Daily Email

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Photo: Ignatius of Loyola


Photo: Ignatius of Loyola

 Lord, welcome into your calm and peaceful kingdom those who have departed out of this present life to be with you. Grant them rest and a place with the spirits of the just. Give them the life that knows no age, the reward that passes not away, through Christ of Lord. Amen. 

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Photo: Wall Art


Reset your Worldview: The Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

                                              Reset your Worldview

The Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

July 31, 2022

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Ecclesiastes 1:2, 2:21-23; Psalm 90; Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11; Luke 12:13-21


          The reading from Ecclesiastes sets the tone for today’s thoughts because it reminds us that life passes far too quickly, and we cannot rely upon illusions because they are not reality. The words from the wise man says to be happy with what you have. Find your happiness in the small moments of the day because it is in the details where we will find our true meaning of life. Bring an end to your illusions and live the reality that is before you. It gives us an opportunity to reset our worldview and place what is most important at the center of our lives. 


          The Gospel also urges us to reset our worldview by giving us the example of the man whose illusion was that his hoarding would provide him a sense of security and prosperity. He lived as if his concerns for himself and his immediate family were the only important matters in life, and he forgot to enjoy the moment. Because he died, he did not get to enjoy his dream, and he missed out on much happiness. Part of the mystery of happiness is that we become happier when we serve the common good, the interests of others, and help to lessen the suffering of another person. It is not about accumulating for the sake of riches, but in giving away as needed so that others may get a break in life.


          We have to be able to see which way the wind is blowing and make healthy and necessary changes that will lead to our happiness. St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, calls this discernment, and it is basically a way to make decisions. We can ask ourselves a fundamental question: Is this helping me or hurting me? If I continue to do things that seem to be good but are bringing me sadness, then it is hurting me, and I have to choose a different way forward. Eating dessert every night might taste good, but is it hurting me or helping me? Visiting a cemetery of a loved one every Saturday might feel like a way to be respectful, but is it bringing me joy or more sadness? Once I ask myself that question, I then must be bold enough to stop doing what hurts me so I can choose what will help me. The people who genuinely care about you will help you when you respectfully ask for their input.


          We must be ready for change because change is constant, and if we are stuck, then we are not moving forward. In fact, we are moving backwards while life continues to progress. We need to be freed from our stuck-ness to move towards greater freedom. We have to adapt. The Pope is adapting the church to a modern reality and he is going back to address wrongs, like his recent trip to Canada to apologize to the indigenous people for the errors in the missionary activity of church settlers. The Pope is taking the church from one that is serving its own interests, so that it can focus on reducing the suffering of others, especially when committed at the hands of church officials.


          Let us take advantage of this opportunity today to assess where we are in life. Are we where we want to be? If not, how are we going to move forward? Also, if I’m not where I want to be, I must ask myself whether the actions that I am taking harm me or help me. Then I need to resolve to try a different way. Come talk with us. We are willing to help. Time is fleeting. Time marches forward. Do we have enough courage to adjust our mindset and walk forward into the freedom to which Christ calls us?


Scripture for Daily Mass


First Reading: 


Monday: (Jeremiah 28) The prophet Hezekiah in the presence of the priests and all the people: “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two years I will restore to this place all the vessels of the temple of the LORD which Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, took away from this place to Babylon. 


Tuesday: (Jeremiah 30) Incurable is your wound, grievous your bruise; There is none to plead your cause, no remedy for your running sore, no healing for you. All your lovers have forgotten you, they do not seek you.


Wednesday: ((Jeremiah 31) I will be the God of all the tribes of Israel, and they shall be my people. Thus says the LORD: The people that escaped the sword have found favor in the desert. As Israel comes forward to be given his rest, the LORD appears to him from afar: With age-old love I have loved you.


Thursday: (Jeremiah 31) But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD. I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Friday (Nahum 2) See, upon the mountains there advances the bearer of good news, announcing peace! Celebrate your feasts, O Judah, fulfill your vows! For nevermore shall you be invaded by the scoundrel; he is completely destroyed. 


Saturday (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.




Monday: (Matthew 14) When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.


Tuesday: (Matthew 14) Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and precede him to the other side of the sea, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.


Wednesday (Matthew 15) At that time Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” But he did not say a word in answer to her.


