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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 06-18-14
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 06-18-14 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 06/17/2014 9:49:13 PM PDT by Salvation

June 18, 2014

Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

 

 

Reading 1 2 Kgs 2:1, 6-14

When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind,
he and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.
Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here;
the LORD has sent me on to the Jordan.”
“As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live,
I will not leave you,” Elisha replied.
And so the two went on together.
Fifty of the guild prophets followed and
when the two stopped at the Jordan,
they stood facing them at a distance.
Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up
and struck the water, which divided,
and both crossed over on dry ground.

When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha,
“Ask for whatever I may do for you, before I am taken from you.”
Elisha answered, “May I receive a double portion of your spirit.”
“You have asked something that is not easy,” Elijah replied.
“Still, if you see me taken up from you,
your wish will be granted; otherwise not.”
As they walked on conversing,
a flaming chariot and flaming horses came between them,
and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
When Elisha saw it happen he cried out,
“My father! my father! Israel’s chariots and drivers!”
But when he could no longer see him,
Elisha gripped his own garment and tore it in two.

Then he picked up Elijah’s mantle that had fallen from him,
and went back and stood at the bank of the Jordan.
Wielding the mantle that had fallen from Elijah,
Elisha struck the water in his turn and said,
“Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?”
When Elisha struck the water it divided and he crossed over.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 31:20, 21, 24

R. (25) Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
How great is the goodness, O LORD,
which you have in store for those who fear you,
And which, toward those who take refuge in you,
you show in the sight of the children of men.
R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
You hide them in the shelter of your presence
from the plottings of men;
You screen them within your abode
from the strife of tongues.
R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
Love the LORD, all you his faithful ones!
The LORD keeps those who are constant,
but more than requites those who act proudly.
R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.

Gospel Mt 6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door,
and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to others to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”



TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; ordinarytime; prayer
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 06/17/2014 9:49:13 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping

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2 posted on 06/17/2014 9:58:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 2 Kings 2:1, 6-14

Elijah is taken up into the sky


[1] Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind Eli-
jah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.

[6] Then Elijah said to him, “Tarry here, I pray you; for the Lord has sent me to
the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not
leave you.” So the two of them went on. [7] Fifty men of the sons of the prophets
also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing
by the Jordan. [8] Then Elijah took his mantle, and rolled it up, and struck the
water, and the water was parted to the one side and to the other, till the two of
them could go over on dry ground.

[9] When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you,
before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “I pray you, let me inherit a double
share of your spirit.” [10] And he said, “You have asked for a hard thing; yet, if
you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if you do
not see me, it shall not be so.” [11] And as they still went on and talked, behold,
a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up
by a whirlwind into heaven. [12[ And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my
father! the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more. Then
he took hold of his own clothes and rent them in two pieces.

Elisha, Elijah’s successor


[13] And he took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back
and stood on the bank of the Jordan. [14] Then he took the mantle of Elijah that
had fallen from him, and struck the water, saying, “Where is the Lord, the God
of Elijah?” And when he had struck the water, the water was parted to one side
and to the other; and Elisha went over.
*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

2:1-13:25. Having concluded the section dealing with kings in the time of Elijah
(cf. 1 Kings 17:1-2 Kings 1:18), the biblical narrative now focuses on Elisha.
First it tells how he succeeded Elijah (chap. 2) and then it goes on to cover his
wonderworking and prophetical activity, up to his death (chap. 13). The account
of his death, which occurred at the beginning of the eighth century BC, brings
to a close a period of the history of Israel spanning the careers of two great pro-
phets, Elijah and Elisha.

Elisha’s activity is different from Elijah’s in many ways: firstly, Elisha’s miracles
are designed to resolve difficulties of his contemporaries, whereas Elijah’s were
performed to demonstrate the sovereignty of the one God; secondly, Elisha is
much more involved than his predecessor in political affairs and is much closer
to the kings, too; finally, Elisha has more contact with the groups of prophets
than Elijah had. Elisha is, then, a prophet much closer to the people, showing
them the love God has for them.

2:1-25. Elisha becomes the heir of his master’s spirit when he sees Elijah being
taken up to heaven (vv. 9-12). The signs which Elisha goes on to work win him
recognition as Elijah’s successor – first, from the other prophets, once they are
convinced that Elijah is indeed no longer in this world (vv. 13-18), and then from
all the people, who witness extraordinary prodigies worked by Elisha (vv. 19-25).

2:1-12. This passage deals with one of the most mysterious, and also the most
popular, episodes in the Old Testament – Elijah being taken up to heaven by a
whirlwind. God wants to show the special destiny reserved for Elijah on account
of his fidelity, a destiny similar to Enoch’s for having walked with God (cf. Gen
5:21-24).

In recounting this ancient tradition about Elijah, the sacred writer highlights as-
pects of Elijah’s connexion with groups of prophets and particularly with Elisha,
whom he had already designated as his successor (cf. 1 Kings 19:19-21).

Elisha’s request for a double share of Elijah’s spirit is reminiscent of the double
portion of the paternal estate due to the first-born in Israel (cf. Deut 21:17). The
condition that Elijah lays down shows that divine gifts can be passed on only
to those able to receive them (cf. vv. 10-12).

The function of the chariot and horses of fire is to separate the two prophets
when Elijah is being swept up. The book of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), in its time,
will interpret them as a sign that God has brought him up into heaven (cf. Sir 48:
8-9). Chariots of fire are also a symbol of God’s presence and of his glory, as in
Psalm 68:17, for example. The fact that Elijah had not died is the reason why he
is assigned a role in the future, at the messianic restoration of the twelve tribes
(cf. Sir 48:10) and before the coming of the “day of the Lord” (Mal 4:5). The fi-
gure of Elijah is also to be found in the New Testament where he is identified
with John the Baptist, Christ’s precursor (cf. Mt 11:14, 17:10-12), in the sense
that the Baptist is inspired by the same spirit as inspired Elijah.

The last wonder worked by Elijah, over the waters of the Jordan (cf. v. 8), again
likens him to Moses (cf. Ex 14:16-21 and notes on 1 Kings 19:1-18). Even the
place where Elijah is taken up into heaven is not far from where Moses died (cf.
Deut 34:4-6) before the people entered the promised land. These similarities be-
tween Moses and Elijah suggest certain parallels: Moses represents the Law
which God gave Israel through his mediation; Elijah represents the prophetical
spirit which God manifested through the prophet’s life and through his being ta-
ken up into heaven. So, it is not surprising that when our Lord chose to reveal
his glory to the disciples by his transformation on Mount Tabor, he should have
chosen to appear alongside Moses and Elijah, because the Law and the Pro-
phets find their fulfilment in Christ (cf. Mt 17:3 and par.).

2:13-18. The mantle symbolizes the authority of its owner and, in this case, the
fact that he possesses the prophetical spirit (cf. 1 Kings 19:19-21). Elisha uses
it to repeat the prodigy previously worked by Elijah; but now he does so to cross
towards the land of Israel, as the people once did on the orders of Joshua (cf.
Josh 3:14-17).

On witnessing the prodigy worked by Elisha, the prophets acknowledge him as
Elijah’s true heir (v. 15); but they want to make sure that it was not to some o-
ther place on earth that Elijah was taken, as popular thinking had it (cf. 1 Kings
18:12).

*********************************************************************************************
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 06/17/2014 9:59:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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From: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

An Upright Intention in Almsgiving, Prayer and Fasting


[Jesus said to His disciples,] [1] “Beware of practising your piety before men in
order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who
is in Heaven.

[2] “Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites
do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Tru-
ly, I say to you, they have their reward. [3] But when you give alms, do not let
your left hand know what your right hand is doing, [4] so that your alms may be
in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

[5] “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to
stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be
seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. [6] But when you pray,
go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret;
and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

[16] “And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfi-
gure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they
have their reward. [17] But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
[18] that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in se-
cret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

1-18. “Piety”, here, means good works (cf. note on Matthew 5:6). Our Lord is
indicating the kind of spirit in which we should do acts of personal piety. Alms-
giving, fasting and prayer were the basic forms taken by personal piety among
the chosen people—which is why Jesus refers to these three subjects. With com-
plete authority He teaches that true piety must be practiced with an upright inten-
tion, in the presence of God and without any ostentation. Piety practiced in this
way implies exercising our faith in God who sees us—and also in the safe know-
ledge that He will reward those who are sincerely devout.

