Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 07-15-13. M, St. Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor/Church
Posted on 07/14/2013 8:07:06 PM PDT by Salvation
July 15, 2013
Reading 1 Ex 1:8-14, 22
A new king, who knew nothing of Joseph, came to power in Egypt.
He said to his subjects, “Look how numerous and powerful
the people of the children of Israel are growing, more so than we ourselves!
Come, let us deal shrewdly with them to stop their increase;
otherwise, in time of war they too may join our enemies
to fight against us, and so leave our country.”
Accordingly, taskmasters were set over the children of Israel
to oppress them with forced labor.
Thus they had to build for Pharaoh
the supply cities of Pithom and Raamses.
Yet the more they were oppressed,
the more they multiplied and spread.
The Egyptians, then, dreaded the children of Israel
and reduced them to cruel slavery,
making life bitter for them with hard work in mortar and brick
and all kinds of field work—the whole cruel fate of slaves.
Pharaoh then commanded all his subjects,
“Throw into the river every boy that is born to the Hebrews,
but you may let all the girls live.”
Responsorial Psalm PS 124:1b-3, 4-6, 7-8
R. (8a) Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Had not the LORD been with us–
let Israel say, had not the LORD been with us–
When men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive,
When their fury was inflamed against us.
R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us;
The torrent would have swept over us;
over us then would have swept
the raging waters.
Blessed be the LORD, who did not leave us
a prey to their teeth.
R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
We were rescued like a bird
from the fowlers’ snare;
Broken was the snare,
and we were freed.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Gospel Mt 10:34—11:1
Jesus said to his Apostles:
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth.
I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
For I have come to set
a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and one’s enemies will be those of his household.
“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and whoever does not take up his cross
and follow after me is not worthy of me.
Whoever finds his life will lose it,
and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
“Whoever receives you receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet
will receive a prophet’s reward,
and whoever receives a righteous man
because he is righteous
will receive a righteous man’s reward.
And whoever gives only a cup of cold water
to one of these little ones to drink
because he is a disciple–
amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”
When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples,
he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.
From: Exodus 1:8-14, 22
The Sons of Israel are Oppressed
 Now there arose a new king over Egypt who did not know Joseph.  And he
said to his people, Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for
us.  Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war be-
fall us, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.
 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens;
and they built for Pharaoh store-cities, Pithom and Ra-amses.  But the more
they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad.
And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel.  So they made the
people of Israel serve with rigor,  and made their lives bitter with hard service,
in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field; in all their work they
made them serve with rigor.
 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, Every son that is born to the He-
brews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live.
1:8-14 The situation of the children of Israel is dramatically portrayed: the more
they are oppressed, the stronger they become (v. 12). The frequent contrasts
in the account and the fact that no names are supplied give the impression that
God himself (even though he is yet not named) is on the Israelites side and is
against the pharaoh and his people. From the very beginning, over and above the
comings and goings of men, God is at work; a religious event is taking shape.
For the first time the Bible here speaks of the people [of the Sons] of Israel (v.
9). The sacred book counter-poses two peoplesthe people of the pharaoh, cru-
el and oppressive, and the people of Israel, the victims of oppression. Over the
course of their struggle to leave Egypt, the children of Israel will gradually be-
come conscious of thisthat they form a people chosen by God and released
from bondage in order to fulfill an important historical mission. They are not a
motley collection of tribes or families, but a people. God, with loving concern
contemplating, and making preparation for, the salvation of the whole human
race, in a singular undertaking chose for himself a people to whom he would
entrust his promises (Vatican II, Del Verbum, 14). At the same time the reli-
gious framework of this inspired book is established: on one side stand the ene-
mies of God, on the other the people of the children of the Covenant (cf. Acts 3:
25; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 527).
1:8. We do not know who exactly this new king was. He was probably Rame-
ses II (early 13th century BC), who belonged to the nineteenth dynasty. This
pharaoh sought to restore imperial control over foreigners and invaders. The
phrase did not know Joseph indicates how helpless and alone the sons of
Israel were. The people of Israel never did count for very much politically, and
yet God wills them to have an essential place in his plans.
Many Fathers of the Church saw in this pharaoh a personification of those who
are opposed to the establishment of the Kingdom of Christ. St Bede, for exam-
ple, reminds the Christian that if, having been baptized and having listened to
the teachings of the faith, he goes back to living in a worldly way, another king
who knows not Joseph will come to birth in him, that is, the selfishness which
opposes the plans of God (cf. Commentaria In Pentateuchum, 2,1).
1:11. Pithom and Ra-amses are called store-cities because provisions for the
frontier garrisons were stored in the silos of their temples. Reliable archaeologi-
cal studies identify Pithom (which in Egyptian means dwelling of Athon) with
some ruins a few kilometers from present-day Ishmailia, not far from the Suez
canal. A temple of Athon has been discovered there, and huge stores of bricks.
It is more difficult to say where Ra-amses was. The balance of probability is that
it was the earlier city of Avaris, a capital during the dynasties of invader pharaohs.
It would later be called Tanis, and nowadays it is just a series of big ruins near a
fishing village, San el-Hagar, near Port Said, on the eastern part of the Nile delta.
Archaeologists have discovered there the remains of an elaborate temple built by
Rameses II (1279-1212 BC), probably the pharaoh mentioned here.
1:14. In ancient Egypt it was normal for people, particularly foreigners, to work
for the pharaoh. This was not regarded as a form of slavery or oppression; we
know, for example, there were towns or entire cities which accommodated the
workers engaged in building the tombs or temples of the pharaohs. The oppre-
sion the sacred writer refers to lay in the fact that the Egyptians imposed parti-
cularly hard tasks on the Israelitessuch as brick-making, building and agricul-
tural laborand treated them cruelly.
