“Here’s Mud In Your Eye; You See, I AM the Lord” – John 9: 1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38 (short form of John 9:1-41)!†


 

Fourth Sunday of Lent

 

 

Today’s Content:

  

  • Dan’s Deliberations, Discoveries, & Declarations
  • Today in Catholic History
  • Quote of the Day
  • Today’s Gospel Reading
  • Reflection on Today’s Gospel
  • A Franciscan’s Saint of the Day 
  • Franciscan Formation Reflection
  • Reflection on part of  the SFO Rule

 

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Dan’s Deliberations, Discoveries, & Declarations:

 

Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions For 2011

  

General Intention: That the Church may offer new generations, through the believable proclamation of the Gospel, ever-new reasons of life and hope.

Missionary Intention: That missionaries, with the proclamation of the Gospel and their witness of life, may bring Christ to all those who do not yet know Him.

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21 Days (3 weeks) till Easter.  Hasn’t this Lenten Season been an awesome experience so far!  I pray that it has been as eye opening and revelational for you as it has been for me.

 

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Today in Catholic History:

    
†   419 – [Etalius] ends his reign as Catholic Pope
†   1287 – Death of Honorius IV, [Giacomo Savelli], Italian Pope (1285-87)
†  1581 – Death of Huibert Duifhuis, Roman Catholic pastor (Rotterdam/Utrecht)
†   1764 – Austrian arch duke Jozef crowned himself Roman Catholic king
†   1804 – Death of Jędrzej Kitowicz, Polish priest (b. 1727/1728)
†   1856 – Gunpowder in church explodes killing 4,000 in Rhodos (a Greek Island)
†   Feasts/Memorials: Saint Agape (d. 304); Saint Richard (d. 1253); Saint Sixtus I; Saint Mary of Egypt

(From the “On This Day” Blog Site
otday.wordpress.com &/OR
“Today in Catholic History”
http://www.historyorb.com)

 

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 Quote of the Day:

 

 

A blind person asked St. Anthony:

“Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?”  

He replied:

“Yes, losing your vision.”

 

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Today’s reflection is about Jesus’ Sabbath healing of the man born blind.

 

 (NAB John 9:1-41) 1 As he passed by he saw a man blind from birth.  2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  3 Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.  4 We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work.  5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”  6 When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes, 7 and said to him, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” (which means Sent).  So he went and washed, and came back able to see.  8 His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?”  9 Some said, “It is,” but others said, “No, he just looks like him.”  He said, “I am.”  10 So they said to him, “(So) how were your eyes opened?”  11 He replied, “The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’  So I went there and washed and was able to see.”  12 And they said to him, “Where is he?”  He said, “I don’t know.”  13 They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees.  14 Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a sabbath.  15 So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see.  He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.”  16 So some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, because he does not keep the sabbath.”  (But) others said, “How can a sinful man do such signs?”  And there was a division among them.  17 So they said to the blind man again, “What do you have to say about him, since he opened your eyes?”  He said, “He is a prophet.”  18 Now the Jews did not believe that he had been blind and gained his sight until they summoned the parents of the one who had gained his sight.  19 They asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind?  How does he now see?”  20 His parents answered and said, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind.  21 We do not know how he sees now, nor do we know who opened his eyes.  Ask him, he is of age; he can speak for him self.”  22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone acknowledged him as the Messiah, he would be expelled from the synagogue.  23 For this reason his parents said, “He is of age; question him.”  24 So a second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give God the praise!  We know that this man is a sinner.”  25 He replied, “If he is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see.”  26 So they said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”  27 He answered them, “I told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again?  Do you want to become his disciples, too?”  28 They ridiculed him and said, “You are that man’s disciple; we are disciples of Moses!  29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but we do not know where this one is from.”  30 The man answered and said to them, “This is what is so amazing, that you do not know where he is from, yet he opened my eyes.  31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if one is devout and does his will, he listens to him.  32 It is unheard of that anyone ever opened the eyes of a person born blind.  33 If this man were not from God, he would not be able to do anything.”  34 They answered and said to him, “You were born totally in sin, and are you trying to teach us?”  Then they threw him out.  35 When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”  36 He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”  37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him and the one speaking with you is he.”  38 He said, “I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him.  39 Then Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.”  40 Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not also blind, are we?”  41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains.

 

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Last week (the Samaritan Woman), this week, and next week (raising Lazarus from the dead), our Gospel reading is from John.  In today’s Gospel, the healing of the man who was “born blind” encourages us to ponder on the physical AND spiritual aspects of sight and blindness, and light and darkness.  

