Monday, September 11, 2017

Looking Around At Them

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Mychal Judge: Saying Yes and Accepting God's Grace

Fr. Mychal simply wished to go where God needed him. And he could never refuse God anything. "The wonderful thing is saying yes and accepting God's grace. We could say no and walk away. But when we say yes and go forward, great and wonderful things will happen," Fr. Mychal reportedly said.

"It takes courage in the midst of fear, but you do it with the grace of God." Great courage is what Fr. Mychal showed the world throughout his life and on the day when the world needed courage. On the darkest day, when the world needed to be reminded of Christ's love, Fr. Mychal Judge showed us that light.

–from the book Faith Under Fire: Dramatic Stories of Christian Courage


✞ "When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice."
— Pope Saint Gregory the Great

"Some people who think themselves naturally gifted don't want to touch either philosophy or logic. They don't even want to learn natural science. They demand bare faith alone—as if they wanted to harvest grapes right away without putting any work into the vine. We must prune, dig, trellis, and do all the other work. I think you'll agree the pruning knife, the pickaxe, and the farmer's tools are necessary for growing grapevines, so that they will produce edible fruit. And as in farming, so in medicine: the one who has learned something is the one who has practiced the various lessons, so that he can cultivate or heal. And here, too, I say you're truly educated if you bring everything to bear on the truth. Taking what's useful from geometry, music, grammar, and philosophy itself, you guard the Faith from assault."
— St. Clement of Alexandria, p. 13
A Year with the Church Fathers

"Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing. Know that the Lord is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name. For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations."
Psalm 100


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Sts. Protus and Hyacinth

Feast: September 11

Feast Day: September 11
Born: 3rd century AD
Died: mid 3rd century AD, Rome
Major Shrine: San Giovanni dei Fiorentini, as well as the chapel of the Propaganda College. Both in Rome.

Martyrs during the persecution of Valerian (257-9). The day of their annual commemoration is mentioned in the "Depositio Martyrum" in the chronographia for 354 (Ruinart, "Acta martyrum", ed. Tatisbon, 632) under 11 September. The chronographia also mentions their graves, in the Coemeterium of Basilla on the Via Salaria, later the Catacomb of St. Hermes. The Itineraries and other early authorities likewise give this place of burial (De Rossi, "Roma sotterranea", I, 176-7). In 1845 Father Marchi discovered the still undisturbed grave of St. Hyacinth in a crypt of the above- mentioned catacomb. It was a small square niche in which lay the ashes and pieces of burned bone wrapped in the remains of costly stuffs (Marchi, "Monumenti primitivi: I, Architettura della Roma sotterranea cristina", Rome, 1844, 238 sqq., 264 sqq.). Evidently the saint had been burnt; most probably both martyrs had suffered death by fire. The niche was closed by a marble slab similar to that used to close a loculus, and bearing the original inscription that confirmed the date in the old Martyrology:


(Buried on 11 September Hyacinthus Martyr).

In the same chamber were found fragments of an architrave belonging to some later decoration, with the words:

. . . S E P U L C R U M P R O T I M(artyris) . . .

(Grave of the Martyr Protus)

Thus both martyrs were buried in the same crypt. Pope Damasus wrote an epitaph in honour of the two martyrs, part of which still exists (Ihm, "Damasi epigrammata", 52, 49). In the epitaph Damasus calls Protus and Hyacinth brothers. When Leo IV (847-55) translated the bones of a large number of Roman martyrs to the churches of Rome, the relics of these two saints were to be translated also; but, probably on account of the devastation of the burial chamber, only the grave of St. Protus was found. His bones were transferred to San Salvatore on the Palatine. The remains of St. Hyacinth were placed (1849) in the chapel of the Propaganda. Later the tombs of the two saints and a stairway built at the end of the fourth century were discovered and restored.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)


Monday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Col1:24–2:3

Brothers and sisters:
I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake,
and in my flesh I am filling up
what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ
on behalf of his Body, which is the Church,
of which I am a minister
in accordance with God's stewardship given to me
to bring to completion for you the word of God,
the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past.
But now it has been manifested to his holy ones,
to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory
of this mystery among the Gentiles;
it is Christ in you, the hope for glory.
It is he whom we proclaim,
admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom,
that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.
For this I labor and struggle,
in accord with the exercise of his power working within me.

