†Saint Quote "The stillness of prayer is the most essential condition for fruitful action. Before all else, the disciple kneels down." –St. Gianna Molla
†Today's Meditation "God will forgive you if you forgive others. Forgiving those who cause offense or injury is often exceedingly difficult. And yet, forgiveness is one of the most beautiful and important teachings of Jesus Christ. It is central to the gospel because, without it, you can't go to heaven." —Patrick Madrid, p.21
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†Daily Verse "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight." –Proverbs 9:10
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St. Bernardine of Siena
St. Bernardine of Siena (1380–1444) was born to a noble family in Siena, Italy. As a young man he witnessed the bubonic plague raging mercilessly through the city, and volunteered to care for the sick in the local hospital. At this time he also spent much time praying and fasting to know God's will for his life. He discerned a call to Holy Orders and the religious life, and joined the Franciscans at the age of 22. He lived in solitude for over a decade before being sent to preach in the streets, which he did with incredible skill, so much so that he became the most renowned preacher of his day. He traveled on foot to strife-torn cities, attacking sin and paganism and encouraging all to a life of faith and virtue. Huge crowds numbering in the tens of thousands would come to hear him preach in the public square. His fame and effectiveness as a preacher caused the pope to compare him to St. Paul the Apostle. Bernardine was especially known for his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and for promulgating devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. It was he who devised the IHS symbol over a blazing sun as a monogram and logo for the Holy Name of Jesus (in Greek) to replace the public display of insignias of rival family tribes which disturbed the peace. This symbol of Christ began appearing in churches and on public buildings, even to this day. He also served as the head of his Franciscan community. When he began there were 300 friars; when he died there were over 4,000. St. Bernardine's feast day is May 20th.
Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Reading I Acts 15:22-31
The Apostles and presbyters, in agreement with the whole Church, decided to choose representatives and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. The ones chosen were Judas, who was called Barsabbas, and Silas, leaders among the brothers. This is the letter delivered by them: "The Apostles and the presbyters, your brothers, to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia of Gentile origin: greetings. Since we have heard that some of our number who went out without any mandate from us have upset you with their teachings and disturbed your peace of mind, we have with one accord decided to choose representatives and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. So we are sending Judas and Silas who will also convey this same message by word of mouth: 'It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage. If you keep free of these, you will be doing what is right. Farewell.'"
And so they were sent on their journey. Upon their arrival in Antioch they called the assembly together and delivered the letter. When the people read it, they were delighted with the exhortation.
Responsorial Psalm 57:8-9, 10 and 12
R. (10a) I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord. or: R. Alleluia. My heart is steadfast, O God; my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and chant praise. Awake, O my soul; awake, lyre and harp!
I will wake the dawn. R. I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord. or: R. Alleluia. I will give thanks to you among the peoples, O LORD,
I will chant your praise among the nations. For your mercy towers to the heavens,
and your faithfulness to the skies. Be exalted above the heavens, O God;
above all the earth be your glory! R. I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord. or: R. Alleluia.
Alleluia Jn 15:15b
R. Alleluia, alleluia. I call you my friends, says the Lord, for I have made known to you all that the Father has told me. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 15:12-17
Jesus said to his disciples: "This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another."
Daily Meditation: John 15:12-17
I have called you friends. (John 15:15)
Friendship: it's one of God's greatest gifts to us. That's because, in many ways, friends share the same heart. They experience one another's joys as well as their sorrows. It's this sense of communion that makes friendship so precious to us.
In today's Gospel, Jesus is telling us that he considers us his friends. What an honor! And because our hearts are united in friendship, whatever grieves the Lord should also grieve us, and whatever makes him rejoice should also make us rejoice. And therein lies the key to an ever-deepening friendship with him: if we can sense what's on Jesus' heart—what he wants to see done in the world—then we can cooperate with him in accomplishing it. And if we need certain gifts to do that, we can ask his Holy Spirit to give them to us.
The feast of Pentecost is only a couple of weeks away. It's the perfect opportunity to ask the Holy Spirit for the gifts that will help us build up the Church and fulfill the desires of Jesus' heart. As the feast approaches, perhaps you could spend some time in prayer considering various situations in your life and trying to sense what God wants for them. Then ask him, "What gifts do I need that will equip me to accomplish your will?"
For example, maybe you sense that God wants to bring healing to a neighbor or coworker who is suffering. If so, ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of healing. Maybe you encounter division at work or in your neighborhood, so you ask for the gifts of wisdom and discernment to help bring about unity. Or maybe you sense the Lord wanting you to share more of your faith with your family, so you ask for boldness and zeal.
This is what friendship with God is like: his heart and your heart united in love, with a shared concern and burden for others. If you ask him for the gifts you need to better accomplish his work, he will not disappoint you. So come to him with openness and expectant faith. Believe that Jesus, your Friend, will hear you and respond.
"Jesus, thank you for calling me your friend. Holy Spirit, give me all the gifts I need to do your work in the world."
Psalm 57:8-10, 12 Acts 15:22-31
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "Upon their arrival in Antioch they called the assembly together and delivered the letter. When the people read it, they were delighted with the exhortation."
The Church had convened, they had united to make a special decision, on circumcision. And the church exists, always issuing exhortations, so we can be delighted with the news. But have you heard any good news other than the bad worldly news? The Good News can be found in the Gospel.
We pray in Psalms: "My heart is steadfast, O God; my heart is steadfast; I will sing and chant praise. Awake, O my soul; awake, lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn. I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord"
In today's Gospel we heard our Lord: ""This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends."
From Bishop Barron today: "Friends, in today's Gospel, Jesus calls us his friends. Psychologists tell us that a true friend is someone who has seen us at our worst and still loves us. If you have encountered me only on my best days, I have no guarantee that you are my friend. But when you have dealt with me when I am most obnoxious and you still love me, then I am sure that you are my friend. The old Gospel song says, "What a friend we have in Jesus!" This is not pious sentimentalism; it is the heart of the matter. What the first Christians saw in the dying and rising of Jesus is that we killed God and God returned in forgiving love. He saw us at our very worst and loved us anyway. Thus they saw confirmed in flesh and blood what Jesus had said the night before he died: "I no longer call you slaves. . . . I have called you friends." They realized, in the drama of the Paschal Mystery, that we have not only been shown a new way; we have been drawn into a new life, a life of friendship with God."
Our Lord tells us how we can be friends: "You are my friends if you do what I command you."
Do you think our Lord has a short list of friends? Or does He have lots of friends?
That question isn't one in need of answering...but it would be good for Him to have the whole world as His friend. But as it stands, very few are willing to give up their lives to and for our Lord and His sake and His will. Just think of your sin that you cannot detach from. How much sacrifice would it take to detach from it? Some do not even shed blood for the Lord and they turn away. And some have shed blood and not turned away.
As it stands, I have shed many tears...but not yet blood for our Lord. Fridays are the days to remember the sacrifice of our Great Friend Jesus Christ...and His shedding of His Precious blood. It is a solemn day really. We are called to fast and or abstain every Friday really. But very few know, and the few that know will actually do...God's will, a holy Sacrifice for the world.
Let us take a cue from the Cross. Open arms. What does that mean? It means your open arms await. Open heart, slit open. What does that mean?
It means that your heart shall be bound with His heart. An opening of flesh means a covenant bond forever. The temporal...to the eternal.
Father..God, Friend...help us. Please
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
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Random bible verse generator:
Colossians 3:16 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
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