O God, who gave Saint Anthony of Padua a love for the sacred Scriptures and the gift of teaching them, give us a love for your holy word and a deep desire to encounter you. Through his intercession, help us to find what we have lost and especially to remain in possession of the truest good, peace of spirit and the grace of salvation. Show us, through your saint, what it means to live in Jesus Christ, who humbled and emptied himself for our sakes and the sake of the whole world. Amen.
–from Saint Junipero Serra's Camino: A Pilgrimage Guide to the California Missions
✞Quote "Prayer is the best armor we have, it is the key which opens the heart of God." — St. Padre Pio
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "If it was, as we have said, a high honor to Joseph to be chosen as the spouse of Mary and accepted by her, what must we say of the dignity conferred on him in being chosen by the Son of God Himself to be His father?" — Edward Healy Thompson, p. 201 AN EXCERPT FROM Life & Glories of St. Joseph
✞VERSE OF THE DAY "But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:22-23
click to read more
Saint Anthony of Padua
(1195 – June 13, 1231)
The gospel call to leave everything and follow Christ was the rule of Anthony's life. Over and over again, God called him to something new in his plan. Every time Anthony responded with renewed zeal and self-sacrificing to serve his Lord Jesus more completely.
His journey as the servant of God began as a very young man when he decided to join the Augustinians in Lisbon, giving up a future of wealth and power to be a servant of God. Later when the bodies of the first Franciscan martyrs went through the Portuguese city where he was stationed, he was again filled with an intense longing to be one of those closest to Jesus himself: those who die for the Good News.
So Anthony entered the Franciscan Order and set out to preach to the Moors. But an illness prevented him from achieving that goal. He went to Italy and was stationed in a small hermitage where he spent most of his time praying, reading the Scriptures and doing menial tasks.
The call of God came again at an ordination where no one was prepared to speak. The humble and obedient Anthony hesitantly accepted the task. The years of searching for Jesus in prayer, of reading sacred Scripture and of serving him in poverty, chastity, and obedience had prepared Anthony to allow the Spirit to use his talents. Anthony's sermon was astounding to those who expected an unprepared speech and knew not the Spirit's power to give people words.
Recognized as a great man of prayer and a great Scripture and theology scholar, Anthony became the first friar to teach theology to the other friars. Soon he was called from that post to preach to the Albigensians in France, using his profound knowledge of Scripture and theology to convert and reassure those who had been misled by their denial of Christ's divinity and of the sacraments..
After he led the friars in northern Italy for three years, he made his headquarters in the city of Padua. He resumed his preaching and began writing sermon notes to help other preachers. In the spring of 1231 Anthony withdrew to a friary at Camposampiero where he had a sort of treehouse built as a hermitage. There he prayed and prepared for death.
On June 13, he became very ill and asked to be taken back to Padua, where he died after receiving the last sacraments. Anthony was canonized less than a year later and named a Doctor of the Church in 1946.
Reflection Anthony should be the patron of those who find their lives completely uprooted and set in a new and unexpected direction. Like all saints, he is a perfect example of turning one's life completely over to Christ. God did with Anthony as God pleased—and what God pleased was a life of spiritual power and brilliance that still attracts admiration today. He whom popular devotion has nominated as finder of lost objects found himself by losing himself totally to the providence of God.
Saint Anthony of Padua is the Patron Saint of: Lost items Poor Travelers
Reading 1 1 KGS18:20-39
Ahab sent to all the children of Israel and had the prophets assemble on Mount Carmel.
Elijah appealed to all the people and said, "How long will you straddle the issue? If the LORD is God, follow him; if Baal, follow him." The people, however, did not answer him. So Elijah said to the people, "I am the only surviving prophet of the LORD, and there are four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal. Give us two young bulls. Let them choose one, cut it into pieces, and place it on the wood, but start no fire. I shall prepare the other and place it on the wood, but shall start no fire. You shall call on your gods, and I will call on the LORD. The God who answers with fire is God." All the people answered, "Agreed!"
