Many poets are not poets for the same reason that many religious men are not saints: they never succeed in being themselves. They never get around to being the particular poet or the particular monk they are intended to be by God. They never become the man or the artist who is called for by all the circumstances of their individual lives.
Every vocation is a vocation to sacrifice and to joy. It is a call to the knowledge of God, to the recognition of God as our Father, to joy in the understanding of His mercy.
—Thomas Merton, as quoted in Simply Merton: Wisdom from His Journals by Linus Mundy
✞ "When you have free moments, go faithfully to prayer. The good God is waiting for you there." — St. Julie Billiart
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Many things happen that God does not will. But he still permits them, in his wisdom, and they remain a stumbling block or scandal to our minds. God asks us to do all we can to eliminate evil. But despite our efforts, there is always a whole set of circumstances which we can do nothing about, which are not necessarily willed by God but nevertheless are permitted by him, and which God invites us to consent to trustingly and peacefully, even if they make us suffer and cause us problems. We are not being asked to consent to evil, but to consent to the mysterious wisdom of God who permits evil. Our consent is not a compromise with evil but the expression of our trust that God is stronger than evil. This is a form of obedience that is painful but very fruitful." — Fr. Jacques Philippe, p. 33 AN EXCERPT FROM In the School of the Holy Spirit
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and proclaimed the good news everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it." Mark 16:19-20
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Blessed Bartholomew of Vicenza
Saint of the Day for October 27
(c. 1200 – 1271)
Dominicans honor one of their own today, Blessed Bartholomew of Vicenza. This was a man who used his skills as a preacher to challenge the heresies of his day.
Bartholomew was born in Vicenza around 1200. At 20, he entered the Dominicans. Following his ordination, he served in various leadership positions. As a young priest, he founded a military order whose purpose was to keep civil peace in towns throughout Italy.
In 1248, Bartholomew was appointed a bishop. For most men, such an appointment is an honor and a tribute to their holiness and their demonstrated leadership skills. But for Bartholomew, it was a form of exile that had been urged by an antipapal group that was only too happy to see him leave for Cyprus. Not many years later, however, Bartholomew was transferred back to Vicenza. Despite the antipapal feelings that were still evident, he worked diligently—especially through his preaching—to rebuild his diocese and strengthen the people's loyalty to Rome.
During his years as bishop in Cyprus, Bartholomew befriended King Louis IX of France, who is said to have given the holy bishop a relic of Christ's Crown of Thorns.
Bartholomew died in 1271. He was beatified in 1793.
Despite oppositions and obstacles, Bartholomew remained faithful to his ministry to God's People. We face daily challenges to our faithfulness and duties as well. Perhaps Bartholomew could serve as an inspiration in our darker moments.
Friday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Rom 7:18-25a
Brothers and sisters: I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh. The willing is ready at hand, but doing the good is not. For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. So, then, I discover the principle that when I want to do right, evil is at hand. For I take delight in the law of God, in my inner self, but I see in my members another principle at war with the law of my mind, taking me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 119:66, 68, 76, 77, 93, 94 R. (68b) Lord, teach me your statutes. Teach me wisdom and knowledge, for in your commands I trust. R. Lord, teach me your statutes. You are good and bountiful; teach me your statutes. R. Lord, teach me your statutes. Let your kindness comfort me according to your promise to your servants. R. Lord, teach me your statutes. Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight. R. Lord, teach me your statutes. Never will I forget your precepts, for through them you give me life. R. Lord, teach me your statutes. I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts. R. Lord, teach me your statutes.
Alleluia See Mt 11:25 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 12:54-59
Jesus said to the crowds, "When you see a cloud rising in the west you say immediately that it is going to rain–and so it does; and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south you say that it is going to be hot–and so it is. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time?
"Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate, make an effort to settle the matter on the way; otherwise your opponent will turn you over to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the constable, and the constable throw you into prison. I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny."
Meditation: Romans 7:18-25
Miserable one that I am! (Romans 7:24)
It's easy to think of Paul as some kind of superhero with powers that made him invincible and immune to sin or temptation. But when he wrote to introduce himself to the community in Rome, Paul sounds surprisingly frank and self-revelatory: I'm just a wretched sinner. I try, but I fail. Thank God for his mercy! He certainly doesn't sound like a spiritual champion or a great leader. Instead of burnishing his image, he focuses on his weakness and failures.
Perhaps Paul had a number of reasons for doing this. It's certainly a good strategy for effective evangelization: keep a humble attitude that remembers you are just like everyone else. You may even stretch things a bit to make your point clear. But this is not just a strategy or hyperbole or false humility for Paul. He is being honest.
