Wednesday, June 22, 2022

† "....Do People Pick . .. ."


†Saint Quote
"Quote of the Day
"For true hearts there is no separating ocean; or, rather, God is their ocean, in Whom they meet and are united; they love, and lose themselves in Him and in each other."
–St. Theodore Guerin

†Today's Meditation
"Beloved brothers and sisters, we must strive with all our strength to repel the enemy of our soul, with full attention and vigilence, as he rages and aims his darts against every part of us that can be assaulted and wounded. This is what the Apostle Peter, in his epistle, warns and teaches us about, saying: 'Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour' (1 Pt. 5:8)."
—Paul Thigpen, p.150

An Excerpt From
Manual for Spiritual Warfare

†Daily Verse
"Give ear to my words, O Lord; give heed to my groaning. Hearken to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to thee do I pray. O Lord, in the morning thou dost hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for thee, and watch. For thou art not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not sojourn with thee."
–Psalm 5:1-4


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St. Thomas More

St. Thomas More (1478–1535) was born in London, the son of a lawyer and judge. He was educated in the finest schools and became a brilliant English statesman. He served in parliament, on the King's council, as a diplomat, and in many other prominent positions in public administration. He was highly esteemed for his unfailing moral integrity, sharpness of mind, humor, and extraordinary learning. He was also a faithful Catholic, a loving husband, and a devoted father. For his great abilities he was promoted by his friend King Henry VIII to the high office of Lord Chancellor, second in position to the king. He resigned from this post when the king, in open defiance of Church teaching, sought to divorce his wife in order to marry another woman, and to declare himself sovereign of the Church in England. Thomas More, a defender against heresy, refused to condone the king's actions. After trying unsuccessfully to persuade his friend to approve of what he was doing, King Henry VIII imprisoned More in the Tower of London. At his trial, More testified boldly for Church autonomy over the state, for the authority of the pope as head of the Church, and for the indissolubility of marriage in the eyes of God. He was eventually condemned and beheaded, dying as a martyr for the Catholic faith. Thomas More is the patron saint of statesman, politicians, lawyers, civil servants, and large families. His feast day is June 22nd.


Wednesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading I 2 Kgs 22:8-13; 23:1-3

The high priest Hilkiah informed the scribe Shaphan,
"I have found the book of the law in the temple of the LORD."
Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, who read it.
Then the scribe Shaphan went to the king and reported,
"Your servants have smelted down the metals available in the temple
and have consigned them to the master workmen
in the temple of the LORD."
The scribe Shaphan also informed the king
that the priest Hilkiah had given him a book,
and then read it aloud to the king.
When the king heard the contents of the book of the law,
he tore his garments and issued this command to Hilkiah the priest,
Ahikam, son of Shaphan,
Achbor, son of Micaiah, the scribe Shaphan,
and the king's servant Asaiah:
"Go, consult the LORD for me, for the people, for all Judah,
about the stipulations of this book that has been found,
for the anger of the LORD has been set furiously ablaze against us,
because our fathers did not obey the stipulations of this book,
nor fulfill our written obligations."

The king then had all the elders of Judah
and of Jerusalem summoned together before him.
The king went up to the temple of the LORD with all the men of Judah
and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem:
priests, prophets, and all the people, small and great.
He had the entire contents of the book of the covenant
that had been found in the temple of the LORD, read out to them.
Standing by the column, the king made a covenant before the LORD
that they would follow him
and observe his ordinances, statutes and decrees
with their whole hearts and souls,
thus reviving the terms of the covenant
which were written in this book.
And all the people stood as participants in the covenant.

Responsorial Psalm 119:33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 40

R. (33a) Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.
Instruct me, O LORD, in the way of your statutes,
that I may exactly observe them.
R. Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.
Give me discernment, that I may observe your law
and keep it with all my heart.
R. Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.
Lead me in the path of your commands,
for in it I delight.
R. Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.
Incline my heart to your decrees
and not to gain.
R. Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.
Turn away my eyes from seeing what is vain:
by your way give me life.
R. Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.
Behold, I long for your precepts;
in your justice give me life.
R. Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.

