JULY 13, 2016 "When you pray, you only have to ask for two things: You should ask for the light to see the will of God, and you have to ask for the courage to be able to do the will of God." — Venerable Msgr. Aloysius Schwartz
MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"My great God, you know all that is in the universe, because you yourself have made it. It is the very work of your hands. You are omniscient, because you are omnicreative. You know each part, however minute, as perfectly as you know the whole. You know mind as perfectly as you know matter. You know the thoughts and purposes of every soul as perfectly as if there were no other soul in the whole of your creation. You know me through and through; all my present, past, and future are before you as one whole. You see all those delicate and evanescent motions of my thought which altogether escape myself. You can trace every act, whether deed or thought, to its origin and can follow it into its whole growth and consequences. You know how it will be with me at the end; you have before you that hour when I shall come to you to be judged. How awful is the prospect of finding myself in the presence of my judge! Yet, O Lord, I would not that you should not know me. It is my greatest stay to know that you read my heart. Oh, give me more of that openhearted sincerity which I have desired. Keep me ever from being afraid of your eye, from the inward consciousness that I am not honestly trying to please you. Teach me to love you more, and then I shall be at peace, without any fear of you at all." — Bl. John Henry Newman, p.150 AN EXCERPT FROM Everyday Meditations
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As German king and Holy Roman Emperor, Henry was a practical man of affairs. He was energetic in consolidating his rule. He crushed rebellions and feuds. On all sides he had to deal with drawn-out disputes so as to protect his frontiers. This involved him in a number of battles, especially in the south in Italy; he also helped Pope Benedict VIII quell disturbances in Rome. Always his ultimate purpose was to establish a stable peace in Europe.
According to eleventh-century custom, Henry took advantage of his position and appointed as bishops men loyal to him. In his case, however, he avoided the pitfalls of this practice and actually fostered the reform of ecclesiastical and monastic life. He was canonized in 1146.
All in all, this saint was a man of his times. From our standpoint, he may have been too quick to do battle and too ready to use power to accomplish reforms. But, granted such limitations, he shows that holiness is possible in a busy secular life. It is in doing our job that we become saints.
"We deem it opportune to remind our children of their duty to take an active part in public life and to contribute toward the attainment of the common good of the entire human family as well as to that of their own political community. They should endeavor, therefore, in the light of their Christian faith and led by love, to insure that the various institutions—whether economic, social, cultural or political in purpose—should be such as not to create obstacles, but rather to facilitate or render less arduous man's perfecting of himself in both the natural order and the supernatural.... Every believer in this world of ours must be a spark of light, a center of love, a vivifying leaven amidst his fellow men. And he will be this all the more perfectly, the more closely he lives in communion with God in the intimacy of his own soul" (Saint Pope John XXIII, Peace on Earth, 146, 164).
Lord, help me to be fully alive to your Holy presence. Enfold me in your love. Let my heart become one with yours.
A thick and shapeless tree-trunk would never believe that it could become a statue, admired as a miracle of sculpture, and would never submit itself to the chisel of the sculptor, who sees by his genius what he can make of it (Saint Ignatius). I ask for the grace to let myself be shaped by my loving Creator.
Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I look honestly over the last day, its events and my feelings. Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks. Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness.
Thus says the LORD: Woe to Assyria! My rod in anger, my staff in wrath. Against an impious nation I send him, and against a people under my wrath I order him To seize plunder, carry off loot, and tread them down like the mud of the streets. But this is not what he intends, nor does he have this in mind; Rather, it is in his heart to destroy, to make an end of nations not a few.
For he says: "By my own power I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I am shrewd. I have moved the boundaries of peoples, their treasures I have pillaged, and, like a giant, I have put down the enthroned. My hand has seized like a nest the riches of nations; As one takes eggs left alone, so I took in all the earth; No one fluttered a wing, or opened a mouth, or chirped!"
Will the axe boast against him who hews with it? Will the saw exalt itself above him who wields it? As if a rod could sway him who lifts it, or a staff him who is not wood! Therefore the Lord, the LORD of hosts, will send among his fat ones leanness, And instead of his glory there will be kindling like the kindling of fire.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 94:5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 14-15 R. (14a) The Lord will not abandon his people. Your people, O LORD, they trample down, your inheritance they afflict. Widow and stranger they slay, the fatherless they murder.
R. The Lord will not abandon his people. And they say, "The LORD sees not; the God of Jacob perceives not." Understand, you senseless ones among the people; and, you fools, when will you be wise?
R. The Lord will not abandon his people. Shall he who shaped the ear not hear? or he who formed the eye not see? Shall he who instructs nations not chastise, he who teaches men knowledge?
R. The Lord will not abandon his people. For the LORD will not cast off his people, nor abandon his inheritance; But judgment shall again be with justice, and all the upright of heart shall follow it.
R. The Lord will not abandon his people.
Alleluia Mt 11:25 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 11:25-27
At that time Jesus exclaimed: "I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ Do I see myself as 'wise and intelligent' or as an 'infant'? Pride keeps us from the love and knowledge of God. It closes the mind to God's truth and wisdom.
▪ True humility and an open mind can lead us to the love and knowledge of God. Child-like simplicity and humility is the soil in which the grace of God can take root.