5-6. Following the teaching of Jesus, the Church has always taught us to pray
even when we were infants. By saying “you” (singular) our Lord is stating quite
unequivocally the need for personal prayer—relating as child to Father, alone
with God.

Public prayer, for which Christ’s faithful assemble together, is something neces-
sary and holy; but it should never displace obedience to this clear commandment
of our Lord: “When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to
your Father”.

The Second Vatican Council reminds us of the teaching and practice of the
Church in its liturgy, which is “the summit toward which the activity of the Church
is directed; it is also the fount from which all her power flows [...]. The spiritual
life, however, is not limited solely to participation in the liturgy. The Christian is
indeed called to pray with others, but he must also enter into his bedroom to pray
to his Father in secret; furthermore, according to the teaching of the Apostle, he
must pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)” (”Sacrosanctum Concilium”,
10 and 12).

A soul who really puts his Christian faith into practice realizes that he needs fre-
quently to get away and pray alone to his Father, God. Jesus, who gives us this
teaching about prayer, practiced it during His own life on earth: the holy Gospel
reports that He often went apart to pray on His own: “At times He spent the
whole night in an intimate conversation with His Father. The Apostles were filled
with love when they saw Christ pray” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 119;
cf. Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; etc.). The Apostles followed the Mas-
ter’s example, and so we see Peter going up to the rooftop of the house to pray
in private, and receiving a revelation (cf. Acts 10:9-16). “Our life of prayer should
also be based on some moments that are dedicated exclusively to our conversa-
tion with God, moments of silent dialogue” (”ibid”, 119).

16-18. Starting from the traditional practice of fasting, our Lord tells us the spirit
in which we should exercise mortification of our senses: we should do so without
ostentation, avoiding praise, discreetly; that way Jesus’ words will not apply to
us: “they have their reward”; it would have been a very bad deal. “The world ad-
mires only spectacular sacrifice, because it does not realize the value of sacri-
fice that is hidden and silent” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”, 185).

*********************************************************************************************
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 06/17/2014 10:00:32 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

2 Kings 2:1,6-14 ©

This is what happened when the Lord took Elijah up to heaven in the whirlwind: Elijah and Elisha set out from Gilgal, Elijah said, ‘Elisha, please stay here, the Lord is only sending me to the Jordan.’ But he replied, ‘As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you!’ And they went on together.

  Fifty of the brotherhood of prophets followed them, halting some distance away as the two of them stood beside the Jordan. Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water; and the water divided to left and right, and the two of them crossed over dry-shod. When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Make your request. What can I do for you before I am taken from you?’ Elisha answered, ‘Let me inherit a double share of your spirit.’ ‘Your request is a difficult one’ Elijah said. ‘If you see me while I am being taken from you, it shall be as you ask; if not, it will not be so.’ Now as they walked on, talking as they went, a chariot of fire appeared and horses of fire, coming between the two of them; and Elijah went up to heaven in the whirlwind. Elisha saw it, and shouted, ‘My father! My father! Chariot of Israel and its chargers!’ Then he lost sight of him, and taking hold of his clothes he tore them in half. He picked up the cloak of Elijah which had fallen, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan.

  He took the cloak of Elijah and struck the water. ‘Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?’ he cried. He struck the water, and it divided to right and left, and Elisha crossed over.


Psalm

Psalm 30:20,21,24 ©

Let your heart take courage, all who hope in the Lord.

How great is the goodness, Lord,

  that you keep for those who fear you,

that you show to those who trust you

  in the sight of men.

Let your heart take courage, all who hope in the Lord.

You hide them in the shelter of your presence

  from the plotting of men;

you keep them safe within your tent

  from disputing tongues.

Let your heart take courage, all who hope in the Lord.

Love the Lord, all you saints.

  He guards his faithful

but the Lord will repay to the full

  those who act with pride.

Let your heart take courage, all who hope in the Lord.


Gospel Acclamation

cf.Col3:16a,17

Alleluia, alleluia!

Let the message of Christ, in all its richness,

find a home with you;

through him give thanks to God the Father.

Alleluia!

Or

Jn14:23

Alleluia, alleluia!

If anyone loves me he will keep my word,

and my Father will love him,

and we shall come to him.

Alleluia!


Gospel

Matthew 6:1-6,16-18 ©

Jesus said to his disciples:

  ‘Be careful not to parade your good deeds before men to attract their notice; by doing this you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win men’s admiration. I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right is doing; your almsgiving must be secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.

  ‘And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites: they love to say their prayers standing up in the synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them; I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you pray, go to your private room and, when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.

  ‘When you fast do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they pull long faces to let men know they are fasting. I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that no one will know you are fasting except your Father who sees all that is done in secret; and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.’


5 posted on 06/17/2014 10:03:03 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
6 posted on 06/17/2014 10:04:22 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
7 posted on 06/17/2014 10:04:37 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

 
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.

8 posted on 06/17/2014 10:05:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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]


9 posted on 06/17/2014 10:05:48 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ 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
+

10 posted on 06/17/2014 10:06:21 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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.


11 posted on 06/17/2014 10:13:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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June Devotion: The Sacred Heart

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of June is set apart for devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. "From among all the proofs of the infinite goodness of our Savior none stands out more prominently than the fact that, as the love of the faithful grew cold, He, Divine Love Itself, gave Himself to us to be honored by a very special devotion and that the rich treasury of the Church was thrown wide open in the interests of that devotion." These words of Pope Pius XI refer to the Sacred Heart Devotion, which in its present form dates from the revelations given to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1673-75.

The devotion consists in the divine worship of the human heart of Christ, which is united to His divinity and which is a symbol of His love for us. The aim of the devotion is to make our Lord king over our hearts by prompting them to return love to Him (especially through an act of consecration by which we offer to the Heart of Jesus both ourselves and all that belongs to us) and to make reparation for our ingratitude to God.

INVOCATION

O Heart of love, I put all my trust in Thee; for I fear all things from my own weakness, but I hope for all things from Thy goodness.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART

Devotion to the Sacred Heart was the characteristic note of the piety of Saint Gertrude the Great (1256-1302), Benedictine nun and renowned mystic. She was, in fact, the first great exponent of devotion to the Sacred Heart. In our efforts to honor the Heart of Jesus we have this prayer as a model for our own:
Hail! O Sacred Heart of Jesus, living and quickening source of eternal life, infinite treasure of the Divinity, and burning furnace of divine love. Thou art my refuge and my sanctuary, 0 my amiable Savior. Consume my heart with that burning fire with which Thine is ever inflamed. Pour down on my soul those graces which flow from Thy love, and let my heart be so united with Thine, that our wills may be one, and mine in all things be conformed to Thine. May Thy divine will be equally the standard and rule of all my desires and of all my actions. Amen.
Saint Gertrude

FOR THE CHURCH

O most holy Heart of Jesus, shower Thy blessings in abundant measure upon Thy holy Church, upon the Supreme Pontiff and upon all the clergy; to the just grant perseverance; convert sinners; enlighten unbelievers; bless our relations, friends and benefactors; assist the dying; deliver the holy souls in purgatory; and extend over all hearts the sweet empire of Thy love. Amen.