Thursday (Matthew 16) For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. 


Friday (Matthew 16) What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay each according to his conduct.


Saturday (Luke 9) While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem. 


Saints of the Week


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


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


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


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


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


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


August 5: Dedication of the Basilica of Mary Major in Rome is celebrated because it is the largest and oldest of the churches in honor of Mary. The veneration began in 435 when the church was repaired after the Council of Ephesus in 431 when Mary was proclaimed the Mother of God. This is the church where Ignatius of Loyola said his first Mass and where Francis of Assisi assembled the first crèche. 


August 6: The Transfiguration of the Lord is an historical event captured by the Gospels when Jesus is singled out as God's Son - ranking higher than Moses or Elijah. In front of his disciples, Jesus becomes transfigured, thus revealing his true nature. Ironically, the anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb occurred at Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.


This Week in Jesuit History


  • July 31, 1556. The death in Rome of Ignatius Loyola. 
  • August 1, 1938. The Jesuits of the middle United States, by Gilbert Garrigan was copyrighted. This monumental three-volume work followed the history of the Jesuits in the Midwest from the early 1820s to the 1930s. 
  • August 2, 1981. The death of Gerald Kelly, moral theologian and author of "Modern Youth and Chastity." 
  • August 3, 1553. Queen Mary Tudor made her solemn entrance into London. As she passed St Paul's School, Edmund Campion, then a boy of thirteen delivered an address. 
  • August 4, 1871. King Victor Emmanuel signed the decree that sanctioned the seizure of all of the properties belonging to the Roman College and to S. Andrea. 
  • August 5, 1762. The Parliament at Paris condemned the Society's Institute as opposed to natural law. It confiscated all Jesuit property and forbade the Jesuit habit and community life. 
  • August 6, 1552. The death of Claude Jay, a French priest who was one of Ignatius' original companions at the University of Paris.

Prayer: Augustine

The way to Christ is through humility. If humility does not precede and accompany and follow every good work we do, if it is not before us to focus upon, if it is not beside us to lean upon, if it is not behind us to fence us in, pride will wrench from our hand any good deed we do at the very moment we do it. 

Spirituality: John Philip Newell, in "A New Harmony"

We live in a moment of grace. Through the hedges of our divisions we are beginning to glimpse again the beauty of life's oneness. We are beginning to hear...the essential harmony that lies at the heart of the universe. And we are beginning to understand...that we will be well to the extent that we move back into relationship with one another, whether as individuals and families or as nations and species. The time is right. The time is desperately right.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Photo: A Jordanian Night Light


Spirituality: Jacqueline Woodson, The Day you Begin

There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you... until the day you begin to share your stories. And all at once, in the room where no one else is quite like you, the world opens itself up a little wider to make some space for you.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Reinicia tu visión del mundo El Decimoctavo Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario

                                             Reinicia tu visión del mundo

El Decimoctavo Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario

31 de julio de 2022

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Eclesiastés 1:2, 2:21-23; Salmo 90; Colosenses 3:1-5, 9-11; Lucas 12:13-21


La lectura de Eclesiastés marca el tono de los pensamientos de hoy porque nos recuerda que la vida pasa demasiado rápido y que no podemos confiar en las ilusiones porque no son la realidad. Las palabras del sabio dice que seas feliz con lo que tienes. Encuentra tu felicidad en los pequeños momentos del día porque es en los detalles donde encontraremos nuestro verdadero sentido de la vida. Pon fin a tus ilusiones y vive la realidad que tienes ante ti. Nos da la oportunidad de restablecer nuestra visión del mundo y colocar lo más importante en el centro de nuestras vidas.


          El Evangelio también nos insta a restablecer nuestra cosmovisión dándonos el ejemplo del hombre cuya ilusión era que su atesoramiento le proporcionaría una sensación de seguridad y prosperidad. Vivía como si sus preocupaciones por sí mismo y su familia inmediata fueran los únicos asuntos importantes en la vida, y se olvidó de disfrutar el momento. Debido a que murió, no pudo disfrutar de su sueño y se perdió mucha felicidad. Parte del misterio de la felicidad es que nos volvemos más felices cuando servimos al bien común, los intereses de los demás y ayudamos a disminuir el sufrimiento de otra persona. No se trata de acumular en aras de las riquezas, sino de dar según sea necesario para que otros puedan tener un descanso en la vida.


