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 taught us the importance of building our faith upon the firm and lasting foundation of Your Truth in our lives, recognizing You as the Eternal Ruler of our hearts and the Master of our souls;

– as we continue our daily pilgrimage through life, please help us to open our hearts to Your Loving Presence, unconditionally trusting in Your providential Love for us, so that we may always focus our lives on pleasing You and giving You glory in our every thought, word and deed. We humbly pray for this grace in Your Most Holy Name. Amen.”

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

December 3 ~ Part One: With a Sinful Soul

Theme:  Conversations with the Merciful Savior

“The Goodness of God.

“The mercy of God, hidden in the Blessed Sacrament, the voice of the Lord who speaks to us from the throne of mercy: ‘Come to Me, all of you.’

Conversation of the Merciful God with a Sinful Soul.

“Jesus: ‘Be not afraid of your Savior, O sinful soul. I make the first move to come to you, for I know that by yourself you are unable to lift yourself to Me. Child, do not run away from your Father; be willing to talk openly with your God of mercy who wants to speak words of pardon and lavish his graces on you. How dear your soul is to Me! I have inscribed your name upon My hand; you are engraved as a deep wound in My Heart.’

“Soul: ‘Lord, I hear Your voice calling me to turn back from the path of sin, but I have neither the strength nor the courage to do so.’” (Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 1485a)

(To be continued)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, reach out to us sinful souls. Please take the first steps towards us. In our need and shame, we are afraid to approach You. So, please draw us with Compassionate Mercy to Your Loving Heart. (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)

December 3 ~ In the Depths of Your Heart

Theme:  Merciful Heart of Jesus

“Often during Mass, I see the Lord in my soul; I feel His presence which pervades my being. I sense His divine gaze; I have long talks with Him without saying a word; I know what His divine Heart desires, and I always do what will please Him the most. I love Him to distraction, and I feel that I am being loved by God.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 411)

“O my Savior, conceal me completely in the depths of Your Heart and shield me with Your rays against everything that is not You. I beg You, Jesus, let the two rays that have issued from Your most merciful Heart continuously nourish my soul.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 465)

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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 First Week of Advent, December 3

God Invites Each of Us to Open Our Hearts and Place Our Trust in His Love and Mercy, for He Truly Is Our Rock Foundation in Life.

We hear Isaiah today extolling and praising God with the words, “Trust in the LORD forever! For the LORD is an eternal Rock.”

What is it about the idea of trust which makes many people uncomfortable? Is it the notion of giving up control and placing our trust in someone else? Or is it pride which causes some people to hesitate in letting go, fearful to allow someone else to have an influencing factor over their lives, always feeling that they need to be in control, always feeling that they must be in charge?

Trust, oftentimes, is a very difficult concept for some people. Depending upon one’s life experiences, truly trusting in others, even family members, sometimes can become very difficult. It may very well depend upon how often we have been “burned” – how often we have been hurt.

So, in whom or what do we place our trust? That question can have as many answers as there are people. We can imagine the “cowpoke” in the old western cowboy movies answering, “I put my trust in this lil’ ol’ six-shooter here” – for those who are familiar with the American West. Or perhaps we might think of the athlete flexing his muscles in response, or the race car driver patting his car in reply, or maybe the homeowner taking pride in the material possessions he has acquired. One thing about these responses is that they are probably all honest, for they speak to the state of mind of each individual.

The unfortunate thing about each of them, however, is that they are entirely inadequate, for there is an emptiness in their replies, for they are based upon a secular way of thinking. And trusting in what this world can give us will ultimately, at some point in our lives, leave us with feelings of inadequacy and disappointment.

Far too often, there are those who treat life as if it were just a dress rehearsal and not the real thing, as if there were an infinite number of days still ahead of us, and we need not get serious. Of course, we know only too well that the opposite is true.

Our days are numbered, and this is the real and only chance at a life, on this side of the eternal, that we are going to have, and we had better decide upon Whom and What we can really place our dependence and trust in the long term!

Isaiah gives us the right answer in today’s First Reading. “Trust in the LORD forever! For the LORD is an eternal Rock.”

And in today’s Gospel, our Lord is comparing our spiritual life to that of a house which is built on either a solid foundation or a weak one. He says to each of us today, to both you and me, “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.”

And then our Lord goes on to explain how the different ups and downs of life, to which each one of us can attest, will beat against this house, which represents our faith, and which is built on the rock foundation of Christ’s words. And our faith – this house – will weather the storms that life may toss against it.

On the flip side of this scenario, however, are those who do not take the teachings of Christ and make them a part of their lives, those who only pay lip service but have no real depth of faith, those who are not able to let go of their pride and their feelings of self-importance and ego, those who are not able to surrender themselves to the will of God and truly trust in His caring and Merciful Love. They are the ones who probably will not survive the tempests we oftentimes face in life.

For remember, Jesus says to us today, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”

To trust, and I mean to truly trust completely in the God who gives us life, in the God who gave us His Only-Begotten Son so that we may have life with Him and have it to the fullest – is to empty oneself completely of ego, to empty oneself completely of pride and self-importance!

