Hold a space in your heart for the world. We're all ancestors of future generations who hope we'll build the fire that can be seen in the distance: all of us, each one of us, traveling together on the one road.
† "When you have free moments, go faithfully to prayer. The good God is waiting for you there." — St. Julie Billiart
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞
"Many things happen that God does not will. But he still permits them, in his wisdom, and they remain a stumbling block or scandal to our minds. God asks us to do all we can to eliminate evil. But despite our efforts, there is always a whole set of circumstances which we can do nothing about, which are not necessarily willed by God but nevertheless are permitted by him, and which God invites us to consent to trustingly and peacefully, even if they make us suffer and cause us problems. We are not being asked to consent to evil, but to consent to the mysterious wisdom of God who permits evil. Our consent is not a compromise with evil but the expression of our trust that God is stronger than evil. This is a form of obedience that is painful but very fruitful." — Fr. Jacques Philippe, p. 33 AN EXCERPT FROM In the School of the Holy Spirit
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Blessed Bartholomew of Vicenza
Saint of the Day for October 27 (c. 1200 – 1271)
Dominicans honor one of their own today, Blessed Bartholomew of Vicenza. This was a man who used his skills as a preacher to challenge the heresies of his day.
Bartholomew was born in Vicenza around 1200. At 20, he entered the Dominicans. Following his ordination, he served in various leadership positions. As a young priest, he founded a military order whose purpose was to keep civil peace in towns throughout Italy.
In 1248, Bartholomew was appointed a bishop. For most men, such an appointment is an honor and a tribute to their holiness and their demonstrated leadership skills. But for Bartholomew, it was a form of exile that had been urged by an antipapal group that was only too happy to see him leave for Cyprus. Not many years later, however, Bartholomew was transferred back to Vicenza. Despite the antipapal feelings that were still evident, he worked diligently—especially through his preaching—to rebuild his diocese and strengthen the people's loyalty to Rome.
During his years as bishop in Cyprus, Bartholomew befriended King Louis IX of France, who is said to have given the holy bishop a relic of Christ's Crown of Thorns.
Bartholomew died in 1271. He was beatified in 1793. Reflection
Despite oppositions and obstacles, Bartholomew remained faithful to his ministry to God's People. We face daily challenges to our faithfulness and duties as well. Perhaps Bartholomew could serve as an inspiration in our darker moments.
I pause for a moment and think of the love and the grace that God showers on me: I am created in the image and likeness of God; I am God's dwelling-place.
"In these days, God taught me as a schoolteacher teaches a pupil" (Saint Ignatius). I remind myself that there are things God has to teach me yet, and ask for the grace to hear them and let them change me.
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.
The Word of God
Thursday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time Readings Audio Reading 1 Eph 6:10-20
Brothers and sisters: Draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the Devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the Gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the Evil One. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit. To that end, be watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the holy ones and also for me, that speech may be given me to open my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the Gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains, so that I may have the courage to speak as I must.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 144:1b, 2, 9-10 R. (1b) Blessed be the Lord, my Rock! Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock! My mercy and my fortress, my stronghold, my deliverer, My shield, in whom I trust, who subdues my people under me.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock! O God, I will sing a new song to you; with a ten stringed lyre I will chant your praise, You who give victory to kings, and deliver David, your servant from the evil sword.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
Alleluia See Lk 19:38; 2:14 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 13:31-35
Some Pharisees came to Jesus and said, "Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you." He replied, "Go and tell that fox, 'Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose. Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day, for it is impossible that a prophet should die outside of Jerusalem.'
"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling! Behold, your house will be abandoned. But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ Jesus is so free before all threats of suffering and persecution. The source of this freedom was his passionate awareness of who he was and what he was called to. Our times are also passionately proud of freedom, but it is not always the freedom that allows us to do great things; it is often the fear to lose what we have that leads our lives, and that makes us even more vulnerable and open to threats.
▪ There is no doubt that Jesus had a special love for Jerusalem. Even nowadays it is a city that is so symbolic of many of the tensions that rile our world. Today I pray that Jerusalem can become a city of peace, that accepts its mission to bring people together like a hen that gathers her chickens under her wings.
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.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
"Blessed are you, Lord 'my rock'! I need a solid rock to stand on today. You offer me a footing that will not sway or tremble as the tremors of life today try to make me stumble and fall.
"Lord, you are in control; everything in heaven and on earth is subject to you. I know that although many things will try to shake my thoughts and emotions today, you are my stability. When bad things happen, I will still declare that you are good. When I act unlovable, I will still believe that you love me. If the struggles I face threaten to drain me of energy and hope, I will hold fast to you, the One who fills me with all the fullness of God.
"Lord, I know that many things will try to shake my emotions, and that I may try to rebel. But you train me for battle. In the face of the lies that tell me I am no good, that I can't hear from you, or that you have nothing to offer, you have taught me to declare this unwavering truth: I belong to you, and you will never abandon me! I know I can hear from you because you love to speak with your children!
"O Lord, my Mercy and my Fortress, the battle is real, and it rages around me. Teach me how to fight temptation and disappointment—in you and other people. You give victory to kings, so please come and subdue these enemies attacking me. Hide me in the shelter of your loving arms, and stand as a shield between me and the forces of darkness.
"Lord, I choose your protection today. I will trust in you and believe that you—who did not spare your own Son but gave him up for us all—will grant me what is good and what will help me know you more and live more fully the life you have called me to. Father, protect me from discouragement and fear and self-righteousness. Subdue pride and jealousy and lust in me. I trust in your mercy. I open my heart to the grace to live in the victory you have won for me.
"Father, today I proclaim that I am more than a conqueror because you love me!"
The Word of the Lord says today "So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the Gospel of peace." What does this say? It should be saying: Be Ready Stay Awake Live righteousness (breastplate) which is Holiness and oneness with our Lord Be Vigilant Be Protected, so that you yourself may protect. Otherwise, how can a blind person lead a blind man?
We prayed today "Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war." I am a warrior in training. My CD this year is titled WARRIOR, (the song is available at going4th.com and hit music). The rock of faith set on the rock of Peter for the Holy Church is training us for a war that has nothing to do with an earthly military. In these realms, wars are occurring. It is a terrible war and I have to say, the battle is not looking good. Our people are weak, they are falling for pornography, drugs, and false idols on tv and sports. Our people fill stadiums and theatres and churches are not filled very well at every Mass, because I go to daily Masses and Saturday Masses which are not very filled. Lines to confessions are pretty short compared to those receiving the Lord...something for nothing. And what do I mean "something for nothing"? If the Lord hasn't told you already, it means you go to receive the Lord unavailable to receive graces because sin blocks grace. You go to receive the Lord but your heart is closed. You go for something and for nothing, because you go with closed hands, and not an open heart of the spirit. The battle against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behavior is rampant. I would like to see laws that ban pornography just like the ban what they cause...abortions and contraception. Because you need contraception and abortions to keep up with the pornography in the world. The spiritual battle is waged and the war is taking tolls on the people, to the tune of millions and millions of unborn lives, and millions and millions more souls involved with their passing.
In comes the Lord of our lives and let's see His reaction to the rattle of the rattlesnake: "Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you." He replied, "Go and tell that fox, 'Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose." The rattle was a warning, "you better get on out of here if you know what's good for you". Jesus, like many saints after Him stand their ground. No, I will not leave, I am not afraid of those that kill the body, but afraid of the one who has power after this earthly life, meaning, the Lord. When a rattlesnake coils up and is rattling, (and I've seen this twice in the last couple weeks out here in the country), they are tensed up and giving off a loud warning "Stay away, or ELSE!" And what if it is blocking the way into your house? Which often is the case. What if it is keeping you from your crying child..that could possibly be in danger? This is how the Lord approaches the only way in to salvation of His children. He knows what He has to do...the snake must die, it must be removed, the obstacles must be removed. And He risks His life for His children, although the risk is small to an all knowing God. Because He has power over everyone and every thing. And we live in this world where His power is not sought, therefore, the war is not fought. This is the only reason things are as "bad" as we see. It is because you have not sought the living God. It is because you have not fought the living war. The angels look to us mesmerized and hoping we defeat evil. Saints are on our side, only if we call for assistance. And God is the victory at the end of the war. So what is the point of fighting? Because in the war, souls, which souls are at stake? Yours. Your loved ones. And all the holy innocent.
If this touches your heart, you are a warrior in training. I am to be more physically fit for God. I am to be more spiritually fit for God. I am to be fit to fight evil. Saints like Saint Padre Pio fought actual devils at night, and it happened because he fought all day, praying rosary after rosary, Mass after Mass, confessing and forgiving hour after hour every day. It would be an honor to fight. A warrior looks forward to fighting. I was close to putting an actual Native Indian Warrior on the cover, and read up on some of their battles. They were a spiritual clan, and warriors were hungry to fight and win. But the song I wrote was about Jesus. He fought like no other fight. He never made a sound, never fought back physically, but just said the truth. This was to stand firm in faith. This was humility in action, a human in obedience to God. The song says "I am counted among you" as if He is in disguise and He is, He dresses as a human being. If angels do this, God does all the more. I encourage you to do what very few do...become a WARRIOR of GOD.