"Whenever anything disagreeable or displeasing happens to you, remember Christ crucified and be silent." — St. John of the Cross
MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"When we fail to practice penance, very soon a love of luxury creeps into our hearts. We start to make excuses for ourselves and become less generous as the spirit of penance relaxes. Through penance, we expiate our faults, make the body more submissive to the will, and obtain abundant graces. The saints did many great penances. We are not called to the extraordinary ones but to the small daily ones that draw the soul to God and God to the soul." — Bl. Mother Theresa of Calcutta p. 104 AN EXCERPT FROM Thirsting for God
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St. Leopold Mandic
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.
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).
Sacred Space (stop, slow down, breathe, we're about to receive the Word of God) Daily Prayer - 2016-07-28
Dear Jesus, I come to you today longing for your presence. I desire to love you as You love me. May nothing ever separate me from You.
If God were trying to tell me something, would I know? If God were reassuring me or challenging me, would I notice? I ask for the grace to be free of my own preoccupations and open to what God may be saying to me.
There is a time and place for everything, as the saying goes. Lord, grant that I may always desire to spend time in your presence. To hear your call.
This word came to Jeremiah from the LORD: Rise up, be off to the potter's house; there I will give you my message. I went down to the potter's house and there he was, working at the wheel. Whenever the object of clay which he was making turned out badly in his hand, he tried again, making of the clay another object of whatever sort he pleased. Then the word of the LORD came to me: Can I not do to you, house of Israel, as this potter has done? says the LORD. Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, house of Israel.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 146:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6ab R. (5a) Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob. or: R. Alleluia. Praise the LORD, O my soul; I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God while I live.
R. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob. or: R. Alleluia. Put not your trust in princes, in the sons of men, in whom there is no salvation. When his spirit departs he returns to his earth; on that day his plans perish.
R. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob. or: R. Alleluia. Blessed he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD, his God. Who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them.
R. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob. or: R. Alleluia.
Alleluia See Acts 16:14b R. Alleluia, alleluia. Open our hearts, O Lord, to listen to the words of your Son. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 13:47-53
Jesus said to the disciples: "The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."
"Do you understand all these things?" They answered, "Yes." And he replied, "Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old." When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ We must live for the Kingdom of God by being carriers of Good News to everyone we encounter. We do that by loving one another as Jesus loves us.
▪ Lord God, may your word take deep root in my heart and transform how I think, discern and act. May I be a diligent student and faithful disciple of both the Old and the New Testaments. .
What is stirring in me as I pray? Am I consoled, troubled, left cold? I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting at my side and share my feelings with him. .
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
wau.org Catholic Meditations Meditation: Matthew 13:47-53
The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea. (Matthew 13:47)
If you're not a fisherman, this simile can be hard to relate to. But "cast nets"—flat, weighted nets that are tossed into the sea—have been used since before the time of Jesus. Everyone who has used them will tell you that it's impossible to keep unwanted fish out of them. The net catches everything, good and bad.
What an effective image Jesus uses to teach an important lesson about the Church! It tells us that the "net" of God's kingdom reaches all types of "fish," and it's up to God to sort them out. It may not be clear while they're all in the net which ones will be kept and which will be discarded, so we can't be quick to label people.
Remember, you're a fish, not the fisherman! Maybe that person who annoys you with their competitiveness will be raised up to fight for justice. Or the person whose arrogance grates against you will be healed of insecurity and end up serving the poor. Their stories aren't over. And neither is yours. God's not finished yet, and he always gives us the chance to grow, be healed, and changed.
So if you're wondering what a "good fish" looks like, remember that there is not just one type. Consider the saints. They all had different callings and different personalities. They also had their rough edges. Remember how Jesus called James and John the "sons of thunder" (Mark 3:17). Even Paul and Barnabas argued so much that they ended up separating (Acts 15:36-40). And yet they did great things for God despite their flaws.
We are all imperfect. So the more we can let go of past hurts or judgments against our brothers and sisters, the more we will see that Jesus loves everyone, even the "fish" that rub us the wrong way. Instead of focusing on our differences, we should work on developing the virtues and talents that God has given us and using them to build his kingdom. Then we'll find it easier to honor all the other fish in our net. Remember, the one mark of Jesus' disciples is that we love one another as he has loved us.
"Divine Fisherman, help me to grow in holiness. Teach me to love as you love."
my2cents: The Prophet Jeremiah, ends the first Holy Scripture today with "Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, house of Israel." We sing "You are the potter, I am the clay, mold me and shape me, this is what I pray". What is good about being caught, serves for various purposes, and we are to serve the Lord above all. We prayed today ") Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob." Not any other help, but God! Pay attention! "Praise the LORD, O my soul". And the Psalms recall the man who dies and his plans remain on earth. But the Lord desires for us to seek the everlasting hills. In comes the Lord of our lives today "Thus it will be at the end of the age." At the end of time, time as it does not exist here, but at the end. When the time is up. What time? YOUR Time buddy. The Kingdom will be exactly like the net, catching fish unawares. Caught in that net of death for the Kingdom of God. Then, separation will begin, the good to the Good, the bad to the really bad. Because, as it says in the Book of Revelation more so in 3:16, we read "15I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other. 16So because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of My mouth! 17You say, 'I am rich; I have grown wealthy and need nothing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.…" For you that are satisfied, be prepared for death. For the net, where the truth will be revealed, that you are not what you think yourself to be. You see, in His Kingdom, things are a yes or a no. There is no in between, those on the fence of neutrality are on the side of death and darkness. As Edmund Burke said ""The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." The supposed good fish aren't really good when they are good for nothing. Now, with that said, this means in the positive, we are made good, good for something, good for some ONE, Our Lord Almighty. I always wonder when I'm out and about, "how will I be caught (by the Lord ) if this were the end?". How have I been caught at the moment of opening this reading? You were caught seeking and desiring good, for reading this far. The Lord will keep the righteous, the Holy. He keeps His their prayers close to His heart. He is such a personal God to the Holy that it is unbelievable, and that there is the problem...the unbelievable. He is so good that people do not believe. And so we live in a world with all sorts of fish, spirits.
Life in the Spirit means being molded continuously. Ultimately, the potter, with good clay makes a beautiful work of art. And the clay is dirt, and we are made of dirt, but what this dirt holds is the Spirit of God. What are we doing with it, in our house and others?
The most beautiful vessel is made perfect as the Master desires, and perfection means Holiness, and Holiness is brought as a grace, and grace is a gift, and God gives what is good. I want you to be Holy, so I can be Holy. Because we are in this together. That's how important it is to be in this YES for the Lord, a YES FISH, waiting to be caught loving Him where it is right here and right now....