Rather than viewing the world from the top rung of the ladder of creation, Francis saw himself as part of creation. Instead of using creatures to ascend to God, he found God in all creatures and identified with them as brother and sister because he saw that they had the same primordial goodness as himself. By the end of his life, Francis considered himself as a brother to all creation.
We might say that Francis saw with the eyes of God. He saw that all of creation was good—the sun and moon, the stars and the heavens, the wind and air, water and fire, flowers and fruits. Francis' heart overflowed with gratitude for all God's gifts. We can do the same.
—From the book Live Like Francis: Reflections of Francisan Life in the World
✞ "Many live like angels in the midst of the world. Why not you?" — St. Josemaria Escriva
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Many beginners, delighting in the sweetness and joy of their spiritual occupations, strive after spiritual sweetness rather than after purity and discretion, which is that which God regards and accepts in the whole course of the spiritual way. For this reason, over and above their imperfection in seeking after sweetness in devotion, that spirit of gluttony, which has taken possession of them, forces them to overstep the limits of moderation, within which virtue is acquired and consists. . . Inasmuch then as all extremes are vicious, and as in this course of conduct men follow their own will, the consequences are that they grow in vice and not in virtue; at least they minister to their spiritual gluttony and pride, for they do not walk in the way of obedience." — St. John of the Cross, p. 26 AN EXCERPT FROM Dark Night of the Soul
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "Moreover I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, wickedness was there, and in the place of righteousness, wickedness was there as well. I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for he has appointed a time for every matter, and for every work." Ecclesiastes 3:16-17
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STS. CRISPIN AND CRISPINIAN
Sts. Crispin and Crispinian (d. 286 A.D.) were brothers, believed to be twins, from a noble Roman family. They were Christians and went as missionaries into Gaul (present-day France). Taking the Apostle St. Paul as their example, they earned their living through a trade, dividing their time between ministry and work. Their craft was shoe-making, and because they asked little pay for their shoes they were loved and esteemed by all. Crispin and Crispinian used their work as an opportunity to share the Christian faith with the pagans they encountered, and many were converted through their witness. During the persecution of the Roman Emperor Diocletian they were denounced as Christians and brought before the co-emperor, Maximanus Herculius. The emperor tried to persuade them to abandon their faith with promises and threats, but to no effect. The brothers were then given over to the governor who was notorious for his cruelty. They were stretched on the rack, their flesh was cut, and awls were driven under their fingernails. They were then thrown into a river with a millstone tied to their necks, but they both miraculously survived and swam back to shore. They were caught and finally beheaded. Crispin and Crispinian are the patron saints of shoemakers, saddlers, and tanners. Their feast, known as St. Crispin's Day, is October 25th.
Wednesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Rom 6:12-18
Brothers and sisters: Sin must not reign over your mortal bodies so that you obey their desires. And do not present the parts of your bodies to sin as weapons for wickedness, but present yourselves to God as raised from the dead to life and the parts of your bodies to God as weapons for righteousness. For sin is not to have any power over you, since you are not under the law but under grace.
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? Of course not! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, although you were once slaves of sin, you have become obedient from the heart to the pattern of teaching to which you were entrusted. Freed from sin, you have become slaves of righteousness.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 124:1b-3, 4-6, 7-8 R. (8a) Our help is in the name of the Lord. Had not the LORD been with us, let Israel say, had not the LORD been with us– When men rose up against us, then would they have swallowed us alive; When their fury was inflamed against us. R. Our help is in the name of the Lord. Then would the waters have overwhelmed us; The torrent would have swept over us; over us then would have swept the raging waters. Blessed be the LORD, who did not leave us a prey to their teeth. R. Our help is in the name of the Lord. We were rescued like a bird from the fowlers' snare; Broken was the snare, and we were freed. Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth. R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Alleluia Mt 24:42a, 44 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Stay awake! For you do not know when the Son of Man will come. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 12:39-48
Jesus said to his disciples: "Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come."
Then Peter said, "Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?" And the Lord replied, "Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so. Truly, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. But if that servant says to himself, 'My master is delayed in coming,' and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, then that servant's master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish the servant severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful. That servant who knew his master's will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was ignorant of his master's will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more."
Meditation: Romans 6:12-18
Present yourselves to God . . . as weapons for righteousness. (Romans 6:13)
With all the violence in the world today, you may not like the image of being a "weapon" for the Lord. But in this case, St. Paul is encouraging you to be a holy instrument whom the Lord can use to free people from darkness. And that's a good thing!
