Saturday, September 25, 2021

Saturday of the Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Year of Saint Joseph

Year of the Family "Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love"

Saturday Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Saint: Saint Finbar (c.550-620)

Readings of the Day

RB:  Ch 7:1-4 Humility

Mass: Zechariah 2:5-9, 14-15a; Resp Ps (Jer 31); Lk 9:43b-45

Hear the word of the Lord, O nations.

MARY, MOTHER OF DIVINE GRACE,
PRAY FOR US.

We dedicate this day to the Virgin Mary. As we turn to Our Lady then, we have a quotation attributed to Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Saint Edith Stein), Carmelite nun, Co-Patron Saint of Europe:

Mary is our mother in the most real and lofty sense, a sense which surpasses that of earthly maternity. She begot our life of grace for us because she offered up her entire being, body and soul, as the Mother of God. That is why an intimate bond exists between Mary and ourselves. She loves us, she knows us, she exerts herself to bring each one of us into the closest possible relationship with the Lord - that which we are above all supposed to be.

At the same time we begin the great Chapter 7 on Humility as presented by Saint Benedict in the Holy Rule of Saint Benedict. Mary, our mother, certainly embodied humility. Saint Benedict begins: Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted (Lk 14:11; 18:14/ RB 7:1). Here's a beautiful little poem by Christine Rodgers, Prayer For Humility. You will find it in her Into the Great Green Heart of God (Green Heart Press, 2009) p. 19.

I cannot
take a 
breath

nor even
a single
step

without
Your
strength

and Your 
grace
inside me.

SAINT FINBAR,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: For Our Lady. 

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Friday, September 24, 2021

Friday of the Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Year of Saint Joseph

Year of the Family "Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love"

Saints: Saint Stephanie, 4th Century Martyr; Our Lady of Walsingham; Blessed Emilie Tavernier-Gamelin (1800-1851)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 6 Restraint of Speech

Mass: Haggai 2:1-9; Resp Ps 43; Lk 9:18-22

Hope in God; I will praise Him, my savior and my God.

HEART OF JESUS, IN WHOSE FULLNESS WE HAVE ALL RECEIVED,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

A good question to reflect upon every day, and maybe even throughout the day, is Jesus' question to the disciples: But who do you say that I am? (Lk 9:20). Jesus, increase our faith in you. Help us to grow in knowledge and love of you so that we have the courage and strength to do your holy will.

It is faith which delivers through the blood of Christ.
(Saint Ambrose of Milan, d. 397) 

SAINT STEPHANIE,
OUR LADY OF WALSINGHAM,
BLESSED EMILIE TAVERNIER-GAMELIN,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Back to our garden of delights.

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Thursday of the Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Year of Saint Joseph

Year of the Family "Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love"

Saints: Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, Padre Pio (1887-1968); Saint Adoman of Iona (627/8-704)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 5:14-19 Obedience

Mass: Haggai 1:1-8; Resp Ps 149; Lk 9:7-9

The Lord takes delight in His people.

MARY, QUEEN OF CONFESSORS,
PRAY FOR US. 

The disciples' obedience must be given gladly, for God loves a cheerful giver.
(Rule of Saint Benedict 5:16)

We commemorate a remarkable saint today, Pio of Pietrelcina, also known as Padre Pio. It is said that over 100,000 people attended his funeral, and that six million pilgrims visit his shrine at San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, each year. We turn to Padre Pio who has plenty to teach us about obedience, humility, and other things too.

Where there is no obedience, there is no virtue; where there is no virtue, there is no goodness, no love; and where there is no love there is no God; without God we do not go to Paradise.
(Saint Pio of Pietrelcina)

Walk with simplicity in the way of the Lord and do not torment your spirit. Learn to hate your faults, but to hate them calmly.
(Saint Pio of Pietrelcina)

Humility, humility and always humility. Satan fears and trembles before humble souls. The Lord is willing to do great things, but on the condition that we are truly humble.
(Saint Pio of Pietrelcina)

Go ahead! Courage! In the spiritual life he who does not go forward goes backward. It is the same with a boat which must always go forward. If it stands still, the wind will blow it back.
(Saint Pio of Pietrelcina)

SAINT PIO OF PIETRELCINA,
SAINT ADOMAN OF IONA,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: The Lord certainly takes delight in the people who created this. And then a passage from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah was proclaimed at Vigils this morning. Hear this about idols: "Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, they cannot speak; They must be carried about, for they cannot walk" (Jer 10:5). This scarecrow from the community garden at Luscher Farm, West Linn, OR.

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Wednesday of the Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Year of Saint Joseph

Year of the Family "Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love"

Saints: Saint Maurice and the Theban Legion, Martyrs (d.287)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 5:1-13 Obedience

Mass: Ezra 9:5-9; Resp Ps (Tb 13); Lk 9:1-6

Blessed be God, who lives forever.

HEART OF JESUS, SOURCE OF ALL STRENGTH AND COURAGE,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

In today's Gospel, Jesus summons the Twelve, and with power and authority bestowed upon them by Him, Our Lord sends the Twelve to proclaim the Kingdom of God and heal the sick. They are sent with these instructions: Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. If you are not welcome, move on from that town, and shake the dust from your feet (Lk 9:3-5). The Twelve got busy then, and went out as instructed by the Lord. 

A fitting commentary on the Twelve's ready obedience to the Master, is found in Saint Benedict's Chapter 5, "Obedience." Saint Benedict begins in this way: "The first step of humility is unhesitating obedience, which comes naturally to those who cherish Christ above all" (RB 5:1). Do we too cherish Christ above all? Are we people who "immediately put aside their own concerns, abandon their own will, and lay down whatever they have in hand, leaving it unfinished. With the ready step of obedience, they follow the voice of authority in their actions. Almost at the same moment, then, as the master gives the instruction the disciple put it into practice in the fear of God; and both actions together are swiftly completed as one" (RB 5:7-9)? It's a mouthful and a life-long journey. However, that's what disciples of Jesus are all about. May we conform to the saying: I have not come to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me (Jn 6:38/RB 5:13). 

