Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

November 24 ~ Make My Heart Like unto Yours

Theme:  Deify, Divinize, Transform

“I want to be transformed into Jesus in order to be able to give myself completely to souls.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 193)

“Lord, transform me completely into Yourself, maintain in me a holy zeal for Your glory, give me the grace and spiritual strength to do Your holy will in all things.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 240)

“Jesus, make my heart like unto Yours, or rather transform it into Your own Heart that I may sense the needs of other hearts, especially those who are sad and suffering. May the rays of mercy rest in my heart.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 514)

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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 Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time, November 24

May We Be Found Worthy to Stand at the Right Hand of Our Sovereign King in His Eternal Kingdom, a Place Where We Shall Truly Find the Love, Peace and Happiness for Which Our Hearts and Souls So Deeply Yearn.

“Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the sea and what fills it resound; let the plains be joyful and all that is in them! Then shall all the trees of the forest exult before the LORD, for he comes; for he comes to rule the earth.” – words which we read in our Responsorial Psalm today, words of praise and exultation, ringing out the glory which is God’s alone!

And these words set the stage for the common thread which we find weaving itself throughout both our Readings today – the splendor and glory of the Second Coming of Christ the King, as we “…await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” – where all injustice is eradicated, where hunger, disease and every sorrow and tear are wiped away, for “He shall rule the world with justice and the peoples with his constancy”!

The portrait with which we are presented in today’s Readings is the image of change – a sense that there is a non-permanence to all that is of this Earth, a sense of non-permanence to all that man creates – even places of worship such as the Temple built in Jerusalem “…adorned with costly stones and votive offerings…” – for all things by man are subject to change.

In our First Reading today from the Book of Revelation, John experiences a prophetic vision of the events which are yet to occur – events that will ultimately lead to a time when God rewards the righteous but punishes the sinful. For the reaping of the harvest symbolizes the gathering of the elect in the Final Judgment, while the reaping and treading of the grapes symbolize the doom of the ungodly and the wicked!

In today’s Gospel, Jesus was prophesying about the future of the Temple in Jerusalem, and also about the events that would precede the Final Judgment – the Parousia, a time known only to the Eternal Father.

The Temple in Jerusalem was, for many of the Jewish people, a physical place where they felt close to God. And yet, our Lord prophesies about their Temple when He says, “All that you see here – the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

This physical Temple was to be subject to change, for Christ came to become the new and permanent Temple in the lives of His children, a Temple not made by human hands – a Temple which would never change, a Temple which would always remain in the hearts and minds of faithful believers.

But Jesus knew only too well the fickleness and changeability which can lie in the hearts of men. All we need do is to look around us at the seductions and the hold which secularism and materialistic pleasures have on many people today. All we need to do is witness the hatred and mayhem which man perpetrates against his fellow man, even in so-called civilized societies!

And for those who give in to these seductions and create for themselves new gods and new temples, our Lord warns us in today’s Gospel, “See that you not be deceived…”

Yes, our Lord was primarily referring to those false prophets who would mislead His children. We have seen many of them over the past decades, and I am sure that there will be more to come. But for some people, the seductions which the cultures of this world present can even be far more dangerous, for they are more imminent and “in our face” every day!

Let us pray that our hearts may be wise to the false gods and idols which constantly surround us. And through the faith which we profess and live in our daily lives, may we always be opened to the Kingdom of God and the only True Temple which shall stand forever – for it is not only near at hand, it is here within us now and also within each person to whom we reach out with the Love and Compassion of Christ.

And when that Final Harvest ultimately takes place, may we be found worthy to stand at the right hand of our Sovereign King for all eternity in His Heavenly Kingdom –

– a place where we shall truly find the love, peace and happiness for which our hearts and souls so deeply yearn!

