† "Our perfection does not consist of doing extraordinary things, but to do the ordinary well." — St. Gabriel Possenti
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞
"No human motive should lead us to pray: neither routine, nor the habit of doing as others do, nor a thirst for spiritual consolations. No, we should go to prayer to render homage to God. It is not, however, a common-place visit of propriety, nor a conversation without any precise object; we want to obtain from Him some definite spiritual good, such or such progress in the uprooting of some vice, in the acquisition of some virtue. We have, therefore, a purpose upon which we are bent, and all our considerations, affections, petitions, and resolutions should combine for its attainment. God is there, surrounding us and penetrating us; but we were not, perhaps, thinking of this. We must, therefore, withdraw our powers from the things of the earth, gather them together, and fix them upon God; thus it is we place ourselves in His presence. Naturally, we approach Him by saluting Him with a profound and humble act of adoration. In presence of so much greatness and holiness, the soul perceives herself to be little and miserable; she humbles herself, purifies herself by an act of sorrow; apologizes for daring to approach a being of so lofty a majesty. Powerless to pray as she should, she represents her incapacity to God, and begs the Holy Ghost to help her to pray well." — Rev. Dom Vitalis Lehodey, p. 91 AN EXCERPT FROM The Ways of Mental Prayer
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Saint Ignatius of Antioch
Saint of the Day for October 17 (d. c. 107)
Saint Ignatius of Antioch's Story
Born in Syria, Ignatius converted to Christianity and eventually became bishop of Antioch. In the year 107, Emperor Trajan visited Antioch and forced the Christians there to choose between death and apostasy. Ignatius would not deny Christ and thus was condemned to be put to death in Rome.
Ignatius is well known for the seven letters he wrote on the long journey from Antioch to Rome. Five of these letters are to churches in Asia Minor; they urge the Christians there to remain faithful to God and to obey their superiors. He warns them against heretical doctrines, providing them with the solid truths of the Christian faith.
The sixth letter was to Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, who was later martyred for the faith. The final letter begs the Christians in Rome not to try to stop his martyrdom. "The only thing I ask of you is to allow me to offer the libation of my blood to God. I am the wheat of the Lord; may I be ground by the teeth of the beasts to become the immaculate bread of Christ."
Ignatius bravely met the lions in the Circus Maximus.
Ignatius's great concern was for the unity and order of the Church. Even greater was his willingness to suffer martyrdom rather than deny his Lord Jesus Christ. He did not draw attention to his own suffering, but to the love of God which strengthened him. He knew the price of commitment and would not deny Christ, even to save his own life.
Brothers and sisters: You were dead in your transgressions and sins in which you once lived following the age of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the desires of our flesh, following the wishes of the flesh and the impulses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ (by grace you have been saved), raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast. For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 100:1b-2, 3, 4ab, 4c-5 R. (3b) The Lord made us, we belong to him. Sing joyfully to the LORD all you lands; serve the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful song.
R. The Lord made us, we belong to him. Know that the LORD is God; he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends.
R. The Lord made us, we belong to him. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise.
R. The Lord made us, we belong to him. Give thanks to him; bless his name, for he is good: the LORD, whose kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R. The Lord made us, we belong to him.
Alleluia Mt 5:3 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 12:13-21
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me." He replied to him, "Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?" Then he said to the crowd, "Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one's life does not consist of possessions."
Then he told them a parable. "There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, 'What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?' And he said, 'This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, "Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!"' But God said to him, 'You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?' Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ 'Be on your guard against all kinds of greed'. So much in our world seems to be motivated by greed, so that if I am not on my guard I too will let greed influence my decisions. I look at my life's motivations in the light of God's word.
▪ 'You fool'. I ask for true wisdom to see what is really important and lasting in my life, and for the courage to choose it over what is more transient and temporary.
Jesus you speak to me through the words of the gospels. May I respond to your call today. Teach me to recognise your hand at work in my daily living.
