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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 09-08-13, Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 09-08-13 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 09/07/2013 8:13:41 PM PDT by Salvation

September 8, 2013

 

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

 

Reading 1 Wis 9:13-18b

Who can know God’s counsel,
or who can conceive what the LORD intends?
For the deliberations of mortals are timid,
and unsure are our plans.
For the corruptible body burdens the soul
and the earthen shelter weighs down the mind that has many concerns.
And scarce do we guess the things on earth,
and what is within our grasp we find with difficulty;
but when things are in heaven, who can search them out?
Or who ever knew your counsel, except you had given wisdom
and sent your holy spirit from on high?
And thus were the paths of those on earth made straight.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14-17

R. (1) In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You turn man back to dust,
saying, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in your sight
are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You make an end of them in their sleep;
the next morning they are like the changing grass,
Which at dawn springs up anew,
but by evening wilts and fades.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
And may the gracious care of the LORD our God be ours;
prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands!
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

Reading 2 Phmn 9-10, 12-17

I, Paul, an old man,
and now also a prisoner for Christ Jesus,
urge you on behalf of my child Onesimus,
whose father I have become in my imprisonment;
I am sending him, that is, my own heart, back to you.
I should have liked to retain him for myself,
so that he might serve me on your behalf
in my imprisonment for the gospel,
but I did not want to do anything without your consent,
so that the good you do might not be forced but voluntary.
Perhaps this is why he was away from you for a while,
that you might have him back forever,
no longer as a slave
but more than a slave, a brother,
beloved especially to me, but even more so to you,
as a man and in the Lord.
So if you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me.

Gospel Lk 14:25-33

Great crowds were traveling with Jesus,
and he turned and addressed them,
“If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother,
wife and children, brothers and sisters,
and even his own life,
he cannot be my disciple.
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me
cannot be my disciple.
Which of you wishing to construct a tower
does not first sit down and calculate the cost
to see if there is enough for its completion?
Otherwise, after laying the foundation
and finding himself unable to finish the work
the onlookers should laugh at him and say,
‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’
Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down
and decide whether with ten thousand troops
he can successfully oppose another king
advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops?
But if not, while he is still far away,
he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms.
In the same way,
anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions
cannot be my disciple.”



TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: brokencaucus; catholic; ordinarytime; prayer
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1 posted on 09/07/2013 8:13:41 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping!
 
If you aren’t on this ping list NOW and would like to be, 
please Freepmail me.

2 posted on 09/07/2013 8:15:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Wisdom 9:13-18
Wisdom essential for discerning God’s will
________________________________________
[13] For what man can learn the counsel of God?
Or who can discern what the Lord wills?
[14] For the reasoning of mortals is worthless,
and our designs are likely to fail,
[15] for a perishable body weighs down the soul,
and this earthly tent burdens the thoughtful mind.
[16] We can hardly guess at what is on earth,
and what is at hand we find with labour;
but who has traced out what is in the heavens?
[17] Who has learned thy counsel, unless thou hast given wisdom
and sent thy holy Spirit from on high?
[18] And thus the paths of those on earth were set right,
and men were taught what pleases thee,
and were saved by wisdom.”
*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:
9:13-18. These verses conclude the survey of wisdom, which as we saw is
sometimes identified with the “holy Spirit” that God sends from on high (v. 17).
The last verse says that thanks to wisdom men are saved (v. 18), for through it
they have learned to understand God’s purposes. Left to himself, man cannot
attain wisdom because his reasoning powers are quite limited and he is often
side-tracked (v. 14); moreover, the cares of life get in the way (v. 15); in the last
analysis, man is really quite limited (v. 16). In speaking like this, the writer is not
saying that we cannot discover truth; all he means is that God’s purposes, the
Wisdom of God, cannot be discovered by man on his own. But now that the
Word has become man, we can manage to know the mystery of God: “Because
God did not wish to be known any longer through the image and sign of living
wisdom to be found in created things, as happened in former times, it was his
will that Wisdom itself would become flesh, and that, having been made man, he
would suffer death on the cross; so that in all the days to come, everyone who
believed in him could be saved through their faith in the cross. In former times,
the Wisdom of God stamped his seal on all created things – and the presence of
his sign is the reason why we called them ‘created’ – to reveal himself and so
make his Father known. But later, this same Wisdom, who is the Word, was
made flesh, as St John says; and having overcome death and saved the human
race, he revealed himself in a clearer way and, through himself, revealed the
Father” (St Athanasius, Contra arianos, 2, 81-82).
Verse 15 seems to contain the Platonic idea of the body being the prison of the
soul, but the sacred writer does not think that the soul pre-existed the body: all he
is doing is making the point that the physical part of man blinds him to spiritual
things. St Paul will expand on this when he talks about how his members contend
with his “inmost self”: “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this
body of death?” (Rom 7:24).
********************************************************************************************
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.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


3 posted on 09/07/2013 8:17:15 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Philemon 9-10; 12-17
A Plea on Onesimus’ Behalf (Continuation)
________________________________________
[9] Yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an ambassador
and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus—[10] I appeal to you for my,
child, Onesimus, whose father I have become in my imprisonment. [12] I am
sending him back to you, sending my very heart. [13] I would have been glad
to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during
my imprisonment for the gospel; [14] but I preferred to do nothing without
your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of
your own free will.
[15] Perhaps this is why he was parted from you for a while, that you
might have him back for ever, [16] no longer as a slave but more than a
slave, as a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you,
both in the flesh and in the Lord. [17] So if you consider me your
partner, receive him as you would receive me.
*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:
8-12. At this point St Paul gives his main reason for writing—to
intercede for Onesimus. Typically, he appeals to Philemon’s charity,
rather than demanding his cooperation (cf. 2 Cor 1:23), and to support
this appeal he refers to his (Paul’s) being “an old man” and a
“prisoner” for love of Jesus Christ (v. 9).
The Apostle’s generosity of spirit is plain to see: in spite of being
imprisoned he is self-forgetful and he uses every opportunity that
presents itself to win converts—as was the case with Onesimus; and
now he intercedes on his behalf. If once he was “useless” to his master,
Onesimus can now be very “useful”; there is here a play on words,
because the name Onesimus means “useful”: it is as if he were saying
that maybe Onesimus did not formerly live up to his name, but now he
does; he has been very useful to Paul and now that he is going back he
will also be useful to Philemon, who should receive him as if he were
the Apostle himself (v. 12).
We should never have fixed ideas about people; despite mistakes and
shortcomings, everyone can improve and, with God’s grace, undergo a
true change of heart.
The New Testament writings clearly show that the first Christians’
apostolate extended to all sectors of society with the result that
Christians were to be found everywhere. St John Chrysostom points
this out as follows: “Aquila worked at a manual wade; the lady who
sold purple ran a workshop, another [Christian] was in charge of a gaol;
another a centurion, like Cornelius; another was sick, like Timothy;
another, Onesimus, was a slave and a fugitive; yet none of them found
any of this an obstacle, and all shone for their holiness—men and
women, young and old, slaves and free, soldiers and civilians” (”Hom.
on St Matthew”, 43).
13-14. This is another example of the Apostle’s typical refinement.
Although his first idea was to keep Onesimus with him to help him
during his imprisonment, he prefers that he who has the force of law on
his side (Roman law, in this instance) should freely decide what action
to take (cf. his approach to making collections: 2 Cor 9:7).
In line with the teaching of Christ and his Apostles, the Second
Vatican Council “urges everyone, especially those responsible for
educating others, to try to form men and women with a respect for
the moral order and who will obey lawful authority and be lovers of
true freedom—men, and women, who direct their activities with a
sense of responsibility, and strive for what is true and just in willing
cooperation with others” (”Dignitatis Humanae”, 8).
St Paul’s refinement was not inspired only by reasons of friendship nor
was it a mere tactic: he wants people—in this case, Philemon—to come
to free personal decisions, for freedom is a great gift which God has given
to every person. “If only we lived like this, if only we knew how to imbue
our behavior with generosity, with a desire for understanding and peace!
We would encourage the rightful independence of all. Everyone would
take a responsible approach to the tasks that correspond to him in
temporal matters” ([St] J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 124).
15-16. At this point Paul’s thinking becomes exceptionally theological
and incisive. What at first sight could have been seen as something
bad—Onesimus’ running away—can now be viewed in another light, the
sharper light of divine providence: God can draw good out of evil, for
“in everything, God works for good with those who love him” (Rom 8:28);
he has allowed this incident to happen so as to give Onesimus the
chance to discover the Christian faith.
Therefore, Philemon should now recognize him as a brother, for faith in
Jesus Christ makes us all children of the same Father (cf. Gal 3:27- 28;
Eph 6:9). “Look at Paul writing on behalf of Onesimus, a runaway slave;
he is not ashamed to call him his child, his very heart, his brother, his
partner. What can I say?”, St John Chrysostom asks; “Jesus Christ
lowered himself to the point of making our slaves his brothers. If they
are brothers of Jesus Christ, then they are also our brothers” (”Hom.
on Philem”, 2, ad loc.).
Due to this teaching slavery gradually died out. The teaching of the
Church’s Magisterium has contributed to a growing realization that all
workers have innate dignity and rights as men and as sons and daughters
of God. In an early encyclical of modern times Leo XIII called on
employers to see that “it is truly shameful and inhuman to misuse men
as though they were mere things designed just to be used in the pursuit
of gain”, and reminded them of their duties never “to look upon workers
as their bondsmen but to respect in every man his dignity and worth as
a man and a Christian” (”Rerum Novarum”, 16).
Christianity, then, elevates and gives a new dignity to interpersonal
relationships, thereby helping produce changes and improvements in
social structures. Every Christian insofar as he can should contribute
to bringing these changes about, but the methods used to do so must
always be moral. Neglect to play one’s part in social reform could even
constitute a grave sin, a “social” sin against the virtue of justice.
John Paul II teaches that “the term ‘social’ applies to every sin
against justice in interpersonal relationships, committed either by the
individual against the community or by the community against the
individual. Also ‘social’ is every sin against the rights of the human
person, beginning with the right to life and including the life of the
unborn, or against a person’s physical integrity. Likewise ‘social’ is
every sin against others’ freedom, especially against the supreme
freedom to believe in God and adore him; ‘social’ is every sin against
the dignity and honor of one’s neighbor. Also ‘social’ is every sin
against the common good and its exigencies in relation to the whole
broad spectrum of the rights and duties of citizens. The term ‘social’
can be applied to sins of commission or omission—on the part of
political, economic or trade union leaders, who though in a position to
do so do not work diligently and wisely for the improvement and
transformation of society according to the requirements and potential
of the given historic moment; as also on the part of workers who
through absenteeism or non-cooperation fail to ensure that their
industries can continue to advance the well-being of the workers
themselves, of their families, and of the whole of society”
(”Reconciliatio Et Paenitentia”, 16).
17-21. Paul identifies himself with Onesimus because they share the
same faith—and Paul is an extremely generous person. Here we can
clearly see his great charity which leads him to love everyone much
more than is his strict duly. “Be convinced that justice alone is never
enough to solve the great problems of mankind. When justice alone is
done, do not be surprised if people are hurt: the dignity of man, who
is a son of God, requires much more. Charity must penetrate and
accompany justice because it sweetens and deifies everything: ‘God
is love’ (1 Jn 4:16). Our motive in everything we do should be the Love
of God, which makes it easier for us to love our neighbor and which
purifies all earthly love and raises it on to a higher level” ([St] J. Escriva,
“Friends of God”, 172). It is not surprising, then, that the Apostle should
ask Philemon to charge it to his account if Onesimus has wronged him
or owes him anything (v. 18). And as if to confirm this commitment with
affection and good humor he as it were signs a docket promising to
pay any charge there may be. However, he immediately goes on to
remind Philemon that if they worked out their accounts Philemon would
be found to be in debt to Paul, because it was due to Paul that he
became a Christian (v. l9). On this account Paul feels that he can
ask him to forgive Onesimus: that sign of love and affection would
really do Paul good in his present circumstances. But, he goes on to
say (it is a suggestion that delicately respects Philemon’s decision)
that he hopes Philemon’s obedience will lead him to do “even more” (v.
21). As suggested in the Introduction to this letter he is probably
hoping that he will set Onesimus free. In the eyes of the law Onesimus
is still a slave; but as a Christian he is already a free man.
St Paul does not directly ask for Onesimus’ freedom, although he does
hint at it, encouraging his old master to set him free but leaving it
up to him to decide (and thereby merit). He reminds Philemon how
generous he, Paul, was towards him (vv. 18-19), in the hope that
Philemon will reciprocate. “This is a repetition of the same testimony
he expressed earlier in his letter”, St John Chrysostom points out;
“’knowing that you will do even more than I say’: it is impossible to
imagine anything more persuasive, any more convincing argument than
this tender regard of his generosity which St Paul expresses; Philemon
cannot but agree to his demand” (”Hom. on Philem, ad loc.”).
*********************************************************************************************
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.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 09/07/2013 8:17:51 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 14:25-33
Conditions For Following Jesus
________________________________________
[25] Now great multitudes accompanied Him (Jesus); and He turned and
said to them, [26] “If any one comes to Me and does not hate his own
father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes,
and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. [27] Whoever does not
bear his own cross and come after Me, cannot be My disciple. [28] For
which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count
the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? [29] Otherwise, when
he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to
mock him, [30] saying, `This man began to build, and was not able to
finish.’ [31] Or what king, going to encounter another king in a war, will
not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand
to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? [32] And if
not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks
terms of peace. [33] So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all
that he has cannot be My disciple.”
*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:
26. These words of our Lord should not disconcert us. Love for God
and for Jesus should have pride of place in our lives and we should keep
away from anything which obstructs this love: “In this world let us love
everyone,” St. Gregory the Great comments, “even though he be our
enemy; but let us hate him who opposes us on our way to God, though
he be our relative [...]. We should then, love, our neighbor; we should
have charity towards all—towards relative and towards strangers—but
without separating ourselves from the love of God out of love for them”
(”In Evangelia Homiliae”, 37, 3). In the last analysis, it is a matter of
keeping the proper hierarchy of charity: God must take priority over
everything.
This verse must be understood, therefore, in the context of all of our
Lord’s teachings (cf. Luke 6:27-35). These are “hard words. True,
`hate’ does not exactly express what Jesus meant. Yet He did put it
very strongly, because He doesn’t just mean `love less,’ as some people
interpret it in an attempt to tone down the sentence. The force behind
these vigorous words does not lie in their implying a negative or pitiless
attitude, for the Jesus who is speaking here is none other than that Jesus
who commands us to love others as we love ourselves and who gives up
His life for mankind. These words indicate simply that we cannot be
half-hearted when it comes to loving God. Christ’s words could be
translated as `love more, love better’, in the sense that a selfish or
partial love is not enough: we have to love others with the love of God”
([St] J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 97). See the notes on
Matthew 10:34-37; Luke 2:49.
As the Second Vatican Council explains, Christians “strive to please
God rather than men, always ready to abandon everything for Christ”
(Vatican II, “Apostolicam Actuositatem, 4).
27. Christ “by suffering for us not only gave us an example so that we
might follow in His footsteps, but He also opened up a way. If we follow
that way, life and death becomes holy and acquire a new meaning”
(Vatican II, “Gaudium Et Spes”, 22).
The way the Christian follows is that of imitating Christ. We can follow
Him only if we help Him bear His cross. We all have experience of
suffering, and suffering leads to unhappiness unless it is accepted
with a Christian outlook. The Cross is not a tragedy: it is God’s way
of teaching us that through sin we can be sanctified, becoming one with
Christ and winning Heaven as a reward. This is why it is so Christian
to love pain: “Let us bless pain. Love pain. Sanctify pain....Glorify
pain!” ([St] J. Escriva, “The Way”, 208).
28-35. Our Lord uses different examples to show that if mere human
prudence means that a person should try to work out in advance the
risks he may run, with all the more reason should a Christian embrace
the cross voluntarily and generously, because there is no other way he
can follow Jesus Christ. “`Quia hic homo coepit aedificare et non
potuit consummare! He started to build and was unable to finish!’ A
sad commentary which, if you don’t want, need be made about you:
for you possess everything necessary to crown the edifice of your
sanctification—the grace of God and your own will.” ([St] J. Escriva,
“The Way”, 324).
33. Earlier our Lord spoke about “hating” one’s parents and one’s very
life; now He equally vigorously requires us to be completely detached
from possessions. This verse is a direct application of the two fore-
going parables: just as a king is imprudent if he goes to war with an
inadequate army, so anyone is foolish who thinks he can follow our
Lord without renouncing all his possessions. This renunciation should
really bite: our heart has to be unencumbered by anything material if
we are able to follow in our Lord’s footsteps. The reason is, as He tells
us later on, that it is impossible to “serve God and Mammon” (Luke
16:13). Not infrequently our Lord asks a person to practice total, volun-
tary poverty; and He asks everyone to practice genuine detachment
and generosity in the use of material things. If a Christian has to be
ready to give up even life itself, with all the more reason should he re-
nounce possessions: If you are a man of God, you will seek to despise
riches as intensely as men of the world seek to possess them” ([St] J.
Escriva, “The Way”, 633). See the note on Luke 12:33-34.
Besides, for a soul to become filled with God it must first be emptied
of everything that could be an obstacle to God’s indwelling: “The doc-
trine that the Son of God came to teach was contempt for all things in
order to receive as a reward the Spirit of God in himself. For, as long
as the soul does not reject all things, it has no capacity to receive the
Spirit of God in pure transformation” (St. John of the Cross, “Ascent
of Mount Carmel”, Book 1, Chapter 5, 2).
*********************************************************************************************
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.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


