Wednesday, February 9, 2022

† ". Do you not realize that. . ."


†Saint Quote
""We must stand up for the rights of our neighbour who is suffering from injustice; we must defend them all the more vigorously because we see Jesus present in them. Surely this is our duty because of our love for others for his sake. We have no right to be 'sleeping watchmen' or dumb watch-dogs. Whenever we see evil we must sound the alarm."
–Blessed Charles de Foucauld

†Today's Meditation
"When we continually 'see' the work of God in our life, there is less need for faith. When the perception of blessing or presence is removed, there is an opportunity to exercise faith on a deeper and purer level, which is very pleasing to God and unites us in a deep way with Him, even when His closeness to us might not be felt. John of the Cross tells us that it is this ever-increasing purification that most directly and immediately unites us to God. The act of deep trust and abandonment and fidelity that faith entails is very pleasing to God and brings us very close to Him."
—Ralph Martin, p. 170-171

An Excerpt From
The Fulfillment of All Desire

†Daily Verse
"But this one offered one sacrifice for sins, and took his seat forever at the right hand of God; now he waits until his enemies are made his footstool. For by one offering he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated."
–Hebrews 10:12-14


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Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich

Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824) was born in Germany to a devout peasant family. From a young age she received divine knowledge imparted to her through extremely detailed visions of the lives of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and the saints. As a child her guardian angel often appeared to her, and Jesus himself visited her while she was tending sheep. The suffering souls in purgatory often called upon her assistance to offer prayers and penances on their behalf. At the age of 28, after many years of longing for the religious life, Anne Catherine entered the novitiate with the Augustinians. She devoted her life to waging a spiritual battle for suffering souls, and in her great charity she accepted extreme physical, yet supernatural, sufferings which ultimately left her bedridden. This strange phenomena of physical suffering for the spiritual condition of other souls was not always accepted by others, and she endured much ridicule due to the astonishing manner in which her experiences displayed themselves. Her daily visions gave her special insight into the spiritual realm which have been recorded into now-popular books, and were used to discover what is believed to be the house of Mary in Ephesus. Her feast day is February 9th.


Wednesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 331
Reading I

1 Kgs 10:1-10

The queen of Sheba, having heard of Solomon's fame,
came to test him with subtle questions.
She arrived in Jerusalem with a very numerous retinue,
and with camels bearing spices,
a large amount of gold, and precious stones.
She came to Solomon and questioned him on every subject
in which she was interested.
King Solomon explained everything she asked about,
and there remained nothing hidden from him
that he could not explain to her.

When the queen of Sheba witnessed Solomon's great wisdom,
the palace he had built, the food at his table,
the seating of his ministers, the attendance and garb of his waiters,
his banquet service,
and the burnt offerings he offered in the temple of the LORD,
she was breathless.
"The report I heard in my country
about your deeds and your wisdom is true," she told the king.
"Though I did not believe the report until I came and saw with my own eyes,
I have discovered that they were not telling me the half.
Your wisdom and prosperity surpass the report I heard.
Blessed are your men, blessed these servants of yours,
who stand before you always and listen to your wisdom.
Blessed be the LORD, your God,
whom it has pleased to place you on the throne of Israel.
In his enduring love for Israel,
the LORD has made you king to carry out judgment and justice."
Then she gave the king one hundred and twenty gold talents,
a very large quantity of spices, and precious stones.
Never again did anyone bring such an abundance of spices
as the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.

Responsorial Psalm

37:5-6, 30-31, 39-40

R. (30a) The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.
Commit to the LORD your way;

trust in him, and he will act.
He will make justice dawn for you like the light;

bright as the noonday shall be your vindication.
R. The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.
The mouth of the just man tells of wisdom

and his tongue utters what is right.
The law of his God is in his heart,

and his steps do not falter.
R. The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.
The salvation of the just is from the LORD;

he is their refuge in time of distress.
And the LORD helps them and delivers them;

he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,

because they take refuge in him.
R. The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.


