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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“Lord Jesus, in the indescribable Love which You have for each of us, Your children, You chose to leave us Yourself in the unassuming appearance of consecrated bread and wine;

– guide Your faithful children to seek and taste the things that are above, so that our hunger for the Bread of Life and our thirst for Your living water may satisfy our every longing for all eternity; for You, dear Jesus, are true nourishment for the soul. We humbly pray this in Your Most Holy Name. Amen.”

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

August 1 ~ Comfort of My Heart

Theme:  Graces of Retreats

Probation Before Perpetual Vows ~

“When I learned I was to go for probation, my heart beat with joy at the thought of such an immense grace, that of the perpetual vows. I went before the Blessed Sacrament; and when I immersed myself in prayer of thanksgiving, I heard these words in my soul: ‘My child you are My delight, you are the comfort of My Heart. I grant you as many graces as you can hold. As often as you want to make Me happy, speak to the world about My great and unfathomable mercy.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 164)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, may we, too, make You happy as we “speak to the world about [Your] great and unfathomable mercy.” May we, too, delight You and comfort You by our trust in Your Divine Mercy. (Mercy Minutes with Jesus)

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Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

August 1 ~ Small, Everyday Sacrifices

Theme:  Daily Life

“O life so dull and monotonous, how many treasures you contain! When I look at everything with the eyes of faith, no two hours are alike, and the dullness and monotony disappear.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 62)

“O you small, everyday sacrifices, you are to me like wild flowers which I strew over the feet of my beloved Jesus. I sometimes compare these trifles to the heroic virtues, and that is because their enduring nature demands heroism.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 208)

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Meditation for the Day

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, August 1

In the Faith Which We Profess, May We Realize That the Bread of Life Is Truly the Source and Summit Which Gives Each of Us the Fullness of Life, Which Nourishes and Strengthens Us in Our Daily Pilgrimage.

We hear Jesus in today’s Gospel teach all who were following Him a profound Truth which fills our hearts with a hope that is beyond man’s ability to fully appreciate, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”

When we think about this gift of faith which we each share in Jesus Christ, when we think about all that He has taught us and all that He wishes to bestow upon us, have we ever taken the time to truly be thankful for being spiritually where we are today?

Have we ever truly thought about what it must be like for those who walk through this life without ever really knowing or appreciating the gift of the infinite and indescribable Love which God has for each and every one of His children?

How sad it must be for those brothers and sisters of ours, in Christ, who have never fully opened their hearts, who have never fully embraced the virtue of humility and the teachings of Christianity, who have never fully comprehended the true meaning of the Cross, both in the time of Christ and in our own lives today – all which gives us hope in One infinitely greater than all of us put together.

In their lack of knowledge and in their lack of understanding of who God truly is, their journey through life becomes an empty one, a journey which leaves them feeling unfulfilled, a journey which leaves them wanting for more, which leaves them with a hunger which goes unsatisfied. And they end up attempting to satiate that hunger with material goods and physical gratification and immoral pleasures, which still leave them feeling unsatisfied and desiring more.

In today’s Gospel Reading, John is beginning to lead us through Jesus’ discourses, His teachings, that He IS the Bread of Life which feeds and nourishes us on our individual pilgrimages we find ourselves making on this side of Heaven.

Our journeys, to which I am sure each one of us can attest, are filled with many peaks, in which we experience happiness, contentment and joy, and also many valleys, in which we realize difficulties, sorrows and disappointments.

The crowds, who were looking for Jesus today, are like those in today’s world who seek out short-lived pleasures derived from materialistic gains, because they had just been fed their fill due to the miracle Jesus had performed in the multiplication of loaves and fishes.

And when they found Him on the other side of the Sea of Galilee in Capernaum, Jesus responded to them with what appears to be a certain amount of displeasure, when He says, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.”

The materialism of this world can bring us short-term delight. But, eventually, we each know that, in the long-run, the satisfaction which this world gives ultimately leave us flat, and we end up desiring more, almost as though materialism becomes similar to a drug fix, in which we need more and more – never being fully satisfied or contented.

And Jesus says to them and to us, “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life.” Yet, there are many who continue to blindly seek worldly gratification, a contentment which is fleeting and short-lived.

Even the manna, which we hear about in our First Reading today, would not satisfy the Israelites for long, for they would continue to feel unsatisfied and unhappy – because they failed to open their hearts and could not understand the gift from God which truly satisfies.

Even Saint Paul, in our Second Reading, is exhorting his readers to put aside their old selves, to discard all that had been corrupting them, so that they could begin to embrace that which is new – and that newness was their life in Christ, as it is ours – Christ, who has given Himself in Word and Flesh so that each of us may be renewed, refreshed and nourished.