5 posted on 09/07/2013 8:21:43 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading

Wisdom 9:13-18 ©

What man indeed can know the intentions of God?

Who can divine the will of the Lord?

The reasonings of mortals are unsure

and our intentions unstable;

for a perishable body presses down the soul,

and this tent of clay weighs down the teeming mind.

It is hard enough for us to work out what is on earth,

laborious to know what lies within our reach;

who, then, can discover what is in the heavens?

As for your intention, who could have learnt it, had you not granted Wisdom

and sent your holy spirit from above?

Thus have the paths of those on earth been straightened

and men been taught what pleases you,

and saved, by Wisdom.


Psalm

Psalm 89:3-6,12-14,17 ©

O Lord, you have been our refuge from one generation to the next.

You turn men back to dust

  and say: ‘Go back, sons of men.’

To your eyes a thousand years

  are like yesterday, come and gone,

  no more than a watch in the night.

O Lord, you have been our refuge from one generation to the next.

You sweep men away like a dream,

  like the grass which springs up in the morning.

In the morning it springs up and flowers:

  by evening it withers and fades.

O Lord, you have been our refuge from one generation to the next.

Make us know the shortness of our life

  that we may gain wisdom of heart.

Lord, relent! Is your anger for ever?

  Show pity to your servants.

O Lord, you have been our refuge from one generation to the next.

In the morning, fill us with your love;

  we shall exult and rejoice all our days.

Let the favour of the Lord be upon us:

  give success to the work of our hands.

O Lord, you have been our refuge from one generation to the next.


Second reading

Philemon 1:9-10,12-17 ©

This is Paul writing, an old man now and, what is more, still a prisoner of Christ Jesus. I am appealing to you for a child of mine, whose father I became while wearing these chains: I mean Onesimus. I am sending him back to you, and with him – I could say – a part of my own self. I should have liked to keep him with me; he could have been a substitute for you, to help me while I am in the chains that the Good News has brought me. However, I did not want to do anything without your consent; it would have been forcing your act of kindness, which should be spontaneous. I know you have been deprived of Onesimus for a time, but it was only so that you could have him back for ever, not as a slave any more, but something much better than a slave, a dear brother; especially dear to me, but how much more to you, as a blood-brother as well as a brother in the Lord. So if all that we have in common means anything to you, welcome him as you would me.


Gospel Acclamation

Jn15:15

Alleluia, alleluia!

I call you friends, says the Lord,

because I have made known to you

everything I have learnt from my Father.

Alleluia!

Or

Ps118:135

Alleluia, alleluia!

Let your face shine on your servant;

and teach me your decrees.

Alleluia!


Gospel

Luke 14:25-33 ©

Great crowds accompanied Jesus on his way and he turned and spoke to them. ‘If any man comes to me without hating his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes and his own life too, he cannot be my disciple. Anyone who does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.

  ‘And indeed, which of you here, intending to build a tower, would not first sit down and work out the cost to see if he had enough to complete it? Otherwise, if he laid the foundation and then found himself unable to finish the work, the onlookers would all start making fun of him and saying, “Here is a man who started to build and was unable to finish.” Or again, what king marching to war against another king would not first sit down and consider whether with ten thousand men he could stand up to the other who advanced against him with twenty thousand? If not, then while the other king was still a long way off, he would send envoys to sue for peace. So in the same way, none of you can be my disciple unless he gives up all his possessions.’


6 posted on 09/07/2013 8:28:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray with Pope Benedict

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Pope to welcome 70,000 youths, confirm 44 (this Sunday) [Catholic Caucus]
Pope Francis’ General Audience focused on women. Feminists aren’t 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
Benedict XVI's Final General Audience
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
Following the Truth: The Year Of Faith – 10 Things You Should Know [Catholic Caucus]
Papal Encyclical on Faith Announced

On the Desire for God
On the Ecclesial Nature of Faith
On the Nature of Faith
Catechism's benefits explained for Year of Faith (Catholic Caucus)
A Life of Faith: Papal Theologian Speaks on the Grace of Faith
ASIA/LAOS - "Year of Faith" amid the persecutions of Christians forced to become "animists"
From no faith to a mountain-top of meaning: Father John Nepil (Catholic Caucus)
Living the Year of Faith: How Pope Benedict Wants You to Begin [Catholic Caucus]
Share Your Faith in This Year of Faith: Two keys to help you do it.
On A New Series of Audiences for The Year of Faith

Pope will deliver year-long teaching series on restoring faith
Pope Benedict XVI Grants Plenary Indulgence to Faithful [Catholic Caucus]
Pope, at Marian shrine, entrusts Year of Faith, synod to Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Church Calls for Public Prayers in Offices on Fridays
Highlights in the Plan for Year of Faith: Traditional Events Will Take on Special Perspective
Catholic Church calls for public prayers in offices on Fridays
Vatican Unveils Logo for Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Miami Prelate Recalls Pope's Visit to Cuba, Looks to Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
The World-Changing Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Vatican to Issue Recommendations for Celebrating Year of Faith

7 posted on 09/07/2013 8:30:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
8 posted on 09/07/2013 8:32:46 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
9 posted on 09/07/2013 8:33:09 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

 
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 priests

This 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.

10 posted on 09/07/2013 8:41:14 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

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

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]


11 posted on 09/07/2013 8:41:50 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



~ PRAYER ~

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.
 Amen
+

12 posted on 09/07/2013 8:42:28 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

   

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


13 posted on 09/07/2013 8:43:03 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Our Blessed Lady's Sorrows

Sea of Sorrow

Oh! on what a sea of sorrow
Was the Virgin-Mother cast,
When her eyes with tears o'erflowing
Gazed upon her Son aghast,
From the bloodstained gibbet taken,
Dying in her arms at last.

In her bitter desolation,
His sweet mouth, His bosom too,
Then His riven side beloved,
Then each hand, both wounded through,
Then His feet, with blood encrimsoned,
Her maternal tears bedew.

She, a hundred times and over,
Strains Him closely to her breast
Heart to Heart, arms arms enfolding,
Are His wounds on her impressed:
Thus, in sorrow's very kisses,
Melts her anguished soul to rest.

Oh, dear Mother! we beseech thee,
By the tears thine eyes have shed,
By the cruel death of Jesus
And His wounds' right royal red,
Make our hearts o'erflow with sorrow
From thy heart's deep fountainhead.

To the Father, Son, and Spirit,
Now we bend on equal knee:
Glory, sempiternal glory,
To the Most High Trinity;
Yea! perpetual praise and honor
Now and through all ages be.

Novena Prayer To Our Sorrowful Mother

Most Blessed and afflicted Virgin, Queen of Martyrs, who didst stand generously beneath the cross, beholding the agony of thy dying Son; by the sword of sorrow which then pierced thy soul, by the sufferings of thy sorrowful life, by the unutterable joy which now more than repays thee for them; look down with a mother's pity and tenderness, as I kneel before thee to compassionate thy sorrows, and to lay my petition with childlike confidence in thy wounded heart. I beg of thee, O my Mother, to plead continually for me with thy Son, since He can refuse thee nothing, and through the merits of His most sacred Passion and Death, together with thy own sufferings at the foot of the cross, so to touch His Sacred Heart, that I may obtain my request,
For to whom shall I fly in my wants and miseries, if not to thee, O Mother of mercy, who, having so deeply drunk the chalice of thy Son, canst most pity us poor exiles, still doomed to sigh in this vale of tears? Offer to Jesus but one drop of His Precious Blood, but one pang of His adorable Heart; remind Him that thou art our life, our sweetness, and our hope, and thou wilt obtain what I ask, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hail Mary
Virgin Most Sorrowful, pray for us
(Seven times each)

Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection. Into thy Heart, pierced by so many swords, do thou welcome my poor soul. Receive it as the companion of thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it shall please Our Lord to send me. I offer them all to thee in memory of thy sorrows, so that: every thought of my mind and every beat of my heart may be an act of compassion and of love for thee. And do thou, sweet Mother, have pity on me, reconcile me to thy Divine Son, Jesus; keep me in His grace and assist me in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet thee in Heaven and sing thy glories.

Most holy Virgin and Mother, whose soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the Passion of thy Divine Son, and who in His glorious Resurrection wast filled with never ending joy at His triumph, obtain for us who call upon thee, so to be partakers in the adversities of Holy Church and the Sorrows of the Sovereign Pontiff, as to be found worthy to rejoice with them in the consolations for which we pray, in the charity and peace of the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Litany of the Seven Sorrows

For private use only.