A PRAYER OF TRUST

O God, who didst in wondrous manner reveal to the virgin, Margaret Mary, the unsearchable riches of Thy Heart, grant that loving Thee, after her example, in all things and above all things, we may in Thy Heart find our abiding home.
Roman Missal

ACT OF LOVE

Reveal Thy Sacred Heart to me, O Jesus, and show me Its attractions. Unite me to It for ever. Grant that all my aspirations and all the beats of my heart, which cease not even while I sleep, may be a testimonial to Thee of my love for Thee and may say to Thee: Yes, Lord, I am all Thine;
pledge of my allegiance to Thee rests ever in my heart will never cease to be there. Do Thou accept the slight amount of good that I do and be graciously pleased to repair all m] wrong-doing; so that I may be able to bless Thee in time and in eternity. Amen.
Cardinal Merry del Val

MEMORARE TO THE SACRED HEART
Remember, O most sweet Jesus, that no one who has had recourse to Thy Sacred Heart, implored its help, or sought its mercy was ever abandoned. Encouraged with confidence, O tenderest of hearts, we present ourselves before Thee, crushed beneath the weight of our sins. In our misery, O Sacred Heart of Jesus, despise not our simple prayers, but mercifully grant our requests. Amen.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

Only for Love: The Sacred Heart and the Priesthood [Catholic Caucus]

Catholic Word of the Day: LITANY OF THE SACRED HEART, 10-19-09
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Devotion to the Sacred Heart Today
The Biblical Foundation of Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus [Ecumenical]
Heart to Heart (Sacred Heart of Jesus Devotion) [St. Margaret Mary Alacoque]
(June) The Month of the Sacred Heart {Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus [St. Margaret Mary Alacoque]
The Heart of the World (On the Sacred Heart of Jesus) (Catholic Caucus)
The Sacred Heart Is The Holy Eucharist(Catholic Caucus)
The Origin of the Sacred Heart Badge

Importance of Devotion to the Sacred Heart
An Awesome Homily on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Father Edmond Kline
Catholic Prayer and Devotion: June the Month of the Sacred Heart
Catholic Devotions: Sacred Heart of Jesus
Pope Urges Jesuits to Spread Sacred Heart Devotion
Homilies preached by Father Altier on the Feast of the Sacred Heart
Catholic Meditation and Devotion: The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Daily Recomendation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus powerful prayer!
The Sacred Heart and the Eucharist
The Love of the Sacred Heart

On the Sacred Heart - "We Adore God's Love of Humanity"
HAURIETIS AQUAS (On Devotion To The Sacred Heart) - Encyclical by Pope Pius XII
Solemnity Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary
Sacred Heart a Feast of God's Love, Says John Paul II
The Sacred Heart of Jesus: Symbol of Combativity and the Restoration of Christendom
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus-The Early Church, Middle Ages up to St. Margaret Mary
See this Heart
‘God Will Act and Will Reign’
About Devotion To The Sacred Heart:The Story Of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
Rediscover Feast of Sacred Heart, John Paul II Tells Youth

 
 

"Behold this Heart which has loved men so much, and yet men do not want to love Me in return. Through you My divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth."

- Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary

Our Lord also made 12 promises to St. Margaret Mary for those that are devoted to His Sacred Heart.

  1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life.
  2. I will give peace in their families.
  3. I will console them in all their troubles.
  4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
  5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
  6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
  7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
  8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
  9. I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honoured.
  10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
  11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.
  12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at the last hour.


12 posted on 06/17/2014 10:13:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
June 2014 Year A

Pope's Intentions

Universal: That the unemployed may receive support and find the work they need to live in dignity.

For Evangelization: That Europe may rediscover its Christian roots through the witness of believers.

13 posted on 06/17/2014 10:14:14 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Daily Gospel Commentary

Wednesday of the Eleventh week in Ordinary Time

Commentary of the day
Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890), priest, founder of a religious community, theologian
Sermon « Times of Private Prayer », PPS, vol.1, no.19

"When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret"

Those who seek the unseen God, seek him in their hearts and hidden thoughts, not in loud words, as if he were far off from them. Such men would retire from the world into places where no human eye saw them, there to meet him humbly and in faith, who is "about their path, and about their bed, and spieth out all their ways." And he, the Searcher of hearts (Rm 9,27), would reward them openly. Prayers uttered in secret, according to God's will, are treasured up in God's Book of Life (Ps 68[69],29). They seem, perhaps, to have sought an answer here, and to have failed. Their memory perishes even in the mind of the petitioner, and the world never knew of them. But God is ever mindful, and in the last day, when the books are opened (Dn 7,10; Rv 20,12), they shall be disclosed and rewarded before the whole world...

Now, we know well enough that we are bound to be in one sense in prayer and meditation all the day long (Lk 18,1). The question then arises... need we pray at certain times of the day in a set manner?... Though set times and forms of prayer are not absolutely necessary in private prayer, yet they are highly expedient; or rather, times are actually commanded us by our Lord in the text, "Thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet...” Even our Saviour had his peculiar seasons of communing with God. His thoughts indeed were one continued sacred service offered up to his Father; nevertheless, we read of his going up "into a mountain apart to pray," and again, of his "continuing all night in prayer to God" (Mt 14,23; Lc 6,12).

Now it is necessary to insist upon this duty of observing private prayer at stated times, because amid the cares and hurry of life men are very apt to neglect it: and it is a much more important duty than it is generally considered, even by those who perform it.


14 posted on 06/17/2014 10:16:09 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Even though knowledge is true, it is still not firmly established if unaccompanied by works. For everything is established by being put into practice.
-- Saint Mark the Ascetic
15 posted on 06/17/2014 10:17:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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.

16 posted on 06/17/2014 10:18:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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. 


17 posted on 06/17/2014 10:19:28 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Information: St. Elizabeth of Schoenau

Feast Day: June 18

Born: 1129 at Germany

Died: 18 June 1165 at Bonn, Germany

Patron of: against temptations

18 posted on 06/18/2014 7:09:04 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Interactive Saints for Kids

Blessed Gregory Barbarigo

Feast Day: June 18
Born: 1625 :: Died: 1697

Gregorio Giovanni Gasparo Barbarigo was born at Venice in Italy. His father was a Venetian Senator (a politician). Gregory received a good education, studied at the University of Padua, in Italy and became a Civil and canon lawyer.

While still in his twenties, he was chosen by the officials of Venice to represent them in Munster, Germany, at an important event. Leaders were meeting to sign the Treaty of Westphalia on October 24, 1648. This treaty (peace agreement) would bring to an end the Thirty Year War being fought in Germany. It involved local, Swedish and French troops and was caused by a Catholic-Protestant misunderstanding.

At Munster, Blessed Gregory met the pope's representative archbishop Fabio Chigi. This man later became Pope Alexander VII. Archbishop Fabio realized how good and holy Father Gregory was. He made him the bishop of Bergamo, Italy. In 1660, Pope Alexander VII called Bishop Gregory to Rome again and this time he made appointed him as cardinal of Padua.

Blessed Gregory spent the rest of his life in Padua, a city already made famous by St. Anthony. Cardinal Barbarigo lived a plain, self-sacrificing life. He gave large sums of money for charitable needs. He kept his door open and was always available when people were in trouble.

He started an excellent college and seminary for the training of men to be priests. He gave the seminary a first-class library with many books by the early Church fathers and books about Sacred Scripture. He even set up a printing press in the seminary.

As Cardinal, Gregory had the unusual task of attending four conclaves. He helped to elect Pope Clement IX in 1667, Pope Innocent XI in 1676, Pope Alexander VIII in 1689 and Pope Innocent XII in 1691. Blessed Gregory Barbarigo died on June 15, 1697, at the age of seventy-two and is buried in the cathedral of Padua.


19 posted on 06/18/2014 7:11:42 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Wednesday, June 18

Liturgical Color: Green

The Church dedicates the month of June
to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Devotion to
the Sacred Heart can be traced to the
11th century and was formally approved
by Pope Pius IX in 1873.

20 posted on 06/18/2014 1:10:18 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Day 185 - Does the Church still practice exorcism? // How important is so-called "popular piety"?

Does the Church still practice exorcism?

At every Baptism a so-called simple exorcism is performed, a prayer in which the person being baptized is taken away from the devil and is strengthened against the "principalities and powers" that Jesus overcame. Major exorcism is a prayer offered by Jesus' authority and in his strength through which a baptized Christian is delivered from the influence and power of the devil; the Church rarely uses this prayer, and only after the most rigorous examination.

The depiction of "exorcisms" in Hollywood films for the most part does not reflect the truth about Jesus and the Church. It was often reported about Jesus that he drove out demons. He had power over evil principalities and powers and could deliver men from them. To the apostles Jesus gave "authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity" (Mt 10:1). The Church does the same today whenever an authorized priest pronounces the prayer of exorcism over a person who requests it. First, however, the possibility must be excluded that the phenomenon is psychological in nature (a psychiatrist is competent in such matters). An exorcism wards off spiritual temptation and oppression and delivers from the power of the evil one.


How important is so-called "popular piety"?

Popular piety, which is expressed in veneration for relics, processions, pilgrimages, and devotions, is an important way in which the faith becomes inculturated. It is good as long as it is in and of the Church, leads to Christ, and does not try to "earn" heaven by works, apart from God's grace. (YOUCAT questions 273, 274)


Dig Deeper: CCC section (1674-1676) and other references here.


