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Monday, May 27, 2024

† " All THings Are Possible For.. . . .."

 

Quote of the Day

"Be brave and try to detach your heart from worldly things. Do your utmost to banish darkness from your mind and come to understand what true, selfless piety is. Through confession, endeavor to purify your heart of anything which may still taint it. Enliven your faith, which is essential to understand and achieve piety." — St. John Bosco

Today's Meditation

"Walking by faith, let us do good works. In these let there be a free love of God for His own sake and an active love for our neighbor. For there is nothing we can do for God. But because we have something we can do for our neighbor, we shall by our good offices to the needy gain the favor of Him Who is the source of all abundance. Let us then do what we can for others; let us freely bestow upon the needy out of our abundance." —St. Augustine, p. 144
An excerpt from Augustine Day by Day

Daily Verse

"O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure." — Isaiah 25:1

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St. Augustine Of Canterbury

St. Augustine of Canterbury (d. 604 A.D.), also known as St. Austin, was prior of a monastery in Rome before being called by Pope Gregory the Great to be a missionary to the British Isles. The Pope received word that the pagans of Britain would embrace the faith in great numbers if priests were sent to teach them, and previous missionaries had been unsuccessfu in the holy endeavor. In order to realize the Holy Father's desire to evangelize the island, Augustine set out on a new quest at the head of forty monks in 596 A.D. When they arrived in France they heard stories of the ferocity of the Anglo-Saxons. Out of fear, Augustine returned to Rome and asked the Pope to release him from the mission. Pope Gregory encouraged Augustine in his task and sent him back. When the monks landed in Kent they were treated kindly. The King of Kent himself accepted baptism and set up a residence for St. Augustine in Canterbury. There Augustine established a church and monastery as the center of his apostolic mission. Although his labor among the pagans was slow and difficult, his work bore much fruit and England eventually became a Christian nation. Augustine was the first Archbishop of Canterbury, England, and is known as the "Apostle of England." His feast day is May 27th.

Find a devotional for this saint

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Monday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 Pt 1:3-9

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading,
kept in heaven for you
who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith,
to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time.
In this you rejoice, although now for a little while
you may have to suffer through various trials,
so that the genuineness of your faith,
more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire,
may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Although you have not seen him you love him;
even though you do not see him now yet you believe in him,
you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,
as you attain the goal of faith, the salvation of your souls.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 111:1-2, 5-6, 9 and 10c

R. (5) The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He has given food to those who fear him;
he will forever be mindful of his covenant.
He has made known to his people the power of his works,
giving them the inheritance of the nations.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He has sent deliverance to his people;
he has ratified his covenant forever;
holy and awesome is his name.
His praise endures forever.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia 2 Cor 8:9

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 10:17-27

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up,
knelt down before him, and asked him,
"Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Jesus answered him, "Why do you call me good?
No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
you shall not defraud;
honor your father and your mother."
He replied and said to him,
"Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth."
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him,
"You are lacking in one thing.
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."
At that statement, his face fell,
and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
"How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the Kingdom of God!"
The disciples were amazed at his words.
So Jesus again said to them in reply,
"Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God."
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves,
"Then who can be saved?"
Jesus looked at them and said,
"For men it is impossible, but not for God.
All things are possible for God."


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Daily Meditation: Mark 10:17-27

Sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. (Mark 10:21)

Today's Gospel is a challenging one. Jesus encounters a young man who seems to be doing everything right. He knows and follows the commandments, and he even seems to be acknowledging Jesus' authority by asking for his guidance. In response, Jesus looks at the young man with love (Mark 10:21), but then invites him to give away all of his wealth and become his disciple. What a position this would put the young man in! He would have no choice but to trust fully in the power and grace of God.

Perhaps this was the reason why Jesus asked this young man to leave all his possessions behind. He knew that the man's wealth was preventing him from fully surrendering his life to the Lord. No longer would the young man be able to rely on his riches for his security.