To trust is to let go of what constrains us and what controls us, and to allow this God of ours – who truly is a God of Mercy, who truly is a God of Love and Compassion! – to truly and completely take hold of our lives, taking us by the hand and guiding us in our journey through this life.

Is it easy? No, of course not! What it does take is a deepening faith and a growing awareness, a growing desire to be ever closer to God – gifts which God wishes to share with each and every one of us, His children, through the workings of His Holy Spirit. It is up to each of us to make that decision to open our hearts to His gifts and embrace all that He offers.

During this time of our Advent journey, let each one of us open our hearts and our souls to fully trust in God’s Love and Mercy – for it is His desire that we empty ourselves completely; it is His desire that we show complete filial trust, knowing that He is and always will be our Rock Foundation! –

– so that He may fill our yearnings and our needs with His Loving Presence, not only during this Christmas season, but throughout all the days of our life.

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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

  • “Trust in the LORD forever! For the LORD is an eternal Rock.” (Isaiah 26:4)
  • “The LORD lives! Blessed be my rock! Exalted be God, the rock of my salvation.” (2 Samuel 22:47)
  • “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.” (Psalm 118:8-9)
  • “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven…Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.” (Matthew 7:21, 24)
  • “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not.” (Proverbs 3:5)
  • “Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust…” (Psalm 40:4a)
  • “My soul rests in God alone, from whom comes my salvation…My soul, be at rest in God alone, from whom comes my hope…Trust God at all times, my people! Pour out your hearts to God our refuge!” (Psalm 62:2, 6, 9)
  • “Cast all your worries upon [God] because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
  • “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.” (John 14:1)
  • “I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.” (Philippians 4:13)

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Prayer for the Day

“Lord, forgive us when we forget You
and, out of fear and lack of faith,
we fail to truly live our lives
embracing all that You have taught us.

“Lord, forgive us for failing to truly trust
in the indescribable Love which You have
for each of us – Your Children.

“Lord, teach us to let go of all that inhibits us,
so that we may begin to truly live
our relationship of love with You.
For it is only in You where we shall find
our greatest joy and fulfillment, both now and for all eternity.”

Anonymous

Saint of the Day ~ December 3

SAINT FRANCIS XAVIER (1506-1552), missionary priest and co-founder – Patron saint of parish missions and missionaries, India, Japan, East Indies and China

Today, the universal Church honors Saint Francis Xavier, one of the co-founders of the Society of Jesus and also one of the Church’s most illustrious missionaries, who spent the latter part of his life evangelizing vast portions of Asia.

Francis was born in the castle of Xavier in Navarre, Spain  on April 7, 1506. He was, by birth, a Basque nobleman, and, at the age of nineteen, left his home to study liberal arts at the University of Paris, from which he received his Master’s Degree and taught philosophy. He lived a rather worldly lifestyle until he met Saint Ignatius of Loyola. The battle-scarred Ignatius convinced the worldly young man to dedicate himself to the service of Christ.

And on August 15, 1534, with Ignatius and five others, Francis took a vow to consecrate his life to the service of Christ. With this act, the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) was born. After being ordained to the priesthood in Venice in 1537, Father Francis Xavier accompanied Ignatius and his companions to Rome in 1538. In 1541, he embarked on a long and dangerous voyage to Goa, India. The voyage took 13 months.

His missionary work in Goa and on the southern and western coasts of India bore an abundance of fruit, as tens of thousands were baptized into the Church. Father Francis continued further east and made it all the way to Japan where he established several Christian communities.

His entire missionary life, which lasted a little more than ten years until his death, was abundant in miracles and magnificent, apostolic feats. However, he also experienced considerable opposition from European officials, most of whom had been exploiting the native populations.

In 1552, he set out for China and landed on the island of Sancian. Though he was within sight of the mainland China coast, he died on December 2, 1552, before he was able set sail for the mainland.

Father Francis Xavier was canonized a saint on March 12, 1622 by Pope Gregory XV. Saint Francis’ remains are interred in a silver casket in the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa, India.

We commemorate his feastday on December 3.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.org, americancatholic.org, catholicculture.org and newadvent.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Proper for Saint Francis Xavier)

“God our Father, by the preaching of Francis Xavier, You brought many nations to Yourself. Give his zeal for the faith to all who believe in You, that Your Church may rejoice in continued growth throughout the world.

“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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“Lord Jesus, You who are our Most Merciful and Loving Savior and our Eternal and Most Glorious Shepherd, with the help of Your grace, please inspire us to become a better people, to be more Christ-like in the life of faith we live each day;

– and may our relationship with You help us to live our discipleship with selfless love for one another, truly emulating the Divine Mercy which You offer to each of us, as we pray for all of our fellow brothers and sisters, especially for those who are in most need of Your Mercy in the difficult times in which we live today. We humbly pray this in Your Most Holy Name. Amen.”