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 Mt 7:15-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing,
but underneath are ravenous wolves.
By their fruits you will know them.
Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Just so, every good tree bears good fruit,
and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit,
nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down
and thrown into the fire.
So by their fruits you will know them."


Daily Meditation: Matthew 7:15-20

By their fruits you will know them. (Matthew 7:16)

If you were going to set up a fruit stand, you would want to inspect your produce carefully. Only healthy, ripe, undamaged fruits would meet your standards. If any were spoiled, not only would they rot, but they could damage your other fruit as well. So you would be quick to separate those bad fruits from the good ones.

"Fruit inspection" is a good way to think about the discernment that Jesus is describing in today's Gospel. We can assess the state of our hearts by observing the quality of the fruit being borne in our lives. Such an "inspection" can help us uncover and turn from patterns of sin or unhealthy influences. It can help us to see if we are growing closer to God or moving further away from him.

This is something we can try to do at the end of each day. Start by looking over all that has happened that day, including how you felt and how you reacted to the situations that came up. Then look at the fruit that each event has borne in your life.

What kind of fruit should you look for? Maybe the fruit of the Spirit that St. Paul lists: "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23). Or take your lead from St. James. He tells us that if something comes from God, it leads to peace, gentleness, mercy, and good deeds (James 3:17). If you see evidence of any of these fruits, you can be confident that your heart is in the right place and that the Spirit is at work in you.

But the opposite is also true. If you're reacting with fear, anger, or divisiveness, then you may need a change of heart. Repent if you need to, and then ask the Holy Spirit for the grace to release these feelings—as well as the situations that caused them—to the Lord.

Today, keep your eyes open for the good fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life. Pursue the things that bring good fruit. And if you see some bad fruit, take heart. It's your opportunity to turn from it and let the Lord prune it away.

"Lord, help me to see the fruit in my life so that I can reject the bad and cultivate the good."

2 Kings 22:8-13; 23:1-3
Psalm 119:33-37, 40


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
_"Go, consult the LORD for me, for the people, for all Judah, about the stipulations of this book that has been found, for the anger of the LORD has been set furiously ablaze against us, because our fathers did not obey the stipulations of this book, nor fulfill our written obligations."

Let's keep this in mind as we focus on what our Lord will say to us today. Remember the fruits of your fathers, and then remember your fruits that are to come. Remember too, who pays now and who will pay later.


We pray in Psalms:
"Lead me in the path of your commands,
for in it I delight. Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord."

Our Lord was and is a Teacher. We are all then called to be teachers. We teach by word and deed and both are important, not one more than the other, because even the actions of a bad teacher cannot make invalid the good words he teaches, right? Can a hypocrite teach others? I hope so, because I sometimes do better at teaching than by leading. I know what I gotta do, but I can't seem to do it many times. Right? Ever been there? Let's turn to our Lord because what He says and thus, teaches, solidifies everything.


In today's Gospel we heard our Lord:
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them."

Did you know that there are this day ravenous wolves in sheep's clothing? Even priests and some bishops, sad to say. Greater is the sin of such though, that carry the greatest of sins against charity and love, God Himself. Anti-Christ is at work who is taking its time to undermine all teachings in the faith, to make light of God's laws, and to pass a hidden agenda against life Himself. And we must take heart because the truth will be revealed, as is evident in the teachings of fruit.

"A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit."

