Tuesday, August 9, 2022

† ".One Of These Little Ones ... "


†Saint Quote
"Quote of the Day
"If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive."
–Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

†Today's Meditation
"Natural love is sufficient for earthly parents, but the love which [Joseph] bore to Jesus, as His appointed father, was not a mere human love, it was also a super eminently divine love; for, in loving his Son he was exercising the most perfect love of God; since He whom he called his Son was at the same time his God. As in creatures all is finite, so all is capable of increase. What, then, may we imagine, must have been the growth of this ardent love in the heart of our saint during the long period which he spent with Jesus! Those things which tend naturally to add to human love, in him ministered fresh fuel to the divine flame within him. The constant association with the Son of God made Man and given to him as his own Son, the serving Him and being served by Him for thirty years, and, we must add, their marvelous resemblance created a bond between them which was unequaled of its kind."
—Edward Healy Thompson, p. 363

An Excerpt From
The Life & Glories of Saint Joseph

†Daily Verse
"I know that whatever God does endures for ever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; God has made it so, in order that men should fear before him. That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away."
–Ecclesiastes 3:14


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St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (1891–1942) was born as Edith Stein in Prussia, the youngest of eleven children from a devout Jewish family. She was a bright and gifted child, and as she matured she became an atheist. She went on to receive a doctorate in philosophy, studying under the famous philosophers Heidegger and Husserl. Despite her atheism, she was affected by several friends who displayed a great passion for the Catholic faith. One day, while staying at a friend's home, she saw the autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila. She read it from cover to cover, and after finishing it she exclaimed, "This is the Truth." Edith was baptized in Cologne, Germany in 1922. From there she taught for a time at a Dominican school and studied St. Thomas Aquinas and other Catholic philosophers. When the rise of anti-semitism forced her to resign from a teaching post, she wrote to Pope Pius XI asking him to publicly denounce the Nazis. Discerning a call to the religious life, she became a Carmelite nun in Cologne 1934, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross after her special devotion to the Cross of Christ. When the Nazi threat grew in Germany, her Order transferred her to a convent in the Netherlands for safety. There Edith grew in her desire to offer her life for the salvation of souls. The Nazis eventually came for her, and she, along with her sister Rose, who was also a convert, were sent to the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz. They were both killed in the gas chamber. St. Edith Stein is the patroness of martyrs and Europe. Her feast day is August 9th.


Tuesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 EZ 2:8—3:4

The Lord GOD said to me:
As for you, son of man, obey me when I speak to you:
be not rebellious like this house of rebellion,
but open your mouth and eat what I shall give you.
It was then I saw a hand stretched out to me,
in which was a written scroll which he unrolled before me.
It was covered with writing front and back,
and written on it was:
Lamentation and wailing and woe!
He said to me: Son of man, eat what is before you;
eat this scroll, then go, speak to the house of Israel.
So I opened my mouth and he gave me the scroll to eat.
Son of man, he then said to me,
feed your belly and fill your stomach
with this scroll I am giving you.
I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth.
He said: Son of man, go now to the house of Israel,
and speak my words to them.

Responsorial Psalm PS 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131

R. (103a) How sweet to my taste is your promise!
In the way of your decrees I rejoice,
as much as in all riches.
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
Yes, your decrees are my delight;
they are my counselors.
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
The law of your mouth is to me more precious
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
How sweet to my palate are your promises,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
Your decrees are my inheritance forever;
the joy of my heart they are.
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
I gasp with open mouth,
in my yearning for your commands.
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!

Alleluia MT 11:29

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 18:1-5, 10, 12-14

The disciples approached Jesus and said,
"Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?"
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
"Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever becomes humble like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.
"See that you do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.
What is your opinion?
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father
that one of these little ones be lost."


Daily Meditation: Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14

Unless you turn and become like children . . . (Matthew 18:3)

Hollywood loves to make movies in which children find themselves in adult bodies. These stories work because it's entertaining to see an adult exhibiting the naïveté or mannerisms of a child. But that's not what Jesus had in mind when he told us to become like children.

Jesus does not want us to become immature or goofy like the adults-turned-kids in the movies. Rather, he wants us to grow in the virtues that we see in children. He doesn't want us to lose the wisdom or sense of judgment that we have learned; he wants us to add to them some of the childlike attributes that we may have lost along the way: humility and innocence, for example, as well as a willingness to trust people.

