Category Archives: Daily readings with reflections

Readings & Reflections: Friday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Louis of Toulouse, August 18,2017

Readings & Reflections: Friday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Louis of Toulouse, August 18,2017

Joshua addresses the people, and in the process provides a catalogue of the astounding mercies and graces that the Lord has bestowed on his people: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, the Red Sea crossing, the fall of Jericho. All of it points to the victory of God’s love over what we would otherwise deem impossible. The ability to love in this way is what God imparts sacramentally to married people. read more

Readings & Reflections: Thursday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Joan of the Cross, August 17,2017

Readings & Reflections: Thursday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Joan of the Cross, August 17,2017

The key to forgiving others is remembering just how much we ourselves have been lavishly, undeservedly forgiven. Our recollection of such a miracle of mercy moves us eagerly to forgive “seventy-seven times” those who offend us, delighting to see their sins “flowing downstream” like the waters of the Jordan until they “disappear entirely.” read more

Readings & Reflections: Wednesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Stephen of Hungary, August 16,2017

Readings & Reflections: Wednesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Stephen of Hungary, August 16,2017

Stephen was born in 925 A.D. and baptized at the age of ten alongside his father. At the age of twenty-five he was crowned the first king of Hungary. As a young man, he united the disparate tribes of the Hungarians and strove to Christianize the Hungarian tribes by founding monasteries, building churches, and abolishing pagan laws. To his kingly accomplishments Stephen added the witness of a saintly family life. He, his wife, Gisela, and his son, Emeric, are all venerated in Hungary. It is said that Stephen wrote the Admonition, advice letters, for Emeric: “Be humble in this life, that God may raise you up in the next…. Be gentle so that you may never oppose justice. Be honorable so that you may never voluntarily bring disgrace upon anyone.” In the year 1000 A.D., Pope Sylvester II granted him the authority to establish episcopal sees, and acknowledged him as king. Henceforth, Stephen worked tirelessly to replace pagan practices with an authentic Christian culture. He built and endowed churches and established tithes to support priests. He gave tenderly to the poor from his own resources. After a long illness, Stephen died in 1038, and he was canonized in 1083. He is the first king and patron saint of Hungary. read more

Readings & Reflections: Monday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, August 14,2017

Readings & Reflections: Monday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, August 14,2017

Maximilian Kolbe was born in Russian Poland to a young laborer and his wife in 1894 A.D. At the age of ten, Mary appeared to him and offered him two crowns: red, for martyrdom, or white, for purity. He chose both. As a young Franciscan friar, his passion for Mary, his “Mamusia,” was expressed in the Knights Immaculata, the movement of Marian consecration he zealously spread through a print apostolate. He promoted the devotion to Mary under the title “Immaculata.” In February 1941, he was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Auschwitz where he covertly continued his priestly ministry: praying, consoling, hearing confessions. When a young father cried out in agony as he was sentenced to the starvation bunker, Maximilian offered to take his place. He died ten days later on August 14,1941 as a “martyr of charity.” Auschwitz survivor Jerzy Bielecki called Maximilian’s self-offering “a shock filled with hope, bringing new life and strength…. It was like a powerful shaft of light in the darkness of the camp.” Pope John Paul II canonized Maximilian as a “martyr of charity” in 1982. read more

Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s Video: Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time A & Sts. Pontian and Hippolytus, August 13,2017

Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s Video: Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time A & Sts. Pontian and Hippolytus, August 13,2017

Pope Benedict XVI made the point that “the essence of faith is that something meets us that is greater than anything we can think of for ourselves. That is literally what happens to the disciples as they see Jesus walking on the water. Jesus summons them to faith – a way of approaching reality that entails leaving behind our old way of measuring things and seeing all according to this Something Greater that meets us. We should not be surprised that Christ often will come in ways that we least expect, as Elijah found out in that tiny whispering sound. And when such faith takes hold of us, we want everyone we know to share in it, as Saint Paul testifies today.” read more

Readings & Reflections: Saturday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Jane Frances de Chantal, August 12,2017

Readings & Reflections: Saturday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Jane Frances de Chantal, August 12,2017

The daughter of the president of the Burgundy parliament, Jane was born in Dijon, France in 1572 A.D. and married Baron de Chantal at the age of twenty. After of nine years of happy marriage, her husband died in a hunting accident. In the tradition of the holy widows, Jane folded her sufferings into prayer, devoting herself to her children’s education and serving her disagreeable father-in-law with kindness. Jane ably managed her husband’s estate to provide for the care of the poor and bereft. After the baron’s death, she embraced an austere life, caring for her children and her father-in-law. When she met Francis de Sales in 1604, she recognized him as the spiritual director God had chosen for her. Together they founded the Visitation Order in 1610 A.D. for women who did not have the stamina for the life of the traditional orders. In the place of physical mortification, the Visitation nuns devote themselves to total trust in humble and gentle service in the spirit of Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth. To her daughters in religion, Jane wrote many letters of reassuring directness: “Hold your eyes on God and leave the doing to him. That is all the doing you have to worry about.” By the time of her death in 1641 A.D., she had founded over sixty-five convents. read more

