DAILY PRAYER REQUESTS

Please feel free to post your prayer request for today as a comment to this post. Your needs and intentions will be included in our daily offerings throughout the day and at the 3 o’clock hour for Divine Mercy, and your requests will be personally offered to our Heavenly Father, having faith in the words our Lord spoke to Saint Faustina, “Through the chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will.” (Diary, § 1731)

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“Most Loving Lord Jesus, You who are our Eternal Lord and Savior, Your Loving Presence penetrates the very fiber of the hearts and souls of Your faithful children;

– with the help of Your grace, may our hearts be set aflame and our lives transformed interiorly so that we may truly desire nothing more in this life than spending our eternity with You and all our loved ones who have left this life in Your Eternal Friendship, giving You and Your Most Holy Name honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Mercy Minutes with Jesus (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

October 21 ~ What You Desire, Lord

Theme:  God’s Will vs. Our Self-Will

“On one occasion I heard these words, ‘I desire that You live according to My will, in the most secret depths of your soul.’ I reflected on these words, which spoke very much to my heart.” (Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 443)

“Jesus bent toward me, looked at me kindly and spoke to me about the will of the Heavenly Father. He told me that the most perfect and holy soul is the one that does the will of My Father, but there are not many such, and that He looks with special love upon the soul who lives His will. And Jesus told me that I was doing the will of God perfectly, ‘…and for this reason I am uniting myself with you and communing with you in a special and intimate way.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 603)

“I was left alone with Jesus, and I said, ‘Jesus, take me now, for Your will has already been accomplished.’ And Jesus answered, ‘My will has not yet been completely accomplished in you; you will still suffer much, but I am with you; do not fear.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 675)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, I desire what You desire for my life. May I always live Your will in the depths of my heart and soul. (Mercy Minutes with Jesus)

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Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

October 21 ~ The Delight of My Heart

Theme:  Happiness, Joy, Delight, Rejoice

“To converse with You, O Lord, is the delight of my heart. In You I find everything that my heart could desire. Here Your light illumines my mind, enabling it to know You more and more deeply. Here streams of graces flow down upon my heart. Here my soul draws eternal life.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1692)

“As I was meditating on the blessings of God, my heart was burning with a love so strong that it seemed my breast would burst.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1705)

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

Meditation for the Day

Thursday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time, October 21

May the Presence of God Penetrate Our Entire Being, and May He Set Our Hearts Aflame with a Profoundly Intense and Unquenchable Love, a Love Which Can Only Be Fully Realized and Fulfilled in the Eternal Embrace of God, Himself.

We hear our Lord exclaim today, “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!”

And then He says, “There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!” – a statement referring to His own death, after which the Holy Spirit would be given to us, to remind us of all that our Lord had taught and all that God desires of us.

Several years ago, I took a course on evangelization, which focused on the different types of outreach approaches to those who, for whatever reason, have left our family of faith – individuals who no longer practice their faith or those who have left the Church for another belief system.

One of the topics that was covered is the division which takes place within the family environment when children decide to reject the faith in which they were raised. And when this happens, there can be great pain in the hearts of the parents, especially if they are parents whose lives may be deeply rooted in the faith which they truly live within their hearts.

There were many attendees who shared their own pain when speaking about how their son or daughter, when either in high school or college, decided to question everything they were taught, some even to the point of leaving the Church, some even to the point of denying the existence of God.

As a parent myself, I can identify with the anxieties these other parents were feeling, as can maybe many of you reading this today. No wonder Jesus said, “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!

He knew that there would be divisions not only in the community and in His Church, but even within the intimate family structure itself. And I am sure that He probably shocked His own disciples when He declared that He would cast fire and cause division rather than peace upon the Earth!

One of the gifts which God gives to each of us is free will. We have the choice of either choosing to believe and accept the tenets of our faith, or we can choose to reject and ignore them. Fortunately, in many cases, our children, at some point in their lives, do decide to come full circle.

Some event during their lifetime, whether it be a wedding, baptism or maybe even death, begins the process of turning them around and bringing them back home to the faith in which they were raised.

All we can do, as parents, is pray for them and show them, by our holy example, how important the role of faith truly plays out in our daily lives. We do this not by confrontation, but rather by acts of love and kindness.

Let them see the Love of Jesus in us. And let our love become a natural part of that conversion process. For if we do otherwise, we may be standing in the way of allowing the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts in His time.

