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Monday, July 30, 2018

Spirituality: Albert Camus

I shall tell you a great secret my friend. Do not wait for the last judgment, it takes place every day.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Prayer: The First Principle and Foundation

God freely created us so that we might know, love, and serve him in this life and be happy with him forever. God's purpose in creating us is to draw forth from us a response of love and service here on earth, so that we may attain our goal of everlasting happiness with him in heaven. 

All the things in this world are gifts of God, created for us, to be the means by which we can come to know him better, love him more surely, and serve him more faithfully. 

As a result, we ought to appreciate and use these gifts of God insofar as they help us toward our goal of loving service and union with God. But insofar as any created things hinder our progress toward our goal, we ought to let them go.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Literature: A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Prayer: West Wind #2 by Mary Oliver

You are young. So you know everything. You leap into the boat and begin rowing. But listen to me.
Without fanfare, without embarrassment, without any doubt, I talk directly to your soul. Listen to me.
Lift the oars from the water, let your arms rest, and your heart, and heart’s little intelligence, and listen to me. There is life without love. It is not worth a bent penny, or a scuffed shoe. It is not worth the body of a dead dog nine days unburied. When you hear, a mile away and still out of sight, the churn of the water as it begins to swirl and roil, fretting around the sharp rocks – when you hear that unmistakable pounding – when you feel the mist on your mouth and sense ahead the embattlement, the long falls plunging and steaming – then row, row for your life toward it.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Literature: George Orwell, 1984

Winston stopped reading, chiefly in order to appreciate the fact that he was reading, in comfort and safety. He was alone: no telescreen, no ear at the keyhole, no nervous impulse to glance over his shoulder or cover the page with his hand. The sweet summer air played against his cheek. From somewhere far away there floated the faint shouts of children: in the room itself there was no sound except the insect voice of the clock. He settled deeper into the arm-chair and put his feet up on the fender. It was bliss, it was eternity.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

The Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

July 29, 2018
2 Kings 4:42-44; Psalm 145; Ephesians 4:1-6; John 6:1-15

Last week, Jesus demonstrated his great compassion for his people by providing for their emotional and spiritual needs. He continues his care today as he gives everyone food by providing for their material needs. Like a caring parent, he feeds us with miraculous, overflowing generosity, and he gives us a model for treating other people.

The disciples are faced with a daunting challenge. How do they feed so many people when they are utterly unprepared? They don’t have any food or money, but Jesus puts the question before them: How are you going to take care of one another? Most are flummoxed by the question, but Andrew starts with what little he has, and he gets the action started. Andrew’s actions say to the other disciples, “We can do something. We have very little, but it is all we have.” It reminds us that no one has ever become poor by being generous.

We are faced with extensive and overwhelming problems today and it is difficult to know if anything that we can do matters. How does one person stand face-to-face with the oppression of racism, gender and sexual discrimination, and religious prejudice, and take a swing at these social ills. One must feel like the diminutive David as he faces the giant Goliath. Add to that the enormous power of institutions and political systems that quietly oppress other people with unfair policies and unjust economic power in which an individual cannot be blamed for his or her cooperation. It is easy to see that one can feel defeated and can harbor anger and frustration that will never be heard.

We have to remember three points. First, like Andrew, we have to recognize that we have something, which gives us a place to start. Second, we are not alone. There are many thousands or millions of other people who are hungry and in need. As we share with them, we look at them in their faces and see our common humanity and our desire to work towards a common goal. Third, we are not alone. Jesus Christ is the one who makes our small insignificant steps exponentially effective. His care for the neediest among us will magnify our personal care of one another. Our care for one another makes us brother and sister, equal in dignity, equal in worth. Christ gives us our worth, and no one’s hatred, bigotry, or small-mindedness can erode the truth of ourselves. Our lives matter to the one who deliberately created us in beauty and majesty. Our lives matter to the ones who show mercy and call us ‘friend.’ We find that we are given to each other as gifts to be shared and celebrated, and each time we rely upon one another we build a system of trust that is based on the Lord’s mercy.

