Friday, September 15, 2023

† yourself a sword


O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month. Amen.

†Quote of the Day
"I see clearly with the interior eye, that the sweet God loves with a pure love the creature that He has created, and has a hatred for nothing but sin, which is more opposed to Him than can be thought or imagined."
–St. Catherine of Genoa

†Today's Meditation
"If we have any distinct concept of blessedness connected with mourning, it could likely have been that it is a blessed thing to be rid of it. Are not mourners by widely accepted definition the unhappy ones? Obviously, if a mourner is blessed, then it has to mean that he is blessed to have gotten out of this painful predicament, to have escaped from this sorrowful situation, to have fended off suffering. And so we might well have written the third Beatitude like this: Blessed are they who enjoy the comfort of not having anything to mourn about. But then we run up against the hard fact that this is just not what Christ said…We shall have to deal with the words that our blessed Savior uttered and not with the words that we think He ought to have uttered."
—Mother Francis, PCC, p.36

An Excerpt From
Blessed Are You

†Daily Verse
"Make me understand the way of thy precepts, and I will meditate on thy wondrous works. My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to thy word! Put false ways far from me; and graciously teach me thy law! I have chosen the way of faithfulness, I set thy ordinances before me. I cleave to thy testimonies, O Lord; let me not be put to shame! I will run in the way of thy commandments when thou enlargest my understanding!"
–Psalm 119:27-32


Our Lady of Sorrows (Mater Dolorosa)

Daily Feast
Devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows (Mater Dolorosa – Mother of Sorrows) became widespread in the Church around the 14th century. It was revealed to St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373) that devotion to Our Lady's Seven Sorrows would bring great graces. Mary, in a unique way, willingly suffered alongside her Divine Son as he gave his life to save the world, and she felt the bitterness of his passion as only a mother can. This devotion is especially remembered during September, the Month of Our Lady of Sorrows, and during the season of Lent. The Seven Sorrows of Mary are the Prophecy of Simeon, the Flight into Egypt, the Loss of Jesus for Three Days, the Carrying of the Cross, the Crucifixion of Jesus, Jesus Being Taken Down from the Cross, and Jesus Laid in the Tomb. The feast of Our Lady of Sorrows (Mater Dolorosa) is September 15th.


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St. Catherine of Genoa

St. Catherine (1447–1510) was born into an aristocratic family in Genoa, Italy. She was a quiet, obedient, physically beautiful, and holy child who devoted herself to prayer and penance. At the age of 13 she made an attempt to enter a convent, but was rejected. At the age of 16 she consented to a marriage arranged by her family for political and financial gain. Her husband was faithless and violent, and their marriage was miserable. Catherine did not bear any children, and for the first five years lived as a hermit in her fine home. After this time, upon her family's rebuke of her solitude, she began to engage in the kind of social activity expected for her state in life. This only increased her weariness and depression, and led to the loss of her religious fervor. Catherine prayed earnestly for assistance in her trouble. Taking the advice of her sister, who was a nun, Catherine went to confession, and through the sacrament had a profound mystical experience in which she clearly saw the depth of her sinfulness contrasted with the depth of God's love. From that point on she renewed her commitment to rigorous prayer, penance, and works of mercy, and God continued to favor her with mystical visions. Catherine later won the conversion of her husband, and they were received into the Third Order of St. Francis. Together they cared for the poor and sick in the Genoa hospital, over which Catherine became administrator. St. Catherine's mystical visions were recorded by her confessor toward the end of her life, the most famous being her Treatise of Purgatory. Her feast day is celebrated on September 15th


Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

• Readings for the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

Reading 1 1 Tm 1:1-2, 12-14

Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our savior
and of Christ Jesus our hope,
to Timothy, my true child in faith:
grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father
and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because he considered me trustworthy
in appointing me to the ministry.
I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and an arrogant man,
but I have been mercifully treated
because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.
Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant,
along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 16:1b-2a and 5, 7-8, 11

R. (see 5) You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, "My Lord are you."
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Sequence (Optional) — Stabat Mater
At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, his sorrow sharing,
All his bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword had passed.

Oh, how sad and sore distressed
Was that Mother highly blessed
Of the sole begotten One!

