Colette did not seek the limelight, but in doing God's will she certainly attracted a lot of attention.
Colette was born in Corbie, France. At 21 she began to follow the Third Order Rule and became an anchoress, a woman walled into a room whose only opening was a window into a church.
After four years of prayer and penance in this cell, she left it. With the approval and encouragement of the pope, she joined the Poor Clares and reintroduced the primitive Rule of St. Clare in the 17 monasteries she established. Her sisters were known for their poverty—they rejected any fixed income—and for their perpetual fast. Colette's reform movement spread to other countries and is still thriving today. Colette was canonized in 1807.
Colette began her reform during the time of the Great Western Schism (1378-1417) when three men claimed to be pope and thus divided Western Christianity. The 15th century in general was a very difficult one for the Western Church. Abuses long neglected cost the Church dearly in the following century; the prayers of Colette and her followers may have lessened the Church's troubles in the 16th century. In any case, Colette's reform indicated the entire Church's need to follow Christ more closely.
In her spiritual testament, Colette told her sisters: "We must faithfully keep what we have promised. If through human weakness we fail, we must always without delay arise again by means of holy penance, and give our attention to leading a good life and to dying a holy death. May the Father of all mercy, the Son by his holy passion, and the Holy Spirit, source of peace, sweetness and love, fill us with their consolation. Amen."
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
At any time of the day or night we can call on Jesus.
Lord, may I never take the gift
How do I find myself today?
The Word of God
Reading 1SIR 47:2-11
Like the choice fat of the sacred offerings,
so was David in Israel.
He made sport of lions as though they were kids,
and of bears, like lambs of the flock.
As a youth he slew the giant
and wiped out the people's disgrace,
When his hand let fly the slingstone
that crushed the pride of Goliath.
Since he called upon the Most High God,
who gave strength to his right arm
To defeat the skilled warrior
and raise up the might of his people,
Therefore the women sang his praises,
and ascribed to him tens of thousands
and praised him when they blessed the Lord.
When he assumed the royal crown, he battled
and subdued the enemy on every side.
He destroyed the hostile Philistines
and shattered their power till our own day.
With his every deed he offered thanks
to God Most High, in words of praise.
With his whole being he loved his Maker
and daily had his praises sung;
He set singers before the altar and by their voices
he made sweet melodies,
He added beauty to the feasts
and solemnized the seasons of each year
So that when the Holy Name was praised,
before daybreak the sanctuary would resound.
The LORD forgave him his sins
and exalted his strength forever;
He conferred on him the rights of royalty
and established his throne in Israel.
Responsorial Psalm PS 18:31, 47 AND 50, 51
R. (see 47b) Blessed be God my salvation!
God's way is unerring,
the promise of the LORD is fire-tried;
he is a shield to all who take refuge in him.
R. Blessed be God my salvation!
The LORD live! And blessed be my Rock!
Extolled be God my savior.
Therefore will I proclaim you, O LORD, among the nations,
and I will sing praise to your name.
R. Blessed be God my salvation!
You who gave great victories to your king
and showed kindness to your anointed,
to David and his posterity forever.
R. Blessed be God my salvation!
Gospel MK 6:14-29
King Herod heard about Jesus, for his fame had become widespread,
and people were saying,
"John the Baptist has been raised from the dead;
that is why mighty powers are at work in him."
Others were saying, "He is Elijah";
still others, "He is a prophet like any of the prophets."
But when Herod learned of it, he said,
"It is John whom I beheaded. He has been raised up."
Herod was the one who had John arrested and bound in prison
on account of Herodias,
the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
John had said to Herod,
"It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."
Herodias harbored a grudge against him
and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man,
and kept him in custody.
When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed,
yet he liked to listen to him.
Herodias had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday,
gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers,
and the leading men of Galilee.
His own daughter came in and performed a dance
that delighted Herod and his guests.
The king said to the girl,
"Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you."
He even swore many things to her,
"I will grant you whatever you ask of me,
even to half of my kingdom."
She went out and said to her mother,
"What shall I ask for?"
Her mother replied, "The head of John the Baptist."
The girl hurried back to the king's presence and made her request,
"I want you to give me at once on a platter
the head of John the Baptist."
The king was deeply distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests
he did not wish to break his word to her.
So he promptly dispatched an executioner
with orders to bring back his head.
He went off and beheaded him in the prison.
