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Saturday, August 31, 2019

Literature: Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

“Weeks passed, and the little Rabbit grew very old and shabby, but the Boy loved him just as much. He loved him so hard that he loved all his whiskers off, and the pink lining to his ears turned grey, and his brown spots faded. He even began to lose his shape, and he scarcely looked like a rabbit any more, except to the Boy. To him he was always beautiful, and that was all that the little Rabbit cared about. He didn't mind how he looked to other people, because the nursery magic had made him Real, and when you are Real shabbiness doesn't matter.”

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Literature: "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day... "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Literature: Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

“...because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.” 

Prayer: Augustine

Late have I loved you, Beauty so ancient and so new, late have I loved you!
Lo, you were within,
but I outside, seeking there for you,
and upon the shapely things you have made
I rushed headlong – I, misshapen.
You were with me, but I was not with you.
They held me back far from you,
those things which would have no being,
were they not in you.
You called, shouted, broke through my deafness;
you flared, blazed, banished my blindness;
you lavished your fragrance, I gasped; and now I pant for you;
I tasted you, and now I hunger and thirst;
you touched me, and I burned for your peace.”

Good Manners Bring about Honor: The Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Good Manners Bring about Honor
The Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
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September 1, 2019
Sirach 3:17-20, 28-29; Psalm 68; Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24; Luke 14:7-14

These readings stress the virtues of having an attitude of humility, and we can all agree that it is a laudable counter-cultural aspiration, but I think a real issue here is how we handle the honor-shame situations we encounter in daily life. While Jesus describes a dinner party in which a guest is publicly embarrassed, he wants to make sure that we do not get an inflated view of our worth and live out of our perceived honor because it will come crashing down. We cannot make humility a goal; it has to be a result of our actions.

Rather than being concerned about our status and the avoidance of embarrassing situations, it is wise to consider how we treat others because we want to leave the person with a feeling of being honored, even if they act badly. In every situation, whether it is a positive interaction or a crisis, it is best if we end the conversation asking ourselves, “How can I honor you?” Something good happens to us when we honor someone and treat them with politeness.

We live in an honor-shame society. When I was pastor in Amman, Jordan, a friend told me a story about a car accident at an intersection. My friend was at a stop sign getting ready to enter the road when a car lunged forward erratically and hit his car. It was very easy to determine who hit whom, but when my friend got out of the car, he called the man a “hamar,” which means donkey, which is an insult. The police came, investigated, and fined my friend, who had to pay for repairs to the other man’s car. Why? His words shamed the other man, who had his honor taken away.

We do the same in our society that wants to sue the other person for the most minor slight. After all, we feel disrespected and we want the other person to pay the price. Friends, this is not the way forward. Many people are acting out of their need to be respected and valued, and if people are seeking it, they are not giving it. Most people live out of their unmet needs. Unless they reconcile their needs, they are going to act out of them and it will be messy. Everyone will be negatively affected by these unmet needs.

What are we to do? Practice good social behaviors. Slow down. If we want to be respected, we need to treat others with respect so they feel honored. Forget about judging whether they deserve it or not. This is not about them; it is about you. If you want to be seen, be heard, and be known, then you have to see, to hear, and to know the other person. Watch the person as you ask them this question in normal everyday situations: “How can I honor you?” A healthy person will be effusive about their affection back to you. Also, notice what happens to a person to whom you ask this question during a conflict. It diffuses the person’s anger and they respond with clarity about what they need. Once we know what they need, we are able to help them settle their anxieties and get them back on track. They then treat us better because we did not combat them, but we treated them politely.

Good manners will correct many of the day’s bumps and bruises. People become settled when you open the door for them, smile, say hello, and look them in the eye. We realize many will remain clueless and perhaps were not taught good manners, and we cannot assess the other’s response in a singular instance, but our habit of extending good manners will become noticed. Others will see we treat them and everyone we meet well, and they will return it in kind. We honor others when we practice good behavior, and in turn we receive their honor, and in the end, everyone wins.

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (1 Thessalonians 4) We do not want you to be unaware, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

Tuesday: (1 Thessalonians 5) Concerning times and seasons, you have no need for anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night.

Wednesday: (Colossians 1) We always give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all the holy ones because of the hope reserved for you in heaven.

Thursday: (Colossians 1) From the day we heard about you, we do not cease praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God's will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.

Friday (Colossians 1) Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers

Saturday (Colossians 1) You once were alienated and hostile in mind because of evil deeds; God has now reconciled you in the fleshly Body of Christ through his death, to present you holy, without blemish, and irreproachable before him.

Monday: (Luke 4) 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) Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee. 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?

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) He saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore.

