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Monday, October 3, 2022

Poem: “October” by Robert Frost

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burndt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost –
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

Sunday, October 2, 2022

17th. Annual Agape Fundraiser

This is an organization from a high school friend, Lynne Guhmann Vogghu, who left the financial industry to set up an AIDS orphanage in India. She is holding a fundraiser in Brookline, MA on October 14th. I hope you consider a donation of any size.  

17th. Annual Agape Fundraiser



Agape AIDS Orphanage

Poem: “Song for Autumn” by Mary Oliver

Don’t you imagine the leaves dream now
how comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of the air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don’t you think
the trees, especially those with
mossy hollows, are beginning to look for

the birds that will come – six, a dozen – to sleep
inside their bodies? And don’t you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
stiffens and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its long blue shadows. The wind wags
its many tails. And in the evening
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Poem: “As Imperceptibly as Grief” by Emily Dickinson

As imperceptibly as Grief 
The Summer lapsed away – 
Too imperceptible at last 
To seem like Perfidy – 
 A Quietness distilled 
As Twilight long begun, 
Or Nature spending with herself 
Sequestered Afternoon 
– The Dusk drew earlier in 
– The morning foreign shone 
– A courteous, yet harrowing 
Grace, As Guest, that would be gone 
– And thus, without a Wing 
Or service of a Keel 
Our Summer made her light escape 
Into the Beautiful.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Photo: Yoko Ono's Wish Tree


 

Poem: "Today," by Mary Oliver

 Today I’m flying low and I’m

not saying a word.

I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.

The world goes on as it must,

the bees in the garden rumbling a little,

the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.

And so forth.

But I’m taking the day off.

Quiet as a feather.

I hardly move though really I’m traveling

a terrific distance.

Stillness, One of the doors

into the temple.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Photo: Gazebo at Jewish Temple


 

Poem: “Song at the Beginning of Autumn” by Elizabeth Jennings

Now watch this autumn that arrives 
In smells. All looks like summer still; 
Colours are quite unchanged, 
the air On green and white serenely thrives. 

Heavy the trees with growth and full 
The fields. Flowers flourish everywhere. 
 Proust who collected time within 
A child’s cake would understand 

The ambiguity of this – Summer still raging while a thin 
Column of smoke stirs from the land 
Proving that autumn gropes for us. 
 But every season is a kind Of rich nostalgia. 

We give names – Autumn and summer, winter, spring – 
 As though to unfasten from the mind 
Our moods and give them outward forms. 
We want the certain, solid thing. 

But I am carried back against 
My will into a childhood where 
Autumn is bonfires, marbles, smoke; 
I lean against my window fenced 
From evocations in the air. 
When I said autumn, autumn broke.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

The God who Accompanies: The Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

 The God who Accompanies

The Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 2, 2022

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Habakkuk 1:2-3, 2:2-4; Psalm 95; 2 Timothy 1:6-14; Luke 17:5-10

 

          The readings bring out two aspects of discipleship that are often asked of priest of spiritual directors. They are ‘how can I pray better’ and ‘how can I increase my faith.’ The prophet Habakkuk is frustrated because his prayers and that of the people are not being heard and they are experiencing a silent God. In the Gospel, Jesus tells his followers that their faith and trust in God’s power needs to be increased so they act in greater confidence. These are serious questions because they get to the heart of one’s relationship with God, and most people want to live in right relationship with God and want to learn of God’s personal will for themselves. At the heart of the question is whether we see God as interventionist or one who respects free will. 

 

          Scripture tells us that God intervened in human history many times. The Old Testament is replete with the people experiencing God’s care or abandonment of them, and often they attributed God’s lack of care and protection due to their turning away from God or because of bad behavior. We think similarly. We think that if I have done something morally bad or harmful then we deserve to be punished or to face fitting consequences. They often attributed God’s blessings to them because of their good behavior or God’s favor, and they received a mercy they did not deserve, but for which they were grateful. It caused them to be more faithful because if they remained in a healthy relationship with God, then God would remain present to them. 

