Benedictine bishop of Grenoble, France, patron of St. Bruno. He was born in the Dauphine region and became a canon of the cathedral in Valence. In 1080, while attending a synod in Avignon, Hugh was named bishop of Grenoble. He attempted a massive reform of the diocese, but, discouraged, retired to Chaise Dieu Abbey, and became a Benedictine. Pope St. Gregoiy VII ordered him back to Grenoble. Hugh gave St. Bruno the land on which the Grande Chartreuse was founded, thus starting the Carthusians. …
Angel of God,
My Guardian Dear,
to whom His love commits me here,
ever this day be at my side,
to light and to guard,
to rule and guide.
Today is “Spy Wednesday,” the day that Judas betrayed Our Lord. Our First Reading and Psalm speak eloquently of the Suffering Servant of God, the Messiah, who will come to save His people from their sins. He will bear beatings, insults, and ultimately death, but will do so willingly, ready to accept anything to accomplish the will of the Father. We have been hearing these prophecies from Isaiah all week, and we will continue to hear them through Good Friday.
It is good to reflect on just how humble and confident the Lord must have been to allow Himself to be betrayed, beaten, abused, insulted, stripped, and killed so mercilessly. Today, however, I want to focus on Judas Iscariot. Why would he betray Our Lord? This is a good question on its own, but for Judas it is all the more baffling. Why would he betray Jesus Christ, whom he walked with for years and saw as a friend and master?
Judas was a Zealot, a member of a radical Jewish sect that sought to overthrow the Roman government and encourage the Messiah to come forward and lead the insurrection in the process. Many Jews thought that the Messiah would hold secular political power. The Zealots thought that they could help the Messiah achieve victory. Iscariot, Judas’ surname, gives away his Zealot sympathies. This is a title meaning “dagger man,” referring to the Zealots who would carry daggers at all times.
Over the course of Jesus’ ministry, it’s likely that Judas became disillusioned. Somewhere along the line, it became obvious to him that Jesus did not want political authority, at least not in the sense that many of the Jews thought that the Messiah would. He did come to rule and to lead, but in a very unexpected way. Judas may have hung around because of Jesus’ holiness, or simply because he wanted to get back at Him later. Either way, he remained until his betrayal, the fatal move.
Judas’ betrayal was a result of his failure to pay attention to Our Lord. He expected one Messiah, got another, and couldn’t stop and consider that he might be the misguided one. Later on, he understood his error, but was too crestfallen to make amends. Instead, he took his own life, crushed by the weight of his sin.
Job presents another way for us. He too had a misguided view of God. Though he was always righteous, unlike the sin-prone Judas, he too thought that God was different than in reality. Job, afflicted by Satan, expected the Lord to give him a comprehensive explanation. Instead, the Lord says that Job simply can’t understand: “Who is this that darkens counsel with words of ignorance? Gird up your loins now, like a man; I will question you, and you tell me the answers!” (Job 38:2–3).
In the end, Job repents in dust and ashes, admitting that God’s ways are unfathomable. He was attentive, and by listening understood that the Lord’s ways are greater, much more marvelous than his. He allowed God to change his perspective in a radical way, and humbly accepted the consequences. Let us do the same this Triduum, attending to the Lord and allowing Him to transform our lives, even if it means giving up what we might want from Him. On Good Friday and beyond, we will see Him surpass even our wildest expectations, giving the ultimate explanation for suffering.
David Dashiell is a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader based in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. His writing has been featured in Crisis Magazine and The Imaginative Conservative, and his editing is done for a variety of publishers, such as Sophia Institute and Scepter. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Feature Image Credit: parroquiacristoresucitado, https://www.cathopic.com/photo/7244-santisimo-sacramento
St. Benjamin, Martyr (Feast Day – March 31) The Christians in Persia had enjoyed twelve years of peace during the reign of Isdegerd, son of Sapor III, when in 420 it was disturbed by the indiscreet zeal of Abdas, a Christian Bishop who burned the Temple of Fire, the great sanctuary of the Persians. King Isdegerd threatened to destroy all the churches of the Christians unless the Bishop would rebuild it. As Abdas refused to comply, the threat was executed; the churches were demolished, Abdas …
Visit, we beseech Thee, O Lord, this dwelling, and drive far from it all snares of the enemy; let Thy holy Angels dwell herein, to preserve us in peace; and let Thy blessing be upon us forever. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
What is the glory of God? How do we glorify Him? How is God glorified in us?
Here at the beginning of Holy Week, we read in the Gospel of John that as soon as Judas left the Last Supper, Jesus declared, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him…”
This does not seem to correspond to our ideas of glory, which probably include greatness, power, bright lights, and myriads of angels singing polyphonic hosannas. At least, that’s what we see in art and cinema, and our imaginations can be flattened by these ideas. We can also have “flattened” ideas about Christ’s suffering and death! Because the crucifix is familiar, and the truth that we are saved by it is repeated so often, we can lose sight of the reality of the life of the Lord and the way it transformed our lives!
