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Saint Wenceslaus, Martyr; Saint Lawrence Ruiz and Companions, Martyrs

September 28

Daily Gospel Commentary 

 

Thursday of the Twenty-fifth week in Ordinary Time

Commentary of the day
Saint Ambrose (c.340-397), Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church
Commentary on St. Luke’s gospel, I, 27 (trans. SC 45, p.60)“Herod sought to see Jesus”

Our Lord is only seen in this world when he wills. What is surprising about that? Even at the resurrection it was only given to those of pure heart to see God. “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God” (Mt 5:8). How many persons who are blessed had he not already listed but even so he had not promised these the possibility of seeing God. So it those of pure heart will see God then certainly the others will not see him…; someone who has not wished to see God cannot see God.

For one doesn’t see God in a particular place but with a pure heart. The eyes of the body are not what seek God; he is not embraced with a look, nor reached by a touch, nor heard in conversation, nor recognized by his walk. One believes him absent and one sees him; he is present and one doesn’t see him. Besides this, the apostles themselves did not all see the Christ in him. That is why he said to them: “Have I been with you so long a time and still you do not know me?” (Jn 14:9). In effect, whoever has known “what is the length and the breadth, the height and the depth – the love of Christ that surpasses all understanding” (Eph 3:18-19), has also seen Christ, has also seen the Father. As for us, we do not know Christ according to the flesh (2Cor 5:16) but according to the Spirit. “The Spirit before our face, he is the Anointed of the Lord, the King” (cf. Lam 4:20). May he deign, in his mercy, to fill us with all the fullness of God that we may see him!

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‘Forgiveness of sins is betokened by freedom from the passions; he who has not yet been granted freedom from the passions has not yet received forgiveness.’ St. Thalassios the Libyan


The Angelus

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of
our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


“Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” (Lk 1:28)

 “Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb”
(Lk 1:42).

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English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
Luke 9
7. Now Herod, the tetrarch, heard of all things that were done by him; and he was in a doubt, because it was said Audivit autem Herodes tetrarcha omnia quæ fiebant ab eo, et hæsitabat eo quod diceretur ηκουσεν δε ηρωδης ο τετραρχης τα γινομενα υπ αυτου παντα και διηπορει δια το λεγεσθαι υπο τινων οτι ιωαννης εγηγερται εκ νεκρων
8. By some, that John was risen from the dead: but by other some, that Elias had appeared; and by others, that one of the old prophets was risen again. a quibusdam : Quia Joannes surrexit a mortuis : a quibusdam vero : Quia Elias apparuit : ab aliis autem : Quia propheta unus de antiquis surrexit. υπο τινων δε οτι ηλιας εφανη αλλων δε οτι προφητης εις των αρχαιων ανεστη
9. And Herod said: John I have beheaded; but who is this of whom I hear such things? And he sought to see him. Et ait Herodes : Joannem ego decollavit : quis est autem iste, de quo ego talia audio ? Et quærebat videre eum. και ειπεν ηρωδης ιωαννην εγω απεκεφαλισα τις δε εστιν ουτος περι ου εγω ακουω τοιαυτα και εζητει ιδειν αυτον

(*) “υπο τινων οτι ιωαννης εγηγερται εκ νεκρων” begins verse 8 in the translations.

22 posted on 9/28/2017, 7:38:12 AM by annalex (fear them not)

To: annalex
7. Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead;
8. And of some, that Elias had appeared; and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again.
9. And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him.

CHRYS. It was not till a long time had passed that Herod took notice of the things that were done by Jesus, (to show Ho you the pride of a tyrant,) for he did not acknowledge them at first, as it is said, Now Herod heard, &c.

THEOPHYL. Herod was the son of Herod the Great who slew the children, who was king, but this Herod was tetrarch. He inquired about Christ, who He was. Hence it follows, And he was perplexed.

CHRYS. For sinners fear both when they know, and when they are ignorant; they are afraid of shadows, are suspicious about every thing, and are alarmed at the slightest noise. Such in truth is sin; when no one blames or finds fault, it betrays a man, when no one accuses it condemns, and makes the offender timid and backward. But the cause of fear is stated afterwards, in the words, Because that it was said of some.

