Thought for the Day – 31 August – Saturday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 25:14–30
“And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness,
there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’” ... Matthew 25:30
Christ will Impose a Reckoning on me
Saint Gertrude of Helfta “the Great” (1256-1301)
Benedictine nun Exercises VII, SC 127
Behold, I become passionately alarmed by what I have committed, I blush very much at what I have omitted, I become exceedingly frightened at the wastefulness of my life. I fear, that future investigation, at which Christ, a noble man, will impose a reckoning on me.
If He wanted to exact a deposit from me for my time and interest from the talent of understanding He conferred on me, I would, in short, not find any worthy answer for Your charity. What will I do? Where will I turn? I lack the strength to dig, I should blush to beg. (Lk 16:3) O Loving-kindness. Loving-kindnes,. speak up now, may Your dulcet counsel, I entreat You, warm my spirit back to life. Ah, answer me – what does it seem to You I should do in this [situation), for according to Your name You have a truly loving and kind heart and You know best what may be expedient for me in all this. Ah, pardon me and bring me help and in this tribulation, do not be detached from me. Let the poverty of my spirit move You and, touched by the compassion of Your heart, say to me with loving-kindness: “May there be one purse for me and You.” (Prv 1:14)
O Loving-kindness, Loving-kindness, You have stored up with Yourself riches so immeasurable, that heaven and earth do not suffice to contain them. You have driven my Jesus to give His soul for my soul, His life for mine, so that You might make everything that was His, mine and thus, out of your abundance, this pauper’s substance might increase. Ah, call my starved soul to Your food supply, so that in this life, I may live from Your riches and, reared by You and nourished by You, may not grow faint under the discipline of the Lord until at length, under Your guidance, I turn back to my God and give my spirit back to Him who gave it. (Eccl 12:7)
One Minute Reflection – 31 August – Saturday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 25:14–30
“For it will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property….”…Matthew 25:14
REFLECTION – “The universal destination and the private ownership of goods – In the beginning God entrusted the earth and its resources to the common stewardship of mankind to take care of them, master them by labour and enjoy their fruits (Gn 1:26-29). The goods of creation are destined for the whole human race. However, the earth is divided up among men to assure the security of their lives, endangered by poverty and threatened by violence. the appropriation of property is legitimate for guaranteeing the freedom and dignity of persons and for helping each of them to meet his basic needs and the needs of those in his charge. It should allow for a natural solidarity to develop between men. The right to private property… does not do away with the original gift of the earth to the whole of mankind, the universal destination of goods remains primordial, even if the promotion of the common good requires respect for the right to private property and its exercise. “In his use of things man should regard the external goods he legitimately owns not merely as exclusive to himself but common to others also, in the sense that they can benefit others as well as himself” (Vatican II, GS 69). The ownership of any property makes its holder a steward of Providence, with the task of making it fruitful and communicating its benefits to others, first of all his family. Goods of production… oblige their possessors to employ them in ways that will benefit the greatest number. Those who hold goods for use and consumption should use them with moderation, reserving the better part for guests, for the sick and the poor.”…Catechism of the Catholic Church # 2402-2405
PRAYER – Holy God and Father, help us by Your grace, to remain “good and faithful servants” so that we may use all You have bestowed upon us and left to our care, in the loving care of our neighbour and of Your gifts. May Mary, the Mother of Your divine Son and our Mother, walk at our side and teach us to be true children and users of our talents and Your creation. May we guard Your world with great wisdom. Holy Mother pray for us, that we may one day enter “into the joy of our Lord”. We make our prayer, through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 31 August – Saturday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the last day of the Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
O Immaculate Heart of Mary Heart of Love and Mercy
O Most Blessed Mother,
heart of love,
heart of mercy,
ever listening, caring, consoling,
hear our prayer.
As your children,
we implore your intercession
with Jesus your Son.
Receive with understanding
the petitions we place before you today,
especially those so deep in our heart.
