Friday, April 30, 2021

Friday of the Fourth Week of Eastertide

Year of Saint Joseph

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

Other saints: Pope Saint Pius V (1504-1572); Saint Marie of the Incarnation (1599-1672); Our Lady, Mother of Africa

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 72 The Good Zeal of Monks

Mass: Acts 13:26-33; Resp Ps 2; Jn 14:1-6

Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice before Him; with trembling rejoice.

HEART OF JESUS, SOURCE OF ALL CONSOLATION,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

Jesus said to His disciples, He says to us: Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me (Jn 14:1). 

In life, the worst anxiety, arises with the sensation of not being able to cope. We need Jesus' help. And so we can say to Him: "Jesus, I believe you are beside me and that you are listening to me. I bring to you my troubles. I have faith in you and I entrust myself to you."
(Pope Francis, Twitter, April 30, 2021)

POPE SAINT PIUS V,
SAINT MARIE OF THE INCARNATION,
OUR LADY, MOTHER OF AFRICA,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: From our flower garden.

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Eastertide

Year of Saint Joseph

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

Other saints: Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin, Doctor (1347-1380)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 71 Mutual Obedience

Mass: Acts 13:13-25; Resp Ps 89; Jn 13:16-20

For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

JESUS, CROWN OF SAINTS,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

To celebrate Saint Catherine of Siena I include one of my favorite passages from The Dialogue, a text studied in a semester long class I was privileged to take while studying in Rome. Every year on this date, along with many others, I would visit the Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva near the Pantheon, where Catherine's body, or parts of it anyway, are entombed. With others, I would stand in line for not a short time to pray at her tomb. Another holy place to visit is the Basilica of San Domenico in Catherine's hometown of Siena. The pilgrim will find Catherine's head there, along with one of her fingers. Oh, the beauty of our faith tradition. 

Here is the passage from The Dialogue, sandwiched between the two scriptural passages referenced. In the margin of my book, I have written, "discovery made in prayer." Thank you to the professor, an Irish Dominican scholar and poet. 

Beloved, we are God's children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
(1 Jn 3:2)

As the soul comes to know herself she also knows God better, for she sees how good He has been to her. In the gentle mirror of God she sees her own dignity: that through no merit of hers but by His creation she is the image of God. And in the mirror of God's goodness she sees as well her own unworthiness, the work of her own sin. For just as you can better see the blemish on your face when you look at yourself in a mirror, so the soul who in true self-knowledge rises up with desire to look at herself in the gentle mirror of God with the eye of understanding sees all the more clearly her own defects because of the purity she sees in Him.
(Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue, 13)

For any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like man who observes his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
(Jm 1:23-24)

SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: It is fitting and right to have faithful reader Catherine's tulips today. Her patron, the great Saint Catherine of Siena, rejoices. Auguri e buon onomastica carissima Catherine!

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Eastertide

Year of Saint Joseph

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

Other saints: Saint Peter Chanel, Priest, Martyr (1803-1841); Saint Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort, Priest (1673-1716); Blessed Maria Guggiari Echeverria (1925-1959)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 70 The Presumption of Striking Another Monk at Will

Mass: Acts 12:24-13:5a; Resp Ps 67; Jn 12:44-50

May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you!

MARY, QUEEN OF ALL SAINTS,
PRAY FOR US.

One response to the opening line in today's account from the Acts of the Apostles, The Word of God continued to spread and grow (Acts 12:24), can be found in the Entrance Antiphon for Mass: I will praise, you, Lord, among the nations; I will tell of your name to my kin, alleluia. We are called by the Holy Spirit, as were Barnabas and Saul, and set apart to do such work for the Lord (Acts 13:2), namely, proclaim the word of God in word and deed. May the word of God continue to spread and grow. Alleluia. 

We look to our saints for the day for inspiration, encouragement, and intercession. 

About Saint Peter Chanel, a lay-brother who worked closely with him on the island of Futuna in the Pacific Ocean said this about Peter: "He displayed unparalleled mildness toward everyone on all occasions without exception. It is no wonder then that the natives used to call him 'good-hearted man' ... quietly he preached Christ and the Gospel, but there was little response. Still with invincible perseverance he pursued his missionary task on both the human and religious level, relying on the example and words of Christ: There is one who sows and another who reaps. And he constantly prayed for help from the Mother of God, to whom he was especially devoted" (From a eulogy for Saint Peter, priest and martyr, Office of Readings, April 28).

What, then, does God look upon with pleasure and delight? It is the man who is fighting for Him, against riches, against the world, hell, and himself, the man who is cheerfully carrying his cross.
(Saint Louis Marie de Montfort)

SAINT PETER CHANEL,
SAINT LOUIS MARIE GRIGNON DE MONTFORT,
BLESSED MARIA GUGGIARI ECHEVERRIA,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: More beauty at d and J's in West Linn, OR. 

