I can understand the greatness of God but I cannot understand his humility. It becomes so clear in him being in love with each one of us separately and completely. It is as if there is no one but me in the world. He loves me so much. Each one of us can say this with great conviction.
-from Thirsting for God: Daily Meditations
† "Let us make up for lost time. Let us give to God the time that remains to us." — St. Alphonsus Liguori
MEDITATION OF THE DAY "What are we to say of the charity and compassion of the Blessed Virgin, who for nine months bore, and still carries in her heart, the only Son of God, the uncreated charity which knows no bounds? If, as often as we approach a fire, we are affected by its heat, have we not reason to believe that whoever approaches the heart of the Mother of Mercies, ever burning with her most ardent charity, must be profoundly affected in proportion to the frequency of his petitions, the humility and confidence in his heart?" — Dom Lorenzo Scupoli, p.151 AN EXCERPT FROM Spiritual Combat
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Saint of the Day for September 28 (c. 907 – 929)
Saint Wenceslaus' Story
If saints have been falsely characterized as "other worldly," the life of Wenceslaus stands as an example to the contrary: He stood for Christian values in the midst of the political intrigues which characterized 10th-century Bohemia.
He was born in 907 near Prague, son of the Duke of Bohemia. His saintly grandmother, Ludmilla, raised him and sought to promote him as ruler of Bohemia in place of his mother, who favored the anti-Christian factions. Ludmilla was eventually murdered, but rival Christian forces enabled Wenceslaus to assume leadership of the government.
His rule was marked by efforts toward unification within Bohemia, support of the Church, and peace-making negotiations with Germany, a policy which caused him trouble with the anti-Christian opposition. His brother Boleslav joined in the plotting, and in September of 929 invited Wenceslaus to Alt Bunglou for the celebration of the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian. On the way to Mass, Boleslav attacked his brother, and in the struggle, Wenceslaus was killed by supporters of Boleslav.
Although his death resulted primarily from political upheaval, Wenceslaus was hailed as a martyr for the faith, and his tomb became a pilgrimage shrine. He is hailed as the patron of the Bohemian people and of former Czechoslovakia.
"Good King Wenceslaus" was able to incarnate his Christianity in a world filled with political unrest. While we are often victims of violence of a different sort, we can easily identify with his struggle to bring harmony to society. The call to become involved in social change and in political activity is addressed to Christians; the values of the gospel are sorely needed today. Saint Wenceslaus is the Patron
I know well that it is so; but how can a man be justified before God? Should one wish to contend with him, he could not answer him once in a thousand times. God is wise in heart and mighty in strength; who has withstood him and remained unscathed?
He removes the mountains before they know it; he overturns them in his anger. He shakes the earth out of its place, and the pillars beneath it tremble. He commands the sun, and it rises not; he seals up the stars.
He alone stretches out the heavens and treads upon the crests of the sea. He made the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south; He does great things past finding out, marvelous things beyond reckoning.
Should he come near me, I see him not; should he pass by, I am not aware of him; Should he seize me forcibly, who can say him nay? Who can say to him, "What are you doing?"
How much less shall I give him any answer, or choose out arguments against him! Even though I were right, I could not answer him, but should rather beg for what was due me. If I appealed to him and he answered my call, I could not believe that he would hearken to my words.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 88:10bc-11, 12-13, 14-15 R. (3) Let my prayer come before you, Lord. Daily I call upon you, O LORD; to you I stretch out my hands. Will you work wonders for the dead? Will the shades arise to give you thanks?
R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord. Do they declare your mercy in the grave, your faithfulness among those who have perished? Are your wonders made known in the darkness, or your justice in the land of oblivion?
R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord. But I, O LORD, cry out to you; with my morning prayer I wait upon you. Why, O LORD, do you reject me; why hide from me your face?
R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
Alleluia Phil 3:8-9 R. Alleluia, alleluia. I consider all things so much rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in him. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 9:57-62
As Jesus and his disciples were proceeding on their journey, someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus answered him, "Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head." And to another he said, "Follow me." But he replied, "Lord, let me go first and bury my father." But he answered him, "Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God." And another said, "I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home." Jesus answered him, "No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
Tough words here from Jesus. Following him is no world cruise.
It is easy to settle down into the comfort of my life and forget the cost of discipleship. The decision to follow Jesus has to be made and re-made.
Sacrifice is not a fashionable word today, but Jesus doesn't apologise for the fact that it is an essential part of the life of a disciple.
Lord, you give me images and stories that carry the one message: if I am to follow you, it must be a priority in my life, not something to be fitted in between other claims and other comforts, but central in my life; and it will cost. You test the sincerity of the eager young person who made a heroic offering: /I will follow you wherever you go./ Words come so easily, but living them out for a lifetime is tough. Give me strength.
I don't think here that Jesus is suggesting neglect of parents or those at home. In his strong way he is getting at us to remain alive to the challenges of the present moment, and to take our futures in hand. There seem to be excuses about following him, and he breaks through these with the call to depth in our following of him, and indeed to live our lives in the depth worthy of our humanity and of calling by him.
We can look back on a month and give thanks for the graces of prayer and other times. We can look forward as Jesus recommends today - to move forward in full-hearted service and love of him, knowing that his call involves us in all of our lives - prayer and action, love and friendship, justice and reconciliation.