As parents, when there is division within the household regarding matters of faith, it is oftentimes difficult to accept that we sometimes need to step aside and recognize that each person takes a different path towards God, one which the Spirit has specifically designed for them.

As each person is unique, so too is our journey. And we must believe that the Holy Spirit truly understands and is with each one of us, as we progress in our own way and in our gradual understanding and acceptance of the gift of faith offered to each of us as God’s children.

But we also recognize that there are many in the world who have chosen a dark path for themselves. Their use of the gift of free will has taken them far from their love for God, for their lives become focused on new gods – gods of materialistic pleasures, self-gratification in all forms of immorality, greed for financial success and power at the expense of someone else’s loss and pain!

Saint Paul, in our First Reading today, addresses these issues and calls them slavery to sin and lawlessness. And the consequences of such slavery? Paul writes about it and he “pulls no punches”; in other words, he does not diminish the consequences of such slavery, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

To place any relationship, or anything else for that matter, above God is a form of idolatry. And Jesus challenges his disciples and He challenges you and me to examine who it is we love first and foremost in our lives! A true disciple loves God above all else and is willing to forsake all for the sake of His Kingdom here on Earth.

And this is the point our Lord was making in today’s Gospel. Do we truly keep our eyes and our hearts focused on the only God who can truly answer our prayers – who truly knows and loves each one of us beyond all human reason? Do we have a love for Jesus that is “on fire” – a hunger and a thirst that is insatiable and unquenchable?

May the love we have for God, may the faith we have in His Love for us, and may the relationship we have with our Lord Jesus Christ consume each one of us, so that our lives may be transformed – so that we may truly desire nothing more in this life than spending our eternity with all our loved ones who have left this life in God’s Eternal Friendship – giving honor and glory to the God who has loved each of us infinitely from even before the beginning of time.

Jesus exclaims to His followers from the very depths of His Most Sacred and Merciful Heart, “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!”

May the Presence of God penetrate our entire being, and may He set our hearts aflame with a profoundly intense and unquenchable love –

– a love which can only be fully realized and fulfilled in the eternal embrace of God Himself!

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” (Luke 12:49)
  • “There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!” (Luke 12:50)
  • “Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” (Luke 12:51)
  • “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness…But now that you have been freed from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit that you have leads to sanctification, and its end is eternal life.” (Romans 6:20, 22)
  • “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
  • Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world.” (1 John 2:15-16)
  • “Jesus replied, ‘The first is this: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”’(Mark 12:29-30)
  • “Love the LORD, all you who are faithful to him.” (Psalm 31:24a)
  • “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.” (1 John 4:16)
  • “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)
  • “What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9b)
  • “Praise the God of heaven, for his mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 136:26)

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Prayer for the Day

“I love You, O my God,
and my only desire is to love You
until the last breath of my life.

“I love You, O my infinitely lovable God,
and I would rather die loving You,
than live without loving You.

“I love You, Lord
and the only grace I ask is to love You eternally…
“My God, if my tongue cannot say in every moment that I love You,
I want my heart to repeat it to You as often as I draw breath.”

Saint John Marie Vianney (Holy Curé of Ars)

Saint of the Day ~ October 21

BLESSED CHARLES of AUSTRIA (1887-1922), holy man

Today, the Church honors Blessed Charles of Austria, who, as the country’s emperor and apostolic king of Hungary, lived his faith as leader of his people, always drawn to a strong sense of Christian social justice.

Charles was born of royal parents on August 17, 1887, in the Castle of Persenbeug in the region of Lower Austria. He was given an expressly Catholic education, as well as developing a deep devotion to the Holy Eucharist and to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. As a result, he learned to always turn to prayer before making any important decisions in his life.

On October 21, 1911, he married Princess Zita of Bourbon and Parma. The couple was blessed with eight children during the ten years of their happy and exemplary married life. And it was recorded that Charles declared to Zita on his deathbed: “I’ll love you forever.”

Charles became heir to the throne of the Austro‑Hungarian Empire on June 28, 1914, following the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand. In addition, with World War I already underway and with the death of the Emperor Francis Joseph, on November 21, 1916, Charles became Emperor of Austria. On December 30th in the same year, he was crowned apostolic King of Hungary.

