"Here is a rule for everyday life: Do not do anything which you cannot offer to God." — St. Jean Marie Vianney morningoffering.com
MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"There is not a moment in which God does not present Himself under the cover of some pain to be endured, of some consolation to be enjoyed, or of some duty to be performed. All that takes place within us, around us, or through us, contains and conceals His divine action. It is really and truly there present, but invisibly present, so that we are always surprised and do not recognise His operation until it has ceased. If we could lift the veil, and if we were attentive and watchful God would continually reveal Himself to us, and we should see His divine action in everything that happened to us, and rejoice in it. At each successive occurrence we should exclaim: 'It is the Lord', and we should accept every fresh circumstance as a gift of God. We should look upon creatures as feeble tools in the hands of an able workman, and should discover easily that nothing was wanting to us, and that the constant providence of God disposed Him to bestow upon us at every moment whatever we required." — Jean-Pierre de Caussade AN EXCERPT FROM Abandonment of Divine Providence, p49
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Indifferent toward religion as a young man, Anselm became one of the Church's greatest theologians and leaders. He received the title "Father of Scholasticism" for his attempt to analyze and illumine the truths of faith through the aid of reason.
At 15, Anselm wanted to enter a monastery, but was refused acceptance because of his father's opposition. Twelve years later, after careless disinterest in religion and years of worldly living, he finally fulfilled his desire to be a monk. He entered the monastery of Bec in Normandy, three years later was elected prior and 15 years later was unanimously chosen abbot.
Considered an original and independent thinker, Anselm was admired for his patience, gentleness and teaching skill. Under his leadership, the abbey of Bec became a monastic school, influential in philosophical and theological studies.
During these years, at the community's request, Anselm began publishing his theological works, comparable to those of St. Augustine (August 28). His best-known work is the book Cur Deus Homo ("Why God Became Man").
At 60, against his will, Anselm was appointed archbishop of Canterbury in 1093. His appointment was opposed at first by England's King William Rufus and later accepted. Rufus persistently refused to cooperate with efforts to reform the Church.
Anselm finally went into voluntary exile until Rufus died in 1100. He was then recalled to England by Rufus's brother and successor, Henry I. Disagreeing fearlessly with Henry over the king's insistence on investing England's bishops, Anselm spent another three years in exile in Rome.
His care and concern extended to the very poorest people; he opposed the slave trade. Anselm obtained from the national council at Westminster the passage of a resolution prohibiting the sale of human beings.
Anselm, like every true follower of Christ, had to carry his cross, especially in the form of opposition and conflict with those in political control. Though personally a mild and gentle man and a lover of peace, he would not back off from conflict and persecution when principles were at stake.
"No one will have any other desire in heaven than what God wills; and the desire of one will be the desire of all; and the desire of all and of each one will also be the desire of God" (St. Anselm, Letter 112).
I pause for a moment, aware that God is here. I think of how everything around me, the air I breathe, my whole body, is tingling with the the presence of God.
Thank you God for my freedom May I use this gift to do what I can for those who are oppressed or burdened.
At this moment Lord I turn my thoughts to you. I will leave aside my chores and preoccupations. I will take rest and refreshment in your presence Lord.
The Word of God
Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Reading 1 Acts 13:13-25
From Paphos, Paul and his companions set sail and arrived at Perga in Pamphylia. But John left them and returned to Jerusalem. They continued on from Perga and reached Antioch in Pisidia. On the sabbath they entered into the synagogue and took their seats. After the reading of the law and the prophets, the synagogue officials sent word to them, "My brothers, if one of you has a word of exhortation for the people, please speak."
So Paul got up, motioned with his hand, and said, "Fellow children of Israel and you others who are God-fearing, listen. The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors and exalted the people during their sojourn in the land of Egypt. With uplifted arm he led them out, and for about forty years he put up with them in the desert. When he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance at the end of about four hundred and fifty years. After these things he provided judges up to Samuel the prophet. Then they asked for a king. God gave them Saul, son of Kish, a man from the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. Then he removed him and raised up David as their king; of him he testified, I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will carry out my every wish. From this man's descendants God, according to his promise, has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus. John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel; and as John was completing his course, he would say, 'What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. Behold, one is coming after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.'"
