Commit Yourself to Uprooting Hatred
As a peacemaker for others, I take a prophetic stand by committing myself to uprooting any source of hatred, injury, despair, sadness or darkness that these people endure. I stand up and speak out against any form of prejudice, discrimination or injustice. Though I might speak with the anger of a prophet, I never use violence or incite violence when working for peace. Peace is never bequeathed through a clenched fist or proclaimed through the barrel of a pistol.
—from Instruments of Christ: Reflections on the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love."
— St. Teresa of Avila
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"The human soul, by its very nature, is endowed with the faculty of knowing God and the capacity for loving Him. The intelligence of the soul, transporting itself above all that is created and finite, has power to raise itself even to the contemplation of that Being who alone is uncreated and infinite, who is the source of all good and all perfection; it is able to form of Him an idea that is clear and accurate and indelible. The will of the soul is made to love this sovereign Good, which the understanding presents to it. The desires of the soul, which no created object can ever satisfy and which reach far beyond the limits of this life, tend necessarily toward a Good that is supreme, eternal, and infinite, and which alone can content the soul and make it happy."
— Fr. Jean Nicholas Grou, p. 3-4
AN EXCERPT FROM
The Spiritual Life
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY
Shun youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
2 Timothy 2:22
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ST. DOMINIC DE GUZMAN
St. Dominic (1170–1221) was born in Spain to a family of noble lineage. His mother, Blessed Jane of Aza, prayed at the church of St. Dominic Silos to conceive a male child, her first two sons being given to the priesthood. In answer to her prayer, she dreamed that a dog leaped from her womb carrying a torch in its mouth which set the world ablaze. At his baptism, his godmother beheld a star shining from his forehead. As a child Dominic showed signs of great sanctity and intelligence, and he was also given to the Church for the priesthood. When famine struck Dominic sold his rare and expensive theology books to feed the poor. As a priest he traveled with his bishop into southern France and discovered that it had been overrun with a heretical movement which led many away from the Church. This inflamed his desire to devote his life to apostolic preaching for the salvation of souls, at the time an office reserved to bishops. With the Pope's approval he founded the Order of Preachers, or the Dominicans, committed to defend the truth of the Catholic faith. St. Dominic's Order was novel in that it combined the active and contemplative religious life with the labor of scholarly study and itinerate preaching. St. Dominic was innovative in meeting the needs of his time to defend the Church against her enemies. To aid his mission, Our Lady appeared to him and gave him a new devotion—the Holy Rosary.
St. Dominic is the patron saint of scientists and astronomers. His feast day is August 8th.
Memorial of Saint Dominic, Priest
Reading 1 Jer 31:1-7
At that time, says the LORD,
I will be the God of all the tribes of Israel,
and they shall be my people.
Thus says the LORD:
The people that escaped the sword
have found favor in the desert.
As Israel comes forward to be given his rest,
the LORD appears to him from afar:
With age-old love I have loved you;
so I have kept my mercy toward you.
Again I will restore you, and you shall be rebuilt,
O virgin Israel;
Carrying your festive tambourines,
you shall go forth dancing with the merrymakers.
Again you shall plant vineyards
on the mountains of Samaria;
those who plant them shall enjoy the fruits.
Yes, a day will come when the watchmen
will call out on Mount Ephraim:
"Rise up, let us go to Zion,
to the LORD, our God."
For thus says the LORD:
Shout with joy for Jacob,
exult at the head of the nations;
proclaim your praise and say:
The LORD has delivered his people,
the remnant of Israel.
Responsorial Psalm Jeremiah 31:10, 11-12ab, 13
R. (see 10d) The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
Hear the word of the LORD, O nations,
proclaim it on distant isles, and say:
He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together,
he guards them as a shepherd his flock.
R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
The LORD shall ransom Jacob,
he shall redeem him from the hand of his conqueror.
Shouting, they shall mount the heights of Zion,
they shall come streaming to the LORD's blessings.
R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
Then the virgins shall make merry and dance,
and young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into joy.
I will console and gladden them after their sorrows.
R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock
Alleluia Lk 7:16
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 15: 21-28
At that time Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out,
"Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!
My daughter is tormented by a demon."
But he did not say a word in answer to her.
His disciples came and asked him,
"Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us."
He said in reply,
"I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
But the woman came and did him homage, saying, "Lord, help me."
He said in reply,
"It is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs."
She said, "Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps
that fall from the table of their masters."
Then Jesus said to her in reply,
"O woman, great is your faith!
Let it be done for you as you wish."
And her daughter was healed from that hour.
Meditation: Jeremiah 31:1-7
Saint Dominic, Priest (Memorial)
With age-old love I have loved you; so I have kept my mercy toward you. (Jeremiah 31:3)
Love is a term that we throw around a lot. We love chocolate and ice cream and water parks and the color purple. But this kind of love is different from our love for our family or our friends. Now, take the difference between these two types of love and multiply it several thousand times, and you are just beginning to understand God's love for you.
This is the truth that Jeremiah tried to help Israel understand. God loves them with an age-old love. It's a love that persists despite their having turned away from him. It's a love that promises mercy and restoration.
God's love is perfect. It doesn't depend on what you do or how well you do it. In fact, you might have really messed up, and he still loves you. That's because his love is based on who you are: his child, created in his own image and likeness. Don't worry; you don't have to prove yourself. He won't abandon you. You may not always feel him with you, but his faithfulness remains. He knows how your human weakness might cloud your vision of him, but in his mercy, he promises to restore you over time.
