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Leo McCarey, Going My Way, 1944.

Monday Second Week in Lent

GRAND CANYON Established 1919 

Ester, Chapter 4D, Verse 5

She glowed with perfect beauty and her face was as joyous as it was lovely, though her heart was pounding with FEAR.

 

Ester after making a total and complete commitment to save the people and fasting for 3 days approached her husband the King. She was at peace. This verse reflects the joy of the woman in Mark’s chapter 5 whom Christ healed:

 

There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.


 26She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse. 27She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. 28 She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” 29Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. 30Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?” 31But his disciples said to him, “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” 32And he looked around to see who had done it. 33The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth. 34He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.


 

An unclean person in general had to avoid that which was holy and take steps to return to a state of cleanliness. Uncleanliness placed a person in a "dangerous" condition under threat of divine retribution, even death, if the person approached the sanctuary. Uncleanness could lead to expulsion of the land's inhabitants and its peril lingered upon those who did not undergo purification. Bodily discharges (blood for women, semen for men) represented a temporary loss of strength and life and movement toward death. Because decaying corpses discharged, so natural bodily discharges were reminders of sin and death. Physical imperfections representing a movement from "life" toward "death" moved a person ritually away from God who was associated with life. Purification rituals symbolized movement from death toward life and accordingly involved blood, the color red, and spring (lit. "living") water, all symbols of life.[1] Christ also being clean took this woman’s uncleanliness and gave her his Holiness. Indeed, she was filled with wonder and awe.

 

For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9).

 

Christ did the same for the two princes of His church and He will do the same for you. Be clean! 


Monday Second Week in Lent[2]


Prayer. BE propitious, O Lord, to our prayers, and heal the desires of our souls, that, having received forgiveness, we may ever rejoice in Thy benediction.

EPISTLE, in. Kings xvii. 8-16.

In those days: The word of the Lord came to Elias, the Thesbite, saying: Arise, and go to Sarephta a city of the idonians, and dwell there: for I have commanded a widow woman there to feed thee. He arose and went to Sarephta. And when he was come to the gate of the city, he saw the widow woman gathering sticks, and he called her, and said to her: Give me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. And when she was going to fetch it, he called after her, saying: Bring me also, I beseech thee, a morsel of bread in thy hand. And she answered: As the Lord thy God liveth, I have no bread, but only a handful of meal in a pot, and a little oil in a cruse: behold I am gathering two sticks that I may go in and dress it, for me and my son, that we may eat it and die. And Elias said to her: Fear not but go and do as thou hast said: but first make for me of the same meal a little hearth-cake and bring it to me: and after make for thyself and thy son. For thus saith the Lord the God of Israel: The pot of meal shall not waste, nor the cruse of oil be diminished, until the day wherein the Lord will give rain upon the face of the earth. She went and did according to the word of Elias: and he ate, and she and her house: and from that day the pot of meal wasted not, and the cruse of oil was not diminished, according to the word of the Lord, which He spoke in the hand of Elias.

GOSPEL. Matt, xxiii. 1-12.

At that time Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses. All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy and insupportable burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders: but with a finger of their own they will not move them. And all their works they do for to be seen of men. For they make their phylacteries broad and enlarge their fringes. And they love the first places at feasts, and the first chairs in the synagogues, and salutations in the marketplace, and to be called by men, Rabbi. But be not you called Rabbi. For One is your master, and all you are brethren. And call none your father upon earth: for One is your father Who is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for One is your master, Christ. He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

Explanation. The law of God imposes certain obligations on us. The priest and the teacher teach God’s Gospel in His name, and we shall be judged if we refuse to believe God’s truth and, in His Church, because our teachers may not practice what they preach.

 

The greatest proof of Christ's charity was given on the Cross. With Christ our gift of ourselves will be given to God as an expression of our love. Communion will lift our human activities up to God's level, not only in will and intention, but in the reality of the sacrament. Let us offer then, and believe, and change our lives into more loving. —St. Andrew Bible Missal

 

What the Grand Canyon tells us about God[3]


(est. today in 1919) 

A view from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Contemplation always involves knowledge of one’s true scale, of a reality that dwarfs the ego

Many years ago, I was telling my spiritual director that I found it easiest to pray in a beautiful garden, and I was warming to my sense of myself as a contemplative. The wise Dominican asked with disarming candor:

“But are you in the garden, or is the garden in you?”

