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, please grant us the strength and the grace to accept Your will for us as we journey through life’s experiences;

– in our relationship with all those whom our lives may touch, enkindle within us the desire to always love others selflessly and with compassion and dignity, embracing that same quality of Love which You hold for each of us. We humbly pray this in Jesus’ Most Holy Name. Amen.”

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

July 7 ~ Do Not Despise God’s Graces

Theme:  Lukewarm and Indifferent

(Continued)

“There are souls who despise My graces as well as all the proofs of My love. They do not wish to hear My call, but proceed into the abyss of hell. The loss of these souls plunges Me into deadly sorrow. God though I am, I cannot help such a soul because it scorns Me; having a free will, it can spurn Me or love Me. You, who are the dispenser of My mercy, tell all the world about My goodness, and thus you will comfort My Heart.” (Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 580c)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, help all apostles of Divine Mercy to reach souls who despise Your graces and proofs of Your Love. Please help us to save souls who are choosing the abyss of Hell instead of choosing You – so that we, too, may comfort Your Most Sacred Heart. (Mercy Minutes with Jesus)

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Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

July 7 ~ May Your Holy Will Always Come First

Theme:  Desire for the Lord

“Let all my desires, even the holiest, noblest and most beautiful, take always the last place and Your holy will, the very first. The least of Your desires, O Lord, is more precious to me than heaven, with all its treasures.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 957)

“My heart wants nothing but You alone, O Treasure of my heart. For all the gifts You give me, thank You, O Lord, but I desire only Your Heart. Though the heavens are immense, they are nothing to me without You.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 969)

“I am dying of yearning for God” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 970)

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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 Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time, July 7

May Each of Us Respond to the Divine in Our Own Lives, Becoming Christ-like Examples of Love and Charity in Selfless Service to One Another.

“His heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.” – words which we find in today’s Gospel.

I have mentioned this before in previous meditations, but I am sure that most of us remember hearing stories about the different cults which have cropped up at one time or another – the gatherings of entire families who were starving for spiritual nourishment, innocent men and women who hung on every word spoken by some charismatic leader, who knew how to feed their hunger with words of hope, words of encouragement.

Please do not misunderstand me – far be from me to give credence to cults which were founded under questionable circumstances, for many ended sadly in disaster. And the ones that come immediately to mind are Jim Jones and the Jonestown massacre in the South American country of Guyana, and David Koresh and the Branch Davidian sect which ended in death in Waco, Texas. And there are many others too numerous to mention, which also ended very sadly.

But what many of the followers of these charismatic leaders and others had in common was a deep-seated desire, an overwhelming hunger to reach out and touch the Divine, a great interior need to be fed spiritually.

Even though these followers were terribly misled by those who claimed to be prophets, seers and messiahs, these men and women followers, many whom I am sure were innocent victims, were “like sheep without a shepherd” – wandering, searching for anything which would satisfy their spiritual hunger.

And the Gospel tells us today, “At the sight of the crowds, [Jesus’] heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned…”

And so it was in the days of Hosea the prophet. The Israelites, seduced by false prophets and unholy leaders, were wandering, as if through a desert, seeking out anything that would satisfy their spiritual hunger, even if it meant embracing idolatry and worshiping stone idols.

In doing so, God was not pleased with their forms of worship! As a result, He sent them prophets to constantly remind them of the One True God who loved them as a Father loves a child.

For those of us who have been touched by God’s gift of faith, for those of us who have chosen to embrace this gift – a gift freely offered and freely given by a God who loves each and every one of us beyond human measure – we are called to be faithful, just as He called out to His chosen people long ago.

For those who recognize the True God in our midst today, who have not turned to forms of idolatry in our daily lives, we have been seized by the Divine and we do not wish to let Him go, for we recognize the Eternal Gift for who He truly is!

We have come to know and believe that our God is a God of Love. He is a God who only wishes to fill us with His peace. He is a God who desires that we return His Love in such a way that we place Him first and foremost in our daily lives, placing into practice and truly living His teachings here on this side of Heaven – thereby insuring our eternal life at His side in His Kingdom.

When we look around us at the direction in which today’s society is traveling, when we become witness to the many seductions to which our youth is being constantly subjected by today’s culture on a daily basis, I can only imagine that our Lord looks at us today with the same sad expression, and with pity in His Heart, as He did long ago –

Governments across the world are endorsing wholesale distribution of artificial birth control items to young children; society in general has openly endorsed a culture of death, whereby the rights of the unborn are not recognized, and, in some countries, abortion becomes a form of birth control which is used to regulate population growth and gender selection.