          Tenemos que ser capaces de ver hacia dónde sopla el viento y hacer cambios saludables y necesarios que nos lleven a nuestra felicidad. San Ignacio de Loyola, fundador de los jesuitas, llama a esto discernimiento, y es básicamente una forma de tomar decisiones. Podemos hacernos una pregunta fundamental: ¿Esto me ayuda o me perjudica? Si continúo haciendo cosas que parecen estar bien pero me traen tristeza, entonces me están lastimando y tengo que elegir un camino diferente a seguir. Comer postre todas las noches puede tener buen sabor, pero ¿me hace daño o me ayuda? Visitar el cementerio de un ser querido todos los sábados puede parecer una forma de ser respetuoso, pero ¿me trae alegría o más tristeza? Una vez que me hago esa pregunta, debo ser lo suficientemente audaz para dejar de hacer lo que me lastima y poder elegir lo que me ayudará. Las personas que realmente se preocupan por ti te ayudarán cuando les pidas respetuosamente su opinión.


          Debemos estar preparados para el cambio porque el cambio es constante, y si estamos atascados, entonces no estamos avanzando. De hecho, estamos retrocediendo mientras la vida continúa progresando. Necesitamos ser liberados de nuestro estancamiento para avanzar hacia una mayor libertad. Tenemos que adaptarnos. El Papa está adaptando la iglesia a una realidad moderna y está volviendo a abordar agravios, como su reciente viaje a Canadá para disculparse con los indígenas por los errores en la actividad misionera de los colonos de la iglesia. El Papa está apartando a la iglesia de una que está al servicio de sus propios intereses, para que pueda concentrarse en reducir el sufrimiento de los demás, especialmente cuando se comete a manos de los funcionarios de la iglesia.


          Aprovechemos esta oportunidad hoy para evaluar dónde estamos en la vida. ¿Estamos donde queremos estar? Si no, ¿cómo vamos a avanzar? Además, si no estoy donde quiero estar, debo preguntarme si las acciones que estoy tomando me perjudican o me ayudan. Entonces necesito decidir probar de una manera diferente. Ven a hablar con nosotros. Estamos dispuestos a ayudar. El tiempo es fugaz . El tiempo avanza. ¿Tenemos el valor suficiente para ajustar nuestra mentalidad y caminar hacia la libertad a la que Cristo nos llama?


Escritura para la misa diaria


Primera lectura: 


Lunes: (Jeremías 28 ) El profeta Ezequías en presencia de los sacerdotes y de todo el pueblo: “Así dice el SEÑOR de los ejércitos, el Dios de Israel: 'Romperé el yugo del rey de Babilonia. Dentro de dos años devolveré a este lugar todos los utensilios del templo del SEÑOR que Nabucodonosor, rey de Babilonia, llevó de este lugar a Babilonia.


Martes: (Jeremías 30 ) Incurable es tu herida, dolorosa tu contusión; No hay nadie que defienda tu causa, no hay remedio para tu llaga, no hay curación para ti. Todos tus amantes te han olvidado , no te buscan.


Miércoles: ((Jeremías 31 ) Yo seré el Dios de todas las tribus de Israel, y ellas me serán por pueblo. Así ha dicho Jehová: El pueblo que escapó de la espada ha hallado gracia en el desierto. Como Israel se adelanta para ser dado su descanso, el Señor se le aparece de lejos: Con amor secular te he amado.


Jueves: (Jeremías 31) Mas este es el pacto que haré con la casa de Israel después de aquellos días, dice Jehová. Pondré mi ley dentro de ellos, y la escribiré en sus corazones; Yo seré su Dios, y ellos serán mi pueblo.

Viernes (Nahum 2 ) ¡Mirad, sobre los montes avanza el portador de buenas noticias, anunciando la paz! ¡Celebra tus fiestas, oh Judá, cumple tus votos! Porque nunca más seréis invadidos por el sinvergüenza; él está completamente destruido .


Sábado (Daniel 7) Se establecieron tronos y el Anciano tomó su trono. Su ropa era brillante como la nieve, y el cabello de su cabeza tan blanco como la lana.




