Wednesday, February 16, 2022

† ". Do You See Anything. ."


†Saint Quote
"You must accept your cross; if you bear it courageously it will carry you to Heaven."
–St. John Vianney

†Today's Meditation
"In truth, if the earth and all it contains must one day disappear by fire, the goods of this world are no more to be esteemed than wood and straw. What point is there, then, in making them the object of our desires and cares? Why seek to build and leave marks of our genius and power where we have no permanent abode, and where the form of this world will be removed, like a tent that has no travelers to shelter? It may be said that it will be a thousand years before this frightening cataclysm takes place; but Christ has said that a thousand years are but an instant compared with eternity, and when the moment comes—when, from the land of the future life, we are the witnesses and actors in that supreme drama—the whole span of humanity will seem so short to us that we shall scarcely consider it to have lasted a single day … Christ tells us to meditate upon these great teachings, for it is certain that we shall be taken by surprise, and that the time will come sooner than we think."
—Father Charles Arminjon, p. 28

An Excerpt From
The End of the Present World

†Daily Verse
"If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory."

–Colossians 3:1-4


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St. Juliana

St. Juliana of Nicomedia (c. 270 A.D.), also known as St. Juliana of Cumae, was the daughter of noble pagan parents, born in Nicomedia, a Greek city in ancient Turkey. Although her father was hostile to Christians, Juliana secretly accepted baptism. Her father arranged her marriage to a pagan nobleman and Roman senator. When the time for her wedding came, Juliana refused her consent to be married unless her betrothed converted to the Christian faith. Her father retaliated by mercilessly abusing her, but Juliana would not give in. Her betrothed then denounced her as a Christian before the tribunal under the persecutions of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. St. Juliana was unwavering in her faith, even after the devil himself appeared to tempt her during her sufferings. She was then publicly tortured by being burned, boiled in oil, and finally beheaded. Some accounts say she died together with St. Barbara. Many were converted to the Christian faith upon witnessing her fortitude in the face of her tortures. St. Juliana is the patron saint of sickness and bodily ills. Her feast day is February 16th.
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Wednesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 337
Reading I
Jas 1:19-27

Know this, my dear brothers and sisters:
everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger
for anger does not accomplish
the righteousness of God.
Therefore, put away all filth and evil excess
and humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you
and is able to save your souls.

Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer,
he is like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror.
He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets
what he looked like.
But the one who peers into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres,
and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts;
such a one shall be blessed in what he does.

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue
but deceives his heart, his religion is vain.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this:
to care for orphans and widows in their affliction
and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Responsorial Psalm
15:2-3a, 3bc-4ab, 5

R. (1b) Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?
He who walks blamelessly and does justice;

who thinks the truth in his heart

and slanders not with his tongue.
R. Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?
Who harms not his fellow man,

nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor;
By whom the reprobate is despised,

while he honors those who fear the Lord.
R. Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?
Who lends not his money at usury

and accepts no bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things

shall never be disturbed.
R. Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?

See Ephesians 1:17-18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope
that belongs to his call.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Mk 8:22-26

When Jesus and his disciples arrived at Bethsaida,
people brought to him a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him.
He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village.
Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on the man and asked,
"Do you see anything?"
Looking up the man replied, "I see people looking like trees and walking."
Then he laid hands on the man's eyes a second time and he saw clearly;
his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly.
Then he sent him home and said, "Do not even go into the village."


Daily Meditation: James 1:19-27

Be doers of the word and not hearers only. (James 1:22)

James knows his readers are experiencing tough times, so he encourages them to keep their eyes on Jesus and to persevere in their faith. By acting on the truths that they have received, they will be blessed, he reminds them.

Perhaps, like the recipients of James' letter, you are experiencing an unjust situation, and you are wondering when things will turn around. Or perhaps you are in a longer season of suffering than you were expecting. A sick spouse, a special-needs child, job loss, relational conflict—trials like these may cause you to feel less than determined to persevere in faith. Even the daily routine can get draining. So here are some ideas to help you persist in being a "doer" of the word, whether you are in the midst of difficult or mundane trials.

First, recognize God's generosity. Look around and acknowledge where you see God's goodness. It could be a kind doctor or teacher's aide. It could be the beauty of nature or a song that comes on the radio. Acknowledge and thank God for his generosity toward you in big and small ways. You might be surprised to see your attitude lift as you become more and more aware of his goodness in your life.

Second, keep doing what's right. As James reminds us, acting on the truths of the gospel is just as important as knowing them. Keep responding with kindness, keep giving generously, and keep forgiving. As you do, you will experience the blessing of peace. You'll have the assurance of doing what God asks, even when it's not easy, as well as the joy of knowing that you are sharing Christ with those around you.

Whatever trials you are facing today, take some time to recognize God's goodness and generosity and then act on the things you know to be true and right. Perhaps slowly, you'll find that you are indeed blessed and that you can take each day as it comes. Perhaps too, you will become more convinced that your greatest reward will come from God, both in this life and in the next.

"Jesus, thank you for the hope that you offer me. Help me to see your goodness and to act on your word today."

Psalm 15:2-5
Mark 8:22-2


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"Therefore, put away all filth and evil excess
and humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls."


We pray in Psalms:
" Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord? He who walks blamelessly and does justice; who thinks the truth in his heart and slanders not with his tongue."


Our Lord speaks in the Holy Gospel:
"He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village."

Our Lord took him away from the rest, to restore the man.

