We can become saints not because of what we are but because of what he is, and what he can make of us. Love is the one thing necessary. You must love God with your whole mind, your whole heart, with all your strength. Let him become part of your work and play . . . let him be your constant companion throughout the day, speaking to him as you would a friend.
† "When you sit down to eat, pray. When you eat bread, do so thanking Him for being so generous to you. If you drink wine, be mindful of Him who has given it to you for your pleasure and as a relief in sickness. When you dress, thank Him for His kindness in providing you with clothes. When you look at the sky and the beauty of the stars, throw yourself at God's feet and adore Him who in His wisdom has arranged things in this way. Similarly, when the sun goes down and when it rises, when you are asleep or awake, give thanks to God, who created and arranged all things for your benefit, to have you know, love and praise their Creator." — St. Basil the Great
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞
"Prayer is more the work of the heart than of the head; it should, therefore, be simple, affective, and sincere. Let not the mind, then, weary itself in seeking for beautiful thoughts and sonorous phrases; we meditate not to prepare a finished sermon, nor to address God with fine rhetoric, but to nourish our soul with reflections which may enlighten and move us, and excite holy and generous resolutions; we make these reflections for ourselves alone, let them, then, be simple as well as pious. In affections, likewise, we seek for the practice of virtue, and not for the pleasures of a refined egotism. Let us never confound our sensible feelings with our will, or mere emotion with devotion. None of these acts need be made with a feverish ardour, nor in a tone of enthusiastic fervor . . . Above all, our prayers should be the faithful echo of our interior dispositions; our affections should express the sentiments which reign in our heart, or which we wish to form there; our petitions should proceed from a real desire; our every resolution should be a firm purpose of the will, and thus our whole soul will be upright and sincere before God." — Rev. Dom Vitalis Lehodey, p. 99 AN EXCERPT FROM The Ways of Mental Prayer
click to go there
Saint Albert the Great
Saint of the Day for November 15 (1206 – November 15, 1280)
Saint Albert the Great's Story
Albert the Great was a 13th-century German Dominican who decisively influenced the Church's stance toward Aristotelian philosophy brought to Europe by the spread of Islam.
Students of philosophy know him as the master of Thomas Aquinas. Albert's attempt to understand Aristotle's writings established the climate in which Thomas Aquinas developed his synthesis of Greek wisdom and Christian theology. But Albert deserves recognition on his own merits as a curious, honest, and diligent scholar.
He was the eldest son of a powerful and wealthy German lord of military rank. He was educated in the liberal arts. Despite fierce family opposition, he entered the Dominican novitiate.
His boundless interests prompted him to write a compendium of all knowledge: natural science, logic, rhetoric, mathematics, astronomy, ethics, economics, politics, and metaphysics. His explanation of learning took 20 years to complete. "Our intention," he said, "is to make all the aforesaid parts of knowledge intelligible to the Latins."
He achieved his goal while serving as an educator at Paris and Cologne, as Dominican provincial, and even as bishop of Regensburg for a short time. He defended the mendicant orders and preached the Crusade in Germany and Bohemia.
Albert, a Doctor of the Church, is the patron of scientists and philosophers.
An information glut faces us Christians today in all branches of learning. One needs only to read current Catholic periodicals to experience the varied reactions to the findings of the social sciences, for example, in regard to Christian institutions, Christian life-styles, and Christian theology. Ultimately, in canonizing Albert, the Church seems to point to his openness to truth, wherever it may be found, as his claim to holiness. His characteristic curiosity prompted Albert to mine deeply for wisdom within a philosophy his Church warmed to with great difficulty. Saint Albert the Great is the Patron Saint of:
To be present is to arrive as one is and open up to the other. At this instant, as I arrive here, God is present waiting for me. God always arrives before me, desiring to connect with me even more than my most intimate friend. I take a moment and greet my loving God.
A thick and shapeless tree-trunk would never believe that it could become a statue, admired as a miracle of sculpture, and would never submit itself to the chisel of the sculptor, who sees by his genius what he can make of it (Saint Ignatius). I ask for the grace to let myself be shaped by my loving Creator.
Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I can afford to be honest about how I am. How has the last day been, and how do I feel now? I share my feelings openly with the Lord.
I, John, heard the Lord saying to me: "To the angel of the Church in Sardis, write this:
"'The one who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars says this: "I know your works, that you have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Be watchful and strengthen what is left, which is going to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember then how you accepted and heard; keep it, and repent. If you are not watchful, I will come like a thief, and you will never know at what hour I will come upon you. However, you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; they will walk with me dressed in white, because they are worthy.
"'The victor will thus be dressed in white, and I will never erase his name from the book of life but will acknowledge his name in the presence of my Father and of his angels.
"'Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'"
"To the angel of the Church in Laodicea, write this:
"'The Amen, the faithful and true witness, the source of God's creation, says this: "I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, 'I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,' and yet do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich, and white garments to put on so that your shameful nakedness may not be exposed, and buy ointment to smear on your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise. Be earnest, therefore, and repent.
"'Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me. I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne, as I myself first won the victory and sit with my Father on his throne.
"'Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'"
Responsorial Psalm Ps 15:2-3a, 3bc-4ab, 5 R. (Rev. 3: 21) I will seat the victor beside me on my throne. He who walks blamelessly and does justice; who thinks the truth in his heart and slanders not with his tongue.
