Don’t neglect your spiritual reading. Reading has made many saints.”
St. Josemaría Escrivá
Christ wished to save everything that perishes
A sermon of the second century
Brethren, we ought to regard Jesus Christ both as God and as the judge of the living and the dead, and we should not undervalue the fact of our salvation. If we think little of it, it means that we hope for little. Moreover, people who hear these things and think them of small importance commit sin, and we ourselves sin if we do not realise what we have been called from, who has called us, and to what place, and how much suffering Jesus Christ endured on our account.
How then shall we repay him? What fruit can we bear that would be worthy of what he has given us? For how many benefits are we not in his debt! He has enlightened our minds; he has called us sons as a father does; he saved us when we were about to perish. How then shall we praise him, how repay him for his gifts? In the weakness of our minds we worshipped stones and pieces of wood, gold and silver and bronze, things made by men, and our whole life was death. Darkness enfolded us, and nothing but gloom met our eyes. Then, by his will, we escaped from the cloud that enveloped us and recovered our sight. For he saw our many errors and the damnation that awaited us, and knowing that apart from him we had no hope of salvation, he pitied us, and in his mercy saved us. He called us when we were not his people and willed us to become his people.
Rejoice, O barren woman who never bore a child; break into shouts of joy, you who never knew a mother’s pangs; for the deserted wife shall have more children than she who has a husband. When he says: Rejoice, O barren woman who never bore a child, he is speaking of us, for our Church was barren until children were given her. When he says: Break into shouts of joy, you who never knew a mother’s pangs, he means that we should not grow weary like women in labour, but tirelessly and in all simplicity offer our prayers to God. He declares that the deserted wife shall have more children than she who has a husband, because faith has now made our people who seemed to have been deserted by God more numerous than those who were thought to possess him.
Another text says: I have come not to call the righteous, but sinners, for it is those who are on the point of perishing who must be saved. It is a great and wonderful work to uphold those who are falling, rather than those who already stand firm. Christ willed to save people who were in danger of losing their souls, and he has been the salvation of many. When we were rushing headlong on the way to perishing, he came and called us.
Credit: Divine Office: Office of Readings; 32nd Sunday 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.
Spiritual reading is the food of the soul, which renders it dauntless and strong against all temptation, which prompts it with holy thoughts and ardent desires for heaven, which enlightens the mind, strengthens the will, and gives comfort in all afflictions, which, in conclusion, procures that true and holy joy which is found in God alone.”
Saint Ambrose of Milan, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
We know the utility of prayer from the efforts of the wicked spirits to distract us during the divine office; and we experience the fruit of prayer in the defeat of our enemies.”
Saint John Climacus, 6th Century Monk
“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.”
Saint 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.