Sunday, October 17, 2021

 

Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost

ST. IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH-FORGIVE AN EX DAY

 

Psalm 25, verse 12-14:

12Who is the one who FEARS the LORD? God shows him the way he should choose. 13 He will abide in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land. 14 The counsel of the LORD belongs to those who fear him; and his covenant instructs them.

 

The catechism of the Holy Catholic Church states:

 

GOD COMES TO MEET MAN

 

50 ...Through an utterly free decision, God has revealed himself and given himself to man. This he does by revealing the mystery, his plan of loving goodness, formed from all eternity in Christ, for the benefit of all men. God has fully revealed this plan by sending us his beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

 

51 "It pleased God, in his goodness and wisdom, to reveal himself and to make known the mystery of his will. His will was that men should have access to the Father, through Christ, the Word made flesh, in the Holy Spirit, and thus become sharers in the divine nature."

 

52 God, who "dwells in unapproachable light", wants to communicate his own divine life to the men he freely created, in order to adopt them as his sons in his only begotten Son. By revealing himself God wishes to make them capable of responding to him, and of knowing him and of loving him far beyond their own natural capacity.

 

64 Through the prophets, God forms his people in the hope of salvation, in the expectation of a new and everlasting Covenant intended for all, to be written on their hearts. The prophets proclaim a radical redemption of the People of God, purification from all their infidelities, a salvation which will include all the nations. Above all, the poor and humble of the Lord will bear this hope. Such holy women as Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Judith and Esther kept alive the hope of Israel's salvation. The purest figure among them is Mary.

 

There will be no further Revelation

 

66 "The Christian economy, therefore, since it is the new and definitive Covenant, will never pass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ." Yet even if Revelation is already complete, it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries.

 

IN BRIEF

 

68 By love, God has revealed himself and given himself to man. He has thus provided the definitive, superabundant answer to the questions that man asks himself about the meaning and purpose of his life.

 

69 God has revealed himself to man by gradually communicating his own mystery in deeds and in words.

 

70 Beyond the witness to himself that God gives in created things, he manifested himself to our first parents, spoke to them and, after the fall, promised them salvation (cf. Gen 3:15) and offered them his covenant.

 

71 God made an everlasting covenant with Noah and with all living beings (cf. Gen 9:16). It will remain in force as long as the world lasts.

 

72 God chose Abraham and made a covenant with him and his descendants. By the covenant God formed his people and revealed his law to them through Moses. Through the prophets, he prepared them to accept the salvation destined for all humanity.

 

73 God has revealed himself fully by sending his own Son, in whom he has established his covenant forever. The Son is his father’s definitive Word; so there will be no further Revelation after him.

 

ON KEEPING THE LORDS DAY HOLY[1]

CHAPTER III

DIES ECCLESIAE

The Eucharistic Assembly:
Heart of Sunday

From Mass to "mission"

45. Receiving the Bread of Life, the disciples of Christ ready themselves to undertake with the strength of the Risen Lord and his Spirit the tasks which await them in their ordinary life. For the faithful who have understood the meaning of what they have done, the Eucharistic celebration does not stop at the church door. Like the first witnesses of the Resurrection, Christians who gather each Sunday to experience and proclaim the presence of the Risen Lord are called to evangelize and bear witness in their daily lives. Given this, the Prayer after Communion and the Concluding Rite — the Final Blessing and the Dismissal — need to be better valued and appreciated, so that all who have shared in the Eucharist may come to a deeper sense of the responsibility which is entrusted to them. Once the assembly disperses, Christ's disciples return to their everyday surroundings with the commitment to make their whole life a gift, a spiritual sacrifice pleasing to God (cf. Rom 12:1). They feel indebted to their brothers and sisters because of what they have received in the celebration, not unlike the disciples of Emmaus who, once they had recognized the Risen Christ "in the breaking of the bread" (cf. Lk 24:30-32), felt the need to return immediately to share with their brothers and sisters the joy of meeting the Lord (cf. Lk 24:33-35).

Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost[2]

 

Spiritually arming oneself (for both now and Armageddon) and forgiving each other so that we may be forgiven on Judgment Day.

