Every statement we make is made with language. That's even how the first chapter of John's Gospel says that the world came into being: in the beginning was the Word. St. John of the Cross would later meditate on this theme and say that language is what makes God's presence known. But besides language and its capacity to discover, there is silence and its ability to teach.
–from the book The Saint vs. The Scholar: The Fight Between Faith and Reason
✞ "Each of you knows that the foundation of our faith is charity. Without it, our religion would crumble. We will never be truly Catholic unless we conform our entire lives to the two commandments that are the essence of the Catholic faith: to love the Lord, our God, with all our strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves." — Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati ✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Know, dearest daughter, how, by humble, continual, and faithful prayer, the soul aquires, with time and perseverance, every virtue. Wherefore should she persevere and never abandon prayer." — St. Catherine Of Siena, p. 92 AN EXCERPT FROM The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:10-14
SAINT OF THE DAY
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Saint John Francis Regis
Saint of the Day for June 16
(January 31, 1597 – December 30, 1640)
Born into a family of some wealth, John Francis was so impressed by his Jesuit educators that he himself wished to enter the Society of Jesus. He did so at age 18. Despite his rigorous academic schedule, he spent many hours in chapel, often to the dismay of fellow seminarians who were concerned about his health. Following his ordination to the priesthood, John Francis undertook missionary work in various French towns. While the formal sermons of the day tended toward the poetic, his discourses were plain. But they revealed the fervor within him and attracted people of all classes. Father Regis especially made himself available to the poor. Many mornings were spent in the confessional or at the altar celebrating Mass; afternoons were reserved for visits to prisons and hospitals.
The bishop of Viviers, observing the success of Father Regis in communicating with people, sought to draw on his many gifts, especially needed during the prolonged civil and religious strife then rampant throughout France. With many prelates absent and priests negligent, the people had been deprived of the sacraments for 20 years or more. Various forms of Protestantism were thriving in some cases while a general indifference toward religion was evident in other instances. For three years, Father Regis traveled throughout the diocese, conducting missions in advance of a visit by the bishop. He succeeded in converting many people and in bringing many others back to religious observances.
Though Father Regis longed to work as a missionary among the Native Americans in Canada, he was to live out his days working for the Lord in the wildest and most desolate part of his native France. There he encountered rigorous winters, snowdrifts and other deprivations. Meanwhile he continued preaching missions and earned a reputation as a saint. Upon entering the town of Saint-Andé, one man came upon a large crowd in front of a church and was told that people were waiting for "the saint" who was coming to preach a mission.
The last four years of his life were spent preaching and organizing social services, especially for prisoners, the sick and the poor. In the autumn of 1640, Father Regis sensed that his days were coming to a conclusion. He settled some of his affairs and prepared for the end by continuing to do what he did so well: speaking to the people about the God who loved them. On December 31, he spent most of the day with his eyes on the crucifix. That evening, he died. His final words were: "Into thy hands I commend my spirit."
John Francis Regis was canonized in 1737.
John longed to travel to the New World and become a missionary to the Native Americans, but he was called instead to work among his own compatriots. Unlike many famous preachers, he isn't remembered for golden-tongued oratory. What people who listened to him heard was his own fervent faith, and it had a powerful effect on them. We can recall homilists who impressed us for the same reason. More importantly for us, we can also remember ordinary people, neighbors and friends, whose faith and goodness touched us and brought us to deeper faith. That is the calling most of us must follow.
Friday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 2 Cor 4:7-15
Brothers and sisters: We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the Body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
So death is at work in us, but life in you. Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I believed, therefore I spoke," we too believe and therefore speak, knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and place us with you in his presence. Everything indeed is for you, so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 116:10-11, 15-16, 17-18 R. (17a) To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise. or: R. Alleluia. I believed, even when I said, "I am greatly afflicted"; I said in my alarm, "No man is dependable." R. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise. or: R. Alleluia. Precious in the eyes of the LORD is the death of his faithful ones. O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your handmaid; you have loosed my bonds. R. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise. or: R. Alleluia. To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving, and I will call upon the name of the LORD. My vows to the LORD I will pay in the presence of all his people. R. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise. or: R. Alleluia.
