†Saint Quote "Even when God's will does not correspond to your own desires, it is always beneficial for you." –St. Arnold Janssen
†Today's Meditation "I believe we shall never learn to know ourselves except by endeavoring to know God, for, beholding His greatness we are struck by our own baseness, His purity shows our foulness, and by meditating on His humility we find how very far we are from being humble. Two advantages are gained by this practice. First, it is clear that white looks far whiter when placed near something black, and on the contrary, black never looks so dark as when seen beside something white. Secondly, our understanding and will become more noble and capable of good in every way when we turn from ourselves to God: it is very injurious never to raise our minds above the mire of our own faults." —St. Teresa of Avila, p. 17
An Excerpt From Interior Castle
†Daily Verse "I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching." –2 Timothy 4:1-2
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St. Roch / Rocco
St. Roch, also known as St. Rocco (d. 1327), was born in Montpellier, France, the pious son of the city's governor. He was born with a red cross on his chest, a sign that the Virgin Mary answered his mother's prayer to heal her barrenness. His parents died when he was twenty, after which he gave his wealth to the poor and handed the government of the city over to his uncle. Free from earthly cares, he set off as a pilgrim for Italy. When he came upon a town badly struck by the plague, he sojourned there to help the sick. He cured many people by making the Sign of the Cross over them. These miracles occurred at every plague-infested area that he passed through on his way to Rome. When he reached Piacenza he himself contracted the disease in his leg, and awaited death in a remote forest hut. Providentially, a count's hunting dog found and befriended him, brought him food, and licked his wounds. A spring arose nearby, providing fresh water. The count, who followed his dog one day, discovered the saint and aided him in his recovery. Slowly St. Roch's health was restored, after which he returned to his native Montpellier. He refused to disclose his identity to the townspeople so that he could remain poor and unknown. This secrecy aroused suspicion that he might be a spy, and he was cast into prison by his own uncle, who did not recognize him. St. Roch died in prison five years later. His identity was then discovered by the red cross birthmark on his chest. At his funeral, many miracles attested to his sanctity, and a church was erected for his veneration. St. Roch is the patron saint of dogs, surgeons, invalids, bachelors, and against plague and pestilence. His feast day is August 16th.
Tuesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 EZ 28:1-10
The word of the LORD came to me: Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre: Thus says the Lord GOD: Because you are haughty of heart, you say, "A god am I! I occupy a godly throne in the heart of the sea!"— And yet you are a man, and not a god, however you may think yourself like a god. Oh yes, you are wiser than Daniel, there is no secret that is beyond you. By your wisdom and your intelligence you have made riches for yourself; You have put gold and silver into your treasuries. By your great wisdom applied to your trading you have heaped up your riches; your heart has grown haughty from your riches– therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because you have thought yourself to have the mind of a god, Therefore I will bring against you foreigners, the most barbarous of nations. They shall draw their swords against your beauteous wisdom, they shall run them through your splendid apparel. They shall thrust you down to the pit, there to die a bloodied corpse, in the heart of the sea. Will you then say, "I am a god!" when you face your murderers? No, you are man, not a god, handed over to those who will slay you. You shall die the death of the uncircumcised at the hands of foreigners, for I have spoken, says the Lord GOD.
R. (39c) It is I who deal death and give life. "I would have said, 'I will make an end of them and blot out their name from men's memories,' Had I not feared the insolence of their enemies, feared that these foes would mistakenly boast." R. It is I who deal death and give life. "'Our own hand won the victory; the LORD had nothing to do with it.'" For they are a people devoid of reason, having no understanding. R. It is I who deal death and give life. "How could one man rout a thousand, or two men put ten thousand to flight, Unless it was because their Rock sold them and the LORD delivered them up?" R. It is I who deal death and give life. Close at hand is the day of their disaster, and their doom is rushing upon them! Surely, the LORD shall do justice for his people; on his servants he shall have pity. R. It is I who deal death and give life.
Alleluia 2 COR 8:9
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich So that by his poverty you might become rich. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel MT 19:23-30
Jesus said to his disciples: "Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God." When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "For men this is impossible, but for God all things are possible." Then Peter said to him in reply, "We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?" Jesus said to them, "Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first."
Daily Meditation: Matthew 19:23-30
What will there be for us? (Matthew 19:27)
Peter had never been rich, so Jesus' warning about how difficult it would be for a wealthy person to enter God's kingdom clearly didn't apply to him or to the other disciples. Still, they had given up homes, families, and jobs to follow Jesus. What kind of payback could they expect?
