Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Tuesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Saint Ignatius of Loyola (d. 1556)

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 49 How Lent Should Be Observed in the Monastery
Mass: Jr 14:17-22; Resp Ps 79; Mt 13:36-43

Just as an excessive preoccupation over the needs of the body is blameworthy, so too a proper concern about the preservation of one's health and bodily strength for the divine service is praiseworthy, and all should exercise it...
(Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, 292)

Monday, July 30, 2018

God of Mercy

Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Saint Peter Chrysologus, Bishop of Ravenna, Doctor of the Church (d. ca.450)

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 48:22-25
Mass: Jr 13:1-11; Resp Ps (Dt 32); Mt 13:31-35

You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
(Dt 18a)

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Having our fill

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 48:10-21
Mass: 2 K 4:42-44; Resp Ps 145; Ep 4:1-6; Jn 6:1-15

Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

O Holy Mother

Saturday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Blessed Virgin Mary

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 48:1-9 The Daily Manual Labor
Mass: Jr 7:1-11; Resp Ps 84; Mt 13:24-30

He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
(Communion Antiphon, Mass)

Friday, July 27, 2018

Tending the soil

Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 47 Signaling the Times for the Work of God
Mass: Jr 3:14-17; Resp Ps (Jr 31); Mt 13:18-23

The seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Blessed are your eyes and ears

Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Readings of the Day
RB: 46 Faults Committed Elsewhere
Mass: Jr 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13; Resp Ps 36; Mt 13:10-17

Grandparents are a treasure in the family. 
Please, take care of your grandparents: love them and let them talk to your children.
(Pope Francis, Twitter, July 26, 2018)

Wednesday, July 25, 2018


Feast of Saint James

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 45 Mistakes in the Oratory
Mass: 2 Co 4:7-15; Resp Ps 126; Mt 20:20-28

Pilgrims on El Camino de Santiago

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Lord, show us your mercy and love

Tuesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Saint Sharbel Makhlūf (d. 1898)

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 44 The Reconciliation of Those Excommunicated
Mass: Mi 7:14-15, 18-20; Resp Ps 85; Mt 12:46-50

God will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Walk humbly

Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Saint Bridget of Sweden (d. 1373): Patron Saint of Europe with St Benedict, Sts Cyril and Methodius, St Catherine of Siena, Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 44:13-19
Mass: Mi 6:1-4, 6-8; Resp Ps 50; Mt 12:38-42

You have been told, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you:
Only to do the right and love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

A deserted place to pray

Sunday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 43:1-12 Tardiness at the Work of God or at Table
Mass: Jr 23:1-6; Resp Ps 23; Ep 2:13-18; Mk 6:30-34

Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and pray.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Virgin of Mercy

Saturday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Blessed Virgin Mary
Saint Lawrence of Brindisi (d. 1619)

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 42 The Great Silence After Compline
Mass: Mi 2:1-5; Resp Ps 10; Mt 12:14-21

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Healing Hand of God

Friday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Saint Apollinaris (martyr 1st or 2nd century)

Readings of the Day:
RB: Ch 41 The Times for Community Meals
Mass: Is 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8; Resp Ps (Is 38); Mt 12:1-8

Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord:
'O Lord, remember how faithfully and wholeheartedly I conducted myself in your presence, doing what was pleasing to you.'

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Searching for God

Thursday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 40 The Proper Amount of Drink
Mass: Is 26:7-9, 12, 16-19; Resp Ps 102; Mt 11:28-30

My soul yearns for you in the night, yes, my spirit within me keeps vigil for you.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Childlike

Wednesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Nelson Mandela Day

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 39 The Proper Amount of Food
Mass: Is 10:5-7, 13b-16; Resp Ps 94; Mt 11:25-27

Although you have hidden these things from the wise and learned you have revealed them to the childlike.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

I believe help my unbelief

Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 38 The Weekly Reader
Mass: Is 7:1-9; Resp Ps 48; Mt 11:20-24

Unless your faith is firm you shall not be firm.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Monday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 37 Care for the Elderly and the Young
Mass: Is 1:10-17; Resp Ps 50; Mt 10:34-11:1

To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
(Resp Ps 50)

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Opposites attract

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 36 Care of the Sick
Mass: Am 7:12-15; Resp Ps 85; Ep 1:3-14; Mk 6:7-13

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Who do I worship?

