Humor of the Day:
Clara: My pastor is so good he can talk on any subject for an hour.
Sarah: That’s nothing! My pastor can talk for an hour without a subject!
Jesus and Mary Meet on the Way to the Cross,
The 4th Sorrow of Mary – Luke 2: 25-40
See the eyes of Jesus and Mary as they met on Calvary. The crown of thorns adorned His head! Blood ran down His face! A heavy cross on His back! Wounded, His whole body covered with bleeding wounds! And her whole life flashed before her, the life that she had spent with Jesus. This was the beloved child that she had held in her arms when Simeon told Mary that a sword, too, shall pierce her heart!
It is true that a parent does feel the pain and hurt of their children. I can just picture Mary seeing her beloved son not only being scourged – the worst type of brutal beating; but now being forced to carry the object of His death. Jesus also had to carry His cross through a crowd of people that loved Him, but also those that spit on Him, and threw rocks and other objects at Him.
Mary had to be in pure agony. She was watching her son being treated as a criminal, and mocked by those that hated Him. Mary’s heart was broken; she was in tears. In my imagining of this seen, Mary was probably being supported and held by Mary Magdalen and ‘the other Mary’. I can truly see her wishing to take Jesus’ place. In a way, I can almost see Mary watching this event happening, as painful as the actual scourging and death that Jesus was experiencing.
Mary, I love you and I pray for you. Always be with me, as you were always with your loving Son. Amen.
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Franciscan Saint of the Day: St. Peter of Alcantara 1499-1562
Peter was born at Alcantara in Spain in 1499.
At the University of Salamanca Peter resolved to join the Franciscan Order. Peter set out for the quiet convent of Monjarez. On the way our Lord gave him a signal assurance of his vocation. Peter came to a stream which, because of heavy rains, had overflowed its banks considerably. Seeing no means at hand with which to cross, he knelt down and asked God for help. Suddenly, without knowing how, he found himself on the other side.
Once received into the order, he gave himself up completely to union with God. He never tired of going from place to place to give missions, and his success was so astounding that St. Francis Borgia once wrote to him: “Your remarkable success is a special comfort to me.” His various activities, however, in no way diminished his spirit of prayer. He lived and toiled in this spirit, and endeavored to impart it to others.
The sufferings of Christ were the special object of his devotion. As Christ sacrificed Himself for us, Peter found nothing too difficult in His service; and as Christ atoned so severely for our sins, Peter practiced the most rigorous penance. The custom of erecting a cross at the close of a mission had its origin with St. Peter of Alcantara. Whenever feasible, he had the cross erected on an elevation, so that it could be seen all over the parish. On one occasion he was so literally carried away with devotion that he sped through the air to such a cross, where with arms outstretched he prayed a long time, while rays brighter than sunlight proceeded from his person.
He wrote a little treatise on prayer and meditation which is celebrated the world over. Pope Gregory XV declared that it was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The great mistress of prayer, St. Theresa, who lived at that time, wished to have the saint for her spiritual director; and he aided her in reforming the order of Carmel.
He was a very humble man, and fled from honors. In the order itself he was obliged to accept the position of provincial, and due to his efforts his province rose to a flourishing state of religious discipline. Provincial though he was, he did not hesitate on occasion to perform the lowliest duties in the house.
On October 18, 1562, he died peacefully in the Lord. St. Theresa saw his soul take its flight to heaven. Later he appeared to her and said: O happy penance that has merited for me such wondrous glory!” Many miracles, including the raising of six dead persons to life, occurred in answer to prayers addressed to him. Pope Clement IX enrolled him among the saints.
from: The Franciscan Book of Saints, ed. by Marion Habig, ofm., © 1959 Franciscan Herald Press
(From http://www.franciscan-sfo.org website)