So today, put your whole body to work for the Lord. Use your eyes to be on the lookout for anyone who needs encouragement. Use your tongue to speak words of kindness. Use your hands and arms to embrace someone who is feeling alone or overwhelmed. Use your feet to offer quick assistance to anyone in trouble. Offer your ears if someone needs to vent about a problem.
Most important, offer your mind to understand the best way you can help the people around you. Whether you realize it or not, a spiritual battle is going on around you—a battle for the souls of God's children. While God is certainly big enough to fight his own battles, he offers you the privilege, the honor, and the invitation to join him. He asks you to offer your whole self as a weapon of righteousness, fighting for people with God's love and compassion in your right and left hands (2 Corinthians 6:7). Will you join today in helping to rescue those who have wandered off the path to life and now find themselves trapped in spiritual darkness?
Do not say, "I am only a mom." Do not say, "I am only an office worker or a student or a retiree." You are exactly where God needs you to be today. You are in a strategic position on the battlefield, and God will bring you to the people that he wants you to help rescue.
So be alert! Have your spiritual eyes, ears, hands, and heart wide open. Let the Lord use you as a weapon of righteousness to win the battle over darkness and evil in this world.
"Lord, I present myself to you. Use me however you will today to rescue those who are trapped by the enemy. Let my eyes be your eyes, my hands your hands, and my heart your heart of love for all your children."
Psalm 124:1-8 Luke 12:39-48
my2cents: The Holy Word speaks "Do you not know that if you present yourselves to someone as obedient slaves....". I see slaves. Slaves to their loves, whims,fancies and idols. Work slaves, slaves to their jobs. And sometimes it saddens me. They say, "they have to", but I say that is a lie, deceived by the devil. This will get under some skin, and this is good. Because if you have ears for the Lord, you will listen. I know of a brother that traded his job for a lower pay, lower hours job, and he seems so much happier, and is devoting all his newfound time for the Lord, actually, I can think of two brothers, one is studying to be a Catholic Deacon! I don't believe in "I can't" or "I don't have time", just say the truth "I don't want to" or " I don't care enough to". Be honest. I like grace because of this: you can accept the truth, even if you don't like it at first. It happens to me much, criticisms, of this and that, at work, at home, at church, critics speak and you know what? I take what they say into consideration. If someone says "hey you need to do this job better" I'll look into it. Or if someone says "hey you getting fat", I'll look into it and do better. If someone says "hey you're bald" DOH! LOL, can't do much there unless I spend thousands in my looks! LOL. All joking aside, if someone says something that affects your faith, look into it. Many saints have been launched into sainthood, especially after being called a hypocrite...time to get real here. "Our help is in the name of the Lord. Then would the waters have overwhelmed us...". Our help, our savior, our rescuer is Jesus. He is a mere whisper away. Can you hear Him whispering? Look into it! He does speak and many times it burns the heart, but not always to speak, sometimes, to act. Why should you let the fire be extinguished in non action?
Our Lord speaks "Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more". My dear friend, God has entrusted the very lives, the very souls of people around us. I look around and see tons of souls in need of light. He said ""Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time?" YOU! You provide. You provide the light of the Lord! Stop giving into darkness. YOU provide food. You know the story of Joseph who was hated by his brothers and was thrown into a hole in the ground and then sold off as a slave in Egypt? He later became the number one guy in Egypt to distribute food...and when his own brothers came dying and starving, what did Joseph provide? Ultimately forgiveness....and love. This is the very rejection that happened with Jesus and his brothers. Our God came and our brothers destroyed him, sold him for some silver, and put him in the ground. Jesus comes back as triumphant King and provides bread, Himself, Jesus HIMSELF, and forgiveness.....love. This is a spectacular story of the greatest story ever told and is based on a true story. JESUS really lived. Jesus really died. Jesus really rose again and is found in HIS people.
Are you HIS people? Of course, but do we act it and let Him be? Don't be a hypocrite. Don't be a baby cry. Grow up! And I'm meaning spiritual maturity. Looking back at my youth, would I want to return? No. I was ignorant of God. The older I get, the more I know God, and the more I want of Him. Our minds and bodies are programmed to want more of what you get into. If it is for slavery of this and that, that's what you will become. And if it is for Jesus? This slave is free baby. Free to love Him and how? Obedience. This slave considers himself a servant. I love good servants. I love to see how they care. I admire them. I see them as a loving soul. Baby cryers? There's way too many. Humble servants? Far and few. They don't expect a thank you or an apology. They serve the Lord. Their reward is bread from Heaven. And bread from Heaven would be nothing if not served with great love...and it comes from the creator of love....GOD ! ! !