My brothers and sisters, there is no progress report other than, my dad passed yesterday after the Divine Mercy prayers about 3pm, together and saying goodbye. Our Lord took him away from the rest, to restore the man. The man we all cherished, because he loved us more than one could think possible. The 46 day ordeal was heart wrenching. The suffering, the agony, the early spine chilling wake up morning calls to tell me to get him out of the hospital because he said "they're killing me!". That's what I had to wake up to almost every day. Terror. Heart wrenching. And now that He's passed, I don't know what's going to happen. I prayed so hard. I started counting in the last couple weeks over 12,000 some of my prayers, thousands of prayers, many novenas. So many people everywhere praying, even perhaps you prayed. We searched options and doors closed in our faces within the last couple weeks, other possible hospitals or doctors or treatments. The hospital kept telling us no. It felt like a prison.

We were trapped with a man that said trembling, "I'm changing my life, I want to go home to hug my grandchildren very tight and not let go". And last night with tears in my eyes and heart, I tucked in my little boys and I heard one crying. I said "what's wrong?" He said "I wanted to see grandpa one more time, he told me he would hug me". I'm writing crying, sobbing. I can hardly see through my tears. I'm blinded by emotions. Jesus help us, take us, restore us.

Throughout, so many told me "God is good, he'll be ok". And I began to believe it, especially when one day someone told me her critical condition son for months was coming out of the ordeal and everyone told her the same things all the time that he'll be ok, she said "believe them". So I did, with much pain. And nothing.
An uncle said "God let me know your dad is going to live". And nothing.
They said my aunt said "I had a vision and martin is going to be ok, be out in a few days!". And nothing.
I even believed I heard the Lord tell me my dad would be ok when praying at the Church at the Blessed Sacrament. And nothing.
I even heard a voice in my head say in another church "Bring him to me after he's better". And nothing.
I had confessed at that church and the priest had said "Say two Our Fathers for your dad's healing". And I believed. And nothing.
And so, I've come to believe, that I don't know faith well.
I'm led to believe I cannot move mountains. I expected an earth shattering miracle even when they were removing his mask yesterday, because I was sure and confident in my prayers, and even the hospice ladies said "some people actually get better when removing the air mask". And nothing.

Some say we are lucky we got to see dad in the hospital, for many couldn't with pandemics laws.

I'd say to them, yes, thanks be to God, but the ordeal is bitter sweet. We went into tremendous suffering. We couldn't always visit, eventually we could since he'd been in there for so long. He didn't want mom to leave him alone at night, and they'd kick her out. Eventually they allowed. So she went into the torture chamber with him basically 24/7.

Today, my mom is a widow, after 45 years of marriage. My dad said to her before going away, "We said til death do us part, and here we are". My mom with teary eyes looking into his, could understand through the powerful air flow mask.

I had cried so many nights in the dark for my mom not to be left alone, praying with bitter anguish. And nothing.
Torture. You go in, see your dad who loves you so much, suffering, hanging in there hoping to get better to continue loving you. And nothing.
He he asked for weeks for water, and the hospital said it was forbidden. No nutrients, no food, no IV. He was actually being killed like he said. This is how it was most of the time. There was a time he could eat a bit, but towards the end they caved when we asked for IV. And things did not improve other than he wouldn't say he was starving as much.
It was a dagger to the heart every time I entered the hospital when it was my turn. I faced Goliath, I prayed for strength. I'd go in there and get paralyzed to see my dad struck down on the bed.

I'd leave in shambles after hours and hours of being alone with him. So am I lucky I got to see my dad?

I recall the vision I had of Christ on the cross, suffering, dying, total darkness. Eventually someone shook me and snapped me out of it, I opened my eyes only to realize I was sobbing.

I saw my father as Christ suffering for love of His children. So many have told us that he was like a father to them. He had a big heart and had a way of loving like that. In the Father's image.
And so do I believe in miracles? Why not? I've seen them.

Why didn't my storming of heaven with prayers and pleadings grant a miracle, or all of us a miracle? Only God knows.
I'm writing to you as I do daily from my office desk where my dad would always sit across from me. My best friend. And the only other man I knew that was encouraging me to be a man of God.
It isn't easy being alone here after nearly 20 years of working side by side, him as the boss, and me as the worker.
He was really the only man that I'd see in daily mass here within the last few years. Now I'll be alone there too.
I'd leave the hospital looking at people loading up their loved ones from wheelchairs, so much wishing to see the day we could do that. And nothing.
I'd go to Mass looking to the doors saying "can't wait to see him come in here again". And now I'm alone. Right now, I'm ok if I see people and talk to them, but when they turn their backs I weep.

They say suffering is something cherished in heaven. I hope so, because my dad suffered a whole awful lot, and now we are too.

He was strong, the strongest man I've known, even the doctors were astounded at how long he hung in there. I think it was because of hope. We'd say we thought we could move him to another hospital, and then got shot down. And many things up and down. All chaos. One day we were ok, another terrible. Last night when everybody left, I cried under the moon out on a country road, screaming repeatedly "I'm sorry dad", because I think I could've done more, or should've done more. My weak self, unable to move.
Before we went to bed, we gathered to pray. I usually start thanking the Lord for things, and last night I paused, trying to muster up a thanksgiving prayer, for what? For everything including faith was crashing on me that moment, but I mustered out with a trembling voice "thanks...thanks for....for a graceful death". And I prayed dad to be in Heaven. He had received 3 times the absolution, the forgiveness Sacrament while in the hospital.

I won't take up much more of your time. Your prayers are appreciated. No words necessary. Just acts of love.

from your brother in Christ,

Before leaving, were were all holding dad, and we were kidding about who is the favorite one and he said with big open eyes "God is my favorite". Now I have to carry on his desires to love his children and to be that man in church even more that he wanted to be. The body.


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Random bible verse generator:

Proverbs 15:29
The LORD is far from the wicked,

but he hears the prayer of the righteous.


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God Bless You! Peace

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