This Gospel story probably doesn't mean that the Lord is asking us to sell all we own, but he is asking us to give generously. He doesn't want us to fall to the temptation of relying on our money and possessions for security and control. That's why, when speaking on charity, C. S. Lewis wrote, "I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. . . . If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small" (Mere Christianity, p. 86). Our charity must come not only out of our excess. Rather, it should put us in a position of deeper dependence on the Lord. Too often, our obstacle to charity is not that we can't live without luxuries but that we fear the thought of not being able to rely on ourselves!

Jesus has issued a bold call to his followers. He wants us to care for people in need. But he also wants us to realize that his call to be generous involves the surrender not just of our possessions but also of our self-sufficiency and our need to control. Today, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and give you the grace to trust that no matter how much it might pinch, he is going to take care of you.

"Lord, help me to be a generous and cheerful giver!"

1 Peter 1:3-9
Psalm 111:1-2, 5-6, 9-10

***
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Reflections with Brother Adrian:

2cents2

In the Holy Scripture we hear today:
"Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth."
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him,
"You are lacking in one thing.
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."
At that statement, his face fell,
and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
"How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the Kingdom of God!"....."
end quote.

A few years ago, I asked a loved one to go to a cursillo, a weekend of study in Christianity in which many life transformations happen for our Lord, including myself. He said yes, and then, a while later he said no. In our conversation he mentioned today's scripture in which he would be asked to sell off all his ritches in order to follow Christ and He said he couldn't do that. And I couldn't convince him otherwise, and he did not go, ever.
He was successful in his business still afterwards, many employees, many vehicles, and then, he had to give it up, forced to because of his health. He said he found security in his gun collections. He has much land in Mexico in case things go awry in our country. So he is placing his securities in himself really, isn't he? I don't know that his children have found security in the Lord. I don't know that he has gotten closer to the Lord any more than the day I invited Him to the Lord. So what's my point?
There is still time! LOL.
As long as we breathe we can turn to the Lord and place all our hope in Him. Even our finances. How hard it is to be a cheerful giver, right? Once you get involved with certain ministries and charitable things, it actually never becomes a one and done deal. At least that's been my experience in church festivals for our building, or being involved with an orphanage in Mexico, or even in prison ministry, they keep calling out for more, the poor just want more and more. And so, I asked the nursing home folks yesterday, "what can you give from where you are money?" there were no answers. An older lady that fell off her chair had exclaimed "we can give our lives!", Sylvia was her name. I said "Don't get ahead of me!" that was the right answer, but I wanted to probe more, by asking "can't we give our time?". Yes.
Can't we give of our talents? Yes!
And so, by giving all we can, time and talents, then easily our treasure falls out too.
Let us then, not be afraid to leave everything. You can do it. Do it in small steps, and then take large steps in His direction. Give more and more of your time, talent, and treasure. If you want to see Him, and see Him more often, then take more and mores steps with Him and toward Him. Even offering sufferings is a step towards Him. May we then realize that it is good to walk His way and do His will. Because in the end, this is what He was truly asking. Walk on water. Sacrifice yourself in faith.

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Random Bible Verse 1
Proverbs 10:12

12 Hatred stirs up strife,

but love covers all offenses.

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Friday, May 24, 2024

† " No Human Being Must Separate . . .."

 

Quote of the Day

"Reading the Holy Scriptures confers two benefits. It trains the mind to understand them; it turns man's attention from the follies of the world and leads him to the love of God." — St. Isidore of Seville

Today's Meditation

"Man was created for a certain end. This end is to praise, to reverence and to serve the Lord his God and by this means to arrive at eternal salvation. All other beings and objects that surround us on the earth were created for the benefit of man and to be useful to him, as means to his final end; hence his obligation to use, or to abstain from the use of, these creatures, according as they bring him nearer to that end, or tend to separate him from it." —St. Ignatius of Loyola, p. 18
An excerpt from The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius

Daily Verse

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." — Matthew 7:7-8

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St. Simeon Stylites The Younger

