"He will provide the way and the means, such as you could never have imagined. Leave it all to Him, let go of yourself, lose yourself on the Cross, and you will find yourself entirely."
— St. Catherine of Siena
From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop
The heart of the just man will rejoice in the Lord
The just man will rejoice in the Lord and put his hope in him; the hearts of all good men will be filled with joy. We must surely have sung these words with our hearts as well as with our voices. Indeed, the tongue of the Christian expresses his deepest feelings when it addresses such words to God. The just man will rejoice, not in the world, but in the Lord. Light has dawned for the just, Scripture says in another place, and joy for the upright of heart. Were you wondering what reason he has for joy? Here you are told: The just man will rejoice in the Lord. Another text runs: Delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
What are we instructed to do then, and what are we enabled to do? To rejoice in the Lord. But who can rejoice in something he does not see? Am I suggesting that we see the Lord then? No, but we have been promised that we shall see him. Now, as long as we are in the body, we walk by faith, for we are absent from the Lord. We walk by faith, and not by sight.When will it be by sight? Beloved, says John, we are now the sons of God; what we shall be has not yet been revealed, but we know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. When this prophecy is fulfilled, then it will be by sight.
That will be the great joy, the supreme joy, joy in all its fullness. Then we shall no longer drink the milk of hope, but we shall feed on the reality itself. Nevertheless, even now, before that vision comes to us, or before we come to that vision, let us rejoice in the Lord; for it is no small reason for rejoicing to have a hope that will some day be fulfilled.
Therefore, since the hope we now have inspires love, the just man rejoices, Scripture says, in the Lord; but because he does not yet see, it immediately goes on to say, and hopes in him.
Yet already we have the first fruits of the Spirit, and have we not also other reasons for rejoicing? For we are drawing near to the one we love, and not only are we drawing near – we even have some slight feeling and taste of the banquet we shall one day eagerly eat and drink.
But how can we rejoice in the Lord if he is far from us? Pray God he may not be far. If he is, that is your doing. Love, and he will draw near; love, and he will dwell within you. The Lord is at hand; have no anxiety. Are you puzzled to know how it is that he will be with you if you love? God is love.
“What do you mean by love?” you will ask me. It is that which enables us to be loving. What do we love? A good that words cannot describe, a good that is for ever giving, a good that is the Creator of all good. Delight in him from whom you have received everything that delights you. But in that I do not include sin, for sin is the one thing that you do not receive from him. With that one exception, everything you have comes from him.
“Lord Jesus, teach me about the beauty of repentance. Empower me to change sinful habits. With the help of your grace, may I pursue virtue and justice. I want to reflect unconditional love to other people through my words and actions. Thank you, Lord, for maintaining your great love, mercy, and kindness toward me!”
(Novena to Saints. Peter and Paul)
Holy Apostles Peter and Paul ,
I choose you this day and forever to be my special patrons and advocates,
you blessed Saint Peter - Prince of the Apostles , because you are the Rock upon the
Almighty God has build His Holy Church; you blessed Saint Paul, because you were fore chosen by God as vessel of election and preacher of the truth to the whole world.
Obtain for me , I humbly pray you , lively Faith , firm Hope and burning Love, complete detachment from myself, contempt of the world,
patience in adversity, humility in prosperity, attention in prayer, purity of diligence in fulfilling the duties of my state of life, constancy in my resolutions, resignation to the Will of God and perseverance in the Grace of God even unto death, so that by the means of your intercession and your
glorious merits, I might be able to overcome the evil and I be made worthy of the
Promises of Christ, enjoy His Presence and love Him forever in time and eternity.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
Pope warns against sliding down the path that leads to being Christians in name but pagan in nature
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Be careful not to slide down the road that leads to being a Christian in appearance, but "mediocre" in substance, to being pagan, "enemies of the Cross," because "citizens of this world", in short of being worldly, and not "citizens of Heaven". This was Pope Farncis' warning at Mass Friday morning at Casa Santa Marta based on the First Reading.
Pope Francis was inspired by the words of St. Paul to the Philippians to dwell on two groups of Christians, still present today as they were in the time of the Apostle of the Gentiles. Christians who go forward in faith and Christians who "live like enemies of the Cross of Christ".
"Both groups - he said - were in the Church together, they went to Mass on Sunday, they praised the Lord, they called themselves Christians". So what was the difference? The second group "act like enemies of the Cross of Christ! Christians enemies of the Cross of Christ".
The Pope said these were "worldly Christians, Christians in name, with two or three Christian things, but nothing more. Pagan Christian". "A Christian name, but a pagan life." Or to put it another way: "Pagans with two strokes of Christian paint, so as to appear like Christians, but pagans nonetheless".
"Even today there are many! We must be careful not to slip toward the path of being pagan Christians, Christians in appearance. The temptation to get used to mediocrity, the mediocrity of Christians, these Christians, it is their undoing because their hearts cool, they become lukewarm. And the Lord had strong words for these lukewarm [Christians]: 'because you are lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth'. These are very strong words! They are enemies of the Cross of Christ. They take the name, but do not follow the requirements of Christian life".
Paul, he said, speaks of the "citizenship" of Christians. "Our citizenship," he noted, "is in heaven. Theirs is on earth. They are citizens of the world, not of heaven". "Citizens of the world. And their surname is worldly! Beware of these" warned Pope Francis adding that everyone, himself including, must ask: "Do I have something of these? Do I have some worldliness within me? Some paganism?".
"Do I like to brag? Do I like the money? Do I like pride, arrogance? Where are my roots, that is, where am I a citizen of? Heaven or earth? In the world or the worldly spirit? Our citizenship is in heaven, and we await heaven and Our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. And theirs? Their ultimate fate will be destruction! These painted Christians will end badly ... But look at the end: where will that citizenship that you have in your heart lead you? The worldly one to ruin, that of the Cross of Christ to an encounter with Him".
The Pope then outlined a few signs "of the heart" that show us whether we "are sliding towards worldliness". "If you love and if you are attached to money, vanity and pride - he warned - you are heading towards the bad road". If, instead, "you try to love God, serve others, if you are gentle, if you are humble, if you are the servant of the other, you are on the right road. Your citizen's card is good: it belongs to heaven". The other, by contrast, "is a citizenship that will bring you only bad". The Pope pointed out that Jesus asked the Father to save his disciples "from the spirit of the world, this worldliness, which leads to destruction".
The Pope then turned his attention to the parable of the steward who cheated his master, told in the Gospel of the day: "How did this steward in the Gospel arrive at this point of cheating, of stealing from his master? How did he get there, from one day to the next? No! Little by little. One day a tip here, the next day a bribe there, and this is how little by little you arrive at corruption. The path of worldliness of these enemies of the Cross of Christ is like this, it leads you to corruption! And then you end up like this man, right? Openly stealing ... "
Pope Francis returned to the words of Paul, who asks us to remain "firm in the Lord" without allowing our heart to weaken and end up in "nothing, in corruption". "This is a good grace to seek - he said - remaining firm in the Lord. It is all of salvation, there lies transfiguration in glory". "Firm in the Lord and following the example of the Cross of Christ: humility, poverty, meekness, service to others, worship, prayer."