Some saints' names are far more familiar to us than others, but even the lives of obscure holy persons teach us something. And so it is with St. Casilda, the daughter of a Muslim leader in Toledo, Spain, in the 10th century. Casilda was herself raised as a Muslim and showed special kindness to Christian prisoners. She became ill as a young woman but was not convinced that any of the local Arab doctors could cure her. So, she made a pilgrimage to the shrine of San Vicenzo in northern Spain. Like so many other people who made their way there—many of them suffering from hemorrhages—Casilda sought the healing waters of the shrine. We're uncertain what brought her to the shrine, but we do know that she left it relieved of illness. In response, she became a Christian and lived a life of solitude and penance not far from the miraculous spring. It's said that she lived to be 100 years old. Her death likely occurred around the year 1050. Tensions between Muslims and Christians have often existed throughout history, sometimes resulting in bloody conflict. Through her quiet, simple life Casilda served her Creator—first in one faith, then another.
And so it is with St. Casilda, the daughter of a Muslim leader in Toledo, Spain, in the 10th century. Casilda was herself raised as a Muslim and showed special kindness to Christian prisoners. She became ill as a young woman but was not convinced that any of the local Arab doctors could cure her. So, she made a pilgrimage to the shrine of San Vicenzo in northern Spain. Like so many other people who made their way there—many of them suffering from hemorrhages—Casilda sought the healing waters of the shrine. We're uncertain what brought her to the shrine, but we do know that she left it relieved of illness.
In response, she became a Christian and lived a life of solitude and penance not far from the miraculous spring. It's said that she lived to be 100 years old. Her death likely occurred around the year 1050.
Tensions between Muslims and Christians have often existed throughout history, sometimes resulting in bloody conflict. Through her quiet, simple life Casilda served her Creator—first in one faith, then another.
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
At any time of the day or night we can call on Jesus.
Your death on the cross has set me free.
I ask how I am within myself today? Am I particularly tired, stressed, or off-form? If any of these characteristics apply, can I try to let go of the concerns that disturb me?
The Word of God
Thursday in the Octave of Easter
Reading 1 Acts 3:11-26
As the crippled man who had been cured clung to Peter and John,
Responsorial Psalm Ps 8:2ab and 5, 6-7, 8-9
R. (2ab) O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
Alleluia Ps 118:24
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 24:35-48
The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way,
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Jesus you speak to me through the words of the gospels. May I respond to your call today.Teach me to recognise your hand at work in my daily living.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
Thursday within the Octave of Easter
Why are you amazed at this? (Acts 3:12)
So Peter asks the crowd who have gathered upon seeing him heal a man who was crippled from birth. Why indeed are they amazed? All their lives they have been proclaiming that God is all-powerful, that he is a healer and deliverer. So why is it such a stretch actually to see God heal someone through the prayers of a group of faithful believers like themselves?
There is often a gap between what we proclaim to be true and what we actually count on in our own lives. We faithfully and passionately intercede for ailing friends and family members, but we may not have much expectation that they will get better—at least not in a dramatic way. Then if God does intervene and bring about a remarkable healing or some other kind of restoration, we are surprised. Looking at it logically, we could ask ourselves, "Why am I so surprised? Isn't this what I asked for in the first place?"
It's also true, as Peter proclaims, that God has far greater purposes than physical restoration. He wants to heal the broken relationship between himself and his people. He wants to unite them to himself and to each other in deeper and deeper ways. We shouldn't limit our prayers only to physical healings; there are many other blessings our God wants to bestow on us.
So how should we pray? First, begin with the people right in front of you. Choose one or two people whose needs you know, both physical and spiritual, and commit to praying for them every day until you see results. Then as you pray, remind yourself that you are bringing these people to Jesus, the risen Lord. You're not making a wish; you're praying!
