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Catholic Caucus:Daily Mass Readings,10-01-12, M,St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin&Doctor/Church ^ | 10-01-12 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 09/30/2012 8:34:57 PM PDT by Salvation

October 1, 2012

Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church


Reading 1 Jb 1:6-22

One day, when the angels of God came to present themselves before the LORD,
Satan also came among them.
And the LORD said to Satan, "Whence do you come?"
Then Satan answered the LORD and said,
"From roaming the earth and patrolling it."
And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you noticed my servant Job,
and that there is no one on earth like him,
blameless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil?"
But Satan answered the LORD and said,
"Is it for nothing that Job is God-fearing?
Have you not surrounded him and his family
and all that he has with your protection?
You have blessed the work of his hands,
and his livestock are spread over the land.
But now put forth your hand and touch anything that he has,
and surely he will blaspheme you to your face."
And the LORD said to Satan,
"Behold, all that he has is in your power;
only do not lay a hand upon his person."
So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

And so one day, while his sons and his daughters
were eating and drinking wine
in the house of their eldest brother,
a messenger came to Job and said,
"The oxen were ploughing and the asses grazing beside them,
and the Sabeans carried them off in a raid.
They put the herdsmen to the sword,
and I alone have escaped to tell you."
While he was yet speaking, another came and said,
"Lightning has fallen from heaven
and struck the sheep and their shepherds and consumed them;
and I alone have escaped to tell you."
While he was yet speaking, another messenger came and said,
"The Chaldeans formed three columns,
seized the camels, carried them off,
and put those tending them to the sword,
and I alone have escaped to tell you."
While he was yet speaking, another came and said,
"Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine
in the house of their eldest brother,
when suddenly a great wind came across the desert
and smote the four corners of the house.
It fell upon the young people and they are dead;
and I alone have escaped to tell you."
Then Job began to tear his cloak and cut off his hair.
He cast himself prostrate upon the ground, and said,

"Naked I came forth from my mother's womb,
and naked shall I go back again.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
blessed be the name of the LORD!"

In all this Job did not sin,
nor did he say anything disrespectful of God.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 17:1bcd, 2-3, 6-7

R. (6) Incline your ear to me and hear my word.
Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
attend to my outcry;
hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit.
R. Incline your ear to me and hear my word.
From you let my judgment come;
your eyes behold what is right.
Though you test my heart, searching it in the night,
though you try me with fire, you shall find no malice in me.
R. Incline your ear to me and hear my word.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my word.
Show your wondrous mercies,
O savior of those who flee
from their foes to refuge at your right hand.
R. Incline your ear to me and hear my word.

Gospel Lk 9:46-50

An argument arose among the disciples
about which of them was the greatest.
Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child
and placed it by his side and said to them,
"Whoever receives this child in my name receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
For the one who is least among all of you
is the one who is the greatest."

Then John said in reply,
"Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name
and we tried to prevent him
because he does not follow in our company."
Jesus said to him,
"Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you."

TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; ordinarytime; prayer; saints
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To: All
Vultus Christi


 on October 1, 2012 8:04 AM |

La Petite Thérèse

Thérèse is so often referred to as “little,” that we risk not seeing the breadth and depth that are really characteristic of her, and the immensity of her desires. Paradoxically, there is nothing small, nothing narrow in this painfully sensitive middle-class girl who, at fifteen years of age, closed herself up in Carmel with a certain number of saints, a certain number of women not altogether right in the head, her own sisters, and one rather unusual prioress. Once Thérèse opened herself to the workings of the Holy Spirit, her heart began to expand -- even in the midst of real emotional, spiritual, and physical sufferings, -- until it reached the dazzling dimensions of the charity of Christ.

Spouse of Christ and Mother of Souls

In the beginning of her journey, Thérèse recognized herself in the classic lines of every feminine vocation: “To be your spouse, O Jesus, to be a Carmelite, to be, by virtue of my union with you, the mother of souls, this ought to be enough for me . . . but it is not so . . . I feel other vocations within myself . . . O my Jesus! To all these crazy aspirations of mine what will you reply? Today, you want to fulfill other desires of mine bigger than the universe.”

Immense Desires

The liturgy, rather audaciously, applies the prophecy of Isaiah to Thérèse. “Rejoice with Jerusalem” becomes “Rejoice with Thérèse and be glad because of her, all you who love her” (Is 66:10). The passion of Thérèse was to love and to be loved. And love was given her. It rushed upon her like a river, invaded her like an overflowing torrent. She dared to open herself to immense desires, and God gave to her with immensity.

