Western Christians who are working for greater dialogue with Orthodox Christians may be reaping the fruits of Father Leopold's prayers. A native of Croatia, Leopold joined the Capuchin Franciscans and was ordained several years later in spite of several health problems. He could not speak loudly enough to preach publicly. For many years he also suffered from severe arthritis, poor eyesight and a stomach ailment. Leopold taught patrology, the study of the Church Fathers, to the clerics of his province for several years, but he is best known for his work in the confessional, where he sometimes spent 13-15 hours a day. Several bishops sought out his spiritual advice. Leopold's dream was to go to the Orthodox Christians and work for the reunion of Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. His health never permitted it. Leopold often renewed his vow to go to the Eastern Christians; the cause of unity was constantly in his prayers. At a time when Pope Pius XII said that the greatest sin of our time is "to have lost all sense of sin," Leopold had a profound sense of sin and an even firmer sense of God's grace awaiting human cooperation. Leopold, who lived most of his life in Padua, died on July 30, 1942, and was canonized in 1982.
A native of Croatia, Leopold joined the Capuchin Franciscans and was ordained several years later in spite of several health problems. He could not speak loudly enough to preach publicly. For many years he also suffered from severe arthritis, poor eyesight and a stomach ailment.
Leopold taught patrology, the study of the Church Fathers, to the clerics of his province for several years, but he is best known for his work in the confessional, where he sometimes spent 13-15 hours a day. Several bishops sought out his spiritual advice.
Leopold's dream was to go to the Orthodox Christians and work for the reunion of Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. His health never permitted it. Leopold often renewed his vow to go to the Eastern Christians; the cause of unity was constantly in his prayers.
At a time when Pope Pius XII said that the greatest sin of our time is "to have lost all sense of sin," Leopold had a profound sense of sin and an even firmer sense of God's grace awaiting human cooperation.
Leopold, who lived most of his life in Padua, died on July 30, 1942, and was canonized in 1982.
St. Francis advised his followers to "pursue what they must desire above all things, to have the Spirit of the Lord and His holy manner of working" (Rule of 1223, Chapter 10)—words that Leopold lived out. When the Capuchin minister general wrote his friars on the occasion of Leopold's beatification, he said that this friar's life showed "the priority of that which is essential."
Leopold used to repeat to himself: "Remember that you have been sent for the salvation of people, not because of your own merits, since it is the Lord Jesus and not you who died for the salvation of souls.... I must cooperate with the divine goodness of our Lord who has deigned to choose me so that by my ministry, the divine promise would be fulfilled: 'There will be only one flock and one shepherd'" (John 10:16).
Daily Prayer - 2015-07-28
Dear Lord as I come to you today
"I am free."
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. If I do notice such areas, I will determine to give those areas both time and space in the future.
The Word of God
Reading 1 Ex 33:7-11; 34:5b-9, 28
The tent, which was called the meeting tent,
Responsorial Psalm PS 103:6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13
R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 13:36-43
Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house.
Some thoughts on today's scripture
Jesus, You always welcomed little children when you walked on this earth.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
17th Week in Ordinary Time
Then the righteous will shine like the sun. (Matthew 13:43)
Commenting on the gift of free will, the Greek philosopher Heraclitus once wrote, "The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think, and what you do is who you become." We all have a choice in how we live this life. Even if we are facing very difficult circumstances, we can choose how we react to them. So ultimately, it's up to us whether we are happy or unhappy in this life.
As today's reading shows, our eternal state is also a matter of our choice. Here we see the fate of those who have decided to reject God: "wailing and grinding of teeth" (Matthew 13:42). But God didn't just throw them like weeds into the fire—they chose not to receive his mercy. They used their free will, but in the wrong way. God kept loving them, but they had to accept that love.
Those of us reading this have already given our lives to the Lord. But we still have a choice. That's the beauty of free will. We can do much more than stay out of the weeds. We can become wheat that brings in a great harvest for the Lord. As we cooperate with God's grace, moment by moment, day by day, we can make the choices that will turn us into saints. Every one of us carries the light of Christ in our hearts, but it's up to us to decide how brightly we will let it shine!