Like the disciples, when we break bread and share our food, resources, and gifts with one another, we become vulnerable because we risk undergoing a change in attitude, a conversion of heart. We are compelled to look squarely into their eyes and see the astonishing soul before us. We can’t look away. It mirrors the way God looks into our soul and finds it to be among God’s most prized possessions. We stand before the other and realize we have to reckon with our own sinfulness and our participation in the sinful structures of the world, and we know innately that we have to reconcile with one another, with the one who is systemically mistreated. Our souls yearn to say, “I’m sorry. Will you forgive me? I have wronged you and you deserve better.” Only love stops the advance of hatred. Only love turns back the progress of sin. Only love brings about the kingdom of God.

Even though it seems daunting, make that one simple gesture that brings the Lord’s hope to the one in need. Give to one another from your poverty, and your friend will discern your integrity. We stand together because we need each other, and we are many, and there are many mouths to feed, and many needs to fill. Christ has given us a great gift – each other – and through us, he will make himself known to a world that starves for his care. Together, we will see miracles in our lifetime. We can once again dream in freedom.

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (Jeremiah 13) Again I went to the Parath, sought out and took the loincloth from the place where I had hid it. But it was rotted, good for nothing! Then the message came to me from the LORD: So also I will allow the pride of Judah to rot, the great pride of Jerusalem.

Tuesday: (Jeremiah 14) Let my eyes stream with tears day and night, without rest, Over the great destruction which overwhelms the virgin daughter of my people, over her incurable wound.

Wednesday: (Jeremiah 15) Woe to me, mother, that you gave me birth! a man of strife and contention to all the land! I neither borrow nor lend, yet all curse me. When I found your words, I devoured them.

Thursday: (Jeremiah 18) Rise up, be off to the potter's house; there I will give you my message. I went down to the potter's house and there he was, working at the wheel.
Whenever the object of clay which he was making turned out badly in his hand, he tried again, making of the clay another object of whatever sort he pleased.

Friday (Jeremiah 26) Stand in the court of the house of the LORD and speak to the people of all the cities of Judah who come to worship in the house of the LORD; whatever I command you, tell them, and omit nothing. Perhaps they will listen and turn back, each from his evil way.

Saturday (Jeremiah 26) Thereupon the princes and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, "This man does not deserve death; it is in the name of the LORD, our God, that he speaks to us." 


Monday: (Matthew 13) The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the 'birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.

Tuesday: (Matthew 13) He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom. The weeds are the children of the Evil One, and the enemy who sows them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age.

Wednesday (Matthew 13) The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.

Thursday (Matthew 13) The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age.

Friday (Matthew 13) Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue. They were astonished and said, “Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds? Is he not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? Are not his sisters all with us?

Saturday (Matthew 14) Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus and said to his servants, "This man is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him."

Saints of the Week
July 29: Martha (1st century), is the sister of Mary and Lazarus of Bethany near Jerusalem. Martha is considered the busy, activity-attentive sister while Mary is more contemplative. Martha is known for her hospitality and fidelity. She proclaimed her belief that Jesus was the Christ when he appeared after Lazarus had died.

July 30: Peter Chrysologus, bishop and doctor (406-450), was the archbishop of Ravenna, Italy in the 5th century when the faithful became lax and adopted pagan practices. He revived the faith through his preaching. He was titled Chrysologus because of his 'golden words.'

July 31: Ignatius of Loyola, priest (1491-1556), is one of the founders of the Jesuits and the author of the Spiritual Exercises. As a Basque nobleman, he was wounded in a battle at Pamplona in northeastern Spain and convalesced at his castle where he realized he followed a methodology of discernment of spirits. When he recovered, he ministered to the sick and dying and then retreated to a cave at Manresa, Spain where he had experiences that formed the basis of The Spiritual Exercises. In order to preach, he studied Latin, earned a Master’s Degree at the University of Paris, and then gathered other students to serve Jesus. Francis Xavier and Peter Faber were his first friends. After ordination, Ignatius and his nine friends went to Rome where they formally became the Society of Jesus. Most Jesuits were sent on mission, but Ignatius stayed in Rome directing the rapidly growing religious order, composing its constitutions, and perfecting the Spiritual Exercises. He died in 1556 and the Jesuit Order was already 1,000 men strong. 