My Heaven Will Be Spent on Earth

Many of us have loved Thérèse for a long time, loved her as a sister, a friend very close to us, someone capable of understanding both the little things that make up our day to day lives and the big things that weigh heavily on us at certain moments, testing our faith in love and causing hope’s little flame to flicker. We are all, I think, fond of repeating that promise of hers that has been translated into countless languages, and rightly so: “If the good God grants my desires, my heaven will be spent on earth even until the end of the world. Yes, I want to spend my heaven doing good on earth.”

Into Weakness

If we are to share in the spiritual experience of Thérèse, it will not be by the hammer blows of a steel willpower, nor by dint of effort and striving, nor by a glorious record of victories. It is not by going up but rather by going down, by descending into the last holdouts of our weakness, into the emptiness of a terrible and magnificent poverty, that we will find ourselves with Thérèse in the peace of the weaned child on its mother’s lap (Ps 130:2).

Where the Father Waits

There, in an intimacy open to the little, the broken, and the poor, and closed to everyone else, the Father surprises the friends of Thérèse with the mysteries of the kingdom hidden from the learned and the clever, and revealed to children (Lk 10:21). God waits for us, not on the summits of perfection with crown in hand to reward what we, of ourselves, may have done. He waits for us rather with all the tenderness of His motherly heart, exactly where we fall weak, bruised, humiliated, and reduced to powerlessness. Yes, we fall, but only to discover with amazement that it is into the bosom of the Father. There, in the gentleness of the Spirit, the Son waits to welcome us, saying, “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28).

Believe in Love

On the lips of Thérèse, this word -- “Father” -- learned from the lips of Jesus, was, in some way, reinvented for our times. On the lips of Thérèse, the word “Father” was rescued from the bland formulas of a piety past its expiration date, to be pronounced for our world and for our time with the radical newness of the Gospel. If we learn anything at all from this twenty-four year old Doctor of the Church, let it be this: to dare to say “Father” in the breath of the Holy Spirit, to dare to call God “Father” with the boldness of the little, the poor, and the half crazy, a boldness that shocks the custodians of a religion of convention and routine to speak the Gospel again to those who, hoping against all hope, believe in Love.

41 posted on 10/01/2012 4:20:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi


Confidence in Merciful Love

Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, Doctor of the Church, is one of several heralds of Divine Mercy sent to quicken and warm the Church of the 19th and 20th centuries with a message of confidence in the merciful love of God. Among the other heralds of Divine Mercy would be, of course, Saint Faustina (1905-1938), and Mother Yvonne-Aimée de Jésus (1901-1951).

Saint Thérèse spoke of the merciful love of God (l'Amour miséricordieux); Mother Yvonne-Aimée disseminated her miraculous little invocation of the merciful goodness (miséricordieuse bonté) of Jesus, the King of Love; and Saint Faustina, a contemporary of Mother Yvonne-Aimée, became the Apostle of Divine Mercy to the whole world.

On this Feast of Saint Thérèse, the co-patroness of Silverstream Priory, I thought it fitting to post (again) my commentary on her Act of Oblation to Merciful Love.

June 9, 1895 was the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. In the Carmel of Lisieux in Normandy, France, twenty-two year old Sister Thérèse de l'Enfant Jésus et de la Sainte Face received a very special grace during Mass: she felt compelled to offer herself as a victim to Merciful Love.

After Mass, Thérèse went to her prioress (her own sister Pauline), Mother Agnès de Jésus, accompanied by Sister Geneviève de la Sainte Face (her own sister Céline). Visibly under the sway of the grace she had experienced, she asked Mother Agnès if both she and Céline might offer themselves as victims to Merciful Love. Mother Agnès was disconcerted. She didn't quite understand what exactly Thérèse wanted to do. She trusted the discernment of Thérèse nonethless and allowed her to follow the inspiration she had received.

Saint Thérèse composed the following "Oblation to Merciful Love" and, until the end of her life, carried it next to her heart. The commentary in italics is my own.

The Act of Oblation to Merciful Love


Offering of myself as a victim of holocaust to the Merciful Love of God

Thérèse recognizes that God, mysteriously, "needs" souls upon whom He can freely pour Himself out as Merciful Love. She gives herself over as a holocaust, that is, as a living fuel to be entirely consumed in the fire of Merciful Love. Thérèse, being a Carmelite, was a daughter of the Holy Prophet Elijah at whose prayer the holocaust on Mount Carmel was utterly consumed. "I will call on the name of the Lord I serve; and the God who sends fire in answer shall be acknowledged as God" (III Kings 18:24).

O My God! Most Blessed Trinity, I desire to Love You and make you Loved, to work for the glory of Holy Church by saving souls on earth and liberating those suffering in purgatory. I desire to accomplish Your will perfectly and to reach the degree of glory You have prepared for me in Your Kingdom. I desire, in a word, to be saint, but I feel my helplessness and I beg You, O my God! to be Yourself my Sanctity!