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary,
Pray for us.
Holy Mother of God,
Pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, etc.
Mother crucified,
Mother sorrowful,
Mother tearful,
Mother afflicted,
Mother forsaken,
Mother desolate,
Mother bereft of thy Child,
Mother transfixed with the sword,
Mother consumed with grief,
Mother filled with anguish,
Mother crucified in heart,
Mother most sad,
Fountain of tears,
Abyss of suffering,
Mirror of patience,
Rock of constancy,
Anchor of confidence,
Refuge of the forsaken,
Shield of the oppressed,
Subduer of the unbelieving,
Comfort of the afflicted,
Medicine of the sick,
Strength of the weak,
Harbor of the wrecked,
Allayer of tempests,
Resource of mourners,
Terror of the treacherous,
Treasure of the faithful,
Eye of the Prophets,
Staff of the Apostles,
Crown of Martyrs,
Light of confessors,
Pearl of virgins,
Consolation of widows,
Joy of all Saints,

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Look down upon us, deliver us, and save us from all trouble,
in the power of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Let Us Pray.
Imprint, O Lady, thy wounds upon my heart, that I may read therein sorrow and love
--- sorrow to endure every sorrow for thee, love to despise every love for thee. Amen.

Conclude with the Apostles Creed, Hail Holy Queen, and three Hail Marys,
in honor of the Most Holy Heart of Mary.

Stabat Mater Dolorosa

Stabat mater dolorosa
iuxta Crucem lacrimosa,
dum pendebat Filius.

Cuius animam gementem,
contristatam et dolentem
pertransivit gladius.

O quam tristis et afflicta
fuit illa benedicta,
mater Unigeniti!

Quae maerebat et dolebat,
pia Mater, dum videbat
nati poenas inclyti.

Quis est homo qui non fleret,
matrem Christi si videret
in tanto supplicio?

Quis non posset contristari
Christi Matrem contemplari
dolentem cum Filio?

Pro peccatis suae gentis
vidit Iesum in tormentis,
et flagellis subditum.

Vidit suum dulcem Natum
moriendo desolatum,
dum emisit spiritum.

Eia, Mater, fons amoris
me sentire vim doloris
fac, ut tecum lugeam.

Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
in amando Christum Deum
ut sibi complaceam.

Sancta Mater, istud agas,
crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.

Tui Nati vulnerati,
tam dignati pro me pati,
poenas mecum divide.

Fac me tecum pie flere,
crucifixo condolere,
donec ego vixero.

Iuxta Crucem tecum stare,
et me tibi sociare
in planctu desidero.

Virgo virginum praeclara,
mihi iam non sis amara,
fac me tecum plangere.

Fac, ut portem Christi mortem,
passionis fac consortem,
et plagas recolere.

Fac me plagis vulnerari,
fac me Cruce inebriari,
et cruore Filii.

Flammis ne urar succensus,
per te, Virgo, sim defensus
in die iudicii.

Christe, cum sit hinc exire,
da per Matrem me venire
ad palmam victoriae.

Quando corpus morietur,
fac, ut animae donetur
paradisi gloria. Amen.

Prayer To Our Lady of Sorrows, by St. Bridget

O Blessed Virgin Mary, Immaculate Mother of God, who didst endure a martyrdom of love and grief beholding the sufferings and sorrows of Jesus! Thou didst cooperate in the benefit of my redemption by thine innumerable afflictions and by offering to the Eternal Father His only begotten Son as a holocaust and victim of propitiation for my sins. I thank thee for the unspeakable love which led thee to deprive thyself of the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus, true God and true Man, to save me, a sinner. Oh, make use of the unfailing intercession of thy sorrows with the Father and the Son, that I may steadfastly amend my life and never again crucify my loving Redeemer by new sins, and that, persevering till death in His grace. I may obtain eternal life through the merits of His Cross and Passion. Amen.

Mother of love, of sorrow and of mercy, pray for us.

Saint Alphonsus Liguori's Prayer To The Mother Of Sorrows

O, my Blessed Mother, it is not one sword only with which I have pierced thy heart, but I have done so with as many as are the sins which I have committed. O, Lady, it is not to thee, who art innocent, that sufferings are due, but to me, who am guilty of so many crimes. But since thou hast been pleased to suffer so much for me, by thy merits, obtain me great sorrow for my sins, and patience under the trials of this life, which will always be light in comparison with my demerits; for I have often deserved Hell.
Amen.


 

Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 7 Sorrows (Dolours) and 7 Joys of Our Lady
The Seven Dolors (Sorrows) of Mary [Catholic/Orthodox Devotional]
Apparition in Africa: Our Lady of Sorrows [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary [Catholic Caucus Devotional]
Feast of Our Lady/Mother of Sorrows
Homilies on Our Lady of Sorrows
Starkenburg:Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Sorrows Shrine
Our Mother of Sorrows
ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI, OF THE DOLOURS OF MARY, The Glories [Sorrows] of Mary
Our Lady of Sorrows - Sep 15



14 posted on 09/07/2013 8:43:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
September 2013

Pope's Intentions

Value of Silence. That people today, often overwhelmed by noise, may rediscover the value of silence and listen to the voice of God and their brothers and sisters.

Persecuted Christians. That Christians suffering persecution in many parts of the world may by their witness be prophets of Christ's love.

15 posted on 09/07/2013 8:45:07 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Daily Gospel Commentary

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C

Commentary of the day
Philoxenes of Mabbug (?-c.523), Bishop in Syria
Homilies, no. 9 ; SC 44

Being his disciple

Listen to God's voice pushing you to come out of yourself to follow Christ... and you will become a perfect disciple: “Whoever does not renounce all he possesses cannot be my disciple.” After that, what is there to say? What answer can you give? All your hesitation and questioning falls flat before this single saying... And elsewhere Christ says: “Anyone who forsakes his life in this world will keep it for eternal life... If anyone serves me, my Father will honor him” (Jn 12,25f).


Again, he says to his disciples: “Get up, let us go!” (Jn 14,31). By these words he shows us that neither his nor his disciples' place lies here. Where are we going, then, Lord? “Where I am my servant will also be” (Jn 12,26). If Jesus cries out to us: “Get up, let us go!”, who would be so foolish as to stay here with the dead bodies in their tombs and dwell among the dead? Therefore every time the world tries to hold you back, remember Christ's words: “Get up, let us go!”... Every time you feel like sitting down, staying put, being happy to stay where you are, remember that insistent voice and say to yourself: “Up you get! Let's get going.”


Because, in any case, you have to go. But go as Jesus went: go because he tells you to and not because the law's of nature carry you away in spite of yourself. Whether you like it or not you are on the way of those who are leaving. Leave, then, because your Lord tells you to and not necessitated by constraint. “Get up, let us go!” This voice arouses the recumbent; it is the trumpet voice casting out the sleep of laziness with its cry. It is a force, not a word. All at once it clothes the one who hears it with new strength and pushes them on from one thing to another in a winking... “Get up, let us go!” Do you see how he, too, accompanies you? What are you waiting for?... God is calling you to set out alongside him.


16 posted on 09/07/2013 8:47:55 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Thank you for the beautiful post.


17 posted on 09/07/2013 8:49:37 PM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Isaiah 22:22, Matthew 16:19, Revelation 3:7)
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To: All
Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY LK 14:25-33

 Dispossessed disciples

 

Fr. Paul Scalia

Scripture’s seeming nonsequiturs — those awkward transitions and apparently out-of-place verses — hold some of Our Lord’s greatest teachings. Their very clumsiness grabs our attention and directs it to deeper truths. We encounter one such example in Jesus’ teaching on the cost of discipleship (cf. Lk 14:25-33). He uses the parables of the man building a tower and of the king going into battle. These men must calculate the cost of their ventures ahead of time, otherwise they will be led to ridicule and defeat. Now, the logical conclusion would be that the Christian ought to calculate likewise whether he possesses what it takes to follow Jesus. But then Our Lord concludes, “In the same way, every one of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.” Which seems to indicate the precise opposite: not what one should possess but of what he must dispossess himself in following Christ. The apparent disjunction, once we reflect on it, reveals the deeper truth: namely, that poverty is the necessary resource for discipleship.

First, a word about the parables. The images of the tower and the battle describe not only the cost of discipleship but also its purpose: building and battling. Those who follow Christ must be builders. St. Paul described himself as a “master builder” (1Cor 3:10) because by his evangelization the people of God were being built “into a temple sacred in the Lord … a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Eph 2:21-22). So also we must be conscious of building a community and a culture that rises to the glory of God. At the same time, like the workers in Nehemiah’s day, we have to do battle in the midst of building (cf. Neh 4:11). Forces both worldly and other-worldly seek to undo our handiwork and tear down God’s building. If we are not conscious of the battle and vigilant in it, then our edifice in the Spirit will be razed.

 

Second, a word about renouncing possessions. St. Bede gives the traditional interpretation of Our Lord’s words by distinguishing between leaving and renouncing. Those who vow poverty (typically those in religious life) leave their possessions behind in an absolute and definitive manner. All the faithful, however, must renounce their possessions — that is, “so to hold the things of the world as not to be held in the world by them.” We can speak of this as detachment or simplicity of life — to which all the faithful are called.

How then do these two passages intersect? It would seem that for building and battling we would need more possessions and resources, not fewer. How then does renunciation help? Because we become master builders and mighty warriors not by relying on our own possessions, resources and strength, but by way of poverty — by relying on Him as the builder and on Him as our strength. Our greatest resource is our poverty.

The church is built up not by our cleverness or wealth but by our dependence on the grace and wisdom of Christ. We typically mistake worldly advancement with spiritual growth. We see more buildings, more wealth, and more influence as undeniable signs of growth. But the church is not built up by wealth, prestige, or political power. We grow into the temple of the Spirit by dispossessing ourselves of worldly strength and relying on Him. “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build” (Ps 127:1).

Likewise, as the church militant we cannot rely on the strength of our own arms. When David went out to battle Goliath, he renounced King Saul’s helmet, sword and coat of mail. He preferred his simple shepherd’s staff and sling, and five smooth stones. So also as soldiers of Christ we cannot fit ourselves with the armor and arms of this world. “For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens” (Eph 6:12). Only by dispossessing ourselves of worldly might and trusting in God’s strength can we hope for victory in the battle.

On his death bed St. Dominic told his followers, “Possess poverty.” Indeed, poverty is the essential possession for all Christ’s disciples. Only by renouncing our worldly resources can we then avail ourselves of the supernatural materials for building and the spiritual weapons for battling.

Fr. Scalia is Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde’s delegate for clergy.


18 posted on 09/07/2013 8:51:09 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Work of God

Whoever does not carry his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

Catholic Gospels - Homilies, Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit  Whoever does not carry his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. Catholic Gospels - Homilies - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit

Year C

 -  23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Whoever does not carry his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

Whoever does not carry his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. Catholic Gospels - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit Luke 14:25-33

25 And there went great multitudes with him. And turning, he said to them:
26 If any man comes to me, and does not hate his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yes and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
27 And whoever does not carry his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
28 For which of you having a mind to build a tower, does not first sit down, and reckon the charges that are necessary, whether he has resources to finish it:
29 Lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able ti finish it, all that see it begin to mock him,
30 Saying: This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
31 Or what king, about to go to make war against another king, does not first sit down, and think whether he will be able, with ten thousand, to meet him that, with twenty thousand, comes against him?
32 Or else, while the other is yet far away, sending an embassy, he desires conditions of peace.
33 So likewise every one of you that does not renounce all that he possesses, cannot be my disciple.

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Whoever does not carry his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. What I keep saying in my word is this: I am offering unimaginable riches and glory, a life that surpasses the highest desires of man, a freedom beyond compare, a joy that never ceases and immortality combined with all the perfections of my divinity. If you want to take up my offer, you must understand that everything has a price. A cheap reward is offered for a mediocre effort, but the reward that I offer can only be attained through a life in my word. Those who reject my word will have eternal disappointment.

The wise man is prepared to make sacrifices in order to obtain the good things of life; discipline is required in combination with perseverance. The fool is always complaining of his bad fortune but he does not make any efforts to succeed.

The greatest attachment of man is his own self, his own opinion and his own image. He adorns his life with material possessions, with the love of creatures and with all the evils of his self-love. Unless you are prepared to leave everything behind, you may not enter heaven; you see, I have opened the door but you can not enter easily, you must die first and become spirit, therefore you won’t be able to carry any material possessions, you will have to dispossess yourself of all personal attachments and loves and your love must be centred in God only.

I have given you father and mother, brothers and sisters, and other people to be your friends, those who will love you and those that you will love. I have given you lots of material things to help you in your journey but nothing or no one of this world should receive more love than your creator. Therefore be happy and enjoy the things of creation, enjoy the love of your family and friends but remember my commandment to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul and with all your strength. Do not adulterate this love by loving yourself and others more than Me; I must be your greatest love.

And do not despise my cross because that was my throne on earth, where together with my crown of sufferings I endured incomparable pains as the price of your salvation. I give everyone a share of suffering, a little splinter of my cross so that you may be purified through suffering of your pride and disobedience.

You know now the price you must pay for Heaven, you know something about the great rewards that await you. Be wise and persevere in your work, I am tracing you the way, just follow me.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


19 posted on 09/07/2013 8:55:39 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Archdiocese of Washington

Four Descriptions of Discipleship – A Sermon for the 23rd Sunday of the Year

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

In today’s Gospel Jesus defines four Demands of discipleship. We can look at them one by one.