21 posted on 06/18/2014 1:28:31 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Part 2: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery (1066 - 1690)

Section 2: The Seven Sacraments of the Church (1210 - 1690)

Chapter 4: Other Liturgical Celebrations (1667 - 1690)

Article 1: Sacramentals (1667 - 1679)

Popular piety

2669
2678
2688
(all)

1674

Besides sacramental liturgy and sacramentals, catechesis must take into account the forms of piety and popular devotions among the faithful. The religious sense of the Christian people has always found expression in various forms of piety surrounding the Church's sacramental life, such as the veneration of relics, visits to sanctuaries, pilgrimages, processions, the stations of the cross, religious dances, the rosary, medals,180 etc.

180.

Cf. Council of Nicaea II: DS 601; 603; Council of Trent: DS 1822.

1675

These expressions of piety extend the liturgical life of the Church, but do not replace it. They "should be so drawn up that they harmonize with the liturgical seasons, accord with the sacred liturgy, are in some way derived from it and lead the people to it, since in fact the liturgy by its very nature is far superior to any of them."181

181.

SC 13 § 3.

426
(all)

1676

Pastoral discernment is needed to sustain and support popular piety and, if necessary, to purify and correct the religious sense which underlies these devotions so that the faithful may advance in knowledge of the mystery of Christ.182 Their exercise is subject to the care and judgment of the bishops and to the general norms of the Church.

At its core the piety of the people is a storehouse of values that offers answers of Christian wisdom to the great questions of life. The Catholic wisdom of the people is capable of fashioning a vital synthesis. ... It creatively combines the divine and the human, Christ and Mary, spirit and body, communion and institution, person and community, faith and homeland, intelligence and emotion. This wisdom is a Christian humanism that radically affirms the dignity of every person as a child of God, establishes a basic fraternity, teaches people to encounter nature and understand work, provides reasons for joy and humor even in the midst of a very hard life. For the people this wisdom is also a principle of discernment and an evangelical instinct through which they spontaneously sense when the Gospel is served in the Church and when it is emptied of its content and stifled by other interests.183

181.

SC 13 § 3.

182.

Cf. John Paul II, CT 54.

183.

CELAM, Third General Conference (Puebla, 1979), Final Document § 448 (tr. NCCB, 1979); cf. Paul VI, EN 48.


22 posted on 06/18/2014 1:30:38 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Catholic Culture

 

Daily Readings for:June 18, 2014
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, strength of those who hope in you, graciously hear our pleas, and, since without you mortal frailty can do nothing, grant us always the help of your grace, that in following your commands we may please you by our resolve and our deeds. 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    Veal Stew in Milk

ACTIVITIES

o    How to be a Good Father

o    How to be a Good Mother

PRAYERS

o    Litany of Reparation In Honor of the Blessed Sacrament

·         Ordinary Time: June 18th

·         Wednesday of the Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time

Old Calendar: St. Ephrem, deacon, confessor and doctor; Sts. Mark & Marcellianus, martyrs

The virtues of gratitude, confidence and love, stimulated and motivated by the Holy Eucharist, are especially necessary in the modern world. Today gratitude has become a forgotten virtue; confidence in God has been replaced by arrogant self-reliance; love for God and for mankind has been driven from the hearts of many by a spirit of pagan selfishness.

Catholics must strive to revive these virtues and shall have the special help of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. If we cultivate a deep and persevering devotion to Him who dwells among us under the humble appearances of bread and wine, particularly if we receive Holy Communion frequently and fervently, we cannot but make progress in the spirit of gratitude, in unwavering confidence in God's assistance, and in ardent love both for God and for our fellowmen.

According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Ephrem. His feast in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is celebrated on June 9. It is also the feast of the martyrs, Sts. Mark and Marcellianus.


Sts. Mark & Marcellianus
Saint Marcus and Saint Marcellianus were twin brothers of an illustrious family in Rome, who had been converted to the Faith in their youth and were honorably married.

When Diocletian ascended the imperial throne in 284, the pagans raised persecutions; the brothers were then thrown into prison and condemned to be beheaded. Their friends obtained a delay of the execution for thirty days, that they might prevail on them to worship the false gods. Tranquillinus and Martia, their afflicted pagan parents, accompanied by their sons’ wives and their little babes, endeavored to move them by the most tender entreaties and tears. But Saint Sebastian, an officer of the emperor’s household, arriving in Rome soon after their confinement, daily visited and encouraged them.

The issue of the conferences was the happy conversion of the father, mother, and wives, also of Nicostratus, the public stenographer, and soon afterwards of Chromatius, the judge, who set the Saints at liberty and abdicating the magistracy, retired into the country. Marcus and Marcellianus were concealed by a Christian officer of the imperial household, in his apartments in the palace, but they were betrayed by an apostate and reimprisoned. Fabian, a judge who had succeeded Chromatius, condemned them to be bound to two pillars, their feet nailed to them. In this posture they remained a day and a night, and on the following day were stabbed with lances. Their martyrdom occurred in the year 286. Their tomb and that of their father, Saint Tranquillinus, was found in Rome, in 1782, in the church of Saint Cosmas and Saint Damian, adjoining that of the martyred pope, Saint Felix II. They are honored particularly in Spain, where the city of Badajoz escaped destruction by their intercession.

Excerpted from Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints, and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).


23 posted on 06/18/2014 1:38:50 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Word Among Us

Meditation: 2 Kings 2:1, 6-14

11th Week in Ordinary Time

Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah? (2 Kings 2:14)

From Esau and Jacob to the prodigal son, stories about inheritance run throughout the Scriptures. In this passage, however, the focus is on a spiritual rather than a material inheritance. When Elisha asked Elijah for a double portion of his spirit, he was asking for the honor of being his spiritual son. And at the end of the passage, we find Elisha stepping into his new role.

It seems simple, doesn’t it? Just pick up the prophet’s mantle, and miracles will flow. But that’s not exactly how it happened. Elisha was able to do all he did because he had spent many days, months, and years with Elijah, learning from his mentor. He saw the man of God in action; he heard him preach; he prayed and fasted with him; he endured the same persecutions and challenges Elijah did. In the end, when he parted the Jordan River, it wasn’t because he had Elijah’s magical cloak. It was because he had taken on Elijah’s heart.

In a similar way, you share in Christ’s inheritance. The Holy Spirit lives in you in all his fullness. But just as Elisha walked every day with Elijah and learned to be like him, you too need to walk with Jesus every day so that you can take on his heart. That’s what releases the power of the Spirit in your life!

Whether you realize it or not, you are probably already spending a lot of time with the Lord. Do you go to Mass? Pray for your friends and family? Read Scripture? Talk to the Lord at home or at work? Every second spent with him counts! That’s because, as hard as you may be trying to please him, he is working so much more in you. He always takes the little we give him and multiplies it immensely—just as he multiplied five loaves and two fishes!

Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah? He’s in your heart! Try to follow Elijah’s—and Elisha’s—example and take a step of faith today. Encourage a downcast friend. Go out of your way to help a family member. If there is an opportunity to share your faith, take it. Then watch the Lord pour out his grace!

“Thank you, Jesus, for paving the way for me to share in your inheritance.”

Psalm 31:20-21, 24; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18


24 posted on 06/18/2014 2:05:43 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Marriage=One Man and One Woman 'Til Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for June 18, 2014:

(Reader’s Tip) If you do something wrong, don’t say, “I’m sorry,” which doesn’t need a response. Say, “Will you forgive me?” The other spouse has to say “yes” or “no.” If “no,” you need to talk.

25 posted on 06/18/2014 2:09:43 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Regnum Christi

The Danger of Vanity.
2014-06-18
U. S. A. | SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY

Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples: "Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you with a living faith. Though I am so inclined to sin and weakness, I trust in your mercy. I want to show my love for you in this meditation. I long for my recompense to come only from you, not from people’s applause. 

Petition: Lord, help me to act with greater purity of intention in my life.

1. Who Do You Seek to Please: In today’s Gospel reading, Christ presents a difficult challenge and, at the same time, a great consolation. His teaching can be summed up with a simple phrase: In everything we do, act always before God alone. At the end of our life, all that will remain is what we have done for God and our brothers and sisters. Everything else, all of our vanities, our desires to be esteemed, loved or taken into account will vanish on the last day, like fog disappears under the rays of the sun. The challenge is clear: to act before God with absolute purity of intention. But where is the consolation? Our heavenly Father “sees in secret.” What might never be perceived or recognized or appreciated by the world will one day be rewarded in heaven.

