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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Spirituality: Dostoevsky

When I look back on my past and think how much time I wasted on nothing, how much time has been lost in futilities, errors, laziness, incapacity to live; how little I appreciated it, how many times I sinned against my heart and soul-then my heart bleeds. Life is a gift, life is happiness, every minute can be an eternity of happiness.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Prayer: Mortimer Adler, on his conversion to Christianity

My chief reason for choosing Christianity was because the mysteries were incomprehensible. What's the point of revelation if we could figure it out ourselves? If it were wholly comprehensible, then it be just another philosophy.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Prayer: Thomas Merton

His presence is present in my own presence, If I am, then He is. And in knowing that I am, if I penetrate to the depths of my own existence and my own present reality, the undefinable “am” that is myself in its deepest roots, then through this deep center I pass into the infinite “I Am” which is the very Name of the Almighty.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

The Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

July 1, 2018
Wisdom 1:13-15, 2:23-24; Psalm 30; 2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15; Mark 5:21-43

Faith is tested during periods of suffering and a person can be pulled off balance during times of enormous distress. The whole demeanor of a person can change when facing an unsettled future. Some people, when facing health issues, give the impression that they never thought that their own mortality can be a reality. They seem surprised that death dares to confront them. How rude death and illness are to assault them. Doesn’t death know that we should be immortal?

Jairus and the hemorrhaging woman give us two examples of faith-filled people under tremendous distress who suffer greatly. They realize the quotes from the Wisdom passage are true: God does not make death, nor does God rejoice in the destruction of the living. God made us to be imperishable. We share the same eternal nature as God. For us believers, we realize we are not meant to die so we fight for life. Suffering and the approach of death assaults us and upends our personal sense of immortality.

A true believer realizes that it is our soul that lives on into eternal life after the physical body has died. Immortality with God gives assurance to one who has reconciled with his or her own physical death. Last week I met with a friend whose wife died unexpectedly a few months ago. It was important for him to bury her next to his daughter who died when she was two years old. With all the family’s burial plots arranged, he arrived at a sense of peace and fulfillment and said, “I want to live, but I can go anytime now. My family is at rest. I have nothing more to achieve.” His place next to his loved ones was selected and he was content to know they would rest side by side in death just as they did in life.

Another friend is dealing with his mortality, except not as well. He is recovering from frightening surgery and though he is in his later years of life, he is not expecting that he will die. He does not want to think of cancer spreading throughout his body because he wants the surgeon to remove any last vestiges of the invading foreigner. He has not thought about his burial plot, he has not made plans for his memory-plagued wife’s welfare, and he other many other unreconciled situations that he is not facing squarely. Which of these examples are people with faith? The one who has faith does not fear life.

We will face death and suffering well when we decide to reconcile our actions and relationships. Many people avoid conflict and painful interactions and therefore relationships are never mended. Some people refuse to think about those memories at all, and then all too soon the end of life comes, and it is very late to reconcile all that plagues us. Old age does not always produce wisdom in enough time, and a person realizes that merely speaking words of reconciliation is not enough.

Having faith means that we will choose to begin our process of reconciliation sooner than later, and now is the best time to do it. Waiting until the conditions are optimum is still procrastination. The redemption of our lives is in the balance.

Jairus and the hemorrhaging woman reached out to Jesus in faith. They abandoned all fear because they knew Jesus was the One who could best handle their suffering. We have to learn from them because we carry needless suffering hoping it will go away on its own. It will not. Reaching out to Jesus, who helps us reach out to others, is the answer. He will help us, not to be rid of suffering, but to bear it with grace.

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (Amos 2) Thus says the LORD: For three crimes of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke my word; Because they sell the just man for silver, and the poor man for a pair of sandals. They trample the heads of the weak into the dust of the earth and force the lowly out of the way.

Tuesday: (Ephesians 2) W You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. Through him the whole structure is held together.

Wednesday: (Amos 5) Seek good and not evil, that you may live; Then truly will the LORD, the God of hosts, be with you as you claim! Hate evil and love good, and let justice prevail at the gate.

Thursday: (Amos 7) Amos answered Amaziah, "I was no prophet, nor have I belonged to a company of prophets; I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores. The LORD took me from following the flock, and said to me, 'Go, prophesy to my people Israel.' Now hear the word of the LORD!"

