Don’t neglect your spiritual reading. Reading has made many saints.”
St. Josemaría Escrivá
Let us acknowledge God by our actions
A sermon of the second century
It is one of God’s greatest mercies to us that we, being alive, do not sacrifice to dead gods or worship them, but through Christ we have come to know the Father of truth. That knowledge consists in not denying Christ through whom we know the Father. As he himself has said, If anyone declares himself for me in the presence of men, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father. This is our reward, to acknowledge him who saves us.
How, then, do we acknowledge him? By doing what he has told us to do, by not rejecting his commands. By not honouring him with our lips but with all our heart and all our mind. As it is written in Isaiah: This people honours me only with lip-service, while their hearts are far from me.
It is not enough for us to call him “Lord.” That will not save us. As he says: It is not those who say to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does what is right. We must acknowledge him by our actions, by loving one another, by not committing adultery, by avoiding calumny and jealousy. We must live continently, compassionately, virtuously. We must let love for each other take precedence over love of riches. It is by these actions that we acknowledge Christ, not by doing the opposite; and remember that it is not human beings that we should fear and respect, but God. The Lord has said to you: If you are gathered together into my arms and do not obey my commands I will cast you from me and say to you, “I do not know where you come from. Away from me, all you wicked men!”
So, my brethren, let us move forward to face the contest before us. In the contests of this world victory does not come to all competitors but only to a few who have trained hard and fought well; but in our contest, let us fight so that all may have the victory. Let us run the straight race, let us compete in the eternal contest, and let whole crowds of us steer our course towards the crown of victory. If we cannot all be victors let us at least come close.
Remember also that in the worldly games cheats are flogged and thrown out of the arena. What do you think will happen if you cheat in the eternal contest? What God has said will happen: their worm will not die, nor will their fire go out; and all flesh will see them.
Credit: Divine Office: Office of Readings; Monday of the 32nd 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.
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.