You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2017.

Gospel Mk 5:21-43

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side,
a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.
One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward.
Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying,
“My daughter is at the point of death.
Please, come lay your hands on her
that she may get well and live.”
He went off with him
and a large crowd followed him.

There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.
She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors
and had spent all that she had.
Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd
and touched his cloak.
She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.”
Immediately her flow of blood dried up.
She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him,
turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?”
But his disciples said to him,
“You see how the crowd is pressing upon you,
and yet you ask, Who touched me?”
And he looked around to see who had done it.
The woman, realizing what had happened to her,
approached in fear and trembling.
She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”

**

Homily By Bishop Robert Barron

Friends, the centerpiece of today’s Gospel is Jesus healing the hemorrhaging woman. Having a flow of blood for twelve years meant that anyone with whom she came in contact would be considered unclean. She couldn’t, in any meaningful sense, participate in the ordinary life of her society.

The woman touches Jesus—and how radical and dangerous an act this was, since it should have rendered Jesus unclean. But so great is her faith, that her touch, instead, renders her clean. Jesus effectively restores her to full participation in her community.

But what is perhaps most important is this: Jesus implicitly puts an end to the ritual code of the book of Leviticus. What he implies is that the identity of the new Israel, the Church, would not be through ritual behaviors but through imitation of him. Notice, please, how central this is in the New Testament. We hear elsewhere in the Gospels that Jesus declares all foods clean,and throughout the letters of Paul we hear a steady polemic against the Law. All of this is meant to show that Jesus is at the center of the new community.

**

“If you become Christ’s you will stumble upon wonder upon wonder, and every one of them true.”

— St. Brendan of Birr

**

“Anyone can find what is beautiful and true by living apart from ordinary life. Everyone is enlightened on the mountaintop. The harder choice is to live with the knowing right in the center of your life. In your daily chores. In the middle of a family. In places of commerce. The challenge is to find what is beautiful and true in ordinary life.”

-from The Divine Spark

**

“Prayer and fasting, worship and adoration, Scripture and sacraments and sacramentals all provide the weapons of our spiritual warfare. With them we go on the offensive against the Evil One. But the virtues provide our defense armor. As Blessed Pope Paul VI once observed, St. Paul ‘used the armor of a soldier as a symbol for the virtues that can make a Christian invulnerable.’ They are our best defense against his attacks, for they guard our minds and hearts from his deceptions and temptations. A lapse in virtue is in fact a chink in our armor that makes us vulnerable.”

— Paul Thigpen

Advertisements

“All the obstacles and trials of life, which we perceive as making us unhappy, are not impediments to real living. Instead they are ways of really living, opportunities to discover that real living involves real loving and real loving can be painful at times.”

-from When You Suffer

**

“In her voyage across the ocean of this world, the Church is like a great ship being pounded by the waves of life’s different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship but to keep her on her course.”

– St. Boniface

**

“When you find yourself greatly distracted and devoid of devotion due to countless devil-inspired thoughts or because of your own heart’s bitter passions or are disturbed by the unpleasantness of others, seek out a quiet place and recollect yourself, reciting the Lord’s Prayer and the Angelic Salutation [Hail Mary]. Kneel down alone before the Holy Cross or a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary or some saint’s revered image—made to the honor of God and in that saint’s memory. Especially ask mercy of Jesus and of Mary, of the angelic host, and of the entire heavenly court, that the grace of divine consolation be again granted to you. Then from the Psalms say with holy David: ‘Lord, all my longing is known to You, and my sighing is not hidden from You’. You have been my hope, Lord, ever since my youth; I now turn to You in this time of trial.”

— Thomas à Kempis

**

“When we pray, the voice of the heart must be heard more than the proceedings from the mouth.”

– St. Bonaventure

**

“God cannot cease to love me. That is the most startling fact that our doctrine reveals. Sinner or saint He loves and cannot well help Himself. Magdalen in her sin, Magdalen in her sainthood, was loved by God. The difference between her position made some difference also in the effect of that love on her, but the love was the same, since it was the Holy Spirit who is the love of the Father and the Son. Whatever I do, I am loved. But then, if I sin, am I unworthy of love? Yes, but I am unworthy always. Nor can God love me for what I am, since, in that case, I would compel His love, force His will by something external to Himself. In fact, really if I came to consider, I would find that I was not loved by God because I was good, but that I was good because God loved me. My improvement does not cause God to love me, but is the effect of God’s having loved me.”

— Fr. Bede Jarrett

**

“We face so many challenges in life: poverty, distress, humiliation, the struggle for justice, persecutions, and many others. But if we open the door to Jesus and allow him to be part of our lives, if we share our joys and sorrows with him, then we will experience the peace and joy that only God, who is infinite love, can give.”

-from The Spirit of Saint Francis

Image may contain: text

**

“Prayer, considered as petition, consists entirely in expressing to God some desire in order that He may hear it favorably; a real desire is, therefore, its primary and essential condition; without this, we are merely moving the lips, going through a form of words which is not the expression of our will; and thus our prayer is only an appearance without reality. The way, then, to excite ourselves to pray, to put life and fervor into our prayer, and to make of it a cry which, breaking forth from the depths of the soul, penetrates even to heaven, is to conceive the real desire mentioned above, to excite it, to cherish it; for the fervor of our prayer will be in proportion to the strength of the desire we have to be heard; just as what we have but little at heart we ask for only in a half-hearted way, if even we ask it at all; so what we desire with our whole soul we ask for with words of fire, and plead for it before God with an eloquence that is very real.”

— Rev. Dom Lehody

**

“Maybe the highest form of spirituality is simply to bear patiently with our brokenness. In the midst of a world of emotional and psychological violence, perhaps we can at least refrain from violence of any kind toward ourselves.”