Friday (Amos 8) Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land! I will make the sun set at midday and cover the earth with darkness in broad daylight. I will turn your feasts into mourning and all your songs into lamentations.

Saturday (Amos 9) On that day I will raise up the fallen hut of David; I will wall up its breaches, raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old.


Monday: (Matthew 8) A scribe approached and said to Jesus, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus answered him, "Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head."

Tuesday: (John 20) Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe." Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!"

Wednesday (Matthew 8) When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him. They were so savage that no one could travel by that road. They cried out, "What have you to do with us, Son of God?

Thursday (Matthew 9) And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Courage, child, your sins are forgiven." At that, some of the scribes said to themselves, "This man is blaspheming."

Friday (Matthew 9) As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, "Follow me." The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"

Saturday (Matthew 9) "Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?" Jesus answered them, "Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.

Saints of the Week
July 1: Junipero Serra, priest, was a Franciscan missionary who founded missions in Baja and traveled north to California starting in 1768. The Franciscans established the missions during the suppression of the Jesuits. San Diego, San Francisco, and Santa Clara are among the most famous. Serra’s statue is in the U.S. Capitol to represent California.

July 2: Bernard Realino, John Francis Regis, Francis Jerome, S.J. are known for their preaching skills that drew many to the faith, including many French Hugeunots. Regis and his companions preached Catholic doctrine to children and assisted many struck by the plague in Frances. Regis University in Denver, Colorado is named after John Regis.

July 3: Thomas, apostle, is thought to have been an apostle to India and Pakistan and he is best remembered as the one who “doubted” the resurrection of Jesus. The Gospels, however, testify to his faithfulness to Jesus during his ministry. The name, Thomas, stands for “twin,” but no mention is made of his twin’s identity.

July 5: Elizabeth of Portugal (1271-1336), was from the kingdom of Aragon begore she married Denis, king of Portugal, at age 12. Her son twice rebelled against the king and Elizabeth helped them reconcile. After he husband's death, she gave up her rank and joined the Poor Clares for a life of simplicity.

July 5: Anthony Mary Zaccaria, priest (1502-1539) was a medical doctor who founded the Barnabites because of his devotion to Paul and Barnabas and the Angelics of St. Paul, a woman's cloistered order. He encouraged the laity to work alongside the clergy to care for the poor.

July 6: Maria Goretti, martyr (1890-1902) was a poor farm worker who was threatened by Alessandro, a 20-year old neighbor. When she rebuffed his further advances, he killed her, but on her deathbed, she forgave him. He later testified on her behalf during her beatification process, which occurred in 1950.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Jul 1, 1556. The beginning of St Ignatius's last illness. He saw his three great desires fulfilled: confirmation of the Institute, papal approval of the Spiritual Exercises, and acceptance of the Constitutions by the whole Society.
·      Jul 2, 1928. The Missouri Province was divided into the Missouri Province and the Chicago Province. In 1955 there would be a further subdivision: Missouri divided into Missouri and Wisconsin; Chicago divided into Chicago and Detroit.
·      Jul 3, 1580. Queen Elizabeth I issued a statute forbidding all Jesuits to enter England.
·      Jul 4, 1648. The martyrdom in Canada of Anthony Daniel who was shot with arrows and thrown into flames by the Iroquois.
·      Jul 5, 1592. The arrest of Fr. Robert Southwell at Uxenden Manor, the house of Mr Bellamy. Tortured and then transferred to the Tower, he remained there for two and a half years.
·      Jul 6, 1758. The election to the papacy of Clement XIII who would defend the Society against the Jansenists and the Bourbon Courts of Europe.
·      Jul 7, 1867. The beatification of the 205 Japanese Martyrs, 33 of them members of the Society of Jesus.

El Decimotercer Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario

El Decimotercer Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario
1 de julio de 2018
Sabiduría 1: 13-15, 2: 23-24; Salmo 30; 2 Corintios 8: 7, 9, 13-15; Marcos 5: 21-43

La fe se prueba durante períodos de sufrimiento y una persona puede perder el equilibrio en momentos de gran angustia. Toda la conducta de una persona puede cambiar cuando se enfrenta a un futuro inestable. Algunas personas, cuando enfrentan problemas de salud, dan la impresión de que nunca pensaron que su propia mortalidad podía ser una realidad. Parecen sorprendidos de que la muerte se atreva a enfrentarlos. Qué rudo es la muerte y la enfermedad para asaltarlos. ¿La muerte no sabe que debemos ser inmortales?

