Thought for the Day – 25 August – 21st Sunday of the Year in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 13:22–30
“Strive to enter in by the narrow door.”
St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father & Doctor
This reply may seem perhaps to wander from the scope of the question. The man wanted to learn whether there would be few who are saved but He explained to him the way whereby he might be saved himself. He said, “Strive to enter in by the narrow door.” What do we answer to this objection? … It was a necessary and valuable thing to know how a man may obtain salvation. He is purposely silent to the useless question. He proceeds to speak of what was essential, namely, of the knowledge necessary for the performance of those duties by which people can enter the narrow door.
I now consider it my duty to mention why the door to life is narrow. Whoever would enter must first, before everything else, possess an upright and uncorrupted faith and then a spotless morality, in which there is no possibility of blame, according to the measure of human righteousness. One who has attained to this in mind and spiritual strength will enter easily by the narrow door and run along the narrow way. “Wide is the door and broad the way that brings down many to destruction.” What are we to understand by its broadness? It means an unrestrained tendency toward carnal lust and a shameful and pleasure-loving life. It is luxurious feasts, parties, banquets and unrestricted inclinations to everything that is condemned by the law and displeasing to God. A stubborn mind will not bow to the yoke of the law. This life is cursed and relaxed in all carelessness. Thrusting from it the divine law and completely unmindful of the sacred commandments, wealth, vices, scorn, pride and the empty imagination of earthly pride spring from it. Those who would enter in by the narrow door must withdraw from all these things, be with Christ and keep the festival with Him.”
(Commentary on Luke, Homily 9)
May we call upon our Mother Mary as Ianua Caeli, Heaven’s Gate, to guide us in our daily choices and take us to the path that leads to ‘Heaven’s Gate.’ Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 25 August – 21st Sunday of the Year in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 13:22–30
“The Narrow Door”
“In the difficulties which are placed before me, why should I not act like a donkey? When one speaks ill of him – the donkey says nothing. When he is mistreated – he says nothing. When he is forgotten – he says nothing. When no food is given him – he says nothing. When he is made to advance – he says nothing. When he is despised – he says nothing. When he is overburdened – he says nothing. The true servant of God must do likewise and say with David: “Before Thee I have become like a beast of burden.”
St Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1532-1617)
“All, can enter eternal life but for everyone, the door is narrow. They are not privileged. The path to the eternal life is open to all but it is narrow because it’s demanding, asks for commitment, abnegation and the mortification of selfishness.”
“To pass through the narrow gate, means we must commit ourselves to being small, that is humble of heart like Jesus, like Mary, His and our mother.”
“True friendship with Jesus is expressed in how one lives, in the goodness of one’s heart, in one’s humility, kindness and mercy, in one’s love for justice and truth, in one’s sincere commitment to peace and reconciliation. This, we might say, is the ‘identity card’ that qualifies us as true ‘friends,’ it is the ‘passport’ that will let us enter eternal life.”
Pope Benedict XVI
Angelus, 26 August 2007
“The whole of our life must pass through the narrow door which is Christ.”
One Minute Reflection – 25 August – 21st Sunday of the Year in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 13:22–30
“Strive to enter by the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” … Luke 13:24
REFLECTION – “But why is this door narrow, one might ask? Why does He say it is narrow? It is a narrow door not because it is oppressive but because it demands that we restrain and limit our pride and our fear, in order to open ourselves to Him with humble and trusting hearts, acknowledging that we are sinners and in need of His forgiveness. This is why it is narrow, to limit our pride, which swells us.” … Pope Francis – Angelus, 21 August 2016
PRAYER – Lord, by Your grace, we are made one in mind and heart. Give us a love for what You command and a longing for what You promise, so that, amid this world’s changes, our hearts may be set on the world of lasting joy. May the intercession of Your faithful servant, St Maria Micaela of the Blessed Sacrament, bring us strength and courage to persevere in our battles against pride. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Sunday Reflection – 25 August – 21st Sunday of the Year in Ordinary Time, Year C
Pope Benedict XVI
And let us also keep present that the Eucharist, joined to the Cross and Resurrection of the Lord, has dictated a new structure to our time.
The Risen One was manifested the day after Saturday, the first day of the week, day of the sun and of creation. From the beginning, Christians have celebrated their encounter with the Risen One, the Eucharist, on this first day, on this new day of the true sun of history, the Risen Christ.
