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 …
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.
What is Paul talking about when he speaks of some people who are “in darkness” and “of the night” while others are “children of the light and children of the day”?
This is an important question because Paul is laying out before us two paths, two ways of living. In Deuteronomy, we can read Moses’ appeal to the children of Israel centuries earlier to consider these two paths carefully. “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity…. I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors” (Deuteronomy 30:15, 20).
In the Teton Wilderness in northwestern Wyoming is a little forest stream called Two Ocean Creek. This small creek is one of the most unusual features of the Continental Divide, where everything on its western slope flows into the Colorado River and empties eventually into the Pacific Ocean, and everything on its eastern slope flows into the Mississippi River and dumps eventually into the Atlantic Ocean. Two Ocean Creek is the only creek in America that flows into two oceans. Hikers can splash their hands in the creek and determine which drops of water head west and which begin to slope toward the east.
Life is like that. There are choices between east and west, this career or continuing education, living here and living there… And, as our First Reading reminds us, between life and death, light and darkness.
We are not at the mercy of gravity like the water in Two Ocean Creek. Both Moses and Paul are telling us that we have the power to make choices. Some seem as insignificant as the small stream on The Continental Divide. But the paths we take lead us into light and into dark, into the day and into the night.
Paul says that the children of the night are those who say, “Peace and security,” finding their salvation and their fulfillment entirely on this earth. Their memory, desires, will, and thoughts are taken up with things that satisfy them here and now. It is these people that are surprised by the coming of the Lord like a thief in the night, and what happens is a disaster to them.
Paul tells the Thessalonians: “Stay alert, do not sleep for God has destined us to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that we may live together with him.”
Dumitru Stăniloae, in Orthodox Dogmatic Theology: The Experience of God, describes children of the light with these words: “the faces of the saints even here on earth have something of the eschatological plane of eternity in their appearance, that plane through which God’s features will be fully reflected, and his energies will radiate” (page 22).
Christ is the Day, the radiance of the Father’s glory. As children of the day and of the light, we reflect the glory which shone from him on Mount Tabor in his Transfiguration. “For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
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. Website: www.touchingthesunrise.com Public Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/srkathrynhermes/ For monthly spiritual journaling guides, weekly podcasts and over 50 conferences and retreat programs join my Patreon community: https://www.patreon.com/srkathryn.
Feature Image Credit: Carlos Danial, Cathopic.com
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 …
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 …
How fickle human beings are! I know I have seen this behavior in my own actions, and I’m sure you have experienced it in your own as well. One moment everything is roses and the next we feel the world is against us. There is a certain appeal to this pendulum swing. Back and forth we go, never satisfied with one side or the other.
In today’s Gospel, the crowd was first amazed, finding Jesus’ words to be full of truth and graciousness. But, oh human suspicions and doubt. “Is this not the son of Joseph?” How could someone we know be so amazing? Jesus responds, challenging them to consider what they know and to broaden their perspective. They choose the narrow way, seeing only what they could with their eyes.
We have found similar themes in our Sunday readings these past weeks from John 6, The Bread of Life Discourse. Jesus is pushing his followers into a new spiritual space. They are hesitant, resistant even. Who is this man, who tells us we must eat his flesh and drink his blood? Who is this man, who claims to be the fulfillment of Scripture?
Even today, Jesus tells us clearly these same teachings. How do we choose to respond to the mystery before us? Do we accept that the Eucharist is Jesus’ true Body and Blood? Do we firmly believe that He is the Son of God, our Savior and our brother?
God, in His goodness and generosity, knows well the fickle heart of humanity. This is why He never stops seeking us. His patience will outlast the most indecisive, the most changing of hearts.
If you feel you are in a place of spiritual doubt, do not distress. We grow in our faith as we wrestle to understand it more fully. Talk to your pastor, a spiritual director or solid friend. Look to the Catechism and writings of the saints. The saints are especially good company for someone having a difficult time with a mystery of the faith. They have walked our journey and many had similar doubts which they grew through during the course of their life.
And pray. Take your doubts to the Holy Spirit. Do not be like the crowd that struck out in fury and tried to toss Jesus out. Keep your wonder and amazement and admit you still do not understand. He will guide your steps as you grow in wisdom and understanding.
Kate Taliaferro is an Air Force wife and mother. She is blessed to be able to homeschool, bake bread and fold endless piles of laundry. When not planning a school day, writing a blog post or cooking pasta, Kate can be found curled up with a book or working with some kind of fiber craft. Kate blogs at DailyGraces.net.
Feature Image Credit: Josh Sorenson, https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-yellow-arrow-road-signage-977603/
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. …
Assist us, O Lord our God;
and defend us evermore by the might of Thy holy Cross,
in whose honour Thou makest us to rejoice.
Through Christ our Lord.
Imagine “nothing.” In the beginning there was nothing. From nothing God brought into existence everything. When I try to imagine what nothing is, I envision complete darkness, but even darkness is something. Nothing is not a thing. This is what God started with and from it he created, he willed into existence, all that we see and know – from the molten core of the earth to the stars in the galaxy; from dirt to trees to rivers to animals. All of it came from the God of lights, the unchanging Creator.
We read today that every perfect gift comes from God and we know from Genesis that everything God created is good. The sand, the rocks, the clouds and the elephants are good. The lions, bees, cows, and plants are good. God’s imagination is boundless and it is all good.
Take a moment to recognize all God created and then reflect on your place in it. Not only are you good by virtue of being a creature of God, but you, according to James, are a first fruit of God’s creation. The first fruit is the fruit of the harvest offered to God in thanksgiving. It’s the best and it’s offered in recognition that God deserves the best.
Here, James is positing that humans are the first fruits of creation – the best. This includes all of us. By his will he created you just as you are and you are a first fruit. It’s hard to remember this. It’s easy to find fault with ourselves. When I look in the mirror I see what’s wrong more often than what’s right. When I reflect on my actions, I see where I could have done better instead of what I did well. I forget that by nature of being willed by God that I am good. He made me as I am and he loves me as I am. To tell myself otherwise is an insult to the One who made me because he only makes good.
I am a first fruit. As are you. We are good. We are loved. We are enough.
Because God made us that way.
Merridith Frediani loves words and is delighted by good sentences. She also loves Lake Michigan, dahlias, the first sip of hot coffee in the morning, millennials, and playing Sheepshead with her husband and three kids. She writes for Catholic Mom, Diocesan.com, and her local Catholic Herald. Her first book Draw Close to Jesus: A Woman’s Guide to Adoration is available at Our Sunday Visitor and Amazon. You can learn more at merridithfrediani.com.
Feature Image Credit: silviarita, https://pixabay.com/photos/fresh-fruits-bowls-fruit-bowls-2305192/
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 …