St lsidore of Seville, commenting on this passage, compares it with the situation
of mankind which, after original sin, is subject to the tyranny of the devil, who of-
ten manages to turn work into slavery.
Just as the pharaoh imposed the hard labor of mortar and brick, so too the devil
forces sinful man to engage in earthly, dusty tasks which are moreover mixed
with straw, that is to say, with frivolous and irrational acts (cf. Quaestiones In
1:22. The original text always refers to the River because the entire life of an-
cient Egypt depended on it. Obviously it is referring to the Nile.
Source: The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
From: Matthew 10:34-11:1
Jesus Instructions to the Apostles (Continuation)
(Jesus said to His disciples)  Do not think that I have come to bring peace
on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to
set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-
in-law against her mother-in-law;  and a mans foes will be those of his own
household.  He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of
Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me; 
and he who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.  He
who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
 He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him
who sent Me.  He who receives a prophet because he is a prophet shall re-
ceive a prophets reward, and he who receives a righteous man because he is
a righteous man shall receive a righteous mans reward.  And whoever gives
to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple,
truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.
The Mission of John the Baptist. Jesus Reply
 And when Jesus had finished instructing His twelve disciples, He went on
from there to teach and preach in their cities.
34-37. Our Lord has not come to bring a false and earthly peace the sort of
tranquility the self-seeking person yearns for; He wants us to struggle against
our own passions and against sin and its effects. The sword He equips us with
for this struggle is, in the words of Scripture, the sword of the Spirit which is
the word of God (Ephesians 6:17), lively and active, sharper than any two-
edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow,
and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).
The word of God in fact leads to these divisions mentioned here. It can lead,
even within families, to those who embrace the faith being regarded as enemies
by relatives who resist the word of truth. This is why our Lord goes on (verse 37)
to say that nothing should come between Him and His disciplenot even father,
mother, son or daughter: any and every obstacle (cf. Matthew 5:29-30) must be
Obviously these words of Jesus do not set up any opposition between the first
and fourth commandments (love for God above all things and love for ones par-
ents): He is simply indicating the order of priorities. We should love God with all
our strength (cf. Matthew 22:37), and make a serious effort to be saints; and we
should also love and respectin theory and in practicethe parents God has gi-
ven us; they have generously cooperated with the creative power of God in brin-
ging us into the world and there is so much that we owe them. But love for our
parents should not come before love of God; usually there is no reason why
these two loves should clash, but if that should happen, we should be quite clear
in our mind and in heart about what Jesus says here. He has in fact given us an
example to follow on this point: How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know
that I must be in My Fathers house? (Luke 2:49) His reply when, as a youth,
Mary and Joseph found Him in the Temple of Jerusalem after a long search. This
event in our Lords life is a guideline for every Christian parent or child. Children
should learn from it that their affection for their parents should never come before
their love for God, particularly when our Creator asks us to follow Him in a way
which implies special self-giving on our part; parents should take the lesson that
their children belong to God in the first place, and therefore He has a right to do
with them what He wishes, even if this involves sacrifice, even heroic sacrifice.
This teaching of our Lord asks us to be generous and to let God have His way.
In fact, however, God never lets Himself be outdone in generosity. Jesus has
promised a hundredfold gain, even in this life, and later on eternal life (cf. Mat-
thew 19:29), to those who readily respond to His will.
38-39. The teaching contained in the preceding verses is summed up in these
two succinct sentences. Following Christ, doing what He asks, means risking
this present life to gain eternal life.
People who are constantly concerned with themselves, who act above all for
their own satisfaction, endanger their eternal salvation and cannot avoid being
unhappy even in this life. Only if a person forgets himself and gives himself to
God and to others, in marriage as well as in any other aspect of life, can he be
happy on this earth, with a happiness that is a preparation for, and a foretaste
of, the joy of Heaven (St. J. Escriva, Christ Is Passing By, 24). Clearly,
Christian life is based on self-denial: there is no Christianity without the Cross.
40. To encourage the Apostles and to persuade others to receive them, our
Lord affirms that there is an intimate solidarity, or even a kind of identity, be-
tween Himself and His disciples. God in Christ, Christ in the Apostles: this is
the bridge between Heaven and earth (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:21-23).
41-42. A prophets mission is not essentially one of announcing future events;
his main role is that of communicating the word of God (cf. Jeremiah 11:2; Isai-
ah 1:2). The righteous man, the just man, is he who obeys the Law of God and
follows His paths (cf. Genesis 6:9; Isaiah 3:10). Here Jesus tells us that every-
one who humbly listens to and welcomes prophets and righteous men, recogni-
zing God in them, will receive the reward of a prophet and a righteous man. The
very fact of generously receiving Gods friends will gain one the reward that they
obtain. Similarly, if we should see God in the least of His disciples (verse 42),
even if they do not seem very important, they are important, because they are
envoys of God and of His Son. That is why he who gives them a glass of cold
water an alms, or any small service will receive a reward, for he has shown
generosity to our Lord Himself (cf. Matthew 25:40).
1. In chapters 11 and 12 the Gospel records the obduracy of the Jewish leaders
toward Jesus, despite hearing His teaching (chapter 5-7) and seeing the miracles
which bear witness to the divine nature of His person and His doctrine (chapters
8 and 9).
Source: The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
Exodus 1:8-14,22 ©
There came to power in Egypt a new king who knew nothing of Joseph. ‘Look,’ he said to his subjects ‘these people, the sons of Israel, have become so numerous and strong that they are a threat to us. We must be prudent and take steps against their increasing any further, or if war should break out, they might add to the number of our enemies. They might take arms against us and so escape out of the country.’ Accordingly they put slave-drivers over the Israelites to wear them down under heavy loads. In this way they built the store-cities of Pithom and Rameses for Pharaoh. But the more they were crushed, the more they increased and spread, and men came to dread the sons of Israel. The Egyptians forced the sons of Israel into slavery, and made their lives unbearable with hard labour, work with clay and with brick, all kinds of work in the fields; they forced on them every kind of labour.