And thus time always begins again with the encounter with the Risen One and this encounter gives content and strength to everyday life. Because of this, it is very important for us Christians, to follow this new rhythm of time, to meet with the Risen One on Sunday and thus “to take” with us His presence, which transforms us and transforms our time. … 17 June 2010
Our Morning Offering – 25 August – 21st Sunday of the Year in Ordinary Time, Year C
Prayer of Thanksgiving for the Holy Eucharist By St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)
O Christ the Saviour,
we give You thanks
for Your redeeming sacrifice,
the only hope of men!
O Christ the Saviour,
we give You thanks
for the eucharistic breaking of bread,
which You instituted
in order to really meet Your brothers,
in the course of the centuries!
O Christ the Saviour,
put into the hearts of the baptised,
the desire to offer themselves with You
and to commit themselves,
for the salvation of their brothers!
You, who are really present
in the Blessed Sacrament,
spread Your blessings
abundantly on Your people
Saint of the Day – 24 August – Saint María Micaela of the Blessed Sacrament (1809-1865) “Mother Sacramento” was a Spanish Roman Catholic professed Religious and the Founder of the Handmaids of the Blessed Sacrament, apostle and martyr of charity. However, despite all odds and opposition from family and friends, in 1850, she left her home to look after the unwanted of society, living with them. Born as Micaela Desmaisières López de Dicastillo on 1 January 1809 in Madrid, Spain and died on 24 August 1865 in Valencia, Spain of cholera.
Micaela Desmaisières Lopez de Dicastillo y Olmedo, Viscountess of Jorbalán, was born in Madrid on New Year’s day, 1809 during the War of Independence. Three days later she was baptised in the church of Saint Joseph in Madrid’s Alcala Street. Her father was a high ranking Officer in the Spanish Army and her mother was Lady-in-waiting of the then Spanish Queen, Maria Luisa de Parma. Micaela was the 5th of the 10 children born to the couple.
The War of Independence forced her mother to leave the Court in Madrid and to flee with her husband and family to France, where Micaela’s father and brother Luís died unexpectedly, Maria was then 3 yearsa old. Under the guidance of the Ursuline sisters of Pau, Micaela received an education consistent with her aristocratic status. Micaela’s sister Engracia suffered severe mental illness and her sister Manuela was forced to go into exile because of her husband’s political views.
From her childhood Maria Micaela was very fond of spending time before the Blessed Sacrament and of helping the poor and needy. She had the whole-hearted approval and support of her mother in this. In her Autobiography we read that, when her Ayah – Nanny, took her out for evening walks, she used to bribe her and spend that time in a church. Although she was very pious and kind-hearted, her life unfolded in the high circles of the Spanish and French Nobility. Her brother Diego was the Spanish Ambassador to France and Belgium. So young Micaela spent a lot of her time in the Royal Palaces of Spain, France and Belgium, attending Royal parties, dances and other gatherings. She had a very cordial relationship with the Monarchs of these countries. Dances, parties, Social gatherings, horse rides were the order of the day for her, although she did not neglect her charitable works. She wrote in the Autobiography that the mornings were spent for God, in prayer and charitable works and the evenings in worldly enjoyments.
Micaela was engaged to marry a young nobleman but the wedding was abruptly cancelled the night before over slanderous rumours emanating from Madrid about Micaela’s family. Micaela was profoundly humiliated. Struggling to pursue her spiritual and religious aspirations, while meeting the demands of her social position, Micaela sought the guidance of Fr.Carasa, a Jesuit. Rising early in the morning to pray, receive the Eucharist and to do works of charity, in the evening she frequented the theatre, lectures and balls.
Micaela’s life in Paris and Brussels was a life of outstanding care for the poor. No matter the need, the Viscountess was anxious to provide assistance. The defining moment in Micaela’s life occurred after she returned to Madrid and was invited to visit the hospital of St John of God, where she met prostitutes afflicted with venereal diseases. Micaela had known nothing of the existence of such women, let alone the scorn and abuse to which they were subjected. Profoundly affected by the experience, Micaela set about to establish a shelter for such women. Unfortunately, she met with misunderstanding and rejection at every turn, even from close friends. What was a woman related to the wealthiest and most famous families in Spain thinking? Imagine dedicating herself to caring for prostitutes.