We are comforted in knowing
your heart is ever open
to those who ask for your prayer.
We trust to your gentle care and intercession,
those whom we love
and those who are sick or lonely or hurting.
Help all of us, Holy Mother,
to bear our burdens in this life
until we may share eternal life
and peace with God forever.
Saint of the Day – 31 August – Blessed Pere (Peter) Tarrés i Claret (1905-1950) aged 45 Priest, Medical Doctor, apostle of Eucharistic Adoration and of Mary, the Blessed Virgin, apostle of the sick and pooR. Co-Founder, with Dr Gerrado Manresa, of a clinic dedicated to the Blessed Mother for the ill but in particular for those who suffered from tuberculosis, he also ensured that the clinic would be able to cater to those people who could not afford adequate medical treatment.
Pere (Peter) Tarrés i Claret was born on 30 May 1905 in Manresa, province of Barcelona, Spain, to Francesc Tarrés Puigdellívol and Carme Claret Masats. His parents were deeply religious, which was a positive influence for himself and his two sisters, Francesca and Maria, who both entered the convent.
Pere had a very joyful and open spirit and loved nature and helping others. As a boy, he assisted at the local pharmacy and the shop owner, Josep Balaguer, encouraged him to continue his studies in medicine. In 1921 Pere transferred to Barcelona to study, he made the decision to follow his dream and one day become a doctor to help others.
During these years of study, Pere received spiritual direction from Fr Jaume Serra, a priest who encouraged him to enter the “Federation of Young Christians of Catalonia”. This organisation, which met regularly at the Oratory of St Philip Neri, worked for a renewal of the Christian spirit within society. Pere was appointed President of the Federation and with his openness and enthusiasm, he knew how to give extraordinary “vigour” to the group. He was a beacon of good example for others and his zeal motivated him to travel the roads of Catalonia in his little automobile (which he called his “instrument of work”) as a lay missionary. He spoke openly of God, the Church and Christian living to the youth and those who were gathered along the streets, he also assisted in the formation of new Federation groups. Pere maintained a written correspondence with many members of the Federation (of whose federal council he was later appointed vice-president) and wrote articles that were published in the Federation’s weekly paper.
In addition to his work within this group, the young man was also involved in Catholic Action. In 1935 he was appointed vice-secretary of the new diocesan committee, he later became secretary of the archdiocesan committee, having received the recommendation of the Cardinal, Francesc Vidal y Barraquer of Tarragona.
A year later, having earned his degree in medicine, Pere began his residency in Barcelona. Here, together with Dr Gerardo Manresa, he founded a medical clinic for all those who needed assistance but could not afford it.
As a doctor, Pere was exemplary in his charity and life of piety. He never lost his habitual joy and was always available to help and speak to those who needed him. During the Spanish Civil War (July 1936-April 1939), Pere lived as a “refugee” in Barcelona because the persecution of Christians forced many into hiding, during this time he prayed, read and studied.
In May 1938 he was forced to enter the Republican army to provide medical assistance; these were eight long months of suffering for Pere and living through the horrors of war probed deep into his soul. Day after day he wrote about his life on the battle front in his “War Diary”. The war experience and assistance given to the wounded and dying made Pere understand the necessity for “spiritual assistance” and he felt that God was calling him to be a “doctor of souls” by entering the priesthood. As a result, he entered the Seminary of Barcelona on 29 September 1939 and was ordained a priest on 30 May 1942.
Fr Pere began by serving as a parochial vicar at the Parish of St Stephen Sesrovile and a year later he was sent to the Pontifical University of Salamanca to study theology. After he earned his degree in 1944, Fr Pere returned to Barcelona where he dedicated much of his time to Catholic Action, as well as providing spiritual assistance to religious congregations and material and spiritual help to the sick, especially the poorest of the poor. He also served as the diocesan delegate for the Protection of Women and as spiritual director of the “Magdalen Hospital” for female prostitutes.