AT the Introit of the Mass is said the prayer of Mardochai, which may be used in all necessities and adversities. “All things are in Thy will, O Lord, and there is none that can resist Thy will; for Thou hast made all things, heaven and earth, and all things that are under the cope of heaven. Thou art Lord of all. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord”.

Prayer.

Preserve, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy family by continued mercy, that by Thy protection they may be free from all adversity, and in good works be devoted to Thy name.

EPISTLE. Ephesians vi. 10-17.

Brethren: Be strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of His power. Put you on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore, take unto you the armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: in all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation; and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God).

Explanation.

In this epistle the holy apostle encourages us to the combat against evil, and points out both our enemy and the weapons we are to use. He exhorts us to protect ourselves by,

1, the girdle that is, truth, by virtue of which we despise the goods of earth.

2, the breastplate that is, justice, which renders to God, our neighbor, and ourselves what is due to each.

3, the shoes that is, readiness in regulating our lives by the Gospel.

4, the shield that is, faith, by the doctrines and promises of which we render harmless the fiery darts of the devil.

5, the helmet that is, the hope of eternal salvation, which enables us to endure all temporal misfortune.

6, the sword that is, the word of God, which, when we use it after the example of Jesus, the most powerful enemy cannot resist (Matt. iv.).

Thus armed, we shall be conquerors in the combat with Satan, and gain the crown of victory.

GOSPEL. Matt, xviii. 23-35


 

At that time. Jesus spoke to His disciples this parable: The kingdom of God is likened to a king who would take an account of his servants. And when he had begun to take the account, one was brought to him that owed him ten thousand talents. And as he had not wherewith to pay it, his lord commanded that he should be sold, and his wife and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. But that servant, falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And the lord of that servant, being moved with pity, let him go, and forgave him the debt. But when that servant was gone out, he found one of his fellow-servants that owed him a hundred pence; and laying hold of him, he throttled him, saying: Pay what thou owest. And his fellow-servant, falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he paid the debt. Now his fellow-servants, seeing what was done, were very much grieved, and they came and told their lord all that was done. Then his lord called him and said to him: Thou wicked servant! I forgave thee all the debt, because thou besoughtest me: shouldst not thou then have had compassion also on thy fellow servant, even as I had compassion on thee? And his lord, being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt. So also, shall My heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not everyone his brother from your hearts.

 

What would Jesus teach by this parable?

 

The king is God; the servant is mankind; the ten thousand talents, equal to ten millions of dollars, signify the enormous and excessive debts which men contract by their sins against God: a sum so exceedingly great as to show clearly that the debt of man to God is without limit, and truly overwhelming. The hundred pence, a small sum, equal to perhaps six or seven dollars, denotes the offences which others have given us, and which, in comparison with our offences against God, are insignificant. By this parable, therefore, Jesus intended to say: As God forgives your immense debts if you sorrowfully pray for forgiveness, so ought you to forgive your fellowmen their comparatively light debts when they ask forgiveness of you. Unless you grant it, you shall receive no pardon from My Father.

 

Who are like that unmerciful servant?

 

All unmerciful and hard-hearted persons; particularly.

 

1.      rulers who oppress the people by excessive taxes.

2.      those who oppress widows and orphans, and keep from servants the wages due them

3.      those who have no patience with their debtors but deprive them of house and goods rather than be indulgent to them. God will deal with such men in the otherworld as they have dealt with their neighbors in this.

4.      Finally, all persons who will not forgive injuries done them, but preserve hatred in their hearts, who bring such as have injured them before the courts, and even seek to injure them out of revenge.

 

How can they hope to obtain mercy? What is meant by forgiving from the heart?

 

It is to banish from the heart all hatred and desire of revenge; to bear in our hearts a sincere love towards our enemy, and to manifest it by works of charity. If we think of the multitude of sins which God has forgiven us, how can we refuse to forgive trifling wrongs against ourselves? At any rate, let us not forget that God forgives us only when we also forgive from the heart.

Ejaculation. Merciful God grant me grace to be truly merciful towards my fellowmen, as Thou art towards me.

Prayer.

