Daily Email

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Photo: Candles Adorning the Altar


Prayer: Anonymous Sayings

Through contemplation, we are no longer focused on our individual private perfection; we become fully human and usable by opening our hearts to God. The inner life of quiet, solitude, and contemplation is the only way to find your ground and purpose now. We are henceforth "a serene disciple," living in our own unique soul as never before, yet paradoxically living within the mind and heart of God, and taking our place in the great and general dance.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Photo: Abel, Noah, and Moses


Prayer: Pope Paul VI

If it is true, then it has to be true everywhere and all the time, or it is not true! We don't think ourselves into a new way of living; we live ourselves into a new way of thinking. Before new experiences, new thinking is difficult and rare. After a new experience, new thinking and behavior comes naturally and even becomes necessary. Only near the poor, close to "the tears of things," in solidarity with suffering, can we understand ourselves, love one another well, imitate Jesus, and live his full Gospel. "The world will no longer believe teachers unless they are first of all witnesses." 

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Photo: Mission Hill's Basilica


Poem: “My Lord and My God” by Laurence Housman

 Spring comes with silent rush of leaf

Across the earth and cries,

“Lo, Love is risen!” But doubting Grief

Returns, “If with mine eyes


“I may not see the marks, nor reach

My hand into his side,

I will not hear your lips that preach

Love raised and glorified.


“Except by all the wounds that brake

His heart, and marred his brow

Most grievously for sorrow’s sake,

How shall I know him now?”


Love came, and said. “Reach hither, Grief,

Thy hand into my side:

Oh, slow of heart to win belief,

Seeing that for grief I died.


“Lo, all the griefs of which I died

Rise with me from the dead!”

Then Grief drew near, and touched the side,

And touched the wounds that bled,


And cried, “My God, O blessed sign,

O Body raised, made whole,

By this I know that thou art mine,

Upholder of my soul!”

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Prayer: Clare of Assisi

Our labor here is brief, but the reward is eternal. Do not be disturbed by the clamor of the world, which passes like a shadow. Do not let the false delights of a deceptive world deceive you.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Photo: Mission Hill's Chapel to Mary


Prayer: Bernard of Clairvaux

How shall we explain the worldwide light of faith, swift and flaming in its progress, except by the preaching of Jesus’ name? Is it not by the light of this name that God has called us into the wonderful light that irradiates our darkness and empowers us to see the light?

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Prayer: Catherine of Siena

I long to see you free of all slavish fear as I reflect how fear cuts off the rigor of holy resolution and wholesome desire.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The Spirit’s Unity: The Seventh Sunday of Easter

                                                     The Spirit’s Unity

The Seventh Sunday of Easter

May 29, 2022

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Acts 7:55-60; Psalm 97; Revelation 22:12-20; John 17:20-26


          The stoning of Stephen indicates a turning point in the faith of the early church. His death was momentous because he was the first martyr and the early disciples rallied around the witness of these valiant men and women who stood up to their own townsfolk to declare their belief that Jesus was raised from the dead. Stephen’s feast is celebrated December 26th, the day after Christmas, because our faith is not just a feel-good event; our witness to the truth of Jesus is serious and, at times, life-threatening. Stephen’s death sets a young man, Saul, a Jew dedicated to preserving the rigors of the faith, into action to wipe out the scourge of the Christians who were causing great upheaval within the religious community.


         Saul was a Jewish zealot, an extremist, who was given charge by the religious authorities to arrest, throw in prison, and even put a Christian to death because they were changing the nature of the Jewish faith. Saul was vehement in his persecution of the People of the Way to preserve the faith that has been handed onto him. He was a protector of Orthodox Judaism against heretics and those who relativized the faith. However, we know the rest of the story. The Holy Spirit intervened and changed the course of Saul’s life, and that of the church. The arch-conservative Saul has a conversion of heart of mind and becomes the progressive Paul who admits Gentiles into the faith, dispenses with dietary laws, and see all Jewish law is fulfilled in the person of Jesus. The Holy Spirit handed onto Paul the attitudes of Christ, who then handed them onto a new collection of believers, and they handed it onto us. After his conversion, Paul worked for the unity of the people because he wanted every Jew and Gentile to accept God’s invitation of friendship with God.


