DAILY PRAYER REQUESTS

Please feel free to post your prayer request for today as a comment to this post. Your needs and intentions will be included in our daily offerings throughout the day and at the 3 o’clock hour for Divine Mercy, and your requests will be personally offered to our Heavenly Father, having faith in the words our Lord spoke to Saint Faustina, “Through the chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will.” (Diary, 1731)

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“Most Merciful and Loving Father, we long to please You in this life so that we may enjoy Your gift of eternal life to come;

– with the help of Your grace, may we always follow the teachings and example which our Lord Jesus gave to us, always trusting in Your providential Love and embracing Your Divine will for us in our everyday lives, becoming the extension of Your Love and Mercy to others here on Earth, until that wondrous moment when You finally call us Home to Yourself. We humbly pray this in Jesus’ Most Holy Name. Amen.”

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

July 16 ~ More Directives about Temptations

Theme:  Spiritual Warfare

(Continued)

“Third, have the certitude that I am looking at you and supporting you. Fourth, do not fear either struggles of the soul or any temptations, because I am supporting you; if only you are willing to fight, know that the victory is always on your side. Fifth, know that by fighting bravely you give Me great glory and amass merits for yourself. Temptation gives you a chance to show Me your fidelity.” (Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 1560b)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, thank You for Your encouragement and support in fighting temptations. May I give You great glory in fighting temptations and show You my sincere fidelity. (Mercy Minutes with Jesus)

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

July 16 ~ Everything that My Heart Could Desire

Theme:  Desire for the Lord

“O Wound of Mercy, Heart of Jesus, hide me in Your depths as a drop of Your own Blood, and do not let me out forever! Lock me in Your depths, and do You Yourself teach me to love You! Eternal Love, do You Yourself form my soul that it be made capable of returning Your love. O living Love, enable me to love You forever. I yearn to eternally reciprocate Your love.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1631)

“My Lord and Creator, Your goodness encourages me to converse with You. Your mercy abolishes the chasm which separates the Creator from the creature. To converse with You, O Lord, is the delight of my heart. In You I find everything that my heart could desire.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1692)

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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

Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time, July 16

With the Particular Gifts and Charisms with Which Our Lord Has Blessed Us, May We Become His Extension of Love and Mercy Here on Earth.

We have all heard or read stories about babies being abandoned on doorsteps, hospital entrances, even sadly in dumpsters or trash bags. But today’s story is different.

Out of love for her son, and trusting in God’s providential care for His children, the mother of Moses, in our First Reading, set her son adrift along the river bank, trusting that God would take care of him. For she knew that if the Egyptians found him in her home, he would be killed by order of Pharaoh.

And Scripture tells us today that when Pharaoh’s daughter found the basket adrift and opened it and saw the child inside, “She was moved with pity for him…” And with this same sense of compassion, she adopted him, making him her own. Thus, the story of Moses began.

Sometimes, the word pity takes on different meanings, depending upon its usage or the context in which we find the expression. In today’s Scripture Readings, we become exposed to two opposing uses of the term.

In our First Reading, Pharaoh’s daughter is moved with compassion and sadness that a mother would have to abandon her child, in order that the child may have a chance to live, for she knew that her father, who was the ruler of Egypt, had decreed that every male child was to be put to death by the sword as a means of lessening the population of the Jewish people. It was Pharaoh’s way of implementing a policy of forced birth control.

By caring for and adopting the child, her compassion was a living example of love and charity, even towards those who were being persecuted and marginalized by an unjust ruling. And unbeknownst to her, her pity was the means by which God’s plan of salvation for His chosen people would be fulfilled.

In stark contrast, however, was the pity which our Lord felt for those who chose to turn their backs on God’s Mercy in our Gospel Reading today, a Mercy which He was freely extending to His children, a Mercy which they had freely chosen to reject by remaining obstinate and unrepentant.

The pity which our Lord felt was not one of compassion; rather it was one of disappointment and sorrow, when He replied, “Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.”

In essence, our Lord was mourning the lack of faith of all those who could not recognize the workings of God’s Love within their midst, even when they witnessed the healings which took place in front of their very eyes!

In His disappointment, our Lord spoke of God’s Justice, a Justice which many people today ignore or disregard, for such thinking runs counter to their way of thinking and their way of life – a life which purposely disregards the teachings of Christ, a life which even shows disdain and contempt for the basic Ten Commandments!

But for those who try to live their faith in the midst of secularistic thinking, for those who work at keeping their focus on Christ, even in the midst of ridicule and persecution – for there are many Christians throughout the world today who ARE being persecuted for their faith (each year, over 100,000 are being martyred throughout the world) – our psalmist today echoes their individual cries with his own words of lament, “But I am afflicted and in pain; let your saving help, O God, protect me.”

