Your light must shine before others

Feast of Saint Anthony of Padua

Saint Anthony is invoked most frequently for lost items, but he ought to be invoked for lost people.

Scriptures of the Day

Epistle: 2 Corinthians 1:18–2

Brothers and sisters:
As God is faithful, our word to you is not “yes” and “no.”
For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was proclaimed to you by us,
Silvanus and Timothy and me,
was not “yes” and “no,” but “yes” has been in him.
For however many are the promises of God, their Yes is in him;
therefore, the Amen from us also goes through him to God for glory.
But the one who gives us security with you in Christ
and who anointed us is God;
he has also put his seal upon us
and given the Spirit in our hearts as a first installment.

Psalm: 119:129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 135

Wonderful are your decrees;
therefore I observe them.
R. Lord, let your face shine on me.
The revelation of your words sheds light,
gives understanding to the simple.
R. Lord, let your face shine on me.
I gasp with open mouth
in my yearning for your commands.
R. Lord, let your face shine on me.
Turn to me in pity
as you turn to those who love your name.
R. Lord, let your face shine on me.
Steady my footsteps according to your promise,
and let no iniquity rule over me.
R. Lord, let your face shine on me.
Let your countenance shine upon your servant,
and teach me your statutes.
R. Lord, let your face shine on me.

Gospel: Matthew 5:13–16

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.”

Saint Anthony’s Teaching on the Four Lamps
from the first clause of his sermon for the Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost

First lamp:  God’s word

The word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my paths. — Psalm 119:105
Note that it speaks of “feet” first, and then “paths,” because when we hear the Word of God, we are first made to shine in heart, and then we walk with straight steps.

Second lamp:  Good works

Let your loins be girt and lamps burning in your hands. — Luke 12:35
We hold lamps burning in our hands when we show good works to our neighbors.

Third lamp: intention, which gives light to the whole collection of good works

The light of your body [your work] is your eye [your intention]. If your eye be single, thy whole body shall be lightsome. — Matthew 6:22

Fourth lamp: the humanity of Jesus Christ

What woman having ten coins and losing one would not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until he finds it?  — Luke 15:8

Let the Lord say “in the time of judgment I will search Jerusalem,” that is, each and every Christian. I will search with lamps:

  • Does he hear the word of preaching and amend his life?
  • Does he show the light of good example to others?
  • Does he do his works with a right intention?
  • Does he shape his life by the example of the poverty and humility of Jesus Christ?

Then he will visit upon people (those who trust in their own strength) who are settled in their filth, their iniquities.

Quote of the Day

In Jesus there is no ‘no’: always ‘yes,’ for the glory of the Father. But we too share this ‘Yes’ of Jesus, because He has given us the anointing, he has imprinted on us the Seal, has given us the ‘security deposit’ of the Spirit. We participate because we are united, sealed, and have in our hand that security – the security deposit of the Spirit – the Spirit that will bring us to the definitive ‘Yes,’ and also to our own fullness. Also, that same Spirit that will help us to become light and salt, that is to say, it is the Spirit that leads us to give Christian witness. — Pope Francis homily for June 13, 2017

She will live the life of God

Feast of Saint John of the Cross
Poem of the Day

From the Romance on the Incarnation 

3. On creation

“My Son, I wish to give you
a bride who will love you.
Because of you she will deserve
to share our company,
and eat at our table,
the same bread I eat,
that she may know the good
I have in such a Son;
and rejoice with me
in your grace and fullness.”

“I am very grateful,”
the Son answered;
“I will show my brightness
to the bride you give me,
so that by it she may see
how great my Father is,
and how I have received
my being from your being.

I will hold her in my arms
and she will burn with your love,
and with eternal delight
she will exalt your goodness”.

4. Continues

“Let it be done, then,” said the Father,
for your love has deserved it.

And by these words
the world was created,
a palace for the bride
made with great wisdom
and divided into rooms,
one above, the other below.

The lower was furnished
with infinite variety,
while the higher was made
beautiful
with marvelous jewels,
that the bride might know
the Bridegroom she had.