Pharaoh then gave his subjects this command: ‘Throw all the boys born to the Hebrews into the river, but let all the girls live.’
Psalm 123:1-8 ©
Our help is in the name of the Lord.
‘If the Lord had not been on our side,’
this is Israel’s song.
‘If the Lord had not been on our side
when men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive
when their anger was kindled.
Our help is in the name of the Lord.
‘Then would the waters have engulfed us,
the torrent gone over us;
over our head would have swept
the raging waters.’
Blessed be the Lord who did not give us
a prey to their teeth!
Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Our life, like a bird, has escaped
from the snare of the fowler.
Indeed the snare has been broken
and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Open our heart, O Lord,
to accept the words of your Son.
Happy those who are persecuted
in the cause of right,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 10:34-11:1 ©
Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: ‘Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth: it is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man’s enemies will be those of his own household.
‘Anyone who prefers father or mother to me is not worthy of me. Anyone who prefers son or daughter to me is not worthy of me. Anyone who does not take his cross and follow in my footsteps is not worthy of me. Anyone who finds his life will lose it; anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.
‘Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me; and those who welcome me welcome the one who sent me.
‘Anyone who welcomes a prophet will have a prophet’s reward; and anyone who welcomes a holy man will have a holy man’s reward.
‘If anyone gives so much as a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward.’
When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples he moved on from there to teach and preach in their towns.
Francis "Lights" Up Pope's First Encyclical Due Friday
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Adoration with Pope energizing Catholics worldwide
Parishes Worldwide Prepare for Eucharistic Adoration Hour (June 2 at 11 am ET)
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Audience: Do not be part-time Christians
Pope Francis: Regina caeli
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Pope Francis General Audience focused on women. Feminists arent going to be happy
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio's "Letter On the Year of Faith" (Crossing Threshold of Faith)
Pope Francis the real deal has Audience with Cardinals
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On Ash Wednesday
On God As Creator of Heaven and Earth
On Abraham's Faith
On Christ As Mediator Between God and Man
On the Incarnation
On God the Almighty Father
Year of Faith: Indulgences and Places of Pilgrimage [Ecumenical]
On the Identity of Jesus
On the Faith of Mary, the Virgin Mother of Christ
Father Cantalamessa's 1st Advent Sermon (Catholic Caucus)
On The Unfolding of God's Self-Revelation
On the Beauty of God's Plan of Salvation
On Bearing Witness to the Christian Faith
On the Splendor of God's Truth
On the Knowledge of God
Archbishop Chaput says Year of Faith holds solution to relativism
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Papal Encyclical on Faith Announced
On the Desire for God
On the Ecclesial Nature of Faith
On the Nature of Faith
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1. Sign of the Cross: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
2. The Apostles Creed: I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
3. The Lord's Prayer: OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
4. (3) Hail Mary: HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)
5. Glory Be: GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.
Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer. Repeat the process with each mystery.
End with the Hail Holy Queen:
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Final step -- The Sign of the Cross
Jesus, High Priest
We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.
Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.
Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.
Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.
Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.
Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.
O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.
Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priestsThis icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.
The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.
The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.
Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem. He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.
St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.
St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:
"Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8"
PLEASE JOIN US -
A Prayer for PriestsO my God, help those priests who are faithful to remain faithful; to those who are falling, stretch forth Your Divine Hand that they may grasp it as their support. In the great ocean of Your mercy, lift those poor unfortunate ones who have fallen, that being engulfed therein they may receive the grace to return to Your Great Loving Heart. Amen. Precious Blood of Jesus, protect them!
The Most Precious Blood of Jesus
July is traditionally associated with the Precious Blood of Our Lord. It may be customary to celebrate the votive Mass of the Precious Blood on July 1.
The extraordinary importance of the saving Blood of Christ has ensured a central place for its memorial in the celebration of this cultic mystery: at the centre of the Eucharistic assembly, in which the Church raises up to God in thanksgiving "the cup of blessing" (1 Cor 10, 16; cf Ps 115-116, 13) and offers it to the faithful as a "real communion with the Blood of Christ" (1 Cor 10, 16); and throughout the Liturgical Year. The Church celebrates the saving Blood of Christ not only on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, but also on many other occasions, such that the cultic remembrance of the Blood of our redemption (cf 1 Pt 1, 18) pervades the entire Liturgical Year. Hence, at Vespers during Christmastide, the Church, addressing Christ, sings: "Nos quoque, qui sancto tuo redempti sumus sanguine, ob diem natalis tui hymnum novum concinimus." In the Paschal Triduum, the redemptive significance and efficacy of the Blood of Christ is continuously recalled in adoration. During the adoration of the Cross on Good Friday the Church sings the hymn: "Mite corpus perforatur, sanguis unde profluit; terra, pontus, astra, mundus quo lavanturflumine", and again on Easter Sunday, "Cuius corpus sanctissimum in ara crucis torridum, sed et cruorem roesum gustando, Deo vivimus (194).
Devotion to the Drops of Blood Lost by our Lord Jesus Christ on His Way to Calvary (Prayer/Devotion)
Chaplet of the Most Precious Blood
Catholic Word of the Day: PRECIOUS BLOOD, 12-03-11
The Traditional Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Catholic Caucus)
Devotion to the Precious Blood
DOCTRINE OF THE BLOOD OF CHRIST
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,And More on the Precious Blood
Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ
NOTHING IS MORE POTENT AGAINST EVIL THAN PLEADING THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST
Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
World Youth Day. That World Youth Day in Brazil may encourage all young Christians to become disciples and missionaries of the Gospel.
