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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“Eternal and Most Loving Father, the wonder of our own creation is a sign of the profoundness of the unfathomable Love which You hold in Your Most Compassionate and Merciful Heart for each and every one of us, Your children;

– as we continue our pilgrimage through life, please help us to open the eyes and the ears of our hearts and souls to the wonder of Your Presence all around us – not only in the created beauty of nature, but, more importantly, in each and every person we meet. For all of creation reflects Your Infinite Beauty and praises the awesome wonders of Your immeasurable Love. We humbly pray this request in the Most Holy Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.”

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

April 19 ~ In a Great Storm

Theme:  The Chaplet of Mercy

“Today I was awakened by a great storm. The wind was raging, and it was raining in torrents, thunderbolts striking again and again. I began to pray that the storm would do no harm, when I heard the words: ‘Say the chaplet I have taught you, and the storm will cease.’ I began immediately to say the chaplet and hadn’t even finished it when the storm suddenly ceased, and I heard the words: ‘Through the chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 1731)

My prayer response:

Thank You, Jesus, for teaching us to use the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for a variety of needs. What amazing promises You have given us about our praying it! (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)

April 19 ~ The Divine Mercy Will Triumph

Theme:  Struggle, Satan, Spiritual Warfare

“This life of mine is a ceaseless struggle, a constant effort to do Your holy will; but may everything that is in me, both my misery and my strength, give praise to You, O Lord.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1740)

“In spite of Satan’s anger, The Divine Mercy will triumph over the whole world and will be worshipped by all souls.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1789)

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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

Monday of the Third Week of Easter, April 19

Are We Open to the Many Signs Which God Gives to Each of Us in Our Daily Lives, for God Speaks to Us in Many Different and Varied Ways, and Some Ways Are More Subtle than Others?

Did you ever hear the expression, “An army marches on its stomach?” It seems that this phrase could apply to all those who were following Jesus after miraculously being fed with, what started out to be, just five loaves and two fish. They were definitely a small army of some five thousand men, not including women and children.

And when they find Jesus again on the other side of the Sea of Galilee (Tiberius) in the town of Capernaum, our Lord 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.”

But then He goes on to say, “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.”

In today’s Gospel Reading, Saint John is beginning to lead us on a journey through Jesus’ discourses – His teachings that He is the Bread of Life, the Food which nourishes the soul and gives eternal life to the faithful believer.

Each of us needs to be fed; each of us yearns for that which nourishes and satisfies. But oftentimes, what many people look for does not give lasting sustenance or pleasure. We can always fill the stomach; we can even fill the needs of the mind.

But when we are not fed spiritually, what remains unfilled, what remains empty is the heart and soul! And we see this emptiness in those who were slandering Stephen in our First Reading today.

Stephen, one of the first seven ministers of charity and justice, who were later called deacons, was proclaiming the Word of God, and Scripture tells us that “Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people.”

Due to what appeared to be jealousy and a lack of openness to faith on the part of some of the Jewish people, they brought him before the Sanhedrin with falsified charges, not unlike what had happened to Christ.

And what does Scripture tell us? “All those who sat in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him and saw that his face was like the face of an angel.” The Holy Spirit was truly within Stephen, strengthening him for the final trial which he was to undergo!

Even our psalmist today seems to be echoing what existed in the heart of Stephen, but missing in the hearts of all his accusers, “Yes, your decrees are my delight; they are my counselors…Make me understand the way of your precepts; I will meditate on your wondrous deeds.”

Stephen, empowered by the Holy Spirit after the Apostles had laid their hands upon him and the other six deacons, was performing great signs and wonders in the proclamation of the Truth about Jesus of Nazareth.

Unfortunately, the Jewish people who were witnesses to all that Stephen was saying and doing were unable to open their eyes to see the Hand of God – the workings of the Holy Spirit – in all that Stephen was proclaiming. They were blinded to all that God was saying through His chosen servant. It was as though they were wearing blinders and could only focus on the letter of the Mosaic Law, and not on the spirit of its fulfillment.

And in our Gospel today, Jesus could read into the hearts of those who were following Him that they were not yet open to what He was teaching them through the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fish.

The question then begs to be asked – are you and I open to the many signs which God gives to each of us in our daily lives? Are we open to seeing Jesus in those around us, not just our friends and relatives, but also the stranger on the street and those who are suffering in our midst – even those who may offend us? For God speaks to us in many different and varied ways, and some ways are more subtle than others.

