"If we could comprehend all the good things contained in Holy Communion, nothing more would be wanting to content the heart of man." — St. John Vianney
MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"Jesus Christ could have appeared among us, radiant with joy and encompassed by divine splendor, amidst the glitter and pomp of His sovereign majesty. He deemed it more worthy of His glory and more profitable to the salvation of men, to show Himself to them girt with a diadem of thorns, clothed in purple and stained with blood, His face bruised, the gaping grimace of death on His lips, bearing the bloody unction of the nails imprinted on His hands and feet. In uniting Himself closely with suffering, Jesus Christ assuredly did not smooth all its severity and all its pangs; but He removed part of its bitterness, corrected and destroyed its poison. He made the chalice of His Blood fruitful. Like the brazen serpent set up by Moses in the desert, He implanted Himself in the center of the world as an inexhaustible instrument of mercy, life, and health. Owing to this transformation, His divine wounds, like fountains ever gushing, remain eternally open to all straying and fallen souls who are eager to escape from their coarse, sensual aspirations, wanting to immerse themselves anew in the joys of sacrifice and the honor of purity." — Fr. Charles Arminjon, p. 276-77 AN EXCERPT FROM The End of the Present World
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Blessed Ceferino Giménez Malla
The first Gypsy to be beatified was a martyr and a Secular Franciscan.
Ceferino was born in Fraga (Spain). He had a successful business, buying and selling horses. Ceferino and his wife had no children though they adopted one of his wife's nieces. He attended Mass frequently and joined the Secular Franciscan Order. Always generous to the poor, he was known as a reconciler among Gypsies.
During the Spanish Civil War, he was arrested for defending a priest who had been dragged through the streets of Barbastro and for having a rosary. As the firing squad prepared to kill him, Ceferino clutched his rosary and cried out, "Viva Cristo Rey!" (Long live Christ the King!) When he was beatified in 1997, thousands of Gypsies attended the ceremony.
Ceferino shows us that Christ's love is not limited by race or culture. The daily living out of his Baptism prepared Ceferino for making the supreme sacrifice of his life. For better or for worse, the decisions we make today prepare us for future decisions.
At Ceferino's beatification, Pope John Paul II said: "His life shows how Christ is present in the various peoples and races, and that all are called to holiness which is attained by keeping his commandments and remaining in his love (John 15:11)" (L'Osservatore Romano 1997, Vol. 1, No. 6).
Patron Saint of:
St. John Vianney CURE OF ARS, PATRON SAINT OF PARISH PRIESTS Feast: August 4 Born:
May 8, 1786, Dardilly, France Died: August 4, 1859, Ars-sur-Formans, France Canonized: 1925, Rome by Pope Pius XI Major Shrine: Shrine of St. John Vianney; Ars-sur-Formans, France Patron of: parish priests; confessors click to read of the giving saint
Sacred Space (stop, slow down, breathe, we're about to receive the Word of God) Daily Prayer - 2016-08-04
My soul longs for your presence, Lord. When I turn my thoughts to You, I find peace and contentment.
By God's grace I was born to live in freedom. Free to enjoy the pleasures He created for me. Dear Lord, grant that I may live as You intended, with complete confidence in Your Loving care.
To be conscious about something is to be aware of it. Dear Lord help me to remember that You gave me life. Thank you for the gift of life. Teach me to slow down, to be still and enjoy the pleasures created for me. To be aware of the beauty that surrounds me. The marvel of mountains, the calmness of lakes, the fragility of a flower petal. I need to remember that all these things come from you.
The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers: the day I took them by the hand to lead them forth from the land of Egypt; for they broke my covenant, and I had to show myself their master, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD. I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer will they have need to teach their friends and relatives how to know the LORD. All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD, for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19 R. (12a) Create a clean heart in me, O God. A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. Cast me not out from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God. Give me back the joy of your salvation, and a willing spirit sustain in me. I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners shall return to you.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God. For you are not pleased with sacrifices; should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it. My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
Alleluia Mt 16:18 R. Alleluia, alleluia. You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 16:13-23
Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.
From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, "God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you." He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ We could be forgiven for being impatient with Peter. He often completely misjudges Jesus. Here he makes an extraordinary confession of faith in the Master. But when Jesus tells his disciples that he must suffer and be killed it is too much for Peter. And despite the sharp rebuke Peter consistently makes the same mistake; right up to the Last Supper when he refuses to allow Jesus wash his feet. He simply cannot accept that the mission of the one whom he has followed will end in failure.
▪ But Jesus's earthly mission is one marked with humility, conflict and failure.
▪ See yourself in Peter's shoes. Can you embrace humility, conflict and failure in your own life too?
Sometimes I wonder what I might say if I were to meet you in person Lord. I think I might say "Thank You Lord" for always being there for me. I know with certainty there were times when you carried me, Lord. When it was through your strength I got through the dark times in my life. .
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.
wau.org Catholic Meditations Meditation: Matthew 16:13-23
Saint John Vianney, Priest (Memorial)
The gates of the netherworld shall not prevail. (Matthew 16:18)
The data can be troubling. Studies continue to show a decline in church attendance, especially among young people. Fewer and fewer people are calling themselves Christian, with many opting for the vague term of "spiritual, but not religious." Each of us probably knows someone who is struggling with their faith or who has left the Church. And yet Jesus promised that the gates of hell would never prevail against the Church. How can we believe this?
