If You have given me no single place to which I can flee and be sure of finding You, if anything I do can mean the loss of You, then I must be able to find You in every place, in each and every thing I do. Otherwise I couldn’t find You at all, and this cannot be since I can’t possibly exist without You.
Is a tired and disillusioned heart any closer to You than a young and happy one? Where can we ever hope to find You, if neither our simple joys nor ordinary sorrows succeed in revealing You to us?
I now see clearly that, if there is any path at all on which I can approach You, it must lead through the very middle of my ordinary daily life. If I should try to flee to You by any other way, I’d actually be leaving myself behind, and that, aside from being quite impossible, would accomplish nothing at all.
This Sunday is extremely rich, enabling us to discover hidden nuances of past celebrations and glimpse the end and purpose of Jesus’ mission. Just in case we are frightened by Lenten penance, Jesus’ shining face will provide us with a bit of solace
Even if I should try to escape from my routine by becoming a Carthusian, so that I’d have nothing more to do but spend my days in silent adoration of Your holy presence, would that solve my problem? Would that really lift me out of my rut?
How can I turn myself toward the one thing necessary, toward You? How can I escape from the prison of this routine? Haven’t You Yourself committed me to it? And didn’t I find myself already in exile, from the very first moment I began to realize that my true life must be directed toward You?
Woe to my sinful soul,
for I have angered my creator.
Woe to this son of perdition,
for I have forgotten the gift of life.
Woe to this debtor of untold thousands of talents,
for I haven’t the means to repay.
Woe to this porter heavy laden with vile sins,
for I cannot lay down my burden to rest.
Woe to this debtor of the Lord,
for I cannot face the Almighty.
Woe to this heap of dried up reeds,
for I am consumed in Gehenna.
For although small things mount up
as sands on the shore,
nevertheless, they are unique and distinct in their
origin and increase,
and like my transgressions, so countless that
they are impossible to comprehend:
one with its kith,
the other with its kin,
And what will I myself be at that hour, when I am only myself and nothing else? But when the heavy weight of death one day presses down upon my life and squeezes the true and lasting content out of all those many days and long years, what will be the final yield?
Prayer (5 B-C)
B You made me in your glorious image,1
favoring a weak being like me
with your sublime likeness,
adorning me with speech,
and burnishing me with your breath,
enriching me with thought,
cultivating me with wisdom…
Prayer 3 (A)
Lord, my Lord, grantor of gifts, root of goodness,
ruler of all equally, creator of all from nothing,
glorified, awesome, awe inspiring,
dreadful, mighty, stern…
My soul has become a huge warehouse where day after day the trucks unload their crates without any plan or discrimination, to be piled helterskelter in every available corner and cranny, until it is crammed full from top to bottom with the trite, the commonplace, the insignificant, the routine.
Prayer 2 – Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart.
Will you, I wonder:
Forget to be charitable, my expectation?
Neglect to be compassionate, caring Lord?
Regret your charity toward humankind, constant Lord?
I have not checked the entire list, but I am sure this is the Sunday with the shortest Gospel in the whole Lectionary, just four verses. And although it is traditionally known as the “Sunday of Jesus’ Temptations,” the subject is dealt with in just two verses! T
Lent opens with a piercing sound, that of a trumpet that does not please the ears, but instead proclaims a fast. It is a loud sound that seeks to slow down our life, which is so fast-paced, yet often directionless. It is a summons to stop – a “halt!” –, to focus on what is essential. It is a wake-up call for the soul.
Contrary to what many think or feel, Lent is a time of joy. It is a time when we come back to life. It is a time when we shake off what is bad and dead in us in order to become able to live, to live with all the vastness, all the depth, and all the intensity to which we are called. Unless we understand this quality of joy in Lent, we will make of it a monstrous caricature, a time when in God’s own name we make our life a misery.
Prayer 2 – Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart.
Grant me life, compassionate Lord.
Hear me, merciful Lord.
Be charitable to me, forgiving Lord.
Save me, long-suffering Lord.
Protect me, defender Lord.
Be generous, all-giving Lord.
Free me, all-powerful Lord.
Revive me, restoring Lord.
Raise me again, awe-inspiring Lord.
Enlighten me, heavenly Lord.
Cure me, omnipotent Lord.
Grant pardon, inscrutable Lord.
Bestow gifts, bountiful Lord.
Adorn me with grace, generous Lord.
Let us be reconciled, healing Lord.
Be accepting, unvengeful Lord.
