Monday, November 13, 2023

†.. If You Have Faith...


†Quote of the Day
"I will go anywhere and do anything in order to communicate the love of Jesus to those who do not know Him or have forgotten Him."
–St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

†Today's Meditation
"God will forgive you if you forgive others. Forgiving those who cause offense or injury is often exceedingly difficult. And yet, forgiveness is one of the most beautiful and important teachings of Jesus Christ. It is central to the gospel because, without it, you can't go to heaven."
—Patrick Madrid, p.21

An Excerpt From
A Year with the Bible

†Daily Verse
"When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."
–Isaiah 43:2-3
Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska - Divine Mercy in My Soul (Leather Cover)


St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850–1917) was the thirteenth child of a modest farming family born near Milan, Italy. Her father would often gather his children in the kitchen to hear him read from a book on the lives of the saints. St. Frances was endeared to the stories of missionaries working in the Orient and desired to become one herself, which in her day was a man's role. Turned away from being a nun twice due to poor health, she prayed before the relics of her patron, Francis Xavier, the great Jesuit missionary-saint, about founding a new religious order to evangelize the East just as he did. Pope Leo XIII approved of her order, the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, but instead of sending her to China as she had desired since childhood, he sent her to the West, specifically to America to serve the growing European immigrant population which faced poverty and disenfranchisement. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini moved to New York in 1889 and went on to found 67 institutions—schools, orphanages, and hospitals—throughout the Western Hemisphere. She received American citizenship, and in 1946 became the first United States citizen to be canonized by the Catholic Church. Her ministry left a significant mark on the Americas, creating lasting institutions to educate and care for those in need. She is the patron saint of immigrants, orphans, and hospital administrators. Her feast day is November 13th.


• Readings for the Memorial of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, virgin

Reading 1 Wis 1:1-7

Love justice, you who judge the earth;
think of the Lord in goodness,
and seek him in integrity of heart;
Because he is found by those who test him not,
and he manifests himself to those who do not disbelieve him.
For perverse counsels separate a man from God,
and his power, put to the proof, rebukes the foolhardy;
Because into a soul that plots evil, wisdom enters not,
nor dwells she in a body under debt of sin.
For the holy Spirit of discipline flees deceit
and withdraws from senseless counsels;
and when injustice occurs it is rebuked.
For wisdom is a kindly spirit,
yet she acquits not the blasphemer of his guilty lips;
Because God is the witness of his inmost self
and the sure observer of his heart
and the listener to his tongue.
For the Spirit of the Lord fills the world,
is all-embracing, and knows what man says.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 139:1b-3, 4-6, 7-8, 9-10

R. (24b) Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
O LORD, you have probed me and you know me;
you know when I sit and when I stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know the whole of it.
Behind me and before, you hem me in
and rest your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
too lofty for me to attain.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
Where can I go from your spirit?
From your presence where can I flee?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I sink to the nether world, you are present there.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
if I settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
Even there your hand shall guide me,
and your right hand hold me fast.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.

Alleluia Phil 2:15d, 16a

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Shine like lights in the world,
as you hold on to the word of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 17:1-6

Jesus said to his disciples,
"Things that cause sin will inevitably occur,
but woe to the one through whom they occur.
It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck
and he be thrown into the sea
than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.
Be on your guard!
If your brother sins, rebuke him;
and if he repents, forgive him.
And if he wrongs you seven times in one day
and returns to you seven times saying, 'I am sorry,'
you should forgive him."

And the Apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith."
The Lord replied, "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you would say to this mulberry tree,
'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you."


Daily Meditation: Luke 17:1-6

If you have faith the size of a mustard seed . . . (Luke 17:6)

We all know what a lever is: a long stick or a rod used to pry or move something heavy. The ancient Egyptians and Greeks were the first to discover that by exerting only a small force at one end of a lever, they could move a large object at the other end. But in order to do this, the lever requires an immovable point to pivot upon—a fulcrum. The Greek philosopher Archimedes described using a fulcrum this way: "Had we a place to stand upon, we could even raise the earth."

This image of a lever and fulcrum can help us understand what Jesus says about faith in today's Gospel reading. He tells his disciples that a rather small force—"faith the size of a mustard seed"—is enough to move a mulberry tree. Mulberry trees have very deep roots and can grow to be as tall as seventy feet. That makes them awfully hard to uproot! But Jesus is saying that the "lever" of our faith doesn't have to be large at all to move such a massive tree. It just has to rest on something firm. And that firm rock is Jesus!

It can be easy to read this passage and conclude that if only our faith were stronger, we would be able to do just about anything. All the "mulberry trees" in our lives would literally fly into the sea! But that's missing the fact that our faith is only the lever. We need to be founded firmly on Jesus—on his wisdom, his will, and his plan for our lives. We can't "believe" our way into something that God doesn't want for us!

The key, as in all things, is to stay connected to the Lord. Then we can move all the things that need to be moved in our lives. Are you struggling with a sin pattern? You can move it as you stay rooted in Christ. Are you facing a new opportunity for evangelization or service but aren't sure you can meet the challenge? With Jesus as your "fulcrum," you can. His love and his grace and his power are far bigger than any mulberry tree in the world!

"Lord, teach me to surrender to your will, even as I trust in your mighty power!"