I. The CONTEXT of the discipleship. The text says that large crowds were following Jesus and so he turned to address them. Just about any time you find a mention of a large crowd fasten your seat belts and prepare for a hard teaching. Jesus didn’t trust the big crowds who were often out for the goodies. They were looking for miracles, multiplied and free bread, physical healings and a fiery sermon. So upon sensing a large crowd the texts says, rather provocatively, that Jesus turned to address them. He then gives a series of “hard sayings” which seem almost designed to thin the ranks and to distinguish true disciples from the “lip service” crowd.

We will see in a moment what he says. But let’s take a moment and examine other incidents where the gospels demonstrate Jesus’ tendency to distrust big crowds:

There is also the tendency in the gospels for the mentioning of a large crowd to be followed by a “hard saying:”

So, the CONTEXT of discipleship is not usually with the crowd. Though many are called, indeed all are called, only few make the cut and become true disciples. There is a kind of remnant theology at work here, to be sure. But it is a common pattern that Jesus thins the ranks and distinguishes the many who are called from the few who are chosen.

This is a fact not only in the Scriptures but it also remains true that the Lord has often had to prune his Church. Even now we are seeing a large falling away, a kind of pruning as large numbers depart who are not able to take the “hard sayings” of Jesus and the Scriptures about sexuality, forgiveness, love of one’s enemies, heroic charity and generosity, and so forth. The CONTEXT of discipleship is with the few, rather than the many.

This insight about the context not usually being the crowd is also important, because there are many today who have a mentality that argues that the Church should “get with the times,” that the Church should listen to the people, and give them what they want, that the Church should reflect the views of the faithful. But this is not the job of the Church. The role of the Church is not to reflect the views of its members as if it were some political party. Rather, the role of the Church is to reflect the views of its Founder, Jesus Christ who handed on his teachings through the apostles and evangelists. More often than not, these teachings will not be in simple lockstep with what the crowd says, what is popular, or what is current.

The context of discipleship is often at odds with the great crowds and this we see, when Jesus turns on them. The first reading today reminds us: For the deliberations of mortals are timid, and unsure are our plans. For the corruptible body burdens the soul and the earthen shelter weighs down the mind that has many concerns. And scarce do we guess the things on earth, and what is within our grasp we find with difficulty (Wisdom 9:13-16)

II. The CENTRALITY of the discipleship. Jesus indicates that we can prefer or love no one more than him if we are going to be his disciples. This extends even to our family relationships: If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Now “hate” here does mean that we are to have contempt for others or nourish unrighteous anger toward them. What we are dealing with here is a Jewish idiom. The Hebrew language, for some reason, has very few comparative words such as: more, less, greater, fewer, and so forth. Hence in ancient Hebrew if one were to prefer vanilla ice cream to chocolate one would say, “I love vanilla but hate chocolate.” But what “hate” means here in context is that I “prefer” vanilla, not that I literally hate chocolate.

So, what Jesus means is that we cannot prefer anyone or anything to Him. He’s first, he’s number one. Jesus says, I must have absolute priority over the closest human relationships in your life.

If there’s anyone in your life that can talk you out of obeying God, forget ‘em! Anyone who keeps you away from God has too much power. Anyone who can keep you from your Christian walk has too much power. Anyone who can pull you into unrighteousness has too much power.

So if The boss instructs us to do something immoral – sorry boss. If the accountant or lawyers advise saving money by paying unjust wages or cutting necessary benefits – sorry boys. A boyfriend pressures his girl friend to have sex – sorry dear. Peers pressure to use drugs or abuse alcohol, skip school, or steal – sorry buddies. A spouse calls his or her mate away from teaching the children the ways of faith. – sorry honey. A child pressures a parent to that which is unwise or wrong. – sorry child of mine.

So, do you get it? No one is to have priority of Jesus Christ and what he teaches. The word “hate” here may not be literal but on second thought, if Jesus really does have priority in our life it may cause some to say, “You’re so devoted to him, I think you hate me!”

We need to attend to this since too many of our human relationships cause us to sinfully compromise our walk with Jesus. Some people have too much power, a power that belongs to the Lord.

III. The CROSS of discipleship. Jesus says, Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me
cannot be my disciple. So if we want to be a disciple we must be willing to carry the cross.

Now the cross comes in many forms, but in the end, to be a disciple does not mean we are in any way exempt from the troubles and trials of this world. Jesus indicates that we will be hated by the word (cf Jn 15:20), persecuted and sorely tempted by this world. But if we hold out, victory will be ours.

It is a simple rule: No cross, No crown. There are some who want to preach a prosperity gospel. There are others who demand a gospel stripped of its moral imperatives. Still others demand an updated faith that tickles their ears and affirms their aberrant behavior.

But Jesus points to the Cross, not to torture us, but because it is the only way to glory. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33). Now, for a little while you may have to suffer various trials…(1 Peter 1:6). And this wisdom is already evident, when we consider that even in this world, all of what we most value, Family, talents, career, achievements, all came at the cost of sacrifice. Sacrifices bring blessings. Jesus is not into pain for its own sake, but because sacrifice brings blessings.

IV. The COST of discipleship – And thus Jesus continues: Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and say, ‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’ Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms. In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.

Jesus asks us to count the cost of what he is teaching here. Discipleship is costly. Jesus gives the image of someone building a tower or of a king going to battle. But, truth be told, these examples are distant from us. So Jesus brings it home and says to us: anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.

The Greek word ποτσσω (apotasso) translated here as “renounce” also means, “to say farewell.” And the Lord is reminding us that heaven costs everything. Ultimately we must say farewell to everyone and everything we consider precious here in order to inherit heaven. This of course is not something that waits merely for death.

At one level, we give back everything to God as we go, little by little. We have all given back loved ones. Perhaps too we have given back youthful figures, strength, good health, and so forth. Ultimately we will give it all back.

But at another level the Lord is clear to say here that we must be willing to part with anything that hinders discipleship now, not later. The fact is that many things attach us to this world and make discipleship difficult. Are we willing to de-clutter our life, simplify and get more focused on being disciples? Or will we go on setting down roots here and amassing a worldly kingdom?

What’s it going to be, the world or the Kingdom? Count the cost. See what it really means to be a disciple and what it cost, then decide. In the end, heaven costs everything. But you’re going to lose it all anyway. It is a wise man who gives away what he cannot keep to gain what he could never buy.

What Jesus is looking for are disciples who, having counted the cost and realistically assessed it, are ready, nonetheless, to be his disciples. Tag-alongs, lip service Christians, fair weather folks, need not apply. So today Jesus is looking at a big crowd and teaches in a way that is meant to distinguish true disciples from the “lip service” disciples. We are asked to ponder in which category we most truthfully belong.


20 posted on 09/07/2013 9:03:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday Gospel Reflections

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading I: Wisdome 9:13-18b II: Philemon 9b-10,12-17


Gospel
Lk 14:25-33

25 Great crowds were traveling with him, and he turned and addressed them,
26 "If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
28 Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion?
29 Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him
30 and say, 'This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.'
31 Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops?
32 But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms.
33 In the same way, everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.


Interesting Details
One Main Point

Jesus challenges us to take up the demands of discipleship. It demands everything we are and everything we have.


Reflections
  1. What are the costs of discipleship in my case? What possessions and relationships do I need to forgo? What to foster?
  2. To the extent that I have been able to follow Christ, what results have I experienced? To the extent that I have shied away from following Christ, what have been the results?
  3. What concrete steps do I plan for my life: staying the current course, or making specific changes? How will I be able to do it?

21 posted on 09/07/2013 9:21:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday, September 08, 2013
Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Wisdom 9:13-18
Psalm 90:3-6, 12-13, 14-17
Philemon 1:9-10, 12-17
Luke 14:25-33

The Church is the people united to its Priests, the flock adhering to its Shepherd.

-- St. Cyprian


22 posted on 09/07/2013 9:25:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas

Always welcome!

Jesus got a little edgy as he turned around and talked to the crowd. He knew he was on his way to the Cross — they didn’t.

So he tries to tell them. Give up everything and everyone, carry your cross and get prepared.


23 posted on 09/07/2013 9:27:36 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Just A Minute 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.

24 posted on 09/07/2013 9:29:49 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


25 posted on 09/07/2013 9:31:43 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Luke 14:25-33 is more than a little apropos, today...reading on to 35 would be fitting, for this time, also.


26 posted on 09/08/2013 2:42:50 AM PDT by jacknhoo (Luke 12:51. Think ye, that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, no; but separation.)
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To: Salvation
Luke
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Luke 14
25 And there went great multitudes with him. And turning, he said to them: Ibant autem turbæ multæ cum eo : et conversus dixit ad illos : συνεπορευοντο δε αυτω οχλοι πολλοι και στραφεις ειπεν προς αυτους
26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. Si quis venit ad me, et non odit patrem suum, et matrem, et uxorem, et filios, et fratres, et sorores, adhuc autem et animam suam, non potest meus esse discipulus. ει τις ερχεται προς με και ου μισει τον πατερα αυτου και την μητερα και την γυναικα και τα τεκνα και τους αδελφους και τας αδελφας ετι δε και την εαυτου ψυχην ου δυναται μου μαθητης ειναι
27 And whosoever doth not carry his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. Et qui non bajulat crucem suam, et venit post me, non potest meus esse discipulus. και οστις ου βασταζει τον σταυρον αυτου και ερχεται οπισω μου ου δυναται ειναι μου μαθητης
28 For which of you having a mind to build a tower, doth not first sit down, and reckon the charges that are necessary, whether he have wherewithal to finish it: Quis enim ex vobis volens turrim ædificare, non prius sedens computat sumptus, qui necessarii sunt, si habeat ad perficiendum, τις γαρ εξ υμων ο θελων πυργον οικοδομησαι ουχι πρωτον καθισας ψηφιζει την δαπανην ει εχει τα εις απαρτισμον
29 Lest, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able ti finish it, all that see it begin to mock him, ne, posteaquam posuerit fundamentum, et non potuerit perficere, omnes qui vident, incipiant illudere ei, ινα μηποτε θεντος αυτου θεμελιον και μη ισχυοντος εκτελεσαι παντες οι θεωρουντες αρξωνται εμπαιζειν αυτω
30 Saying: This man began to build, and was not able to finish. dicentes : Quia hic homo cœpit ædificare, et non potuit consummare ? λεγοντες οτι ουτος ο ανθρωπος ηρξατο οικοδομειν και ουκ ισχυσεν εκτελεσαι
31 Or what king, about to go to make war against another king, doth not first sit down, and think whether he be able, with ten thousand, to meet him that, with twenty thousand, cometh against him? Aut quis rex iturus committere bellum adversus alium regem, non sedens prius cogitat, si possit cum decem millibus occurrere ei, qui cum viginti millibus venit ad se ? η τις βασιλευς πορευομενος συμβαλειν ετερω βασιλει εις πολεμον ουχι καθισας πρωτον βουλευεται ει δυνατος εστιν εν δεκα χιλιασιν απαντησαι τω μετα εικοσι χιλιαδων ερχομενω επ αυτον
32 Or else, whilst the other is yet afar off, sending an embassy, he desireth conditions of peace. Alioquin adhuc illo longe agente, legationem mittens rogat ea quæ pacis sunt. ει δε μηγε ετι πορρω αυτου οντος πρεσβειαν αποστειλας ερωτα τα προς ειρηνην
33 So likewise every one of you that doth not renounce all that he possesseth, cannot be my disciple. Sic ergo omnis ex vobis, qui non renuntiat omnibus quæ possidet, non potest meus esse discipulus. ουτως ουν πας εξ υμων ος ουκ αποτασσεται πασιν τοις εαυτου υπαρχουσιν ου δυναται μου ειναι μαθητης

27 posted on 09/08/2013 8:46:26 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
25. And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said to them,
26. If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
27. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

GREG. The mind is kindled, when it hears of heavenly rewards, and already desires to be there, where it hopes to enjoy them without ceasing; but great rewards cannot be reached except by great labors. Therefore it is said, And there went great multitudes to him: and he turned to them, and said, &c.

THEOPHYL. For because many of those that accompanied Him followed not with their whole heart, but lukewarmly, He shows what kind of a man his disciple ought to be.

GREG. But it may be asked, how are we bid to hate our parents and our relations in the flesh, who are commanded to love even our enemies? But if we weigh the force of the command we are able to do both, by rightly distinguishing them so as both to love those who are united to us by the bond of the flesh, and whom we acknowledge our relations, and by hating and avoiding not to know those whom we find our enemies in the way of God. For he is as it were loved by hatred, who in his carnal wisdom, pouring into our ears his evil sayings, is not heard.

AMBROSE; For if for your sake the Lord renounces His own mother, saying, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? why do you deserve to be preferred to your Lord? But the Lord will have us neither be ignorant of nature, nor be her slaves, but so to submit to nature, that we reverence the Author of nature, and depart not from God out of love to our parents.

GREG. Now to show that this hatred towards relations proceeds not from inclination or passion, but from love, our Lord adds, yes, and his own life also. It is plain therefore that a man ought to hate his neighbor, by loving as himself him who hated him. For then we rightly hate our own soul when we indulge not its carnal desires, when we subdue its appetites, and wrestle against its pleasures. That which by being despised is brought to a better condition, is as it were loved by hatred.

