Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

September 14 ~ Holy Communion Sustains Me

Theme:  Blessed Sacrament, Eucharist, Mass

“One day we will know what God is doing for us in each Mass, and what sort of gift He is preparing in it for us. Only His divine love could permit that such a gift be provided for us.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 914b)

“One thing alone sustains me, and that is Holy Communion. From it I draw my strength; in it is all my comfort. I fear life on days when I do not receive Holy Communion. I fear my own self.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1037a)

“Jesus concealed in the Host is everything to me. From the tabernacle I draw strength, power, courage and light. Here, I seek consolation in time of anguish.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1037b)

******************************************************************

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

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14

May Each of Us Never Lose Sight of the Cross Which Saves, the Cross Which Heals, the Cross Which Invites Each of Us to Share in the Eternal Glory of the Divine Son.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but might have eternal life.” – words in today’s Gospel which speak of the profound Love which God has for each of us, and His desire that we spend our eternity with Him in His Heavenly Kingdom.

Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The symbol of the Cross of Jesus Christ is always before us: we see it on the tops or the front of many religious buildings; we see it inside the buildings of different Christian denominations and behind the altars of our Catholic Churches; it hangs from our Rosary beads, and we see it as decoration on many different pieces of jewelry.

And with the symbol of the Cross almost always before us, it is only natural that we start to become somewhat complacent as to its meaning or impact it has in our daily lives. And sadly, a few people, especially in the entertainment industry, have even taken the Cross and abused its symbolism and all that it stands for.

When you and I look upon the Cross, or upon a Crucifix with the image of Jesus’s body hanging from it, what do we see? Or, more importantly, what do we feel? I know that when we look at a carved or painted image of the corpus of Christ hanging from a wooden beam – in other words, the body of Jesus – the image is very much sanitized in our minds.

But for those of us who remember a few years ago viewing Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion of the Christ, the movie presented what could best be described as horrific realism as crucifixions were historically understood under Roman rule.

Based upon considerable research, the agony of the sufferings leading up to the death of Christ, which the movie portrayed, came about as close to reality as one could film or present to the viewer, without the film becoming too explicit or excessive in its portrayal of nakedness and violent realism! Yet, the Roman rule was renowned for its excessive use of violence and subjection of its victims to shame in its use of the cross for both men and women!

I know that many people came out of the movie theater with a much deeper and more profound understanding and appreciation of Divine Love, for the sufferings of Christ and His Cross speak to us of the immeasurable Love which our Lord has for each and every one of us!

And Jesus is explaining to Nicodemus, in today’s Gospel, “…just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

In our First Reading from the Book of Numbers, God told Moses, “Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and if any who have been bitten look at it, they will live.” The people of Moses’ day were tired and bitter about traveling through the dessert. And their complaints brought about God’s anger.

A saraph was the Hebrew name for a certain species of venomous snake; the word probably signifies “the fiery one”, since one would suffer greatly from the burning effect of its poisonous bite – suffering to the point of even death in most cases!

But God also relented in His punishment by hearing the prayers of His people and telling Moses to raise a bronze saraph, mounted on a pole, so that anyone who was bitten, if he or she should gaze upon it, would recover and live. As a result, God showed His Mercy to the Jewish people who were repentant of their sins and they would be physically healed.

The Son of Man, being lifted up upon His Cross, also gives us healing, not so much healing of the body, but healing of the spirit, healing of the soul.

And it is through His Death, a death which He freely accepted, which has given to you and me life – not the life with which we struggle in this world, but a life which is eternal, a life which is filled with lasting peace, happiness and joy which cannot be described adequately in human terms.

Saint Paul tells us in our Second Reading, “…though he was in the form of God, [Jesus] did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.”

It is oftentimes difficult to even begin to comprehend the immeasurable Love which God has for you and me, a Divine Love which brought Him, in the Person of the Divine Son, to this world, a Love which took Him away from the awesomeness and glory of His Divine Throne, so as to take upon Himself our humanity, a humanity which would, one day, lead Him to a horrific and agonizing death!

Are you and I able to love each other anywhere near that much? Can we remove from ourselves the pettiness and the selfishness which destroys or belittles our ability to love selflessly and to love each other freely? Can we love without placing terms or restrictions on that love – a love which is as pure and beautiful as the Love which God has for each of us?

I know that, in our human weaknesses, in the shortcomings which sometimes fill our hearts, we find this ability to love as Christ loves lacking within us.

