Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on October 22, 2009

Jesus Fire of the EarthGospel reading of the day:

Luke 12:49-53

Jesus said to his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Jesus speaks in today’s gospel about the radical nature of our commitment to the Good News. In my experience, the passage sometimes causes confusion. Jesus does not call for the division of families. Rather, he calls us to prefer the kingdom to every other commitment even if it means that our commitment to the Lord causes unease or even turmoil in our most important and intimate relationships.

Saint of the day: Peter of Alcantara was a contemporary of well-known 16th-century Spanish saints, including Ignatius of Loyola and John of the Cross. He served as confessor to St. Teresa of Avila. Church reform was a major issue in Peter’s day, and he directed most of his energies toward that end. His death came one year before the Council of Trent ended.

103f. St Peter of Alcantara bestBorn into a noble family (his father was the governor of Alcantara in Spain), Peter studied law at Salamanca University and, at 16, joined the so-called Observant Franciscans (also known as the discalced, or barefoot, friars). While he practiced many penances, he also demonstrated abilities which were soon recognized. He was named the superior of a new house even before his ordination as a priest; at the age of 39, he was elected provincial; he was a very successful preacher. Still, he was not above washing dishes and cutting wood for the friars. He did not seek attention; indeed, he preferred solitude.

Peter’s penitential side was evident when it came to food and clothing. It is said that he slept only 90 minutes each night. While others talked about Church reform, Peter’s reform began with himself. His patience was so great that a proverb arose: “To bear such an insult one must have the patience of Peter of Alcantara.”

In 1554, Peter, having received permission, formed a group of Franciscans who followed the Rule of St. Francis with even greater rigor. These friars were known as Alcantarines. Some of the Spanish friars who came to North and South America in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries were members of this group. At the end of the 19th century, the Alcantarines were joined with other Observant friars to form the Order of Friars Minor.

As spiritual director to St. Teresa, Peter encouraged her in promoting the Carmelite reform. His preaching brought many people to religious life, especially to the Secular Franciscan Order, the friars and the Poor Clares.

Spiritual reading: We may, perhaps, imagine that the creation was finished long ago. But that would be quite wrong. It continues still more magnificently, and at the highest levels of the world. (The Divine Milieu by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.)

Farm con 1


Finding Value in the Valueless

Posted in Uncategorized by fatherjimb on October 21, 2009

I’m in the midst of a discernment process regarding my ministry. A friend suggested I apply to be a chaplain in the Federal Bureau of Prisons system, something that never really crossed my mind. As I’ve been praying over this opportunity I began to consider the need for someone who cares, to serve those who are now considered outcasts within our society. It is really a Jesus “thing,” he constantly inveigled himself with those on the margins of society: Samaritans, women, children, tax collectors, Roman soldiers, the demonically possessed and lepers, “heretics,” thieves and murderers – a real collection of characters.

In our everyday lives we are cautious about those with whom we deal. Yes, it is prudent to avoid going where it is not safe to walk, ride or live. However for many that is not an option. It is not with a little apprehension that I am considering this move. In one sense, it is like entering a monastic community, a very regulated environment with set times for work and meals, cells and dormitories, shared facilities and no real possessions to differentiate one from another. Unlike a monastic community, the individuals in the prison system are not there by their own volition, they come with a lot of “unhappy baggage” and are unwillingly separated from those who care about their welfare.

Now it’s probably easy to just say that these individuals are there by their own fault and must pay the price for their misdeeds and write them off. A very dear friend of mine spent two years as an unwilling “guest” of the system. It was during his time of incarceration that I began to understand the anxieties and brutality of imprisonment on the life of the individual. I think for him the most difficult part was separation from his wife. In his letters printed with a “golf” pencil on small pieces of paper he shared his feelings about what happened to him. I suppose a ministry began at that point wherein weekly letters passed between us as a small thread to the outside world.

In Jesus’ time, there were few threads which held the dispossessed together with those in the outside world. Isolation, whether enforced by prison walls, deafness, blindness, prejudice, disease, social status or poverty is devastating to those whom we are asked to treat as brothers and sisters. The first step we must take is to learn to find value in what society and our own prejudices cite as valueless. We are told that God values all things from the lilies of the field and the sparrow to the hearts of all humanity into which the Son was incarnated.

