Tuesday, August 2, 2016

...did you doubt?

"Many people [in authority] oppose us, persecute us, and would like even to destroy us, but we must be patient. As long as their commands are not agai

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"Many people [in authority] oppose us, persecute us, and would like even to destroy us, but we must be patient. As long as their commands are not against our conscience, let us obey them, but when the case is otherwise, let us uphold the rights of God and of the Church, for those are superior to all earthly authority."
— St. John Bosco


"The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ's Passover, that is, of the work of salvation accomplished by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, a work made present by the liturgical action. It is Christ himself, the eternal high priest of the New Covenant who, acting through the ministry of the priests, offers the Eucharistic sacrifice. And it is the same Christ, really present under the species of bread and wine, who is the offering of the Eucharistic sacrifice."
— (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1409-10)
Catechism of the Catholic Church


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Dedication of the Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels

Francis rebuilt this chapel with his own hands and died less than fifty feet away from it.

The chapel of Our Lady of the Angels, down the hill from the walled city of Assisi, was built out of devotion but had deteriorated by the time of Francis' conversion (1206). Although it belonged to the Benedictine monks on nearby Mount Subasio, few people then lived close to the Portiuncula, "Mary's little portion."

After having rebuilt the small churches of San Damiano and later San Pietro, which no longer exists, Francis rebuilt this chapel. In time, it would be called the "cradle of the Franciscan family," important to the friars, the Poor Clares, Secular Franciscans, and members of the Third Order Regular.

While attending Mass here one day, Francis heard a reading from the Gospel of Matthew; Jesus was sending out the apostles without gold, silver, or money; they were not to carry a traveling bag, food, or a walking staff and were not to wear sandals or have two tunics. Instead, they should preach the kingdom of God and penance. Francis exclaimed, "This is what I wish; this is what I seek; this is what I long to do with all my heart" (1 Celano, #22).

A few years later, Francis and the other friars received the Lady Clare here on Palm Sunday evening (1212), gave her a religious garb, and cut her hair as a sign of entrance into a new way of life. The Benedictines gave Francis the chapel, which soon became his headquarters; here the friars assembled in annual chapters to report on what they had accomplished with God's grace and to decide on new territories for evangelizing. Here Francis resigned in 1221 as minister general of the friars. Because this chapel had a special role in Francis' conversion, it became a place very special to members of the Secular Franciscan Order. A few feet from this chapel, Francis died just after sunset on October 3, 1226.

By that time, Francis had gained from Pope Honorius III the "Pardon of Assisi," a plenary indulgence (under the usual conditions of prayer, confession, and reception of the Eucharist) for everyone who visited and prayed in this small chapel on the anniversary of its dedication (August 2). In 1569, construction began on the basilica that now surrounds the chapel. The hillside city of Assisi has stopped growing geographically; expansion now occurs on the plain near Our Lady of the Angels Basilica. Thousands of pilgrims come here every year to pray for their own intentions, for family needs, and for reconciliation throughout the world. On October 27, 1986, Pope John Paul II and 235 leaders of the world's major religions began their Day of Prayer for World Peace with a prayer service in front of this tiny chapel.


In this chapel, Francis of Assisi began to understand more about the truth of his life, his service of God, and how both of those connect with service to other people. Truth and forgiveness provide the only lasting foundations for genuine peace.


On that Day of Prayer for World Peace, Pope John Paul II said at the Portiuncula: "I have chosen this town of Assisi as the place for our Day of Prayer for Peace because of the particular significance of the holy man venerated here–Saint Francis–known and revered by so many throughout the world as a symbol of peace, reconciliation, and brotherhood. Inspired by his example, his meekness and humility, let us dispose our hearts for prayer in true internal silence."


St. Eusebius Vercelli
Feast: August 2

Feast Day: August 2
Born: 283, Sardinia
Died: August 1, 371, Vercelli, Piemonte
Patron of: Vercelli

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Sacred Space
(stop, slow down, breathe, we're about to receive the Word of God)
Daily Prayer - 2016-08-02


Dear Lord as I come to you today
Fill my heart and my whole being
with the wonder of your presence.


Thank you God for my freedom
May I use this gift to do what I can
for those who are oppressed or burdened.


