Is it possible to describe Pope Francis in a single word? I will try to suggest one: the pope of patience. Young people, he recognizes, rightly feel the need to change the world. But, very quickly, as they grow up, they discover that this objective is unattainable if they are in a hurry. It can only be done with patience. This is something that parents know well when they understand that, beyond giving a model of life to their children, they must just learn to wait until the child makes his or her own life and, if need be, his or her own mistakes.
The pope speaks of a kite, which begins to tremble. At that point, instinct would make you pull the cord, to take back control. But that would be a mistake. When the kite "wags its tail," you must give—let it have its way; you must set it free (without abandoning it), you must give it time. We could call it the Gospel of Patience.
—from the book Pope Francis Takes the Bus, and Other Unexpected Stories by Rosario Carello
✞ "O my God, teach me to be generous, to serve you as you deserve to be served, to give without counting the cost, to fight without fear of being wounded, to work without seeking rest, and to spend myself without expecting any reward, but the knowledge that I am doing your holy will. Amen." — St. Ignatius of Loyola
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Whoever confesses his sins ... is already working with God. God indicts your sins; if you also indict them, you are joined with God. Man and sinner are, so to speak, two realities: when you hear 'man' - this is what God has made; when you hear 'sinner' - this is what man himself has made. Destroy what you have made, so that God may save what he has made ... When you begin to abhor what you have made, it is then that your good works are beginning, since you are accusing yourself of your evil works. the beginning of good works is the confession of evil works. You do the truth and come to the light." — (CCC, 1458) AN EXCERPT FROM Catechism of the Catholic Church
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord God. Turn, then, and live." Ezekiel 18:31-32
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ST. PAUL OF THE CROSS
St. Paul of the Cross (1694–1775) was born near Turin, Italy, the second of sixteen children—only six of whom survived infancy. His devout parents ensured his strong religious upbringing. In his childhood Paul went to daily Mass, spent much time before the Blessed Sacrament, and attended to his studies. He taught catechism in the local churches before experiencing a deep religious conversion at the age of 19 through the writings of St. Francis de Sales. After a brief stint as a soldier and declining an offer for a good marriage, at the age of 26 he learned through prayer that God was calling him to found a new religious Order which came to be known as the Congregation of the Passion, or the Passionists. He was instructed in a vision as to what the new habit of his Order should look like: a black tunic bearing a heart surmounted by a white cross, with the words "Passion of Jesus Christ" written inside the heart. To the religious vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience he added a fourth: to spread devotion to Christ's Passion among the faithful. His mission was to ignite a love for Jesus in the hearts of the faithful at a time when many saw Him only as a great moral teacher. St. Paul of the Cross was one of the most powerful preachers of his day, as well as a mystic, and he was known to bring even the most hardened sinners to tears. He also took special care of the sick, poor, and suffering. His feast day is October 20th. See More About This Saint >
Friday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Rom 4:1-8
Brothers and sisters: What can we say that Abraham found, our ancestor according to the flesh? Indeed, if Abraham was justified on the basis of his works, he has reason to boast; but this was not so in the sight of God. For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. A worker's wage is credited not as a gift, but as something due. But when one does not work, yet believes in the one who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness. So also David declares the blessedness of the person to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not record.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 32:1b-2, 5, 11 R. (see 7) I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation. Blessed is he whose fault is taken away, whose sin is covered. Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt, in whose spirit there is no guile. R. I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation. Then I acknowledged my sin to you, my guilt I covered not. I said, "I confess my faults to the LORD," and you took away the guilt of my sin. R. I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation. Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you just; exult, all you upright of heart. R. I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.
Alleluia Ps 33:22 R. Alleluia, alleluia. May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us; who have put our hope in you. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 12:1-7
At that time: So many people were crowding together that they were trampling one another underfoot. Jesus began to speak, first to his disciples, "Beware of the leaven–that is, the hypocrisy–of the Pharisees.
"There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops. I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one. Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows."
Meditation: Luke 12:1-7 Saint Paul of the Cross, Priest (Optional Memorial)
Beware. (Luke 12:1)
Hypocrisy, unbelief, unspoken judgments, hatred, resentment, lust, every kind of base desire—all will ultimately be brought to light and shouted from the rooftops (Luke 12:3). That thought might make you feel panicky. We all have sins that we hope will never be revealed. Like Adam and Eve, we try to hide the things that make us feel ashamed and guilty.
