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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“Almighty and Most Merciful God, You are our only Source of strength, our only Source of salvation as we journey through this life. Please help us to reflect upon those times in which we have been unfaithful to You in our lives, those times when we have caused You sorrow;

– and with the help of Your grace, may we seek Your forgiveness for our every betrayal of Your Love, so that we may be strengthened and filled with hope, knowing that Your Most Merciful Heart is always open and available to us. We humbly pray this in Jesus’ Most Holy Name. Amen.”

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

August 12 ~ A Pliant Tool

Theme:  Graces of Retreats

“Once after Holy Communion, I heard these words: ‘You are Our dwelling place.’ At that moment, I felt in my soul the presence of the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I felt that I was the temple of God. I felt I was a child of the Father. I cannot explain all this, but the spirit understands it well. O infinite Goodness, how low You stoop to Your miserable creature!” (Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 451)

“Bear in mind that when you come out of this retreat, I shall be dealing with you as with a perfect soul. I want to hold you in My hand as a pliant tool, perfectly adapted to the completion of My works.” (Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 1359)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, may I feel the Presence of the Most Holy Trinity within me as Your temple, and so be Your tool in reaching out to others through Your works of Divine Mercy. O Lord, make me a pliant tool in Your hand – all for Your Eternal Glory! (Mercy Minutes with Jesus)

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Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

August 12 ~ I Incessantly Plead God’s Mercy for Sinners

Theme:  Sin, Sinners

[Note: This passage from Saint Faustina’s Diary is a continuation of her entry describing her visit to and description of Hell]

“I, Sister Faustina, by the order of God, have visited the abysses of hell so that I might tell souls about it and testify to its existence. I cannot speak about it now; but I have received a command from God to leave it in writing. The devils were full of hatred for me, but they had to obey me at the command of God.

“What I have written is but a pale shadow of the things I saw. But I noticed one thing: that most of the souls there are those who disbelieved that there is a hell. When I came to, I could hardly recover from the fright. How terribly souls suffer there! Consequently, I pray even more fervently for the conversion of sinners. I incessantly plead God’s mercy upon them.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 741)

“You are a bottomless sea of mercy for us sinners; and the greater the misery, the more right we have to Your mercy. You are a fount which makes all creatures happy by Your infinite mercy.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 793)

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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

Wednesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time, August 12

As Children of God, May We No Longer Cause Jesus’ Divine Heart to Be Filled with Sorrow; But May He joyfully Reside in Each of Our Hearts, and May We Always Be One with Him.

Jesus tells us today, “…amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.”

A few years ago, my brother had called me asking for my opinion and advice about an issue which was bothering him, for it dealt with certain family issues which seemed to be eating away at the very core of his inner peace.

He said, “Eddie, I need to pick your brains about something that happened to me…” And my brother is the only one I allow to call me “Eddie”. And then he continued for almost an hour on the phone, pouring his heart out about the pain and hurt which he was feeling.

I felt for his pain, because I could understand the foundation for his anxiety and heartache. And I can also assume that many of you reading this meditation today can remember or reflect back upon a time when some family member or close friend may have hurt you deeply. And it is a hurt that does not heal quickly, for a personal hurt can cut us “deep to the bone”.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is talking about something which goes even further that just a family member or close friend hurting us. He is speaking about those members of our Christian community who have strayed from God’s Truth, members of our faith community who may no longer be practicing their faith in a way which the Church deems appropriate, members who may have distanced themselves from the teaching authority of the Church, and are creating scandal by what they say and by what they do.

And from time-to-time, we read or hear about clergy and laity who distance themselves from Catholic teaching and thinking, and their actions only serve to sadly misguide and lead others into confusion.

Jesus tells us today the hard and factual truth, “If he refuses to listen even to the Church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Just as I felt sorrow for my brother’s pain, we, too, cannot help but feel sorrow for our brothers and sisters who willfully choose to close their hearts to the Church’s constant invitation to remain reconciled to Christ through His Bride.

I can never fathom how anyone, who says they love Christ, can willfully choose to cause scandal for His Church. I can only imagine how hurt our Lord must be, over seeing His children openly and freely choosing to walk away from His Love.

And in our First Reading, we can sense the great pain and displeasure God Himself was feeling over the constant abominations and loathsome conduct His children were constantly committing. But, in the vision that Ezekiel was experiencing regarding God’s Divine Justice, we still become witness to His Divine Mercy:

“Pass through the city (through Jerusalem) and mark a ‘Thau’ on the foreheads of those who moan and groan over all the abominations that are practiced within it.” And then God says, “But do not touch any marked with the ‘Thau’.”