We are not in our own power; but in the power of God.
(Saint Perpetua)

You will lose nothing of what you have renounced for the Lord, for in its own time it will return to you manifold.
(Saint Mark the Ascetic)

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.
(Blessed Julian of Norwich)

SAINT MAURICE AND THE THEBAN LEGION,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: We enjoyed some of these delectables for dinner yesterday, prepared superbly, and with great care, as is our custom.

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

Year of Saint Joseph

Year of the Family "Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love"

Readings of the Day

RB: RB 4:63-78 The Tools for Good Works

Mass: Eph 4:1-7, 11-13; Resp Ps 19; Mt 9:9-13

Their message goes out through all the earth.

MARY, QUEEN OF APOSTLES,
PRAY FOR US.

May our ears and hearts be open to listening to Jesus: Follow me (Mt 9:9). And to Saint Benedict too: "Never lose hope in God's mercy" (RB 4:74). We go forth, then, and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice (Mt 9:13).

On hearing Christ's voice, we open the door to receive Him, as it were, when we freely ascent to His promptings and when we give ourselves over to what must be done. Christ, since He dwells in the hearts of His chosen ones through the grace of His love, enters so that He might eat with us and we with Him. He ever refreshes us by the light of His presence insofar as we progress in our devotion to the longing for the things of heaven. He Himself is delighted by such a pleasing banquet.
(From a homily by Saint Bede the Venerable, priest, in Office of Readings, September 21)

SAINT MATTHEW,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: A message of beauty.

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Monday, September 20, 2021

Monday of the Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Year of Saint Joseph

Year of the Family "Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love"

Saints: Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang, and companions, 18th-19th Century Korean Martyrs

Readings of the Day

RB:  Ch 4:44-62 Tools for Good Works

Mass: Ezra 1:1-6; Resp Ps 126; Lk 8:161-8

The Lord has done marvels for us.

LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE BEFORE OTHERS, THAT THEY MAY SEE YOUR GOOD DEEDS AND GLORIFY YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER.
(Gospel Versicle, Mass)

As we begin another new week, we also commemorate 103 Korean martyrs, "mostly lay men and women: some married, some not; some old, some young, some even children." May all of them, who most certainly went about doing good, intercede for us, so that we follow their example and with deep faith and courage, let our light shine before others.

Yearn for everlasting life with holy desire.
Day by day remind yourself that you are going to die.
Hour by hour keep watch over all you do, aware that God's gaze is upon you, wherever you may be.
As soon as wrongful thoughts come into your heart, dash them against Christ and disclose them to your spiritual father.
Guard your lips from harmful or deceptive speech..
Prefer moderation in speech and speak no foolish chatter, nothing just to provoke laughter; do not love immoderate or boisterous laughter.
Listen readily to holy reading.
Devote yourself often to prayer,
Every day with tears and sighs confess your past sins to God in prayer and change from these evil ways in the future.
Do not aspire to called holy before you really are, but first be holy that you may more truly be called so.
(Rule of Saint Benedict, 4:46-56, 62) 

Witnesses do not lose themselves in words, but rather they bear fruit. They do not complain about others and the world, but start with themselves. They remind us that God is not to be proven, but shown; not announced with proclamations but witnessed by example.
(Pope Francis, Twitter)

SAINTS ANDREW KIM TAEGON, PAUL CHONG HASANG, AND COMPANIONS,
MARY, QUEEN OF MARTYRS,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Back to our garden of delights that keeps on going.

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Year of Saint Joseph

Year of the Family "Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love"

In other years: Saint Januarius (early 4th century martyr); Saint Theodore of Tarsus (601-690); 

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 4:22-43 The Tools for Good Works

Mass: Wisdom 2:12, 17-10; Resp Ps 54; James 3:16-4:3; Mk 9:30-37

The Lord sustains my life.

HEART OF JESUS, SON OF THE ETERNAL FATHER,
HAVE MERCY ON US. 

In today's Gospel, we are presented with the Second Prediction of the Passion. Jesus teaches His disciples and us: The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill Him, and three days after His death the Son will rise (Mk 9:31). The disciples didn't understand, and we don't either. Like the disciples, we find ourselves caught up in jockeying for position (Mk 9:34). Pick me! Pick me! Saint James is clear when he writes, "Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice" (Jm 3:16). As disciples of the Lord, we are not about that. Rather, we seek wisdom from above. Wisdom is "pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity" (Jm 3:17). It is no wonder Jesus took a child, placed it in the midst of the disciples, and put His arms around it (Mk 9:36). Then Our Lord said: Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me. Little Teddy in today's photo speaks volumes. 

Our fidelity to the Lord depends upon our willingness to serve. The more we serve, the more we are aware of God's presence.
(Pope Francis, Angelus Address, September 19, 2021)

SAINT JANUARIUS,
SAIN THEODORE OF TARSUS,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Sure enough, my plans changed. From yesterday, you were meant to see new scenes from our garden. Since then, I received another photo from a proud Grandma, this one taken yesterday, of sweet Teddy. Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these (Mk 10:14)And one more thing, about the drizzle yesterday. It turned into full force rain and it rained all day long. And rain continues to come and go. The water appears once again in the Mattole River, and even rushes by. And as you see in the photo, little Teddy is all set in his red rain boots. It rained all day in Corvallis, Oregon too. Dew and rain, bless the Lord; Seas and rivers, bless the Lord; praise and exalt Him above all forever. 

© Gertrude Feick 2021