All idols will fail us. We will never have enough money to satisfy our desires, no matter how much we amass. Success disappears as easily as it comes; power is temporary and partial at best. Likewise, pleasure is fleeting. What is worse, when we follow an idol, we tend to recalibrate our worldview to fit our idol.
† "Christ Himself is our mouth through which we speak to the Father, our eye through which we see the Father, our right hand through which we offer to the Father. Without His intercession neither we nor all the saints have anything with God." — St. Ambrose
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞
"Let the sinner know that he will be tortured throughout all eternity, in those senses which he made use of to sin. I am writing this at the command of God, so that no soul may find an excuse by saying there is no hell, or that nobody has ever been there, and so no one can say what it is like. I, Sister Faustina, by the order of God, have visited the abysses of hell so that I might tell souls about it and testify to its existence." — St. Faustina Kowalska (741) AN EXCERPT FROM Diary of St. Faustina
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Saint Wolfgang of Regensburg
Saint of the Day for October 31 (c. 924 – August 31, 994)
Saint Wolfgang of Regensburg's Story
Wolfgang was born in Swabia, Germany, and was educated at a school located at the abbey of Reichenau. There he encountered Henry, a young noble who went on to become Archbishop of Trier. Meanwhile, Wolfgang remained in close contact with the archbishop, teaching in his cathedral school and supporting his efforts to reform the clergy.
At the death of the archbishop, Wolfgang chose to become a Benedictine monk and moved to an abbey in Einsiedeln, now part of Switzerland. Ordained a priest, he was appointed director of the monastery school there. Later he was sent to Hungary as a missionary, though his zeal and good will yielded limited results.
Emperor Otto II appointed him Bishop of Regensburg, near Munich. He immediately initiated reform of the clergy and of religious life, preaching with vigor and effectiveness and always demonstrating special concern for the poor. He wore the habit of a monk and lived an austere life.
The draw to monastic life never left him, including the desire for a life of solitude. At one point he left his diocese so that he could devote himself to prayer, but his responsibilities as bishop called him back. In 994, Wolfgang became ill while on a journey; he died in Puppingen near Linz, Austria. He was canonized in 1052. His feast day is celebrated widely in much of central Europe. Reflection
Wolfgang could be depicted as a man with rolled-up sleeves. He even tried retiring to solitary prayer, but taking his responsibilities seriously led him back into the service of his diocese. Doing what had to be done was his path to holiness—and ours.
May my heart rejoice in your love, O Lord. Let me live each day anew.
Fill me with Your Holy Spirit Lord, so that I may have inner freedom. Let your Spirit instil in my heart a desire to know and love you more each day.
Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I look honestly over the last day, its events and my feelings. Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks. Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness.
Brothers and sisters: If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing. Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but also everyone for those of others.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 131:1bcde, 2, 3 R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace. O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor are my eyes haughty; I busy not myself with great things, nor with things too sublime for me.
R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace. Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted my soul like a weaned child. Like a weaned child on its mother's lap, so is my soul within me.
R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace. O Israel, hope in the LORD, both now and forever. R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.
Alleluia Jn 8:31b-32 R. Alleluia, alleluia. If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, says the Lord. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 14:12-14
On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees. He said to the host who invited him, "When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or sisters or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ So much of our behaviour and choices is determined or at least influenced by the expectations and behaviour of others. Jesus uses a very simple yet telling example to challenge us to give freely, not expecting anything back. We can do this only if we are aware that we too have received freely.
▪ The writers of the first centuries of Christianity used to say that it will be the poor who will welcome us at the doors of heaven. Will they know me well enough to let me in, do they have an important place in my heart?
How has God's Word moved me? Has it left me cold? Has it consoled me or moved me to act in a new way? I imagine Jesus standing or sitting beside me, I turn and share my feelings with him.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
wau.org Catholic Meditations Meditation: Luke 14:12-14
31st Week in Ordinary Time
Do not invite your friends. (Luke 14:12)
When you were in high school, there were probably people around you who hung out in cliques. They spent a lot of time with those who dressed like them or talked like them, played the same sports, or listened to the same music. Being with the in-group gave them a feeling of belonging. Some of them seldom moved out of those cliques to mingle with people who were different.
In today's reading, Jesus invites his host—a Pharisee—to venture beyond his own clique. Many of the Pharisees who opposed Jesus did not reach out to the less fortunate. By avoiding people who weren't like them, they missed out on the works of compassion at the heart of the Law they cherished so much.
But Jesus saw that this Pharisee was open. He had invited Jesus to his house, so he was already looking for the truth. Thus, Jesus tried to get him to see things in a new light, the light of his mercy.
Jesus invites us to see things in that same light. His life shows us that mercy in action looks radical. Throughout his life, he embraced poverty and was shunned by the powerful. He spent time with prostitutes and ate with tax collectors. He healed lepers by touching them. Even when compared to our modern ideas of social justice, these actions can seem radical. Yes, it's good to give our resources to the poor, but it's harder to give ourselves.
"Do not invite your friends." As you meditate on this verse today, consider how Jesus' words to the Pharisee weren't empty philosophy. When he told his host to invite "the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind," this was something Jesus had actually done (Luke 14:13). He constantly reached out to the marginalized. He loved them and was one of them.
Imagine Jesus ministering to people on the fringes, to the poor or isolated. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you look at them the way Jesus did. You may find yourself thinking differently about people outside your circle of friends. And you might just act differently too.
"Lord, who are the broken in my midst? How can I touch them with your love?"
We heard the Word of God today "complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing. Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory". God says "complete MY joy". Not your joy, not what makes you happy, but what pleases the Lord, and what pleases the Lord is good. Don't you want to make your Father happy? The more love He is shown, the better, but this has to come from a sincere love of the Father. We prayed today "In you, O Lord, I have found my peace." and "O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor are my eyes haughty; I busy not myself with great things, nor with things too sublime for me." In the humanity of things, we find God. Every human being carries the potential of our Lord to be present. As I see the lines receiving the Holy Eucharist, I see the Lord embedded in these bodies both physically and spiritually. Our part is the soil, His is the grace of the seed. In comes the Lord of our lives "when you hold a banquet, invite the poor" and then says "blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you." I've given my life to the poor, and this I say as I type. How? These unborn children, I've dedicated so much time and efforts, I've been doing my part, we have been doing our part. They can not repay me for what I have done for them. I can't say I've saved a soul, but together we have saved many lives from being taken. But the poor are more. This weekend, I heard someone say that faith is a gift. When you are given a gift, aren't you honored? So if you have faith, you have been honored. The one giving the gift, are they thanked? Are they appreciated? You see, giving is a one way street. It is to never expect anything in return, God pays. So invest yourself in giving. What's that you are thinking? You don't really have money? Perhaps if you give, you'll realize how much you really have. Oh, wait...what's that? You don't time? Perhaps investing time will make more time magically appear in your life. God can do this. Then, time becomes love. You spend on what you love. Spend it on the poor. I find myself praying for those around me, to be given a gift of God...faith. But the kind of faith that obeys the Lord. Because everybody says they believe, but few move on it. This morning as I woke up I read a scripture in a text message a brother sent me from Matthew 7:24 "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock". It is a call for action, for they say Love is an action, not an idea.