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Friday, August 31, 2018

Literature: Bernard Pomerance, The Elephant Man

To live with his physical hideousness, incapacitating deformities and unremitting pain is trial enough, but to be exposed to the cruelly lacerating expressions of horror and disgust by all who behold him -- is even more difficult to bear. [...] For in order to survive, Merrick forces himself to suffer these humiliations, I repeat, humiliations, in order to survive, thus he exposes himself to crowds who pay to gape and yawp at this freak of nature, the Elephant Man.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Spirituality: James Gilligan

It may be somewhat paradoxical to refer to shame as a 'feeling,' for while shame is initially painful, constant shaming leads to a deadening of feeling. Shame, like cold, is, in essence, the absence of warmth. And when it reaches overwhelming intensity, shame is experienced, like cold, as a feeling of numbness and deadness. [In Dante's Inferno] the lowest circle of hell was a region not of flames, but of ice---absolute coldness.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Twenty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

The Twenty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

September 2, 2018
Joshua 24:1-2, 15-18; Psalm 34; Ephesians 5:21-32; John 6:60-69

For the past two weeks, I have been a juror sitting on criminal trial and I learned the most important function of a juror. The juror’s responsibility is to listen, to hear. A case is called a hearing because the jury has to hear the prosecutor and the defense make a case. A juror cannot ask a question. A juror cannot investigate or make preliminary conclusions or judgments. A juror is expected to be fed by the lawyers all the details of a case in which one has to render a verdict. Only when a juror has listened deeply and the evidence of the case is detailed, then a decision can be made.

I bring up my experience as a juror because of what I find in the readings today. Moses said to the people: Listen, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees. Moses knows the meaningful listening is the key to keeping the commandments. In the Gospel, Jesus is pressed by the Pharisees about a case, much like a prosecutor will do in a trial. Just as Moses summoned the people together, Jesus does the same. He calls them all together and says, “Hear me, all of you, and understand.” And he continues to say that sin and evil come from within the human heart that is not settled, a heart that does not hear, a heart that does not strive to understand. In effect, Jesus calls us to listen more deeply than we usually do.

Love is born from understanding and understanding comes from listening. We all want to be understood, but when we are not mindful of our own suffering or if we have not listened to our own selves, we are anxious for others to understand us right away. Talking first does not satisfy what we want. Deep listening needs to come first. Becoming aware of the presence of suffering that we and others carry will move us to mutual understanding that is satisfying. Deep listening moves us to become more compassionate people.

We can acquire and practice deep listening skills through various techniques, like mindful breathing, deciding when to respond to someone’s pain, and setting an attitude that seeks to help a person suffer less. When we learn to respond to others with this mindset, we can help the other person suffer less because compassion grows within us.

Listening deeply and compassionately helps us understand another person better, and love is nourished because we understand that person’s suffering. Listening to suffering is an essential ingredient for generating understanding and love. Happiness is the capacity to understand and to love. Notice when we are not happy. It is because we suffer a lot and we want someone to know our situation.

Moses wants people to do more than listen. He wants them to hear God’s commands and statutes because it is for their happiness because they are suffering. He wants the people to know that God listens deeply to them and wants to respond. Jesus replies in the same way. Listen and understand. If our hearts are peaceful and satisfied, we will not develop an attitude that leads to evil. No, listen to God’s commandments and your hearts will be settled. God can respond to your suffering and you will have a community of friends who want to know how you suffer and offer you genuine compassion because we are a community of sufferers. Pausing, listening, mindful hearing will lead us to hold your suffering with compassion, which leads to an increase of our love for you, which brings you and us great happiness.

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (1 Corinthians 2) I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.

Tuesday: (1 Corinthians 2) The Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God. Among men, who knows what pertains to the man except his spirit that is within? Similarly, no one knows what pertains to God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand the things freely given us by God.

Wednesday: (1 Corinthians 3) While there is jealousy and rivalry among you, are you not of the flesh, and walking according to the manner of man? Whenever someone says, "I belong to Paul," and another, "I belong to Apollos," are you not merely men?

Thursday: (1 Corinthians 3) For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God. So let no one boast about human beings, for everything belongs to you, Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or the present or the future: all belong to you, and you to Christ, and Christ to God.

