Author: Lisa Graas
•4/30/2003 07:42:00 AM
About my illness: I contacted my doctor ((( who is the TOPS in my book ))) and he has prescribed Wellbutrin and Abilify along with my current medications - Zyprexa, Lithium and Trileptal. So far, I am getting better. I am coming close to wellness and I am so very grateful that God has provided me with a fantastic physician and the medicines to combat my illness. Thanks be to God!!
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/30/2003 07:39:00 AM
Click here for Today's Readings


In today's readings the Apostles were thrown in jail by the Sadducees, but God sent an angel to release them so that they could.................go to the beach? No! So they could go preach in the temple area.

In today's Psalm we read that God hears the cry of the poor. He will deliver you from all your fears............but not so that life will be made easy for you. No, He delivers you to fulfill His great purpose for you and for all, so that you and all who meet you may come to know Him more deeply. This is why he delivered the Apostles from prison. Not so they could go have a vacation somewhere, but so that they could fulfill His purpose for them by preaching the Gospel.

In today's Gospel we see how important it is that we prefer to live in the light of truth rather than in the darkness of shame and evil. God condemns those who do not believe in Him -- those who do not walk toward the light of truth. He has not promised an easy life for us, but He has promised to free us from all evil if we seek His light always.

God bless you.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/28/2003 08:59:00 AM
I am unable to post due to illness. I hope to return again soon. I appreciate your prayers.
Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/25/2003 08:07:00 AM
Click here for Today's Saint -- St. Mark the Evangelist
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/25/2003 07:59:00 AM
Click Here for Today's Readings
Jesus Christ is indeed risen from the dead, and He desires an active, physical presence in our lives. All of our blessings are provided through Him. Whether your need is for the basics of life -- food, water, and shelter -- or for love and compassion, all is provided through Him. Do not reject Him and He will not reject you. Turn to Him with your every need, and you will be consoled.

God bless you.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/17/2003 09:59:00 PM
The animal rights people have really outdone themselves (yet again). The group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has erected a billboard using an image of Jesus and calling him "the prince of peas". Say what? Yes, the idea is to get people to think that Jesus was a vegetarian. Not so! Thumbs down to PETA and thumbs up to the good Rabbi who set the record straight. Gee, I hope that billboard comes down soon, but I have a feeling that it won't.
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/17/2003 12:11:00 AM
Go here for today's readings
http://www.nccbuscc.org/nab/041703.htm

Go here for information about Holy Thursday
http://www.kofc.org/liturgical/lent/holyweek/thurs.cfm

I am going to be taking a vacation from commentaries during the remainder of Holy Week. I will try to resume on Monday.

May you all have a blessed Holy Week.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/16/2003 10:01:00 AM
Go here for today's readings
http://www.nccbuscc.org/nab/041603.htm

Yesterday I was complaining about "Catholics who aren't Catholic" and how much they annoy me. Well, the readings today have certainly put me in my place. I should be grateful for the grace that God has given me and trust in Him to be my help during these times of weakness.

Betrayal is a difficult thing to deal with -- especially when it comes from your own family and friends, but as the Psalm says:

"See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the Lord hears the poor,
and His own who are in bonds He spurns not."

R: Lord, in your great love, answer me.

In Christ, God has answered us. He has given us the answer to our problems when He humbled Himself to become a man and experienced betrayal Himself. In His great love, He has answered us.

May the love of Jesus Christ revive your hearts.

God bless you.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/15/2003 10:08:00 AM
Go here for today's readings
http://www.nccbuscc.org/nab/041503.htm

Jesus is "a light to the nations" that God's "salvation may reach to the ends of the earth." This salvation, then, extends to you as well as to all you meet. No one is beyond the hope of salvation thanks to Jesus Christ. Today, however, we read that no one is immune from the temptations of Satan. Judas is on his way to the authorities to betray Jesus, and Peter is told that before the cock crows three times he will betray Jesus. It is easy for us to love Jesus and to pronounce our commitment to Him until the road we are traveling on becomes bumpy and covered with thorn bushes. We naturally want our relationship with God to come easily for us. When it does not, we are tempted by Satan who tells us that there is an easier way. Don't listen to him!

For our catechism here in our home school I use a beautiful book published in the 50s called "My Catholic Faith: A Catechism in Pictures". One of the best things about it is that it has many illustrations that speak powerfully about different aspects of our faith. My son's favorite picture depicts a man walking on a path. He has come to a fork in the road. One way leads to a descending staircase that is adorned with beautiful roses. At the end of this staircase are the fires of hell. The other way leads to an ascending staircase overgrown with thorns. This staircase leads to heaven.

So it is with each of us. God has given each of us this choice. There is no easy road to heaven. Temptations will come and they can be very powerful, too! Don't give in. Let the Lord be your hope, your stronghold, your rock and refuge. Though even your best friend betray you, God will never betray you.

God Bless You.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/14/2003 09:01:00 AM
Go here for today's saint
http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/saintp29.htm
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/14/2003 08:59:00 AM
Go here for today's readings
http://www.nccbuscc.org/nab/041403.htm

My son Jesse had his sixth birthday at the end of March. He got just what he had asked for -- a toy weedeater. He also had the usual fare of cake and balloons and party favors for him and for his three siblings. It was the fulfillment of what he had been hoping for the previous several weeks as he anticipated his birthday. For at least a week after his birthday, every day he would ask me, "Mom, when am I going to have another birthday?" After a week of hearing from me that it would be a long time before he has another birthday, he grew angry with me when I would respond that way. His impatience led him to anger, but eventually he accepted it and came to terms with it.

So it is with us in our relationship with God. Each of us experiences periods of consolation and of desolation. During the time of consolation, we feel close to God and we have many examples of His blessings in our lives. During times of desolation, God may allow bad things to happen to us, like persecutions and abandonment from family. These things are inevitable and part of the process of purging us of our attachments to things of this world. It may be so bad that we become angry about it. What we must be mindful of, however, is our responsibility to preventing these things from leading us into despair.

Despair as defined by the Church is not an emotional feeling of hopelessness. No, it is a willful rejection of hope in the promises of Christ. It is quite possible to have emotional despair without willfully rejecting the hope found in Christ. This emotional despair can, however, be a source of temptation for us, so we must be mindful of it and take appropriate measures, like immersing ourselves in prayer during these times, or Scripture reading, or the giving of alms, etc.

Remember that in our darkest moments, God is our light and our salvation. As long as we keep Christ at the center of our lives, we shall not remain in darkness or trial.

God bless you.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/13/2003 09:35:00 PM
The Passion of Our Lord
Palm Sunday, 2003

Gospel
Mk 14:1--15:47 or 15:1-39

The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread
were to take place in two days' time.
So the chief priests and the scribes were seeking a way
to arrest him by treachery and put him to death.
They said, "Not during the festival,
for fear that there may be a riot among the people."

When he was in Bethany reclining at table
in the house of Simon the leper,
a woman came with an alabaster jar of perfumed oil,
costly genuine spikenard.
She broke the alabaster jar and poured it on his head.
There were some who were indignant.
"Why has there been this waste of perfumed oil?
It could have been sold for more than three hundred days' wages
and the money given to the poor."
They were infuriated with her.
Jesus said, "Let her alone.
Why do you make trouble for her?
She has done a good thing for me.
The poor you will always have with you,
and whenever you wish you can do good to them,
but you will not always have me.
She has done what she could.
She has anticipated anointing my body for burial.
Amen, I say to you,
wherever the gospel is proclaimed to the whole world,
what she has done will be told in memory of her."

Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve,
went off to the chief priests to hand him over to them.
When they heard him they were pleased and promised to pay him money.
Then he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
when they sacrificed the Passover lamb,
his disciples said to him,
"Where do you want us to go
and prepare for you to eat the Passover?"
He sent two of his disciples and said to them,
"Go into the city and a man will meet you,
carrying a jar of water.
Follow him.
Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house,
'The Teacher says, "Where is my guest room
where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?"'
Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready.
Make the preparations for us there."
The disciples then went off, entered the city,
and found it just as he had told them;
and they prepared the Passover.

When it was evening, he came with the Twelve.
And as they reclined at table and were eating, Jesus said,
"Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me,
one who is eating with me."
They began to be distressed and to say to him, one by one,
"Surely it is not I?"
He said to them,
"One of the Twelve, the one who dips with me into the dish.
For the Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,
but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be better for that man if he had never been born."

While they were eating,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them, and said,
"Take it; this is my body."
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them,
and they all drank from it.
He said to them,
"This is my blood of the covenant,
which will be shed for many.
Amen, I say to you,
I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine
until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."
Then, after singing a hymn,
they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Then Jesus said to them,
"All of you will have your faith shaken, for it is written:
I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be dispersed.
But after I have been raised up,
I shall go before you to Galilee."
Peter said to him,
"Even though all should have their faith shaken,
mine will not be."
Then Jesus said to him,
"Amen, I say to you,
this very night before the cock crows twice
you will deny me three times."
But he vehemently replied,
"Even though I should have to die with you,
I will not deny you."
And they all spoke similarly.

Then they came to a place named Gethsemane,
and he said to his disciples,
"Sit here while I pray."
He took with him Peter, James, and John,
and began to be troubled and distressed.
Then he said to them, "My soul is sorrowful even to death.
Remain here and keep watch."
He advanced a little and fell to the ground and prayed
that if it were possible the hour might pass by him;
he said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible to you.
Take this cup away from me,
but not what I will but what you will."
When he returned he found them asleep.
He said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep?
Could you not keep watch for one hour?
Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.
The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak."
Withdrawing again, he prayed, saying the same thing.
Then he returned once more and found them asleep,
for they could not keep their eyes open
and did not know what to answer him.
He returned a third time and said to them,
"Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?
It is enough. The hour has come.
Behold, the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners.
Get up, let us go.
See, my betrayer is at hand."

Then, while he was still speaking,
Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived,
accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs
who had come from the chief priests,
the scribes, and the elders.
His betrayer had arranged a signal with them, saying,
"The man I shall kiss is the one;
arrest him and lead him away securely."
He came and immediately went over to him and said,
"Rabbi." And he kissed him.
At this they laid hands on him and arrested him.
One of the bystanders drew his sword,
struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his ear.
Jesus said to them in reply,
"Have you come out as against a robber,
with swords and clubs, to seize me?
Day after day I was with you teaching in the temple area,
yet you did not arrest me;
but that the Scriptures may be fulfilled."
And they all left him and fled.
Now a young man followed him
wearing nothing but a linen cloth about his body.
They seized him,
but he left the cloth behind and ran off naked.

They led Jesus away to the high priest,
and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together.
Peter followed him at a distance into the high priest's courtyard
and was seated with the guards, warming himself at the fire.
The chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin
kept trying to obtain testimony against Jesus
in order to put him to death, but they found none.
Many gave false witness against him,
but their testimony did not agree.
Some took the stand and testified falsely against him,
alleging, "We heard him say,
'I will destroy this temple made with hands
and within three days I will build another
not made with hands.'"
Even so their testimony did not agree.
The high priest rose before the assembly and questioned Jesus,
saying, "Have you no answer?
What are these men testifying against you?"
But he was silent and answered nothing.
Again the high priest asked him and said to him,
"Are you the Christ, the son of the Blessed One?"
Then Jesus answered, "I am;
and 'you will see the Son of Man
seated at the right hand of the Power
and coming with the clouds of heaven.'"
At that the high priest tore his garments and said,
"What further need have we of witnesses?
You have heard the blasphemy.
What do you think?"
They all condemned him as deserving to die.
Some began to spit on him.
They blindfolded him and struck him and said to him,
"Prophesy!"
And the guards greeted him with blows.

While Peter was below in the courtyard,
one of the high priest's maids came along.
Seeing Peter warming himself,
she looked intently at him and said,
"You too were with the Nazorean, Jesus."
But he denied it saying,
"I neither know nor understand what you are talking about."
So he went out into the outer court.
Then the cock crowed.
The maid saw him and began again to say to the bystanders,
"This man is one of them."
Once again he denied it.
A little later the bystanders said to Peter once more,
"Surely you are one of them; for you too are a Galilean."
He began to curse and to swear,
"I do not know this man about whom you are talking."
And immediately a cock crowed a second time.
Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had said to him,
"Before the cock crows twice you will deny me three times."
He broke down and wept.