 

O God, Who, through the patience of Thine only begotten Son, hast humbled the pride of our old enemy, mercifully grant that, by considering what He has suffered for us, we may cheer fully and patiently bear our adversities, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen,

 

St. Ignatius of Antioch[3]


 

St. Ignatius is one of the great bishops of the early Church. He was the successor of St. Peter as Bishop of Antioch. He was condemned to death by wild beasts during the Emperor Trajan's persecution. On his way to Rome, he wrote seven magnificent letters, which we still have today, concerning the Person of Christ, his love for Christ, his desire for martyrdom and on the constitution of the Church and Christian life. His sentiments before his approaching martyrdom are summed in his word in the Communion antiphon, "I am the wheat of Christ, ground by the teeth of beasts to become pure bread."

 

Exhortations to Faith and Love

None of these things is hid from you, if ye perfectly possess that faith and love towards Christ Jesus which are the beginning and the end of life. For the beginning is faith, and the end is love. Now these two. being inseparably connected together, are of God, while all other things which are requisite for a holy life follow after them. No man [truly] making a profession of faith sinneth; nor does he that possesses love hate anyone. The tree is made manifest by its fruit; so those that profess themselves to be Christians shall be recognized by their conduct. For there is not now a demand for mere profession, but that a man be found continuing in the power of faith to the end. Wherefore none of the devices of the devil shall be hidden from you, if, like Paul, ye perfectly possess that faith and love towards Christ which are the beginning and the end of life. The beginning of life is faith, and the end is love. And these two being inseparably connected together, do perfect the man of God; while all other things which are requisite to a holy life follow after them. No man making a profession of faith ought to sin, nor one possessed of love to hate his brother. For He that said, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God," said also, "and thy neighbor as thyself." Those that profess themselves to be Christ's are known not only by what they say, but by what they practice. "For the tree is known by its fruit."

Forgive an EX Day[4]

Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future. Lewis B. Smedes

Forgiveness is a conscious act and for those who have been hurt by others, it can be hard when you know the scars left behind. Relationships can be emotionally intense, filled with history and memories, and can impact your life without you even realizing it. When relationships fall apart, they can hurt, and the pain can last forever. International Forgive an Ex Day is all about taking the time to reflect on your own pain and move forward by forgiving the actions of others. International Forgive an Ex Day provides insight into pain and relationships. This holiday is all about finding the insight you need to move past the mental trauma of a broken relationship, no matter how long it lasted. Typically, during this holiday, participants take an active choice to seek advice about forgiveness, whether that be going to a friend or seeing a counselor. Knowing that the path to healing can be long and hard, this holiday can be used as a start towards forgiveness or as a final conclusion towards forgiving your ex-lover. From there, after making the effort to forgive your ex, it is up to the individual to choose how to move forward from there. This holiday challenges you over how you perceive people in life and encourages people all over the world to start the path to forgiveness. Its all about self-reflection and healing, so whether you can find the courage and peace of mind to forgive your ex-lover can take time. This is also a time to help others forgive their exs by giving them advice about forgiveness.

How to celebrate International Forgive an Ex Day

If you want to celebrate this holiday, then take the chance to talk to your ex to see how they are doing. If youre not ready to speak with them, take the time to examine yourself and your position in life. In the meanwhile, speak with a counselor about this path to forgiveness and find advice from all sources, from friends and family to professional help. Share this holiday with your friends and family on your favorite social media websites using the hashtag #internationalforgiveanexday and see if this holiday can help others share their experiences about their exs and help them forgive the past.

Does Divorced mean EX Catholic?[5]

The institution of marriage is in trouble today. The divorce rate is anywhere from 50 percent for first marriages to 80 percent for subsequent marriages. Perhaps, as a result, more and more couples are choosing to live together without bothering to get married.

The Church—the institution as well as the individuals—needs to minister to the millions of divorced Catholics by both changing ingrained attitudes and reaching out in love. Yes, the Church is and should be pro-marriage, but, like its Lord, it must also love and support those whose marriages have failed. It’s a fine line to walk, but it is necessary.

