Tuesday, September 17, 2019

⛪ ...Arisen In Our Midst... .⛪

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Christ Cannot Be Limited

Through his life in Christ, Francis came to see that Christ cannot be limited to a single human person; rather, Christ encompasses the whole creation. Nowhere is this more evident than in his Canticle of the Creatures. By entering into the heart of Christ, Francis found Christ at the heart of the world. The life of Francis indicates to us that to be a Christian is to find Christ in every person and living creature, and to be in union with Christ is to experience God's goodness throughout creation, not just in a church. Christ, the risen incarnate Word of God, encompasses the whole creation.

—from the book The Humility of God: A Franciscan Perspective by Ilia Delio, OSF


† Saint Quote
"The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service, the fruit of service is peace."
— St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

"You have never begrudged the martyrs their triumph but rather trained them for it. And so I am asking you to be consistent with the lessons you teach them. Just beg for me the courage and endurance not only to speak but also to will what is right, so that I may not only be called a Christian, but prove to be one. For if I prove myself to be a Christian by martyrdom, then people will call me one, and my loyalty to Christ will be apparent when the world sees me no more. Nothing you can see is truly good. For our Lord Jesus Christ, now that he has returned to his Father, has revealed himself more clearly. Our task is not one of producing persuasive propaganda; Christianity shows its greatness when it is hated by the world."
— St. Ignatius of Antioch, p. 194
Witness of the Saints

"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace."
Numbers 6:24-26


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St. Hildegard von Bingen (1098–1179) was born to a large and noble German family. She began to have mystical visions at the age of three which continued throughout her life. Her parents, promising her to the service of God, sent her to be educated at the Benedictine Abbey by an anchoress when she was about eight years of age. At the age of fourteen she became a consecrated nun attached to the Abbey, where she lived a quiet life of prayer for many years. At the age of 38, after the anchoress' death, she was chosen as the new leader of a growing group of nuns. Hildegard led a remarkable and unusual life for a woman of her day. She was an avid composer of sacred music and liturgy, in addition to poems and plays. She also wrote heavily on theology, natural medicine, and natural science. At the age of 42, at the command of God, Hildegard began writing down what she saw in her visions. Her works were widely read, even by the Pope, and leaders around the world sought her council. Her fame as a mystic and prophetess grew, earning her the name "Sibyl of the Rhine." More nuns flocked to join her, causing Hildegard to establish a new monastery at Rupertsberg. She wrote proficiently on the harmony of created nature and man's need to live in balance with it, especially in virtue, morality, and the love of God, which led Pope Benedict XVI to declare her the fourth female Doctor of the Church in 2012 alongside Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Siena, and Thérèse of Lisieux. Because her works were far ahead of her time she is regarded as a historical phenomenon. Hildegard of Bingen is considered the founder of scientific natural history in Germany. Her feast day is September 17th.


Saint Robert Bellarmine

(October 4, 1542 – September 17, 1621)
When Robert Bellarmine was ordained in 1570, the study of Church history and the fathers of the Church was in a sad state of neglect. A promising scholar from his youth in Tuscany, he devoted his energy to these two subjects, as well as to Scripture, in order to systematize Church doctrine against the attacks of the Protestant Reformers. He was the first Jesuit to become a professor at Louvain.

His most famous work is his three-volume Disputations on the Controversies of the Christian Faith. Particularly noteworthy are the sections on the temporal power of the pope and the role of the laity. Bellarmine incurred the anger of monarchists in England and France by showing the divine-right-of-kings theory untenable. He developed the theory of the indirect power of the pope in temporal affairs; although he was defending the pope against the Scottish philosopher Barclay, he also incurred the ire of Pope Sixtus V.

Bellarmine was made a cardinal by Pope Clement VIII on the grounds that "he had not his equal for learning." While he occupied apartments in the Vatican, Bellarmine relaxed none of his former austerities. He limited his household expenses to what was barely essential, eating only the food available to the poor. He was known to have ransomed a soldier who had deserted from the army and he used the hangings of his rooms to clothe poor people, remarking, "The walls won't catch cold."

Among many activities, Bellarmine became theologian to Pope Clement VIII, preparing two catechisms which have had great influence in the Church.

The last major controversy of Bellarmine's life came in 1616 when he had to admonish his friend Galileo, whom he admired. He delivered the admonition on behalf of the Holy Office, which had decided that the heliocentric theory of Copernicus was contrary to Scripture. The admonition amounted to a caution against putting forward—other than as a hypothesis—theories not yet fully proven. This shows that saints are not infallible.

