St. Giles, Abbot: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, September 01, 2020

St. Giles, Abbot (Patron of Physically Disabled) Feast day – September 1 St. Giles is said to have been a seventh century Athenian of noble birth. His piety and learning made him so conspicuous and an object of such admiration in his own country that, dreading praise and longing for a hidden life, he left his home and sailed for France. At first he took up his abode in a wilderness near the mouth of the Rhone river, afterward near the river Gard, and, finally, in the diocese of Nimes. He …

Three O’ Clock Prayer to the Divine Mercy: Prayer of the Day for Tuesday, September 01, 2020

You expired, O Jesus,
but the source of life gushed forth for souls
and an ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world.
O Fount of Life,
unfathomable Divine Mercy,
envelop the whole world
and empty Yourself out upon us.
O Blood and Water,
which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus
as a fount of mercy for us,
I trust in You.


The God of Surprises

When men are ordained, they often return to their home parish to celebrate their first Mass and preach, so that the community from which they were called can rejoice with them at the beginning of their ministry as priests. It is a wonderful and joyful moment.

In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus goes to his hometown to give his first sermon. It didn’t go so well.

What was in his Heart as he read the scroll and sat down to teach? “The eyes of all… looked intently at him.” Surely, Jesus looked intently at them, perhaps even eagerly. He came to his hometown to begin his preaching and to share the Good News with them first; he says clearly that he is the Messiah Isaiah had prophesied. His beautiful and loving discourse moved them to be “amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.”

But things turn sour when he tells them the full truth: that the grace and salvation of God are for ALL people, Gentile as well as Jew. They become furious, even trying to hurl him over a cliff. But it is not yet his time and his mission is not yet fulfilled, so he mysteriously “passed through the midst of them and went away.”

Jesus reveals to the world that God loves all, and that the full truth is what makes us fully free. It is our own narrowness and selfishness and prejudice that keep us (and others) confined in false notions and prisons of propaganda. For the Jews of Jesus’ time, the falsehood was that only THEY were privy to God’s love and mercy, and that the letter of the law was enough to make one righteous. They had convinced themselves that the Messiah would come with mighty vengeance and kingly authority and vindicate them from the oppression of pagan political power. They were not open to a different narrative, and certainly not open to the possibility that Joseph’s son – so familiar to them – was worthy of supernatural faith.

Prejudice and familiarity are great obstacles to the deep humility and loving faith needed to be truly open to God’s grace! If we block out possibilities because we think we know, or our hearts fall into routine or boredom, we are not open to the beautiful surprises of grace. We fail to see them, we explain them away, or we attribute them to something else. God doesn’t stop working in our lives, but we stop seeing Him at work!

So it is good to ask the Spirit to show us where our blind spots are, where our narrowness or selfishness is blocking the light of God at work in us and in the world, and what we can do right now – today – to be more open to the fullness of truth. We can pause with Christ to see where our own notions might block our ability to see the full Truth. Then we are closer to being fully free.

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Kathryn Mulderink, MA, is married to Robert, Station Manager for Holy Family Radio. Together they have seven children (including newly ordained Father Rob and seminarian Luke ;-), and two grandchildren. She is a Secular Discalced Carmelite and has published five books and many articles. Over the last 25 years, she has worked as a teacher, headmistress, catechist, Pastoral Associate, and DRE. Currently, she serves the Church as a writer and voice talent for Catholic Radio, by publishing and speaking, and by collaborating with the diocesan Office of Catechesis, various parishes, and other ministries to lead others to encounter Christ and engage their faith. Her website is

St. Raymond Nonnatus: Saint of the Day for Monday, August 31, 2020

Raymond was born at Portella, Catalonia, Spain. He was delivered by caesarean operation when his mother died in childbirth. Hence his name non natus (not born). He joined the Mercedarians under St. Peter Nolasco at Barcelona. He succeeded Peter as chief ransomer and went to Algeria to ransom slaves. He remained as hostage for several slaves when his money ran out and was sentenced to be impaled when the governor learned that he had converted several Mohammedans. He escaped the death sentence …

Prayer of Spouses for Each Other: Prayer of the Day for Monday, August 31, 2020

Lord Jesus, grant that I and my spouse may have a true and understanding love for each other. Grant that we may both be filled with faith and trust. Give us the grace to live with each other in peace and harmony. May we always bear with one another’s weaknesses and grow from each other’s strengths. Help us to forgive one another’s failings and grant us patience, kindness, cheerfulness and the spirit of placing the well-being of one another ahead of self.

