The eleventh degree of humility in the Rule of Benedict treats a situation like this quite specifically. "Do only those things sanctioned by the community," the sixth-century document reads. Take counsel. Listen. Seek direction. While moving ahead stay close to the kind of counsel that has strengthened the community in the past. Stay close to the spiritual well whose life-giving water has brought you to this point. The value of this saying is immeasurable. It is much more than an exciting new answer, the effects of which no one knows. It is a reaffirmation of spirituality based in experience, grounded in the wisdom of the elders, and rooted in self-control.
–from the book In God's Holy Light: Wisdom from the Desert Monastics
✞ "What does Jesus Christ do in the Eucharist? It is God who, as our Savior, offers himself each day for us to his Father's justice. If you are in difficulties and sorrows, he will comfort and relieve you. If you are sick, he will either cure you or give you strength to suffer so as to merit Heaven. If the devil, the world, and the flesh are making war upon you, he will give you the weapons with which to fight, to resist, and to win victory. If you are poor, he will enrich you with all sorts of riches for time and eternity. Let us open the door of his sacred and adorable Heart, and be wrapped about for an instant by the flames of his love, and we shall see what a God who loves us can do. O my God, who shall be able to comprehend?" — St. John Vianney
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "If we do not die to ourselves, and if our holiest devotions do not incline us to this necessary and useful death, we shall bring forth no fruit worth anything, and our devotions will become useless. All our good works will be stained by self-love and our own will . . . We must choose therefore, among all the devotions to the Blessed Virgin, the one which draws us most toward this death to ourselves, inasmuch as it will be the best and the most sanctifying. For we must not think that all that shines is gold, that all that tastes sweet is honey, or that all that is easy to do and is done by the greatest number is the most sanctifying." — St. Louis De Montfort, p.40 AN EXCERPT FROM True Devotion to Mary
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "The Lord exists forever; your word is firmly fixed in heaven. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast. By your appointment they stand today, for all things are your servants." Psalm 119:89-91
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ST. BENEDICT OF NURSIA St. Benedict of Nursia (480-547 A.D.) and his twin sister, St. Scholastica, were born to a Roman nobleman and his wife in Nursia, Italy. He spent his childhood with his parents in Rome. As a young man he found in himself a strong desire to escape the triflings of the world and serve God. He left his family and wealth and settled in the mountainous region of Subiaco. After three years living in solitude as a cave-dwelling hermit, he was asked to lead a monastery in the place of an abbot who had died. Benedict did as they asked, but his way of life was too extreme for the monks and they tried to poison him. He thwarted their evil designs by blessing the poisoned cup, rendering it ineffective. Benedict returned to his cave, where news of his sanctity and miracles began to spread. Soon a community of men surrounded him wanting to adopt his way of life. To house them Benedict established twelve monasteries, including the world-famous Monte Cassino, and gave them a rule of life to live by, known as the Rule of St. Benedict. His Rule—still observed by Benedictines today—helped form the civilization and culture of Europe. Because of the organization, structure, and discipline he brought to the monastic life, he is known as the Founder of Western Monasticism. He is the patron saint of monks, students, farmers, all of Europe, and more. He is also especially known for his intercession against poison, temptations, and witchcraft. His feast day is July 11th in the Latin rite, while the Benedictines celebrate his feast on March 21st.
The Church has been blessed through Benedictine devotion to the liturgy, not only in its actual celebration with rich and proper ceremony in the great abbeys, but also through the scholarly studies of many of its members. Liturgy is sometimes confused with guitars or choirs, Latin or Bach. We should be grateful to those who both preserve and adapt the genuine tradition of worship in the Church.
Saint Benedict is the Patron Saint of:
Memorial of Saint Benedict, Abbot
Reading 1 Gn 32:23-33
In the course of the night, Jacob arose, took his two wives, with the two maidservants and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. After he had taken them across the stream and had brought over all his possessions, Jacob was left there alone. Then some man wrestled with him until the break of dawn. When the man saw that he could not prevail over him, he struck Jacob's hip at its socket, so that the hip socket was wrenched as they wrestled. The man then said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob said, "I will not let you go until you bless me." The man asked, "What is your name?" He answered, "Jacob." Then the man said, "You shall no longer be spoken of as Jacob, but as Israel, because you have contended with divine and human beings and have prevailed." Jacob then asked him, "Do tell me your name, please." He answered, "Why should you want to know my name?" With that, he bade him farewell. Jacob named the place Peniel, "Because I have seen God face to face," he said, "yet my life has been spared."
