Monday, August 8, 2022

† ".Open Its Mouth ... "


†Saint Quote

"Quote of the Day
"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love."
–St. Teresa of Avila - Teresa of Jesus

†Today's Meditation
"The human soul, by its very nature, is endowed with the faculty of knowing God and the capacity for loving Him. The intelligence of the soul, transporting itself above all that is created and finite, has power to raise itself even to the contemplation of that Being who alone is uncreated and infinite, who is the source of all good and all perfection; it is able to form of Him an idea that is clear and accurate and indelible. The will of the soul is made to love this sovereign Good, which the understanding presents to it. The desires of the soul, which no created object can ever satisfy and which reach far beyond the limits of this life, tend necessarily toward a Good that is supreme, eternal, and infinite, and which alone can content the soul and make it happy."
—Fr. Jean Nicholas Grou, p. 3-4

An Excerpt From
The Spiritual Life

†Daily Verse
"So turn from youthful desires and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord with purity of heart."
–2 Timothy 2:22


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St. Dominic de Guzman

St. Dominic (1170–1221) was born in Spain to a family of noble lineage. His mother, Blessed Jane of Aza, prayed at the church of St. Dominic Silos to conceive a male child, her first two sons being given to the priesthood. In answer to her prayer, she dreamed that a dog leaped from her womb carrying a torch in its mouth which set the world ablaze. At his baptism, his godmother beheld a star shining from his forehead. As a child Dominic showed signs of great sanctity and intelligence, and he was also given to the Church for the priesthood. When famine struck Dominic sold his rare and expensive theology books to feed the poor. As a priest he traveled with his bishop into southern France and discovered that it had been overrun with a heretical movement which led many away from the Church. This inflamed his desire to devote his life to apostolic preaching for the salvation of souls, at the time an office reserved to bishops. With the Pope's approval he founded the Order of Preachers, or the Dominicans, committed to defend the truth of the Catholic faith. St. Dominic's Order was novel in that it combined the active and contemplative religious life with the labor of scholarly study and itinerate preaching. St. Dominic was innovative in meeting the needs of his time to defend the Church against her enemies. To aid his mission, Our Lady appeared to him and gave him a new devotion—the Holy Rosary. St. Dominic is the patron saint of scientists and astronomers. His feast day is August 8th.


• Readings for the Memorial of Saint Dominic, priest

Reading 1 Ez 1:2-5, 24-28c

On the fifth day of the fourth month of the fifth year,
that is, of King Jehoiachin's exile,
The word of the LORD came to the priest Ezekiel,
the son of Buzi,
in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar.—
There the hand of the LORD came upon me.

As I looked, a stormwind came from the North,
a huge cloud with flashing fire enveloped in brightness,
from the midst of which (the midst of the fire)
something gleamed like electrum.
Within it were figures resembling four living creatures
that looked like this: their form was human.

Then I heard the sound of their wings,
like the roaring of mighty waters,
like the voice of the Almighty.
When they moved, the sound of the tumult was like the din of an army.
And when they stood still, they lowered their wings.

Above the firmament over their heads
something like a throne could be seen,
looking like sapphire.
Upon it was seated, up above, one who had the appearance of a man.
Upward from what resembled his waist I saw what gleamed like electrum;
downward from what resembled his waist I saw what looked like fire;
he was surrounded with splendor.
Like the bow which appears in the clouds on a rainy day
was the splendor that surrounded him.
Such was the vision of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm PS 148:1-2, 11-12, 13, 14

R. Heaven and earth are filled with your glory.
R. Alleluia.
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights;
Praise him, all you his angels;
praise him, all you his hosts.
R. Heaven and earth are filled with your glory.
R. Alleluia.
Let the kings of the earth and all peoples,
the princes and all the judges of the earth,
Young men too, and maidens,
old men and boys,
R. Heaven and earth are filled with your glory.
R. Alleluia.
Praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
His majesty is above earth and heaven.
R. Heaven and earth are filled with your glory.
R. Alleluia.
And he has lifted up the horn of his people.
Be this his praise from all his faithful ones,
from the children of Israel, the people close to him.
R. Heaven and earth are filled with your glory.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia See 2 Thes 2:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God has called you through the Gospel
To possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 17:22-27

As Jesus and his disciples were gathering in Galilee,
Jesus said to them,
"The Son of Man is to be handed over to men,
and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day."
And they were overwhelmed with grief.

