Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher
Canada was one diocese from coast to coast during the first eight years of Marie-Rose Durocher's life. Its half-million Catholics had received civil and religious liberty from the English only 44 years before. When Marie-Rose was 29, Bishop Ignace Bourget became bishop of Montreal. He would be a decisive influence in her life.
He faced a shortage of priests and sisters and a rural population that had been largely deprived of education. Like his counterparts in the United States, he scoured Europe for help and himself founded four communities, one of which was the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. Its first sister and reluctant co-foundress was Marie-Rose.
She was born in a little village near Montreal in 1811, the 10th of 11 children. She had a good education, was something of a tomboy, rode a horse named Caesar and could have married well. At 16, she felt the desire to become a religious but was forced to abandon the idea because of her weak constitution. At 18, when her mother died, her priest brother invited her and her father to come to his parish in Beloeil, not far from Montreal. For 13 years she served as housekeeper, hostess and parish worker. She became well known for her graciousness, courtesy, leadership and tact; she was, in fact, called "the saint of Beloeil." Perhaps she was too tactful during two years when her brother treated her coldly.
As a young woman she had hoped there would someday be a community of teaching sisters in every parish, never thinking she would found one. But her spiritual director, Father Pierre Telmon, O.M.I., after thoroughly (and severely) leading her in the spiritual life, urged her to found a community herself. Bishop Bourget concurred, but Marie-Rose shrank from the prospect. She was in poor health and her father and her brother needed her.
She finally agreed and, with two friends, Melodie Dufresne and Henriette Cere, entered a little home in Longueuil, across the Saint Lawrence River from Montreal. With them were 13 young girls already assembled for boarding school. Longueuil became successively her Bethlehem, Nazareth and Gethsemani. She was 32 and would live only six more years—years filled with poverty, trials, sickness and slander. The qualities she had nurtured in her "hidden" life came forward—a strong will, intelligence and common sense, great inner courage and yet a great deference to directors. Thus was born an international congregation of women religious dedicated to education in the faith.
She was severe with herself and by today's standards quite strict with her sisters. Beneath it all, of course, was an unshakable love of her crucified Savior.
On her deathbed the prayers most frequently on her lips were "Jesus, Mary, Joseph! Sweet Jesus, I love you. Jesus, be to me Jesus!" Before she died, she smiled and said to the sister with her, "Your prayers are keeping me here—let me go."
She was beatified in 1982.
The Christian triad has always been and will always be prayer, penance and charity. In our day we have seen a great burst of charity, a genuine interest in the poor. Countless Christians have experienced a deep form of prayer. But penance? We squirm when we read of terrible physical penance done by people like Marie-Rose. That is not for most people, of course. But the pull of a materialistic culture oriented to pleasure and entertainment is impossible to resist without some form of deliberate and Christ-conscious abstinence. That is part of the way to answer Jesus' call to repent and turn completely to God.
To a novice leaving religious life, Marie-Rose said: "Do not imitate those persons who, after having spent a few months as postulant or novice in a community, dress differently, even ludicrously. You are returning to the secular state. My advice is, follow the styles of the day, but from afar, as it were."
Daily Prayer - 2015-10-13
"I stand at the door and knock," says the Lord.
"I am free."
There is a time and place for everything, as the saying goes.
The Word of God
Reading 1 Rom 1:16-25
Brothers and sisters:
Responsorial Psalm PS 19:2-3, 4-5
R. (2a) The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
Alleluia Heb 4:12
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 11:37-41
After Jesus had spoken,
Some thoughts on today's scripture
Remembering that I am still in God's presence,
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
Although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. (Romans 1:21)
It happens every year when flu season rolls around: the endless reminders to wash your hands. Hand sanitizers begin appearing on kitchen counters, at workplace desks, and in women's purses. And it makes sense, doesn't it? You want to do whatever you can to prevent illness.
Well, the same is true for our spiritual lives. There are some very simple steps we can take if we want to guard against the infections of sin and temptation. In today's reading, Paul tells us that God has filled the world with proclamations of his power. Every part of creation declares that a mighty Creator has brought it forth. He then tells us that those who chase after sin do so, not because they don't believe in God, but because they don't worship him. After all, his existence is hard to deny. The only question is whether we are willing to bow down to him in adoration for his goodness and majesty. And according to Paul, those who don't worship God end up with "darkened" minds that are more vulnerable to sin (Romans 1:21).
So what do you think would happen to those who do worship and adore the Lord? Most likely, their minds would become more "enlightened," and they would find the grace they need to resist sin and to please the Lord. You see, it's not just that praise and worship protect us from darkness; it's far too powerful just to keep us in a neutral state. No, worshipping the Lord opens our hearts. It helps us lower our natural defenses. It helps set us free from anxiety. All because we are lifting our hearts and minds to the One who has authority over all creation. We are coming in touch with his love and mercy, and our hearts are changing as a result.
So in your prayer today, offer words of praise, thanksgiving, and worship to the Lord. If words fail you, turn to the psalms instead. At Mass, imagine yourself joining the angels and saints as they cry out, "Holy, holy, holy!" Lift up your heart, and watch the devil flee—and all his temptations with him!
"Praise to you, Lord, my Redeemer! You are worthy of all praise and honor. You hold all things together. You are mighty and powerful. Jesus, I trust in you!"