▪ I pray the words of the serenity prayer:- 'Lord, God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.'
Dear Lord, stay by my side always. Gain for me a trusting heart. Thank you for loving me.
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 11:25-27
Saint Henry (Optional Memorial)
You have hidden these things from the wise . . . and revealed them to the childlike. (Matthew 11:25)
In his prayer of gratitude to the Father, Jesus acknowledged that divine wisdom is hidden "from the wise" (Matthew 11:25). Why would God keep himself hidden like this, especially from those reputed to have deep wisdom in the first place? Wouldn't a better strategy be to reveal himself to them first and use them to convince the simple?
Evidently not. If we look at the way God has worked throughout history, we can see that it's more a case of people trying to hide from God than his attempt to hide from them.
God doesn't want to remain hidden. He wants to reveal himself. He wants to show us his mind and heart. It's a gift that he freely gives; we don't have to earn it. But as Jesus said, God reveals himself to the childlike, and that's a challenge for all of us.
We should be clear. Accepting this revelation can be costly. It demands that we admit our need. We don't have all the answers about life, about our friends and family, or even about ourselves. Admitting this isn't always easy. It cuts at our pride and puts us in a position of dependence. It means giving up control of our lives and allowing Jesus to reign in us.
The late theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar once observed that when Jesus said, "Unless you turn and become like children," he wasn't referring only to children but to himself (Matthew 18:3). Jesus, the Son of God, didn't just become a child for a few years of his life. Throughout his time on earth, he emptied himself and sought his Father's wisdom and plan with humility and childlike simplicity. Because of his childlike nature, Jesus was able to hear his Father at all times. His heart was always open to the Father's revelation and wisdom.
May we all follow Jesus' example and become little children in the presence of our heavenly Father.
"Father, help me to seek your will, to become teachable, and to meditate on your word. I don't want to just receive your wisdom; I want it to change my heart and become my way of life. May I become more like your Son every day."
The Lord says through the prophet Isaiah "Woe to Assyria! My rod in anger, my staff in wrath. Against an impious nation I send him" and later we hear towards the end today in the 1st Holy Scripture "As if a rod could sway him who lifts it, or a staff him who is not wood!" The next line reveals "Therefore the Lord, the LORD of hosts, will send among his fat ones leanness". There is something about us, and the Lord working among us and through us. Or not. Either we are with Him or not. It's a sad state to see you so happy, my dear nation. So chubby, so laid back and lax in faith. Sure you say you are Christian, but you aren't fooling anyone with your state of dis-grace. Your house is your house of worship...for yourself. Your room has pictures of everyone but ME, the Lord. Your children have things on their walls that do not speak of ME. Your children are singing songs that are not about ME. They are dancing and praising other...gods. Why? Why are your children not worshiping ME? The Lord has sent a prophet among you. Shall His voice be silenced? Today we pray "The Lord will not abandon his people.". Just because we abandon Him, doesn't mean He abandons us. "For the LORD will not cast off his people, nor abandon his inheritance; But judgment shall again be with justice, and all the upright of heart shall follow it." Just because there is darkness and injustice, doesn't mean there is not justice and light, that what is Holy and right.
In comes the Lord of our Lives: "I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth" Because the Lord is Lord of all the Heavens and the entire earth, even if you don't acknowledge Him as Lord, He IS Lord. "...for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike." There are those that are "bible scholars" who have never met the Lord. There are those that have never stepped into a school, but have learned about the Lord, and met the Lord. In the case of Catholicity throughout the 2,000 years of its existence, the Lord has appeared in a variety of ways through a variety of people, and even turned the Eucharist into real meat and blood. Not that it is necessary, but to manifest His love for you, and for me. God reveals Himself through His works, and we either accept them, Him, or not. God reveals Him to children, like the case of saints, and children, but never do we hear of Him being revealed in this manner to theologians, those immersed into the bible. God waits for the perfect moment in the perfect heart, that of total surrender, like when St. Stephen was about to be stoned to death for revealing that Jesus is Lord, and at that moment, about to be stoned to death, He yells "Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." and then, he was killed by people that rushed upon him covering their ears and yelling. Cover your ears, cover your heart. We should cover our ears to gossip, cover and protect our hearts. Cover your eyes, cover your heart from seeing things that are not appropriate. For through senses come spirits. Open them to what is good and Holy.
I've heard of Jesus appearing to dying people that I've not seen at church, maybe they went to another church or opened their heart as they were dying. Me and my family rented the movie "Miracles from Heaven" this Sunday, and saw a movie about a girl that suffered much and died and saw Jesus. This is the proper steps to see Him: With FAITH: Suffer. Then; die. We must die to what we want, our pleasures, our desires, they must be crucified. Suffering? Suffer for Him. Dying? Die for Him. And I don't know of a soul that is not in some way suffering and going to die sooner or later. Therefore, you who are reading this, Jesus is revealing Himself. His Sacred Heart is revealing Himself in a most sacred mystery. "I Love you, and I'll die for You". This amazing Love speaks as if He was not yet crucified. Who can win to the cross, will you die instead? Or will you die alongside with Him for all the cruel people doing the torturing? Something's got to give with so much tension and friction, and if we give into His Holy Arms, there will be peace. And it begins inside your very heart...