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Eastertide

Year of Saint Joseph

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

Other saints: Saint Rafael Arnaiz Baron, Oblate O.C.S.O. (1911-1938); Saint Asicus (-c. 490); Saint Maughold, Bishop (c.4th-5th century); Bl. Hosanna of Kotor OP (1493-1565)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 69 The Presumption of Defending Another in the Monastery

Mass: Acts 11:19-26; Resp Ps 87; Jn 10:22-30

Alleluia!

JESUS, TRUE LIGHT,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

May the words of Barnabas in today's account from the Acts of the Apostles, encourage us as they did the nascent Church in Antioch: Remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart (Acts 11:23). By our witness may a large number of people be added to the Lord (Acts 11:24).

Included here for our time spent in prayer and reflection, especially during this Year of Saint Joseph and in preparation for the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker (instituted by Pope Pius XII in 1955 and celebrated May 1), is a prayer to Saint Joseph by Pope Leo XIII. It comes at the conclusion of his encyclical Quamquam pluries, given August 15, 1889. Pope Leo XIII intended the prayer to the be added to the end of the rosary, especially during the month of October. That said, it can be prayed "any day of the Year of Saint Joseph, but especially on his various feast days or other devotional days dedicated to Saint Joseph" [United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) website]. 

Defend, O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, the chosen off-spring of Jesus Christ. Keep from us, O most loving Father, all blight of error and corruption. Aid us from on high, most valiant defender, in this conflict with the powers of darkness. As you once rescued the child Jesus from deadly peril, so now defend God's Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity. Shield us ever under your patronage, that, following your example and strengthened by your help, we may live a holy life, die a happy death, and attain to everlasting bliss in heaven.
Amen.

Saint Joseph, intercede for us so that we, like you, may remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart.

SAINT RAFAEL ARNAIZ BARON,
SAINT ASICUS,
SAINT MAUGHOLD,
BLESSED HOSANNA OF KOTOR,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

N.B. If interested in reading Pope Leo XIII's Quamquam pluries, you will find it on www.vatican.va. In addition, the USCCB website has historical information as well as information about the use of the prayer and indulgences. To look further into indulgences, please refer to your trusty Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), 1471-1479.

Today's photo: This sweet rose greeted me on Locust Street in Garberville, CA.

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Monday, April 26, 2021

Monday of the Fourth Week of Eastertide

Year of Saint Joseph

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

Other saints: Bl. Robert Anderton (1560-1568) and William Marsden (-1586)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 68 Assignment of Impossible Tasks

Mass: Acts 11:1-18; Resp Ps 42;43; Jn 10:1-10

Athirst is my soul for the living God.

JESUS, GOOD SHEPHERD,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

Still with Jesus the Good Shepherd these days, we continue to ask Our Good Shepherd to have mercy on us. This may come in handy when assigned what may first appear as an impossible task in community, at work, home or school. Saint Benedict addresses this in another one of my favorites from the Holy Rule, that is, Chapter 68, Assignment of Impossible Tasks. It's a short chapter so you will find it below in its entirety. Whatever is asked of you, remember that Jesus the Good Shepherd calls you by name; He will lead you; follow Him. And you just may discover that you have gifts you never knew you had. All things are possible with God.

A brother may be assigned a burdensome task or something he cannot do. If so, he should, with complete gentleness and obedience, accept the order given him. Should he see, however, that the weight of the burden is altogether too much for his strength, then he should choose the appropriate moment and explain patiently to his superior the reasons why he cannot perform the task. This he ought to do without pride, obstinacy or refusal. If after the explanation the superior is still determined to hold his original order, then the junior must recognize that this is best for him. Trusting in God's help, he must in love obey.
(Rule of Saint Benedict, 68)

Let's not wait for our neighbors to be good before we are good to them, for others to respect us before we serve them. Let's begin with ourselves.
(Pope Francis, Twitter, April 26, 2021)

BLESSED ROBERT ANDERTON AND WILLIAM MARSDEN,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Pink dogwood in West Linn, OR. Thanks d.

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Fourth Sunday of Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday)

Year of Saint Joseph

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

World Day of Prayer for Vocations

In other years: Saint Mark the Evangelist, Patron Saint of Venice

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 67 Brothers Sent on a Journey

Mass: Acts 4:8-12; Resp Ps 118; 1 Jn 3:1-2; Jn 10:11-18

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever.

JESUS, GOOD SHEPHERD,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

Welcome to Good Shepherd Sunday. It was something I read yesterday that is fitting to introduce this Fourth Sunday of Easter. In a homily, Capuchin Franciscan friar and the preacher to the papal household since 1980 (under three popes now!), commented on the "expression 'to believe in,' as in the sentence: Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me (Jn 14:1)." The Cardinal had this to say: "Believe here means: have faith in, entrust yourself to the person you believe in, build your life on that person. It indicates a total and unconditional trust that is to replace all human insecurity. A trust in consequence of which the whole heart can never again be troubled by anything." Believe. Have faith. Entrust yourself to Jesus the Good Shepherd in whom you believe. When the going gets tough, the tough, with Jesus, get going. No matter what. Let not your hearts be troubled for all things are possible with God. 