At the beginning of today’s Gospel, we are made aware of Jesus’ response to a prevalent belief of His time period: that hardship and disability were the result of sin, even sins of our parents.  This well-entrenched belief is why Jesus is asked the question: whose sin caused the man’s blindness—his own, or his parents’.  Jesus does not answer the question directly, but instead gives the answer through an entirely different aspect of understanding.  Through the man’s disability, God’s power, divinity, and mercy were manifested.  Jesus does heal the man, physically and spiritually, and gives us a teaching in addition.

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Sin envelops the mind in darkness and seals off the heart and soul to God’s love, trust, and truth.  Only in the “light” of God’s truth can we see sin for what it truly is: a personal rejection of God and a purposeful opposition to His will. 

The Pharisees (and most Jews of the time) equated physical blindness and sickness with sin.  While Holy Scriptures indicates that sin can make the mind, body, and soul sick, not all sickness is solely the result of sin.  Sickness takes place in us for a variety of reasons.  The Apostle Paul (My personal favorite Apostle) reminds us:

We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28) 

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Today’s story is about a Sabbath day healing of a man “born blind”.  This miracle of Jesus, a true sign of His divinity, is introduced by John in order to put emphasis on the saying:

I am the light of the world (John 8:12; 9:5).  

The sequence of conflicting events in today’s story contrasts Jesus (light) with the Jewish interpretation of Mosaic Law on the “Sabbath rest”. (blindness).  

The healing was controversial to Jesus’ fellow brethren, even to His Apostles, because He healed on the Sabbath day.  The Pharisees, the religious authorities of Jesus’ time, interpreted the Law of Moses as forbidding work of ANY TYPE, even good works, on the Sabbath day.  They also had trouble believing that Jesus truly “performed a miracle”!

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The theme of “water” is introduced in this story by bringing up a reference to the “pool of Siloam”.  The Pool of Siloam is mentioned at other times in the Bible, in addition to today’s reading:

“Because this people has rejected the waters of Shiloah that flow gently, and melts with fear before the loftiness of Rezin and Remaliah’s son.” (Isaiah 8:6),

And,

“You saw that the breaches in the City of David were many; you collected the water of the lower pool.” (Isaiah 22:9) 

As in last week’s Gospel about the Samaritan woman, today’s Gospel reading has many hints leading to the Sacrament of Baptism.  The washing of the man in the “pool of Siloam” is a representation of our Church’s Baptism rite.  Through the man’s encounter with Jesus, the man “born blind” is healed, – – his sight is restored, – – and his conversion of heart, soul, and body has begun.  He has become a follower, a disciple, of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  This man comes to a greater understanding, a revelation, about who Jesus is and what it means to be His disciple.  Those who SHOULD see, such as the Pharisees, are the ones who truly remain blind to the ways of God.

A revelation – – and time of enlightenment – – comes with the “born blind” and now sighted man encountering Jesus again after being thrown out of the Temple for his non-politically correct, yet truthful, testimony.  After receiving the news of his literal ejection from the temple, Jesus actually seeks out the once-blind and now sighted man, revealing Himself – – personally – – as the “Son of Man”.  In this moment, this instant in time and place, the now sighted man shows himself as a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ, and openly worships Him.  

Jesus identified the “paradox” in the experience: numerous individuals who encounter Jesus in their lives (then, and now): “who are blind will now see, and those who think they now see will be found to be blind.”

How ironic is it that Jesus is being judged by the Jewish people, yet the Jewish people are judged by the “light of the world” – – Jesus Christ, the “Messiah”, and our Savior:

And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil.  For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed.  But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.” (John 3:19-21).

Jesus tells the blind man “go wash” himself.  Was Jesus giving him a test of faith?  He did know the Old Testament.  This story is representative of a similar story from the book, 2 Kings:

“The prophet sent him the message: Go and wash seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will heal, and you will be clean.’  But Naaman went away angry, saying, ‘I thought that he would surely come out and stand there to invoke the LORD his God, and would move his hand over the spot, and thus cure the leprosy.  Are not the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be cleansed?’  With this, he turned about in anger and left.  But his servants came up and reasoned with him. ‘My father,’ they said, “if the prophet had told you to do something extraordinary, would you not have done it?  All the more now, since he said to you, ‘Wash and be clean,’ should you do as he said.’  So Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times at the word of the man of God.  His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. (2 Kings 5:10-14)?

