Monday, November 20, 2017

He Kept Calling Out


We Belong to God

When you take the full measure of yourself, in Christ, you, too, know your infinite value to the rest of the world, even if the world never knows or sees one thing about you. Every hair on your head is numbered. You are worth more than you know because you have lusts and longings and desires. Unto death and out of love, you consent to hold the tension of the conflict. And your infinite value doesn't cease when you die. It lives on, into eternity.
—from the book Stumble: Virtue, Vice, and the Space Between
by Heather King


✞ "Can there be a more fitting pursuit in youth or a more valuable possession in old age than a knowledge of Holy Scripture? In the midst of storms it will preserve you from the dangers of shipwreck and guide you to the shore of an enchanting paradise and the ever-lasting bliss of the angels."
— St. Boniface

"Know that our faith is strengthened by the resurrection of Christ. The passion of Christ represents the misery of our present life, while the resurrection of Christ gives us a brilliant glimpse of the happiness of the future life. Let us apply ourselves energetically in the present life, and hope in the future. Now is the time for painful struggle; then will come the recompense. Those who are lazy about carrying out their work will be brazenly impudent if they expect the recompense."
— St. Augustine, p. 61
Augustine Day by Day

"For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God."
Colossians 1:9-10


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Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne

(August 29, 1769 – November 18, 1852)

Born in Grenoble, France, of a family that was among the new rich, Rose learned political skills from her father and a love of the poor from her mother. The dominant feature of her temperament was a strong and dauntless will, which became the material—and the battlefield—of her holiness. She entered the Visitation of Mary convent at 19, and remained despite family opposition. As the French Revolution broke, the convent was closed, and she began taking care of the poor and sick, opened a school for homeless children, and risked her life helping priests in the underground.

When the situation cooled, Rose personally rented the former convent, now a shambles, and tried to revive its religious life. The spirit was gone, however, and soon there were only four nuns left. They joined the infant Society of the Sacred Heart, whose young superior, Mother Madeleine Sophie Barat, would be her lifelong friend.

In a short time Rose was a superior and supervisor of the novitiate and a school. But since hearing tales of missionary work in Louisiana as a little girl, her ambition was to go to America and work among the Indians. At 49, she thought this would be her work. With four nuns, she spent 11 weeks at sea en route to New Orleans, and seven weeks more on the Mississippi to St. Louis. She then met one of the many disappointments of her life. The bishop had no place for them to live and work among Native Americans. Instead, he sent her to what she sadly called "the remotest village in the U.S.," St. Charles, Missouri. With characteristic drive and courage, she founded the first free school for girls west of the Mississippi.

It was a mistake. Though Rose was as hardy as any of the pioneer women in the wagons rolling west, cold and hunger drove them out—to Florissant, Missouri, where she founded the first Catholic Indian school, adding others in the territory.

"In her first decade in America, Mother Duchesne suffered practically every hardship the frontier had to offer, except the threat of Indian massacre—poor lodging, shortages of food, drinking water, fuel and money, forest fires and blazing chimneys, the vagaries of the Missouri climate, cramped living quarters and the privation of all privacy, and the crude manners of children reared in rough surroundings and with only the slightest training in courtesy" (Louise Callan, R.S.C.J., Philippine Duchesne).

Finally at age 72, retired and in poor health, Rose got her lifelong wish. A mission was founded at Sugar Creek, Kansas, among the Potawatomi and she was taken along. Though she could not learn their language, they soon named her "Woman-Who-Prays-Always." While others taught, she prayed. Legend has it that Native American children sneaked behind her as she knelt and sprinkled bits of paper on her habit, and came back hours later to find them undisturbed. Rose Philippine died in 1852, at the age of 83, and was canonized in 1988.


Divine grace channeled Mother Duchesne's iron will and determination into humility and selflessness, and to a desire not to be made superior. Still, even saints can get involved in silly situations. In an argument with her over a minor change in the sanctuary, a priest threatened to remove the tabernacle. She patiently let herself be criticized by younger nuns for not being progressive enough. For 31 years, she hewed to the line of a dauntless love and an unshakable observance of her religious vows.

The Liturgical Feast of Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne is November 18.


Reading 1 1 Mc 1:10-15, 41-43, 54-57, 62-63

[From the descendants of Alexander's officers]
there sprang a sinful offshoot, Antiochus Epiphanes,
son of King Antiochus, once a hostage at Rome.
He became king in the year one hundred and thirty seven
of the kingdom of the Greeks.

In those days there appeared in Israel
men who were breakers of the law,
and they seduced many people, saying:
"Let us go and make an alliance with the Gentiles all around us;
since we separated from them, many evils have come upon us."
The proposal was agreeable;
some from among the people promptly went to the king,
and he authorized them to introduce the way of living
of the Gentiles.
Thereupon they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem
according to the Gentile custom.
They covered over the mark of their circumcision
and abandoned the holy covenant;
they allied themselves with the Gentiles
and sold themselves to wrongdoing.

Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people,
each abandoning his particular customs.
All the Gentiles conformed to the command of the king,
and many children of Israel were in favor of his religion;
they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath.