Thérèse writes with theological density and mystical intensity. Hers is the language of desire and of love. She doesn't shrink from her "work" as a Carmelite. There is nothing small or subjective here. This is about "the glory of the Holy Church." It is about saving souls on earth and liberating them from purgatory. Thérèse seems to gaze, like Saint Stephen the Protomartyr (Acts 7:55), into the open heavens. There she sees the will of God and the degree of glory prepared for her. Her desire corresponds perfectly to the desire of God: her sanctity. Her helplessness is no obstacle to this; it constitutes, on the contrary, a claim on the divine munificence of Merciful Love.

Since You loved me so much as to give me Your only Son as my Savior and my Spouse, the infinite treasures of His merits are mine.

This is the simple logic of the saints. Thérèse echoes John 3:16 in a personal way: "God so loved me that He gave up His only-begotten Son" to be my Savior and my Spouse. All that is His is mine. I seem to hear Saint John of the Cross: "Mine are the heavens and mine is the earth. Mine are the nations, the just are mine, and mine the sinners. The angels are mine, and the Mother of God, and all things are mine; and God himself is mine and for me, because Christ is mine and all for me."

I offer them to You with gladness, begging You to look upon me only in the Face of Jesus and in His Heart burning with Love.

The Face of Jesus and His Heart burning with Love! For Thérèse the Holy Face of Jesus reveals the secrets of His Heart. Thérèse takes her contemplation of the Holy Face even further; she asks the Father to look upon her in the Face of Jesus and in His Heart. The psalmist says, "Thy Face is a sanctuary, to hide away from the world's malice" (Psalm 30:21) and, in another place, "Look upon the Face of Thy Christ" (Psalm 83:10).

I offer You, too, all the merits of the saints (in heaven and on earth), their acts of Love, and those of the holy angels. Finally, I offer You, O Blessed Trinity! the Love and merits of the Blessed Virgin, my Dear Mother. It is to her I abandon my offering, begging her to present it to You. Her Divine Son, my Beloved Spouse, told us in the days of His mortal life: "Whatsoever you ask the Father in my name he will give it to you!" I am certain, then, that You will grant my desires; I know, O my God! that the more You want to give, the more You make us desire. I feel in my heart immense desires and it is with confidence I ask You to come and take possession of my soul.

One sees how much Thérèse has been formed by the eschatology of the Mass and Divine Office; she offers the merits of the saints in heaven and on earth, and of the angels. Then, at the very heart of her Oblation, she speaks of the Blessed Virgin, her "dear Mother." She abandons her offering into the hands of Mary, discretely evoking the Virgin Mother's mystical priesthood at the altar of the Cross.

Thérèse has a very personal way of expressing her relationship with Mary. Whereas most souls readily speak of going "to Jesus through Mary," Thérèse sees herself as bound to Mary through Jesus. The Son of Mary is the Spouse of Thérèse. Thérèse is certain of being loved by the Blessed Virgin because she is the spouse of her Son.

Thérèse anchors her confidence in the inexhaustible largesse of God in the promise of Jesus, "You have only to make any request of the Father in my name and He will grant it to you" (John 16:23). The Doctor of Merciful Love articulates here one of the key principles of her spirituality: "I know, O my God, that the more You want to give, the more You make us desire." God Himself is the Cause of the soul's deepest, highest, and truest desires. In spiritual direction -- it seems to me, at least -- this is the fundamental question: What do you really desire? Every desire that comes from God leads to God. As a rule, the desires that come from God are immense; they cause a certain dilation of the soul, a stretching Godward. Paradoxically, there is nothing more spacious than the "Little Way" of Thérèse. "Thou hast set my feet in a spacious place" (Psalm 30:9).

Ah! I cannot receive Holy Communion as often as I desire, but, Lord, are You not all-powerful? Remain in me as in a tabernacle and never separate Yourself from Your little victim.

Frequent Holy Communion had not yet found its place in Carmel. Thérèse was not daunted by this. Merciful Love is Omnipotent Love. Thérèse is confident that her "communions of desire" are met with desire on the part of Our Lord. Did He not say, "With desire have I desired to share this pasch with you before my passion" (Luke 22:15)? Thérèse offers herself as a tabernacle to Indwelling Love. She desires to hold the Eucharist within herself, to be a living Tent of Meeting wherein every human misery might encounter Merciful Love. She wants to remain a victim in the hands of Christ the Priest. More than anything, Thérèse desires sacramental Holy Communion; deprived of it, she is content to trust in the designs of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, for she knows they cannot be thwarted.

