Jesus is the answer to all our questions, no matter what our age or state of life. He offers solace to those aching for relief. He offers truth to young people who are searching for deeper meaning and security. He restores the dignity and moral center of those who are looking for life and see only death.
To each of these weary souls, Jesus says: "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest…learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:28–29).
–from the book Healing Promises: The Essential Guide to the Sacred Heart
✞ "Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin." — St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "[Mary] does not remain locked in her initial troubled state at the proximity of God in his angel, but she seeks to understand. So Mary appears as a fearless woman, one who remains composed even in the presence of something utterly unprecedented. At the same time she stands before us as a woman of great interiority, who holds heart and mind in harmony and seeks to understand the context, the overall significance of God's message. In this way, she becomes an image of the Church as she considers the word of God, tries to understand it in its entirety and guards in her memory the things that have been given to her." — Pope Benedict XVI, p. 33 AN EXCERPT FROM Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "Yet he knows my way; if he tested me, I should come forth like gold. My foot has always walked in his steps; I have kept his way and not turned aside. From the commands of his lips I have not departed; the words of his mouth I have treasured in my heart." Job 23:10-12
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Saint Aloysius Gonzaga
Saint of the Day for June 21
(March 9, 1568 – June 21, 1591)
Saint Aloysius Gonzaga's Story
The Lord can make saints anywhere, even amid the brutality and license of Renaissance life. Florence was the "mother of piety" for Aloysius Gonzaga despite his exposure to a "society of fraud, dagger, poison, and lust." As a son of a princely family, he grew up in royal courts and army camps. His father wanted Aloysius to be a military hero.
At age 7 Aloysius experienced a profound spiritual quickening. His prayers included the Office of Mary, the psalms, and other devotions. At age 9 he came from his hometown of Castiglione to Florence to be educated; by age 11 he was teaching catechism to poor children, fasting three days a week, and practicing great austerities. When he was 13 years old, he traveled with his parents and the Empress of Austria to Spain, and acted as a page in the court of Philip II. The more Aloysius saw of court life, the more disillusioned he became, seeking relief in learning about the lives of saints.
A book about the experience of Jesuit missionaries in India suggested to him the idea of entering the Society of Jesus, and in Spain his decision became final. Now began a four-year contest with his father. Eminent churchmen and laypeople were pressed into service to persuade Aloysius to remain in his "normal" vocation. Finally he prevailed, was allowed to renounce his right to succession, and was received into the Jesuit novitiate.
Like other seminarians, Aloysius was faced with a new kind of penance—that of accepting different ideas about the exact nature of penance. He was obliged to eat more, and to take recreation with the other students. He was forbidden to pray except at stated times. He spent four years in the study of philosophy and had Saint Robert Bellarmine as his spiritual adviser.
In 1591, a plague struck Rome. The Jesuits opened a hospital of their own. The superior general himself and many other Jesuits rendered personal service. Because he nursed patients, washing them and making their beds, Aloysius caught the disease. A fever persisted after his recovery and he was so weak he could scarcely rise from bed. Yet, he maintained his great discipline of prayer, knowing that he would die within the octave of Corpus Christi, three months later, at the age of 23.
As a saint who fasted, scourged himself, sought solitude and prayer, and did not look on the faces of women, Aloysius seems an unlikely patron of youth in a society where asceticism is confined to training camps of football teams and boxers, and sexual permissiveness has little left to permit. Can an overweight and air-conditioned society deprive itself of anything? It will when it discovers a reason, as Aloysius did. The motivation for letting God purify us is the experience of God loving us in prayer.
Saint Aloysius Gonzaga is the Patron Saint of:
Memorial of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious
Reading 1 2 Cor 9:6-11
Brothers and sisters, consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written:
He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.
The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
You are being enriched in every way for all generosity, which through us produces thanksgiving to God.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 112:1bc-2, 3-4, 9 R. (1b) Blessed the man who fears the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. Blessed the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commands. His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth; the upright generation shall be blessed. R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. Wealth and riches shall be in his house; his generosity shall endure forever. Light shines through the darkness for the upright; he is gracious and merciful and just. R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. Lavishly he gives to the poor; his generosity shall endure forever; his horn shall be exalted in glory. R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord. or: R. Alleluia.
Alleluia Jn 14:23 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we will come to him. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 6:1-6, 16-18
Jesus said to his disciples: "Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
"When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
"When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to others to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you."
Meditation: 2 Corinthians 9:6-11 Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious (Memorial)
You may have an abundance for every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)
Have you ever seen a parent hand a dollar bill to his child for the collection basket at Mass? Maybe you've been that parent! You let your child practice generosity while handling only a small amount of money. But can you imagine how big that child's eyes would get if you handed him a one-hundred-dollar bill to put in the basket? That's how abundant God's grace is—he gives us far more than we expect, and he asks us to share it with everyone around us.