Thau: a Hebrew letter which was a mark roughly in the form of a cross.

And, once again, Ezekiel gives us the vision of God’s infinite Glory, and our psalmist sings a song of praise, “Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high, and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?”

“Who is like the LORD, our God?”

In spite of all the evil which exists in today’s world, in spite of all the suffering and despair which many of God’s children experience – for those of us who accept His Laws into our hearts, for those of us who willfully choose to keep Christ at the very center, the very focal point of our daily lives, then God dwells within us with His Love, and we within Him.

It is our freewill choice, it is our open acceptance of His Love which appeases God’s anger, which consoles and comforts God’s sorrowful Heart. It is our love for our Heavenly Father, it is our love for our Divine Savior, and it is our love for the very Spirit of Love Himself – which unites us and makes us one with our God.

Jesus teaches us today, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” And, truly, we can only gather together in love and faith, when our hearts are one with God and God is one with us.

I had advised my brother that one of the worst things for him to do was to brood over his pain and the injustice done to him, for such brooding can poison the mind and the heart, and make it more difficult to go directly to the person who caused the pain. I had suggested his need to address this issue directly and as soon as possible, but with humility and charity.

Reconciliation requires a humble heart, and humility is a virtue to which we must be open and accepting. Without humility, it is so difficult to be Christ-like! Without humility, it is so difficult to forgive and to, once again, love those who have offended us!

It is my prayer, and I pray also yours, that all of God’s children, no matter what their ethnic origin, no matter what their religious persuasion may be, may find that gift of humility within themselves, so as to begin to mend the many broken fences we find across this globe, so as to begin to forgive and to learn to live together in love – as we were meant to live from the very beginning.

So that as a singular people – all of us as children of God – we may no longer cause Jesus’ Divine Heart to be filled with sorrow. But rather, with Infinite Love and Divine Happiness, may our Lord and Savior joyfully reside within each of our hearts, always remembering His promise to us which we read today –

“…amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

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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

  • “Who is like the LORD, our God, enthroned on high, looking down on heaven and earth? He raises the needy from the dust, lifts the poor from the ash heap.” (Psalm 113:5-7)
  • “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’” (Matthew 18:15-16; cf. Deuteronomy 19:15b)
  • “If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 18:17-18)
  • “…amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:19-20)
  • “I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God.’(Revelation 21:3)
  • “But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27-28)
  • “And be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.” (Ephesians 4:32)

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Prayer for the Day

“Faithful and Merciful Lord,
You suffered and endured death for me;
You have consummated the debt of my sins;
Your sacrifice of forgiveness was absolute!

“Grant me the strength to also forgive others,
to excuse their transgressions against me.
So that I may truly reflect this spiritual fruit,
assist me in obliterating any persistent feelings of malice.

“Let each trespass end as a closing chapter in my life,
as I continue on the path to righteousness.
Forgive my sins as I aspire to forgive others;
as I receive Mercy from You, help me to show mercy to others.

“You are truly the Supreme Model of forgiveness,
for it is in Your Holy Cross that we are pardoned.
Grant me the grace to always imitate You in my life,
for You are truly a Most Faithful and Merciful Lord.

“It is in You alone that I wish to be united with Your Love.
It is in You alone that I desire to be one for all eternity.”

Anonymous

Saint of the Day ~ August 12

SAINT JANE FRANCES DE CHANTAL (1572-1641), religious sister and foundress – Patron saint of widows and parents separated from children

Today, the Church honors Saint Jane (Jeanne) Frances de Chantal, who was a wife, mother, nun and founder of a religious community.

Jane was born into a noble family in 1572 in Dijon, France. Her mother died when she was only 18 months old, and her father, head of parliament at Dijon, became the main influence in her education. She developed into a woman of beauty and refinement, as well as being blessed with a lively and cheerful temperament.

At the age of twenty-one, Jane married Baron de Chantal, with whom she had six children, three who died in infancy. At her castle, she restored the custom of daily Mass, and seriously devoted herself to various charitable works. However, after only seven years of marriage, her husband was killed in a hunting accident and died in her arms, and Jane sank into a deep state of depression for four months at her family home.

She ended up living with her father-in-law, which was a period of misery for her. She persevered, however, spending her free time in prayer, and taking a personal vow of chastity.

When she was thirty-two, she met Saint Francis de Sales, who became her spiritual director. She expressed her desire to become a spiritual sister, but he persuaded her to defer this decision, and she took a vow to remain unmarried and to follow his wishes.

