St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori: Saint of the Day for Saturday, August 01, 2020

Bishop, Doctor of the Church, and the founder of the Redemptorist Congregation. He was born Alphonsus Marie Antony John Cosmos Damien Michael Gaspard de Liguori on September 27,1696, at Marianella, near Naples, Italy. Raised in a pious home, Alphonsus went on retreats with his father, Don Joseph, who was a naval officer and a captain of the Royal Galleys. Alphonsus was the oldest of seven children, raised by a devout mother of Spanish descent. Educated at the University of Naples, Alphonsus …

For Motherhood: Prayer of the Day for Saturday, August 01, 2020

Good St. Gerard, powerful intercessor before the throne of God, wonder-worker of our day, I call upon you and seek your aid. You know that my husband and I desire the gift of a child. Please present our fervent plea to the Creator of life from whom all parenthood proceeds and beseech him to bless us with a child whom we may raise as his child and heir of heaven. Amen.

St. Ignatius Loyola: Saint of the Day for Friday, July 31, 2020

Born Inigo Lopez de Loyola in 1491, the man known as Ignatius of Loyola entered the world in Loiola, Spain. At the time, the name of the village was spelled “Loyola,” hence the discrepancy. Inigo came of age in Azpeitia, in northern Spain. Loyola is a small village at the southern end of Azpeitia.

Inigio was the youngest of thirteen children. His mother died when he was just seven, and he was then raised by Maria de Garin, who was the wife of a blacksmith. His last name, “Loyola” was taken …

Thursday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Jer 18:1-6

This word came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
Rise up, be off to the potter’s house;
there I will give you my message.
I went down to the potter’s house and there he was,
working at the wheel.
Whenever the object of clay which he was making
turned out badly in his hand,
he tried again,
making of the clay another object of whatever sort he pleased.
Then the word of the LORD came to me:
Can I not do to you, house of Israel,
as this potter has done? says the LORD.
Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter,
so are you in my hand, house of Israel.

Responsorial Psalm 146:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6ab

R.    (5a)  Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
R.    Alleluia.
Praise the LORD, O my soul;
I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God while I live.
R.     Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
R.    Alleluia.
Put not your trust in princes,
in the sons of men, in whom there is no salvation.
When his spirit departs he returns to his earth;
on that day his plans perish.
R.    Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
R.    Alleluia.
Blessed he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD, his God.
Who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them.
R.    Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia See Acts 16:14b

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Open our heart, O Lord,
to listen to the words of your Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 13:47-53

Jesus said to the disciples:
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,
which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore
and sit down to put what is good into buckets.
What is bad they throw away.
Thus it will be at the end of the age.
The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

“Do you understand all these things?”
They answered, “Yes.”
And he replied,
“Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven
is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom
both the new and the old.”
When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Peter Chrysologus, please go here.

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Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

The Lot Marked Out For Me Is My Delight

The lot marked out for me is my delight. This was a passage from Psalm 16 that was written on a piece of paper given to me in a meeting around the year 1996.

For the past almost twenty-five years, this simple verse of scripture has kept me wondering about the mystery of life, the wonder of choosing one’s stance toward life’s events that can bring both joy and pain.

How can we find delight in situations that have been “marked out for us”?

How can we find our joy in forsaking our own way in order to delight in what we end up with in the seemingly random events that direct the outcome of who we are and what we have in life?

In other words, how can we be happy being the clay, when our frightened grasping selves would be happier, we presume, if we were ourselves were the potter?

The image of the potter and the potter’s wheel appears through scripture, an apt and beautiful expression of God’s faithful, tender, loving action in our lives.

When Jeremiah went down to the potter’s house, what did he see? The ancient potter would scrape the clay from the earth, and throwing it on the ground would trample on it. He would soften the brittle and resistant clay with water and knead it until it softened into a paste. This kneaded clay would be slapped firmly onto the center of his potter’s wheel, which was a flat disk mounted on a rod. By holding the clay as the wheel turned and manipulating it with his fingers and palms, the potter would transform the lump of clay into a vessel, any vessel of his choosing.

We are the clay, not the pot but the clay. In process. Being formed, shaped, reformed,  transformed.

If we are the clay under the expert work of the divine Potter, we can be sure that he intends to do something with us and in us. We are beautiful to him. We have a purpose. We have a meaning in life that brings him joy. We are a part of his great plan.

Life’s sorrows and burdens are the trampling that brings forth the tears that soften the clay. Even the moments of pain are part of the process of becoming.

The clay has no idea what the Potter is trying to create. It yields itself completely to the expert and loving kneading of the One who envisions for it the fullness of life.