Friday (Luke 5) The scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, "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."

Saturday (Luke 6) While Jesus was going through a field of grain on a sabbath, his disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating them. Some Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?”

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 matyred 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.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Sep 1, 1907. The Buffalo Mission was dissolved, and its members were sent to the New York and Missouri Provinces and the California Mission.
·      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.

Los buenos modales producen honor: El vigésimo segundo domingo del tiempo ordinario

Los buenos modales producen honor
El vigésimo segundo domingo del tiempo ordinario
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1 de septiembre de 2019
Sirach 3: 17-20, 28-29; Salmo 68; Hebreos 12: 18-19, 22-24; Lucas 14: 7-14

Estas lecturas enfatizan, pero creo que un problema real aquí es cómo manejar las situaciones de honor y vergüenza que encontramos en la vida diaria. Mientras Jesús describe una cena en la que está avergonzado, quiere asegurarse de que no tengamos una visión inflada. No podemos hacer de la humildad una meta; Tiene que ser el resultado de nuestras acciones.

En lugar de preocuparnos por nosotros, queremos dejarte con un sentimiento de honor, incluso si actúan mal. En cualquier situación, si se trata de una interacción positiva o crisis, "¿cómo puedo honrarte?"

Vivimos en una sociedad de honor y vergüenza. Cuando era pastor en Amman, Jordan, contó una historia sobre un accidente automovilístico en una intersección. Mi auto era una señal de alto cuando estaba esperando mi auto. Fue muy fácil determinar a quién golpear a quién, pero cuando mi amigo salió del auto, llamó al hombre para "hamar", que significa burro, lo cual es un insulto. La policía vino, investigó y terminó con mi amigo, que tuvo que pagar las reparaciones del auto del otro hombre. ¿Por qué? Sus palabras avergonzaron al otro hombre, a quien le quitaron su honor.

Necesitamos saber el camino hacia el otro. Después de todo, nos sentimos irrespetados y queremos que la otra persona pague el precio. Amigos, este no es el camino a seguir. Muchas personas están actuando por necesidad de ser respetados, y si lo están buscando, no lo están dando. La mayoría de las personas vive de sus necesidades insatisfechas. A menos que reconcilien sus necesidades, van a actuar fuera de ellas y serán desordenadas. Todos se verán afectados negativamente por estas necesidades insatisfechas.

Que debemos hacer Practica buenos comportamientos sociales. Más despacio Si queremos ser respetados, debemos tratar a los demás con respeto y se sienten honrados. Olvídate de juzgar si se lo merecen o no. Esto no se trata de ellos; Se trata de ti. Si quieres que te vean, que te escuchen, que sepas, que luego sepas, escuchar y conocer a la otra persona. Observe a la persona mientras hace esta pregunta en situaciones cotidianas normales: "¿Cómo puedo honrarlo?" Además, esta pregunta durante un conflicto. Difunde la ira de la persona y responde con claridad sobre lo que necesita. Una vez que sepamos lo que necesitan, podemos ayudarlos a establecer sus ansiedades y volver a encarrilarlos. Luego nos tratan mejor porque no los combatimos, pero los tratamos cortésmente.

Los buenos modales corregirán muchos de los golpes y moretones del día. Las personas se acomodan cuando les abre la puerta, sonríe, saluda y los mira a los ojos. Nuestro hábito de extender los buenos modales se notará. Te veremos bien y todos te conoceremos bien, y lo devolverán en especie. Honramos a los demás cuando practicamos el buen comportamiento, y a su vez recibimos su honor, y al final, todos ganan.

Escritura para la misa diaria

Primera lectura:
Lunes: (1 Tesalonicenses 4) Sé que te puede gustar, el resto, que no tienen esperanza. Porque si creemos que Jesús murió y resucitó, sé demasiado que Dios, a través de Jesús, trae consigo a los que se han quedado dormidos.

Martes: (1 Tesalonicenses 5) Con respecto a los tiempos y las estaciones, no es necesario que te escriban. Porque ustedes mismos saben que al día del Señor le gustará un ladrón en la noche.

Miércoles: (Colosenses 1) Siempre damos gracias a Dios, el Padre de Jesucristo, cuando oramos por ti, porque hemos escuchado de tu fe en Cristo Jesús y del amor que tienes por los santos debido a La esperanza reservada para ti en el cielo.

Jueves: (Colosenses 1) Desde el día en que escuchamos sobre usted, no dejamos de orar por usted y de pedirle que se llene del conocimiento de la voluntad de Dios a través de toda la sabiduría espiritual y el entendimiento para caminar de una manera digna del Señor.