When it stands before You and Your infallible Truthfulness, doesn’t my soul look just like a market place where the second-hand dealers from all comers of the globe have assembled to sell the shabby riches of this world? Isn’t it just like a noisy bazaar, where I and the rest of mankind display our cheap trinkets to the restless, milling crowds?
Prayer 1 – Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart.
The voice of a sighing heart, its sobs and mournful cries,
I offer up to you, O Seer of Secrets…
A man asked abbot Antony, “What shall I keep, that I may please God?” Anthony said: “Wherever you go, have God ever before your eyes. In whatever you do, hold by the example of the holy Scriptures; and in whatever place you abide, don’t be swift to leave [out of restlessness]. These three things keep, and you will be saved.”
The remarkable, unusual, but obvious thing about my spiritual life was that all the new situations somehow revealed and brought home the one same ancient and genuine future—by pointing ever and again toward God and His life
Eighteen years and did not change her old clothes. At a press conference, a female journalist asked Merkel: We notice that your suit is repeated, don’t you have another? She replied: I am a government employee and not a model. Mrs. Merkel lives in a normal apartment like any other citizen.
Mark’s chapter 1 and the first section of Ordinary time each end with another sign of Jesus’ authority over sickness and the power of evil. To be more precise, the cleansing of the leper is the last of a series of Jesus’ transgressions.
“I think I am the only one in the whole Institute who does not have to think of the work to be done tomorrow! My days are spent in the company of my African brothers; I talk to them of the Goodness of God. What makes me extremely happy is the presence of the Eucharist. Every day a priest comes from Wau to celebrate the Mass. What can I desire more? Who can claim to be happier than I?”
In last Sunday’s Gospel Mark announced, right at the beginning of his Gospel, what would be two of the important aspects of Jesus’ activity: healing and preaching of the Good News. Today, he mentions them again, but add another ingredient of Jesus’ life: his long hours in prayer.
This struggle is the rebellion of the forces of evil, demons that are in a person, in society, in the ideologies, even religious and civil institutions. They dominate and when they are harassed, they rebel. Preaching that does not cast out demons, leaving things as they are, that does not change the person and the world, is not the word of Jesus.
On January 24, 2021, the Universal Church will celebrate “Sunday of the Word of God,” an initiative established by Pope Francis as a day “devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the Word of God.”
he passage opens with a brief introduction wherein Jesus goes in the villages of the Galilean mountains and preaches the gospel. “The time is fulfilled—he said—and the kingdom of God has come; Repent and believe the gospel” (vv. 14-15).
This is the first sentence he says and it is the synthesis of all his message.
All spiritualities worthy of the name stress the need to make a certain ascent, to grow beyond our immaturities, our laziness, our wounds, and the perennial hedonism and shallowness of … Continua a leggere
Before taking up readings from the Gospel of Mark for Year B, the Lectionary lingers for one more Sunday on the introduction to Jesus’ public life. The First Reading and the Gospel find a certain unity around the idea of “vocation”.
One day, Jesus also appeared among the sinners. He came from Galilee, the region inhabited by Israelites believed to be semi-pagans by the religious aristocracy of Jerusalem. He went down into the water along with the sinners to show his desire to share their condition. He was beside them accompanying them in their exodus from slavery to freedom.
«The Word of God became flesh». God isn’t mute. God hasn’t stayed silent, enclosed forever in Mystery. God has desired to communicate Self with us. God wants to speak with us, tell us of God’s love, explain God’s project. Jesus is simply the Project of God made flesh.
The council taught us to look upon Mary as a “figure” of the Church, that is, as the Church’s perfect exemplar, as the first fruits of the Church. But can Mary be a model of the Church even as “Mother of God,” the title with which she is honored this day? Can we become mothers of Christ?
There would have been tears, I think. If Simeon had waited all those years for the Lord, if Anna were a widow and so advanced in age, they would have shed tears when the saw the Infant King, certainly when they were allowed to hold him.
May the joy of the angels, the humility of the shepherds, the perseverance of the wisemen, and the love of the Christ child be among God’s gifts to you this Christmas.
An ancient custom for the feast of Christmas foresees three Masses, called respectively “at night,” “at dawn,” “during the day.” In each Mass, through readings that vary, a different aspect of the mystery is presented, in such a way that we get, so to speak, a three-dimensional vision.
This past year brought on special challenges as Pope Francis provided global moral leadership through the coronavirus pandemic. Yet amid the restrictions and upheaval, the pope continued his efforts to reform the church and strengthen its missionary zeal. Here is a look back at the seven ways Pope Francis steered the Catholic Church in 2020.
