†Saint Quote "Men do not fear a powerful hostile army as the powers of hell fear the name and protection of Mary." –St. Bonaventure
†Today's Meditation "Essentially a soldier, the Christian is always on the lookout. He has sharper ears and hears an undertone that others miss; his eyes see things in a particularly candid light, and he senses something to which others are insensible, the streaming of a vital current through all things. He is never submerged in life, but keeps his head and shoulders clear of it and his eyes free to look upward. Consequently he has a deeper sense of responsibility than others. When this awareness and watchfulness disappear, Christian life loses its edge; it becomes dull and ponderous." —Fr. Romano Guardini, p. 177
An Excerpt From Meditations Before Mass
†Daily Verse "See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him." –1 John 3:1
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St. Cecilia (3rd c.) is one of the most venerated of the virgin martyrs of Rome. Her name is in the Roman Canon of the Mass. According to tradition she made a private vow of chastity to Jesus, yet her parents promised her in marriage to a suitor. On her wedding night, St. Cecilia told her husband that she had not only made a vow to remain a virgin, but that an angel guarded her purity. Her husband agreed to honor her vow and follow Christ if he could also see her guardian angel. She instructed him to first be baptized, and afterwards he was able to see her angel. Cecilia's brother-in-law also converted, and both men were eventually martyred for their faith; but not without first converting their jailer. St. Cecilia was later arrested and also sentenced to death. An executioner struck three blows but was not successful in severing her head from her body; instead, she survived for three days preaching to those who visited her in prison until her last breath. They lovingly soaked up the blood from her wounds with clothes and sponges. Her relics, along with those of her husband, his brother, and the converted jailor, were placed in the church of St. Cecilia in Rome. Because she sang hymns to Jesus in her heart on her wedding day, St. Cecilia is the patron saint of musicians. Her feast day is celebrated on November 22nd.
Memorial of Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr
Lectionary: 504 Reading 1
I, John, looked and there was a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud one who looked like a son of man, with a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. Another angel came out of the temple, crying out in a loud voice to the one sitting on the cloud, "Use your sickle and reap the harvest, for the time to reap has come, because the earth's harvest is fully ripe." So the one who was sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.
Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven who also had a sharp sickle. Then another angel came from the altar, who was in charge of the fire, and cried out in a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, "Use your sharp sickle and cut the clusters from the earth's vines, for its grapes are ripe." So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and cut the earth's vintage. He threw it into the great wine press of God's fury.
96:10, 11-12, 13
R. (13b) The Lord comes to judge the earth. Say among the nations: The LORD is king. He has made the world firm, not to be moved; he governs the peoples with equity. R. The Lord comes to judge the earth. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the sea and what fills it resound; let the plains be joyful and all that is in them! Then shall all the trees of the forest exult. R. The Lord comes to judge the earth. Before the LORD, for he comes; for he comes to rule the earth. He shall rule the world with justice and the peoples with his constancy. R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, "All that you see here– the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down."
Then they asked him, "Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?" He answered, "See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and 'The time has come.' Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end." Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky."
Daily Meditation: Revelation 14:14-19
The time to reap has come. (Revelation 14:15)
The images in the Book of Revelation can be perplexing. A vision of someone like a son of man on a white cloud and wearing a crown? Well, that might represent Jesus in his heavenly glory. But what about the sickle and the reaping, the harvest and the "wine press of God's fury" (Revelation 14:19)? What do those mean?
Biblical images of harvest are usually associated with the four "last things": death, judgment, heaven, and hell. Think about Matthew 13:36-43, where weeds and wheat are harvested all together and then separated at the end of time. Or the parable of the sheep and the goats (25:31-46), where the king acts as judge and places sheep on his right and goats on his left—and things don't go so well for the goats!
So why does the Church present us with frightening images like these as the liturgical year ends? The short answer is that meditating on these "last things" can help us make better decisions today. When we're aware that our choices have eternal consequences, we see those choices more clearly and take them more seriously. As Pope Francis once said, "Before making an important decision, . . . imagine oneself before God at the end of days" (Homily, November 4, 2019).
That might seem like an intimidating suggestion when you are facing a tough choice. But instead of feeling uneasy, try to consider how God sees that choice. Would he tell you, "Well done, my good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:23)? You might also ask yourself what kind of harvest this choice will yield. Some will lead you closer to the Lord, and others will lead you away from him.
So today, remember the promise and hope of your eternal destiny. Those "last things" are not just sobering prospects; they are blessed opportunities. You have been made a child of God and are called to spend eternity in his presence. You have the chance to cooperate with God's grace and choose to love and serve him each day. Then, when the "harvest" comes, you will be ready to meet him with joy.
"Jesus, I trust in your mercy and guidance as I try to follow you."
Psalm 96:10-13 Luke 21:5-11
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "Then another angel came from the altar, who was in charge of the fire..."
I don't know about you, but when we hear of angels in Heaven, we got to recognize their powers. How many worlds are there? It's like they are pros! They know when it is time, they are harvesters. They are perfectionists. But God is more. God can yield as He pleases. And there my friend...is where me and you can come in the picture...into God's mercy. Seeking mercy and being merciful...for He calls us His own.
We pray today; "Before the LORD, for he comes; for he comes to rule the earth. He shall rule the world with justice and the peoples with his constancy. The Lord comes to judge the earth."
In the Gospel today we heard our Master and Teacher: "All that you see here– the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down."
And so it happened, that the very temple they adored and built...was destroyed. Everything they had built up, all their sacrifices....was destroyed.
And so the question is...what are you building up? What are you sacrificing so hard for all your life?
This is why scripture asks us for a reaction...a metanoia... a realization of where we are now, and where we need to be headed.
I speak of eternity. I speak of true life. This life matters more than we know. Angels are on watch. And angels are supreme beings. And we must now realize of what being means.
Are you being truly God's child as you have been called to be?
........................................ Lord, my Father, my Master, I want to be truly Yours forever! ...............................................
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Random Bible Verse 1 Romans 5:3–5
3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
If one day you don't receive these, just visit Going4th.com God Bless You! Peace