Category Archives: Daily readings with reflections

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

Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s Video: Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord A, August 6,2017

Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s Video: Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord A, August 6,2017

Christ’s Tabor radiance is a kind of mirror in which we glimpse the glory that God wills to give his friends. The resplendence of the Transfiguration reveals the fullness of life destined to be ours. The Transfiguration invites us to configuration. As we peer into the glory that pours from every pore of the transfigured Christ, we cast off everything unworthy of our personal relationship with the Infinite, and we take on the luster of the Son of God. Jesus gazes back at us with a luminous look of love that makes us desire to live his transparent beauty – to be luminaries. Silently from Tabor’s splendor, the Savior begs: “Become what you behold!” read more

Readings & Reflections: Saturday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time & Dedication of St. Mary Major Basilica, August 5,2017

Readings & Reflections: Saturday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time & Dedication of St. Mary Major Basilica, August 5,2017

Saint Mary Major, the oldest of Rome’s Marian churches, was consecrated to Mary by Pope Sixtus III around the year 435 A.D. Here Mary is venerated as Salus Populi Romani, “Salvation of the People of Rome.” During his pontificate, Saint John Paul II maintained an oil lamp that burned constantly before the icon of Mary. “In regard to Marian devotion,” he wrote, “each of us must understand that such devotion not only addresses a need of the heart… but… it also corresponds to the objective truth about the Mother of God…. The Mother of God is the Mother of the Church.” read more

Readings & Reflections: Friday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. John Vianney, August 4,2017

Readings & Reflections: Friday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. John Vianney, August 4,2017

John was born in 1786 A.D., in Dardilly, France, to devout peasants. A man of “average intelligence,” John passed his seminary exams with difficulty, and was ordained at the age of twenty-nine. He was ordained a diocesan priest and assigned to the tiny village of Ars, where he worked great good through his attention to the poor, moving preaching, and long hours in the confessional. “Lord, grant me the conversion of my parish; I am willing to suffer whatever you wish, for my entire life!” was his ardent prayer. With little sleep and less food, he catechized, preached, provided for the poor, and heard confessions. Up to sixteen hours a day were spent reconciling sinners to God. Pope Benedict XVI described this audacious “pastoral plan” as “the complete identification of the man with his ministry.” He died in 1859 A.D. at the age of seventy-three and is the patron of priests. “Were we realize fully what a priest is on earth, we would die – not of fright, but of love,” he taught. “Without the priest, the Passion and Death of our Lord would be of no avail…. What use filled with gold, were there no one to open its door?” read more

Readings & Reflections: Thursday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Peter Julian Eymard, August 3,2017

Readings & Reflections: Thursday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Peter Julian Eymard, August 3,2017

Born in 1811 A.D. in La Mure d’Isere, France, Peter Julian Eymard struggled against his father’s virulent anticlericalism to begin studies for the priesthood. Eventually he entered the Marist Order. In 1856 A.D. He founded the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. The priests devoted themselves to adoration and catechizing adults – many of them unemployed – who had not received First Communion. In later years, Peter suffered illness and criticism. He died in 1868 A.D. “The inner gift of self is the real gift,” Peter taught, “because then our Lord becomes our Savior… by giving us his own form of life.” read more

Readings & Reflections: Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Eusebius of Vercelli, August 2,2017

Readings & Reflections: Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Eusebius of Vercelli, August 2,2017

Eusebius was a model bishop of the 4th century: faithful, vigilant, long-suffering. His father had died a martyr. The people of Vercelli, Italy, recognized Eusebius’ own ardent devotion and elected him their bishop. Inspired by the writings of the Desert Fathers, he “brought the monastery to the city,” establishing a strict rule for the diocesan clergy. Because of Eusebius’ fidelity to the Nicene Creed, the Emperor Constantius exiled him to Palestine, where the Arian Bishop Patrophilus had him dragged through the streets and thrown into prison. When he returned to Vercelli, Eusebius urged his flock “to guard the faith jealously, to preserve harmony, to be assiduous in prayer.” He died in 371 A.D. read more

Readings & Reflections: Tuesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Alphonsus Liguori, August 1,2017

Readings & Reflections: Tuesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Alphonsus Liguori, August 1,2017

Born in 1696 A.D. to a noble and devout family, Alphonsus received his degrees in civil and canon law at sixteen. After seven years of outstanding successes in the courtroom, he lost a case after a simple mistake. Driven to prayer, he heard the Lord’s voice: “Leave the world and give yourself to me.” He left off a promising law career to enter the priesthood to embark on a priestly ministry to the disenfranchised. He was drawn to work with thieves, prostitutes, and the destitute. At his “evening chapels” he led the laborers of Naples in prayer and study of the catechism. In 1732 A.D., he founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (the Redemptorists) to give missions among the peasants and endured jealousy from the lax diocesan clergy and suspicion from civil authorities. His moral theology was forged in the trenches. Against the reigning Jansenism, with its emphasis on justice, Alphonsus preached mercy from his see at Sant’Agata Dei Goti, Italy, and in his many writings. As bishop he preached God’s mercy between bouts of crippling rheumatoid arthritis. He suffered at the end of his life from the deception of an ambitious cleric. Throughout, the Eucharist was his strength. “If you desire to find him immediately, see – he is quite close to you. Tell him what you desire, for it is to console you and grant your prayer that he remains in the tabernacle.” He died in 1787 A.D. and was named a Doctor of the Church in 1871 A.D. read more