RSS

Category Archives: READ & PRAY

SAINT LUKE, Evangelist – Feast: 18 October

The evangelist Luke was not one of the original Apostles. He was a convert, a second generation Christian. He wrote “Luke-Acts” for Gentile Christians, or perhaps for Jewish Christians, to show the reach of God’s love beyond the Jewish people. The story of salvation history that begins in the first chapter of his Gospel with Zechariah in the Temple ends with the Apostles gathered in Jerusalem and ends with Paul in Rome. Thus, Luke shows the movement of the Gospel from a small band of Jewish Christians into the wide Gentile world.

The reading from the second letter to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:10-17) speaks about the problems of an Apostles and a missionary. Paul describes his loneliness and the extent to which he was dependent on others. The same point is made in the Gospel reading as the Lord sends out the seventy two (Luke 10:1-9). There is a stewardship theme to these readings. Some people dedicate themselves completely and absolutely to the extension of the Gospel message. Others assist them with time, money and resources. Both are part of the Gospel’s expansion.

Today, the Gospel continues to move outward geographically and inward personally into the lives of people. Missionaries and those who aid them remain vitality important to the Gospel’s growth.

Prayer: Lord God, You chose Saint Luke to reveal the mystery of Your love for the poor in his preaching and his writings. Grant that those who already acknowlege Your name may continue to be one in mind and heart, and that all the nations may see Your salvation. We pray this in the most precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Jakarta, 18 October 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 18, 2018 in READ & PRAY, SAINTS WE LOVE

 

Tags:

SAINT TERESA OF AVILA, Virgin & Doctor of the Church – Memoria: 15 October

This feast is celebrated with much greater vigor in Spain than in other places. Teresa was a Carmelite nun in the 1500’s who established a strict, reformed branch of her order – the Discalced Carmelites (OCD). Her efforts with John of the Cross at reform were hindered by the pervasive laxity and politicking that pervaded Spanish religious orders at the time.

In 1970, Pope Paul VI named her a Doctor of the Church. Her spiritual writings, especially the INTERIOR CASTLE, are classics, psychologically perceptive and profound. She is a master of the spiritual life.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You sent Saint Teresa of Avila to be a witness in the Church to the way of perfection. Sustain us by her spiritual doctrine, and kindle in us the longing for true holiness. We pray this in the most precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Jakarta, 15 October 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 15, 2018 in READ & PRAY, SAINTS WE LOVE

 

Tags: ,

SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI – MEMORIA: 4 October

Francis is the one saint whose attraction does not diminish over time but seems to grow with each generation. He is the single saint all generations have agreed in canonizing on their own. Christians and non-Christians have a special place for Francis. He has indeed become all things to all people. He combined a mystical love of God with a mystical love of people. The birdbath image of Francis erases other aspect of his personality. We all know the story of his estrangement from his father. The 1200’s were a bleak time. War was an everyday fact, as were diseases, suffering and immense poverty. Islam was the encroaching movement of that day. Corruption pervade Church circles.

The Franciscan movement was popular among ordinary people. The love of “poverty” enabled them to mix with people, unlike the monastery-bound monks. Through Francis, God saved the medieval Church from disaster. Francis has thousand of followers. In his own lifetime, over 1500 Franciscan friaries (houses) sprang up. He tried to evangelize the Sultan and was fierce in his own asceticism. After a conflict in his order, Francis went to Mount Alverna where he received the stigmata.

Franciscan spirituality is a spirituality that is at home in creation, that has respect for the created world and that through its ideal of poverty disconnects the linkage between personal possessions and personal happiness. Francis was unique. After a painful illness, he died. Legend has it that at that moment there was absolute silence. Only the larks sang. 

Prayer: Lord God, You made Saint Francis of Assisi Christ-like in his poverty and humility. Help us so to walk in his ways that, with joy and love, we may follow Christ, and be united to you. We pray this in the most precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Jakarta, 4 October 2018 [The Day of Saint Francis]

A Christian Pilgrim

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 4, 2018 in READ & PRAY, SAINTS WE LOVE

 

Tags:

THE GUARDIAN ANGELS – MEMORIA: 2 October

The guardian angels are the protective presence of God around us.

Often angels are pictured as weak, comic, fragile spirits.

The biblical view of angels is much more awesome. They remind us of God’s benign and protective presence everywhere.

Prayer: Lord God of hosts, in Your all-wise providence You send angels to guard and protect us. Surround us with their watchful care on earth, and give us the joy of their company for ever in heaven. We pray this in the most precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Jakarta, 2 October 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 2, 2018 in READ & PRAY, SAINTS WE LOVE

 

Tags: ,

SAINT TERESA OF THE CHILD JESUS – FEAST/MEMORIA: 1 October

Saint Teresa was born at Alencon in France, on 2 January 1873, as the youngest of the nine children of Louis and Zelie. Of the nine, only five, all girls, survived. In their younger days, both Louis and Zelie had felt drawn to religious life. While both of them became successful business persons, He called all their five surviving children to the religious state.  While still young Teresa entered the Carmelite monastery at Lisieux and practices the virtues of humility, evangelical simplicity and a firm confidence in God.

