Thursday, September 24, 2020

⛪ Trying To See Him .. . ⛪

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Peace Is the Way to Perfection

Peace is simplicity of heart, serenity of mind, tranquility of soul, the bond of love. Peace means order, harmony in our whole being; it means continual contentment springing from the knowledge of a good conscience; it is the holy joy of a heart in which God reigns. Peace is the way to perfection, indeed in peace is perfection to be found. The devil, who is well aware of all this, makes every effort to have us lose our peace.

—from the book The Joyful Spirit of Padre Pio: Stories, Letters, and Prayers


†Saint Quote
SEPTEMBER 24, 2020
"We should take as a maxim never to be surprised at current difficulties, no more than at a passing breeze, because with a little patience we shall see them disappear. Time changes everything."
— St. Vincent de Paul

"When we come into church from the outside our ears are filled with the racket of the city, the words of those who have accompanied us, the laboring and quarreling of our own thoughts, the disquiet of our hearts' wishes and worries, hurts and joys. How are we possibly to hear what God is saying? That we listen at all is something; not everyone does. It is even better when we pay attention and make a real effort to understand what is being said. But all this is not yet the attentive stillness in which God's word can take root. This must be established before the service begins, if possible in the silence on the way to church, still better in a brief period of composure the evening before."
— Msgr. Romano Guardini, p. 17
Meditations Before Mass


St. Peter Nolasco (12th c.) was inspired to establish a religious order for the ransom of Christians from Muslim captivity. On August 1, 1218 the Blessed Virgin appeared to St. Peter Nolasco along with his confessor, St. Raymond of Peñafort, and to King James I of the Kingdom of Aragon to verify the Divine inspiration of this mission. Word of the Marian apparition soon spread to the entire kingdom. The new religious foundation, called the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy (the Mercedarians), was established and approved by Pope Gregory IX. The order worked to raise money to ransom Christians who had been captured and enslaved by Muslims, and to offer themselves, if necessary, as payment for their release. A feast was instituted under the title of Our Lady of Ransom and observed on September 24, later extended to the entire Church.

"But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance."
2 Timothy 4:5-8


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St. Gerard Sagredo (980–1046 A.D.) was born in Venice, Italy. From an early age he desired to dedicate his life to God, and as a young man became a Benedictine monk. He first served as abbot at a monastery in Venice, but left to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. While passing through Hungary he met the Hungarian king, St. Stephen, who asked him to stay in his country to evangelize and minister to his people. St. Gerard agreed, and was named Bishop of Csanád and the royal tutor of the Hungarian prince. He ministered tirelessly among the Hungarian people and helped to convert the whole country to Christianity, for which he is called the "Apostle of Hungary." After the death of King St. Stephen there was a pagan uprising against the Christians, and St. Gerard was martyred for the faith along with two others. His death took place on a hill in Budapest which is now named after him; according to one tradition he was placed in a barrel lined with spikes, and rolled down the hill. He was declared a saint in 1083 by Pope St. Gregory VII. St. Gerard Sagredo is the patron saint of Hungary, and his feast day is September 24th.


Saint John Henry Newman

(February 21, 1801 – August 11, 1890)

John Henry Newman, the 19th-century's most important English-speaking Roman Catholic theologian, spent the first half of his life as an Anglican and the second half as a Roman Catholic. He was a priest, popular preacher, writer, and eminent theologian in both churches.

Born in London, England, he studied at Oxford's Trinity College, was a tutor at Oriel College, and for 17 years was vicar of the university church, St. Mary the Virgin. He eventually published eight volumes of Parochial and Plain Sermons as well as two novels. His poem, "Dream of Gerontius," was set to music by Sir Edward Elgar.

After 1833, Newman was a prominent member of the Oxford Movement, which emphasized the Church's debt to the Church Fathers and challenged any tendency to consider truth as completely subjective.

Historical research made Newman suspect that the Roman Catholic Church was in closest continuity with the Church that Jesus established. In 1845, he was received into full communion as a Catholic. Two years later he was ordained a Catholic priest in Rome and joined the Congregation of the Oratory, founded three centuries earlier by Saint Philip Neri. Returning to England, Newman founded Oratory houses in Birmingham and London and for seven years served as rector of the Catholic University of Ireland.