As soon as morning came,
the chief priests with the elders and the scribes,
that is, the whole Sanhedrin, held a council.
They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate.
Pilate questioned him,
"Are you the king of the Jews?"
He said to him in reply, "You say so."
The chief priests accused him of many things.
Again Pilate questioned him,
"Have you no answer?
See how many things they accuse you of."
Jesus gave him no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.

Now on the occasion of the feast he used to release to them
one prisoner whom they requested.
A man called Barabbas was then in prison
along with the rebels who had committed murder in a rebellion.
The crowd came forward and began to ask him
to do for them as he was accustomed.
Pilate answered,
"Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?"
For he knew that it was out of envy
that the chief priests had handed him over.
But the chief priests stirred up the crowd
to have him release Barabbas for them instead.
Pilate again said to them in reply,
"Then what do you want me to do
with the man you call the king of the Jews?"
They shouted again, "Crucify him."
Pilate said to them, "Why? What evil has he done?"
They only shouted the louder, "Crucify him."
So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd,
released Barabbas to them and, after he had Jesus scourged,
handed him over to be crucified.

The soldiers led him away inside the palace,
that is, the praetorium, and assembled the whole cohort.
They clothed him in purple and,
weaving a crown of thorns, placed it on him.
They began to salute him with, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
and kept striking his head with a reed and spitting upon him.
They knelt before him in homage.
And when they had mocked him,
they stripped him of the purple cloak,
dressed him in his own clothes,
and led him out to crucify him.

They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon,
a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country,
the father of Alexander and Rufus,
to carry his cross.

They brought him to the place of Golgotha
--which is translated Place of the Skull--.
They gave him wine drugged with myrrh,
but he did not take it.
Then they crucified him and divided his garments
by casting lots for them to see what each should take.
It was nine o'clock in the morning when they crucified him.
The inscription of the charge against him read,
"The King of the Jews."
With him they crucified two revolutionaries,
one on his right and one on his left.
Those passing by reviled him,
shaking their heads and saying,
"Aha! You who would destroy the temple
and rebuild it in three days,
save yourself by coming down from the cross."
Likewise the chief priests, with the scribes,
mocked him among themselves and said,
"He saved others; he cannot save himself.
Let the Christ, the King of Israel,
come down now from the cross
that we may see and believe."
Those who were crucified with him also kept abusing him.

At noon darkness came over the whole land
until three in the afternoon.
And at three o'clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
"Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?"
which is translated,
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Some of the bystanders who heard it said,
"Look, he is calling Elijah."
One of them ran, soaked a sponge with wine, put it on a reed
and gave it to him to drink saying,
"Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to take him down."
Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom.
When the centurion who stood facing him
saw how he breathed his last he said,
"Truly this man was the Son of God!"
There were also women looking on from a distance.
Among them were Mary Magdalene,
Mary the mother of the younger James and of Joses, and Salome.
These women had followed him when he was in Galilee
and ministered to him.
There were also many other women
who had come up with him to Jerusalem.

When it was already evening,
since it was the day of preparation,
the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea,
a distinguished member of the council,
who was himself awaiting the kingdom of God,
came and courageously went to Pilate
and asked for the body of Jesus.
Pilate was amazed that he was already dead.
He summoned the centurion
and asked him if Jesus had already died.
And when he learned of it from the centurion,
he gave the body to Joseph.
Having bought a linen cloth, he took him down,
wrapped him in the linen cloth,
and laid him in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock.
Then he rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb.
Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses
watched where he was laid.

or

As soon as morning came,
the chief priests with the elders and the scribes,
that is, the whole Sanhedrin, held a council.
They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate.
Pilate questioned him,
"Are you the king of the Jews?"
He said to him in reply, "You say so."
The chief priests accused him of many things.
Again Pilate questioned him,
"Have you no answer?
See how many things they accuse you of."
Jesus gave him no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.

Now on the occasion of the feast he used to release to them
one prisoner whom they requested.
A man called Barabbas was then in prison
along with the rebels who had committed murder in a rebellion.
The crowd came forward and began to ask him
to do for them as he was accustomed.
Pilate answered,
"Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?"
For he knew that it was out of envy
that the chief priests had handed him over.
But the chief priests stirred up the crowd
to have him release Barabbas for them instead.
Pilate again said to them in reply,
"Then what do you want me to do
with the man you call the king of the Jews?"
They shouted again, "Crucify him."
Pilate said to them, "Why? What evil has he done?"
They only shouted the louder, "Crucify him."
So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd,
released Barabbas to them and, after he had Jesus scourged,
handed him over to be crucified.

The soldiers led him away inside the palace,
that is, the praetorium, and assembled the whole cohort.
They clothed him in purple and,
weaving a crown of thorns, placed it on him.
They began to salute him with, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
and kept striking his head with a reed and spitting upon him.
They knelt before him in homage.
And when they had mocked him,
they stripped him of the purple cloak,
dressed him in his own clothes,
and led him out to crucify him.

They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon,
a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country,
the father of Alexander and Rufus,
to carry his cross.

They brought him to the place of Golgotha
--which is translated Place of the Skull--.
They gave him wine drugged with myrrh,
but he did not take it.
Then they crucified him and divided his garments
by casting lots for them to see what each should take.
It was nine o'clock in the morning when they crucified him.
The inscription of the charge against him read,
"The King of the Jews."
With him they crucified two revolutionaries,
one on his right and one on his left.
Those passing by reviled him,
shaking their heads and saying,
"Aha! You who would destroy the temple
and rebuild it in three days,
save yourself by coming down from the cross."
Likewise the chief priests, with the scribes,
mocked him among themselves and said,
"He saved others; he cannot save himself.
Let the Christ, the King of Israel,
come down now from the cross
that we may see and believe."
Those who were crucified with him also kept abusing him.

At noon darkness came over the whole land
until three in the afternoon.
And at three o'clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
"Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?"
which is translated,
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Some of the bystanders who heard it said,
"Look, he is calling Elijah."
One of them ran, soaked a sponge with wine, put it on a reed
and gave it to him to drink saying,
"Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to take him down."
Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom.
When the centurion who stood facing him
saw how he breathed his last he said,
"Truly this man was the Son of God!"
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/11/2003 12:15:00 PM
Go here for today's readings
http://www.nccbuscc.org/nab/041103.htm

I wasn't going to do a commentary today because I am so busy here, but I must.

Today's Psalm is my favorite because it describes what God did for me on Ash Wednesday, 1991.