I want to console You for the ingratitude of the wicked, and I beg of you to take away my freedom to displease You. If through weakness I sometimes fall, may Your Divine Glance cleanse my soul immediately, consuming all my imperfections like the fire that transforms everything into itself.

Where there is love there will be the desire to console the Heart of God, the need to make reparation. Thérèse would be the slave of God rendered by grace incapable of displeasing Him for the sake of those who rebel against Him and spurn His Loving Mercy. Then, in the next breath, she speaks of weakness and of falls! (You have to love her!) Her profound devotion to the Holy Face makes her add, "May Your Divine Glance cleanse my soul immediately, consuming all my imperfections like the fire that transforms everything into itself." Do I hear an echo of Psalm 89:8? "Thou hast set our iniquities before thy eyes: our life in the light of thy countenance."

I thank You, O my God! for all the graces You have granted me, especially the grace of making me pass through the crucible of suffering. It is with joy I shall contemplate You on the Last Day carrying the sceptre of Your Cross. Since You deigned to give me a share in this very precious Cross, I hope in heaven to resemble You and to see shining in my glorified body the sacred stigmata of Your Passion.

After reparation, Thérèse turns to thanksgiving. She is grateful, above all else, for suffering because suffering has made her most like her Spouse; "despised, and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with infirmity: and his look was as it were hidden and despised, whereupon we esteemed him not" (Isaiah 53:3). She identifies her own sufferings as a share in the precious Cross of Jesus. Astonishingly, she wants to resemble Him in heaven by bearing in her own flesh His holy and glorious wounds. Whereas, more often than not the wounds of those marked by the grace of the stigmata disappear at death, Thérèse claims them for herself in heaven!

After earth's Exile, I hope to go and enjoy You in the Fatherland, but I do not want to lay up merits for heaven. I want to work for Your Love alone with the one purpose of pleasing You, consoling Your Sacred Heart, and saving souls who will love You eternally.

The heaven of Thérèse is not one of eternal rest in the sense of inactivity. Heaven is the full expansion of her life work. She remains the strong-willed girl from Normandy: "I want to work for Your Love alone." She has but one purpose in this: to please Jesus, to console His Sacred Heart, and to save souls who, in turn, will love Him eternally. Thérèse is the tireless missionary, labouring in the harvest until the end of time.

In the evening of this life, I shall appear before You with empty hands, for I do not ask You, Lord, to count my works. All our justice is stained in Your eyes. I wish, then, to be clothed in Your own Justice and to receive from Your Love the eternal possession of Yourself. I want no other Throne, no other Crown but You, my Beloved!

"With empty hands": this expresses in Theresian language the first beatitude: "Blessed are the poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs" (Matthew 5:3). For Thérèse, at the end of this life, there will be no meticulous bookkeeping of works and of merits. She will present to God the one thing His Loving Mercy cannot resist: the sight of empty hands, outstretched, and ready to receive from Love the eternal possession of Himself. Thérèse dares to critique -- with a subtle smile, I am sure -- the received imagery of the celestial throne and crown. Heaven is not in these "things" -- Thérèse has played her all for no-thing. She wants only her Beloved.

Time is nothing in Your eyes, and a single day is like a thousand years. You can, then, in one instant prepare me to appear before You.

Here Thérèse quotes Psalm 89:4. "For a thousand years in thy sight are as yesterday, which is past, and as a watch in the night." The purifying Love of God can prepare a soul to appear before Him in a single instant. Was she thinking of the Good Thief? "Then he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said to him, I promise thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:42-43). Thérèse dares to imagine a "purgatory" of one instant. She measures purgatory not in terms of time, but rather in terms of the infinite intensity of the fire of Merciful Love that burns to make souls entirely pure.

In order to live in one single act of perfect Love, I OFFER MYSELF AS A VICTIM OF HOLOCAUST TO YOUR MERCIFUL LOVE, Asking You to consume me incessantly, allowing the waves of infinite tenderness shut up within You to overflow into my soul, and that thus I may become a martyr of Your Love, O my God!

The essence of monastic holiness, which reflects and images the singleheartedness of Jesus, Beloved Son and Eternal Priest, for the sake of the whole Church, is the unification of one's whole life in a single act of perfect love. Thérèse understands that this can be realized not by straining and striving, but only by offering oneself as a victim to the Merciful Love of God. She casts herself, willingly, into the flames of the Furnace of Burning Charity that is the Heart of Jesus. There her desire for union will be realized. The waves of infinite tenderness will find in her a vessel made ready to receive them and to pour them out over other "little souls." This is the Theresian martyrdom. It evokes the death of her model and heroine Joan of Arc, but here the wood of the pyre is that of the Cross, and the consuming flames are those of Merciful Love.

