Become a Pilgrim
Saint Junipero Serra's Camino is an ideal way of pilgrimage. Like the ancient pilgrimage routes—the path of Jesus through Galilee to Jerusalem, the way of the early martyrs in Rome, and the Camino of Santiago de Compostela—it challenges the traveler to make a transforming journey, an internal journey that parallels the external trip. In traveling this road, pilgrims encounter holy places, communities of faith, occasions for meditative prayer, and prospects for inner healing—opportunities to align their lives more closely with the Gospel in order to become missionary disciples of Jesus.
–from Saint Junipero Serra's Camino: A Pilgrimage Guide to the California Missions
"Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself, 'Who could be the Master of these beautiful things?' I felt a great desire to see him, to know him and to pay him homage."
— St. Josephine Bakhita
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"It is inevitable that the barque of Peter will encounter rough sailing. This is why we must stand together in faith and doctrine. Sometimes our morning prayer could easily include the Apostle's Creed as a reminder of our beliefs."
— Rev. Thomas J. Donaghy, p. 22
AN EXCERPT FROM
Inspirational Thoughts for Everyday
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY
"'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'therefore I will hope in him.' The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord."
Lamentations 3: 24-26
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Venerable Matt Talbot
Saint of the Day for June 18
(May 2, 1856 – June 7, 1925)
Matt can be considered the patron of men and women struggling with alcoholism. He was born in Dublin, where his father worked on the docks and had a difficult time supporting his family. After a few years of schooling, Matt obtained work as a messenger for some liquor merchants; there he began to drink excessively. For 15 years—until he was almost 30—Matt was an active alcoholic.
One day he decided to take "the pledge" for three months, make a general confession and begin to attend daily Mass. There is evidence that Matt's first seven years after taking the pledge were especially difficult. Avoiding his former drinking places was hard. He began to pray as intensely as he used to drink. He also tried to pay back people from whom he had borrowed or stolen money while he was drinking.
Most of his life Matt worked as a builder's laborer. He joined the Secular Franciscan Order and began a life of strict penance; he abstained from meat nine months a year. Matt spent hours every night avidly reading Scripture and the lives of the saints. He prayed the rosary conscientiously. Though his job did not make him rich, Matt contributed generously to the missions.
After 1923, his health failed, and Matt was forced to quit work. He died on his way to church on Trinity Sunday. Fifty years later, Pope Paul VI gave him the title venerable. His Liturgical Feast Day is June 19.
In looking at the life of Matt Talbot, we may easily focus on the later years when he had stopped drinking for some time and was leading a penitential life. Only alcoholic men and women who have stopped drinking can fully appreciate how difficult the earliest years of sobriety were for Matt.
He had to take one day at a time. So do the rest of us.
Venerable Matt Talbot is the Patron Saint of:
Monday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 1 Kgs 21:1-16
Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel
next to the palace of Ahab, king of Samaria.
Ahab said to Naboth, "Give me your vineyard to be my vegetable garden,
since it is close by, next to my house.
I will give you a better vineyard in exchange, or,
if you prefer, I will give you its value in money."
Naboth answered him, "The LORD forbid
that I should give you my ancestral heritage."
Ahab went home disturbed and angry at the answer
Naboth the Jezreelite had made to him:
"I will not give you my ancestral heritage."
Lying down on his bed, he turned away from food and would not eat.
His wife Jezebel came to him and said to him,
"Why are you so angry that you will not eat?"
He answered her, "Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite
and said to him, 'Sell me your vineyard, or,
if you prefer, I will give you a vineyard in exchange.'
But he refused to let me have his vineyard."
His wife Jezebel said to him,
"A fine ruler over Israel you are indeed!
Eat and be cheerful.
I will obtain the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite for you."
So she wrote letters in Ahab's name and,
having sealed them with his seal,
sent them to the elders and to the nobles
who lived in the same city with Naboth.
This is what she wrote in the letters:
"Proclaim a fast and set Naboth at the head of the people.
Next, get two scoundrels to face him
and accuse him of having cursed God and king.
Then take him out and stone him to death."
His fellow citizens—the elders and nobles who dwelt in his city—
did as Jezebel had ordered them in writing,
through the letters she had sent them.
They proclaimed a fast and placed Naboth at the head of the people.
Two scoundrels came in and confronted him with the accusation,
"Naboth has cursed God and king."
And they led him out of the city and stoned him to death.
Then they sent the information to Jezebel
that Naboth had been stoned to death.
When Jezebel learned that Naboth had been stoned to death,
she said to Ahab,
"Go on, take possession of the vineyard
of Naboth the Jezreelite that he refused to sell you,
because Naboth is not alive, but dead."
On hearing that Naboth was dead, Ahab started off on his way
down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite,
to take possession of it.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 5:2-3ab, 4b-6a, 6b-7
R. (2b) Lord, listen to my groaning.
Hearken to my words, O LORD,
attend to my sighing.
Heed my call for help,
my king and my God!
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.
At dawn I bring my plea expectantly before you.
For you, O God, delight not in wickedness;
no evil man remains with you;
the arrogant may not stand in your sight.
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.
You hate all evildoers.
You destroy all who speak falsehood;
The bloodthirsty and the deceitful
the LORD abhors.
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.
Alleluia Ps 119:105
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A lamp to my feet is your word,
a light to my path.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 5:38-42
Jesus said to his disciples:
"You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one to him as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand him your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go with him for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow."
