Thursday, March 24, 2022

† ". When One Stronger ."


†Saint Quote
"I urge you with all the strength of my soul to approach the Eucharistic Table as often as possible. Feed on this Bread of the Angels from which you will draw the strength to fight inner struggles."
–Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

†Today's Meditation
"Who is Lucifer? He is a pure spirit, and was the most enlightened of all pure spirits, but is now at war with God and with His rule. The mystery of sin is merely the result of this conflict, which manifests itself in every possible way. Lucifer, as much as in him lies, will leave no stone unturned to destroy what God has made and ordered. Wherever he enters, there is the work of God defaced."
—Jean-Pierre de Caussade, p. 114

An Excerpt From
Abandonment to Divine Providence

†Daily Verse
"I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels."
–Isaiah 61:10


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†St. Catherine of Sweden

St. Catherine of Sweden (1331-1381) was the fourth of eight children born to St. Bridget of Sweden and her husband, Ulfo. As a child she was sent by her parents to be educated in a convent, and was later given in marriage to a German nobleman. Catherine was able to persuade her husband, a virtuous young man, to live together in a mutual vow of perpetual chastity. They lived happily together in complete devotion to God. After the death of her father, and with her husband's consent, Catherine accompanied her mother to Rome. While there, Catherine's husband died. She continued to be a companion to her mother and rejected further offers of marriage. Her mother worked to establish a new religious order, called the Order of the Holy Savior, or the Bridgettines. After her mother's death, Catherine took her body back to Sweden for burial while continuing the work of establishing the Bridgettines. She later traveled back to Rome to advocate for her mother's canonization and for Pope Urban VI to ratify her Order. While in Rome she became great friends with St. Catherine of Siena. St. Catherine of Sweden finally returned to Sweden and became abbess of the newly founded Bridgettines, living the rest of her days as a model of prayer and penance. St. Catherine of Sweden is the patron saint against abortions and miscarriages. Her feast day is March 24th.


Thursday of the Third Week of Lent

Lectionary: 240
Reading I

Jer 7:23-28

Thus says the LORD:
This is what I commanded my people:
Listen to my voice;
then I will be your God and you shall be my people.
Walk in all the ways that I command you,
so that you may prosper.

But they obeyed not, nor did they pay heed.
They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts
and turned their backs, not their faces, to me.
From the day that your fathers left the land of Egypt even to this day,
I have sent you untiringly all my servants the prophets.
Yet they have not obeyed me nor paid heed;
they have stiffened their necks and done worse than their fathers.
When you speak all these words to them,
they will not listen to you either;
when you call to them, they will not answer you.
Say to them:
This is the nation that does not listen
to the voice of the LORD, its God,
or take correction.
Faithfulness has disappeared;
the word itself is banished from their speech.

Responsorial Psalm

95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9

R. (8) If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;

let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;

let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us bow down in worship;

let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,

and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Oh, that today you would hear his voice:

"Harden not your hearts as at Meribah

as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted me;

they tested me though they had seen my works."
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Verse before the Gospel

Jl 2:12-13

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
for I am gracious and merciful.


Lk 11:14-23

Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute,
and when the demon had gone out,
the mute man spoke and the crowds were amazed.
Some of them said, "By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons,
he drives out demons."
Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.
But he knew their thoughts and said to them,
"Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste
and house will fall against house.
And if Satan is divided against himself,
how will his kingdom stand?
For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.
If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul,
by whom do your own people drive them out?
Therefore they will be your judges.
But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons,
then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
When a strong man fully armed guards his palace,
his possessions are safe.
But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him,
he takes away the armor on which he relied
and distributes the spoils.
Whoever is not with me is against me,
and whoever does not gather with me scatters."


Daily Meditation: Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9

Harden not your hearts. (Psalm 95:8)

"Is my heart hard or soft?" That can be a difficult question to answer, mainly because it seems so black-and-white. We can wonder if we've become like the Israelites in the first reading: a "nation that does not listen to the voice of the Lord" (Jeremiah 7:28). Either we are open to the Lord or closed to him; there is no room for anything in between. In the end, we may just throw up our hands and say, "I don't know!"

Today's psalmist offers us a different strategy: soften your heart! No matter where we are in our journey with the Lord, we could all be more open, pliable, and yielding to him and to each other.

