Tag Archives: 2017

Readings & Reflections: Tuesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time & Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 22,2017

Readings & Reflections: Tuesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time & Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 22,2017

Today’s feast reminds us that holiness means depending on God. The Queenship of Mary invites us to exercise our obedience to God in a way that results not in submission, but likeness. Saint Maximillian Kolbe wrote that Mary “has a right to be loved as Queen of all hearts so that through her, hearts would be cleansed and themselves become immaculate, similar and like unto her own heart, and so worty of union with God.” “A queen enjoys full power, even with regards to the king. Mary’s fullness of power is expressed in her intercession for us and her mediation of graces, so that we receive all personal graces from God” (von Balthasar). read more

Readings & Reflections: Monday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Pius X, August 21,2017

Readings & Reflections: Monday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Pius X, August 21,2017

Born in 1835 A.D. in the village of Riese, Italy, to a seamstress mother and cobbler father, Giusseppe Sarto spent most of his priestly life ministering to the people in and around Venice. As pastor, he gave to the poor from his own modest household. As bishop and then Patriarch of Venice, he reformed lax seminaries, yet still found time to teach catechism to children. Elected Pope Pius X in 1903, he led the Church with forthright teachings on the importance of catechesis, Catholic Action, and the errors of Modernism. He condemned the Modernist heresy and promoted the catechesis of adults and children, priestly formation, and frequent reception of the Eucharist. He extended the age of First Communion to children as young as seven. “I was born poor, I lived poor, I die poor,” was his final testament. Many miraculous cures were attributed to this “pope of the Eucharist” during his lifetime. He died in 1914 A.D. read more

Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s video: Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time A & St. Bernard of Clairvaux, August 20, 2017

Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s video: Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time A & St. Bernard of Clairvaux, August 20, 2017

Pope Benedict XVI wrote that “faith makes us light, enabling us to escape our own gravity, which drags us down. The terrible trial of a chronically ill child could have wrecked the Canaanite woman’s spirit, weighing her down with despondency and defeat. But faith lifts her from the heaviness of hopelessness and carries her to the “holy mountain” who is Christ. The promise proclaimed by Saint Paul – that God desires to have mercy on all – moves the woman beyond the burden of fatalism and doubt. Before the Answer who is Christ she will not take no for an answer. Even Christ’s silence does not dissuade her. Instead, it serves to steel her belief, showing her a new tack by which to beg for what God is eager to give her. ‘My God, your silence replies better than the many fervors of my love for you’” (Marthe Robin). read more

Readings & Reflections: Saturday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. John Eudes, August 19,2016

Readings & Reflections: Saturday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. John Eudes, August 19,2016

John was born in 1601 A.D., in Ri, France. Before his birth, his parents who had been praying for an end to their infertility, offered him to God through Mary. John took a vow of chastity at fourteen. He studied with Jesuits at Caen, France. Drawn by the Christ-centered teachings of Cardinal Berulle, he was ordained a priest of the Oratory. At this time the devastating Thirty Years War had all but destroyed the faith of the peasants. John threw himself into mission work, enthusiastically preaching over a hundred six-to-eight-week missions to the countrymen. Struck by the great need for well-educated and self-giving priests, he founded the Society of Jesus and Mary (Eudists) in 1643 for the education of seminarians. The order of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge was established for the care of women who had been drawn into prostitution. He taught others to entrust themselves to the hearts of Jesus and Mary. To his priests: “Our wish, our object, our chief preoccupation must be to form Jesus in ourselves, to make his spirit, his devotion, his affections, his desires, and his disposition live and reign there. All our religious exercises should be directed to this end. It is the work which God has given us to do unceasingly.” John died in 1680 A.D. Pope Leo XIII declared him the “father, doctor, and apostle of the liturgical cult of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. read more

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