 

          We have instances in the bible to show God’s intervention: Noah’s flood, the great Passover, miracles and healings, the incarnation, and the wonder working of Jesus of Nazareth. The Israelites, through their faith, attributed God’s wonder when they kept the laws and acted rightly. The early church experienced the power of the Spirit working through Jesus and especially through the presence of the risen Christ. In the history of the church, leaders have attributed miracles through the power of one’s faith and the intercession of saints and holy ones.

 

          Yet, for some, God does not intervene, and we are left wondering why, and then we begin to question whether God really does intervene in daily life at all these days. What we do experience, however, is that does dwell within us and accompanies as a characteristic of God. In the Old Testament, God always desired to dwell among the people; in the Passover that became our Eucharist, the people celebrated God’s abiding presence; in the New Testament, God abided by Jesus and was present to the people in the Kingdom on earth; in post-resurrection stories, God abides by the Emmaus disciples and the early church as they began to live out the kingdom of heaven on earth. A pervading characteristic of God has always been to dwell with and accompany us. Human history tells us that God stands with us in solidarity. 

 

Perhaps our personal and intercessory prayers begin to change if we pray to this God who abides and accompanies, rather than waiting for God to intervene. When we allow ourselves to experience the God who dwells within us with the God that dwells in all creation, we see ourselves aligned with the universe, and we come to know that God is intimately a part of us. God loves and does not forget or cease to love what God creates. We dwell within the mystery of God and an encounter with God teaches us to live with an ultimate or sacred responsibility to life. 

 

Scripture for Daily Mass

 

First Reading: 

 

Monday: (Galatians 1) I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you by the grace of Christ for a different gospel (not that there is another). But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the Gospel of Christ. 

 

Tuesday: (Galatians 1) You heard of my former way of life in Judaism, how I persecuted the Church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it, and progressed in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my race, since I was even more a zealot for my ancestral traditions.

 

Wednesday: (Galatians 2) After fourteen years I again went up to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. I went up in accord with a revelation, and I presented to them the Gospel that I preach to the Gentiles–but privately to those of repute–so that I might not be running, or have run, in vain.

 

Thursday: (Galatians 3) O stupid Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? I want to learn only this from you: did you receive the Spirit from works of the law, or from faith in what you heard? Are you so stupid? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh?

Friday (Galatians 3) Realize that it is those who have faith who are children of Abraham. Scripture, which saw in advance that God would justify the Gentiles by faith,
foretold the good news to Abraham, saying, Through you shall all the nations be blessed.

 

Saturday (Galatian 3) Before faith came, we were held in custody under law,
confined for the faith that was to be revealed. Consequently, the law was our disciplinarian for Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a disciplinarian.

Gospel: 

 

Monday: (Luke 10) He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.

 

Tuesday: (Luke 11) Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished,
one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples."

 

Wednesday (Luke 9) "Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head." And to another he said, "Follow me." 
But he replied, "Lord, let me go first and bury my father."

 

Thursday (Luke 11) Jesus said to his disciples: “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked.

 

Friday (Luke 11) When Jesus had driven out a demon, some of the crowd said: “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons.” Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.

 

Saturday (Luke 11) “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”

 

Saints of the Week

 

October 2: The Guardian Angels are messengers and intermediaries between God and humans. They help us in our struggle against evil and they serve as guardians, the feast we celebrate today. Raphael is one of the guardians written about in the Book of Tobit. A memorial was added to the Roman calendar In 1670 in thanksgiving for their assistance.

 

October 3: Francis Borgia, S.J. became a duke at age 33. When his wife died and his eight children were grown, he joined the Jesuits. His preaching brought many people to the church and when he served as Superior General, the Society increased dramatically in Spain and Portugal. He established many missions in the new territories. 

 

October 4: Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) was from the wealthy Bernardone family who sold silk cloths. After serving as soldier as a prisoner of war, Francis chose to serve God and the poor. He felt called to repair God's house, which he thought was a church. His father was angry that he used family money so he disinherited him. He began to preach repentance and recruited others to his way of life. His order is known for poverty, simplicity, humble service, and delighting in creation.