THEOPHYL. For the Jews expected a resurrection of the dead to a fleshly life, eating and drinking, but those that rise again will not be concerned with the deeds of the flesh.

CHRYS. When Herod then heard of the miracles which Jesus was performing, he says, John have I beheaded, which was not an expression of boasting, but by way of allaying his fears, and bringing his distracted soul to recollect that he had killed. And because he had beheaded John, he adds, but who is this.

THEOPHYL. If John is alive and has risen from the dead, I shall know him when I see him; as it follows, And he sought to see him.

AUG. Now Luke, though he keeps the same order in his narrative with Mark, does not oblige us to believe that the course of events was the same. In these words too, Mark testifies only to the fact that others (not Herod) said that John had risen from the dead, but since Luke has mentioned Herod’s perplexity, we must suppose either that after that perplexity, he confirmed in his own mind what was said by others, since he says to his servants, (as Matthew relates,) This is John the Baptist, he is risen from the dead, or these words of Matthew must have been altered so as to signify that he was still doubting.

Catena Aurea Luke 9

23 posted on 9/28/2017, 7:38:44 AM by annalex (fear them not)

To: annalex

Christ Before Herod

Duccio di Buoninsegna

1308-11
Tempera on wood, 50 x 57 cm
Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Siena

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Wenceslaus, the Martyred King of Bohemia truly was a good Monarch. Among other acts of charity, he had the vineyards of the royal grounds provide all the Altar Wine for the churches and chapels of his kingdom.

Good King Wenceslas

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath’ring winter fuel

“Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know’st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes’ fountain.”

“Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither.”
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind’s wild lament
And the bitter weather

“Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly.”

In his master’s steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing.

25 posted on 9/28/2017, 7:47:15 AM by lightman (ANTIFA is full of Bolshevik.)

To: lightman
Saint Wenceslaus Fr. Don Miller, OFM

Saint Wenceslaus statue on the Gothic Bridge in Kłodzko | photo by Jacek HalickiImage: Saint Wenceslaus statue on the Gothic Bridge in Kłodzko | photo by Jacek Halicki

Saint Wenceslaus

Saint of the Day for September 28

(c. 907 – 929)

 

Saint Wenceslaus’ Story

If saints have been falsely characterized as “other worldly,” the life of Wenceslaus stands as an example to the contrary: He stood for Christian values in the midst of the political intrigues which characterized 10th-century Bohemia.

Wenceslaus was born in 907 near Prague, son of the Duke of Bohemia. His saintly grandmother, Ludmilla, raised him and sought to promote him as ruler of Bohemia in place of his mother, who favored the anti-Christian factions. Ludmilla was eventually murdered, but rival Christian forces enabled Wenceslaus to assume leadership of the government.

His rule was marked by efforts toward unification within Bohemia, support of the Church, and peace-making negotiations with Germany, a policy which caused him trouble with the anti-Christian opposition. His brother Boleslav joined in the plotting, and in September of 929 invited Wenceslaus to Alt Bunglou for the celebration of the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian. On the way to Mass, Boleslav attacked his brother, and in the struggle, Wenceslaus was killed by supporters of Boleslav.

Although his death resulted primarily from political upheaval, Wenceslaus was hailed as a martyr for the faith, and his tomb became a pilgrimage shrine. He is hailed as the patron of the Bohemian people and of the former Czechoslovakia.


Reflection

“Good King Wenceslaus” was able to incarnate his Christianity in a world filled with political unrest. While we are often victims of violence of a different sort, we can easily identify with his struggle to bring harmony to society. The call to become involved in social change and in political activity is addressed to Christians; the values of the gospel are sorely needed today.


Saint Wenceslaus is the Patron Saint of:

Bohemia

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Information: St. WenceslausFeast Day: September 28

Born: 903, Prague, Bohemia

Died: September 28, 935, Stará Boleslav, Bohemia

Major Shrine: St Vitus Cathedral, Prague

Patron of: Bohemia, Czech Republic, Prague

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St. Lawrence Ruiz and Companions

 

Feast Day: September 28
Born: (around) 1575 :: Died: 1637

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Lawrence Ruiz, from the Philippines and his fifteen companions.

