We need to reawaken the art and discipline of what it means to "taste and savor." Instead of swallowing our food almost whole, we may have to ruminate upon it as we ought to do with a favorite text. When a dish is as delightful to see as it is to eat, it ought not to embarrass us to ask for a second helping. Rather than rushing to leave the table, we may discern that slower eating is as necessary for bodily nourishment as slower reading is for spiritual enlightenment.
†Saint Quote "Crosses release us from this world and by doing so bind us to God." — Blessed Charles de Foucauld
†MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Our freedom always has this marvelous power to make what is taken from us—by life, events, or other people—into something offered. Externally there is no visible difference, but internally everything is transfigured: fate into free choice, constraint into love, loss into fruitfulness. Human freedom is of absolutely unheard-of greatness. It does not confer the power to change everything, but it does empower us to give a meaning to everything, even meaningless things; and that is much better. We are not always masters of the unfolding of our lives, but we can always be masters of the meaning we give them. Our freedom can transform any event in our lives into an expression of love, abandonment, trust, hope, and offering." — Fr. Jacques Philippe, p. 58 AN EXCERPT FROM Interior Freedom
† VERSE OF THE DAY "So submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you of two minds. Begin to lament, to mourn, to weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you." James 4:7-10
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St. Columbanus (543 - 615 A.D.) was born in West Leinster, Ireland. He was a noble, well-educated, and handsome man who was pursued by many women. He sought the advice of a pious religious woman who advised him to flee from his temptations for the sake of his soul, which he did, leaving the world to become a monk against the wishes of his family. He embraced the monastic life and excelled in virtue before being called by God to be a preacher in foreign lands. At the age of 40 he left his monastery with a band of twelve fellow monks on an apostolic mission to spread the Gospel throughout Europe. The holiness and zeal of Columbanus and his companions combatted the laxity of the clergy and the negative influence of the barbarian invaders. Columbanus preferred the solitude of nature and would often live withdrawn from others in a nearby cave, which attracted followers to imitate his lifestyle. He founded and served as abbot of several monasteries known for their strictness, writing a monastic rule governing their life which emphasized obedience, silence, poverty, humility, and chastity. The Rule of St. Columbanus was approved by the Council of Mâcon in 627 A.D., but was later superseded by the Rule of St. Benedict. His feast day is celebrated on November 24th.
Saint Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions
(1791 – December 21, 1839; Companions d. 1820 – 1862)
Andrew Dung-Lac, a Catholic convert ordained to the priesthood, was one of 117 people martyred in Vietnam between 1820 and 1862. Members of the companions group gave their lives for Christ in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, and received beatification during four different occasions between 1900 and 1951. All were canonized during the papacy of Saint John Paul II.
Christianity came to Vietnam through the Portuguese. Jesuits opened the first permanent mission at Da Nang in 1615. They ministered to Japanese Catholics who had been driven from Japan.
Severe persecutions were launched at least three times in the 19th century. During the six decades after 1820, between 100,000 and 300,000 Catholics were killed or subjected to great hardship. Foreign missionaries martyred in the first wave included priests of the Paris Mission Society, and Spanish Dominican priests and tertiaries.
In 1832, Emperor Minh-Mang banned all foreign missionaries, and tried to make all Vietnamese deny their faith by trampling on a crucifix. Like the priest-holes in Ireland during English persecution, many hiding places were offered in homes of the faithful.
Persecution broke out again in 1847, when the emperor suspected foreign missionaries and Vietnamese Christians of sympathizing with a rebellion led by of one of his sons.
The last of the martyrs were 17 laypersons, one of them a 9-year-old, executed in 1862. That year a treaty with France guaranteed religious freedom to Catholics, but it did not stop all persecution.
By 1954, there were over a million Catholics—about seven percent of the population—in the north. Buddhists represented about 60 percent. Persistent persecution forced some 670,000 Catholics to abandon lands, homes and possessions and flee to the south. In 1964, there were still 833,000 Catholics in the north, but many were in prison. In the south, Catholics were enjoying the first decade of religious freedom in centuries, their numbers swelled by refugees.
During the Vietnamese war, Catholics again suffered in the north, and again moved to the south in great numbers. Now reunited, the entire country is under Communist rule.
It may help a people who associate Vietnam only with a 20th-century war to realize that the cross has long been a part of the lives of the people of that country. Even as some people ask again the unanswered questions about United States involvement and disengagement, the faith rooted in Vietnam's soil proves hardier than the forces that willed to destroy it.
Memorial of Saint Andrew Dung-Lac, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 504 Reading 1
I, John, looked and there was a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud one who looked like a son of man, with a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. Another angel came out of the temple, crying out in a loud voice to the one sitting on the cloud, "Use your sickle and reap the harvest, for the time to reap has come, because the earth's harvest is fully ripe." So the one who was sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.
Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven who also had a sharp sickle. Then another angel came from the altar, who was in charge of the fire, and cried out in a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, "Use your sharp sickle and cut the clusters from the earth's vines, for its grapes are ripe." So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and cut the earth's vintage. He threw it into the great wine press of God's fury.
96:10, 11-12, 13
R. (13b) The Lord comes to judge the earth. Say among the nations: The LORD is king. He has made the world firm, not to be moved; he governs the peoples with equity. R. The Lord comes to judge the earth. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the sea and what fills it resound; let the plains be joyful and all that is in them! Then shall all the trees of the forest exult. R. The Lord comes to judge the earth. Before the LORD, for he comes; for he comes to rule the earth. He shall rule the world with justice and the peoples with his constancy. R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, "All that you see here– the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down."
Then they asked him, "Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?" He answered, "See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and 'The time has come.' Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end." Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky."