May this martyrdom, after having prepared me to appear before You, finally cause me to die and may my soul take its flight without any delay into the eternal embrace of Your Merciful Love.

Thérèse wants to die, like Saint Joan of Arc, a martyr amidst the devouring flames of Merciful Love. Death will be the passage from Love into Love. I feel here something of the ardour of Saint Ignatius of Antioch. "Consign not to the world one who yearns to be God's; nor tempt me with the things of this life. Suffer me to receive pure light. When I come thither then shall I be a man indeed. Suffer me to be an imitator of the passion of my God" (Letter to the Romans).

I want, O my Beloved, at each beat of my heart to renew this offering to You an infinite number of times, until the shadows having disappeared I may be able to tell You of my Love in an Eternal Face-to-Face!

The leit-motif of the Holy Face returns. For Thérèse, life beyond the shadows of death will be the exchange of Love in an Eternal Face-to-Face. On August 6, 1897, less than one month before her death, Thérèse asked that the image of the Holy Face of Jesus be attached to her bed curtain in the infirmary. " We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know I part; but then I shall know even as I am known. And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity" (1 Corinthians 13:12-13).

Marie, Françoise, Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face,
unworthy Carmelite religious.

This 9th Day of June,
Feast of the Most Holy Trinity,
In the Year of Grace, 1895

42 posted on 10/01/2012 4:22:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Vultus Christi

Thérèse Sent Us Roses

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Thérèse visage.jpg


We completed our novena to Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face today. All during the novena I was expecting to receive roses, a sign of Saint Thérèse's loving attention to one's prayer. No roses came . . . until this morning: not cut roses, but two rose bushes, complete with thorns, to be planted here in our monastery garden. I find this extraordinary. The Little Flower sent us, not cut roses destined to wilt and die, but two roses bushes destined to take root, and grow, and blossom again and again. Is this not a wonderful affirmation of our calling to take root here, to put forth shoots, and to blossom? Once again, Saint Thérèse has surprised and delighted me.

O glorious Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus
and of the Holy Face,
cherished child of the Father,
virgin espoused to the Son,
humble Doctor instructed by the Holy Ghost,
We greet thee with joy
and approach thee with confidence.

The wonders wrought by thy intercession
are too many to be counted;
thou showest thyself the friend and advocate
of all who have recourse to thee in time of need.
We rely on thy childlike power over the Father's Heart.

From the thy place in heaven
thou seest our afflictions
and, by a merciful disposition of Providence,
thou sendest roses of pity to those who seek thy help.

There is no mIsery of body or of soul
to which thou dost not respond with love.
Thou who didst seek to be love in the heart of the Church,
while still on earth,
art forever love in the heart of the Church
from the place that is thine in Heaven.

Descend to us, Saint Thérèse.
Hasten to us who are waiting for a rose from heaven,
a sign of thy compassion, a pledge of thy assistance.
Who hath not heard of thy errands of love
in every place and on every continent?
Walk with us, Saint Thérèse,
lest we wander from thy little way.

Change, we pray thee, our timid and faltering confidence,
into a confidence that is limitless and bold,
that by offering ourselves, as thou didst offer thyself,
to the mystery of Merciful Love,
our confidence may be perfected, as was thine,
in the contemplation of the holy and adorable Face of Jesus:
thine own heart's treasure in this valley of tears,
and thine all-surpassing joy
in the brightness of the heavenly fatherland.

43 posted on 10/01/2012 4:24:40 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Regnum Christi

The Greatest
Memorial of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, virgin and doctor of the Church

Father Edward McIlmail, LC

Listen to podcast version here.  

Luke 9: 46-50

An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child and placed it by his side and said to them, "Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest." Then John said in reply, "Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow in our company." Jesus said to him, "Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you."

Introductory Prayer:In you, Lord, I find all my joy and happiness. How could I offend you by chasing after fleeting success and lifeless trophies? I believe in you because you are truth itself. I hope in you because you are faithful to your promises. I love you because you have loved me first. I am a sinner; nevertheless, you have given me so many blessings. I humbly thank you.

Petition: Holy Spirit, teach me to see myself as the least of all, as one called to serve all.

1. Me-first Syndrome: Listening wasn´t the disciples´ strong suit. How could it be? If they had truly paid attention to the Master, they should have known that the Good News wasn´t about striving for prestige and recognition. It was about humility and service. We can only wonder why Jesus´ words didn´t sink in for his disciples. Yet, are we much better? We hear or read the same Gospel passages year after year, yet we still fall into sins of pride. We might think ourselves better or smarter or holier than the rest. But how does Christ see us?

