†Saint Quote "We are placed in our different ranks and stations, not to get what we can out of them for ourselves, but to labor in them for Him. As Christ has worked, we too have but to labor in them for Him. As Christ has His work, we too have ours; as He rejoiced to do his work, we must rejoice in ours also." –St. John Neumann
†Today's Meditation "When he was younger, St. Martin of Tours dedicated himself to military service. When he heard the call of Christ, he realized that his call was to fight a spiritual battle. His armor and weapons were virtue and a life guided by the Spirit of God. Do I consider my spiritual life to be a type of battle against the forces of evil?" —Rev. Jude Winkler, OFM, p.164
An Excerpt From Daily Meditations with the Holy Spirit
†Daily Verse "Yea, thou art my lamp, O Lord, and my God lightens my darkness. Yea, by thee I can crush a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. This God—his way is perfect; the promise of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him." –2 Samuel 22:29-31
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St. Joan of Arc
St. Joan of Arc (1412-1431) was born in Domremy, France to peasant farmers during the Hundred Years War between France and England. She was a pious child, and from age 13 she received visions of saints, most notably St. Michael the Archangel, St. Margaret of Antioch, and St. Catherine of Alexandria, who became her special patrons. Through these visions, voices, and other interior promptings, Joan understood that she was to help the King of France regain his throne. After overcoming her own reluctance, and that of the military and ecclesiastical authorities, she heroically led the French army in battle. With her leadership they recaptured Orleans and Troyes, which allowed Charles VII to be restored to the throne of France. All the while she wore the dress of a soldier to protect her virtue and modesty. The following year she was captured by the English, imprisoned, and placed on trial under accusation of heresy and witchcraft. She was treated unjustly and illegally during her captivity, and her trial became a circus. Under political pressure she was condemned and burned alive at the stake, even though she proved herself to be blameless and fearless in character and faith. As she burned she kept her eyes on a crucifix and repeatedly called on the name of Jesus. A second Church trial twenty-five years later nullified the earlier verdict and found her innocent of all charges, paving the way for her veneration as a saint. St. Joan of Arc is the patron saint of captives, rape victims, soldiers, and France. Her feast day is May 30th.
Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Reading I Acts 19:1-8
While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior of the country and down to Ephesus where he found some disciples. He said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?" They answered him, "We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." He said, "How were you baptized?" They replied, "With the baptism of John." Paul then said, "John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus." When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. Altogether there were about twelve men.
He entered the synagogue, and for three months debated boldly with persuasive arguments about the Kingdom of God.
Responsorial Psalm 68:2-3ab, 4-5acd, 6-7ab
R. (33a) Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth. or: R. Alleluia. God arises; his enemies are scattered,
and those who hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so are they driven;
as wax melts before the fire. R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth. or: R. Alleluia. But the just rejoice and exult before God;
they are glad and rejoice. Sing to God, chant praise to his name;
whose name is the LORD. R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth. or: R. Alleluia. The father of orphans and the defender of widows
is God in his holy dwelling. God gives a home to the forsaken;
he leads forth prisoners to prosperity. R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth. or: R. Alleluia.
Alleluia Col 3:1
R. Alleluia, alleluia. If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 16:29-33
The disciples said to Jesus, "Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech. Now we realize that you know everything and that you do not need to have anyone question you. Because of this we believe that you came from God." Jesus answered them, "Do you believe now? Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered to his own home and you will leave me alone. But I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world."
Daily Meditation: John 16:29-33
Do you believe now? (John 16:31)
Jesus had been "talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech" (John 16:29). So the disciples were coming to understand more fully who he was: "We believe that you came from God" (16:30). But despite this declaration of faith, Jesus knew that they would de-sert him when the soldiers came to arrest him. At that moment of crisis, their faith would fail them.
The truth is, faith is not static. That's a good thing because it can keep growing in us—as it did with the disciples after Pentecost. But our faith can also be shaken in trying times—as it was when the disciples abandoned Jesus. Or our faith can become so lukewarm that it has no real impact on our lives.
So how can we keep our faith growing and not waning? Let's continue with the example of the disciples:
Remember God's word. Long after he had departed from them, the disciples must have recalled Jesus' words. For example, when they were facing persecution, they must have remembered that they were among those who are "blessed" (Matthew 5:10). To keep our faith strong, we need to continually reflect on Jesus' words in the Scriptures and treasure them as they did.
Rely on the Holy Spirit. For the disciples, receiving the power of the Holy Spirit didn't end on Pentecost. Again and again, they were filled with the Spirit so that they could persevere in their mission (Acts 4:8, 31; 13:9). We too can keep the flame of faith burning brightly in us by asking the Spirit to fill us with his power and grace each day.
Look to our brothers and sisters. The disciples banded together and lived a communal life (Acts 2:42). Just as they did, we need our fellow believers to be a witness and encouragement to us. We also need their prayers to strengthen us in difficult moments.
Faith is a journey with lots of ruts in the road, so we shouldn't be surprised when we stumble. But by following the example of the first disciples—recalling God's word, asking for the grace of the Holy Spirit, and depending on our brothers and sisters—we can count on our faith to get stronger with each day.
"Jesus, I believe in you. Increase my faith."
Acts 19:1-8 Psalm 68:2-7
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them..."