Lunes: ( Mateo 14) Cuando Jesús se enteró de la muerte de Juan el Bautista, se retiró solo en una barca a un lugar desierto. Las multitudes se enteraron de esto y lo siguieron a pie desde sus pueblos.


Martes: (Mateo 14) Jesús hizo subir a los discípulos a una barca y lo precedieron al otro lado del mar, mientras él despedía a la multitud. Después de hacerlo, subió solo a la montaña para orar.


Miércoles (Mateo 15 ) En ese momento Jesús se retiró a la región de Tiro y Sidón. Y he aquí, una mujer cananea de aquel distrito vino y gritó: “¡Ten piedad de mí, Señor, Hijo de David! Mi hija está atormentada por un demonio”. Pero él no dijo una palabra en respuesta a ella.


Jueves (Mateo 16 ) Porque no os lo ha revelado la carne ni la sangre, sino mi Padre celestial. Y por eso te digo, tú eres Pedro, y sobre esta roca edificaré mi Iglesia, y las puertas del inframundo no prevalecerán contra ella. Te daré las llaves del Reino de los cielos.


Viernes (Mateo 16 ) ¿De qué le sirve a uno ganar el mundo entero 
y perder su vida? ¿O qué puede dar uno a cambio de su vida? Porque el Hijo del Hombre vendrá con sus ángeles en la gloria de su Padre, y entonces pagará a cada uno según su conducta.


Sábado (Lucas 9) Mientras oraba, su rostro cambió de apariencia y su ropa se volvió de un blanco resplandeciente. Y he aquí, dos hombres conversaban con él, Moisés y Elías, los cuales aparecieron en gloria y hablaban de su éxodo que iba a realizar en Jerusalén.


santos de la semana


31 de julio: Ignacio de Loyola, sacerdote (1491-1556) , es uno de los fundadores de los jesuitas y autor de los Ejercicios Espirituales. Como noble vasco, fue herido en una batalla en Pamplona en el noreste de España y convaleció en su castillo donde se dio cuenta de que seguía una metodología de discernimiento de espíritus. Cuando se recuperó, atendió a los enfermos y moribundos y luego se retiró a una cueva en Manresa, España, donde tuvo experiencias que formaron la base de Los Ejercicios Espirituales. Para predicar, estudió latín, obtuvo una maestría en la Universidad de París y luego reunió a otros estudiantes para servir a Jesús. Francis Xavier y Peter Faber fueron sus primeros amigos. Después de la ordenación, Ignacio y sus nueve amigos fueron a Roma donde se convirtieron formalmente en la Compañía de Jesús. La mayoría de los jesuitas fueron enviados en misión, pero Ignacio se quedó en Roma dirigiendo la orden religiosa en rápido crecimiento, redactando sus constituciones y perfeccionando los Ejercicios Espirituales. Murió en 1556 y la Orden de los Jesuitas contaba ya con 1.000 hombres. 


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


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


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


2 de agosto: Pedro Julián Eymard , sacerdote (1811-1868) deja los Oblatos cuando se enferma. Cuando murió su padre, se convirtió en sacerdote y pronto se transfirió a los maristas, pero los dejó para fundar los Padres del Santísimo Sacramento para promover el significado de la Eucaristía.


4 de agosto: John Vianney, sacerdote (1786-1859) se convierte en párroco en Arsen - Dombes , donde pasa el resto de su vida predicando y confesando. Cientos de visitantes y peregrinos lo visitaban diariamente. Oía confesiones de 12 a 16 horas por día.


5 de agosto: Se celebra la Dedicación de la Basílica de María Mayor en Roma por ser la más grande y antigua de las iglesias en honor a María. La veneración comenzó en el año 435 cuando la iglesia fue reparada después del Concilio de Éfeso en el año 431 cuando María fue proclamada Madre de Dios. Esta es la iglesia donde Ignacio de Loyola dijo su primera Misa y donde Francisco de Asís montó el primer pesebre.


6 de agosto: La Transfiguración del Señor es un evento histórico capturado por los Evangelios cuando se señala a Jesús como el Hijo de Dios, con un rango más alto que Moisés o Elías. Frente a sus discípulos, Jesús se transfigura, revelando así su verdadera naturaleza. Irónicamente, el aniversario del lanzamiento de la primera bomba atómica ocurrió en Hiroshima el 6 de agosto de 1945.