 

October 6: Bruno, priest (1030-1101), became a professor at Rheims and diocesan chancellor. He gave up his riches and began to live as a hermit with six other men. They had disdain for the rampant clerical corruption. The bishop of Grenoble gave them land in the Chartreuse mountains and they began the first Carthusian monastery. After serving in Rome for a few years, Bruno was given permission to found a second monastery in Calabria.

 

October 7: Our Lady of the Rosary recalls the events in 1571 of the Christian naval victory over the Turks at Lepanto near Corinth. Victory was credited to Mary as confraternities prayed the rosary for her intercession. 

 

This Week in Jesuit History

 

  • October 2, 1964. Fr. General Janssens suffered a stroke and died three days later. During his generalate, the Society grew from 53 to 85 provinces, and from 28,839 to 35,968 members. 
  • October 3, 1901. In France, religious persecution broke out afresh with the passing of Waldeck Rousseau's "Loi d'Association." 
  • October 4, 1820. In Rome, great troubles arose before and during the Twentieth General Congregation, caused by Fr. Petrucci's intrigues. He sought to wreck the Society and was deposed from his office as Vicar General, though supported by Cardinal della Genga (afterwards Leo XII). 
  • October 5, 1981. In a letter to Father General Arrupe, Pope John Paul II appointed Paolo Dezza as his personal delegate to govern the Society of Jesus, with Fr. Pittau as coadjutor. 
  • October 6, 1773. In London, Dr James Talbot, the Vicar Apostolic, promulgated the Brief of Suppression and sent copies to Maryland and Pennsylvania. 
  • October 7, 1819. The death of Charles Emmanuel IV. He had been King of Sardinia and Piedmont. He abdicated in 1802 and entered the Jesuits as a brother in 1815. He is buried in San Andrea Quirinale in Rome. 
  • October 8, 1871. The Great Chicago Fire. Most of the city was destroyed, but it missed Holy Family, the Jesuit parish, as the fire turned north thanks to the prayers of Fr. Arnold Damen. The fire lasted three days; 250 were killed.

El Dios que acompaña El Vigésimo Séptimo Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario

                                                      El Dios que acompaña

El Vigésimo Séptimo Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario

2 de octubre de 2022

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predmoresj@yahoo.com | 617.510.9673

Habacuc 1:2-3, 2:2-4; Salmo 95; 2 Timoteo 1:6-14; Lucas 17:5-10

 

Las lecturas resaltan dos aspectos del discipulado que a menudo se les pide a los sacerdotes o directores espirituales. Son '¿cómo puedo orar mejor?' y '¿cómo puedo aumentar mi fe?' El profeta Habacuc está frustrado porque sus oraciones y las del pueblo no están siendo escuchadas y están experimentando un Dios silencioso. En el Evangelio, Jesús les dice a sus seguidores que es necesario aumentar su fe y confianza en el poder de Dios para que actúen con mayor confianza. Estas son preguntas serias porque llegan al corazón de la relación de uno con Dios, y la mayoría de las personas quieren vivir en una relación correcta con Dios y quieren aprender acerca de la voluntad personal de Dios para ellos mismos. En el centro de la pregunta está si vemos a Dios como intervencionista o como alguien que respeta el libre albedrío.

 

          La Escritura nos dice que Dios intervino en la historia humana muchas veces. El Antiguo Testamento está repleto de personas que experimentan el cuidado o el abandono de Dios, ya menudo atribuyen la falta de cuidado y protección de Dios a su alejamiento de Dios oa su mal comportamiento. Pensamos de manera similar. Pensamos que si he hecho algo moralmente malo o dañino, entonces merecemos ser castigados o enfrentar las consecuencias apropiadas. A menudo les atribuían las bendiciones de Dios por su buen comportamiento o por el favor de Dios, y recibían una misericordia que no merecían, pero por la que estaban agradecidos. Los hizo ser más fieles porque si permanecían en una relación sana con Dios, entonces Dios permanecería presente para ellos.

