DAILY PRAYER REQUESTS

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

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“Almighty and Eternal God, as we continue our daily pilgrimage to know and love You more intimately, growing in our faith as disciples of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, please fill us with Your Holy Spirit, so that we may realize and embrace our holy oneness with You to which You are calling us;

– and may we always find the peace and joy which can only fill our hearts through our knowing, loving and serving You, who shall one day make all things new, through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

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

January 18 ~ Beg Mercy for Loved Ones

Theme:  Beg for Mercy

“On one occasion, after a person had asked me for prayer, when I met the Lord I said to Him, ‘Jesus, I especially love those souls whom You love.’ And Jesus answered, ‘And as for Me, I bestow special graces on those souls for whom you intercede.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 599)

“After Holy Communion today, I spoke at length to the Lord Jesus about people who are special to me. Then I heard these words: ‘My daughter, don’t be exerting yourself so much with words. Those whom you love in a special way, I too love in a special way, and for your sake, I shower My graces upon them. I am pleased when you tell Me about them, but don’t be doing so with such excessive effort.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 739)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, please shower with Your Mercy all the people whom we love in a special way, as we intercede for them and for the whole world. Lord, I especially remember and pray for my family members and close friends. (Mercy Minutes with Jesus)

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Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

January 18 ~ The Immensity of Your Mercy

Theme:  Mercy

“The knowledge of my own misery allows me, at the same time, to know the immensity of Your mercy. In my own interior life, I am looking with one eye at the abyss [greatness] of my misery and baseness, and with the other, at the abyss of your mercy, O God.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 56)

“O my Jesus, despite the deep night that is all around me and the dark clouds which hide the horizon, I know that the sun never goes out. O Lord, though I cannot comprehend You and do not understand Your ways, I nonetheless trust in Your mercy.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 73)

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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 Second Week in Ordinary Time, January 18

We Must Become As a New People, Changing Our Old Way of Thinking and Becoming Open and Flexible to All That God Wishes to Share with Us and Is Asking of Us.

We hear in today’s Gospel, “…no one pours new wine into old wineskins…” Our Lord is giving us comparisons between old and new cloth, old and new wineskins. At first glance, we begin to ask ourselves the question: “How do we interpret these sayings? What is it that Jesus is teaching us today?”

In a previous meditation some time ago, I wrote about applying our Lord’s comparisons of cloth and wine skins to our life of faith in today’s modern culture. As a result, we need to first look inside ourselves and reflect upon how we, both you and I, respond to what God is asking of us in the journey of life upon which we find ourselves traveling today.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus warns his disciples about the problem of the “closed mind” that refuses to learn new things. Jesus used an image familiar to the audience of His day – new and old wineskins.

In Jesus’ time, wine was stored in wineskins, not bottles. New wine that was poured into skins was still fermenting. The gases exerted gave pressure, and new wine skins were elastic enough to take the pressure, but old wine skins easily burst because they were hard and inflexible.

In essence, Jesus is asking us to expand our minds and open our hearts to the teachings of His Truth.

Throughout the course of human history, wars and battles have been waged because of closed minds and misunderstandings. Families and communities and whole nations have been torn apart because people refused to open their hearts and listen to what God was saying to us.

Just look at our own history in the United States and how the Civil War back in the mid 1800’s tore this nation apart, brother fighting against brother, all because we failed to listen to God’s teaching on what it truly meant to recognize and love our neighbor!

Part of our nation proceeded with an arrogance that enslavement was necessary for the economic solvency of their southern plantations. They embraced the belief that slavery was a moral necessity, even though it smacked in the face of brotherly love, even though it ran counter to the teachings of Christ which we find in the Beatitudes, and in the idea that each person is our neighbor, deserving of our love.

As a consequence, the lack of respect for the dignity of life for the African people ran contrary to the Law of God, and our nation had to endure a great civil war in order for our country to become once again united under the banner of freedom for everyone, regardless of race and the color of one’s skin.

For God does not judge His children by how they appear on the outside, but rather by what He sees on the inside – within the heart, mind and soul of each and every one of us!