2. Between You and God: Mother Theresa echoes the Gospel teaching in a brief poem entitled “It’s Between You and God.” 
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you.
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone may destroy overnight.
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, others may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough.
Give the world the best you have anyway.
Why?
Because in the final analysis, all of this is between you and God….
It was never between you and them anyway.

3. Our Everlasting Reward: Christ declares three times that hypocrites who act before others have already received their reward. One day each of us will stand alone before Christ. Our eternal destiny will depend upon the outcome of that moment. May we not discover to our chagrin that our hands are empty because we have secretly acted to win the applause of men. Rather, may we perform our good deeds in secret, not letting our left hand know what our right is doing. Then our heavenly Father, “who sees what is hidden” will repay us.

Conversation with Christ: Thank you, Lord, for always seeing what is hidden, for always being ready to reward what is done for you. Your words and the example of holy men and women inspire me on this point. I wish to live facing you and eternity and to give up all my vain ambitions and worries about what others think of my actions.

Resolution: I will renew my purity of intention in the different activities of the day, doing them out of love for Christ and to help establish his Kingdom.

26 posted on 06/18/2014 2:48:59 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

Language: English | Español

All Issues > Volume 30, Issue 4

<< Wednesday, June 18, 2014 >>
 
2 Kings 2:1, 6-14
View Readings
Psalm 31:20-21, 24 Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
Similar Reflections
 

STAYING POWER

 
"You have asked for something that is not easy." —2 Kings 2:10
 

Elijah was about to be taken up to God. Elisha, his successor, asked Elijah: "May I receive a double portion of your spirit?" (2 Kgs 2:9). Elijah told him that he had "asked for something that is not easy" (2 Kgs 2:10). However, Elisha did receive what he asked for, because he persevered and stayed with Elijah, no matter what. Mary Magdalene stayed with Jesus, whether she had to be at the foot of the cross or at His tomb (Jn 19:25; 20:1ff). Both Elisha and Mary received power because they stayed.

Often in the beginning of a new ministry or spiritual venture, there is a period of freshness, a "spiritual honeymoon." Like St. Peter, we want to stay in the "honeymoon" graces of the mountaintop (see Mk 9:5). Yet Jesus moves elsewhere (Mk 1:38). As His disciples, we follow in His footsteps (Lk 9:23), for there can be no joy apart from Jesus (Jn 15:5). If Jesus moves on, we stay by His side. Wherever He leads, we "will not leave" Him (2 Kgs 2:6).

Staying with Jesus seems easy on the spiritual honeymoon. Eventually, however, Jesus goes to places we'd just as soon not go. As He leads us to the cross, we're tempted to stay put rather than stay with Him. Yet if we don't stay with Jesus, the power of the Spirit doesn't stay with us.

Staying with Him is "something that is not easy." Jesus, the Suffering Servant, looks at us and asks, "Can you stay with Me, no matter what?" (see Mk 14:37) Where is Jesus leading you now? Will you stay with Him?

 
Prayer: Jesus, "I will not leave You" (2 Kgs 2:6).
Promise: "Keep your deeds of mercy secret, and your Father Who sees in secret will repay you." —Mt 6:4
Praise: James stayed with his wife and his marriage vows even when it seemed most difficult.

27 posted on 06/18/2014 2:57:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Pray for an end to abortion and the conversion of America to a culture of life.

28 posted on 06/18/2014 2:59:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Matthew
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Matthew 6
1 TAKE heed that you do not your justice before men, to be seen by them: otherwise you shall not have a reward of your Father who is in heaven. Attendite ne justitiam vestram faciatis coram hominibus, ut videamini ab eis : alioquin mercedem non habebitis apud Patrem vestrum qui in cælis est. προσεχετε την ελεημοσυνην υμων μη ποιειν εμπροσθεν των ανθρωπων προς το θεαθηναι αυτοις ει δε μηγε μισθον ουκ εχετε παρα τω πατρι υμων τω εν τοις ουρανοις
2 Therefore when thou dost an almsdeed, sound not a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be honoured by men. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. Cum ergo facis eleemosynam, noli tuba canere ante te, sicut hypocritæ faciunt in synagogis, et in vicis, ut honorificentur ab hominibus. Amen dico vobis, receperunt mercedem suam. οταν ουν ποιης ελεημοσυνην μη σαλπισης εμπροσθεν σου ωσπερ οι υποκριται ποιουσιν εν ταις συναγωγαις και εν ταις ρυμαις οπως δοξασθωσιν υπο των ανθρωπων αμην λεγω υμιν απεχουσιν τον μισθον αυτων
3 But when thou dost alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth. Te autem faciente eleemosynam, nesciat sinistra tua quid faciat dextera tua : σου δε ποιουντος ελεημοσυνην μη γνωτω η αριστερα σου τι ποιει η δεξια σου
4 That thy alms may be in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee. ut sit eleemosyna tua in abscondito, et Pater tuus, qui videt in abscondito, reddet tibi. οπως η σου η ελεημοσυνη εν τω κρυπτω και ο πατηρ σου ο βλεπων εν τω κρυπτω αυτος αποδωσει σοι εν τω φανερω
5 And when ye pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, that love to stand and pray in the synagogues and corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men: Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. Et cum oratis, non eritis sicut hypocritæ qui amant in synagogis et in angulis platearum stantes orare, ut videantur ab hominibus : amen dico vobis, receperunt mercedem suam. και οταν προσευχη ουκ εση ωσπερ οι υποκριται οτι φιλουσιν εν ταις συναγωγαις και εν ταις γωνιαις των πλατειων εστωτες προσευχεσθαι οπως αν φανωσιν τοις ανθρωποις αμην λεγω υμιν οτι απεχουσιν τον μισθον αυτων
6 But thou when thou shalt pray, enter into thy chamber, and having shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee. Tu autem cum oraveris, intra in cubiculum tuum, et clauso ostio, ora Patrem tuum in abscondito : et Pater tuus, qui videt in abscondito, reddet tibi. συ δε οταν προσευχη εισελθε εις το ταμιειον σου και κλεισας την θυραν σου προσευξαι τω πατρι σου τω εν τω κρυπτω και ο πατηρ σου ο βλεπων εν τω κρυπτω αποδωσει σοι εν τω φανερω
[...]
16 And when you fast, be not as the hypocrites, sad. For they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. Cum autem jejunatis, nolite fieri sicut hypocritæ, tristes. Exterminant enim facies suas, ut appareant hominibus jejunantes. Amen dico vobis, quia receperunt mercedem suam. οταν δε νηστευητε μη γινεσθε ωσπερ οι υποκριται σκυθρωποι αφανιζουσιν γαρ τα προσωπα αυτων οπως φανωσιν τοις ανθρωποις νηστευοντες αμην λεγω υμιν οτι απεχουσιν τον μισθον αυτων
17 But thou, when thou fastest anoint thy head, and wash thy face; Tu autem, cum jejunas, unge caput tuum, et faciem tuam lava, συ δε νηστευων αλειψαι σου την κεφαλην και το προσωπον σου νιψαι
18 That thou appear not to men to fast, but to thy Father who is in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret, will repay thee. ne videaris hominibus jejunans, sed Patri tuo, qui est in abscondito : et Pater tuus, qui videt in abscondito, reddet tibi. οπως μη φανης τοις ανθρωποις νηστευων αλλα τω πατρι σου τω εν τω κρυπτω και ο πατηρ σου ο βλεπων εν τω κρυπτω αποδωσει σοι

29 posted on 06/18/2014 6:05:57 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
1. Take heed that you do not your alms before men, to be seen of them; otherwise you have no reward of your Father which is in Heaven.

GLOSS. Christ having now fulfilled the Law in respect of commandments, begins to fulfill it in respect of promises, that we may do God's commandments for heavenly wages, not for the earthly which the Law held out. All earthly things are reduced to two main heads, viz. human glory, and abundance of earthly goods, both of which seem to be promised in the Law. Concerning the first is that spoken in Deuteronomy, The Lord shall make thee higher than all the nations who dwell on the face of the earth (Deut 28:1). And in the same place it is added of earthly wealth, The Lord shall make thee abound in all good things. Therefore the Lord now forbids these two things, glory and wealth, to the attention of believers.

CHRYS.Yet be it known that the desire of fame is near a kin to virtue.

