It's not the darkness itself that we must understand. It's the force behind the darkness and within the darkness ... the force moving through life that we must know. This is the great passage: to see deep into our own nature by meeting its reﬂection in everything around us. To swim with something very big. To allow the Universe to love us and to love deeply in return … to allow this story to trace itself through the chapters of our life. To live within the miracle.
—from the book Stars at Night by Paula D'Arcy
✞ "Is it not a wonderful thing, that he that is the Lord and author of all liberty, would thus be bound with ropes and nailed hand and foot unto the Cross?" — St. John Fisher
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "We frequently need other people's help to figure out what God wants of us. It is relatively easy to sort out what is bad from what is good, but it is much more difficult to sort out what is good from what is better and what is bad from what is worse. The Holy Spirit gives us the counsel we need through external and internal signs of grace." — Rev. Jude Winkler, p. 35 AN EXCERPT FROM Daily Meditations Holy Spirit
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But wicked people and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." 2 Timothy 3:12-15
click to read more
Saint John of Capistrano
(June 24, 1386 – October 23, 1456)
It has been said the Christian saints are the world's greatest optimists. Not blind to the existence and consequences of evil, they base their confidence on the power of Christ's redemption. The power of conversion through Christ extends not only to sinful people but also to calamitous events.
Imagine being born in the 14th century. One-third of the population and nearly 40 percent of the clergy were wiped out by the bubonic plague. The Western Schism split the Church with two or three claimants to the Holy See at one time. England and France were at war. The city-states of Italy were constantly in conflict. No wonder that gloom dominated the spirit of the culture and the times.
John Capistrano was born in 1386. His education was thorough. His talents and success were great. When he was 26 he was made governor of Perugia. Imprisoned after a battle against the Malatestas, he resolved to change his way of life completely. At the age of 30 he entered the Franciscan novitiate and was ordained a priest four years later.
John's preaching attracted great throngs at a time of religious apathy and confusion. He and 12 Franciscan brethren were received in the countries of central Europe as angels of God. They were instrumental in reviving a dying faith and devotion.
The Franciscan Order itself was in turmoil over the interpretation and observance of the Rule of St. Francis. Through John's tireless efforts and his expertise in law, the heretical Fraticelli were suppressed and the "Spirituals" were freed from interference in their stricter observance.
John of Capistrano helped bring about a brief reunion with the Greek and Armenian Churches.
When the Turks captured Constantinople in 1453, John was commissioned to preach a crusade for the defense of Europe. Gaining little response in Bavaria and Austria, he decided to concentrate his efforts in Hungary. He led the army to Belgrade. Under the great General John Hunyadi, they gained an overwhelming victory, and the siege of Belgrade was lifted. Worn out by his superhuman efforts, Capistrano was an easy prey to an infection after the battle. He died on October 23, 1456.
John Hofer, a biographer of John Capistrano, recalls a Brussels organization named after the saint. Seeking to solve life problems in a fully Christian spirit, its motto was: "Initiative, Organization, Activity." These three words characterized John's life. He was not one to sit around. His deep Christian optimism drove him to battle problems at all levels with the confidence engendered by a deep faith in Christ.
Saint John of Capistrano is Patron Saint of:
Monday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Rom 4:20-25
Brothers and sisters: Abraham did not doubt God's promise in unbelief; rather, he was empowered by faith and gave glory to God and was fully convinced that what God had promised he was also able to do. That is why it was credited to him as righteousness. But it was not for him alone that it was written that it was credited to him; it was also for us, to whom it will be credited, who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over for our transgressions and was raised for our justification.
Responsorial Psalm Luke 1:69-70, 71-72, 73-75 R. (see 68) Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people. He has come to his people and set them free. He has raised up for us a mighty savior, born of the house of his servant David. R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people. Through his holy prophets he promised of old that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us. He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant. R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people. This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hands of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life. R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
Alleluia Mt 5:3 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 12:13-21
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me." He replied to him, "Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?" Then he said to the crowd, "Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one's life does not consist of possessions."
Then he told them a parable. "There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, 'What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?' And he said, 'This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, "Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!"' But God said to him, 'You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?' Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God."
Meditation: Luke 12:13-21
Tell my brother to share the inheritance with me. (Luke 12:13)
Every parent of more than one child has heard pleas like this one. "Tell him to stop teasing me." "Make her share that toy." Many parents know better than to step into the middle of a conflict like this. Instead, they might ask a few questions to help the child to think or examine his motives. They help the child find ways to handle the conflict without their direct intervention. They help build his confidence so that he can find a better way to resolve conflict than complaining.