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

December 2 ~ This Vale of Tears

Theme:  End Times and Eternal Life

“When I met with the Lord, I said to Him, ‘You are fooling me, Jesus; You show me the open gate of heaven, and again You leave me on earth.’ The Lord said to me, ‘When, in heaven, you see these present days, you will rejoice and will want to see as many of them as possible. I am not surprised, My daughter, that you cannot understand this now, because your heart is overflowing with pain and longing for Me. Your vigilance pleases Me. Let My word be enough for you; it will not be long now.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 1787)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, I long to see Your Face and rejoice in Your Presence as I live in this vale of tears. Please give me courage, Lord, to persevere in serving You until You call me Home to be with You forever. (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)

December 2 ~ The Most Sweet Eucharistic Heart

Theme:  Merciful Heart of Jesus

“Today I place my heart on the paten where Your Heart has been placed, O Jesus, and today I offer myself together with You to God, Your Father and mine, as a sacrifice of love and praise. Father of Mercy, look upon the sacrifice of my heart, but through the wound in the Heart of Jesus.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 239)

“I will comfort the most sweet Eucharistic Heart continuously and will play harmonious melodies on the strings of my heart. Suffering is the most harmonious melody of all.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 385)

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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

Wednesday of the First Week of Advent, December 2

God Truly is Our Good Shepherd, and It Is the Voice of Jesus, the Eternal Word Made Flesh, Which We Follow in the Faith We Profess. It Is His Voice in Which We Feel Safe, in Which We Take Our Comfort and Consolation.

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want…” – words of confidence in the God who cares for and shepherds His children, words which we find in today’s Responsorial Psalm. They speak to us of trust, not succumbing to the fears and anxieties which oftentimes seem to surround God’s children of every generation.

As we begin to prepare ourselves for the Advent of Christ’s birth, we see, within this wondrous event, the hand of God reaching out to His children, gazing upon us with both Infinite Love and also a Father’s tender care, for we were then, and still are today, a people trying to find our way in a world given over to darkness.

For those of God’s children who are struggling today, there are many who are trying to find their way in a culture which has forgotten the importance of the true meaning of the spirit of Christmas, which teaches us the true value of selfless love. And when we focus on our Scripture Readings for today, we cannot help but see that our God is a God who longs to feed His children with His Love.

From the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, we read today, “…the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples…he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples…he will destroy death forever. The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces; the reproach of his people he will remove…”

And when Jesus came and reached out to those who followed Him, for those whose hearts where opened to all that he taught, He did not rebuke them for their sinfulness or their human weaknesses. Rather, He embraced them, healed them and forgave them. He fed them not only with loaves and fishes; He fed them with His Infinite Love – the Eternal Love of God Himself!

And He feeds and nourishes us today in the same way. He feeds us with His Word; He nourishes us with His Love through the Sacraments of the Church – for He constantly reaches out to lift us up and bring us to Himself, so that we may be one with Him, so that our relationship with Him may be one of intimacy and holiness.

That is why we take great comfort in the words of our psalmist today, words from the Twenty-third Psalm, which speak of confidence, words which speak of trust in this God who loves each one of us and cares for us as a Loving Father does for His children.

God truly is our Good Shepherd, and it is the voice of Jesus, the Eternal Word made flesh, which we follow in the faith we profess. It is His voice in which we feel safe; it is His voice in which we take our comfort and consolation, knowing that He will never abandon us, knowing that He will always stand by our side, protecting us from the evils of this world.

“He guides me in right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side, with your rod and your staff that give me courage.”

Sadly, in this culture in which you and I live today, and in many countries throughout the world, there are many who do not hear His voice. There are many who choose to turn aside from His words which give life, for they fail to recognize the safe harbor which He offers to each of His children.

Such existence for those who have freely chosen to wander through life in spiritual darkness is a life filled with empty promises and restless days and nights – days and nights which are void of any true and lasting peace.

But for those of God’s children whose hearts are open, for those of us whose ears are open and choose to follow the voice of the Good Shepherd – then ours is a life filled with joy and serenity, even in the midst of darkness. Ours is a life filled with hope, even in the midst of illness and death.

For ours is a faith which rejects despair; ours is a faith which gives life; ours is a faith which fills the mind and the heart and the soul with an everlasting peace – all from the wondrous and merciful grace of God!

“You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”

May this season of Advent become a time in which God’s children, wherever we may find ourselves, recognize and always take comfort in the gift of God’s Love in our lives, and may each of us imitate the selfless nature of His Love in all that we say and in all that we do for one another.

For Advent is truly the season of joyful expectation and enduring hope!

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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

  • “…the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples…he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, the web that is woven over all nations…he will destroy death forever. The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces; The reproach of his people he will remove…” (Isaiah 25:6a, 7-8c)
  • “Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! This is the LORD for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!” (Isaiah 25:9bcd)
  • “God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress. Thus we do not fear, though earth be shaken and mountains quake to the depths of the sea, Though its waters rage and foam and mountains totter at its surging. The LORD of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.” (Psalm 46:2-4)
  • “Cast your care upon the LORD, who will give you support. God will never allow the righteous to stumble.” (Psalm 55:23)
  • “At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36)
  • “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
  • “For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:17)

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Prayer for the Day

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want;
he makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil; for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
thou anointest my head with oil, my cup overflows.

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”

Twenty-third Psalm (Psalm of the Good Shepherd)