Esta semana en la historia jesuita


  • 31 de julio de 1556. La muerte en Roma de Ignacio de Loyola.
  • 1 de agosto de 1938. Los jesuitas del centro de los Estados Unidos, por Gilbert Garrigan , tenía derechos de autor. Esta monumental obra de tres volúmenes siguió la historia de los jesuitas en el Medio Oeste desde principios de la década de 1820 hasta la década de 1930.
  • 2 de agosto de 1981. Fallece Gerald Kelly, teólogo moral y autor de "Modern Youth and Chastity".
  • 3 de agosto de 1553. La reina María Tudor hace su entrada solemne en Londres. Al pasar por St Paul's School, Edmund Campion, entonces un niño de trece años, pronunció un discurso.
  • 4 de agosto de 1871. El rey Víctor Emmanuel firma el decreto que sanciona la incautación de todos los bienes pertenecientes al Colegio Romano ya S. Andrea.
  • 5 de agosto de 1762. El Parlamento de París condenó el Instituto de la Sociedad como opuesto a la ley natural. Confiscó todas las propiedades de los jesuitas y prohibió el hábito jesuita y la vida comunitaria.
  • 6 de agosto de 1552. Muerte de Claude Jay, sacerdote francés que fue uno de los primeros compañeros de Ignacio en la Universidad de París.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Spirituality: The Other Grandparents

Today, the church remembers the maternal grandparents of Jesus, Anne and Joachim. Little is known about them as Scripture makes no reference to them. The church gleans information from the Proto-Gospel of James to make reference to Anne, and a tradition of veneration started around Anne shortly thereafter. As people searching for meaning, we try to fill in the blank data wherever we can.

There is always a question about what we include and exclude. For some in the faith, Mary has an enormous role and stature; for others, they prefer to see her as an accessible woman of great virtue. As we know the crucial role that grandparents often play in the raising of a child, we simply have to ask: Why don't we honor Jacob, the father of Joseph, and his unnamed wife? 

As it takes a village to raise a child, and as the family line is measured along patriarchal ancestry, then Jacob and his wife would have had enormous influence on the development of the child, Jesus. I may want to research this more deeply. 

We need to bring greater balance to our understanding of Scripture. Mary is given preference over Joseph, who is regarded as necessary for his role, but is still pushed aside because he does not matter as much to many. As I'm residing in a Middle Eastern kingdom at moment and I see the significance that the father has in community, it seems right that we give Joseph his due, and his parents as well. By bringing a greater balance to our tradition does not diminish Mary's role. We are not an "either or" people; we are a "both and" people. The traditions of Joseph and Mary matters. 

I see the uncontainable joy of new grandparents as they await the birth of a grandchild. It is almost as miraculous of having one's own child. The grandparents are often gracious and patient and they want to shower their grandchildren with the same love they gave their own children. Something special happens to grandparents when they hold that child for the first time. 

At Mass today, we celebrated both sets of grandparents of Jesus. Each set must have savored the great joy of holding him as an infant and sharing the joy of Joseph and Mary. All the aunts and uncles and neighbors would have celebrated with them. Let's fondly remember those grandparents who held us in their arms for the first time and were overcome with awe, wonder, and admiration. 

Spirituality: One is what one does

Vatican II is the most complex council in the history of the church by reason of the international perspective it adopted, by reason of its awareness of the radical cultural changes that confronted it, and by reason of the number and difficulty of the issues it chose to address. Its adoption of a new genre to express itself adds to the complexity and to the difficulty in interpreting it in the full breadth of its significance. Taking account of the genre is, however, its first and most essential interpretive principle required to unlock that significance. When that principle is employed, it reveals that Vatican II is a council so unlike any other that it redefined what a council is because it redefined what a council does.  

Monday, July 25, 2022

Photo: Loaves and Fishes


Spirituality: Vocabulary

To dismiss the vocabulary as simply a pastoral ploy is to fail to understand that the vocabulary serves as the expression of dynamism of a quite specific literary form. Councils must express themselves with words. To change the words is to change the form. To change the form is to create something different from what prevailed before. To change to something different from what earlier prevailed is to change the nature of the object in question. It gives the object a new definition. That is what happened at Vatican II. The style change resulted in a council so different from all those that preceded it that it cannot be fully understood without applying to it different interpretive principles, the first of which is taking account of the literary genre the council employed.  