God is love and hence humility! Love creates dependence on the person you love, and that kind of dependence does not humiliate but uplifts. The two claims ‘God is love’ and ‘God is humility’ are like two sides of the same coin.
With her “fiat” (yes), Mary conceived Jesus under her heart. With our fiat we conceive Him in our hearts. Mary teaches us to say the great word “Yes, fiat, O Lord, thy will be done.”
The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated each year on December 12. This feast commemorates the great events that took place from December 9-12, 1531, when Juan Diego, a 55 year-old native Mexican, received four apparitions from the Blessed Virgin Mary
Faith in eternal life is one of the conditions that make evangelization possible. As saint Paul the Apostle writes: ‘If Christ has not been raised, then empty [too] is our preaching; empty, too, your faith. […] If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all.’
Five years of intensive research on archaeological data has consolidated evidence that a 1st-century house in Nazareth belonged to the Holy Family, a British researcher has concluded.
Opening the Word: Rejoice always.
We cannot yet see the Lord, but we celebrate the fact that union with him is our eternal destiny
Mary made her life beautiful. Not appearances, not what is fleeting, but the heart directed toward God makes life beautiful. Today let us look joyfully at her, full of grace. Let us ask her to help us to remain youthful, by saying ‘no’ to sin, and to live a beautiful life, by saying ‘yes’ to God.
The Preacher to the Papal Household, Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa, delivers his first Advent Sermon to Pope Francis and the Roman Curia, and reflects on the meaning of death, which forms a bridge to eternal life
We wait for him, yet we go out into the wilderness to find him. We wait for him but we prepare the way for him. We can do nothing to force him to come, yet we must do everything to make ready for him.
To be alert and to keep watch are the keywords of this passage from the Gospel of St Mark. They are repeated with an almost excessive insistence: “Be alert and watch!” (v. 33), “he orders the doorkeeper to stay awake” (v. 34), “so stay awake” (v. 35), “I say to all: stay awake!” (v. 37).
I’ve learned a lot from President Donald Trump in none of the ways I wanted to. From where I stand, through it all I learned that the complacency of “it can’t happen here” has died here these past four years. Just as it did in Munich in 1939
Shortly before His Passion Jesus exclaimed with joy, “In the world you will have hardship, but be courageous: I have conquered the world!” (Jn 6. 33). This is the language well-suited to a King reassuring His followers that He’s so confident that already He has triumphed!
It is difficult if not impossible for any organization to impartially investigate itself.
Matthew wants to encourage his community to a test. He invited them to ask themselves first if they are aware of the treasure they have in hand, to check if all the “talents” are used for the best or if any gift is hidden underground, if there are neglected aspects of the ecclesial life
“I feel like a millionaire who has lost ten pounds”. These words, spoken by a Spanish journalist in an interview after becoming tetraplegic owing to a traffic accident, made a deep impact on me and raised questions in my mind.
In the new version—the one adapted by Matthew for his community—the ten virgins do not indicate Israel any longer, but the Church that awaits the return of her Lord, her Bridegroom.
November, when the sun is losing its strength, the luminosity is fading, the nights are growing, Nature is losing its vitality… it is the right time to look up to Heaven with Hope!
Let us ask ourselves which side we are on: that of heaven or that of earth? Do we live for the Lord or for ourselves, for eternal happiness or for some immediate gratification? Let us ask ourselves: do we truly want holiness? Or are we content with being Christians without infamy and without praise?
How does the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication work? That is what many are wondering following the lack of response by the Vatican to questions raised regarding what Pope Francis actually said about the need for a law for civil unions this week.
Let’s not mistake God’s patience for inactivity. And let’s remember, in the words of Peter’s friend the Apostle Paul, “that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion” (Philippians 1:6). Even if it takes 70 challenging years.
The rabbis of Jesus’ time, in studying the Bible, had come to discover 613 commandments, 365 (such as days of the year) of which were negative, i.e., forbidden actions, and 248 (like the limbs of the human body) were positive, namely, works to be done.
OGF 10/2020 – Mission according to Francis: Features; talents to develop, temptations, maladies and pitfalls to avoid; recommendations for the Journey
Do not waste time and resources, then, in looking at yourself in a mirror, devising plans centred on internal mechanisms, functionality and the efficiency of your own bureaucracy. Look outside. Do not look at yourselves in the mirror. Break every mirror in the house!
I once attended a series of lectures given by a prominent Polish psychologist, Kazimierz Dabrowski, who had written a number of books around a concept he called “positive disintegration”.
In this year marked by the suffering and challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the missionary journey of the whole Church continues in light of the words found in the account of the calling of the prophet Isaiah: “Here am I, send me”