         In the Gospel, Jesus appeals for unity of the believers, especially during times of inevitable persecution. The church in its Eucharistic prayers and collects pray for the unity of the faithful as well. Unity is one of the church’s biggest values, and it seems to be elusive today. For five centuries, Catholics defined themselves by not being Protestants, who were adversaries, and Vatican II changed all that. Ecumenical works are routinely done today though much more discovery and dialogue has to happen. Sadly, Catholics often find themselves at odds with each other because of political beliefs, thoughts on contraception or care for pregnant women, or because of liturgical preferences. Various factions with the church assert that they respectively hold the truth and that the other side is misguided. We have to do better. In fact, Jesus appeals for us to do better. Faith is not about winning one’s own perspective, but discerning what the Holy Spirit is telling us about God’s heart.

We need more encounters so that we can honor and respect what the other person is saying. No one could have changed Saul’s mind; only the Holy Spirit could do that. Since we are not likely to change anyone’s mind so easily, we might as well just encounter the other person, find the richness and beauty in one’s experiences, and find common ground. We have much to celebrate by coming to know one another, and we can leave the hard work up to the Spirit, who is much more powerful than we realize.


Scripture for Daily Mass


First Reading: 

Monday: (Acts 19) Paul went through the interior of Greece and down to Ephesus to introduce the believers to the Holy Spirit. The community was baptized into the Body of Christ. 


Tuesday: (Acts 20) The presbyters at Ephesus summoned Paul, who told them that he was going to an uncertain fate in Jerusalem. Paul recounts the ways he served the Lord with humility, tears, and trials, but imprisonment and hardships await him.


Wednesday: (Acts 20) Paul prays for the whole flock and he prays for them because he knows adversaries will take advantage of Paul’s absence. When Paul finished speaking, the people wept loudly and threw their arms around him and kissed him. 


Thursday: (Acts 22) Paul is brought to trial. The Pharisees and Sadducees are sharply divided; armed forces rescue Paul from their midst. The Lord tells Paul he must go to Rome and be faithful there the same way he was faithful in Jerusalem. 


Friday (Acts 25) King Agrippa hears Paul’s case and determines that Paul is to be tried in Jerusalem, but Paul, as a Roman citizen, appeals for the Emperor’s decision. 


Saturday (Acts 28) When Paul entered Rome, he was allowed to live by himself. He called together the leaders of the Jews to let them know the charges brought against them. He told them his story. He remained for two years in his lodgings and received all who came to him without hindrance as he proclaimed the Kingdom of God.



Monday: (John 16) The disciples realize Jesus is returning to the Father and that he is strengthening them for the time when he will not longer be physically with them.  


Tuesday: (John 17) Jesus raises his eyes to heaven and realizes it is time to glorify the Father through his death so he may give eternal life to all that we given to him. He revealed God’s name to them and now it is time to see the glory of God revealed.


Wednesday (John 17) Jesus prays for the safety of those given to him. He wants them to be safe as they testify to God’s steadfastness in a harsh world. He prays for unity, “so that they may be one just as we, Father, are one.”


Thursday (John 17) Jesus consecrates them to the truth and wards off the Evil One. He also prays for those given to him through the testimony of others. The love Jesus and the Father share is available to future disciples.


Friday (John 21) After the Farewell Discourse ends, Jesus appears at the seashore with Simon Peter who professes his three-fold love of Jesus. Jesus forgives him and asks him to care for his people even though the authorities of this world will eventually have their day with him.


Saturday (John 21) Peter turns to Jesus and asks about the Beloved Disciple. Jesus retorts, “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours?” This disciple is the one who wrote the testimony about Jesus and can attest to its truth.


Saints of the Week


May 31: Visitation of the Virgin Mary commemorates the visit of Mary in her early pregnancy to Mary, who is reported to be her elder cousin. Luke writes about the shared rejoicing of the two women - Mary's conception by the Holy Spirit and Elizabeth's surprising pregnancy in her advanced years. Elizabeth calls Mary blessed and Mary sings her song of praise to God, the Magnificat.


