A Pilgrim Prays by Walking
That is very simply what a pilgrim does: walk. And it is the way the pilgrim prays, with his or her feet. And the feet walk through dark clouds to illumination to the light that is holy action. Through dark, cloud-filled days to a hint of subtle lightening to the sun breaking through, the feet taking us where we least thought we'd go, where before we had thought darkness dwelt, and finding there instead, in bright sunlight, the broken, the poor, the marginal, those made ugly or disfigured by abuse and oppression and woundedness. We are changed simply by walking, rain or shine, toward and back from whatever shrine we had thought contained our hope and longing. We walk back toward what was there all along that we could not see.
–from the book Enter Assisi: An Invitation to Franciscan Spirituality
✞ "When you pray, you only have to ask for two things: You should ask for the light to see the will of God, and you have to ask for the courage to be able to do the will of God."
— Venerable Msgr. Aloysius Schwartz
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"My great God, you know all that is in the universe, because you yourself have made it. It is the very work of your hands. You are omniscient, because you are omnicreative. You know each part, however minute, as perfectly as you know the whole. You know mind as perfectly as you know matter. You know the thoughts and purposes of every soul as perfectly as if there were no other soul in the whole of your creation. You know me through and through; all my present, past, and future are before you as one whole. You see all those delicate and evanescent motions of my thought which altogether escape myself. You can trace every act, whether deed or thought, to its origin and can follow it into its whole growth and consequences. You know how it will be with me at the end; you have before you that hour when I shall come to you to be judged. How awful is the prospect of finding myself in the presence of my judge! Yet, O Lord, I would not that you should not know me. It is my greatest stay to know that you read my heart. Oh, give me more of that openhearted sincerity which I have desired. Keep me ever from being afraid of your eye, from the inward consciousness that I am not honestly trying to please you. Teach me to love you more, and then I shall be at peace, without any fear of you at all."
— Bl. John Henry Newman, p.150
AN EXCERPT FROM
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY
"He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me."
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Saint of the Day for July 13
(May 6, 972 – July 13, 1024)
As German king and Holy Roman Emperor, Henry was a practical man of affairs. He was energetic in consolidating his rule. He crushed rebellions and feuds. On all sides he had to deal with drawn-out disputes so as to protect his frontiers. This involved him in a number of battles, especially in the south in Italy; he also helped Pope Benedict VIII quell disturbances in Rome. Always his ultimate purpose was to establish a stable peace in Europe.
According to eleventh-century custom, Henry took advantage of his position and appointed as bishops men loyal to him. In his case, however, he avoided the pitfalls of this practice and actually fostered the reform of ecclesiastical and monastic life. He was canonized in 1146.
All in all, this saint was a man of his times. From our standpoint, he may have been too quick to do battle and too ready to use power to accomplish reforms. But granted such limitations, he shows that holiness is possible in a busy secular life. It is in doing our job that we become saints.
Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Gn 44:18-21, 23b-29; 45:1-5
Judah approached Joseph and said: "I beg you, my lord,
let your servant speak earnestly to my lord,
and do not become angry with your servant,
for you are the equal of Pharaoh.
My lord asked your servants, 'Have you a father, or another brother?'
So we said to my lord, 'We have an aged father,
and a young brother, the child of his old age.
This one's full brother is dead,
and since he is the only one by that mother who is left,
his father dotes on him.'
Then you told your servants,
'Bring him down to me that my eyes may look on him.
Unless your youngest brother comes back with you,
you shall not come into my presence again.'
When we returned to your servant our father,
we reported to him the words of my lord.
"Later, our father told us to come back and buy some food for the family.
So we reminded him, 'We cannot go down there;
only if our youngest brother is with us can we go,
for we may not see the man if our youngest brother is not with us.'
Then your servant our father said to us,
'As you know, my wife bore me two sons.
One of them, however, disappeared, and I had to conclude
that he must have been torn to pieces by wild beasts;
I have not seen him since.
If you now take this one away from me, too,
and some disaster befalls him,
you will send my white head down to the nether world in grief.'"
Joseph could no longer control himself
in the presence of all his attendants,
so he cried out, "Have everyone withdraw from me!"
Thus no one else was about when he made himself known to his brothers.
But his sobs were so loud that the Egyptians heard him,
and so the news reached Pharaoh's palace.
"I am Joseph," he said to his brothers.
"Is my father still in good health?"
But his brothers could give him no answer,
so dumbfounded were they at him.
"Come closer to me," he told his brothers.
When they had done so, he said:
"I am your brother Joseph, whom you once sold into Egypt.
But now do not be distressed,
and do not reproach yourselves for having sold me here.
It was really for the sake of saving lives
that God sent me here ahead of you."
Responsorial Psalm Ps 105:16-17, 18-19, 20-21
R. (5a) Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
When the LORD called down a famine on the land
and ruined the crop that sustained them,
He sent a man before them,
Joseph, sold as a slave.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
They had weighed him down with fetters,
and he was bound with chains,
Till his prediction came to pass
and the word of the LORD proved him true.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
The king sent and released him,
the ruler of the peoples set him free.
He made him lord of his house
and ruler of all his possessions.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
Alleluia Mk 1:15
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Kingdom of God is at hand:
repent and believe in the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 10:7-15
Jesus said to his Apostles:
"As you go, make this proclamation:
'The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.'
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.
Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts;
no sack for the journey, or a second tunic,
or sandals, or walking stick.
The laborer deserves his keep.
Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it,
and stay there until you leave.
As you enter a house, wish it peace.
If the house is worthy,
let your peace come upon it;
if not, let your peace return to you.
Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words—
go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.
Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment
than for that town."