Fr Pere lived his days to the full and had little time for res,; nonetheless, he carried out all his activity in peaceful recollection and a prayerful spirit. Everyone who came into contact with him was left with the impression that he was a very holy priest who truly cared, sacrificing himself for the spiritual and physical well-being of all, particularly the most desolate.
At the beginning of 1950, Fr Pere noticed that his health was deteriorating. Shortly thereafter, he was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer. He accepted his illness and offered it up for the sanctification of priests, resolved to die “as a good priest”.
Fr Pere said that it was a “joy to have the possibility to be a priest and to die in a continual act of love and suffering… worthy of the Heavenly Father”.
His “secret” in the spiritual life was Eucharistic devotion and filial love towards the Mother of God.
Fr Pere died on 31 August 1950 in the clinic that he founded. He was 45 years old. … Vatican.va
His remains were re-located to the parish church of San Vicente de Sarria on 6 November 1975 where his Shrine now resides, see below.
In 1985 the Archbishop of Barcelona, Narcís Arnau, founded the Foundation Blessed Pere Tarrés in honour of the late priest, a nonprofit devoted to charitable works (above)
Thought for the Day – 30 August – the Memorial of Blessed Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster OSB (1880-1954)
Today is the anniversary of the death of the Blessed Cardinal Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster, who passed to his reward in heaven in 1954, after serving the church of Milan as her shepherd for just over 25 years and was Beatified in 1996.
Blessed Alfredo had several difficult years as the Shepherd of Milan with rise of Fascism and then advent of WWII. What is keenly recalled of Schuster as Bishop, is his solicitude for the people. He visited every parish of the diocese five times, holding several diocesan synods, writing many pastoral letters and founding a Seminary in Venegono. Monk or not, he was a true apostle for the good of the Church’s holiness and engagement in the world.
The funeral Mass was offered by the Cardinal Roncalli, now St John XXIII. In 1985, the cardinal’s tomb was opened and his mortal remains were found to be intact, the monk-bishop-cardinal-man of God was beatified by Saint John Paul II on 12 May 1996. The relics were given for the veneration of the faithful in one of the side-altars of the Duomo in Milan.
A treasure of Blessed Schuster is his scholarship in the Liber Sacramentorum, known in its English translation as The Sacramentary. It was written while he was Benedictine monk with the supreme reverence for tradition, adoration and intellect. In some ways, the volumes are dated, yet the work remains an invaluable reference point for liturgical scholarship today.
To the seminarians of Milan he taught in a characteristically Benedictine manner of the futility of ministry without personal holiness:
“I have no memento to give you, apart from an invitation to holiness. It would seem that people are no longer convinced by our preaching but faced with holiness, they still believe, they still fall to their knees and pray. People seem to live ignorant of supernatural realities, indifferent to the problems of salvation. But when an authentic saint, living or dead passes by, all run to be there. Do not forget that the devil is not afraid of our [parish] sports fields and of our movie halls – he is afraid, on the other hand, of our holiness.
Prayer on the occasion of the Beatification of Cardinal Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster
Father, origin and source of all good,
we praise You and thank You
because, in the Blessed Cardinal Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster
You have given us and made known
a gentle and tireless pastor,
witness to the peace that only You can give.
Lord Jesus, Son of God,
You have been for the Cardinal Schuster, a model of life,
for Your love, he was a passionate servant of all.
Lord of life, peace and joy, grant that
his example may inspire us
and his prayer accompany us,
as we also give our lives
to the service of every human being.
Spirit of love, that makes us saints,
grant us to remember
his constant invitation to holiness.
Make us capable, as he was,
to love the poor, the forgotten, the persecuted;
give us the strength to dialogue with everyone,
with the confidence, to discover in every heart,
the seed of God.
May we not forget, the devil is afraid of our active striving for holiness.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, amen.
Blessed Alfredo, Pray for our Seminarians and Priests, Pray for us All!