What is the value of the “valueless?” It is simply this; they share with us the very image and likeness of the creator. By his adoption, we are brothers and sisters of the same Lord Jesus Christ and heirs with him to the kingdom of heaven. It is for this reason that we are obligated to treat one another with the same reverence and respect we do our own blood relatives. Rather than begrudgingly caring for the poor and homeless we should be feeling pride that we can be of service to them. An article in the newspaper recently talked about how one man began a company designed to give those recently released from prison a second chance at life. Second Chance Coffee company was founded to help those who wanted to get back into society like those cured of leprosy, blindness, and demonic possession in Jesus’ time.

We as Christians can re-value the “valueless” by how we not only respond to their needs but by also anticipating them. Cooking meals for the homeless shelter is great, making that meal special by going out of our way to provide an extra treat, share our musical talents, or just listen to them is even better. It is when we find value in others that we will begin to find the real value in ourselves.

As noted on the blog, Ecomythsmith, in discussing micro-banking as a means of helping the poor, “One of the problems with different perspectives on problems and proposing new solutions to long-term issues is that there is no experience to indicate if they will work and tremendous resistance to change that alters existing approaches (even when those approaches are not working). Moreover, when an idea or solution is counter-intuitive to axiomatic constructs, the barriers to their adoption can be huge. It is gratifying then when new solutions are put into place despite “official” scepticism and even more gratifying when those approaches become the new standard for implementation.” We as Christians are called to be counter-intuitive counter-culturalists, willing to go beyond ourselves, our pre-conceived ideas and prejudices to care for one another in the same way Jesus does.

Perhaps the prayer of Thomas Merton is one to help us on our path:

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

– Thomas Merton, “Thoughts in Solitude”

Tagged with:

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on October 21, 2009

Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 12:39-48

Jesus said to his disciples: “Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let PictJesusSacHearticonhis house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

Then Peter said, “Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?” And the Lord replied, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so. Truly, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, then that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish the servant severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful. That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: This last statement of the Lord’s in today’s gospel, “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more,” speaks to all of us who have received the gospel of Jesus Christ. Having been given much, God’s expects more from us. When we do injury to one another, ours is the greater guilt because we know more about what God asks from us.

Saint of the day: Despite his best efforts to live in prayer and solitude, today’s saint found it difficult to achieve his deepest desire. People were naturally drawn to Hilarion as a source of spiritual wisdom and peace. He had reached such fame by the time of his death that his body had to be secretly removed so that a shrine would not be built in his honor. Instead, he was buried in his home village.

180px-Hilarion_the_GreatSt. Hilarion the Great, as he is sometimes called, was born in Palestine. After his conversion to Christianity he spent some time with St. Anthony of Egypt, another holy man drawn to solitude. Hilarion lived a life of hardship and simplicity in the desert, where he also experienced spiritual dryness that included temptations to despair. At the same time, miracles were attributed to him.

As his fame grew, a small group of disciples wanted to follow Hilarion. He began a series of journeys to find a place where he could live away from the world. He finally settled on Cyprus, where he died in 371 at about age 80.

Hilarion is celebrated as the founder of monasticism in Palestine. Much of his fame flows from the biography of him written by St. Jerome.

Spiritual reading: I must write about prayer because it is as necessary to life as breathing. It is food and drink. (“On Pilgrimage – July/August 1973″ by Dorothy Day)


Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on October 20, 2009

Head_of_Christ_IconGospel reading of the day:

Luke 12:35-38

Jesus said to his disciples: “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: There is an echo in this passage from Luke of Matthew’s account of the Bridegroom’s coming and the preparedness of the virgins. We all know that the Lord comes at unexpected times and in unexpected ways. This passage of the gospel calls us to be prepared to meet the Lord whenever he appears in our lives, always ready to encounter the Lord at his arrival.