Born in Manila, in the Philippines, St. Lorenzo was the father of a family. He left his wife and children to join a few Dominican priests, brothers and lay volunteers who were going on a mission to Japan to preach the Gospel.

The group had nine Dominican priests, two brothers, two single lay women, and three other lay persons. All the people on the group were in some way connected with the Dominican order and were missionaries who had originally come from five nations – France, Italy, Japan, the Philippines and Spain.

When the persecution started they all chose to die rather than give up their faith in Jesus. These martyrs suffered greatly before they died, but despite their trials they would not give up their Catholic religion and remained faithful until the end.

St. Lawrence Ruiz told his judges that if he had a thousand lives to give for Christ, he would.

These sixteen martyrs were killed for their faith in 1637, in Nagasaki, Japan. What a wonderful reminder they are that the Church reaches out to the whole world.

This group of heroes was proclaimed saints by Pope John Paul II in1987.

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CATHOLIC ALMANACThursday, September 28

Liturgical Color: Red

September is devoted to Our
Lady of Sorrows. Pope Pius VII
wrote the Litany of Our Lady of
Sorrows in 1809. It
commemorates the spiritual
martyrdom Mary suffered by
witnessing the passion and
death of Jesus.

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Catholic Culture 

Ordinary Time: September 28th

Optional Memorial of St. Wenceslaus, martyr; St. Lawrence Ruiz and Companions, martyrs; St. Simón de Rojas O.SS. (Spain)

MASS READINGS

September 28, 2017 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

O God, who taught the Martyr Saint Wenceslaus to place the heavenly Kingdom before an earthly one, grant through his prayers that, denying ourselves, we may hold fast to you with all our heart. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Grant us, we pray, Lord God, the same perseverance shown by your Martyrs Saint Lawrence Ruiz and his companions in serving you and their neighbor, since those persecuted for the sake of righteousness are blessed in your Kingdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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Old Calendar: St. Wenceslaus, martyr; St. John of Dukla (Hist) ; Other Titles: Vaclav; Wenzel; Vaceslav; Wenceslaus of Bohemia; Lorenzo Ruiz; Laurence Ruiz;

St. Wenceslaus was Duke of Bohemia, who after many trials in governing and evangelizing his people, suffered martyrdom at the hands of his brother in the year 929.

In the 17th century (1633-1637) St. Lawrence Ruiz and his companions shed their blood for Christ in Nagasaki, Japan. These martyrs were members of the Order of St. Dominic. They were nine priests, two religious, two sisters, and three laymen. Among the latter was Lawrence Ruiz, a family man from the Philippines. They abundantly sowed the missionary seed of Christianity with the example of their life and death.

Today in Spain is the feast of St. Simón de Rojas, a Spanish priest of the Trinitarian Order, who died in 1624. He was known as the “Apostle of the Ave Maria”, for his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. A person of many abilities, Simón was a theologian and a spiritual writer, as well as a friend and benefactor of the poor. He was canonized by St. Pope John Paul II on July 3, 1988.

Historically today is the feast of St. John of Dukla who was born in Dukla, Poland in 1414. He joined the Friars Minor Conventual, a religious order who strictly adhered to their rule of poverty and obedience. Though he went blind later in age he was able to prepare sermons with the help of an aide. His preaching was credited in bringing people back to the Church in his province. Soon after his death, there was an immediate at his tomb and several miracles were attributed to him. On June 10, 1997, he was canonized by Pope John Paul II in a mass at Krosno, Poland before approximately one million people.

 


St. Wenceslaus
St. Wenceslaus, duke of Bohemia, was born about the year 907 at Prague, Bohemia (now the Czech Republic). His father was killed in battle when he was young, leaving the kingdom to be ruled by his pagan mother. Wenceslaus was educated by his grandmother, Ludmilla, also a saint. She taught him to be a Christian and to be a good king. She was killed by pagan nobles before she saw him king, but she left him with a deep committment to the Christian faith.