This is not so different from what Jesus does in today's Gospel. Instead of involving himself in a financial dispute between two brothers, Jesus exposes the greed that lurks behind the demand. The parable that he tells in response raises a more important question than the division of goods. What riches really matter in the long run—the contents of the man's bank account or his relationship with his brother?
For Jesus, the man's motives matter more than the outcome of his dispute. It wasn't Jesus' role to make the problem disappear; he wanted to teach the man how to work through it himself according to God's ways. The solution he offered was meant to go deeper and have more permanent effects than settling this one argument. Essentially, he was teaching this man how to love his brother.
God wants to do the same for us. He wants to show us how to resolve conflicts by examining the motives and values in our own hearts. So if you're having a hard time with someone, come to Jesus before you approach the other person. Let Jesus shine his light on your heart so that you can see what lies under the surface. Let him offer you his compassion and understanding toward the other person. Let him assure you that you are capable of working things out together as long as you respect each other and leave room for the Holy Spirit to help.
The work of mending relationships starts with each one of us. And Jesus will be right there to help us through it.
"Holy Spirit, help me to build more loving relationships with the people you have put in my life."
Romans 4:20-25 (Psalm) Luke 1:69-75
my2cents: "...he was empowered by faith and gave glory to God and was fully convinced that what God had promised". God has made promises. Have you entered into one with Him as He has offered? It's not all about what I got to offer Him you know...
We pray today "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people. This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hands of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life." Who are your enemies? Let me tell you, if you thought of someone in particular, you are wrong. We are not fighting people, we are in a spiritual battle. I have seen face to face evil within the last couple of weeks, and it was through dearly beloved people. Spirits try to take root and talk through people. I have to reject them, not listen to them. Easier said than done when someone you love is accusing you and belittling you. But, grace comes as a shield. I had just confessed, and here comes the tests...will evil enter and take over? No, not with Jesus involved...and the more, the better.
In the Holy Gospel, our Lord speaks to us: ""Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one's life does not consist of possessions." Greed is a twisted need and it is rooted in pride. Full of oneself. It becomes a story of "ME" and me this and my feelings that and my ego, and "my self esteem" and me me me. It is the battlefront we soldiers of Christ must attack. My mom is not the oldest of 9 kids, not the youngest, but somewhere in the middle. They lost their dad at an early age, she was perhaps 9 or 11. The brothers were oldest, 2 of them, one youngest paralyzed from polio and had to be changed and carried around everywhere. The dad had died when a tractor crushed him in the field and no one had seen it since he worked alone, until hours or a day later. Months later, the mom died of a brain tumor. After this tragedy, the children, on their own, began bickering and fighting, even years later about who got what, the cattle, the house, the farmlands. It was to the point that guns were pulled out in death threats. You don't need the story of Adam and Eve in God's creation to see soon Abel and Cain. When God leaves us to our own whims, it is a deadly world. The paralyzed uncle of mine, was a burden...for about 33 years. They would take turns taking care of him and once he was thrown on the street when one of the siblings said she had done her part for the time said and agreed. My mom was seemingly religious. She took no part in any of the inheritance. We took care of "Jilo" my paralyzed uncle for quite a long time, even bringing him from Mexico to do so. It was a heavy cross, he yelled, he stank because he used pampers all his life, and he would pinch us kids as we walked by him if he was moody. But everyone went to his funeral back in Mexico. I remember my younger cousin look at me at the funeral with the biggest tear drops I'd ever seen on someone. The family seemed to have healed from then on, and joined together. To this day, it is closer. I think most see my mom as the mother, as she had been most constant in faith. I remember my anti-catholic ex brother in law saying to me once "I like your faith because it is constant".
Indeed, there has to be an anchor in your life, let it be Christ. When you are centered and living a life of grace, you will see how the "Meek will inherit the earth". Christ gives us a cross to cherish, to hold, and to carry with great care. The burden you have is the key.
Everyone knows that where we live and what we got is temporary. Or do we? Because we live as if this was it. We just had another young teenager commit suicide this weekend. My children, this is not it! We can't focus on just what we see and feel, we must focus on CHRIST JESUS. Yesterday, we practiced for choir before Mass and it sounded really good. First entrance song starts and little girl keeps fussing with a microphone and with the corner of my eye I can see them messing with it, and another choir lady goes to help her and it is a distraction, I see others just staring to see what's going on. I was joyfully laughing inside but when I saw the distraction I said "No, we must focus on God" and I began to sing stronger and refocus everyone to Jesus, what was about to happen....on that cross, and in that bread, and in this gathering of Heaven and Earth.......