PSEUDO-CHRYS For when anything truly glorious is done, there ostentation has its readiest occasion; so the Lord first shuts out all intention of seeking glory, as He knows that this is of all fleshly vices the most dangerous to man. The servants of the devil are tormented by all kinds of vices; but it is the desire of empty glory that torments the servants of the Lord more than the servants of the devil.

AUG. How great strength the love of human glory has, none feels, but he who has proclaimed war against it. For though it is easy for any not to wish for praise when it is denied him, it is difficult not to be pleased with it when it is offered.

CHRYS. Observe how He has begun as it were describing some beast hard to be discerned, and ready to steal upon him who is not greatly on his guard against it; it enters in secretly, and carries off insensibly all those things that are within.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. And therefore He enjoins this to be more carefully avoided, Take heed that you do not your righteousness before men. It is our heart we must watch, for it is an invisible serpent that we have to guard against, which secretly enters in and seduces; but if the heart be pure into which the enemy has succeeded in entering in, the righteous man soon feels that he is prompted by a strange spirit; but if his heart were full of wickedness, he does not readily perceive the suggestion of the devil, and therefore He first taught us, Be not angry, Lust not, for that he who is under the yoke of these evils cannot attend to his own heart. But how can it be that we should not do our alms before men. Or if this may be, how can they be so done that we should not know of it. For if a poor man come before us in the presence of anyone, how shall we be able to give him alms in secret? If we lead him aside, it must be seen that he shall give him. Observe then that He said not simply, Do not before men, but added, to be seen of them. He then who does righteousness not from this motive, even if he does it before the eyes of men, is not to be thought to be herein condemned; for he who does any thing for God's sake sees nothing in his heart but God, for whose sake he does it, as a workman has always before his eyes him who has entrusted him with the work to do.

GREG. If then we seek the fame of giving, we make even our public deeds to be hidden in His sight; for if herein we seek our own glory, then they are already cast out of His sight, even though there be many by whom they are yet unknown. It belongs only to the thoroughly perfect, to suffer their deeds to be seen, and to receive the praise of doing them in such sort that they are lifted up with no secret exultation; whereas they that are weak, because they cannot attain to this perfect contempt of their own fame, must needs hide those good deeds that they do.

AUG. In saying only, That you be seen of men, without any addition, He seems to have forbidden that we should make that the end of our actions. For the Apostle who declared, If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ (Gal 1:10); says in another place, I please all men in all things (1 Cor 10:33). This he did not that he might please men, but God, to the love of whom he desires to turn the hearts of men by pleasing them. As we should not think that he spoke absurdly, who should say, In this my pains in seeking a ship, it is not the ship I seek, but my country.

ID.He says this, that you be seen by men, because there are some who so do their righteousness before men that themselves may not be seen, but that the works themselves may be seen, and their Father who is in Heaven may be glorified; for they reckon not their own righteousness, but His, in the faith of Whom they live.

ID.That He adds, Otherwise you shall not have your reward before your Father who is in heaven, signifies no more than that we ought to take heed that we seek not praise of men in reward of our works.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. What shall you receive from God, who have given God nothing? What is done for God's sake is given to God, and received by Him; but what is done because of men is cast to the winds. But what wisdom is it, to bestow our goods, to reap empty words, and to have despised the reward of God? Nay, you deceive the very man for whose good word you look; for he thinks you do it for God's sake, otherwise he would rather reproach than commend you. Yet we must think him only to have done his work because of men, who does it with his whole will and intention governed by the thought of them. But if an idle thought, seeking to be seen of men, mount up in any one's heart, but is resisted by the understanding spirit, he is not thereupon to be condemned of man-pleasing; for that the thought came to him was the passion of the flesh, what he chose was the judgment of his soul.

2. Therefore when you do your alms, do not sound a trumpet before yourself, as the hypocrites do in the Synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say to you, They have their reward.
3. But when you do alms, let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4. That your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in Secret Himself shall reward you openly.

AUG. Above the Lord had spoken of righteousness in general. He now pursues it through its different parts.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. He opposes three chief virtues - alms, prayer, and fasting - to three evil things against which the Lord undertook the war of temptation. For He fought for us in the wilderness against gluttony, against covetousness on the mount, against false glory on the temple. It is alms that scatter abroad against covetousness which heaps up, fasting against gluttony which is its contrary, prayer against false glory, seeing that all other evil things come out of evil, this alone comes out of good; and therefore it is not overthrown but rather nourished of good, and has no remedy that may avail against it but prayer only.

AMBROSIASTER; The sum of all Christian discipline is comprehended in mercy and piety, for which reason He begins with almsgiving.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. The trumpet stands for every act or word that tends to a display of our works; for instance, to do alms if we know that some other person is looking on, or at the request of another, or to a person of such condition that he may make us return; and unless in such cases not to do them. Yea, even if in some secret place they are done with intent to be thought praiseworthy, then is the trumpet sounded.

AUG. Thus what He says, Do not sound a trumpet before yourself, refers to what He had said above, Take heed that you do not your righteousness before men.

JEROME; He who sounds a trumpet before himself when he does alms is a hypocrite. Whence he adds, as the hypocrites do.

ISID. The name 'hypocrite' is derived from the appearance of those who in the shows are disguised in masks, variously colored according to the character they represent, sometimes male, sometimes female, to impose on the spectators while they act in the games.

AUG. As then the hypocrites (a word meaning 'one who feigns'), as impersonating the characters of other men, act parts which are not naturally their own; for he who impersonates Agamemnon, is not really Agamemnon, but feigns to be so; so likewise in the Churches, whoever in his whole conduct desires to seem what he is not, is a hypocrite; he feigns himself righteous and is not really so, seeing his only motive is praise of men.

GLOSS. In the words, in the streets and villages, he marks the public places which they selected; and in those, that they may receive honor of men, he marks their motive.

GREG. It should be known, that there are some who wear the dress of sanctity, and are not able to work out the merit of perfection, yet who must in no wise be numbered among the hypocrites, because it is one thing to sin from weakness, another from crafty affectation.

AUG. And such sinners receive from God the Searcher of hearts none other reward than punishment of their deceitfulness; Verily I say to you, they have their reward.

JEROME; A reward not of God, but of themselves, for they receive praise of men for the sake of which it was that they practiced their virtues.

AUG. This refers to what He had said above, otherwise you shall have no reward of your Father which is in heaven; and He goes on to show them that they should not do their alms as the hypocrites, but teaches them how they should do them.

CHRYS. Let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing, is said as an extreme expression, as much as to say, If it were possible, that you should not know yourself, and that your very hands should he hidden from your sight, that is what you should most strive after.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. The Apostles in the book of the Constitutions interpret thus: The right hand is the Christian people which is at Christ's right hand; the left hand is all the people who are on His left hand. He means then, that when a Christian does alms, the unbeliever should not see it.

AUG. But according to this interpretation, it will be no fault to have a respect to pleasing the faithful; and yet we are forbidden to propose as the end of any good work the pleasing of any kind of men. Yet if you would have men to imitate your actions which may be pleasing to them, they must be done before unbelievers as well as believers. If again, according to another interpretation, we take the left hand to mean our enemy, and that our enemy should not know when we do our alms, why did the Lord Himself mercifully heal men when the Jews were standing round Him? And how too must we deal with our enemy himself according to that precept, If your enemy hunger, feed him (Prov. 25:21). A third interpretation is ridiculous; that the left hand signifies the wife, and that because women are wont to be more close in the matter of expense out of the family purse, therefore the charities of the husband should be secret from the wife, for the avoiding of domestic strife. But this command is addressed to women as well as to men, what then is the left hand, from which women are bid to conceal their alms? Is the husband also the left hand of the wife? And when it is commanded such that they enrich each other with good works, it is clear that they ought not to hide their good deeds; nor is a theft to be committed to do God service. But if in any case something must needs be done covertly, from respect to the weakness of the other, though it is not unlawful, yet that we cannot suppose the wife to be intended by the left hand here is clear from the purport of the whole paragraph; no, not even such a one as he might well call left. But that which is blamed in hypocrites, namely, that they seek praise of men, this you are forbidden to do; the left hand therefore seems to signify the delight in men's praise; the right hand denotes the purpose of fulfilling the divine commands. Whenever then a desire to gain honor from men mingles itself with the conscience of him that does alms, it is then the left hand knowing what the right hand, the right conscience, does, Let not the left hand know, therefore, what the right hand is doing, means, let not the desire of men's praise mingle with your conscience. But our Lord does yet more strongly forbid the left hand alone to work in us, than its mingling in the works of the right hand. The intent with which He said all this is shown in that He adds, that your alms may be in secret; that is, in that your good conscience only, which human eye cannot see, nor words discover, though many things are said falsely of many. But your good conscience itself is enough for you towards deserving your reward, if you look for your reward from Him who alone can see your conscience. This is that He adds, And your Father who sees shall reward you. Many Latin copies have, openly.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. For it is impossible that God should leave in obscurity any good work of man; but He makes it manifest in this world, and glorifies it in the next world, because it is the glory of God, as likewise the Devil manifests evil, in which is shown the strength of his great wickedness. But God properly makes public every good deed only in that world the goods of which are not common to the righteous and the wicked; therefore to whomever God shall there show favor, it will be manifest that it was as reward of his righteousness. But the reward of virtue is not manifested in this world, in which both bad and good are alike in their fortunes.