Viernes (Colosenses 1) Cristo Jesús es la imagen del Dios invisible, el primogénito de toda la creación. Porque en él fueron creadas todas las cosas en el cielo y en la tierra, lo visible y lo invisible, ya sean tronos, dominios, principados o poderes.

Sábado (Colosenses 1) Una vez fuiste enajenado y hostil en tu mente debido a malas acciones; Dios ahora te ha reconciliado en el cuerpo carnal de Cristo a través de su muerte, para presentarte santo, sin mancha, e irreprochable ante él.

Lunes: (Lucas 4) El Espíritu del Señor está sobre mí, porque me ha ungido para traer buenas nuevas a los pobres. Me ha enviado a proclamar la libertad a los cautivos y a recuperar la vista de los ciegos, a liberar a los oprimidos y a proclamar un año aceptable para el Señor.

Martes: (Lucas 4) Jesús bajó a Capernaum, un pueblo de Galilea. Él les enseñó el día de reposo, y se asombraron de su enseñanza porque habló con autoridad. En la sinagoga había un hombre con el espíritu de un demonio inmundo, y gritó en voz alta: "¿Qué tienes que ver con nosotros, Jesús de Nazaret?

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

Jueves (Lucas 5) Vio dos botes allí junto al lago; los pescadores habían desembarcado y estaban lavando sus redes. Al entrar en uno de los botes, el que pertenecía a Simon, le pidió que saliera a poca distancia de la orilla.

Viernes (Lucas 5) Los escribas y fariseos le dijeron a Jesús: "Los discípulos de Juan el Bautista a menudo ayunan y ofrecen oraciones, y los discípulos de los fariseos hacen lo mismo; pero los suyos comen y beben".

Sábado (Lucas 6) Mientras Jesús atravesaba un campo de grano en un día de reposo, sus discípulos estaban recogiendo las espigas, frotándolas en sus manos y comiéndolas. Algunos fariseos dijeron: "¿Por qué haces lo que es ilegal en sábado?"

Santos de la semana

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

7 de septiembre: Stephen Pongracz (sacerdote), Melchior Grodziecki (sacerdote) y Mark Krizevcanin (canon) de la Compañía de Jesús fueron mutilados en 1619 cuando no negarían 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 se opusieron la mayoría de los calvinistas y protestantes.

Esta semana en la historia de los jesuitas

• 1 de septiembre de 1907. La Misión Buffalo se disolvió y sus miembros fueron enviados a las Provincias de Nueva York y Missouri y a la Misión de California.
• 2 de septiembre de 1792. En París, diez ex jesuitas fueron masacrados por negarse a prestar 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 Isabel visitó Oxford y escuchó hablar a Edmund Campion, de 26 años. Él iba a encontrarse con ella nuevamente como prisionera, traída 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. De inmediato fueron exiliados 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 p. Medulla Theologiae Moralis de Busembaum.
• 6 de septiembre de 1666. El Gran Incendio de Londres estalló en esta fecha. No hay mucho de lo que no se haya culpado a los jesuitas, y esta no fue la 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 le escribió a Clemente XIV, expresándole su sincera alegría por la represión de la Sociedad.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Spirituality: Oscar Romero

To each one of us Christ is saying....

    If you give your life out of love for others, as I give mine for all, you will reap a great harvest.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Prayer: Claude de la Columbiere, S.J.

My God, you watch over all who hope in you, and we can want for nothing when we rely upon you in all things. My trust shall never leave me. My confidence in you fills me with hope. For you, my divine protector, alone have settled me in hope.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Friday, August 23, 2019

Prayer: Ignatius of Loyola

If one fears men much he will never do anything great for God: all that one does for God arouses persecution.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Prayer: Basil

In the very nature of every human being has been sown the seed of the ability to love. You and I ought to welcome this seed, cultivate it carefully, nourish it attentively, and foster its growth by going to the school of God's commandments with the help of God's grace.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Celebrating our Salvation: The Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Celebrating our Salvation
The Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time
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August 25, 2019
Isaiah 66:18-21; Psalm 117; Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13; Luke 13:22-30

We continue to read about the difficult sayings of Jesus when he tells us that few will make it to the Kingdom of Heaven and that the road ahead is narrow and hard. We have to safeguard against the vice of presumption, which means we have taken over the role of making ultimate judgments and we have declared ourselves as good and virtuous. Many of us no longer go to confession because (1.) we have judged our actions as good enough as there are more sinful people than us, and (2.) we have lost the sense of the complexity of sin. This role of judging is reserved for Jesus.  