At sunrise, as he left Penuel, Jacob limped along because of his hip. That is why, to this day, the children of Israel do not eat the sciatic muscle that is on the hip socket, inasmuch as Jacob's hip socket was struck at the sciatic muscle.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 17:1b, 2-3, 6-7ab, 8b and 15 R. (15a) In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord. Hear, O LORD, a just suit; attend to my outcry; hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit. R. In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord. From you let my judgment come; your eyes behold what is right. Though you test my heart, searching it in the night, though you try me with fire, you shall find no malice in me. R. In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord. I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my word. Show your wondrous mercies, O savior of those who flee from their foes. R. In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord. Hide me in the shadow of your wings. I in justice shall behold your face; on waking, I shall be content in your presence. R. In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord.
Alleluia Jn 10:14 R. Alleluia, alleluia. I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my sheep, and mine know me. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 9:32-38
A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus, and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke. The crowds were amazed and said, "Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel." But the Pharisees said, "He drives out demons by the prince of demons."
Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest."
From Bishop Barren:
Friends, in today's Gospel, Jesus directs his disciples to "ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest," to pray for evangelists to rescue the lost. But what precisely does it mean to evangelize?
Euangelion (glad tidings) was a familiar word in the culture of the New Testament authors. When the emperor or one of his generals won a battle, he would send evangelists ahead to announce the glad tidings.
The first Christians were being edgy when they adapted the word to their purposes. They were saying that the definitive battle had indeed been won, but that it had nothing to do with Caesar and his armies. It had to do with the victory that God had won in Christ over sin and death.
Jesus went into the belly of the beast, into the heart of our dysfunction, to the limits of godforsakenness, and he defeated the dark powers. He demonstrated that the divine love is greater than our greatest enemies.
This evangelical message entails, too, that there is a new king, a new emperor. Christ, the victor over sin and death, must be the center of your life.
. . .
Jacob, now named Israel, said ""yet my life has been spared." This after having "wrested with God". He came out of the fight broken, and changed forever. Do you think you should see God and not be changed forever? Who do you think you are that you should see God and not be transformed? People couldn't even look directly at Moses after speaking with God. Who can you not see directly in your life? In the world, we are at war, in a war that has been won in the end, so why fight? Exactly. People are not up to the fight. So, they give into the flesh. They give into pleasure and temporal excitements. They give into rest and relaxation. They give into...sin. They turn away at the opportunity to serve the Lord, and serve themselves another heaping of luxury. And who but lucifer is offering these heapings? Very few take to the task that the Lord asks, of that of a laborer, of that of a servant. Who wants to be a servant when you can be treated like a king? A brother said yesterday "some people rather be a general in a team that will lose a battle, than a pion in a winning team".
We prayed today " In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord. From you let my judgment come; your eyes behold what is right. Though you test my heart, searching it in the night, though you try me with fire, you shall find no malice in me."
Jesus speaks: ""The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest." Most people in the world point fingers and dictate "how things should be". Yet, they will not lift a finger. Not even to save a life. Not even to interject when someone is being ridiculed and put down. They won't lift a finger when someone is in need. When someone is being hurt, they won't even raise an eyebrow. And so, in the Gospel, Jesus is the only one saving, curing, healing, bringing everyone He can, back into the fold. And you? Who are you healing, curing, saving, and bringing back into the fold of God's sheep? We say "to not take a step forward, is the same as taking 2 steps back". If your car is not in drive on this uphill journey, it will roll back, slide back into an abyss that is forgotten. I am with you on your journey. I am in this struggle with you. I am praying for you. I worry about you, and I pray. Why should I worry? Why should I labor? Why should I . .. care? Because, there is too much at stake. God had a few laborers we hear about in the bible. Jesus had chosen 12, and one left, turned his back to Jesus and died, committed spiritual suicide. And I live among those who choose spiritual suicide, simply by denying Christ by simply giving into a heaping of luxury....self indulgence. Am I saying there are zombies and walking dead people? No, I am saying there is much to be obtained. There is much to be gained...for the Lord. If you are not a farmer, then you are probably not familiar with the word "Harvest". It is a gathering of the crop. Jesus knows millions and billions of souls are at stake. And He asks us to help us gather, in this back breaking work, that calls for much time in the sun, much time with the Son of God, much sweat, much tears at times. If you have not cried for working for the Lord, I beg you to react to His love. If you have not shed blood, then keep working until your hands bleed that what pours out from the heart....the love of God! Jesus is writing to His people, His flock, His harvest is to be gathered....God's goodness, God's people. I myself, in my little corner of the world, got my hands full, so many people in need of Jesus, most don't go to Church, most don't pray, and most don't know HOW to pray. Gather. The Lord wants a gathering. HIS Gathering. On Sunday? That is the Lord's day, yes. But every day He wants a gathering. The time is always NOW, especially in Heaven. It is never a time for "me", but for "us" with the Lord.
Lord, help me be a laborer of Love. Show me how, show me the way, show me and help me be your good and faithful servant...