Wholesome family values have been diminished to such a point that even same-sex attractions and life styles are now taught to our children in many of the educational systems throughout the world, and many governmental institutions are embracing and legitimizing same-sex marriages. And in some countries, even the rights of the sick and elderly are frowned upon, to the point where euthanasia is being more openly practiced and encouraged.

And we hear in the words of our psalmist today the idolatry which is embraced by many peoples in the various cultures of today’s world –

“Their idols are silver and gold, the handiwork of men. They have mouths but speak not; they have eyes but see not; They have ears but hear not; they have noses but smell not. They have hands but feel not; they have feet but walk not. Their makers shall be like them, everyone that trusts in them.” – forms of worship which are anything but true worship of the One True God.

And I am sure that each one of us could continue to elaborate on this very distressing list which runs counter to God’s will for His children! As a sad consequence, when all is “said and done”, we find that there are many in today’s world, even those who call themselves Christian, who are confused by all that is unfolding around us and feel “troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.”

As I have written over the past eleven years in previous meditations, each one of us, by virtue of our Baptism into the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, is called to give witness to God’s Truth. By virtue of our being members of the royal priesthood of Jesus Christ, we are each called to reach out to our brothers and sisters in a non-judgmental way, by loving and caring for each other as Christ loves us.

Our Gospel ends today with our Lord delivering a brief but sobering commentary on the hunger which persists and is oftentimes all-consuming in the hearts and souls of those who seek to reach out and touch the Divine, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”

We are each called, no matter what our vocation in life may be – married or single, layperson or cleric – to be extensions of Christ in the world, to be a holy example for others to see and follow, even if our efforts only impact one soul at a time.

God does not expect each of us to do great things. He does not expect us to be missionary evangelists, reaching out to make a difference in the world.

But with what He has given us, and with the gifts and responsibilities that we do have, God does expect us to do the little things in our lives that can make a difference, and that we do them with a sincere and heartfelt love. For it was Saint Mother Teresa who was once quoted as saying, “We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love.”

May each of us, with a selfless love and an unselfish giving of ourselves, serve the Lord and each of His children whom He has placed in our lives with an open heart and a willing soul; so that, with the help of His grace, we may assist in the building up of His Kingdom here on Earth as it is in Heaven.

And may each of us become Christ-like examples of love and charity in service to one another. For it is in the virtue of charity which we give to others that you and I will be able to respond to the Divine in our own lives with a truly open and willing heart!

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Scripture for the Day

  • “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)
  • “Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” (1 John 3:18)
  • “Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.’(Matthew 9:37-38
  • “Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:9-10)
  • “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7)
  • “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have; God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind.” (Hebrews 13:16)
  • “For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.” (1 John 5:3-4)
  • “For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
  • “Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.” (John 12:26)

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Prayer for the Day

“Lord Jesus, our Glorious Savior,
We humbly give to You our lives;
do with us as Your Divine Providence wills,
for Your greater honor and glory.

“Make our lives useful to Your service.
The only ambition we have is to humbly
and honestly fulfill Your Divine will.
In this, we wish to lift up Your Name Jesus, not ours.

“We desire to make known the power of Your Spirit,
the Holy Spirit of Divine Love and Truth.
We want You to claim us for Yourself,
and use us according to Your Divine purpose.

“And no matter the task
which You assign to us in life,
we will be contented, and full of joy,
to fulfill our purpose as disciples of Your Spirit.

“Jesus, may Your Holy Spirit live in us always,
guiding us to live a virtuous and fruitful life,
always pleasing to You and helpful to our neighbor,
as we help to build up the Body of Christ.

“Fill our lives with meaning and our hearts with hope.
And when our time here is complete,
bless us with eternal life in Your Heavenly Kingdom.
Jesus, we humbly pray this in Your Most Holy Name. Amen.”

Anonymous

Saint of the Day ~ July 7

BLESSED MARÍA ROMERO MENESES (1902-1977), religious

Today, the Church honors Blessed María Romero Meneses, the “Social Apostle of Costa Rica”, and the female counterpart to Saint John Bosco, who devoted her life to teaching and working with children in order to develop within them vocational skills, together with a sound spiritual foundation.