2. The Corrupter: Jesus explains in what greatness consists: the acceptance of the weakest and most defenseless, in his name. This requires a humble heart. God gives us certain powers that he hopes will be used for good purposes. The history of mankind seethes with tales of people exploiting one another at every opportunity. Examples abound: ethnic groups that exploit minorities, employers who take advantage of poor immigrants, the road-rager who cuts off people in traffic. “Power corrupts,” says the ancient adage. Indeed it does. How do I treat the people over whom I have authority? Am I like a dictator? Do I always want to show them "who´s the boss"? Or is my attitude one of service?

3. Zealously Jealous: John explains that he and the other disciples tried to stop someone who was doing good in Jesus´ name. The person´s crime was that he didn´t follow "in our company." Christians have derailed more than a few good works over the centuries because they thought themselves appointed by God to police the Church. The Holy Spirit raises up all kinds of new works which need to be serenely discerned, not systematically squelched simply because they are new. "By their fruits you will know them," Jesus says (see Matthew 7:16). The lesson Our Lord wants to give is: Don´t be so quick to judge others´ motives. Give them the benefit of the doubt, and wait to see what their work produces. Is there anyone I´m keeping from doing good?

Conversation with Christ:Give me the grace to see people and actions through your eyes. Let me bring my standards in line with yours. Let me learn to look at a person´s heart rather than his appearance. And above all, give me the wisdom never to stand in the way of people doing good for your Church.

Resolution: I will do an act of charity for the pro-life movement or for a children´s group.

44 posted on 10/01/2012 4:31:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Little Way

As the disciples of Jesus argue about who is the greatest among them, we pause to ask: Are we different from them? Don’t we also desire glory, recognition, and success? Who does not want to be “somebody” whom others admire?

How appropriate that the Church presents to us a model of humility in St. Therese of the Child Jesus, whose feast we celebrate today. She is the “Little Flower” and Doctor of the Church, teaching us her “Little Way,” the doctrine of spiritual childhood. To be like St. Therese is to be little, to seek the last place, to be forgotten. Let us allow her to teach us true humility. She wrote: “The only thing that is not envied is the last place which is not vanity and affliction of spirit. However, `the way of man is not within his power’ and we surprise ourselves at times by desiring what sparkles. So let us line up humbly among the imperfect, let us esteem ourselves as little souls whom God must sustain at each moment. When he sees we are very much convinced of our nothingness, He extends His hand to us. Yes, it suffices to humble oneself, to bear with one’s imperfections. That is real sanctity! Let us take each other by the hand and let us run to the last place – no one will come to dispute with us over it.” She continues: “To be little is not attributing to oneself the virtues one practices, but to recognize that God places this treasure in the hands of His little child to be used when necessary; but it remains always God’s treasure. Finally, it is not to become discouraged over one’s faults, for children fall often, but they are too little to hurt themselves very much.”

Truly, the least is the greatest in the kingdom of God. He who humbles himself will be exalted, for true humility pleases God.

45 posted on 10/01/2012 4:40:15 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body


<< Monday, October 1, 2012 >> St. Therese of the Child Jesus
Job 1:6-22
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Psalm 17:1-3, 6-7 Luke 9:46-50


"Touch anything that he has, and surely he will blaspheme You to Your face." —Job 1:11

Parents tend to brag about their children, and God the Father loves to brag about us, His children. When God bragged about Job to the devil (Jb 1:8), the devil put Job down by maintaining that Job only loved God because He had spoiled Job so much (see Jb 1:9-10). Then God permitted the devil to destroy in one day Job's farm equipment business (oxen and asses), his sheep ranch, his car dealership (camels), and his ten children (Jb 1:14-19).

Imagine having in one day ten children die, several employees also dead, and three major businesses go under. Job's wife reacted predictably to these tragedies by saying to Job: "Curse God and die" (Jb 2:9). Nevertheless, Job reacted by praying one of the greatest prayers of faith ever prayed: "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!" (Jb 1:21) Job loved God with a deep commitment. God had even more to brag about in Job, and the devil was exposed as a liar.

Our Father is bragging about us. Is our love for Him deep or only skin-deep? Will we love and praise our Father no matter what happens to us, or will we let the devil manipulate us into cursing, doubting, or withdrawing from God? Sufferings tell us who our real friends are. Sufferings tell us if we're real friends of God the Father.

Prayer: Father, I love You "for better or for worse."
Promise: "The least one among you is the greatest." —Lk 9:48
Praise: As a girl, St. Therese prayed fervently for a convicted murderer to repent and receive salvation before his execution. As he was placed in the guillotine, he suddenly turned to a nearby priest and asked to kiss a crucifix in sorrow for his sins.

