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February 5, 2016

St. Agatha

Sir 47: 2-11

As the fat is set apart from the offering of well-being,
   so David was set apart from the Israelites.
He played with lions as though they were young goats,
  and with bears as though they were lambs of the flock.
In his youth did he not kill a giant,
  and take away the people’s disgrace,
when he whirled the stone in the sling
  and struck down the boasting Goliath?
For he called on the Lord, the Most High,
  and he gave strength to his right arm
to strike down a mighty warrior,
  and to exalt the power of his people.

So they glorified him for the tens of thousands he conquered,
  and praised him for the blessings bestowed by the Lord,
  when the glorious diadem was given to him.
For he wiped out his enemies on every side,
  and annihilated his adversaries the Philistines;
  he crushed their power to our own day.
In all that he did he gave thanks
  to the Holy One, the Most High, proclaiming his glory;
he sang praise with all his heart,
  and he loved his Maker.

He placed singers before the altar,
  to make sweet melody with their voices.
He gave beauty to the festivals,
  and arranged their times throughout the year,
while they praised God’s holy name,
  and the sanctuary resounded from early morning.
The Lord took away his sins,
  and exalted his power for ever;
he gave him a covenant of kingship
  and a glorious throne in Israel.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

With his every deed he offered thanks
to God Most High, in words of praise.
With his whole being he loved his Maker
and daily had his praises sung.

Ignatian Spirituality encourages us to see God in all things, and through our words, deeds, and actions to live Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (for the greater glory of God).  In this reading we see David embracing this very motto long before St. Ignatius founded the Jesuits. We find ourselves living in a secular world, but spirituality and faith are deep within the core of our beings. If we are true to our authentic selves, we cannot separate the secular from the spiritual.

How do we balance living out this spirituality and faith in a world that is politically correct, in a world that tries to remove references of God and prayer, and in a world that finds religion divisive? If we close our eyes and imagine loving God with our whole beings as David did, what does this look like? How can we peacefully surrender to God while being his advocate in this world, and while being a soldier of Christ?

—Leigh M. Hartley works in higher education administration at the University of Chicago. Over the past 15 years she has volunteered with the Jesuits, initially with Charis Ministries more recently years through planning and organizing pilgrimages with Fr. Michael Sparough, S.J.

Prayer

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, understanding, and my entire will.
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace;
this is enough for me.

–St. Ignatius of Loyola


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

February 6, 2016

St. Paul Miki, SJ  & Jesuit martyrs of Japan

Mk 6: 30-34

The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Smell Like the Sheep

Today we celebrate St. Paul Miki, a Jesuit seminarian martyred in sixteenth century Japan. Like many other martyrs throughout the centuries, accounts of his death tell of St. Paul Miki forgiving his executioners, praying for them, and preaching about Jesus even as he was brutally killed. Surely his heart was moved with pity for others, much like Jesus’ pity for the crowds following him and the apostles. Both Jesus and St. Paul Miki saw the spiritual poverty and earnest seeking among those drawn to them. Both upset the established status quo of their respective cultures. Both were compassionate and genuine in sharing the truth with love.

Who are the “sheep without a shepherd” in our communities today? When I strive to live out my faith, do I witness with joy and empathy? Is my heart compassionate like the heart of Christ, and moved with pity for the forgotten or marginalized?

Maggie Melchior is a convert to the Catholic faith. She currently serves as Coordinator of New Evangelization and Faith Formation for a parish in the Diocese of Green Bay.

Prayer

In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

from the Canticle of Zechariah, recited by St. Paul Miki and companions just before their execution


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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February 5, 2016

St. Agatha

Sir 47: 2-11

As the fat is set apart from the offering of well-being,
   so David was set apart from the Israelites.
He played with lions as though they were young goats,
  and with bears as though they were lambs of the flock.
In his youth did he not kill a giant,
  and take away the people’s disgrace,
when he whirled the stone in the sling
  and struck down the boasting Goliath?
For he called on the Lord, the Most High,
  and he gave strength to his right arm
to strike down a mighty warrior,
  and to exalt the power of his people.

So they glorified him for the tens of thousands he conquered,
  and praised him for the blessings bestowed by the Lord,
  when the glorious diadem was given to him.
For he wiped out his enemies on every side,
  and annihilated his adversaries the Philistines;
  he crushed their power to our own day.
In all that he did he gave thanks
  to the Holy One, the Most High, proclaiming his glory;
he sang praise with all his heart,
  and he loved his Maker.

He placed singers before the altar,
  to make sweet melody with their voices.
He gave beauty to the festivals,
  and arranged their times throughout the year,
while they praised God’s holy name,
  and the sanctuary resounded from early morning.
The Lord took away his sins,
  and exalted his power for ever;
he gave him a covenant of kingship
  and a glorious throne in Israel.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

With his every deed he offered thanks
to God Most High, in words of praise.
With his whole being he loved his Maker
and daily had his praises sung.

Ignatian Spirituality encourages us to see God in all things, and through our words, deeds, and actions to live Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (for the greater glory of God).  In this reading we see David embracing this very motto long before St. Ignatius founded the Jesuits. We find ourselves living in a secular world, but spirituality and faith are deep within the core of our beings. If we are true to our authentic selves, we cannot separate the secular from the spiritual.

How do we balance living out this spirituality and faith in a world that is politically correct, in a world that tries to remove references of God and prayer, and in a world that finds religion divisive? If we close our eyes and imagine loving God with our whole beings as David did, what does this look like? How can we peacefully surrender to God while being his advocate in this world, and while being a soldier of Christ?

—Leigh M. Hartley works in higher education administration at the University of Chicago. Over the past 15 years she has volunteered with the Jesuits, initially with Charis Ministries more recently years through planning and organizing pilgrimages with Fr. Michael Sparough, S.J.

Prayer

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, understanding, and my entire will.
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace;
this is enough for me.

–St. Ignatius of Loyola


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

February 6, 2016

St. Paul Miki, SJ  & Jesuit martyrs of Japan

Mk 6: 30-34

The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Smell Like the Sheep

Today we celebrate St. Paul Miki, a Jesuit seminarian martyred in sixteenth century Japan. Like many other martyrs throughout the centuries, accounts of his death tell of St. Paul Miki forgiving his executioners, praying for them, and preaching about Jesus even as he was brutally killed. Surely his heart was moved with pity for others, much like Jesus’ pity for the crowds following him and the apostles. Both Jesus and St. Paul Miki saw the spiritual poverty and earnest seeking among those drawn to them. Both upset the established status quo of their respective cultures. Both were compassionate and genuine in sharing the truth with love.

Who are the “sheep without a shepherd” in our communities today? When I strive to live out my faith, do I witness with joy and empathy? Is my heart compassionate like the heart of Christ, and moved with pity for the forgotten or marginalized?

Maggie Melchior is a convert to the Catholic faith. She currently serves as Coordinator of New Evangelization and Faith Formation for a parish in the Diocese of Green Bay.

Prayer

In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

from the Canticle of Zechariah, recited by St. Paul Miki and companions just before their execution


Please share the Good Word with your friends!