María was born in 1902 in Granada, Nicaragua, one of eight children to an upper class family, her father being a government minister. She was well educated by her aunt and parents; and since she had artistic talent, her parents had María trained in drawing and painting as well as in piano and violin by renowned teachers. She was also enrolled as a student in the School of the Salesian Sisters.

In 1914, at the age of twelve, she was extremely sick and became paralyzed for six months with rheumatic fever. The miraculous cure of her ailment led to her total confidence in our Blessed Mother under the mantle “Our Lady, Help of Christians”, and the cure also led her to a desire to become a Salesian Sister herself.

In December 1915, María joined the Marian Association, “Daughters of Mary”, offering herself with great confidence to the Mother of God. Her Salesian spiritual director helped her discern her vocation, and in 1920, at the age of eighteen, María joined the Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians (Salesian Sisters). Her spiritual director gave her prophetic advice which sustained her for the rest of her religious life: “Even though difficult moments will come and you will feel torn to pieces, be faithful and strong in your vocation.”

María made her final profession of vows in 1929, and two years later she was transferred to San José, Costa Rica. She taught music, drawing and typing to girls from affluent families. She also trained catechists and vocational skills to the poor. She inspired many of her students to join her in her work with the disadvantaged, and was also known for helping people come to know God in a personal way.

More and more, Sister María’s ministry became focused on social development, guiding the rich to better understand how they could help the poor. She set up recreational centers in 1945, food distribution centers in 1953, a school for poor girls in 1961, and a medical clinic in 1966.

In 1973, she organized the construction of seven homes, which became the foundation of the village of Centro San José, a community where poor families could have decent homes. Within the community, there was also developed a farm, a market and a place for school where they were able to receive religious formation, catechesis and job training.

In Sister María’s social apostolate, she always joined love and devotion to the Eucharist and the Blessed Mother. Sister María was very limited in terms of available funding; but, with total confidence in Divine Providence, she always left everything in the hands of “Our Lady, Help of Christians”, since it was God’s work.

In her old age, Sister María retired from full time teaching, but never from catechesis of both the young and the old. On July 7, 1977, in Leon, Nicaragua, in the Salesian house where she had been sent for a much needed rest, María died of a fatal heart attack at the age of 75.

Sister María Romero Meneses was beatified by Pope St. John Paul II on April 14, 2002. Her remains rest in the Salesian chapel at San José, Costa Rica.

We commemorate her feastday on July 7.

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

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for Holy Women ~ ministering to the underprivileged)

“Lord God, You teach us that the Commandments of Heaven are summarized in love of You and love of our neighbor. By following the example of Blessed María Romero in practicing works of charity, may we be counted among the blessed in Your Kingdom.

“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 gave us to know the great value which suffering holds for us in this life, for it provides us with an ever-present means of being more closely united with You;

– please help us to open our hearts to a more profound communion with You through the sufferings which we are called to endure; and that, by joining them to Your sufferings in Your Paschal Mystery, we shall accomplish Your will in this life, and one day be found worthy of Your Kingdom in the life to come. We humbly pray this in Your Most Holy Name. Amen.”

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

July 6 ~ Help Us Trust in Your Goodness

Theme:  Lukewarm and Indifferent

(Continued)

“Others distrust My goodness and have no desire to experience that sweet intimacy in their own hearts, but go in search of Me, off in the distance, and do not find Me. This distrust of My goodness hurts Me very much. If My death has not convinced you of My love, what will? Often a soul wounds Me mortally, and then no one can comfort Me. They use My graces to offend Me.” (Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 580b)

(To be continued)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, have mercy on distrusting souls and forgive them. Please give all of us sinners a fresh desire for intimacy with You. Break through with the power of Your Holy Cross and Your unfathomable Love, that we may find You in our hearts and not offend You. (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)

July 6 ~ Drawing Aside the Veils of Heaven

Theme:  Desire for the Lord

“Oh, how ardently I desire that all mankind turn with trust to Your mercy. Then, seeing the glory of Your name, my heart will be comforted.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 929)

“O my Jesus, although I will go to You, and You will fill me with Yourself, and that will make my happiness complete, I will nevertheless not forget about humanity. I desire to draw aside the veils of heaven, so that the earth would have no doubts about The Divine Mercy. My repose is in proclaiming Your mercy.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 930)

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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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