Friday, July 8, 2022

† "..whoever endures to the end will be . ."


†Saint Quote

"All the things in this world are gifts of God, created for us, to be the means by which we can come to know him better, love him more surely, and serve him more faithfully."
–St. Ignatius of Loyola

†Today's Meditation
"The glory of a good person is the evidence of a good conscience. Have a good conscience and you will always be happy. A good conscience can bear a great deal and still remain serene in the midst of adversity, while a bad conscience is fearful and easily ruffled. Only be glad when you have done well. Evil persons are never really happy, nor do they feel peace within them; for 'there is no peace for the wicked, says the Lord' (Isa. 48:22). Even though the wicked may protest that peace is theirs and that no evil shall harm them, do not believe them. For God's wrath will suddenly overtake them, and all they have done will be brought to nothing and their plans destroyed."
—Thomas á Kempis, p. 76

An Excerpt From
Imitation of Christ

†Daily Verse
"So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you."
–1 Peter 5:6-7


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St. Kilian

St. Kilian (c. 640-689 A.D.), also known as St. Cillian, was born to a noble family in Ireland. As a child he was known for his piety and love of study, which led him to the priesthood. He became a traveling bishop on the island, and in 686 A.D. left Ireland with eleven companions to travel throughout Gaul (present day France and parts of Germany) to preach the Gospel. From there he traveled to Rome to get official sanction from the Pope to become a missionary. Once obtained, St. Kilian returned north and settled in Würzburg as his base of activity along with two of his original companions. He began his work evangelizing the pagans in large parts of Franconia and Thuringia (north and central Germany), earning the name 'Apostle of Franconia.' Saint Kilian converted the Duke of Würzburg and convinced him to end his unlawful marriage. This greatly angered the Duke's wife, who resisted St. Kilian's attempts to convert her. While her husband was away, she had St. Kilian and his two missionary companions beheaded as they were preaching. A cathedral was built on the spot of their martyrdom by the first bishop of Würzburg. On St. Kilian's feast his relics, along with those of his two companions, are paraded through the streets and put on display in the Würzburg Cathedral, which is dedicated to him. St. Kilian's feast day is July 8th.


Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 HOS 14:2-10

Thus says the LORD:
Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God;
you have collapsed through your guilt.
Take with you words,
and return to the LORD;
Say to him, "Forgive all iniquity,
and receive what is good, that we may render
as offerings the bullocks from our stalls.
Assyria will not save us,
nor shall we have horses to mount;
We shall say no more, 'Our god,'
to the work of our hands;
for in you the orphan finds compassion."
I will heal their defection, says the LORD,
I will love them freely;
for my wrath is turned away from them.
I will be like the dew for Israel:
he shall blossom like the lily;
He shall strike root like the Lebanon cedar,
and put forth his shoots.
His splendor shall be like the olive tree
and his fragrance like the Lebanon cedar.
Again they shall dwell in his shade
and raise grain;
They shall blossom like the vine,
and his fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
Ephraim! What more has he to do with idols?
I have humbled him, but I will prosper him.
"I am like a verdant cypress tree"—
because of me you bear fruit!
Let him who is wise understand these things;
let him who is prudent know them.
Straight are the paths of the LORD,
in them the just walk,
but sinners stumble in them.

Responsorial Psalm PS 51:3-4, 8-9, 12-13, 14 AND 17

R. (17b) My mouth will declare your praise.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. My mouth will declare your praise.
Behold, you are pleased with sincerity of heart,
and in my inmost being you teach me wisdom.
Cleanse me of sin with hyssop, that I may be purified;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
R. My mouth will declare your praise.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. My mouth will declare your praise.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
R. My mouth will declare your praise.

Alleluia JN 16:13A; 14:26D

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
When the Spirit of truth comes,
he will guide you to all truth
and remind you of all I told you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 10:16-23

Jesus said to his Apostles:
"Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves;
so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.
But beware of men,
for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.
When they persecute you in one town, flee to another.
Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel
before the Son of Man comes."


Daily Meditation: Hosea 14:2-10

Take with you words, and return to the Lord. (Hosea 14:3)

Why return to the Lord? Because we are sinners and we need his salvation. Because in him we find compassion. Because he promises to heal our infidelity and loves us unconditionally. Ultimately, because he longs to cleanse us from our sins and draw us back to him.

But what words should we take with us? What words will give us a good hearing? They don't have to be eloquent words. They don't even have to be original words. In Mark's Gospel, for instance, Jesus commends a scribe simply for repeating what Jesus himself has just said (12:34). There is wisdom in repeating the truth, and sometimes the truths that are easiest to speak have the deepest meaning.

Words are not costly. They don't involve offerings, sacrifice, or service. But "inexpensive" words have great value in God's eyes when they are spoken by a humble heart that knows its need for mercy. Think, for instance, of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. When we come to the Lord in Confession and use plain language to ask for his mercy, he pours out an immense amount of grace to forgive, heal, and restore.

Urging them to take words with them, the prophet Hosea told the Israelites to be straightforward in their dealings with the Lord. Likewise for us, we shouldn't try to cover things up or gloss over our sins. We shouldn't let pride block the truth. Instead, we should just go and tell the Lord, in our own words, what we have done. We should, in our own words, ask him to wash us clean.

