Distressed Souls

Meditation:

Write this for the benefit of distressed souls; when a soul sees and realizes the gravity of its sins, when the whole abyss of the misery into which it immersed itself is displayed before its eyes, let it not despair, but with trust let it throw itself into the arms of My mercy, as a child into the arms of its beloved mother. These souls have a right of priority to My compassionate Heart, they have first access to My mercy. Tell them that no soul that has called upon My mercy has been disappointed or brought to shame. I delight particularly in a soul which has placed its trust in My goodness (Diary, 1541).
My Prayer Response:
Jesus, I pray for distressed souls plunge them into the ocean of Your mercy. Help them to trust in Your goodness! May trusting souls delight You.

BLESSED CHARLES THE GOOD – MARTYR: March 2

St. Canute,  King of Denmark was the father of Charles.  In 1086 when Charles was only five years old, Canute was slain.  His mother took him to the court of Robert, Count of Flanders.  Robert was his maternal grandfather.  He became a knight and went with his uncle, Robert II, on a crusade to the Holy Land.  He distinguished himself at that time.  Charles also fought against the English.  Robert’s son, Baldwin, succeeded  him as Count of Flanders on Robert’s death.   Charles became his aide and confident. Charles was closely associated with Baldwin, who designated Charles as his heir and arranged for Charles’ marriage. Charles became Count of Flanders on Baldwin’s death.  He ruled wisely.   There were other claimants to the throne and while he was praying in St. Damian church, he was murdered.  His cult was confirmed in 1883, March 2.

FEAST DAY- March 2

ST. CASIMIR

St. Casimir was the third of the thirteen children of King Casimir III, of Poland.  He was born October 5, 1458.  He had a horror of luxury and a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  John Dugloss, a holy canon, had the care of Casimir.  It is said that Casimir composed, or at least frequently recited, the well-known “Hymn of St. Casimir.”  He practiced many mortifications in secret.  He was offered the crown of Hungary when the people wanted to dethrone its king, Matthias Convinus.  Casimir headed  an army of 20,000 men and marched to the frontier, but upon learning that the people and king had settled their differences, he returned home.  He could never be prevailed upon to assume the crown when it was offered to him again.  He was pure of soul and body to the end of his life.  He never married.  At age 24, he died of tuberculosis at Vilna, Lithuania in 1482.

FEAST DAY- March 4

PATRON OF- Lithuania, Poland; the young and bachelors

The Rich Young Man

Matthew 19:16-30

16 And behold, one came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which?” And Jesus said, “You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have observed; what do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.

23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said in reply, “Behold, we have left everything and followed you. What then shall we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of man shall sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. 30 But many that are first will be last, and the last first.

Today’s Commentary:

Easier for a camel: A parable of impossibility. Jesus thus warns that extreme difficulties face the rich and threaten their entrance into the kingdom. Only with God’s help (19:26) can the wealthy detach themselves from the love of money and material possessions (5:3; 1 Tim 6:9-10; Jas 5:1-6). The young man’s refusal (19:22) to embrace poverty proves Jesus’ point (CCC 2053).

Filled with a Certain Strength

Meditation:

Suddenly I saw the Lord interiorly, and He said to me, Fear not, My daughter; I am with you. In that single moment, all the darkness and torments vanished, my senses were inundated with unspeakable joy, [and] the faculties of my soul filled with light (Diary, 103).
Satan always takes advantage of such moments; thoughts of discouragement began to rise to the surface for your faithfulness and sincerity this is yourreward. How can one be sincere when one is so misunderstood? Jesus, Jesus, I cannot go on any longer. Again I fell to the ground under this weight, and I broke out in a sweat, and fear began to overcome me. I had no one to lean on interiorly. Suddenly I heard a voice within my soul, Do not fear; I am with you. And an unusual light illumined my mind, and I understood that I should not give in to such sorrows. I was filled with a certain strength and left my cell with newcourage to suffer (Diary, 129).
My Prayer Response:
Lord Jesus, help me to hear Your word of encouragement when I need it: Do not fear; I am with you.

Offer Me Your Misery

Meditation:

Write, My daughter, that I am mercy itself for the contrite soul. A soul’s greatest wretchedness does not enkindle Me with wrath; but rather, My Heart is moved towards it with great mercy (Diary, 1739).
For you, I am mercy itself; therefore I ask you to offer Me your misery and this very helplessness of yours and, in this way, you will delight My Heart (Diary, 1775).
My Prayer Response:
Jesus, You are mercy itself. I offer You my misery and that of the whole world. May Your Heart of Mercy delight at this offering of our misery to You. Jesus,have mercy on us and on the whole world.