St. Simeon Stylites the Younger (521-596 A.D.) was born in Antioch in ancient Syria (present-day Turkey). Like his namesake and predecessor, Simeon was drawn from a young age to a life of penance and austerity out of his great love for God. His mother was considered a saint. As a young boy he attached himself to a monastery of hermits. Their spiritual director, John, lived night and day at the top of a tall pillar, or "style", within the monastery enclosure. The holy hermits who lived in this manner, separated from the world on top of a pillar, were called "stylites." Simeon the Younger imitated John and lived on a smaller pillar erected near his larger one. Simeon continued to live in this way on three different pillars, each one higher than the next, from boyhood until his death. His final pillar was 12 meters high. During his life he was ordained a deacon and a priest. Disciples gathered around him and would climb a ladder to receive Holy Communion from his hands. He worked many miracles during the course of his life. Hearing of his great sanctity, people came from distant countries for his blessings, cures, prophesies, and spiritual advice. After his death his pillar remained a place of pilgrimage, the ruins of which still exist today. His feast day is May 24.

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Friday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Jas 5:9-12

Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another,
that you may not be judged.
Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates.
Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers and sisters,
the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
Indeed we call blessed those who have persevered.
You have heard of the perseverance of Job,
and you have seen the purpose of the Lord,
because the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

But above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear,
either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath,
but let your "Yes" mean "Yes" and your "No" mean "No,"
that you may not incur condemnation.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 103:1-2, 3-4, 8-9, 11-12

R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
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.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Alleluia See Jn 17:17b, 17a

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your word, O Lord, is truth;
consecrate us in the truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 10:1-12

Jesus came into the district of Judea and across the Jordan.
Again crowds gathered around him and, as was his custom,
he again taught them.
The Pharisees approached him and asked,
"Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?"
They were testing him.
He said to them in reply, "What did Moses command you?"
They replied,
"Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce
and dismiss her."
But Jesus told them,
"Because of the hardness of your hearts
he wrote you this commandment.
But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.
So they are no longer two but one flesh.
Therefore what God has joined together,
no human being must separate."
In the house the disciples again questioned Jesus about this.
He said to them,
"Whoever divorces his wife and marries another
commits adultery against her;
and if she divorces her husband and marries another,
she commits adultery."


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Daily Meditation: Mark 10:1-12

The two shall become one flesh. (Mark 10:8)

When Jesus talks about marriage in today's Gospel, he reaches all the way back, beyond the Law of Moses, to the Book of Genesis. He tells some Pharisees that Moses permitted a bill of divorce, but that divorce was never God's intention. When a man and woman are joined together as husband and wife, God makes them "one flesh" (Mark 10:8). "Therefore," Jesus adds, "what God has joined together, no human being must separate" (10:9).

However, we know that reality often falls far short of this ideal. We are all subject to sin, which leads to discord and division. Even when couples have the best of intentions, they can sometimes reach an impasse in their relationship that they can't seem to overcome. Sadly, there are also times when a spouse is at risk of abuse and must leave the marriage.

This is a tragedy for all involved, and yet how comforting it is to know that God doesn't withdraw his love from a couple when they divorce. As James writes in today's first reading, "the Lord is compassionate and merciful" (5:11). Jesus continues to pour out his mercy, even when one or the other spouse has sinned or has made decisions that they later regret. He longs for anyone who has experienced divorce to come to him and receive his grace and mercy. So compassionate is the Lord that he even mourns alongside those who are grieving the end of a once-cherished relationship.

Jesus also longs to heal the deep-seated wounds that result from a broken marriage. As anyone who is divorced knows, this takes time, prayer, and support from pastors, counselors, and friends. The Church offers such healing through the annulment process. The experience of looking back on the origins of a relationship, though difficult, can provide clarity, closure, and, ultimately, God's healing grace.

If you are divorced, be assured of God's love and mercy. If you know someone who is struggling in their marriage or is in the middle of a divorce, provide a listening ear and encourage them to cling to the Lord. Finally, take a moment today to pray for all married couples. May they be witnesses of the great love God has for each one of us!

"Jesus, thank you for your mercy, which knows no bounds!"

