†Saint Quote "He who seeks not the Cross of Christ seeks not the glory of Christ." –St. John of the Cross
†Today's Meditation "Habits are being formed here under the pressure of temptation and difficulty that unfold in perfect form and beauty when the soul that has developed these habits passes into its true home. Those very temptations that made it so difficult to persevere were really the means of developing these powers. The spirit of prayer and worship grew on; hampered and oppressed by the distractions of life, it fought its way in spite of them and thus gained strength; then, when all these were removed, it opened out unhindered in its perfect growth. Now, there is one fundamental principle of the spiritual life that has to be learned and practiced here, mostly with suffering, often with the very keenest suffering, although so closely associated with it that it almost seems a necessary part of it, is indeed only accidental, and one day will altogether cease, while the grace that has been fought for and developed in so much agony will live on forever, and be the delight of the soul through eternity." —Fr. Basil Maturin, p. 44-45
†Daily Verse "But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.""
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St. Jeanne de Chantal
St. Jeanne (Jane) Frances de Chantal (1572–1641) was born in Dijon, France. She was the daughter of the president of parliament, and lived up to her noble status as a refined, cheerful, and beautiful woman. At the age of twenty-one she married a baron and together they had six children. She was strong in her faith, having daily Mass said in her castle, giving alms to the poor, and skillfully managing her household. After seven years of marriage, her husband was killed in an accident. To protect the estate for her children, she was obliged to live with her ill-tempered father-in-law for seven years. When she was thirty-two she met St. Francis de Sales, whom she had previously seen in a vision after praying for a spiritual director. To her private vow of chastity she added another of obedience to his direction, while continuing to provide for her children. At the age of forty-five, after meeting her family obligations, she and St. Francis founded a religious institute for women, the Congregation of the Visitation, which was to exemplify the virtues of the Virgin Mary at the Visitation. The Visitation sisters accepted women who were rejected from other religious orders due to age or illness. They were notable for their charitable works. Aristocrats and the nobility flocked to Jeanne de Chantal's reception-room to seek her counsel. She underwent great trials, including the deaths of many of her close family and friends. She also traveled extensively to found new Visitation houses, having established eighty-six at the time of her death. Her feast day is August 12th.
Friday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time Reading 1 EZ 16:1-15, 60, 63 ----------‐------ The word of the LORD came to me: Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations. Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem: By origin and birth you are of the land of Canaan; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. As for your birth, the day you were born your navel cord was not cut; you were neither washed with water nor anointed, nor were you rubbed with salt, nor swathed in swaddling clothes. No one looked on you with pity or compassion to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out on the ground as something loathsome, the day you were born.
Then I passed by and saw you weltering in your blood. I said to you: Live in your blood and grow like a plant in the field. You grew and developed, you came to the age of puberty; your breasts were formed, your hair had grown, but you were still stark naked. Again I passed by you and saw that you were now old enough for love. So I spread the corner of my cloak over you to cover your nakedness; I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you; you became mine, says the Lord GOD. Then I bathed you with water, washed away your blood, and anointed you with oil. I clothed you with an embroidered gown, put sandals of fine leather on your feet; I gave you a fine linen sash and silk robes to wear. I adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms, a necklace about your neck, a ring in your nose, pendants in your ears, and a glorious diadem upon your head. Thus you were adorned with gold and silver; your garments were of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. Fine flour, honey, and oil were your food. You were exceedingly beautiful, with the dignity of a queen. You were renowned among the nations for your beauty, perfect as it was, because of my splendor which I had bestowed on you, says the Lord GOD.
But you were captivated by your own beauty, you used your renown to make yourself a harlot, and you lavished your harlotry on every passer-by, whose own you became.
Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you when you were a girl, and I will set up an everlasting covenant with you, that you may remember and be covered with confusion, and that you may be utterly silenced for shame when I pardon you for all you have done, says the Lord GOD.
Thus says the LORD: I will deal with you according to what you have done, you who despised your oath, breaking a covenant. Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you when you were a girl, and I will set up an everlasting covenant with you. Then you shall remember your conduct and be ashamed when I take your sisters, those older and younger than you, and give them to you as daughters, even though I am not bound by my covenant with you. For I will re-establish my covenant with you, that you may know that I am the LORD, that you may remember and be covered with confusion, and that you may be utterly silenced for shame when I pardon you for all you have done, says the Lord GOD.
Responsorial Psalm ISAIAH 12:2-3, 4BCD, 5-6
R. (1c) You have turned from your anger. God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is the LORD, and he has been my savior. With joy you will draw water at the fountain of salvation. R. You have turned from your anger. Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name; among the nations make known his deeds, proclaim how exalted is his name. R. You have turned from your anger. Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement; let this be known throughout all the earth. Shout with exultation, O city of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel! R. You have turned from your anger.
