26 February 2018 – Monday of the Second Week of Lent Daniel 9:4-10, Psalms 79:8-9, 11, 13, Luke 6:36-38
Daniel 9:4-5 – “I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and terrible God, who keepest covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from thy commandments and ordinances…”
Luke 6:36-38 – Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven; give and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
Daniel confesses that his people’s sufferings in exile are due to their own lack of fodelity to God. This sort of confession is a frank admission that evil has consequences. It is similar to Jesus’ teaching – “one who takes up the sword will perish by the sword.”
The argument may be turned round – good deeds have beneficial consequences. “The measure you give will be the measure you get back” whether it be mercy, forgiveness or sympathetic understanding.
If we keep giving out good things consistently, the blessings we will receive will be beyond measure. Every giving enriches the giver, whether gift be in the form of material assistance, psychologival affirmation or spiritual admonition, giving up an argument, settling a quarrel or going out of our way to help someone who deserves it least!
Be not afraid then to give, for you will receive beyond anything you could ever expect.
Am I generous with my time, material gifts, with my love? Am I patient and willing to be forgiving, even when I was not in error? Am I aware that as part of the Body of Christ, my good and my bad, affect all? Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil SDB – God’sWord
“Desire not the praises of men, seeing they are vain. Be not fearful of their reproach, for instead of doing harm to your soul, humiliations cleanses it and renders it more meet to receive a brighter crown in heaven and none are worthy to be glorified in heaven who are unable to bear reproach on earth for the love of God.”… Thomas a Kempis
Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name; deliver us and forgive our sins, for thy name’s sake! …Psalm 79:9
For ah! the Master is so fair, His smile so sweet to banished men That they who meet it unaware Can never rest on earth again.
And they who see Him risen afar At God’s right hand to welcome them Forgetful stand of home and land, Desiring fair Jerusalem.
Praise God! the Master is so sweet; Praise God! the country is so fair, We would not hold them from His feet. We would but haste to meet them there.
Thought for the Day – 26 February 2018 – Monday of the Second Week of Lent
Daniel 9:4-10, Psalms 79:8-9, 11, 13, Luke 6:36-38
WE ARE WRETCHED CREATURES
We cannot dwell upon the conduct of the Jews, my dear people, without being struck with amazement. These very people had waited for God for four thousand years, they had prayed much because of the great desire they had to receive Him and yet when He came, He could not find a single person to give Him the poorest lodging. The all-powerful God was obliged to make His dwelling with the animals.
And yet, my dear people, I find in the conduct of the Jews, criminal as it was, not a subject for explanations but a theme for the condemnation of the conduct of the majority of Christians.
We can see that the Jews had formed an idea of their Redeemer which did not conform with the state of austerity in which He appeared. It seemed as if they could not persuade themselves that this could indeed be He who was to be their Saviour; St Paul tells us very clearly that if the Jews had recognised Him as God, they would never have put Him to death. There is, then, some small excuse for the Jews. But what excuse can we make, my dear brethren, for the coldness and the contempt which we show towards Jesus Christ?
Oh, yes, we do indeed truly believe that Jesus Christ came upon earth, that He provided the most convincing proofs of His divinity. Hence the reason for our hope. We rejoice and we have good reason to recognise Jesus Christ as our God, our Saviour and our Model. Here is the foundation of our faith.
But, tell me, with all this, what homage do we really pay Him? Do we do more for Him than if we did not believe all this? Tell me, dear brethren, does our conduct correspond at all to our beliefs? We are wretched creatures.
Quote of the Day – 26 February 2018 – Monday of the Second Week of Lent
“There is one thing everyone can do, whether they find it hard to meditate or not and that is to make up their mind in the morning, to cultivate some particular virtue during the day, to practice the interior Presence of God and to live their life in union with Him.”
