†Saint Quote "When an evil thought is presented to the mind, we must immediately endeavor to turn our thoughts to God, or to something which is indifferent. But the first rule is, instantly to invoke the names of Jesus and Mary and to continue to invoke them until the temptation ceases. He who trusts in himself is lost. He who trusts in God can do all things." –St. Alphonsus Liguori
†Today's Meditation "Temptation to a certain sin, to any sin whatsoever, might last throughout our whole life, yet it can never make us displeasing to God's Majesty provided we do not take pleasure in it and give consent to it. You must have great courage in the midst of temptation. Never think yourself overcome as long as they are displeasing to you, keeping clearly in mind the difference between feeling temptation and consenting to it." —St. Francis de Sales, p. 158
An Excerpt From The Fulfillment of All Desire
†Daily Verse "For it is not those who hear the law who are just in the sight of God; rather, those who observe the law will be justified." –Romans 2:13
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St Eulogius of Cordoba
St. Eulogius of Cordoba (9th c.) was a priest from a prominent Christian family in Cordoba (Cordova), Spain. He was well-educated, humble, gentle, friendly, and a gifted leader with the charism of encouragement, especially towards Christians facing martyrdom. In his time Cordoba was the capital of the Muslim conquerors of Catholic Spain. The Muslim leaders allowed Christians to live in relative peace until a persecution arose when some of the Muslim population began converting to Christianity. They imprisoned the clergy, including Eulogius. While in prison Eulogius read the Bible to his companions and exhorted them to faithfulness in the face of martyrdom. He also wrote to two other young female converts who were facing threats, instructing them that no matter how terribly they were physically abused, it could not harm their souls, and that they must fight for their faith till death and leave God to defend his Church. St. Eulogius was released and later jailed again for hiding a young female convert who fled from her family in fear of her life. St. Eulogius' judge offered him escape if he would weaken the practice of his religion, but instead he preached the Gospel to the presiding court. He was immediately beheaded. St. Eulogius' feast day is March 11th.
Friday of the First Week of Lent
Lectionary: 228 Reading I
Thus says the Lord GOD: If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed, if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just, he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him; he shall live because of the virtue he has practiced. Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked? says the Lord GOD. Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way that he may live?
And if the virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil, the same kind of abominable things that the wicked man does, can he do this and still live? None of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered, because he has broken faith and committed sin; because of this, he shall die. You say, "The LORD's way is not fair!" Hear now, house of Israel: Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair? When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies, it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die. But if the wicked, turning from the wickedness he has committed, does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life; since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
130:1-2, 3-4, 5-7a, 7bc-8
R. (3) If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand? Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
LORD, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication. R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand? If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
LORD, who can stand? But with you is forgiveness,
that you may be revered. R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand? I trust in the LORD;
my soul trusts in his word. My soul waits for the LORD
more than sentinels wait for the dawn.
Let Israel wait for the LORD. R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand? For with the LORD is kindness
and with him is plenteous redemption; And he will redeem Israel
from all their iniquities. R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
Verse Before the Gospel
Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the LORD, and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.
Jesus said to his disciples: "I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.
"You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment. But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, Raqa, will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny."
Daily Meditation: Ezekiel 18:21-28
He shall surely live. (Ezekiel 18:21, 28)
Does this phrase from the prophet Ezekiel remind you of anything? In the opening pages of Scripture, we read about how God gave Adam and Eve freedom to eat from any tree in the Garden of Eden except one. They were forbidden from eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And what would happen if they disobeyed this command? They would surely die (see Genesis 2:17). And they did. As a result of their disobedience, they were exiled from the perfection of Eden and were now subject to a life of suffering and death.
Fast-forward to the time of Ezekiel, and God's people are again in exile—again as the result of their disobedience. Deported from their homeland to Babylon, the people were far from the Temple where they had worshipped the Lord. But instead of closing the door on them, God offered them a way back. Through Ezekiel, he promised a reversal of the penalty of their sin. All they needed to do was to turn away from their sin and do what is right and just; then they would surely live (Ezekiel 18:21, 28, emphasis added).
We are centuries removed from the people of Ezekiel's day, but our experience tracks with theirs. Our sins can separate us from God and place us in a kind of spiritual exile. Even so, God extends to us the same offer of grace and restoration: you will surely live. This is God's promise to us any and every time that we turn away from sin and follow him in obedience. It's a promise of peace and security. It's an open door to new hope and freedom. Above all, it's an invitation to live with the Lord forever.
Lent is the perfect time to take the Lord up on this invitation. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, you can turn away from sin, do what is right, and return to God. Don't worry if you haven't been to Confession in a while. Begin by examining your conscience, perhaps using the questions on the inside cover of this magazine. Allow the Spirit to gently show you any ways in which you have disobeyed the Lord. Then bring them to God in this sacrament. His promise is for you: if you turn away from sin and walk in his ways, you shall surely live.
"Lord, thank you for your mercy."
Psalm 130:1-8 Matthew 5:20-26
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way that he may live?"
They say there is much more rejoicing in Heaven when a sinner turns away from sin and turns to God. "I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance." Luke 15:7 Can you imagine the value of repentance? Heaven rejoices when YOU repent! Heaven rejoices when that person turns from their evil ways! Can you imagine being able to make Heaven rejoice? Can you begin to believe how important our decisions on earth are...as it is in Heaven?
We pray in Psalms: "I trust in the LORD; my soul trusts in his word. My soul waits for the LORD more than sentinels wait for the dawn. Let Israel wait for the LORD. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?"
What part of "Jesus I Trust In You" do you believe. There are 5 words and the center of it is the T. Trust. The cross. Can you trust the cross...is the way? And our Lord says, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." Mt 16:24. In His Agony in the Garden, our Lord had a hard time accepting the cross that God our Father burdened Him with. But in the end...He gave it all up to God the Father. Abraham's son Isaac took it on for Himself, and I mean Jesus our Lord took on the wood and made the sacrifice Himself...it was God's will of ultimate trust. Can you trust yourself? All things are possible with Christ. Then Trust in Him. Jesus I DO.
Our Lord speaks: "...whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna."
Nobody will tell you this truth hardly in the world, because nobody hardly wants to admit this atrocious sin, that one that was just quoted, about calling someone names, even a fool. It is an act against charity, that is, Love. And any act against Love is an act against God Himself. These are the types of things I spoke about last night to nearly 100 inmates in a prison where I was invited to speak. "What you do to this guy, you do to the Lord". Little did I know that I would have to speak without notes or a set program. And so I spoke about our relationship with God and each other as I began to immerse them in RCIA talks, Sacramental talks.
I have to remind them and you, that our Lord can appear in any person we meet, and we will never know who that person is. But His Word remains true: "'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'" Mt 35:40. Mother Teresa reminded the world that you can count His words on your fingers "You Did It To Me".
I explained that our mouth has so much power to bless, or to curse. And if you curse, you bring curses onto yourself. You don't just hurt the person you are trying to hurt, but you are hurting yourself. I explained that this is how witchcraft works, there is a heavy price tag to do curses...you invite the devil into your life, into your soul, and this is deadly. "And you will never know how far even a bad look to someone will go, the effects can go far and deep into darkness across the world".
"...leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift." What does this mean? Leave your gift at the altar. Recall the fact that we give gifts in Mass. But before they are offered up to God, we have to make amends, and reconcile. The true word for confession, is the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This is to balance the books and we are talking justice. Why would I want a bloody sacrifice, like that of Cain and Abel? Why would I want wheat full of blood? How does blood stain the wheat with a mere dirty look or cursing and cussing? It injures Christ in the Spirit. And what happens in the spirit, happens in the body. Sacraments are an outward sign of an inward reality. Many of our sicknesses are due to inward spiritual sicknesses. That is why newer psychologists focus on healing in forgiveness. They are catching on to what Christ has taught. And we shouldn't be cafeteria believers in Christ, picking and choosing what we want to believe. We should accept the whole of Him in His offering to us.
God the Father has laid it all upon Him...to judge us. To save us. To shine on us. To take us to the Father...Our Father.
I've witnessed recently, two people that were hating each other over a bad business deal. I told both of them individually, that if they cannot forgive, they will not be forgiven. Well, fast forward a year later. They seemingly forgave, but I see hidden aggression. I see heart problems. I see not...true love and forgiveness. And there lies a bigger problem. Have you really forgiven? Have you ever seen children play, get mad, or hurt each other, and then continue playing as if nothing happened? Totally forgotten, totally forgiven. That is why our Lord says "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Mt 18:3
There are many "unless" you do things from Christ our Lord.
Today we heard a few: +Unless you carry your cross. God's will. +Unless you forgive, you will not be forgiven. +Unless you change, and become LITTLE children. Humble. Obedient, loving like a child.
So is it hard to do this? We can make it as hard as we want it to be. I'm simply writing to reveal what the Father has asked me to reveal. That is what I told the inmates last night. I come in a prophetic state to reveal God's wish. I said "I come to visit Jesus in the prison, and Jesus has come to see you." We are indeed, the very body of our Lord the Christ.
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
Pray with me today: Most Precious Blood of Jesus, Save us and the whole world.
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Random bible verse generator:
29 Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
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