August 1: Alphonsus Liguori, bishop and doctor (1696-1787), founded a band of mission priests that became the Redemptorists. He wrote a book called "Moral Theology" that linked legal aspects with kindness and compassion for others. He became known for his responsive and thoughtful way of dealing with confessions.

August 2: Peter Faber, S.J., priest and founder (1506-1546), was one of the original companions of the Society of Jesus. He was a French theologian and the first Jesuit priest and was the presider over the first vows of the lay companions. He became known for directing the Spiritual Exercises very well. He was called to the Council of Trent but died as the participants were gathering.

August 2: Eusebius of Vercelli, bishop (d. 371), was ordained bishop after becoming a lector. He attended a council in Milan where he opposed the Arians. The emperor exiled him to Palestine because he contradicted secular influences. He returned to his diocese where the emperor died.

August 2: Peter Julian Eymard, priest (1811-1868) left the Oblates when he became ill. When his father died, he became a priest and soon transferred into the Marists but left them to found the Blessed Sacrament Fathers to promote the significance of the Eucharist.

August 4: John Vianney, priest (1786-1859) became the parish priest in Ars-en-Dombes where he spent the rest of his life preaching and hearing confessions. Hundreds of visitors and pilgrims visited him daily. He would hear confessions 12-16 hours per day.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Jul 29, 1865. The death in Cincinnati, Ohio of Fr. Peter Arnoudt, a Belgian. He was the author of The Imitation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
·      Jul 30, 1556. As he lay near death, Ignatius asked Juan de Polanco to go and obtain for him the blessing of the pope.
·      Jul 31, 1556. The death in Rome of Ignatius Loyola.
·      Aug 1, 1938. The Jesuits of the Middle United States, by Gilbert Garrigan was copyrighted. This monumental three-volume work followed the history of the Jesuits in the Midwest from the early 1820s to the 1930s.
·      Aug 2, 1981. The death of Gerald Kelly, moral theologian and author of "Modern Youth and Chastity."
·      Aug 3, 1553. Queen Mary Tudor made her solemn entrance into London. As she passed St Paul's School, Edmund Campion, then a boy of thirteen delivered an address.
·      Aug 4, 1871. King Victor Emmanuel signed the decree that sanctioned the seizure of all of the properties belonging to the Roman College and to S. Andrea.

El decimoséptimo domingo del tiempo ordinario

El decimoséptimo domingo del tiempo ordinario
29 de julio de 2018
2 Reyes 4: 42-44; Salmo 145; Efesios 4: 1-6; Juan 6: 1-15

La semana pasada, Jesús demostró su gran compasión por su pueblo al satisfacer sus necesidades emocionales y espirituales. Continúa su cuidado hoy ya que les da a todos la comida al proveer para sus necesidades materiales. Como un padre cariñoso, nos alimenta con una generosidad desbordante y milagrosa, y nos da un modelo para tratar a otras personas.

Los discípulos se enfrentan a un desafío desalentador. ¿Cómo alimentan a tantas personas cuando no están completamente preparadas? No tienen comida ni dinero, pero Jesús les pregunta: ¿cómo van a cuidarse los unos a los otros? La mayoría están desconcertadas por la pregunta, pero Andrew comienza con lo poco que tiene y comienza la acción. Las acciones de Andrew les dicen a los otros discípulos: "Podemos hacer algo. Tenemos muy poco, pero es todo lo que tenemos ". Nos recuerda que nadie ha llegado a ser pobre siendo generoso.

Nos enfrentamos a problemas extensos y abrumadores hoy y es difícil saber si algo que podemos hacer importa. ¿Cómo se enfrenta una persona cara a cara con la opresión del racismo, el género y la discriminación sexual, y los prejuicios religiosos, y da un paso hacia estas enfermedades sociales? Uno debe sentirse como el diminuto David cuando se enfrenta al gigante Goliat. A esto se añade el enorme poder de las instituciones y los sistemas políticos que oprimen silenciosamente a otras personas con políticas injustas y un poder económico injusto en el que no se puede culpar a un individuo por su cooperación. Es fácil ver que uno puede sentirse derrotado y albergar enojo y frustración que nunca se escuchará.