Alleluia See 1 THES 2:13
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Receive the word of God, not as the word of men, but, as it truly is, the word of God. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel MT 19:3-12
Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?" He said in reply, "Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate." They said to him, "Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?" He said to them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery." His disciples said to him, "If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry." He answered, "Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom that is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it."
DAILY MEDITATION: EZEKIEL 16:1-15, 60, 63 Then I passed by and saw you. (Ezekiel 16:6)
The images Ezekiel uses in today's first reading are pretty shocking. Jerusalem like an abandoned baby lying in a pool of blood at the side of the road? The holy city acting like a harlot with any passerby? You don't have to be a preteen kid to think, "Gross!"
But God is not put off by the "grossness" he describes in today's first reading. We can be sure of that based on how he responded to his people. He saw their desolation and promised to bring life to them; he saw their idolatry and promised to gather them back to himself.
That's how the Lord sees us too. He knows all the ways we feel rejected or lonely like that abandoned baby. He also knows each time we have turned from him to things that deceive us and leave us empty like the harlot. And he is ready, as he was with Israel, to "spread the corner of [his] cloak" over us (Ezekiel 16:8). That's another way of saying that he is proposing to "marry" us! He is ready to renew his "everlasting covenant" with us, to forgive us and take us back every time we return to him (16:60).
God can see beyond our sin better than we can ourselves. Our failures and neediness don't surprise him; they call forth his compassion and mercy. We're the ones who rarely want to see and admit to the ways we're not all that we know we can be. We're the ones who don't want to confess those times when we don't live up to our external façade of goodness—whatever our secret sin may be. But as we see ourselves the way God sees us, we can have more confidence in the mercy he's ready to lavish on us.
So don't be afraid to take an honest look at yourself. Don't be afraid to see some ugliness, or some "grossness," there. Because God isn't put off by any of that. He is always ready to come alongside you, heal you, and restore you. Let him spread the cloak of his mercy over you today.
"Lord God, help me know that I am seen and loved by you. Let that knowledge lead me back to your loving embrace."
(Psalm) Isaiah 12:2-6 Matthew 19:3-12
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: _"But you were captivated by your own beauty, you used your renown to make yourself a harlot, and you lavished your harlotry on every passer-by, whose own you became."
Right now I'm writing from a camp site, in a city known to be liberal....and to be liberal means to be in rebellion. The culture here desires blood...unborn baby blood...to be discarded on the side of the road. They love themselves and not God. And they want the same culture for the rest of the world so they can justify their blood thirst. Now, think of what this means. It is an inward implosion...that instead of flourishing in God's will...that we would deprave ourselves from the ultimate good. It is symbolic....but also very true of our very selves when we think and live only for ourselves.
We pray in Psalms: ". You have turned from your anger. Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement; let this be known throughout all the earth. Shout with exultation, O city of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel! You have turned from your anger." And so...should I avoid such a place of wretched sinners? Or should the truth shine in the darkness? Right where you are...right in your heart?
In today's Gospel we heard our Lord: " Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?"
From Bishop Barron today: "Friends, in today's Gospel, Jesus teaches about the sanctity and permanence of marriage. Now we begin to see why the love of a husband and wife is a sacrament of God's love. The Father and the Son—while remaining distinct—give themselves utterly to each other, and this mutual giving is the Holy Spirit. So when two people come together in love and form one flesh, they mimic the love between the Father and the Son. And when their love gives rise to a child, this mimics sacramentally the spiration of the Holy Spirit. Father, mother, and children are evocative of the divine Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And this is why Jesus speaks so forcefully about marriage, and why his Church, at its best, has echoed him up and down the centuries. It is because marriage is such a sacred sign that the Church has sought so assiduously to protect it. I know that the Church gets a bad rap for surrounding marriage and sexuality with so many rules. I realize that libertarians through the ages have fought against the supposed uptight moralism of the Church. But human beings always surround precious things with laws, restrictions, and prohibitions."
Marriage has been twisted by the darkness of the selfishness of man. Man wants to do as he pleases. So they want laws to suit themselves.
And to the disarray and illusion of many....this is nothing new under the sun...for it always disguises itself as something novel...or modern.
A proper marriage....is with God. You marry for Love...and God is Love. You marry in the name of Love. And you marry in Love. And we get intimate with God in the giving of each other in the Holy Eucharist. Our Lord hates divorce....meaning separation from each other...division and hatred. They say in Heaven there is perfect unity. Therefore...we are called to be perfect...in perfect Love.
Lord, we Love thee...help us love Thee with Thy true love from above. Truly...forever
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Random bible verse generator:
9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
but he loves him who pursues righteousness.
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