†Saint Quote ""Act, and God will act, work and He will work." –St. Joan of Arc
†Today's Meditation "Christian life is a retreat. We are 'not of this world', just as Jesus Christ is 'not of this world' (John 17:14). What is the world? It is, as St. John said, the 'lust of the flesh', that is, sensuality and corruption in our desires and deeds; 'the lust of the eyes', curiosity, avarice, illusion, fascination, error, and folly in the affectation of learning, and, finally, pride and ambition (1 John 2:16). To these evils of which the world is full, and which make up its substance, a retreat must be set in opposition. We need to make ourselves into a desert by a holy detachment. Christian life is a battle … We must never cease to fight. In this battle, St. Paul teaches us to make an eternal abstinence, that is, to cut ourselves off from the pleasures of the senses and guard our hearts from them … it was to repair and to expiate the failings of our retreat, of our battle against temptations, of our abstinence, that Jesus was driven into the desert. His fast of forty days prefigured the lifelong one that we are to practice by abstaining from evil deeds and by containing our desires within the limits laid down by the law of God." —Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, p. 17-18
An Excerpt From Meditations for Lent
†Daily Verse "For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their "shame." Their minds are occupied with earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." –Philippians 3:18-20
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St. Casimir of Poland
St. Casimir of Poland (1458-1484) was the second son of King Casimir IV and Queen Elizabeth of Austria, one of thirteen children born to them in the royal palace at Cracow. Casimir committed his life to God from an early age, thanks in part to a brilliant and pious priest who served as the royal tutor. He turned away from the privileges of his station in life and instead exercised extreme asceticism and self-denial. He wore a hairshirt under his clothes, slept on the cold ground, and knelt in prayer for long hours outside of locked churches. At the age of thirteen the Hungarians requested Prince Casimir to rule their country as king, which he accepted in the hope of defending the Christian nation against the Turks. However, the plan did not come to fruition and he returned home to continue his life of prayer, penance, and generosity to the poor. He later ruled Poland for a few short years while his father attended royal business in Lithuania. Casimir took a vow of celibacy which he upheld despite immense political pressure to marry. He suffered from a chronic lung condition, which he succumbed to in 1484 at the age of 25. Many miracles were attributed to his intercession after his death. St. Casimir is the patron saint of Poland, Lithuania, and young people. His feast day is March 4th.
Friday after Ash Wednesday
Reading I Is 58:1-9a
Thus says the Lord GOD: Cry out full-throated and unsparingly,
lift up your voice like a trumpet blast; Tell my people their wickedness,
and the house of Jacob their sins. They seek me day after day,
and desire to know my ways, Like a nation that has done what is just
and not abandoned the law of their God; They ask me to declare what is due them,
pleased to gain access to God. "Why do we fast, and you do not see it?
afflict ourselves, and you take no note of it?"
Lo, on your fast day you carry out your own pursuits,
and drive all your laborers. Yes, your fast ends in quarreling and fighting,
striking with wicked claw. Would that today you might fast
so as to make your voice heard on high! Is this the manner of fasting I wish,
of keeping a day of penance: That a man bow his head like a reed
and lie in sackcloth and ashes? Do you call this a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD? This, rather, is the fasting that I wish:
releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke; Setting free the oppressed
breaking every yoke; Sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; Clothing the naked when you see them,
and not turning your back on your own. Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed; Your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer,
you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!
Responsorial Psalm 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 18-19
R. (19b) A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn. Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me. R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn. For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always: "Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight." R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn. For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it. My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn. R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
Verse Before the Gospel See Am 5:14
Seek good and not evil so that you may live, and the Lord will be with you.
Gospel Mt 9:14-15
The disciples of John approached Jesus and said, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?" Jesus answered them, "Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast."
Daily Meditation: Isaiah 58:1-9
This, rather, is the fasting that I wish. (Isaiah 58:6)
"Just do it!" is a popular catchphrase meaning, "Stop thinking about it and take some action." It could be doing something fun like taking a vacation, or it could be tackling a job you're putting off, like laundry, yard work, or cleaning the kitchen.
But "just do it" isn't always the right attitude to take when it comes to our Lenten practices. The Israelites in today's first reading were just doing it—they were fasting. But it wasn't changing their hearts or minds. God didn't want them to fast for the sake of fasting; he wanted their sacrifices to bear fruit in how they loved and cared for other people.
That's what all of us want as well. So how might your prayer, fasting, and almsgiving bear fruit this Lent? How can you move beyond a "just do it" approach?
You start by spending some extra time in prayer—whether minutes or hours—so that the Lord can fill you with his love and mercy. Then, when you fast, you can focus on emptying yourself of even legitimate worldly pleasures—whether that's food, screen time, or something else you enjoy—so that you can create more space for the Lord to fill you up.
Now, in your almsgiving, you can share with other people the riches that God has given you. You can ask, "How might I release those bound unjustly, set free the oppressed, share my bread with the hungry, or clothe the naked?" (Isaiah 58:6, 7). It could mean making a monetary contribution, but it could also mean something more hands-on and personal with someone in your family, parish, or community. God, who is endlessly creative, knows you intimately. He will show you the ways you are uniquely able to share his love.
This Lent, let your prayer, fasting, and almsgiving become a wellspring of God's love that flows out from you to others. This season is so much more than a time to take off a few pounds, cut out a bad habit, or declutter closets. It's more than a time to "just do it." It's a time to carry out God's pursuits.
"Father, fill me with your love this Lent, and show me how to share that love with others."
Psalm 51:3-6, 18-19 Matthew 9:14-15
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer, you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!"
Ever wonder why our prayers aren't answered sometimes? Ever wonder why thousands flock to a saint like Padre Pio when he was alive on earth? Because they know God listens to his prayers right? Why? Was he chosen? Was he destined? Perhaps to an extent, but all are chosen to be saints, not destined for ruin. For us being availed the chance for holiness, it is for the good of the world, a light in the dark. The Lord hears the cry of the poor, the humble, the righteous. In a word, His own children.
We pray in Psalms: "A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn. Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me."
Our Lord speaks: "The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast."
From Bishop Barron today: "Could you imagine people fasting at a wedding banquet? It would be ridiculous! Jesus later says, "People do not put new wine into old wineskins." The new wine is the Gospel. The receptacle for this wine must be conformed to it, not the other way around. To take in the Good News, we can't be living in the cramped space of our sinful souls. We can't have an "expect the worst" attitude. Instead we repent, or change the minds that we have. Another way to get at this is to say that like is known by like. If God is love, then only a soul that is on fire with love will properly take him in"
The bridegroom was taken away. Our Lord is expected to make a second return. Until then, we should be fasting, praying, and be loving in charity, all things giving. It is not just for lent, but always. Lent is to ignite the fervent fire that God wants to see burning in our hearts with faith for Him. Just like we expect to see our loved ones again, we should even more, expect to see and to be with God. God is supreme and above all things created on earth and in Heaven. Angels, Archangels, all bow down to God and they are more supreme than us humans. Who are we then before God? Our Lord awaits our response. The secret to His heart is true love. And we carry that ability through the spark of Life He has given each one of us. And so we fast for love. We sacrifice for Love. We unite in prayer for Love. There is no way around it. Our Lord Jesus, at our first judgement will judge us for God, and God is Love.
Lord, help us Love You as we ought.
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
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Random bible verse generator:
Psalm 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
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