Tenemos que recordar tres puntos. Primero, como Andrew, tenemos que reconocer que tenemos algo, que nos da un lugar para comenzar. Segundo, no estamos solos. Hay muchos miles o millones de otras personas que están hambrientas y necesitadas. Al compartir con ellos, los miramos en sus caras y vemos nuestra humanidad común y nuestro deseo de trabajar hacia un objetivo común. Tercero, no estamos solos. Jesucristo es quien hace que nuestros pequeños e insignificantes pasos sean exponencialmente efectivos. Su cuidado por los más necesitados de nosotros magnificará nuestro cuidado personal el uno del otro. Nuestro cuidado mutuo nos hace hermanos, iguales en dignidad, iguales en valor. Cristo nos da nuestro valor, y el odio, el fanatismo o la pequeñez de nadie pueden erosionar la verdad de nosotros mismos. Nuestras vidas le importan a quien deliberadamente nos creó en belleza y majestad. Nuestras vidas les importan a aquellos que muestran misericordia y nos llaman 'amigos'. Descubrimos que nos entregamos unos a otros como regalos para compartir y celebrar, y cada vez que dependemos unos de otros, construimos un sistema de confianza que se basa en la misericordia del Señor

Como los discípulos, cuando partimos el pan y compartimos nuestros alimentos, recursos y regalos, nos volvemos vulnerables porque nos arriesgamos a sufrir un cambio de actitud, una conversión de corazón. Nos vemos obligados a mirar directamente a los ojos y ver el alma asombrosa frente a nosotros. No podemos mirar hacia otro lado. Refleja la forma en que Dios observa nuestra alma y la encuentra entre las posesiones más preciadas de Dios. Estamos frente al otro y nos damos cuenta de que tenemos que contar con nuestra propia pecaminosidad y nuestra participación en las estructuras pecaminosas del mundo, y sabemos de manera innata que tenemos que reconciliarnos unos con otros, con el que es sistemáticamente maltratado. Nuestras almas anhelan decir: "Lo siento". ¿Me olvidarás? Te he agraviado y mereces algo mejor ". Solo el amor detiene el avance del odio. Solo el amor hace retroceder el progreso del pecado. Solo el amor produce el reino de Dios.

Aunque parezca desalentador, haz ese simple gesto que trae la esperanza del Señor al necesitado. Otórguese unos a otros desde su pobreza, y su amigo discernirá su integridad. Nos mantenemos unidos porque nos necesitamos los unos a los otros, y somos muchos, y hay muchas bocas que alimentar y muchas necesidades que llenar. Cristo nos ha dado un gran regalo el uno al otro y, a través de nosotros, se dará a conocer a un mundo que muere de hambre por su cuidado. Juntos, veremos milagros en nuestra vida. Podemos volver a soñar en libertad.

Escritura para la misa diaria

Primera lectura:
Lunes: (Jeremías 13) Nuevamente fui a la Parath, busqué y tomé el taparrabos del lugar donde lo había escondido. Pero estaba podrido, ¡no sirve para nada! Entonces el mensaje vino a mí del SEÑOR: Así también permitiré que la soberbia de Judá se pudra, la gran soberbia de Jerusalén.

Martes: (Jeremías 14) Deja que mis ojos fluyan con lágrimas día y noche, sin descanso, sobre la gran destrucción que abruma a la hija virgen de mi pueblo, sobre su herida incurable.

Miércoles: (Jeremías 15) ¡Ay de mí, madre, que me has dado a luz! un hombre de lucha y contención de toda la tierra! No tomo prestado ni presto, sin embargo todos me maldicen. Cuando encontré tus palabras, las devoré.
Jueves: (Jeremías 18) Levántate, vete a la casa del alfarero; allí te daré mi mensaje. Fui a la casa del alfarero y allí estaba él, trabajando al volante.
Cada vez que el objeto de barro que estaba fabricando le salía mal en la mano, lo intentaba de nuevo, convirtiendo la arcilla en otro objeto de la clase que quisiera.

Viernes (Jeremías 26) Levántate en el atrio de la casa de Jehová, y habla a la gente de todas las ciudades de Judá que vienen a adorar en la casa de Jehová; todo lo que yo te ordene, cuéntales y no omitas nada. Quizás escuchen y vuelvan, cada uno de su mal camino.

Sábado (Jeremías 26) Entonces los príncipes y todo el pueblo dijeron a los sacerdotes y los profetas: "Este hombre no merece la muerte, es en el nombre de Jehová nuestro Dios que nos habla".


Lunes: (Mateo 13) El Reino de los cielos es como un grano de mostaza que una persona tomó y sembró en un campo. Es la más pequeña de todas las semillas, pero cuando está madura es la más grande de las plantas. Se convierte en un gran arbusto, y las 'aves del cielo vienen y habitan en sus ramas.

Martes: (Mateo 13) El que siembra la buena semilla es el Hijo del Hombre, el campo es el mundo, la buena semilla los hijos del Reino. Las malas hierbas son los hijos del Maligno, y el enemigo que los siembra es el Diablo. La cosecha es el final de la era, y los cosechadores son ángeles. Así como las malas hierbas se recolectan y se queman con fuego, también lo serán al final de la era.

Miércoles (Mateo 13) El Reino de los cielos es como un tesoro enterrado en un campo, que una persona encuentra y esconde de nuevo, y por alegría va y vende todo lo que tiene y compra ese campo. De nuevo, el Reino de los cielos es como un mercader que busca perlas finas. Cuando encuentra una perla de gran precio, va y vende todo lo que tiene y lo compra.

Jueves (Mateo 13) El Reino de los cielos es como una red arrojada al mar, que recoge peces de todo tipo. Cuando está lleno, lo llevan a tierra y se sientan a poner lo que es bueno en baldes. Lo malo es que tiran. Por lo tanto, será al final de la edad.

Viernes (Mateo 13) Jesús vino a su lugar natal y enseñó a la gente en su sinagoga. Ellos se asombraron y dijeron: "¿De dónde sacó este hombre tanta sabiduría y hechos poderosos? ¿No es él el hijo del carpintero? ¿No se llama su madre María y sus hermanos Santiago, José, Simón y Judas? ¿No están todas sus hermanas con nosotros?

Sábado (Mateo 14) Herodes el tetrarca oyó hablar de la reputación de Jesús y dijo a sus siervos: "Este hombre es Juan el Bautista. Ha resucitado de entre los muertos, por eso los poderosos poderes están obrando en él".

Santos de la semana

29 de julio: Martha (siglo I) es la hermana de María y Lázaro de Betania cerca de Jerusalén. Martha es considerada la hermana ocupada y atenta a la actividad, mientras que María es más contemplativa. Martha es conocida por su hospitalidad y fidelidad. Ella proclamó su creencia de que Jesús era el Cristo cuando apareció después de la muerte de Lázaro.

30 de julio: Peter Chrysologus, obispo y médico (406-450), fue el arzobispo de Rávena, Italia, en el siglo V, cuando los fieles se volvieron laxos y adoptaron prácticas paganas. Él revivió la fe a través de su predicación. Se tituló Chrysologus por sus "palabras de oro".

31 de julio: Ignacio de Loyola, sacerdote (1491-1556), es uno de los fundadores de los jesuitas y autor de los Ejercicios espirituales. Como un noble vasco, fue herido en una batalla en Pamplona en el noreste de España y convaleció en su castillo, donde se dio cuenta de que seguía una metodología de discernimiento de espíritus. Cuando se recuperó, atendió a los enfermos y moribundos y luego se retiró a una cueva en Manresa, España, donde tuvo experiencias que formaron la base de los Ejercicios Espirituales. Para predicar, estudió latín, obtuvo una maestría en la Universidad de París y luego reunió a otros estudiantes para servir a Jesús. Francis Xavier y Peter Faber fueron sus primeros amigos. Después de la ordenación, Ignacio y sus nueve amigos fueron a Roma, donde se convirtieron formalmente en la Compañía de Jesús. La mayoría de los jesuitas fueron enviados en misión, pero Ignacio se quedó en Roma dirigiendo el orden religioso en rápido crecimiento, componiendo sus constituciones y perfeccionando los Ejercicios Espirituales. Murió en 1556 y la Orden de los Jesuitas ya tenía 1,000 hombres.