After the clay has been pushed and prodded and pulled and shaped on the potter’s wheel, it was baked in a kiln, a special furnace that might easily reach 2700°F. Different types of pots require different types of heat. The divine Potter, like any good potter, doesn’t arbitrarily submit the clay pot to a degree of heat that is beyond the endurance of the vessel. No vessel receives more heat than it needs. The most beautiful clay pots require the greatest heat. The most beautiful souls are often those who have suffered the most and have become kind, gentle, and courageously loving in the process.

The divine Potter never gives up on the clay. He is endlessly inventive and creative.

When I think of how solicitously the divine Potter has bent over me as he transforms my life into the beautiful life he has had in mind for me from all eternity, I can absolutely cry out, “The lot marked out for me is my delight.”

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Kathryn James Hermes, FSP, is the author of the newly released title: Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments, by Pauline Books and Media. An author and spiritual mentor, she offers spiritual accompaniment for the contemporary Christian’s journey towards spiritual growth and inner healing. She is the director of My Sisters, where people can find spiritual accompaniment from the Daughters of St. Paul on their journey.


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St. Peter Chrysologus: Saint of the Day for Thursday, July 30, 2020

St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Feast-July 30) Born at Imola, Italy in 380, St. Peter was baptized, educated, and ordained a deacon by Cornelius, Bishop of Imola. St. Peter merited being called “Chrysologus” (golden-worded) from his exceptional oratorical eloquence. In 433, Pope Sixtus III consecrated him bishop of Ravenna. He practiced many corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and ruled his flock with utmost diligence and care. He extirpated the last …

Being a Mary in a Martha World

Mary is so humble, anointing Jesus’ feet. Mary is so contemplative. “We should all be like Mary,” I say to myself as I skim the Gospel at rapid speed while listening to a podcast and putting my son’s toys away for the 1000x time today.  I catch myself judging Martha. Doesn’t she realize Jesus is just sitting there, waiting to spend time with her?

Oh. wait. Reality check. When was the last time I chose “the better part” like Mary?

To-do lists. Deadlines. Self-inflicted doubts. Unmet expectations. Comparisons. These false priorities consume 99/9% of my waking thoughts.

I have always been a do-er. I am not one of those people who can sit around all morning, sipping tea with a good book and avocado toast. (Much to the dismay of my husband, who can do this all day!) I thrive in a go-go-go environment. Give me a triple shot of espresso over ice and 10 errands to run and I am SET.

I even find it a struggle to quiet my mind and just sit with our Lord in Adoration. I have to fight the tendency to talk at God the whole time. In silence, my mind wanders every which way. So I often resign myself to praying memorized prayers.

So then I find myself defending Martha because I see so much of myself in her! Poor Martha. So misunderstood. As the oldest of 4 girls, I can definitely attest to similarly tattling on a sister who is sitting on the couch while I cook dinner. I’m so preoccupied with serving everyone. Meeting very present needs, but often too frazzled for my own good.

In learning more about myself through prayer and self-reflection, I have come to peace with the fact that resting is just something that will never come easy for me. I have to actively seek opportunities to hone the art of resting. Furthermore, I have to fight the lie that Satan has fed me for years that resting = laziness.

Our society today idolizes busy-ness, to the point that, when asked how we are, “busy” becomes a valid response. We are all so “busy” doing nothing worthwhile, that, as a result, we are unable to be present to anyone. We have lost the art of leisure. I am talking about true leisure, not scrolling through Instagram for 2 hours (although, sometimes, that is necessary).

But, the great paradox here is that we cannot have Mary without Martha. We cannot appreciate leisure without also understanding the value of hard work. The all-too-familiar passage from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 reminds us that “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” It is up to us to discern what season we are called to live in, in every moment.

2-day old dishes in the sink? Maybe not the best time to kick my feet up and binge Netflix.

Our Lord in my living room, waiting to converse with me? I better drop that sponge and sprint to His feet.

That is what being a Mary in a Martha world looks like.

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Sarah Rose hails from Long Island and graduated from Franciscan University in 2016 with a Bachelor’s in Theology & Catechetics. She is happily married to her college sweetheart John Paul. They welcomed their first child, Judah Zion, in 2019. She is passionate about her big V-vocation: motherhood, and her little v-vocation: bringing people to encounter Christ through the true, the good, and the beautiful. She loves fictional novels, true crime podcasts/documentaries, the saints (especially Blessed Chiara Luce Badano), & sharing conversation over a good cup of coffee. She is currently the Coordinator of Young Adult Ministry at St. Cecilia Church in Oakley, Cincinnati. You can find out more about her ministry here: OR at

St. Martha: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, July 29, 2020

“Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus.” This unique statement in John’s gospel tells us of the special relationship Jesus had with Martha, her sister, and her brother.

Apparently Jesus was a frequent guest at Martha’s home in Bethany, a small village two miles from Jerusalem. We read of three visits in Luke 10:38-42, John 11:1-53, and John 12:1-9.

Many of us find it easy to identify with Martha in the story Luke tells. Martha welcomes Jesus and his disciples into her home and immediately …