Friday, February 24, 2023

† "..The Days Will Come When... "


†Saint Quote
"Only God knows the good that can come about by reading one good Catholic book."
–St. John Bosco

†Today's Meditation
"It almost always happens that interior sentiments of pride precede the commission of grievous sins. Peter was not aware of his own weakness. He preferred himself before others; he trusted in himself as though he were incapable of sinning, boasting that no temptation would separate him from Jesus. He would not even believe the assurance of his Divine Master, that he would deny him thrice. Deceived by this vain confidence in his own strength, he neglects to pray, and to have recourse to God; and God, in His justice, permits him to fall, in punishment of his pride. There is nothing more dangerous than to confide in our own strength, and trust to feelings of fervor. We are full of malice, and capable of committing the most enormous crimes, unless God supports us."
—Fr. Ignatius of the Side of Jesus, p. 85-86

An Excerpt From
The School of Jesus Crucified

†Daily Verse
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit."
–Jeremiah 17:7-8


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Blessed Thomas Maria Fusco

Blessed Thomas Maria Fusco, also known as Tommaso, (1831-1891) was born to a noble and pious family in Italy, the seventh of eight children. He was orphaned at an early age and raised by his uncle, a priest, who oversaw his education. He had a deep love for the faith, especially to the Passion of Christ and Our Lady of Sorrows. He became a priest at the age of 24 and opened a school in his own home. He later became an itinerant missionary throughout southern Italy. After traveling for a number of years he opened another school, this time to train priests on how to be good confessors. He also founded the Priestly Society of the Catholic Apostolate to support the missions, which gained papal approval. During his work with the poor he discerned a call to start a new religious order of sisters, the Daughters of Charity of the Most Precious Blood, to minister to orphaned children. In addition to all of this, Fusco was also a parish priest, a confessor to a group of cloistered nuns, and a spiritual father to a lay group at the nearby Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. He died of liver disease at the age of 59. He was beatified by Pope St. John Paul II in 2001. His feast day is February 24.


Friday after Ash Wednesday

Reading 1 Is 58:1-9a

Thus says the Lord GOD:
Cry out full-throated and unsparingly,
lift up your voice like a trumpet blast;
Tell my people their wickedness,
and the house of Jacob their sins.
They seek me day after day,
and desire to know my ways,
Like a nation that has done what is just
and not abandoned the law of their God;
They ask me to declare what is due them,
pleased to gain access to God.
""Why do we fast, and you do not see it?
afflict ourselves, and you take no note of it?""

Lo, on your fast day you carry out your own pursuits,
and drive all your laborers.
Yes, your fast ends in quarreling and fighting,
striking with wicked claw.
Would that today you might fast
so as to make your voice heard on high!
Is this the manner of fasting I wish,
of keeping a day of penance:
That a man bow his head like a reed
and lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Do you call this a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD?
This, rather, is the fasting that I wish:
releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
breaking every yoke;
Sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
and not turning your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
Your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer,
you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!

Responsorial Psalm Ps 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 18-19

R. (19b) A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
"Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight."
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.

Verse Before the Gospel See Am 5:14

Seek good and not evil so that you may live,
and the Lord will be with you.

Gospel Mt 9:14-15

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said,
"Why do we and the Pharisees fast much,
but your disciples do not fast?"
Jesus answered them, "Can the wedding guests mourn
as long as the bridegroom is with them?
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast."


I have set before you life and death. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

What do you think the main road in your town would look like if no one obeyed the traffic laws? Some cars might get through town unscathed, but many others would not—and neither would the people in those cars! It's vital that we all know and follow the rules of the road because few drivers can survive by ignoring them.

The same goes for our relationship with God. Speaking through Moses, the Lord gave the Israelites the "rules of the road" that they needed to follow if they wanted to thrive in the Promised Land. He didn't guarantee that they would be free from all troubles if they followed the demands of the covenant. But he did promise that they would avoid a lot of unnecessary suffering.

Think about the traffic rules you have to follow every time you drive. Some of them probably rub you the wrong way, but you know they're there to protect you and everyone else. Some of God's rules might have felt that way to the Israelites, too. But if they could hold fast to the commands to love the Lord and love one another, they would experience the "life" that Moses promised and would grow and flourish. Their obedience would help them preserve the unity and blessings they were beginning to enjoy as God's chosen people.

So the next time one of God's commands seems to be standing in the way of your happiness, ask yourself, "How does this command—as challenging as it may be—truly bring about the 'life' that God has promised me?" You can also ask, "What kind of 'death' will I experience as a result of this sin?" Think about not just the short-term but also the long-term consequences of each action. The more you evaluate your options this way, the more clearly you'll see that it is sin, not God's rules, that imprisons us. The more you'll see that following the Lord is the best way to live in peace and enjoy the salvation that Jesus has won for you.

Every day we have countless opportunities to choose life or to choose death. Let's choose life!

"Father, thank you for offering me the opportunity to taste your life more deeply with each choice I make."

Psalm 1:1-4, 6
Luke 9:22-25


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February 24th AUDIO

From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
_""Why do we fast, and you do not see it?
afflict ourselves, and you take no note of it?""

We must fast, we must hunger...for God.
And we must fast from sin! We must abstain! We must abstain from food and sin. I remember the abbot we met in a monastery, and he said "if you're having trouble with sin, then STOP EATING!" And this was shocking. But it shouldn't be, for a master, must master his own body, and this is where virtue can begin.


We pray today:
"For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
"Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight."
A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn"


In the Gospel today we heard our Lord:
"The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast."

And He was taken away, in the body, and we can only feast when He is with us, on feasts of the Holy Church, and we feast on nothing else and nothing better than HIM, and His precious body in the Holy Eucharist.
And so, we fast, today, and every Friday. Fast with me. Only eat once, and the rest is a sacrifice, a small sacrifice to unit our sacrifice with the sacrifice of Christ our Lord.

From Bishop Barron today:
Friends, in today's Gospel, people ask Jesus why his disciples do not fast. He says that as wedding guests they will not fast while he, the Bridegroom, is with them. But "the days will come," he says, "when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast."

Why do we fast? Because we have a hunger for God, which is the deepest hunger. We're meant to get access to that hunger. We're meant to feel it so that it can direct us toward God. Every spiritual master recognizes the danger that if we allow the superficial hunger of our lives to dominate, we never reach the deepest hunger.

Thomas Merton once observed that our desires for food and drink are something like little children in their persistence and tendency to dominate. Unless and until they are disciplined, they will skew the functions of the soul according to their purposes.

And fasting is a way of disciplining the hunger for food and drink. It is a way of quieting those desires by not responding to them immediately, so that the deepest desires emerge. Unless you fast you might never realize how hungry you are for God.

Let us pray: Lord, Please accept our sacrifice, so that we can be more intimately united forever and ever!

from your brother


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Random Bible Verse 1
Philippians 2:3

3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.


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