Saturday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha (d. 1680, canonized 2012)

Readings of the DayRB Ch 33:12-18 
Mass: Is 6:1-8; Resp Ps 93; Mt 10:24-33

Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.

Friday, July 13, 2018

My Mouth Will Declare Your Praise!

Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Saint Henry (d. 1024)

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 35:1-11 Weekly Servers in the Kitchen and at Table
Mass: Ho 14:2-10; Resp Ps 51; Mt 10:16-23

All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord; praise and exult him above all forever.
(Da 3:81)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

All is gift!

Readings of the day
RB: Ch 34 Fair Provision for the Needs of All
Mass: Ho 11:1-4, 8c-9; Resp Ps 80; Mt 10:7-15

Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. 

Jesus' words to the Apostles are a good reminder for us. All is gift. Our talents, gifts, or 'skill sets' if your prefer, were given freely by God to each one of us. We did not have to pay for them, or exhibit good behavior in order to receive them. God simply loves us and gives us each according to need. These gifts, though, are not to be hoarded or used for our own edification and glory. Rather, like Jesus told the Apostles, we are to go out and proclaim the Good News to all those we meet. We use our gifts and talents for the glory of God, remembering a favorite verse from St Benedict included in yesterday's post: 'When you see any good in yourself, then, don't take it to be your very own, but acknowledge it as a gift from God' (RB 4:42). What we have received from the Lord we return to the Lord by serving the needs of others. In this way, we love and serve God and our neighbor, simultaneously! Herewith a friendly reminder from St Paul via St Benedict: 'God loves a cheerful giver' (2 Cor 9:7/RB 5:16).

Please notice today's photo of our first Passion Flower of the season. All is gift!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Solemnity of Our Holy Father Saint Benedict (c.480-547)

Readings of the day: 
RB: Ch 33 Personal Possessions in the Monastery 
Mass: Pr 2:1-9; Ps 34; Ep 4:1-6 or Col 3:12-17; Lk 22:24-27 or Mt 19:27-29 or Mt 5:1-12a

Listen carefully to the master's instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart.
(RB Prologue 1)

In the apostolic letter Pacis Nuntius (October 24, 1964), Pope Paul VI proclaimed St. Benedict as the principal patron of Europe giving him the illustrious and fitting titles of messenger of peace, creator of unity, teacher of civility, and above all the herald of the religion of Christ and the founder of western monasticism! It sounds even better in Italian: ‘Messaggero di pace, realizzatore di unione, maestro di civiltà, e soprattutto araldo della religione di Cristo e fondatore della vita monastica in Occidente’! It is no wonder St Benedict remains so popular. His message, contained in what he calls ‘a little rule for beginners’, speaks to the needs of the modern world so much in need of peace, unity, and civility. For your reflection, I include here eleven (It’s July 11th!) of my favorite verses from the Holy Rule of St Benedict. It was not easy to pick out only eleven. I leave it to you to decide the relevancy of Benedict’s message. My hope is that you may be prompted to pick up a copy of the Holy Rule and reflect on the wisdom contained therein. It is ‘little’ as it consists of a Prologue followed by 73 short chapters.

As we progress in this way of life and in faith, we shall run on the path of God’s commandments, our hearts overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love.
(RB Prologue 49)
You must honor everyone.
(RB 4:8)
Your way of acting should be different than the world’s way.
(RB 4:20)
If you notice something good in yourself, give credit to God, not to yourself.
(RB 4:42)
Guard your lips from harmful or deceptive speech.
(RB 4:51)
If you have a dispute with someone, make peace before the sun goes down.
(RB 4:73)
God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7).
(RB 5:16)
How important it is to lay our petitions before the Lord God of all things with the utmost humility and sincere devotion.
(RB 20:2)
The brothers or sisters must serve one another.
(RB 35:1)
Care of the sick must rank above and before all else, so that they may truly be served as Christ.
(RB 36:1)
They should each try to be the first to show respect to the other (Rm 12:10), supporting with the greatest patience one another’s weaknesses of body or behavior.
(RB 72:4-5)