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Prayer: Bernard Haring

Teach us, Lord, to pray truthfully in your name. Free us from out foolish trust in ourselves and in the works of our hands and minds. Help us to pray in absolute trust that whatever you send us is for our good; and help us to accept the surprising things for which we have not prayed. Give us the trust that all events, even suffering and death, are for us occasions to glorify you, and, with you, the One who sent you. 

Photo: Arabic Sweets: Pistachio and Honey


Photo: Baghdad, Iraq


Saturday, July 23, 2022

Novena to St. Ignatius of Loyola

                                Novena to St. Ignatius of Loyola

Pray each day at home from July 23rd to July 31st




In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. 


Opening Prayer (ALL): Lord, teach us to be generous. Teach us to love you and serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labor and not to look for reward, except to know that we seek your will.




Lord Jesus, Eternal King, I feel your gaze on me. With the angels and powers martyrs and saints, I stand before you to heed your call. You have blessed me with holy desires, and I come before you to make my offering. Let it be my desire and my choice, if you want it, too, to live my life as you lived yours. You understand our joys and our suffering, and you call me to choose your Greater Glory. I will labor to bring God’s reign if you will give me the gift to do it. Here is the grace I seek from you today: 



(Mention your request here…)


(ALL): Father in heaven; give us today the same grace that Ignatius received – to know Jesus intimately – to love him more dearly – and to follow him more closely. Help us to remember that with Jesus as our model – we may be able to reveal him – in all we say and all we do. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.









With St. Ignatius we pray:


Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within Your wounds hide me.
Never let me be separated from you.
From the malevolent enemy defend me.
In the hour of my death call me.
And bid me come unto You,
That with Your saints,
I may praise You forever and ever. Amen. 


Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, and we forgive those who trespass against us. Do not let us be led into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen. 


Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen. 


Pray: The Suscipe


Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding, and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me.

Novena Prayer to St. Ignatius of Loyola

To be prayed during Mass following the Intercessory Prayers.

July 23rd to July 31st



Lord Jesus, Eternal King, I feel your gaze on me. With the angels and powers martyrs and saints, I stand before you to heed your call. You have blessed me with holy desires, and I come before you to make my offering. Let it be my desire and my choice, if you want it, too, to live my life as you lived yours. You understand our joys and our suffering, and you call me to choose your Greater Glory. I will labor to bring God’s reign if you will give me the gift to do it. Here is the grace I seek from you today: 


(Mention your request here…)


(ALL): Father in heaven; give us today the same grace that Ignatius received – to know Jesus intimately – to love him more dearly – and to follow him more closely. Help us to remember that with Jesus as our model – we may be able to reveal him – in all we say and all we do. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.


With St. Ignatius we pray:


Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within Your wounds hide me.
Never let me be separated from you.
From the malevolent enemy defend me.
In the hour of my death call me.
And bid me come unto You,
That with Your saints,
I may praise You forever and ever. Amen. 



Poem: Psalm 35, Nan Merrill

Pour forth your strength into my heart
That I might stand strong!
Encircle with healing love those
Who persecute me through fear!
And say to my soul,
"I am with you always."

Friday, July 22, 2022

Photo: I baptize you ....


Poem: "The Pain of the World" by Ram Dass

The pain of the world will sear and
break our hearts because we can no
longer keep them closed.

We've seen too much now.
To some degree or other, we have
surrendered into service and are willing
to pay the price of compassion.

But with it comes the joy of a single,
caring act.

With it comes the honor of participating
in a generous process in which one rises
each day and does what one can.