1 de agosto: Alphonsus Liguori, obispo y médico (1696-1787), fundó una banda de sacerdotes misioneros que se convirtieron en los Redentoristas. Escribió un libro llamado "Teología moral" que vinculaba los aspectos legales con la bondad y la compasión por los demás. Se hizo conocido por su forma receptiva y reflexiva de lidiar con confesiones.

2 de agosto: Peter Faber, S.J., sacerdote y fundador (1506-1546), fue uno de los compañeros originales de la Compañía de Jesús. Era un teólogo francés y el primer sacerdote jesuita y presidió los primeros votos de los compañeros laicos. Se hizo conocido por dirigir los Ejercicios espirituales muy bien. Fue llamado al Concilio de Trento, pero murió cuando los participantes se estaban reuniendo.

2 de agosto: Eusebio de Vercelli, obispo († 371), fue ordenado obispo después de convertirse en lector. Asistió a un concilio en Milán donde se opuso a los arrianos. El emperador lo exilió a Palestina porque contradijo las influencias seculares. Regresó a su diócesis donde el emperador murió.

2 de agosto: Peter Julian Eymard, sacerdote (1811-1868) dejó a los oblatos cuando enfermó. Cuando su padre murió, se hizo sacerdote y pronto se transfirió a los maristas, pero los dejó para fundar los Padres del Santísimo Sacramento para promover el significado de la Eucaristía.

4 de agosto: John Vianney, sacerdote (1786-1859) se convirtió en el párroco de Ars-en-Dombes, donde pasó el resto de su vida predicando y escuchando confesiones. Cientos de visitantes y peregrinos lo visitaban a diario. Él escuchaba confesiones 12-16 horas por día.

Esta semana en la historia de los jesuitas

• 29 de julio de 1865. La muerte en Cincinnati, Ohio del Padre. Peter Arnoudt, un belga. Él fue el autor de La Imitación del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús.
• 30 de julio de 1556. Cuando yacía cerca de la muerte, Ignacio pidió a Juan de Polanco que fuera a buscar la bendición del Papa.
• 31 de julio de 1556. La muerte en Roma de Ignacio de Loyola.
• 1 de agosto de 1938. Los jesuitas del Medio Estados Unidos, por Gilbert Garrigan, tenían derechos de autor. Esta monumental obra en tres tomos siguió la historia de los jesuitas en el Medio Oeste desde principios de la década de 1820 hasta la década de 1930.
• 2 de agosto de 1981. La muerte de Gerald Kelly, teólogo moral y autor de "Modern Youth and Chastity".
• 3 de agosto de 1553. La reina María Tudor hizo su entrada solemne en Londres. Cuando pasó por la Escuela de San Pablo, Edmund Campion, que entonces era un niño de trece años, pronunció un discurso.
• 4 de agosto de 1871. El Rey Victor Emmanuel firmó el decreto que sancionaba la toma de todas las propiedades pertenecientes al Colegio Romano y a S. Andrea.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Literature: Percy Bysshe Shelley

There is eloquence in the tongueless wind, and a melody in the flowing brooks and the rustling of the
reeds beside them, which by their inconceivable relation to something within the soul, awaken the spirits to a dance of breathless rapture, and bring tears of mysterious tenderness to the eyes, like
the enthusiasm of patriotic success, or the voice of one beloved singing to you alone.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Spirituality: Shannon L. Alder

What if you were wrong? What if everything you ever believed was a lie? What if you missed your opportunity because you didn't know your worth? What if you settled on familiar, but God was trying to give you something better? What if you decided not to go backwards, but forward? What if doing what you have never done before was the answer to everything that didn't make sense? What if the answer wasn't to be found in words, but in action? What if you found the courage to do what you really wanted to do and doing it changed your whole life?

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Literature: Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

The painter Kramskoy has a remarkable painting entitled The Contemplator: it depicts a forest in winter, and in the forest, standing all by himself on the road, in deepest solitude, a stray little peasant in a ragged caftan and bast shoes; he stands as if he were lost in thought, but he is not thinking, he is "contemplating" something. If you nudged him, he would give a start and look at you as if he had just woken up, but without understanding anything. It's true that he would come to himself at once, and yet, if he were asked what he had been thinking about while standing there, he would most likely not remember, but would most likely keep hidden away in himself the impression he had been under while contemplating. These impressions are dear to him, and he is most likely storing them up imperceptibly and even without realizing it--why and what for, he does not know either; perhaps suddenly, having stored up his impressions over many years, he will drop everything and wander off to Jerusalem to save his soul, or perhaps he will suddenly burn down his native village, or perhaps he will do both.