Asia. That throughout Asia doors may be open to messengers of the Gospel.
Monday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time
Commentary of the day
John Tauler (c.1300-1361), Dominican
Sermon 59, 4th for the Exaltation of the Cross
"Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it"
Let us consider these words of our Lord: that he wants “to draw all things to himself” (Jn 12,32 Vg). Someone who wants to draw all things, first of all gathers them together and afterward draws them. This is what our Lord does: first of all he calls us back from straying about and wandering outside, making us collect our senses, faculties, words, deeds and, within, our thoughts, intention, imagination, desires, inclinations, mind, will and love. Then, when everything is rightfully returned to good order, God draws us to himself. For we must first of all be separated from every exterior or interior possession to which we are attached, putting all our satisfaction in them. This kind of detachment is a painful cross, and all the more painful as the attachment is more firm and more strong...
Why does God rarely allow one day and night to resemble the previous day and night? Why is it that what helped your devotion today is of no help at all tomorrow? Why do you have a host of images and thoughts that come to nothing? My dear child, accept this cross from God and bear it: it will turn into a truly lovable cross if you would hand these trials over to God, accept them from him with true abandonment and thank God for them: “My soul magnifies the Lord” in everything (cf Lk 1,46). Whether God takes or gives, the Son of Man must be raised up on the cross... Dear child, leave all that behind; rather, give your attention to true abandonment...and think about accepting to bear the cross of temptation rather than going in search of spiritual sweetness... Our Lord has said: “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him take up his cross and follow me” (Lk 9,23).
| Monday, July 15, 2013
St. Bonaventure, Bishop, Doctor of the Church (Feast)
|Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.
The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us.
Bishop & Doctor of the Church
Saint Bonaventure Joins the Franciscan Order
Francisco de Herrera, the Elder
Museo del Prado, Madrid
Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that, just as we celebrate the heavenly birthday
of Bishop of Saint Bonaventure,
we may benefit from his great learning
and constantly imitate the ardor of his charity.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
First Reading: Ephesians 3:14-19
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 23:8-12
You are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ. He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
BENEDICT XVI, GENERAL AUDIENCE, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, 3 March 2010
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today I would like to talk about St Bonaventure of Bagnoregio. I confide to you that in broaching this subject I feel a certain nostalgia, for I am thinking back to my research as a young scholar on this author who was particularly dear to me. My knowledge of him had quite an impact on my formation. A few months ago, with great joy, I made a pilgrimage to the place of his birth, Bagnoregio, an Italian town in Lazio that venerates his memory.
St Bonaventure, in all likelihood born in 1217, died in 1274. Thus he lived in the 13th century, an epoch in which the Christian faith which had deeply penetrated the culture and society of Europe inspired imperishable works in the fields of literature, the visual arts, philosophy and theology. Among the great Christian figures who contributed to the composition of this harmony between faith and culture Bonaventure stands out, a man of action and contemplation, of profound piety and prudent government.
He was called Giovanni di Fidanza. An episode that occurred when he was still a boy deeply marked his life, as he himself recounts. He fell seriously ill and even his father, who was a doctor, gave up all hope of saving him from death. So his mother had recourse to the intercession of St Francis of Assisi, who had recently been canonized. And Giovanni recovered.
The figure of the Poverello of Assisi became even more familiar to him several years later when he was in Paris, where he had gone to pursue his studies. He had obtained a Master of Arts Diploma, which we could compare with that of a prestigious secondary school in our time. At that point, like so many young men in the past and also today, Giovanni asked himself a crucial question: "What should I do with my life?". Fascinated by the witness of fervour and evangelical radicalism of the Friars Minor who had arrived in Paris in 1219, Giovanni knocked at the door of the Franciscan convent in that city and asked to be admitted to the great family of St Francis' disciples. Many years later he explained the reasons for his decision: he recognized Christ's action in St Francis and in the movement he had founded. Thus he wrote in a letter addressed to another friar: "I confess before God that the reason which made me love the life of blessed Francis most is that it resembled the birth and early development of the Church. The Church began with simple fishermen, and was subsequently enriched by very distinguished and wise teachers; the religion of Blessed Francis was not established by the prudence of men but by Christ" (Epistula de tribus quaestionibus ad magistrum innominatum, in Opere di San Bonaventura. Introduzione generale, Rome 1990, p. 29).
So it was that in about the year 1243 Giovanni was clothed in the Franciscan habit and took the name "Bonaventure". He was immediately sent to study and attended the Faculty of Theology of the University of Paris where he took a series of very demanding courses. He obtained the various qualifications required for an academic career earning a bachelor's degree in Scripture and in the Sentences. Thus Bonaventure studied profoundly Sacred Scripture, the Sentences of Peter Lombard the theology manual in that time and the most important theological authors. He was in contact with the teachers and students from across Europe who converged in Paris and he developed his own personal thinking and a spiritual sensitivity of great value with which, in the following years, he was able to infuse his works and his sermons, thus becoming one of the most important theologians in the history of the Church. It is important to remember the title of the thesis he defended in order to qualify to teach theology, the licentia ubique docendi, as it was then called. His dissertation was entitled Questions on the knowledge of Christ. This subject reveals the central role that Christ always played in Bonaventure's life and teaching. We may certainly say that the whole of his thinking was profoundly Christocentric.