Elijah then said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose one young bull and prepare it first, for there are more of you. Call upon your gods, but do not start the fire." Taking the young bull that was turned over to them, they prepared it and called on Baal from morning to noon, saying, "Answer us, Baal!" But there was no sound, and no one answering. And they hopped around the altar they had prepared. When it was noon, Elijah taunted them: "Call louder, for he is a god and may be meditating, or may have retired, or may be on a journey. Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened." They called out louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until blood gushed over them. Noon passed and they remained in a prophetic state until the time for offering sacrifice. But there was not a sound; no one answered, and no one was listening.
Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come here to me." When the people had done so, he repaired the altar of the LORD that had been destroyed. He took twelve stones, for the number of tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the LORD had said, "Your name shall be Israel." He built an altar in honor of the LORD with the stones, and made a trench around the altar large enough for two measures of grain. When he had arranged the wood, he cut up the young bull and laid it on the wood. "Fill four jars with water," he said, "and pour it over the burnt offering and over the wood." "Do it again," he said, and they did it again. "Do it a third time," he said, and they did it a third time. The water flowed around the altar, and the trench was filled with the water.
At the time for offering sacrifice, the prophet Elijah came forward and said, "LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things by your command. Answer me, LORD! Answer me, that this people may know that you, LORD, are God and that you have brought them back to their senses." The LORD's fire came down and consumed the burnt offering, wood, stones, and dust, and it lapped up the water in the trench. Seeing this, all the people fell prostrate and said, "The LORD is God! The LORD is God!"
Responsorial Psalm PS 16:1B-2AB, 4, 5AB AND 8, 11 R. (1b) Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope. Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge; I say to the LORD, "My Lord are you." R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope. They multiply their sorrows who court other gods. Blood libations to them I will not pour out, nor will I take their names upon my lips. R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope. O LORD, my allotted portion and cup, you it is who hold fast my lot. I set the LORD ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope. You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever. R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
Alleluia PS 25:4B, 5A R. Alleluia, alleluia. Teach me your paths, my God, and guide me in your truth. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel MT 5:17-19
Jesus said to his disciples: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven."
Meditation: 1 Kings 18:20-39
Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)
Call louder. . . . Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened. (1 Kings 18:27)
What do you do to get someone's attention? Shout? Jump up and down? Shake them? Sometimes nothing works, and that's exactly what happened in today's first reading.
The prophets of Baal tried everything to rouse their god: they shouted and hopped around their altar for hours; they even slashed themselves with swords, to no avail. Of course, we know that Baal didn't respond because he wasn't real. Elijah, on the other hand, prayed a simple prayer to the God of Israel—and God answered.
We all have times when we relate to God as the prophets of Baal did. When prayer seems dry or God feels far off, we might think, "If only I prayed longer or better or tried harder. Then God would pay attention or come close to me or answer my prayers."
But is this true? How should we draw near to God? Elijah gives us three clues: Remember. Speak simply. Trust God.
Remember. When Elijah built his altar of stones representing the twelve tribes of Israel, he reminded the Israelites of who they were: the people God had chosen. He reminded them that their God was the God they had known for generations: the faithful One who sees, and hears, and answers his people. Remember that you are chosen and loved by this same faithful God.
Speak simply. Elijah used simple, direct language in speaking to God. You don't need perfect words or impressive rituals to get God to hear your prayers. Have confidence and speak plainly to your Father.
Trust God. Elijah believed God would answer his prayer on Mount Carmel, and God responded dramatically. Sometimes, though, God answers prayers in ways that are unexpected, even undesired. What then? Trust the Lord, and wait. Continue to remember and speak simply: Lord, you are my hope. I believe you hear my prayers. I trust you to answer me and bring good out of this situation.
