According to tradition, St. David was the son of King Sant of South Wales and St. Non. He was ordained a priest and later studied under St. Paulinus. Later, he was involved in missionary work and founded a number of monasteries. The monastery he founded at Menevia in Southwestern Wales was noted for extreme asceticism. David and his monks drank neither wine nor beer – only water – while putting in a full day of heavy manual labor and intense study. Around the year 550, David attended a synod at …
Father of us all,
This meal is a sign of Your love for us:
Bless us and bless our food,
And help us to give you glory each day
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
In today’s Gospel reading, we hear the story of Christ’s transfiguration on Mt. Tabor. Jesus brings his inner circle of followers, Peter, James, and John, with him as He heads up the mountain to pray. Then, before their eyes, Jesus Christ is transfigured, and they behold the glorified Body of Christ, a foreshadowing of the resurrection that is to come. They behold the risen Christ, but they are also given a glimpse of the eternal life they too will receive at the end of time.
As they watch, Moses and Elijah appear before them. According to Scripture, Elijah was taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot, body and soul. And according to one Jewish tradition, Moses was assumed into heaven, body and soul, upon his death. So it’s appropriate that these are the two figures who appear with Christ at the transfiguration. They behold the splendor of the risen Christ and the promise of the resurrection of the body at the end of time.
But Christ is not a mere mortal whose flesh has been transfigured. He is God made flesh, and as Peter, James, and John witness the transfiguration of Christ, they experience the desire to hold on to this moment. They beg Jesus to permit them to build three tents on the mountain so that they might remain with Jesus Christ, Moses, and Elijah. The Lord is the fulfillment of the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah) of the Old Testament, the Old Covenant. The three apostles are in the presence of the New Covenant that is to come, and like any spiritual high, they do not want to leave. But Christ instead sends them down the mountain and back into the world.
We might not have had the opportunity to behold the transfigured or risen Christ in the flesh with our own eyes, but we all know what that spiritual high feels like. We have all had our “mountaintop” experiences of God- on retreat, in Eucharistic adoration, or during the Mass. We have all felt that desire to remain, to rest in the presence of Christ. And the need for rest is real. We need to be spiritually nourished, filled with the Spirit. But we are not meant to remain. We can’t build tents on the mountaintop. We are called to descend, to receive Christ so that we can bring Him out into the world. We are filled up so that we can be emptied out.
The Eucharist is our fuel. It is “the source and summit of the Christian life” (CCC #1324). It is at the core of our faith and is our mountaintop experience. But we don’t receive Christ to hold Him within us, in the dark recesses of our soul. He comes into us to give us the courage and strength to go out, to be the light of the world. When we receive Him, we are transfigured. Our clothes might not become dazzling white, but our souls do. Our faces might not shine, but hopefully when people look into our faces, they see the face of Christ shining out. Christ was transfigured, and we are all called to be transformed by Christ, to become like Christ ourselves. That is the fundamental Christian mission and the vocation we were given in Baptism. That is our transfiguration.
Shannon Whitmore currently lives in northwestern Virginia with her husband, Andrew, and their two children, John and Felicity. When she is not caring for her children, Shannon enjoys writing for her blog, Love in the Little Things, reading fiction, and freelance writing. She has experience serving in the areas of youth ministry, religious education, sacramental preparation, and marriage enrichment.
Featured Image Credit: dimitrisvetsikas1969, https://pixabay.com/illustrations/metamorphosis-transfiguration-church-1751376/
Pope from 461-468 and guardian of Church unity. He was born in Sardinia, Italy, and was a papal legate to the Robber Council of Ephesus in 449, barely escaping with his life from this affair. Hilary was used by Pope St. Leo I the Great on many assignments. When Leo died, Hilary was elected pope and consecrated on November 19,461. He worked diligently to strengthen the Church in France and Spain, calling councils in 462 and 465. Hilary also rebuilt many Roman churches and erected the chapel of …
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys and sufferings, all that this day may bring, be they good or bad: for the love of God, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for all the sins committed against the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Here we are. We’ve made it through the first week and half of Lent already. Have these past ten days been as rough for you as they have for me? UGH! I could share sob stories about countless hours put into renovating our house only to find renters who didn’t pay and then threatened to sue us. I could moan about how tired I am being unexpectedly pregnant at the ripe old age of 41. I could pour out my tears to God about my father, and then my father-in-law being hospitalized with life-threatening illnesses. I could explain to you how I didn’t sleep most of the night because I was worried about my son’s upcoming surgery….
There are seasons in life where we definitely feel overwhelmed, as if 20 baseballs were thrown at us all at once and we can’t catch a single one. But the thing is, we ALL go through these seasons. I think it is safe to say that not one of us has floated through life on a cloud without a single hardship. I also think it is safe to say that many of you have suffered far more hardships than I have.
Lent is a perfect time to embrace these hardships and allow them to unite us ever closer to our Lord. During last weekend’s homily, our Pastor reminded us of St. John Paul II’s encyclical “Salvifici Doloris”, regarding salvific suffering.
