We must trust in the Holy Spirit and be open to the possibility that we don't yet understand the fullness of our faith, and we have so much more to learn and discover.
–from God Is Not Fair
† "No one can make excuses, because anyone can love God; and he does not ask the soul for more than to love him, because he loves the soul, and it is his love." — Blessed Angela of Foligno
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞ "The vow of poverty is a generous renunciation and detachment from the heavey burden of temporal things. It is an alleviation of the spirit, it is a relief afforded to human infirmity, the liberty of a noble heart to strive after eternal and spiritual blessings. It is a satiety and abundance, in which the thirst after earthly treasures is allayed, and a sovereignty and ownership, in which a most noble enjoyment of all riches is established. All this, my daughter, and many other blessings are contained in voluntary poverty, and all this the sons of the world are ignorant and deprived of, precisely because they are lovers of earthly riches and enemies of this holy and opulent poverty." — Ven. Mary of Agreda, p. 85 AN EXCERPT FROM The Mystical City of God
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Saint Callistus I
Saint of the Day for October 14 (d. 223)
Saint Callistus I's Story
The most reliable information about this saint comes from his enemy Saint Hippolytus, an early antipope, later a martyr for the Church. A negative principle is used: If some worse things had happened, Hippolytus would surely have mentioned them.
Callistus was a slave in the imperial Roman household. Put in charge of the bank by his master, he lost the money deposited, fled, and was caught. After serving time for a while, he was released to make some attempt to recover the money. Apparently he carried his zeal too far, being arrested for brawling in a Jewish synagogue. This time he was condemned to work in the mines of Sardinia. He was released through the influence of the emperor's mistress and lived at Anzio.
After winning his freedom, Callistus was made superintendent of the public Christian burial ground in Rome (still called the cemetery of Saint Callistus), probably the first land owned by the Church. The pope ordained him a deacon and made him his friend and adviser.
He was elected pope by a majority vote of the clergy and laity of Rome, and thereafter was bitterly attacked by the losing candidate, Saint Hippolytus, who let himself be set up as the first antipope in the history of the Church. The schism lasted about 18 years.
Hippolytus is venerated as a saint. He was banished during the persecution of 235 and was reconciled to the Church. He died from his sufferings in Sardinia. He attacked Callistus on two fronts—doctrine and discipline. Hippolytus seems to have exaggerated the distinction between Father and Son (almost making two gods) possibly because theological language had not yet been refined. He also accused Callistus of being too lenient, for reasons we may find surprising: 1) Callistus admitted to Holy Communion those who had already done public penance for murder, adultery, and fornication; 2) he held marriages between free women and slaves to be valid—contrary to Roman law; 3) he authorized the ordination of men who had been married two or three times; 4) he held that mortal sin was not a sufficient reason to depose a bishop; 5) he held to a policy of leniency toward those who had temporarily denied their faith during persecution.
Callistus was martyred during a local disturbance in Trastevere, Rome, and is the first pope (except for Peter) to be commemorated as a martyr in the earliest martyrology of the Church. Reflection
The life of this man is another reminder that the course of Church history, like that of true love, never did run smooth. The Church had to (and still must) go through the agonizing struggle to state the mysteries of the faith in language that, at the very least, sets up definite barriers to error. On the disciplinary side, the Church had to preserve the mercy of Christ against rigorism, while still upholding the gospel ideal of radical conversion and self-discipline. Every pope—indeed every Christian—must walk the difficult path between "reasonable" indulgence and "reasonable" rigorism.
I reflect for a moment on God's presence around me and in me. Creator of the universe, the sun and the moon, the earth, every molecule, every atom, everything that is: God is in every beat of my heart. God is with me, now.
I try to let go of concerns and worries that may be dragging me down at this present moment. I place any concerns I have in Gods hands - at least for these few minutes of prayer.
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: In Christ we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ. In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, which is the first installment of our inheritance toward redemption as God's possession, to the praise of his glory.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 12-13 R. (12) Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own. Exult, you just, in the LORD; praise from the upright is fitting. Give thanks to the LORD on the harp; with the ten stringed lyre chant his praises.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own. For upright is the word of the LORD, and all his works are trustworthy. He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own. Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he has chosen for his own inheritance. From heaven the LORD looks down; he sees all mankind.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Alleluia Ps 33:22 R. Alleluia, alleluia. May your kindness, LORD, be upon us; who have put our hope in you. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 12:1-7
At that time: So many people were crowding together that they were trampling one another underfoot. Jesus began to speak, first to his disciples, "Beware of the leaven–that is, the hypocrisy–of the Pharisees.
"There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops. I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one. Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ 'Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows'. I let the gentle force of these words enter my heart and inspire me with God's provident care for me personally. I remain in wonder and gratitude.