May the love that brought us …

Playing It Safe Is Not Our Mission

In the reading today, we see Jesus revealing his mission to the disciples: that he would die, and on the third day rise again. Peter, who was just praised and proclaimed “the Rock” for the Church, takes Jesus aside and rebukes him. “God forbid Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you”. Here, Jesus returns the rebuke: “Get behind me Satan! You are an obstacle to me.”

These words are so filled with meaning! First, we can all see ourselves in Peter. We can so easily go from feeling loved by the Lord and being champions of His truth, to suddenly thinking like the world does and not understanding God’s vision. Second, look closely at what Jesus says. Last week, Peter was proclaimed the rock which the Church would be built on. Now, Peter is an obstacle, a tripping stone on Jesus’ path. How did that happen? Peter put himself IN FRONT of Jesus (and became a tripping hazard). And while it sounds like the Lord is totally rebuking Peter and commanding him to go away, he is actually just trying to put him the right place; “Get BEHIND me”, FOLLOW me. It’s only when Peter (and we) follow Jesus, (and not try and put ourselves in front of Him), that we can call ourselves “disciples”.

And this is what we’re following Jesus into: Mission. Like Jesus, the individual missions in our life are not safe. Friends, the purpose of our life is not to live a quiet, small, safe life in a nice home in the countryside! There is more for us!

I have a friend who tells me, whenever we’re saying goodbyes, “Live dangerously”. To be honest, I’d rather not. It doesn’t sound like a great idea to live that way! You could get hurt, lose things, get yelled at by others, etc etc. But in some way, this is what Jesus means by “take up your cross”. We can also see Jeremiah responding to this idea in the first reading. He feels cheated by God! He follows God’s will for him and speaks prophetic words to people and only gets persecuted in return. He constantly preaches words of doom and gloom. BUT – he has no other choice! When he tries to keep it in, he feels a fire in his bones. He HAS to preach the truth!

What would happen if YOU lived dangerously? Will you go to the streets and speak to those who are homeless and abandoned? Will you actually give up your possessions and money, and focus instead on community and growth? Would you speak the truth in love to your co-workers, family, friends? Will you sacrifice your time and your ego for your families, and rebuild burned bridges?

In the second reading, Saint Paul tells us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, as an act of worship. He’s reiterating what Jesus calls us to do! If we’re only looking to save our own life (or just play it safe like Peter wanted to do), we’ll end up losing it anyway. But if we’re willing to lose our life for the sake of the Kingdom, we’ll find our TRUE life. We have to live dangerously, but also, as St. Paul says, live transformed, by the renewal of our minds. We can’t think as the world and as human beings do, but we must think as God does. How often do I default to a mindset of security, safety, and avoidance of risk and the uncomfortable. To live transformed is to do as God does: To deeply see others and make them feel known, to listen to the moving of the Holy Spirit, to lay down your ego at your job, in your family, everywhere; and to focus on the Kingdom.

So remember, playing it safe is not our mission.

Live Dangerously. Live Transformed. Deny yourself, carry your cross, and follow Jesus.


Songs for Reflection:

  1. For the Sake of the World – Bethel
  2. Called Me Higher – All Sons and Daughters
  3. Seek First – Housefires
  4. Build My Life – Housefires
  5. Champion – Bethel, Dante Bowe
  6. Fire in my Bones – SEU Worship

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Brendan is just your average Millennial hipster: He likes playing guitar, throwing frisbees, sipping whiskey, and grooming his beard. But he also has a passion for walking with teens and young Christ-followers, hearing every person’s story, and waking up the Church. Brendan works at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Lenexa, Kansas (near Kansas City) as a Youth Music Minister, fusing together his two loves of sharing Christ and sharing the power and need for good and beautiful contemporary praise.