James 5:9-12
Psalm 103:1-4, 8-9, 11-12

adyn
***
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Reflections with Brother Adrian:

2cents2

In the Holy Scripture we hear today:
"But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.
So they are no longer two but one flesh.
Therefore what God has joined together,
no human being must separate."
In the house the disciples again questioned Jesus about this.
He said to them,
"Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her;
and if she divorces her husband and marries another,
she commits adultery."....."
end quote.

From Bishop Barron:
"Friends, in our Gospel today, Jesus defines the fundamental sacredness of marriage. I'm convinced that the deep sacramental and religious meaning of marriage—even within the Church—has been, in recent years, dramatically compromised. We say that marriage is a vocation, but do we mean it?

We can look at human sexual relationships at a number of different levels. Two people can come together purely for physical pleasure, for economic reasons, or for psychological companionship. And we might witness two people coming together out of authentic love.

But none of these levels is what the Bible means by marriage. When I was doing parish work, I would invariably ask young couples, "Why do you want to get married in church?" Most would say something like, "Because we love each other." But I would reply, "Well, that's no reason to get married in church."
They usually looked stunned, but I meant it. You come to church to be married before God and his people when you are convinced that your marriage is not, finally, about you; that it is about God and about serving God's purposes; that it is, as much as the priesthood of a priest, a vocation, a sacred calling." end quote from Bishop Barron.


The word of the Lord is clear, but we like to make mud water by stirring up doubts into it.

Our Lord declares divorce unacceptable. But today we have perhaps the highest divorce rates in history. Perhaps co-habitating hasn't worked out to well? Trying before buying without proper work and research and commitment. Perhaps sex before marriage has not worked too well? Bringing adulterous past experiences into a new one. Perhaps we've been fooled into thinking that marriage is "nice" but not "necessary"? Perhaps we've been tricked into thinking it's just an agreement between two people of any kind? Or even worse, many think you can marry multiple at the same time, or even worse, you can marry an animal, and perhaps the bottom of the list is those that now want to marry themselves! How far have we fallen from God's will! We have fallen very far, we have missed the mark, the very meaning of the word "sin".

A Holy Matrimony is a Holy Sacrament. It has always been from the beginning. When God joined Adam and Eve, things went very deep very quick, for it was God that intervened and saw it fit that a woman would come from the man, and that they would serve each other with the love of God. God is in the midst between it all, it is all about Him!
He designed woman for man. When man enters woman, the two become one, and not only for that moment but out of woman comes a created child from man. Two flesh become one flesh. In case you didn't catch that, it is theology.

God is Man, this is why Jesus calls Himself son of Man. When God the Father entered Adam, out came Eve. But it goes further. Then Adam could enter Eve to give birth in the same manner that God came to Adam to fulfill his desires of not being lonely. And from this onset, a proliferation of the world has ensued.
And it is taken to the next dimension when the new Adam comes into play....Jesus the Christ. Jesus enters us daily, because He is God. He enters the new Eve of the new covenant, His Holy Church, in us all in the Holy Spirit, and in the flesh by means of the Holy Eucharist. And from there, spiritual children are born, and this is why we call a priest "Father" because at the moment of Baptism, the priest is acting in place of Christ. Fathering for the future, for the proliferation of the fire of God's love and Holy Will to be done through you and me.
This is why marriage is important, but Holy Matrimony is the truest meaning of Marriage. What makes a marriage Holy? God does. Therefore, God is the uniting force, and our Father want us united with Him to do His Holy will, for the good of His children.
What people don't advertise is that there are a group of people with an almost zero divorce rate. And it is those Catholics practicing true devotion to Christ as a couple and also their sexuality in natural family planning. It is a very small percentage of Catholics, but they are the ones making the light shine by letting Christ reign in their hearts for the world to see. Me and my wife are trying to be there, and God is holding us together....Love holds us together. He is the glue if we stick to him and let Him stick to us. God comes into the couple that are made one in Holy Marriage, and beautiful fruit begins to bud. Fruit that is food for angels and the Heavens. The goodness, the very love of God Himself.

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Random Bible Verse 1
Proverbs 17:22

22 A joyful heart is good medicine,

but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

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