†Saint Quote "A man who governs his passions is master of his world. We must either command them or be enslaved by them. It is better to be a hammer than an anvil." –St. Dominic
†Today's Meditation "Each of us must come to the evening of life. Each of us must enter on eternity. Each of us must come to that quiet, awful time, when we will appear before the Lord of the vineyard, and answer for the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or bad. That, my dear brethren, you will have to undergo. … It will be the dread moment of expectation when your fate for eternity is in the balance, and when you are about to be sent forth as the companion of either saints or devils, without possibility of change. There can be no change; there can be no reversal. As that judgment decides it, so it will be for ever and ever. Such is the particular judgment. … when we find ourselves by ourselves, one by one, in his presence, and have brought before us most vividly all the thoughts, words, and deeds of this past life. Who will be able to bear the sight of himself? And yet we shall be obliged steadily to confront ourselves and to see ourselves. In this life we shrink from knowing our real selves. We do not like to know how sinful we are. We love those who prophecy smooth things to us, and we are angry with those who tell us of our faults. But on that day, not one fault only, but all the secret, as well as evident, defects of our character will be clearly brought out. We shall see what we feared to see here, and much more. And then, when the full sight of ourselves comes to us, who will not wish that he had known more of himself here, rather than leaving it for the inevitable day to reveal it all to him!" —Saint John Henry Newman, p. 101
An Excerpt From A Year with the Saints
†Daily Verse "Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show his works by a good life in the humility that comes from wisdom."
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St. Valentine of Rome (c. 270) was a priest who lived in Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius II. Little is known of his life with certainty, except that he ministered to Christians who were persecuted and imprisoned for their faith, and died a martyr. One account has it that the emperor banned all marriages and engagements in Rome, believing this was the reason Roman men were unwilling to serve in the army. Valentine defied this unjust decree and continued to perform marriages for lovers in secret. He was arrested, and while in prison he restored sight to his jailer's blind daughter, causing the jailer and his entire extended household, forty-six people in total, to immediately convert to Christianity. Upon hearing this, Claudius ordered Valentine's execution. St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, whom he had befriended, and signed it "From Your Valentine." He was beheaded on February 14th. St. Valentine is the patron of many causes including bee keepers, betrothed and engaged couples, lovers, love, happy marriages, and young people. His feast day is February 14th.
Memorial of Saints Cyril, Monk, and Methodius, Bishop
Lectionary: 335 Reading I
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes in the dispersion, greetings.
Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it. But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, since he is a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways.
The brother in lowly circumstances
should take pride in high standing, and the rich one in his lowliness,
for he will pass away "like the flower of the field." For the sun comes up with its scorching heat and dries up the grass, its flower droops, and the beauty of its appearance vanishes. So will the rich person fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
119:67, 68, 71, 72, 75, 76
R. (77a) Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live. Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I hold to your promise. R. Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live. You are good and bountiful;
teach me your statutes. R. Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live. It is good for me that I have been afflicted,
that I may learn your statutes. R. Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live. The law of your mouth is to me more precious
than thousands of gold and silver pieces. R. Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live. I know, O LORD, that your ordinances are just,
and in your faithfulness you have afflicted me. R. Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live. Let your kindness comfort me
according to your promise to your servants. R. Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father except through me. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said, "Why does this generation seek a sign? Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation." Then he left them, got into the boat again, and went off to the other shore.
Daily Meditation: James 1:1-11
The one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind. (James 1:6)
We all struggle with doubts about our faith from time to time, especially when we are being tested. Questions pop up in our minds, often unwelcome and without warning: Is God really listening? Does he care? Will he give me the wisdom, strength, or grace I need right now?
It's only human to ask such questions, and yet we know how doubts can weaken our faith. As James so eloquently writes, such doubts can destabilize us so that we become like a wave "tossed about by the wind" (1:6). But we don't have to let that happen! God has given us two "anchors" that can help us stay faithful when doubts inevitably arise.
The first is the word of God. When you meditate on the truths of Scripture, you are allowing them to settle deep within your heart and mind. Over time, they become part of who you are and how you look at the world.
Then when doubts arise, so do these truths: God is good. He loves me so much that he died for me. He cares for me. He is always with me. He has good plans for me. To keep reminding yourself, you might want to search for Bible verses that reflect these truths and write them down, perhaps on sticky notes you place on your mirror or refrigerator. This will help you pray them throughout your day. As you do this repeatedly, the doubts will lose their power to derail you.
