Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on February 19, 2014

969467_10151407864901496_2092045575_nGospel reading of the day:

Mark 8:22-26

When Jesus and his disciples arrived at Bethsaida, people brought to him a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on the man and asked, “Do you see anything?” Looking up the man replied, “I see people looking like trees and walking.” Then he laid hands on the man’s eyes a second time and he saw clearly; his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly. Then he sent him home and said, “Do not even go into the village.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: There is a metaphorical quality to the healing narrative that we read in today’s gospel. The blind man does not see all at once. Opening his eyes and being able to see clearly only happens bit by bit. In the gospels, like the blind man, Jesus’ disciples come to understand who Jesus is (that is, to see him clearly) only slowly. For them, as for us, coming to see Jesus more clearly, following him more nearly, and loving him more dearly are gradual processes. Sometimes they come slowly; sometimes, quickly. But then as now they always materialize when we seek them.

Saint of the day: Father Romano Bottegal was a Cistercian Hermit who was born in Italy in 1921. He was the youngest of six children of a very poor family. In July 1938 he made a perpetual vow of chastity and consecration to Merciful Love. From an early age he was attracted by the monastic life, but realized his calling only after ordination to the priesthood in ritratto padre Romano - eremita -1946. He entered the abbey of Tre Fontane in 1946 and professed solemn vows in 1951. In 1964 he was granted special permission to lead an hermetical life in Jabbouleh in the Lebanon. From 1969 to 1973 he led an hermetical life in Israel and Lebanon. Several times his hermitage was looted and even burned. One night he was arrested by Syrian soldiers. Father Romano believed that the best apostolate among the Muslims was a life of poverty, prayer, and work. He ate only wheat, boiled rice, and bread. He consecrated the majority of the time for prayer and meditation on the word of God. The inhabitants of the region considered him holy and his example challenged them to wonder how they could live a life so poor and austere. They were sure that God would bless them with his presence. In 1976 he began his life as a recluse. Stricken with tuberculosis and exhausted by privation, he died on the February 19, 1978 in Beirut. He was 56-years-old. He is buried in the Cathedral of St Barbara at Baalbeck. Near his hermitage stands today a contemplative convent which continues the work he began. He was declared venerable in December 2013.

Spiritual reading: Treat everyone you meet as if he or she were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do so with no thought of reward. Your life will never be the same. (Og Mandino)


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