If we have to wait for long for anything, we feel stress rising within—a sure sign that impatience is getting the upper hand. And when we are impatient, we can lose our temper, act rashly, harm ourselves or others, or make a mess of that which we wanted to turn out well.
–from the book: Don't Panic: How to Keep Going When the Going Gets Tough
✞ "Faith is a habit of the mind whereby eternal life is begun in us, making the intellect assent to what is non-apparent." — St. Thomas Aquinas
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Very pleasing to Me, dearest daughter, is the willing desire to bear every pain and fatigue, even unto death, for the salvation of souls, for the more the soul endures, the more she shows that she loves Me; loving Me she comes to know more of My truth, and the more she knows, the more pain and intolerable grief she feels at the offenses committed against me." — St. Catherine of Siena, p. 9 AN EXCERPT FROM The Dialogue of St. Catherine Of Siena
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "Happy are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord. Happy are those who keep his decrees, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways." Psalm 119:1-3
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Saint Paschal Baylon
Saint of the Day for May 17
(May 24, 1540 – May 15, 1592)
In Paschal's lifetime the Spanish empire in the New World was at the height of its power, though France and England were soon to reduce its influence. The 16th century has been called the Golden Age of the Church in Spain, for it gave birth to Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Peter of Alcantara, Francis Solano and Salvator of Horta.
Paschal's Spanish parents were poor and pious. Between the ages of seven and 24 he worked as a shepherd and began a life of mortification. He was able to pray on the job and was especially attentive to the church bell, which rang at the Elevation during Mass. Paschal had a very honest streak in him. He once offered to pay owners of crops for any damage his animals caused!
In 1564, Paschal joined the Friars Minor and gave himself wholeheartedly to a life of penance. Though he was urged to study for the priesthood, he chose to be a brother. At various times he served as porter, cook, gardener, and official beggar.
Paschal was careful to observe the vow of poverty. He would never waste any food or anything given for the use of the friars. When he was porter and took care of the poor coming to the door, he developed a reputation for great generosity. The friars sometimes tried to moderate his liberality!
Paschal spent his spare moments praying before the Blessed Sacrament. In time, many people sought his wise counsel. People flocked to his tomb immediately after his burial; miracles were reported promptly. Paschal was canonized in 1690 and was named patron of eucharistic congresses and societies in 1897.
Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament occupied much of Saint Francis' energy. Most of his letters were to promote devotion to the Eucharist. Paschal shared that concern. An hour in prayer before our Lord in the Eucharist could teach all of us a great deal. Some holy and busy Catholics today find that their work is enriched by those minutes regularly spent in prayer and meditation.
Saint Paschal Baylon is the Patron Saint of:
Eucharistic Congresses and Societies
Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Reading 1 Acts 15:1-6
Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers, "Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved." Because there arose no little dissension and debate by Paul and Barnabas with them, it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others should go up to Jerusalem to the Apostles and presbyters about this question. They were sent on their journey by the Church, and passed through Phoenicia and Samaria telling of the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the brethren. When they arrived in Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the Church, as well as by the Apostles and the presbyters, and they reported what God had done with them. But some from the party of the Pharisees who had become believers stood up and said, "It is necessary to circumcise them and direct them to observe the Mosaic law."
The Apostles and the presbyters met together to see about this matter.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 122:1-2, 3-4ab, 4cd-5 R. (see 1) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. 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. or: R. Alleluia. 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. or: R. Alleluia. 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. or: R. Alleluia.
Alleluia Jn 15:4a, 5b R. Alleluia, alleluia. Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord; whoever remains in me will bear much fruit. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 15:1-8
Jesus said to his disciples: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you. Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples."
Catholic Meditations Meditation: Acts 15:1-6
5th Week of Easter
There arose no little dissension and debate. (Acts 15:2)
Now that's an understatement! The question of how to integrate Gentile converts into the almost exclusively Jewish Church was probably the most hotly debated issue the first disciples faced. When some Jewish believers from Judea came to Antioch teaching that circumcision was necessary for salvation, the need for an answer became immediate. Let's take a look at the details.