Robert Bellarmine died on September 17, 1621. The process for his canonization was begun in 1627, but was delayed until 1930 for political reasons, stemming from his writings. In 1930, Pope Pius XI canonized him, and the next year declared him a doctor of the Church.

The renewal in the Church sought by Vatican II was difficult for many Catholics. In the course of change, many felt a lack of firm guidance from those in authority. They yearned for the stone columns of orthodoxy and an iron command with clearly defined lines of authority. Vatican II assures us in The Church in the Modern World, "There are many realities which do not change and which have their ultimate foundation in Christ, who is the same yesterday and today, yes, and forever" (#10, quoting Hebrews 13:8).

Robert Bellarmine devoted his life to the study of Scripture and Catholic doctrine. His writings help us understand that the real source of our faith is not merely a set of doctrines, but rather the person of Jesus still living in the Church today.
Saint Robert Bellarmine is the Patron Saint of:



Tuesday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 Tm 3:1-13

Beloved, this saying is trustworthy:
whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task.
Therefore, a bishop must be irreproachable,
married only once, temperate, self-controlled,
decent, hospitable, able to teach,
not a drunkard, not aggressive, but gentle,
not contentious, not a lover of money.
He must manage his own household well,
keeping his children under control with perfect dignity;
for if a man does not know how to manage his own household,
how can he take care of the Church of God?
He should not be a recent convert,
so that he may not become conceited
and thus incur the Devil's punishment.
He must also have a good reputation among outsiders,
so that he may not fall into disgrace, the Devil's trap.

Similarly, deacons must be dignified, not deceitful,
not addicted to drink, not greedy for sordid gain,
holding fast to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
Moreover, they should be tested first;
then, if there is nothing against them,
let them serve as deacons.
Women, similarly, should be dignified, not slanderers,
but temperate and faithful in everything.
Deacons may be married only once
and must manage their children and their households well.
Thus those who serve well as deacons gain good standing
and much confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 101:1b-2ab, 2cd-3ab, 5, 6
R.(2) I will walk with blameless heart.
Of mercy and judgment I will sing;
to you, O LORD, I will sing praise.
I will persevere in the way of integrity;
when will you come to me?
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
I will walk with blameless heart,
within my house;
I will not set before my eyes
any base thing.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret,
him will I destroy.
The man of haughty eyes and puffed up heart
I will not endure.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
My eyes are upon the faithful of the land,
that they may dwell with me.
He who walks in the way of integrity
shall be in my service.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.

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 Lk 7:11-17

Jesus journeyed to a city called Nain,
and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him.
As he drew near to the gate of the city,
a man who had died was being carried out,
the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.
A large crowd from the city was with her.
When the Lord saw her,
he was moved with pity for her and said to her,
"Do not weep."
He stepped forward and touched the coffin;
at this the bearers halted,
and he said, "Young man, I tell you, arise!"
The dead man sat up and began to speak,
and Jesus gave him to his mother.
Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming,
"A great prophet has arisen in our midst,"
and "God has visited his people."
This report about him spread through the whole of Judea
and in all the surrounding region.


Catholic Meditations
Meditation: Luke 7:11-17

Saint Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)

The bearers halted. (Luke 7:14)

It was her only son, and now he was gone, just as her husband had died a few years earlier. As she proceeded to the burial place, a large crowd of mourners walked with her. Loud sobbing and prayers could be heard all around her. There was so much commotion that few noticed Jesus as he approached the procession. When he reached the coffin, Jesus touched it—and everything stopped. Everything changed.

As he did for this widow, Jesus reaches out to touch you too. How will you respond? Be open to something unexpected, and don't ignore the possibility that it might stop you in your tracks. Be still and pay attention. Let Jesus show you he is with you. Stop and listen: what is he saying to you? The more you practice this type of attention, the more you'll recognize how often Jesus reaches out to touch you. And the more you'll be able to say, Okay, I'm going to put aside what I'm doing right now and see what Jesus wants to do.

He may wake you up in the middle of the night. Right then and there, in the dark, turn your heart to him. He may lead you to pray for a particular person or situation. Or he may simply remind you of how much he loves you. At Mass, perhaps a Scripture passage will suddenly bring clarity to a thorny issue in your family. Stop and thank him, asking for help in holding on to his word. In the middle of swirling fears about a health issue, Jesus may bring a burst of his peace into your heart and mind. Stop and receive it. Sit quietly with him, and let him calm you. He is reaching out to you, offering a message, an insight, a touch that will change you. Don't miss out.

