The one who served by washing feet would soon thereafter give himself as food and drink and tell us to do this in his memory. This humble service is tied to and gives meaning to his actions at the table, and his later loving action on the cross. It is how we also live our participation in the Mass—humble, servant-like service.
—from the book Meeting God in the Upper Room: Three Moments to Change Your Life
✞ "The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." — St. Teresa of Avila
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "The human soul, by its very nature, is endowed with the faculty of knowing God and the capacity for loving Him. The intelligence of the soul, transporting itself above all that is created and finite, has power to raise itself even to the contemplation of that Being who alone is uncreated and infinite, who is the source of all good and all perfection; it is able to form of Him an idea that is clear and accurate and indelible. The will of the soul is made to love this sovereign Good, which the understanding presents to it. The desires of the soul, which no created object can ever satisfy and which reach far beyond the limits of this life, tend necessarily toward a Good that is supreme, eternal, and infinite, and which alone can content the soul and make it happy." — Fr. Jean Nicholas Grou, p. 3-4 AN EXCERPT FROM The Spiritual Life
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY Shun youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22
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Saint of the Day for August 8
( August 8, 1170 – August 6, 1221)
If he hadn't taken a trip with his bishop, Dominic would probably have remained within the structure of contemplative life; after the trip, he spent the rest of his life being a contemplative in active apostolic work.
Born in old Castile, Spain, Dominic was trained for the priesthood by a priest-uncle, studied the arts and theology, and became a canon of the cathedral at Osma, where there was an attempt to revive the apostolic common life described in Acts of the Apostles.
On a journey through France with his bishop, Dominic came face to face with the then virulent Albigensian heresy at Languedoc. The Albigensians–or Cathari, "the pure ones"–held to two principles—one good, one evil—in the world. All matter is evil—hence they denied the Incarnation and the sacraments. On the same principle, they abstained from procreation and took a minimum of food and drink. The inner circle led what some people regarded as a heroic life of purity and asceticism not shared by ordinary followers.
Dominic sensed the need for the Church to combat this heresy, and was commissioned to be part of the preaching crusade against it. He saw immediately why the preaching crusade was not succeeding: the ordinary people admired and followed the ascetical heroes of the Albigenses. Understandably, they were not impressed by the Catholic preachers who traveled with horse and retinues, stayed at the best inns and had servants. Dominic therefore, with three Cistercians, began itinerant preaching according to the gospel ideal. He continued this work for 10 years, being successful with the ordinary people but not with the leaders.
His fellow preachers gradually became a community, and in 1215 Dominic founded a religious house at Toulouse, the beginning of the Order of Preachers or Dominicans.
Dominic's ideal, and that of his Order, was to organically link a life with God, study, and prayer in all forms, with a ministry of salvation to people by the word of God. His ideal: contemplata tradere: "to pass on the fruits of contemplation" or "to speak only of God or with God."
The Dominican ideal, like that of all religious communities, is for the imitation, not merely the admiration, of the rest of the Church. The effective combining of contemplation and activity is the vocation of truck driver Smith as well as theologian Aquinas. Acquired contemplation is the tranquil abiding in the presence of God, and is an integral part of any full human life. It must be the wellspring of all Christian activity.
Saint Dominic is the Patron Saint of:
Astronomers Dominican Republic
Memorial of Saint Dominic, Priest
Reading 1 Nm 12:1-13
Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses on the pretext of the marriage he had contracted with a Cushite woman. They complained, "Is it through Moses alone that the LORD speaks? Does he not speak through us also?" And the LORD heard this. Now, Moses himself was by far the meekest man on the face of the earth. So at once the LORD said to Moses and Aaron and Miriam, "Come out, you three, to the meeting tent." And the three of them went. Then the LORD came down in the column of cloud, and standing at the entrance of the tent, called Aaron and Miriam. When both came forward, he said, "Now listen to the words of the LORD:
Should there be a prophet among you, in visions will I reveal myself to him, in dreams will I speak to him; not so with my servant Moses! Throughout my house he bears my trust: face to face I speak to him; plainly and not in riddles. The presence of the LORD he beholds.
Why, then, did you not fear to speak against my servant Moses?"
So angry was the LORD against them that when he departed, and the cloud withdrew from the tent, there was Miriam, a snow-white leper! When Aaron turned and saw her a leper, he said to Moses, "Ah, my lord! Please do not charge us with the sin that we have foolishly committed! Let her not thus be like the stillborn babe that comes forth from its mother's womb with its flesh half consumed." Then Moses cried to the LORD, "Please, not this! Pray, heal her!"
Responsorial Psalm Ps 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 6cd-7, 12-13 R. (see 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned. Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me. R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned. For I acknowledge my offense; and my sin is before me always: "Against you only have I sinned; and done what is evil in your sight." R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned. That you may be justified in your sentence, vindicated when you condemn. Indeed, in guilt was I born, and in sin my mother conceived me. R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned. A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. Cast me not off from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me. R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Alleluia Jn 1:49b R. Alleluia, alleluia. Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 14:22-36
Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and precede him to the other side of the sea, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. "It is a ghost," they said, and they cried out in fear. At once Jesus spoke to them, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." Peter said to him in reply, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, "Truly, you are the Son of God."