Maybe you feel far from God today. Perhaps you have committed a sin that makes you think God can't love you any more. This is simply not true. You may feel that you are broken beyond repair, but that's not how he sees you. It may take time, but be assured that as you take even the smallest step toward the Lord, he will run toward you and gather you in his arms. He is always assuring you of his promises of love and mercy.
If these truths speak to your heart, take a few minutes and tell the Lord what you are feeling. It might help to write it down. Then, read through today's first reading and the Responsorial Psalm again. Pick out a verse that stands out, and write it somewhere where you will see it throughout your day. These promises of love and compassion are for you, right where you are. God loves you with an age-old love. Open the door of your heart and receive it.
"Lord, show me your love and mercy today."
" I have kept my mercy toward you.
Again I will restore you, and you shall be rebuilt..."
Let us pray today, that we experience an ongoing metanoia, an ever changing of mind and soul for the return to our Lord. This in turn will be the restoration, that rebuilt self that we so desire, that inner saint and that beautiful holy person you desire to be. God is merciful. Are we? If He scatters, He gathers. I had a bit of a sad moment last week, when a brother I met at church 2 years ago, in a daily Mass, this young 24 year old, I took him upon meeting him to ultreya, a faithful gathering with potluck dinner to boot. 2 years later after his cursillo soon after, he became the leader of our ultreya. He moved away last week. Our brotherhood we formed, would be scattered. Now, I have to pray that we are gathered. I don't know if I will meet another weird kid like him, someone living on his own, no family in town, and meets his family in Church. I tried making another friend, another loner that showed up, took him to ultreya, and scared him away. But this man did not seem to go to church much, not sure what happened to him. We gather. We scatter. Let us gather ourselves to the Lord.
Let us pray: "The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, proclaim it on distant isles, and say:
He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together, he guards them as a shepherd his flock." When He shepherds, it is amazing. He takes us to places unseen. He loves us, it's just that we have to trust Him. If we are not scared, we can better follow. If we are weak, we cannot follow. We cannot be weak in our faith. If we become weak, seek strength. Seek Him. To fall is one thing, to fall away is a whole other. My kids walked with me yesterday evening. The baby, a curly headed 2 year old, fell on the gravel road. This time he fell flat faced and as I got him up this time, I noticed he had scuffed his palms and more on his knees. I carried him home and washed him and he came back running. Another child did not follow us. They were afraid. They are afraid of our chihuahua dog mix. They will not walk with daddy outside unless they are forced. Daddy takes the others on adventure rides. They go see horses and cows and running coyotes. Daddy shows them not to be afraid. The ones at home, remain afraid. Unlearned. Unable to progress in knowledge...to not be afraid.
In comes our Lord, making His way with His followers, and a woman from the land of Cana, the land of dogs, comes pleading ""Lord, help me." She pleads. Like the incessant widow " because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice. Then she will stop wearing me out with her perpetual requests." these words came from an unjust judge. Our Lord says to the woman today, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." She pleads again, on her knees "Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters." Our Lord is amazed. This woman actually believes! She is only waiting for the Word! She would be the best of believers if she would only be given what she is asking for....the other part of faith...Jesus Himself! This is our calling from God. Faith. The disciples were not amazing Jesus. This non-follower, though, amazes Him, like the Centurion that told Jesus "only say the Word" and it shall be done. Amazing faith. Faith that amazes our Lord. Just because He is amazed it comes to be. His part, with our part. Doggie scraps, that's all she wanted. How many of us eat the daily bread and do not share? How many of us eat Christ's body and soul (Eucharist) and do not share? How many of us claim God's love and do not share? How many of us plead for mercy and do not share mercy? How many of us desire to be loved and consoled by God, yet, could care less about the other...in your life? Your neighbor? Those near you, those who approach you? You see? Faith is a gift. You are to give. It is not for you to keep. It works like love and grace that produce charity. So what happened next? Her daughter was healed, delivered from demons and satan. Her daughter was freed from hell. Who goes to the ends of the earth, as a Queen from the South to see the greatness of the King? The one who cares enough. This woman, as if a woman at the well, this woman, as if the woman crying, cleaning His feet with her hair, this woman caught in adultery, all these are the woman that amazes Jesus. He loves the woman. The woman stands for the Holy Church, the people, the flock. He loves her so. He has compassion on her, doesn't He? We, are to then, to become that amazing woman. That woman He formed from His side. He desired not to be alone. The Son of Man. Our Love is an incalculable seed that can shape and transform the environment. Our Love of God makes all the difference in the world. I knelt in front of the exposed Body of Christ last Friday and I've been ailing with this ear thing, got an MRI coming tomorrow for more examinations, and as I spoke with Him, I said "Lord, you sure do love me, you have me here like this so that I will love you more, and this is good, you are worthy of all my love..." I wiped my tears and left in silence. We all have our scrapes and bruises and ailments and sufferings. But so long as we bring them to the Lord, He makes all things better. He promises to rebuild us. Do you want to be rebuilt? Or restored to your former self, your sinful, wasteful self? He wants to rebuild us to better worship and adore Him. His is a zealous and jealous love. Jealous because He knows He can love more and better than anything or any one in the world. Let yourself be loved. Let your faith amaze Him. And only then, will salvation come. A gathering of the scattered.
Let us turn to Him ever more...