Almighty, eternal, just, and merciful God, grant us in our misery that we may do for your sake alone what we know you want us to do, and always what pleases you; so that, cleansed and enlightened interiorly and fired with the ardor of the Holy Spirit, we may be able to follow in the footsteps of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
—Francis of Assisi
–from the book Peace and Good: Through the Year with Francis of Assisi
✞ "It is in the company of Jesus that you work for the glory of God." — St. John Baptist de la Salle
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Whenever that sacrifice of Christ is memorialized in the Church, there is an application to a new moment in time and a new presence in space of the unique sacrifice of Christ Who is now in glory. In obeying His mandate, His followers would be representing in an unbloody manner that which He presented to His Father in the bloody sacrifice of Calvary. After changing the bread into His Body and the wine into His Blood: He gave it to them (Mark 14:22). By that communion they were made one with Christ, to be offered with Him, in Him, and by Him. All love craves unity. As the highest peak of love in the human order is the unity of husband and wife in the flesh, so the highest unity in the Divine order is the unity of the soul and Christ in communion." — Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, p. 401-2 AN EXCERPT FROM Life of Christ
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another." Galatians 5:22-26
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Saint Philip Neri
Saint of the Day for May 26
(July 21, 1515 – May 26, 1595)
Philip Neri was a sign of contradiction, combining popularity with piety against the background of a corrupt Rome and a disinterested clergy: the whole post-Renaissance malaise.
At an early age, Philip abandoned the chance to become a businessman, moved to Rome from Florence, and devoted his life and individuality to God. After three years of philosophy and theology studies, he gave up any thought of ordination. The next 13 years were spent in a vocation unusual at the time—that of a layperson actively engaged in prayer and the apostolate.
As the Council of Trent (1545-63) was reforming the Church on a doctrinal level, Philip's appealing personality was winning him friends from all levels of society, from beggars to cardinals. He rapidly gathered around himself a group of laypersons won over by his audacious spirituality. Initially, they met as an informal prayer and discussion group, and also served poor people in Rome.
At the urging of his confessor, Philip was ordained a priest and soon became an outstanding confessor himself, gifted with the knack of piercing the pretenses and illusions of others, though always in a charitable manner and often with a joke. He arranged talks, discussions, and prayers for his penitents in a room above the church. He sometimes led "excursions" to other churches, often with music and a picnic on the way.
Some of Philip's followers became priests and lived together in community. This was the beginning of the Oratory, the religious institute he founded. A feature of their life was a daily afternoon service of four informal talks, with vernacular hymns and prayers. Giovanni Palestrina was one of Philip's followers, and composed music for the services. The Oratory was finally approved after suffering through a period of accusations of being an assembly of heretics, where laypersons preached and sang vernacular hymns!
Philip's advice was sought by many of the prominent figures of his day. He is one of the influential figures of the Counter-Reformation, mainly for converting to personal holiness many of the influential people within the Church itself. His characteristic virtues were humility and gaiety.
After spending a day hearing confessions and receiving visitors, Philip Neri suffered a hemorrage and died on the feast of Corpus Christi in 1595. He was beatified in 1615 and canonized in 1622. Three centuries later, Cardinal John Henry Newman founded the first English-speaking house of the Oratory in London.
Many people wrongly feel that such an attractive and jocular personality as Philip's cannot be combined with an intense spirituality. Philip's life melts our rigid, narrow views of piety. His approach to sanctity was truly catholic, all-embracing, and accompanied by a good laugh. Philip always wanted his followers to become not less but more human through their striving for holiness
Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, Priest
Reading 1 Acts 18:9-18
One night while Paul was in Corinth, the Lord said to him in a vision, "Do not be afraid. Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you. No one will attack and harm you, for I have many people in this city." He settled there for a year and a half and taught the word of God among them.
But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews rose up together against Paul and brought him to the tribunal, saying, "This man is inducing people to worship God contrary to the law." When Paul was about to reply, Gallio spoke to the Jews, "If it were a matter of some crime or malicious fraud, I should with reason hear the complaint of you Jews; but since it is a question of arguments over doctrine and titles and your own law, see to it yourselves. I do not wish to be a judge of such matters." And he drove them away from the tribunal. They all seized Sosthenes, the synagogue official, and beat him in full view of the tribunal. But none of this was of concern to Gallio.
Paul remained for quite some time, and after saying farewell to the brothers he sailed for Syria, together with Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had shaved his head because he had taken a vow.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7 R. (8a) God is king of all the earth. or: R. Alleluia. All you peoples, clap your hands, shout to God with cries of gladness, For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome, is the great king over all the earth.
R. God is king of all the earth. or: R. Alleluia. He brings people under us; nations under our feet. He chooses for us our inheritance, the glory of Jacob, whom he loves.
R. God is king of all the earth. or: R. Alleluia. God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy; the LORD, amid trumpet blasts. Sing praise to God, sing praise; sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R. God is king of all the earth. or: R. Alleluia.
Alleluia See Lk 24:46, 26
R. Alleluia, alleluia. "Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead, and so enter into his glory." R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 16:20-23
Jesus said to his disciples: "Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you."