There are a good many "contemplatives" among our peasants. And Smerdyakov was probably one of them. And he was probably greedily hoarding up his impressions, hardly knowing why.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Spirituality: Mother Teresa, In the Heart of the World: Thoughts, Stories and Prayers

Seeking the face of God in everything, everyone, all the time, and his hand in every happening; This is what it means to be contemplative in the heart of the world. Seeing and adoring the presence of Jesus, especially in the lowly appearance of bread, and in the distressing disguise of the poor.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

The Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

July 22, 2018
Jeremiah 23:1-6; Psalm 23; Ephesians 2:13-18; Mark 6:30-34

            In these readings today, God is reminding us to take the long view when assessing where we find ourselves in life. Every once in a while, God wants us to step back from whatever we are doing to take a look at the larger picture that we cannot see when we are mired in the details. A few nights ago, in a watercolor painting class I taught, some students judged their work to be inferior, but when I picked up their artwork and showed them what it looked like a few steps away, they were able to marvel at what they created. Once they saw the image in the distance, they appreciated even more the up-close image.
            In the first reading, God tells the people, through Jeremiah, that God will bring them back together after people of ill-will have worked to sow division and dissension among them. God will work through the mess we make of ourselves and God’s plan for us will lead us to places of rest, security, and goodwill. He proves this again in the Gospel when Jesus calls people together to rest awhile with him and to enjoy the companionship of his friends. Jesus gives them rest, recreation, and joy while he is naturally being a shepherd that cares deeply for his flock.
            We possess a double-edge gift. We can be critical, which is both positive and negative. We need our minds and hearts to make precise, articulate, well-informed judgments, which shows the blessings of critical thinking. When we are not at our best, we can be negatively critical and cause division and harm to the community’s balance and well-being. Our criticism does not intend a positive effect upon anyone, but it expresses that we have a deep unmet need.
            Think of all the people who are scattered from the church. We want our loved ones to come back to discover the God who radically understands them, likes them, and wants to delight in them. Sometimes, they are critical of the church and have found reasons to stay apart from us and the church. Many times, these answers do not seem like big enough reasons to us, but they have found reasons to keep themselves apart. Sometimes they are mired in their own misery and chaos and do not want to squarely deal with them yet. Maybe they never will. They have found reasons to keep God at bay too, and we know that, at the root, they carry some fundamental unhappiness. What they want most, they keep at arm’s length away from them. God is there to welcome them home; we, who are the church, will also extend an outreached hand to them – just because we want them to be with us – with sadness and happiness.
            It is important for us to remember that wherever we are, God knows precisely the state of our soul and is working to return us to one another as gifts. God is working to restore us to our true selves as gifts as well. Just because we are in turmoil or in a funky place in our life does not mean that God is not aware of our chaos. Though we may not know it, God is at work – gently, slowly, building, connecting, giving signposts – so that we can finally arrive at the green pastures of rest and companionship. This is truly a God who cares. This is truly a God whose heart is eternally broken when we say ‘no’ to God’s friendship. This is a truly a God who dances in delight when we come close in trust.
            “Come away to a deserted place.” Let your hearts be open to God’s invitations. Share your pain with God. Reveal the depths of your anger and rage. If you must, cry your heart out because of your disappointments and failings, and your inability to figure things out or get your act together. Trust God just enough to give some space that God’s mercy may heal or calm your worries. Just give God the slightest inch to the possibility that God’s care is intended specifically for you.

            Allow God to behold you with a compassionate gaze. Sometimes we can only see the picture we create with all its imperfections, inadequacies, and blunders. But step back. Allow God to look at you – completely, wholly, the entire sweep of your life – so that you and God can see the majesty of the gift you are in God’s eyes. And notice God’s eyes, for they will be smiling and beaming with pride, even greater so than my watercolor students as they admired their creations, and there will be no possible way to wipe that smile off of God’s face because who you are, right now and always, takes God’s breath away. Please, come away to a deserted place and let God fill your soul with God’s admiration and wonder.

