Wednesday, May 18, 2022

† "..Without Me You Can Do .. . ."

easter rise

†Saint Quote
"Love Mary! She is loveable, faithful, constant. She will never let herself be outdone in love, but will ever remain supreme. If you are in danger, she will hasten to free you. If you are troubled, she will console you. If you are sick, she will bring you relief. If you are in need, she will help you. She does not look to see what kind of person you have been. She simply comes to a heart that wants to love her."
–St. Gabriel Possenti

†Today's Meditation
"For want of contrition, innumerable Confessions are either sacrilegious or invalid; the penitent so often breaks his promises to God, and falls again so easily into the same faults, and many souls are eternally lost. Contrition is that true and lively sorrow which the soul has for all the sins it has committed, with a firm determination never to commit them any more . . . Many Christians spend a long time in examining their consciences, and in making long and often unnecessary narrations to the confessor, and then bestow little or no time upon considering the malice of their sins, and upon bewailing and detesting them. Christians such as these, says St. Gregory, act like a wounded man who shows his wounds to the doctor with the utmost anxiety and care, and then will not make use of the remedies prescribed. It is not so much thinking, nor so much speaking of your sins that will procure their pardon, but heartfelt sorrow and detestation of them."
—Fr. Ignatius of the Side of Jesus, p. 289-290

An Excerpt From
The School of Jesus Crucified

†Daily Verse
"With the loyal thou dost show thyself loyal; with the blameless man thou dost show thyself blameless; with the pure thou dost show thyself pure, and with the crooked thou dost show thyself perverse. Thou dost deliver a humble people, but thy eyes are upon the haughty to bring them down." 2 Samuel 22:26-28
–2 Samuel 22:26-28


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St. Felix of Cantalice

St. Felix of Cantalice (d. 1587) was born to a pious peasant family in Italy. He grew up tending sheep and was hired out to work for a farmer at the age of nine, which he did for twenty years. He evidenced signs of holiness and spent his free time in prayer. He had a friend read him the lives of the saints from which he drew much inspiration. Felix eventually joined the Capuchin Franciscans and served in Rome as the Order's official beggar. Although he could not read, and received no formal study, he had great influence over the Roman people because of his piety and the labors he undertook to convert even the most hardened sinners. Felix also encouraged those he met to lead greater lives of virtue, regardless if they were dignitaries or peasants. Men who lived scandalous lives retreated from his presence, lest he convict them of their sins. St. Felix's special apostolate was among the children of the city to whom he gave religious instruction with childlike humility and simplicity. He was a contemporary and friend of St. Philip Neri, who declared Felix to be the Church's greatest living saint. St. Felix served in this way for 42 years. He was beatified immediately after his death, becoming the first Capuchin Franciscan ever canonized. His body rests under an altar dedicated to him in the church of the Immaculate Conception in Rome. His feast day is May 18.


Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Reading I Acts 15:1-6

Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers,
"Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice,
you cannot be saved."
Because there arose no little dissension and debate
by Paul and Barnabas with them,
it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others
should go up to Jerusalem to the Apostles and presbyters
about this question.
They were sent on their journey by the Church,
and passed through Phoenicia and Samaria
telling of the conversion of the Gentiles,
and brought great joy to all the brethren.
When they arrived in Jerusalem,
they were welcomed by the Church,
as well as by the Apostles and the presbyters,
and they reported what God had done with them.
But some from the party of the Pharisees who had become believers
stood up and said, "It is necessary to circumcise them
and direct them to observe the Mosaic law."

The Apostles and the presbyters met together to see about this matter.

Responsorial Psalm 122:1-2, 3-4ab, 4cd-5

R. (see 1) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
I rejoiced because they said to me,

"We will go up to the house of the LORD."
And now we have set foot

within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Jerusalem, built as a city

with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,

the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
According to the decree for Israel,

to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,

seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 15:4a, 5b

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord;
whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 15:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples:
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples."