When we are witness to new life being born into this world, are we not overcome with the awesomeness and the wonder of such an occasion? For it is in the very wonder of new life itself wherein we recognize that we fulfilled our role in becoming co-creators with God Himself!

And in such a marvelous instance of creation, it is oftentimes difficult to comprehend how the courts and legislators are not able to see the creative Hand of God behind such a wondrous event! It is as though they, themselves, are wearing blinders – the same as those who were witness to and heard the words of Stephen – the same as those who were witness to the multiplication of the loaves and fish, but not see the Eternal Truth behind it.

When we look to the beauty of this world in which we live, and there IS great beauty, if only we would open our eyes to the Hand of God. After the grayness of the long winter months, we see the first signs of spring in the color of new flowers, grass beginning to green, cherry and peach blossoms blooming, the chirping of birds as they go about building their nests getting ready for new life themselves.

In the fall season, we see the changing of the leaves as they take on the beauty of the autumn colors. Even during the winter season, a fresh blanket of snow covering the landscape, along with reflected sunlight off of ice covered branches, have been occasions for many artists’ beautiful paintings!

Oftentimes, we get so caught up in our everyday activities and routines that we fail to recognize God’s creative Hand in the beauty of our own world! There are signs of God’s Presence all around us, if only we would take the time to open our hearts and observe and appreciate.

The signs which we receive in the Eucharistic Liturgy, the signs we receive in all the Sacraments – call us to a life of faith. Jesus is reaching into our lives not only through His Church, but also through nature and through people who love us. Jesus even reaches into our lives through people who challenge us.

He desires that we ask ourselves, “What matters to me most in my life?” If we can take off our blinders and honestly answer that question with a single word – Jesus! – then we can begin to understand that all the signs that surround us today is God’s way of calling us into a deeper relationship with Himself – for these signs are a means through which we renew our faith and commitment to Jesus Christ in our daily lives.

And that is the very heart of what we find in our Readings today! In other words, are we willing to say to Jesus, “You are number One”, or are we more interested in filling our stomachs with the bread, the materialism of this world? If that is the case, then we have sorely missed the true meaning of the signs which our Lord is giving us.

If we make a point of putting God first in all that we think, in all that we say and do – if we live our faith as God asks us, just as Stephen did when proclaiming the Truth about our Lord, just as the psalmist did in his faith in God’s Love and His teachings – then we are fulfilling what our Lord is asking of us in today’s Gospel –

“This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”

And there is no greater sign on our part than our “leap of faith” which we place in His Most Holy Name!

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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.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” (John 6:27a)
  • “Your decrees are my delight; they are my counselors…Make me understand the way of your precepts; I will ponder your wondrous deeds.” (Psalm 119:24, 27)
  • “Stop and consider the wondrous works of God.” (Job 37:14b)
  • “I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart; I will declare all your wondrous deeds. I will delight and rejoice in you; I will sing hymns to your name, Most High.” (Psalm 9:2-3)
  • “Let them thank the LORD for his mercy, such wondrous deeds for the children of Adam.” (Psalm 107:15)
  • “But you are ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises’ of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
  • “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.’(John 6:29)

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Prayer for the Day

“Father, I abandon myself into Your hands;
do with me what You will.
Whatever You may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.

“Let only Your will be done in me,
and in all Your creatures;
I wish no more than this, O Lord.

“Into Your hands, I commend my soul:
I offer it to You with all the love of my heart,
for I love You, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into Your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence, for You are my Father.”

Charles de Foucauld

Saint of the Day ~ April 19

BLESSED JAMES OLDO (1364-1404), priest

We have all heard “rags-to-riches” stories. Today, we commemorate the reverse in the person of Blessed James Oldo.

James was born in 1364 into a well-to-do family in a town called Lodi near Milan, Italy. He married a woman who, like him, appreciated the comforts that came with wealth. But an outbreak of the plague drove James, his wife and their three children out of their home and into the countryside.

Despite the precautions he and his wife took, two of their daughters died from the plague. As a result, James’ life changed, and he became determined to use whatever time he had left to build up treasures in Heaven, and to help build God’s Kingdom on Earth in whatever way the Spirit guided him!

