"Truth sees God, and wisdom contemplates God, and from these two comes a third, a holy and wonderful delight in God, who is love." — St. Juliana of Norwich
MEDITATION OF THE DAY "We must all grow in a clear conviction of our duty to be holy as Jesus is holy. Holiness is one of the most beautiful gifts a human heart can offer to God. We should serve Jesus in his poor by doing for them the things we would like to do for him. This is where sanctity is hidden for us: In knowing Jesus, in loving Jesus, and in serving Jesus in the people around us. If we do this, we will become professionals in holiness." — St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, p. 29 AN EXCERPT FROM Thirsting for God
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Saint of the Day for September 16 (d. 253)
Saint Cornelius' Story
There was no pope for 14 months after the martyrdom of Saint Fabian because of the intensity of the persecution of the Church. During the interval, the Church was governed by a college of priests. Saint Cyprian, a friend of Cornelius, writes that Cornelius was elected pope "by the judgment of God and of Christ, by the testimony of most of the clergy, by the vote of the people, with the consent of aged priests and of good men."
The greatest problem of Cornelius's two-year term as pope had to do with the Sacrament of Penance and centered on the readmission of Christians who had denied their faith during the time of persecution. Two extremes were finally both condemned. Cyprian, primate of North Africa, appealed to the pope to confirm his stand that the relapsed could be reconciled only by the decision of the bishop.
In Rome, however, Cornelius met with the opposite view. After his election, a priest named Novatian (one of those who had governed the Church) had himself consecrated a rival bishop of Rome—one of the first antipopes. He denied that the Church had any power to reconcile not only the apostates, but also those guilty of murder, adultery, fornication, or second marriage! Cornelius had the support of most of the Church (especially of Cyprian of Africa) in condemning Novatianism, though the sect persisted for several centuries. Cornelius held a synod at Rome in 251 and ordered the "relapsed" to be restored to the Church with the usual "medicines of repentance."
The friendship of Cornelius and Cyprian was strained for a time when one of Cyprian's rivals made accusations about him. But the problem was cleared up.
A document from Cornelius shows the extent of organization in the Church of Rome in the mid-third century: 46 priests, seven deacons, seven subdeacons. It is estimated that the number of Christians totaled about 50,000.
Cornelius died as a result of the hardships of his exile in what is now Civitavecchia.
It seems fairly true to say that almost every possible false doctrine has been proposed at some time or other in the history of the Church. The third century saw the resolution of a problem we scarcely consider—the penance to be done before reconciliation with the Church after mortal sin. Men like Cornelius and Cyprian were God's instruments in helping the Church find a prudent path between extremes of rigorism and laxity. They are part of the Church's ever-living stream of tradition, ensuring the continuance of what was begun by Christ, and evaluating new experiences through the wisdom and experience of those who have gone before.
Lord, help me to be fully alive to your holy presence. Enfold me in your love. Let my heart become one with yours.
Lord, you created me to live in freedom. May your Holy Spirit guide me to follow you freely. 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.
The Word of God
Memorial of Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs readings audio
Reading 1 1 Cor 15:12-20
Brothers and sisters: If Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some among you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then empty too is our preaching; empty, too, your faith. Then we are also false witnesses to God, because we testified against God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins. Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all.
But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 17:1bcd, 6-7, 8b and 15 R. (15b) Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full. Hear, O LORD, a just suit; attend to my outcry; hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full. I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my word. Show your wondrous mercies, O savior of those who flee from their foes to refuge at your right hand.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full. Hide me in the shadow of your wings, But I in justice shall behold your face; on waking, I shall be content in your presence.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
Alleluia See 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 Lk 8:1-3
Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources.
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ This passage illustrates the call of the women, who followed Jesus. It shows how people of means supported the Lord's mission; Jesus and the Christian community depended on the generosity of people to sustain its mission. In what ways do I support the mission of the Church?
Remembering that I am still in God's presence, I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting beside me, and say whatever is on my mind, whatever is in my heart, speaking as one friend to another.
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 8:1-3
Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs (Memorial)
Accompanying him were . . . many others. (Luke 8:1, 3)
Jesus was such a mesmerizing preacher and powerful healer that he could have had a very effective ministry on his own. He was a miracle worker who could command evil spirits, the wind, and the waves. He could call down food, water, or fire from heaven. He didn't need anyone else's help.
So why did he choose to associate with such an assorted group of people as his disciples? Maybe their diversity can give us a clue. Remember, these were men and women, craftsmen and bureaucrats, educated and illiterate. The only thing they had in common was that they said yes to Jesus.
Jesus didn't expect all his disciples to be the same. He enjoyed each one of them for their own unique quirks. He encouraged the gifts he saw in each of them. One was good at fishing and providing dinner. Another scouted out places to stay. Still another provided financial help and hospitality. He gladly accepted whatever resources they brought, whatever abilities they possessed, and put them to work.