O God, who made Abbot Saint Benedict
an outstanding master in the school of divine service,
grant, we pray,
that, putting nothing before love of you,
we may hasten with a loving heart
in the way of your commands.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
(Collect, Mass)

Europe rediscovers hope when the human person is at the heart of its institutions.
St Benedict, pray for us!
(Pope Francis, Twitter, July 11, 2018)

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Harvest is Abundant

Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings of the day: 
RB 32 The Tools and Property of the Monastery 
Mass: Ho 8:4-7, 11-13; Resp Ps 115; Mt 9:32-38

The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. 

I know that I have no hope of joining you except by walking after you; and even in this I am helpless unless helped by you. Therefore I entreat you to draw me after you.  
(Bernard of Clairvaux, On the Song of Songs, 21:2)

Monday, July 9, 2018

Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions (d. 1900)
Readings of the day: RB 31:13-19
Mass: Ho 2:16, 17c-18, 21-22; Resp Ps 145; Mt 9:18-26

'When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand, and the little girl arose.'

Thoughts go to the boys and their coach who have been trapped in the cave in Thailand and to the international operation team of Navy SEALs, cave divers, and other rescue workers on the scene. Thankfully, most of all those trapped have been rescued. What I think about is how officials have had to get journalists, curious onlookers, and others out of the way so the rescuers could go about their business. Navy SEALs are intense and serious about their business; it is best to get out their way. Like Jesus who arrives at the official’s house today and finds flute players and the crowd making a commotion. Jesus says: ‘Go away!’ Jesus has work to do; it is best to get out of His way too. ‘The Lord leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way’ (Ps 25:9).

'News of this spread throughout the land.'

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings of the day: RB 31:1-12 The Qualifications of the Monastery Cellarer
Mass: Ezk 2:2-5; Resp Ps 123; 2 Co 12:7-10; Mk 6:1-6a

They took offense at him.

Dismissed, unappreciated, rejected? So was Jesus.

He was amazed at their lack of faith.

If you want to be transformed by the Messiah, the first step is to recognize the Messiah in your midst. This means being ready to encounter the Son of God wherever you are and whatever time it is. This means inclining not just your ear for God’s voice, but your heart for God’s presence.
(John W. Martens)

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Blessed Virgin Mary: First Saturday of the Month

Readings of the day: RB 30 The Correction of Young Children
Mass: Am 9:11-15; Resp Ps 85; Mt 9:14-17

Hail, Holy Mother, who gave birth to the King who rules heaven and earth forever.
(Entrance Antiphon, Mass)

In honor of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, what follows is the text from a hymn we often sing on Saturday mornings:

Lady of Rescue, Beacon of hope, O Lantern in the night, out of the storm cloud, out of the gale, we seek the light.

Wide is the ocean, strong is the wind, and all the storms are gone. Lady of harbor, Light on the rock, we cry for dawn.

Merciful Mother, frail is our craft, the storm is pressing sore. Lighthouse and landfall, Sun on the wave, be thou our shore.

Daughter of morning, Lamp in the night, and Star above the sea, sing to the Father, Spirit and Son, eternally. Amen.


Friday, July 6, 2018

Saint Maria Goretti (1890-1902)

First Friday of the Month

Readings of the day: RB 29 The Readmission of Any Who Leave the Monastery
Mass: Am 8:4-6, 9-12; Resp Ps 119; Mt 9:9-13

Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy not sacrifice.

Saint Maria Goretti, intercede for us as we learn the meaning 
of every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Blessed are they who observe his decrees, who seek him with all their heart.
(Resp Ps 119)

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Elizabeth of Portugal (d. 1336)
Saint Anthony Zaccaria (d. 1539)

Readings of the day: RB 28 Those Who Refuse to Amend After Frequent Rebukes
Mass: Am 7:10-17; Resp Ps 19; Mt 9:1-8

Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.

