"The accidents of life separate us from our dearest friends, but let us not despair. God is like a looking glass in which souls see each other. The more we are united to Him by love, the nearer we are to those who belong to Him." — St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"Yet such are the pity and compassion of this Lord of ours, so desirous is He that we should seek Him and enjoy His company, that in one way or another He never ceases calling us to Him . . . God here speaks to souls through words uttered by pious people, by sermons or good books, and in many other such ways. Sometimes He calls souls by means of sickness or troubles, or by some truth He teaches them during prayer, for tepid as they may be in seeking Him, yet God holds them very dear." — St. Teresa of Avila, p.26 AN EXCERPT FROM Interior Castle
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Blessed Antonio Lucci
Antonio studied with and was a friend of St. Francesco Antonio Fasani, who after Antonio Lucci's death testified at the diocesan hearings regarding the holiness of Lucci.
Born in Agnone in southern Italy, a city famous for manufacturing bells and copper crafts, he was given the name Angelo at Baptism. He attended the local school run by the Conventual Franciscans and joined them at the age of 16. Antonio completed his studies for the priesthood in Assisi, where he was ordained in 1705. Further studies led to a doctorate in theology and appointments as a teacher in Agnone, Ravello and Naples. He also served as guardian in Naples.
Elected minister provincial in 1718, the following year he was appointed professor at St. Bonaventure College in Rome, a position he held until Pope Benedict XIII chose him as bishop of Bovino (near Foggia) in 1729. The pope explained, "I have chosen as bishop of Bovino an eminent theologian and a great saint."
His 23 years as bishop were marked by visits to local parishes and a renewal of gospel living among the people of his diocese. He dedicated his episcopal income to works of education and charity. At the urging of the Conventual minister general, Bishop Lucci wrote a major book about the saints and blesseds in the first 200 years of the Conventual Franciscans.
He was beatified in 1989, three years after his friend Francesco Antonio Fasani was canonized.
As Pope Paul VI wrote in 1975, people today "are more impressed by witnesses than by teachers, and if they listen to these it is because they also bear witness" (Evangelization in the Modern World, #41).
When Francis of Assisi learned that Anthony of Padua was teaching theology to the friars in Bologna, Francis wrote: "It pleases me that you teach sacred theology to the brothers, as long as—in the words of the Rule—you do not extinguish the spirit of prayer and devotion with study of this kind."
Sacred Space (stop, slow down, breathe, we're about to receive the Word of God) Daily Prayer - 2016-07-27
Lord, help me to be fully alive to your holy presence. Enfold me in your love. Let my heart become one with yours.
Thank you God for my freedom May I use this gift to do what I can for those who are oppressed or burdened.
In the presence of my loving Creator, I look honestly at my feelings over the last day, the highs, the lows and the level ground. Can I see where the Lord has been present?
The Word of God
Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time Reading 1 Jer 15:10, 16-21
Woe to me, mother, that you gave me birth! a man of strife and contention to all the land! I neither borrow nor lend, yet all curse me. When I found your words, I devoured them; they became my joy and the happiness of my heart, Because I bore your name, O LORD, God of hosts. I did not sit celebrating in the circle of merrymakers; Under the weight of your hand I sat alone because you filled me with indignation. Why is my pain continuous, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? You have indeed become for me a treacherous brook, whose waters do not abide! Thus the LORD answered me: If you repent, so that I restore you, in my presence you shall stand; If you bring forth the precious without the vile, you shall be my mouthpiece. Then it shall be they who turn to you, and you shall not turn to them; And I will make you toward this people a solid wall of brass. Though they fight against you, they shall not prevail, For I am with you, to deliver and rescue you, says the LORD. I will free you from the hand of the wicked, and rescue you from the grasp of the violent.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 59:2-3, 4, 10-11, 17, 18 R. (17d) God is my refuge on the day of distress. Rescue me from my enemies, O my God; from my adversaries defend me. Rescue me from evildoers; from bloodthirsty men save me.
R. God is my refuge on the day of distress. For behold, they lie in wait for my life; mighty men come together against me, Not for any offense or sin of mine, O LORD.
R. God is my refuge on the day of distress. O my strength! for you I watch; for you, O God, are my stronghold, As for my God, may his mercy go before me; may he show me the fall of my foes.
R. God is my refuge on the day of distress. But I will sing of your strength and revel at dawn in your mercy; You have been my stronghold, my refuge in the day of distress.
