“Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket
or under a bed,
and not to be placed on a lampstand?
For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible;
nothing is secret except to come to light.
Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear.”
Great antiphons today at Matins:
Ant. Who are you, Lord? I am Jesus whom you are persecuting; you harm only yourself by kicking against the goad.
Ant. 2 Go, Ananias, and seek out Saul, who is praying to me; he is the one I have chosen to make my name known to the Gentiles and their kings, as well as to the people of Israel.
Ant. 3 Paul went into the synagogues and proclaimed to the Jews that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.
And some great stuff in the second reading by St John Chrysostom:
Thus, amid the traps set for him by his enemies, with exultant heart he turned their every attack into a victory for himself; constantly beaten, abused and cursed, he boasted of it as though he were celebrating a triumphal procession and taking trophies home, and offered thanks to God for it all: Thanks be to God who is always victorious in us! This is why he was far more eager for the shameful abuse that his zeal in preaching brought upon him than we are for the most pleasing honors, more eager for death than we are for life, for poverty than we are for wealth; he yearned for toil far more than others yearn for rest after toil. The one thing he feared, indeed dreaded, was to offend God; nothing else could sway him. Therefore, the only thing he really wanted was always to please God.
The most important thing of all to him, however, was that he knew himself to be loved by Christ. Enjoying this love, he considered himself happier than anyone else; were he without it, it would be no satisfaction to be the friend of principalities and powers. He preferred to be thus loved and be the least of all, or even to be among the damned, than to be without that love and be among the great and honored.
St Francis de Sales
The spiritual life is like climbing a ladder –
Now first we realize: Christ goes down and up, down and up, brings us up
We cooperate – sacraments, bible, rosary, etc – going up the ladder
We come down the ladder to help those in need and bring them up
As James pointed out at school Mass: we must go up the correct side of the ladder!
God has given us THE WAY…the sacraments, etc…and we aren’t supposed to make our own way….God does’t like that (Tower of Babel)..
Feast of St Marianne Cope
Of the 50 religious orders that were asked to help in the leprosy crisis in Hawaii at the turn of the 20th century, only Mother Marianne Cope agreed to do it. She saw herself as the mother to the lepers for 35 years. Talk about a life of service, faith, love
Word of God Sunday YEAR A
How can we let the Bible really transform us? It’s like a man proposing to a woman say St Francis de Sales in “The Devout Life”. Three steps: he proposes, she receives, then union
- God proposes – every sentence of the WORD, God proposes something
- We receive- we have to read it, pray it
- UNION – we consent and we become one, co-operators with GOD
One word from God can change everything. Jesus in the Gospel speaks only a few lines but it changes the entire direction of Simon and Andrew’s lives. One word form the LORD can do that for us…in big ways…in daily ways
It’s a VERY short Gospel today…here it is all at once:
Jesus came with his disciples into the house.
Again the crowd gathered,
making it impossible for them even to eat.
When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him,
for they said, "He is out of his mind."
Maybe we should be out of our minds a little more, too.
Second reading from Matins
From the treatise On Spiritual Perfection by Diadochus of Photice, bishop
All our love must be for God
No one who is in love with himself is capable of loving God. The man who loves God is the one who mortifies his self-love for the sake of the immeasurable blessings of divine love. Such a man never seeks his own glory but only the glory of God. If a person loves himself he seeks his own glory, but the man who loves God loves the glory of his Creator. Anyone alive to the love of God can be recognized from the way he constantly strives to glorify him by fulfilling all his commandments and by delighting in his own abasement. Because of his great majesty it is fitting that God should receive glory, but if he hopes to win God’s favor it becomes man to be humble. If we possess this love for God, we too will rejoice in his glory as Saint John the Baptist did, and we shall never stop repeating: His fame must increase, but mine must diminish.
I know a man who, though lamenting his failure to love God as much as he desires, yet loves him so much that his soul burns with ceaseless longing for God to be glorified, and for his own complete effacement. This man has no feeling of self importance even when he receives praise. So deep is his desire to humble himself that he never even thinks of his own dignity. He fulfills his priestly duty by celebrating the Liturgy, but his intense love for God is an abyss that swallows up all consciousness of his high office. His humility makes him oblivious of any honor it might bring him, so that in his own estimation he is never anything but a useless servant. Because of his desire for self abasement, he regards himself as though degraded from his office. His example is one that we ourselves should follow by fleeing from all honor and glory for the sake of the immeasurable blessings of God’s love, for he has loved us so much!
Anyone who loves God in the depths of his heart has already been loved by God. In fact, the measure of a man’s love for God depends upon how deeply aware he is of God’s love for him. When this awareness is keen it makes whoever possesses it long to be enlightened by the divine light, and this longing is so intense that it seems to penetrate his very bones. He loses all consciousness of himself and is entirely transformed by the love of God.
Such a man lives in this life and at the same time does not live in it, for although he still inhabits his body, he is constantly leaving it in spirit because of the love that draws him toward God. Once the love of God has released him from self-love, the flame of divine love never ceases to burn in his heart and he remains united to God by an irresistible longing. As the Apostle says: If we are taken out of ourselves it is for the love of God; if we are brought back to our senses it is for your sake.