After three years, Francis told her of his plan to found an institute of women which would be a haven for those whose health, age or other considerations barred them from entering the already established religious communities. This new Order would primarily be intended to exemplify the virtues of Mary at the Visitation; hence their name, the Visitation nuns who were to exemplify humility and meekness.

After insuring that her children were well cared for, and under Saint Francis de Sales’ guidance, Jane founded the Congregation of the Visitation of Holy Mary, which was canonically established at Annecy, France on Trinity Sunday, June 6, 1610. She spent the rest of her life overseeing the Order, founding over 80 convents, while acting as spiritual advisor to any who desired her wisdom, as her reputation for sanctity was widespread.

Sister Jane Frances passed away from natural causes on December 13, 1641, while visiting the Visitation convent at Moulins, France. She was canonized a saint in 1767 by Pope Clement XIII. Her remains are venerated with that of Saint Francis de Sales in the Basilica of the Visitation in Annecy.

We commemorate her feastday on August 12.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, 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 Jane Frances de Chantal)

“Lord, You chose Saint Jane Frances to serve You both in marriage and in religious life. By her prayers, help us to be faithful in our vocation and always to be the light of the world.

“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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“God of indescribable Love and limitless Mercy, may all Your children feel their intimate companionship with You in the faith we embrace, always choosing to follow Your Divine will for us in our daily lives;

– with the help of Your grace, may we always strive for that childlike innocence and purity of heart which can only lead us into a closer communion, into a more intimate relationship with You. We humbly pray for this grace in Jesus’ Most Holy Name. Amen.”

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

August 11 ~ Fearless Apostles of Divine Mercy

Theme:  Graces of Retreats

[August 12, 1935 – Three Day Retreat]

“On the evening of the introductory day of the retreat, as I listened to the points for the meditation, I heard these words: ‘During this retreat I will speak to you through the mouth of this priest to strengthen you and assure you of the truth of the words which I address to you in the depths of your soul. Although this is a retreat for all the sisters, I have you especially in mind, as I want to strengthen you and make you fearless in the midst of all the adversities which lie ahead. Therefore, listen intently to his words and meditate upon them in the depths of your soul.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 456)

My prayer response:

Lord, please strengthen us with words of preachers and teachers to assure us of the words that You speak in the depths of our hearts. Make us fearless apostles of Divine Mercy who are emboldened to speak and live “the truth in love…” (Ephesians 4:15a). (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)

August 11 ~ The First to Stoop to the Sinner

Theme:  Sin, Sinners

“O God, You are compassion itself for the greatest sinners who sincerely repent. The greater the sinner, the greater his right to God’s mercy.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 423)

“And fear nothing, dear soul, whoever you are; the greater the sinner, the greater his right to Your mercy, O Lord. O incomprehensible Goodness! God is the first to stoop to the sinner.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 598)

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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 Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time, August 11

May We Strive for That Innocence and Purity of Heart Which Can Only Lead Us into a Closer Communion and More Intimate Relationship with Jesus Christ.

“How sweet to my taste is your promise!” These are the words which we find repeated in today’s Responsorial Psalm. “How sweet to my taste…”

Who hasn’t been filled with wonder at holding a newborn baby in their arms? Life – precious and so beautiful – such a wondrous gift, all the result of the beauty of love!

Throughout my own life, having been a father and a grandfather many times over, and now a great-grandfather twice over, I have held many infants in my arms, but probably the greatest wonder I have seen is parents holding their small, innocent baby in their arms at the time of Baptism. Such an event is beyond words of description. For it is as if they are holding the infant Jesus – pure, innocent and spotless!

One can only imagine how the Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph must have felt when they were holding the Beloved Son of God made flesh, caressing Him and loving Him.

Oh, if only such purity would continue throughout the child’s life into adulthood! Sadly, however, the evil of materialistic and deviant sexual pleasures is so rampant in this world, that all we sometimes hear about in the news are abducted children, child pornography, and pedophilia committed by people we would ordinarily trust.

And sadly, even the Church is not immune to this great evil, for the Church is composed of human beings, and we are what we are – mankind, imperfect and sinful, constantly struggling to be perfect as our “…heavenly Father is perfect”.

Some, however, have fallen short of this goal. And sadly, many young children suffered the consequences of sexual abuse, and those who committed the abuse caused great scandal for the Body of Christ, and the Church itself is undergoing its own form of profound suffering.

And the pain from such suffering can linger for many years, for there are still many adults today who are emotionally scarred from when they were abused as children. And, as a consequence, their form of healing, and forgiveness for the abuser, can become a very difficult task.