In those years in Paris, Bonaventure's adopted city, a violent dispute was raging against the Friars Minor of St Francis Assisi and the Friars Preachers of St Dominic de Guzmán. Their right to teach at the university was contested and doubt was even being cast upon the authenticity of their consecrated life. Of course, the changes introduced by the Mendicant Orders in the way of understanding religious life, of which I have spoken in previous Catecheses, were so entirely new that not everyone managed to understand them. Then it should be added, just as sometimes happens even among sincerely religious people, that human weakness, such as envy and jealousy, came into play. Although Bonaventure was confronted by the opposition of the other university masters, he had already begun to teach at the Franciscans' Chair of theology and, to respond to those who were challenging the Mendicant Orders, he composed a text entitled Evangelical Perfection. In this work he shows how the Mendicant Orders, especially the Friars Minor, in practising the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, were following the recommendations of the Gospel itself. Over and above these historical circumstances the teaching that Bonaventure provides in this work of his and in his life remains every timely: the Church is made more luminous and beautiful by the fidelity to their vocation of those sons and daughters of hers who not only put the evangelical precepts into practice but, by the grace of God, are called to observe their counsels and thereby, with their poor, chaste and obedient way of life, to witness to the Gospel as a source of joy and perfection.
The storm blew over, at least for a while, and through the personal intervention of Pope Alexander VI in 1257, Bonaventure was officially recognized as a doctor and master of the University of Paris. However, he was obliged to relinquish this prestigious office because in that same year the General Chapter of the Order elected him Minister General.
He fulfilled this office for 17 years with wisdom and dedication, visiting the provinces, writing to his brethren, and at times intervening with some severity to eliminate abuses. When Bonaventure began this service, the Order of Friars Minor had experienced an extraordinary expansion: there were more than 30,000 Friars scattered throughout the West with missionaries in North Africa, the Middle East, and even in Peking. It was necessary to consolidate this expansion and especially, to give it unity of action and of spirit in full fidelity to Francis' charism. In fact different ways of interpreting the message of the Saint of Assisi arose among his followers and they ran a real risk of an internal split. To avoid this danger in 1260 the General Chapter of the Order in Narbonne accepted and ratified a text proposed by Bonaventure in which the norms regulating the daily life of the Friars Minor were collected and unified. Bonaventure, however, foresaw that regardless of the wisdom and moderation which inspired the legislative measures they would not suffice to guarantee communion of spirit and hearts. It was necessary to share the same ideals and the same motivations.
For this reason Bonaventure wished to present the authentic charism of Francis, his life and his teaching. Thus he zealously collected documents concerning the Poverello and listened attentively to the memories of those who had actually known Francis. This inspired a historically well founded biography of the Saint of Assisi, entitled Legenda Maior. It was redrafted more concisely, hence entitled Legenda minor. Unlike the Italian term the Latin word does not mean a product of the imagination but, on the contrary, "Legenda" means an authoritative text, "to be read" officially. Indeed, the General Chapter of the Friars Minor in 1263, meeting in Pisa, recognized St Bonaventure's biography as the most faithful portrait of their Founder and so it became the Saint's official biography.
What image of St Francis emerged from the heart and pen of his follower and successor, St Bonaventure? The key point: Francis is an alter Christus, a man who sought Christ passionately. In the love that impelled Francis to imitate Christ, he was entirely conformed to Christ. Bonaventure pointed out this living ideal to all Francis' followers. This ideal, valid for every Christian, yesterday, today and for ever, was also proposed as a programme for the Church in the Third Millennium by my Predecessor, Venerable John Paul II. This programme, he wrote in his Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, is centred "in Christ himself, who is to be known, loved and imitated, so that in him we may live the life of the Trinity, and with him transform history until its fulfilment in the heavenly Jerusalem" (n. 29).
In 1273, St Bonaventure experienced another great change in his life. Pope Gregory X wanted to consecrate him a Bishop and to appoint him a Cardinal. The Pope also asked him to prepare the Second Ecumenical Council of Lyons, a most important ecclesial event, for the purpose of re-establishing communion between the Latin Church and the Greek Church. Boniface dedicated himself diligently to this task but was unable to see the conclusion of this ecumenical session because he died before it ended. An anonymous papal notary composed a eulogy to Bonaventure which gives us a conclusive portrait of this great Saint and excellent theologian. "A good, affable, devout and compassionate man, full of virtue, beloved of God and human beings alike.... God in fact had bestowed upon him such grace that all who saw him were pervaded by a love that their hearts could not conceal" (cf. J.G. Bougerol, Bonaventura, in A. Vauchez (edited by), Storia dei santi e della santità cristiana. Vol. VI. L'epoca del rinnovamento evangelico, Milan 191, p. 91).
Let us gather the heritage of this holy doctor of the Church who reminds us of the meaning of our life with the following words: "On earth... we may contemplate the divine immensity through reasoning and admiration; in the heavenly homeland, on the other hand, through the vision, when we are likened to God and through ecstasy... we shall enter into the joy of God" (La conoscenza di Cristo, q. 6, conclusione, in Opere di San Bonaventura. Opuscoli Teologici / 1, Rome 1993, p. 187).
BENEDICT XVI, GENERAL AUDIENCE, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, 10 March 2010
Saint Bonaventure ( part 2)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In our catechesis on the Christian culture of the Middle Ages, we return to the teaching of Saint Bonaventure, the great Franciscan theologian of the thirteenth century. Bonaventure refuted the idea, based on the doctrine of Joachim of Fiore and associated with the “spiritual” Franciscans, that Saint Francis had inaugurated a new and final age of the Holy Spirit, to replace the age of Christ and the Church. In his defence of the newness of the Franciscan charism, he developed a remarkable theology of history and progress, based on the definitiveness of the Christ event and its enduring fruitfulness in the history of the Church. He insisted that Christian revelation will not be surpassed in history, and that the future fulfilment of God’s plan remains the object of our Christian hope. Bonaventure was influenced by the writings of Pseudo-Dionysius, which present God as the origin and goal of a goodness which pervades the cosmos. In his work, The Journey of the Mind to God, he guides the soul from created realities to the mystic contemplation of the Triune God. Bonaventure made Christ the centre of his theology; his writings invite us to welcome Christ’s word into our hearts and thus to experience the joy of God’s eternal love.