Meditation: John 16:20-23
Saint Philip Neri, Priest (Memorial)
No one will take your joy away from you. (John 16:22)
What a promise—joy that cannot be taken away! Who wouldn't want that? It seems simple. Jesus tells his disciples that the joy of seeing him again will wipe away all memory of their suffering, just as a woman in labor "forgets" the pain when she rejoices in the birth of her child.
But any parent will tell you: it's not a bed of roses once the baby is born. Raising children is a mixture of late-night feedings and watching your baby's first step. It's tending to a skinned knee (again) and being bowled over by an enthusiastic hug. But no matter what challenges you face, the love is always there.
The ebb and flow of our emotions doesn't change Jesus' promise of joy. Do we face ups and downs? Of course! But the joy that Jesus gives doesn't have to rise and fall with our circumstances. It's not a fleeting thrill, but a steady stream running in the back of our minds—a stream that flows from the unshakable truth of Jesus' resurrection. We know he is risen. We know he has overcome sin and death. We know that he has prepared a place for us in heaven. With truths like these, how can we not feel at least a glimmer of hope and joy, even in our darkest moments?
Are you having a good day today? Great! Thank Jesus for sustaining you. Are you going through something difficult? Then it's time to proclaim what you know to be true. Tell Jesus you trust him. Tell him that you believe there's a place in heaven with your name on it. Declare that he is bigger than what you're going through. Then watch your anxiety begin to give way.
Jesus can deepen your faith every time you turn to him, both in sorrow and happiness. He can strengthen your foundation and give you a sense of his own joy and trust in God. You may even find yourself less subject to moodiness or better able to weather a stormy patch in life. That's the kind of joy that Jesus wants to give you!
"Holy Spirit, fill me with your joy. Help me to trust you through my ups and downs."
Acts 18:9-18 Psalm 47:2-7
my2cents: Our Lord and King said to Saint Paul "do not be silent, for I am with you." How many times does our Lord say this to us? Why the fear? Why the silence? How many times doe we choose to remain mute? The reason for Pentecost that is coming is for us to break out of that fear!
We prayed today "God is king of all the earth. God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy; the LORD, amid trumpet blasts. Sing praise to God, sing praise; sing praise to our king, sing praise" Heaven sees God mounting His throne. We see a poor loving man beat up mounted on a wooden cross. Heaven sees what we can not. We see not what is in Heaven. And why the veil? In the apparitions of Fatima, they say other children were present at an apparition, and they could not see what the 3 children saw, and one of the 3 could see but not hear. What is the mystery behind this? Why can some see and others can not? That child that was present that could not hear or see, later in life was said to have been hiding when Our Lady promised to appear. Why? He had heard rumors that all present would be killed. Still 70,000 people showed up and saw a great miracle. He did not. Silence is fear. We see not what Heaven wants us to see. The Truth.
In comes the Truth, Our Lord and Our King: "Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices". Many times, as cursillistas, we have an Ultreya, a perseverance gathering of friendship groups. In my neck of the woods, they are usually very small ultreyas. I remember as a vocal (leader) for our ultreyas years ago I was the only one there, it kind of hurt the heart, but I was faithful. Yes the invitations were there. Yes the schedule was there. One of my blood sisters showed up, and that was it. It was enough to keep the fire going. Fast forward years later to last night, there were a dozen or more of us. What am I saying? Heaven sees what we can not. You may see a deranged man. You may see an old person that can not take care of themselves. Heaven sees an angel availing Heaven to the one who dares to help them, be with them, and love them. While we live this earth, we are under a constant threat: sin, and death. Sin comes in deceivingly and death surprisingly. Jesus says "fear not, I am with you". Are you with me? To this day, I am constantly inviting friends, loved ones, and sometimes strangers to a life with God. It is my business to be about my Father's business. And my Father is OUR FATHER who is in Heaven, who's name is Holy.
What I see is the threat of time, what is a gift from God. It is wasted or invested. You spend time listening to the world, or spend time listening to the Word. You spend time seeing the world, or spend time seeing the Lord. We have to remember, the world is like the woman in pains, giving birth. Birth to a child of God! And this is what God delights in...HIS CHILDREN! And He wants us children united. He wants us rejoicing. He wants us under His watchful eye. He wants to keep us in His warmth. He loves FOREVER. Can you imagine that great gift that awaits? Where Heaven is all about loving God forever?
Let us bow down in humility at the power and grandeur of the Holy Spirit. Let us worship the Holy Trinity and give glory today to the Paraclete, our Advocate.
Oh Holy Spirit, by Your power, Christ was raised from the dead to save us all. By Your grace, miracles are performed in Jesus' name. By Your love, we are protected from evil. And so, we ask with humility and a beggar's heart for Your gift of Joy within us.
All of the Saints are marked with an uncompromisable Joy in times of trial, difficulty and pain. Give us, Oh Holy Spirit, the Joy that surpasses all understanding that we may live as a witness to Your love and fidelity!
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord,