To love, we must be able to enact love, and we must be able to do it day in and day out in our work. It is this love that will guide us away from the carelessness that leads us to the destruction of the world and our neighbors through our everyday, middleclass existence of buying plastics, fertilizing lawns, eating cheap food, and driving to soccer practices.
It is love that will ultimately move us toward being good and therefore doing good. "In order to be good, you have to know how," writes Wendell Berry, "and this knowing is vast, complex, humble and humbling; it is of the mind and of the hands, of neither alone." It is knowledge that requires a spirit and a body and so brings us necessarily to the question of livelihood.
–from the book Wendell Berry and the Given Life
✞ "Dismiss all anger and look into yourself a little. Remember that he of whom you are speaking is your brother, and as he is in the way of salvation, God can make him a saint, in spite of his present weakness." — St. Thomas of Villanova
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "One of our sure guides along the path of life is that we do not know when earthly life will come to an end. How important that our repentance for past and present transgressions be a daily practice." — Rev. Thomas J. Donaghy, p. 36 AN EXCERPT FROM Inspirational Thoughts for Everyday
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
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Blessed Raymond Lull
Saint of the Day for June 26
(c. 1235 – June 28, 1315)
Blessed Raymond Lull's Story
Raymond worked all his life to promote the missions and died a missionary to North Africa.
Raymond was born at Palma on the island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean Sea. He earned a position in the king's court there. One day a sermon inspired him to dedicate his life to working for the conversion of the Muslims in North Africa. He became a Secular Franciscan and founded a college where missionaries could learn the Arabic they would need in the missions. Retiring to solitude, he spent nine years as a hermit. During that time he wrote on all branches of knowledge, a work which earned him the title "Enlightened Doctor."
Raymond then made many trips through Europe to interest popes, kings, and princes in establishing special colleges to prepare future missionaries. He achieved his goal in 1311, when the Council of Vienne ordered the creation of chairs of Hebrew, Arabic, and Chaldean at the universities of Bologna, Oxford, Paris, and Salamanca. At the age of 79, Raymond went to North Africa in 1314 to be a missionary himself. An angry crowd of Muslims stoned him in the city of Bougie. Genoese merchants took him back to Mallorca, where he died. Raymond was beatified in 1514.
Raymond worked most of his life to help spread the gospel. Indifference on the part of some Christian leaders and opposition in North Africa did not turn him from his goal. Three hundred years later Raymond's work began to have an influence in the Americas. When the Spanish began to spread the gospel in the New World, they set up missionary colleges to aid the work. Saint Junípero Serra belonged to such a college.
The Liturgical Feast Day of Blessed Raymond Lull is June 30.
Monday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Gn 12:1-9
The LORD said to Abram: "Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father's house to a land that I will show you.
"I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you."
Abram went as the LORD directed him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. Abram took his wife, Sarai, his brother's son Lot, all the possessions that they had accumulated, and the persons they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land as far as the sacred place at Shechem, by the terebinth of Moreh. (The Canaanites were then in the land.)
The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your descendants I will give this land." So Abram built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him. From there he moved on to the hill country east of Bethel, pitching his tent with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. He built an altar there to the LORD and invoked the LORD by name. Then Abram journeyed on by stages to the Negeb.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 33:12-13, 18-19, 20 and 22 R. (12) Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own. Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he has chosen for his own inheritance. From heaven the LORD looks down; he sees all mankind. R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own. See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, To deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine. R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own. Our soul waits for the LORD, who is our help and our shield. May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us who have put our hope in you. R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Alleluia Heb 4:12 R. Alleluia, alleluia. The word of God is living and effective, able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 7:1-5
Jesus said to his disciples: "Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove that splinter from your eye,' while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother's eye."
Meditation: Genesis 12:1-9
12th Week in Ordinary Time
Abram went as the Lord directed him. (Genesis 12:4)
"Abram went." It sounds so simple, but it's not always easy for us. Sometimes we are afraid to follow God's direction. We might worry that he is calling us to a difficult life or that he won't stay with us.
At first, it seems like that's exactly what God does to Abram. Out of the blue, he tells Abram to pack up and head to an unknown destination. God had a big job for Abram, so he made it crystal clear. He also promised to bless Abram abundantly and supply everything he would need.
If we look at what followed Abram's initial call, we get a fuller picture of how God works.
As Abram took up his journey, God continued to reveal himself little by little. He repeated his promise to give Abram many descendants, but he only asked him to take one step at a time, "by stages" (Genesis 12:9). At each crucial point, God provided what Abram needed to get beyond the obstacle and align himself better with God's plan. Even when Abram made serious mistakes, God did not abandon him. He helped Abram get back on track.
When Abram's fear and deceit put Sarai in danger, God protected her (Genesis 12:11-20). When Abram quarreled with his nephew Lot, God helped him resolve the dispute (13). This in turn placed Abram in the less lush but safer spot where God wanted him to settle.
Then came his encounter with the priest Melchizedek, whose offering of bread and wine singled out Abram as receiving blessings from God (Genesis 14:18-20).
Then, when Abram took matters into his own hands and fathered a son with his servant Hagar, God chided him but promised to protect the boy always (Genesis 16–17).
God works with us in a similar way. When we say yes to him and try to follow him, he blesses us and accompanies us step-by-step. He affirms our right choices and gently corrects our misguided ones. He sends us messengers to affirm that we are on the right path, and he finds ways to bring good out of every challenging situation we face.
As we continue on this journey, we can learn to trust God more and more—because he is our faithful Father!
"Lord, thank you for your loving guidance. Show me the one step that will bring me closer to you today."
Psalm 33:12-13, 18-20, 22 Matthew 7:1-5
"Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk...All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you." and the Holy Scripture said " Abram went as the LORD directed him".
We prayed today " Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own". There are many, hundreds that this will reach, and only tens will read this. You are chosen to read this, just like the millions of graces available, only a few are received, because only a few choose to receive, few chosen to be blessed.
Our Lord said today ""Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged...". I heard one say that he saw a beggar on the street and the Lord had nudged him to give him money as he pulled up. But, the man look great, healthy, not a single thing wrong with him. But, the man obeyed the prompting of the Lord and offered the beggar money. As the beggar attempted to come to the vehicle, it became obvious the beggar was severely disabled. The man drove off feeling extremely horrible...for having judged so wrongly. One time I invited one to go feed the homeless with me. He yapped "ah, all they need are McDonald's applications and get their butts to work". I was hurt. I had been going to feed the homeless at that time every once in a while. I knew who goes to those feeding lines and so I replied "you don't even know who you are talking about, do you? Some of these people are mentally challenged, some are lost in drugs, and some just need help", and sure there are one or two who just want a free meal, but....who are YOU to judge?
And sadly, "Who are you to judge" is a line the devil loves. You see, the devil knows the bible, Lucifer knew God and was cast from Heaven. This is how Adam and Eve were deceived. The evil made them, tempted them to double think scripture, that Word of God. And a small wedge opened Pandora's box. We are to judge rightly and with God's eyes and heart and give when we are asked to give of our time, talent, treasures...our very lives...our love. So much of what is wrong with the world is because it is selfish selfies. And so people wonder why there is darkness, questioning God's decision as if it were all HIS fault! For those yappings I say, turn on the lights in that dark little room and find out what's wrong. Flip the switch, and BAM! A mirror is in front of you and reveals the answer. I am what is wrong. Not GOD! NOT HIS PLAN! Humility is missing in this world, Jesus goes unknown because there are not enough humble hands that can look beyond what eyes see and are deceived as an apple on a tree. All so you can be further separated from our Loving Father. If you are reading this, it is a plea. It is a plea you do not want to see. And that what we don't want to see is the truth. The truth is found in the confessional.
I don't mean to take more of your time, but I want to say a couple of things, somewhat off subject but still in the same because it is of God our Lord and King. First, I want to say Thank you. I am not just blabbering words, I am truly thankful for your prayers for us men this weekend in the Cursillo in Christianity, these prayers coined "palancas" in Spanish, lifted us up to the Heavens, and the Heavens boomed as we sang praise songs during confessions, as if God was pleased with our sacrifices. And the next morning as we walked out of Mass in a file to eat breakfast, a rainbow was cast across the sky. This rainbow we sing about in Cursillos, it is a symbol of God's promise and hope forever. We men reclaim the hope and love of God in Cursillos and call ourselves Cursillistas because we strive to live in God's loving grace, and the more....the better. Love you God. Next, I want to relay that, on the same day almost the same hour, the same skies, the Heavens did something in our local church. It was at the baptism of a little miracle birth. I've written before here about a co-worker I've been asking to come to God and they couldn't have a baby. We did a bible study at work with workers, and at one time I told this worker "make a promise to God and ask Him to help you conceive". He did. They conceived. A couple months later...they tragically lost the child in the womb and they were so sad. Even kind of blamed the doctor for not "knowing". Who do you blame? Fast forward about a year and a half ago they actually had a baby girl, a hard birth but miraculously survived and her head was deformed some but came back to shape. After much pleading for them to baptize, my friend coworker scheduled a baptism on the same day we were confessing in the cursillo and at the times the skies rumbled for us men in confessions, the doors flung open at the moment the waters struck the baby girl's head during baptism. I am at the church a lot, almost daily and through storms and I don't see those doors open. It was the Holy Spirit of God. Something spectacular happens at every Holy Sacrament of the Holy Mother Church, the mother of all churches and Christianity. I tell you this from experience, and what I am about to say, I don't normally speak about: That at my cursillo I lived in 2004, we closed ours with a Holy Mass of thanksgiving as they are. I hadn't experienced a conversion until that moment, but I had noticed how God was providing for me through the weekend. At the moment of consecration from the hands of the priest, as he raised the body of Christ on the altar, my heart began to burn and burn hard and tears welled up and I wiped them only to discover I was witnessing flesh being held up by the priest, meat, bleeding, and it only made me cry but with a burning heart of grace and tears of immense joy and I was shaking.
That was in March of 2004, and here we are in 2017, and my heart is soothed in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist that touches the soul and moves within stirring up something that can not be contained. It is the Holy Spirit.
One message my heart was telling hearts, without words, as I looked into the new faces, new brothers, my heart would say to them "remain with me". It is God speaking "don't leave me anymore...I love you son".
I love you so much it hurts. Look at the cross, the crucifix depicts a broken picture, that of an almighty God sacrificed, that of what we think of superpowers, a weak, and meek and humble man spearheaded into the heart of the world....yours.
I heard one of the men there, perhaps more had at one time contemplated suicide. Why and for who would they die for? Self? Turn on the lights in that dark room. The problem is you have a mirror in front of you. It's not about you. It's not about me. Who would you die for? And why can't you die daily for our true God? Holiness comes through the death of self, meaning, death to the flesh and in with the new life that is eternal.
This is what God desires, true purity, and holiness. The Virgin Mother appears more now than ever in the last century asking for purity. Men will not listen to men, the prophets, now will men listen to the Lord's Mother? She says more people than ever are suffering the sins of impurity in hell, at an alarming rate.
The remedy? The cross.
You have now crossed into the truth and there is no turning back.