Marculf is also known as Marcoul. He was born at Bayeux, Gaul, at noble parents. He was ordained when he was thirty, and did missionary work at Coutances. Desirous of living as a hermit, he was granted land by king Childebert at Nanteuil. He attracted numerous disciples, and built a monastery, of which he was abbot. It became a great pilgrimage center after his death on May 1. St. Marculf was regarded as a patron who cured skin diseases, and as late as 1680, sufferers made pilgrimages to his …
O great St. Peregrine, you have been called “The Mighty,” “The Wonder-Worker,” because of the numerous miracles which you have obtained from God for those who have had recourse to you. For so many years you bore in your own flesh this cancerous disease that destroys the very fiber of our being, and who had recourse to the source of all grace when the power of man could do no more. You were favored with the vision of Jesus coming down from His Cross to heal your affliction. Ask of God and Our …
We all love good stories with satisfying endings. But it seems Jesus is the Master at building tension and leaving us to find the conclusion through prayer and reflection – sometimes decades of theological reflection! Jesus is the fullness of revelation, but sometimes it seems that he holds back more than he reveals. He gives solid clues, but does not lay things out plainly, and the apostles are often left confused and probably discussing between themselves what he meant. So are we.
Today’s Easter reading actually comes from the Last Supper, after Jesus has washed his disciples’ feet and they are beginning to wonder what is going on. He speaks of betrayal, Judas has left early without any explanation, and Jesus begins to talk about going somewhere they cannot come right away. Something is stirring, and there is tension. Jesus knows this, and he cannot soften the blow of what is about to happen.
So Jesus tells them not to be troubled, to lean into their faith. He reminds them of their eternal future in the Father’s house. And then he tells the disciples that they actually already know the way to where he is going. Thomas objects that they don’t even understand what he’s talking about, they don’t even know where he is going. You can sense a kind of confused exasperation in Thomas as he insists they have no idea of the way.
Jesus’ answer (enlightened by retrospect and the Holy Spirit in the Church!) could be paraphrased something like this:
“You DO know the way, because you know ME. I AM THE WAY, and there is no other way.
You also know all you need to know because you know ME. I AM ALL TRUTH.
You can also walk in hope, because you know ME. I AM LIFE – abundant life, eternal life!
So, FOLLOW ME by imitating what I have done and what I am about to do.
Walk confidently in the truth that I AM and that knowing me reveals the meaning of all creation and the deep desires of every human heart, including your own.
Hope in me, confident that the fullness of life will be yours, now and forever.
Human hope finds satisfaction in happy endings, but the Father loves beginnings without endings!
We are all journeying to an eternity in the Heart of the Father, and I am going before you.
The only way for you to get to My Father is through ME.
Because I AM THE WAY AND THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.”
Do our lives reflect this? Do our lives demonstrate that Jesus is our all, that we need him, that he gives us all, that our confidence is in HIM?
Is Jesus our way, our truth, and our very life?
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: Matt Howard, https://unsplash.com/photos/A4iL43vunlY
Pope from 1566-1572 and one of the foremost leaders of the Catholic Reformation. Born Antonio Ghislieri in Bosco, Italy, to a poor family, he labored as a shepherd until the age of fourteen and then joined the Dominicans, being ordained in 1528. Called Brother Michele, he studied at Bologna and Genoa, and then taught theology and philosophy for sixteen years before holding the posts of master of novices and prior for several Dominican houses. Named inquisitor for Como and Bergamo, he was so …
Glorious St. Joseph,
model of all those who are devoted to labour,
obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously,
putting the call of duty above my many sins;
to work with thankfulness and joy,
considering it an honour to employ and develop,
by means of labour,
the gifts received from God;
to work with order,
peace, prudence and patience,
never surrendering to weariness or difficulties;
to work, above all,
with purity of intention,
and with detachment …
In today’s Gospel, Jesus’ talk of slaves and masters can seem a bit controversial- especially since He seems to suggest that slaves are lesser than their masters, rather than equal. In today’s world, we want to hear Jesus tell us that slaves are equal in dignity to their masters, or even better, that slavery is a reprehensible evil that must be abolished immediately. That would be the social justice Jesus that we all know and love.
But Jesus is not talking about human slaves and human masters. He is talking about us and God. We are the slaves, and God is our Master. We are lesser than God. We will never be greater than our Master. We are called slaves because we are meant to serve. That is what we were made for- we were made to serve.
“Serve” is a beautiful word in the Hebrew language. It can also mean “work” and “worship.” Our work is our worship. Our service is our worship. We were made to worship God. We were made to love Him. We are slaves of love. Our entire being longs to worship God, to love Him with our bodies and souls. We are made to serve our Master, a Master who loves us enough to allow His only begotten Son to die for us.
Jesus, the Son of God, came “not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). God became man, became a slave to show man what it means to serve. Jesus shows us all what it means to be a slave, what it means to serve. Jesus Christ, despite being God, got down on his hands and knees and washed the feet of his apostles. That’s what it means to serve. It means giving our lives for Love, whether that means living our life for Him or dying for Him. Our life and our death have the ability to be acts of worship.
But there is more. Jesus calls us friends, not slaves. The Master became a slave so that the slaves might become like the Master. God became man so that man might become like God. Jesus Christ became human so that we might be friends. And not even just friends, but brothers, and therefore heirs of heaven like Christ Himself. That is Love in its truest, deepest, form. God came down to earth to show us what it would take to get to heaven. And now we just need to follow Him. Serve like Him. Worship like Him. Love like Him. So maybe being slaves for Christ isn’t so bad after all.
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: dodo71, https://pixabay.com/photos/stained-glass-window-church-wash-4784679/
St. Catherine of Siena was born during the outbreak of the plague in Siena, Italy on March 25, 1347. She was the 25th child born to her mother, although half of her brothers and sisters did not survive childhood. Catherine herself was a twin, but her sister did not survive infancy. Her mother was 40 when she was born. Her father was a cloth dyer.
At the age of 16, CatherineÂ?s sister, Bonaventura, died, leaving her husband as a widower. CatherineÂ?s parents proposed that he marry Catherine as a …
Eternal rest, grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of the faithful departed
through the mercy of God rest in peace.
I stood outside, shivering a little against the chilly night air. Many people stood around me in the dark, all silent. Through a break in the crowd, I could see the fire-lit faces of the priests and altar servers, gathered around the Easter Fire. May the light of Christ rising in glory dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds. With that, the deacon raised the Easter Candle above the heads of the company. I stood there, transfixed, watching that candle; light against dark, flame against sky. One by one the congregation began to light their candles, and, once we got inside, that one flame had lit a hundred others, bathing the entire church in bright, warm light.
One flickering flame is all that it takes. One flame, one light is all that is needed to breach the darkness.
As I read the readings for today while preparing for this blog, one line in particular stuck out to me: I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness. When sitting down to think about what I should write about, one memory kept coming back; the memory of three weeks ago at the Easter Vigil Mass, the memory of that one candle — the Easter Candle — lifted high above the heads of the jostling crowd to stand alone, winking against the night sky.
Jesus is that flame. That light. That love.
This reading makes me think of the analogy of a room: You’re standing in the doorway, looking into it. In the dark, you can see nothing, other than what appears to be an empty room. Now, imagine someone else flips on a light switch. At first, the light hurts, and you squint. But now that the room is lit, you see that the floor is covered in nails and broken bits of glass.
Now, would you rather go into the room in the dark or in the light?
In the light, you see things. In the dark, you don’t. But the dark is soothing; our eyes adjust to it quickly. We, unfortunately, do too.
My point here is, let the light in. Let Jesus in. Just a tiny flame. It might hurt a little to see your broken self, it might hurt a lot, but Jesus will show you the nails and the glass so that you can avoid them. He did not come to shed light on your brokenness and failures so that he can call you out on them, denounce you, and punish you, but so that he can lead you through all the dark rooms you encounter. “And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world, but to save the world.” He will personally conduct you, carry you on his shoulders, even, through the dark world. He is the light. He is the love.
So go, let in the light, and see how far one flame can spread.
Perpetua Phelps is a high school student residing in West Michigan and is the second of four children. Apart from homeschooling, Perpetua enjoys volunteering at her church, attending retreats, studying Latin and French, and reading classics such as Beowulf, The Lord of the Rings, C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy, and Mark Twain’s Joan of Arc. She also spends much time writing novels, essays, and poetry for fun and competition. A passionate Tolkien fan, Perpetua is a founding member of a Tolkien podcast.
Feature Image Credit: Mariana, https://www.cathopic.com/photo/11272-luz-obscuridad
In St. Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr (Feast day – April 28) The protomartyr of the South Seas, St. Peter Chanel was born in 1803 at Clet in the diocese of Belley, France. His intelligence and simple piety brought him to the attention of the local priest, Father Trompier, who saw to his elementary education. Entering the diocesan Seminary, Peter won the affection and the esteem of both students and professors. After his ordination he found himself in a rundown country parish and completely …