He brought in the head on a platter
and gave it to the girl.
The girl in turn gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it,
they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
I begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture I have just read. What part of it strikes a chord in me? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story I have heard recently - will slowly rise to the surface in my consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to me?
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
Meditation: Sirach 47:2-11
Subscriber? Login to view archives.
4th Week in Ordinary Time
The Lord forgave him his sins and exalted his strength forever. (Sirach 47:11)
What a shining portrait Ben Sira, the author of Sirach, paints for us of King David! "As a youth he slew the giant and wiped out the people's disgrace... . When he assumed the royal crown, he battled and subdued the enemy on every side... . With his whole being he loved his Maker and daily had his praises sung" (Sirach 47:4, 6, 8). This is a bright picture of a great warrior, a mighty king, a renowned musician, and a great lover of God.
But what about David's adultery with Bathsheba? His conspiring to have Uriah abandoned and killed in battle? Wouldn't this suggest a darker portrait, stained with sin? It seems as if there are two faces to David.
David was a "man after God's own heart" (Acts 13:22). But there's no denying that his sins had a terrible impact on himself, his family, and all of Israel. But Ben Sira, a masterful portrait artist, knew what he was doing when he chose to highlight David's love for God over his grievous sins. For when David stumbled and fell, he turned back to God, and "the Lord forgave him his sins" (Sirach 47:11). God kept his covenant with David, and ultimately, his Son, Jesus—a descendant of King David—brought redemption and healing to fallen humankind.
Our lives may not hold the sort of radical contrast of light and shadow that David's did, but we all have our bright and dark "faces." The good news is that God has made provision for our waywardness. He has given us the great gift of repentance.
We often think of repentance or going to Confession as a great burden, or at least an embarrassing inconvenience. But David's story tells us that it is nothing less than a path back to the Lord and a protection against crippling guilt. Just as God showed mercy to David, he is eager to forgive you. He wants nothing more than to bring you back to his heart. He wants nothing more than to shower you with his mercy! Just as he did for David, he wants not only to forgive you but to strengthen you more and more.
"Lord Jesus, thank you for forgiving me and welcoming me back!"
Psalm 18:31, 47, 50-51; Mark 6:14-29
Allow me to translate today's 5minutos:
"It is very interesting to recognize that David is remembered in the Bible by the quality of his joy in prayer. While other great men are remembered for what they did for their own glory, to grow their riches, fame, and territories, the Bible praises David fundamentally because he know how to praise God and let himself be found by God. It is the primacy of this love that is really important here, and its proper expression is the praising prayer.
What is most important is not:
Because, how could I seek you, call you, love You,...if You, do not seek me, call me, and love me first? THE GRATEFUL SILENCE, IS MY LAST WORD, and my best way of encountering you."
They still didn't know who Jesus was. Today, do we? Do we know who Jesus is? Because it can be so easy to be "perplexed" that is, to be drawn and confused, not totally dismissing, but not totally accepting, and easily have Him taken away as was the case of John the Baptist. John was a lover of God. David was a lover of God. The only perplexing thing about Jesus is that He loved God while being God at the same time. That is a prayer we will pray in Holy Adoration in a litany "with the love with which You Love Yourself Eternally ...I love you Oh my God". Yet, how can I sin if I love God? An old man yelled at my cursillo in spanish "if you really love God, how will you fail Him?" But we do, over and over don't we? Yes, we fail, and God knows when we fail and when we will fail. That is why He must love us first and love us more. That is why He DOES love us first and love us more. We don't call on Him, He calls on us, if we are in silent adoration. The only times I have heard Him speak in a voice that is not a voice, is when I am in silence and in adoration. We can not truly listen and speak at the same time. We make our voices speak through others...what will they say? Herodias told her daughter what to say...choose death. A few days ago, there was a little girl from Canada that wrote to the King of Belgium to refuse to sign into legislation a law that would allow the killing of children through euthanasia. She herself had deformities early in her 4 years of life which, if these laws were enacted then, she possibly could've been "euthanized" or better said...KILLED. We speak through our children, our loved ones, friends, neighbors (those you encounter) daily. What will they say? And this is how the Bible works. God spoke and it was written, now what will we say? What will I have done with His Word? These are the coins given for us to invest in this life for the next. And the return on the investment are none other than the souls won for our Lord. How many? Does He count? I don't know, but what I do know is that... He is counting on yours......