Alleluia Phil 2:15d, 16a R. Alleluia, alleluia. Shine like lights in the world, as you hold on to the word of life. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 5:27-32
Jesus said to his disciples: "You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.
"It was also said, Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce. But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery."
. . . carrying about in the Body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. (2 Corinthians 4:10)
What's all this talk about carrying Jesus' death with us? Is this just stirring rhetoric? Maybe a poetic description of the common phrase "offer it up"?
No. It's the heart of the gospel! Because Jesus died and rose for us, his cross stands as the gateway to all of God's blessings. As we unite ourselves with his cross—through repentance, through acts of obedience, or through service, we receive more and more of his life. We feel his love, we become more merciful, and we find ourselves more gentle.
A quick reflection on our attempts to change our hearts by ourselves can convince us that we need God's "surpassing power" (2 Corinthians 4:7). We are all familiar with the drives toward anger, selfishness, lust, jealousy, and resentment that get in our way. How we long to be free of them! How peaceful our lives would be without them!
This is exactly how Paul's "death-to-life" principle applies. To carry "the dying of Jesus" means to keep his cross in the forefront of our minds. It means to recall the mercy of his cross both in our prayer and throughout our day. It means to follow Jesus' example by clinging to our heavenly Father when temptation comes our way.
So take the death of Jesus with you today. Recall all that he accomplished on the cross. Thank him for his death and resurrection and keep telling yourself that it is the power of God to change your heart. When you find yourself drawn to sin or selfishness, proclaim along with St. Paul that you are crucified with Jesus and that Christ lives in you (Galatians 2:20). Trust that just as Jesus' death is at work in you, so too is his life—flowing into your heart, cleansing your conscience, and empowering you to live a new and more faith-filled life.
"Jesus, thank you for the power of your cross and resurrection! I believe that you have set me free from sin and filled me with your life. Lord, teach me to trust in you more deeply."
Psalm 116:10-11, 15-18 Matthew 5:27-32
my2cents: Bishop Barren says today: "Friends, in today's Gospel Jesus exposes the root problems behind sexual sin. Jesus says, "You have heard it said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart." The act is certainly bad, of course. Its' grounded in a dysfunctional attitude, a basic misperception, a compromise of the soul. In order to be aligned to the God who is nothing but love, these underlying problems need to be addressed.
Time and again, we hear that the church's moral demands—especially in the sexual arena—are too stringent, that the church ought to conform itself with societal expectations, that huge pluralities of Catholics themselves want to lighten the load. What do these data prove? Well, nothing really, except that the Catholic moral teaching is difficult. But so what? To dial down our moral ideals is to compromise the Church's whole purpose. Jesus didn't dial down the demands of love, and neither does his Church."
We began our bible study and we began in Genesis, where the Lord formed man and realized he would need a woman to fulfill his life and joy. He opens his side, some blood and water spills and from the ribs comes a wife, the bride, and later this would be the side of Christ, the bride would be the Holy Church we live in. It should be a Holy scene of a Holy and everlasting bond of love. Adam and Eve became one, and what one did affected the other. If my wife is mad at me, I'm affected. If I give into temptation, she can be affected. We are one. Therefore, God desires holiness from both, both lead to Heaven. Christ is anchored in Heaven. We then now are tethered by the Holy Spirit we call LOVE. What Christ did not say was something like "if your tongue causes you to sin, cut it out!". Because one of the worst sins I live in is the rampant tongue, but I guess it is tied to the heart. Would you rip out your heart? No, right? Because the heart is not just physical, but it is Spiritual.
So the heart of the Matter then is Love and God is love. Holiness then, we can work at, for reals, faith is a gift, grace is a gift, but if you don't go to your birthday party, how will you receive your gift? In Heaven, gifts await to be given to us. Celebrate this. All we need to do is show up when God says COME! And He gives from His Holy and Sacred Heart His every last drop!
SO PRECIOUS is HE His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity! GOD HELP US LOVE YOU MORE AND MORE!