The Laborers in the Vineyard

Matthew 20:1-16

1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place; 4 and to them he said, You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. 5 Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing; and he said to them, Why do you stand here idle all day?’ 7 They said to him, Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, You go into the vineyard too.’ 8And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ 9And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. 10 Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. 11 And on receiving it they grumbled at the householder, 12 saying, These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13 But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what belongs to you, and go; I choose to give to this last as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last.”

Today’s Commentary:

Matthew 20:1-16 — The parable of the Householder highlights God’s generosity (20:15). It refers to Israel’s labor throughout salvation history and climaxes with the inclusion of the Gentiles in the New Covenant. Despite complaints, there is no violation of justice; God is not unfair to Israel, he is simply generous to late-coming Gentiles, making them equal members of his people (20:12; Eph 2:11-13).

— Morally (Origen): the hours of the workday correspond to stages in life when people turn to God. When converted, they are rescued from idle living to serve Christ in his vineyard, where they harvest much fruit for God before the sun sets on their earthly life. Whether converted early in life or later, all are awarded the generous and equal gift of eternal life

Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection // The Request of the Mother of James and John // Jesus Heals Two Blind Men

Matthew 20:17-34

17 And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, 18 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death, 19 and deliver him to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.”

20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him, with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. 21 And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 22 But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the chalice that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” 23 He said to them, “You will drink my chalice, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”24 And when the Ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; 28 even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

29 And as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed him. 30 And behold, two blind men sitting by the roadside, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” 31 The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent; but they cried out the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” 32 And Jesus stopped and called them, saying, “What do you want me to do for you?” 33 They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.”34 And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they received their sight and followed him.

Today’s Commentary:

Matthew 20:17-19 — Jesus’ third Passion prediction is detailed. Unlike in the previous ones (16:21; 17:22-23), he foresees the collaboration of Jewish leaders (20:18) with Roman authorities (20:19) in bringing about his death by means of crucifixion (20:19).

Drink the chalice: An OT metaphor that describes God’s wrath poured upon the wicked (Ps 75:8; Is 51:17; Jer 25:15). Here it denotes Jesus’ Passion endured for sinners (20:28; 26:39; 1 Pet 2:24). James and John are assured (20:23) a share in this Passion, a prediction partially fulfilled with the martyrdom of James in Acts 12:2.

Jesus Heals Two Blind Men and a Man Who Was Mute // The Harvest is Plentiful, the Laborers are Few

Today’s Reading: Matthew 9:27-38

27 And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” 28 When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be done to you.” 30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly charged them, “See that no one knows it.” 31 But they went away and spread his fame through all that district.

32 As they were going away, behold, a mute demoniac was brought to him. 33And when the demon had been cast out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds marveled, saying, “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.” 34 But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.”

35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Today’s Commentary:

Compassion: Those needing spiritual and physical healing lie close to Jesus’ heart (14:14; 15:32; 20:34). like sheep without a shepherd: A familiar OT simile.

— Sheep often represent the people of Israel (1 Kings 22:17; Jud 11:19; Jer 23:1-3; Zech 10:2). Shepherd imagery is used for Israel’s spiritual leaders.

(1) Joshua was Moses’ successor and the “shepherd” of Israel (Num 27:17).

(2) David was elected to “shepherd” Israel as its king (2 Sam 5:2-3).

(3) In Ezek 34, God himself promised to set “one shepherd” (Ezek 34:23) over his people to feed and protect them as a new Davidic king (Ezek 34:23-24; cf. Jer 23:1-6).

Jesus draws on these to illustrate his own role as the Shepherd and King of the restored Israel, the Church (25:31-34; Jn 10:16; 1 Pet 2:25).

What does it mean to say that God is TRUTH?

Catechism in a Year

What does it mean to say that God is truth?

“God is light and in him is no darkness” (1 Jn 1:5). His Word is truth (Prov 8:7; 2 Sam 7:28), and his Law is truth (Ps 119:142). Jesus himself vouches for God’s truth by declaring before Pilate, “For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth” (Jn 18:37).

The truth of God cannot be “proved” or subjected to empirical tests, since science cannot make him an object of investigation. And yet God subjects himself to a special sort of proof. We know that God is truth on the basis of the absolute credibility of Jesus. He is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6). Anyone who enters into a relationship with him can find this out by putting it to the test. If God were not “true”, then faith and reason could not have a dialogue with each other. An agreement is possible, however, because God is truth, and the truth is divine.

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