The encyclical states: “suffering is the undergoing of evil before which man shudders. He says: ‘let it pass from me’, just as Christ says in Gethsemane.” What a profoundly human statement! Just reading this, I exclaim “Yes! God understands me!” It goes on to say: “Christ has also raised human suffering to the level of the Redemption. Thus each man, in his suffering, can also become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of Christ.” So although profoundly human, Christ has elevated it to a supernatural level.
“As a result of Christ’s salvific work, man exists on earth with the hope of eternal life and holiness. And even though the victory over sin and death achieved by Christ in his Cross and Resurrection does not abolish temporal suffering from human life, nor free from suffering the whole historical dimension of human existence, it nevertheless throws a new light upon this dimension and upon every suffering: the light of salvation.”
“In the Second Letter to the Corinthians the Apostle writes: ‘We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh …. knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus’(58).”
So whether your sufferings be numerous and burdensome, or relatively few and far between, may today’s Scriptures remind us that as long as we follow God’s commands we will be blessed. We suffer now but we will be redeemed!
May the rest of your Lent be full of salvific suffering that unites you more intimately with our Lord.
Tami Urcia grew up in Western Michigan, a middle child in a large Catholic family. She spent early young adulthood as a missionary in Mexico, studying theology and philosophy, then worked and traveled extensively before finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Western Kentucky. She loves tackling home improvement projects, finding fun ways to keep her four boys occupied, quiet conversation with the hubby and finding unique ways to love. She works at her parish, is a guest blogger on CatholicMom.com and BlessedIsShe.net, runs her own blog at https://togetherandalways.wordpress.com and has been doing Spanish translations on the side for almost 20 years.
Feature Image Credit: Aaron Burden, https://unsplash.com/photos/7oJ3O6pk10s
St. Leander of Seville, Bishop (Feast – February 27th) Leander was born at Cartagena, Spain, of Severianus and Theodora, illustrious for their virtue. St. Isidore and Fulgentius, both bishops were his brothers, and his sister, Florentina, is also numbered among the saints. He became a monk at Seville and then the bishop of the See. He was instrumental in converting the two sons Hermenegild and Reccared of the Arian Visigothic King Leovigild. This action earned him the kings’s wrath and exile to …
Almighty and Everlasting God,
You have given the human race
Jesus Christ our Savior as a model of humility.
He fulfilled Your Will by becoming Man
And giving His life on the Cross.
Help us to bear witness to You
By following His example of suffering
And make us worthy to share in His Resurrection.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son.
MARY, Mother of Jesus,
you were Jesus’ gift for us from the Cross.
He gave you to …
The Psalm today ends with the line “My soul has hoped in the Lord.” What does it mean to have hope?
We use the word hope in many different ways throughout our day. We could hope that the pizza we ordered is delivered on time. We could hope that we get the promotion at work. Or we could hope that the weather cooperates so we can enjoy a day outside.
But the Catholic Church sees hope as more than that. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit.” It goes on to say: “The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man; it takes up the hopes that inspire men’s activities and purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven; it keeps man from discouragement; it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude. Buoyed up by hope, he is preserved from selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity.”
Wow! When we read that, we can’t help but feel encouraged. Hope is so much more than a wish or a desire.
When we put it in a theological perspective, we understand that hope is what will lead us to Christ. Yet we see also that hope requires action on our part. We can’t just hope that we get to heaven and then sit back and not work toward attaining it. Further, we must allow God to work through us. As the Catechism says, hope as a virtue takes that innate desire for happiness and purifies it, or makes it good, so that any resultant desire or action will glorify God, thereby leading us to Him.
It is our hope in Christ that convinces us that He walks with us through our trials, that He carries us in times of extreme difficulty, and that He will never leave us. It is our hope that tells us there is something more than our lives here on earth. It is our hope that tells us that, even though our lives may be complicated or even when we experience personal tragedies, Christ loves us and wants us for all eternity. Imagine that! He wants us! We can’t help but rejoice in that knowledge!
We need this hope today! Divisions within the country and even divisions within the Church can drain us. Like a dried-out sponge that needs liquid to fulfill its sponge-like nature, we crave a nourishment that will enliven us and make us new. That nourishment is our Lord.
Susan Ciancio has a BA in psychology and a BA in sociology from the University of Notre Dame, with an MA in liberal studies from Indiana University. For the past 17 years, she has worked as a professional editor and writer, editing both fiction and nonfiction books, magazine articles, blogs, educational lessons, professional materials and website content. Eleven of those years have been in the pro-life sector. Currently Susan freelances and writes weekly for HLI, edits for American Life League, and is the editor of Celebrate Life Magazine. She also serves as executive editor for the Culture of Life Studies Program-an educational nonprofit program for K-12 students.
Feature Image Credit: Leonel Rodriguez, https://www.cathopic.com/photo/8873-rodillas-frente-padre
Sister of St. Louis and daughter of King Louis VIII of France and Blanche of Castile, she refused offers of marriage from several noble suitors to continue her life of virginity consecrated to God. She ministered to the sick and the poor, and after the death of her mother, founded the Franciscan Monastery of the Humility of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Longchamps in Paris. She lived there in austerity but never became a nun and refused to become abbess. She died there on February 23, and her cult …