June 1: Justin, martyr (100-165), was a Samaritan philosopher who converted to Christianity and explained doctrine through philosophical treatises. His debating opponent reported him to the Roman authorities who tried him and when he refused to sacrifice to the gods, was condemned to death.


June 2: Marcellinus and Peter, martyrs (d. 304) died in Rome during the Diocletian persecution. Peter was an exorcist who ministered under the well-regarded priest, Marcellinus. Stories are told that in jail they converted their jailer and his family. These men are remembered in Eucharistic prayer I.


June 3: Charles Lwanga and 22 companion martyrs from Uganda (18660-1886) felt the wrath of King Mwanga after Lwanga and the White Fathers (Missionaries of Africa) censured him for his cruelty and immorality. The King determined to rid his kingdom of Christians. He persecuted over 100 Christians, but upon their death new converts joined the church.


This Week in Jesuit History


·      May 29,1991. Pope John Paul II announces that Paulo Dezza, SJ is to become a Cardinal, as well as Jan Korec, in Slovakia.

·      May 30, 1849. Vincent Gioberti's book Il Gesuita Moderno was put on the Index. Gioberti had applied to be admitted into the Society, and on being refused became its bitter enemy and calumniator.

·      May 31, 1900. The new novitiate of the Buffalo Mission, St Stanislaus, in South Brooklyn, Ohio, near Cleveland, is blessed.

·      June 1, 1527. Ignatius was thrown into prison after having been accused of having advised two noblewomen to undertake a pilgrimage, on foot, to Compostella.

·      June 2, 1566. The Professed House was opened in Toledo. It became well known for the fervor of its residents and the wonderful effects of their labors.

·      June 3, 1559. A residence at Frascati, outside of Rome, was purchased for the fathers and brothers of the Roman College.

·      June 4, 1667. The death in Rome of Cardinal Sforza Pallavicini, a man of great knowledge and humility. While he was Prefect of Studies of the Roman College he wrote his great work, The History of the Council of Trent.

La unidad del espíritu: El Séptimo Domingo de Pascua

 La unidad del espíritu

El Séptimo Domingo de Pascua

29 de mayo de 2022

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Hechos 7:55-60; Salmo 97; Apocalipsis 22:12-20; Juan 17:20-26


La lapidación de Esteban indica un punto de inflexión en la fe de la iglesia primitiva. Su muerte fue trascendental porque fue el primer mártir y los primeros discípulos se unieron en torno al testimonio de estos hombres y mujeres valientes que se enfrentaron a sus propios habitantes para declarar su creencia de que Jesús resucitó de entre los muertos. La fiesta de Esteban se celebra el 26 de diciembre , el día después de Navidad, porque nuestra fe no es sólo un acontecimiento para sentirse bien; nuestro testimonio de la verdad de Jesús es serio y, a veces, amenaza la vida. La muerte de Esteban pone en acción a un joven, Saúl, un judío dedicado a preservar los rigores de la fe, para acabar con el flagelo de los cristianos que estaban causando una gran conmoción dentro de la comunidad religiosa.


          Saulo era un fanático judío, un extremista, a quien las autoridades religiosas le encargaron arrestar, encarcelar e incluso dar muerte a un cristiano porque estaban cambiando la naturaleza de la fe judía. Saulo fue vehemente en su persecución de la Gente del Camino para preservar la fe que le ha sido entregada. Fue un protector del judaísmo ortodoxo contra los herejes y los que relativizaban la fe. Sin embargo, conocemos el resto de la historia. El Espíritu Santo intervino y cambió el curso de la vida de Saulo y de la iglesia. El archiconservador Saulo tiene una conversión de corazón y se convierte en el progresista Pablo que admite a los gentiles en la fe, prescinde de las leyes dietéticas y ve que toda la ley judía se cumple en la persona de Jesús. El Espíritu Santo entregó a Pablo las actitudes de Cristo, quien luego las entregó a una nueva colección de creyentes, y ellos nos las entregaron a nosotros. Después de su conversión, Pablo trabajó por la unidad del pueblo porque quería que cada judío y gentil aceptara la invitación de Dios a la amistad con Dios.


