Tuesday, August 1, 2023

† ' Explain to us...


†Saint Quote of the Day
"To put into practice the teachings of our holy faith, it is not enough to convince ourselves that they are true; we must love them. Love united to faith makes us practise our religion."
–St. Alphonsus Liguori

†Today's Meditation
"How great is the sweetness which a soul experiences, when, in the time of prayer, God, by a ray of his own light, shows to her his goodness and his mercies towards her, and particularly the love which Jesus Christ has borne to her in his passion! She feels her heart melting, and, as it were, dissolved through love. But in this life we do not see God as he really is: we see him, as it were, in the dark. 'We see now through a glass in a dark manner, but then face to face' (1 Cor. 13:12). Here below God is hidden from our view; we can see him only with the eyes of faith: how great shall be our happiness when the veil shall be raised, and we shall be permitted to behold God face to face! We shall then see his beauty, his greatness, his perfection, his amiableness, and his immense love for our souls."
—St. Alphonsus Liguori, p. 133

An Excerpt From
The Sermons of St. Alphonsus Liguori

†Daily Verse
"And if you be unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
–Joshua 24:15

St. Alphonsus Liguori

St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696–1787) was born near Naples, the eldest of eight children of a noble family. He became a lawyer after receiving doctorates in canon and civil law at the age of 16. For many years he was successful in practicing law, but grew disenchanted with the profession. After losing a case for the first time at the age of 27 after eight years of practicing the law, he discerned a call to enter the seminary and became a priest. Alphonsus spent the early years of his priesthood ministering to homeless and marginalized youth, and through this work eventually founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, known as the Redemptorists, which aimed to preach in city slums. He was known best for his sermons, especially his ability to convert those who were estranged from the faith, and for his great works in moral and spiritual theology. He was a practical and prudent theologian, avoiding the extremes of being too rigid and legalistic on the one hand, and too lax on the other, despite the fact that he struggled with scrupulosity in his personal life. He suffered much from arthritis in his old age, his neck becoming so bent that his chin left an open sore on his chest. His most famous written works were on the Virgin Mary and the Blessed Sacrament. For his work in moral theology he was declared a Doctor of the Church. He is the patron saint of moral theologians, vocations, arthritis sufferers, and those who struggle with scrupulosity. St. Alphonsus Ligouri's feast day is August 1st.


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St. Ignatius of Loyola

St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) was born at the castle of Loyola in Basque country, Spain, the youngest of thirteen children. In keeping with the young aristocrats of his day, Ignatius sought after military prowess, vainglory, and fame, and became a knight at the age of seventeen. He was known as a fancy dresser, an expert dancer, a womanizer, sensitive to insult, and involved in criminal behavior. During a period of convalescence after being wounded in battle, he read a collection of saint biographies and a Life of Christ. These books profoundly affected him, and he experienced a conversion of heart. He desired to pattern his life after the great saints, and ceremoniously hung up his military garments before an image of the Virgin Mary. After experiencing a vision of the Blessed Mother with the Infant Jesus, he lived for a time as an ascetic in a cave. It was during this time that he formulated his famous Spiritual Exercises, the spiritual centerpiece of the religious order he would later establish. He then went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and studied theology for many years. During his studies he gathered a group of six like-minded men and founded the Society of Jesus, today known as the Jesuits. They went as missionaries all over the world to spread the Gospel, especially focusing on education. Today the Jesuits have over 30,000 members and 500 universities. St. Ignatius of Loyola's feast day is July 31st.


Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Reading 1 Ex 33:7-11; 34:5b-9, 28

The tent, which was called the meeting tent,
Moses used to pitch at some distance away, outside the camp.
Anyone who wished to consult the LORD
would go to this meeting tent outside the camp.
Whenever Moses went out to the tent, the people would all rise
and stand at the entrance of their own tents,
watching Moses until he entered the tent.
As Moses entered the tent, the column of cloud would come down
and stand at its entrance while the LORD spoke with Moses.
On seeing the column of cloud stand at the entrance of the tent,
all the people would rise and worship
at the entrance of their own tents.
The LORD used to speak to Moses face to face,
as one man speaks to another.
Moses would then return to the camp,
but his young assistant, Joshua, son of Nun,
would not move out of the tent.

Moses stood there with the LORD and proclaimed his name, "LORD."
Thus the LORD passed before him and cried out,
"The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God,
slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity,
continuing his kindness for a thousand generations,
and forgiving wickedness and crime and sin;
yet not declaring the guilty guiltless,
but punishing children and grandchildren
to the third and fourth generation for their fathers' wickedness!"
Moses at once bowed down to the ground in worship.
Then he said, "If I find favor with you, O LORD,
do come along in our company.
This is indeed a stiff-necked people;
yet pardon our wickedness and sins,
and receive us as your own."

So Moses stayed there with the LORD for forty days and forty nights,
without eating any food or drinking any water,
and he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant,
the ten commandments.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 103:6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13

R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.
The LORD secures justice
and the rights of all the oppressed.
He has made known his ways to Moses,
and his deeds to the children of Israel.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower;
All who come to him will live for ever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 13:36-43

Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house.
His disciples approached him and said,
"Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field."
He said in reply, "He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom.
The weeds are the children of the Evil One,
and the enemy who sows them is the Devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will collect out of his Kingdom
all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the Kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear."