In his Second Letter to the Corinthians, Paul explains God's overflowing generosity while making a financial appeal: nobody can "out-give" God. Even if you feel stretched or uneasy about giving, Paul says, God will provide enough money or food or time for you to share, just as he gives seed to the sower and bread to the hungry.
God is the real giver. We are just stewards of his generosity, like that child at Mass with the one-hundred-dollar bill. You may feel that you don't have much to give, but God's storehouse is never empty!
God can always provide us with what we need, spiritually and physically, when we feel that we have come to the end of our resources. He can give us a cheerful spirit when we're doing an unpleasant task. He can provide energy for us to keep being a loving caregiver. He can even give us the strength to forgive in a conflict that seems endless! We don't ever have to go out alone or rely only on our own energy.
So how can we receive this abundant grace? By fixing our hearts on the One who gives it: our faithful, merciful, and generous God. He can give you all the energy or strength you need. He can equip you to give generously, to forgive mercifully, to correct gently, and to walk humbly. Your heavenly Father is always ready to pour out grace when you ask for his help.
Today say with confidence, "The Lord is my strength and my shield, in whom my heart trusts. I am helped, so my heart rejoices" (Psalm 28:7).
"Father, you are my provider. Help me to receive whatever you want to share with me today so that I can become a channel of your gifts."
Psalm 112:1-4, 9 Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
my2cents: "Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need...". There's a Spanish song I like to sing after Holy Communion, consuming the Body of Christ "Como No Te Voy Adorar" that says in the chorus "ya no me falta nada, tengo todo, tengo a ti", in English, "now I'm not missing anything, I have everything, I have You". Jesus, you're the one I want, you're everything I need.
We prayed today: ""Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them;" Our Lord is not interested in appearances, but in truth, in sincerity, in an authentic Love of God. How many appear just to be seen in Church or doing "good things"? Who am I talking about? Nobody, but for you to seek and desire only the truth. God loves a cheerful giver they say. But how many give in secret and cheerfully? There is a secret though in giving cheerfully...it is the Lord. Those that possess grace know this. Those given grace by God know what it means to love like God.
Our Lord speaks: "When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others." People love praise. People love respect. As a matter of fact, to win the love of some, you have to praise them and show them respect. If that is the case, then, I will, but I will only do it to gain your attention for God. I have learned over the course of the years, in the studies of God, that praise rightly belongs to God, not to me, I must decrease, and He must increase. What's more, the applause I receive after I speak makes me feel eerie inside, distressed and torn, a fight to the death of myself, do not let the ego and feelings get the best of you. There are in the world those that speak of a "Christian pride". Galatians 6:14 "But let it not be for me to take pride except in the crucifixion of our Lord Yeshua The Messiah, in whom the universe has been crucified to me, and I have been crucified to the universe." (Aramaic Translation). "Good boy Johnny" and they pat him on the back. I say "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'" Mt.14:10. This is the twistedness of the devil, where it stands between you and God and puts a mirror in front of you. And then you think its all about you in this world. This is why there is a great depression among us. Millions and millions are living on anti-depressants, and millions and millions suffer from addictions. Why? Because, the devil puts a mirror on you instead of you seeing straight to the Lord. In Jerusalem there is a road called "straight" and this is the direction the Lord sees, not crooked but direct to God...obedience. If I desire a praise it is to give God praise.
This is the struggle in faith. Get over yourself. Let God be your God! Your Father, your full love, ... your EVERYTHING
Jesus our Lord says "When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites". Why is He talking about "fasting"? Does He really mean for us to be fasting?
The abbot of a Carmelite Monastery told us men "when you get nasty thoughts and you feel aroused that is induced, then STOP EATING". This man is a man of prayer. That is what a Carmelite does, they are called to live a quiet and contemplative life devoted to prayer, they get up at 3 or 4 in the morning for what? To pray. And when they fast, they fast from everything. What will you fast from? Will you begin a fast? It works. It is a prayer. It is a sacrifice. It is a giving! Jesus is really asking us to fast! For the good and God is good. Because we live in a world that won't GIVE. Can't even give a break to one who is trying. LOL, like when I frown at someone wearing shorts in Mass? DOH! Give them a break and give them a chance. Pharisees still live. But disciples are more than alive. They follow a discipline. They truly follow Christ. Discipline your body and discipline your soul. Make your body do what it don't want, like raising your hands to praise God and leaving your home to join a community of prayer and service, an outpouring of love.
If the world is dark it is only because you are not lit up. LET CHRIST BE YOUR LIGHT
You are already everything to Him. just look at a crucifix