James gave up his old lifestyle and did penance for his sins, whereupon both he and his wife became Secular Franciscans. He learned Latin from a sick priest for whom he was caring. Once again, the plague touched his family and his wife succumbed to the terrible disease. Upon her death, James studied and was ordained a priest. His house was transformed into a chapel where small groups of people, many of them fellow Secular Franciscans, came for prayer and support.

Father James spent the remainder of his life caring for the sick and for prisoners-of-war. He became renowned for his personal acts of penance, and his preaching inspired many to enter the religious life. He died in the year 1404, being only forty years of age, after contracting a disease from one of his patients.

In 1933, Father James Oldo was beatified by Pope Pius XI.

We commemorate his feastday on April 19.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, americancatholic.org and forums.catholic.com)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for Pastors ~ pastor)

“Lord God, You gave Your Blessed James the Spirit of Truth and Love to shepherd Your people. May we honor him on this feast, learn from his example and be helped by his prayers.

“We ask 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 Jesus, when You assumed our human nature and walked amongst us, You gave us to know the mind and the will of God in the living of our daily lives;

– please grant us the desire to embrace that quality of Christ-like humility and meekness of heart, and selfless love and compassionate mercy for others throughout each day of our lives, so that we may truly grow ever closer in our relationship with You; for it is only through living the virtues You taught wherein we shall find that interior peace for which we so deeply yearn.”

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

April 18 ~ The Powers of Darkness Flee

Theme: The Chaplet of Mercy

“When I entered the chapel for a moment, the Lord said to me, ‘My daughter, help Me to save a certain dying sinner. Say the chaplet that I have taught you for him.’ When I began to say the chaplet, I saw the man dying in the midst of terrible torment and struggle. His Guardian Angel was defending him, but he was, as it were, powerless against the enormity of the soul’s misery.

“A multitude of devils was waiting for the soul. But while I was saying the chaplet, I saw Jesus just as He is depicted in the image. The rays which issued from Jesus’ Heart enveloped the sick man, and the powers of darkness fled in panic. The sick man peacefully breathed his last. When I came to myself, I understood how very important the chaplet was for the dying. It appeases the anger of God.” (Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 1565)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, help me to please You by not only praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, but also help me to encourage others to pray it. May many more souls avail themselves of this powerful intercessory prayer, especially in praying for the dying. (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.

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

Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

April 18 ~ He Fights Against My Enemies

Theme: Struggle, Satan, Spiritual Warfare

“The enemy’s greatest efforts will not thwart the smallest detail of what the Lord has decreed.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1659b)

“I strive to be faithful to God and to love Him to the point of complete forgetfulness of self. And He Himself looks after me and fights against my enemies.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1720)

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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

Third Sunday of Easter, April 18

It Is When We Emulate God’s Love to Others that We Begin to Find the Desire to Be Christ-like in All Our Thoughts, Words and Actions; and, Most Importantly, We Find the Desire to Live The Divine Mercy of God in Our Own lives.

We hear our Lord saying to those gathered in the Upper Room in today’s Gospel, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations…”

Some time ago, I remember reading a quote from the late Monsignor Edward Connors from the Archdiocese of New York, and it is a quote which has stuck with me. He stated, “The clock is ticking in each of our lives, and you never know if it’s midmorning or five minutes to midnight.”

Even my own wife has her own favorite expression which she sometimes uses with the children and grandchildren reminding them to live their lives properly, so that their thoughts, words and actions may be pleasing before God, “Tomorrow morning is never promised.”

Both expressions speak to the same truth – we are mortal beings, composed of “flesh and blood”, and that moment in time when each of us, both you and I, will take our final breath is known only to God.

The gift of eternal life – and it is just that, a most wondrous gift! – is offered to each one of us out of the profoundness of God’s unfathomable and infinite Love which He holds for each of His children, regardless of race, the tone of our skin color, our age, sex, political persuasion, or creed.

How we open our hearts to this greatest of all gifts – eternal life in His Kingdom – a Kingdom which is filled with unimaginable love, peace and happiness – becomes an expression of our love for the God who has knitted us together in our “mother’s womb”, as the Psalms tell us. How we open our hearts to this greatest of all gifts may very well determine the doorway through which you and I will pass from this life to the next!

On this Third Sunday of Easter, the common thread which we find weaving itself throughout today’s Readings, a theme which we find God Himself writing, inscribing upon our hearts, is the grace of repentance and forgiveness.