God's call always urges us to take a first step, to give of ourselves, to press forward. There can be no faith without risk. Only by abandoning ourselves constantly to grace, setting aside our own programs and comforts, can we truly say "yes" to God. And every "yes" bears fruit because it becomes part of a larger design, of which we glimpse only details, but which the divine Artist knows and carries out, making of every life a masterpiece.
(Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the 2021 World Day of Vocations)

The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.
In green pastures you let me graze;
to safe waters you lead me; you restore my strength,
You guide me along the right path for the sake of your name.
Even when I walk through a dark valley,
I fear no harm since you are at my side;
your rod and your staff give me courage.
(Ps 23:1-4)

SAINT MARK THE EVANGELIST,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: White Trillium in Corvallis. Thank you dear Catherine.

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Saturday of the Third Week of Eastertide

Year of Saint Joseph

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

Other saints: Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Capuchin Friar, Martyr (1578-1622); Saint Erkenwald, Abbot, Bishop (-693); Saint Egbert, Bishop (639-729)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 66 The Porter of the Monastery

Mass: Acts 9:31-42; Resp Ps 116; Jn 6:60-69

Alleluia.

IT IS THE SPIRIT THAT GIVES LIFE, WHILE THE FLESH IS OF NO AVAIL.
(Jn 6:63)

There comes a time when one must decide to just get up and get on with it. It may be that others have to tell us to get up and get on with it, whether we like it or not. In another lively account from the Acts of the Apostles, we find Peter in Lydda. There he meets Aeneas, paralyzed and confined to bed for eight years. Calling him my name, Peter says: Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed. Aeneas did not waste much time; he got up at once (Acts 9:32-34). On the move, Peter continues to Joppa after being summoned there by the disciples. Peter was not about wasting time either. When summoned, he got up and went to Joppa. In an upper room, he found the dead body of Tabitha (what a great name even when translated as Dorcas) surrounded by weeping widows. After sending the mourners out, Peter knelt down and prayed. Calling her by name, Peter said: Tabitha, rise up. Another not bothered with wasting time, Tabitha opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up (Acts 9:36-40). Let's not be about wasting time either and get on with it, like it or not. For inspiration and encouragement, turn to Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen who certainly was not about wasting time. A stalwart of the faith, he was attacked and killed. Fidelis (another great name) left these words as a testament:

What is it that today makes true followers of Christ cast luxuries aside, leave pleasures behind, and endure difficulties and pain? It is living faith that expresses itself through love. It is this that makes us put aside the goods of the present in the hope of future goods. It is because of faith that we exchange the present for the future.
(From a eulogy for Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, priest, martyr, in Office of Readings, April 24)

SAINT FIDELIS OF SIGMARINGEN,
SAINT ERKENWALD,
SAINT EGBERT,
HOLY MARY,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Sunset at the Gorge, more specifically, Memaloose overlook near Rowena Crest. Thanks Maddy 😊, outdoor enthusiast extraordinaire. 
 
© Gertrude Feick 2021

Friday, April 23, 2021

Friday of the Third Week of Eastertide

Year of Saint Joseph

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

Other saints: Saint George, Martyr (-c.303); Saint Adalbert of Prague (956-997);  Blessed Teresa Maria of the Cross (1846-1910)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 65:11-22

Mass: Acts 9:1-20; Resp Ps 117; Jn 6:52-59

Praise the Lord, all you nations; glorify Him, all you peoples!

Auguri. Buon onomastico, Papa Francesco!
Congratulations and Happy Name Day Pope Francis, Jorge Mario Bergoglio. May Saint George intercede for you.

The believer looking for encouragement or inspiration could turn to Saint Paul or Saint George, both of whom are proof that all things are possible with God. In today's account from the Acts of the Apostles, then Saul not yet Paul was still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord and on the hunt for any men or women who belonged to the Way (Acts 9:1-2). By the end of the story Saul is baptized then gets busy proclaiming Jesus in the synagogue, that He is the Son of God (Acts 9:18, 20). In a sermon by Saint Peter Damian included in the Office of Readings, we read that "Saint George was a man who abandoned one army for another: he gave up the rank of tribune to enlist as a soldier for Christ. Eager to encounter the enemy, he first stripped away his worldly wealth by giving all he had to the poor. Then, free and unencumbered, bearing the shield of faith, he plunged into the thick of the battle, an ardent soldier for Christ." And come to think of it, it just may be that Saint Benedict was inspired by both men. In the Prologue of the Holy Rule, our holy father Benedict writes this: "This message of mine is for you, then, if you are ready to give up your own will, once and for all, and armed with the strong and noble weapons of obedience to do battle for the true King, Christ the Lord" (RB Prol. 3). Onward Christian soldiers!

Are you still in need of encouragement and inspiration? Then why not look to Saint Adalbert of Prague. He faced opposition in Prague, withdrew to Rome only to be sent back to the "battlefield" by Pope John XV. He evangelized and founded an abbey. Still opposed, Adalbert was forced into exile. He became a missionary in Pomerania only to be martyred for the cause at the age of 41 (see Universalis). I believe, help my unbelief.