So often, we can think another person's healing depends on our faith as intercessors. There is some truth to this, but it's not the whole truth. God hears every prayer we breathe, and he responds. Finally, be sure to thank Jesus for his work in these people's lives—even before you see anything happening. Tell him that you believe, and trust in his power to act.
Persist in prayer, and you too will be "amazed" (Acts 3:12)!
"Jesus, I trust in your love for me and for all those I meet."
Psalm 8:2, 5-9; Luke 24:35-48
Sometime our Lord appears very obvious, and sometimes not so obvious, and sometimes very VERY Hard to see at work and among us. When Peter and John told the crippled man to get up and walk, he then clung to them because in them was Jesus, among them was Jesus. This crippled and healed man is the model we are to follow of the message Peter and John preached. You have sinned, now repent. Be converted that your sins may be wiped away. What a message right? So I wonder what our Lord has to say? Well, it bears to be repeated:
A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you
from among your own kin;
to him you shall listen in all that he may say to you.
Everyone who does not listen to that prophet
will be cut off from the people.
A prophet is among you, asking you to repent! Are you the prophet or is someone asking you to repent!? No matter, either way applies, we are in the same boat. "But nobody listens to me!". So what? It isn't you! They are not listening to the LORD! You just be holy and do your part! Just like Peter and John proclaimed "...why do you look so intently at us as if we had made him walk by our own power or piety?", your faith has to say it is Jesus. Someone said they liked what I said at my aunt's funeral vigil, and my answer is always "it was Jesus". Because I have nothing planned to say, and God has everything to say. As a matter of fact, every time I speak, I'm listening, and I'm learning right along side you. After I write my2cents, sometimes I read it over and over throughout the day, trying to grasp the message so it will sink.
The Psalms pray "You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor." We are little less than angels. How amazing is that? No wonder God loves us so much, because He loves the little. The little things you do for Him in His Holy Name as the Psalms said also "O LORD, our Lord, how glorious is your name over all the earth!". His Name is above all, and no wonder it is of the top commandments "You shall not take the Lord's Name in vain". Because we pray in vain too. We say we have faith and really struggle with it. We pray like weaklings instead of crowned with Glory and Honor through Jesus, as we are little less than angels, with our angels' faces facing the Lord as we speak. This is an amazing thing to grasp.
In comes our Lord Jesus, and suddenly, and without notice. The first words He says are "Peace Be With You". Awesome word choice, because He IS Peace. He is saying "I'm being with You". So what happens when we do the sign of peace at Mass is actually being Christ to one another. Fr. Robert Barron in the Catholicism series says that even at the beginning of Mass when the Priest opens up the Mass saying something like "the Lord be with You" and we reply "and with your Spirit", this is our spirit joining His Spirit. This gathering is a powerful one. And so was it the Spirit of the Lord only? No, He appeared in the Body too;
"Let Me Breathe On You".
"Do Not Be Afraid".
"Listen To Me".
And what else did our beloved Father, Jesus, our Lord, and Holy Spirit say today? "...Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name". Again with the repentance thing. John the Baptist preached it, and the prophets before him preached it, and now Jesus wants everyone to preach it? Well, with so much preaching about repentance, maybe, just maybe someone will actually do it. And that day there will be a great celebration in Heaven. The celebration too in your heart to receive Jesus with a pure heart in the Eucharist, a powerful encounter of the spirit with the Holy Spirit. Because even though it isn't seen, doesn't mean it isn't there. Thus it is with the Body of Christ, our Heavenly Lord with the name above all names to which every knee will bow..... Jesus
How sweet the sound (of that name)
that saved a wretch like me,
twas lost, and now I'm found.
I was found wanting (in sin)
and brought to His side to be cleansed.
And that water trickled onto my soul, as it sprinkled out of His side on the cross
Such a bitter sweet moment, bitter to see My Father dying, sweet to know He did it for me
Sweet because now we will live together forever, so long as my repentance is ever true,
a love that is ever more pure
a closeness that not anything created by Him could ever tear apart
two hearts joined into One, Oneness....