Jairo y la mujer con hemorragia nos dan dos ejemplos de personas llenas de fe bajo una tremenda angustia que sufren enormemente. Se dan cuenta de que las citas del pasaje de la Sabiduría son verdaderas: Dios no hace la muerte, ni Dios se regocija en la destrucción de los vivos. Dios nos hizo para ser imperecederos. Compartimos la misma naturaleza eterna como Dios. Para nosotros, creyentes, nos damos cuenta de que no estamos destinados a morir, así que luchamos por la vida. El sufrimiento y el acercamiento a la muerte nos agreden y anulan nuestro sentido personal de inmortalidad.

Un verdadero creyente se da cuenta de que es nuestra alma la que vive en la vida eterna después de que el cuerpo físico ha muerto. La inmortalidad con Dios da seguridad a alguien que se ha reconciliado con su propia muerte física. La semana pasada me encontré con un amigo cuya esposa murió inesperadamente hace unos meses. Era importante para él enterrarla junto a su hija que murió cuando tenía dos años. Con todas las parcelas de la familia dispuestas, él llegó a una sensación de paz y satisfacción y dijo: "Quiero vivir, pero puedo ir en cualquier momento ahora". Mi familia está en reposo. No tengo nada más que lograr ". Se seleccionó su lugar junto a sus seres queridos y se alegró de saber que descansarían lado a lado en la muerte, tal como lo hicieron en la vida.

Otro amigo está lidiando con su mortalidad, excepto que no tan bien. Se está recuperando de una cirugía aterradora y, aunque está en sus últimos años de vida, no espera que muera. No quiere que el cáncer se extienda por todo su cuerpo porque quiere que el cirujano elimine los últimos vestigios del extranjero invasor. No ha pensado en su plan de entierro, no ha hecho planes para el bienestar de su esposa plagada de memoria, y en otras muchas situaciones no reconciliadas que no enfrenta directamente. ¿Cuáles de estos ejemplos son personas con fe? El que tiene fe no teme a la vida.

Nos enfrentaremos a la muerte y al sufrimiento cuando decidimos reconciliar nuestras acciones y relaciones. Muchas personas evitan el conflicto y las interacciones dolorosas y, por lo tanto, las relaciones nunca se reparan. Algunas personas se niegan a pensar en esos recuerdos en absoluto, y luego, demasiado pronto, llega el final de la vida, y es muy tarde para reconciliar todo lo que nos aqueja. La vejez no siempre produce sabiduría con el tiempo suficiente, y una persona se da cuenta de que simplemente hablar palabras de reconciliación no es suficiente.

Tener fe significa que elegiremos comenzar nuestro proceso de reconciliación más temprano que tarde, y ahora es el mejor momento para hacerlo. Esperar hasta que las condiciones sean óptimas es aún la procrastinación. La redención de nuestras vidas está en el equilibrio.

Jairo y la mujer con hemorragia se acercaron a Jesús con fe. Abandonaron todo temor porque sabían que Jesús era el que mejor podía manejar su sufrimiento. Tenemos que aprender de ellos porque llevamos sufrimiento innecesario esperando que desaparezca por sí solo. No lo hará. Llegar a Jesús, que nos ayuda a acercarnos a los demás, es la respuesta. Él nos ayudará, no a deshacerse del sufrimiento, sino a soportarlo con gracia.

Escritura para la misa diaria

Primera lectura:
Lunes: (Amós 2) Así dice el SEÑOR: Por tres crímenes de Israel, y por cuatro, no revocaré mi palabra; Porque venden al hombre justo por plata, y al pobre por un par de sandalias. Pisotean las cabezas de los débiles en el polvo de la tierra y sacan a los humildes del camino.

Martes: (Efesios 2) W Ya no son extraños ni forasteros, sino que son conciudadanos de los santos y miembros de la casa de Dios, edificados sobre el fundamento de los apóstoles y profetas, con el mismo Cristo Jesús como culminación. A través de él, toda la estructura se mantiene unida.

Miércoles: (Amós 5) Busca el bien y no el mal, para que puedas vivir; Entonces, ¡verdaderamente Jehová, Dios de los ejércitos, estará contigo como tú dices! Odio el mal y ama el bien, y deja que la justicia prevalezca en la puerta.