Throughout his life he preserved his virginity unblemished. As duke he was a father to his subjects, generous toward orphans, widows, and the poor. On his own shoulders he frequently carried wood to the houses of the needy. He often attended the funerals of the poor, ransomed captives, and visited those suffering in prison. He was filled with a deep reverence toward the clergy; with his own hands he sowed the wheat for making altar breads and pressed the grapes for the wine used in the Mass. During winter he would visit the churches barefoot through snow and ice, frequently leaving behind bloody footprints.

Wenceslaus was eighteen years old when he succeeded his father to the throne. Without regard for the opposition, he worked in close cooperation with the Church to convert his pagan country. He ended the persecution of Christians, built churches and brought back exiled priests. As king he gave an example of a devout life and of great Christian charity, with his people calling him “Good King” of Bohemia.

His brother Boleslaus, however, turned to paganism. One day he invited Wenceslaus to his house for a banquet. The next morning, on September 28, 929, as Wenceslaus was on the way to Mass, Boleslaus struck him down at the door of the church. Before he died, Wenceslaus forgave his brother and asked God’s mercy for his soul. Although he was killed for political reasons, he is listed as a martyr since the dispute arose over his faith. This king, martyred at the age of twenty-two, is the national hero and patron of the Czech Republic. He is the first Slav to be canonized.

Patron: Bohemia; brewers; Czech Republic; Moravia.

Symbols: Armour; corn; black eagle; coffin held by angels; sword and purse; red banner charged with a white eagle; banner; staff; eagle on shield.

Things to Do:

  • Learn more about Prague and the Czech Republic and St. Vitus Cathedral, supposedly started by St. Wenceslas in the 10th century as a small chapel to house relics of St. Vitus and where in the 14th century St. John Nepomucene was buried after being executed for refusing to violate the seal of the confessional. 
  • Teach your children the Christmas carol, Good King Wenceslas and discuss his life and virtue. If you can find a copy, a wonderful book with music and illustrations is called Good King Wenceslas: A Legend in Music and Pictures by Mary Reed Newland, published by Seabury Press, 1980. 
  • Read about the Infant Jesus of Prague and pray the chaplet. 
  • Bake a loaf of bread for dinner and serve wine in honor of St. Wenceslas.

St. Lawrence Ruiz
Lawrence Ruiz is the first Filipino to be canonized a saint. He and 15 others were martyred at Nagasaki, Japan in 1637. The group included two consecrated women, two other laymen, two brothers and nine priests.

Lawrence was born in Manila in the Philippines; his father was Chinese and his mother Filipino. He became associated with the Dominicans, and was a member of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary. These Dominicans taught him Spanish, and from his parents he learned Chinese and Tagalog. He became a professional calligrapher and transcribed documents.

He married and had three children. In 1636, he fled the Philippines after being accused of murder. He joined a missionary group headed for Japan, where Catholics were being persecuted. It was soon found out that the members of this group were Catholic, so they were arrested and taken to Nagasaki. They were tortured for several days, first crushed while hanging upside down for three days, then the bodies were burned, with the ashes thrown into the Pacific Ocean on September 30, 1637. Pope John Paul II canonized these martyrs on October 18, 1987.

Symbols: martyr’s crown; palm frond.

Things to Do:


St. John of Dukla
St. John of Dukla was a Franciscan missionary who was born in Dukla, Galicia, Poland, around 1414 and grew up a deeply religious person. He began his religious life as a hermit but then entered the Conventual Franciscans and was ordained. From 1440-1463 he labored as a preacher, and he was elected superior of the monastery because of his holiness and sound judgment. After serving his term in the monastery, John traveled as a missionary to the area of Lvov, in the Ukraine. There a group of Observant Franciscans, called the Bernardines, were conducting their ministries. John was attracted by the Bernardine spirit and transferred to that branch of the order. He was stricken with blindness in the last years of his life, but he did not retire from his pastoral duties. John preached and found his way to the confessional by groping along the pews. He died in Lvov, on September 29, 1484, a beloved priest. He was beatified in 1733 by Pope Clement XII. Pope John Paul II canonized John in Krosno, Poland, on June 10, 1997.