But let me back up a bit. I was raised in a Baptist household. My parents gave me a Bible and trusted me to figure out what I needed to know for salvation. You know, they believe in "Bible only" and "faith only".......so what else were they to do? Anything else would have been hypocritical.

I could not accept Jesus because of what He asked in John 6. He said that we must eat His Flesh and drink His Blood or we will have no life in us. I did not think this could be possible, therefore I believed that Jesus must be an imposter, as did those in today's Gospel reading, but I remained open-minded.

On Ash Wednesday, 1991, I attended my first Mass. It was there that I witnessed that it IS POSSIBLE to do as Jesus commanded and, to make a long story short, what happened in today's Psalm is what happened that evening in that church for me.

Thank you, God, for being patient with me in my unbelief. Thank you for pouring out your grace to me, even as I was skeptical. Thank you, Lord, for drawing me out of many waters.

God bless you all.

Love from Lisa

Author: Lisa Graas
•4/10/2003 10:41:00 AM
Click here for today's readings

In today's readings, God said to Abraham, "I will render you exceedingly fertile."

WHAT??? EXCEEDINGLY FERTILE?? Yes, you read that right. Fertility is actually a BLESSING, not a curse. This promise of fertility was actually good news to

This blessing upon Abraham has more than one dimension. Despite any cultural norms that might have made this seem to be a blessing, it was much more than that. It was also a call for Abraham to participate with God in His creative capacity and in the realization of divine life which is yet to come in its fullness, and which can only come through Christ.

As Jesus says in today's Gospel reading,
"Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day;
he saw it and was glad."

Please consider this from Evangelium Vitae:

"Man is called to a fullness of life which far exceeds the dimensions of his earthly existence, because it consists in sharing the very life of God. The loftiness of this supernatural vocation reveals the greatness and the inestimable value of human life even in its temporal phase. Life in time, in fact, is the fundamental condition, the initial stage and an integral part of the entire unified process of human existence. It is a process which, unexpectedly and undeservedly, is enlightened by the promise and renewed by the gift of divine life, which will reach its full realization in eternity (cf. 1 Jn 3:1-2)."

What a perversion of the Gospel we have in today's world in the practice of contraception and abortion!! Today, there are a great many who love the world (worldly things) so much that they sacrifice their sons and daughters in order to obtain them............. and consider how that is a perversion of John 3:16.

For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son: that whosoever believeth in him may not perish, but may have life everlasting.

Christ died that we might have LIFE, and mankind continues to throw life away. Life is a BLESSING, not a curse, and our realization of that is a participation in divine life.

God bless you.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/08/2003 02:04:00 AM
Today's saint is St. Albert of Jerusalem. St. Albert was a co-founder of the Carmelite Order.

Below is the Rule for the Carmelites which he authored.

[Chapter 1]
Albert, called by God's favour to be patriarch of the church of Jerusalem, bids health in the Lord and the blessing of the Holy Spirit to his beloved sons in Christ, B. and the other hermits under obedience to him, who live near the spring on Mount Carmel.

[Chapter 2]
Many and varied are the ways in which our saintly forefathers laid down how everyone, whatever his station or the kind of religious observance he has chosen, should live a life of alegiance to Jesus Christ -- how, pure in heart and stout in conscience, he must be unswerving in the service of his Master.

[Chapter 3]
It is to me, however, that you have come for a rule of life in keeping with your avowed purpose, a rule you may hold fast to henceforward; and therefore:

[Chapter 4]
The first thing I require is for you to have a prior, one of yourselves, who is to be chosen for the office by common consent, or that of the greater and maturer part of you; each of the others must promise him obedience -- of which, once promised, he must try to make his deeds the true reflection -- and also chastity and the renunciation of ownership.

[Chapter 5]
If the prior and brothers see fit, you may have foundations in solitary places, or where you are given a site that is suitable and convenient for the observance proper to your Order.

[Chapter 6]
Next, each one of you is to have a separate cell, situated as the lie of the land you propose to occupy may dictate, and allotted by disposition of the prior with the agreement of the other brothers, or the more mature among them.

[Chapter 7]
However, you are to eat whatever may have been given you in a common refectory, listening together meanwhile to a reading from Holy Scripture where that can be done without difficulty.

[Chapter 8]
None of the brothers is to occupy a cell other than that allotted to him or to exchange cells with another, without leave or whoever is prior at the time.

[Chapter 9]
The prior's cell should stand near the entrance to your property, so that he may be the first to meet those who approach, and whatever has to be done in consequence may all be carried out as he may decide and order.

[Chapter 10]
Each one of you is to stay in his own cell or nearby, pondering the Lord's law day and night and keeping watch at his prayers unless attending to some other duty.

[Chapter 11]
Those who know how to say the canonical hours with those in orders should do so, in the way those holy forefathers of ours laid down, and according to the Church's approved custom. Those who do not know the hours must say twenty-five Our Fathers for the night office, except on Sundays and solemnities when that number is to be doubled so that the Our Father is said fifty times; the same prayer must be said seven times in the morining in place of Lauds, and seven times too for each of the other hours, except for Vespers when it must be said fifteen times.

[Chapter 12]
None of the brothers must lay claim to anything as his own, but you are to possess everything in common; and each is to receive from the prior -- that is from the brother he appoints for the purpose -- whatever befits his age and needs.

[Chapter 13]
You may have as many asses and mules as you need, however, and may keep a certain amount of livestock or poultry.

[Chapter 14]
An oratory should be built as conveniently as possible among the cells, where, if it can be done without difficulty, you are to gather each morning to hear Mass.

[Chapter 15]
On Sundays too, or other days if necessary, you should discuss matters of discipline and your spiritual welfare; and on this occasion the indiscretions and failings of the brothers, if any be found at fault, should be lovingly corrected.

[Chapter 16]
You are to fast every day, except Sundays, from the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross until Easter Day, unless bodily sickness or feebleness, or some other good reason, demand a dispensation from the fast; for necessity overrides every law.

[Chapter 17]
You are to abstain from meat, except as a remedy for sickness or feebleness. But as, when you are on a journey, you more often than not have to beg your way; outside your own houses you may eat foodstuffs that have been cooked with meat, so as to avoid giving trouble to your hosts. At sea, however, meat may be eaten.

