“Therefore, we ask that we may know what we love, since we ask nothing other than that you give us yourself. For you are our all: our life, our light, our salvation, our food and our drink, our God. Inspire our hearts, I ask you, Jesus, with that breath of your Spirit; wound our souls with your love, so that the soul of each and every one of us may say in truth:Show me my soul’s desire, for I am wounded by your love.” — From an instruction by Saint Columban, abbot
“How the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and his weakness stronger than men! In what way is it stronger? It made its way throughout the world and overcame all men; countless men sought to eradicate the very name of the Crucified, but that name flourished and grew ever mightier. Its enemies lost out and perished; the living who waged a war on a dead man proved helpless. Therefore, when a Greek tells me I am dead, he shows only that he is foolish indeed, for I, whom he thinks a fool, turn out to be wiser than those reputed wise. So too, in calling me weak, he but shows that he is weaker still. For the good deeds which tax-collectors and fishermen were able to accomplish by God’s grace, the philosophers, the rulers, the countless multitudes cannot even imagine.” — From a homily on the first letter to the Corinthians by Saint John Chrysostom, bishop
“A first path of repentance is the condemnation of your own sins: Be the first to admit your sins and you will be justified. For this reason, too, the prophet wrote: I said: I will accuse myself of my sins to the Lord, and you forgave the wickedness of my heart.Therefore, you too should condemn your own sins; that will be enough reason for the Lord to forgive you, for a man who condemns his own sins is slower to commit them again. Rouse your conscience to accuse you within your own house, lest it become your accuser before the judgment seat of the Lord.
“That, then, is one very good path of repentance. Another and no less valuable one is to put out of our minds the harm done us by our enemies, in order to master our anger, and to forgive our fellow servants’ sins against us. Then our own sins against the Lord will be forgiven us. Thus you have another way to atone for sin: For if you forgive your debtors, your heavenly Father will forgive you.” — From a homily by Saint John Chrysostom, bishop
““Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “all is vanity.” But if all created things are good, as being the handiwork of a good Creator, how comes it that all things are vanity? If the earth is vanity, are the heavens vanity too?—and the angels, the thrones, the dominations, the powers, and the rest of the virtues? No; if things which are good in themselves as being the handiwork of a good Creator are called vanity, it is because they are compared with things which are better still. For example, compared with a lamp, a lantern is good for nothing; compared with a star, a lamp does not shine at all; the brightest star pales before the moon; put the moon beside the sun, and it no longer looks bright; compare the sun with Christ, and it is darkness. “I am that I am,” God says; and if you compare all created things with Him they have no existence.” — St. Jerome
Readings for the Feast Continue reading
You can listen to the Gospel and Sunday homily here.
The bulletin article follows:
I remember standing outside my front door on the day after Hurricane Rita hit southwest Louisiana. It was less than a month since Hurricane Katrina had ravaged the state to the southeast. Suddenly I was aware of two things. First, I was standing, mostly unscathed, between the paths of those two destructive storms. Second, the hurricane season wasn’t over yet. What was yet to come? Continue reading
“But why will this man be the only redeemer? Because no one can equal him in the love he showed in laying down his life for his own poor servants. Nor can anyone equal him in sinlessness, for all men are ruled by sin, and all are victims of the fall of the first Adam. He alone is chosen to redeem, for he alone cannot be subject to that age-old sin. So let us understand by “the man” the one who took upon himself the condition of man in order to crucify in his own flesh the sin of all, and to cancel by his own blood the debt owed by all: the Lord Jesus.” — From the Explanations of the Psalms by Saint Ambrose, bishop
“Every day we devoutly greet the most Blessed Virgin Mary with the angel’s greeting and we usually add:Blessed is the fruit of your womb. After she was greeted by the Virgin, Elizabeth added this phrase as if she were echoing the salutation of the angel:Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. This is the fruit of which Isaiah spoke: On that day the shoot of the Lord shall be splendid and radiant–the sublime fruit of earth. What is this fruit but the holy one of Israel, the seed of Abraham, the shoot of the Lord, the flower arising from the root of Jesse, the fruit of life, whom we have shared?” — From a treatise On the Hail Mary by Baldwin of Canterbury, bishop
“But what we suffer from to-day is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. Nowadays the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert—himself. The part he doubts is exactly the part he ought not to doubt—the Divine Reason.” — G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, p. 55
In the Midst of the Floods
Reader: (Psalm 69:14-18, 34-37)
I pray to you, Lord, for the time of your favor.
God, in your great kindness answer me with your constant help.
Rescue me from the mire; do not let me sink.
Rescue me from my enemies and from the watery depths.
Do not let the floodwaters overwhelm me,
nor the deep swallow me,
nor the mouth of the pit close over me.
Answer me, Lord, in your generous love;
in your great mercy turn to me.
Do not hide your face from your servant;
in my distress hasten to answer me!
… For the Lord hears the poor, does not spurn those in bondage.
Let the heavens and the earth sing praise,
the seas and whatever move in them!
God will rescue Zion, rebuild the cities of Judah.
God’s servants shall dwell in the land and possess it;
it shall be the heritage of their descendants;
those who love God’s name shall dwell there. Continue reading
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.” — Luke 1: 46-55