The woman in today's Gospel didn't know what to expect when the coffin halted and she saw Jesus. But she would never regret stopping. She received her son back from the dead! Let her example lead you to watch for Jesus breaking into your life in an unexpected way. Then see what he does.

"Jesus, thank you for reaching into my busy day and touching me. Help me to stop and pay attention. I want to receive all you have for me."

1 Timothy 3:1-13
Psalm 101:1-3, 5-6



The true concept of freedom is 'Freedom is the right to do whatever we ought', and ought implies goal, purpose, morality, and the law of God. True freedom is within the law, not outside it. I am free to draw a triangle, if I give it three sides, but not, in a stroke of broad-mindedness, fifty-seven sides. I am free to fly on condition that I obey the law of aeronautics. In the spiritual realm, I am also most free when I obey the law of God.
—Ven. Fulton Sheen
from The World's First Love


Today we heard in the first Holy Scripture: "... if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he take care of the Church of God?" Why is that? Because it is the first church of God. Otherwise, you'll be a Pharisee and a hypocrite, with the outside cleansed and inside filthy. And the first household church of God begins with the inside of the priest of the family. It goes deeper into the heart of the matter. You were baptized priest, where you not? One who can offer sacrifice and oblation. One who can praise and worship. One who can have the fear of God and instill the fear of God in others, amen? Your body is a temple of God. Where do you take Christ?

Let us pray: "My eyes are upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me. He who walks in the way of integrity shall be in my service. I will walk with blameless heart". Our Lord does not like slanderers. Neither does he like those with haughty eyes or a puffed up heart. And those are good words. Because, to look with disdain on others, to walk proud, these things are off base. They do not match the life and the Way that our Lord has taught us. So the opposite our Lord likes and loves: He loves those with a pure heart and tongue. He loves those with simple eyes, and a deflated heart. Isn't it evident who He reaches out to in the entire Gospel?


In the Holy Gospel today, our Lord comes across a weeping widow and mother of one son who had just died. This is a tragic sight. Especially back then, because a woman was not the provider for the home. If not the husband, then the son would provide. Now, she had no one to provide. In a sense, her life was over. But she came across, by chance, the great provider...Jesus. Great because of His blameless walk. And provider because His Father is God Almighty. She wasn't asking for a favor. She was simply suffering and dying inside. And the town wept with her, so great was her anguish.

What did Jesus see here? His mother. He knew He would be that dead son, of a widow one day. So what does He do? He takes the place of the dead man, so great the love of God to die for a stranger, no greater love is there than this, than to lay one's life for one's friend, yet was a stranger a friend? St. Max Kolbe died for a seemingly stranger. How can one take the place of another? It takes love, and it takes Greater Love. And that is my struggle in faith, because I often ask myself "do I really love?".

The question should be "can I really love?".
We can if Christ lives inside of us in a self-sacrificing love. Willing to sacrifice to a degree that no one else would.

Two things our Lord said today, and that was it.

"Do not weep."
"Young man, I tell you, arise!"

A reflection reminded us that we will see those who have passed on in the next life.

What did that dead son arise and do? He immediately began speaking.

Your life is a testimony. You are to always proclaim God's word.

Jesus did by deed and word. He said "I AM the Resurrection and the Life" and He proved it before death and after death.
Therefore, our life as a Christ follower is one of hope and true love. Firstly, true love of God.

I know many things cause you heartache and grief, and stress, anxiety, turmoil, and suffering.
I know your heart. I know you get down. I know you have fears no one knows.

But I also know that God is good and greater than all your stress and fears and sadness. Let this greatness touch your life that wants to bring death upon your faith. Let God touch you, restore you, and heal you.

They say in Heaven there is no weeping. Simply rejoicing.

Is it true?

Yes. Can the wedding guests be sad and deprived when they are with the groom? Of course not.
And guess what? The Holy Mass is a trip to Heaven! Get a taste of what is to come. An intimacy with our God.

Afterall, you are kind of a big deal up there.

But sin, the most trivial of sins, is not accepted at all in Heaven.

So begin that faith formation now. Learn to love what is Good, so you may be the good the world needs to see.

Fidelity. Faithfulness. Holiness. Solid truth. An anchor and anchoress in your church. Someone people can look to and see and say "God is among us", because of your faith and your light....


hear it read


Random Bible Verse 1
Proverbs 15:31–32

31 The ear that listens to life-giving reproof

will dwell among the wise.
32 Whoever ignores instruction despises himself,

but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.

Thank You Jesus

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