Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on June 18, 2014

10407074_1426688464273705_7289508690234306594_nGospel reading of the day:

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples: “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to others to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: True religion is a relationship in the heart with God. When we pray, fast, give money to people in need–if our objective is to enter more deeply into a relationship with God, any of these actions are worthy. But we are complex, and sometimes our motivations are complex. If I pray in some public way or make some other gesture reserved to my relationship with God, but do it to enjoy the good opinion of other people, then I have what I came for–but that isn’t God. God wants hearts that are true. As Søren Kierkegaard once observed, “Purity of heart is to desire the one thing.”

Saint of the day: Venerable Matt Talbot was an Irishman born in 1856 who died in 1925. From his early teens until age 28 Matt’s only aim in life had been liquor. But from that point forward, his only aim was God. Matt Talbot was born May 2, 1856, the second of twelve children born to Charles and Elizabeth Talbot. In Matt’s early years he knew little security or stability. Compulsory school attendance was not in force, and Matt never attended any school regularly. In age without A.A., he found a spiritual solution to his alcoholism.

At the age of twelve Matt got his first job; it was in a wine bottling store and that is when his excessive drinking began. One evening when he was 28 he went out and found a priest, went to confession and “took the Pledge” for three months. Many times he felt he would not be able to hold out for three months, but within the year he renewed the pledge for life, never touching alcohol again (41 more years). His resolve was maintained by a new life of much prayer, daily Mass, hard work and much penance. Matt Talbot collapsed and died of heart failure on June 7, 1925. Penitential chains were found on his body after his death.

After Matt’s death his reputation for holiness became widespread, and by 1931 the first inquiry into his life had begun. The decree on his virtues was issued October 3, 1975.

Spiritual reading: By degrees, the spirit of Christ will take the place of our spirit – a way of thinking, feeling, judging, loving, willing, doing, and suffering, a mental outlook which is extremely cramped and superficial since it is materially dependent on our physical temperament, on our heredity, on the influence of our surrounding circumstances and on the ideas of our time and locality. It is this spirit which must slowly yield to the spirit of Christ, to His way of looking at things, of judging, feeling, loving, acting, and suffering. (Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange OP)


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