Friday (1 Corinthians 4) Therefore, do not make any judgment before the appointed time, until the Lord comes, for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts, and then everyone will receive praise from God.

Saturday (Micah 5) You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah, too small to be among the clans of Judah, From you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel.

Monday: (Luke 4) He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

Tuesday: (Luke 4) He taught them on the sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?

Wednesday (Luke 4) At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him. He laid his hands on each of them and cured them. And demons also came out from many, shouting, "You are the Son of God." But he rebuked them and did not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Christ.

Thursday (Luke 5) Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch."

Friday (Luke 5) "The disciples of John the Baptist fast often and offer prayers, and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same; but yours eat and drink." Jesus answered them, "Can you make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?

Saturday (Matthew 1) The Book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.

Saints of the Week

September 3: Gregory the Great (540-604) was the chief magistrate in Rome and resigned to become a monk. He was the papal ambassador to Constantinople, abbot, and pope. His charity and fair justice won the hearts of many. He protected Jews and synthesized Christian wisdom. He described the duties of bishops and promoted beautiful liturgies that often incorporated chants the bear his name.

September 7: Stephen Pongracz (priest), Melchior Grodziecki (priest), and Mark Krizevcanin (canon) of the Society of Jesus were martyred in 1619 when they would not deny their faith in Slovakia. They were chaplains to Hungarian Catholic troops, which raised the ire of Calvinists who opposed the Emperor. They were brutally murdered through a lengthy process that most Calvinists and Protestants opposed.

September 8: The Birth of Mary was originally (like all good feasts) celebrated first in the Eastern Church. The Roman church began its devotion in the fifth century. Her birth celebrates her role as the mother of Jesus. Some traditions have her born in Nazareth while others say she hails from outside of Jerusalem.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Sep 2, 1792. In Paris, ten ex-Jesuits were massacred for refusing to take the Constitutional oath. Also in Paris seven other fathers were put to death by the Republicans, among them Frs. Peter and Robert Guerin du Rocher.
·      Sep 3, 1566. Queen Elizabeth visited Oxford and heard the 26-year-old Edmund Campion speak. He was to meet her again as a prisoner, brought to hear her offer of honors or death.
·      Sep 4, 1760. At Para, Brazil, 150 men of the Society were shipped as prisoners, reaching Lisbon on December 2. They were at once exiled to Italy and landed at Civita Vecchia on January 17, 1761.
·      Sep 5, 1758. The French Parliament issued a decree condemning Fr. Busembaum's Medulla Theologiae Moralis.
·      Sep 6, 1666. The Great Fire of London broke out on this date. There is not much the Jesuits have not been blamed for, and this was no exception. It was said to be the work of Papists and Jesuits. King Charles II banished all the fathers from England.
·      Sep 7, 1773. King Louis XV wrote to Clement XIV, expressing his heartfelt joy at the suppression of the Society.
·      Sep 8, 1600. Fr. Matteo Ricci set out on his journey to Peking (Beijing). He experienced enormous difficulties in reaching the royal city, being stopped on his way by one of the powerful mandarins.

Vigésimo segundo domingo del tiempo ordinario

Vigésimo segundo domingo del tiempo ordinario
2 de septiembre de 2018
Josué 24: 1-2, 15-18; Salmo 34; Efesios 5: 21-32; Juan 6: 60-69

Durante las últimas dos semanas, he sido jurado en un juicio penal y aprendí la función más importante de un jurado. La responsabilidad del jurado es escuchar, escuchar. Un caso se llama audiencia porque el jurado debe escuchar al fiscal y la defensa presentar un caso. Un jurado no puede hacer una pregunta. Un miembro del jurado no puede investigar ni emitir conclusiones o juicios preliminares. Se espera que un jurado sea alimentado por los abogados con todos los detalles de un caso en el que se debe emitir un veredicto. Solo cuando un miembro del jurado ha escuchado profundamente y la evidencia del caso está detallada, entonces se puede tomar una decisión.