In times of trial, in times of despair, each of us must always remain focused on what truly matters in this life – God’s indescribable Love for each and every one of us! And even in the midst of our own sufferings, God still asks us to remain faithful to the two basic Commandments which our Lord gave us, which is the summation of the original Ten – love of God and love of neighbor.

As you and I journey through life, as we travel through the different valleys of tears which are asked of each of us, we must never turn to empty despair but always have faith and trust in God’s providential Love for His children.

And with this faith strengthening us, He expects each of us to also do our part in reaching out to help others. With the particular gifts and charisms with which our Lord has blessed us, He is asking that each one of us become His extension of Love and Mercy here on Earth.

We are to become faithful children, imitating Christ in the Love He has for us, imitating Pharaoh’s daughter in our First Reading, reaching out and caring for those who are marginalized and less fortunate.

Remember, “she was moved with pity.” May we take it one step further and look upon the poor and the marginalized with compassion and love.

May you and I become the Merciful Christ as we reach out to all who are suffering, seeing in them the Suffering Christ and ministering to their needs, alleviating their pain in whatever way we can, with whatever gifts we have been given.

And when our life comes to an end – and one day it shall – and when our Savior finally looks at us during our time of judgment, instead of facing His Divine Justice, may you and I take confidence in hearing Him say to each of us –

“Well done, my good and faithful servant…Come, share your master’s joy.”

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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

  • “As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If this day you only knew what makes for peace…’(Luke 19:41-42a)
  • “Then he began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented.” (Matthew 11:20)
  • “And as for you, Capernaum: ‘Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.’ For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.” (Matthew 11:23-24)
  • “Noticing the basket among the reeds, [Pharaoh’s daughter] sent her handmaid to fetch it. On opening it, she looked, and lo, there was a baby boy, crying! She was moved with pity for him…” (Exodus 2:5b-6b)
  • “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
  • “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)
  • “Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.” (Ephesians 4:32)
  • “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)
  • “For I kept the ways of the LORD and was not disloyal to my God. For his ordinances were all present to me, and his statutes I put not from me; but I was wholehearted toward him, and I was on my guard against guilt. And the LORD requited me according to my justice, according to my innocence in his sight.” (2 Samuel 22:22-25)
  • “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on…let them find rest from their labors, for their works accompany them.” (Revelation 14:13bc)
  • “Well done, my good and faithful servant…Come, share your master’s joy.” (Matthew 25:21ac)

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Prayer for the Day

“Eternal and Most Loving Father,

I submit my entire self to Your holy will.

All that I am today, transform me into Your servant;

living Your Truth amongst my brothers and sisters.

“Thank You for imbuing me with Your Holy Spirit,

who guides me to live a life of righteousness,

enabling me to be all that You desire me to be,

so that I may give my best in service to Your children.

“Forgive me for my past failures,

rejecting the image of Christ in those around me.

In selfishness, I held back Your Love

and fell short in living the virtue of charity.

“Fill my heart with humility,

so that I may always fulfill Your will,

imitating the life of Your Son, Jesus,

giving love without counting the cost.

“In Jesus’ Name, I pray for this grace

for the glory of Your Divine Majesty,

in the Presence of the Holy Spirit,

and for the well-being of my soul for all eternity. Amen.”

Anonymous

Saint of the Day ~ July 16

OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

Today, the universal Church honors the Blessed Mother under the mantle of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which is also a principal feastday of the Carmelite Order.

Mount Carmel is the mountain in the middle of the plain of Galilee on which the prophet Elijah called down a miracle of fire from the Lord, in order to show the people of Israel who had strayed that “The Lord is God!” and that the prophets of Baal were worshipping a false god – a very interesting story to read (1 Kings 18:18-39).

At the time of the Crusades to the Holy Land in the 12th century, hermits began settling in various places throughout Palestine. Some of these hermits followed the example of the prophet Elijah, a holy man and a lover of solitude. They, too, adopted a solitary life-style on Mount Carmel, near a spring called the Fountain of Elijah. They lived in small communities, similar to the cells of a beehive. Their lives were devoted to prayer and contemplation.

Moved by their love for the Holy Land, these hermits formed a fraternal community, consecrating themselves to the One who had paid the ultimate price for our salvation by the shedding of His Blood, in order that they might serve Him, clothed in the habit (attire and attitude) of religious poverty.

