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 …
I must admit that I am tired of storms. I’m worn out trying to find my life story—my Covid pandemic life story—reflected in the apostles’ experience of storms at sea.
I’m exhausted trying to outsmart an invisible enemy.
I’m finished for a while with helping people make sense of what has been senseless suffering in their lives for these past two years.
The global consequences of the pandemic are so overwhelming I want to just sit down and cry. I long for the former days that seem in misty memory to have been more carefree and happy.
So the words that attracted my attention in the Gospel reading in today’s liturgy were these: “the boat immediately arrived at the shore to which they were heading.”
The apostles wanted to take Jesus into their boat. They were prepared to take charge and figure out the next best thing to do. Oh, how much of my life I’ve spent doing precisely this. These past two years that have been not only pandemic-riddled but also have been years of great loss on different levels have finally worn me out. I certainly don’t know the next move and I’ve finally acknowledged that I certainly don’t have what it requires to take the situation in hand and plot a way forward.
If you feel this way, just a little, trust in the Lord who brought the boat immediately to the shore to which they were heading. Sometimes we get taken to places in our lives that we would never have gone on our own, places that we would never have chosen, that we still don’t entirely comprehend. Somehow through it all we are taken by God to a shore where we are safe, yet we don’t know how we got there, where we are to go, or how we are to get there. We simply realize that God himself did it for us because he loves us poor storm-weary children.
It is a place of trust and of magnificent wonder: God is taking us somewhere, and he is doing it on his own, surprising us with his power, surrounding us with his love. “Do not be afraid,” he says. “It is I.”
I want to finish this reflection with three lines that perfectly express my prayer in these days. They are from a poem by Marie Noël (The Hours: Prime) found in the book Born from the Gaze of God: The Tibhirine Journal of a Martyr Monk (1993-1996).
Father, carry my soul in its carefreeness
To where you want, and let it sleep in your hand
Without asking the meaning and the goal of the road.
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: earthroom, https://pixabay.com/photos/boat-sailboat-quiet-calm-silence-1992137/
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 …
“So let your heart hold back no longer. Let the city of your soul surrender–for Christ has set fire everywhere, and there is nowhere you can turn, physically or spiritually, without encountering the fire of love.” (St. Catherine of Siena)
When first looking at the readings for today, I struggled with what to write because I really didn’t see a common thread. It took awhile for me to finally realize that what the reading from Acts of the Apostles and the reading from John have in common is someone trying to rely on themselves, rather than God, and failing. In Acts of the Apostles, the Sanhedrin claim they know the will of God and they deny the preaching of the Apostles who say that Jesus is the Son of God for whom they have been waiting. It is Gamaliel who warns them that by trusting in themselves not only are they running the risk of failing in their attempts to stop the Apostles’ preaching, but they also might be actively fighting against the will of God. In John’s Gospel, we hear the story of the multiplication of loaves. When Jesus presents the question of where to get enough food to feed the crowd, Phillip’s response is, in short, “We can’t. It is impossible”. It is Andrew who humbly presents what he does have–five barley loaves and two fish–and asks Jesus what to do. Jesus, taking what has been given to Him, provides in abundance for His people.
We see the “fire of love” of which St. Catherine writes when Jesus provides for His people by feeding their physical hunger. We see it more profoundly still in His Passion, Death, and Resurrection when Jesus provides for His people by feeding their spiritual hunger for unity with Him. I think the most powerful line found in today’s readings is from Acts of the Apostles: “So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name”. The Apostles were flogged for preaching and teaching the Good News of Christ. Yet, rather than complain or lament their suffering, they rejoice. They rejoice because it is through their own suffering that they are able to unite more fully to the suffering of Christ and His Passion. This is true understanding of the suffering and the resurrection of Christ: great sorrow followed by great joy.
May we, following the example of St. Catherine of Siena and the disciples, preach the Gospel to all peoples. May our lives bear witness to the love of Christ so that others will come to Him through us.
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: GDJ, https://pixabay.com/vectors/jesus-miracle-fish-bread-religion-5786111/
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.
In today’s First Reading, we see Peter and the Apostle’s response when they are brought before the Sanhedrin, who had warned them to stop teaching in Jesus’ name. They said: “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our ancestors raised Jesus, though you had Him killed by hanging Him on a tree.”
The sad events of Good Friday are still fresh in our minds, but we know that Christ triumphed on Easter Sunday. He allowed Himself to be tortured, beaten, bloodied, and killed to save us. And then He rose from the dead to prove that He is God.
It is our job as His children to live our lives in such a way that we thank Him every day for this sacrifice. How do we do that? We follow His laws, not man’s laws.
As we look around the world today, we see that many in government have strayed far from God’s laws and have attempted to create laws and a society that not only deny the humanity of some people but that go directly against the very commands given to us by God. Chief among them is the 5th Commandment that teaches that we must not kill our fellow human beings.
Yet every day we see people doing the exact opposite. Indeed, we see people screaming for the right to do so. Chief among these desires are the “rights” to kill babies before they are born and the “rights” to take a human being’s life if that person is sick or nearing death.
The first is referred to a woman’s “right,” while the second is called “death with dignity.”
But make no mistake: A woman never has the right to take the life of a baby growing inside her body. From the time that baby is first created, he is a unique human being. He is not part of her body.
And regardless of a person’s ability or whether he is nearing the end of his life, he does not lose dignity. Dignity is given to us by God. It does not dimmish, and it can never be taken away.
We all have the right to life, and as children of God, we must work every day to protect that right to life in our fellow human beings. We must speak and teach about that right to life, and we must vote for the people who will uphold that right to life.
That is what Peter and the other Apostles meant when they said that we must obey God rather than man.
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: amorsanto, https://www.cathopic.com/photo/8953-devocion
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 …