Tuesday, March 5, 2024

† " I Forgave you your.. .."


†Quote of the Day

"We are Christians, and strangers on earth. Let none of us be frightened; our native land is not in this world."
–St. Augustine

Today's Meditation

"Now man need not hide from God as Adam did; for He can be seen through Christ's human nature. Christ did not gain one perfection more by becoming man, nor did He lose anything of what He possessed as God. There was the Almightiness of God in the movement of His arm, the infinite love of God in the beatings of His human heart and the Unmeasured Compassion of God to sinners in His eyes. God was now manifest in the flesh; this is what is called the Incarnation. The whole range of the Divine attributes of power and goodness, justice, love, beauty, were in Him. And when Our Divine Lord acted and spoke, God in His perfect nature became manifest to those who saw Him and heard Him and touched Him. As He told Philip later on: Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father [John 14:9]."
—Fulton J. Sheen, p. 21

Daily Verse

"His divine power has bestowed on us everything that makes for life and devotion, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and power. Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire."
–2 Peter 1:3-4


Saint John-Joseph of the Cross

St. John-Joseph of the Cross (1654-1739) was born on the island of Ischia, near Naples. He joined the Franciscan Order of the Strict Observance (the reform of St. Peter of Alcantara) at age sixteen. His influence was great despite his young age, and after three years he was sent to help found a new order of friars in Piedmont, where he was ordained to the priesthood. He codified a set of guidelines for spiritual and daily life that were approved by the Holy See and became a lasting model for religious communities. In 1702 he was appointed Vicar Provincial of the Alcantarine Reform in Italy. During his time as Vicar he implemented a rule that no beggar would be turned away without assistance, and in times of extreme scarcity he would offer his own portion to the poor. He was known as a deeply holy man who served Christ and the monastic community through daily acts of mortification and humility. Despite his high ranking position, he continued to lead a life of service and took on menial tasks whenever possible, from working in the kitchen to chopping firewood. He was said to have performed numerous miracles as well as the gift of prophecy. St. John-Joseph of the Cross is the patron saint of Ischia and his feast day is March 5th.


Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent

Reading 1 Dn 3:25, 34-43

Azariah stood up in the fire and prayed aloud:

"For your name's sake, O Lord, do not deliver us up forever,
or make void your covenant.
Do not take away your mercy from us,
for the sake of Abraham, your beloved,
Isaac your servant, and Israel your holy one,
To whom you promised to multiply their offspring
like the stars of heaven,
or the sand on the shore of the sea.
For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation,
brought low everywhere in the world this day
because of our sins.
We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader,
no burnt offering, sacrifice, oblation, or incense,
no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you.
But with contrite heart and humble spirit
let us be received;
As though it were burnt offerings of rams and bullocks,
or thousands of fat lambs,
So let our sacrifice be in your presence today
as we follow you unreservedly;
for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame.
And now we follow you with our whole heart,
we fear you and we pray to you.
Do not let us be put to shame,
but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.
Deliver us by your wonders,
and bring glory to your name, O Lord."

Responsorial Psalm PS 25:4-5ab, 6 and 7bc, 8-9

R. (6a) Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
and your kindness are from of old.
In your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.
R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
he teaches the humble his way.
R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.

Verse Before the Gospel Jl 2:12-13

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart;
for I am gracious and merciful.

Gospel Mt 18:21-35

Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
"Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?"
Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.'
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
'Pay back what you owe.'
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'
But he refused.
Instead, he had him put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master
and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?'
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart."


Daily Meditation: Daniel 3:25, 34-43

Let our sacrifice be in your presence today. (Daniel 3:40)

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (also called Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael) were "in the fire," but in a sense, so were all the exiles who were living in Babylon at the time (Daniel 3:25). Far from home, the Israelites couldn't worship God by offering their sacrifices in the Temple in Jerusalem. Even worse, now they were being forced to worship the king's golden statue. The three men refused, so they were thrown into a white-hot furnace—so hot that it even burned the king's men who had cast them into it (3:22)!

Only God could save them, and so Azariah turned to him in prayer. Acknowledging the sins of his people, he told God that he had "no burnt offering, sacrifice, oblation, or incense" to offer him. Instead, he offered himself: "Let our sacrifice be in your presence today" (Daniel 3:40). In the fire, it was only a "contrite heart and humble spirit" that these men could give to the Lord (3:39).

We've all been "in the fire" at one time or another—difficult times that make us realize we don't have the strength, energy, or power to help ourselves, never mind offer anything to the Lord. We may struggle to worship him the way we did in better times. We can only come to God, as these men did, and offer him a contrite heart and a humble spirt. That means admitting our weaknesses and limitations and looking only to God to rescue us.

The good news is, this is exactly what the Lord wants from us! Of course, he is pleased with our good deeds and our prayers. But he also knows that when we are at the end of our rope, we are able to see ourselves as we truly are: totally dependent on him. And amazingly, when we throw ourselves on God's mercy and stop trying to change our situations on our own, he shows us just how powerfully he can work in our lives.

Whether or not you're in a white-hot furnace today, offer yourself to the Lord with a contrite heart and a humble spirit. Do this every day, and trust him to do his work in you.

"Lord, I give myself to you, today and always."