When they came to Capernaum,
the collectors of the temple tax approached Peter and said,
"Does not your teacher pay the temple tax?"
"Yes," he said.
When he came into the house, before he had time to speak,
Jesus asked him, "What is your opinion, Simon?
From whom do the kings of the earth take tolls or census tax?
From their subjects or from foreigners?"
When he said, "From foreigners," Jesus said to him,
"Then the subjects are exempt.
But that we may not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook,
and take the first fish that comes up.
Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax.
Give that to them for me and for you."


Daily Meditation: Matthew 17:22-27

He will be raised on the third day. (Matthew 17:23)

Of course the disciples were "overwhelmed with grief" (Matthew 17:23)! Jesus had just told them he was going to die. But that's not all he said. He also told them that he would be raised up on the third day. Somehow, they missed that part.

It wasn't the first time this happened either. When Jesus first predicted his passion, Peter skipped right over the resurrection and focused only on the disturbing news that Jesus had to die first (Matthew 16:21-23). And the very same thing happened a third time (20:17-20). All the disciples could focus on was Jesus' death.

We often have similar reactions when we hear bad news or when we think we see dark times looming on the horizon. We wonder why Jesus would let this happen. Our fear and disappointment cloud our thinking, and we have a hard time trusting him or seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

We may think it would be so much better if Jesus would just explain everything to us right away. In the same way, the disciples might have wished that Jesus had explained what he meant by rising from the dead. But that's not how he operated. Instead, he gave them seeds of hope that would take root later. He knew that the apostles had to experience his resurrection in order to truly understand it. In a similar way, there are some situations that we just have to live through before we can see, with hindsight, how Jesus was with us.

So yes, some things take time. They also take the Holy Spirit. It was the Spirit who turned the disciples' grief into joy on Easter Sunday, and it's the Spirit who will help us whenever we feel overwhelmed with grief (John 20:22). He will give us not only the grace to endure trials, but also the grace to believe that no matter what we are facing, there will be a resurrection. We may not see it right away; we may even question our faith at times. But Jesus remains faithful and true. He will always give us new opportunities to start again, to die to sin and rise to new life with him. It's for us to experience!

"Holy Spirit, show me the power of Jesus' resurrection today!"

Ezekiel 1:2-5, 24-28
Psalm 148:1-2, 11-14


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"Like the bow which appears in the clouds on a rainy day
was the splendor that surrounded him.
Such was the vision of the likeness of the glory of the LORD."

What's it like to sacrifice the love of your life?
What's it like to crucify all your own passions and desires?
It is like the glory of God in the hope and the promise that shines across the sky. A sign for the whole of the world, for fulfillment, to give God glory.
Did Abraham glorify God by offering his only son? God accepted obedience, a true sign of a true heart for God alone. They say you cannot ever out-give God!

We pray in Psalms:
"Praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; His majesty is above earth and heaven. Heaven and earth are filled with your glory"
How special do we make His name? We pray always in the Lord's prayer at the beginning "our Father, HALLOWED BE THY NAME", that is Holy Be His Name. How can we make His name special? Honor Him, by honoring others is a start. Who are the others? Those you encounter. You never know when it will be the Lord Himself.


In today's Gospel we heard our Lord:
""The Son of Man is to be handed over to men,
and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day."

Raised on the third day? Why not right away? Who knows God's way? What can we say?

