Lord, teach us to step outside ourselves. Teach us to go out into the streets and manifest your love. –Pope Francis
-from The Spirit of Saint Francis
"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire." — St. Catherine of Siena
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞
"We do find, it is true, great battles to fight, and great hardships to master; but that good Mother makes herself so present and so near to her faithful servants, to enlighten them in their darknesses and their doubts, to strengthen them in their fears, and to sustain them in their struggles and their difficulties, that in truth this virginal path to find Jesus Christ is a path of roses and honey compared with other paths." — St. Louis de Montfort, p. 82 AN EXCERPT FROM True Devotion to Mary
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Saint of the Day for February 7
(January 13, 1381 – March 6, 1447)
Colette did not seek the limelight, but in doing God's will she certainly attracted a lot of attention. Colette was born in Corbie, France. At 21, she began to follow the Third Order Rule and became an anchoress, a woman walled into a room whose only opening was a window into a church.
After four years of prayer and penance in this cell, she left it. With the approval and encouragement of the pope, she joined the Poor Clares and reintroduced the primitive Rule of St. Clare in the 17 monasteries she established. Her sisters were known for their poverty—they rejected any fixed income—and for their perpetual fast. Colette's reform movement spread to other countries and is still thriving today. Colette was canonized in 1807.
Colette began her reform during the time of the Great Western Schism (1378-1417) when three men claimed to be pope and thus divided Western Christianity. The 15th century in general was a very difficult one for the Western Church. Abuses long neglected cost the Church dearly in the following century. Colette's reform indicated the entire Church's need to follow Christ more closely. Saint of the Day
God said, "Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures, and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky." And so it happened: God created the great sea monsters and all kinds of swimming creatures with which the water teems, and all kinds of winged birds. God saw how good it was, and God blessed them, saying, "Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas; and let the birds multiply on the earth." Evening came, and morning followed–the fifth day.
Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures: cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds." And so it happened: God made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle, and all kinds of creeping things of the earth. God saw how good it was. Then God said: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground."
God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.
God blessed them, saying: "Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth." God also said: "See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food; and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground, I give all the green plants for food." And so it happened. God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good. Evening came, and morning followed–the sixth day.
Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed. Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing, he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation.
Such is the story of the heavens and the earth at their creation.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R. (2ab) O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth! When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you set in place— What is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man that you should care for him? R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth! You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him rule over the works of your hands, putting all things under his feet. R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth! All sheep and oxen, yes, and the beasts of the field, The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea, and whatever swims the paths of the seas. R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
Alleluia Ps 119:36, 29b
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Incline my heart, O God, to your decrees; and favor me with your law. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mk 7:1-13
When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus, they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands. (For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews, do not eat without carefully washing their hands, keeping the tradition of the elders. And on coming from the marketplace they do not eat without purifying themselves. And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed, the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds.) So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, "Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?" He responded, "Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written:
This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.
You disregard God's commandment but cling to human tradition." He went on to say, "How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition! For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother, and Whoever curses father or mother shall die. Yet you say, 'If someone says to father or mother, "Any support you might have had from me is qorban"' (meaning, dedicated to God), you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother. You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many such things."
What is man that you should be mindful of him? (Psalm 8:5)
Have you ever tried to count the stars but found the task overwhelming? Or as a student, did you gaze into a microscope and become amazed at all the activity in a single drop of pond water? We truly do live in an amazing, complex world!
The more we discover about the universe, the more insignificant one human being can seem. But don't forget each of these amazing discoveries was made by human beings. It shows us that the intricate working of our own minds is just as astounding as the celestial or cellular choreography going on around us. It shows that as amazing as the world is, as awe inspiring as our discoveries can be, our own human capacity for growth, knowledge, and development is even more amazing.
Today's Responsorial Psalm gives us a glimpse of who we are and what we can accomplish. The psalmist rejoices that God has made us "little less than the angels" and crowned us with "glory and honor" (Psalm 8:6). He also proclaims that God is "mindful" of us (8:5). He keeps his eye on us, not because he is looking for any misstep, but because he takes delight in us. He enjoys seeing all that we can accomplish. Now that's expansive!
This sounds so wonderful—too wonderful, in fact, when we consider our sins and our limitations. "How can God rejoice in me? I have too many problems; I'm nowhere near the kind of disciple I should be." But that's not how God sees you. He doesn't look only at who you are right now; he also sees who you can become. He sees the person he has created you to be: kind, generous, pure, humble, and faithful. And through his Holy Spirit, he has given you the ability to overcome any obstacle you may encounter.
Remember this truth: God always takes the long view. Remember it when you have the chance to return hostility with kindness. Remember it when you feel the impulse to invite someone to church or pay an unexpected compliment to a coworker. Remember it when you are tempted to respond with anger instead of patience.
God has made you for great things; don't ever be afraid to reach for them!
"Father, your majesty shines through everything you have made—even me!"
Genesis 1:20–2:4 Mark 7:1-13
"God blessed them, saying: "Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it." This was God's blessing. He said go out and fill the earth with blessings...Himself. It is what Jesus intends for the souls, it is what the Father intends for the body, the temple of the soul. Our part...obedience. Obedience on blessings.
We prayed today "O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!" Who prays this? Who praises like this? Jesus did, and Jesus does. His name is an inspiration, a prayer, a hope, and a reaching out for salvation. This is why and how it is wonderful, because it is full of amazement at they mystery of the Lord.
In comes the Lord into our lives: "How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition!" This is a continuous phenomenon, that in the times of the Jews they kept making up new laws, and laws became just as if not more important than God's laws. It is the same today, in Church and State. Laws keep coming. Jews had made up more than 600 laws and regulations. And today, there are hundreds of laws. One goes direct against human life and dignity...abortion. God said "be fruitful and multiply" and the laws say it is "lawful" to kill your unborn child. They become laws in the hearts of the people...your own made up laws. Now, with that being said...reconsider what you believe to be right or wrong. In Church, I've heard of complaints "they shouldn't sit here" or "they shouldn't wash the cups like that, who does she think she is?!" The laws made up by man suddenly are used to put down another. Certainly this was the case with our Lord. They were claiming He was being dirty and unclean and disobedient, when all they were doing was their best, like a man walking in with shorts to Church, not knowing better or perhaps was last minute. Where is the love of God? Where is it when you can not hold back your tongue lashings? Where is it when you can not reach to the lowly? Where is it when you can not see the truth? Where is it? Buried in the hundreds of laws you have made up? And thus buried with the unborn and all those you have tossed from your life?
Where is it? Where is your love of God? Have you made up so many excuses and walls between you and Him that you can not see Him and hear Him anymore? Those walls are sin. Those walls are what comes down when the Holy Spirit comes down into our lives. To this day, lawmakers are arguing about life. And so it is an argument about Jesus. Because He is life, He is the one desiring for the fertile souls to multiply....souls saving souls