SAINT GEORGE,
SAINT ADALBERT OF PRAGUE,
BLESSED TERESA MARIA OF THE CROSS,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: More from the Columbia River George. Magnificent!

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Thursday of the Third Week of Eastertide

Year of Saint Joseph

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

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 65:1-10 The Prior of the Monastery

Mass: Acts 8:26-40; Resp Ps 66; Jn 6:44-51

God has given life to our souls, and has not let our feet slip.

IGNORANCE OF SCRIPTURE IS IGNORANCE OF CHRIST.
(Saint Jerome from the Prologue of the Commentary on Isaiah)

May we have the same eagerness to understand the Scriptures as the Ethiopian eunuch in today's passage from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 8:31) and so continue on our way rejoicing (Acts 8:39).

Read the divine Scriptures constantly; never let the sacred volume fall from your hand.
(Saint Jerome, the Epistle)

SAINT JEROME,
SAINT PHILIP,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Welcome to April in the Hoosier state. Yesterday morning in Indianapolis, all melted by the afternoon. It is what it is. 😎Thanks Thomas B. 

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Wednesday of the Third Week of Eastertide

Year of Saint Joseph

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

Other saints: Saint Anselm of Canterbury, Bishop, Doctor (1033-1109); Saint Maelrubha, Abbot (642-722)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 64:7-22

Mass: Acts 8:1b-8; Resp Ps 66; Jn 6:35-40

Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.

JESUS, CROWN OF SAINTS,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

In today's General Audience, the Holy Father spoke of prayer as "dialogue with God; and every creature, in a certain sense, engages in dialogue with God." Furthermore, "prayer becomes word, invocation, hymn, poetry ... the Divine Word is made flesh, and in the flesh of every person, the word returns to God in prayer." As we remember the great Saint, Bishop, and Doctor of the Church Anselm of Canterbury, we can dialogue God with words from Saint Anselm. Saint Anselm gave us a classic definition of Theology in his Prologian or Discourse on the Existence of God, Chapter I: "The believer does not seek to understand, that he may believe, but he believes that he may understand: for unless he believed he would not understand." Or put more simply, theology is faith seeking understanding. Furthermore, Saint Anselm's prayer becomes poetry throughout his discourse, here in Chapter XXVI:

O God, let me know you and love you so that I may find my joy in you; and if I cannot do so fully in this life, let me at least make some progress every day, until at last that knowledge, love and joy come to me in all their plentitude. While I am here on earth let me learn to know you better, so that in heaven I may know you fully; let my love for you grow deeper here, so that there I may love you fully. On earth then I shall have great joy in hope, and in heaven complete joy in the fulfillment of my hope ...
let this hope of mine be in my thoughts and on my tongue; let my heart be filled with it, my voice speak of it; let my soul hunger for it, my body thirst for it, my whole being yearn for it, until I enter into the joy of the Lord, who is Three in One, blessed for ever. Amen.

SAINT ANSELM OF CANTERBURY,
SAINT MAELRUBHA,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Hot off the wire, from Maddy on an evening hike in the Columbia River Gorge, east of Portland, Oregon. "Sing joyfully to God, all the earth, sing praise to His glorious name"!

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Tuesday of the Third Week of Eastertide

Year of Saint Joseph

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

Other saints: Saints Marcellinus, Vincent, Dominus (-374); Saint Bueno (-640); Saint Agnes of Montepulciano OP (1268-1317)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 64:1-6 The Election of an Abbot

Mass: Acts 7:51-8:1a; Resp Ps 31; Jn 6:30-35

Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your kindness.

JESUS, EXAMPLE OF VIRTUES,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

First, today's entrance antiphon from Mass:

SING PRAISE TO OUR GOD, ALL YOU WHO FEAR GOD, BOTH SMALL AND GREAT, FOR SALVATION AND STRENGTH HAVE COME, AND THE POWER OF HIS CHRIST.
ALLELUIA.

Second, something Saint Augustine preached: 

Sing to the Lord a new song. Look, you tell me, I am singing. Yes, indeed; you are singing clearly, I can hear you. But make sure that your life does not contradict your words. Sing with your voices, your hearts, your lips and your lives ... 
You have heard the words: Sing to the Lord a new song, and you wish to know what praises to sing. The answer is: His praise is in the assembly of the saints; it is in the singers themselves. If you desire to praise Him, then live what you express. Live good lives, and you yourselves will be His praise.
(From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop, in Office of Readings, Tuesday, Third Week of Easter)

SAINTS MARCELLINUS, VINCENT, DOMINUS,
SAINT BUENO,
SAINT AGNES OF MONTEPULCIANO,
SAINT STEPHEN,
SAINT AUGUSTINE,
SAINT MONICA,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Catherine in Corvallis with shooting stars!

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Monday, April 19, 2021

Monday of the Third Week of Eastertide

Year of Saint Joseph

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

Other saints: Saint Alphege, Abbot, Bishop (-1012); Bl. Isnard of Chiampo OP (-1244); Bl. Sibyllina Biscossi OP (~1287-1367) 

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 63:10-19

Mass: Acts 6:8-15; Resp Ps 119; Jn 6:22-29

Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord.