[Chapter 18]
Since man's life on earth is a time of trial, and all who would live devotedly in Christ must undergo persecution, and the devil your foe is on the prowl like a roaring lion looking for prey to devour, you must use every care to clothe yourselves in God's armour so that you may be ready to withstand the enemy's ambush.

[Chapter 19]
Your loins are to be girt with chastity, your breast fortified by holy meditations, for, as Scripture has it, holy meditation will save you. Put on holiness as your breastplate, and it will enable you to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength, and your neighbour as yourself. Faith must be your shield on all occasions, and with it you will be able to quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked one: there can be no pleasing God without faith; [and the victory lies in this -- your faith]. On your head set the helmet of salvation, and so be sure of deliverance by our only Saviour, who sets his own free from their sins. The sword of the spirit, the word of God, must abound in your mouths and hearts. Let all you do have the Lord's word for accompaniment.

[Chapter 20]
You must give yourselves to work of some kind, so that the devil may always find you busy; no idleness on your part must give him a chance to pierce the defences of your souls. In this respect you have both the teaching and the example of Saint Paul the Apostle, into whose mouth Christ put his own words. God made him preacher and teacher of faith and truth to the nations: with him as your leader you cannot go astray. We lived among you, he said, labouring and wary, toiling night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you; not because we had no power to do otherwise but so as to give you, in your own selves, an example you might imitate. For the charge we gave you when we were with you was this: that woever is not willing to work should not be allowed to eat either. For we have heard that there are certain restless idlers among you. We charge people of this kind, and implore them in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they earn their own bread by silent toil. This is the way of holiness and goodness: see that you follow it.

[Chapter 21]
The Apostle would have us keep silence, for in silence he tells us to work. As the Prophet also makes known to us: Silence is the way to foster holiness. Elsewhere he says: Your strength will lie in silence and hope. For this reason I lay down that you are to keep silence from after Compline until after Prime the next day. At other times, although you need not keep silence so strictly, be careful not to indulge in a great deal of talk, for, as Scripture has it -- and experience teaches us no less -- sin will not be wanting where there is much talk, and he wo is careless in speech will come to harm; and elsewhere: The use of many words brings harm to the speaker's soul. And our Lord says in the Gospel: Every rash word uttered will have to be accounted for on judgement day. Make a balance then, each of you, to weigh his words in; keep a tight rein on your mouths, lest you should stumble and fall in speech, and your fall be irreparable and prove mortal. Like the Prophet, watch your step lest your tongue give offence, and employ every care in keeping silent, which is the way to foster holiness.

[Chapter 22]
You, brother B., and whoever may succeed you as prior, must always keep in mind and put into practice what our Lord said in the Gospel: Whoever has a mind to become a leader among you must make himself servant to the rest, and whichever of you would be first must become your bondsman.

[Chapter 23]
You, other brothers too, hold your prior in humble reverence, your minds not on him but on Christ who has placed him over you, and who, to those who rule the Churches, addressed the words: Whoever pays you heed pays heed to me, and whoever treats you with dishonour dishonours me; if you remain so minded you will not be found guilty of contempt, but will merit life eternal as fit reward for your obedience.

[Chapter 24]
Here then are the few points I have written down to provide you with a standard of counduct to live up to; but our Lord, at his second coming will reward anyone who does more than he is obliged to do. See that the bounds of common sense are not exceeded, however, for common sense is the guide of the virtues.

from Carmelnet
http://carmelnet.org/chas/rule.htm
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/08/2003 01:53:00 AM
Click here for today's readings

Today when I was having a particularly difficult time with my daughter who was being very disobedient, I thought to myself something that I always try to ask in these situations. "How would God handle this?" When I read a story like the one from the Book of Numbers today, I consider myself to be a very lenient parent. I mean, God sent SNAKES to punish His disobedient children! Fortunately for the Israelites, they repented of their dark ways. It was then and only then that God commanded Moses to fashion a sacramental for them in the form of a bronze serpent so that any of them who were bitten could look upon it and be healed.

It seems rather harsh for anyone to unleash snakes upon anyone. I get shivers just thinking about it. Would a loving God do such a thing? Well, the question should really be, "Would a JUST God do such a thing?" Of course, we know that God is all-just as well as all-loving whereas we are NOT all -just and all-loving, so who are we to say, my friends? Who are we to say that God is not just or not loving? These things must all be read in context.

The Lord regards the prayer of the destitute, as it says in the Psalm. He hears the groaning of the prisoners. The Israelites were groaning, but they weren't just groaning from their sufferings. No, they were complaining against God Himself. This makes all the difference. It is no sin to complain, but to complain against God? That is serious business. How do we know it is serious business? We know because we have this story about the Israelites and the snakes to show us!! The snakes were bad news for the Israelites, but look at how many generations have, by virtue of this event, learned to fear the wrath of God? Wow. How many sins have been averted due to this event? It is impossible to say.

Something else about this story that speaks to us is the fact of God's active presence in their lives through Moses as well as through the healing bronze serpent. How often do we avail ourselves of the opportunity to use sacramentals like holy water and relics in order to bring healing into our lives? These things are available to us because God wants to have a physical connection with us. We are no more apart from God than the Israelites were. In fact, the Incarnation and our understanding of the Incarnation has made it so that we can even draw ourselves closer to God than they ever could have. Wouldn't you love to have a healing bronze serpent to heal you? Well, you don't have a serpent, but you do have sacramentals, so why not use them?

There are two lines of thinking when it comes to sacramentals. One thinks they are useless and the other thinks they are helpful. The one who thinks they are useless is the one who is attached to this world and, at the same time, not allowing himself to think that anything spiritual could be connected with something material. The other understands that when God created the world, He called it good. Matter is not evil. Jesus used mud, among other things, to heal people. I mean, c'mon, did He really need to do that? Nope. But He used those things and, therefore, sanctified the use of matter for such purposes.

Jesus says in today's Gospel that we should not "belong to this world". We are citizens in the Kingdom of God. The spiritual world is all around us and even penetrating the matter which God created and called "good". There is a spiritual battle being fought all around us at all times. If we can remain mindful of this fact, it is easier for us to remain obedient children. If we remember to use all of the gifts at our disposal, God will not turn aside from us. Do not be connected to this world. Be connected to the next .......... and it is really amazing how, when one makes that break and begins to be connected to the next world, how much SENSE the use of sacramentals finally makes.