Charles envisioned his duties and responsibilities as a way of following Christ – in the love and the care of the peoples entrusted to him, and by dedicating his life to their needs. He placed the most sacred duty of a king – a commitment to peace – at the center of his preoccupations during the course of the terrible war which encompassed his country. And he was the only one among several political leaders who supported Pope Benedict XV’s peace efforts.

As far as domestic politics were concerned, and despite the extremely difficult times in which his people were living, he initiated far-reaching social legislation, inspired by social Christian teaching.

Thanks to his conduct and political insights, the transition to a new order at the end of World War I was made possible. However, to prevent the outbreak of a civil war, and due to opposing factions within his own government, he allowed himself to be banished from his country in March 1919. Even while exiled on the island of Madeira in Portugal, he never abdicated his office, considering it a mandate from God.

Living together with his family and reduced to poverty, his health deteriorated and he suffered fatally from pneumonia. Yet, he accepted this as a sacrifice for the peace and unity of his peoples.

Charles endured his suffering without complaining, and he forgave all those who conspired against him. He died on April 1, 1922 with his eyes turned towards the Blessed Sacrament. On his deathbed, he repeated the motto of his life: “I strive always in all things to understand as clearly as possible and follow the will of God, and this in the most perfect way.”

Charles was beatified with the title “Blessed” on October 3, 2004 by Pope Saint John Paul II.

We commemorate his feastday on October 21.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com and vatican.va/news_services)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for Holy Men)

“All-powerful God, help us who celebrate the memory of Blessed Charles to imitate his way of life. May the example of Your saints be our challenge to live holier lives.

“Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

DAILY PRAYER REQUESTS

Please feel free to post your prayer request for today as a comment to this post. Your needs and intentions will be included in our daily offerings throughout the day and at the 3 o’clock hour for Divine Mercy, and your requests will be personally offered to our Heavenly Father, having faith in the words our Lord spoke to Saint Faustina, “Through the chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will.” (Diary, § 1731)

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“Most Merciful and Loving Lord Jesus, Your Holy Presence in our daily lives is the Eternal Light which strengthens our faith, amidst all the shadows of despair which the prince of this world wishes to effect upon us;

– with the help of Your grace, may we always be filled with an expectant hope and a steadfast faith knowing that You are always near to us knocking on the door of our hearts, always blessing us with the strength we need to endure. For, in the end, we pray that our faithfulness in You will truly be rewarded with an eternity which is beyond anything the human mind could ever possibly imagine! And we humbly pray this in Your Most Holy Name. Amen.”

Mercy Minutes with Jesus (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

October 19 ~ Mortify Your Self-Will

Theme:  God’s Will vs. Our Self-Will

“When I left the confessional and started to recite my penance, I heard these words: ‘I have granted the grace you asked for on behalf of that soul, but not because of the mortification you chose for yourself, but because of the act of complete obedience to My representative did I grant grace to that soul for whom you interceded and begged mercy. Know that when you mortify your own self-will, then Mine reigns within you.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 365)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, help me to mortify my own self-will, so Your will shall reign within me. Please give me opportunities through such mortification to help souls in need. (Mercy Minutes with Jesus)

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

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Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

October 19 ~ My Heart Dissolves in Joy

Theme:  Happiness, Joy, Delight, Rejoice

“O incomprehensible God, my heart dissolves in joy that You have allowed me to penetrate the mysteries of Your mercy! Everything begins with Your mercy and ends with Your mercy.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1506)

“Everlasting love, pure flame, burn in my heart ceaselessly and deify my whole being, according to Your infinite pleasure by which You summoned me into existence and called me to take part in Your everlasting happiness.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1523)

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

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Meditation for the Day

Tuesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time, October 19

May Our Lord’s Presence in Our Daily Pilgrimage through Life Help Us to Persevere in Our Faithfulness, Never Surrendering to the Shadows Which Surround Us, Never Giving-In to the Fears and the Dismays to Which So Many of God’s Children Have Succumbed.

In the Gospel Reading for last Saturday, we heard our Lord warning His disciples, “…whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God.”

And in Matthew’s Gospel, we read, “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.”

Many people are so overwhelmed by the conditions in which we find ourselves in today’s world – a struggling economy which seems, at times, to be on the brink of collapse, an unemployment rate on a world-wide level which places untold numbers of families in poverty, a culture which embraces same-sex marriage and denies the sanctity of life for the unborn and the aged, and the moral teachings of our faith being disparaged and placed under attack by those who have freely chosen to embrace godless ways!