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: Luke 12:13-21
Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr (Memorial)
. . . rich in what matters to God. (Luke 12:21)
How often, when you give away a smile or a hug, do you receive it right back? Quite a lot, probably. That's because love multiplies when you share it. It's not exactly the same with money. When you give it, say to a merchant, you don't get any back. Your bank account is diminished.
Today's Gospel warns us that if we focus primarily on our possessions and money, we might approach Jesus like the fellow having a hard time with his brother. He asks Jesus to help him secure his share of an earthly inheritance. Unfortunately, he's asking the wrong person. While Jesus does care about our financial situations, he is much more vested in our spiritual riches. He is rich in mercy and kindness, and he wants to make us rich too. This is the kind of wealth that "matters to God" (Luke 12:21).
Just as a person approaches a financial advisor to grow their material wealth, we can ask Jesus to help us grow our spiritual wealth. Often, this starts by appreciating the immense value of riches we already have: humility or patience, mercy or love. We can ask him to help us grow in them even more.
But we don't have to stop there. Because our spiritual "treasure chests" matter to God, he is ready to give us even more. Do you need more compassion? Ask for it! Are you stuck in some kind of resentment? Ask for the gift of forgiveness. Unlike the brother who wanted to hold on to his share of money, God loves to share his bounty. His spiritual riches don't deplete when he gives them away.
Your spiritual treasure chest won't be any less full, either, even if you try to empty it out on people every day. Remember Jesus' promise: "Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you" (Luke 6:38). When you are rich in what matters to God, you can spread the wealth without losing anything. That's how generous Jesus is!
"Lord, help me to receive more and more from you so that I can give more and more to everyone else."
We heard the Word of the Lord today "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ (by grace you have been saved), raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus." He shows the immeasurable riches of HIS Graces in HIS kindness to us in CHRIST our Lord Jesus. Amazing. We prayed today "The Lord made us, we belong to him. Sing joyfully to the LORD all you lands; serve the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful song." Again, to serve with joy for the Lord is very well a sign of God's grace. A joyful heart, singing (living out the song in real life) for the Lord. This is to rejoice!
In comes the Lord of our lives, such an amazing being, our Father in Heaven, the living waters and living breath of life ""Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?" Let it be known that Jesus is not the judge, He is not the appointed Judge, He is the appointed Mercy giver, and to the holy ones and His loved ones the more. Who is the 'beloved" of God? The fellow lover. The one who gets a gift of grace. And grace is not something you earn, it is a gift. And to receive the gift, you have to be one of the many, willing to accept, available to God's grace. So make yourself available, like a soldier that is enlisted, perhaps never called out, but is ready. Then the Lord speaks of a man that doesn't know what to do with all his riches, all his bounty, all his goods, all his "blessings" if you will. And so instead of sharing the bursting barns of goods, he makes more room for himself instead of giving it away to those in need. You got what you need, why do you want more? To relax? To retire? I've noticed many that retire soon start to die. They don't know what to do with themselves. And so my advice is get back to work. Not at your same job, but work and work, and work hard for the Lord, perhaps in your working life for the world you hardly made time for God, and now, with all the extra time give it to God. I want everyone who is working right now to give up all your extra time too. Give it to God. I am zealous for God. I slaved away all last week for our parish family festival as a director. It came, was a blessing, and in a flash it was gone, and yesterday we were still working on clean up and put up. I told my brother in law that was helping me "you see, we are STILL working for the LORD!" He said "Yes sir!" and just kept sweating and working. It is light work. I walked nearly 30,000 steps, whereas normally I average 5 to 7 thousand per day. It was an amazing day with the Lord, and I want to leave for now with a thank you I did not get to give to God and every person individually: Thank you for being with us. Thank you for caring. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for shining your light. Thank you for showing your love. Thank you for an amazing day. Thank you for helping. Thank you for just being with us. Thank you for letting me serve you. Thank you for serving me. Thank you because everything was to your liking and as you would see fit. and Lord! You know what ? YOU ARE AMAZING!