St. Rumon: Saint of the Day for Sunday, August 30, 2020

St. Rumon, also known as Ruan, Ronan, and Ruadan, was probably a brother of Bishop St. Tudwal of Trequier, but nothing else is known of him beyond that he was probably an Irish missionary and many churches in Devon and Cornwall in England were named after him. Some authorities believed he is the same as the St. Ronan (June 1) venerated in Brittany and believed consecrated bishop by St. Patrick, but others believe that he and St. Kea were British monks who founded a monastery at Street Somerset. …

He Must Increase

“Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist” (Matt 11:11).

Today we celebrate a great saint, although he never refers to himself that way. He sets out to point to the Lamb of God and keep himself as inconspicuous as possible: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (Jn 3:30). While John’s ministry is important, he recognizes that his existence is oriented toward Jesus Christ. He has done his duty so long as the crowds move on from a baptism of repentance to Baptism in the name of the Trinity.

Even the liturgy witnesses to John’s role in salvation history. As some of you may already know, the Birth of Saint John the Baptist is celebrated on June 24th, very close to the Summer solstice. This is when the sun reaches its highest altitude, making for the longest day of the year and the shortest night. The days begin to shorten and the nights begin to lengthen as we approach the Winter solstice, just before December 25th each year. On this date, we experience the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year.

At Christ’s birth, the night seems all-consuming, but we know that the light is about to increase. The days begin to lengthen again just as John’s ministry is concluding. Christ the light is increasing, as John, represented by the darkness, is decreasing. John is gradually stepping back, recognizing that the light has come into the world. The universe bears witness to the relationship between John and Jesus.

For John, his decreasing is accomplished by preaching the truth in and out of season, telling the crowds to repent and exposing Herod’s wrongdoing. He only speaks about himself to explain that he is not the Christ.

Though he drove attention from himself, he managed to attract large crowds and win many for Christ. Saint John the Baptist is a shining example of the lesson that “God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong” (1 Cor 1:27).

The life of Saint John is a life radically oriented toward the kingdom of God. How can we imitate this dynamic in our own lives? It begins with the same recognition, that Jesus must increase while we must decrease. This does not have to be a self-deprecating resolution. As after the winter solstice, we decrease by drawing attention to the light and by rooting out the darkness in our lives. This does not mean losing ourselves. Rather, it means finding ourselves in Christ the light, who shows man who he is meant to be.

We can take more concrete steps to “decrease” by imitating John’s defense of the truth. Notice that in John’s ministry, he managed to decrease while remaining an extraordinarily prominent prophet. This seems counter-intuitive, but it tells us that our enthusiasm and effectiveness are not contrary to humility if they are oriented toward Christ. What we speak about, explain, and defend should be centered on Jesus. We ought not to be afraid to proclaim the “hard sayings” of the Gospel as John did, knowing that our gaze ought to be fixed on heaven. If we focus on heaven and not ourselves, we can be assured that we are on the right track.

This is the terminus of Saint John’s ministry, and it is what we celebrate today: birth into eternal life. John recognized that the most worthwhile endeavor he could undertake would be to direct everyone to God, to an eternity in heaven. He stuck with this call even to the end, because he understood that Christ would conquer death. Seeing that his words would anger many and cause him to beheaded, he continued to press on. His reward was similar to many saints: martyrdom, a speedy entry into the kingdom. Today we celebrate his birth into heaven.

Let us celebrate this great prophet’s heavenly birthday with joy, striving to follow his fearless example of courageous humility.

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David Dashiell is the Associate Director of Liturgy for a group of parishes in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When he is not spending time with his wife and infant daughter, he is writing on philosophy and theology for various online publications. You can find some of these in Crisis Magazine and the Imaginative Conservative, and you can contact him at

St. Sabina: Saint of the Day for Saturday, August 29, 2020

St. Sabina’s feast day is August 29th. We know St. Sabina only through legend, and there is some question as to it’s trustworthiness. Even the century in which she lived is unknown. Supposedly Sabina was converted to Christianity by her Syrian servant Serapia. During the persecution of Emperor Hadrian, Serapia suffered martyrdom for her Christian Faith. It is believed that St. Sabina was murdered for the Faith about a month later. The reknowned basilica on the Aventine in Rome is dedicated to …