From a spanish reflection I read today:

Know the tree by the fruit

If a tree is known by its fruits, by what fruits is a true Christian known? Paul has given us a list of the "true fruit" of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (cf. Gal 5:22-23). The list is headed by the fruit "love". Jesus himself has been very direct in pointing out by what fruit we should be known: "By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (Jn 13:35). In fact, it is for this love that Christians were qualified in the early Church, as Tertullian affirms in his Apologetic: "It is mainly the works of such a noble love that lead many to put a mark on us. See , they say, how they love each other".
What is the fruit that defines you and by which you are known?
-Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF
And so, after reading the Word Among Us reflection today about bad fruit spoiling other fruit, I was wondering HOW this happens, because we can agree that it DOES happen. And so FYI, here it goes:
"We've all heard the saying "one bad apple spoils the whole bunch," and have probably seen instances where it does apply to people, but does it actually happen with fruit?
Yes. As they ripen, some fruits, like apples and pears, produce a gaseous hormone called ethylene, which is, among other things, a ripening agent. When you store fruits together, the ethylene each piece emits prods the others around it to ripen further, and vice versa. (Fun tip: Want to quickly ripen an avocado? Stick it in a paper bag with an apple overnight.)
The riper a piece of fruit is, the more ethylene it produces, and overripe fruit gives off even more ethylene, eventually leading to a concentration of the gas that's enough to overripen all the fruit. Given the right conditions and enough time, one apple can push all the fruit around it to ripen—and eventually rot.
Additionally, an apple that is infested with mold will contaminate other fruit it's stored with as the mold seeks additional food sources and spreads. In both cases, it actually does take just one single apple to start a domino chain that ruins the rest of the bunch."

And so, how does this happen with people? How do bad apples spoil good apples? It is not rocket science really. A gas cannot be seen, nor can a spirit. Bad spirits can enter other people, as if to be shared. And then the good becomes bad...fruit...for God, who cannot accept bad fruit in Heaven, and a tree that just bears bad fruit? It is not good anymore. It will have to be chopped and hell.

Sad part about this all is that less and less people seem to care, or, better said, choose not to believe this is true. We are being told that sins don't matter, as is evident by alternative lifestyles of fornication and adultery. Most don't even believe getting drunk is a sin. Need I go on? Many don't think gossiping is a sin, with slanderous talk. Need I go further to pin your heart to turn to God? Most don't believe they are even sinning, as is evident by small lines to Holy Confession. Need I go further? Many nowadays don't believe going to Church (Holy Mass) is important on Sunday. Should I keep at it? A large portion don't pray every day. Need I go on? A huge portion of trees don't believe in fasting, or sacrificing much at all. Let's keep going. Many fail to give fruit because they are too busy caught up in other things. Fruitless trees are not good but are taking up space and nutrients of the ground, no? What makes one fruitless? What is spoiling others? If I spoil my child, I make them think that what they say matters more than what I say. If I spoil my child, I give them all they want, and when they want. Yet, this is what the world teaches: "I want things MY way". When in reality, Jesus says HE IS THE WAY! All the Way, Jesus is the Heaven.
He teaches that this life is temporary, but has eternal ramifications...fruits.
Now, take a bite of this: Now that my best friend and dad has passed away, I've been told and now I'm believing we are "his legacy", meaning, we are the fruit he has left behind, and now I must live it and better. I must prove by my life that my father is and was good and will be proven by my life. What He did, I must do...but better. Right?
Now, I'm not just thinking about my earthly dad, but as if God our Father is asking us, to bear His fruit, and even more and better! How? He had 12 disciples, right? Thousands of "followers" LOL, right? many disciples do you need to make, and how many followers do you need?

ONE. YOU must follow HIM, YOU must be that disciple. It's not that hard, right? We make it hard to up and leave ourselves and follow Him, to Confession, to Holy Matrimony, to receiving Him on the Altar, to the very Cross on Calvary of self sacrifice...true Love, willing the Good of the Other(s).
This tree of the cross has bore eternal fruit for the Father.

Let's receive Good fruit (Himself) to become good fruit, to share good fruit, to make that fruit spawn new fruit across the land.
It's not that hard once you apply... love.


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Random bible verse generator:

Isaiah 50:7
7 But the Lord GOD helps me;

therefore I have not been disgraced;

therefore I have set my face like a flint,

and I know that I shall not be put to shame.


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God Bless You! Peace

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