One Minute Reflection – 26 February – St Paula Montal Fornés of Saint Joseph of Calasanz (1799-1889)
…may grace and peace be yours in abundance through knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord…2 Peter 1:2
REFLECTION – “… (St Paula) as foundress of a religious family, inspired by the slogan of St Joseph Calasanz “Piety and Letters”, she gave herself to advancing women and the family with her ideal: “Save the family, educating the young girls in a holy fear of God”... (She) belongs to the group of founders of religious orders who in the 19th century came forward to meet the many needs that were present and that the Church, inspired by the Gospel and by the Spirit, wanted to respond to for the good of society. The message of St Paula is still valid today and her educational charism is a source of inspiration in the formation of the generations of the third Christian millennium.”…St Pope John Paul II Canonisation Homily 25 November 2001
PRAYER – Heavenly Father, may Your Holy Saints’ examples inspire us to living contemplation of Christ the King, crucified and risen. May St Paula’s supporting intercession, help us to walk faithfully in the footsteps of the Redeemer, to share one day with her together with Mary and all the saints, His eternal glory in heaven. Amen.
Our Morning Offering – 26 February 2018 – Monday of the Second Week of Lent
O Heart of Jesus, I Offer You All By Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
O Heart of Jesus, all love,
I offer You these humble prayers for myself
and for all those who unite themselves
with me in spirit to adore You.
O holiest Heart of Jesus most lovely,
I intend to renew and to offer to You,
these acts of adoration and these prayers,
for myself a wretched sinner
through all moments while I breathe,
even to the end of my life.
I recommend to You, O my Jesus,
Holy Church, Your dear spouse
and our true Mother, all just souls
and all poor sinners, the afflicted,
the dying and all mankind.
Let not Your Blood be shed for them in vain.
Finally, deign to apply it, in relief of the
souls in Purgatory and of these in particular
Saint of the Day – 26 February – St Paula Montal Fornés De San José De Calasanz (1799-1889) Religious nun and Founder – born on 11 October 1799 at Arenys de Mar, near Barcelona, Spain – 26 February 1889 at Olesa de Montserrat, Barcelona, Spain of natural causes. St Paula’s religious name was Paula of Saint Joseph Calasanz. She was a Spanish Roman Catholic professed religious and the foundress of the Sisters of the Pious Schools. cause for sainthood opened several decades after her death in the 1950s after being titled as a Servant of God; confirmation of her heroic virtue in 1988 saw her named as Venerable. St Pope John Paul II Beatified her on 18 April 1993 and Canonised her on 25 November 2001.
The life of Paula Montal Fornés de San José de Calasanz, fruitful and prophetic, almost centennial, unfolded within a broad historical context (1799-1889), a crisis period during the troubled 19th Century in Spain, torn between the postulates of the Old Regime and the new liberal trends, with significant socio-political, cultural and religious repercussions. Four cities were especially representative of her life, well-rooted in the land and historical surroundings:
In Arenys de Mar (Barcelona), she spent her childhood and youth (1799-1829). A coastal village, facing the sea, cosmopolitan and industrial, is where she was born into this life, on 11 October 1799 and born into grace that same afternoon. She was brought up in a modest Christian family atmosphere. She participated in the spiritual life of her parish. She stood out because of her love for the Virgin Mary. From the age of 10, she learned the harshness of working to help her mother, a widow with five children. She was the eldest. During that time, through her own experience, she realised that girls, young ladies, women, had scarce possibilities for access to education, to culture… and she felt called by God to assist in rectifying the situation and carrying out that task.
Figueras (Gerona), a border city between Spain and France and a military stronghold famous for its weaponry castle, was where she had set her sights. Accompanied by her friend Inés Busquets, in 1829, she moved to the capital of that area to open her first school for girls, with broad educational programs which far surpassed those required for boys. It was a new school. Figueras was where her special educational apostolate for girls began. A new charisma was born in the Church, an Apostolic Work aimed toward the complete human Christian education of girls and young women and toward the advancement of women, to save families and transform society. Her followers would distinguish themselves by professing a fourth vow of teaching.
