Monday, December 5, 2022

† "..Which is easier.. "


†Saint Quote
"Quote of the Day
"To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek Him the greatest adventure; to find Him, the greatest human achievement."

–St. Augustine

†Today's Meditation
"Sometimes [Jesus] would decide to spend the night [in the garden of Gethsemane], when He had left the city at a late hour or when He had been long at prayer. Then Gethsemane became a sacred dormitory, and the disciples were privileged to assist at the mystery of Jesus falling into the gentle unconsciousness of sleep while He still kept infinity in His heart. God condescended to lie there resting by the trunk of a tree, His head upon His arms, with His disciples stretched here and there about Him – they, poor mortals, sunk deep in nothingness while He kept heavenly vigil – and John, no doubt, huddled close against his Master, his cheek resting upon His cloak. But the day was to come when Jesus would be there alone, unable to rest His wearied heart upon the soul of the Twelve."
–A.G Sertillanges, p. 83-84

†Daily Verse
"He said to him, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.""
–Matthew 22:37-40


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St. Sabas

St. Sabas (439-532 A.D.) was born near Caesarea in Cappadocia to an illustrious family. His father was an army officer who, being restationed in Alexandria, left Sabas (along with his estate) in the care of his wife's sister. Sabas was severely mistreated by his aunt, and he fled from her to live with his father's brother instead. This move led to a family feud over the management of his father's estate, and Sabas, a meek child disgusted with their worldliness, sought refuge in a monastery. He was well-treated there, and although only a child, excelled in the monastic life. When he reached the age of eighteen, after living in the monastery for ten years, Sabas traveled to Jerusalem to visit the holy places and to become a desert hermit. He lived in a Jerusalem monastery for a time before dwelling alone in a desert cave near Jericho, spending his days in prayer and penance. Because of his renowned virtue and holiness many men desired to follow his example. He was ordained a priest so that he could better direct the 150 monks in his care. Sabas became an important leader in the early Church by founding monasteries, fighting heresy, and serving in delegations to the Roman Emperor. He is one of the most highly-regarded patriarchs of Palestine, and is considered one of the Fathers of Eastern monasticism. His most important monastery, the Great Laura, is one of the oldest monasteries in the world and is still inhabited by Eastern Orthodox monks. St. Sabas' feast day is


Monday of the Second Week of Advent

Reading I Is 35:1-10

The desert and the parched land will exult;

the steppe will rejoice and bloom.

They will bloom with abundant flowers,

and rejoice with joyful song.

The glory of Lebanon will be given to them,

the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;

They will see the glory of the LORD,

the splendor of our God.

Strengthen the hands that are feeble,

make firm the knees that are weak,

Say to those whose hearts are frightened:

Be strong, fear not!

Here is your God,

he comes with vindication;

With divine recompense

he comes to save you.

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,

the ears of the deaf be cleared;

Then will the lame leap like a stag,

then the tongue of the mute will sing.

Streams will burst forth in the desert,

and rivers in the steppe.

The burning sands will become pools,

and the thirsty ground, springs of water;

The abode where jackals lurk

will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus.

A highway will be there,

called the holy way;

No one unclean may pass over it,

nor fools go astray on it.

No lion will be there,

nor beast of prey go up to be met upon it.

It is for those with a journey to make,

and on it the redeemed will walk.

Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return

and enter Zion singing,

crowned with everlasting joy;

They will meet with joy and gladness,

sorrow and mourning will flee.

Responsorial Psalm 85:9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14

R. (Isaiah 35:4f) Our God will come to save us!
I will hear what God proclaims;

the LORD –for he proclaims peace to his people.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,

glory dwelling in our land.
R. Our God will come to save us!
Kindness and truth shall meet;

justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,

and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. Our God will come to save us!
The LORD himself will give his benefits;

our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,

and salvation, along the way of his steps.
R. Our God will come to save us!

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Behold the king will come, the Lord of the earth,
and he himself will lift the yoke of our captivity.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 5:17-26

One day as Jesus was teaching,
Pharisees and teachers of the law,
who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem,
were sitting there,
and the power of the Lord was with him for healing.
And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed;
they were trying to bring him in and set him in his presence.
But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd,
they went up on the roof
and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles
into the middle in front of Jesus.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said,
"As for you, your sins are forgiven."
Then the scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves,
"Who is this who speaks blasphemies?
Who but God alone can forgive sins?"
Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply,
"What are you thinking in your hearts?
Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,'
or to say, 'Rise and walk'?
But that you may know
that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"–
he said to the one who was paralyzed,
"I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home."
He stood up immediately before them,
picked up what he had been lying on,
and went home, glorifying God.
Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified God,
and, struck with awe, they said,
"We have seen incredible things today."