See Jn 17:17b, 17a

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your word, O Lord, is truth:
consecrate us in the truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Mk 7:14-23

Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them,
"Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person;
but the things that come out from within are what defile."

When he got home away from the crowd
his disciples questioned him about the parable.
He said to them,
"Are even you likewise without understanding?
Do you not realize that everything
that goes into a person from outside cannot defile,
since it enters not the heart but the stomach
and passes out into the latrine?"
(Thus he declared all foods clean.)
"But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him.
From within the man, from his heart,
come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,
adultery, greed, malice, deceit,
licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
All these evils come from within and they defile."


Daily Meditation: Psalm 37:5-6, 30-31, 39-40

Commit to the Lord your way; trust in him, and he will act. (Psalm 37:5)

It's easy to think that committing your way to the Lord should be like jumping out of an airplane: no going back, no changing your mind. But it's not an absolute "once and done" deed. It's a commitment that you need to reaffirm every day. Today's responsorial psalm encourages that. It exhorts us to put our lives in God's hands and to pledge to obey him as wholeheartedly as we can. Then, as the psalm promises, we can look to see what he will do.

God will act. He will always do something, even though you might not always live out your end of that commitment perfectly. Look at King Solomon. At the beginning of his reign, Solomon had honored God as his father, David, had. And God acted by giving Solomon the wisdom to know how to rule his people (1 Kings 3:9). He also made Solomon the envy of all the rulers of the Middle East. Even the Queen of Sheba came offering gifts (10:1-6). But Solomon's commitment to the Lord wavered, and he built up his own wealth while neglecting his nation's well-being.

Now, no modern queen of Sheba is likely to appear on your doorstep bearing extravagant gifts. But as you seek the Lord wholeheartedly and commit your way to him, you can expect him to act. In fact, you can do even better than Solomon did. With the presence of the Holy Spirit, you can grow in humility and purity more and more each day.

As you do, God will act. Perhaps he will give you a wealth of wisdom or comforting words to share with someone who is struggling. Or maybe you will experience the riches of patience in a difficult situation, healing of an illness, or freedom from habitual sin. Strive to follow the Lord faithfully (not necessarily perfectly), and you will see him act.

Recall this verse often during the day, and renew your commitment to God as you do. You don't have to be perfect—neither King David nor King Solomon was. Just ask God, who is good and who loves you, to help you do better. He will guide your every step.

"Lord, I commit my day to you today. Help me to walk in your paths."

1 Kings 10:1-10
Mark 7:14-23


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
""Though I did not believe the report until I came and saw with my own eyes..."

Sometimes seeing is believing, isn't it? But she believed, she just wanted to see for herself. Otherwise she wouldn't have embarked on a long journey with so many gifts. Right? How about you? Have you started your journey to the Majestic King you've heard about? Are you loading up with treasures to give to Him? And what treasures does He take? Surely not material ones.


We pray in Psalms:
"Commit to the LORD your way; trust in him, and he will act. He will make justice dawn for you like the light; bright as the noonday shall be your vindication. The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom"

Probably one of the worst feelings about the whole ordeal with my dad suffering in the hospital right now, for weeks, is the times I catch myself not trusting God, by diving into the thousands of prayers, or by praying over and over the same prayer, even though God has spoke to my heart saying "I Have Heard Your Prayers". Yet I pray and pray. And to be honest, the thousands I've meant to pray for the whole world. And I've actually counted prayers on my counting app on my phone. As if by a certain number they would work. As if by a magic formula, or analytical data. As if by my mere works I've come up with. Distrust. Dis-love. But God knows the heart.


Our Lord speaks in the Holy Gospel:
""Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile."

Among the over 600 rules the Jews had come up with, was the food you could and couldn't eat. Maybe the ligaments or muscles off the hip bone of an animal, to remember the fight of Jacob with God when Jacob was injured at the hip and became Israel...which means grappling with God.
But it went from one food to another. Until they actually done away with bacon too! Oh the cruelty. Just kidding. But there was good reason for no pig diet too, they realized the dirty animal had dirty meat that hurt those who ate it.
But God declared all was the book of Genesis. Later on evil came in.