In the Lord’s Prayer, which we commonly call the Our Father, we petition God when we ask, “Give us this day our daily bread.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that this petition pertains not to just those foods which fill the stomach, but most especially to those foods which nourish the spirit.

Remember, Jesus once said, “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.”

For this reason, the Christian sense of this petition – this prayer of ours to God for “our daily bread” – concerns the very “Bread of Life” itself, which, for our nourishment, becomes twofold: firstly, the Word of God accepted in faith, and, secondly, the Body and Blood of Christ received in Eucharist.

It is, in this sense, that we can begin to understand the direct relationship which the “Bread of Life” has upon us, for it is truly this Bread “which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

It is, for this reason, the Catechism teaches us that “…the Church has always venerated the Scriptures as she venerates the Lord’s Body. She never ceases to present to the faithful the Bread of Life, taken from the one table of God’s Word and Christ’s Body.”

We see this in how the Holy Mass is structured, first in God’s Word, which is called the Liturgy of the Word, and in Christ’s Body, which is referred to as the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Each part is just as important as the other, for if one of these elements – the Word or the Body – is missing, it would no longer be called a Mass.

And it is through the Holy Mass, the ultimate form of prayer which we, as Catholic Christians, enjoy as an intimate part of our spiritual life, whereby we receive the fullness of the “Bread of Life” – through being fed with God’s Word in the Holy Scriptures and being fed with the Body and Blood of the Risen Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

No other prayer exists which has the fullness of spiritual nourishment as does the sacrificial prayer of the Holy Mass!

When Jesus said to those who were following him at Capernaum, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst”, He was, in part, responding to a prophesy God made through the prophet Amos, which we read in the Old Testament.

In Chapter 8 of the Book of Amos, we find, See, days are coming, says the Lord GOD, when I will send a famine upon the land: Not a hunger for bread, or a thirst for water, but for hearing the word of the LORD.”

It IS God’s wish, His earnest desire out of His indescribable Love for each and every one of us – you, me and all who do not know him and all those who reject Him – to reconcile us to Himself and feed us with the “Bread of Life”, the spiritual nourishment which feeds the soul, as though it were food for our journey through this life, and as food for the journey that each one of us must one day take into eternal life.

Each and every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer, the Our Father, may we slow down and meditate upon that petition which we ask of our Heavenly Father – “Give us this day our daily bread.” I pray that we will come to a greater understanding and a more profound enlightenment of this most wondrous Gift which is God Himself.

And with an opened and humbled heart, and in the faith which we profess, we shall come to realize that the “Bread of Life” is truly the Source and Summit which gives each of us the fullness of life, which nourishes and strengthens us on our daily pilgrimage, our individual journeys – whether they be peaks or valleys on this side of the eternal!

May God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “Jesus answered them and said, ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.’(John 6:26-27)
  • “…put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
  • “And when the layer of dew evaporated, fine flakes were on the surface of the wilderness, fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground. On seeing it, the Israelites asked one another, ‘What is this?’ for they did not know what it was. But Moses told them, ‘It is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat.’” (Exodus 16:14-15)
  • “[Jesus said to the devil] in reply, ‘It is written: ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.’’(Matthew 4:4 ~ Deuteronomy 8:3b)
  • “So Jesus said to them, ‘…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 him, ‘Sir, give us this bread always.’” (John 6:32b-34)
  • “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.’(John 6:35)
  • “See, days are coming, says the Lord GOD, when I will send a famine upon the land: Not a hunger for bread, or a thirst for water, but for hearing the word of the LORD.” (Amos 8:11)
  • “Give us today our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11)
  • “Let them thank the LORD for his mercy, such wondrous deeds for the children of Adam. For he satisfied the thirsty, filled the hungry with good things.” (Psalm 107:8-9)
  • “But Israel I will feed with the finest wheat, I will satisfy them with honey from the rock.” (Psalm 81:17)
  • “All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights…” (James 1:17ab)

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Prayer for the Day

“Divine Savior,
we come to Your sacred table to nourish ourselves,
not with bread but with Yourself,
True Bread of eternal life.

“Help us daily to make a good and perfect meal
of this Divine Food.
Let us be continually refreshed
by the perfume of Your kindness and goodness.

“May the Holy Spirit fill us with His Love.
Meanwhile, let us prepare a place
for this Holy Food by emptying our hearts. Amen.”

Saint Francis de Sales

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 and Eternal Father, You call each of us to live a life of holiness, embracing all that Your Son, Jesus, taught us during the years He walked amongst Your children;

– with the help of Your grace, may we always reach out with love, patience and humility to all who are in most need of Your limitless and indescribable Mercy, living our faith with the joy of knowing that we are fulfilling Your Divine will in all that You ask of us, and faithfully bearing whatever crosses may come our way as a result of our love for You. We humbly pray this in Jesus’ Most Holy Name. Amen.”