Meditation: Matthew 5:38-42
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. (Matthew 5:38)
Retaliation—one of the world's oldest and most contagious sins. Did you know that the Old Testament law of "an eye for an eye" was designed to put a limit on retaliation? You can find it in Leviticus 24:19-20. The goal was to keep people from inflicting more damage than they had received. Actually, it was considered an innovation for its time. It was not uncommon for a victim to over-retaliate against his attacker. If one man killed another man's brother, the second man would feel justified in killing the first man's entire family. So this law helped keep the cycle of revenge from spiraling into ever-increasing violence.
As helpful as this law was, Jesus asks us to go one daring step further. Don't resist evil, he says, conquer it with good. Choose mercy and love over vengeance. After all, that's what Jesus did. Consider all the offenses he had to endure, even before his crucifixion. All the lies, the gossip, and the false accusations—even the demands of the crowds, who seemed to have no regard for his own needs. Surely these offenses cried out for an answer!
But how did Jesus respond? By loving more. By giving more. By forgiving more—seventy times seven times. There was no resentment in his voice, no reluctance in his miracles, no indignation in his attitude. Even when he was rebuking his opponents or overturning tables in the Temple, it was out of anguish, not rage. Then came the ultimate show of mercy triumphing over retaliation: on the cross, he cried out, "Father, forgive them" (Luke 23:34).
Turn the other cheek. Resist not the evildoer. These are challenging words. It's tempting to say that Jesus was just exaggerating, but his own witness tells us otherwise. He really does want us to be as merciful and peaceloving as possible. But he also knows who we are and how far we have to go before we get there. He knows that we want to be forgiving, but that there are certain situations that can be very hard for us. So take heart, try your best, and remember that Jesus is perfectly merciful. He will never demand "an eye for an eye" from you. No, he chooses to pray, "Father, forgive." Every time.
"Thank you, Lord, for your tender mercy. Jesus, teach me to be more like you."
1 Kings 21:1-16
Jezebel said ""A fine ruler over Israel you are indeed!" and she launched an assault on the "traitor" for not giving to the king when he demanded.
It sounds like a horrible story right? Let me tell you another one. Last week we (my family) traveled about 800 miles in one day, halfway home, we got up early the next day after a rough night. We got up to eat breakfast at McDonald's. It was all well until we were getting up to leave and the little toddlers and kids were starting to run around laughing and chasing each other. I went to get a refill, and when I turned around, I saw an older lady talking to my 6 yr old daughter, pointing the finger to her face. It's as if the restaurant suddenly got quiet. We all could hear everything she was telling my daughter "YOU need to stop running...THIS is a public restaraunt, NOT a PLAYGROUND". It got awkward. My brother in law snapped back at her "AND YOU need to lighten UP! These are beautiful children!" and it just kept going.
An eye for an eye? Tooth for a tooth?
What did you see? What did you say?
Who turns the cheek nowadays anyways?
Before we continue this questioning, let us pray:
"Lord, listen to my groaning. At dawn I bring my plea expectantly before you.
For you, O God, delight not in wickedness; no evil man remains with you;
the arrogant may not stand in your sight." Back to the questioning: Who is the one that is evil in the story? It goes on, the staff was asking if we wanted them to do anything about it, and they even said "she is always here and has done this before...she is prejudice". So far, all signs pointing to the older white lady, aren't they? Things looking grim, right? Before you settle on that though, the story goes on.
But first, let us listen to the Word of God: JESUS: "But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil." WHOA! OOPSIE! There was all sorts of resistance to the one who is evil, isn't there? We like to backfire and slap right back! Before we left that parking lot, a relative on trip with us had already posted on facebook all the gossip of what had just transpired. And I can't play the role of Mr. Innocent either. For a brief instant, I had got offended too. "What goes around comes around" was the brief instantaneous thought as my little girl was getting griped out by a stranger. And that inner snarl, I would dare say, breathed fire and everyone launched an attack on the old lady. So, you tell me. Who was most at fault for the horrible situation?
A.) The little girl Bella?
B.) Screaming Brother in law?
C.) Restaurant staff
D.) Niece on posting gossip on social media?
E.) The old lady that started everything?
Take a guess who is most at fault in my opinion? We drove off. We talked about what happened after a while. My brother in law finally said "you know what? I had no right to jump on that poor old lady...who knows what kind of problems she has with her own grandchildren or something". I agreed. I said "yes sir, that was my own daughter, if anyone should've yelled it was me, but I let her have her say". But truthfully, I felt somewhat guilty. As if all of this was my own fault. At some point in time in that brief instant of inner snarl "what goes around comes around" thoughts I should have gone up to my daughter and have her apologize to the old lady and show her that we loved her, no matter what! I would have spared everyone the damaging of souls, the sin against love. So, whatever answer you guessed it was wrong. Point the finger, and the rest point back.
As horrible as Jezebel did with King Ahab, the poor man Naboth should have sold his land. But he sat there defending himself. That's not what Jesus did. Jesus prayed. Jesus turned the cheek. Jesus gave to the king what was the king's. And to God what is God's. In this world, we have to realize this very truth. If someone asks you for something, you better give, or it will rot. It will rotten you inside. To not give is to give into sin. It all sounds so contrary, don't it? So backwards? Looking back, we all owe that old lady an apology, and a great act of love, so she will experience Christ alive.
This is what an enemy affords us...an opportunity for Christ to be revealed.
So who was the evil one? The answer is simple, it is the evil one itself.
Think twice before getting offended.
The easiest way to do this, is by living in grace.
We are all learning. We all fail. This is why this was created: Mercy. Jesus is mercy. Partake of this healing. Partake of this great love. For we are but mere fools, but we can become fools in love. Fools in Christ. Fools for God. And this heals a multitude of sins.
And we realize what gratefulness means...humility.
So Christ asks us to go the extra mile....