As the survivor of divorce after 30 years of marriage, I know there needs to be a healthier dialogue within the Catholic Church between those who have never divorced (including our clergy) and those who have. Here are seven things you may not know about divorce:

1.      Non-divorced Catholics often come across as judgmental of the divorced. Perhaps they don’t mean to. But there is a definite, although largely unconscious, attitude in the Church that the divorced are less spiritual, less committed to marriage and/or less forgiving than the long-term married. Non-divorced Catholics need to be careful of assumptions, to discard any trace of judgment toward the divorced. Since I have “been there, done that” when it comes to being judgmental, I can address this issue personally. It is too easy for those who have never experienced the desperation and sorrow of a failed marriage to believe that “they could have done something to save it.” Let me assure you, the divorced Catholics I know (including myself) are spiritual, forgiving people who are committed to family and to the institution of marriage. And they did all they could to save their marriages. It is time for all of us in the Church to stop judging the divorced.

2.      Not every marriage was ‘joined by God’ even if it took place in a church. This may seem like a rationalization, but Jesus’ statement in Matthew 19:6 (“Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate”) does not apply to all marriages. Many of us, looking back, realize that God was simply not a part of our decision to marry. In my case, I never asked God, never gave God the chance to stop my headlong (and headstrong) determination to get married. And God was trying to get my attention. There were real problems. My intended was heading to a war zone for a year, and friends and family counseled me to wait. But I would not listen. We have all attended enough weddings to recall what the priest or deacon always asks a couple at the beginning of the marriage ceremony: “Do you come here freely and without reservation?” For most of us divorced Catholics, the answer to that question, if we had been truthful, was “no.” How can anyone claim that a particular marriage was “joined by God” if that was not the intention of the parties getting married?

3.      The divorced do not have to justify themselves. Even if a divorcing/divorced person is very close to you, you do not know what really happened. Therefore, you should refrain from making comments or asking prying questions. Perhaps we divorced Catholics are overly sensitive, but certain statements and inquiries are like rubbing salt into a very sore wound. I have been asked, “Did you try counseling or Retrouvaille?” as though I would smack my head and say, “Gee, why didn’t I think of that?” Yes, I tried everything I could think of. “Why can’t you just forgive him?” is another gem, to which I answer that forgiveness is not the same as a pardon. People have commented, “But you seemed like such a happy couple.” That’s what we wanted you to think; that’s what we wanted to believe. The bottom line is this: Such questions and comments just hurt, and they are unfair. If a divorcing/divorced person does not want to confide in you, do not prod him/her to tell you what happened. Just love that person. And give him/her the benefit of the doubt that he/she tried everything to make the marriage work. There are a variety of reasons why marriages fail. The “big three” most of us think of are adultery, addiction and abuse, but the real reason behind most failed marriages is simple indifference, often on the part of one spouse. There is no way a husband or wife can save a marriage single-handedly. When a marriage fails, no amount of effort, enabling or denial will save it. It is wrong to ask for details before you support your divorced friend, family member or parishioner. People should not have to justify their actions before they are loved for who they are.

4.      Divorce has changed my life for the better. Many other divorced Catholics can say the same. Divorce has released me spiritually, mentally and emotionally to become the person God created me to be. I have been able to move on to a life that is fuller, happier and more creative. The most important change is this: My relationship with God is better today than it ever has been. When I was freed from an impossible, dysfunctional marriage, my relationship with God blossomed. I had some initial worries about my spiritual status when I began the process, but God quickly reassured and comforted me as I went through and beyond my divorce. The psychological counseling and spiritual direction I received during my divorce made me a healthier person than I ever was before. I have worked through the deep problems caused by my dysfunctional childhood. I have faced and forgiven everyone who helped shape my early years in negative ways. And I understand and embrace my individuality. Yes, divorce was a painful passage to go through, but I am a better person today because of it.

5.      I don’t need to marry again to be happy. I get a lot of comments, concern and advice about finding someone when people learn I have been divorced for eight years. I really am happy as a single person, and not at all lonely or bitter about the past because I choose to remain single. I understood right from the beginning of my new life as a single person that, in order to be happy in a new relationship, I would have to be happy just being me and being single. My attitude now is, “If it happens, it happens.” In the meantime, please accept that I am fine as a single person. And for goodness’ sake: Don’t try to fix me up with anyone!