 

          Tenemos instancias en la Biblia para mostrar la intervención de Dios: el diluvio de Noé, la gran Pascua, los milagros y las sanidades, la encarnación y las maravillas de Jesús de Nazaret. Los israelitas, a través de su fe, atribuyeron la maravilla de Dios cuando guardaron las leyes y actuaron correctamente. La iglesia primitiva experimentó el poder del Espíritu obrando a través de Jesús y especialmente a través de la presencia del Cristo resucitado. En la historia de la iglesia, los líderes han atribuido milagros por el poder de la fe y la intercesión de santos y santos.

 

          Sin embargo, para algunos, Dios no interviene, y nos preguntamos por qué, y luego comenzamos a cuestionarnos si Dios realmente interviene en la vida diaria en todos estos días. Lo que sí experimentamos, sin embargo, es que mora dentro de nosotros y nos acompaña como una característica de Dios. En el Antiguo Testamento, Dios siempre quiso habitar entre el pueblo; en la Pascua que se convirtió en nuestra Eucaristía, el pueblo celebró la presencia permanente de Dios; en el Nuevo Testamento, Dios acató a Jesús y estuvo presente al pueblo en el Reino en la tierra; en las historias posteriores a la resurrección, Dios permanece con los discípulos de Emaús y la iglesia primitiva cuando comenzaron a vivir el reino de los cielos en la tierra. Una característica omnipresente de Dios siempre ha sido habitar con nosotros y acompañarnos. La historia humana nos dice que Dios está con nosotros en solidaridad.

 

Quizás nuestras oraciones personales e intercesoras comiencen a cambiar si oramos a este Dios que habita y acompaña, en lugar de esperar a que Dios intervenga. Cuando nos permitimos experimentar al Dios que habita dentro de nosotros con el Dios que habita en toda la creación, nos vemos alineados con el universo y llegamos a saber que Dios es íntimamente parte de nosotros. Dios ama y no olvida ni deja de amar lo que Dios crea. Habitamos en el misterio de Dios y un encuentro con Dios nos enseña a vivir con una responsabilidad última o sagrada ante la vida.

 

Escritura para la misa diaria

 

Primera lectura: 

 

Lunes: (Gálatas 1 ) Estoy asombrado de que tan pronto estén dejando al que los llamó por la gracia de Cristo por un evangelio diferente (no que haya otro). Pero hay algunos que os perturban y quieren pervertir el Evangelio de Cristo.

 

Martes: (Gálatas 1 ) Habéis oído de mi forma de vida anterior en el judaísmo, cómo perseguí a la Iglesia de Dios sin medida y traté de destruirla , y progresé en el judaísmo más que muchos de mis contemporáneos entre mi raza, siendo aún más un fanático de mis tradiciones ancestrales.

 

Miércoles: (Gálatas 2 ) Después de catorce años volví a subir a Jerusalén con Bernabé, llevando también a Tito. Subí de acuerdo con una revelación, y les presenté el Evangelio que predico a los gentiles, pero en privado a los de reputación, para que no corra o hubiera corrido en vano.

 

Jueves: (Gálatas 3) ¡Oh estúpidos gálatas! ¿Quién os ha hechizado, ante cuyos ojos Jesucristo fue presentado públicamente como crucificado? Sólo quiero aprender esto de ti: ¿Recibiste el Espíritu por las obras de la ley, o por la fe en lo que escuchaste? ¿Eres tan estúpido? Después de comenzar con el Espíritu, ¿estás ahora terminando con la carne?

Viernes (Gálatas 3 ) Date cuenta de que son los que tienen fe los que son hijos de Abraham. La Escritura, que vio de antemano que Dios justificaría a los gentiles por la fe, 
anunció la buena nueva a Abraham, diciendo: En ti serán benditas todas las naciones.

 

Sábado (Gálatas 3 ) Antes de que viniera la fe, estábamos bajo custodia bajo la ley, 
confinados por la fe que había de ser revelada. En consecuencia, la ley fue nuestro disciplinario para Cristo, para que pudiéramos ser justificados por la fe. Pero ahora que ha llegado la fe, ya no estamos bajo disciplina.

