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.
In our day to day lives, we hear a lot of testimonies. All we have to do is turn on the television or go to YouTube and we see an advertisement with a celebrity promoting something that will make our lives better: skincare, a workout regimen, a new computer, a vacation, etc. Some of those advertisements are powerful and convincing; I often find myself envying the clear skin or relaxing life of whatever celebrity is in the advertisement! But in today’s Gospel we hear the most powerful, convincing, and important testimony the world has ever needed. We hear Jesus testify that He is the Son of God, sent by the Father.
Many people who encounter Christ question His testimony: how are we to believe that He is truly sent by the Father? Jesus tells them that by witnessing His actions, they are also witnessing proof that He was sent by the Father. It is not his words, but the works He performs that bear witness to His mission. After saying this, Jesus condemns them for seeking praise from others rather than seeking the praise that comes from God. The praise of others is fleeting and devoid of meaning whereas the praise of God is eternal and life-giving.
When we perform works in the name of Christ, we should follow His lead. The intention behind our works should not be self-seeking. Rather, they should be selfless. In the same way that Christ became man for our sake, so too should we sacrifice our time, our treasure, our talent, our love, and our hearts for the sake of His Kingdom.
As we continue through our own Lenten journeys may we remember that our sacrifices are for God, not for ourselves or others. May we follow Christ in His journey to Calvary, keeping in our hearts the love of the Father.
Dakota currently lives in Denver, CO and teaches English Language Development and Spanish to high schoolers. She is married to the love of her life, Ralph. In her spare time, she reads, goes to breweries, and watches baseball. Dakota’s favorite saints are St. John Paul II (how could it not be?) and St. José Luis Sánchez del Río. She is passionate about her faith and considers herself blessed at any opportunity to share that faith with others. Check out more of her writing at https://dakotaleonard16.blogspot.com.
Feature Image Credit: Policraticus, https://www.cathopic.com/photo/10564-miada-cristo-cruz
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.
In today’s First Reading, the Servant of the Lord is announcing freedom to the Jewish exiles in Babylonia: “In a time of favor I answer you, on the day of salvation I help you; and I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people….”
There is no way to overstate the crisis the exile in Babylon was for God’s people. They had been deprived of their homeland and had been stripped of everything that had given them their identity. There on the banks of the streams of Babylon they must have wondered how God could truly have been God if he had let the Babylonians defeat them, desecrate the temple, and force them to leave the land that had been promised to their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Were they now forgotten by God? Would he ever remember them? Would he save them? Did God still love them? Could they ever trust the Lord again?
The conversations of the people of God in Babylon are similar to the conversations whispered in the homes where we’ve isolated far from our churches and from everything that had been “normal” about our life. We might have said with Zion: “The Lord has forsaken me, my Lord has forgotten me.”
Isn’t it too late now for God to show up, after loved ones have died, livelihoods lost, children affected by years of education interrupted? After millions across the globe have suffered indescribable loss. The Jewish people in Babylon must have wondered also at this prophecy spoken by Isaiah:
Thus says the LORD:
In a time of favor I answer you,
on the day of salvation I help you;
and I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people,
To restore the land
and allot the desolate heritages,
Saying to the prisoners: Come out!
To those in darkness: Show yourselves!
Along the ways they shall find pasture,
on every bare height shall their pastures be.
They shall not hunger or thirst,
nor shall the scorching wind or the sun strike them;
For he who pities them leads them
and guides them beside springs of water.
As we one by one continue to reshape our lives, we might wonder why the Lord didn’t “comfort his people and show mercy to his afflicted” by stopping the pandemic in its tracks before the damage across the globe had been done.
Our lament is as sorrow-filled and pitiful as the songs sung by the exiles who hung up their harps, refusing to sing the songs of Zion in a foreign land.
I hear such kindness in the final words of this First Reading. God understands his people’s tears, their loss. He listens to the confusion and hurt of his people who, because of their infidelity to the Lord and their choices to align themselves with other nations instead of trusting in him, had been carried off into exile by these same nations. God doesn’t correct their theology with reminders about how good he is, how faithful, how ever present. Instead, he evokes the image of tender love that is at the very foundation of every human life, an image that means warmth, safety, nourishment, a generous life poured out that a child might live.
But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me; We say with them: my Lord has forgotten me.”
Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you.
Take a deep breath, my friend, and allow yourself to share your true feelings and fears with God. Wail and rail if you must. Be honest with the Lord in every way. And then receive his arms that surround you with a mother’s love, this God who pours out his life and tenderness in absolute fidelity to us forever. Let these words wash over you again and again, “I will never forget you. Never. Ever. My child. I could never be without tenderness for you.”
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: RebeccasPictures, https://pixabay.com/photos/hands-infant-child-family-love-6831944/
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 …
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 …
Dear Jesus, Divine Physician and Healer of the sick, we turn to you in this time of illness. O dearest comforter of the troubled, alleviate our worry and sorrow with your gentle love, and grant us the grace and strength to accept this burden. Dear God, we place our worries in your hands. We place our sick under your care and humbly ask that you restore your servant to health again. Above all, grant us the grace to acknowledge your will and know that whatever you do, you do for the love of us. Amen.