          En el Evangelio, Jesús apela a la unidad de los creyentes, especialmente en tiempos de inevitable persecución. La iglesia en sus plegarias eucarísticas y colectas ora también por la unidad de los fieles. La unidad es uno de los valores más grandes de la iglesia, y parece ser esquivo hoy. Durante cinco siglos, los católicos se definieron por no ser protestantes, que eran adversarios, y el Vaticano II cambió todo eso. Los trabajos ecuménicos se realizan rutinariamente hoy en día, aunque tiene que haber mucho más descubrimiento y diálogo . Lamentablemente, los católicos a menudo se encuentran en desacuerdo entre sí debido a creencias políticas, pensamientos sobre la anticoncepción o el cuidado de las mujeres embarazadas, o por preferencias litúrgicas. Varias facciones de la iglesia afirman que tienen la verdad respectivamente y que el otro lado está equivocado. Tenemos que hacerlo mejor. De hecho, Jesús nos pide que lo hagamos mejor. La fe no se trata de ganar la propia perspectiva, sino de discernir lo que el Espíritu Santo nos está diciendo sobre el corazón de Dios.

Necesitamos más encuentros para poder honrar y respetar lo que dice la otra persona. Nadie podría haber hecho cambiar de parecer a Saúl; sólo el Espíritu Santo podía hacer eso. Dado que no es probable que cambiemos de opinión con tanta facilidad, es mejor que nos encontremos con la otra persona, encontremos la riqueza y la belleza en las experiencias de uno y encontremos puntos en común. Tenemos mucho que celebrar al llegar a conocernos unos a otros, y podemos dejar el trabajo duro al Espíritu, que es mucho más poderoso de lo que creemos.


Escritura para la misa diaria


Primera lectura: 

Lunes: (Hechos 19) Pablo recorrió el interior de Grecia y bajó a Éfeso para introducir a los creyentes al Espíritu Santo. La comunidad fue bautizada en el Cuerpo de Cristo.

Martes: (Hechos 20) Los presbíteros de Éfeso llamaron a Pablo, quien les dijo que iba a Jerusalén a un destino incierto. Pablo relata las formas en que sirvió al Señor con humildad, lágrimas y pruebas, pero le esperan prisiones y penalidades.


Miércoles: (Hechos 20) Pablo ora por todo el rebaño y ora por ellos porque sabe que los adversarios se aprovecharán de la ausencia de Pablo. Cuando Paul terminó de hablar, la gente lloró en voz alta y lo abrazó y lo besó.


Jueves: (Hechos 22) Pablo es llevado a juicio. Los fariseos y saduceos están fuertemente divididos; las fuerzas armadas rescatan a Pablo de en medio de ellos. El Señor le dice a Pablo que debe ir a Roma y ser fiel allí de la misma manera que lo fue en Jerusalén.


Viernes (Hechos 25) El rey Agripa escucha el caso de Pablo y determina que Pablo será juzgado en Jerusalén, pero Pablo, como ciudadano romano, apela la decisión del Emperador .


Sábado (Hechos 28) Cuando Pablo entró en Roma, se le permitió vivir solo. Reunió a los líderes de los judíos para hacerles saber los cargos presentados contra ellos. Él les contó su historia. Permaneció durante dos años en su alojamiento y recibió a todos los que acudían a él sin impedimento mientras proclamaba el Reino de Dios.



Lunes: (Juan 16) Los discípulos se dan cuenta de que Jesús está regresando al Padre y que los está fortaleciendo para el tiempo en que ya no estará físicamente con ellos.


Martes: ( Juan 17) Jesús levanta los ojos al cielo y se da cuenta que es hora de glorificar al Padre a través de su muerte para que dé vida eterna a todos los que tenemos dado a él Él les reveló el nombre de Dios y ahora es tiempo de ver la gloria de Dios revelada.


Miércoles (Juan 17) Jesús ora por la seguridad de los que le fueron dados. Él quiere que estén seguros mientras dan testimonio de la firmeza de Dios en un mundo duro. Reza por la unidad, “para que sean uno, así como nosotros, Padre, somos uno”.


