God's plan is so perfect that even sin, tragedy, and painful deaths are used to bring us to divine union. God wisely makes the problem itself part of the solution. It is all a matter of learning how to see rightly, fully, and therefore truthfully.
-from Eager to Love
† "There is still time for endurance, time for patience, time for healing, time for change. Have you slipped? Rise up. Have you sinned? Cease. Do not stand among sinners, but leap aside." — St. Basil the Great
✞"A man must go through a long and great conflict in himself before he can learn fully to overcome himself, and to draw his whole affection towards God. When a man stands upon himself he is easily drawn aside after human comforts. But a true lover of Christ, and a diligent pursuer of virtue, does not hunt after comforts, nor seek such sensible sweetnesses, but is rather willing to bear strong trials and hard labors for Christ." — Thomas a' Kempis, p. 64 AN EXCERPT FROM Imitation of Christ
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Saint Theodora Guérin
(October 2, 1798 – May 14, 1856)
Saint Theodora Guérin's Story
Trust in God's Providence enabled Mother Theodore to leave her homeland, sail halfway around the world, and found a new religious congregation.
Born in Etables, France, Anne-Thérèse Guerin's life was shattered by her father's murder when she was 15. For several years, she cared for her mother and younger sister. She entered the Sisters of Providence in 1823, taking the name Sister Saint Theodore. An illness during novitiate left her with lifelong fragile health, but that did not keep her from becoming an accomplished teacher.
At the invitation of the bishop of Vincennes, Indiana, she and five sisters were sent in 1840 to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, to teach and to care for the sick poor. She was to establish a motherhouse and novitiate. Only later did she learn that her French superiors had already decided the sisters in the United States should form a new religious congregation under her leadership.
She and her community persevered despite fires, crop failures, prejudice against Catholic women religious, misunderstandings, and separation from their original religious congregation. She once told her sisters, "Have confidence in the Providence that so far has never failed us. The way is not yet clear. Grope along slowly. Do not press matters; be patient, be trustful." Another time, she asked, "With Jesus, what shall we have to fear?"
She is buried in the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, and was beatified in 1998. Eight years later, she was canonized.
God's work gets done by people ready to take risks and to work hard—always remembering what Saint Paul told the Corinthians, "I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth." Every holy person has a strong sense of God's Providence.
Dear Lord, help me to be open to you for this time as I put aside the cares of this world. Fill my mind with your peace, Your Love.
Lord grant me the grace to have freedom of the spirit. Cleanse my heart and soul so I may live joyously in Your love.
Where do I sense hope, encouragement, and growth areas in my life? By looking back over the last few months, I may be able to see which activities and occasions have produced rich fruit. If I do notice such areas, I will determine to give those areas both time and space in the future.
The Word of God
Monday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Gal 1:6-12
Brothers and sisters: I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you by the grace of Christ for a different gospel (not that there is another). But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the Gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed!
Am I now currying favor with human beings or God? Or am I seeking to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.
Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the Gospel preached by me is not of human origin. For I did not receive it from a human being, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 111:1b-2, 7-8, 9 and 10c R. (5) The Lord will remember his covenant for ever. or: R. Alleluia. I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart in the company and assembly of the just. Great are the works of the LORD, exquisite in all their delights.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever. or: R. Alleluia. The works of his hands are faithful and just; sure are all his precepts, Reliable forever and ever, wrought in truth and equity.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever. or: R. Alleluia. He has sent deliverance to his people; he has ratified his covenant forever; holy and awesome is his name. His praise endures forever.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever. or: R. Alleluia.
Alleluia Jn 13:34 R. Alleluia, alleluia. I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 10:25-37
There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said, "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read it?" He said in reply, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." He replied to him, "You have answered correctly; do this and you will live."
But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn, and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, 'Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.' Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers' victim?" He answered, "The one who treated him with mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ Who is my neighbour? This is a fundamental question, perhaps as fundamental as the other one Jesus asked elsewhere, Who do you say I am? So much depends on my answer, which is only up to me. I dwell on this question, and as I struggle to answer it, I ask Jesus to help me answer it as a true disciple of his.
