Wednesday, August 16, 2023

†...There Am I....


†Saint Quote of the Day
"Even when God's will does not correspond to your own desires, it is always beneficial for you."
–St. Arnold Janssen

†Today's Meditation
"I believe we shall never learn to know ourselves except by endeavoring to know God, for, beholding His greatness we are struck by our own baseness, His purity shows our foulness, and by meditating on His humility we find how very far we are from being humble. Two advantages are gained by this practice. First, it is clear that white looks far whiter when placed near something black, and on the contrary, black never looks so dark as when seen beside something white. Secondly, our understanding and will become more noble and capable of good in every way when we turn from ourselves to God: it is very injurious never to raise our minds above the mire of our own faults."
—St. Teresa of Avila, p. 17

An Excerpt From
Interior Castle

†Daily Verse
"I have also created the ravager to destroy; no weapon that is fashioned against you shall prosper, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, says the Lord."
–Isaiah 54:17


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St. Roch / Rocco

St. Roch, also known as St. Rocco (d. 1327), was born in Montpellier, France, the pious son of the city's governor. He was born with a red cross on his chest, a sign that the Virgin Mary answered his mother's prayer to heal her barrenness. His parents died when he was twenty, after which he gave his wealth to the poor and handed the government of the city over to his uncle. Free from earthly cares, he set off as a pilgrim for Italy. When he came upon a town badly struck by the plague, he sojourned there to help the sick. He cured many people by making the Sign of the Cross over them. These miracles occurred at every plague-infested area that he passed through on his way to Rome. When he reached Piacenza he himself contracted the disease in his leg, and awaited death in a remote forest hut. Providentially, a count's hunting dog found and befriended him, brought him food, and licked his wounds. A spring arose nearby, providing fresh water. The count, who followed his dog one day, discovered the saint and aided him in his recovery. Slowly St. Roch's health was restored, after which he returned to his native Montpellier. He refused to disclose his identity to the townspeople so that he could remain poor and unknown. This secrecy aroused suspicion that he might be a spy, and he was cast into prison by his own uncle, who did not recognize him. St. Roch died in prison five years later. His identity was then discovered by the red cross birthmark on his chest. At his funeral, many miracles attested to his sanctity, and a church was erected for his veneration. St. Roch is the patron saint of dogs, surgeons, invalids, bachelors, and against plague and pestilence. His feast day is August 16th.


Wednesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Dt 34:1-12

Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo,
the headland of Pisgah which faces Jericho,
and the LORD showed him all the land—
Gilead, and as far as Dan, all Naphtali,
the land of Ephraim and Manasseh,
all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea,
the Negeb, the circuit of the Jordan
with the lowlands at Jericho, city of palms,
and as far as Zoar.
The LORD then said to him,
"This is the land
which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
that I would give to their descendants.
I have let you feast your eyes upon it, but you shall not cross over."
So there, in the land of Moab, Moses, the servant of the LORD,
died as the LORD had said; and he was buried in the ravine
opposite Beth-peor in the land of Moab,
but to this day no one knows the place of his burial.
Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died,
yet his eyes were undimmed and his vigor unabated.
For thirty days the children of Israel wept for Moses
in the plains of Moab, till they had completed
the period of grief and mourning for Moses.

Now Joshua, son of Nun, was filled with the spirit of wisdom,
since Moses had laid his hands upon him;
and so the children of Israel gave him their obedience,
thus carrying out the LORD's command to Moses.

Since then no prophet has arisen in Israel like Moses,
whom the LORD knew face to face.
He had no equal in all the signs and wonders
the LORD sent him to perform in the land of Egypt
against Pharaoh and all his servants and against all his land,
and for the might and the terrifying power
that Moses exhibited in the sight of all Israel.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 66:1-3a, 5 and 8, 16-17

R. (see 20a and 10b) Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire!
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth;
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God: "How tremendous are your deeds!"
R. Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire!
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
Bless our God, you peoples;
loudly sound his praise.
R. Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire!
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
When I appealed to him in words,
praise was on the tip of my tongue.
R. Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire!

Alleluia 2 Cor 5:19

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
And entreating to us the message of reconciliation.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 18:15-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
"If your brother sins against you,
go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.
If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.
If he does not listen,
take one or two others along with you,
so that every fact may be established
on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
If he refuses to listen to them, tell the Church.
If he refuses to listen even to the Church,
then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.
Amen, I say to you,
whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Again, amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth
about anything for which they are to pray,
it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them."


Daily Meditation: Matthew 18:15-20

Treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. (Matthew 18:17)

Let's face it: we all fall into sin. We all hurt each other. It's just a fact of life in our fallen world. Nobody knows this better than Jesus. That's because nobody has been more "sinned against" than he was (see Matthew 18:15). He knew what it felt like to be betrayed, spoken against, hurt, and scorned! So when he gives his disciples guidance on how to deal with a brother or sister who has sinned against them, he isn't just speaking divine wisdom. He is also speaking out of his own human experience.