To be conscious about something is to be aware of it. Dear Lord help me to remember that You gave me life. Thank you for the gift of life. Teach me to slow down, to be still and enjoy the pleasures created for me. To be aware of the beauty that surrounds me. The marvel of mountains, the calmness of lakes, the fragility of a flower petal. I need to remember that all these things come from you.

The Word of God
Tuesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
audio readings

Reading 1 Jer 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22

The following message came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
For thus says the LORD, the God of Israel:
Write all the words I have spoken to you in a book.

For thus says the LORD:
Incurable is your wound,
grievous your bruise;
There is none to plead your cause,
no remedy for your running sore,
no healing for you.
All your lovers have forgotten you,
they do not seek you.
I struck you as an enemy would strike,
punished you cruelly;
Why cry out over your wound?
your pain is without relief.
Because of your great guilt,
your numerous sins,
I have done this to you.

Thus says the LORD:
See! I will restore the tents of Jacob,
his dwellings I will pity;
City shall be rebuilt upon hill,
and palace restored as it was.
From them will resound songs of praise,
the laughter of happy men.
I will make them not few, but many;
they will not be tiny, for I will glorify them.
His sons shall be as of old,
his assembly before me shall stand firm;
I will punish all his oppressors.
His leader shall be one of his own,
and his rulers shall come from his kin.
When I summon him, he shall approach me;
how else should one take the deadly risk
of approaching me? says the LORD.
You shall be my people,
and I will be your God.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 102:16-18, 19-21, 29 and 22-23
R. (17) The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
The nations shall revere your name, O LORD,
and all the kings of the earth your glory,
When the LORD has rebuilt Zion
and appeared in his glory;
When he has regarded the prayer of the destitute,
and not despised their prayer.

R. The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
Let this be written for the generation to come,
and let his future creatures praise the LORD:
"The LORD looked down from his holy height,
from heaven he beheld the earth,
To hear the groaning of the prisoners,
to release those doomed to die."

R. The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
The children of your servants shall abide,
and their posterity shall continue in your presence,
That the name of the LORD may be declared on Zion;
and his praise, in Jerusalem,
When the peoples gather together
and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.

R. The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.

Alleluia Jn 1:49b
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Rabbi, you are the Son of God;
you are the King of Israel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 14:22-36

Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side of the sea,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them, walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
"It is a ghost," they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid."
Peter said to him in reply,
"Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water."
He said, "Come."
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!"
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him,
and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
"Truly, you are the Son of God."

After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret.
When the men of that place recognized him,
they sent word to all the surrounding country.
People brought to him all those who were sick
and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak,
and as many as touched it were healed.

Or Mt 15:1-2, 10-14

Some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said,
"Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders?
They do not wash their hands when they eat a meal."
He summoned the crowd and said to them, "Hear and understand.
It is not what enters one's mouth that defiles the man;
but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one."
Then his disciples approached and said to him,
"Do you know that the Pharisees took offense
when they heard what you said?"
He said in reply, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted
will be uprooted.
Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind.
If a blind man leads a blind man,
both will fall into a pit."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

Truly the disciples are a band of buffoons. Can they do anything without the careful guidance of Jesus? But he appears among them and brings his calmness and composure to the chaos. Peter responds with his desire to do miracles, followed by abject failure, terror and then worship of Jesus. Is that how we respond to God's invitation sometimes? Can you see yourself in Peter?
We are this odd bunch of disciples, aren't we? Do we have anything near the faith to which Jesus invited his disciples?


What is stirring in me as I pray?
Am I consoled, troubled, left cold?
I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting at my side and share my feelings with him.


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.

Catholic Meditations
Meditation: Matthew 14:22-36

Saint Eusebius of Vercelli, Bishop (Optional Memorial)

Lord, if it is you . . . (Matthew 14:28)

A contemporary poet once wrote, "A good love is one that casts you into the wind, sets you ablaze, makes you burn through the skies and ignite the night like a phoenix; the kind that cuts you loose like a wildfire, and you can't stop running simply because you keep on burning everything that you touch."

Peter might agree with this description because this is the kind of love that he had for Jesus. From the moment he abandoned his fishing nets, he cast himself "into the wind" with Jesus, following him wherever he went and trying to imitate him. He even tried to walk on water for him! Though Jesus had to rescue him, it is inspiring that Peter got out of the boat in the first place. He couldn't help himself; he just had to be where Jesus was.

