†Saint Quote "Quote of the Day "The Eucharist is the bread that gives strength... It is at once the most eloquent proof of His love and the most powerful means of fostering His love in us. He gives Himself every day so that our hearts as burning coals may set afire the hearts of the faithful." –St. Damien of Molokai
†Today's Meditation "We have to accustom ourselves to pray in all places and at all times. The real place to pray in is the soul, for God dwells there. If we wish to obey our Lord's counsel, when we pray we should enter the chamber of our soul, close the door, and speak to the Father, whose loving eyes seek ever our own. This inner chamber of our soul is the true temple, the sacred sanctuary, and we carry it with us and can at any time either remain there or quickly return to it, should we have been obliged to leave it." —Dom Augustin Guillerand, p. 111
An Excerpt From The Prayer of the Presence of God
†Daily Verse "I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect." –Romans 12:1-2
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Blessed Caroline Gerhardinger
Bl. Caroline Gerhardinger (1797-1879), also known as Mother Maria Theresa of Jesus, was born into a working class family in Bavaria. Her giftedness as an educator was apparent early in her life, and she became a certified teacher at the age of 15. Although she was drawn to a quiet, contemplative life, her desire was to teach young girls to aspire to their full potential. For this she was greatly loved by her students. Responding to the needs of the time, and with the guidance of her bishop, she began a new religious order dedicated to education called the Poor School Sisters of Notre Dame. This was during a period when all religious orders were closed by decree of the Bavarian government. She sent her Sisters in groups of twos and threes into the local villages to teach the poor young girls who would otherwise have no opportunity for education, a novelty in her day which grew into a new form of apostolic religious life. In this way she sought to remedy social ills through education, which she believed was just as necessary for a child as love, food, and shelter. When the Vatican negotiated the reopening of Bavaria's religious communities in 1828, the Sisters moved into a convent. Caroline took the religious name Mary Theresa of Jesus for her devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. At the time of her death her order had grown to 2,500 sisters. She was beatified by Pope St. John Paul II in 1985. Her feast day is May 9th.
Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 279 Reading I
The Apostles and the brothers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles too had accepted the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem the circumcised believers confronted him, saying, 'You entered the house of uncircumcised people and ate with them." Peter began and explained it to them step by step, saying, "I was at prayer in the city of Joppa when in a trance I had a vision, something resembling a large sheet coming down, lowered from the sky by its four corners, and it came to me. Looking intently into it, I observed and saw the four-legged animals of the earth, the wild beasts, the reptiles, and the birds of the sky. I also heard a voice say to me, 'Get up, Peter. Slaughter and eat.' But I said, 'Certainly not, sir, because nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.' But a second time a voice from heaven answered, 'What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.' This happened three times, and then everything was drawn up again into the sky. Just then three men appeared at the house where we were, who had been sent to me from Caesarea. The Spirit told me to accompany them without discriminating. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man's house. He related to us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, saying, 'Send someone to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter, who will speak words to you by which you and all your household will be saved.' As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them as it had upon us at the beginning, and I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, 'John baptized with water but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' If then God gave them the same gift he gave to us when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God?" When they heard this, they stopped objecting and glorified God, saying, "God has then granted life-giving repentance to the Gentiles too."
42:2-3; 43:3, 4
R. (see 3a) Athirst is my soul for the living God. or: R. Alleluia. As the hind longs for the running waters, so my soul longs for you, O God. Athirst is my soul for God, the living God. When shall I go and behold the face of God? R. Athirst is my soul for the living God. or: R. Alleluia. Send forth your light and your fidelity; they shall lead me on And bring me to your holy mountain, to your dwelling-place. R. Athirst is my soul for the living God. or: R. Alleluia. Then will I go in to the altar of God, the God of my gladness and joy; Then will I give you thanks upon the harp, O God, my God! R. Athirst is my soul for the living God. or: R. Alleluia.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my sheep, and mine know me. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus said: "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers." Although Jesus used this figure of speech, the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.
So Jesus said again, "Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly."
Daily Meditation: Acts 11:1-18
Who was I to be able to hinder God? (Acts 11:17)
St. Peter is a wonderful example of humility. Just think, when the Holy Spirit upended his ideas about welcoming Gentiles into the Church, Peter was able to accept the revolutionary message. Imagine the kind of openness it took to set aside centuries of tradition! But such humility was hard-won.
