Friday, February 25, 2022

† ".They Are No Longer .. ."


†Saint Quote
""Who except God can give you peace? Has the world ever been able to satisfy the heart?"
–St. Gerard

†Today's Meditation
"This is the difference between a journey on earth, and that which leads to Heaven. For in the former, not only may we stop without fear of going backward, but rest is necessary that we may sustain our strength to the journey's end; however, in the latter journey which leads to perfection, our growth in strength is proportionate to our advance, inasmuch as the inferior appetites which throw all possible obstacles in our path to Heaven, grow gradually weaker while our good inclinations acquire new strength. Thus as we advance in piety, our early difficulties fade into the background, and a certain delight, with which God sweetens the bitterness of this life, increases in our souls. Going cheerfully on from virtue to virtue, we finally reach the summit of the mountain."
—Dom Lorenzo Scupoli, p. 117-18

An Excerpt From
The Spiritual Combat

†Daily Verse
"Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread forth the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it: "I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness."
–Isaiah 42: 5-7


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St. Walburga

St. Walburga (710-777 A.D.) was born near Devonshire, England, the daughter of St. Richard the Pilgrim (a Saxon king) and the sister of Sts. Willibald and Winebald. When she was eleven her father and brothers went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, while her father placed her in a convent famous for its holiness. She was well educated according to her rank, became a nun, and lived there for twenty-six years. Her uncle, St. Boniface, then brought her to what is now Germany to help him evangelize that country and establish the Church there. In this missionary activity she joined her brothers who were also laboring for the faith in that country, one as an abbot, the other as a bishop. Because of her education she was able to document the travels of her brother in the Holy Land, and for this work she became the first female author of England and Germany. She was known as a miracle worker and healer both in her life and after her death. St. Walburga's relics have the miraculous property of exuding oil to which many cures have been ascribed through the centuries. St. Walburga is the patron saint of sailors, mariners, and farmers, and against hydrophobia, famine, coughs, rabies, plague, and storms. St. Walburga's feast day is February 25th.

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Friday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Reading I Jas 5:9-12

Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another,
that you may not be judged.
Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates.
Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers and sisters,
the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
Indeed we call blessed those who have persevered.
You have heard of the perseverance of Job,
and you have seen the purpose of the Lord,
because the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

But above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear,
either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath,
but let your "Yes" mean "Yes" and your "No" mean "No,"
that you may not incur condemnation.

Responsorial Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 8-9, 11-12

R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;

and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,

and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
He pardons all your iniquities,

he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,

he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,

slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
He will not always chide,

nor does he keep his wrath forever.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,

so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,

so far has he put our transgressions from us.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Alleluia See Jn 17:17b, 17a

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

Gospel Mk 10:1-12

Jesus came into the district of Judea and across the Jordan.
Again crowds gathered around him and, as was his custom,
he again taught them.
The Pharisees approached him and asked,
"Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?"
They were testing him.
He said to them in reply, "What did Moses command you?"
They replied,
"Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce
and dismiss her."
But Jesus told them,
"Because of the hardness of your hearts
he wrote you this commandment.
But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother

and be joined to his wife,

and the two shall become one flesh.
So they are no longer two but one flesh.
Therefore what God has joined together,
no human being must separate."
In the house the disciples again questioned Jesus about this.
He said to them,
"Whoever divorces his wife and marries another
commits adultery against her;
and if she divorces her husband and marries another,
she commits adultery."


Daily Meditation: Mark 10:1-12

Is it lawful? (Mark 10:2)
Today's Gospel recounts yet another confrontation between Jesus and some Pharisees who were trying to test him. The religious leaders wanted to make Jesus appear to contradict Moses so they could discredit him. Then, they hoped, the people would reject him. Their position would be secure, and the "pure" Jewish faith would be preserved. But their approach backfired.