Jueves (Juan 17) Jesús los consagra a la verdad y aleja al Maligno. También ora por los que le son dados a través del testimonio de otros. El amor que comparten Jesús y el Padre está disponible para los futuros discípulos.


Viernes (Juan 21) Terminado el Discurso de Despedida, Jesús se aparece a la orilla del mar con Simón Pedro quien le profesa su triple amor a Jesús. Jesús lo perdona y le pide que cuide de su pueblo a pesar de que las autoridades de este mundo eventualmente tendrán su día con él.


Sábado (Juan 21) Pedro se dirige a Jesús y le pregunta por el Discípulo Amado. Jesús responde: “¿Y si quiero que se quede hasta que yo venga? ¿Qué te preocupa a ti? Este discípulo es el que escribió el testimonio acerca de Jesús y puede dar fe de su veracidad.


santos de la semana


31 de mayo: La Visitación de la Virgen María conmemora la visita de María en su embarazo temprano a María, de quien se informa que es su prima mayor. Lucas escribe sobre el regocijo compartido de las dos mujeres: la concepción de María por obra del Espíritu Santo y el sorprendente embarazo de Isabel en su avanzada edad. Isabel llama a María bienaventurada y María canta su canto de alabanza a Dios, el Magníficat.


1 de junio: Justino, mártir (100-165), fue un filósofo samaritano que se convirtió al cristianismo y explicó la doctrina a través de tratados filosóficos. Su oponente en el debate lo denunció a las autoridades romanas que lo juzgaron y cuando se negó a sacrificar a los dioses, fue condenado a muerte.


2 de junio: Marcelino y Pedro, mártires (m. 304) mueren en Roma durante la persecución de Diocleciano. Pedro era un exorcista que ministraba bajo el respetado sacerdote Marcelino. Se cuentan historias que en la cárcel convirtieron a su carcelero ya su familia. Estos hombres son recordados en la Plegaria Eucarística I.


3 de junio: Charles Lwanga y 22 compañeros mártires de Uganda (18660-1886) sintieron la ira del rey Mwanga después de que Lwanga y los Padres Blancos (Misioneros de África) lo censuraran por su crueldad e inmoralidad. El rey decidió librar su reino de cristianos. Persiguió a más de 100 cristianos, pero tras su muerte, nuevos conversos se unieron a la iglesia.


Esta semana en la historia jesuita


  • 29 de mayo de 1991. El Papa Juan Pablo II anuncia que Paulo Dezza , SJ, se convertirá en cardenal, al igual que Jan Korec , en Eslovaquia.
  • 30 de mayo de 1849. El libro de Vincent Gioberti Il Gesuita Moderno fue incluido en el Índice. Gioberti había solicitado ser admitido en la Sociedad, y al ser rechazado se convirtió en su acérrimo enemigo y calumniador.
  • 31 de mayo de 1900. Se bendice el nuevo noviciado de la Misión de Buffalo, San Estanislao, en el sur de Brooklyn, Ohio, cerca de Cleveland.
  • 1 de junio de 1527. Ignacio es encarcelado tras haber sido acusado de haber aconsejado a dos nobles que peregrinaran, a pie, a Compostela .
  • 2 de junio de 1566. Se abre la Casa Profesa en Toledo. Llegó a ser bien conocido por el fervor de sus residentes y los maravillosos efectos de sus trabajos.
  • 3 de junio de 1559. Se compra una residencia en Frascati, fuera de Roma, para los padres y hermanos del Colegio Romano.
  • 4 de junio de 1667. Fallece en Roma el cardenal Sforza Pallavicini, hombre de gran saber y humildad. Mientras era Prefecto de Estudios del Colegio Romano escribió su gran obra, La Historia del Concilio de Trento.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Photo: Sculpture


Prayer: Prayer to our Lady of Mount Carmel

You, who are with special mercy, look upon those clothed in your beloved habit, cast a glance of pity upon me. Fortify my weakness with your strength; enlighten the darkness of my mind with your wisdom; increase my faith, hope, and charity. Assist me during life, console me by your presence at my death, and present me to the Holy Trinity as your devoted child, that I may bless you for all eternity in paradise.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Photo: Aliums


Spirituality: Nancy Thomas from "Secret Sowers"

"Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness" (James 3:18)

We lay down our seeds in the dark.
Spring has been exceptionally cold
this year. Reluctant daffodils
have done little to convince me.
But we do the work of the faithful
farmer, rising in the pre-dawn hours.
It is a chosen hiddenness, a subtle
stretching over time, ear bent to listen
to the ground, ready for instruction.
Slow rhythmic movements are best.
Sometimes we simply show up,
holding borrowed pain, applying tears
or not. With a gentle
but demanding attention
to detail, we prepare the soil.
We plant. We wait.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Photo: St. Anthony Church, Cohasset


Poem: “On Belief in the Physical Resurrection of Jesus” by Denise Levertov

 It is for all 

“literalists of the imagination,” 

poets or not, 

that miracle 

is possible, 

possible and essential.

Are some intricate minds 


on concept, 

as epiphytes flourish 

high in the canopy?

Can they 

subsist on the light, 

on the half of 

metaphor that’s not 

grounded in dust, grit, 


carnal clay?

Do signs contain and utter, 

for them 

all the reality 

that they need? Resurrection, for them, 

an internal power, but not 

a matter of flesh?

For the others, 

of whom I am one, 

miracles (ultimate need, bread 

of life) are miracles just because 

people so tuned 

to the humdrum laws: 

gravity, mortality – 

can’t open 

to symbol’s power 

unless convinced of its ground, 

its roots 

in bone and blood.

We must feel 

the pulse in the wound 

to believe 

that “with God 

all things 

are possible,” 


bread at Emmaus 

that warm hands 

broke and blessed. 

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Prayer: Teresa of Avila

Majestic king, forever wise, you melt my heart, which once was cold, and when your beauty fills my eyes, it makes them young, which once were old. Christ, my creator, hear my cry, I am all yours, your call I hear, My Savior, Lover, yours am I, My heart to yours be ever near. Whether in life or death’s last hour, if sickness, pain, or health you give, or shame or honor, weakness, power, thankful is the life I live.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Photo: Brownstones and Cast Iron


Prayer: Ludovicus

O Lord the author and persuader of peace, love, and goodwill, soften our hard and steely hearts and warm our frozen and icy hearts, that we may be the true disciples of Jesus Christ. Give us grace even now to begin to show that heavenly life where there is no hatred but peace and love everywhere.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Photo: Doors in Springtime


Poem: "That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the comfort of the Resurrection" by Gerard Manley Hopkins

 Enough! the Resurrection,

A heart's-clarion! Away grief's gasping, | joyless days, dejection.
                            Across my foundering deck shone
A beacon, an eternal beam. | Flesh fade, and mortal trash
Fall to the residuary worm; | world's wildfire, leave but ash:
                            In a flash, at a trumpet crash,
I am all at once what Christ is, | since he was what I am, and
This Jack, joke, poor potsherd, | patch, matchwood, immortal diamond,
                            Is immortal diamond.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Photo: Good Morning


Prayer: Jacob Boehme

Living Lord, you have watched over me and put your hand on my head during the long dark hours of night. Your holy angels have protected me from harm and pain. To you, Lord, I owe life itself. Continue to watch over me and bless me during the hours of the day.

The Importance of Dialogue: The Sixth Sunday of Easter

                                             The Importance of Dialogue

The Sixth Sunday of Easter

May 22, 2022

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Acts 15:1-2, 22-29; Psalm 67; Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23; John 14:23-29


          The First Reading shows us that the troubles of the early church continue while the Holy Spirit continues to intervene. Somehow it is comforting to know that from the very beginning of its existence, being in the church was difficult, and the problems in the church are just as formidable today. In Acts, we see the conservative Jews insisting that the Gentiles get circumcised in order to be considered members of the faith. They insisted that Gentiles become Jews, but Paul and Barnabas objected and brought this question to the Apostles and Elders in what became the first church council, the Jerusalem Council. The Council deliberated and prayed together and they had an opportunity for dialogue, and these conversations changed everything within the faith. 