Evangelio: 

 

Lunes: (Lucas 10) Él le respondió: “Bien has respondido; haz esto y vivirás.” Pero como quería justificarse, dijo a Jesús: “¿Y quién es mi prójimo?” Jesús respondió: “Un hombre cayó víctima de los ladrones cuando bajaba de Jerusalén a Jericó.

 

Martes: (Lucas 11) Jesús estaba orando en cierto lugar, y cuando terminó, 
uno de sus discípulos le dijo: "Señor, enséñanos a orar así como Juan enseñó a sus discípulos".

 

Miércoles (Lucas 9 ) "Las zorras tienen guaridas y las aves del cielo nidos, pero el Hijo del Hombre no tiene dónde descansar la cabeza". Y a otro le dijo: "Sígueme". 
Pero él respondió: "Señor, déjame ir primero y enterrar a mi padre".

 

Jueves (Lucas 11 ) Jesús dijo a sus discípulos: “Supongan que uno de ustedes tiene un amigo a quien va a medianoche y le dice: 'Amigo, préstame tres panes, porque un amigo mío ha llegado a mi casa de un viaje y no tengo nada que ofrecerle', y él le responde desde adentro: 'No me molestes; la puerta ya ha sido cerrada.

 

Viernes (Lucas 11 ) Cuando Jesús hubo expulsado un demonio, algunos de la multitud dijeron: “Por el poder de Beelzebul , el príncipe de los demonios, él expulsa a los demonios”. Otros, para ponerlo a prueba, le pedían una señal del cielo.

 

Sábado (Lucas 11 ) “Bendito el vientre que te llevó y los pechos que te amamantaron”. Él respondió: “Más bien, bienaventurados los que oyen la palabra de Dios y la guardan”.

 

santos de la semana

 

2 de octubre: Los Ángeles de la Guarda son mensajeros e intermediarios entre Dios y los humanos. Nos ayudan en nuestra lucha contra el mal y sirven como guardianes, la fiesta que celebramos hoy. Rafael es uno de los guardianes sobre los que se escribe en el Libro de Tobías. Se agregó un memorial al calendario romano en 1670 en acción de gracias por su ayuda.

 

3 de octubre: Francis Borgia, SJ se convirtió en duque a los 33 años. Cuando murió su esposa y sus ocho hijos crecieron, se unió a los jesuitas. Su predicación atrajo a muchas personas a la iglesia y cuando se desempeñó como Superior General, la Sociedad aumentó dramáticamente en España y Portugal. Estableció muchas misiones en los nuevos territorios.

 

4 de octubre: Francisco de Asís (1181-1226) era de la rica familia Bernardone que vendía telas de seda. Después de servir como soldado como prisionero de guerra, Francisco eligió servir a Dios ya los pobres. Se sintió llamado a reparar la casa de Dios, que pensó que era una iglesia. Su padre estaba enojado porque usó el dinero de la familia , por lo que lo desheredó. Comenzó a predicar el arrepentimiento y reclutó a otros a su estilo de vida. Su orden es conocida por su pobreza, sencillez, servicio humilde y deleite en la creación.

 

6 de octubre: Bruno, sacerdote (1030-1101), se convierte en profesor en Reims y canciller diocesano. Renunció a sus riquezas y comenzó a vivir como un ermitaño con otros seis hombres. Tenían desdén por la rampante corrupción clerical. El obispo de Grenoble les dio un terreno en las montañas de Chartreuse y comenzaron el primer monasterio cartujo. Después de servir en Roma durante unos años, a Bruno se le dio permiso para fundar un segundo monasterio en Calabria.

 

7 de octubre: Nuestra Señora del Rosario recuerda los acontecimientos de 1571 de la victoria naval cristiana sobre los turcos en Lepanto, cerca de Corinto. La victoria fue acreditada a María mientras las cofradías rezaban el rosario por su intercesión.

