There has to be something more

Quote of the Day

Peace is the presence of Someone; it is not the absence of some thing.
— Father Dave Pivonka, Wild Goose segment 2

Video of the Day
The Wild Goose #2: The Breath of God

Prayer of the Day

Come Holy Spirit, breath life into these dry bones.
Do to me what you did to the disciples.

 

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This side of the rainbow

Question of the Day

Jesus, where’s my rainbow?

Thursday morning I forgot to turn in my parking pass after the move-out inspection at my apartment. So I had to drive back after work to do that. When I got home to the condo I rented, I realized I was right on the line of a storm. Dark and thunderous sky to my left and sunny and blue sky to my right. I looked about as I walked to the mailbox, and asked, “Jesus, where’s my rainbow?”

Not five minutes after getting inside, I looked out the window and saw a rainbow. I went to get my iPad to take a photo, and noticed it was a double rainbow! Thank you, Jesus!

Yesterday’s Photo of the Day

what you want to see after you’ve moved twice in seven months:
a double rainbow to welcome me back to my old neighborhood

double rainbow_08-03-17.JPG

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

Quote of the Day

Today is the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, promoted by the United Nations. Each year, thousands of men, women and children are innocent victims of sexual and organ trafficking, and it seems that we are so accustomed to seeing it as a normal thing. This is ugly, it is cruel, it is criminal! I would like to draw on everyone’s commitment to make this aberrant plague, a modern form of slavery, adequately countered. Let us pray together the Virgin Mary to support the victims of trafficking and to convert the hearts of traffickers. — Pope Francis, statement for World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2017

Question of the Day

Where is your brother?

Videos of the Day

Identifying victims of human trafficking

Red Flags

  • Seems anxious, fearful or paranoid.  Avoids eye contact.
  • Tearfulness or signs of depression.
  • Unexplained bruises or cuts or other signs of physical abuse.
  • Appears to be in a relationship with someone who is dominating.
  • Never is alone and/or always has someone translating or answering questions on their behalf.
  • Not in control of their own finances.
  • Presents with secrecy or unable to answer questions about where they live.
  • Inconsistent details when telling their story.
  • Has no identification such as a license, passport or other ID documents.
  • Inability to leave their job or residence.  Says they cannot schedule appointments.
  • Being a recent arrival to the United States and does not speak English.
  • Is under 18 and providing commercial sex acts.  Or at any age unwillingly providing commercial sex acts.
  • Is afraid of law enforcement or receiving help from an outside entity.

Screening Questions 

  • Can you leave your job or house when you want?
  • Where did you get those bruises or is anyone hurting you?
  • Do you get paid for your employment?  Is it fair?  How many hours do you work?
  • (If foreign national) How did you get to the U.S. and is it what you expected?  Are you being forced to do anything you don’t want to do?
  • Are you or your family being threatened?
  • Do you live with or near your employer?  Does your employer provide you housing?  Are there locks on doors or windows from outside?
  • Do you owe debt to anyone?

Help is available

  • Call and make a report to the human trafficking hotline at 888 373 7888.  The hotline has language capabilities, so any individual can call directly if they choose.
  • Call and talk through the case with USCCB Anti-trafficking program staff at 202 541 3357.
  • Become a SHEPHERD.

Educational Resources

Everywhere and only, humility

Question of the Day
Have you thanked God for this failure already?

Quote of the Day
The most sensitive musical instrument is the human soul. The next… is the human voice. One must purify the soul until it begins to sound. — Arvo Part

Video of the Day
Music is my friend

Listen

Scriptures of the Day
God’s Creative Word

Beautiful readings to day for meditating on ourselves as a landscape.

In the OT reading, God’s Word is compared to nourishing water in the form of rain and snow. They come from Heaven to Earth, achieve their ends, and return a harvest to God. Our minds and hearts are the soil, sometimes hard as stone, rejecting God, other times thirsting and soaking up God’s Word, which is always abundantly available.

God’s Word is not just the scripture. The seed is also Jesus, Word made flesh, in the Eucharist. Every time we receive communion, a seed is cast.

When we do receive God’s Word, and it begins to bear fruit, we are likely to respond with a song, a song about the majesty and awesomeness of God, about the things He has done. Yet, as Saint Paul indicates in his letter to the Romans, life is not always a bowl of sweet berries. Gardening requires a lot of work, but also hope, patience, and perseverance. In this field of time, we work: tilling and preparing soil, planting, watering and fertilizing, and waiting on God, who causes the growth. And, of course, the pruning. Some of the “work” is ours to do; much is God’s.  As long as we remain in time, the full harvest is yet to come.

Old Testament: Isaiah 55:10–11

Thus says the LORD:
Just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
and do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
so shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
my word shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it.

Responsorial Psalm: 65

You have visited the land and watered it;
greatly have you enriched it.
God’s watercourses are filled;
you have prepared the grain.
R. The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest.

Thus have you prepared the land: drenching its furrows,
breaking up its clods,
Softening it with showers,
blessing its yield.
R. The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest.

You have crowned the year with your bounty,
and your paths overflow with a rich harvest;
The untilled meadows overflow with it,
and rejoicing clothes the hills.
R. The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest.

The fields are garmented with flocks
and the valleys blanketed with grain.
They shout and sing for joy.
R. The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest.

Epistle: Romans 8:18–23

Brothers and sisters:
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing
compared with the glory to be revealed for us.
For creation awaits with eager expectation
the revelation of the children of God;
for creation was made subject to futility,
not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it,
in hope that creation itself
would be set free from slavery to corruption
and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now;
and not only that, but we ourselves,
who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
we also groan within ourselves
as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

Gospel: Matthew 13:1–23

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat down,
and the whole crowd stood along the shore.
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:
“A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,
and when the sun rose it was scorched,
and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.
But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

The disciples approached him and said,
“Why do you speak to them in parables?”
He said to them in reply,
“Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven
has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted.
To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich;
from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
This is why I speak to them in parables, because
they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.
Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:
You shall indeed hear but not understand,
you shall indeed look but never see.
Gross is the heart of this people,
they will hardly hear with their ears,
they have closed their eyes,
lest they see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their hearts and be converted,
and I heal them.

“But blessed are your eyes, because they see,
and your ears, because they hear.
Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people
longed to see what you see but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

“Hear then the parable of the sower.
The seed sown on the path is the one
who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it,
and the evil one comes and steals away
what was sown in his heart.
The seed sown on rocky ground
is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy.
But he has no root and lasts only for a time.
When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
he immediately falls away.
The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word,
but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word
and it bears no fruit.
But the seed sown on rich soil
is the one who hears the word and understands it,
who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”