One of the primary ways we can respond to the call to live abundantly is by developing an attitude based on a rich sense of prayerfulness—that is, being in the present with our eyes wide open to the presence and reflection of God in all things, including ourselves.
-from Prayer in the Catholic Tradition
† "In everything, whether it is a thing sensed or a thing known, God Himself is hidden within." — St. Bonaventure
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "What made the holy apostles and martyrs endure fierce agony and bitter torments, except faith, and especially faith in the resurrection? What is it that today makes true followers of Christ cast luxuries aside, leave pleasures behind, and endure difficulties and pain? It is living faith that expresses itself through love . . . It is because of faith that we exchange the present for the future." — Pope Benedict XIV, p. 205 AN EXCERPT FROM Witness of the Saints
click to go there
Saint of the Day for October 6 (c. 1030 – October 6, 1101)
Saint Bruno's Story
This saint has the honor of having founded a religious order which, as the saying goes, has never had to be reformed because it was never deformed. No doubt both the founder and the members would reject such high praise, but it is an indication of the saint's intense love of a penitential life in solitude.
Bruno was born in Cologne, Germany, became a famous teacher at Rheims, and was appointed chancellor of the archdiocese at the age of 45. He supported Pope Gregory VII in his fight against the decadence of the clergy, and took part in the removal of his own scandalous archbishop, Manasses. Bruno suffered the plundering of his house for his pains.
He had a dream of living in solitude and prayer, and persuaded a few friends to join him in a hermitage. After a while he felt the place unsuitable and, through a friend, was given some land which was to become famous for his foundation "in the Chartreuse" (from which comes the word Carthusians). The climate, desert, mountainous terrain, and inaccessibility guaranteed silence, poverty, and small numbers.
Bruno and his friends built an oratory with small individual cells at a distance from each other. They met for Matins and Vespers each day and spent the rest of the time in solitude, eating together only on great feasts. Their chief work was copying manuscripts.
The pope, hearing of Bruno's holiness, called for his assistance in Rome. When the pope had to flee Rome, Bruno pulled up stakes again, and spent his last years (after refusing a bishopric) in the wilderness of Calabria.
Bruno was never formally canonized, because the Carthusians were averse to all occasions of publicity. However, Pope Clement X extended his feast to the whole Church in 1674.
If there is always a certain uneasy questioning of the contemplative life, there is an even greater puzzlement about the extremely penitential combination of community and hermit life lived by the Carthusians.
"Be still and know that I am God." Lord, Your words lead us to the calmness and greatness of Your Presence.
Thank you God for my freedom May I use this gift to do what I can for those who are oppressed or burdened.
In God's loving presence I unwind the past day, starting from now and looking back, moment by moment. I gather in all the goodness and light, in gratitude. I attend to the shadows and what they say to me, seeking healing, courage, forgiveness.
O stupid Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? I want to learn only this from you: did you receive the Spirit from works of the law, or from faith in what you heard? Are you so stupid? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? Did you experience so many things in vain?– if indeed it was in vain. Does, then, the one who supplies the Spirit to you and works mighty deeds among you do so from works of the law or from faith in what you heard?
Responsorial Psalm Lk 1:69-70, 71-72, 73-75 R. (68) Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people. He has raised up for us a mighty savior, born of the house of his servant David.
R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people. Through his holy prophets he promised of old that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us.
R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people. He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant.
R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people. This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hands of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.
R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; He has come to his people. Alleluia See Acts 16:14b
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Open our hearts, O Lord, to listen to the words of your Son. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 11:5-13
Jesus said to his disciples: "Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,' and he says in reply from within, 'Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.' I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.
"And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ Do I believe that prayer and praying works? I recall those instances where my persistence in prayer paid off. I ask myself whether it was just hard-headedness or whether it helped me become more open to God's love and care for me and my loved ones. Again I ask Jesus to teach me to pray better.
▪ I pray for childlike trust in God and his love for me. I pray for the ability to trust him when my prayers are not answered, and ask for his Holy Spirit.
