The Creator of the universe awaits the prayer of one poor little person to save a multitude of others, redeemed like her at the price of His Blood.” – St. Therese of Lisieux
Today we hear about the Sabbath and the Precious Blood. We pray God to help us appreciate and live both more deeply.
There are stars whose radiance is visible on Earth though they have long been extinct. There are people whose brilliance continues to light the world though they are no longer among the living. These lights are particularly bright when the night is dark. They light the way for humankind. -Hannah Senesh
Every student needs someone who says, simply, “You mean something. You count.” -Tony Kushner
Today we celebrate Our Lady of Mt Carmel. A traditional formulation of the Scapular Promise is “Take this Scapular. Whosoever dies wearing it shall not suffer eternal fire. It shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger and pledge of peace.” A central belief about the Brown Scapular is its signification of the wearer’s consecration to Mary.
Today, as we start the Confirmation retreat, we celebrate St Bonaventure. He was brilliant, he taught in Parish, wrote books, etc. But he said famously, “So what if we know about God if we don’t taste him?” That is the point of this retreat and all retreats. To taste God.
Today I would like to reflect on simplicity of life. We find in our Gospel today a story about a man who has fallen victim to robbers. He loses everything, all his possessions, and we are given to think that perhaps he didn’t have too much to start with. In our first reading, God tells us that what truly counts is not a “thing” outside of us, but something within us. St Paul tells the Collisions: Jesus is “before all things.”
And what about Jesus’ example? The Son of God, we are told in Scripture, emptied himself of all honor, glory, riches, and security — born in a stable, fleeing in exile, no where to rest his head – without home or profession, buried in a borrowed tomb. Jesus warned us more than anything about riches….we must be simple! We must live uncluttered lives.
Why must we be simple with things?
- For one, too many possessions keep us from God. A life of comfort, ease, luxury, and accumulating material things distracts us from God and makes us think that happiness comes from stuff, not God.
- Nothing lasts forever — job titles, degrees, money, new shoes, populariy, muscles
- The most important things aren’t things –
- Solidarity with the poor: Do you realize how fortunate we are to even have the OPTION to live simply?
- Keep your closets empty
- Don’t leave stuff everywhere
- Keep your email inboxes empty
- Enjoy the simple stuff of life
Issues is: an inordinate attachment to any person, place, or thing aside from Jesus
One Solitary Life.
He was born in an obscure village,
the child of a peasant woman.
He worked in a carpentry shop until he was thirty,
and then for three years he was an itinerant preacher.
When the tide that popular opinion turned against him,
his friends ran away.
He was turned over to his enemies.
He was tried and convicted.
He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves.
When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave.
He never wrote a book.
He never held an office.
He never owned a home.
He never went to college.
He never traveled more than two hundred miles from the place where he was born.
He never did one of the things that usually accompanies greatness.
Yet all the armies that ever marched,
and all the governments that ever sat,
and all the King’s that ever reigned,
had not affected life upon this earth
as powerfully as that One Solitary Life.
Simplicity of life. “Just passing through.” Aren’t we all.
Homework: simplify your life.