Just one last note.......... in case you've forgotten..... Jesus makes reference in today's Gospel about being "lifted up"............. and if you remember, He compares that elsewhere to the lifting up of the serpent in the desert. May you find healing whenever you look upon a crucifix.

God bless you.

Love from Lisa

Author: Lisa Graas
•4/07/2003 11:53:00 AM
Click here for today's readings

The story of Susanna and the judges is quite long but good reading, especially for anyone who is being falsely accused. Susanna was falsely accused of adultery by the two judges of the community who lusted for her and brought the false accusation against her when she refused to lie with them in the garden. Susanna is a model of the sheep at peace with the Shepherd in today's Psalm.

In the Gospel reading, we have the story of the woman who was accused of adultery before Jesus. He said,

"Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."

A very interesting part of this story is the account of His writing in the dirt as they were accusing the woman. This is the only time when Jesus is known to have written something and, although I don't know if it is true or not, it is said that He was writing the sins of the accusers in the dirt and that this is what caused them to walk away
without saying anything.

It is a horrific thing to be falsely accused, but remember that it is most horrific in the end for the one who accuses. He who has fallen into sin is to be pitied, not feared. He is to be prayed for, not conspired against. Fear not the dark valley because the Good Shepherd knows all things and He will never lead you into destruction.

God bless you.
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/07/2003 11:51:00 AM
Today's Saint -- from Patron Saints Index

St. John Baptist de La Salle -- Father of Modern Education

Attended the seminary in Paris, but quit to care for his brothers and sisters upon the death of their parents. When they were grown, he returned to school, graduated, and was ordained.

Founded the Brothers of the Christian Schools (Christian Brothers), established and supported academic education for all boys, not just the nobility. He liquidated his personal fortune, and his Brothers expected him to use it to further his education goals, but he surprised them by saying they would have to depend on Providence. The
money (about $400,000) was given away to the poor in the form of bread during the great famine of 1683 - 84. Saint John kept enough to endow a salary for himself similar to that which the Brothers received so he wouldn't be a burden on them.

Instituted the process of dividing students into grades. Established the first teacher's school. Started high schools and trade schools. Proclaimed the patron of all teachers of all youth by Pope Pius XII in 1950.
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/06/2003 11:34:00 AM
In the News


Psychiatric Drug Discovery Conference to Highlight Schizophrenia, Depression, Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety on June 23-24, 2003 in Princeton, NJ


Pfizer antipsychotic efficacious in treating bipolar patients


Embezzler tells her story - or part of it


Bomb threat suspect said to have mood disorder


Support group helps families of children with severe mental illness


Valley braces for Medicaid cuts


Suave convicted sex offender at end of his charm


Man, 62, convicted of tying up an in-law


Ex-officer on trial

Author: Lisa Graas
•4/06/2003 11:10:00 AM
Click here for today's readings

In the reading today from Jeremiah, God said that the time is coming when His law would be written on the hearts of His people. This is often given as a Scriptural "proof" that there is now no need for an authoritative church. Logically speaking, if this Scipture were read in that context, there would also be no need of a Bible. It is true that a man can be saved without having access either to the Church or to the Bible, but this does not mean that the Church and the Bible are evil. Far from it. So what is God really saying here?

God said, "All, from least to greatest, shall know me"....."for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more."

This is a reference to the Incarnation and of the redemption which God chose to bring about through the Incarnation and His suffering on the Cross. When God humbled Himself to become a member of humanity, He entered into a union with each of us. This is how we all "know" Him. He is one of us. Each member of humanity is united with Him in a certain kinship because He has become a member of humanity. Everyone, then, "knows" God in a certain sense. Before Christ, the Jews were separated from God by sin and death, and the Gentiles were separated from God by their nature. Now, all may know Him (all may participate in the redemption) because He has become one of us.

Does it mean that all will go to heaven? By no means. As St. Augustine said, "They can sell themselves, but not redeem themselves." We cannot redeem ourselves, but we can choose to sell ourselves.

God could have forgiven all of mankind without the Incarnation and the suffering on the Cross. It was within His power to do that. So why didn't He? He chose to become one of us so that we may all be elevated in the supernatural order through an act of His love for us and so that we might know redemption in our own hearts through love that comes with sacrifice. It is in this way that He remembers our sin no more. It is through His love and through our response to that love that we can know the depth of love. I often say to my children, "love is not love unless it is freely chosen". God loves us and He wills that we also know love, so He gives us a choice to serve Him or not. He gives us a choice to love Him by loving each other.

As is noted in today's Psalm, the creation of a clean heart in us is connected with our redemption, but this requires an act of our own will. We must ask for God to do this within us. We must turn our hearts to Him and request that He do this for us. We must return to Him and away from our transgressions. Christ says, "Whoever serves me must follow me." We cannot willfully turn from God and have hope of redemption, but if we choose to follow Him, He will make our hearts clean, His name will be glorified, our sins will be blotted out and He will bring us honor.

God bless you.
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/06/2003 11:08:00 AM
Today's Saints: The Martyrs of Hadiab

Martyrs of Hadiab, pray for us!

April 6, 2003

Martyrs of Hadiab

In the fifth year of our persecution, say the acts, Sapor being at Seleucia, caused to be apprehended in the neighboring places one hundred and twenty Christians, of which nine were virgins, consecrated to God; the others were priests, deacons, or of the inferior clergy. They lay six months in filthy stinking dungeons, till the end of winter: during all which space Jazdundocta, a very rich virtuous lady of Arbela, the capital city of Hadiabena supported them by her charities, not admitting of a partner in that good work. During this interval they were often tortured, but always courageously answered the president that they would never adore the sun, a mere creature for God; and begged he would finish speedily their triumph by death, which would free them from dangers and insults.

Jazdundocta, hearing from the court one day that they were to suffer the next morning, flew to the prison, gave to every one of them a fine white long robe, as to chosen spouses of the heavenly bridegroom; prepared for them a sumptuous supper, served and waited on them herself at table, gave them wholesome exhortations, and read the holy scriptures to them. They were surprised at her behavior, but could not prevail on her to tell them the reason. The next morning she returned to the prison, and told them she had been informed that that was the happy morning in which they were to receive their crown, and be joined to the blessed spirits. She earnestly recommended herself to their prayers for the pardon of her sins, and that she might meet them at the last day, and live eternally with them.

