†Saint Quote "Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious." –St. Thomas Aquinas
†Today's Meditation "How great is the sweetness which a soul experiences, when, in the time of prayer, God, by a ray of his own light, shows to her his goodness and his mercies towards her, and particularly the love which Jesus Christ has borne to her in his passion! She feels her heart melting, and, as it were, dissolved through love. But in this life we do not see God as he really is: we see him, as it were, in the dark. 'We see now through a glass in a dark manner, but then face to face' (1 Cor. 13:12). Here below God is hidden from our view; we can see him only with the eyes of faith: how great shall be our happiness when the veil shall be raised, and we shall be permitted to behold God face to face! We shall then see his beauty, his greatness, his perfection, his amiableness, and his immense love for our souls." —St. Alphonsus Liguori, p. 133
An Excerpt From The Sermons of St. Alphonsus Liguori
†Daily Verse "And if you be unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." –Joshua 24:15
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St. Alphonsus Liguori
St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696–1787) was born near Naples, the eldest of eight children of a noble family. He became a lawyer after receiving doctorates in canon and civil law at the age of 16. For many years he was successful in practicing law, but grew disenchanted with the profession. After losing a case for the first time at the age of 27 after eight years of practicing the law, he discerned a call to enter the seminary and became a priest. Alphonsus spent the early years of his priesthood ministering to homeless and marginalized youth, and through this work eventually founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, known as the Redemptorists, which aimed to preach in city slums. He was known best for his sermons, especially his ability to convert those who were estranged from the faith, and for his great works in moral and spiritual theology. He was a practical and prudent theologian, avoiding the extremes of being too rigid and legalistic on the one hand, and too lax on the other, despite the fact that he struggled with scrupulosity in his personal life. He suffered much from arthritis in his old age, his neck becoming so bent that his chin left an open sore on his chest. His most famous written works were on the Virgin Mary and the Blessed Sacrament. For his work in moral theology he was declared a Doctor of the Church. He is the patron saint of moral theologians, vocations, arthritis sufferers, and those who struggle with scrupulosity. St. Alphonsus Ligouri's feast day is August 1st.
Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 407 Reading 1
In the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, in the fifth month of the fourth year, the prophet Hananiah, son of Azzur, from Gibeon, said to me in the house of the LORD in the presence of the priests and all the people: "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two years I will restore to this place all the vessels of the temple of the LORD which Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, took away from this place to Babylon. And I will bring back to this place Jeconiah, son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the exiles of Judah who went to Babylon,' says the LORD, 'for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.'"
The prophet Jeremiah answered the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people assembled in the house of the LORD, and said: Amen! thus may the LORD do! May he fulfill the things you have prophesied by bringing the vessels of the house of the LORD and all the exiles back from Babylon to this place! But now, listen to what I am about to state in your hearing and the hearing of all the people. From of old, the prophets who were before you and me prophesied war, woe, and pestilence against many lands and mighty kingdoms. But the prophet who prophesies peace is recognized as truly sent by the LORD only when his prophetic prediction is fulfilled.
Thereupon the prophet Hananiah took the yoke from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah and broke it, and said in the presence of all the people: "Thus says the LORD: 'Even so, within two years I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, from off the neck of all the nations.'" At that, the prophet Jeremiah went away.
Some time after the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: Go tell Hananiah this:
Thus says the LORD: By breaking a wooden yoke, you forge an iron yoke! For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: A yoke of iron I will place on the necks of all these nations serving Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and they shall serve him; even the beasts of the field I give him.
To the prophet Hananiah the prophet Jeremiah said: Hear this, Hananiah! The LORD has not sent you, and you have raised false confidence in this people. For this, says the LORD, I will dispatch you from the face of the earth; this very year you shall die, because you have preached rebellion against the LORD. That same year, in the seventh month, Hananiah the prophet died.
PS 119:29, 43, 79, 80, 95, 102
R. (68b) Lord, teach me your statutes. Remove from me the way of falsehood, and favor me with your law. R. Lord, teach me your statutes. Take not the word of truth from my mouth, for in your ordinances is my hope. R. Lord, teach me your statutes. Let those turn to me who fear you and acknowledge your decrees. R. Lord, teach me your statutes. Let my heart be perfect in your statutes, that I be not put to shame. R. Lord, teach me your statutes. Sinners wait to destroy me, but I pay heed to your decrees. R. Lord, teach me your statutes. From your ordinances I turn not away, for you have instructed me. R. Lord, teach me your statutes.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns. When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said, "This is a deserted place and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves." He said to them, "There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves." But they said to him, "Five loaves and two fish are all we have here." Then he said, "Bring them here to me," and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over– twelve wicker baskets full. Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting women and children.