It is easy for me to think of how I might be a better disciple if my situation where different. I take some time to consider how this is the road along which I walk with Jesus; he does not speak to me from a distance but knows where I am and sees where he wants to go with me.
Jesus asks me not to be distracted, not to have my attention dissipated by many concerns. I take some time on this Sunday to allow myself to hear God calling me at the level that is deeper than any distraction.
Dear Lord, stay by my side always. Gain for me a trusting heart. Thank you for loving me.
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 9:57-62
Saint Wenceslaus, Martyr (Optional Memorial)
I will follow you, Lord, but first . . . (Luke 9:61)
Following the Lord is never convenient. If it were up to us, the time would never be quite right. There's always just one project to finish, one medical challenge to overcome, one relationship to patch up, one person to care for, one final good-bye. "It won't take long, Lord. I'll be right back; I promise."
Jesus has a different perspective. He sees the one thing that is holding us back. He knows how much it matters to us. But did it ever occur to you that it matters to him as well? It saddens him when we turn aside and try to handle it on our own. He wants to be in the middle of that challenge, working with us to make things better. He knows that not only will something wonderful be accomplished, but our hearts will change in subtle ways, and we will grow closer to him.
The right time is always now. "Now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2). Jesus doesn't keep track of how many times you may have said, "Not yet." Wherever you are on the road, he wants to journey with you. He wants to invite you to take one step closer to becoming the disciple that he is calling you to be.
That step may seem small and insignificant to you, but every yes has infinite value to God. Every morning when you thank him for the opportunity of another day, the door opens a little more. Every time you ask him to show you his presence in someone who rubs you the wrong way, your heart softens a bit more. Every time you surrender your loved ones to the Father's loving care, the bonds of anxiety loosen just a bit more.
How is Jesus calling you today? Perhaps something like fear or bitterness is holding you back. Maybe he is commending you for your generosity and asking you to take it a little further. Or perhaps you've become so busy that you've forgotten to listen for his call. Whatever it is, know that you can lay it before him and find the grace you need to take that next right step.
"Jesus, thank you for calling me to be your follower and your friend. Help me say yes to you again and again."
We heard today in the first Holy Scripture: "If I appealed to him and he answered my call, I could not believe that he would hearken to my words." If there is a chance, if the Lord grants me the opportunity of Heaven, one man I would love to meet is Job. Because today, he has moved my heart to humility. His story has inspired me to be with God, and never look away, no matter what, and it comes by sincere faith, that shows its fruit....humility.
Today we prayed "Let my prayer come before you, Lord. Do they declare your mercy in the grave, your faithfulness among those who have perished? Are your wonders made known in the darkness, or your justice in the land of oblivion?" Keep these words in mind as we hear the Words come forth from the mouth of the Lord today, about the dead burying the dead. Darkness imparts darkness, therefore, be the light to impart the light of Christ.
In comes the Christ of God: ""Follow me." The Lord says. It is not an invitation, it is a command. Follow ME. And the people respond as they do today "but...but first let me do this, and that". The Lord responds with powerful words, doesn't He?
* "Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head." BE PREPARED for A LIFE that Won't Quit, and Won't rest (settle).
▪ "Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God." BE PREPARED TO GIVE TESTIMONY OF CHRIST, of Light to a world of death, so do not mingle in this world of death, and the sin that brings it about.
▪ "No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God." BE PREPARED to give to the world what is of the world, and your soul to Christ, to the Lord, to our God.
Do not look back, like the wife of Lot. God says do not look back. What does this mean? It means turning away from Him. Losing sight of Him, to focus all your love on Him and to turn away...could lead you astray and to death. To let the dead bury the dead means to see beyond, look beyond the death, their end, the end of the world. To not look back at what you have plowed goes beyond the superficial, of seeing with your eyes the fruit you desire. They say in the USCCB footnotes, that Elisha asked Elijah if he could go back and kiss his father goodbye, and Elijah says ""Go back! What have I done to you?" 1Kings19:20. Do what you gotta do, but let your heart be set like flint for GOD. So Elisha went back, slaughtered the oxen and burned the cart as fuel for the fire. This means much. It means he burned up all the world offered him and he offered it to God. This is what Jesus is asking us...to burn ourselves. They say the end of the world will end with fire. It is good. Because Jesus desires it to end with a world in flames. "Uhh, is Mr. Adrian talking about the sun engulfing the earth eventually?". No. I'm talking about the Son of God engulfing the world FIRST. You see, the bible is a set of books on spirituality. Of those things that happen internally, that the world does not want to venture out upon. I pray for you to realize the truths of the world...and the world is God's vineyeard. It is the plantation. He provides the seeds, what are you doing with His seed? My dad wants to plant and finds that seeds are very expensive, and if not planted right, it is a big waste of time and money. This is to say, God's seed is precious. This morning I led a safety meeting and right before I asked the boss (my dad) what I should say, what to cover. I took notes and turned off the lights and let the projector turn on for the meeting. I got so wrapped up in what the slides said and in what I had to say that I forgot to say most things the boss, my father wanted me to say. This is what happens in the dark, the darkness of being so wrapped up in yourself. This is why, I would love to meet a humble soul like Job. Where he has not place to rest, but in Christ. Where he looks not back at the plow of his life. Where he lets the dead bury the dead, and He continues ...facing GOD