Perhaps you've never put that question to Jesus as boldly as Peter did. But on some level, we are all tempted to think that because we have made sacrifices to follow the Lord, we deserve some sort of reward. But then life happens. Maybe we lose our job, or a close friend dies or moves away, or an injury makes it impossible for us to continue a favorite activity. We might wonder, Don't I deserve good things in life? After all, Lord, I'm trying to follow you.
Jesus does promise Peter a reward, but he will have to wait until the next life to receive it (Matthew 19:28-30). That heavenly reward is God's promise to us too. But in the meantime, we may need to look at our hearts more closely. Have any assumptions, expectations, or disappointments piled up that, like the camel in today's Gospel, are making it difficult for us to enter God's kingdom (19:24)?
Maybe we've come to feel entitled to whatever privileges may come our way instead of receiving them as gracious gifts. Or we may expect our lives to be free of crosses or burdens and begin to resent them when they appear. Or we look back on our lives and think that things should have worked out better than they did.
If that's how you feel sometimes, go to the Lord and ask him to change your heart. He can help you see that all the blessings in your life are his gifts to you and that even the crosses can help you draw closer to him. He can also open your eyes to the grace he is pouring out on you right here and right now. Like Peter, that is the grace that will one day bring you face-to-face with your heavenly Father—a reward that is infinitely better than any earthly one!
"Jesus, purify my heart. I put my hope in your grace and mercy."
Atlantic Article Blasts the Holy Rosary as 'An Extremist Symbol'
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "By your great wisdom applied to your trading you have heaped up your riches; your heart has grown haughty from your riches–"
Most people are not filthy rich. But the Word does not say "filthy rich". It is the fact that the person became haughty. They saw themselves as full. They had no need for humility. Who's first? Who's last?
We pray in Psalms: "Close at hand is the day of their disaster, and their doom is rushing upon them! Surely, the LORD shall do justice for his people; on his servants he shall have pity. It is I who deal death and give life."
In today's Gospel we heard our of our Lord: "Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven."
Our Lord, remember, was born in poverty. Dirt poor. Humus, humility to the extreme. Now, are we thinking money? Because, dare I say, St. Joseph had a job. And he took care of our Lord and our Mother. So what is the deal here? They had a donkey! They had transportation, food, and shelter. So what are we talking about dirt poor. Wait up. Don't you got transportation? A shelter? Clothes? A job even? There's really no reason someone shouldn't be working, right?
The way I see things, we are missing a whole generation of workers, as they were slaughtered from 1969 and for 40 years plus. We are missing friends, brothers and sisters, and more smiles, more laughter, more joy. The world could be said to be a lonely place...if we have not God at the center of our lives. Back to poverty. Our Lord was an only child. The only child of God. Forget what modernists and protestants say that God had all sorts of blood brothers and step family. The only blood family God has is through our blood as He makes Himself into one with us in the Holy Sacraments. So what about poverty? Loneliness is poverty. Can you be alone with God? All day, even in the presence of so many people? Think contemplation, and prayer in the heart. Yes, Jesus was poor, and was often in the mountains praying alone...with God...and in the desert, with mom and dad.
Poverty is meaning more now. Cursed the man who trusts in man alone. Blessed the man who trusts solely in the Lord. These words are engraved in my heart by my dad, reciting Holy Scripture as our way of life...and so it was for Mothery Mary, Jesus our Lord and St. Joseph.
"We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?" Ahh yes, thanks St. Peter for reminding us how people thinkg, always tuning into that famous channel WIIFM; What's In It For Me! LOL, we always want to know what we can get for what we put in. Right? Rewards? Return on investments? That's how the world operates right? Our Lord replies: "...everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life." And so, we've got to look far and deep like our Lord to attempt to understand His answer. Let's look all the way back to Father Abraham. He left lands, mother, and father, and so much more, in order to listen to God, wherever God led him to. And what was his reward? Countless blessings for thousands of years. Blessings! What is better than a blessing? Nothing. And prayers are blessings. Holy Mass and Holy Sacraments are blessings. Even the Father's last part of Mass is a "final" blessing. So many blessings available...if we wait, and honor the Father.
You'll receive a hundred times more.
"But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first."
What do you want to receive 100 times more? Forget worldly things...think deep. Think mercy. To receive 100 times more mercy, then you give mercy now. Be merciful. How about receiving gratitude from God! WOW! Can you imagine? Then give thanks to God NOW! For anything. Even for a cup of water, or a chocolate bar that so many wish they could have. We don't see, but probably about half of the world is in need of more food and water, but we have enough, if we knew how to share. Not kill the people but share with the people. That is gratitude. Giving is caring and caring is to give. I forget to give some times. To give thanks. To reach out to the ones in need. And I remember with regret. That day I could've gave will never return. They are poor and I am not. I need to empty myself of self...so I can be poor. The last shall be first.
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Hebrews 10:24–25 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
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