Daily Meditation: Matthew 14:13-21
Give them some food yourselves. (Matthew 14:16)
Longtime readers of The Word Among Us may recall the central place this Scripture passage has in our history. Forty-two years ago, the Holy Spirit brought these words alive for our founder, Joe Difato, and his colleagues. Together, they sensed a call from the Lord to help "feed" his people with daily encouragement from Scripture. At the time, they felt as ill-equipped to start a magazine as the disciples felt to feed five thousand people with a few loaves and fish. But Jesus blessed and multiplied their work just as he blessed the disciples' meager rations.
Today, Jesus speaks these same words to all of us: Give them some food yourselves (Matthew 14:16). He sees the hunger in each heart—a hunger for food, for love, and for him. And he calls us to feed his people, both materially and spiritually.
Now, we might feel as baffled as the first disciples and think, How can I feed all the hungry people in the world, let alone give them spiritual food? I don't have the money or the faith or the training. What we have seems inadequate. But we can follow the disciples' example and bring the little we do have to Jesus. He will bless our efforts and use them to meet the needs of his people.
You don't have to feed every person; just start by caring for the people in front of you. The Holy Spirit can alert you to someone's needs. Does he need a listening ear? Is she short on cash in the checkout line? Are the husband and wife in the next pew struggling with their children, wondering if it's worth coming to Mass? You may have only a little courage or resources, but you can reach out. Ask Jesus to bless your efforts as you "feed" them with whatever kindness, food, money, or encouragement you can muster. You'll be amazed at what God can do!
"Lord, I give you all that I have. Use me to feed your people."
Jeremiah 28:1-17 Psalm 119:29, 43, 79-80, 95, 102
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "By breaking a wooden yoke, you forge an iron yoke!"
Our Lord asks us to yoke, to make a covenant and to work with Him by allowing Him to work in us. If we make the pact, it is good. If we break the pact, this bond, it is not good, and the world switches to communism which puts man himself above all else. Selfishness kills both the other, and self.
We pray in Psalms: "Let my heart be perfect in your statutes, that I be not put to shame. Lord, teach me your statutes."
We should desire God's words and commands. But what can make us hungry?
In today's Gospel we heard our Lord: _"Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied..."
From Bishop Barron today:
Friends, our Gospel today tells about the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus instructs the crowd to recline, and they do so on the grass. Taking the loaves and dried fish, Jesus makes a meal that satisfies the enormous crowd. They are hungry, tired, and worn out from their exertions, and Jesus gives them sustenance for the day. For Thomas Aquinas, the great metaphor for the Eucharist is sustenance, food for the journey. The Eucharist is daily food, sustenance for the journey, nourishment to get us through the day to day. How effective would we be if we never ate, or ate only on special occasions and in a festive environment? Not very. So, in the spiritual life, we must eat and drink or we will not have strength. Is this just meant in some vague symbolic way? No, rather in a vividly analogical way. For just as the body needs physical nourishment, the spirit needs spiritual nourishment, and there is no getting around this law. Now think of how many Catholics are absent from the Mass and the Eucharist and confession or even daily prayer. This spiritual malnourishment is one of the biggest problems facing our Church.
There is a false food being handed. I just asked a co-worker why I didn't see him at Mass yesterday. He said because he was helping his wife make food to sell that day. I said that's not what's more important.
For one hour. What could you trade eternity for? One sin?
People don't know! Missing a Sunday Mass is the same as having an affair, or perhaps even killing somebody! It is a MORTAL SIN. But how will they ever know if they don't know, or are given a reason to care?
I am that reason. You are that reason for them to care. This messsage isn't more for them as it is for you and me. To those who have much, more will be given.
Now Share the Message, and this is what becomes the bread of Heaven. That what fuels Heaven...the true love of God!
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Random bible verse generator:
11 Good sense makes one slow to anger,
and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
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