And yet, it IS in our weak human nature which gives God even greater glory, for as our psalmist tells us in today’s Responsorial, “Do not forget the works of the Lord! [For God] being merciful, forgave their sin and destroyed them not; Often he turned back his anger and let none of his wrath be roused.”

For it is in the very Merciful Nature of our God which compels each of us, together with all the Angelic Hosts, whenever hearing the Most Holy Name of Jesus Christ that, as Saint Paul tells us today, “…every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

I am sure that when we stop and take the time to truly reflect upon the meaning of the Cross, God’s saving Love for both you and me, we must truly be thankful to our Heavenly Father for giving us not only the gift of life, but also the gift of faith in His Son, and the invitation to share in His Son’s Eternal Glory as co-heirs of His Kingdom.

How can we not be thankful for such a call to holiness and eternal joy?!

May each of us never lose sight of the Cross which saves, the Cross which heals. May we never lose sight of the invitation which God the Father, through His Son Jesus, extends to each and every one of us, His children, as Jesus explains to Nicodemus in today’s Gospel:

“…so that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but might have eternal life.”

******************************************************************

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.

******************************************************************

Scripture for the Day

  • “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17)
  • “And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” (John 3:14-15)
  • “And the LORD said to Moses: ‘Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and if any who have been bitten look at it, they will live.’ Accordingly Moses made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and whenever the serpent bit someone, the person looked at the bronze serpent and recovered.” (Numbers 21:8-9)
  • “…though he was in the form of God, [Jesus] did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8)
  • “Do not forget the works of the Lord! …But God being compassionate forgave their sin; he did not utterly destroy them. Time and again he turned back his anger, unwilling to unleash all his rage. He remembered that they were flesh, a breath that passes on and does not return.” (Psalm 78:7b, 38-39)
  • “In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him.” (1 John 4:9)
  • “…I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26a)
  • “…at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)

******************************************************************

Prayer for the Day

“O Cross of Christ, immortal tree
On which our Savior died,
The world is sheltered by your arms
That bore the Crucified.

“From bitter death and barren wood
The tree of life is made;
Its branches bear unfailing Fruit
And leaves that never fade.

“O faithful Cross, you stand unmoved
While ages run their course;
Foundation of the universe,
Creation’s binding force.

“Give glory to the Risen Christ
And to His Cross give praise,
The sign of God’s unfathomed Love,
The hope of all our days.”

Benedictines of Stanbrook Abbey

Saint of the Day ~ September 14

EXALTATION of the HOLY CROSS

Today, the universal Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, a commemoration of two historical events – the discovery of the True Cross by the empress, Saint Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, in the year 320, under the temple of Venus in Jerusalem; and the dedication in 335 of the basilica and shrine built on Calvary by Constantine which together mark the site of the actual Crucifixion, and also the Anastasis, a round church which Constantine built over the empty grave of Jesus.

The basilica, named the Martyrium, and the shrine, named the Calvarium, were destroyed by the Persian army in 614. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher which now stands on this site was built by the crusaders in 1149.

However this special Feast, more than anything else, is a celebration and commemoration of God’s greatest work – the salvific mission of Jesus Christ brought to fulfillment through His Death on the Cross and His Resurrection, through which death was defeated and the doors to Heaven opened, whereby man’s fractured relationship with God was forever mended and we became reconciled to our Heavenly Father for all eternity.

As a result, the Cross to which Christ had been nailed and on which He had died became for Christians, quite naturally and logically, the object of special veneration and respect.

Saint Paul tells us in his First Letter to the Corinthians, “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning. The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:17-18).

The entrance antiphon at Mass for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross sets the tone for this celebration, “We should glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, for he is our salvation, our life and our resurrection; through him we are saved and made free.”

For more on the meaning of the Cross in our daily lives, please read today’s “Meditation for the Day”.

We celebrate this special Feastday on September 14.

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

******************************************************************

PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Proper for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross)

“God our Father, in obedience to You, Your Only Son accepted death on the Cross for the salvation of mankind. We acknowledge the mystery of the Cross on Earth. May we receive the gift of redemption in Heaven.