Jueves: (Amós 7) Amós respondió a Amasías: "Yo no fui profeta, ni pertenecí a una compañía de profetas, fui pastor y cimarrón de sicómoros. El SEÑOR me llevó de seguir al rebaño, y me dijo: "Ve, profetiza a mi pueblo Israel". ¡Ahora escucha la palabra de Jehová! "

Viernes (Amos 8) ¡Oigan esto, ustedes que pisotean a los necesitados y destruyen a los pobres de la tierra! Haré que el sol se ponga a mediodía y cubra la tierra con oscuridad a plena luz del día. Convertiré vuestras fiestas en duelo y todas vuestras canciones en lamentos.

Sábado (Amós 9) En ese día levantaré la cabaña caída de David; Cubriré sus brechas, levantaré sus ruinas y lo reconstruiré como en los días antiguos.


Lunes: (Mateo 8) Un escriba se acercó y le dijo a Jesús: "Maestro, te seguiré adondequiera que vayas". Jesús le respondió: "Las zorras tienen guaridas y las aves del cielo nidos, pero el Hijo del Hombre no tiene dónde descansar la cabeza".

Martes: (Juan 20) Luego le dijo a Tomás: "Pon aquí tu dedo y mira mis manos, y trae tu mano, y ponla de mi lado, y no seas incrédulo, pero cree". Tomás respondió y le dijo: "¡Mi Señor y mi Dios!"

Miércoles (Mateo 8) Cuando Jesús llegó al territorio de los Gadarenos, dos demoníacos que venían de las tumbas lo encontraron. Eran tan salvajes que nadie podía viajar por ese camino. Ellos gritaron: "¿Qué tienes que ver con nosotros, Hijo de Dios?

Jueves (Mateo 9) Y allí la gente le trajo a un paralítico que yacía en una camilla. Cuando Jesús vio su fe, le dijo al paralítico: "Ánimo, hijo, tus pecados te son perdonados". Ante eso, algunos de los escribas se dijeron a sí mismos: "Este hombre está blasfemando".

Viernes (Mateo 9) Al pasar Jesús, vio a un hombre llamado Mateo sentado en el puesto de aduanas. Él le dijo: "Sígueme". Los fariseos vieron esto y dijeron a sus discípulos: "¿Por qué tu maestro come con recaudadores de impuestos y pecadores?"

Sábado (Mateo 9) "¿Por qué nosotros y los fariseos ayunamos mucho, pero tus discípulos no ayunan?" Jesús les respondió: "¿Pueden los invitados a la boda estar de luto mientras el novio esté con ellos? Llegarán días en que se les quitará el novio, y entonces ayunarán.

Santos de la semana

1 de julio: Junipero Serra, sacerdote, fue un misionero franciscano que fundó misiones en Baja y viajó al norte de California a partir de 1768. Los franciscanos establecieron las misiones durante la supresión de los jesuitas. San Diego, San Francisco y Santa Clara se encuentran entre los más famosos. La estatua de Serra está en el Capitolio de los Estados Unidos para representar a California.

2 de julio: Bernard Realino, John Francis Regis, Francis Jerome, S.J. son conocidos por sus habilidades de predicación que atrajeron a muchos a la fe, incluidos muchos French Hugeunots. Regis y sus compañeros predicaron la doctrina católica a los niños y ayudaron a muchos afectados por la peste en Frances. La Universidad Regis en Denver, Colorado lleva el nombre de John Regis.

3 de julio: Thomas, apóstol, se cree que fue apóstol de India y Pakistán, y es mejor recordado como aquel que "dudó" de la resurrección de Jesús. Los Evangelios, sin embargo, dan testimonio de su fidelidad a Jesús durante su ministerio. El nombre, Thomas, significa "gemelo", pero no se menciona la identidad de su gemelo.

5 de julio: Isabel de Portugal (1271-1336), era del reino de Aragón cuando se casó con Denis, rey de Portugal, a los 12 años. Su hijo se rebeló dos veces contra el rey y Elizabeth los ayudó a reconciliarse. Después de la muerte de su esposo, ella renunció a su rango y se unió a las Clarisas para una vida de simplicidad.

5 de julio: Anthony Mary Zaccaria, sacerdote (1502-1539) fue un médico que fundó Barnabites por su devoción a Paul y Barnabas y Angelics of St. Paul, la orden de clausura de una mujer. Animó a los laicos a trabajar junto con el clero para cuidar de los pobres.