CYRIL; But life must not be renounced, which both in the body and the soul the blessed Paul also preserved, that yet living in the body he might preach Christ. But when it was necessary to despise life so that he might. finish his course, he counts not his life dear to him.

GREG. How the hatred of life ought to be strewn He declares as follows; Whosoever bears not his cross, &c.

CHRYS. He means not that we should place a beam of wood on our shoulders, but that we should ever have death before our eyes. As also Paul died daily and despised death.

BASIL; By bearing the cross also he announced the death of his Lord, saying, The world is crucified to me, and I to the world, which we also anticipate at our very baptism, in which our old man is crucified, that the body of sin may be destroyed.

GREG. Or because the cross is so called from torturing. In two ways we bear our Lord's cross, either when by abstinence we afflict our bodies, or when through compassion of our neighbor we think all his necessities our own. But because some exercise abstinence of the flesh not for God's sake but for vain-glory, and show compassion, not spiritually but carnally, it is rightly added, And comes after me. For to bear His cross and come after the Lord, is to use abstinence of the flesh, or compassion to our neighbor, from the desire of an eternal gain.

28. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sits not down first, and counts the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
29. Lest haply, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
30. Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
31. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sits not down first, and consults whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that comes against him with twenty thousand?
32. Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an ambassage, and desires conditions of peace.
33. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple.

GREG. Because He had been giving high and lofty precepts, immediately follows the comparison of building a tower, when it is said, For which of you intending to build a tower does not first count &c. For every thing that we do should be preceded by anxious consideration. If then we desire to build a tower of humility, we ought first to brace ourselves against the ills of this world.

BASIL; Or the tower is a lofty watch-tower fitted for the guardianship of the city and the discovery of the enemy's approach. In like manner was our understanding given us to preserve the good, to guard against the evil. For the building up whereof the Lord bids us sit down and count our means if we have sufficient to finish.

GREG. NYSS. For we must be ever pressing onward that we may reach the end of each difficult undertaking by successive increases of the commandments of God, and so to the completion of the divine work. For neither is one stone the whole fabric of the tower, nor does a single command lead to the perfection of the soul. But we must lay the foundation, and according to the Apostle, thereupon must be placed store of gold, silver, and precious stones. Whence it is added, Lest haply after he has laid the foundation, &c.

THEOPHYL. For we ought not to lay a foundation, i.e. begin to follow Christ, and not bring the work to an end, as those of whom St. John writes, That many of his disciples went back. Or by the foundation understand the word of teaching, as for instance concerning abstinence. There is need therefore of the above-mentioned foundation, that the building up of our works be established, a tower of strength from the face of the enemy. Otherwise, man is laughed at by those who see him, men as well as devils.

GREG. For when occupied in good works, unless we watch carefully against the evil spirits, we find those our mockers who are persuading us to evil. But another comparison is added proceeding from the less to the greater, in order that from the least things the greatest may be estimated. For it follows, Or what king, going to make war against another king, sits not down first, and consults whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that comes against him with twenty thousand

CYRIL; For we fight: against spiritual wickedness in high places; but there presses upon us a multitude also of other enemies, fleshly lust, the law of sin raging in our members, and various passions, that is, a dreadful multitude of enemies.

AUG. Or the ten thousand of him who is going to fight with the king who has twenty, signify the simplicity of the Christian about to contend with the subtlety of the devil.

THEOPHYL. The king is sin reigning in our mortal body; but our understanding also was created king. If then he wishes to fight against sin, let him consider with his whole mind. For the devils are the satellites of sin, which being twenty thousand, seem to surpass in number our ten thousand, because that being spiritual compared to us who are corporeal, they are come to have much greater strength.

AUG. But as with respect to the unfinished tower, he alarms us by the reproaches of those who say, The man began to build, I and was not able to finish, so with regard to the king with whom the battle was to be, he reproved even peace, adding, Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an ambassage, and desires conditions of peace; signifying that those also who forsake all they possess cannot endure from the devil the threats of even coming temptations, and make peace with him by consenting to him to commit sin.

GREG. Or else, in that awful trial we come not to the judgment a match for our king, for ten thousand are against twenty thousand, two against one. He comes with a double army against a single. For while we are scarcely prepared in deeds only, he sifts us at once both in thought and deed. While then he is yet afar off, who though still present in judgment, is not seen, let us send him an embassy, our tears, our works of mercy, the propitiatory victim. This is our message which appeases the coming king.

AUG. Now to what these comparisons refer, He on the same occasion sufficiently explained, when he said, So likewise whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple. The cost therefore of building the tower, and the strength of the ten thousand against the king who has twenty thousand, mean nothing else than that each one should forsake all that he has. The foregoing introduction tallies then with the final conclusion. For in the saying that a man forsakes all that he has, is contained also that he hates his father and mother, his wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes and his own wife also. For all these things are a man's own, which entangle him, and hinder him from obtaining not those particular possessions which will pass away with time, but those common blessings which will abide for ever.

BASIL; But our Lord's intention in the above-mentioned example is not indeed to afford occasion or give liberty to any one to become His disciple or not, as indeed it is lawful not to begin a foundation, or not to treat of peace, but to show the impossibility of pleasing God, amidst those things which distract the soul, and in which it is in danger of becoming an easy prey to the snares and wiles of the devil.

BEDE; But there is a difference between renouncing all things and leaving all things. For it is the way of few perfect men to leave all things, that is, to cast behind them the cares of the world, but it is the part of all the faithful to renounce all things, that is, so to hold the things of' the world as by them not to be held in the world.

Catena Aurea Luke 14
28 posted on 09/08/2013 8:47:00 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


The Last Supper

Tilman Riemenschneider

1501-02
Limewood
Church of Sankt Jakob, Rothenburg

29 posted on 09/08/2013 8:47:25 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Feast Day
September 8th

The Birth of the Virgin Mary - Esteban Murillo (Louvre, Paris)

 

Thy birth, O Virgin Mother of God,
heralded joy to all the world.
For from thou hast risen the Sun of justice,
Christ our God.

Destroying the curse, He gave blessing;
and damning death, He bestowed on us
life everlasting.

Blessed art thou among women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
For from thou hast risen of Sun of justice,
Christ our God.

­ from The Divine Office - Matins (Morning Prayer)

The Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been celebrated in the Church at least since the 8th Century. The Church's calendar observes the birthdays of only two saints: Saint John the Baptist (June 24), and Mary, Mother of Jesus.

John the Baptist is considered especially sanctified even before his birth. His birth to Elizabeth and Zachariah is foretold in the first chapter of Luke, and it is also recorded (Lk 1:41) that Elizabeth felt the infant John "leap in her womb" when Mary approached her soon after the Annunciation.

The birth of Mary was also miraculous. She was conceived without sin as a special grace because God had selected her to become the mother of His Son (the feast of her Immaculate Conception is celebrated on December 8). The dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, though generally believed throughout the Church for many centuries, was formally declared by Pope Pius IX in 1854.

There is nothing contained in Scripture about the birth of Mary or her parentage, though Joseph's lineage is given in the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. The names of Mary's parents, Joachim and Anna, appear in the apocryphal "Gospel of James", a book dating from the 2nd Century AD, not part of the authentic canon of Scripture. According to this account, Joachim and Anna were also beyond the years of child-bearing, but prayed and fasted that God would grant their desire for a child.

According to one tradition, the house in which Mary was born in Nazareth is the same one in which the Annunciation took place. By another tradition, the Annunciation site is beneath the Crusader church of Saint Anna in Jerusalem, under a 3rd Century oratory known as the "Gate of Mary".

In celebrating the nativity of Mary, Christians anticipate the Incarnation and birth of her Divine Son, and give honor to the mother of Our Lord and Savior.

 

Readings of the Day

Collect:
Impart to your servants, we pray, O Lord,
the gift of heavenly grace,
that the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin
may bring deeper peace
to those for whom the birth of her Son
was the dawning of salvation.
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: Micah 5:1-4a
Now you are walled about with a wall; siege is laid against us; with a rod they strike upon the cheek the ruler of Israel.
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in travail has brought forth; then the rest of his brethren shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.

or Romans 8:28-30
We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Gospel Reading: Long Form Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23 [Short form Matthew 1:18-23]

[The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.
And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa, and Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of She-alti-el, and She-alti-el the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.]

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel" (which means, God with us).

Family Observance of the Feast of the Birth of Mary

Mary's Birthday Cake
All children love birthday cakes -- so today, let's make a birthday cake for the Blessed Virgin Mary. A white layer cake or angel food cake would be appropriate, with white icing and blue icing for trim (white is a symbol of purity; blue symbolizes fidelity, and is a color especially used for Mary). We suggest letting the children help with the decorations, if possible. If you have a small statue of Mary, it could be placed in the center of the cake, which can be surrounded by 10 candles -- one for each "Hail Mary" prayer in a decade of the Rosary. (If you don't have a little statue, you can write Mary's name on the cake in blue icing.)

At the end of the evening meal, each child could take turns lighting the 10 candles as the whole family prays together a "Hail Mary" for each candle, ending with the Lord's Prayer.

If the children are too young to light candles, mother could light the candles, then the adults could pray one Hail Mary at the end, just before the cake is cut. After eating the birthday cake, the prayer below could be said (this prayer, the concluding prayer from "Matins" of the Divine Office, could also be said with the children at bedtime).

Lord God,
the day of our salvation dawned
when the Blessed Virgin gave birth to your Son.
As we celebrate her nativity
grant us your grace and your peace.
Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

 

The ANGELUS and the LITANY of the Blessed Virgin Mary

If your family doesn't say the Angelus regularly before the evening meal, this would be a good day to introduce it. (Then say it on all Feasts of Mary and every day during the penitential seasons of Advent and Lent.) Click here to see the Angelus that you may print out for your family. (E-mail us or write to Women for Faith & Family, PO Box 300411, St. Louis, MO 63130, for copies of an Angelus "holy card".)

School-aged children could begin to learn the traditional Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A good time to say the litany together might be after homework is finished in the evening, just before bedtime. A litany is an ancient form of prayer read or chanted by a group, with a leader saying the versicles, and the rest of the group saying the responses.

Birthday Books
This would be a good time to get out the children's "baby books", which usually need updating. Go through the birthday book with your child, and do some reminiscing. Each child could make a drawing of their idea of baby Mary and her family, which could be pasted in their own birthday book as a memento. (Don't forget to have them put their name and age on the pictures!)

Other ideas...
If you have a nice statue of Mary, or a "Mary shrine" in your home, it would be appropriate to decorate it with flowers and candles today, in celebration of Mary's birthday. The family can gather around it during the reciting of the litany or other prayers -- and conclude by singing the lovely hymn, Mary the Dawn. (Click on the title here to see both the words and music to this hymn.)

 

Your birth, O Virgin Mother of God, heralded joy to all the world.


30 posted on 09/08/2013 9:21:17 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Saint's days are always superseded by the Sunday liturgy.

Bandra (Bombay, India) all set to mark Mother Mary's b'day {Catholic/Orthodox Caucus}
Meditation on the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Nativity of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary [Ecumenical] September 8
Birthday of Mary Mother of God--St. Andrew of Crete (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)

The Nativity of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary
Feast of the Nativity of Mary [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
September 8 - The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary [Catholic Caucus]
The Nativity of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary; September 8
BIRTH OF MARY, September 8th
The Protoevangelium of James
Orthodox Feast of The Nativity of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary September 8
September 8, 2004 - Feast of the Birth of Mary
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE GREAT MOTHER OF GOD, MARY MOST HOLY!
Devotion To The Holy Infant Mary
Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

31 posted on 09/08/2013 9:22:43 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Information: Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Feast Day: September 8

32 posted on 09/08/2013 12:20:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

Birth Of The Blessed Virgin Mary


Feast Day: September 8
Born: (around) September 8, 20 B.C.

We do not usually celebrate the birthdays of the saints. Instead we celebrate the day they died, because that is the day they were born into the joys of heaven.

But the birthday of Mary, our Blessed Mother, is special. We celebrate her birthday because she came into this world full of grace and because she was to be the Mother of Jesus.

The birth of Our Lady was like a dawn. When the sky starts to turn a rosy pink early in the morning, we know the sun will soon come up.

In the same way, when Mary was born, she brought great happiness to the world. Her birth meant that soon Jesus, the Sun of justice, would appear. Mary was the wonderful human being who was chosen to bring the Lord Jesus to all people.

Even today, if we have Mary, we have Jesus. Whoever is very faithful to her is very close to the heart of Jesus.


33 posted on 09/08/2013 12:25:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Almanac

Sunday, September 8

Liturgical Color: White

Today is the Feast of the Birth of the
Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary's parents were
from the line of David as well as the family
of Aaron, providing Jesus with a royal and a
priestly heritage.

34 posted on 09/08/2013 2:44:01 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

 

Daily Readings for: September 08, 2013
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, by whom we are redeemed and receive adoption, look graciously upon your beloved sons and daughters, that those who believe in Christ may receive true freedom and an everlasting inheritance. 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.