I am aware that many preachers will talk about what we have to do to avoid eternal damnation and that we must strive harder in our moral life, but I’m not going to be one of those preachers. Throughout the years, we have heard too often about hell and how bad we are as people who are in need of conversion and grace. In my life, I’ve heard priests scold people from the pulpit and in public conversations and then instruct them to pray certain devotions so that they are changed from the person they really are into a better person of whom Jesus would be proud.

What do I want you to hear? I want you to know you are saved already. You are good just as you are. You have no need to worry about your salvation. For those of you I’ve met, I have experienced your goodness of the core of your soul. You are lovable. No wonder why the Lord loves you so much. This doesn’t mean we are perfect, haven’t made poor choices, yelled at the person in the car who cut us off, or we don’t have imperfections. We are lovable because of our imperfections.

I was at an art fair last week on Cape Cod and a craftsperson was showing me her work. She was rightly proud. She explained how a gap of air once crept into maple tree and created a complex pattern that was distinct from the rest of the wood when resin filled in the fissure. As the imperfection solidified, it became stronger than the natural wood around it and revealed a unique mark that made it desirable. She seeks out imperfect wood because of its character and beauty.

As I continued our conversation, I remarked that our souls are like that piece of wood and that we have to embrace our imperfections because they are what make us lovable. We are ashamed of our poor choices, failures, addictions, and that we were not made complete enough, but those marks, and the ways we fill them in, are the carriers of our grace. Those are the areas that become stronger and make us more beautiful to the Lord and to each other. Oftentimes, as we are too close to our imperfections, we may have to change our lenses to get a different, more complete view of who we are.

A TEDx talk by a former National Geographic photographer called, “Celebrate what’s right with the world” demonstrates how we are to find the good and the beauty in the moment rather than to see the missed opportunities and imperfections. The photographer demonstrates how we ae to actively discover God in all things, even those things that look like disappointments. We can uncover the glory of God if we learn how to change the lenses on our proverbial cameras and to be like an artist or scholar that views objects from distinct angles. Likewise, we have to view ourselves in the same way, and will recover the goodness and lovable-ness of our real selves, the selves we often hide from view because we haven’t yet embraced it or ourselves.

We can be assured of Isaiah’s message in the First Reading when the Lord says, “I come to gather the nations of every language; they will come and see my glory.” Rest assured that the Lord will gather you for his Kingdom. He will be searching for you because he wants you to be with Him. You are already accepted into his heart, and he wants to share all his possessions with you. This is the reason we give thanks. He keeps drawing you closer to Himself because you are very desirable, and you fill his heart with great wonder. Celebrate what is good and right, here and now, and you shall see the glory of the Lord, and God’s glory within you.

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (1 Thessalonians 1) We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father, knowing how you were chosen.

Tuesday: (1 Thessalonians 2) You yourselves know that our reception among you was not without effect. Rather, after we had suffered and been insolently treated in Philippi, we drew courage through our God to speak to you the Gospel of God with much struggle.

Wednesday: (1 Thessalonians 2) You recall our toil and drudgery. Working night and day in order not to burden any of you, we proclaimed to you the Gospel of God. You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers.

Thursday: (1 Thessalonians 3) What thanksgiving, then, can we render to God for you, for all the joy we feel on your account before our God? Night and day we pray beyond measure to see you in person and to remedy the deficiencies of your faith.

Friday (1 Thessalonians 4) We earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that, as you received from us how you should conduct yourselves to please God– and as you are conducting yourselves– you do so even more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

Saturday (1 Thessalonians 4) On the subject of fraternal charity you have no need for anyone to write you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another. Nevertheless we urge you, brothers and sisters, to progress even more, and to aspire to live a tranquil life, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your own hands, as we instructed you.

Monday: (Matthew 23) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.

Tuesday: (Matthew 23) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, 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 (Matthew 23) You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men's bones and every kind of filth. Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

Thursday (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.

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) A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one– to each according to his ability. Then he went away.

Saints of the Week

August 25: Louis of France (1214-1270) became king at age 12, but did not take over leadership until ten years later. He had eleven children with his wife, Marguerite, and his kingship reigned for 44 years. His rule ushered in a longstanding peace and prosperity for the nation.  He is held up as a paragon of medieval Christian kings.

August 25: Joseph Calasanz, priest (1556-1648), was a Spaniard who studied canon law and theology. He resigned his post as diocesan vicar-general to go to Rome to live as a pilgrim and serve the sick and the dying. He used his inheritance to set up free schools for poor families with children. He founded an order to administer the schools, but dissension and power struggles led to its dissolution.

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. 25, 1666: At Beijing, the death of Fr. John Adam Schall. By his profound knowledge of mathematics and astronomy, he attained such fame that the Emperor entrusted to him the reform of the Chinese calendar.
·      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.