Responsorial Psalm PS 89:2-3, 21-22, 25 and 27 R. (2) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. The favors of the LORD I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness. For you have said, "My kindness is established forever"; in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. "I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him, That my hand may be always with him, and that my arm may make him strong."
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. "My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him, and through my name shall his horn be exalted. He shall say of me, 'You are my father, my God, the Rock, my savior.'"
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord. or: R. Alleluia.
Alleluia See Rev 1:5ab R. Alleluia, alleluia. Jesus Christ, you are the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, you have loved us and freed us from our sins by your Blood. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 13:16-20
When Jesus had washed the disciples' feet, he said to them: "Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it. I am not speaking of all of you. I know those whom I have chosen. But so that the Scripture might be fulfilled, The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me. From now on I am telling you before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I AM. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me."
Jesus, you always welcomed little children when you walked on this earth. Teach me to have a childlike trust in you. To live in the knowledge that you will never abandon me.
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.
Saint Anselm, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)
If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it. (John 13:17)
"What Is God's Will For My Life?" We tend to ask this question in capital letters, as we wonder about God's grand plan for our careers, our state in life, and our life's purpose. Of course, these are very important questions. God wants to help us discover his path for us and the impact we can have on his creation.
However, these are not choices that we make day in, day out. We simply take the small step that lies in front of us that day and do it with love. Most of the time, we understand what that step is: "I am supposed to do the laundry, pick up my child from school, or review the end-of-day report at work. I will come to understand other tasks as the day unfolds." The key question is whether we do each of these things with love for the Lord and love for the person in front of us.
In her book The Ear of the Heart, actress-turned-religious-sister Dolores Hart recounts a conversation with a nun who founded a monastery in the United States after her French convent had been liberated from the Nazis. Explaining what the beginning of that work was like, she said, "The secret to keeping this place going was to do the next thing that had to be done—without wasting time worrying." Using a construction analogy, she went on to say, "It's a continuous process of sawing to build and at the same time trying to dispose of the sawdust."
We seldom have the big picture at the beginning. Instead, God shows us one small step. Then, as we faithfully do our best with this, we come to understand him and his larger plan a little better. It's like an upward spiral in which each step of obedience opens up new vistas and new opportunities for us to work with God and build his kingdom. It may take many steps before we have any inkling of what we are building, but the results become more and more spectacular over time.
"Lord, thank you for inviting me to build with you. Help me today to take the step in front of me, empowered by your love."
St. John the Baptist said "'What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. Behold, one is coming after me". The people asked him if he was the Messiah, the savior of the world, but he pointed to Jesus. That's how our life should be. As I dropped off my oldest child today I said "I love you, and set the example for Christ". I gave my wife a statue of the Lord as the Divine Mercy image. Within a few days the kids running through the house must've broken it, and it is now missing His hand. We are that missing hand, that missing feet, those loving arms that we miss of Him so much as we live on earth. Your fulfillment of complete Love awaits in Heaven. We prayed today "Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord". Listen to those words "FOREVER". Does that mean until you die? OR shall the word "until" mean up to my earthly death and then forever more? Because that is how the word "until" is used in the bible...until is up to a point but nothing changes, and so Forever I will Sing, we will Sing the goodness, the praises of the Lord, because He is almighty, and He is great, and His thoughts are a million times ahead of ours, and so we live by faith and live the Love He brought to earth...His Son. In comes the Son: "I know those whom I have chosen." The person that hears the Word and consumes the Word and is engulfed and enamored and transformed by the Word, those people are us. We are then rightly chosen, for His thoughts are a million times more, and His mercy even greater, and greater is His love. Ours is to have a faith of love and love of faith. This is the reason I write to you so you may believe and be one with each other and the Lord, "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me." Receive the lost child. Receive the poor. Receive the forgotten. Receive the despised. Receive the hard to love. Receive the Spirit. Receive the Lord. Receive His All fulfilling Love designed to save us from the world....Receive the Son of GOD