That's probably why he told his disciples to try to be as patient as possible when dealing with someone who has hurt them or has done something wrong. Rather than immediately condemning the person and cutting off all ties, Jesus wants each of us to imitate him, the One who is "slow to anger" and "abounding in mercy" (Psalm 103:8). If we can try first to have a heart-to-heart conversation with that person, we might be able to win them back (Matthew 18:15). And if that doesn't work, we shouldn't give up. Rather, we can find support from other brothers and sisters who can help us speak the truth in love (18:16).

It's only after these attempts at reconciliation have failed that Jesus tells us to take the final step of placing some distance between ourselves and the other person. But again, this is not so that we can judge and condemn them. He's the only One who can judge, and even he didn't come to condemn (John 3:17). Instead, that distance can diffuse tension and help us to focus on interceding for the person. It can also help us create space in our own hearts for God's mercy to heal us of any wounds or bitterness that might have crept in.

Sin is a very destructive force. Its effects can fester and linger long after any one sin has been committed. That's why Jesus has given us this teaching. He doesn't want anyone to remain trapped by its power. So he promises to be with us as we try to address sin with one another (Matthew 18:20). He promises always to help us as we seek to "loose" one another from its grasp (18:18).

"Jesus, help me to be an ambassador of your reconciliation."

Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Psalm 66:1-3, 5, 8, 16-17


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audio link
Reflections with Brother Adrian:

From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were undimmed and his vigor unabated........" end of verse.

The vigor of faith was in his eyes, undimmed, the light is there, and if you dare, you can see it and let it shine.
How can light come out of the eyes? Life means light. Life in the eyes means everything. They are truly windows to the soul. The body reflects the soul's state. The body is amazing and how the soul animates it is even more amazing.


We pray today:
"Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire!
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth;
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God: "How tremendous are your deeds!"

Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire!......"_ end of Psalm.

Our Lord said He wanted the world set on fire. Not literally, like all the deadly wildfires we hear about, but souls on fire. What does that mean? The burning of the heart is evidence of God's sacred Heart wanting to do His will. Has your hear burned lately for God? It is invigorating! It is a formidable light that can be seen through the eyes...the very love of God!


In the Gospel today we heard:
"Jesus said to his disciples:
"If your brother sins against you,
go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.
If he listens to you, you have won over your brother......."
end of Gospel verse.

From Bishop Barron today:
"Friends, in today's Gospel, Jesus is instructing his community in the difficult task of correcting an errant brother or sister. He tells them to avoid the practice of gossiping and complaining to others about a grievance; rather, they should confront the person who has offended them directly and courageously. That way, the difficulty is addressed, the loving concern of the complainant is evident, and the process of rumor, attack, counter-attack, innuendo, and scapegoating is arrested.
Now, if the person does not respond to this loving intervention, "take one or two others along with you, so that every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses." Thus, the wider community is involved, but only minimally—enough to bring the offender to repentance. Only if this small circle of the Church is ignored should one bring the complaint to the whole community.
What is so rich here is the pursuit of the issue (since speaking the truth, even when it is dangerous, is essential), coupled with a deep care for the person in question and also for the entire family of the Church (since love is our constant call).
" end quote Bishop Barron.

So, if someone sins against you, you need to bring it up to them? Really? That's not what we normally do. If they steal from you or cheat you, or slander you, what do people normally do? We shun them, right? We try to make them look even worse than what they did to you! Right? We do it in the name of wretched pride. We do it to make others look less than you.
Today's saint story kind of got under my skin. Saint Roch decided to leave everything and live for the Lord, and eventually wanted to be invisible, and to die alone and as an unknown person which wound him up in jail by his own family who didn't recognize him. He wouldn't even tell them his real name! And so he died in jail. And then they realized this was the saint that healed many with the sign of the cross.
The story upsets me because I believe he should've saved his neck and said the truth, of who he was and live on in peace, but he wanted to be a nobody.
Nobody nowadays wants to be a nobody. Everyone wants to be somebody, known, recognized, so the self esteem is at an all time high, or at least "normal". This has everything to do with the ego, and the false level of "dignity" that we require to be normal.

I digress! LOL
If someone sins against you then what? Bring it up to them, let them know the sin but you got to do it with love! You can't go yelling and threatening. Nowhere in the bible does it say to do that. It doesn't say shun least not until you've gone through all the steps that our Lord said to bring them into full communion with the church!
If they don't listen to the whole church, then it just means they do not want to be a part of it. How can you force them?
If your love won't win them over, then let the seed of love remain there for the taking.

Let us pray.
Lord, I desire to be in the fold, in Your chosen flock, in Your Holy Church, in Your Body of salvation and light and true us all have a hunger for the same desire...of Your Holy will.


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Random Bible Verse 1
Ephesians 4:25

[Ephesians 4]

25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.


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