In the same bold manner in which he stepped out onto the water, Peter promised at the Last Supper that he would never deny Jesus. But just as he foundered in the water, Peter gave into fear a few hours later—three times. But again, just as he did when Peter was sinking, Jesus rescued him, this time with a single glance (Luke 22:61). While that look made Peter aware of his sin, it also led him to repentance. According to Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher to the papal household, it was a look of "kindness that offers forgiveness." "Gentle and silent," it helped Peter remember Jesus' love and gave him the courage not to give in to hopelessness but to keep trying to follow the Lord.

Peter knew he wasn't perfect, but he didn't focus on his failings. Instead, he kept his eyes on Jesus and persisted in taking the next step toward him, whether that meant trying to walk on water or repenting for his lack of faith. Jesus' love for Peter had set his heart ablaze, and his heart continued to burn precisely because Peter didn't give up.

Today, picture yourself looking into Jesus' eyes, and try to receive his gentle look of love. As Pope Francis likes to say, Dejàte misericordiar, "Let yourself be 'mercy'd.'" Surely your heart can burn with love as well.

"Lord, enkindle in me a desire to follow you and remain close to you my whole life."

Jeremiah 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22
Psalm 102:16-21, 29, 22-23




Today's first Holy Scripture ends with "When I summon him, he shall approach me; how else should one take the deadly risk
of approaching me? says the LORD. You shall be my people,
and I will be your God." Recall Peter, our first Pope, how He was called to walk on water, sure he failed by doubting, but Jesus was with him, raised him up again, and they got back on the boat, and back to His people. When the Lord summons you, the summons is what matters, the call. It is a deadly risk to approach the Lord, because you have to die, first to self, and then for Him, and then with Him. It is deadly, take for instance, the elderly priest killed while offering Mass in France here lately, the terrorists asked one of the elderly nuns "are you afraid to die?" To which the nun replied no. "I believe in God, and I know I will be happy," Helene said.
We prayed today "The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory." and "The children of your servants shall abide, and their posterity shall continue in your presence" and His Holy Presence continues upon the Holy Altars across the world, and the devil does not like it. Continuously the devil prowls waiting to pounce on the children of God. The terrorists snuck through the back door, hidden, and catch the priest unaware and slaughter the lamb of God and the blood pours down and around the altar. The priest takes the place of Christ in the Holy Sacraments. "I would die for you" says the Lord. And the priest surrenders His life to JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD and Savior. And the priestly institution begins with Saint Peter from Jesus.

In comes our Lord, walking on water, finding His disciples in trouble, in distress, in anxiety, fearing for their lives as the boat is tossed, and it is about 3 a.m. in the morning to 6 a.m.. Have you ever woke up at 3 a.m.? This means it is time to pray. Pray for the world. Pray because the Lord walks to the world, rocking and tossing in the ocean. Peter steps out of the boat of the world, ventures risking death, and when a strong doubting wind strikes, he sinks, but He did it for love of God and God reached Him and allowed him to see through the end. In today's world, there are innocent martyred, killed for witnessesing, testifying their love of Christ. This is the job of the evil one, to test your faith. Stand strong. Be encouraged. Jesus says to us today in the most Holy Gospel ""Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." He said that for you to read. What part of that Word of God do you not get? You get ALL of Jesus, you get ALL of salvation, and all you have to do is like Peter...venture out risking death. Risk dying, by sticking your neck out for the Lord. And this doesn't mean just preaching on the streets, but in the silence, with you and your phone or computer, what are you looking up? What is taking your time? What interests you? Because if it is not of the Lord, then it must be of the world, back in the boat again.
It is the Lord encouraging you to come to Him and this is a summoning. A quick definition of a summon is "authoritatively or urgently call on (someone) to be present, especially as a defendant or witness in a law court." You are being summoned to be Christ. Offering your life to God by giving life...not taking lives, from conception to natural death. Or are you against conception? against life? Contra-ception? This is the inception of a new wave of life. Sticking your neck out is calling on YOU to be for Christ, risking death for Him. Risking everything for Love...and God is LOVE

and our Blessed Mother, pray for us...

Look Up to Jesus