Readings & Reflections: The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus & St. John Fisher, June 23,2017
“The term ‘Sacred Heart of Jesus’ denotes the entire mystery of Christ, the totality of his being, and his person…. Devotion to the Sacred Heart is a wonderful historical expression of the Church’s piety for Christ…. It calls for a fundamental attitude of conversion and reparation, of love and gratitude, apostolic commitment and dedication to Christ and his saving work” (Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy # 166, 172). “The Sacred Heart of Jesus… ‘is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that… love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings’ without exception” (CCC:478). “The essential nucleus of Christianity is expressed in the Heart of Jesus; in Christ the whole of the revolutionary newness of the Gospel was revealed and given to us: the Love that saves us and already makes us live in God’s eternity. Even our shortcomings, our limitations, and our weaknesses must lead us back to the Heart of Jesus. His divine Heart calls to our hearts, inviting us to come out of ourselves, to abandon our human certainties to trust in him and, following his example, to make of ourselves a gift of love without reserve” ( Pope Benedict XVI).read more
Readings & Reflections: Thursday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time & St. Thomas More, June 22,2017
St. Thomas More was, of course, a man for all seasons . . .
. . . a classical scholar, a humanist, a statesman, a politician, a man of prayer, the author of the famed Utopia, a theologian, and a lawyer by profession.
And yet, St. Thomas More is also a man for our times and a model for us today as we strive to serve God in our social, religious, and familial relationships.
His contemporaries knew him to possess a keen wit, a merry sense of humor, and a great common sense. He was a warm and friendly man who always seemed more concerned about the needs of his friends than his own needs. His friendship extended to looking after the poor in his village and to singing in his church choir.read more
Readings & Reflections: Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time & St. Aloysius Gonzaga, June 21,2017
Aloysius was born at Castiglione, Mantua, Italy, of the wealthy and connected Gonzaga family. From early childhood, he accompanied his father on military exercises as a preparation to defend the family estate in the ducal wars. Aloysius took on the rough language of the soldiers, but was horrified when he was told of their crude meanings. At the age of seven, he sought solace in daily prayer in Mary. Deeply sensitive to the spiritual dangers of his lavish, but violent, surroundings, he fasted and sought mortification. After reading the stories of the Jesuit missionaries in India, he declared to imitate their simplicity and sacrifice. At seventeen, he renounced his title, entered the Jesuits, and began studies in Rome. He was studying in Rome when the plague struck. He begged alms for the victims and tended the sickest patients. When he succumbed to the disease himself, he is said to have exclaimed, “We are going!” – to which a fellow Jesuit remarked. “He talks of going to heaven as we talk of going to Frascati!” He died in 1591 A.D. at the age of twenty-three, holding a crucifix.read more
Readings & Reflections: Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time & St. Paulinus of Nola, June 20,2017
We become perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect when we “test the genuineness of our love” by showing concern for others – especially by loving our enemies. We love them with the love that we receive from Jesus, who “for your sake became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich,” In Christ we are rich enough to love our enemies.
Readings & Reflections: Monday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time & St. Romuald, June 19,2017
Brutal territorial wars raged in Italy of Romuald’s day. A native of Ravenna, Italy and after he witnessed his father kill a man in a duel, Romuald sought solace in monastic life in a Cluniac monastery. But his desire for strictness exceeded that of his fellow monks. Influenced by the hermit Marinus and the writings of the desert Fathers, Romuald conceived a love for solitary prayer. Longing for martyrdom, he repeatedly tried to undertake a mission to Hungary, but fell ill each time he set out. Again, it was the writings of the Desert Fathers that inspired Romuald to begin his work of founding hermitages throughout northern Italy, thus reviving the ancient tradition of solitary prayer. His greatest foundation was at Camaldoli, where he established a new monastic community rooted in the Rule of Saint Benedict. The monks live in simple hermitages and come together for liturgy and communal meals. Romuald died in 1027 A.D.read more
Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s Video: The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ A & Venerable Matt Talbot, June 18,2017
St. John Paul II reminded us that in commemorating the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, the Church “does not only celebrate the Eucharist but solemnly bears it in procession, publicly proclaiming that the sacrifice of Christ is for the salvation of the whole world.” We rejoice in this post-Easter expression of our Eucharistic affection in order to deepen our attachment to the unique and unending Event that transforms our lives. As the Sequence for Corpus Christi begs: “Jesus, of your love befriend us, You refresh us, you defend u, Your eternal goodness send us In the land of life to see.”read more
Readings & Reflections: Saturday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Joseph Cafasso, June 17,2017
Jesus commands, “Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes’.” We can do so because Christ has made us “a new creation”; by his grace we become “the righteousness of God.” Our pronounced conviction witnesses to the world that “we are ambassadors for Christ.” By our certainty others behold that “new things have come.” Christ’s “Yes” of love to us impels us.read more
Readings & Reflections: Thursday of 10th Week in Ordinary Time & St. Marguerite d’Youville, June 15,2017
Our righteousness will surpass that of the scribes and the Pharisees if we will turn to the Lord who removes the veil from over our hearts. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” The Lord’s Spirit moves us to take the initiative in becoming reconciled with others. By that self-surrender, we are transformed from glory to glory to righteousness.
Readings & Reflections: Wednesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Albert Chmielowski, June 14,2017
Those who obey the least of the commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven. For they use their freedom to live by the “confidence we have through Christ toward God,” and not according to some self-imposed measure or plan. What endures in their lives will be glorious.
“Lord Jesus, grant this day, to direct and sanctify, to rule and govern our hearts and bodies, so that all our thoughts, words and deeds may be according to your Father’s law and thus may we be saved and protected through your mighty help.” In your Name, I pray. Amen.read more
Readings & Reflections: Tuesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Anthony of Padua, June 13,2017
Anthony began religious life as an Augustinian canon in his native Portugal. Moved by the witness of the first Franciscan martyrs, he joined the Friars Minor, hoping for martyrdom, but sickness prevented him. He was sent to a hermitage in Forli, Italy, where he performed menial tasks. On one occasion, Anthony attended an ordination alongside Dominicans and fellow Franciscans. Confusion arose when it was time to preach, for no one had prepared a sermon. Anthony humbly stepped forward and delivered an address that stunned his listeners. Hearing of this, Saint Francis asked Anthony to instruct the brothers in theology. He preached throughout Italy and France. A popular intercessor for those who seek lost objects, Anthony was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1946 A.D. His teaching comes down to us in sermons composed for his fellow Franciscans. Considering the crucified Lord, Anthony writes: “Christ who is your life is hanging before you, so that you may look at the cross as in a mirror. There you will be able to know how mortal were your wounds, that no medicine other than the Blood of the Son of God could heal…. Nowhere other than looking at himself in the mirror of the cross can man better understand how much he is worth.” Anthony died in Padua, Italy in 1231 A.D. at the age of thirty-six.read more
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