With it comes the simple, singular grace
of being an instrument of Love,
in whatever form, to whatever end.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Photo: Fish, the symbol of the early Christians


Spirituality: Ben Okri, in Birds of Heaven

It is easy to forget how mysterious and mighty stories are. They do their work in silence, invisibly. They work with all the internal materials of the mind and self. They become part of you while changing you.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Persist in Prayer: The Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

                                                         Persist in Prayer

The Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

July 24, 2022

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Genesis 18:20-32; Psalm 138; Colossians 2:12-14; Luke 11:1-13


          Sometimes we question the purpose of prayer as we ask, “Why should I pray? What is the effect of prayer upon God? Why does it seem as if God does not answer prayer very well.” We also realize that the church does not teach Christians how to pray. Preachers tell people to pray, they tell them to pray the Rosary or to ask for intercession by a saint, or to say the Our Father, but the preacher in his homilies does not instruct people how to pray. I wish I had time to do that today because that is what I like to do most of all, but in responding to these readings, I will point out several reasons why our prayer is effective.


          In Genesis, we hear Abraham’s petition to God to spare the lives of even just a single innocent person. Abraham wants all innocent lives to be saved, and it was important for him to speak those words to God, who responded to him. As the conversation with God continued, Abraham had to constantly petition God to care for the lives of the just. Some people might have walked away when they heard God’s answer, but Abraham persisted. The prayer changed Abraham and tested his heart. By the end, he finally spoke plainly about what he wanted, and his heart was softened. He cared so much for the innocent, that it caused him great pain, and he looked to God for hope. God relented and spared not just the innocent, but the wicked as well.


          In the Gospel, Jesus wants us to be just as persistent in prayer and to understand that we are called to act. While asking and seeking are passive activities, knocking on the door is active. The strength of our words must be followed up by action. Then, we trust in the goodness of God, and that trust is the fruit of our prayers.


          Here are three aspects of our prayer. (1.) We recognize God’s omnipotent authority over all things, and prayer reminds us that we are dependent upon God. In our prayers, we often cling to life and it is right that we lay before God all our fears and limitations. (2.) God response to us is found in the prayer itself. Just as Abraham prayed for God to spare the righteous, it caused Abraham to act, and God’s Presence was there. God heard, and God gave Abraham the desire to spare the lives of the just. Our prayer causes us to act; our prayer causes us to knock on the door. (3.) What we may be lacking, that is, what we pray for recognizes that God’s Presence will be translated into our courage, action, and hope for a resolution. We find that God is present because God accompanies and empowers us. 


          The answer to our prayers lies in God’s response to human needs. Our prayers ought to recognize our dependence upon God as we face our limitations. We do not have much control over anything. Control is an illusion, and we have to embrace what we cannot achieve. We need to also examine the limits of our love, those places where we fail to love, those areas where our love cannot bring about what we most desire. We voice the very same thing Abraham voiced – that we look to the victory of hope over the limits of our love. Our prayers bring us hope, and we cling to live one more day. We act in accord with that hope, as we know God is working tirelessly to keep our hope alive.


Scripture for Daily Mass


First Reading: 


Monday: (2 Corinthians 4) We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

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


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


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

Friday (Jeremiah 26) Stand in the court of the house of the LORD and speak to the people of all the cities of Judah who come to worship in the house of the LORD;
whatever I command you, tell them, and omit nothing.


Saturday (Jeremiah 26) The priests and prophets said to the princes and to all the people, “This man deserves death; he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.”




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


Tuesday: (Matthew 13) Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”


Wednesday (Matthew 13) The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.


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


Friday (John 11) Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother [Lazarus, who had died]. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home.


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


Saints of the Week


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


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


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


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


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

This Week in Jesuit History


  • July 24, 1805. In Maryland, Fr. Robert Molyneux was appointed the first superior by Father General Gruber. 
  • July 25, 1581. In the house of the Earl of Leicester in London, an interview occurred between Queen Elizabeth and Edmund Campion. The Queen could scarcely have recognized the worn and broken person before her as the same brilliant scholar who had addressed here at Oxford 15 years before. 
  • July 26, 1872. At Rome, the greater part of the Professed House of the Gesu was seized and appropriated by the Piedmontese government. 
  • July 27, 1609. Pope Paul V beatifies Ignatius. 
  • July 28, 1564. In a consistory held before twenty-four Cardinals, Pope Paul IV announced his intention of entrusting the Roman Seminary to the Society. 
  • July 29, 1865. The death in Cincinnati, Ohio of Fr. Peter Arnoudt, a Belgian. He was the author of The Imitation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 
  • July 30, 1556. As he lay near death, Ignatius asked Juan de Polanco to go and obtain for him the blessing of the pope.