R. God is my refuge on the day of distress. O my strength! your praise will I sing; for you, O God, are my stronghold, my merciful God!
R. God is my refuge on the day of distress.
Alleluia Jn 15:15b R. Alleluia, alleluia. I call you my friends, says the Lord, for I have made known to you all that the Father has told me. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 13:44-46
Jesus said to his disciples: "The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ What is my pearl, the thing I value most? What is that buried treasure for which I would be willing to sacrifice everything?
▪ What would the world be like if the pearl I seek were to be serving the poor and marginalised, and working for peace and justice? Jesus says the world would then be like the Kingdom of Heaven! .
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.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
I am with you . . . says the Lord. (Jeremiah 15:20)
Would you live differently if you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was with you?
• You might take more risks, knowing that God would come through for you.
• Being more aware of his presence, you'd probably engage him in conversation more often.
• You'd definitely be less stressed, since you'd know that he would take care of you and your family.
In today's first reading, God told Jeremiah, I am with you. Jeremiah's prophecies about repentance had been drawing sharper and sharper criticism—even threats against his life. As the negative reactions piled up, he became more and more fearful, doubtful, and anxious. Still, God continued to call him to preach, even though it meant risking so much. And to help him out, God told him, "Though they fight against you, they shall not prevail, for I am with you" (Jeremiah 15:20). These four words filled Jeremiah with the courage he needed to carry on.
What about you? What risks would you take today if you knew that God would come through for you? Maybe you'd risk offering to pray right there on the spot for the next co-worker who confides in you. Or, after Mass, you might risk inviting a couple you don't know out for lunch to build a new friendship.
Believing these words, I am with you, can also bring new life to your personal prayer time. One young man uses a visual aid to remind him of God's invisible presence. He sets an empty chair beside his bed and talks to Jesus as if he were sitting there with him. Of course, Jesus really is, but the visual cue helps him to lift his heart.
I am with you is so much more than a sugary truism. It's a fact that can give us peace and patience in the midst of stressful circumstances. Do you have a situation at home or a difficult relationship with someone where you need to hear the Lord speak those words? Bring it to him right now. Don't leave until he reminds you of his presence and protection.
"Lord, sometime today, when I'm not expecting it, please whisper to me, 'I am with you.' "
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: When I found your words, I devoured them; they became my joy and the happiness of my heart Keep this in mind for when our Lord speaks.
If the field is the world (as we discussed yesterday), there is a treasure in the field.
We prayed today "God is my refuge on the day of distress." and "O my strength! for you I watch" and also "O my strength! your praise will I sing; for you, O God, are my stronghold, my merciful God!" There was this song we sang "Here I Am Lord" and we sang it in such powerful unison, that some men had chills and I was in amazement and shocked as we sang, as if we were one body...and we are.
In comes the Lord our stronghold: "The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure". He always tries to explain to us what the Kingdom is like. He always uses parables and explanations and comparisons. Today, He likens it to a treasure. A treasure that the person finds, a person like you. They find a treasure, and what ensues is what matters. First, they find the great value, they find a great joy, and then, they go find a way to make it theirs forever. And our Lord is offering the Kingdom to be yours, your inheritance, your treasure, your joy. The cursillo men have found such joy. But there is more. There is more treasure. I told a cousin I hadn't seen in a while in a Tractor Supply store last night, "sure there is salvation in many churches, but the Catholic Church offers so many graces and prayers and hook ups, like no other, it is the mother church". And it is true. There is more waiting for you. I have been writing for about 10 years and at this since 2004. I know. I know there is much more. I am simply saying...keep seeking. Your exploration for the treasure is what makes the finding of the treasure so much more joyful.
At work, we always talk about diversification, diversifying so we don not have all our eggs in one basket, all risk in one customer, or type of work. It is a security issue when analyzing risk. But, when it comes to the Lord? Do we need to diversify our risk? No. Put all your faith in Him. Watch what happens. Even if things do not turn out YOUR way, HIS Way proves so much better in the end. What happens is that the person who finds the treasure both "go and sell all they have" to obtain this treasure. That is, they cash in all they got into Him. It is the story of a person that sells themselves to Him, their offerings then become offerings to Him. I say this because what we are offering to the Lord daily is important, especially in Holy Mass. We offer our bodies, and soul, but what kind of heart is in it?
A sign of joyfulness in the Lord is a true sign of grace. No fake smiles here, no forced smiles here, just genuine love of God in each other.