▪ Jesus once again warns us of hypocrisy, this time comparing it to the yeast which, though small in quantity can wreak great damage to my life and that of others. Very often I am not aware of my own hypocrisy, so I ask for the grace of light, and of a pure heart. Blessed are the pure of heart for they will see God.
Conversation requires talking and listening. As I talk to Jesus may I also learn to be still and listen. I picture the gentleness in His eyes and the smile full of love as he gazes on me. I can be totally honest with Jesus as I tell Him of my worries and my cares. I will open up my heart to Him as I tell Him of my fears and my doubts. I will ask Him to help me to place myself fully in His care, to abandon myself to Him, knowing that He always wants what is best for me.
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 12:1-7
Saint Callistus I, Pope and Martyr (Optional Memorial)
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. . . . Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows. (Luke 12:4, 7)
Fear is not always a bad thing. God himself gave us the emotion of fear to energize us, to focus our attention, and to help us deal with a threat when danger surfaces. But so often our fears are exaggerated or misplaced. We fear the wrong things for the wrong reasons.
It's when we focus too much on ourselves that fear cripples us. We keep silent about our faith because we are afraid of what others will think of us. We are afraid that if we say the wrong thing, we will disappoint ourselves, someone else, or God. We can forget how good and faithful God is and become filled with anxiety about the future: What if global warming melts the polar ice caps? What if terrorists poison our drinking water? What if we or a loved one were to contract an incurable disease?
This kind of fear is a work of the devil. He wants to keep us living under dark and ominous clouds so that we never look up to God and find the strength, the courage, and the confidence to move forward. He knows that when we give in to our fears, we become paralyzed and unable to do what God is calling us to do. We forget his loving care, to which Jesus testifies so plainly when he reminds us that even the sparrows are under his protection (Luke 12:6).
Fear is a good thing, even a gift. Let's not forget that even Jesus was fearful at times. But fear can also overpower us and hold us in spiritual and physical bondage. For instance, it's normal to be concerned about the safety of our spouse or children, but it's not good for this concern to cross over into a sense of anxiety and impending dread. When this happens, we can turn to the Lord and ask for his protection and deliverance. We can surrender our lives to him and tell him that we know we can't control everything that happens but that we trust in him and his plan.
"Jesus, help me to cast away needless fear and trust in your powerful, personal love."
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "...we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One...so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ...In him you also,...were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit". This is a purpose driven life...that of Christ, to live for a reason and that reason is our hope, and our faith, and our Love, and that is Christ! We prayed: "Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he has chosen for his own inheritance. From heaven the LORD looks down; he sees all mankind." I want our Nation to prove that God is Lord and no one nor any thing else. I want the world to see the truth behind the blessing...our Lord. But if we choose the curse, and this goes for every little bad word and thought, then it is not going to be revealed as a blessing to the world.
In comes our Lord: ""There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known." And this is a divine revelation. It is such a revelation of God that we should tremble and wish to remain a mute, or a cripple, or blind, rather than to sin. It is to desire for the hand to be cut off, or the eye pulled out, rather than to sin. It is to ultimately say "I'd rather die than to offend you again Oh God ALMIGHTY!"... but who does this? Who in the world desires this? In reality, very few of us. And so, the case is of relying on mercy. The Lord our God says today "I shall show you whom to fear." and He has life after these few years of life in His hands. And the judges? Those who have gone before us, and the worst judge? Ourselves. Hypocrisy. The Lord says today ""Beware of the leaven–that is, the hypocrisy–of the Pharisees." In the cursillo movement, in the course at one point, there is talk of a "Pharisaical Phil" and a "Mechanical Mike". These people talk the talk, and look like they are living the faith, their religion, but in reality, they are not. And so the question falls on you and me, are you living like a mechanical robot? Just doing what you are programmed to do? Or are you truly seeking and desiring God's heart? Are you falling in love more and more with God or with something or someone else? Who or what do you love more? Tell me, and I'll tell you who your god is. Because if anything is happening in today's Holy Gospel, it is a tearing of the temple veil to reveal the true Covenant that the Ark brought in, and that Covenant, that new Covenant, that new Testament is JESUS ushered in by God in a Holy Body...Mary. This is aimed at tearing apart your heart to reveal the truth. And the truth will remain open.
You know, as I used to pray on the sidewalks in front of an abortion clinic, it was interesting to see how much they in Planned Parenthood (abortion provider) wanted us to shut up, to be silenced for the truth to go away. They used the law, the cops, they used the media, they used loud music, they used yelling and screaming and cursing and obscene gestures, and in some parts, some have been killed. But the truth will never be silenced. God is always in the open. Are you open to the truth? To GOD!!!!!!??