Faithful Jews who had embraced Jesus as the Messiah valued the Mosaic law. It set them apart as God's chosen people. Their special covenant with God was precious: it demonstrated their commitment to him and his commitment to them. It's no wonder the Jewish Christians expected Gentile believers to embrace the Mosaic Law before they became part of the Church.
But Paul and Barnabas had seen dramatic conversions of Gentiles. They had seen that God "opened the door of faith" to a people who had been outside of God's covenant with Israel (Acts 14:27). Lives were changing, and miraculous healings were taking place—all demonstrating that the Holy Spirit was at work. In light of that, it didn't seem necessary for Gentiles to convert to Judaism first.
These were challenging waters for the new Church to navigate. What did they do? Paul and Barnabas, along with representatives from the Jewish Christians, went to Jerusalem to consult with the apostles and elders. They knew the question was bigger than their own preferences, and they trusted the apostles to help them sort it out. Because the answer would affect the entire Church, they didn't want to rely on only their own inclinations.
Maybe you're facing a complex situation or a thorny problem. You might pray and think you know what the Holy Spirit is saying on the issue. But how do you confirm it? One way is to talk to your pastor or a trusted priest. Either one is more than qualified. Or talk it over with your spouse or another good friend whose Christian maturity you respect. The Holy Spirit will always bring you clarity—and sometimes he does it through the advice of a trusted authority. So don't hesitate to seek out that advice!
"Lord, when I am confused, bring your clarity and peace to me. I trust your goodwill for your people."
Psalm 122:1-5 John 15:1-8
We heard today's first Holy Scripture: "They were sent on their journey by the Church, ...When they arrived in Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the Church...". A mission is programmed for us, this sending forth, the final blessing in a Holy Mass, stay until you receive the final sending forth blessing that commands us to bear fruit for our Lord!
We prayed today "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. Jerusalem is the true test of faith. Jerusalem is where it all happens. And we are living in Jerusalem. What is, then Jerusalem? It is a teaching of how Jesus intends the world to be...in peace and in the peace He offers, not as the world offers, but as HE offers and intends, the kind that is self-sacrificing. The kind that gives expecting nothing in return. Truly He is the Son of God. Because this is true Love. We are called to this every single day. Every single day is the present, the gift of God. What are you doing with the present He gave you? Is it squandered? Is it wasted? Or is it spent seeking Him, remaining in Him? Is it spent thinking of Him and working for Him? Could you go a day without eating? 2 or 3 days? We would not grow strong. It is the same in the Spiritual life. We shall remain to grow fruitful. When a tree is anchored well, and it keeps getting nutrients, when the time is right, it is fruitful putting out seeds. Seeds to bring new life, seeds that not all catch, but some do. Remain in the Lord. Be more fruitful by being more and more intimately united with Him.
Our Lord said " I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither". These branches, these souls will wither and die and be burned. There are many burning souls, suffering the torments of hell on the other side. Why? They chose to relax...in faith. They said they rather live life to the fullest without God, which means indulging in all the mortal senses. These things cause the soul to wither...sin. Because it detaches from the vine. Detached from the Lord. The sunflower looks to the sun for life and follows it all the day. The sunflower looks down when there is no light. I see many souls in my life, some following the Son, others looking down. Some are giving fruit, by their love. Some not giving, greedy, one of the deadliest sins that is attached to pride. So there you have it, light and dark, remaining in Him or not. Either you are with Him or you are not. Either you love Him or you do not. If you love, you will be afraid to hurt, because love intends to desire the good of the other...no matter what it cost. And it cost our Lord so much for us to turn to Him...and follow Him
I love the gift, the present...it belongs to God....all the honor, and glory, my life to proclaim the joy of going to Jerusalem, church to church, hear to heart, the One Holy Heart