Saint of the day: Paul of the Cross was born at Ovada in the Republic of Genoa, January 3, 1694. His infancy and youth were spent in great innocence and piety. He was inspired from on high to found a congregation; in an ecstasy he beheld the habit which he and his companions were to wear. After consulting his director, Bishop Gastinara of Alexandria in Piedmont, he reached the 1.2.2 St. Paul of the Crossconclusion that God wished him to establish a congregation in honor of the Passion of Jesus Christ. On November 22, 1720, the bishop vested him with the habit that had been shown to him in a vision, the same that the Passionists wear at the present time. From that moment the saint applied himself to repair the Rules of his institute; and in 1721 he went to Rome to obtain the approbation of the Holy See. At first he failed, but finally succeeded when Benedict XIV approved the Rules in 1741 and 1746. Meanwhile St. Paul built his first monastery near Obitello. Sometime later he established a larger community at the Church of St. John and Paul in Rome. For fifty years St. Paul remained the indefatigable missionary of Italy. God lavished upon him the greatest gifts in the supernatural order, but he treated himself with the greatest rigor, and believed that he was a useless servant and a great sinner. His saintly death occurred at Rome in the year 1775, at the age of eighty-one.

Spiritual reading: When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them, but bend them with gentleness and time. (Francis de Sales)


Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on October 19, 2009

Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 12:13-21

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” He replied to him, “Friend, who angoisseappointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”

Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: The gospel passage the Church gives to us today is about our relationship to money. Many of us in America in this age spend a great amount of time concerned about our finances, and in a time of economic distress, money may cause us even more anxiety than at other times. The heart of this teaching, however, is that money does not endure: God calls the rich man a fool for having spent his life on material comfort and not on what matters ultimately to God. As Saint Paul tells us in his first letter to the Corinthians, three things endure, faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these things is love.

Saint of the day: Born into a wealthy family in Orleans, France in 1607, Saint Isaac Jogues was enrolled by his parents in the Jesuit school there and became a priest of the Society of Jesus in 1636. Longing to work with the Huron Indians in the foreign missions, Isaac requested and received the assignment to go to Quebec, Canada almost immediately after ordination. The Jesuits had North American martyrsestablished missions there as the first missionaries in Canada and the upper United States after French explorer J. Cartier discovered this land in 1534. For six years he was very successful and effected many conversions among the Hurons traveling between Nova Scotia and Maryland. But in 1642 a band of Iroquois, who were the natural enemy of the Hurons, captured Isaac along with Rene Goupil and another group of Jesuits. Rene was martyred but Isaac and his companions allowed to live though they underwent hideous and inhumane torture which included mutilation. Isaac’s fingers were severed and he was left to die in the wilderness but the Dutch rescued him and he was able to return to France in 1644. However he longed to be a martyr and finally secured a transfer back to Quebec in 1646. Once they had arrived Isaac and new companion Saint Jean Brebeuf set out for Iroquois country for a peace treaty had been signed. But warmongers among the Mohawks intercepted the missionaries and cruelly tomahawked them and scalped them from the neck up at Auriesville, New York on October 18 and 19, 1646. Isaac died on the 18th and Jean the next day. Over the next three years five other missionaries would join Isaac, Rene, and Jean on the list of the eight Jesuit martyrs: Noel Chabanel, Anthony Daniel, Charles Garnier, John de Lalande, and Gabriel Lallemant. Exactly ten years after Isaac’s death a young Indian girl was born in the same village where Fr. Jogues was murdered: her name, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. Isaac Jogues and his companions are known as the Martyrs of North America and patron saints of Canada.

Set~FreeSpiritual reading: My confidence is placed in God who does not need our help for accomplishing his designs. Our single endeavor should be to give ourselves to the work and to be faithful to him, and not to spoil his work by our shortcomings. (Isaac Jogues)

The Sacrament of Shared Grief

Posted in Christianity, inspirational, religion by Rev. Larry Hansen, BCC, CT on October 18, 2009

Recently, I’ve given a couple of talks on grief and recovery from serious loss. As I worked on preparing these presentations, I was gifted with a story that gave me a perspective and a motivation to talk about the necessary walk the bereaved must take through the Valley of the Shadow of Death in order to heal from the loss of loved ones.