JESUS, TRUE LIGHT,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

One of the first things that came to mind when reading today's account from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 6:8-15) was the concept of "herd mentality". Certain members of this and that group, that and this place, came forward and debated with Stephen. Since they couldn't bear up against the wisdom and the Spirit with which Stephen spoke, they instigated others and Stephen became the target of calumny. Now the people were so stirred up that they joined the herd, accosted Stephen, seized him and brought him before the Sanhedrin. Meanwhile, when the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen they saw that Stephen's face was like the face of an angel (Acts 6:15). Stay focused folks and "seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God" (Col 3:1). Saint Stephen certainly did. United in faith and prayer we go forth.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
not sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
that yields its fruit in due season,
and its leaf does not wither,
In all that he does, he prospers.
(Psalm 1:1-3).

God does not give up. You are close to His heart, you who do not yet know the beauty of His love, you who have not yet welcomed Jesus as the center of your life, you who cannot overcome your sin.
(Pope Francis, Twitter, April 19, 2021)

SAINT ALPHEGE,
BLESSED ISNARD OF CHIAMPO,
BLESSED SIBYLLINA BOSCOSSI,
SAINT STEPHEN,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo; Here is a real apple tree blossom unlike the misidentified pear tree blossom of Divine Mercy Sunday. Kyrie eleison..

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Third Sunday of Easter

Year of Saint Joseph

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

In other years: Saint Laserian or Molaise (-639); Blessed Marie-Anne Blondin (1809-1890); Blessed Mary of the Incarnation (1566-1618)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 63:1-9 Community Rank

Mass: Acts 3:13-15, 17-19; Resp Ps 4; 1 Jn 2:1-5a; Lk 24:35-48

Lord, let your face shine on us.

JESUS, GOD OF PEACE,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

As yesterday, the disciples find themselves startled and terrified in the presence of the Risen Lord. No, Jesus is not a ghost (Lk 24:37). He is the living and true God in our midst. With your worries, anxieties, troubles, and joy, Jesus says to you, Peace be with you (Lk 4:36). On this Third Sunday of Eastertide, take time to sit quietly with Jesus. Talk to Him. Listen to Him. Here is something Jesus said to Sister Mary of the Holy Trinity (1901-1942): "Think only of me, of pleasing me: I will transform you. Let go of all that does not lead you directly to me, so as to be altogether mine. Thoughts, memories, plans, desires, anxieties-whatever they may be. Confide all to me. It is my joy to respond as God to humble confidence." And it never hurts to remind ourselves of Pope Francis's invitation: "I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting Him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since 'no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord'" (The Joy of the Gospel, 3). Alleluia!

Being Christian is not first of all a doctrine or moral idea; it is a living relationship with Him, with the Risen Lord: we look at Him, we touch Him, we are nourished by Him and, transformed by His love, we look at, nourish and touch others as brothers and sisters. 
(Pope Francis, Regina Coeli Address, April 18, 2021)

SAINT LASERIAN,
BLESSED MARIE-ANNE BLONDIN,
BLESSED MARY OF THE INCARNATION,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Catherine in Corvallis with phlox and two tulips. πŸ’—

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Saturday of the Second Week of Easter

Year of Saint Joseph

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

Other saints: Saint Donan, Martyr, Patron Saint of Eigg (7th century); Bl Baptist Spagnoli of Mantua (1447-1516); Bl Clara Gambacorta OP, Dominican nun and widow (1362-1419); Bl Maria Mancini OP, Dominican nun and widow (-1431)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 62 The Priests of the Monastery

Mass: Acts 6:1-17; Resp Ps 33; Jn 6:16-21

Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

MARY, LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS,
PRAY FOR US.

It is true that in today's Gospel passage, the disciples were not so much afraid of the turbulent sea and strong wind as they were when they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near their boat (Jn 6:18-19). Oh no, let us not be afraid of Jesus as He says: It is I. Do not be afraid (Jn 6:20). Like the disciples. we may want to take Jesus into our boat (Jn 6:21). Then we realize that He is already there. I keep the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices; my body also dwells secure (Ps 16:8-10). 

About one of the saints of the day, Saint Donan, the patron saint of Eigg, you might investigate the Isle of Eigg. I found a segment on 60 Minutes Overtime from September 26, 2017. What a fascinating place. 

SAINT DONAN,
BLESSED BAPTIST SPANOLI OF MANTUA,
BLESSED CLARA GAMBACORTA,
BLESSED MARIA MANCINI,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Another discovery in Eureka. 

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Friday, April 16, 2021

Friday of the Second Week of Easter

Year of Saint Joseph

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

Other saints: Saint Bernadette Soubirous (1844-1879)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 61:6-14

Mass: Acts 5:34-42; Resp Ps 27; Jn 6:1-15

I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living.