God granted special graces to this young nun. She made such quick progress in her religious life that when she was 22 years old she was appointed Novice Mistress. That was a rare exception. At that age many of the religious are making their novitiate and not the guiding the novices! By her words and example she taught the novices the lessons of spiritual life and guided them in the ways of God.

Teresa’s great love for God, her childlike trust in Him and her constant self-sacrifice made Teresa a saint. She put herself in the arms of God like a little child in the arms of her/his mother or father. She sincerely believed that from God who is so compassionate one can never ask too much. She was convinced that “One will obtain from Him exactly in proportion to one’s reliance upon Him”. She had her little way of performing perfectly the small duties of everyday life for the love of God. In this way she became the model and inspiration of countless ordinary people.

During her nine years of convent life she was always she was always humble and self-sacrificing. No one noticed anything extraordinary in her. She realized that it was her duty to help priests and missionaries with her prayers and sacrifices. She suffered much in mind and body, her religious life was a long martyrdom. She offered all this to her dear God with resignation and heroic patience as a victim of His merciful love, for the salvation of souls and for the spread of the faith in the mission lands. Thus she became a great missionary without getting out of her convent.

Teresa had been suffering from tuberculosis for nearly three years though she continued doing all her duties without fail The illness had now become acute. On her deathbed she affirmed, “I will let fall a shower of roses; I will spend my heaven doing good on earth”. On 30 September 1897 as her breathing grew weaker, the sisters knelt around her bed to pray. She looked at her crucifix and said, “I love Him”. A second later she said, “Dear God, I love You!”  Then, with great joys in her eyes, she breathed her last. She was 24 years old. Twenty-eight year later, in 1925, she was canonized. Along with Saint Francis Xavier, she is patron of Catholic missions. In 1997 Pope John Paul II declared her Doctor of the Church.

Saint Teresa who lived a humble life is now venerated all over the world as a great saint and a patroness of the missions. Let us pray to her t o obtain for us the grace of humility and childlikeness. May she help us all become beautiful little flowers in the garden of heaven, to the praise and glory of God.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You promised Your Kingdom to the little ones and the humble at heart. Give us grace to walk confidently in the way of Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus, so that, helped by her prayers, we may see Your eternal glory. We pray this in the name of most precious name of  our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Jakarta, 1 October 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 1, 2018 in READ & PRAY, SAINTS WE LOVE

 

Tags: ,

THE BEHEADING OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST – Memoria: 29 August

In the language of the New Testament,  a “martyr” is essentially a “witness”. John was a “baptist”, in that he chose this form of ministry to help the people towards repentance and reform of life. But, besides baptizing, John also spoke, and in his preaching and proclamation of the word of God he was a prophet and a witness to Christ.

An ancient Church homily speaks of three kinds of martyrdom: red, green, white. “Red” martyrdom is that of shedding one’s blood for Christ. “Green” martyrdom is that of the innocent children, cut down like fresh green plants in the springtime of life. “White” martyrdom is that of the adult Christian who spends life faithfully and sincerely in following Christ.

We are all called to live the life of a witness. At the end of each Mass we are sent out to bear witness. At the end of each Mass we are sent out to bear witness to Jesus. We are all sent to live the life of a martyr. We may not be called upon  to undergo a martyrdom of blood, a “red” martyrdom in which we give our lives for Christ. But we are called to live a “white” martyrdom.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You appointed Saint John the Baptist to be the herald of the birth and death of Jesus Christ Your Son. Grant that as he died a martyr for justice and truth, so we also may courageously bear witness to Your word. We pray this in the most precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Jakarta, 29 August 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 29, 2018 in READ & PRAY, SAINTS WE LOVE

 

Tags: ,

SAINT BARTHOLOMEW, Apostle – Feast: 24 August

The feast of Saint Bartholomew was celebrated in some countries of Europe already in the 8th century. In Rome it began to be celebrated in the 9th century on 24 or 25 August. In the Byzantine Church this latter date was the feast of the translation of the relics of the Apostle, while the proper feast was celebrated on  11 June, together with that of Saint Barnabas. The calendar of Pope Pius V fixed the feast on 24 August.

The Evangelists Matthew, Mark and Luke list Bartholomew along with the other Apostles (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14; Acts 1:13). He was from Cana and was closely associated with the other Apostles after the Lord’s resurrection (John 21:1-14). Experts are of opinion that he is probably the same person as Nathanael (= gift of God) whom the Lord declared as a true Israelite in whom there was no guile and who in turn was the first to declare the identity of Jesus, saying, “You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel” (John 1:45-51). Saint John mentions Nathanael among the Apostles, while he leaves out the name of Bartholomew. It is therefore likely that both names belong to the same person.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank You again for all of those Apostles, who are such great  examples for our own lives. We thank You today for Bartholomew, or Nathanael, and for the openness he showed in his life, coming to Jesus with the acceptance that whatever He would tell him was the truth. And as we learn from the tradition of the Church, Bartholomew was given the opportunity to suffer and die as a martyr of Christ, in witness to the faith.

We pray You to give us the renewed determination to live our faith as a witness to others, so that those who know us or hear us will not be led astray, but will be drawn nearer and closer to You. We ask that our example will be that which brings many others to know You and to serve You, even as the lives of the Apostles did. Amen.

Jakarta, 24 August 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 24, 2018 in READ & PRAY, SAINTS WE LOVE

 

Tags: ,