Tuesday, April 12, 2022

† "Why Can I Not. . . "


†Saint Quote
"Quote of the Day
"I will simply counsel every man and woman to beware of even the very least speck of [pride], which seems to me to be the mere delight and liking of ourselves for anything whatsoever that either is in us or outwardly belongs to us."
–St. Thomas More

†Today's Meditation
"For it was while Eve was yet a virgin that the ensnaring word had crept into her ear which was to build the edifice of death. Into a virgin's soul, in like manner, must be introduced that Word of God which was to raise the fabric of life; so that what had been reduced to ruin by this sex might by the selfsame sex be recovered to salvation. As Eve believed the serpent, so Mary believed the angel. The delinquency which the one occasioned by believing, the other effaced by believing."
—Tertullian, p.44

An Excerpt From
Hail, Holy Queen

†Daily Verse
"The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and for evermore."
–Psalm 121:5-8


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Saint Teresa of the Andes

St. Teresa of Jesus (1900 – 1920), also known as St. Teresa of the Andes, was born in Chile to an upper class family. She was a pious child with a profound spirituality and a deep devotion to Jesus and Mary. Yet she was also stubborn and self-centered, defects which she diligently set herself to overcome in preparation for her First Holy Communion at the age of 10. Inspired by reading the autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux, and confirmed by prayer, at the age of 14 she decided to become a Carmelite nun. Five years later her desire was realized. In May of 1919, at the age of 19, she entered the Carmelite monastery of Los Andes where she lived a life of prayer and sacrifice. She also took to writing letters through which she shared her remarkable spiritual life with the outside world. It was revealed to her in prayer that she would die young, which she accepted with happiness and confidence. A few months after her entry she contracted typhoid fever, from which she died in April of 1920 during Holy Week. Before her death she was permitted to profess her vows. She was canonized by Pope St. John Paul II in 1993, the first Chilean and the first Discalced Carmelite nun outside of Europe to be declared a saint. Her feast day is April 12.


Tuesday of Holy Week

Reading I Is 49:1-6

Hear me, O islands,

listen, O distant peoples.
The Lord called me from birth,

from my mother's womb he gave me my name.
He made of me a sharp-edged sword

and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
He made me a polished arrow,

in his quiver he hid me.
You are my servant, he said to me,

Israel, through whom I show my glory.

Though I thought I had toiled in vain,

and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength,
Yet my reward is with the Lord,

my recompense is with my God.
For now the Lord has spoken

who formed me as his servant from the womb,
That Jacob may be brought back to him

and Israel gathered to him;
And I am made glorious in the sight of the Lord,

and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant,

to raise up the tribes of Jacob,

and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,

that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

Responsorial Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4a, 5ab-6ab, 15 and 17

R. (see 15ab) I will sing of your salvation.
In you, O LORD, I take refuge;

let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, and deliver me;

incline your ear to me, and save me.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
Be my rock of refuge,

a stronghold to give me safety,

for you are my rock and my fortress.
O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
For you are my hope, O LORD;

my trust, O God, from my youth.
On you I depend from birth;

from my mother's womb you are my strength.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
My mouth shall declare your justice,

day by day your salvation.
O God, you have taught me from my youth,

and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
R. I will sing of your salvation.

Verse Before the Gospel

Hail to you, our King, obedient to the Father;
you were led to your crucifixion like a gentle lamb to the slaughter.

Gospel Jn 13:21-33, 36-38

Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified,
"Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant.
One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved,
was reclining at Jesus' side.
So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant.
He leaned back against Jesus' chest and said to him,
"Master, who is it?"
Jesus answered,
"It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it."
So he dipped the morsel and took it and handed it to Judas,
son of Simon the Iscariot.
After Judas took the morsel, Satan entered him.
So Jesus said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly."
Now none of those reclining at table realized why he said this to him.
Some thought that since Judas kept the money bag, Jesus had told him,
"Buy what we need for the feast,"
or to give something to the poor.
So Judas took the morsel and left at once. And it was night.

When he had left, Jesus said,
"Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself,
and he will glorify him at once.
My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.
You will look for me, and as I told the Jews,
'Where I go you cannot come,' so now I say it to you."

Simon Peter said to him, "Master, where are you going?"
Jesus answered him,
"Where I am going, you cannot follow me now,
though you will follow later."
Peter said to him,
"Master, why can I not follow you now?
I will lay down my life for you."
Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me?
Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow
before you deny me three times."


Daily Meditation: Isaiah 49:1-6

I will make you a light to the nations. (Isaiah 49:6)

Throughout Holy Week, our Old Testament readings come from the four "Songs of the Suffering Servant" in the Book of Isaiah. Today's passage describes how the Servant of the Lord will draw people from every nation to the God of Israel. With the blessing of hindsight, we can see how Jesus fulfilled this role and commissioned his disciples to carry on this mission.