One recent afternoon, I was asked to visit and anoint one of our home hospice patients who was actively dying in a care facility. Because no family or friends were present, I invited the young nurse who was attending the patient to stay with me and to join in the ritual as she felt comfortable. Later, we spent a few minutes in conversation and she told me that this was her first week back at work following the death of her child who had died during birth. She was very grateful to the labor and delivery nurses, who washed the child’s body with her and let her and her husband hold the baby as long as they desired. And she told me that she and her husband named the infant and celebrated a funeral in their church, because they wanted to honor the life of the child, even though that life ended as it began. But she had no way to anticipate the effect of her decision on three elderly women, parishioners who attended the service and who approached her afterward.

She told me that all these women had lost children at birth in the late 1940’s. “But they were never allowed to see the babies. They were just told to go home and try again. I guess it was just the way things were done back then. They told me that attending my baby’s funeral was a way for them to mourn the death of their own deceased infants and to say good bye. So then I was glad all over again for having had our service, because it brought healing to them as well as me.”

The writer and funeral director Thomas Lynch has noted that “A good funeral gets the dead where they need to go and the living where they need to be.” I’m not prepared to argue that there is only one way to acknowledge the death of someone we love. It may well be in a traditionally-structured liturgical event, but it may also happen in any of a myriad of ways that people in our modern culture employ to mark a loved one’s passing. However, as Linda Loman said of her husband Willy in the play, Death of a Salesman, “Attention must be paid.” When we pay attention to our dead, we also have the opportunity to pay attention to ourselves as mortals. And that gives us an opening to move closer in solidarity to one another and to God, the Author of all that is living and all that will die.

Fr. Larry Hansen

Cana House

Portland, Oregon

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on October 18, 2009

pra068Gospel reading of the day:

Mark 10:35-45

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” He replied, “What do you wish me to do for you?” They answered him, “Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.” Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” They said to him, “We can.” Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared.” When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John. Jesus summoned them and said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Jesus asks a question this week that we will hear him ask again next Sunday, “What do you wish me to do for you?” Just as Jesus addressed this question to his followers James and John, he addresses this question to us. Many of us will respond to the Lord with what it is that we need now, whatever it may be: a job, the next mortgage payment, whatever urgent need immediately presents itself. But such needs, while important and unavoidable, do not go to the core of who we are as people who have received the Lord’s baptism.

As this passage opens today, Jesus has just made the third prediction of his suffering and death, and yet James and John ask him for the privilege of sitting at his right and left. It is clear that they have not understood what the Lord said. They still imagine an earthly messiah, one who will enjoy political glory, one who will restore David’s throne and throw off Roman oppression. They have missed the point of Jesus’ life and ministry, and by implication, the point of their lives and ministries.

So Jesus tries again: he replies that insofar as he can honor their request, their lots will be to share in his suffering: as Jesus metaphorically styled it, they will drink the cup he drinks and be baptized with his baptism. One of the Church’s ancient traditions, in fact, suggests James and John did do just that, being martyred in a persecution in Jerusalem in 44.

The answer to the question of, “What do you wish me to do for you,” in the light of the gospel then, is, “Will you, Lord, let us drink from the cup from which you drink and be baptized with the baptism by which you are baptized.” It is only in our pouring ourselves out for the gospel, in whatever charism God has given us, that we realize the import of Jesus’ question for our own lives.

Spiritual reading: In the first book, Theophilus, I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught until the day he was taken St. Lukeup, after giving instructions through the holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them by many proofs after he had suffered, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While meeting with them, he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for “the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the holy Spirit.” (The Acts of the Apostles by Luke the Evangelist)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on October 17, 2009

jesus-with-the-angelsGospel reading of the day:

Luke 12:8-12

Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God.

“Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Jesus in today’s gospel talks about witness. If we witness to Jesus, Jesus says he will witness to us. But if we fail to witness to Jesus, the chance remains to reconcile with the Lord. It is only when we set ourselves up in absolute opposition to the truth, that is, when we sin against the Holy Spirit, that all hope for reconciliation perishes. This gospel’s moral is that we should pray to persevere in witness to the truth that we have received in baptism: the truth who is Jesus.