RECIPES

o    Autumn Apple Harvest Menu

ACTIVITIES

o    Home Concerts

PRAYERS

o    Ordinary Time, After Pentecost: Table Blessing 1

LIBRARY

o    Lord's Day Must Be Kept Holy by Participating in Sunday Mass | Pope John Paul II

o    On Keeping the Lord's Day Holy (Dies Domini) | Pope John Paul II

o    Sunday Shows God's Love for His Creatures | Pope John Paul II

Ordinary Time: September 8th

Twenty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time

Old Calendar: Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

"If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple."

The Feast of the Birth of Mary is celebrated today but the Sunday Liturgy supersedes it.

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.


Sunday Readings
The first reading is taken from the Book of Wisdom 9:13-18a. In today's extract the author is stressing man's incapability of understanding the divine plans and decrees. Because we are finite, limited beings, our knowledge is finite and limited. There are many limited, finite problems all around us, which we cannot solve. How could we hope to solve the infinite ones?

The second reading is from St. Paul to Philemon 9b-10, 12-17. This letter is the shortest of St. Paul's letters and at the same time the most personal and touching. During his first imprisonment in Rome (61-63), a slave called Onesimus, who had run away from his Christian master Philemon, a native of Colossae, came to Paul in Rome and was converted to Christianity. Paul sent him back to his master bearing this letter, in which Paul touchingly appeals to Philemon to deal kindly with the runaway.

The Gospel is from St. Luke 14:25-33 and teaches us that the essential condition for true discipleship, demanded by Christ, was, and still is, total dedication, total commitment of oneself to Him. There can be no such person as a half-Christian. "He that is not with me is against me," He said on another occasion. We cannot be for Christ on Sunday and against Him for the remainder of the week. To be His true disciples, His true followers, we must live our Christian life every day and all day.

Following Christ means making our way to heaven. It is a life-journey. We have a limited time in which to complete this journey. Therefore, we must travel a certain distance each day. This does not mean that we must spend every day in prayer and meditation. There are other tasks to be done, but we must Christianize these other tasks. Even the members of religious orders who "leave the world," that is, who are set free from the family and financial cares of this world by their vows of chastity and poverty, have to busy themselves with other cares like teaching, nursing, tilling the soil perhaps, house-keeping, writing and many such activities. They cannot and do not spend all their day and every day in prayer and meditation. Nor does Christ demand this of them.

Much less, therefore, does He demand this of the ninety-nine percent of His followers who have to take on themselves financial and family cares. It is by fulfilling these worldly duties in a Christian way that they are dedicating themselves to His service. This is their total commitment to Christ. The married man or woman who is loyal to his or her life-partner and to the family, if there is one, and who provides diligently and honestly for his own and the family's spiritual and temporal welfare, and who always does this with the intention of pleasing God, is following Christ and is moving steadily day by day towards heaven.

— Excerpted from The Sunday Readings Cycle C, Fr. Kevin O' Sullivan, O.F.M.


35 posted on 09/08/2013 2:58:00 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Luke 14:25-33

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:27)

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus makes three very demanding statements. He says that if we want to be his disciples, we must “hate” our families, we must carry our cross, and we must renounce all our possessions. Statements like these can make us wonder if Jesus is trying to make us into disciples or if he is just trying to drive us away.

Fortunately, the Church takes a composite view of Scripture, looking at each passage within the context of the whole Bible. If we look at today’s reading this way, we see some apparent conflicts. For instance, St. John says that hatred is equal to murder and will lead to hell (1 John 3:15). And Jesus himself said, “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (John 13:34). So we have to meas-ure Jesus’ one statement about “hating” against these commands to love and lay down our lives for each other.

Similarly, the other commands—to take up our cross and renounce everything—have to be measured against Jesus’ words about caring for children and his promise that his yoke is easy and his burden is light.

So if we put all of these passages together, we can see Jesus saying that love for God and obedience to his commands must take priority over everything else. He is telling us that if anyone asks us to do something that is opposed to God, we need to have the courage to say no to them.

Living as a disciple is demanding. It calls for self-denial, sacrifice, and suffering. Jesus even warns that we may face persecution (John 16:33). It will be tempting at times to make compromises and go with the crowd. Being a disciple is a major endeavor. Jesus wants us to count the cost of being a disciple, and he wants to give us the grace to see it through to the end.

“Lord, I want to follow you. Give me the strength to be your disciple.”

Wisdom 9:13-18; Psalm 90:3-6, 12-17; Philemon 9-10, 12-17

Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

1. The first reading asks and answers the question: who can know the mind of God? The question is a challenging one: How can we as weak finite humans know “God’s counsel” (i.e., his mind and wisdom)? The answer is: those people who have received the Holy Spirit have been given that wisdom. We as Christians are those people. So, how much time do you spend praying and asking the Holy Spirit for God’s wisdom (for example, to better understand God’s plan for your life or your children’s)? What steps can you take to make the power of the Holy Spirit a greater reality in your life?

2. In the responsorial psalm, why do you think numbering our days aright is tied to gaining “wisdom of heart”? What does the term “numbering our days aright” mean to you? How well are you at doing this?

3. In the letter to Philemon St. Paul returns Onesimus, a man who had been Philemon’s slave, and asks Philemon to receive Onesimus as a brother and a partner—a brother in Christ instead of as a slave. Even today, there are people we can “enslave”, for example, by feeling superior, by not forgiving, by holding ourselves aloof, or by choosing to avoid them. How is God asking you to “set free” people in your life who may fall into any of these categories?

4. In the Gospel, Jesus speaks of the cross each of us is asked to bear as his disciple. Jesus also tells us elsewhere that his yoke is easy and his burden is light (Matthew 11:30). When you have followed the Lord’s will during a difficult time, no matter the cost, what has been your experience?

5. In the Gospel, Jesus also proclaims these challenging words: “In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). What do you think Jesus meant by these words? Are there any possessions that you have that have the potential to get in the way of being a disciple of Christ? If so, how far are you willing to go in taking the required actions to follow Christ’s words?

6. The meditation ends with these words: “Being a disciple is a major endeavor. Jesus wants us to count the cost of being a disciple, and he wants to give us the grace to see it through to the end..” How would you describe the costs in your own life of being Jesus’ disciple? Jesus spoke these words to St. Paul: “My grace is sufficient” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Do you believe that these words of Jesus apply to you? In what way?

7. Take some time now to pray and ask the Lord for all the grace you need to follow him and be his disciple. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as a starting point.


36 posted on 09/08/2013 3:58:54 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

COST OF DISCIPLESHIP

07 Sep

COST OF DISCIPLESHIP

(A biblical reflection on the 23rd Ordinary Sunday – 8 September 2013)

Gospel Reading: Luke 14:25-33

First Reading: Wisdom 9:13-18; Psalms: Psalm 90:3-6.12-14.17; Second Reading: Philemon 9-10.12-17

BIAYA PEMURIDAN

Scripture Text

Now great multitudes accompanied Him; and He turned and said to them, “If any one comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be My disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build, and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace. So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:25-33 RSV)

The point of today’s Gospel is to make us realize that becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ is not something we do because of a sudden whim or flight of fancy.

Discipleship is a serious commitment that requires much thought and careful deliberation. Becoming a follower of Christ is the most important enterprise we will ever undertake. Consequently, it requires at least as much consideration as we would give to any important business or political decision. Discipleship is a venture that demands total dedication. Everything else must become secondary if Jesus is to be the Lord of our life. When Jesus says that we must “hate” our families, He is using a Semitic expression meaning that we must “prefer” Him above anyone else in our life. If a conflict of interest arises, a disciple will prefer to follow Jesus and not let family ties or work or leisure activities interfere.

We have to count the cost before we commit ourselves to accompany Jesus on His journey to Jerusalem, where He will die and rise. If we are unwilling to give up some sinful situation, or change a lifestyle that contradicts the Gospel, or sacrifice our own convenience to love our neighbour, then we cannot call ourselves serious disciples.

KEMURIDAN - SIAPA YANG MAU MENJADI MURIDKU

We might be superficial disciples who hang around Jesus hoping to catch some of His glory, but we are not serious disciples who are devoted and loyal enough to carry the cross after Him. Serious disciples are ready to renounce all their possessions should that be required by the Lord. They are willing to surrender their home, health, freedom, yes, even their loved ones, should that be the price they have to pay to follow Jesus.

The cross Jesus carried and asks us to carry is the life of Christian love itself, the great “baptism” toward which His whole life was directed. The cross is our state of life: our apostolate, our daily duties, our marriage, our family, our teaching, our nursing, our studies, our job – whatever work of unselfish love and devotion God has given us. The small daily vexations are only the shadows cast by that great cross, for the cross is the towering tree of overwhelming love. It is that great “dear thing” for which all other “dear things” are given up with joy.

Let us thank the Lord for giving us an invitation to become true disciples. Praise Him for giving us not only the inspiration to start our own journey to Jerusalem with Him, but also the resolution to finish that journey regardless of what it may cost. We may never be bridge-builders, but we can all be builders of the Kingdom of God through our discipleship.

Moreover, we can be confident that whatever it costs us is nothing compared to the glory that will be ours in the resurrection. We can expect that whatever good work the Lord begins through us will be brought to completion by Him.

Prayer: I praise You and adore You, Jesus, my Lord and my God. The triumph of Your cross is the triumph of Your perfect love. Blessed is Your most precious name, forever and ever. Amen.


37 posted on 09/08/2013 4:17:09 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

OMNIPRESENCE OF GOD AND HIS INFINITE WISDOM

(A biblical reflection on the 23rd ORDINARY SUNDAY [Year C] – 8 September 2013)

First Reading: Wisdom 9:13-18; Psalms: Psalm 90:3-6.12-14.17; Second Reading: Philemon 9-10.12-17; Gospel Reading: Luke 14:25-33

Universe

The vastness of space is beyond the comprehension of the greatest scientists. The Milky Way, for example, is 800 million billion miles across. It would take 120 thousand years to go from one end to the other, traveling at the speed of light. It contains millions of suns, much larger than ours, many with their own solar systems. It is so gigantic that we have no earthly words to describe it. Our precious space ship earth is but a tiny speck of dust compared to the rest of the universe. Space is a frontier that humanity can never conquer or even significantly explore.

Another exciting frontier enticing the modern mind is the world of the computer. Even in its infant stage of development, it can “think” so rapidly and store so much information, that we can only marvel in disbelief. Many of us cannot believe its multi-talented capabilities, even after numerous demonstrations.

Now I invite you to think of God in relation to the above. We believe that He in some way made the entire universe, set it all in motion and keeps it functioning smoothly. His mind, we also believe, is infinitely more capable of fantastic feats than the best computer that will ever be invented.

The author of the Book of Wisdom knew little of the boundlessness of the universe and nothing of computers. Yet, he knew of the omnipresence of God and His infinite wisdom, and so speaks of it in today’s first reading. He counsels us not to be so arrogant that we think we can understand the mind of God and predict His plans for the future. “When things are in heaven,” he asks, “who can search them out?” If we truly believe that God has all the stupendous qualities we attribute to Him, how can we so smugly think our little minds can comprehend Him? We – who are baffled by outer space, intimidated by the computer and unable even to understand ourselves – should bow in profound silence before the Almighty.

There are infinitely more things to know about God than are recorded in the Bible or taught by any Church. To think that a book or organization can comprehend Him, is to offer Him the greatest insult possible.

Those who claim to “have all the answers” would do well to ponder this reading from the Book of Wisdom. Deliver us, Lord, from human arrogance, and forget not Your helpless people on the far-flung island in space.

Note: Taken from Fr. James McKarns, GO TELL EVERYONE, Makati, Philippines: St. Paul Publications, 1985, pages 263-264.

38 posted on 09/08/2013 4:21:27 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Marriage = One Man and One Woman Til' Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for September 8, 2013:

Consider living beneath your means. Many people in the world don’t have a choice. Even it you are still collecting necessities for your household, is there one thing that you can give away this week? You’ll be richer for it.

39 posted on 09/08/2013 4:24:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

I read something on Our Daily Bread that talks to being content with what you have. One of the best things I have ever read.

Riches Of The Soul
March 12, 2013 — by David C. McCasland
odb.org

With the hope of winning a record jackpot of $640 million, Americans spent an estimated $1.5 billion on tickets in a multistate lottery in early 2012. The odds of winning were a staggering 1 in 176 million, but people stood in lines at grocery stores, gas stations, and cafes to buy a chance to become rich. Something inside us makes us think more money will solve our problems and improve our lives.

A man identified in the Bible as Agur had a different perspective on riches when he asked God to grant him two requests before he died.

First, he said, “Remove falsehood and lies far from me” (Prov. 30:8). Integrity is a key to living without anxiety. When we have nothing to hide, we have nothing to fear. Deceit enslaves; honesty liberates. Second, he said, “Give me neither poverty nor riches—feed me with the food allotted to me” (v.8). Contentment springs from trusting God as our supplier and gratefully accepting what He provides. Agur said of the Creator that He “established all the ends of the earth. . . . He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him” (vv.4-5).

Integrity and contentment are riches of the soul that are available to all. Our Lord is pleased to give these treasures to everyone who asks.
Contentment does not come from wealth—
It’s not something you can buy;
Contentment comes to give you peace
When you depend on God’s supply. —Branon

Discontentment makes us poor while contentment makes us rich!


