Tuesday, April 16, 2024

† ".That Which Comes Down... "


†Quote of the Day

"Pray, hope and don't worry. Anxiety doesn't help at all. Our Merciful Lord will listen to your prayer." — Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina

Today's Meditation

"Thus sin renders the soul miserable, weak and torpid, inconstant in doing good, cowardly in resisting temptation, slothful in the observance of God's commandments. It deprives her of true liberty and of that sovereignty which she should never resign; it makes her a slave to the world, the flesh, and the devil; it subjects her to a harder and more wretched servitude than that of the unhappy Israelites in Egypt or Babylon. Sin so dulls and stupefies the spiritual senses of man that he is deaf to God's voice and inspirations; blind to the dreadful calamities which threaten him; insensible to the sweet odor of virtue and the example of the saints; incapable of tasting how sweet the Lord is, or feeling the touch of His benign hand in the benefits which should be a constant incitement to his greater love. Moreover, sin destroys the peace and joy of a good conscience, takes away the soul's fervor, and leaves her an object abominable in the eyes of God and His saints. The grace of justification delivers us from all these miseries. For God, in His infinite mercy, is not content with effacing our sins and restoring us to His favor; He delivers us from the evils sin has brought upon us, and renews the interior man in his former strength and beauty. Thus He heals our wounds, breaks our bonds, moderates the violence of our passions, restores with true liberty the supernatural beauty of the soul, reestablishes us in the peace and joy of a good conscience, reanimates our interior senses, inspires us with ardor for good and a salutary hatred of sin, makes us strong and constant in resisting evil, and thus enriches us with an abundance of good works. In fine, He so perfectly renews the inner man with all his faculties that the Apostle calls those who are thus justified new men and new creatures." —Venerable Louis Of Grenada, p. 46

An excerpt from The Sinner's Guide

Daily Verse

"For to you has been granted, for the sake of Christ, not only to believe in him but also to suffer for him." — Philippians 1:29


St. Bernadette Soubirous Of Lourdes

St. Bernadette Soubirous (1844–1879) was the eldest of nine children born to an impoverished family from Lourdes, France. She was a sickly child who suffered from severe asthma her entire life. While out collecting firewood on February 11, 1858, at the age of 14, Bernadette saw an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in a grotto cave on the banks of the Gave River. It was the first of 18 times that the Blessed Mother would appear to her. Bernadette faced much controversy and opposition as a result of her visions, including humiliating interrogations from both the civil and ecclesiastical authorities. Yet, many of the townspeople believed her and gathered at the grotto when she continued to have visits from the Virgin Mary. During one of the visits a hidden spring was shown to St. Bernadette which proved to have miraculous healing power. When Our Lady finally revealed her name to Bernadette as the "Immaculate Conception," the local bishop acknowledged the visions as authentic. As requested by Our Lady of Lourdes, a church was erected at the site of the grotto and spring. Today, Lourdes is one of the most visited Catholic pilgrimage shrines in the world. Multitudes have experienced medically documented cures of body and soul from the Lourdes waters. St. Bernadette became a nun and died at a convent in Nevers, France, on April 16,1879, at the age of 35. She was canonized in 1933 by Pope Pius XI. Her feast day is April 16th.
Find a devotional for this saint


Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 7:51—8:1a

Stephen said to the people, the elders, and the scribes:
"You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears,
you always oppose the Holy Spirit;
you are just like your ancestors.
Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute?
They put to death those who foretold the coming of the righteous one,
whose betrayers and murderers you have now become.
You received the law as transmitted by angels,
but you did not observe it."

When they heard this, they were infuriated,
and they ground their teeth at him.
But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit,
looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God
and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
and Stephen said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened
and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."
But they cried out in a loud voice,
covered their ears, and rushed upon him together.
They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him.
The witnesses laid down their cloaks
at the feet of a young man named Saul.
As they were stoning Stephen, he called out,
"Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice,
"Lord, do not hold this sin against them";
and when he said this, he fell asleep.

Now Saul was consenting to his execution.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 31:3cd-4, 6 and 7b and 8a, 17 and 21ab

R. (6a) Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
R. Alleluia.

Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety.
You are my rock and my fortress;
for your name's sake you will lead and guide me.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
R. Alleluia.

Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
My trust is in the LORD;
I will rejoice and be glad of your mercy.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
R. Alleluia.

Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your kindness.
You hide them in the shelter of your presence
from the plottings of men.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 6:35ab

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the bread of life, says the Lord;
whoever comes to me will never hunger.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 6:30-35

The crowd said to Jesus:
"What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?
What can you do?
Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:

He gave them bread from heaven to eat."

So Jesus said to them,
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven;
my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world."

So they said to Jesus,
"Sir, give us this bread always."
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst."