The ability to "become like children" doesn't happen overnight as it does in the movies. It takes effort and practice to become alert to prideful or selfish thoughts that may harden our hearts. It also takes relying on the power of the Spirit for help rather than trying to change our hearts on our own.

It isn't always easy to recapture our childlike innocence and trust—especially if we've been hurt in the past. That means we may get discouraged when we find ourselves falling back into patterns of cynicism or world-weariness or pride. But remember, becoming like children means coming to your heavenly Father. And like any good father, he is always proud whenever a child of his takes even a small step of progress. He rejoices every time you notice a fault and ask his help in overcoming it.

When Jesus said, "It is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost," he wasn't just talking about children (Matthew 18:14). He was talking about all of God's "little ones"—each one of us who is trying to live as his own beloved child. God doesn't want you to get "lost" in the maze of "grown-up" life in this world. He wants to help you. He is always ready to forgive you, encourage you, and strengthen you.

"Lord, help me let go of my pride and self-centered ways so that I can become more like the child of God you created me to be."

Ezekiel 2:8–3:4
Psalm 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"He said: Son of man, go now to the house of Israel,
and speak my words to them."

So much is done with speech, right? Words to heal. Words to convince. Words of salvation. Words of invitation and words of command. And our Lord asks for his words to come to into ourselves and manifest themselves into existence.

We pray in Psalms:
"I gasp with open mouth, in my yearning for your commands. How sweet to my taste is your promise!"
They say a family, the children especially, can thrive where there is order. And so the opposite is true, they cannot thrive where there is disorder.
They say that unstable marriages can cause unstable children.
They say that a family that moves many times can make the children unstable. Of course there are exceptions possible, but far and few between. I see at church instability. I see one parent going to Church, but not the other, and the children have less than 50% chance of being enticed to go to Mass now, especially if the father does not go to church.
Instability and disorder ensue. So what can we do? Is it too late for some? We always hold out our hand and heart...for hope...and our hope is in the Lord. For if we what extent can we love?


In today's Gospel we heard our Lord:
"See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father."

This verse haunts me. The Lord speaks about children, and about despising children. Yet, is it a certain age group? Or could it be all of His children? Beware! God sees not as we see. His children are His flock. Who do you despise? I've heard of time having to be served in purgatory for not paying attention to one's own children. How much more time will we serve for ignoring God's own children? Now we speak of the ones in the margins of life, those on the outskirts of your busy life, those who we dare to not care. But He cares. More than we'll ever know.

"Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven."

What then is the humility of the child, so that we may become the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven? It is the Lord. He was referring in a way, to Himself, amen? He hides behind the child as He embraces the child. He hides behind the forgotten and the ones marginalized, and God asks us to embrace them, and thus becoming one with them....becoming humble. How crazy is that?

"If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray?"

This question is for all the people that cannot see the value of a lost soul. "Oh well, I'll just keep going to church and say a prayer for them there" (like a levite priest passing the beaten Samaritan).
What does it mean to search for a lost lamb of God?
It is to seek Jesus. Remember the child story, of not despising a little child of God? Nobody in the room had noticed the child, or put the child at the forefront. But God does.

Nowadays, children are abused worse than any sexual abuse and scandal than ever before. They are showed disorder. They are shown that they are worthless, by "empowering them" to make their own choices without any voice of truth or true guidance of God. And they, in turn, become lost, and some lost souls become violent, to the point of spreading hatred. Can you see the seeds of darkness being spread throughout the land?

How can we make a return? Speak! Speak words of healing, and counseling, and let God do all the work, you simply make yourself available. Have I ever seen a lost soul? I see many empty church pews. Have I ever met a lost soul? I've met many prisoners with eyes of soul searching, castaways, some still violent, a product of their environment, trash of the world some would say. Where else have I encountered such people? In nursing homes. Often abandoned, like the Blessed Sacrament, like we treat God. How I wish we had a heart.

And a heart, a true love takes sacrifice.

Life is different when sacrificing love becomes true.
Jesus our Lord shows us this at every Holy Mass. Love is poured out eternally from the cross. As if to say "take this, My Body, and now, pour yourselves out for the children".

This is a spectacular feat.
This is a fountain of life, true love at hand...the Kingdom of GOD our Father.

Lord, that we may become Thy Holy Children of Love our Father in Heaven!


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Random bible verse generator:

John 8:36
36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.


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