AUG. But in the Greek copies, which are earlier, we have not the word, openly.

CHRYS.If therefore you desire spectators of your good deeds, behold you have not merely Angels and Archangels, but the God of the universe.

5. And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say to you, They have their reward.
6. But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Solomon says, Before prayer, prepare your soul (Sir 18:23). This he does who comes to prayer doing alms; for good works stir up the faith of the heart, and give the soul confidence in prayer to God. Alms then are a preparation for prayer, and therefore the Lord after speaking of alms proceeds accordingly to instruct us concerning prayer.

AUG. He does not now bid us pray, but instructs us how we should pray as above He did not command us to do alms but showed the manner of doing them.

PSEUDO-CHRYS.Prayer is as it were a spiritual tribute which the soul offers of its own bowels. Wherefore the more glorious it is, the more watchfully ought we to guard that it is not made vile by being done to be seen of men.

CHRYS. He calls them hypocrites, because feigning that they are praying to God, they are looking round to men; and, He adds, they love to pray in the synagogues.

PSEUDO-CHRYS But I suppose that it is not the place here that the Lord refers to, but the motive of him that prays; for it is praiseworthy to pray in the congregation of the faithful, as it is said, In your churches bless God (Ps 63:26). Whoever then so prays as to be seen of men does not look to God but to man, and so far as his purpose is concerned he prays in the synagogue. But he, whose mind in prayer is wholly fixed on God, though he pray in the synagogue, yet seems to pray with himself in secret. In the corners of the streets, namely, that they may seem to be praying retiredly and thus earn a twofold praise: that they pray, and that they pray in retirement.

GLOSS. Or, the corners of the streets, are the places where one way crosses another, and makes four cross-ways.

PSEUDO-CHRYS.He forbids us to pray in an assembly with the intent of being seen of that assembly, as He adds, that they may be seen of men. He that prays therefore should do nothing singular that might attract notice; as crying out, striking his breast, or reaching forth his hands.

AUG. Not that the mere being seen of men is an impiety, but the doing this, in order to be seen of men.

CHRYS.It is a good thing to be drawn away from the thought of empty glory, but especially in prayer. For our thoughts are apt to stray of themselves; if then we address ourselves to prayer with this disease upon us, how shall we understand those things that are said by us?

AUG. The privity of other men is to be so far shunned by us, as it leads us to do anything with this mind that we look for the fruit of their applause.

PSEUDO-CHRYS.Verily I say to you, they have received their reward, for every man where he sows, there he reaps, therefore they who pray because of men, not because of God, receive praise of men, not of God.

CHRYS. He says, have received, because God was ready to give them that reward which comes from Himself, but they prefer rather that which comes from men. He then goes on to teach how we should pray.

JEROME; This if taken in its plain sense teaches the hearer to shun all desire of vain honor in praying.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. That none should be there present save he only who is praying, for a witness impedes rather than forwards prayer.

CYPRIAN; The Lord has bid us in His instructions to pray secretly in remote and withdrawn places, as best suited to faith, that we may be assured that God who is present everywhere hears and sees all, and in the fullness of His Majesty penetrates even hidden places.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. We may also understand by the door of the chamber, the mouth of the body; so that we should not pray to God with loudness of tone, but with silent heart, for three reasons. First, because God is not to be gained by vehement crying, but by a right conscience, seeing He is a hearer of the heart; secondly, because none but myself and God should be privy to your secret prayers; thirdly, because if you pray aloud, you hinder any other from praying near you.

CASSIAN. Also we should observe close silence in our prayers, that our enemies, who are ever most watchful to ensnare us at that time, may not know the purport of our petition.

AUG. Or, by our chambers are to be understood our hearts of which it is spoken in the fourth Psalm: What things you utter in your hearts, and wherewith you are pricked in your chambers (Ps 4:4). The door is the bodily senses; without are all worldly things, which enter into our thoughts through the senses, and that crowd of vain imaginings which beset us in prayer.

CYPRIAN. What insensibility is it to be snatched wandering off by light and profane imaginings, when you are presenting your entreaty to the Lord as if there were anything else you ought rather to consider than that your converse is with God! How can you claim of God to attend to you, when you do not attend to yourself? This is altogether to make no provision against the enemy; this is when praying to God, to offend God's Magesty by the neglectfulness of your prayer.

AUG. The door then must be shut, that as we must resist the bodily sense, that we may address our Father in such spiritual prayer as is made in the inmost spirit where we pray to Him truly in secret.

REMIG. Let it be enough for you that He alone know your petitions, who knows the secrets of all hearts; for He Who sees all things, the same shall listen to you.

CHRYS.He said not 'shall freely give you,' but, shall reward you; thus He constitutes Himself your debtor.

5. And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say to you, They have their reward.
6. But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Solomon says, Before prayer, prepare your soul (Sir 18:23). This he does who comes to prayer doing alms; for good works stir up the faith of the heart, and give the soul confidence in prayer to God. Alms then are a preparation for prayer, and therefore the Lord after speaking of alms proceeds accordingly to instruct us concerning prayer.

AUG. He does not now bid us pray, but instructs us how we should pray as above He did not command us to do alms but showed the manner of doing them.

PSEUDO-CHRYS.Prayer is as it were a spiritual tribute which the soul offers of its own bowels. Wherefore the more glorious it is, the more watchfully ought we to guard that it is not made vile by being done to be seen of men.

CHRYS. He calls them hypocrites, because feigning that they are praying to God, they are looking round to men; and, He adds, they love to pray in the synagogues.

PSEUDO-CHRYS But I suppose that it is not the place here that the Lord refers to, but the motive of him that prays; for it is praiseworthy to pray in the congregation of the faithful, as it is said, In your churches bless God (Ps 63:26). Whoever then so prays as to be seen of men does not look to God but to man, and so far as his purpose is concerned he prays in the synagogue. But he, whose mind in prayer is wholly fixed on God, though he pray in the synagogue, yet seems to pray with himself in secret. In the corners of the streets, namely, that they may seem to be praying retiredly and thus earn a twofold praise: that they pray, and that they pray in retirement.

GLOSS. Or, the corners of the streets, are the places where one way crosses another, and makes four cross-ways.

PSEUDO-CHRYS.He forbids us to pray in an assembly with the intent of being seen of that assembly, as He adds, that they may be seen of men. He that prays therefore should do nothing singular that might attract notice; as crying out, striking his breast, or reaching forth his hands.

AUG. Not that the mere being seen of men is an impiety, but the doing this, in order to be seen of men.

CHRYS.It is a good thing to be drawn away from the thought of empty glory, but especially in prayer. For our thoughts are apt to stray of themselves; if then we address ourselves to prayer with this disease upon us, how shall we understand those things that are said by us?

AUG. The privity of other men is to be so far shunned by us, as it leads us to do anything with this mind that we look for the fruit of their applause.

PSEUDO-CHRYS.Verily I say to you, they have received their reward, for every man where he sows, there he reaps, therefore they who pray because of men, not because of God, receive praise of men, not of God.

CHRYS. He says, have received, because God was ready to give them that reward which comes from Himself, but they prefer rather that which comes from men. He then goes on to teach how we should pray.

JEROME; This if taken in its plain sense teaches the hearer to shun all desire of vain honor in praying.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. That none should be there present save he only who is praying, for a witness impedes rather than forwards prayer.