And because of our arrogance, because of the prideful way in which many of His children carry themselves in this life, because of disobedience to His will, beginning with the disobedience of our first parents, God sent His own Son to offer Himself, offering His own Body and Blood as an unblemished Sacrificial Lamb to atone for our sinfulness.

For as we read in the Letter to the Hebrews today, Jesus, as the Eternal High Priest, “…offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.” And the offering which He made was Himself being nailed to a tree!

Sadly, however, as we listen to the evening news or read the headlines in our local papers or on the internet, many peoples and governments throughout the world continue to fail in their recognition of what it means to be children of God. They fail to open their minds and their hearts, remaining inflexible to that which God asks from each of them.

And such failures can only result in divisions between peoples, political parties and nations!

For if we fail to learn, if we fail to change ourselves so that our responses may be in accord with God’s will, then we shall become like “old wineskins” which burst due to the fermentation of new wine; we shall be like old cloth which becomes even more torn, when patched with a piece of new, “unshrunken cloth”.

In order for us to be as “new cloth”, we must first be a people who are willing to be opened to and accepting of all that our Church teaches us; we must first be willing to embrace God’s will in our lives, in place of all the other materialistic and secular gods which exist in our world today.

We must become as a new people, for only, in this way, can God then pour into us the new wine of His Truth, a Truth which can only be accepted when we freely open our minds and our hearts to His teaching. And for this to happen, we must first change our old way of thinking; we must be like “fresh wineskins”, becoming open and flexible to all that God wishes to share with us and expects of us.

Let us pray that Jesus may fill us with His Holy Spirit, guiding us to an ever closer, loving relationship with the Eternal God who loves both you and me beyond all measure of human understanding. And in this most intimate of all unions, may we always find the peace and joy which can only fill our hearts in knowing, loving and serving Him – in all that He asks of you and me.

“…no one pours new wine into old wineskins…” So then, let each of us rid ourselves of the old and put on the new, open to and accepting of all that our Most Loving Savior, our Eternal Bridegroom asks from each and every one of us.

For regardless of what differences may exist between peoples, political parties and nations, each and every one of us is a child of God, brothers and sisters of the same Eternal Father!

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

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Scripture for the Day

  • “No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse.” (Mark 2:21)
  • “Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins…Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.” (Mark 2:22ac)
  • “In the days when he was in the Flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.” (Hebrews 5:7)
  • “…keep the commandments of the LORD, your God, and the ordinances and statutes he has enjoined on you.” (Deuteronomy 6:17)
  • “For it is loyalty that I desire, not sacrifice, and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6)
  • “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.’(John 14:23)
  • “For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (Matthew 12:50)
  • “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” (Romans 8:14)
  • “Do everything without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like lights in the world.” (Philippians 2:14-15)

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Prayer for the Day

“Glory to you, O Lord our God.
Your Love calls us to be a holy people.
By calling us to share our many and diverse gifts
with which You have deigned to bless us,
we share in Your mission.

“We ask You, O Lord,
to bless us with Your Loving Presence,
molding us into a community of faithful people.
Nourish us by Your Word and Sacrament
that we may grow into the Image of Jesus, Your Son.

“Through the power of Your Holy Spirit,
heal us that we, in turn, may heal the wounded.
Form us to be obedient and faithful instruments of love,
justice, and peace in our land, and send us
to proclaim Your saving work by word and example.

“Renew us, Lord,
that we, in turn, may renew the face of the Earth. Amen.”

Anonymous

Saint of the Day ~ January 18

SAINT CHARLES of SEZZE (1613-1670), religious

Today, the Church honors Saint Charles of Sezze, a religious brother who was renowned for his spirit of humility, charity and love for neighbor – all attributes of one who truly embraced the Way of the Cross in his own life.

Charles was born John Charles Marchioni on October 19, 1613, in the rural community of Sezze, southeast of Rome, Italy. He came from a very pious and humble family; and, as a child, Charles worked as a shepherd.

His family encouraged his vocation to the priesthood, but due to his lack of education (for it is said he learned only the basics and could barely read and write), he joined the Franciscans as a religious brother in Naziano, Italy at the age of twenty-two. Due to poor health which prevented his going on foreign missions, he served in assorted menial positions, such as cook, porter, and gardener at friaries near Rome.