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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

  • “Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the sea and what fills it resound; let the plains be joyful and all that is in them! Then shall all the trees of the forest exult before the LORD, for he comes; for he comes to rule the earth. He shall rule the world with justice and the peoples with his constancy.” (Psalm 96:11-13)
  • “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.” (Luke 21:9-10)
  • “Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the LORD of hosts. But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.” (Malachi 3:19-20a)
  • “Wield the sickle, for the harvest is ripe; Come and tread, for the wine press is full; The vats overflow, for their crimes are numerous.” (Joel 4:13)
  • “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’” (Matthew 25:31-34)
  • “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’” (Matthew 25:41)
  • “But according to his promise we await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13)
  • “Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; The things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind. Instead, there shall always be rejoicing and happiness in what I create…No longer shall the sound of weeping be heard there, or the sound of crying” (Isaiah 65:17-18a, 19b)

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Prayer for the Day

“Ah, Lord God, my Holy Lover,
when You come into my heart,
all that is within me will rejoice.

“You are my Glory and the Exultation of my heart.
You are my Hope and Refuge in the day of my tribulation.
But because my love is as yet weak and my virtue imperfect,
I must be strengthened and comforted by You.

“Visit me often, therefore, and teach me Your holy discipline.
Free me from evil passions and cleanse my heart
of all disorderly affection so that, healed and purified within,
I may be fit to love, strong to suffer, and firm to persevere.”

Thomas A’ Kempis (The Imitation of Christ)

Saints of the Day ~ November 24

SAINT ANDREW DŬNG-LẠC (c.1795-1839), priest and martyr, and COMPANIONS, martyrs

Today, the universal Church honors Saint Andrew Dŭng-Lạc and 116 of his companions who remained steadfast in their faith and gained for themselves the martyr’s crown, rather than committing apostasy and denying their belief in Jesus Christ and their love for His Truth.

The beginning of the sixteenth century saw the first sowing of the Gospel message of Jesus Christ among the Vietnamese people, and this seed grew through the blood of martyrs and the spiritual joy of the newly baptized faithful.

During the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, particularly during the reign of Emperor Minh Mang (1820-1840), many Christians died a martyr’s death – including bishops, priests, men and women religious, and large numbers of the laity. All of these suffered torments of various types for their Christian faith and fidelity to the Cross of Christ.

Father Andrew Dŭng-Lạc, who represents this group of heroes, was a Vietnamese diocesan priest. He came from a poor, non-Christian family and was taught by a Christian lay catechist. He worked in the missions with the priests of the Foreign Mission Society of Paris. He was imprisoned and repeatedly tortured during the persecutions of Minh-Mang, and was beheaded on December 21, 1839 in Ô Cau Giay, Hanoi, Vietnam.

The last of the martyrs were 17 laypersons, one of them a 9-year-old child, executed in 1862. That year, a treaty with France guaranteed religious freedom to Catholics, but it did not stop all persecutions.

Father Andrew Dŭng-Lạc was one of 117 people martyred in Vietnam between 1820 and 1862. Members of this group were beatified on four different occasions between 1900 and 1951.

On June 19, 1988, all were canonized saints by Pope St. John Paul II. The witness of their lives as martyrs gives testament to the sufferings inflicted upon the Vietnamese Church, which are among the most horrific in the long history of Christian martyrdom.

We celebrate their joint feastday on November 24.

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

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Proper for Saint Andrew Dŭng-Lạc and Companions)

“O God, Source and Origin of all fatherhood, You kept the blessed martyrs Andrew Dŭng-Lạc and his companions faithful to the Cross of Your Son, even to the shedding of their blood. Through their intercession, enable us to spread Your Love among our brothers and sisters, that we may be called and may truly be Your children.

“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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“Lord God, Almighty and Eternal Father, You sent us Your Only Son to take upon Himself the frailties of our human nature, so that He could walk amongst us and teach us of the unfathomable Love which fills Your Divine Nature for each and every one us, Your children;

– please fill us with Your Holy Spirit so that we may not only be receptive to Your Love, but also become generous in the sharing of this same Love with others, truly living the fruits and the gifts of the Holy Spirit in our daily life of faith. We humbly pray this in Jesus’ Most Holy Name. Amen.”