CYPRIAN; The Lord has bid us in His instructions to pray secretly in remote and withdrawn places, as best suited to faith, that we may be assured that God who is present everywhere hears and sees all, and in the fullness of His Majesty penetrates even hidden places.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. We may also understand by the door of the chamber, the mouth of the body; so that we should not pray to God with loudness of tone, but with silent heart, for three reasons. First, because God is not to be gained by vehement crying, but by a right conscience, seeing He is a hearer of the heart; secondly, because none but myself and God should be privy to your secret prayers; thirdly, because if you pray aloud, you hinder any other from praying near you.

CASSIAN. Also we should observe close silence in our prayers, that our enemies, who are ever most watchful to ensnare us at that time, may not know the purport of our petition.

AUG. Or, by our chambers are to be understood our hearts of which it is spoken in the fourth Psalm: What things you utter in your hearts, and wherewith you are pricked in your chambers (Ps 4:4). The door is the bodily senses; without are all worldly things, which enter into our thoughts through the senses, and that crowd of vain imaginings which beset us in prayer.

CYPRIAN. What insensibility is it to be snatched wandering off by light and profane imaginings, when you are presenting your entreaty to the Lord as if there were anything else you ought rather to consider than that your converse is with God! How can you claim of God to attend to you, when you do not attend to yourself? This is altogether to make no provision against the enemy; this is when praying to God, to offend God's Magesty by the neglectfulness of your prayer.

AUG. The door then must be shut, that as we must resist the bodily sense, that we may address our Father in such spiritual prayer as is made in the inmost spirit where we pray to Him truly in secret.

REMIG. Let it be enough for you that He alone know your petitions, who knows the secrets of all hearts; for He Who sees all things, the same shall listen to you.

CHRYS.He said not 'shall freely give you,' but, shall reward you; thus He constitutes Himself your debtor.

16. Moreover when you fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear to men to fast. Verily I say to you, they have their reward.

PSEUD-CHRYS. Forasmuch as that prayer which is offered in a humble spirit and contrite heart, shows a mind already strong and disciplined; whereas he who is sunk in self-indulgence cannot have a humble spirit and contrite heart; it is plain that without fasting prayer must be faint and feeble; therefore, when any would pray for any need in which they might be, they joined fasting with prayer, because it is an aid thereof. Accordingly the Lord, after His doctrine respecting prayer, adds doctrine concerning fasting, saying, When you fast, be not you as the hypocrites, of sad countenance. The Lord knew that vanity may spring from every good thing, and therefore bids us root out the bramble of vain-gloriousness which springs in the good soil, that it choke out the fruit of fasting. For though it cannot be that fasting should not be discovered in any one, yet is it better that fasting should show you, than that you should show your fasting. But it is impossible that any in fasting should be gay, therefore He said not, Be not sad, but Be not made sad; for they who discover themselves by any false displays of their affliction, they are not sad, but make themselves; but he who is naturally sad in consequence of continued fasting, does not make himself sad, but is so.

JEROME; The word exterminare, so often used in the ecclesiastical Scriptures through a blunder of the translators, has a quite different meaning from that in which it is commonly understood. It is properly said of exiles who are sent beyond the boundary of their country. Instead of this word, it would seem better to use the word demoliri, 'to destroy,' in translating the Greek. The hypocrite destroys his face, in order that he may feign sorrow, and with a heart full of joy wears sorrow in his countenance.

GREG. For by the pale countenance, the trembling limbs, and the bursting sighs, and by all so great toil and trouble, nothing is in the mind but the esteem of men.

LEO; But that fasting is not pure, that comes not of reasons of continence, but of the arts of deceit.

PSEUD-CHRYS. If then he who fasts, and makes himself of sad countenance, is a hypocrite, how much more wicked is he who does not fast, yet assumes a fictitious paleness of face as a token of fasting.

AUG. On this paragraph it is to be specially noted, that not only in outward splendor and pomp, but even in the dress of sorrow and mourning, is their room for display, and that the more dangerous, inasmuch as it deceives under the name of God's services. For he who by inordinate pains taken with his person, or his apparel, or by the glitter of his other equipage, is distinguished, is easily proved by these very circumstances to be a follower of the pomps of this world, and no mean is deceived by any semblance of a feigned sanctity in him. But when any time in the profession of Christianity draws men's eyes upon Him by unwonted beggary and slovenliness in dress, if this be voluntary and not compulsory, then by his other conduct may be seen whether he does this to be seen of men, or from contempt of the refinements of dress.

REMIG. The reward of the hypocrites' fast is shown, when it is added, That they may seem to men to fast; verily I say to you, They have their reward; that is, that reward for which they looked.

17. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face;
18. That you appear not to men to fast, but to your Father which is in secret: and your Father, which sees in secret, shall reward you openly.

GLOSS. The Lord having taught us what we ought not to do, now proceeds to teach us what we ought to do, saying, When you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face.

AUG. A question is here wont to be raised; for none surely would literally enjoin, that, as we wash our faces from daily habit, so we should have our deeds anointed when we fast; a thing which all allow to be most disgraceful.

PSEUD-CHRYS. Also if He bade us not to be of sad countenance that we might not seem to men to fast, yet if anointing of the head and washing of the face are always observed in fasting, they will become tokens of fasting.

JEROME; But He speaks in accordance with the manners of the province of Palestine, where it is the custom on festival days to anoint the head. What He enjoins then is, that when we are fasting we should wear the appearance of joy and gladness.

PSEUD-CHRYS. Therefore the simple interpretation of this is, that is added as an hyperbolical explanation of the command; as though He had said, Yea, so far should you be from any display of your fasting, that if it might be (which yet it may not be) so done, you should even do such things as are tokens of luxury and feasting.

CHRYS. In alms-giving indeed, He did not say simply, 'Do not your alms before men,' but added,' to be seen of them.' But in fasting and prayer He added nothing of this sort; because alms cannot be so done as to be altogether hid, fasting and prayer can be so done. The contempt of men's praise is no small fruit, for thereby we are freed from the heavy slavery of human opinion, and become properly workers of virtue, loving it for itself and not for others. For as we esteem it an affront if we are loved not for ourselves but for others' sake, so ought we not to follow virtue on the account of these men, nor to obey God for men's sake but for His own. Therefore it follows here, But to your Father which sees in secret.

GLOSS. That is, to your heavenly Father, who is unseen, or who dwells in the heart through faith. He fasts to God who afflicts himself for the love of God, and bestows on others what he denies himself.

REMIG. For it is enough for you that He who sees your conscience should be your rewarder.

PSEUD-CHRYS. Spiritually interpreted - the face may be understood to mean the mental conscience. And as in the eyes of man a fair face has grace, so in the eyes of God a pure conscience has favor. This face the hypocrites, fasting on man's account, disfigure, seeking thereby to cheat both God and man; for the conscience of the sinner is always wounded. If then you have cast out all wickedness from your heart, you have washed your conscience, and fast well.

LEO; Fasting ought to be fulfilled not in abstinence of food only, but much more in cutting off vices . For when we submit ourselves to that discipline in order to withdraw that which is the nurse of carnal desires, there is no sort of good conscience more to be sought than that we should keep ourselves sober from unjust will, and abstinent from dishonorable action. This is an act of religion from which the sick are not excluded, seeing integrity of heart may be found in an infirm body.

PSEUD-CHRYS. Spiritually again, your head denotes Christ. Give the thirsty drink and feed the hungry, and therein you have anointed your head, that is, Christ, who cries out in the Gospel, In that you have done this to one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it to me.

GREG. For God approves that fasting, which before His eyes opens the hands of alms. This then that you deny yourself, bestow on another, that wherein your flesh is afflicted, that of your needy neighbor may be refreshed.

AUG. Or; by the head we rightly understand the reason, because it is preeminent in the soul, and rules the other members of the man. Now anointing the head has some reference to rejoicing. Let him therefore joy within himself because of his fasting, who in fasting turns himself from doing the will of the world, that he may be subject to Christ.

GLOSS. Behold how everything in the New Testament is not to be taken literally. It were ridiculous to be smeared with of when fasting; but it is behoveful for the mind to be anointed with the spirit of His love, in whose sufferings we ought to partake by afflicting ourselves.

PSEUD-CHRYS. And truly we ought to wash our face, but to anoint, and not to wash, our head. For as long as we are in the body, our conscience is foul with sin. But Christ who is our head has done no sin.

Catena Aurea Matthew 6
30 posted on 06/18/2014 6:07:23 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Saint Catherine of Alexandria at Prayer

Titian

1567
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

31 posted on 06/18/2014 6:11:17 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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