CACINA

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on May 26, 2011

Gospel reading of the day:

John 15:9-11

Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: The passage we receive today has a commandment, that we remain in Jesus’ love. In fact, Jesus says that if we keep his commandments, we shall abide in Jesus’ love. Everything that Jesus taught, concern for the poor, aversion to hypocrisy, the radical preference for the other, the willingness to lay down one’s life for a friend: everything that Jesus taught is a lesson about living in love. What then shall we make of this?

In psychology, there are a number of theories about emotion. One theory suggests that except for certain primary emotions, happiness, sadness, anger, disgust, surprise, and fear, all emotions are a combination of other emotions. Just as the primary colors, red, blue, and yellow, combine to give us all the colors of the spectrum, the primary emotions combine to us all the other emotions. With this theory in mind, some psychologists have suggested that love is a mixture of acceptance and joy.

Let us assume this is correct. When we love as Jesus loves, we feel acceptance and joy in the presence of the other, no matter how hard or easy that other may make it for us.

Saint of the day: Philip Neri was born July 22, 1515 at Florence, Italy. Though he was related to Italian nobility, Philip came from a poor family. His father, Francisco Neri, worked as a notary. Philip’s brother died in childhood, but his two sisters, Caterina and Elisabetta survived. He was a pray young person who was taught the humanities by the Dominicans. He moved to San Germano in 1533 to help some family members with their business, and while he was there, he would escape to a local Dominican chapel in the mountains. He received inspiration while in a deeply prayerful state that he had an apostolate in Rome. To follow his inspiration, he cut himself off from his family, and went there.

Philip was befriended by Galeotto Caccia who took Philip in and paid him to tutor his two sons. Philip wrote poetry in Latin and Italian and studied philosophy and theology. When he tired of learning, he sold all his books and gave the money to the poor. He began to visit and care for the sick, and impoverished pilgrims. He founded a society of like-minded folk to do the same. He became a friend of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. A layman, he lived in the city as a hermit. During Easter season of 1544, while praying in the catacomb of San Sebastiano, he received a vision of a globe of fire that entered his chest, and he experienced an ecstasy that physically enlarged his heart.

With Persiano Rose, he founded the Confraternity of the Most Holy Trinity. He began to preach, and many people came to the Lord as the result of his preaching. In 1550, he considered retiring to the life of a solitary hermit, but received further visions that told him his mission was in Rome. Later he considered missionary work in India but further visions convinced him to stay in Rome. He entered the priesthood in 1551, heard confessions by the hour, and could tell penitents their sins before they confessed. He began working with youth, finding safe places for them to play, becoming involved in their lives.

Philip’s popularity was such that he was accused of forming his own sect but was cleared of this baseless charge. He founded the Congregation of the Oratory, a group of priests dedicated to preaching and teaching but which suffered from accusations of heresy because of the involvement of laymen as preachers. In later years he was beset by several illnesses, each of which was in turn cured through prayer. He died May 27, 1595.

Spiritual reading: For as the body is clad in cloth, and the flesh in skin and the bone in the flesh and the heart in the whole, so are we, soul and body, clad in the Goodness of God and enclosed. (Revelation of Divine Love by Dame Juliana of Norwich)

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