Traigo a colación mi experiencia como jurado por lo que encuentro en las lecturas de hoy. Moisés dijo a la gente: Oye, Israel, escucha los estatutos y decretos. Moisés sabe que la escucha significativa es la clave para guardar los mandamientos. En el Evangelio, Jesús es presionado por los fariseos sobre un caso, al igual que un fiscal lo hará en un juicio. Así como Moisés convocó a la gente, Jesús hace lo mismo. Él los llama a todos y dice: "Escúchenme, todos ustedes, y comprendan". Y continúa diciendo que el pecado y el mal provienen del corazón humano que no está establecido, un corazón que no oye, un corazón que no se esfuerza por entender En efecto, Jesús nos llama a escuchar más profundamente de lo que solemos hacer.

El amor nace del entendimiento y la comprensión proviene de la escucha. Todos queremos ser entendidos, pero cuando no somos conscientes de nuestro propio sufrimiento o si no nos hemos escuchado a nosotros mismos, estamos ansiosos por que los demás nos entiendan de inmediato. Hablar primero no satisface lo que queremos. La escucha profunda debe ser lo primero. Tomar conciencia de la presencia del sufrimiento que nosotros y otros llevamos nos moverá a un entendimiento mutuo que es satisfactorio. Escuchar profundamente nos mueve a ser personas más compasivas.

Podemos adquirir y practicar habilidades de escucha profunda a través de diversas técnicas, como la respiración consciente, decidir cuándo responder al dolor de alguien y establecer una actitud que busque ayudar a una persona a sufrir menos. Cuando aprendemos a responder a los demás con esta mentalidad, podemos ayudar a la otra persona a sufrir menos porque la compasión crece dentro de nosotros.

Escuchar profundamente y con compasión nos ayuda a entender mejor a otra persona, y el amor se nutre porque entendemos el sufrimiento de esa persona. Escuchar el sufrimiento es un ingrediente esencial para generar comprensión y amor. La felicidad es la capacidad de comprender y amar. Fíjate cuando no estamos felices. Es porque sufrimos mucho y queremos que alguien conozca nuestra situación.

Moisés quiere que la gente haga más que escuchar. Él quiere que escuchen los mandamientos y los estatutos de Dios porque es para su felicidad porque están sufriendo. Él quiere que la gente sepa que Dios los escucha profundamente y quiere responder. Jesús responde de la misma manera. Escucha y entiende. Si nuestros corazones están pacíficos y satisfechos, no desarrollaremos una actitud que lleve al mal. No, escucha los mandamientos de Dios y tus corazones serán resueltos. Dios puede responder a su sufrimiento y tendrá una comunidad de amigos que quiere saber cómo sufre y ofrecerle compasión genuina porque somos una comunidad de víctimas. Pausar, escuchar, escuchar atentamente nos llevará a mantener su sufrimiento con compasión, lo que lleva a un aumento de nuestro amor por usted, lo que nos brinda a usted y a nosotros una gran felicidad.

Escritura para la misa diaria

Primera lectura:
Lunes: (1 Corintios 2) Vine a ustedes en debilidad, temor y mucho temblor, y mi mensaje y mi proclamación no fueron con palabras persuasivas de sabiduría, sino con una demostración de espíritu y poder, para que su fe no repose en la sabiduría humana, pero en el poder de Dios.

Martes: (1 Corintios 2) El Espíritu escudriña todo, incluso las profundidades de Dios. Entre los hombres, ¿quién sabe qué le pertenece al hombre, excepto su espíritu que está dentro? Del mismo modo, nadie sabe lo que le pertenece a Dios, excepto el Espíritu de Dios. No hemos recibido el espíritu del mundo, sino el Espíritu que es de Dios, para que podamos entender las cosas que Dios nos dio gratuitamente.

Miércoles: (1 Corintios 3) Mientras hay celos y rivalidades entre ustedes, ¿no son de la carne y andan según la manera del hombre? Cada vez que alguien dice, "Yo le pertenezco a Pablo", y otro, "Yo pertenezco a Apolos", ¿no son meramente hombres?

Jueves: (1 Corintios 3) Porque la sabiduría de este mundo es necedad a los ojos de Dios. Así que nadie se jacte de los seres humanos, porque todo le pertenece a usted, a Pablo, Apolos o Cefas, al mundo, a la vida o a la muerte, al presente o al futuro: todos le pertenecen a usted y usted a Cristo y Cristo a Dios. .