Jesus truly came from the Father, setting aside his glory, to dwell among us and act and teach and willingly suffer to save us! Jesus laid down his life so that we might be truly alive, and so that he could please his Father by fulfilling His will for our eternal life. The Catechism tells us that “The world was created for the glory of God.” Not a glory that insists on its own gloriousness, but a glory that delights in pouring out immeasurable and infinite LOVE.
As we ponder the Passion this week, we must ask for the grace to see anew that God is glorified by Christ’s (and our) loving obedience. As Judas sets out with determination to betray Jesus, the Way of the Cross is set in motion, and it is this Way that glorifies the Father because it demonstrates the Son’s total loving obedience: Jesus passed onto his disciples the living truth of the Father, and then “humbled himself and became obedient, even unto death, death on a cross” (Phil 2:8).
Jesus’ self-gift is more than words; his love for the Father is more than words. It isn’t enough to say, “I give myself completely to you.” Complete self-giving is demonstrated when we pour ourselves out (in time, energy, attention, and love), not when we talk about how generous we are. I can say that I love you, but you know it’s true when I set aside what I want to help give you what YOU want. I can say I would give someone one of my kidneys, but it is only words until I have the opportunity to submit myself to surgery! Words must be proved by action.
Jesus prayed in the Garden, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” On the Cross, Jesus proves that his words are true. It is by his complete immolation on the Cross that Jesus fulfills the Father’s will wholly, without reserving anything for himself. It is this complete self-gift, for love of the Father and for us, that glorifies Jesus, and the Father in him.
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 https://www.kathryntherese.com/.
Feature Image Credit: Policraticus, https://www.cathopic.com/photo/10564-miada-cristo-cruz
Also Peter Regalado, Franciscan reformer. Peter was born at Valladolid, Spain, to a noble family, and entered the Franciscan Order in his native city at the age of thirteen. After several years, he transferred to a far more austere monastery at Tribulos, where he became known for his severe asceticism as well as his abilities to levitate and enter into ecstasies. A success as abbot, he gave himself over to bringing needed reforms to the monastery and to promoting reforms in other Franciscan …
O my Jesus,
I beg You on behalf of the whole Church:
Grant it love and the light of Your Spirit
and give power to the words of priests
so that hardened hearts might be brought to repentance
and return to You, O Lord.
Lord, give us holy priests;
You Yourself maintain them in holiness.
O Divine and Great High Priest,
may the power of Your mercy accompany them everywhere
and protect them from the devil’s traps and snares
which are continually being set for the …
In the Gospel reading today, we read of Jesus’ visit to the house of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. As Jesus sat, Mary anointed His feet with an expensive oil and then wiped them with her hair.
Judas Iscariot became upset by her actions, but Jesus told him to leave Mary alone, for He understood what she was doing.
She was giving her best to Christ.
Imagine having Christ over for dinner. Imagine Him by your side to talk with, to eat with, and to laugh with. He was a friend to these three siblings, but they knew He was much more than a friend. They understood that He was the Messiah. And Mary treated Him as such. She gave the best of what she had to Him.
We can learn so much from this Gospel and from Mary’s actions. God has given us many blessings; in return, we must give Him our first fruits—the best of what we have.
What does that mean? It means that we must put Him first and foremost into our days. It means that we don’t forget about Him all day and remember Him two minutes before we drop into an exhausted sleep. We take time for Him.
Upon waking up, we say a prayer of thanks. During the day, we pause to pray for others, to talk to God, and to thank Him for the blessings we have. We set aside time in the evening to pray. We make sure that, for this amount of time, we are not distracted. We talk, and we listen.
In addition, we make time throughout our days to perform acts of kindness for people—even if these acts are small. They could include a simple gesture like holding an elevator for someone, smiling at someone, or paying for the person behind you in the fast-food line. Or they could include larger and more time-consuming acts like teaching CCE or volunteering at a homeless shelter or a crisis pregnancy center.
Remember that Christ taught that, in doing for others, we also do for Him. So everything we do for the people around us, we do for Our Lord.
And all of these things we do for God and for others show our love for Him.
God’s love for us is infinite. In fact, though we try, we cannot even imagine the depth of His love. As Christians, it is our duty and our responsibility to imitate that love and to show it to others.
Putting Christ first and doing good for others is giving Him the best of us.
And for this, He is surely pleased.
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: Hannah Wernecke, https://unsplash.com/photos/8mqaLDl95I4
Considered by some historians to be the founder of the Carmelite Order. He was born in Limoges, France, and proved a brilliant student at the University of Paris. Ordained a priest, Berthold joined his brother, Aymeric, the Latin patriarch of Antioch, in Turkey, on the Crusades. On Mount Carmel he found a group of hermits, joined them, and established a rule. Aymeric appointed Berthold the first Carmelite superior general. Berthold tried to reform the Christian soldiers in the region, having …