Christ above in torment hangs,
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying, glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
'Whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ's dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that mother's pain untold?

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
She beheld her tender Child,
All with bloody scourges rent.

For the sins of his own nation
Saw him hang in desolation
Till his spirit forth he sent.

O sweet Mother! font of love,
Touch my spirit from above,
Make my heart with yours accord.

Make me feel as you have felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ, my Lord.

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Savior crucified.

Let me share with you his pain,
Who for all our sins was slain,
Who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with you,
Mourning him who mourned for me,
All the days that I may live.

By the cross with you to stay,
There with you to weep and pray,
Is all I ask of you to give.

Virgin of all virgins blest!
Listen to my fond request:
Let me share your grief divine.

Let me to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death
Of that dying Son of yours.

Wounded with his every wound,
Steep my soul till it has swooned
In his very Blood away.

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
Lest in flames I burn and die,
In his awful judgment day.

Christ, when you shall call me hence,
Be your Mother my defense,
Be your cross my victory.

While my body here decays,
May my soul your goodness praise,
Safe in heaven eternally.
Amen. (Alleluia)


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary;
without dying you won the martyr's crown
beneath the Cross of the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 19:25-27

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son."
Then he said to the disciple,
"Behold, your mother."
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
or Lk 2:33-35
Jesus' father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
"Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
and you yourself a sword will pierce
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."


Daily Meditation: John 19:25-27

Behold, your mother. (John 19:27)

Does it seem counterintuitive to celebrate the sorrows rather than the joys of our Blessed Mother? Yet there are good reasons to honor and venerate Mary under the title of Our Lady of Sorrows. Mary's suffering shows us that she understands what we experience when we say yes to God and encounter suffering along the way.

When our child suffers, Mary understands. Her beloved son was betrayed by the very people he taught and ministered to, even as he freely offered himself for the forgiveness of our sins.

When our plans for the future are suddenly interrupted, Mary understands. Her marriage and family plans were upended by a call from heaven and a government census that resulted in her son's birth in a stable.

When our family and friends don't understand or approve of our longing to give our total yes to God, Mary understands. Her neighbors in Nazareth must have suspiciously wondered about her pregnancy. Mary experienced the sting of their rejection, even though she was cooperating with God's plan for her life.

When we are placed in a new, unfamiliar place, Mary understands. She was forced to move, with her husband and newborn son, to Egypt, a place with different customs, unsure job prospects, and no support system. She had to rely on God's provision in countless ways.

Mary shows us that faith, strength, and courage are possible even in the face of deep sorrow—even suffering that perhaps no one else understands. Just as she stood by Jesus as he hung on the cross, she stands by us in our sadness and pain.

"Behold, your mother" (John 19:27). Mary is not only Jesus' mother; she is our mother, too. She wraps her arms around us, intercedes for us, and gives us consolation in our times of greatest need.

"Holy Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, you never leave my side. Thank you for understanding and being with me through every trial."

1 Timothy 1:1-2, 12-14
Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 1

ourladyofsorrows lg

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Hear it Audio Reflection
Reflections with Brother Adrian:

From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant,
along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus......"
end of verse.
. . .

Grace abounds and there is faith, and where faith is found, there is love.
Then you could read it as the inverse: where there is no faith, there is no love.
They say that statistically, in our country:
BELOW 50%.
Nothing to be proud of. It shows that we are becoming faithless. And this is the soul, for sin calls on death. And it is no surprise that the next statistic follows suit:
You see, where there is faith, there is hope, and love, and love is to will the good of the other, not to implode on oneself. Faith in God is an outpouring of life, but this takes work and sacrifice on each and every one of our parts.
Want more grim statistics? Few priests are taken care of, many people look on them with disdain, and so it is no surprise that:
And this in a world where the population has increased by nearly 2 billion people since then.
What has been the factors that are leading to this downfall of faith? What is causing faithlessness?

Another statistic:
That is 4 out of 10 people. Sounds right, doesn't it?