Per Wikipedia, the “water of Siloam” (meaning “sent”) is used as a symbol for Jesus who was sent by His Father, who “flowed” from His Father.  We are to bathe in the love, trust, and faithfulness of Jesus Christ.  He is the “living water” that will quench our thirst (see last Sunday’s reflection blog).  We bathe in the flowing waters of the living Jesus Christ at our Baptism.

This pool in today’s reading was one of the major Jerusalem landmarks of first century Palestine.  Hezekiah had a secret tunnel bored through 583 yards (nearly two football fields) of solid rock in the hillside, solely to bring water from the “Gihon” Spring, a spring outside the city walls of Jerusalem, and into the city proper (cf., 2Chronicles 32:2-8,30; Isaiah 22:9-11; 2Kings 20:20).

At the Feast of Sukkoth (also known as the Festival of Tabernacles or Booths) water from this pool was taken to the temple by one of the priests, with great trumpet blasts, while the people recited specific words from Isaiah:

With joy you will draw water at the fountain of salvation.” (Isaiah 12:3) 

This special water was poured alongside the Temple altar, along with wine.  These liquids ultimately flowed into the Kidron Valley.  These two fluids (water and wine) were both an offering of thanksgiving for the summer harvest, and a petition to God for continuing to provide water and growth of the newly planted seeds of the next harvest.  Doesn’t this image bring to mind the events and reason for our Catholic Eucharistic celebration at each and every Mass?

Why am I writing about the Feast of Sukkoth (the Festival of Booths)?  Jesus identified Himself as the source of this life-giving water, the “Light of Man” in today’s story:

“On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood up and exclaimed, ‘Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink.’  (John 7:37). 

Jesus not only gave physical sight to the blind man, He gave spiritual vision, “insight”, as well.  That is why Jesus proclaimed Himself the “light of the world”:

We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work.” (John 9:4). 

The miracle at the Pool of Siloam pointed to the source of the miraculous life-giving water which Jesus offers still today through the gift of the Holy Spirit:

“Whoever believes in me, as scripture says: ‘Rivers of living water will flow from within him.'” (John 7:38).

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It was a common belief among the Jewish inhabitants of Palestine that parents’ sins were often times passed on to their children in the form of infirmities.  After all, this belief was a long-held precept in the Torah:

 “I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their fathers’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation. (Exodus 20:5)

While the cure of the blind man is associated with the forgiveness of sins, Jesus never drew a direct one-to-one connection between sin and suffering.  Instead, the purpose of the infirmity actually emphasized God’s providential nature in allowing whatever infirmity or hardship we may have to be used a tool to bring others to God’s warm embrace.  A few years of suffering, – – even decades of suffering – – can, in no way, ever come close in comparison to the extreme joy and gladness one will have FOR ETERNITY, after this exile here on earth if you love, trust, and believe in God, AND you follow His way of life.  God being “jealous” (in the Exodus reference above) meant He required an exclusive loyalty, commitment, and faithfulness to Him from His followers, His disciples, YOU!  The loyalty, commitment, and faithfulness He requires should be similar to what a wife must have for her husband, and a husband for his wife.

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To determine whether the “once blind” man was really born blind, the Pharisees interrogate the man, and his parents, without empathy.  The man stood his ground and in his new-found faith.  He challenged the Pharisees about their assessment of the good that Jesus had done, even on the Sabbath day.  Upset with not proving Jesus being in error per Mosaic Law, they literally throw the man out of the Temple after he was so bold as to question “their” judgment and interpretation of Mosaic Law.

The parents of the Man who was “once blind” told the Pharisees:

“Ask him, he is of age; he can speak for himself” (John 9:21)

They said this because they were afraid of the Pharisees, for they had already agreed that if anyone acknowledged him as the Messiah, he would be expelled from the synagogue.

The Pharisees were upset with Jesus for two reasons (at least).  First, He healed the blind man “on the Sabbath”, which they considered a serious violation of the Mosaic Law requiring all to follow the “Sabbath rest”.  Second, how could a sinner, – – a Sabbath “law-breaker”, – – do such a marvelous work of God – – A MIRACLE

The Pharisees prejudice made them “blind” to God’s true intention for the Sabbath and to Jesus’ claim to be the One sent from God the Father to bring redemption, salvation, freedom, and “light” to His “chosen” people.  The Pharisees tried as hard as they could to intimidate this “cured and sighted” man, and even his parents, by threatening all of them with expulsion and excommunication from the Temple.  