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

November 23 ~ A Sign for the End Times

Theme:  End Times and Eternal Life

‘Write down these words, My daughter. Speak to the world about My mercy; let all mankind recognize My unfathomable mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of My mercy; let them profit from the Blood and Water which gushed forth for them.’

“O human souls, where are you going to hide on the day of God’s anger? Take refuge now in the fount of God’s mercy. O what a great multitude of souls I see! They worshipped The Divine Mercy and will be singing the hymn of praise for all eternity.” (Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 848)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, we pray with Saint Faustina, Your great Apostle of Divine Mercy: Help us to take refuge NOW in the fount of Your Divine Mercy. Immerse us in the ocean of Your Mercy, so, even now, we may “…sing of your mercy forever, LORD” (Psalm 89:2a). (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)

November 23 ~ The Totality of His Delight

Theme:  Deify, Divinize, Transform

“At that moment I felt transconsecrated. My earthly body was the same, but my soul was different; God was now living in it with the totality of His delight. This is not a feeling, but a conscious reality that nothing can obscure.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 137)

“I want to be completely transformed into Your mercy and to be Your living reflection, O Lord.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 163a)

“O my Jesus, transform me into Yourself, for You can do all things.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 163b)

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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 Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time, November 23

May Each of Us Learn to Give More Freely and Generously of Ourselves, in Gratitude for All That Our Most Gracious God Has Freely Given to Both You and Me.

Our psalmist asks us two questions today? “Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD? Or who may stand in his holy place?” And, in the next verse, he gives us the answers, “He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain.”

How does God see our heart? And do we see our own heart the same way? Is our life filled with vanity and selfishness, or are do we live selflessly, thinking of others first?

Another way of posing these same questions could be – “How well do you and I respond to God’s grace for all that he has given to us? Do we give without counting the cost, or do we hold back because we are unable to truly depend upon or trust in God’s goodness and generosity?” Our Scriptures for today give us pause for thought.

In our First Reading from the Book of Revelation, we are given the image of a countless number of people from throughout the world, “…one hundred and forty-four thousand”, a number symbolic with peoples from every nation, race and tongue who remained faithful to the Lamb, who have the names of the Lamb and the Eternal Father inscribed on their foreheads – a faithful people who truly embraced their faith and did not succumb to the sinful pleasures of idolatry in all its various forms.

For in the last two verses of today’s First Reading, are the words, “These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes…On their lips no deceit has been found; they are unblemished.”

In today’s Gospel, we hear of the poor widow who put two coins into the Temple treasury, giving from her need instead of her surplus. To those around her, she was probably ridiculed for the little she contributed, but our Lord saw into her heart, and in her self-sacrificing generosity, Jesus said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest.”

Both Readings speak to us about how the best gift is the gift of self – a self-sacrificing heart, placing our trust completely in God! Both the faithful from our First Reading and the poor widow from the Gospel freely and unselfishly gave of themselves to their God, a God whom they only desired to please through love, humility and obedience.

And in their giving, they exhibited a heart which was filled with an uncompromising faith and trust in the goodness and generosity of the God in whom they had come to know and believe.

And that brings us back to the original questions posed in the beginning of today’s Meditation – How does God see our heart? And how well do you and I respond to God’s grace for all that he has given to us?

Sometimes, the questions are not so easy to answer, or we may not like what we see about ourselves. To be all that God desires us to be, are we able to empty from ourselves our own feelings of ego and self-importance? Are we able to turn our hearts away from thoughts of selfish interests and desires – and truly trust in the God who is our Creator, in the God who is our Savior, in the God who is our Sanctifier?

When we let go of all that holds us to this world, when we liberate ourselves from all the false idols which separate us from God’s Love and which harm our relationship with Him, when we allow God to take control of our lives, allowing Him to not only guide us, but to also fulfill His Divine will in all that He may ask of us –

– THEN we have taken that leap of faith, knowing and believing that whatever happens is in God’s hands! For out of a trusting faith and a self-sacrificing love, we have truly surrendered ourselves to His will, allowing God to be our ONLY God in our daily life!

