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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Isaiah, Chapter 66, Verse 4-5
4 I in turn will choose affliction for them and bring upon them what they fear. Because when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, no one listened. Because they did what was evil in my sight, and things I do not delight in they chose, 5 hear the word of the LORD, you who tremble at his word! Your kin who hate you and cast you out because of my name say, “May the LORD show his glory, that we may see your joy”; but they shall be put to shame.


We are in a battle with the forces of darkness. Our priest the Pope of our church is saying to us “Do not be afraid”. He is reminding us that the love of God is like a pebble that is dropped on the smooth surface of a pond. When God’s love truly pierces our hearts, as the pebble on the pond, our own love will ripple outward perfectly in symmetry with the universe, embracing everything in its path with His reflected glory.


When God’s love truly pierces our hearts we reflect with sorrow on our sins and transgressions. We as Lord Tennyson acclaimed must develop the mantra “To Strive, To Seek, To Find and not to Yield.” We seek to develop within ourselves genuine compunction of heart.


Compunction is a deep and lasting sorrow for our sins. It is not a gloomy or depressing sorrow, but an intelligent admission of your sins and a sincere determination to do something about them. It is a realization of how you have failed such a loving God and brings with it a readiness to accept anything that He wills. Compunction opens the way to many blessings and precious graces. Compunction will cause the world to lose its magic attraction. Compunction will help you realize how quickly earthly joys pass away, while eternity goes on forever. By compunction a man begins to attack his faults and to practice the opposite virtues.[1]


Let us develop within ourselves the virtues of Mary Most Holy: Humility, Generosity, Chastity, Patience, Self-Control, and Love.


“And as a man was being buried, lo, a marauding band was seen and the man was cast into the grave of Elisha; and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood on his feet (2 Kgs. 13:21).

So completely do the saints correspond to God’s grace that for a millennium and more after their bodies have lain lifeless—their very bones remain a channel of grace. By the mere touch of the Prophet Elisha’s lifeless bones, life returned to a dead man’s body; so great is the grace of God as it works through the bodies of the Saints. That principle was true in the Old Covenant as well as the New. In the Gospels we find a woman who “suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years.” She had given up on doctors but she knew she could trust in the touch of something holy. As Jesus passed by she thought, “If I only touch his garment, I shall be made well” (Mt. 9:20-21) and she was. Before Jesus ascended to heaven, he breathed upon the Church (Jn. 20:22) and imparted his life-giving Spirit. As God breathed life into the clay to make Adam; Christ breathed life into the apostles making them children of God. The early Christians built many churches over the graves of the martyrs. This was a decisive break with the traditions from the Romans and Jews who considered human corpses to be unclean—death dealing rather than life-giving. Christian on the other hand believed in the marvelous exchange: Christ became what we are so that we might become what he it. Even today when the church constructs its altars it is customary for all parishes to deposit small relics of the saints within a sealed cavity inside the churches altar.


Incorruptibility is a Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox belief that divine intervention allows some human bodies (specifically saints and beati) to avoid the normal process of decomposition after death as a sign of their holiness. Bodies that undergo little or no decomposition, or delayed decomposition, are sometimes referred to as incorrupt or incorruptible. Incorruptibility is thought to occur even in the presence of factors which normally hasten decomposition, as in the cases of saints Catherine of Genoa, Julie Billiart, Francis Xavier and Pier Giorgio Frassati.

God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life. (Jn. 3:16)

[1] Paone, Anthony J., S.J. My Daily Bread, Confraternity of the Precious Blood.
[2] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 26. Relics.

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