JESUS, MOST POWERFUL,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

Today's first reading brings a smile to my face. After the Sanhedrin had the Apostles flogged, ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, then released them (Acts 5:40), I imagine the Apostles to have left quietly and said among themselves, "Yeah, right." Then the Apostles went about "rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name" (Acts 5:41). And with boldness and courage, "all day long, both at the temple and in their homes, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Christ, Jesus" (Acts 5:42). May we go forth with the same joy, boldness, and courage and proclaim the Christ, Jesus, wherever we find ourselves, at work, home, or play. At the Name of Jesus, every knee should bow, every tongue confess Him, King of Glory now, Jesus is Lord, King of Glory now! (cf. Ph 2:10-11). 

JESUS, OUR WAY AND OUR LIFE,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

SAINT BERNADETTE SOUBIROUS,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Kathleen in Olympia, WA, with a flower of the day, the Crown Imperial. God is praised! Thank you dear KH.

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Thursday of the Second Week of Easter

Year of Saint Joseph

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

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 61:1-5 The Reception of Visiting Monks

Mass: Acts 5:27-33; Resp Ps 34; Jn 3:31-36

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall be ever in my mouth.

BEHOLD, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, EVEN TO THE END OF THE AGE.
ALLELUIA.
(Communion Antiphon, Mass)

There was something Pope Francis said yesterday at the General Audience, where he continued his catechesis on Christian prayer, that I like very much: "Praying and working in community keeps the world going. It is a motor." Keep the motor going today and pray with your favorite psalm, or Responsorial Psalm 34 will do. Surely the Apostles, who had more than a few people infuriated with them and who wanted to put them to death (Acts 5:33), prayed with it. Remember too what Saint Benedict wrote in his chapter on the daily manual labor: "Idleness is the enemy of the soul. Therefore, the brothers should have specified periods for manual labor as well as for prayerful reading" (RB 48:1). Rev the motor today! 😊

THE LORD HEARS THE CRY OF THE POOR.
I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Taste and see how good the Lord is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in Him.

The Lord confronts the evildoers;
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
When the just cry out, the Lord hears them, 
and from all their distress He rescues them.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit He saves.
Many are the troubles of the just man,
but out of them all the Lord delivers them.
(Responsorial Psalm 34)

SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: On another exploration of  Eureka's medical office parking lots, I discovered this beauty. 

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter

Year of Saint Joseph

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

Other saints: Blessed Lucien Botovasoa (1908-1947); Bl. Peter Gonzalez OP (-1246)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 60 The Admission of Priests to the Monastery

Mass: Acts 5:17-26; Resp Ps 34; Jn 3:16-21

Look to Him that you may be radiant with joy, and your faces may not blush with shame.

HEART OF JESUS, FOUNTAIN OF LIFE AND HOLINESS,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

I marvel at today's reading from the Acts of the Apostles. It is the account of the Apostles' imprisonment and subsequent release from jail by an angel of the Lord. It is no wonder that those who were jealous of them "were at a loss about them, as to what this would come to" (Acts 5:24). Indeed, anything is possible with God.

You will save us!
From the prison of the narrow mind and the shuttered heart,
-deliver us, O Lord.
(Magnificat, Intercessions, Prayer for the Morning, April 14, 2021)

BLESSED LUCIEN BOTOVASOA,
BLESSED PETER GONZALEZ,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Another look at a fawn lily.

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter

Year of Saint Joseph

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

Other saints: Pope Saint Martin I, Martyr (598-655); Bl. Margaret of Castello or Metola (c. 1287-1320)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 59 The Offering of Sons by Nobles or the Poor

Mass: Acts 4:32-37; Resp Ps 93; Jn3:7b-15

The Lord is king; He is robed in majesty.

HEART OF JESUS, KING AND CENTER OF ALL HEARTS,
HAVE MERCY ON US.
 
Some verses from today's first reading at Mass, taken from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 4:32-37), are included in the Holy Rule of Saint Benedict. It is no wonder, as the community of believers described in the Acts of the Apostles is life in Christian community, that is, a community of believers "of one heart and mind" (Acts 4:32). Although life as set forth in the passage from the Acts of the Apostles is a foundation of life in Christian community, our holy father Benedict refers to two verses, verse 32 once, and verse 35 twice, in his chapters on private ownership (RB 33), distribution of goods according to need (RB 34), and clothing and footwear (RB 55). 

For your reflection, I include for you here how St. Benedict uses the verses. First, regarding monks and private ownership, we read: "For [the monks'] needs, they are to look to the father of the monastery, and are are not allowed anything which the abbot has not given or permitted. All things should be the common possession of all, as it is written, so that no one presumes to call anything his own (Acts 4:32/RB 33:5-6). Second, regarding distribution of goods according to need, we read: "It is written: Distribution was made to each one as he had need (Acts 4:35). By this we do not imply that there should be favoritism-God forbid-but rather consideration for weaknesses. Whoever needs less should thank God and not be distressed, but whoever needs more should feel humble because of his weakness, not self-important because of the kindness shown to him. In this way all the members will be at peace. First and foremost, there must be no word or sign of the evil of grumbling, no manifestation of it for any reason at all" (RB 34:1-6). And third, regarding clothing and footwear: "The abbot, however must always bear in mind what is said in the Acts of the Apostle: Distribution was made to each one as he had need (Acts 4:35). In this way the abbot will take into account the weaknesses of the needy, not the evil will of the envious" (RB 55:20-21).