On the fifteenth day of the month Chislev,
in the year one hundred and forty-five,
the king erected the horrible abomination
upon the altar of burnt offerings
and in the surrounding cities of Judah they built pagan altars.
They also burned incense at the doors of the houses and in the streets.
Any scrolls of the law which they found they tore up and burnt.
Whoever was found with a scroll of the covenant,
and whoever observed the law,
was condemned to death by royal decree.
But many in Israel were determined
and resolved in their hearts not to eat anything unclean;
they preferred to die rather than to be defiled with unclean food
or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die.
Terrible affliction was upon Israel.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 119:53, 61, 134, 150, 155, 158
R. (see 88) Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
Indignation seizes me because of the wicked
who forsake your law.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
Though the snares of the wicked are twined about me,
your law I have not forgotten.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
Redeem me from the oppression of men,
that I may keep your precepts.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
I am attacked by malicious persecutors
who are far from your law.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
Far from sinners is salvation,
because they seek not your statutes.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
I beheld the apostates with loathing,
because they kept not to your promise.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.

Alleluia Jn 8:12
R. Allelujia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 18:35-43

As Jesus approached Jericho
a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging,
and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening.
They told him,
"Jesus of Nazareth is passing by."
He shouted, "Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!"
The people walking in front rebuked him,
telling him to be silent,
but he kept calling out all the more,
"Son of David, have pity on me!"
Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him;
and when he came near, Jesus asked him,
"What do you want me to do for you?"
He replied, "Lord, please let me see."
Jesus told him, "Have sight; your faith has saved you."
He immediately received his sight
and followed him, giving glory to God.
When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.


Meditation: Luke 18:35-43

33rd Week in Ordinary Time

He kept calling out all the more. (Luke 18:39)

Soon-to-be-Blessed Solanus Casey was a Capuchin friar and priest who lived in a friary in Detroit, Michigan. Fr. Casey's job was to be the porter, the man who answered the door and offered hospitality to visitors. This job allowed everyone who came to the friary to come to know this humble, unassuming man.

Over time, the visitors became so comfortable with Fr. Casey that they began sharing their prayer requests with him—some of them quite personal. Fr. Casey assured them that he would pray, and he always told them, "Thank God ahead of time." Such was his faith that God would surely answer their prayers!

Solanus Casey's faith has some similarity to the faith of the blind beggar in today's Gospel. Both had a high degree of confident expectation in the Lord. Despite the crowd urging him to quiet down, the blind man "kept calling out all the more" (Luke 18:39). He was sure that Jesus would help him if he could just get his attention. And that's just what happened. Jesus recognized this man's trust, so he told him, "Have sight; your faith has saved you" (18:42).

In some ways, each one of us is like this blind beggar. We all have a certain degree of blindness in that we cannot see precisely how and when God will answer our prayers. Like this man, we may feel we have been crying out to God for a long time but without any answer.

As we continue to call out to the Lord, we have the opportunity to deepen our faith. The "crowd" of our own worry, fear, and doubt may try to make us give up, but we can be sure that our persistence will be rewarded. We can be sure that, just as he did for this blind man, Jesus will hear and answer us.

So go ahead and be like Fr. Casey. Use your gift of faith. Act on it. Persist. Even thank God ahead of time! Follow Jesus' three-step approach to intercession: ask for it in prayer, believe that you will receive it, and "it shall be yours"—according to God's good timing and his great wisdom (Mark 11:24).

"Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me! Lord, I believe that you will never let me down."

1 Maccabees 1:10-15, 41-43, 54-57, 62-63
Psalm 119:53, 61, 134, 150, 155, 158



Scriptures then...are about life and death, a yes or no, aren't they? The disciples said to Jesus when He asked them if they too would abandon Him "where would we go? You have words of everlasting Life!". The faithful were recorded as having given their lives "But many in Israel were determined
and resolved in their hearts not to eat anything unclean;
they preferred to die rather than to be defiled with unclean food
or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die." These were a holy people, the kind that transcended to the time of our Lord, the kind of people's blood that said "I'd rather die...than to sin". And their blood continues to this day. There are those who are in this blood that have this kind of faith that transcends from Our Lord's ours.

We pray today " Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands." Or what if we read it like this and so prayed like this "Give me sight, O Lord, and I will do your commands", because when you see things in a new light, which means knowledge, a new life begins, and this is why the blind man's life begins by seeing Jesus.

The blind man would not be quiet and kept yelling and praying "Son of David, have pity on me!" Have mercy on me. Our Lord asks him what he wants, and the reply comes " "Lord, please let me see." Of all the things he could ask for, this one sense would fulfill his life. To be able to see. You know, one of life's longings for a believer is exactly this...we want to see God don't we? They say that for a true love/believer, this will be fulfilled in Heaven. Until then, we can only see with faith. I always pray before writing to you and today, as I meditated, something said to me "perhaps the Lord has already visited you this morning" and I didn't even notice, especially because I am so apt, that is ready, to see negativity, eyes trained for darkness, blinded to see that the Lord was here and I didn't even notice! This message is for you. What is your prayer then? Do you want to see also? Are you so trained in darkness that you don't even desire to see Him anymore? In my interior, my soul at times give God a big spiritual hug, saying to Daddy, " I love you!" it is a heartwarming moment with our Lord our savior and giver and love. It is a sign of thank you, a thanksgiving and that is the most precious gift. Who give thanks during Holy Communion? Me, or Him? How about both?

I read many reflections and one of them caught my attention when it repeated a verse of the Holy Gospel after the man was healed regaining sight, the verse ends today's Scriptures "When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God." So who saw? Apparently not only the blind but all the people were able to see. This is why miracles happen, not just for one person but for the multitude. It is the purpose of a miracle....for all to see. Come see how good God is. Those with no faith can not see. The afterlife makes me wonder what will continue....blindness? Better to ask for the right thing right now...what will you ask Him for? Sight means salvation



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