Psalm 85, verse 9-11:
9 I will listen for what God, the LORD, has to say; surely, he will speak of peace to his people and to his faithful. May they not turn to foolishness! 10 Near indeed is his salvation for those who fear him; glory will dwell in our land. 11 Love and truth will meet; justice and peace will kiss.
Christ by his birth has given us peace, faith, love and hope. We are compelled to rejoice just as Mary did in her Canticle of Praise when she entered the house of Zechariah.
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
The Law of Love
Our Lord Jesus himself clearly taught us the first principles of Catholic morality: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.” (Mt 22:37-40) Love, or charity, is the great commandment of the Lord. Love of God and love of neighbor are the source & summary of Catholic morality. “All the law and the prophets” flow from this starting point. This means that what love requires is the essence of all moral rules, all of the Ten Commandments, and all aspects of morality spoken of by the prophets and even by Christ himself. The only things needed are those things which love makes necessary. It is also important to say that love does, indeed, require many things! In fact, it takes only a few simple steps of logic to deduce the Ten Commandments and most of the rest of Catholic morality from this starting point. Those moral precepts describe the minimum that love requires.
“What do you mean the minimum?”
Catholic morality’s basic moral code describes the minimum necessary to live in union with Christ. If we fall below that level, then the life of Christ cannot live within us. That’s the meaning of mortal sin: an action which shows God that we refuse his offer to become “children of God” (John 1:12) and “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet 1:4). So, if that’s the minimum, then what’s the maximum that love requires?
Again, Jesus provides the answer: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35) The maximum, then, is to completely give ourselves for others, even as Christ did for us. To put it more simply: there is no maximum! We’ll always find that we can give more.
Anthony is one of the most popular saints in the Church. He is the patron of lost things and numerous other causes. In Brazil, he is considered a general of the army; he is the patron of the poor and has been recognized as a wonderworker from the moment of his death. He was born in Portugal and entered the Augustinian monastery of Sao Vicente in Lisbon when he was fifteen. When news of the Franciscan martyrs in Morocco reached him, he joined the Franciscans at Coimbra. At his own request, he was sent as a missionary to Morocco, but he became ill, and on his return journey his boat was driven off course and he landed in Sicily. He took part in St. Francis' famous Chapter of Mats in 1221 and was assigned to the Franciscan province of Romagna. He became a preacher by accident. When a scheduled preacher did not show up for an ordination ceremony at Forli, the Franciscan superior told Anthony to go into the pulpit. His eloquence stirred everyone, and he was assigned to preach throughout northern Italy. Because of his success in converting heretics, he was called the "Hammer of Heretics" and because of his learning, St. Francis himself appointed him a teacher of theology. St. Anthony of Padua was such a forceful preacher that shops closed when he came to town, and people stayed all night in church to be present for his sermons. He became associated with Padua because he made this city his residence and the center of his great preaching mission. After a series of Lenten sermons in 1231, Anthony's strength gave out and he went into seclusion at Camposanpiero but soon had to be carried back to Padua. He did not reach the city but was taken to the Poor Clare convent at Arcella, where he died. He was thirty-six years old, and the whole city of Padua turned out in mourning for his passing. He was canonized within a year of his death and was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1946.
Things to Do
· St. Anthony was a great lover of the poor. Deprive yourself of some treat and put the money saved in the poor box.
· St. Anthony's Bread refers to an episode told in the Rigaldina, the oldest life of St. Anthony. A Paduan mother, who lived near the Basilica during its construction, had left little Thomas, her 20-month-old son, alone in the kitchen. The little boy, while playing, ended up headfirst in a tub of water. His mother found him lifeless. She screamed desperately but she didn't give up. She called on the Saint. She made a vow: if she obtained the blessing of her child back to life, she would donate to the poor bread equal to the weight of her son to the poor. Her prayer was answered. Read more about St. Anthony's Bread and consider donating to St. Anthony's charities.
· St. Anthony is invoked by women in search of good husbands, so if you're single and in search of a spouse, today is a good day to make a visit to a church or shrine dedicated to St. Anthony to make your petition to this generous saint!
· Because St. Anthony was buried on a Tuesday and many miracles accompanied his funeral, Tuesdays are special days of honoring him throughout the year. It is customary to pray a Novena to him on thirteen consecutive Tuesdays.
Time after Pentecost
The sanctoral cycle that concurs with the Time after Pentecost is the part of the year with the most saints' days. Saints are an important component in the Christian landscape not only because of their capacity to intercede for us, but because they are living proof that a holy, Catholic life is possible in every time and place. In fact, the feasts kept during the Time after Pentecost encompass virtually every aspect of Church life. If the saints in general remind us of the goal of holiness, certain saints, such as St. John the Baptist (June 24 & August 29) or Sts. Peter (June 29 & August 1) and Paul (June 29 & 30) remind us of the role that the hierarchy plays in leading the Church towards that goal. Likewise, the feasts of the temporal cycle, such as the Feast of the Holy Trinity, of Corpus Christi, or of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, direct our attention to the explicit dogma, sacramentality, and spirituality of the Church, respectively. Even the physical space is consecrated for sacred use; all feasts for the dedication of churches take place only during the Time after Pentecost. The Time after Pentecost truly is the time of the Church, the liturgical season that corresponds to the spotless Bride's continuous and multifaceted triumph over the world. This is one of the reasons why the liturgical color for this season is green, the symbol of hope and life. It might also be the reason why it is the longest liturgical season, occupying 23 to 28 weeks of the year.