†Saint Quote "We can't have full knowledge all at once. We must start by believing; then afterwards we may be led on to master the evidence for ourselves." — St. Thomas Aquinas
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Action relies upon contemplation for its fruitfulness; and contemplation, in its turn, as soon as it has reached a certain degree of intensity, pours out upon our active works some of its overflow. And it is by contemplation that the soul goes to draw directly upon the Heart of God for the graces which it is the duty of the active life to distribute. And so, in the soul of a saint, action and contemplation merge together in perfect harmony to give perfect unity to his life." — Dom Jean-Baptist Chautard, p. 62 AN EXCERPT FROM Soul of the Apostolate
† VERSE OF THE DAY "Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account." Hebrews 4:12-13
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ST. BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX
St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) was one of seven children born to a noble family in Burgundy, France. All seven children, six sons and one daughter, were offered to the service of God by their devout mother. Before St. Bernard was born, a holy man foretold of his great sanctity. As a child Bernard was given an excellent education. He excelled at his studies, and also possessed a personal charm that attracted many people to him. He prayed about his vocation, and at the age of twenty-two left his worldly wealth to become a Cistercian monk. Four of his brothers joined him at the monastery in Citeaux, along with many others belonging to the Burgundian nobility. He later founded and became abbot of the Abbey of Clairvaux, which rapidly grew to over 700 monks and 160 daughter-houses. Bernard, with his natural charisma, was also a skilled arbiter and counselor who proved to be instrumental in the support of the true pope of Rome against the schism of a rival anti-pope. Bernard's reputation for holiness and piety was widely known. He traveled throughout Europe as a preacher and became one of the most famous and influential men of his century. He was a man of reform, and was effective in opposing the appointment of unworthy men to episcopal offices, while others reformed themselves at his censure. St. Bernard composed many theological works and wrote tenderly on devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He is a Doctor of the Church, and the patron of beekeepers and candlemakers. His feast day is August 20th.
Memorial of Saint Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 423 Reading I
Ru 1:1, 3-6, 14b-16, 22
Once in the time of the judges there was a famine in the land; so a man from Bethlehem of Judah departed with his wife and two sons to reside on the plateau of Moab. Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons, who married Moabite women, one named Orpah, the other Ruth. When they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Chilion died also, and the woman was left with neither her two sons nor her husband. She then made ready to go back from the plateau of Moab because word reached her there that the LORD had visited his people and given them food.
Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye, but Ruth stayed with her.
Naomi said, "See now! Your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her god. Go back after your sister-in-law!" But Ruth said, "Do not ask me to abandon or forsake you! For wherever you go, I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge, your people shall be my people, and your God my God."
Thus it was that Naomi returned with the Moabite daughter-in-law, Ruth, who accompanied her back from the plateau of Moab. They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.
146:5-6ab, 6c-7, 8-9a, 9bc-10
R. (1b) Praise the Lord, my soul! Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD, his God, Who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them. R. Praise the Lord, my soul! The LORD keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets captives free. R. Praise the Lord, my soul! The LORD gives sight to the blind. The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
The LORD loves the just. The LORD protects strangers. R. Praise the Lord, my soul! The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts. The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia. R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
Ps 25:4b, 5a
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Teach me your paths, my God, guide me in your truth. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a scholar of the law, tested him by asking, "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" He said to him, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."
Daily Meditation: Ruth 1:1, 3-6, 14-16, 22
Wherever you go, I will go. (Ruth 1:16)
So much loss! Naomi had lost her husband and two sons. And with the death of those sons, Orpah and Ruth had lost their husbands. Being practical women, Orpah and Naomi knew it was time to return to their ancestral homes to seek protection and provision. Ruth, however, chose a different path. Motivated by faithfulness, she pledged to stay with her mother-in-law. And by doing so, she chose to trust that the God of Israel would take care of the both of them.
Ruth knew, however, that trusting in God didn't mean just waiting around for him to come through. It also involved some work. Day after day, she went out and gleaned in the fields. Then, when the time was right, she found the courage to present herself to Boaz, a relative of Naomi's, in the hopes that he would help them. Boaz was so impressed that he married her and invited Naomi to live with them.
Ruth's trust opened the door for her to experience God's faithfulness—in an abundant way. At the end of the Book of Ruth, we learn that Ruth's son became the grandfather of King David!
Maybe you are thinking that God rewards only special people like Ruth. But remember that she was a Gentile—an alien whom many Jews would have considered unclean. She was also a widow, which put her at the lowest rung on the ladder of Israelite society. But that's the whole point of this story: God's blessings are for everyone.
Is there an area of life in which you are struggling? Maybe, like Ruth, you have experienced the loss of home or family. Maybe it's something a little less dire, but it still weighs on you. Whatever it is, surrender it to the Lord. Tell him that you trust in him to take care of you. Even when it's a struggle, keep turning to him and seeking his grace.
And don't forget that trusting in God means taking action as well—just as Ruth did! It means stepping out in faith and believing that, even if you make a wrong turn, God will guide you and help you along the way.
"Father, help me to believe in your goodness. Lord, I want to trust you and follow you in faith."
Psalm 146:5-10 Matthew 22:34-40
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From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "But Ruth said, "Do not ask me to abandon or forsake you! For wherever you go, I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge, your people shall be my people, and your God my God." Thus it was that Naomi returned with the Moabite daughter-in-law, Ruth, who accompanied her back from the plateau of Moab. They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest."
Bethlehem means "house of bread". Ages later, Ruth becomes a predecessor of King David, and this the lineage of our Lord. And our Lord becomes the Living Bread. The lineage is one of fidelity, loyalty, faithfulness.
We pray in the Holy Psalms: "The LORD keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets captives free. *Praise the Lord, my soul!"
Our Lord speaks to us in the Holy Gospel: ""You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."
The first commandment remains true, and our Lord comes to earth to emphasize the truth from the beginning; "I AM the Lord your God, thou shalt not have other Gods before Me." And this means thou shalt not have other loves above Him. For our Lord declares today "Thou Shall Love the Lord Your God, with ALL (not some) but with ALL your heart, soul, mind".
Before loving others properly, first we must love God properly. The heart. What are your every moment desires? The soul. Where is your soul determined to reside? The mind. Where are your every moment thoughts? A clear examine of conscious daily can help you. Examine yourself. You say you love God, but where do your thoughts veer off to? You say you desire Heaven, but you act as if you don't care.
You say you love God, but why are there other loves interfering with our true love in Heaven? And so the fight for pure simplicity, and non-duplicity ensues inside every soul. How can I be pure and purely His?
The answer is faith and faith leads to sacrifice and at times it takes sacrifice to have faith. First believe. First love. Can you blindly follow God to see? Only then will you see.
Let's pray: Lord, I desire to follow Your first commandment so I can fulfill the second on earth, to love You in every soul, by loving and being one with Your soul first! Help us love Thee rightly, always, and forever!
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
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Proverbs 18:24 24 A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
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