They say a good paragraph will begin with a first line that will serve as the introductory sentence for the thought to come. If this is the case, then let me copy and paste the first 2 sentences of the first scripture and then end with the final conclusion sentence for the 1st Holy reading today...see this light:
"Brothers and sisters: I am not ashamed of the Gospel. The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven against every impiety and wickedness of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen."
It is still the same strong and powerful message from St. Paul, in a cliff notes version. Simply a study guide to guide you to Heaven. First of all, do not be ashamed. Are you more ashamed of knowing your sin, or of knowing your God? How can sin keep you so far from Him? The wickedness of our hearts keeps us from seeing the truth...Jesus. The truth was traded in for something...materialistic, something you could simply see and do...like the washing of a cup and dish in proper form, or worse, telling the Lord how He ought to be...how wrong He is by the way "HE" is. We are so good at talking and no good at listening.
It's as if we want Him to be as bad as us, instead of us listening to be as Holy as Him. And the secret is coming.
Jesus speaks in the Holy Gospel "You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you."
Some people look harshly on those that don't dress right, or are dirty, or are smelly. Perhaps they are poor, or perhaps poorly keep themselves "right". Some of these poor smell like drugs or alcohol, or extreme perfumes, some don't smell, but don't seem as bright. On the other extreme, there are some who dress nice, look nice, keep in shape, smell nice, and act nice and are not lost in apparent "wrongs". I dare say, many more of the nicer looking once are more dirty than the first class people I brought up. As a super long text said today "the Lord did not say "blessed are they who have clean hands" which was more of a ritual, religious ritual, which was because of the contact with things that make us impure. Contact with people that make us impure. Contact with those that suffer that make us impure. And this is what Jesus supposes to change. Blessed are the hands that stretch out to help the weak. Blessed are the hands to pick up the fallen. Blessed are the hands of the mother that carries her child. Blessed are the hands that give to the poor. Blessed are the hands of the nurse that takes care of the sick. Blessed are the hands that push the wheelchair for the crippled. Blessed are the hands that breaks bread at the table. Blessed are the hands that bring bread home. Blessed are the hands that give drink to the thirsty...". A thought hit me the other day as I gave a ride to a blind man/friend. He's about 70 years old now. He is a clean man. He is a cheerful man. He is a widower. He is actually easy to hang around with. And so I thought, what about those that are not easy to hang out with? Like the 90 something year old that smells really bad and can't talk? Those that can handle them "people" surely are gaining their treasure in Heaven. Those that can change them, those that can stand to be with them, those that can ...love them better. It's the story of all of us. Who can't you stand? I remember one pointed out "that person shouldn't be up there on the altar doing what they're doing" (helping an elderly priest). The ritual wasn't being done right, the washing of the cups. In my heart, I knew that "person" wouldn't have done it without being asked or saw the need. I tried to relax the person's harshness by bringing up the love of God. And you? How many times have you tried to "put someone in their place?" We are better advice givers than takers. And right now, it's not a question of advice, but of following God's word. When Jesus speaks of alms, He speaks of giving, and considering what comes first. For the next person you are welcoming...may be Jesus Himself.
How do we treat Him? What if He did something you knew wasn't right? Could it be that what I know wasn't right? Because much of what we supposedly know comes not from the Lord but from the world. Therefore, let me speak in His Holy Name: IT IS RIGHT TO GIVE.
It is RIGHT to give thanks and Honor and Glory to His name.
The Psalms pray on "Day pours out the word to day, and night to night imparts knowledge. R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God." Light gives birth to Light, and darkness gives darkness. Be therefore in the light by giving proper Glory to God. This means sacrifice.
It is RIGHT TO GIVE to God. The more...the BETTER.
You can not think a secret that is not shouted in Heaven. That is why we read today "Not a word nor a discourse whose voice is not heard; Through all the earth their voice resounds, and to the ends of the world, their message."
I will speak in simple terms. Check this out: I already told you about handling dirty work and blessed are they who do it. It's like yesterday, my wife said she'd change our boy's pamper because it was number two, but if it was number one I'd be ok, LOL. My exasperation is not the fact that it is number two, but the fact that I have not trained the boy to go potty yet. We can live on cleaning poop or we can teach each other to be truly trained and clean. Now I'm switching gears to the soul. For the Catechism speaks of almsgiving in a beautiful term CCC1434: "The interior penance of the Christian can be expressed in many and various ways. Scripture and the Fathers insist above all on three forms, fasting, prayer, and almsgiving,31 which express conversion in relation to oneself, to God, and to others. Alongside the radical purification brought about by Baptism or martyrdom they cite as means of obtaining forgiveness of sins: efforts at reconciliation with one's neighbor, tears of repentance, concern for the salvation of one's neighbor, the intercession of the saints, and the practice of charity "which covers a multitude of sins."32 (1969)
Listen to the concern for one's neighbor...their soul.
This is what is critical. Everything is passing, fleeting, we are merely pilgrims on a journey. It is not good enough just to be good anymore. I wrote a song "Good Men" on a CD I've been handing out that speaks to that (listen at going4th.com). It's time for you to be more than good. It's time to be His. Good in worldly terms is not good. Good in His terms, is righteousness which means holiness. Let that speak endlessly in of itself...
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