06 October 2015

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the many ways in which You work through simple and ordinary acts of love.

Cardinal Wuerl on Simple and Ordinary Acts of Love

"Some of the clearest expressions of the Gospel come from young people and so whenever I encounter them, I cannot help but be encouraged. Whether it is meeting with school children, teenagers at the Youth Rally and Mass for Life, or dinner with college students, I see in them a special vibrancy as they search for the right path for their lives.

"As Pope Francis has noted, 'We have all seen during World Youth Days the joy that young people show in their faith and their desire for an ever more solid and generous life of faith. Young people want to live life to the fullest. Encountering Christ, letting themselves be caught up in and guided by his love, enlarges the horizons of existence, gives it a firm hope which will not disappoint' (Lumen Fidei, 53). This dynamism was on full display during the recent visit of our Holy Father.

"Eager to know the faith, young people are also capable of the most profound insights. Thérèse Martin was not yet 14 years old when she came to a realization that would change her for the rest of her life and inspire countless others after she died at the tender age of 24. In her autobiography, The Story of a Soul, she describes how she was overly sensitive growing up as the youngest child in the family. Then on Christmas Day 1886, she overheard her father say something that previously would have upset her. Instead, she recounted, 'Love filled my heart, I forgot myself and henceforth I was happy' (Story, chapter 5).

"From then on, Thérèse grew in love. It was the love of Jesus in her heart, together with the love of our Blessed Mother Mary. . . ."

In a recent commentary,  Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, DC,reflected on lessons we can learn from Saint Thérèse of Lisieux on ordinary acts of love.

To access Cardinal Wuerl's complete post, please visit:

Seek First the Kingdom: Simple and Ordinary Acts of Love Renew the World (1 OCT 15)

Reflection Starter from Thomas Merton

"Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real." - Thomas Merton, O.C.S.O.

05 October 2015

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the many good people You place in our lives.

Bishop Barron on Pope Francis, Thiomas Merton, and Congress

"I had the extraordinary privilege last week of following the Pope's pilgrimage at very close quarters. I had this access both as a bishop and as a commentator for NBC News. It was thrilling indeed to witness just how rapturously the American people received the Pope and how affected the Holy Father was by this reception. Many images stay vividly in my mind: the Pope kissing the forehead of the ten year old boy with cerebral palsy, the rabbi and imam praying together at the September 11th memorial, a little boy from a New York Catholic school showing the Pope how to maneuver his way around a Smart Board. But what stays most powerfully with me is the Pope speaking to a joint meeting of the United States Congress in Washington, D.C.

"My first assignment for NBC last week was the Today Show's coverage of the Pope's arrival on the south lawn of the White House. As I sat on the platform with Matt Lauer and Maria Shriver, I looked across at the stately obelisk of the Washington Monument, and I remembered an extraordinary event from the mid- nineteenth century. Along with many other world leaders, Pope Pius IX had sent a block for the construction of the monument to the Father of our country, but an angry mob of anti-Catholic bigots took that piece of marble and threw it into the Potomac. This of course was not an isolated or purely egregious act of vandalism; rather, it partook of a widespread and deeply-rooted hatred of Catholicism that lasted in this country in fairly virulent form up to the election of John F. Kennedy in 1960. That the Pope of Rome would be graciously received at the White House and welcomed to speak before the entire Congress of the United States would have struck most Americans, for much of our history, as simply unthinkable. And this is why (and I'll confess it openly) my eyes filled with tears as I saw the pope standing at the rostrum in the House of Representatives, the cheers of the gathered lawmakers washing over him.

"And as I listened to the pope's words that day, I was even more astonished. As is his wont, Francis didn't trade in abstractions. Instead, he focused his remarks on four outstanding figures from American history -- Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, and Thomas Merton -- each of whom spoke of some dimension of authentic freedom. . . ."

In a recent commentary, Bishop Robert Barron reflected on some images regarding Pope Francis' recent visit to the United States.

To access Bishop Barron's complete essay, please visit:

The Boston Pilot: Echoes: The Pope, the Congress, and a Trappist monk. ( 2 OCT 15)

Reflection Starter from St. Faustina Kowalska

"And I understood that the greatest attribute of God is love and mercy. It unites the creature with the Creator. This immense love and abyss of mercy are made known in the Incarnation of the Word and in the Redemption [of humanity], and it is here that I saw this as the greatest of all God's attributes." - Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska

04 October 2015

"Make Me A Channel of Your Peace"

As our Sunday celebration continues, I offer this version of Angelina singing "Prayer of Saint Francis"("Make Me A Channel of Your Peace"):

Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates the Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time. The assigned readings are Genesis 2:18-24, Hebrews 2:9-11; and Mark 10:2-16. The Responsorial Psalm is Psalm 128 (Psalm 128:1-6).

For one version of the Responsorial Psalm set to music, please visit:

YouTube: Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 128 May the Lord bless us and protect us all our days

The Gospel reading is as follows:

The Pharisees approached Jesus and asked, "Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?" They were testing him.

He said to them in reply, "What did Moses command you?

"They replied, "Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her."

But Jesus told them,"Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh.' Therefore what God has joined together,no human being must separate."

In the house the disciples again questioned Jesus about this. He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."

And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, "Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it." Then he embraced them and blessed them, placing his hands on them.

Reflections on these readings:

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Sundays Salesian: Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (October 4, 2015)

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Salesian Sunday Reflection: Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (October 4, 2015)

Community in Mission: Marriage Is a Miracle! A Homily for the 27th Sunday of the Year (3 OCT 15)

Word on Fire: Sexuality, Love, and Marriage (Cycle B * Ordinary Time * Week 27)

St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology: What God Has Joined: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-seventh Sunday Ordinary Time (28 SEP 15)

CWR: The Dispatch: The Mystery of Creation and the Sacrament of Marriage (3 OCT 15)

Spirituality of the Readings: Flesh of My Flesh (27th Sunday of Ordinary Time B)

Let the Scriptures Speak: Male and Female (27th Sunday of Ordinary Time B)

The Word Embodied: The Two Shall Become as One (27th Sunday of Ordinary Time B)

Historical Cultural Context: Marriage and Divorce in Jesus' World (27th Sunday of Ordinary Time B)

Thoughts from the Early Church: Commentary by Jacob of Serugh (27th Sunday of Ordinary Time B)

Word to Life Radio Broadcast: Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (2 OCT 15)