CACINA

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in Christianity, ethics, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on June 23, 2009

Gospel reading of the day:

Matthew 7:12-14

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.

“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the Law and the Prophets.

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Life presents to us a wide array of options. We can do whatever we want to do, whenever we want to do it, that is, we can take that broad road that leads to destruction. Conversely, we have the possibility to enter through the narrow gate that leads to life. And where is this narrow gate? It is in the active pursuit of the good for others that we would desire for ourselves: the Golden Rule that Jesus gives us in today’s gospel, “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.” It is a narrow gate because it requires of us focus and single-heartedness. Really, it isn’t so hard a thing to do, this living for the good of the other, but it does require us to be consistent and determined. Focus, single-heartedness, consistency, and determination: these are the reasons we may perceive that gate which leads to life as a narrow one.

Saint of the day: Joseph Cafasso was born in Italy in 1811 into a wealthy peasant family and educated in the seminary of Chieri. The life of Joseph Cafasso, who was ordained a priest in 1833, was written by Saint John Bosco, to whom Joseph served as teacher, adviser, and spiritual director for over twenty years. Three years later after his ordination, Cafasso was appointed professor of moral theology at the ecclesiastical college of Saint Francis in Turin, which housed 60 young priests from different dioceses and of diverse political orientations. Ten years later he was appointed superior of the college, and he remained in that position until his death. He also directed a retreat house at Lanzo, but his special apostolate was to prisoners and convicts, especially those preparing for execution. Like Saint Robert Bellarmine, Father Cafasso was of short stature and called “the little one,” but he made his mark both as a spiritual director and a preacher. He led a very penitential life and was renowned for his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and as a confessor.

From 1827, he directed John Bosco into an apostolate for boys, helped him to settle in Turin, introduced him to wealthy patrons, and came to be regarded as the second founder of the Salesians. In 1860, when he was ill with pneumonia, he made a will bequeathing his goods to Saints Joseph Cottolengo and John Bosco. He died from that illness. His funeral, at which Bosco preached, was attended by huge crowds

Spiritual reading: If it often seems to us that we have no power over our cold heart, we still are able to do one thing: pay attention to the silent, shy, almost unconscious stirring of the love of God, to the quiet calls for God by our restless heart.

The thousand affairs of our life make us tired and morose; even our joys become stale. We sense how even our friends are still distant from us, how even the words of love from our most intimate friends ring to the ear of our soul only as from afar, dimly and coolly. Everything that the world acclaims we feel more and more as empty bustling without true value. The new becomes old, the days pass by, mere knowledge is cold and empty, life goes along, wealth escapes us, popularity is just a whim, senses age, the world is in flux, friends die. And all that is the lot of normal life, is what people don’t quite count as suffering and pain. In addition is all the pain and bitterness that can fill a human being, all the tears, all the necessities of body and soul . . . . (I)f we endure this disappointment without despairing and without deceiving ourselves, then we begin to love God. (The Need and the Blessing of Prayer by Fr. Karl Rahner, S.J.)

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