Wednesday, January 24, 2024

†.." The Craving For . . .


†Quote of the Day

My Morning Offering
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

"We shall steer safely through every storm, so long as our heart is right, our intention fervent, our courage steadfast, and our trust fixed on God."
–St. Francis de Sales

Today's Meditation

"Always give good heed to the Word of God, whether you hear or read it in private, or hearken to it when publicly preached: listen with attention and reverence; seek to profit by it, and do not let the precious words fall unheeded; receive them into your heart as a costly balsam; imitate the Blessed Virgin who 'kept all the sayings' concerning her Son, 'in her heart.' And remember that according as we hearken to and receive God's words, so will He hearken and receive our supplications."
—St. Francis de Sales, p. 99

An Excerpt From
An Introduction to the Devout Life

Daily Verse

"Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope, for he who made the promise is trustworthy. We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works."
–Hebrews 10:23-24


St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales (1567–1622) was born to a noble family in France. He enjoyed a privileged upbringing and education, earning a doctorate in law and theology. He was a well-liked and intelligent man, yet quiet and reserved. When struggling with thoughts of his possibly being predestined to eternal damnation, Francis went into a deep two-year depression. God healed him of this fear, and afterwards Francis consecrated himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He later became a priest, rejecting the lucrative career and advantageous marriage his father had prepared for him. As a priest, St. Francis became a prolific writer and preacher, and at the age of 35 was made bishop of the Calvinist stronghold in Geneva, Switzerland, at the height of the Protestant revolt against the Church. Through his gentleness, preaching skill, zeal for the faith, and his clear explanations of Catholic doctrine, he returned thousands of obstinate heretics to the true Faith. He also used sign language to convert the deaf. St. Francis de Sales is a Doctor of the Church, known especially for his writings on practical spiritual direction for lay people. He is the patron of teachers, the deaf, the Catholic press, confessors, educators, and authors. His feast day is January 24th.


Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Lectionary: 319
Reading 1

2 Sm 7:4-17

That night the LORD spoke to Nathan and said:
"Go, tell my servant David, 'Thus says the LORD:
Should you build me a house to dwell in?
I have not dwelt in a house
from the day on which I led the children of Israel
out of Egypt to the present,
but I have been going about in a tent under cloth.
In all my wanderings everywhere among the children of Israel,
did I ever utter a word to any one of the judges
whom I charged to tend my people Israel, to ask:
Why have you not built me a house of cedar?'

"Now then, speak thus to my servant David,
'The LORD of hosts has this to say:
It was I who took you from the pasture
and from the care of the flock
to be commander of my people Israel.
I have been with you wherever you went,
and I have destroyed all your enemies before you.
And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth.
I will fix a place for my people Israel;
I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place
without further disturbance.
Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old,
since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel.
I will give you rest from all your enemies.
The LORD also reveals to you that he will establish a house for you.
And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors,
I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins,
and I will make his Kingdom firm.
It is he who shall build a house for my name.
And I will make his royal throne firm forever.
I will be a father to him,
and he shall be a son to me.
And if he does wrong,
I will correct him with the rod of men
and with human chastisements;
but I will not withdraw my favor from him
as I withdrew it from your predecessor Saul,
whom I removed from my presence.
Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me;
your throne shall stand firm forever.'"

Nathan reported all these words and this entire vision to David.

Responsorial Psalm

PS 89:4-5, 27-28, 29-30

R. (29a) For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.
"I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
I have sworn to David my servant:
I will make your dynasty stand forever
and establish your throne through all ages."
R. For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.
"He shall cry to me, 'You are my father,
my God, the Rock that brings me victory!'
I myself make him firstborn,
Most High over the kings of the earth."
R. For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.
"Forever I will maintain my love for him;
my covenant with him stands firm.
I will establish his dynasty forever,
his throne as the days of the heavens."
R. For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower;
all who come to him will live forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Mk 4:1-20

On another occasion, Jesus began to teach by the sea.
A very large crowd gathered around him
so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down.
And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land.
And he taught them at length in parables,
and in the course of his instruction he said to them,
"Hear this! A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and the birds came and ate it up.
Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep.
And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it
and it produced no grain.
And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit.
It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold."
He added, "Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear."

And when he was alone,
those present along with the Twelve
questioned him about the parables.
He answered them,
"The mystery of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you.
But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that
they may look and see but not perceive,
and hear and listen but not understand,
in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven."

Jesus said to them, "Do you not understand this parable?
Then how will you understand any of the parables?
The sower sows the word.
These are the ones on the path where the word is sown.
As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once
and takes away the word sown in them.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who,
when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy.
But they have no roots; they last only for a time.
Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
they quickly fall away.
Those sown among thorns are another sort.
They are the people who hear the word,
but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches,
and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word,
and it bears no fruit.
But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it
and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold."


Daily Meditation: Mark 4:1-20

A sower went out to sow. (Mark 4:3)

Even if you're not a gardener, you probably know what good soil looks like. It's a rich, dark color, slightly moist, and crumbly to the touch. If it's full of rocks or thorns or if it's mostly clay, it needs to be "reclaimed" so that whatever is planted in it can grow and bear fruit.