Brother Charles was known for his holiness, simplicity, and charity. He was generous to travelers and was also sought by many for his spiritual advice. In 1656, he worked tirelessly with victims of the bubonic plague, which seemed to linger in certain areas of Europe long after its initial outbreak in 1347.

Over the years, his education had greatly improved and he wrote several mystical works including his autobiography titled “The Grandeurs of the Mercies of God”. He also bore a visibly open wound in his side, said to have been opened by a piercing ray of light that came from an elevated Host during Mass at the Church of Saint Joseph a Capo le Case. And tradition states that the dying Pope Clement IX called Charles to his bedside for a special blessing.

Brother Charles died on January 6, 1670 in the Church of San Francesco a Ripa in Rome, and his remains are interred there. He was canonized a saint by Pope St. John XXIII on April 12, 1959.

We commemorate his feastday on January 18.

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

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for Religious)

“Lord God, You kept Saint Charles faithful to Christ’s pattern of poverty and humility. May his prayers help us to live in fidelity to our calling and bring us to the perfection You have shown us in 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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“Most Merciful and Loving Jesus, in the profound and immeasurable wonder of Your Love for us, You walked amongst Your children as the Innocent Lamb of God teaching us about the mind and will of God and the unfathomable Love and limitless Mercy which You offer to each of us;

– with our sincerest gratitude and most heartfelt thanksgiving, may we always embrace and live this wondrous gift of faith and the profoundness of Your Love with which You have filled our hearts, so that we may, one day, gaze upon the wonder and the beauty of Your Divine Presence in Your Heavenly Kingdom, all in Your Most Holy Name. Amen.”

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

January 17 ~ For the Whole World

Theme:  Beg for Mercy

“My daughter, I have inclined My Heart to your requests. Your assignment and duty here on earth is to beg for mercy for the whole world. No soul will be justified until it turns with confidence to My mercy, and this is why the first Sunday after Easter is to be the Feast of Mercy. On that day, priests are to tell everyone about My great and unfathomable mercy. I am making you the administrator of My mercy. Tell the confessor that the Image is to be on view in the church and not within the enclosure in that convent. By means of this Image I shall be granting many graces to souls; so let every soul have access to it.” (Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 570)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, I unite myself with Saint Faustina, the dispenser of Your Mercy, to beg for mercy upon the whole world. May every soul have access to the Image of You as The Divine Mercy and also have access to the Feast of Mercy. (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)

January 17 ~ You Are the God of Mercy

Theme:  Trust

“Although my misery is great, and my offenses are many, I trust in Your mercy, because You are the God of mercy; and, from time immemorial, it has never been heard of, nor do heaven or earth remember, that a soul trusting in Your mercy has been disappointed.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1730)

“When I received Jesus, I threw myself into Him as into an abyss of unfathomable mercy. And the more I felt I was misery itself, the stronger grew my trust in Him.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 1817)

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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

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 17

May Our Hymn to the Paschal Lamb of God Always Be One of Faithfulness to His Will, Never Turning Aside from Him for Our Own Sake, but Freely Choosing to Embrace All that He Asks of Us.

We read in today’s Gospel, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” – an expression which speaks to us of innocence and purity, but most importantly our eternal redemption.

As we reflect upon the Innocent Paschal Lamb and all that He endured for each one of us, how does His life impact upon our own way of thinking and speaking, upon our own way of acting?

For people of faith, for those who listen to His words and take them to heart, for those who contemplate His teachings and the promises He has made to us, our lives are forever influenced and changed by the Sacrificial Lamb, who offered up His life so that we, in turn, may have life.

But we know only too well that many choose not to listen; many choose to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to all that our Lord taught and continues to teach us through the indwelling of His Spirit within our hearts and souls. Many choose to abandon a life of virtue and righteousness, in favor of a life of moral depravity and corruption.