In today’s First Reading, we find Peter proclaiming salvation through Jesus Christ to the crowd of Jews assembled in the Temple area, “Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away.” It is through the charism given him by the Holy Spirit that Peter finds the strength and ability to evangelize to the crowd, who, just a few weeks earlier, were shouting for Jesus’ crucifixion!

Although Peter seems to admonish them for their actions, he does so with understanding when he says, “Now I know, brothers, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did; but God has thus brought to fulfillment what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer.”

In our Responsorial Psalm for today, our psalmist, who is King David, is singing a song of lament when he prays, “…O my just God, you who relieve me when I am in distress; have pity on me, and hear my prayer!” David speaks about his own human frailty, about his own faults – and his dependence and trust in God’s mercy and loving forgiveness.

This same theme of mercy is echoed in our Second Reading from the First Letter of John; for John writes, “…Jesus Christ the righteous one…is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world. The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments.”

And finally, we find in our Gospel reading a continuation of what happened after the two disciples from Emmaus came back to recount all that had happened to them, when they recognized the Risen Christ after the breaking of bread.

And then, Jesus appears to all of them. To calm their fears, He emphasizes that He has flesh and bone and is not a spirit; and, in order to place them at ease, He asks for something which is completely normal for a person with flesh and bone – food.

And because the Apostles still do not fully understand or grasp all that has taken place, for they had not yet received the Spirit at Pentecost, Jesus opens their eyes to all that was written about Him by Moses and the prophets, and He continues by saying, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”

Repentance and forgiveness – these two words go hand-in-hand and are synonymous with God’s Loving Mercy. And, lest we forget, it is His Divine Mercy which we joyously celebrated last Sunday!

“…repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, [is to] be preached in [my] name to all the nations…” These were instructions given not only to His Apostles, but also given to each one of us – for our Lord’s words are timeless. These are words of commissioning, guiding each of us in the fulfillment of our baptismal grace to live the values of – and be witness to – our Christian faith.

As Christians, we respond to this today by the way we live our lives – how we interact with each other, not only with family and friends, but also with all those whom our lives touch. For how we love God is shown through the virtue of selfless charity which we live and extend towards others.

John continues to write in another part of his Letter, “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God…We love because he first loved us.”

And it is in this love, a love which emulates God’s Love, where we find the desire within ourselves to become Christ-like – a desire to be humble, a desire to be contrite and repentant, and, most importantly, a desire to live The Divine Mercy of God in our own lives!

For it is then that we, ourselves, shall receive mercy, and the “love of God” shall truly be “perfected” in us!

As we progress in our individual walks of faith, and whether it is “midmorning or five minutes to midnight”, as the clock continues to tick away in our own lives – prayerfully, we shall one day hear our Lord say to each of us as we walk through that final threshold into eternity:

“Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

Only with the help of His grace, that greatest gift of all gifts, which our Most Merciful and Loving God offers to each and every one of us, shall one day be ours to cherish and forever enjoy!

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

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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.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “And [Jesus] said to them, ‘Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations…’(Luke 24:46-47)
  • “You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works!” (Psalm 139:13-14b)
  • “Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he shows sinners the way, He guides the humble to righteousness, he teaches the humble his way.” (Psalm 25:8-9)
  • “Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away.” (Acts 3:19)
  • “Answer me when I call, my saving God. When troubles hem me in, set me free; take pity on me, hear my prayer.” (Psalm 4:2)
  • “…Jesus Christ the righteous one…is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world. The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments.” (1 John 2:1b-3)
  • “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God…We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:7, 19)
  • “But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: whoever claims to abide in him ought to live just as he lived.” (1 John 2:5-6)
  • “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)
  • “Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34bc)

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Prayer for the Day

“Jesus, Loving Companion of Your children,
You have extended Your friendship to all.
You opened Your arms without discrimination,
offering Your warmth and hope,
and Your Merciful Love to those seeking comfort.

“Endow me with the virtue of such a friendship,
to know, love and trust all on an equal basis;
To share my friendship without prejudice,
and to be compassionate and charitable
towards those who are less fortunate.

“Fashion my heart to reflect Your qualities,
those befitting a loving and caring spirit.
Jesus, You showed me the way to true friendship;
Help me to be more like You in the world around me,
so that I may remain with You forever. Amen.”

Anonymous