Before Newman, Catholic theology tended to ignore history, preferring instead to draw deductions from first principles—much as plane geometry does. After Newman, the lived experience of believers was recognized as a key part of theological reflection.

Newman eventually wrote 40 books and 21,000 letters that survive. Most famous are his book-length Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine, Apologia Pro Vita Sua—his spiritual autobiography up to 1864—and Essay on the Grammar of Assent. He accepted Vatican I's teaching on papal infallibility while noting its limits, which many people who favored that definition were reluctant to do.

When Newman was named a cardinal in 1879, he took as his motto "Cor ad cor loquitur"—"Heart speaks to heart." He was buried in Rednal 11 years later. After his grave was exhumed in 2008, a new tomb was prepared at the Oratory church in Birmingham.

Three years after Newman died, a Newman Club for Catholic students began at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. In time, his name was linked to ministry centers at many public and private colleges and universities in the United States.

In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI beatified Newman in London. Benedict noted Newman's emphasis on the vital place of revealed religion in civilized society, but also praised his pastoral zeal for the sick, the poor, the bereaved, and those in prison. Pope Francis canonized Newman in October 2019. Saint John Henry Newman's liturgical feast is October 9.

John Henry Newman has been called the "absent Father of Vatican II" because his writings on conscience, religious liberty, Scripture, the vocation of lay people, the relation of Church and State, and other topics were extremely influential in the shaping of the Council's documents. Although Newman was not always understood or appreciated, he steadfastly preached the Good News by word and example.


Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 ECCL 1:2-11

Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth,
vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!
What profit has man from all the labor
which he toils at under the sun?
One generation passes and another comes,
but the world forever stays.
The sun rises and the sun goes down;
then it presses on to the place where it rises.
Blowing now toward the south, then toward the north,
the wind turns again and again, resuming its rounds.
All rivers go to the sea,
yet never does the sea become full.
To the place where they go,
the rivers keep on going.
All speech is labored;
there is nothing one can say.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing
nor is the ear satisfied with hearing.
What has been, that will be;
what has been done, that will be done.
Nothing is new under the sun.
Even the thing of which we say, "See, this is new!"
has already existed in the ages that preceded us.
There is no remembrance of the men of old;
nor of those to come will there be any remembrance
among those who come after them.

Responsorial Psalm PS 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 AND 17BC

R. (1) In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You turn man back to dust,
saying, "Return, O children of men."
For a thousand years in your sight
are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You make an end of them in their sleep;
the next morning they are like the changing grass,
Which at dawn springs up anew,
but by evening wilts and fades.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
Prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands!
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

Alleluia JN 14:6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 9:7-9

Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening,
and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying,
"John has been raised from the dead";
others were saying, "Elijah has appeared";
still others, "One of the ancient prophets has arisen."
But Herod said, "John I beheaded.
Who then is this about whom I hear such things?"
And he kept trying to see him.


Daily Meditation: Ecclesiastes 1:2-11

All things are vanity! (Ecclesiastes 1:2)

Today's Old Testament reading comes from one of the great pieces of world literature. Like Wisdom and Proverbs, Ecclesiastes contains wise sayings assembled by an unknown author. But unlike those books, Ecclesiastes makes a dramatic declaration about the futility of human efforts: all is vanity (1:2)! Everything we attempt is placed on the scale and found wanting. In fact, it's not until the end of the book that Qoheleth, the nickname the author gives himself, gives us a lesson to take from all this despair. "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth," he urges, lest we live for fleeting pleasures and face judgment for our disobedience (12:1, 13-14).

Let's see what this puzzling book is about so that we can be ready to listen to what God might say to us as we pray through these passages the next few days.

Ecclesiastes offers wisdom gathered over many years. Qoheleth warns the young not to prize too highly the transient rewards that seem so important in life. Kingdoms rise and fall (and, we might say, corporations), and every one of us will die. So nothing that we gain will really remain ours in the end.