40 posted on 09/08/2013 4:30:22 PM PDT by sauropod (Fat Bottomed Girl: "What difference, at this point, does it make?")
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To: All

The Cost of Discipleship

Pastor’s Column

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 8, 2013

 

“If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”

                                                                   Luke 14:25-26

 

          In my bedroom there is a large oval picture of my great-great grandparents in Poland. My great-grandmother (their daughter) left home as a young woman of perhaps 18 or 19 at the turn of the last century. She took very few possessions with her. She left home for a better life in the United States because there was no work in Poland and no prospects. She came seeking a better life and went to Chicago, where she met my great-grandfather, who had made the same sacrifices in his life. Neither one of them ever saw their families again, and my great-grandmother was an only child.  

          Many of you have similar stories of how your families came to this country. Imagine the sacrifices! Why shouldn’t Jesus ask the same thing? So many of our grandparents had the guts (or desperation) to do this in order to seek a better life – but would we have the guts to do something similar for Jesus if it were required? The Lord normally doesn’t ask this much, but what if he did? Could I do that? 

          Some people preach or follow a gospel that makes Christianity sound as easy as possible, as though no real commitment to Christ might be needed, no change of lifestyle, no difference from anyone else in the world. But this is not the gospel of Christ. Jesus makes it clear that following him is going to be a sacrifice and things are going to have to change. That’s part of the thrill of following Jesus – that it really is challenging. 

          When Jesus uses the word “hate” he does not mean anger or hostility toward the things we love. What he does mean is a spirit of detachment. If there is a conflict between something in my life and Jesus, particularly a sin, discipleship must take precedence, even over the most sacred human relationships if absolutely necessary!         

          To “hate one’s own life” does not mean self-loathing! Instead, Jesus insists we learn to hate what is displeasing to him, that is, our sins that we are attached to and may even prefer to keep. This is what we are to hate, and it is going to cost us plenty! But the reward is far worth it—becoming a true disciple of the Son of God. 

          A Christian must be ready to give up anything to keep his faith – and this is the point of this gospel. Is there something in my life that, if it were taken away from me, would cause me to lose my faith? Is there something I prefer other than Jesus? I may have to make that choice one day.

                                                                                             Father Gary


41 posted on 09/08/2013 4:34:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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St. Paul Center Blog

Counting the Cost: Scott Hahn Reflects on the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted by Dr. Scott Hahn on 09.06.13 |

 

Wisdom 9:13-18
Psalm 90:3-6, 12-17
Philemon 1:9-10, 12-17
Luke 14:25-33

Like a king making ready for battle or a contractor about to build a tower, we have to count the cost as we set out to follow Jesus.

Our Lord today is telling us upfront the sacrifice it will take. His words aren’t addressed to His chosen few, the Twelve, but rather to the “great crowds” - to “anyone,” to “whoever” wishes to be His disciple.

That only makes His call all the more stark and uncompromising. We are to “hate” our old lives, renounce all the earthly things we rely upon, to choose Him above every person and possession. Again He tells us that the things we have - even our family ties and obligations - can become an excuse, an obstacle that keeps us from giving ourselves completely to Him (see Luke 9:23-26, 57-62).

Jesus brings us the saving Wisdom we are promised in today’s First Reading. He is that saving Wisdom.

Weighed down by many earthly concerns, the burdens of our body and its needs, we could never see beyond the things of this world, could never detect God’s heavenly design and intention. So in His mercy He sent us His Spirit, His Wisdom from on High, to make straight our path to Him.

Jesus himself paid the price for to free us from the sentence imposed on Adam, which we recall in today’s Psalm (see Genesis 2:7; 2:19). No more will the work of our hands be an affliction, no more are we destined to turn back to dust.

Like Onesimus in today’s Epistle, we have been redeemed, given a new family and a new inheritance, made children of the father, brothers and sisters in the Lord.

We are free now to come after Him, to serve Him - no longer slaves to the ties of our past lives. In Christ, all our yesterdays have passed. We live in what the Psalm today beautifully describes as the daybreak of His kindness. For He has given us wisdom of heart, taught us to number our days aright.


42 posted on 09/08/2013 4:58:20 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday Scripture Study

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle C

September 8, 2013

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Wisdom 9:13-18b

Psalm: 90:3-6,12-17

Second Reading: Philemon 9-10,12-17

Gospel Reading: Luke 14:25-33

 

QUESTIONS:

Closing Prayer

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  §§ 1618, 2544

 

‘He started to build and was unable to finish!’ A sad commentary, which, if you don’t want, need never be made about you; for you possess everything necessary to crown the edifice of your sanctification—the grace of God and your own will.    -St. Josemaria Escriva

43 posted on 09/08/2013 5:03:46 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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23rd Sunday: Discipleship and Detachment

 



 

"He turned and addressed them . . ."

 

Sunday readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/090813.cfm



Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us in these troubled times.

Wis 9: 13-18B
Phmn 9-10, 12-17
Lk 14: 25-33

Life experience shows us that one serious choice automatically eliminates another.  Choosing a spouse for matrimony eliminates all others.  It also comes with particular demands and responsibilities to that sacred covenant that excludes other choices.

 

Likewise, any serious life choice about one’s vocation is far more limiting than choosing what to eat for dinner.  But even that most common choice eliminates other foods.  Faced with a buffet or pot-luck dinner may appear to offer us a plethora of choices but sooner or later you can’t have it all. And so it goes in life.

 

This same truth applies to our discipleship of the Lord Jesus. The demands and limits that Jesus offers us this Sunday in the Gospel (Lk 14: 25-33) seem at least on face value to be extreme.  We are called to “hate” our “father and mother, wife and children . . .” We must carry our cross and renounce all of our possessions.  Who would find such choices in any way attractive? If that’s what it takes only the most severe would seek to follow Jesus.  Or might there be more under the surface of these words? There always is.

 

The choice to embrace the Gospel is serious business.  We are not called to be part time Christians or mere Sunday Catholics who give the appearance of discipleship but in truth never let the core message of the Lord truly change our hearts and minds. But is the alternative to hate our family and material possessions?  

 

As always we must remember that the Gospels were not written in modern English so the word “hate” in this context must have another meaning.  In essence the word must be better understood as prefer. I must not prefer other people, human relationships, and material possessions with all their advantages more than my relationship with Jesus.  To fall in love with the Lord is to say that I prefer him above all other things and that I am willing to even sacrifice all rather than find a less challenging way.  

 

The cost of discipleship is sometimes a “no pain no gain” sort of thing.  Nothing worthwhile comes easy but in the same way to follow the Lord is not an endurance test in which only the strong will survive.

 

If God is at the center of our lives and if we take the Gospel seriously with, then all other people, places, and things fall into their proper order. As  St. Augustine reminds us: “Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee O Lord.”

 

There is no doubt that we need to be connected to others on both an emotional and social level.  We are indeed made not to be alone but to take God very seriously. When the cross comes into our experience we will see it as part and parcel of our salvation and not just an annoying and unnecessary form of suffering.  

 

When we look at our “stuff” in light of the treasure we hold in our faith, doesn’t all the energy spent on the pursuit of riches take on lesser meaning?  While we need a certain amount of things to live with and we even pray for “our daily bread” in the Lord’s Prayer yet how much is enough? If our life is all about accumulation then have we pushed God aside? We can live without it if need be for we find ourselves attached to the search of a better spiritual life. Nothing wrong with having things but they should never be ends in themselves.

 

There’s no doubt that Jesus sets the bar very high at times but it is for our ultimate good. If we have a part of our life that is given over to doing good for others, if we are serious about a prayer life, and generous with what we have, then this Gospel becomes a way to be free and find a joy that only Jesus can offer. Our Eucharist becomes a sign of unity and gratitude for the privilege we have of being sons and daughters of a Father who loves us into a life more than we can ever imagine.

O God, by whom we are redeemed and receive adoption,
look graciously upon your beloved sons and daughters,
that those who believe in Christ
may receive true freedom
and an everlasting inheritance. Fr. Tim


44 posted on 09/08/2013 5:11:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Insight Scoop

A Love So Great It Seems Like Hate?

A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for Sunday, September 8, 2013 | Carl E. Olson

Readings:
• Wis 9:13-18b
• Ps 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14-17
• Phmn 9-10, 12-17
• Lk 14:25-33

I recently read a column by a young Catholic who expressed frustration with the saying, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” She wrote that this seemed to make sense initially but, she added, “I started to wonder why we need to hate at all. Certainly, Jesus didn’t teach that. Jesus was all about love.” She went a step further, saying, “When we start hating, whether it is a person or an action, we stop recognizing the dignity in the other person, which makes it easy to oppress them.”

This seems rather reasonable at first glance. But if Jesus never expressed hate, what are we to do with today’s Gospel, in which Jesus tells the great crowds traveling with him to Jerusalem, “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” As Luke Timothy Johnson notes in his commentary, “the language here is very strong,” for the Greek word used for hate—misein—“is the opposite of ‘love’ (agapao)…”

How should we understand this blunt and seemingly “unJesus-like” remark? First, we must work to free ourselves from the common understanding of “love” and “hate” as primarily having to do with feelings and raw emotion. When love, for example, is defined as how we feel about someone or something, both love and the object of my “love” are devalued and damaged. How many marriages last when based on a love flowing from strong emotion and romantic euphoria, not rooted in a commitment of will and a mature acceptance of responsibility? 

The two terms—love and hate—as used in Luke’s Gospel, “denote attitudes and modes of action,” Johnson explains, “not emotions.” Jesus was not a pop psychologist; he was not concerned with talking about feelings, but with responding rightly to truth. His are strong and hard words, but they are best understood in light of his own actions. Did Jesus love his disciples? The people of Israel? The world? The answer to all three questions is emphatically, “Yes!” And yet his love for the Father was so perfect, complete, and absolute that Jesus, at different times and in various ways, spoke harshly to his disciples, denounced the sins of Israel, and renounced the ways of the world.

And here we find a paradox within a paradox, for while those actions might appear hateful to some, they are the epitome of love, for love always wills the good of the other despite the emotions involved. The man who truly loves God will never despise, mock, or demean his friends or family. But his love for God should be so consuming—so distinct and radical—that his love for other people might seem hateful. When Jesus told Peter, “Get behind me, Satan!”, it appears he is being unfair, even hateful. But his next words are essential: “You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men” (Matt. 16:23). Anything hindering us from loving God is to renounced; anyone who insists on taking the place of God in our lives must be rebuffed.

This teaching by Jesus builds upon many of his earlier statements. It amplifies, for instance, his remark, “For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” (Lk. 9:25). And it challenged those following him to consider seriously the hard fact of the Cross. The journey to Jerusalem was a journey toward suffering and death. Everyone on the journey must take up and carry “his own cross,” for only by the Cross do we enter into the Kingdom, the heavenly family of God.

Jesus calls us to reject everything and everyone who would keep us from God. That includes sin, of course; it might also include some friendships and relationships. What may seem like hate to others is evidence that Jesus is indeed all about real and lasting love.

(This "Opening the Word" column originally appeared in the September 5, 2010, issue of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)


45 posted on 09/08/2013 5:18:13 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Vultus Christi

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Sunday, 08 September 2013 07:03

Maria Bambina
Unto us a little girl is born; unto us a daughter is given. “The Holy Spirit will come upon her, and the power of the Most High will overshadow her” (Cf. Lk 1:35). The Word will take flesh in her virginal womb and suckle at her breast. And her name shall be called Full of Grace, Glory of Jerusalem, Joy of Israel, and Mother of God. In Italy she has another name, one that the people love to give her; she is their Maria Bambina, the little Infant Mary.
The Story of an Image
It was in Rome, many years ago, that I encountered the image of Maria Bambina for the first time. I didn’t know quite what to make of it. She looked rather like a doll, all dressed up in lace and satin, resting on her pillow. I knew only that all sorts of people, and especially children, came to pray before her. I saw that that Maria Bambina had stolen their hearts. She attracted the most extraordinary outpouring of tender devotion, and does to this day.
The image of Maria Bambina originated in Milan where the cathedral is dedicated to the Infant Mary. A Poor Clare nun fashioned the image out of wax in 1735. Maria Bambina suffered the vicissitudes of the times under Napoleon. The convent that kept the image was suppressed. Maria Bambina was passed from one “foster home” to another until, in 1885, she found a permanent home in the motherhouse of Milan’s Sisters of Charity. Beginning in 1884 various miracles were attributed to the image of the Infant Mary. She was dressed in new clothes and placed in a new crib in the chapel of the Sisters. Devotion to Maria Bambina spread throughout Italy and then elsewhere in the world.
A Child for Children
The learned and the clever, the theologically sophisticated and those who think that holiness has no need of warmth and no time for tenderness, are baffled by Maria Bambina. But children understand her. Raïssa Maritain understood the Child Mary perfectly; “The Blessed Virgin is the spoiled child of the Blessed Trinity,” she wrote. “She knows no law. Everything yields to her in heaven and on earth. The whole of heaven gazes on her with delight. She plays before the ravished eyes of God himself.”