Viernes (1 Corintios 4) Por lo tanto, no hagan ningún juicio antes del tiempo señalado, hasta que el Señor venga, porque él sacará a la luz lo que está escondido en la oscuridad y manifestará los motivos de nuestros corazones

Sábado (Miqueas 5) Tú, Belén-Efrata, pequeña para estar entre los clanes de Judá, de ti me saldrá el que va a reinar en Israel.

Lunes: (Lucas 4) Se levantó para leer y se le entregó un rollo del profeta Isaías.
Desenrolló el rollo y encontró el pasaje donde estaba escrito: El Espíritu del Señor está sobre mí, porque me ha ungido para traer buenas nuevas a los pobres. Él me ha enviado a proclamar la libertad a los cautivos y la recuperación de la vista para los ciegos, para dejar en libertad a los oprimidos y para proclamar un año aceptable para el Señor.

Martes: (Lucas 4) Él les enseñó en el día de reposo, y se asombraron de su enseñanza porque él habló con autoridad. En la sinagoga había un hombre con espíritu de demonio inmundo, y clamó a gran voz: "¿Qué tienes que ver con nosotros, Jesús de Nazaret? ¿Has venido a destruirnos?

Miércoles (Lucas 4) Al atardecer, todos los que tenían personas enfermas con diversas enfermedades los trajeron a él. Puso sus manos sobre cada uno de ellos y los curó. Y los demonios también salieron de muchos gritando: "Tú eres el Hijo de Dios". Pero él los reprendió y no les permitió hablar porque sabían que él era el Cristo.

Jueves (Lucas 5) Al entrar en uno de los barcos, el que pertenece a Simón, le pidió que se alejara un poco de la costa. Luego se sentó y enseñó a la multitud desde el bote. Cuando terminó de hablar, le dijo a Simón: "Baja a aguas profundas y baja tus redes para pescar".

Viernes (Lucas 5) "Los discípulos de Juan el Bautista ayunan a menudo y ofrecen oraciones, y los discípulos de los fariseos hacen lo mismo, pero los suyos comen y beben". Jesús les respondió: "¿Puedes hacer que los invitados a la boda ayunen mientras el novio está con ellos?

Sábado (Mateo 1) El Libro de la genealogía de Jesucristo, el hijo de David, el hijo de Abraham. Abraham fue el padre de Isaac, Isaac el padre de Jacob, Jacob el padre de Judá y sus hermanos.

Santos de la semana

3 de septiembre: Gregorio Magno (540-604) fue el principal magistrado en Roma y renunció para convertirse en monje. Fue el embajador papal en Constantinopla, abad y papa. Su caridad y justicia justa ganaron los corazones de muchos. Él protegió a los judíos y sintetizó la sabiduría cristiana. Describió los deberes de los obispos y promovió bellas liturgias que a menudo incorporaban cantos para llevar su nombre.

7 de septiembre: Stephen Pongracz (sacerdote), Melchior Grodziecki (sacerdote) y Mark Krizevcanin (canónigo) de la Compañía de Jesús fueron martirizados en 1619 cuando no negaron su fe en Eslovaquia. Eran capellanes de las tropas católicas húngaras, lo que provocó la ira de los calvinistas que se oponían al emperador. Fueron brutalmente asesinados a través de un largo proceso al que la mayoría de los calvinistas y protestantes se opusieron.

8 de septiembre: El nacimiento de María fue originalmente (como todas las buenas fiestas) celebrado por primera vez en la Iglesia Oriental. La iglesia romana comenzó su devoción en el siglo quinto. Su nacimiento celebra su papel como la madre de Jesús. Algunas tradiciones la hacen nacer en Nazaret, mientras que otras dicen que proviene de fuera de Jerusalén.