Perhaps the best place to start is by taking these words personally. Remember, Jesus has placed his Church in our hands, so it's worth asking what role we have to play in fulfilling the promise. "What can I do to make sure the Church remains safe?"
The answer is as simple as it is challenging: stay close to Jesus. He has already won the battle against the devil, so he can defend you as well. Try as they might, the powers of sin and darkness won't be able to sway you if you keep yourself connected to the Lord. It doesn't mean you'll be free from temptation, but it does mean that you'll find the strength to stand firm. Be faithful to daily prayer. Make the most of your time at Mass. Pursue the Sacrament of Reconciliation. And serve Jesus as he is present in the poor and needy.
Of course, these are the obvious answers. But have you ever thought about how, when you are praying or celebrating Mass, you are also pushing back the devil and his power? Remember, you are a member of the body of Christ. There are very real spiritual consequences to your prayer life—consequences for the entire Church! As you stay close to the Lord, you are strengthening and defending all of your brothers and sisters around the world.
It's because individual believers all over the world are clinging to Jesus right now that his Church remains protected. So as you intercede today for the Church or for family members who are struggling in their faith, you can be confident in Jesus' promise. You can pray from a position of trust because you are part of the answer to your own prayers!
"Jesus, you are victorious! You have given new life to each member of your Church. Strengthen your body on earth."
We heard the Word of the Lord say to us today "All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD, for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more." And He is made known through people, you and me, especially through His great love. I read today 1Jn 4:11 "Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and His love is brought to full expression in us." We prayed the Holy Psalm today "A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. Cast me not out from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me." We love to sing things like "change my heart O God", but why should God change what He created as good? It is a rightful and thus, a Holy prayer to pray today's Psalm when we simply say "A clean heart create for me". A cleansing. This is why we have healing Sacraments in our Holy Church. Because once the debris and loads are moved, something underneath shines, the true you, the renewed you, and that is what our Lord is asking, to be what we are created to be, His and Holy.
In comes the Lord of our lives, and Saint Peter, our first Pope reveals the proper answer when the Lord asks all " "But who do YOU say that I am?". It's not a question of what others say He is, but WHO He is. I can tell you by gossip what a person is that I don't know, but truly I couldn't tell you "who" that person is to me. A personal and deep relationship would reveal "who" that person is, and today, that person being asked about is CHRIST the Messiah, the savior of the world. Our Lord sets the Holy Church upon Peter our first Pope. "Simon" in Spanish slang means "yes". Simon was Peter and Peter was Simon. Peter or "rock" as the Lord called him, was called to hold the keys of the Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. Today, the next one on the seat is our Pope Francis. What he is doing is binding on earth as it should be for Heaven. Leading souls to salvation. Pope Francis wants the youth out of the couches, he wants you out of your couch, and get up and be witnesses for Christ. If the world is losing light it is not because Christ is not here, but that we are not being the light. That whole cleansing thing should be coming back to you now. Because imagine a tarnished beautiful gem, covered in muck, how will it reflect the light if it is not cleansed? Now we are speaking of a prism where light enters and is refracted into the colors of grace. Notice how our Lord though, rebukes Satan speaking through Peter. The Lord knows what is of pride, and pride says "you shouldn't have to suffer". These are the words a woman friend tells the wife that is tempted to divorce her mean husband "you don't have to take that, you don't have to suffer nothing" and soon, an onslaught occurs of divorce and devastation. All because of the whisper of doubt and pride. How can I simplify this: during the cursillo, a brother told me in front of a couple others "Adrian you are so wise, how old are you again?" and the pomp was aimed for me (even though he didn't know) as an inflator of the ego. It was aimed to make me feel proud. And when he left I had to pray inside "Lord help me", because if there has ever been wisdom come from this poor soul, it was simply the light of Christ that I allowed to work through me. Nothing I have done, only Him, that I have allowed. You see, pride will knock you down, because it is a false pretense, where the only grandeur in life should be our Lord Jesus, especially in the poor. This is why the rebuke from the Lord is good, like an unanswered prayer. And the disguise of the devil is "meaning well". If you really mean well, then you will do as the Lord asks. Because His will is written in our hearts. Good intentions pave the way to hell, all those that were never acted upon. Nothing will opportune you a better way to Heaven than that of suffering. And so I invite you to this Jerusalem Jesus is going to. Into the world, your daily life, where a witness, a prophet is awaited. A light in to the dark. I invite you to follow Jesus. He will go through some dark places, but His feet shine the way.
Then the obstacles must be cleared, evil must be cleared, and not from so and so, but from your own life. I was thinking yesterday "man, I can't believe how many people need prayer, how in the world can I possibly pray (and make a difference ) for them?" I think this was between a couple rosaries yesterday, and a thought hit "it's going to begin with one soul...yours". Lest I try to remove a splinter with a log in my eye. Lest I see little faults in others and I cannot over come my own pride.
If our Lord the Christ, Jesus, did not amaze you today in the Holy Gospel, then " go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
If you are a sinner and are reading this, the Lord has called you to follow Him where He is going