"Many people [in authority] oppose us, persecute us, and would like even to destroy us, but we must be patient. As long as their commands are not against our conscience, let us obey them, but when the case is otherwise, let us uphold the rights of God and of the Church, for those are superior to all earthly authority." –St. John Bosco
†Today's Meditation "I believe that if those souls that tend towards sanctity were instructed as to the conduct they ought to follow, they would be spared a good deal of trouble. I speak as much of people in the world as of others. If they could realize the merit concealed in the actions of each moment of the day: I mean in each of the daily duties of their state in life … they would indeed be happy. If, besides, they understood that to attain the utmost height of perfection, the safest and surest way is to accept the crosses sent them by Providence at every moment, that the true philosopher's stone is submission to the will of God which changes into divine gold all their occupations, troubles, and sufferings, what consolation would be theirs! What courage would they not derive from the thought that to acquire the friendship of God, and to arrive at eternal glory, they had but to do what they were doing, but to suffer what they were suffering, and that what they wasted and counted as nothing would suffice to enable them to arrive at eminent sanctity: far more so than extraordinary states and wonderful works." —Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade, p. 18
An Excerpt From Abandonment to Divine Providence
†Daily Verse "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be in dread of them: for it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you."
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Blessed Jane of Aza
Blessed Jane of Aza (12th c.), also known as Joanna or Juana of Aza, belonged to the Spanish nobility. At a young age she married a nobleman and together they had five children. She was a pious woman known for her life of prayer and generosity to the poor. When her two eldest sons were given to the priesthood, she went to the nearby church of St. Dominic Silos, a miracle worker and a patron saint of pregnant women, to pray earnestly for another son who would carry on the succession of the family. In a dream the saint appeared to her and said that she would bear a son who would be a shining light to the Church. She also dreamed of a dog that leaped from her womb carrying a torch in its mouth, lighting all the world on fire. She gave birth to a son in answer to her prayers, and in gratitude named him Dominic. She brought her son to the altar of St. Dominic Silos and there offered him to God. At the child's baptism his godmother saw a star shining from his forehead. All of these signs were taken to mean that the child would be great. Jane brought her son up with the utmost care, and as the child grew he evidenced uncommon sanctity and virtue. When Dominic turned age seven Jane generously gave him to be educated as a priest, leaving her family without a male heir. St. Dominic went on to found the famous Order of Preachers, or Dominicans, who became known as the "Hounds of the Lord", a great preaching order against heresy and in defense of the Catholic faith. Her feast day is August 2nd.
Tuesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 408 Reading 1
JER 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22
The following message came to Jeremiah from the LORD: For thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Write all the words I have spoken to you in a book.
For thus says the LORD: Incurable is your wound, grievous your bruise; There is none to plead your cause, no remedy for your running sore, no healing for you. All your lovers have forgotten you, they do not seek you. I struck you as an enemy would strike, punished you cruelly; Why cry out over your wound? your pain is without relief. Because of your great guilt, your numerous sins, I have done this to you.
Thus says the LORD: See! I will restore the tents of Jacob, his dwellings I will pity; City shall be rebuilt upon hill, and palace restored as it was. From them will resound songs of praise, the laughter of happy men. I will make them not few, but many; they will not be tiny, for I will glorify them. His sons shall be as of old, his assembly before me shall stand firm; I will punish all his oppressors. His leader shall be one of his own, and his rulers shall come from his kin. When I summon him, he shall approach me; how else should one take the deadly risk of approaching me? says the LORD. You shall be my people, and I will be your God.
PS 102:16-18, 19-21, 29 AND 22-23
R. (17) The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory. The nations shall revere your name, O LORD, and all the kings of the earth your glory, When the LORD has rebuilt Zion and appeared in his glory; When he has regarded the prayer of the destitute, and not despised their prayer. R. The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory. Let this be written for the generation to come, and let his future creatures praise the LORD: "The LORD looked down from his holy height, from heaven he beheld the earth, To hear the groaning of the prisoners, to release those doomed to die." R. The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory. The children of your servants shall abide, and their posterity shall continue in your presence, That the name of the LORD may be declared on Zion; and his praise, in Jerusalem, When the peoples gather together and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD. R. The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and precede him to the other side of the sea, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. "It is a ghost," they said, and they cried out in fear. At once Jesus spoke to them, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." Peter said to him in reply, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, "Truly, you are the Son of God."
After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret. When the men of that place recognized him, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought to him all those who were sick and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak, and as many as touched it were healed.