Esta semana en la historia de los jesuitas

• 2 de septiembre de 1792. En París, diez ex jesuitas fueron masacrados por negarse a tomar el juramento constitucional. También en París otros siete padres fueron ejecutados por los republicanos, entre ellos los PP. Peter y Robert Guerin du Rocher.
• 3 de septiembre de 1566. La Reina Elizabeth visitó Oxford y escuchó hablar a Edmund Campion, de 26 años. Debía verla de nuevo como prisionero, llevarla a escuchar su oferta de honores o muerte.
• 4 de septiembre de 1760. En Pará, Brasil, 150 hombres de la Sociedad fueron enviados como prisioneros, llegando a Lisboa el 2 de diciembre. Fueron desterrados inmediatamente a Italia y desembarcaron en Civita Vecchia el 17 de enero de 1761.
• 5 de septiembre de 1758. El Parlamento francés emitió un decreto condenando al padre. Medulla Theologiae Moralis de Busembaum.
• 6 de septiembre de 1666. El Gran Incendio de Londres estalló en esta fecha. No hay mucho que los jesuitas no hayan sido culpados, y esta no fue una excepción. Se decía que era obra de papistas y jesuitas. El rey Carlos II desterró a todos los padres de Inglaterra.
• 7 de septiembre de 1773. El rey Luis XV escribió a Clemente XIV, expresando su sincera alegría por la supresión de la Sociedad.
• 8 de septiembre de 1600. El p. Matteo Ricci emprendió su viaje a Pekín (Pekín). Experimentó enormes dificultades para llegar a la ciudad real, siendo detenido por uno de los poderosos mandarines.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Prayer: Bernard of Clairvaux, On the Song of Songs I

Many of those who are humiliated are not humble. Some react to humiliation with anger, others with patience, and others with freedom. The first are culpable, the next harmless, the last just.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Spirituality: J.K. Rowling, The Casual Vacancy

The mistake ninety-nine percent of humanity made, as far as Fats could see, were being ashamed of what they were, lying about it, trying to be somebody else. Honesty was Fats' currency, his weapon and defense. It frightened people when you were honest; it shocked them. Other people, Fats had discovered, were mired in embarrassment and pretense, terrified that their truths might leak out, but Fats was attracted by rawness, by everything that was ugly but honest, by the dirty things about which the likes of his father felt humiliated and disgusted. Fats thought a lot about messiahs and pariahs; about men labeled mad or criminal; noble misfits shunned by the sleepy masses.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Spirituality: Paulo Coelho, Manuscript Found in Accra

Defeat is for the valiant. Only they will know the honour of losing and the joy of winning
I am not here to tell you that defeat is a part of life: we all know that. Only the defeated know Love. 

Because it is in the realm of love that we fight our first battles – and generally lose.
I am here to tell you that there are people who have never been defeated.
They are the ones who never fought.

They managed to avoid scars, humiliations, feelings of helplessness, as well as those moments when even warriors doubt the existence of God.’

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Friday, August 24, 2018

Prayer: C.S. Lewis

To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time

The Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time

August 26, 2018
Joshua 24:1-2, 15-18; Psalm 34; Ephesians 5:21-32; John 6:60-69

Many of you who are sitting in the pews at church this week have already answered the question that Jesus asked, “Do you also want to leave?” Your presence here means that you have said something like, “Lord, to whom shall we go. You have the words of eternal life.” It doesn’t mean that you haven’t thought about leaving because it is entirely understandable to do so.

The news about the evil actions in our church is dispiriting. It angers. It weakens. It paralyzes. It disgusts. It kicks up a range of emotions that are difficult to hold in balance when we walk into church to worship. Many people will walk away because fundamental trust is eroded. Few people know what to say to address the problems and it just does not seem to be a situation that anyone can control.

While Boston was the epicenter of the abuse news in the early 2000’s, the crisis has affected every diocese in the world and the extent of it is just becoming realized. Additional stories will flood the news stations and social media and it will be difficult to withstand the reach of these stories. People who have suffered before will suffer again and those who continued to trust the church may feel betrayed once more. No one has any words who can relieve this suffering.

What I do know about suffering is that the evil one tries to isolate us when we need to come together. Suffering becomes worse when we withdraw and keep our stories and thoughts inside. We need companions on the journey who will listen, reflect, refrain from judging, refrain from giving advice, and simply believe the stories we hear. We need to go against our impulses by reaching out to others who will simply be with us in solidarity.