Strong words? – Yes! But if we truly take the time and think about all that has been unfolding over the last several decades, we find within today’s society a moral relativism which has grown and spread like a deadly cancer with a vengeance, a disease of the heart and soul which has given way to political and judicial acceptance of homosexuality and same-sex marriages, a failure by many to respect the dignity of the most innocent of God’s children still being formed in the wombs of their mothers, a generalized lessening of moral decency as blatantly exhibited in many programs being aired for anyone to watch on television!

And this is just a brief listing of all those behaviors which fracture our relationship with God – a behavior which speaks of arrogance, pride and the unwillingness to listen to the will of God in our lives.

And Saint Paul reminds his readers in our Second Reading today, “The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord.” And he goes on to say, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”

And Samuel realized this when he became a disciple of Eli. He chose to follow God and opened his heart to serving His will, no matter where it might lead him. And, in time, he learned to listen to God’s Spirit, following a path of righteousness and pleasing God throughout his own life of faith and service to His children.

Today is no different. You and I are called to live each day as God would have us live it, to live each day in harmony with God’s will. In essence, the expression from today’s psalm “…to do your will, O my God…” means that we must surrender our own ego, our own pride, and realize that we are not the masters of our own destiny, remembering the words of Saint Paul, “…you are not your own.”

For if we wish to embrace the gift of eternal life, then we must set aside all those distractions of the flesh – greed, envy, pride, lust, gluttony, sloth, unjust anger, immoral conduct – all which can separate us from God’s Love, for such distractions are truly lacking in holiness and humility.

And we must learn to listen, to open our hearts and allow God’s Spirit to guide us on the path which leads to personal sanctity and our salvation.

Setting aside our own willful desires and conforming our way of thinking to God’s way is not always easy, for the weakness of the flesh, in whatever form the weakness may take, can truly become overwhelming at times!

Yet, when we surrender ourselves to God with a truly humbled and contrite heart, asking that He strengthen and guide us in our daily struggles through life, He will not only give us the grace to persevere, but He will also give us the grace to overcome the weakness itself and become one with Him.

For as Paul tells us today, we have been purchased at a very high price, and that price was His Blood shed for us on the Cross!

John the Baptist declared in today’s Gospel, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” May our hymn to this Paschal Lamb always be one of faithfulness to His will, never turning aside from Him for our own sake, but freely choosing to embrace all that He asks of us, so that we, too, as His faithful children, may one day reap the Heavenly reward which awaits each of us!

And may we take the words of our Lord found in the Book of Revelation to heart, “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.”

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

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

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Scripture for the Day

  • “…as [John] watched Jesus walk by, he said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God.’” (John 1:36)
  • “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19)
  • “The body, however, is not for immorality, but for the Lord…Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 6:13c, 15a)
  • “So [Eli] said to Samuel, ‘…if you are called, reply, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’’” (1 Samuel 3:9a)
  • “To do your will, O my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart!” (Psalm 40:9)
  • “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good spirit lead me on a level path!” (Psalm 143:10)
  • “He crouches, lies down like a lion, like a lioness—who would dare rouse him? The scepter shall never depart from Judah, or the mace from between his feet, until tribute comes to him, and he receives the people’s obedience.” (Genesis 49:9b-10)
  • “And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessing.’” (Revelation 5:12)
  • “But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
  • “But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.” (1 Corinthians 6:17)
  • “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)

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Prayer for the Day

“Lord Jesus, Almighty God,
we commit to You our lives;
do with us as You will,
and make our lives useful to Your service.

“Lord Jesus, Son of God,
the only ambition we have is to humbly
and honestly serve Your holy will.
We want to lift up Your Name Lord Jesus, not ours,
And we wish to make known the power
of Your Most Holy Spirit.

“Lord Jesus, our Savior,
we want You to claim us for Yourself,
and use us according to Your Divine purpose.
And no matter the task You assign to us,
we will be content and full of joy
to fulfill Your holy will.

“Lord Jesus, our Redeemer,
let Your Holy Spirit live in us forever,
and give us purpose and hope, peace and joy.
And may we be blessed with eternal life,
for, without You, our hearts will perish.
We ask all this for the glory of Your Heavenly Father. Amen.”

Anonymous