St. Seraphin of Montegranaro
Born into a poor Italian family, young Seraphin lived the life of a shepherd and spent much of his time in prayer. Mistreated for a time by his older brother after the two of them had been orphaned, Seraphin became a Capuchin Franciscan at age 16 and impressed everyone with his humility and generosity.
Serving as a lay brother, Seraphin imitated St. Francis in fasting, clothing and courtesy to all. He even mirrored Francis' missionary zeal, but Seraphin's superiors did not judge him to be a candidate for the missions.
Faithful to the core, Seraphin spent three hours in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament daily. The poor who begged at the friary door came to hold a special love for him. Despite his uneventful life, he reached impressive spiritual heights and has had miracles attributed to him.
Seraphin died on October 12, 1604, and was canonized in 1767.
For many people these days, work has no significance beyond providing the money they need to live. How many share the belief expressed in the Book of Genesis that we are to cooperate with God in caring for the earth? The kind of work Seraphin did may not strike us as earth-shattering. The work was ordinary; the spirit in which he did it was not.
In Brothers of Men, Rene Voillaume of the Little Brothers of Jesus speaks about ordinary work and holiness: "Now this holiness [of Jesus] became a reality in the most ordinary circumstances of life, those of work, of the family and the social life of a village, and this is an emphatic affirmation of the fact that the most obscure and humdrum human activities are entirely compatible with the perfection of the Son of God." Christians are convinced, he says, "that the evangelical holiness proper to a child of God is possible in the ordinary circumstances of a man who is poor and obliged to work for his living."
Daily Prayer - 2015-10-12
The world is charged with the grandeur of God. (Gerard Manley Hopkins)
Fill me with Your Holy Spirit Lord,
How do I find myself today?
The Word of God
Reading 1 Rom 1:1-7
Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus,
called to be an Apostle and set apart for the Gospel of God,
which he promised previously through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,
the Gospel about his Son, descended from David according to the flesh,
but established as Son of God in power
according to the Spirit of holiness
through resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Through him we have received the grace of apostleship,
to bring about the obedience of faith,
for the sake of his name, among all the Gentiles,
among whom are you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ;
to all the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Responsorial Psalm PS 98:1bcde, 2-3ab, 3cd-4
R. (2a) The Lord has made known his salvation.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
Alleluia PS 95:8R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 11:29-32
While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
"This generation is an evil generation;
it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah.
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment
the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here.
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
Dear Jesus, I can open up my heart to you.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
28th Week in Ordinary Time
Paul ... called to be an Apostle and set apart for the Gospel of God. (Romans 1:1)
St. Paul's Letter to the Romans has long been recognized as a theological masterpiece, but that fact can make the letter seem awfully intimidating. So as we explore Romans over the next few weeks, let's approach it as a real letter written by a real person and not as a philosophical, religious treatise.
Paul wrote Romans while he was in Corinth, probably in ad 57 or 58. He was preparing to take a collection of donations from the Gentile Christians in Macedonia and Achaia to the church in Jerusalem, which was struggling financially. From Jerusalem, he planned to sail to Rome, where he wanted to set up a base of operations to support a further missionary journey to Spain (Romans 15:26-33). Paul had not personally evangelized Rome, so he wrote this letter as an introduction, hoping to win the Roman Christians' friendship and their support for his mission to Spain.
How did Paul introduce himself? By spelling out the gospel he proclaimed. He wrote about how God has made it possible for us to be reconciled to him through the gift of faith (Romans 3--5). He wrote about the life in the Spirit that Jesus has made available through his cross and resurrection (Romans 6--8). And he wrote about how everyone—Jew and Gentile alike—can come to know him and enter the kingdom of heaven (Romans 3:9-11). In a sense, Romans gives us a glimpse into Paul's own heart and mind. It reveals an apostle who is both a deep thinker and a passionate believer—and it points the way for us to follow his example.
As you read through Romans in the next few weeks, ask the Holy Spirit to help you embrace the love of God that is embedded in the letter's main themes. This letter carries a message that has changed the lives of millions of people over the course of two thousand years. It's a message that never loses its power to change us as we learn that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39)!
"Father, thank you for speaking to me through the Scriptures! Holy Spirit, open my heart so that God's love and mercy might penetrate to the depths of my soul."
St. Paul sends a very beautiful message, and the beauty is when in the beginning, he calls himself a slave of Jesus Christ and then ends with "you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ; to all the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy." Nowadays, people who hardly believe will be put off by those who call themselves slaves for the Lord. They want to live for themselves, not so much for God. They want miracles for themselves...not so much for God. They want to be served...rather than serve God. They want to be the center...rather than the Son of God. Could we be counted among them who we call "they"?
The Psalms pray "The LORD has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel." What we have then, is a revelation that has been revealed. God died for you out of Love for you. That's enough to know for the rest of your life.
Jesus comes and speaks to reiterate the Psalms "This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah." The sign is already there. Just look at a crucifix, not just that shape of a cross. Look at the Lord on the cross. Look at it for inspiration. Look at Him for inspiration. Inspiration for suffering, for Love. It is good to be Holy. The prayers of the Holy are heard. What about the prayers of the not-so holy? Are they heard? Because the people wanted signs, not words. They wanted what they could see and feel, not what He promised. And that's all we have today...the Word, and the Word was made flesh. We want to analyze the risk in faith and have it all on our favor. Where then is true faith? I try to share my faith daily so that yours might grow more than mine...a slave for a slave. Turn in your mind and body for the salvation of the soul. All week it was raining on and off for the week of the festival, and I asked for prayers and your prayers for the Lord to let things go well...and it did. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you Lord. As I pondered the marvel of God in the sky I could feel His presence, and the skies and the lands were not enough to contain Him. The sign of Love was given, but did it have to? No, but He wanted it, He will have His way because He is the Grand Master of ceremonies and of life itself. He will do what He pleases and how He pleases. Those that need a sign to believe, I hope you get it. I hope I am that sign. I hope God reigns in your life, supreme and above all, beginning in your personal daily life of work and family life, where the conversions and signs are given every day...and the Word of God to sum it all...
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