St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori: Saint of the Day for Monday, August 01, 2022

Bishop, Doctor of the Church, and the founder of the Redemptorist Congregation. He was born Alphonsus Marie Antony John Cosmos Damien Michael Gaspard de Liguori on September 27,1696, at Marianella, near Naples, Italy. Raised in a pious home, Alphonsus went on retreats with his father, Don Joseph, who was a naval officer and a captain of the Royal Galleys. Alphonsus was the oldest of seven children, raised by a devout mother of Spanish descent. Educated at the University of Naples, Alphonsus …

For Motherhood: Prayer of the Day for Monday, August 01, 2022

Good St. Gerard, powerful intercessor before the throne of God, wonder-worker of our day, I call upon you and seek your aid. You know that my husband and I desire the gift of a child. Please present our fervent plea to the Creator of life from whom all parenthood proceeds and beseech him to bless us with a child whom we may raise as his child and heir of heaven. Amen.

God Is Longing For Your Heart / Dios Anhela Tu Corazón

To the words that begin our first reading at Mass today… “Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities!  All things are vanity!” …let us add these words of St. John of the Cross: “To be perfectly united to God by love and will, the soul must first be cleansed of all appetites of the will, even the smallest” (Ascent of Mount Carmel). 

In the language of St John of the Cross, the word “appetites” refers to disordered inclinations or affections for oneself or creatures, we could say the “vanities of the world,” tendencies which are more or less contrary to God’s will. 

In talking about the value of Ignatian Spirituality for leadership in his book Heroic Leadership, Chris Lowney talks about his being driven by the “I-want-it-so-badly” virus, a type of a modern formulation of the “vanity of vanities” of Qoheleth. Lowney shares how he so wanted to get to the top of the company, to be wealthy, recognized, have the best house and the most exciting life. He wanted it so badly that it seemed it must be right precisely because he wanted it so badly. 

Sound familiar? 

How subtle are the deceptions of the evil one. This absolute certainty that God is on our side might be a delusion. Often it is one of the signs that we are after things that fall under the category of “vanity of vanities.” Maybe it is not God’s design for us that we have the things we so badly desire, but only an “ego itch” actually leading us astray as we chase after our vanities and vainglory. “Disordered inclinations and affections for oneself or creatures.” 

In the second reading today, St. Paul in his letter to the Colossians teaches us simply, clearly, leaving us no wiggle room to justify collecting our vanities here on earth: “Brothers and sisters:

If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.”

And lest we think that these words are some fantasy or imaginative contemplation of Christ in heaven, Paul clearly lays out in no-nonsense and practical terms what this means for us here on earth: “Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry. Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge,

in the image of its creator.”

So, brothers and sisters, cherish these words today, these words of God who is longing for your heart, “put on the new self.” Indeed, my friends, God says to us all, “If today you hear [my] voice, harden not your hearts.”

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Nuestra Primera Lectura de la Misa de hoy empieza con: “Vanidad de vanidades, dice Qohelet, vanidad de vanidades! ¡Todas las cosas son vanidad!” y a estas palabras añadamos las de San Juan de la Cruz: “Para estar perfectamente unida a Dios por el amor y la voluntad, el alma debe primero estar limpia de todos los apetitos de la voluntad, incluso los más pequeños” (Subida al Monte Carmelo).

En el lenguaje de San Juan de la Cruz, la palabra “apetitos” se refiere a las inclinaciones o afectos desordenados hacia uno mismo o hacia las criaturas, podríamos decir las “vanidades del mundo”, tendencias más o menos contrarias a la voluntad de Dios.

Al hablar sobre el valor de la espiritualidad ignaciana acerca del liderazgo en su libro Heroic Leadership (Liderazgo Heroico), Chris Lowney habla de que lo impulsa el virus “Lo quiero tanto”, un tipo de formulación moderna del “vanidad de vanidades” de Qohelet. Lowney comparte cómo deseaba tanto llegar al puesto más alto de la empresa, ser rico, reconocido, tener la mejor casa y la vida más emocionante. Lo deseaba tanto que parecía que debía estar bien precisamente porque lo deseaba tanto.

¿Suena familiar?

Cuán sutiles son los engaños del maligno. Esta certeza absoluta de que Dios está de nuestro lado puede ser una ilusión. A menudo es una de las señales de que buscamos cosas que entran en la categoría de “vanidad de vanidades”. Tal vez no sea el diseño de Dios para nosotros que tengamos las cosas que tanto deseamos, sino solo una “comezón del ego” que en realidad nos lleva por mal camino mientras perseguimos nuestras vanidades y vanagloria. “Inclinaciones y afectos desordenados hacia uno mismo o hacia las criaturas”.

En la Segunda Lectura de hoy, San Pablo en su carta a los Colosenses nos enseña de manera sencilla, clara, y sin dejarnos margen de maniobra para justificar recoger nuestras vanidades aquí en la tierra: “Hermanos y hermanas: Si han resucitado con Cristo, busquen lo de arriba, donde está Cristo sentado a la diestra de Dios. Piensen en lo de arriba, no en lo de la tierra”.

Y para que no pensemos que estas palabras son una fantasía o una contemplación imaginativa de Cristo en el cielo, Pablo expone claramente en términos prácticos y serios lo que esto significa para nosotros aquí en la tierra: “Hagan morir, pues, las partes de usted que son terrenales: la inmoralidad, la impureza, las pasiones, los malos deseos y la codicia que es idolatría. Dejen de mentirse unos a otros, ya que se hayan despojado del viejo hombre con sus prácticas y se han revestido del nuevo hombre, que se va renovando, para el conocimiento,a la imagen de su creador.”

Entonces, hermanos y hermanas, atesoren estas palabras hoy, estas palabras de Dios que anhela tu corazón, “vestíos del nuevo yo”. De hecho, mis amigos, Dios nos dice a todos: “Si hoy escuchan [mi] voz, no endurezcan su corazón”.

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Sr. Kathryn J. HermesKathryn 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: Public Facebook Group: For monthly spiritual journaling guides, weekly podcasts and over 50 conferences and retreat programs join my Patreon community:

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St. Ignatius Loyola: Saint of the Day for Sunday, July 31, 2022

Born Inigo Lopez de Loyola in 1491, the man known as Ignatius of Loyola entered the world in Loiola, Spain. At the time, the name of the village was spelled “Loyola,” hence the discrepancy. Inigo came of age in Azpeitia, in northern Spain. Loyola is a small village at the southern end of Azpeitia.

Inigio was the youngest of thirteen children. His mother died when he was just seven, and he was then raised by Maria de Garin, who was the wife of a blacksmith. His last name, “Loyola” was taken …

Reform Your Ways and Deeds / Corrijan su Conducta y sus Obras

In today’s First Reading, we hear Jeremiah tell the people: “Reform your ways and your deeds; listen to the voice of the Lord your God.”

If we take time to reflect on Jeremiah’s words, we will see the importance of applying them to our lives, for we must realize that he doesn’t just mean to stop sinning. Of course, we must always strive not to sin. That’s an integral part of our faith. But living a faith-filled life is much more than that. 

So often we find it easy to not break the commandments. As we prepare for confession and perform an examination of conscience, we may feel buoyed by the fact that we have not missed Mass, said God’s name in vain, hurt another person, or stolen anything. And, yes, those are vital.

But what Jeremiah meant when he said to reform our ways and deeds was to do something that will make a difference for others. We must take action and do good works. We must put others and their needs first. In short, we must learn to perform the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy regularly.

What are these works of mercy? The Corporal Works of Mercy instruct us to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, visit prisoners and those who are sick, bury the dead, and give alms to the poor. The Spiritual Works of Mercy teach us to pray for the living and the dead, to counsel and comfort others, to forgive, to admonish the sinner, and to teach the faith.

All of these things take time, effort, and love, and if we are to live as God commands and as Jeremiah instructed, then we must incorporate some of these into our lives.

There are countless ways to help the vulnerable and those in need. Increasing our prayer life is a good start, especially if we aren’t sure what God wants us to do. Of course, we cannot perform all of these works of mercy all the time, but we can do many of them frequently. So pray for God’s guidance. Ask Him where He wants you to start. 

Maybe He wants you to donate time to your parish. Maybe He is calling you to volunteer at a pregnancy resource center. Maybe He is spurring you on to clean your closets and donate gently used items to a homeless shelter or to serve food at one. Maybe He is calling you to become a foster parent or adopt. Maybe He sends you to the grocery store at the exact time a needy person has found he doesn’t have enough money for groceries. Or maybe He wants you to visit the forgotten elderly in a nursing home. 

All of these are tangible ways to help others and to follow the words of Jeremiah. Yes, we must reform our deeds if we want to spend eternity with God. What will you do?

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En la Primera Lectura de hoy, escuchamos a Jeremías decir al pueblo: “Corrijan su conducta y sus obras; escucha la voz del Señor tu Dios”.

Si nos tomamos un tiempo para reflexionar sobre las palabras de Jeremías, veremos la importancia de aplicarlas a nuestra vida, pues debemos darnos cuenta de que él no solo quiere decir dejar de pecar. Por supuesto, siempre debemos esforzarnos por no pecar. Esa es una parte integral de nuestra fe. Pero vivir una vida llena de fe es mucho más que eso.

Muy a menudo nos resulta fácil no romper los mandamientos. Mientras nos preparamos para la confesión y realizamos un examen de conciencia, podemos sentirnos animados por el hecho de que no hemos faltado a Misa, dicho el nombre de Dios en vano, herido a otra persona o robado algo. Y, sí, esos son esenciales.

Pero lo que Jeremías quiso decir cuando dijo que corrijiéramos nuestra conducta y obras era hacer algo que hace una diferencia para los demás. Debemos actuar y hacer buenas obras. Debemos poner a los demás y sus necesidades primero. En definitiva, debemos aprender a realizar las Obras de Misericordia Corporales y Espirituales con regularidad.

¿Cuáles son estas obras de misericordia? Las Obras de Misericordia Corporales nos instruyen a dar de comer al hambriento, dar de beber al sediento, acobijar a los desamparados, visitar a los presos y enfermos, enterrar a los muertos y dar limosna a los pobres. Las Obras de Misericordia Espirituales nos enseñan a orar por los vivos y los muertos, a aconsejar y consolar a otros, a perdonar, a amonestar al pecador y a enseñar la fe.

Todas estas cosas toman tiempo, esfuerzo y amor, y si vamos a vivir como Dios manda y como Jeremías instruyó, entonces debemos incorporar algunas de estas cosas en nuestras vidas.

Hay innumerables maneras de ayudar a los vulnerables y los necesitados. Aumentar nuestra vida de oración es un buen comienzo, especialmente si no estamos seguros de lo que Dios quiere que hagamos. Por supuesto, no podemos realizar todas estas obras de misericordia todo el tiempo, pero podemos hacer muchas de ellas con frecuencia. Así que pide a Dios que te guíe. Pregúntale por dónde quiere que empieces.

Tal vez Él quiera que dones tiempo a tu parroquia. Tal vez te está llamando para ser voluntaria en un centro de recursos para el embarazo. Tal vez te esté animando a limpiar sus armarios y donar artículos usados ​​en buen estado a un refugio para personas sin hogar o para servir comida. Tal vez te está llamando a convertirte en padre de crianza o adoptar. Tal vez te envía a la tienda a comprar justo en el momento que una persona necesitada descubrió que no tiene suficiente dinero para comprar alimentos. O tal vez quiere que visites a los ancianos olvidados en un asilo de ancianos.

Todas estas son formas tangibles de ayudar a los demás y de seguir las palabras de Jeremías. Sí, debemos reformar nuestras obras si queremos pasar la eternidad con Dios. ¿Qué vas a hacer?

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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 19 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. Thirteen 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 executive 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. You can reach her at

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St. Peter Chrysologus: Saint of the Day for Saturday, July 30, 2022

St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Feast-July 30) Born at Imola, Italy in 380, St. Peter was baptized, educated, and ordained a deacon by Cornelius, Bishop of Imola. St. Peter merited being called “Chrysologus” (golden-worded) from his exceptional oratorical eloquence. In 433, Pope Sixtus III consecrated him bishop of Ravenna. He practiced many corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and ruled his flock with utmost diligence and care. He extirpated the last …

The Law of Inertia / La Ley de la Inercia

I really struggle with the law of inertia. You know, that rule of physics that states that an object in motion tends to stay in motion and an object at rest tends to stay at rest. Yup, that’s me. If I am working on a project at my house I just want to keep going and going and don’t want to stop. Yet, if I’m sitting at my desk at work, I really don’t want to get up. Just let me stay there and do my job and don’t ask me to do anything.

But the last few words of that law state, “unless acted upon by force.” Whether it be exhaustion from working all day causing me to sit down, or my boss asking me to get up and complete a task, some force motivates change.  

