Carry the gospel with you

Posted in Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on February 27, 2009

Gospel reading of the day:

Matthew 9:14-15

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Jesus was very pragmatic in his religious practice. He taught that our circumstances ought to dictate our religious practice; he had little patience for religious practice that lacked meaning within its circumstances. Here, Jesus observes it is not customary to fast when the bridegroom is still around. He is the Bridegroom and, as long as he was present, there is cause for celebration. Fasting is a sign of mourning and it is as inappropriate in a time of joy, when Jesus is proclaiming the kingdom, as it would be at a marriage feast. In the same way, let us conform our spiritual lives to the circumstances in which we find ourselves, so that religion flows from living, not deadened, hearts.

Saint of the day: Anne Line was born in Essex, England as Anne Higham, the wealthy daughter of an ardent Calvinist. When she and her brother converted to Catholicism, they were disowned and disinherited. Anne married another convert, Roger Line, who was soon arrested for attending Mass, then exiled to Flanders where he died in 1594.

When Father John Gerard established a house of refuge for priests in London, Anne was put in charge. Father Gerard was sent to the Tower of London and escaped in 1597. The authorities suspected Anne of hiding him, and she moved to another house, which became a rallying point for Catholics. On Candlemas, 1601, Father Francis Page was about to celebrate Mass there, when priest-catchers broke in. Father Page quickly unvested and mingled with the others, but the altar was all the evidence needed to arrest Anne. She was tried, convicted, and hanged for harboring priests. Martyred with Blessed Mark Barkworth, and her friend Blessed Roger Filcock. She died February 27, 1601.

Spiritual reading: Our faith begins at the point where atheists suppose it must be at an end. Our faith begins with the bleakness and power which is the night of the cross, abandonment,

temptation and doubt about everything that exists! Our faith must be born where it is abandoned by all tangible reality; it must be born of nothingness, it must taste this nothingness and be given it to taste in a way that no philosophy of nihilism can imagine. (H.J. Iwand)

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