A second "anchor" is to pray against "the wickedness and snares of the devil," as the Prayer to St. Michael says. Because Christ lives in us, we have his authority to rebuke Satan and the doubts he tries to sow in our minds. So if you find yourself anxious about a situation, or if doubts keep coming up again and again, recognize who might be behind them. Then pray against this "spirit of doubt." Maybe even ask a friend to pray with you.
You never have to passively allow doubts to toss you about. Whenever they surface, remember that you can do something about them. God has already equipped you to deal with them!
"Lord, anchor me in prayer and your word so that I can overcome my doubts and stay faithful to you."
Psalm 119:67-68, 71-72, 75-76 Mark 8:11-13
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind."
I write to you daily, in hopes to increase your faith. I write to you daily, on week days, to encourage you on your faith. I wish I could be encouraged now. I wish my faith was not titter tottering. I wish I had the faith of those who encountered our Lord when He walked this earth. But as it stands, I am no better than anyone. I can only say that I have been touched by God in ways that very few may ever experience. And that has been my fuel for my fire. I will tell you another truth in my life right now. The bible says in 1Cor 13:13 "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." Yet my faith has been greatly tested since I last wrote to you, things went down bad with my dad in the hospital, to the point that yesterday we were asked to gather and "make a decision" on him because his blood oxygen is at bad levels. One day you are given hope, and another day you are delivered a blow. My faith has been shaken, I humbly admit. My hope has not dwindled, but what is my rock is my love. When I was hospitalized, my pelvis was broke, but not my faith, hope, or love. When I broke my thumb, how would I play the guitar in choir since I was the only guitarist and choir leader? Someone asked "how do you play the guitar with your thumb broke?" I said "I don't play with my thumb, I play with love".
We pray in Psalms: "Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live. It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn your statutes. Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live"
These words give me comfort. The Holy Word of God has given me comfort in prayers, and hope. If I didn't read these words, I don't know where I'd be. I'm relying on God's love on this day we celebrate love, St. Valentine's.
Our Lord speaks in the Holy Gospel: "He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said, "Why does this generation seek a sign? Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation."
Am I seeking a sign from God to believe through this ordeal, as I ask for a miracle for dad? In a way I am. But in a way I am not. In a way, I wish the healing to be a sign of God's mercy for the tons of people praying for him. But in a way I am not seeking a sign, because I believe God has words of everlasting life...to whom should we turn if things don't go our way? Will I stop writing? I don't think I will. Will I stop pouring myself into ministries? I don't see why. You see, I've come to know our Lord, and I know deep inside, everything He does is "for the better". But at this point in my life, there are things I cannot tell you that are in the balance, for I am in the middle of a storm. I was crying last night at midnight, locked out of the church, wishing I could come in to pray that my dad could get some sleep, as his anxiety has been skyrocketing since they declined him sleep meds and morphine. I was crying outloud, sobbing, knocking. You see, there were two things I could've done last night, driven to see him to try to help him, or pray and believe, and stay home like my wife had asked me not to drive off tired and torn apart in the middle of the night.
After praying at the church, I was led to have faith, to trust in the Lord. I get a call, dad said he slept a bit, not sure how many hours, but that gave me comfort, knowing that I had prayed, and I had trusted, instead of getting in the middle.
The whole of the ordeal has been one of trusting God. When I cry, when I'm torn to pieces sometimes, I wonder if those are cries of doubts, maybe like when our Lord says in Mt 13:50 "There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth." The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous, 50and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Wailing by the one who doubted and did not move. Crying, weeping and lamenting not having trusted God, as if to say "God is not Good" like the world leads us to believe.
Do I need a sign to believe in God? No. Do I need a sign to believe in Mercy? No. But I do need help, grace, and mercy. I need it now more than ever. For I have been tempted, but not despaired. I hope this helps you today. I woke up to hope. The Son Has Risen. The light is bearing down on us.
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
The nurses and doctors are saying two options are intubation which we don't want, and right now is probably more harmful, and then hospice. We're looking into a third option they have not given...Hope. And so I ask you today, to join us in prayer for hope, for life, for a man who has brought me to faith and has been my backup in this world to help others in faith. Let us pray for Martin Gonzales. Let us pray that he is shone the light of life, especially on this day that we remember Love...God's love. We are trying to transfer out of hospital and hitting obstacles, and so we need guidance too, for God's healing to take place with our prayers and efforts.
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Galatians 6:9–10 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
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