Memorial of St. Dominic

August 8, 2020 – Memorial of St. Dominic

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Dominic began itinerant preaching according to the gospel ideal. He did this work for 10 years and was successful with the ordinary people but not with the leaders.

He and his fellow preachers gradually became a community, and in 1215 Dominic founded a religious house at Toulouse, the beginning of the Order of Preachers or Dominicans.

Dominic’s ideal, and that of his Order, was to organically link a life with God, study, and prayer in all forms, with a ministry of salvation to people by the word of God. His ideal: contemplata tradere: “to pass on the fruits of contemplation” or “to speak only of God or with God.”

Prayer of St. Dominic

May God the Father who made us bless us.

May God the Son send His healing among us.

May God the Holy Spirit move within us and give us eyes with which to see, ears with which to hear, and hands by which His work might be done.

May we walk and preach the word of God to all.

May the angel of peace watch over us and lead us at last, with God’s grace, to the Kingdom.

Amen

Source: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-dominic/

We Are ALL Called to Evangelize

August 7, 2020

Carol and I have been offering an online, livestream “show” three days per week on our parish’s Facebook page. We call it God Needs Storytellers.

Oftentimes during the show I have emphasized that ALL of us have the obligation to preach the gospel; we are ALL called to evangelize.

The following is a message from the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis that I think shares that same message beautifully:

Evangelization is the Church’s deepest identity.  Evangelization brings the good news of the Gospel to all who seek the life-giving message of faith in Jesus Christ.  

Catechesis nourishes, forms and deepens the faith one receives through the ministry of the Church. 

Stewardship is an expression of discipleship rooted in personal relationship with Christ. Good stewards generously share their gifts and blessings with others for the sake of the Kingdom.

The Church is missionary by her very nature. Her mission is to proclaim the salvation of Christ to the ends of the earth. As teachers and pastors, we bishops are responsible for promoting Catholic world missions in the United States. 

We invite you to consider your vocation to share in the Church’s mission. Each one of us, by virtue of our baptism, is called to live our faith and to bear witness to the Gospel in our families, friends, parish communities and society. To share in the Church’s mission of Evangelization and Catechesis is to grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ. 

It is our prayer that our common witness to faith, hope and love will continue to transform the world in the love of Jesus Christ.

Source: https://www.usccb.org/committees/evangelization-catechesis

Memorial of St. Alphonsus Liguori

August 1, 2020 – Memorial of St. Alphonsus Liguori

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A reflection on Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Saint Alphonsus was known above all as a practical man who dealt in the concrete rather than the abstract. His life is indeed a practical model for the everyday Christian who has difficulty recognizing the dignity of Christian life amid the swirl of problems, pain, misunderstanding and failure. Alphonsus suffered all these things. He is a saint because he was able to maintain an intimate sense of the presence of the suffering Christ through it all.

Read about the life of St. Alphonsus by clicking on the link below

Source: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-alphonsus-liguori/

Memorial of St. Ignatius of Loyola

July 31, 2020 – Memorial of St. Ignatius of Loyola

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Ignatius was a true mystic. He centered his spiritual life on the essential foundations of Christianity—the Trinity, Christ, the Eucharist. His spirituality is expressed in the Jesuit motto, Ad majorem Dei gloriam—“for the greater glory of God.”

On his feast day, let’s pray St. Ignatius’ prayer for generosity

Prayer for Generosity

Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will.

Amen

Source: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-ignatius-of-loyola/

Memorial of Saint Martha

July 29, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Martha

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Saint Martha’s Story

Martha, Mary, and their brother Lazarus were evidently close friends of Jesus. He came to their home simply as a welcomed guest, rather than as one celebrating the conversion of a sinner like Zacchaeus or one unceremoniously received by a suspicious Pharisee. The sisters feel free to call on Jesus at their brother’s death, even though a return to Judea at that time seems almost certain death.

No doubt Martha was an active sort of person. On one occasion, she prepares the meal for Jesus and possibly his fellow guests and forthrightly states the obvious: All hands should pitch in to help with the dinner.

Yet, as biblical scholar Father John McKenzie points out, she need not be rated as an “unrecollected activist.” The evangelist is emphasizing what our Lord said on several occasions about the primacy of the spiritual: “…[D]o not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear…. But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:25b, 33a); “One does not live by bread alone” (Luke 4:4b); “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness…” (Matthew 5:6a).

Martha’s great glory is her simple and strong statement of faith in Jesus after her brother’s death. “Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world’” (John 11:25-27).


Reflection

Scripture commentators point out that in writing his account of the raising of Lazarus, Saint John intends that we should see Martha’s words to Mary before Lazarus was raised as a summons that every Christian must obey. In her saying “The teacher is here and is asking for you,” Jesus is calling every one of us to resurrection—now in baptismal faith, forever in sharing his victory over death. And all of us, as well as these three friends, are in our own unique way called to special friendship with him.

