31 July 2014

Our Lady of Ashes: St Ignatius de Loyola, Oremus!

Our Lady of Ashes: St Ignatius de Loyola, Oremus!: Today is the feast day of Saint Ignatius de Loyola , founder of the Society of Jesus ( Societas Iesu ) , commonly known as the Jesuits. ...

St. Augustine on Today's Gospel

Gospel for Wednesday of the 17th Week of Ordinary Time

Imitating the Lord’s patience
Our Lord was an example of incomparable patience. He bore with a “devil” among his disciples even to his Passion (Jn 6,70). He said: “Let them grow together until the harvest lest you uproot the wheat when you pull out the weeds” (cf. Mt 13,29f.). As a symbol of the Church he preached that the net would bring back to shore, namely the end of the world, every kind of fish, both good and bad. And he made it known in various other ways, whether openly or in parables, that there would always be a mixture of good and bad. But nevertheless he stresses that we have to protect the Church’s discipline when he says: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother” (Mt 18,15)… 
Yet today we see people who think of nothing but stern commandments, who order that troublemakers be reproved, « not giving what is holy to the dogs », « treating like the publicans » anyone who despises the Church, cutting off the scandalous member from the body (Mt 7,6 ; 18,17 ; 5,30). Their stormy zeal so troubles the Church that they pull out the weeds before their time and their blindness makes of them enemies of the unity of Jesus Christ…  
Take care not to let these presumptuous thoughts enter our hearts, trying to separate ourselves from sinners so as not to be soiled by contact with them, wanting to form a band of pure and holy disciples. We will achieve nothing but breaking up our unity under the pretext of not associating with the wicked. To the contrary, let us remember the parables of Scripture, their inspired words, their striking examples, where we are shown that, until the end of the world and the day of judgement, the bad will always be mingled amongst the good in the church without their participation in the sacraments being harmful to the good so long as these latter have not played a part in their sins. 
—Saint Augustine, On Faith and works, ch. 3-5 

Commentary selected by dailygospel.org

27 July 2014

Thoughts from the Vine lunch


(1) There is no reason that Holiness cannot be the next worldwide revolution. St. Francis was one man whose holiness inspired a whole continent. What could God do with a small group of men and women today who wholeheartedly abandoned themselves to His will in a similar spirit?

(2) The only thing standing between myself and holiness is myself. But I can never overcome myself; after all, I know all my own moves ...Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body? [Rom 7:15-24]

But what if the antagonist-self, faced not protagonist-self, but Christ? What if I crucified myself with Christ so that it was no longer I, but Christ in me? [Gal 2:19-20]

Surely He who has conquered and overcome the world [Jn 16:33] can conquer antagonist-me.

So, Foolish Self, pick up your cross and follow Him whose victory over sin has swallowed up death and gives the victory to us [1 Cor 15:54-57] victory over self, victory over the world, and whose reward is Holy Beatitude in heaven for eternity.

09 June 2014

Religious Reflections | The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire

by Fabricio Mora
The Pilgrim's Religious Reflections

CCC ¶ 1691 "Christian, recognize your dignity and, now that you share in God's own nature, do not return to your former base condition by sinning. Remember who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Never forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of the Kingdom of God." [St. Leo the Great]

The quote from St. Leo that begins Part III of the Catechism: Life in Christ contains powerful language and inspiring phrases: "recognize your dignity" "share in God's own nature" "base condition" "rescued from the power of darkness" "the light of the Kingdom of God." This kind of language catches the mind and lifts it up when really listened to. 

St. Ephrem, Oremus!


Oh my loved friends,
Ye children of the Church,
Offer up your praise
At the season of the dawn:
Every morning let us give thanks,
And bow down in adoration,
To the good Being who hath arranged in order,
All the starry lights on high.
– Saint Ephraem

Today is the feast day of Saint Ephrem, the Syrian, Deacon and Doctor of the Church. St. Ephrem had an amazing reverence for the Incarnation and Our Lady that infused everything he wrote particularly his hymns and poetry. These works were incredibly effective in fighting against heresies that attacked our Lord's Incarnation and the reverence due to Mary as their beauty and fidelity lifted the hearts of the people who sang them during the Mass. In fact, it is to St. Ephrem that we attribute the addition of hymns outside of the Psalms into the Mass.

22 August 2013

Share from MYSTAGOGY: 'The Mother of God as "Eye" and "Earth"'


The pilgrim was touched by this spiritual reflection of Our Lady as our eye and the eye of the universe who was the first to see the True Light, and by which we may to see all by His Glory through her.

MYSTAGOGY | The Mother of God as "Eye" and "Earth"
by His Eminence Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

Every feast of the Mother of God is a matter of joy for the entire Church ...


The Panagia [Blessed Virgin] is the spiritual eye of the universe. Just as only to the eye light is given and thereby other members of the body receive its value, so only to the Panagia was the true light given, and through her, who is the eye of the universe, all members, that is all of mankind, was offered light.

16 May 2013

St Margaret, Oremus!


O God, the exaltation of the lowly,

who willed that blessed Saint Margaret should excel
in the beauty of her charity and patience,
grant, through her merits and intercession,
that, carrying our cross each day,
we may always persevere in love for you.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
—collect for the common for Holy Women

A personal favorite and I hope a friend, St Margaret's early life would feel very much like a contemporary's. She was born to middle-class parents; didn't get along with her step-mother; moved out of the house to live with her boyfriend, Arsenio; had a kid out of wedlock.

She was devout but like St Augustine (and so many of us) her prayers were often to "maker me a saint, but not yet." Then one day while out walking she met her boyfriend's dog and she was compelled to follow until she found Arsenio's murdered body. ...