Don’t neglect your spiritual reading. Reading has made many saints.”
St. Josemaría Escrivá
He was the second bishop of Antioch after St Peter (the first being Evodius). He was arrested (some writers believe that he must have been denounced by a fellow-Christian), condemned to death, and transported to Rome to be thrown to the wild beasts in the arena. In one of his letters he describes the soldiers who were escorting him as being like “ten leopards, who when they are kindly treated only behave worse.” In the course of his journey he wrote seven letters to various churches, in which he dealt wisely and deeply with Christ, the organisation of the Church, and the Christian life. They are important documents for the early history of the Church, and they also reveal a deeply holy man who accepts his fate and begs the Christians in Rome not to try to deprive him of the crown of martyrdom. He was martyred in 107. Credit: Universalis
My bodily desires have been crucified
From St Ignatius of Antioch’s letter to the Romans
All the kingdoms of this world are worth nothing to me. It is better for me to die in Christ Jesus than to be king over the ends of the earth. I seek him who died for our sake, I desire him who rose for us.
The pains of birth are upon me. Be understanding, my brethren: do not hinder me from coming to life, do not wish me to die. I desire to belong to God: do not give me to the world, do not try to deceive me with material things. Allow me to receive the pure light: when I have reached it I shall become a man. Allow me to follow the example of the Passion of my God. If there is any man who has God within himself, let him understand what I wish, and let him sympathize with me, knowing the things which constrain me.
The Prince of this world wishes to tear me in pieces and twist my mind away from God. Let none of you who are present help him, but be on my side: that is, on God’s. Do not speak of Jesus Christ but still desire the world. Let no envy dwell among you.
Perhaps when I arrive I will ask you to save my life. Ignore what I say then, but give me what I am writing to ask you now. In the midst of life I write to you desiring death. My bodily desires have been crucified, and there is in me no fire of love for material things. Within me there is no fire, but only water living and speaking in me, and saying to me from within, “Come to the Father.” I have no pleasure in the food of corruption or in the delights of this life. I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David, and for drink I desire his blood, which is incorruptible love.
I want no more of what men call life. And I can receive what I want, if that is your desire. Desire it, so that you also may be desired. I beg you by this short letter; believe me. And Jesus Christ shall make this plain to you, that I am speaking the truth. He is the mouth which cannot lie, by which the Father has spoken truly. Pray for me that I may attain my goal. I am writing to you not according to the flesh, but according to the mind of God. If I am given suffering, it will be proof of your goodwill; if it is denied to me, that will be a proof of your disfavour.
Remember in your prayers the Church in Syria. God has now taken my place as its shepherd. Its bishop shall be Jesus Christ — Jesus Christ and your love. For myself I am ashamed to be called a member of that church, for I am not worthy. I am the least of them, a foetus born before its time. Yet, if I succeed in reaching God, then I shall have received true mercy, and I shall have become a human being.
My spirit greets you, and the love of the Churches which have received me in the name of Jesus Christ, not as a mere passer by. Even those which did not lie on my path (as the world measures it) have escorted me from one city to the next.
Credit: Divine Office: Office of Readings; Tuesday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time; https://divineoffice.org/welcome/ Information herein posted under the "rules of fair use" to foster education and discussion in accordance with Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976.
Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church.”
Saint Ignatius of Antioch
The Holy Scriptures were not given to us that we should enclose them in books, but that we should engrave them upon our hearts.”
Saint John Chrysostom
“From ancient times the Church has had the custom of celebrating each day the liturgy of the hours. In this way the Church fulfills the Lord’s precept to pray without ceasing, at once offering its praise to God the Father and interceding for the salvation of the world.” — Office of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship. The Liturgy of the Hours is the prayer of the whole People of God. In it, Christ himself “continues his priestly work through his Church.” His members participate according to their own place in the Church and the circumstances of their lives. The laity, too, are encouraged to recite the divine office either with the priests, among themselves, or individually. The celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours demands not only harmonizing the voice with the praying heart, but also a deeper “understanding of the liturgy and of the Bible, especially of the Psalms.” The hymns and litanies of the Liturgy of the Hours integrate the prayer of the psalms into the age of the Church, expressing the symbolism of the time of day, the liturgical season, or the feast being celebrated. Credit: https://divineoffice.org/liturgy-of-the-hours/
Half an hour’s meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed.”
St. Francis de Sales
Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Holy Spirit, Light and Life of my Soul, enliven my prayer life.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family, pray for us. Amen.