Source: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-martha/

 

Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene

July 22, 2020 – Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene

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I once came across a blog by Thomas Smith, focused on the feast of Mary Magdalene. It reiterates the fact that faith is personal, but not private. Below is an excerpt from the blog. To read the entire post, go to:

http://biblestudyforcatholics.com/mary-magdalene-gods-bride-church/

Mary Magdalene therefore not only models the courageous and faithful disciple who remained with Jesus through his passion, but she reveals the Church as a missionary Bride to us. Each member of the Body of Christ, must encounter the Lord, as she did.  We must embrace him with love (something we can do every time we receive a sacrament).  But, no faith, no matter how powerful and personal is ever private.  We cannot simply cling to Jesus for ourselves.  He sends us forth, the Good News of our Risen Lord is meant to be shared and lived out by loving others with his tender love.

The Spirit Helps in Our Weakness

July 19, 2020 – Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today’s second reading comes from Saint Paul’s Letter to the Romans:

The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will. (Romans 8:26-27)

The following reflection comes from BibleRef.com website:

This passage describes the difference between our future and our present as Christians. Our future in Christ, as God’s children and heirs of His kingdom, is everything for which we long. Our present, though, is a life of longing, patient waiting, living in the hope of reality that has not yet arrived. We continue to suffer along with the rest of creation, to groan for the life to come.

How do live in the meantime? A large part of the answer to that question has to do with the Holy Spirit, given to every Christian when he or she comes to faith in Christ. God gives us His own Spirit as a deposit or down payment on that future for which we long.

Through the Spirit, God provides for us in many different ways on this side of eternity. Generally, he helps us in our weakness. Paul is acknowledging here that, even as Christians, we remain weak. Physically, we remain creatures in fragile bodies with sometimes baffling emotions. Spiritually, we can become weak in our faith and/or in our resistance to sinful desires. As Paul will begin to make clear, however, God’s Spirit with us makes all the difference. He continually helps us in and even through our weakness. He steps in. He helps with the burden.

More specifically, Paul writes that we are so weak that at times we do not know what to pray for! We have been given access, in prayer, to our Father God. We feel the need, the longing, for Him, but what do we ask for? The Spirit steps in and carries those unsaid “groanings”—those thoughts and feelings we simply cannot express in human words—to God. He both creates the connection from ourselves to God and provides the content of our communication.

Source: https://www.bibleref.com/Romans/8/Romans-8-26.html

Memorial of Saint Camillus de Lellis

July 18, 2020 Memorial of Saint Camillus de Lellis

The following is information on not-well-known saint, Camillus:

Humanly speaking, Camillus was not a likely candidate for sainthood. His mother died when he was a child, his father neglected him, and he grew up with an excessive love for gambling. At 17, he was afflicted with a disease of his leg that remained with him for life. In Rome he entered the San Giacomo Hospital for Incurables as both patient and servant, but was dismissed for quarrelsomeness after nine months. He served in the Venetian army for three years.

Then in the winter of 1574, when he was 24, Camillus gambled away everything he had—savings, weapons, literally down to his shirt. He accepted work at the Capuchin friary at Manfredonia, and was one day so moved by a sermon of the superior that he began a conversion that changed his life. He entered the Capuchin novitiate, but was dismissed because of the apparently incurable sore on his leg. After another stint of service at San Giacomo, he came back to the Capuchins, only to be dismissed again, for the same reason. Continue reading

Communicating the Love of God

July 16, 2020

Your name and your title
are the desire of our souls.
My soul yearns for you in the night,
yes, my spirit within me keeps vigil for you; (Isaiah 26:7-9)

Here is a great example of showing God that He is “the desire of our souls.” You don’t need to speak Spanish to see the joy in the hearts of these nuns from Colombia.

The Eucharistic Communicators of the Heavenly Father are a community of nuns from Colombia who have a great passion for music and an intense desire to announce God through the gifts he has given them.

Sister María Victoria de Jesús told CNA the mission of their apostolate “is to evangelize through as many means of communication as possible,” and added that the charism of the sisters “is to communicate the love of God the Father.”

Read more at: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/are-these-quite-possibly-the-worlds-happiest-nuns-11539/

 

Memorial of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

July 14, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

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On the feast day of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, the Church offers the following collect prayer at Mass:

Lord God, You called the virgin Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, to shine among the American Indian people as an example of innocence of life. Through her intercession, may all peoples of every tribe, tongue and nation, having been gathered into Your Church, proclaim your greatness in one song of praise. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen

Powerful unifying words for a troubled nation and world…”proclaim your greatness in one song of praise.”

Source: Roman Missal, from the collect of the Mass in honor of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha.