Friday, June 21, 2019

The Mystic Number of Seven

From Vultus Christi:
The mystic number of seven signifies the fullness that overflows into eternity. The duties of our service, nostrae servitutis officia, are but a foretaste of heaven where our adoration and our praise will never cease. The vocation to perpetual adoration is a vocation to heaven on earth. Rightly did the Venerable Mother Caterina Lavizzari repeat, Gesù–Ostia è il nostro Paradiso in terra. This is the phrase that appears on the mementos printed after her death on Christmas day 1931.
Our obligation to the full Divine Office, by day and by night, though it be demanding of our time, of our best energies, and of our sustained attention, is the sweet duty of love. While all the community may not be present for every Hour of the Divine Office, when even a representative nucleus of the community assemble for the praise of God, they do so in communion of mind and heart with the absent brethren. The labours of the absent brethren, or their infirmity, or the duties that under obedience oblige them to be elsewhere, do not break the “charity that is the bond which makes us complete.” (Colossians 3:14). In the Epistle to the Colossians, the Apostles gives us the context of the Opus Dei. He says:
Put ye on therefore, as the elect of God, holy, and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience: bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another: even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also. But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection: and let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body: and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly, in all wisdom: teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles, singing in grace in your hearts to God. All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. (Colossians 3:12–17)
(Read more.)

Friday, June 14, 2019

St. Eliseus the Prophet

"In his life he did great wonders, and in death he wrought miracles" (Ecclus. xlviii: 15).

Today on the Carmelite calendar, it is the feast of the prophet of God St. Eliseus, also known as Elisha, the disciple of St. Elias. More HERE.

Here is a homily on the call of St. Elisha:
 God gave Elijah three tasks: he was to anoint Hazael to be king over Syria, to anoint Jehu to be king over the northern kingdom of Israel, and to appoint Elisha to be prophet in his place. In today's first reading, Elijah carries out the third task, manifesting his prompt obedience to God's word.

The appointing of Elisha looks forward to an episode in the New Testament, when Jesus calls a man to follow him. Elisha says to Elijah: "Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you". And Elijah allows him to do so. In the Gospel of Matthew, one of the disciples says to Jesus: "Lord, let me first go and bury my father". But Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead" (Matthew 8:21-22). The Gospel of Luke reads: "To another he said, 'Follow me'. But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father". But Jesus said to him, "Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:59-60).

Since, children were responsible for mourning and burying their parents and other relatives (Tobit 1:16-20; 4:3; 6:15), it could seem like Jesus violates the Fourth Commandment to honor one's parents. This, however, is not the case, for two reasons. First, Jesus is calling men and women to a new family, the family of God. The new family is formed by adherence to Jesus himself, to his Law; communion with Jesus is filial communion with the Father - it is a yes to the fourth commandment on a new level. It is entry into the family of those who call God Father, of those who are united with Jesus and, "by listening to him, united with the will of the Father, thereby attaining to the heart of the obedience intended by the Torah" (Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth vol. I, 115-117).

Second, Jesus is the new Moses and brings the old law to perfection. Jesus' authority to interpret the law in a new way rests on his divine sonship. He has divine authority and transfers the ten commandments into the context of God's universal family. He brings the God of Israel to all nations. He is the "new Moses", the prophet-like-Moses that God raised up (Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth vol. I, 122; Deuteronomy 18:15).
Jesus, then, can do what Elijah cannot: there is something greater than Elijah here. We also get the sense of the urgency and radicality of Jesus' call. His hour is approaching; the time of the Kingdom is here.

In today's Gospel, we see how Jesus brings the law to fulfillment. Not making false oaths is the bare minimum. Jesus, however, invites his followers to not swear an oath at all, to not place themselves unnecessarily in a position of divine judgment. In everything they say and do, Jesus' followers are to be truthful.

When Jesus calls us to follow him, he is inviting us to say with the Psalmist: "You, O Lord, are my portion and cup; you, O Lord, are my inheritance". This inheritance makes us sons and daughters of God who share in eternal life. Our souls are not abandoned to the netherworld for we will rise to life with the Son. (Read more.)

Friday, June 7, 2019

Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew


Today is the feast of a Carmelite saint, Blessed Anne, the secretary and confidante of the Holy Mother St. Teresa of Avila. Here her biography:
She entered in 1570 at the age of 21, taking the religious name Sr. Anne of St. Bartholomew and becoming the first discalced Carmelite lay sister. She made her profession on August 15th 1572 and was given the duty of infirmarian. In 1574 Anne went with St. Teresa to Valladolid and Medina del Campo. After that she became ill herself and was unable to travel for two years, but Teresa thought very highly of Anne and in 1577 she became her secretary and nurse. In the last five years of her life Teresa needed help with her large correspondence as she was often too tired or too ill to write herself, but she was able to dictate her letters. Anne had still not learnt to write, so Teresa gave her two lines of her own handwriting and told her to learn. In one afternoon Anne persevered and obeying Teresa’s directive she learned to write; this was cited as one of Teresa’s miracles in the process for her beatification, though it is true that, since Anne could read, she was already familiar with letters, which no doubt helped her learn to write. In the last years of Teresa’s life Anne wrote a great many letters for Teresa at her dictation. Teresa wanted Anne to receive the black veil and become a choir nun, but Anne begged to remain a lay sister, as she did not know how to read Latin which was required for the Divine Office and she said she would prefer to serve the community in practical ways than have the burden of administration. Teresa allowed her to remain a lay sister but predicted correctly that she would eventually become a choir nun. Anne visited many monasteries with Teresa and helped her with the foundations of Villanueva de la Jara, Palencia, Soria and Burgos. She was a dedicated nurse helping Teresa through her many health problems and attending to her lovingly in her last journeys. Teresa died in Anne’s arms at Alba de Tormes in 1582. (Read more.)
Related Posts with Thumbnails