In our First Reading God sent his word through Jeremiah to enact change in the people of Judah: “Thus says the LORD: If you disobey me, not living according to the law I placed before you and not listening to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I send you constantly though you do not obey them, I will treat this house like Shiloh, and make this the city to which all the nations of the earth shall refer when cursing another.” Yet apparently they struggled with inertia even more than I do because instead of moving toward repentance they declared to Jeremiah, “You must be put to death!”

Our Gospel reading shows us an example of the exact opposite. The raising of Lazarus was one of the most amazing inertia-reversing moments in history. Through the force of our almighty God, a man was raised from the dead! 

Not many of us will face either of these two realities in our lifetime, yet we are consistently called upon to make changes to become more Christ-like. To change our attitudes, to change our words, to change our decision-making, to change our actions. Due to original sin, “inertia” makes it hard to focus our minds and hearts on God, but He is the “force” that can enact change in us. 

May we remember to call upon our amazing God every day, that He may grant us the grace to make changes in our lives for the better. Then perhaps that old law of physics won’t burden us so much anymore. 

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Verdaderamente batallo con la ley de la inercia. Ya sabes, esa regla de la física que establece que un objeto en movimiento tiende a permanecer en movimiento y un objeto en reposo tiende a permanecer en reposo. Así soy yo. Si estoy trabajando en un proyecto en mi casa, solo quiero seguir y seguir y no quiero parar. Sin embargo, si estoy sentada en mi escritorio en el trabajo, realmente no quiero levantarme. Solo déjame quedarme allí a hacer mi trabajo y no me pidas que haga nada.

Pero las últimas palabras de esa ley establecen, “a menos que se actúe por la fuerza”. Ya sea que el cansancio de trabajar todo el día me obligue a sentarme o que mi jefe me pida que me levante y complete una tarea, alguna fuerza motiva el cambio.

En nuestra Primera Lectura, Dios envió su palabra a través de Jeremías para promulgar un cambio en el pueblo de Judá: “Así dice el Señor: Si me desobedecen y no viven conforme a la ley que puse delante de ustedes y no escuchan las palabras de mis siervos los profetas que les envío constantemente aunque no los obedecen, haré de esta casa como a Silo, y haré de ésta la ciudad a la cual se referirán todas las naciones de la tierra cuando maldigan a otra.” Sin embargo, aparentemente lucharon con la inercia incluso más que yo porque en lugar de moverse hacia el arrepentimiento le declararon a Jeremías: “¡Debes morir!”.

Nuestra lectura del Evangelio nos muestra un ejemplo de exactamente lo contrario. La resurrección de Lázaro fue uno de los mejores momentos de voltear a la inercia de toda la historia. ¡Por la fuerza de nuestro Dios todopoderoso, un hombre resucitó de entre los muertos!

Muchos de nosotros nunca vamos a enfrentar ninguna de estas dos realidades en nuestra vida, sin embargo, constantemente estamos llamados a hacer cambios para asemejarnos más a Cristo. Cambiar nuestras actitudes, cambiar nuestras palabras, cambiar nuestra toma de decisiones, cambiar nuestras acciones. Debido al pecado original, la “inercia” hace que sea difícil enfocar nuestras mentes y corazones en Dios, pero Él es la “fuerza” que puede realizar el cambio en nosotros.

Acordémonos a invocar a nuestro maravilloso Dios todos los días, para que Él nos conceda la gracia de hacer cambios en nuestras vidas para mejor, para que esa vieja ley de la física ya no nos agobie tanto.

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Tami Urcia grew up in Western Michigan, a middle child in a large Catholic family. She spent early young adulthood as a missionary in Mexico, studying theology and philosophy, then worked and traveled extensively before finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Western Kentucky. She loves tackling projects, finding fun ways to keep her little ones occupied, quiet conversation with the hubby and finding unique ways to love. She works at for Christian Healthcare Centers, is a guest blogger on and, runs her own blog at and has been doing Spanish translations on the side for over 20 years.

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St. Martha: Saint of the Day for Friday, July 29, 2022

“Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus.” This unique statement in John’s gospel tells us of the special relationship Jesus had with Martha, her sister, and her brother.

Apparently Jesus was a frequent guest at Martha’s home in Bethany, a small village two miles from Jerusalem. We read of three visits in Luke 10:38-42, John 11:1-53, and John 12:1-9.

Many of us find it easy to identify with Martha in the story Luke tells. Martha welcomes Jesus and his disciples into her home and immediately …