The orders of angels
were placed in the higher,
but humanity was given
the lower place,
for it was, in its being,
a lesser thing.

And though beings and places
were divided in this way,
yet all form one,
who is called the bride;
for love of the same Bridegroom
made one bride of them.

Those higher ones possessed
the Bridegroom in gladness;
the lower in hope, founded
on the faith that he infused in them,
telling them that one day
he would exalt them,
and that he would lift them
up from their lowness
so that no one
could mock it any more;
for he would make himself
wholly like them,
and he would come to them
and dwell with them;
and God would be man
and man would be God,
and he would walk with them
and eat and drink with them;
and he himself would be
with them continually
until the consummation
of this world,
when, joined, they would rejoice
in eternal song;
for he was the Head
of this bride of his
to whom all the members
of the just would be joined,
who form the body of the bride.

He would take her
tenderly in his arms
and there give her his love;
and when they were thus one,
he would lift her to the Father
where God’s very joy
would be her joy.

For as the Father and the Son
and he who proceeds from them
live in one another,
so it would be with the bride;
for, taken wholly into God,
she will live the life of God.

To be praises of glory

The very first
Feast of Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

41. “We have been predestined by the decree of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, so that we may be the praise of His glory.

It is Saint Paul who tells us this, Saint Paul who was instructed by God Himself. How do we realize this great dream of the Heart of our God, this immutable will for our souls? In a word, how do we correspond to our vocation and become perfect Praises of Glory of the Most Holy Trinity?

42. “In Heaven” each soul is a praise of glory of the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, for each soul is established in pure love and “lives no longer its own life, but the life of God.” Then it knows Him, Saint Paul says, as it is known by Him. In other words “its intellect is the intellect of God, its will the will of God, its love the very love of God. In reality it is the Spirit of love and of strength who transforms the soul, for to Him it has been given to supply what is lacking to the soul,” as Saint Paul says again. “He works in it this glorious transformation.” Saint John of the Cross affirms that “the soul surrendered to love, through the strength of the Holy Spirit, is not far from being raised to the degree of which we have just spoken,” even here below! This is what I call a perfect praise of glory!

43. A praise of glory is a soul that lives in God, that loves Him with a pure and disinterested love, without seeking itself in the sweetness of this love; that loves Him beyond all His gifts and even though it would not have received anything from Him, it desires the good of the Object thus loved. Now how do we effectively desire and will good to God if not in accomplishing His will since this will orders everything for His greater glory? Thus the soul must surrender itself to this will completely, passionately, so as to will nothing else but what God wills.

A praise of glory is a soul of silence that remains like a lyre under the mysterious touch of the Holy Spirit so that He may draw from it divine harmonies; it knows that suffering is a string that produces still more beautiful sounds; so it loves to see this string on its instrument that it may more delightfully move the Heart of its God.

A praise of glory is a soul that gazes on God in faith and simplicity; it is a reflector of all that He is; it is like a bottomless abyss into which He can flow and expand; it is also like a crystal through which He can radiate and contemplate all His perfections and His own splendor. A soul which thus permits the divine Being to satisfy in itself His need to communicate “all that He is and all that He has,” is in reality the praise of glory of all His gifts.

Finally, a praise of glory is one who is always giving thanks. Each of her acts, her movements, her thoughts, her aspirations, at the same time that they are rooting her more deeply in love, are like an echo of the eternal Sanctus.

44. In the Heaven of glory the blessed have no rest “day or night, saying: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty….They fall down and worship Him who lives forever and ever….”

In the heaven of her soul, the praise of glory has already begun her work of eternity. Her song is uninterrupted, for she is under the action of the Holy Spirit who effects everything in her; and although she is not always aware of it, for the weakness of nature does not allow her to be established in God without distractions, she always sings, she always adores, for she has, so to speak, wholly passed into praise and love in her passion for the glory of her God. In the heave of our soul let us be praises of glory of the Holy Trinity, praises of love of our Immaculate Mother. One day the veil will fall, we will be introduced into the eternal courts, and there we will sing in the bosom of infinite Love. And God will give us “the new name promised to the Victor.” What will it be?

— Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, Heaven in Faith, Tenth Day, Second Prayer

 

To stand directly before God

All Souls Day

Scripture of the Day: Wisdom 3:1–9

The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
they shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the LORD shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.

Quote of the Day

I would go so far as to say that if there was no purgatory, then we would have to invent it, for who would dare say of himself that he was able to stand directly before God.  And yet we don’t want to be, to use an image from Scripture, “a pot that turned out wrong,” that has to be thrown away; we want to be able to be put right.

Purgatory basically means that God can put the pieces back together again.  That he can cleanse us in such a way that we are able to be with him and can stand there in the fullness of life.  Purgatory strips off from one person what is unbearable and from another the inability to bear certain things, so that in each of them a pure heart is revealed, and we can see that we all belong together in one enormous symphony of being.

— Pope Benedict XVI, “The Role of Purgatory,” God and the World: Believing and Living in Our Time (Ignatius Press, 2002)

Prayer of the Day

Heavenly Father,
I believe that in Your wisdom and justice
You willed to purify all persons who die
without having attained the state that they need
for all eternity,
all who have still to expiate completely
the sins committed on earth.
I also believe that You have mercifully arranged
that this process of purification can be aided
by the prayers of the living,
and especially by the Eucharist.

Help me to pray for my brothers and sisters
who have departed from this world.
May their time of purification be short
and they be quickly guided into that holy light
promised by our Lord to Abraham and his descendants.
I offer You sacrifices and prayers of praise.
Accept them for all the souls of the faithful departed
and admit them all to the eternal joy of heaven.

— New Saint Joseph People’s Prayer Book, #1348 (Catholic Book Publishing)

To become saints

Quotes for All Saints Day

To become saints means to fulfill completely what we already are, raised to the dignity of God’s adopted children in Christ Jesus.

The saints bring to light in a creative fashion quite new human potentialities.

The saints are themselves the living spaces into which one can turn.

There is no isolation in heaven. It is the open society of the saints and, consequently, also the fulfillment of all human togetherness.

One might say that the saints are, so to speak, new Christian constellations, in which the richness of God’s goodness is reflected. Their light, coming from God, enables us to know better the interior richness of God’s great light.

Nothing can bring us into close contact with the beauty of Christ himself other than the world of beauty created by faith and light that shines out from the faces of the saints, through whom his own light becomes visible.

— Pope Benedict XVI

Sources:

  • Let God’s Light Shine Forth: The Spiritual Vision of Pope Benedict XVI (edited by Robert Moynihan)
  • Spirit of the Liturgy by Jospeh Cardinal Ratzinger (2000)
  • Eschatology — Death and Eternal Life by Joseph Ratzinger (1988)

To become people of prayer

Prayer Transforms Us

This past summer, and as we progress into fall, as Election Day draws nigh, it has been and continues to be all too easy, especially for passionate people, to lose ground and our sense of reality by watching or engaging too much with “mainstream” media, social media, or otherwise. Only by being people of prayer and through meditation on scripture will we be rooted in truth and able to persevere as the drama that surrounds us unfolds, and the very real, mostly unseen, spiritual battle is fought.

  • May we not be men and women with divided hearts, who claim one thing in public, and another in private.
  • May God’s love for and mercy toward us pervade our entire lives, all we say and do, when other people are watching, and when it is only God who sees.
  • May God transform us through our faithfulness to daily prayer. As God shapes us into the image and likeness of his Son, Jesus, may we then transform our world.

Prayer of Day

Mary, mother of Jesus
and of those who participate in his priestly ministry,
we come to you with the same attitude of children who come to their mother.

We are no longer children,
but adults who desire with all our hearts to be God’s children.

Our human condition is weak,
that is why we come to ask for your motherly aid
so we are able to overcome our weakness.

Pay for us so that we can, in turn, become people of prayer.

We invoke your protection
so that we may remain free from all sin.

We invoke your love so that it may reign and
we will be able to be compassionate and forgiving.

We ask for your blessing
so we can be like the image of your beloved Son,
our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

— Saint Mother Teresa, In My Own Words, Ligouri Publications, 1989

CTP_10-21-16.jpg