— Excerpted from Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Saints, Matthew Bunson, Margaret Bunson, Stephen Bunson

 


St. Simón de Rojas O.SS.
Father Simón de Rojas of the Trinitarian Order was born at Valladolid, Castilla, Spain, the 28th of October, 1552. At twelve years of age, he entered the Trinitarian monastery of the city where he was born and there made his religious profession on October 28, 1572; he studied at the University of Salamanca from 1573 to 1579; he was ordained a priest in 1577; he taught philosophy and theology at Toledo from 1581 to 1587; from 1588 until his death he fulfilled with much prudence the office of superior in various monasteries of his province and was sent as apostolic visitor twice to his own province of Castilla, and once to that of Andalusia; on April 14, 1612 he founded the Congregation of the Slaves of the Sweet Name of Mary; in 1619 he was named tutor to the royal princes of Spain; on May 12, 1621 he was elected Provincial of Castilla; on January 1, 1622 he was chosen confessor of Queen Isabel of Borbon; he died on September 29, 1624.

It was his mother, the virtuous Constanza, who instilled and helped grow in the soul of Simon the love of Mary. The veneration that she and her husband Gregorio constantly gave to Mary, makes it easily understandable why the first words that Simon, who had been a slow learner and stuttered, said at the age of fourteen months, were “Ave, Maria”. He was only repeating the prayer so frequently recited by his parents.

His greatest joy was to visit Marian shrines, to pray to Mary and with Mary, to imitate her virtues, to sing her praises, to acknowledge her importance in the mystery of God and of the Church. Through profound theological studies, he came to understand even better the mission of Mary in cooperation with the Trinity for the salvation of the human race and the sanctification of the Church. He lived his religious vows in the imitation of Mary. He held that, for everyone to be completely of God, as Mary had been, it was necessary to become her slaves, or better, slaves of God in Mary; for this reason he established the Congregation of the Slaves of Mary for the greater glory of the Trinity, in praise of the Virgin, in the service of the poor. For him, to be a slave of Mary meant belonging totally to her: “Totus tuus” in order to unite oneself more intimately to Christ and in Him through the Spirit, to the Father.

The Congregation founded by him was intended for the laity: persons of every social class could join. The members, who included the King and his children, dedicated themselves to honor Mary by giving maternal help to her favorite children: the poor. This work still continues in Spain. Fr. Simon, who is held to be one of the greatest contemplatives of his time and who in his work, “The Greatness of Prayer” is clearly a great instructor of prayerful souls, wanted the contemplative dimension joined to the active through works of mercy. Faithful to the Trinitarian charism, he promoted the ransom of captives, he helped relieve the many needs of the poor, he consoled the sick, the destitute and the left-out of every kind. He accepted duties at the Court, only on the condition that he be able to continue his work with the poor, whom he helped in a thousand ways, always with a smile on his face and at any hour of the day or night. The expressions of his love of Mary are manifold. The painters who depicted him, put the greeting “Ave Maria” on his lips, words he uttered so frequently that he was familiarly called: “Father Ave Maria”. He had thousands of images of the Most Holy Virgin printed with the inscription: “Ave Maria”, which he also sent abroad. He had rosaries made with seventy-two blue beads on a white cord, symbols of the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception, and also a reminder that Mary, according to the belief of the time, lived to the age of 72 years. He sent these rosaries everywhere, even to England. Using his influence at Court, he had the angelic greeting so dear to him, “Ave Maria”, engraved in letters of gold on the facade of the royal palace in Madrid. On June 5th, 1622, he petitioned the Holy See for the approval of his liturgical text composed in honor of the Sweet Name of Mary, which later, Pope Innocent XI extended to the universal Church.

After his death on September 29th, 1624, the honors bestowed on him at his funeral, took on the aspect of an anticipated canonization. For twelve days, the most re-known preachers of Madrid exalted his virtues and his holiness. Impressed with this unanimous veneration, on October 8th, shortly after Fr. Simon’s death, the Papal Nuncio ordered the beginning of the process leading to his glorification by the Church. His heroic virtues were recognized by Clement XII, on March 25th, 1735; he was beatified by Clement XIII on March 19, 1766; and on July 3rd, 1988, just before the close of the Marian Year, Pope John Paul 11, entered the name of this great servant of Mary and Father of the poor on the list of the Saints.

© Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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The Word Among Us 

Meditation: Psalm 149:1-6, 9

Saint Wenceslaus, Martyr (Optional Memorial)

The Lord takes delight in his people. (Psalm Response)

 

“Lord, I am overwhelmed by these words. I know that you made me. I can even accept that you love me because you love everything you made. But to hear that you take delight in me? That’s more than I ever expected! It’s such a personal claim: you look into my eyes—into my very heart—and you delight in what you see. You look past my sins. You look beyond my fears and anxieties. You see the goodness that you have placed in me. You see my desire to do the right thing. You see the love in my heart, even when I cannot see it. And all of this brings you great joy.

“Lord, your words dispel the dark cloud that hangs over me. For so many years, I have tried to be pleasing to you. For so long, I have worried that I am not good enough or holy enough or humble enough to win your approval. But here, now, with these words before me, I see that I was worrying about nothing. I see now that your love is not based on my performance or anything that I have done. It’s based on you and your heart of mercy and tenderness.

“Lord, thank you that you delight in me in the way that an earthly father delights in his child. All you have to do is look at me, and your heart melts. You hear me call for help, and you rush to my side to give me your comfort and your grace. You teach me as a father teaches his child—sometimes with words and other times with actions. Because you delight in me, you never focus only on my shortcomings. You know how my life needs to change, but you never lose sight of how much I have already changed, how much I already reflect your goodness and kindness.

“Lord, I see that you delight in me, and that makes me want to love you in return. It makes me want to live a life worthy of your love. It makes me want to become a witness to other people of how good and pleasant it is to live under your mercy.

“Lord, I delight in you!”

 

Haggai 1:1-8
Luke 9:7-9

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Marriage = One Man and One Woman Until Death Do Us Part 

Daily Marriage Tip for September 28, 2017:

“Not only do I love my son’s mother, I exalt her as a queen.” (Rosario Slack) Do your children hear how much you esteem your spouse? This goes both ways, for both husbands and wives.

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Regnum Christi 

September 28, 2017 – Conversion of the Heart

Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Father Barry O’Toole, LC

Luke 9:7-9

Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying, “John has been raised from the dead”; others were saying, “Elijah has appeared”; still others, “One of the ancient prophets has arisen.” But Herod said, “John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see him.

Introductory Prayer: As I enter your presence today, Lord, I know that I am not worthy to be with you. “But you alone, Lord, have the words of eternal life and I believe; I have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.” I kneel before you in contrition, adoration and hope in your mercy.

Petition: Help me, Lord, to be converted to you more fully.

1. Our Daily Conversion to God: Herod’s desire to see Jesus is not precisely based on faith or on motives of conversion. During the entire time of his imprisonment, John the Baptist had constantly invited Herod to conversion. Herod was in awe of John, knowing him to be a good and upright man, and gave him his protection. When he had heard him speak he was greatly perplexed, and yet he liked to listen to him(Mark 6:20). Yet Herod continually postponed converting. We need to convert daily. It isn’t enough just to say that we have accepted Jesus as our personal lord and savior and have been “born again,” we have to start living that new life, renewing our option for Christ each day. Today I want to convert from my weaknesses and shortcomings. I want to draw closer to you, Lord.

2. What Is the Truth? There comes a moment in life when we have to look in the mirror and see ourselves as we truly are. It takes courage to look directly and ask, “Who are you really? What are you making of yourself and the talents God has given you? What is the truth?” Now, not everything in Herod’s life is relative; there is one truth he does accept: “John I beheaded.” This could have been the point of departure for true conversion and acceptance of God’s mercy in his life. He at least recognized he had made one mistake. All that he was hearing about Jesus made his conscience uneasy. He was afraid that his sin was coming back to haunt him. Conversion always begins with the acceptance of our failures and inclination to evil. It is said that St. Philip Neri used to look at himself in the mirror in the morning and say: “Lord, watch out for Philip today lest again he betray you.”