Remember that Peter received a rebuke after he advised Jesus not to go to Jerusalem to be crucified (Matthew 16:22-23). He also denied Jesus—three times—out of fear (26:69-75). But in both cases, Peter was able to acknowledge his error, turn back to the Lord, and follow him more closely.
Peter learned that to keep moving forward with Jesus, he had to be willing to take a step back, look into his heart, and see how God was leading him to change. The vision Peter describes in today's first reading is yet another moment of grace that illustrates this process. Watching the Spirit fall on the Roman soldier Cornelius and his family, Peter realized that he was standing in God's way if he did not fully embrace the Gentiles who turned to Jesus.
As Peter demonstrates, we become humbler as we take the focus off ourselves. We become more open to seeking and accepting God's perspective instead of our own. One way we can learn to do that is to make a general review of our day. This can help us grow in humility, give us God's perspective, and teach us that we can't always trust our own viewpoint.
How do you do it? First, sit down in a comfortable place, away from distractions. Then recall some of the things that happened during the day. Ask the Lord what he may have been saying to you during those times. As you recall some moments, you may feel that he is saying, "Well done" or "This is a blessing from me." In other moments, he may show you how you could have viewed the situation differently.
Don't be discouraged if you see ways you slipped up or held on too tightly to your own ideas. Like Peter, learn from them and be open to how God might be calling you to change your way of thinking. That's the way to humility—the way of Peter and all the saints.
"Lord, help me to follow St. Peter's example and grow in humility."
Psalm 42:2-3; 43:3-4 John 10:1-10
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "'John baptized with water but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'
Have you been baptized? With fire? This in the Catholic world is in the Sacrament of Confirmation. But once baptized, we receive the Holy Spirit too! How does this work?
It is like the disciples who were all baptized...but they lived on scared when our Lord was crucified....whence the Holy Spirit enters their baptized souls in the upper room, it stirs up what is already within. Right? Amen? Coals need to be gathered and stirred, and then flames are made, a great light for the darkness to see and have warmth.
We pray in Psalms: "Send forth your light and your fidelity; they shall lead me on And bring me to your holy mountain, to your dwelling-place. Athirst is my soul for the living God."
In today's Gospel we heard: _'When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers."
Let's dissect this for a bit: He drove out His own sheep, split them from the rest of sheep. He did this with Abraham too. He sets apart, and this means to be holy. Think of you now reading this for a purpose, set apart...and being holy.
And then it says "he walks ahead of them". How often do you see sheep leading the shepherd? That would be chaotic! We are not to lead the Church, or our Father, that is God in Heaven, telling Him what to do, or what to say, or where to go! Think humility.
They recognize His voice. In real life, this really happens. If there were a big mix of sheep, and the shepherd calls, his sheep would separate and go to him.
Do you know His voice? Do you listen to see if He's calling? Do you run away from stranger's voices?
How do you listen? It's pretty simple... Just listen! Do what He says! Kind of intuitive and counter intuitive too right?
Yesterday we were traveling back from my aunt's funeral in Colorado, about a 10 or 11 hour drive, depending on variables. But before we left, we went to Sunday Mass. I chose the church closest to us and that seemed to have the most traditional layout, but not going into a long traditional Mass for time's sake (not that I've ever been LOL). We arrived a few minutes early and sat in front of some folks that were just talking away, as if we were not in a holy Sanctuary. And so I had to listen to them talk right in my ear basically, so loud. Everything from their dogs, and kids, and so forth was discussed and even to the criticizing of a guy that walked in wearing some shorts and a T shirt. So I had to sit there and listen to it all. Stranger voices.
These strangers looked the part. They dressed for church, they knew the prayers, and smiled at everyone real nice.
Then, come Holy Communion time, it was so quiet around me, many (to my dismay) had left the church immediately...including the strangers behind me! After all that looks and talk! They up and disappeared? The formal thing to do is to wait for the priest, the Father to dismiss you and to give you orders and commands in the dismissal with a final blessing! And it is even better to remain while the choir sings and then even then wait and pray thanksgiving prayers in silence . And so, that guy in shorts stayed with his head down praying, I watched, as he was one of the last to leave. The sheep hear the voice and follow God. Listen to what God wants. He desires mercy, not anything else you provide. Mercy is love. Mercy is hope. Give love. Give hope. If you are merciful, then God will be merciful. Think humility.
You see how deep the message goes? The priest there commanded silence after communion asking us to thirst for the living God. Awkward as it was...I remember it very clear.
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
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Random bible verse generator:
WOW Jeremiah 23:23–24
23 "Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away? 24 Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD.
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