"It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes." — St. Thomas Aquinas
MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself. Unless you know God as that—and, therefore, know yourself as nothing in comparison—you do not know God at all. As long as you are proud you cannot know God." — C. S. Lewis, p. 124
AN EXCERPT FROM Mere Christianity
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Despite the fact that much about St. Giles is shrouded in mystery, we can say that he was one of the most popular saints in the Middle Ages. Likely, he was born in the first half of the seventh century in southeastern France. That is where he built a monastery that became a popular stopping-off point for pilgrims making their way to Compostela in Spain and the Holy Land.
In England, many ancient churches and hospitals were dedicated to Giles. One of the sections of the city of Brussels is named after him. In Germany, Giles was included among the so-called 14 Holy Helpers, a popular group of saints to whom people prayed, especially for recovery from disease and for strength at the hour of death. Also among the 14 were Sts. Christopher, Barbara and Blaise. Interestingly, Giles was the only non-martyr among them. Devotion to the "Holy Helpers" was especially strong in parts of Germany and in Hungary and Sweden. Such devotion made his popularity spread. Giles was soon invoked as the patron of the poor and the disabled.
The pilgrimage center that once drew so many fell into disrepair some centuries after Giles' death.
It is always nice to be in the presence of friends. When I come into your presence, O Lord, I know I am in the presence of my Creator. You created me out of Love. You even know the amount of hairs on my head. Your presence, O Lord, is the greatest of all.
Fill me with Your Holy Spirit Lord, so that I may have inner freedom. Let your Spirit instil in my heart a desire to know and love you more each day.
Help me Lord to be more conscious of your presence. Teach me to recognise your presence in others. Fill my heart with gratitude for the times Your love has been shown to me through the care of others.
Brothers and sisters: Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you considers himself wise in this age, let him become a fool, so as to become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God, for it is written:
God catches the wise in their own ruses,
The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.
So let no one boast about human beings, for everything belongs to you, Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or the present or the future: all belong to you, and you to Christ, and Christ to God.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 24:1bc-2, 3-4ab, 5-6 R. (1) To the Lord belongs the earth and all that fills it. The LORD's are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it. For he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.
R. To the Lord belongs the earth and all that fills it. Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD? or who may stand in his holy place? He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain.
R. To the Lord belongs the earth and all that fills it. He shall receive a blessing from the LORD, a reward from God his savior. Such is the race that seeks for him, that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. To the Lord belongs the earth and all that fills it.
Alleluia Mt 4:19 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Come after me, says the Lord, and I will make you fishers of men. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 5:1-11
While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret. He saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch." Simon said in reply, "Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets." When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that the boats were in danger of sinking. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, "Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man." For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon. Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men." When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him.
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ Peter knows better than Jesus. Are there occasions that I believe that life should be different for myself or others; that God should have arranged things differently? Think of occasions when I was thinking in this way and speak to the Lord about them.
▪ 'Do not be afraid'. What do I fear at the moment? Speak to Jesus about these fears.
▪ 'They left everything and followed him'. What have I left in order to follow Jesus? What do I find difficult at the moment to leave in order to follow him more closely?
What feelings are rising in me as I pray and reflect on God's Word? I imagine Jesus himself sitting or standing near me and open my heart to him.
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 5:1-11
22nd Week in Ordinary Time
At your command I will lower the nets. (Luke 5:5)
When Mother Teresa of Calcutta heard God's call to start a new religious order to serve the poorest of the poor, she was already a fully professed member of the Sisters of Loreto. She brought the proposal to her religious superiors, who thought it sounded outlandish. They asked her to wait, to write the merits of her plan, and to weigh its chances of success. Mother Teresa faithfully did all these things, but as far as she was concerned, the "wisdom" of her plan was simply that God had told her to do it.
On a more mundane level, the fishing advice of Jesus, a carpenter, must have sounded foolish to Simon, a seasoned fisherman. The conditions were far from ideal, and the men were tired. But Simon, like Mother Teresa, listened—and the rest is history. His incredible catch of fish did not happen because of good bait. It wasn't the temperature of the water or the skill of the fishermen. His success depended simply on doing what Jesus said.
What about you? Neighbors may wonder why you get up early Sunday morning to go to Mass instead of sleeping in. Co-workers may be perplexed at how you hold your tongue instead of gossiping about someone who has wronged you. But you are doing these things because you know it's what Jesus would want.
You may not be called to start a new religious order like Mother Teresa, but every day you make choices. Each one is an opportunity to trust in God, to ask him what he thinks. Each yes you say to the Lord opens a door for him to work in your life and the lives of those around you.
That's the best thing about following Jesus. We offer him our yes, small though it may be, and he responds with a far greater yes to us. He fills us with his love. He empowers us to make a difference in our homes and with our friends.
We heard the Holy Word say today "If anyone among you considers himself wise in this age, let him become a fool, so as to become wise." On that note, let Him become a fool for a very special reason...JESUS.
We prayed today "To the Lord belongs the earth and all that fills it. Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD? or who may stand in his holy place? He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain." And the Lord climbs the Holy mountain, as a spotless lamb, Holy...if you desire to climb this mountain of sacrifice...you have been called.
Our Lord orders Saint Peter our first Pope to be obedient. And out of obedience, Saint Peter falls on His knees saying to the Lord ""Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man." Depart from me because I have known all my life what it is to fish, and how to fish, and yet...I seemingly know nothing. I humble myself by falling on my knees. I fall on my knees to say to the Lord "I Am Not Worthy". Yet, the Lord desires your humble heart. I want to thank you for your prayers. It is not easy to depart from a loved one. The Holy Spirit was among us. The skies thundered as I sung at the cemetery and I sang "I Can Only Imagine" as they lowered the body into the grave. Yet, imagining is an integral part of faith. Imagine the possibilities with God, and your life with Him. There, I got to evangelize to several, because we are called to evangelize as followers of Christ, fishers of men, seekers of souls, of the lost, of the lonely, of the found that need nourishment. "Don't you go to any church" I asked one young man, "no, not since I was a kid". I said "start going, you will be blessed". Indeed, for we had just heard the priest speak of the Beatitudes in the Sermon, as we know called the Homily. Jesus speaks "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God". Poor in this life, rich in the next. Emptied in this life of what the world has to offer. Rich in grace and mercy, that is to say forgiveness, that is to say in Heavenly union with Him.
The Fisher of men invites us to His life, "And Jesus said to him, "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." As if the Lord asks, "Will you follow me up the mountain?" As if to say "will you be with Me"? As if to say "Peter...do you love Me"? Peter had experienced failure. It was God's plan. It was His plan to reveal Himself after experiencing failure. This is why Saint Peter denied Christ 3 times and 3 times Jesus asked Him after dying and rising, "Peter, do you Love Me?" And Peter with a knot in his throat, and tears in his eyes answers "Lord, you know that I love You". And the Lord says "Feed my sheep".
Who is to say what these fishers did when they caught so many fish? The fish were to feed the people on the seashore.
Go into the deep with Jesus. Step out onto the deep towards Jesus. Fall deeply and madly in love with Jesus. Tell Him you love Him, and how much more you want to love Him... Ask Him for an eternity of Love and His heart will love in yours...