You don't need to jump through hoops to please God and get his attention. You don't need to beg him to draw near to you. He is already close, and he loves you so much that he wants to hear all that is on your heart—today and always.
"Thank you, Father, for hearing my every prayer. You are my hope."
Psalm 16:1-2, 4-5, 8, 11 Matthew 5:17-19
A message from Elijah: "If the LORD is God, follow him". If He is who you say He is, then let the world see that you are following Him. If you are wishy washy, if you are neutral, get into gear! Watch what God can do with a faithful soul.
Let us pray: "Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope. They multiply their sorrows who court other gods. Blood libations to them I will not pour out, nor will I take their names upon my lips." When sin is followed, there is hell to pay.
Our Lord and savior speaks: "I have come not to abolish but to fulfill." Listen. Read them aloud as a prayer to God. It sounds as if the words He speaks are prayers themselves. "I have come not to abolish but to fulfill." I haven not come to do my will but His will. "I have come not to abolish but to fulfill." I have come to be the fulfillment of what He desires. "I have come not to abolish but to fulfill." This is my duty, this is my allegiance, this is my faith, this is...my honor. To honor our Father who is in Heaven. I honor Him by speech. Your words teach. Yet, your actions even more. Saint Anthony said "actions speak louder than words". What you live speaks volumes. Your words are somewhat empty, if you think about it, even research says that something like over 70% of our communication is through body language. So how do we hear God speak? How do we see Him speak?
They say Saint Anthony witnessed dead bodies of Franciscans being carried away, which Muslims had just slaughtered, this about 900 years ago. This lit him up on even more fire. Actions speak louder than words. Don't they? If you say you love me, that's nice, but it is emptiness until those words are carried out and fulfilled. This is why our Lord says "whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven." I witnessed many things on this trip, and thank God for a safe trip, we are home. I saw some yelling and honking at me on the 3,000 roundtrip journey. I was at a beautiful beach on the east coast, the waters glistened, children played, I gave thanks to God for such a sight. But on the same waters, a few feet away, homosexual young women were kissing, and holding each other erotically, and another couple of women were doing poses on the beach, filming, and pushing away their daughters so they could pose, erotically too. It was a distraction. It was a teaching. Kids are not important-was the message. In homosexual life, kids are not important, and if you want any, you must get them somehow. And if hetero, kids must raise themselves. I turned on the TV at the AirBnB, bed and breakfast home, watched spongebob for a few minutes as kids watched, and the commercials were of gay pride over and over again. Two moms they say is ok. What was the god of Baal? In some centuries, this god was sacrificed to, and some had children sacrificed to them. It was a bloody sacrifice, and some burned them alive. They would feed them through a huge statue made by their own hands. Why? For their own benefit. Selfishness. That's why. No turning of cheeks here. Teach others that we are more important than others-is the god of Ba'al. It is engrossing. We live in a time that you do not see this livid. But you can see it with spiritual eyes. Human sacrifices at abortion clinics are real. The bodies are disposed of or incinerated, to the tune of millions and millions. Disposable, so the parents can live happier, with more wealth and prosperity. What does Jesus say to us today? "whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven." He takes a child and holds it tightly in front of all. Watch for this child. Watch what you are teaching the child. Or your neck could be on the line.
Nobody talks about hell, but there is hell to pay. A woman who has an abortion suffers greatly, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. There is hell to pay. Contraception does this. Porn does this. You are enslaved and fooled into slavery to death. Today, God wants us to teach children what is important...God is important, the entirety of our lives, our entire existence. I want you to be consumed by the fire of His love. I want you to be burned alive, meaning fully purified. God does this when you call on Him. He always will answer to our humanly pleading because He does care, He is the opposite of selfishness. He gives like no one else knows how.... And I am ever grateful to this life of wonder and awe, an amazement, a life in the Spirit. Martyrs Make More Martyrs. Saints make saints.
For questions or comments contact Adrian@going4th.com. For more go to www.Going4th.com