Jesus wants to lift us up. He wants to receive us and cleanse us. He wants us to enjoy his presence and his grace. He knows that the only way for this to happen is if we confess our sins and ask the Lord for his mercy. The good news is that as soon as we do confess, we are forgiven. All the obstacles are removed, and God's grace floods our hearts. Nothing compares with the feeling of freedom or the sense of relief and happiness that comes when we take words with us and seek the mercy of the Lord!

"Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense" (Psalm 51:3).

Psalm 51:3-4, 8-9, 12-14, 17
Matthew 10:16-23


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
_"We shall say no more, 'Our god,' to the work of our hands;
for in you the orphan finds compassion." I will heal their defection, says the LORD,
I will love them freely; for my wrath is turned away from them."

There is a need to recognize where our blessings come from, always. Who is more blessed? The boys with the most toys? Or the straggler on the street, with nothing to his name? Only God knows the heart. Both though, need the Son, the light. Both need God's healing. Both need humility. It is easier for a poor person to enter Heaven. And this means more than dollars in the bank. It means a truly dispossessed person is a person not bound to material or temporal things, but to be poor for God. "Lord, do with me as You please, with all that I have...all I desire is Your everlasting love."

"I have humbled him, but I will prosper him.
"Straight are the paths of the LORD, in them the just walk,
but sinners stumble in them."


We pray in Psalms:
"A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. Cast me not out from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me. My mouth will declare your praise"


In today's Gospel we heard our Lord:
"Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves."
My dad, Lord rest His soul in Heaven, loved this Scripture among many. It is a way of living when you take these words seriously. I believe he attempted to live by them. But what do they mean? What did they mean to him? And what do they mean to you?

"Manso como cordero, astuto como serpiente".

A lamb was led to the slaughter, innocent as could be, perfect in every way. Yet, His wisdom was beyond human comprehension, and is still being unraveled and discovered this day. What a mystery of God's love for all humanity and all time that does not even exist in His time.

Therefore, what is temporal, is passing, but His Words are everlasting. We would be shrewd to be like Him, to be a tame lamb.

And to the world, we would seem to be a lame follower. For they are proud and arrogant in their temporal world. But we are not of this world.

In my world, I have to hold back A LOT. Bite my tongue and hold on while people spew hatred or ridiculousness. Spiritual lashings. A very small testimony, an elderly man sits outside our church this week, and goes off on how horrible our new building is going, and how terrible the builder is. Well, I've been dealing with the builder for years, and I've seen the tons of projects and churches he's built, including many huge commercial buildings locally and lately warehouses for big corporations. Yet, the man says "we are building on sand". That struck a chord inside of me, because I'm the one that put the sand (it's not sand as he said) together, along with my dad. The material is this extremely hard packing material, gets hard as a rock. We poured our heart and soul and have donated perhaps over $100,000.00 in labor and materials to put that dirt up for the new building. And this is what we do for a living, foundations for buildings and oil fields. And so, something wanted to boil up inside of me and let that old man have a piece of my mind. But, remember, the silent lamb, the dove of God.
So what did I do? Nothing. Nothing to fight about here folks! Someone says you must pick your battles. Well, there is a moment when the Holy Spirit will allow you to speak the truth, but not always be asked to speak. Many saints have learned to be silent and suffer the truth inside, so the other party will not endure ridicule and embarrassment.

Yet, this is a slap in the face to the world that teaches "defend yourself at all costs, to the point of blood shed".
And that is the smallest of my testimonies, because I have had to endure much worse than this, not just at church, but at work, and even in family matters.
So what happened in my case? I will let the truth speak for itself, even if it takes 100 years, or even if only God knows. I suffer for the love of God. Be a simple dove. A simpleton on the outside, but extremely shrewd with God's wisdom inside.
How is a serpent shrewd? Why should we be like a serpent? It's not about being in anyway a serpent of darkness, but to be shrewd, like those in the world that know what to do, insider trade secrets for greater gains. But in this case...for the Kingdom of God. It would be better then, for me to arrive without a tongue in Heaven, for having bitten it so much, and in the name of greater love, sacrificed myself.
But I don't always remain quiet, for there are a few times I'm actually asked for my truth. No need to whisper disparity behind others' backs. The truth shows itself, it cannot Hide, for the Lord cannot hide Himself very well at all at times, the truth is always there, like the vast sunrise, and sunset.

And the truth is, the world talks too much. Not enough time is spent listening. I see my young family, they do alot of talking and carrying on, but very little time is spent listening. Oh, they hear my words alright, but they hardly do as I say...come to the Lord.

So what now? Give up? No. The opposite. Give more. More fasting. More prayer. More listening to God's will. More humility. More tuning into Him, for He speaks through people, and environments, and nature. He speaks always, even in the screams, a bit of truth comes at me....I need more humility. This means I need more of Him in my life...our Lord, the Christ, our Savior.
Perhaps the world will never change...but I know I can, for with Him all things are possible, even what you care not.

Lord, I am Yours and Yours I wish to be...forever.


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1 Corinthians 10:13

13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.


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God Bless You! Peace

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