It took a long time even to realize what the question meant. I remember another similarly disarming question at the very beginning of my adult search for God. I was an undergraduate and took myself to a Benedictine monastery for a few days’ retreat in Lent. I was captivated by the silence, prayer and retreat from the world, swept up in the chant and the romance of monastic life. What I did not realize was that I was attracted to it as something that would make it less painful to be what I thought I was – something I needed for my religious amour-propre. Thus, many searches for God begin, but one can only search for God because he has already found you. What must happen is that someone else must put a belt around you and lead you where you would rather not go. It is not the intensity of the search, but of the willingness to be led that is ultimately the measure of vocation. Vocation is not finding the garden in you; it is finding yourself in the garden.

Perhaps the wise abbot sensed this. Anyway, I remember being rather discombobulated by his direct manner. As I emoted about the spiritual life, he looked at me carefully and asked:

“Is God real to you?”

It was like a torpedo below the waterline of all my high-sounding talk about my attraction to the monastic life versus secular priesthood, the script I was busy constructing of an encounter with the living God in which I remained firmly the star. The best answer I could manage was: “I think so.” In the moment of asking I doubted it, or rather I realized suddenly that so much of what I thought was God wasn’t actually God. It was the paraphernalia of God, of religion. (In fact, the moment wasn’t too confounding, for soon there came another answer from deep inside: “He’s real to me in the Blessed Sacrament.” There – perhaps because, as Aquinas put it, “Sight, touch and taste in thee are each deceived” – I couldn’t confuse feeling for the reality.

I realized that I had been given something to work with.) All of this came to mind when I visited the Grand Canyon at the end of my trip to America.

What’s the connection?

One may grasp what one might call the paraphernalia of the Grand Canyon. It was formed by billions of years of imperceptibly slow change, of almost every possible kind of geological activity: sediment layering, tectonic plates shifting, glaciers melting and rivers carving a gorge a mile and a half deep into solid rock. These are processes that can be mapped and understood, but the result overwhelms the sum and the mind of man. It’s astonishing, ancient beauty can only be contemplated – that is, it must act on you, overwhelm your mind with its four-billion-year-old scale, stillness and silence which is in constant change.

Spontaneously, the words of the psalmist rose from my heart at the breathtaking sight: “Before the mountains or the hills were brought forth, you are God, without beginning or end.” Contemplation always involves knowledge of one’s true scale, of a reality that dwarfs the ego. As if this were not enough, as the sun set, the sky above came alive with stars. I have never seen so many or so clearly. They were like the lights of some vast celestial city calling, a million points of light and security like some distant homeland, like the medieval fantasy that the stars were rents in the sky through which one could see the light of heaven. To count them I must be eternal, like God. The psalmist said:

“When I see the heavens, the work of your hands, the moon and stars which you have made, what is man, that thou art mindful of him?”

And the answer comes back that in Jesus Christ the Father has united himself to the heart of every person in such a way that the vastness of the universe becomes an image not of alienation, but of the vastness of a love that was there before the hills were set in order. This love causes even rocks to exude a soft beauty which seems like the desire of the Eternal Hills for the Heart of their maker. 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST

SECTION TWO-THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

CHAPTER TWO-YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF

Jesus said to his disciples: "Love one another even as I have loved you."

2196 In response to the question about the first of the commandments, Jesus says: "The first is, 'Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
The apostle St. Paul reminds us of this: "He who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. the commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,' and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

Coffee with Christ 

Christ sips his coffee and looks at me and says, “I ascended to the Father to prepare a place for you and to send the Holy Spirit to prepare you for heaven. Trust in me; I did not leave you orphans. I am with you in the eucharist.  No need to seek elsewhere; so, come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Do not emulate the hopelessness of the modernists who forsake their own belief, do not grieve like the rest who have no courage. Be not afraid.”

Daily Devotions 

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Growth of Catholic Families and Households

·         Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels

·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Monday: Litany of Humility

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan




[2] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

[3]http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/issues/february-27th-2015/what-the-grand-canyon-tells-us-about-god/




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