A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Do not conform yourselves to this age

but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and pleasing and perfect.

(from today's Epistle Romans 12:1-2)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Then my mother said...

"'Son, for myself, I have no longer any pleasure in anything in this life. Now that my hopes in this world are satisfied, I do not know what more I want here, or why I am here.

"'There was indeed one thing for which I wished to tarry a little in this life, and that was that I might see you a Catholic Christian before I died. My God has answered this more than abundantly, so that I see you now made his servant and spurning all earthly happiness.

"'What more am I to do here?'

"I do not well remember what reply I made to her about this. However, it was scarcely five days later--certainly not much more--that she was prostrated by fever.

"While she was sick, she fainted one day and was for a short time quite unconscious. We hurried to her, and when she soon regained her senses, she looked at me and my brother as we stood by her, and said, in inquiry, 'Where was I?'

"Then looking intently at us, dumb in our grief, she said, 'Here in this place shall you bury your mother.'

I was silent and held back my tears; but my brother said something, wishing her the happier lot of dying in her own country and not abroad.

"When she heard this, she held him fast with her eye and an anxious face, because he cherished such earthly concerns, and then gazing at me she said, 'See how he speaks.'

"Soon after, she said to us both: 'Lay this body anywhere, and do not let the care of it be a trouble to you at all. Only this I ask: that you will remember me at the Lord's altar, wherever you are.'

* * * * *

"On the ninth day of her sickness, in the fifty-sixth year of her life and the thirty-third of mine, that religious and devout soul was set loose from the body.

"I closed her eyes; and there flowed in a great sadness on my heart and it was passing into tears, when at the strong command of my mind my eyes sucked back the fountain dry, and sorrow was in me like a convulsion. [...] But she neither died unhappy nor did she altogether die.

* * * * *

"So, when the body was carried forth, we both went and returned without tears. [...] Then I slept, and when I awoke I found my grief not a little eased. And as I lay there on my bed, those true verses of Ambrose came to my mind, for You are truly...

"'Deus, creator omnium,
Polique rector, vestiens
Diem decoro lumine,
Noctem sopora gratia;

"'Artus solutos ut quies
Reddat laboris usui
Mentesque fessas allevet,
Luctusque solvat anxios.'

"'O God, Creator of us all,
Guiding the orbs celestial,
Clothing the day with lovely light,
Appointing gracious sleep by night:

"'Thy grace our wearied limbs restore
To strengthened labor, as before,
And ease the grief of tired minds
From that deep torment which it finds.'

"And then, little by little, there came back to me my former memories of Your handmaid: her devout life toward You, her holy tenderness and attentiveness toward us, which had suddenly been taken away from me--and it was a solace for me to weep in Your sight...."

Excerpts from the Confessions of Saint Augustine - Book 9, Chapters 10-12

Today the Church celebrates the memory of Saint Monica, mother of Saint Augustine

(from an earlier post)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The words inside the dome

in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican

are from today's Gospel (Matthew 16:13-20):

Tu es Petrus

et super hanc petram

aedificabo ecclesiam mean

et tibi dabo

claves regni caelorum

You are Peter
and upon this rock
I will build my Church
and to you I will give
the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

(from an earlier post)

Beyond understanding

Despite our best efforts, there are many things we human beings really do not fully understand: from the origins of the Universe to the inexplicable tragedies that affect many among us.

This reality is expressed beautifully in today’s Epistle (Romans 11:33-36):

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways!
For who has known the mind of the Lord
or who has been his counselor?
Or who has given the Lord anything
that he may be repaid?
For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be glory forever. Amen.

All of this reminds us of the value of faith: a gift that comes from God Himself, as we hear in today’s Gospel:

Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you,
but my heavenly Father.

May God grant and increase the gift of faith in us all in the name of Jesus.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Short, simple, and true

Thus says the LORD:
Observe what is right, do what is just;
for my salvation is about to come,
my justice, about to be revealed.

(from today's first reading - Isaiah 56:1, 6-7)

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Don't be distracted -- DISCERN

Many dramatic things are happening in the world. Dramatic things may be happening in our personal lives.

Today’s first reading (1 Kings 19:9a, 11-13a) reminds us that, while we must always be prudent, we must not let dramatic things distract us from diligently seeking and carefully discerning the voice and the presence of God.

Then the LORD said to him,
“Go outside
and stand on the mountain before the LORD;
the LORD will be passing by.”

A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains
and crushing rocks before the LORD—
but the LORD was not in the wind.

After the wind there was an earthquake—
but the LORD was not in the earthquake.

After the earthquake there was fire—
but the LORD was not in the fire.

After the fire
there was a tiny whispering sound.

When he heard this,
Elijah hid his face in his cloak
and went and stood at the entrance of the cave