In the Holy Sacrament of Confirmation, the Bishop, the direct descendants of the Disciples, lays their hands on the person...and the Holy Spirit enters, the willing soul. For there may be out there a blocker of the Spirit. Just like in all the Sacraments, you will receive more, if you are open more. Unless you go under duress, but even then, it cannot always nullify the Holy Sacrament. I'm thinking of marriage, and confession, and the anointing of the sick and so forth. I'm thinking even, of the Most Holy Eucharist, the very Body of Christ. How can you nullify what you have consumed and consummated? It is then, God's desire, to be forever in you and with you.
We pray in Psalms: "The father of orphans and the defender of widows is God in his holy dwelling. God gives a home to the forsaken; he leads forth prisoners to prosperity. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth." This morning, I was half awake, already thinking of half a dozen things, among one was the orphanage I help in Chihuahua Mexico. I thought, what it'd be like to take in orphans and literally raise them. Then I thought of the orphanage married couple that I help that actually does this, and how they literally live with and among...God's children. Taking them on themselves, to be their love, their parents, and sometimes this is up to 40 children and STILL they are reaching out to more indigenous poor families in the mountains, living in tin and pallet shacks. What fuels them? They sent me a video I did not ask for, and it is on Easter vigil this year, where they were gathered around a fire singing praises to God holding hands and I could sense the Holy Spirit, and strange lights appeared on the footage. The Love of God in the Holy Spirit.
In today's Gospel we heard our Lord: "Jesus answered them, "Do you believe now? Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered to his own home and you will leave me alone."
And so we have the first disciples, stating they believe...yet they would fail our Lord and abandon Him in His hour of need.
Could you not stay for one hour. What would it cost? I've been somewhat dismayed by some, of even my own students that have not been going to Mass for one hour, of the whole week.
One said they had homework. Another had to work. Another on vacation. And the list goes on and on. In the United States, the Church has had to bend over backwards to accommodate the "work force" but to no avail, the people will not go to Mass even if it is available at all hours of all the weekend, because something else has been made more important in their heart...in their ideologies.
And so, it is very easy to betray Christ when it comes down to it. All you have to do is look at something else and choose it over Christ. Now think of your dirty little secrets. That there, is the betrayal. And so, we live in a world of anxieties and the world offers all sorts remedies, like self help books, drugs, relaxation, and pleasures. But truly my beloved, Christ is the answer! Most of the world would not even need insurance if they would turn to the Lord said the wonderful sister Maria Simma in the book about her encounters with poor souls (in purgatory). The book is called "Get us out of Here" by Nicky Eltz. Can you imagine emptying hospitals and psychiatry wards and mental hospitals down to 30%? Of course not! Money wouldn't like that, and money is likened to the god of Mammon who is also tied with child sacrifice. And such is the world we live with the economy of finances taking precedence over the economy of the family. And it is funny because the very word 'economy' means "state of the household" bascially; from the Greek οἰκονομία (oikonomia) for "household management," the "law of the house," or "house building,".
And so, we have domestic terrorism on high blast. The news makes money by perverting minds with death stories. And the public drinks the filthy waters, by tuning into porn for death. And that is what porn leads to, death in a soul, and death of a family, where adultery is at the forefront of all, and this is a turning from fidelity and oneness...with God Himself.
And this perversion pervades the media. Scantly dressed and aroused people and death stories are the norm. Yesterday after a beautiful Mass, I took my family and our priest to a restaurant only to have them face a tv playing mexican music videos with scantly dressed women. And the night before at a 9 year old birthday party, music was playing that the playlist automatically played what I would call porno music, with female rappers singing about her body parts and using all sorts of filthy language.
So tell me I am not right.
I am attempting and failing at perfection, like the disciples, in my walk of the Way (the life of Christ). But I am always attempting to not go astray. Can we be sheltered like those monks in the desert? What can a person do? It's in the heart. I spoke up. I told the music holders to change it, and they laughed "I knew my uncle was going to say something!" and they changed it, agreeing it was pretty raunchy. But what if I had remained silent? That means nobody else in the crowd of 40-50 would never speak up? This is then tolerated and therefore...allowed? And the restaurant owner will be advised very soon the next time I see him. I may ask, "Would you dare play Christian videos" perhaps they would arouse something else in a person...like peace and conversion...and healing.
Nudity and violence are one after the other. We should block our children from media that promotes death and sexual sensations, and sadly it has now infiltrated our education system, where some counselors try to divide families instead of helping to unite them and heal them. So who can heal a family?
What a raunchy world...right? Are we doomed?
Depends. What do you want? Doom? You see, salvation has come, yet it is up to us to take to it and make it the future world. And I speak beyond human life.
Do you believe? I do believe we believe, to a certain extent, because if we truly believed...we would not abandon our Lord...in His very moment of dire need....both now and always.
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
P.S. on a side note. I was wondering on the question in RCIA yesterday "how does the way you dress for Mass speak about what you believe?" And so we must be humble and modest and state the importance of the event. Even a "memorial day", what does it mean to anybody? How do you remember the ones who gave their lives for our freedom? Think back to the Mass, and the ONE who DIES for our Salvation. How do we honor?
Do THIS in MEMORY of ME, He says in the Mass always and forever...until He returns.
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Random bible verse generator:
9 Who can say, "I have made my heart pure;
I am clean from my sin"?
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