Jesus seemed to go out of his way to reach people from different backgrounds. He spoke with a Samaritan woman (John 4:4-42). He healed the servant of a Roman centurion (Matthew 8:5-13). He restored the daughter of a Syrophoenician woman (Mark 7:24-30). Beyond demonstrating God's power and love, these encounters revealed Jesus' desire to cross cultural and ethnic boundaries.

But he didn't stop there. After his resurrection, he commissioned his disciples to continue reaching out beyond their own people. He told them to "make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19). Then, before ascending, he instructed them to witness "in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). And the apostles did just that. They traveled all over the world, carrying Jesus' light with them.

Just before entering into his passion, Jesus promised, "When I am lifted up . . . , I will draw everyone to myself" (John 12:32). In the next few days, we will see these words fulfilled. As we celebrate the mysteries of Jesus' death and resurrection, we will join millions of people around the world in lifting Jesus up. And as we do, we will be taking our place as part of the very people Jesus promised to draw to himself.

As you attend the liturgies of Holy Week, look around and see that fulfillment in the faces of your fellow parishioners. Think about the Church in other countries as well, and rejoice that God has brought so many diverse peoples into one family. Rejoice that the apostles proclaimed the gospel to people so different from themselves. And rejoice that you are part of this work! Extend your hand in friendship to someone new this week, and shine your light to the nations.

"Lord, help me to reach out so that people will know you."

Psalm 71:1-6, 15, 17
John 13:21-33, 36-38


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"For now the Lord has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb, That Jacob may be brought back to him and Israel gathered to him; And I am made glorious in the sight of the Lord, and my God is now my strength!"

There is in the world, a sad killer that still pervades to this day. It is a plague that has only worsened with pandemics and the threat looms on. What separates us? And what separates us from the love of GOD? It is sin. And in a few cases it is physical but this also is tied with spiritual, where there is healing. We believe we are alone, worthless, and forgotten, and this sad killer feeling can make or break a soul. What will it be for you? God knows how to fix the broken, the offered pieces, and even the dust can be formed into man. Here we again...about faith.


We pray in Psalms:
"For you are my hope, O LORD; my trust, O God, from my youth. On you I depend from birth; from my mother's womb you are my strength. I will sing of your salvation."

From my mother's womb, and from my youth, I trust in the Lord and I depend on Him. Until when? What will trust be like in the eternal life? What will it look like? Perhaps...look to the cross for the love, and total surrender. And what will that cost now?


In today's Gospel we heard:
"After Judas took the morsel, Satan entered him. So Jesus said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly."

In the view of Judas, his cashing in on the Lord's apprehension was a win win situation. The Lord was going to be arrested, everyone was sure of it, and Judas figured might as well get some cash out of it to use for the poor maybe.

So let's make a self examination. How am I like Judas? We need to know so we do not fall into the same mentality.
1. We cannot make God what we want Him to be.
2. We cannot suppose signs to justify the false image of God that we have created.
3. Without true humility, we will fall into temptation of sin.

Does this make sense? It happened to Eve. And it happens to us. That we supposed God is good with how we think things ought to be. And thus, you open the door to temptation. And then, we see that things are going alright, with your little sins, and you you take it as a sign that it's cool with God. This is the product of a malformed conscious. And lastly, we lose humility as easy as we gave into temptation, and without humility there is no purity to be one with God forever.

So, how far are we ourselves and do the same things as Judas?
The world teaches auto sufficiency, meaning that we pull ourselves by our own bootstraps and are products of our own doing. This means the worldly believe there is no need for a god to follow or obey. Or, you can believe what you want, and that is truth. This is a heresy called moral relativism.

It is a direct teaching against our faith and our Lord and our God.
And so, let's focus on our country's declaration of independence. "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" is a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence.
This has now gone to extremes, to where a man can chop off his body parts and declare himself free from being a man. It is not true, but that person has declared their own truth. Someone joked saying "what's next? Someone going to declare themself a monkey and need rights to be recognized as a monkey?" The base for truth has been blurred, and this happens when we are permissive.
So what of Judas now? He shows us the wages of sin...death. Eventually he hangs himself, and this is the downfall of falling into our own temptations. Death and death eternal awaits at the end for those trapped by sin and sinful desires.

"Master, why can I not follow you now?
I will lay down my life for you." Said Peter our first Pope.

So let's not presume we are on the opposite end of the spectrum from Judas either. Peter was declaring he'd never turn away from God nor betray him. Yet, he denied ever knowing Jesus our Lord, to save his own neck.

"For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again; but the wicked shall fall into mischief." Proverbs 24:18.
And here lies the difference between a saint and a sinner, that is one looking to life or death.
After the sin, the saint gets back up, heads to confession with a renewed promise to sin no more. The more we do this, the more humility grows and makes us less and less before God.
When you are less before God, then you are willing to truly serve Him..even your own body and blood if necessary.
But if you believe you are worthless and forgotten, then you have sunk into a "woe me" mentality where it's all about you. Can our lives change? They can and do constantly change, especially if you are willing to be made perfect by the Potter in Heaven, our Lord and our Father.

from your brother in Christ,


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Random bible verse generator:
2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.1 The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.


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