Readings & Reflections: Friday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time & Memorial of Saint Claire, August 11,2017

Readings & Reflections: Friday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time & Memorial of Saint Claire, August 11,2017

Of noble birth and reputed beauty, Clare heard Francis of Assisi preach a Lenten retreat in 1212 A.D. Captivated by this new witness of a life “after the manner of the holy Gospel,” Clare stole from her home on the night of Palm Sunday to join Francis. With him she co-founded the Poor Clares, establishing a first house at San Damiano. The women went barefoot, wore rough tunics, and begged for food. Saint Francis made her the head of the order of women, who devoted themselves to Eucharistic prayer and joyful poverty. It was in 1234 A.D. that Clare famously displayed the Blessed Sacrament on the convent wall as Frederick II’s army attacked. Prostrating herself, she prayed, “Good Lord, I beg you: defend those I cannot protect.” When Clare raised the ciborium, the soldiers scattered. In imitation of Christ, Clare desired to be the servant of all. “Do what you want with me,” she told her sisters; “I am yours because my will is no longer my own. I have given it to God.” For the next forty years she lived in a convent attached to the church of San Damiano, leading the young women who joined her, the first Poor Clares. When Innocent IV composed a rule for her nuns that permitted them to receive an annual living, Clare responded with her own stricter version, the first women’s rule written by a woman. She died in 1253 A.D. with the approved rule in her hand and was canonized only two years later. read more

Readings & Reflections: Wednesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), August 9,2017

Readings & Reflections: Wednesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), August 9,2017

Edith was born to a Jewish family in Breslau, Germany (today part of Poland), in 1891 A.D. At fourteen, she became an atheist, but her sincere search for “eternal values as a scholar of philosophy led her to the threshold of the Church. After reading the autobiography of Saint Teresa of Avila at a friend’s house, she exclaimed: “This is the truth!” Ten years later she entered Carmel as Teresa Benedicta of the Cross at the age of forty-two. At her profession in 1938, in the face of growing German anti-Semitism, she told her prioress: “Human action cannot help us, but only the sufferings of Christ. My aspiration is to share them.” She was seized by Nazi soldiers at the Carmel in Echt, the Netherlands, on August 2,1942, and died in the gas chamber at the Auschwitz concentration camp seven days later. Pope John Paul II canonized her in 1998 as a “martyr for love.” Teresa is venerated as a “martyr for love” who consciously offered her life for the salvation of her people. read more

Readings & Reflections: Tuesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Dominic, August 8,2017

Readings & Reflections: Tuesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Dominic, August 8,2017

Born in 1170 A.D. in Calaruega, Spain, Dominic de Guzman attended the university at Palencia. Ordained an Augustinian Canon, he went to France where the Albigensians were misleading the faithful with their notion of “purity” founded on a rejection of the material order. Dominic converted many through his austere witness and his sound preaching informed by Scripture. Later Thomas Aquinas expressed this characteristic rhythm of Dominican life: “To contemplate and to give to others the fruits of contemplation.” Young men joined him and, in 1216 A.D., the Order of Preachers was approved by Pope Honorius III who looked to Dominic’s brethren as “future champions of the faith and the true lights of the world.” He also founded an order of contemplative nuns in 1206 A.D. Dominic died in 1221 A.D. “Your strong love burned with heavenly fire and God-like zeal. With all the fervor of an impetuous heart and with an avowal of perfect poverty, you spent your whole self in the cause of the apostolic life” (Blessed Jordan of Saxony). read more

Readings & Reflections: Monday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Cajetan, August 7,2017

Readings & Reflections: Monday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Cajetan, August 7,2017

The children of Israel lament, “We are famished,” yet “we see nothing before us but this manna.” The disciples of Jesus lament: The people are famished, but all we have is five loaves and two fish. God’s response is always superabundance: from manna, to multiplied loaves, to the Eucharistic flesh of his own Son.

AMDG+

Opening Prayer

“Lord Jesus Christ, you satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts and you feed us with the finest of wheat (Psalm 81:16). Fill me with gratitude for your blessings and give me a generous heart that I may freely share with others what you have given to me.” In your NAME, I pray. Amen. read more