So how do we soften our hearts? The psalmist's answer is both simple and powerful: by worshipping the Lord.

Sing joyfully to the Lord (Psalm 95:1). There is something about lifting our voices to God in "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs" that opens our hearts to the Lord (Ephesians 5:19). So cry out to the Lord and "acclaim" him (Psalm 95:1).

Come into his presence with thanksgiving (Psalm 95:2). Just as singing helps us lift our hearts to the Lord, giving him thanks helps us recall all he has done for us. The food we eat, the clothes we wear, our loved ones who have been entrusted to us, even the air that we breathe—these are all gifts from a loving God. The more we recall this truth, the more inclined we will be to honor the Lord, to turn to him for help, and to obey his commands.

Bow down in worship (Psalm 95:6). If Pope Francis were to walk into your home right now, you'd probably stand up, right? Without even thinking about it, you would take a position of respect before him. We can do something similar by kneeling before the Lord as we pray. As we use our bodies to worship the Lord, we'll find our hearts following suit.

So choose a hymn or song of worship today and sing it out. As you do, kneel down or lift your hands or even dance! Recall all that God has done for you, and thank him. As you open your heart to the Lord in worship, he will make your heart of stone into a heart of flesh.

"Lord, I worship you! Keep my heart soft so that I can hear you today."

Jeremiah 7:23-28
Luke 11:14-23


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"But they obeyed not, nor did they pay heed.
They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts
and turned their backs, not their faces, to me."

Just now a guy selling candles and jerky for a rehab place, halfway house, came in and I went to go buy, and to say hi. I hadn't seen him before, and quickly I learned from him this was his 3rd attempt to get better. He said last time he messed it was when he got mad when his wife left him and he said to God "well you ain't doing nothing for me so why should I do anything for you?" and he wound up back in trouble, and almost died.

Who hurts more? God or you? How much does a truly loving Father hurt? Especially one who has died and is hoping with all His might that you might join Him...


We pray in Psalms:
"Oh, that today you would hear his voice: "Harden not your hearts as at Meribah as in the day of Massah in the desert, Where your fathers tempted me; they tested me though they had seen my works."

And I kept waiting for a chance to talk with the sales guy, offering advice about God. But more and more office people came to buy and he was distracted. Whence I was left alone waiting for him, I had to go. He came back to an empty office and never heard my voice again. I spoke softly, waiting for a chance to enter his heart. And now what? I hope my few words of encouragement helped.


In today's Gospel we heard:
"Whoever is not with me is against me,
and whoever does not gather with me scatters."

Today, we could say that many claim to be with God.
Is it true? Are we truly on His side? Are we on His side on conditions? Like the poor guy I just met. He had set conditions on loving God, and once they were not fulfilled, he turned his back on him. That is the exact same temptations I faced when my dad passed. I saw the temptations people go through. I told everyone that I no longer thought I had faith and that I no longer thought I had hope, but one thing my heart there remains love...for God the Father. And this is what will revive my hope and faith.
The young man selling candles was doing it for the place called "Hope House". This was his 3rd time there. Hanging on to hope. I learned he had a 3 yr. old son. In some of my soft lines I threw at him I said "Look, that boy needs hope, and you must now live in hope to make it happen". How do we live in hope? Our hope is in the Lord. How can we turn our backs on Him? We do negate Him. When we sin, we turn our backs. I heard some terrible things about Ukraine, sinful things. But I've also seen a few church people there trying to hang on to hope. How about everyone else? Who deserves mercy? This world my friend, it is fleeting and changing constantly, and many times in labor pains and the world hates pain.

I live in pain and in brings me closer to Christ.
Some reject pain and therefore reject Christ.

You see how abortion works? You see how people turn from God in desperation and pain?
I told my young students last night in RCIA that we must live against the world, to bring them to the light of Christ.
How many youth are doing this today? Most are swindled by lights of their phones and computers...fooled by the prince of lights...Lucifer, the one who can rip us from the light itself by using false lights, and trick you into seeing things that are not true.
How can we be with God?
The way I do to love Him, and love entails trust and trusting brings faith, and faith shows hope.

Life hinges on the Trinity, the Holy Trinity in Heaven.

from your brother in Christ,


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Random bible verse generator:

Matthew 5:11–12

11 "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


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God Bless You! Peace

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