▪ I also listen to his advice, to go and do likewise, using mercy with my neighbour in real life. As I look at the faces of those who inhabit my life, I ask for the grace of an open and merciful heart similar to the Father's.
Dear Jesus, I can open up my heart to you. I can tell you everything that troubles me. I know you care about all the concerns in my life. Teach me to live in the knowledge that you who care for me today, will care for me tomorrow and all the days of my life.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
wau.org Catholic Meditations Meditation: Luke 10:25-37
27th Week in Ordinary Time
A Samaritan . . . was moved with compassion. (Luke 10:33)
We hear the phrase all the time. There are Good Samaritan hospitals and Good Samaritan laws; people may even call you a Good Samaritan if you do something helpful. But familiarity might make us miss an important point.
When Jesus told this parable, it was shocking. Jews didn't simply see Samaritans as social outcasts. They were their enemies. First-century Jews looked on Samaritans the way most Americans viewed the Nazis during World War II.
So the idea that a Samaritan man could be the hero of a story and an example of mercy must have shocked the scholar questioning Jesus. In theory, the scholar could admit that loving God and loving his neighbor were important. But it was hard to accept that a Samaritan could be so extravagant in love as to stop for a wounded Jew, bind his wounds, and pay an innkeeper to take care of him.
How might this parable surprise us today? Let's look at it from a different angle. Picture yourself as the wounded person. Who would you least expect to help you in a tough spot? Could the "hero" of your personal parable be a difficult or disobedient child who goes out to buy you a birthday present? Or a selfish co-worker who steps in to take some of the load off your shoulders when you face a family crisis? Or, to broaden the concept, what about an atheist who donates to Catholic Relief Services after a tragedy overseas?
These examples might be hard to swallow, but that's precisely the point of the parable! Each of us is a child of God, with both the capacity for virtue and the capacity for sin. In that mix, good can sometimes shine, even in the most unexpected people. This is because goodness is a reflection of God's life, and every person is created in his image and likeness—even the people we think are the furthest from the Lord.
So when you think about people who have disappointed you or rub you the wrong way, be on the lookout for goodness, and celebrate it when you see it.
"Jesus, open my eyes to your presence, even in people I have a hard time accepting."
The Lord heard the truth when someone said ""You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." But these were words they didn't even understand. We all know we should love God. But we don't understand what this means. We all know we should love our neighbor, but we don't know what that means. And so the bible scholar puts Jesus on the 5,000 year old question spot, "BUT! who is my neighbor?" Then Jesus replies with an answer. But first let's pray "The Lord will remember his covenant for ever. ...The works of his hands are faithful and just; sure are all his precepts, Reliable forever and ever, wrought in truth and equity." He keeps His end of the promise, and it is forever. Our Lord replies with the answer with the story of the poor beat up child of God, their own enemy. You see, the people turned against the people. Just like they turned against the Lord in real life ,we still do the same today. People versus people, instead of people versus the enemy. Because the Psalm we prayed said things like "faithful and just", which means obedience and holiness. I'll use myself as an example, the guinea pig, the lab rat: lately, I heard a person in the parish said that my wife 'needs to stop having kids". It was a harsh and hard remark. That person now is suffering a sickness. I find myself attending the person in their sickness, because they are beat up. I attend by attention and prayer...not hatred, not going around and beating around the bush, especially saying things like "I'm too busy". Too many sinners, not enough saints. Funny thing is, we are all holy, but tainted. We know the law written in our hearts. Let me give you some advice that might help your holiness, but these are words of a ranch hand style talk, not the most gracious, but it helps me lately: *some people talk with the wrong parts of their body: this does not mean they are not human with a heart for God." That's it. When sins can roll off of you, things people say about you and things people are doing in sin, when those things can not affect you and you can immerse yourself to help them and be with them and love them, lead them to Christ..then you'll begin to know what it is to love thy neighbor, and the neighbor is those we encounter in our life...