After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret. When the men of that place recognized him, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought to him all those who were sick and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak, and as many as touched it were healed.
Or Mt 15:1-2, 10-14
The following text may be substituted, especially in Year A when the above Gospel is read on Monday.
Some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They do not wash their hands when they eat a meal." He summoned the crowd and said to them, "Hear and understand. It is not what enters one's mouth that defiles the man; but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one." Then his disciples approached and said to him, "Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?" He said in reply, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit."
Meditation: Matthew 14:22-36
Saint Dominic, Priest (Memorial)
They did him homage. (Matthew 14:33)
If you're thinking that "homage" means "worship" here, you're right. A boat may seem like an odd place for the disciples to fall down in worship and adoration, but consider the scene: they had just seen Jesus walking toward them on the water—and in the midst of a violent storm, no less! Add to that the fact that not long before that, they had seen him performing many other miracles like multiplying bread and performing countless healings. So it's no wonder they responded this way. They were awestruck!
That's the best reason for worship. It's the natural response of our hearts to God's greatness and mercy. Like the disciples in the boat, the more we see how marvelous he is, the easier it becomes to praise him and offer him our lives.
So how can you cultivate an attitude of worship? You don't need to go through the day on your knees or spend all of your time in church. Your everyday words and actions can become filled with devotion and gratitude to the Lord. Brother Lawrence, in Practicing the Presence of God, paints a picture of what this could look like. "God does not ask much of us, merely a thought of him from time to time, a little act of adoration, sometimes to ask for his grace . . . at other times to thank him . . . One need not cry out very loudly; he is nearer to us than we think."
So start small. Take just one thing you have planned for today, and turn it into an act of worship. Keep Jesus in mind. Start up an inner conversation with him and invite him into your task. And then try to do this task as if you were doing it for him.
As you get into the habit of turning your everyday activities into acts of worship and adoration, you'll find yourself more aware of God's presence throughout the day. You'll find your heart softening toward the people around you. And you'll find yourself echoing the cry of the disciples in the boat: "Truly, you are the Son of God" (Matthew 14:33)!
"Lord, help me to be more aware of you in everything I do. I want to worship you even in my ordinary tasks."
Numbers 12:1-13 Psalm 51:3-7, 12-13
The Word said today: ""Now listen to the words of the LORD:...Throughout my house he bears my trust: face to face I speak to him; plainly and not in riddles. The presence of the LORD he beholds." The presence of the Lord. Who will listen to the one who beholds His Presence? Sometimes I wish my kids would "listen" to me. What does this mean to me? I wish they would remember. I wish it would seem like it mattered. I wish that when they'd hear my words, they'd heed my words. I wish it was always fresh on their minds. I wish...they'd never forget. Sounds like the Lord's continuous plea for us, no? Listen! He desires that His Holy Word always be fresh on our minds and souls, so we'd not forget, so we'd be safe and saved, so we'd live like it mattered, as if His Word was the most important thing we ever lived for. Miriam forgot, and after facing the Lord's anger, she was a snow-white leper, and this terrified Aaron who pleaded to Moses and Moses to the Lord to have mercy. You see, when we rebel against the Lord's desire, things happen so we will plead. Perhaps Miriam's heart would not have pleaded for mercy until she would've suffered for her sin. Until she would realize God is good and His desires are good. And we must realize He's left someone in charge, and when it comes to the Holy Church....it is the Holy Spirit in charge. Our job is to learn to listen, and the more...the better.
We prayed today "Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned. A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. Cast me not off from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me."
In the Holy Gospel, our Lord first goes off to pray alone on the mountain, again, praying, again, desiring to spend intimate time with the Lord, again, showing us HOW to LISTEN. When He comes back, He walks on water through the storm to the disciples suffering out the storm. They are afraid of everything, of drowning, of the battle, of even...praying. And so when they see God, they are terrified even more! "It's a ghost!" they scream. First of all, let's imagine fierce winds and waves, how is it possible to walk in these conditions, and on top of water? It's hard to imagine. But God does the unimaginable...so we will believe. This is the reason for miracles, they serve a purpose...so we will believe. Notice when all calmed down, they believed, and they worshiped Him. Peter, the one who'd be left in charge of the Holy Church as our first pope, was the only one that attempted to walk on water during the storm. Nobody else dared, nobody else would get their feet wet. And so it is easy to laugh at someone's failures...for having tried. This is why people are not hard-core Christ followers: Pride. "Oh what will people say". Heck, not even the thought of walking on water like the Lord crosses the mind. Yet, the Lord says "you can do even greater things than these" to His disciples.
And so, we have Peter, with the faith of a child, that believes what most won't. "Can I do that too Father?" And he goes for it. Such a brave child. And so he almost drowns for it. Some would say that was dumb, but "... the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1Cor1:18. I read the 5minutos spanish reflection today and it brought up the sinking of the Titanic which carried 2,227 passengers of which only 705 survived, and it asks "what did a piece of wood mean to a person then? EVERYTHING!" Peter would become Saint Peter after he beheld the wood of the cross. He would die for Christ.
If this is what it will take to become a saint, will you do it?