BENEDICT XVI, GENERAL AUDIENCE, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, 17 March 2010
Saint Bonaventure ( part 3)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In our catechesis on the Christian culture of the Middle Ages, we turn once more to Saint Bonaventure. Bonaventure was a contemporary of Saint Thomas Aquinas, and the two great theologians reveal the rich diversity of the theology of the thirteenth century. Whereas Thomas saw theology as primarily a theoretical science, concerned with knowing God, Bonaventure saw it as practical, concerned with that “wisdom” which enables us to love God and conform our wills to his. Thomas’s emphasis on truth complements Bonaventure’s emphasis on love within the unity of a great common vision. As a Franciscan, Bonaventure reflects the primacy of love embodied in the life of Saint Francis. He was also deeply influenced by the theology of Pseudo-Dionysius, with its emphasis on the heavenly hierarchies which serve as steps leading the creature to communion with the Triune God. Pseudo-Dionysius also inspired his reflections on the darkness of the Cross, where, in the ascent of the mind to God, reason can go no further and love enters the divine mystery. As a great master of prayer, Bonaventure invites us to let our minds and hearts rise from the contemplation of creation to rest in God’s eternal love.
© Copyright 2010 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Feast Day: July 15
Born: 1221, Bagnoregio, Province of Viterbo, Latium, Papal States (now modern-day Italy)
Died: July 15, 1274, Lyon, Lyonnais, Kingdom of Arles (now modern-day France)
Canonized: April 14, 1482, Rome by Pope Sixtus IV
Feast Day: July 15
Born: 1221 :: Died: 1274
St. Benedict was born at Narsia in Umbria, Italy. Coming from a rich Italian family, his life was full of adventure and wonderful events. As a boy, he was sent to Rome to study in the public schools but was troubled by the bad behavior of the other students. When he was a young man, he became disgusted with the terrible lifestyle of pagan Rome (Romans who believed in false gods).
Benedict left the city and went looking for a place where he could be alone with God. He found the right spot. It was a cave in the mountain of Subiaco. Benedict spent three years there alone. The devil often tempted him to go back to his rich home and easy life. But Benedict prayed and did penance and did not give in to these temptations.
One day, when the devil sneakily tried to tempt him with bad thoughts and Benedict almost gave in to the temptation. Then he felt so sorry for the sin he would have committed that he threw himself into a bush of long, sharp thorns. He rolled around in the thorns until he was covered with scratches. From then on, his life was calm. He did not feel powerful temptations like that again.
After three years, people started coming to Benedict. They wanted to learn how to become holy. He became the leader of some men who asked for his help. But when he tried to make them do penance, they grew so angry that they even tried to poison Benedict. He made the Sign of the Cross over the poisoned wine and the glass shattered to pieces.
Later, Benedict became the leader of many good monks. He started twelve monasteries. Then he went to Monte Cassino where he built his most well-known monastery. It was here that St. Benedict wrote the wonderful rules for the Benedictine order. He taught his monks to pray and work hard. He taught them especially to be humble always.
Benedict and his monks greatly helped the people of their times. They taught them how to read and write, how to farm, and how to work at different trades. St. Benedict was able to do good because he prayed all the time. He could read minds, could tell the future and drive out demons. He destroyed many pagan statues and altars where they worshiped the false gods. He died on March 21, 547. The pope proclaimed him the patron of Europe.
Reflection: "Put Christ before all else."-the Rule of St. Benedict
Thank you so much for including me in the Alleluia Ping. Today’s commentary has given me a new insight into the Finding in the Temple. For Jesus, the Father is before anything else, even his earthly mother and father. And that is the example we are called to follow.
|English: Douay-Rheims||Latin: Vulgata Clementina||Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)|
|34.||Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword.||Nolite arbitrari quia pacem venerim mittere in terram : non veni pacem mittere, sed gladium :||μη νομισητε οτι ηλθον βαλειν ειρηνην επι την γην ουκ ηλθον βαλειν ειρηνην αλλα μαχαιραν|
|35.||For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.||veni enim separare hominem adversus patrem suum, et filiam adversus matrem suam, et nurum adversus socrum suam :||ηλθον γαρ διχασαι ανθρωπον κατα του πατρος αυτου και θυγατερα κατα της μητρος αυτης και νυμφην κατα της πενθερας αυτης|
|36.||And as a man's enemies shall be they of his own household.||et inimici hominis, domestici ejus.||και εχθροι του ανθρωπου οι οικειακοι αυτου|
|37.||He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me.||Qui amat patrem aut matrem plus quam me, non est me dignus : et qui amat filium aut filiam super me, non est me dignus.||ο φιλων πατερα η μητερα υπερ εμε ουκ εστιν μου αξιος και ο φιλων υιον η θυγατερα υπερ εμε ουκ εστιν μου αξιος|
|38.||And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me.||Et qui non accipit crucem suam, et sequitur me, non est me dignus.||και ος ου λαμβανει τον σταυρον αυτου και ακολουθει οπισω μου ουκ εστιν μου αξιος|
|39.||He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for me, shall find it.||Qui invenit animam suam, perdet illam : et qui perdiderit animan suam propter me, inveniet eam.||ο ευρων την ψυχην αυτου απολεσει αυτην και ο απολεσας την ψυχην αυτου ενεκεν εμου ευρησει αυτην|
|40.||He that receiveth you, receiveth me: and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me.||Qui recipit vos, me recipit : et qui me recipit, recipit eum qui me misit.||ο δεχομενος υμας εμε δεχεται και ο εμε δεχομενος δεχεται τον αποστειλαντα με|
|41.||He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall receive the reward of a prophet: and he that receiveth a just man in the name of a just man, shall receive the reward of a just man.||Qui recipit prophetam in nomine prophetæ, mercedem prophetæ accipiet : et qui recipit justum in nomine justi, mercedem justi accipiet.||ο δεχομενος προφητην εις ονομα προφητου μισθον προφητου ληψεται και ο δεχομενος δικαιον εις ονομα δικαιου μισθον δικαιου ληψεται|
|42.||And whosoever shall give to drink to one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, amen I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.||Et quicumque potum dederit uni ex minimis istis calicem aquæ frigidæ tantum in nomine discipuli : amen dico vobis, non perdet mercedem suam.||και ος εαν ποτιση ενα των μικρων τουτων ποτηριον ψυχρου μονον εις ονομα μαθητου αμην λεγω υμιν ου μη απολεση τον μισθον αυτου|
|1.||AND it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he passed from thence, to teach and preach in their cities.||Et factum est, cum consummasset Jesus, præcipiens duodecim discipulis suis, transiit inde ut doceret, et prædicaret in civitatibus eorum.||και εγενετο οτε ετελεσεν ο ιησους διατασσων τοις δωδεκα μαθηταις αυτου μετεβη εκειθεν του διδασκειν και κηρυσσειν εν ταις πολεσιν αυτων|
Monday, July 15>
Liturgical Color: White>
Today is the Memorial of St. Teresa of Jesus,
virgin and Doctor of the Church. St. Teresa
helped reform the Carmelite Order, founding
17 convents. She died in 1528.