God With Us
The birth to Joachim and Anna of a little girl “full of grace” (Lk 1:28) set in motion great rolling waves of grace that reach even to us, for she was born to be the Mother of Christ. “And from His fulness have we all received, grace upon grace” (Jn 1:16). All the joy of today’s festival is summed up in the last three words of the Gospel: “God with us” (Mt 1:23).
In the birth of the Child Mary, “those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death” (Lk 1:79) see the first glimmers of the long-awaited Dayspring from on high (cf. Lk 1:78). Joachim and Anna rejoice! Abraham and Sarah rejoice! The ancestors of Jesus Christ rejoice!
Rejoicing Ahead of Time
Today, with good reason, Mother Church gives us the Genealogy of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew. The long list of patriarchs and of prophets, of kings and of warriors, of saints and of sinners is transformed by the birth of Mary. We see all the ancestors of Christ standing on tiptoe to see the joy that comes to them from afar. With the birth of Mary they begin to rejoice ahead of time.
A Virgin Shall Conceive
This is the little girl who will give her consent to the Angel — “Be it done unto me according to thy word” (Lk 1:38) — “therefore the child to be born of her will be called holy, the Son of God” (Lk 1:35). The Mother of the Messiah has arrived. Isaiah’s prophecy is about to be fulfilled: “Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel” (Is 7:14).
Her Voice and Her Face
The cries of little Mary announce the arrival of the Bridegroom in the night of history. “I hear my Beloved! Behold He comes, leaping upon the mountains, bounding over the hills (Ct 2:8). In the daughter of Joachim and Anna we can already see the human features of the Word made flesh. Her face announces His. Speaking at the Sanctuary of the Holy Face in Manoppello on September 1, 2007 Pope Benedict XVI called her, “Our Lady in whose face — more than in any other creature — we can recognize the features of the Incarnate Word.” The face of Maria Bambina already reveals the Human Face of God.
The Voice of the Word
The sound of little Mary’s voice is jubilation to our ears because it means that the voice of the Word is very close! Soon the Beloved will lift up His voice: at Bethlehem in the cries of an infant; at Nazareth as a little boy learning His Hebrew alphabet and beginning to read the Scriptures in the synagogue; at Jerusalem in dialogue with the elders in the Temple; on the Mount of the Beatitudes; in Galilee and in Judea; in the Cenacle and in Gethsemane; on the Cross, saying: “Behold your mother” (Jn 19:27); “I thirst” (Jn 19:28); “Father forgive them” (Lk 23:34); “Father, into thy hands” (Lk 23:46); “It is finished” (Jn 19:30). In the splendour of His resurrection, He will call another Mary by name, and He will ask Peter, “Do you love me?” (Jn 21:17).
The inarticulate cries of the newborn baby Myriam, daughter of Joachim and of Anna, announce all of this. And so we bend over the cradle of Maria Bambina, the Mother of God, and say to her in the words of the Canticle: “O my dove, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely (Ct 2:14).
The Heart of the Mother and the Heart of the Son
In your face, O little Mary, we already see that of Jesus; in your voice, we already hear His. Your voice, O little Mary, is sweet to our ears; your face is lovely to our eyes, for He whom the whole universe cannot contain will be enclosed in your womb. He will grow for nine months beneath your Immaculate Heart. Out of your flesh and blood the Holy Spirit will form a human Heart for the Son of God, the very Heart that, together with yours, will be pierced on Calvary.
Cause of Our Joy
You, O little Mary, Maria Bambina, are the Cause of our Joy! Your appearance in the arms of your mother announces that the Word of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God, will soon appear in your arms. And you have but one desire, one joy: to give us your Son, to draw us to Him, that your joy might be ours and that our joy might be fulfilled.
As we celebrate this Holy Sacrifice, we ask Maria Bambina, the little Child Mary, to chase all sadness, all coldness, and all fear from our hearts, that we, like little children, may worthily welcome her Son, her very Flesh and Blood in the holy and life-giving Mysteries.


46 posted on 09/08/2013 5:30:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Vultus Christi

The Earlier Mysteries of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Sunday, 08 September 2013 07:06

The image is a detail from Dürer’s Virgin and Child with Saint Anne (1519). I especially like Saint Anne’s motherly hand resting on Our Lady’s shoulder.
For some years now, especially around the Marian feasts of September 8th, September 12th, November 21st, and December 8th, I have “told my beads” while dwelling on five mysteries of the first part of Our Lady’s life. These five mysteries of the Blessed Virgin Mary are:
– the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the womb of her mother, Saint Anne (feast December 8th);
– the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (feast September 8th);
– the Most Holy Name of Mary (feast September 12th);
– the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple (feast November 21st);
– the Betrothal of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Saint Joseph (feast January 23rd);
There is a particular sweetness in dwelling on these mysteries of Maria Bambina, the Infant Mary, the Child Mary. They distill graces of purity, of childlike simplicity, and of littleness.
All five mysteries are commemorated in the Sacred Liturgy. The liturgical books are rich in texts to nourish the meditation of each one. It is enough to take an antiphon, a verse, a single phrase, and to hold it in the heart while telling one’s beads. The Rosary corresponds to the meditatio and the oratio of monastic prayer; it begins necessarily in lectio divina, the hearing of the Word, and then, gently, almost imperceptibly, draws the soul into contemplatio.
The Rosary is, I am convinced, the surest and easiest school of contemplative prayer. The Rosary decapitates pride, the single greatest obstacle to union with God. The repetition of the Aves, like a stream of pure water, cleanses the heart.


47 posted on 09/08/2013 5:34:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Regnum Christi

Kneel Down and Decide for Christ
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Father Patrick Butler, LC

Luke 14: 25-33

Great crowds were traveling with Jesus, and he turned and addressed them, "If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and say, ´This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.´ Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms. In the same way, everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple."

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I come to you once again in prayer. Even though I cannot see you, my faith tells me that you are present. You are ready to listen and desire to speak with me. Your presence gives me hope, because you are the all-powerful God, the creator of heaven and earth. You are the source of all that is good in my life. Nothing happens to me without your knowing and permitting it. My hope leads me to love. I want to be one with you in mind and heart, identifying myself with your will and your standards.

Petition: Lord, help me to pick up my cross and follow you.

1. The Crowd and the Disciples: “Great crowds” followed Jesus. His popularity increased. The time was ripe to win over the crowds with some promise of well-being. However, Jesus does not act like a politician. It’s not about winning votes, but about winning souls with a message of salvation. It’s not about empty promises, but about promises of eternal fulfillment for those who follow him. He calls me to be one of his few faithful disciples, who esteem all things as rubbish to attain Christ.

2. Hate and Love: St. John tells me that “God is love.” Jesus himself tells me that the greatest commandments are to love God above all else and to love my neighbor as myself. Why then does he ask me to “hate” so many lovable people and things? Perhaps the better expression is to “renounce.” Jesus asks me to love only one thing — rather, one person — absolutely. Only God should be the absolute center of my life. All other loves come after and are at the service of this supreme love. Is there something or someone that competes with God for first place in my life?

3. Opt for the Cross: If Jesus’ message is not softened, it is a difficult message. Carrying one’s own cross, shouldering the instrument of torture and death is the equivalent of cooperating in one’s own death. That’s what Christ asks me to “sit down and decide” if I am willing to do. It is the condition for becoming his disciple and for making it to the end of my life as a faithful friend and follower of my Lord.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus Christ, you lead me by example. I thank and praise you, because you go before me and show me the way. You also give me strength to carry my cross every day. So, as I kneel down and consider what you ask of your followers, I decide to undertake this arduous task out of love for you.

Resolution: Looking ahead to what this day holds for me, I can identify my cross. I will resolve to carry it, asking God’s help in prayer and striving to bear it with spiritual joy.


48 posted on 09/08/2013 5:42:22 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Gospel to Make You Squirm

by Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D. on September 6, 2013 ·

When I was a kid, I got the distinct impression there existed a two-track system in Catholicism.  Some really decided to go for it.  They became priests, nuns, and brothers because they “had a vocation.”  They “gave up” lots of things.  Like marriage, family, success in business, and lots of creature-comforts.

The rest of us, however, don’t “have a vocation” and therefore don’t really need to run for the gold.  It is enough to just finish the race.  We don’t have to deprive ourselves of what most people have.  We can get married, have kids, climb the corporate ladder, acquire a vacation home and buy a boat.  We just need to go to Mass on Sunday, avoid breaking the Ten Commandments, get to confession when we fail, and basically be decent people.

A few years ago I even heard this two track system clearly laid out in a Sunday homily.  The priest said the gospel presents us with a radical Jesus and a moderate Jesus.  Some, like Mother Teresa, choose to follow the radical Jesus.  But we could pick the moderate Jesus if that was more comfortable for us.

In this Sunday’s Gospel Luke 14:25-33, Jesus gives us no such choice.  He says “NONE of you can be my disciple if he does not renounce all his possessions.”  And probably even more disturbing is this statement: “If ANYONE comes to me without turning his back on his father and mother, his wife and his children, his brothers and sisters, indeed his very self, he cannot be my follower.”

This is an up-front requirement.  If you are not willing to do this, don’t bother getting started as a disciple, he says.

Wait a minute.  I thought that good Christians are supposed to love their spouses, parents, and kids.  And how are you supposed to love your neighbor as yourself if you are renouncing both your neighbor and yourself?  Are we all supposed to leave our families, sell all of our possessions, and enter monasteries and convents?

No.  That would actually be not only irresponsible but too easy.  “Turning your back” on your family does not mean shirking the duty to care for your own.  Renouncing your very self does not mean abusing yourself .  What Jesus means is being radically detached from family, friends and self-gratification in favor of attachment to God, his truth, his will.  There is a love that is about giving and there is a love that is about enjoying.  We can never stop giving to others what is for their true and deepest good.  But there are times when we must renounce the enjoyment, opinion, and approval of others in order to be faithful to the truth.

The best way to see this is in the life of a very real person who lived out this radical vocation to holiness.  Thomas More thought joining the monks who educated him, but realized that he was called to marriage and family.  And so he took a job with the government, got married, and had kids.  He rose through government service to become the Chancellor of England under Henry VIII.  He had a magnificent mansion on the ThamesRiver where he entertained his friend the King as well some of the most famous men and women of Europe.   He had a great sense of humor, a deep relationship with his kids, a profound prayer life, and loved to write fiction, satire, and theology.

Then his boss Henry VIII divorced, remarried, and justified it by breaking allegiance with the Pope and making himself the head of the Church of England.  King Henry wanted all to take an oath swearing allegiance to his new order.  Everyone jumped on the bandwagon.  All of the bishops signed save one.  All of Thomas’s friends did the same.  But Thomas knew signing would violate his conscience, compromise his integrity, offend God, and encourage others in the doing of evil.  He loved God, self and others too much to do this.  So he lost the esteem of his friends and his king.  He resigned his position and lost his income.  He ultimately lost his head rather than deny his heart.

Few of us will enjoy the privileges enjoyed by Thomas or be called to make the same sacrifices.  But little choices, every day, arise that make plain where our true loyalties lie.


49 posted on 09/08/2013 5:53:49 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

Language: English | Español

All Issues > Volume 29, Issue 5

<< Sunday, September 8, 2013 >> 23rd Sunday Ordinary Time
 
Wisdom 9:13-18
Philemon 9-10, 12-17

View Readings
Psalm 90:3-6, 12-14, 17
Luke 14:25-33

Similar Reflections
 

PRICE-CONSCIOUS OR PRIZE-CONSCIOUS?

 
"Sit down and calculate the outlay..." —Luke 14:28
 

Jesus tells us to renounce everything exterior and interior: all our possessions (Lk 14:33) and our very self (Lk 14:26). The price of being Jesus' disciple is extremely high: it costs our all.

Many choose not to pay the price to be Jesus' disciple. This choice results in disaster. If we won't voluntarily pay the price now, we will pay it later. Our life will be a literal joke (Lk 14:29-30) as we are overrun by the enemy, Satan (see Lk 14:31-32). How sad to not renounce our possessions; when we hold them more valuable than Jesus, they only weigh us down (see Wis 9:15), and "choke" us, preventing us from bearing fruit (Mt 13:22).

Jesus tells us to count the cost, or "calculate the outlay," as we make our decision whether or not to be His disciple (Lk 14:28). He told the parable of the treasure hidden in a field with that calculation in mind. The price to purchase Jesus our Treasure is everything we have (Mt 13:44). However, He wants us to also consider the prize, life on high with Him forever (Phil 3:14).

Is it hard for you to renounce your hopes for the future? If so, you need to exchange your hopes and dreams for His. When you want what Jesus wants, you'll find you already have everything "through Him, with Him, and in Him" (see 1 Cor 3:21-23). So "fix your eyes on Jesus" (Heb 3:1), then keep them fixed on Him (Heb 12:2). You'll hardly notice the price when you focus on the Prize.

 
Prayer: Father, grant me a complete change of heart that I may follow Jesus with greater faithfulness, zeal, and love.
Promise: "Anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple." —Lk 14:27
Praise: Praise Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith! (Heb 12:2) All glory, honor, and praise be to the Lamb of God!

50 posted on 09/08/2013 5:56:37 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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