 

Esta semana en la historia jesuita

 

  • 2 de octubre de 1964. P. El general Janssens sufrió un derrame cerebral y murió tres días después. Durante su generalato, la Sociedad creció de 53 a 85 provincias y de 28.839 a 35.968 miembros.
  • 3 de octubre de 1901. En Francia, la persecución religiosa estalla de nuevo con la muerte de la " Loi de Asociación ".
  • 4 de octubre de 1820. En Roma, antes y durante la Vigésima Congregación General surgieron grandes disturbios, provocados por el P. Las intrigas de Petrucci. Trató de arruinar la Sociedad y fue depuesto de su cargo como Vicario General, aunque apoyado por el Cardenal della Genga (luego León XII).
  • 5 de octubre de 1981. En una carta al Padre General Arrupe, el Papa Juan Pablo II nombró a Paolo Dezza como su delegado personal para gobernar la Compañía de Jesús, con el P. Pittau como coadjutor.
  • 6 de octubre de 1773. En Londres, el Dr. James Talbot, Vicario Apostólico, promulgó el Breve de Supresión y envió copias a Maryland y Pensilvania.
  • 7 de octubre de 1819. Muerte de Carlos Emmanuel IV. Había sido rey de Cerdeña y Piamonte. Abdicó en 1802 e ingresó a los jesuitas como hermano en 1815. Está enterrado en San Andrea Quirinale en Roma.
  • 8 de octubre de 1871. El Gran Incendio de Chicago. La mayor parte de la ciudad fue destruida, pero se perdió la Sagrada Familia, la parroquia jesuita, ya que el fuego se dirigió hacia el norte gracias a las oraciones del P. Arnold Damen. El fuego duró tres días; 250 fueron asesinados.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Photo: Rams


 

Spirituality: David Hawkins, "Resistance and Responsibility"

 When we put pressure on other people in order to get what we want, they automatically resist, because we are trying to pressure them.  The harder we push, the harder they resist.  Even though, out of fear, they may actually concede to our demands, there is not an inner acceptance and, later on, we will lose what we have gained.  This resistance is in all of us.  We can be aware of it as it operates unconsciously, and we evade that awareness by making excuses and plausible explanations.

…One way around it is to take the view that our responsibility is to make an effort, but not try to determine the result.  Another way is to surrender the feelings we have about what we want from the other person, and let go of the pressures we are putting on them in the form of expectation and desire.  They, then have the psychic space to become agreeable or even to initiate the desired result on their own, the result we had wished for in the first place.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Photo: Seagrass


 

Spirituality: Macrina Wiederkehr, Open Wide My Heart

It does seem a strange thing to count suffering as joy, yet there's a truth here in that suffering helps to build one's character. Some of the most beautiful people I know are those who have passed through the flames and come out strengthened. If it happens to clay, why shouldn't it happen to us.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Photo: Jack-o-lanterns


 

Poem: "Fletcher Oak," Mary Oliver

 There is a tree here so beautiful it even has a name.

Every morning, when it is still dark, I stand under its branches. They flow from the thick and silent trunk. One can’t begin to imagine their weight.
Year after year they reach,
they send out smaller and smaller branches,

and bunches of flat green leaves to touch the light.

Of course this has consequences.
Every year the oak tree fills with fruit.
Just now, since it is September,
the acorns are starting to fall.

I don’t know if I will ever write another poem.
I don’t know if I am going to live for a long time yet, or even for a while.

But I am going to spend my life wisely.
I’m going to to be happy and frivolous and useful.
Every morning, in the dark, I gather a few acorns and imagine, inside of them, the pale oak trees.
In the spring, when I go away,
I’ll take them with me, to my own country, which is a land of sun and restless ocean and moist woods.
And I’ll dig down,
I’ll hide each acorn in a cool place in the black earth,
to rise like a slow and beautiful poem; to live a long time.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Literature: Neil Gaiman, Coraline

Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Photo: Pumpkins


 

Prayer: Thomas Merton, Essential Spiritual Writings

What is the relation of contemplation to action? Simply this. He who attempts to act and do things for others or for the world without deepening his own self-understanding, freedom, integrity, and capacity to love, will not have anything to give others.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Photo: The pier at Greenport, Long Island


 

Poem: "Second Sight" by David Whyte

 Sometimes, you need the ocean light,

and colours you’ve never seen before
painted through an evening sky.

