To think of our own nourishment and satisfaction in terms of care for others and doing God's work reshapes our understanding of the most basic Christian prayer: the Our Father. To be given our daily bread, to be nourished by the Lord, is to recognize the daily opportunities to see the needs of others and respond.
† "O my God, teach me to be generous, to serve you as you deserve to be served, to give without counting the cost, to fight without fear of being wounded, to work without seeking rest, and to spend myself without expecting any reward, but the knowledge that I am doing your holy will. Amen." — St. Ignatius of Loyola
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞ "Whoever confesses his sins . . . is already working with God. God indicts your sins; if you also indict them, you are joined with God. Man and sinner are, so to speak, two realities: when you hear 'man' - this is what God has made; when you hear 'sinner' - this is what man himself has made. Destroy what you have made, so that God may save what he has made. . . . When you begin to abhor what you have made, it is then that your good works are beginning, since you are accusing yourself of your evil works. The beginning of good works is the confession of evil works. You do the truth and come to the light." — (CCC, 1458) AN EXCERPT FROM Catechism of the Catholic Church
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Information: Feast Day: October 20
A nun of Portugal who is especially revered in Santarem. She is considered by scholars to be identical to Irene (f.d. April 5), despite the considerable differences in years between the accounts of their lives.
As I begin this prayer, God is present, breathing life into me and into everything around me. For a few moments, I remain silent, and become aware of God's loving presence.
There are very few people who realise what God would make of them if they abandoned themselves into his hands, and let themselves be formed by his grace. (Saint Ignatius) I ask for the grace to trust myself totally to God's love.
How am I really feeling? Lighthearted? Heavy-hearted? I may be very much at peace, happy to be here. Equally, I may be frustrated, worried or angry. I acknowledge how I really am. It is the real me that the Lord loves.
Brothers and sisters: I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine, by the power at work within us, to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 11-12, 18-19 R. (5b) The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. 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. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. 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. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. But the plan of the LORD stands forever; the design of his heart, through all generations. Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. But see, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, To deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
Gospel 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 12:49-53
Jesus said to his disciples: "I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
So often Christians look like a discouraged group, with little passion in their lives for what they believe in. Yet we have chosen to follow someone who came to bring fire on earth, and who is passionate about kindling it.
Living my faith passionately will certainly involve me in conflict, even at the deepest levels of my life and relationships. I ask for freedom and wisdom to be able to deal well with such conflicts.
Jesus, you always welcomed little children when you walked on this earth. Teach me to have a childlike trust in you. To live in the knowledge that you will never abandon me. Conclusion
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
Saint Paul of the Cross, Priest (Optional Memorial)
Know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:19)
According to an old Norwegian proverb, "That which is loved is always beautiful." If you give the proper care to a flower, it becomes what it's supposed to be—beautiful. If you show love to a person who hasn't known much love, that person can become more like they were meant to be—more generous, more patient, more kind. For the ideal of beauty isn't so much on the outside of us as on the inside. It's not about what we have or what we know but who we are.
That kind of beauty is what Paul wanted to foster through the prayer in today's second reading. The first thing he prayed for was that his readers be empowered so that they could start feeding the poor, caring for the sick, or evangelizing the lost. He then prayed that they would be filled to overflowing with God's love. He knew that those who were "rooted and grounded" in Christ would have the right foundation on which to build the new Church (Ephesians 3:17).
This is a vital point for us to learn. Jesus wants us to build the Church, but he wants us to do it with his power, not just our effort. He wants us to learn how to minister out of his love and not just our own good intentions. To this end, He offers us deep experiences of his love so that we don't have to settle for an intellectual grasp of it or a theoretical understanding. His goal is that we would know his love in our deepest part, our "inner self" (Ephesians 3:16).
As you pray today, try to see yourself as a child of your heavenly Father. Perhaps using the psalms, reflect on his greatness and love. He created everything; even your next breath comes from him. His Son redeemed you on the cross with a love beyond all telling. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a glimpse of how great that love is. Let his peace fill you as you enter his presence. Know that he doesn't just "like" you. He actually delights in you!
"Father, help me experience the depths of your mercy so that I can live in the fullness of faith. Lord, set my heart aflame with your love."
We heard the Word today "I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named..." and ends with "to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." I kneel before the Father, I kneel because this is how I stand before the Lord, in humble adoration, but let it be an outward sign, like a sacrament, of what is going on inside. Because I live in a world that does not give glory to God in the Highest, most people can't, and so they won't. And why can't they? That is the question of the day. When you run into a person like that today, find out for me and let me know. "Why can't you give glory to God?" Giving glory is not the same as giving praise with words and dance. Giving glory is giving guts, giving your all, like our Lord on the cross.
We prayed today "The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. Exult, you just, in the LORD; praise from the upright is fitting." Praise from the upright is fitting, because the Lord loves a contrite heart, He'd rather have this than all the sacrifices of the world. And this act of contrition is an act of sincere love. Notice, contriteness comes before the Lord, that is, a reconciliation before an encounter and union...that is, a confession before Eucharist. Leave your gift at the altar if you remember someone has something against you. For Christ lives in this body and leaves Heaven to save a soul.
In comes the Lord into our lives with strong words that mean business...His Father's business, our Father's business. And it is my business to get into your business, your life, your dealings, your relationships with the light of Christ. And this does not settle well with the world. That is why the Lord says "Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division." He comes to set the world on fire. His anguish was burning for the baptism He was about to receive...the death of His body to resurrect and unite all that is HIS. Rightly so. We should all burn in anguish for this baptism that is coming, the fullness of our baptism into Him. In many a family, if not most, there are indeed divisions. It is the devil's job to divide, and the Lord's word does not set well with the evil one. And so you have one causing division by evil, and the Lord cutting evil from lives. Many a saint has had herself being torn from the altar by her own family, because they did not want her to be a nun, they wanted her to be what THEY wanted her to be. As if to say "don't throw your life away". While all she wanted to do was to give GLORY to God. And so, I invite you to waste your life away for the Lord. This is an investment in our Father's business. What the world considers "waste" like unborn babies in abortions, the Lord sees as most precious. There is great divisions in the world and it all has to deal with life. The Lord is life. The Lord's light does not set well with those accustomed to darkness. They don't want the light, they don't want the truth. Now, let's focus the light into your heart: Do you want the light of truth? And if so, will you be the light of truth?
Let us give Glory to God in the highest and His peace on people of this earth. What God does with Himself is awesome. In one single being, He converted Himself to bread from Heaven. An eternal bread. An eternal salvation. He can do this because He is God. Do you believe? I believe He does this and so much more...our steps then must become steps of faith. Courage. Courage to love in a world that fails to love Love, and God is LOVE