John used the comments and actions of the Pharisees in regards to physically ejecting the cured man as a way to foresee and visualize a situation which eventually developed, and became a normal practice only a short 50 years after Jesus’ ministry on earth: rejection and/or excommunication from the synagogue of any Jew who admitted a belief that Jesus was the “Messiah”.  This seems to have begun around the year 85 A.D., when the “curse against the ‘minim’ or heretics” was introduced into the “Eighteen Benedictions.”

Per Wikipedia, “The Eighteen Benedictions“, is a reference to the original number of fundamental blessings in the main prayers of the Jewish liturgy.  These prayers, among others, are found in the “siddur”, the traditional Jewish prayer book.

There are two theories of thought on this “curse prayer”.  The Talmud indicates that when Rabbi Gamaliel II undertook to fix the Jewish public service and to regulate private devotion, he directed the development of another prayer in opposition to heretics. It was inserted as the twelfth prayer in the “modern sequence”, making the total number of blessings nineteen.  However, other sources, (also found in the Talmud), indicate that this prayer actually was part of the original “18”prayers; and that the nineteen prayer came about when the fifteenth prayer (for the restoration of Jerusalem, and of the throne of David – the coming of the Messiah) was split into two prayers.  It seems only God knows for sure!

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The second time the cured man was called before the Pharisees (verse 24), he said to the Temple leaders, “Give God the praise!” which is an Old Testament expression imploring to tell a truth with God in mind.  Other examples of the use of this style and form of this expression can be found both in Old Testament Scripture and earlier in John’s Gospel:

Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give to the LORD, the God of Israel, glory and honor by telling me what you have done; do not hide it from me.” (Joshua 7:19),

“Therefore, make images of the hemorrhoids and of the mice that are infesting your land and give them as a tribute to the God of Israel. Perhaps then he will cease to afflict you, your gods, and your land.” (1 Sam 6:5),

And,

I do not accept human praise” (John 5:41).

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Again, Jesus does something awesome, – – a miracle – – that had never been done before.  In verse 32, it is written:

It is unheard of that anyone ever opened the eyes of a person born blind.”  (John 9:32)

What makes this miracle so unique is that a cure from blindness only happened once, and is documented in the Old Testament book of Tobit.  However, Tobit was not “born” blind’:

“But when he heard that Tobit had lost his eyesight, he was grieved and wept aloud.  He said to Tobiah: ‘My child, God bless you!  You are the son of a noble and good father.  But what a terrible misfortune that such a righteous and charitable man should be afflicted with blindness!’  He continued to weep in the arms of his kinsman Tobiah.”  (Tobit 7:7),

“Raphael said to Tobiah before he reached his father: ‘I am certain that his eyes will be opened.  Smear the fish gall on them.  This medicine will make the cataracts shrink and peel off from his eyes; then your father will again be able to see the light of day.’  Then Anna ran up to her son, threw her arms around him, and said to him, ‘Now that I have seen you again, son, I am ready to die!’  And she sobbed aloud.  Tobit got up and stumbled out through the courtyard gate.  Tobiah went up to him with the fish gall in his hand, and holding him firmly, blew into his eyes.  ‘Courage, father,’ he said.  Next he smeared the medicine on his eyes, and it made them smart.  Then, beginning at the corners of Tobit’s eyes, Tobiah used both hands to peel off the cataracts.  When Tobit saw his son, he threw his arms around him.(Tobit 11:7-13), 

And,

“Tobit died peacefully at the age of a hundred and twelve, and received an honorable burial in Nineveh.  He was sixty-two years old when he lost his eyesight, and after he recovered it he lived in prosperity, giving alms and continually blessing God and praising the divine Majesty.” (Tobit 14:1-2),

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“Hear is mud (or spit) in your eye!”  Isn’t that a common saying when drinking a refreshing, usually alcoholic, beverage?  Jesus used spittle, kneading it into the clay of Palestinian dirt, and then rubbing it onto the eyes of this man.  With this unusual and non-hygienic method, the blind man was healed.  (Have you ever paid a significant price for the privilege of relaxing in a spa’s mud bath or facial?  Now you have an excuse – “Jesus used it to cure someone”!)  A revelational illogicality took place.  Through the use of dirt and spit, and through the use of what Jewish religious practices, and worldly society of the time, deemed “unclean” (and probably today – so GROSS!).  Jesus brought a man from a place of darkness (being blind) into His light (regaining vision) and presence.