Paul, fearless evangelist, tireless builder of churches, brilliant scholar, and "blameless" under the Law, was always careful to make sure that God was glorified in his life (Philippians 3:6). He was aware of what Jesus had done for him and continued to do through him, and he wanted to make sure everyone else knew it too. Paul was convinced that he had been justified by God's grace, not his own effort. He knew that no matter how many "heroic" things he did, it was only by the grace of the Lord that he could stand before God freed from guilt and condemnation. Only grace could give him the ability to overcome sin. Only grace could secure his humility.
St. Augustine tells us something very similar. "Do you wish to be great?" he asks. "Then begin from the least. Do you desire to construct a tall and lofty building? Think first about the foundation of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper you must dig the foundation" (adapted from Sermons on New Testament XIX, 2).
Both Augustine and Paul were quick to point out that the real superhero is Jesus. Both of them assure us that whether we are the most flagrant sinner or the most upright of saints, we owe everything to God's grace in Jesus Christ. He is the only One deserving of our praise.
"Thank you, Lord, for your grace. Everything I am and have and do flows from your goodness."
Psalm 119:66, 68, 76-77, 93-94 Luke 12:54-59
Saint Paul exclaims "Who will deliver me from this mortal body?" only one answer and it is a name and it is a person and it is the one who came from Heaven and is bringing Heaven to earth to this very moment and the next...Jesus.
We then pray "Lord, teach me your statutes. Never will I forget your precepts, for through them you give me life." Never forget, always have at the forefront of your mind to shine the way...the Lord Himself.
Our Lord speaks today "Hypocrites!" and continues ""Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?". Why not? Why do we fail to judge what is RIGHT? We fail because we have made up our own precepts, our own commandments, and our own laws that move farther and farther from HIS way. Did we not just pray "Lord, teach me YOUR statutes"? Never Forget.
Last night at ultreya someone said that maybe out of 1,000 about 0.1% are praying for the whole world. And they said "and what if that 0.1% stops praying? I'm in many ministries, one of them is seeing the ins and outs of the parish through the pastoral council. I am often amazed at how far a dollar is stretched in the church. We try to save, and we try to keep paying bills, but it seems like an uphill battle, and a constant one. I can see clearly that not even 10% are giving faithfully. And the same thing in other ministries. Only about 10% of the people are doing most of the work. And out of those 10% only a few are perhaps seeking sainthood, and out of those few who knows who will actually be.
Because nowadays in most denominations they believe "just proclaim this and you will be saved". Lies. This is not true. Hypocrites! Judge what is right! You can't say you love Jesus and love sin too! You must be a holy saint of God to be recognized as a true child of God....blameless as can be. And stop saying "well I'm not perfect". Everyone knows that nobody is! Instead say "I want to be perfectly HIS". Instead of focusing on the negative, focus on the positive, and the cross is positive. A positive in a negative world makes for an explosive energy, instead of remaining dead in its tracks.
There seems to be a trend where people love death...more than Jesus. They choose it. Abortions, suicides, mercy killings of the sick or invalids, and wars. It is a calamity. Why? Because it is a commotion that darkness introduces, a temptation for an easy way out....indeed, out of life eternal, the precepts of the Lord Himself. Why is it a tragedy to me? Because it is twofold: on the one hand, the world loses a person they loved and on the other, God loses a soul He loves. Unborn, yes. Sick and marginalized, yes. The wars, too, lost in a world imploding on itself. This is a calling to you right now, to become what HE WANTS. To do what HE SAYS. And He is saying "I want you to be truly MINE" says the Lord. Stop living so comfortable in your little cage. He has come to set us free and in eternity! The way out is the way of the cross. Sorry to take so long but I have to say, I finally finished the book "The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary From the Visions of Ven. Anne Catherine Emmerich" and towards the end, it spoke of her last years, and how she often did the devotion of the Way of The Cross, the stations of the cross, even where she moved to the mountains cast from Jerusalem, there she made the Way. It seems to me she did this out of obedience of her Son's orders. And she was ever faithful....I would say, extraordinarily faithful. She was beyond being pious, she was straight out a living faith model. I don't know of anyone that does the devotion of the Way of the Cross as often as she was said to have been. What happened by the end of the book was that I was left with an impression of our Mother like never before. And its like you just have to experience it for yourself because if I tell you, it wouldn't be the same. But in general, I was very impressed in the degree of humility, of devotion, of subordination, of being what is to be "crossed" where the cross inflicts a spiritual affliction on your soul. She was beyond humanism. Indeed, she was an immaculate conception. A cherished tabernacle to bear the light of the world. That lamb of God that came to feed the lambs in His fold.
I hope to share this type of light I can see that makes all the difference in the world....