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Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: May 04, 2012
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, author of our freedom and of our salvation, listen to the voice of our pleading and grant that those you have redeemed by the shedding of your Son's Blood may have life through you and, under your protection, rejoice for ever unharmed. 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.

  Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter Old Calendar: St. Monica, widow; St. Florian (Hist)

According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, this was the feast of St. Monica, widow, Third Class. Her feast in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is celebrated on August 27.

Historically today is the feast of St. Florian, a Roman military officer stationed at Noricum (Austria) who openly declared himself a Christian during the persecution of co-Emperor Diocletian.

St. Florian

The St. Florian commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on May 4th, was an officer of the Roman army, who occupied a high administrative post in Noricum, now part of Austria, and who suffered death for the Faith in the days of Diocletian. His legendary "Acts" state that he gave himself up at Lorch to the soldiers of Aquilinus, the governor, when they were rounding up the Christians, and after making a bold confession, he was twice scourged, half-flayed alive, set on fire, and finally thrown into the river Enns with a stone around his neck. His body, recovered and buried by a pious woman, was eventually removed to the Augustinian Abbey of St. Florian, near Linz. It is said to have been at a later date translated to Rome, and Pope Lucius III, in 1138, gave some of the saint's relics to King Casimir of Poland and to the Bishop of Cracow. Since that time, St. Florian has been regarded as a patron of Poland as well as of Linz, Upper Austria and of firemen. There has been popular devotion to St. Florian in many parts of central Europe, and the tradition as to his martyrdom, not far from the spot where the Enns flows into the Danube, is ancient and reliable. Many miracles of healing are attributed to his intercession and he is invoked as a powerful protector in danger from fire or water.

Patron: Austria and Poland; firefighters.

Things to Do:

32 posted on 05/04/2012 4:26:40 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Acts 13:26-33

“We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you.” (Acts 13:32)

Do you recognize this story? Most likely, you do. In these few verses, through his account of St. Paul’s preaching, Luke has penned the heart of the gospel message. He managed to cram years of Jesus’ ministry into a few short sentenc­es—along with a backdrop, a plot, and a climax!

Let’s see… . Jesus came to the people he and his Father created, but we didn’t recognize him. And though he was an innocent man, we condemned him to die a crimi­nal’s death. He was crucified and buried in a tomb. But God raised him up from the dead to be the fulfillment of his promises and the answer to our prayers. That’s the “word of salvation” (Acts 13:26), or the gospel, in a nutshell.

It’s pretty simple. In fact, it’s easy enough that probably anyone could tell this story. And that’s exactly the point. We can all be witnesses to this joyfully simple plan of redemp­tion. We can all respond to the call to evangelize. But sometimes it can feel pretty hard to get those words out of our mouth, even when the perfect opportunity presents itself. Why is that?

Maybe one of the most common reasons is that we doubt our effec­tiveness. We may doubt whether we can make the gospel attractive enough or persuasive enough to convince someone to receive it. We may get so worked up with doubt, in fact, that we don’t say anything at all! But the soul-tugging power of the gospel is actually not really in our hands. It is more in the hands of the Holy Spirit. Yes, we need to share the truth as we have come to know it, but it’s God himself who draws the person we are sharing with. Above all else, it is a work of God’s grace that moves a person to open his or her heart to the Lord. It’s the Spirit of God who drives the point home, not our eloquent words. And that’s a huge relief!

So always remember that you don’t have to be a theologian or a priest or a nun to share the gospel. All you have to be is open and avail­able, ready to leave the heavy lifting to God.

“Lord, fill me so full of your love that I overflow with the good news of the gospel.”

Psalm 2:6-11; John 14:1-6

33 posted on 05/04/2012 4:31:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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