Friday, July 26, 2013

Saints Joachim and Ann, Patrons of Generosity to Life

"Blessed are your eyes, for they see.
And blessed are your ears for they hear."

Saints Joachim and Ann, elderly parents of Mary the Mother of our Savior and heavenly patrons of generosity to new life, pray for us. May all open their eyes and ears to see and hear Jesus Christ teaching in His Church, especially in regard to the holy embrace of husband and wife, called to be radically open always to new life. Amen.
+ mcitl

Art: SS. Joachim and Ann, St. Ann Church, Arlington Virginia, work of the Saint Joseph Studio,

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Feast of Saint James: "Can you drink the chalice..."

... that I am going to drink?"
They said to him, "We can."
He replied,
"My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."
When the ten heard this,
they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said,
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.

Those who exercise authority should do so as a service. "Whoever would be great among you must be your servant." The exercise of authority is measured morally in terms of its divine origin, its reasonable nature and its specific object. No one can command or establish what is contrary to the dignity of persons and the natural law.
-- CCC 2235

Photo by Michael Krier: Saint James at Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Saint Sharbel Makhluf: "Blessed they who dwell in your house!"

... continually they praise you.
-- Ps 84:3, 4, 5-6a and 8a, 11

Without always professing the three evangelical counsels publicly, hermits "devote their life to the praise of God and salvation of the world through a stricter separation from the world, the silence of solitude and assiduous prayer and penance."
-- CCC 920

They manifest to everyone the interior aspect of the mystery of the Church, that is, personal intimacy with Christ. Hidden from the eyes of men, the life of the hermit is a silent preaching of the Lord, to whom he has surrendered his life simply because he is everything to him. Here is a particular call to find in the desert, in the thick of spiritual battle, the glory of the Crucified One.

Monday, July 22, 2013

S Mary Magdalene: "I sought Him whom my heart loves"

I found Him whom my heart loves.

1391 Holy Communion augments our union with Christ. The principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion is an intimate union with Christ Jesus. Indeed, the Lord said: "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him." Life in Christ has its foundation in the Eucharistic banquet: "As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me."

On the feasts of the Lord, when the faithful receive the Body of the Son, they proclaim to one another the Good News that the first fruits of life have been given, as when the angel said to Mary Magdalene, "Christ is risen!" Now too are life and resurrection conferred on whoever receives Christ. (CCC 1391)

Saint Mary Magdalene discovered the love that is the deepest, most true and most satisfying of all loves: Jesus Christ and, as for all of us, Him truly present in the Eucharist.

She returned that love in the only way possible: this Love above all loves informed and formed her life, truly transforming her into the greatest of all lovers, a saint.

Let us pray that this greatest of all loves, the Love that IS, will be our treasure, the power which transforms our lives as well.

(Art: "Noli me tangere" by Giotto.)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Our Lady of Mount Carmel: "something greater than the temple is here"

For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.
-- Mt 12:1-8

Only the divine identity of Jesus' person can justify so absolute a claim as "He who is not with me is against me"; and his saying that there was in him "something greater than Jonah,. . . greater than Solomon", something "greater than the Temple"; his reminder that David had called the Messiah his Lord, and his affirmations, "Before Abraham was, I AM", and even "I and the Father are one."
-- CCC 590

The Gospel reports many incidents when Jesus was accused of violating the sabbath law. But Jesus never fails to respect the holiness of this day. He gives this law its authentic and authoritative interpretation: "The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath." With compassion, Christ declares the sabbath for doing good rather than harm, for saving life rather than killing. The sabbath is the day of the Lord of mercies and a day to honor God. "The Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath."
-- CCC 2173

Monday, July 15, 2013

Saint Bonaventure: "My soul yearns for you in the night"

" ... yes, my spirit within me keeps vigil for you."
--Is 26:7-9, 12, 16-19

Scripture and Tradition never cease to teach and celebrate this fundamental truth: "The world was made for the glory of God." St. Bonaventure explains that God created all things "not to increase his glory, but to show it forth and to communicate it", for God has no other reason for creating than his love and goodness: "Creatures came into existence when the key of love opened his hand." The First Vatican Council explains:

This one, true God, of his own goodness and "almighty power", not for increasing his own beatitude, nor for attaining his perfection, but in order to manifest this perfection through the benefits which he bestows on creatures, with absolute freedom of counsel "and from the beginning of time, made out of nothing both orders of creatures, the spiritual and the corporeal. . ."
-- CCC 293
Art: Vittore Crivelli, Saint Bonaventure

Saturday, July 13, 2013

“And who is my neighbor?”