Two famous theologian philosophers commented on this reflection and our witnessing to our Lord.  John Chrysostom remarked:

The Jews (the Pharisees) cast him out of the Temple; the Lord of the Temple found him.”  If our witness of Jesus and his redeeming power in our lives separates us from our fellow neighbors, it nonetheless draws us nearer to Jesus himself.  Paul the Apostles warns us to avoid the darkness of sin that we might walk more clearly in the light of Christ (Ephes. 5:8-12). Do you allow any blind spots to blur your vision of what God is offering you and requiring of you? (John Chrysostom – unknown source),

And Augustine of Hippo remarks:

If we reflect on the meaning of this miracle, we will see that the blind man is the human race.  You already know, of course, who the “One Sent” is.  Unless he had been sent, none of us would have been freed from sin.”  (Augustine of Hippo, Commentaries)

In reality, this man was ostracized by the religious authorities because he gave witness to the Lord Jesus in his life

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Jesus broke “the Sabbath rules” laid down by Jewish law and tradition: a “false” interpretation of Mosaic Law.  Did God really mean to say that NO work can be done on the Sabbath, regardless of the consequences?  Or, did God only mean to keep Him as the premier focus in all activities done on that day (at least), to use the day for praising Him in whatever you do, and to do no normal daily work and activities in honor to praise Him?

I remember every Sunday in a delightful and warm memory of my childhood.  In our family, on Sundays, we were up and at 6 a.m. Mass – – “usually before the sun even woke up”.  My Dad often said, “The first thing you do on a Holy Day is say ‘Hi’ to the Lord, and talk to Him before others.”

When Mass was over, we went to the local bakery (I think it was a Jewish bakery) and bought fresh sliced rye bread.  After a large “Sunday” breakfast, we [as a family – no one was excused] went to visit family and friends, or we went on a picnic, or did something similar and special.  The day ended with a massive Dinner of some type.  There was NEVER any work of the ordinary daily kind done on Sunday except for cooking, and even that was not of the normal type of cooking we had the rest of the week.  (What a great memory.  I truly miss my father.)

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The last three verses in today’s Gospel seem to explain the symbolic meaning of the miraculous cure in the man “born blind”.  I believe we are all “born blind” to God’s love, mercy, and magnificence; however, we mature and grow in His divine and magnificent love for us.  The Pharisees however are not only “born blind, they chose to remain blind to God’s divinity (in human form) truly in their presence; refusing to accept even the “truthful” testimony of others.  How ironic is it that these same Pharisees will however accept “false” testimony – – with great glee, – – solely in order to condemn Jesus just a short time later.

When infants are baptized, parents and godparents assume the role of being responsible for rearing and educating of the child as a disciple of Jesus Christ.  The path of maturity in our Catholic faith is like the example found in today’s reading.  The man is cured of his blindness, a symbol for sin in his life.  With each event, the man comes to a deeper awareness of who Jesus is in his personal life and every day experiences. In a similar way, as baptized “disciples” of Jesus Christ, we continue to mature in our faith as our relationship with and in God and our knowledge about Jesus and the Holy Spirit grows.

Try to identify significant moments in your life, especially your life of faith.  Reflect on how Jesus interacted with and within you at each of these moments.  How has your relationship with Jesus changed and matured?  

The relationship between Jesus and the man “born blind” changed and grew throughout the Gospel reading.  Pray that your relationship with Jesus will continue to grow and develop, becoming ever deeper with each moment of your life.  Open your eyes to the beauty found in nature, in creation, and in the Holy Trinity.

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Saint Anthony’s Prayer to the Holy Spirit

 

“Holy Spirit, fire of love, come rest over each of us, make
our tongue ready to confess our sins, that in revealing everything
and concealing nothing, we may attain heavenly life to sing
eternal praise with the angels. With your help, you who live
and reign through all ages.  Amen.”

 

Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley

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A Franciscan’s Saint of the Day:  St. Benedict the African (1526-1589)

 

Benedict held important posts in the Franciscan Order and gracefully adjusted to other work when his terms of office were up.

His parents were slaves brought from Africa to Messina, Sicily.  Freed at 18, Benedict did farm work for a wage and soon saved enough to buy a pair of oxen.  He was very proud of those animals. In time he joined a group of hermits around Palermo and was eventually recognized as their leader.  Because these hermits followed the Rule of St. Francis, Pope Pius IV ordered them to join the First Order.