But it sounds wrong too, because that number should be at least 9 out of 10, and the other 1 is because they are not able to for valid reasons, like dying in a sick bed or in a country that is severely persecuted for being Catholic.
A saint said that Mother was extremely sorrowful at Jesus dying, but is now even more sorrowful at our offenses against Him, causing Him eternal pains because He lives eternally.
Bodily infliction is temporary, but sins are immortal.


We pray today:
"Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, "My Lord are you."
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
You are my inheritance, O Lord ....."_ end of Psalm."
What Psalms do you pray when you are in real need, and heavily afflicted? I prayed much yesterday for my daughter after the homecoming parade in our town, which we entered a float for our family festival, as we were parking to put everything up, she was running and was going to jump on the float and her knee became dislocated and she was extreme pain that I knew was very real because I know my children very well.

My wife was on her knees holding her like Mother Mary held Jesus, and my wife was wearing a shirt that says "This Momma Prays".

A nurse saw what happened and came to us and said we needed to call emergency people, and soon we were surrounded my police and first responders maybe up to a dozen and an ambulance. My wife never left her side. Mother Mary NEVER left Jesus, and for that, she is always with Him in eternity.
You see, what you do on earth has eternal ramifications. For good...or for worse.
I had to fold up and load up the kids and the float in great distress when they loaded her up on the ambulance. But I was there watching momma and her child and the angels surrounding her.
You see, this Father loves, and is watching everything. Father God is with us through everything, and everything that seems chaotic, has an ultimate reason and calling for each of us.


In the Gospel today we heard:
"When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son."
Then he said to the disciple,
"Behold, your mother."
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home........"
end of Gospel verse.

Our Lord Jesus said this from the cross, "Behold Your Mother".
Can you imagine being an orphan that has always longed to be truly belonging and loved?

Don't we all feel that way? Alone at times?
I come from a loving family. I was raised in the church. And still, I feel like a lonely child many times. How much worse could it be for a real orphan? Now that my loving dad passed away, I miss that presence of all things.

God knows this.
And so, He has done something amazing for us all in the world:

He Has Left Us His Holy Presence in the Holy Eucharist, in the Holy Tabernacle that is provided on the Holy Altar.
What more could you want? A real father's presence is there, our FATHER, Our REAL FATHER'S presence is there.

Yet, the people are dwindling in faith and death is soaking them in quick sand in their sin.
Let us consider the mistakes of the past generation. They opened gates of hell with libertarian mentality and a sexual revolution.
It is then time, to close those gates and to be Holy Children of obedience, and thus, open the gates of Heaven in our very lives starting now. Sexual revolution is now climaxing and giving us the fruit of its evil, with all things against the creator's design, men want to be women and cut off their genitals. Woman want to be men and cut off their breasts. And all take drugs to alter their minds even more to follow that way. And at the end? Most are left feeling even worse, and desire death to get away from it all. Why?

The world is climaxing in its sin. We don't need any wars to kill people, for we are killing ourselves.
Now is the time to take our sorrows and link them with Mother Mary, our model of virtues and grace, a true life to live and to Christ.

I told my dad on his dying bed, that I had sensed Our Real Father in Heaven in a vision. But boy do I miss my dad's presence on earth.
But I mostly miss him as my best of all friends.
All I got now then, is God, our Father. What would it be like to lose Him?
Mother Mary knew this was God in her arms...dead.
To hold the dead body of God on earth? The world's cataclysmic black hole must have sunk her soul into an abyss of wonder and awe. But before Christ, an angel had visited her. And she lived with angels. And angels surrounded her, holding her up, to see the day, when her Son and love of her life would rise and hold her tight.
You cannot imagine the pains your child must go through and the pain that you cannot take it away from them.
They did Xrays on my daugher last night in the emergency rooms, and they saw they could pop the bones back in place, and they did, and they sent her home later that night in a wheelchair and on crutches.
I felt the Mercy of God. I felt as if my soul's face planted itself in the palms of His hands, and there, I could feel the holes in His hands.

And to tell you the truth...there is no other place I'd rather be, than there in that bitter sweet agony and love of God our Father.
Something brought me closer to God, and it was good.


Let us pray:
Lord Jesus, I give You my Heart, and I give You My Soul.


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Random Bible Verse 1
Romans 14:8

8 "For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's."


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