Daily Meditation: Acts 7:51–8:1

Lord, do not hold this sin against them. (Acts 7:60)

Unforgivable. If Stephen's brutal murder were being covered on today's news, you might hear a reporter use that word. But Stephen himself disagreed. In the midst of his terrifying ordeal, even as the stones were flying through the air and striking him, he prayed for his killers' forgiveness: "Lord, do not hold this sin against them" (Acts 7:60). In making this prayer, Stephen was following the example of Jesus on the cross, who prayed, "Father, forgive them" (Luke 23:34).

How did Stephen get to the point where he could pray like this? Surely it must have been his own experience of forgiveness. Imagine how his heart was flooded by the love of God when he encountered Jesus! His whole way of seeing the world changed. He learned that Jesus, who died for us while we were still sinners, doesn't wait until we are perfect before he meets us with love. And that encounter, that realization, opened him to extend the same mercy toward the men who were stoning him.

Has something "unforgivable" happened to you? It may not be as dramatic as what happened to Stephen, but have you struggled with Jesus' command to turn the other cheek? Perhaps you are caring for a family member whose ingratitude seems callous. Or maybe you have wanted to lash out at someone who keeps making unkind remarks at work.

Whatever the situation, you can imitate Stephen because the same Holy Spirit who worked in him is at work in you. Stephen was able to forgive because he had discovered God's overwhelming mercy. The Spirit had filled him with the love of a God who always forgives, and he can do the same for you. He can empower you to forgive just as freely as you have been forgiven. It may not happen overnight, and you may need to keep asking and seeking and knocking, but it will happen.

So keep cultivating a heart open to God's healing and transforming love. Keep seeking his forgiveness for you so that you can learn how to forgive even the unforgivable.

"Lord, I welcome your mercy into my life. Come and make my heart merciful like yours."

Psalm 31:3-4, 6-8, 17, 21
John 6:30-35


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Reflections with Brother Adrian:


In the Holy Scripture we hear today:
""What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?
What can you do?
Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:
He gave them bread from heaven to eat."...."
end quote.

From Bishop Barron today:
"Friends, today's Gospel is from the bread of life discourse: "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst." What God has wanted from the beginning is to sit down with his creatures in a fellowship banquet, sharing life and laughter, giving, receiving, and giving back again.
This is the loop of grace. The more we receive the divine life, the more we should give it away and thereby get more of it.
Throughout the Old Testament, we find images of the holy banquet. On God's holy mountain, Isaiah says there will be good meats and pure choice wines. And throughout his ministry, Jesus hosts meals to which all are invited. God wants to share his life with us.
This comes to fullest expression at the Eucharist, where Jesus changes the bread and the wine into his Body and Blood and then invites all of us around this table to feast and share life, to give and to receive and to give again." end quote.

Many non believers would often come up to our Lord and ask for a sign.
That is a problem in of itself.

First of all it says "I got to see to believe." Most of us if not everyone is like this, right?

But our Lord says "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed." John 20:29.
It is more blessed to NOT see than to see and then believe.

And so, secondly, to ask for a sign is to admit you'd rather not have faith until things come down to your terms as if to say "if God don't jump through these hoops I've set up, then He doesn't exist". Or nowadays we have the supposed scientologists or other like minded folks that say "if we can't measure God with our instruments, then He does not exist". It all has to fit certain parameters we set up ourselves as if we knew it all.
And so there is a modern pervasive problem of ages that makes it what I'll call the "Burger King" mentality. You've heard the restaurant's slogan right? It says: "Your way RIGHT AWAY!". I said these things as a vendor came in to drop off donuts today and we spoke about people and God and the current workload situation in our area. He asked if we had projects on the horizon, and I said "Perhaps, but they might be mirages, we won't know until we get there and how sometimes I wish we could rush there right away". I said people want things right away and their way. But we agreed that God doesn't work that way. It's all in His timing and the way He wants things to pan out. What's worse, if we try to force something it almost always turns rotten and negative.

You see, the ways of God are peace, and gentle. When things are done by force, things work against His will. And the only thing I would ask you to force is your will. Force yourself to do God things, force that spinach into the young kids mouth! Popeye will grow muscles! Right? We don't like to go against the ways of the world at first, but give it time and much effort, force to be different than the world, and everything changes.

Soon you'll be developing an appetite for holiness, purity, and godliness, and for truth. And eventually you will find it all in the Holy Eucharist. The bread that God said He will dwell in the Presence of the Bread that God gave from the beginning of time and through Moses and his exodus until the greatest of Bread, Jesus in His exodus from death into life!

Lord, I adore You, Lord, I hunger for You!


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Random Bible Verse 1
Psalm 121:7–8

7 The LORD will keep you from all evil;

he will keep your life.
8 The LORD will keep

your going out and your coming in

from this time forth and forevermore.


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