46 posted on 10/01/2012 4:43:18 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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47 posted on 10/01/2012 4:45:01 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Luke 9
46 And there entered a thought into them, which of them should be greater. Intravit autem cogitatio in eos quis eorum major esset. εισηλθεν δε διαλογισμος εν αυτοις το τις αν ειη μειζων αυτων
47 But Jesus seeing the thoughts of their heart, took a child and set him by him, At Jesus videns cogitationes cordis illorum, apprehendit puerum, et statuit illum secus se, ο δε ιησους ιδων τον διαλογισμον της καρδιας αυτων επιλαβομενος παιδιου εστησεν αυτο παρ εαυτω
48 And said to them: Whosoever shall receive this child in my name, receiveth me; and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth him that sent me. For he that is the lesser among you all, he is the greater. et ait illis : Quicumque susceperit puerum istum in nomine meo, me recipit : et quicumque me receperit, recipit eum qui me misit. Nam qui minor est inter vos omnes, hic major est. και ειπεν αυτοις ος εαν δεξηται τουτο το παιδιον επι τω ονοματι μου εμε δεχεται και ος εαν εμε δεξηται δεχεται τον αποστειλαντα με ο γαρ μικροτερος εν πασιν υμιν υπαρχων ουτος εσται μεγας
49 And John, answering, said: Master, we saw a certain man casting out devils in thy name, and we forbade him, because he followeth not with us. Respondens autem Joannes dixit : Præceptor, vidimus quemdam in nomine tuo ejicientem dæmonia, et prohibuimus eum : quia non sequitur nobiscum. αποκριθεις δε ο ιωαννης ειπεν επιστατα ειδομεν τινα επι τω ονοματι σου εκβαλλοντα δαιμονια και εκωλυσαμεν αυτον οτι ουκ ακολουθει μεθ ημων
50 And Jesus said to him: Forbid him not; for he that is not against you, is for you. Et ait ad illum Jesus : Nolite prohibere : qui enim non est adversum vos, pro vobis est. και ειπεν προς αυτον ο ιησους μη κωλυετε ος γαρ ουκ εστιν καθ ημων υπερ ημων εστιν

48 posted on 10/01/2012 5:34:22 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
46. Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.
47. And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him,
48. And said to them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receives me: and whosoever shall receive me receives him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.
49. And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in your name; and we forbade him, because he follows not with us.
50. And Jesus said to him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.

CYRIL; The devil lays plots of various kinds for them that love the best way of life. And if indeed by carnal allurements he can gain possession of a man's heart, He sharpens his love of pleasure; but if a man has escaped these snares, he excites in him a desire of glory, and this passion for vain-glory had seized some one of His apostles. Hence it is said, Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be the greatest. For to have such thoughts, belongs to him who desires to be superior to the rest; but I think it improbable that all the disciples gave way to this weakness; and therefore suppose that the Evangelist, not to seem to lay the charge to any individual, expresses himself indefinitely, seeing, that there arose a reasoning among them.

THEOPHYL. Now it seems that this feeling was excited by the circumstance of their not being able to cure the demoniac. And while they were disputing thereupon, one said, It was not owing to my weakness, but another's, that he could not be cured; and so thereby was kindled a strife among them, which was the greatest.

THEOPHYL; Or, because they saw Peter, James, and John, taken apart to the mount, and the keys of the kingdom of heaven promised to Peter, they were angry that these three, or Peter, should have precedence over all; or because in the payment of the tribute they saw Peter made equal to the Lord, they supposed he was to be placed before the rest. But the attentive reader will find that the question was raised among them before the payment of the penny. For in truth Matthew relates that this took place at Capernaum; but Mark says, And he came to Capernaum, and being; the house, he asked them, What was it that you disputed among yourselves in the way? But they held their peace, for by the way they had disputed among themselves who should be the greatest.

CYRIL; But our Lord, Who knew how to save, seeing in the hearts of the disciples the thought that had risen up thereupon as it were a certain root of bitterness, plucks it up by the roots before it received growth. For when passions first begin in us, they are easily subdued; but having gained strength, they are with difficulty eradicated. Hence it follows, And Jesus perceiving the thought of their heart &c. Let him who thinks Jesus to be mere man, know that he has erred, for the Word, although made flesh, remained God. For it is God alone Who is able to search into the heart and reins. But in taking a child, and placing it beside Him, He did it for the Apostles' sake and ours.

