"O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams." — St. Augustine
MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"Whenever we receive Communion, we enter into communion with the Holy Trinity. Did anybody ever tell you that? With each reception of Holy Communion, we experience, already here on earth, the same divine activity that we will one day experience in all its fullness in heaven—the divine activity of love eternally taking place within the Trinity . . . God wants to live his triune life in us. We are called to be dwelling places for the Holy Trinity and to enter into a personal relationship with each of the persons in God." — Vinney Flynn, p. 27-8 AN EXCERPT FROM
click to go there
St. Louis of France
At his coronation as king of France, Louis IX bound himself by oath to behave as God's anointed, as the father of his people and feudal lord of the King of Peace. Other kings had done the same, of course. Louis was different in that he actually interpreted his kingly duties in the light of faith. After the violence of two previous reigns, he brought peace and justice.
He was crowned king at 12, at his father's death. His mother, Blanche of Castile, ruled during his minority. When he was 19 and his bride 12, he was married to Marguerite of Provence. It was a loving marriage, though not without challenge. They had 11 children.
Louis "took the cross" for a Crusade when he was 30. His army seized Damietta ini Egypt but not long after, weakened by dysentery and without support, they were surrounded and captured. Louis obtained the release of the army by giving up the city of Damietta in addition to paying a ransom. He stayed in Syria four years.
He deserves credit for extending justice in civil administration. His regulations for royal officials became the first of a series of reform laws. He replaced trial by battle with a form of examination of witnesses and encouraged the use of written records in court.
Louis was always respectful of the papacy, but defended royal interests against the popes and refused to acknowledge Innocent IV's sentence against Emperor Frederick II.
Louis was devoted to his people, founding hospitals, visiting the sick and, like his patron St. Francis (October 4), caring even for people with leprosy. (He is one of the patrons of the Secular Franciscan Order.) Louis united France—lords and townsfolk, peasants and priests and knights—by the force of his personality and holiness. For many years the nation was at peace.
Every day Louis had 13 special guests from among the poor to eat with him, and a large number of poor were served meals near his palace. During Advent and Lent, all who presented themselves were given a meal, and Louis often served them in person. He kept lists of needy people, whom he regularly relieved, in every province of his dominion.
Disturbed by new Muslim advances in Syria, he led another crusade in 1267, at the age of 41. His crusade was diverted to Tunis for his brother's sake. The army was decimated by disease within a month, and Louis himself died on foreign soil at the age of 44. He was canonized 27 years later.
Every day Louis had thirteen special guests from among the poor to eat with him, and a large number of poor were served meals near his palace. During Advent and Lent, all who presented themselves were given a meal, and Louis often served them in person. He kept lists of needy people, whom he regularly relieved, in every province of his dominion.
Louis was strong-willed, strong-minded. His word was trusted utterly, and his courage in action was remarkable. What is most remarkable was his sense of respect for anyone with whom he dealt, especially the "humble folk of the Lord." To care for his people he built cathedrals, churches, libraries, hospitals and orphanages. He dealt with princes honestly and equitably. He hoped to be treated the same way by the King of Kings, to whom he gave his life, his family and his country.
I slow myself down for a moment, and try to realise that God is present. To me. Here and now. He is in present in what I do, in the people that I meet, and the situations I find myself in daily. How can I make this reality real for myself?
Lord, you granted me the great gift of freedom. In these times, O Lord, grant that I may be free From any form of racism or intolerance. Remind me, Lord, that we are all equal in your Loving eyes.
I ask how I am within myself today? Am I particularly tired, stressed, or off-form? If any of these characteristics apply, can I try to let go of the concerns that disturb me?
Paul, called to be an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, to the Church of God that is in Corinth, to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy, with all those everywhere who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I give thanks to my God always on your account for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus, that in him you were enriched in every way, with all discourse and all knowledge, as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you, so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7 R. (1) I will praise your name for ever, Lord. Every day will I bless you, and I will praise your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD and highly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord. Generation after generation praises your works and proclaims your might. They speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty and tell of your wondrous works.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord. They discourse of the power of your terrible deeds and declare your greatness. They publish the fame of your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your justice.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Alleluia Mt 24:42a, 44 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Stay awake! For you do not know when the Son of Man will come. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 24:42-51
Jesus said to his disciples: "Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.
"Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so. Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. But if that wicked servant says to himself, 'My master is long delayed,' and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with drunkards, the servant's master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ So often Jesus uses extreme, even scary, examples followed by dreadful punishment to communicate his point. Here he's counselling attentiveness and it's always good to be reminded of the need to remain attentive. It's not that we will always remain attentive: human nature doesn't always allow this. But it's a good thing to be reminded about it.
▪ Often it is the hardest thing in the world to change just a little bit. But the rewards far outweigh the effort. Cutting down rather than giving up; taking on just a little and for a short time rather than the grand plan.
▪ Hasn't it been said that "the perfect is the enemy of the good"?
▪ Is there something small that you could take on now that might just change your whole mentality and with it your world?
Lord, I know that when I turn to you there is no need for words. You can see into my heart. You know my desires and you know my needs. I place myself into your hands.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
You were enriched in every way. (1 Corinthians 1:5)
It seems that even St. Paul had heard the old adage that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Instead of starting his letter to the believers in Corinth with a list of the serious issues he needed to confront, he called to mind the many ways that the Holy Spirit had enriched their lives.
What a great starting point! Paul was reminding the Corinthians that God had done so much in their lives. He was also telling them that whatever changes needed to be made in no way negated these blessings. In fact, Paul's correction of their sin flowed from his confidence that Christ dwelt in them: he had already given them the power and spiritual gifts they needed to purify what was still out of order.
We can learn a lot from Paul's example. When we are faced with our sin, we need to remember that God dwells within us, that he has redeemed us, and that he has given us the grace of forgiveness when we fall. If we find ourselves falling to the same temptation over and over again, we can call to mind the truth that God has always been faithful to us; he will continue to see us through our struggles. This is also true for our loved ones. When we see a friend or family member caught up in sinful behavior and we want to give up hope, it's a good time to remember that God's grace is still available to them. We can thank him for inviting them to share fellowship with Jesus, regardless of how they are responding to that invitation right now.
Things go much easier when we approach situations in our own lives or in the lives of others from the right starting point. There is a greater humility, a deeper gratitude to God, and a greater openness to change—and that means that the Holy Spirit is more free to bring healing and reconciliation. Instead of looking down on others or falling into self-pity ourselves, we can raise our eyes to heaven and proclaim God's faithfulness and love. After all, isn't this where the healing comes from in the first place?
"Heavenly Father, you have been faithful! You have called me, raised me to life, and filled me with your Spirit. Purify me as well, as I trust in your faithful love."
The Lord writes today "...to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy...God is faithful, and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."
We prayed today " I will praise your name for ever, Lord". God is the most famous person in the world. Everybody knows of Him, but not everybody really knows Him, and those who really want to know Him, will get to Know Him. Because if you ask the old school Catholic, "what is the purpose of life" the answer was trained to say "to know, to love, and to serve God". Study, Piety, and Action. Does the body want to do this? Not really. Does the Spirit inside want to do this, yes. Then the fight is on the body, the mortal for the immortal. And so...it is an immortal combat, a reality that strives for eternity.
In comes the Lord on this note: ""Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come." Stay awake, don't fall into temptation. The Lord continues "Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so". Blessed eternally, like the Virgin Mother of God, blessed by God, blessed be forever. This blessed person is found distributing food at the appropriate time, and apparently the "now" is the appropriate time, not yesterday, and not tomorrow.
The worldly person says worryingly: "the world is a bad place". The child of God says: "the world is a place to find God". The book "Imitation of Christ" by Thomas Kempis says at the end of acknowledging our infirmities:
"But, sad to say, a little pleasure dominates the minds of the worldly, driving out their hearts all heavenly desires, to such an extent that many imagine that joy is to be found in living under such sensual pleasures. That is because they have neither seen nor tasted the sweetness of God and the inward joy of virtue. But those who utterly despise the world and strive to live under holy discipline experience the heavenly sweetness promised to spiritual persons; they also see the errors of the world and how it is deceived in so many ways."
I have found the love of my life...I love you Oh My God.