Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on September 26, 2013

LargeJesusGospel reading of the day:

Luke 9:7-9

Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying, “John has been raised from the dead”; others were saying, “Elijah has appeared”; still others, “One of the ancient prophets has arisen.” But Herod said, “John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see him.

Reflection on the gospel reading: In the gospel, Herod has been hearing about Jesus and the wonders he works. Herod seeks an opportunity to see the Lord but he seeks the Lord with neither love nor faith in him. Saint Richard of Chichester prayed, “Day by day, dear Lord, of thee three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, follow thee more nearly, day by day.” Trying to see Jesus in the complete gospel sense–in the sense that Richard prayed to have–calls us to faith, love, and discipleship. It is not in looking at Jesus as an amusement or distraction, but in patterning our lives on the Lord’s, that we come to see him.

Saint of the day: Adelė Dirsytė was born in April 1909 in Lithuania, the youngest child of the farmers Antanas Dirsė and Agota Kagaišytė. Her parents instilled the value of industriousness in their three daughters and three sons. Of the six siblings, only Adelė and her brother Jonas received higher studies. In 1928, Adelė became a philosophy major at the Vytautas Magnus University. She also became engaged in the activities of a Catholic federation and gave lectures in meetings of Catholic organizations. She left the university in 1932 without finishing her degree. The university’s faculty council, however, bestowed it on her in 1940. Once out of the university, Adelė became more actively involved in a variety of Catholic organizations.

When the Soviet occupation of Lithuania began in 1940, Adelė moved to Vilnius and worked as a teacher in a secondary school for young women. In the following years of German occupation during World War II, she worked as a ADELĖGerman teacher in a trade school and in an adult education school. She ministered to students and, together with a priest, organized relief for those who were in need. She assisted in hiding Jewish people from the Nazis. After the Soviets reoccupied Lithuania in 1944, an organized resistance struggled for Lithuanian independence. Adelė took part in the resistance as she worked to strengthen her people’s religious and national traditions. On March 6, 1946, she was arrested for hiding and abetting a person who had escaped from Soviet security arrest. She was tried, convicted, and sentenced to 10 years in a concentration camp and five years of restriction of her rights.

Adelė was moved from camp to camp. Despite the hardships and their effect on her health, Adelė organized her fellow inmates to have discussions, celebrate religious feasts, and recite the rosary. She even at one point smuggled the Eucharist she received from a priest to her fellow inmates and wrote Prayer Book of Girls Exiled in Siberia. It was a small handwritten book of forty pages, sewn together and bound with fabric covers decorated with ornaments. The prayers were rewritten and amended with new ones; eventually the book was smuggled to the United States where it was published.

When tortured by prison guards for her faith, she encouraged other prisoners who were concerned about her treatment to pray for the guards. In the late autumn of 1953 on her return from work, Adelė was taken to the punishment cell for a week and subsequently to a mysterious location for the duration of winter. Mentally broken, Adelė was brought back to her camp the following April. Toward the end of 1954, Adelė was moved to the section for the mentally ill in the camp hospital. A death certificate from the hospital claimed that she died on September 26, 1955. With the memory of the teacher’s martyrdom persisting even after the democratization of Lithuania, the archdiocese of Kaunas began in 2000 to work for Adelė Dirsytė’s beatification.

Spiritual reading: The fullness of joy is to behold God in everything. (Juliana of Norwich)

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