Meditation: Genesis 44:18-21, 23-29; 45:1-5
Saint Henry (Optional Memorial)
His sobs were so loud that the Egyptians heard him, and so the news reached Pharaoh's palace. (Genesis 45:2)
Joseph's Egyptian companions knew him as a brilliant leader and strategist. But he was obviously struggling with his emotions in front of this group of foreigners. He was so troubled that he sent the attendants out of the room. Even so, they could easily hear Joseph sobbing. What could have been so upsetting?
The Egyptians were probably taken aback. They didn't know who these people were who had come begging for help. But Joseph did. They were his brothers, and he was overjoyed—and maybe a little pained—to finally see them again.
No doubt, Joseph still felt the sting of his brothers' betrayal when they sold him as a slave. But that hurt was overcome by the thrill of having the chance to reconcile with them. Imagine the relief that his brothers must have felt seeing that Joseph was safe and that he had forgiven them. Imagine their surprise too when he urged them to forgive themselves.
We have all felt a similar joy and release when we've reconciled with a friend or family member. We might feel as if a great weight is lifted, and a wounded part of our heart is suddenly healed and set free. We delight in embracing and enjoying once more the closeness that we had lost.
Now, as wonderful as a restored human relationship is, imagine how much greater is the joy that comes from being reconciled with our heavenly Father! Just as Joseph forgave his brothers, Jesus is always there with open arms, ready to offer us forgiveness. In fact, the overflowing joy that we see in Joseph is available to us at any moment through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Today, reflect on this scene: Joseph's brothers came to him with empty hands and open hearts, and they received mercy. Now approach Jesus in the same way—empty-handed but openhearted. Joseph's tears were bittersweet as he rejoiced at the end of their long separation. Shouldn't yours be as well?
Jesus is offering you forgiveness and restoration. This week consider going to Confession, and step into his welcoming, healing arms.
"Lord, thank you for the joy of being reconciled to you!"
From Bishop Barren:
Friends, in our Gospel today, Jesus sends the apostles on a mission of evangelization, a mission which we continue today.
We Catholics cannot avoid the demand of evangelization, of proclaiming the faith. Vatican II couldn't be clearer on this score, seeing the Church itself as nothing but a vehicle for evangelization. According to Vatican II, it's not so much the case that the Church has a mission, but rather that a mission has the Church. Bringing people to Christ is not one work among many; rather it is the central work of the Church, that around which everything else that we do revolves.
Do we need evangelization? The statistics couldn't be clearer. Did you know that there are nearly as many ex-Catholics as Catholics in this country? Did you know that by some estimates, between 50 and 80% of those who attend the Protestant mega-church of Willow Creek are former Catholics? Did you know that the fastest-growing category in those polls of religious affiliation is "none?" Did you know that a recent survey shows that among young religious people, those with the worst sense of their own tradition are Jews, but that the second to last are Catholics?
We need evangelization more than ever before. Will you answer the call?
. . .
A Spanish reflection of today's liturgy said: "We could say that when Joseph was sold to the Egyptians, he was "sent" on a mission to save his brothers, as he realized years later. The evil that his brothers had done to him, Joseph paid them back generously with the good of saving them from hunger.
Jesus sends his twelve apostles to proclaim the kingdom of the heavens. They have to be rid of possessions, and even of people, of their own relatives. They have to be poor also in the sense that they must accept the insecurity of not being welcomed. Perhaps we could hold today these words of Jesus: "Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give": his love, his service, his surrender."
They say the 2nd largest denomination (in a sense) out there are "ex Catholics". Many call them "fallen away". I would say, this is the case mostly in the United States. Where mostly Jews have lost their sense, and now these who are fallen are going in the same direction. Why? Who is winning them over?
And if we do not correct the steering of this ship, it is not looking too bright. What isn't too bright? Heaven? Heaven on earth? God's Kingdom? Are you predicting doom? Let's say this, yes and no: Perhaps a cataclysmic event in the physical world is not at hand, but yes, to the spiritual world you live in, that very world you could make a difference in. Most people love to say nowadays "I'm not religious" as if that was a bad word. But they are right, they are not religious, they do not follow ANY religion other than their own that is of the world, and as you know...the devil is in the world. I am afraid for the world. Because the antichrist will offer a peace...in exchange for a soul. That is why we look out and see many that don't believe much in religion, not going much to church, and they seem to be so happy, so worldly peaceful. Just this weekend, after Holy Mass we went to the city, and took the kids to the movies and there sat next to us a couple of families from back home and church, they too came to this building, paid their money, and ate their food, and I did not see them come to Church, God's building, and did not spend their time and their money there in Mass with us, nor eat God's food of Himself. But inside of their souls is an unruly unrest. I know it. And I pray for them.
So what can we do to bring back God's people to follow God? That my friend is the million souls question. How much are you willing to do in this Body of Christ we partake of? Jesus sent His chosen ones and said to take nothing worldly, no money, no weapon, no clothes, no extra sandals, just GO! Trust and Go! GO and evangelize, make a difference in His Kingdom. That is my conundrum: That I go crazy trying to figure this out, for time is limited! We've only a few years on earth, and what a privilege to work for God. What an honor! To pray, is a coin in Heaven, a chime, a whisper, a living relationship with our God that can not be taken so long as we live and breathe. And it can be eternal.
I love a quote we read today about 2 things we ought to pray for: 1st, to learn what God's will is for us.
2nd, to have the courage to do God's will.
Sin is easy.
The Cross is the challenge of love, real love...of GOD and neighbor.
God provides grace in the Holy Sacraments of the Holy Catholic Church. And Grace is what we need and it is a gift of God to see us through....
I ask for prayers for a women's cursillo this weekend in our area, for this grace to be shined in the light of those seeking Him truly.
I also pray for you, and pray for me, so we know God's will and act on ... His Great and unfathomable love.