R. I will seat the victor beside me on my throne. Who harms not his fellow man, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor; By whom the reprobate is despised, while he honors those who fear the LORD.
R. I will seat the victor beside me on my throne. Who lends not his money at usury and accepts no bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be disturbed.
R. I will seat the victor beside me on my throne. Alleluia 1 Jn 4:10b R. Alleluia, alleluia. God loved us, and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 19:1-10
At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house." And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they saw this, they began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner." But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ Zaccheus wanted to see who Jesus was by looking at him from a safe position. But you cannot know anyone just by looking at them – something else has to happen. Jesus struck up a relationship with Zaccheus and this caused a great change in his future way of living.
▪ Prayer helps us to strike up a deep relationship with Jesus and he calls us by name. Life is never the same again after Jesus enters your 'house' and builds up a friendship which is far more valuable than you could ever ask or imagine.
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 19:1-10
Saint Albert the Great, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)
Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house. (Luke 19:5)
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? That's a difficult question! Today's Gospel poses a similar dilemma. Who saw whom first, Zacchaeus or Jesus?
Maybe it was Zacchaeus. After all, he hoisted himself into a sycamore tree so that he could catch a glimpse of the Lord. Then again, maybe it was Jesus. He seemed to know exactly where Zacchaeus was, and he readily called him by name and invited himself over for dinner. So who saw whom first?
We may never know. But we do have a good idea of what each person saw. Zacchaeus saw a holy man, and he dared to hope that Jesus could bring him peace.
Jesus looked into Zacchaeus' heart and saw his eagerness and curiosity. He saw his desire to grow closer to God. Of course, he saw his sin, but that didn't stop him. He loved everything else he saw so much that he answered Zacchaeus' silent prayer and called him.
Commenting on this passage, St. Augustine wrote, "The Lord, who had already welcomed Zacchaeus in his heart, was now ready to be welcomed by him into his home." Before Zacchaeus had even thought about climbing that tree, Jesus was already at work in him.
In the same way, Jesus saw you before you woke up this morning. He loved what he saw, and he began working in your heart. While you slept, he was giving you the grace you'll need today.
Jesus came "to seek and to save what was lost" (Luke 19:10). To seek out Zacchaeus, he provided the grace—the curiosity, the longing, and the hunger for God—that would get him up that tree. He is seeking you today too.
Do you feel a nudge to pray? To read Scripture or go to Mass? To turn away from a tempting situation? Those promptings come from the Lord. He is nudging you every day, trying to get your attention. Even when you are oblivious or resistant, he keeps working to bring you back.
Jesus has already welcomed you into his heart. Now he wants you to welcome him into yours. Are you ready to receive him? Follow those "nudges," and he will come in.
"Jesus, you see my heart and know what this day holds. Help me to stay close to you."
The Word of the Lord enters our life, and today He says "If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me." You know, if you properly read all of the reflections before this one, and you read the Scripture properly, you will hear His voice. But if you skim through and if you rush, and if you don't actually pray the words you are reading and opening yourself, then you will not hear Him. Now, do you want to hear Him? I think you do. Here's yet another chance to hear Him! For I put myself at His disposal, at His Word is my word, my life seeking Him, and that is the key, the truth in faith. We prayed today " I will seat the victor beside me on my throne." and "He who walks blamelessly and does justice; who thinks the truth in his heart and slanders not with his tongue." Walking blameless is crucial, and doing justice is just as important, but keep in mind, that God's justice means holiness, it does not mean putting people in "their place" because most often, you'd be sending them to hell, simply a slander, simply an unkind word, and simply a thoughtless word that causes great duress and stress. Then, the inverse is true, a kind word can lift up a spirit, and this is why we have the Word of the Lord, the Word that has Words of eternity...now let us turn to Him.
In comes the Lord of Life, pay very close attention: ""YOU my child, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house." Today is the day He wants to come and STAY at YOUR house, your place, your being. Is there room for Him? Which room would you give Him? What would you give Him? What would you cook for Him? What would you say to Him? Would there be a long awkward silence of a stranger in your home, or would there be an endless conversation, and if there is conversation, what would it be about? Would it be about world problems? Would it be all about your problems? And if so, why? And if He leaves, then you regret, wondering "why didn't I ask Him about Heaven? Why didn't I ask Him what He thought of me? Why didn't I ask how I could get all my loved ones into Heaven? Why didn't I...let Him inside my heart?" And these are the bitter tears of torment in hell. For He came by, and you let Him pass by. For He came so close when He entered your house, but not...your home, and home is where the heart is. From morning till night, the Lord desires you, calling you, if it were not so, you would not be alive, much less be reading this. The prophetic message of repentance will never grow old, because we always need it for mercy. I want you to envision a world where mercy abounds and love abounds, and it is engulfed with light. Sounds like Heaven on earth, no? And so, it becomes an inverse invitation. We go to Church and find our home. The Lord didn't come into my home...we went into His. This is where we give to the poor. This is where we enjoy the love of community. This is where we are taught, this is where we learn, and this is where we grow, Home. Find your home, the Father is waiting. You need nothing else. Whatever the obstacles you got, you make the climb, and God will see your effort, and how? Because He sees in the heart and calls you by name, and when your name is called, don't be paralyzed in fear, but explode with joy of having been lost...and having been found!!!!