By the 13th century, they had formed an Order called Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and thus they became known as Carmelites. They soon celebrated a special Mass and Office in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In 1226, the Rule of the Order was approved by Pope Honorius III, and, 21 years later, Simon Stock (later Saint Simon), an Englishman, was elected Superior of the Order. On July 16, 1251, the Blessed Virgin appeared to Simon and gave him the brown scapular and promised her Motherly protection to all those who wear the scapular in faith, for it calls the wearers to consecrate themselves to Mary in a special way, as she leads her children to love her Son more profoundly, reminding them of the Gospel call to prayer and penance – a call which Mary models for each of us in a most wondrous way! The brown scapular was formally approved by Pope Sixtus V in 1587.

In 1726, Pope Benedict XIII extended this honor given to Mary as a celebration of the universal Church under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. For centuries, the Carmelites have seen themselves as specially related to Mary. Their great saints and theologians of the Church, including Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint John of the Cross and Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus, have promoted a special devotion to her – thereby giving glory to the One True God and His Son Jesus Christ – and often championed the mystery of Mary’s Immaculate Conception.

Mary, the Mother of God, leads her spiritual children clothed with this tiny garment of humility and poverty, the brown scapular, into a more intimate and loving relationship with her Divine Son – a relationship which always reminds us of our complete and unquestioning dependency upon the Loving Mercy of Almighty God.

We celebrate the feastday of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16.

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

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Collect of the Roman Missal from the Proper for Our Lady of Mount Carmel)

“May the venerable intercession of the glorious Virgin Mary come to our aid, we pray, O Lord, so that, fortified by her protection, we may reach the mountain which is Christ. Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

Daily Series on the Catechism

PART IV:  CHRISTIAN PRAYER

Section Two:  The Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father”

Article 2,  “Our Father Who Art in Heaven”

II.  “Father!” (cont’d)

§ 2784  The free gift of adoption requires on our part continual conversion and new life. Praying to our Father should develop in us two fundamental dispositions:

First, the desire to become like Him: though created in His Image, we are restored to His likeness by grace; and we must respond to this grace.

  • “We must remember…and know that when we call God ‘our Father’, we ought to behave as sons of God” (DDO 11: PL 4:526B).
  • “You cannot call the God of all kindness your Father if you preserve a cruel and inhuman heart; for in this case you no longer have in you the marks of the Heavenly Father’s kindness” (DOD 3: PG 51, 44).
  • “We must contemplate the beauty of the Father without ceasing and adorn our own souls accordingly” (DOrD 2: PG 44, 1148B).

§ 2785  Second, a humble and trusting heart that enables us “to turn and become like children” (Matthew 18:3): for it is to “little children” that the Father is revealed (cf. Mt 11:25).

  • “[The prayer is accomplished] by the contemplation of God alone, and by the warmth of love, through which the soul, molded and directed to love him, speaks very familiarly to God as to its own Father with special devotion” (Co 9, 18: PL 49, 788C).
  • “Our Father: at this Name, Love is aroused in us…and the confidence of obtaining what we are about to ask…What would He not give to His children who ask, since He has already granted them the gift of being His children?” (SDM 2, 4, 16: PL 34, 1276)

III.  “Our” Father

§ 2786  “Our” Father refers to God. The adjective, as used by us, does not express possession, but an entirely new relationship with God.

§ 2787  When we say “our” Father, we recognize first that all His promises of love announced by the prophets are fulfilled in the new and eternal covenant in His Christ: we have become “His” people and He is henceforth “our” God. This new relationship is the purely gratuitous gift of belonging to each other: we are to respond to “grace and truth” given us in Jesus Christ with love and faithfulness (John 1:17; cf. Hosea 2:21-22; 6:1-6).

Tomorrow – “Our” Father (to be continued)

(Part IV, Section 2, Article 2 – to be continued)

[Editor’s Note:  The abbreviations in today’s posting are noted below.]

  • “cf.” – “confer [compare or refer to]”
  • “Co” – St. John Cassian, “Collationes [Conferences]”
  • “DDO” – St. Cyprian, “De Dominica Oratione [The Lord’s Prayer]”
  • “DOD” – St. John Chrysostom, “De Oratione Dominica [The Lord’s Prayer]”
  • “DOrD” – St. Gregory of Nyssa, “De Oratione Dominica [The Lord’s Prayer]”
  • “PG” – “Patrologia Graeca [Greek Patrology]”, an enormous collection of writings of the Church Fathers and other ecclesiastical writers in the Greek language published by J. P. Migne, (Paris, 18571866 A.D.)
  • “PL” – “Patrologia Latina [Latin Patrology]”, an enormous collection of writings of the Church Fathers and other ecclesiastical writers in the Latin language published by J. P. Migne, (Paris, 18411855 A.D.)
  • “SDM” – St. Augustine, “De Sermone Domini in Monte [The Lord’s Sermon on the Mount]”
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