Once again, Jesus' outlook exceeds the Pharisees' perspective. By asking what is lawful, they are asking, "How little can I do and still please God?" In response, Jesus uses marriage to illustrate something bigger. He points them toward the beauty of God's intention from the beginning: faithful, sacrificial love, both in marriage and in our relationship with God.

It's easy to fall into a limited mindset and become functional in our relationship with God. We might focus on fulfilling requirements rather than loving God. We might focus on avoiding his punishment rather than loving him and honoring him for all he has done for us. We may not consciously say it, but it's almost like a husband or wife asking, "What's the bare minimum I have to do to stay married?"

If we are asking that question, we've already missed the boat! The question is not "How little can I get away with?" but "How much can I do for my spouse? How can I love him or her, anticipate their needs, and serve them?" This "how much" kind of love reflects the way that God loves us! In contrast, if we are asking how little we need to do, we are missing the purpose of God's commands and his loving intentions toward us.

Every day, God looks at you and asks, "How much can I bless my son or daughter?" He wants to show you that "as the heavens are high above the earth, so surpassing is his kindness" (Psalm 103:11). What are your thoughts toward God today? If you catch yourself asking, "How little must I do?" stop and remember how generous he is. Call to mind the many times God has blessed you. Turn to him with words of love. Then ask the Spirit to help you to express your love in action. How much can you do to love God and his people today?

"Jesus, help me to love you with all my heart."

James 5:9-12
Psalm 103:1-4, 8-9, 11-12


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath, but let your "Yes" mean "Yes" and your "No" mean "No," that you may not incur condemnation."

I said yes to the the Holy Sacrament, including Marriage.


We pray in Psalms:
"Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. The Lord is kind and merciful"


Our Lord speaks in the Holy Gospel:
"Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her;
and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."

Probably one of the most tragic turns in history was when a king decided to turn against the allow divorce(s).

And this turn was related to another turn against the church with Luther and Calvin. One split causes another split. And now families and churches are split. And now it is difficult to have harmony and unity, to be of one faith and one love. Our Holy Church has always maintained what our Lord said to the Pharisees and to the world, that when a man joins a woman to marry, they become one. How can you break apart one being? It'd be an atrocious thought, and so, when a marriage chooses divorce, the blood bath begins. And so it is when Christ Joins You in Marriage, in a Holy Sacrament. He would never divorce you, for He is faithful. It is us that choose to cheat on Him when we sin, when we choose to do things that are not of His loving will. A Holy Sacrament is designed to be a light unto the world.

From Bishop Barron today:
"Friends, in our Gospel today, Jesus defines the fundamental sacredness of marriage. I'm convinced that the deep sacramental and religious meaning of marriage—even within the Church—has been, in recent years, dramatically compromised. We say that marriage is a vocation, but do we mean it?

We can look at human sexual relationships at a number of different levels. Two people can come together purely for physical pleasure, for economic reasons, or for psychological companionship. And we might witness two people coming together out of authentic love.

But none of these levels is what the Bible means by marriage. When I was doing parish work I would invariably ask young couples, "Why do you want to get married in church?" Most would say something like, "Because we love each other." But I would reply, "Well, that's no reason to get married in church."

They usually looked stunned, but I meant it. You come to church to be married before God and his people when you are convinced that your marriage is not, finally, about you; that it is about God and about serving God's purposes; that it is, as much as the priesthood of a priest, a vocation, a sacred calling."

I told a couple I was teaching on Sacraments as they wanted to marry by the church, "you are showing the world you love God by getting married in the church, you are going to be a light in the darkness". My marriage picture with my wife in front of the altar has us holding hands, and Christ crucified, the crucifix behind the altar, was in between us.

It is a call to sacrifice to the death, til death do us part, a true yes. And then, we are joined to Christ forever...true love, true joy.
I wish the world had more marriages. I wish I could see more light. I wish there was more love of...God. And then their fruit...a creation between God and huMan... souls. Precious souls of God.

from your brother in Christ,


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Random bible verse generator:

Ephesians 2:8–9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.


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