 

Sometimes you need your God
to be a simple invitation
not a telling word of wisdom.

 

Sometimes you need only the first shyness
that comes from being shown things
far beyond your understanding,

 

so that you can fly and become free
by being still and by being still here.

 

And then there are times you want to be
brought to ground by touch
and touch alone.

 

To know those arms around you
and to make your home in the world
just by being wanted.

To see eyes looking back at you,
as eyes should see you at last,

seeing you, as you always wanted to be seen,
seeing you, as you yourself
had always wanted to see the world.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Waking up from Complacency: The Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

                                    Waking up from Complacency

The Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 25, 2022

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Amos 6:4-7; Psalm 146; 1 Timothy 6:11-16; Luke 16:19-31

 

          It is easy for us to make judgments on the rich man in the parable for not being a person concerned for others, and it is easy for us to identify with the underdog Lazarus who is injured because of the rich man’s neglect. It is easy for us to condemn wealth and the pursuit of status, honor, and indulgent pleasure. This parable presents extreme opposites, which makes it easy to condemn the nameless rich man, but there is still more to the story because it is a story that can implicate us as well as the rich man. The point is that we are subject to complacency.

 

          The reading from Amos describes the slippery slope of complacency that leads people away from caring for others. Concerning themselves with only their self-interests and worldly pursuits, they failed to see those who were in need or struggled, and the great tragedy is when we learn to not even see the person who is injured or is struggling. The sin is that we no longer bother to even care. Our salvation is not only through communion with God; it is also brought about through our communion with one another. Failing to respond to one in need creates a chasm between us and God. 

 

Perhaps you saw the Ken Burns special on “The U.S. and the Holocaust” this week that reflected America’s long history with antisemitism that continues into the present day. You would not be surprised that some of today’s movements were quite like earlier positions held in the 1930’s and the 1940’s. A most frequent American response to the plight of Jewish (and other) refugees was that there was something always more important than dealing with the poor Jews. Complacency and other interests turned a blind eye to the struggle for existence for a persecuted people. 

 

It is an important documentary so that we can learn something about ourselves and to awaken ourselves to the plight of others while becoming active to solve our own problems. We have to allow our hearts to be moved so that we can stop the progress of aggression and brutality. The National Socialists targeted many categories of people, and the first targeted people were the artists and intellectuals. Think about that. Those people who can shape human thought for the betterment of society are the ones who are targeted. We are at a loss when we target education because we fear that others may think independently. 

 

It is human nature to fear others and to fend for one’s own tribe at the expense of another, and yet our Catholic belief is that God cares of all peoples, especially those who are injured at the hands of aggressors and the influential. To follow the rule of life outlined by Jesus, we have to take risks to care for each other and align ourselves with those who bring more goodness into the world. As we find ourselves aligned with good, we see how this goodness spreads and has a power that leads to our salvation.

 

Scripture for Daily Mass

 

First Reading: 

 

Monday: (Job 1) One day, when the angels of God came to present themselves before the LORD, Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, “Whence do you come?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming the earth and patrolling it.” 

 

Tuesday: (Job 3) Job opened his mouth and cursed his day. Job spoke out and said: Perish the day on which I was born, the night when they said, “The child is a boy!”

 

Wednesday: (Job 9) I know well that it is so; but how can a man be justified before God? Should one wish to contend with him, he could not answer him once in a thousand times. God is wise in heart and mighty in strength; who has withstood him and remained unscathed?

 

Thursday: (Daniel 7) Thrones were set up and the Ancient One took his throne. His clothing was bright as snow, and the hair on his head as white as wool; His throne was flames of fire, with wheels of burning fire.