I have come to realize something else about suffering. Even though we may not experience it in the moment, Christ is present within the suffering. It might take us years to discover it, but we will know of Christ’s presence at some point when we repeatedly ask the questions, “Where are you, O Christ, when I go through this trauma?” I have often found Christ broken, weeping, powerless as he is suspended on his cross and he is attentive to our suffering. He is there in all his vulnerabilities and he yearns for a healed world.

I can’t leave the church because I can’t leave the People of God and I can’t leave Jesus Christ. Where else would I be? He and I have been through too much together, and I can’t leave my friend. With him, and with many other pilgrims, we will suffer together, and we will choose to stay in the relationship. Of course, I want a changed church, and I have to let the Spirit of God continue the divine work of rebuilding it, but I want to be a part of the restoration. There’s only one person I know who has the words of eternal life, and I’m choosing to remain by his side.

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (2 Thessalonians 1) We ought to thank God always for you because your faith flourishes ever more, and the love of every one of you for one another grows ever greater.

Tuesday: (2 Thessalonians 2) We ask you, not to be shaken out of your minds suddenly,
or to be alarmed either by a "spirit," or by an oral statement, or by a letter allegedly from us
to the effect that the day of the Lord is at hand.

Wednesday: (2 Thessalonians 3) For you know how one must imitate us. For we did not act in a disorderly way among you, nor did we eat food received free from anyone. On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked, so as not to burden any of you.

Thursday: (1 Corinthians 1) I give thanks to my God always on your account for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus, that in him you were enriched in every way, with all discourse and all knowledge, as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you, so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Friday (1 Corinthians 1) Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the Gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning. The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Saturday (1 Corinthians 1) Consider your own calling. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong,

Monday: (Matthew 23) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.

Tuesday: (Matthew 23) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. But these you should have done, without neglecting the others.

Wednesday (Mark 6) Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married. John had said to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.

Thursday (Matthew 24) Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into.

Friday (Matthew 25) The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. 

Saturday (Matthew 25) His master said to him in reply, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.

Saints of the Week

August 27: Monica (332-387) was born a Christian in North Africa and was married to a non-Christian, Patricius, with whom she had three children, the most famous being Augustine. Her husband became a Christian at her urging and she prayed for Augustine's conversion as well from his newly adopted Manichaeism. Monica met Augustine in Milan where he was baptized by Bishop Ambrose. She died on the return trip as her work was complete.

August 28: Augustine, bishop and doctor (354-430),  was the author of his Confessions, his spiritual autobiography, and The City of God, which described the life of faith in relation to the life of the temporal world. Many other writings, sermons, and treatises earned him the title Doctor of the church. In his formative years, he followed Mani, a Persian prophet who tried to explain the problem of evil in the world. His mother’s prayers and Ambrose’s preaching helped him convert to Christianity. Baptized in 387, Monica died a year later. He was ordained and five years later named bishop of Hippo and defended the church against three major heresies: Manichaeism, Donatism, and Pelagianism.

August 29: The Martyrdom of John the Baptist recalls the sad events of John's beheading by Herod the tetrarch when John called him out for his incestuous and adulterous marriage to Herodias, who was his niece and brother's wife. At a birthday party, Herodias' daughter Salome danced well earning the favor of Herod who told her he would give her almost anything she wanted.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Aug. 26, 1562: The return of Fr. Diego Laynez from France to Trent, the Fathers of the Council desiring to hear him speak on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
·      Aug. 27, 1679: The martyrdom at Usk, England, of St. David Lewis, apostle to the poor in his native Wales for three decades before he was caught and hanged.
·      Aug. 28, 1628: The martyrdom in Lancashire, England, of St. Edmund Arrowsmith.
·      Aug. 29, 1541: At Rome the death of Fr. John Codure, a Savoyard, one of the first 10 companions of St. Ignatius.
·      Aug. 30, 1556: On the banks of the St. Lawrence River, the Iroquois mortally wounded Fr. Leonard Garreau, a young missionary.
·      Aug. 31, 1581: In St. John's Chapel within the Tower of London, a religious discussion took place between St. Edmund Campion, suffering from recent torture, and some Protestant ministers.
·      Sep 1, 1907. The Buffalo Mission was dissolved, and its members were sent to the New York and Missouri Provinces and the California Mission.