be challenging. But even as you acknowledge your fears, don't let your emotions paralyze you. The next time you feel afraid, take a deep breath, say a quick prayer, and then do what you need to do. Even one small step in the right direction will give you the courage to keep moving forward. And while you might still feel afraid, you can count on the Lord to help you act courageously. In the end, that's what matters the most.

God needs courageous disciples in the world today. May we face our fears by trusting in his grace and wisdom!

"Lord, help me to have courage today to face whatever situations lie ahead."

Sirach 47:2-11
Psalm 18:31, 47, 50-51


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"The Lord forgave him his sins and exalted his strength forever"

When we are forgiven, then we become strong in grace and faith. We must strive to enter the narrow gate. Lord help us, Lord hear us.


We pray in Psalms:
"God's way is unerring, the promise of the LORD is fire-tried; he is a shield to all who take refuge in him. Blessed be God my salvation!"

What does it mean to take refuge in Him? I know lately I've been running to Him, even in tears, and on my knees with all that's going on with my dad. There is no consolation in the world that can compare to running to Him.


Our Lord speaks in the Holy Gospel:
"Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him."

There's people that like to listen to preachers. There's people that are perplexed at their words, or about the whole religion in Christianity thing. But it is those too that can turn their back on their consciousness. Do not think of too many others, but think of yourself. I wonder how many times I've turned my back on Him in sin.

Let's Pray:
Dear Heavenly Father,

We come to You today in hope, for mercy. That we are not bigots in the way we treat others, that we can comply with Your Word and command before others and what they think of us. Help us with Your grace and mercy.

from your brother in Christ,

Progress: Dad had a rough night with very low oxygen and very high heart rate suddenly. He's very anxious and says his chest hurts and doctors say put on high power mask Cpap or go to hospice and now we are all struck with confusion and even fear because he was seeming to get better. And somehow I believe this is all my fault, and I'm the one taking the greatest hit. I'm praying for trust in the Lord, amidst the very trying and confusing time right now. Lord, you are true to Your word, help me be true in trust and help us get through this in faith and restoration, in Your Precious name we pray.


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Random bible verse generator:

Matthew 5:18
18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.


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