Friday (Job 38) The earth is changed as is clay by the seal, and dyed as though it were a garment; But from the wicked the light is withheld, and the arm of pride is shattered.

 

Saturday (Job 42) I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be hindered. I have dealt with great things that I do not understand; things too wonderful for me, which I cannot know.

 

Gospel: 

 

Monday: (Luke 9) Then John said in reply, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow in our company.” Jesus said to him, “Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.

 

Tuesday: (Luke 9) On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.

 

Wednesday (Luke 9) "Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head." And to another he said, "Follow me." 
But he replied, "Lord, let me go first and bury my father."

 

Thursday (John 1) “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.”

 

Friday (Luke 10) For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you.

 

Saturday (Luke 10) Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky. Behold, I have given you the power ‘to tread upon serpents’ and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you.

 

Saints of the Week

 

September 26: Cosmas and Damian, martyrs (d. 287), were twins who became doctors. They were noted because they never charged anyone a medical fee. They died in the Diocletian persecution. Great miracles have been attributed to them and the Emperor Justinian is claimed to be healed through their intercession. 

 

September 27: Vincent de Paul, priest (1581-1660), was a French peasant who selected to be chaplain at the Queen's household after his ordination. He provided food and clothing to the poor, including prostitutes, the sick, disabled, and homeless. He founded the Congregation of Missions (Vincentians) to preach and train clergy and he co-founded the Daughters of Charity with Louise de Marillac.

 

September 28: Wenceslaus, martyr (907-929), was raised a Christian by his grandmother while his mother and brother were opposed to Christianity. His brother opposed him when he became ruler of Bohemia in 922. He introduced strict reforms that caused great dissatisfaction among nobles and political adversaries. His brother invited him to a religious ceremony where he was killed in a surprise attack.

 

September 28: Lawrence Ruiz and 15 companion martyrs (seventeenth century), were killed in Nagasaki, Japan during 1633 and 1637. Most of these Christians were friends of the Dominicans. Lawrence, a Filipino, was a husband and father. He and these other missionaries served the Philippines, Formosa, and Japan.

 

September 29: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, archangels are long a part of Christian and Jewish scripture. Michael is the angel who fights against evil as the head of all the angels; Gabriel announces the messiah's arrival and the births of Jesus and John the Baptist; and Raphael is a guardian angel who protects Tobias on his journey. Together, they are venerated to represent all the angels during a three-day period.

 

September 30: Jerome, priest and doctor (342-420), studied Greek and Latin as a young man after his baptism by Pope Liberius. He learned Hebrew when he became a monk and after ordination he studied scripture with Gregory Nazianzen in Constantinople. He became secretary to the Pope when he was asked to translate the Bible into Latin.

 

October 1: These of Lisieux, doctor (1873-1897), entered the Carmelites at age 15 and died at age 24 from tuberculosis. During her illness, Pauline, her prioress, asked her to write about her life in the convent. These stories are captured in "The Story of a Soul." He focused on her "little way" of pursuing holiness in everyday life.

 

This Week in Jesuit History

 

  • September 25, 1617. The death of Francisco Suarez. He wrote 24 volumes on philosophy and theology. As a novice he was found to be very dull, but one of his directors suggested that he ask our Lady's help. He subsequently became a person of prodigious talent. 
  • September 26, 1605. At Rome, Pope Paul V orally declared St Aloysius to be one of the "Blessed." The official brief appeared on October 19. 
  • September 27, 1540. Pope Paul III signed the Bull, Regimini Militantis Ecclesiae, which established the Society of Jesus. 
  • September 28, 1572. Fifteen Jesuits arrived in Mexico to establish the Mexican Province. They soon opened a college. 
  • September 29, 1558. In the Gesu, Rome, and elsewhere, the Jesuits began to keep Choir, in obedience to an order from Paul IV. This practice lasted less than a year, until the pope's death in August, 1559. 
  • September 30, 1911. President William Howard Taft visited Saint Louis University and declared the football season open. 
  • October 1, 1546. Isabel Roser was released from her Jesuit vows by St Ignatius after eight months.