Wisdom 1:1-7
Psalm 139:1-10


click to hear 2cents

Reflections with Brother Adrian:Audio Link

From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"For the Spirit of the Lord fills the world,
is all-embracing, and knows what man says..........."
end of verse.
. . .

Why does the Holy Spirit withdraw from evil doers?

"For the holy Spirit of discipline flees deceit and withdraws from senseless counsels; and when injustice occurs it is rebuked."
This is proof that God is good, only good, and does not desire to be in places where He is not welcome. He is gentle, kindly, modest, meek and humble. All things He asks us to be, removing ourselves even, from places of temptation. Only someone like this can be truly merciful, and full of grace.


We pray today:
"Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way. Where can I go from your spirit?
From your presence where can I flee?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I sink to the nether world, you are present there......."

Do you take heart in our Lord that HE is always there for you?
Does that not make you want to be more grateful? Shouldn't we be inspired to give as He asks? Shall we not avail ourselves to the eternal and almighty so He may do His will? How hard is it to do this? I don't know for you, but for me, it can be, for I have had to force myself to be thankful, it is almost not natural to be graceful and thankful.....all things tied with meekness and humility. This is a sign, that I need God more than anyone perhaps. And if I can find a way to have this faith, I hope to show you how it happened. This is the reason I reach out to you. I hope, therefore I write.


In the Gospel today we heard our Lord:
""Things that cause sin will inevitably occur,
but woe to the one through whom they occur. ...."
end of Gospel verse.

I sang St. Francis song at Mass this morning before writing to you. It says "Make me an instrument of Your peace". We can be instruments of God's love and grace, can't we?
But so more often, we see the world offering themselves as instruments of discord, hatred, animosity, jealousy, rivalry, all things contrary to the light of God. And it all starts with a little thing, a little thought, a little feeling, that turns huge, even into wars.

From Bishop Barron:
"Friends, in today's Gospel, we hear Jesus speak about faith. Faith is powerful, for it is a link to the reality of God, the power that made and sustains the cosmos. Sometimes, the power of faith is manifested in spectacular and immediately obvious ways. For example, there is a long tradition of faith healing stretching back to Jesus himself and through many of the saints. There is also the power of prayer. When some people ask in a spirit of trust, really believing that what they are asking for will happen, it happens.

But more often than not, the power of faith manifests itself in the courage to face trauma, sickness, even the terror of death. It is the confidence that we are being guided and cared for, even when that guidance and care are not immediately apparent...." end quote Bishop Barron.

Do you believe in the power of prayer? Of course you do! Do you believe in the power of a mustard seed? The power that it holds within? I read a quote that I shared with some brothers over the weekend, which I didn't get any responses (kind of typical because I send too many message probably, LOL), but the quote said: "Do not take meekness and humility for weakness. It takes strength to be humble."- Deacon Bob Rice.
Therefore, we have the strongest man crucified on the cross.
It took that much strength to let Himself be crucified. Totally backwards from human thought and ideology, isn't it?
The seed that moves mountains though, we expect faith to throw mountains across the plains and into oceans, all at once like in cartoons, or animated movies, just sheer brutal force and strength. But that's now how things work. It may start small, moving mountains. Pebble by pebble, or drip by drip, or even better, prayer by prayer. I've participated in prayer vigils in front of abortion clinics, ground zero for demonic activity, and we would've hoped that they shut their doors immediately, and that an end to all abortion would end too. But, it took years and years of prayers to shut down our local murdering clinic. It took years of prayers and sacrifice from many, even special organization geared towards just that goal. That small rock was moved. The mountain will ensue. Life will become precious, just as the Lord sees it. And the same with helping build a new building for my church parish, it's been about a dozen years of working, plans, fundraisers, tons of activities, nothing overnight at all. It takes years and years to build a beautiful temple. Nothing is easy. But it happens with faithfulness that turns into perseverance that begins to show signs of a seed beginning to grow.

And the same for you. You won't become a saint overnight. Wouldn't you wish you could just be perfect and holy right away? Do you wish to be a saint at all? They say only saints are in Heaven! Those who are in Heaven are there by the grace of God. We must then begin to avail ourselves to grace!
The Holy Sacraments avail grace...from Heaven.
Let us take to the gift that moves mountains.
Mother Cabrini is a perfect example. A short little nun, sent to a strange country that is struggling with faith and hardships to make it. She goes as directed by the Pope, not where she wanted to go, but where the Holy Spirit said.

She shows up with nothing but a strong zeal and love of God.

She opens up nearly 70 institutions, orphanages, hospitals and retreat centers (one of which me and my family go see in Denver Colorado almost every year, LOL). Her faith continues to grow, the mustard seed in her soul still grows towards Heaven. I even offered my Mass today for her for her marvelous will to continue, for she obviously knows what to do with God's grace better than I. This to me is mind boggling, such short amount of time, such tremendous life saving things across the country. Mother Cabrini please pray for us!

Pray with me:
Mother Cabrini, lover of the Sacred Heart of Jesus said:
"I trust in you, my Jesus. I place my poor soul in your hands – mold me according to your divine will," she wrote in 1877.


Click To Hear

Random Bible Verse 1
Proverbs 16:9

9 The heart of man plans his way,

but the LORD establishes his steps.


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God Bless You! Peace

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