Saint Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
“Blessed is the Lord, who did not leave us.” (Psalm 124:6)
Things certainly looked dark for the Israelites. A clan that had once been treated as close to royalty as possible, the children of Jacob were now slaves in Egypt, forced into back-breaking toil. Pharaoh was even taking steps to wipe them out by killing their male children. What grounds could the people possibly have for hope?
Appearing in the desert, God gave Moses a very simple message for his people: I am with you. “I have come down to rescue you” (Exodus 3:8), he told them. Now, this was just a message, little more than a promise. God didn’t save them right away. Their terrible circumstances didn’t change overnight. The same threats and dangers remained for quite some time, so they had to believe and hope.
And yet things were vastly different. Now they knew that God was with them. He had heard their cry, and he was setting events in motion that would bring about their deliverance.
Sometimes when darkness seems to surround us, we can feel overwhelmed and without any hope. Caught up in our challenges, we risk losing sight of the big picture. In the name of being realistic, we surrender to despair. But God is with us.
Yes, a diagnosis of terminal illness is a crushing blow. Yes, a prison sentence is foreboding. Yes, losing a job puts your whole life and the welfare of your family in jeopardy. Yes, a rupture in the family is wrenching, devastating. Without God, we are at the mercy of so many hostile or indifferent forces. But God is with us.
No matter who you are, no matter what you have done, no matter what you are facing, God loves you. Our faithful, miracle-working God has a plan for your life and the lives of those you love. When we lose sight of this reality, we don’t have the true picture. Everything gets out of focus. So always remember that whatever the reality of your present situation, there is always reason to trust in God. As he showed the Israelites through Moses, our God will never let us down.
“Almighty God, your love is more powerful than every evil in my life. I cast myself on your great mercy.”
Exodus 1:8-14, 22; Matthew 10:34–11:1
Daily Readings for: July 15, 2013
(Readings on USCCB website)
Collect: Grant, we pray, almighty God, that, just as we celebrate the heavenly birthday of the Bishop Saint Bonaventure, we may benefit from his great learning and constantly imitate the ardor of his charity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Ordinary Time: July 15th
Memorial of St. Bonaventure, bishop and doctor
Old Calendar: St. Henry, emperor and confessor
St. Bonaventure was born in Italy in 1221. He joined the Franciscan Order and went to Paris for his studies. He was made General of his Order and deserves to be reckoned its second founder for his work in consolidating an institution that was as yet ill-defined in nature. St. Bonaventure died at Lyons in 1274 during the general Council between Greeks and Latins held in this city. Dante had already included him among the inhabitants of his "Paradise". He is known as the Seraphic Doctor.
According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Henry. His feast in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is celebrated on July 13. In England this day is known as "St. Swithin's Day," celebrating the day his relics were transferred. The Catholic Church celebrates St. Swithin's feast on July 2.
"In Bonaventure we meet a unique personality. He was unsurpassed in sanctity, wisdom, eloquence, and gifted with a remarkable skill of accomplishing things, a heart full of love, a winning disposition, benevolent, affable, pious, charitable, rich in virtue, beloved by God and man. . . . The Lord endowed him with such a charming disposition that everyone who saw him was immediately attracted to him." In these words the historian of the Council of Lyons concludes his account on St. Bonaventure.
At an early age he was a celebrated teacher and a powerful preacher. At thirty-six he was called to the highest post among the Franciscans, the Order which honors him as a second founder. He was an important figure at the Council of Lyons. His virtue and wisdom, his versatility and mildness were major factors in attaining the happy result that the Greeks so easily returned to the unity of the Church.
Bonaventure was a subtle scholastic and a profound mystic. Because of the latter he is known as the "Seraphic Teacher." In philosophy he was the principal leader of the Platonic-Augustinian school of Franciscan thought; as such he stood opposed to the Aristotelianism that was making its way into the schools of the time (Thomas of Aquin). Bonaventure's Life of St. Francis was a favorite book of the Middle Ages. When St. Thomas was told about Bonaventure's work, he said: "Let us allow one saint to labor for another." His contemporaries are said to have believed that no one was "more handsome, more holy, or more learned" than he.
Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
Patron: Bowel disorders.
Symbols: Cardinal's hat; ciborium; communion.
Often portrayed as: Cardinal in Franciscan robes, usually reading or writing.
Things to Do:
St. Swithin's Day
The Roman Martyrology mentions St. Swithin, Bishop of Winchester, England. He died on July 2, but "St. Swithin's Day" is July 15 in the Anglican Church. He is another of the "weather saints" — if it rains on July 15, it will rain forty more days. If no rain, it will be fair for forty more days, as the old rhyme says:
St. Swithin's day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St. Swithin's day if thou be fair
For forty days 'twill rain nae mair.
This weather patronage traces back to July 15, 871 when the monks were translating his body (relics) from the outdoor grave to an indoor shrine in the Cathedral. The saint apparently did not approve, as it rained for 40 days afterward. See July 2 for more biographical details of this saint.
St Bonaventure is called the "Seraphic Doctor" because he revealed certain warmth toward others as a divine fire. His leadership with the Franciscans, following St Francis of Assisi, expressed itself by showing charity, goodwill and ardent affection toward others besides having great discernment in decision-making and judgment.
He offers to help us, as will all those in heaven, when we petition him for help. We can truly be transformed and change our habits and attitudes only with divine assistance. We must help ourselves but most interior betterment only comes with divine assistance.
Do you really want to live and love passionately? Everyone loves cheerful, enthusiastic and unselfish givers. Our doctor's generosity and kindness toward others were fervent and caring. How do we obtain that kindness and caring?
St Bonaventure tells us to look carefully at the crucified Christ. Gradually this practice will enable us to become more compassionate and understanding toward others. People will begin to see God in you, even if you don't. Then, you will shine like a seraph, the highest rank of angels, as Bonaventure.
When we humble ourselves, reflect upon the crucified Lord often, and share unselfishly, acting with goodness toward others, Jesus mysteriously becomes alive in us, and is plainly seen by others.
St. Bonaventure, 1217-1274. Seraphic Doctor, Feast July 15th.
Marriage = One Man and One Woman
Til' Death Do Us Part
Some spouses need to bite their tongues more; others need to loosen their tongues and share more. Which are you? With time, hopefully you become like Goldilocks and find the middle ground that is just right.
Love is Demanding
Memorial of Saint Bonaventure, bishop and doctor of the Church
Matthew 10: 34-11:1
Jesus said to his Apostles: "Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man ´against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one´s enemies will be those of his household.´ Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet´s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man´s reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple-- amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward." When Jesus finished giving these commands to his twelve disciples, he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.
Introductory Prayer: Almighty and ever-living God, I seek new strength from the courage of Christ our shepherd. I believe in you, I hope in you, and I seek to love you with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength. I want to be led one day to join the saints in heaven, where your Son Jesus Christ lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.
Petition: Jesus, I want to love as you have loved me.
1. Not Peace but the Sword: Complacency can be defined as "self-satisfaction accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies". This is a false peace, even a harmful peace. It is a self-satisfied peace that lulls us to sleep and can result in the loss of those things that are truly most valuable in life: God, faith, family, etc.... Jesus comes to interrupt that false peace by upending the tables of our lives (cf. John 2:15) in an effort to awaken us to the dangers that our false peace has blinded us to. As he drove out the sheep and oxen from the temple, so, too, he will use circumstances, trials and difficulties as his "sword" to drive out from our lives whatever is opposed to God´s goodness and our own dignity.
2. Nothing Before God: With this phrase we start getting an inkling of the type of sword our Lord is wielding. He is giving us a criterion that starts from heaven downward because he is trying to lift us from the earth upward. What natural relationship is closer than the one between a parent and child, especially a mother and child? Yet even this bond must be subordinate to the love we have for God. Why? Well, no creature, not even our parents, can bring us to the fullness of life and happiness that comes only from God. God wants us to love him, not because he needs our love but because we need him. He is objective reality, and we must always move from the subjective to the objective if we are to possess the truth. Jesus invites us to adapt our standards from the merely natural and passing to the supernatural and everlasting.
3. Love of God Is Inclusive Not Exclusive: Giving a cup of water to one of the least of our brothers and sisters will not go unrewarded, and therefore, unnoticed. In this way, Jesus shows that he is not calling us to a love of God that excludes others. The standard of placing God first does not exclude love for mother or father, sister or brother. Once we love God as he deserves, we will learn to love others as they truly deserve. In fact, we merit the vision of the God we cannot see by loving the neighbor we do see.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, following you demands my all, and at times it seems that I do not have the strength to give what you ask. Help me to stay close to you in prayer and in the sacraments so as to have the grace to live the standard of love and generosity that you ask. Mother Most Pure, make my heart only for Jesus.
Resolution: Today I will make three acts of self-denial and offer them for someone in need of prayers.
Our own personal decision to follow Jesus will bring us face-to-face with struggles from within and without, and both will challenge that decision. Sometimes, even our nearest and dearest friends will not understand, and may even reject us. Even then, our determination to follow Jesus must remain intact. There is no middle road to Jesus. Jesus forces us to make some fundamental and basic options in life. No one can be indifferent to Jesus. We are either for him, or against him. Jesus is the rock against which generations of men and women have clashed, and continue to clash. Whoever does not love Jesus, winds up hating him. Jesus is such a challenge to our pride and love of comfort, that we either love him and hate our selfishness, or we cling to our selfishness and wind up becoming indifferent and opposed to him. This is the biggest cross: our own self-denial, loving Jesus above all things, including our very self.
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**For Jesus, the Father is before anything else, even his earthly mother and father. And that is the example we are called to follow.**
Please pass the word to my sister in St. Louis! And thanks!