Soon after, the king's order for their immediate execution was brought to the prison. As they went out of it Jazdundocta met them at the door, fell at their feet, took hold of their hands, and kissed them. The guards hastened them on, with great precipitation, to the place of execution; where the judge who presided at their tortures asked them again if any of them would adore the sun, and receive a pardon. They answered that their countenance must show him they met death with joy, and contemned this world and its light, being perfectly assured of receiving an immortal crown in the kingdom of heaven. He then dictated the sentence of death, whereupon their heads were struck off.

Jazdundocta, in the dusk of the evening, brought out of the city two undertakers, or embalmers for each body, caused them to wrap the bodies in fine linen, and carry them in coffins, for fear of the Magians, to a place at a considerable distance from the town where she buried them in deep graves, with monuments, five and five in a grave. They were of the province called Hadiabena, which contained the greatest part of the ancient Assyria, and was in a manner peopled by Christians Helena, queen of the Hadiabenians, seems to have embraced Christianity in the second century. Her son Izates, and his successors, much promoted the faith; so that Sozomen says the country was almost entirely Christian. These one hundred and twenty martyrs suffered at Seleucia, in the year of Christ 345, of king Sapor the thirty-sixth, and the sixth of his great persecution, on the 6th day of the moon of April, which was the 21st of that month. They are mentioned in the Roman Martyrology on the 6th.

-from Lives of the Saints by Father Alben Butler
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/05/2003 07:18:00 AM
Click here for today's readings


I have been thinking a lot about the trusting lamb. Think of an innocent lamb being led to slaughter. It has no idea what is happening. It is clueless -- not harboring the slightest thought that anyone or anything could bring harm to it, and yet it is led to slaughter.

I have heard those who say, "God does not will for us to suffer." It is true that God does not desire our suffering. It was not in the original plan, you see? But look around you and you can see that suffering does exist. It is all around us. What does it mean? Does it have any value, or none?

How do we reconcile the idea of a loving God with the picture of an innocent lamb being led to slaughter? Does God will for that innocent, trusting lamb to die? What of the innocent, trusting children who die each and every day because of abortion? They are lambs, each and every one of them. Does God will that they die? No, but mankind does.

Suffering was not given to us by God. Suffering was given to us by Adam and Eve and Satan. Ponder on that fact for a moment. For thousands of years after the Fall in the Garden of Eden, man knew suffering with no hope of redemption. Thousands of years!! But now, something new happened. God took pity on us. He did not take away our suffering, for if He did that, we would be like Adam and Eve in the Garden and we, like Adam and Eve, would just listen to Satan all over again and do the same thing. So what was God to do? He did something new. He took pity on us by placing value on our sufferings. He humbled Himself to become a man, thereby elevating the dignity of all of us so that our sufferings might have value!!! For thousands of years, suffering had no value. Now, it has value to God. Now, we have hope not of the garden of Eden, but HEAVEN!

In the first reading today, we see what happens when we place our trust in men alone. We are led to slaughter. What happens when we place our trust in God? We are STILL led to slaughter, but He sustains us as we take our refuge in Him spiritually.

I can be led to slaughter kicking and screaming, or as the trusting lamb. That is the choice that I have.

This morning I was listening on the news about Saddam's fighters who are children that have been trained to shoot. One of the "experts" stated that it is not a violation of the Geneva Convention to shoot one of these children if he is an attacker and if it is necessary to defend one's self. What a picture of innocent lambs being led to slaughter! If they perish, who is to blame? Certainly God is not to blame. God will take this, as He does all ugly things, and bring good from it somehow. Let us hope and pray that these lambs are not led to slaughter. Let us pray for them and for their parents and, yes, even for Saddam, that these lambs will not be sent to war. If they are sent, let us not blame God. It is the fault of men that these things happen. All good comes from God. Evil lives in the hearts of men who listen to Satan.

Let us take our refuge in God, even as we are led to slaughter.

God bless you.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/05/2003 07:16:00 AM
Today's saint is St. Vincent Ferrer, a Dominican friar and missionary who converted thousands in Europe.

"If you truly want to help the soul of your neighbor, you should approach God first with all your heart. Ask him simply to fill you with charity, the greatest of all virtues; with it you can accomplish what you desire."
~St. Vincent Ferrer


St. Vincent Ferrer, pray for us!
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/04/2003 10:14:00 PM
Click here for today's readings
The time is drawing nigh when Christ will be crucified. In today's
readings, we see the beginning of the end.

In Reading I from the Book of Wisdom, we see a foreshadowing of the
rejection of Christ.

Today's readings are for all of us who feel rejected. We are reminded
that Christ also suffered from rejection. Since His love for each of
us is perfect, how much more did that rejection cause Him to suffer?

In the Psalm we are reminded, "The Lord is close to the
brokenhearted." Know that when you are suffering from rejection, you
are close to God.

In the Gospel, we are reminded that Christ began to suffer even
before He was arrested. People were gossiping against Him, accusing
Him even of blasphemy. Imagine accusing Jesus of blasphemy!

Yes, no matter how much it hurts, know that Christ has felt that pain
for you. He has known the pain of rejection even deeper than you
could possibly know it because of His perfect love for us.

His was a prolonged agony. Notice that He was not arrested right
away. He continued to suffer from rejection "because His hour had not
yet come".

Only God knows the hour of our redemption. In the meantime, He is
close to you.

God bless you.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/03/2003 10:46:00 AM
IN THE NEWS

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome -- The FDA sidesteps human safety trials to clear a risky anti-nerve-gas pill.


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Medicare -- Tauzin Puts Heat on Scully


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Officials: Men Should Discuss Depression


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PTSD -- War news stirs memories for vets with stress disorder


Book Review -- In Better Than Well, an exploration of the American mania for self-improvement, from Prozac to Botox


Mom's Depression Ups Child's Depression Risk: Study


Highly Educated Workers at Greater Mental Health Risk


"Friendly Homicide" a Result of Hidden Psychological War Says Psychiatrist Robert Roerich


Schizophrenia -- On the couch: faces of paranoia


Suicide a Greater Risk for Some


Pfizer is the biggest drug company ever. Can it become the best?