But in the midst of Qoheleth's litany on the futility of all things, there is one constant that we can count on, one thing that gives true wisdom and a firm foundation: God. He is the "one shepherd," the one source of true, lasting wisdom, who will reward every one of us for what we have done (Ecclesiastes 12:11, 14).

This wisdom certainly still holds today. Ecclesiastes warns us against trying to replace God with any other source of meaning. "If I get my PhD," "if I get this promotion," "if I find the right spouse," then I will be happy and find purpose. Yet none of these things, no matter how good or satisfying or noble, can replace God. "All things are vanity!" (Ecclesiastes 1:2).

Let's open our hearts to the wise warnings of Ecclesiastes these next few days. Let's allow the enduring wisdom of God contained in this book to wake us up. And let's keep in mind the prayer of St. Teresa of Ávila:

"All things pass, God remains. He who has God lacks nothing. God alone is enough."

Psalm 90:3-6, 12-14, 17
Luke 9:7-9



Give Jesus not only your hands to serve, but your heart to love. Pray with absolute trust in God's loving care for you. Let Him use you without consulting you. Let Jesus fill you with joy that you may preach without preaching.
— St. Teresa of Calcutta
from Love: A Fruit Always in Season


"All things are vanity! What profit has man from all the labor which he toils at under the sun?" It is possible to work your hands to your bone, and lose your family that you said you worked so hard for. This is the mantra of living in a golden cage. You get that house, that car, that job, and you live imprisoned in your home, high mortgage, high interest rates, high car payments, and then? What happened in between payments? Much entertainment in between, the high cost of hobbies and recreation. All things vanity. Facebook used to be MySpace, and it is now the "I"-phone all things about the selfie world. Vanity. It would be better to be remembered by God than man. This is why our Lord says to pray alone with Him, to give silently, to be about the other...and this giving is true Love from Heaven.


We pray today: "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart. Return, O LORD! How long? Have pity on your servants! In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge...".
Memento mori (Latin 'remember that you [have to] die'). Many saints are pictured with a skull. This is an image that they reminded us to remember what we will have to go through, to number your days, to make amends now, to get right with our Lord, to live for what is most important in His eyes, His Holy Will.


We heard today about Herod when he heard: "John has been raised from the dead";
others were saying, "Elijah has appeared" and he "kept trying to see him".
Why? He wanted to see if the one he had killed actually came back to life? He wanted to see the next great thing? Why did Herod want to see? To see if he'd have to kill again? Pretty horrible thoughts, right? Where are we going with this? As you well know, we must go straight to the matter.

"One of the ancient prophets has arisen." Why do you have an interest in things from old prophets? Why does it matter to Herod who Jesus was? Ultimately, what Herod does with our Lord is what most people do with Him....if He doesn't "perform a miracle for me I don't need him in my life". Back to the "I" world. Back to "my" space. Back to selfie selfish world. Herod quizzes Jesus and dismisses him as a nobody, turns him to Pontious Pilate. Pilate did what Herod did, "washed his hands" in the water of neutrality, and in doing so, casts our Lord into a cup, a chalice of fire.
What does this mean? It means to be watchful of your neutral attitude. Every time you decide to remain quiet about charity, someone will suffer. Every time you are silent about the truth, someone will suffer. The message of our Lord is a burning message to a faithful soul. A faithful soul will have a burning yearning to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the only way to alleviate it is to bring forth the Body of Christ to the world.

In this reflection, you are being called to that burning bush fire, called to come before our Lord and onto Holy ground. Yes, Jesus was a prophet of Old, in the burning bush, and then into Moses, who provided the means of the Exodus, salvation through water to the promised land. Think Holy Baptism and Heaven.

Through our baptism, we are called to be children of God, those who embody His very being.

You temple of Christ, you Christ bearer, look to Mother Mary as the right vessel of honor, look at what is the right form to bring Christ to the world, faithfulness, love and compassion, all because of purity, all because of the love of God's holy will.

Lord, teach us. We want to pick and choose what to believe, but you want the whole of yourself consumed, not a morsel, but all.
Help us day by day, step by step, to come closer to your burning and beckoning call...of your great Love


Random Bible verse from online generator:

Psalm 37:4

" Delight yourself in the LORD,

and he will give you the desires of your heart."


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