Sabadell (Barcelona) signifies the origin of her educational work in the Pious Schools. We know that, at least since 1837, she felt totally identified with the spirit of Saint Joseph of Calasanz, and wanted to live by the Calasanz spirituality and rules. With that purpose, after founding a second school in her hometown of Arenys de Mar in 1842, where she came into direct contact with the Piarist Fathers of Mataró, she opened a third school in Sabadell in 1846. The presence of the Piarist Fathers, Fr Jacinto Felíu and Fr Agustín Casanovas in the Sabadell school, was providential. There, with their help and guidance, she achieved in a short time, the canonical structure of her newly formed Congregation. On 2 February 1847, she made her profession as a Daughter of Mary Religious of the Pious Schools, along with her first three companions, Inés Busquets, Felicia Clavell and Francisca de Domingo. At the General Chapter meeting, held in Sabadell on 14 March 1847, she was not elected General Superior, or even Assistant General.
During the period from 1829 to 1859, she was intensely active, personally founding 7 schools: Figueras (1829), Arenys de Mar (1842), Sabadell (1846), Igualada (1849), Vendrell (1850), Masnou (1852) and Olesa de Montserrat (1959). She inspired and helped to found 4 others: Gerona (1853), Blanes (1854), Barcelona (1857) and Sóller (1857). She was also the formulator of the first 130 Sisters of the Pious Schools of the Congregation. A very active and prophetic period in her life.
Olesa de Montserrat (Barcelona), 1859. The last school personally founded by her. A poor small town, at the foot of the Monastery of Our Lady of Montserrat, to whom she professed great devotion. It was her favourite School, where she stayed until her death (15 December 1859 to 26 February 1889). Those were 30 years of grace for the girls and young women of Olesa, who benefited from her rich testimony with the example of her generous and holy life. “Everyone loved and adored her…”. And for the Congregation: a total yes to God; the living of the virtues that should characterise the Pious Schools’ educator. And the twilight of a life in God.
The design of Mother Paula Montal’s spirituality is comprised of two facets: her participation in the Calasanz spirituality and her unique educational charisma, directed toward the complete human Christian education of women.
Upon her death, the Congregation of the Daughters of Mary, Sisters of the Pious Schools, founded by her, was made up of 346 Escolapias (Sisters of the Pious Schools), who carried out the spirit of the Pious Schools teaching, the legacy of their Foundress, in 19 schools extending throughout the Spanish region.
The canonical process for her Beatification began in Barcelona on May 3, 1957. St Pope John Paul II beatified her in Rome on 18 April 1993. The miracle of her Canonisation, performed in September of 1993, in Blanquizal, a very marginal and violent area of Medellín (Colombia), for a little 8-year old girl, Natalia García Mora, was approved by St Pope John Paul II on 1 July 2000.
To our society, wounded by so many pressures, where the subjects of education for all, the advancement of women, the family and youth are currently unresolved issues, the new Saint delivers the message of her life and her educational work, a message of love and of service. Her charisma in the 19th Century was a statement of love and hope, especially for women, who found in her a mother and teacher for the young women and girls. And today it continues to be as urgent and current an issue as it was back then.
The educational work of Saint Paula Montal Fornés de San José de Calasanz continues today in the Church, particularly through the more than 800 Sisters of the Pious Schools, spread out over 112 communities, who educate some 30,000 students, in 19 nations on four continents, for the development of women, so that the “civilization of love” may become a reality. (vatican.va)
Bl Adalbert of Tegernsee
St Agricola of Nevers
St Alexander of Alexandria
St Andrew of Florence
St Dionysius of Augsburg
St Faustinian of Bologna
St Isabelle of France
Bl Ottokar of Tegernsee
St Paula Montal Fornés of Saint Joseph of Calasanz (1799-1889)
Bl Piedad de la Cruz Ortiz
St Porphyrius of Gaza
Bl Robert Drury
St Victor the Hermit