Do I notice myself reacting as I pray with the Word of God? Do I feel challenged, comforted, angry? Imagining Jesus sitting or standing by me, I speak out my feelings, as one trusted friend to another.
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 11:5-13
Saint Bruno, Priest (Optional Memorial)
-How much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him? (Luke 11:13)-
For decades, physicists have been searching for a tiny particle that most of us never even think about. Scientists describe it as the missing piece to understanding the universe. This tiny particle is important because it gives all matter its mass. Its name? The Higgs boson particle. Hundreds of feet underground, scientists have built a huge particle collider seventeen miles in circumference. They've been using it nonstop since 1998 in their quest. It wasn't until 2012 that the existence of this particle was tentatively—not completely—confirmed. That's one elusive little particle!
Thankfully, today's Gospel isn't asking us to explore particle physics. Instead, Luke is inviting us to seek after the "Higgs boson particle" of the Christian life: the Holy Spirit.
Jesus urges his disciples to pray persistently; then he brings up the Holy Spirit at the very last minute. This can make the Holy Spirit seem like an afterthought. But if you look at Luke's Gospel as a whole, you'll find the Spirit showing up at almost every turn. From Jesus' birth and dedication through his entire ministry, the Spirit is a key player. In the Acts of the Apostles, which Luke also wrote, the Spirit takes center stage. It's no wonder either! The Holy Spirit is God's power in the world.
You don't have to develop an expensive and complicated science experiment to find the Spirit. You don't need a particle collider. You can find evidence of his presence in your own heart and in the world around you. It's the Spirit who draws you to read the Scriptures and spend time in prayer. He nudges you to reach out to people in need or share your faith. He calls you to try a new ministry in the Church. And he persistently moves in your heart, calling you again and again to return to him.
Today in prayer, ask God to open your eyes to the Holy Spirit. Maybe you are already aware of him; ask for more! Ask for his presence to be so powerful in your life that you know, without a doubt, that he is moving and active, just as he was in the early Church.
"Father, I ask you to send me the Spirit. Let him come into every area of my life and make his presence known."
Saint Paul exhorts and questions today "Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?" Who has fooled you, making you a fool? Who has given you lies and tricked your mind? Who has made you think your ways were better than His? It is not religion that gave us God, but GOD gave us religion...that is...our Faith! He has the Word of eternal life. Let us pray on this Word from today's Psalm "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people. This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hands of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life." And the Messiah that would save everyone from our enemies, they awaited, He came, and they kept waiting, He died and rose again, and they keep waiting, as if nothing happened. Fools, Saint Paul says, for the Lord is right here and among us and we can not see Him? Him that was on the cross before their very eyes, and is made known to the faithful this very day! In comes the Lord of our lives today "I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence." Either the Lord our Father is our friend (rightly should be your best friend, the one you love above all) or else He is going to be because we do not give up. If anything you can obtain and retain today, this Word has been granted to me to share: persistence contains humility. And on Sunday, we will learn of gratitude containing humility. This common kernel, this spiritual atom, will bind us to Him in an invisible attribute we call...Love. Every single Holy Mass I've been going to, every single day for the past several weeks, I have been persistent in one prayer...for the Unborn, the children in the womb that have no voice in this world, no voice but yours. Arise my people! Awaken! Awake from the hypnosis of the world! God is alive! When our eyes open to Him, life is all anew, and this is an experience of a heavenly realm.
""And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find" says our Lord God Almighty. But his is not a "name and claim" line to be used for our earthly advantage. No. Everything we have read is of the spirit. The Bible deals with souls. Everything else is a means for the demise or salvation. You can not walk in the middle any more. Either you Love God, or you do not. How can I explain this so we can understand? It is like this: many times in my life, I fall into deep prayer and I feel the Lord ask my heart "what is it that you want from Me?" And all my wires get crossed, my computer freezes, (my mind), and I remain in a long silence, unable to answer the Almighty.
What happens there is un-explainable, inexplicable. Because I'm always praying for something or someone, but at this moment, my prayers vanish. But it is a steeped moment in a vast universe of a reality that puts an entire life into perspective in a single moment: what else could I desire but God!!!???