          The Gentiles, those who were seen as inferior and not worthy of any dignity, were suddenly admitted into the faith. Peter, the Apostles, and the Holy Spirit declared, “It is the decision of the Holy Spirit, and of us, not to place on you any undue burden.” It is one of the most profound statements of inclusion, tolerance, hospitality, and mercy in the history of the Church. The face of the church changed overnight. The church as it exists in the world has always had to reckon with how it changes to meet the needs of the faithful, and it has struggled mightily at times. Those who are open to dialogue are open to change; those who will not have discourse or listen are resistant to change. 


          We are in a state of change in today’s church and it is uncomfortable for us to figure out the path ahead. Some in the church yearn for days gone by as if they were better times, and many others do not even bother to come anymore because the church has lost its relevancy and does not speak to their needs or interests. Some do not come because they continue to encounter judgmental attitudes, rigorism, or clericalism, and they are made to feel as if they really do not matter, except for the collection. For many, the church has lost its ability to be a grounding influence, and yet, so many of them miss the Eucharist and being with people with whom they are very fond.  


          And yet, we look to the past as our way forward. It is best to look at the early Church and the people who knew the mind, heart, and attitudes of Jesus best. We can look with hope as we examine the First Jerusalem Council where the entire church came together as a deliberative body in prayer to solve its unique problems. And it did. And it created a seismic change, and the church survived and became stronger. Perhaps we ought not to fear change or to be afraid of another seismic change if we come together as a deliberative body in prayer. The synod, proposed by the Cardinals and Bishops, are asking the church to come together in dialogue, deliberation, and prayer, and for far too long the People in the pews have been made to be passive participants in church life, and we need your voices more than ever at present. 


          The Gospel tells us that the Advocate will come, the one who will strengthen us and to help us navigate complex conversations inside and outside the church. This is the same Advocate who spoke to the Christian community including Gentiles and said, “It is the decision of the Holy Spirit, and of us, not to place on you any undue burden.” Jesus also said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. My peace I leave you.” We can be assured that when we come together and learn to dialogue, we will have all the support we need to walk with one another with care, concern, and compassion, and to discover what it means to love one another. 


Scripture for Daily Mass


First Reading: 

Monday: (Acts 16) Paul and Barnabas set sail for Philippi, a leading city of Macedonia, and a Romany colony. Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth, listens to their preaching and opens her heart to them. She is baptized and invites them to stay with her.   


Tuesday: (Acts 16) Paul is brought to the Areopagus in Athens and tells them of the Unknown God he and Barnabas worship. 


Wednesday: (Acts 17) At the Areopagus, Paul declares that this unknown God is the same one Christians worship and has brought about salvation, including the resurrection of the dead. This concept unsettles some who find it a difficult teaching to accept.


Thursday: (Acts 15) Paul travels to Corinth and meets the Jews, Aquila and Priscilla, who were forced to leave Rome because of Claudius’ dispersion edict. He learns the tent-making trade and preaches to Jews who reject him. He encounters Titus Justus and Crispus, a synagogue leader, who comes to believe. The entire congregation believes the news of Jesus Christ. 


Friday (Acts 18) While in Corinth, Paul receives a vision from the Lord urging him to go on speaking as no harm will come to him. Others are harmed, but Paul escapes injury. 


Saturday (Acts 18) Paul travels to Antioch in Syria. Priscilla and Aquila meet Apollos, a Jewish Christian, who is preaching the way of Jesus, but of the baptism by the Holy Spirit he is not informed. They take him aside and teach him the correct doctrine. He then vigorously refutes the Jews in public, establishing from the Scriptures that the Christ is Jesus.



Monday: (John 15) Jesus tells his friends that the Advocate will come and testify to him. Meanwhile, they will be expelled from the synagogues and harmed – even unto death.  


Tuesday: (John 16) The Advocate, the Spirit of truth, will guide his friends to all truth. Jesus confuses them by saying, “a little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me.”