Daily Meditation: Isaiah 35:1-10

Streams will burst forth in the desert. (Isaiah 35:6)

Have you ever been really thirsty? Perhaps you drained your water bottle during a long hike and found nowhere to refill it. Or maybe a violent storm cut off the water supply to your home. Whatever the problem, you would have been grateful at that point for the tiniest drop or sip.

In our first reading, God's people were really thirsty. Buoyed by the hope of returning from exile, they faced a long road home that took them over the arid desert. But even greater than their physical thirst was their spiritual thirst for God and his blessings. Could they dare to hope that the God whom they had offended would sustain them along the way?

In response to their fears, the Lord promised that the parched land would bloom (Isaiah 35:1). Streams would burst forth from those barren lands, and the burning sands would become pools of clear, refreshing water (35:6-7). God would provide not just the tiniest sip, but more than they could ever think to ask for! The rivers of his grace would burst forth, offering them salvation and healing (35:4-6). They would mark out a clear and safe path back to Jerusalem and a joyful return to the One who had rescued them (35:8-10).

In the same way, God can answer your spiritual thirst beyond your expectations—even when it seems like you don't deserve it. That's because he is a God of mercy and compassion. The same God who came to earth as a child so long ago still wants to come to you each and every day. He still wants to heal you and restore you. He still wants to redeem you from all your sins and teach you how to live in his love.

So if you're thirsty, go ahead and ask him for a drink—but don't limit him. Just a small sip might do, but "just enough" is never enough for the Lord. No, he wants to give you nothing less than his own presence within you: his Spirit directing your paths, strengthening you against temptation, and filling you with love for him and for the people around you.

It's amazing, isn't it? All because God loves you.

"Holy Spirit, I am thirsting for you. Let your life well up within me."

Psalm 85:9-14
Luke 5:17-26


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak, Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not!"

Sometimes we can be a better coach than a player, right? We know what needs to be done, right? But we ourselves can't seem to do it for whatever reason...right? This is why our Lord also said to do as teachers said, but do what they said, don't do what they do...for they failed to fulfill the law of the Lord. So, how can we strengthen the knees of the weak? What does this mean? How do we strengthen the hands that are feeble and weak? How do we tell others to not be frightened? Sometimes it is easier said than done, right? Watch what our Lord does in this case in the Holy Gospel. First we pray.


We pray today;
"The LORD himself will give his benefits; our land shall yield its increase. Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps. Our God will come to save us!"


In the Gospel today we heard our Master and Teacher:
_"When Jesus saw their faith, he said,
"As for you, your sins are forgiven." _

So, tell me my child, how would you like to hear those words, straight out of our Lord's mouth: "my child, your sins are forgiven"? Would you like to hear them?

I mean, what if your life depended on it? And I mean eternity.
Well, look no further, for as Catholics, we GET to hear those words of absolution. And when I've been truly sorry for my sins, tears stream down my cheeks, hot tears, of healing and inner joy. Salvation springs forth on these desert lands, and water comes pouring down. And we are constantly invited to this moment.
Jesus our Lord is constantly asking us to come closer to Him. Do not be afraid of the purifying power. The others, the pagans, the protestants, all say nay, that this is hogwash, but we stand with the Truth of Jesus Himself, on the cross, and at the cusp of salvation in the cup of salvation on the altar. It is there that the very forgiveness is poured out for each and every one of us.

Now wouldn't you want this for everyone? Who would you you join hands, and team up with to carry someone in need of salvation?
What if everyone's life depended on it?

Our lives depend on it.

What if we truly treasured Jesus with our lives? How different would our world be?

As it stands, I don't know that we've been convincing enough. Perhaps, I speak about myself, but I see many people alone in church and many people alone not going to church. What does alone mean? Without Christ, and to be without Christ is to be paralyzed, unable to walk the life of Christ. Unable to achieve salvation.

We have to desire salvation. We have to appreciate salvation.
Once we can be grateful, we will come to Him at the altar and give our lives to He does for us.

Lord, You Are Amazing. Help me hunger for Your Holy Will and satiate my hunger with my desires.



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Proverbs 22:4

[Proverbs 22]

4 The reward for humility and fear of the LORD

is riches and honor and life.1


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God Bless You! Peace

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