Daily Meditation: Psalm 96:10-13
The Lord . . . comes to rule the earth . . . with justice. (Psalm 96:13)
The theme for the readings for the end of Ordinary Time is similar to what we will hear in the first two weeks of Advent: Jesus will come again. Our faith tells us that this is good news, but these readings can still scare us. Just look at today's passage from Revelation: God's angel wielding his sharp sickle and reaping the harvest of souls at the end of time!
The Church teaches us how to hear these difficult Scripture passages, and it's exactly what today's responsorial psalm proclaims: "The Lord . . . comes to rule the earth." And how will he rule it? "With justice" (Psalm 96:13).
What will that look like? Try to imagine a world in which every person is valued and respected, a world in which horrors like abortion, human trafficking, war, and racism no longer exist. Imagine a world that is freed once and for all from sin, death, and the lies of the evil one. We all long for this. We all look forward to the day when we are welcomed into the new heaven and the new earth (Revelation 21:1). It may begin with a high-stakes Last Judgment, but it is fulfilled when Jesus comes to reign and makes right all that is wrong in the world.
We don't know how or when this will happen. But God doesn't want us to resign ourselves to the sad state of the world. Jesus inaugurated his kingdom when he came to earth, and he now asks us to work together to build a better world, in whatever area he is calling us to do that.
God doesn't want us to live in fear. He wants us to remember that he is not only just but merciful as well. As long as we stay close to the Lord, we have no reason to be afraid. Instead, we should see Jesus' coming as a sign of joy and the promise of our final, glorious rescue. In spite of the darkness around us, we can place our hope in him and look forward to the reign of God when all things will be put right. Just imagine what a glorious day that will be!
"Lord Jesus, I trust in your mercy and wait with eager expectation for you to come again."
Revelation 14:14-19 Luke 21:5-11
Home. It is an elegant word, at once both simple and far-reaching. Home is that place where we are meant to be safe, nurtured, known for who we are, and able to live and love freely. — Carrie Gress and Noelle Mering from Theology of Home: Finding the Eternal in the Everyday
my2cents: "...and the earth was harvested." Our Lord mentioned the harvest, and laborers, and the wine and the vineyard. We believe we know what it means, right? Can we generate fruit for Him? Good fruit? Yes. It takes work. It takes effort. It doesn't just happen. Working a farm, or a vineyard, is a matter of attention, and application. We would be wise to tend to the matter.
We pray: " The Lord comes to judge the earth Before the LORD, for he comes; for he comes to rule the earth. He shall rule the world with justice and the peoples with his constancy." Has our Lord come to rule already? When was He crowned in Heaven? When will He return to reap the harvest? Has the cycle of the sickle been accomplished? When are the seasons? Our Lord knows when it is time. For that, we must be ready.
They asked our Lord about the end times: "Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?" He doesn't give an exact time and or date. And in the end He said "...mighty signs will come from the sky." My friend, the time has come, for His Word to be fulfilled. Many world wars and catastrophes have struck. Many false rulers and prophets have come. Many that prophesied the end of the world many times are now looked as fools or liars, deceivers. Many dictators have risen and fallen. And many plagues have been cast on the world. When is the time to repent then? Now. When is it the time to praise the Lord? Now. When is it time to be Holy? Now. When is it time to voice out your faith in Jesus? Now. It is time to repent for the sake of the world, not just yours. It is time to apply yourself to the Kingdom, that is not yours. It is the vineyard of the Lord. It is God's flock, His people. You must tend to them.
How do you tend to them? Pope Francis has been put on the negative spotlight for quite a while now, especially by so called "faithful" Catholics. And the same happens to bishops and priests. When Pope Francis entered, he said "you must smell like the flock", I may be paraphrasing. But this means that the shephered must be with His flock always. Once you hang out with the flock, you smell like them, because you are carrying them, healing them, herding them, feeding them.
This is why I said "Tend To Them". God wants fruit. God wants good lamb. We must give to God the good Lamb. Jesus. God wants Jesus. How will Jesus live through me? I have to make it happen in this humus body, humus meaning dirt. I can make good fruit come from within.
Now let me put it into context and real life example which is my whole purpose for writing: For the Solemnity of Christ our King we just celebrated, I attempted to make a fast for 40 days. It was to be simple, no dinners and no candies. Oddly enough, tons of candies were offered at work, like halloween, and daily goodie snacks, and for some strange reason, someone decided it'd be a good idea to put a bucket of 450 gum pieces of bubble gum on my desk. The boss man gobbles down gum all day right in front of me. So strange, temptations every day, and I have to sit at my desk with temptations as I'm hungry or need energy. Dinner time was worse. My stomach hurt and I did some heavy "snacking" at times to help the pain. Finally, this Sunday, Christ the King came. Something strange was happening the week of Christ the King. I was preparing madly for it, spending much more time and effort on preparations for that day. In other words, it became something very special to me. I wanted to do the 40 days as an act of thanksgiving and to honor our King. Do you see what happened? I worked at it inside, and spiritually inside it began happening...an honor of our Lord. I tasted a piece gum yesterday and I would not care for another piece. I no longer desire sweets, but more of the King. You see, you train yourself to give good fruit. The same thing with abstinence. You abstain from something long enough, you no longer desire it....think sinful things that we need to abstain from, and all this as an offering to God our Father Almighty. I am letting you in on secrets. The next time I'd like to offer is for Christmas, offer a gift to our Lord, a fasting and abstinence. the 40 day mark has passed to fast for 40 days, but once December 1st hits, lets offer to our Lord something we love so much.
After all, God Loved Jesus more than anything before letting Him down to Earth. It hurt Him to let go. But only then, did the vine begin to grow.
Lord, I want to help your Kingdom grow in beauty, holiness, and purity. We need your grace in this place. Send down your angels to prune us to perfection.
Random Bible verse from online generator
Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
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