Author: Lisa Graas
•4/03/2003 10:04:00 AM
from americancatholic.org

April 3, 2003
St. Benedict the African
(1526-1589)

Benedict held important posts in the Franciscan Order and gracefully
adjusted to other work when his terms of office were up.

His parents were slaves brought from Africa to Messina, Sicily. Freed
at 18, Benedict did farm work for a wage and soon saved enough to buy
a pair of oxen. He was very proud of those animals. In time he joined
a group of hermits around Palermo and was eventually recognized as
their leader. Because these hermits followed the Rule of St. Francis,
Pope Pius IV ordered them to join the First Order.

Benedict was eventually novice master and then guardian of the friars
in Palermo— positions rarely held in those days by a brother. In
fact, Benedict was forced to accept his election as guardian. And
when his term ended he happily returned to his work in the friary
kitchen.

Benedict corrected the friars with humility and charity. Once he
corrected a novice and assigned him a penance only to learn that the
novice was not the guilty party. Benedict immediately knelt down
before the novice and asked his pardon.

In later life Benedict was not possessive of the few things he used.
He never referred to them as "mine" but always called them "ours."
His gifts for prayer and the guidance of souls earned him throughout
Sicily a reputation for holiness. Following the example of St.
Francis, Benedict kept seven 40-day fasts throughout the year; he
also slept only a few hours each night.

After Benedict's death, King Philip III of Spain paid for a special
tomb for this holy friar. Canonized in 1807, he is honored as a
patron saint by African-Americans.
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/03/2003 10:02:00 AM
Click here for Today's Readings

When I was a kid I always watched The Ten Commandments on Easter with my parents. I remember thinking to myself how BIZARRE it was that the Israelites would even think to fashion for themselves a golden calf after all that God had done for them. It seemed to me that God had such a profound presence in their lives, especially in delivering them from their bondage in Egypt, that it must be the height of stupidity to turn away from Him. Now, as an adult, it is easier for me to see because I do the same thing myself! Knowing and believing the testimony about the Israelites and the golden calf, and knowing and believing in Jesus, I still turn from God.

In Christ, we have been released from bondage, as well. Satan has no more power over us just as Pharaoh had no more power over the Israelites when they were freed. The shackles have been removed from my hands and feet and I can now be led into the promised land. So why should I stick around and continue to listen to Satan? That would be like the Israelites choosing to remain in Egypt to serve Pharaoh after he had freed them!

I would never go out and buy some clay and make for myself a little idol to worship as though the idol is a god, but I do fashion idols for myself whenever I am disobedient. My idols are not made of matter. They are spiritual idols, but just as offensive in the sight of God as the golden calf.

Jesus invites us today to believe in Him. Believe that He has removed the shackles. You are no longer in bondage to Satan unless you choose to be.

God bless you.

Author: Lisa Graas
•4/01/2003 01:40:00 AM
Click here for Today's Readings

So the Jews said to the man who was cured,
"It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat."
He answered them, "The man who made me well told me,
‘Take up your mat and walk.'"

I am reminded today of how little I recognize God's grace. I long so much to know Jesus -- to know His embrace, and each day is a trial of the soul as I try to figure out how to do that. I think that maybe I am trying too hard and I am not recognizing how much God really loves me. The passage above from the Gospel is testimony to that. This man refers to Jesus as "the man who made me well." He obviously had no idea that Jesus is the Son of God. He was just "the man who made me well". Jesus caught up with him later and let him know that he had better stay straight or things could get even worse than they had been before. How simple it all sounds. So, why is it so hard for me? I think that I am making it too hard for myself. God is not going to give me a load greater than I can bear. I have a responsibility to stay away from sin or things could get truly worse for me, but it will not be too tough. Jesus healed a man who didn't even know who He is! God's grace will not be kept from any of us who yield ourselves to it. There is not one moment in our lives that does not have His attention. We are in His loving care. All that we have to do is respond to the grace. It is not such a puzzle, after all. It is not such a trial to just rest in Him and to hope in only Him. He is more to me than simply "the man who made me well". I have no reason to fear.

God bless you.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/01/2003 01:40:00 AM
Click here for Today's Readings

So the Jews said to the man who was cured,
"It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat."
He answered them, "The man who made me well told me,
‘Take up your mat and walk.'"

I am reminded today of how little I recognize God's grace. I long so much to know Jesus -- to know His embrace, and each day is a trial of the soul as I try to figure out how to do that. I think that maybe I am trying too hard and I am not recognizing how much God really loves me. The passage above from the Gospel is testimony to that. This man refers to Jesus as "the man who made me well." He obviously had no idea that Jesus is the Son of God. He was just "the man who made me well". Jesus caught up with him later and let him know that he had better stay straight or things could get even worse than they had been before. How simple it all sounds. So, why is it so hard for me? I think that I am making it too hard for myself. God is not going to give me a load greater than I can bear. I have a responsibility to stay away from sin or things could get truly worse for me, but it will not be too tough. Jesus healed a man who didn't even know who He is! God's grace will not be kept from any of us who yield ourselves to it. There is not one moment in our lives that does not have His attention. We are in His loving care. All that we have to do is respond to the grace. It is not such a puzzle, after all. It is not such a trial to just rest in Him and to hope in only Him. He is more to me than simply "the man who made me well". I have no reason to fear.

God bless you.

Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•4/01/2003 01:39:00 AM
April 1, 2003
St. Hugh of Grenoble
(1052-1132)
from americancatholic.org

Today’s saint could be a patron for those of us who feel so overwhelmed by all the problems in the world that we don’t know where to begin.

Hugh, who served as a bishop in France for 52 years, had his work cut out for him from the start. Corruption seemed to loom in every direction: the buying and selling of Church offices, violations of clerical celibacy, lay control of Church property, religious indifference and/or ignorance. After serving as bishop for two years, he’d had his fill. He tried disappearing to a monastery, but the pope called him back to continue the work of reform.

Ironically, Hugh was reasonably effective in the role of reformer—surely because of his devotion to the Church but also because of his strong character. In conflicts between Church and state he was an unflinching defender of the Church. He fearlessly supported the papacy. He was eloquent as a preacher. He restored his own cathedral, made civic improvements in the town and weathered a brief exile.

Hugh may be best known as patron and benefactor of St. Bruno, founder of the Carthusian Order.

Hugh died in 1132. He was canonized only two years later.