In today's Gospel, Jesus tells us that God sows his "seed"—his word—in the soil of our hearts, but not much will come of it if we aren't ready to receive it. So what is the condition of our "soil"? In a homily on this parable, Pope Francis said it is most likely a mix of the "good" and the "not yet good." So he urges us to search our hearts and "reclaim" the soil so that it will be ready to welcome God's word (Angelus, July 16, 2017).

What might we find? The soil full of rocks is the "superficial heart . . . [that] welcomes the Lord, wants to pray, love, and bear witness, but does not persevere. . . . It is a heart without depth, where the rocks of laziness prevail over the good soil, where love is fickle and fleeting. But whoever welcomes the Lord only when they want to does not bear fruit."

We might also discover some thorns. Pope Francis says these represent "the vices which come to blows with God, which choke his presence: above all these are the idols of worldly wealth, living avidly for oneself, for possessions, and for power."

So how do we reclaim our soil? The Holy Father urges us to "look inside ourselves" to see whether "our heart is open to welcome the seed of the Word of God with faith." Then we must courageously bring our "rocks of laziness" and our "thorns of vice" to the Lord in Confession and prayer.

So don't be afraid to search for the rocks and thorns that have taken up room in your heart! Pope Francis assures us that Jesus, the "Good Sower," will be more than glad to remove them. And with your heart "reclaimed," you'll be ready to receive the word that bears fruit for the Lord "thirty and sixty and a hundredfold" (Mark 4:20).

"Lord Jesus, you are my Master Gardener. I surrender my rocks and thorns to you. Reclaim the soil of my heart today."

2 Samuel 7:4-17
Psalm 89:4-5, 27-30


click to hear 2cents

Reflections with Brother Adrian:
Audio English


In the Gospel today we heard:
"Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it
and it produced no grain.
And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit.
It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold."
He added, "Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear."....."
end of Gospel verse.
. . .

From Bishop Barron:
"Friends, in today's Gospel, Jesus tells the parable of the sower.
In this famous story of the sower, we focus on the different types of soil and apply them symbolically to ourselves. Now, there is nothing wrong with this interpretation as far as it goes, but I think that it misses what was at the heart of the parable for Jesus.
Focus your attention on this absolutely mad sower. Imagine a crowd of farmers listening to this parable: a man goes out to sow and he throws the seed on the path, on rocky soil, on thorny soil, and finally on good soil. The original hearers of this tale would have have exchanged glances and rolled their eyes at the ridiculousness of this farmer.
That was precisely the reaction that Jesus wanted. For God is like this crazy farmer, sowing the seed of his word and his love—not only on receptive soil, not only to those who will respond, but also on the path, on the rocks, and the thorns, lavishly pouring out his love on those who are least likely to respond. God's love is irrational, extravagant, embarrassing, unreasonable, completely over the top." end quote Bishop Barron.

You've heard the story, the parable from our Lord. You've heard what the seed means, "the Word of God", and you've heard what the soil is...the human heart. Right?

I've heard it many times over and I think about the parable many times in throughout my life. I see the seed planted in people in retreats, some leave fired up, but then they face the "real world" and the seed is snatched by the devil, or is left to burn in the son because their faith has no real roots. Or, the lures and seductions of the world "chokes" their faith, almost to death.

And so, I've noted the problem, how about a solution? I'll offer you a solution, but it is not easy. It is going to take "volition", remember that word? It is going to take a will, to conform to God's will, and then an action, to make the will a reality. These are talks we also hear about in a Cursillo, the mother of 3 day retreats we see all over the world now which I am a part of, a movement. Anyhow, the retreat is not designed to end at the end of 3 days. This is the part that many miss out on, at the talks of the last day, where we explain that one must live always their 4th day, but not alone. And here is the part of the solution I offer you, to have roots.
I propose to you the solution of community. You see, yes, we have the "word of the Lord" coming at us and already inside of us, even through our baptism, but where are we taking that seed? Where are we planting ourselves, our environment? Am I planting myself alone, out in a spiritual desert? Or am I in a mixed up place where my environment has some in faith and some in work mode or party mode? OR, can I place myself in a community that will help my faith grow? And that third place is the place I want you to be. This reflection will help you want more. I hope you want more. And I hope you are always wanting to grow. And I always like to say, we don't "go to Heaven" but we "grow to Heaven". You can listen to non Catholic protestants lie about teachings about Heaven, or you can listen to the true, the first Christ church founded on our first Pope, Peter. We are very cautious about Heaven. Heaven is a reign of supreme goodness, purity, and love. And these are the messages I want you to hear, to fight for, to strive for. And if you find a community, a bible study group, a retreat group, a ministry, then the only way to grow there is if you put out...your roots. And the best root, the tap root, the main root should be tapped into the Blessed Sacrament, Jesus our Lord Himself, who says "Take your yoke upon me" and He says "apart from Me you can do nothing". He is the vine, and we are to be intimately rooted in Him who is everything, the water, the light, everything we need, and we Humans, made of humus, dirt, need Him like nothing else for life! And life eternal.

Let us pray today:
Lord, I place myself at Your feet, right where You were planted, on the tree, the cross, and there, I kiss You, and drink of the living waters pouring from Your side, mercy, grace, and true Love forever.


Click for Audio

Random Bible Verse 1
Romans 6:23

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


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