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

July 30 ~ You are That Saint

Theme:  Strive for Sanctity

“First Friday. When I took the Messenger of the Sacred Heart into my hand and read the account of the canonization of Saint Andrew Bobola, my soul was instantly filled with a great longing that our Congregation, too, might have a saint, and I wept like a child that there was no saint in our midst. And I said to the Lord, ‘I know your generosity, and yet it seems to me that You are less generous toward us.’ And I began again to weep like a little child.

“And the Lord Jesus said to me, ‘Don’t cry. You are that saint.’ Then the light of God inundated my soul, and I was given to know how much I was to suffer, and I said to the Lord, ‘How will that come about? You have been speaking to me about another congregation.’ and the Lord answered, ‘It is not for you to know how this will come about. Your duty is to be faithful to My grace and to do always what is within your power and what obedience allows you to do…’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 1650)

My prayer response:

Thank you, Saint Faustina, for evoking the word of the Lord, “You are that saint.” Thank you, Saint Faustina, for your holy life and your Diary. (Mercy Minutes with Jesus)

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Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

July 30 ~ Knowing Everything Depends on His Will

Theme:  Knowledge of God

“[The Lord Jesus] is bringing me to understand deeply how everything depends on His will, and how He allows certain difficulties precisely for our merit, so that our fidelity might be clearly manifest. And through this, I have been given strength for suffering and self-denial.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1409)

“Jesus, give me an intellect, a great intellect, for this only, that I may understand You better; because the better I get to know You, the more ardently will I love You.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1474)

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Meditation for the Day

Friday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time, July 30

Let Us Pray that Each of Us, As Members of the Body of Christ, with Hearts Filled with Compassionate Understanding and Selfless Love, Will Always Reach Out with Patience and Humility to All Who Are in Most Need of God’s Limitless Mercy.

“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.” – an expression which I personally found to be so true.

When I began to prepare my meditation on today’s Scripture Readings, the experience of Jesus reminded me of some of my own past experiences.

I remember mentioning this once before in a prior Mediation. Over the course of many years, I had been involved in several different ministries attending to the needs of the Body of Christ in whatever direction the Spirit had led me. And there were several instances in which family and friends, at one time or another, would ask for spiritual or moral advice.

And no matter how pastorally I would approach their concerns or questions, they would almost never like to hear the Church’s teachings, especially when the teachings contradicted their own way of thinking or personal convictions. I suppose they figured I would change God’s Truth to address their issues in a way that would be pleasing or acceptable to them.

Today, we read that our Lord was rebuked by those who were listening to His teachings and who were familiar with Him while He was growing up in His home village. And Scripture says, “…he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.”

And when we look around us today and observe all that is taking place, all that is transpiring in today’s world, we become witnesses as to how today’s society ridicules the teachings of the Church and those who openly profess their faith. And we also discern how society’s respect for Christian moral values has disintegrated to the point where immoral conduct and lifestyles have become socially and legally acceptable.

We even observe, with great sadness, that in some places of our country and in the world, refusing to become a participant in the wholesale slaughter of innocents in the wombs of their mothers, or refusing to recognize or endorse same-sex marriages, can invite upon ourselves public ostracizing, or legal reprisals such as fines and imprisonment. And Christians are erroneously branded as radical extremists who embrace a religion which is intolerant and discriminatory.

As a sad consequence, more and more are proclaiming that Christians, especially traditional Catholics, are synonymous with hate groups, since our faith condones neither homosexuality nor transsexualism.

In general, many people no longer recognize the importance of God in their lives. And if they do not recognize God, then they will certainly not recognize or acknowledge the Natural Law established by God, nor His Commandments or Statutes which were and are designed to guide us into embracing a righteous and holy lifestyle.

I am sure that many of us, who are of age, remember during our youth when there was a general respect for the Church and its clergy; and there was a real respect for Christian moral values within society. Even Hollywood, decades ago, showed a certain degree of respect for decency in the numerous movies it produced.

But, as the years progressed, God’s Truth no longer became relevant, desirable or acceptable, and the voices of agnostics and atheists began to overcome the voices of the silent majority, with their devious and outright appalling cry, “God is dead!” And, recently, we hear the words coming from certain factions within society, “Hail Satan!”

The eyes and ears of many hearts and souls have sadly begun to be closed to the ONLY Truth given to man, a Truth which had been taught and accepted for millennia.

I, together with so many of my generation who still desired to remain in close communion with our God, could see, within the hearts of so many people from all walks of life, a general lessening of faith and a very real growth of a personal egoism and self-centeredness.