Dear Jesus, may we be so blessed to live in a community of believers, and give us the strength and courage to live fully such a life. And if we do not find ourselves in a community of believers, may each one of us be true to the faith and give full witness according to your Divine Will. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

POPE SAINT MARTIN I,
BLESSED MARGARET OF COSTELLO,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: This red-headed woodpecker is busy.

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Monday, April 12, 2021

Monday of the Second Week of Easter

Year of Saint Joseph

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

Other saints: Saint Zeno of Verona, Bishop (c. 371); Pope Saint Julius I (352)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 58:17-29

Mass: Acts 4:23-31; Resp Ps 2; Jn 3:1-8

Blessed are all who take refuge in the Lord.

JESUS STOOD IN THE MIDST OF THE DISCIPLES AND SAID TO THEM:
PEACE BE WITH YOU, ALLELUIA.
(Communion Antiphon, Mass)

The first thing I marked in my missal was this prayer: 

Strengthen us in faith, O Lord!
That we may praise your love among those who do not know you-
and be Christ's ambassadors to those who seek with sincere hearts.
(Magnificat, Prayer for the Evening, Intercessions, April 11, 2021)

It seems fitting and right then that we join Peter and John and raise our voices to God with one accord and pray: Enable your servants to speak your word with all boldness, as you stretch forth your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are done through the name of your holy servant Jesus (Acts 4:24, 29-30)

As they prayed, the place where they were gathered shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
(Acts 4:31)

Jesus is the Risen One, the Lord who passed through death in order to lead us to safety. Even before we begin to seek Him, He is present beside us. He lifts us back up after our falls. He helps us grow in faith.
(Pope Francis, Twitter, April 12, 2021)

SAINT ZENO OF VERONA,
POPE SAINT JULIUS I,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Catherine found "fawn lilies in abundance" on a Sunday walk in the woods.

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Second Sunday of Easter (or Divine Mercy Sunday)

Year of Saint Joseph

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

In other years: Saint Stanislaus of Cracow, Bishop and Martyr, Patron of Poland (c. 1030-1079); Saint Gemma Galgani (1878-1903)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 58:1-16 The Procedure for Receiving New Brothers

Mass: Acts 4:32-35; Resp Ps 118; 1 Jn 5:1-6; Jn 20:19-31

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love is everlasting.

HEART OF JESUS, PATIENT AND MOST MERCIFUL,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

Never lose hope in God's mercy.
(Rule of Saint Benedict, 4:74)

Welcome to Divine Mercy Sunday. Something to embrace this glorious day comes from Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), the "Apostle" or "Secretary" of Divine Mercy: "God will not deny His mercy to anyone. Heaven and earth may change, but God's mercy will never be exhausted." There may be things that you do not believe or doubt, but believe and have faith, for God will not deny His mercy to anyone. Indeed, His mercy endures forever. So "having received mercy, let us now become merciful" (Pope Francis, homily, Divine Mercy Sunday, April 11, 2021).

Mercy is made tangible, it becomes closeness, service, care for those in difficulty. I hope you will always feel you have been granted mercy, so as to be merciful to others in turn.
(Pope Francis, Twitter, April 11, 2021)

Why not pick up and put to good use one of Saint Benedict's Tools for Good Works, for example, "relieve the lot of the poor, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and bury the dead. Go to help the troubled and console the sorrowing" (RB 4:14-18).

Or put another way, engage in a Work of Mercy:

SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY
Counsel the doubtful.
Instruct the ignorant.
Admonish sinners.
Comfort the afflicted,
Forgive offenses.
Bear patiently with those who do us ill.
Pray for the living and the dead.

CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY
Feed the hungry.
Give drink to the thirsty.
Clothe the naked.
Welcome the stranger.
Heal the sick.
Visit the imprisoned.
Bury the dead.

VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OF MERCY,
SAINT JOSEPH,
SAINT MARIA FAUSTINA KOWALSKA,
SAINT STANISLAUS OF CRACOW,
SAINT GEMMA GALGANI, 
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Apple blossoms in the garden. 

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Saturday within the Octave of Easter

Year of Saint Joseph

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

Other saints: Bl. Anthony Neyrot OP, Dominican Friar, Priest and Martyr (1425-1460)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 57 The Artisans of the Monastery

Mass: Acts 4:13-21; Resp Ps 118; Mk 16:9-15

My strength and my courage is the Lord.

MARY, MOTHER OF OUR SAVIOR,
PRAY FOR US.

When Jesus had arisen, He appeared to the Eleven. After rebuking them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, He said: Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature (Mk 16:9, 14-15). We too are meant to go and proclaim the Gospel to every creature, wherever we find ourselves. However we go about it, may all that we say and do be "so that in all things God may be glorified" (RB 57:9, 1 Pt 4:11). Saint Mary Magdalene, pray for us, so that the stones in our hearts be rolled back. I believe, help my unbelief.