Wednesday (John 16) The Spirit of truth will guide you and will declare to you the things that are coming. The Spirit will glorify. Everything the Father has is mine. 


Thursday (John 15) Remaining close to Jesus will allow us to share complete joy with one another. 


Friday (John 16) As they debate, he tells them their mourning will become joy – just like a woman who is groaning in labor pains. 


Saturday (John 16) As Jesus tells them again that he is part of the Father, he instructs them to ask for anything in his name and God will grant it because Jesus is leaving the world and is going back to the Father. The Father loves them because they have loved him. The Father will reward them for their generosity.


Saints of the Week


May 22: Rita of Cascia, religious (1381-1457), always wanted to become a nun but her family married her off to an abusive man. He was murdered 18 years later. Rita urged forgiveness when her two sons wanted to avenge their father's murder. They soon died too. Rita wanted to enter a convent, but he marital status kept her out. Eventually, the Augustinians in Cascia admitted her. She became a mystic and counselor to lay visitors.


May 24: Our Lady of the Way or in Italian, Madonna della Strada, is a painting enshrined at the Church of the Gesu in Rome, the mother church of the Society of Jesus. The Madonna Della Strada is the patroness of the Society of Jesus. In 1568, Cardinal Farnese erected the Gesu in place of the former church of Santa Maria della Strada.  


May 25: Bede the Venerable, priest and doctor, (673-735), is the only English doctor of the church. As a child, he was sent to a Benedictine monastery where he studied theology and was ordained. He wrote thorough commentaries on scripture and history as well as poetry and biographies. His famous work is the "Ecclesiastical History of the English People," the source for much of Anglo-Saxon history. 


May 25: Gregory VII, pope (1020-1085), was a Tuscan who was sent to a monastery to study under John Gratian, who became Gregory VI. He served the next few popes as chaplain, treasurer, chancellor and counselor before he became Gregory VII. He introduced strong reforms over civil authorities that caused much consternation. Eventually, the Romans turned against him when the Normans sacked Rome.


May 25: Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi (1566-1607), a Florentine, chose to become a Carmelite nun instead of getting married. Her biography, written by her confessor, gives accounts of intense bouts of desolation and joy. She is reputed to have gifts of prophecy and healing.


May 26: Philip Neri, priest (1515-1595), is known as the "Apostle of Rome." A Florentine who was educated by the Dominicans, he re-evangelized Roe by establishing confraternities of laymen to minister to pilgrims and the sick in hospitals. He founded the Oratorians when he gathered a sufficient following because of his spiritual wisdom. 


May 27: Augustine of Canterbury, bishop (d. 604) was sent to England with 40 monks from St. Andrew's monastery to evangelize the pagans. They were well-received. Augustine was made bishop, established a hierarchy, and changed many pagans feasts to religious ones. Wales did not accept the mission; Scotland took St. Andrew's cross as their national symbol. Augustine began a Benedictine monastery at Canterbury and was Canterbury's first archbishop.


This Week in Jesuit History


  • May 22, 1965. Pedro Arrupe was elected the 28th general of the Society of Jesus. 
  • May 23, 1873. The death of Peter de Smet, a famous missionary among Native Americans of the great plains and mountains of the United States. He served as a mediator and negotiator of several treaties. 
  • May 24, 1834. Don Pedro IV expelled the Society from Brazil. 
  • May 25, 1569. At Rome Pope St Pius V installed the Society in the College of Penitentiaries. Priests of various nationalities who were resident in Rome were required to act as confessors in St Peter's. 
  • May 26, 1673. Ching Wei‑San (Emmanuel de Sigueira) dies, the first Chinese Jesuit priest. 
  • May 27, 1555. The Viceroy of India sent an embassy to Claudius, Emperor of Ethiopia, hoping to win him and his subjects over to Catholic unity. Nothing came of this venture, but Fr. Goncalvo de Silveira, who would become the Society's first martyr on the Africa soil, remained in the country. 
  • May 28, 1962. The death of Bernard Hubbard famous Alaskan missionary. He was the author of the book Mush, You Malemutes! and wrote a number of articles on the Alaska mission.