†Saint Quote "You can do more with the grace of God than you think." –St. John Baptist de la Salle
†Today's Meditation "St. Joseph wants you to be docile to the direction of the Holy Spirit so that you can be led in the ways of holiness. What is holiness, anyway? Is it some unattainable spiritual summit you can never hope to reach? No, it is not. Holiness is living in intimate, loving communion with God. More specifically, holiness is observing the two great commandments of love of God and neighbor, avoiding sin, leading a life of virtue, and abiding in sanctifying grace. None of this is possible without the Holy Spirit in your life." —David H. Calloway, MIC, p. 21
An Excerpt From Consecration to St. Joseph
†Daily Verse "We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose." –Romans 8:28
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St. Albert of Jerusalem
St. Albert of Jerusalem (d. 1215) was born to a noble family in Italy, and was well educated in theology and law. He went on to become a priest and bishop and served in important posts as a peacemaker; he served as a mediator between Pope Clement III and the Holy Roman Emperor, between the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Kingdom of Cyprus, and between the Knights Templar and the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia. In 1205 he was made Patriarch of Jerusalem by Pope Innocent III during the time when the Saracens had control of the city. In this position he was respected by all for his sanctity and intelligence. Because of the Muslim presence in Jerusalem, Albert took up residence in Acre overlooking the great city, as well as Mt. Carmel where a group of holy hermits lived. Albert was asked by St. Brocard, who was prior of the group of hermits, to draw up a rule of life for them which became the beginning of the Carmelite Order. In 1214 Albert was summoned to serve in the General Lateran Council, but was murdered before he could attend. The Master of the Hospital of the Holy Spirit, whom he had rebuked and deposed for immorality, stabbed him to death on September 14th in the Church of Saint John of Acre, while he was part of the procession on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. His feast day is September 14th.
Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Lectionary: 638 Reading I
With their patience worn out by the journey, the people complained against God and Moses, "Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert, where there is no food or water? We are disgusted with this wretched food!"
In punishment the LORD sent among the people saraph serpents, which bit the people so that many of them died. Then the people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you. Pray the LORD to take the serpents from us." So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses, "Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and if any who have been bitten look at it, they will live." Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.
78:1bc-2, 34-35, 36-37, 38
R. (see 7b) Do not forget the works of the Lord! Hearken, my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable,
I will utter mysteries from of old. R. Do not forget the works of the Lord! While he slew them they sought him
and inquired after God again, Remembering that God was their rock
and the Most High God, their redeemer. R. Do not forget the works of the Lord! But they flattered him with their mouths
and lied to him with their tongues, Though their hearts were not steadfast toward him,
nor were they faithful to his covenant. R. Do not forget the works of the Lord! But he, being merciful, forgave their sin
and destroyed them not; Often he turned back his anger
and let none of his wrath be roused. R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
Brothers and sisters:
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. Alleluia
R. Alleluia, alleluia. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, because by your Cross you have redeemed the world. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus said to Nicodemus: "No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life."
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
Daily Meditation: John 3:13-17
Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up. (John 3:14)
There is a glorious, divine irony in today's feast: a cruel instrument of suffering and death has been transformed into a grace-filled instrument of healing and resurrection.
We see the irony in today's first reading. The Israelites had begun complaining and accusing God of abandoning them during their journey toward the Promised Land. Ultimately, all the venom in their words and hearts manifested itself in the form of poisonous serpents that attacked them. Their own sin fell back upon them and trapped them in death and destruction. That's one irony: the people's complaining made their situation worse.
Then, when the people begged God to save them, he told them to gaze on an image of a serpent. They had to fix their eyes on a symbol of their own sin and unbelief if they wanted to be set free from the consequences of their sin. That's another irony: looking at their sin brought them salvation.
In the Gospel, Jesus promises Nicodemus that the Son of Man must be "lifted up" so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life (John 3:14). He promises salvation to everyone who comes face-to-face with the consequences of their own sin. Yes, I helped crucify him. It was my own violence, my own hatred, my own self-centeredness and fallen desires that put him up there.