Is it easy to let go? By no means! And sometimes the process of “letting go and let God” is best accomplished through what is most commonly described as “baby steps”.

But no matter how large or small our steps may be, may each step forward we take in our life of faith – truly trusting in the God who invites each of us to be one with Him – be a grace-filled moment, as we grow, step-by-step, in our relationship with Jesus Christ – learning to love Him more intimately, growing to know Him more intensely.

And may each of us learn to give more freely and generously of ourselves, in gratitude for all that this most gracious God has freely given to both you and me.

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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

  • “Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD? Or who may stand in his holy place? He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain.” (Psalm 24:3-4ab)
  • “These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes…On their lips no deceit has been found; they are unblemished.” (Revelation 14:4b, 5)
  • “[Jesus] said, ‘I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.’(Luke 21:3-4)
  • “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life?’(Matthew 16:24-26)
  • “Consequently, brothers, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:12-13)
  • “Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
  • “Trust in the LORD and do good that you may dwell in the land and live secure.” (Psalm 37:3)

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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.

“Forgive us for failing to truly trust in the
indescribable and profound Love
which You have for each of us, Your children.

“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 in You, and You alone,
where we shall find our greatest joy and fulfillment. Amen.”

Anonymous

Saint of the Day ~ November 23

BLESSED MIGUEL AGUSTÍN PRO (1891-1927), priest and martyr

Today, the Church honors Blessed Miguel Agustín Pro, who was remembered for proclaiming, “¡Viva Cristo Rey! (Long live Christ the King!)” which were the last words Father Pro uttered before he was executed by a firing squad for being a Catholic priest and faithfully serving his flock.

Born into a prosperous, devout family in Guadalupe de Zacatecas in Mexico in 1891, Miguel was noted for his high spirits and happiness, which were the most outstanding characteristics of his childhood personality. Being the son of a mining engineer, Miguel had a special affinity for the working classes, which he retained all his life.

He entered the Jesuit Order in 1911, but three years later fled to Granada, Spain, because of religious persecution in his home country. He was ordained to the priesthood in Belgium in 1925.

He soon returned to Mexico, where he served the Catholic Church which was being persecuted and forced to go “underground”. It was a time in which parishes were closed, priests were in hiding, and persecution of the Church was government policy. Father Pro used disguises to conduct an underground ministry, bringing the consolation of Christian charity and the Sacraments to the faithful who were practicing their faith secretly in small groups.

Father Miguel Pro and his brother Roberto were arrested on fabricated charges of attempting to assassinate Mexico’s president. His brother’s life was spared; but Miguel, without the benefit of a trial, was sentenced to face a firing squad on November 23, 1927.

As he was about to be executed, Father Pro blessed and forgave his executioners and knelt and briefly prayed. Refusing a blindfold, he stood and faced his executioners with a crucifix in one hand and a rosary in the other, and held his arms out in imitation of the crucified Christ. Just before the volley of bullets were fired, he shouted out proclaiming, “Long live Christ the King!”

After his execution, the government prohibited a public funeral, but the faithful lined the streets when his body passed by – as a public demonstration of their faith.

Father Miguel Agustín Pro was beatified on September 25, 1988 by Pope St. John Paul II at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. During his homily at the beatification Mass, the pope spoke of Blessed Father Pro as “…a new glory for the beloved Mexican nation, as well as for the Society of Jesus…Indeed, the deepest root of self-sacrificing surrender for the lowly was his passionate love for Jesus Christ and his ardent desire to be conformed to him, even unto death.”

We commemorate his feastday on November 23.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, americancatholic.org, catholicculture.org and ewtn.com/library)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Proper for Blessed Miguel Agustín Pro)

“God our Father, You gave Your servant Miguel Agustín the grace to seek ardently Your greater glory and the salvation of Your people. Grant that , through his intercession and following his example, we may serve You and glorify You by performing our daily duties with fidelity and joy and effectively helping our neighbor.

“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.”