Monday, September 18, 2017

I Found Such Faith

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Fallen Humans, Infinite Desires

We as human persons are made with infinite desires that only God can fulfill. But because we're fallen, we tend to live at the level of our superficial desires—desires for comfort, fun, fame, wealth, pleasure, success. These desires are not bad, but the rosary helps us be more aware of the soul's deepest desires, which are for God. As Saint Catherine of Siena taught, the greatest gift we can give to God in prayer is not the finite work of saying the words but our "infinitely desirous love" for God that is expressed in those words and that is being drawn out of our souls in prayer.

—from the book Praying the Rosary Like Never Before: Encounter the Wonder of Heaven and Earth


✞ "The name of Jesus, pronounced with reverence and affection, has a kind of power to soften the heart."
— St. Philip Neri

"As we have seen, there is sometimes a big difference between what God is actually asking of us, and what we imagine he is asking. We won't have the grace to do what God is not asking of us. But for what he is asking, he has promised us his grace: God grants what he commands. When God inspires us to do something (if it really is God who is the source of the inspiration), at the same time he supplies the ability to do it, even if it is beyond our capacity or scares us at the start. Every motion that comes from God brings both the light to understand what God intends, and the strength to accomplish it: light that illuminates the mind, and strength that gives power to the will."
— Fr. Jacques Philippe, p. 21
In the School of the Holy Spirit

"Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices, together they sing for joy; for in plain sight they see the return of the Lord to Zion. Break forth together into singing, you ruins of Jerusalem; for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God."
Isaiah 52:8-10


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Saint Joseph of Cupertino

Saint of the Day for September 18

(June 17, 1603 – September 18, 1663)

Joseph of Cupertino is most famous for levitating at prayer. Already as a child, Joseph showed a fondness for prayer. After a short career with the Capuchins, he joined the Conventual Franciscans. Following a brief assignment caring for the friary mule, Joseph began his studies for the priesthood. Though studies were very difficult for him, Joseph gained a great deal of knowledge from prayer. He was ordained in 1628.

Joseph's tendency to levitate during prayer was sometimes a cross; some people came to see this much as they might have gone to a circus sideshow. Joseph's gift led him to be humble, patient, and obedient, even though at times he was greatly tempted and felt forsaken by God. He fasted and wore iron chains for much of his life.

The friars transferred Joseph several times for his own good and for the good of the rest of the community. He was reported to and investigated by the Inquisition; the examiners exonerated him.

Joseph was canonized in 1767. In the investigation preceding the canonization, 70 incidents of levitation are recorded.


While levitation is an extraordinary sign of holiness, Joseph is also remembered for the ordinary signs he showed. He prayed even in times of inner darkness, and he lived out the Sermon on the Mount. He used his "unique possession"–his free will–to praise God and to serve God's creation.

Saint Joseph of Cupertino is the Patron Saint of:

Air Travelers


Monday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 Tm 2:1-8

First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers,
petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone,
for kings and for all in authority,
that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life
in all devotion and dignity.
This is good and pleasing to God our savior,
who wills everyone to be saved
and to come to knowledge of the truth.

For there is one God.
There is also one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus,
who gave himself as ransom for all.

This was the testimony at the proper time.
For this I was appointed preacher and Apostle
(I am speaking the truth, I am not lying),
teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray,
lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 28:2, 7, 8-9
R. (6) Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard my prayer.
Hear the sound of my pleading, when I cry to you,
lifting up my hands toward your holy shrine.
R. Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard my prayer.
The LORD is my strength and my shield.
In him my heart trusts, and I find help;
then my heart exults, and with my song I give him thanks.
R. Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard my prayer.
The LORD is the strength of his people,
the saving refuge of his anointed.
Save your people, and bless your inheritance;
feed them, and carry them forever!
R. Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard my prayer.