The best choice you can make today—and the one that helps you the most to be that bright light—is to spend time with your heavenly Father. Let him love you, let him teach you, and let him form you. Tell him how much you love him and how much you need him. Ask for his wisdom and grace for every situation that comes your way. Call on him to dispel any darkness, doubt, or fear that tries to trip you up and keep you from doing your best. Let his light shine through you, and you'll certainly bear fruit for his kingdom!
"Thank you, Lord, for loving me so completely! May all my choices be inspired by your Holy Spirit, and may they all bring glory to your name."
Exodus 33:7-11; 34:5-9, 28
When Moses was going up to talk to God on behalf of the people, they all stood up as he was going up there. The same we do in the Holy Mass. The priest is going up to talk to God face to face on our behalf and we all stand up as he processes in at the beginning of Holy Mass. This bible is being re lived if you study the complexity and simplicity and are guided by the Holy Spirit. The smoke is the prayers going up and angels descend down on the altar to serve God. I encourage you to fall in love with the Mass because it is to fall in love with Christ, because what is being served is who is being served and who is serving is Himself upon that altar. And God sends a message of warning that atheists fed by the devil say this god is a mean god, but all our Heavenly Father is saying is "don't play with fire or you're going to get burned" which is like saying "don't take the devil for a ride because he'll want to drive" and he will drive your life off a cliff! But the message I received today was "if there is sin, then mercy abounds." Just because you don't feel you can be forgiven doesn't mean you won't. Just because you haven't asked for mercy doesn't mean you will not be forgiven. Just because God said there is hell, doesn't mean that's where you're going. If you're scared of hell, you're scared of the wrong thing, you are missing the mark, we should be afraid to hurt God! Now, that being said, there are millions in the world that aren't afraid of either. That's who I'm aiming at right now. Those who just don't seem to care. Those that say they believe in a god but won't stand up. They won't come to the tent to pray. There is a tent inside the Catholic Church, the Most Blessed Sacrament. There you can talk to God very close as if face to face. But it is most often abandoned, the tent is usually void of people....but not of God.
In today's Psalms we pray "The Lord is kind and merciful". If you negate what we just read, you are calling the Lord a liar. Because the truth is being said, "the Lord is kind and merciful". If you can not agree to this, it means you are not kind and merciful. You are ruthless and you can not forgive. You are being ruthless to yourself or ruthless to others. You are being unforgiving to others or worse, you are being unforgiving to self. All this does not detract from the Lord's kindness and mercy. For this we join in Holy Mass to pray for mercy...and it is granted to a spirit willing to receive. Remember, the Lord our Father has compassion on those who fear Him. Kids that don't care if they get a time out or a spanking live a hard life. These "bad things" are meant to straighten you or the world up. It is time for America to straighten up and it is going to start with each one of us individually and together.
The Lord comes with the seeds, the words of eternal life. Imagine, God planting children in your life, there is someone in your life asking you to come to the Lord. It is reaching out to the ends of the earth in every corner, a plant growing in the crevice, the crack of a sidewalk, or a rock, there it is reaching out to the Son so you may do the same. But there are weeds aimed at choking these plants out of your life, these are people sent by the devil to distract you from the truth and honoring and worshipping as we are rightly designed to do. Notice though, we don't live among devils but evil spirits using people. But there are good spirits using people for the better and I would say, more good spirits are speaking than evil, it is a matter of who you are tuning into and if you are not tuning into any then the first ones that come along will take possession of how your life will continue forth. The Lord will send angels at the end, to collect those weeds and those who caused others to sin. Question: Am I leading others to sin? Am I teaching others by the way I live to sin? Am I living in sin? Am I living a sinful life? Am I not afraid of the Lord? Am I not going to the tent to speak to God Himself? Am I not going to the tent to share with others my sins? Am I not asking for forgiveness? Am I not forgiving others? You see how easily we teach others to sin? Better to live holy and be wholy His. and I'll leave with the same last words of the Gospel, the lips of our Father in Heaven, listen: "....the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear."