Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Blessed John of Fiesole
The patron of Christian artists was born around 1400 in a village overlooking Florence. He took up painting as a young boy and studied under the watchful eye of a local painting master. He joined the Dominicans at about age 20, taking the name Fra Giovanni. He eventually came to be known as Fra Angelico, perhaps a tribute to his own angelic qualities or maybe the devotional tone of his works.
He continued to study painting and perfect his own techniques, which included broad-brush strokes, vivid colors and generous, lifelike figures. Michelangelo once said of Fra Angelico: "One has to believe that this good monk has visited paradise and been allowed to choose his models there." Whatever his subject matter, Fra Angelico sought to generate feelings of religious devotion in response to his paintings. Among his most famous works are the Annunciation and Descent from the Cross as well as frescoes in the monastery of San Marco in Florence.
He also served in leadership positions within the Dominican Order. At one point Pope Eugenius approached him about serving as archbishop of Florence. Fra Angelico declined, preferring a simpler life. He died in 1455.
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
Dear Jesus, today I call on you in a special way.
Lord, you granted me the great gift of freedom.
Where do I sense hope, encouragement, and growth areas in my life? By looking back over the last few months, I may be able to see which activities and occasions have produced rich fruit.
The Word of God
What is stirring in me as I pray? Am I consoled, troubled, left cold? I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting at my side, and share my feelings with him.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
6th Week in Ordinary Time
They had only one loaf. (Mark 8:14)
A young woman who had recently begun serving as a missionary was talking to people who were interested in working with her. She recounted that when she first arrived, she was overwhelmed by the conditions: primitive housing and sanitation, high unemployment, and rampant crime. She soon realized that her education didn't matter half as much as she thought it would. "It's your faith that matters," she said, "not your abilities."
The disciples in today's reading probably could have related to what this young woman was saying. Just before this episode, they had seen Jesus multiply loaves and fishes to feed a massive crowd—and they still had seven baskets of leftovers. But after they got into the boat, they realized that they had left all those baskets on the shore. All they had with them was one loaf of bread. It seems they were counting on being able to feed the next crowd of people with the leftover miracle bread, and now they were disappointed.
Their reaction must have been a little frustrating for Jesus, considering all that they had seen him do! Still, he reminded them, again, about what he could do with just a little bit of bread. He also warned them against the "leaven of the Pharisees," or the tendency to take God out of the equation and try to control every situation. He knew that too much self-reliance can lead to a kind of perfectionism and anxious worrying that drains faith of its power and promise.
We are all like the disciples in one way or another. We all like to be in charge and have things under control. But we need to be careful not to try to control everything, because that's when we risk limiting the Lord or pushing him out of the picture. This is especially true when we are faced with a particularly challenging situation and feel that we don't have enough "bread."
Don't let this happen! You may have only one loaf, but that's more than enough for the Lord. If he can feed thousands with just a little more than that, surely he can take anything you offer him and fill it with his power and grace!
"Lord, help me to forget about what I can't do and focus on what you can do. Take all that I have today and use it for your glory!"
James 1:12-18; Psalm 94:12-15, 18-19
Today's 5 minutos said:
"There is an external aspect of temptation that is that of the test that purifies our faith and gives us what James calls perseverance, resistance. This temptation we are not to ask for, but neither reject it. That is to say, let us not rebel against God when this temptation appears, and that it is an exterior test not wanted by us, but to know when this exterior test comes, that God the Lord will bring good fruit, patience, of love, of a renewed faith, of a generosity more full in us...A man decided to dig in a property he owned. He chose a place and dug down to 5 meters, but did not find water. Thinking that wasn't the ideal place, he looked for another place and put more effort, going down to seven meters, but didn't find water there either. He decided to test a third occasion, in a distinct place, and dug much more, but when he got to 10 meters, he concluded that in his land there was no water, and the best would be to sell it. One day he went to visit the man he sold the land to, and found a beautiful well, "Friend, I've had to dig much to find water. I remember that I poked at more than 20 meters, and didn't find a streak" said the newly arrived. "You are mistaken" answered the alluded. "The truth is that I only dug twelve meters, but what's different from you, I always did it in the same place." Let us ask for the gift of perseverance.
This is something that I've been sharing every week with my friendship group brothers...talking about the gift of perseverance, and I only learned it from being faithful, and faithful to the Lord, and in Holy Adoration. I even said it last night, this whole perseverance thing is actually a gift from God Himself. I've only got to show up to receive, and to give. Today we read from Holy Scripture when St. James says "
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers:
Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me."
"All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
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