6.      I hope my divorce makes you question assumptions about your marriage. Does that shock you? It shouldn’t. It means that I love you and I love the institution of marriage. But healthy marriages don’t just happen. I was sure my marriage would never end. At the same time, I was unaware of what makes a healthy marriage and very much in denial about our problems. My marital problems went a lot deeper than most, but every marriage needs constant care. And every marriage can use a tune-up now and then: a few counseling sessions, a Marriage Encounter weekend or a retreat together. Marriage takes a lot of work. I am delighted when friends and co-workers tell me that watching what I went through eight years ago or hearing me talk now about my divorce compelled them to take a second look at their own marriages, strengthen what was weak and recommit themselves to the relationship. The divorced have a great deal to teach the married about what a good, healthy and Christian marriage really is.

7.      Every marriage ends. The marriage covenant ends when this life ends. Jesus tells us in Luke 20:34-35 that there is no marriage in heaven. Marriage is an earthly institution with a heavenly purpose. Marriage is a training ground wherein we cosmic youngsters learn about the love that has existed from all eternity within the Holy Trinity. Its purpose is to train us to give up our selfish tendencies, to care for another as we would care for ourselves, to take our place in the Kingdom of God. Marriage is a foreshadowing of our eternal relationship with God and with one another. Marriage is a wonderful thing, but it is not a forever thing. Knowing and remembering that should deepen not only the relationship with your earthly spouse, but also your love for your heavenly spouse, Jesus. As a divorced Catholic, I have taken great comfort from the story of Jesus’ encounter with the woman of Samaria at Jacob’s well (John 4:4-42). This poor woman had been married five times and was now living with yet another man. That’s a lot of failed relationships—even by today’s standards! Jesus’ tenderness toward her and his sympathy for her situation are apparent. Did he deliberately go to that spot at that unlikely time of day because he knew she would be drawing water then? Did he send the disciples away to get lunch in the town, so he could talk to her alone? I don’t doubt it. Jesus never spoke to this woman or any other hurting person in ways that increased their pain. He offered this divorcée “living water,” himself, which was what she had been searching for in all her relationships. It is time for the rest of the Catholic Church to do the same.

Divorce and the Catholic Church

·         The first thing Catholics should know is that divorce is not a sin that should keep a divorced Catholic from receiving the sacraments. A divorced or separated person is not excommunicated and is still a Catholic in good standing. The only reason for excommunication after divorce is remarriage without going through the annulment process.

·         Before a divorced person can remarry in the Catholic Church, he or she must obtain an annulment by a Catholic diocesan tribunal. Obtaining such a decree does not mean that the marriage never took place; it is a determination that a sacramental marriage did not take place.

·         This does not mean that the children of that marriage are illegitimate or that the couple was “living in sin.” It means that, in that particular case, the marrying couple had little or no idea what Christian marriage was all about or that there were deep problems from the beginning of the marriage, either in the couple’s relationship or in their families of origin.

·         Therefore, the Church may determine that it was impossible then for the couple to enter into a truly Christian marriage. Divorced Catholics who are seeking an annulment should talk to their pastors, who will direct them to the proper contacts at their diocese.

The annulment process can give divorced Catholics three gifts:

CLARITY, by helping them see the why’s and how’s of their failed marriage in a new light.

HEALING, by allowing them to work through their anger and guilt and come through to a better place spiritually and emotionally.

TIME, by forcing the divorced person to wait before making any more relationship decisions.

Recently divorced people are especially vulnerable to needing companionship, support and sympathy. The first person of the opposite sex who provides that is going to be very attractive, but the newly divorced person does not need that kind of complication in the healing process. The newly divorced person needs breathing room after a marriage ends.

The dismal divorce statistics after second and third marriages are proof that too many divorced people simply don’t wait long enough to recover completely. Taking part in the Catholic Church’s annulment process is one way to ensure that a good healing process has begun. If a divorced Catholic does meet someone he or she might want to marry, that person will not only have better tools for discerning whether this is a good relationship but will also have the Church’s blessing on a second marriage.

Daily Devotions

·         Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Individuals with Mental Illness

·         Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 19

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Go to MASS



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