“The one who treated him with mercy.... Go and do likewise.”
-- Lk 10:25-37

“The duty of making oneself a neighbor to others and actively serving them becomes even more urgent when it involves the disadvantaged, in whatever area this may be. ‘As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’" 

-- CCC 1932

Many sins wrong our neighbor. One must do what is possible in order to repair the harm (e.g., return stolen goods, restore the reputation of someone slandered, pay compensation for injuries). Simple justice requires as much. But sin also injures and weakens the sinner himself, as well as his relationships with God and neighbor. Absolution takes away sin, but it does not remedy all the disorders sin has caused. Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must ‘make satisfaction for" or ‘expiate’ his sins. This satisfaction is also called ‘penance.’ “(CCC 1459)

"The works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessities. Instructing, advising, consoling, comforting are spiritual works of mercy, as are forgiving and bearing wrongs patiently. The corporal works of mercy consist especially in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and burying the dead. Among all these, giving alms to the poor is one of the chief witnesses to fraternal charity: it is also a work of justice pleasing to God:

"He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none and he who has food must do likewise. But give for alms those things which are within; and behold, everything is clean for you. If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?"
-- CCC 2447
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, C

Friday, July 12, 2013

"I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves"

"Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: 'Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.' Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep's clothing." - CCC 2285 (Friday of the Fourteenth Week)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Saint Benedict: "No disciple is above his teacher"

What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.
-- Mt 10:24-33

The disciple of Christ must not only keep the faith and live on it, but also profess it, confidently bear witness to it, and spread it: "All however must be prepared to confess Christ before men and to follow him along the way of the Cross, amidst the persecutions which the Church never lacks." Service of and witness to the faith are necessary for salvation: "So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven."
-- CCC 1816

Photo by Ghanbari/AP: President and Mrs. Obama meet Pope Benedict XVI yesterday at the Apostolic Palace, Vatican City.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"Jesus sent out these Twelve"

"The Church is apostolic because she is founded on the apostles, in three ways: - she was and remains built on "the foundation of the Apostles," the witnesses chosen and sent on mission by Christ himself; - with the help of the Spirit dwelling in her, the Church keeps and hands on the teaching, the "good deposit," the salutary words she has heard from the apostles; - she continues to be taught, sanctified, and guided by the apostles until Christ's return, through their successors in pastoral office: the college of bishops, "assisted by priests, in union with the successor of Peter, the Church's supreme pastor": You are the eternal Shepherd who never leaves his flock untended. Through the apostles you watch over us and protect us always. You made them shepherds of the flock to share in the work of your Son. . . ." - CCC 857 (Wednesday of the Fourteenth Week)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"His heart was moved with pity"

“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” -Mt 9:32-38 "In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth. This is what the Church means by saying that the priest, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, acts in persona Christi Capitis: "It is the same priest, Christ Jesus, whose sacred person his minister truly represents. Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is truly made like to the high priest and possesses the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself (virtute ac persona ipsius Christi). Christ is the source of all priesthood: the priest of the old law was a figure of Christ, and the priest of the new law acts in the person of Christ." -CCC 1548 (Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week of the Year)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

"do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven": 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Holy Spirit is humble, having subjected Himself in Christ as the Divine Servant of His Body the Church for our salvation.

In his new encyclical letter,Lumen Fidei, Pope Francis opens for us the mystery of faith through the symbol of light which Christ used to describe Himself His mission as Savior: "I am the Light of the World." The common path of faith in the Church is made possible by the shared light of Jesus Christ. The Suffering servanthood of Christ as universal Savior continues through the indwelling Holy Spirit in the Church today, that Person of the Trinity which makes possible any sharing in Christ's light of grace.

The sacramental life, prepared for by the proclamation of the Word, which are the two principal building blocks of Catholic liturgy, are the works of the Spirit in the Church, the place of faith. In order to make possible the work of the Spirit in this way Christ the Lord instituted the sacramental ministry of priesthood so that the Body of Christ would be built up in that same Spirit for the salvation of the world. We are called to humbly receive this gift and to humbly offer this gift to others, having received so that we may in turn give as does the Lord.

Pope Francis continually urges us to find rejoicing not in looking inward but rather in going out to the margins of faith, seeking others as Christ urges us in His love, to build up His Body. We cannot do this on our own, but only in Christ. The Spirit is subjected to the ministry of priests so that celebrating the Eucharist and giving the Body of Christ to His people, they may then go out, taking Him by graced prayer and service, to others. In this way, we learn not to rejoice that the Holy Spirit is subjected to us in the life of Christ but that our names are written in heaven.

We look forward, in the journey of Faith, to the Kingdom of heaven, faith's goal. Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.

Thank you for reading my post.

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Saint Maria Goretti: "How long will they be unable to attain innocence?"

Though I write for him my many ordinances, they are considered as a stranger's.

-- Hosea 8: 4-7, 11-13

"People should cultivate (chastity) in the way that is suited to their state of life. Some profess virginity or consecrated celibacy which enables them to give themselves to God alone with an undivided heart in a remarkable manner. Others live in the way prescribed for all by the moral law, whether they are married or single." (CDF, Persona Humana 11). Married people are called to live conjugal chastity; others practice chastity in continence...

-- CCC 2349