Venerable Matt Talbot
Matt can be considered the patron of men and women struggling with alcoholism. Matt was born in Dublin, where his father worked on the docks and had a difficult time supporting his family. After a few years of schooling, Matt obtained work as a messenger for some liquor merchants; there he began to drink excessively. For 15 years—until he was almost 30—Matt was an active alcoholic. One day he decided to take "the pledge" for three months, make a general confession and begin to attend daily Mass. There is evidence that Matt's first seven years after taking the pledge were especially difficult. Avoiding his former drinking places was hard. He began to pray as intensely as he used to drink. He also tried to pay back people from whom he had borrowed or stolen money while he was drinking. Most of his life Matt worked as a builder's laborer. He joined the Secular Franciscan Order and began a life of strict penance; he abstained from meat nine months a year. Matt spent hours every night avidly reading Scripture and the lives of the saints. He prayed the rosary conscientiously. Though his job did not make him rich, Matt contributed generously to the missions. After 1923 his health failed, and Matt was forced to quit work. He died on his way to church on Trinity Sunday. Fifty years later Pope Paul VI gave him the title venerable.
Matt was born in Dublin, where his father worked on the docks and had a difficult time supporting his family. After a few years of schooling, Matt obtained work as a messenger for some liquor merchants; there he began to drink excessively. For 15 years—until he was almost 30—Matt was an active alcoholic.
One day he decided to take "the pledge" for three months, make a general confession and begin to attend daily Mass. There is evidence that Matt's first seven years after taking the pledge were especially difficult. Avoiding his former drinking places was hard. He began to pray as intensely as he used to drink. He also tried to pay back people from whom he had borrowed or stolen money while he was drinking.
Most of his life Matt worked as a builder's laborer. He joined the Secular Franciscan Order and began a life of strict penance; he abstained from meat nine months a year. Matt spent hours every night avidly reading Scripture and the lives of the saints. He prayed the rosary conscientiously. Though his job did not make him rich, Matt contributed generously to the missions.
After 1923 his health failed, and Matt was forced to quit work. He died on his way to church on Trinity Sunday. Fifty years later Pope Paul VI gave him the title venerable.
In looking at the life of Matt Talbot, we may easily focus on the later years when he had stopped drinking for some time and was leading a penitential life. Only alcoholic men and women who have stopped drinking can fully appreciate how difficult the earliest years of sobriety were for Matt.
He had to take one day at a time. So do the rest of us.
On an otherwise blank page in one of Matt's books, the following is written: "God console thee and make thee a saint. To arrive at the perfection of humility four things are necessary: to despise the world, to despise no one, to despise self, to despise being despised by others."
Patron Saint of:
Daily Prayer - 2015-06-18
"Come to me all you who are burdened
Lord, you created me to live in freedom.
I exist in a web of relationships - links to nature, people, God.
I trace out these links, giving thanks for the life that flows through them.
Some links are twisted or broken: I may feel regret, anger, disappointment.
I pray for the gift of acceptance and forgiveness.
The Word of God
Reading 1 2 Cor 11:1-11
Brothers and sisters:
Responsorial Psalm PS 111:1b-2, 3-4, 7-8
R. (7a) Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
Alleluia Rom 8:15bc
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 6:7-15
Jesus said to his disciples:
Some thoughts on today's scripture
What feelings are rising in me as I pray and reflect on God's Word? I imagine Jesus himself sitting or standing near me and open my heart to him.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
Meditation: Matthew 6:7-15
11th Week in Ordinary Time
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
How would you feel if you were led to an enormous rock pile and told to build a life-size replica of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris? You'd probably feel overwhelmed and discouraged. "It took artisans more than a century to craft this church. How could I ever accomplish such an huge undertaking?" But then you discover that many other people have been recruited for the same project. You join your talent to theirs and begin moving the stones into place. Slowly, the form of a cathedral takes shape, and you don't feel so discouraged.
In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus gives us the blueprints for building his kingdom on earth—and we can feel just as overwhelmed as if we were asked to build a cathedral. "How can I build a kingdom where we all forgive one another's trespasses? I can't even keep God's name holy myself all the time—how can I create an environment of reverence in my home or workplace?" It could be easy to become disheartened at the magnitude of the project!
Don't worry. All Jesus wants is for you to fulfill the role he has given you. Remember all the workers who spent their whole lives on Paris' cathedral knowing that they would never see the completed masterpiece. Think of the different setbacks they must have experienced: injury, financial constraints, even something as dramatic as an outbreak of the plague. Yet they continued to work every day, knowing that other people would continue after they were gone.
When he set out to build his first theme park, Walt Disney said, "Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world." We could say something similar about the kingdom of God. It is constantly growing, constantly adapting to answer the needs and longings of people in every age and every place. So don't get overwhelmed if you don't see the kind of progress you are hoping for, whether in your own life, in your family, or in the world. Just know that as you play your part, the kingdom of God will grow stronger and more beautiful.