“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)

******************************************************************

“Most Loving and Eternal Father, You call each of us to live a life of holiness, embracing all that Your Only-Begotten Son and our Lord, Jesus Christ, taught us;

– with the help of Your grace, may we always reach out with love, patience and humility to all who are in most need of Your limitless and indescribable Mercy, living our faith with the joy of knowing that we are fulfilling Your Divine will in all that You ask of us, and faithfully bearing whatever crosses may come our way as a result of our love for You, through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

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

September 12 ~ Jesus Wants to Teach Us

Theme:  Jesus the Teacher

“When once I felt hurt because of a certain thing and complained to the Lord, Jesus answered, ‘My daughter, why do you attach such importance to the teaching and the talk of people? I Myself want to teach you; that is why I arrange things so that you cannot attend those conferences. In a single moment, I will bring you to know more than others will acquire through many years of toil.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 1147)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, please be my Teacher! Teach me to know and love You, and so serve You better. I know that You, Yourself, want to teach me. Please give me ears necessary to hear You. (Mercy Minutes with Jesus)

******************************************************************

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)

September 12 ~ O Living Bread

Theme:  Blessed Sacrament, Eucharist, Mass

“All my strength is in You, O Living Bread. It would be difficult for me to live through the day if I did not receive Holy Communion. It is my shield; without You, Jesus, I know not how to live.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 814)

“It is only in eternity that we shall know the great mystery effected in us by Holy Communion. O most precious moments of my life!” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 840)

******************************************************************

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

Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, September 12

Our Faith in Jesus Christ Is Not Only Expressed in Words, But Also in How We Live Our Lives Each and Every Hour of the Day, Each and Every Day of the Year.

We hear our Lord asking a question in today’s Gospel, which actually strikes at the very heart of the faith which you and I profess that we believe, the faith which you and I practice as a community of believers, “But who do you say that I am?”

Did you ever notice how we seem to be inundated with opinion polls just before national, state or local elections? It seems that someone is always asking someone else about what they think, or what their opinions might be on a particular subject.

And then, the results of the polls are published, and analysts then begin to offer their interpretations and formulate predictions as to what they consider to be possible election results, all to the consternation and dismay of the candidate who happens to have a lower standing in a polled system, a system which is, oftentimes, very flawed.

And when we look at Jesus’ original question in today’s Gospel, “Who do people say that I am?” – the response which the disciples gave were answers which were also flawed, in the sense that the people truly did not yet fully grasp the reality of Divine Truth who stood before them.

And then, Jesus asks the pivotal question which becomes a focal point for our own life of faith, “But who do you say that I am?” And without hesitation, Simon Peter’s response became the first recorded public act of faith in Jesus Christ from a disciple we find in human history! “You are the Christ.”

Imagine the wake of a large ship, the waves which it makes as it slices through the sea. The wake widens behind the ship as the ship continues its forward motion, until the wake is finally lost on the horizon. But this wake begins at a single point, which is the bow of the ship itself, cutting through the water.

Faith in Jesus Christ can be likened to this. It is as a wake that widens as it moves throughout the course of human history, and travels to the very ends of the Earth. But it must first start at a single point. And this point is Peter’s act of faith which we read today. “You are the Christ.”

And in Matthew’s Gospel, we read that Peter takes it one step further when he declares, “You are the Messiah [the Christ], the Son of the living God.”

In our First Reading today from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, we read a foreshadowing of the events which the prophesied Messiah would have to endure.

Peter’s rebuke of our Lord’s statement “…that the Son of Man must suffer greatly…be killed, and rise after three days” could be ascribed to the fact that the Jewish people believed that the coming of the Christ, the Messiah, the “Anointed One”, would usher in a the glorious establishment of a messianic kingdom, an earthly kingdom, awaited by Israel which, according to the prophets, would bring all men the definitive order of justice, love, peace and the defeat and complete freedom from Roman rule.

Peter’s rebuke was an example of this misunderstanding which the Jewish people had regarding the messianic kingdom. And our Lord responds with His own rebuke, “You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

And when He says, “Get behind me, Satan”, Jesus is also referring to Satan’s attempt to deflect Him from His God-appointed path in fulfilling all the Old Testament prophesies that were written of Him as the “suffering servant”, who is to allow Himself to be led to the slaughter as a Paschal Lamb for the sake of the sins of all people of all generations.

When Jesus asked, “But who do you say that I am?” – the Apostles were still struggling with their new-found faith which they were living the best they could. Most were fisherman, probably not very well-schooled in the Old Testament Scriptures. So, in their limited understanding, they believed in Jesus as far as the human mind would allow them, since they were witnesses to the many miracles and wonders He had performed.

I am sure they talked to Him many times about their own personal feelings and concerns, just as you and I might have done. They ate, slept and prayed with Him. Yet, they still had so much more to learn, and it would not be until they were filled with the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday that their many experiences with Jesus would take on a much fuller understanding of God’s Truth.

You and I know who Jesus is. And you are most likely reading this meditation today because you wish to grow in your faith and in your understanding of God’s will for you in your individual lives, and in the relationship which He is calling you to have with Him.

