|The Truest Sign |
|Prayer is the truest sign that we know—even against what we may feel—that we always have the Father's attention and the Son's support. Prayer is the true sign that we are living the divine life, the gift of love that has come to us from above.|
St. Marguerite d'Youville
We learn compassion from allowing our lives to be influenced by compassionate people, by seeing life from their perspective and reconsidering our own values.
Born in Varennes, Canada, Marie Marguerite Dufrost de Lajemmerais had to interrupt her schooling at the age of 12 to help her widowed mother. Eight years later she married Francois d'Youville; they had six children, four of whom died young. Despite the fact that her husband gambled, sold liquor illegally to Native Americans and treated her indifferently, she cared for him compassionately before his death in 1730.
Even though she was caring for two small children and running a store to help pay off her husband's debts, Marguerite still helped the poor. Once her children were grown, she and several companions rescued a Quebec hospital that was in danger of failing. She called her community the Institute of the Sisters of Charity of Montreal; the people called them the "Grey Nuns" because of the color of their habit. In time, a proverb arose among the poor people of Montreal, "Go to the Grey Nuns; they never refuse to serve." In time, five other religious communities traced their roots to the Grey Nuns.
The General Hospital in Montreal became known as the Hotel Dieu (House of God) and set a standard for medical care and Christian compassion. When the hospital was destroyed by fire in 1766, she knelt in the ashes, led the Te Deum (a hymn to God's providence in all circumstances) and began the rebuilding process. She fought the attempts of government officials to restrain her charity and established the first foundling home in North America.
Saint John XXIII, who beatified her in 1959, called her the "Mother of Universal Charity." She was canonized in 1990.
"More than once the work which Marguerite undertook was hindered by nature or people. In order to work to bring that new world of justice and love closer, she had to fight some hard and difficult battles" (Pope John Paul II, canonization homily).
Saint of the DayLives, Lessons and FeastBy Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
Daily Prayer - 2015-06-15
Dear Lord as I come to you today
Fill my heart and my whole being
with the wonder of Your presence
Many countries are at this moment suffering the agonies of war.
I bow my head in thanksgiving for my freedom.
I pray for all prisoners and captives.
How do I find myself today?
Where am I with God? With others?
Do I have something to be grateful for?
Then I give thanks.
Is there something I am sorry for?
Then I ask forgiveness.
The Word of God
Brothers and sisters:
As your fellow workers, we appeal to you
not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says:
In an acceptable time I heard you,
and on the day of salvation I helped you.
Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.
We cause no one to stumble in anything,
in order that no fault may be found with our ministry;
on the contrary, in everything we commend ourselves
as ministers of God, through much endurance,
in afflictions, hardships, constraints,
beatings, imprisonments, riots,
labors, vigils, fasts;
by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness,
in the Holy Spirit, in unfeigned love, in truthful speech,
in the power of God;
with weapons of righteousness at the right and at the left;
through glory and dishonor, insult and praise.
We are treated as deceivers and yet are truthful;
as unrecognized and yet acknowledged;
as dying and behold we live;
as chastised and yet not put to death;
as sorrowful yet always rejoicing;
as poor yet enriching many;
as having nothing and yet possessing all things.
R. (2a) The Lord has made known his salvation.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
In the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A lamp to my feet is your word,
a light to my path.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus said to his disciples:
"You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one to him as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand him your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go with him for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
- The principle of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth served to prevent excessive retaliation for an offence endured. But Jesus wants no retaliation at all. Instead he looks for a generosity of spirit that forgives the offender and returns good for evil.
- Take each of his examples into your prayer in turn and see how it might apply to you. Ask Jesus to enlighten you.
Do I notice myself reacting as I pray with the Word of God? Do I feel challenged, comforted, angry? Imagining Jesus sitting or standing by me, I speak out my feelings, as one trusted friend to another.
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.
11th Week in Ordinary Time
Offer no resistance to one who is evil. (Matthew 5:39)
Is Jesus serious? What about terrorists? What about the guy next door who is always insulting me and seems to have it out for me? Even if Jesus is talking only about not trying to get even with people who have hurt us, these words can be hard to swallow. Does he really expect me to turn the other cheek to insults and injuries?
We might as well admit it up front: this is a difficult teaching. But it's not one that we can ignore. After all, Jesus didn't avoid it. Without ever looking like a weakling, he showed that radical forgiveness is possible. In fact, his steadiness in the face of misunderstanding, gossip, and persecution was probably a major reason why he made such an impression on his followers—and on us.
"How can I be like that?" we wonder.
The answer is simple, but challenging: by loving. Love kept Jesus going through all the hardships involved in announcing the kingdom. Love made it possible for him to forgive, even as he hung on the cross. Love—both the desire and the decision to forgive—formed the foundation for everything he said and did.
