“But the tax collector stood off at a distance
and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
but beat his breast and prayed,
‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’”
Jesus, in today’s parable, is speaking to those who “were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else”. Yet I suspect anyone can benefit. Consider: One is justified, and the other is not. Why? Because “the Lord hears the cry of the poor”. The Lord hears the cry of the one who recognizes and accepts his/her own poverty, rather than denying it by the trumpeting of righteous deeds. It is only the one who knows poverty who begs for mercy. The one convinced of personal righteousness has no need to cry out for anything. He/she is self-sufficient, with no admitted need for forgiveness, for grace, for mercy. Yet true humility, the admission of one’s own truth, is not to despise oneself, but rather to offer up to God the self which God created, giving back, in humility, that which is God’s gift: one’s self.
Elsewhere in this bulletin is an item about baby items for the Women’s Center. For years now, St. Patrick has been collecting these items, and each month someone brings the donated items to the Desormeaux Foundation, which also includes the Marguerite d’Youville Home, and the Baby & Me Boutique. We are grateful to so many over the years who have brought diapers & other items for these young women, in some cases enabling them to keep their babies and avoid being pressured to have recourse to abortion. This is pro-life work at its best. Continue reading →
“Every work that effects our union with God in a holy fellowship is a true sacrifice; every work, that is, which is referred to that final end, that ultimate good, by which we are able to be in the true sense happy. As a consequence even that mercy by which aid is given to man is not a sacrifice unless it is done for the sake of God. Sacrifice, though performed or offered by man, is something divine; that is why the ancient Latins gave it this name of “sacrifice,” of something sacred. Man himself, consecrated in the name of God and vowed to God, is therefore a sacrifice insofar as he dies to the world in order to live for God. This too is part of mercy, the mercy that each one has for himself. Scripture tells us: Have mercy on your soul by pleasing God.” — From The City of God by Saint Augustine, bishop
“No one comes to me unless the Father draws him. Do not think that you are drawn against your will; the will is drawn also by love. We must not be afraid of men who weigh words but are far from understanding what belongs above all to divine truth. They may find fault with this passage of Scripture and say to us: “How can I believe of my own free will if I am drawn to believe?” I answer: “It is not enough that you are moved by the will, for you are drawn also by desire.”
“What does this mean, to be drawn by desire? Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. The heart has its own desires; it takes delight, for example, in the bread from heaven. The poet could say: “Everyone is drawn by his own desire,” not by necessity but by desire, not by compulsion but by pleasure. We can say then with greater force that one who finds pleasure in truth, in happiness, in justice, in everlasting life, is drawn to Christ, for Christ is all these things.” — From a treatise on John by Saint Augustine, bishop
“The lamp set upon the lampstand is Jesus Christ, the true light from the Father, the light that enlightens every man who comes into the world. In taking our own flesh he has become, and is rightly called, a lamp, for he is the connatural wisdom and word of the Father. He is proclaimed in the Church of God in accordance with orthodox faith, and he is lifted up and resplendent among the nations through the lives of those who live virtuously in observance of the commandments. So he gives light to all in the house (that is, in this world), just as he himself, God the Word, says: No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Clearly he is calling himself the lamp, he who was by nature God, and became flesh according to God’s saving purpose.” — From an inquiry addressed to Thalassius by Saint Maximus the Confessor, abbot
“How blessed, how fortunate, are those servants whom the Lord will find watchful when he comes. Blessed is the time of waiting when we stay awake for the Lord, the Creator of the universe, who fills all things and transcends all things.
“How I wish he would awaken me, his humble servant, from the sleep of slothfulness, even though I am of little worth. How I wish he would enkindle me with that fire of divine love. The flames of his love burn beyond the stars; the longing for his overwhelming delights and the divine fire ever burn within me!” — From an instruction by Saint Columban, abbot
“That is why all the faithful who love God and their neighbor truly drink the cup of the Lord’s love even though they may not drink the cup of his bodily suffering. And becoming inebriated from it, they put to death whatever in their nature is rooted in earth. They clothe themselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and do not indulge fleshly desires. They do not fix their gaze on visible things, but contemplate things which the eye cannot see. Thus they drink the Lord’s cup by preserving the holy bond of love; without it, even if a man should deliver his body to be burned, he gains nothing. But the gift of love enables us to become in reality what we celebrate as mystery in the sacrifice.” — From a treatise against Fabianus by Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe, bishop
The homily this weekend was replaced by Bishop Deshotel’s message for the Bishop’s Services Appeal, which can be seen here.
The bulletin article follows:
This weekend marks the beginning of our 2016-2017 Bishop’s Services Appeal, with which most of us are quite familiar. Different this year is that we will be hearing our new Bishop Douglas Deshotel make the appeal. Over the years, so many of you have been so generous and we thank you for that. Continue reading →
“And so the idea of peace came down to do the work of peace: The Word was made flesh and even now dwells among us. It is by faith that he dwells in our hearts, in our memory, our intellect and penetrates even into our imagination. What concept could man have of God if he did not first fashion an image of him in his heart? By nature incomprehensible and inaccessible, he was invisible and unthinkable, but now he wished to be understood, to be seen and thought of.
“But how, you ask, was this done? He lay in a manger and rested on a virgin’s breast, preached on a mountain, and spent the night in prayer. He hung on a cross, grew pale in death, and roamed free among the dead and ruled over those in hell. He rose again on the third day, and showed the apostles the wounds of the nails, the signs of victory; and finally in their presence he ascended to the sanctuary of heaven.” — From a sermon by Saint Bernard, abbot