6 de julio: Maria Goretti, mártir (1890-1902) era una campesina pobre que fue amenazada por Alessandro, un vecino de 20 años. Cuando ella rechazó sus avances, él la mató, pero en su lecho de muerte, ella lo perdonó. Más tarde testificó en su nombre durante el proceso de beatificación, que tuvo lugar en 1950.

Esta semana en la historia de los jesuitas

• 1 de julio de 1556. El comienzo de la última enfermedad de San Ignacio. Él vio sus tres grandes deseos cumplidos: la confirmación del Instituto, la aprobación papal de los Ejercicios Espirituales y la aceptación de las Constituciones por parte de toda la Compañía.
• 2 de julio de 1928. La Provincia de Missouri se dividió en la Provincia de Missouri y la Provincia de Chicago. En 1955 habría una subdivisión adicional: Missouri dividido en Missouri y Wisconsin; Chicago se dividió en Chicago y Detroit.
• 3 de julio de 1580. La reina Isabel I emitió un estatuto que prohibía a todos los jesuitas ingresar a Inglaterra.
• 4 de julio de 1648. El martirio en Canadá de Anthony Daniel que fue herido con flechas y arrojado a las llamas por los iroqueses.
• 5 de julio de 1592. El arresto del p. Robert Southwell en Uxenden Manor, la casa del Sr. Bellamy. Torturado y luego transferido a la Torre, permaneció allí durante dos años y medio.
• 6 de julio de 1758. La elección al papado de Clemente XIII que defendería a la Sociedad contra los Jansenistas y los Tribunales Borbones de Europa.
• 7 de julio de 1867. La beatificación de los 205 mártires japoneses, 33 de ellos miembros de la Compañía de Jesús.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Porpoises, Horseshoe Crabs, and the Setting Sun

Life is good. Silence. Stillness. Warm breezes.

For the past two nights, I've gone to sunset beach at the close of day. Mind you, my motives were not pure. The first night, I went because I heard a small store sold Soft Serve Ice Cream with Chocolate Sprinkles on them, but the consequences of the trip were worth it.

Thousands of Horseshoe Crabs line the beach because they go to the shore for feeding and reproduction. They are the most fascinating creatures because of the hard, but not impermeable shell. It is fun to see the waves flip them over and thereby exposing their underbellies, which make them vulnerable to the flocking seagulls. To some, they look beastly and fierce and they will not even hold their non-living skeleton because of fear.

People come to watch the sunset, but they leave far too early. Once the sun disappears over the horizon, people scatter in their cars back to their homes, but they miss the best part. Once the sun sinks below the horizon, it begins to reflect its rays up into the clouds for at least an hour longer. The most brilliant colors appear at this time, but only a small remnant stays to see it. Patience pays off.

Once the sun sets, porpoises begin to crest in the waves. They are large animals and their fins bring excitement to those who are not expecting to see them. Once the sky darkens, the lights of the ferries and other ships make it seem like there is a grand party happening in the ocean. It makes for great photography.

All the while, the seaside cafe churns out dozens of ice creams, hamburgers, Philly Cheesesteaks, and other temptations.

Life is good.

Spirituality: Dostoesvsky

Humanity can live without science, it can live without bread, but it cannot live without beauty. Without beauty, there would be nothing left to do in this life. Here the secret lies. Here lies the entire story.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Literature: From Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens

“Spring flew swiftly by, and summer came; and if the village had been beautiful at first, it was now in the full glow and luxuriance of its richness. The great trees, which had looked shrunken and bare in the earlier months, had now burst into strong life and health; and stretching forth their green arms over the thirsty ground, converted open and naked spots into choice nooks, where was a deep and pleasant shade from which to look upon the wide prospect, steeped in sunshine, which lay stretched out beyond. The earth had donned her mantle of brightest green; and shed her richest perfumes abroad.’’

Sunday, June 24, 2018

John The Baptist

After all these years I have a great affinity for John the Baptist. The image I like best is that he calls himself "the friend of the Bridegroom" and is able to share in the happiness and mission of Jesus. The line from Scripture that is always powerful for me who bears his name is "He will be called John."

I remember the summer when I was entering the Society of Jesus, I closed on my sold condo on this date and was without a place to stay for a couple of months. It reminded me that John must decrease so Christ must increase.