For the disease of vain-glory feeds generally on those who have the preeminence among other men. But a child has a pure mind and unspotted heart, and abides in simplicity of thought; he courts not honors, nor knows the limits each one's power, nor shuns seeming to be inferior to others, bearing no moroseness in his mind or heart. Such the Lord embraces and loves, and thinks them worthy to be near Him, as those who had chosen to taste of the things which are His; for He says, Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart. Hence it follows, And he says to them, Whosoever shall receive a child in my name, receives me. As if He were to say, Seeing that there is one and the same reward to those that honor the saints, whether perchance such an one be the least, or one distinguished for honors and glory, for in him is Christ received, how vain is it to see to have the preeminence;

THEOPHYL; Now herein He either teaches, that the poor of Christ are to be received by those who wish to be greater simply for His honor, or He persuades men that they are children in malice. Hence when He said, Whoever shall receive that child, he adds, in my name; that in truth they may pursue with diligence and reason for Christ's name that form of virtue which the child observes, with only nature for its guide. But because He also teaches that He is received in the child, and He Himself was born to us a child; lest it should be thought that this was all which was seen, He subjoined, And whoever shall receive me, receives him that sent me; wishing verily to be believed, that as was the Father, such and so great was He.

AMBROSE; For he who receives the followers of Christ, receives Christ; and he who receives the image of God, receives God; but because we cannot see the image of God, it has been made present to us by the incarnation of the Word, that the divine nature which is above us, may be reconciled to us.

CYRIL; Now He still more plainly conveys the meaning of the preceding words, saying, For he that is least among you all, the same shall be great; in which He speaks of the modest man who from honesty thinks nothing high of himself.

THEOPHYL. Because then our Lord had said, He who is least among you all, the same shall be great, John feared, lest perhaps they had done wrong in hindering a certain man by their own power. For a prohibition does not show the probitor to be inferior, but to be one who thinks himself somewhat superior. Hence it is added, And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in your name, and we forbade him. Not indeed from envy, but to distinguish the working of miracles, for he had not received the power of working miracles with them, nor had the Lord sent him as He did them; nor did he follow Jesus in all things. Hence he adds, because he follows not with us.

AMBROSE; For John loving much, and therefore much beloved, thinks that they should be excluded from the privilege who did not practice obedience.

CYRIL; But we ought to consider not so much the worker of the miracles, as the grace which was in him, who, by the power of Christ, performed miracles. But what if there should be both those which be numbered together with the Apostles, and those who are crowned with the grace of Christ; there are many diversities in Christ's gifts. But because the Savior had given the Apostles power to cast out evil spirits, they thought no one else but themselves alone was permitted to have this privilege granted to him, and therefore they come to inquire if it were lawful for others also to do this.

AMBROSE; Now John is not blamed, because he did this from love, but he is taught to know the difference between the strong and the weak. And therefore our Lord though He rewards the stronger, yet does not exclude the weak; as it follows, And Jesus said to him, Forbid him not, for he that is not against you is for you. True, O Lord. For both Joseph and Nicodemus, through fear Your secret disciples, when the time came, did not refuse their offices. But still since you said elsewhere, He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathers not with me scatters, explain to us lest the two seem contrary to one another. And it seems to me, if any one considers the Searcher of hearts, he cannot doubt that every man's action is distinguished by the motive of his heart.

CHRYS. For in the other place when He said, He that is not with me is against me, He shows the Devil and the Jews to be opposed to Him; but here He shows that he who in Christ's name cast out devils, is partly on their side.

CYRIL; As if He said, On the side of you who love Christ, are all they who wish to follow those things which conduce to His glory, being crowned with His grace.

THEOPHYL. Marvel then at the power of Christ, how His grace works by means of the unworthy and those who are not His disciples: as also men are sanctified through the priests, although the priests be not holy.

AMBROSE; Now why does He in this place say that they are not to be hindered, who by the imposition of hands can subdue the unclean spirits, when according to Matthew, He says to these, I never knew you? But we ought to perceive that there is no difference of opinion, but that the decision is this, that not only the official works but works of virtue are required in a priest, and that the name of Christ is so great, that even to the unholy it serves to give defense, but not grace. Let no one then claim to himself the grace of cleansing a man, because in him the power of the eternal Name has worked. For not by your merits, but by his own hatred, the devil is conquered.

THEOPHYL; Therefore in heretics and false Catholics, it becomes us to abhor, and forbid not the common sacraments in which they are with us, and not against us, but the divisions contrary to peace and truth, wherein they are against us as following not the Lord.

Catena Aurea Luke 9
49 posted on 10/01/2012 5:34:56 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

Christ Blessing the Children

Lucas Cranach the Elder

Oil and tempera on beechwood, 84 x 122 cm
Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt

50 posted on 10/01/2012 5:35:37 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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