"Come, Lord Jesus! Teach me how you want me to help build your kingdom!"
2 Corinthians 11:1-11
The 1st Holy Scripture said at one point "Did I make a mistake when I humbled myself so that you might be exalted...", can you imagine your father saying that to you? And what of those that grow up without a father? How can you know the father's love? I heard and read in the book "Strong Fathers Strong Daughters" by Meg Meeker, that a daughter looks to her father for an example set by God. Such power holds the Father's love. And because of this, I try to show love and compassion to my daughters...to my boys, a stronger hand perhaps. Lately, the message to my boys has been "stop making your sisters cry" and "watch your little brothers and sisters". Such were the words not said in the book of Genesis. And because we did not listen and He sent His only Son to humble Himself from Heaven to show us the way to be exalted. And the end of the 1st Holy scripture said "And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!"
Powerful words from the Lord, right? The Psalms proclaim "Your works o Lord are justice and truth." This is a perfect Psalm for what was said and is about to be said. And they continue "I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart in the company and assembly of the just." This is a promise of the Lord and of those whom He has called to be exalted, that is, made righteous in holiness. Giving thanks is the entire point of our Holy Mass, and it is consumated in the Holy Eucharist, which means thanksgiving and the assembly of the just that appears there, is not just those physically present, but with the saints and angels that appear with the Lord, along even, with some of those who have gone before us.
And so we pray Our Father, who is in Heaven, Holy Be Your most precious name that heals and consoles, and encourages, and leads.
Your Kingdom Lord, let it come, let it reign and let it rain with the fire of the Holy Spirit, let Your WILL BE DONE, as our Mother so boldly proclaimed in humility when the angel Gabriel announced the will of the Father to His precious and immaculate daughter, set apart, made Holy for the coming of the Son of the Father, and whence the words of our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemanie said to our Father "not my will, but yours be done". Let it be done according to your will Lord, but let this will be accomplished for the good, through me and with each other, on earth, in this world, as in Heaven, because what we do here now, binds up there later, what bonds we loose here, will be loosed in Heaven, what we bind here, we bind in Heaven, in the life after this, for the demise, or for the greater glory.
Give us this day, we humbly pray, Lord, Our Father, our daily bread, that bread that you provide for life Lord, and you do; you give the Eucharist daily across the world, Mana now the offering of the one lifted in the desert so that the light might be exalted to give light and life to the darkness, let that what we eat...we may be. And forgive us Lord, our trespasses, our failing to love, our sin is that failure, failing to love as we ought. Forgive us because without forgiveness, what would we be? Where would I be right now? I don't even want to think about it. And forgive me as I forgive those who hurt me, failed to love me, and failed to love God. Because, now I'm not just asking to forgive those that offend me, but offended you most precious Lord. I can't seem to want to forgive those who seem to hate you by not loving you, as if waiting for their demise...and pleading then, for my own. Is this justice that you give? Is this mercy that you bestow? No. Indeed, the Heavens can not contain your love and mercy, then how can I begin to fathom...and dare to limit what is your essence on earth.
Lord, let us not into temptation. Perhaps, words now are being led to an exorcism, words that I rattle off, because I do not mean them. For at the slightest moment, I give into gossip, or temptation of impurities, or I give into anger, or I give into indulgences of the body, food, leisure, relaxation, pleasure, things that make me feel good for a while and that leave me so empty that I have to start the vicious circle all over again and again, all the while taking from you Your due love, time, talents, and treasures.
But deliver us from evil. And these words I pray, are not so that you will be my Savior, but ACCEPTING your help. Because your salvation has already been spread from the dawn of time, and culminated on earth on the Holy Cross whereupon Your most precious Body was hung. Deliver us from the evil of not accepting you Lord. Deliver us from the evil of being fooled Lord. Deliver us from the evil of not loving you as we should, Lord. Deliver us from every evil that sets itself as a god before you Lord. Such few words, and so often prayed wihout a thought, better say that we "said" an Our Father (the Lord's Prayer) than to say we "PRAYED" an Our Father. Because when I pray, I don't mean to just say, I mean for it to be. Because words can be empty or full. And Your Word Lord is fullness of life that comes to be, especially upon the most Holy Altars across the world.
Lastly, Lord, the Kingdom, the Power, the Glory are all yours, not mine Lord. I can not imagine a family without a Father. A daughter without the Father. A son without the Father. On earth as it is in Heaven. Father's day is coming, an earthly day to remember an earthly father. Yet, Father, you are neglected. Forgotten, should it be right that we remember only once in a while, remember our Father and come see Him? He waits. In the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle in the Church He waits. He waits in the poor, the forgotten, the nursing homes, the jails, and even those in their own homes, with no one to visit them and bring the life to their hearts...JESUS
"FATHER I'm Sorry"
could this mean "Father, I Love You"?