Hans Urs von Balthasar’s words, ‘Christ himself was “in motion”,’ reminded me of something a professor once said about Jesus, that is, ‘Jesus is a walking parable.’ Jesus was a man on the move. We find him in a number of places. This week alone, Jesus is in a boat (Mk 5:21); behind locked doors (Jn 20:26); going up the mountain (Mt 5:1); in the territory of the Gadarenes (Mt 8:28); and today, Jesus travels by boat to his own town (Mt 9:1). We too, are to be ‘in motion’. Pope Francis has already warned us about being ‘parked Christians’ that is, those ‘who don’t continue on the journey; Christians who have run aground on the concerns of daily life—good things in themselves!—but they don’t grow, they remain small’ (Homily, March 12, 2018). We may find ourselves limited physically or geographically, yet we are continuously called to spiritual and emotional growth as we progress in our way of life. Afraid? Jesus is with you: Courage, child, your sins are forgiven, rise and walk.

Do we know how to silence our hearts and listen to the voice of God?
(Pope Francis, Twitter, July 5, 2018)

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time


E Pluribus Unum (Out of many, One)

Readings of the day: RB 27 The Abbess’s Care for the Excommunicated
Mass: (Suggested for Independence Day) Is 9:1-6/Ph 4:6-9; Resp Ps 72; Mt 5:1-12a
(For Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time) Am 5:14-15, 21-24; Resp Ps 50; Mt 8:28-34

Give peace, O Lord, to those who wait for you;
hear the prayers of your servants and guide us in the way of justice.
(Entrance Antiphon, Mass)

It seems fitting and right to pray with the Collect from today’s celebration of the Eucharist:

Father of all nations and ages,
we recall the day when our country
claimed its place among the family of nations;
for what has been achieved we give you thanks,
for the work that still remains we ask your help,
and as you have called us from many peoples to be
one nation,
grant that, under your providence,
our country may share your blessings
with all the peoples of the earth.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity
of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
(Ph 4:6-7)

Living and true God,
keep safe all those who gather to celebrate our nation’s independence.
Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Feast of Saint Thomas

Readings of the day: RB 26 Unlawful Association with the Excommunicated
Mass: Ep 2:19-22; Resp Ps 117; Jn 20:24-29

My Lord and my God!

Yet another favorite painting of mine is Caravaggio’s Doubting of St Thomas. I think if I were to put my finger in Christ’s side as did Thomas, I would have wept. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News. St Thomas, pray for us. 

We receive God’s graces to share them with others.
(Pope Francis, Twitter, July 3, 2018)

Monday, July 2, 2018

Monday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Readings of the day: RB 25 Punishment for More Serious Faults
Mass: Am 2:6-10, 13-16; Resp Ps 50; Mt 8:18-22

Follow me and let the dead bury the dead.

In response to Jesus’ command, I turn to André Louf (1929-2010): For disciples of Jesus it is enough, every day anew, to place their feet in the footprints of Jesus to take us his cross and to follow him wherever he goes. What will it be, then? ‘Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go’, or ‘Lord, let me go first and bury my father.’

If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings of the day: RB 24 Different Degrees in Severity of Punishment
Mass: Ws 1:13-15; 2:23-24; Resp Ps 30; 2 Co 8:7, 9, 13-15; Mk 5:21-43

To those to whom Jesus gives health of body or soul he says: According to your faith it can be done to you. And: Your faith has made you well…Our faith, but only if it is not tepid or timorous but confident, a faith unfeigned, a hope unshaken.
(Guerric of Igny)

If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured. Thank you, dear unnamed woman, for your example of confidence, of faith unfeigned, a hope unshaken. What did you feel in your body when healed of your affliction? You answered the Word, approaching in fear and trembling. You fell down before Jesus who looked around to see you. You told Him the whole truth. Please help us to be so bold. Son of the Living God, Divine Physician, increase our faith, heal us of our afflictions.

Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.

(Resp Ps 30)