The sadness about this date is that it is the summer solstice when the daylight gets shorter as the light fades away until Christmas. I get duped. I want to be happy that the fullness of summer has arrived and as soon as it comes, it begins to point towards the fall and the change of seasons.

However, my plans are to spend this week with the Bridegroom and to enjoy the day in front of me. This week is all around restoring a work-life balance that has been out of whack. This 2018 has been one that consumed much time and energy from me and I need to rest and disconnect for a while.

While I'm here at the retreat house in Cape May, I'm amazed at the industriousness of the Sisters of St. Joseph. After a whole lifetime of generous service to the church, these woman volunteer their time caring for a large retreat house. They cook, clean, give direction, provide maintenance and groundskeeping, acts of sacristans and music directors, and every other imaginable household chore. They do it all - cheerfully, simply, with elegance and grace, and frugally. Their community of faith is amazing to watch.

I've been happy that it has been overcast the past few days. First, I cover every part of my body so that sun does not warm my body, and second, it has kept me indoors to nap, to rest, and to pray. All is good.

Today, I may even paint!

Spirituality: C.S. Lewis

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Spirituality: Fyodor Dostoevsky

A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else, and he ends up losing respect for himself and for others. When he has no respect for anyone, he can no longer love, and, in order to divert himself, having no love in him, he yields to his impulses, indulges in the lowest forms of pleasure, and behaves in the end like an animal. And it all comes from lying - lying to others and to yourself.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Spirituality: Flannery O'Connor

...the only thing that makes the Church endurable is that it is somehow the body of Christ and that on this we are fed. It seems to be a fact that you have to suffer as much from the Church as for it but if you believe in the divinity of Christ, you have to cherish the world at the same time that you struggle to endure it.

Spirituality: From a letter written in prison to his daughter, Margaret, by Saint Thomas More

With good hope I shall commit myself wholly to God

“Although I know well, Margaret, that because of my past wickedness I deserve to be abandoned by God, I cannot but trust in his merciful goodness. His grace has strengthened me until now and made me content to lose goods, land, and life as well, rather than to swear against my conscience. God’s grace has given the king a gracious frame of mind toward me, so that as yet he has taken from me nothing but my liberty. In doing this His Majesty has done me such great good with respect to spiritual profit that I trust that among all the great benefits he has heaped so abundantly upon me I count my imprisonment the very greatest. I cannot, therefore, mistrust the grace of God. Either he shall keep the king in that gracious frame of mind to continue to do me no harm, or else, if it be his pleasure that for my other sins I suffer in this case as I shall not deserve, then his grace shall give me the strength to bear it patiently, and perhaps even gladly. 

By the merits of his bitter passion joined to mine and far surpassing in merit for me all that I can suffer myself, his bounteous goodness shall release me from the pains of purgatory and shall increase my reward in heaven besides.

I will not mistrust him, Meg, though I shall feel myself weakening and on the verge of being overcome with fear. I shall remember how Saint Peter at a blast of wind began to sink because of his lack of faith, and I shall do as he did: call upon Christ and pray to him for help. And then I trust he shall place his holy hand on me and in the stormy seas hold me up from drowning.

And if he permits me to play Saint Peter further and to fall to the ground and to swear and forswear, may God our Lord in his tender mercy keep me from this, and let me lose if it so happen, and never win thereby! Still, if this should happen, afterward I trust that in his goodness he will look on me with pity as he did upon Saint Peter, and make me stand up again and confess the truth of my conscience afresh and endure here the shame and harm of my own fault.

And finally, Margaret, I know this well: that without my fault he will not let me be lost. I shall, therefore, with good hope commit myself wholly to him. And if he permits me to perish for my faults, then I shall serve as praise for his justice. But in good faith, Meg, I trust that his tender pity shall keep my poor soul safe and make me commend his mercy. 

And, therefore, my own good daughter, do not let your mind be troubled over anything that shall happen to me in this world. Nothing can come but what God wills. And I am very sure that whatever that be, however bad it may seem, it shall indeed be the best.”

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Prayer: Clement of Alexandria

Martyrdom means bearing witness to God. Every soul that seeks in pureness of heart to know God and obeys the commandments of God is a martyr, bearing witness by life or by words…. That is why, in the gospels, the Lord praises the people who have left house or family or lands for Jesus’ sake and for the gospel. The people are blessed because they too are going to meet martyrdom simply by living in a way that is different from the crowd, because they are following the rule of the gospel for love of the Lord.