3. Blessed Are the Pure of Heart… Jesus himself taught us in the Beatitudes: “Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God.” Explaining this beatitude a little more in detail St. Gregory of Nyssa says: “The man who sees God possesses in this act of seeing all there is of the things that are good. By this we understand life without end, eternal incorruption and undying beatitude. With these we shall enjoy the everlasting kingdom of unceasing happiness; we shall see the true light and hear the sweet voice of the Spirit; we shall exult perpetually in all that is good in the inaccessible glory.” Seeing and possessing God is the result of our daily conversion. It is the promise of peace of heart, true happiness and everlasting life. It is the fullness of everything man can desire in this life and in the life to come. It is the very meaning of our existence. What more could we ask for?

Conversation with Christ: Lord, I truly long to see your face. Do not hide your face from me. Help me to accept myself as I truly am and strive to overcome my weaknesses and my inclination to sin. Help me purify my heart so that I might see you in my everyday life and possess you forever in the life to come.

Resolution: I will seek true conversion today by reciting a sincere Act of Contrition and trying to attend Mass or at least make a visit to Christ in the Eucharist.

34 posted on 9/28/2017, 10:22:40 PM by Salvation (“With God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26)

To: All
Homily of the Day

In the first reading the post-exilic prophet Haggai speaks about the rebuilding of the nation, beginning with the rebuilding of the Temple, where God dwells. Their growth and development as a nation will depend upon their faithfulness to their covenant with Yahweh. From the destruction of their Temple and nation and the shame, defeat and desolation of exile, God’s chosen people hoped to rise again. Has the exile formed a chastened and renewed people?

In the Gospel reading King Herod wonders who this Jesus miracle-worker is: one of the prophets come back to life, Elijah-come-back, or John the Baptist raised to life? Though Herod respected John as “an upright and holy man” and “liked listening to him, although he became very disturbed whenever he heard him (Mk 6: 20), he had John beheaded at the request of the daughter of Herodias his consort.

We know that Herod wanted to meet Jesus. He finally met him when Pilate sent Jesus to him at his trial. But he got no reply from Jesus. (Lk 23: 6 -12)

Like Herod, we are asked the same question? Who is this Jesus of Nazareth? And, more important, what is he to us now? When Jesus asked his disciples at Caesarea Philippi, “Who do you say I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Messiah.” What is our answer?

35 posted on 9/28/2017, 10:30:43 PM by Salvation (“With God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26)

To: All
One Bread, One Body 

 

One Bread, One Body

Language: English | Espa�ol

All Issues > Volume 33, Issue 5

<< Thursday, September 28, 2017 >> St. Wenceslaus
St. Lawrence Ruiz

 
Haggai 1:1-8
View Readings
Psalm 149:1-6, 9 Luke 9:7-9
Similar Reflections
 

THE FULL GOSPEL

 
“Consider your ways! You have sown much, but have brought in little.” �Haggai 1:5-6
 
Have you worked hard but gotten little out of it except a feeling of discontent? Have you eaten, bought, or consumed a lot but “not been satisfied”? (Hg 1:6) Have you stimulated yourself through drinking, distractions, sexual sin, sports, or entertainment but “not been exhilarated”? (Hg 1:6) Do you have a sense of emptiness and loss?

We can be empty for many reasons. One common reason is that we may have put our concerns before those of God (Hg 1:2-4) and thereby have committed idolatry. “The worship of infamous idols is the reason and source and extremity of all evil” (Wis 14:27). When we go after empty idols, we become empty ourselves (Jer 2:5).

If you want to become fulfilled rather than empty, deny your very self (Lk 9:23) and give your life to Jesus, in Whom absolute fullness resides (Col 1:19). Hunger and thirst for righteousness, and you will be filled (Mt 5:6). Seek first God’s kingdom, not yours, “and all these things will be given you besides” (Mt 6:33). “Do whatever He tells you” (Jn 2:5). Then, in response to your obedience, Jesus will fill you with the choice wine (Jn 2:10) of the Spirit (Acts 2:4). Jesus emptied Himself (Phil 2:7) to give us life to the full (Jn 10:10). Give your life to Him.

 
Prayer: Father, I empty myself for love of You. Fill me.
Promise: “The Lord loves His people, and He adorns the lowly with victory.” �Ps 149:4
Praise: St. Lawrence and his companions spread the gospel to the Philippines, Formosa, and Japan.

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Details

Date:
September 28