Benedict was eventually novice master and then guardian of the friars in Palermo— positions rarely held in those days by a brother.  In fact, Benedict was forced to accept his election as guardian.  And when his term ended he happily returned to his work in the friary kitchen.

Benedict corrected the friars with humility and charity.  Once he corrected a novice and assigned him a penance only to learn that the novice was not the guilty party.  Benedict immediately knelt down before the novice and asked his pardon.

In later life Benedict was not possessive of the few things he used. He never referred to them as “mine” but always called them “ours.”  His gifts for prayer and the guidance of souls earned him throughout Sicily a reputation for holiness.  Following the example of St. Francis, Benedict kept seven 40-day fasts throughout the year; he also slept only a few hours each night.

After Benedict’s death, King Philip III of Spain paid for a special tomb for this holy friar.  Canonized in 1807, he is honored as a patron saint by African-Americans.

Comment:

Among Franciscans a position of leadership is limited in time.  When the time expires, former leaders sometimes have trouble adjusting to their new position.  The Church needs men and women ready to put their best energies into leadership— but men and women who are gracefully willing to go on to other work when their time of leadership is over.

Quote:

“I did not come to be served but to serve (see Matthew 20:28), says the Lord.  Those who are placed over others should glory in such an office only as much as they would were they assigned the task of washing the feet of the brothers.  And the more they are upset about their office being taken from them than they would be over the loss of the office of [washing] feet, so much the more do they store up treasures to the peril of their souls (see John 12:6)” (Francis of Assisi, Admonition IV).

Patron Saint of: African-Americans

Saint of the Day: Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.;
revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
(From http://www.americancatholic.org website)

 

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New Translation of the Mass

 

In November of 2011, with the start of the new Liturgical year and Advent, there will be a few noticeable changes in the Mass.  It will still be the same ritual for celebrating the Eucharist.  The Mass will still have the same parts, the same patterns, and the same flow as it has had for the past several decades.  It is only the translation of the Latin that is changing.

The new translation seeks to correspond much more closely to the exact words and sentence structure of the Latin text.  At times, this results in a good and faithful rendering of the original meaning.  At other times it produces a rather awkward text in English which is difficult to proclaim and difficult to understand.  Most of those problems affect the texts which priests will proclaim rather than the texts that belong to the congregation as a whole.  It is to the congregation’s texts that I will address with each blog, in a repetitive basis until the start of Advent.

In the words of Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium, #11, the Eucharist is the “source and summit” of Christian life. Anything we can do to understand our liturgy more deeply will draw us closer to God.

 

When the priest invites us to share in the Lord’s supper, we will respond:

Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

The use of “under my roof” is a reference to the Gospel passage where the centurion asks Jesus to heal his servant but says he is not worthy for Jesus to enter his house (Luke 7:6).  The other change is “my soul” instead of “I”, which focuses more clearly on the spiritual dimension of the healing we seek.

Material from “Changing How We Pray”, by Rev. Lawrence E. Mick

 

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Franciscan Formation Reflection:

 

San Damiano

 

How did St. Francis interpret and undertake the San Damiano message?
What was Jesus Christ really asking St. Francis to do?
Do you take the San Damiano message as a message for You?  How?
Am you familiar with the particular San Damiano Cross image which hung in this chapel?  Where is the original preserved now?

 

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Secular Franciscan Order (SFO)
Rule #’s 3 & 4 of 26:

3.  The present rule, succeeding “Memoriale Propositi” (1221) and the rules approved by the Supreme Pontiffs Nicholas IV and Leo XIII, adapts the Secular Franciscan Order to the needs and expectations of the Holy Church in the conditions of changing times. Its interpretation belongs to the Holy See and its application will be made by the General Constitutions and particular statutes.

 

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4.  The rule and life of the Secular Franciscans is this: to observe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by following the example of St. Francis of Assisi who made Christ the inspiration and the center of his life with God and people.

Christ, the gift of the Father’s love, is the way to him, the truth into which the Holy Spirit leads us, and the life which he has come to give abundantly.

Secular Franciscans should devote themselves especially to careful reading of the gospel, going from gospel to life and life to gospel

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One response »

  1. A blind person asked St. Anthony:
    “Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?”
    He replied:
    “Yes, losing your vision.”
    So true..Isn’t it a shame that when a child was born with infirmities that parents were blamed?
    Here’s mud in your eye too Dan..lol

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