This is the final glorious irony. When we exalt the cross—when we lift it up and gaze on it—we experience God's love and healing. We see that it wasn't just our sin that put Jesus there; it was also his love. It wasn't just our enmity; it was his friendship. It wasn't just our selfishness; it was his selflessness. We thought we were casting him out of our lives when really, he was giving himself to us in the fullest way possible.
Jesus could have stopped his death at any point, but he didn't. He let us lift him up in death so that he could raise us up to eternal life. Let's all exalt the cross in our hearts today.
"We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, because by your cross you have redeemed the world."
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: ""We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you. Pray the LORD to take the serpents from us."
You would think that the pandemic would've brought everyone to their knees, a quick turn back to the Lord. But it seems to have, in a way, watered down, made some cold in the faith. And now, our Bishops are asking all over the country, "how can we bring back the flock?" It is indeed the very question that was asked at our pastoral parish council meeting last night. And indeed, it must've been answered in Heaven over 2,000 years ago, when our Lord was sent to this earth. And the answer? Sacrifice? Love? Mercy? Redemption?
We pray today; _"But they flattered him with their mouths
and lied to him with their tongues, Though their hearts were not steadfast toward him, nor were they faithful to his covenant. Do not forget the works of the Lord!"_
Who forgets the Lord and His works? We all forget, don't we? We forget to sacrifice in return, right? We forget to give the first fruits of our earnings, crops, and flock, right? It used to be that everyone would go to Church out of righteous obligation, that came from the heart. What now? How can we make return? Surely He desires mercy more than sacrifice...mercy with one another...and mercy for Himself!
In the Gospel today we heard: "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him."
It's really not fair that God loves us so much.
And how can I say that, knowing full well that just a couple days ago, in the night, I was crying my eyes out at the church, remembering the devastating days my dad and best friend were passing away, and my prayers then and now were not being answered? How can I say God loves us?
Today, we read John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life." For all I know, my dad could be so happy now, instead of still suffocating to death with covid pneumonia. For all I know, God now has him closer than we can hold Him in true love and freedom from this world. That is why we are called to hate the world, and hate to the degree that we wind up choosing true Love and in doing so, the world changes. And so, the question was last night, how can we bring back the flock? And we had just spoke about how people were not coming to adoration anymore. Perpetual adoration has stopped in many places. If you don't know what this is, it is when we Catholics go to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, the Eucharist, the bread turned into His Body, and we sit with Him in adoration for at least one hour. Many saints have attested, including Mother Teresa and Padre Pio, and Venerable Fulton Sheen, and so many more state that this adoration is what fuels ministries and fire, for God's love. And we find ourselves trying to stoke the embers, the coals to a fire. And so, we have today's feast to remember, what it is going to take. I told the council that we can stop blaming the "people" and start looking into ourselves, "we are the ones who can make a difference". And in the same exact manner it is for you reading this right now. You, beloved my child, you are the causation of the world around you. All you see is darkness? Bring light. All you see is evil? Bring good and holiness. All you see is gross perverts? Become a pure soul of God! We need not point fingers much more at others, for one point and the rest of your hand's fingers point back at you.
And so, yes, the fate of the world can rely on you. God deals in the billions, and we deal in the ones...with Him....the ones around you, day to day, who are counting on you to help them to Heaven.
May the Exaltation of the Holy Cross remind us of the love of God, the sacrifice of God, the gift of God, the Redemption, our very Salvation, the greatest gift given with open arms...saying to you today "my child, I love you so incredibly much, if you only knew how much I've done for you to be where you are at today".
Life is precious, and life can be made beautiful...and forever. Lord, may we fall on our knees and make a return to our True Love forever...You God our Father, My Father.
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Random bible verse generator:
[Psalm 31] Into Your Hand I Commit My Spirit To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
In you, O LORD, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me! 2 Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily!
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me!
If one day you don't receive these, just visit Going4th.com God Bless You! Peace