But Jesus came bringing good news, not bad. And today's good news is this: you are precious in God's sight. "You are worth more than many sparrows" (Luke 12:7). If God knows and values every single sparrow, which is sold for next to nothing, how much more does he know and care for you! He loves you so much and values you so dearly that you never need to keep your hidden self from him. He knows you through and through— and still he loves you with an everlasting love.
So don't be afraid of God. Ever. Instead, get to know him. Spend time with him. When you are at Mass, thank him for welcoming you into his house and into his presence. Listen eagerly to his word in Scripture. If you don't understand it, ask his Spirit to help you. In the quiet time after Communion, ask him to give you a taste of his love. Believe that he delights in answering those requests because he delights in you.
As you come to know God and his love for you more and more deeply, that love will drive out fear (1 John 4:18). You will still "beware," but not with the anxiety of one who is living a hidden life. Instead, you will be on the lookout for thoughts in your heart that might cloud your relationship with him. And when you find something, you will want to bring it into his light immediately rather than trying to keep it hidden. You will want to deal with it now, in the light of his love, rather than having it published abroad at the end.
So let God show you how much he can do for you—and how gently and lovingly he will do it. You have great worth in his eyes!
"Father, replace my shame and fear with your great love for me."
Romans 4:1-8 Psalm 32:1-2, 5, 11
The Word said today "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered."
We pray today "I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation. Blessed is he whose fault is taken away, whose sin is covered. Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt, in whose spirit there is no guile."
The Word made Flesh speaks to us today "Beware of the leaven–that is, the hypocrisy–of the Pharisees. There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known." The bread of man is not the bread of God. On Sunday's Gospel coming up, our Lord made flesh speaks ""Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God." And what belongs to God? Everything. Problem is though, Cesar made himself a god, and people had to pay him. Our Lord, our God, Jesus wants hearts freely converting to Him, but not converting alone, but being saved. In the world there is fierce competition for your soul. And because we trip up, God offers yet another chance to return to Him while you still live. These "works" of darkness shall not say who you are, because God has made us in His image, and His image is righteousness and His righteousness is holiness, otherwise Saint Paul would have remained simply Saul.
This then, is a message great hope for us. Our God is greater. Jesus says today "I shall show you whom to fear." And He shows us the way. Unafraid of those who can kill the body, a childish attempt to kill the soul, it ravages on what it can see, but can not reach what is unseen. A reflection today recalled Psalm 139 "For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. God sees all the unseen. And He shall see what is unseen after this life. Then He is to be feared in reverence. Revere Him in prayer. Do not rattle off words but speak to Him sincerely. Do not say "forgive me" and not really mean it. Do not say "I will do this for you" and then never fulfill. At the festival, I had some people posted at certain things, and they abandoned their post. They left because they didn't see a reason to stay, nobody was coming, no "customers", no visitors hardly. I was dismayed. I didn't ask them to be successful, I asked them to be faithful, obedient. And so, the evening came, darkness was coming, and the crowds rushed in, and all the abandoned posts made no sales and those rides or foods were left unattended or unsold, less fruit for the outcome of the festival and it looks abandoned. And so is the story of our lives. For those in ministries, they abandon ship because they see no fruitfulness. For many people's faith, they abandon faith because they see nothing good or worth it. In other words, the sacrifice is too great. The sacrifice of self. One question was asked of my students this week "how can your life be an offering to God?"
Saint Pope John Paul II had a motto "totus tuus" which means "totally yours (thine)". To be totally devoted. This affliction is a crucifixion. God sees. God knows. And that's what matters. Be faithful. Be full of faith in all that you see and do, so that you may do His will and only His.
This prayer was written by the Holy Father to Mary Immaculate
Totally yours, Immaculate Conception, Mary my Mother, Live in me, Act in me, Speak in me and through me, Think your thoughts in my mind, Love through my heart, Give me your dispositions and feelings, Teach, lead me and guide me to Jesus, Correct, enlighten and expand my thoughts and behavior, Possess my soul, Take over my entire personality and life, replace it with Yourself, Incline me to constant adoration, Pray in me and through me, Let me live in you and keep me in this union always.