Our saint of the day, Blessed Anthony Nevrot, was something else. Born in northern Italy, he joined the Dominicans at San Marco in Florence (Visit if you can. The Annunciation of Fra Angelico is there. It is breathtaking.), who were "at that time under the direction of St. Antoninus". Some years later, he was sent to Sicily. It was said that although obedient and pious, he was at the same time "somewhat unsettled and fond of his pleasures." After a short time in Sicily, he was given permission to go to Naples and Rome. On the way there his ship was captured by pirates and he was taken prisoner to Tunis. He was eventually released from prison  and apparently "found the privations and difficulties of living as a Christian under Muslim rule hard to bear and after studying the Koran became a Muslim and married"!. After some months and due to a vision of St. Antoninus, Anthony had a change of mind and heart, sent his wife away, and started praying the Divine Office again. Some time later, Anthony, back in the Dominican habit, appeared before the ruler of Tunis and "proclaimed his belief that Christianity was the only true religion." This was no small matter, as Anthony was condemned to death and executed by stoning as he prayed on his knees" (Butler's Lives of the Saints, April, pp. 71-72). Anything is possible with God.  

BLESSED ANTHONY NEVROT,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Friday, April 9, 2021

Friday within the Octave of Easter

Year of Saint Joseph

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

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 56 The Abbot's Table

Mass: Acts 4:1-12; Resp Ps 118; Jn 21:1-14

By the Lord has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes.

HEART OF JESUS, MOST WORTHY OF ALL PRAISE,
HAVE MERCY ON US. 

As we wind up the Octave of Easter, let us listen to Peter from today's account from the Acts of the Apostles: Jesus Christ "is the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are saved" (Acts 4:11-12). So give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever (Ps 118). Alleluia. 

SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.  

Today's photo: Dear Catherine reports: "I planted a lot of tulip bulbs last October." ⚘

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

Year of Saint Joseph

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

Readings of the Day 

RB: Ch 55:15-22

Mass: 3:11-26; Resp 8; Lk 24:35-48

The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea.

HEART OF JESUS, OUR PEACE AND OUR RECONCILIATION,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

Jesus stood in the midst of His disciples (Lk 24:36). Jesus stands in our midst and says: Peace be with you. There is no need then to be startled or terrified, for "the Lord is near" (Ph 4:5). So, "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)

Let peace be your quest and aim.
If you have a dispute with someone, make peace with him before the sun goes down.
(Rule of Saint Benedict, Prologue 17; 4:73)

SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Tweet. Tweet. 😊

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Wednesday within the Octave of Easter

Year of Saint Joseph

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

In other years: Saint John Baptist de La Salle, Founder (1651-1790); Saint Henry Walpole, Martyr (1558-1719)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 55:1-14 The Clothing and Footwear for the Brothers

Mass: Acts 3:1-10; Resp Ps 105; Lk 24:13-35

Sing to him, sing his praise, and proclaim his wondrous deeds.

THEN THE TWO RECOUNTED WHAT HAD TAKEN PLACE ON THE WAY AND HOW HE WAS MADE KNOWN TO THEM IN THE BREAKING OF THE BREAD.
(Lk 24:35)

What is preventing your eyes from recognizing Jesus? May our eyes and hearts be opened so that we, with the disciples on the road to Emmaus, may recognize Jesus in our midst. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord (Ps 105).

We praise you, O Lord our Savior!
You give sight to the blind of heart:
-in your light we see light.
(Magnificat, Prayer for the Evening, Intercessions, April 7, 2021)

SAINT JOSEPH,
SAINT JOHN BAPTIST DE LA SALLE,
SAINT HENRY WALPOLE,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Tweet ♭♯.

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Tuesday within the Octave of Easter

Year of Saint Joseph

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

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 54 Letters or Gifts for the Monks

Mass: Acts 2:36-41; Resp Ps 33; Jn 20:11-18

The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

IF YOU HAVE RISEN WITH CHRIST, SEEK THE THINGS THAT ARE ABOVE, WHERE CHRIST IS SEATED AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD; MIND THE THINGS THAT ARE ABOVE, ALLELUIA.
(Communion Antiphon, Mass)

One of my favorite lines in the Gospels comes today. It is after Mary Magdalene's encounter with Jesus at the tomb, after Our Lord had risen from the dead: I have seen the Lord (Jn 20:18). Be alert for the Risen Lord is everywhere! And He is calling you by name. 

I sought him whom my heart loves-I sought him but did not find him. The watchmen came upon me, as they made their rounds of the city: Have you seen him whom my heart loves? I had hardly left them when I found him whom my heart loves. I took hold of him and would not let him go.
(Song of Songs 3:1, 3-4a)

SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Yesterday I found myself once again in Eureka in a particular parking lot that has beautiful and varied shrubbery and flowers. 

© Gertrude Feick 2021