Daily Meditation: Exodus 33:7-11; 34:5-9, 28

The Lord used to speak to Moses face to face. (Exodus 33:11)

What a privilege it must have been for Moses to have such a close relationship with the Lord! Anytime he wanted, he could enter the meeting tent that housed the ark of the covenant and have a personal, face-to-face encounter with God (Exodus 33:7-11).

Have you ever thought about how different your life might be if you could have your own face-to-face encounters with God? Just imagine the questions you might ask if you could look him in the eye and hear him speaking to you "as one man speaks to another" (Exodus 33:11)!

But the reality is, God is not satisfied with just speaking to you face-to-face. He wants to speak to you heart to heart. This amazing truth is, in fact, at the core of the good news of Christianity. Jesus rose from the dead so that he could send his Holy Spirit into your heart. He overcame every obstacle that kept you from knowing him personally—not just sin, but fear, shame, and everything else.

God promised this heart-to-heart relationship centuries ago. Speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, he vowed that he would plant his very word—his thoughts and his desires—into our hearts (31:33). And that is exactly what he has made possible through his Spirit.

God poured out the Spirit so that you could know his love and affection for you, not just know about it (Romans 5:5). He gave you the Spirit so that you could experience God not just as your creator but as "Abba," your Father (8:15). Through the Spirit, you can not only read about his thoughts and desires in Scripture, but they can also become your own.

Heart to heart. This is the great privilege available to every person who is baptized into Christ. Why not dedicate this month to asking the Spirit to reveal God's heart to you as you pray?

"Come, Holy Spirit, and draw me into my Father's heart!"

Psalm 103:6-13
Matthew 13:36-43


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Audio link
Reflections with Brother Adrian:

From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
" Moses at once bowed down to the ground in worship.
Then he said, "If I find favor with you, O LORD,
do come along in our company.
This is indeed a stiff-necked people;
yet pardon our wickedness and sins,
and receive us as your own."
end of verse.

Do you remember another time our Lord was asked to stay with us?
It was the time of the resurrection, and on the walk to Emaus. From Luke: "By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, 29 but they begged him, "Stay the night with us, since it is getting late." So he went home with them... As they sat down to eat,[b] he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. 31 Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!".
Our Lord would accompany Moses. He would give them bread from Heaven. He was speaking face to face with Moses to the people. Today, the same happens. Our Lord is with us, especially if we invite Him. His answer is always instantaneous. I am a witness because before I write to you, I say "Holy Spirit" and He comes, to be with us, and to speak to us through a willing servant, and prophet, because we can, because we are baptized as priest, prophet, and king. One in Him.


We pray today:
"The Lord is kind and merciful.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him. The Lord is kind and merciful.."
end of Psalm.

A priest at Holy Spirit Church in a nearby city said on Sunday, that people often say "ahh...all things work for the good" but people leave out the rest of the verse "...for those who fear Him!".

That part of the homily stuck out. Yes. Today the Psalm said the same..."For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him."
Do you fear Him?

I'm afraid we do not fear we ought.
We are too comfortable, in our comfortable lifestyle and we don't want people telling us what to do or to harm us in any way, like our pride, saying anything negative about us. And so, this is a people that does not want to hear the whole truth. There is suffering in truth, but there is true joy. There is hardship in truth, but what is hard is what makes things happen. Think of our Lord's words and way of Life He asks us to live.


In the Gospel today we heard:
"He said in reply, "He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom.
The weeds are the children of the Evil One,
and the enemy who sows them is the Devil."
end of Gospel verse.

Got it?
Good seed - from our Lord in Heaven.
Bad seed - from the enemy, the devil.
Right? Weeds are children, sprouts of evil...spirits.

You see, people are vessels. We can allow spirits inside of us.
People nowadays carry all sorts of spirits.
Team spirit is a popular one. Fanaticism. Fans of all sorts, giving life to all sorts of things, but what about giving life to God?

This is why Blessed Mother Mary is so special, and she was so very near and dear to today's Saint Alphonsus Liguori who once said:
"To understand why the holy Church makes us call Mary our life we must know, that as the soul gives life to the body so does divine grace give life to the soul; for a soul without grace has the name of being alive, but is in truth dead, as it was said of one in the Apocalypse, Thou hast the name of being alive, and thou art dead. Mary, then, in obtaining this grace for sinners by her intercession, thus restores them to life." end quote.

We've much to discern, right? But the seed is at hand. The very Word of God is wanting to come to life inside of you, and me. Can we let life live?
This is eternal life, that we are dealing with.
Did you know that communist people do not want people to think there is an after-life? As we speak they are editing bibles to eradicate any mention of eternity. Why? So you live for the here and now, and not for the Lord. These are dark seeds and their children are the weeds, those who propagate this dark agenda. And it is dark because darkness is of death. Every wonder why so many like the night life? Because it is to hide...from light...and truth, and goodness.

But here, we stand in the light, and we are looking ahead to what is to come.

Every little thing we do matters. This is what St. Therese of Lisieux, the little flower was trying to teach us. Little things matter. Every spirit we let in and give life to matters, one way or the other.
I write to you so that you may have life, and give life to life itself.

Let's pray:

Thank You Lord for living through me. May I give you the most biggest part of my very very life.


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Random Bible Verse 1
Proverbs 15:22

22 Without counsel plans fail,

but with many advisers they succeed.


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