And in one’s personal views of what truth should be – truth was altered to become whatever was pleasing and acceptable to each person’s individual whims and point of view (a behavioral thinking and acting called relativism) – especially when peoples’ hearts were closed, and they didn’t like being told what they could or could not do – all as a result of personal pride and selfishness, and a general distaste for the virtues of humility, purity and obedience to the will of God.

From all eternity, and in the wisdom of God, He knew of the fickleness of man’s heart, and, if not constantly reminded, man would continuously stray from God’s ways.

That is why we find, in our First Reading from the Book of Leviticus, God establishing rules so that His children would always be reminded of the significance of keeping their lives centered on the God of their fathers, always being reminded of what should always be kept most important and central in their lives.

And throughout the passage of time, God’s expectations of us have never changed. That is why the Church considers it obligatory for us to attend Sunday Mass, unless there is a valid reason for not attending. That is why we have solemn Holy Days of Obligation and other Feastdays, and many other forms of worship – to remind us that God should always be at the very center, the very focal point of our daily lives.

Sadly, however, so many people then, and so many today, have lost sight of why we are here, and what this life is truly all about. God is reminding us through the words of today’s psalmist which we find in our Responsorial, “There shall be no strange god among you nor shall you worship any alien god. I, the LORD, am your God…”

Even our Lord, Himself, had a difficult time relating to those from His own home village. And Scripture tells us, “And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.’

God has given us this most wondrous gift of life so that we may come to know, love and serve Him, thereby giving Him glory, and receiving from Him the reward of eternal life with Him and all His angels in His Heavenly Kingdom!

The challenge for the Church today is reaching out to our separated brothers and sisters, evangelizing God’s Truth with compassion and love, mercy and understanding – all without watering down, without diluting God’s Truth one iota – and, at the same time, without creating additional barriers between the Church and God’s children.

God calls us to be a holy people, a people unto His own – a people redeemed by Christ, a people to bear witness to a God who is Love, to a God who is the only Truth which truly matters. And as a holy people, we are each called to give witness to the Truth by our own life of faith – through our witness to compassion and love, mercy and understanding which we actively show towards one another.

We cannot do this unless we keep ourselves focused on what is truly most important. By frequenting the Sacraments, by making prayer an important and integral part of our daily lives, we are enabled and strengthened to become Christ-like to all those around us – to both family and friends alike.

Let us pray that each and every one of us, as members of the Body of Christ, with hearts filled with compassionate understanding and selfless love, in imitation of all that Christ has taught us and all that He expects of us, will always reach out with patience and humility to all who are in most need of God’s limitless and indescribable Mercy.

And may His loving embrace gently guide His lost sheep back into the one true fold, where we may all be one, giving praise and glory to His Most Holy Name.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “He came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue. They were astonished and said, ‘Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?’ …And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.’ And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.” (Matthew 13:54, 57-58)
  • “For this is a law for Israel, an edict of the God of Jacob…‘There shall be no foreign god among you; you shall not bow down to an alien god. I am the LORD your God.’(Psalm 81:5, 10-11a)
  • “These, therefore, are the festivals of the LORD which you shall declare holy days, in order to offer as an oblation to the LORD burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and libations, as prescribed for each day, in addition to the LORD’s sabbaths, your donations, your various votive offerings, and the voluntary offerings that you present to the LORD.” (Leviticus 23:37-38)
  • “He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him. But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God” (John 1:11-12a)
  • “Their wickedness blinded them, and they did not know the hidden counsels of God.” (Wisdom 2:21b-22a)
  • “…the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that they may not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)
  • “Do not fear, even though there are briers or thorns and you sit among scorpions…You must speak my words to them, whether they hear or resist, because they are rebellious.” (Ezekiel 2:6b, 7)
  • “Show us favor, LORD, show us favor, for we have our fill of contempt. Our souls are more than sated with mockery from the insolent, with contempt from the arrogant.” (Psalm 123:3-4)
  • “So our eyes are on the LORD our God, till we are shown favor.” (Psalm 123:2cd)
  • “First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone…This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.(1 Timothy 2:1, 3-4)
  • “[The Lord] is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9b)
  • “Do I find pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord GOD? Do I not rejoice when they turn from their evil way and live?” (Ezekiel 18:23)
  • “My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20)
  • “…there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.” (Luke 15:7)

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Prayer for the Day

“Dear Jesus,
help me to spread Your fragrance everywhere I go.

“Flood my soul with Your Spirit and Love.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly
that all my life may only be a radiance of Yours.

“Shine through me and be so in me
that every soul I come in contact with
may feel Your Presence in my soul.

“Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus.
Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as You shine,
so to shine as to be a light to others.”

Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta