Nowadays, everyone feels attracted by the many idols which take the place of God and appear to offer hope: money, success, power, pleasure. Often a growing sense of loneliness and emptiness in the hearts of many people leads them to seek satisfaction in these ephemeral idols. Dear brothers and sisters, let us be lights of hope!
† "Often, actually very often, God allows his greatest servants, those who are far advanced in grace, to make the most humiliating mistakes. This humbles them in their own eyes and in the eyes of their fellow men." — St. Louis de Montfort
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞
"We do not come to church to attend the service as a spectator, but in order, along with the priest, to serve God. Everything we do—our entering, being present, our kneeling and sitting and standing, our reception of the sacred nourishment—should be divine service. This is so only when all we do overflows from the awareness of a collected heart and the mind's attentiveness." — Fr. Romano Guardini, p. 28 AN EXCERPT FROM Meditations Before Mass
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Saint Charles Borromeo
Saint of the Day for November 4 (October 2, 1538 – November 3, 1584)
Saint Charles Borromeo's Story
The name of Saint Charles Borromeo is associated with reform. He lived during the time of the Protestant Reformation, and had a hand in the reform of the whole Church during the final years of the Council of Trent.
Although he belonged to Milanese nobility and was related to the powerful Medici family, he desired to devote himself to the Church. When his uncle, Cardinal de Medici, was elected pope in 1559 as Pius IV, he made Charles cardinal-deacon and administrator of the Archdiocese of Milan while he was still a layman and a young student. Because of his intellectual qualities he was entrusted with several important offices connected with the Vatican and later appointed secretary of state with responsibility for the papal states. The untimely death of his elder brother brought Charles to a definite decision to be ordained a priest, despite relatives' insistence that he marry. Soon after he was ordained a priest at the age of 25, he was consecrated bishop of Milan.
Because of his work at the Council of Trent, he was not allowed to take up residence in Milan until the Council was over. Charles had encouraged the pope to renew the Council in 1562 after it had been suspended for 10 years. Working behind the scenes, Saint Charles deserves the credit for keeping the Council in session when at several points it was on the verge of breaking up. He took upon himself the task of the entire correspondence during the final phase.
Eventually, Charles was allowed to devote his time to the Archdiocese of Milan, where the religious and moral picture was far from bright. The reform needed in every phase of Catholic life among both clergy and laity was initiated at a provincial council of all the bishops under him. Specific regulations were drawn up for bishops and other clergy: If the people were to be converted to a better life, he had to be the first to give a good example and renew their apostolic spirit.
Charles took the initiative in giving a good example. He allotted most of his income to charity, forbade himself all luxury and imposed severe penances upon himself. He sacrificed wealth, high honors, esteem, and influence to become poor. During the plague and famine of 1576, he tried to feed 60,000 to 70,000 people daily. To do this he borrowed large sums of money that required years to repay. Whereas the civil authorities fled at the height of the plague, he stayed in the city, where he ministered to the sick and the dying, helping those in want.
Work and the heavy burdens of his high office began to affect his health. He died at the age of 46. Reflection
Saint Charles made his own the words of Christ: "…I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me" (Matthew 25:35-36). Charles saw Christ in his neighbor and knew that charity done for the least of his flock was charity done for Christ. Saint Charles Borromeo is the Patron Saint of:
As I sit here, the beating of my heart, the ebb and flow of my breathing, the movements of my mind are all signs of God's ongoing creation of me. I pause for a moment, and become aware of this presence of God within me.
Lord, I pray for your gift of freedom. May your Holy Spirit guide those in power to work for equality for all your people.
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.
Join with others in being imitators of me, brothers and sisters, and observe those who thus conduct themselves according to the model you have in us. For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their "shame." Their minds are occupied with earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified Body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, beloved.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 122:1-2, 3-4ab, 4cd-5 R. (1) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord. I rejoiced because they said to me, "We will go up to the house of the LORD." And now we have set foot within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord. Jerusalem, built as a city with compact unity. To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord. According to the decree for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the LORD. In it are set up judgment seats, seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Alleluia 1 Jn 2:5 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Whoever keeps the word of Christ, the love of God is truly perfected in him. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 16:1-8
Jesus said to his disciples, "A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property. He summoned him and said, 'What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward.' The steward said to himself, 'What shall I do, now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me? I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg. I know what I shall do so that, when I am removed from the stewardship, they may welcome me into their homes.' He called in his master's debtors one by one. To the first he said, 'How much do you owe my master?' He replied, 'One hundred measures of olive oil.' He said to him, 'Here is your promissory note. Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.' Then to another he said, 'And you, how much do you owe?' He replied, 'One hundred measures of wheat.' He said to him, 'Here is your promissory note; write one for eighty.' And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently. For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than the children of light."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ Jesus tells us of someone who, having acted unjustly and having being exposed by his employer went to great trouble to make friends of his master's debtors, by forgoing his commission on the debts. In this way, he provided for the lean days ahead.
▪ Jesus makes the point that we too should take stock of how we stand with God. We too have our weaknesses, perhaps, at times, squandering our God-given gifts. In the end, our God is a God of compassion on whom we depend for forgiveness.
What feelings are rising in me as I pray and reflect on God's Word? I imagine Jesus himself sitting or standing near me and open my heart to 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.
He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified Body. (Philippians 3:21)
Rummaging through your father's drawer—the one filled with old keepsakes—you discover an unfamiliar photograph. It's he as a teenager, grinning. He's standing on a dock, poised to leap into a serene lake. The photographer must have managed to capture his attention the instant before the plunge. It's hard to peel your eyes away from his vibrant young face.
Photos of our parents in their youth can be riveting. We recognize them because their core features remain—but still, how different they look! Gazing into their eyes in an old snapshot, it's like we're meeting them for the first time.
If it's this much fun to see our parents young, can you imagine how it would feel to see ourselves as we will be, when our lowly bodies are glorified, and we're changed into the very image of Jesus Christ? "Thrilling" is probably a good guess. Paul must have felt this excitement as he wrote to the believers in Philippi. Surely, they would have also been delighted to consider how God's power would, one day, complete their work of transformation.
Take a few moments right now to envision this heavenly snapshot. See the you that will inhabit eternity: your eyes glimmer with light reflected from the Son of God. You are grinning widely because you have been tasting the eternal fruit of years spent trying to follow the Lord. Every burden has been lifted. Every inner hurt has been healed. Your battle against sin is forever won. God's unique imprint of his own personality within yours has, at last, been fully revealed.
Isn't it encouraging to recognize this person is you? It's the you that even right now, the Spirit is working to uncover. Through the storms, trials, stretching, and monotonies of life, the old version of you is peeling away, and Christ in you, the hope of glory, is being revealed. God won't stop until his transforming work is finished.
If this little exercise is stirring up hunger for a spiritual breakthrough of some sort, carry it to the Lord in your prayer. Ask him to help you work on one specific area. And be on the lookout for evidence of the changes taking place.
We heard the Word of the Lord to you today "my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, beloved." Stand firm! These trials we are enduring are to see if they will knock you down. Stand firm! The waves are slamming your boat. Stand firm with the Lord! When temptations are striking and trying to ease their way into your life, Stand Firm! Stand with the Lord. Stand firm when your faith is being put to the test, God is saying "Stand Firm"! Your love must be ROCK SOLID.
We prayed today "I rejoiced because they said to me, "We will go up to the house of the LORD." We will render an account, but if the Lord is saying "I want you with Me", then what account rendering will you do? It will be a rendering of joy, a rendering of mercy. And this is why our Lord is saying today "Stand Firm...We will go up to the house of the Lord".
In comes our Lord " ...the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than the children of light." We get what we want, depending how much you want it, and so my question is, how much do you want God and Heaven and Holiness? You must do whatever it takes for the Kingdom of God. The stickers I made say MK1:15 and this scripture says ""This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." The stewardship of our talents and time and treasure is now. Would you rather be dishonest to wealth or to God? What will it take? It is the question of the god of money, Mammon, and other gods, like self satisfaction, and pride, versus all things opposite...LIFE. In today's 5 minutos it said: "An elderly man calls his son who is in New York, and says to him 'I hate to ruin these festive holidays, but I have to tell you, your mother and I are divorcing after 45 years of matrimony and so much misery, it's been enough!'. "Dad, what are you saying? shouts the son. "We can't continue together, we can no longer coexist" said the old man. "We are tired of one another". 'But why dad? Ya'll were doing marvelous last time I went to visit you!' "Son, I'm tired of this and can't continue on the phone, please tell your sister in Hong Kong". Frantically, the son calls his sister and she explodes on the phone "How the devil are they divorcing?" she yelled "I'm going to take care of this". She calls her old dad immediately and yells "Do not divorce yet. Don't do one thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back and we'll be there tomorrow, until then, don't do anything, do you hear me?" she yelled as she hung up the phone. The elderly man hangs up the telephone and tells his wife "We did it my Love, our children will be here with us for Christmas, and they are paying for their own trip, love you." Don't stop hugging and honoring your parents while you can. Exodus20:12" Are God's ways fair? Question is, are we being fair to ourselves and one another? What's fair is bringing God into their lives by bringing Him into our lives...the more...THE BETTER