Why did he do all of this? Jesus understood that his Father wanted to give the world countless reflections of his love and grace. He wanted a community in which every seeker would feel welcome, a kingdom that was a vibrant tapestry of personalities, strengths, and temperaments. If he had chosen only fishermen, he might have alienated the tax collectors. If he had chosen only the poor, those who were more well-off might have felt unwelcome.
This is our Church. Jesus still calls together an unexpected variety of people. He shares our triumphs and disappointments. He enjoys spending time with us, and he finds creative ways to put our gifts to use in building his kingdom. He uses us to reach other people, each in our own way. Every one of us is essential to that work—even you!
You are part of this dynamic company. So offer Jesus your strengths and weaknesses, your prayers and longings. Let him use your uniqueness!
"Jesus, thank you for inviting me to belong to your people. Help me to hold back nothing."
The first Holy Scripture ends today "But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep." I know there are many that know what this means, but many do not, therefore, heresies pop up, saying things like "Jesus did not resurrect". The whole point of moving the Sabbath to Sunday, (the day of His Resurrection) and living our life for Him is the resurrection He promised, an invitation to be with Him forever. The first fruits is "the portion of the harvest offered in thanksgiving to God implies the consecration of the entire harvest to come. Christ's resurrection is not an end in itself; its finality lies in the whole harvest, ourselves." He sets the way, by being first. Is He first? Even if you don't make Him first in your life, doesn't mean He isn't already set first.
We prayed today "Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full. Hide me in the shadow of your wings, But I in justice shall behold your face; on waking, I shall be content in your presence." Day and night, breath by breath, our life should now be pumping breaths of God, that is, living a life in the Holy Spirit that is among us. This means the shadow of Him, as when the shadow of God covered the Mother of Jesus, the Holy Spirit came inside of her and Jesus, the light came to be. So it should be with all women now, Holiness, all men now, from women that are Holy, the fruit of the womb that God has created, a holy place not to be messed with.
In the Holy Gospel, various women are named, along with the disciples of the Lord. These women were touched by the Holy Spirit, by God Himself, healed, and the reason for following Him? Gratefulness. Appreciation. Thanksgiving...all things that mean the Holy Eucharist. They provided meals for the men and Jesus provides Himself to them. It is a very symbiotic relationship. People say "God don't need you". That's like saying, a choral reef doesn't need fish. That's like saying, not all sheep are welcome to the pasture. Of course God needs you, otherwise, why would He love you? God needs us to love Him, for ourselves, because He loves us that much, that is a selfless giving. And so the women were providing to God, Jesus, and He was providing to them, as on earth as it is in Heaven. That is why today we read about serving, by mother Teresa, "This is where sanctity is hidden for us: In knowing Jesus, in loving Jesus, and in serving Jesus in the people around us...". Hidden gems of Holiness. A treasure hunt, if you will. I hope there are some reading this and it hits home, right in the kisser, right in the heart; I've been asking for help in various ways for the church, many let me borrow things of theirs, many send money, many give some talent in some form or way, but what I really want is their presence. "Thank you for sending help...but when are you coming to be with me?" As if the very Lord were asking, like an abandoned old man in the nursing home "thanks for paying the bills, and sending me a coat...but when are you going to come see me?" This is where we need to learn from Saint Mother Teresa, she gave love, because many a time, that's all she had to offer when there was no shelter or food, or clothes. This is a basic survival need. Survivor stories often are heard "I survived because I thought of my loved ones". And so they fight for life. As a matter of fact, it is a reason my own dad came back to life after being electrocuted to death with his cousin in a farm accident with powerlines. His cousin died and never came back. My dad experienced andout of body experience, he saw his body laying there and said "that's not me, people are going to think that's me! And what about my mother? She is going to be so sad!" and he somewhat prayed and was popped back into his body, only to begin to experience excruciating pain, and trying to drag his dead cousin's body with his severely burned hands...welcome back to the world. Love is what God does, because that is what He is. I'm saying this to ask you, so you ask yourself, "what am I?", and "who am I"? There were thousands of so called believers of Christ, but just a few handfuls of actual followers. Who are you? Is your love for real? Your love of God? If you say yes and remember you have something against someone, or they have something against you, let this love be settled, before approaching the Lord. Because to serve the Lord, it is a cross. To many, a heavy cross. But like weight lifting training, it is hard at first, then you get fit, able to carry by perseverance and sticking with it.
Who are you anyway? This question will not be asked by the Lord if you are in Holy Communion with Him. He will accept your gift...your life, a life that was His anyways.
LOL, that thought alone makes me feel so good...because it reveals who you are and who I am...