For I want you to know how great a struggle I am having for you
and for those in Laodicea
and all who have not seen me face to face,
that their hearts may be encouraged
as they are brought together in love,
to have all the richness of assured understanding,
for the knowledge of the mystery of God, Christ,
in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 62:6-7, 9
R. (8) In God is my safety and my glory.
Only in God be at rest, my soul,
for from him comes my hope.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed.
R. In God is my safety and my glory.
Trust in him at all times, O my people!
Pour out your hearts before him;
God is our refuge!
R. In God is my safety and my glory.

Alleluia Jn 10:27
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 6:6-11

On a certain sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught,
and there was a man there whose right hand was withered.
The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely
to see if he would cure on the sabbath
so that they might discover a reason to accuse him.
But he realized their intentions
and said to the man with the withered hand,
"Come up and stand before us."
And he rose and stood there.
Then Jesus said to them,
"I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath
rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?"
Looking around at them all, he then said to him,
"Stretch out your hand."
He did so and his hand was restored.
But they became enraged
and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.


Meditation: Psalm 62:6-7, 9

In God be at rest, my soul. (Psalm 62:6)

A peasant regularly sat at the back of an empty church in Ars, France, gazing at the tabernacle. When the village priest asked him what he was doing, the peasant replied, "I look at him, and he looks at me." What a beautiful illustration of someone whose soul was at rest in God! So many of the things we seek in prayer—peace, confidence, hope—that man found as he sat quietly focused on the Lord.

Any one of us, from a contemplative religious to a parent of six, can be at rest in God. It starts with the kind of prayer that French peasant knew: sitting quietly. Focusing our mind and heart, thoughts and affections, on the Lord. Being content with what and where and who you are. God knows. He is more aware of the good, the bad, and the ugly about you than you are yourself. And he loves you. He is delighted when you turn your gaze on him. He is eager to meet you and sit quietly with you.

Everything in our lives, even in our lives of faith, can be so focused on performing, accomplishing, and solving things. We might think the only measure of a good prayer time is whether we are able to focus on the Lord for ten minutes. But it's not! Remember how Jesus told his apostles to come away with him and rest. He knew their drive to produce. He knew their feelings of guilt over not producing. He knows we experience those same drives. So he calls us too to come away with him and to find rest with him.

Pick a time and a quiet place to sit with the Lord. It could be a park bench, an unused office, or an empty church. For ten or fifteen minutes, just sit quietly. If it helps, picture Jesus sitting next to you. Be still and know that he is God. Invite him into your heart, and see what happens. "One need not say much to pray well," counseled that French parish priest, who would become the patron of parish priests, St. John Vianney. "We know that Jesus is there: let us open our hearts to him, let us rejoice in his sacred presence. That is the best prayer."

"Jesus, I rejoice in your presence! Come into my heart today."

Colossians 1:24–2:3
Luke 6:6-11



We pray today: "In God is my safety and my glory. Only in God be at rest, my soul, for from him comes my hope. He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed."
In the Holy Gospel, our Lord is found where? In the temple. When? On the Sabbath, that is where we belong, giving honor and glory to God. The Jews knew this, it is a commandment. But, they made it to where man was nothing, a sick man had to not be healed.

Jesus says "I come to heal...I come to unify, I come to heal what is right, my right hand, my servant, my brother, my Child".

Church is full of withered people. Lots of sinners. It is a place for healing and more importantly, a place to give thanks. Eucharist means giving thanks. But, for those that have little to be thankful for, there is little to give thanks for, and so, they are there simply out of obligation, not holiness. They are there to "save themselves" and not others. This is the kind of place Jesus encounters. Is that how it is today?

I would imagine so. But not all. There are some really there for love of God. There are some really there to give. There are some really there seeking Him. There are some really there, prepared to offer. To offer what? I would hope your life.
I have a hard time though, when some take this Scripture, of the Sabbath in Mark 2:27 "Then Jesus told them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." But people stop there and form their own religion and make Sabbath all about themselves. No! Read the next verse: " 28 Therefore, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."… JESUS is the Lord of everything, even the day to recognize Him.

My family in Christ, the Sabbath is for nothing, if we forget who God is. Who is He? Where is He? A new song wanted to break forth in me during Holy Mass yesterday and it was after the consecration and the song went as if Jesus was singing to us "Here is my Presence, I am Here now". As if His glory was not only shining but singing.

How soon we forget, it's not about me. When we forget ourselves...He is revealed. Let's face it, the accuser is everywhere, but the Lord faces the accuser and still does what is right, what is holy, and risks His life to save one's soul. Suddenly, it's all about the right hand, and Jesus holds it after saying "Stretch out your hand"!


Bless God

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