You see, you are good too. You were created in the good, only later did evil manifest in your life in concupiscence, the tendency to sin. It's what comes out of our hearts, minds, and mouths that counts, and if it's bad, like cursing, lying, gossiping, or simply calling someone stupid, then things can get bad...for you! Forget the person you cursed, it's twice as bad on the one doing the cursing! So for heaven's sake, let only the good come out of a good heart God originally intended and created.
On Monday, remember I said the story of a vendor and his wife that bring us supplies for years, stock our shelves in our shop, gloves, lights, sprays, and one day couple months ago, he came in alone and asked trembling, "Notice anything different about me?" And I said, "no, just your wife not here", and he said "exactly, she passed away last night", then I found out how; she was doing night prayers in front of him and collapsed into his arms and that was it.

Well, he looked ghostly white when he came in, I know he had a pacemaker put in and his wife always took care of him during all that. I asked if everything was alright. He said he has good days and bad days (I knew what he meant, suffering without his wife). He said that he just sold his wife's vehicle and how it hurt to let it go, because he knew she loved taking care of that vehicle. He was choked up, and I was already choked about my own ordeal. But something moved me inside. I said "can I pray for you?" and he said yes, and I walked around my desk, to his chair, and I put my hands on his shoulders as I stood behind him. As I prayed, I massaged his shoulders, and prayed over his heart too, praying for healing and even joy from Heaven if Brenda is there now, and for God to be all our love, to fill that void now.

He got up and said thank you and left.

I sat down to continue writing to you that day. But as I sat and put my head down, I heard what I believe was God's voice saying "Thank you for doing that". I was so moved. As if I was told that this was perhaps a healing prayer that Gregg needed.

Funny, that I'm in need of a healer, but I'm the one consoling people. And so the message comes from this to me: "Let the people know that Jesus Loves Them".
And that is why you are reading this today.
Sure we've turned from God, but that doesn't mean He doesn't love.
It's that Heaven loves LOVE. ANd we've not answered HEaven's call to Love. Because God lives in all of us...and He hurts when we hurt. Jesus hurts when people hurt. And you should see my heart ache like yesterday after spending all day tending to my dad at the hospital, where they will not let him eat or drink now as they increase the air flow into his high pressure mask. And he asks all day for water, and food. And I don't know what to do, as nurses watch over my shoulder.
It hurts, everything hurts, because Jesus hurts. How can a hurting heart heal? With love. And God is Love. I say that on many fronts, because I was drained and when I left the hospital, and so, I drove across the street to the Catholic Church to pray at the Blessed Sacrament. I walked in and kneeled before the altar. Have you ever heard unexpected sobbing in an empty church? The eery noise echoed off the walls. It was kind of dark, only the crucifix, and the altar were lit. The sobs were of someone alone and hurting, a man with a beard was hurting inside. Was it me, or was it Christ? I'll let you decide.

All I can say is I left affected by that moment.

How dare we leave Christ alone, in the Blessed Sacrament, in Adoration, in daily Mass, in Sunday Mass, in Confession. In my parish, lines do not exist for adoration and much less for confessions. And I bet the same is over most churches across the world. Can we console and heal Christ? Remember...He wants love out of our heart...forever.

Let's Pray:
Heavenly Father,

I cannot count how many people have contacted me to console me, and yet, they tell me how they are suffering in ways. And so now as they call and text, I find myself trying to console them. Are they reaching to console or to be consoled?

St. Francis, pray for us.

from your brother in Christ,

As you've read, it's been hard lately, and last night, afib happened again, dad's heart rate went up to 160 or so and they had to put meds that takes hours to take effect. Got it down to 103 when mom called me this morning. His throat is ok but now they won't let him eat or drink and he says he is dry and stomach hurts this morning. Doctor for the first time told me another option aside from intubation or hospice...long term recovery. Slow progress better than none, right? We hope in Christ, and we will live in Him who is triumphant. Our prayers unite us.


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