From Bishop Barron today:
"Friends, in today's Gospel, Jesus prophesies his Crucifixion and Resurrection: "The Son of Man is to be handed over to men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day."
What enabled the first Christians to hold up the cross, to sing its praises, to wear it as a decoration, is the fact that God raised up and ratified precisely this crucified Jesus. "You killed him, but God raised him up." Therefore, God was involved in this terrible thing; God was there, working out his salvific purposes.
But what does this mean? There have been numerous attempts throughout the Christian centuries to name the salvific nature of the cross. Let me offer just one take on it. It became clear to the first Christians that somehow, on that terrible cross, sin had been dealt with. The curse of sin had been removed, taken care of. On that terrible cross, Jesus functioned as the "Lamb of God," sacrificed for sin.
Does this mean that God the Father is a cruel taskmaster demanding a bloody sacrifice so that his anger might be appeased? No; Jesus' crucifixion was the opening up of the divine heart so that we could see that no sin of ours could finally separate us from the love of God."


How is it that our Lord is God and God is crucified? This is a demand and command from Heaven..."Thou Shalt Love ME YOUR GOD above all things, thou shalt not have other gods before ME", says the Lord in Heaven. Thus is the message of Love from Heaven upon that cross, that very throne we gave Him, instead of the best of our lives...the very scraps...and left to die. You see...if you will hear me, Lazarus is Jesus knocking at the door. You see, the rejection of Him daily? That is Him. And He still pays, because they say, whoever loves more....suffers more. I've got a taste of that, because at times, I feel like I'm the only one that cares. Most people would say "why should I care if nobody else does!?"

It is evident even in a place where He performed tons of miracles, Capernaum, he was still rejected in the temple in a way:
"...the collectors of the temple tax approached Peter and said,
"Does not your teacher pay the temple tax?"
They treated Him like a foreigner...or was money more important than honor? He fed thousands, He heals a bleeding woman, He heals a paralyzed man there, and raises a girl from the dead, and what? No pass to pray? Their obedience trumped charity. But watch what Jesus does...He obeys. And He goes fishing for the money to be able to enter...and He fishes through a man, a fisher man, Simon. Simon, perhaps perplexed, obeys, and what turns out, another amazing miracle at Capernaum seas. The Book of Heaven seems to make obedience supreme, but why? The world teaches disobedience. What was the cross but obedience, right? Had God willed any other way, there would've been no cross to brutally torture God, Jesus. Can you understand the Holy Spirit?

Better not to understand, but to trust. And to trust is to obey. But why should I obey, or how could I obey if I do not first have love of God?

After obedience, they were allowed into the temple.
Think of Heaven. I've gained much because of obedience. Even if I did not want to obey, or feel like it, in the end, it paid.

I always like to think of the Ultreyas, gatherings of faithful to pray and share testimony, so hard to do, but when you leave, you feel blessed and rewarded. Indeed, sometimes a fire is not easy to start. Only with time can one realize how, and what it takes.

We must learn then the virtues of God's goodness, patience and obedience.
I'll leave you with a snip:
from Monsignor Charles M. Manganfrom Catholic Online

"Anyone who is serious about obtaining Everlasting Life in Heaven will do all he can to increase in the virtue of obedience. For without it, one will never please the Lord, Who is our benevolent Creator and compassionate Master.
Yes, we are actually obliged to be obedient--it is our solemn duty. And in the future, God willing, we will see that it helped us to attain the crown of perfect beatitude--the unending face-to-face vision of the Most Blessed Trinity--in Paradise.
What do we mean by the virtue of obedience?
The eminent Jesuit theologian Father John Anthony Hardon, S.T.D. (1914-2000), in his helpful Pocket Catholic Dictionary (New York: Image Books, 1985), offered the following definition of obedience: "The moral virtue that inclines the will to comply with the will of another who has the right to command." (Page 291)
Therefore, a person who is rooted in obedience submits his will to the one who possesses legitimate authority over him.
In his Summa Theologica (II, II, Question 104, Articles 4 and 5), Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225?-1274) declared that God is to be obeyed in all things, while human authorities are to be obeyed in certain things. Father Hardon explained: " . . . obedience to God is without limit, whereas obedience to human beings is limited by higher laws that must not be transgressed, and by the competency or authority of the one who gives the orders."


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