It is no wonder our Lord once said, “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” It is as though a dark cloud hangs over the mind and the conscience of many of God’s children, so much so that the incidence of depression related illnesses are on an ever constant increase.

When I was reflecting on today’s Readings, I began to think about all those whom I know who are filled with despair and sadness, due to circumstances in their lives which have greatly affected them in a negative way. Yet, the theme, which seems to thread itself throughout today’s Readings, is meant to give us hope in the midst of all of today’s difficulties.

And it is Paul, in his Letter to the Romans, who first gives us this hope which each one of us needs, for we find him affirming to the Christian community to which he was writing, “Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more…”

Paul was writing that God’s grace far outweighs any sin. His Mercy prevails over the worst possible transgression we could commit! And God’s Love knows no bounds; it has no limits, if we only allow ourselves to be opened to all that He wishes to share with us.

But for those who sadly close the eyes, the ears and the hearts of their souls to all that God’s Spirit has revealed to us, their action becomes tantamount to being caught up in and being overwhelmed by the darkness which seems to prevail in this world – for we allow ourselves to be seduced by the lies which come from the prince of this world, Satan himself.

However, when you and I take the time in our daily lives to remain focused on what truly matters – our life of faith and our personal relationship with Jesus Christ – then, no matter how dark the skies may become, no matter how overwhelming the shadows of darkness may appear, we know that the Love, Mercy and Grace of Almighty God can overcome any darkness and illumine every shadow!

Our psalmist in today’s Responsorial gives us words of praise and hope when he says, “To do your will, O my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart! …May all who seek you exult and be glad in you…”

It is when we actively seek out God in our lives, it is when we truly place our trust in His Infinite Goodness – that we begin to realize that the shadows of darkness have no place in the life of faith in Jesus Christ which we profess and truly live in our daily lives.

Jesus is always knocking on the door of our hearts. He is always reaching out to us, asking us to trust in Him, to depend upon Him, to truly need Him at every moment in our lives.

And for those of His children who have answered His call, for those of us who have opened the door of our hearts and have invited Him in, so that He may become an integral and fundamental part of our lives – we have no reason to fear the shadows, we have no reason to be apprehensive of the darkness which seems to be all around us.

For it is the Presence of Jesus in our lives which becomes the Eternal Light which illumines our way through this vale of tears! And our Lord tells each of us today, “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.”

Whether our Lord is knocking on our hearts at the moment of our final hour, or whether He is knocking at each and every moment during our day-to-day activities, when we invite Him in and embrace His Loving Presence, God is the One who will ALWAYS wait on us!

Out of His Infinite and unfathomable Love which He has for you and me, He is the One who will guide us, walk with us on our daily journeys, watching over and protecting us from all harm – because we were vigilant enough to hear His knocking. And because of our belief in His Love, we invited Him into our hearts and souls – welcoming Him and asking Him to become a vital and most important part of our everyday life.

May our Lord’s Presence, in our daily pilgrimage through all that we experience on this side of Heaven, help us to persevere in our faithfulness, never surrendering to the shadows which surround us, never giving-in to the fears and the dismays to which so many of God’s children have succumbed.

And may God’s Presence give each of us the strength to always remain vigilant, not only now, but especially at that final moment when we hear His invitation to attend that greatest of all Wedding Feasts in His honor – the Heavenly Banquet!

For it is in our faithfulness that our place at His table is most assuredly guaranteed!

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “…whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God.” (Luke 12:9)
  • “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:37-38)
  • “For God did not call us to impurity but to holiness. Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards not a human being but God, who also gives his holy Spirit to you.” (1 Thessalonians 4:7-8)
  • “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8b)
  • “…where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through justification for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:20b-21)
  • “I delight to do your will, my God; your law is in my inner being! …those who seek you rejoice and be glad in you.” (Psalm 40:9, 17a)
  • “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.” (Luke 12:37)
  • “I was sleeping, but my heart kept vigil; I heard my lover knocking…” (Song of Songs 5:2ab)
  • “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)

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Prayer for the Day

“Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart,
which no unworthy affection may drag downwards;
Give us an unconquered heart,
which no tribulation can wear out;
Give us an upright heart,
which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside.

“Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God,
understanding to know You, diligence to seek You,
wisdom to find You,
and a faithfulness that may finally embrace You.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Saint Thomas Aquinas