Saint of the day: Ignatius of Antioch (also known as Theophorus) (ca. 35 or 50-between 98 and 117) was among the Apostolic Fathers, the third Bishop and Patriarch of Antioch, and possibly a student of John the Apostle. En route to his ignatius_of_antiochmartyrdom in Rome, Ignatius wrote a series of letters which have been preserved as an example of very early Christian theology. Important topics addressed in these letters include ecclesiology, the sacraments, and the role of bishops.

St. Ignatius was Bishop of Antioch after Saint Peter and St. Evodius (who died around AD 67). Eusebius records that St. Ignatius succeeded St. Evodius. Making his apostolic succession even more immediate, Theodoret reported that Peter himself appointed Ignatius to the see of Antioch.

Besides his Latin name, Ignatius, he also called himself Theophorus (“God Bearer”), and tradition says he was one of the children Jesus took in His arms and blessed. St. Ignatius may have been a disciple of the Apostle John.

St. Ignatius is one of the Apostolic Fathers (the earliest authoritative group of the Church Fathers.) He based his authority on being a bishop of the Church, living his life in the imitation of Christ.

Epistles attributed to St. Ignatius report his arrest by the authorities and travel to Rome:

From Syria even to Rome I fight with wild beasts, by land and sea, by night and by day, being bound amidst ten leopards, even a company of soldiers, who only grow worse when they are kindly treated. —Ignatius to the Romans.

Along the route he wrote six letters to the churches in the region and one to a fellow bishop. He was sentenced to die in the Colosseum, to be eaten by lions. In his Chronicle, Eusebius gives the date of his death as AA 2124 (2124 years after Adam), which would amount to the 11th year of Trajan, i.e., 108 AD. His body lies entombed under St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Spiritual reading: I am writing to all the churches to let it be known that I will gladly die for God if only you do not stand in my way. I plead with you: show me no untimely kindness. Let me be food for the wild beasts, for they are my way to God. I am God’s wheat and bread. Pray to Christ for me that the animals will be the means of making me a sacrificial victim for God. (Letter to the Romans by Ignatius of Antioch)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on October 16, 2009

crucifixion copyGospel reading of the day:

Luke 12:1-7

At that time, so many people were crowding together that they were trampling one another underfoot. Jesus began to speak, first to his disciples, “Beware of the leaven–that is, the hypocrisy–of the Pharisees.

“There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops. I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one. Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Jesus says in the fifth chapter of Matthew’s gospel, May your light so shine before men that they may see goodness in your acts and give praise to your heavenly Father. It is exactly this transparency of the Christian who lives the gospel that Jesus infers today when he condemns the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and says that every secret we have held in the darkness will open eventually before the light. We should endeavor, then, to be people through whom the light of God shines.

Saint of the day: Gerard Majella is the patron of expectant mothers. He was born at Muro, Italy, in 1726 and joined the gerardRedemptorists at the age of 23, becoming a professed lay brother in 1752. He served as sacristan, gardener, porter, infirmarian, and tailor. However, because of his great piety, extraordinary wisdom, and his gift of reading consciences, he was permitted to counsel communities of religious women.

It seems that God had given him, in particular, the special power to help mothers in need. In life and since his death, he has helped so many women who have prayed to him during labor that he earned the nickname the “Saint of Happy Deliveries.” Many mothers from all over the world have even named their child Gerard after him in gratitude, and have adopted him as their patron in the joys and fears of childbirth.

This humble servant of God also had the faculties of levitation and bi-location associated with certain mystics. His charity, obedience, and selfless service as well as his ceaseless mortification for Christ, made him the perfect model of lay brothers. He was afflicted with tuberculosis and died in 1755 at the age of twenty-nine.

Spiritual reading: To love God much, always united to God, to do all for God, to love all for God, to conform myself to his holy will, to suffer much for God. (Gerard Majella)

The one year anniversary of our blog

Posted in church events by Mike on October 15, 2009

It was a year ago today that Bishop Tony Santore, presiding bishop of CACINA, established this blog with this post. The motto of our church is, “All are welcome,” and to each of you who visits us here, we extend an embrace in the Lord Jesus, saying to you, “Welcome! You are most welcome here!”

Tagged with: ,