Daily Meditation: Acts 15:1-6

[They] met together to see about this matter. (Acts 15:6)

It was a matter of no little controversy. "The Way" had sprung from Judaism. But now Gentiles were also coming to believe the good news. And differences of opinion also had sprung up: must Gentiles be circumcised? The disagreement over circumcision was so impassioned that Paul and Barnabas traveled from Antioch to Jerusalem (about three hundred miles) to seek its resolution.

Each side of the debate had valid viewpoints. But rather than split up the early Church over them, the Apostles and elders sat down together. Together they considered the issues carefully. Together they prayed. And in maintaining that accord, they left a model for us to copy.

Resolving differences that threaten to cause conflict or division requires patience. It also requires peace and a confidence that God will guide the discussions. And it demands the self-control to listen to another point of view without jumping in to shoot it down.

It sounds obvious, but if you've ever differed with someone on a significant issue, you know it's hard. Yet it is possible. The Holy Spirit will help you. The same Spirit who led the apostles to resolve their issues lives in you. The Spirit's wisdom and understanding are available to you, especially in issues that threaten to cause discord. The Spirit in you produces fruit: patience to take the time necessary to think over difficulties; peace to calmly consider other points of view; and self-control to keep your temper or hold your tongue in discussions.

Ask the Holy Spirit to ripen his fruit in you. Examine your conscience in areas like patience, peace, or self-control. In moments of conflict, pause to ask the Spirit for the grace to bear the appropriate fruit. Listen for his voice through the other person, and try to see them as God sees them. Watch out for critical thoughts, resentment, or self-centeredness. Be slow to judge those who differ with you and quick to forgive. Above all, seek unity, as Paul and Barnabas did, even if it means a long, inconvenient journey to get there.

"Holy Spirit, cultivate your fruit in me as I seek unity in my relationships."

Psalm 122:1-5
John 15:1-8


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
""Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved."

Such was the argument. And such was a cause of a division almost. Today we hear "unless you are baptized you have no salvation". And once again, this can be a technicality, because we cannot put limits on God nor His Mercy. But, by all means, these are the normal ways that one entered the faith...and the fold! So do not be quick to dismiss such an important issue. Rather, we turn to God, and believe. And so they did, the first Church gathered, and they decided together what would be the outcome. And so, we have the equivalent of infant baptism now in Christianity, because it was an entering into the flock, to be one with God, so to speak, united in the opening of flesh, a covenant, a forever promise.


We pray in Psalms:
'I rejoiced because they said to me, "We will go up to the house of the LORD." And now we have set foot within your gates, O Jerusalem."

We have set foot within the gates with our Baptism. Would you take another step into the Holy and Promised land, or would you detract and go back with a simple sin? Remember your forever promise to God Himself!


In today's Gospel we heard our Lord:
""I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit."

I should know this scripture by heart since it is given to me very often as my penance during Holy Confessions. To know that with Him we can do nothing. That we must remain in Him, to bear fruit.
Notice how the first disciples all were always on a make disciples of all nations.
This is God's desire: That you become a disciple and make disciples of the rest you encounter.
Why? What does this mean? Everything, and salvation.

And so God prunes things in your life. He will take things away as He sees necessary. I even feel like my dad passing was a way of pruning yours truly, to bear more fruit. I don't see how! But that's what it feels like. Maybe my faith has now to tap into more into the Father than ever before...and it has. I live more afraid...of turning from Him. I need Him more than ever.

What is God pruning in your life? What is He causing in your life so much trouble? Did you know that the ones He loves, He tests! Is that right? To be tested for our love? Yet, it happened to Job, and it happens to all the faithful, even Padre Pio, and Mother Teresa, and perhaps all the saints we've ever cared to read about, and especially the first Disciples of Jesus Christ our King.
So who am I not to be tested?
What is a test then to prove? True love? Or glory to God? What if it is both, that a test passed gives glory to God?

Think of our Lord on the cross.
Think of what cup and chalice we must all partake of...the covenant, the opening of the flesh, and the blood spewing out of the member that will make new life...forever.

Lord, we are Your Body, and a true body once united with You forever!

from your brother in Christ,


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Random bible verse generator:

Romans 15:4
4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.


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