Daily Meditation: Jeremiah 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22
I will restore the tents of Jacob. (Jeremiah 30:18)
The Israelites had strayed from God; they had sinned and now they were in exile, reaping the fruits of their disobedience. Through the prophet Jeremiah, God tells the people, "Because of your great guilt, your numerous sins, I have done this to you" (30:15).
After experiencing a heartbreaking loss, a young man read this verse and began to wonder if his own tragedy was somehow a punishment from God. Was there some sin that he had never confessed? This thought slowly seeped into his relationship with the Lord, and he began to pull further and further away from him.
One day at Mass, as he went forward to receive Communion, he sensed the Lord speaking to him in the quiet of his heart: "I am so happy and pleased that you have come to me." The words broke through the lies and feelings of guilt that had caused him to put up barriers. He realized that God was not angry with him and that his loss was not a punishment. Quite the opposite. Now Jesus could show him how close he had been through all the pain.
When we face tragedy and hardship, we often search for a reason why. We desperately want to make sense of what has happened. Sometimes we blame ourselves, to the point of thinking it's a punishment for sin.
Rather than condemnation, however, we can find comfort in the Lord. He is close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:19). He is not looking for a reason to punish us. Even in the case of Israel in Jeremiah's time, his ultimate purpose for his people was healing and restoration (Jeremiah 30:18).
This is true for us too. Jesus came to heal and restore every situation. Sometimes we get to see that happen here and now, as when a miracle takes place or a relationship is mended. But for some things, we have to keep our eyes on heaven, where there will be no more sorrow, and every tear will be wiped away (Revelation 21:4).
Whatever you are facing, remember that the Lord is not out to punish you. Cling to him and ask him for his comfort and strength. He is with you always, especially in your sorrow and pain.
"Lord, thank you for your healing love."
Psalm 102:16-21, 29, 22-23 Matthew 14:22-36
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "You shall be my people, and I will be your God."
For the wounds to be healed, we need our Lord. For true peace to abound, we need our Lord. For true love to shine, we need our Lord and our God in Heaven, the Great I AM. If we become His, He shall rule as our God. We must take heart in His Holy Message, because it becomes alive and active and the Way.
We pray in Psalms: "Let this be written for the generation to come, and let his future creatures praise the LORD: "The LORD looked down from his holy height, from heaven he beheld the earth, To hear the groaning of the prisoners, to release those doomed to die." The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory."
There are people that are building up for a better future as we speak. There are those who are striving to lay foundations for a future they will not live in...but the Lord will. I hope me and you are those that are laying solid foundations in our Lord. And at the same time, there are those on the opposite side, calling themselves social engineers, that seek to control the world. We must watch out for the leaven of the world. We must truly seek Him constantly. What good does it do to go to church once a week for an hour, and never pray again in between? What good is that one offering, and not the daily offering to God a sacrifice? After all, He does it for you and for me, daily. Suffering with us to atone for so much sin in the world. And sin could be related to not caring. Perhaps the greatest of sins is that against Love....Himself.
In today's Gospel we heard our Lord: "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid."
How often do we become afraid? What if depression is a symptom of fear?
What if anxiety is a symptom of fear? What if looking for worldly pleasures is a symptom of fear? Why are you afraid?
From Bishop Barron today: "Friends, in today's Gospel, Jesus comes to his disciples walking on the water. Whenever we encounter the disciples in a boat, we are dealing with the Church, the barque of Peter. Here we see the beginning of the Church's journey through time. Winds and waves toss the barque. Anyone acquainted with Church history knows the truth of this—and it's a special comfort for those enduring our tumultuous times. We are engaged in a spiritual warfare, a battle not against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities. Early in the morning, the disciples saw Jesus coming toward them, "walking on the sea." Terrified, they cried out. But Jesus calmed them with the words, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." Then Peter said, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." Peter stands preeminently for the Church across the ages. And here is the Church at its best, reaching out in confidence to Christ. The fruit of that confidence is participation in the Lord's power: Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. Relying on our own power, we can do nothing. But relying on him, we can do anything."_ ............................... What if thinking too much is a sign of fear? What if doubt is fear? Then what is the antidote? What can be done to overcome fear?
You see, all these things boil down to a matter of faith, right? When did Jesus hold Peter's hand? When he sank in the dark sea, in the high winds of fear and doubt. Clues here are, walk to Him, and reach out to Him! CONSTANTLY. And help others do the same, as you reach out to Him and walk to Him, reach to them, and help them. People around you need help, all day, every day. Believe it or not. I know I do, but sometimes I'm on the other shoe, helping others too...to God.
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Random bible verse generator:
18 The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth. 19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
he also hears their cry and saves them.
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