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (Micah 6) Arise, present your plea before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice! Hear, O mountains, the plea of the LORD, pay attention, O foundations of the earth! For the LORD has a plea against his people, and he enters into trial with Israel.

Tuesday: (Micah 7) Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance; Who does not persist in anger forever, but delights rather in clemency, And will again have compassion on us,

Wednesday: (2 Corinthians 4) We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.

Thursday: (Jeremiah 2) I remember the devotion of your youth, how you loved me as a bride, Following me in the desert, in a land unsown. Sacred to the LORD was Israel, the first fruits of his harvest.

Friday (Jeremiah 3) Return, rebellious children, says the LORD, for I am your Master; I will take you, one from a city, two from a clan, and bring you to Zion. I will appoint over you shepherds after my own heart, who will shepherd you wisely and prudently.

Saturday (Jeremiah 7) Reform your ways and your deeds, so that I may remain with you in this place. Put not your trust in the deceitful words: "This is the temple of the LORD!


Monday: (Matthew 12) “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” He said to them in reply, “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.

Tuesday: (Matthew 12) While Jesus was speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers appeared outside, wishing to speak with him. Someone told him, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak with you."

Wednesday (Matthew 20) The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. He said to her, "What do you wish?" She answered him, "Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom."

Thursday (Matthew 13) "But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it."

Friday (Matthew 13) "Hear the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the Kingdom without understanding it, and the Evil One comes and steals away what was sown in his heart.

Saturday (Matthew 13) "The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.

Saints of the Week
July 22: Mary Magdalene, apostle (1st century), became the "apostle to the apostles" as the first witness of the resurrection. Scriptures point to her great love of Jesus and she stood by him at the cross and brought spices to anoint his body after death. We know little about Mary though tradition conflates her with other biblical woman. Luke portrays her as a woman exorcised of seven demons.

July 23: Bridget of Sweden, religious (1303-1373), founded the Bridgettine Order for men and women in 1370, though today only the women’s portion has survived. She desired to live in a lifestyle defined by prayer and penance. Her husband of 28 years died after producing eight children with Bridget. She then moved to Rome to begin the new order.

July 24: Sharbel Makhuf, priest (1828-1898), joined a monastery in the Maronite tradition and lived as a hermit for 23 years after living fifteen years in the community. He became known for his wisdom and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.

July 25: James, Apostle (1st century), is the son of Zebedee and the brother of John. As fishermen, they left their trade to follow Jesus. They occupied the inner circle as friends of Jesus. James is the patron of Spain as a shrine is dedicated to him at Santiago de Compostela. He is the patron of pilgrims as many walk the Camino en route to this popular pilgrim site.

July 26: Joachim and Anne, Mary's parents (1st century) are names attributed to the grandparents of Jesus through the Proto-Gospel of James. These names appeared in the Christian tradition though we don't know anything with certitude about their lives. Devotion of Anne began in Constantinople in the 6th century while Joachim gained acclaim in the West in the 16th century. He was revered in the Eastern churches since the earliest times.

This Week in Jesuit History

·       Jul 22, 1679. The martyrdom at Cardiff, Wales, of St Phillip Evans.
·       Jul 23, 1553. At Palermo, the parish priests expressed to Fr. Paul Achilles, rector of the college, indignation that more than 400 persons had received Holy Communion in the Society's church, rather than in their parish churches.
·       Jul 24, 1805. In Maryland, Fr. Robert Molyneux was appointed the first superior by Father General Gruber.
·       Jul 25, 1581. In the house of the Earl of Leicester in London, an interview occurred between Queen Elizabeth and Edmund Campion. The Queen could scarcely have recognized the worn and broken person before her as the same brilliant scholar who had addressed here at Oxford 15 years before.
·       Jul 26, 1872. At Rome, the greater part of the Professed House of the Gesu was seized and appropriated by the Piedmontese government.
·       Jul 27, 1609. Pope Paul V beatifies Ignatius.
·       Jul 28, 1564. In a consistory held before twenty-four Cardinals, Pope Paul IV announced his intention of entrusting the Roman Seminary to the Society.