-from Loaded: Money and the Spirituality of Enough

**

“Prayer is, as it were, being alone with God. A soul prays only when it is turned toward God, and for so long as it remains so. As soon as it turns away, it stops praying. The preparation for prayer is thus the movement of turning to God and away from all that is not God. That is why we are so right when we define prayer as this movement. Prayer is essentially a ‘raising up’, an elevation. We begin to pray when we detach ourselves from created objects and raise ourselves up to the Creator.”

— Dom Augustin Guillerand

**

“In order to be an image of God, the spirit must turn to what is eternal, hold it in spirit, keep it in memory, and by loving it, embrace it in the will.”

– St. Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

**

A great way to end your workout each day is to spend time thanking God for what He’s done and praising God for who He is. By doing so you let God do “heart surgery”: “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).

-from A 40-Day Spiritual Workout for Catholics

**

Image may contain: 1 person, text

Let your faith be the light that guides others to Christ!

 

“We must be unafraid of ridicule or human respect, unafraid to walk out alone, knowing that we are nothing and can do nothing on our own. But with God’s grace and God’s power, you can do all things.”

-from Mother Angelica: Her Grand Silence

**

“Listen with the ear of your heart.”   – St. Benedict of Nursia

**

“If you are able to fast, you will do well to observe some abstinence beyond what is enjoined by the Church. For in addition to the ordinary benefits of fasting—namely, lifting up the mind, subduing the flesh, strengthening virtue, and earning an eternal recompense—it is a great matter to be able to command our tastes and inclinations, and to keep the body and its appetites subject to the law of the spirit. And even if we do not fast to any great extent, Satan is the more afraid of those who, he is aware, know how to fast.”

— St. Francis de Sales

“Jesus knocks at the door of our hearts and eagerly desires to dine with us at the sacrificial meal we call the Eucharist. He wishes to find us ready to receive him, to sit down and eat with him, in the upper rooms of our lives.”

-from Meeting God in the Upper Room

**

“We find rest in those we love, and we provide a resting place for those who love us.”

– St. Bernard of Clairvaux

**

Since all our love for God is ultimately a response to His love for us, we can never love Him in the same way He loves us, namely, gratuitously. Since we are fundamentally dependent on God and in His debt for our creation and redemption, our love is always owed to Him, a duty, a response to His love. But we can love our neighbor in the same way that He loves us, gratuitously—not because of anything the neighbor has done for us or because of anything that we owe him, but simply because love has been freely given to us. We thereby greatly please the Father. God the Father tells Catherine [of Siena]: This is why I have put you among your neighbors: so that you can do for them what you cannot do for me—that is, love them without any concern for thanks and without looking for any profit for yourself. And whatever you do for them I will consider done for me.”

– Ralph Martin

“Answering Christ’s call to be “the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13) requires being in the world. But we have to avoid being of the world; when socializing starts causing our salt to lose its taste, we are doing no one any favors.”

-from Answers

**

“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.”

— St. Basil the Great

**

Image may contain: text

**

“Scattered about the entire earth, your mother the Church is tormented by the assaults of error. She is also afflicted by the laziness and indifference of so many of the children she carries around in her bosom as well as by the sight of so many of her members growing cold, while she becomes less able to help her little ones. Who then will give her the necessary help she cries for if not her children and other members to whose number you belong?”

— Saint Augustine

“Father, there is a certain joy watching Jesus move through his final days with such calm certitude, as he uses each step along the way to project powerful messages. Help me to have confidence to know there is nothing in my life that is out of your control. I ask this Jesus’ name, Amen.”

-from Stories of Jesus

**

“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.”

– St. Augustine

**

“Not to try to live in interior silence is equivalent to giving up the effort to lead a truly Christian life. The Christian life is a life of faith, lived in the invisible for what is invisible. Anyone who is not in constant contact with the invisible world runs the risk of remaining always on the threshold of a true Christian life. … Solitude is the stronghold of the strong. Strength is an active virtue, and our power of keeping silence marks the level of our capacity for action. ‘Without this interior cell, we would be incapable of doing great things, either for ourselves or for others.'”

— Raoul Plus, S.J.

Image may contain: 1 person, text

 

**

“For He became man that we might become divine; and He revealed Himself through a body that we might receive an idea of the invisible Father; and He endured insults from men that we might inherit incorruption.”

— St. Athanasius of Alexandria

**

“Now surely I do see what an immense effect such a doctrine [of the Holy Trinity] must have upon life. It is no mere question for theologians, but one that concerns every living soul. Whatever is allowed by God’s power must be guided by His wisdom and urged on by His love. All that happens to me in life, the little worries and the great anxieties, the crises and the daily annoyances, the sorrows and the joys, the harms that reach me through the sins of others, the great crimes of history, the huge and devastating wars, the partings and loves and the whole cycle of human experience are permitted by Power, which is itself wise and loving. These three Persons determine my life, and, since I walk by faith, I must surely grow very patient in my attitude toward life. For how can I complain or criticize God’s Providence, since it all comes under that triple influence of Power, Wisdom, and Love? Under the guidance, then, of this mystery, I can walk through the valley of death or the more perilous borders of sin without loss of courage or hopefulness. Nothing can make me afraid. How these are separate, yet one, I do not know, nor can I reconcile in my concrete experience the claims of each. It is always a mystery, but a mystery in which I believe. Whatever Power allows on earth is designed in Wisdom and attuned by Love.”

— Fr. Bede Jarrett

**

“God is my longing. In whatever way God comes. In every form, through every experience and circumstance, painful or otherwise. God. Only God.”

-from The Divine Spark

**

Archives