So let's ask Jesus to fill us with his heavenly perspective today. Looking at others with eyes of mercy goes a long way toward undercutting the tendency to revenge. Maybe this week we can try to perform at least one act of kindness toward someone who has hurt us or who rubs us the wrong way. Perhaps we can get more serious about following the promptings of the Holy Spirit—especially those that touch on relationships we find difficult. Praying and interceding for people who are out to hurt us can also help cultivate an attitude of forgiving as we have been forgiven.
How much effort even these little steps require! And yet, how abundant is the grace God is willing to give us! He has poured out his Spirit to make the impossible possible. All we have to do is keep trying, knowing that the one who began a good work in us will bring it to completion.
"Jesus, though I find some of your teachings very hard, I want to follow you all the way. I put my trust in you and in your saving power."
2 Corinthians 6:1-10
Today's 5 minutos said the following (allow me to attempt to translate it for you):
"One thing is the religion, and another distinct thing is the life animated by the Spirit of Jesus. What does religion smell like? Religion smells like commandments, like fulfillment, like hypocrisy, like boredom, like slavery. What does the Spirit of Jesus smell like? It smells like generosity, like forgiveness, like love, like joy, like praise, like an open heart and overflowing, like peace in the middle of a storm. Religion is the old, the always, the ordinary, the Spirit of Jesus is the always new, the extraordinary. In 1956 the adoptive parents of a 7 yr. old child took the child to the doctor and he said: the eye of the child has glaucoma, and there is no cure. We have to take out the eye. The mother fainted, and when she came back to her senses she said to the doctor: 'take out one of my eyes and transplant it into my son.' The doctor praised her generosity, but he told her it was impossible and the mother yelled in desperation thinking in the future of her son. Nor the mother, nor the doctor knew that the door was halfway open and the little boy was listening to the conversation. This boy, years later wrote: 'ever since then, that expression of an eye for an eye tastes like love to me, not hatred or civil proportionality.' The expression "eye for an eye and tooth for tooth" to all of us results as familiar and we even repeat it every so often. Are we, the human beings, programmed for an eye for an eye? Are we programmed for revenge? Are we programmed to love our enemies? Are we programmed to always feel like we're right? Are we programmed to see our neighbor as a virus that we have to combat? The carnal man is hostile towards God, says St. Paul and is also this way to everyone else. Revenge is sweet and forgiveness is scarce."
Today's 1st Holy Scripture said this to begin with "As your fellow workers, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain."
Today's Holy Gospel says "Give to the one who asks of you". What is God asking of you? THAT is the question.
And the Psalms reiterate "The Lord has made known His salvation".
People are afraid to come to God, and why? Because...they will ultimately have to give. And the worldly person does not like to give but to take. That person does not like to go out and forgive, and turn the cheek. That person does not like to give...their sins to God in the Holy Sacrament of Confession. That person does not like to give up their adultery, that which is an offense to God, because sin is adultery, fornication at an all time high. That person will not let you borrow, and they will not borrow either so they don't feel obliged to let you borrow. That person is living the twisted interpretation of "an eye for an eye". They say "what goes around comes around" as if revenge sounds bitter sweet. That person enjoys seeing their view of justice come to fruition. That person is...me and you. Our madness is our sadness. Our joy is temporal and non-sacrificial. Why is that person living that way? Jesus said to give to the one who asks, and if they're taking you to court for it, just let them have the whole enchilada! SAY WHAT? That don't make sense right?
Not to "that person" we were speaking about just now. You see, the Lord is asking us to give in a unique way, which is contrary to human and worldly ways. Jesus fulfilled these words with His life, He didn't just talk the talk, but He walked the walk. That is why the Church must live in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit of charity, of giving. What do you think suffering means? Patience, in its ancient root word means "to suffer". Yet, "That person" does not want to suffer. I talked to one yesterday, said they finalyzed their divorce, and I asked why they divorced and it boiled down to him not able to forgive words she said to him. I laughed "dude, those are just words! Of course you can forgive". But no. And the root cause of all this? Pride. Pride will not let you give or let others even BORROW. It costs too much to give or let borrow. It costs me something to go embarass myself in front of everyone...especially in Holy Confession. It definitely cost your life, doesn't it?
What if God were asking you to be Holy? Silly question though because we already ARE, but are denying it, living in adultery, which I mean is unfaithfulness to Him, our spouse in Heaven, to whom we are engaged with. One man wanted to kill his neighbor's dog here last year, because he claimed his neighbor killed his dog first and cited "an eye for an eye" from the bible. I told him that's not the point of that story, nor the bible, because Jesus said turn the cheek, He came to flip the tables on our views of the world and how we treat one another. Turns out, the dog was run over by a truck. Turns out, we are infected with infidelity. Because the failure to love God ends up being the failure to love your fellow human being, so what are you being? Human? Because no more better example of a human exists than that of a saint, that what God is calling us to be...Holy His
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