But when we leave the comfort of His Word and enter the world of reality, do we continue to embrace His Truth in all that He has taught us? Do we live our faith in our daily lives through the witness we give by the words we speak and the examples of Christian love we are each called to share with others?

How do we respond when society blasphemes the very name of Jesus and the very Truth with which He has filled our hearts?

How do we respond when we are confronted with the Divine Truth regarding abortion, pre-marital sex, same-sex marriage, artificial birth control, and all the other societal ills and deceptions which have watered down or completely ignored Divine Truth given to us through our Church’s teachings – which come from the Eternal Father and Christ Himself through the Holy Spirit?

There are many people who call themselves Christian, but, sadly, by the very way in which they respond to the Christian teaching on morality, they cannot, in all truthfulness, answer our Lord’s question, “…who do YOU say that I am?” For they truly do NOT know Him!

Our Lord once said, “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!”

And how do we do fulfill the will of our “Father in Heaven” in our life of faith in the “here-and-now” which we are living? Saint James does not “pull any punches” when he describes, in our Second Reading today, what is required of us in our individual walks of faith – “…faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

The life of faith which you and I live in our daily lives must always be based first upon our personal relationship with and a true commitment to Jesus Christ, and to His teachings of compassion, mercy, and a true selfless giving of ourselves in the way we live the virtue of love for the sake of others.

It is the witness which we give by the way we love selflessly; it is the example we give by the way we show compassion and generosity for each other, regardless of one’s race, creed, color, religious or political persuasion; it is the humility we live in our hearts – all which defines the very depth of our relationship to our Savior.

And it is also our willingness to deny ourselves, and our willingness to take up our cross and follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ – which shows our Lord how much we truly love Him!

Who is Jesus Christ to you and me? Or to use the words our Lord asks of us today, “…who do you say that I am?” Our answer is not only expressed in words, but is also expressed in how we live our lives each and every hour of the day, each and every day of the year!

Saint Mother Teresa was once quoted as saying, “Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is a beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it…Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it.”

In the spirit of the Letter of Saint James, I would like to add one additional line to her inspirational quote:

– Life is knowing that God loves us, live it!

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

******************************************************************

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.

******************************************************************

Scripture for the Day

  • “Along the way [Jesus] asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am? They said in reply, ‘John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.’” (Mark 8:27b-28)
  • “And he asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter said to him in reply, ‘You are the Messiah.’” (Mark 8:29)
  • “Simon Peter said in reply, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’” (Matthew 16:16)
  • “…the apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith.’ The Lord replied, ‘If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.’(Luke 17:5-6)
  • “…Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
  • “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? …So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead…Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.” (James 2:14, 17, 18b)
  • “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!” (Matthew 7:21)
  • “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
  • “So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us…” (Ephesians 5:1-2a)

******************************************************************

Prayer for the Day

“People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.

“If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

“If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends
and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.

“If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.

“What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.

“If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

“The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.

“Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.

“In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.”

Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta

A MEMORIAL TRIBUTE FOR SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

A Heartfelt Memorial

In memory of the 2,997 people, which also included responding firefighters, police, clergy and other emergency personnel, who lost their lives as a result of that horrific day of infamy, September 11, 2001, a day of great sadness in which terrorism’s godless attack against America and our way of life, since the attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II, have caused the deaths of so many innocent mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and sons and daughters.

And even now, it is reported that more than 1,400 rescue workers who responded to the scene in the days and months following the attack have succumbed to the effects of cancer and other airborne toxins, and many others are continuing to become sickened and many die as a result of the debilitating diseases they have contracted, since their immune systems were compromised and they become affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For all who have or will perish as a result of this cowardly attack, may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the Divine Mercy of Almighty God, rest in eternal peace; and may God’s compassionate Love continue to console their families on this 20th anniversary of their passing from this life.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

******************************************************************

As a Christian people, our Heavenly Father calls each of us to offer prayer for forgiveness for all of God’s children, especially when it is most difficult, for the mercy we show others is the mercy with which God will reward us.

“Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will,
but all those of ill will.

“Do not only remember all the sufferings they have subjected us to.

“Remember the fruits we brought forth thanks to this suffering –
Our comradeship, Our loyalty, Our humility, Our courage and generosity,
the greatness of heart that all of this inspired.

“And when they come to judgment, let all those fruits we have borne be their reward and their forgiveness. Amen.”

a prayer found on the body of a young child
(from the Ravensbruck Concentration Camp in North Germany
during World War II)