Psalm 25:4-9
Matthew 18:21-35


click to hear 2cents

Reflections with Brother Adrian:
Audio English


In the Gospel today we heard:
"His master summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?'
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart."
end quote.

From Bishop Barron today:
"Friends, in today's Gospel, Jesus tells a parable that illustrates God's mercy. The Latin word for mercy is misericordia, which designates the suffering of the heart, or compassion—cum patior (I suffer with).
Mercy is identical to what the Old Testament authors refer to as God's hesed, or tender mercy. It is the characteristic of God, for God is love. The love that obtains among the Trinitarian persons spills over into God's love for the world that he has made.
Think of a mother's love for her children. Could you ever imagine a mother becoming indifferent to one of her offspring? But even should she forget, we read in the prophet Isaiah, God will never forget his own. Consider the fact that nothing would exist were it not willed into being by God. But God has no need of anything; hence, his sustaining of the universe is an act of disinterested love and tender mercy.
There is no greater manifestation of the divine mercy than the forgiveness of sins. When G.K. Chesterton was asked why he became a Catholic, he answered, "To have my sins forgiven." This is the greatest grace the Church can offer: reconciliation, the restoration of the divine friendship, the forgiveness of our sins." End quote from Bishop Barron.

What does it feel like to be forgiven? If one is truly contrite (totally sincere and cut to the heart and soul) then it feels heavenly. The more serious the sin, the better it feels to be forgiven, the weight on your heart, mind, and soul. But what is that feeling all about? It is the knowing. To know that you have been spared. I could list some things I've been forgiven for by: Police (when I was in college) and it changed my life (involved beer). By loved ones. And most importantly, by our Father in Heaven who knows the deepest recesses of my heart and has pierced my darkness with His light in the Holy Sacrament of Confession. His light reached so far in, whence I let my heart open to Him. I've been all things ridiculous and I've learned serious lesson from all of them. So what does the feeling of being forgiven feel like?

Firstly, the college incident about 22 years ago, we had opened containers in the vehicle, cops had me pulled over and it was college finals (biggest exams) and I prayed so much to our Lord to help. I was forgiven, and that terrible night, that dark- dark night, I saw the light. And not just the cop lights! LOL. I remember it fondly, God's kindness. I swore it would never happen again, and it didn't. What did forgiveness feel like? To be set free? I felt Salvation and that God is with us. I was cut to the heart.

To be forgiven by someone you love helps you build greater trust in them! And so I tell you the worst parts about me so that you may believe what is about to be told about God's forgiveness and that if you come reconcile, you will know you can trust God with your life.

I've gone to the confessional many times. They say we should go regularly, at least monthly, although the church teaches at least once a year. But more often, closer to the sin timing is better for memory and goodness sake and to live a more grace filled life!
Last week, I wanted an excuse to ride my motorcycle because the weather was nice. I told my wife I wanted to go to confession. It was late, they start at 5pm, and I went straight there and I arrived at 6pm. The doors were locked. It was too late. Through the windows, I could see the brand new tabernacle with amazing lights (which we just renovated) through the glass doors. But I couldn't come near our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. I was too late.

I say this because this is how it will be if we die in our sin. Too late.
What sins did I have to confess? They were not mortal sins, I didn't commit grave sins. None of the sins I committed were mortal. But I've been training myself to see venial sins, and uncharitable acts as major sins. Sins against love are sins against God Himself. So what other sins are connected? Like what? Using the Lord's name in vain? How often do we just say "Oh My GOD!" for no good reason? That is to use it for nothing. But there's more sins. The type of sins people don't like to talk about. Cursing? Did you know that a curse word can actually curse someone or a situation? Talking uncharitably about others is a curse too. What else? Impurity, perhaps the biggest sin that leads most souls to hell. I feel so bad for our youth. When I was young it was really hard to see impure images. Today, just turn on any TV, internet, or social media and it is in your face if you let it, all things disgrace instead of grace. These are devil traps.

And what else can keep you from salvation and lead to eternal damnation that nobody thinks about much? Not forgiving someone. Resentment. Hatred. Animosity. Sins against love and humility.

But let me go ahead and warn the world about the following sin that I must mention now that I've never said: being unloving in any way towards any priest. The priest, no matter who they are or what they've done, are endowed with an indelible (more than permanent, but eternal) the mark of the Father who acts in them in the Holy Sacraments. A priest, when they die, will always be marked, whether in Heaven, Purgatory, or even hell. And so, I am going to warn the world, be careful how you treat a priest. I am not free to say what can happen, but know how important it is to love the priests rightly and obediently, with sincere love (willing the good of the other).

And priests should learn to lay down their lives for their flock, and they do, but more in the sense of getting over themselves to help pry open the hearts of hardened sinners. Sometimes it takes hard love, and sometimes with gentle love, but not always one or the other, but both, and hard love sometimes for us means just being honest and God's love and Holy Word.

Lord, I've been all things of the world, now I want to be all things of the Lord, You My Lord My God In Heaven. Forever. Forgive us Father, as we forgive others. Help me totally love and forgive! I want a contrite heart. The kind of Heart you love to live in.


Click for Audio

Random Bible Verse 1
Proverbs 3:28–29

28 Do not say to your neighbor, "Go, and come again,

tomorrow I will give it"—when you have it with you.
29 Do not plan evil against your neighbor,

who dwells trustingly beside you.


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God Bless You! Peace

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