Today, Jesus teaches us what it takes for each one of us to attain eternal life. In His own words, our Lord says to each and every one of us, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.”

For we find that, within the hearts of small children, there is no greed, no lust, no discrimination, no sin. Within them, we find only a purity of heart which is filled with innocence and honesty, love and an unquestioning trust – a true and wondrous joy to behold!

And when we open our hearts to each other, as an innocent child reaching out to another, then our Lord’s words in today’s Gospel teach us about the mind of God Himself, “Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.”

These words become as a beacon of light, guiding each of us on our respective journeys, guiding us in our life of faith. For our Lord is teaching us, at the end of today’s Gospel Reading, that it is not God’s desire that any one of His children be lost, no matter how great the sin – “…it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.”

Our faith teaches us that God’s Mercy is greater than the worst possible sin committed, if only we become as little children – humble and contrite, pure and innocent, trusting in His Goodness.

And this is God’s will – that in spite of our weak and sinful human nature, He does not desire to lose any of His children to eternal death in Hell. Rather, He takes great joy over one sinner who repents. Therefore, we find Jesus taking great care, taking great pains in teaching us what pleases our Heavenly Father, and what we must do to earn for ourselves the gift and lasting reward of eternal life.

Even Ezekiel, in our First Reading, was given the grace of knowing God’s word in a very unique and personal way, for as Scripture tells us, “Son of man, eat what is before you; eat this scroll, then go, speak to the house of Israel.” And Ezekiel says, “I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth.”

And God’s words are sweet, for they become that nourishment which “feed[s] your belly and fill[s] your stomach” with words of hope and eternal life, if only we would open the eyes and the ears of our hearts and souls to His Truth, if only we would become childlike.

Even our psalmist, in today’s Responsorial, sings a song of praise with the words, “The law of your mouth is to me more precious than thousands of gold and silver pieces. How sweet to my palate are your promises, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

Each time a priest or a deacon looks upon an infant to be baptized, as the water is poured and the words are spoken during the rite of Baptism, cleansing the soul from Original Sin, we cannot help but be amazed at such innocence!

It should be our prayer, always and at all times, that each and every one of us, in whatever walk of life we may find ourselves traveling, should strive for that innocence and purity of heart which can only lead us into a closer communion, into a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.

In the indescribable and infinite Love which our Lord has for both you and me, may He give us His Most Holy Spirit to teach us the way of childlike humility and simplicity and purity of heart, so that we may find that ultimate and perfect joy in Him who loves us beyond all human measure of understanding!

And in our childlike nature, may His Eternal Light shine through each of us, so that others may see in us His Truth and Love, so that others may also desire to embrace God as a Loving Father, and that each of us may become as innocent children, heirs to eternal life.

“See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are.”

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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] said to me: Son of man, eat what you find here: eat this scroll, then go, speak to the house of Israel…Son of man, he said to me, feed your stomach and fill your belly with this scroll I am giving you. I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth.” (Ezekiel 3:1, 3)
  • “The law of your mouth is more precious to me than heaps of silver and gold…How sweet to my tongue is your promise, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:72, 103)
  • “The statutes of the LORD are true, all of them just; More desirable than gold, than a hoard of purest gold, Sweeter also than honey or drippings from the comb.” (Psalm 19:10b-11)
  • “How can the young keep his way without fault? Only by observing your words…In my heart I treasure your promise, that I may not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:9, 11)
  • “[Jesus] said, ‘Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.’(Matthew 18:3)
  • “Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.” (Matthew 18:4-5)
  • “…it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.” (Matthew 18:14)
  • “Examine me, LORD, and test me; search my mind and heart. Your mercy is before my eyes; I walk guided by your faithfulness.” (Psalm 26:2-3)
  • “If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.” (1 John 1:9)
  • “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
  • “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are.” (1 John 3:1ab)

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Prayer for the Day

“Most Merciful and Loving Father, Your Son suffered unbearable anguish; He willingly poured out His Most Precious Blood in fulfillment of Your will because of my transgressions.

“I was born in sin, totally dependent upon Your Love. My human nature is filled with so many faults and I am prone to so much weakness. And yet, Your Son Jesus still died on His Cross – for me.

“I know Your grace has the power to cleanse me of my many sins and to make me more like Your Son, so that I may be Your faithful child.

“Thank you for Your Goodness and Love for me. I humbly pray, Heavenly Father, in Your Mercy,
please watch over and protect me always. Amen.”

Anonymous