Alleluia Jn 3:16
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 7:1-10

When Jesus had finished all his words to the people,
he entered Capernaum.
A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die,
and he was valuable to him.
When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him,
asking him to come and save the life of his slave.
They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying,
"He deserves to have you do this for him,
for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us."
And Jesus went with them,
but when he was only a short distance from the house,
the centurion sent friends to tell him,
"Lord, do not trouble yourself,
for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.
Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you;
but say the word and let my servant be healed.
For I too am a person subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, Go, and he goes;
and to another, Come here, and he comes;
and to my slave, Do this, and he does it."
When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him
and, turning, said to the crowd following him,
"I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith."
When the messengers returned to the house,
they found the slave in good health.


Meditation: Luke 7:1-10

24th Week in Ordinary Time

I did not consider myself worthy to come to you. (Luke 7:7)

You've probably heard the stereotype about men being unwilling to ask for directions. But there's likely some truth in it for both genders. We all like to be in control. Some of us would rather go into a department store and search endlessly instead of asking for help. Before GPS systems, many folks would puzzle over a map rather than consult anyone. It takes a little humility to admit you need help—and to trust someone else who knows more than you do.

We see both facets of humility in the centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant. He was an influential man, more accustomed to giving orders than taking them. Yet he didn't feel worthy even to be in Jesus' presence, and sent his friends to relay the message. He recognized that Jesus possessed a holiness and power far greater than his own. But still, he wasn't afraid to ask Jesus for help! Perhaps that's because he also sensed Jesus' goodness—just as he valued his own servant, so Jesus valued him. Surely Jesus would not ignore his request. And he didn't. Jesus saw his humility and faith and healed his servant.

Sometimes humility involves admitting our need for help and believing that God can—and wants to—meet our need. That's not so simple to do. It's easier to pretend that we are doing fine and ignore our fiery temper than it is to repent and ask for God's grace in Confession. Or we may see our need—perhaps someone we love is sick—but we lack the faith to ask Jesus for healing. So maybe the first step in growing in humility is to say, "Jesus, I'm not worthy. But I believe you can help me and change me." After all, we wouldn't be reading about the centurion today if he hadn't taken a step of humble faith.

Perhaps you also have a great need that you want to bring to prayer. Imitate the humility of this centurion. You don't know God's will about this issue, and you are powerless to change it by yourself. But you also know that he loves you. And that's an excellent starting point! Bring your need to him and trust that he has the right answer.

"Lord, I trust in you."

1 Timothy 2:1-8
Psalm 28:2, 7-9


"For there is one God.There is also one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as ransom for all."

"Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard my prayer."

The Centurion prayed like this: ""Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof."
And Scripture says "When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him...".
Isn't it amazing that we can amaze our Lord? Most of the time He met opposition...incredulity, disbelief, or little belief. This is why He was amazed: humility.

We too can amaze our Lord. We too can show humility. We too can show faith. The centurion's name is not known. It was the mere story of a servant and servant's master. "A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him." A valuable slave was about to die. I wonder who is valuable in your life? Most of the world has a soft heart, yes, no? Soft though, for the wrong. Hard for the right. Kind of a harsh saying? Yes. Just tell me right now, how hard is it to pray? Ok, so you pray? How hard is it to concentrate when you pray? Ok? Not too hard? Ok, Saint Jupiter, answer me this....can you hear God speaking in prayer? AH HA! LOL. We aren't all flying, levitating in the room are we? If you are like me, I feel like many times I say things in prayer instead of praying things in prayer. That's why I don't like to hear "I said the Rosary today" or "the priest said Mass". No. It should be "I prayed the rosary" or "I offered a Mass".

Before the centurion asked for a single thing from God, He had built Him a church and many more things in love of God's nation (His people). You can't earn favors, but God listens to humility and love. And He is amazed.

This is the perplexing thing. How can an all-knowing God be amazed? The act of free will is still just that. He can be pleasantly surprised, like a child that brings a sudden gift. You already knew the child loves you, but the surprising gift is still cherished. It is the same with our Lord.

Let us amaze our Father with our Love. How can I give something to God today? Easy, look around. He's everywhere.
How can I offer? Easy, offer what He asks for.
And the Holy gifts, He absolutely loves!



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