In 1845, Micaela and several companions opened a school to train battered women for gainful employment, the Centre of Our Lady of the Forsaken. In 1850, she moved out of her elegant home and took up lodging in a miserable hovel with women she helped recover their dignity as persons and daughters of God. Accustomed to a luxurious life, this new experience was very painful, however, her love for Jesus whom she saw in those unfortunate victims of sexual exploitation, enabled her to go forward courageously. Love for Christ in the Eucharist was the soul of her work. Once again, Micaela endured severe economic difficulties and slander from every side. Her only comfort lay in the Eucharist and in 1856, with the help of St Anthony Mary Claret (1807-1870), she founded the Slave Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament and of Charity. Micaela became Mother Sacramento. On 6 January 1859, feast of the Epiphany, she and seven companions professed simple vows and on 15 June 1860, she made her perpetual profession.
Archbishop Claret who was Mother Sacramento’s confessor, helped her and the fledgling Institute both spiritually and materially. He played an important role in framing the Institute’s Constitutions and obtaining their approval. Both saints suffered unspeakable slander in the press.
Micaela’s heroic life of charity would have been impossible had she not been blessed with an exceptionally strong character. She was dogged by slander and suffered attempts on her life. Sometimes, she slept fully dressed, fearing that at any moment the house might be raided. More than once, Micaela stood alone and helpless in a public house to hide or protect a woman in fear of being held against her will.
Micaela ended up lonely, sad and despised by her friends. Writing to her fellow religious, she said: “Difficult to find another Founder of community that has been accused, maligned and scolded like me. My actions have been judged in the worst way possible. But I could also say like Saint Paul: “Little interest me in what people are saying about me. My judge is God.”
In 1865, Spain was hit by a cholera epidemic. Micaela went to Valencia to help and comfort people. In spite of useless pleas and warnings of danger, Micaela surrendered to her fate and died on 24 August 1865 at the age of 56., a martyr to charity, realising what the Eucharist had meant to her – communion with Christ, giving his life for the brothers, members of His Body, especially the neediest – the poor, the sick, the weak. At her death, Mother Sacramento’s institute numbered seven houses.
In 1922, Pope Pius XI, proclaimed Mother Sacramento’s heroic virtues. On 25 July 1925, he Beatified her and on 4 March 1934, he Canonised her. St Anthony Mary Claret would be named a patron of the institute she founded.
Oh! St Maria Micaela,
to your great heart of a Mother,
I confide this petition ……..
I trust that you will not leave me
disappointed in my hope.
When you were in this world,
you obtained from the Sacramental Jesus
and do you have less power in heaven?
I hope in your motherly protection
and I trust in your great heart
that you will obtain for me
this grace from Jesus.
St Louis IX (1214-1270) King of France (Optional Memorial) All about this wonderful Saint here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/saint-of-the-day-25-august-st-louis-king-of-france/
St Alessandro Dordi
Bl Andrea Bordino
St Andreas Gim Gwang-Ok
St Aredius of Limoges
St Ebbe the Elder
Bl Eduard Cabanach Majem
St Eusbius of Rome
Bl Fermí Martorell Vies
Bl Francesc Llach Candell
St Genesius of Arles
St Genesius of Brescello
St Genesius of Rome
St Gennadius of Constantinople
St Geruntius of Italica
St Gregory of Utrecht
St Gurloes of Sainte Croix
St Hermes of Eretum
St Hunegund of Homblieres
St Julian of Syria
St Julius of Eretum
Bl Ludovicus Baba
Bl Ludovicus Sasada
Bl Luis Cabrera Sotelo
St Marcian of Saignon St Maria Micaela of the Blessed Sacrament (1809-1865)
Bl María del Tránsito de Jesús Sacramentado
Bl Maria Troncatti
St Menas of Constantinople
Bl Miguel Carvalho
St Nemesius of Rome
St Patricia of Naples
Bl Paul-Jean Charles
Bl Pedro de Calidis
St Peregrinus of Rome
St Petrus Gim Jeong-Duk
St Pontian of Rome
St Severus of Agde
St Thomas of Hereford
St Vincent of Rome
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Antoni Prenafeta Soler
• Blessed Antoni Vilamassana Carulla
• Blessed Enric Salvá Ministral
• Blessed Florencio Alonso Ruiz
• Blessed Fortunato Merino Vegas
• Blessed Josep Maria Panadés Terré
• Blessed Juan Pérez Rodríguez
• Blessed Luis Gutiérrez Calvo
• Blessed Luis Urbano Lanaspa
• Blessed Manuel Fernández Ferro
• Blessed Miguel Grau Antolí
• Blessed Pere Farrés Valls
• Blessed Ramon Cabanach Majem
• Blessed Salvi Tolosa Alsina
• Blessed Vicente álvarez Cienfuegos